I took Niklas to his first movie on Tuesday. We saw Despicable Me, which I thought was the least terrible looking
kids movie playing that day. It featured mischief causing minions, people getting hit in the head repeatedly and a fart gun, so Niklas thought
it was awesome. Also popular with Niklas: movie theater sized boxes of M & Ms, popcorn and cherry slushies. I was a bit concerned about asking
Niklas to sit reasonably still and be reasonably quiet for almost two hours, but he did a great job, especially considering how hopped up on
sugar he was.
Zoe is doing well. She's apparently decided that sleeping for seven or eight hours in a row is not for her just yet, so that's a bit of a drag, but she cutes it up well enough to make up for it. Her baby acne, which had been pretty bad for a couple of weeks, is just about all cleared up just in time for our upcoming tour of Illinois to visit her grandparents.
Zoe has been spitting up a lot more lately, but I don't think she's reached baby Niklas levels. I've only cleaned stuff up off of the floor a couple of times, whereas the boy was spreading spit uppy cheer all over the place a couple of times per day. Thanks, Zoe!
2010-08-18: So, I've managed to slack my way through two weeks with no updates. That's nearly a quarter of Zoe's life. Sorry. Zoe hasn't been slacking, though. Here's what she and her big brother have been up to:
Thursday, August 5
So, we kicked off Zoe Tour '10 by heading down to Bloomington to see Grandma and Papa Meeker. Niklas helped his Grandpa paint some rocks, played with some Matchbox cars and monorailed it up a bit. He also consulted on the replacement of the basement carpet. Amazingly, it did not require replacement as a result of any of Niklas's actions. Zoe spent her time in Bloomington looking cute and generally behaving like a good girl. After looking at some pictures in Andrya's baby book, it's pretty obvious who Zoe takes after looks-wise.
Friday, August 6
Niklas woke up bright and early so as to get in a bit more time playing with Grandma and Grandpa. I'm a lot more tolerant of his early rising when there's somebody else available to get up with him. After he tore things up a bit, we loaded into the car and headed down toward the greater Smithton area. Zoe slept most of the way down while Niklas watched some videos on the iPhone. As is his wont, Niklas waited until we were fifteen minutes or so away from our destination before falling asleep.
Our first stop was at Andrya's Godmother's house for lunch. Niklas threw down some hotdogs and mostly comported himself in a gentlemanly fashion, which is pretty much all I can ask. When he started getting a little antsy, Marylin took him out for a walk, which he enjoyed. Zoe was very well behaved. She made me change a bunch of diapers while we were there, but I can't blame here for that can I? Yes? No. That's what I thought.
After leaving Millstadt (Marylin lives in Millstadt, which I didn't mention until now), we headed to Swansea to see Andrya's grandparents. They were both thrilled to meet Zoe, who was quite personable while we were there. Niklas told them all about his t-ball exploits ("I hit the ball and I run real fast") and his Matchbox cars, which enjoy continued popularity. The only downside of the visit was that I failed to take any pictures, which was my only responsibility aside from Niklas wrangling.
Our whirlwind tour of Greater Belleville wrapped up with a trip to Glen Carbon to see Andrya's Aunt Margaret and Uncle Malcolm. They have a set of about a thousand Lincoln logs that Malcolm made back in the day. Niklas absolutely loves those (he had been talking about them for days before we went down there). We built a garage without a door (due to an engineering error), a garage with a door, a road for his Matchbox cars and a giant pile of pretend garbage. That was pretty awesome. After that, we had some pizza and beer which was even more awesome. As always, a fine time was had by all.
Saturday, August 7
After an evening at the lovely Fairfield Inn Fairview Heights, we grabbed some breakfast at the Bob Evans with Andrya's cousins Kendra and Shannon and Kendra's boyfriend Derek (who may or may not spell his name that way). Kendra is Zoe's Godmother, so she was very excited to meet Lady Deathstrike. Niklas was very exited to eat some chocolate chip pancakes, and once the sugar hit his brain, he was very, very excited about everything. So that was fun.
More on our recent undocumented exploits tomorrow or so. Maybe I'll even get some pictures developed (note that I'm aware that the photos I take do not require developing). Anyway, when I told him that he'd be going to visit Katie and Alice with Andrya and Zoe tomorrow, Niklas said "that will be wonderful". When I told Z-train the same thing, she stared at me like I was suspected of doing something suspicious. So we'll see how that goes.
2010-08-24: Pictures! Also, our recap of those days I was too busy traveling, entertaining, working or drinking to document continues... right now.
More From Saturday, August 7
After a stop at the lovely something or other rest area on Interstate 64 (Zoe had a second or third breakfast, Niklas played on the finest playground equipment the Illinois Department of Transportation has to offer), we arrived in historic St. Francisville. Grandma and Grandpap Vennard were very excited to meet Zoe. They also aided and abetted Niklas in his nap avoidance. Niklas helped to make dinner by digging up some potatoes. He managed not to put a holes in himself or anyone else, which was fairly impressive. He also ran around the yard a whole bunch, unleashing his stuck-in-the-car-all-day energy, and had a pretty good go at slots. Despite being on the road for the third day in a row, Zoe did an excellent job of maintaining a semblance of a schedule and not melting down.
Sunday, August 8
As is his wont, Niklas got up extra early on Sunday. I guess my mom or somebody took care of him, as he was eating pancakes when I got up and to the best of my knowledge, he cannot make his own pancakes. Later, he played with the hose, washed the car and drove the Gator. I was allowed to ride in the Gator with him for a few minutes, but before too long, I got the boot and was replaced by the dog. Niklas also spent a bunch of time in the garage with his Grandpap doing garage stuff, which he rather enjoys. Zoe spent the day looking cute and stepping out in a jaunty hat. She's getting much better at holding her head up on her own, but she's smart enough to realize that there's no point in exerting yourself like that if you don't have to.
Monday, August 9
On Monday, Zoe got up at whatever insane hour it is that Grandma Vennard leaves for work to say goodbye, whereas I had to miss that do to my ingrained laziness. Sorry, Mom. Later, after Grandpap Vennard headed off for some golf, we packed into the car and drove back up to Chicago. When Niklas was a baby, Andrya and I weren't terribly particular as to where we stopped for baby feedings. With the boy being all into running around, though, it works out for the best now if we stop somewhere where he can indulge his high speed impulses. This is how we ended up driving around Hindsboro, Illinois looking for a park when Zoe started the hunger shreiks. Luckily, Hindsboro is pretty much made up of a grain elevator and a playground, so it wasn't a terribly difficult search. After that, our plan was to stop in Champaign to let the boy run around the Quad, but he was feeling a bit under the weather (he's apparently allergic to rural areas), so we grabbed lunch at McDonald's and headed on our way. You could tell he wasn't feeling well on account of how he fell asleep when we weren't even within fifteen minutes of our destination. We were all pretty exhausted when we got home, but a fine time was had by all.
Tuesday, August 10
I don't really remember what we did on Tuesday, but I assume we went to the store to get some groceries. Also, Zoe tried on one of my shirts.
Wednesday, August 11
Niklas and I took a trip over to his preschool to pick up the forms you have to fill out so as to pass you child off onto the preschool. They are legion. Niklas is looking forward to school, so that's a plus. I assume he gets that from Andrya. Zoe spent most of Wednesday yelling, which I assume was pent up rage from her four days of travel. This is Zoe's yell face.
Thursday, August 12
Pro: Zoe hasn't been pooping nearly as often of late.
Con: Some of the recent poops have been in the 12 to 14 ton range (estimated)
Today, Andrya and I took Zoe out for that most awesome of baby trips, the running of errands. Niklas is down at his Grandma and Papa Meekers, so he missed out on all the fun of the post office, the bank and various retail establishments. Zoe behaved herself extremely well, so that was nice. This morning, Zoe and I took a walk around Wrigley Field. I was hoping her diaper schedule would allow me to leave a physical manifestation of my opinion of the Cubs, but it was not to be. Maybe tomorrow.
2010-08-29: So, now that I've got stuff recapped up to... two weeks ago? That's much worse than I had hoped. Moving on, then.
Friday, August 13
So, Niklas's godfather arrived on the ungodly early bus from Columbus at some hour of the morning that only people who deliver milk or have small children ever see. Niklas showed him his room, his Matchbox cars and various other things whilst running about in crazy sugared cereal fashion. After a few hours of that, Josh was party to the Crazy Niklas Goes To A Restaurant experience, which is always entertaining unless you're the guy who's in charge of him, in which case it's incredibly stressful. After our relaxing lunch (I find screaming "sit down on your bottom, Niklas" to be incredibly relaxing), Josh took off to catch a Sox game while Andrya, Niklas and I took Zoe to her six week doctor's appointment. Zoe was a very good girl at the doctor's office. She spent most of her time there admiring herself in the mirror and impressing the doctor with her good health and impressive head of hair. We found out that taking the over when betting on Zoe's weight was good way to go, as she weighed in at ten pounds, four ounces.
Saturday, August 14
One of Niklas's favorite things is Nintendo Wii bowling. He's been asking about real bowling for a while, so the Godfather and I took him to the local bowling alley to see how well his video game skills translated. It turns out that a six pound ball is still pretty heavy when you're three, but with my help, Niklas managed to bowl a 25 and a 27. Impressive! I've never seen someone so excited about knocking over a single pin, but then again, Niklas is a pretty excitable guy. His best shot was a wicked hook that hugged the gutter for about ten feet before coming back across the middle and scoring a nine. Niklas favorite part was probably the cartoon bowling ball on the score monitor deal thing that kept laughing at me for my failure to pick up splits, but he had a really good time with the whole experience. Meanwhile, Zoe and Andrya hung around at the house and did some girly stuff that I'm sure was unrelated to bowling.
Sunday, August 15
I don't really remember what happened on this day. Zoe has been smiling a bit lately, so I'm going to assume she unleashed the cute smile. It's impressive in it's cuteness, let me tell you.
Monday, August 16
This was the day that Andrya, the Godfather and I took Niklas and Zoe to the playground for some playgrounding and writing on things with chalk...ing. This was the first time that we put Zoe in the snugli deal, so I was pretty excited when she was cool with it. Reasonably cool with it, anyway. Niklas tore it up but good with Andrya and Josh at the playground whilst Zoe and I kept to the shadows in avoidance of our enemy the sun.
Tuesday, August 17
Tuesday is far enough removed from the weekend that you can head down to Michigan Avenue without having to deal with half a million tourists. (There are only about a quarter of a million on Tuesdays.) We took advantage of this and got some lunch at Heaven on Seven. Zoe slept through the whole meal, so I don't know what that says about her potential love of cajun food. Niklas had half of a giant grilled cheese, declared himself too full to eat anymore and then ate an ice cream sandwich anyway.
Wednesday, August 18
On Wednesday, the Niklas and I took the Godfather to the bus station downtown, which gave me an opportunity to work on not swearing in front of Niklas whilst navigating morning rush hour traffic. One of those tasks was more successful than the other.