Thursday, August 31, 2006

Let's go swimming!

I took William to the officers' pool on the base today. I learned three very important lessons in doing so:

1. I had to lug along a ton of gear. I felt like a Sherpa or something, hauling along the big beach bag, the diaper bag, my purse and the baby in his baby seat. In the beach bag, I had to pack a towel for me, a towel for William, his little hooded robe (a gift from his great aunt Susan), two plastic waterproof books, a spare rubber ducky, another random toy, a couple of burp cloths, his hat, sunscreen (for me), my hat, my water bottle, an extra outfit for William, an extra pair of shorts for me, and something else that I can't remember. We were both already wearing our bathing suits, so at least I didn't have to pack those. I remember discovering that it's impossible to travel light when you finally have a baby. Well, that's doubly true when you have a baby and you also want to take the baby to the pool. And I had to carry it all. Couldn't figure out how to get up there to the pool with the stroller.

2. William doesn't think much of cold water. He thinks even less of cold water when you submerge his little bottom in it. Which leads us to the next lesson...

3. Even with the rubber lining, his swimsuit does not prevent water from soaking into the diaper beneath it. After we "swam," I had to buckle William into his car seat to carry him into the locker room to change him. That little chore took about ten minutes. I mean, I couldn't even buckle the blasted thing because the diaper had swollen to epic proportions. I mean, half the baby pool must have soaked into that thing! When I finally unstrapped it from his poor little damp bottom, I about fell over from the weight. Seriously, I bet that diaper weighed more than three pounds. I increased my child's weight by about a fifth by having him wear it. I chucked it into the nearby trash can. Thunk! They probably heard that noise out on the pool deck. Or, they would have, had William not been crying loudly and indignantly at the indignity of being undressed twice in the same hour.

So it was quite the experiment. Now to be fair, William did splash in the pool for a little while, with some encouragement from me. We floated theback-up rubber ducky (pitiful little second string guy, no squeaker!) , and I read his Baby Einstein book about water to him. Then I tried to sing as many songs involving water that I could think of. Not that I could remember more than about three lines of any of them. But hey! I sang three lines of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "I Love a Rainy Night," "It's Raining on Prom Night," "Don't Drink the Water," and "Splish Splash I was Taking a Bath." And several rousing repetitions of "Row Row Row Your Boat."

Luckily, there was no one else around to cringe at my attempts at singing and entertaining my son. Of course, the downside of that is that there was no one else around to admire him in his sea turtle bathing suit, lime green rash guard, and his navy sun hat. He was mighty cute, even if he didn't quite understand the purpose of sitting in four inches of cold water.

And, after a very looooong 25 minutes, we headed for home. Experiment concluded. I guess I should be grateful that they close the pool after Labor Day. Or should I say, I guess William should be grateful!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A terrible nightmare

I had a terrible nightmare a couple of nights ago. It was so realistic that I couldn't really shake it off, even once I was awake.

I dreamed that I was lying in bed, with David's arm around me. I was wearing the same blue pajamas that I was actually wearing that night. I dreamed I woke up with a start and heard William crying from his room across the hall, and I started to get up. Then I heard a strange man's voice, talking loudly and harshly. I heard William's cries escalate, and heard some banging around, and I realized that someone was taking him from his crib. Someone was kidnapping my son! As I tried to struggle up from the bed, David held me back, whispering that maybe it was someone taking someone else's baby, not ours. I struggled against him, and my heart was beating so fast that it felt like it might burst up out of my throat. No, no, no!

Then I woke up for real. Only when I awoke, it was almost exactly like waking up in that dream, with the pajamas and David's arm. And I wasn't sure it was real. I rolled over on my side, breathing like a sprinter who had just finished a major race. I got up to go to the bathroom, and then, just because the nightmare was so real, I went in to check on the baby. William was just fine, of course. He was in his crib, and he had his arms thrown out to the sides in his regular deep-sleep pose. I stood there and watched his chest rise and fall for a few minutes and tried to reassure myself that he was right there, right in front of me, safe and sound and asleep.

I was sort of afraid to go back to bed and fall asleep again, afraid that I would sink back into the abyss of that nightmare again. I guess I'm just terrified of something happening to my little boy, and the fear has permeated my subconscious.

Luckily, the nightmare didn't come back. But it was yet another reminder of how protective I am of that precious little guy, the chubby little one in light blue choo choo train pajamas who wriggles in delight when his mom or dad picks him up from his crib in the morning. I wonder if the nightmare is partially a result of how affected I was by that photograph that I wrote about a few days ago--and the prospect of being forcibly separated from my child. Or maybe it's a common new parent fear. I don't know. But I do know that it's like having part of my heart outside my body, having William out there without me.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Leaving the ones you love behind

A photograph on the cover of Thursday's Los Angeles Times caught my eye and put a flutter in my stomach. A young woman in camouflage fatigues wearily clutched a bottle of milk to the lips of her five-month old son, who was squirming in his father's arms. The woman, a specialist in the Army, was about to deploy to Iraq and leave her young son behind.

That little boy is only a month older than William. His mother has only been a mother for a month longer than I have. And she must leave her baby at home and go to war. The cutline on the photo didn't say how long the deployment would be, but I imagine it will be at least six months, maybe even a year.

Now, I am all for equality for both genders in the military. I believe that if men have to go to war, then it's not right to exclude women. They should have equal opportunities and responsibilities, in my opinion. If you join the Army (or the Navy or the Marines), then you serve, regardless of your gender.

But my stomach turned over for that young soldier, the woman about to leave her young son and go to a foreign country half a world away. I can't imagine leaving William for more than a few hours, much less for months, let alone for months in a dusty, war-torn country where I don't speak the language or understand the culture. I can't imagine kissing my son's little round cheeks and knowing that I won't get to kiss his cheeks again while he's still a baby. That little boy in the newspaper photo will be crawling, walking, maybe even talking by the time his mother comes home. He'll be taller and heavier when she comes home. His cheeks might be thinner, as he outgrows some of his pre-mobile baby fat, by the time she comes home. He might not even remember her, not really, when she comes home.

If she comes home.

I had to put the newspaper aside so that I wouldn't keep looking at the picture and agonizing over it. And yet here I am, writing about it because I can still see it in my mind. I still ache for that mother. I've been trying to hold William close as much as possible, to capture that elusive sweet baby scent and store it permanently in my brain, because at least I have the chance to be with him every day. I wake up and see him every day, and I get to kiss his cheeks and listen to him laugh and watch him clutch a soft new toy with clumsy little hands.

I am so, so lucky.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

William's week

William has had quite the eventful week, and it's just Thursday!

First, he had his next round of vaccinations on Monday. You read about that already.

Then, he slept all the way through the night that same night, from 8:45 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.! Really, he did! And not only that, he did it again the following night. I couldn't believe it. Of course, I woke up a lot during the night both nights because I was worried that I hadn't heard from him. You know me, I tend to imagine the worst. I did creep into his room on Monday night to make sure he was, you know, still alive and all. (He was.) I managed to restrain myself on Tuesday night, but I still woke up a lot, for no good reason other than my own paranoia.

Wednesday, we took a little field trip down to the valley. We hit our usual haunts (Target, Barnes and Noble), went to a few of Mommy's favorite stores (Ann Taylor), ate lunch at a pizza place, and swung by Trader Joe's to pick up some sushi for Daddy. Well, Trader Joe's is where we ran into trouble. Not in Trader Joe's. Nope, nothing dangerous in there except for possibly the likelihood of spending too much money on treats. It was the parking lot that did us in. I brainlessly locked my keys in the car...with the engine running, the AC on full blast, and the radio blaring. Luckily, William was not in the car. But I still freaked out. I called AAA, babbled something hysterical and incoherent about being locked out of the car and it being 1000 degrees outside and oh yeah, there's a baby. I mean, it was so hot out there, and the sun was beating down on us, and I was lugging around two bags full of really random groceries that needed to be put in the cooler. And an infant who really didn't need to sit outside in the August desert heat. The AAA guy managed to ascertain that no, William was not locked in the car, and that yes, we were safe, and he sent someone over to rescue us with a slim jim. Twenty minutes later, we were on our way, thanks to Justin from Roy's Towing. Whew.

Today, William saw his new pediatrician for his four-month well-baby check-up. He's a healthy little guy. Okay, not so little: 16 pounds, 4 oz, and more than 25 inches long. He's above the 70th percentile for weight, and just above the 50th for height. And while his round head may look big, it's actually only in the 50th percentile, too. So we won't have to custom order hats for him or anything. And William behaved himself very nicely. He showed how well he can pull himself up when he's propped on his tummy, and he flashed his trademark gummy grin. We think he's just days away from rolling over, too, so I expect that to be the next major event on the horizon. David and I are helping him practice at home. He's not quite there yet, but he's working on it. I'll keep y'all posted.

Monday, August 21, 2006

More S-H-O-T-S

William, I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but here goes: your mother is a wimp.

The little prince got his second round of vaccinations this afternoon. I cried last time he got a series of S-H-O-T-S, but I thought that I'd be perfectly okay this time around. You know, an old hand. A pro. A seasoned parent. The been-there-done-that blase type of mother.


We attended the hospital's weekly breastfeeding meeting today, then wheeled ourselves over to the pediatrics clinic. As the nurse, Toni, prepared to give William his shots, David offered to let me leave the treatment room. I thought that sounded like a good plan, but then I reconsidered. He IS my child after all, and I really should be present for all his medical treatment at this stage. So I compromised. I stood off to the side, well away from the stretcher-gurney thing, close to the door.

I was fine while Toni put William on the gurney and carefully unsnapped the bottom of his madras overalls. I was okay when she asked David to hold his hands out of the way. But when she inserted that first syringe into William's chunky little thigh, he realized the betrayal. This wasn't a friendly little visit with Miss Toni, the nice lady who wears bright yellow scrubs printed with Tweety Bird and tells him how handsome he is. William sucked in his breath. For an instant, he was silent, with his little red mouth gaping wide open like a ravenous baby bird. Then he let loose with a screeching wail that rose and rose, in octave and volume. His face (actually his whole head) turned the tomato red that has become his trademark when he gets upset or angry. He squirmed and wriggled frantically, and tears began to drip down his red cheeks.

And that was when the tears welled up in my own eyes.

I took a couple of deep breaths and tried to blink back the tears. David held his little hands and murmured to him. His cries bounced around the treatment room, even though Toni worked fast to get the rest of the vaccinations out of the way. It was all over in about 30 seconds, but oh my, what a long 30 seconds that was. Whew. I am such a wimp. Imagine how I would have reacted if William had needed serious medical treatment. This was just a routine series of vaccinations--and I am very, very pro-vaccination. I belive strongly in the benefit of having all children vaccinated (for personal reasons and for the whole group immunity thing), and of course as a pediatrician, David does, too. But gah, it is just no fun at all to watch needles inserted, regardless of how quickly, into your child.

But at least the four-month vaccinations are over. William has his four-month well-baby check-up with his new doctor later this week, and I don't anticipate any trauma coming from that. No needles involved.

And I resolve to handle it better when William has his next round of shots. That's at six months. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Learning to read the cues

As William nears his four-month birthday (Tuesday, Aug. 22!), he's becoming so much more fun. He's smiling and laughing so much. And he "talks." He'll get to cooing and oohing and aahing, and it's like he's participating in a conversation. He also has these funny little expressions that make him look like he's telling some vitally important story. He furrows his brow and then opens his eyes wide, as he jabbers in his own little language.

But what's really funny is if one of us says something like, "Is that so?" or "Really? I didn't know that!" and he just tips his head backward and laughs and laughs and laughs, as if he's so pleased that we understood exactly what he "said." It cracks me up, too.

And I'm also discovering certain tricks that are helping me to manage him a lot better. Maybe I'm just slower than the average parent, but it took me awhile to realize that you have to capitalize on the baby's very early signs of hunger or exhaustion.

If I look at the clock and figure out how long it's been since William last ate, I can usually predict if he's hungry again or if he can wait awhile. When he was little bitty, he would gnaw on his hand, and that was the sign that it was feeding time. Well, now that he's a big alert baby, he likes to gnaw on his hand because he is putting everything into his mouth. And unlike a toy, he can't drop his hand on the floor or in the crib. But if I monitor the time and generally keep an eye on his mood, I can usually figure out when to feed him. Also, if you pick him up and he's hungry, he often does the little bobbing-his-head-up-and-down on your shoulder thing. So that's another cue that I watch for.

If he begins rubbing his eyes or fussing a little, it's time for a nap. Wrap him in a soft blanky, close the curtains, and put him in the crib. He's much more likely to doze off than if I wait until he's really tired, because then he's too worked up to settle down. When I discovered this, it was a "eureka" moment. It really was. And because I'm more watchful for such signs, William is now napping more reliably, which is a huge relief. He's less tired, he's less cranky, and we're all happier. And I hear him now, waking up from his second nap in his crib today. Unfortunately, there's not usually an early sign for him waking up from a nap. One moment, he's silent, and the next moment, he's a human tornado siren. Ah well. Off I go!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lieutenant promoted to lieutenant commander

Well, I'm not sure why Blogspot won't let me post any pictures, but it won't. If it would, you would be able to see the pictures of David getting promoted to a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. He was officially promoted yesterday. The commanding officer at the hospital had the ceremony in the pediatrics waiting room at lunchtime. William and I attended, and I even got to pin one of the new shoulderboards onto David's uniform. We also attended the "wetting down" party hosted by David and several other new lieutenant commanders at the officers' club on base this evening.

So David's an O-4 now! I'm very proud of him. I remember the last time he got promoted. It was the day he graduated from medical school, actually. I was just his girlfriend back then. We took him over to the navy recruiting office in some strip mall, and the recruiter there pinned on his lieutenant stuff. Somewhere I have photos of David taking the oath from that guy. This time around, William and I are in the pictures, too. I think David looks pretty much the same--maybe a little more tired, though. Can't imagine why.

So much has happened since that hazy June afternoon in Memphis in 2000. It's hard to believe it. I didn't know then where our lives would take us, but I think things turned out pretty well. We're healthy, we have a good marriage and a beautiful son (if I do say so myself). Twentynine Palms isn't so great (what can you say about an ugly little town with fast food chicken restaurants that run out of chicken and no bookstores?), but we only have about 10-11 months to go. Thank goodness for that.

Hopefully I can figure out how to post more pictures soon.

Ah ha! It capitulated! Here's a photo of David taking the oath...

Monday, August 14, 2006

don't get used to it

Something that I have learned as a rookie mom: once you get used to something, it changes.

Case in point: once we get used to William's sleeping schedule being one way, it changes. But what should I expect? He is changing and growing every day, even in ways that I can't see.

Last night was a night of grace. William went to bed around 8:30 with a smile on his face, after a nice warm bath and bedtime snack. I was tense most of the evening, waiting for him to wake up with a roar. He slept on. Around 2 a.m., I woke with a start and accidentally woke up David in the process. I couldn't resist it: I turned on the monitor to see if I had heard the baby muttering or beginning to cry, but I didn't. So I finally tiptoed into his room to see if he was still alive. (Yes, I also worry that if I don't hear from him, something terrible has happened). He had his little arms thrown out to the side, and he hadn't even kicked his blanket off of him. He was out like the proverbial light. Relieved and feeling somewhat foolish, I tiptoed back to bed. I didn't hear a peep out of him 'til 5:45 a.m. At that point, I was so excited he had slept through the night that I dashed right in there to nurse him.

"Thank you, sweet boy," I whispered to him as we curled up together on the bed in his room.

David came in a little while later to kiss us both goodbye before he left for work. "William is such a good boy for his mommy," he whispered to us.

Oh, my, yes. It was like William somehow knew how stretched to the limit I was, and he decided to help me out. Now, rationally I know that most, if not all, babies go through phases. Sometimes, they regress for a little while. Sometimes they are working on some cognitive or physicial change that keeps them awake when they should be asleep. Usually, it lasts for awhile, and then they move on. But it was hard to be rational when your baby was in tears every 45 minutes or so all night long and you didn't know how to help him. It was so frustrating that I can barely articulate it except to say just that: it was so frustrating! I apologized to David for being so despondent, but he understood. It was just a bad spell, he told me. It will eventually improve. And it did.

Two steps forward, one step back, I guess. I hope that tonight goes okay, too. If not, well, at least we had a decent night's sleep last night. And surely we'll have more later, too, right?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Yet another sleepless night

Last night was yet another awful night. Except for one or two nights, ever since we got back from Holden Beach, nighttime has been a nightmare at this house. William just won't sleep normally anymore. I honestly haven't had but maybe on decent night's sleep since we got home.

We had gotten him into a routine where he had a bath around 8or 8:30, then nursed in a quiet room, then went to bed around 8:45 or 9, with his music box playing softly. He went to bed pretty easily. And he often slept til 3 a.m. or so on most nights, and on a few nights, he would even make it 'til 4 or later. And I posted about the times he has slept through the night.

Now, he won't even go to bed at his usual time. He wails not long after I put him down. Then he wails regularly with regularity about every 45 minutes to an hour all night long. Sometimes a binky will settle him down. Sometimes it won't. David has tried to soothe him. I've tried. It will work at first, but it doesn't last. He might settle down, but less than an hour later, he's up again.

So I never get any decent stretches of sleep because William is constantly waking up, crying. The longest stretch might be an hour and a half. It is awful. It is beyond awful. He won't even nap reliably during the day, so I can't make up for the sleepless nights. Nothing is working. We are talking about doing a cry-it-out routine, but I don't even know if it will work. Not to mention whether I have the energy to even try it.

He was sleeping so much better, and now it's so much worse. It's as bad as it was when he was a newborn. Except back then, he wasn't developmentally ready to sleep long stretches of time. He needed to eat regularly. Now, he is big enough and old enough to be sleeping better, and in fact, he has done so in the past. But now he's not. And it is making me crazy.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jennifer opines on baby products

I'm tired.
I took William to Sears today to have his portrait taken again. That's some high-level baby wrangling, in case you didn't know. It required a couple of strategically scheduled nursing sessions, several carefully calculated wardrobe changes and the ability to make lots of loud, funny noises (think ringing telephone). Oh, and some hastily gulped Diet Coke for me. For what it's worth, it's harder to wrangle a baby who is now 15 pounds, 8 oz, because man, there's just so much more of him.
It was worth it, though. I think we're going to get some nice pictures out it.
But just in case I hadn't used up enough energy on making the ringing telephone noise six zillion times in an effort to elicit a sweet little grin or two out of the bambino, I decided, hey, why not go for broke and go to Target too?
While I was there, I bumped into two ladies (nurses, I presumed, from their matching scrubs) who were studying a baby registry printout and aimlessly pushing a cart around the baby section. They were trying to figure out what to buy for a shower gift for a pregnant coworker who is expecting her first child. They ruled out clothes, and they were debating the merits of certain items left on the registry.
Never lacking for an opinion, I made my (unsolicited) recommendation.
"Get her a bouncy seat," I said firmly and pointed toward the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium bouncy chair that we have.
For those of you who don't know, I've become quite the bouncy seat evangelist. Some people like to sell others on Jesus or Mary Kay or the Atkins diet. Me, I tend to wax eloquently (I think) on two slightly less well-known items: the store Trader Joe's and the vibrating bouncy seat for babies.
Trader Joe's sells excellent and affordable organic food, wine, baked goods and other yummy stuff. Dried fruit of every type! Sushi, guacamole, gourmet cheeses! Two buck Chuck! Fresh flowers, scones and energy bars! Can I get an Amen?
Bouncy chairs allow Mama and Daddy the chance to eat dinner, take a shower or otherwise hang out with Junior without having to hold him every single of the minute of the day.
"Have you let the joy of a bouncy seat into your life?" I might ask an expectant mother or a new parent-to-be. "Do you really think your life is complete without a bouncy seat? What do you think might happen if you have the chance to accept the bouncy seat as your personal sanity savior and you don't do it?"
Because fun fact: lots of babies don't like lying flat on their backs all the time. They like to sit up or be propped up so they can see what's going on. Also, if William is a reliable source, the bouncy seat is pretty darn fun to sit in, too. Beyond the whole vibrating, bouncy part of it, his seat has the nice little aquarium arch that plays music and makes ocean noises.
It has even inspired me to compose a brief little ditty in their honor.
"William! William Wyckoff! King of the Bouncy Chair."
Seriously, I can count the bouncy chair as representative of some of the best money ever spent, when it comes to baby paraphernalia. I guess my top five list would be something like this:
1. Bouncy chair. See above.
2. Pack n Play. William has slept in three: his own at home, his Mama Judi's at her house, and his Mama Dee's at the beach. They work great as bassinettes for small babies and can be used as play pens later. And yes, they can be packed up, nice 'n' neat. That's despite the egregious use of the "n" instead of the proper "and."
3. Boudreaux's Butt Paste. Yes, that's its real name. Yes, it puts Desitin and other diaper creams to shame, to crying shame. Also, it has a funny little picture of a silly baby on the package that makes me giggle. And seriously, doesn't it make you giggle to say "butt paste?"
4. Gerber's waffle-knit cotton blankets. This is the gold standard when it comes to blankets for swaddling squirmy little babies. They stretch, they're light-weight, and they're larger than those little receiving blankets that come four or five to a package. They're also irritatingly hard to find. Stock up if you find some.
5. Rubber ducky. Any kind will do. Bathtime is just not so much fun without one. Also, we prefer the kind with "HOT" printed on the bottom so that college graduates can figure out if the bathwater is warm enough.
I should make a whole long list and market it to first time moms. But those are the biggies.
And with that, I'm off to bed. The little prince is neatly swaddled in his blue waffle-weave blanket and dreaming of whatever babies dream of. Maybe he even dreams about his beloved bouncy chair. I'd better go get some rest so that I can be ready for him tomorrow...

Monday, August 07, 2006

More on Holden Beach

So I promised to write more about our big trip to Holden Beach, and I'm not letting you down.

We had 19 people (well, 18 and a half) on this particular trip, so we divided ourselves between two houses that were adjacent to each other. We were stationed in the larger house, which was dubbed the "baby house." Mama Dee and Grandaddy Aaron brought along a Pack n Play and bouncy chair to help make William feel more at home. Mama Dee also brought along a slew of new clothes for William to wear. See the blue plaid sunsuit (left) for an example. The sunglasses, however, were a special purchase by David for his son's first trip to the beach. Unfortunately, William is not too impressed by them. He may look like one cool cat, but it's a sham. He doesn't like anything to impede his vision, even if the sunglasses were supposed to protect his little eyes. He worries that he might miss something, I guess.

Anyway, we had a nice long relaxing week. William actually slept very well on the trip, too, much to my shock and pleasure. Usually, I'd take him up to hang out with his grandaddy (and often his uncle Mark) while David and I went down to the beach. He'd get in some time in his bouncy seat and then ride around on his grandfather's shoulder until he decided it was time for lunch. Then it was time for the Wyckoff version of the Bat Signal: Aaron would either call me on my cell phone or wave frantically from the balcony to summon me to the house for a nursing session. Then I'd stay in the house for lunch. Then he'd often get passed around, maybe read a book with Kathleen, maybe grin at Eleanor. You know, entertaining his audience. Some afternoons, I'd even get to head back out to the beach late in the afternoon.

David and I also took William for a couple of walks on the shore at night. I know that I really enjoyed those walks. The sky would be a soft mauve, and the waves would lengthen and stretch out, leaving a wide shallow warm arc on the packed-down sand. We never walked very far, but it was just so relaxing, listening to the steady rushing of the ocean and watching the stars slowly come out. Usually, William would start out craning his neck to take in this scenery, but after a few hundred yards, he would fall asleep in the Baby Bjorn, nestled up against his daddy's chest. There we were, a new little family, together on the beach at sunset. It doesn't get much better than that. I always hated to go back inside afterward, but usually it would be time to give the baby a bath and put him to bed for the evening.

There was also the traditional evening out at Betty's for dinner, a walk to the pier, some souvenir shopping, a wedding shower, and a baby shower. And one rather harrowing encounter with the waves, up close, for William. David sat down in the waves and held William on his lap so he could feel the water. Despite being dresssed to the nines in his new sea turtle bathing suit and his stylish SPF T-shirt and floppy sun hat, William didn't much care for the experience. I think he didn't like being splashed. The waves might have scared him once he was down so close to them like that. Oh well, maybe next year.

But mostly, we just relaxed. I enjoyed seeing people I don't see very often and having people to entertain William. I think he got a kick out of all the extra attention, too. He won't remember this trip, but we'll be able to tell him about it one day. "Remember the first time that we took William to the beach?" one of us will say. And the other will reminisce about how William took long naps with his grandfather in the morning and enjoyed watching the waves from his mommy's lap while they sat together on a rocking chair on the porch.

Here is the man himself with Mama Dee...

And here are the Wyckoff men...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

William at the beach

We're back from our big family vacation to Holden Beach!

We had a really wonderful time. Each summer, David's family meets up with two other families in Holden Beach, North Carolina. I went for the first time last year, so this was my second trip. Obviously, this was William's first time, and we were so excited to take him to the beach. He is the first member of his generation to go, although he will be joined next year by his future playmate, Alethea and Glen's baby son.

David and I had long looked forward to taking William down to the ocean. He's too young to wear sunscreen, so we waited until the sun began to set. (During the days, he hung out with his Grandaddy Aaron up in the beach house. More on that later.)

At the tender age of 3.5 months, William has now seen two oceans. He has strolled along the shore of the Pacific in San Diego and dipped his feet in the warmer waters of the Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina. Not bad for someone so young, eh? I don't think I had seen both oceans in person until I was an adult! He wasn't too sure what to think of the water lapping up against his feet. He seemed more interested in watching the waves and listening to them crash on the sand.

Here are some more photos that we took of William, experiencing the beach in person for the first time.