Saturday, January 31, 2009


Jillian LOVES the cat! He doesn't exactly return the feelings, but he is getting more tolerant (or maybe she's just getting gentler). You've all heard of bear hugs...well this is a cat hug!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Let's Pretend!

So I snapped a couple pictures of Jillian in her new Tinkerbell dress yesterday. It's a little big (2T), but the smallest they had and it was like 75% off.

She's on the move a lot now (and fast!), but I managed to get this shot of her fleeting smile, which has been in hiding for some time.

Today we went to Target to have her one year pictures taken. In the store, I realized that it was time to get the harness/leash. She's not the biggest fan of holding my hand and kept taking off in the store.

Jilly loves pretending that things are telephones. Anything flat and long will do: remote controls, actual phones, our wireless thermostat (which is especially fun when she turns the heat off on the touch screen), and daddy's calculator (pictured here).

And finally, not accompanied by pictures, we have had a breakthrough. After her visit with her grandparents for a couple nights, Jillian returned to us even more independent than before. She has finally reached the point where she wants to go down for her nap awake! I've been "cheating" with naps and rocking with her until she dozed off for months now, but finally she just decided it was time! She's been going down for the night awake for a while, but yesterday was the day. And for 3 of 4 naps now, she's successfully put herself to sleep!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Windy City

As promised, the adventure continues, with pictures.

Our swanky hotel room (Presidential Suite!); how on earth we got upgraded for no additional cost is beyond me!?!

The living and dining area I swear was longer than the footprint of our townhouse.

The bedroom wasn't as enormous, but the bed was the most comfortable bed in which I've slept. Possibly ever. I SO didn't want to leave.

The master bath (yes, we had two bathrooms) was also ginormous and I enjoyed a long relaxing bath with a book our second night.

This was the view of Tuesday's sunrise from our awesome suite. We had a beautiful view of the lake, but it was a bit eerie that it just sort of faded off into the horizon. There was never a real definite horizon line to see.

This isn't the best shot of our view out of the dirty window, but it shows the lake frozen with the newly fallen snow laying atop the ice.

Tuesday afternoon I did a little sightseeing (after a nap in the fabulous bed - I cannot say enough about how wonderful the bed was) while John was still at the conference attending a couple seminars. I only ventured as far as I wanted to walk, and I forgot how much I like being in a city. I find that I do a lot of walking and don't ever mind the distances. I walked a good two or three miles down Michigan Avenue, aka The Magnificent Mile, and didn't bat an eye.

The John Hancock Building

The Farmer and his Wife

The Chicago River

The Bean

Nathan Hale Statue

The Disney Store (I found a great deal on an adorable Tinkerbell dress for Jillian to play dress-up...tune in later this week for those pictures).

The historic Water Tower at dusk in the snow.

This was a glass sculpture suspended from the ceiling at the McCormick Place Convention Center. I took a bunch of pictures, but these few are my favorites.

And a skyline picture complete with Soldier Field.

We definitely made the most of our short trip, and I want to go back and see more of the city - preferably in the summertime!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pre-Chicago Prep

I haven't blogged in a few days, and it feels weird, so I thought I'd do a quickie from the Windy City.

Our weekend was fairly low-key and rather un-blogworthy. Jillian did attend a demonstration class for Kindermusik on Saturday morning. It was nice, but since we're enrolled in a class at My Gym and she absolutely LOVES that, I think we'll hold of on enrolling in any other classes. Saturday afternoon was spent on a search for long johns for our trip. Found a pair for John at Bass Pro shop and a pair for me at the Leggs/Hanes/Bali outlet. Hooray for Arundel Mills!

Sunday I had what I like to call another mommy-learning-moment. After church, Josh went to Sunday School and John and I used to go to Adult Sunday School. We're trying to attend again, so I took Jillian to the nursery at church. It's tough for her already, since I have to wake her up for church to get there early enough to practice with choir, and by the time our service is over, it's her naptime. I took one of the pagers, signed her in, and John and I went to our Sunday School class. About 3/4 of the way through class, I looked down at the pager, only to find that it was in the "off" position. Whoops! I'm already on track for a mother-of-the-year award...I can feel it now! Lesson learned: make sure to turn the pager on when leaving a sleepy, crying toddler in the nursery.

Monday was spent mostly getting things ready and packed to have Jillian travel with her Bubby to visit for a couple of nights in Southern MD and getting us packed for the trip. After sending Jillian off and packing us up (including gathering 3 oz or smaller containers for our carry-on toiletries) we headed for BWI and had an blessedly uneventful flight and arrival. We got to our hotel and were assigned a room on the *gulp* 29th floor. Following signs to our room, we arrived at a two-doored suite, thinking, this can't be ours! But alas, the key worked and the Presidential Suite is ours! After suffering with a migraine our first night here, I bucked up and joined John at the AHR Expo this morning. I left him around lunchtime and returned to the hotel to recharge and do some sightseeing. More to blog about when I get home and get my pics uploaded!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mac 'N Cheese Please!

Or not so much. I tried one of those little toddler meals for Jillian this evening, and at first it in a little bowl for her. After many near tosses on the floor, I broke down and just spread it out for her on her tray. She only actually ate about 1/3 of it, but she really liked the sound of it gushing through her fingers. She had mac 'n cheese up to her elbows!

Jillian still really loves her Gymboree purse (consignment store purchase!). She learned how to put it on her arm instead of just carrying it around in her hand. Now she totes it around everywhere like such a big girl!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just Stuff

Jillian did lots of cute things today.

My camera was not out to capture the following shenanigans:
1. She played with the toilet plunger while I showered this morning and took the plunger-holder (bowl shaped) into her room - YUCK!
2. After I got out of the shower she saw me blow my nose (I'm a loud nose blower) and she took the diaper that she had been walking around with and put it to her face and made raz sounds to imitate me.
3. She unscrewed the nobs from the cabinet on which our TV sits. Both of them. Right in front of us with neither of us noticing.

A while ago I decided to start trying a new fruit and vegetable each week. So far pears and oranges have been a win. Raspberries not as much. Green beans weren't her favorite, but I think I left them too crunch (I hate mushy veggies). Peas are the veggie this week. I believe she likes them because she can pick them up easily.

After she finished her dinner, she tried out looking through her bowl. She's pretty fascinated with it being see through - a point of frustration for us WHILE she's eating.

And I have one last tidbit to share. A couple weeks ago I joined Sams Club. Today I bit the bullet and did some shopping there (I'm in the store every week for my part-time job). I decided to try and cut down on grocery costs with the Enercient start-up. We got a Food Saver for a wedding gift (which is awesome!) and about a week ago I cleaned out our freezer. So today I bought heaps of steak, chicken breasts and pork chops to freeze in two and three serving portions. Now my big challenge will be planning dinners a day ahead so I can defrost!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

200th Post - Blog Review!

For my 200th post, I wanted to do something a little different. I reviewed all of my past blog posts and picked my readers' (well, my commenters') favorites to share.

Jillian playing in the cat's water dish.

Gus stealing Jillian's cookie.

"Diaper" box derby.

Jillian's new fleece hat.

Baby's first laptop.

Rum (unopened bottle).

And the favorite video..."Bucket-head"!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day of Rest

After a busy and productive weekend (aka exhausting!), Jillian and I stayed home today. Although there is plenty to do this week, a day of rest was called for.

Jillian loves her doll. It is almost as big as she is, but she still carries her around all the time.

We were very excited to see snow today and can only hope that next time it stays around longer and we get enough accumulation to go out and try out the baby sled!

The other day, my annual supply of Honeybell oranges arrived. I squeezed some orange juice for myself this morning and cut some sections for Jillian to try with lunch. Success! She likes oranges!! After lunch I cut some more sections for her and stored them in a baby food jar for the next couple meals. I just wanted to share what looked like warm sunshine to me today.

After lunch I proceeded to tackle Mt. Laundry. Jillian wanted to "help" fold it, but really she just snatched a clean hoodie towel and walked around with it over her head.

She also learned that pressing buttons on her discovery cube isn't the only way for it to make noise. Apparently sitting on it works just as well.

This evening, Jillian's fascination with daddy's big work boots continued. Daddy showed her what they'd look like on her feet.

She got so sad that she couldn't wear them around that she tried carrying them - steel toed boots are heavy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What We've Been Working on for Superbowl

We've been teaching Jillian to do touchdown arms! She doesn't say it yet, but she's getting pretty good at it! She does it randomly too, clearly thinking, "Look what I can get my parents to do - they raise their arms too and shout TOUCHDOWN!".

Also, for those of you who guessed at the birthday collage (Lindsey and Emily), you're both winners...kind of.
Lindsey - you nailed the first row right on!
Emily - you almost nailed the second and third rows (except for switching 10 & 11).
The "answer" is:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Birthday Girl, Etc.

Here I go, catching up on blogging. Thursday was Jillian's first birthday. We didn't do much to celebrate, though I did give her one of her presents. She was into it! Unfortunately, I didn't realize that it doesn't have a volume switch or an on/off button. BUMMER!

That evening, John and I held a launch reception for Enercient Systems Technologies. We didn't have the largest crowd ever, but a good mix of people came to hear what John had to say.

Yesterday was a pretty low key day. We hung out around the house and Jillian had her one-year checkup with the pediatrician. And shots. Another bummer.
Current Baby Stats:
Weight 17.1 pounds (3rd percentile)
Height 28 inches (20th percentile)
Head 45 centimeters (48th percentile)

Today we celebrated Jillian's birthday with a handful of family and friends. In attendance were: NiNi (my mom), Dottie (my grandmother), Grandma Helen (Dottie's friend), (my) Auny Betsy, Granny (John's mom), Jaime and Danielle (John's cousin & his wife) and their daughter Ella (2-1/2 years old), Lisa and Jamie (my best friend and her hubby) and their boys Ben (4 years old) and Luke (1 year old), and of course, me, John and Jillian.

I'll sum up the day, and then follow it up with some pictures. Jillian was feeling a little sleepy today and chilled out with daddy before our guests arrived. She is getting the hang of unwrapping gifts, but mostly loves tissue paper and cards. Jilly got some great presents, her favorite being the doll baby stroller. We've personally resisted getting her one, since she pushes them into things and then gets frustrated (house rule: we don't play with toys that make us mad), but Granny bought her one and she is SO into it. Mommy and Daddy will just have to make sure she takes breaks from it, i.e. hiding it in the closet when she is at the end of her rope. Practice makes perfect and she'll have the hang of it in no time.

After presents, we adjourned to the kitchen for some Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I'm not a big cake decorator, as you'll be able to tell. The baby chose a Tinkerbell theme for her limited decorations (I gave her three choices and three times she picked the Tinkerbell plates). Jillian sat patiently while we sang happy birthday to her, and I helped her blow out her candle. She examined her cupcake thoughtfully, then she dug in. She didn't get as messy as I had prepared for, but she did enjoy her cupcake, got the obligatory icing in the hair, and ate just about the entire thing!

Our guests left and Jillian crashed for a late afternoon nap. Mommy took her presents out of the impossible packaging in which all toys come. And then snapped a shot of the booty. I totally left out her new Melissa & Doug puzzle. It is fantastic. And also not pictured, enrollment in another session at My Gym in Columbia from NiNi and Poppop - hooray!!! What a loved little girl!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Official: One Down, Seventeen to Go!

Well, Jillian is one year old today. Wow! Last year this time (just after midnight), I had been to the hospital twice to begin the induction process (she was due January 2nd!), and was turned away twice due to the high volume of deliveries that night. I was home on the couch, bags packed, trying to relax while waiting for labor to begin. And begin it did. Just a few hours later, at 10:46am, Jillian was born. Stealing the idea from Emily originally, and Lindsey who also did this in honor of Cady's birthday (also January 15th), I've created a collage of pictures of Jillian from this past year. Each picture is from a different month. Can you guess the order from 1 to 12 (January 2008 to December 2008)? Number answers from left to right, top to bottom.
Example guess:
1(top left),2,3,4
9,10,11,12(bottom right)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Over the next couple weeks, we have a pretty hectic schedule, with our launch dinner coming up, Jillian's birthday party, John leaving his full-time job, trying to fit in dentist appointments, and a trip to Chicago the last week of January.

Today we made up a My Gym class in advance and stuck around afterwards for their free play.

After a long afternoon nap to recharge, we all went to the Macaroni Grill for dinner, since we got a gift card for Christmas! We ordered Jillian some mac 'n' cheese, but clearly she preferred sharing daddy's spaghetti.

Her kids meal came with a small sundae. We figured we'd let her have it and start celebrating her birthday early. Needless to say, it was a big hit. And messy.