Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Adventures in the Great Outdoors

Today's springlike weather coaxed us outdoors and we went walking with "fake" Aunt Jen this morning. We walked around Lake Elkhorn and saw some woodpeckers (Jen loves birdwatching and is educating us) and even caught a turtle sunning itself on a log!

This afternoon some of the moms group moms met at the Meadowbrook playground to loose the babies and give them some exercise and fresh air.

Jack greeted Jillian when we arrived.

After Em1 and Brooks arrived, we herded the little ones into the tennis courts - I'll have to remember some tennis balls or something next time.

Jack and Jill practiced their doubles positions.

Brooks made sure the net was set up properly.

Words were passed between the doubles partners. Doesn't look like they were pleased with the match results.

We vacated the tennis courts for more playground play, since some folks arrived that actually wanted to play some tennis. Jillian investigated the rock climbing wall.

At my insistence, Jillian tried out the hat that was too big for her last summer. Looks like it'll be a winner this year!

And Jocelyn got out of her stroller to practice walking around - it looks like she'll be carousing with the rest of the walkers before we know it!

And this just in from Emily - Jillian (with mom's help) on the zip line!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Celebrating a Birthday

This afternoon Jillian and I headed up to Aunt Betsy's house in Manchester to celebrate cousin Julie's birthday.

Jillian ate cake and ice cream standing up and used the wrong end of her fork.

What I like most about the next two pictures is the thrilled expression on my mother's face (she's in pink).

After cake and ice cream, Jillian spent some time doing her favorite thing - swinging on the swing!

Jillian had a good time playing with cousin Jesse's dog Stanley.

Jillian loves exploring. She took a stroll down the lane.

And as the sky started to look ominous, we said our goodbyes and headed home.

We had a great time and were reminded again just how lucky we are that our family lives close by (well, within an hour of us). Except cousin Julie who flew in from Seattle to celebrate her birthday. Happy Birthday Julie!

This evening we had more will-exerting around the house. Daddy was entertaining Jilly while I made her nighttime bottle and as usual, she took his glasses. In a moment of what at the time appeared to be genius, I got her baby shades out and put them on her. Daddy got his glasses back and Jillian looked cute. This apparent stroke of genius backfired, as Jillian insisted on bathing while wearing her shades.

And continued wearing them during bedtime routine.

And wore them to bed. Nice. She clearly has a mind of her own.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lazy Saturday

After some early errand running and later brunch eating, we did some hard core playing around the house. Jillian practiced stacking her rings again. This is now one of her favorite pastimes.

This afternoon, I had my slippers on and Jillian decided during naptime to go sans socks. I pulled out the bunny slippers that she's had for ages and can finally fit into! She actually didn't mind them and wore them around for a while; until she found one of her shoes and insisted that I put that on her foot instead. Here she is modeling her slippers and pointing at the tv (we watched the Planet Earth DVD set today!).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears - Oh My!

I've had a hankering to take Jillian to the National Zoo in DC for the last couple weeks; ever since we watched a show about China on tv and Jillian showed great interest in the panda bears.

Today was the day! Despite having tons of "boring" stuff to do (bills, errands, etc.) it looked like today was going to be the warmest, non-rainy, day of the next week, so we headed on down after breakfast.

We saw Lions...

and Tigers...

and Bears!

We learned lots of interesting things, too!

Apparently, Orangutans "do it like they do on the Discovery Channel" in the morning right out for everyone to see. Awkward! The female orangutan (on the bottom) had her hand covering her face the whole time. I was happy that Jillian isn't of the sex education age yet, and that we didn't have to have "the talk" while we were there. I did overhear some embarrassed parents trying to tactfully explain what was going on to their children.

Panda bears like to lounge. Both of the pandas were out for us to see, and both were doing some serious lounging.

Red pandas are adorable! They look like a cross between a fox and a raccoon. They are playful looking and quite graceful. They were probably my favorite animal today.

A couple of the gorillas posed for pictures on a branch together.

Universal truth about cats - they love chewing on cardboard boxes! Well, at least this tiger did, and my cat Gus does!

Alpacas chew with their mouths open.

Giant anteaters don't stand still for you to take their picture.

And neither do babies!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Toys and Tantrums

Jillian played with her ring stacker toy today and figured out how to actually put the rings on it, instead of just chewing on them! She hasn't learned how to put them in order by size, yet, but that will come.

Then she walked around with one of daddy's hats pulled down over her eyes.

And of course the afternoon ended in a tantrum, or a series thereof. Which is pretty normal. And annoying. We do this throwing ourselves back on the ground thing in a fit anywhere that the mood strikes us. And by we and us, I mean Jillian. She's been doing it for a while, but lately she is doing it with an increasing frequency. Ugh! I thought this wasn't supposed to start until the "terrible twos"!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jillian's First Haircut

This morning we headed to Columbia Mall to get Jillian's hair cut at Cartoon Cuts. Our stylist was great with Jillian and had her trimmed up in no time. I didn't get any "action" photos during the trim as I was helping keep the baby distracted. I took these "after" pictures in the car seat as we were leaving the mall. (After walking to the far end of the mall only to find out that there is NO Easter Bunny there!)

They even saved her hair in a little baggie and gave us a certificate!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Has Sprung!

Well, officially at least. And this afternoon's weather was quite spring-like. Daddy and I tooled around the yard today, me pruning roses and transplanting daffodils and him cutting down trees and tree branches, chainsaw in hand, with the neighbors. Jillian napped through most of the fun, but when she woke up, I brought her outside, determined that she would enjoy the weather as much as we were.

Mission accomplished!

Jillian hasn't spent a great deal of time exploring the outdoors without the constraints of a stroller (other than playgrounds). Jillian graciously helped out with the raking. Then we took a stroll on the path behind our townhouses. Some rocks and dirt were tasted and flowers were worn behind the ears. The flower bed made a comfortable seat. I even let her drink water from a water bottle by herself and have a CapriSun! I figured that she was already dirty, at least she could spill them outside and it wouldn't stress me out!

I took a couple springy photos.

And I got an accidental artsy picture from a cool reflection in my eye in a self-portrait.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Anyone out there remember banana clips in the '80's? Well, I do, and I even had some of them. And wore them. With my permed hair. Ick! Enough about me.

Jillian has started a new "banana clip" trend. With real bananas.

Here she is demonstrating how to properly place them.

And here's the end result. I swear, it's all the rage. Babies everywhere will soon be wearing "banana clips"!

If you are ever in a pinch for some serious hold hair gel, I recommend banana. Jillian had it in her hair all day and it was still crunchy by bath time this evening!

Friday, March 20, 2009


This morning was spent at Columbia Mall, having breakfast and playing with my friend from high school, Stephanie, and her two girls. Again, no pictures of Jillian at the play area, as most time was spent wrangling her back into the play area. It was great to see Tammy from moms group and Christian too, who we ran into at the play area! Thanks for the extra set of hands helping me 'herd' Jillian, Tammy!

We stopped by the pet store and pointed at the puppies and ogled the fish. I so hope to one day have somewhere to put a fish tank and have "real" fish. We headed off to Cartoon Cuts to schedule Jillian's first haircut appointment for Tuesday morning - I can't wait! Last stop was Sears, to see if the floor model, front-loading, washer/dryer set that was on sale earlier in the week was still there. And it was! So tomorrow John will head up to Sears to pick them up and *hopefully* they will be installed by tomorrow night!

Earlier in the week, my mom came down to watch Jillian for a bit and brought some goodies from the Children's Place. Jillian promptly took the skirt out of the blue bag and "hid" it from me. I found it in our living room last night, and she re-discovered it this afternoon. After being told that it didn't go on her head, but rather on her legs, she insisted that I put it on her. Here she is modeling it with non-matching shirt and socks.

She pushed her frog chair bottom over to the coffee table and climbed up on it. This excited her greatly. I changed her shirt to something that matched "better". I'll have to get over my non-matching issues, because I have a feeling there will be many times that she has her own idea of what she'll want to wear!

Tonight we went to Granny's house (John's mom) to pick up Josh for the weekend. Jillian always loves to see her grandparents and play with their toys. Stuffed Elmo is a favorite! (She spilled milk on the purple shirt, so I tried matching the skirt better and threw on some tights since it wasn't exactly "skirt" weather tonight.)