Thursday, April 30, 2009


This afternoon we met up with my friend Amy from high school and her little ones at Centennial Park for some playground time and geocaching. It was very exciting - Jillian felt daring enough to go down two different slides by herself. She went down the twisty one twice. I only got one picture of her doing it, mostly because I wanted to be at the bottom to catch her. Please note, she didn't pick the tallest, steepest slide, but she was close. I couldn't even reach her at the top of them. Not even close. Here's the one picture I took of her before she came down the twisty slide for the second time. Pictured behind her are Amy's two girls, Josie & Brady.

I went through the archives to find a picture to illustrate the height of this slide. It's a little blurry, but you get the idea. I was floored that she wanted to go down alone. With very little hesitation and encouragement.

During our various recent outings, I've spent time on the ground and have been looking for a four leaf clover. Lo and behold, as we walked up our sidewalk, there it was!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Day at the Park

We met up with our fellow mom friends at Rockburn Branch Park in Elkridge this morning, before the heat really got turned up. It was a nice turnout and a nice time!

Jillian, as usual, enjoyed the swings. Amedeo was fascinated by his fellow swing-lover.

Jocelyn enjoyed swinging, too!

Jilly waved a friendly "hello" to Lindsey and her camera.

Cady was ready to roll, keys in hand!

Amedeo enjoyed playing with a stick, as little boys (and girls) do.

Jack had fun pushing his stroller around.

Brooks tried showing Jillian how to climb the "rock wall".

Jillian pondered trying to climb the "ladder wall". And decided against it.

Jillian strutted her stuff on the catwalk while Cady looked on. Really, it's a ramp. She's a little OCD when it comes to ramps. Up the ramp...down the ramp...up the ramp...down the ramp....

Jack strutted his stuff too.

I went down the tall slide with Jillian. It made lots of static!

And Lindsey got a great shot of Jilly sticking her tongue out while swinging!

As our friends started heading out, some other moms with older kids came to the playground and brought some inflatable beach balls, which they generously shared with us!

What a fun time!!!

I Need to Know Tuesday

I read so many blogs that have catchy themes...Wordless Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, What I Learned this Week, etc. Today, I'm starting my own..."I Need to Know" Tuesday. Because I think of random things during the week and wonder, "Do other people encounter this issue/problem/THING?".

I've got a haircut scheduled next week with a new stylist at a home salon that Emily recommended - BTW, THANK YOU! I'm very excited about it! I can't wait to get my haircut somewhere that I can take my toddler that is baby friendly while I get a cut and color, for just over half what I pay at my "gucci" salon in Georgetown. And it's MUCH closer to home, too!

So today...I need to know:

1) I have to cancel my upcoming hair appointment with my current stylist scheduled for later in May. I love having her as my stylist, but after following her from a salon in Bethesda (when I worked in Bethesda) to a salon in Georgetown now, the drive is killer. And with money tight, continuing to go there just doesn't work for me right now. When I call and cancel, I think I should ask to speak to her directly rather than cancel with the receptionist and not reschedule. What do you think?

2) Also, I've never been able to find a hard-and-fast rule about tipping for haircuts. Do you stick with the 15-20% rule? I'm usually a generous tipper at meals (starting at 20%). If my haircut is inexpensive, for example, $25, I think tipping $5 or so is totally ok. But if I pay $200 for cut, color, etc. in an expensive salon, is the 15-20% rule still in effect? Do people really expect a $40 tip AFTER you've paid almost $200 for a 'do? Or is there some kind of sliding scale for this sort of thing? I feel like I've always done alright tipping (around $30 for a cut & color at my salon for $175), but now that I have an appointment (at a toddler-friendly home salon, no less), I wonder how much to bring for tip. I know how much she charges for highlights/lowlights with a cut. Do I bring 20%? More because of the toddler-friendly factor?

Faithful readers, I need to know.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Seriously Maryland?

I know, I know. The weather does this every year. It goes from cold and dreary to SUPER hot without much middle ground. But it still irks me every year. I like warm weather and summer, but even more, I like a T-R-A-N-S-I-T-I-O-N.

Anyway, enough venting. What warm weather means around here is outside playtime! And with outside playtime comes...SKINNED KNEES and SCRAPED LEGS.

Jillian wouldn't model those beat up legs for me, but I did my best to capture her outdoor boo-boos. (The brown mark on her right leg is a birthmark.)

After bathtime tonight, Jillian stole daddy's glasses right off his face...again. But this time, she managed to get them on hers!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Full Weekend

We had a full, fun weekend! Saturday we went to the big yard sale at Glen Mar UMC, picked up a few bargains, and visited with our friend Jen (and bought an adorable hair bow for Jillian!).

Jillian was showing off her new hair bow before our friends Lisa, Jamie, and their son Luke came over to cookout Saturday evening.

Didn't get any pictures of the kids playing, but we had a great time hanging out, eating burgers, playing Taboo!, and of course, drinking some beer and wine!

This morning, after a night of boycotting sleep, Jillian was sporting her new bow again.

We stayed in for much of the day today, but did venture out this evening once it cooled down a bit. Daddy blew bubbles.

Jillian tried to take the wand away.

We let her try it, but she didn't quite "get" the blowing air through the holes part. Instead, she tried to drink the bubble liquid. She found out that it didn't taste as good as it looked!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thank Heavens!

It seems that spring weather is finally here (at least for a few days!). This morning we met up with Brenna and Amedeo to get some exercise and walk around Centennial Lake. After our walk we trekked up (and I do mean UP) to the new playground there. It looks like it was designed by the same folks that did the one at Meadowbrook off Long Gate Parkway. But at 10am, it was super un-crowded!

Both Jillian and Amedeo crawled through the hole in the rock climbing wall. Amedeo practically posed for me - what a good boy!

After nap time, I dressed Jillian in a cute summer top (thanks, Jazz!) and got us ready to take Gus to the vet for a checkup. Jillian played with her little pup before we left - a Christmas present that she's really starting to enjoy!

And some more outdoor play was in order before dinnertime.

Our azaleas are starting to bloom!

And the tulips in the woods look beautiful! I think I'm going to plant tulips for next year. I don't know where, but they seem to come back year after year and I really do love the variety of colors out there.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An Afternoon in the Life of Jillian

Our living room play area around 2:30pm today, after the baby's nap.

Jillian and her rocking horse.

Jillian walking around the coffee table. Again and again.

Jillian trying to zip up her hoodie. By herself. Help from mommy sent her into tantrum city.

And our living room play area around 8pm tonight after the baby went to bed.

Really, this isn't the worst that it's been...but it still amazes me that she can make such a big mess in such a short period of time!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm a Winner!

This afternoon we met up with Denise and Emily1 for milkshakes at Cheeburger! Cheeburger! Here are the little ones enjoying their time together.

While we were there, Emily presented me with my prize! For those of you who didn't know, I won the caption contest on this blog post. I never come up with good captions, so I was quite excited!

By the way, the Gap tangerine lip balm reminds me of tangerine Lifesavers - which are my favorite! Thanks Emily!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wow! What a Morning!

Who knew we could do so much in a mere four hours? We went walking with "fake" Aunt Jen this morning. She and I have been thinking about geocaching, so GPS in hand, we looked for a couple around the lake today! I found my first cache - how exciting!!

When we got back to the parking lot, Jen and I spotted a Pileated Woodpecker (Jen is an avid birder). She stayed with Jillian while I got out my camera just as fast as I could and tried to get a picture of this beautiful bird. It's not the best picture, but it kept flying from tree to tree and hiding. How dare it not pose for me!

After our walk, geocaching adventure, and bird sighting, we headed off to the doctor for Jillian's 15 month check up. We stopped by the Meadowbrook playground for about ten minutes on the way, since it was right there and we were running early. All went well at her check up. She weighs 19 lbs, 1.5 ozs (5th percentile in weight), 30 inches (30th percentile in height), and her head circumference is 46 cm. I didn't ask about the percentile for that one. No forward-facing car seat for us yet! She got two vaccinations and shed a couple tears, but got over it pretty quickly this time.

Since she did so good, I treated her to lunch at Chick-Fil-A. She loves the lemonade there. And the chicken nuggets, fries, and the great "Corduroy" board books they have in the kids meals for little ones under three.

And now we're home for a nice, long nap! I think we'll stay in this afternoon, since Granny will be here this evening to watch Jillian so Mommy & Daddy can go out to the HoCo Blogtail Party at Victoria's Gastro Pub!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

We're Ready April, Bring it On!

April showers, huh? Thanks to NiNi (my mom) Jillian is ready for the rain!

Daddy spent some time this afternoon power washing the inside of our backyard fence. Jillian watched him from the living room window, convinced that she could chat with him on her pretend phone!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Indooor/Outdoor Play

This morning we went to Melissa and Sadie's house for a long overdue playdate. It was a wonderful time and Sadie was a very gracious host! She shared all her favorite toys with Jillian happily. Jillian, on the other hand, is not as good at sharing.

Here is Sadie sharing her special chair with Jillian. And Jillian is not happy that she doesn't have it to herself.

Sadie cheesed it up for the camera!

And here are the girls playing. Sadie was helping Jillian drink her water. I can tell that she's going to be a great big sister!

This afternoon we headed out to Centennial Park to play outside on this lovely day.

It wasn't the windiest of days, but there was enough of a breeze to get the kites out. Josh is getting pretty good at this kite-flying thing! (until the kite got away from him - what an adventure!)

Jillian and I walked a little bit, played on the playground, met many dogs, and talked to everyone! Shy she is not. Then we took a break.

And today's lesson learned: pine cones are tasty.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Heart Spring!

Just a couple photo thoughts from today's walk around Lake Elkhorn. Apparently, I am not the only one who enjoys this weather!

Oh yes, I finally updated the picture on my blog header. I figured the fall shot from Savage was a bit out of season!