Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lillian Grace: 8 Months Old

This month has been all about Lillian’s mouth.  She loves baby food and after some trials and errors we have finally found the perfect balance of breast milk and food.  Her menu now includes peas, parsnips, sweet potato, and squash.  Avocado is still her most favorite vegetable (even though it is really a fruit) and she loves, loves, loves banana and cereal.  In fact, she got so attached to the bananas that we had to cut back for a few days so she would remember she liked the vegetables, too.  Lilly has also found a new favorite hobby… feeding herself.  She adores to be in control of her feedings, which can be a little testing at times, but give her a Baby Mum-Mum and she is ecstatic and she will welcome our help with the spoon.  On special occasions she will even share part of her Mum-Mum, but she appreciates it if you don’t take too much.

Another mouth topic to appear this month was Lilly’s first tooth.  I am still trying to get a good picture of her pearly white, which is her bottom right front tooth.  She had been working on her teeth for months so when one finally broke through on her 8 month birthday it was exciting.  But be aware, now that she has a sharp object in her mouth it is no longer safe to have your fingers anywhere near her lips.

And speaking of lips, Lilly has really taken to making noises that involve her lips and her tongue.  I don’t know where she picked it up, but she loves to click her tongue and even more she loves to push air through her lips and make a brrrr sound.  The brrr sound is very cute, but not so fun when she does it while eating … what a stinker.  She continues to work on her vocal styling and lets everyone hear how much she loves to sing.  The music really does it for her and she will hit the high notes with the best of them.  We often hear her practicing during her quiet time before her nap.  Poor Mrs. Whiskers knows all about the high notes and continues to peacefully tolerate the barrage of babble that Lilly yells at her.  We have been working on the word Meow and every once in a while we think we hear something that resembles it, other times it comes out like a hard K sound which actually sounds like she is hissing at the kitty, Mrs. Whiskers doesn’t like that so much, but how do you explain that to an 8 month old.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lilly's Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and Lilly enjoyed every minute of it.  At church during the Christmas Eve service she enjoyed singing every song, although I am not sure everyone in the congregation appreciated her Mariah Carey octaves.  And at home she delighted in reading Christmas stories, enjoying a bite or two of sweets, putting out food for the reindeer and snuggling in her new Christmas Pajamas with family members.

Lillian Grace ~ 1st Christmas Eve

Hearing about the naughty or nice list for the first time.  She was shocked!

Enjoying her new rocking chair!

A Christmas Eve Visit With The Tomasoski Family

We were so happy to have the opportunity to visit with lots of friends and family over the Christmas Holiday.  Lilly especially enjoyed our visit with the Tomasoski family, she LOVED having Blake and Drew over to play and surprisingly she fit right in with the boys.  She pushed aside the dolls and went right for the trains, blocks and towers, what a gal.

Lilly is a tad too handsy for Drew's taste.

All three enjoying play time.

Story time with Uncle Matt.

Best group shot of the morning.

Blake was more than happy to hold Lilly and give her some love, what a tender heart this little boy has.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lillian Grace: 7 Months Old

Life with a seven month old is so interesting, I mean that seriously.  Lillian is developing so much every day and it is so interesting to watch that development.  She continues to improve her sitting and crawling and she is now very close to going from a side lying to sitting position on her own, which means she almost has abs of steel.  She continues to love, love, love Mrs. Whiskers and she can distinctively recognize the jingle of her collar and will stop what she is doing and look to see where Kitty is and sometimes she will even crawl super-fast to visit her.

Eating has been an adventure this month with the bug, she still indulgently loves her breastmilk, but with the introduction of solid foods in to her routine, she has been a little too full for normal milk intake.  We are navigating that path and trying to find the perfect balance.  Sweet Potatoes mixed with squash and avocado are still her go to solids, although I plan to whip up a batch or two of some bananas, parsnips and applesauce to try over the next few weeks.    I have found some great resources for making homemade baby food and I love to see the vitamin and mineral count of the different vegetables and fruits, it has helped me to pick the best solids to pack a powerful punch.  Although, we love our gal’s petite statue and ability to wear clothes over and over again, we want to make sure that she is a lean mean growing machine. 
Lilly is really getting in to the holiday spirit, which I will document with a separate post later this week, for now Lilly and I are off to grade exams and to celebrate the end of the semester.  No school for a whole month for the 2 of us, hip-hip-hooray!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Reason We Don't Take Lilly To A Photo Studio

Every month I take two pictures of Lilly in the same place, in the same outfits and in the same pose.  I hope that over time these pictures will be a reminder of how much she changed and grew in her first year.  Up until this month I had questioned if I should have taken her to a professional every month to capture this growth, knowing that my less than professional pictures might not be the best memory.  However, this afternoon as we staged her 7th month photo shoot I am glad that we made the choice to take her pictures at home.  Here are some shots and some commentary from the event.

Lilly: Momma, I know you put me on my back for this shot, but that is too boring.  My artistic eye says it would be much better if I was on my tummy, so I went ahead and rolled over while you were getting your camera turned on.  Don't worry I am a professional, I know what I am doing.

Me: Lilly can you look at me and smile.
Lilly: Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, here comes the Kitty.  I don't have time for a picture right now, I need to focus on getting Kitty to come over to see me.  I haven't petted her all day and I am dying to pet her soooo soooooft fur.

Me: Lilly can you take you hand out of your mouth and smile. 
Lilly: Momma, that is something a 6 month old does, I am 7 months old and I can do both.  See, I have my hand in my mouth and I am smiling.

Lilly:  Momma, I think we might need a wardrobe change, I did have avocado for lunch.  Nope, just kidding, it is fine ... carry on.

Me: Okay, Lilly just one more smile and then we can go track down Kitty for some petting zoo time. 
Lilly: Oh, you said smile, I thought you said sing one more time.... lalalala.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We had a wonderful visit out in Minnesota for a combined Thanksgiving/Christmas/Birthday celebration.  Lilly did fantastic on the drive and we were so happy that she was so happy in the car.  To make feeding, changing, playing easier, we folded down the front seat and made a limo-like experience so that sitting next to her in the backseat wasn’t so cavernous and that seemed to make everyone happy. 

While we were in the North Start state we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with twenty or so of our closest family and Lilly got to meet most of them for the first time.  She really loved all the attention and especially liked her interaction with Little Cousin Cooper.  She even had a bite or two of Sweet Potatoes and that made her smile.
Lillian Grace spent lots of time with her grandparents and was very happy to read, play and snuggle with them while Matt and I, along with Rachel, Stephen and Jessica went to a hockey game.  It is the first time I have seen a Wild game in MN and the arena was really nice.  But like usual, MN tends to lose in my presence, even if they are not playing Detroit.

An early Christmas was just what we needed to add to the celebration weekend.  Like always we were spoiled with love and gifts.  And even though Lilly was fighting a high fever she was able to tear open the paper, sans clothes of course.

It is always hard to leave MN after such a short visit, as there are always more things that Matt and I would love to do while we are out there.  But that just leaves us even more reasons to visit again and again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Some Of Lilly's Favorite Things ... 6 Month Edition

Playing in her activity jumper.  Now that her toes touch the ground she really likes to get the activity center rockin'.

Enjoying a nice long bath.

Eating yummy milk, cereal, sweet potatoes and avocado.  She gets very impatient if you are not feeding her at her desired pace.

Moving and shaking.  She can get anywhere and to anything in a blink of an eye.  She doesn't have the best crawling form yet, but it is very functional.

Wearing bows, flowers, hats .. you name it.  She likes to experiment with the season's trends and mix them with her stand by classic pieces ... like a chunky cardigan.  I think she learned that on an episode of What Not To Wear.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Great Pumpkin

I don't think at this time of year the pumpkin industry needs assistance with their marketing strategy, however, if there is ever a need Lilly is all in.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lillian Grace: Six Months Old

Wow, Lilly has hit that six month mark and it is like we have a totally different baby.  It is hard to even remember back to the early days when she was eating round the clock, waking up several times a night and barely able to hold her head up.  Now she is sleeping through the night, eating only 5 times a day and moving and shaking.

Sitting was a major milestone of Lilly Bug this month.  She was really shaky when she turned 5 months, but now she is a pro and she is testing her limits by leaning, reaching and chewing on things while sitting.  It is quite comical to see her contemplate the situation and then just go for it.  It seems to be her personality, think then do.  Once Lilly made a habit of sitting up, scooting and army crawling were soon to follow and man can this gal scoot towards something she wants.  I think it is great training for after Thanksgiving Day sales in the future.  I have some video to post of her army crawling towards her favorite objects, mostly electronics, which I will post soon.

Lilly also started to dine on rice cereal mixed with breast milk and she is happy to fill her belly several times a day.  After some trial and error, I found that I was mixing the cereal too thin for her preference, she likes it best when it is similar to rice pudding… must be a flash back to the rice pudding I liked to eat while pregnant.  Her recent check-up with Dr. Kern was right on curve and she is weighing in at 13.4 pounds and 25 inches.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween In Random Captions

Our haunted front porch, complete with fog machine, a green light bulb and random Halloween decorations.
Lilly the LillyBug and Daddy Matt the Entomologist more specifically a Coleopterist.
Kitty Pumpkin was exhausted from all the activity and needed a quick nap in the corner.
Oh, my Lilly that is a very silly face.  What on earth are you thinking?

Oh, we see.  You had just realized that the pumpkin was really Mrs. Whiskers and you were plotting how you were going to go play with her.  I am sure Mrs. Whiskers enjoyed waking from her nap to find a shrieking baby coming at her face ready to grab fur and give kisses.  Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Harvest, Halloween, All Hallows Eve … Whatever It Is Called These Days

Lillian enjoyed a nice Fall Day in our yard this past weekend.  She really liked looking at the leaves; maybe we have a future Botanist. 

Lilly loves to laugh, but she reserves it for her Über funny Daddy and Auntie.  It makes the rest of us rather jealous.  Obviously Lilly found something so funny she was overcome with giggles.  There was such a ruckus she nearly fell over.


It was an easy choice for Halloween this year, Lilly HAD to be a “LillyBug.” 

Friday, October 28, 2011

October's Learning Theme

I was finally able to get my act together and work with a theme for our interaction times with Lilly this month.  I have been trying to make this happen since the beginning of the school year, but business processes and systems analysis took precedence and Lilly has had about enough of that talk.  So, the theme for October was Fall Leaves and Halloween, it went hand-in-hand with her school theme so that made the planning easy.  At home our featured books for the month were 5 Little Pumpkins, A Pumpkin Prayer, When The Leaf Blew In and Biscuit's Pet and Play Halloween.  Lilly really fancies the bright orange of pumpkins so she especially liked the 5 Little Pumpkins and A Pumpkin Prayer books.  In fact she was starting to fuss while we were waiting one day and I pulled the 5 Little Pumpkins book out of the diaper bag and she quieted immediately.  An on-looker was so surprised she had to comment that she did not know a book could quiet a baby … ah, the power of a good book!  When we were not reading our books we investigated Fall leaves, visited an apple orchard, took walks to enjoy the colors of Fall and played with pumpkins.  We sang about the 5 Little Pumpkins and even learned about some feelings that pumpkins might have.  At school the teachers made black ghost shapes and Lilly painted them white with finger paint.  Next month we are focusing on Giving Thanks, yea for a theme that works with singing the Doxology and Simple Gifts.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lilly's New Toy Box

When Grandma and Grandpa Knoll were in town for Lillian's baptism they brought a beautiful toy box.  The toy box was specially made for Lilly by her Great-grandpa Allar and it was packed full of dolls from her Great-grandma Allar.  We are so excited that Lilly will have this beautiful toy box to use as she grows.  For right now, she enjoys sitting in it and watching Mrs. Whiskers jump in and out of it.  In the future I am sure she will enjoy organizing all her toys, sitting on top of it to read a good book and using it as a hiding place.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Little Lillian, Welcome!

We just finished up a wonderful and busy Fall weekend.  Matt's parents were able to come for a visit and we had a lot of fun with them.  Lilly enjoyed all the love and playtime that she had with Grandma and Grandpa Knoll and Matt and I enjoyed some delicious dinners and conversation. Lilly also recieved a beautiful toy box that her Great-Grandpa Allar made and sent all the way from Minnesota (more information and pictures to come.)

The highlight of the weekend was Lillian Grace's baptism.  We were so fortunate to find a time that our whole (well, almost whole) family could get together to support and celebrate our precious babe.  We had her baptized at the Presbyterian Church in Concord, which is where at least four generations of our family has been baptized.  That long history, added to the specialness of the day.

Lilly was on her best behavior for the entire baptism ceremony and even enjoyed meeting the entire congregation that was eager to welcome her.  Matt and I were very happy and proud parents and we felt so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives loving and supporting Lilly.

After church was over, we headed back home to enjoy a perfect Fall lunch, eat some cake and let Lilly open some gifts.  She enjoys playing the claw game, so she was delighted to reach into the bags to lift out the paper and presents.  And of course she is never one to pass up some good snuggles!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekend Warrior

Matt and I took a quick get-away to Traverse City to enjoy the Fall colors and take a break from work and house projects. While we were away Lilly spent time with Auntie Erin & Uncle Jake and GiGi & Papa Luttenton.

First, they did some calisthenics to get pumped for a full day of activities. Obviously, Lilly takes exercise seriously and needed to wear her leg warmers and curve hugging bodysuit. Her look says, “Don’t bother me, I am in the middle of my favorite jazzercise routine.”

Then, they spent some time exploring space, which as you can tell, is utterly exhausting.

At some point, there was a demand to wear a purple kitty cat hat. It was probably around the same time that Lilly was trying to call Mrs. Whiskers to her side with her Mariah Carey shrieks (video clip to come.)

Lilly knows it is important to balance work and play, so she took some time from her busy schedule to catch up on some light reading, presumably “Good Night Moon.” As you can tell a modern gal like herself fancies digital books… her new iphone is pre-ordered and in the mail.

She ended the weekend with a very important skype call to Grandma & Grandpa Knoll, as you can tell she had so many things to tell them about.