Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chatty Chatty!

We have yet another person in our home that can't seem to stop talking. I know it's pretty shocking that Steve and I, quiet-as-church-mice individuals that we are, would have a chatty child, but it's true.

Jilly has really started talking, and can't seem to stop!!! It's wonderful!!!

She's been trying to talk for awhile, but making very little sense. It seems like in the past couple weeks, she's really taken off and is learning new words everyday. Here is a list of the words she says, both the actual word and the way she says it, if it's different:

Hello (ah-woh)
Thank you (gehnk-oo)
Shoe (soo <-- usually in response to telling her to put on her shoes so we can go outside)
Go (GO! <-- seriously, it's an exclamation, usually in response to you saying "Ready, Set")
Baby (bay-bee, though I don't know that she understands the meaning of this one yet, she can just copy us when we say it)
Look (oook, accompanied by guestures of pointing, usually when at the zoo)
I Love You (i luh oo, this is still a work in progress even though I'm counting it here)
No <--shocking, eh?
More (Moh, usually when handing us her sippy cup, asking for more juice)
Ball (also said as an exclamation, most often as she throws the ball)
Bed (beh)
Jilly (well, sorta. She says both "DA!" when looking at pictures of herself and "jih-ee" or "lell-ee" but it's not super clear yet)

She actually doesn't say Please or Yes, but she does know how to nod her head, so she gets the point across. But we are continuing to work on Please. It's an important one.

Her very latest achievements, which probably are the best, other than Mama, Daddy & I Love You:
Katie (two variations: Kay-ee or Kay-kay, VERY adorable)
Grandpa (gamp-ah, also very adorable)
She's getting closer on Granny, but not quite there yet.

Those are all the words I can think of right now. There are more, I'm sure, but you'll have to either wait for me to post them, or come visit us and see for yourself!

Another achievement of hers, she no longer uses a bottle! This was actually SUPER easy. One morning she never drank from her bottle, so I never gave it back to her. This has had a downside however. She no longer drinks milk. We've tried it in a sippy cup over and over again, and even tried to give her the bottle, but she staunchly refuses it. Lucky for us, she LOVES yogurt and cheese, so she still gets her dairy. I've heard from other moms, that is normal and she'll get over it in a few weeks. Until then, we'll let her be. But we are very lucky because she LOVES fruit, seriously would eat it all day long if we let her, to the exclusion of all other foods. Her favorites are: grapes, bananas, and blueberries, but she'll eat raspberries, melons, strawberries, etc. Also, she will drink cold water, so we don't have to give her juice all the time. We mix her juice with water anyway, but I still don't like loading her up on it. And since she'll take cold water, we give it to her. She eats pretty much anything we do and loves to feed herself. She is most excited when getting into her highchair or going outside.

We've been having a fairly busy but quite fun summer! I haven't had much time to blog between work, Primary and social events. We've gone to the Zoo another time with my family and best friend Regan. We went to a BBQ at Forest Park. Jilly and I have gone to a few Playgroups, with our church friends, including a carnival at Mukilteo Libraary last week. All have been super fun. Other than that, pretty much hanging out with our friends and each other, having a good time.

Summer is great!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The 4th of July! 11 days later...

I never posted about the 4th of July! Oh dear! Well, I was waiting to get my pictures off the camera and resize them. Which for me, can take weeks. So this is only 11 days after the fact. Not too bad...

Our 4th of July was a blast! It was the first 4th of July that Steve and I have been married for, where we BOTH had the day off. I also work that day, and most holidays he has off, so it was quite a treat for us to get to spend the entire day together. We all slept in late. I'm talking like 10am late. It was niiiiiice. Then we got up, cleaned a bit, and Jilly and I took off for my work to pick up my check. We cruised around Kenmore Air for a bit, then went home. Before we'd left, Steve had asked me why I put her in the pink elephant tank top and shorts, instead of something red, white and blue. I replied, because she didn't have anything very patriotic. She has a red shirt with cherries on it (pink, yellow and orange cherries) but she wore that for Canada Day, so it was dirty. Well, conveniently, on the way home from Kenmore, we pass by Old Navy! So we stopped and found a VERY cute white tank top, with silver stars and the words in red "I'm Independent." HA! I also scored some SUPER cute denim bubble shorts. I only spent $11 on a very cute outfit. Dug it.

After we got home, it was time for Jilly to scoot off for a nap, and Steve went grocery shopping. You may be wondering why on earth I would find grocery shopping worthy of a blog post. The answer is: because we hardly do it! We have developed bad habits of eating a lot of fast food or freezer/convenient food like Hot Pockets. We recently decided we were going to start eating healthier and cooking dinner every night. We even meal planned and wrote out a big giant list of all the things Steve had to buy. He ended up being gone for like 3 hours, I think? It was loooooong and there was TONS of food!! While he was gone, I heard this knock at the door. I was surprised to find Steve's co-worker Patricia and her boyfriend Sean on the porch! Well, hello! I knew Steve had invited them up, but I hadn't heard if they were coming or not. Hahaha. Apparently, they had called Steve to figure out which apartment was ours. He did call me to tell me, but he called while I was answering the door, so I got no warning. No big deal, they came in, we had a good time hanging out until Steve got home. When he did make it home, we spent another 45 minutes maybe of putting away all the food we'd just bought. Our cupboards, counters, fridge and freezer were F-U-L-L!!! It was a lovely sight. During this process, Jilly became fascinated with our shopping bags. I invested ($0.99 each) in the Safeway cloth re-usable bags, and trust me on this, they are the BEST EVER! They hold so much more stuff than those wimpy plastic bags, they are way easier to carry (much longer handles), which is important when you have a toddler who likes stairs and you live in an upstairs apartment. Plus, then you don't have all those pesky plastic bags floating around. Anyway, commercial over now. So Jilly was playing with the bags, putting them on her head and such. I decided it would be funny to do this...

She actually was quite amused. Patricia started lifting her up and Jilly was bewildered but excited by it. (That's 26 1/2 lbs of Jilly in there! Told ya these bags were awesome!)

She really did have a good time.

We kept hanging out while I made Fudge Sundae Dessert and Steve made him famous salsa (again, major thanks to Trey for the recipie). I kinda rushed the Fudge Sundae Dessert, which I learned you can't really do. So it never froze entirely, but it was still super yummy. Once we were all ready, we all headed over to some friends' from church for a BBQ and fireworks. It was like 8:30 when we finally showed up. Their kids were there, and their grandkids, plus some others from church. We had a BLAST!! There was good food, good fireworks, and good fun with everyone. Jilly had such a good time. She got into the sidewalk chalk (you'll notice it all over her hands) and got made when I took it away from her. But what was I supposed to do? Let her keep eating it? I don't think so! I may be a laidback mama at time, but I'm not that laidback. ;-) Anyway, I practically had the night off, because Patricia hung out with Jilly most of the night! It was nice.

Here are the two of them together, with the food table behind them.

Once the fireworks got going, it was really fun. Some of them were quite loud, the whistling ones and such!

At one point, Jilly started running around imitating the whistling ones. But mostly she had a great time watching. Patricia held her for lots of them, I held her for some.

We were lucky, because she didn't try to run out to them, but she wasn't scared either. She LOVED them!

There were tons of really cool ones, like the big up-in-the-sky types. It was really fun, but I didn't get any pictures of those.

I told ya, she had a great time. She would clap and cheer at the end of each one, driving the rest of us into giggles at her enthusiasm. It was a ball to watch!

After it was all over, we finally headed home, about 11pm. It was time for bed for Jilly and I thought for us too. But we ended up staying up until about 2:30am with Sean and Patricia! That did not make for a happy Aimee when I had to get up at 4:30am for work the next morning. But all in all, we had a great time!!

Stay tuned, more to come about our past week. :-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

We're going to the Zoo!

A few weeks ago, we went to Woodland Park Zoo with our playgroup from Church. I'd been looking forward to the Zoo trip, since I heard about it, in March, I think. Seriously, I was SOOOOOO excited to take Jilly to the Zoo. We actually took her back in April, but we didn't have tons of time, so I was excited to go again, and this time with more friends and little kids. I even drove Steve to work, so that I could have the car and everything. It was a thrilling day.

When we first arrived, we stuck together, but the group broke up the longer the day went on. I actually had to leave before I wanted to, because Steve had this strange idea that once he was off work, I needed to pick him up. Nonsense if you ask me, but hey, that's what a wife does, right? Anyway, back to the story. The first stop was the African Savanna area.


A Giraffe eating. You could actually pay $5 to feed the giraffe yourself, but it wasn't worth it to an 18 month old. ;-)

Lions, you can see the heads of both a male and female.

Hippopotamus! I love this picture for some reason. The hippo is all flopped there, with it's stubby little arm hanging out.

Hippo in the water

Then we saw the elephants! I couldn't get the best angle on them for a picture.

But we got to see one inside, getting a bath, which was fun.

Here are some of the friends we were with:

This was Jilly's favorite part- The orangutan! I didn't get a picture of that specific orangutan, but there was one who was sitting right against the glass. I let Jilly out of the stroller, to see up close. I sat with my back to the glass, while she faced me and the orangutan. She would look over at her, gasp, look back at me to make sure I was watching, gasp again and look back. She did this over and over again. It was the most I saw her respond to any of the animals.

The tapir, with a couple more friends of ours.

This was how Jilly spent most of the day. I call it Captive But Happy; fitting for a Zoo trip, eh?

On the way to lunch, we went past the tiger. He was so far back, I couldn't get the best picture, but hey, it's a tiger and you can see it.

We also passed the sloth bears.

At lunch, Jilly was so thrilled to be out of her stroller, that she kept being super cheesy. This is pretty much the standard grin anytime she sees a camera. :-)

After lunch, we went past the pudu. It's a tiny little deer like animal. Like seriously, it was less than 1 1/2' tall, maybe 2' long. Tiny, but very cute.

Then we saw flamingoes!! They're a new exhibit at the Zoo and were quite neat.

Closer up with the 'mingoes.

Proof that Jilly and I were both there at the same time. Plus, pink birds. How can you go wrong?

Another picture of friends with us. :-)

The last thing we did was visit the Day/Night Exhibits which are indoor. We weren't allowed to take strollers in. This was when/where I discovered I needed a leash. Jilly kept running from exit to exit, away from me.

We had a fabulous time at the zoo and can't wait to go another time!! Hooray!


Yeah, yeah, this is a few weeks late. Will it make you feel better if I tell you I've had the pictures uploaded into a blog draft for over 2 weeks and just haven't filled it in yet? No? Well, too bad then. ;-)

On Friday the 13th of June, my little brother Andy graduated from high school! He is now a full-fledged graduate of Edmonds-Woodway High School. Rock on Andy!

The ceremony was outside, at the Edmonds Stadium.

But of course, it being Washington in June, it was FREEZING COLD! Not to mention, we were sitting on the side the wind was coming from. We were all huddled under blankets, trying to keep warm, during the 2 1/2 hour ceremony, on concrete bleachers.

During his teacher's speech, Andy got a shout-out. I can't remember the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of "Live your dreams, like Andy Christensen who changes his hair color as often as his mood." ;-) Sure, there was another kid mentioned in the same sentence, but he wasn't as important as Andy. Anyway, it made us all howl in laughter.

After the ceremony, we gathered and took all the requisite family photos with the grad. It's hard to believe all three of us have graduated from high school! We're like adults now. Creeeeeeepy....

Jilly especially was thrilled for Uncle Andy. She also really dug wearing her monkey leash. After our trip to the zoo (more to come on that), I realized a leash was desperately needed. Luckily, she loves the thing and tries to play with it all the time. Everyone that saw her wearing it had to comment how much they wish they'd had one for their kids (mostly grandmas said this) and what a good idea it was. It's certainly a favorite around here!

Congratulations Andy! Way to go!

Now, because of his graduation, our Auntie Karen came down from Edmonton, Alberta. She got to spend lots of time with Jilly, who she hadn't seen since October! Auntie Karen helped give Jilly a bath, which she loved.

The watering can is her new favorite water toy. She loves touching the water as it pours out. :-)

And then this is just a fun picture. Jilly has never been into her pacifier. As a newborn, she couldn't keep it in her mouth, so we all just gave up. Well, I still have a few laying around in her toy box and such. She now finds them fascinating and loves to chew on them and play with them. So here's the cutie, smiling with her plug. :-)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

No longer Patchy...

I am no longer having to use my eye patch very much! In fact, I haven't used it in a couple days. I still definitely have to tape my eye shut at night, because it dries out (as I found out Saturday morning), but my eye isn't quite as sensitive to the light. Hooray! I finished my steroids course Monday morning, so now I'm just down to the anti-virals for a couple more days. I saw the doctor last Friday for a follow-up and he said that it should resolve itself, but there's no way to tell how long it might take. To be honest, I haven't seen much of a change. I guess I'm getting used to not being able to taste very well. I keep telling Steve that now is the time to load up our food with spices. As some of you may know, I am a WUSS when it comes to spicy food. Like I order 1 star at Thai restaurants. Well, now I could easily kick it up to a 3 star, because half my tongue doesn't work! And actually, the numbness moved just a little, so the taste is skewed again.

I've been doing fairly well with it all, but I had my moments on Saturday when all I wanted to do was just whine and whine about all the annoying things about Bell's Palsy. My main complaints center around my lack of taste (eating is just miserable and infuriating without taste) and my inability to do silly little things like say my own name well or spit out toothpaste. After having a good long growl, I felt better and I've regained my normally sunny 'tude. ;-) I've pretty much come to accept this as part of my life. Last night, I started equating it with pregnancy. When I was pregnant, I couldn't fathom that there would be a time in my life when my body wouldn't be ruled by this foreign power. I just got used to all the funky issues and pretty much figured they'd last forever, even though people assured me they wouldn't. Well, they eventually did all resolve. That's kind of how I'm feeling right now about my face. It's annoying and frustrating, but I'm getting used to it and can figure out how to live my life with it. I might as well plan on it sticking around forever, since it could be months until it's resolved, but with any luck it will go away at some point. So that's kinda where I'm at with it all right now.

Now, the good stuff...

Jilly is as cute and adorable as ever, except that she all of a sudden got super clingy this week. Seriously, I don't get it. She's always been so independent, not really wanting to be held much, etc, like since she was 4-6 weeks old! But these past few days, she's been following me around constantly, grabbing onto my legs, trying to crawl into my lap at every turn! I love the cuddling, but sometimes, I'd just like to use the bathroom without a toddler inviting herself in! Hehehe.

She's also drastically improved her climbing skills. She can now scale both of our couches, from various angles. And does it TONS. I can't do much on the couch without her joining in. Silly Beans. She has been pulling her changing pad into her crib and sitting on it too. She fishes it off the dresser, gets it in the crib, then is pleased as punch to play around, just chilling on it. Weird kid, but hey, she enjoys it! ;-)

Running is starting in our house. She still can't do it great, but she's trying. When we go outside, she hates holding our hands, preferring to walk completely by herself. (Clingy inside, independent outside, I guess.) Jilly has visited a couple parks lately and absolutely LOVES the swings and slides. She will climb up the slides, from the bottom, ignoring the fact that other kids are coming down, if we let her. (We don't. ;-)) Here are a picture or two, as well as a video, to show you her utter delight.

It was crazy hot this past weekend, here in the Emerald City. Jilly got to go in the little pool at Granny & Grandpa's on Saturday evening and had a thrilling time doing so. We'll be having fun there for sure, this summer! Between that and our own pool at our complex, I think we'll be able to stay cool. Which reminds me: if you're in the area and need to cool off, we're allowed to have guests at the pool. Lemme know if you wanna come over!!!

One last thing. On Sunday, Jilly totally caught us by surprise by announcing, loudly, several times in a row, "AMEN!" at the end of all the prayers during Church. It was super cute and encouraging, because we've been trying to work with her on folding her arms lately. You can imagine how well that goes over with her. So it was nice to see that even though she wasn't doing exactly what we wanted, she was still getting something out of it. Not to mention, she made her daddy proud by saying "Ah-men" not "Ay-men". Latin-speaking Daddy was quite pleased. :-)

That's about all I have time for right now, because I have a clingy, tired Beanie Girl that needs a bottle and bed! Stay tuned for next week, when we cut off the bottle. Should be exciting....