Wednesday, August 25, 2010

9 months and crawling...

Jillian is mobile! And life as Matt and I know it, for the second time, will never be the same. Over the past few weeks, she had figured out how to maneuver herself around in a small radius by spinning, reaching, and rolling over to get to things out of her reach. Then she made it to all fours, and just rocked back and forth. And-a-one-and-a-two-and-a-three… but no movement. A week ago Friday, I was sitting on the floor with her, and looking at paint samples while she played (we’re painting our first floor and I’ve been trying to decide on colors for weeks now). All of a sudden, there she was in front of me, and had crawled a couple steps to grab for the paint samples! I got all excited, and put a bright orange paint sample out of reach, and she crawled 4 steps to get it – YAY! Then she was done for the night. No more. But I like that she takes an interest in interior decorating :)

Then Saturday morning came along. We went downstairs and after breakfast, I sat her in the middle of the family room so she could play. She crawled a longer distance to get her phone, but was soon tired out. After playing (and capturing what I could on video), I got up and went to the kitchen to do some cleaning up. Assuming that she was just playing in one spot (as she always did), I was startled to hear two little hands banging on the hardwood kitchen floors, and a little face peering from the side of the cabinet. The little peanut just crawled to another room to find me! I was tickled.

Since then, she now follows Matt and I everywhere. She is particularly fond of the kitchen, and staring at her reflection in the face of the dishwasher. She likes the feel of the hard floor on her heels as she sits down and bangs her legs on the floor. And she likes to chase and catch us as we pretend to run away from her. The world is completely new for her, and she is exploring it to the full.

For Matt and I – we made a trip to Toys R Us over the weekend to buy baby gates and cabinet locks to protect our little explorer. I know they are the safe thing to have, but I already DO NOT like them. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but it drives me crazy to have to open and close a gate just to go up and down the stairs.

Jillian loves the downstairs gate though – last night we watched her grab the bars and pull herself up to standing for the first time on her own. Matt and I were both there when she did it, cheering her on the whole time as she figured out how to get her feet in just the right position to pull up. I didn’t know that I could be so proud. Based on that, I’m going to be a teary mess when she graduates from kindergarten…

Once I figure out how to upload the Flip video to this blog, I will share her crawling video with you. I can’t get enough of seeing that little tushy scootin’ all around :)  Oh, and her 9-month photo is on the right - can she get any cuter?!  The whole 'photo-shoot' was 2 pictures long, since she kept trying to crawl off the chair.  Glad that I was able to catch a good shot :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's been too long...

I am bound and determined to get this blog rolling again. :)

I had really good intentions back in April, and had even put a draft post together. But then I put it off, and off, and then the material was irrelevant. I revisited the idea in May, and the same thing happened. Life just gets in the way of the best of intentions sometimes.

Speaking of which, I owe alot of people birthday cards from the past year. And those of you who did receive one may have been appalled that they were 'store bought' (for shame!) instead of my usual 'handmade' greeting cards. I apologize...

But I digress.

At least we have been able to keep in touch over Facebook, and I've been able to share some photos with all of you of Jillian as she grows (If you want to 'friend' me on FB, look up Kim Miller Hatfield). But FB can't catch everything in the little snippet of a status post or a photo caption. Honestly, you just need to spend some time with this girl to truly appreciate how precious, unique, and fun she can be. And what a personality! She can be funny, coy, inquisitive, shy, and stubborn all in a matter of minutes. Now that she is 8 1/2 months old, she is her own little person, and continues to amaze us every day.

Parenthood has treated us well - and along with marriage - it is one of the hardest jobs around. No one prepared us for the emotional and physical rollercoasters of it all. But to sound cliche - I wouldn't trade it. Okay - I would take a vacation from it for a weekend - but I wouldn't trade it.

In the months since Jillian was born, we've had lots going on - I went back to work in February, Matt had hip surgery at the beginning of March, and had a long recovery thru April and in to May, birthday parties in June, our mini-vacation to Ocean City in July, and now it's August. As a non-parent, I would have thought "But there sounds like so much time amongst it all!" But as a parent, I'm thinking "Phew - I don't feel like I've relaxed at all in the last few months." To be honest, I have found little bits of time to relax. But our lives are on Jillian’s schedule now, instead of our honeymoon season fly-by-night schedule – her naps, her feedings, her bedtime. It’s interesting just to plan a trip to Target in between every 3-hr feedings, and two naps thrown into the day. However, Jillian is pretty resilient and easygoing; content with our trips to Target, Lowes, and Costco, and often falls asleep along the way when she needs to. But life has changed, priorities have changed, Sunday afternoon naps are a distant figment of my imagination, coming home from work equals the beginning of our second job with Jillian, and our 10-11 o'clock bedtime is now 9-10 o'clock due to sheer exhaustion, with a rise-and-shine at 5:30am or earlier. Thank goodness Jillian sleeps through the night :) And I've got bottle washing down to 10 minutes tops :)

For me personally, I find it hard to 'rest'. To just sit-down for a second, and not feel guilty that I'm not doing 'something' in the house or for Jillian that needs to be done. There's always something, and I often can't let it go, but I need to. I need to learn how to rest again. I need to learn to let-go. It's very difficult for me.

But these are all thoughts for future posts. Mommyhood has changed me in many ways, and I think they are all for the better. How could you look at this face, and not want to be her Mommy??!

I must be going, but want to leave you with a few pictures from the past 8 months.  Check out the right side bar also to see Jillian's monthly 'birthday' pictures with Mr. Monkey.  At months 1-5, you could just plop her down, and quick shoot the photo before she slumped one way or the other.  Now that she can sit up, she plays with Mr. Monkey, and the paper month label, so it's a little bit trickier to catch her.  It provides for some comical photos though :)  Enjoy!

One of my first smiles (2 months)

Jillian (2 months) and cousin Kaelyn (13 months)

Just chillin' and suckin' my thumb (4 months)

Easter 2010 (4.5 months)

Swinging at the park with Mommy (5 months)

Sitting up (kind of) on my own! (6 months)

Messy with carrots :) (6 months)

Happy July 4th! (7.5 months)

My first trip to the beach with Mommy and Daddy (8 months)

Happy Father's Day Daddy! (7 months)