Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy (belated) Halloween!

Okay - I'm REALLY late on this one.... just so much going on lately.

This past Halloween was Jillian's FIRST Halloween...and notable as the last 'first' holiday that she'll have.  We dressed her up as a ladybug, and she was the cutest bug of them all. 

On Friday before Halloween, her daycare had a 'trick or treat', and all the kids in her class dressed up!  I went to help and had to catch some pictures of the little cuties. 

On Halloween night, we decided to go to Gramm and Poppy's, and then head to our friends Matt and Melissa's house to trick-or-treat.  Jillian had a blast.  She loved being in her costume, and particularly liked carrying around her little pumpkin to collect all of her candy.  She STILL carries it all over the place at home too!  We went to 4 houses, and she even walked up to the doors all by herself (okay - we carried her most of the way :) ).  Here are some pictures from the evening.  Matt and Melissa set up the firepit in their driveway and handed out candy there - we really had fun hanging out, roasting marshmallows, and seeing all of the cute costumes!

 Heading to Gramm and Poppy's door for some candy...

 Trick-or-treat Uncle Ruit!

 With Ashley and Sarah before heading out to more houses :)

Mr. Mike - what am I going to do with those M&M's??!?!  P.S. Mommy and Daddy say thanks!

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Back in October, we had some really nice weather on the weekends.  I’m talking 70’s and sunny.  And after having to turn on our heat for some days in late September – these weekends were awesome!  On one particular Saturday, we took Jillian to a local farm to play in the pumpkin patch. 

Now I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to be able to take Jillian to the pumpkin patch.  Something about little kids amongst pumpkins the same size as them, and their curiosity about the whole thing – I couldn’t wait to see how J would do.  The added bonus was that she could walk now, so she could interact more.  I dressed her up super cute that day (we were going to a farm – you HAVE to wear overalls to a farm!), and had my camera in hand.  I think that I was a little obsessed, but we were going to have a Kodak memory kind of family outing.

Sure enough – we had a Kodak kind of day.  We got to Huber’s Farm, and went on the FREE hayride to the pumpkin patch. Once we got off the wagon, we carried J over to the patch, plopped her down on her feet, and just let her go.  She was very apprehensive at first.  I think that it also had to do with the fact that it was her first time EVER walking outside.  She’s never been in the grass or dirt before… EVER.  So this was really new.  And all of these orange things… and Mommy won’t stop taking my picture… what do I do?

She warmed up quickly, and toddled around to pumpkin after pumpkin.  Matt and I got a huge laugh out of her trying to pick up the pumpkins.  We have a fake pumpkin as decoration in our family room, and she often picks it up, rolls it, mini-tosses it – it’s just Styrofoam and just her size.  To her, these pumpkins should have been the same thing, and she honestly thought that she could pick them up.  It was so funny!

We got some great pictures, and spent a good 20-30 minutes letting her play.  She even made a friend.  Finally, we picked a pumpkin of our own, let her pick her own pumpkin, and went back to the front of the farm to make our purchase.  While Matt paid for the pumpkins, Jillian played with a golden lab puppy that a man had brought with him.  She’s learning to be ‘gentle’ in petting, and she’s doing really well.  I’m still standing my ground on not getting a dog yet, but now it’s 2 against 1 in my little family.  On a side note though – in the process of paying for the pumpkin, Matt picked up some homemade jelly too.  Oh boy – is that good stuff!

Here are some pictures from our day at Huber’s Farm.  And to me, they are further confirmation of just how dang cute my daughter is!  Can’t get enough of her.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One year ago...

Tomorrow, Jillian turns one.

I have very mixed feelings about my baby turning one.  I’m excited because she is growing so much, and learning so much, and it’s just so fascinating to see what her next ‘new thing’ will be. And after getting a glimpse this weekend of what Jillian will be like next year at this time (my niece, who is almost 2, was visiting),  I’m looking forward to having tea parties, dancing to music, her repeating every word I say, and pulling her hair up in pigtails.  But a part of me is also very sad.

Jillian isn’t a baby anymore.

I guess that this realization hit me about a month or so ago when a friend of mine from work looked at her picture, and actually said “Wow, she doesn’t look like a baby any more!”  And I looked at the picture too – and it hit me. My coworker was right.  Jillian was standing up tall, her hair was longer, she was walking, and she had a look of focus in her eyes. She was no longer the immobile girl lying in the middle of the floor reaching desperately for a toy, or the baby with wandering eyes and a lack of understanding of the world around her.  She now had purpose, determination, focus, and opinions.  And I became a little sad that her ‘baby’ days were behind us.

In the past week or so, I’ve been reminiscing about what I was doing ‘a year ago today’.  I remember a year ago this very day feeling so nervous, but excited with anticipation since we were going to the hospital tonight to be induced.  And I’m sure that tomorrow morning, I will remember again our worry about why her heart rate wasn’t stable, our nervousness about how best to deliver her without any problems, the pain of the contractions as my epidural was wearing off, and the hour of pushing before her perfect little self arrived and was placed in my arms. Life changed completely a year ago tomorrow – and I could never have imagined how fantastic it would actually be.

But it’s becoming more real as the day wears on, and it’s a good thing. We had our families over on Saturday for her first birthday party, and my cousin (who has a 17-month old of her own) asked me how I was dealing with Jillian turning one.  Since it was still 4 days away, I wasn’t thinking of how real it was. It was still so far in the future. And then we sang Happy Birthday in front of a great big Elmo cake, and I blew out the candles that spelled J-I-L-L-I-A-N, and it became more real.  Then Matt and I went shopping the next day for her birthday presents - more real.  And now, her birthday is tomorrow – even more real.

Only 12 more hours of my girl not being one year old.  I’m hanging on to every minute.