Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lily Takes On the 'Windy City'

Hey everybody!! Word on the street is that my audience has been clammering for a new entry and, if at all possible, some video. Well, I aim to please so I thought I might give you both. The video is a little short but it does showcase one of my newer moves. Daddy calls it the "downward dog" because it looks just like Tucker when he stretches. That and there is a yoga move that closely resembles what I can do. Also on the video you can check me rolling around. Rolling has become my new favorite form of transportation and I have gotten quite good at it. In fact, put me down on one end of the room, walk away for two seconds and I will no longer be where you left me. Daddy is learning quick about all the things he needs to move or, more importantly, remove from the areas I will be roaming. He calls it Lily-proofing the house and says it is important because he doesn't want me to get hurt just because he forgot to put something away. Anyway, here's some video and I promise to post more as I start to do more fun things.

If you are reading this blog, you probably read the title and thought to yourself "Windy City? Hey! Lily went to Chicago!?!" That's right! Daddy has been wanting so badly to take me up to Chicago to visit some of his and Mommy's close friends but a busy summer schedule kept us from leaving Cincinnati. Well, an open weekend finally popped up and Daddy jumped all over it. He booked us a sssweeeetttt hotel room that overlooked the Chicago River and invited Mimi and Papaw to come with us. We had a little delay getting out of town but once we were on the road......I was out for the count. Seriously, I slept pretty much from door to door and only woke up as we were driving into the city. And what a crazy city it is!! First off, you would have thought Daddy had accidentally driven into the middle of a NASCAR race with the way that the people drive in that town. In fact, Mimi and Papaw were so flustered by the craziness that they opted to bury their faces in their books until Daddy got off the highway. But Daddy did great behind the wheel and we got to the hotel in good time and a nice gentleman even parked our car for us. Talk about service. Then we went to our room, got settled in and Daddy let all his and Mommy's friends know that we were in.

Luckily, Mommy's friends Kelli and Erin work right by where we were staying so they cut out of work and came right over. They even brought me a stuffed froggy as a present. I totally love my froggy and he is now snuggled up with Ribbit (Mommy's stuffed frog) in my crib. We hung out in the hotel room for a few hours playing and catching up. I got so excited I accidently spit-up on my outfit and required a changing. When Mimi changed me, she put some pants on me that were so big that they fell down to my ankles when Daddy picked me up. Daddy said that's how they wear their pants on the Southside of Chicago and that it isn't the best look for a young lady. Kinda silly really. After putting on some fitting pants, Daddy's friend Ellen stopped by and we headed out to dinner at this nice restaurant around the corner. Actually, I think this was a restaurant for the hearing impaired because they really had the music cranked up loud. You almost had to yell just so the person across the table could hear you. Loudness aside, the restaurant was fun and trendy and the food was really good too; or so I am told. I fell asleep kinda early as I guess the drive up to Chicago took all my energy. Haha!

We woke up the next morning and after Daddy took a nice run, we were off to explore all the things Chicago has to offer. We walked all over town. We checked out Millenium Park with the giant chrome bean (I mean, who thinks of this stuff), we went to Buckingham Fountain (that thing is hugemungous!!) and we walked down the lake trail. Man were there a lot of people out and about. We even saw an activist march with people advocating world peace. I think it was a high school doing it and the kids were required to walk because Daddy and I saw to flag carriers using their flags as swords and were fighting. It's pretty funny to hear a group chanting "What do we want?""Peace""When do we want it?""Now" and then see two kids using the flags they are carrying as weapons.

Soon after our walking tour, we hopped on the L train and took it out of downtown and into Lincoln Park where a lot of Mommy and Daddy's friends live. We went to this festival that was advertised as Oktoberfest in hopes that Mimi, Papaw and Daddy could score some good german food and refreshments. Instead, we found that there was only one booth that sold brats or sourkraut. Has anybody ever bought Pad Thai at an Oktoberfest? Or, how about tacos? I wish I were kidding you but we have officially found the only Oktoberfest, that is billed as a German festival, that serves virtually no German food. How funny is that!?! Needless to say, we didn't stay long and opted to go sit on a restaurant patio where we met Daddy and Mommy' s friends again. They are such great people and I am so happy that I got to meet and spend soo much time with them. I sure hope they come to visit Daddy and me in Cincinnati really soon. I miss them already.

Sunday we woke up, got breakfast and headed back home so that we could catch the Bengals game (Who-Dey). And again, I bagged one of the greatest naps ever. I slept almost all the way home and woke up only for lunch. Daddy says that I am one heck of a traveler but that he wonders if I will always be this way. He says he suspects that when I get a little older, I will be harder to keep entertained and that I won't be napping as much. Who knows? But for now, plop my rumpus in a car seat, turn the ignition and I am asleep before you get out of the driveway.

Other than an awesome trip to Chi-town, there really isn't too much to report. I have moved from oatmeal to yellow veggies. And let me just tell you, I hate squash. Yiicckkk!!!! Daddy has to fight just to get me to swallow one spoonful's worth. Not sure what it is about the stuff but I just don't like it. I think we might be trying Acorn Squash or sweet potato next. Daddy is hoping that I like those a little better.

Everything else is going great. As you can see from the video, it is only a matter of time until I am off to the races and crawling. I am sure that the videos are going to get much more fun as I develop my skills. Please stay tuned. And if there is anything you want to know about me or Daddy, please post a comment so that we know what you want to learn about. OK, I need to get to bed. Good bloggin with you. Keep it cool!!

Love you all, LILY :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Long Weekend With Daddy

Hey, do you smell that? That's the smell of a clean baby girl. I love it when either Daddy or Mimi give me my baths. I get one about every other day since I don't really do much to get dirty (I am sure that will change shortly) and then when I make a huge mess in my pants. There is nothing like getting plopped down in my little tub and feeling the warm water on my bottom. It really relaxes me. Mimi and I have "spa-night" every Wednesday evening when she comes over. She gives me a bath, cuts my nails and rubs me down with baby lotion. What can I say? It's a good life.
Daddy wanted me to be sure to let all of you know how fast I am developing. Not only have I completely amazed my doctors and therapists, Daddy says he sees me making advances every day. For instance, I am reaching for everything; Daddy's dinner, Daddy's phone, Mimi's earings, peoples beverages (I'm particularly fond of beer bottles), etc. You name it, I make a play for it. I even hold my own bottle now!!
Another big development is how strong I am getting. Not only can I do pushups and push myself in reverse, but I can now get on all fours for a couple seconds at a time! Not only that, but now when I am playing on my mat on the floor I can roll to get anything that I see and want. So when Daddy puts me down to play, sometimes I am not where he left me when he comes back. It's a pretty fun game. So, bottom line, I am getting super-duper strong and will be crawling in no time.
The past week has gone by in a blur. Daddy took Thursday and Friday off to spend time with me and boy oh boy did we have a great time!! We went on hikes, checked out the zoo, cuddled and snuggled, there was a big party on Saturday and then Daddy had a triathlon on Sunday. Sounds like a good time, doesn't it?
The zoo was awesome! I had been before but the first time we went we did not spend as much time actually looking at the animals. We saw all different kinds. Daddy's favorite was the swimming Polar Bear (big surprise there) but I think my favorite was either the Gorillas or Manatees. What pretty creatures they are. One thing is for sure, there are some interesting smells there at the zoo. Some of which may peel the paint off the walls. It's pretty funny really because as soon as an interesting smell wafted by, Daddy walked faster.
On Saturday, friends of Mimi and Papaw threw a benefit in my honor at the restaurant/bar they own called "The Pike". Daddy says that he has some pretty good stories about that place that he is never going to tell me. Not sure what that means or why you would say you have a good story and aren't going to share...Anyway, the benefit was great!!! They collected all kinds of books for Mommy's school library and the Charity and Faith School in South Africa that Mommy and Daddy went to serve a couple years back. If that wasn't generous enough, they raised all kinds of money for my college fund. It is just incredible!! Daddy didn't even know these people before Saturday and there, out of the kindness of their hearts, they labored to put on a FANTASTIC event. All for me!! Daddy said it's hard sometimes to accept people's generosity but he knows that the funny thing about serving others is that, more often than not, it is the server who reeps the most reward. So, to the owwners of The Pike and all that came, thank you. Your generosity and love has truly touched Daddy and me. We are soooo very grateful.
So, what do you do when you've had a crazy busy three days? Well, Daddy wakes up at 4:30am drive to a Triathlon. He is N-U-T-S, nuts!! I said "Forget that!!" and stayed at Mimi's Saturday night and we headed up to the race later. Daddy did pretty good again. He placed 2nd in his division and 18th out of 80 overall. He said he is pretty happy with his performance and that he can't wait for next season so that he can compete in more races of longer distances. Like I said, he's a nut. Well, crazy or not, Daddy's cheering section at the meet are sure proud of him.
Well, I am off to bed. I must be growing because I am sleeping really well and taking nice long naps. Hope to hear from all of you out in the blogosphere!!! Keep on rockin"!!!
Love Ya,
PS: I will post more video soon. Daddy forgot to charge the camera

Monday, September 7, 2009

First Gear

Hey there blogger faithfuls!! How are things going? Things here have been super fun & busy but have also been keeping us away from an internet connection. It seems like every weekend, when Daddy and me would normally have time to sit down and reach out to you all, we have something planned that requires us to drive all over God's creation. Not that I don't like being busy and being the center of attention at all the functions that we visit, but I do like keeping all my friends and loved ones in the loop because we do some pretty cool stuff. Like the picnic for instance. It was the most INCREDIBLE time!! You would not believe all the people that came by to spend time with us. I got to see Dr. Lambers (she delivered me), a few of Mommy's nurses, a couple of my NICU nurses and a TON of family and friends. Daddy thinks there were probably over 100 people there. Can you believe it?!?! My rumpus never touched the ground. When I stop to think about that number and then think about the fact that they are there because they love and care for me, leaves me speechless. Neither Daddy or I have the words to describe how much it meant to us to have so many loving people in our lives. Daddy was saying on the ride home from the picnic that it is because of the people at the picnic and countless others across the country that have given their support that he is doing so well and is able to be such a good dad. I think the good dad part just comes naturally though. We've gotten to see the very best in people over the past 8 months since I have been around and for that we thank you.

People weren't supposed to bring gifts to the picnic but some did anyway. I was given some cool toys and an awesome pair of shoes (gonna have to grow into those). I even got an autographed print of the Heart Mini-Marathon Daddy and the family ran in for Mommy back in March to hang on the wall. But the one that takes the cake, hands-down, is what my Uncle John and Aunt Pitter brought for me and Daddy. You see, Uncle John is quite the artist and sculptor and he has been working on a plackard (sp?) for us to hang in the house. He gave us the finished product at the picnic and Daddy just about broke down. The plackard is of me an Mommy and was inspired by a photo of the two of us Kangarooing in the NICU. It is abosolutely beautiful and Daddy is gonna find the perfect place in the house to display it. Thanks soo much Uncle John, from the bottom of my heart. It is a very special gift.

Now that the women in the audience are probably reaching for the nearest box of tissues, let's chat about some of the cool new skills I have developed. I am becoming quite the yoga expert and I just discovered the coolest things feet! That's right, I am a HUGE fan of what all the yogies call the "Happy Baby" pose. Basically, I just grab my little footsies and rock back and forth. It's a blast! And to top off my skills, I roll over and do the "Cobra"(Daddy thinks that's what it is called) which is like a pushup and when I get tired of that I go right into "Child's Pose". That yoga business is tough work but is making me one strong girl. I even found my first gear. Only problem is that my first gear is reverse and I can't tell where in the world I am going. You see, I start with my pushups and Cobra pose and before I know it the toy that was right in front of my face is now out of reach. I sure hope that the other gears come in soon because I would really like to see where I a headed. Daddy on the other hand is not as excited about my new found mobility. I mean, he is excited and super-dper proud of how well I am doing but he also knows that that means he is on the clock and has to Lily-proof the house ASAP. Good luck with that Daddy. No matter how well you do, I think I will still be able to find something you missed.

So this weekend rocked big time!! Daddy was off three whole days from work because of Labor Day and he chose to spend most of that time with yours truly. We even did our very first 5k race ever and it was at the Zoo. So, how well did I do you may be wondering. Well the race got off to a rough start for us because the gun went off before I was even in position in my running stroller. Then Daddy found out that the harness was too tight and had to adjust it before he felt safe running with me. We lost about 5 minutes from the start and then got caught behind a slew of eeh-hemm "slow people". Daddy calls them walkers but I say "move out of my way, flying baby coming through!!". It took another 3-4 minutes to break free of the, shall we say, leisurely participants and make a run for it. Boy were we flying once we did break free. We clocked a total time of 30minutes with delays and Daddy seems to think had we not gotten delayed we would have run somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-21 minutes. Not too shabby for our first team effort. What a great course and to top of the race, we got to walk around and look at all the animals. The first one we saw was the new baby Zebra. It was soooo cute and you know what its name is? Marty!!! (just like Mommy). After seeing the cute baby Zebra, we went to check out the Gorillas. Man are they humungous!! Daddy said I probably weigh less than just one of their butt cheeks. Nice Dad! Anyway, after the Gorillas we went to check out the Cheetah exhibit and even got to see them run. Good golly Miss Molly are they fast!!! Well, I am told that they are fast anyway. I fell asleep waiting for the show to start.

After the show we came home because Mommy's friend, Kelli, was in town from Chicago and was coming over to meet me. We had the greatest time ever snuggling on eachother and she even fed me. I don't know what her experience is with babies but she sure is a natural. I can't wait to see her again and meet some of Mommy and Daddy's other friends when we are up in Chicago at the end of the month. It's gonna be AWESOME!!!

Well, after such a long weekend I think I need to get some rest and so does Daddy. He was trying to get this blog out for me on Monday night but fell asleep at the keyboard. Hahaha!! Well, goodnight y'all. Don't forget to let us know if you have nay questions about specific stuff we are up to. We want to be sure to keep this site fresh and interesting as we move forward. You all are amazing. I love you so....

Love, Lily