The Gill Family Webpage

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My little nutcracker

So there I was, sitting on the couch, working on my lecture for the next day and all of a sudden I hear an interesting rendition of the Nutcracker/Tetris theme song. I look up, and there, dancing across the room in her new pink ballet pajamas is my daughter absolutely cracking up at her new found ability to dance/walk across a room. Ah, the things in life that make us laugh!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting nice out

It's finally beginning to be a reasonable temperature here in Nashville. Gone are the 100+ degree days, thank goodness, and so we can finally enjoy the outdoors.

We took Zoe to Cheekwood this weekend. It's a botanical garden/museum near where we live. We have fun walking through the gardens there looking at all the trees and flowers that are in bloom. And they usually have some outdoor exhibit. When we went it was "scarecrows"! For this exhibit, Cheekwood had local groups, such as the girl scouts, make the scarecrows. The scarecrow in the picture with me and Zoe was made by a local stay-at-home Moms group - can you tell? The scarecrow had a wisk in one hand, a duster in the other, a toilet bowl brush in another, garden tools in the fourth hand, and so on! She even had a baby bjorn and a straw hat like this Momma!

Cheekwood has many different garden areas. Everett and Zoe are in what I call the "daffodil garden" because in the springtime there are so many different kinds of daffodils on display. If you walk a little further up that path, there's also the dogwood tree and herb garden sections.

They also have a wonderful Japanese Garden which is great for reflecting quietly amid this happily kid-infested Nashville attraction. The entrance to the viewing pavilion is lined with bamboo trees which I love to shake to hear the rustling of the bamboo leaves.

Perhaps the weirdest thing about Cheekwood is the "sculpture trail". In the woods surrounding the botanical gardens and the mansion where the art is stored, is a short hiking trail. And along this trail live some of the weirdest contemporary art that I have ever seen. By far, this rabbit sculpture, or "crawling lady hare" as it is called, is the most bizarre of all of Cheekwood's sculptures!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Busy busy

We had a very busy and fun weekend! Saturday was the 3rd annual Hike for the Homeless benefiting Safe Haven Family Shelter. This event is special to me because I conceived of this event 3 years ago while volunteering at Safe Haven. And I think Safe Haven is a wonderful organization. Their mission is to help homeless families get back on their feet through teaching them skills necessary to succeed and helping them find affordable housing and employment.

In any case, every year Everett and I help out with this event, but this year, we just participated in it. At the hike last year, I was at the start of my pregnancy and so were still not telling people about the "life within" yet. I remember rubbing my little belly and thinking about hiking with Zuzu this year. Well we did! And Zoe loved the hike! Everett had her strapped in and away we went with a bunch of our friends through the woods for about an hour and half long hike. So much fun!

Afterwards, we celebrated in style at the Oktoberfest in Germantown! Despite it being October, it was quite warm - in the 90s! We had a lot of fun. There were many vendors selling various crafts and food (yummy pretzels, bratwursts, German potato soup, etc) and a lot of music. And did I mention there was beer? Gemutlekeit!

I changed Zoe into a short-sleeved onesie and she tolerated the hot weather well, taking a wee nap early on in the festival. Later on, she was bouncing around to the music and laughing.

All in all, a wonderful way to spend the weekend. But boy am I ready for a quiet weekend!

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Babushki

I know I've posted one of pictures here below, but Zoe is just too cute! Oftentimes we just snap a bunch of photos in the hopes of capturing a funny face, but what do you do with all the other pictures? It seems a shame to delete them! So I make these little collages so you can see all the Zoe that we see!

And speaking of Zoe, she's got a new nickname: Piggy von Trapp. I gave it to her because she loves to eat her cereal! I also gave it to her because I give everyone nicknames. Right Paccy Waccy Saccy Daccy (aka Auntie Madeline) and Ticcy Wiccy Siccy Diccy (aka Auntie Tara)?

This newest nickname is just the latest in a string of nicknames, starting with Zuzu, that have been bestowed upon on our dear daughter. Some of her other nom de plumes include: The Zo-ster, Zoeroni, The Babushki, The Babushkinator, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Zoe really likes it when I call her "babalushki", pronounced "ba-ba-loooooooosh-ki" with the elongated middle "lu" syllable.

I'm not sure where I got "babushka" from, but I do know that it is a Russian word that is used to mean, among other things, "old lady". And then there are the babushka dolls - the typically wooden dolls of various sizes which are nested within one another. Given my propensity of thinking about Zoe as a little dress up doll, "babushka" might be the most appropriate nickname yet!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Here she goes

So Zoe is a pro at turning over now! I keep finding her in her crib belly-side down. She still can't roll back over, but one thing at a time.

I was finally able to catch her in the act this weekend. The video shows her rolling over (on command, no less!), but she's not very happy doing it in the video. Usually there's a lot less crying and more holding the head up than the video shows, but you take what you can get!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Goodnight air

One of my favorite nighttime rituals is reading to Zoe. She doesn't quite get it, but she enjoys listening to the cadence of our voices while she looks at the pictures and plays with the book by turning the pages.

I love to read her Goodnight Moon while Everett's favorite is The Barnyard Dance. We each have our way of reading to Zoe and cherish the time spent doing so.

The books are kind of fun for adults too. For a while, every time I read Goodnight Moon, I'd notice something different in the drawings, like the clock showing a later and later time as the book progressed and it got darker. And the picture in the nursery of a rabbit fly fishing caught me so off guard when I noticed it that I laughed out loud and called for Everett to come see it!

Ah yes, reading is fun for everyone!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Chow Time

Zoe had her 4 month doctor appointment last Thursday and all looks good! She weighs 14 pounds, 9 ounces now and is 25 and 3/4 inches long! I knew she was getting bigger!

Zoe also got a second round of vaccines. A typical reaction to these shots is a fever. Well Zoe sure got one on Friday. The day care called us to tell us that Zoe had to go home on Friday because she was feverish (most day cares won't let a sick child stay at day care). They finally got a hold of Everett after trying to get me; I was teaching so I wasn't near a phone. Well Everett didn't know that the fever was a typical response to the shots that Zoe got the day before and so he called the doctor. When I finally got wind of what was going on, I filled Everett in on the details. I came home in the afternoon to relieve Everett from his day care duties, and I could tell Zoe wasn't feeling her best, poor thing. But by Saturday, she was back to her smiling, kicking self again!

The other exciting development is a change in Zoe's diet. The doctor said it was time to start her on rice cereal. So on Sunday, Zoe started what is sure to be a long career in eating! Well at least she started getting used to a spoon! Most of the cereal bypasses her mouth and ends up on her cheeks. And hands. And arms. And forehead. You can see for yourself in the video below. Now I understand what bibs are for!