The Gill Family Webpage

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Baby's First Christmas

We had a very nice Christmas this year indeed!

Poor Zoe got hardly any presents whatsoever! Now that's a laugh! Between the many grandparents, aunts, Mom & Dad, and Santa Claus himself, Zoe had plenty to eat, uh I mean open, on Christmas morning!

I think she really enjoyed all the lights and the colorfully wrapped packages. She tried to eat every one that her little hands could grab! And she was quick! She would grab a package, start in on it, and then BAM! The present would be open with the wrapping paper located squarely on her tongue. Which she didn't like. At all. She'd look at me, eyes crinkled and wet, face scrunched and red, mouth open and loud and I could see the culprit - the wad of once was once colorful wrapping paper - sitting there innocently on her tongue. So I'd go fishing and all would be right again...until the next time!

Later that day, Santa paid us a visit. And not just any Santa. The Santa. The one who has visited our family since before I was born. Well of course there's only one Santa, but sometimes he has helpers. And this helper is my favorite!

[I'd post a picture, but unfortunately my computer crashed and with it went all my Christmas pics (and other pics). Luckily the computer guy (and my pal) was able to back up all pictures so I still have them, just not on this machine. I'll post more pictures later. For now, enjoy the 2 pics I was able to save before the meltdown.]

Another Christmas has come and gone. This was the first of many for Zoe, and although she'll never remember it, it was one heck of the way to start a lifetime of Christmases!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve is my most favorite night of the year! It was my favorite night even before Everett proposed to me 3 years ago at Christmas Eve dinner with our families gathered together. There's something about the night - maybe it's the anticipation of the next morning, the magicalness (is that a word?) of the season that culminates (for me) on this night, or the happiness that exudes from every pore on every person's body.

We spent the morning getting ready for Christmas day by peeling apples, boiling sweet potatoes, cutting cheese, etc. Around mid-afternoon we headed to the Opryland Hotel to look at the hotel decorations and lights before our dinner reservations at 5:30. I had bought everyone these special glasses that put either santas, snowflakes, or snowmen around the Christmas lights. I thought it was neat.

The hotel was very festive! And, as a bonus, we ran into The Man Himself. That's right - Santa Claus was working the hotel before his big night out! So we took a family picture with Santa and everyone felt like a kid again!

We ate dinner and Zoe was kind enough to stay awake through the appetizer portion of dinner. She sat in her high chair and ate her "puffs" and banged away on the table, content as can be. Then, suddenly, she was done being awake. She began to fuss and finally I walked away with her and nursed her to sleep (I know, you shouldn't nurse the baby to sleep, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do). Zoe was asleep for the rest of the meal!

After dinner, we walked to the front of the hotel and looked at the beautiful Christmas lights. The big lighted poinsettias (pictured above) are my favorite. The hotel wraps up all the magnolia trees in these huge nets so the effect is one of big lighted misshapen balloons. They then wrap up individual branches of other trees with rows of lights. The effect (shown above) is beautiful! We finished our night at the hotel by walking through the life-size nativity scene located around one of the outdoor pools. It was just as beautiful and magical as can be.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The gang's all here!

On Saturday, our holiday bunch was complete! Maddy arrived on Friday after a long 24 hours of delayed and canceled flights. Mom, Dad, Tara, and Nancy drove up and got here about 10am after a slight unintended detour downtown. Zoe was very excited to see everyone! The first day we just hung out at home, visiting, laughing, going for a walk, and eating some homemade lasagna.

On Sunday we got up and went to breakfast at The Loveless Cafe. This place oozes Southern charm and good cookin'. It's located in an old motel complex and recently the old motel rooms have been converted to little shops filled with food, art, and some cute little tchotchkes. Breakfast was yummy and consisted of fluffy biscuits and eggs, salty bacon and ham, deliciously sweet fruit, amazingly seasoned home fries, and some other stuff that I can't remember because there was just so much...and so good!

Afterwards, we headed to Cheekwood to see some beautifully decorated trees and hear some wonderful piano music. All of this was located in the mansion on the premises which houses Cheekwood's art collection. Each of the Christmas trees had a theme of a particular country. The one shown here was my favorite and was depicting the country of Japan.

The day couldn't get any better, but somehow a big man in a red suit with white fur trim and a scraggly white beard made the day complete with his "Ho ho ho! and a bottle of rum!" Okay, there was no rum, but there were plenty of reindeer, candy canes, and elves. Zoe visited Santa for the first time ever! And she loved him! She didn't cry a tear and was rather curious about this jolly fellow. I heard her ask him for a white Christmas and St Nick laughed. "Not in Nashville, little girl!"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

You know it's almost Christmas when... spend too much time at work doing things like turning your whole family into elves!

If you have a good internet connection, click HERE to see the Gill Family in action!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Party time!

With the holidays come a plethora of parties. And although we don't have as many parties to attend as the President and his wife during the holiday season, we have had our fair share and Zoe is loving being a party girl!

Last weekend we went to a Hanukkah Party, complete with latkes, gelfitle fish, and dreidels! Well the dreidels were too small for Zoe to play with, but they were there!

Last Friday I picked up Zoe from day care and she joined me in my department's Holiday party. She was a little fussy though because she hadn't napped all morning long. She's not a real good napper anymore! I think she doesn't want to miss anything, even if "anything" refers to regular ol' mundane house chores. But she did let a few people hold her before meltdown. My mentor in particular loves holding Zoe and she let him for a while.

This past weekend we attended a Festivus Party, and although there were no "airing of grievances", there was a lot of dancing and ginger bread houses! The party started at 7, and instead of getting a babysitter, we brought Zoe along. We fed, bathed, and changed her into her pjs before we left and headed out for the night. Zoe slept on the way there, but soon woke up when we arrived. See her wide-eyed and bushy-tailed in the picture above? She loved being in this new environment filled with tons of new people, Christmas lights, a big white dog, and fun music! She giggled, laughed, played, and even joined in on the dancing, a la Nutcracker (see below). Around 10, she decided she had enough and conked out in her car seat.

One of the most original and fun parts of the party was the Presentation of the Ginger Bread Houses. Darci (our pal, and occasional babysitter, who threw the party) had 4 houses that she and some others had made. At some point in the party, a potato masher was brought out to destroy the ginger bread houses and make them fit for eating! Here's the thing though: those houses are tough! That's my hand on the right trying to smash through the roof of one of the houses, and trying is the operative word here! I think I smell a new gingery tradition in the making - or rather, destroying!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside

Well not really. We're in a bit of a heat wave here in Nashville. It's supposed to be in the mid-70s tomorrow. But it was really cold last week. You can see Zoe all dressed up for the chill in the picture. She looks so cute all dressed up for winter!

Last Thursday was Zoe's 6 month doctor appointment and we're pleased to say that all is going as it should with the babushki! She weighs a whopping 16 pounds 12 ounces and is a whole 2 feet 3 inches long! As Everett pointed out, she's just about twice her birth weight! Wow!

The big news is: she's ready for solid food! She's able to sit up now on her own - she mastered that trick around Thanksgiving. Despite the corn incident, she's been doing real well eating. So we are starting her on these biter biscuits that help her learn how to chew. As you can see from the pictures, Zoe is catching on quick! She also is eating these "puffs" which are like tiny cheerios, but are...well...puffy! Since they're tiny, Zoe has a harder time eating them because she picks them up and can't quite figure out how to only put the puff, and not her hands, into her mouth. All in good time.