The Gill Family Webpage

Friday, January 30, 2009

Corn child

Zoe The Freak is sleeping with her corn again tonight. I think she gets the weirdness from her Daddy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Child of the corn

So we've been using this parenting technique where we give Zoe choices so that she feels as though she's in control, even though she's doing exactly what we want. For example, when she dawdles at putting on her jacket to go outside, I ask her if she wants to wear the red hat or the black hat. When she needs to help me pick up her blocks, I ask her to put away this orange one or that yellow one. We're trying.

Tonight, as I was putting her to bed, I held up her stuffed lion and cow and asked her, "Zoe do you want to sleep with your lion or cow?" As I leaned forward in the chair I was sitting in with her on my lap, we came near to the container that holds her play fruits and vegetables. Zoe grabbed the big plastic corn on the cob and said, "Corn." I asked her if she wanted to sleep with the corn and she said yes.

So the little freak is asleep now in her crib cuddled up with the corn cob underneath her. Hmmmmm...

Monday, January 26, 2009


I arrived at daycare just in time today to see Zoe sitting on the potty! That's right, we've had our first successful potty time!

We've been talking this whole potty thing up since before Christmas. I've been narrating the deed (the things you do for your kids!), Santa brought her the Elmo Potty DVD, and she got her first potty soon thereafter. She's been sitting on it - diaper, pants, and all - for a while now, but I hadn't taken the next step of getting her to sit on the pot sans clothing. I didn't want to push her. But it appears something's paying off! I see the end of diapers in sight for big girl Zoe!

(The picture is from this summer; we've misplaced our camera so you are spared a potty photo...this time!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Dear Zoey-Zoey-Zo,

What a great day we had today! You are sick - so says day care's thermometer. I got the call at the end of the work day yesterday, which meant you could not join your friends there today, on Inauguration Day. That's okay with me though because it meant we could spend this historic day together.

I know you don't really understand why the man on TV and on my shirt, whom you call "Oh-Bam-Ba", is making history by becoming the 44th President of the United States. I know you don't understand the gravity of the day or my tears as they fell from my eyes as he finished with,"So help my God." I know you don't understand why so many people gathered in our Nation's Capital in frigid weather to witness such an event. You will someday, although I suspect you'll never truly understand it until something as momentous happens in your lifetime.

We started the day at home. Watching TV and playing with blocks. As President-Elect Obama and company headed to the Capitol, we headed to Mommy's work. At 10:30 AM CST, we fired up the computer on Mom's desk and watched the pomp and circumstance. We tried to spot Granddaddy on the National Mall where he was stationed. That's right - your Granddaddy had the honor of helping keep the peace as a Florida Highway Patrolman who was sworn in as a US Marshall for the occasion. We are so proud of him and can't wait to hear the stories that I'm sure he'll have!

You were very good during the whole event. You occasionally looked up at the computer screen between making faces at my colleagues who were gathered around my desk and lining up the animals that I brought for you to play with on the table. You clapped when I, and the Nation, clapped. You exclaimed,"YAY!" as he became President Obama.

Afterwards, you, me, and 4 of my/our friends went to celebrate at Noshville for lunch. It was a joyous lunch filled with hope.

We headed home around 1 pm. We spent the rest of the afternoon alternately reading books, playing hide-n-seek, and doing puzzles. I confess that I left the TV on as I watched the rest of the fanfare. I watched as President Obama and First Lady Michelle got out of the limo and walked down the street. I watched as the First Family watched the parade. I had this great sense of Watching History Happen with capital letters.

Finally, I acquiesced and I put in the Elmo DVD. As you watched Elmo learn the ins and outs of using the potty, I baked a chocolate cake from scratch and decorated it in a most thematic way. You enjoyed your first bit of frosting from Mommy's frosting bag and kept asking for more. I later found evidence of the red frosting on the ottoman in the living room. It's okay though.

I baked the cake for the party at Will's (or "Wee-ill's" as you call him) that we attended that night to celebrate the day. We didn't stay too long, after all you weren't feeling your best, but it was so nice to gather with friends to acknowledge this momentous occasion, the election of the first African-American as President of the United States.

You feel asleep easily in your crib. I feel asleep easily too.

Thanks for sharing such a day with your Momma.

Love you,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Way to go Chris!

As you may know, Everett is a gamer. He loves to play video games to the point where I'm not sure how we met since he used to be glued to his computer screen, clicking his mouse away to kill some alien nazi creature. While you might think that marriage and a child has "cured" him of that ailment, it's really only masked the symptom of Gaming Obsession. He plays as often as he can and loves every minute of it.

What's even more nutty than watching Everett giggle (sorry hun, sometimes you giggle) as he slays another half-monster/half-human, is to watch him and his best buddy Chris giggle as they kill half-monster/half-humans. They could play for hours, and in fact, when we get the chance to visit Chris and his way-cool wife Moira and child in Atlanta, there's always at least one all-nighter spent playing video games (Moira and I usually hang out, giggle at the boys, and then go to sleep at a somewhat decent time).

For as long as I've known Everett (5+ years), Chris and his team at Cartoon Network have been developing a new mutli-player on-line game called FusionFall. It's made for kids and tweens, although Everett gets his groove on playing it too despite its dearth of angry dwarf-like creatures who weild swords of great power to capture...? the flag? I don't really know what all those quests mean!!

Anyway, the game is out TODAY and to rave reviews! One reviewer said: "As a avid gamer I had some preconceived notions of what children’s MMO games where like, none of them very positive. But after playing this game to review it, I must admit this game far exceeded my expectations on many levels. ...I give FusionFall 5 of 5 because of the engaging game play, great use artistic design in character models, and amazing story line."

For more information about the game, click HERE.

Way to go Chris!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bridges and trains

At Zoe's year-and-a-half month checkup in December, the doctor asked how many words she knew. I told him about 20 or 30 because I didn't really know, although I did know she talked a lot. So I decided to write down all the words she knew. But I couldn't finish the list because I kept remembering more words she knew. That and the fact that everyday I "discovered" that she knew more words! Today, for instance, she exclaimed, "bus!" as one passed us on the way into work/daycare this morning. Amazing!

On our way home each night, we drive towards First Ave in downtown Nashville which ends at the Cumberland River. There, we find many objects to talk about. I started showing her the pedestrian bridge and encouraging her to say "bridge". Then we drive past the train station, and sometimes the train is there, so I encouraged her to say "train". Next comes the "stay-dee-yum" where the Titans play, the "fort" where a lot of Nashville's early history is displayed, and the "river" or "water". And just before we get on the highway, we reach the "gasss stay-shun". She can't say all those words, but she does say "breeg!" for "bridge" and "choo choo" for the "train station" when we pass them.

It just absolutlely amazes me to watch her learn things. And even more amazing to know that Everett and I have been her teachers. What a wonderful way to make one's mark in this world.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bear. Hide.

Zoe's newest obsession - I mean game - is playing hide-n-seek in my closet. She'll either hide her bear ("Bear. Hide.") or hide herself ("Hide.") or hide with one of us ("Hide!" while pointing emphatically at Mom or Dad).

Then the fun begins.

She'll hide in the closet with her tiny little fingers peeking out through the louver doors. And then she'll stay there as you go through the house saying, "Zoe! Zoe! Where are you?" Sometimes she'll answer with "Zo-eeee! Where ah uuuuuu?" All while hiding.

This morning, she asked me to hide with her. So I got inside the closet with her. Everett was already gone, so I'm not sure who we were hiding from, but she told me to "Shhhhhh!" as she placed her little pointer finger over her mouth. So we stood there for a bit and then I counted "1, 2, 3!" and we opened the doors and yelled, "Surprise!" You can check out the video below from this weekend to get a good feel of just how fun this game can be!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hand in mouth

Sometimes I just gotta laugh at myself and think, "Poor Zoe. Your Momma's laughing at you and you have no idea."

Remember when we were kids and we thought our parents were so dumb? That they didn't have a clue? (Sorry Mom and Dad!) I remember thinking my folks didn't know when my sisters and I were playing "human ping pong" upstairs in our bedrooms when we were supposed to be sleeping while they were downstairs. I mean it's not like "human ping pong" wasn't loud! It involved each of my sisters sitting on their twin beds facing one another with their butts on the edge of each bed and their legs poised to pushed me away as I ricocheted off of one set of legs to another. Inevitability, one of my sisters would shoot me far away from the other sister's legs and I would end up crashing on the floor. Now why would I think my folks would hear me as they sat in the room below us? Needless to say, we got in trouble some nights!

But back to Zoe...she is getting to the stage now where she knows how to manipulate her parents by whining or fake crying to get her way. When I tell her "no" or "wait a minute", she gets angry. Her way of showing it is what's funny though. She shoves her whole fist into her mouth. Sometimes both of them. That's right - she gets angry and red-faced and the only thing the poor thing can do at that moment is to shove her hands in her mouth. "I'll show you, Mom! There! I've eaten my hand! Now what are you going to do?" I have to turn my head to keep from laughing.

Poor Zoe. Your Momma's laughing at you and you have no idea.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Ecstatic New Year!

Well this year started off with a bang...or rather a fizzzzzzzzz. I just KNOW that y'all remember after last Christmas when my computer died. That was fabulous! Well it wouldn't be a December if I had a working laptop! A second laptop has fizzled leaving a hard drive in its wake. All this to say I have no pics for you today, so you'll have to make due with my words.

Another year is upon us! And it's 2009! What could be better than a year that contains my two favorite numbers?! I have high hopes for this year. More love, more laughter, and more good times. Things may be bad in the world, but we are truly blessed. I know what you're thinking: is Leanne still feeling a little New Year's Eve buzz? Nope, it's just me being a little giddy.

It's just that I feel so much. I feel so much happiness, so much love, so much goodwill towards men and women, and so much luck. Sure, this year has been full of some doozies, but at the end of the day, I am still able to see (on-line) my folks and tell them I love them. I am still able to call Everett's parents and tell them I love them. I can still write my sisters and tell them I love them. I can still hug my friends and tell them I love them. I can still look around at my house filled with my things, my memories, my family and feel the love emanting from its pores.

It's so easy to be pessimistic. It's so easy to whine about this or that. It's so easy to forget just how lucky we are to be here, now, with each other.

My new year's resolution is to remember this feeling all year long.