Thursday, November 29, 2007

Big News!

This post is a few days tardy, my apologies, but the news is awesome! My brother-in-law (Kristen's brother for those of you that are family tree challenged) and his wife are expecting their first child!

We found out the great news last weekend during a family dinner. Celebrating Dave's 60th birthday, Ryan and his wife (Shannon) announced the news. Fantastic! Their due date is early June and the timing is perfect as they are renovating an old home on 5 acres of land outside of Ann Arbor testing Ryan's do-it-yourself homebuilding skills.

The whole family is incredibly excited. In less than a year, Dave and Kathy went from thinking there would be no grand kids to having two! And of course, Katie will be an aunt twice over. The question remains though, will she have a niece to go with the nephew!

The dinner was fantastic and took place at the restaurant of Tabor Hill - a notable Michigan winery. There was plenty of food to pass around, but Gilbert was the item of choice! Here are some pictures from birthday dinner.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Settling In. Maybe...

So, Thanksgiving has passed. Gil is a month old. A routine has begun to finally settle in at Casa de Johnson. Or has it?

What were once 3-4 hour feedings, have turned into a shark-like feeding frenzy. Gil seems to be hungry every 2-3 hours and often times needs a 'snack' to appease the hungry little man. And we thought this pattern was suppose to go in the opposite direction!

He's getting good feeds, but his appetite is voracious. Definitely taking after his father, but much to Kristen's chagrin. These changes translate to less sleep for her. Uh-oh.

And all that hair is starting to disappear. Hopefully it is not foreshadowing, but he's got some nice alleys developing in his hairline.

He seems to be changing daily. Facially more animated, clothes are no longer fitting, and his head is huge. Well, not Niepomnik huge (smiles!), but nonetheless!

So, life for Team Johnson has structure but is dynamic each and every day. Wouldn't want it any other way!

Check out Gil's reaction to the Bear's OT win.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mr. Bright Eyes

That is the term Kristen has coined for Gil when he's perfectly content with just 'being'. What baby doesn't enjoy the cuddly warmth of parents, family, and friends. But sometimes, he enjoys his 'Gil time'. I know so because he told me. Well, it was more of a telepathic connection, but now we're just talking semantics!

Regardless, I find it near impossible not to be engaged with him during every waking moment - his or mine! I'm in charge of bathing the little guy - or at least when I'm home - and this is our best time together. After the good bath, I wrap him up naked (his request) and we just 'hang'.

Included in this post are some of those moments.

Awesome, I must say. Just awesome.

Fully Exposed

Gil has now met all of his grandparents. As I mentioned in prior posts, my parents were in town for Thanksgiving for their first exposure to Gil and his first dose of Grandparent love from them. Here's a picture of the three of them. Gil's asleep. Imagine that.

Eat, sleep, poop, rinse, repeat...

Friday, November 23, 2007


Thanksgiving was fantastic! My parents arrived on Wednesday amidst the exodus of Chicagoans and arrival of well, shitty weather. The traffic was so severe, I couldn't get to the airport. So, I sent them on an adventure...taking the Orange Line from Midway in to the City. They survived, and Wednesday night was enjoying just the five of us hanging out and allowing them the opportunity to dote and get to know their grandson.

Thursday was all about me. Me cooking, me cleaning, me working hard. But I loved it. Kristen was able to relax, my Dad watched football, and my mom continued to hold Gil. Gil has been extremely loved! The weather continued to be questionable, with a good dusting of snow blanketing the city.

Friday, the skies cleared so we all ventured out for a walk to see the window decorations at Marshall Fields, er, Macy's on State Street. The wind was brisk so it was definitely an out-and-back kind of trip. The fresh air did everybody good, not to mention the walk began to burn the overload caloric intake from the night prior!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Preparing for the Invasion

The peace that is our home is about to be shattered. My parents are coming to town. This is their first opportunity to see Gil, so the poor guy needs to be prepared to be loved, held, talked to, and basically smothered for three days. The poor guy is going to be begging for some private time in his crib!

Now, mom and dad, you know I'm just kidding! But I may have to resort to extreme measures and slip Valium into their coffee.

This promises to be a great Thanksgiving and just another addition to our growing list of firsts. First Thanksgiving in the condo. Gil's first Thanksgiving. All good stuff.

As I write this post, Kristen and I are sitting in Gil's room eating a dinner of hodgepodge as we clear the fridge in preparation for the big turkey day leftovers. He's laying on his back just making noises, waving his arms, kicking his legs, making fists, and simply enjoying some Gil 'private time'.

He's still a bit stuffy, snorting occasionally and then chewing on whatever he sucked in. If only I could teach him how to hauck a luggie!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Joys of Snot

Yep, Gil has his first cold. He can thank Dad for that gift! Every damn year I get a cold, flu, or some sort of 'crud' when the seasons finally shift from warm to cold. Well, for me it arrived earlier in the week.

My typical defense is to flush my system with TheraFlu. I'm addicted to it. Liquid gold, I say. Well, despite my best efforts to self-medicate and limit my exposure to Gil (good luck with that!), he caught my cold late in the week. Poor little guy!

You should see the snot fly out his nose when he sneezes. Holy cow, Batman! The aspirator has become my best friend. I get the duty since I gave him the cold, my wife says. He'll tolerate one pull from each nostril, but go in a second time and he lets you know his position on being violated.

Sidetrack...I know my posts have described all the daily challenges we are facing as new P's, but I must admit parenting has been far.

Gil sleeps like a champ between feedings, basically is on a schedule which makes life convenient for Kristen, and is a treat to play with when I get home from work. He's rarely fussy, loves bath time (especially when you pour warm water over his head), and makes the best little smiles as he begins to drift to sleep. I'm getting goosebumps as I write this now.

Back to the story...

After a trip to Walgreens for a vaporizer, he seems to be clearing up. Of course, I was excited to buy a 'vaporizer' thinking it was some sort of space aged weapon that was used by Wiley E. Coyote in his fruitless attempts to get the Road Runner. So you can imagine my disappoint when I opened the box to find what looks like a damn humidifier!

But the real disappoint was missing Turkey Bash. For the unwashed masses, Turkey Bash is an incredible tradition (13 years? running) where good friends get together and celebrate with a Thanksgiving dinner. The best part is the night before when the 'guys' get together drink beverages, go bowling, and make the midnight run to the grocery store for supplies. We prepare the turkey and then the ladies arrive (now with kids in tow) with a side dish and we spend the day enjoying each others company. It pained me to miss the Friday festivities. Literally, I felt pain. First time I've been absent or not woken up with a hangover on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in nine years.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Family Guy

The title is duplicative. I'm watching Family Guy while I'm being a family guy. Gil has just gone down for what should be another great night of sleep. He's been fantastic during the night. After a tough first night at home, mom and Gil have mastered their nocturnal feedings.

He's three weeks old in a few hours and Kristen and I were just talking how it feels as if he's been with us for so much longer. I reminded her he has been. For almost 10 months!

We're already in to that routine - feed, do chores, eat, watch tv, and mom goes to sleep (dad reads/surfs the net/etc.) - so to maintain our sanity we make sure Kristen gets out each day. Much like walking the dog! Just kidding. Hope she doesn't read this post!

Okay parents, remember that first time your newborn let out an adult-sized fart? Kristen thought it was me and I was passing blame on Gilbert! Such false accusations.

Now, I know Gil is advanced and he demonstrated it today by rolling over! Well, it wasn't a real rollover since he started on his belly and rolled on to his back. I think it surprised even him. His eyes went wide and he let out a little cooh. Good times. No. GREAT TIMES!

Oh yeah, I think Gil is tired of the camera. Attempting to catch a photo of him, apparently I interrupted his private time in the papa san.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Who Likes To Be Naked?


All is well with Team Johnson. Mom and Gilbert are enjoying each other's company immensely. At least that is what he told me! Mom might have a differing opinion now that Gil has taken up the art of projectile vomiting after feedings! I have yet to witness this art, nor have I been peed on yet, so part of me feels I'm missing out! Really?

Everyday is wondrous as he adds to his repertoire of facial expressions and body movements. His strength seems to increase daily as well, at times it seems in leaps and bounds. Tummy Time last night produced huge results as he held his head up what seems to be for minutes (granted it was probably only 10-15 seconds, but still!) and enjoyed it! I think parachuting might be in his future. As his head goes up he arches his back and his legs and pelvis leave the ground too simulating a parachutist's position. But seriously...He amazes us everyday.

However, our days are not without challenges. He does get fussy and I can only imagine - as a mother - how that must try your emotions and patience as you attempt to sooth your child, sometimes without results. Well, we do what we think is best and hope it produces results!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Week 2 - Lots of Visitors!

Gil is now a whopping two weeks. My how they grow old so fast! Week 2 was a busy one. We were lucky to have both friends and family visit.

Tim, Jen and their daughter, Kathryn, stopped by for a visit and some time with Gil.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Kristen's mom (Taya) came in town for a few days to help Kristen settle in - and selfishly get time with her grandson!

Then, we were visited by Kristen's family and the battle for sharing Gil during their stunted time was fun to watch!

Looking to avoid cabin fever during Kristen's first week at home, we ventured out as well including a fun-infused birthday party for our friends - the Niepomnik's - daughter (1st birthday).

They rented out a gymnastic studio and let the kids run loose among the foam pit, trampolines, and other apparatus. I had to be reminded that the equipment was for the kids as I was enjoying jumping into the foam pit!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hollow Man

That is how I feel today. For the first time, I'm tired. Gil is still sleeping great through the night, but the consistent evenings of scheduled interrupted sleep have finally caught up with me.

Nietzsche said "Even the strongest have their moments of fatigue. Well, I'm fatigued!

Sitting at my desk, find myself wishing to be at home...with family! Add that it is Friday. Who really wants to be at work on a Friday?

So, what's a guy to do? Power through it, right?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Grandma is in the House!

One day into caring for Gil by herself and Kristen is already signalling the bullpen! Just kidding. Kristen's mom, Taya, is in town this week for a few days to get some 'Gil time' and help Kristen transition to flying solo during the weekdays.

Did I mention Taya brought steaks? Yes, juicy, thick fillets! Now that is how you win over my heart. Red meat! But seriously, it is nice to have her in town. Allows Kristen to grab some much needed shut eye during the day and have someone around for conversation while Taya gets to spend time with her grandson. Seems like a good deal, yes!

Day three of 'back to work' and all is well. I do find myself stealing away a few times a day to look at pictures I have of the little guy on my computer. Makes the day go by quicker knowing he's waiting for me (granted he's complete oblivious at this point) to come home.

Those of you with kids probably noticed this too, but I'm acutely aware of the small, subtle changes taking place with Gil. His facial expressions are increasing as is his strength. Everyday he seems to be developing muscle strength to hold his head up and my current favorite grip my finger and hold on tightly. As for his legs, he's definitely a kicker! Loves to flail those things around. Cracked me a few times in the process.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Like Father, Like Son

Why wear clothes around the house, when you can be NAKED instead! Here's Gil enjoying a little 'be free' time.

Today I'm back to work. Doesn't feel as strange as I expected. More like I've returned from a long vacation. I feel rested and relaxed. Got back into my normal routine by going to the gym in the morning and then preparing for my day as if nothing had changed. But oh has it!

While at the gym, I kept looking at the clock budgeting time so I could snuggle with Gil before having to prepare for work. And was it great. Dark (thanks to the change in Daylight Savings Time), warm, and him sleeping, we just rocked in the chair for a good 15 minutes. Pure bliss!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

As I write this post, Gil and I are hanging watching college football. I enjoyed watching my favorite team - Ohio State - dismantle my dad's alma mater - Wisconsin. The Michigan/Michigan State game just started and my wife - a MSU graduate - is showing her support by taking a nap.

So, it is just 'the guys' right now; bonding. We are in simpatico - a routine of sleeping, pooping, and changing of drawers (well, except me that is. I've evolved enough to find the 'john'.

I must admit since his arrival I've watched more college football in the last two weekends than I've seen all year! Definitely an unforeseen benefit!

Team Johnson continues to enjoy our week together. We've made an effort to get out each day, whether for a walk or a car trip to accomplish even the most menial of tasks. Gil, so far, has proven to be a great car rider. Either sleeping the entire trip or just sitting all cozy in his car seat waiting. For what, who knows!

The included photo is of his first use of the car seat. Not exactly a 'happy to be here' look on his face, but he was quite content on his first walk around the West Loop.

And for good measure, here's a picture of Mommy and son enjoying a little 'tummy time'.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What a Difference One Week Makes

This time last week we were in the final stages of preparing for Gilbert's arrival. Thursday was spent doing those things that most expectant couples do - last clean sweep of the house, confirm the bag is packed with all the necessities, track the contractions, etc. As I write this, exactly one week ago to the hour we were settling in to the Labor & Delivery room. What a difference a week makes!

And how the time goes by! Attempting to not think about it, but the arrival of Monday sits ominously in the back of my mind wondering how I'll be able to return to work, and actually work. But like a cold shower it comes to me, THE PAYCHECK! Duh.

On to better things...

Tonight was the first session of...TUMMY TIME! What fun. Gil bellied right up (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) to the task by curling his legs under himself and proceeding to fall asleep! After some cajoling, Gil warmed up, er, woke up and exceeded expectations. It only took a few minutes before he rattled off about 20 pushups! Then again, he has the support of his own personal trainer (see photo).

The joy he brings to our home is overwhelming. Kristen and I battle to hold him and just stare at the little guy, whether he's asleep or simply staring back with those deep, blue eyes. Truly amazing. But hey, as parents (whew, that is a scary word) you know what I'm talking about.