Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Up and Down

Little Man is definitely mobile. Still not walking freely, he has learned how to climb and ascend the furniture. It is so much fun watching him work to get up and down. The below video also captures one of his favorite things to do...dive into his blankee!

Since this video was shot, Gilbert is an expert at getting down from the sofa. He is swift and fearless. One of these times he is going to go down too fast and land hard, but not yet!

Christmas Day Tradition

Since my P's moved to Houston (back in '94) Christmas Day became atypical as it is always warm, usually sunny and definitely not snowy! As a result, come the afternoon we began going to see a movie on Christmas Day.

That tradition has held throughout the years and this year Kristen and I enjoyed a night out while the grandparents stayed home with Gilbert. Kristen wanted to see Bedtime Stories and it seemed an appropriate movie for the day.

The theatre was filled with kids and families. The movie did not disappoint. In typical Sandler fashion he provided laughs for all and as with all his movies found a way to inject his favorites '80's music.

After the movie was over I convinced Kristen to sneak into another movie. This time we saw Quantum of Solace. I'm a Bond fanatic and loved being able to see this movie for a second time (saw it the day prior with my dad. Another tradition. We have seen every Bond movie - sans the Timothy Dalton movies - since 1979 when he took me to my first Bond movie - Moonraker).

Quantum rocked! I loved Casino Royale and its departure from the prior films that were dominated by gadgets and cheese. Quantum was not as stellar as Casino Royale, but successfully continues on with the more gritter approach to Bond. Definitely a must see!

To complete the movie trifecta, I brought The Dark Knight along to Houston. This movie is one of the best I have seen in quite awhile. I saw it at the theatres during the summer, but admit I missed a lot of the nuances that I caught the second, third, and fourth time I watched it this week (okay, yes, I like movies!). If you have not seen The Dark Night you are missing out. Yes, Heath Ledger's performance is truly amazing, but the movie was shot almost entirely in Chicago and done so in the raw. And the movie is a tense 2 1/2 hours of moral conflict for every character. What is really cool are the myriad of posters that were done used in promotion. Some were quite disturbing seeing them in advance of the movie, but in reflection captured the madness that existed in the movie and the characters. Check out the posters here. It will be added to my DVD collection!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Big Boy Chair

Gilbert has this fantastic chair that was given to us as a gift when he was born. Still a bit tall for Little Man, we brought it out for him on Sunday so he could eat with us as we watched the Bears, read the paper, and just relaxed.

He loved it! Never attempted to get down, he ate his food, watched the game, and just enjoyed sitting in his 'big boy' chair.

Momentary Lapse of Reason

It was -30 degrees when we departed last Monday for Houston. It was 70 degrees on Christmas Day. With the 100 degree swing in temps, I was lured into the belief the water was warm in my P's pool (forgetting it has been going down into the 30's for the past few weeks).

Wanting to enjoy a nice dip, I jumped in. Should have checked the pool water temp - mid 50's! Let's just say the water was refreshing!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Dinner Debacle

Well, not really a debacle, more like a clog. A clog in the kitchen sink! I had peeled potatoes as part of the dinner prep and my mom, for some reason!, decided to put the peeled skins down the disposal.

You know what came next. The sink quickly clogged and water began to backflow into the other sink. Dinner was nearing completion so a non-functioning sink was not acceptable.

The scene in the kitchen was tense for a few moments, but enter Patrick the Plumber to solve the problem!

I quickly dispatched the clog (having clogged my share of drains before - don't ask about the asisan slaw incident of 2006) and my lovely wife was so kind to help...by snapping a photo of my backside. At least there wasn't a 'plumber's crack!'

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in Texas

We spent the past week celebrating Christmas in Houston. Staying with my parents, my sister and my niece came down for part of the week as well. Because my brother-in-law had to work we opened presents throughout the week. In part because it seemed silly to wait until the end of the week for the kids to open the presents that they could play with!

So, we opened a few presents on Tuesday, Christmas Eve, and again on Christmas Day. My niece, Maddie is 1 1/2, and with Gilbert just north of a year, the impact of Christmas Day is still limited so for them opening presents every day was fine by them!

Maddie is the antithesis of Gilbert. Cancelling out Gilbert's calm, reserved demeanor is Maddie's fun energy. We attempted to get a picture of both in front of the tree, but Maddie was so happy and excited, she was just a blur in every photo. Dressed in red, I thought I had pictures of the Flash! Regardless, they both looked, er, adorable in their holiday best!

Maddie did slow down long enough to help Gilbert inspect is booty of presents.

It was interesting to observe as the two interacted. Especially in a few instances when Maddie would 'borrow' one of the toys Gilbert was playing with. Sometimes he had a bewildered look on his face like 'what just happened?' or you could see him get his dander up, his brow furrow, and then reach out to reclaim his item. Sometimes with success, most often not. But the moment would be quickly lost and Little Man would move on to the next available toy. The two were great in sharing. If you asked one to give the item to the other, without hesitation they would extend their arm with toy in hand. Quite fun to watch!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Heading Home

Team Johnson has been in Houston all week visiting my P's. This is the first time I've been on the computer all week (post dated the Christmas post)!

Been nice to be away from the electronics. The tele was on barely as well (expect to watch movies!). The weather has been warm, then again anything is warmer than Chicago right now!

Lots of pictures and fun stuff to blog about, but Gilbert's asleep so the clock is running on getting all packed up and ready! As a teaser here is a photo of Little Man in a festive mood!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.


Kristen, Patrick & Gilbert

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gilbert's 1st Snow

Saturday night brought more snow to Chicago. Being condo-bound all day we thought it would be fun to get out and get Gilbert into the snow! Kristen bundled up Little Man as if he was Ralphy's younger brother...flexibility was limited! Heading to the neighborhood park the snow was a plenty.

Not sure what to do at first, Gilbert just sat in the snow and looked around. He did catch on to the snow falling and would point at the individual flakes as each fell to the ground. Others were in the park as well, some attempting to sled, and he was more interested in watching them.

Eventually he started to move around - again limited mobility! - and scooted down the hill. He also walked around a bit with assistance and really enjoyed it!

Our time didn't last long - maybe 20 minutes - as it was quite windy and getting colder by the minute. By the time we departed, Gilbert's cheeks and nose were quite rosy!

Gilbert and Dad @ Gymboree

On Friday I ended my work week early and with Gilbert went to Gymboree. Kristen is/was not feeling well so I thought a few hours of quiet would be appreciated. That and I love going to Gymboree and miss it terribly now that Gilbert goes during the week. Hey Sarah and Rebecca where were you!

Gilbert loves Gymboree. Friday is open and gym and kids are free to do what they want. Called it organized chaos. Most parents just sit and watch from a distance allowing their child to explore.

Gilbert still has yet to walk, but he's mobile and now loves to climb and bounce. See below (sorry I shot the video in the wrong orientation and can't rotate!). He's still an observer first, participant second so a lot of his time he's watching the other kids while doing his thing!

Little Man is beginning to scale. Furniture, stairs, etc. To lure him up the stairs I used the camera case. Watch him go.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Morning Lounging

Kristen has not been feeling well all week. So Saturday morning I granted her a desired wish...To sleep in!

Little Man wakes up around 6/6:30 and then goes back to sleep around 9am. Those three hours were golden for Kristen as she got to sleep. After making Gilbert some breakfast (scrambled eggs, a left over pancake and some applesauce) we retired to the sofa for a little climbing fun.

I've posted many times how Gilbert loves looking out the balcony into the city. Well, this morning was not different. What was different is he was hamming up a bit for the camera. Enjoy!

Done posing for the camera, he starting staring out the window and I quickly realized he was 'taken care of some business'!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Post-Bath Playtime

After Gilbert's has his nightly bath and bottle he's lately wanted to play. Little Man really enjoys looking out the balcony doors to see the city all lit up!

But I really think he just likes being naked!

Picture Time!

Ah, the 1 year photos. Or in this case the 13 month photos! Kristen has been attempting since Gilbert turned 1 to get some photos. For a variety of reasons we kept putting it off. Well, the photos were finally taken. Forgoing all the pomp, she went to Babies'R'Us and just did the quick shoot. And the results are below. I give her credit. She did her best to avoid any cheesy scenery or goofy poses. So which picture is your favorite?






Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time To Donate

I took the day off of work today (dentist appt. etc.) and with a few hours to kill before heading out I'm going through my closest looking for clothes to donate. Team Johnson does this every year. In part for the tax deduction, but more of a reminder that is it better to give than receive.

I challenge you to look in your closest for clothes to donate.

The litmus test...if you didn't wear it this past season, donate it!

Early Christmas Present For Gilbert

A box arrived yesterday for Gilbert. Mom didn't know it was coming either. That is because Dad bought it! I thought Gilbert's room could use a little color, so I bought new flooring!

Well, not exactly. I've always liked those rubber mat floors with letters and numbers that can be pulled out. It is an educational tool, right? That's what I tell myself. Just like I bought the Wii for physical fitness. Who am I kidding. I thought it was just be cool to buy!

And Gilbert loves it. He actually crawls across it. Must feel soft on his knees and he's in turbo-gear scooting on it too!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Making Fun of Family

I brought the Wii to the family Christmas this past weekend. It was their first exposure to the game experience and it is safe to say they are all hooked. By the time the day was over everyone was contemplating buying a Wii the next day.

We all have a competitive nature and the Wii seems to bring it out. Whether it was tennis, bowling, or boxing watching family vs. family was quite entertaining.

But not as entertaining as watching the flailing of arms and bodies playing the game! My father-in-law was addicted to bowling. My brother-in-law took particular pleasure knocking out his wife in boxing, and my sister-in-law swore like a sailor playing just about every game (I didn't realize how competitive she could be!). Oh yeah, there was plenty of bruises too as spatial boundaries were violated by swinging arms and hands!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Michigan Christmas

This past weekend was spent in MI celebrating Christmas with Kristen's family. Gathering at her parents house along with her brother's family we enjoyed a day of fun and food!

It was a festive day with the house decorated in holiday spirit. We attempted to take a few family photos, but keeping Gilbert still is now quite a task. Once a ham for the camera, he is much more interested in being mobile than even pausing for a split second! Regardless, we did manage one photo where Little Man was not a complete blur!

We all gathered for opening presents, mostly for Gilbert and his cousin! With paper and boxes strewn across the floor, Gilbert was much more interested in that (and the dogs) then the actual presents.

His favorite you ask? The bell that was part of the ribbon wrapped around a present. He just shook that bell throughout the day. It made its way home and is now part of his toy entourage.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


That is the sound Kristen makes playing our new Wii! Yep, I succumbed to my urge (been fighting it for months) and bought the console last week. With the winter blowing our faces - everyday! - and being home bound most nights, I thought having a Wii would be good for Kristen and I and keep us off the couch.

Who am I kidding. I wanted the Tiger Woods game!

But seriously, in just a week Kristen has become semi-addicted, but no near matching my full-own monkey on my back addition! My bedtime has definitely become later in the evening!
Wii comes with some sports games such as bowling, boxing and tennis. She's hooked on the tennis, but she needs to learn spatial relations. I've been hit numerous times by her as she swings wildly with the controller as she simulates hitting the tennis ball!

Wii has some unexpected surprises. You can build a Mii which is a digital version of yourself and it is customized to look as you want it. Tall, short; skinny; fat. Pick the face shape, hair, eye, and skin color; glasses/no glasses and the list goes on. As you play the games you build experience and Mii's skills improved. You can actually create a Mii that closely resembles your real-life look. How boring!

In just the first night it was evident why Wii is a hit. I was a sweaty mess after a few boxing matches. Nothing feels better than pummeling a virtual opponent!

I'd love to talk about Tiger Woods golf, but then this post would be come a book!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mountain Climber

Well, maybe stair climber is more appropriate! Living in a condo, we have no stairs. The only object that resembles a stair or some apparatus Gilbert can scale is the foot stool for his rocking chair.

Yesterday morning I was playing with him when he did his usual stand up on it and then smoothly picked up his left leg and climbed the first step.

I immediately wondered how high he would go so I built a little make shift set up to test it out. On only his second attempt he got where he needed to be!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Now You See Me...

Gilbert's physical development has taken off in the past few weeks. His scooting has reached a new gear of speed and now he's gone retro and begun crawling. As for climbing, Little Man is pulling up on everything and testing out the machinery...up on his toes, bending/bouncing at the knees, holding on with one hand, etc. And it is fun to watch!

What has been the most noticeable is his increased level of coordination. He'll snatch objects that he drops quickly, grab swiftly at anything within reach, and with karate-like speed knock spoonfuls of food across the room. Oh joy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sleepy Sunday

Sorry, I left this post in draft! And yes, he did get a haircut. His second. Amazing how much older he looks. It goes so fast!

Sunday was a lazy morning. Gilbert was up late as he and Kristen were at a friend's holiday open house (I was working, thank you very much!).

He woke up and played with us in the bedroom. Kristen and I were ready to get up and moving, but not this guy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Gilbert is climbing up on everything now! Love it! His latest fav is to scale the rocking chair. And once he gets upright he feels like dancing!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mystery Light

I'm working late again and just a few minutes ago I could hear Gilbert give a 'shout out'. I hurried in so he wouldn't wake Kristen up via the monitor.

To my surprise a light was on in his room. Huh? I looked at Gilbert. Gilbert looked at me. Both of us had a "What the hell is going on" look on our face. He's probably thinking, "Who's the jackass that turned on the light while I was sleeping!" It was clear the light woke him up.

I actually said to him, "Who turned on the light?" Like he's gonna answer! He did give me this shaken head thing as if to say, "I don't know. In fact I was going to ask you the same question!"

Turns out one of the lamps has a faulty connection. I knew this. Whoever used the lamp last (Kristen!) must have thought the light had been switched off only to dislodge the connection. Somehow the switch reconnected and the room was flooded with CFL light (energy conscious, thank you!).

I'm pleased to report that after some good snuggles with the Little Man he is now soundly back to sleep!

I Can Hold My Own Bottle, Thank You!

Gilbert has finally showed an interest to hold his own bottle. He mastered holding the sippy cup awhile ago, but for some reason Gilbert has shown zero interest in holding his milk bottle. In fact, he's gone as far as holding his hands out and away as if to say, "I cannot be bothered to hold my own bottle!"

For some reason that started to change in recent weeks. Now, he's all about holding the bottle. Except his morning bottle. Maybe because he's still sleepy. Whatever the reason, Little Man prefers to snuggle in and let his P's hold the bottle!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hair Of The Dog

Gilbert likes to play with. Gilbert has been around dogs before, but not like this. Usually he's in our arms or in the stroller or sees the dogs from a distance.

Three dogs were present for Thanksgiving and set free to scoot Gilbert chased them around for the first hour we arrived. Not being able to catch the dogs, he changed tactics and stealthly approached while the dogs slept. The victim in this instance is Zoe. But Gilbert came bearing gifts. A big hug!