Friday, February 27, 2009


Kids loves to make sounds. Gilbert has learned one of the classics. Motorboat!He was going crazy making the sounds this morning so I went for the camera to capture it and he decided to be camera shy!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Last night Kristen was feeding Gilbert dinner when I got home from work. All kids have a smile. And there is their smile.

Well, Gilbert had it last night. The smile was a bit wider. His eyes were sparkly. It was just pure joy in that face. See what I mean...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Quiet Week

It has been quiet with Team Johnson. Just the routine. Gilbert has returned to normal. As normal can be as it always seems 'something' is going on with Little Man. Every day is a new development.

He's working so hard to communicate, but if only his sounds and words were intelligible! He's using the same sounds and pitch to describe what he sees. It is all just goobly gook, though! Bubbles are 'bubbaba'. Window is 'indo'. And the list goes on. Dada and Mama are staples. His cousin's name is Japser. We hear 'asp'.

But boy he understands what we are saying. Ask him to walk across the room and open/close a door? Done. Ask him to grab one of his favorite books by name from a pile of many. You bet! It is so much fun!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Father & Son Day

Kristen went to work on Sunday to get ahead on a new project. So that meant I had to play man-to-Little Man defense.

We decided to do a little coloring while watching Phil Mickelson win this weekend's PGA event. It was fun to color, er, draw scribble.

But I think Gilbert really was in it just for the treats and drinks!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Snuggly Saturday

When Gilbert wants comfort he usually gives Kristen the nod over me. However, Saturday was different. We had just finished feeding him breakfast and were contemplating packing up and heading back out to the suburbs to complete the trip that was derailed the weekend prior when Little Man puked in the car.
Going out was quickly scrubbed when Kristen turned around from cleaning up the kitchen to see this....

It is was clear Gilbert was still not feeling at his best and was sleepy to boot. So, we cuddled. It was awesome! Kristen threw Little Man's blanket over him and we just walked around. You can tell Gilbert was enjoying it. Check out the faint smile on his face. He quickly feel asleep and logged almost a two hour morning nap!

Refreshed, we did head out to the burbs. Specifically to the Design Expo, which unfortunately is a national chain owned by Home Depot and is going out of business. We went shopping for a new guest bathroom vanity, but instead snagged good deals on a ceiling fan for Gilbert and new faucet and light fixture for the master bath.

Looks like I'll be Tim the Toolman this weekend!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Little Man is sick. Last weekend we attended a sort of welcome home party for friends on assignment in Dubai. Well, one of the kids had a stomach bug (all parents were given forewarning!).

Two days later Gilbert caught the bug. In the car, strapped into his car seat he got sick. Poor guy! He slowly improved the next few days, but got sick again on Tuesday night and then again last night.

To exacerbate the situation, he received his MMR vaccination last week and a typical response is a slight fever. Add a third element - the arrival of his eye teeth resulting in potential ills, not to mention a running faucet of drool - and you have the perfect storm resulting in a sick Little Man.

Despite all this, he continues to smile and laugh, but is clearly not at his best. He wants to snuggle and be held. Particularly from his mommy! Last night was especially rough (he woke up from getting sick while sleeping) so Kristen cuddled with Gilbert and the two slept on the couch (she doesn't work on Fridays).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gilbert has begun to want to feed himself. He's always been good at docking the untensil to his mouth if we load it up with the food. With ever improving dexterity, Little Man now wants to put the food on his fork and spoon.

A scary endeavor for us as Gilbert's new skill promises flung food will result, but how else is Little Man going to learn to be self sufficient?

Next up? Cutting his own steak!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


We jest that Gilbert walks like Frankenstein. His arms are outstreched as he walks heavy-legged and sways from side to side as Little Man's weight shifts. Just another video to witness...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chef PJ

For this year's Hallmark Holiday, I volunteered to cook Kristen a nice, gourmet-like dinner. After some thought and research my menu was seared scallops over sun-dried tomato risotto with baked asparagus. Yum, indeed.

We don't indulge in seafood unless we are out for dinner (Kristen is not a big fan of it, although I could eat it everyday) and with Little Man going out has not been something we've done much of. Besides, we like wine and with an abundance of it at home it just seems silly to spend the $$$ when we have everything we need at home (and I think I can cook most meals equal to the restaurants, and do it healthier).

I chose scallops since this is one of the few items from the sea Kristen will eat. And scallops are incredibly tasty and very simple to prepare (season with salt, pan sear for 4-5 minutes in butter and oil and voila, dinnertime!). Also, scallops are a sustainable seafood. If you live in Chicago check out Dirk's seafood. He stocks only fresh stuff and buys only seafood and fish that are sustainable (avoiding further reducing the world's fisheries). To complete the dinner, the main entree was paired with a '94 Rioja.

Now dessert. If there is a requirement for this silly holiday it is chocolate. Awhile back I dog eared a recipe I read in Food and Wine for Chocolate Cookies with Malted Chocolate Filling. I am proud to say my cookies turned out just like the picture from the magazine. I am also proud at my improv skills. The recipe called for Ovaltine. I wasn't about to drop $5 on a can of that stuff knowing I'd never use it again. Instead, we had regular malted milk powder so I mixed it with milk chocolate cocoa powder and got the same result. Smart, I know!

Making these damn things took a few hours on Saturday, but admittedly it was fun to do. I cook a lot, but bake very little so I enjoyed the challenge. To go with the cookies, I caved and brought ice cream into the home. Just a simple vanilla to compliment the chocolate.

We exchanged cards while we ate, listened to music, just chit-chatted, polished off the bottle and relaxed.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Here is a video to attest Gilbert's love for the airplane walker!

Now that Gilbert is walking we reintroduced a push toy that his Gram - Kristen's mom - gave Gilbert for his birthday last year. Up til now he's enjoyed lifting up the seat and putting in and pulling out the shapes that also fit in the side of the fuselage.

It was Kristen's idea to see if he would push the toy. We walked out into the hallway set him up behind the airplane and off he went! Our hallway is quite long so Little Man had a nice long runway!

Unfortunately, he had trouble keeping the plane on that runway and often would walk straight into the wall! Yet to figure out how to reverse course he'd simply look to us to straighten out the plane! Regardless, he was so proud of himself walking with the toy and was just having so much fun!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gilbert's 15th Check Up

Spent the morning at the doctor's office so Gilbert could get his 21 point inspection, oil change, and tire rotation.

All is good. His stats continue to be consistent. Here you go for those keeping score at home...

  • Height: 32 1/8 (80th percentile)
  • Weight: 26 lbs (75th percentile) - feels like forty pounds!
  • Head girth: 19 3/4 (off the charts)

He keeps growing at the same clip every time. Something did change today, though. Now that he is walking the vaccination shots now go into his arm. Today was the MMR shot. For some parents, this is a hotly debated and incredibly emotional topic.

Looking out the window Gilbert's radar picked up a construction crane in the vicinity and he wanted to watch it the rest of the visit. Great distraction for the shots!

On that, a special court ruled on Thursday that there is no connection between MMR shots and autism. For those parents desperatly seeking a reason behind autism this is a blow to that theory. For Team Johnson, not getting the vaccinations was never even considered. However, I know some parents think differently. All I can say is by not vaccinating, all babies are put at risk their first year by being around kids that are not vaccinated. Very scary.

Gilbert is fast asleep and we are already enjoying our four day weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This Is Just Weird

Gilbert likes to pretend eat, but only in certain specific instance. He likes to touch my leg and then pretending he's taking food from/off it he'll put the fake food in his mouth.

And who says toe-jam doesn't taste yummy! But apparently Little Man ate too fast. Listen closely to the end of the video.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gilbert Likes Beer!

Short on dessert options for dinner, I thought Gilbert might enjoy a pull from my Sam Adams. Uh, yes!

After just one taste he was talking like a drunken sailor and signing for MORE! I think he has a career as a beer meister. Check out how he enjoys the aroma.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rookie Mistake

I'm watching the President give his first address (waiting for 24 to start!) and you can tell he's a bit nervous. How? He's talking too much and trying to hard to impress upon people the stimulus plan.

I do coaching for presenting and one tip is to pause between sentences. As a speaker that moment of silence - which is truly a split second - seems like eternity to the person speaking. What happens is the person keeps talking and fills the silence with words like 'um' and 'and'. President Obama made those rookie mistakes. Too many times he made a profound statement only to continue to talk filling the air with words and as a result dilute his message. I'm sure his speak will be studied by his team and he'll be coached. Cut him some slack, though, as he said in his speech he has inherited a lot of this mess.

More Walking

Gilbert's evolution to bipedalism continues to advance. Now he can stand up from a squat position. And move quickly he does. Sometimes forgetting how to stop. It reminds me of when I first learned how to ice skate. All the speed, but no stopping power!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Winding down our Saturday, we were all lounging on the bed (Kristen is not feeling well). To keep Gilbert entertained (as opposed to going after my blackberry on the nightstand!) I brought in a few books for him to entertain himself with.

When Little Man decides he wants to relax, the arms go up behind his head and he reclines. Makes us laugh everytime!

Gilbert has one book that is nothing but picture of animals. He's begun to recognize certain animals (dog, cat, duck, etc.) and attempt to name them each.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

First Steps?

Most days we work to get Gilbert walking. Kristen and I will sit apart from each other and assist Gilbert in walking back and forth. He gets so excited the legs go fast, the arms reach out and inevitably he falls our outstretched arms.

His balance has begun to improve. We noticed that when Little Man is distracted from what he is doing, his balance and walking is much better. It is almost as if he realizes he' standing up or walking and goes "Whoa!"

Last night was a breakthrough. First steps? You be the judge!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Water Park Dinnertime Chaos

In my earlier post I mentioned the chaos that was our Saturday night. I attempted, feebly so, to capture all the kids in pictures. Yeah, right!

Even with the super duper camera back in action, I was unable to get a clear picture. I even found a setting that instructed the camera to track and focus on kids faces (cool feature, not very effective)! I think the camera even gave up attempting to get a clear shot of four rambunctious and one docile child (J likes to sit and watch!). In this photo, Gilbert demonstrates the proper technique in performing a Vulcan Mind Meld on K.

Tired of playing with the little 'boys', big girls K and M, retire to watch some Nick at Nite.

And my favorite. M's little brother K is on the lookout as Gilbert makes a run at the adult cooler.

Water Park Fun

The weekend was spent at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. Team Johnson visited with some friends in what was an enjoyable weekend for all.

Boasting the largest water park in the US (every water park had this accolade on its roadside sign as we drove north), Kalahari was an expansive resort. If felt like Vegas, without the lights and gambling.

Indeed the water park was fun. As expected we spent the bulk of the time in the zero entry area where the non-walkers and truly little people were in abundance. And Gilbert loved it! At first, he was scooting throughout the water, but the farther he ventured out, the higher the water became and once he could not scoot anymore, he'd actually attempt to stand up and walk! Balance still wobbly, he'd hold on to one of our hands and do laps around the pool.
He was either fixated on the stairs that led to some slides, wanted to play with the geyser sprays, or attempted to climb up a slide. Since we had a big group, the parents would take turns watching while the others visited other areas or went down some of the larger tube slides.

On Saturday, we hung out in the suite, made dinner and just chatted. However, that proved to be a challenge with the zoo of kids crawling, scooting, and running around. Not to mention the deafening decibels they could reach with talking, screeching and screaming in delight and demand!

Sunday morning we spent a few hours to close out the trip and then headed home. Definitely thinking this needs to be an annual pilgrimage!