Thursday, April 30, 2009


Gilbert likes mulch. Used often as the base for most playgrounds, no outing is complete without a romp in the mulch. He loves to pick up clumps of the stuff and watch it sift through his hands! However, Little Man is a bit particular about having unsticky, undirty, unwet hands. So, after the mulch experiment is over he is quickly looking to us for a wipedown!

Family Photo

During our trip to Nashville, we did an outing to the zoo. A little background. My friends are comprised of four siblings (three boys, one girl). Three are married and have spawned offspring for a total of six kids! Throw in Team Johnson and it was a convoy of strollers and little people loose on zoo grounds! What a blast!

The Nashville Zoo is impressive. Nice to see what can be done with wildlife when acreage is not an issue. A distinct difference from the urban zoos in Chicago. Both are good, just different. The Nashville Zoo is spread out. Waaaaay out! So, the kids had the opportunity to run, walk and be thoroughly exhausted by the end. Made for some good afternoon naps! Gilbert slept 2 1/2 hours. As did his daddy!
For Gilbert, his eyes were wide in amazement. The first wild zone we ventured upon had gibbons chattering and dancing among the trees. Little Man was in a trance watching the primates interact. As a parent, it was gratifying to see Gilbert connect the pages in his books with the 'real thing'. He even made a few monkey sounds along the way!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Staying at our friend's house in Nashville, they inherited a playhouse. All the kids were drawn toward it during the big party following the trip to the zoo. It was quite warm in there and you can see Gilbert quickly became flushed.

Despite the temps, I couldn't get him out of there. He was thoroughly entertained running around inside and jumping up and down on the wood sub-floor! However, as he increasingly became red in the face I had to yank him out of there!

Gilbert's Buddy

Gilbert has a good buddy in Nashvile...Tommy. These two are separated only by six weeks. Completely differently little people it is sooo much fun to see then play together or at least play in parallel! At the zoo, in the park, and just hanging out they are pure joy to be around!

Airplane Ride

Our trip to Nashville was a fantastic weekend. And Gilbert being a great flyer only makes air travel that much more enjoyable (or bearable depending on the airline!). As you can see, he likes it.

Oh yeah, I recommend Southwest. With the open seating, we plop Little Man in the middle and unless the flight is completely full no one wants to be that person to force a child to ride in the lap of a parent!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One More Day...

For those of you eagering waiting for photos and stories from our weekend trip, sorry, but I forgot to bring my camera to work. So, please be patient. Just one more day...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Road Trip

Team Johnson is spending the weekend in Nashville. Lots of pixs once we return. For all the stalkers that are now going to attempt to break into our condo, please don't drink my beer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Breaking Bad

Gilbert is testing us. The latest is he will climb up on a chair and then stand up. Whether it is his little chair or our kitchen table chairs, as he is climbing and then standing he'll look over at us to get a reaction. We are doing the typical response, but wonder what you have done in the past to break the bad behavior.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Day At The Park

Saturday was a beeuuuteeful day! We spent as much of it as possible at the park. We were able to get some great photos of Gilbert.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Umbrella

It is a rainy day, today, in Chicago. I was in the bedroom getting dressed when all of a sudden Gilbert walked in and brought me my umbrella. How nice!

Turns out Kristen and Gilbert were looking out the window in his room and in observing all the people walking on the street she said that it was raining and that people had their umbrellas. Gilbert left his room walked to the hall closet, opened the door, and grabbed my umbrella from two others and brought it to me.

Big hugs for the Little Man!

Friday, April 17, 2009

One Step Back

Hopefully I'm typing coherently, because I'm sure not thinking so! Kristen and I are beginning to take on a zombie-like state of being. Why so, you ask?

Well, Little Man - this week - has decided that 5am is an acceptable time to wake up!

Kristen and I have become accustomed to 6, 6:30, even 7am. But 5am? No way! And Gilbert is not happy at that time either. He's grumpy and wants to be held. And when that doesn't happen he gets even more grumpy. All this slows down our morning prep for the day. Not fun.

And as a result, he's going back to two naps on some days. All this is a bit of a set back from the prior weeks. Hopefully we can right the ship this weekend. Otherwise, we might actually turn into braindead zombies!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Help me!

See this picture? I am giving the sign for 'please'. As in "PLEASE PUT SOME DAMN CLOTHES ON ME!"
This isn't Family Guy. I'm not Stewie. This is Chicago. It is a typical crappy, cold Spring. The only thing between me and 30 degree temperatures is this diaper and a 1/2 inch pane of glass that is 10 feet wide! How warm can that be! Jeez.

And then there is this picture. They want me to work on doing my business on a potty. Whatever that is. I go and do it and then, SNAP, it is picture time. Then they wonder why I sneak off into the corner. TO GET SOME DAMN PRIVACY!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday

Come Sunday, the family had assembled. Kristen's brother and his family, her sister, parents, and Team Johnson totalling 13 warm bodies (including the dogs!). Good times.

Unfortunately, Kathy twisted her knee on Saturday night, so she and was couch-ridden for the weekend. So we just congregated around her. Gilbert was all over the place. Opening kitchen cabinets (surprising since he doesn't do it at home) and chasing 'black dog' around.

We did an egg hunt for Gilbert and at first he was oblivious, but did warm up to the concept of hunting and gathering.

But in the end, all he wanted to do was be thrown into the air. And you know his daddy didn't pass up on that opportunity.

Definitely heavier, it was a physical effort to hoist Little Man into the air and definitely required focus to make sure his near 30 lbs of downward force didn't go through my hands! Click on the picture and see the elation on Gilbert's face!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Cold Afternoon At The Park

After wearing out the tiger, Gilbert and Kristen drove home to MI to start the weekend (I stayed behind to do catch up on work - and watch the Masters! - and took the train out that night.)

Kristen planned to meet a few of her childhood friends and they all met up at the local park. Kids abound! Despite the sun, it was quite cold. I still think they had a good time, but can only imagine having to corral the kids!

Kristen's dad was there to and with a wagon in tow, Gilbert enjoyed being pulled around by one of the other boys!

The girls did manage to get all the kids to sit still for at least a few moments to snap some photos. Look at all those smiles!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Weekend

Was a busy one for Team Johnson. Posts over the next few days will be all about the fun weekend!

To get us started, we spent Saturday morning opening up Gilbert's care package from my parents.

They sent a police car that was filled with plastic egs loaded with M&M's. Little Man experienced his first and we had to immediately pick up the eggs as he wanted to open and eat all the M&M's.

Along with the eggs were a few toys and the police car - when you push the siren - shouts out police calls such as "Calling all cars. Calling all cars. Be on the lookout for a white furry bunny." Of course, Gilbert found this to be utterly amusing and repeated pushed the siren.

But the best gift of all was the boxing tiger. Press the foot and Eye of the Tiger starts to play and the stuffed tigers arms swing like it is punching. Oh yeah, the tiger is dressed in boxing garb. Gilbert could not get enough of the tiger. He'd pick it up, stand up, and dance as the song played.

Then he learned that if you pressed the start button, you could stop it. Hit the button again, and the song would start over. Yes, you know where this is headed. For the ten minutes, all we heard was, "Rising Up." "Rising Up." "Rising up, back from the streets." "Rising Up, back front the street.. Did my time. Took my chances." Rising Up." Do I need to go on?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Taking Care of Business

When we lowered Gilbert's bed a few weeks ago, we also brought home a potty for the Little Man. We just set it out in the bathroom and haven't done much with him about it. The past week we have slowly started to show and talk to him about what the potty.

Well, got a call today that Gilbert walked into the bathroom sat down on the potty and proceeded to take care of business...Doooty! (Caddyshack reference for ya!). Granted he was dressed, but talk about a small victory! After a few grunts he got up and walked out of the bathroom. Guess we need to get him some reading material!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dish Helper

Gilbert loves to help unload the dishwasher! He'll pull out the bottom tray and pull out the utensils and hand them over to Kristen or me to put away. Finding that boring, he's been branching out and now is pulling the flatware. No breakage yet, but with a tile floor a broken dish is inevitable!

Crazy Week

Sorry for not posting, but it has been one of those weeks! First, good news is we were notified that Gilbert can begin his daycare/school at Montessori next month. Bad news is that the end is near for Kristen the Nanny. And that is sad. Gilbert loves her dearly and she has been fantastic! Obviously she will still babysit for us, but it will not be the same.

Then my firm announced widespread layoffs. Nope, I'm safe, but the mood in the office has been tense all week. Management handled all of it spectacularly, but the impact was indelible.

Other stuff has been going on, but those highs and lows equal a distracted PJ.

Monday, April 6, 2009


This past weekend Kristen and I enjoyed the weekend Gilbert free. No, we didn't lock him in his room while we were out! Kristen's Mom, Taya, offered to keep Little Man for a weekend. Who can say no to that offer!

So, on Friday Kristen spent the day getting Gilbert acclimated to his weekend surroundings and was back home in time to do her wifey duties and clean the condo!

We spent Friday night knocking out the bs of life - chores, grocery, etc. - and finished off the evening with some cold beers while watching Pineapple Express. Saturday we got up early and went for a walk crosstown to catch a pre-matinee (10am!). From there off to the gym, followed by an afternoon nap and then out for the evening to watch the Final Four! Sunday we slept in, woke naturally without the aid of an alarm and then heading out to snatch up our Little Man! The weekend went fast, but was just what we needed to recharge.
Admittedly, it was a bit weird to have a quite home. No Little Man walking around squawking. No timetable for feeding or bathing. And the topping? Sleeping in!

What did Gilbert do? Hmm. He has learned how to share his food with a dog. Now knows how to pet cats and dogs softly (no slapping or grabbing fur!), and was treated to a burger, fries, and ice cream from McD's. The spoils of staying with grandparents!
He also went to the local zoo which gave him plenty of space to walk around.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Finger Painting

Who likes to fingerpaint? This guy!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gilbert's Namesake

Yesterday Little Man finally met the guy that we got his name from. College friend John Gilbert was in town for work so we were able to meet up for dinner and drinks. It has been a few years since we saw each other last so it was great to catch up.

Gilbert was shy at first having someone new in the home, but quickly warmed up and we actually were able to keep him still long enough to snap a few pics!