Saturday, May 30, 2009

At The Park

Following the recommendation of O for 2, we visited Holstein Park over the weekend. When we arrived, the park was empty. Then again, we were there at 8am!

Yes, 8am. Now that Gilbert is going to school, he is expecting to be out the door and doing activities on the weekend morning. Need to teach him the art of relaxing. Probably need to teach it to myself as well!

He must have thought we were taking him to school, as he chanted his teachers name the whole way to the park!

It was a cool morning and overcast, but nice. Gilbert loved the park. He was not happy when departed. I had to carry him out! Each time I set him down to walk, he did a u-turn and started to run back!

Friday, May 29, 2009


One night last week, Gilbert was particularly playful. Getting him undressed for his bath, Little Man's shirt flopped over his head. He was giggly and running around so we snapped some photos. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Here Come the Words!

This clip is from last weekend. Gilbert was reading his favorite new book, The Little Engine that Could.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Sunday was spent at Grandma and Grandpa house with Aunt Katie too. I thought it was Memorial Day, but it definitely felt like Labor Day!

I helped my father-in-law get the pool ready. That entailed cleaning off the pool cover which had a decaying swamp of decomposing leaves, tree branches, and other 'stuff' from the winter. And from there I had cover cleaning duty. Then we pulled out the patio furniture, cleaned the garage and disassembled the table in the sunroom. What a way to spend the holiday! But seriously, it felt really good to do some manual labor after being tethered to my desk all week! The sun was out, had a good sweat going and it made the cold beer taste that much better!

The whole famiy was pitching in to help. Even Gilbert!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Little Man's Big Boy Table

At school everything is little people size. When it comes time to east at home, Gilbert runs to his yellow chair, sits in it and waits for his food to come to the coffee table. Realizing this was not a good habit and wanting to avoid the high chair, Kristen went to IKEA and purchased Little Man his own table and chairs. We keep it next to the adult table and it works out great!

He sits at the table and will eat and drink in a relatively orderly manner! We often will sit on the floor next to the table to eat our breakfast or just to keep him company. He loves it!
He will also play - if not for very long! - at the table working on his 'project'!

Saturday...Part 2

Come lunchtime Gilbert was an exhausted Little Man. We didn't expect to get him to nap considering all the activity, but Gilbert was clearly tired. I went for a run in the countryside (quite nice!) and when I came back to the house, this is what I found on the bed.

After waking from his nap, it was back outside for more fun. Many beers had been consumed so Little Man entertained himself by loading the empties into a six-pack carry case (along with his sippy!) and walking around. Parched from his efforts, he decided to partake himself!

Besides, at school the kids have to drink from cups so I thought why not teach Gilbert how to drink from a bottle. Beer bottle!

Then, nothing says I'm in the country like slogging down some brew and getting behind the wheel. The wheel of a riding lawnmower! Little Man was treated to a spin around the yard with his Uncle Ryan!

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

We spent the holiday weekend with family. First stop...Gilbert's cousin's house. Jasper turns 1 so the time had arrived for his first birthday party. The weather was awesome on Saturday. Cold-ish in Chicago, the Ann Arbor area was quite warm and sunny. Loved it. We spent the day outside at their farmhouse where we had picnicked!

When you see Jasper and Gilbert together the differences are evident. The funny thing is that they will be in the same class growing up with Gilbert being one of the older kids and Jasper being one of the youngest.

We also joke that the two of them will be, City Boy, Country Boy. Gilbert will visit to get his dose of outdoor life while Jasper comes to Chi-town to see buildings taller than three stories!

But what matters is they have fun together. Both are quite inquisitive around each other, wanting to touch, point, and sometimes push!


For those of you wondering where I've been, the answer is I'm not sure! The line between work and home blurred beyond recognition this past week to the point the two were indistinguishable.

That said, a lot has been happening with Team Johnson and with Gilbert. I'll be posting more over the new few days.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I couldn't resist. Last night this is how we found Gilbert sleeping as we snuck in to give him some goodnight kisses. So I had to take a picture.

And this is the soundtrack that accompanied his sound sleep.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to Kristen!

I thought this posted, but mistakenly put it in draft.

Today is Kristen's birthday! A wife, a mother she is like no other. And is now one year older!

I struggled with this post. Do I dig up incriminating photos for all the world to see? Or do I post a nice photo of you? Perhaps with Gilbert? Oh the choices. But, like typical man, I forgot!

Nonetheless, I'll show you how much I love you when I get home the way you I know best...

By not begging and pleading!

Happy Birthday, Babe!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Modern Art

The Art Institute opened to the public its new Modern Art wing. Saturday was free admission so Team Johnson (along with the rest of Chicago!) decided to go check it out! From the building where I work, I look south across Millennium Park and the institute so I've been watching the wing being constructed for so time. Additionally, a ped bridge has been built connecting the park patrons to the museum removing foot traffic from having to cross the street. Very cool.

Saturday was gorgeous in the City.And the park and institute was bustling with life! We walked through the park - witness to thousands walking as well and relaxing on the grass of the open air theatre - on our way to the institute via the bridge. A stage had been set up and we could hear live choir music from a few blocks away. Target was sponsoring the free day so the Target Bullseye was everywhere! All of the staff at the institute were donning red fleece vests with the logo as well. The company went all out to promote the day!

The new wing was interesting. We enjoyed studying the architecture of the new building as much if not more than the modern art itself. Gilbert was tethered in his stroller and after awhile he started squawking wanting to get out and roam - not viable considering all the people - so our tour was short. Out of building we let him loose and he wasted no time exploring as he led us back to the park.

Oh yeah, in the spirit of modern art, I submit this photo for consideration. I title it Man Does Tricks for Food.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Self Portraits

I was downloading pics from our cameras to the computer and stumbled upon some attempted self-portraits. Oh the advantage of being home with Gilbert during the day. So jealous!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One Bourbon, One Beer

One shot of protein shake. How does the original song go?

Anyway, at 'school' the kids aren't allowed to drink from sippies. It is two hands on a cup. Scary! In the morning, Gilbert always wants some of my shake, so I have started giving him a small cup. Really small cup! I love watching him walk around with the shot glass. Just makes me laugh!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

School Boy

As of Monday, Gilbert now is a full-time student having started his enrollment at Montessori.
Leading up to the full day, Gilbert has been doing some half-days to become acclimated. Overall Little Man has done well, but the drop off has been tough. He starts to cry and rambles "Mama. Mama. Mama."

I dropped Gilbert off on his first full day so I could become familiar with the process. He walked in all proud and headed straight to his classroom. Once in he realized that it was time to go and he headed to me grabbed me and wanted to climb up so I could hold him. Being strong, we turned him into the room and walked out. We could hear him around the corner crying out, "Mama. Mama. MAMA!"

How tough to walk away when your little one wants to be comforted!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers's Day

To new mothers, veterans moms, and grandmothers...Happy Mother's Day! I hope your day was all that you hoped or planned!

For Team Johnson, we had a low key day. We went out for breakfast at Kitsch'n. Gilbert had a blast looking at the funky scenery and bright colors. And Kristen indulged by ordered (and devouring!) Banana Walnut French Toast.

She was also determined to get a family photo. Yeah right. I attempted to set up a mini-studio in Gilbert's room, but keeping him still was an impossible task.

Now, when Gilbert sees a camera he comes to you because he wants to see the pictures and the videos in the viewer of the camera. While Kristen was getting dressed I attempted to hold Gilbert's attention with my BlackBerry. That only last for a few minutes!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pure Sweetness!

And at times nothing but mischief. But how can you not love this smile?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

So Sad

Today was Kristen the Nanny's last official day. Yes, she will be around babysitting for Little Man, but with 'school' officially starting on Monday, Gilbert's day care is now being shifted. Unfortunately, I was gone to work before she arrived, but instead of taking Gilbert to school for further transitioning, we thought it important for the two of them to have as full of a day as possible.

Kristen is family. She's been with us since Little Man, was, well, truly little. And he loves her dearly. I know he will be so excited to see her when she does babysit. Play dates will definitely need to be arranged.

So, before the water works began at the end of the day (I'm just guessing since I wasn't home in time either to say thank you), a photo with both was attempted. Gilbert was not accommodating!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Gilbert officially starts 'school' next week. In preparation Little Man has begun his 'transition'. His teacher did a home visit last week and this week and part of last he has been going to Montessori for a few hours each day to begin acclimating to his surroundings and becoming comfortable with his teacher and aides.

The transition is rocking Little Man's world. A few weeks ago, Gilbert began his attachment phase. He's become shy around new people and even more careful in new surroundings. Always the observer first, participant second, he has been reluctant to jump in with the other kids. His class has 15-24 months olds. He is one of the younger students so the kids are talking and moving fast around him.

The past few days when I've got home from work, Gilbert has been exhausted. We typically have dinner around 6:30, bath at 7, lights out between 7:30 and 8pm. By 6pm today is was eye rubs and get me to bed. I imagine it will be this way even more so once he is going full days!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I posted before how Gilbert started coming into our room at night. His nightly walkabouts have continued. Use to be he'd wake up crying and then head in. Now, when he just wakes up - to him - that is good enough reason to trek it over to our room.

We are not open bed people. Gilbert has his bed, we have ours. Besides, Little Man is a pain in the butt to sleep with. He snores (thanks to all those stuffy noses!), rolls around, and likes to have 'contact' with either me or Kristen. The result? Neither of us sleep well.

But I have the solution! Since our doors are not knobs, we had to do some special shopping to locate a door lock for handle-style door knobs. So, while Kristen was out visiting some art galleries, I took to installing the door latch!

With Gilbert as my trusty helper/disruptor, an hour later I had the lock on. Would have been done in less time if 1) I hadn't installed the latch on the wrong side of the door, 2) Gilbert didn't insist being in my lap or between me and the door at all times, and 3) when he wasn't was thirsty, hungry or just getting into other mischief. It was like he knew what was doing.

Fun story, though. I had just removed the handles by popping them off with the screwdriver. While I was reading the instructions, Gilbert picked up the screwdriver and was mimicking me as he attempted to put the tool into the door. These little people are pure sponge!

Friday, May 1, 2009

18 Month Stats

Gilbert had his 18 month well visit. Good timing too as we need to have a well visit done prior to his start at Montessori Academy of Chicago.

I was unable to go to this visit, but all the stats were good and consistent with his past. Weight was approximately 27 lbs (70th percentile); Height at 33 inches (70th percentile); and of course his head is still 95th percentile +!

The best part of the visit was no tears. He took two shots to the arm and Kristen said not even a slight lip quiver appeared. Little Man is becoming a big boy!

The appointment was at the end of the day and the doctor's office is close to my work so they drove by the office and picked up me. Gilbert was feel asleep almost immediately!

Gilbert's New Kicks

Last Friday Gilbert visited the podiatrist. Yes, the podiatrist. When he walks his toes point out severely and we noticed his ankles roll in as well. Attributed, probably, to his scooting we thought it best just to check him out and see if there was something we should be doing.

Relieved, the doc said kids feet change substantially in their first 2 1/2 years so no need for orthotics or a brace. It was recognized that his feet are relatively flat and that he is indeed rolling his ankles inward.

It was recommended we start fitting Little Man in well built shoes. Stride Rite was not mentioned. Nope, New Balance was the shoe of choice. My immediate response was "Duh!" New Balance was founded as an arch support company and then developed into a specialized shoe manufacturer. We now own stock in the company. Well not stock in terms of company ownership, but stock in terms of shoes! I foresee building quite an inventory of NB shoes in the next few years!

If interested, the selection of shoes for kids is quite impressive. Check it out. And I was pleasantly surprised the cost of the shoes were not higher!

Here Gilbert is pictured in his new kicks next to his current favorite household item the "Acuuumae".