Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted a little late but still have photos to share.  Lillian helped me bake this past week getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I even tried out all vegan recipes that were surprisingly very good.  Lillian helped me make an apple cranberry crisp and mini vegan pumpkin pies.  She loves to help and knew what to do without much guidance.  At home she has a large collection of wooden food, some in connected together with Velcro so she can "cut" them apart.  She calls it "make it" (she came up with the name since I always say wait I have to make it).  That collection of toys is a big hit at our house for play dates.  I pull out wooden spoons and pots and pans for the kids to use.  Oh she also really enjoyed wearing an apron; it is one of mine I just tied around her a few times..... she kept calling it a dress.  Below is Lillian enjoying her finished product.... unfortunately she was saying "cheese" in the second picture with pie in her mouth.

Santa fun!

We had lots of fun with Santa this year! He even noticed Mama's early gift of our new little peanut.  Lillian made progress this year and didn't cry although she was still hesitant of sitting on Santa's lap.  Of course she warmed up to him at the end when he gave her candy!  Maybe next year we should try that first.  Even though she showed some hesitation, there were no worries, Mama and Daddy came prepared this year and were ready for a family photo op.  It looked like the photographer gets that a lot, stools and boxes were already set up for us to sit on.  We found Santa hiding out in Seaport Village and it was a lot better than his big rush at the mall.  I believe his photographer helper were more about capturing the image, and a good image at that instead of just snapping a quick photo.

Santa has arrived in San Diego!

Santa arrived in beautiful San Diego today on his surfboard!  Daddy and Lillian caught a wave with him.  This year Lillian is still a bit hesitant of Santa when asked to go alone but no tears were shed this year so that is an improvement!  If the song doesn't play above, click play.... very cute and should be San Diego's official Christmas Song especially with our surfing Santa!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Peanut #2- 16 weeks

We had a doctors appointment yesterday and my uterus is measuring a little ahead at 16 1/2 weeks (not that it really matters, the baby will come when the baby wants to come).  Both Lillian and Greg came with me to the appointment and it was their first time hearing the baby.  Lillian knows there is a baby in my belly (actually she thinks there is a baby in daddy's belly too!) but I'm not sure if she understood why we could hear it. I've been feeling some kicks here and there and finally have my energy back!  I feel like I'm not showing as much this time around and I've been doing well with weight so far, gained nothing yet.  I've been taking weekly photos again first thing in the morning before I have any food or liquid to really show the actual size of the baby bump, not bloat that will accumulate later in the day.  Some days I can stay the same size as I started in the morning, others I have a noticeable bump.  I tried to set up the camera (I even have tape on the ground) to make it so the photos were the exact same each week but the camera has been bumped a few times. Here is an animated clip from 9-16 weeks: 


As a fun comparison, I also put my belly photo from last pregnancy next to this weeks.  The one with the writing is last pregnancy.  


At 16 weeks, the peanut is about the size of an avocado, 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Our Fish Baby

It's a fish, it's a mermaid, it's Lillian!  She absolutely LOVES the water now and gets more and more confident every time she swims.  She kicks and uses her arms now when she swims.  She even voluntarily jumps towards you..... of course it always takes a little time at the beginning during every swim session but once she's in and wet fully she just becomes like a little fish.  I tried to take some pictures of her using an underwater camera.  It was a bit difficult but I got some good shots.  


Lillian is a Kangaroo this year for Halloween! We have been to the pumpkin patch countless times, she even knows the words now and she has had a blast this year! This past weekend we even went trick or treating in Seaport Village; they give out candy at the shops during a designated time frame and the kids go wild.  Today was the first day she learned about candy, she kept asking to eat it.  Luckily we held her off most of the time and gave her a bite here or there.  It will be interesting to see how trick or treating goes on Wednesday, Halloween day!  I read in the San Diego Family Magazine there is a place we can take the candy and get money for it.  All the candy we turn in will be sent to the soldiers overseas.  We may not take part this year but I know we will do it in the coming years.  We don't really need all that candy in our house, Lillian doesn't need it and it will help her learn how to give to others (although you can argue the soldiers don't need it either!)..... one step at a time ;)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Lillian!

We celebrated Lillian's 2nd birthday doing things she enjoys.  We rode the Amtrak train up to Anaheim (she loves anything trains so getting to ride one is special!) had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney and walked around the shops.  We thought the Rainforest Cafe would be fun since she likes the zoo and she liked the moving animals at a restaurant back in Maryland called Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse; they had forest animals that would go off.  Lillian enjoyed looking at the animals in the Rainforest Cafe but she wasn't too thrilled when they moved around.  It could have been because they placed us right next to the loudest and scariest animal in my opinion, the gorilla.  When they went to seat us I debated requesting a different seat but didn't speak up.  The gorilla went off every 15 min and actually sounded pretty angry, on tops of that it would "storm" rain and thunder every 30 min so the second time the gorilla went off it was very loud and Lillian lost it! Greg took her outside to calm her down but she wouldn't sit in her seat for the remainder of the meal.  The only way we got her to eat was sitting on Greg's lap turned away from the gorilla so she couldn't see him when we went off.  After that, we walked around downtown Disney and the shops, and to my surprise out of everything in the Disney store she could have grabbed or gone wild about, she chose a Finding Nemo book.   She really is a big book lover!  

We had a great birthday celebration so far and it will continue with Auntie Jan and Uncle Dana this weekend as we head off to the zoo and resume again the following week when Mimi and Papa are here to visit.  We have lots of things planed for their visit, with a trip to the zoo, pumpkin patch and beach so stay tuned for more updates!

Here is a slideshow of birthday pictures along with a little video while she enjoyed her cupcake.  Last year she wasn't sure about it but this year I think she would have made a BIG mess had we let her, she loved the cupcake and was ready to go at it! The video is the first couple bites.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Lillian has always been very musical.  Recently I got a 3 disk set of children's songs.  We listened to one disk for only 2 days in the car and she already knows the words! or at least tries to sing along ;)  I am just amazed how fast she picks up things lately.  She even knows the Petco sign and the Jamba Juice sign.  Both times on different occasions I hear from the backseat, "yeah animals!" or "yeah moothie!"  She can see the Petco sign out the window when we go to the grocery store.  I have only taken her in the store maybe 3 times if I run down there and we look around before I walk home.  So she insisted on seeing the "aminals" and then connected it to the zoo! Of course it makes sense since we see animals at the zoo too!  Another time we were driving to a different grocery store (the one near Petco we don't go to often but it is our closest one so only to run in if we are missing something) and she saw the Jamba Juice sign; she's only been in THAT location once but we have gotten smoothies elsewhere.  I just love to see her grow and learn and even how she processes new experiences and builds her own schema, it truly is one of the most fascinating things to watch! I think if I was ever going to be an educational researcher I'd want to focus on toddler/preschool age.  Anyway, I've got videos of Lillian trying to sing along to some of her favorite new songs. 

Here is her singing to The Wheels on the Bus:

The Itsy Bitsy Spider (she does the hand motions):

and It's Raining, it's pouring.  I didn't know she knew that one, the other two we do in books but she asked me to play "rain" too.

Almost 2 yrs old!

I can't believe how fast this year has gone by, maybe because we've been so busy with moving twice (since we moved into the townhouse in Germantown only in December, to then move out of it again in May).  Lillian has changed so much, she is much more independent and she lets you know it!  She enjoys dressing herself and I often find her in her room pulling clothes out of the dirty basket putting them on however she can, whether it is a shirt as a skirt, 2 pairs of pants on or 4 outfits all on at the same time.  Lillian is obsessed with trains! We have always exposed her to many things but she always goes back to trains.  She even uses the little mirror in the backseat I have to see her when I'm driving to look out the front of the car and recognize the train tracks.  The other weekend I found a train museum that has started offering train rides on their steam engine once a month.  She absolutely LOVED it!!!!!!!  She now makes the puff puff sound you hear steam engines make when it is moving.  We've always made the sound when we play trains with her but after seeing a real train do it, she gets it now.  Below are some pictures of our day along with a little video of her playing with her new train she got at the museum.  We also got her a little dish set with a cup, silverware, plate and bowl.... it has gotten her to eat more recently since at the bottom she discovers there is a train!

Lillian has big news!

That's right! Lillian is going to have a baby brother or sister to play with coming in late April!  Greg and I have been sort of trying since Jan when I went off the pill, I charted for a while but it never worked  so we just decided to let things happen naturally and hope it didn't take too long.  Well my cycle hasn't been regular since going off the pill.... anywhere from 30-52 days.... and that makes it very hard to plan.  We found out the night I returned from my Northern California visit on August  19th.  Based on my last period I could have been 10 weeks but figured that was unlikely.  I had to wait 2 weeks to get into the doctors and when they did that ultrasound they said I was under 6 weeks! I was in shock by that because that meant I started having symptoms from the moment it happened! And they are trying to say I found out at 3 weeks...... very hard for me to believe.  But we went back and redid the ultrasound again 2 weeks later and I only measured 7 weeks and 5 days.  With that, it has been a LONG 5 weeks!  and I still have a lot to go.

This pregnancy has been different by far from Lillian's.  Morning sickness isn't as bad, with Lillian I felt car sick all the time and would have very strong waves of nausea.  This time around it's more like I ate too much even if I barely ate.  Yes there are times nausea gets pretty bad but nothing like it was with Lillian.  I will say I am much more tired this round.  Some have said I didn't have a toddler to run around after last time but my goodness most days I'm ready for bed starting at 4pm!  As of right now we are hoping for a boy but I think we are going team Green and not finding out the gender, letting it be a wonderful surprise at the birth.  I don't get as many ultrasounds this round either, my doctor only does the 20 week anatomy scan and one more after that to confirm size and placement.  I had so many ultrasounds in Korea that the temptation would have gotten to me. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Little Swimmer

Lillian has finished her ISR swim lessons and can successfully do the swim-float-swim sequence all on her own!  She has even asked to go in the pool so she can practice some more.  Here is a video I took of Greg in the pool with her yesterday.  She even loves to jump from the wall! She is so excited about the water now and can't wait to get in.  I'm sure she'd go everyday if I let her.  A thank you to her swim instructor, Samantha Bense!  If you are in the San Diego area and want to enroll your child in ISR swim lessons contact Samantha.  If you are outside the area ISR has instructors everywhere, just go to  to find an instructor near you. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Swimming Lessons

Lillian started swimming lessons only 3 weeks ago.  These are different than your normal lessons; they are infant survival.  Lessons are held Monday through Fridays for less than 10 min a day.  She is not cued on what to do verbally only by small touches.  Lillian has learned how to hold/pull herself up the stairs, hold her breath and "swim" on her belly and roll over and float on her back to catch her breath.  The first couple days were the roughest for me, I could see panic in her face at times but knew she had to figure things out on her own in order for her to remember it.  She would cry/whine during every lesson but now she is happy and it all makes sense as to why she does each activity.  Here is video of her swimming for just 3 weeks!  

If you would like more information on these lessons please visit:  
On that website you can find a local swim instructor.  If you are in the San Diego area looking for lessons you can contact Samantha Bense from the website.  Infant Swim Rescue is designed and takes a stand so children do not drown.  I am confident if Lillian ever found herself falling in a pool she would be able to hold her breath, roll over on her back and float until help arrived.  Once her lessons are finished she will be able to swim to the wall or stairs, rolling on her back to catch her breath.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

20 months old

I can't believe Lillian will be 2 in four more months!  She is incredibly independent and is continually amazing us with how much she picks up so quick.  Here is a picture slideshow of this month so far:

We recently visited a children's museum as shown in the pictures.  Lillian had a blast and I caught a little video of daddy playing with Lillian on little chairs.  I don't know if she enjoyed it or not....

For Father's Day we went camping on Palomar Mountain.  Unfortunately, they will be closing it to public camping next month; when Greg heard this we knew we'd have to have one final trip recounting all his memories there.  Camping at the national park was full so we camped at a nearby site and went in for the day.  Recently I've been singing songs with Lillian and with all the time we had camping she learned "Old McDonald".... she is really quite cute but some of her animal noises are quiet so listen carefully ;)

Little Drummer Girl

Lillian finally figured out how to use her drum rather than just a container for all the other musical instruments.  She used to play with it as a drum but she hasn't again since December.  I showed her videos of marching bands too so now she imitates them. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Good Girl"

Lillian has been picking up words like crazy.... it is funny to be having a conversation with Greg or have the radio on and all of a sudden hear her repeat a word she knows.  Recently the song "Good Girl" by Carrie Underwood has been a big hit!  I had to prompt her more than normal in the video but it's still cute :)

Getting dressed

Lillian is very into doing everything herself!  Today she wanted to get dressed herself....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Girls just want to have fun!

I have tried to get her to wear this purse before and she had no interest in it whatsoever.  Today she came out of her room with her beads on and not one but two purses on!  It's funny, she holds her arm up in the air to keep it on her shoulder.  She is more of a tom boy, likes to get dirty and is fearless.... the other day she carried home a pet rock about 4 blocks from a little hike with daddy.  So the occasional moments she is a girly girl is fun.

Dinner time

Lillian has mastered the fork now.  She can use a spoon pretty well as long as it is in a container that has high enough sides, I often put her fruit cups in a larger drinking cup so she has a better chance of getting it on the spoon. 

The Park

We can go down the slide like a big girl now! 

Rose Garden

Lillian took time to stop and smell the flowers at the rose garden in Balboa Park :)


So much has changed recently in many areas of our lives.  We visited Greg for a week, went back to Maryland for a week to finish arranging everything for the move, then off to my parents for a week since we couldn't move into our new place yet and a hotel was just too expensive, and we are now all in San Diego.  Here is a stream of photos from my visit with my parents and Lillian is saying the things she knows/recognizes :) 

We even got to feed a giraffe at the zoo!  The pic is in the slideshow but here it is again:

Since we've gotten to San Diego Lillian's sleep habits have been HORRIBLE! She is much much more aware of her surroundings and we've had to make some adjustments to her bedtime/nap time routines.  She now screams when the door is closed yet makes it a game when it's opened just a crack.  We think she feels like we are leaving, she definitely asks where each of us are when we are away.   But we are getting better at it, for a while I was having to sit in her room until she fell asleep.  I have found her laying on top of me in the middle of the night though, sometimes more than once a night.  We think it may be that she was away from Greg for six weeks and now needs a bit more security.

She has been talking so much more too.  Now it usually only takes us saying a word once before she attempts it.  Today she even said 2 word sentences by herself, with no prompting!  She knows so many words I don't even think I can recall all of them.

Another big milestone is we are full on potty training now!  We were doing it in Maryland and she could tell me if she had to poop but we were never very consistent going pee on the potty.  Now we go every 15 min.  She has a few accidents still, usually if I don't take her right when the timer goes off or if we are out and about and she didn't actually go before we left (although we do always try).  We have the chair potty in the truck for emergencies.  She has been pretty successful with it for the most part.  Once we have less accidents I'll extend the time out further and further.  I've had to use the cloth diapers as underwear without a pad since even the smallest underwear they make is still huge on her.  Maybe in a month or so she will be completely potty trained although the cloth diapers don't really cause her pants to get wet if she does have an accident.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Egg Hunt

I had a rental car for a week so I made sure we did some Easter things since we will be alone and with no car.  Butler's Orchard opened today, we went last year too but this year she was able to do more things.  They have little areas they set up for Easter egg hunting just for fun, kids collect plastic eggs and then return them for them to set it up in another area.  She really enjoyed doing it but after a while she was not impressed by the obvious ones and wanted the more difficult ones like finding a treasure.  Also at the Orchard was giant slides, pony rides, face painting, rubber ducky derby's, hay rides and some animals.  We mainly focused on the hay ride, seeing the animals (she even got to pet a baby chick!), doing the egg hunt and playing on some small slides.  Also a thanks to Auntie Jan for Lillian's dress she is wearing!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Cup

I had read several articles that said children should not have any bottles by age 2.  I asked about this at one of our doctors appointments and tried to find out if the main point was to teach kids how to drink from a variety of cups using various methods (ie. sippy cup, straw cup or a regular cup with no lid)  The doctor said cups without lids provide practice of different oral muscles so we have been giving Lillian a cup for a while here or there as long as it was supervised.  She has gotten a lot better at it now and doesn't often spill when she is drinking.  I find the only time she makes a mess now is if she gulped too much and tries to hold it in her mouth while she swallows.... then some spills out down the front of her.  The only other times she spills is if she is trying to put the cup down by herself or scoot it closer to her with one hand.  Here is a video of her taken today of her using her cup.... with a bit of a surprise at the end :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Maryland to Cali

This is our second time making this trip.  The first time we decided to take the Southern route and follow Route 66 most of the way, stopping at the Grand Canyon, some cliff dwellings and catch a show in Branson.  Rather than doing that trip again, we decided to take the Northern route and went up through Niagara Falls and Mt. Rushmore.  Hopefully Lillian enjoyed this trip more than the last time when she was just 3 months old.

And her feeding the animals at Bates Nut Farm.  They were very gentle animals and I was surprised she tried it by herself.


Every time we go to a restaurant and Lillian gets a kids menu we practice coloring, we have not done any of this at home.  She has the hang of it now, on our trip from Maryland to Cali I let her use a pen and the marks showed up a lot better so I think she has it down now!  This video was before that.

Big Balls at the Soccerplex

We have an indoor soccer field here and on certain days they close it off for kids.  A friend told me about it so Lillian and I went with her to go check it out.  I think Lillian was so overwhelmed by the amount of things to do that she ended up not doing much at all but running around the entire field. 

Lillian the Book Junkie

Lillian is a total book junkie.  With my reading specialist background I knew she'd be into books but I never imagined this quick!  Usually every waking moment she will run toward you with a book saying "gook, gook".  She knows many animals and knows ones we have given sounds or signs to the most.  When teaching English to second language learners we use a total body approach method where they see the picture, hear the sound, and have a motion attached to it.  It is no surprise she is catching on quickly that way.  We are continually helping her make connections between illustrations, pictures and real life animals.  I am surprised how quickly she has been able to recognize the same animal in all contexts.  The following video is her reading one of her books at a restaurant.  The background noise is a little loud but if you listen carefully she does "read" the book.  I'll take another video soon of some other books she reads.

Going for a walk

Being a big girl

Lillian has always enjoyed doing things the way mommy and daddy or any big person does it.  Recently she has taken going up stairs like a big girl.  She does it when there is a bar low enough for her to grab onto to help support her.

Feeding ourselves

Lillian can feed herself with a spoon now but it is messy!  She has been doing this for a while and we have found if she isn't in the mood to eat much we can get a little more in her by letting her use some utensils. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Park fun!

Lillian  can go up the stairs and go down the slide by herself.  She had a daddy day last weekend and he let her do this on her own.  We have gone to a big park, the one I had her birthday at and big kids were really surprised she could do it on her own; some would follow her around wanting to show her how to do it.  She is such a loving affectionate baby that she loves kids and chased a little girl maybe about 7 years old, she even gave her a hug. 

Potty Training

I know what you are thinking, she is too young to start potty training; however, there are many countries that have babies potty trained by their first birthday!  I started a little over a month ago but it was much more casual, hit and miss and only seemed to be her first poop of the day.  She knows the sign for "potty" and when she has pooped I can ask if she did and she will give me the sign.  When I first started we went poop in the potty for an entire week.  We have a seat that goes on the toilet upstairs and a potty chair downstairs.  I originally got both (well I already had the potty chair and was using it as a booster seat for quite a while)  because I didn't want to have her go on the chair and then us be out and not go because she had to sit on a big toilet.  So, we have 1 travel one that folds up but fits on the toilet and fits into my diaper bag in it's own bag, 1 that goes on the toilet, and 1 potty chair.  We successfully went upstairs but not down and she'd eventually run from me if I asked her if she had to go potty and she'd sign it meaning "yes".  I think it was because she likes sitting on the big potty better.  Anyway, since she started running and the holidays and traveling were coming up I decided to not push her.

Now that we are back at home and not going any where for a while I decided to try it again.  I have already bought her underwear but we are going to wait to use them.   She has been wearing disposable diapers since we moved since I didn't feel settled enough to deal with the cloth but it is making the transition to potty training easier.  During the day she is wearing a cloth diaper cover, with no pad in it.  Sure we have to change them more often but the lining prevents it from leaking through her pants if caught early enough.  I have snapped them closed but loose so we can slip them on just like underwear.  Once she has shown she is having less accidents we will move on to underwear.

She is clearly capable of going and now we are just going to start conditioning her or "training" her where to go.... yes it may take longer than a week but it is no different than teaching her to walk, eat with a spoon or the other skills she has developed so far.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Farm Animals

Lillian is really picking things up very quickly lately.  Every night, part of her bedtime routine is to read a story.  I have her books placed in bins on the floor with the covers of the books facing out.  (Research says young children read more when they can see the covers of books)  I let her pick the book every night, she brings it over to me and we read it in the rocking chair.  She has always loved books but lately she picks the same book every night; again this is a common thing among kids since they like routine and predictability.  She likes one called "Down on the Farm" and it goes through various farm animals and I make the noises for each page.  From the first night we read that book she started making the animal noises, even only after hearing it once or twice.  It amazes me how smart she is and how quick she picks things up.  She even knows what the book looks like because I have hidden it so we could read a different story and she picked one of jungle animals but the same style of book as the farm one.  We read it but she kept wanting to turn the page before I was done reading it and she'd make a noise (the same noise she makes when she wants to know what something is)  as if saying "wait that's not what I remember,  where's the page with the dog (because she kept saying "woof, woof").  After I read the jungle one she got down and found where I hid the farm one and brought it to me!  So of course we read that one too. 

For Christmas her Great Aunt Traci got her a farm puzzle that makes animal sounds when you put the pieces back in the appropriate spot.  She has quickly learned the animals and can say almost all of them and she imitates the sounds they make.  I took video of us playing with it this morning and it is shown below, she is a little cut off on it since I had to set it on the desk and she kept moving.  I was quite amazed how much she recognizes the animals.  In the top corner of the puzzle where the sound comes out there is a picture of a cow in a barn with a rooster on the top and chickens on the ground.  I have never pointed out that picture before and this morning she  pointed to the cow and said, "cow".  She is just too smart!

Mommy's shoes

Lillian has recently been putting on our shoes (when they are left out, they are usually in the closet). My shoes work better than Greg's and man does she get mad when you take them away!

Visit to Grandma and Grandpa's

Early in Jan. Lillian and I made a trip to Cali to visit both sets of grandparents for a late Christmas.  While at Grandma and Grandpa Sims' house grandma pulled out some old toys her children played with. 

Video updates

I was browsing through my videos and realized there were some that were never posted.

Here Lillian finally figured out how her ducks work.  I made these for her birthday

This one was taken early in December and Lillian is eating a banana.  She really likes to hold it herself. 

The last one is from November.  We went to a Mexican restaurant and I gave Lillian some chips to munch on while we waited for our dinner.  She saw Greg and I dipping our chips in salsa and insisted on doing it as well.  This is the video of her doing it.  She really enjoys it and now will dip french fries.  Days that I can't get her to eat too much protein I'll give her chicken strips and something to dip them in.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


We finally got some snow! It wasn't the best kind, more crunchy ice on top of powder snow but enough for Lillian to play in.  She finally got to test out her snow outfit too.  She really wanted to walk in the snow by herself and would get mad when we'd hold her hand so she wouldn't slip.  Lillian wasn't too into really playing in it.  I pushed down all the snow off the slide so she could go down it but she just wanted to eat the powder snow that was under the ice.   Here is a video of her enjoying the snow: