Friday, July 30, 2010

A Molar, Some Flies and a Potato

The days keep flying by and Lilly does so many new things that it is hard to keep track of them all. On Wednesday, I discovered that Lilly has a molar! So, that brings her to a grand total of 9 teeth (probably still Nascar material according to my Dad). She had been gnawing away on carrots and her fingers...whatever she could put in her mouth, so I decided that something had to be going on. I put my finger in her mouth and felt a little molar. I have yet to see it but this is going to open up a whole new world of chewing for her!

Whenever we spend a lot of time outside, flies seem to make their way into our house. Earlier today, I picked up a flip flop and was chasing these flies around the house only to discover that Lilly had picked up my other flip flop and was following me around, banging the flip flop on anything she could find. She thought this was a fantastic game, especially when I started yelling "bang" every time I tried to hit the fly. Such simple entertainment! Then, when Jim came home, he took the fly swatting to a whole new level with a dish towel and Lilly thought this was hysterical. Every time he whacked the towel against something, she would jump, run to me and start laughing. Just another relaxing night in the Clark household.

Speaking of relaxing, check out the video of Lilly dancing to her new favorite song, "Hot Potato" by the Wiggles. It is currently the most played song on our computer and even though some may say it is annoying (Dad even ventured so far as to call it hideous), it puts such a smile on Lilly's face and the dancing is worth it. When she hears it, she runs off to find her toy potato and then comes back and dances in front of the computer until the song is over, when she asks for it to play again. She's going to be dangerous when she's big enough to dance at weddings--following right in her dad's footsteps.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Photography Class

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been taking a photography class for three weeks now. It's something that I've wanted to do for a long time. After Lilly was born, we bought a real camera that does so many things, most of which I had no idea how to use. To have this amazing camera and only use it to take pictures on the automatic modes seemed like a waste so I signed up for a photography class that meets for six weeks on Wednesdays, from 1-3. I love the class and have learned so much in three weeks. It has also been great for Lilly, who has been spending a bit of time with some babysitters and some of my friends. I feel much more confident using my camera on manual modes and adjusting things likes exposure or the light meter, or the shutter speed or aperture. I'm definitely having fun with it. The hardest part has been the homework! Every week, we have to take pictures using concepts that we've been learning about. This past week, I needed pictures of movement, and I happen to know the perfect little subject who never stops moving, unless she's asleep! In theory, Lilly is fantastic subject for my pictures. In reality, it's much easier said than done. I've taken her to some different parks this week and tried to capture blurred images of her on the swing or the slide; the blurred images show the motion. Then, I was supposed to freeze some images. Well, just when I thought Lilly had gotten the hang of the slide, she got a little too confident and didn't sit all the way down before sliding down and literally went down head first, while I was a couple of feet away trying to take a picture. Mum of the year material, I know. Amazingly, she got off the slide with a huge smile...apparently she enjoyed that little adventure. I, however, did not and decided that I was done taking pictures of this and should probably stay a bit closer to Lilly until she really gets the hang of it. So that didn't work out like I intended it to. Then there was the swing. She loves getting into swings and once she's in, she's not going anywhere, so I'm free to take pictures. As soon as I moved from blurry to freezing the motion, Lilly wanted no part in being in the swing any more. So I have these pictures of her with a not so happy face on the swing. Oh well, they can't always be perfect. (Click on any picture to see it full size).

Yesterday, I took her to another park to try and capture some artistic shots, and maybe a couple of still life ones since I've learned that bridges are much easier to photograph than 15-month olds. I had great visions of Lilly looking into the water, so that I could get the back of her head with the water, turtles and bridges in the background. My vision came to an abrupt end when Lilly was relentlessly trying to get into the water. And try explaining to a 15-month old that she can swim in the pool water but not this stream?! It just didn't work. So, from now on, I don't think I will have expectations of what pictures I would like to take; instead, I will just see what Lilly makes possible!

My favorite picture was unplanned, as most good pictures are. Lilly was intrigued by her shadow while we were walking back to the car. She kept stopping and trying to touch it; she waved hi to it. It was priceless. It was another moment, like that moment at the circus, that I just had to look at her and be amazed. Just as the dogs seemed rather unexciting to me, I rarely stop to look at my shadow. But for Lilly, this was a new experience. She was sitting on the ground, playing with her shadow until I decided that sitting in the middle of the road (not a busy one, mind you) was not the best idea for extended periods of time.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Big Apple Circus

Today marked Lilly's first trip to the circus! The Big Apple Circus is in Stamford at the moment, so Liz, Stella, Lilly and I went today to check it out. Don't be deceived by it's name; this circus was in no way, "big." It was perfect, however, for little ones, although Stella seemed to sleep through most of the performance! Aaaaah, newborns. We sat in the front row where we were so close to the action, we may as well have been out on the ring. When the horses were running around the edge, Liz and I got a little bit nervous as it seemed they could have been on top of us at any moment. That aspect of the circus, thankfully, was uneventful. No stray horses or dogs (that's right, the animals at the circus consisted of 2 horses and about 6 dogs!) and the clowns and trapeze artists performed their stunts without any mishaps.

Anyway, the real reason for going to the circus today was for Lilly, and it's safe to say, it was a successful adventure. It started off a little iffy, and Lilly was unsure if she liked it or not. At the beginning, the tent went pitch black and then all of sudden, bright lights, loud music and clowns came running onto the ring and Lilly burst into tears, to be followed a few seconds later by laughing, clapping and waving. After the initial shock, she was intrigued. She waved at everyone and loved clapping when everyone clapped. Lilly smiled and laughed throughout. But, her reaction when the dogs, that's right, the
dogs, came out was priceless. Liz captured it perfectly in the picture at the beginning of the blog. Lilly could not contain herself. These dogs were running around, jumping over people and through hoops and Lilly was clapping and waving and screaming at them. It really was priceless. So, while the pictures below of the dogs may not look too amazing, know that for this 15 month old, it was the highlight of her circus experience. Lilly is sound asleep now, probably dreaming of the circus and dogs. Congratulations, Big Apple Circus. Mission accomplished.

The Clowns

Just to show you how close we were...

At intermission.

As Liz, said, Stella was dreaming of clowns :)


Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Friendly Visitor

Tonight, after dinner and her bath, Lilly decided to take one last trip outside. Who could blame her? It was a gorgeous day today and we spent most of it outside. We walked down to check out the pool this morning and bumped into some of Lilly's little friends who tired her out before her morning nap. Then, we walked out and had a delicious lunch with Mel and Margot and ended the day with a dip in the pool after Jim surprised us and came home from work nice and early. I love days like today.

When Lilly went outside tonight, she enjoyed a visit from the bunny who makes his home close by. We see him often but always at a distance, and he's usually hopping away. Today, however, he stayed close by until Lilly tried to pat him, at which point, he sprinted away...followed closely by a certain 15 month old. She even tried to whisper to the bunny. Whispering is the newest addition to Lilly's repertoire. Jim has been whispering to her and she loves it, so now she whispers her babble to us, but covers her own ear instead of putting her hand up to the person's ear that she's whispering in. I'm sure the bunny enjoyed being whispered to!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lazy Weekends

As the years have gone by (doesn't that make me sound old?), Jim and I have increasingly enjoyed doing less and less on weekends. In fact, Jim is the happiest when he starts his weekend with NO plans ahead. I often tease him and tell him that he is becoming more like my dad (no offense Dad), just 25 years earlier. Since Lilly was born, that has only become more apparent. We have such a good time with our own little family that it's often tempting to do nothing but spend the weekend together. Lilly is a constant entertainer and loves having Jim home during the day to play with her. This morning, Jim was building castles and towers with Lilly's legos, while she took everything that he built apart. When Jim puts all the toys into her baskets, Lilly pulls them all out. I made Jim a key lime pie and Lilly and Jim made the whipped cream together. When they read books together before bed, shrieks of laughter come soaring out of Lilly's room. Jim and Lilly are partners in 15 months old and the other 29 years old. The two of them provide endless hours of entertainment for each other. I love watching (and often participating in) the hours of nothingness, where time just seems to fly by. Jim and I were never big party animals before Lilly was born (well, maybe in college...) but now, we are content to spend our evenings at home. Lilly goes to bed so early so we often have 5 hours or so of time to hang out where Lilly isn't the focus of all of our attention. We have a nice little routine that makes us all happy. Don't get me wrong; we love seeing our friends and having an occasional night out but give us a weekend with no plans any day and we'll take it.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I never thought I would hear those two little words repeated so many times in one day. Between "uh-oh" and "iiiiiii" (which translates to "hi"), Lilly is communicating away. At first, Jim and I thought that the use of "uh-oh" was pretty convenient. When Lilly drops a piece of her food, she now says "uh-oh" until someone picks that food up. No more mystery blueberries landing on the carpet or smooshed into her clothes! But, Lilly's use of the expression has risen to a whole new level. After I put her down for a nap the other day, I heard the usual "nigh nigh" coming from her crib, immediately followed by "uh-oh, uh-oh...". So, I went in to see what was going on and discovered that Lilly had dropped her blanket over the side of the crib and was waiting for someone to come in and pick it up. I gave it back to her, closed her door and you guessed it, not even ten seconds later I heard "uh-oh, uh-oh...". This was now a fun game for Lilly, which I was already sick of. I got her the blanket one more time and decided that she was going to have to learn the hard way because I wasn't going to keep running into her room to pick up whatever she had thrown on the floor. It's like Lilly knows I'm thinking these things though, because she didn't throw the blanket out again...until the next nap.

We've been enjoying the hot weather, playing in the pool and at Lilly's water table. Lilly has had a lot of time to run around in her diaper. Otherwise, as soon as she's dressed, she pours buckets of water over herself from the water table. So, the diaper is easier for everyone. We've been going for shorter walks because the heat is just too much for our usual walk down to meet Jim for coffee or lunch at UBS. Hopefully later on this week we'll make it down there again because it's always fun to see Jim in the middle of the day (both Lilly and I agree)! We have a nice stretch of time at home now without any trips. I'm taking a photography class on Wednesdays, which I love. I'm learning how to use all the manual modes on our big camera so that we can utilize so much more of what it does. Lilly continues to learn new things by the day. My favorite Lilly talent at the moment is that you can ask her to do "down dog" and she puts herself right into the yoga pose!! I'm still so impressed every time that I haven't been able to capture a picture yet but you can expect one shortly. She has been showing everyone on skype how she does this! She has enjoyed playing with her little friends...some older and some younger. Last week, we went over to Dave and Caryn's house to see Calvin who is now 5 months old and absolutely adorable! This weekend, Brien, Liz & Stella came over for dinner and Lilly just adores Stella. I'm pretty sure she thinks that Stella's a toy, and we definitely have to keep an eye on her because sometimes the hugs can get a bit rough. And, Lilly's favorite place to go at the moment is right out our back door to visit her friend Parker, who lives a couple of houses over. She loves going to Parker's so much that she'll try and make a break for it almost every time we're outside.

Here are some pictures of Lilly and friends from the past couple of weeks:

At Dave & Caryn's, with adorable little Calvin, who loved Lilly's pigtails!

Lilly wasn't too sure of Calvin pulling her hair.

Playing with Nate

Touching Stella's hand (and carrying around this ugly pink poodle that one of the neighbors gave her and I can't get rid of!)

Two proud dads and their daughters

Giving Stella hugs on her changing table before bed