Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Hello Hello - The Tillemas just arrived back in Ohio from an EXCELLENT trip out to the Bay Area. What a lovely place to be. We lunched at Green's, played in Golden Gate Park, swam in the ocean in Santa Cruz, and attended one night of the Monterey Jazz Festival. What a great time! Too bad we don't live there, however, where would we go on vacation if we did live there? Oh yeah, Tahoe.

Aidan had a blast swimming in the ocean and playing on the beach. He is definitely full of some dutch genes that make him immune to the cold water temperature of the Pacific. North Sea swimming is certainly in his future. Aidan, Gaelic in origin, means Little Fire and that is certainly a fitting name for my klein vuurtje. He was unstoppable on the playground, on the plane, in the ocean. Fearless and gregarious, he is always the life of the party - waving to and talking to everyone. He is a handful, but a really fun, super sweet handful. He is really into giving hugs right now - hugs for Cider, hugs for us, even hugs for strangers on the street. Actually, he has never met a stranger - everyone seems like a great person to hug in his eyes.

He is working hard learning to talk and even starting to count. It goes like this...I say one, he says two, I say three, he says four, I say five. Adorable. Here is a video of Aidan "reading" one of his favorite books.

In other news, Jan-Mendelt accepted an MS Fellowship at the Mayo Clininc in Rochester, Minnesota. The position begins July 2011. He is super excited and honored to be working for Mayo. I hope the move from Cincinnati will be smooth and that we find a nice place near the bike trail to rent. I guess we need to invest in snow shoes for the whole family!

Wish us luck....

Friday, August 20, 2010

A long overdue update


This is mostly for Jen, who loves to give me jobs to do, like updating my blog. She lovingly pointed out to me that I have not posted anything since April. So here goes...
It has been one long hot summer here in the midwest. I am feeling happy that August is coming to a close, and we are all looking forward to autumn. The leaves changing, a warm chai latte, maybe a fire in the fireplace. This all sounds fabulous right now.
Work has been very busy for both JM and I over the last few months. I moved to a new office in April and my former boss left our organization. I ended up with not one, but two new bosses. Yesterday I submitted a 25 page large foundation grant proposal that I have been slaving over for the past month. I am elated to have it in and happy to say that I wrote most of the document myself. Yeah!!! Keep your fingers crossed that my organization receives the funding!!!

JM has spent the summer interviewing in San Francisco, Boston, and Rochester for fellowship jobs that would begin next summer. He has a lot of options of the table and now we have to sift through all of the pros and cons to make the best decision for his career and our family. We will see. More to come on that when we know something definitive.

Aidan is growing up so quickly! He has had a great summer learning to say adorable 15 month old things like, eeewwww, uh oh spaghetti-o, bye, doggy, kitty cat, choo choo, and most recently thank you!!!! Manners at 15 months! I can hardly believe it. Yesterday, I reached into the back seat to give him a graham cracker and he sweetly replied, "thank you!" He just had his 15 month check up and wow is he in the middle of a growth spurt. He is now 33 inches tall (90%), 27 pounds (75%), and the head of his is off the charts gigantic. I have been buying his fall clothes, and Oma Kentucky bought him a new pair of sneakers. 6 1/2 extra wide. He has the biggest feet I have ever seen on a 15 month old.

Hope everyone is well and that your summers have been wonderful.



Monday, April 5, 2010


Howdy. It is a gorgeous morning here in southwestern Ohio and the spring flowers are in full bloom in our garden. Easter weekend came and went super quickly and poor JM was on call and slammed around the clock. Hopefully, this week will be a bit calmer for him. I have some major deadlines this week to take care of, but the taxes are done, my office is all packed up and ready for my move on Wednesday, and I even managed to give myself a pedicure on Saturday.

Aidan is doing better this morning than he was doing towards the end of last week and all weekend. Poor baby has had a viral eye and nose infection since Wednesday of last week, got a 24 hour stomach flu on Friday (resulting in a major vomit all over the back seat of my car), and then fell three times yesterday (resulting in two busted lips and a bruised cheek). He was so sad and beat up that I have been babying him extra over the last 12 hours. I have learned that learning to walk = looking like you have been in a drunken bar brawl.

Other than the tribulations of finding his balance, Aidan is pure joy. He is so full of life, so fearless, and so hilarious. He walks around saying uh oh often, waving at everyone he meets saying bye bye, and has started pointing to things that interest him (loves a ceiling fan)! He smiles and laughs all the time, is super into his newest bath toys, and is consistently sleeping from 8 pm until 5 am, with a short wake up no longer than 15 minutes, and then back to sleep until around 7:30. He is still napping for about 1 1/2 hours in the morning and up to 2 hours in the afternoon.

Here is a photo of this weekend's falling damage. I think as a treat he deserves some frozen yogurt for that swollen lip!!!

With love,


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Super Aidan!!!

As promised!

And we're walking...

Hi Everyone!

Jen, as always, is keeping me honest about updating the blog. She sent me an e-mail last night busting me for not updating.

So, Aidan starting walking a little over a month ago right as he turned 9 months old. He is now everywhere and into everything. At his 9 month check up, he weighed in at 21 pounds, 7 ounces, was 29 1/2 inches long, and his head in still in the 95% percentile. That means that right now, he is getting longer faster than he is gaining weight. If you look at his father, this makes perfect sense.

To give you an idea of a day with Aidan, already this morning (it is only 9 am), he has turned over the bowl of dog water, gotten into the cat food (2x), dug up a potted plant, and has tried to go up and down the stairs about 10 times. I am already exhausted and I have not even had the chance to take a shower yet!

Aidan just went down for a nap (please let it last at least 30 minutes), so I have time to do a quick update and upload a video before it starts all over again.

Aidan also started waving hello and goodbye this week. I am pretty sure that he also now knows how to use his sign language at dinner time to tell us that he wants "more food." Pretty adorable and he is super excited when it works. He plays hard, sleeps hard, destroys the house hard, and eats hard too. He will eat pretty much anything that you put in front of him from green beans to avocado, squash to mango. I hope it stays this way - however, it seems that many toddlers decide at some point that they only eat things that are white, fried or cheesy.

I am going to upload a video of Aidan walking through the living room directly from picasa to the blog. Enjoy and as the dutch say, tot de volgende keer! (until next time....)


christina, jan-mendelt, & aidan

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Promised Photos!

Hello Everyone!

I am already more on top of this blog than I have been in ages. A lot of you have seen some of these photos, but here a few favorites from the last few months. Aidan is getting big and independent and SUPER MOBILE so fast! I am pretty certain that he is about to cut two more teeth. He has been eating like a champ (loves yo baby organic yogurt and Naan!) He is a wonderful, joyful little person who makes me laugh all the time. Hope you like the pics!

Aidan with papa and wearing his Nederland windmill shirt!

Two of my personal favorites. How cute is he sitting on the left?

Getting in the laundry and hanging with his friend Iason!

All snuggled with the mama.

Devilish Grin.

Already learning to play the banjo....

Studying the leaves and smiling in the arms of his papa.

The Family Tillema

Monday, January 18, 2010

Yes - This really is my first post since the end of September!

Hello Everyone.

Jen - are you happy now? Jen pointed out that I have not updated this blog since September. That is not cool - so here goes. So much happened in the later part of 2009 that I could barely keep the laundry done - much less update my blog. But now that 2010 is in full swing - I would like to make a new commitment to keeping the blog updated with everything Aidan.

Aidan is growing a developing so much! I cannot believe how fast he is changing. He is looking less like a baby and more like a little boy (a super cute super blond little boy!) As I type this he is napping in his swing (which he has almost outgrown). He is crawling, cruising furniture, climbing the stairs, pulling himself up on everything and he even has two bottom front teeth.

I am certain that everyone who follows this blog, knows about the daycare debacle that we went through in mid-December. Luckily, with the help of work colleagues, JM and I found a great new in-home daycare. Aidan is lucky to be there!!! We also have a great new babysitter/nanny who comes to the house on Mondays to watch Aidan. She is lovely and even helps out around the house some! We are equally lucky to have her!!!

I am amazed as each day goes by how much more my heart opens up to Aidan. Even at his crankiest, my love for him grows and grows. Sappy, I know, but true. He has changed me in many ways that I am just beginning to understand. I love being his mama and I feel truly blessed that he is such a curious, happy little boy.

I could leave the getting up at 6:30 in the morning stuff, but you get my point!

Photos to come -- much love.