Saturday, January 28, 2006


I have a confession to make.......I actually voted for Drew Lachey on Dancing with the Stars. Perhaps I should first make the confession that I am watching Dancing with the Stars. Every night between 7:30 and 8:00pm Isaac takes his last bottle of the day after his bath and before his bedtime (His three B's as we like to call them: Bathtime, Bottletime, and Bedtime). When he has his "bottletime" he does so in the dark living room in the glider. To entertain myself, I usually have the television on really low. Just so happens that Dancing with the Stars is on during this time on Thursday and Friday nights.

I was an avid Newlywed watcher and some of my favorite episodes where when Nick and his brother Drew would take on a home improvement project. Despite their 98 Degrees fame, they were still just "normal" people. My favorite was when they developed a pulley system to get a piece of furniture in through a second story window. I am rooting for Drew to win Dancing with the Stars for two reasons (1) He is the best dancer--and should be as he was in Rent for a season on Broadway (2)No one should be allowed to look like Stacey Keebler, especially female wrestlers (does anyone know if she REALLY is a wrestler? I find this hard to believe). So I confess to you my readers that I voted online for Drew Lachey.

By the way, does anyone remember when ABC used to do "Circus With the Stars"? I loved this show because all of your television favorites (cast of Mr. Belvedere, Alyssa Milano, Kate Jackson from The Scarecrow and Mrs. King, etc) would perform a circus act. Why don't the networks bring that back? That was pure genius!

(Isaac prefers to call in his vote, rather than choosing the online option.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Martha, Martha, Martha

One of our New Year's Resolutions over here at the Phillips' casa is to go through each room in our house and weed out the stuff that is no longer used and organize the remaining treasures. This may sound like the world's worst task to some of you readers, but the idea of organizing something puts a big smile on my face. I was a Graduate Assistant in Grad School and the professor I worked for sat me down one day and told me that he believed that I had the spiritual gift of organization. I taught a whole unit on organization in my classroom (thus probably reinforcing those students with Obsessive Compulsive issues, but oh well) and my students could color-code, alphabetize, and label with the best of the best.

To accomplish this resolution, I have marked in my Day Planner what I plan to clean out each week. Tuesday it was our pantry, which needed some serious help because the unit consists of one tall cabinet with shelves that tend to hide jars and bags of bread. I noticed that Martha Stewart was doing a segment this week on organizing the pantry, so I figured I should tune in to see what tips she had for me. If you have watched the Martha talk show, you likely know it is very dry and Martha typically insults her guests for not knowing such things as the proper use of a cheesecloth or how to expertly arrange flowers. I usually never watch due to these reasons (and because The Cosby Show is on at the same time), but I had to learn how to organize my canned goods.

The celebrity guest for the day was Cyndi Lauper (yes, you read that correctly. Why was she the guest--I am still unsure. She was not promoting a new album because she sang "Time After Time".). So after a soulful rendition of a classic 80's hit, Cyndi joined Martha in the kitchen to be educated on the fine art of pantry organization. Martha had this huge stainless unit that she claims is her actual pantry from her farmhouse (it apparently used to hold towels in her bathroom but she had recently relocated it to her kitchen). This unit was about 7 feet tall and the width of an entire wall. Martha starts in on putting all dry goods in clear, pretty containers and place like items together. Okay, I can do that. Then Cyndi asks a very relevant question, "What are some tips for those of us with small kitchens and small pantries?" Martha's response: "Remodel your kitchen." WHAT?!?!? Does she really think the stay-at-home moms of middle class America who make up her viewing audience can just remodel their kitchen on a whim? Did she not meet any "normal" people while in prison and understand that her farmhouse in the Hamptons where fitted sheets are expertly folded and all plants are labeled is not reality? I turned off the TV right then and decided that I did not need Martha in order to organize my pantry.

Isaac update: We think he rolled from his back to his tummy on Tuesday night. He was all the way over except for one arm kept strategically underneath himself so he could flop onto his back at any moment. He also can take his spoon and feed himself the cereal. His independent nature (don't know where he learned that) is in full bloom!

Monday, January 23, 2006

New Pictures

For some reason, blogger would not let me incorporate these into today's post. Here is Isaac in his Baby Einstein Discover and Play Activity Center. It is a new favorite, soon to replace his swing (which he now tries to roll over and grab the side netting--not a safe feat. Also, I would NOT recommend the Graco swing that we own. It has a mobile that is supposed to hang over baby while he/she swings. This mobile often falls on Isaac's head. Not good when you have soft
spots that are supposedly

Excuse the terrible formatting on this picture. Blogger really hates me this morning. This is Isaac upon returning from a trek up to Walgreens to get his cold medicine. Yes, that is Spiderman that he is clutching onto.

Outfit #18

By about 5pm on Saturday evening, Isaac was on outfit number 18 (or so I think, I quit counting after change number seven). He has been battling a cold all week--putting up with me suctioning out his nose, a smidge of fever, and a cough. It hasn't been the best week for him. On Saturday morning I put him down for his morning nap and made the rest of the day's plans with Tobe. Isaac seemed to be doing better so we had conjured up a list of things to accomplish that day once he woke up. Then I heard a horrible noise over the baby monitor and entered the nursery to find one sweet boy covered in throw-up. Tobe and I sprung into action--he took Isaac off to the bathroom while I stripped the bed. We were hoping this was a one-time deal and caused by the sinus drainage Isaac had been experiencing all week. Nope. This was a several, several times thing that seemed to have no end. Somehow Isaac managed to throw-up on a variety of things Saturday including me, his crib, his beloved puppy dog towel, his quilt on his "big boy bed" (which made me glad I opted not to get the beautiful quilt from Pottery Barn Kids for his big bed, but rather picked up a nice one for $30 at Wal-Mart), every white long-sleeved onesie he owns, half our monster stash of burp clothes, a stack of white towels, and his changing table (You are probably wondering why I pulled out white things during this messy experience. One word--bleach!). I think at one point during the day when Tobe and I were scrubbing stuff out of clothes again, he looked at me and said, "So this is what they call domestic bliss..."

Fortunately Isaac seemed back to normal yesterday. We stayed inside due to the cold, rain, and my fear of RSV. When I took Isaac to our pediatrician for his cold last week, she really encouraged me to go ahead and start rice cereal because Isaac was ready. We (by "we" I mean Isaac. Tobe and I already know how to eat off a spoon. I still fall into the habit of using the collective "we" after all my years of teaching.) have been practicing eating off of a spoon for a few weeks by putting drops of formula on the spoon and feeding it to Isaac. Yesterday for his 4pm feeding we broke out the actual rice cereal. He loved it. Not once did he spit it back out in my face or even act like it was the most disgusting thing he had ever tasted (I personally think anything has to be a step-up from formula). After having about two spoonfuls crammed in his mouth, he would then anticipate the bite and open his mouth wide and kick his legs. I hope this is a sign of a healthy appetite for "real" food (however, I did fear that this appetite might mean that he will eat us out of house and home---I've heard stories of young boys who, after eating almost a fridge full of food, cry at naptime, claiming their mother never gave them lunch :) Perhaps Isaac and such boys can start a support group one day.). So now it is rice cereal twice a day, along with formula. In a few weeks we will add our green veggies, starting with avocados (I like to call it guacamole, minus the mole, but Tobe does not find that slightly amusing.).

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Purple and White

ACU might not be known for their outstanding football team, beautiful campus (brown buildings in West Texas???), or cheap tuition, but the connections it creates through followers of Christ is undeniable. My ACU experience gave me much more than an education, but gave me a stronger faith, lifelong friendships, and a wonderful husband to share my everyday with. This week I have been reminded of the ACU connection. No, I didn't run into some random person from ACU while dropping off my dry cleaning or see someone flash the wildcat symbol while driving down 635. Rather a tragedy happened in the widespread ACU community and within hours the word was spread to be praying for this particular ACU alumni family. I received a phone call yesterday about this situation and several emails today and I only knew those affected by name. How amazing is that? Why doesn't ACU publish that in it's promotional fliers: "Attend ACU and you will immediately become a part of a nationwide prayer chain."

This week's tragedy isn't the first devastation to send out an SOS for prayers. There have been countless stories of ACU friends whose hearts have been broken by grief in some way. Emails fill up alumni mailboxes, knowing that prayers will immediately be lifted up. Tobe and I frequently discuss how during college we took the "ACU experience" for granted, not knowing one day Wednesday night club, midnight breakfasts, and Jack and Jill Donuts would mean so much to us. We are so grateful for this experience and incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be surrounded by God's faithful children. Our hearts break for this newest prayer request and need for comfort, but we know that God is listening to the thousands as they petition for this family. What a blessing.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


I just noticed that it has been a whole week since my last blog. If only I didn't sit around eating bonbons reading US Weekly all day, I could have more time for blogging....

Just to catch you readers up on life here at the Phillips' casa, here are some important events/thoughts from the last week:

1. Isaac has his first cold/Upper Respiratory Infection. Pretty sad, huh? I knew it was going to happen eventually, especially since this is the child who mysteriously caught the stomach bug twice in two weeks. Monday night he woke up crying around 9:30pm (he didn't know that the cast of LOST was going up on stage at that exact moment to accept their much-deserved Golden Globe). This quickly caught our attention, because he never wakes up crying at night. As I leaned over his crib to see what the fuss was about, I soon realized that my poor child's nasal cavities were so jammed with mucus that he could not breathe. Unfortunately, the rest of Monday night was him sleeping some and him waking just enough to cry out because he could not breathe. Fun times. Around 6:15am, Isaac and I went on a scenic drive of early-morning Grapevine to let him fall asleep in his car seat and get some good rest and ease his congestion (we did resist the urge to stop at the Main Street Baking Company for a delicious cinnamon twist--by "we" I really mean me). Yesterday it was off to the pediatrician office to confirm that yes he does have a cold and to get the cheery news that this infection will likely last 10-14 days. However, I have decided that Isaac will tend to be more like his mother and have a faster-than-normal recovery time. Now, we have the humidifier going, temperature checks every two hours, and a pillow stuffed under the crib mattress to keep Isaac's sweet head elevated (although when I came into his nursery this morning, he had managed to get himself flipped all around so that his legs were elevated instead. This does not help the mucus situation, but perhaps he was more worried about vericose veins rather than breathing at the time.)

2. We believe that Isaac can now roll from his back to his tummy. He has not done this major feat yet, but gets so close to rolling over before he throws himself onto his back again. It's like he remembers that being on the tummy isn't so grand and then stops himself from rolling over. He is starting to scoot backwards some when he is on is tummy. I have decided that this does not mean that he is going to crawl backwards. Hopefully this is not simply wishful thinking....

3. My mom was in a car accident last week, where she rear-ended an accident that had happened ten minutes before she came upon the scene (No ticket was issued, however, she did get a citation for "following too close"--only in rural Arkansas). Thankfully, everyone involved is okay. I had a picture to post of her van, but blogger just ate it. Ugh.

4. Love Monkey premiered last night, starring Tom Cavenaugh (sp? I am too lazy to google it to see if I am correct) formerly of the beloved Ed television show. We watched a bit of it, curious to see what it was like. Seemed to follow the whole story line of a famous Tom Cruise movie a little too much (take out sport scout, insert music scout), but Tom had the same cherished qualities that made Ed such a hit. For those old 90210 fans (let's be honest, who isn't a 90210 fan?), Brandon Walsh is in this program. We are all so thankful that Jason Priestly survived his horrible car accident a few years ago, but one would think that such a life-altering event would make him reconsider his hairstyle. Nope. He stills sports the "Brandon."

5. This weekend, Tobe and I watched the film, "The Constant Gardner." We love Focus Features and this one was no exception. I especially loved it because it is based in Kenya and they actually shot the movie there, rather than in South Africa (most movies based in Africa are filmed in South Africa, now that it is open to do so). For my fellow Kenya people, parts of this film are actually shot in Kibera, the other major slum in Nairobi (we were in Mathari--the slum on the other side of town, one of the largest slums in the world. I was so hoping to see a shot of the Mathari River, so I could once again retell the story of one of our team members falling in. Tobe has only heard this story 28 times already.) It was cool for me to be able to show Tobe some of the actual things I have seen while in Kenya. Of course, the cameras did not really show "slum-life" as it truly is, as I am sure the Kenyon government restricted such things, but it did provide a decent overview. Makes you wonder when we as a county are going to focus on the places that really need our help, despite what they do/do not contribute to us. Hmmm. I do recommend "The Constant Gardner"--again it is a film for adults and not children or young teens. And, if you have yet to sign The One document, please do so.

6. Isaac's list of church friends has rapidly expanded in the last week. We are so excited about the arrival of Andrew, Emaline, and Emily. We can't wait for Baby James to show up on the scene. These births are exciting for several reasons, but mainly because these children will be Isaac's Sunday School classmates. I still am in contact with friends whom I sat next to in Cradle Roll.

7. Isaac has become fascinated with the television remote control and the telephone. When we put the phone up to his ear, he now listens intently rather than trying to stuff the whole thing in his mouth. Here is a picture of him talking to his daddy on the phone at work last week:

8. Isaac has yet to begin eating rice cereal. The doctor gave us the green light to do so at his four month appointment. Because I had food allergies as a child and because we were traveling over the holidays, I put this off. However, we are going to start the cereal anyday now because Isaac is showing signs that he is ready for something else besides the bottle. I plan on making his baby food and am currently reading the book "Super Baby Food". This is the main literary work for those interested in making baby food. The author is a bit ecentric at times, but has some great tips and ideas for making your baby's food. My favorite part of the whole book was a list of possible signs of allergic reactions. You have to slowly introduce solid foods to your baby, so you can determine if there are any food allergies. Anyway, on this list of signs of reactions the author has the standard: swelling of face, watery eyes, rash, etc. Then at the very end of the list, she has "death" as a sign of allergic reaction. You think? Can you really consider "death" to be a sign of a food allergy in your child? I know that people do have horrible food allergies that can cause death, but I didn't think this "allergic sign" really needed to be put in the same list as itchy skin and runny nose.

oops, I hear coughing and crying in the next room. I am off to tend to my patient!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Miss WorryWart

Yep, that's me--Miss WorryWart. I honestly think one of the hormones that kicks in as soon as you see that little positive sign on the pregnancy test is the worry hormone. I spent the first part of my pregnancy worrying that something would happen and I would lose the baby (until my nurse at school told me that I could possibly make my body do so out of worry and stress--then I worried that I was worrying too much). Then I focused my worry on things that can happen to a child in the womb--organs not forming right, too many QT cokes causing large amounts of caffeine to come through the umbilical cord, a potential fall onto my whale-like stomach. I would panic if I felt a lack of fetal movement (which lead to two different trips to the hospital for non-stress tests). During those moments of worry, I would think, "I can't wait until Isaac is here and I can see him, then I won't worry so much.

YEAH RIGHT! Now that he is here, I worry about a whole new variety of things. One of my biggest worries is SIDS. I often wake-up about two to three times a night to check and see if Isaac is still breathing. I make sure that there is always a fan going in his room to prevent the temperature from being above 68 degrees. Although I give Isaac his loved giraffe blanket to fall asleep with, I always sneak into his room once he is asleep and pry it off his face.

Yesterday as he and I were driving to physical therapy, I had this sudden worry about what I would do if a sudden natural disaster happened while we were away from the house. I panicked because I only had about three feedings of formula in his diaper bag and only one bottle of water. As I was thinking that I should probably start traveling with a full container of liquid formula and a package of diapers in the trunk of my car in case war breaks out here in Grapevine and I am unable to return home, I realized that I had turned into Miss Worrywart and needed to calm down. During my teaching career, I dealt with a variety of parents, some who worried and obsessed over the silliest details of their child. I don't want to be that parent who carries her child into kindergarten everyday, fearful that he might get trampled by the bigger kids (it happens, trust me!) . I don't want Isaac to be the only child on the soccer field, covered in bubblewrap because his mother fears a broken bone. God gave me a boy--someone who will likely nosedive off my couch, contemplate how to climb up on a roof, and stand on the seat of his bike while racing down the street.

This morning I read Isaac his board book about the story of Abraham and Isaac from the Bible. This story is such an example of a parent who did not worry about his child, yet trusted that God had things under control. Today I am working on my worrying and obsessing over potential dangers. I have cancelled my order for the plastic bubble to put Isaac in and might even let him play with the remote control without thinking that all of his drool could cause an electric shock....

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Miss Morgan!

Happy Birthday, Morgan! We hope that you have a lovely first birthday. Here is a picture of your mommy and me taken shortly after you were born. Notice how refreshed and perky your mom looks, despite the sleepless nights. Notice that I look fat rather than pregnant and am wearing hot pink, a color I normally avoid (must have been the hormones or perhaps a sale at Old Navy that week). I had a picture to post of you in the hospital, but Blogger was being stubborn.
We can't wait to see you now that you are "all grown up" (as opposed to being "just a baby" when I saw you two weeks ago)!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Television Tidbits

For those of you with nothing else to do right now, I have a few television tidbits to share.

1. The other night Tobe and I were discussing Blue's Clues (and you all thought we sat around and chatted psychology all day). Don't know how we got on this topic (I guess we were done discussing car batteries, huh Tobe?), especially considering Isaac only watches the occasional Baby Einstein video and The View. As you parents of small children might know, a while back the main guy (Steve?) on Blues Clues was replaced by a similar looking friend of Blue who also happened to carry the handy-dandy notebook. Apparently the former Steve is now living the "rock and roll" life. Tobe read about him in an issue of Spin magazine. How do you explain that one to all your edgy, rock friends? Do you think he really has any credibility in the rock circles, considering he used to once talk and dance with an animated blue dog?

2. Last weekend Tobe and I took Isaac on a stroll down lovely Main Street, once again admiring our great town. I happened to notice a poster on a storefront, proclaiming that Candace Cameron (formerly known as DJ Tanner on Full House) is coming to speak at the First Baptist Church here in Grapevine. How exciting is that? Who didn't love DJ with her big-sister wit and long hair with perfect mall bangs? Apparently she is on a speaking tour aimed for mothers and daughters based on the concept, "I am a princess and my Father is the King of Kings". I missed Lisa Welch (Blair from Facts of Life) when she was at the MOPS convention at the Gaylord back in September, but don't think I can pass on Candace Cameron. Anyone have a daughter I can borrow?

3. For those LOST fans out there, do you know if Walt is now off the show for good? He is apparently in a new show on ABC that just premiered this week. I am quite excited about the new two hour episode on Wednesday and will be terribly angry if they use the first hour to summarize everything that has been happening this season. I will also be angry if they spend more than five minutes on the tension between Jack and Kate. Matthew Fox (AKA Jack) also had terrible love issues on Party of 5, so this whole tension with Kate is old-hat in my opinion.

4. This is more film related rather than television, but I liked the sound of "Television Tidbits" and didn't want to change my title. Last night Tobe and I watched the documentary "Murderball" after Isaac went to bed (didn't you hate it when your parents sent you off to bed and you knew they were going to stay up and watch Falcon Crest and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson? Don't you love being on the other side of this torture now?). This is a documentary about the United States quadriplegic Rugby Team. The documentary was very well made and the story was fascinating. These men have either broken their neck or had some disease that makes them confined to a wheelchair. Some don't have arms or hands, others have limited use of their hands. They rush around on the court in these Mad Max-esque wheelchairs, slamming into each other. Greatness. I recommend it to you if you enjoy a good documentary. Please be warned that these are athletes and they do use "locker room" language VERY freely. Also, the sport is a bit violent, so this is not a suitable movie for children or young teens.

5. This weekend Tobe and I also viewed the film "Crash" (can you tell we have cashed in our Netflix gift certificate?). Tobe liked the movie, but proclaimed it to be the second most depressing movie after "The Hours" starring Nicole Kidman (that movie I recommend to NO ONE. It is the MOST depressing movie ever made and the theaters should have had a psychiatrist on hand to dispense Prozac to movie-goers on their way home). I really enjoyed "Crash."(I am a prolific movie reviewer, huh? Move over Rich Shirtenlieb) It looks at racial stereotypes and how such stereotypes "crash" into each other and can cause a lot of destruction. We live in a society that in some ways forces us to protect ourselves from others out of fear and potential dangers. However, sometimes this need to protect creates preconceived notions and ideas about people and groups of people. Don't remember Jesus preaching about his people doing that one anywhere in the Bible.... Anyway, I thought it was a good film and also recommend it. Once again, not for children or preteens. Also not for those who are currently in a deep state of depression.

6. An interesting sidenote about "Crash" that I felt needed it's own point--Jin from Lost is in this movie. As we popped in the DVD and were choosing our options from the menu screen, there were flashes from the movie playing. All of the sudden, Jin pops up. We got so excited that he was going to be in this movie, because we like his character on LOST. Well, his whole screen time was approximately 19 seconds and I don't believe he had any lines. This movie was made before LOST became a cult hit and he was just another starving actor. However the DVD of Crash has since been released after his popularity on LOST. Tobe and I assume they editors of the DVD flashed Jin up during the menu selection to gain the favor of LOST fans. Pretty tricky.

What are your random television tidbits?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Then and Now

A year ago today we saw Isaac for the first time. Can't say he was much of a looker then.....

And here he is now, hanging out in his favorite spot--his changing table (location of birth announcement pictures as well!). We aren't quite sure what we will do when he outgrows this table, considering it can calm him down when he is upset. I wonder how much weight a Jenny Lind piece of furniture can hold....

Aside from that piece of sentiment, I have a complaint with Matt Lauer today. This morning he was reporting live for the Today show from the scene of the horrible mining accident. First, let me say that this is a terrible tragedy, especially considering the misinformation that was reported (another example of why the game "Telephone" teaches such an important life concept). Now my beef with Matt Lauer--he was live with a gentleman who had lost his father in the mining accident and the governor of the state. Matt was attempting to ask the grieving man introspective questions, such as "Tell us what kind of man your father was." and "How does this tragedy affect your community?" I am not sure what answers or type of response Matt thought he would get from someone who has been awaiting to hear the fate of his father for days and has heard two conflicting stories about the condition of the miners in the past six hours. The response Matt did get was a bunch of jumbled, angry words and incoherent statements. Since when did putting a grieving human on TV become quality programming? I felt sad and embarrassed for this man as he was on national TV in a state of shock and grief. Matt Lauer seems to have a compassionate heart--why did he conduct such an interview? Apparently after the cameras went back to Katie in NYC, the man had very harsh words for the governor (who can blame him?). Of course, once the cameras were back on Matt he had to share the details of these harsh words.

So my question is when are we as a people going to stop craving the sensationalism of our fellow man? Why did the Today show producers think that their viewing audience wanted to see someone in the grip of grief? Why do we care if Angelina has Brad's baby? Hopefully soon the viewing public will tire of reality TV and its voyeuristic nature and resume interest in quality programming and compassionate journalism -- especially now that the 4th season of Newlyweds isn't going to happen.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

All Things Must Come to an End

Sadly today was our final Christmas celebration. Tobe, Isaac, and I are fortunate enough to not simply celebrate Christmas one time each year, but four times (sometimes five on the years we are actually in Searcy for Christmas day). Today was our final Christmas celebration as we opened gifts and drank hot chocolate (despite the 70+ degree weather) with Tobe's parents. We have been traveling for over a week now and just arrived back at the Phillips' Manor yesterday. Here are some highlights for us during the past week:

1. We drove to Lubbock on the 23rd with Tobe's parents and sister. Isaac did wonderful in the car, only becoming fussy during the last thirty minutes. We quickly resolved this problem by turning on Baby Einstein (which I refer to as "Baby Crack" because of the reaction it invokes out of children) on the laptop and peace resumed.

2. We ate at the lovely Taco Villa in Lubbock.

3. Isaac was able to meet his great-grandfather on Tobe's dad side, the last relative he had yet to meet.

4. I was able to enjoy some quality "girl time" with all of Tobe's female relatives out at his grandparents farm. Girl time involves sitting around the kitchen table sharing a bit of gossip, lots of laughter, and eating Uncle Lamar's fudge straight from the pan. Poor Isaac had to join in on a lot of this girl time as one of us was usually holding him. Hopefully he took notes and can put such wisdom to good use one day as a married man.

5. Tobe preached a wonderful sermon Christmas morning as we all worshipped together as a family. His words brought forth tears and laughter. We also had a great time teasing Tobe about his sermon leading up to Sunday morning. I personally wanted to create a church bulletin to pass out. Do you think Mr. Gatti's gives you the 10% off on the Sunday buffet if you bring in a homemade bulletin?

6. Tobe and I managed to get good gifts in the gift exchange at his paternal grandparents celebration. This is very important to me each year as I was robbed of the Eurosealer the first Christmas I spent with Tobe's family (those persons who stole such Eurosealer will remain nameless).

7. Isaac was awake during the opening of stockings on Christmas morning, but snoozed right through the opening of the presents. Tobe and I opened his gifts for him and then remembered a few days later that we never showed him what he had received that morning. Oops.

8. Santa left Isaac the Snicky Snack Hippo, which was a huge hit. Isaac LOVES this stuffed hippo which is also a book. It is on my list of recommended toys.

9.Isaac did wonderful on all the plane rides--we flew from Lubbock to Dallas to Little Rock on Tuesday of last week and then flew from Little Rock to Dallas yesterday. He was the perfect little traveler, not fussing once during the flights. He was also incredibly tolerant of constantly changing environments and of various people playing with him throughout the week.

10. Isaac witnessed his first West Texas dust storm as we headed out of Lubbock on our way to Searcy. Can't say that I miss that aspect of West Texas. My allergies still aren't the same.

11. Tobe and I were able to see King Kong at the Searcy Cinema 5 while Nana J and Pop-Pop baby-sat. Those readers familiar with the Searcy Cinema 5 know this was a less than thrilling experience. Supposedly we saw the movie in the theater with stadium seating. Apparently if you elevate a row slightly, this is considered to be stadium seating. Also, this cinema requires you to buy tickets at the concession stand and pay only in cash. We had to wait as bubba and his twelve kids ordered every possible combination of popcorn and coke before we could get our measly movie tickets. Perhaps one day someone will build a real movie theater in the lovely town of Searcy and Cinema 5 will go out of business. One can dream....

12. I was able to visit with some friends from DC and finally meet their precious baby girl. Sometimes it seems surreal that I actually have a child and then for that child to be "playing" with the child of one of my childhood playmates (could you follow that thought despite the numerous times I used the word "child"?). Weird.

13. Our house was not consumed by the fires that apparently were sweeping across the DFW area. Last night I did hear the charming (I use that term loosely) neighborhood boys shooting off fireworks and hoped that a fellow neighbor had more energy than I did and called the police to report such behavior. I was only able to briefly think of how horrible it would be for our new fence to catch fire before I drifted back off to sleep.

14. We finally were able to get medicine to treat Isaac's poor constipation after things became really bad on Monday of last week. I know this is not a particularly holiday-esque highlight, but it was a very big deal for us. Things are going just fine now for sweet Isaac and his intestines.

15. Everyone loved the gifts that we gave them. The Christmas craft from hell was well received and nothing broke in all of our travels. (By the way, the Christmas craft was sets of coasters with various family pictures on them)

16. I now own Rachel Ray's cookbook "365 Meals: No Repeats" and will no longer wonder what to do for supper this year. Amongst other things, Tobe gave me a gift certificate to take cooking lessons, something I have been dying to do. My husband was very creative in his gift giving this year and really tried to make things special for me.

17. Tobe and I took my grandmother on a scenic drive of Arkansas and saw such places as Step Rock, Bald Knob, and Boldingville. We heard some great stories and drove past the house where Grandmother grew up. Then it was off to dinner at the famous Huckleberry's Catfish House. Such establishment is a great lesson for Tobe in Arkansas 101. I believe he stopped counting men in overalls when he got to seven....

18. My family was able to have a quiet, enjoyable holiday even though it has been a difficult month since the passing of my grandfather. I believe it helped things this year with Christmas falling on a Sunday and Tobe and I arriving on the 27th. Our normal family holiday traditions were put aside for the year and we were able to enjoy being with each other and honor the memory of Pawpaw.

19. Tobe discovered that there is a new version of the soft drink Big Red (his family's favorite beverage--I believe it to be an acquired taste). This new version is called Big Red Float and is supposed to taste like Big Red and vanilla ice cream blended together. He said it was not that tasty and prefers to stick to the regular version.

20. Isaac has found his voice and his feet, both of which are providing him with hours of entertainment. He has been talking for months now (by talking, I mean the basic cooing and babbling--however I swear he sometimes says, "Momma"), but he just learned how to talk very loudly. This can entertain him for extended periods of time, especially when ten people are all huddled around him laughing at every cute move he makes. He found his feet about a month ago, but really did not show a lot of interest. All of the sudden these appendages hold great interest to him. He especially likes his feet when they are sockless and shoeless (which doesn't happen very often because I have a thing about always wearing socks) and ends up tickling himself when he grabs at them. Too cute.

That is our holiday in its condensed version ( I know you are wondering how long the extended version would have been). Tomorrow we officially close the book on Christmas 2005 as the tree and all the decorations come down. I am now off to finish cleaning up the last of Isaac's latest throw-up episode and then crawl into bed in my snazzy new red jammies (thanks, Santa Baker!). Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas season as well!

Here are some pictures from the past week. My favorite is the picture of Isaac covering his face with his giraffe blanket while he slept.