Wednesday, May 31, 2006

One Hundred!!!

According to my blogger dashboard, this is my 100th post. Amazing! I hate to think about all the things I could have done instead of creating these one hundred posts, however I do enjoy looking back in the Blogger archives and seeing what was going on in our lives a few months ago.

100. I really should have an eloquent post about Immigration policy, the war in Iraq, or at the very least the new Jolie-Pitt baby (who I am so thankful they did not name "Africa" as was speculated). Nope. Would you settle for a recap of our Memorial Day weekend and some Isaac pictures? I guess you really don't have a choice.

Usually the Phillips clan loads up in the Camry and heads off to Arkansas for Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend. This year we decided to chill at home. Saturday we headed out to the local mall, something we do not usually do on the weekends because of large crowds and tourists. However, it was not that bad and we did some fun shopping. Tobe bought me two cute shirts as I attempt to avoid being classified in the "sweatpants crowd" (That's a Ticket reference for those Mike and Greg fans out there). That night we just hung out at home as I beat Tobe at Nintendo (yes, we are nerds. And if you ever tell our children that we own a gaming system, we will disown you. I hope they never discover the mind-numbing world of Game Cube). Sunday Tobe and I were able to escape to the movies in the afternoon while Nana C and Papa watched Isaac (and did a few home repairs--we always love when Papa visits!). That night was the traditional cook-out and Isaac had his first hamburger. There is no way this child will be a vegetarian because his favorite foods so far are cooked, shredded chicken and hamburger meat. Monday found us being super lazy and accomplishing very little that could be labeled as "productive." Tobe did assemble the jogging stroller that he received as a Christmas present from my parents. It works much better for our morning hikes than the Graco stroller. Isaac loves the new stroller because it has a safety bar (think Texas Giant at Six Flags) that goes across his chest. However, he sees it more as a teething bar, rather than an instrument of safety.

To close this 100th post, I must include the latest pictures of Isaac. Thanks for reading these posts every day and leaving behind witty comments!

Searching for the perfect toy.......


Bathtime Mohawk....I believe the hairdresser will be seeing us this weekend. We decided that Isaac looks like an old man with a combover when the wind blows his hair. It is getting so long! (Yes, that is a bruise on his forehead from an incident with the coffee table)

Baby Yoga

Finally....Happy Birthday, PopPop

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Isaac Antics

Here is Isaac doing his famous yoga pose: Downward Facing Dog. He can lift either leg while doing this and/or an arm. He can pivot around and then sit down from this position as well. Try it sometime today--it is quite impossible.

Cooking in the kitchen with Mama: the next Foodnetwork Star perhaps?

One Happy Camper

Thrilled that nap time is over

Chatting on the phone with dad--a favorite hobby. Isaac loves all aspects of the telephone. He loves when it rings, when he talks on it, when he gets to push the buttons, and when someone else is talking on it. We were at a friend's house the other day and their phone rang. Isaac's little eyes perked up and he began looking around for the phone. Perhaps we have a future telemarketer on our hands....maybe one day he can work at the ACU call center and beg alumni who are still paying off school loans to donate a mere $1000.00 so they can join the prestigious President's Circle.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thirteen Things to Smile About

Okay, so the past 48 hours haven't been filled with parades and marching bands. Nor have they been filled with huge rain clouds and powerful lightening. However, they have been a bit hectic, stressful, and upsetting at times. Today I devote my "Thursday 13" to the things that have made me smile, regardless of the situations swirling around me.
1. Isaac has started practicing yoga. No, we did not sign up for Mommy and Me yoga class (although I would if it weren't $300 at the neighborhood Yoga Center). Isaac will get up on all fours--with arms straight and legs straight--with his head on the floor. Those yogis out there might know this pose as "Downward Facing Dog." Isaac will then pivot around, checking out the world from upside down. He can do this one-handed at times and can also fall into a sitting position from this angle. It is hysterical. I am trying to capture this feat on film, but he stops the moment I whip out the camera.
2. Grapevine Mills is opening a new Children's Place. We already have The Children's Place outlet, but now we are also getting a supersize Children's Place store. I love Children's Place because they carry little boys clothes that look like things little boys should wear and are free from scary puffy images or dump trucks splashed across them.
3. Isaac and I bid farewell this morning to the crossing guard we pass every day on our morning walk. I have become a bit attached to the thirty second conversation I have with this woman each morning. She even noted today that she had not seen us the past two days (due to the sickness). Have a great summer, Mrs. Crossing Guard!
4. I talked to my husband at least five times on the phone today. Normally I do not call him at work because he has an important job and I hate to disturb him. However, I kept having to either tell him something or ask him a question at various points throughout the day. It was nice to hear his voice during the day today.
6. Isaac spontaneously reached out, grabbed my face, and gave me a huge kiss this morning when I get him up from his nap.

7. This blog has allowed me to reconnect with many friends from my past. Yesterday one of these connections became very useful in getting out needed information regarding a serious situation.
8. Isaac's hair always makes me smile. His beautiful blonde hair has become seriously out of control. It has filled in on the sides and in the back nicely, but the top is starting to get thick and crazy. Without hair products the top of the hair, towards the crown, sticks straight up. The sides are now sticking out over his ears. The other night I was flipping channels when I happened upon a country music awards show. Brooks and Dunn were on stage. Isaac is currently sporting the same hairstyle as Brooks and it isn't pretty. Although this crazy hair makes me smile, I figure we will be on our way to the barber shop soon.
9. The Dixie Chicks' new album is greatness and it has been the soundtrack of our house since Tuesday. I know, I know---people hate the Dixie Chicks because of what Natalie said about the President. The Chicks are still in good favor here in the Phillips' household. I find it amusing that some people have become anti-Dixie Chicks yet most likely support other celebrities( by seeing their movies, buying their music, and viewing their shows) who promote such "infractions" as adultery, substance abuse, or objectification of women as opposed to anti-war sentiments. Tobe and I were in London days after Natalie made this statement. The vibes in Europe regarding the war in Iraq were much different than they were here at home. We actually attended a very large anti-war demonstration (where someone was carrying a large sign with a picture of Sean Connery that read, "Sean Says No." Random, but hysterical) in Trafalger Square during that trip. So this new album makes me smile and I still love my country. Also, I feel as if we have to support Natalie because she and Tobe attended the same middle school in Lubbock. I just know if we ever meet her that she will remember Tobe (because of his unique name and because they were in the minority at this school) and then we can become bestest friends with her.
10. Thinking about the season finale of Lost brings a huge smile to my face. For those international readers, stick with Lost although parts of season 2 can seem a bit tiresome. The finale was greatness! Also, anyone watch the finale on High Def TV? Apparently people with such viewing capabilities got an extra five seconds at the end of the show.
11. As I changed Isaac's diaper this morning, I watched the kids in our neighborhood run to school. It is the last day of school for Grapevine-Colleyville and kids are excited! Who doesn't love that feeling of the last day of school?
12. As I type this, Isaac is laying in the floor pulling CDs out one by one. He takes the time to study each CD before laying it on the ground and choosing another one. It is as if he is trying to select the perfect music for our day and is carefully reading each playlist. Like his father, he understands the gentle nature one needs to use when handling the CD collection and he is being quite careful with each one.
13. Finally, the thing that has made me smile the most in the past 48 hours is knowing that a dear family friend is safe today. My mom's best friend was in a terrible car accident Wednesday morning and things were looking grave at first. Although this friend has numerous injuries and broken bones, it appears that she will recover and we will continue to be blessed by her presence in our lives.
What has made you smile today?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Four. That is the number of baths Isaac took yesterday. Now you might be thinking to yourself, "For a kid who can't walk yet, he sure does get dirty a lot." Dirt was not the reason for the four baths. High fevers kept plaguing our sweet boy and I kept having to throw him in the tub to cool him off. Monday at noon Isaac and I were shopping at the SuperTarget. Quite a few people talked to him while he clutched the box of instant oatmeal. All of these people commented on how he looked sleepy. He did look sleepy, which was odd because nap time was over an hour away and he had taken a great morning nap. We came home, ate, and Isaac went to sleep. When he woke-up from his nap, he was warm to the touch so I took him temperature. It was 102.7. I called the doctor, who said to bring him in since we live close. The three of us jumped in the car and headed for the pediatrician's office.

Isaac's temp at the office was well over 103, so we stripped him down and sponged him off trying to get the fever down. Not a pleasant experience for little Isaac. We knew he was really feeling bad when he fell asleep on my shoulder as we waited for the doctor. Monday night was spent sleeping when the fever was down and crying when it spiked over 103. The whole family got to enjoy the 2am showing of Emeril Live.

Yesterday was more of the same with high fevers returning every time the medicine wore-off. Isaac looked quite confused when I put him in the bathtub at 8am, knowing that on his list of things to do for the day bathtime was not scheduled until 7pm. By the time we put him in the bath for the third time yesterday, he acted as if he normally soaks in the tub periodically throughout the day. The doctor is waiting to see how he is this morning before deciding to take the antibiotic route. As of now, he is semi-happy and interested in his toys. His fever this morning was a mere 100, which is great news.

Yesterday afternoon when I laid Isaac down for his nap, he was feeling a bit better. I think he had the energy to sit up, but not enough energy to get himself back into the laying position. This is what I found when I went to check on him:

Don't worry. I moved him into a more comfortable sleeping position---right after I took pictures and video.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The List

By the time I graduated high school, I had created a long list of restaurants that I could no longer visit and enjoy. The reason I created such a list was because I had either become sick at this restaurant or shortly after dining there (oh, were you eating your morning Cheerios? Sorry to discuss such things so early in the morning). The Lord blessed me with a sensitive stomach and an incredibly sensitive palate, so I will completely throw the towel in on some foods or eating establishments if they have caused stomach distress (after month six of pregnancy, I bid farewell to lasagna for forever).

Isaac is starting his own list. His list is retail shops that he has thrown-up in while shopping. The first store on his list is The Children's Place, after our unfortunate incident in the Fall. The second store on his list: Kohls. Saturday the family was happily shopping at Kohl's when Isaac became a bit fussy. This is very unusual for him so I took him out of the stroller and carried him around a bit as he helped me search for the perfect bargain. About ten seconds after I placed Isaac back into his stroller, he threw-up all over himself. We stripped him down in the parking lot and headed for home with a diaper-clad baby in tow.

At first I felt like the Kohl's incident was a fluke. Perhaps Isaac had eaten too much at lunch or something had not agreed with his little tummy. This idea was quickly squashed when Isaac began to throw-up more once we were back home. Poor thing would be sick and then would fall asleep sitting up. This did cause Tobe and me to giggle, however we refrained from snapping a picture due to what would be in the foreground besides a sleeping baby. At one point, Tobe and I were lying on either side of Isaac as he rested on a make-shift palate (didn't want to clean throw-up out of the slats on his crib) in the floor of his room. Isaac would reach over and pat my face and then reach over and pat Tobe's face. By 5:00pm Isaac seemed fine and we think the cause of the sickness was excess drainage from teething. Yesterday, Isaac was his normal self and was very intent on putting every possible toy he could find into his Fisher Price shape-sorter. At one point he even attempted to put his rather large gumball machine into his much smaller shape-sorter. Funny boy.
Besides running extra loads of laundry and scrubbing unmentionable things off the kitchen floor on Saturday, the Phillips' family enjoyed a relaxing weekend. Tobe and I were able to go to dinner at the Gaylord Texan and frolic at Main Street Days, minus the baby. Although I love the two festivals Grapevine holds each year, I often grow weary by Sunday of festival weekend of the excess traffic and the cars lining the streets in our neighborhood. It was a great festival again this year, but I was not sad this morning as we walked past city workers cleaning up the remains of this three day event. Last night Tobe and I watched the movie Shopgirl, based on Steve Martin's novella. I found it to be a great flick--if you liked Lost in Translation, then you will like this movie (if you haven't seen Lost in Translation--go rent it immediately!).
Hope everyone had a nice, relaxing weekend as we gear up for a new week!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Playgroup 101

Isaac and I belong to a local playgroup (well, Isaac belongs. I am just the chauffeur/personal chef/toy hauler) that we have yet to attend. The first meeting was during his nine month check-up so we had to cancel our appearance. This week's playgroup meeting was changed to "Let's All Go to Main Street Days" and Isaac already had a play date during that time. So we are 0 for 2 on the whole Play Group thing.

Isaac's play date on Friday was with his dear friend
Morgan. Isaac doesn't know that Morgan is his dear friend, but I tell him every time we look at her picture on the refrigerator (We look at friends' babies a lot on our fridge and I always say, "There is your friend Lauren." "There is your friend Kati." I also call all of Isaac's toys "his friends." I am likely building up a considerable about of confusion in this little boy over the idea that inanimate objects are his friends.). Morgan's mom,Alison, was my roommate all four years of college. We were randomly assigned to each other (potluck roomies, if you will) and instantly clicked. The day we met we were wearing the same outfit and quickly realized we both shared a secret love for cheesy 80's music (Chicago, REO Speedwagon--who we saw in concert a few years ago, Air Supply), had a fetish for stealing restaurant menus, and both drove Hondas. It was fate. Despite the fact that we have not lived together for quite a while now and we are both married, we still introduce the other as "My roommate...."

It is only suiting that our children would be best friends, despite the fact they are seven months apart and only see each other about once a month. Since one day Isaac and Morgan will likely be unable to share a dorm room in Gardner Hall (yes, Alison and I were uncool and lived in the "fat girls" dorm), we figure the only logical solution is for the two of them to one day marry.

Here are some pictures we will use during the rehearsal dinner slideshow:

I love the middle picture, because it appears if Isaac is telling Morgan something quite interesting and slightly shocking.


People often ask us how we ended up with a blonde hair, blue-eyed child when neither of us has blonde hair or blue eyes. I guess we were just lucky. Anyway, there is no doubt this child is ours. Just look how happy food makes him.....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

It's Thursday!

Thirteen Things I witnessed at Wal-Mart Today
1. A young couple taking one diaper from the package and leaving the package and it's remaining 35 diapers (not 36) behind. Classy.
2. A woman text-messaging someone (I am sure it was mega-important) and almost hitting several other shoppers with her cart. She would then proceed to glare at the other shopper as if he/she was the offender.
3. An older man wearing only a denim vest as his shirt. Not something I care to see again.
4. The only package of 9-12 month old socks had a large hole in the plastic and one sock was missing. Perhaps the couple from #1?
5. A man earnestly studying the Goody hair clip section--late Mother's Day gift perhaps?
6. A middle-aged Caucasian woman with one sweatpant leg rolled-up and the other leg down. Was it an LL Cool J reference and she was attempting to get a leg-up on her competition or was it for medical/comfort reasons?
7. An older man doing a very serious 7-pt. turn with his rather large truck in the parking lot when he could have easily gone either forward or backward.
8. Dessert Baby Food.
I have seen such a thing before, but everytime I see "Blueberry Buckle" or "Hawaiian Delight" I just shake my head. How can American children be anything but fat when companies market desserts for babies?
9. My child happily clinging to a large roll of Bounty as he talked and smiled in the cart.
10. Tom Cruise on the cover of "Good Housekeeping." Really? Aren't women completely over him?
11. Bedroom in a Box. Need to redo the boudior? Wal-Mart has it all in a box, ready to go.
12.An entire wall devoted to scrapbooking materials for your pet. Pets are great, but what about things to make my baby's 1st birthday invitation?
13. The couple from #1 changing their child in the middle of the aisle and then throwing the dirty diaper behind the packages of other diapers. Perhaps they forgot where the bathrooms were located...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Think You're Having a Bad Day???

Today seemed full of promise, until I turned my alarm off and stayed in bed much longer than I intended. There were many things to accomplish and by the time I managed to pull myself from out of the covers at 6am, I felt most of the day had passed me by. After pouring my first cup of coffee, I set out once again to search for a missing Teacher Plan Book from last year that I really need right now. I presume it is misboxed with "unnecessary" school items in the attic, but I still feel the need to repeatedly search the "necessary" school item boxes in the study. No planner. Isaac was up early. Things started to appear a bit gray when I laid him on his changing table to change his diaper and discovered the reason for his early wakening. As I attempted to dispose of the terribly dirty diaper in the Diaper Champ, it somehow exploded and I wound up cleaning up poop off the Champ and off me. In the process of doing this, I managed to step on a bottle of diaper rash cream that Isaac had dropped off the changing table. Because I was already in my exercise clothes, I had on tennis shoes and the hard step caused the bottle to explode as well. Have you ever tried cleaning diaper rash cream out of your new Frieze carpet? Next to impossible. Isaac's morning bottle and our morning jaunt were relatively uneventful, with the exception of the rude driver honking at me in an annoyed fashion because I dared cross the street when given the appropriate walk signal, thus impeding his ability to turn left. Sorry, dude. When it came time for Isaac's morning nap, I went through our nap routine as usual and laid him down to drift into sweet slumber. Then the crying began and continued on and on. Isaac is getting another tooth on the opposite side of his first tooth (he is going for the fang look, I suppose) and the gums were hurting too much to sleep. After several failed attempts to get him settled, I got him up and switched on a Baby Einstein. This eased the pain, but he wanted me to either hold him or be right next to him during his movie time. After watching dancing shark puppets and a fascinating train scene, I was able to lay Isaac down to sleep about an hour and 1/2 after his normal time. I then proceed to jump through the shower, with hopes of being in "normal" clothes before noon. I sat down in the living room to dry my hair and fix my make-up, anticipating catching up on part of a Food Network Special I had taped the night before. Silly me forgot the fact that the times posted on the Food Network website are Eastern Standard and I managed to record only the last 5 minutes of Ina Garten's Chefography. I woke-up Isaac for lunch (I know, I know...never wake a sleeping baby). He has a new trick of offering me every toy he seems to think tastes good for my sampling pleasure. Today he felt the need to share his cut-up carrots with me. I hate cooked carrots, but felt the need to play this game to teach him how to share and to promote healthy eating habits. Some carrots I managed to swallow whole and escape most of their unpleasant taste.

By 1pm I was thinking, "This day has been crazy and I feel like I haven't accomplished one thing." I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, when I realized that things could be much, much worse. I could be Sean Preston Spears Federline.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day Madness

Okay, so Mother's Day had no madness in it whatsoever, but sometimes I succumb to the pressure of the blogging world and feel the need to create witty titles. "Mothers Day 2006" just wasn't cutting it for me this morning, so I opted for drama and threw the word "madness" in my title. Can you tell it's Monday?

The Phillips' family had another great weekend. Friday we had a sprinkler system installed in our front yard, putting end to Tobe's torturous watering schedule (our front yard is the shape of Florida--sounds interesting until you try to water it with one movable sprinkler). Although the yard looks like it was ravaged by a mole, the system is in and working. Perhaps we will win "Yard of the Month" this year....

Friday night Tobe and I watched "Munich" after Isaac went to bed. Good movie, but very intense. It will make you think twice about becoming an undercover hitman for your country--not the glorious life it appears to be. The main idea that I drew from this movie is that although we do not like to think this, "terrorists" are people living everyday lives (in some regard) just like me. This movie illustrated how some of the men involved in the kidnapping and murder of Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympic games had "normal" lives---sending their kids off to school, pursuing hobbies, etc. I am still processing this movie and my thoughts about it.

Saturday the family went and voted in our local election. William D. Tate, our lovely mayor, was up for re-election and someone was actually running against him. We did our civic duty and voted, however I was a little upset that I did not get an "I voted today" sticker. Apparently those are only given to people who vote early. William D. won and our city is celebrating another victory for the Tate family. That evening I prepared a tapas-inspired meal for Tobe and our buddy Mark. We dined in front of the Mavs game, holding our breath in those final seconds as they barely pulled off a victory. I was disappointed to see that Eva Longoria was not there, sporting her "Tony" jeans (she has jeans that are bedazzled with Tony Parker's name--they are a bit unfortunate if you ask me).

Yesterday we had a great Mother's Day celebration with just the three of us. Tobe called me from the nursery after he went in to get Isaac for the morning. I walked in to find Isaac sitting in his crib, holding my Mother's Day present. Isaac looked so thrilled, as if he had come up with the idea himself. Tobe was incredibly thoughtful and got me a dozen roses, 1/2 dozen daisies, and Rachel Ray's new cookbook. Poor guy has to acknowledge my birthday, Mother's Day, and our anniversary all in a row. However, he always puts a lot of thought and effort into his presents and never goes for the standard gift. I am a lucky girl!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother's Day. I really think this can be one of the hardest holidays for people. Some people have lost their mothers, some have lost children, some want to be mothers and can't, some do not have a great relationship with their mothers or perhaps with their children. If you happen to be in one of those categories, I pray that you found some joy in yesterday despite a negative situation. The Lord has blessed me greatly in the "Mother" department. I have a wonderful Mom who would drop anything for me and loves me unconditionally. Despite the fact that we have not lived in the same state for over ten years, she and I close friends and share many things together. She has shared the laughter and tears that come along with growing-up and has been an excellent example of what a Christian woman and mother should be. She hardly batted an eyelash when I told her I was going to college 500 miles away or going to live in Africa for two months rather than being home for summer break. When Tobe and I set a date to get married after only a week of dating (if you know the story it is not as crazy as that statement makes it seem) my mother booked the church without concern. She held my hand and cheered me on during childbirth and encouraged me in the first weeks of being a mom. What a blessing she is!

The Lord has also blessed me with incredible Grandmothers, a wonderful Mother-in-Law who will do anything for me (and often does before I even have a chance to ask), friends' Mothers who have loved and cared for me as their own, and "older" friends who have provided Motherly assistance when I desperately need it. God also blessed me with a woman who carried me in her womb for nine months, enduring the stigma of being an unwed mother in order to place me in a loving, Christian home. And now the Lord has blessed me with a precious baby boy to love and teach and raise to be a strong God-fearing man.

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day Last Year--seven months pregnant

Mother's Day This Year

I made Tobe pose for these pictures. They are quite "Hallmark-esque" and he tends to be more traditional in regards to picture poses. However, I think they are sweet.

Chillin' on Saturday, catching up on some important reading

Finally, here are some pictures from Isaac's nine month birthday. Poor guy tolerated his mother taking tons of pictures in 95 degree weather. What a trooper!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Beware 13

Friend and Reader Paige has introduced me to "Thursday 13" and has invited everyone to join her in this endeavor. Please don't examine the calendar closely, as today is not really Thursday.

Thirteen Things I Love about Isaac RIGHT NOW:

1. I love the way he smiles up at me, crunching his nose and squinting his eyes. I realized that I make this same face at him sometimes when flashing a smile his direction. They learn to mimic really early, huh?

2.I love the fact that he is currently sound asleep despite the loud noise of a drill directly outside his window. This is the same child who couldn't sleep anywhere when he was a newborn. Thank goodness we are out of that phase (somewhat!)

3. I love that he is starting to respond to sign language. Although he isn't making the signs yet himself (he is still a bit young), he does recognize the signs for "more," "drink," "eat," and "bath." The "bath" sign gets him incredibly excited.

4. I love how he delicately drinks from a cup with no lid. In the bath I let him practice drinking water (not bath water) out of a cup and he gently puts it to his mouth and sips. Right now it is more like a puppy dog slurping up his water, but Isaac is slowly getting the hang of tilting the cup back rather than putting his face into the cup.

5.I love how he learns something new everyday. Just this week, Isaac figured out how to pull himself into a sitting position from being on his tummy. I witnessed this event the first time he did it and rewarded him with the appropriate amount of cheers and whistles. The next time he did this I had placed him on his blanket with a toy while I stepped five feet away into the kitchen to make a bottle. Bottle making is a thirty second process. When I went back into the living room, Isaac was across the room sitting up playing with a block. I freaked out for a moment, expecting to see a bad guy who had picked up my child and moved him to this new location. No bad guy found. Just a nine month old who is learning to cruise quickly!

6. I love when Isaac shakes his head on command. Come on over. You can sit around with us as we all shake our heads. This is pure comedy to Isaac.

7. I love how Isaac's current fascination is socks. He has this weird rash thing on the back of his leg and he is not supposed to be wearing socks for a few weeks (which drives me crazy!). Despite this, if we go out of the house I do put socks on him and then remove the forbidden objects as soon as we are home. Isaac played with one of his discarded socks for a good thirty minutes last night.

8. I love when Isaac waves. He has two forms of the wave. One is his arm going up and down and the other is him twisting his hand at the wrist repeatedly. Adorable. He does not wave on command everytime and there usually is a pause between someone waving at Isaac and him responding likewise. Cute, nonetheless.

9. I love how Isaac lets me know he is about to play with the gliding ottoman (a "no") by giving out a slight giggle. He will laugh, pause for recognition, and then begin to joyfully glide the ottoman. When I look that direction, he scrunches up his face and smiles as if to say, "What?" He is then reprimanded and redirected.

10. I love how Isaac has realized that I am behind him while we are in the car. He tries so hard to look over his shoulder and the top of his carseat to see me while we are driving down the road. I figure this is good stretching to those old neck muscles and won't cause serious harm.

11. I love how Isaac will randomly kiss me. This doesn't happen too often, as he has much better things to do with his day than shower his parents with affection. However, sometimes when we are playing he will reach up or over, depending on where I am, and pull my hair towards him to plant his open mouth on my face. I have to refrain from jumping in the car and buying out Babies R Us at that moment...

12. I love how Isaac giggles everytime I lay him down to sleep. He is just like his mommy--he experiences sheer joy at the idea of going to sleep!

13. I love how well-behaved Isaac is in public places at this stage in life. Today I had to take him with me to a doctor's appointment. This was a serious clinic and everyone was very quiet in the waiting room (with the exception of the lady crying). Isaac was incredibly quiet, eating his fruit puffs and reading his book as if he were five.

Happy Thursday 13....on Friday!

(The post title is just for you, Paige! For those who don't get the title, don't worry. It is just a sign that I am old and need to get a life.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

May Musings

Yesterday as I rapidly pushed Isaac along Main Street on our morning walk, a thought struck me. This is the first May in 24 years in which I am not completing a school year of some sort. I love May because it signifies the approaching summer and contains such an important holiday -- "The Last Day of School." Who doesn't love the last day of school? As an elementary student, the last day of school meant just showing up to pick up the report card and then going with my mom, brothers, and our close friends for a celebratory doughnut. As a high school student, the last day of school meant pulling everything out of your locker and leaving piles of paper, dried-up pens, and abandoned Trapper Keepers for the janitor to sweep up later (a dreadful event now that I look back on it as a responsible adult). As a college and graduate student, the last day of school meant an end to Finals Week, late night runs to Whattaburger for Taquitos, and the famous ACU Midnight Breakfast (in which I drug my roommates and close friends to every semester in hopes of winning a coveted door prize. I never won. Tobe won once and gave his prize to me, but it just wasn't the same). Finally, as a teacher, the last day of school meant frantically tying up lose ends, packing supplies away for the summer, and blissfully knowing I did not have to think about certain students for two months.

The end of last May found me sitting in an empty classroom, starring at blank walls that once held beloved bulletin boards, crying. Yes, I was seven months pregnant at the time, which could explain the crying. I was thrilled to be moving on from "teacher" to "Mommy", but it took about a half-hour of sitting and remembering and crying before I could leave that room and close the heavy oak door for good. I had devoted only four years of my life to that classroom, not many in "teaching world," but pieces of me were in those four walls, the empty chairs, the blank white board. I taught a special education behavior modification class for students k-5. Some of my students I taught all four years and together we had trudged through some pretty yucky days and had seen some remarkable improvements on other days. Holidays, birthdays, lost teeth, and "graduations" were all celebrated in that room with our tiny class of six or seven (one year 11, which I sometimes like to forget). Some of these students were almost babies when I first started teaching them and would want to curl up in my lap when sad or frustrated. Now those same kids are almost as tall as me and have moved on from wanting to read "The Bernstein Bears" to reading Harry Potter. One of these students took his own life back in the fall after carrying around adult-sized problems on tiny kid-sized shoulders for too long. We were a Hodge-podge family of sorts.

Do I miss my class right now? Perhaps just a tiny bit, especially knowing that due to things that happened this school year the class has now disbanded. Some students were fortunate to get into other behavior mod. classes at other schools while others are struggling to make it in regular education classrooms. Would I trade the opportunity I have right now to be a full-time Mommy to sweet Isaac---not for a million dollars. I prefer listening to his sweet babbles over the televised morning announcements and would rather hear him cry than a fourth grader. Will I return someday to the special education world in some fashion--most likely. To those of you readers who are experiencing a "Last Day of School" soon, I wish you the best of luck. Enjoy that time of excitement and anticipation of summer.

Pictures from one of the last days of school. The lower one is fuzzy on purpose to make the students' faces unrecognizable, thus preventing any potential law suits!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Hey, Lady!

Apparently after birthing a child, I have become "Direction Lady." Perhaps the fact that I am toting a baby around gives people the idea that they should seek me out to ask directions. When Isaac was a just a few weeks old, he and I were shopping together at Joann's Fabrics. A little boy and his mother were having an in-depth conversation about what to do should they become separated. He seemed very preoccupied with the notion that he could be come lost while on their craft shopping spree. His mother instructed him to simply find an employee or another Mommy and tell that person he is lost. The little boy then looked at me and said, "Like that Mommy?" I immediately filled with pride as being a noticeable Mom, a label that holds respect and authority.

That label of "Mommy" also seems to mean "Ask me for directions." I think someone asks me for directions, specific aisles in the grocery store, or a good salon at least twice a week. Did birthing a child provide me with an appearance of wisdom? Just this morning as Isaac and I were booking it down the street on our walk, a man stopped us to ask where the nearest doughnut shop was. Last week in the afternoon we were stopped by a group of older citizens asking where to buy beer (this is the truth! Unfortunately our neighborhood Beer Barn was torn down for the new Main Street Station, so I had to direct them to Albertsons). The ironic thing about this is that I am directionally-challenged. Outside of eighth grade geography class, I had never actually used a map in real life until moving to the Metroplex. Who needs a map in a town with a population of 15,000? You just need to know where the Super Wal-Mart is and all directions are based from that point. Despite the fact that I attended college 500 miles away from home, I never used a map in any of my treks to and from school. My inexperience with maps and directions has proved to be an interesting dichotomy in the early years of marriage and life in the big city. Tobe's expression when he realized I had no clue as to how to use the Mapsco was priceless.

I am thinking of charging a small fee in exchange for the directions I give. Isaac really wants to upgrade from his Graco stroller to a Bugaboo. Perhaps this is just the means to do so, regardless of the fact that just last week reader Paige asked me how to get to the Grapevine Botanical Gardens---a place I walk by and drive by at least once a day---and I struggled to give her clear directions.
As a sidenote, I feel the need to address Terri Hatcher's appearance on Oprah this week. I saw about ten minutes of the episode, which was tragic as any report on child sexual abuse tends to be. My comment is about Oprah After the Show. Oprah After the Show is a program that airs on the Oxygen network. It is thirty more minutes of Oprah that was not aired on ABC and the conversation tends to be a bit lighter and more whimsical. During this time, Oprah commented to Terri Hatcher how she really liked Terri's dress and questioned it's size. Terri replied very flippantly, "Oh it's a zero." Oprah made some retort. Then Terri made the comment "I am not anorexic....I love to eat too much to be anorexic. I just have a fast metabolism. "

Give me a break! I watched Lois and Clark 13 years ago, Terri, and you weren't a size 0. You were a realistic size 6 or 8. Did your body do the exact opposite of what Science has said the body does over time and your metabolism mysteriously sped-up? It irritates me to no end that actresses are speaking out about being a good role model for girls, yet continue to remain size 0's. How can so many people just happen to have "fast metabolisms"? Just admit it ladies---you smoke like a chimney to suppress the appetite, you never eat carbs, and you work out seven days a week. At least Elizabeth Hurley is being honest with her fans when she acknowledged retreating to Elton John's castle and eating only cabbage soup after the birth of her son and that she often goes to bed very sad and very hungry.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Inside-Outside Day

Dear Isaac,
Happy Inside-Outside Day! Today as you turn nine months old, you have officially been on the "outside" as long as you were inside of my tummy. One day when you read this, you will likely roll your eyes wondering why God gave you such a cheesy Mommy. Sorry, you chose to leave that hospital with me and now you are stuck with me and my self-appointed holidays and celebrations. Don't worry. You will adjust to these random events, just as your father has. Perhaps the two of you can start your own support group.

It is hard to believe that you are nine months old already. I must confess that some of those first nights with you, when you were hungry and wouldn't eat and when I was beyond the point of exhaustion, I really questioned if we would ever make it this far. As we sat in our Mommy and Me sign language class this past Monday, the teacher asked if you had a personality yet (she also said that you were the most attentive of all the students, despite the fact that you were the youngest). I sweetly replied, "Yes" and then smiled to myself as I thought about your little personality that is already so evident.

You have been independent from day one. Never one to cuddle too long, you would rather play with your toys or explore the lengths of the house than to snuggle in our arms. Daddy and I get so excited when you pause to lay your head on our shoulder for a few seconds before popping back up to examine something new. You are quite hesitant to try anything new when I offer babyfood from a spoon. However, if I place any type of table food on your tray you immediately gobble it up without a mere pause. You have eaten ham, green beans, shrimp, carrots, BBQ, chicken, rice, bananas, egg yolks, and spaghetti and loved every sticky bite of these foods. Although you want me to hold you while taking a bottle, you now push my hands away and insist on holding it yourself. You attempt to do this even at bedtime, despite the fact that you are so sleepy you can barely keep the bottle straight. It is quite obvious that you are proud of the fact that you can feed yourself.

Wherever we go, people always stop us to comment on how happy you are. They are right! You are such a happy boy and so content with your life. In those early weeks, there were times that we wondered if you would be a happy baby as you cried and cried. Then Daddy and I figured things out and you realized that we weren't quite the idiots we appeared to be and our family settled into a nice, peaceful routine. We love to hear you laugh and get a giggle our own selves over the random things you find amusing (Nana putting salt on her food). We love when Clay comes on Playhouse Disney and you get so excited and start kicking your legs. Who knew this art medium was quite funny? Lately you seem to think it is hysterical when I lay you down for your nap and cover you with Blankie. You laugh and laugh at me, then attempt to play peek-a-boo under the blanket while I prepare your room for naptime. This cracks me up and it is so hard to leave you and let you sleep because I want to hear that sweet giggle over and over. We love how when you wake up, you start singing out and talking to the animals in your crib.

I believe that you have a kind heart and a caring spirit inside of you. You now want to share all of the toys you have been gnawing on with me, holding them up with a look that says, "Try this, Mom--it's delicious!" Of course I put it in my mouth, looking quite odd with a big red block between my teeth. When you touch something new, like a new friend or Papa's mustache, you pet it gently with an inquisitive look on your face. If we are in a store or at the park and another baby starts to cry, you will begin to look panicked and your big blue eyes with fill with tears. This happened on an airplane recently, as you began to cry for a little boy who was sobbing at the front of the plane.

So far, we have seen very little temper out of you. This is a great blessing considering the type of toddler I was. You love to pull on the blinds by your changing table as we change your diaper, regardless of the fact this is a "No." This is a daily battle, one that I am determined to win. Your eyes get a mischievous look about them and you will attempt to quietly slip your tiny hand over to the blinds without me noticing. Everyday before your nap, we go turn out the light in the living room together. You used to love trying to flip the switch down to make the light go off. Now you have made the connection that nap occurs once the light goes out and you will fuss at the light switch and refuse to turn it off. Funny boy.

Where have the past nine months gone? I cannot remember how many people would stop me in the grocery store towards the end of my pregnancy and tell me to enjoy my baby because children grow up so fast. Usually I was so preoccupied with attempting to avoid them touching my stomach, that I never really took their words to heart. Now I do. Daddy and I talk about how one day we will look up and you will be a grown man. We pray that grown man is one who fears the Lord and whose life reflects the faith he has in his Savior. We joke about what we want you to accomplish in life, but in reality my goals for you are few but mighty. I want you to know contentment early on in life and hold onto that sense of living a full life. I believe that being content in who you are and what you have, regardless of how much or how little, is one of the keys to true happiness. Your father and I are very much content people, striving not to be caught up in the "I want. I need. I wish" way of thinking. We pray that you know the Lord and that your heart is set on doing His will and that one day you outgrow the need to babble during the prayers at church. Specifically, we pray that you find a Christian wife to spend your adult years with and are blessed with a baby as sweet as you.

Happy Inside Outside Day, tiny tiger!