Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bargain Hunters Paradise

Last night I was standing in a line of about 50+ people waiting to be granted entrance into a sale. No, Chicken Dance Elmo had not just arrived at the nearest Toys R Us nor was I waiting to purchase Jessica Simpsons barely-acclaimed Public Affair album (hope you realize I would never really purchase these two items) at the local Virgin Records. I was waiting--laundry basket in hand--to enter Divine Consign, a DFW consignment sale that is located in my community this time and has over 400 consignors with merchandise that tends to be really good and often times new. I had the golden ticket to shop the presale and was ready to find my bargains. A friend and I had done this at the sale back in the fall so I knew exactly what to expect and what to look for. Today, I dedicate my Thursday 13 to the sights and sounds of the Divine Consign Presale.
13 Sights and Sounds from People Shopping at 10pm
  1. ....A mother attempting to explain what a VHS videotape was to her son---then giving up and saying, "No one has one of those machines anymore." Guess she hasn't been to my house lately....
  2. ....Lots and lots of very pregnant women. I was glad the hospital was a mere 5 minutes away because I am sure one of these ladies likely went into labor after searching for the perfect bargain for their upcoming baby arrival. Also, some of these pregnant women used their bellies to move people out of the way so they could get a better view of the highly desired items.
  3. ....A woman attempted to shop out of my laundry basket (you have to bring something to carry all of your goodies in. Last time I brought the stroller, but it is hard to get through the tight spaces.) in the five seconds that I had laid it next to me on the floor to look through the books. When I noticed that she was searching for the tag on my purse (which there wasn't one and the sale doesn't carry adult items such as handbags), I politely told her that was my basket and my own purse. She got really embarrassed and looked like she might cry. I tried to reassure her that it wasn't a big deal, but she immediately left the room. However, I did do a quick scan of my purse and make sure all the essentials were still inside (wallet, keys, and fruit puffs were still secure).
  4. I found a brand new Pottery Barn duvet cover, sheets, and curtains all bundled together for $45. It was from their Teen line and was super cute. I resisted the urge to buy it because I currently have no bedroom to decorate with these linens and one day when I do, who knows if I will still like the pattern.
  5. ....A Lady frantically calling her friend, begging her to check the price of Pottery Barn curtains on Ebay. (someone really sold off the Pottery Barn items--there was also a PB twin bed and crib). She had found a stack of gingham curtains and wanted to know if they were a great deal. Apparently they were, because she carried them around the rest of the night.
  6. ....Lots of babies out way past their bedtime and lots of them crying (I am big on Bedtimes). My baby was sleeping peacefully at home with his father.
  7. ...A wide variety of devices used to carry one's purchased goods. Like I mentioned earlier, you have to bring your own "shopping cart." Although I did not see anyone with an actual shopping cart, I did see suitcases, laundry baskets, a rolling overhead projector cart, baskets with string tied on them so they can be dragged, the most massive double stroller ever made, shopping bags from a variety of stores, and one Little Tikes car.
  8. ....a fisher price toy cash register from the 1970's. The majority of the items sold at this sale are in top condition and are usually just a year or two old. However, someone managed to slip in this cash register which I happened to own as a child. Perhaps they were thinking someone would like the vintage look, regardless of the torn stickers and missing plastic coins. If you would like to remember the toys of your youth, visit this girl's mom. She has a wide variety of the Fisher Price toys from the 1970's in excellent condition.
  9. ....a section of nursing bras. Um, no thank you.
  10. .....people cutting in line. Yes these were adults at this sale---most likely adults who are in the process of raising children. However, some felt like the rules just don't apply to them. I imagine the same people would yell at their own child for breaking line to get to the slide first at their neighborhood playground.
  11. ....a barely pregnant woman who purchased over $200 worth of baby girl items was overheard proclaiming, "I just know the baby is going to be a girl. I just know it" Hope she is right.
  12. ...a wide selection of Harley Davidson apparel for babies.
  13. ....a super-cool paper Elephant lamp that would look great in Isaac's room. However, the sale tag was attached using heavy-duty clear plastic tape. There is no way that tape is going to be removed without removing some of the poor Elephant's body. I had to leave that one on the sales table.

If you happen to be in my area in the next few days, you can check out this lovely consignment sale. Sadly, most of the really good stuff (clothes with tags, barely used toys, etc) is likely gone. These sales are run by volunteers, who get to shop the presales before the general public (thus the incentive to volunteer). However, if you are looking for used nursing bras, you are probably still in luck. If you do venture out, expect long lines and crowded conditions. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Adios Dominos!

Several posts ago I promised to throw out more recipes into blogworld and so far have merely provided two. Sorry, readers. I am one busy mama these days.

However, I did want to share a favorite recipe called "Pizza Marghertia". This is traditional Italian pizza and sadly does not include any tequila, lime, or salt-rimmed glasses. The words are simply pronounced the same. Friday night is usually pizza night here at casa de Phillips, however it is almost always homemade pizza to save money and to save our waistlines. Perhaps your family can enjoy a pizza night soon.

Marghertia Pizza
  • One loaf of Rhodes Bread Dough, thawed and left to rise (pull this out of the fridge in the morning, cover with Saran wrap, and it will be waiting for you when it is time to cook supper)
  • Basil Leaves
  • Chopped onion, green bell pepper, and garlic
  • mozzarella cheese (You can buy the expensive "real" mozzarella cheese that comes packed in water. I don't often do that because of cost. I tend to opt for the mozzarella slices that are usually used on sandwiches. You can also use shredded mozzarella or the new Kraft Crumbles. It all depends on how you want you pizza to look.)
  • Diced tomato (about 1/2 to 1)


  1. After dough is thawed and has risen, roll it out on your handy baking stone (use flour, people, or you will have a sticky mess on your hands!). You can make it round, Little Ceasars' style (rectangle), or a bunch of mini pizzas--whatever floats your pizza boat.
  2. Drizzle some olive oil over the rolled-out dough
  3. Toss the chopped onions, peppers, and garlic around on the dough
  4. Throw on some tomatoes
  5. Top with cheese (I prefer the sandwich slices because I can tear it as I toss it onto the pizza. This gives the pizza a more rustic look and allows me to put extra cheese on Tobe's half. However, if you like a uniform look to your pizza I would go with the shredded cheese.)
  6. Roll about three basil leaves together and chop into small ribbons. Sprinkle on top of cheese. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top and throw on a pinch of salt.
  7. Bake at approx. 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden

We love this pizza. It is a healthy alternative because it contains no meat, has no pizza sauce (loaded with sugar), and we have used only natural ingredients. Sometimes we get crazy and throw on some sausage or pepperoni, but typically it is all veggies. You can get quite creative with this basic pizza idea and have a variety of pizza recipes in your recipe box. I sometimes make Fajita Pizza, Chicken BBQ pizza, or Taco pizza. So go throw off that magnet on your fridge that has the Domino's phone number plastered on it and erase Papa Johns from your speed-dial--you can make your own pizza!

(I just realized that one of the other recipes I have posted was a pizza recipe. Oops. Next time I will branch out a bit more.)

Isaac enjoys this pizza very much and often asks for more. That boy's appetite keeps growing. Tonight he ate some Chicken Picatta (from the latest issue of Southern Living--we highly recommend it!), egg noodles, baked beans, grapes, cinnamon pears, strawberries, and an entire banana. Yet he somehow remains in the lower 5% weight group for his age.

Isaac's new things are blowing kisses and clapping his hands. I have suspected that he has known how to clap his hands for quite awhile now, but has just been being stubborn. Yesterday morning while on our walk he just started clapping. He has been doing it on command ever since. He also started "Giving kisses" today at lunch. Quite cute. Everyday we realize something new that he understands or some concept he grasps. He is quickly widening his ability to comprehend commands and names of objects and will retrieve things that we ask him to get. He understands what a dog is and can recognize real dogs and toy dogs. He almost has down the idea of panting when you ask him what a dog says. This child is a genius (if your child did this at 8 months of age, please refrain from commenting. Just let me live with these fantasies.) The other night Isaac randomly crawled over to the end table, retrieved the phone, army crawled with the phone over to where I was sitting, and handed me the phone. Obviously I talk a bit too much on that thing. The next thing we plan on teaching him before the upcoming holiday weekend and the start of college to call the hogs. Soouie!

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Power of Three

I believe in the power of three---the idea that three things happen together. For instance, usually when a celebrity dies, two more celebrities will die in the following days or weeks. Gruesome, but true. There is no scientific fact supporting the power of three and this notion would probably send the statistics professor who I used to work for in Graduate school over the edge due to its lack of scientific value (yes, I was a graduate assistant for the stats professor. Yes, I taught undergrad stats from time to time. Stop the laughing. I know how ridiculous the idea of me teaching some kind of math course is, especially on a college level. I know how low my math scores were on my ACT and how thankful I was that my other score was so high to balance out and create a solid overall ACT score). Anyway--the power of three haunted me on Wednesday.

The day started off typical--workout, breakfast, play with baby, take baby on walk, shower, etc... As I was fixing Isaac and myself a healthy lunch, I placed him in his highchair to nosh on some cooked carrots and freeze-dried fruit (by the way, the Wal-Mart generic version of the Gerbers freeze dried fruit is better than the actual version and costs about 50 cents less). As I turned to bring Isaac the rest of his healthy meal, I noticed that the high chair tray was not securely fastened. Then my world turned into slow motion as I tried to tell a 12 month old not to move so I could fix the tray and he kicked joyfully over the idea that Mommy was talking to him. His baby kicks sent the tray--and the pieces of carrots--flying. This prompted instant tears (by Isaac, not me). I consoled the baby and then got on my hands and knees to dig the carrots out from under the fridge, where they somehow got lodged after their flight through the air. The kitchen then erupted in rounds of baby giggles as Isaac thought the vision of me crawling around the kitchen floor was hysterical. We managed to finish eating our meal without anymore mishaps.

Fastforward an hour and 1/2 when I was changing Isaac's diaper before naptime. I was also talking on the phone with Tobe during this time. I had just placed the dirty diaper in the Diaper champ and turned my eyes back to Isaac on the changing table. It was then that I noticed that Isaac had decided to continue relieving his bladder before another diaper had been put in place. I quickly tried to find something to stop the flow, but not before the changing table, blinds, and window were drenched. That boy has a big bladder. I told Tobe I would call him back, threw the phone onto the bed, and then proceeded to clean up all affected areas. Isaac laid blissfully on his changing table, with a look that said, "What???" He again proceeded to burst into a round of giggles as Mommy scrubbed the windows, blinds, and changing table.

Fastforward a few more hours. Isaac has gotten up from a good nap and had feasted on his afternoon bowl of grapes (a new love--we have decided that the kid is a Fruitatarian). He and I were playing cars in the living room when he crawled over to his park bench and rested his sweet little head on it with a very serious expression on his face. I asked him if he wanted a hug and he crawled over to me. We sat and cuddled for about a minute until he perked up and resumed playing. This same thing happened again about ten minutes later. By the third time it happened, I finally realized what was going on. Isaac has been plagued by constipation (he is one day going to love that I put that out on the internet) since early on. He takes medicine for it and anymore it never gets super-bad. I calculated back in my head to the last dirty diaper (amazing what Moms can keep up with) and realized that Isaac was stopping and getting so serious because his tummy was hurting. This process continued for about an hour and it was like the boy was in labor. He finally was able to relieve himself, but he just cried and cried and was all sweaty. Tobe arrived home to find the two of us on the couch watching the Food Network. Isaac was a sweaty little ball of a boy cuddled on my chest. However, once he recovered from his effort he went on to have a marvelous evening.

There were my three from Wednesday--not terribly earth-shattering, but enough to make me consider it a group of three.

If you remember from a past post, Tobe and I have started a Non-celebrity Fit Club. I would post a picture of our sticker chart, but it has my current weight written on it and I don't divulge such secrets. If you have started your own fit club, we encourage you to join us for a 5K/1 Mile Fun Run here in Grapevine on September 30th. The run is to support finding a cure for ovarian cancer, which is quite an important cause for us to help. I have a friend from my teaching days who is battling ovarian cancer and it is quite the battle. (For all of you female readers out there, you should know that this fall a vaccine for HPV is being released to the public which will greatly decrease your chances of getting ovarian cancer. Talk to your OBGYN and Insurance company and see if you can get it. I plan on getting it.) You can register for this race at the following website: This will be Isaac's first 5K to participate in (jogging strollers are allowed), which is quite exciting. For those of you who think that you can't do a 5k, just imagine walking around Grapevine Mills three and 1/2 times. A 5K is just a little over three miles. If you think that is long, you should talk to this girl about how far she walked last summer. Hope to see you there!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nanny 911

Isaac and I cheated on our local public library this morning and attended storytime at a library of a neighboring suburb. Despite the Phillips family's love for our local library, I am not satisfied with their infant storytime because it falls during morning nap time and you have to pre-register and pledge you will attend each session. So in an act of literary infidelity, Isaac and I joined infant storytime at this neighboring library and were quite pleased with the program. There were lots of kids Isaac's age and younger to socialize with,and after stories and songs the babies all got to play with a huge basket of balls and cars on the floor. Mass chaos, but good times. As we were leaving, I happened to be loading Isaac back into his stroller next to another woman who was placing twin girls into a double stroller. I made some intelligent comment like, "Oh you have twins (DUH)!" and she smiled and nodded kindly. She then said, "They aren't mine. I am their Nanny." She then proceeded to ask, "Are you His Nanny?"

I know I look young and I know my child has bleach blonde hair and blue eyes while I have red hair, freckles, and hazel eyes.....but do I really look like the Nanny? I am not even wearing the uniform of the Stay-at-home-Mom (shorts and t-shirt---hardly ever wear this attire because I start to feel depressed by around 2pm that I am not in real clothes. Quirky, huh?), but rather am dressed in a skirt and tank top. I have never seen Jo on Super Nanny wear that.

This question of "Are you his Nanny?" troubled me all the way home. I thought back to storytime and the circle of Moms and babies, remembering that during a rousing chorus of "The Wheels on the Bus" I had thought that some of these combinations didn't quite work I then realized that half of the "Moms" were actually the Nannies. Interesting. Guess that is something you learn when you cheat on your middle-class library with the more affluent group down the road.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

13 Random Thoughts, Events, and/or Happenings at Casa de Phillips
Okay, so I am not a faithful member of the Thursday 13 club---I also have a hard time getting library books back on time, remembering to shut off the oven, and occasionally leave my purse in the car.
1. Isaac understands a wide variety of commands or directions these days. This proves to provide hours of entertainment for Tobe and myself. The poor boy goes and retrieves shoes, hugs Tiger, brushes his hair and his teeth simultaneously (this one is a riot), and races to the bathroom upon hearing the sound of the facet--all just to amuse his parents. Who needs Netflix when you have an entertaining one year old?
2. From the looks of the store windows we pass each morning, apparently white Oxford shirts with denim corsets are the new trend. What is a girl supposed to do? I am too old for the leggings and denim skirt look (remember the rule: if you wore the trend the first time, you are too old to wear it the second time) and no self-respecting mom can put on a denim corset and head off to Tom Thumb. Ann Taylor Loft, here I come...
3. Does Sean Preston Spears Federline not own any pants? In all of the paparazzi shots with him and BritBrit, the child never has on pants....just a shirt and a diaper. This really causes me great concern and I am tempted to send him a pair of Isaac's.
4. Don, it's a real shocker that you were jealous of Isaac's "Born to be a Wildcat" onesie. By the way, there is a store called Penny Lane in Colleyville that carries a nice assortment of Baylor University baby clothes. Have Tobe give you directions.
5. Tobe and I are such exciting people that for the past three nights in a row we have both fallen asleep on the couch watching television---particularly odd because we hardly even watch TV at night.
6. Things Isaac has cried over in the past 48 hours: not being allowed to play in the toilet, not being allowed to eat a plant, Mom not pushing the stroller immediately after he was placed inside, Daddy coming home from work, Mom leaving the room, Mom getting out a container of baby food, Isaac running himself over with his Little Tikes car. My normally happy baby who rarely cries these days has been fussy and running a mild fever since Tuesday. We think his molars are trying to come in , thus causing this serious case of cranky baby.
7. Isaac and I went to Target yesterday after his morning nap to pick-up a few necessities. After we had been there about five minutes he laid his head on the bar of the shopping cart and rested it there for the remainder of our excursion. I looked like I had drug my child around all morning and denied him the right to sleep. However, I resisted the urge to tell everyone we passed that he had just woken up from a nap only twenty minutes ago. (see #6 as the reason for such sleepiness)
8. Pottery Barn Kids is selling the cutest Halloween costumes this year. Is $100 too much to spend on something Isaac will only wear for about 2.5 hours? (Tobe, don't answer this.)
9.If your child is loudly proclaiming, "Mommy, I want to go!" during library storytime, why do you insist on staying? I am all about boundaries, limits, and parental control, but please know that I was trying to listen to the book on dinosaurs (Isaac was almost asleep in my lap--again the molars--and wasn't terribly interested in such literary works today) while your child yelled repeatedly during storytime.
10. Gymboree is carrying an entire line of boys clothing that says "Tiny Tiger" on it. This is Tobe's and my special nickname for Isaac. I have already purchased one shirt from the line and am questioning if it would be a bit much for Isaac's entire fall wardrobe to say "Tiny Tiger" on it.
11.Why is Kindermusik so expensive? I would love for Isaac to join for the fall semester, but the price seems a bit steep, especially since the birth though 18 month class consists of participants who don't always understand they are actually participating in something. Unfortunately our Gymboree closed, so that is not an alternative option. Perhaps Kindermusik charges the amount they do because completion of a class counts towards college credit....
12. Yesterday Isaac and I darted into the post office to mail a package to my mother at the convenient self-mail center. By the time I had Isaac, the package, and a stack of letters in my arms, I somehow left my keys in the backseat of the car. I did not realize this until we were already inside the post office at the kiosk. I debated whether or not I wanted to complete my transaction and then race to my car before someone stole it (our make and model of car is always on the "Most Stolen" list) or if I wanted to tote all of our stuff back out to the car in the 104 heat to retrieve the keys and then go back inside the post office. I chose to complete the transaction and then return to the car. Fortunately no one decided to take if for a spin while I was mailing out our goodies.
13. Tobe and I checked the weather at 8pm tonight and the temperature was a breezy 102 degrees. We are seriously considering moving to Vermont and opening an apple orchard to avoid this Texas heat.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

ACU Photo Shoot--Take Two

Alison and Morgan came over on Monday for lunch and a playdate. This appeared to be the perfect opportunity to snap a few photos of the children in their "Born to be a Wildcat" onesie and submit a beautiful photo to ACU Today. Maybe if they were still three months old and unable to move that would have worked. What we had were two children who did not want to sit in the same location at the same time. If we did happen to get them both sitting together, then Isaac was usually attempting to grab or pat something on Morgan. Once again, do not look for these photos in your upcoming edition of the highly-acclaimed ACU Today. The only decent picture I could get of the children were individual shots, created by editing the other child out.

Is this the Kojie Memorial Gardens?

Ready to cruise North First

Miss Morgan

What? The Bean is all you can eat?? Awesome!

Future Iron Chef America....the secret ingredient is--Fruit Puffs!

Rookie Driver--caution he can only go backwards!
(Note Tiger riding in the back of his car, who he now calls by the name of "Ty" Seriously, this is the most adorable thing ever. He even cracked up the photographer at his one year photo session yesterday with his unyeilding love for Tiger.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Helping Mom on Sheet-Washing Day

Here is Isaac sporting his new cowboy hat his Nana and Papa brought him from Colorado. His head is a bit too big for the hat, but he does enjoy wearing it.

The following two pictures were taken exactly one year apart and in the same puppy dog towel---proof that if you feed a baby he will grow!

Long Time, No Blog...

I could write a million excuses for my lack of blogging in the last week: my blog was sick which frustrated me, we were in "recovery and clean-up" mode from the party, Isaac has been battling a cold, I spent my time diligently watching MTV in hopes of catching a repeat of The Hills season finale (actually did not do this one as I already heard the ending)..... however, I am choosing to just move on with this blogging thing and forgo any unneccessary excuses.

Isaac has now ventured into the world of climbing. He has yet to actually climb onto anything, but has attempted to climb up onto his birthday park bench (which resides in our living room at the moment and not in the backyard were it was intended to live), climb onto the coffee table, and climb onto the fireplace. I am happy about this need to explore and use his body in new ways, but am fearful of the outcome. Isaac is incredibly cautious, taking the time to scope out new environments, textures, conditions, etc.. However, he is NOT cautious when it comes to being on high places. Does he crawl to the edge of a bed and peer over? No. He just keeps on crawling and will fall off head first if left to his own devices. I keep putting him on our ottoman and then trying to teach him to turn himself around and lower him self off feet first. This lesson has not stuck yet. So now I have images of him successfully climbing onto a piece of furniture, only to crawl off of it head-first onto the ground. The children's company One Step Ahead carries a new safety helmet for babies and toddlers learning how to crawl and walk to protect the head from injury during this wobbly time. When I saw that in the catalog I felt very sad for the child whose parent purchased such a device (it looks like an unfortunate football helmet), but now am comtemplating fashioning one of my own out of bubble wrap.

Tobe and I have started a fitness plan here at casa de Phillips that I have ever-so-cleverly titled "The Non-Celebrity Fit Club" and whose motto I proclaimed to be "The first rule of fit club is you don't talk about fit club". We decided that we had abandoned our healthy ways of the past and needed to get back on track with our eating habits and workout regimines. We have a sticker chart and everything to motivate us in this quest for a healthy life. Yesterday we caught Joel Olsteen preaching on the television and he just happened to be talking about how people are not eating right, exercising enough, and logging the adequate amount of sleep time. Simple message that we have all heard countless times, but rarely apply to our lives. I will let you know how fit club works out and encourage you to start your own.

Here are some latest pictures of Isaac in all of his one-year-oldness.... (never mind--blogger won't let me put them in this post)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Birthday Pictures Dos

I bought this bib on clearance when Isaac was about three months old and somehow managed to keep up with it for the next seven months....

About as messy as it got....

Not sure about the cake.....

Cruising in his Little Coupe, while wearing his safari gear

Post-church and Red tired clan!

Hanging out on his new safari park bench, courtesy of Nana and Papa

Here is Tiger, Isaac's beloved friend. Whenever Isaac spies Tiger resting across the room, he will yell, race towards Tiger, and then give this animal kisses and hugs. It brings a tear to the eye of anyone who witnesses such affection between a little boy and his tiger.

Birthday Pictures Uno

Please excuse the multiple posts. We all know by now that Blogger hates me and will not allow pictures on my actual party summary post. Nor will Blogger allow me to place all of my pictures on one post (and I only chose a few--if you want I can email you all 100+ photos of the birthday weekend. I am sure you email inbox would love that!)

The Birthday boy on the morning of his actual birthday (This is Giraffe--I will pay big bucks for another one if you ever come across him in a store. He is part of the family and his disappearance could be quite the disaster.)

Birthday Muffin (Isaac cried when I blew the candle out)Birthday Meal at Don Pablos (Tobe was there, he is just behind the camera)The Birthday Boy , minutes before his partyOne of the numerous signs in our yardNot too sure of the hat (which came with several numbers, so we can use this for years to come. We we finally run out of the sticker numbers provided, we plan to just make our own. In the future, please look for Isaac wearing this same hat which will read "I am 17 Today") The CakeAttempting to open presents
Hanging with Morgan

The Fat Lady Has Sung

Birthday Bash 2006 is coming to an end. I am one tired mama after this four-day long celebration of Isaac turning one.

Thursday morning we completed our swimming lessons (which Tobe and I like to call Swim Team Practice and refer to Isaac as the "captain." Aren't we obnoxious parents?). I am not sure how I thought taking everyday lessons was a great idea during the week before and the week of Isaac's birthday, but they turned out to be a success. Isaac can now kick in the water, blow bubbles, put his face in the water to retrieve something, and jump from the side (sort-of, since he doesn't stand on his own I still have to hold onto him). He loved swimming lessons and was the only baby who did not cry at some point during each session. Thursday the class sang "Happy Birthday" to Isaac as our closing song rather than the standard "Motorboat" song we had sung every day before. Isaac somehow knew this song was directed towards him and immediately buried his head into my neck and stayed that way a good two minutes after the singing was finished. What a shy baby we have sometimes! My parents and Grandmother arrived in town that afternoon and Isaac awoke to find new people in the living room to play with. That night Tobe's parents joined us as we all celebrated Isaac's birthday at Don Pablos (he did not have to wear the sombrero nor endure the singing by the staff).

Friday was "Get ready for the party day" and my parents took Isaac for most of the morning until his afternoon nap so I could decorate the cakes and get the house in safari-mode. That evening we joined Tobe's family for an night of pizza and ice cream at his parents' house before getting the birthday boy home early for a good night's sleep in preparation for the party on Saturday.

Saturday was Isaac's Safari Adventure complete with jungle vines and pith helmets for the children. We wondered how Isaac would tolerate the large number of people in his house since he can be a bit sensitive, but he loved having a large audience. He didn't want to open his gifts due to the fact that he doesn't like the texture or sound of wrapping paper. However, he did love each and every present after I opened them for him. We moved his high chair into the living room so everyone could see the traditional cake eating. I placed the bright orange giraffe cake on the tray, everyone rushed to grab their cameras, and then we........waited. Isaac gently touched the icing, not sure what to do with this large animal head on his high chair. I tried to encourage him to dig in and enjoy some yummy cake. He had about three licks of the icing on his hands and decided he was done with that. So we do not have the classic picture of the cake smeared baby on his birthday. Oh well. The party was a success and everyone had fun, despite the warm temperatures and crowded conditions.

Sunday was church and then naps for the whole family. Isaac was pretty cranky Sunday night after partying for so many days.

Today we took him to the pediatrician for his one year check-up. He was not too happy about this. I think it has something to do with the fact that the past few times we have gone to the doctor we have been placed in what I call "The Collector Plate Room" which is small and the walls are covered in those plates you can order out of the back of such magazines as Reader's Digest. (KF knows what I mean). For some reason, the walls of this patient room seem to crowd you in the longer you wait on the doctor. The plates really become quite creepy after awhile. I prefer the space ship room, but no one asked. Anyway, Isaac was not exactly thrilled with being at the pediatrician office by the time she came in to check him out. The poor boy started with a few small protests and was wailing by the time we left He did get three shots, but Tobe and I don't really think he ever felt the actual needle enter his legs because he was screaming so hard by that point anyway. We got the "go-ahead" to begin whole milk so as soon as this last can of formula is gone we are saying "Good-bye" to the bottle forever (which now I am sad about, despite the fact that I don't want a five year old who walks around drinking from a bottle). Isaac is officially 30 1/2 inches long and weighs 19.4 pounds. He is one skinny boy! However the doctor was not worried, especially after we told her he can eat a 1/4 cup veggies, a turkey dog, and two cans of fruit in one sitting. This does not ease my worries about how I am going to find pants to fit this boy when winter comes that do not look like capris or fall off his waist when he walks.

Our final birthday event was having Isaac's one year portraits taken. However, he somehow managed to fall on the kitchen floor this evening and bust his top lip open. It is not a pretty site, which means we are going to delay the pictures for another week. Hopefully he will not manage to scratch his face or bruise his forehead in the meantime.

Here are some photos of our celebration of Isaac's first year of life. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Rocking Chair

Here it is, dear readers--the sappy first birthday post. Below is Isaac's birthday letter, which will be placed in his baby book.

One day our family will move out of this brick house on Nebling Road(*) and our family will make a home somewhere else. We will all by excited by this change of residence and the promise (and hopefully closet space) it will bring. Just like most people, I will be sad to one day leave this house, which was the first house your father and I bought together and the first house you called “home.” When that day comes for us to move on, the thing that will make me saddest is to see the empty space and the well-worn grooves of where your rocking chair sat in our living room.
You and I have spent many an hour rocking away in that chair this first year of your life. From those early days of your precious existence to those first few months of crying jags around 6pm every night when I would prop my legs up on the ottoman with you stretched from my knees to my waist and we would rock away those tears. We have rocked in that chair before every nap and every bedtime, singing the classic “Time for Night-Night”. Your tiny little body that used to fit quite snug in the crook of my arm now stretches out across my lap, with your sweet feet propped on the table next to the chair. Now you can suck a bottle down in about a minute, rather than the 30 minute long feeding sessions we used to have in that chair. You found your love for books in that rocking chair, starting with “Busy Baby” which I read to you countless times each day for months on end. You have expanded your literary tastes to include the likes of “Farm,” “Peek-A-Zoo,” “Where is Baby’s Belly Button,” and the classic “Pat the Bunny.” We have logged many miles on that rocking chair this first year.
This morning of your first birthday you still sleep peacefully in your crib, likely clutching Giraffe and Blankie to your face. When you were born, Daddy and I loved you instantly but I remember thinking, “What am I going to do with this baby?” Three weeks later, I had to go to a doctor’s appointment and had to take you with me. This was our first outing by ourselves and I was a ball of nerves before we left the house. However, I realized that I could take a precious baby with me and not manage to lose or drop you while out. That day we went to Target after visiting with the doctor and I remember looking down at you while you slept in your infant carrier in the bright red shopping cart and thinking, “We are a team now.” Since that day, you and I have explored and ventured out to many places during our days together. I have watched you go from the sleepy infant who often dozed in his car seat to an active little boy who insists on telling everyone “Hi” as we pass them.
The world continued to swirl around us during this first year of your life. As you were learning the basics of smiling, rolling over, and developing a love for pears; society marched on. You were born at a time of war, in which our country continued to fight for a cause that most Americans are beginning to deem worthless (don’t get your father started on this one). Gas prices soared to all-time highs and then dropped (paid $2.87 / gallon yesterday and that was cheap), only to soar again. Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi weeks after you were born and we sat glued to CNN during those middle-of-the-night feedings as we watched New Orleans fall apart. In these final days of your first year, the world has held its breath waiting to see if the transition of power in Cuba will finally create a better life for its residents.
This first year of your life, our family also said good-bye to a loved and cherished member. Your great-grandfather Leon passed away five days after Thanksgiving. Oh how he loved you during those first months of your life! He was the first to witness you roll from your stomach to your back and got the biggest kick out of every sweet thing you did. Pawpaw would carry pictures of you down to the cafeteria (he and Grandmother lived in a retirement community) to share with their friends at each meal. His favorite was one of you in your yellow giraffe pajamas, sitting in your bouncy seat, holding a book. Pawpaw would say, “Have I shown you the picture of my grandson who can read?” That picture was quite stained and well-worn from passing it around the dinner table so often. Wouldn’t Pawpaw get the biggest kick out of seeing you now, with your red basket of books, pouring over each page so intently? I am sad that you won’t know Pawpaw the way the rest of us did, but I am so thankful for those first few months when the two of you did get to spend time together.
What a year it has been, sweet Baby Isaac Michael. Your father and I often talk about you once you are off to sleep and cannot get over the fact of how very much we love you. We already see traits of your personality shining through—from an intense curiosity to a quite obvious independent streak. We get amused with how quickly you can eat an entire fruit cup and how anxious you become once you see me pull that yellow cup out of the pantry. Daddy loves how you race to the back door the moment you hear the garage door open, eagerly awaiting his arrival home after a long day at work. You then flash him your biggest grin and are off to play again. Daddy and I had a pretty good life before you joined the family, yet somehow our life is immeasurably better than it was before.
Happy First Birthday, Tiny Tiger! I cannot wait to see what this next year of life holds for you and spend even more time in our beloved rocking chair.

Love Always,
Mommy and Daddy

(*) Actual street name changed to protect the innocent.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Playing SkipBo with the Nanas
Our friends hanging out in the labor room
Alison came and stayed by my side most of the day
My parents--right before I got ready to push (My dad was not in the room at that point)
Nurse Kathy
Baby Isaac !!

My OBGYN, me, Isaac, and Tobe

Tobe's parents with Isaac and me

Little Baby Isaac Michael

A Baby Story

Birth Stories....I believe these tales to be an important thread in the building of one's character. What child does not relish every detail in how he came to belong to his family? Hearing your own birth story makes you feel wanted, loved, and appreciated. It doesn't matter how your birth story goes-- whether your mother had pain medicine or not, whether you were delivered by c-section, or if your parents bought you on the black market (okay, so perhaps that one matters)---it is still a great recount of how you came to be a part of your family. My brothers and I are all adopted and we all have a birth story. These do not include tales of midnight cravings, delivery rooms, and timed contractions, but rather of waiting and phone calls and frantic trips (my oldest brother's involves a tornado) to finally get that precious baby. All birth stories are wonderful and courageous. Not one is better or more respected than another because they all have the same perfect ending....a sweet baby to add to your family. Isaac turns one tomorrow and I thought this to be the perfect place to share his sweet story of becoming part of the Phillips' family: Grapevine Chapter.

Although Isaac's birth story started on Saturday July 30th, things did not really start happening until Tuesday August 2nd (I know the whole four days of labor really sounded extreme--those first two days were uncomfortable and not much fun, but it was not the screaming and cursing type of labor portrayed on television. No worries, friends.) I woke up early on Tuesday August 2nd to send my husband off to work. He had an important meeting that day and I wanted to wish him good luck (besides, once you hit that nine month mark in your pregnancy not a lot of sleep is happening). Weeks earlier, Tobe had told me (jokingly) that I could not have the baby on August 2nd because he had such important things to do that day. My due date was the 5th, so we figured we were safe, especially since this was my first baby and first babies are usually late. I decided to hide a note in his lunch box (something I do on occasion) and this time chose to write the note from Isaac. I forget exactly what I wrote in that note, except for the part that read "Don't worry, Daddy. I won't be born today. Love, Isaac." Right about the time that I placed the note in the lunch box and started to zip it up, I felt some interesting things happening in my body--either the baby kicked my bladder or my water had broken. Because I had been a good pupil of my Child Birthing Class, I decided that if I could not tell precisely what had happened then it must have meant that the baby kicked my bladder. I kissed Tobe and sent him off to work without mentioning a thing.

My mom was already in town and staying with us as we eagerly awaited Isaac's arrival. That same Tuesday morning we laced up our tennis shoes and headed to Main Street to get some yummy breakfast at the Main Street Bread Baking Company. After eating we proceeded to take the very long way home (about 3 miles) and work off some of those delicious French pastries we had just consumed. By the time we arrived back at my house, I decided that indeed my water had broken and that it was not Isaac kicking my bladder. I confessed my secret to my mom and then called Tobe. Upon calling Tobe, I phoned the doctor's office to see if they wanted me to wait until my scheduled appointment later in the day or go to the hospital. They bumped my appointment up to that morning. I then jumped in the shower, washed and dried my hair, and applied my make-up with the hopes of looking fabulous in the birthing pictures I assumed would take place later that day. I sent my mom to Sonic to grab an early lunch for me since I knew that once I arrived at the hospital I would be deprived of food. Then we headed off to the doctor's office, where my water really broke while I was in the restroom (apparently it had just been a tear at first, which is why I had a hard time discerning what had really happened). I was only dilated to a 1 and 50% effaced so my doctor sent me next door to the hospital to be admitted and started on pitocin. Tobe rescheduled his meeting and rushed in from Dallas. My dad cancelled his patients for the day and drove in from Arkansas. Tobe's parents both left work to come wait for Isaac. We arrived at the hospital around 11:00am and the pitocin drip was started around 11:30, in hopes of creating a steady labor pattern. The first nurse I had that day told me I could expect to have Isaac around 6pm that evening. Fabulous. Because I am such a scheduled person, I really took this time to heart and expected to be pushing a baby out at 6pm exactly.

Friends began calling and stopping by to visit. We were fortunate to get the large labor room so there was plenty of space for everyone to hang out. I never thought I would be the type of person who would have a room full of people with me while I was attempting to give birth, but it made the time pass quickly and enjoyably. Everything was still strictly PG at this point so there was nothing inappropriate to be seen. The nurse kept having to come in every hour or so and up the pitocin because my body would not maintain a steady contraction pattern. Around 5pm, I realized that Isaac was not going to be born by 6 o'clock. By this point, I was really starting to feel the contractions (and the hunger pains) and was having to focus more on laboring. A shift change happened around 7pm and we got a new nurse (our fourth one of the day!). However, Kathy was to be my nurse throughout the night and was excellent. Although she knew I was going to have an epidural eventually, she encouraged me to wait as long as possible so that my body could be in a good labor pattern (key words of this whole story). Around 9pm things were getting pretty serious with the contractions. Isaac was in such a position that all my labor was in my back. Kathy kept having me try different positions (rocking chair, birth ball, on my side, standing up) to encourage Isaac to move down and to encourage dilation (I was still at a 1 at this point). She then kicked everyone out of the room and told me that things were getting serious and I needed all of my energy focused on Isaac. My doctor came sometime that evening and informed me (sweetly) that Isaac was not going to be born that night. She said that because I looked good and the baby looked good, she would allow me to keep laboring throughout the night (some doctors only allow women to labor up to 12 hours after their water has broken and then perform a c-section because an infection can set in and be harmful to mom and baby. However, my doctor allows 24 hours as long as everything looks great.) She encouraged me to try to sleep once I got the epidural and would reassess everything in the morning. Around 10:30pm the contractions hit HARD and I decided that I needed the epidural because Isaac might come out through my back if I didn't have something. Unfortunately the woman next door also needed an epidural and because she was delivering triplets, she ranked first. Finally the doctor arrived (his name was Dr. Needleman--isn't that a riot?) and put in the lovely epidural, which promptly made me freezing cold and gave me the shakes. However, I did fall asleep for a bit. Tobe pulled the makeshift couch right up to my bedside and curled up to sleep some as well.

The nurse continued to check me throughout the night, having me change positions in the bed to help Isaac moved down. At one point I developed a fever so I was given a large amount of fluids to bring that down (which also made my face swell up like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man). Although the goal was for me to sleep that night, I was wide awake the majority of the time. I had to be on oxygen due to the fever, so that large mask made it difficult to sleep. I just laid there, starting to feel scared about the whole act of pushing a child out of my body and realizing that it was too late to turn back now. I started praying for some kind of miracle---that Isaac would just somehow fall out and we would all be okay. At 5am, Kathy came in to check me and see if I had progressed any during the night. Honestly no one was really expecting anything to have happened and most people were assuming Isaac would have to be delivered by C-section (at one point the night before my dad was behind the nurses' station reading their logs and checking their c-section rate). However by 5am I was completely effaced and almost dilated to a 10. The doctor was immediately notified and Kathy said I would start pushing in about an hour.

By 6am the doctor had arrived and I began to push. By 7am another shift changed happened and Kathy (quite sadly) left and was replaced by two other nurses (However, Kathy hung around the hospital as long as she could so she could meet Isaac, despite the fact that she had been working all night and had children of her own waiting on her at home.). My doctor stayed with us the entire time I was pushing (most don't come into the labor room until the baby is ready to crown) and she, the nurses, my mom, and Tobe all chatted between contractions (in which I would sometimes I have to remind them that I needed to push). Although it was a long time to push, the atmosphere was very light and happy and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves (maybe not me so much). Tobe was an excellent labor coach and was even told by the nursing staff that he should coach a sports team of some sort. Finally after 2 hours and one minute of pushing, Isaac was born at 8:01am on August 3rd. I don't remember if he cried right away or not, but I remember him being placed on my deflated stomach and just looking at him and kissing his sweet head (that was quite cone-shaped after all that pushing). He was healthy upon arriving and the baby nurse gave him his first bath and did all those important first things right in the labor room so Isaac did not have to go to the nursery. It was around this point that someone noticed that my epidural had fallen out and had likely been out for quite some time. I had noticed that the pushing had not been pleasant at all, but I thought that was how it was supposed to be. Because the doctor did need to put some stitches in, the doctor was called to come and fix the epidural. Upon his arrival he proceeded to make some joke about how I didn't need drugs for just a few stitches. I almost hit him but refrained since I wanted to be a good example for my son who was just feet away getting a bath.

The nurses scurried off and found me some food (part of which was a club sandwich from Jason's Deli that Alison had brought me the night before and the nurses had hidden in their fridge), which I think I ate in three large bites. Then we were off to the postpartum unit to spend the next day and 1/2 before returning home. By the end of that day, although I was exhausted and an emotional disaster, I remember looking at Isaac all bundled up in his standard hospital receiving blanket and blue knit cap and feeling like I had known him forever.

That is his birth story--long, but wonderful. Tomorrow he turns one, something that I cannot wrap my mind around and could possibly cause me to spend the whole day hiding in my closet crying. That same little boy swaddled in the receiving blanket almost a year ago came crawling into the kitchen yesterday, clutching a special toy, only to lift it up for me to enjoy. That same little boy who cried and cried to be feed those first few days can now hold his own food and drink and my lap is now serves as a comfy dining chair rather than the source of food. I am sure my post tomorrow will be filled with many more sappy mother sentiments. For now, enjoy these pictures of Isaac's birth day.

(How can Blogger hate me so early in the morning??? Check back for the pictures later)