Friday, June 30, 2006

While Mommy's Away.....

….Hello out there blog world!!!!! Though many of you have heard of me, few of you have heard from me. Well, tonight my mommy went out with some friends to see a movie, so it was just me and daddy at home. Hanging out with just my daddy is pretty cool, cuz he lets me do three of my top favorite things:
1. Chill out in my underwear.
2. Control the “clicker” (mommy’s Arkansas word for the remote control)
3. Drink Big RedHanging out with Daddy is soooooooo way cool. Daddy promised me that next time mommy goes to a movie, I can run the lawn mower!
I will talk to you all again soon.
Oh Sweet Big Red!!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New Baby Pizza

After I typed the title to my post, I quickly realized that giving a dish such a name is quite unappetizing. Sorry. Here is a recipe for a pizza braid that I usually take to new moms and make for our friend Mark.

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup diced mushrooms
1 cup chopped pepperoni
1 cup cooked sausage, crumbled
1-2 cups cheese (depending how on much cheese you like. The type of cheese can be your choice as well. I like some of the new blends by Sargento)
Palmful of Italian Seasoning (can substitute half palm of oregano and half palm of basil, plus pinch of salt)
1/4 cup Pizza sauce (save the rest for dipping)
1 Package of instant Pizza Crust

Mix the pizza crust according to the directions on the package and set aside to rise.

Combine bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, pepperoni, sausage, cheese, and seasonings together in big bowl. Set aside.

Take out pizza crust dough and roll out on floured surface. I just roll this out on my Pampered Chef rectangle stone. Roll the dough into a rectangle shape. Spoon the pizza sauce down the center, then follow with the ingredients mixture. You should have a good two inches of dough remaining on each side. Take a pair of scissors and cut even strips on each side of the remaining dough (you aren't cutting the strips off--simply cutting into the dough up to the ingredients in the center). Now the fun part--braid the strips of dough up over the top of the ingredients. The end result should look like a stuffed loaf of braided bread. You should no longer be able to see the ingredients. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees. Cut into slices and serve with remaining pizza sauce.

Hopefully this makes sense. I realized as I started typing that it is quite hard to convey how to braid bread dough. You can also substitute Rhodes Bread Dough for the instant pizza crust mix. If you use Rhodes Roll Dough, you can make mini calzones rather than a pizza braid. I am thinking of attempting a pizza ravioli by using the ingredient mixture stuffed into wonton wrappers. Not sure how that one will work yet, but will let you know.

Here are some new pictures of Isaac, because a pizza recipe post is boring by itself. After being unusually fussy at dinner last night and refusing to eat the majority of his food, Isaac threw-up. Fortunately I was holding him at the time so it only got over the two of us and no carpet or toys. However, he was fine afterwards and continues to be a happy baby today. Because he does have this tendency to throw-up at times, Tobe and I have the clean-up system down to a science. In 20 minutes we had the mess cleaned up, the baby bathed, and we were all relaxing in the study. Do you think this could get us a spot on David Hasselfhoff's new show, "America's Got Talent"?

New favorite position to sleep--feet sticking out of the crib

Favorite pastime--reading books

Moved on past board books and is now into Mommy and Daddy's literary collection

Monday, June 26, 2006

I'm Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot....

Saturday night as I walked through our kitchen after putting Isaac to bed for the night, I noticed a strange noise which I attributed to our neighbor doing yard work after the sun set. Not thinking twice about it, Tobe and I proceeded on with our evening. About 9:30pm I told Tobe it was really hot in the house (which could be a sign of the end of the world as I am usually freezing and covered with a blanket--even in the summer). We quickly discovered that although the air conditioning was running, it was not blowing cool air and was making a strange noise at times. All of the ceiling fans were then turned on high and a call was put into the home warranty company. We were told we were the 300th air conditioning call of the night and someone would get back to us soon. Isaac then woke up crying loudly. His top two teeth are pushing through and have seemed more painful than the others. He was also pretty hot in his PJ's. So we Orajeled him and changed him. After one reading of "Flip Flap Safari" he was ready to return to his cozy bed, directly under a ceiling fan. Tobe and I felt like we were at summer camp as we lay on top of the covers under the fan, trying to go to sleep in the heat.

Tobe's dad arrived early Sunday morning to see if he could fix the air conditioner. He and Tobe were able to get it working after basically hand-cranking it with a screwdriver. By about 9am we were looking a bit on the redneck side with an air conditioning working only with the aid of a screwdriver, a baby in mismatched PJ's (we had removed the coordinating pants and socks for shorts and bare feet the night before) on my hip, and no lights on and no blinds open to conserve the cool air. The air conditioning worked for a few hours but then died again. Once again we called the home warranty company and told that we would be put on an emergency list if the temperatures reached 100 degrees. We contemplated moving to a hotel (I was voting for the Gaylord Texan), but decided it was still bearable (not pleasant) inside the house with all the fans and hopefully the repair man would be calling soon. I left the boys around 1:30pm to attend a baby shower---Isaac was sleeping peacefully with two fans aimed at him and Tobe was trying to move as little as possible. When I returned home Tobe reported the good news that we were officially on the "Emergency List" because we had a baby and because of the temperature outside. Apparently, telling someone they are on such a list means nothing and is simply a way to pacify a customer who is repeatedly calling. Around 6:30pm we were able to start the air-conditioning back up with the trusty screwdriver (who now holds a place of honor on the kitchen table next to the back door). It died again sometime in the middle of the night. I am sure a repairman is getting dressed right now and kissing his wife good-bye for the day as he prepares to head over to our little house and save the day. Or maybe I will just move to The Gaylord....

In Isaac News, he has two new obsessions: Books and Blueberries. I have always read to him and if you have been to our house since his arrival, you know there is a large bookcase in the living room filled with books for him (mostly from my years of teaching). Lately he has really gotten into looking at books by himself and will sit for a long time with a pile of books. Last week I took some of the board books out of the bookshelf and placed them in a basket that he could easily get to. Now we can say, "Isaac go get your books." and he will crawl over to the basket and look through them. I read to him before naps and bedtime and usually keep 2 or 3 books on the table next to the rocking chair. He will pick which one he wants to read ("Flip Flap Safari" is the favorite, with the Cheerios counting book coming in a close second) and say, "That."

Blueberries are also a new craze. He would eat them by the crate if I let him. They are on sale right now at Tom Thumb, so I picked up some for him since he loves purred blueberries in his applesauce. I just slice them in half or in fourths, depending on size, and he gobbles them up. Actual blueberries are a lot less messy then purred ones because they don't tend to stain as easily.

I have also taught Isaac how to give high-fives and he can tell people "bye" now. With the high fives, we can say, "Give me high five" and he holds his little hand up, fingers outstretched and palm open wide. Of course sometimes he grabs onto your hand once you give him the high-five, but he is just 10 months old. As for telling people "bye" it takes him a minute still to remember how to do this, so this farewell greeting is often given after the random person has said "bye" and moved on to better things.

Finally, I will post more recipe's in the future. Hope everyone enjoys the burritos. If you want to know what delicious dinner we feasted on last night, drive to your local Cozeymels and order the quesadillas.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Viva el Burrito!!!

This recipe has been collecting dust over the years because I forgot about it. I enjoy cooking and Tobe enjoys eating, so we tend to have a wide variety of things. Although this is good in that we rarely get bored with the same suppers, I often forget things that I made. Big thanks to Kelli for reminding me about this recipe! Tobe bought me a little journal as one of my Christmas presents this year so I could record each nights supper in order to remember what I cooked throughout the year.

So, here is the recipe for the crock-pot burritos Kelli mentioned in my last blog. I am going to officially name them "Parker's Burritos" because I first made these for Paige and Stacey when they brought sweet Parker home from the hospital.

1 Large Onion (I use about half, but you can use the whole thing if desired)
3-4 LBS Sirloin Roast Beef (not Lunch meat, but an actual "Sunday roast")
1/2 cup water
2 Pkgs Taco Seasoning mix, divided
16 Flour Tortillas
4 Cups Shredded Cheddar or Monterery Jack Cheese
Desired Toppings (Sour Cream, Guacamole, diced tomatoes, black beans, etc)
Pico de Gallo

Place onion in bottom of slow cooker. Add water and roast. Sprinkle one package of taco seasoning over top of roast.

Cover and cook on High 5 hours. Remove roast and shred with two forks. Return to slow cooker and stir in remaining package of taco seasoning. Cover and cook on High for 30 more minutes or until boiling.

Heat tortillas (dampen paper towel and wrap around tortilla--microwave for about 20 seconds) Spoon mixture over tortilla, add cheese and desired toppings, wrap burrito or taco style......and ENJOY!

Pico de Gallo
3 cups diced plum tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red onion
6 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
4 tbsp. diced jalapeno peppers (take out the seeds first!)
1/3 cup lime juice (fresh, not in the scary fake lime)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix everything together. Cover and chill until ready to enjoy!

Friday, June 23, 2006

The streamers and yard signs have come down and a phase of life is over for another Phillips' family member. Tobe's younger sister, Rachel, graduated from high school Wednesday night. As always, this occasion was celebrated with food, cake, and ice cream (and Big Red, if you are on that side of the family--or if you are my Grandmother who is now a Big Red drinker thanks to Tobe's grandparents). I have known Rachel since she was either in fourth or fifth grade (too early to do the math) and have watched her grow over the years. Her love for animals is unyielding and her ability to talk with anyone is admirable. If you are in need of a loan, she is the new recipient of lots of cash and Target gift cards. I am sure she won't mind sharing. I realized that I had never made a craft for Rachel (she had been spared up until this point), so I made a photo collage of her growing up years to put on display at the party. It is always fun to see pictures of one's husband and his family when he was just a kid. Although Isaac and I did not attend the actual graduation ceremony, we had lots of fun at the party. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Rachel with her cake

Rachel in her cap and gownIsaac eating his supper--which consisted of two bananas, the only thing he would eat for some reason--- in the middle of the living room. Only at Nana and Papa's does one get to eat in the living room!

Hanging with Mom on the couchChillin' with cousin Britany

As we Mavericks fans lick our wounds and gear up high hopes for next season, I can't help but wonder what companies do with what I call "losing shirts." For instance, had there been a game seven I have no doubt that manufacturers in both Dallas and Miami would have already printed up "National Champions" shirts, mugs, flags, decals, and trapper keepers to have on the shelves the next morning in case their team won. Obviously, someone brings a big box of such paraphernalia for the winning team to sport immediately after their victory. What happens to the losing team's box? Are these bogus "National Champions" shirts and hats burned? If I go on vacation to the heart of South America, will I see the indigenous villagers sporting "Seattle Seahawks: Super Bowl Champions 2006 " shirts that were dropped by relief workers? One of the summers I lived in Africa, I noticed someone had a Rick Ashley patch (the singer--not the preacher from North Richland Hills Church of Christ--I get the names confused) mending a hole in his shirt. After quietly giggling to myself over the fact that some company actually manufactured a Rick Ashley patch and once I sang a few lines of "Never Going to Give You Up", I wondered how such things make it half way across the world. I do hope that sports teams donate such rejected shirts to a good cause rather than simply destroying them. Don't think I won't smile one day when I return to Africa and see a Masai warrior sporting his "Dallas Mavericks National Champions 2006" hat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Camera Hog

Blogger finally has me in its good graces again and here are the pictures promised earlier.
Already starting to cheer for the Mavs game tonight

Searching for the perfect toy in his closet while he thinks I am not looking
(NOTE: We do not normally make our child wear hats, however he had just finished up a photo shoot for his birthday invitations)

Mommy's Helper, who had been forced to play in his crib while I cleaned his room last week. The Pledge can was just too tempting.....

Lubbock or Leave It...

My child is now quite mobile and I will use that as my excuse for the span of days that pass between each post. If I head towards the study, Isaac races towards the kitchen where he has found the joy that is opening and closing the cabinet doors. If I am putting sheets on my bed, he is attempting to unplug the fan in his room. And so it begins....

Saturday morning Tobe and I headed for the spacious plains of Lubbock, Texas for his cousin, Bubba's wedding. My mom stayed behind at our house with Isaac. I felt like I should not drag a ten month old to a wedding, especially considering I did not allow children at my own nuptials. Because we weren't in a hurry, Tobe and I were able to take our time in getting to Lubbock. There was no child in the backseat to feed or entertain, which also allowed us to enjoy the road trip (however, we often looked back at the empty seat and talked about how much we missed Isaac). We stopped at the famous SmokeStack Restaurant in Thurber and took the time to read all the historical markers in this legendary ghost town. We noticed that the museum they had been advertising all during the time we were in college was finally built and open for business. We decided to research the history of Thurber some more and visit the museum on another trek to Lubbock.

The ACU Tower of Light beckoned us from I-20 so we stopped at the campus. It was dead considering it was a Saturday in the summer. We snuck in Chambers Hall, the site of our psychology education. I attempted to break into the classroom where supposedly the poster of my thesis resides but my attempts were futile. We marveled at the changes on campus, from the new dorm to the Larry Sanders Memorial Field ("memorial" although Larry is quite alive). The library was locked tight so we could not see the impressive downstairs study area, complete with Starbucks and wireless internet. We then headed over to the Campus Center, where the clocks above the entrance to the Bean are still set to the wrong times and the club boards are now moved downstairs. Of course we each had to read our respective club board, despite the fact we knew no one and neither had been in club in over five years. We jumped in the car and took a drive down the famous Washington Blvd, noting that University Church has now bought out several blocks and made an impressive expansion. 1017 Washington Blvd still sat in all her glory, with Peeper still living two houses down. We checked out Tobe's old houses on North 10th and 12th street. A couch still resides on the porch of the house on 12th that was put there by the residents who moved in after Tobe in 1999. The Taco Bell mat is still missing from the doorstep though.

Hunger called us and we decided to eat at one of the famous Abilene establishments. Because it was too hot for Towne crier cheese soup, we opted for Joe Allen's. As we drove down Treadaway, we noticed that Joe Allens was closed. Not only closed, but MOVED! Gone are the days of the crowded dirt parking lot and hot atmosphere as you wait to order your prized sausage plate. Apparently we missed the memo that Joe Allen built a new building next door to Cahoots. It is nice, but it wasn't the same for us. Where is the bread drawer or the vegetable bar? When I went to the restroom I did not have to wait outside the door three feet from the meat pit. Although the food was just as good, the atmosphere was completely different. Tobe and I both hate change so we had a hard time with this new location.

We made it to Lubbock in time to change clothes in a secluded parking lot and brush our teeth at a Starbucks. The wedding was beautiful and the food and drink flowed at the reception. We spent the night at Tobe's grandparents' farm and headed back for DFW the next morning after breakfast (and missed seeing some Blogging friends at Broadway :( ) . Isaac was glad to see us and was sporting his "I Heart Daddy" onesie. Tobe had a nice Father's Day and enjoyed his gifts (new Mavericks wear for the entire family and a picture of Isaac).

Isaac has switched from his rolling/army crawl/yoga to almost a full crawl all the time. Friday night Tobe was having Isaac find him in the hallway and they would chase each other. When Tobe would stop playing, Isaac would sign "more." Too cute. Tobe was quite excited that Isaac finally wants to "rough house" --- something he has wanted since we came home from the hospital. Isaac can also brush his own hair. If we hand him the baby brush and say, "Brush your hair." he will hold the brush up and brush behind his ear. Again, too cute. If there is a pile of toys, you can say, "Isaac find your book." and he will search out until he finds a board book. Sunday night before bath and bedtime, Isaac spent at least 30 minutes putting assorted toys into his yellow shape sorter canister and taking them out to rearrange the positioning of each block. It was quite fascinating to watch and we all really wondered what was going on in that little mind of his. The whole time he was sorting, he had quite the serious expression on his face. Isaac also has a new toy called "Monkey Chase". It is a battery-operated Monkey that moves when baby hits one of its arms. The purpose of Monkey Chase is to encourage baby to crawl. Isaac likes this toys as long as Monkey doesn't turn around and come back towards him, as it is known to do. When Monkey starts chasing Isaac, he begins to cry and attempt to get to me to be "saved."

Finally, did anyone catch the Matt Lauer and Brittany Spears interview Friday night on Dateline? My mother and I saw the last twenty minutes and it was a train wreck. Tobe described Brittany's appearance correctly when he said she appeared to have just returned from shopping at Wal-Mart. Does she not have a stylist or the money to hire one? She was wearing flip-flops, a jean skirt with thighs currently not able to sport a mini-skirt, and a plunging gauzy purple shirt. Yikes. I also think Baby Sean Preston has been pulling on her extensions because they were quite noticeable in the back. When Matt questioned her about the driving incident with Sean in her lap, she at first used the "Papparazi chasing me" excuse and then went on to say, "My dad used to drive with me in his lap all the time. We are country." Oh dear. This woman is about to have a second child. I am starting to wonder if K-Fed IS the better example in this mismatched family.

I have pictures to post on here today, but Blogger is not letting me. I will attempt to add them later this afternoon when the Lord has blessed me with more patience.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Thirteen Reasons Why I Did Not do My Thursday 13 Yesterday
(Blogger is not letting me put in my cute graphic or any pictures....ugh!)

1. The majority of the day I honestly thought it was Friday. Some days just feel like other days for some unexplained reason. For example, all day Wednesday I kept thinking it was Thursday. For some reason my mind kept wanting to fast-forward a day this week.

2. Teeth. Isaac's two bottom teeth are almost all the way in and now his top two teeth are starting to poke through as well. This child will have gone from having no teeth to having six in a month and a half. Although we are happy to see these pearly wonders, they do make for a sad baby at times.

3. The maid did not show up. We actually don't have a maid, so it really should not surprise me that she did not show up on our stoop with mop and bucket in hand. Because we do not have a maid, I was forced to dust, mop, clean, sweep, scrub, and tidy the house. (Don't you like how I used the word forced as if a large man with a gun stood behind me the whole time?).

4. Brush fires, traffic, and construction. Yesterday Isaac and I had to travel to Dallas (do you like how I make that seem SOOOOOOO far away when it is only about a 15-20 minute drive for us?). On the way we passed a brush fire off of 114. No one was helping the fire and people just casually drove right on past. I hoped other people were whipping out their cell phones (we don't have one--that is another post for another day) to call 911. However, I did point out the fire to Isaac and did my parental job of explaining how dangerous playing with matches can be. I then recounted the story of how PopPop and his twin brother played with matches as little boys and set a whole hill on fire. (This is my favorite story for my dad and uncle to tell at family gatherings because they attempted to put out the fire and went home, only to look out the bathroom window and see smoke in the distance. They then told their parents, who in turn asked the neighbors to come help put out the fire. The neighbor who came to help was a smoker and one of his lungs collapsed while attempting to help put the fire out. The neighbor did recover and live a long and fruitful life.) The traffic and construction were just the normal DFW driving nightmares and delayed our trip by about ten minutes. Because I was in the car longer than expected, no time to blog later in the day.

5. I spent a good part of the morning teaching my ten month old to say "Hi-yah" and do a karate chop. You might be wondering why I was not teaching him something with a little more value. He actually was already making the "Hi-yah" sound and I just started mimicking him. Now I can whisper it and he will whisper it back. This goes on for a good solid three minutes until he gets bored and goes and finds something else to play with. My child might not be able to say "Dada" but he will be prepared for Karate class one day.

6. Mavs game.

7. Father's Day is Sunday and I was attempting to find the missing piece to Tobe's fabulous Father's Day gift. I finally found what I needed after days of searching. Obviously I cannot report what it was as Tobe is a faithful reader of this blog. I would like to say that one place I had to go in search of this portion of the present I witnessed a man purchasing two BOATS for gifts for his Father. Sorry, Tobe, you aren't getting a boat. (In response to what I got him for our anniversary, it was a wooden men's valet with his initials etched in glass to hold his wallet, keys, IPOD, etc.. It finally arrived!)

8. We have company! My mom is here visiting for an extended weekend stay! Isaac is quite happy to have a new face around the house as he sometimes gets bored just looking at me. He was so excited to have her join our morning hike. However, Isaac isn't a great roommate and woke her up a few times in the middle of the night talking.

9. Birthday shopping. Although we have a month and 1/2 until the big first birthday, Mom and I felt the need to start our birthday shopping last night after Isaac went to sleep. We left the boys at home to fend for themselves and headed out to Babies R Us and Target. My mom picked out some presents to leave here until the party. Shopping for a toddler is a bit more exciting than scoping out the teething and rattle toys on the baby aisles. Fortunately we live in a small house or I would be tempted to buy every cool toy in sight!

10. Sonic. When my mom visits, we feel the need to make several Sonic runs. This can be quite time consuming and kept me away from the computer the majority of the day.

11. Chicken Pomodoro. Since my mom was here, I wanted to cook a special meal for us all to enjoy together. I love Chicken Pomodoro and re-created the dish at home. The original recipe calls for vodka to deglaze the pan after cooking the chicken. I feel like I have competent cooking skills but I am still fearful of cooking with alcohol. I love my eyebrows and painted kitchen walls too much to attempt to burn off an alcohol flame in my saute pan. I substituted chicken broth for the alcohol and the end result was still tasty. (and I still have my eyebrows)

12. Surviving Motherhood. No this isn't the title of my life right now. It is a new show on TLC. I am a big fan of this show. I schedule my daily cleaning of the kitchen around it so I can clean the kitchen and watch the show at the same time. I highly recommend this show because it shows real moms and their current problem with their children. Other moms throw their two cents in about solutions and then an expert provides advice.

13.I kept repeatedly checking me email to see if my inbox held an electronic transcription from my former roomie who was finding out the sex of her baby yesterday. We finally got word late yesterday afternoon and I am THRILLED with the findings!!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Attack of the mosquito....

As I sit here and count my numerous mosquito bites, I am reminded of our lovely anniversary celebration this past weekend. Did we go camping along the Guadalupe River or hike Sugarloaf Mountain? No. In fact we were quite dressed up when I was attacked by a swarm of mosquito's.

Saturday the family hit the pool. This time Isaac really enjoyed himself and was very brave as I dunked him under the water. There was no crying (except at the end, when it was time to go home and he was ready for a nap) and fun times were had by everyone. Tobe took Isaac to his parents house after naptime while I finished getting ready for our anniversary date. Then just the two of us were off to our favorite fondue place for a relaxing evening of cooking everything imaginable in hot oil. We eat at this establishment every year for our anniversary and only then. We actually started this tradition on our first anniversary because the school where I taught had given all teachers one of those massive Super Saver coupon books and it had a coupon for this fondue restaurant. We love a good coupon and then became hooked on this place. It was yummy food, as usual, and neither of us suffered any major burns from the hot oil. However, the air conditioning broke while we were there. Imagine sitting in a building during the Texas summer where everyone is cooking over a pot of hot oil at their table without air conditioning. It was pretty hot for a bit, but the air soon kicked back in while we were enjoying our dessert course of Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Fondue and assorted dipping goodies.

Now you are likely wondering if the swarm of mosquitoes came flying into the restaurant, attacking unsuspecting customers as they breaded and fried their meats. No. After eating, Tobe and I decided to stop off at the local Botanical Gardens and enjoy them in the final light of day. As we stood in the gardens reminiscing about our wedding day five years ago, mosquitoes ate me alive. Did I mention that we were standing on a bridge over a dried-up creekbed? Probably not a wise thing. To count, I have a least 35 bites. I have contemplated looking up "West Nile Virus" on WebMD to make sure I am familiar with the symptoms should I be stricken with this illness. If I do look it up, I will likely just convince myself I have West Nile (when I actually do not) and end up causing a local panic. So I have resisted that urge.

For our anniversary, we buy presents according to the traditional list of suggested gifts. This has proven to be very fun and requires us to be creative, especially when a year has been designated a very odd gift (ex. Iron). This year was wood and Tobe gave me a lovely (and huge) picture frame. We are going to have a new family portrait taken of the three of us to place in this beautiful frame. The present I bought for Tobe was placed on back-order, then my order was cancelled, and then I was allowed to re-order it. After quite the run-around, I was able to purchase his gift but it still has not arrived. I sent Tobe on a scavenger hunt around the house looking for his present, where he finally ended up at the computer opening a desktop file with a picture of his present. Pretty sorry, but it was the best I could do without going to the post office and harassing its workers until they allowed me to dig through packages. Tobe was a great sport and acted excited about his picture of his present.

In Isaac news, he seems to have had a big "learning spurt" over the past few days. We have been doing sign language with him for months now. He recognizes the signs we use, but has yet to use any of them. On Sunday, he finally did the sign for "more." Yeah!! Last night we let him have some homemade cinnamon apples that we were eating with our dinner. He loved them and would sign "more" to get each new bite. You would have thought the child had recited the Preamble to the Constitution by our reactions. He also makes this specific noise to communicate now. Hard to explain in the written form so just use your imagination. He will use it to show happiness, annoyance, sadness, etc. He really is starting to figure out the whole communication thing beyond the basics of crying, laughing, and saying "Mamamamama" over and over when he is upset in his crib. I know one day we might ask ourselves, "Why did we ever teach this child to talk?" but for right now it is so exciting! Isaac also waves (especially at his reflection in the oven door) and says what appears to be "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii." I believe this comes from his Arkansan mother who makes the word "Hi" have at least two syllables. I am working on not dragging out this word when I say it to Isaac so that he won't have my accent.

Isaac has also stopped eating baby food. Last Thursday he began shoving the spoon away. At first I thought he was just being grumpy because his two bottom teeth were coming in (they are almost all the way in now--Thank Goodness! He was not a happy camper during this process). He eats mostly table food and we are lucky to get 1/2 a serving of baby food down him. However, he will eat any table food (he had stir-fry last night) as long as he can feed himself. This independent child will want to drive himself to Kindergarten I fear. He suddenly has a craving for his bottle, which would have been great six months ago when we struggled to get him to eat. However, I am about to start weaning him off the bottle at the first of July before he becomes incredibly attached and is swigging on one while he drives himself to Kindergarten. Any suggestions/tips/ideas on bottle-weaning that worked for you?

Finally, Isaac wants to give a shout out to his friend, LP--the third generation. Happy Birthday LP3! We are sorry we missed your party and hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Our anniversary last year (with Isaac in tow)

Our anniversary this year (minus Isaac)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Happy Anniversary, Husbland!
I heart you!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hodge Podge

No the computer's not in the shop. Perhaps it should be due to my lack of consistent blogging. Many things to say today since my last post, so hang on for a bumpy ride!

June 6, 2006 came and went for the world without much chaos. Along with many other Americans, I heard the local news programs hype this ominous date. I saw the interviews of women holding babies in until the 7th and those proud to deliver on the 6th. I have seen the countless promotions for The Omen (By the way, WHO allows their child to play the role of Dameon?). June 6, 2006 meant the stomach bug for Tobe and me. Although not the end of the world, at times we were hoping for it. Tobe came home Monday night from work feeling icky but was fine by bedtime. Tuesday afternoon he called before he left the office to tell me he was on his way and that once again he was not feeling good. About thirty minutes later, I began to not feel well. At the time, I considered it to be sympathy pains and low blood sugar and then proceeded to make a large batch of chocolate cupcakes for a friend. By 5:30pm, Tobe and I were both incredibly sick and had each claimed a restroom for our own and the cupcakes were abandoned in the kitchen. By 6:30pm, Isaac was on his second viewing of Baby Einstein World Animals (something we never do) and we decided to call Tobe's mom to see if she happened to be in our area. By God's blessing she was almost to her office--where she thought she forgot something--rather than at home. Her office is only 10 minutes from our house (as opposed to the 30 minute drive that separates our two homes) and she offered to come over and bathe and bed the baby. She arrived and saved the day before Isaac had to watch World Animals for the third time. After the baby was down she went and picked up the medicine my dad had prescribed and the essential Sprite and crackers. She then made sure we were covered with blankets and cleaned up the kitchen from my cupcake baking that had come to an abrupt end earlier. At the ages of 30 and 29, Tobe and I sure were glad to have a mom around. It was a long night for the two of us, at one point around 2am we were both lying in bed with a package of crackers between us attempting to eat a few bites. By the morning, we were feeling better and Tobe was fortunate enough to work from home. I used the old rule "sleep when the baby sleeps" (I know this is a rule for newborns and new moms, but I never utilized it then and figured now was a great time) and napped both times Isaac did yesterday. Today we are both feeling good and pray that Isaac has been spared this nasty bug. The ironic thing??? About an hour before the bug hit me, I was on the phone with Alison and we had been discussing what we would really do with our respective children if both us and the husband become seriously ill at the same time. Now I know.

And, if you check your trusty calendar you will note that today is Thursday. Here is my 13, in honor of our five year wedding anniversary which is tomorrow.

Thirteen Things I was Doing This Time Five Years Ago
(the day before I married Tobe)
13. Running errands in my car, windows down, blaring "Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child
12. Eating at the Cookie Basket with my mom, dad, and lil Laura
11. Seeing the final touches finished on the decorations at the church
10. Welcoming all of our out-of-town guests
9. Holding sweet baby
Matthew who was only about three months old at the time
8. Attempting to take a nap before the rehearsal dinner, but being too excited to sleep
7. Arriving at the rehearsal dinner to discover that it had been decorated in a Texas/Arkansas theme by Tobe's parents (it had been a surprise until the big unveiling--it was worth the wait! We loved it!)
6. Hanging out with all of my best high school friends and college friends together
5. Hearing one of the groomsman insult my hometown to a fellow ACU alumni bridesmaid. What this groomsman did not know was that the bridesmaid was also from my hometown. His attempt to cover-up this mistake was priceless.
4. Getting to have another bridal shower after the rehearsal dinner with Tobe's family
3. Posing in front of the hotel marquee with Tobe that read,
"Congratulations Tobe and Lynley."
2. Putting the final touches on my honeymoon packing with my Matron-of-Honor, Alison
1. Going to bed knowing that I was making the perfect decision in marrying Tobe the next day and that we had the full support of our parents, extended family, and friends.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Lazy Days of Summer

Don't you hate when you are at the table next to the table of giggling, loud-talking women but love when you are a part of that table? Well, on Friday I was part of that table as the women of 1017 Washington Blvd. had their yearly reunion. No, 1017 Washington Blvd isn't a new reality show airing after 8th and Ocean on MTV. 1017 Washington was where I lived in college with my four roomies. Every year we get together and tell the same stories and laugh about the same old jokes (click here if you would like to read 17 inside jokes from my college days). This year, Kara was able to join us because she has finally taken up residence in Texas. We decided to throw in three kiddos (and one on the way--NOT me!) to the mix to make things more interesting.

God blessed me with amazing friends growing up and then blessed me again with more amazing friends when I went to college. These four women and I have shared many late nights of laughing hysterically, crying, complaining, rejoicing, and maturing. I can remember times standing in our plaid kitchen, in a circle, praying for each other. We have experienced many highs together and walked hand-in-hand through some tough times. We have stood up for each other at weddings, waited in delivery rooms for babies, and now share the trials of motherhood with each other. What a blessing! Being the faithful ACU alumni that we are, we attempted to take a picture of the children for the critically acclaimed ACU Today. Attempting to get a 10 month old, 11 month old, and 18 month old all seated, looking in the same direction, and smiling without eating their neighbor's hair or snatchsomeonemone's sippy cup is near to impossible. Don't look for any of these shots in the upcoming edition of ACU Today.

Saturday Tobe and I took Isaac for his first swimming experience. Being a water baby my own self, I figured Isaac would love the pool immediately. Wrong. Tobe and I lugged our stuff in and proudly made our way to the kiddie area as opposed to our normal spot (far, far away from the kiddie area). We claimed our spot and then smeared Isaac with SPF 200 and adorned him with a sun hat (despite the fact that neither Tobe nor I look good in hats, a trait we figure will be passed down to our children). We then proceed to the kiddie pool, so happy to have a baby to frolic in this special area. Isaac then proceeded to cry the moment his feet touched the water. The lady sitting on the edge of the kiddie pool then proceeded to glare at us. Out of the water we went, back to the safety of our towels. Isaac sat on his towel, eating some snacks, and looking upon the whole pool scene with disdain.

We let him rest about ten minutes, then we decided to take him to the big pool and test the waters over there. I sat on the side with him and let both our feet dangle in the water. Isaac kept his stuck out above the water for about five minutes before he finally relaxed and let them drop in to the cool aqua pool. It was then that he decided he loved the pool. He let Tobe walk him around the shallow end and swim him around on his tummy. He laughed and smiled the whole time. The original plan was to dunk him during this first swimming experience (Sounds cruel, but you are supposed to do it early on in a child's swimming career or they will be one of those kids who refuses to go underwater out of fear), but held off this week due to Isaac's slow start. We decided that he loved the pool after all, but was just taken back by the idea that we expected him to swim in the kiddie pool. Apparently, he's too cool for that.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thirteen Things I Contemplated at the Salon this Afternoon
The tresses were in need of a major trim (about a month ago, but who's counting...), so once Tobe came home I was off to the salon. Getting one's hair done is a great time for reflection. Here are some of my thoughts during that hour....
1. If I ever win the lottery, I will pay someone to blow-out my hair everyday. Wouldn't it be nice to look fabulous while someone else did all the work?
(I often say the phrase, "If I ever win the lottery....." I have grand plans for the millions I might one day win. However, we never play the lottery so you would think I would stop such dreaming.)
2. The place where I had my hair cut (The Renata) used to be a funeral parlor back in the day. Aside from the creepiness factor, I was quite interested in the history of this old house. It got me thinking....In 60 years will I be driving around Grapevine and say "Oh, they turned the old Target into this" or "Wow! The McDonalds/Shell station is now a hotel". I think it is fascinating how towns utilize their resources and recreate buildings rather than demolishing structures and putting up new ones. Read more about Grapevine's buildings and their history here.
3. The Super Suppers next door to the salon was having an Open House tonight. A local catering company was bringing in food. Uh, shouldn't they have made their own food as that is their business?
4. Wouldn't it be nice if I could sit here and just have my hair washed, cut, and styled without having to make small talk?
5. The salon is located in a three story house built in the late 1800's (those who clicked on my link above already knew this). How miserable would it have been to live in one of those top stories during a Texas summer in pre-airconditioning times?
6. If I win the lottery (see how often I have this thought), I am buying the bed and breakfast across the street. Wouldn't Isaac have great stories to tell about a childhood spent in a Bed and Breakfast?
7. Is the hairstylist going to refill my glass of complimentary wine or am I supposed to savor every last drop and go on my merry way?
8. Has Tobe remembered to feed Isaac dinner?
(No worries, he did. Why do Moms have these irrational fears about their husbands being incompetent? Tobe has never forgotten anything about Isaac and is an excellent father. I believe hospitals are required to mix in some form of liquid panic into your IV while in least that is my excuse.)
9. On our current income, could I afford to have someone blow-out my hair possibly every third day? (No.)
10. Why has the hair dresser misunderstood "side-swept bangs that start at the cheekbone" for "side-swept bangs that start above the eyebrow"?
11. Are headbands in style? I am going to need quite a few as I grow out these bangs I seem to have now.
12. Why is the other hairstylists showing me the large, gaping wound in her lower lip that was the result of her car accident last night? Perhaps it should be a rule that you should not show someone the inside of your mouth prior to knowing that individual.
13. Why hasn't anyone in our family gone to a prestigious hair dressing academy so I can get free haircuts? It really is selfish of them to put their life's ambitions before my desire for a top quality trim for nothing.
Changing the subject, has anyone else watched the train-wreck known as "Game Show Marathon." I know I was one of the few Americans who watched all three aired episodes of "Celebrity Cooking Challenge" before it was yanked off the air. Game Show Marathon seemed to be a good idea---mix old gameshows together and throw in some celebrities. Yet, CBS felt like Rickie Lake would be a great host and the only celebrities they could find were Lance Bass (guess the dreams of becoming an astronaut have died), a very aged Leslie Neilson, Paige Davis (finally back on TV), some Baywatch cast-off (selected mainly for her assets), and Tim Meadows who looks like he would rather have his head in a toilet than to be on the show. We watched about twenty minutes of the show last night because they were playing Price is Right. Tonight I caught about five minutes and immediately changed the channel when I noticed that Lance Bass was dressed as a banana. God bless summer TV.