Sunday, December 31, 2006

Holiday Hits and Misses

We are home (and have been for a few just has taken me awhile to clear a track to the computer through all of the presents, Christmas do-dads, and discarded boxes)! Here are some Hits and Misses from our holidays:

1. Out of four flights, Isaac only melted-down on the final five minutes of the very last flight. Why does five minutes of your baby crying bloody-murder feel like five hours? Besides that tiny episode of tears, Isaac was a perfect traveler....even on the day we had to get him up at 4:15am to catch a flight. (Near Miss)

2.The two trauma-provoking toys of Christmas 2006 are a stuffed giraffe backpack (which I love) and the Fisher Price Learning Puppy. Isaac cowers in fear at the sight of both toys......we really aren't sure why. Yes, the learning Puppy sings songs in a strange voice which could explain some hesitancy, but the giraffe backpack simply sits there harmlessly waiting to be loved. Oh well. He was afraid of a train he got for his birthday for about three months and now he loves it. (Miss...but sure to be a hit soon)

3. Our crawler is officially a walker. Yeah! The walking is going great and we are so glad this child will not one day crawl into kindergarten. His new thing is to come up to me and either grab my finger or open and shut his hand rapidly until I place my finger inside of his hand so that he can lead me somewhere important. He still reverts to crawling at times, but we can remind him to walk somewhere and he will. (BIG Hit!)

4.By our fifth Christmas celebration, Isaac finally understood the concept of unwrapping gifts. This lack of desire for tearing paper off of packages really worked to our advantage this holiday season....not once did Isaac bother the Christmas tree or presents stashed underneath. (Hit)

5.We can now open a Fisher Price Little People Museum in our home. After Isaac opened all of his Christmas presents, we can set up our own Little People town for hours of enjoyment. I don't know who is more excited....Isaac or me! (Hit)

6. The crud. Isaac's nose started running on Wednesday night and is getting ickier by the day. Currently he is hacking up a lung while he naps next door in the nursery. It hasn't seemed to slow him down and we keep up the medicine at regular intervals. We hope to avoid anything major this time (Potential miss....stay tuned!)

7. Sleeping. Isaac did great sleeping on all of our travels. When he was quite small we put him on a very good and consistent schedule for eating and sleeping and have stuck with it. This has turned someone who was not a good sleeper as a newborn into an excellent sleeper by month four of life. The boy giggles when you put him to bed out of sheer joy. A few weeks before we set out on our holiday travels I had Isaac practice resting on my chest (with blankie and giraffe) before I would place him into bed. Sometimes he would even fall asleep this way. I did this so that if he wasn't sleeping well while traveling (and for one leg of a flight when we needed him to nap) I could get him to go to sleep with a bit of help. The plan worked and came in quite handy in the middle of one night when he could not get comfortable and was a bit distraught. He and I ended up sharing a bed and he slept peacefully the rest of the night with his face inches from mine (I did not sleep peacefully in fear that I would smush him in the middle of the night or mistake him for an extra pillow). We don't cosleep here at casa de Phillips so this was a rare treat for him (Tobe takes his life in his hands each night while sharing a bed with me---i am a horrible sleeper---so I think CPS would be called out if we ever let young children share our bed). (Hit)

8. As always, Tobe managed to find creative and thoughtful Christmas presents for me despite the fact that I could not think of one thing I wanted for Christmas. Two of these presents came from James Avery...yippee! (Big, Big HIT!)

9. The biggest HIT of our Christmas season is that on December 22 we found out that Phillips' baby number 2 is a GIRL!!! Our ever-thoughtful OBGYN rescheduled our sonogram for before Christmas rather than the originally planned after-Christmas date so that we could know what this baby is in time for the holiday season. We are thrilled!!!!! Although I have not officially discussed the sonogram with my doctor, everything looks good with this baby and she is growing right on schedule. We are about 99.9% sure of a name.....Evelyn Kathleen. Because no one knew that we had this sonogram scheduled, we gave our parents a Christmas present revealing the gender of our unborn child. It was a pre-packaged present that I picked up at a local boutique which contained a pink onesie reading, "Little Sis + Big Brother =Heart" and a t-shirt that reads "Big Brother + Little Sis = Heart." Cute, huh? Well two of our parents both originally thought we were having twins. Nooooo.... I believe that shirt would read "Three children under the age of two + One stay at home mom = Looney Bin." (MAJOR Hit!)

Hope everyone had a peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year. Christmas pictures to come as soon as we download them from our camera!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

“…Baby, All I Want for Christmas
Is You…..”

Happy Holidays!
Tobe, Lynley, Isaac, & baby (May 2007) Phillips

Merry Christmas Eve, blog readers! We are happily enjoying our Christmas season with friends and family (and lots and lots of traveling!). Above is a quite altered version of our Christmas card this year. Again, I thought it would be great to get out the paste and scissors and create our own cards.......and again I realized that this task loses its appeal after I had hole-punched 27 out of 50 cards. Perhaps next year I will learn and order cards online. This year we choose to include the lyrics of that famous Mariah Carey Christmas song, "Baby, All I Want for Christmas is You." Each year we include a verse from a Christmas song and we already have next year's verse picked out! Hopefully I will remember it by then.

Here are some pictures from the past week before we set out on our Christmas travels....

Our Little Elf

We went on a sleigh ride through the snow-covered Forest as a family

Thursday Evening we opened our family gifts to each other so we would not have to lug them around the southern United States. Isaac still doesn't like to unwrap presents and attempted to put the wrapping paper back together when I showed him how to unwrap something. When he saw the contents of his first present (after I half-way unwrapped it for him) he looked up at us in excitement and said, "Codors???" Yep....a new box of crayons for our little boy was his favorite gift so far.

Isaac hugging his new "codors"

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Jingle All the Way

Yesterday, Isaac had his first official cookie (to our knowledge) and he quickly became an avid fan of Keebler Jingles. This addiction started with a simple brown bag lunch with Santa at our local community center. The event was free and included lunch (if you brought your own---which we did), pictures with Santa (if you brought your own camera--which we did), crafts, and a puppet show. Fun times. I figured this would be an easy (and free) way to get Isaac's picture with Santa (Last year all dreams of precious Santa pictures were crushed when...A. I realized that you must buy expensive portrait packages taken by a teenager to be able to snap your own picture with Santa at our local mall and B. Isaac does not like Santa. Taking these two things into consideration, I have let go of all idealistic Mommy dreams of my precious boy sitting angelically on Santa's lap.).

We headed out to "Lunch with Santa" on Wednesday, arriving a bit early so Isaac could get used to the place before large amounts of children descended on the gym. We ate with some people who take Mommy and Me class with us on Thursdays and then Isaac immediately wanted down and set off to explore. Although his "exploring" involved me chasing after him, I was happy that he felt relaxed and comfortable enough to set out on his own. We made some crafts (okay I made the reindeer ears, but he did color the Christmas card---until he felt the need to take the markers in and out of their bag. His new word this week...."doder" for "color" He loves to have his big crayons and art pad out on the coffee table at all times. This is his first request after his morning milk.). I gave Isaac a sticker and he immediately put it on his shirt. Where did he learn that? The only place that he gets stickers is the doctor's office (which I confiscate and put in his prize chest for a time when he is older and needs a reward system) and the library (which they always put on his hand). However, he wanted that sticker on his shirt and would not let me remove it for the rest of the day. Too cute.

After crafts, it was time to meet Santa. We were second in line and Santa was just a bit grouchy by the time we got to him. He was insisting that someone bring him a fan and never even greeted Isaac. He then acted annoyed because Isaac would not look at the camera. My question is, why sign up to be Santa if you are not going to be jolly about it? This man was obviously a "professional" as his beard was real and he is not an employee of the center. His attitude kindof bummed me out and the pictures are not stunning at all, but in ten years when Isaac is looking at old pictures he can never accuse me of not taking him to see Santa as a small child.

The puppet show is where the cookie addiction actually started. Isaac sat on the mat with the other children, eager to see a good puppet show. All I can say about this production is that it was put on by our local children's librarians and bless their sweet hearts. It was during this time that the plate of Jingle cookies was passed around for the children to enjoy. They are small and I figured Isaac should try one since it is the holidays (I normally don't serve him anything with processed sugar--we do the whole organic thing on juice, yogurt, applesauce, etc...). He loved it. He then wanted more, so I let him have another. He then discovered where the plate with the cookies was kept and crawled right over to help himself to a third serving. This is when I cut him off and the tears began. Fortunately "Lunch with Santa" was winding down, so we said our good-byes and made our exit. Isaac was sad as we left and as we loaded up in the car, but he did catch my eye in the rear view mirror as I was driving home and flash me a big grin. That boy is sweet even when upset about life being unfair. However, we will be avoiding all Jingles at future holiday events and will be sticking to fruit until he gets old enough to figure this whole junk food thing out. Don't even think about buy him a package for Christmas, because they will be returned to the store before he even realizes they are gone.


Isaac's other big milestone yesterday was that we turned his car seat around to forward-facing. Although the law says you can do this at one year and 20 pounds, it took us a while to get to 20 pounds. I also wanted to make sure his neck was nice and strong before turning him around in case of an accident. Lately he has been attempting to sit up more while rear-facing, so we figured it was time to turn him around so he can see the world as it should be rather than out the back window. I am starting to wonder how I am actually going to get him into the car seat once this belly gets big. That might be an interesting sight....


I went to the post office the other night after my bootcamp class to mail our Christmas presents (we are flying everywhere again this year, so we must mail our presents). I choose to visit the post office after-hours because I hate the lines and because we have the handy-dandy 24 hour kiosk that allows you to mail packages and buy stamps without ever interacting with an actual human. The two people in front of me in line could not get the kiosk to work for them. I figured I would try since I was already there and had lugged in two big boxes and a shopping bag of Christmas cards. First, the machine told me it was unable to sell me stamps at this time. Fabulous. However, I was able to get mailing labels for my packages. After making twenty decisions about how I wanted the packages mailed, I was granted my official mailing labels. I slapped those things on the boxes and put the first one in the big mail slot, specifically designed for boxes. Well, the box apparently got stuck and the mail slot would not open for me to stick my other package inside. A man waiting in line for the kiosk said that meant the bin was full on the other side. Aaargh! I attempted to dislodge my package, but was met with only failure. Several people in line gave me mean looks as if it were my fault that no more packages would be able to be put through the slot that night. A man in line had been at a neighboring city's post office kiosk--which was broken--and had come to this one in hopes of mailing out Christmas presents. Because the mail slot was now stuck and not working, he planned on going to a 24 hour post office somewhere at the airport. Hope he got those packages mailed. So my plan to avoid long lines at the post office was ruined because I had to return the next day (with the baby) to mail my other package and buy stamps. I have since gone on long tirades about how our postal system is broken to Tobe over the past few days. Poor guy.


Pictures with Santa
(Notice no one is full of cheer in this photo)

Craft Time

The beloved cookie

Another photo from our Christmas card photo shoot

First offical picture of Isaac and his future sibling together

(Notice how thrilled Isaac is about this picture)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Next Food Network Star

(Isaac loves the lights over our kitchen table and I had just flipped them on to take this picture--thus the look of wonder as he gazes above)

Friday I decided to start a new holiday tradition of baking Christmas cookies with Isaac. Understanding I was working with the attention span of a 16 month old, I made the dough beforehand. Then after morning naptime on Friday, I pulled out the dough, cookie cutters, rolling pins, and flour. Isaac sat at the table in his super-cool booster seat (looks like one of those camping chairs that collapse--too cool for school!), with snack close at hand, and we got to work. Isaac choose each cookie cutter that I used to cut out the cookies and did a great job of not repeating the same shape (although the poor angel went undetected the majority of the time because it somehow became hidden in Isaac's lap). He watched in awe as I cut the cookies. I then gave him his own dough in which he would roll it out (pat it with the roller) and then proceeded to smash a cookie cutter onto the dough. Adorable. I have great video of this first "cooking" experience. Isaac is at the stage where he can see either Tobe or me do something once and then makes a great attempt at repeating it. About half-way through this cooking extravaganza, Isaac realized that the dough could be eaten and was rather tasty. I let him eat it because it is the holidays and it was homemade so I knew what was in it (I know raw eggs are dangerous--we live on the wild side here at casa de phillips). I eventually had to cut him off because his little body isn't used to ingesting sugar and I was fearful a sugar-high would interfere with afternoon naptime. The cookies were a success (the frosting is another story) and I believe we have found us a new holiday tradition.

In other news, Tobe and I walked into QuickTrip on Saturday night (where else would one go on a Saturday night???) only to see ol' St. Nick himself at the check-out counter. Hysterical. I suppose he had just gotten off work and was headed home to Mrs. Claus. Tobe said I should have hugged him. He must have been a Southlake Santa because he had the real hair and beard and wasn't sporting a set of fake hair. Wanna know what kind of car Santa old Honda Accord. Guess the sleigh was in the shop.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hello, Blog World!

The two readers that I still have left have both questioned this week if I am ever going to post on my blog again. The answer is.....................Yes! The lack of posting is not due to lack of funny Isaac stories or exciting events here at casa de Phillips but more likely due to my laziness and frequent migraines caused by this bundle of joy growing in my tummy (my new outlook on the migraines is that I would rather this baby cause them now than when he/she is 15 years old. Perhaps this is all the trouble child number two will ever give me!)

Recap time:

Thanksgiving: Turkey Day was a successful day in the Phillips' household with an unanticipated exciting start. I walked out of the bedroom that morning to put the turkey in the oven and check the status on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (I HAVE to watch this every year or my holiday season is ruined) when I was met by an unfortunate smell outside of Isaac's door. Seems the poor boy had gotten sick in the middle of the night and had slept in a pile of throw-up. Because we are used to this sweet boy getting sick on occasion, Tobe and I immediately began the process of cleaning everything up. This involved me waking Isaac up to put him in the bathtub (he began clapping when I started the water--that boy loves his bath even at 6am!) while Tobe stripped the bed and began the wash. Windows were open and many candles lit to rid the room of the telltale smell. The rest of Turkey Day went well with Tobe's parents and sister joining us for lunch and then our little family just chillin' together for the rest of the day. I believe that Tobe and I sat on the couch that evening for at least three hours watching all of the Friends' Thanksgiving episodes on TBS.

Black Friday: I love to shop and I actually enjoy shopping in large holiday crowds. However, I have never really taken part in the early morning madness of Black Friday shopping. This is partly because we are in Arkansas every other year for Thanksgiving so my choices of stores are quite limited during those times and partly because we often have the majority of our Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving. However, this year I decided to venture out to Wal-Mart at 5am to score a cheap, portable DVD player for Isaac so we don't always have to use the laptop to watch videos on planes. I pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot at 4:50am ready to fight my way into the door and race towards my prized DVD player. Much to my surprise, there were no lines or frantic people attempting to get cheap holiday deals. The store was quite packed but tons of employees were on hand to give assistance and tell you where deal items were located. (The electronic sale items were being held in the meat department.) I raced to the meat department and retrieved my DVD player, snatched up a Special Edition Little People Amusement Park for Isaac (We LOVE all things Little People here in our household), and headed for the check-out lane. The only commotion I heard was from a group of women frantically searching for the $10 Easy Bake Oven. I was out of Wal-Mart and back in my car by 5:12am. I then proceeded to load up with the rest of the family into Tobe's parents van and head out for West Texas to spend some time with Tobe's grandparents.

The Stomach Bug: Tobe and I were struck by the stomach bug the Sunday night after Thanksgiving. Tobe started feeling sick first and then it hit me. I really thought mine was the ever-present morning sickness, but quickly realized it was a bit more serious. We spent the evening in misery but came through it together. Tobe worked from home the next day so we were able to tag-team with caring for the baby. We were all good as new on Tuesday morning.

Arkansas trip: Last Tuesday night I headed out for Arkansas to spend Wednesday with my grandmother. My mom was out of town and the 29th of November was the one year anniversary of my grandfather's passing. I surprised Grandmother early Wednesday morning and we had a great day together just talking and hanging out. She was in really good spirits, which was nice to see. Tobe had taken the day off of work and he and Isaac had "Daddy/Tiger Day". This was a first for them and they had lots of fun, despite the fact that Isaac had several major blowout diapers which is very unusual for him. I will attach pictures below of some of the fun they enjoyed. I flew back home late Wednesday night, making it in before the big ice storm.

Artic Blast 2006: I love when snow and ice are predicted here, because all the news stations treat it as if World War 3 is about to be declared. We spent Thursday indoors, watching the weather and admiring the snow. Tobe returned home from work around noon, so we didn't have to worry about him attempting to commute in the rush hour traffic and ice (Ask him about the time it took him over three hours to get home from work when a sudden ice storm hit at the end of the workday--not fun, my friend!). We took Isaac out into the snow and he wasn't even barely impressed. It was nice to have a day to stay inside and enjoy the cold temperatures.

Christmas Picture Session: This week I took Isaac to have his Christmas pictures taken. He likely will need several therapy sessions to get over this trauma. We went to the same portrait studio we always go to because I know that Isaac tends to feel more comfortable in familiar places. I arrived a few minutes early to give him time to get used to the setting before someone started snapping pictures. Apparently the studio was running ahead of schedule as well (very unusual) because they were ready to start as soon as we walked in the door. Isaac was not too thrilled with this idea. The rush of tears started when the photographer moved his stroller and did not end until we exited the studio thirty minutes later. The boy cried the whole time. I usually like the photographers at this studio and the last few times the photographer has been able to get smiles out of a hesitant Isaac. This lady didn't really make an attempt to put Isaac at ease or give him a minute to become adjusted to his surroundings. She then attempted to sell me large, expensive packages of pictures of a crying 16 month old. Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a very sad baby. I did settle on two pictures (there was no way I was going to attempt this task again and return for a repeat photo session)---one of which Isaac is not smiling and you can see my fingers in the edge of the picture as I attempt to hold him in place (it is a cute expression--just no smile) and a profile shot of Isaac sitting in a rocking chair, in which you can see a large tear on his face. Classic. As soon as we left the studio, Isaac was all smiles. Ugh! We then proceeded to look in some of the stores while we waited for our portraits to be printed. In one store I was told that Isaac and his stroller would have to remain by the cash register while I shopped. There was no sign on the door or anywhere saying "No Strollers or Babies Allowed" and so we chose to leave the store rather than leave my child by the register (By the way, I will no longer be shopping at Penny Lane of Colleyville. If you don't want kids or strollers in your store, put up a sign. Don't tell Moms that their children have to be banished to the cash register area upon entering the store. Better yet--create a small playyard for kids to stay in while Moms shop.) Christmas Pictures 2006 are done and I am sure in future years we will look at these portraits and laugh....hopefully.

Tuesday Night Date Night: Call us extravagant, but Tobe and I had a date night on a TUESDAY NIGHT!!!! The grandparents came over to watch Isaac while we set out for the Dixie Chicks concert. It was excellent and the place was full. I know a lot of people have strong feelings about the Dixie Chicks and the "London Comment" made several years ago. Everyone is entitled to their opinion (however I have found that most people honestly do not know the actual quote that was even said at that concert). Tobe and I do find it amusing that despite all the drama made about this quote from Natalie Maines, no one has really had issue with what she says about the President in their movie "Shut Up and Sing." Don't know what I am referring to? You probably have seen the edited version if you have seen the preview for this movie. Otherwise, I suppose you can Google it. Be advised that it is strong language. The concert was great and we are so glad we saw them on this tour. If you happen to be a "W" fan, you wouldn't have found many friends in this audience. There were several signs (from audience members) that were quite amusing and got loud crowd responses. A few rows ahead of us someone was sporting a spin off of the French Connection shirt (Like the one Natalie made to get back at Toby Keith) that was aimed at the president. Hmmm.... Enough political talk....speaking of "W" Tobe and I made a quick pit stop at the new W Hotel for me to use the restroom as we walked from our car to AAC. Upon entering this trendy hotel, I somehow managed to trip on the entrance rug and almost fall flat on my face in front of numerous trendy people. Nice. Then I get a bit confused as I am making my way to the restroom because all the walls are mirrored. Guess I am not trendy enough for such hangouts because the whole five minute experience was a bit stressful for me.

Central Market: I have had yesterday marked on the ol calender for a while now--It was the Grand Opening of our Central Market! My life is now complete! It was a bit crazy, but no more crazy than any of the other Central Markets on a Saturday afternoon. There were lots of things to taste but that is where the crowds seemed to form, so we avoided those. We did manage to score some organic sour cream and onion chips, which Isaac loved. Check out the new Central Market if you happen to be in the neighborhood---it is heavenly! Be sure to pick up a pack of warm butter tortillas while you are there!

Baby #2: This baby is growing. He/She doubles in size over the next month, which is starting to become evident in my waistline. Right now this little baby is the size of a large onion. With Isaac's pregnancy, I had no cravings whatsoever. This pregnancy began with a craving for nachos and has moved on to simple chips and queso. I have been strong and only have had chips and queso once (at the AAC Tuesday night in which I likely paid $20 for nachos). I did come home from my bootcamp class Monday night and ask Tobe if he had made me chips and dip. He just looked at me as if I were crazy. Not sure why I thought he might have concocted such a meal since we have no cheese or chips in the pantry--probably just wishful thinking on my part! I think it will be interesting to see if this child one day loves chips and dip.

Isaac: Isaac has officially reached 16 month old status and is a riot everyday. A few weeks back he mastered the skill of getting in and out of his Little Tikes car gracefully (after a failed attempt where he somehow ended up backwards with his bottom in the hole and his legs sticking out the rear window). He does this numerous times during the day. The funniest part is that he is always is so careful to shut the door of the car after exiting. He also is really catching on to picking up toys when finished playing or when the day is over. He LOVES to color and likes to have his crayons and paper out at all times on the coffee table for am impromptu art session at any given moment. He understands a lot and can respond to questions. He still doesn't say a lot of clear words, but he will repeat things (I can understand him). His new word lately has been "cracker." He has pretty much mastered the art of feeding himself with a spoon and really only needs helping with getting the last few bites out. He now hurries through his meal so he can get applesauce or yogurt. He loves to wear his hat outside when it is cold (um...had to buy a size 2T-5T hat to fit on that boy's head) and laughs when he sees himself in the mirror sporting this winter wear. His new "trick" is to make a silly face which honestly looks like a "Sing Song face" (ACU reference). It is hysterical and I must admit I showed him how to do it.

Christmas Decorating: I love Christmas and all things associated with it. Our four trees are trimmed (only one is a big tree--there isn't that much room in casa de Phillips) and we had the 6th Annual Phillips Family Christmas Lighting Ceremony last week. Isaac has done really well with not messing with the tree or any of the presents underneath. Yesterday I hung an ornament with his picture in it and he loves to go and point at it. Sweet boy. I am a bit disturbed by seeing "dead" snowmen and Santas on people's lawns during the day. I know people with inflatable decorations must let them deflate during the day, but it slightly disturbs me. However I respect anyone who puts up holiday decorations and I can't wait to go look at Christmas lights. I really love houses that go overboard on the lights. I was going on about my love for Christmas lights to Tobe the other night and he looked at me and said, "You are a really sweet person." Not sure if he meant more "simple" than "sweet" because of my extreme love for Christmas lights, but I will take it as a compliment nonetheless. Sunday night HGTV is airing a show about tacky Christmas light displays in America. I can't wait! I bet the houses will be beautiful!

Church of Christ Humor: For those ACU/Highland Church alumni go to and enter in "Mike Cope Sings the Classics" into the search box. This is hysterical! Tobe didn't think it was quite as funny as I did, but it makes me about cry every time I watch it.

Whew! If you made it all the way to the end, kudos to you! Sorry for the lack of posts, dear friends. Also, those of you whose blogs I follow please know I still read them even though I have not commented in a while. Hopefully these headaches will end soon and computer time won't be so unpleasant.

Happy Holidays!

Photos from Daddy/Tiger Day
**Waking up**

**Enjoying the local sidewalk cafe***

(IN PJS)**Checking out the local holiday displays****Snow day**

(notice the look of excitement on Isaac's face)**This is what happens when Mom attempts to take a cute Christmas card picture by placing a 16 month old in a box**