Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Meltdown Mania

Meltdowns are not a new experience to me. I had many a student throw the biggest, longest fits one could imagine. I have carried (actually drug, kicking and screaming) students onto buses, off of buses, down hallways, out of closets, out from under tables, off playground equipment, and once out of a pool (got to love the fact that my district taught fourth graders Water Safety). In fact, one of my students had to be removed from an assembly after he called the superintendent of the district "unclean." (Long story, which I should not go into due to confidentiality issues. However, I feel like I can mention the event as it did happen during a public assembly with lots of witnesses.) Nice. I have had lots of experience with the human spirit melting down into a puddle of raw emotions.

Yesterday such behavior was inflicted on me by my own flesh and blood. Yes, dear reader, we are rapidly approaching the two year old phase were life suddenly becomes dramatic and all issues are of the most dire situation. Apparently Isaac was not ready to leave Cool Cuts for Kids yesterday when I was, which resulted in a heap of small boy weeping uncontrollably on the floor. Lovely. Imagines of all my former students' parents snickering at me now that it was MY kid melting down flooded my brain as I scooped up this 25 pound wailing mass and lugged him and a very large baby stroller out the door. Good times.
On Friday we purchased Isaac's "Big Boy Potty" or as he calls it the "Baby Mode." I had intended to start potty training a few months back, but the pregnant belly caused me to give the bath time duties to Tobe (bath time was going to be our jumping off point in the land of potty training). We purchased this potty on Friday and Isaac talked about it the whole trip home, during lunch, immediately upon waking from his nap, and during an entire doctor's appointment. Needless to say, he is excited about the potty. Friday afternoon we assembled the contraption, which brought Isaac great joy because it required the use of tools (he loves tools). Upon finishing our project, Isaac disappeared. He returned a few seconds later with toilet paper for his new potty. Hilarious. He has yet to actually do anything in his potty other than sit on it, but he is always ready with a square of toilet paper should something happen.
Here are some latest pictures:

Early Smiles

Isaac saw this little blue skirt lying on the changing table and started calling it a hat while attempting to wear it on his head

Nothing says Saturday morning like watching cartoons with Ink-Ink, Raffes, Ike, and green blankie

(He sleeps with all of these, plus three additional blankets. I must have been pretty tired on this morning because we typically do not allow any of these cuddly creatures out of the bed. I can only imagine the nightmare it would be if he thought he needed to drag "The Trio" with him everywhere.)

We went to the pool Saturday morning....this is how Evelyn enjoyed the water and the sun

Thursday, June 21, 2007

1 + 1 Does Not Equal 2

So we had one child, then we added another....basic math would say that we now have two children. Technically we may have only two little people running around casa de phillips but it feels like an army of little ones under three feet tall have taken over and declared war.

Declaration of war might be a slight exaggeration but we are busy around here at casa de phillips. Keeping up with two little ones under two is making this mama busy. Here are some snippets from the past week:

*Feeling brave I thought I would take the children swimming with friends. All was going well until Isaac thought he could simply reach down and pick something off the bottom of the baby pool. This caused him to go under water---sounds dramatic but I was only a few feet away sitting on the side watching him the whole time. However, I was feeding Evelyn at the time. Fortunately my friend Jodi was able to pull him out. He didn't cry at all, but became a bit cautious as the swim time went on saying "Sidewalk, Mommy" (wanting to be on the side rather than in the water)

*The day after the swimming incident, we ventured out to story time at the library. A good time was had by all until as we were leaving the building Isaac somehow tripped. I leaned down to help him up not realizing that we were on a very slight incline. Did I mention when I leaned down to pick him up I let my hand off the stroller that Evelyn was riding in? Yeah, the stroller rolled out into the parking lot, with me chasing behind it and with Isaac chasing behind me. It was not my proudest parenting moment.

*Although thankful for all of our recent rain, it does cause my 22 month old to become a bit stir crazy. On Monday it appeared that we were going to have a break in the downpours so I decided that we should dig in our handy sandbox. I hauled out the sandbox, lugged our big beach blanket outside, brought out a boppy,bottle, and burp cloth for the baby, made a refreshing beverage for Isaac and myself, and tracked down the cordless phone to keep with us. Then I allowed both children to frolic in the backyard (Evelyn "frolics" by lying sweetly in her boppy). All was going well until five minutes into this event, big rain drops began to fall. Ugh. Determined to keep the children outdoors, I relocated this party to the garage. Five minutes after relocating to the garage (this does not count the 20 minutes the actual relocation process took), the rain stopped.

*Determined to lose this baby weight, I load the kids up each morning and go for a long, rapid walk. I still have not come to a decision on a jogging stroller so we are still using the Graco double stroller. The other morning everyone was sunscreened, bug-sprayed, and loaded up. We set out only to discover that something had gone terribly wrong with the front left wheel. By "terribly wrong" I mean that the stroller pulled significantly to the left...causing us only to be able to go in a circle. I am sure the men collecting our garbage who witnessed this gigantic double stroller only going in circles got quite the laugh...

*Hours after I had unloaded the children from the double stroller and we had gone on with our day, Tobe forwarded me an email proclaiming the dangers of putting both sunscreen and bug spray on your child at the same time. Fabulous---I had basically bathed Isaac in the two substances earlier.

*In the process of dressing Evelyn over the weekend, I noticed that the dress I pulled from her closet was wet. This prompted me to look at the ceiling of her closet, which was leaking water. Turns out our air-conditioner was leaking large amounts of water and was about to die. Air conditioners are not cheap, my friend. Tobe has spent this week researching calling, and scheduling air conditioner estimates. Today we became the proud owners of a new air conditioner. Lucky us. I wish we were the proud new owners of a luxurious beach vacation. Isn't home ownership glamorous?
*Evelyn turns six weeks old tomorrow, but she hit that six week growth spurt this week. She has gone back to two feedings during the middle of the night (we were down to just one) to help ease these growth-induced hunger pains. Last night as I drug myself from the comfy bed into the living room to feed her, I flipped on the TV to discover that the cable was out. Ugh. The only thing that makes middle of the night feedings tolerable (besides the bonding with your child) is the chance to watch Food Network uninterrupted. Fortunately the cable had been repaired by our 4am feeding rolled around.

*We are seeing a lot of two year old behaviors in Isaac these days. He insists on buckling his own car seat (a skill he hasn't quite mastered in a timely manner), he seems to have developed selective hearing (seems the word "no" is not in his hearing range, but if you whisper "donut holes" in another room he comes running), and he visited time out this morning. Despite these two year old behaviors, he still tries quite hard to be sweet. The other day before naptime he started to venture off towards a toy rather than go to his room like I asked. He stopped suddenly and said, "Sorry, Mommy. Obey."

Busy, busy, my friend. So busy that I am seriously questioning the whole 1+1=2 thing because there are days when I could swear we had more than just two kids around here.

Enough complaining. These sweet faces make it all worth it

(These are a few weeks old--they are a few of the pictures I took for our birth announcements. By the way, check out http://www.mykindacard.com/ if you want a cool and cheap photo card made of your family. We were extremely happy with our birth announcements and with the lady who graciously made it for us---who has a new May baby her ownself! While you are looking at this website, you might want to glance at card B9a on the Birth Announcement Page...Tom and Susie Smith sure do have some cute kids!)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Product of His Generation

My mom tells the story of how when she was a small child she one time chased after my grandfather on her tricycle as he left for work in the morning. I am sure as a child I made many pretend phone calls to my father on my Fisher Price telephone during his work day. This morning Isaac was standing by our computer and informed me that "I-ick e-ill Daddy". It took me a minute, but then I figured out he was saying "Isaac email Daddy." I think it is time to update the baby book by adding new categories such as "First Text Message" and "Name of first Website."

Monday, June 11, 2007

One Month Down...

...and a million more to go!

Evelyn hit the one month mark today! I never took a picture of Isaac in the same place or with a same item each month birthday his first year. However, I have vowed to do this with Evelyn (perhaps this will prevent the "I am the middle child, why don't you love me as much as the first child?" syndrome). Here are some pictures I snapped this morning (you would never know that Isaac was attempting to scale the side of her crib while I shot this). By the way, I totally stole the block idea from the Internet....
If you thought I was exaggerating about the hair, check it out in this picture. You can still see her hairline, but there is no hair there. She almost has the Dr. Phil haircut going on.
Quality Time with her Big Brother this weekend
(hoping he doesn't roll on her or step on her hand)
One of Isaac's pastimes is sitting in this chair and reading books to himself. His tendency to read out loud has gone from gibberish to actually reading the book (by "reading" I mean repeating the story he has heard us read...but he can read "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" remarkably well)
Thankfully we have very high ceilings in our bedroom...

Friday, June 08, 2007


Tobe is the parent who bathes and dresses Isaac each evening, which gives me a chance to catch my breath before I bathe and dress Evelyn for the night. It is a great system we have going. Last night I was sitting in the living room attempting to soothe a fussy baby (good-bye sleepy newborn stage....hello cranky nighttime stage), when I overheard the following conversation coming from Isaac's bedroom after bathtime:

Tobe: "What do you use to hear with?"

Isaac: "Ears."

T: "What do you use to see with?"

I: "Eyes."

T: "What do you use to eat with?"

I: "Mouth."

T: "What do you use to walk?"

I: (slight pause) "Sidewalk!"

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hair Club for Babies

As I dressed Evelyn this morning, I made a shocking realization....the front part of her hair is falling out. I know a newborn's hair falls out, but we never experienced this with Isaac. He was born with what might be considered a very short crew cut that simply grew with time. There was no losing and regaining of hair. I had noticed that Evelyn's had gotten a bit patchy in the back lately and had attributed it to the newborn hair loss stage. Today as I pulled off her onesie, I almost screamed when I noticed her hair is now falling out in the front (I actually looked inside the onesie to see if I had inadvertently pulled out her hair when removing her clothes....I had not. It is just gone). What was once a noticeable widow's peak hairline now resembles a balding man holding with one tiny patch of hair at the top. I haven't decided if I am a hair bow person or not (I have learned not to say "never" about such decisions, considering I said "no pink" and have an entire baby wardrobe and nursery centered around that color), but we might have to find some thing to disguise this interesting hair look that is going on.

Here is proof that her hair is falling out drastically on top:

This picture was taken Saturday Morning
(Yes, we have seen the large tag on the Boppy that says don't let your baby sleep in it. We live on the wild side here at casa de phillips)Here is a picture taken yesterday...can you see the difference? As of today the remaining hair on top of her head is gone.
(Thanks, Auntie Laura, for this cute outfit!)
Fortunately, Isaac's hair is not falling out so I only have to worry about pricing one baby toupee. Lately he has become obsessed with the moon and with green apples. He adores green apples and has started asking for "green apple juice" (same as regular apple juice, but don't tell him) and even "ordered" green apples from a vendor at our local farmer's market this morning (he had to settle for peaches). Today he has been fixed on the need for me to unlock the door so he can "see A-son." I made the mistake of mentioning to him that Alison and Morgan might come play today and he has been worried about the front door being locked ever since. He even brought me the phone and told me to "call A-son." (It was noon, Alison, which I know is your house's naptime--thus the reason we did not call).
Here are some pictures from the past week:
On one of our many rainy days last week, we built a tent in the living room and had a popcorn party.
Don't you work puzzles while wearing your firefighter's hat?
Notice the Curious George band aid on his right hand...this is a staple of his wardrobe most days.

I quickly realized that a 3 week old and a 22 month old under the same activity gym don't work well together...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hit The Ground Running

This morning it began....Operation Bye-Bye Baby Fat. Now that I have reached the three week post-baby mark, I have deemed it time to get the fitness ball rolling again. Although with Isaac I worked out up until the day before I had him, I was not too quick on losing the baby weight. I simply assumed things would return to where they used to be pre-baby. Now I am a bit wiser (and a bit plumper) and know that I am going to have to WORK at getting off these extra pounds. Hello Weight Watchers and Hello Gym! (although I am not sure what time of day is actually open to attend the gym...3am after Evelyn's second feeding? 10pm at night?)

This morning I loaded up the children into our "not-the-bargain-I-thought-it-was" double stroller (despite the fact that I am still missing the cup holder that safely secures the infant seat) and we set off. Isaac found great pleasure in pointing out every flower, asking repeatedly for doughnuts (we pass our local doughnut shop--what temptation!), and wanting to start a personal rock collection in his drink holder. Evelyn just looked up at me skeptically with each rough bump in the sidewalk.

Here is my question to you, dear reader: Does anyone know of a good double JOGGING stroller that can hold an infant car seat? The Graco Duo-Glide isn't going to cut it on our fitness jaunts. I really want a double jogging stroller that I can use now (children are not supposed to ride in a jogging stroller until at least age four months when their neck is stronger---unless in an infant car seat). I realize that such a gadget will likely cost me the same as a used car. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone out there in blog world knew of such a stroller? Also, any inputs into a baby carrier (Ex: Baby Bjorn, Hotsling, etc)? We never had one of these with Isaac because he simply would not tolerate it. However, I think it is going to be a needed item with Evelyn as she and I chase Isaac around the park. Any thoughts on this item as well?

Finally, I would like to say that Isaac is successfully eating cheese now. He has not wanted anything to do with the stuff since he started solids at nine months of age. However, I recently purchased Mickey Mouse shaped cheese (yes, our child is a victim of clever product endorsements). He has slowly started to eat this cheese and today at lunch actually requested it. Since he is not a big milk drinker, I am always excited about getting extra dairy in him. The funny thing is, Isaac has developed his own classification system for cheese. The Mickey Mouse cheese is called "Mouse cheese" while shredded cheese is referred to as "Daddy Cheese" (because he has seen Tobe snacking out of the shredded cheese bag). He asked for both types of cheese at lunch and then asked for "Mommy Cheese." I don't have a clue as to what "Mommy Cheese" is since I am not a huge cheese person myself, so I gave him a piece of cubed cheese which seemed to satisfy his request. This child might one day seriously confuse a food service worker with his unusual wording for edible treats.

Friday, June 01, 2007

That Girl

This morning at 6am when I sat in a dimly lit living room, hair askew in a badly misshapen ponytail, wrinkled PJs not doing a great job of disguising my post-baby belly, a coffe pot that sat empty and cold because I had forgotten to fill and preset it the night before, an almost 22 month old loudly saying everyone's name he could think of from his crib, and a sweet three week old baby girl in my arms happily gulping down a bottle I wasn't planning on her needing until at least 7am (once I had showered, dried my hair, put on make-up, and fetched her brother his morning apple juice), I found myself wishing I was "that girl ".

Who is that girl, you might ask. This morning, "That Girl" was me at 21, a senior in college. This morning "that girl" seemed very appealing because her Friday morning involved sleeping in until 9:30am, likely because the night before she has persuaded someone to go to Whattaburger at 11pm sharp for a taquito or had stayed up with this girl watching a Road Rules Marathon. Her To-Do list for the day involved such things as attending 11am chapel (the only school requirement I had on Fridays during the spring semester of my Senior year--Nice!), eating lunch with the roomies at Hickory Street Cafe, perhaps an impromptu visit to the illustrious Mall of Abilene, an afternoon workout/social hour at the gym, sitting on the couch watching Oprah with the roomies, and then whatever social event we had planned for the evening. As I sat on my couch this morning, struggling to read the clock on the VCR because I had not managed to grab my glasses off my nightstand before fumbling around in the dark to find and console the crying baby, I really wished I was 21 at the moment rather than 30 and my biggest responsibility was making sure the rent check was in the mail each month (which I one time mailed without a stamp which almost resulted in disaster and did result in a hefty overnight mail charge to avoid eviction--our landlord was not very tolerant).

However, had I been "that girl" today I would have missed out on my 22 month old attempting to stand on one leg while licking lotion off the opposite knee which resulted in a quite dramatic and hilarious fall. I would have missed seeing my three week's old first attempts at a smile when I tickle her second chin. I would have missed being parked at a stoplight, windows down, radio blaring and see the guy in the car next to me smile and then watch his smile quickly fade as he noticed the two car seats in the back and realized that all though the radio was blaring it was playing an upbeat rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (this caused me to laugh outloud, especially since I think this was a high school kid). I would have missed sending a spur of the moment email to one of those old college roomies that happened to be read at a moment when she needed a pick-me-up. I would have missed seeing a 22 month old covered in sand, finding joy in the discovery of a stick in our backyard. I would have missed wondering if the new straight leg Bermuda shorts are the new mom jeans (I am still pondering this one every time I see my reflection in the mirror--are they stylish or just an answer to the cellulite wars?). I would have missed giggling over the supper table with my husband each time our son referred to the tortilla he was eating as a "tete". I would have missed the brief moment of panic when my husband and I thought that our son's polo romper was not going to come off over his head (it did).

Although today started off with me wishing I was the 21 year old version of myself for a brief moment, I am ending the day relishing in the fact that I am in this exact place of life. I am also ending the day exactly as that 21 year old girl did nine years ago, sitting around listening to music and talking to a cute brown haired boy. It is nice to know that some things never change.