(**Blogger spell check is currently not working. My mother is the first person who will tell you I really need spell check, so please excuse any and all misspellings.)
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
(**Blogger spell check is currently not working. My mother is the first person who will tell you I really need spell check, so please excuse any and all misspellings.)
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
"4.....That is the number of times Isaac has sat on his time-out carpet this morning before 12pm."
The above was an email I sent to my husband yesterday. I am sure he would love to receive sweet sentiments from me or amusing anecdotes to laugh about amidst his workday, but yesterday it was all about the brief summary of how many times Isaac had the privilege of visiting his time-out carpet.
Seems the lack of audience had inspired him to go to great lengths to get attention.
Great lengths that entailed hiding when it was time to get dressed, attempting to remove Evelyn's hoodie while it was still firmly attached to her body, tossing green peas whimsically through the air during lunch, and excessive use of the word "No" when instructed to do something. This defiance was done with a great big ol grin and dancing blue eyes....mischievous was an understatement for Isaac yesterday.
Although by 5:45pm I was ready for him to retire to his room for the evening as he dangerously leaned far over in his booster seat in an attempt to prove that he would rather fall-out on the floor than eat his (homemade) chicken pot pie, he still managed to warm my heart.
For instance, he needed to exit the bathtub several times to sit on the potty. Although he sat patiently and gave it an honest try, he would return to the tub when nothing was produced. I inquired during one of these tries if he had been successful, to which he casually said, "No. It's just gas."
Bedtime arrived and we made it there in one piece. Every evening I give Isaac "two good nights" meaning that I tell him "goodnight" once while I am feeding Evelyn her nighttime bottle and then come into his room again about 10 minutes later, turn off his light (he enjoys reading by himself before going to sleep....he is truly our child) and kiss him goodnight.
Last night as I entered his room for that precious second goodnight, he looked up from his Little Critter book and said quite sweetly, "I like your coat, Mommy." (I was wearing a jean jacket over my shirt).
That boy...he has a way with the ladies. He has already figured out you can be a mess all day and immediately erase any wrongdoings with a simple compliment. This Mommy is in big trouble.
Although I love being at my parents' house, I am glad to resume our regular daily life. It will likely take a few days for things to be back to "normal" as Isaac and Evelyn no longer have multiple people to dote on them 24/7. Isaac went through Nanny and PopPop withdrawals on Saturday evening. At one point he laid on the floor, all limbs dramatically sprawled out, saying, "Poor Isaac." It could be a long week.
Here are a few more pictures of our week. I promise regular blogging will resume tomorrow once balance is restored and I can find the computer amidst half-empty suitcases and freshly folded laundry.
Playing Memory with PopPop
Post-Nap Ice Cream with Nanny
Friday evening Isaac went for a swim in Nanny's big bathtub. He wasn't too sure of the Jacuzzi effects at first, but then discovered jets of water shooting at oneself can be fun.
Home again at casa de phillips.
Although they appear to be playing together nicely, this scene quickly turned ugly. Isaac moved Evelyn's hand because it was not where he wanted it. She in turned screamed. Tobe and I reprimanded Isaac, who then decided he needed to place himself in time-out. Isaac calmly went and retrieved his time-out carpet, placed it in the hall, and then proceeded to cry loudly as he sat on it. Two is a hard age some days.
Friday, January 25, 2008
The red satin PJ pants stayed at home last night and all wardrobe and potential hair crises were adverted. Last night we celebrated the teaching career of my Grandmother as she was inducted into the local school district's Hall of Honor. The speech went well....I avoided excess use of the word "um" and managed not to fall off the stage. Tobe wanted to videotape my presentation, but I declined preserving it on film for eternity. However, the whole ceremony was recorded and will be played on the local access cable channel. Mom already has the TiVo set to record it and will sell you a copy for $10 each.
***Sweet Madeline is here! She made her way into the world at 3:18pm. I am sure Alison will post details later on her blog. Alison had a loooooooooooong day so say a prayer for quick recovery.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
E. seems to be the one who feels the worse. Her appetite is down and her sleeping has been less than stellar. She and I have had many moments to bond between the hours of 1 and 4 am. Fortunately my parents own several stability balls, so I have been able to bounce away on them with her in my arms (she prefers this over rocking). Although I am tired, my thighs are getting quite the work-out as we battle this cold.
I am set to speak at my grandmother's award ceremony tomorrow evening. I am still in a wardrobe crisis and have not decided upon what to wear. Right now my red satin PJ pants seem like a good option. I currently have a sore throat, cough, and a strange rash which are quite the lovely combination for the evening's speaker. The presentation should be interesting if my aliments keep up.
Monday, the children and I ventured out to eat lunch with a dear friend and her daughter (back when I thought the runny nose was mere "a-der-gees" as Isaac calls it....sorry, LP!). I had been explaining to Isaac who we were to be dining with since he hasn't seen this little friend since he was a baby. As I combed his hair that morning before we left, Isaac turned to me and quite confidently said, "My hair looks nice for Lauren." And so it begins.
We are off this morning to visit more family and wipe more runny noses. I am sure many are glad to see us on their doorsteps, Kleenex and cough medicine in hand.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Upon checking in, well before our departure time, we requested a courtesy document for Tobe to escort the children and me to the gate. Immediately we were told this is not possible, to which we asked to speak to a supervisor. Mr. Supervisor listened to our very politely stated request, turned to me, and then ever so impolitely said, "You can't handle it by yourself?" with the meanest sneer I have ever seen.
I wonder what he would have done should someone speak to his wife/mother/daughter/niece/granny/any female he might know in such a way.
Fortunately my husband displayed great restraint and again politely asked, "Have you ever done it?"
Mr. Supervisor claimed that indeed he had. Although I wanted to call him on this claim, considering he was no less than 45 and he would have had to have small children quite late in life to experience post 9-11 security measures (And besides what man travels alone with his two small children??), I let it go. I figured getting detained by airport security would only put a damper on our day of travel and probably wasn't the best example for my children. Fortunately Mr. Supervisor printed us a courtesy document and grudgingly passed it along to Tobe.
We cleared security with minimal issue, only to be stopped and questioned that indeed Evelyn's socks were merely socks and not shoes we had forgotten to remove (She was sporting the baby socks that look like Mary Jane shoes). Again I refrained from saying that we had planted a shoe bomb on our sweet eight month old in hopes of destroying a 45 minute commuter flight.
The children and I boarded the plane which is always a comical experience. Because Southwest felt like it was a good idea to change preboarding policy and now allow families with small children to board after Group A (meaning 60 people are already on board) rather than before, I had to encourage Isaac to continue walking down the aisle while lugging two bags and a rather large suitcase with Evelyn riding in the Bjorn. I sure appreciated how everyone commented on the cuteness of my children, yet didn't offer to help. Thanks again.
We finally crossed over into the great state of Arkansas and made a safe landing. I had sent up many prayers during our hour flight that some kind person would offer to help us deplane. Fortunately a nice gentleman stopped and asked what he could do to help me. My faith in mankind was restored and we deplaned with little incident (I am considering Isaac walking into the cockpit rather than exiting a plane a "little" incident. However, in these high security level days I would not suggest allowing your child to do this because it is not well received.).
Upon greeting my parents at the airport, I swore I was not flying alone with the children again until they are sulking teenagers who can cart their own stuff while I read a gossip magazine on the plane rather than attempting to retrieve tossed toys with my foot from the middle of the aisle.
Yet I might see if ol Mr. Supervisor wants to bring them to Arkansas the next time since he is quite capable of flying alone with babies.
Friday, January 18, 2008
I happen to be speaking next week at the banquet honoring my Grandmother and it seems I am in complete wardrobe crisis here at casa de phillips. Thus the emergency trip to the BR.
As I was driving down the road, singing along loudly with the radio because I was blissfully alone in the car and therefore not forced to listen to one of our many Little People CD's, a sudden blur went across my windshield. I happened to glance to my right and caught the image of a huge deer (a Buck with enormous antlers) leaping across the headlights of the truck right next to me. The truck swerved into my lane to avoid the deer and I went as far left as I could before being forced to drive in the median that happens to be filled with small trees.
Fortunately neither of us hit the deer nor each other. This was most likely a major accident narrowly avoided, considering the size of the deer and the speed at which we were driving (about 45mph). It is always a surreal moment when you bond with a complete stranger after experiencing something random together. Although we both rapidly moved our cars to avoid Bambi's father, neither of us slowed down due to the volume of traffic behind us. After composure was regained and both cars were in their rightful lanes, the driver of the truck pulled up next to me (while still going about 45mph), making motions asking if I was okay and then we both raised our hands as if to ask, "What in the world???" Crazy.
Fortunately I made it safe and sound to Banana Republic. Although I did not find anything suitable for my presentation, I did do a little dance of joy when I noticed the clearance racks were marked an additional 60% of the lowest ticketed price. I scored jeans for $14, a sweater for $10, and get this....a shirt for $1.11. Yes, a shirt for less than a price of a Route 44 from Sonic.
Hopefully Mr. Deer made is safe and sound to wherever he was travelling last night. After the near-miss I wanted to roll down my window and yell at him to turn around. Seems he doesn't know the layout of our little town here and was heading straight in the direction of the Bass Pro Shops.
I cannot imagine the kind-of frenzy an 8 point Buck would cause in the parking lot of Bass Pro.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
While I was preparing breakfast, Isaac sauntered into the kitchen with a guilty expression on his face. He then looked down at his hands, attempting to feign complete shock in way only a two year old can, saying "Uh-Oh, look at my hands." Apparently he had discovered my face moisturizer and decided that his hands were on the dry side.
As I cleaned them off I was going on and on about how he is not allowed to play with lotion, blah, blah, blah.
He looked up at me during this diatribe and said, "But I lovs lotion."
This leaves me as the bad guy, enforcing the "No Raspberry" rule at the table. Yesterday morning another Raspberry session was in full-swing when I proclaimed that if Isaac spat one more time, he was off to the time-out carpet. Of course he did spit one more time. As I got up to remove him from the booster seat and send him to Time Out, he quickly stuffed an entire piece of toast into his mouth as to not be hungry while enduring the torture of sitting on a small square of carpet in our hall.
Yesterday as we were returning from Barnes and Noble storytime, I noticed Isaac had removed a shoe. I then had to once again enter lecture-mode, telling him to put the shoe back on his foot and do not remove the other one or the Time-Out Carpet will once again be revisited. As we pulled into our driveway it was apparent that both shoes were off and Mr. Time-Out carpet was going to get a lot of use that day.
I removed Isaac from his carseat, instructing him to go inside and put up his shoes and coat. I told him he would have to sit on his time-out carpet as soon as I got inside with the diaper bag and Baby Evelyn. By the time I got through the door, Isaac had already put his belongings away, hauled out the carpet, and was sitting on it with the saddest pout ever on his face. I had to quickly retreat to the kitchen with Baby Evelyn to keep from laughing.
I hope he slept peacefully last night and wakes up refreshed and calm for a productive day today. Otherwise I might take him to run laps at our local track until his little body is worn out.
Friday, January 11, 2008
These days the kitchen is painted a happy mixture of yellows, with red and sage accents in the draperies and accessories. Gone are the blue geese and pink accent wall. I believe it is my favorite room in the house. Some other time I must share how I painted these walls while on a school break when Tobe was away on a business trip for a week. This task involved me attempting to strategically place a telephone where I thought I might land should I happen to fall off the very tall ladder used to reach the top of the walls.
I mention my kitchen because this room of the house was the topic of my MOPS meeting this morning. Our devotional was lead by a "more experienced Mom" meaning someone who has survived the preschool years and has gone on to bigger challenges such as adolescence. This particular mother shared with us the importance of the mother in the kitchen. She was not encouraging tedious meal preparation or extensive baking sessions. Rather, she was promoting a positive Mommy vibe to radiate from the most popular room of the house.
The kitchen is where people congregate. It is a place that is deeply connected to togetherness and the pleasure of eating. Although our family is small, one can usually find all four of us stepping over and around each other as I cook supper, Tobe feeds Evelyn, Evelyn tosses her sippy cup dramatically on the floor, and Isaac attempts to search all the cabinets for hidden treasures while my back is turned. At times such chaos makes me want to run for the bathroom, feigning illness, simply to have five minutes of peace.
However, the Mom today encouraged us to embrace the hecticness that is the kitchen, especially a kitchen filled with one's family. She said that if we bring three simple things into the kitchen each time we walk through its doorways, our family will be deeply blessed.
Upon hearing this proclamation, I had my pen poised, ready to take copious notes. What would those three things be.....EVOO a la Rachel Ray? Pureed sweet potatoes a la Jessica Seinfield (whose cookbook I had nightmares about last night....seriously.)? A nifty apron that is stylish yet functional?
Although my list of possibilities could find a useful place in the kitchen, her list involved characteristics of one's Mommy self. She encouraged us to enter the kitchen with:
A. A Joyful Heart
B. A Smile at the Future of our Family (a la Proverbs 31)
C. A Mouth full of Wisdom
Buying a new bottle of EVOO or pureeing a variety of vegetables to hide in spaghetti would have been much simpler than the list provided above. I know I do not always enter the kitchen joyfully but rather sometimes stand and cook dinner while obsessing over little grievances. I struggle with always "smiling at the future" because I often defeatedly decide I will forever be sweeping up bits of dried Play-Doh and Goldfish crumbs. Sometimes the only wisdom flowing from my lips is, "Do not take the corn on the cob holders into the living room (a recent epidemic here...don't ask)."
Despite these shortcomings, I am inspired to make my cute yellow kitchen a center of joy for my family. Tonight as I walk through those doors I will enter my kitchen with a joyful heart.....even if it is simply because there is no longer a pink accent wall.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Allow your child to open a large bag of mini Oreo cookies and begin happily munching away while seated on the group carpet.
Cries of mutiny will drown out any production of a creative puppet show or the reading of an intriguing book going on at the front of the room.
Other parents annoy me sometimes because their lack of adequate parenting skills in public settings creates complete chaos for the rest of us Mommies attempting to keep our toddlers semi-composed. For example, this particular parent whipping out the Oreos must have never been taught the rule of "bring enough to share with the whole class or don't bring any at all" as she allowed her daughter to greedily stuff Oreo after Oreo into her little mouth. One sniff of that chocolate and cream-filled goodness caused the other children at story time to fall into puddles of whining messes, begging their own mothers for a snack. The poor librarian simply attempted to continue reading despite the fact that her audience was now much more focused on snatching Oreos rather than listening to stories about a tiny fireman.
Fast forward to 3:30pm today when I walked into Isaac's room to retrieve him after his nap. Baby lotion was everywhere. His cheeks were covered in pink, his hair spiked high, his pants and shirt resembled a poorly done finger painting. I put on my sternest Mommy voice and immediately condemned this lotion-spreading behavior.
Did this cause any pause for tears or sorrowful apologies....no. The tears did not start flowing until he looked down and realized that his precious green blankie was covered in the pink goo as well. (And continued to flow as his slimy little bottom was placed on his time-out carpet)
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
**This was a game invented solely by them of "Let's both put the same washcloth in our mouth and giggle uncontrollably while half the bathwater spills onto Mommy's jeans."
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Assistant Fire Chief
Being Crowned Assistant Fire Chief
Time to make lunch for the fire station
Even Important Fire Chiefs pause for a spot of tea
"Helping" his sister eat a cupcake
On the move to find more fires
Monday, January 07, 2008
Saturday, January 05, 2008
This evening, after the children were tucked snugly in their beds, Tobe surprised me with an evening of relaxation to myself.
There is nothing more precious to a mother of young children than time to herself. Seriously. Offer a mommy $5oo or a chance to have two hours to herself....I promise she will take the two hours every single time.
My evening began with a warm shower, lit by candles, and then I was provided fresh, warm towels out of the dryer after I had completely bathed myself in all the new lotions and potions I received for Christmas. Tobe made a Sonic run to get me my Route 44 of choice. The laptop is all set up in our bed, ready to play the latest chick flick for me while I lounge in peace. (And while Tobe watches play-off football in the other room.)
I must find that "Husband of the Year" nomination form...
I bid you farewell, as I am off to watch my movie in my cozy PJs while drinking the world's largest Diet Dr. Pepper by myself. Life is good.
Friday, January 04, 2008
Such lack of napping might require an early bedtime this evening, which works out well since Tobe and I have big plans once the little ones are in bed. Yes, 60% of the Christmas decor is still present in our house and tonight was deemed "Undeck the Halls" night. If the Phillips' bank accounts were much larger than they are, I would be tempted to throw everything on the curb...rather than packing it away nice and neatly....and starting anew next year. Alas that is not my luxury.
In an attempt to cloth my ever-growing daughter, the children and I headed out to the local mall this morning for a brisk walk and to exchange some size 9 month Christmas presents for a roomier size 12 month (seriously, if she keeps growing at this pace, Evelyn might be over six feet tall by the time she is in third grade.) garments. All was well during our shopping. Both kids were perky and happy, enjoying puttering along in our zippy red stroller. One store we had to make a stop in has a Lego table in the back, which Isaac is allowed to play at if he has been a good little shopper. He was happily playing Legos while I browsed the sale racks nearby (it is a small store...no Amber Alert potential here). Another little boy was also playing Legos, whose mother was watching from a close distance.
My ears suddenly perked up when I heard that mother say, "Now, Henry, don't bite."
And then again, "Remember, we don't bite."
I turned around in time to see Henry attempting to bite everything...from Isaac (which he didn't), to the Lego table, to a display of pajamas. The mom attempted to smile at me and I returned a friendly "We've been there too" look (Actually, biting has not been an issue for Isaac. However, a couple of months ago he went through a phase of wanting to hug the tar out of any child he encountered.). We encountered them again later on in the mall, where Henry was gnawing on the stroller. I almost tossed them a spare teething ring (from a safe distance) but opted to just keep on our merry way.
Speaking of teething (like that transition?), Evelyn has sprouted two bottom teeth. She also has got the army crawl down quite well and can really scoot if she is after something of value (either the remote, a forgotten magazine, or anything associated with Isaac). She is able to pull herself into a sitting position and loves to stand for long periods of time at our ottoman. Isaac really took the physical development quite slow, so this rapid pace is a new experience for us.
One area that she is not excelling at is eating. The girl only loves baby oatmeal and barely tolerates anything else. Isaac was eating mainly solid foods at nine months, yet I am worried this girl will have to have a bowl of goo with a candle stuck in the middle served at her first birthday. We recently introduced her to Gerber Veggie Puffs in order to improve her eating coordination. It only took a few times of showing her the puff goes into the mouth before she grasped the concept. Now, we simply place a few puffs on her tray and she goes after them in such a frenzy it resembles the board game "Hungry, Hungry Hippo." We took video of this last night because it is truly hilarious. Perhaps I will find the motivation to post it this weekend.
As I have mentioned before, Isaac has recently learned almost all of the 50 United States due to working a wooden puzzle (He only lacks learning the "little states" such as Delaware and Connecticut). He now has a placemat with the states on the front and their flags on the back. Last night he pointed to one of the flags and said, "That is Colorado's flag." Indeed it was. I figured perhaps my parents had taught him a few flags while they were here (the flags are not on his puzzle...just on the place mat). This morning he correctly pointed out Michigan's flag.
After a quick call to my mom where I found out they had not taught him any of the flags, we have decided that he is recognizing the state name. Most people start with the basic sight words of "Cat" or "Bat" but it looks like we will be beginning with "Pennsylvania."
Riots are beginning in each of the children's rooms....one is crying and the other one is loudly saying, "Mommy, I want to get up now!" Time for this rambling blog to find an end.
Enjoy the weekend!
Thursday, January 03, 2008
This should come as to no surprise considering who their parents happen to be, however as the Mommy I believe that the cuddles of my babies is my God-given right.
Isaac was never one to be held and while Evelyn enjoyed snuggling at first, she has quickly become too busy to sit in someone's arms for an extended amount of time.
Yet, I am blessed with times during the day...albeit short....where each of them wants to spend a little quality time with me. Perhaps they have a internal instinct of knowing they must pay the piper in order to continue receiving the basics of food, water, and love. Perhaps they kind of dig me. Whatever the reason, they cuddle and I do not question their intentions.
With Evelyn, she likes to coo and pat my face after finishing her bedtime bottle. She chats endlessly, while often times poking my face or stroking my hair. This girl is going to miss the hair when it is gone. We often prolong her bedtime to have these quiet minutes alone, listening to her baby babble and admiring her dainty features.
Isaac will always be held for a book reading of any kind (or any length...I am contemplating beginning chapter books with him). As soon as the last page is read and the back cover closed, he is off again. Yet occasionally during the day he will run up with a spontaneous hug or ask to be held. It is those times that I study his long eyelashes and the curve of his nose, attempting to remember every detail of this little boy who all too quickly become a man before my eyes.
My cuddles are often stolen and short, yet priceless. I imagine when I am 80 years old, lacing up my SAS shoes in preparation for a big shopping trip to the 99 cent store with this girl, I will still be able to close my eyes and feel the weight of my children in my arms, sense their gentle touch on my skin, hear the shallowness of their breathing, and smell the lingering traces of baby shampoo. It is then I will be oh so grateful for stolen moments.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Apparently Blogger has the blahs as well...or perhaps it is our computer which seems to have caught a virus we cannot rid ourselves of....because this is the only picture I am able to post.