Sunday, June 29, 2008

Our Little Pitcher

Recently we have discovered the true meaning to the well-worn phrase of "Little Pitchers have big ears." Seems that our little pitcher, whom we affectionately call "Isaac", has decided that every conversation that transpires between Tobe and myself within a 25 yard radius of where Isaac happens to be at the time is fair game for the boy to comment on.

For instance, the other day we were driving down the street of our hometown when I noticed a man with a long beard and long brown hair. Being the witty person that I am (and making the same joke I have been making since sixth grade), I said, "Hey Tobe, look...it's Jesus."

Funny, right?

That is when a little voice piped up from the backseat excitedly saying, "It IS Jesus. I see him!"

So after a lengthy clarification of how that man on the street was indeed NOT our Savior and was just a man who happened to look like the artistic renderings of what Jesus may/may not have looked like, I now know to keep such comments to myself or at the very least make them after 8pm when all children are in bed.

***

Below is a little video I shot this evening after dinner. This little "decorating" extravaganza transpired in under five minutes, yet took much, much longer to clean up.

video

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

Casa de phillips is still here and thriving, for you four readers wondering why my posts are not happening quite as frequently these days. I would like to blame it on excessive business or large quantities of time spent memorizing scripture (neither is the case), but actually it seems to be due to a bit of writer's block and tiredness.

Don't worry though. The days are getting hotter, which means soon I will be forced to take the cooler route on my morning walk that involves the duck and his maniacal friend, baby duck. We all know how those stories turn out.

The only crazy things I experienced yesterday was 1. My dentist informed me I need braces and 2. I saw a mom toting a glass of wine to the playground

Let me explain.

First, I was at the dentist for my routine check-up (maintaining my "No Cavities Ever" title yet again). Everything looks great, except for the fact that he thinks I need braces. I had braces about two decades ago, but apparently that wasn't enough. Seems that the ol mouth needs some more work. My initial thoughts on this include wondering if the colored rubber band spacers are still in style like they were in 1989 and how I will officially look like my children's babysitter if I put braces on this already young looking face.

As for the mom with her wine at the playground....she was carrying her rather large glass of wine in the right hand along with her child's chocolate milk in the left. Did I mention it was 11am? Does that seem odd to anyone else? There are days when I wish I had a large margarita machine perched on my kitchen counter because it would make that 4:30-6pm "Everyone has lost their mind" time a lot easier to manage, but I have never contemplated the glass of wine with lunch at the playground. Maybe this mom knows something I don't...
(In case you were wondering, the playground was at an upscale grocery store...thus the access to wine in the first place.)

As far as the children are concerned, they are excellent. By excellent, I mean sweet, frustrating, lovable, and maddening all tied up into two cute little packages. Isaac continues to say things all the time that crack us up. He is forever planning something and currently has down exactly what he wants to happen on Christmas Day (it involves play hide-and-seek...odd, huh?). Evelyn is...Evelyn, Bless her heart. She is the sweetest little girl with the largest streak of spunk the Lord has ever created. I bemoaned some of this spunk to my mom the other day on the phone, only for her to say, "Been there, done that." Seems that spunk is genetic. Mom said I toned it down around age four, which was slightly reassuring. Although that "spunk" can wear us out on some days, that little girl has the whole house wrapped around her little finger. Her latest thing is to put her baby dolls "night-night", which includes feeding them, laying them down, and kissing them. Melts my heart.

Here are a few pictures of the dynamic duo in case you forgot what they looked like.

Those long legs just kill me....where did baby Isaac Michael go?
My sweet friend Robin mailed me this shirt this week. Yep, it reads, "2 Cute 4 Timeout". Isn't that a hoot?


Here is video of E. dancing. I know the first part is sideways. Apparently I was not paying close attention while making the video and turned the camera mid-filming...thus part of it has to be sideways. Sorry.
video

Did you notice the shoes on Evelyn...she insists on wearing them all the time, going so far as attempting to putting them on herself if an adult is not around to assist.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In an Ideal World

...my closet would prune itself of dated/too big/too small/just-not-my-style clothes while I sit here and blog


...I would have remembered to dispose of the box of two chicken nuggets and an odd number of french fries that I stuffed in my purse as we left Chick-fil-A last night before this morning


...cookie dough would be considered a vegetable


...I could somehow magically win free maid service for a year, despite never entering such a drawing.


...my children would not have discovered our DVD stash and then decided it was their job to remove each and every DVD from its case, close the empty case, and going on their merry way.
This left me to believe the mess had been cleaned up by simply putting said (empty) cases back where they belong....only to discover a random pile of DVDs on the top of a bookshelf 12 hours later


...summertime in Texas would be equivalent temperature wise with summertime in San Diego


...our refrigerator was self-cleaning just like the oven


...whoever is reading the latest Emily Giffin book from my local public library would return it ASAP so I can have the chance to enjoy it.


...there would be a Sonic within 10 feet of my home (likely not good for property value but I would never be thirsty)


...naptime minutes would consist of 180 seconds rather than the standard 60 seconds


...supper preparation time would find myself happily stirring a boiling pot of delicious dinner while my children colored peacefully in the living room while listening to classical music

What would happen in your ideal world?




Monday, June 23, 2008

MOM-isms



Sometimes I wonder what phrases or ideas my children will one day associate with me when they are adults. What are my "Mom-isms" that fall from my lips on a daily basis? What things will my two little ones accidentally find themselves saying to their own children in a few decades and then cringe in horror over realizing they actually sounded just like their dear old mom?


Saturday was a beautiful day, begun at a local farmer's market selecting all types of yummy organic fruit and veggies (the line for tomatoes was unreal...fortunately we aren't huge tomato connoisseurs). Then it was off to our local community pool to catch some rays, under the shield of SPF 85, and splash around. Evelyn is truly my child in the water, splashing around like a little cherry-clad fish, whining when I won't let her down in the big pool (no floats or swim devices are allowed...just dear ol mom's arms). Isaac is a bit more cautious when it comes to the water. He enjoys it, but it takes him a while to build up his courage.


As I was carting him around in the big pool, having him practice swimming at my side while I held on securely to his waist, words from my youth fell out of my mouth.


Let me rephrase...although these words spoken by me on Saturday were from my youth, they were not words I ever uttered as a child.


They were the words of my mother. Words that made me roll my eyes each and every summer for 10+ years.


Words that I unconsciously spoke to my own child.


What were these words, you ask.


"Please don't splash so much. I don't want my hair to get wet."


Yeah, I cringed.


Then I purposely let the tip of my ponytail graze the water to prove that I am still young and hip.


(Love you, Mom...and sorry about all those times we got your hair wet. I now understand!)


Friday, June 20, 2008

The Call of Time Out

This little girl immediately rushes to the time-out carpet once brother has served his time and gleefully plops herself down on the green mat, proud to be just like Isaac.

I hate to tell her that she will likely be spending some quality time on this carpet in the future and the allure and glamour that she perceives it to hold now will have quickly faded.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sweeping Those Clouds Away

Evelyn has a deep love for music, especially the theme song to "Sesame Street." Who can blame her? Just hearing those opening lyrics of "Sunny Days, Sweeping those clouds away" can make me smile on the gloomiest of days. Here is a little bit of video of Evelyn dancing this morning as Big Bird made his entrance onto the screen.

video

Speaking of Sesame Street, I believe I have mentioned that we have watched several of the "Sesame Street Old School" videos here at casa de phillips. Before each episode on these videos, there is a disclaimer that they are not for today's preschoolers. Figuring such programs never hurt me in the '70s, I plopped our family down in front of them to enjoy a bit of childhood nostalgia. It wasn't until I saw the Muppet smoking in one skit that I can to understand the origin of the "not intended for today's preschoolers" disclaimer. Lesson learned.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Lowdown on Arkansas

After a little over a week away from all their earthly belongings, I can safely say that no toy, book, blanket, or inanimate object in casa de phillips has been overlooked by either Isaac nor Evelyn today. They were on a mission to re-familiarize themselves with every square inch of our property in the past 24 hours and were quite successful.

Now that we are home, everything is unpacked and put away (including the things we did not take, which were pulled out yesterday in a frantic manner by two children who shall remain nameless), and the cupboards are no longer bare, I finally have time to blog about some funny events that occurred while away.

*Evelyn's vocabulary grows by the day. She has been saying "T-ank tu (thank you)" for a few months now whenever she hands you something or has been given something. This past week she began saying "Tank-tu wa-wa". It took me about half a day to realize she was saying, "Thank You, Your Welcome." simply because she hears us say "Your welcome" to her many "thank-yous" during the day. So "Tank tu wa-wa" has become a common phrase around our house.

*During my great-grandmother's funeral and memorial service, several of my mom's friends came over to watch Isaac and Evelyn (four to be exact...just because they are such sweet friends and hopefully not because our children require a 2:1 ratio). Isaac informed one of these ladies that he "just needed to check his email on the 'puter." I was quick to inform her (later) that my almost three year old does not have his own email account as of yet and we have no plans to explore such options in the near future.

*One day as Isaac, Tobe, and I were entering the nursing home to visit my Grandmother (who is there doing rehab after breaking her shoulder in April), Tobe let out a burp. Isaac quickly turned to look at him and exclaimed, "That sounds like you are throwing up, Daddy!"

*Isaac and Evelyn were big hits at the nursing home anytime we went to visit. The night that Tobe and I took Isaac by himself, we left just as my Grandmother was being seated for dinner in the dining room. Isaac hugged and kissed Grandmother good-bye. Suddenly the dining room was filled with requests of "Come hug me, Baby!" and "Come tell me good-bye!". Isaac sweetly went around and hugged several of the elderly people good-bye before Tobe realized he was going to have to intervene or we would never leave. It's amazing how children can lift one's spirits.

*The morning of the funeral, my mom and I were both the first ones up and were chatting in the laundry room while she perked the coffee. Mid-sentence she told me she felt nauseous and asked if I would finish making the coffee. Then she proceeded to pass-out. I grabbed her and started yelling for my dad, my brother (who had slept on the couch the night before), and for Tobe. My mom managed to come to enough to ask "Why are you hollering?" and then passed out again. That time she crumpled into me and I was able to lay her on the floor, managing to only hit her head on the laundry basket. After an enormous amount of time, all three men appeared in the laundry room doorway (Tobe says it was 30 seconds...I swear the whole event lasted over a minute and a half to two minutes). Mom came to, wondering why she was in the laundry room and why the family had gathered over her. After my nerves were calmed and Mom was up walking again, we were able to laugh about the event. We think she passed out simply because of fatigue and stress, but it was quite the unnerving experience at the time.

*On Saturday our family of four, along with my parents, attended a VBS carnival hosted by my parents' church. The event was great fun...until someone asked me when I was due. This question came less than 24 hours after Isaac had mistaken me for Kathie Lee Gifford so I was not able to laugh it off. Rule of thumb: never, never ask any woman if she is pregnant or when her baby is due unless you are in the delivery room and actually see a baby crowning. It just isn't a safe question, people.

*Evelyn's back molars decided to make an appearance this week. All I can is say is bless all of our hearts because that girl screamed, cried, and fussed more than I thought possible. At one point as I rocked her, my mom sang, and my dad fetched the Infant Motrin, I commented on how E. requires a staff of three at all times (Tobe was entertaining Isaac at the time). It was a full-team effort this past week to keep her happy and pain-free. Most of the crying occurred in the middle of the night and I feel like I have a newborn again. We are praying the teeth finish coming in and nothing else decides to make an appearance for the next few weeks.

*Yesterday our one-stop in our six hour drive was at a Burger King in East Texas. The plan was for Tobe and me to eat an early lunch while the kids played and then they would eat their lunch in the car. As we feasted on burgers and fries, we hear this little voice come from the depths of the play place saying, "Mommy, I am in trouble here!" I have found that most Burger King play places are incredibly tall and this one was no exception. Seems like Isaac scaled to the top of the play tunnel and then became confused as to which tube to crawl through in order to reach the slide. Such confusion resulted in me crawling up into the play equipment, figuring out the maze (it was confusing), and then sliding down the slide with him. Have I mentioned I have a touch of the claustrophobia and my idea of fun is NOT crawling through hot, closed tubes?

*This same Burger King's clientele also came to understand Evelyn's great fear of public diaper changing tables. I rarely have to change Evelyn's diaper in public bathrooms, but she still has a great fear of the changing tables that pull down off of the wall. She immediately grips hold of my shirt the minute we approach one and then cries during the whole diaper changing experience while holding on to whatever is in her reach with a death grip. It is slightly amusing considering she will attempt to climb anything. Yesterday her fear of the changing table was emphasized by loud screaming during the entire process of changing her diaper. I changed it quickly and then made a quick get-away to the car, avoiding eye contact with everyone in the restaurant.

*Last night after the kids were in bed, I made a grocery store run (we were going to have to either eat a can of Great Northern Beans or frozen potato skins for breakfast if I didn't). After the long process of shopping for the family's food, I pushed my loaded cart to the checkout line. Despite the fact it was late and I likely looked like something that had been run over by that point, the cashier was uber-perky and felt the need to comment on each of my purchases. When he came to the containers of baby food, he asked if I had kids or not and then proceeded to tell me all about his nine month old daughter. I was a bit shocked to hear he had a child because he looked quite young. The cashier went on and on about his beautiful daughter, telling me that she was born on September 11th. Unsure as to how to respond to such a statement, I simply said, "That is an interesting birthday." The cashier exclaimed that he and his wife were so excited when the daughter was born on 9-11 because it was a holiday and she would like have school off on her birthday each year. Huh?? All I could do was stare at this boy as he went on and on about how cool it would be to have a school break on one's birthday. I decided to forgive his ignorance, coming to the conclusion that he was likely on 14 on the actual 9-11 and thus lacked even a tiny bit of perspective about that day.

*Evelyn has a few baby dolls and demonstrates quite the mothering skills with them (except for when she bites them, which she does a lot). She calls a particular one "Baby" who accompanied us on our trip. By the end of our time spent in Arkansas, she had someone managed to morph the word "Baby" (which she could say quite well) into "Bah-by" which sounds scarily enough like JR Ewing on "Dallas" when he said, "Bobby." So her baby doll, dressed in pinks and purples, is now called "Bobby" with a sad little accent.

*Yesterday evening as I was putting the children's things away from the trip, I happened to pass Isaac in the hall. He informed me that he loved laundry. I smiled a weary smile and kept putting things away. Ten minutes later, after I had stored the last of the clothes away into drawers, I came to realize what he meant by this little statement. Seems that while I was putting clothes away, Isaac and Evelyn were unloading one of her dresser drawers (something they have never done) and putting the contents of it in the middle of the living room. I about laid down in the pile and cried.

It is 8:30pm and I am off to bed, simply because I know Evelyn will be up crying in about five hours.

Monday, June 16, 2008

On the Road Again

We hit the road again this morning, departing Arkansas in search of casa de phillips. After a relatively uneventful six + hours in the car, we are home.

Tobe and I decided that since Isaac is getting dangerously close to the age of three, he was quite capable of navigating the car this trip.

More updates and stories to come tomorrow! I am off to do the dreaded task of unpacking...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

If you check your calender, you might notice that today is Friday the 13th. I haven't put much stock in superstitious days in the past. However all of that changed this morning at breakfast.

As I sipped on a cup of coffee, bleary-eyed and struggling to comprehend the daylight due to a long night spent with a teething 13 month old, Isaac glanced up from his blueberry muffins and noticed a magazine that was laying open on the table.

"Hey, Mommy, your picture is in the magazine!"

Although I would not mind being featured in Ladies Home Journal, it was not my picture found among its pages. No, dear reader, it was instead that of Kathie Lee Gifford....a woman who is at least 20 years older than me.

I am now going back to bed until Saturday the 14th.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Snapshots

Before the Blogging Police come knocking at my Internet door, I figured I should post something else this week as I am sure many of you have grown weary of acknowledging my seven years of matrimony.

Let me explain my absence by saying that I am currently not at casa de phillips nor have I been since Sunday. Sunday morning my mother and I loaded the children in the car and headed for Arkansas. After lunch at the best McDonald's play place our little family has ever visited and a brief jaunt through Stuckie's gas station, we made it to my parents house safe and relatively sound.

While traveling that day, we received word that my great-grandmother had been moved from her nursing home to hospice care at the hospital. We figured it would be a matter of days before her passing, but fortunately she was spared suffering for long and passed that evening. This week has been awhirl with family arriving in town and funeral plans being made.

Despite the hectic nature of the past five days, there has been several instances in which I have take a mental snapshot of particular images, freezing such memories into my brain. The passing of a loved one, time spent in funeral homes and cemeteries, and the conversations that result from such experiences (Cremation or burial? Large, tacky grave marker or subtle stone? Excessive flowers or monetary gifts sent to charities?) makes one quickly realize the fleeting nature of time. It is easy to grow quite weary as the mommy to two babies, sometimes wondering if the day will every actually end, if these two will every actually close their eyes and sleep again. But I know all too soon that these two little ones will grow quickly into teenagers then adults, facing the inevitable passage of time.

And so such thinking has lead me to be a bit more aware of fleeting moments...instances of time I hope never to forget. Like seeing my almost three year old snuggled up with my grandmother on her nursing home bed, watching Noggin together. Or my one year old eagerly greeting my grandfather as he emerges into his kitchen. Of napping with both children on separate occasions this week, feeling their hot breath of my face as I sleep and hearing a sweet little voice demand, "Let's sleep close, Mommy" before proceeding to press his face directly next to me and instantly nod off. And of watching my grandma say good-bye to her own mother Sunday night in a quiet hospital room, seemingly reverting back to the days of her youth as she appeared girl-like and tiny in her mom's presence.

We laid Grandmother Crosby to rest this morning, along with her own personal snapshots of life. I imagine she created many in her 92 years.

I plan to do the same.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Seven Years and Counting....

Seven years ago today, I tossed my shorts and t-shirt aside in favor of wearing a platinum beaded gown while exchanging wedding vows with a cute boy named Tobe. It was indeed, the best day ever for me.

Seven years, two kids, and lots of laughs later, that cute boy and I are still hanging out. Good times, my friend.

As I stood beside my friend Laura Saturday afternoon, listening to her exchange her own wedding vows I began to think how less complicated things might be if those vows were a bit more specific. Sure, it's easy to pledge "in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health...." while looking your most fabulous and surrounded by beautiful flowers and smiling friends. Although pledging to plod through marriage in the unpleasant times, such sadness and grief seems unfathomable as one stands before their newly appointed spouse, their commitment declared before a joyous audience.

Then reality hits. Life settles into a routine. The wedding gown is exchanged for track pants and the tux is switched out with the sweaty lawn mowing clothes. The vows began to gain some validity as couples began to actually experience the sickness, the bad times, the grief, the struggles, and pain. Wouldn't it have been nice had the preacher been able to be specific that magical wedding day and have asked, "Will you take this woman when she splurges one too many times at the mall or loses a parent much too early or struggles with infertility for years or has to be spoon-fed at the nursing home? and Will you take this man when he forgets to pitch in with the chores around the house or battles cancer or experiences early-onset dementia?"

Might not be quite as romantic when repeating such vows, but it sure would be real.

Fortunately I married a man who never promised a fairytale, who one time told me that there will be times in our marriage when we like each other and times that we don't, but we will always love each other. I married a man who is honest, supportive, the leader of my fan club, loving, wise, and an amazing father.

Our first seven years have been quite good to us. Bring on the next seventy.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Perfect Quote for a Perfect Day

The wedding of lil' Laura was yesterday and it was absolutely wonderful and the bride radiant.

As the bridesmaids and Laura sat in the bridal suite waiting for the wedding to begin, we heard the perfect quote of the day.

From atop her stool (where she was sitting to avoid wrinkling her gown), Laura's voice piped up and to no one in particular she proclaimed, "This is the best day ever!"

Amen.









Saturday, June 07, 2008

An Honor

Today at 3pm I will stand beside one of my 1017 roomies (*) as she repeats the sacred vows of marriage, exchanging her title of Miss for Mrs. What an honor.

Above is a picture of four out of the five (miss you, Kara!) 1017 girls taken last night at the rehearsal dinner. As we were doing the standard practice of walking down the aisle and assuming our positions on the steps of the stage (please, Lord, don't let me fall off), I began to think of how the four of us girls looked pretty much the same as we did 10+ years ago during our reign at 1017. We certainly were laughing at the same random jokes and recounting the same college tales. It wasn't until the slide show played after dinner, which included numerous pictures of the five of us in various costumes or formals (I am sure the other people in attendance at the dinner wondered if we ever wore actual street clothes), that I came to understand that the giggly group of girls has morphed into something that might now be described as dignified and (almost) classy women. Strange.

I wish I could go back in time and tell those five college-aged girls that things go well in the next ten years. Some of them marry the expected mate, others marry surprises. There is some heartache and some labor pains (there are currently seven children among the five of us). Yet in the short span of ten years, we are doing okay. What a blessing!

Happy Wedding Day, lil Laura! We love you!


**(Definition of 1017 roomie: My junior and senior years of college I lived in a old house located at 1017 Washington Blvd with four of my closest friends. From that moment on, we have identified us as the 1017 Roomies and will continue to do so for the next seventy years. Should we all turn into the Golden Girls one day, I have grand plans for us to return to 1017 Washington Blvd...after extensive renovations...and live out our final years together.)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Drama of Wednesday

Two dramatic things occurred yesterday at casa de phillips:

1. We lost Evelyn's beloved lovey, Zebra.

2. We had our first "child sticks foreign object into nasal cavity" experience.

Neither was fun, however both were brief experiences.

Let us begin with the losing of Zebra....It should be understood that each of my children has a lovey which they sleep with every night. These precious animals (one is a Giraffe, the other a Zebra) are essentially the fifth and sixth family members of our little family and have been with their respective owners since birth. I have rarely let Isaac leave the house with his lovey, "Raffes", mainly because I feared losing him. Despite this rule, they have remained fast friends. In fact, Isaac felt the need to take a picture of Raffes just yesterday (thank you, Elmo, for wanting to think about cameras...thus inspiring my almost three year old to beg for the digital camera). After snapping a picture, Isaac proudly informed me that Raffes smiled for his picture. I refrained from informing him that Raffes smile is permanently stitched onto his face, opting to keep Isaac's childhood innocence intact for another day.

Despite the fact that Raffes was never allowed to leave the house, Zebra (E's lovey) often does attend various excursions with us. This is mainly because Evelyn screams much louder than Isaac ever imagined and that poor girl needs a fair amount of consoling on a regular basis.

Yesterday morning we set off for our early morning walk, Zebra safe and secure in Evelyn's little hands. I reminded her several times to hold onto him tightly, to which she responded by giving him her biggest squeeze. We walked and returned home for breakfast. It was then that I realized Zebra was no longer in Evelyn's little hands, nor was he in the stroller, or laying haphazardly on the ground. Fortunately Tobe was home yesterday morning and he immediately began retracing our steps in search of Zebra.

While Tobe was searching, I was contemplating on whether or not an Amber Alert could be issued for a lost lovey. Surely one could, especially if the person in charge of such alerts has ever heard Evelyn fuss for an extended amount of time. I paced the driveway nervously, Evelyn perched on my hip, waiting for Tobe's return with Zebra.

After what seemed like three weeks (and what was actually five minutes), Tobe rounded the corner of our street, Zebra waving high in the air from his outstretched hand.

Hallelujah!

The rest of the day went smoothly, until supper time rolled around. I pulled out an oldie-but-a-goodie for dinner that evening....breakfast as supper. Yum! We had loaded scrambled eggs (loaded with sausage, bell pepper, and cheese), diced skillet potatoes, and fresh muffins. As Tobe and I were getting the last of the needed items to the table, Isaac suddenly began to cry from his booster seat.

I rushed over, figuring he had accidentally burned himself on a hot muffin or had bit the inside of his cheek.

Nope, the boy had gone and stuck a diced potato up his nose.

On purpose.

I have vivid memories of a kid sticking a piece of Nerd candy up his nose at church one time and another of a girl at school swallowing a quarter. I always wondered what prompted such odd behaviors.

Last night I found my answer as I dug a potato from my child's nose. I asked, "Isaac, why would you stick a potato up your nose?"

To which he responded, "Because I wanted to."

I think the little incident scared him enough that he won't be sticking anything else up the nasal cavity for quite the while.

By the way, although I considered sleeping in a kitchen chair to protect my blown-out hair the other night, my comfy pillow and bed called my name just a bit too loud. Despite the fact that I tossed and turned all night on my mane of hair, the next morning I simply stuck one Velcro roller in at the top while I did the make-up. Afterwards, I brushed the hair and went on my way. Such a low maintenance hair routine is quite amazing for me and it seriously made me consider getting a part-time job simply so I can afford having my hair blown out every other day.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ahoy!


Aarrgh, shiver me timbers...we have quite the band of pirates here at casa de phillips.

Who knew that when I tied a simple tablecloth onto Evelyn's head the other day, I would have invented the children's new favorite pastime of being pirates. I am not even sure that Isaac understands what a pirate is outside of the one lone Little People pirate figurine we own, but they love to wear the do-rag and say "Aaargh" a lot. We just go with what entertains, my friend.

Today I had the lovely opportunity to leave the house alone during the day and get my hair cut. It was almost the same type of rush one feels when skipping school or sneaking away from a certain bible professor's class due to the fact he had poor eyesight and going to Grandy's for cinnamon rolls (right, Al?).

I almost skipped into the salon, happy to be alone and for someone else to be responsible for blowing this mane of hair dry for once. Although I was going in for a hair cut, I actually only had 1/2 an inch trimmed off (I am still growing the hair for Locks of Love....most likely until the fall). The haircut itself took about three minutes due to the fact I no longer have layers. However, the blowout took an hour. Yes, an hour. This sweet stylist painstakingly sectioned off my long, outrageously thick hair into tiny sections and dried each one individually with a large round brush. I actually started to drift off to sleep in the process.

Although it took an hour, the end result is quite nice. In fact, I am contemplating sleeping in a sitting position as to not crimp or bend my freshly straightened hair.

During the hour I was sitting in the stylist chair, I noticed something intriguing. Seems that while you are getting coiffed and beautiful, one can watch television or surf the Internet with their own personal television/laptop thing that was attached to the salon chair. I contemplated typing out a blog post that said something like, "Hey, I am on the Internet while getting my hair cut. Isn't technology cool?" but decided that was a bit dorky even for me. Besides how could I possibly nap, have my hair dried, and type all at one time?

So I opted to simply watch E! News while having the hair styled. It was then that I realized that televisions have become a staple item in almost every locale...not just in the family living room. There are televisions hanging down from the ceilings in Wal-Mart running constant advertisements, televisions in most restaurants and not just Sports Bars anymore, televisions in cars and planes, televisions on phones, and televisions directly in front of me at the beauty salon. The thought slightly depressed me. Are we just a few short years away from everyone carrying around their own television and watching it non-stop, regardless of time, place or activity? Good-bye personal interaction.

That just makes my head hurt thinking about it.

Enough deep thoughts for the evening. After brushing up on all things pirate, I am off to sleep upright in one of our kitchen chairs so I can have a good hair day tomorrow.

***
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Saving Summer Carnival. Tons of great ideas where shared! If you haven't checked them out, be sure to stop by these girls' blogs and read their great plans for a fun summer. Make sure to leave them a comment, because we all know comments brighten everyone's day!
There is still time to participate if you want...the post will remain on the front page of my blog for a few days and then it will be relocated to the sidebar. Simply click on the "Saving Summer Carnival" button to access it.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Saving Summer Carnival '08


Ah, summertime....the season of numerous trips to the pool, batches of sweet lemonade stashed in the fridge, and relaxing evenings spent under the stars in the last waves of sticky heat of the day.

Summertime also means the entertainment of children....some children who are usually at school during the majority of the day and therefore entertained by paid educators. Summertime can be anything but relaxing for dear ol' Mom.

Being the mommy of a preschooler and a toddler, I am actually excited about the possibilities that lay before us this summer. Gone are the days of having a baby who just sits on a blanket with a small assortment of toys as his/her main source of entertainment. These are the days when nap schedules are not quite as burdensome and feedings are not hourly concerns. We can now be a bit adventuresome in how we spend our days.

Want to see our tentative schedule for the summer? Click Here (Just know after viewing this you will come to realize that I am a big nerd...also, huge shout-out to my quite organized friend Robin who inspired me to actually write out my schedule after she emailed me hers. Thanks, friend!)

Now that you have come to see the organized dork that I truly am, let me explain a few things on our schedule:

1. Park Hopping/Breakfast on Tuesdays: We live in a great city with a stellar Parks and Recreation Department. Despite this, we seem to visit the same handful of parks time and again. Not this summer. This summer we have a list of all the parks in our town and we are going to visit each of them on Tuesday mornings where we will play and enjoy a picnic breakfast. Why mornings, you ask? Because it is soon to be 97 degrees here by mid-morning and I don't have a lot of fun being outside next to metal structures in such weather. Thus the early morning trip to the park.

2. Isaac's School Time: Isaac and I are going to tackle two big things for school this summer. The first of those is the learning of the Fruits of the Spirit. Again, big BIG thanks to my friend Robin for this idea. We are going to discuss a "fruit" each week by having a mini-lesson, a craft, and a project to help us practice this character trait. I am a firm believer that one must take a lot of time to teach their child social and character skills.....and using the Fruits of the Spirit is the absolute best place to start.

Below is a poster that is going to serve as our main visual aid for this project. I am going to let Isaac color in the fruits during our "kick-off" lesson and then laminate it in order for it to be hung (safely) on the fridge. Pictured next to the poster is the book "Nine Fruits Alive". You can purchase this book here on Amazon. It serves a simple and straight-forward way to present this concept to preschoolers (plus you can actually touch the fruit which appeals to kids).



We are also going to tackle some early phonics/reading stuff. Isaac knows the alphabet and all of his letter sounds. He is showing great interest in wanting to know what words say and in identifying letters and their sounds when he comes across them. I feel like he is ready to start the very basics of reading. We are going to take this slow and see where we are at the end of the summer. I am still looking at various materials I might use to help us in this endeavor. I want something that is rich in phonics (in hopes that he will not "inherit" my poor spelling skills due to being taught whole language in elementary school) and light and easy.

3. Craft Time: Isaac loves the craft stuff almost as much as his mama. Tomorrow I am cleaning out half of my china cabinet in order to fill it with our organized craft supplies. I sometimes get lazy in actually taking the time to sit down with a craft for Isaac and rely on simply coloring in one of our millions of coloring books. To avoid such persistent laziness in this area, I have set aside a particular time for crafts. Lately, Evelyn has joined in on the coloring and gets quite the kick out it. This isn't a fancy, Martha Stewart craft time...just some structured/some free-form crafts. Also, it gives us a chance to interact (and keeps little hands busy) while I start cooking supper.

4. Friday Field Trips: Here is where I need some help from my local readers. I have a few destinations in mind, but am always open for suggestions. Again, this is nothing fancy or expensive...just a chance to get out of the house and explore a new location (unfortunately the Target in a neighboring suburb doesn't count).

There you go....this is how I am saving summer at casa de phillips. Please share how you are saving summer at your house. Leave your link below (make sure the link goes back to your actual post about saving summer and not just the front page of your blog...it makes it easier for others to read!) so others can benefit from your ideas!


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Just Another Saturday Morning at Casa de Phillips

I remember Saturday mornings not too long ago when Tobe and I used to lounge on our respective couches, engrossed in some sort of book or magazine. We would then lazily head to the local gym for a weekend workout before getting started on our plans for the day.

This is what our house looks like on Saturday mornings these days:

video

Not sure if you can tell or not from the clip above, but E. loves her car. She is really quite good at driving it (she can go forwards and backwards and is able to get on and off herself), especially since she isn't walking as of yet. The back of her little car is equipped with a "car seat" so one of her baby dolls can ride along. However, when I put a doll in it's seat, Evelyn promptly pulls it out and throws it on the ground, usually running over it in the process. We are still working on those mothering skills.

Here is E. this morning, playing around on her car before getting dressed. Notice the headgear....Evelyn loves hats and wore this play tablecloth on her head for quite a while today. She would move quite slowly as to prevent it from falling off. The amusing thing about this is that the girl will wear a long tablecloth on her head for a solid 45 minutes but instantly rips out a tiny bow the moment it is clipped to her hair.


Don't forget...the Saving Summer Carnival is TOMORROW!!!! Can't wait to hear what everyone has planned for the summer!