Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Picture Extravaganza!!!

We had a fabulous, fabulous holiday! Isa even told me on Christmas morning that she heard Rudolph on the roof and saw his nose blink. (Yes, the night before I may have made a bit of suggestion about things one might hear on the roof on Christmas Eve but she offered that all on her own the next morning!)

Here is the last week or so, in pictures and video:

O' Christmas Tree!

Santa Baby

Santa brought Isa a new tricycle!

Santa also made her a fancy rack for her new dress-up clothes.

Modeling her new princess skirt and wand.

Buzzy Bee costume (one of my ballet recital costumes from waaaay back when)

Playing "Legos" with Papaw.

Drying Soona off after a pretend bubble bath.

Taking the new tricycle for a spin outside.

And now for a little entertainment... For your holiday enjoyment, Isa will now sing you Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (in appropriate costumage) and then Frosty the Snowman.

Finally, what happens when toddlers wake up at 6:15, spend a few hours in the blissful craziness of Christmas and get a bit hyper.

Friday, December 18, 2009


These last couple days I've been feeling very Grinch-like. But not the Grinch from the start of the movie- the one at the end whose heart has sh-boinged out of the screen because it's just too big!
Lately things have been running very smoothly around here. Christmas decorations are all up, both inside and out. The majority of the shopping and wrapping was completed last weekend when my parents had Isa at their house. The house is even reasonably clean. It's so much easier to be in relaxed and enjoy the holidays when the to-do list is short.

Isa is getting more and more excited about Christmas. She is quick to spot and point out any decoration we may pass. She wants the tree lit all day and lets me know when it's dark outside so we can turn on the outside lights. We've even done several Christmas projects so she'll have gifts to give (no further info as several of the recepients are probably reading this). Today in the car I heard her softly singing "so to honor Him... pa-rum pum pum" over and over again. I just can't sustain any sort of crankiness with a child so filled with Christmas spirit.

We've watched Rudolph about 20 times in the last 2 weeks. Seriously, that is not an exaggeration- we watched it 3 times on Wednesday alone! Last night she put on her Santa hat and wanted me to be Rudolph. So I got down on my hands and knees. She rode on my back around the living room yelling "Merry Christmas!" Oh how I wished I'd had a way to videotape that. We may re-stage it tonight just because it was so darn adorable.
My heart is just so full right now that I'm sure it's going to sh-boing out of my chest at any minute!

Everyone relaxing for yet another showing of Rudolph

Playing in the snow at Papaw & Grandma's house

Post-snow hot cocoa to warm up

And now I leave you with a holiday performance by the Little Drummer Girl:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December's Menu

Due to popular demand (er... 1 person's demand), here are the meals Isa and I will be eating this month.

First, let me say that I choose recipes with a two primary objectives- easy and relatively healthy. If it takes more than 20 minutes to prep the dish for cooking, it's out. I want fewer ingredients and things that need a minimum of work to be ready. Perhaps as I gain more experience with cooking I'll be willing to expand out to more complex recipes. For now, it just doesn't matter. Isa would be happy with boxed mac n' cheese and hot dogs, so things don't need to be fancy. And, obviously, since one of my main reasons for cooking complete meals is to lose weight, anything too high in calories or fat is out as well.

I've found if I cook 3 times a week that is more than enough to last us the entire week. Most recipes are made for a family of 4, so we have plenty of leftovers. The calendar is great because I can schedule in leftover nights, put the easiest recipes on the nights where there is less time, and also cross off nights where I know we'll be out. Our dinners now fit smoothly in with the rest of our schedule. (Yeah!)

So here it is (starting with today):

12/8 - Coconut beef curry & noodles
12/9 - Leftovers
12/10 - Leftovers
12/11 - Out for the evening with a friend
12/12 - Leftovers (from previous evening)
12/13 - Down to parents' house
12/14 - Chicken with smashed potatoes & peas
12/15 - Watching a friend's children (dinner at her house)
12/16 - Sausage & peppers with crispy polenta
12/17 - Leftovers
12/18 - Leftovers
12/19 - Maple-glazed stuffed pork
12/20 - Leftovers
12/21 - Moroccan chicken & couscous
12/22 - Leftovers
12/23 - 12/28 - Down to parents' house
12/29 - Breakfast for dinner
12/30 - Turkey & roasted red pepper meatloaf
12/31 - Leftovers

Monday, December 7, 2009


**My apologies upfront for this post being a bit of a tease. I don't have a scanner so I can't post the accompanying photo tonight. I'll do my best to get you all a visual in the very near future.**

As the title suggests, today we went downtown to visit Santa. Isa got all dolled up in her new Christmas dress, matching bows, and fancy new sparkly red shoes. Grandma and Papaw came up to join us for the fun. We rode Light Rail downtown, which Isa enjoys and is, thankfully, easy to navigate with a stroller. We went straight to Macy's to see the big guy himself. (FYI- if any of you happen to live in Seattle, definitely go to Macy's and not Nordstrom for your Santa experience. Shorter lines which are entirely indoors, fabulous Santas and this year the photos were printed right then and there. But I digress.... )

Isa is already, at the tender age of 2 and 1/4, a Christmas freak. Which is a good thing because it means she fits right in with our family. Yesterday I pulled a Santa hat out of the decorations box and she proceeded to wear it all afternoon. We went to Target still in her festive attire and she made sure to shout "Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!" to fellow shoppers every few minutes. She has already started learning the words to Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and Little Drummer Boy- aka Rum Pa Pum Pum. Every time we pass Christmas lights she says "Decorations!" or "Ooh La La!" (That little phrase comes courtsey of Fancy Nancy, who we love and adore.) I'm having a ball watching her enjoy all the fun things that the holidays bring.

So it should come as no surprise that my girl was THRILLED to visit Santa. Some of the small children in line before us had to be coaxed onto his lap. Not Isa B. When it was her turn, I set her down and she walked right over with her arms up for Santa to pick her up. The baby wranglers tried to get her to look forward with her hands neatly in her lap and smile for the camera. No dice. Isa is a total ham, but never on cue for the camera. You've got to catch her in action. So, clever Mama that I am, I said "Isa, can you give Santa a hug?" Voila! Santa photo magic!!! (This is the place where you have to use your imagination and trust that I'll be able to get the photo posted eventually.)

After that we rode the Holiday Carousel, which Isa was excited about until the moment her tush sat on the horse. Then she flipped out but I forced her to sit there because the benches were all taken. Afterward she proceeded to tell Grandma how she went up and down the horse, as if she hadn't been crying most of the time. Right...... A little snack at Starbucks and off to see the amazing gingerbread house display at the Sheraton. Then home again on the train. Busy, busy Christmas-y day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Call off the search parties

We are alive. Can I pretend that I was doing the Anti-NaBloPoMo? Unlike past absences that were usually due to rough times, this month has been lots of goodness.

There isn't much to report on Isa over the last month. Her language skills are developing at shocking speed. She speaks in full, reasonably long sentences all the time now. Often the sentences are even grammatically correct. I don't need to translate for her as much anymore because everyone else can understand her as well. I'll try to capture some conversation on video although she tends to clam up as soon as the camera comes out.

I think we've also started turning the corner between babyhood and childhood. Tantrums are down to a respectable limit (hey- she's still 2!). I don't need to worry about her getting into all the "off limits" things the second I turn my back. We have even started doing simple craft projects which I'm thrilled about. It's nice to have some options for filling the cold, wet mornings when we're stuck inside.

The big changes this month have been for me. I've felt for the last year or so that my life is slowly spiraling out of control. I'd gained a lot of weight, had been struggling with lots of fatigue due to my crazy work/Mommy schedule, and generally felt like crap much of the time. I was struggling to keep up with work and finances were a big mess. The house was rarely clean and we ate quite a bit of unhealthy, easy to prepare food. I felt like I was failing in ever aspect.

A very good friend of mine recently finished school to become a registered dietician and I asked if she'd take me as her first client. I figured that it would be beneficial to both of us, but honestly never expected to have it be this successful. We've made lots of little changes that never feel like too much work and after only 4 weeks I feel like things have turned around.

I now make a monthly dinner menu plan so I don't have to stuggle with what to cook/eat each evening. Funny how something so small can be revolutionary in my world! It took away the stress of "Oh my God- it's 15 minutes until dinnertime and I have no idea what we have in the fridge!" (which usually resulted in a meal of noodle with butter and parmesan). It means that we're eating healthy, balanced dinners and I'm cooking again, which it turns out I really do enjoy.
My parents gave me their ancient exercise bike and my sister gave me some free weights that she no longer uses. So now I have a simple home gym down in the basement. There really isn't any excuse for me to not get down there and exercise during her naptime. Plus, heading down to the basement means laundry gets done on a regular basis. Woo-ha!

My nutritionist also started me on an adrenal fatigue supplement which is GLORIOUS! I feel awake during the day now which means I don't want to stay collapsed on the couch all the time. It's the next best thing to truly being well-rested, which is something I sadly can't make happen with my schedule.

This week in our session, we decided it was time to start working on weight loss and I'm feeling very motivated. My sister finally set a date for her wedding- August of next year. I'd like to lost at least 40 lbs by then, which I think is realistic but will require me to be pretty motivated.

So.... that is the LONG version of what's been going on this month. And if you actually made it all the way through this wordy post, here is your reward:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Frick or Freat!

Isa has finally started to understand the concept of holiday, although she doesn't quite understand that they're separate events. Thus, when asked about Halloween she would sometimes respond "Santa!" or "Happy Birth-o-ween!". The idea of dressing up in a costume and getting candy- that she totally understood.

Isa had a glorious time going trick or treating (or, as she would say "frick or freating"- haven't quite gotten the tr sound down yet). It was touch and go at first. A few children showed up really early and so Isa got to see the huge stash of Tootsie Pops I had hidden in a bowl up high. She flipped when I wouldn't let her eat one before some dinner. She finally choked down about 1/4 of a quesadilla and I decided not to push my luck.

The rest of the evening was wonderful! As usual, she charmed the pants of most everyone. A few blocks over one house does a huge haunted house experience which Isa wasn't too keen on. We (obviously) didn't go in, but even the scary music coming from the house was too much for her, so we quickly moved on. She even enjoyed helping hand out candy to others after we got home and amazingly didn't flip when I took the bucket of candy away after her allowed 2 pieces.

Let the candy-eating begin!

My little ladybug

The take!

And now the sugar has kicked in....

... only to crash back down, along with Auntie Autumn & Uncle Ben.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Move over June Cleaver

Not only does Isa clean the house while wearing heels, she does it in the (nearly) nude! All she needs now is a string of pearls.

On a more serious note, 2 years ago I was sitting in my office when the phone rang. It was an area code that I didn't recognize, but I got calls from cancer registries in other state, so I thought nothing of it. Turned out to be my agency calling. I started to get a tingling feeling in my stomach when Tami said "Are you sitting down?" I asked if I needed to be and she said "I know who your daughter is." Just thinking about those words still brings tears to my eyes. From that point, I think the only words out of my mouth were "Oh my God." Over and over again. A few minutes after hanging up the phone, I got to see the most beautiful photo I've ever seen:

And here she is now, shouting "Tada!" and looking shockingly like the big girl she is rapidly becoming:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wanna see something cute?

All I could get her to make was one of her funny faces and my camera batteries died soon after, so this is the only pic of her first time in her new real ballerina leotard, tights, and shoes (which you can't see). I'm bummed that we can't take photos or video in our Mommy & Me class because she is beyond precious. She ADORES it!

(And yes, that is a single ponytail on top of her head. As if you needed further proof that she has an overabundance of hair....)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Potty training part 3/4


Last Thursday was a total bust. In hindsight, I should have scrapped the idea of potty training altogether after the morning started off on a horrible note. Yep, hindsight and all that.

The morning started at 5:15 when Squiggy came into my bedroom and projectile vomited all over the floor. As I was cleaning that up, Isa woke up yelling "Mama! Mama!" I went in to her room, she stood up in her crib and promptly asked "Mama's room?" Ordinarily if she woke at that hour, I would throw her in bed with me but there was still kitty puke on the floor, so that wasn't an option. After some rocking I got her back down and continued to mop up the floor. Fun, fun.

By 6:30 Isa was up for good. It was a cranky morning (for both of us). Finally, sometime around 10, she was in a good enough mood to change into the big girl underpants. We had a good hour or so of sitting on the potty every 15 minutes and checking for dry pants in between. Then she had an accident in the kitchen. Cleaned Isa and the floor, changed her into clean underpants, and we practiced multiple times hurrying to the potty the next time she had to go pee. Less than half an hour later- huge flood on the living room floor.

And that was the end of potty training. Mama was just not ready to deal with any more bodily fluid clean-up. (Or so I thought- the cat puked all over the bathroom about an hour into naptime and I got to clean that up too!)

I thought I had two big aces up my sleeve for potty training- Isa LOVES her big girl underpants and she HATES to be messy. For example, I have to keep a washcloth at the table because she wants her hands cleaned numerous times during each meal. So I thought that she would really dislike having an accident and that would help motivate her to use the optty. Alas, while she has mentioned quite a bit that she got her big girl underpants wet, it doesn't seem to bother her.

Honestly, if she didn't try to scratch my arms off on every other diaper change, I wouldn't be so motivated to try potty training this early. But she does, so we'll give it some time and try again. (Hopefully the kitty will cooperate as well!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Potty training part 1/2

Today after ballet class, we headed to Target. Initially the trip was to get a few things for me and try to find a leotard and tights for her. No dice on the leotard or tights, but I decided it was time to buy big girl underpants so we could start the potty training process on Thursday.

Isa was THRILLED with her new big girl underpants. She clutched them the entire way through the store, on the ride home and then carried them around the house. I had explained to her that she would get to wear them tomorrow and kept harping on the fact that you have to use the potty when you wear big girl underpants. I planned to re-read the potty training book I had tonight and be all ready for training in the morning.

Isa B had other plans. As soon as she woke up from her nap she demanded to wear her big girl underpants. So I decided to go ahead and try. She did great when we were at home- sat on the potty on regular intervals (although nothing happened) and in between we would check the underpants to make sure they were still dry. Unfortunately, we had plans to have dinner at a friend's house and (obviously) Isa wasn't taking those underpants off! I asked her every minute on the car ride over if the pants were still dry- happily, they were. They remained dry from 3:30 until 6:30, when an accident happened. By that point, we had both gotten distracted and I hadn't reminded her to try the potty in quite a while.

Tomorow we have nothing planned, so we can stay home and really focus on using the potty all day long. I already have pull-ups to use at nap time and she'll probably stay in diapers at night for quite a while as I have no plans to move her out of the crib anytime soon. But I'm hopeful that we'll be able to move to big girl underpants during the day from now on.

Isa B has been throwing major fits during diaper changes for a while now, so I'm looking forward to being done with them. At the same time, diapers are the last real "baby" thing we have and I'm kind of sad to be officially moving into little girl-dom.

Here she is- in all her big girl underpant glory!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I am a girl

Sorry for the long absence. I feel like I've finally started to pull myself out of the funk I was in for the last month. Isa's doing better behavior-wise (with the exception of meltdowns at nearly every meal), which helps immensely. The rest of my world is slowly falling into place again as well.
Happily for me, Isa has turned out to be a lot like me personality-wise. She's a thoroughly independent and outspoken gal who happens to also be a complete girly-girl. She likes watching baseball and football, but does so while holding a baby doll. I firmly believe there's no reason you can't have a closet full of heels and a basement full of power tools!
Here she is showing off her feminine side:
Tea parties with Grandma & Papaw
We started Mommy & Me ballet classes, which Isa adores.
Whenever the music stops, she immediately says "More? More dancing?".
I need to get her a leotard and tights but for now the tutu will suffice.

One of her favorite costumes- the tutu and princess crown.

This girls LOVES the phone (both real and pretend).

And finally, here she is showing off several girly-girl skills in a single video. I have to admit that she does a stellar job walking in some fairly tall heels! Once she gets the hang of the heels, what does she head straight for? Her purse, of course.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I'm currently in the throes of sheer, utter exhaustion of the mental/emotion variety, which inevitably turns into the physical variety.

Crappy things in my personal life in the last month or so. Continued weight gain means nothing in my closet fits. My cat was diagnosed with triaditis (inflamed small intestines, pancreas, and liver) as well as possible pancreatic cancer. Isa continues to "be 2" from time to time and I just don't have the reserves to be as patient about it as I would like. Which, in turn, makes me feel guilty.

So that's pretty much it from here. I'm really hoping that the end of summer will mean the schedule will return to normal, allowing me time to try and dig out from under all this muck.

In the meantime, here are a few, much belated, birthday shots- in slightly random order. I haven't had the time to load the shots another friend sent via email so you may see some more in the future.

We so rarely get good shots of both of us- I love this pic!

Mmmm... cupcake!!!

Can you tell that she enjoyed opening presents?

Blowing out her candle.

Yummy snacks for the birthday girl.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The big 0-2

On Sunday, my baby turned 2. How in the world did she make it to 2 so darn quickly? Didn't she just turn 1? It's just not possible that it has been a full year since then.....

Saturday, I planned a little party for friends here in Seattle. Isa's had some trouble with her final set of molars and was a bit crankier than usual all week. Luckily ibuprofen was working well and I was hopeful that we'd be meltdown free. But, in true Isa B form, she decided Saturday morning was the perfect time for the sh*t to hit the fan. She started by waking up at 5:30. I physically CANNOT get out of bed that early. By 6 am she had raised the decible level considerably and I forced myself up. Ugh.

Her big gift from me was an easel with a chalkboard on one side and a big roll of drawing paper for the other side. I made the mistake of having it out for her that morning thinking she would play with it and leave me free to finish setting up for the party. She went straight to it and within a minute or two was throwing the crayons. The rule in our house remains "if you throw something, it means you don't want it". I take the thrown item and put it up on the mantel. Thus, the crayons went away. Mad about that, she then decided to attack the easel and start ripping up the paper. So, the easel went away to my room as well. At this point Isa started making hideous, non-human sounding tantrum screams. Sounds I'd never heard from her before. She spent the next several hours either flipping out or sitting on my lap with her paci. There was no in between. Medicine didn't make her feel any better. Suffice to say, no shower for me... no party set-up... Luckily Autumn and her fabu husband Ben came over early to help or I would have been greeting guests in my pajamas!

Apparently, having someone other than Mama around snapped Isa out of her crazed state and she returned to her normal cheerful self. The party was really just a big playdate with the addition of cupcakes and presents. Everything went swimmingly. Food was eaten, children ran around the yard, grown-ups chatted.

Isa got very excited when everyone started singing Happy Birthday to her. She blew her candle out, without any help, in one good puff. Then came the presents. She would pull the paper off a present and run around shrieking with happiness just to see the box underneath. It was pretty adorable. After presents, I herded everyone back outside to eat the cupcakes. She enjoyed the cupcake much more this year than she had last year.

The only "incident" happened towards the end of the party, as Isa was playing in the sandbox with her friend Solly. I've worked really hard to get Isa to understand that "sand stays in the sandbox." She was carrying a half-full bucket of sand around the yard and I told her to please go put it back. She walked over to the sandbox and just as I was about to thank her for listening.... she leaned over and dumped the entire load right on her head! For most children, this wouldn't be a real problem. But you've all seen the amount of hair Isa has. Quantity of curls plus the fact that her hair is liberally coated with conditioner each morning means that sand doesn't just brush out. *sigh*

Sunday we had a party with family which was a little less eventful (thankfully) but also very fun. She shares a birthday with my sister's fiancee, so they had a joint birthday BBQ for Taylor and Isa.

And today, she had her 2 year checkup. She is now 32 inches tall and 25 pounds, which puts her around 16th percentile for height and 30th for weight. I was a bit surprised about the height. She's just soooo much taller than she was in the spring. I figured she was going to be at least the same percentile as she'd been at 18 months (30th percentile). But I guess the fact that 2T pants are still 3 inches too long should have clued me in.

And, finally, let me apologize for no pics. I was much too busy to take photos at the parties. I will be getting pics from the friends who did take the time to pull out their cameras and post them- hopefully soon.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A week in pictures

More to come when I have the time but here are some pictures from our (very, very) busy last week or so:

Family Picnic

Playing in the sandbox with cousin Caroline

Being pulled behind Uncle Tim's boat

Dinner with new friends Martha & Eyerus

Playdate with Solly & DeDe

It was HOT! Time to cool off in the pool.

Ethiopian Heritage Camp

Three adorable girls- Amara, Elsa & Isa

Ethiopian nursery rhymes

Best buddies :)

Best buddies in their lovely Ethiopian dresses

New friends

Crazy wrestling time!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Letters from my past

I know I'm mentioned before that I am a pack rat. Capital P, capital R, card carrying member of the Pack Rat nation. Unfortunately I happen to live in a very small house- just over 1000 sq ft. When it was just myself it wasn't too bad. But now there's a toddler running around with all the necessary toddler stuffs. Plus I work primarily from home, so there's a big computer desk in the livingroom and piles of work materials. I'm starting to drown in clutter. And you know if a pack rat thinks it's cluttered, then things have gotten BAD.

So I've resolved myself to clearing things out. Last night I thought I would start with an easy task- a hatbox full of old letters and cards. It turned out to be much easier to toss the majority of them in the recycle bin than I had anticipated but what a trip down memory lane! Amid all the old Christmas and birthday cards, there were several gems. Here are some of the things I found (of which I did keep a few):

- postcards my grandparents sent me when I was as young as 6
- the note from a friend who had just "stolen" my 8th grade boyfriend, begging me to still be her friend (I was one of her "most cherished" friends but, apparently, she never considered just not going out with Josh)
- letters my mother sent me- one every day- when I was away at camp for the first time
- a letter my sister sent me at camp which is just plain hilarious (I think she was about 10 at the time)
- notes sent back and forth during middle school where my friend Melissa and I did our best to think up crazy, intricate folds
- quite a lot of letters from the Australian students we hosted for a week each year in high school
- several letters from the boy I have, not so secretly, been in love with since I was about 13 (yes, a good part of me is still in love with him, but I think he's getting married this weekend)
- the first letter my mom wrote me after dropping me off at college freshman year and the letter my dad wrote me after driving me to college the following year (both of those made me cry)

I guess being a pack rat does have it's upside now and again.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Confessions of a lax parent

Anyone who knew me in real life, pre-Isa, (including myself) would have sworn that I was going to be a very uptight, type-A, generally frantic parent.

In some areas, I have exceeded my own expectations. I will fully admit to being a top-of-the-line "hoverer". I rarely let Isa out of my sight in the first months, even for a few minutes. I got all nervous and edgy when my sister carried her away at a family wedding. I knew she was safe, but still.... We didn't spend a single night apart until this spring, more than a year after she had come home. I'm working on this particular fault, but it's a tough habit to break.

And so, I was shocked to discover that when I compared it to others, the totality of my parenting is actually quite lax. I submit the following:

- Isa is a pacifier kid. So much so that early on, I bought a clip and have kept it attached to her nearly constantly. She drug that thing around, clipped to her chest, I'm sure picking up loads of germs. (I like to pretend now that her iron-clad immune system is due to this particular lazy behavior of mine.) We have ZERO plans to eliminate the paci anytime soon.

- I didn't discontinue pre-sleeping bottles until last month and only then by accident. Admittedly, I was planning to do it this month, just squeaking in under the 2 year mark.

- I hadn't planned to co-sleep, however we did just that for well over six months simply because it was easier for me to throw her in my bed when she woke up at 2 a.m. than try to get her back to sleep in her crib. It wasn't an attachment thing- it just garnered me more sleep. She even rolled out of my bed twice (landing reasonably softly on a suitcase by the bed both times) because I never put up a bedrail.

- I think I made a total of 2 baby food meals ever. The rest came from jars. And it wasn't even always organic.

- On that note, I think she first tried french fries at the tender age of 10 months. Isa would probably tell you that her current favorite foods are quesadillas (we eat a lot of those, and yes, she can say it) and pizza (which we don't actually eat often but Isa has become fixated on). We love carbs.

- I've never even considered getting her own seat on any of our many flights despite all the safety stats. In the beginning, I knew that she'd prefer being held and now I'm just too cheap. Sadly, only one more flight left before I'm forced by law to ante-up.

- She watches TV. Probably too much TV. But there is no other way that I can survive getting up at 6 a.m. everyday. Thank God that Sesame Street comes on at 7!!

- I still have a baby gate up in the house because it's easier than baby-proofing the bedrooms, bathroom, and hallway. Getting very tired of stepping over that, though, so I may be forced to stop being so lazy on this particular point.

- She doesn't always brush her teeth each day. I'm trying to work this into the bedtime routine, but I find I sometimes forget it.

- Her carseat is still rear-facing. I can pretend that this is because it is so much safer, but a big reason is that I really don't relish having to wrestle the Britax into the forward facing position.

And finally, photographic evidence of my laxity. A photo taken a few weeks ago. You can clearly see that she is chewing on a small plastic wand (almost certainly made in China and thus toxic), pacifier clipped on, and it's hard to see, but those are Halloween jammies in the middle of June.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


A random mix from the last couple weeks:

in her loverly princess crown
Super Isa!! (the towel cape goes so well with her fabulous morning hair)
loves, loves, loves to swim

Here's a pic of my very first attempt at braids. Very, very, very simple since I am completely inept at hairstyling. Isa loved them. A couple times she grabbed them and pulled herself around like they were handles. It also allows you to see just how LONG her hair is when the curls are pulled straight. We'll do this 'do several more times, then maybe I'll attempt multiple braids in the ponies and move from there. Not sure she'll sit still long enough for much more than that at the moment.

Several years ago I saw a cartoon of a mom looking in on her sleeping children. She was telling her husband "I wish I could think of them as sleeping and not just recharging." Well, ever so often Isa wakes up from her nap FULLY RECHARGED. She bounced around like this for at least 45 minutes the other day. She doesn't want out of her crib, she just wants to play like a maniac in there.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good deed for the day

Borrowed from my friend Bobbie's Facebook page:

Become a Bone Marrow donor, all from the comfort of your home...and it's FREE! Enter the promo-code PIF070109, save your 52 dollars, and possibly save someone's life. Neat-o!

I used to work at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where bone marrow transplants where first pioneered and always meant to get typed for the bone marrow registry. When you sign up online they send you a kit with cheek swabs, so you don't even need to give blood to be typed. It's especially vital to do if you're not Caucasian since it is often very difficult to find a matching donor for minority or multi-racial patients.

I'm all signed up. Now it's your turn. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Firsts, lasts, and some stuff in between

It's been a busy several weeks around here!

I was gone for 5 days at the beginning of June for a work conference. Everything went swimmingly. Isa and Grandma had a lovely time back in WA, with the exception of the unusually hot temperatures and my lack of AC. Papaw and I had fun exploring New Orleans and stuffing ourselves silly with outrageous delicious food. I was suprised to really enjoy several days with truly free time and wasn't as anxious about the separation as I had anticipated. It was quite a treat to be on a plane without an active toddler! I devoured all 4 of the Twilight books during the trip. Highly addictive stuff......

After only 1 week home, Isa and I took off for MN to visit friends, none of whom had met Isa yet. We stayed with my friends Katie and Chris who have a daughter who will be 3 in September. Isabel was VERY excited for her friend Isa to come visit! Isa, in turn, was thrilled to get to hang out with a big girl. Isabel's potty was quite a novelty as well. No action yet, but at least Isa was happy to try it out numerous times. The girls did a remarkably good job with sharing and taking turns; as only children, it wasn't something that they were used to doing on a consistent basis.

We had a lovely visit although Isa was a bit sniffly and seemed unusually cranky on Saturday. I thought she was having allergies, as the cottonwood was flying as thick as snow. But, when she woke up in the wee hours of Monday morning, refused to fall back asleep and WAILED continuously, I began to get suspicious that it was more than allergies. A few times she pointed at her ear and said "boo boo," so later that morning we headed to Urgent Care. Sure enough, Isa B had her very first ear infection! By that evening, after a dose of ammoxycillin and some ibuprofen, she was, thankfully, almost back to her normal happy self.

As for the "lasts"- smart Mama that I am, I forgot to pack a bottle (she was getting them only before sleeping times). I had been planning to start the weaning process after we got back from vacation but this seemed advantageous. Katie could always pull a bottle out of storage if necessary, but I figured why not try without and see what happens. Well, absolutely nothing happened. I'm not sure Isa even noticed the bottles were gone. I really thought she'd protest the changing of her routine much harder and I was terrified to do anything that would mess up our fairly easy sleep routine. Why fix it if it ain't broke, right? :)

When I spoke with my mom after getting home she said that she was sad to think that she'd no longer get to rock Isa to sleep with her bottle. I, of course, hadn't actually processed that fact until then. Because I hadn't planned to wean on the trip, I hadn't paid much attention to what ended up being the last bottle. I love that Isa is getting older and learning so many amazing things, but with the phasing out of each of the truly baby habits, I get a little sad.

But, now back to happier thoughts and some cute pics from our trip to MN:

holding hands in the car

driving the cars at the zoo

blowing bubbles with a friend at a barbecue

3 of my favorite people!