Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When all else fails...

have a dance party! (sorry, these pics aren't very good)

I knew today was going to be rough. Isabella woke up whining, never a good sign, and Isaac was fussy and refusing to nurse. His refusal to nurse of course meant that I had to pump, and I hate pumping, but it was either that or my breasts were going to explode which probably wouldn't be a good thing. So, after a while I couldn't take it anymore and put on some music and turned it up really loud, and, we danced. Isabella said it was "so much fun" and I think Isaac was shocked into silence (by our amazing dance moves that is).

Oh, and when dancing fails...take one to grandma's house. That's right, Isabella went to hang out with Josh and my mom. Isaac continued to scream for most of the day and finally this evening there has been some peace.

Stella was having a rough day too.

And, here's to the best $1.98 I've ever spent, these have provided hours of fun...

I'm looking forward to tomorrow being a better day...

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Walter had to run sound for one our church's other campuses so I took Isaac and Isabella to church by myself. As I was walking down the hall to take Isabella to Sunday School, I couldn't help but observe all of the other mothers with several children and several bags slung across their shoulders--well, maybe the children weren't slung across their shoulders, but you know what I mean. As my own shoulder was aching, and still is because of course I got stuck talking to several different people while I was holding Isaac, my purse which was way to heavy and a bag of diapers that someone graciously gave to me, I was once again reminded of how amazing mothers are. Haha, I know, that sounds really conceited but being a mother has made me realize my own endurance. That's right, being a mom is like constantly taking part in endurance training. Does your arm get tired when you're holding your baby? Of course it does, it starts to ache and soon falls asleep, but because your baby is sound asleep and you've been trying all day to get them to sleep...you don't move, you just plan on taking some Tylenol later! Or, have you ever been holding your baby and you have to pee really bad? Same thing, you cross your legs even tighter and start madly doing kegels so that you don't pee on the couch. Has your baby ever been screaming for hours on end and your back and arms are killing you and your thighs are starting to burn because you've been bouncing up and down the whole time? Doesn't matter, because you're the mom and only moms have the endurance to keep at it. Has your baby and toddler ever both been screaming at the same time and all you really want to do is scream right along with them, but instead, you take a deep breath, count to ten, maybe even go to the bathroom for a minute, and then you use those strong, loving arms, and pick up your baby and hug your toddler and regain control. That's what moms do. Maybe we don't always want to do it; maybe some days we feel like there isn't any more love to give; maybe our body is exhausted and our eyes just want sleep, but I know for myself, that's when I pray and I thank God for my two beautiful gifts and I ask for the strength that only He can give. 


Here are a few pictures from yesterday. Isabella chose this dress out of her closet and ran around the yard saying that she was a "beautiful angel!" Oh, and if you're ever wondering what the white crusty stuff is around Isabella's mouth, it's cream cheese--she's addicted to cream cheese and apparently I never notice on her face until I'm reviewing the pictures...guess I should make her wipe her face off! We did successfully torture both of our children last night by bathing them. You should have heard the screaming! It was necessary though, Isabella's hair hadn't been washed since the day before her birthday and Isaac hadn't had a bath since vacation either.

Isabella just came and showed me the five band aids she lined up on her leg--"Isabella, that's too many band-aids!" "But it's just a very long boo boo!"

And after church: "Isabella, what did you learn at church today?" "I just didn't learn nufin!'"

Friday, June 25, 2010

Funny Quotes, Best Friends, Silly Dog...

Over the past week I've been collecting funny quotes from Isabella...

--While on vacation, a few dead fish washed up on the shore (I know, totally gross) and as I was walking with Isabella she said, "the problem is, sometimes I see dead fish." That is definitely as problem!

--Isabella talked about Oma and Opa the entire week we were gone: "When I get home I'm going to Oma's house. Oma has heart cereal and, and, and she has circle cereal with hearts. I'm going to have cereal at Oma's house!"

--"I'm in June! And Opa calls me a Junebug because my birthday is in June!" She said this about ten thousand times while on our vacation.

--"Daddy, can you cut the crust off of my toast?" "No, you need to eat the crust, it's good for you." "But Oma cuts off the crust." Hmmmm...

--"I'm a sweet little girl whose name is Isabella!"

--"Isabella..." "No. I'm not Isabella, I'm Chukai, you have to call me Chukai." We have no idea where this name came from but almost every day she corrects us and tells us that she is Chukai.

--"Mommy, I have a boogie on  my lip." "Yuck, Isabella, that's gross!" "It's okay, I just ate it!"

--When we were making her birthday cupcakes she watched as I cracked the eggs and said, "Mommy! You just cracked a baby duck in there!" Oh dear, seriously.

--I can rarely tackle Isabella into letting me brush her hair so, the amazing parent that I am, I bribe her with chocolate. This atests to my parenting skills at work: "Isabella, we have to brush your hair today." "Well, hmmm, do they have treats here!" Thankfully I'd packed some chocolate.

--When we have somewhere to go in the morning, I often tell Isabella that she needs to focus on what she is doing so that we can leave. The other day we were getting ready to go to the park and I was texting Sarah on my phone and Isabella said, "Mommy, you need to focus on eating your cereal." "Okay, I'll eat my cereal." "Okay mommy, good job focusing!"

--After a truly incredible tantrum at the library this week, Isabella and I had a long chat about library rules and appropriate behavior. So, when we pulled in the library parking lot yesterday, I decided it was time for a little review: "Isabella, what are the rules for the library? Before we can go in you need to tell me the rules." "Well, how about we go inside and then we can talk about it." Seriously child!

--"Awww, mommy, you're the best mommy I ever had!" "Thanks Isabella, you're the best Isabella I ever had!" "I know mommy."

Here's to getting way too close to the camera, but demanding her picture be taken...
Sarah and I took the girls to the library yesterday and I couldn't help but laugh when Maya walked into the playroom...

And when isn't life better with a basket on your head?


Stella's been getting us back for going on vacation. In the past week she's shredded her fair share of nursing pads (but that's not really anything new), eaten a bag of animal crackers--the stealthy dog that she is had the bag stuck to her nose when Walter went to see what she was doing, oh, and because she all for a natural diet, she made sure they were organic animal crackers first, and somehow she took random items out of my purse and spread them across the yard and dragged my purse to the other side of the yard.

Last but not least, here's to Isaac and the hazard of being a baby is that your toys attack you.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Third Birthday Isabella!

My sweet girl turned three last week. I often sit and wonder how I got to this place where I have two amazing children, a wonderful husband and of course my fabulous dog. I tell Isabella every day that she is special to me; that she is my special girl. Even on the days when I feel like all the patience I've ever had in my whole life is gone and will never be recovered, I still feel so much love for her. At one time I thought I loved her too much to have another baby and I'm thankful God gave me a boy because selfishly, I don't have to have two special girls, I can have my special boy and my special girl.

Over this past year Isabella has blossomed into this little person with so much imagination, creativity, charm, stubbornness, independence, energy, love and happiness. I love the way she hugs me and still wants to curl up on my lap; I love the way she comes close and says, "mommy, you're the best mommy I ever had!" And every day I miss life with just the two of us. But more than anything else, I'm so proud of the way she has adjusted to being a big sister. Some days I think she's adjusted better than me to our new little addition.  

In this last year Isabella has learned:
how to count to ten
how to play board games and follow the rules
how to draw a smiley face
how to dress herself
how to put her dirty clothes in the laundry basket
how to unload the silverware from the dishwasher
how to carry a conversation on the phone and in person
how to open the refrigerator and choose what she wants to eat
how to clean up toys
her birth date
the street we live on
how to feed Stella
how to play nicely with friends
how to get in and out of her car seat
how to count with her fingers
and so much more, but, our biggest news of all...how to use the POTTY!!!!!

Yes, indeed, as Isabella would say--she has been wearing underwear for twenty-four hours aside from a pull-up for bed last night. Honestly, I didn't think this would happen for several more months, but yesterday she got mad at me because I couldn't change her diaper when she wanted me to, so I told her that if that was the case she should wear underwear and got to the bathroom by herself. A few minutes later, she came out of her room with underwear on. I didn't know how this would play out, but tried what all of the books tell you to do in suggesting that you put your toddler on the toilet every half hour to an hour. Well, that didn't go over very well, she flat out refused help or reminders so I just kept my mouth shut and surprisingly, she started going into the bathroom all by herself and doing what she needed to do and then she would yell, "mommy, come see what I did!" I'm praying that this is it for diapers because let me tell you, after a whole day without having to change her diaper, I am really liking this potty business!

Every year I get really emotional on Isabella's birthday (and I'm sure I will on Isaac's birthday too) but this year was different. Yes, I was emotional but I was more frustrated than anything else and unfortunately, that frustration was geared to Isaac. I know, this sounds horrible, but I was frustrated that I couldn't focus all of my attention on Isabella. After all, it's our special day; it's the day that I think more than ever of the first time I held her and finally got meet her; I think about the months leading up to her birth and how as her due date came closer I longed to know her and see her beautiful face; it's the day that I think about all of the fun we've had over the past three years and how she makes me laugh more than any other person.

I asked Isabella several times what she would like for her birthday and every time she said, "a balloon." So, it was my mission to get a balloon for her. She was absolutely thrilled with her balloon and even slept with that night.

She decided she wanted cupcakes and of course that was easy enough because I was just using a box mix anyway. I must say though, the Funfetti mix is pretty darn good!
Isabella happens to love the show Little Bear, and she always talks about how Little Bear goes fishing, so when Walter and I happened upon this $1.99 fishing pole at Walgreens, we knew it would be a good birthday present.

Isabella has changed so much over the past year. She gets smarter by the day (almost to my detriment because she seems to have learned how to negotiate) and makes me laugh with all of the funny things she says. I love her big, beautiful brown eyes and long, dark eyelashes; I love her smile and her tender heart.

Happy Birthday Isabella!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

There IS such a thing as a dumb question...

When you have a baby or a toddler it's nearly impossible to walk through a store without someone stopping you to see your child or ask you a billion annoying/creepy questions. So, I pretty much have zero tolerance for it because when I go in a store, I'm on a mission and have a task at hand that needs completion. That means that I don't want ANY weirdos talking to me. Sorry, I don't mean to sound mean but when you have kids with you, you know that time is precious before everyone starts to fall apart.

Today was one of those days. I went to the grocery store with a plan and with my mental list which means it's even more important that people not talk to me because I'm checking things off in my head as I go. Isaac was in the Beco and Isabella was at home with my brother. Oh, FYI the most important part of shopping with a baby is to AVOID EYE CONTACT, this only invites people to talk to you and ask those stupid questions. So, here comes the stupid question (remember, Isaac is in the Beco),

Dumb Stranger: "What do you have in there?"
Me: "A baby." And I walk away as I say it just avoid any more questions. Seriously lady, do you think I have a baby lion in here! Maybe a kangaroo, I don't know, it seems pretty obvious to me that it's a baby when his ARMS are hanging out the sides! Ugh.
Dumb Stranger: "How old is he? He's so little, he must be really new!"
Me: "No, actually he's ten weeks." Okay, this has to be the end of the conversation...
Dumb Stranger: "Ten weeks! Really, ten weeks. Ten weeks, he's so little."
Me: "Yup, ten weeks." I promise, I'm the one who gave birth to him.


Quote of the Day:

"Mommy, do you know what to do with the poopy in my underwear because I just don't know what to do with the poopy in  my underwear."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The other night I had a dream that Heidi Klum asked me to be a short Victoria Secret model. Hmmm, "Heidi, does that mean you want a model who has stretch marks too?" Probably not, and no, being a model is not a secret fantasy of mine!

Every morning I ask Isabella if she had any dreams the night before, and this is what she told me a few days ago:

"well, not quite (she tends to use words in the wrong context), I just dreamed we were at a chocolate factory and took a ride on a crocodile and the crocodile ate our bicycles."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Finger Lakes Vacation Part 2

Yesterday we arrived home from our trip to the Finger Lakes. It was nice to be home but I was very sad not to have Stella home to greet us at the door. I'll pick her up from the "doggy hotel" as we tell Isabella, this evening, but I seriously miss my dog and am very anxious to see her.

Our trip was great though and it was very nice to spend some quality family time together. Walter didn't get very much time off from work after Isaac was born so we were really looking forward to this week. The first couple days at the lake were very warm and humid and we soon learned that the ceiling fan in the living room was not turning on with the remote. So, leave it up to the guys to think of this ingenious idea as an attempt to pull the string and turn on the fan:

Well, it didn't exactly work and thankfully didn't matter because it was cool and cloudy for the rest of the week. All of us got a good laugh out of it though!

Jesse was able to stay with us for a few days and then had to head back to work. Isabella adores Jesse and soaked up every minute of her attention.

Of course Isaac wanted to get some time with Jesse too!

We took advantage of one of the sunny days to drive up to Sonnenberg Gardens. Unfortunately, the gardens and mansion were in serious disrepair and I was kind of disappointed at the lack of picture opportunities. We still had fun hanging out and Isabella had fun running around once she got over the fact that Isaac was going to sit in the stroller this time...yeah, that didn't go over too well.

Before we left for the lake house I had Isabella collect some of her little people to take along with us. They kept her very busy for the entire week. In these pictures she is giving a bowl of "little people soup" to Josh...yum!

This duck was one of her favorite things at the lake house and the little people took turns "riding"on the duck...the unluckly ones got locked in the lantern.

After being closed up for a few days, the house had the inevitable dead bugs on the windowsills and Isabella made it her personal mission to collect them in tissues. With one particular fly she balled it up in a tissue, investigated her hands, looked up at me and said, "mommy, it has two wings, it didn't bite me, it's dead."

And then there's Isaac who continued his love affair with the playmat star. At around 8:00 p.m. on this first night my parents were at the house with us, my dad said, "is it like this every night?" He's referring to Isaac's screaming and fussing that began around 5:00 p.m. I said, "pretty much, but don't worry we only have about another hour and a half of this and then he'll finally fall asleep. That's how I get through it, I just count down the hours until about 9:30 or 10 p.m." Overall, for a nine week old, he did pretty well. I've learned in the last three years to have very, very low expectations when children are involved. I was definitely sad to leave the rocking chair in the living-room of the lake house. I spent a lot of time in that chair (I can't believe I didn't take a picture of it!) last week and it was very comfortable, which I think is hard to come by in a rocking chair.

This is a view from our dock. It was obviously a very cloudy and foggy day.

And a view of Lake Keuka from the Bully Hill Winery. I'm not much of a wine drinker so we bought two bottles of delicious grape juice!

Watching Isabella with Isaac this week was at most times wonderful, because you can tell that she really does love him, but also nerve wracking because she wants to be as close to his face as possible. I absolutely love these pictures though and I am very glad she will have a sibling...

And a few more pictures and then I need to go change my shirt because Isaac has some really spectacular spit-ups last night...

Stay tuned for pictures from the rest of our trip and Isabella's birthday!