Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Grandchild #2

I believe congratulations are in order to my sister, Jona, and her husband Eric who just announced to us all that they are expecting their first baby in April 2008! I emailed her yesterday just to make sure it was okay to post this…I have been known to get myself in trouble for posting forbidden things in my blog. But you know my life motto, “Forgiveness is often more easily attained than permission.” In this case tho, I got permission!
So this little guy or girl will be the second grandchild on our side and the first on Eric’s side. I got off the phone and told Isabelle to enjoy the next few months as the lone queen, because her grandchild reign will soon end!
Congrats Jona & Eric! We can’t wait to meet our new little niece or nephew!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Accident Prone

Now that Isabelle is so mobile, she wants to explore everything! I try to let her experiment and do as much as possible, without…well, you know, breaking bones, drawing blood…the basics. Since her uncle Hubert left on Saturday and Daddy was taking a nap, I let her roamed around the house…with all the doors closed and appropriate cabinets locked. So, to recap the events that ensued:
• Isabelle pushed her highchair, then fell herself, and cried.
• She put her arm through the wooden slates on our breakfast table and couldn’t get it out…and cried.
• She figured out how to open the drawer on the bottom of the entertainment center, and closed it on her fingers…and cried.
• She discovered the fireplace (luckily it’s summer), figured out how to open the bottom panel, got told no and moved away from fireplace, returned to fireplace, repeat process two more times. Finally got hand smacked…and cried.
• Took her dinner and rubbed it in her hair (her newest and most favorite thing). Got told no. Starred straight at mommy and did it again. Got her little hand slapped again. Cried. Repeat process.
• Followed closely by, taking the same morsel of food, starring right at us again, and dropping the food on the floor. Okay, dinner was over at this point, and we progressed quickly to bath time and bedtime.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Siding and Tile and Carpet, Oh my!

Conrad and I spent the morning at our much anticipated “Design Center” appointment. When you build a new house, you get to pick out all of the fun stuff that comes along with it. Of course, this is where they gouge you. “Sure you bought a new house for a couple hundred thou, but if you want toilets with that..it’s gonna cost ya!”

Before we found our house, we were looking at homes in one area and LOVED them, the base price was okay, and we thought we could probably afford it. When we sat down to talk to the sales lady, she eventually informed us that the LAND that you build the house on, in the subdivision, doesn’t come with the house, that will cost you another 100k. Well….what if I just want the house?? Obviously, we moved on, in our search.

Actually, our builder is much more than fair. One of the deals that they were offering, because of the SLOW real estate market, was a large sum in upgrades, options, and financing. This sum allowed us to (almost) go crazy at the Design Center and pretty much create the house of our dreams. Of course, I came armed with a spreadsheet and calculated numbers. I was expecting some unpleasant surprises, but mostly just got pleasant ones.

Maple Plank Hardwood
So if I were to walk you virtually through our future home, you would see vaulted ceilings, dark dark maple plank hardwood floors, antique white kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, tons of recessed lighting, burber carpeting, gas fireplace, a nice deck out back, a Jacuzzi tub (yeah for me!), and stainless steel appliances. We feel like we made some good choices, but are still waiting on a couple of items that we really wanted, like hardwood in the dining room and a vented hood over the oven. ..indian cooking REALLY requires one of these!

Now the downside: Our house still has not sold. What this means is that all of these fabulous options we just got will go down the drain if we don’t sell our house. I’m sure the builder plans this lovely design center experience in order to make your new home irresistible. I must have it!. I think we felt like that at the beginning. Now, I think we are okay with whatever. Either way, I think we’ll be okay!

Monday, July 23, 2007


I have beautiful plants outside of our house. They were just prospering in the mild summer weather that we have been having in Ohio this summer…until...this stupid dove decided to nest in my plant. Several times I took the plant down to discourage the bird from nesting there, but low and behold, I let down my guard for a day or two, and it nested anyway! Eesh! Now we have several birds in the nest and she won’t let me near to water the plant! It’s dying a sad death. And what am I supposed to do..kill baby birds? I don’t have a stomach for it.

On a better note, we had our Missions Camp kick off on Sunday and the church responded really well and are very excited about it! That always makes things easier…and…I’m a little light on material this week. It was a quiet weekend and I’m hoping…a quiet week will ensue.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hide & Seek

Last Friday, since neither Conrad nor I had to work, we went to Amish Country. Before we left, I was ironing and Isabelle was in the kitchen pulling Tupperware out of a small cabinet beside the oven. There was nothing in there that could hurt her, so I let her continue. But before long this is what we found. Isabelle had crawled all the way in there! It never even crossed my mind that she would do this. I guess that’s because I’m a rookie at this. Well, at least now we know where to look if she decides to hide from us

For the next few weeks, I will be ultra busy. I agreed to pull off what I call “Missions Camp” and is similar to a three day Vacation Bible School at my church. Now, keep in mind, when I have done this in the past, there is a team of three or four of us, and we plan for…well, for about 8 months. I’m doing this in about 8 weeks! Eesh! To make matters more complicated, it’s during a big conference for the adults, so many people that I might have been able to recruit as volunteers were already recruited in other areas. But it’s all good! Things are coming together well!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Just say no to picky eaters

I think one of my biggest pep eves are picky eaters. I was determined that my kids weren’t going to be picky eaters. But Isabelle is hilarious. She’ll eat anything that WE are eating, spicy chili, exotic Indian dishes, eggs, cereal, but she hates “baby” food. She tolerated it for about six weeks of her life, then flatly refused it.
I’m not sure what to think about it. I think, that if I were in her shoes and had some good tasting real food, I don’t know that I would want to go back to pureed peas either. My dilemma only doubles when I pack her food for daycare. She is supposed to have one veggie, one fruit, and one carbohydrate. What to pack her? Yesterday, the comment written from her caregiver was, “Isabelle clamped her mouth shut and refused to eat.” Oh no… better read up on strong willed children.
And while I’m on the subject of strong willed children, I should tell you of Isabelle’s new expression of frustration. Lately, when she doesn’t get her way, she balls her hands up in fists, tightens her jaw, turns her face red, and screams. It’s really quite entertaining. She recovers quickly when she realizes she’s not going to get her way. Even if we COULD give her her way,we think it’s best not to train her to do this whenever she wants something. I think a 11 month old that does this has to be easier to handle than a 11 year old who does this!
Child training is kinda fun….

Friday, July 13, 2007

Unexpected Weekend Blessing

I was up haveing QT on Thursday morning and I got a phone call from my boss. She asked if I had been watching the news...no. Well, the power was out at our building and we don't have to come to work. Whoo hoo! It's like a grown-up-but-the-sun-is-shining-and-the-birds-singing snow day. We spent the morning talking on the computer with voice and webcam to Conrad's family in India. They LOVED seeing Isabelle! And generally enjoying life. My sister and brother in law came to visit us, they were in Hocking Hills celebrating thier one year anniversary...Congrats Jona and Eric!

So I got up early this morning to check the news and sure enough...we are off again! This is another of the wonderful bonsus of Conrad and I working together. It's nice to both be home with Isabelle! Yeah for four day weekends!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Baby Work Out

Isabelle is so mobile these days. She’s in to EVERYTHING. If we turn our heads for a couple of seconds she’s found something in a corner that we didn’t know about. We have become very careful about things in our pockets lately, because when you change your clothes, it falls out. But this morning I turned for just a moment to put my shoes on and turned back around and Isabelle was chewing on something. It’s like she eyed it before, slyly waited until Mommy had turned her head, and went for the shiny item. It was a nickel. Urg. Luckily, it was easy enough to pry from her little hands.
Conrad is constantly worried about her getting hurt. So his response: confine her. He puts her in her high chair or puts her in the living room and makes a makeshift play pin with all the cushions from our furniture. The moment the barrier comes down, she makes a run for it. Straight for anything she can push, pull, throw, or dislodge. Her favorite things to do are pull all of the wipes out of the container, push the trashcan to the middle of the floor or push her highchair into a corner.

Last week, Conrad and his brother Hubert had her for two full days while Conrad took a mini vacation to spend time with Hubert. His comment at the end of those days was: “She’s a lot of work.” I think I would say, hats off to all of you stay at home mom’s….it’s a lot more work than going to an office and sitting at a desk!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Love AC

You know, we grew up with no central air. I can remember some of those dog days of summer. Of it being soo hot that you just laid on your bed in front of the fan, unable to move. I also remember that I loved winter as a kid. THIS is probably why. Houses in Ohio have had central heat for years, but central air, only in the past 10 years or so.
This week or air conditioner gave out. We didn’t sleep well, we weren’t hungry, we just laid around (some of us in our diapers only) all weekend long. At one point, I threw the baby in a cool tub of water to let her splash around for a while. Luckily, it was only a Freon issue and was quickly resolved once the repair man got there on Sunday. And oh, what a beautiful frigid night of sleep it was!

Friday, July 06, 2007

A Wicked Night

I LOVE theater. I think it’s from years and years of doing drama training at Teen Mania. It’s kind of a love/hate relationship. From the summers of my youth training in hot muggy July MIAMI: eating, sleeping and dreaming in 8-counts. Come one, I know some of you remember those days!? Remember you’d be so enthralled in training that you’d get up in the morning brushing your teeth like this?…front brush: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 right side: 1,2,3,4, 5, 6, 7,8 …you get the picture. And who could forget, “La decision eres tuya.”?

But I digress. Thursday night a few girlfriends and I went out to see “Wicked.” We got the tickets months ago, and at that point they were almost sold out, so sat in the second to the back row…WAAAAAYYYYY up in the nose bleed section. I had big tall afro guy in front of me. I had to crane my neck to the left or right , depending on where the characters in the show were. But still….GREAT theater!

If you haven’t seen it. Put it on your list. It’s the tale of the Wicked Witch of the East (in the Wizard of Oz), and how she really wasn’t wicked, just misunderstood. It was great to see these particular friends and hang out with them, because we rarely get to see each other. But the entire time, I found myself enthralled in the staging and dynamics of the performance. Things like, “Wow, great levels!.” I’m not sure what to blame that on, because the story line was very good. Maybe it was the fact that I am now a parent to a almost toddler and have no attention span, or perhaps it is because of the years of drama training. Or perhaps it is because I’m a government worker and we are known to get caught up in minutiae and miss the larger points. Who knows.

And…thanks to my wonderful husband who minded the fort while I was gone from sunup to sundown that day and took care of our little munchkin while I went out to play and have fun! He really is a wonderful husband!!

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears...oh my!

Wednesday was a unique 4th for us. You know, you feel like it’s almost a wasted holiday when it’s in the middle of the week. I’m still thankful for it, but a three day weekend would have been nice too. Anyway, we went to the Columbus Zoo yesterday. Wednesday’s are half price days and we had never taken Isabelle before. She was hilarious!

Every exhibit we’d go to, she’d stare and start going “ohhhh” Then when we’d leave to go to another animal or exhibit, she’d start crying. The penguins were probably her favorite, as they kept swimming right in front of her. She loved the aquarium too. Since it was hot and rainy yesterday, many of the animals were hiding or hidden and unless they moved, she couldn’t see them.

But when we went to see the Elephants, one big guy was right at the edge where all of the people were, reaching his trunk over the ledge trying to get grass. He was probably 3 or 4 feet away from us. She was totally absorbed in watching the elephant. Of course, most of the time, she was more interested in watching the other kids around.

But it started to rain about 20 minutes into our visit and it stayed rainy until we reached the exit, at which point the sun came out and the birds started chirping. I know, we have great timing. Isabelle was totally exhausted and fell immediately asleep by the time we reached the car. I know the feeling. She slept well last night and was STILL asleep when I left for work the next morning.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hello Baby, Where have you been?

Several years ago I discovered that there was one Sonic Drive-Thru in the entire state of Ohio. Deep in Hocking Hills in Nelsonville, OH. Every time I drive that direction for a clinic or training I had to stop at Sonic for a Cherry Lime-Aid. I don’t care if it’s 9:30 in the morning. If you are passing it, you have to stop. After all, it’s not every day you get the opportunity for one of these babies.

And now I would like to announce that the southern legend has come to Ohio. We happily welcome SONIC, American’s drive-in to Central Ohio..whoo hoo! It opened a couple of week or so ago, but we just dropped in for a cherry lime-aid on Saturday. We pulled in to construction cones and several little teenagers directing traffic. Drive Thru to the right, Drive In to the left. Twelve to 15 minute wait. Seriously…for Sonic. Conrad and Hubert were laughing at the little servers wearing roller skates. They had never been to a Sonic before.
And everybody enjoyed the Cherry lime-aid slush…particularly Isabelle…who cried every time you took it away!
Just in time for summer…good times.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Abi Da Is back for a Visit

Conrad’s brother, Hubert is back to visit. Actually he hasn’t been to see us since probably last fall. So Isabelle is quite changed since then! I think he reminds Isabelle so much of her Daddy that she took to him immediately. And of course, it’s just another planet to revolve around her star! But she spent the whole weekend tiring her Abi Da out. She’s very active these days!

On Saturday night we went to our neighborhood park and watched the city fireworks display. Isabelle had taken a long nap that day, so we decided to let her stay up to watch them. Now, keep in mind that they start at 10, and her normal bedtime is 7:30…so she was a little droopy a couple of hours before the fireworks started. But we spread out the blanket and bundled her up and she was totally grooving on seeing all of the kids running around before the fireworks. When they started she sat quietly and watched intently. As the display got grander and grander, her eyelids got lower and lower. She was fast asleep by the Grand Finale. But she fought a good fight. Happy first Independence Day, Baby.

On Sunday after church I tried my hand at Greek food. I was most excited about making hummus! We LOVE hummus, especially the stuff you get at Whole Foods. So I got the tahini and the chickpeas and all of that good stuff and loaded my food processor. It was filled to the top and I pushed the button. I could tell that the little machine was struggling. It just wasn’t grinding as well as usual. All of the sudden I felt a current of electricity and everything stopped. I blew my food processor up. So I switched to the blender, which was a mediocre substitution. The hummus was also a mediocre substitution for the yummy stuff you can get at a good Greek restaurant. Oh well. Try try again, I guess.