Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What a Great Christmas!

Christmas gets more fun each year with kids! Isabelle was so fun with the whole Santa thing. I am convinced parents perpetuate Santa for thier own enjoyment. I know we did. Every mall we entered for the past six weeks Isabelle yelled and waved at the mall santa, "Hiiiiiiiii Santa!" like he was an old friend, "Remember me from the last time we were at the mall?" kind of thing.

Santa came to our house a bit early this year, since we were at my parents for Christmas. Isabelle was amazed to see he had eaten her cookies and left her presents. We definatley didn't go overboard, and have no intention of doing so in the future (we have enough family to do that for us!) And her favorte gift, by far, was the Bubble-Yum chapstick she opened from her stocking and replied, "ooohhhhh make-up" before smearing and re-smearing it all over her lips!

Other gift highlights for Isabelle was the really cute little pink kitchen my parents got her, and a the little cupcake apron my Grandma made her to go with her kitchen. Conrad got me a Cricut and I got him a digital photo frame. Neither of these had the traditional Christmas surprise. I found mine on e-bay and we bid on it together, and I got it personally from "Santa" aka the UPS guy. And Conrad's, although a surprise, didn't show up till two days AFTER Christmas. Oh well...the best laid plans!

We had a wonderful time at all the family Christmas parties and Isabelle and Grace were the belle's of the ball. It wasn't too crazy for us, except for the mounds of stuff we pack to go out of town for a few days with two children and the obscene amount of stuff we had to haul back after Christmas! We were unpacking for days!

Since so many of you bearers of gift read my blog...thank you for all of the wonderful and thoughtful gifts you bought our girls! They are thoroughly enjoying them as I write, and dressed very well, while they do it. It was good just to see everyone and enjoy everyones company gain. I think with each passing year I feel blessed to have such a great family and to have one more Christmas together!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Another Potty Tale

A few days ago Isabelle was sporting her big girl underwear for her usual two hour stent. She came up to me and said, "Momma, I go kaka." (the "international" word for poop that we use most of the time.)I took a look in her panties and didn't see anything so I said, "No you didn't Isabelle." And she took off playing and I continued doing dishes in the kitchen.

A few minutes later I took a look in the living room and noticed something sprawled out on the floor. Little black balls of all different shapes and sizes. My first thought was, "What toy did that come from?" followed by, "Oh no, it couldn't be." Sure enough Isabelle has pooped in her underwear, thought it was a yucky feeling, so she took it all out of her panties and left it on the carpet in the living room.

It was the first time I pulled the full name parental, "ISABELLE AGNES MICHAEL!"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Dance, Sad Dance

Today I'm doing a happy dance because I filled up our van gas tank with Unleaded Plus for $5.60. I had $1.40 off per gallon using my fuel perks card. Wow! This summer I was spending over $60 for a tank of gas! Yeah for recession!(just kidding)

On a sad note: Today was Isabelle's last day at her daycare. Both Grace and Isabelle start homecare at a ladies house down the street. We loved her daycare and her teachers were almost in tears tonight as we said goodbye. Isabelle ran back and gave Ms. Dana a hug as she started to get...just a little bit...what was happening.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things I said I'd never do: #76

I'll never dress my children in matching clothes. In my defense: there only jammies.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


As she's sitting on her potty Isabelle proclaims, "I go tinkle. Like Oma." (this word sounds suspiciously like a word my mom would use too)

As we are playing she says to me, "Go away!" I ask her, If I go away who will take care of you?" She thinks for a minute and replies confidently, "Opa will."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Come Back Granny!

This week was so great! Having Grandma here with us was wonderful! The girls both LOVE her and Isabelle cried real tears when she left today, with a "Where'd Ganny go?" She was also gracious enough to hold down the fort while I went to the gym in the mornings AND I actually pumped some milk for Grace and went out for a few hours.

On Wednesday Isabelle had her first ever Christmas performance at school. All of Isabelle's "peeps" came from up north to see her debut. She didn't disappont! The whole class of two year olds sang jingle bells and rang thier little Christmas bells. Isabelle stood in the middle of the group and jumped straight up and down the whole time. When the audience applauded, the toddlers just stopped and starred. The lights were dim and I really don't think they realized that there were PEOPLE out there. When I came to get her off stage, she cried, "Take me back up!" "I wanna go with my kids!"

We continue with potty training and this pretty much sums up how our week has been on that front.

Grace was sweet and easy going (thank the Lord!) and she and Grandma spent the week bonding while Isabelle and Mommy worked on Christmas cookies. Grace talks and smiles as long as someone will sit and talk to her. She is such a joy. Isabelle tells me, "Make Gacie funny (laugh) Mama." She also likes to put her panties on Grace's head...but I'll save that picture for another post.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Heart

When I see this little smile my heart just melts...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Big Girl Panties

No, I'm not talking about my maternity underwear, I'm talking about the cool new Dora the Explorer panties Isabelle is currently sporting two hours a day. Yes we are trying our hand at potty training, part time. It's really the best avenue for us, since we have a new baby and usually we both work.

Isabelle pees on the potty usually twice a day, when she gets up in the morning and when she gets up from her nap. Other than that she piddles on the carpet like a puppy about three times EVERY day when she has underwear on...and poops regularly in them too! Even when I am asking her every 15 minutes, "Isabelle, do you have to go potty?" We haven't made the connect quite yet.

Oh well. She still thinks these panties are the bomb and acts like a rock star when she has them on!!

An Unexpected Christmas Gift

Last weekend we met my parents halfway between our two houses to pick up my Grandma so she could come and spend a couple of days with us.

Anyway, we were at a Cracker Barrel having dinner. Toward the end of dinner we were all running in and out of the restaurant to the store portion with Isabelle to entertain her at our rather long dinner. While she was out in the store, she spotted a big plush rocking horse. Isabelle is really into horses these days. Everywhere we go she asks, “We go see horses?”

So while she is looking at this beautiful rocking horse that neighs and moves it’s head and makes clip clop sounds a family comes up and starts looking at Isabelle. “She is so cute.” Thank you, replies Oma. The adult son pulls out the horse for Isabelle to get on and ride, as Conrad thinks, “Oh no, now we are going to have to pull her off of this thing kicking and screaming when we go.” But he smiles politely at the stranger who is down talking to Isabelle as she rocks.

Soon the stranger’s mother comes up and comments on how beautiful Isabelle is. They stay talking to her and watching her as Isabelle is just rocking hard and fast. Soon my dad comes into the restaurant where I am with Grace and says, “That lady says she is going to buy Isabelle that rocking horse.” I said, “Seriously? No. Tell her no thank you.” I thought he was joking.

To make a long story short: A complete stranger bought Isabelle a rather expensive rocking horse! She wouldn’t take no for an answer. She said it made her Christmas. We laughed and talked about that for the next few days. It made our Christmas too!

We are thinking of putting Isabelle outside of wal-mart to collect for the salvation army soon.

Friday, December 05, 2008

God Bless Grace

This last weekend we also had Grace's baby dedication at my Mom and Dad's church. Since most of our family lives up north, it's so much more meaningful to have it there. Not to mention, it's very important to us to have my Dad to the dedication and "blessing." Afterwards we had brunch and cake at a local joint. Grace smiled like the little charmer that she is and slept fitfully through brunch.

Isabelle was a total ham. She had on a new little pink dress we got her for Christmas. The moment she first saw the dress she said, "oooh costume." I guess you can see how often we dress this child up. About 2 minutes into sunday, she ripped a big hole in the new tights she had on. What can you do?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

As usual, we went to my parents for Thanksgiving. They are rather lucky in the respect that they don't have to share us for most holidays, as Conrad's family lives on the other side of the world. But of course, this is not lucky for us or for our girls, as another set of Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles around on a regular basis would add immensly to thier lives!

Maybe not everyone feels this way...family relationships can be difficult at worst and complicatedm at best, but in my opionion: worth it. No one loves your children like your parents. And as children grow up, it seems like Grandparents have insight and maybe distance that allows them to be hubs of wisdom for our kids. Yes, I guess I feel pretty blessed to have grown up with all four of my grandparents close by. Not to mention all of the wonderful aunts and uncles who were like parents to Jona and I.

Okay, I guess that was my thanksgiving thankfulness paragraph! Back to the post at hand. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we even trimmed our Christmas tree the weekend before since we are always out of town that weekend. Isabelle is having a hard time keeping straight all of the holidays she has lately been experiencing, so she currently calls the Christmas Tree her "Trick Or Tree."

My Favorite Bevarage

The other day I ordered my favorite Iced Carmel Macchiato, Fat free, sugar free (skinny) but then, because I'm trying to keep the caffine to a minimum for Grace, ordered it Decaf. In a few minutes my order came up. The girl called out, "Iced Carmel Macchiato. No fun."

The Life of a SAHM

I've seen many of my friends writing about disciplining thier children lately, mostly small children. I guess by the time they are teenagers, this stuff is old hat, or the offenses are so bad, you don't want to write about it for fear it may be held against them in a court of law ;)

We are no different here in the Michael house. It seems like we have hourly confrontations with Isabelle. Granted, she's 2. They do call that terrible, don't they? But it seems like discipline should be much easier now when I can simply pick her up and make her mind, than when she's, say, 13.

I'm getting used to the whole new ball game of being home with the kids...and having more than one...all at the same time. Nap time everyday is our battle ground. It has been taking me about an hour to an hour and a half to get Isabelle to sleep. This is no simple she gets up, I put her down. This is crying, throwing fits, spanking, putting her down, defiance, in no particular order. Repeat process.

Who knows if I'm doing the right thing? I am just praying, "Lord, teach me how to raise her up in the way she should go." Or more like CRYING out to God, as I stand outside of the room and wait for her to come out the next time...and nursing Grace all at the same time!

Let me tell ya...going to work....A LOT less work than this!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Hooter What?

When I was expecting Isabelle I asked my mom friends for a recommendations of thier favorite products before I registered. I got such great tips (thanks Christy!)that I wanted to pass along my favorite new product.

We were at the play area at our local mall, our usual winter haunt, and I was struggling to feed Grace while maintaining my modesty with a recieving blanket. That's when I noticed this mom across the way with this spiffy apron looking thing around her neck nursing her squirmy toodler successfully. It even had a piece of boning in the collar so you can look down under the cover to see the baby as she nurses.

So I went over and asked her where she got it. After I got the skinny, I immediately went to ebay and bought me a Hooter Hider! It's such a clever invention, I wish I would have thought of it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Many Faces of Grace

Grace is such a beautiful baby...of course, I may be a little biased in my opinions. Often during the first month of her life she had a worried expression on her face. I'm not sure if it's just her facial features or what, but I was beginning to be worried that she wasn't such a happy camper. But now she seems much more content and versitile in her expressions!

By the way, we took Grace to the doctor this week and she was 9 pounds 2 ounces! She's gained two pounds in the last month! Yeah for breastfeeding! And, pray for ME if you think of it, this week is our first week Daddy is back at work and I am home with the girls. So far so good. We had a little bit of a rough nap time on Wednesday, but other than that, not so bad!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Isabelle's Honey

Lately,I am on the couch a lot nursing Grace while I ask Conrad to get me things, "Honey, Can you hand me Grace's burp cloth?" Isabelle has become extremely fluent and parrott-y these days, mimicks what I say, "Honey, hand me burp cloth?" So much so that she has taken to calling her dad Honey. We didn't notice that she had made the name her own until she handed Conrad something with a casual, "Here ya go, Honey."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rocky Top Tennessee

Today we got back from a very cool mini vacation with my Grandma and my parents to Gatlinburg, TN. We got a very very nice cabin for a few nights and just relaxed. My parents had to work hard to make the time frame work, but we are so glad that they did, because vacation wouldn't be vacation without them...or THREE extra sets of hands to help with the kids so mommy and daddy could take a nap or enjoy the hot tub! It was really relaxing and just a little extravagant!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It's my Potty

Conrad gets up each morning with Isabelle and puts her on the potty in hopes of potty training her. Me? I'm asleep with Grace..or more appropriately, usually JUST went to sleep with Grace. That's our arrangment: I pull the all nighters and he does the potty training :) Since I'm nursing, there's really no choice there, I guess!

This is Isabelle holding her Jelly Beans, which she gets to choose one if she goes potty. Anyone else have any tips on Potty Training? I haven't had the chance to read any PT books...so we have NO CLUE what we are doing or if we are doing it right?!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Halloween 08

Sorry it's taken me so long to catch up, we've had computer issues...sheesh. We had a great halloween last week. Isabelle was a butterfly and was totally groovin' with the candy collecting and passing out. She said "trick or treat" and "thank you" like an old pro. We made it down two streets when she started saying "feet hurting mama" because of her costume slippers and "Pants falling down" Referring to her too small tights she had on with her costume that were sliding down. And every woman reading this knows the pain of that feeling, so we headed home. And Grace enjoyed her first Halloween in her Sling riding on Mama.

That day she also had a Halloween party at school where all the kids dressed up and paraded room to room...remember those days at school? We kept the candy collection to what could fit into her small pumpkin basket, and of course, I have been eating it more than her!!