Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bakin' Babies

BEFORE the unfortunate foot incident I managed to bake a few dozen cookies. I had planned on baking more and even have a fridge full of butter to prove it! After I broke my foot, I decided some things had to go and cookie baking didn't make the cut. So sorry, Butter, old friend. Know that you will always hold a special place in the Michael family mixer.

One of the things I always pictured doing when I had children was baking with them. Boys...girls..what kid wouldn't love getting dirty in the kitchen and making sweets?? And my kids DO love it. I have had Isabelle helping me for a couple of years at whatever capacity she can. And she can do a lot, actually. She can crack eggs, add ingrediants measured into cups. Now she can help roll out dough, use cookie cutters, and of course, add decorations. We usually all end up a bit covered in whatever, but the time together is usually worth the effort!

This year Grace got into the fun. She climbs up into a chair and her head just peeks up above the island. When she thinks I'm not looking, she quickly reaches her little hand up and grabs a hunk of just rolled out dough with her fingers and shoves it into her mouth. It was so funny, I couldn't reprimand her at all that evening! She thought she was being so sly!

But as you can see from the pictures, we were all covered in flour! More priceless memories!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Payne-Full Christmas

Last weekend was our annual Payne Christmas party. It was really nice to be with family. Conrad was working (as usual this year!) and couldn't be there, but we had fun anyway!

Isabelle and my cousin Shannon's little guy, Eian, are the best of pals. They run around like a slightly younger version of Lord of the Flies when they are together. Eian calls her, "My fwend, Isabelle." They hovered around the Christmas tree expectantly together. Teased the dog, ransacked teenage Jenna's room, and sat on the stairs eating chips and "having a tea party" as Isabelle would later tell me. They have deep theological discussions on the evil-ness of coyotes (a continuous and looming topic for both of them) and they even have little fights.

Grace, on the other hand, was my ever present pleasant precious youngest. She was beautiful and sweet and won the hearts of everyone by smiling, liberally passing out kisses, and planting her little self in family members laps to help open gifts. Of course, she always returned to her favorite spot throughout the day. With Momma, you ask? No, on Granny's lap!

On a sad note, my Grandma Margie's best friend for years and years passed away, unexpectedly on Saturday. Phyllis has been a life long friend to Grandma and although the day was fun, we all felt Grandma's loss and mourned with the Meeker family! You will be missed Phyllis!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just Me and My Scooter

As some of you may have heard, I broke my foot the weekend before last. I wasn't doing anything really, just unloading the car and broke my fifth metatarsal. I am currently in an air caste and as of Friday, I can actually walk on the caste, without crutches.

My kids went and staying with my mom and Grandma for a few days. Isabelle said, "Mommy, you left us there a long time." Break my heart! It was a terrible time to break my foot, with the holidays and with Conrad working all the time at our seasonal store at the mall. I was home alone missing the kids and just being sad. So, by Wednesday I decided it was time to go back to work. I rented one of those nifty scooters and ride it around my office building like a kid on a skate board. It attracts a lot of attention and an occasional mocker!

Can I just say, thank God for America!? Thank God for these totally great inventions, like knee scooters, thank God for handicapped ramps, and handicapped electronic door openers, and for stores that have those little electronic carts for handicapped customers! Thank God for America!! I have a new found respect for all a physically challenged person goes through in a day!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Last night was Isabelle's first ballet performance. We were wondering how Isabelle was going to do considering how many sessions she's missed...or how all of the girls would do considering...well...they're three! Totally worth all of the drama! Keep watching a minute or so in when Isabelle stops dancing and starts yelling to Daddy in the back. Daddy wouldn't respond, so she yelled louder! I was laughing and shaking so hard I could hardly hold the camera still.

Ballet Classes=$65. Costume=$40. Getting America's Funniest Home Video-worthy footage: Priceless.
Isabelle is on the far right

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Naked Face...

After nearly five years of marriage, Conrad woke up this morning and accidentally shaved his gotee. I have never seen his naked face, except in old pictures. Isabelle said, "Daddy, where's your chin?"

I have to say, he's still the most handsome man in Asia and America! What do you think?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Current Isabellisms

Mommy: Isabelle, what day is it today?/What day do you have ballet?/When is preschool?
Isabelle: Friderday

Mommy: What time is it? (anytime you ask this)
Isabelle: Sixty O Clock

Mommy: Isabelle, what do you want for Christmas?
Isabelle: A puter. I really want my own puter (read: COMputer)

Mommy: Do you want to watch a show, Isabelle? What show?
Isabelle: The one about the Saurases (read: DINOsaur's, Dinosaur Train!)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Fall Heard Around the World

Before I jump in, I wanted to share that Isabelle and I did our first Operation Christmas Child! It was fun to go the store with her and choose things to give to someone else, someone she didn't know. She didn't REALLY get it, and some of the gifts I had to pry out of her still sleeping hands, but fun, never-the-less!

We wrote a letter to our little friend and sent her a picture of our family, and even prayed over the box before we sent it out. This is real meaning of Christmas anyway, right??

And on another note, Grace's little boo boo on her forehead from the unfortunate fall is healing nicely. There was kind of a delayed reaction around the world from the incident. I posted a picture of her a week or so ago, Conrad's cousin, Susanna read it on line, came home and told her Aunt, her Aunt called her Sister, Conrad's Mom and told her Grace got SEVEN stitches (emphisis on SEVEN!!)! We got an urgent call in what must have been the middle of the night (In India) about Grace's well-being. Not long after that a call was made to the Middle East from India relaying the same information (Grace got SEVEN Stitches), and we got another urgent call from Dubai wondering what in the world was going on and how was Grace!?

It was a little late, and all of the drama had passed, the stiches were out and Grace was like, "Wha? What fall?" But boy did Conrad and I get in trouble for letting our little angel fall!...I'm glad they don't see the girls acrobatic stunts off the couch or kitchen chairs ( not pass this information along...or we might have a worried Indian grandmother show up in Ohio in the middle of winter to supervise our parenting techniques! ;)

We thought it was funny the opposite response we got from my side of the family. Something along the lines of "Ohhhh poor baby. Well, if it didn't kill her, it'll make her stronger." Cultural differences are such blog worthy stories!