Since The Hubby has been gone, my evenings consist of cleaning up Isabella's aftermath, scarfing down some dinner, showering and then collapsing in exhaustion. So needless to say, my crafting urge has been put on the back burner for more important urges...such as eating and sleeping. But tonight when I was supposed to be doing the pile of laundry that has been looming over me ( my laundry room doubles as my craft room ) I found myself getting distracted by an old shadow box I bought almost a year ago, and a bauble my friend from Japan sent me. Before I knew it an hour had passed. My laundry was still smelly and dirty, but I had a nice pink trifle to hang in some empty corner, this picture doesn't do it justice, but my camera needs to be charged and I had to take what I could get. Notice the Military Housing White walls in the background? ICK! I can't wait for Tyler to get home so he can help me paint!
Below you will see Isabella's new Jeep. I have been longing for a jogging stroller ever since my six weeks of recovery after she was born, and now, thanks to a Memorial day sale at K-Mart I have a beautiful specimen. Now I can be one of those mommies I have been rather covetous of, jogging through the neighborhood with my baby's hair blowing in the wind...Ok, so after 5 minutes my kneecaps felt like they were going to explode and I wanted to double over on the side walk...I'll get there! turns out, a jogging stroller also works great when you're walking too :)
Also note the nastiest looking batch of chocolate chip cookies you will possibly ever see. Now while I pride myself on my cupcake-baking ability, and my peanut butter cookies have the power to bring my husband to his knees...the all American staple of chocolate chip cookies has been the bane of my existence since my baking days began. MamaJo's "chemically the same" comes into play here. I'm still eating them, and they still taste alright, as long as I don't look at them.
Childproofing. Every room. Every drawer.
Do you like my door knob covers? My friend from Japan sent them to me! It was love at first sight. They are so cute and they appeal to my pink fetish. Also, they make it difficult to open a door and they are near impossible for little hands to rip off the knobs.
This evening at my bible study Isabella made it known to the group that she was tired and did NOT want to be there. Towards the end, she started to get inconsolable and after she walked up to me with tears in her eyes and laid her head on my leg I knew it was time to pack up and go home early. After we got home I fed her a quick dinner, that in the frenzy of her temper, ended up on the floor. So then it was off to the bath and then to bed. She enjoys "helping" at bath time, so while the water is running I usually let her put her toys in one by one. I turned my back for two seconds to grab a washcloth from the sink that is RIGHT BY the bath tub, and when I turned back around...well I guess she was really impatient for her bath, because she had already climbed right on in with her clothes still on! I wasn't even aware that she knew how to get into the bath tub on her own! Luckily, the camera was right there and I was able to capture her while she was still looking sheepish.
Obviously she thought it was hilarious to see me panicking over the fact that in a matter of mere seconds she could climb right in. After I calmed down a bit and undressed her she couldn't quit laughing at me any time I looked in her direction.
It seems like lately all of my pictures of Bella have been of her in her highchair. Probably because that is the only place I can seem to catch her in one place. Photographing has proven to be somewhat of a hassle since the first steps were taken. As you can see, she's enjoying some tasty peas. Those sandals on her feet were a quick find at the NEX so that she would have something that fit her until her Keds come in. Apparently Hawaii does not believe in Strideright or any other type of childrens shoe stores. Lately she has been making a such fuss every time we go out for me to let her down so that she can walk, only problem is, I have been having a time finding shoes in her little size, and wouldn't you know it, now that I have found her some shoes...the little boogar refuses to walk in them, those chubby legs will just buckle under her and she will take those sandals right off. What's a mommy to do?! I know she CAN walk in them...I caught her taking awkward duck-like steps around the kitchen...it was hilarious. Perhaps my loud guffawing at her expense has given her a complex, I did receive a rather nasty and scathing look. Yes at 11 months she has perfected the art of a stink-eye. It can only go down-hill from here...sigh. This lovely ensemble is curtesy of Grandma Newman! thank you Grandma Newman for the wonderful gift! We had great fun spending it all at Gymboree :) Oh Gymboree....how I love thee...
So the past few days have been crazy. Yes, Crazy is the perfect description. My daughter is walking...literally walking! and with those little clumsy steps has also come a completely different child. I'm still a little befuddled as to where my good natured little baby went. We're talking more tantrums, an even more evident independent spirit, bruises, tears and brief, red-faced grocery shopping trips. I was so naive. I really miss my husband.
All this aside, she's still the joy of my life...and while she may send me sprinting out of the grocery store as she's arching her back, screaming the gospel, pulling my hair and ripping my shirt, I live through it so that I can have those little baby arms wrapped around my neck at the end of the day as I carry her up to bed.
I love Saturday evenings. After Isabella goes to bed I begin my usual ritual of picking up her toys, following her little baby trails of cheerios, bits of paper and small toys she's carried around, and then I clean up the rest of the house making sure everything is in order for our Sunday morning. Then I iron her little dress, careful that every crease is perfect and crisp. You may wonder why I bother, seeing as between the car seat, and then the nursery, it will be a mottled mess of wrinkles and baby slobber by the time it's all said and done. But for some reason it is extremely important to me that every last detail is perfect on Sunday morning. Since she's walking now I'm finding myself a little bit more weepy, I rather feel like I'm losing my baby...and while ironing her teeny tiny little pleats and hems, then laying out her little bows and shoes I can't help but fast forward to the day where Sundays are in uproar as she chooses her own outfits and doesn't want my input on anything...and then to the day when like me, she can't seem to make any decisions without picking up the phone to "ask mom" It's so hard for me to believe that nearly 22 years ago my own mom was ironing my little smocked Sunday dresses, and was most likely thinking these exact thoughts.
When I'm getting Isabella ready on Sunday mornings I'm flooded with memories of my own childhood, when on Sunday mornings there was my mom, sitting in a chair in the living room, comb in one hand, squirt bottle in the other, a line of three beautifully dressed, yet bleary eyed girls complete with bed-head, waiting for our mom to braid, comb, part and hair-bow us to perfection. I remember doing my fair share of grumbling over my crisp smocked collar that was scratchy, and my itchy tights that "spaced" between the legs. But my mom, ever long suffering, would sigh and say "You should always look your best when you go to church on Sunday"
That is why it is so important to me...a couple of decades later, while ironing a tiny little frock, I realized with a jolt that I'm passing my parent's family values to my own child, though she doesn't know it yet. She will one day...those eyes will open up wide and she'll realize just how much her momma and daddy taught her just by being the good parents they were. You just can't put that type of grateful into words.
Today was a great day for me! from start to finish it has been non stop and full of pleasant surprises...the best surprise of all was when I woke up early this morning, I had just stepped out of the shower when my cell phone rang, my very dear friend from Japan who wasn't supposed to arrive until 8:20 pm this evening had touched down early! So I scurried around to go pick her up and then it was off to the clinic to get Isabella's shots. She handled it like a champ! my little girl is such a sturdy soul! she gets that from me :)
When we got home from the Clinic there were boxes waiting for me in my mailbox, and a box to arrive at my doorstep! In the mailbox were one box of cutesy spring time lovelies I had ordered myself, and a box from my mom and dad! and then later in the day my long awaited sewing machine arrived! I am so excited! it's hard to contain myself I just want to tear into the box and start sewing...My mom and dad sent me the most awesome sewing book in the world, it has all of these wonderful and easy patterns in it for projects to make for your home. My personal favorite is the Cafe Apron with the pocket...can't wait to make that in something, lets say...polka dotted? oh yes please! Mom also sent me a few scraps from her coveted rag bag and ooh boy oh boy! my mom has one spiffy rag bag, I LOVE pilfering through it whenever I go home. So many little pieces of of eye candy for me to annex for my own collection :)
Over the past couple of days I have received so many beautiful cards from my dear friends...I have some wonderful friends. I also received a pot of daisies, my favorite! my friends know me so well that they bought me flowers I could plant.
My friend from Japan arrived with this sweet little shopping cart cram packed full of Japanese goodies, in it were all kinds of little sweets such as, stationary, note pads, hankies, and little dangley things for my key chain and cell phone! I love the little shopping cart it all came in...and I'm hoping that one day, a certain little red headed girl will want me to give it to her to play with her dolls with :)
Isabella gave me the best Mother's day present I could have ever asked for!
She wasn't too happy about it as you can see, but I was overjoyed tonight when Isabella took her first steps! My friend's facial expressions in the background crack me up, we were all so amazed when she started taking not one, not two, but three, four and five steps at a time! I'm on the phone with Tyler trying to include him in the excitement and joy.
One of the girls out of my bible study group had a birthday today! So a few of us got ourselves all gussied up and went to downtown Waikiki to a beautiful Chinese restaraunt. You can't tell in the picture, but it was all over the ocean. Cruise ships were pulling into port and the sun was setting in the background...it was beautiful! The food was amazing, and we each ordered something different then shared. As it turns out Lauren is very fluent in both Mandarin and Chinese, she carried on conversations with our waiter, I was so impressed! it was a lot of fun to hear her speaking in their language. Lauren, the birthday girl, is the one sitting to the right of me.
We all felt so fancy and grown up without our children with us, we had high heels on and I carried an actual purse! I felt very ritzy when I got to valet park my car :) it was absolutely amazing to sit and eat a meal and actually get to taste it.
I left Isabella with a babysitter for the first time tonight! I met this girl in my bible study. Her dad's in the Army and she's lived here with her family for most of her life and attends college on the Island. She is so sweet and patient and gentle, I really like her. I feel like I hit the lottery to find such an awesome babysitter, I'm definitely keeping her number! Isabella did really well until the end when she woke up and realized I was still gone, I ate my cake in one bite and then gunned my engine home to my angry little darling...she tearfully held her arms out for me and nestled her head into my shoulder, rubbing snot all into my nice black top, then fell right back to sleep :)...It was so much fun to go out with the girls...but oh so much better to come home and be needed.
I met another young mom at my bible study on Wednesday, as it turns out, we live right across the street from each other! so we decided to plan a play date. We took a walk and then stopped off at a little playground near our house. She taught me how to put two babies in the swing at a time! I had no idea. Her little boy is 6 months old and is as sweet and good natured as can be. Isabella was completely besotted by him and couldn't quit resting her head on his back and patting his face. At one point she was giving him kisses until he pushed her away. He took her overwhelming personality in stride, smiling and giggling the whole time. While the kiddies were swinging, his mom and I sat and chatted about mommy things, it was a great evening!
My weekly mortification? I was sweaty from the park and very dirty, having just decided that the garbage needed taking out, the floors needed mopping and that Isabella and I should share some chocolate pudding. My doorbell rang. Expecting it to be one of my girlfriends dropping by for a visit I opened it wide and with the baby on my hip and chocolate pudding smeared on my clothes and in my sweaty hair I stared into the rather shocked eyes of a beautiful and classy looking blond lady. Oh dear! it was one of the Pastor's wives from my church! she had brought me cookies and was dropping by to tell me how happy they were that I had chosen their church as my family! I was touched by the gesture...but slightly embarrassed. After the door closed behind her Isabella looked at me, and with her pudding stained clothes and pudding encrusted hair, she gave me a big smile and then giggled trowing her hands up in the air as if to say "What can ya do mom?"
I ate every single one of those cookies, that's what I did.
Isabella loves to be silly, she likes to laugh and anytime you laugh at something she does, she hams it up and has to do it even more until she wears out the joke. I was getting her dressed yesterday, or rather, I was TRYING to get her dressed, when she ran away from me in nothing but her bloomers! I started laughing at her and she was so pleased with herself that she began crawling in circles making silly noises. What a little ham!
Well these were waiting in my inbox this morning. Just thought I would share for all of his family to see :) Tyler is currently in Alaska and while he says it is absolutely beautiful there...what he was most excited about was the pink moose he bought for Isabella. That's when you know you're a good daddy. You're out on an adventure seeing the world and the first thing you do is find somewhere to buy pink things for your little girl. What a guy I have!
Last night when I was at a cook-out at my friends house Isabella showed me her new trick that I had no idea she had learned! We were all sitting in the living room when Isabella, who was crawling around getting into anything and everything, picked up my friend's TV remote control and held it up to her ear like a telephone, she smiled really big and goes "Hi!" with that sweet little baby voice and a southeren drawl ( don't know where she gets that from :-P ) I just about kissed her to death! I'm trying very hard to get a picture of her while she's on the phone with Tyler but so far that's proven to be quite a task!
The last couple of days have been blissfully hectic. I'm marking off the days on my Calender until homecoming which is drawing nearer and nearer! Tyler is currently in Alaska and I can just feel this deployment coming to an end! I think Isabella can too, she's been unusually fractious these days but gets as still and quite as a mouse when Tyler is talking to her on the phone.
Ever since Tyler left in January I've been trying to paint the bedroom...but currently it is still Military Housing White ugh!...it is the most horrendous color, or rather, absence of color. I did however tape the walls today and I vow to paint tomorrow evening no matter how beautiful the weather is or how much the beach beckons me. I finally decided on a color for my kitchen, it's by Valspar and it is called Minnow's Eye it is a beautiful light blue green and it will look awesome with my pink and white theme, I got the paint color out of this month's Issue of Better Homes and Gardens. As for my living room, I have vaulted ceilings and will have to rent extra tall ladders... so that waits for the ol hubby, but I have chosen Martha Stewart's butter yellow which will coordinate perfectly with the kitchen. I'm so excited to finally be nesting into a house that I will be in for longer than 6 months!!! this is very huge for me, since Tyler and I got married almost 3 years ago we have not been in a home for longer than 8 months.
Mother's Day is next week!!! so what shall I give my mother? ironically enough that was the name of my most favorite children's book growing up, it was about a little gray kitten that wanted to give his mommy a present but didn't know what to give, so he ended up just giving her love :) I have something very very special in mind for my mom this year! I'm so excited! the idea came to me this evening when Isabella and I were on our walk. I really have the most wonderful parents in the world They do so much for me and they have successfully created the most amazing sense of family and home and set the standard for how I want to raise my own family. Nothing short of the best will do for either one of them.
As for MY Mother's day? well, I don't want to be smug or anything....but my hubby ordered me a shiny new sewing machine!!!!!!!!! it will be delivered right to my door by next week!!!!!!!!! I'm positively twitching with excitement. I didn't even have to hint! he did it all on his little own.
I feel so full of blessings tonight that I just might pop! What a wonderful way to end a day :)
What a busy day Isabella and I had today! The house is all clean and shiny, the neighborhood is asleep, all is peaceful and I'm sitting here getting ready to go to bed, when a thought struck me...right about now my dad is getting up to go to work. This time difference still boggles my mind.
On another note, Isabella and I have been attending a church near our neighborhood and I have to say I'm really loving it. We had a dramatic experience Isabella's first time going into the nursery but after some shirt-stretching clinging, shedding of tears on both sides, and some desperate reaching of baby arms, I was torn away by my good friend and forced to sit through the service...and you know what? Isabella was as happy as could be when I went to pick her up afterwards! now she willingly goes into the nursery with no tears. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me!
A few moms took one look at the stretched out neck of my shirt, my smeared eye make-up, and my nursery bracelet with my number on it, and they gave me a sympathetic smile and a nod, and some even a wordless pat on the arm. I think it was harder on me than it was on Bella, but I told myself later on that the chocolate ice cream was for her...as I ate every bite.
Here are a few pictures from yesterdays milk and toast time, one of her favorite snacks now! I'm so pleased that she has finally gone to the sippie cup, It wasn't easy, and sometimes on bad nights she still wants a bottle, but for the most part we're bottle free! Hooray!