Monday, July 28, 2008

A Career in Flower Arranging Perhaps?

Isabel certainly seems to have a knack for arranging flowers. She very artfully added this magazine insert to the bouquet on the three season porch. I think it's much improved, don't you?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Say Cheese!

Isabel seems to be very proud of all of her new teeth. When we ask her to smile, she does this:

Friday, July 18, 2008


My dear friend Jeff sent this to me the other day. I thought it was well worth sharing.

George Carlin's Views on Aging
Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

"How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens. Now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life. You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now; you're just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes. It's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay "them."

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop" And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them at every opportunity.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Grandma Sandy's Beans...Mmmmmmmm

At her birthday party on June 21, Isabel refused to eat Grandma Sandy's marvelous baked beans. She used to turn her nose up at applesauce too, but now that she is mostly feeding herself she scarfs it down. Tonight, I thought I'd try the beans again to see if they taste better to her when she's spooning them in herself. I thawed some out and set her loose with the spoon. As you can see from the photos above, she now loooooooooves Grandma's baked beans. Oh, and we followed up the beans with what else but applesauce! As you can also see, mealtime has become a rather messy affair, but it sure is fun.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Solution to the Hair Dilemma

All women know it is difficult to grow out one's hair. Believe me, it is even more difficult to grow out a one year old's hair. Currently, Isabel has bangs. I don't want her to have bangs. I want her hair to all eventually be one length. If I cut her bangs, we'll have to grow them out later, so I figure we'll just suffer through it now. Here's the dilemma. Her bangs now cover her eyes, so we have to do something to keep the hair from blocking her vision. That's why somebody smart invented barrettes, right? Well, barrettes are fine and good if the wearer will leave them IN her hair. Isabel has been perfectly content to wear barrettes until yesterday. Now, she yanks one out just as fast as I can get it in. Then, it usually finds its way directly to her mouth. No good. I always wondered why mothers put their daughters' hair up in a mini pony-tail on top of their heads. I thought it was kind of goofy looking...until I figured out that it's the only viable solution I have right now to keep Isabel's hair out of her eyes. She touches the Pebbles ponytail but can't get the rubber band out. Dilemma solved.

Isabel Discovers the Kitchen

If you have been to our house, you know that you must go down one step either from the hallway or the kitchen to enter the family room. For nine weeks now, we have been able to successfully contain Isabel in the family room proper because she could not get over the step. Well, all of that changed today. She has learned how to heave herself over the step and into the kitchen. She begins by propping her arms up on the step. Then she lifts as much of her torso as she can onto the step and lies flat on the wood floor, face down. Then she stretches her right leg out to the side practically perpendicular to the rest of her body and props it up precariously on the step. Then she is able to use her arms to haul the rest of her body up and over. She is so proud and happy when she finds herself on the wood floor of the kitchen that she will do two or three "sit and spins" to celebrate. Then she heads directly for the cat food.

...And It Is All We Have.

When I decided to start a new blog, I spent a lot of time thinking about what to call it. As an English teacher and a lover of literature, I immediately called up some of the words that have inspired me over the years. One of my favorite quotes comes from Natalie Goldberg. "Each moment is enormous, and it is all we have."

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a "carpe diem," sieze the day, kind of girl. If I had to choose whether I lived in the past, the present or the future, I would have to say that up until recently, I was always a resident of the future. I am a planner by nature, and if it's Tuesday, I am thinking ahead to Friday. If it's 10:00 a.m., I am already looking forward to the p.m. hours. Planning for the future isn't necessarily a bad thing unless it prevents one from being present in the moment and enjoying the here and now. Of that I have been guilty. That's one of the reasons, one of the many reasons, it was a very good thing I married Richard. He is much better at taking advantage of the present than I am, and over the last several years, he has coaxed me into being more spontaneous, certainly a positive although sometimes painful change.

Recent changes in our lives, namely the arrival of our daughter Isabel, have pushed me even more to live in the now. I want to soak up every moment with her and revel in it. I don't want to miss a word, a gesture, a facial expression because I wasn't paying attention. Instead of planning for my week, I now view life in three hour chunks, and I spend a lot less time worrying about what is going to get done and when because really, a lot of the stuff that I used to agonize over just doesn't matter in the bigger scheme. Oh, I still write appointments down on my calendar. And yes, we are starting a 529 College Fund for Isabel because you can't completely disregard the future. And of course I can't help but think about how much longer we will have to wait for our second daughter, Madeleine, to come home. Old habits die hard, so I do still find myself fretting about tomorrow sometimes, but I'm really trying, and you know what? I think I'm happier. Yeah, I really think I am.