Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Things

I've done something similar to this before. I think Tasha tagged me once with "10 Things." Anyway, someone on Facebook tagged me, and I thought it would be fun to post this here, too. I'll go ahead and tag Tasha, Shelly and Stephanie. I know these ladies have beau coups of free time in which they love to spout off random nonsense about themselves. Ladies, you can thank me later. I prefer chocolate chip cookies to greeting cards.

1. I can't tell time. Not well, anyway. It takes a while.
2. I have one tattoo, but I want more. LOTS more. Just working up my nerve...
3. I think about changing careers every other day. Some days, I want to be a nurse. Others, I want to own a retail business. Mostly, I wish I could be a SAHM.
4. I have no inherent artistic ability. As a kid I painted, and I did theatre throughout high school, but I worked really, really hard at them. The only thing that has ever come naturally to me is writing.
5. I want at least four kids. I want to birth one more and adopt two. I decided this last week.
6. Kristi, if I ever have a baby girl, I will name her Esme. I love that name. And, how cute is this: Esme and Isaac. So cute.
7. I feel much, much older than I am.
8. I hate test driving cars. I get really, really nervous. I always think the sales person is cringing at what an awful driver I am.
9. I have a horrible memory, especially when it comes to remembering people I've met. I'm always that person going, "I know you from somewhere, but I can't remember where..."
10. Thus, if ever I'm meeting someone for the second or third time, I feel it completely necessary to reintroduce myself as though we've never met. I assume that no one remembers me, either. I've noticed that people find this sort of weird.
11. The only foods I don't like are beans, olives and Brussels sprouts. I'll eat anything else.
12. I don't know how to behave around people who are timid and soft-spoken. It's weird to me. I don't know how to handle them. I think it's because they usually don't get my biting, sarcastic sense of humor.
13. I HATE knick knacks. I hate cute, decorative crap. If it doesn't serve a purpose, I get rid of it.
14. I love books. They're probably the things I "collect." I don't like borrowing books from the library because I like to be able to bend the spine, fold the pages and write all over them. I think people who don't bend the spines of their books are WEIRDOS (yeah, Natasha, I'm totally talking to you).
15. I love to cook, although I don't have much time for it with a nine-month-old.
16. I used to be fluent in German and American Sign Language. I doubt I could even carry on a conversation in either now.
17. I want desperately to travel to Germany.
18. I'm extremely bothered by people who walk, speak or drive slowly.
19. I love to grocery shop. A trip to stock the pantry will take me at least two hours because I read every label.
20. I hate clothes shopping.
21. I know nothing about music.
22. I don't have an iPod and have no idea how iTunes works, even though it's on my computer and more than one person has tried to explain it to me.
23. I'm always cold, even in the summer.
24. I still waddle, a side effect of my pregnancy that I haven't been able to shake. I think maybe I waddled before I got pregnant.
25. I have to go to the bathroom. Now and frequently.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wear your baby before he's old enough to wriggle!

So, I was perusing the sites nominated for an Okie Blog Award, when I stumbled upon Emery Jo's moms are for everyone!. She's nominated for Best Family Blog, and I right away fell in love with her blog. She just had her second son (an amazing birth story), and her laid back, organic approach to parenting is very appealing to me.

(I also liked this site, nominated for Best Writing, written by an attachment parenting-minded mama. And, my good friend Natasha was nominated twice for Best Culture Blog. Check out Tasha Does Tulsa and My Life as Told by Food. If you blog in Oklahoma, you're eligible to vote for these awards, so do it.)

So, anyway, I'm perusing moms are for everyone!, and I notice a post in which Emery Jo talks about having made a sling for her newborn boy. As a new mother, I lacked any faith in myself that would prompt me to make a sling or anything else for Isaac. But I desperately wanted a ring sling. They're adjustable, so you can keep your baby as close as you want comfortably. And you can adjust the position in which you carry your baby as he grows. The thing is, I've never seen one on sale for less than $70. And I just don't have that kind of cash.

I did spring for a Zolo pouch sling, which I got at Natural Lullabies for about $50, using a 25 percent off coupon they gave me on my first visit to pick up some Motherlove herbal breastfeeding supplements. I love the sling.

It's made from organic cotton, and you can wear it about four different ways, until your kid is way too darn old to be carrying him around on your back. When Isaac was younger and less wriggly, I loved being able to wear him around the house and when I went to the store or the park or, well, anywhere. It not only allowed me to be close to my son, but it also kept my hands free to perform whatever menial tasks became necessary. Still, I often wished I had a ring sling. I'm not sure it would matter now if I did or not, because the last few times I've tried to tuck Isaac into the pouch sling (which I should, theoretically, be able to do for at least three more years), he's wriggled and writhed so much that I couldn't keep him in it.

Even so, I recently found myself scouring the Web for ring sling patterns, wanting to learn more about how to make them, on the off chance I ever get the opportunity to have another baby (please, oh please, someday). I found a couple of good sites, and I thought I'd share them here in case anyone else has need for them before I do. has a lot of patterns for various types of slings as well as links to other sites. Here, you can also buy the rings you'll need when making your own sling (they caution against buying rings from a craft store, which might not be sturdy enough to hold your baby's weight).

Also, Sling Your Baby is a blog with many different sling patterns and instructions. If you scroll down on the site, she offers some really helpful video instructions for making ring slings. The simplicity and straightforwardness of her blog make sling-making seem so simple. If I had known it could be so easy, I definitely would have made Isaac a sling nine months ago.

If anyone decides to follow any of these instructions, please let me know how your sling turns out!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I defy you, medical professionals

Today I took Isaac to the doctor for his nine-month check-up. (I know, I can't believe he's already nine months old, either. In three tiny little months, my tiny little baby will be a toddler. I'm so not ready.)

Just as the doctor and I were determining that Isaac is healthy and perfect, she asked about crawling and pulling up. I told her he's doing neither. He doesn't seem too interested in crawling and he hates tummy time. He's attempted to pull himself up once or twice, but he's never made it off his bottom. She put him on his tummy, checked out his arms and watched him push his chest off the table and said he may or may not have some upper body weakness. She's going to send us to a physical therapist to have his upper body strength assessed and find out if he needs any kind of therapy or special training, either at home or with a professional.

If he is developing poorly, it's mine and his grandparents' fault. We've never put him on his tummy as much as is recommended by those in the medical community. We'd just rather not watch him writhe and cry on the floor. I actually never thought my son would be delayed in any of his developments (what mother does?), and I'm still not convinced he actually is. I guess we'll just see what the physical therapist has to say. Until then, instead of focusing on what he can'tt do, I'm going to focus on what he can do:

1. Clap his hands. He claps when he's happy or excited or when one of the adults in his life cheers "yay, Isaac!" (which we often do).
2. Splash in the tub. I was so excited when I taught him how to do this, until I realized I'll never make it through another bath dry. Still, he gets the cutest, goofiest grin on his face every time his hands hit the water.
3. Give high-five. His Nana taught him this over the weekend.
4. Walk holding onto a grown-up's fingers. Sometimes his steps are very calculated, and other times he gets so excited that his feet just sort of spazz in the direction he wants to go.
5. Cruise along the coffee table.
6. Eat small bits of veggies and processed Gerber snacks.
7. Give hugs and kisses. The best hugs and kisses.
8. Squeal with delight.
9. Yell or "cough" to get attention.
10. Growl.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Bear with me. Changed my template, and now I've got to re-add all of my links and other fun stuff I've been accumulating for so long now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Isaac's Big Break

Last week, I got a harried call from Tiffany Bjorlie, owner of Lundeby's Eco Baby, that fantastic little Brookside shop providing green-minded moms relief from from the infinite shelves of plastic toys carried by other shops. (I love her place.)

A few weeks prior, I had told Tiffany that, if she ever needed an adorable baby model to pose in sumptuous organic clothing, holding reasonably-priced, sustainable wooden toys, well, I might know someone. She called to take me up on my offer, saying her ad for Tulsa Kids magazine was due the next day, and she needed a photo, fast. Being the laid back, cool-headed, flexible baby he is, Isaac was up for an early-morning photo shoot the next day. It was cold, and semi-snowing, but I-Man came through.

He was a little irritated by us at first--it was cold and early--but Tiffany gave him Sophie to play with, and that made him happy enough for us to get a few good photos out of him.

FYI, he did NOT enjoy riding the horse. He likes the one we have at home, but he wasn't thrilled with me trying to set him atop this one. But then, that could have been because it was early and cold and he was irritated with me anyway.

Ah, there's the smile...

I am fully aware that I now have to go back to Lundeby's and buy him Sophie. Okay, I don't have to, but I sure want to. I've already spent about half of my birthday money on him anyway, but I can't really think of anything else I'd rather spend it on...

Here's the finished ad. I'm so proud! I've been trying to get the kid on the cover of UTW since I had him. I'm still thinking about my angle. Some day, darn it, he will be on the cover. Heck, once the Tulsa Kids folks see this ad, I'm sure they'll want him for their cover, too! :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Birthing Revisited

I visited a woman in the hospital Friday who'd just had a baby. At the beginning of her pregnancy, she informed me that she planned to have a cesarean section because she worried that vaginally birthing a baby would forever destroy her nether regions. I was excited, then, to find out that she had actually birthed her son vaginally. I was more excited to hear that her doctor urged her to do so. It seems that, lately, more doctors are encouraging c-sections than they are vaginal and natural births.

Sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) when I see pregnant women, I find myself wanting another baby. I know it's crazy. I'd never be able to handle more than one on my own (it's a wonder I manage to take care of Isaac), but, eventually, I really do hope to have another baby. I'd like to birth one more and then adopt one or two. (We can talk about how crazy I am later.) But, as I held this woman's 7-pound, 15-ounce bundle of baby boy, I didn't find myself wishing I had another little one. Quite the opposite, actually. The memory of Isaac's first few weeks at home is still fresh in my mind, and the experience is not one I'm in a hurry to go through again. While I love my Little Man more than anything in the world, having a newborn was probably one of the most harrowing experiences of my life.

However, finding out about this did make me want to rush out and get pregnant again:
A local midwife and doula have opened a birthing and naturopathic center at 33rd and Peoria called The Renaissance Center. Finally, women who aren't quite up to having a home birth but don't want a hospital experience have an independent birthing center where they can give birth naturally and with minimal medical intervention. This is exactly what I wish I would have had for Isaac's birth. I'm so excited for the many women in Tulsa who will have the opportunity to birth their babies here and for what the center can accomplish in the way of educating women about the benefits of natural childbirth. I'm going to visit with the founders tomorrow for a story for TBJ and try my best to contain my excitement.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Isaac update

So, I think Isaac may have crawled tonight. We were laying in bed, and I was trying to get him to go to sleep, and, all of a sudden, he flipped over onto his belly. Normally, he hates being on his belly, and he screams and cries during tummy time. Tonight, though, he laughed and giggled and squirmed around like he might be trying to inch his way forward. I put a toy just out of arm's reach as a motivator, but instead of crawling toward it, he just flipped back and forth from his tummy to his back. Pretty soon, on his hands and knees, pushing off with his feet against the mattress, he crawled (I think)! But he didn't crawl forward, he crawled sideways, toward me. I think that counts. Right?

On Sunday, while we were at my parents' house, I was reading the newspaper, and Isaac kept grabbing for the paper. We gave him a page, and he began to rip it in halves, always discarding the half in his right hand. He kept ripping the paper over and over, until he had a piece that was just about bite-sized. He started to put it in his mouth, but I caught him and took it away from him. He started to throw one of his Isaac Fits (which he's getting really, really good at), and I held the bit of paper out to him. Instead of taking it from my hand, he opened his mouth and aimed it toward the bit of paper. Gosh, I wish I had video of that one. I'm not sure it comes across in writing quite as hilarious as it actually was. He repeated that process for about an hour, and then again tonight for about 30 minutes with some junk mail.

Oh, Brother... future Marine?

So, Brother has completed his enlistment into the Marines, a process capped off by the very precise placement of a "Proud Parent of a Marine" sticker in the back window of my parents' vehicle. I think that last maneuver is still a little premature -- the kid doesn't ship out for boot camp until May 18, and he's got until three days prior to change his mind. He's to use the next few months to lose 20 pounds; his weight is the reason for his deferred enlistment.

And even though he's got months and months to chicken out, I'm not sure he will. He seems pretty excited about his decision to join the government's most strenuous military branch. Last weekend, at my parents' house, he proudly displayed his mostly recently obtained military swag: a small tin crammed with brochures on what it means to serve in the Marines, an introductory DVD and bumper stickers. At dinner he ate a fraction of what he would have normally consumed.

So, if he goes through with it, I'll guess we'll know by boot camp whether he's cut out for military service or not. There are only two ways this thing can go: he'll either make it, or it'll break him. Who knows? Maybe he'll surprise me...

I forgot to mention two side effects of Brother's military enlistment: He now tells really off-color jokes that he has apparently learned from the various other recruits he's met at MEPS, and, on his most recent trip, he met... a girl. She was enlisting in the Army as he was completing his own enlistment. I know nothing about her except that she ships out to Basic next month. She lives nearby, though, and he's been seeing her pretty frequently. So, I guess we'll see about that, too!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Isaac's letter to his mother

My dad sent this to me a couple of weeks ago. Isaac loves the computer, and sometimes, when my dad is working, he'll put Isaac on his lap and let him pound on the keyboard for a bit. And he really does pound. The slams his fingers against the keys with something like fury, and you can see the intent in his eyes. Then he looks up at you and grins. It's the best.

Here's what Isaac had to say to his mom that day:


‘’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’ ‘

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ride that pony

Isaac forgot to show you guys one of his Christmas presents. His Grandma and Grandpa Wall got him this Radio Flyer rocking horse. It's pretty cool.

Now we have to go to town to get that baby some candy.

Right, Tasha?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Why do I keep wasting my money?

Yesterday, I bought Isaac this:
It's "Dapper Dan." Isaac has been kind of obsessed with buttons lately, so I thought he'd like it. You can button, buckle, zip and velcro about a million different things on this guy. I think he's totally fun and cool. Isaac did, too, while we were in the store.

When we got home, though, all he wanted to play with was this:
It's an advertisement that came in the mail Saturday for a new bridal shop in town.

Yup, my baby appreciates the simple things in life. He doesn't need fancy toys with buttons and buckles and zippers. Nope, he's way above that material stuff.

If I didn't love the kid so darn much, I'd swear off buying him toys altogether.

Haha. Yeah, right. We all know that's not going to happen...

But seriously, they should lock me out of every store in the city, whether it sells toys or not. Whether it sells anything kids and babies might be remotely interested in or not. Because, chances are, no matter the place, I'd find something in there Isaac just couldn't live without. And then I'd watch as he gleefully absorbed a toilet paper roll.

(P.S. Take notice of the crossed feet. I tell you, he ALWAYS sits like this. What a weirdo. Couldn't have gotten that fro his mom. Nope. No way.)

Ready, set...

On Saturday, at my parents' house, I put Isaac on the floor for a little tummy time and to encourage him to attempt crawling. I do this every day, and every day he just lays flat on his belly, his arms and legs lifted and flailing in the air, and screams.

Saturday, he did this:
He's on his hands and knees! This photo was taken later that same day, when I put him down on the floor again to see if he would stay on his hands and knees or if that one time was just a fluke. Nope, folks, the Little Man is gettin' ready to crawl!

Or, something...
He's just not quite sure where to go from here. And, as you can see, the frustration is mounting...

And here comes the screaming. He'd had enough. Right after I snapped this photo, I, of course, rescued him from the horrible situation in which I'd put him. Poor baby. At least we know that he won't be the last baby on earth to crawl. Not that it's really that big of a deal. I know I kind of make it seem like one here, but I'm really not that worried about him crawling and walking. I know he will when he's ready. And I'm sure I'll meet that moment with a combination of pride and dismay. And I'll regret that I ever wished for him to be mobile.

We spent a lot of time Sunday at John's, and I started thinking about how, this month, Isaac will be nine months old, and only three months after that, he'll be a year old! It wasn't long before I was whining to my son's father, "I can't believe Isaac is almost a year old! I'm not ready for my baby to grow up!"

He somewhat brought me back down to reality, reminding me that Isaac just turned eight months old and has almost four to go before he's the big "1," but still, I can't help but think that day will come too quickly. Yet another reason to remember to slow down and enjoy every moment of my son's immobility that I possibly can. It won't be long before he's crawling and running away from me. He's already begun to wriggle out of my arms when I hold him! You can see in his face that he wants to get down and get into everything, and, as soon as he can, he will.

So maybe I can put off the "go" part a little while longer...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Oh, Brother: Part 2

Brother is in Oklahoma City, preparing to take a physical exam and fill out mountain loads of paperwork that will semi-finalize his enlistment into the Marines. Yes, apparently culinary school is out and the military is back in. Not the Army National Guard as he had originally planned, but the Marines, because his friend/man crush is a Marine who just finished boot camp.

(Philip is a good friend and a good influence, and I appreciate that Brother has such a positive influence in his life, but I wish he wouldn't try to emulate Philip so literally. Pretty much everything the kid does, Brother wants to do. Hence, Philip is his "man crush.")

By tomorrow evening, Brother will have all but signed his name away to the Marine Corps. He won't leave for boot camp until May 18 (he's got to lose 20 pounds before they'll even let him that far), and he's got until May 15 to change his mind. Which he may very well do. He's already done it so many times.

I liked the idea of him going to culinary school and becoming a chef because it seemed like something he would actually follow through with and be really good at. And, it was his own idea, uninfluenced by anyone else. It's the only idea he's ever had that wasn't a direct result of peer pressure or his friends' influence.

Philip, the Marine/man crush, was in town over Christmas vacation and somehow got Steven thinking joining the Marines was a really great idea. Who knows, it may be. But I wonder if, now that his friend has gone back to California and he's alone in a hotel room in another city, away from his family, it will still seem like a good idea. I talked to my mother earlier this evening, and she said Steven had already called a couple of times, saying he was bored (read homesick) and lamenting about the fact that he has to wake up at 4 a.m. tomorrow to start his PT test. I think he said to mom something to the effect of, "Oh well, at least it's only one day." And it's comments like that that make me wonder if he has any idea what the hell he's getting himself into.

I think he kind of thinks being a Marine will be really cool and easy. Like, his friend did it, so it must be easy and he can do it, too. I don't think he has any idea what's coming to him. I don't think he has any idea how difficult it's going to be and how hard he's going to have to work.

Who knows, it may turn out to be the best thing he's ever done. Or, he may get home tomorrow and have changed his mind completely. Again.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What 2009 has in store for me...

(According to

Year 2009 Career

This year, your great passion for money and success will intensify when you broaden your interests and transform your values. As you explore new ideas, you'll have a greater appreciation of your working environment, and it's likely you'll be expanding your resources and furthering your studies. People appreciate you as a great role model for endlessly working to improve situations without taking unnecessary risks.

In the springtime, you begin manifesting advanced ideas for progressive changes in society. You avoid trivial communication, and transformation occurs as you become aware of other peoples' needs to philosophize about their values. Your climb up the ladder of success is rooted in your positive value system and your ability to transcend old ways of doing things.

You discover new ways to develop your spirituality this year, which will also involve your scientific mind. You come to realize that your passion and talent can easily move in a new direction, bringing with it the success you desire.

Year 2009 Romantic

Through finding more creative ways to express yourself, your love life will blossom as well. This shift helps you become more comfortable with a loving and philosophical relationship, and your connection becomes closer. Your desire to prioritize a love relationship deepens. Although in the past you were proud of your individuality, you're realizing the importance a love relationship beyond just yourself and your immediate family.

As you learn to give yourself to another and have your relationship deepen, it helps you break through any discriminating attitudes toward relationships, and to have more confidence in your process. As you continue to accept yourself and enjoy life, you no longer feel the pressure to perform. The peaceful knowing inherent in your love relationship brings deeper meaning to being together, and the relationship brings you abounding joy.

You have abundant optimism and broad appreciation about your relationship. In the autumn, you may be drawn to marriage, as you begin to really understand and embrace the joy of having someone close to you.

We'll see...

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I’ve never taken New Year’s resolutions very seriously. Now that I have Isaac, I take everything more seriously. But I hope to think of these less as resolutions, which are apt to be cast aside the minute they interfere with the convenience of my life, but more as goals for 2009 and years beyond.

  1. Stop eating fast food.
  2. Eat fewer processed foods. (Maybe in 2010 I’ll be able to eliminate them completely! Or 2011…)
  3. Take more walks.
  4. Run…? (Can you be tentatively resolved about something? If so, that’s what I am about running.)
  5. Spend less money.
  6. Use less stuff.
  7. Be more generous.
  8. Plant a garden.
  9. Be more patient (especially when driving).
  10. Send freelance queries to a couple of national magazines I’ve been eying for the past six months.
  11. Stop being so lazy about it and get Isaac to sleep in his own bed.
  12. Be a really, really good mom.

This is a lot, I think, for a person to put on her plate in one year. Oh, well. I’ve always been the ambitious sort. I’m keeping these on my blog permanently as reminders to myself. Sorry if they annoy you. :)


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