Monday, February 23, 2009

My Valentine baby and other precious moments

I never did brag about my Valentine's Day gift. Even though John and I aren't together, he was sweet and showed up at my house with these:

And a card:
Pretty good penmanship for a 9 and a half-month-old, eh? He still gets his "Ys" and "Es" backwards, but I'm sure he'll get the hang of them in no time.

Here's my little Valentine now:

I'm pretty sure February 14 was the best Valentine's Day ever, thanks to this little guy.

Speaking of adorable babies with huge, blue eyes, wanna hear something funny? Isaac loves these Gerber puff things.
He ate these for breakfast the other day because I didn't have anything to make for myself and he refuses to eat his baby food. But he's so funny about them. He won't eat them whole; it takes about four bites for him to finish one puff. He holds them in his little hand and nibbles them until they're gone.

The other night, after we ate dinner, I left Isaac in his high chair while I got his bath water ready, and I gave him the paper towel I had been using to wipe his grubby little mouth to keep him occupied and from screaming while I readied his bath.

When I came back to get him, this is what I found:

I'm not sure how much paper towel he ingested, but I'm willing to bet not all of it escaped his mouth.

Then, he did this:

I think it's funny to take pictures of Isaac when he sneezes. It's one of the many things about him I find both adorable and hilarious.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm Okay, You're Okay

Dear friends and family,

Today, two really nice ladies named Rachel and Susie from Soonerstart came to my house to play with me. At first, I was a little nervous because they were strangers, but my mom and grandma were there, too, and they said the ladies were really nice. Plus, they had all these fun toys for me to play with, like balls and slinkys and stuff. They asked my mom lots of questions about me, and I was like, "Hello? I'm right here. I can answer my own questions, thankyouverymuch." So I talked to the ladies a lot and they thought I was very cute and funny.

Then, one of the ladies made me lay on my tummy. At first I was pretty mad, but she gave me a ball to play with, so it was OK. But then she started making my sit up and lay back down and try to crawl, but all I wanted to do was play with this really cool ball so I got kind of mad at her. Plus, my nose is still runny and when you don't feel very good, you definitely don't want to be messed with. The lady showed my mom how to help me rotate from a sitting up position to a crawling position, and even though I didn't like it very much when the lady did it, I think it'll be OK when mom does it.

When they finished playing with me and talking to my mom, the ladies said I didn't qualify for their program because my development is not delayed like my mom thought it might be. (See, mom?) They told my mom she could practice crawling with me more and make sure I get lots more tummy time (even though I hate it), but, other than that, I am just perfect.

Well, I knew that.

Just thought you guys would like to know! I'm going to go now and see if I can trick my grandma into getting me a cookie.


Monday, February 16, 2009

25 Things About Isaac

1. His mouth is welcoming teeth Nos. 6 and 7 right now.

2. He's got two sets of shape blocks, one plastic and one wooden, and out of both, his favorites are the blue, round ones. He'll pull the blocks out of their respective boxes and toss them aside one by one, but every time he gets a hold of the blue ones, all of which happen to be round shapes, he'll hang onto them and continue to toss the others out.

3. He no longer wants his baby food, but he'll eat anything I give him off of my plate.

4. He refuses to hold his own bottle or sippy cup. He's done it before, but he won't do it on a regular basis.

5. He loves to stand up, and he'll walk across a room holding onto an adults fingers. He'll take a few steps and then kick his feet wildly in a sort of stomp dance as he giggles with delight.

6. Any time his immediate family members enter a room, he insists they hold him. He holds his arms out and says, "Eh! Eh!" until said person holds him. They don't have to hold him long, just for about a minute and then he's ready to go back to whomever was holding him previously.

7. He's really shy around new people and places. It usually takes him about an hour to warm up and start acting like himself around anyone new.

8. He loves football. Seriously. Anything else can be on TV and he won't pay much attention, but if football's on, he's captivated. Dammit.

9. He loves buttons. He's always trying to bite the buttons on my blouses. I worry that one day he'll pull one off and choke on it.

10. He gets really, really concerned whenever he sees someone crying or upset. He looks at you with the sweetest look in his big blue eyes and you immediately feel at least 100 percent better.

11. He loves music and does this sort of head bang dance and bounces up and down whenever he hears any.

12. He's very needy and almost always wants attention and interaction. Which is OK.

13. When he was born, he was huge. Now he's measuring in around the 25th-50th percentile of babies his age. What a runt.

14. Because he's so long and thin, I have a hard time finding pants that fit. Everything that fits in length is too big in the waist, and his pants are always falling off his little bottom.

15. He has the cutest little bottom ever.

16. He hates having his nose boogies picked, a trait we're realizing now that he's sick AGAIN. I'm breastfeeding why?? Is it working? Are these things on? Anyway, I'm pretty sure I would hate someone else's finger or an aspirator in my nose, too. He screams bloody murder.

17. His favorite toys are the TV remote controls, my cell phone and paper.

18. He loves taking things out of baskets and boxes. He has yet to learn how to put them back in.

19. Since John has been hanging around so much lately, he is really getting to know and love his Daddy.

20. But he's still a momma's boy.

21. Rather than slap them with the palm of his hand, he now pushes the buttons on his toys with one finger.

22. He has the sweetest, most adorable laugh in the whole world. And he laughs a lot. He's a very happy, good-natured baby.

23. He has never had an ear infection (knock on wood), thanks to his OMT treatments.

24. He looks his absolute cutest (according to mom) when he's wearing his jammies. I don't know what it is, but I think he looks so adorable in his pajamas.

25. His momma loves him more than she ever knew she could.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Math Worksheet (Or, "Blessings in Disguise")

I've been thinking a lot about finances lately. One of my New Year's resolutions was to spend less money. So far, I haven't been doing so well. I looked back through my checkbook register at my spending habits for January, and I realized that I still make way to many impulse purchases and spend too much money on frivolous things that neither I nor Isaac need.

For instance, I continue to buy him toys when I know full well he's just as pleased to have a piece of paper or the remote control. Instead of buying new stuff, I need to put away some of what we have and bring out things that he hasn't played with in a while so that they seem new. Also, I eat out for lunch (and dinner) way too often, and I do so out of laziness. Instead, I need to put forth the effort to cook dinner every night, making a little extra to pack for lunch the next day. Isaac's eating habits have helped encourage this. He no longer wants to eat his baby food. Since he has five (almost six!) teeth, he's much more interested in eating what's on my plate. This has encouraged me to make more healthful meal choices for myself because I want him to eat wholesome, healthy meals. So, I'm steaming a lot of veggies that I can cut into little pieces for him, and pairing them with chicken or fish and rice for me.

Also (and last example, I promise), I spend $2 every day on a grande cup of Starbucks coffee from Boston Avenue Grille, in the building next door to my office. I do this because I'm usually too rushed in the morning to make a cup of coffee to take with me and because I don't like the Folgers blend that the rest of the folks in my office drink. The solution? I've learned that I spend a lot of money out of convenience. When I take the time to make coffee or cook a meal or whatever, I can save a lot of money. So, I bought a pound of whole beans in the Starbucks variety I prefer, and by grinding them and brewing them each morning, I get a cup of coffee equal to but cheaper than what I've been buying every morning.

This all came on after I started asking my friend Natasha's dad, who's a CPA, a lot of questions about my taxes. What I found out is that being a poor, single mother is going to have some advantages for me. I found out I can lower my tax rate by filing as Head of Household; that, since I am so poor, I qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit; and that (and I already kind of knew this) I'll get a nice chunk of money back for having Isaac. All of that on top of what I would have already gotten back from the government as part of my regular yearly tax return. I think, and I'll know more on Thursday after I get my taxes done, that, with the money I get back, I can pay off, if not all, most of my credit card debt (which I accrued, mostly right after high school and during college, because of my impulsive spending habits). That money, the money I was using to pay off my credit cards, I want to put toward a down payment on a house. I also want to put everything I make writing freelance into that same coffer. If I do that, I think I could buy a house in a year. That realization is overwhelming me right now.

I've been thinking for a couple of years about buying a house. I've never spoken a peep about it or written anything about it here because I wasn't sure if or when it might actually be feasible, and I only like to speak aloud the goals I think are actually attainable. It has something to do with my lifelong fear of failure, I think. Anyway, now that I'm realizing that home ownership is actually within my grasp, I just can't believe it. I feel absolutely amazed by God's power, to be completely honest. I never thought being a single mother could have its blessings (other than the blessing of having my son, of course). But, if I were with John or married right now, none of this would be possible. I mean, how amazing is that? And I know it's not an accident; I just hope I don't screw it up! Which is why I have to get my spending under control. I went into Lundeby's Eco Baby the other day with my friend Megan, and I didn't buy a thing! (Amazing considering that's never happened to me before in that store.) At Target, I bought the diapers and formula I needed, but, even though I browsed the toys, I didn't buy anything. (It helps, too, that I've decided to also be more thoughtful about where and how I spend my money. I plan to make a more concentrated effort to spend it at local businesses.)

(Ladies, that does not mean that I'm giving up on Lunch Fridays. I will be there for sure!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hey, Yoo Gu-uys! (Insert Goonies-style inflection here.)

Step 1: Go to The Brook (or anywhere else local literature is available).
Step 2: Pick up a Tulsa Kids.
Step 3: Turn to page 11.
Step 4: Coo and giggle over the adorable little man in the Lunedby's Eco Baby ad.
Step 5: Show all your friends.

Can you tell I'm proud? Probably the best part of the whole thing was Isaac's reaction to it. We sat down at my parents' dining room table with the magazine, and the looked at and grinned at and touched his photo. He'd turn his face up to mine and smile and then go back to staring at his photo. We looked at photos of other kids in the magazine, and he didn't have that reaction, so I'm sure he recognized himself.

Still, I wonder if maybe we shouldn't have used this photo:

Or, this one:

Sure, neither of them have anything to do with Tiffany's store, but they're pretty adorable.

Physical Therapy update:
The therapist my doctor wanted us to see isn't in our insurance network, so we will be going through Soonerstart, which will take a bit more time but is totally free. They're processing our request now, and, in about a week, we should have an appointment. I'm wondering if, by then, we'll even need one. Since Friday, Isaac has been pulling himself up to stand. Mostly, he pulls up on me when we're sitting next to one another, but he does it completely on his own without any help from me. He's also pulled up in his pack-n-play at my parents' house and, yesterday, while I was trying to put on his shoes, he sat up (he was laying down), leaned forward and got on his hands and knees like he wanted to crawl. So, who knows, maybe he will be ready sooner than we though. I do appreciate everyone who encouraged me to see the positive side of the physical therapy possibility and who assured me my son's slow development wasn't my fault. :) Love you guys!

Monday, February 2, 2009


So, I'm wrestling with the idea of starting yet another blog. I know I haven't been very good at keeping up with Green Tulsa, but I really hoped it would be more of a community project, and I just haven't had the time or tenacity to corral writers. And while sustainability is a subject I'm extremely interested in, it's not one I know a lot about, so I'm a bit timid about publishing posts that could make me look like I'm preachy about something I know nothing about. When I do finally get up the guile to post, it involves a lot of research (read: time).

I'm thinking, though, about starting a blog that would cover performance and visual arts in Tulsa. It would be a sort of extension of the writing I'm doing for Urban Tulsa Weekly and Intermission Magazine (new gig! So excited!). The more I write, especially for UTW, the more I realize how much I'm leaving out of my columns. Tulsa's got so many arts organizations with so much to offer the community, and they all deserve coverage. A blog would be a way to give them that coverage, build my writing portfolio and make even more contacts in the arts community. I sort of half-heartedly attempted to do this once before, with a blog called Walleye. I only posted once and then I let it fall by the wayside. At the time, my heart wasn't really in it. But, now that I'm obsessed with blogging and have a re-energized interest in the arts community, I'm thinking a local arts blog might be a good idea.

Thoughts, anyone?

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