Friday, January 20, 2006

Who's That Girl?

In case you have not met, this is Isabella.

In case you are wondering, no, she does not sit still for Christmas pictures. I was being what she calls "silly mama" so she'd indulge me with two seconds of her time. The look is more wondering what's wrong with her mother than trying to strike a supermodel pose.

Hey, I'll take what I can get!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

His home is where his beer is.

On top of finding a new church this year, we will also be finding a new home. Sounds like no big deal to most people, but to us it has almost been traumatic even reaching the decision to do so.

My husband was born and raised here while I was like a gypsy the first part of my childhood, moving from state to state, ending up in a small town here in Texas before moving away on my own to the big city.

When my husband got a new, incredible job nearly an hour and a half drive away, it was a no brainer for me to move. In fact, I'm restless to do so considering we've lived here five years, that's like 20 years in gypsy terms. My husband, on the other hand, is like a see-saw in his decision about moving.

I'll get SOOOOOO excited after we've looked at new neighborhoods or old homes we could redo. I'll gush about all the Starbucks drive thrus, the shopping, or the schools (Okay, maybe I should work on priorities). He'll be right along with me, then the wind will blow and he's mopey again about moving from his beloved city and home.

How do I pry my darling husband's fingers from the bar at his favorite BBQ joint? Or drag him away from his favorite downtown Tex-Mex? Or coax him into trying one of the five other restaurant-style movie taverns? How do I convice the man I love that we CAN still drive to his city any time he wants?

Oh, yeah. I'll just let him keep driving the hour 1/2 to and from work each day as he curses in ways his daughter will never hear, gesturing at the cars moving so slowly you could get home faster by walking.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#1 God

Who's God is best?

This is the question my husband and I are trying to find answers to in our quest to join a church this year. First, we have to figure out which denomination we agree most with. Have you SEEN how many there are in America? I found a book in our massive library collection that gave an overview of each denomination of Christianity in the US. There are at least 66, currently. Talk about daunting!

I would imagine that most Christians or other religious believers follow the path of that which they were raised. Or, they come from a backround that involved many denominatons within their family. Maybe one grandmother was Catholic, the other Southern Baptist, an aunt who's Non-denominational or the uncle who's just decided to believe nothing at all.

I've also observed that one has to be careful of the conversations or questions you may have concerning someone's particular denomination or personal beliefs. Get too in depth and you can step on toes or cross over into a gray area of understanding of their own church's doctrine.

So, we've decided to try different churches within several denominations over the next year. While we are Christians, neither of us wants to just attend a church as if only paying our dues to God. We want to find a church home, one that we can raise Isabella to be a part of because we truly want to be there, not because we're pressured to just go SOMEWHERE.

It is amazing when you really look into different churches' doctrine how the details can be quite extreme one way or another from what you really believe.

As New Year's Resolution, or perhaps more of a New Spiritual Resolution, we will begin our mission soon. Where we begin is beyond us. Maybe we'll just start with a prayer.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

You Snooze, You Lose

Have you ever watched a 1 1/2 year old "prep" for bedtime? Well, I have an insider's view and it one of the most hilarious things I've ever witnessed.

I decided to take the long and treacherous road of letting Bella set her own pace for milestones such as nursing and sleeping through the night. Let me just say that baby #2 will NOT have this luxury.

After 12 months of nursing, I'd had enough of the abuse and decided to take the reins in weaning her. It has actually been a much easier and less painful process than I'd feared. It started with getting her into her own bed which is no longer a crib. Okay, it was really never a crib because she H-A-T-E-D it. She would not or could not ever sleep in it. She slept with us. That would've been lovely if she'd been a snuggler and not spread out like a starfish, shoving mom and dad to the edges. Or if she'd been able to sleep next to me without spending every two hours foraging for food.

We spend 4 months getting her used to her bed, a double mattress on the floor. I had to literally force myself to not just sleep next to her every time she woke up. I don't even remember walking back to bed half the time.

Miraculously, at about 16 1/2 months, she began to sleep hours at a time. HOURS. I couldn't believe it! Not to say that I slept like that. No, I woke up every two hours, contemplating whether she was either 1) no longer breathing or 2) had been kidnapped by a silent acrobat who climbed over the holly bushes and through the double pane window with nary a noise picked up by the monitor.

At 18 months, we were both sleeping 6-8 hours a night.

I know!

I do still lay with her at bedtime or naptime, but there's no nursing and she is actually oblivious to my existence by the time she dozes. That can take 5 minutes to 45 minutes. She will sing, scratch the sheets with her tiny claws, stand on her head, practice tumbling, scold her babydoll, click her tongue, give herself whiplash slinging her head left and right, or blink with intense concentration.

I need to video tape her bedtime antics. She gets such an incredible rush of physical activity before rolling over and crashing out. Wonderfully sweet and quietly funny. My husband isn't nearly as entertaining with his roll over and snore routine.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

To Pee or Not To Pee

Poo is offensive to Pooh Bear. Poop is too harsh. Like someone just pinched a loaf. Turd is just not age appropriate. So, it is poo-poo.

Welcome to Potty Training 101.

Isabella got a potty for Christmas. I'm sure she's eternally grateful. Actually, she is quite obsessed with it. I know she's only 18 months, but she's been showing great interest in bowel movements for some time, so we thought we'd introduce her to a toddler toilet.

She has already set a few rules of her own:

1) She must be completely naked to sit on the potty, if there is to be any inkling of tinkling

2) Mommy has to sit on the big toilet, even if she's just perched on the toilet seat cover

3) Wiping is a must, even if there is nothing to wipe. Practice makes perfect, right?

4) Bear must also sit on the potty at some point during the day

Bella has peed at least five times in her new potty. Once, after peeing on the floor BY the potty, then resuming once sitting on her toilet.

Bella has not pooped in her toilet, but has pooped (while roaming naked) on her toy car, by the pool table and on her bedroom floor. Luckily, all have resembled smelly bullets, thus making clean up slightly less disgusting.

I know we have a long road ahead of us as we enter the potty training zone, but I must say that so far, it has been quite funny and cute. However, it will not be funny or cute should she insist on being naked in a public restroom once we've graduated to unsanitary toilet stalls. I imagine that's when she'll yell, scream and go limp mid-step. Good times.