Thursday, March 24, 2011

Isaac Potter

My son has magical powers.

Yep, you read that right. Isaac is magic.

Ok, maybe not like, abra-cadabra-hocus-pocus-bibbity-bobbity-boo magic. But he has these powers that no one else has. NO ONE.

Today was a bad day. Just all around. And no, I don't want to talk to about, with anyone.

All I can think about doing is going home, making popcorn and curling up in a big blanket with my little Boo and watching Disney movies.

You see, Isaac...he has this way of magically making me feel better. No matter what. Even if it's HIM that makes me feel not so good. He knows. He knows things. He's a little wizard at reading his mommy.

He knows when I need kisses. He knows when I need a hug. He knows when I need to laugh. He knows when to be silly. He knows when I need distracted. He knows when I need to regroup or refocus. He just KNOWS. And sometimes he just does it without even knowing he is doing it. Like when an obnoxious phone call comes in (read: solicitor or telemarketer) and I make the mistake of answering it (I can't just hang up...I just CAN'T), he knows that he needs to fall down and/or make a loud crash so I can say "OH MY GOD I HAVE TO GO RIGHT NOW BECAUSE MY BABY JUST DID SOMETHING REALLY BAD AND I HAVE TO CHECK ON HIM RIGHT NOW AND MAYBE CALL THE PARAMEDICS OR SOMETHING SO GOODBYE."

He just....KNOWS.

I don't rely on his magical powers. But I sure do appreciate them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Age Is Just A Number

Isaac is about 26 months old. I just had to look at the calendar to figure out the month math, because I stopped at 24 months. Lord help me once the fall rolls around and we hit the 30's months.

Anyway, this means a couple things. The most important one being...although I still call him my baby, he's a little boy now. He's a little boy with opinions and a fierce independent streak. Who's two years old. And cutting his back molars.

I refuse to call it the terrible two's. I am choosing to call it the "not so terrific two's" and hope for the best. I was told the pediatrician that there are 2 main components in this phase that attribute to the um...not so terrifc-ness: the inability to effectively communicate wants and needs in an understandable manner and the desire to test their boundaries and limits.


I put my high-spirited little guy to bed on Saturday night completely exhausted after our excursion into SF to see friend D and his new puppy Emma, who Isaac calls "En-e-ma." He didn't nap but for 45 minutes. I was exhausted as well. It was an early night for both of us, and I went to bed eager and excited for our day together on Sunday, just me and him.

I can't tell you who woke up in that crib on Sunday morning. It was like a different child.

And since then, we have had screaming fits. Tantrums. Hair pulling (this is mine...I have literally buried my hands in my hair and pulled). Crying (both of us). Red faces. Throwing of things. Confiscation of toys.

Its been a long few days. And I am so happy to be at work, just to have escaped for a blissfull 8 hours.

Sunday was rough. Sunday night was rougher. Isaac didn't nap, but he did go into his crib and played happily for about 2.5 hours. By 8 pm, I was ready to trade him in. Seriously. By the time he went to bed, the house was a wreck. Dinner was cold. There were noodles and goldfish crackers smashed into the sofa cushions. The cats were cowering in fear (I might have shown Isaac how Guiliani likes to play kitty-copter. Which he does, just not with Isaac...I WAS DESPERATE PEOPLE!). I was exhausted, frustrated, and overwhelmed, so I did what any wife and mother would do. I yelled at my husband and was a complete and total a-hole to him. Then I shut myself in the bedroom and screamed into my pillow.

This morning...oh the horror.

I woke up Isaac for school. And like every other morning, he asked for his trucks. I gave him his  two favorites and like every other morning, we put them on his breakfast table. Unlike every other morning, he decided he did not want to eat breakfast or get dressed. He just wanted to play trucks. Sigh. I took the trucks away, turned them off and put them back on the table. 2 seconds later, guess what I heard? After 10 minutes of progressively louder and louder requests, finally, I took them away.

And when I say took them away, I guess I mean I ripped his arms off and beat him with them. Because that is sure what it sounded like.

He laid on the floor and screamed and cried for 20 minutes. When he finally stopped and nibbled some toast, it was time to go. By the time we left for school, his hair was disheveled, eyes were red, nose was running, and he was hungry. And exhausted. Both of us were after our mini-war. I was ready for stiff drink by 8 am.

I know it will get worse before it gets better. I know it will get better. I know every parent goes through this. And he still has his moments, where he sees me visably upset and comes over and says "Mama, what's wrong? What happened? Need a kiss?" and curls up in my lap and cuddles.

He's still my baby...and age is just a number.

I just may need to restock the liquor cabinet more frequently and buy more hats to hide the fact that I am yanking my hair out.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The New Favorite

Meet Chuck. Chuck is Isaac's favorite toy. And he's MY least favorite toy. Let me explain...

Way back when in October, Isaac got to meet some of his Grandpa's family, who brought him a little green dump truck of the same kind. You push the license plate and this toy rolls and climbs up a ramp. We kept his house at my MILs while in Ohio, and by the time we left to come back to California, it was "broke."

I say this because I was unaware of this toy's true ability to drive me insane at the time.

Closer to his 2nd birthday, my grandma sent him a giftcard. While shopping at the store, we saw a display of clearance toys and behold...a play yard set with Chuck! For only $9.99. Isaac was very happy, and as patient as one can expect a 2 year old to be while assembling said structure. It involved a ramp and some track and a bridge thing. In the instructions, I noticed that these vehicles do in fact take batteries, and most likely Isaac had not "broke" the green truck. 2 fresh AA batteries later, the green truck was ready to use on the yard. Boy, oh boy, was Isaac a happy camper.

We took Isaac to TRU a few days later to pick a toy for his birthday. He quickly noticed a a fire truck of the same line. The truck was on clearance, so I bought it for him. He was very excited. If you are keeping track, Isaac now has 3 of these vehicles.

A short time after that the Chuck truck broke. Like really broke. It would barely roll, let alone climb like it was supposed to. So...I returned it. And I got a new one. When I did, I bought the 4th truck, a blue tow truck.

Isaac loves the trucks. He plays with them. He plays with them ALL THE TIME. This means a few things.

First, I have to have a large stock of AA batteries on hand, because GOD FORBID, one of the trucks doesn't work! And they drain batteries FAST. I am almost considering buying enough rechargeable ones. Until then, I suggest buying stock in Duracell.

Second....3 of the trucks don't work. I mean, they don't climb anymore. And I figured out why. Isaac lets them roll into the wall or to the carpet or furniture. They are turned on so the gears are rolling and they can't climb and something...breaks. I don't know, I am not a toy mechanic :) He gets kind of upset that they don't function properly, so he "helps" them along the ramps. And that's loud too.

Third, can't you see where these annoyances are heading?! HE IS OBSESSED WITH THE TRUCKS! They are noisy. And the break. They are the first thing he asks for every morning. He wants them to go EVERYWHERE with us (which they don't...I need a break from the noise). The positive side is that these trucks keep him occupied for hours on end. Literally. HOURS. And he doesn't really understand why they can't roll through puddles. Or take a bath with him. They also eat with him.
The other night, he wanted to take one of them to sleep with him. He cried when I took it away before bed. Usually, they sit ontop of his dresser, because he is this close to climbing out of the crib and when he does, I do not want to awake to that sound of the trucks. And I don't want him to think that bedtime is playtime. I gave in, and he promised to leave it sitting by the stuffed Goofy. I made it clear that if I heard the truck, I would come into his room and take it away. I layed down and about 10 minutes later, I heard the motor switch on and quickly off again. Sigh. I got up and went into his room. As soon as I walked in, he said "Mama, no!" I looked into his crib and he was hugging the truck like he normally does his stuffed animals. It melted me, and I let him keep it.

Well, now all 4 trucks must be in his crib for him to sleep. ALL 4. Plus his Mickey light from Disneyland. Plus his cup. Every Disney animal he has now has a designated object to hold. And my nightly check-in takes longer as I have a million things to remove.

For Easter, he is getting another stunt set, featuring the blue tow truck...which is one that is broken. It was on clearance online, and I MIGHT have just ordered the other 2 that are broken....that means he will have um, 7. 7!!!!!

I can't help it, I am a sucker for that little boy's happiness and smiles! Even at the cost of my sanity... ;)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I have made difficult decisions, big decisions. They never really seemed that way, because they were easy to make. I knew they were right. Things just kind of worked out and fell into place. It made the decisions seem not so big, not so scary.

The move back to Ohio is proving to be no different. It's a huge deal, and more often than not I find myself stressing. Its a big move, a big change, a big expense (to say the least).

Then something happens that reinforces to me that this is the right move for all parties involved.

Today my assistantship offer came in from the university. It is more than I could have ever dreamed it would be, and will make the transition easier and smoother.

It seems as though that when the decision is right, when it puts you on the path that you are meant to be on, the pieces just line up. The hard things aren't hard anymore. The scary things seem foolish.

Have I mentioned how incredibly happy this decision makes our family? Because it truly does. Life will change for us, but it is going to get better. This move, it's huge. But the hard decision, not matter how it seems to others...for us, it was easy. And although the details aren't hammered out, the pieces are landing just how they are meant to fit.

Friday, March 11, 2011

First Time for Everything

For our Disneyland trip we did something we have never done before.


We had decided to take this trip about May of last year. I started saving $25 a week. We originally planned to take this trip over Christmas as we were not able to go back to the Midwest. That fell through and Isaac got Disney money for Christmas. Our next timeframe was for his birthday, which also fell through. Next up was President's Day weekend, which I  nixed due to hotel costs. When we finally went this last weekend, we had 2 extra months of savings and gifts.

Our hotel and parkhopper tickets were prepaid before we left. I knew exactly how much cash we had to spend and loaded it onto a debit card, just for Disney.

My Disney freak and awesome friend D taught me how to share parkhopper tickets. We cut the cost of our tickets by $140.

When we got to Anaheim, my husband surprised me by pulling out a fat wad of cash that he had been saving as well. I almost cried. We took drinks into the park, so we avoided the $3+ sodas and bottled waters. We took fruit and snacks, again avoiding the great park surchages on food. We cut costs where we could, and it worked really well for us.

Because we planned and saved, we didn't worry about money ONCE the entire weekend. We paid for everything on the preloaded card and in cash. And we even came home with some!

This is the very first trip we have taken that didn't accrue credit card debt. :) I am so proud of us!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


This past weekend, we took Isaac on a very special vacation. We took him to Disneyland for 2 days, which we have been trying to do for MANY months. This was such a special trip for us, for so many reasons. I have been trying figure out how I want to write about this trip, how I want to detail and describe it.

We left last Friday and drove to Anaheim. I was worried that Isaac wouldn't handle these drives very well, being in the car for 8+ hours. He handled both trips like a rock star and was fascinated by the amount of semi trucks he could exclaim over. For about 2 hours solid, while driving through almond orchards in middle California, all we heard was "There it goes! Big truck! Honk Honk! Big truck!" He napped briefly, and only really got restless during the LA rush hour traffic we hit. All in all, he did very well, and seemed to understand that he could not get out and that we were going somewhere special. We took more stopping breaks for Ben than we did for Isaac. :)

Once we got settled into our hotel we took Isaac over to the Downtown Disney area to watch the fireworks. We purchased his autograph book for the upcoming two days. You could see the excitement on his face as he saw Mickey Mouse plastered everywhere. He still had no idea.

The two days we spent in the park were absolutely AMAZING. I can't even begin to detail the fun that all three of us had. It was just  us, with cell phones that died by 2 pm, not worrying about schedules or money. We rode the rides, met the characters, and filled ourselves with junk food. We treated our little boy to 2 days immersed with his favorite things. We watched him laugh, and smile, and run around with boundless energy. We held him when he was tired and carried him through lines. We rode the carousel, which became evident was his favorite, again and again until we were dizzy. We (ok, I) let him splash through the giant garden spigot in "A Bug's Land" until he was drenched from head to toe. He didn't really nap, but that was ok. He snoozed in the stroller or on my shoulder while we waited in line.

Every single penny we spent was worth it. To see our child so happy, so excited, has no price tag. I literally had tears in my eyes as  he ran up to Mickey Mouse and gave him a huge hug, squealing in delight. I can't tell you  how many times I heard "WOW!" and "that's AMAZING!" and "Look, Mama! Look, Daddy!"

It was a tiring two days that involved a lot of walking. By the time we finished with "World of Color" on Sunday night, we were definately done.

I can see why Disneyland is called the "happiest place on earth." For those 2 days, for truly was magic.