Thursday, December 31, 2009


Ahhh, 2009.  You're almost out of here.  Forever.  Gone.  Bye-Bye! 

It's rather sad that we are getting ready to say good-bye to such a lovely year.  The year I met one of the most amazing kids to ever enter the little Isaac Henry.  I got rather weepy when I started to think about saying good-bye to this year, to Isaac's first year, and entering into a new year for him.  But last night Isaac said his official first word. 

The word is..."WOW!!"

He would say a variation of this word when he was still trying to figure it out.  For a while it was "Waaaaa," "Waaabbb" or some version of that.  But last night, he brought out the big guns and said, "WOW!" Marcus and I were nearly falling over each other laughing out of pure delight.  

Actually hearing my son say a word made me more and more excited about the upcoming year, celebrating his first year of life, watching him explore this world, learn more words, and become more of who he is.  I can't wait! 

But with the New Year, like ever other person on the planet, I come to my yearly, "What the flip am I doing with my life?" question.  Yes, every year this happens and I always seem to stick with the same thing I've done every other year of my life for the past 10 years.  I follow through with a "resolution" for 14 days (tops) and then go back to my old way of doing things.  Well, this year I am hell bent on doing something about that. 

More on that later, but next week I'm going to unveil a little something I'm working on...or I should say I WILL be working on.  Changes need to be made, my friends, and by golly I'm going to do it!! And, truth be told, I'm rather excited about it. 

So soak up this last day of 2009.  This year treated us very well and I hope 2010 is just as gracious. 

Love to all!!! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Catchin' up....

Have you ever noticed that after a trip it almost takes you as long as you were away to actually catch up with your normal day-to-day life? Landy! Maybe it's my 32 years catching up with me and I get "winded" by time away from home more so than when I was...31?

On Saturday we got back from a wonderful trip down to Orlando to visit Marcus' side of the family. It had been two years since we had been down there, which is just WAY too long in between trips, and we had a fantastic time. Isaac absolutely loved hanging out with his Grandma and Grandpa dePaula, he had a backyard full of trees that he could actually touch, we went on many walks WITHOUT a coat on (glorious 78 degrees in December...ahhh) and not to mention all of the attention he got from his aunt and uncle. And the food...aahh, the glorious food!! Barbara outdid herself and spoiled us rotten with amazing meals....thanks Barbara!!!

But it was Isaac's first Christmas and it was so amazingly sweet. Seeing him open presents, the wonder of ripping paper, figuring out his new toys, fighting the urge to crawl over to the Christmas tree and tackle it to the ground wanting to put every sparkly thing in his mouth was so much fun to watch. I love the "firsts" that are unfolding in his sweet little life. So many more to come!

But he was a trooper, to the fullest extent of the word, on the 11.5 hour drive to and from Orlando. Seriously, I was BLOWN away. The trip down was a tad bit more difficult than the trip back, but he did amazingly well considering he had to be strapped down, which does not a happy Isaac make.

But I'll leave you with a few pictures from our trip. Marcus has more, but until I can get them from him, please enjoy these!

Hope your holidays were merry and bright!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009


When I was little I had what is considered MAJOR separation anxiety. M-A-J-O-R. So much so that when I was in the 5th grade I kind of flipped out and couldn't even make it through a class without bawling. For two weeks I would sit in a room behind the school secretaries and do my work from there. Looking back at it now, I'm so embarrassed to have acted like that and wonder what my problem was. I remember that feeling of dread and fear, which is something I never want Isaac to have to deal with.

Granted, we all get scared and have to deal with things we don't want to deal with. But one thing I didn't want to pass along to Isaac was the bone numbing separation anxiety. He's 10 1/2 months old and goes to the church nursery like a champ every Sunday. He loves it! All sorts of toys, girls to flirt with, things to get into, it's great!

Last night I experienced a taste of separation anxiety with Isaac. We had our yearly Christmas program at church and due to the fact that I could not get a babysitter for Isaac, he came along. The reason I wanted a babysitter for him was mainly due to the program starting at 7:00PM. Isaac is such a child of habit and is thrilled to go to bed at 6:30PM. I knew it would be tough, but he can deal with one late night in his little life. Marcus was already at the church and I had to be there at 6:00PM to run through songs with the choir. I dropped Isaac off in the nursery, he was happy and I went upstairs. At 6:55 one of the other mothers came up to me and said, "I'm really sorry, but Isaac is inconsolable. He won't stop crying."


We were the fourth performance in and things were going to start in 5 minutes. All I wanted to do was run down there and comfort him, but I knew if I did I would have to run right back upstairs and he would still be upset. So I decided to go down there right after we sang. Talk about the LOOOONNNNGGGEEEESSSTTT 20 minutes EVER.

We did our thing and I dart downstairs to the nursery. The poor little guy was NOT happy. I took him from one of the nursery workers and he is doing that little gasp for air after kids have been crying so hard. It was just the saddest thing. Being so beyond tired and having a new tooth come in was just a little too much for the boy. I gave him some teething tabs (seriously the GREATEST thing to happen to teething babies) and cuddled with him for about 20 minutes. I had to take off to do our second song, but after an initial freak out he was fine. THANK YOU LORD!!

I am so thankful that Isaac doesn't have separation anxiety. I don't think I could deal with it if he did!! I'd revert to my 5th grade self and bawl right there with him. I'm so tough.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jingle Jingle....

I wouldn't call myself a Scrooge...maybe a Scroo...or maybe a medium sized grump. I don't like decorating for the holidays. There...I said it. I'm not a seasonal decorator at all. I've never understood the fascination with putting a bunch of hearts all over the place for Valentines Day, eggs and bunnies out for Easter, a massive cornucopia in the middle of the table at Thanksgiving, nor the massive amounts of decorations that litter yards for Christmas.

I love her to death, but my mother is the queen of seasonal decorating. We would always dread the day after Thanksgiving when we were kids because that only meant one thing...hauling up the 372 bins of Christmas decorations out of the basement. The funny thing is that me, my brother and my two cousins (who are practically my sisters) hate decorating for the holidays. Hate may be too harsh of a word. Hmmm....greatly dislike...that's better.

This feeling started to change last year when I was pregnant with Isaac. I was eight months pregnant during Christmas last year so Marcus and I decided to stay at home for the holiday due to the fact that I couldn't sit in the car for more than 15 minutes. It was lovely. We missed our families but it was such a sweet time for the two of us. I started to think about how warm and inviting my parents house is at Christmas. It's always warm and inviting, but with the smell of Christmas candles, the tree, the millions of little trees she has peppered around the house, and all of the love and time she puts into making the house scream CHRISTMAS IS HERE made me reconsider the decorating bit.

Then the unthinkable happened...I ventured out to buy a Christmas tree. ME!! BUYING A CHRISTMAS TREE! Granted it's all of four feet tall and artificial, but dang, it's a TREE! And...wait for it...I bought silver decorations for the TREE. AHHH!! I'M GOING CRAZY!!!

I just couldn't deny Isaac Christmas decorations. Granted, I know he doesn't know the difference this year, but I want to start fun traditions for us and give him the chance to experience all of the fun of Christmas, but teach him the beautiful truth of what the holiday is really all about. THAT I can get into.

And he can decide for himself if he wants to carry on the tradition of being a stick-in-the-mud like his dear old Mama.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Time, Time, Time...

In 19 days Isaac will be 11 months old. 11 months people...just shy of a year. While 12 usually follows 11 in normal arithmetic, this doesn't take the gasp factor out of the fact that I will be the mother of a one year old in just a few months. Those first few months seemed to inch by at a snails pace, trying to function with such little sleep, figuring out this new "mommy" thing out, mastering the art of holding your breath while the hairs are falling out of your nose from the blast of stink coming from your child's diaper, entertaining said child while changing said diaper so they don't roll around and get poop all over the changing table, all the while morning the loss of your wardrobe due to the excessive spit and throw-up stains that can't be covered up with a decorative pin that was originally in your grandmother's dress up box.

But after you power through those first few months (I seriously wanted to play the Rocky theme and run up a flight of stairs saying, "I WIN! I WIN!") time literally goes by so fast you can hardly believe it. That is certainly the phase we are in right now. I keep telling my friends who just had babies, "Believe me, it will get better. I promise! But hold on to your hat because it is going to FLY by."

When Isaac started sleeping better and only woke up twice during the night, I felt like a champ the next morning with 5 solid hours of sleep. Now he is finally sleeping 11-12 hour stretches, waking up early in the morning with me feeding him, changing his diaper, and then he will sleep for a few extra hours after that. Oh my, the sleep is GLORIOUS!! I wish he understood how happy and proud I am of him of finally catching on to "the more you sleep, the better you feel" concept that eluded him for the first 9 months of his life.

While I mourn the passing of Isaac's first few months of life and how sweet they were, I am so excited for the phase he is in now and about to enter. Makes the loss of my wardrobe a small sacrifice to make in the grand scheme of it all.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Poop and the traveling baby...

Traveling with kids is hard. It's something that I never really pondered until we had Isaac. I always felt bad for parents flying with kids; seeing them struggle through security, a baby screaming during the flight and the grumps sitting near them giving the parents the evil eye. Marcus and I decided a long time ago that we would not fly with Isaac until he can carry his own stuff. It's written in stone and we aren't budging on that one.

Kids need a lot of crap when they travel. We thought that when Isaac got bigger we wouldn't need so much stuff. What the what?!? They need MORE stuff?? Heck yes! We were drowning in toys to keep him occupied, more bottles, food for lunch and dinner, more diapers, you name it, we had it. We just got back from a 10 hour drive to Iowa to visit my parents for Thanksgiving and while the trip went amazingly well, the question of traveling with a very active 10 month old was weighing heavily on my mind.

We tend to worry about the craziest things. I wasn't worried so much about how he would act (he did fantastic, btw) but rather how in the world would I change a poopy diaper on the road. I never really paid attention before but there really aren't a lot of gas stations or other places that provide a diaper changing station in their restrooms. So what is a parent to do? Change them on their the car.

We are at the stage where Isaac doesn't want to lay still while his diaper is being changed. I've had to get pretty creative with distracting him with various things to keep his attention while I get his gross, smelly diapers out of the way. His current favorite is holding onto his diaper rash ointment and twisting it around.

So this is what I decided to focus my worry on. Poop. My already tall child wiggling around on my lap, trying to balance him and change diapers that would knock a grown man down with its stink. I decided to just go with it, deal with it, and stop worrying about it.

And wouldn't you know it...I didn't have to deal with one poopy diaper. Not one. God certainly blesses us in crazy ways...even when it comes to poop.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Shout Out...

I am a firm believer in when you find something amazing you need to pass it along to your friends. So here we go with two "dePaula approved" shout outs:

1.) MERCY CHILDREN'S CLINIC: Granted, I know this doesn't apply to everyone nor does it apply to anyone who doesn't live in Nashville, but I can't even begin to tell you how much we love Isaac's pediatrician. Seriously, she is the best. Dr. Jennifer Cox is a doctor with Mercy and it's an amazing organization. They never turn a child away, even if they don't have insurance, and they treat kids and their families with the best medical care and provide an amazing service. They are powered by generous donations, so if you're looking to give some money to a much deserved ministry this holiday season, I highly recommend Mercy Children's Clinic.

2.) SHAKLEE: My dear friend Jen Hubbard introduced me to the most amazing products from a company called Shaklee a few months ago. Granted, the company has been around for over 50 years (heck, my mom sold Shaklee before I was born) but the company has gotten a major face lift and IS.A.MAZ.ING. One thing I was really nervous about when I was pregnant was using cleaning supplies that were made of harsh chemicals. Even more so, I was nervous about using said products around Isaac and on his toys. Enter in Shaklee...they are completely natural, organic cleaning products that work SOO much better than other commercial "green" products (which aren't completely green or organic, btw) and are sooooo much less expensive. They also have natural supplements and vitamins that have changed Marcus and my life...seriously, I don't have allergies anymore. And Marcus' stomach issues are nearly gone...GONE!!! They are amazing. I could seriously go on and on about it. If you'd like to hear more, just let me know.

Check out Jen's Shaklee website at No worries friends, this isn't a sales pitch or a stupid pyramid scheme. It's just awesome stuff.

So there you go! Two big thumbs up to Mercy Children's Clinic and Shaklee...check it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To-do...ta da...

While I love the holiday season, I also dread it at the same time. I love it because we get to see our families, chill out, eat lots of really great food, fall asleep watching football. I dread it because a.) after Thanksgiving it's December and time goes by WAAAYYYY too fast and my deadlines are just chopped to bits, and b.) we enter into the hellish Christmas shopping season and begin to I hate every driver on the road more than I already do.

Nashville is famous for its horrible drivers. No joke, it's like a freaking circus on the road with drivers going 90, weaving in and out of traffic without using their blinker, and just being stupid. Take this times a million and you have Nashville drivers during the holidays. The exits that take you towards the mall are backed up for miles because everyone within a 30 mile radius trying to shop...all at the same time. Seriously people, have you heard of the internet? Online shopping is brilliant! That AND they deliver the gifts so you don't have to haul them all over creation to your final holiday destination. Think about it.

We are headed off for the first of two 9-10 hour trips to see our families in Iowa and Orlando. First stop is Iowa for Thanksgiving. While I am so excited to see my family and get out of town for a while, I'm also dreading the 9 hour drive with a very active 10 month old. He does not like to be strapped down in his car all. Should make for a very interesting trip...and very humorous stories to share.

In other news...Isaac is still battling his head cold, which isn't fun. He's showing signs of feeling better but, alas, he's still coughing and his nose will not stop running. Doesn't stop this little guy from smiling though!! Gotta love that smile....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Glorious weekend...

Beautiful weather = time outside. Time outside = looking at trees changing colors. Looking at trees changing colors = a very happy Isaac. A very happy Isaac = a very happy Mama!!

Yes, he is in his "Eat, Sleep, Poop" t-shirt and Cookie Monster socks. I love this kid.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Four years ago today I married Marcus. It's funny to think that before I met him I wasn't planning on getting married before I turned 35 and strongly questioned if I would ever have kids. Well, like my mom always tells me, the best way to make God laugh is to make plans. Ain't it the truth...

The crazy thing is that it's a miracle we never met before our first meeting in 2005. We work in the same industry, we have several mutual friends, and, the kicker, we lived about 1/2 a block from each other for almost two years. Granted, Marcus was on the road touring 90% of the time and I was almost always at work so it makes sense. But when we met, we both knew that we had found the one we had been waiting for. It was almost instant, which is crazy because I never believed in "love at first sight" or anything like that. After four days, I totally knew he was it. I was sold!

Four years later, I still love the man like crazy and love being with him. We both work from home and we don't drive each other crazy, we have the most amazingly beautiful child to ever walk the planet, and he makes me laugh like no one else. We are blessed beyond measure.

I love you, Marcus.

Monday, November 2, 2009

#@%^ Daylight Savings....

Daylight savings for single people or couples without kids is heavenly. An extra hour of sleep and the bonus time in the day where one can meander along knowing that an extra hour followed them. What they didn't mention in the "When You Have Kids" handbook (which, by the way, I never did get) is that the days are LONG GONE when you will enjoy daylight puts your entire world into a tailspin of "Dear Lord, will he ever sleep past 6:00AM again?!?"

Yesterday marked our first experience with DST and we have already had words. I don't really count yesterday as a part of the full DST experience because we were at church for a good chunk of the day and our schedule was shot to begin with. The big bonus yesterday was that Isaac was so tuckered out from no morning nap that he took a 2.5 hour nap in the afternoon. Sweeeeeet!!! But seriously folks, how does one keep an incredibly sleepy, way too grumpy child up an extra hour just so they can get back on schedule?!? Who knew that a stupid hour could make a somewhat normal woman slightly nutty? OK...very nutty?

When I was pregnant with Isaac I really wanted to just go with the flow...not restrict everything to a schedule. Well, this is #2567 of the "what the hell was I thinking?" moments that has drastically changed. I LOVE having a schedule and I know Isaac does too. It just makes life so much easier...especially for those working from home.

So, for those of you expecting thoughts are with you this time next year. Have fun!! ;) (devilish grin inserted right here)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The big chop...

I'm not sure if it was pure laziness or just having no clue what to do with it, but for the past two years or so, I've had really long hair. At least it's really long to me...past my bra line. I knew that I didn't want to cut my hair when I was pregnant because I've heard horror stories from other mothers who did a big chop off and their face seemed to grow three sizes. I knew I wouldn't want to do much with my hair after having Isaac, so I just kept it simple and pulled back...all the time.

I don't know if it was the rolling over and pulling my hair at night, the constant "ponytail" headaches, the "uff, what am I going to do with my hair?" questions, or just needing something different that finally did it, but two weeks ago I chopped 11.5 inches off of my head. My trusty hairdresser put it in a ponytail and chopped it right off. I donated the 11.5 inches to Pantene's "Beautiful Lengths" program so I'm so glad my unruly hair will benefit someone who needs it.

So here it is! I'm still trying to retrain my "automatic pump" of the shampoo in the morning (dang, the first morning I did my normal three pump and had wayyyy too much) but it feels so much better to have all of that hair off of my head. That and I won't miss the massive amounts of hair on my bathroom floor.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Anyone who knows me (or is related to me) knows I'm Norwegian. My cousin Rebecca took it one step further and calls us "Iwegians" because we are Norwegians from Iowa. We don't go about saying, "Yah, sure, you betch-ya!" all the time or throw our Nordic hips around while talking to trolls under the bridge. At least not this week. When I was in college a friend found some "ethnic" Barbies at a local Wal-Mart and they had a Norwegian Barbie which they described as: usually tall, blond, blue-eyed, and sturdy. Yep, we are a solidly built bunch, that's for sure.

I don't know if this little bit of information was passed down from our Norwegian ancestors or if it's something that my mother just pulled out of thin air, but ever since I was a little girl, whenever I felt sick my mom would tell me to take a bath and eat a piece of toast. In our family, toast and a bath seems to fix everything. She also says that all Norwegian food is just a vehicle for butter, which I fully believe.

Well, it seems that our little home remedy didn't seem to help me feel 100% better, but I'm certainly feeling better than I did last week. Aside from the crap that's living in my lungs and won't lodge loose, I'm feeling pretty good. Now it's just keeping Isaac healthy, which sometimes feels like it's impossible, but he seems to be doing really well so far. He's happy as a clam and he makes me smile every time I look at that sweet little face.

Now that sweet little face has a bit of a bruise on his left eyelid. He got all crazy yesterday and wanted to stand up by the chair, lost his footing and hit his head. Poor little lamb. He got over it very quickly and went along his merry way. So we went for a walk. Him in his little track suit, me in my coughing state hoping that the fresh air will clear out my lungs.

Do you think the kid could chill out a little bit? Gracious.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I'm not feeling so hot today. Not sure what it is but I'm praying it only involves a short stay in my head and throat. Yuck. As my grandmother used to say, "Do you feel pew?" Yes, Grandma, I feel very pew.

Anyway, thought I would at least share one of my new favorite pictures of Isaac. He recently discovered the joy of blowing raspberries and does it whenever he gets the chance; when food is in his mouth, at 3:00AM, when I'm in the middle of a phone call. Obviously he chooses excellent situations to show off his talent.

And that bottom lip...kills me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not for the squeamish...

Since having a baby, it's not a rare occurrence to find random bodily fluids all over the place. The gallons of spit, spit-up, the "is that pee or more spit" debate, the "is that poop or spilled baby food" query, and so on. When the child belongs to someone else or isn't a blood relative, any of the above mentioned situations can be quite gross.

For example, this weekend my cousin/sister Rebecca (known as Tanta Biscuit to Isaac) and her wonderful husband Tim (of the Uncle TIIIIUUUMMM fame) came down to visit us. We had a fantabouslously fantastic time together and they got some quality time with the ever growing Sir Isaac. Anyway, Rebecca and I were watching Isaac play in his room and chatting away one morning when Isaac started to look at something quite intently. So Rebecca goes over to see what has peeked his attention. "Ohhh, is...that....ummm....chocolate?" I could just HEAR the "Please sweet Lord let this be a random piece of chocolate in the baby's room!!" I went over and yes, it was a small piece of poop that had fallen out of Isaac's diaper. "Well, it's not so much chocolate as it is poop. Sorry Bec!" Thankfully it fueled lots of laughter and weird "I just touched poop" giggles, so it wasn't all that bad.

Nothing like a good poop story to start off the day. You're welcome...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ode to "the boinger"

Isaac is quite mobile. I wasn't really prepared for this when he started to pull himself up to stand at 6 1/2 months, crawling like crazy at 7 months and now really trying to walk at 8 months. Oh boy. We have a mover and a shaker on our hands.

So with this new found mobility, Isaac is discovering things all over his room that produce fascinating sounds, interesting functions and a strange gravitational pull towards his dirty diaper bin.

One of his new fascinations is the door. He loves to close the door and play with the hinge. Play is too technical of a word. He mainly likes to touch it. I'm sure his sponge-like brain is thinking, "What the flip is this thing? What does it do? How can I get it into my mouth?"
And then there is the doorstop, or better known around our house as "the boinger". It's called "the boinger" because it makes a boooiiinnnngggg sound and vibrates like crazy, two things that create a world of wonder for a little kid. He sits there and plays with that thing like it's going out of style. Don't worry dear friends, we took the white plastic cover off of the tip so he won't swallow that part. We are smart like that.

The thing about the boinger is the fact that it is sticking out of the wall, which provides a brilliant opportunity for him to try to chew on it. The stunner is that he responds to his name quite well, so when we say, "Isaac, that's not for babies" he turns away and leaves it. Brilliant, I tell you...brilliant!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Short pants...

Ahh, what a week! Last Thursday my parents rolled into town for the week and it was so good to have them here. It's always good to have family in town. I think Marcus and I have lived away from family for so long that when we do have visitors it's like a breath of fresh air invades our house. Next up, Rebecca and Tim will visit from Chicago this weekend and I. CAN.NOT.WAIT!!! Isaac knows them as Tanta Biscuit and Uncle Tiiiiuuuumm, so I will report on their visit next week for sure.

Now, on to the subject of short pants. Short pants, in my family, mean shorts. I think it was my Uncle Kevin who coined the phrase for us when we were little and it just kind of stuck. But when I talk about short pants in reference to my son, it's a different matter.

Isaac turned 8 months old last week, which obviously means he is fitting into 18 month old clothes now. Obviously. I mean, who wouldn't think that concerning an 8 month old? Someone must not have sent me the memo when he was born informing me that when we shop for clothes to add 10 months onto the suggested size for an 8 month old. Good golly.

So yeah, Isaac fits into clothes intended for an 18-24 month old kid, which is quite sad considering we have a closet full of clothes that he will never be able to wear. That is unless we want to play, "Chubby baby in a tiny coat," which I wouldn't put past my husband considering he quotes Tommy Boy every chance he gets.

This weekend the temperature dropped considerably and we needed to cover up his deliciously chubby legs, so I went rummaging for some pants for the boy. I spotted a pair and slipped them on. After struggling to get the waistband up past his leg fat I got them on, stood him up and saw that they were...well...too short and a bit too tight. It's not like I was trying to squeeze him into a pair of pants for a 3 month old. They said they were for a 9 month old so, naturally, I thought they would be OK. Not so much.

And yes, the kid is standing and REALLY wanting to walk. He is quite the brave little fella. He pulls himself up, stands there with one hand lightly holding onto whatever he is standing next to and sometimes lets go all together.

Time to invest in a case of Tums....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Where be you?

It has been a week since my last entry. Yes, I know I promised to write every day or at least 2-3 times a week depending on how crazy El Nutville is. This week I have a good excuse...Mama & Papa Hanson were here! Sadly, they will be leaving tomorrow. When I say sadly, I mean SAAAADDDDLLYYY. I will miss them greatly and boy oh boy does Isaac love having them around, which makes this Mama's heart so happy. But we will see them again in Iowa for Thanksgiving, which is, YIKES, about a month and a half away! Where the hell did this year go??

So I will have lots of pictures to share and some fun stories. Just wanted to get my quota in for the day. Until then...

Peace out....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nature-1, Jenn-0

My parents are making the treck down to Nashville today, which makes this girl spit crazy happy. Granted they have to drive through Illinois, which is covered in rain today, so I'm sure they will be happy to get out of that state to officially step into the south where there guessed it...more rain. I am all about having a rainy day or two, but really folks, this is getting stupid. And where in the world is our cooler weather??? Isn't it officially Fall?? Could I complain any more??

One person who really enjoys watching the rain is Sir Isaac. That combined with the trees in the back yard blowing around just sets his little mind a twitter. Truth be told, there is no competing this glorious rain/tree blowing combo when we are trying to feed him. Nature wins every time.

Who? Me?

Monday, September 21, 2009

When I worked at EMI I had a co-worker who called me "The Lost Tenenbaum". Do you remember that glorious movie by Wes Anderson? Oh the quirky glory! Needless-to-say I took this as a compliment because I love that movie. But he said this because my family has had its fair share of really weird (and I mean WEIRD) things happen to us. Here are just a few things...and I'm totally not joking:

1.) A National Guard jet crashed into my mom's yard in Iowa in 1968

2.) My great grandmother has 22 kids (technically 19 because three were still births)

3.) My parents moved into a house that had a statue in their yard that was carved by a chainsaw that was named "Uncle August" and was somewhat of a town attraction. My mom got into a bit of trouble when she tried to put a cape on Uncle August one year.

4.) My cousins Rebecca and Katie are my "double cousins" because my mom and their mom are sisters, my dad and their dad are brothers...brothers married sisters. No, that is not illegal and not sick and wrong. Draw a map and figure it out....

So that is just a sampling. I'm not sure why I went into all of this detail for this story, but I digress.

Anyway, my grandmother Marie was my mom's mom and she was quite the hoot. She passed years ago. Grandma was famous for reciting nearly everyone in the families name before she got to who she was actually talking to. "!" Every single time. She never just came out and said, "Jennifer!" We were just left staring at her, one eye halfway closed thinking, "Aaaaany day now."

Anyway, I had a chilling moment yesterday. I was trying to feed Isaac some sweet potatoes when I said, " ISAAC!" Lord help me....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Peeping Tom...

I think I have mentioned before that I am quite the Peeping Tom when it comes to blogs. I absolutely love looking in on peoples lives, see how they decorate their homes, how they arrange their days, what they are wearing, how they cook a perfect pot of wonderful edibles, and so on. I have gleaned quite a bit and been inspired by many creative types. I'm first to admit that I'm not very adventurous or creative, but dang, I can copy the crap out of them.

So here are a few of my favorite sites that I visit. Some of the people I know, some I don't. But they are all tons of fun and quite inspiring.


A few months ago my wonderful cousin/sister Rebecca & her equally amazing husband Tim came down to visit us and meet Sir Isaac. We were driving around Nashville in the rain when they issued a huge all time favorite magazine, Domino, was going out of print. WHAT?!? I was devastated, I tell you...DEVASTATED. No more skipping out to the mail box to behold a glorious light beaming out of the cracks to see my lovely Domino sitting there patiently for me. Overreacting? Ohhh yeah, but seriously, was quite sad that it was going away.

So a few months later I stumbled upon a fantastic new site that takes the place of Domino quite nicely. AND it's updated EVERY DAY! No more waiting a month to find out how to decorate my coffee table or how to make an entire Thanksgiving meal in an hour. Oh sisters, it is glorious!

I have never met this woman but I want to be her best friend. Heather Armstrong, aka Dooce, is brilliant. Aside from her religious views (she's a recovering Mormon who...well...let's just say she's not a fan) I relate to her on so many different levels. Her husband, Jon, is a carbon copy of Marcus and she has a way with words that leaves me laughing so hard my nose runs. She makes motherhood funny because, let's face it, sometimes being a mom can be freaking hard. She is also an amazing photographer and takes a daily picture of her dog, Chuck, who can balance almost anything on his head.

Dreams of Genevieve

I have no idea how I came across her blog, but I truly appreciate Jenni Simmons' writing, style, outlook on life, photography and overwhelming love of books and tea/coffee. She did a story on an artist that I've been working with and it's been fun following her and getting fantastic book recommendations from her via her GoodReads link. She's a lovely soul with talent to boot...


I found this site via and boy is it fun! It's 7-8 minute videos of various mom bloggers talking about all sorts of topics. They are funny, interesting, and just a good distraction for a few minutes.

Daily Routines

This site hasn't been updated in quite a while, but I have really enjoyed it. Like I said before, I love to peek into the lives of others to see how they organize their day. Maybe it's because I work from home and don't have the structure of an office life like I used to have. But I love to see how other writers map out their day and get some insight into how they do what they do. This might not interest you all, but I find it quite fun :)


I am not a big baker but after finding this site I sure want to be! I haven't looked into who this gal is or her background, but dang, she makes some fun stuff! Everything looks so good and is photographed beautifully. It makes me think, "Dang, maybe I COULD make that without it turning out to be total crap."


I used to work with Sarah at EMI. We both left within months of each other and, sadly, I haven't seen much of her since. But when I found out she had started a website with her amazing (and I mean AMAZING) photography I was allll over it. She is hilarious and insightful...and her two kids are absolutely adorable.

Well, that's it for now. Enjoy peeping in on some of these sites and let me know what you think! BTW, I have no idea why the comment section doesn't work. That's what you get for writing on a free blog :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where you been?

Clouds are beginning to lift...I can finally focus....ahhh, THAT'S what it feels like to be rested after having a baby! Ahhh, refreshing...I forgot what it feels like...

Oh, hello. Didn't see you there! Why the cheerful banter? Why the joyous tap tappity tap on my keyboard?


I almost didn't type this because whenever I put something out there regarding Isaac sleeping, it always seems to bite me in the ass. Well, I say, blow caution to the wind because I feel so flippity flip flip great!!! I am so proud of this little guy.

But let me back up for a minute and tell you about the past four nights.

I have a feeling it stems back to his teeth coming in. The poor little guy. When we knew that was the reason he wasn't sleeping we went to him every time he woke up. Because really, who wants to cry and be miserable all by themselves when they have two huge teeth trying to blast their way out of your gums??

So his teeth are coming through nicely and all should be well, right? Well, not so much. For the past four nights he was waking up every 1-2 hours...and it was killing us. Killing us to the fullest extent of the word. And Isaac was frustrated, tired and just not knowing which way was up or down. On Tuesday when I woke up feeling like I had 17 whiskey shots the night before I turned to Marcus and said, "OK...somethings gotta happen before I permanently turn into Ms. Hannigan and start swimming in a bathtub full of gin."

I know I've gone on my rants about not wanting to raise our child according to what a book says. I still hold true to that, but Mama needed some help STAT. I cracked open a book that I got when Isaac was born called "Healthy Sleep, Happy Baby" which sadly reads more like a textbook and leaves me going, "Ehh?" about every other paragraph.

So I turn to the section for 5-9 month olds and read about 40 pages while Isaac played in his crib trying to walk around the parameter of his bed. Simple suggestions to apply: put him to bed a half hour earlier and let him cry when he wakes up. Oh how I hate the second part. He took a two hour nap that morning and wanted nothing to do with his second nap that afternoon. So I decided to put him down earlier for bed. We are talking 6:30PM...yeah, you read that correctly. I thought it was crazy, but then I pictured Ms. Hannigan again and thought, "I'll try anything at this point."

So down he goes at 6:30...out like a light. I was bracing myself for him to wake up an hour later but he didn't! I nearly cried I was so happy! But 11:00PM came around and he woke up. So we let him cry...and cry...then mama cried. But I stuck to it, with the help of Marcus holding onto my arm saying, "He's OK. He's been fed, he's dry, he's safe. He needs to learn to put himself to sleep." And wouldn't you know it, 30 minutes later he was alseep! ASLEEP WITHOUT ME HAVING TO GO IN AND ROCK HIM FOR 45 MINUTES!!! AHHHH!!!!

The next time he woke up was at 5:30 and I knew he was hungry. So I went in, fed him really quick and put him back down. He slept until 7:30 and happily played in his crib for another 15 minutes. I went into his room and couldn't stop kissing his sweet little cheeks!!! I am so freaking proud of him!!!

I know we aren't out of the woods yet, but there is a big neon sign blazing at my face saying "YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! YOU WILL SLEEP AGAIN SOON!!!"

Quite the way to start a rainy Wednesday. Thank you sweet Isaac...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pensive little guy, wouldn't you say?

Isaac is very much his father's son. When a TV is on he is alllll about watching it. Doesn't really matter what is on. If it's on, that is where his attention goes. Granted we don't have it on much when the little guy is around. Don't want to rot his brain too much before he turns a year old. We are responsible parents like that. Umm...yeah.

My in-laws got Isaac a little educational video from the makers of Hooked on Phonics that helps kids with reading, learning new words, and instilling a love of reading. This is Isaac's favorite thing...his little legs start going all over the place when put the video in and he just laughs and laughs along with it. I am ALL about educational videos in very small chunks, and this is a good one. Slightly annoying to parents? Yes, but what kids video isn't?? As long as he is learning something and not just a zombie watching whatever rolls over the screen, I can justify him watching 10 minutes a day.

That and it gives me time to sweep the floors. It's the important things you know...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Our little Isaac Henry is a vocal kid. Vocal meaning making all sorts of wonderfully funny noises and finally discovering that he can say "bababababa!!" or "mmmmmm!!" after every bite of his food. Who knows what is going on in his head when he says this or what he THINKS he is saying, but I'm sure it's brilliant and hilarious.

So when said child isn't making noises or rustling around in his play pen, I start to get curious to see what he is up to. The other day I was in the kitchen when I didn't hear Isaac playing with his little plastic keyboard (which is is favorite because his Grandpa dePaula plays the piano) so I ventured into the living room to see what was up. And this is what I found:

He was just...there...hanging out...all baby chill like. Usually he moves when I come into the room and I miss the opportunity to take a picture. But I ran to the kitchen to get my phone and he was still like this when I got there.

Have you ever seen such legs?!? Ooooo, he's just delicious!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Toothpick Monday...

Do you remember the old "Tom & Jerry" cartoons? Man, I used to love those when I was a kid. A particular episode comes to mind today when Tom was sleeping and Jerry used toothpicks to try to keep his eyelids open. Painful? Yes, but dang, if it worked I wouldn't put it past myself to at least try it on days like today. No amount of coffee seems to give me the kick in the pants that I need. Good thing I don't know where the toothpicks are...

Why so tired, you ask? Well, we have a 7 month old. That should explain a lot. "Oh," you say. "Shouldn't he be sleeping through the night by now?" To which I reply, with grinding teeth and a slight bit of steam percolating out of my head, "YOU THINK??!!!???" We are on day four of Isaac waking up about every 3-4 hours. He hasn't done this since he was a month old. Usually when I put him down for the night at 7:30 or 8:00 he is out till at least 3:00AM or 4:00AM. But he has been on this crazy, "Hey ya'll!! Let's wake up and see how long it takes me to fall back asleep! It will be fun!! Whose taking bets??"

I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it, but about two weeks ago I was hanging out with Isaac in his room. He was playing in his crib and I was reading in the rocking chair. Out of the corner of my eye I start to see this little head peek up. I look over and Isaac has pulled himself up holding onto the top railing of his crib. The kid was standing up!! He was 6 months old at the time! Even more startling than that was the fact that the railing was up to the middle of his chest. Perfect topple over the railing situation. So, the next day Marcus lowered his crib to the bottom rung. All that to say, now when I put him down for bed, half the time he wakes up when I lay him down. Not sure if the extra two feed did anything to the atmosphere rolling around his head, but hey, ANYTHING right now is a culprit.

He's growing so fast, his brain is taking in so much new information, he's learning so much...the list goes on. I'm pretty convinced that his brain is just going a million miles an hour and his body is on overdrive growing that he just can't fully rest. Yeah...we will stick with that.

Until then, keep all toothpicks out of my reach...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Giggles and Monday...

For some reason my brain is all ADD today. I think it is the crazy 'to-do' list that is sticking its tongue out at me and saying, "Oh yeah sister...THAT is a Monday morning for ya!" Stupid list...I shake my fist at you.

Last week was a total blur due to getting caught up after my computer blew up, getting the new computer set up, adjusting my eyes to said computer's HUGE screen, and Isaac teething. Oh landy...he is teething with a capital HOLY CRAP THIS IS HARD. It is so heartbreakingly hard to sit by while you know your child is uncomfortable. I think we are finally seeing a slight light at the end of the tunnel, but dang, last night was the topper to this entire experience.

On Sunday's Marcus is at the church practically all day. Normally Isaac and I attend the evening services at 6:00PM, but since he is teething and a bit more susceptible to illness we decided to hang out at home and rest. We had a lovely day and Isaac actually took a late afternoon nap, which kind of threw things off schedule, but hey, I'm cool like school and we just went with it. Since he took such a late nap he wasn't interested in his sweet potatoes for all. No worries...I'll give him an extra ounce in his bottle and he should be fine.

So we go up to his room, get him in his sweet little pj's, read a story, say our prayers and then chow down. He's starting to doze off when he started crazy coughing. He had been coughing a bit more than normal that day and I knew it was from his little nose running due to his teething. So I sit him up, rub his back and then BAAAAAMMM!!! The kid opens his mouth and every drop of the milk he just drank came SPEWWWWING out. I mean mouth WIDE open, a crazy amount of milk gushing out.

Now, I'm not a freak out kind of gal, but this scared the crap out of me. Of course kids are going to throw up, but are they supposed to throw up all Exorcist like? Seriously??

I called Marcus and thankfully our pediatrician goes to our church, so he high tailed it her way. She assured us that sometimes babies cough so hard that they throw up, but if he can't keep anything down then to give her a call. She also suggested putting a pillow under his mattress to elevate his head so the snot isn't draining right down his throat. We did that and wow...did it make a difference! He slept so much better and isn't nearly as congested as he was yesterday. Score another one for Dr. Cox!! She rules on so many levels...

Now if only his dang teeth would come in.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

She's here!

At this very moment I'm trying to adjust my eyes to the MAGICALLY DELICIOUS MONGO SCREEN that is my new computer.  Gracious it's big.  She's absolutely lovely, although lovely might be too feminine of a word for her.  Pictures are to come.  I'm just so amazingly thankful that we were able to get a new computer in an adequate amount of time.  God is good.  

So here we on a new adventure.  Welcome to casa dePaula...

I think I'm going to call her Roz...the name says it all.  

Sunday, August 16, 2009

R.I.P Dorothy....

It's true folks...Dorothy, my trusted Mac PowerBook G4 of 4 1/2 years, has officially died. She put up a good fight, Dr. Marcus did all he could do, but alas, she has exited the building.

We have many fond memories of Dorothy. Like remember that time I accidentally sent that email that was slightly dogging an annoying editor to my entire address book when I meant to send it to only one person? Remember that? Wow...THAT was embarrassing! Or that time we went to London and you stayed in my bag the entire trip? That was great. Or that time you were struck by lightning and fried up? Well, that part wasn't so great, but it was memorable. You will be missed, oh wise and trusty Dorothy. You will be missed.

So now on to a more youthful, powerful, and sleeker computer that will hopefully be within our grips sometime this week. Will it happen? Prayers are being sent up and waiting to be answered. Until then, sharesies with Marcus and his computer. Don't tell Marcus, but I've named his computer Hector. For some reason he doesn't get a kick out of naming electronics as much as I do...although we did name our car Gladys. We are her 'pips'....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chow Time...

Apparently Isaac's highchair is delicious. He would much rather eat that than his carrots. Too bad you can't hear the sounds I'm making trying to get his attention. Just another day at casa dePaula...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What gets my goat...

If there is one thing that really gets this Norwegian all fired up and wanting to pull every last hair out of my head it is incompetent people. Ooooo's right up there with people eating with their mouth open or feeling the need to shove their faces with a huge handful of popcorn at the movie theater like it is the last ounce of food they will ever eat. Yeah...I'll have to do a post on that one later...

Monday morning was supposed to be the day that the replacement part for my computer was to come in. Actually, it should have been here on Friday because we paid for two day shipping seeing how this particular company works, it shouldn't surprise me that it didn't arrive on time. So the part got in when I was at a lunch meeting and Marcus was going to take apart my computer when I got home to install it. Seriously ladies, if you're single and looking for a husband, look for one who knows what they are doing with computers!! Ooo, and one that can whistle...

Anyway, my brazilliant husband gets everything situated, his very tiny screwdrivers to open Dorothy (my computer) up and perform major surgery. We are talking heart transplant type of surgery for a computer. Yeah, totally nerve wracking.

So he gets all 87 tiny, itty bitty screws out, the speakers, the mother board, the whoo hahs, ya yas, and do dads out. Very meticulous and delicate work...makes my head hurt even thinking about it.

He gets to the source of our problem and takes the piece out. Success! Or so we thought. Marcus gets the replacement piece, takes a look at it and something isn't right. It's the wrong $%@# part.

When Marcus gets mad, it's like the room gets 15 degrees warmer and he goes from being a lovely caramel colored Brazilian to a beet red, horns coming out of his head, angry bull like man. Granted, this is a very, very rare occurrence, but when it does happen I suggest you just run away.

So we have a very upset husband who is now on the phone with the company he ordered the part from. Some sales yahoo gets on the phone and tries to tell Marcus that they didn't send the wrong part. Lesson #1: Don't tell an angry Brazilian that he is wrong when he's looking at the order form and the order number does not match the number on the replacement part. After talking the yahoo sales guy through this the sales guy goes, "Oh yeah, that's the wrong part." YA THINK?!?

So after talking to the owner of the company (yeah, Marcus isn't afraid of confronting people like this, where I tend to hide and run away from said confrontation) and they finally agreed to give us a refund and pay for the shipping. So my computer still isn't fixed and the new replacement part won't be here until Friday.

Until then, Dorothy's guts are still out on our dining room table, and her 87 screws are nicely lined up in front of her. Heaven help us if this replacement part doesn't work...eeekkk!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Good old mother nature...

The last few days have seemed to run together so I was quite surprised to find out today is Friday. Ahh, Friday. You don't mean as much to me as you did before, but I still look upon you fondly and think you're pretty cute. Working from home seems to wash away any sense of time or preference for particular days of the week because, well, they run together like a big fat blob. For example, last week I realized that I had not left the house in three days...threeeee days. Yeah, sad.

Anyway, there has been quite the commotion around our house this week. On Tuesday night we were watching the 6:00 news and saw that we were supposed to get some big storms later on that night. problem. I put Isaac to bed, we eat dinner, and while we are cleaning up the kitchen, the storm comes. Ooooo dogs, it was a big one. The thing that was so scary was the lightning. It was insane! We were finishing up when we hear this HUGE...I mean HHHUUUUUGGGGEEEE bang. BIG BANG! MASSIVE BANG! It seriously made us jump and run to the window to see what on earth the lightning hit. Marcus thought that it might have hit the cross on the church down the road, or even the water tower. But dang, it was really close.

So the storm starts to ease up and I'm not fighting the urge to go up, get Isaac and run into the basement. Marcus and I head into the living room to watch another episode of Damages, which we were watching from my computer. Our DVD player decided to bite it so we hooked my computer up to the TV and watched the DVD from there. When I sat down I smelled something. It smelled very...odd. Almost electric. Not a burning electric smell, but electric all the same. I asked Marcus if he smelled it and he started looking around to see what it might be. It wouldn't be until the next morning that we find out that there was a power surge that went through the sound system/TV which then fried my computer. Yep, toasted it up like a piece of burnt bread. Thankfully my husband is a computer genius (seriously folks, if you have any problems with your computer, mainly Mac/Apple products, he's your guy) and he figured out that the motherboard wasn't fried, just my power supply. Granted, this is still a major pain and puts my computer out of the running for several days, but it's not the disaster it could have been.

Later on that day Marcus was out walking the dogs when he discovered where the lightning bolt hit. When he got back to the house he took me over to the sliding back door and said, "Look up at the tree," which is all of 200 feet from our house. The lightning bolt hit the tree that was 200 feet from our house. Let me rephrase was 200 feet FROM MY SON'S BEDROOM.

Have you ever seen Ghostbusters? Remember that scene where Bill Murray's character goes in to find Sigourney Weaver floating above the bed, talking in that crazy low voice, "There is no Dana, only Zool."?? Remember that? I don't think that Dana was actually taken over by crazy spirits...I think they told her that her son was 200 feet away from a lightning bold less than 12 hours ago, because my voice seriously lowered 20 octaves and had sparks coming out of my eyes. "WHHHHAAAATTTT??? LIGHTNING STRUCK WHERE??? 200 FEET FROM MY SON!!!!! AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Yes, I went momentarily insane. Out of my mind, crazy insane. I couldn't believe it. At the same time I was so overwhelmingly thankful that we were safe, that Isaac was OK and that my computer was the only casualty. Thank you, Lord!

Was I overreacting a bit? Maybe. But when danger is heading toward the baby cub, Mama Bear comes OUT! I'll take you bolt of lightning...yeahhhhh, you wanna mess with me?? I thought so...

Hopefully life will be restored to Dorothy (my computer) and all will be well with the world. Till then, hurry towards us Mr. UPS man with the stinking part!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Little fish butt...

Not sure which is cuter...his fat rolls or the little fish butt. Gotta love grandparents who keep their eyes open for such outfits. Will be a good picture to show his first girlfriend...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lovely moments...

Sunday's tend to be rather exhausting days for Marcus because he is at the church from 7:30AM till about 8:30PM (sans a 3 hour window where he comes home before the 6:00PM service). Isaac and I have been attending the 6:00PM service because I can't get a shower in and get ready before Marcus leaves at 7:00AM to attend an earlier service. Excuses excuses...yep, that's my story.

But yesterday was a bit different because we tried to install a new napping situation. I know certain people will look down on us and go, "Don't they know they are NOT supposed to do that??" regarding how Isaac naps, to which I say, with all my love, "BACK OFF!!" :)

Anyway, Isaac has never been a big napper. There are a few instances where he slept for several hours at a time when he was really little, but he doesn't like to nap in his all. One day he was so exhausted and was fighting going to sleep when Marcus just took him into our room, laid down next to him on the bed, and he was out for two hours. TWO HOURS! This was monumental! He's sleeping for more than 20 minutes at a time...I'll take it. So that has been our napping situation for the last two months. He gets his sleep, we take our computers into our room and work while he sleeps next to us, and all is well with the world.

But I started second guess myself when I started to think about maybe needing a babysitter from time to time in the afternoon and dealing with the naps. Hmmm. That might cause a problem. So we decided to ease Isaac into napping in his crib.

Saturday it went really well. He cried for a few minutes but seemed to fall asleep shortly after that. Success!!! Wow, this just might be easier than I thought! Yeah...right.

So yesterday I fed him, we played for a bit, and when he started to rub his sweet little eyes, I put him in his crib. The little guy did NOT like that one bit. I let him cry for a few minutes, go in and rub his face and belly, and leave. The cries would get harder and harder, and more heart breaking every time. I stuck to my guns though and he finally fell asleep. For all of 20 minutes.

Later that afternoon we went through the same routine and ooohhhhh boy, did this mama's heart break every time I had to close the door behind me. Good grief, it was hard. I went downstairs with the baby monitor and sat on the couch and cried with him. Ufff...I hate hearing my sweet baby boy cry.

I sat there praying for strength, for comfort for Isaac, that he would actually sleep, and asking if I was doing the right thing. I had the most amazing encounter with the Lord at that very moment. I felt God say, "I know it hurts to hear your son cry. I've been there. " The image of Christ on the cross, crying out to his Father flashed through my mind and I can't even begin to tell you how my heart sank. When I talk with other parents about their kids, there is an instant connection of, "Oh man, I totally understand what you're going through." I felt that same connection with God, the Creator of the world, knowing how hard it is to hear our children cry. But even though He could have sent down an army of angels and saved His Son from dying, He knew the bigger picture and knew what had to be done.

Am I comparing my little Isaac with Jesus dying on the cross?? HEAVENS no. It was such a beautiful moment of understanding and peace that came from knowing that God knows exactly what we are going through when we hear our children cry. As simple as that is, it brought me such amazing peace.

And Isaac slept for an hour after that :) Sweet little baby steps...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Embarrassing moments...

So I'm going to be Captain Obvious and state that it has been a few days since my last entry. Yep yep, tis true. It has been one of those weeks where every spare moment I have is spent either keeping the dogs from barking at the ant crawling across the driveway or just trying keeping my eyes open. It's been nutter-ific around here to say the least.

My parents were in town this past weekend. Man, they cannot move down here fast enough! I haven't lived with them for 14 years and every time we say good-bye I cry. Yep, still cry like a baby. We do our long, extravagant good-bye ceremony and wave to each other till we can't see their car anymore as they drive away.

When we found out they were coming to town we thought this would be the perfect weekend to dedicate Isaac at church. Monday marked Isaac's half birthday, which also happens to be my mom's birthday, so we thought this was great timing.

Mom and Dad were really excited to be a part of this special occasion and we got all of the details ironed out. And I wisely didn't tell them that they would have to go up in front of the church with us until they were well within Nashville city limits. Once I got it through their heads that it was just for 5 minutes, they were cool with it.

Isaac has become more and more vocal and continues to crack us up with his array of noises. One of them being his horrendously loud grunting while he poops. Yes, I went poop. When you have a kid your world seems to be consumed by poop. Has he pooped today? Is that the normal color? Oh yeah, he had peas last night. You get the picture.

Anyway, on Saturday night we were eating dinner and I started thinking about how Isaac might react to a huge crowd of people looking back at him. Would he freak out and start crying? Would he scream and want to hear his voice echoing through the chapel as Pastor Jim is praying over him? Oh no...what if he has gas. The scenarios kept filling my head, but I tossed them aside and thought, "This is a baby! Even if he spits up everyone will oooo and ahhh because he's a precious little baby!" No harm done.

So Sunday arrives and we head up to the front of the church after the announcements. Isaac was in a wonderful mood (seriously, he's pretty much always in a great mood, praise the Lord) and did such a good job. He was smiling, clapping his little feet together, looking out at everyone. It was great.

So we get to the part where Jim tells us our spiritual duties as parents when all of a sudden Isaac starts to grunt...REALLY loud. A grunt that sounded like what I would imagine a wild pig might make before it charges after its prey. It was deep, loud and loooonnng. Then the smell moves in. Oh heaven help me, the smell. I look over at mom and by the look in my eyes she knows, "Oh no...the kid has pooped." I'm standing there holding my oderous child, praying that I had his diaper on straight and that it didn't shift somehow and that green baby poop wouldn't be dripping down his leg, which has happend from time to time.

At this moment Jim looks up at me and says, "Do you think it's OK for me to hold him?" Oooohhhh boy. Isaac is happy as a lark, smiley and happy, so I say, "SURE!" I heavely debated mouthing "Sorry!!" to him as the plume of stink lingered his way. To my surprise, Jim didn't say anything or make a weird face. Isaac just laid there in his arms, looking lovingly up at Jim as he prayed. It was such a sweet moment. I swear there was a little tear in Jim's eye as he handed my child back to me and we headed to our seats.

I grabbed Isaac's diaper bag and headed off to the nursery to drop him off. Right as I exited the chapel, I kid you not, he ripped the loudest poot I have heard come out of him in a long time. It was like a big old exclamation point on the end of this morning.

After church I asked Marcus and my parents if they were nearly knocked out by the smell while we were up there and they didn't smell anything. Score!!! I guess he just wanted to share that lovely moment with his mama.

Thankfully the Lord has a fantastic sense of humor. I'm sure he was sitting up there in heaven, with a big smile on his face, and said, "That's my boy!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

The simple things...

Today I feel rather ambitious and productive. Quite the feeling for a Monday morning, that's for sure. When I have a lot on my plate for the week, I find myself almost anxious to get down to my office to get things going so I can get my 'to-do' list completed sooner rather than later. I'm not a fan of having things hang over my head, so my getter gets going pretty quickly some mornings. Thank heaven for strong coffee and my favorite creamer.

Our weekend was a sweet one. Poor Marcus had to work late on Friday and Saturday at the church, so Isaac and I hung out, took walks, napped, read sweet little kids books, and played. When he was born, I felt so uneasy and unsure of myself being alone with him. I know that sounds weird, but I felt so overwhelmed and didn't know what to do with myself...let alone a crying baby. Now, a mere 5 months later, I feel completely at ease and absolutely love my time with him.

Another thing that I'm learning to do is trust my instincts with Isaac. I wasn't a big fan of reading a bunch of pregnancy books when I was pregnant and now I'm finding that reading books on how to parent your child is kind of...well...not for me. I know many parents depend on them, which I totally understand, but when I have tried things that these books suggest they don't really work for our son. I'm finding that what my gut is telling me to do and praying for wisdom and guidance on how to raise our son and what we need to do is far better than any book I could read.

Take for example my beloved sleep...which I miss oh so greatly. We have tried countless suggestions and tips that we have either read about or heard from other friends. But, like clockwork, Isaac wakes up at 3:00AM (seriously, on the button) eats and is asleep by 3:15. Marcus takes the 3:00AM shift and feeds him his bottle. Then he wakes up at about 5:00AM for another feeding, which is my shift. One morning I was so incredibly exhausted I just brought him into our room and nursed him laying down on our bed. He fell asleep beside me and we woke up at 8:00AM, his sweet little face with sleep still in his eyes looking up at me. I know some people would say that I'm creating a habit of him sleeping with us and would frown on that. And my reaction to that? Back off. I have never experienced such sweetness, such incredible love, and such earthly joy as I do in my child and husband. And waking up to both of them in my bed is, well, the sweetest gift I could ever imagine.

And if that doesn't follow what some book suggests, well, they are missing out on some of the simplest, sweetest joys of life with a child. And I thank God for that every day...even if it sacrifices an hour of sleep :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Great friends...

Marcus and I are the fullest extent of the word. Granted, I wasn't always this way. Since marrying my husband I have morphed into this new creature and greatly enjoy staying at home reading, watching TV or just hanging out with my family. It's amazing how entertaining Isaac is...I could just watch him bounce in his little jumpy seat all day and stretch my face in weird ways just to make him laugh. Let's face it...we are simple, easy to please people.

But we have been making more of an effort to having people over for dinner and spending time with the dear friends around us. It's crazy how we rarely see some of our friends for months at a time even if we live in the same city. All of our schedules are insane, we are adding kids to the equation, and life just gets in the way. Last night we had an amazing time with two dear people, Jen & Chance Scoggins, and their beautiful daughter, Jaylen. We stayed up way past our bedtime laughing, telling old stories, talking about future plans, and just reconnecting. We had a great time and it was so good to spend some much needed time with them.

On a completelly unrelated note...

Summer is in full swing here in Nashville and oh boy is it hot! At casa dePaula this only means one will freeze at our house. I am married to a particular Brazilian who does not like to be all. The thing is we don't keep the air conditioner at a really low temperature. There is just something about our house that keeps the house cool...or in my opinion downright chilly.

So I'm sitting in my office in our basement absolutely freezing. It's July and I'm dressed like it's December. I must really love my husband...or I'm a complete pushover.

Saturday, July 11, 2009 more thing...

We captured a few pictures of Isaac the other day that are just too funny and sweet not to share. The first group we lovingly refer to as "Isaac vs. the green beans...and the beans won" album. The kid is so expressive and animated! Wonder who he gets that from?

The second few Marcus took and we tossed around the idea of submitting one of these into a "Beautiful Baby" contest. But then I felt like a weird pageant mom and backed away from that thought pretty quickly. At least we got some cute pictures of the little guy!

Jenn X 2= a lot

Isaac turned 5 months old on June 27th, which blows my mind on so many levels. Thinking back to how much life has changed in such a short amount of time is quite overwhelming and incredibly humbling at the same time. Yesterday I was looking though some pictures of when Isaac was just a few days old and I can't believe how little he was! Looking at those pictures also spurred on memories of how lost I felt for the first few weeks of his life. Lack of sleep mixed with a hormone filled body really made me question if I would make it through this. Without warning I would just start bawling and I couldn't explain why I was sad. My sweet husband was amazing through all of it and my wonderful mother just kept telling me, "I gets better!"

But just a mere 5 months later, I feel like an old pro. When Isaac cries, I know what's wrong and can fix it. Breastfeeding is a breeze and I don't nearly have a heart attack while we are giving him a bath.

Now that I am comfortable being a mother and meeting the needs of my son, it has hit me that I have not been taking care of myself as well as I should be. Yesterday when I was getting into the shower, I caught a good look at myself in the mirror...oh heaven help me. Granted, I know certain parts of my body will never be the same since carrying a child and I will never have my 25 year old body as a 32 year old woman...but dang...mama's gotta do something!!

I've never been a big eater or had problems with overeating. I opt for fruit rather than candy, I don't tend to eat huge portions, but since I've been breast feeding I find myself hungry ALL...THE...TIME. I know this is totally normal and needs to happen to keep Isaac full and healthy, and I am thrilled to do this for him. But where I lack discipline is in the exercising.

Oh how I hate to work out! If it weren't so muggy and hot here in Nashville, I would be all about going for long walks around our neighborhood, but Isaac is NOT happy when he is hot and uncomfortable in his stroller. I wouldn't mind getting back into yoga or pilates, but when?? Between taking care of Isaac, work and keeping the house semi-presentable, the time just isn't there. Our amazing church offers a free, once a month pilates class for new moms, but if there is one thing that I hate more than working out it is working out with a bunch of other people. Don't get me wrong, I love the women there, but it just isn't my cup of tea.

Does this sound like a bunch of excuses? Yes. As I type them out I realize I need to make this, my health, my mental sanity, and just some "me" time a priority. A half hour of exercise never killed anyone :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

The 4th...

I don't know why but I have never enjoyed fireworks. Never ever. Even as a kid I didn't enjoy sitting outside, fighting off massive bugs that get stuck in my bug spray mixed with sweat, looking up at the sky, oohing and ahhing over colorful explosions. Call the the Scrooge of the 4th of July, but it's true. Don't get me wrong, I am a history freak and I love what the 4th stands for and why we celebrate it. I just choose not to partake in the capping off festivities of minor explosions.

But it seems that our neighborhood is full of people who absolutely love the 4th and the one day a year where it seems to be acceptable to set off explosives. That love carried on well into the 5th of July (mainly late at night) where our neighborhood yahoos set off hundreds of fireworks. I am sure these people don't have small children trying to sleep. The idiots across the way from us nearly burned their apartment complex by setting them off a little too close to the building. Of course they did that last year as well and obviously didn't realize that that could happen again.

Why can't everyone just have an ounce of common sense? Seriously folks? Seriously.

Friday, July 3, 2009

When it rains...

So we are now among the 10 million people on the planet that own iPhones. Yep, it's official. Originally I agreed to get them because my sweet husband was nearly busting at the seams to get one, but I must admit, they are pretty dern cool. We still have a few bugs to figure out, but my braziliant husband will hammer it out and it will be running slicker than snot before we know it.

So a few posts ago I talked about how slow work has been. I know it's that time of the year and that things always pick up. Well they a major way. My main client is pumping more and more work my way, which is great, but I'm trying to figure out how I will get it all done with my limited schedule. I'm officially working three days a week with two of those days watching Isaac and working at the same time. A tad overwhelming? Yes. But I know we will power on through it!

It's a holiday weekend and both Marcus and I will be working through it. I honestly forgot that it was the 4th of July! One tends to loose all track of holidays when self-employment is a part of ones life :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What goes around...

My husband and I are a lot alike yet sooooo very different. We have similar senses of humor, (dang, the man can crack me up) we are both very driven and productive people, we have the same sense of serving others and being comfortably situated in the background rather than up front for everyone to see. But one huge difference that we have comes in the form of procrastination.

When Marcus and I were doing our premarital counseling, our pastor brought up a very simple fact but one that would make a profound statement: we were raised differently. Simple, no? But this little statement has helped me to wrap my mind around some frustrations that I have had (and I'm sure that he has had with me) within our differences. I am not a procrastinator. When something needs to get done, I do it right away. I hate having things loom over me, waiting to get done. Marcus is King Procrastinator. In the fullest sense of the word, the man puts so many things off and waits till the last minute to do oh so many things. But that is how he works and I love him the way that he is. Does it frustrate me to no end at times? H-E-L-L yes, but I'm trying to get better at just letting it go and accept that that was how he was raised. End of story, right? Not so much...

So I'm sitting at my desk, creating my 'to-do' list for the day and it has started to overwhelm me. Yikes! Deadlines are popping up out of nowhere and things have picked up...and fast. So what am I doing about it?

Writing a blog.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


For the normal person, one doesn't miss something until it is gone. That idea is so true on many fronts...especially after having a child. Granted, you gain so much more after this little one enters your life, but there are a few things that go by the wayside once this little person takes over 99% of your life. One of the most missed aspects is a very simple one...sleep.

Oh I miss you. How you used to tickle my eyelids with your warm embrace for upwards of 9 hours a night and I would wake up refreshed, renewed, and energized. How we used to laugh at the thought of welcoming you into our world before 9:00PM because there was the Daily Show to watch, followed by The Cobert Report as a soothing nightcap for our day. When the only sound that entered our room was Marcus' crazy loud snoring, which was perfectly hidden by my earplugs, which now I cannot sleep without. Dear sleep...ah, that you are...a dear friend who has gone missing for close to six months. With that we say...we will see you again...someday.

When I saw my sweet cousin from Austin, TX at my brother's wedding last month, she was asking me all sorts of questions about parenthood and how things were going. I told her how amazing it is, how it is hands down the greatest blessing and joy you can have in life, and the first time that baby smiles at heart is a puddle of melted love. That child is the greatest thing to enter into your life. But, I felt like I had to be perfectly honest with is also the most difficult and hardest thing I have EVER done.

Let's be perfectly frank, the first two months are all about survival. There were many times where I really questioned if I would make it. The mixture of hormones, overwhelming feelings of love and feeling completely inadequate for this unbelievable task ahead of you sometimes feels so enormous that you question if you will ever get past it. Believe me, you do get past it and forget how difficult those first two months are. We are five months in and it has gotten so much better...except for the sleep.

Granted, he sleeps a full night for an infant. 7-8 hours straight is considered a full nights sleep and he certainly passes that. But when you go to bed at 7:30PM, eight hours later is 3:30 and boy are they ready to eat. I am really looking forward to the day where he actually sleeps till 6 or 7 AM without any earlier wake-up calls. I know this day will come!!

But it's the naps that are killing us right now. The boy does not like to sleep more than 30 minutes a few times during the day. Yesterday he actually slept for 3 hours, which is a complete miracle and hasn't been replicated yet today. I'm quite sad about that. He actually just woke up after only 30 minutes. At least he is happy and not cranky.

Sleep...we will see you soon...we miss you!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Yesterday I finally admitted that it would be nice to have an iPhone for one have a camera with me all the time to capture one of the sweetest aspects of motherhood. Yesterday Isaac did NOT want to all. When we don't have naps we have a crabby baby on our hands. So yesterday I took him into our room and I laid down with him. A sweet 45 minutes later I wake up to his rosy cheeked face cuddled up to my chest and his soft breath filling the space between us. My eyes welled up with tears of joy and I felt like the most blessed woman on the planet. I took a mental picture to file away in my memory and remember when I have a moment of relaps looking at other peoples lives and wondering, "Why can't I have that?" The beautiful blessings that are right before us...why do we look beyond the bountiful blessings that we have to be jealous of what we don't? I am so gilty of that and God gave me such a sweet reminder of all that I have been blessed with. Thank you :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Money shmuny...

I have to admit, I am a tad bit of a worrier. It's a trait that comes to me from my father's side of the family and it lives in my belly with a dollop of anxiety on the side. Granted, I don't worry about every little thing, but there are some big things that weigh on my mind more than others. This week it has been something that I think a lot of people worry about these My husband and I both work freelance, which is such an amazing blessing on so many fronts, like getting to stay home to raise our son, the freedom to work with who we want, being able to take off on vacation whenever we need to without asking for permission, and the list goes on. But the trade off is the lack of steady income, waiting on people to actually send you a check, having to pay for our own insurance, that kind of thing.

I'm sitting in my newly renovated office (I'll post pictures once we get everything situated) in my lovely home in Nashville and I greatly considered looking into applying for a job the other day. Work, for me, has slowed down this month (which I'm sure it will pick up again) and I just found myself getting sick of the ups and downs of self employment. We were stretched really thin this week financially and I got sick of having to call the same people to please PLEASE just put a stamp on the envelope and send me my @%#^ check!

But Marcus said something yesterday that really opened my eyes and made me finally rest regarding the entire deal. He said, "You know, God has completely provided for us, yet again. We have enough to pay our bills that are due this week and even have a little bit left over until the next check comes in." I thought back to other times in our four year marriage where we have been stretched financially and thought, you know, we've never gone hungry, yes we have been late on some payments and have had to save up for things that we really want, but He has always provided for us. God is good and I delight in that.

I know things will pick up but I'm enjoying being able to spend more time with Isaac, being able to keep the house clean, and not having the added pressure of deadlines on my head right now. I'm happy where God has me...and I'm thankful for that.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Home again, home again....

Well, we made it. Two weddings, several states and wonderful time with family and friends is now over, which makes me sad. I admitted before that I really questioned how two weeks in Iowa would go and we had a wonderful, relaxing, fun filled time. I miss my parents backyard already...Isaac has been incredibly fussy this morning and I know he would snap right out of it if we could put him in his bouncy seat outside to look a the trees.

This past weekend was my beautiful cousin (who I actually call my sister) wedding in Chicago and it was amazing. We got to see family again and it was just a really sweet time. I'll post some pictures soon.

This morning has gone rather slowly and I really want to get stuff put away, but with Isaac being in a bit of a funk, that has been put on ubber slow. That's OK with me...I'll just have another cup of coffee :)