An Interview with Isabella

Since it’s been 4 years, I thought it would be good to provide some updates on the girls. Kids change practically overnight it seems so you can imagine how much they’ve changed over the last few years! But instead of me writing paragraphs of my observations, I thought it would be more fun to just interview them so they could tell you about themselves in their own words! First up, Isabella, who is currently 8 years old and in 3rd grade. She has glasses, beautiful long blonde curly hair, was diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten, is very literal, logical and thoughtful and she amazes me.

Q: What is your favorite food?

Apples. I don’t know why. I guess because they’re juicy.

Q: What is your favorite color?

Blue, then turquoise, green, purple, pink and so on and on and on until all the colors are used up.

Q: What do you like most about school?

Art on Wednesdays. Also, Wednesday is chicken nugget day which is my favorite. [Then she leaned in and whispered: they don’t really call it ‘chicken nugget day’, I just made that up.]

Q: What do you want people to know about you?

That I’m not a small person who doesn’t know anything. I can’t be beat up. Like Dad says, I have sharp elbows.

(This answer surprised me so I asked her if she was worried about being “beat up”. She said no. Then added that she is the smallest in her class and sometimes people think that means she’s doesn’t know things. “But I know a lot of things mom, I just don’t say them.”)

Q: What are your favorite things to do?

Draw and color. I like drawing silly pictures for people. Also monsters.

Q: Who is your favorite person?

Mrs. J and Jayden. I can’t decide which so don’t make me.

Q: What do you like most about Cora?

She’s funny. But sometimes I don’t get it. She can be weird too.

Q: If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?

A stuffed animal come to life because then you can be snuggled and loved but also talk to people and do things.

Q: What’s the biggest thing that’s changed about you since you were 4 years old [which is how old she was when I stopped blogging]

I talked weird then. (Then she said, “You don’t have to write this part down Mom but I would say things like “Big, Bigger, and Biggerer“. That’s so weird!”)

Q: Any final words that you want to share with Mommy’s friends?

I would want them to know that I have a space themed room. I like space stuff. Also, interviews are fun. I like them too.


Today Isabella brought home an activity from school for hitting 100 days. Thought I’d share some of her answers.

  • I would not want 100…cats (the only reason is because my sister is allergic)
  • If I had $100 I would buy….an animal shelter.
  • I can lift 100…pieces of paper (make that 1000!)
  • In 100 years I hope I can…still walk
  • I can eat 100….chocolates (in one week)
  • I could never eat 100….pieces of pizza

And there you have it. Isabella in her own words. And what amazing words they are!

Crouching Labrador, Flying Mom

Ah, President’s Day. A holiday to relax, be grateful for our country, and of course, take your dog to the veterinarian’s.

Well, at least that’s what I did.

I purposely scheduled Samson’s annual shots/vaccinations appointment for today so that it would be easier to manage. I’m off work so either CJ or me could take him, without having to tote the kids.

In the end it was me who got the pleasure of strapping Samson into his nose lead and migrating to the vet’s office.

The whole ordeal started and ended quite comically, depending upon who you ask.

In order for Samson to fit in the backseat, I had to remove Cora’s car seat. That meant that 2/3’s of the seat was open and the other third was occupied by Isabella’s car seat. Samson jumped up on to the floor. He doesn’t have the leg power to jump directly on to the seat of my SUV anymore. Once inside, instead of jumping from the floor to the seat, he walked forward. Now, there’s not all that much space for a 90 lb. dog to walk in the back seat of a car. Soon he was at the other door unsure of what to do. In front of him was the door. On the seat beside him was Isabella’s car seat.  He was trapped! I was trying to help by coaching him to walk backwards to the open side but of course he didn’t take that option.

Not Samson!

Instead, he jumped INTO Isabella’s car seat and then sat there, facing backwards. I was laughing so hard! I so wish I could have been fast enough to get a picture. It would have been priceless! But he jumped out and on to the open seat before I could grab my phone.

I was giggling over that one for like the first mile.


We got to the vet’s, weighed him, and got him checked out. He passed with flying colors. I was given my summer supply of flea/tick meds and heartworm pills in a little baggie so I paid and then we were out the door.

Now, let me paint you a picture.

In my right hand I have ahold of Samson’s leash and the bag of meds, then over my right forearm is my purse. I was using my left hand to put my sunglasses on.

We step outside and to my immediate left is a low brick retaining wall, around which we needed to walk to get to the car. Samson must have smelled something because before I could clear the corner of the wall, he lunged.

And I went flying.


I landed on the wet sidewalk evenly between my right elbow, hip and knee, with my right arm fully extended and still clutching the dog, bag and my purse. Samson then dragged me for 6 inches or so before I he realized Mom wasn’t upright anymore.

I was mortified.

I quickly got up and made a beeline for the car. I needed some place to hide.

Once we were all inside, I assessed the damage. Because I was wearing layers, there was no real harm to me. I actually do have a small scrape on my elbow, even with a coat and long sleeved t-shirt on. I have a scrape on my knee too, though none of my clothes were ripped.

The bag of meds however was not so lucky.


I’m pretty sure Samson got a good laugh at my expense. I’m actually fairly impressed with myself that I didn’t let go of anything I’d been holding. #mommydeathgrip

Sadly, that wasn’t the first time Samson has pulled me off my feet, and it probably won’t be the last. One thing I am grateful for is that I didn’t have the girls with me. Would hate to think of one or both of them getting caught up in all that and somehow sustaining injury.

Never doubt the power of a Labrador, no matter how old they are.

I got a good laugh at his expense and he got a good laugh at mine. I guess all is fair in love and dog ownership.

More posts: By the Hammer of Thor! | Me, 30 Seconds Ago | Re-starting Over

Re-starting Over

Well. Hello there! How have you been?

I know, it’s been a while. Maybe too long. Did you forget about me? I almost did.

Do you have a minute? Oh good! Let’s chat. Here, have a cookie and some tea. I have something on my mind I’d like to share with you.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this blog and if I want to keep it going. It started out as a place to post stories of my crazy work environment. I wanted to share some of the funny and weird things we encountered. Those posts are still my most popular to date.

But once I left that office, the focus shifted to posts about my family and life at home. After a time I felt stuck in the silo of Mommy Blogger. Don’t get me wrong – there are a ton of great Mom Blogs out there but I felt like I was always competing with them and never quite measured up. The posts became more like long status updates and my heart wasn’t in it.

So I just stopped posting. I even thought about shutting this whole thing down.

Then I realized the other day that I could get back to what I started with. Not necessarily stories about The Annex but about other strange things that go on in the life of Team Trader. Believe me there are plenty. I recount them to friends and family all the time, so why not here?

So, that is going to be my new focus. That’s not to say I’ll never post about my family again. On the contrary, more often then not they’ll probably be featured in my stories. But it won’t be to report on the latest milestones Cora is hitting or how our financial situation is going (by the way, this year we’ve paid off all our debts except the house – BOO YAH!). It’ll be more like “you’ll never believe what happened when we tried to go look at Christmas lights the other night.”

I hope this change will rejuvenate both my spirit in writing and your spirit in reading this blog. 

Do you want to hear a tale? You do! Great!

I have to tell you about a phenomenon that goes on in this house. It’s called the Sleep Principle. This is how it works: whenever I have a morning where I could sleep in, Isabella or Cora will wake up extra early. On days when I work or have an appointment, and therefore it doesn’t matter to me how late they sleep, they will set records with the amount of time they will stay in bed. This can also be called “The Odds Are Forever In Your Favor CJ” Principle.

Saturday was one of those days when I could have used a few extra winks. I was feeling the beginnings of a cold and was also worn out from the hustle and bustle of the season. Well wouldn’t you know it but Cora was awake at 3:30 a.m. wanting to eat. I fed her and got back to bed by 4:15.

I believe it was exactly 2 hours later, and approximately 90 minutes after I finally fell asleep, that I heard “Mommy it’s morning!” and turned to find Isabella staring at me.

“Go back to bed,” I muttered knowing full well I was wasting my breath.

“No Mommy I’m hungry.”

Sigh. Fine.

I got up and shuffled downstairs. I made a deal with her that if I put in a movie and gave her food, she would watch it quietly while I went back upstairs to rest. After all, that’s what parenting is all about right – bribery and deal making. I popped in Despicable Me, made up a breakfast plate and was ready to head upstairs when I felt the call of nature. A call that could not be ignored.

So I made a detour in to the downstairs bathroom.

I had just finished drying my hands and was rounding the corner toward the staircase when I heard it.

The all too familiar sound of a dog dry heaving.

I tell you what, I have never run up those stairs so fast. I actually think I flew at one point.

I hurdled up to the second floor, tore down the hallway to Samson’s Loft (What? Your dog doesn’t have his own loft?) and yanked open the kennel door in time to see him puke all over his bed.

Good morning to you too!

Then he started the dry heaving again. I grabbed his collar and yell-whispered “Go Dude go! Outside! Come on!” while dragging him down the stairs. You try dragging 88 pounds of heaving dog down the stairs some time and see how fast you go. We didn’t quite make it and he hacked again in the playroom. I finally got him out the back door but he was already done by then.

I looked at the mess for a good 30 seconds while contemplating my options. I could do the responsible thing and clean it up immediately or I could ignore it and go back to bed. Of course I chose the adult grown up option –  place a paper towel on top of the pile so it was clearly marked, and then hustle up to my pillowed wonderland.

And just as I laid my head down on that sweet soft gateway to dream world, Cora woke up.

It was at that point that I elbowed CJ and told him to get up. I knew there was no going back to sleep for me but dammit I was not about to deal with all that awaited outside our bedroom doors all alone. There were kids to feed, diapers to change and 2 piles of puke to clean up.

Welcome to my life of luxury!

I hope you’ll come back soon to share in it some more!


Deep Thoughts from Isabella | Life A.D. – 6 Months | Then She Was Four

Deep Thoughts from Isabella

“I’m going to sing a song called Poopy Diapers. Don’t worry, it’s not about diapers….it’s about fear.”

“Somewhere you go is where you were.”

“No that’s not a snail it’s a caterpillar…from North Dakota”

“I want to be Katie Perry when I grow up. And an astronaut.”



For more Team Trader fun, check these out:

And then she was four | Munch and Punk | Little Things

Life A.D.–6 Months

My baby is half a year old.



How could this have happened? Who is responsible for the time going by so quickly? I want names!

I guess I just have to accept it. My girls are going to keep growing up and there ain’t nothin’ I can do about it.

In terms of milestones and progressions, not a whole lot has happened since last month.  Cora continues to observe everything and especially watches her big sister very closely.


Poor thing got another ear infection last week, this time in both ears. It’s her second one in a month. One or 2 more and we’ll probably have to start talking about tubes. This is all new territory for us as Isabella didn’t have an ear infection until just this year.  Cora wasn’t showing any typical signs of it either – no ear tugging or fussiness or loss of appetite. We only figured it out because she was getting a lot of mucus in her eyes.

Yesterday she broke out in a rash. Started in her diaper area so I thought it was just diaper rash. By mid afternoon it had spread all over. Lucky for us we were already going to the doctor for her well check appointment. Turns our she is allergic to Penacillin and thus broke out in hives. Both CJ and I are allergic so it only makes sense that one of the girls would be. Poor Cora seems to be getting the lion’s share of the bad genes!

She doesn’t seem bothered by any of it though so that’s a blessing.


Here is the report from her well check visit!

She is 13 pounds 15 ounces and 28″ tall. She’s average on height but tiny for weight. We got the go ahead to start baby foods (though she’s been on cereal for a month or so already). She’s also been approved to move to a convertible car seat whenever we’re ready. That’s what Isabella is in now. So when we move Cora up, we’ll upgrade Isabella to a booster and be DONE with the infant car seat altogether! Hip hip hurray!

(As a side note, Isabella also had her well check visit yesterday and passed with flying colors. The only thing was that we discovered she has ringworm. I had noticed a little circular shaped red spot on her chest and it wouldn’t go away with Hydrocortisone cream. Now we know why. Doctor said some times kids get it from cats. We don’t have any cats. However we do have cats that roam the neighborhood so doc suspects one of them may have pooped, got some of the feces on it’s fur or in it’s paws and then carried it in to Isabella’s sandbox. Could also have been from pre-school if another kid was infected and didn’t tell the school so who knows.)

As for me, well, I’m almost  back to my pre-pregnancy weight! I can wear most of my old clothes now which feels great.


I had a fun discovery today. First, take a little walk with me down memory lane. Remember when I fainted at The Annex 3 years ago? Well one thing I never shared was that when I fainted, my bowels relaxed and emptied themselves. Yes, I pooped my pants. I didn’t realize it until I was in the ambulance. The EMT told me that was totally normal but still I was mortified. So when I got to the hospital, they gave me some scrubs to wear. And they were Men’s Size Large. I obviously had to wear them home and have kept them all these years because, well, they’re darn comfortable. But they’re huge on me.

When I went to the hospital to have Cora, I took them along to wear after giving birth. I was horrified to discover the day after delivery that they did not fit. They were too small. Men’s size large scrubs were too small for my post-baby body.

I took them out today and take a look!


Too big!


THAT felt good!

I still have another 7 pounds to go to hit my goal weight. And the kicker? I actually believe I can do it! In years past I’ve tried and failed to lose that little bit of weight and told myself it just wasn’t possible. Now I know that it is. I CAN do it and I WILL do it.



What can I say – life is good.


Want to read more? Check out these!

Life A.D. – 4 months | Fat Talk | Little Things