My Name Is…

After dinner, Isabella and I made a trip to Target. We were there for about 45 minutes. Got home, put her to bed and made a trip to the bathroom only to realize I had been wearing a name tag on my back that Isabella put there at dinner.


No wonder the Indian couple behind me in line were pointing.

IKAT to the Rescue!

Isabella is a genius. Let’s just get that out there right now.

Ok, so I’m a little biased. After all, every parent thinks their kid is the cutest, smartest, sweetest one ever. But mine really is. ūüėČ

Munchkin has been talking for a while now. She started out like any other baby saying words like, “Mama”, “Dada”, “Baby” and “Dude”. Oh right, other babies don’t say ‘dude’.¬†Well she¬†did because that’s¬†my nickname for Samson.¬†She picked up on that right away! I tell ya, it’s funny to hear a one year old say “Dude!”

Anyway, once she started saying more words, they¬†just came rolling out. Now she pretty much says any word that we say which means we have to be really careful…sure, some of her regular words sound like swear words but we¬†don’t actually want¬†her saying real cuss words.¬†¬†

So back to the genius part. Not only does Isabella say a lot of stuff, she says it in different languages, or rather with different dialects. I think that’s her super power. We all have one right? Mine is being able to hear someone open a cookie jar or candy wrapper from anywhere within a 5 mile radius. We could call her IKAT (her initials) when she’s in disguise, on a mission to save an innocent person from another attack of poor language skills and bad accents.

Here are a few examples of her various talents:

She speaks Chinese and German pretty regularly (translation = gibberish). Neither of us can understand Chinese¬†so who knows, maybe she is¬†saying cuss words. That or she and Samson are planning to take over the house, which would mean Samson speaks Chinese too. Yeah, I doubt that. If he did, he would only know the words for “food”, “car”, “treat”, “walk”, and “Kong” because those are the only things he cares about in life.¬†So IKAT must be working alone.

Certain words she says with an Italian accent, like “Elmo” (AHL-moh) and “Ernie” (EH-nee).

“Andiamo¬†Ernie! Cerchiamo¬†di andare¬†a prendere¬†Elmo in modo da poter¬†salvare¬†il mondo dal malvagio¬†nemico¬†che sta cercando¬†di erradicat lingua dal mondo!”


“Come on Ernie! Let’s go get Elmo in order to¬†save the world from the evil enemy who is trying to erradicate language in the world!”

SHe says¬†one word¬†with a¬†French accemt¬†– “bib” (Beeb). When she says it, she wears a beret and turns her bib around so that it looks like a cape.

She knows one word in Russian – “Samson” (Se-am-sun). She just started referring to him by his full name the other day only she thinks his full name is Samson Dude. Makes it sound like he’s the John Wayne of the dog world.

And then there’s her American slang – “macaroni” (roni), “bananas” (nanas), “Yo Yo” (yo yo),¬† and “Droid” (d-r-o-i-d – said just like the Android phone). Seriously, she does this every time I get a text or email on my phone and the little “DROID” alert sounds.

Put it all together and you’ve got one smartie pants little Toddler!

Situating the hat


Consulting with Elmo (or should I say AHL-mo)


Here I come to save the day!


Capable of climbing the couch in a single bound!


Phew! Even Super Heroes get tired!

Hopefully she’ll use her genius for good and not evil. I’d hate to end up on Oprah someday¬†talking about how my sweet, innocent little girl tried to take over the world.

Hark! What’s that I hear? Someone just ripped open a Snickers bar! Gotta fly!!

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You Capture: Happy

Starting this week, I’m going to be partaking in a new challenge. As you may or may not know, my college degree is in art, with an emphasis in photography and computer graphics. Being the practical person that I am, I pursued the computer side of my training when I got in the real world because who can make a decent living as a photographer? Well, turns out a lot of people can with hard work and dedication. I guess I wasn’t willing to work that hard.

Anyway, 12 years after college graduation (Lord that makes me sound old) and I’m a technology analyst doing absolutely nothing creative with my days (except for figuring out new ways to write “that’s out of scope”). But I would like to channel my inner photographer again and this challenge will do just that. came up with this idea and it’s great fun (also you should check out her site because her pics are amazing)! She basically throws out a subject each Thursday and the goal is to take pics during the following¬†week for your interpretation of that subject. Then you post your best pics the following Thursday. Since I’m new to this, I’ll be taking and posting last week’s stuff all in one day (today). However, I’ll give myself the full week to shoot photos for next week.

As I said, it’s been a while since I’ve done any “real” photography so I’ve forgotten a lot (aperture? shutter speed?). I also don’t have a digital SLR (and I refuse to go back to film for stuff like this) so I’ll have to make due with my point and shoot. I think I can still get some good stuff and like they say in the biz “Photoshop is your friend.”

The subject for today is “happy”. That could be interpreted in a number of ways. Here’s how I saw it.

I took this one on Monday and posted it when talking about the haircut I gave her. But I’m reusing it because it totally fits with this theme and not only is she happy here, but it makes me happy to look at it!

I love mornings when Munchkin wakes up before I leave for work. On those days I get to go in and see her smiling face and kiss her little forehead. Today she was playing with some of her stuffed animal friends and reading an Elmo book when I went in there. She got a big smile when I walked in and was proud to show me all the friends in her book.

No explanation needed. Cookies make me happy. Very happy.

Isabella loves to be tickled and we love to hear her laugh! Her squeals of delight can instantly turn the day around for me. Happy to infinity!

Finally, I can’t talk about what makes me happy and not include something related to volleyball. It just so happened that today was Team Trader Thursday so I took this pic at the gym before we started playing. While I wasn’t real happy with how I played tonight, I still have fun every week no matter what because of the girls I play with.

That’s it! Stay tuned for next week’s edition of “You Capture”. The theme is “red”.

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It’s Bone Time

Snow Play!

Way back in November, as the weather was starting to show signs of the coming winter months, I bought Munchkin a winter coat and snow pants. I hesitated on the snow pants because I was being cheap and they cost an extra $9. But, my practical mind won out and told me that she would need those some day and probably on a day when the streets were too crappy to drive out and buy some.

I was right!

Yesterday was just such a day. I was home working and kept promising myself that when I was done, I would take Munchkin outside for her first adventure playing in the snow. I was really looking forward to it.

At precisely 4:19 p.m., I logged off my computer and marched upstairs, determined to start having fun, dammit! Munchkin was napping so I stuffed my face with popcorn and watched Jenny McCarthy tell Oprah about her first Playboy shoot. It was fascinating (insert Star Trek Spock voice here).¬† Eventually Munch woke up and I immediately changed her diaper (after she looked at me and said, “Diapa, poo poos.” I think she might be ready for potty training sooner than we thought). Then we started suiting her up in her snow gear.

First the snow pants, then the boots, the gloves and hat.

That look on her face kills me! It’s like, “Oh my God what is going on? Is the end of the world near? Is this my HAZMAT suit?”

Then we put on the coat and were ready to go!

I started out slowly because I wasn’t sure what her reaction would be. The first few times she was exposed to grass she freaked out and cried, refusing to put her feet on the ground…figured snow would be similar. But she actually took right to it!

I set her down on the deck and let her get used to it. She just sat there and looked at me. Gee mom, this is great fun. I showed her that you can kick it and run your hands through it and stuff. She eventually started getting brave and trying things.

After a few minutes, I took her down in to the yard. This time she stayed standing and tried to walk in it. However, the snow was up to her knees so she was unable to go anywhere. I suppose it would be hard for anyone to walk in that. I showed her how to lay back and make snow angels and she did! Sort of.

I love that she is laughing and enjoying herself. I remember being a kid and playing in the snow with my sister. We would pile it up along the side of the driveway and climb up, pretending it was Everest or something. And of course building forts and throwing snowballs. She’s too young for that yet but we got her started!

We went back in after about 10 minutes. I didn’t want her getting too cold since her gloves were wet and her face was exposed. Ok, fine, I was getting cold. Anyway, we headed in to get out of our wet clothes, take¬†a nice hot bath and bundle up in warm jammies.

I’m so glad I took her out to play. Sometimes I hesitate to do that stuff because it feels like too much work. Or I’m afraid she’ll hate it and be fussy. But I do it anyway and am always surprised at how well she does and how much fun we have!

Happy snow days to everyone!

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Weekend Wrap-Up

It still feels like it’s the weekend since I worked from home today. Even though I actually did work, since I’m wearing comfie clothes and sitting in the basement, it doesn’t feel like work. Here’s what went down with the Traders this weekend.

Saturday was fun because CJ and I went to a movie! Yeah, like an actual date! We were giddy with excitement. First we took Munchkin over to play with her boyfriend Owen. They were born 5 days apart (though they shared a due date) and naturally will grow up as best friends and eventually marry. What?

Since I’m trying to be all frugal and stuff, we went to an early movie because those are much cheaper. Or at least, that was the plan. I thought the movie was at 11:10 am but when we got there, the only 11 am movie was the 3D one, which was expensive even for an early show. So we got tickets for the noon show, which was regular matin√©e price. We were slightly bummed but what do you do? We headed in and upon seeing the concessions I was immediately starved. One of everything thank you very much! But, that would have cost us 1 gazillion dollars. Instead, we headed back out to McDonald’s since we had about 40 minutes before the movie started and got lunch for both of us for the same cost as one order of hot dogs would have cost in the theatre. Take that AMC!

We did buy some popcorn and a pop (which we shared) and then headed in to get our seats. We saw Tron: Legacy and it was really good. Here we are at the theatre. Yes, we’re geeks. No, we don’t have matching glasses.

We headed back to pick up Munchkin and found that she had learned to play the piano!

Well, sort of. Anyway, she had a great time and we headed home to settle in for the night. That was about it for Saturday.

Sunday the snow started. And it pretty much hasn’t stopped. Because of the weather, we decided to hunker down and spend the day at home. CJ slept in (I wish I knew what that was like) so Munchkin, Samson and I ate breakfast and then started playing.

At one point I had to, ehem, use the¬†bathroom. I made sure¬†all the rooms were closed off so that Munchkin couldn’t wander away and then went in to the bathroom, leaving the door open so I could see and hear stuff (all I could see was the hallway right outside the door).¬†Right after¬†I sat down, I see Samson walk by the door toward the end of the hallway and I hear him lay down (he usally does that with a big sigh or grunt). ¬†Pretty soon Isabella goes streaking by, headed in the same direction as the dog. I hear some noises including evil laughter and shrieks, then I see a lone woobie go rolling by the door. Reminded me of a western or something when you hear a scuffle off camera and then all you see is a cowboy hat rolling in front of the screen. Then, here comes Samson running back the other way, followed by Isabella chasing after him. I hear more scuffles in the living room and then Samson comes to the door carrying a deflated volleyball. I was hoping I wouldn’t find my child in an equally deflated state in the living room and alas, everything was fine but it was touch and go there for a minute.

Munchkin was pretty crabby all day. I think she was teething. She was also very clingy. I couldn’t go anywhere without her running after me and grabbing onto my leg, wanting to be picked up. I’m sometimes torn because I don’t want her to need holding all the time, but I also believe you can’t give them too much love. So, I did just that.

We played in the basement for a while (where CJ was working on volleyball stuff most of the day), and she had fun running around.

I love that she only has one Elmo slipper on. She’s gangsta like that, yo. That’s how this toddler rolls!

Samson was less than thrilled.

After spending the whole¬†day inside with a crabby, clingy toddler, I needed a break so CJ was gracious enough to let me shovel the driveway and sidewalks. He’s sweet isn’t he? Actually, I asked to do it. I wanted something a little physical and get outside for a bit. It was very peaceful and quiet.

Here is what it looked like when I went out to shovel, around 4pm.

I felt better when I came in and made some dinner. Then Isabella and I played with some hats, as well as a game of pick-a-boo.

By the time she went to bed, I was pooped. Normally when I’ve been home with her all day by myself it’s been great. This was my first taste of a less than stellar day and now I can be more sympathetic when CJ has those days. I used to think he was just being whiny. Now I get it. It was nice to snuggle up on the couch, under my Steelers blanket, and hang with my friends on Wisteria Lane.

Like I said earlier, today was a snow day. Here is how it looked around 7:30am:

It has been nonstop¬†all day so the accumulation right now is about double what you see in these pictures. Crazy, yet cozy. We’re planning to take Isabella out in her snow suit for playtime. I’ll definitely be taking pictures if we do!!

Stay warm and safe!

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