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.”



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

And Then She Was Four

Oh how quickly this….


…can turn in to this.


Heck, every year the change is evident, both physically and otherwise.

1st bday*:


2nd bday*:


3rd bday*:


*photos courtesy of H&J Creative Studio

Isabella’s birthday fell on a Monday so we waited to have her party the following Saturday. That meant a whole week of birthday fun!

Monday she had pre-school so we sent her off with some treats for her classmates . Then she spent the afternoon at home with CJ, Cora and her Grandpa Fred, who came over to see his birthday “sweeter”.

Monday night we took her out to dinner and let her pick the restaurant. She chose Red Robin solely for the reason that they have balloons. They also brought out a birthday sundae and sang to her!


I don’t think she quite knew what to do with that and I for a minute it looked as though she might cry. But she was a trooper and even said “thank you” when they were done.

After dinner it was time for presents!


For the last month or so, whenever I’ve asked Isabella what she wanted for her birthday, she would say “a magnet ball”. I had no idea what she was talking about. Turns out it was something she had played with at a friend’s house. I had to text her friend’s mom and ask what it was and where I could buy it.

Turns out it’s a toy for kids 14 and over. When I bought it, along with a collection of picture books, and asked the clerk to wrap them all up for my daughter’s 4th birthday, she looked at me and said, “OK, I’m confused.” That sentence right there sums up Isabella. 4 going on 40 in every sense of the phrase. She runs around and plays and acts silly and inappropriate in all the ways a 4 year old can and then will turn to you and say something like, “Mommy I think the TV is malfunctioning.” What 4 year old says that?

Anywho…she loved the magnet ball and everything else!


Watching her open them was so fun. She took her time unwrapping each one, making sure to pull off every last scrap of paper before looking at what it was. She’s a little like me that way. Each gift was a joy to her too – even the clothes! She would get a big smile on her face and say “thank you for the shirt!” I love how grateful and excited she gets! She even took the time to open and read every card! Again…4 or 44?


Saturday was the party with her friends. We rented out a place that sells playground equipment. They open up the show room and for 2 hours the kids have it to themselves to run around and play on anything they want. The place also provided all the tableware, drinks, invitations and even ordered the cake! It was easy and a win-win for everyone!


Cora even got in on the action!

cora playworld

I surprised Munchkin by requesting a Despicable Me cake. She had originally asked for Thomas the Train but she hasn’t shown much interest in Thomas for a while so I took a risk and went for Minions. She was really happy with it!


All in all she had a great birthday. She was excited about all of her presents and more importantly, had a blast celebrating and playing with her friends. My niece told me it was one of the best parties she’s been to, which felt great.


Isabella and I butt heads a lot. We are similar personalities in many ways. Couple that with the fact that she’s at an age where she tests every boundary and constantly pushes my buttons and you can imagine the battles we have. I sometimes question my skills as a parent and heck, even my sanity. But boy do I love that little girl. I love her more than I can even describe and am aware that she and I are learning together. This whole mom thing is unchartered territory for me, as is growing up for her. So we have to go through it together, helping each other out. I truly hope that she will always feel that she can trust me, confide in me, and know that I have her back no matter what.

Yesterday she said to me, “I will always be your little Munchkin” as she crawled in to my lap. Yes, absolutely and without a doubt.

And I will always love her <———————————–THIS MUCH————————>



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Life A.D. – 5 Months | 12 and 13

Life A.D.–5 Months

5 months isn’t sexy. It isn’t flashy. It doesn’t get a lot of attention like it’s friends 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. But it’s actually fairly important.

There is a lot that happens between months 4-6 of a babies development yet you really don’t hear much about that middle number 5.

We have seen a big difference in Cora in the last 30 days.

She’s showing her personality more every day (here she is getting angry when she couldn’t figure out how to roll over).

She’s a bit like her mama this way…

But she soon figured it out…

Wow that was easy

She can hold her head up very steadily all on her own and she’s sitting up, with some assistance.


She can do little baby “V-ups” (where she lifts her head, neck, shoulders and feet off the ground).


She’s having fun sticking her tongue out.


She’s even  grown enough to start wearing size 6 month clothes.

She’s very attentive, watching everything we do. And she wants to be included. If we’re at the table eating dinner and she’s in her swing, she will squawk until we bring her over to join us. If we have her on the floor of the playroom for exercise time while we play, she will crane her neck to see what we are doing at all times.

I find that I can’t get enough of Cora. I stare at her and think how beautiful she is. I snuggle and kiss her all the time. Making her smile is endlessly fun. I remember this phase with Isabella when she was that age too. I want Cora to progress but I don’t want her to grow up. I wish she could stay this sweet and happy forever.

Isabella has made some strides of her own in the last month. She’s now a pre-schooler!


My biggest little one is in school now and it seems somewhat surreal. I didn’t cry when I dropped her off on the first day, and she didn’t either. She was excited and ready. But the moment was  not lost on me. Watching her standing in front of the school, waiting with the other kids to go inside, I was struck by how small she is.


Not in terms of size but in terms of years. She seems so old to me most of the time because she’s the big kid in the house  that I forget she’s a tiny little person. She’s only 3 (she turns 4 in a couple weeks) and has a her whole life in front of her.

I have been extremely lucky to have the peace of mind knowing that my babies are in the trusted hands of CJ every day.


Now one of those babies has been handed off to someone else. I completely trust our pre-school teachers and Isabella loves going there. Still, it can be a challenge to let go.

As for me, I’ve lost a total of 14 pounds so far and am pretty darn close to my pre-pregnancy size. I am able to get back in to many of my old clothes, and therefore give away some of the bigger sized ones. Let me tell you, that feels great.


I didn’t get a chance to take a selfie and this is the most recent pic I have. Yes, that’s an astronaut.

I have 11 more pounds before I reach my goal weight. I originally set my goal at my pre-pregnancy weight but have since decided to shoot for losing a few pounds beyond that. Hey, why not? Losing with Weight Watchers has been surprisingly easy so it seems feasible now for me to get there.

Life for the Team Trader is good these days. Really good.  I am extremely grateful for what I have and don’t want to take a moment of it for granted. Ever.

2013-09-10 18.51.28 

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

Munch and Punk

Almost from the day Isabella was born I’ve been calling her Munchkin. I have no idea where it came from. I just said it one day and it stuck.

We used to laugh about her cry face because it would get all scrunched up and red when she was upset. So I jokingly changed “Munchkin” to “Scrunchkin” and that stuck too.

baby checks

In fact, I called her Munchkin (or Munch) so much that we worried she would think that were her real name! Then we started to wonder if she would get a complex thinking I was making fun of her size.

(Oh the silly little things we worry about as first time parents…)

Well here we are almost 4 years later and she has no confusions about her name. 


And I still call her Munch/Scrunch all the time.

When I was pregnant with Cora, Isabella asked me if I was going to call the new baby Munchkin too. I assured her that no, Cora would get her own nickname. I had no idea what it  would be but I was adamant it would be unique and different. Munchkin is Isabella’s and with all the changes that were going to soon rock her world, I wanted to make sure she didn’t feel like she was losing her special name.

But I didn’t want to overthink it either and force a name that didn’t fit. So I kept the thought in my subconscious knowing that a name would come out on it’s own.

Then the big day arrived and the first time I was alone with our brand new baby girl, I instinctively started to say “Munchkin”.


We didn’t have a name yet (took us almost 10 hours to come up with one) so I didn’t have anything else to go with. But not wanting to use THAT name, I quickly changed it to Pumpkin. It was close and sorta rhymed. It just come out! Later I switched and started saying Punkin.

Can you see where this is going?

Because I’m lazy and feel that it takes too much effort to say Punkin, I shortened it to Punk.

And it stuck.

Cora = Punk and I call her that more than her real name. Because, you know, it takes less energy to say a one syllable word than a 2 syllable one….


For some reason I felt silly about calling my sweet precious baby girl “Punk” but yet I couldn’t think of anything else and it was already cemented in my  mind. So I would say it quietly, afraid that others would overhear and think I was strange. But after a while I got over that and just said it. Isabella asked me what it meant and now she says it sometimes too (although at first she thought I was saying “Pumk”).

I’m sure there will come a day when both girls will ask me to stop calling them those names, because it’s like so uncool. But I will always think of them as my Munch and Punk (which sounds like a good name for a children’s book or TV show. Don’t you dare steal it…copyright TTM, all rights reserved!).  



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Life A.D. – 3 Months | The Escape Artist | Time Flies…

A Matter of Perspective

I am not ashamed to admit that I love Barry Manilow.

And, I have passed that love on to Isabella. She too, is a Fanilow.

From listening to the CD in the car, she knows all or most of the words to Copa Cabana, Even Now, I Write the Songs, American Bandstand and Mandy.

This morning, as I was driving her to Grandpa and Grandma’s house for the weekend, we were, of course, jamming to Barry (can one really “jam” to Barry? It’s arguable…). When “Even Now” came on, she started belting out the lyrics in the highest range she could muster.

Even now! When I have come so far….I wonder where you are…I wonder why it’s still so hard without you! Even now!

When the song ended, she said, “Mommy, I think that song is about how Barry misses his mom when she’s at work.”

That statement caught me a bit off guard and made me think. Of course, as adults, we know that he’s singing about a lost love and broken heart. But to a 3 year old, who has never experienced such a thing, she has to relate it to what she knows. A parent leaving, even just for the day to go to work, is what made the most sense to her. A 3 year olds world is much different than my 36 year old world. 

I said, “Do you think that’s what it’s really about?”

“Yes,” she replied, “His mommy went to work and he misses her and is sad.”

“Is that how you feel when I go to work?” I asked her, ready for a heart wrenching moment when she was sure to say yes. “Do you miss me when I’m at work?”

“No.” she answered.

Well ok then. Way to keep it real Isabella.


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Twinkle Twinkle | Isabella’s Birth Story | Busted