Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Birthday

Birthday Girl, originally uploaded by JenSig.

Dear Isla,

Tomorrow is your first birthday, and oh my goodness, how can you be turning one already? You, my juicy little love bug with the totally nibble-worthy cheeks and irresistible smile — you are so incredibly dear to me, my little "bonus" baby.

Just after Thanksgiving, we got out all the Christmas decorations, and as we decorated the house this year, I was thinking about last year at this same time, how heavy my belly was with the unborn promise of you. How tired I was, and how excited. How I couldn't wait to meet you, and find out if you were a boy or a girl (but secretly kind of hoping that you WERE a girl!).

And then, when I put up the small tree in my bedroom that I like to have in the front window, I remembered in a flash those first few weeks with you, how you slept in the sweet cradle next to my bed, and how I'd feed you in the middle of the night with only the soft glow of white Christmas tree bulbs lighting your precious, tiny face. How you'd wrap your fingers around one of mine and grip so tightly. The soft, sweet grunts you would make, somehow magnified in the kind of quiet you only get in a house where everyone is sleeping.

There are no words for the magic you (and your brother and sister before you) have brought to my life. You have allowed me one more chance to remember Owen's and Edie's first milestones, and to feel bittersweet agony in knowing that those early days are gone.

I adore watching you with Owen and Edie, seeing your delighted expression when they pay attention to you. But you have definitely got your own personality, too — at times imperiously bossy in the way that 1-year-olds can be and alternately sweetly loving, planting kisses on anyone who gets in your way.

You aren't walking YET, but you are very close — and your words are mostly a mumbo-jumbo of sounds and gibberish that I love listening to. You, like your sister Edie before you, just never SHUT UP. You will cruise a room, babbling higgeldy-piggeldy, pointing at things and repeating certain sounds, then squealing with delight at your own cleverness.

You also LOVE to dance, and whenever Edie puts some music on her CD player — usually Taylor Swift — your butt wiggles and you bob from side to side, little cheeky grin on your face. You are, in a word, delightful.

Happy birthday, my sweet baby girl. I love you more than you'll ever know.

Love, Mama

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Letter to Santa

Letter to Santa, originally uploaded by JenSig.

Dear Santa

I have been a good girl this year. I would like Zhu Zhu Pets Wild Bunch DS 2, Squinkies, Dippin Dots Maker, and Littlest Pet Shop. Please travel safely.

Love, Edie Siglin

Friday, November 26, 2010

So thankful for...

Thanksgiving, originally uploaded by JenSig.

This. These kids. This husband. I am the luckiest.

Hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hi There

Oof. So this daily blog posting thing really isn't happening for me, is it? But I'll plug away when I can, which is why I'm on here now.

THe kids are off school for the entire week because of furlough days. Owen kicked off his weeklong vacation with a bout of the stomach flu, which came on Friday morning and lasted precisely 24 hours. The other two kids have managed to avoid it so far, although Isla did seem like she was coming down with something yesterday when she threw up a little on the cute holiday dress that Jacquie was trying on her yesterday — and yes, it was the holiday dress that we were pretty sure was NOT going to be the one we chose.

But I'm thinking perhaps she's getting another back tooth or that she only just got a little touch of the flu, because she made it all the way through the the night last night (I had worried that she might get sick in the night) and is happy as a clam this morning.

In other news, a visit to Santa is in order this week, as is a trip with several friends to see the new Harry Potter movie. (Edie is very sad that I am not letting her come with us because I think it will be too scary for her. So I've promised to take her to see Tangled sometime soon instead.

I've got Christmas cards to do, gifts to finish buying, things to finish making, and lots to wrap. But right now the older kids are still in bed and Isla and I are out here in the living room enjoying the morning. I've had coffee... she's had milk... gonna be a good day, I think.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Projects Galore!

See, here's the thing. I'm busy, y'all. BUSY! And I know that's boring for me to say and boring for you to read, but it's true... you wanna breakdown?

Kids have two separate school schedules (Edie gets out midway through the day, as kinder is only half day), so automatically I have to be at the school three times on any given day. I also try and volunteer in both kids' classrooms about once a week. Then there's homework. And extracurricular activities for both older kids, multiple times a week. And lets not forget that I work, too, freelance, so there's that.

And now, with the holidays looming ominously before me, I have PROJECTS! THings to sew and knit and cook and bake and share and do and teach... some of my current projects include a knitted stocking for Isla (since when I made them last year, I didn't make one for baby-to-be; partly because I ran out of time, and partly since I didn't know if she was a boy or a girl so I couldn't decide how I wanted to do it); gifts I want to make for teachers; a TOTALLY AWESOME project I am making for the kids for Christmas, but that's a story in and of itself — let's just say that it is big and cool and will be unveiled very soon — but imagine the logistics of trying to make something IN SECRET from three kids. The only time I can work on said secret project is in the evenings after they are in bed, or in the mornings while Edie and Owen are at school, but don't forget that this is also dependent on Isla taking a morning nap, because if she doesn't, well... not much work is going to get done. But that also means that it all has to be put away before any kids waken or come home from school...

I will say, I am good at multitasking... I like to work on projects while watching TV, which means I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something instead of just sitting on my bum in front of the boob tube. But still.

Don't even get me started on the projects I have on my list for things I want to do around the house, a never-ending wish list, it seems. There is never enough time, never enough weekends, never enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do. I guess that means I shouldn't ever be bored.

Chaos reigns supreme around here... I'm just sayin'.

Friday, November 12, 2010


According to a movement mostly powered by social networking and the internet (hello, Facebook), today is To Write Love On Her Arms Day. That is my arm in the photo, and I have been wearing the word "love" on it all day.

The brief explanation is that TWLOHA is a non-profit organization devoted to helping people suffering from depression, addiction, self-injury (cutting) and suicide — to give those people hope and the resources they need to get help.

I can't begin to express how much this organization and what it does moves me. I have known people very close to me who have suffered from depression and addiction, and while I can't personally relate to what it feels like to be in that dark a place, I am happy that people like Jamie Tworkowski (TWLOHA founder) have done their part to bring this disease and all its incarnations out in the open.

"You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you're part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Short Post

I don't really have anything exciting to report this evening, but since I did promise myself to at least TRY and post every day in November, I'm making the effort.

The kids were off school today for Veteran's day, and tomorrow is a furlough day, so they have a 4-day weekend; Owen went back down to Carlsbad to hang out with Jacquie and Honey for their last two nights down there; that left me and the girls to hang out today and tomorrow. Today we went to Target and poked around for a bit. We were there to buy a present for a birthday party that Edie has been invited to tomorrow at that den of sin and iniquity, Chuck E Cheese.

It's sometimes really nice to split the kids up in this way, and I'm speaking mainly of Owen and Edie. While they do get along remarkably well most of the time, they do nag and pick at each other, too, and it can get quite noisy around here with the two of them shouting their opinions at one another. I like to consider this the "divide and conquer" strategy; Owen got a little special one-on-one time with his grandma and great-grandma (and is I'm sure getting very spoiled in the process!), and Edie and Isla and I got to hang out and have "girl time" together, which she just loves.

Soon I will send her off to bed, and then I'll snuggle down with a glass of wine and watch some TV...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monthly Newsletter — Month 11

Dear Isla,

Today you are 11 months old, and are just so full of delightful energy and curiosity, sometimes I feel full to bursting.

You are completely and fully mobile now, and alternately crawl and "walk" around the room, reaching for things you know you aren't supposed to have and smiling impishly at me in the process. Now you know when you aren't supposed to have something, and you try and get away from me when you see me coming, crawling as fast as your butt can wiggle and squealing with delight at the thrill of the chase.

There always seems to be a constant stream of jibber jabber pouring from your mouth, these days, too... "Mama" is really the only discernible word you say with any clarity, but that's not to say that it is by any means the ONLY thing you say — we just don't know what else you are telling us, but you certainly say what you have to say emphatically and with great gusto. What's funny is, your words do have inflection, so it sounds like you are just speaking your own special baby language. Just this morning you were in my bed with me for a little bit after you got up, and you were playing with the remote control that operates our ceiling fan; it has tons of buttons on it, and makes the light go on and off, so you were having a great time playing with it. Finally, you held it up to your ear like a telephone and started chattering away! I nearly died of the cuteness of that moment.

A few weeks ago you developed a runny nose, and it remained for three solid weeks... and at the end of those three weeks you had three new molars to show for it! You now have nearly a full set of chompers, and you love to eat more than just about anything else in the world.

Owen and Edie still get a kick out all the new things you are constantly doing, and you remain their biggest fan. Every morning when it's time to wake Edie up for school, I grab you from the crib and yell, "Dog pile on Edie!" and then I swoop you across the room to plop you on top of your sister, who always pretends to still be sleeping, but the little smile on her face gives her away. And you almost always bend over to plant a big, wet kiss on Edie's face, chattering away your very own version of "good morning" in Isla-language.

It's hard for me to believe you are going to be one year old in a month... I keep looking at all three of you and marveling at how big and grown up Owen and Edie are getting, and realizing that I'm not quite ready.... that maybe you were a special gift to me for that very reason. And each night when I go to check on you in your crib before I go to bed, I press a kiss to your forehead and whisper softly in your ear, "Don't grow up... don't grow up."

I know it's inevitable, of course... but that doesn't keep me from still wishing for it, all the same.

I love you, sweet baby girl...
Love, Mama

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pretty on the Inside

"Mommy, look at my hair. Aren't I pretty, Mama?" She prances in front of the mirror, skipping back and forth on her tip-toes.

"Yes, love," I say sincerely, because she IS a very pretty little girl.

She continues: "And I am just SO pretty, Mama, the prettiest girl in school!"

I sit her down so I can tie her shoe. "Yes," I say again, trying to form the words I want to say to her, to convey what I mean in ways that mean something to a 5-year-old girl. "It's nice to be pretty on the outside, sweetheart... but it's better to be pretty on the inside."

She cocks her head as she looks at me, trying to understand my meaning. "What I mean is, lots of times people can be pretty on the outside, but ugly on the inside; they can be mean or just not very nice. It's much more important to be a sweet girl, a NICE girl. And a smart girl, too, one who uses her brains."

"I'm smart, Mommy," she says.

"Yes, honey. And you're nice to people, too."

She reaches out and hugs me close. "I can be pretty on the inside AND pretty on the outside."

Yes, love. Yes, you can.

Monday, November 8, 2010

On Birth Order

I made a comment the other day to someone that, as far as I can tell, my kids pretty accurately embody those traits that define so-called "birth order." It's interesting for me to watch them (trying to do so as objectively as I can, of course) and really see that their unique characteristics that make up who they are as individuals really do seem to typify what are commonly seen as birth order personality traits.

Owen, as a first-born (and a male firstborn at that) is a typical, nurturing people pleaser who craves approval from those around him. I see this really clearly in the way he is at school, which is conscientious and careful to do the right thing, always trying to please his teacher. He is also very sweet (well... MOST of the time) to his two younger sisters, which I can only imagine will make him a really great husband to some lucky girl some day.

As a middle child, Edie is the attention-getting personality in the bunch, always singing and dancing, expressing her creativity in as many outlets as she can find. She used to say she wanted to grow up and be an artist, like her Uncle Tom, but now she says she wants to be a singer... like Taylor Swift. (Hey, she could have WAY worse influences than that, right?) She is friendly and outgoing, and LOVES to strike a pose whenever the camera is pointed her way.

And Isla is my little good-time charlie. Of course, she isn't even 1 yet, so it's difficult to really know what her personality will be as she grows older, but she is quick to laugh and is remarkably laid-back and easy-going. I have long said that these third children really have to learn how to go with the flow, since we're always off on the run doing something or other with the two older kids, and the young ones get dragged along... and this one almost always does everything with a huge grin on her face. Who knows? She'll probably be class clown, cutting it up for anyone who will listen and give her a laugh.

And while I realize that the study of birth orders is by no means an exact science, I do find it interesting that my kids seem to really embody a lot of those characteristics. Things to think about...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weekend Getaway

We spent the weekend down in Carlsbad, since Honey has her timeshare down there this week, which is my excuse for not posting yesterday... today was the Carlsbad street fair, which is always fun, and otherwise it was a whole lot of lounging around, reading, playing the stupidly addicting Angry Birds game, and not a whole lot else.

One thing that really hit me over the last two days is how grown up the kids — and most especially Owen — are becoming. This particular condo has a pool and recreation room that are pretty enclosed (needing a key to enter), and this was the first time we've let the kids go down to the rec room all by themselves. They wanted to pick out a movie to watch from the selection they keep on hand, so I agreed that they could go but that they must go together. I generally tried to impress upon Owen that, as the big brother, he really needed to take care of his little sister.

Well, they had a blast, and were delighted with themselves when they selected a movie and signed out for it at the desk all on their own. Many trips were made to the rec room for no other reason than simply that they were ALLOWED to do this by themselves, which of course made them feel very self-important and grown-up. At one point, the phone rang in our room, and it was Owen, calling to inform me that Edie was on her way up to the room and he wanted to make sure she'd made it back safely.

I'm not really sure why this in particular struck such a chord... perhaps I was remembering moments just like this from my own childhood — I can distinctly recall the feeling of freedom when our parents would let Tom and me go to a rec room or even down the hall to get ice if we were staying in a hotel, and how great that felt, as a little kid.

Simple pleasures, I suppose. In any case... the time changed, and with it, our days suddenly became shorter. Now if only the weather would begin to cooperate, it might actually begin to feel like fall.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Baby Milestone Moment

So Isla pretty consistently wakes up these days with a dry diaper. Not like once in a while, but almost EVERY day. So recently I purchased a little potty seat to have her "practice" sitting on the potty — I mean, she's DRY, so... why not? (The potty I purchased for her has a softly cushioned seat on it, and the tagline on the box said: "A Comfy Cushy for a Happy Tushy!")

And she sits there happily, little chubby legs kicking the sides of the potty seat and clapping her hands, generally watching her big sister go potty on the big toilet at the same time.

Well, this morning, Isla was happily cooing and clapping, and suddenly... she peed! And not just a few drops... but a regular, big ol' morning PEE! So of course we clapped and cheered and make much to-do about pouring the pee into the toilet and waving bye bye as the water went down.

Of course it was just a fluke, but who knows? Maybe she'll be one of those babies who potty trains extra early.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Busy, Whirlwind Kind of Life

So school is in full swing, and while you might think that since Edie is now in kindergarten it would provide me with a whole lot more free time than I had before, the exact opposite is actually true. Between Isla and her nap schedule (which is often getting pushed aside because of all the shuttling around I have to do) and the fact that Edie is only in school for half-day kindergarten, I feel like it's a constant whirlwind of running to and from school and then trying to cram in other errands and things in the small spaces in between.

Not that I'm complaining. And, as in past years, I feel fortunate that I am able to be home and volunteer in the kids' classes, so I've been doing that as well. We recently had our first Art Masters lesson of the year (if you were following my old blog, you'd know what this is), and it turned out really cute. At my dad's suggestion last year, I decided to photograph the entire class' finished products, which I'll show you below. The artist was Helen Hardin, about whom I knew absolutely nothing before this particular lesson, but have become a fan based on her amazing Native American artworks, many of which you can see by doing a simple Google image search.

This is Owen's second-grade class:

And these are the projects from Edie's kindergarten class:

The projects were really fun, and the kids seemed to enjoy doing them, too. Next time: Rembrandt's use of chiaroscuro (light/dark value).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Having Made a Decision

So if you are one of the handful of people still following this blog (not that I'd blame you if you left me, since my posts have been pretty sparse since the death of my old blog), then I am formally apologizing for my absence here of late.

I think when the old blog died, I kind of felt like all that hard work (seven years of typing my thoughts into this thing!) had been wasted, much to my frustration. And I have to say, it's been hard to motivate myself to get back into it. The monthly letters to baby Isla have been the only consistency here since the summer, and I have alternately toyed with everything from shutting it down entirely to taking the time to re-input all the old entries from the old site to everything in between.

But I have also missed having this as a creative outlet (despite the fact that I don't always have the TIME to do it) and have decided today to make a conscious decision to start writing in here again, today. And considering that November is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), I thought I would do a post a day — or at least attempt it, anyway. So I'll be back again soon, hopefully with a little more to say.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10 months: 10/10/10

Making faces., originally uploaded by JenSig.

Dear Isla,

Today you are ten months old. It just occurred to me that in just two short months you will be one whole year, a fact that just blows my mind when I think of it. And when I look back over the last ten, joyous months since you arrived and made our world that much brighter, it seems incredible to consider how much you've changed.

You are a very big, robust girl, tipping the scales not only in weight but seriously OFF the chart for your height — you are one tall baby! While your weight is pretty much neck and neck with how Owen and Edie measured up at the same age, you are over two inches LONGER than they were. Your feet are long, too — much longer than Edie's were, and she's got pretty long feet as it is. Here's hoping you'll be a tall girl when you grow up.

You talk a bit less than either Owen or Edie did at the same age, I think, though it is hard to remember specific dates of milestones. You say "Mam mam" and a whole host of other squeals and sounds that carry inflection and clearly mean something to YOU. In fact, you have developed this little chattering sound, which I think is actually you mimicking the sound of real speech, a little jibber jabber of noises that are just delightful to listen to.

You are still such an easy-going, happy, jolly baby, and friendly, too, though not quite as eager to go to other people as Owen and Edie were. You are happy to smile and flirt with people from the safety of your mama's arms, but if someone tries to hold you or pick you up you immediately become very nervous and look around for me.

We were lucky enough to spend nine days in Hawaii just last week, and you did GREAT. First time on a plane? No problem. Snaps to you! You were a little squirmy, but never fussy or loud, and I received lots of compliments on the good behavior of not just my darling infant, but all three of my kids.

One of your very favorite activities is EATING, and you have discovered a whole host of new foods that make you very happy, indeed. In fact, the more regular food you get, the less inclined you are to want to eat the jars of mushy baby food — not that I can blame you there.

And your newest milestone is that you can now stand up, and you love to pull yourself up to stand around the coffee table or stand up near the low shelves in my kitchen where we keep the cookbooks. You especially love to stand in your crib, gripping the rails with those chubby fists and laughing imperiously at Owen and Edie, who are at your eye level when you stand that way.

And I continue to be so grateful that Owen and Edie just love you so very much. They are so careful with you (most of the time), and are quick to make sure you don't have things in your mouth that you shouldn't. I have two extra sets of eyes to help me out, which is great, because you are one busy baby!

You are such a delight, sweet sweet girl, and we are all of us just completely in love with you. You like to give us big, wet kisses — sometimes when we ask you for a kiss, and sometimes — the best times — you just look at me for a moment and then lean in and plant one on me all on your own, and then you have the grace to look exceedingly pleased with yourself. I wish I could bottle the feeling I get in those moments. It's pure euphoria.

Love, Mama

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monthly Newsletter — Month 9

hi, originally uploaded by JenSig.

Dear Isla,

You turned 9 months old last Friday, but my monthly update was delayed because your daddy and I were out of town for the weekend, celebrating our 15th anniversary a month late.

But you... YOU. You are... in a word... splendid. You are so sweet and adorable it really is all I can do to not just take a big bite out of your delicious cheeks.

Your newest tricks are as follows:

1) You can now officially crawl. You began on the very day your brother and sister started back to school, almost as if you wanted to make sure that the day was a special milestone for EVERYONE.

2) And with crawling now comes... pulling up. You can't quite make it to your feet — yet — but you can pull up to your knees, and I now have to make sure that there is nothing on the coffee table or any other low surface that you can get to. This also means that more often than not when I come into your room to get you from a nap or first thing in the morning, you are up on your knees, peering over the railing of your crib and crowing happily. Owen and Edie are particularly delighted with this, and they spend lots of time playing with you while you laugh at them from your perch in your crib.

3) You now blow kisses (in addition to giving the big, wet, open-mouthed sloppy REAL ones you've been giving us for a couple of months now). And, as your sister before you (who "blew" kisses from her forehead), you blow kisses in your OWN unique way, preferring to press the back of your hand to your mouth and wipe it to the side.

4) I decided I want to try and teach you baby sign language, which I had started to do with Edie but gave up when it was clear that she was such an early (and clear) talker, I didn't really need to rely on sign language to communicate with her. So the other day I was feeding you in the high chair and decided to try using a very easy one: the sign for "more." Imagine my delight when you picked it up almost immediately, and now when it's feeding time, if I say to you, "Would you like more, Isla?" You press your palms together (your version of the sign is not quite right, but you have definitely got the idea) eagerly with a big grin on your face. Clever girl.

5. You have also become very interested in the telephone, particularly if someone is speaking on the other end whose voice you recognize, whether it's me or daddy or Jacquie. When your daddy and I were out of town this past weekend, we called every evening and morning to talk to all you kids, and Jacquie told us how your face would light up when you'd hear our voices.

Also? Like your brother and your sister before you, you are, at heart, a mama's girl, and you reach for me whenever I am near. When we arrived home to pick up you kids from Jacquie's house this weekend, your face broke into a huge grin when you saw us, and when I scooped you up, you cuddled me close for a moment before pulling back just a bit to really get a good look at me, your eyes traveling from my forehead to my eyes to my mouth and back up, with a sweet smile on your face. Your expression seemed to be saying, "I've missed seeing your face, Mama."

And oh, I missed seeing yours too, baby.

Love, Mama

Monday, September 6, 2010


Cool Kids, originally uploaded by JenSig.

Dear Owen,

Today is your eighth birthday... and what a ride it's been. I was recently looking through some old pictures of you as a baby and toddler, for a project I'm working on, and every single one made me smile at your darling little chubby cheeks, your delightful smile, your impish grin.

You were a happy baby and have grown into a happy, thoughtful boy. A boy capable of a little mischief, yes, but a boy who, on the whole, is sensitive and creative and thoughtful and loving and kind and sweet. I'm not saying you don't have your moments — we ALL do — but you... there is some special little spark in you that touches a very central part of me in a very unique way. We are kindred spirits, you and I, and I think you recognize it, too.

We celebrated your birthday with your three best buddies from up the street, and we caught a movie, ate some pizza, and had a round of mini-golf, followed by a late-night DVD while curled up in sleeping bags around the living room floor. Surprisingly, all four of you made it — barely — to the end of the movie, just around midnight, when I turned out the light and the TV and whispered goodnight to you all.

It wasn't much later — perhaps a half hour or so — that you came quietly into my room to tell me that you couldn't sleep. You've had this happen before, where you couldn't fall asleep right away and then you get yourself all worked up over the idea that you might not be ABLE to go to sleep, like EVER, that you get upset. So I walked you into the living room and tucked you back into your sleeping bag next to your three snoozing buddies. Then I laid down next to you and curled around you for a bit, stroking your hair the way I used to do to you when you were small.

And that triggered memories of the way I used to have to do that to you nearly every night, lay there with you until you were all the way asleep, because otherwise you'd cry or come crawling out of bed looking for me. So last night I laid there perhaps longer than I normally would have, remembering those early days with you and thinking about how, each time you have a birthday, I get a little sad at how grown up you have become.

You were the one who made me a mother, my first-born, my angel baby. And you hold a very special place in my heart, reserved just for you.

I love you, little man. Happy 8th birthday.

Love, Mama

Friday, September 3, 2010

Of Bugs and Other Icky Things

Tonight, when we were outside:

Me: "Edie, don't touch those bushes. They're full of spider webs."

Edie: "Do bugs live in there?"

Me: "Spiders live there, yes."

Edie: "Are spiders bugs?"

Me: (Choosing NOT to delve into the differences between arachnids, which have eight legs and are NOT, technically, bugs. She is just five, after all.) "Yes."

Edie: "What other kinds of bugs are there?"

Me: "Well... spiders. Ants. Bees. Wasps. Aphids. Grasshoppers..."

Edie: "Vampires?"

Me: "Well, vampires are icky, but they're not bugs."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In what shall hereafter be called The Great Hula Hooping Incident

Stitches, originally uploaded by JenSig.

So yesterday Edie became the first of my children to require a trip to after-hours urgent care and get STITCHES.

She was hula-hooping her way down a neighbor's driveway, and managed to slip and whack her chin on the driveway, resulting in my friend rushing her home to my house across the street, where I was at first unable to tell whether stitches were needed because there was so much blood it was hard to see MUCH.

She was pretty freaked out, I have to say — she is a girl who will get herself completely worked up over the idea of a shot, so of course that was her first question — well, after first asking me in a panic (when I had said we'd need to go to the doctor), "Am I going to DIE?" — and while I had a good feeling that she WOULD need a shot to numb the area, I of course didn't tell her that.

WHen we got to urgent care they were, blessedly, empty, so we were ushered right into a room and got immediate service. Edie was shivering, and when I asked her if she was cold she said no, she was just SO SCARED, Mommy! When she realized that they were, in fact, going to give her a shot — in her BOO BOO, no less! — she was pretty unconsolable, which was heartbreaking for me.

Finally, Terry said, "Edie... if you can be really brave and hold still for the doctor, then maybe we can stop at WalMart afterwards to pick out a new Zhu Zhu Pet." Her eyes lit up immediately, and I could see the wheels in her head turning.

Suddenly she turned slightly coy and said, "Could I get a SET?" Way to try and work that situation, little girl!

And I have to say, she was VERY brave, even when the nurse gripped the top of her head to keep her from turning her head and the doctor began injecting that needle full of lydocaine RIGHT INTO THE GAPING WOUND IN HER CHIN and she was crying and whimpering and screeching all at the same time — suddenly she must have numbed up, because she became very still and said quietly, "Hey! It doesn't hurt anymore!"

And that little 5-year-old girl laid as still as the grave while that very kind man put three stitches into her pretty little chin. Didn't fuss, didn't try to turn her head, didn't talk. I was SO proud of her for being so brave.

So, yes, she did get a trip to WalMart afterwards, for a new RockStar Zhu Zhu, named Roxie, a black and white little cutie with a shock of hot pink hair on the top of her head. .

But no... she did NOT get a set, as she'd hoped for. :-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The joys of sisterhood, originally uploaded by JenSig.

I think ever since the old incarnation of my blog died I haven't felt much like blogging, though it could just be my usual summertime laziness... seems I always write less here in the summers because we are just so darn busy most of the time.

But I knew it had been a while, and I thought I'd share this delightful picture of my two girls... I think the look on Isla's face says it all. The two girls are completely smitten with each other. Don't get me wrong — Owen is equally thrilled to have a new baby sister — but I think the bond between my girls is going to be exceptionally strong. At least I hope that it will be so.

Summer is as hectic as always, and now soccer season has begun, and the kids start school a week from tomorrow. Owen is going into second grade, and Edie into kindergarten, which is somewhat bittersweet for me. For so long, she was my baby girl, until Isla came along, but part of me still thinks of Edie in her younger incarnation. Just the other day I saw a picture of her from only a year ago, and I was amazed at the transformation I could see in her over just one year. Gone are the last vestiges of baby fat, replaced by this lanky, lean, tan, beautiful confident 5-year-old, ready to enter this brave new world that is kindergarten.

She is more than ready.

But I'm not.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monthly Newsletter — Month 8

Blue Eyes, originally uploaded by JenSig.

Dear Isla,

Today you are eight months old, and just as chunky and sweet as ever. This past month you began to take a LITTLE more of an interest in moving around on the floor, so now I have to keep a closer eye on you as you scoot across the floor. Oh, and by the way? You scoot backwards. Haven't figured out how to get it out of reverse, yet. Then you wind up scooting yourself into a corner or wedging your leg under the couch and call loudly for assistance.

Speaking of calling loudly, you definitely have discovered your voice! You screech and yell and chortle and sing at ear-piercing levels, and you are just so happy doing it. And a few words have started to appear: namely. "Dada" and "Mama." At first it was really just coincidence, but now you really say them, and my heart just melts when you look up at me and say, "Mama." In fact, the times when you say it the most are when you are in distress, and it's heartbreakingly sweet when your little chin is all puckered up with unhappiness and you are sobbing, "Mama!"

Of all my three babies (who were all really good at keeping themselves entertained), you are the one who most wants to be held. I can generally leave you on your playmat for a LITTLE while by yourself, while I sit nearby and keep an eye on you, but as soon as you decide you've had enough of being by yourself, you squall for company. And generally that's all it is; as soon as someone comes to sit with you — or even just BY you — you are pretty much all smiles again. Little social girl... you're more like your daddy than you know! What will you do once the two older kids start back to school, and your days become much quieter? Owen and Edie are still two of your favorite people, and you watch them closely, taking in all their antics.

We spent some more time with our new baby cousin, Fletcher, this past month, and you are very intrigued by that little guy. I think you think that he is your very own personal baby, because you reach for him with great interest, and I think you'd probably pinch and squeeze him if left to your own devices.

As for you, you are full of sweet smiles and happy chortles most of the time, for pretty much everyone. Lately you've begun to be slightly shy, and you'll give shy smiles and then turn your face down coyly, looking up from under those dark lashes sweetly. And you also now give kisses — not all the time, but often, if I say "kissy kissy," you'll lean over and smack me with a big wet one — or two or three. And occasionally — the best times, in fact — you lean over and give me a kiss without me even asking.

Those are magic moments for me, sweet girl. I love you so much my heart feels like it will burst.

Love, Mama

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hello, Internet

Toothy!, originally uploaded by JenSig.

I know, it's been kind of a dry couple of months here on my blog (particularly since the death of the database in my blog's last incarnation, which means the current amount of posts makes it look like I'm a total newbie to this whole blog thing).

Anyway. Me. Us. Where have I been? Seems like summer should be the months I would have LOADS of time to sit and post blog entries every day — no, TWICE a day! Look at all this free time I have! But, sadly, that isn't the case. We are busy busy busy... surf camp and swimming and impending vacation and parents coming to visit (hi, mom and dad!), and, quite frankly, the little bit of quiet time I have wherein I MIGHT choose to sit here posting, I'd rather play with Isla and the kids.

I mean, really. Look at those cheeks and tell me you don't want to bite them. As I post this, she is sitting there on the floor next to me, babbling away, playing with her toys, happy — and cheerful — as can be.

So I gotta go now... I have baby cheeks to nibble on and a pudgy belly to tickle.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"Yeah, that's what I meant."

So today I overheard Owen telling something this: "So you know, (Insert name of teacher here) isn't coming back to our school next year."

"Why is that, Owen?"

"Because, um... Barack Obama? He's getting rid of all the republicans."

Blink. Blink. I decided to interject: "Uh, well.... that's not exactly true. The state of California doesn't have any money, which unfortunately means that some really great teachers don't have jobs this fall."

"Yeah, that's what I meant."

Monthly Newsletter — Month 7

Love this girl
Originally uploaded by JenSig
Dear Isla,

Today is your 7-month birthday, and also happened to be the day you got baptized. That blessed event was... well... INTERESTING, to say the least. When Owen and Edie were both baptized, the water was poured gently over the tops of their heads, and the anointing with the oil was just a small sign of the cross made on the backs of their necks and the tops of their heads.

Well... I guess it's true that every officiant will perform the ceremony his own way. Today, the priest gleefully poured three huge scooping handfuls of water down your entire head (into your eyes and mouth, too), which had you sputtering in indignant anger; then the anointing of the oil came, and imagine my surprise when he poured literally a beaker full — about two measuring cups or more — of warm, scented oil all over your entire head. Fortunately none got into your eyes or mouth, but let's just say that you were Less Than Pleased.

In any event, it was a beautiful and special service, followed by a lovely brunch here at our house, with family and loved ones surrounding you.

I keep thinking to myself what a blessing you are to me... you, who arrived at a time in my life when I didn't expect to have any more children; it's like God wanted me to have you.

In other news, you are scooting all over the room, able to do pushups with your arms but still haven't got the hang of getting up onto your knees yet. You make all kinds of great noises, like raspberries and squeals and "ohs" and "ahs." I love listening to you "talk" to yourself.

You met your new baby cousin for the first time last week, and you are very intrigued by him. He's still so small, that I think you must think he's like the baby doll you play with, the one you like to alternately cuddle with and gnaw on. Today at your baptism, you kept trying to reach for him, and once or twice you managed to get ahold of his arm and try and pull him to you. As always, I wonder what's going through your head at times like these.

The other new development with you (and something that's unique to you, as Owen and Edie never really did this) — is that you are becoming more and more "mommy-centric" — if I'm not around and someone else wants to hold you, it's fine, but if you can see me, it's all over; woe to the person who is holding you. This is mostly true when you are feeling a little tired and crabby, and I have to say, a small part of me secretly loves the way your eyes will instantly zero in on me if I'm in the vicinity, and love the way you reach for me... and especially love the way you lean into me, and your body relaxes once you're in my arms, imperiously looking back at whoever had the unfortunate position of having to give you up.

You make me want to hug you close and never let you go, sweet girl.

Love, Mama

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Notes to my father

When I was a little kid, I started leaving my dad secret notes for him to find later. I think I started doing it because he would go away on business trips often, and be gone for days at a time, and I always liked the idea of him finding a special note from me tucked into his briefcase or the pocket of his coat.

The other day my dad sent me an email telling me that he was taking up playing the guitar again, and that he had retrieved his old black guitar case from his attic. When he opened it, he found this note tucked inside:

I think I must have been practicing writing in cursive. I have no memory at all of writing this note, but it gave me a good chuckle when I saw it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Honest Planet v2.0

So my old blog kind of, well... died. Not sure what happened, other than the database became corrupted, and rather than try and rebuild it, I have decided to start anew, here on blogger. I am not going to bother with importing old posts for archiving, mainly because it would take me forever and a day to do that. (Sorry.) I am going to try and save them -- at least the ones I wrote for my sweet babies -- on my own, in a text or Word file, just so that I have them for posterity.

So here's to new beginnings and a fresh start.