Category Archives: Being a mom

More at Four


Four was a year of change for us. We moved to Berkeley, California that year. We had to say goodbye to family and dear friends. You were so sad to leave Seattle, your cousins, your church and your friends. It was that summer that we found your school.

We visited almost every park in Berkeley. We  also went to the library once a week gathering at least twenty books each time. I remember my mom taking me to the library and loving it. I wanted you to share that same love. We did a lot of exploring thanks to the Berkeley Public Library Discover and Go program. It gave us free passes to museums and fun kid locations. You and I had many adventures in the Bay Area.


Two isn’t Terrible


Two isn’t terrible at all. In fact, to me the best videos come from Isabella at the age of two. I love hearing her speak.  Where the word “tree” is pronounced “twee” and “banana” some how becomes “ba-lana” and “breakfast” is “breakpest”.  I would not correct it. I know that is my “terrible two mothering”, but there was something so endearing hearing her saying a word in her own cute two-year-old way.  Later, there was “soup-case” instead of “suitcase” and “froggy” instead of “foggy”.  I still smile thinking of how she first said those words. It is simply the best.


I think it has been forever since I’ve posted a blog to this account. It is crazy to think that I’m about to be a mom of a child who is turning Double Digits. So, I felt it was appropriate to relish the moment and do a countdown to ten even though technically it’s a count UP to universe of double digits. zero_instagram

She was eleven days old when we took this picture. I remember loving her nursery. At the time, it was my favorite room in the house. I remember the sleepless nights and my husband literally hallucinating that bugs were around him because he needed sleep. I remember her falling asleep on me.  I remember the joy of all the first experiences from eating, crawling, making noises to words, experiencing snow and loving trees. Parenthood is all about figuring it out and having no idea what you’re doing. Then you find a rhythm and it instantly changes based on how much they grow in one year.

Here is a quick video down memory lane for the year before she turned one.



My 5th Year as a Mom! Thank you Isabella.

It is hard to believe that five years ago, I was in a hospital room awaiting the arrival of what I thought would be a brown-haired and brown-eyed girl. We had the name Isabella Eleanor ready to name our sweet one. Parker wanted to name her after strong women. Isabella which means God is my Oath after Queen Isabella of Spain who gave the green light to Columbus to discover America. Then her middle name Eleanor which means God is Light after Eleanor Roosevelt the first lady of the President of United States.

Much to our surprise, our daughter arrived with light blonde hair and blue eyes looking more like her grandmothers than her parents.

Lately, we have been having the best conversations.
Driving home from preschool, she says:

Mom, when I grow up I want to be a nurse because my friend Allie wants to be a doctor. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I answer:
At your age, I probably wanted to be an actress or a dancer.
She responds matter-of-factly:
Well, that didn’t work out for you. You are a MOM!

We were eating together the other day and I look over at her and she was smiling.

I ask:
What are you smiling about?

She says:
Because I love you.
Thanks for taking me to lunch, mom.
This is the best day of my life.

Yep, I am smitten. I love being a mom to this lovely, little lady!

DMV Drama, Dot, Dot, Dot

So,if you are an out of state resident moving into the beautiful and sunny state of California then you have to take your written driver’s test in order to secure a drivers license. Do you remember that sixteen year old feeling of passing a test to driving freedom? I remember that I passed my written with flying colors and failed the driver portion of the test twice. Darn, that parallel parking and pesky turn signals!


Enough reminiscing, let’s get back to this fun adventure with my first visit to the DMV. I filled out paperwork noting my “ideal” weight because I was certain by the end of the summer I would attain it. It was like setting a goal for myself. I mean, I am going to have this license for the next four years so I thought it best to inspire myself to action. After roughly an hour wait, my number was spoken by a computer generated voice to input the information and pay then I was sent over to get my picture taken. I started to get a little nervous about taking a test. The last time I took a test would have to be in college which was quite awhile ago. I wondered if I had studied enough or not. I mean, who wants to fail?


I take a deep breath and head up to the test area. I asked the DMV employee if my daughter could sit next to me in one of the cubicles because I brought her Leapster with headphones so she would sit quietly while I took the test. The employee looked at me and said she would have to ask. She asked a supervisor and came back. She said, “I am sorry, but no one can be in the testing area with you. You will have to come back and take the test another time.”


I know my daughter is super smart, but her knowledge about California state driving laws are minimal. Red means stop. Green means go. Yellow means drive really fast. Actually, be prepared to stop.

On my way out the door amid my frustration I opened up my paperwork to look at the picture. It looked like I had two chins. Then I scanned down at my weight. It was not “ideal” at all. It was not “real”. It was a number that I ran away from a few short years ago. I got in the car and immediately called my mom to find out if they had secret scales under the mats that you stood on. She laughed and said no. I raced home to weigh myself.

Now, wait a minute.

Just for your information. I don’t like scales. I abhor them. I don’t weigh myself. But today I weighed myself just to be sure. The DMV employee added 18 pounds to my weight. I was MORTIFIED!

Okay, after the emotion wore off and my husband and mom convinced me that I could change the weight and take a new picture. I was coming back down to earth even reasoning that the employee may have keyed in the wrong number by accident and I should have put the real number down. Sigh!

We decided to take the test down near my parents after the fourth of July. My second visit to the DMV resulted in a weight change, new picture and….


I passed the test. I missed four and the good news is that you can miss a total of six! Just in case you were wondering, it is illegal for you to smoke in your car if you have a minor under the age of 18 riding with you. Parker and I both missed that question and three others. Isn’t that romantic?

Well, we thought we were done however in order to get your California plates you need to have your pink slip, registration, insurance, surrender your Washington plates and identification. We had to leave and go get the pink slip which I had happened to bring to my parents. Now, I am on my third visit to the DMV on the same day to finish the plate process.

But now my husband is officially a California resident! The End.

But wait….

I have to get plates for my car. Please mark this as my fourth and hopefully final visit.

This is an image forever burned in my memory. I waited about an hour. I brought in all the necessary paperwork and they visually verified my car. They asked me to surrender my Washington plates. So, I went out into the parking lot and I easily removed the back plate. Then I moved to taking off the front plate. But I couldn’t get it off. I flagged down a lovely gentleman in the parking lot and he tried with all his might to get the plate off the car and was unable to take it off. To be honest, I broke down in tears at that point. I did not want to make another trip to the DMV.

After a quick pep talk with my husband, I went inside to see if they would process me in spite of my plate problem and they said “YES!” The DMV employee was getting me all set and I asked, “Can I keep the back plate from Washington and change the plates out later with the help of my husband?” They replied, “No, you have to surrender your plate right now.” “So, I will have to drive with a Washington plate on the front and a California plate on the back?” The employee shrugged their shoulders like it was my problem.

I was under the impression that the DMV was all about safety and traffic rules, but apparently it is not their problem to force you to be ILLEGAL. I was not sure what to do except to drive very little. I pulled out of the DMV with my front plate in the northwest and my back plate in the sunshine state and a police officer passed me and flipped around behind me.

Are you kidding me right now? Seriously!

The good news is that he did not pull me over. My husband came home that night to wrench the plate off and after four good attempts and one injury the plate did not come off. The next morning, I went to a French-Italian mechanic with curly hair named Lucky. His assistant ripped the plate off and the rusted bolt broke off into the fender. He had to drill new holes to put on the plate.

It is a miracle! We are official California residents.

Just a doll!

I have been spending  a great deal of time with my girl, Isabella as of late.  Today, we had the cutest conversation.   She started asking me about growing up.  I mentioned that when she got older that she would have responsibilities and live in her own home.  She thought about it for a while.

Then about fifteen minutes later when we were in the car.  She breaks down in tears and I quote….

“I don’t want to live in my own house.  I want to stay with you when I get bigger.”

I reply, “Well, maybe, you will marry someone like daddy and then you will live in your own house.”

Tears are really flowing now.

Isabella says, “I do not want to get married!  I want to stay with you and daddy.  I want to marry daddy and stay with you.   I want to stay with you guys. ”

I respond with a smile almost turning to my own tears.  “Honey, you can stay with us as long as you like…even forever.”

I will probably remind her of this when she decides to move out as an adult.   It is hard to believe that this little doll has only been in my life four and a half years and the idea of her leaving our house is  heart wrenching.

It made me happy that she was sad to leave us.  Terrible, I know.   But so cute!

What to do next?

I have pondered this thought for several months.  Now, that I have a half marathon checked off my list.  What should I do next?  I thought about another race or a triathlon, but nothing caught my attention.  Until my husband decided that I needed to join him on a business trip to Australia.

At first, it was only supposed to be about ten days, but somehow it ended up to be sixteen? Not sure how that happened, but I am so not complaining.

This is my first trip out of the country since I was eighteen.  This is my first trip without my daughter for an extended period of time.  Sure, we have had a one night, three nights and five nights away from each other, but this is entirely a different story.  It seems a little surreal.

What is mommy going to do on vacation?

Well, I guess, I will go on an adventure of a life time.  Yeah, that sounds good.

The truth is that I had a bit of melt down.  I cried last night about being apart from my Isabella.  I know! Can you believe it? I am on about to go on vacation and I am crying.

But I love her.  It has been a joy to be at home with her.  I will miss her terribly, but I am going to enjoy this vacation!

My wonderful parents and sisters volunteered to take on miss chica while I am away.  So, this morning Isabella got on a plane with my mom.  As we are walking into the terminal, I am thinking to myself.  BE BRAVE! NO TEARS! SMILE BIG! I reach down to grab her hand to find that she has her Nemo cell phone to her ear and she is talking on it.  Then she takes the phone and acts like she is taking a photo with it.  I start laughing.  What a kid!

At any rate, I see her off successfully and she gives me a big hug and kiss and heads out for her adventure with Papa and Nana! (which does include Disneyland)

The house is clean. The bags are packed and I am about to board the plane for a 14 hour ride to Sydney.   It will be Saturday when I arrive because we lose a day, but I will chronicle each day that I am there!  Here I go!