Saturday, July 28, 2007

New Addition

Meet the latest addition to the Isom household, the SportsArt Elliptical E82:

We compliment ourselves for some creative neighborhood bonding opportunities we created while allowing the neighbors to help us figure out how the heck to get this thing in our house. I should have taken pictures of that process, as it was probably the most amusing thing I've seen all week (amusing is probably not the word Ryan would use). While it seemed like a great idea to get an elliptical, once we got it in the house we almost wondered what in the world we were thinking. Our house had actually started to look decent - until the 7 foot elliptical machine entered the living room. It pretty much overpowers everything else in the house. But I was ever so excited to get on and use it after three months of not exercising. The plan is to get a Blockbuster membership and enjoy movies and exercising all through the freezing winter months and not even have to leave the house. At least we have no excuse now (and we're never short of excuses not to exercise). It's certainly not like you can pretend like you forgot it was there.

Cash and I went to the zoo for the first time here with Melanie and Harrison. Cash had only been once when he was 4 months old and I'm pretty sure he didn't look at one animal. He looked at a few more this time, although he was still just more interested in watching all the other little kids.

We found a great little neighborhood wading pool nearby and went with some friends the other day. We were excited to find one so close. Plus they're free, so it's a great way to wear Cash out in the afternoon.

Cash loves the tv. During one diaper escape this week I went into the living room and found that he had turned on the tv and was intently watching some daytime soap opera like this:

It's been fun watching Cash with his new walking skills. It's hours of entertainment now just walking from one room to the next, carrying objects from here to there. He's getting pretty good.
We went to dinner at a neighbor's house the other night and I was a little interested to see how Cash would react to them having a cat, since he's never really been around animals. At first he was scared of the cat, but then later we found he had wandered into the kitchen and was trying to feed it:
I was impressed that he knew what to do. It got even better later when he tried to pick the cat up by the ear.

A few weeks ago in church, one of the counsellors in the bishopric approached me and asked my name, and then asked about my husband (who hadn't been to church since the first week we moved in). I said he would be here the last Sunday in July, and the counsellor said, "Oh, for sure?" I said yes, and he said, "Great. Will you two speak that Sunday?" I felt so tricked! Well, Ryan was post-call Saturday (meaning already tired), then we hung out with friends that night, then of course he was up late writing his talk. :) He's going to start trying to do some cornea harvesting from organ donors, and he got the first call to go out and train with a guy to do it at midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning, and then didn't get back until 3am (and still hadn't finished his talk, of course). So when Sunday morning rolled around, we were totally exhausted and weren't sure we could pull it off, or even fake it, but we managed to make it to church, and even on time. Well my suspicions proved somewhat correct - it didn't all come off totally polished. I went first, then when I got back down to our bench after giving my talk, Ryan handed me Cash - who had had a serious diaper capacity malfunction. There was poop oozing out his pants and up his back - and of course, all over Ryan's suit coat. Well, suit coat removed, and Cash and I precariously on our way to the bathroom, Ryan made it to the pulpit and started introducing himself, then went to start into his talk - only to realize he'd taken up my talk, so he had to go back down and get his talk while everyone waited. Ah, the comedy.... Perhaps we should get more sleep next time. Oh well, at least the talks went over well.

Other than that, we're really looking forward to next week when August starts and Ryan has a different rotation where there will be NO WEEKENDS and NO CALL!!!
I'll leave you now with possibly my favorite part of summer:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The week in pictures

Not too much to talk about this week. We enjoyed time at some parks:

(A good shot of the eyelashes)

Then we went downtown by the lake a couple of nights to enjoy the beautiful weather. The first part of the week was hot and humid, but the last couple of days have been dry and in the 70s - extremely pleasant for July. They have a really nicely developed waterfront here, with lots of trails all along the lake. We just strolled along the water one night, then took the bikes and the trailer down the next.

The Milwaukee Art Museum:

And, as usual, Cash had his ups - and his downs on the trip.

Mostly he just liked being out of the trailer and rolling in the grass:

The salon officially opened this week and I did hair for a couple of girls from church. I was worried that I wouldn't do any hair this whole year, so I was happy. Oh yes, and the only other real excitement - we finally got our california king size bed. It was a little stressful, as it almost didn't fit in the house, but at least we are finally off the air mattress!

Last of all, we've been missing New York this week, so I'll leave you with some of our fond memories:

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friends, friends and fun

As you can see, we had a pretty good week.

Last Thursday we went downtown Milwaukee for Jazz in the Park, a weekly outdoor summer event here. It was very pleasant and Cash had a good time socializing with the people surrounding us.

We've also spent a lot of time with friends in the last week. I think it's because we're finally settled in and are excited to be more social. Cash and I went with the Chang's (another Transitional year family) to a really nice lake with a beach.

We also went to the local farmer's market with them the next day and got some good veggies. They came over Sunday for dinner and our house was about 400 degrees even with both the window AC units going full blast all day. I probably shouldn't have cooked so much, but we were pretty excited to have rhubarb crisp. Anyway, later that night we were like, oh man, we've become those people - like the people's houses we go to and it's a million degrees and they won't turn on the AC even though we're dripping sweat. So the next day I called our landlord and asked if they had any spare AC units, and if not we'd go buy one. She said they were actually thinking of putting in central air this week. YEA!!!!!!!!! So that got put in and I am ever so happy. Finally a solution for our sweating issues. And much more pleasant for anyone who may want to visit us. (Hint, hint.)

Cash and I went to the Children's Museum with our next door neighbors - Melanie and her little boy Harrison who is a year and a half. Cash is so happy to have a little buddy around. Plus they have good toys and a fun yard to play in. Ryan has forbidden us from collecting anything this year since we'll be moving again next year. But the Children's Museum here is great and we really enjoyed it. I think we're going to get a membership. The only downfall is that Cash got sick at the end of the week and I'm pretty sure two trips to the Children's Museum was responsible.

Cash and Harrison are pretty funny together. They're both really chill kids and just make each other laugh. The car ride was too cute, as you can see in the video:

Jed and Melanie (the next-door neighbors) also had a barbeque for some of the couples in our neighborhood. It was nice to get to know people, especially now since once the winter comes we'll all be in hibernation, apparently. Here's the frozen lemon dessert I made for the BBQ. I'm really happy that I found a replica of the recipe my mom always used that doesn't have raw eggs. I always felt a law suit coming on.

Anyway, Melanie and I also discovered maybe one of the only advantages to having only about 5 feet between our houses - baby monitors and nap times. I felt rather successful having two children nicely napping while I was in charge.

We had friends over on Friday night for dinner and games - I've found some stiff nertz competition here in Wisconsin.
Then Saturday we went to Bastille Days in the afternoon - a French festival in downtown Milwaukee. Besides the freakishly huge puppets, the Eiffel Tower replica, and the wine tasting going on, I really couldn't see anything authentically French. Most of the vendors were Chinese, Mexican, Italian foods, etc. We're not sure we'll go to too many more of the festivals. It wasn't all that exciting, and we hear they're pretty much all the same.

Later that night we went to another BBQ with some of the transitional year residents. I know, we sound like such party animals. Pretty much we are. That's why we moved to Milwaukee, right?

As for this week's milestones, Cash has now taken at least 13 steps consecutively. For anyone in the family who feels they are missing these important events, you can see one of the first attempts here:

The second milestone - Cash got his first plate of cookies from a girl! Our cute 5-year-old neighbor on the other side, made some cookies just for Cash. And she was adamant that he would like frosting on them (very true), so they even made a special trip to the store to buy some frosting with sprinkles for him. How sweet!

Here's Cash skeptically wondering if I'm really just going to let him have-at the whole plate of cookies.

Then getting over his hesitation:

I know I've mentioned some blogs I like to some people (women, pretty much) so I figured I'd put the links on here so you can check them out. Ours is obviously just a here's-what-we're doing blog, but theirs are some cool alternatives to just the journal blogging. My friend Gabby from New York started a blog called Design Mom a year ago and it's HUGE now. It's great and it gets tons of hits from people every day. She has great ideas, advice, guest moms and awesome give-aways. Check out more at:

When she's famous, at least I can say I did her hair.

Another one that I think is great is one another friend from New York started about the preschool she does with her son Connor (preschools are ridiculously expensive in NY). I think she was an education major, but anyway, when Cash is old enough, I'll definitely be using it:

I have a lot of friends that are new to the blogging world, but it's awesome! I wish more of you did it so I could keep up on your lives too!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Sugar baby

Well I think I'll probably do at least a weekly update on this. That way I don't become obsessed, but I still remember the funny details of our life. Over the past week, we went to summerfest in downtown Milwaukee, a huge 2 week music festival on the lakefront.

It was fun, but man there seemed to be a lot of teenagers. And we couldn't figure out how there were so many of them getting away with drinking! Anyway, we saw some good bands and some X-games style BMX biking and they had fantastic fireworks at the end right over the water. Really some of the best we've seen.

But I swear I remember Violent Femmes being cool. It's starting to come back to me that that was probably in 8th grade, because man, they ended the night for us. It was like watching your 50 year-old math teacher and his previous chess club friends trying to be cool. And they're just not. And they just don't make for good entertainers at all. Maybe that's why most of the night we had been around teenagers and the alternative bands, because 2 minutes of watching Violent Femmes perform and the evening came to a screeching halt.

I really hate this husband on call thing though. I know we came here because it was supposed to be an easy year, and it still is much better than other places, but I'm not used to this having to go everywhere by myself. Saturday morning Cash and I went to a ward breakfast and then had to do church again on Sunday without Ryan. Luckily there seems to be quite a few other women in my ward in the same situation, otherwise I would feel even more awkward in a ward where I don't really know anyone. Some people have tried to tell us we should go to the Spanish branch here since we live just a couple blocks away, but then I realize - wait, since Ryan is gone all the time why would I want to go sit by myself in a Spanish branch when I don't even speak the language??

We also went to a barbeque at a lake that has a little beach with some friends and had a good time. I was so excited to have Ryan see Cash in the water (he's a total chicken), but we walked out the door and it started raining. We went anyway, but didn't do much in the water. Cash has just started to take his first few steps alone this past week. I thought it would be such a picturesque background to film some of his first moments walking with the lake in the background, but, well, you can see how it went:

This kid can obviously not tolerate the amount of sugar his mom can. One cookie and he's delerious. :)

We also bought a mattress this week - thank goodness. I think weeks of sleeping on an air mattress may have contributed to us splurging on a really nice one.

Ryan was on call the 4th, so Cash and I went to a nearby park that had a lot of hooplah going on. We lucked out and were there for the talent show. I guess I've never been to these kiddie talent shows before. They're really pretty terrible. Every 6-year old girl is up there trying to sing Christina Aguillera (why are their moms letting them sing those lyrics??). I guess it's a toss up though because then the one kid that comes out and does "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top" is a serious dork. To top it off, it was interspersed with entertainment by some old lady who sounded like a total chain smoker who played the accordion and sang patriotic songs. The 10-14 year-old category of the talent show sounded more promising, but we couldn't take much more. American Idol can probably steer clear of Milwaukee.

Although it did remind me of another favorite 4th of July (meaning it seems to bring out some crazy people) - 3 years ago when we lived in Maryland for the summer while Ryan was doing an internship at NIH. We went to this big concert on Capitol Hill and some guy from the BeeGees performed. This lady by us came and planted her chair down only for his performance and then left, but Ryan was so entertained by her, he had to take some video:

It was pretty awesome - you can see the whole crowd is totally mellow except this one crazy BeeGees fan. And she kept that up for the whole half hour or so. You can also see why Ryan was more entertained by her than the whole concert.

Anyway, back to this 4th of July, in the evening after Ryan came home and slept a little, we checked out the Leon's frozen custard that is a block from our house (I'd been trying to avoid it because I knew we'd become addicted), and then we got some Wisconsin mac and cheese at a local restaraunt. Cash was so mad when it was gone. The kid loves cheese. After that we came home and Ryan put together our bikes and the new bike trailer he got for father's day and we went for a little spin around the neighborhood.

All in all, it didn't turn out to be a bad 4th of July after all.

Seeing Cash the other day in this shirt reminded me of his 5-year old cousin Carter who bought this shirt for Cash with his very own money when we went to Utah in April and Cash's luggage was lost for 5 days. How sweet is that?!

I also found this video from his our first birthday celebration at Applebee's that I thought I'd put on. Who needs hands, anyway?

Well, that's all for now. Hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday! I better go check on my child again. It's almost 9am and he's still asleep. He never sleeps past 6:30. What the heck??