Wordful Wednesday: The Biz at 18 Months

My blog has suffered under Extreme Busyness Syndrome. So much so that monthly updates for my sweet Isora Rose have been all but non existent. (*To Isora – Sorry sweet girl. I really would have liked to write more about you over the past 18 months but keeping up with you and how quickly you learn everything is pretty time consuming. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love you and your Wiggle Worm ways so no complaints that I loved your sister more, m’kay?)

So I figured I’d take this Wednesday to gush show off brag discuss my sweet baby girl.

This is Isora Rose. 18 months old but just told me the other day that “I 3 year old Mama”.  Ummmm, no, you’re not. But cute that she repeats every. single. thing. her sister says, right? And yes, she talks. A lot. All day. All night. She says words that sound funny coming out of a 18 month old mouth. Like ‘remember’ and ‘medicine’. She nearly always says ‘thank you’ often says ‘please’ and her newest fav is “No. I do it.” SMH. WAY too early for that statement if you ask me. She says all her ABC’s and “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,14,Zoomi” (cause she knows it makes us laugh). She sings along to all our songs in the car. She loves when I sing Alouette and My Favorite Things and 1 2 3. And she loves Bob Marley. Of course 😉

IMG_3473

This little lady has always been sweet and chill but as she’s grown she has blossomed into the most good-natured, smiling and happy child I’ve ever known. She rarely cries (though the closer we come to 2 the more she fake-cries) and if she does get a boo-boo it’s easy to make her smile again. The song ‘Alouette’ used to be her stop-crying song. Now you just say “Boo Teta”. I know. It’s silly. Cedella said it to her once when she was crying and it stuck. They both crack up. Every. Time.

IMG_3471

There’s something else you must know about Iz. She is completely obsessed with her sister. Whatever Ella is doing or saying, Izzie is copying. It’s adorable and funny, as short-lived as it may be. Because one day they will fight over toys or clothes or boys or life but for now they’re pretty inseparable. And that’s cool with me.

IMG_3695

Despite their closeness they are very different children. And that’s the coolest thing to see. All the things that Iz loves that El gets easily bored by. All the subtle little differences.

For example…this kid loves to brush her teeth. It makes her whole day. She’ll say “brush teeth” until I go into the bathroom with her and put toothpaste on her Dora brush.

IMG_3688

She is a Weirdo. With a capital W. In our home Weirdos are just silly people who are different and unique. Weird is a positive. She has Weird in spades. She wore this one snow boot around for hours. Hours. And would freak if I tried to put the other shoe on her. Weirdo.

IMG_3831

And man is she funny. She is constantly thinking of new ways to make us laugh. She’s a natural Goof Ball. I kinda wish I could roam around the house mostly nude with a basket on my head too. Sadly she’s the only one that can get away with it, she’s a trailblazer of physical comedy.

IMG_1428

Like the Corn-Holio. She does this one a lot. Actually she takes off her shirt a lot. When her tummy is free she’ll rub on it like she’s rubbing a Good Luck Buddha and say “Tummy”. Makes us laugh every. single. time.

IMG_3678

And this…her fake pouty face. She’s got you fooled, huh? Keep in mind this face was directly followed by

IMG_1446

a big old grin.

IMG_1443

Did I mention Izzie can and will sleep just about anywhere at any time? No really. Anywhere. Remember this? A booth in a busy restaurant in Chicago.

IMG_3369

And at the Zoo. Even at her favorite place she sleeps.

IMG_3452

Another thing to know about this little lady: she loves to eat. Loves. Anything and everything. The only thing she seems to have an aversion towards is fish (which is weird cause we eat a lot of fish) but she loves everything else. Current obsession? Hummus, PB&J, Turkey and Yogurt. And cupcakes. Anything with frosting is cool with her.

IMG_3931

Always fruit. Off the tree, don’t care. She was digging on that pear. The cuteness of her eating this pear fresh off her Jiddo’s tree just kills me. I love it so.

IMG_3914

She is a book lover just like her Mama and her sis. Current favs include ‘Pajama Time’ ‘Duck on a Bike’ and the Little Critter book ‘I Was So Mad’. And anything that has baby faces for her to kiss. She’s really into kissing right now.

IMG_3651

Though she loves to hang out at Play. she really comes alive at the zoo. On this visit she woke up just in time to chase the peacocks . It never gets old.

IMG_3463

She is a very intense and avid colorer. Have you ever seen a more serious coloring face? She’s doing business here.

IMG_3959

And she has entered the Momma and Baby phase. The second we get to Play. she goes right for the babies. At home she carries around three at a time.

IMG_3757

She even wears her babies while she’s watching her favorite shows (Currently: Daniel Tiger, Super Why, Team Umizoomi and Dora).

IMG_3956

Though she loves taking care of her babies she is still very much Mama’s Girl. I can’t get enough kisses and hugs from this kid. She’s positively delicious. She makes every single cell in my body vibrate with happiness even on the rainiest and grayest days.

IMG_3812

I catch myself sometimes just staring at her. Just in awe of some new thing she’s taught herself or something funny that she’s done. Watching that sweet grin spread over her face is like medicine for a stressed out soul. I love to watch her play and explore and try and persevere.

But seriously, where did I get this blonde haired green eyed child from? Another unique and beautiful thing about this sweet girl.

IMG_3531

But whatever you do. Don’t take this girl’s babies or food….cause she’s a tough girl. She’ll get ya.

IMG_3587

See? Told you she was funny.

Do you have a hilarious child of your own? I’d love to here about what makes your kid an awesome Weirdo!! Please share stories!!

Linking up with Amanda at Dude Mom and Angie at Seven Clown Circus. Go check out their gorgeous families now. Just do it.

Happy Wednesday!!

Wordful Wednesday: Where the Wild Things Are

Summer is beginning to ebb away but you wouldn’t know it because of the temps around here. But in an effort to check every last thing off of our summer bucket list we finally took a trip to the Detroit Zoo with Grandma and the Aunties.

Every summer when we were kids my sister and I used to go to Girl Scout day camp at the Detroit Zoo. Some years my Mom was even our camp leader. It was an awesome place to go and it seemed so incredibly large and magical and perfect to a young kid. The Zoo is one of the Detroit traditions that I couldn’t wait to share with my girls.

Some things have changed, but the feeling is still the same. For Cedella, the zoo is one great big amazingly cool place.

We started our day by taking the little train to the back of the zoo. I think this is my absolute favorite picture of me and my girls. I love how they’re looking at each other. Yay for sisters!

We all remember how scary we thought the tunnel was when we were kids. But they’ve put lights up. So NOT scary anymore.

And then we had to consult The Map. Maybe this is the one thing Monk has taken from her limited run-ins with Dora. (*Thankfully she’s not a big fan of Dora cause she thinks that Swiper’s scary and prefers Wallace & Grommit, so proud of my BBC loving baby). Or maybe this is just another trait she’s gotten from her Mama (since I’m the map-reader/navigator of the family).

Either way, she wouldn’t put the damn thing down. And kept saying “Ok guys, we have to check the map”. She’s quite the Explorer.

And the little Boogie got in on the action too. Hamming it up for the camera with her Te Te.

One of the funniest moments? Grandma forgot her hat. So she had to borrow Ella’s. Guess it’s pretty clear where my daughter gets her little mini head from. Sure didn’t get it from her Mom or Dad.

Oh yea, and did I mention, there were animals there?

Like really really close up and personal.

Some were taking their naps when we visited. This gorilla gave us quite a view…

Even though the polar bears were sleeping, the statue was not.

And the ostriches and flamingos were very active.

Grandma and Izzie took a break at the Reptile House. Apparently neither of them care for scaly creatures.

We attempted a family pic by the Rackham Fountain. But this was the best shot. Pretty realistic moment, no?

And we took a couple of baby snuggle breaks. Cause these cheeks deserve snuggle breaks.

When she wasn’t reading her map, Cedella was busy pouting or chasing after her Aunties. Or doing both simultaneously.

Me and Izzie and our Marley wrap ended up putting on a show for the whole zoo. Every time I wrapped her or unwrapped her it seemed we had an audience. And everywhere we walked people stared either in complete confusion or wanted to know all about it. I love public displays of Babywearing!! And I really love that my baby can see what I see in complete comfort.

And when she’s ready she just closes her eyes and has a comfy spot to nap in. Her sleeping face? It makes me swoon.

I was fully prepared to be in the penguin house for ages but Cedella just wasn’t digging it. Instead, she liked the bird house. When she saw the parrots and macaws like in Rio, she went bananas.

And just when I thought everything from my childhood had been erased, there it was, right at the end of the bird house. The chain link curtain. Tracey and I remembered it so vividly. Doing exactly what Ella did when she saw it. It may have been the highlight of her day.

We had such a fun day. It’s always fun being with all the Sims ladies. So fun that both girls passed out within seconds of being in their car seats.

Keeping traditions. Making memories. Giving these girls an incredible childhood. And loving every second of it.

How’d you celebrate the end of summer?

Happy WW!!

 

 

What’s in a Name?

Have you ever introduced your baby and gotten “Oh.  That’s unique.” or “What does that mean?”  Yea, we get this a lot.  Like All.  The.  Time.  It’s fine with me.  We knew Cedella was going to be unique, that’s part of the reason why we chose it.  But the whole “What does that mean”?  To paraphrase Bruce Willis’ character Butch in Pulp Fiction “we’re Americans sweetheart, our names don’t mean anything”.  So for all of those who have been wondering what her name means or where we got it, this one is for you…


When picking out a baby name our first priority was a unique name.  And as soon as we found out we were having a girl, the search was on.  I love the Sofia and Isabella and Emma’s of the world (in fact these are my friends’ daughters’ names).  But I LOVE my name.  Alexia is unique and exotic and foreign and so so pretty (thanks Mom and Dad).  I wanted my baby to have the same kind of name, something that was perhaps hard to pronounce.  Something that would look amazing on the cover of a book or magazine.  Something that would speak to her multitude of ethnicities.  Besides with a last name like Mansour, we really couldn’t look for a typical Top 100 baby name.  And so we went searching for a unique, exotic, unforgettable name…

We went through ALL the baby books.  Like 10 or 11 of them.  Even the ‘cool’ baby name book Beyond Jennifer and Jason.  I tried to think of all my favorite heroines from literature or even from Greek mythology.  Michael thought of all the musicians he admired.  We thought of all the characters from movies we loved.  Eventually I mined my past for names of friends or acquaintances long since faded from our lives.  We even thought of great-aunts and great-grandmas that we could honor (but how to not offend any of the others?).

Eventually we had a list.  And when I say it was a short list I mean it was microscopic.  There were 3 names on it, and not one of them can be found in a baby name book.  That’s right, only 3 fit our demands.  I don’t dare reveal the other 2 because Cedella may have a couple of sisters that need names too ::wink wink::  I’m turning into George Costanza over here!

At some point in our search, probably when we were thinking of our favorite musicians we got to Bob Marley.  Marlie (girly spelling) was briefly considered, which is funny cause I now know 2 little girls named Marlie.  He is far and away one of our all time favs.  Michael and I have been known to turn on the Marley on a Sunday afternoon, not get dressed, and lounge away an entire day.  When I was younger I was so obsessed that I wore my Dad’s old Bob concert t-shirt littered with holes and I studied Bob, reading every book I could get my hands on.  And then I remembered that he named his daughter after his mother, the late great singer in her own right, Cedella Booker Marley.  That was it for me, though Michael took some convincing. 

I had to repeat it to him non-stop for days.  He was really feeling one of the other names because it was Arabic and sounded beautiful with our last name (thankfully we don’t have to think about it next time).  You know what it took?  Putting the name Cedella together with the middle name Michelle.  Michelle was my middle name until we got married.  I decided to keep my father’s name as my middle name and take my husband’s name as my last name (couldn’t go for the hyphenated thing).  So Michelle got dropped by the wayside.  So it was the perfect middle name for our Baby.  It was my middle name and the feminine of Michael.  So then we had it…Cedella Michelle Mansour.  Doesn’t it just flow?

But what does it mean?  Like I said this is in none of the baby name books.  So I did my librarian’s best to find out where it came from.  The closest I could find was the name Sadella that is Hebrew and a variant of Sarah meaning princess.  Sure, sounds good, she’s our princess.  We were fine with this, until one day a beautiful Ethiopian woman walked into my husband’s store.  She had two small children with her and he gave them some candy.  They began to talk and he told the woman about his little Cedella.  She took a sharp breath and told him what a beautiful name that was.  In fact, it sounded like the word ‘Edella’, meaning the first ray of light.  What?   How beautiful is that?  And knowing the connection between Ethiopia and Jamaica, it’s entirely possible that this is how the Booker-Marley family found this name.  

So to our First Ray of Light (in oh so many ways), to our Princess, to our Cedella Michelle.  Your name is as beautiful, complex and unique as yourself.  May it always open doors for you, take people aback and make them think, and may it always remind you of the music in all that surrounds us.  
Cedella muggin’ in her Grandpa’s vintage Bob Marley tee