Isa & Mommy Read



Isa is changing by leaps and bounds lately. In the last week he’s learned how to “throw” a ball and “brush” his teeth. Today he was able to put the right shapes into the musical shape sorter for the first time. Usually he just empties it and hands the circle, square and triangle to me one at a time as a cue that he wants me to put them into the sorter. But today, I guided his hand to the correct opening and let him release the shape into the slot. He was thrilled that he was able to get the shapes in, but he got flustered when he didn’t quiet position the triangle correctly and it got stuck before finally sliding down. He let out a frustrated yelp and shook his hands in the universal body language of “Ughh!” Poor little guy–caught in the gap between the determination of his will and the cooperation of his body.

Isa is also becoming a great mimic. He notices my cleaning around the house a lot and he always wants to get into the action. He’s especially fascinated by the broom and dustpan. So today, as usual, he followed me around watching me sweep the floors and then sweep up the debris into the dustpan. Then he saw me open the kitchen trashcan and brush the dirt into the garbage. Before the garbage lid closed, he followed up behind me and put his hand out over the trash and shook off the imaginary dust that he had collected with his fingers and when the lid closed he patted it down for emphasis. A chip off the old block!

We can also add a few more words to his vocabulary list:

  • Apple
  • Ball
  • Elmo
  • Baby

Plus I could have sworn I heard him say “De Nada” the other day when I handed him his juice, but I’m waiting to see if he says it again. He also says something that sounds like “I did it;” it’s really more like “I didi.” We’re not sure what he means, but we always respond saying, “Yes, you did it!”


Al Gore

At 13 months, here is a list of Isa’s vocabulary:

  • Agua
  • Ma Ma
  • Da Da
  • Hola
  • Nada
  • Bye
  • Hi
  • No No No
  • Uh Oh
  • Wow

Coming in at number one, however, is Isa’s first and still favorite expression:

Al Gore” Al Gore, Vice President of the United States, official portrait 1994.jpg

He’s been making this sound since he was just a couple of months old. Eduardo and I can not for the life of us figure out where this comes from or what it means. Granted, we are a fairly liberal family, but I don’t think we talk about the former Vice President any more than your typical American household. Perhaps Isa just never got over the travesty of the stolen 2000 election. (There must have been some coverage where ever he was at the time) Or perhaps he’s just keen on that particular collection of sounds. Well, whatever it is, it’s a mystery. And it doesn’t seem to be used following any consistent grammatical rules. Isa’s proclaimed it as a noun when pointing at something, a greeting when entering a room, a salutation when leaving, a question with inflection and an exclamation when thoroughly excited. If anyone has any theories as to what this magical phrase “Al Gore” could mean, please share them.

Isa’s Name in Arabic







Very Beautiful.


Here are some wonderful shots of Isa with Maria.  We’re so grateful for how well she cares for Isa while we’re at work.









Carefully Observant

These are some of the words I would use to describe Isa’s budding personality. He’s a pretty intense little dude. He knows what he wants and he’s very vocal about letting you know when he’s not happy. He can sure scream. He had a visit to the cardiologist last week to check on his murmur (which is absolutely fine) and he screamed through the entire exam as if they were sticking him with pins and all the poor Dr. was trying to do was get an ultrasound of Isa’s heart while he laid on the table. But Isa was not having it. He has a very strong temper.

Here’s a list of Isa’s Like/Dislikes at Age One


  • Falafel & Humus
  • Artichoke
  • Pizza
  • Elmo & Sesame Street
  • Walking out the front door
  • Going up and down stairs
  • Playing with all the tuperware
  • Looking for dogs out the window
  • Cheese
  • Other Babies
  • Playing in the bathroom, especially around the bathtub—bathing in it and throwing toys into it
  • Music, bongos
  • Nursing
  • Anything that’s mechanical with moving parts to investigate
  • Grabbing Mommy & Dad’s glasses
  • Drinking out of a glass
  • Taking all the books off the bookshelf
  • Taking the Cable Access card out of the cable box (rendering the TV unwatchable)
  • Putting our shoes in the recycling bin
  • Seltzer
  • Reading


  • Getting changed
  • Going to bed
  • Waking up
  • Getting in and out of the car seat
  • When the bathroom door is shut
  • Being prevented from anything he is determined to do
  • Taking medicine
  • Other Babies
  • When Mom or Dad leaves for work
  • Most green vegetables, except Artichoke
  • Taking the Cable Access card away from him once he’s removed it from the cable box




Last night Isa took all of the shoes that we keep lined up by the door and one by one he plopped them into the recycling bin, even Eduardo’s Tiberland boots!  It was hysterical to watch the expression of single-minded determination on his face as he figured out how to maneuver standing up with his hands full. I’ve noticed that Isa has been playing differently with many of his toys lately too.  The main activity of banging things is still a favorite, but he’s also taking time for more careful manipulation of smaller details.  For example, while we were playing this morning, Isa was able to put the circle through the shape sorter for the first time and he was so proud of himself when it went through.   And boy oh boy does Isa LOVE music.  Well, really any sound for that matter.  Isa dances all the time now—to the alarm clock (Picture our little chunky man sitting up in bed swinging his arms back and forth across his chubby torso to Abba’s Dancing Queen), to all the music on Sesame Street, to the sounds he hears outside.  He even dances to the news on the radio!  But if there’s one thing that grabs his attention more than anything else, it’s swing and big band music.  He really responds to the sound of a full band or orchestra playing a catchy rhythm.  It must be genetic since his Pop Pop has been a professional trombonist and conductor of big bands for close to 70 years, performing and recording with some of the greatest talents of the era.