Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tumblebooks Library

This is such a great website. Tumblebooks are animated stories with the words on them so that the kids can read along. There are a ton of books on here and each books is a different length and geared towards a different reading level. This was posted on our library's website and we decided to check it out one night and we must have listened to & read about 6 or 7 books.

Last Day of 2008

Isabel was wearing a nice sweater & jeans outfit, but when she saw that I was going to hang up this jumper that grandma made her she had to made a wardrobe change. She says it is a ballerina dress. She is also wearing her leg warmers that godmother Jessi made her for Christmas. I definitly thinks she likes those. She kept jumping on the bed yelling "Keep my legs warm, keep my legs warm."

We decided to go out in the 1 degree above zero temperature to feed the birds. We read a story in this month's Your Big Backyard that mentioned birds have to work hard to find food in the winter. So, we decided to go outside & fill up the 4 bird feeders we have outside. Now we are out of bird seed and need to go buy more. This month's issue had some fun winter actiities, snacks & crafts that we will have to do durng January.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Sometimes you have to be thankful people don't overhear your toddler......

Isabel comes up to me and says, "Where's My Peep Show?"

She was referring to the DVD we picked up at the library of Peep & the Big Wide World.

January Theme: Winter

Speaking of winter -- the snow is really comiong down outside right now.

I don't know what the theme on the LLL blog is for January. We will supplement with that. But my plans are to do a winter theme.

Some of the things I plan to do with her are:
* Wintersports (sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing might be fun too, hiking)
* Crafts (snowflakes out of paper, glittery snowballs out of string, paperplate snowman, q-tip snowflakes, marble mittens)
* Books about Winter & Hibernation
* Learn about Ice (Ice/Koolaid painting, juice pops made oustide, colored cubes in the bath)
* Coloring pages: Winter Counting Book, Prepare for Winter Weather, Snowflakes, Snowman, Snow Angel
* Winter themed games (mitten matching, snowman matching game on felt board)
* Snacks/Food (snowman made out of marshmellows, raisins & pretzels; pancakes made into snowmen dusted with powdered sugar; rice krispie snowmen, make some more snow ice cream)
* Songs:
  • (We did this one at the O-ECFE class) A chubby little snowman Had a carrot nose; Along came a rabbit And what do you suppose? That hungry little bunny, Looking for his lunch, Ate the snowman's carrot nose... Nibble, Nibble, Crunch!
  • Sung to: "I'm a little teapot"Here's a little snowman Short and fat Here is my broom and here is my hat When the sun comes out I tremble with fear 'cause soon I'll melt and disappear!

Making Butterflies

How to Make Butterflies out of Cone Shaped Coffee Filters
So, I gave away a coffeemaker that used these filters, which are too small for the coffeemaker I got last Christmas and I forgot to give the filters with them. So, I started looking for ideas of crafts to make with them. I have quite a few filters left and there were not that many ideas for crafts using the cone filters, so I may have to come up with some of my own ideas. But this is one idea that it out there A LOT.
First you need :
2 cone coffee filters (peeled apart at the seams)
1 pipe cleaner
bowls of water w/ food coloring in them
DIRECTIONS: Peel apart your filters at the seams. Paint them with the water/food coloring mixture with water design/pattern you like. Remember that the paint will spread on the filter as it absorbs the liquid. Gather the filters in the center and loop a pipe cleaner around both. Twist to secure. Curl tops of the pipe cleaners to make antennas. The wet filters are very flexible, so let them dry and they will harden and you can then hang them.

Our Finished Product
I actually like Isabel's better than mine. I was trying to be creative with dots & pattern, but I like how bright & vibrant hers is and how the colors meld together.
This was our project this morning. This afternoon we are going to the library and maybe to Cabela's to look at the animals.

Monday, December 29, 2008

River Bend Nature Center

We spent 2 hours today at the River Bend Nature Center. We had so much fun. She learned about how the turtle/frog pond turns to ice in the winter. I told her about how the turtles go into a hole in the ground in the pond and sleep all winter. She seemed to think that was interesting. We'll save the conversation on hibernation for next winter.

We picked up some oak tree leaves off the ground. I told her that oak leaves tend to fall of last in the fall, so we sometimes see them on top of the snow in the winter. And then she would look up & find trees with some leaves left and point to it & say "That's an oak tree."

We also discussed the different animals track we saw, which included deer, rabbit & squirrel. She kept trying to convince me there was bear tracks too, but I wasn't buying it. We also discussed our shadows, which we often do when we see them. She wanted to know why there was only a mommy & baby shadow and no daddy shadow. So, we talked about how you only see shadows of things that were there and since daddy was not there, neither would his shadow.

They have a great play & learning area inside with a puppet theater and a whole bunch of animal puppets, puzzles, a felt board, block, plastic animals, sand table, etc. Just outside a couple of windows they have feeding areas set up for the birds & squirrels & they have binoculars to use. She thought that was pretty fun to try those out.

She also decided that since we were in the woods she was going to do bear crawl. Funny girl.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Presents

We all received some wonderful Christmas presents this past week+. Above you will see pictured with the stick horse that grandma made for her and in the other picture she is wearing a new pair of jammies from Auntie Razz. We recieved many other generous gifts from our family and when we got home today there was a package in the mail with a Christmas present for Isabel from godmother Jessi. She knit Isabel a pair of leg warmers. I can't wait for her to try them out. I think godmother Jessi must have been reading my mind because I was thinking how a pair of leg warmers would be nice for Isabel to have when she wants to wear a skirt & tights of a pair of leggings. I didn't even say anything to anyone about it either.

Fun Stuff

Isabel had some fun at grandma & grandpa's house. She decorated cookies with grandma (while mom made homemade finger paints) and then she did some fingerpainting. Grandma - remember the fingerpaints are in the fridge so that you can show cousin Blake how to use them when you watch him this week.
Easy Finger Paints
2 C white flour
2 C water
food coloring
Mix together flour & water until smooth. Pour into individual containers (I used 6 baby food jars) and mix in desired food colorings ( I made red, blue, yellow, green, orange, & purple.)

Isabel's Cousins

These are Isabel's cousins on mommy's side of the family. Little Jayden is 2 months old. And cousin Blake is 15 months old. Blake is carrying both his & Isabel's horses that grandma made them.

Doing Chores in the Barn

We stayed at grandma & grandpa's house for 3 nights and each night we went out to help grandma with her chores. Isabel enjoyed helping feed the cows corn & hay. Here she is wearing some barn clothes that grandma had for her (the hat used to be mommy's when she was little) and some of Isabel's clothes as well. We didn't go out in the morning to help out, but Isabel sure didn't want to miss helping grandma any of the nights.

Christmas Day

Well, first thing when we woke up was go downstairs and open presents from Santa. Isabel seems very pleased that Santa brought her a mini-trampoline and a (roll-up) balance beams with cones (to walk over) and a stocking full of gifts. Santa also brought the family the movie Wall-E for Christmas to watch together and a Lego My First Builders game to play together (we played it tonight).

After presents, we had breakfast. I decided to make a special Christmas breakfast since our travel plans changed because of the weather and we were not going to be able to eat the special lunch I had planned (we'll probably have that for New Year's). Anyways, I made mini-cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, juice, coffee, and my tribute to red & green was watermelon & creamed spinach. Mmmmm! It was all yummy.
We left at lunch time to head on our 5.5 hour journey across WI.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, in a few minutes (by the time I post this) it will be Christmas Day. I am excited for Isabel to come downstairs tomorrow morning and see what Santa brought her.

We opened presents to each other tonight and we all received some very nice presents. After presents we had our tradition for the past few years of take-n-bake pizza on Christmas Eve. Then Isabel watched a new movie she got and mommy & daddy relaxed until we went to church. After church we came back and made chocolate chip cookies for Santa(& us!) and I read her a bunch of Santa stories before bed.
We had fun opening presents. I think Isabel's favorite from tonight was the playdoh set. That girl loves her playdoh. In one of the pictures she is playing with her playdoh and wearing the cape mommy made for her. In the other pictures she had just opened her Christmas jammies. She got two pairs, Dora & Tinkerbell. She is wearing Tinkerbell to bed tonight.

This one is from last night. We let her open a present early. She got a toy electric guitar. She wasn't as into it as we had hoped. I think she was hoping it would be like daddy's ukelele.
Tomorrow we are heading out to grams & gramps house. The original plan was to go there on Friday, but tomorrow is the only clear, dry day for travel. So, our plans had to change. I had this big Christmas dinner planned for us, but I guess it can wait until New Year's Eve or something.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Today's Playdate

Today we had our friends Cheri & Cole over for a playdate. The kids mostly played nicely by themselves, which gave ample times for the mommies to talk. They kids had a fun time playing this morning, then we had lunch, and then read the book "Danny's Christmas Star" by Edith Kunhardt and made our own start ornaments and then played some more. DCS is out of print, so you can only find used copies out there. But the story is about a family of mommy, daddy, & son Danny (all alligators) who are decorating the Christmas tree. Danny breaks the Christmas star and it's too late to go buy one so him mommy suggests he make a new one out of cardboard & silver paper & a metal hanger. So, we did just that, except I let Isabel add a few beads to her metal hanger. And when we went to hang it on the tree, she wanted to be picked up like Danny & hang it on the top of of the tree like he did. It was fun to be able to read about something & then go do it with her.
This afternoon both Isabel & daddy have dentist appts, just check-ups/cleanings.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Her New Robe

Well, it's official -- She loves the new robe that grandma made for her. The above picture was taken this morning when her friend Aleyah was over here for a playdate and they were playing in her room. She wouldn't take the robe off for the bathroom or naptime. The below picture she is again wearing her robe when she opened the present that came in the mail from her friend Rachael. Rachael & her mommy (Isabel likes to add that John helped) made these really cute flowers to help remind us of spring & warmer times while we are buried in snow and freezing in the cold. Isabel had to take the flowers with her in the car this afternoon & to the gym with us (the only time she took off her robe.) They also sent some candy (Isabel was super psyched about that) and some crafty items. It was so sweet of them to send Isabel a gift. We sent one for Rachael, but they haven't opened theirs yet as I was told that she put it under the tree.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

M Family Christmas

The M Family Christmas was moved up to last night because of the weather that came in today. We had a nice time and we watched the Tinkerbell DVD Isabel got from grandma & grandpa. I also watched Mama Mia with grandma. We had yummy food and received very generous gifts. Isabel loves the hooded robe that grandma made for her.
We spent the night at grandma & grandpa's house. This morning they made us breakfast that was yummy. Isabel & I went outside to do some sliding and then as I watched her picking up snow to eat I remembered about some friends saying they made Snow Ice Cream. So, we brought in some snow and we made it. It is a super easy and super yummy activty to do. You HAVE to try it! I think we'll be making it again this winter. Yum!

This afternoon we took Isabel to her first theatre production. We saw "Peef the Christmas Bear" at Stages Theatre Company. It was a very good show and was based on a cute book. We had bought a Flex Pass to this theatre so that we can go see several shows. Part of grandma's Christmas present is to use the pass with us to come see "The Paper Bag Princess" and "The Wizard of Oz". We also got her a ticket to see a Young People's concert of Bernstein with us at Orchestra Hall. That should be fun.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

O Christmas Tree!

Here is Isabel in front of our Christmas tree, today. I finally got around to taking a picture of it. This morning we did some puzzles and then made some homemade ornaments. This afternoon we are meeting our playgroup for a cookie exchange. I made Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. I got the recipe from the Rachael Ray magazine.

Last night I asked Isabel what daddy got me for Christmas. She helped him wrap presents while I was at the gym. Anyways she told me "Sticks." And I asked is there was anything else and she said a green thing and a purple thing. I told this to daddy and she said everything she said was right. I have NO clue what they are. Oh well, guess I will find out in less than week.

Tonight (if the weather holds out) we are going to a Holiday party for our town's ECFE. It's hard to believe that we might get hammered with 6+ inches of snow this evening when it is 20 degrees and sunny out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gingerbread House

So, I made a gingerbread house this year. It wasn't much fun. Isabel helped decorate it and that was ok. But making a roof tough and can be very frustrating.

Here is another blog you can check out, for Makenzie Marie. She is the daughter of a friend from high school.


This is from the other day when we went to a playgroup at Beth' s house. We had a fun time and she had so many fun activities planned. The kids frosted & decorated sugar cookies, they made beaded ornaments & decorated bags. Isabel has a good time and she didn't want to leave.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Potty Training Update

Well, things have been going well on the potty training front. We usually have one accident every day or every other day, and that accident is usually poopy. She's still not fond of pooping on the toilet, which I hear is pretty common. She has really figured out how to hold in her pee and usually has to go every 3-4 hours, but if we are out running errands or something she has held it has long as 6-8 hours. She is not fond of public toilets, but will use them if she has to. She usually stays dry for naps, unless it becomes a 3-hour nap, then there might be an accident. She has also gotten good about telling us she has to go, there are still some false alarms, but we go in the bathrooom every time. She still wears a diaper to bed at night but occasionally she will wake up with a dry diaper or with a small amount in it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy St. Lucia Day

Isabel & daddy did some crafts that mommy had planned out this morning. They made a snowman (toilet paper roll craft) and a St. Lucia crown. The candles are actually supposed to be individually cut out, but h well. Right now the dough for the St. Lucia buns is rising and I will complete those in a bit.
We got outside this afternoon (she went down for a late nap) and we built a snowman, a snow castle, and made snow angels. Oh! And threw a few snowballs.

Since it is above freezing out, it was a great day to build things out of snow since the snow was workable and would stick. We had fun.

Isabel made a hat out of snow for the snowman. She really wanted to eat the carrot nose, but we told her she couldn't. Mommy started making the snowman a little big and daddy had to lift up the second snowball to put it on top of the bottom one. It was too heavy for mommy to lift.

Here is our snow angel family. This was the first time Isabel made a snow angel. We took a short video, check out our YouTube page, of her interpretation of making snow angel.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Last Friday Night

This is from the Holiday ECFE Party we went to last Friday that I blogged about. She cried for Santa this time, even though he gave her a present of a new book about Rudolph.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Being Creative

Well, even though we are home all day with a sick girl, we did find time to be creative this morning. After she puked she was a little hungry and had some energy, which we used up making the puppets above. Then she had to rest a bit and ate A LOT of cereal for lunch (her choice & idea) and then had energy to make some music with her instruments and do some painting before we had a long storytime & nap.

The idea for the puppets came from this website, which grams had sent me last winter and we finally made it. We also made some as gifts.

She thought it would be fun to get inside her box where her stuffed animals are kept and get covered in her stuff animals.

You can't tell from this picture, but she is in her jammies (4th pair). We started out with the pair she went to bed in and since she isn't feelingwell I told her she could wear jammies all day, which she is loving. And after 1 puke, 1 accident, and 1 food spill she is on her 4th pair of the day.

Her being in her jammies all day and eating a lot of cereal for a meal other than breakfast is so much her father (if allowed.)

These are two of the most recent artworks that both use handprints. The one on the left we made today and is an angel and the one on the right is a snowflake with glitter on it which she made last night at class.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Reindeer/Santa Hat

Tonight, while we waited for daddy to make it home from his extra long commute we made a Reindeer/Santa hat from this kit. It included all the pieces (well, it was missing a couple and we used something else we had) that were pre-cut and all we had to do was provide the glue & assemble it. It was the perfect project to do with a preschooler. It's a little big for her head, but she thinks it is so much fun. We also did a coloring project that was all these different parts of Santa that you color and then you glue them together. Her Santa looks like he is wearing the Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Other than that we went to the gym this morning and I had to deal with her and her newfound separation anxiety. It seems to coincide with Thanksgiving & getting sick & progress towards potty training. After I leave and she is crying she gets over it after a minute or two, it's just that I haven't had her be like this for a year. I talked to another mom at the gym about it and she said her kids get like that after they have been sick and the oldest sure did when she was potty training. She didn't go in the nursery when we went to church this weekend because she didn't want to leave us. Instead she cuddled with daddy in his lap & stayed with us through the service.

We also braved it out there at the beginning of this storm to go buy some pizza at Pizza Ranch. One of the ECFE's was having a fundraiser there today to raise money to buy some new sensory equipment & outdoor play equipment. Oh, and we did bop over to the outlet mall right when they opened to finish up our Xmas shopping. So, other than a few things I have to wait to get in the mail and have to make.....I am all done. Woohoo!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Anti-American Girl

I knew these dolls are trendy and I really hope the trend goes away before Isabel even knows about them so that I can avoid that conversation of telling her that we can't afford one. I was talking to another mom who was thinking about going to the new store at the MOA and checking them out and while we talked I looked them up online. NINETY DOLLARS!!!! For a (one) doll?!?!?!? That's nuts! And at least another $20 per outfit. And $10-$20 to get their hair done at the store's doll salon? Ummmm...NO! A bedroom set with quilt/pillow for the doll is going to run almost $200. Are they serious? Really? Who is buying all this stuff?

I know there will be other trendy expensive things I will have to say no to, but I am not starting with this. We don't read the books or watch any of the videos so she has no idea it exists and would probably not know the difference between an American Girl doll and some other doll.


So, Isabel is in a size 4 top and size 3 bottoms (fit perfectly) right now. This summer as started to buy some sz. 4 tops I had to read up on what the difference on 4T (toddler sizes) and 4 (kid sizes were). Well, basically what I found out is that the kids sizes were a little bigger all around (length, waist, neck) than the corresponding toddler sizes (which for some manufacturers will go up to a 4T or even 5T).

But what about beyond that?

I bought Isabel some size 4 winter tops and the end of last winter on clearance after I figured out what she would probably be by how her growth was tracking (it's easy to do if they are consistent and you use one of those growth charts a doctor uses). The tops are a little big, but not too much. Either the wash will shrink them a little or they will fit her through the whole winter.

Well, I am not sure I really have too many of my questions answered after an hour of searching the internet. I may have created more questions, but used the charts from wikipedia and consolidated them to the chart I will need (see above) to be (she will be tall, so there is no need for any petite measurements and of course didn't use the boys' measuements) and you have to remember that each manufacturer cuts things differently and uses different measurements and each cild grows differently, because according to this she should be in size 3 for both top & bottom. So, use the chart as VERY LOOSE guidelines.

As far as overlap, I guess that if you were to start junior sizes at size 0, which they often do, you would have overlap of girls sizes and junior sizes until junior size 5 (so, for sizes 0, 1 & 3), which make me wonder if they correspond with a girls' size 10, 12 & 14.

If you are shopping for shoe sizes, I found this shoe size chart to be handy once they get to a size 4 through a kids' size 8.5. Shoe sizes seem to be easier to understand and I don't have to worry about figuring out if there is any overlap in kids' sizes & adult sizes for quite a while.

Now to get out the Dr. measurement chart and see what she will be at 3 & 3 1/2.
But what's next? It seems like not all manufacturers make a 5T, so will she be in kids' sizes after 4T? And what the deal between 6 & 6X? How far to do kids sizes run until they are in junior sizes? Is their overlap between the larger kids's sizes and smaller junior sizes?


I have been looking for a comprehensive chart that tells me the sizes & measurements on on one screen, but every image I open up is different. Bah.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

St. Nick's Day ctd.

This afternoon we made St. Nick Cookies. You can see the link to recipe we used in a previous post. They are yummy cookies that are pretty easy to make. Isabel helped out some but would disappear when the mixer came out. She ate quite a bit of dough and also had 3 cookies tonight. That may have been the reason she was so sweet tonight. :)

This is Isabel's Christmas tree. I finally got around to buying her a strand of LED lights to go on her tree with her garland, beads, and ornaments from the last 3 years. Over the year he tree will fill in with the new ornament she gets every year from St. Nick. Behind her you can see her advent calendar which has minature Hershey bars in it. She loves getting a piece of chocolate every night before she brushes her teeth. She loves it so much that now she asks to go take a bath or go brush her teeth in hopes she will get some chocolate.
We have her tree upstairs in the hallway, which she now refers to as Isabel's living room. I suppose we have the big xmas tree in the fancy living room in our house, and that must be where a tree goes, in a living room.
Something else kinda funny......she thinks that every sink must have a garbage disposal. If she has a piece of food that she thinks is "gross" (like is a grape gets smooshed) she will throw it in the nearest sink, which is sometimes the bathroom sink.
She also thinks you are supposed pick up bugs with a piece of toilet paper. Whenever she sees one of those asian beetles on her window sill, she runs to get a piece (just one piece per bug) of toilet paper to pick up the bug & throw them away. The other day there was a couple of living house flies that she wanted gone (bugs on her window bother her). Luckily it is cold and they are slow so that I could actually catch them with the single piece of toilet paper.
Yesterday as we were driving around she kept pointing out castles (any big tall old buildings like churches) and I asked her if our house was a castle and she said, "No mommy, our house is a home."
Isabel likes to tell secrets, but it's always the same secret she tells me "Mommy, I love daddy." To which I respond, "I love daddy too." And then we yell, "Daddy!" Daddy loves that secret game we play.
She has also been getting into telling "jokes". She frequently asks me where daddy is throughout the daddy and she knows he is at work, but instead we take turns making up fun things that daddy might be doing instead of work, like golfing, ice skating, sledding, playing basketball, shopping, swimming, etc. Then we laugh because we knows daddy isn't doing any of those things because he is at work. We know he would probably much rather be doing all of those things.
Another game she started playing is "I'm going to eat your _____" It started with me and I would steal her nose and then eat it. So, now she likes to steal my face, nose, mouth, eyes, hair, etc. and eat them and we go back & forth like that.
She also thinks it's fun to play "Chase me and catch me to get me dressed."
On a different note -- today was the first day that she has gone the ENTIRE day with no accidents, no changes of clothes were necessary today.

St. Nick's Day

Well, St. Nick came last night and this morning she got to check out her stocking. She received a new Christmas storybook, a little doll, a new ornament for her Christmas tree, a can of St. Nick pop & a Christmas tree cake and he also left a gift of a new Christmas cd for the family to enjoy. You can see in the above photos that she is enjoying her very sugary snacks as a breakfast snack while daddy reads her new book to her.

Last night we visited Santa at an ECFE Holiday Open House. This time she wouldn't sit on Santa's lap even though he gave the kids a gift of a book. Hers was Rudolph. She also got to make (another) foot/hand reindeer as well as decorate/frost/eat a suagr cookie.

We also went out for a monthly happy hour with some of mommy's friends (from when she worked) and she got some presents from them as well, a Color Wonder set and a Christmas stamp, pad & paper set. Such a lucky little girl.

Painting a Christmas Present

These are a few pictures from the other day when Isabel was working on some painting projects for Christmas gifts. She likes to paint her fingers (fingernails) while she does her painting.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Fun Things to Come

I love Christmas time with all the traditions and festivities. But sometimes it just seems that there is a lull. You get the tree & house decorated and then you wait. But why wait when you can do so many fun things through the month. I am not talking about visits to Santa or shopping (which I avoid as much as possible during December, my xms shopping is done already and anything I have left is usually done online). There will be days that we bake cookies or make candies and some present wrapping, but I am talking about a little education & fun wrapped up in a few more events spread throughout the month, actually they are spread pretty evenily.

St. Nick's Day is the first, which is tomorrow, December 6th. Tonight St. Nick will visit the homes of boys and girls around the world (or maybe in areas where there is a strong German influence) and leave goodies for the kids (some in their boots, others in stockings.) In our house here, St. Nick (also known as Santa Claus) comes and retrieves the letter Isabel wrote for him (we have to do that yet) and if she is good he will leave her goodies and a note (to keep being good - or start beinggood if she wasn't). St. Nick is also leaving the whole family a new xmas cd to enjoy through the holiday season. Tomorrow morning she will wake up and check out her stocking and see her goodies and I plan to make some St. Nick cookies with her tomorrow afternoon.

A week later on December 13th and we can celebrate St. Lucia's Day. St. Lucia's Day tends to be of Swedish origin (which we aren't), but we can still have fun with it. It's another day to make something fun. We will be making a St. Lucia crown and later on we will make some St. Lucia buns.

And to do one more thing that is kinda fun before Christmas, we will celebrate the Winter Soltice (December 21st), which is a Pagan holiday. To celebrate it we will eat by candlelight in the diningroom and end our meal with a Yule Log Cake, which Isabel will help me make (I plan to haver her help me make the buns & cookies above too!)

And then it is Christmas & New Year' the driving to see families the weekends before & after Xmas. We spend Christmas together as our own family.

We've done St. Nicks's before, but St. Lucia & Winter Soltice will be new to us. I plan to use all of them as teaching oppotunities, but also a times to do things together and have fun. All three holidays have a variety of different ways that people celebrate them. In some families they also give gifts on St. Lucia & Winter Soltice, but we are just doing it on St. Nick's day and Christmas. And the goodies on St. Nick's day are minimal. Search back to our St. Nick's day last year to read about it. Or wait until tomorrow when I post (a picture hopefully) of Isabel looking in her stocking.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Grocery Store Tour

Today we went on a grocery store tour with our playgroup. There were about 10 kids there. The neat part of the tour for the kids was that they got to go behind the doors and also got to touch the lobsters. On the way I asked Isabel what she learned there she said "to crush boxes" because we got to see the box crusher/baler. She really liked looking at the lobsters in the tank. I never really showed them to her before. I guess we'll have to stop & look at those when we go to the grocery store now. They took a couple out of the tank to let the kids touch them. Isabel was a little freaked out at touching them, but after mom touched one she was ok with touching it. The kids also got to sample lots of things (fruit, pretzels, cookies & kids vitamins from the natural foods section.) The other thing she told me she learned about what "it' where we go buy our supper." Afterwards, we picked up a few things that were on sale.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Project from Clas Last Night

This was the project at ECFE class last night. They were "painting" with popsicle sticks dipped in shaving cream (tinted w/ food coloring) and some glitter sprinkled on. It was pretty neat. The shaving cream mixture dries hard and stays poofy.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snow Fun

This is the first time this season that we have gotten out to play in the snow. Once she saw it was snowing flurries this morning, she was really excited to go outside to play in it. In fact, it wasn't easy to convince her to come in for lunch. I bought her a kids size snow shovel at Menards for Black Friday, so we used that. And pulled her around in the sled and she really loved throwing snowballs. She also like running in the snow and playing in her castle in the snow. She really wanted to build a snowman, but we don't have enough snow and it isn't the right kind yet.
So, 10 days ago she was 2 1/2 and over the last week and a half I finally got around to getting her height and weight. She is 37.75 inches tall (92nd percentile) and weighs 32.5 pounds (85th
After naptime, the plan is to put up the Xmas tree.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

December Themes: Colors

I decided that I want to try doing 2 themes a month. One of them will be based on Laugh, Love, Learn and the other is my own. I prefer to do some advance planning rather than wait until the first Monday of the month to start collecting items for our theme. I still like participating, but I need to do something more fluid for me. And as it turns out the LLL blog s not doing a these this month.

So, the theme I have chosen is Colors. She knows her colors well, except she still screws up purple & blue sometimes. I know that sometimes they can be hard to distinguish, so I am not really worried about it. And it seems that there are so many shades of blues & purples used and sometimes those shades tend to get very similiar. I thought colors would be a good theme this holiday season, as we can take advantage of all the colored xmas lights & presents.

We are going to learn some new songs about colors this month. I also printed off a couple of coloring sheets from that same website. I think a few other we are going to do it 1) Sort crayons into like colors, 2) Play Twister, 3) Color Themed Snacks (all snacks are the same color), 4) Lots of painting & play-doh fun (& talk about the colors while we do it), 5) Read books about colors (I'll list them later, books in English & Spanish) 6) Check out a video or two about colors

We'll just try to talk about colors as much as we can, which isn't hard to do because colors are everywhere.

Winter Holiday Slideshow

Just a little note, that I have changed the slideshow above. It's so fun to look at how she has grown from year to year.

Visit to Santa & the Grocery Store

Late this morning we went to Cashwise Grocery Store to visit Santa. Isabel was a little scared of them, but it wasn't like last year whre she started crying. Mrs. Claus gave her a little candy cane and they took her picture as well. We get to pick it up at the grocery store (for free!) on Monday if we want. Rachael got her pick with them (& her mommy) as well, so I will pick up their picture and send it to them.

We said our goodbyes in the parking lot and each on our way to our respective homes. We will sure miss them. The girls play so well together and we really enjoy our conversations with John & Lori. They are fun to hang out with.

Our grocery store is so family friendly and is a fun outing for young kids. After our visit to Santa we picked up free crowns (in the produce department) and a free m&m cookie from the bakery and then headed over to the Penny Horse (I call it that because it only costs one penny to ride). It's right next to the video store, which is we wanted to we can get a free kids video to "rent". You can see the girls wearing their crowns and eating their cookies. John & Daddy went to liqour store and bought some MN beer & wine for the to bring back to WI. Mommy & Lori enjoyed some free samples of Irish Cream they had out. Mmmmmm!


Our friends Lori, John & Rachael joined us for a long weekend on Thanksgiving. We had a yummy meal.

This is Isabel eating some of the appetizers I had set out before Thanksgiving dinner.

Yesterday we took the girls to the open gym time at the Owatonna Gymnastics Club. They had a great time and it was a wonderful way to wear them out before naptime.

Here the girls are snuggled together on a chair as they watch a video. They are so cute together.

To get rid of some afternoon energy we all went outside to play. The pictures look like it was dark outside, but it really wasn't and was only 4:30. We played outside for about an hour riding around the cul-de-sac on bikes, play cars, wagons, & running.
This morning we are heading out to go meet Santa for the first time this season.