Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Class

Well, today we had the first of eight classes for Preschool Power Hour at SMLS. It is an hour long and they break it up into 2 sessions. Half go to one and the other half go to the other and then after a half hour we switch. We chose to do singing first.

We sing several songs and a couple of them are about Jesus. There is also a hello song & goodbye song. There is one song we'll sing each week and the kids will get different instruments to try out with that. This week they got to try rhytmn sticks. There was also a time when they played some Bach and the kids danced with scarves. We also had a story about Jesus.

The other sessions is the Gym & Art Time. Isabel loved that the most. We first sang a song and then they played with a parachute. She had never played with one before, but the flowing fabric resembled when daddy & I would play with a flat sheet in the kitchen with her. So, she kept trying to do the things we did (she wanted to ride on it & go underneath it.) They did get to run under it after a while, but not at first. They they had free time to play with the gym equiptment and do their art project when it was their turn at the table. Isabel had a blast with both of those.

Her favorite activty was riding on the scooters. She had never done that before and she thought it was so much fun. She laid on her stomach on the scooter and held onto a hula hoop. I held onto the other end of the hula hoop and pulled her around. She wanted to keep doing that all the time. We wore play clothes, which is good because her legs drag on the floor when on the scooter and got dirty. The scooter time in the gym alone is worth taking the class. It was great for her to have such a big open space to run around & play in.

I think everything about Jesus just went over her head, but over time she will learn.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Learning Keyboard Skills


We needed to take a break from Starfall.com and we tried out a bunch of different online games for her and some were just lame, but she really loves the ABC's Zoo Learning Game on the Fisher Price website. It's great because she pushed a letter and it will say the name of the letter and the name of an animal that can be found in a zoo. This will help her learn the names of the letters better I think. She knows the phonetic pronunciation of all the letters, which is awesome for her age. Plus, since she can push the keys by herself, I can clean up the play room. With starfal she didn't have the accurate motor skills to move the mouse, so I would move it and she would push the button. She loves playing games on the computer.
The picture is actually from yesterday, I just didn't get around to posting it until today. Today we went to playgroup and she had fun there. Tomorrow we'll go to our first class for Preschool Power Hour. And on Friday we are going to the Y to meet our playgroup for open swim. She will love that because she always loves swimming.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Concord Zoo Pictures

We went to Concord Zoo today, one of her favorite places to visit. It was finally warm enough tp spend sometime outside. When I was out & about today I saw a temperature at a bank of 40 degrees. Although, this will be short lived.

Anyways, I took lots of pictures & a couple of videos, so you can see some of my favorite pictures from today (in B&W) and then a slideshow of all the pictures and a couple of short videos. The goose one is very cute.


Concord Zoo Slideshow

video

There is music to it. A couple of these pictures will be featured on their own, but maybe in B&W.

Concord Zoo Videos

Video of Isabel Laughing at the Geese




Video of Daddy & Isabel Feeding the Goats

92 Weeks Old

This is a picture from yesterday when we went to Sweetie Pie's to hear a local children's author read from her books. It was ok. Isabel wasn't as interested, but she sure did enjoy the cookie we bought for her.

Today we are hoping to get her bundled up and take her to the Concord Zoo after her nap this afternoon. It is supposed to be right around 32 degrees and there is no wind and the sun is out. Funny thing is that this actually feels nice right now. When I wentt o get the paper this morning I brought the dog out with me and we played fetch for a little while (until she lost her stick in the snow), but she was so excited to be outdoors running around and not have it be fridgid. I figure we better enjoy it because they are predicting freezing rain & 6-8 inches of snow on Monday afternoon - Tuesday morning. Bah!

Oh - her first 2 year old molar did break through on Wednesday. So, only 3 more teeth to break through and her mouth will be full.

Yesterday was gramps' actual birth date, even though we celebrated ita week ago. Happy Birthday Gramps!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

21 Month Charts

Length
She remains in the 95th percentile for height/length.

Weight

She is in the 81st percentile for weight and has has a generally consistent trend.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Enter to Win....

Well, having a child is not cheap and you can check out the oppotunities to win a couple of items.

First is this wooden train by this company:





Second is this burp & bib cloth set by this company:





You can see all product reviews & register to win these items on this website. I actually read the blog she keeps for her two sons, they are on the aidebar.

TGIF!


Today we went to the Y for our last day of classes this session. Her class is normally 45 minutes, but she got ready to leave after 30 minutes (went & put her hat & scarf on & gave me her jacket) and so we left early. She was just so tired that she wanted to go home. We got home and she ate an early lunch and then went down for her nap a half hour early.
This afternoon we went to the library and picked up a few new books and returned some we didn't like so well and hung out there for an hour and played with their puzzles & toys.
Tomorrow, I plan to take her to Sweetie Pies (restaurant) that is bringing in a local author that will be reading children's poetry from her book. So, that will be kinda neat to hear the author read to her. It won't mean much to Isabel, but someday I can tell her we met that author and she read to her.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Play Day


Today was filled with a playgroup in the morning and then a playdate in the afternoon. It was nice to have so much adult contact today. Isabel on the other hand was a little tired and wanted some alone time this afternoon, so she didn't play too much.
She went to bed early tonight, at 7:15pm. Her bedtime has changed to 8pm over the month. She would have went to bed earlier, but I was busy making meals for tomorrow as it is the day I signed up to being a meal to a mommy with a new baby in our playgroup. And that took a little longer than I planned and then she wanted a longer bath that I hoped for, but she is asleep at last. Daddy is out with his own work friends, so he wasn't around to help out tonight.
Anyways, our playdate was kinda neat because it was 2 families over here. The ladies are the 2 ladies I made friends with on MilwaukeeMoms.com that I started to become friends with through emails before I even moved out here. They both are from the Chicago area and so they had stuff to talk about. I just thought it was kinda neat to have them meet.
So, the above picture is of all five kids that were here. Us moms stayed out of the line of the camera.
Tomorrow we have her last day of the Winter Session I of Giggle & Wiggle. I decided to take her out of it for the next session because I signed her up for Preschool Power Hour at St. Matthew's Church. The G&W program was fine, but I think we'll get a little more from the PPH program.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

21 Months

She is 21 months old today. She gained another half inch over last month and is still in the 95th percentile. I took these pictures after she finished eating a piece of her valentine chocolate.

Ooooooh!
We went to the library for storytime this morning. The local library has a new children's librarian, so it was neat to see how she did storytime. She did a lot more singing, which I thought was good for this age group. They need more active interaction rather than just sitting there listening to stories. Isabel was so excited for them to have the puppets come out at the end. She was squealing with delight and yelling "puppa, puppa, puppa!" over and over. She was so excited that there wasn't a person who couldn't help notice and see how cute she was.

Then we went into the library for a while & put together puzzles and looked for a few new books.

Afterwards we went to Gymlingo for playgroup. It is a very clean gymnastics place and she really enjoyed herself. One of the owners was out there with the kids trying to show & help them roll down and incline & do somersaults. I thought it was great that he was interacting with the kids like he did. I do hope we have more playgroups there.

She concentrates so much when she paints now. She is so into it. She gets so excited when I bring out the paints. She loves arts & crafts, which is awesome! She is coloring all the time now. Even a month ago I was asking if she wanted to color and then we would do it. Now she just goes and gets her crayons & coloring sheets or she has made a routine of coloring in her room right after bathtime and also right when she wakes up. The past few days I will ask if she wants to come downstairs with me and she says "Noooooo" and pulls out her chair at her desk and starts coloring away. She has really started to work on trying to color in objects. It's neat to see that she is starting to get that now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Learning to Share

Today I babysat for the little boy of one of my friends. It was good practice for Isabel to learn to share me and her toys. That was pretty much our highlight of the day because we did stay home all day. Tomorrow I think we may check out the new storytime and then we are going to Gymlingo for an open gym. The past few nights we have been working on the yoga moves from that book I checked out from the library and I have been teaching her how to do a somersault. She thinks those are awesome, but can't go straight when she does it herself; she goes to the side.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

91 Weeks & a Birthday Party for Gramps

Here are some pics I took earlier in the day. As I looked at them I thought making them grayscale would be a nice touch.


We had a birthday party here for Gramps. I took three pictures of him & Isabel with the and he closed his eyes in ALL three. Bah! This was the best of them. As a reminder - click on the picture to enlarge it so that you can see more details and read the print.

Today it is raining so far and I guess we have a flood warning because of the rain couple with above freezing temps & melting snow. This afternoon it is supposed to turn to snow and we are now only supposed to get 4-6 inches.

Next week we have another busy week, as always, of playdates, playgroups, & classes.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Library Haul

Books:
* Clifford's Peakaboo (short book, but she likes it)
* A to Z (Sandra Boynton book, great for practicing letter recognition)
* Touch & Feel Home (she doesn'tc are for this one too much)
* My Very First Book of Shapes (Eric Carle Book, nice, but also a little complicated for her age)
* Little Yoga (I hope to teach her some of the poses, she did one the other day when daddy read it to her)
* Somewhere in the Ocean (very colorful, fun counting book, exposure to sea animals not in other books!)
* You Are My I Love You (sucha sweet book, I love it!)
* I'm a Manatee (By John Lithgow, interesting, exposure to new words)
* How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? (Nice book)

DVD:
Brainy Babies - ABC's

New Books from Valentine's Day
* Big Pig Saves Vaneltine's Day (flap book, kinda cute)
* Snoopy's ABCs (great for practicing letter recognition)

She recognizes almost every letter now by saying it's sound or name. So, she is doing well on her ABC's. Her learning style seems to be one that has to learn the concept and understand it before she demonstarates it. She has done this with her gross motor, fine motor, social, & communication skills. So, once she starts to get the hang of numbers I think it will be because she understands that numbers are a value. She does not seem to be much of a rote learner (like just saying the ABC song or counting to 10 - but not knowing what it means.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

How to Make Crazy Cake

video

If you want to find a recipe to print off, just do a search and there are tons of different recipes to follow. I will have to print out another, as she got batter on the recipe I had.

I am not sure I will make this cake with her for a while. Maybe next time it will just be a mix made in a bowl. This was a lot of work for mommy. Although, I think she had fun making the cake.

Today, we had her Valentine party for her class at the Y. So, more pieces of paper with cartoon characters on floating around the house. It just seems like Valentine's Day never ends.

This afternoon we met Carrie, Leah & Ryan at a coffee shop called Milwaukee Street Traders. Neother of us had been there before and we were just exploring new places. They do have some kids toys there and the kids did rather well. It is a pretty big place and VERY nice inside. And she exchanged valentines with them as well.

Tomorrow we are having a lot of family over to celebrate Gramps' birthday (a week early). They are all coming here. Grams, Gramps, Auntie Razz, Uncle Shane & cousin Blake are coming here to visit for the first time. Auntie Phanie & Uncle J and great uncle Henry & cousin Jeff (mommy's second cousin) have all been here before, but that is everyone who is joining the three of us here.

Oh and if you haven't heard - we are expecting about another foot of snow AGAIN on Sunday into Monday. Bah!

Happy (Belated) Valentine's Day!

Well, we started out the morning opening up her little gifts from various people and eating chocolate first thing. Can chocolate first thing in the morning be a bad thing?

Then during late morning we met some friends at the Retzer Nature Center. It was nice to get out and she was so excited to see the creatures.

Then in the afternoon we drove thru McDonald's to get her little treat with the Valentine coupon she got from one of her playmates. Then it was onto Papa Murphy's to pick up our heart-shaped pizza that we called ahead for, but apparently they put the slowest person on the check out for the call ahead line (& wouldn't let us go in the other line.) We had 5 people in front of us (remember - their pizzas are already made, they just had to pay) and we waited for just over 20 minutes. And during that time, 3 people walked in ordered & paid for & got their pizzas. And then when it was our turn, they made our pizza wrong so I had to wait another couple minutes to have them make a new one. It was good though.

Stay tuned for more Valentine's Day fun and for a slide show of how to make Crazy Cake.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine Party Slide Show

video

Enjoy.

Pictures....

This is what we are bringing today to our Valentine Party for our playgroup. The first is a fruit salad with watermelon cut out into heart shapes & orange arrows. The arrows were actually supposed to go through the watermelon, but I couldn't find skewers at the grocery store, so I made due.

The other is her valentine gift to her playmates. It is a plastic Valentine Cup with a packet of hot cocoa that says "I'm Cocoa For You!" and a Strawberry Shortcake valentine.

Both of these ideas I got from Family Fun magazine.

She will have a Valentine Party for her Y class, but there we are just giving stickers. And then we gave Valentines (or will give) to some friends who are not in playgroup. And with those Valentines they got hair bows that mommy made.


This is one of the bows that I made for Isabel. I made others too to give as gifts for Valentines and other little presents. Isabel thought it was funny to put it on Larry and see how he looked in a pink bow. Today Isabel has a in a bow that grandma made her for Valentine's Day. This picture is from yesterday. I didn't take any pictures of her yet today.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chilly Day Activities

video

Well, it was quite chilly today. I am not sure what the actual high was, but it was supposed to be 2 degrees. It was below zero most of the day. And the winds were fierce. I walked down the long driveway to get the newspaper and in the few minutes of being out there it was so hard to breathe because the wind was blowing directly down my throat and it was very bitterly cold. Anyways, needless to say, we stayed inside all day. We had to pay the plow guy AGAIN because we had these huge drifts in the driveway and daddy would have never gotten out for work tomorrow if we didn't call.

The slide show is of our paper bag crafts. First we made & decorated a bunch of paper bag blocks by stuffing them with crumpled newspaper and taping it down. I got the idea from the Toddler's Busy Book and had to wait until I had saved enough bags for us. Then our second craft is a little mask that we decorated & each took turns wearing. She thought it was hilarious to see daddy & I in the mask. And she kept putting it on too.

I also printed of some greeting cards to color. Isabel colored on them this morning. We had a couple of cards to make for up coming birthday/anniversary.

Here is a little video that is just over a minute long to show some of the silliness we created today. This was after the paper bag crafts. We had blown up balloons last night and she always likes to play with balloons. We also got out a fitted sheet and we had her lie down in the middle & daddy & I would swing her in it. She loved that. The we had her sit on it and we gave her rides around the kitchen (there was a lot of re-arranging of furniture today with all our projects/activities.) That was my original idea which was also from the Toddler's Busy Book. And then that sparked the idea of the swinging, which is something we did when we went to try out a Kindermusik class one time. And finally we used the sheet as a parachute and she would go underneath and try to reach up and grab it as it fell down upon her. The we switched places and either daddy or I were in the middle and it woulf fall down on us and cover us and she thought that was hilrious and would try to find us under the sheet.

We also did a lot of reading today, as usual. We also played with some musical imstruments and brought out lots of other toys for her to play with. We watched some cartoons we had Tivo'ed (educational stuff & also the Charlie Brown Valentine Special.)

I also tried making bubbles with the recipe in that book but it didn't really work out. I had glycerin & everything, but maybe my Seventh Generation dish soap isn't good for making bubbles. I will just have to pick some up sometime, as we left our bubbles in MN (I think outside, so they are frozen.)

You really do have to come up with a lot of things to do to keep a kid busy when you are stranded inside.

Tomorrow we go the Y for my class and then we'll go swimming and then after that we'll go meet playgroup at McDonald's playland for lunch.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

90 Weeks Old

Here is Isabel eating a Chocolate Pudding Pie. We had some family (Jeff, Lynn, Luz & Uncle Henry) over for a little dinner party tonight. Isabel quite enjoyed the chocolate pudding pie. We had a good dinner. I tried a new recipe (Crockpot Beef & Mushroom - kinda like a beef stronganoff) that was served over whole wheat penne, steamed broccoli, semi-homemade bread, salad & the pie. Why I try new recipes for dinner parties, I don't know. But this was very good and it went a long way. They brought some very yummy wine and we had an assortment of crackers out with Rondel (sp?) cheese spread as an appetizer. So, it was good food, good company, & good conversation. It was a good evening.

Earlier in the day we went to check out a couple houses (no - ours hasn't sold, but we just thought we would check out some open houses). One wasn't for us at all, the other was a possibilty, but the lot was kinda small, so we would probably pass on it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Week Wrap-Up

Monday: Met playgroup at Stonefire Pizza (see previous post) and went shopping at Michael's Craft Store for supplies for flannel boards. Went to the Y in the evening.
Tuesday: Went to the Y in the morning then to the library in the afternoon.
Wednesday: Stayed indoors all day while we got about 14 inches of snow. Daddy measured 13.5 inches here.
Thursday: Went to our friends Carrie, Ryan, & Leah's house for a playdate. We always have lots of fun with them and our playdates keep getting longer & longer. Went to the Y in the evening.
Friday: Went to the Y in the morning for our classes, then grocery shopping, then home for the rest of the day. Although, mommy is leaving soon to go over to a friend's house to make flannel boards for our girls.
This weekend: Right now the only plan is to have from extended family over for dinner on Saturday evening.

As you can see from the picture above, she got into it with the markers. The last picture shows you that the markers won. She got her hand pinched when trying to push the cap back on.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Library Haul

To help pasas the time with the snowy weather (it's still snowing as I type), we went to the library and checked a bunch of stuff. Here's what we got:

DVD's
Signing Time's ABC's
Brainy Babies: Colors & Shapes

Books
Clap Your Hands (not recomended for bed time, requires a lot fo activity, but a fun book!)
Hide & Go Peep
Zoe & her Zebra (fun, learn ABC's, names & kids from all cultures)
A Very Patchy Flap Book
Pigs on a Blanket
Yum!: Flip a Shape (good book to learn shapes)
Count to Ten Piggy Wiggy (fun counting book)
Milk & Cookies
Emma's Vacation
The Three Bears
Everyone Poops (great book!)
The Gas We Pass (fun book that teaches you about the bodily function of passing gas, funny)

And last Friday we went to pajama storytime at the library and bought a new book: Dora Saves Mermaid Kingdom

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Stonefire Pizza (Monday)


Here are some pictures of Isabel and a couple of her friends at Stonefire Pizza yesterday. She had a blast. Unfortunately I didn't get the camera out until we were almost ready to leave, so I only got a few pictures. Today, we went to the gym so mommy could take her spinning class she missed yesterday and then we both went swimming. Later we went to the library to pick up books & video to keep us busy tomorrow sinc we are supposed to get anywhere between 10-20 inches. We are in the thickest band, so they are expecting 12+ inches. It is snowing right now and it's supposed to snow for almost 24 hours. Yuck.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Happy Groundhog's Day (or Not.)

Often, she enjoys playing with her winter hats, scarves & sometimes mittens. I have tried to put them away, but she gets upset and wants to put them on. She puts them on and then plays. Silly girl.

Well, what new things can I tell you about Isabel. Or at least things you haven't heard before.....

She has taken to making her Leapfrog Fridge Farm play songs and then she dances around in a circle. She will sometimes take it off the fridge and keep making it play songs as she walks around the house with it, as if it were her little radio or something.

She noticed this afternoon that her pillow has letters/blocks on it (as does her fitted sheet) and she was pointing at all the letters on it and telling me the sounds they make. She did A, T, L, P, Q, B & C accurately. Actually, those were the only ones she showed me and she did them all correctly. I asked her about Z and she wanted to show me a different one, but I know she knows it.

She does screw up what a pig is. She always says it is a cow and we always correct her. This evening we were playing with her see-n-saw & it asked which animal makes the sound "oink, oink" and she pointed to the pig and said "cow" of course. Other farm animals she gets correctly, just not a pig. I don't know what it is about that darn pig.

This afternoon I was feeding her lunch and noticed she was trying to eat her chicken nuggets with the wrong side of the fork, so I took a little video. She actually can eat rather well with a fork and a spoon, even though it doesn't look like it in the video.

Pooh might not have seen his shadow, but Phil did. Damn that cursed groundhog. I am sick of winter. I took the above pic with my phone so I could send them to daddy who is out of town for work this weekend. He's not that far away though, he's in the good state of Minnesota.

This evening I thought I woukd try doing the signs for please & thank you again for her and she did them in her own toddler way. You can see that video here.

We did get out of the house a little bit today and went to the library to pick up some books (btw- their video selection sucks!) and one of the books we got was Everyone Poops. She made me read it to her at least a half dozen times already. A friend is going to lend us The Gas We Pass. She will prbably make read that to her a lot as well. What are we teaching ?!?!?

Tomorrow we are going to a Super Bowl party at the house of the same family we had Thanksgiving with. It should be fun. There will be other kids there, including hers, which I think are Isabel's little boyfriends.