Monday, March 31, 2008

Very Neat Book

I just have to say, if you haven't seen the book Gallop! : A Scanimation Picture Book by Rufus Butler Seder then you are missing out. We checked it out from the library to add to our rotation of storytime books and it is Sooooo Neat!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Camera Phone Pics from Today

Isabel has been having fun figuring out her numbers & letters. She can recognize all her letters and number 1-10 & 12. For some reason sometimes she screws up 11, but I am sure she'll have it down next week. She has started to realize that sometimes letters & numbers look like something else if you turn in, for example: a 3 can be an E when turned the other way, that 1 or 7 can look like L if turned upside down, that 0 and O look the same, and that 6 & 9 are the same shape just each other turned upside-down. She recognizes letters & number everywhere now. She looks at a digital clock on the microwave and reads me the numbers. If we are standing by a sign or parked near one, she will read the letters (generally phoenetically). She will read the letters on our shirts if they are printed on.

We've been working on colors and so far she recognizes yellow, blue & brown. Brown is the new one for this week.

She loves semi trucks. Whenever we pass them (or they pass us) on the road she points & yells "truck!". Although, she also does that for a van too, but not pickup trucks. She actually doesn't point at pickup trucks too much.

She knows the names to most of the Bob the Builder characters. She doesn't really watch it that much, but we do have a couple from in our own library or borrowed from the library that are Bob the Builder that we read often. The one she can't seem to get is Wendy, who she always just calls "girl."

She really loves dancing in a circle now and can get quite dizzy from that. Ring-a-Round the Rosy is her favorite, but she'll dance in a circle with you to just about anything.

Friday, A Busy Day

This is a collage of pictures from yesterday morning when we met Nicole & her two boys at Stonefire Pizza for Mommy & Me time and lunch. For those that don't know who Nicole is, sheis a friend from high school that lives in Glendale and has 2 little boys and because she works as a school teacher we can never get together unless we want to drive 45 minutes to her house to meet with them after school lets out, which is a long ways for a playdate. So, we've only had one playdate with them since moving here. It was CRAZY busy. From 11-1pm the line to get in went outside and halfway down the building and the parking lot was full and people were parking on the side street (that was full too!) I felt bad we met there, as she had never been there before and I think it was a little overwhelming. If it was my first time I might not want to go back. By noon, all the tables were filled and people had to wait in line for a table to open up and then they were escorted to a table as a worker stood guard over it. We didn't eat lunch until 12:15 after the line for food went down because the tables were full and the table-waiting line was gated off. Insane! Although, the kids had a ton of fun.
For dinner we went to Culver's which is right next to Burgess Boys, where we had to pick up daddy. He was dropping of the Prizm to get the tire put on the new rim (from when it was bent previously in that little accident). Isabel shared a cheeseburger, fries, & turtle shake with us. She loved all of it. What kid wouldn't?

She's such a cutie with her shake, isn't she!

In the afternoon, we went to our friend Carrie, Ryan, & Leah's house. We played with play-doh, toys, had a snack, and a pretend slumber party. Isabel just gets along with them so well. When Mike came he he read her a story. I actually had to drag her out of there screaming because she didn't want to leave. She loves going over there so much. This Sunday afternoon, we are babysitting Leah & Ryan over here so that their parents can go out to eat together.

Today, daddy is spending most of his day at the Midwest Gaming Classic. Hopefully he has a lot of fun. He doesn't get to do too much gaming these days, so this is good for him. Later this afternoon, he will come home so we can all to a friend's house for a combo birthday/basketball party. Daddy may go back to gaming later on. We'll see how much fun he had and his ambition level.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cheeeesssseeeee!


I told her to say Cheese and I would take her picture (never really did tht before, the say cheese part). Well, she would close her eyes and says cheese for some reason. Itw as cute, and then she ran in to the kitchen and wanted a piece of cheese. In a little bit we'll be having meatloaf that she helped me make. She is getting better about being neater in the kitchen when she helps since her motor skills are improving and she has more control.

Today I think we are kinda back to normal.....we're not traveling anymore and no one is sick (daddy was sick quite a bit of last week and Isabel had the remnants of being sick.)

I took her to the library to get some new books, videos, & a cd and then for storytime. Storytime didn't work out this time. She saw the toys sitting there and only wanted to play (which is afterwards). So, she had a couple of tantrums & I removed her from the room, but I finally told her we were going home. So, we spent most of our day here.

We got a couple fo new Signing Time videos to watch (vol. 1 & 2) and I am much more impressed with the host in the ABC one. Isabel seems less interested in these ones. We also picked up a cd by Raffi and we danced to that and also blew bubbles & danced to it. She thought that was fun. We played her games on the computer a little bit and read some stories. She took another 3 hour nap, which she did all last week. All I can figure is she's pushing through teeth. Normally her naps are 1.5-2 hours. She is still pushing through that one molar that broke through a while a go. I haven't seen any of the other 3 break through yet.

Ring-a-Round the Rosy



This week our theme to learn about is "legs". I am really liking that curriculum book. It has good ideas that are practical for her age. Anyways, I requested a couple of books they recommended and hopefully they will be available in a day or two. They were checked in their library, but just needed to be shipped to mine to pick up.

Well, a couple of the things they recommended in the book was to sing "Ring-a-Round the Rosy" and then talk about what happens to your legs when you fall down. And another one we did was "Jack Be Nimble" and teach them about jumping over something. She thinks jumping is fun, but right now it's more like she goes up onto her tippy-toes.

Something else we did (not in the book, but read on Babycenter.com about teaching her this) is teaching her to jump down with both feet and not just lead with one foot and let the other fall (which is what she does). This is something we'll need to work on for a while.

We'll save other things from that chapter of the book to do other days this week.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Bubbles Video



Here is Isabel and daddy playing with her bubbles & bubble machine she got from EB.

BTW - I am going to be deleting some old videos off of YouTube, so you may not see some out there anymore.

Happy Easter

The above collage is of Isabel right after she woke up and got dressed and went downstairs to find the Easter eggs that the Easter Bunny hid in the living room. He left her Easter basket with some Easter socks, bubbles, coloring books, and stuffed bunny on the coffee table. She had 12 eggs to find. Inside the eggs were 2 jelly beans (6 of them) or 1 piece of chocolate (6 of them.) She found all eight rather easily. Next year, EB will have to step it up a bit on the hiding. She has gotten so much candy already from the hunt yesterday and we didn't want her eating it until Halloween, so there wasn't much for her basket. Daddy is bringing a bunch from the hunt to work and the leftover bags from our stuff as well. Her hair is a mess because we didn't comb it yet in the collage picture.


Here is Isabel in her Easter dress and hairpiece that grandma made for her. It actually has a second layer that goes over the top, kinda like a fancy apron. But it's white and we haven't gotten around to putting it on her yet. Grandma also made a matching dress for one of Isabel's dolls and we put that on the doll already.

For lunch, we had over our friends Lori, John & Rachael for an Easter lunch together. It was a very nice time and very good food, if I may say so. We have lots of leftovers....I know what is for supper. I think my favorites of everything I made was the parslied potatoes and the ginger carrot cake (this recipe was in a recent Better Homes & Garden magazine.)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt at Midwest Twisters (KUDOS!)

This morning we went to Midwest Twisters in Hartland. This was Isabel's first Easter Egg Hunt and I have to say that I was very impressed. It was well organized and executed. When we got there, they had us fill out a raffle ticket and then the kids just had to wait for a little bit for them to give the instructions. We were there for the walking-age 4 egg hunt. There was one for older kids later on. It was great that it was just younger kids there, so they weren't getting run over by the older ones. They had eggs with candy in all over the gym in plain sight and they also had older kids (gymnasts from there, I presume) going around and putting out more. The kids all got TONS of eggs. Not that Isabel needed that much, but she did have fun.


They got the egg hunt underway before they had the Easter Bunny come out and when he did, they announced it, which is great so parents can prepare their kids and they don't get scared. Isabelwas the second kid to run over to the Easter Bunny. I wasn't sure how she was going to do with EB since she was so scared of Santa in-person. But when she saw him she started pointing and yelling, "Bun! Bun! Bun!" and then went over and gave him a hug and offered him a balloon.

After all the hunt was over they had the drawing, which EB picked out names. It all went very smoothly and very efficiently. It is very important to be organized with a bunch of toddlers that can't keep their attention on any one thing for very long. I definitly recommend this Easter Egg hunt to anyone. We will plan to go back next year.


They also had a lot of helium balloons that had postcards and pencils about the business attached to the string. Isabel loves ballons, so this was great for her. She was collecting as many as she cold. But of course, when we left we didn't take all 9-10 that she had gathered and given to daddy. We just took a couple and she didn't notice the difference and has had a great time playing with them at home.

Now, it was all fun & games until we left and she started to go crazy for the candy. That part was not fun. She ate quite a bit and I managed to get the rest away and hide it. Daddy will take the stuff I don't want her to have to work and put out at his desk.

This evening we went to try out a new church our friends recommended to us. It is a non-demoninational Christian church and that is what we are looking for. It was nice. I was really impressed with the childcare/church school program they had there. Isabel seemed to really enjoy it. She got to color and have a snack and play with bubbles & play-doh. We do plan to go back again and we liked it for ourselves as well. We did see our friends there and were able to sit next to them during th service and Isabel was in the classroom with their son.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Snowy Day Collage (another one)

I say "another one" because I used that title once before. Here are my favorite pics from the slide show for those of you that may not be able to view it.

March Snowy Day


video


There is sound. Enjoy watching some of the things we did today.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

22 Months Old

Whatever she had, she has passed onto daddy and he has been home the past couple of days. She still has been irritable and won't let me do anything for her, which might because she's a toddler or a female or teething or still has a little virus....I don't know. We hope daddy feels better tomorrow because we had plans to take him to a couple places that we go to to play since he is never here when we go to them.

The Latest & Greatest Masterpiece.

I printed that off here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pictures from this Weekend

Saturday Picture: 95 Weeks
These are pretty much all the pictures I took this weekend. I didn't get the camera out much, even though we got to our MN home late Thursday and didn't leave until 11am on Monday. This time she remembered the house & where all her toys were. We got to MN around 10pm, but since we had to wake her up (she had only been asleep for 30 minutes anyways) to bring her in the house and change into her jammies, then she got all excited because she remembered where her toys were and her room. So, she didn't get to sleep until around 11pm.

Friday, I went to visit a bunch of friends at OHS. Things are different there now and not in a good way and I should count my blessings that this change was made. Friday afternoon, our friends Rhynda & Charlie came over for a playdate. And then Friday evening, when Isabel was in bed, we went over to our neighbors, John & Cindy, and hung out with them. Our baby monitor is strong enough that we can take it with us and hear her if needed.

Saturday Evening: Bedtime Stories

On Saturday we went to visit our friend Linda, Morgan, Nick, & Preston over the lunch hour. So, more play for Isabel. Daddy went & got the car washed and hung out at the local Harley Dealership, which happened to be having an open house so daddy got free lunch. Anyways, he picked up up at 12:45pm and Isabel fell asleep almost instantly in the car. She did transfer ok and fell back asleep when I brought her in and took almost a 2.5 hour nap.

That evening we met out friends, Carrie, Kyle & Gavin and April, Jason, Kallen & Noah at El Tequila for dinner for mommy's birthday. Then all of us came back to our place for drinks & some chocolate mousse cheesecake we got from Harry & David. Our neighbors, John & Cindy joined us with their nieces they had over. So, it was a big ole party.

Sunday: After Nap

Well, Saturday night ended up not being sogood for Isabel. She ended up puking and there was a lot of laundry to do. We kept things pretty low-key all day until we went to Chuck-E-Cheese. Well, we did go have an early lunch at Timberlodge, but we didn't stay long because Isabel was so squirrely. Since we didn't have any food or condiments at the MN house we ate out quite a bit. We decided to treat our long weekend there as our spring vacation, since due to circumstances we can't afford to really go anywhere else. But it was nice.

Sunday: Before the Meltdown


Well, we only lasted at CEC for about 1.25 hours. The above pictures are taken on one of the little rides that takes pictures. Anyways, we were joined by family (Dave, Candy, Tony & Carol) and our friend Jessi. Isabel pretty much refused to eat anything and just wanted to play. It was not a very good time. By this point she was very irritable and was having trouble communicating what she wanted and there was so many people there and it was so loud. It just was overwhelming to her, on top of feeling sick. So, we had many screaming fits until we decided to call it quits and carry our screaming child out of there. She did have some fun, but that was overshadowed by all the screaming.

She was still really irritable on Sunday morning and the tiniest thing would set her off. But after a while, daddy did get her to finish her breakfast and we finished making the place tidy, and were on our way. We were sure we were in for a miserable trip, but thanks to the power of technology and the purchase of a portable DVD player (after the last MN trip), she spent quiet time watching her favorite videos then taking a 2 hour nap & waking up to want to finish the video she fell asleep to. So, it was a decent trip back. She was still irritable last night, but seems in better spirits this morning. Hopefully that lasts.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pictures from Today

I just thought I would throw some pictures up here because it will be several days before any more get on here since we are leaving today to take a long weekend in MN. We went to her class this morning and have been packing up the car. It's almost lunchtime now, then nap time, then playtime until daddy gets back. We'll get to MN late.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Playing Catch Up

Tuesday
Well, I've gotten a little behind on posting pictures and text. This is a picture from today. She is listening to her first computer software game as it tells her what to do. I bought her "Clifford The Big Red Dog Phonics" from Think, Play, Learn. Up until this point we only played stuff online and I thought with our upcoming trip to MN we will need to play something on the laptop that does not require internet access. So, we gave it a whirl. It's pretty good, but they talk to much for her. She would rather be interacting more.

Today, we pretty much hung around the house except for going to the Y for my yoga class.

Monday

Yesterday we went to the Y in the morning for my Spinning class and then we stayed and played in the playroom with Mary & Ben. During the afternoon, we met some from our playgroup at the Retzer Nature Center.

Her latest thing now is to come grab one of our hands and bring us to where she wants us (i.e. get a snack, turn Peep on, play a puzzle with her, etc.)

I am trying out some ideas in this book, The Complete Resource Book for Toddler & Twos, as ideas of things to do with Isabel to teach her a specifi theme/idea. I checked it out from the library and plan to use it for a few weeks to see if it is worth making a purchase. I do think it is and I think I may get it, but I wanted to try it out a bit and make sure the choices/activities were do-able and not cost-prohibitive. I randomly chose "Round" as the theme/topic for this week, hence her playing in a basket full of balls. We've also been singing "Round & Round the Garden" (which wasn't in the book, but it was the first thing that popped into my head with that theme and it works so well) and reading "Goodnight Moon" and a The Silly Book of Shapes (plus other books) and doing different activities with balls and pointing out things that are round.


Saturday

Well, I guess the weekend part starts on Friday. On Friday we met some friends at the Children's Play Gallery. We stayed there and played fo 2 hours, then came home for lunch & a nap. Then had a snack and went to Lucy, Luanne & Henry's house to bring them food . We ended up staying htere about 2 hours playing. Then we went back to CPG (since it is a day pass you can come & go) for anotehr 2 hours. Friday was ALL ABOUT PLAY! While we were there, there was a birthday party going on for 2 boys of a lady in Newcomer's Club that mom knows. She was kind to let us crash the party and invited us to have pizza, juice & cake with them. It was sure yummy!

On Saturday, Auntie Phanie came for a visit in the morning. Auntie Phanie, mommy & Isabel went to the Ben Franklin in town to make & take craft time. Since it is National Craft Month they have free make & take crafts on Saturdays in March. We were there to make a Easter Pom Pom Chick. It turned out cute. The picture above is one from that. I cropped myself out because I thought I looked like a dork. Besides, people are reading this blog about Isabel, not mommy.

Saturday afternoon, I left with my friend Carrie for a Girls Overnight to the Chicago area. There was dinner, drinks, dancing, & a hotel. Sounds like a nice romantic evening. Anyways, Isabel got to stay home with daddy for 24 hours. This was the first time I was not there overnight with Isabel & to see her first thing in the morning. And it went just fine. Although, I sure did miss that little girl, even though I did have a lot of fun.

Tomorrow we plan to go to the library for storytime & then meet our playgroup at Gymlingo for our private open gym. She had a ton of fun last time and exhausted herself and took a nice nap that day.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Video of Isabel Babbling & Trying to Fgure out her Lacing Beads

It's not the most exciting video, but she is still cute none-the-less. I took this video yesterday and uploaded it on YouTube and finally got around to embedding it here:



If you can't view it here, you can always go to my videos on youtube and view it there instead.

Today we had our preschool power hour class. It really didn't want to sit much for stuff today. She had more fun when it was free play time. Tomorrow we have a playdate with some friends at the Children's Play Gallery, which will be great for her because she could use a place to run around a little bit & climb. Then in the afternoon we go visit & deliver food to a mom in our playgroup that recently had a new baby.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Past Few Days

Well, these are some pictures that my friend Carrie took of the kids when she was babysitting Isabel for us. She said Isabel was really good, which is so nice to hear.
Well, Sunday evening the furnace here went out completly. Luckily we have space heaters and an electric mattress pad. The repairman for the furnace came at 11am on Monday, so I took Isabel to the Y in the morning and worked out and came back for our 10-12 time frame. I had the slow cooker going already with supper in it, then I baked cupcakes for playgroup in the afternoon and make Mac&Cheese on the stovetop to help warm up the house while I was doing stuff I needed to do anyways. I also made it laundry day to keep the dryer going & giving off heat. And I had a space heater & candles going in the living room so my little girl wouldn't get cold. I just let her sit on the couch with a blanket over her lap watching her shows while we waited for them to get there and fix it. Luckily it was fixed and by noon we had heat again and I didn't have to cancel playgroup and put on our snowpants. :)
So, that afternoon was playgroup at our place. There was 4 other families there plus us. It was a good size playgroup and the kids made a good size mess, but the moms helped me clean it up, which was greatly appreciated.
Today, we went to the Y for my yoga class, then grocery shopping and then our friend Elizabeth, Sophia, & Thomas came over for lunch and to hang with us for a while. After Isabel's nap we went to the library and picked up some new books. We have been going to the library weekly. Sometimes we pick out duds and return them right away and sometimes we just get sick of reading one so much, and then some books we keep the 3 weeks we can, and there is even one that is due this week that I just renewed because we like it so much. One of the books I picked up today that I really like is First the Egg. Another one I think is cute is Flamingos on the Roof. It has cute poems and neat paintings. I have enjoyed reading Isabel a few of them already.
Tomorrow we are going to playgroup at our friends Jamie, Will & Jack (see Brigger Boys on sidebar).

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Daddy's (Isabel's) New Hat

Daddy got a hat at the Bucks game last night and when Isabel saw it this morning she went"Ooooooh! Haaaat!", grabbed it and claimed it as her own.

The other day when cousin Blake's daddy sent us a picture & I was looking at it on the computer, Isabel walked over & saw it and pointed to the picture and said "Blake!" very clearly. I didn't know that she knew how to say anyone's name but mama and daddy.

This afternoon/evening, Isabel is going to hang out with our friends Carrie, Mike, Leah & Ryan. They are going to babysit her while we go out to eat and then we'll return the favor for them soon. Hopefully this will work nice for all of us, as neither of us have a sitter, so this is our way to have a (early) dinner out w/o kid(s). Tonight, we will be dining at the Weissgerber's Seven Seas Restaurant in Hartland.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

93 Weeks Old

Well, this afternoon I got a lot done while Isabel napped & stayed home and played with daddy. I ran a bunch of errands and one of the places I went to was Think, Play, Learn to buy her this M&D Shape Sorting Clock. They have a special going on this week of 30% off everything in the store, and if you bring in a coupon from the paper you get an extra 5% off. So, I got the clock for 35% off.

I think this is really going to help her learn her numbers. We played with it quite a bit already and she can put the shapes into the correct spots very easily. I did find out that she knows most of her numbers through 12, but just can't say them yet. But when asked to point to them she got most of them correct. So, now we will work on saying them and accurately identifying all of them. It will also be another way to help her learn her colors. We were working on them this morning with this small abacus I got her. She's got yellow & blue down pat and I think she pretty much knows green. So, we have a ways to go on colors. But she can only learn so much at once.

Daddy is gone to a Bucks game right now. He is out with some people he works with. They were doing dinner at some Irish Pub and then the game and probably drinks afterwards. He should have a good time. Isabel & I treated ourselves to dinner at McDonald's. We were there for 1.5 hours. She had such a blast playing in the climber slide thing. There were a lot of older kids there (she was the youngest), but they were mostly patient and she held her own ground. She had a half a cheeseburger & a whole fruit & yogurt parfait. I had a Southwestern Chicken Salad w/ just salsa on top - no dressing (man, those things are tasty) and apple slices (since she only ate one of them). So, I think we ate as healthy as we could for McDonald's. We both always have water.

Well, it's bathtime now.