Sunday, June 29, 2008

How Well Do You Know Isabel's Mommy?

Uncle J has something like this on his MySpace page. I did pretty well on it.

I took this quiz out because it was seriously flawed. You can read the comments to see why.

Last Weekend in June

Well, this first picture is from today. We are now at the next house-sitting stint. Our friends Kelly, Cory & Drew have graciously allowed us to hang out here while they are on vacation. Isabel is again enjoying playing with all these "new to her" toys. Right now she is playing Connect Four (by herself). Since getting here we went for a bike ride, danced to cd of Drew's, played some basketball & t-ball, played with a train set, did some painting, took apart and put together every puzzle they own, took a nap, had lunch & dinner, and watched Happy Feet. Oh, and I got my first wood tick since I was a kid. Now I am a little paranoid that there are more crawling on us. Guess I'll be doing frequent tick checks while we are here.

The last couple days Isabel has been wanting to play with half her clothes off. Silly girl.

This is the bug we made out of recycled materials for the library. They are havinga display & competition for bugs created out of recycled materials. We used a juice box and wrapped it in a grocery bag and she colored the outside and then for the legs & teeth we used juice box straws, a pop tab for the nose, and water bottle caps for the eyes.

Thanks again to Luanne, Ryan, Lucie, & Henry for letting us stay at your house the last week and a half.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Fun

Here is a little photo collage of Isabel dancing at the Zoofari concert. She had so much fun. We don't know those little girls, they were just there dancing as well and Isabel danced with them. Also, there is a picture of daddy & Isabel in a Conga line. She did get daddy to go out & dance with her and I have a little video of it (sorry it's shaky.) Mostly though, she danced with mom, although mom was the one taking pictures so none of the two of us were taken. She fell asleep in the car on the way home and had to sleep in her clothes that night.

Before we went to the zoo we went to the Delafield library for a puppet show. Isabel loves puppets, so she was very eager to get there. While we were there, Isabel won a little readng poster. Next week their Wednesday afternoon activity is the Bug Ball (dance), so I think she will love that. We hope to get to the zoo again next Wednesday evening as well.

Yesterday we had Rachael over for the day again and our friends Michelle, Noah & Olivia came over to play with us in the morning. In the afternoon we went to our friends Kelly & Drew's house to play and have them show us around their place, as we go to their house this weekend to housesit.

Today we joined our friends Mary & Ben and Lori & Rachael at the Wirth Park Aquatic Center. We had a great time there and we recommend it very highly! She slept for 20 minutes on the ride home and that may be it for a nap for her today, although she seems in good spirits. It may be an early bed night for her tonight then. This afternoon we are babysitting for our friends Clara & Julia.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lunch on the Lawn

Isabel & I went to Lunch on the Lawn at the Delafield Library. She enjoyed her meal of watermelon, juice, pickle, cheetos, and hot dog. They had some musicians there that were nice to listen to, kinda of calm & relaxing music. Tonight we are playing on going to the Zoofari concerts at the Mke Cty Zoo. Daddy will meet us there after work. The tempo should be more upbeat at the zoo concert so that Isabel can dance. We went to the Y this morning, but they (kidcare) forgot to bring her to her class until there was only 20 minutes left. They didn'y charge me for her kidcare time, but I still paid for her classtime (which is more) and she didn't get the benefit of learning from her class. Next time I think I will step out of class to make sure she gets there. I did that last time and she was there on time, but this time I figured we were good to go -- guess not.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Favorite Afternoon Pics

Slideshow from this Afternoon

Here is a slideshow of Isabel & Rachael playing in the sprinkler this afternoon. I will post a few of my favorite photos from here in the next post.

This afternoon we played in the backyard. The girls had a good time running through a sprinkler toy and playing with the outdoor toys. They also thought it was fun to come sit on my "dry" lap after they ran through the water. I got quite wet. Afterwards, we all changed and went for a walk until Rachael's mom came to pick her up.

The girls had a good day playing with each other.

Play Day with Rachael

Remember to click on the photos to enlarge them to see them in more detail.

Today we have Isabel's friend Rachael spending the day with us again; she'll hang out with us again on Thursday. The three of us first went to storytime at the Oconomowoc library and they both really enjoyed that. We met our friends Sophia, Tommy & Elizabeth there. Afterwards the three of us went to Westover Park. This park is designed more for the able-bodied climber. Isabel isn't quite there, but loves practicing and takes her time so that she can learn and be safe.
The girls are just so silly when they are together. Right now they are napping and I am listening to an audio book of Beautiful Boy. It is the book for our July book club. It is definitly not light summer reading. As soon as I am done listening to this (normally I don't do audio books, but this is what I had available to me), I will begin reading a couple of books from the library adult summer reading program.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Here are the pictures I promised....

Sunday & Updates

Well, for an update -- we did find out that Andy still has a job and is not affected by the lay-off. It is nice to know that we have an income coming in. Although, that still does not solve the problem of an unsold house in MN and the potential of having to pay rent & mortgage & double utilities. The last 9 months of doubling up was all on account of my great budgeting skills. You see, daddy's job gave us money to pay for 3 months of expenses related to relocation while our house was being sold. Well, we figured our house might now sell within 3 months, so I figured out how to make it last 9 months instead and we used every penny of that.

Right now we are housesitting for my friends. We have 3 different places we are at over the next few weeks. After that, the plan is to find something to rent month to month. I figured out we can probably double up for 6 months by using our savings, but beyond that we are screwed. So, we may get to stay in WI for another 6 months but it may be inevitable that we have to move away from here. Daddy has now had to start searching in MN for a new job so that we can live in the house that we own. The only way we would move anywhere else would be if they bought our house as part of the relocation. We did have another open house this weekend and a privcate showing this past week, but of the 3 groups through our place none of them want to call it home. So, that's the scoop.

We just don't know what the future holds for us or where we will be living mid-July. The only thing we know is that if we want to stay here or are able to, we will have an income coming in.

As for Sunday, we went to church in the morning (after Isabel & I took a bike ride, she is really enjoying going on bike rides) and then went to the Delafield Brewhaus for their Sunday brunch, which was fabulous by the way. After naptime it was playtime until dinner, then another bike -ride, which daddy came with us on. Then we went out for gelato and walked to Fowler Park. By the time we reached the park it was raining, then pouring. So, she never got to play on the equiptment and we just walked back to the car.

I'll have pictures to post later.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Power Wheels Fun

We were at soem friends' house today and they have a bunch of power wheels toys. Isabel had never been on one before and was having lots of fun figuring them out. You can watch a 30 second video of her riding/driving on You Tube.
I think Isabel got lots of playtime in today. We started off the day with a trip to the library and post office. Then we came back and all three of us went for a bike ride. That was nice and Isabel liked riding. And then we had a picnic outside while Isabel played on Lucie's playset, which they asked us to bring up from ther basement and set up for them while they were away. Then it was nap time, then to play at friends house, which Isabel played A LOT and ate very little supper. She is now at the age/stage where play is usually more important that eating. I wish I was at that stage.

Tomorrow we are going to plan on going to church and that's about in for plans. If the weather is nice we'll play outside some and go for bike rides again.

Friday, June 20, 2008

This Week

Lounging at the Hotel
Here she is laying on the floor watching one of her videos on our portable DVD player. That thing is so handy. We did go swimming twice at the hotel pool and she thoroughly enjoyed that.

Louging at Luanne's

This is from this morning as I was getting us ready to go to the park for playgroup. She is watching Super Why! which is her new favorite program. You can watch it on PBS. She is doing great here at Luanne's house. She is sleeping in the big girl bed and taking nice long naps and only seemed to have one nightmare the first night and none last night. And she hasn't fallen out of the big girl bed (twin) yet. She has been enjoying playing with Lucie's toys, as it's like having all new toys for 1.5 weeks. And Lucie has lots of books we have not read before, so that is fun. She likes to "cuddle" now on the couch or chair under a blanket as we read stories together. She will go to one of them and grab a blanket and put in over herlself and say, "cuddle, cuddle."

In other news, she is back to taking 2 steps forward with potty training. She is now starting to periodically tell me when she has to go pee-pee and is going on the potty with a great er frequency and is staying dry or mostly dry at night. So, that's neat. Although, poopy on the potty is a different story, that isn't happening yet.

Playing at Cushing Park We met playgroup today at Cushing park. It was quite sunny & warm today and her little cheeks go so pink. I lubed her up with sunscreen a couple of times while we were there and I made her wear a hat as much as possible, but I did put sunscreen on her head as well. Our friend Carrie let us borrow her sunscreen there and it's a spray, which worked well for doing her head. After Cushing, Isabel & I had a picnic at Riverside Park.

Her Playgroup Twin

This is Isabel & Taryn. Both her mom (Lori) and myself have heard from a number of people that our little girls look so much alike. Taryn is about 4 months older, but other than that they are about the same height and same body structure and same blond hair and blue eyes and are both frequently in pigtails or ponytails, same full lips, and by looks of things they are both right-handed. We had a playdate at their house this afternoon. I love their playroom and took pictures of a couple things I would like to make, get, or have made for Isabel's playroom someday.

AND......Happy Birthday Godmother Jessi!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Library Reading Programs

Well, we are both signed up for our reading programs for the summer. Actually, Isabel got her first prizes from hers. She got to pick out a book and a sticker. She got the book "Froggy Learns to Swim". And I am about half way through my first book of the summer. In the picture above we are at storytime at the library and she was clapping for the puppets. She loves the puppets. After storytime we went to playgroup, although we didn't stay as long as I would have liked because she was tired & cranky. She ended up falling asleep in the car after we got lunch and then took a 3 hour nap after got back to the hotel.

Bay Beach Amusement Park

Her favorites were the carousel, train ride & big slide. The others she didn't seem to care for much. She loved picking out which color she would ride on and loved to pretend steer, but once it started moving she just seemed scared.

Here she picked out a yellow bug. Next year when she rides she'll be able to have cousin Blake riding with her. It was a little chilly out and overcast so the park wasn't very busy, so that was nice.
She was partial to green. Most rides she would choose the green one if it was available.
The big slide was a fun time. She got to go down it once with mommy & once with daddy. As you look in the picture below (with daddy, they are the ones coming down last) it is quite a hike to walk up all the stairs to get to the top. And even as an adult I still felt my heart leap out of my chest as we went down each hump. This was always my favorite.
As a kid we came here evey year in grade school for our end of the year field trip and them mom & dad would take us once every summer. When they took us we would go cash in all our aluminum cans we collected and that would be our money to spend on rides. When we were young, tickets were 10 cents a piece. NO! I am not that old! They are only 25 cents a piece now and rides cost 1-2 tickets. Most of the kiddie rides are 1 ticket, although the train and carousel are each 2 tickets. The rides for the bigger kids are all pretty much 2 tickets. But still, that's cheap family fun.

Any moms in my playgroup that are looking for a good weekend or day trip, you should go check out Green Bay. You could to do Bay Beach and the next door Wildlife Sanctuary (we haven't take Isabel there yet) on one day and then go to the zoo another day. Plus there is the Packet Hall of Fame, which you can intice the dad with. I haven't been there since I was in junior high. There is actually a lot of other neat things to do in GB, so if you do make a little trip out of it, let me know if you need more ideas.

Happy Father's Day!

I know Father's Day was Sunday, but I haven't posted since before then. These are pictures of Isabel with her daddy on Father's Day and the day after, as well as a picture of Blake and his daddy.
Mommy, daddy, Isabel, Grams, Gramps, Auntie Razz, Uncle Shane, & Blake all went to the N.E.W. Zoo on the afternoon of Father's Day. It was a good time. We enjoyed outselves and I thought they had it very nicely landscaped and had lots of trees and enough space and it felt like the animals were well cared for. I hate when you go to a zoo and the animals don't look well and their habitat feels like a prison. Isabel loved feeding the giraffes and her other favorites were the lions, snakes and fish.
This is cousin Blake and his daddy.
This is daddy & Isabel on the train ride at Bay Beach on Monday morning.

Pictures (Trying Again!)

Her is Isabel at the gymnastics class doing a little shimmey to get herself across the balance beam by herself. Her friend Rachael takes a class there and it was bring a friend free week, so Isabel was able to check it out. We had been to Gymlingo a couple times for open gym and she always has a good time there. I wouldn't mind having her in a class, but the schedule doesn't work for the summer for us. Maybe in the fall.
Here she is under the parachute. She was laughing hysterically as they ran under that. Silly girl. She did wear herself out but not enough to sleep for a long time on the way up to Grams & Gramps house. ** This picture did finally show up, just not while I was blogging the first time around.
She really enjoyed the playground here. It helps that she is a tall girl because if she wasn't and was the height of other 2 year old girls she would have struggled more to climb on things since this is for elementary students. Doesn't she look so grown up?!?!?!

This is one of 2 pictures at the playground that I tried to upload. I will have to try again with the other one. I took her here for an hour to play on Sunday morning hoping to get out some energy and get her down for an early nap so that we could leave for the zoo at a relatively decent time. Although all the daddies were taking naps and I think she would have wished the kids had slept longer which would have resulted in a longer nap for them as well.
This is cousin Blake. He is getting around really good these days and is getting close to walking by himself. He will walk behind things and push them. He will be 9 months at the end of the month. It's amazing how much boys work on those gross motor skills so much earlier. At 9 months Isabel was rolling across the floor to get places or she would push herself on her back with her feet. She started crawling just before she turned 10 months.

The Weekend & Beyond....

Well, it may be a while before I get pictures on here as the wifi connection at the hotel is kinda weak right now and I have already wasted about a half hour trying.

Anyways, I have pictures of:
Saturday: Isabel at a trial gymnastics class
Sunday: Isabel playing the Lena Elementary School playground, pictures of cousin Blake, pictures from the N.E.W. Zoo in Green Bay
Monday: Pictures of Isabel with us at Bay Beach Amusement Park

For those that are wondering, we are staying at a hotel for a couple days until we start our first stint of house/cat sitting for a friend. We went swimming in the pool here last night and Isabel thought that was so much fun. We are doing a lot of swimming this summer. Molly (the dog) is now at her summer hom on the farm. My parents built a new & bigger kennel for her & Benji to be in with their dog houses.

We had a good weekend by Grams & Gramps and we'll have pictures from our adventures there soon.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Practicing Somersaults

These are pictures from yesterday when she was practicing doing somersaults in her shirt & pull-up. On Saturday morning she is going to try out a gymnastics class on Saturday at Gymlingo (see link on sidebar) with her friend Rachael. It is bring-a-friend free week, so Isabel gets to try it out. The class is for ages 1-3, so it should be perfect.

Yesterday we had our friends Ben & Mary over to go swimming & then later we went over by them to go walking. In the morning we had gone to the Y & to the library to sign up for the summer reading program. Today we had our friends Carrie & Ryan over to play in the morning and then in the afternoon we had dinner with our friends Elizabeth, Sofia & Thomas and then we stayed with the kids so their mommy & daddy could get out for a couple hours.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wee Wonders Class at Retzer Nature Center

Here she is touching Jeremiah the Bullfrog. He is their resident bullfrog that lives in the aquarium in the natuer center. It was a good little class. I think we both learned some new things. For moms in my playgroup that were wondering, there were a few other moms with babies there, but they were all under 6 months and I think it would be hard to get the most out of the class if you brought a child any older than that.

Here she is laughing in the frogs ribbiting. They have 2 different kids of frogs in their ponds and she found the deep, low croaky ribbit of the bullfrog particularly funny. It was really neat to see her distinguish the sounds.
Isabel took this picture. She was more interested in taking pictures of the frogs rather than touching them.
This evening she went swimming with mommy & daddy. She is really getting the hang of swimming in her life jacket. It is helping her learn how to use her arms and legs to swim and not worry about sinking.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Recent Pictures and Videos

Her is Isabel at Rachael's house last night. She is wearing her new swimsuit from her friend Sofia & Tommy. It is very cute on her. The girls filled up Rachael's pool with cold hose water and they were just loving it. As parents we were reminded of when we were young and didn't mind the freezing cold hose water. I told them stories of new garbage cans and cow water troughs that we turned into our "pools" for the day. My stories were met with "you were a country girl" comments. Us poor country kids didn't have access to nice big pools and we had to use our imaginations......

Her first corn on cob of the season. We had dinner with Rachael and her parents last night. Rachael and her mom made us a very delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert.

On Saturday, we (daddy, mommy & Isabel) went swimming and then we spent some time in the resprt basement hoping a tornado didn't hit us. It didn't. On Sunday, we went to church and then got some Little Caesars for lunch and then for dinner we had dinner with friends (see above.)

She thought pouring salt was fun. I didn't think it was so fun when she tried to pour it in mama's wine. Today we me our playgroup at Delafield Sports Commons park. Isabel went straight for the tallest, biggest slide right away. She had a good time, although was not very good about sharing her snacks with her friend Ben. We brought carrots, strawberries & cheddar bunnies crackers. She had not interest in the strawberries until Ben was enjoying them, then she started shoveling them into her mouth by the fistful. Isabel & Ben act like such brother & sister. He's always trying to touch her and she is always like "Mom, he touching me!'

One of Isabel's favorite things to do right now is play Hide & Seek. She only likes to be the seeker. She is sometimes a cheater, but when she isn't she loves to be scared (i.e. you jumping out yelling Boo!) She also got a couple new puzzles that she is enjoying. She loves doing puzzles.

Here is a video of her new swinging (sorry, it's sideways) and of her playing with Rachael last week. They are such silly girls together.

Tomorrow we have our first "Wee Wonders" Class at the Retzer Nature Center. We are all prepared to get wet & muddy (per description) with her rain boots & rain jacket. In the afternoon we have a playdate with some friends. On Wednesday we are going to a birthday playgroup. Thursday is a pretty relax day and Friday we have a park playgroup in the morning and will maybe have a friend over to swim in the afternoon. This weekend we are going to visit Grams & Gramps and are planning on going to the N.E.W. Zoo on Sunday (Father's Day) and Bay Beach on Monday.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Birthday Playgroup for Maggie

Here are some pictures I took from the Birthday playgroup we went to for her friend Maggie. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of Maggie because she was outside riding her new bike she got as a present while I was inside taking pictures. But I am sure her mommy will put pictures on their blog. Oh yes, they are there already.
Kids & stairs.......they are just drawn to them, aren't they.
Isabel loves to put things on to dress up. She has such a fun time with dressing up.
This is hre friend Addyson playing with puppets.
And her friend Christa playing with a cash resgister.

This Week (Tu & Th)

Isabel has a bunch of her videos with, so it feels a little like home here at the resort. She slept pretty good last night, but every other night this week she woke up several times either screaming or crying. This transition time is kinda hard on her. I went to the Y to workout yesterday and she was balling & clinging to my leg when I brought her to kidcare. She has not cried in about 6 months or more. It's a good thing we are here for another week, so that things can feel a little normal for a bit. I just wish that house would sell. It breaks my heart that my little girl has to feel stressed.
Rachael came over to play all day on Tuesday and Thursday this week. They have a great time playing with each other and get along so well. Rachael & her mommy came on Monday to go swimming with us and also came yesterday afternoon with both her mommy & daddy to go swimming with us. Isabel loves swimming with the pool noodle. She uses is as a horse and ride it around the pool & mommy gets a good workout from that. Today we are going to go get her life jacket out of storage because she tries to be too independent in the pool and she is just not tall enough to stand anywhere but at the stairs.
They kept riding down the slide together and would laugh hysterically. They are both silly girls. Yesterday in the pool, Rachael gave her a hug on the stairs and Isabel hugged her back and said "I love you" and they they were giggling & hugging away. It was very sweet.

I taught Isabel a new way to swing that she can do herself. So, she loves it. She wants to be so independent sometimes, but she just can't do everything (or it's not safe) to do it by herself. So, I am starting to experience some power struggles with that. She sits on a big girl swing just fine now and holds on well. I give her a little push and then I can't push anymore because she wants to be a big girl. She is trying to learn how to pump with her legs. Swinging on her belly is something she can do by herself without mom's help.

They really likes this horse swing because they could both be on it at the same time and Rachael could use her legs in the stirrup part to help push and keep it swinging. (Less pushing for mommy!, Actually, Rachael would tell me to get them started and then to let go because they could do it themselves.)