Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hands Down


This morning we did some projects involving Isabel's hands. The first was a handprint in plaster. Someon had given us a set of tins with plaster to do handprints from age 1-5. It was here in MN, so we couldn't do it closer to her birthday and so now we finally did it, 3 months late, but oh well.
The second thing we did was collect fingerprints , although as you can see she got more than just her fingertips in the ink. We got one of those little ID kits so I was working on that so that we have a complete set of her fingerprints, a saliva DNA sample, and a hair DNA sample. Hopefully we never have to use it, but I am glad we have it just in case.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Her New Playroom

Here she is playing in her new playroom. It is in the basement. It's not difficult to convince her to go down here to play now. So, maybe mom will get some exercise in down there while she plays. There are certainly lots of things with many, many pieces. I am soon it will be a disaster. Wait until our first playdate in here, it is going to look like a tornado went through.

Washing the Driveway

Well, while daddy was busy cutting in the paint in the playroom, we came outside to paint the driveway with water. Isabel wanted to do some painting and we weren't about to give her latex paint. I gave her a couple of big brushes and a small roller brush. She was thrilled. I painted her name and was trying to take a picture quick of her by it before it dried.

We painted the playroom an aqua color. Yesterday I had taken down the wallpaper border & primed the walls. I was really hoping to have gotten to that sooner, but that was where we stored everything I packed last summer and there was A LOT packed in there. So, daddy started the cutting in and I went down and helped while she napped and now it is all finished. I will try to get a picture of her in it this weekend.


I would draw things on the driveway with chalk and she took it as her job to "wash" it all off. I asked her if she wanted to walk to the mailbox with me and put letters in there (which she normally loves) but she responded, "No mommy, I want to wash." I guess next time I want my floors mopped I will just have to draw on the floors and she will wash the floors for me.

On a completed unrelated note, we've been doing cloth diapers. I figured I had bought them before she was born and we did the cloth thing for about 2 weeks and then put them aside. So, I decided I was sick of buying diapers and thought it might help when we start the heavy-duty potty training, which it seems to because now after she pees she is saying she peed and is starting to want to be changed right away. I don't do cloth at night though because it just doesn't absorb enough.

We don't have much planned for this weekend, which is ok. There are a couple things we may go do, like go to Oxbow park for Children's Zoo Hour tomorrow and we might go hiking at River Bend Nature Center and we'll probably go to church. The only real thing we have planned is to go have cocktails with our neighbors on their deck tomorrow after naptime. I miss sitting on their deck having cocktails. As much as I miss our friends in WI & daddy misses his job, we are glad to be back.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Outside with Daddy

We got a lot of rain last night & this morning (& this evening again). We really needed it because things were really dry here and the river. Daddy & Isabel went outside to play in the yard & i n the puddles while I went & did some grocery shopping. Daddy starts his new job tomorrow.

This evening we went to a community dinner at a church we are trying out (link on the sidebar). So far it seems like a good place for us. Every Wednesday, they do a community dinner where they have food there for members that want to come and then after that is a 30-minute intergenerational service and after that is an adult bible study. On Sundays they have a regular 60 minute service where the little ones go into the nursery and the older kids stay until half way and then leave. On Sunday we will go check out the regular service. They were all very nice there and I knew some people that go there that I used to work with.

In the picture above, daddy found her this enormous grasshopper and she is watching it hop around.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Past Week

Man it feels good to sit on our own furniture and sleep in our own bed. Isabel seems to be adjusting nicely. She has been playing quite well be herself so that we can get things unpacked, moved, and do projects. Although, today she was kinda shy & wanted to cling to mommy. We went to our first playgroup here and Isabel knew she was going to meet knew friends, but it's hard with so many new people to meet. They were all very nice, but they weren't our Moms & Tots. We miss them. Tomorrow we are going to meet with a mom & her two kids to go for a walk. Her oldest is 3 weeks younger than Isabel.

Isabel has really enjoyed having her dress up clothes out. She plays dress up several times a day. Often she is wearing the hat pictures above and quite often mommy gets a Bob the Builder hardhat to wear.

We ride our bikes to the park most days. Daddy tuned up the bikes and put the bike seat on the back of one of them and we take the long way around town to get in a nice little bike ride and end up at the park. It's such a fun park. Isabel has loved going there and loves going on bike rides. While we were there the other day a church youth group had an outing there and I asked one of the adult organizers if she recommended any of the kids for babysitting. She asked the kids and found one that babysat and lives in our town. I should ask my neighbors if they know her family; my neighbors seem to know everyone. But it will be nice to have babysitter to use occasionally.

We did talk to Isabel's old daycare provider today when we saw her at the library. Isabel & I are going to go over there for a visit in a couple of weeks. Cathy will be my daytime backup if I need someone to watch her if I have a doctor appointment or something. So, I am glad that we will have that. We really like Cathy, so I am glad Isabel can go there occasionally if needed. It won't be often at all, but it's just good to have it set up.


Here is Isabel in a couple other dress items. Check out her first pair of heels. She is learning that heels are not the easiest things to walk in.

On Friday we had a playdate with Carrie & Gavin. Isabel is not very good about sharing her stuff right now. We'll have to work on that. The other thing she has taken to doing is empasizing her "NO" with a high-pitched scream. She did that 3 times today at playgroup. It's embarrassing. She just appears so naughty when she does that and it's the not the first impression I want to make.

I went to book club tonight. A friend of mine has asked me if I was interested in joining several years ago and I had turned her down because I wasn't at the point in my life where I was interested in one, but after doing the Newcomer's book club I wanted to be apart of one, so I emailed her and got myself an invite. I think I will join the book club if they will have me. They are pretty relaxed and refer to their club name as the 4 B's (Bread, booze, books, & bullshit). Funny. BTW - this author is in our book club.

We went to check out a church this weekend but found that it wasn't the place for us. I have a couple more that I want to check out, so we will try a new one this weekend and see what we think. We had never found a church near us and had continued to drive to St. Paul to go to House of Mercy when we lived here before, but we'd really like to find one closer to us.

I have her signed up for a parent/child class through Early Childhood Family Education. That will begin in about 3 weeks. So we'll get to meet some other new people in that class. We also hope to go to storytime on Thursday evenings, which will start in about 3 weeks as well.

Well, I am tired so I am going to bed. I just wanted to get something out on the blog since it has almost been a week. I had been taking pictures, as these pictures are from 3 different days, I just never got around to posting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Days Back

Well, we have been here for two full days now. Even though we are unpacking all our stuff it still seems like we are visiting like we did the last year. I am sure after a week it will feel like we live here again. We have been doing a lot of unpacking as not only do we have the stuff we brought back from WI to unpack but all the boxes (there had to be about a hundred, seriously) packed in the basement that were waiting to be moved.

We decided to do a little room rearranging to fit our current lifestyle better. So, now we have a guest room by the other rooms and what was the guest room is being made into the office. And the guestroom in the basement is going to be made into her playroom as soon as I get all the boxes moved and unpacked from there (it's where I was storing them.)

She has so many toys and big Little Tikes things that I didn't want them taking up all of the room between the kitchen & living room, which is what we were using as her playroom. We'll still have toys in there, just not the bulk of them. Plus, it will be good for the playroom to be in basement so then she can play while I am in the workout room. Since I won't have a gym membership (as the gyms around here don't have childcare) I better use the gym equipment that I have.

So, we have been moving furniture & installing new light fixtures and will soon be doing some painting. Today we took a trip to Lowe's to check out roofing & windows. In a day or so they will have someone out here to do a final estimate for the windows and we will get the last 5 replaced (we already replaced 13 in the house over the last few years) by the end of the month or first week in September. And we hope to get the roof replaced this fall. It didn't fair so well through the winter winds and the last big storm.

Yesterday, I toured a gymnastics facility in the area that has a Tiny Tots class for Isabel. I was pleased with what I saw & heard and signed us up (until she is 3 it is a parent/child class) and it starts on September 9th. It's a 40 minute class which is probably perfect timing and we meet once a week. I am still waiting for the ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) classes to come out, as well as the swim lesson schedules. Once I see those things I will decide what else we might do. I have the fall library storytime schedules for both nearby libraries, although they might interfere with gymnastics or something else. So, we'll see.

We haven't been to our first playgroup here yet. It looks like tomorrow is the first playgroup we could attend, but I am not sure if we'll go yet or not. We might wait until next week.

Daddy did get out the bikes and inflated the tires and tuned them up as best he could. He also attached her bike seat. Isabel & I took a ride around town and went to the park to play. After going to so many parks in WI, I still have to say that this is one of my favorites. My favorite overall is still Sunset Park in Genesee, but this would probably be my 2nd fave. I had not taken her since last fall, so I couldn't remember what there was to climb as that wasn't something she did a year ago. So, I was very pleased to see all the climbing & swinging things.

Well, it's bathtime now. Daddy is gone to Best Buy to pick up something to do networking for the computers. Since we moved the office he has decided to try something different rather than figure out how to move all the cables across the house, plus he promises that I can send my pages to print to the printer wirelessly, which sounds good to me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Two Minute Mess

Last Playgroup in WI slideshow

video

So, all I have left is to the the little video uploaded . Enjoy the slideshows.

Slideshow from playing with Rachael

This is a slideshow of pictures from last weekend as well, or I guess now it is 2 weekends ago already.


video

Stay tuned for more......oooh! the Satellite guy will be here any minute now to get our stuff set up. Yeah! Back in the home of digital HD cable. I was very proud of daddy for the plan he set up for us. He managed to go with a cheaper plan because he realized that we were paying almost double for a bunch of channels that we didn't use, except one he liked and he is willing to give that up. Plus he got us free Cinemax for signing up for a contract and free Showtime for signing up for paperless billing. Heard a van door.....it's either the satellite guy or the DSL guy.

Milwaukee County Zoo

video

This is a slideshow from the previous weeked that I am just getting uploaded, stay tuned for a slideshow of Isabel with her friend Rachael and our last playgroup to the Children's Play Gallery, as well as a 2 minutes video of the girls making a mess.

Yesterday was exhausting.

We packed our storage unit into the truck in 45 minutes thanks to planning ahead how we would pack it and the strength & stamina I gained from Group Power class. Gramps would have been proud (& jealous, as he would have wanted me on the farm) to see me throwing the boxes up on the truck to daddy. I just kept them coming, no slowing me down.

Then we drove out to MN. It took is 4 hours and 35 minutes with one 20 minute stop. Good timing!

Finally, we got to our house in MN and grandma & grandpa were here to help us unload and feed us. We did get it all unloaded, but MAN! was that tiring. We will spend some time unpacking this week and figure out just where things are going to go.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Children's Play Gallery

This morning we spent about 3 hours at the Children's Play Gallery in Delafield. Isabel just loves that place. We got there earlier than our playgroup & before any other customers really and had the place all to ourselves for the first half hour. We made a lot of art projects (although I forgot them there - oops!) She had so much fun. This was our last playgroup in WI and we move on Sunday. We plan to be back in October, so we hope to attend a playgroup or two then.

It was fun watching her play. She is really starting to get into pretend play. I will have a slideshow to put on here when we have hi-speed once again. It was cute watching her play in the pretend kitchen. She was washing all her fruits & veggies before cooking & serving them. I didn't even know she watched me do that. It's amazing just what things they learn from watching us even if we never have them do it. Then she was using the pretend microwave and pushing all the buttons after she put the food in & closed the door. It was a wooden one, so it's not like the buttons did anything as they were just paint. I have never actually let her use the microwave, she just observes.
Here is another picture of Isabel with her playgroup twin. There was matching princess dresses there, so her mom & I put the girls in them so I could take a picture of our twins.

I think we may check out our first playgroup in WI on Wednesday. If they are half as wonderful as the ladies in Moms & Tots, then I am going to be so pleased.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Her First Movie

Today I took Isabel to see her first movie and she did great. I really wasn't sure if she would be able to sit through the intro stuff & previews and then an hour and half movie. But I think between the popcorn and the big screen in the dark, it was enough to keep her attention.

We saw the movie Space Chimps. It was part of the Marcus Theatres Kids Summer Film Series. Actually, it was the very last day of the summer film series. The theatre was packed and they had 3 screens showing the movie. We met my cousin Heidi there and three of her kids. It was such a good deal; $2.50 a person to see a movie & some popcorn (which was a pretty good sized.)

So, I am glad that taking Isabel to her first movie was a pleasant experience. I wonder if the theatres nearest us in MN do that during the summer. Guess I will have to wait until next summer to find out.

Yesterday we spent quite a bit of the day with our cousin Jeff and that was nice.

Tomorrow we will go to our last playgroup here in WI. We are going to the Children's Play Gallery. We move on Sunday, so we might try to go check out the Milwaukee Public Museum on Saturday since we have nto seen that yet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sunday

I seem to be playing catch-up with this blog lately. I suppose it's because dial-up in a PITA. Well, we are all set for DSL to be installed (as well as Dish Network) on Monday between 8-12am. Daddy got both of them set up for the same time & same day, which is great.

Anyways, on Sunday morning the three of us went to the Mke Cty Zoo one last time while we were here. We saw many animals and also checked out the stingray & shark exhibit (it's an additional cost to see that.) Daddy & I were both able to touch one and Isabel was more interested in just sticking her hands in the water. We also rode on the carousel. Isabel likes to do one of the rides while we are there and this had the shortest line, so we did that. Plus she was asking for it anyways. I am glad she didn't ask for the train instead, because that had a much longer line and we would have been waiting for a while and waiting with a toddler is not fun.

In the evening we went to the house of our friends, John, Lori & Rachael. Rachael is Isabel's best friend and she is going to really miss her. Hopefully they will come out to visit with us, but otherwise we will be back this fall for a visit. We will miss all our other friends, but we spent quite a bit of time with them and babysitting Rachael and it just helped them foster such a cute little friendship. Anyways, they made a scrumotious dinner for us and the girls played a lot and then the girl rode bikes (well, Rachael rode, Isabel just sat with her feet on the pedals while we pushed) and we went to the park to meet some of our other friends for a community ice cream social.

When I am back in the land of high speed I will have a couple of other slideshows to upload and a little video of the girls making a mess.

Yesterday we went to the Y and then went to Pizza Hut for their lunch buffet with a bunch of our friends. In the afternoon (after a short nap in the car) we did some shopping. Today we decided to take a very relaxed morning (we weren't out of jammies until almost 11am) and skipped our last Nature class and then went & did shopping at one other place to get some things to work on a gift for Isabel's soon-to-be baby cousin, and then we went for lunch together. She actually has been good to go out to lunch with, as long as there isn't a long wait for food.

Yesterday I was also busy on the phone cancelling dental appointments here and scheduling new dental, eye dr., and regular doctor appointments back in MN. We got the garbage, cable & internet set up, house taken off the market, and I talked to the director of a gymnastics program about a class for Isabel. Since we won't have the Y anymore we'll have to seek out classes somewhere else & mom will have to start using her gym equipment.

Tomorrow we both have our last classes at the Y and then are having lunch with our dear friends Luanne, Lucie, & Henry. We will miss them too. Isabel plays so well with Lucie and I think it is so cute how she says her name because it's almost sing-songy.

We have already paid the dues for a moms group in the MN area and are on their yahoo groups page and are starting to get to know everyone. They seem to have a big, active group as well.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Art Museum Slideshow

video

As promised....here it is....

Slideshow from Stonefire Pizza

video

Here is an Avocado Dip recipe that my friend Lori made that is very yummy!

Avacado Dip
1 - 15 oz can white corn

1 - 15 oz can black-eyed peas

2/3 C cilantro, chopped

2/3 C scallions, diced

1/2 Lg. tomato, diced

4 avocados, chopped

Combine above ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing mixture below:

1/4 C olive oil

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

2 cloves minced garlic

3/4 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. cumin

Serve with tortilla chips. Can be served immediately.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Milwaukee Art Museum

We took Isabel to the Milwaukee Art Museum. We had checked out the book A is for Art (I blogged about it this winter) and had been reading it and brought it along with us to do a scavenger hunt of sorts. I have a slideshow of the pictures we took. We ended up buying the new edition of the book which had a few changes. There were a couple of things that weren't on display and something that we missed in the new book that was not in the old book. I am glad we had the book with us because Isabel found it much more interesting to look for the things in it's pages. There were a few things that she recognized on her own (like the porcupine pictured below) and she was very excited to see them. We took pictures of everything so that she can look at her book and also see the pictures we took from seeing them in person.

I do highly recommend getting the book when you bring a child to the musuem.


I think she had a fun time.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Lisbon Community Park

We met some from moms & tots from our playgroup at Lisbon Community Park today. We had not been here before. Afterwards, Isabel & I went to Noodles & Co. for lunch using a certificate she got from her reading program. We shared a bowl of beef stroganoff. And because they were super busy and didn't think to bring us an extra fork with our extra plate, I just used chopsticks. Then she, in turn, only wanted to use chopsticks and was trying her best to use them correctly but found it was best to just stab the noodles instead. Neither one of us ended up using the only fork.
We have been keeping busy, but I just haven't been taking pictures that much lately. On Monday, we found out we are moving back to MN, after we did our Y classes. We will move our stuff from the storage unit back to our house next Sunday. On Tuesday we went to hangout with our friends Aaron, Sam & Sydney and did some canning with them. We made basil jelly & dill pickles. On Wednesday we did our classes at Y and then we went to our friends Elizabeth, Sofia, & Thomas's house for lunch & play. Yesterday we had a playdate with our friends Carrie, Leah, & Ryan and then went to the library. And well, today, you read about the park. We wanted to go swimming at a beach at a county park today, but I don't think it is going to happen as Isabel is taking a long nap.

Tomorrow we plan to go to the Milwaukee Art Museum and then to the company picnic of the cousin we are staying with. On Sunday we were thinking we might head to the zoo one last time and then in the afternoon we have plans for dinner with some friends and then heading to a park in Oconomowoc for an ice cream social.

Next week is filling up quite a bit as it is our last week here and we are trying to hang out with friends as much as possible before we leave.

This past week I have been looking up stuff for Isabel & I to do. I found that MOMS club that just started when we moved away and sent in my check and got on their Yahoo Groups page so I can see what is going on & planned. I contacted the libraries in the area and found out what day/time their storytimes start. I emailed the person in charge of ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) in our town and told her we were back and to let us know when the schedule is out for classes (this woman will also be Isabel's preschool teacher next year as long as we send her to that preschool.) I updated the sidebar on the blog with links in the area in MN.

We do plan to be back in Oconomowoc the last week in October as we have a week booked at Olympia. It will just be Isabel & mommy making that trip, as daddy will need to be working. Auntie Phanie is due to have her baby that week, so if all works out nicely she will and we can go see her & the baby.

So, that's the down-low.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Friday at the Park

Yesterday evening we brought dinner to the park and played. Isabel didn't eat much as she was mostly interested in playing. But we all had fun. We spent a lot of time climbing and having races down the 3-person slide with all 3 of us. She got a kick out of the fact that all 3 of us could go down at the same time. And I am sure I have nice bruises on my hip from wiggling them in the slide; I bruise so easily that doing stuff like this makes me look like I am a battered wife.

There was so much stuff to climb here that it was great. She loved it. We will definitly be back.

In the morning we went with some friends to the Mke Cty Zoo. That was nice, but it was very hot and humid. Isabel was kinda interested in the animals but was more interested in jumping off the curbs and hanging from railings.

Not sure what our plans are for this weekend. They might involve going to church and going to a birthday party.

We are still kinda in limbo as far as our housing/job decisions. We hope that on Monday it will all be settled, or it might not be and we'll be stuck with all the same questions.

Thursday

These are a couple of pictures from Thursday. We stayed 'home' pretty much most of the day. We did a little yard work, did some exploring, and some driveway chalk art. And in the afternoon we got out & did a little shopping.