Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snow Fun

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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

December Themes: Colors

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

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

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

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

Winter Holiday Slideshow

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

Visit to Santa & the Grocery Store

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Today's Projects

Mommy's Project
Well, instead of cleaning the house for our Thanksgiving weekend visitors that are coming, I got a bug up my butt to make an Advent calendar. Last year we bought one of those paper ones with the chocolates in them, and even though that was nice, you still have to go buy one year after year. I wanted to make this nice wooden box-type one like Target has for sale for $30, but I didn't really want to spend that kind of money buying one and don't have time to make that elaborate of one. So, I started looking around the internet for ideas last night (when I should have been in bed sleeping, and I should be there now instead of typing this post.) So, I went down to the basement and uncovered my sewing machine and dug out some fleece and started cutting & sewing. Things didn't go exactly as planned because I can't cut the straightest and I think I need to get my sewing machine tuned, as it would skip random stitches (or maybe I should just buy a new one since I bought this well-loved from daddy's grandma, but I don't sew enough to justify buying a new one....anyways....) It kept becoming a bigger & bigger project as I tried to fix machine mistakes or my brain's mistakes. Don't be too critical as this was supposed to be a one hour quick project (but was longer) and it not some family heirloom. It's just meant to be fun for next month. So, after some more cutting, glueing and painting, I am finished and it is ready to be filled with treats for December. Everything I used for this was stuff I already had here, so I didn't spend a penny on it.

Bel's Projects

Isabel made these at ECFE class tonight. It is a piece of pumpkin pie & a turkey. You can't see the turkey body she colored because she painted over it. I love how when we take these classes these teach the kids how to do something (like paint) in a different way. The painting on the turkey was done with a long piece of string that was dipped in paint & taped to a popsicle stick. You held onto the stick and dropped or dragged the yarn on the plate.

We also went to storytime this morning and checked out some more books. Normally we gymnastics on Tuesday mornings and we go to storytime on Thursday evenings, but due to the Thanksgiving week, both were cancelled this week. So, plans changed.

Now, I really need to get myself to bed because I have a bunch of cleaning to do before Lori, John & Rachael get here for Turkey Day. Plus I have some food prep to do as well.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Her Big Girl Room

Well, it is mostly complete now. I still have a few more things to hang on the wall, some of which I need to wait until my order comes in. And I also need to touch up the paint in a few spots.

I did A LOT of work on this room. Daddy helped some, but the bulk of it was me. It was my priority, so I was the one to do it.

Those of you who have been to our house know that the window area has a lowered ceiling. So, in that area I painted it pink. I also painted some dowels & hung those with sheers (just in those short segments) to give it the feeling of a separate room. Isabel figured out that right away and would unhook the sheers and say she was in her house. The rest of the room I painted purple. The colors are named Purplicious & Pleasing Pink. I had to prime all the wall and had to prime & paint all the trimwork and baseboards white. It was was quite an undertaking.

I also primed & painted the dresser (& installed new hardware), the side table (next to the chair) and chair (which I also recovered with the purple fabric.) I put together the headboard, which is made up of pieces from her convertible crib. I am still on the lookout for a full-size iron headboard, but we have plenty of time before we need to use the crib again because I am not even pregnant yet. We also ordered the new bed last Sunday and I picked it up last night.

I also painted the wooden letters that spell her name and made two other wall hangings pictured. I also hung new roller shades (not pictured) and curtain rods & put up the new valances. Oh, and the purple & white rug was actually two smaller rugs that I stitched together to make one big rug with some heavy duty thread.

Daddy helped by removing the wallpaper border, helped me finished with a bit of wall priming, helped move furniture, hung he canopy & did some electrical work in the room.

There is also another area/throw rug at the foot of the bed that you can't see.

You just have to come see this room. It is just so darn cute. Isabel loves it and she already slept in her big girl bed last night. Her nightstand is new too, although that was already white, but daddy & I did have to assemble it. Other that the toys & toybox, most of these things were new or not being used. So, by repainting things and making my own decorations and reusing a few other things I was really able to keep the cost down on this room make over, but it take a lot of time and hardwork.

Silly Face

Daddy told her to make a silly face & he would take her picture. This is her silly face. It is based on a silly face that the monkey in a Baby Einstein book "Mirror Me" makes. The monkey sticks out it's tongue too, she doesn't do that with the face yet.

We put together her big girl room last night and she slept in there. We have a few more things to do & then I'll take pictures to post. But, i have to say that it is a very cute little girl's room.

This afternoon/evening, mommy & daddy are going to a Wild game (hockey) and Isabel gets to stay with grandma & grandpa. She'll be sleeping by the time we get home and we figured we all would just spend the night.

She is finally getting the concept of grandma & grandpa. I don't think she saw either set often enough to really understand who they were. But during the first few months we moved back to MN she saw both. When we go to WI she gets to see them for a whole weekend, so she gets a big dose of that grandma & grandpa. And grandma & grandpa in MN have been babysitting her about once a month for an evening, so she gets to see them in more frequent small doses. So, lately she has been talking about "grandma & grandpa". Sometimes stuffed animals or characters in books are grandma & grandpa, which before a few weeks ago everything was mommy, daddy & Bel. Kids this age identify everything as the same or related to them. Sometimes she will say "Where grandma & grandpa go?" or "Let's go find grandma & grandpa."

Next month (which is only a week away already!) she will get doses of both sets of grandmas & grandpas as it is the Xmas holiday

Friday, November 21, 2008

2 1/2 Years Old

Yesterday, Isabel was officially 2 1/2 years old. She's growing up way too fast. Speaking of that, she'll be in her big girl bedroom this weekend. She was a funny little girl yesterday. When she woke up she started walking down the stairs yelling, "Andy! Andy" Where's my cake?" And then later in the day we were talking about noses and I asked her "What's do you use your nose for?" Her answer was, "For my boogers." Funny girl.

This morning we went to open gym. She really loves jumping around. I took a little video of her walking on the 6" wide balance beam by herself. It's a very short video. 6" wide is larger than a competive beam, but it helps the young ones learn how to walk on it. She has to hold my hand when she walks on a 4" one.

Monday, November 17, 2008


This morning we went to the gym so I could do back-to-back classes (I think in the future I will just do one.) Anyways, afterwards we went to the grocery store to buy a turkey for next week. We are very excited that our friend Lori, John & Rachael are coming from WI to visit us for Thanksgiving weekend. Anyways, this particular grocery store has a horse you can ride on for a PENNY! That's right, a ride for a penny. Nothing costs a penny anymore, actually the only thing I ever remember costing a penny was penny candy (the bar down the road for us sold penny candy and when we were old enough to be allowed to walk down the road by ourselves we would occasionally go there to buy penny candy - until the bar was torn down.)

Anyways, back to the grocery store. It's so great that it only costs a penny because I can let her ride on it a couple times and she just has a blast. Frequently this grocery store has samples around the store. The bakery usually always has small whole cookies (during bakery hours) out to sample. Isabel loves that. Their video store also "rents" kids videos for free. We haven't done that yet, but it is something we can always do with her if we are looking for a free & fun activity. Between a free cookie, penny horse rides & free kids videos, it is a parents idea of a great activity to do with the kids.

Isabel has increasily become infatuated with horses & riding them. She has never been on a living horse, but everything she can imagine to be a stick horse, she rides on. Even a slotted spoon has become a horse, long stick of mega blocks, a broom, a cat toy get the idea. I am glad she has an imagiation and that is evident when she imagines everything is a horse. It may have started when she was an infant and we would have her ride on our foot/ankle as we bounced her up & down and said it was a horse.

The only thing is that she thinks you say "Nee-haw!" on a horse......I try to correct & tell her it's Yee-haw and she will repeat it correctly once but then forgets and reverts bak to Nee-haw! again.

Next summer when we take her to Bay Beach when we visit grandma & grandpa we will have to take her on the ponies. I think she will do great on a pony, but I think an actual horse will scare her.

I never understood why there were always references to little girls loving horses & ponies. I have no recollection of being obsessed with horses or ponies, although I remember my cousin Lori and friend Rebecca were pretty obsessed with them when we were in grade school. Now I have a daughter who is in love with horses.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fall 2008 Portrait Session (a couple more)

Fall 2008 Portrait Session

I just picked up our pictures yesterday from Skye (see link tothe side). I put some pictures on FB, so you can see more there. I wanted to get some on here last night but between uploading to a online printing store and uploading to FB at the same time, I couldn't upload to blogger as well. It was just takng too long. So, I will probably upload a few more on here. I am very pleased with our our pictures turned out. We have 51 pictures and each is in color, b&w, sepia, and two different photography presets. I just love them. One picture of the family will be going out with our xmas card and one of Isabel will be her 2.5 year picture. I just haven't decided which ones yet.

Daddy & I wore the same outfits through the whole photo shoot, but Isabel did a clothing change. The pink & black dress above is one that I bought for her and the white dress w/ sweater (below) is a dress that grandma made her. It actually is part of another dress, but I thought they were better as two different dresses.
This one is in the running for her 2.5 year picture. I think she looks so cute here and I love that dolly is in the picture. I brought along a lot of props/toys to make sure we had fun with this photo shoot and could get pictures of us playing. Some of the things I brought along was bubbles, hula hoop, a few pieces of dress up clothes (notice the wings in thetop picture), dolly and a few other things.

Friday, November 14, 2008

T is for Turkey

Last night we went to the "T is for Turkey" party for our ECFE. It was fun and there were tons of activities to do. Maybe to many things to do in the amount of time. So, in the picture you can see the crafts Isabel & mommy made there. They also had a few turkey themed games, a storytime, and an edible craft (made a turkey out of 2 Ritz crackers, a marshmallow, a candy corn, peanut butter, and some mini m&m's. Like most kids Isabel ate it right after she made it. Her painting her hand brow (melted chocolate) is for the handprint turkey in th craft above. Now I have some Thanksgiving decorations for the house.

In a short while we have some friends coming over for a playdate. Our large playgroup has been segmented into smaller playgroups so that we can form our own weekly small playgroup. This is our first small playgroup and I volunteered to hav it at our place.

We have some neighbor girls set up to babysit tonight (daddy & I will go out for dinner) and tomorrow afternoon (daddy & I are going to a movie). These are the same girls I tried out for an hour a piece last Friday while I was here. So, now they each get to watch her a couple hours with us gone. We wouldn't normally go out twice in the same weekend, but since we just had them come for a trial-run with me here I wanted to have them come again right away so that they knew I really was interested in having them babysit occasionally. And it turns out that other than volleyball in the fall, the rest of the year they are involved in things at different times. So, hopefully I will be able to get one of them when we need someone.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Making Felt Faces

The top pictures are of the happy face & sad face she made. I had her make the same face on her face. In the bottom picture you will see the flashcards I made as well. We used them as guides to remembering what different faces look like. That helped her a lot to be able to see those flashcards as she picked out stuff to put on her faces, otherwise she was grabbing the wrong stuff.

We made faces that were happy, sad, indifferent, surprised, & confused today. I think I made a decent assortment of eyes, eyebrown, noses, mouths, some tears & a hat too and two different heads.
This weekend we went out to Rose Street Pizzeria & Cafe for dinner on Friday. On Saturday, Isabel came with me to the gym for my Sin class so that daddy could sleep in. On Saturday afternoon, I went to the Cities to spend the aftenoon & evening with Jessi. We went to Art Attack and that was a lot of fun. Daddy & Isabel had a daughter/daddy night out. They went to the movies to see Madagascar 2 and then went to A&W for supper. On Sunday we all went to church & then grocery shopping and spent the rest of the day at home.
Today we went to the gym early this morning so I could go to yoga class. She likes the childcare there and has a lot of fun playing with all the toys. It's a good break for both of us. Then we came home & did out felt faces and played some and now she's watching I Spy and soon it will be storytime & naptime. After naptime we have friends coming over for a playdate.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Making Truffles

Well, this morning we made truffles. I had never made them before. They are easy to make, but have several steps & you can't walk away too long while it firms. Anyways, she helped by dumping the chocolate in the double boiler & staying out of the way of the mixer (she hates th mixer & runs away when I use it) and finally by helping lick the spoon and beater; I did everythin else.
So, this week we have been working on potty training. She still has lots of accidents, but is going quicker once she is actually on the potty. She is starting to realize about 2 seconds before she has to pee, that she does indeed have to pee. Otherwise she never seemed to know that. Going poop is a different story, she usually does know a little more that she has to go because she goes and crouches down somewhere to go. She did go poop on the potty once this week, but it kinda freaked her out and it hasn't happened since.
She discovered last week while in WI what my name is from listening to one of her friends call me it. Now she is saying my name all the time and will say daddys name too. So, that is good that she knows that because if she gets lost she will hopefully tell someone what her mommy's name is. She also has decided that it's funny to hide inthe next aisle at Target and yell, "Mommy, I'm hiding." Although if someone comes near her she runs back to me who had been watching over her the whole time.
Today we spent quite a bit of time playing with her Feelings Flashcards. She thought that was kinda fun because she is learning new feeling words besides happy, sad, or angry. I made up 12 different feeling flashcards. While she sits on the potty we have been reading some of mommy's parenting magazines and we go through it looking at the pictures of kids and I ask her how they are feeling.

Monday, November 03, 2008

November: EMOTIONS

Well, here is what I requested from the library:

* The Feelings: Expressing Emotions Creatively by Caryn Frye Boddie (Parenting Book)

* Jafta by Hugh Lewin

* Every Kids' Guide to Handling Feelings by Joy Berry

* Feelings by Aliki

* Something on My Mind by Tom Feelings

* I Have Feelings by Terry Berger

*Mr. Rogers: Music & Feelings (video)

*The Care Bears in the Land w/o Feeling (video)

*Hurty Feelings by Helen Lester

I have been working all through her nap to make stuff for this months theme. I have made some flashcards of 12 feelings using images from the following links:
I plan to use the flashcards as flashcards at first and then (after I go buy some more clear contact paper to laminate more) I plan to make another set to use as a memory game.

Another thing I did was take a sheet of posterboard and on one side I wrote HAPPY diagonal down the paper and we will find pictures of people who look happy in a magazine. I did this one as a whole side since it is easy to find pictures of people being happy in magazine ads; the allusion that if you buy a product and it will make you happy sells. On the flip side I wrote FEELINGS across the top and then drew quadrants that we will later label with a feeling and find pictures to fill it up.

The final thing I was working on was making some flannel board pieces. I cut out 2 heads and 4 sets of eyebrows and 2 sets of eyes using the felt I had leftover. I still need to get a couple other colors of felt so that can make some mouths and noses. But I think she will have fun with that. It's like a flat Mr. Potato Head, which we will make a point of playing with that often this month and talking about what he is feeling.

A couple books that I have here that we read today are:
My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
When Sophie Get Angry, Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween, October 31st, 2008

Well, I let Isabel pick which of her costumes that she wanted for trick-or-treating and to our church Halloween party an she picked her cow costume. She also picked out her new kitty cat Halloween treat bag that grandma & grandpa gave her.
Here is Isabel at neighbor Cindy's house, her first house of trick-or-treating for the evening. We only went to a handful of houses and the headed to the church party. They gave out a TON of candy & prizes, as well as popcorn, cotton candy, juice boxes, cupcakes, & balloons & took a picture of each kid (which we'll get at church on Sunday.) They had a lot of games for the kids to play. She loved playing "Cupcake Walk". She didn't care if she won a cupcake, she just wanted to run in a circle to the music. She they let her run around w/o actually playing to win. Although, she did get a couple of cupcakes.
Tonight I added the cowbell for her to wear/use with her costume. We received a lot of compliments on how cute she was and the addition of the cowbell. She was the only cow with a cowbell.