Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ice Skating


I took Isabel skating today at the Faribault Ice Arena. I don't think she really remembers skating much last year, which I think we did three time. Anyways, she had so much fun. She didn't even mind that she kept falling down. This year, I think she has the gross motor skills to be able to actually learn how to skate.
I saw that the warming house is up at the park, now we just need to find out what the house are for that so that we can go skating during the warming house hours. When we were sledding we had seen that they were putting ice down, but were not quite finished.
This winter (& probably next) I have to take advantage of any opportunity we have to go outside since we won't be able to do these things with Henry in tow.
We had a lot of fun skating and will definitly try to go to the arena a couple more times if we can.
Last year I bought her skates since we were going to the snow park in town and there is no skate rental there. They were the smallest left at the store, so I just added extra socks & crocheted slippers. They are still too big for her this year, so an extra pair of socks were necessary. It would be nice if they fit perfectly next year and we get another year's use out of them.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Isabel was up at her normal bedtime, but mommy & daddy really wanted to sleep longer. But we felt bad about making her wait longer, so we got up and let her open presents.

When she came down she first looked for the stockings and was SOOOOOO Disappointed and said "Where did our stockings go?" in a very sad & worried voice. I told her, well, looks like they were too heavy with so many toys that they would fall down, so he put them by the tree. Then I proceeded to get the gleefulness and giggles I expected.

In her stocking there was many, many items including bubble bath, candy, coloring book, hairpieces, princess puppet, stuffed animal, toothbrushes, a new flashlight, play-doh, a travel toiletry bag. He also got her a new game for her computer and a set of walkie-talkies.

She opened the presents to the entire family to share and those were a Snow White DVD and the Chutes & Ladders game.

Also, dolly was not forgotten by Santa (she told me last night that dolly had been naughty during the day so he might not bring her anything, but she started listening at night, so maybe he would bring her something -- really, she was talking about herself because she didn't listen very well at church earlier, but then started listening afterwards.) Dolly got a new dress & costume accessories.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve


We opened presents from each other tonight. She was very thankful and loved the homemade presents (princess cone hat & magic wand, mittens for her & dolly, leg warmers, & pillow & blanket for dolly) I made for her. Other presents she got were a couple of books, a new book for her Leap Pad, her Christmas pajamas, a strawberry shortcake doll, a travel Hungry Hippos game, and Don't Break the Ice game (from her friend Rachael). She also enjoyed opening Henry's presents for him and showing them to him.

Christmas Eve Day

We let the kids open their big presents from us this morning. I figured - why not? Plus they both had "some assembly required" and this way the assembly was out of the way and they could really enjoy these presents all on their own.

Isabel got a motor workshop and she LOVES it. It requires a ton of batteries for all the electric tools, but the drill really works & has a screwdriver attachment and she can use that to replace & remove the screws, plus to make the motor run. It is really a very fun toy and daddy is impressed with how well she does with the tools.

Henry got a 5-in-1 activity center that goes in different positions depending upon what level they are playing at and it turns in to an activity art desk on the flip side. Very cool.

The rest of the presents to each other will be opened this evening.
Isabel & I spent some quality time outside playing in the 8 inches of snow we got last night (on top on the many inches we already have and the MANY more we are supposed to get the next few days.) We made a compacted trail for sledding in the hill, made a snowman, started making a snowfort, & had a snowball fight. It was fun. The dog kept trying to runoff with our stick arms.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pictures & More Pictures

These are a collection of pictures the preschool teacher took and gave to us yesterday, so I made a little collage. They are from throughout Sept-Dec. You can tell that the one in the middle is from September (well, maybe October since we had a warm one) and she is wearing short sleeves. The group picture is her class with a 3rd grade class. One of the 3rd grade classes has adopted their class and have come in twice now (Oct & Nov). The 3rd graders make puzzles that they bring in to do with their preschool friend (Isabel's 3rd grade friend is Malory) and then they read them a story. I think it's a great thing for both classes. And the bottom 2 pictures are from the first Thursday in December (I know this because it's the only time she wore this dress there and that afternoon she met Santa #1.)
Isabel got this set with a couple fairies from godfather uncle Tony & Aunt Carol for Christmas. She loves it. Thanks!

Isabel's preschool class did a short Holiday Program on Tuesday. It was about 15 minutes long and they we were all invited for juice & cookies. It was very cute. They all wore reindeer antlers they made and sang about 6 songs (most of which I don't know.) Then the kids got to leave with the parents and the teachers gave them each a xmas gift (a book.)




This was tonight. Isabel's advent calendar said she got the "Sing Christmas Carols" today. She was kinda let down and said, "Oh (with a sad tone), we can do that tomorrow." I told her I would come up with a way to make it fun and she was the one who asked if we could go out caroling. So, I thought, why not.
She has been in love with carolers since we first saw them at Cashwise. She danced while they sang and she thought it was great and professed that when she grew up she wanted to be a caroler. Then we saw the OHS carolers twice (of course she danced for them too). And then there were carolers in the play we saw this weekend.
So, anyways, we went caroling. I told her we could go to two neighbors's houses and sing 2 songs at each (then it was time to get back for bathtime & bedtime). We brought along instruments (bells & a maraca) which I thought we would play, but turned out she made them play. After we were done singing she says "Now do I get my treat." Of all the things she learned from the play was they the carolers were invited in for cookies when they were done singing. All of our wonderful neighbors obliged and gave her treats. I have a feeling she thinks Caroling is the December equivalent of Trick-or-Treating in October.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Presents & Play

Today, al four of us went to see 'Twas the Night Before Christmas at Stages Theatre. It was a nice play, it was from the point of view of how Clement C. Moore came up with the idea & words to the famous poem.
We had our Christmas celebration with daddy's side of the family tonight. Lots of yummy, yummy food. And lots of gifts. Everyone was very generous. Isabel had a good time and was very well behaved. When we asked her what her favorite gift was she said it was the Dora snacks, which were something she won as part of the dice game. I don't know why we buy big & expensive presents because she is happy with simple items. But I am sure she will absolutly love the other presents once she gets to play with them and use them. She is wearing her new princess nightgown and princess socks to bed tonight.


Yesterday she got presents in the mail from her godmother Jessi. I picked up the mail when we were on our way to a playdate and she wanted to open them right away, so we sat in the car in the driveway for a while so that she could. Thanks Jessi! She loves all the items you gave her. She says the stocking she is giving to her baby dolly so that she has one for Santa to put presents in. If anyone reading this doesn't already know, her baby dolly IS part of this family if you ask her.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seasonal Fun

Isabel & I had a lot of fun sledding today at the park. What a difference a year makes because now she wants to go down the steepest part of the hill and go down by herself. And 3 out of every 4 times she would walk up herself and not ask me to pull her. We had a lot of fun, but we won't be able to do this as often since Henry is so little. Daddy has to be home to stay with Henry. And since daddy accepted a part-time position (started yesterday) there will be fewer days.

While we were there we did see that they were putting down ice for the rinks. She really wanted to go skating. I am hoping she will enjoy that more this year too and get a little better at it. Daddy doesn't particularly enjoy skating or sledding, so he is off the hook this year, maybe even next year. Good thing mommy enjoys them.

We played in the park for a while too. She had fun. A person can slide really fast down the slide when you are wearing snowpants.

So, this was Santa #3. She told him "I want you to bring Henry a shovel for when he grow'd up and I want a new game for my computer." It was very sweet that she thought of Henry first.



They had 6 different craft stations. She did them all. She loves crafts. She didn't want to go over by Santa until she had finished all her crafts first. You can see some of them in the background of this stocking one that she is doing.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Fun

Yesterday we made the tortilla snowflakes. It was an excellent activity that kept us in the holiday spirit with using minimal ingredients that was simple to create and healthy to eat. It was a good activity for her to practice her fine motor skills of cutting with a scissors.

Today we made these reindeer ornaments. We each made our own for the tree and she made an extra one to give to Godfather Tony as part of his Christmas present. I gathered all the pieces and did the cutting and applied the hot glue, she had to assemble the reindeer. So, it was a collaborative event.
Tomorrow we have a holiday party for our ECFE to go to where she will meet Santa #3. Last year they had several crafts, so hopefully daddy will be able to come with us to this event so that in case Henry is awake & needs to be held there is still someone to help her.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thank You Kendra

My dear friend Kendra sent Christmas presents for all of us. I thought about waiting until Christmas, but daddy thought otherwise and Isabel was so excited we got presents in the mail. We love them. Thanks Kendra.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Our Family

Isabel drew these pictures of the top two (L to R) are daddy & mommy, the bottom to (L to R) is Isabel and Henry. She just started drawing people last weekend. She is doing really good. She did these all by herself. She also started practicing writing her letters.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Happy St. Nick's Day! (cute story at the end)

This was the perfect opportunity to get her to practice writing, which she has been resistant to do up until this point. The five words she wrote on here (if you can't tell) (in order) are Santa, Paddle, Bear, Ball, & Isabel. Notice the girl sticker by her name & boy sticker by Santa. That was her idea.

She asked for things that are broken, her paddle & ball set (she'll get at xmas) and a bear (w/ 2 eyes as hers lost one). She got a bear for St. Nick's day, compliments of Fleet Farm on Black Friday.

Isabel has no idea what kinds of new toys out there since we never watch commercials & I recycle ads & magazines pretty quickly & avoid the toy aisles at stores. She only knows about toys by seeing then at friends' homes and seems content to just play with them there and is content with her own toys.

She was pretty excited to come see that St. Nick/Santa had come and left some presents for & Henry. She put out a gingerbread cookie & glass of water out for him with her letter (see above).

Last night she asked me how Santa gets back up the chimney since he slides down but there is nothing to crawl up. So, I told her that he uses magic sprinkles that push him up there. She told me, "Maybe they gold or brown sprinkles" so I had to check my glitter to make sure I had gold, which I did and put some at the bottom of the fireplace and what does she tell me this morning, "They're silver!" Well, no, they are gold, but with the light shining on them they kinda looks silver.

I told daddy the magic sprinkles conversation in front of her so he knew what the story was and then he references Twas the Night Before Christmas and mentioned that Santa nods his head and puts his finger alongside of of his nose to get up the chimney.

Anyways, I told her that the magic sprinkles might disappear soon (so I can vacuum them up.) And then Isabel says "Maybe they will go back up Santa's nose." I thought that was hilarious! She combined our two stories to come up with her own. I can't help but picturing Santa doing a Farmer's Blow with sprinkles coming out. Freaking hilarious!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Such a Cutie!

Well, here is Isabel & Henry with Santa #2. There will be at least one more Santa they will meet before Christmas. She didn't have any clue that this Santa was any different than the one from last night.

This Santa was at the Owatonna ECFE Holiday Party. Each kid was given a wrapped book and they had a craft for them to do and also got to decorate their own sugar cookie for cookies & milk and they also had another room with a bunch of games & toys our to play with. She had a good time.

Today we made gingerbread cookies. She enjoyed the dough when it had the molasses in (which I wasn't sure she would like), but it was when I added ginger & cinnamon that she no longer liked them. I guess I shoudl remember to make molasses cookies next year instead. She was so excited and now she is kinda disappointed she doesn't like them. While we made the dough and made the cookies she kept singing "Run, run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man."

I just thought she looked cute this morning as we were heading out the door to go to open gym gymnastics. Speaking of gymnatics, we are going to take a free class at the other gymnastics program. I am still not happy with the gymnastics coach at the current location, so we are going to try out a different one, which is at the same place we do the open gym at.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Taste of the Holidays at Cashwise

Isabel enjoyed dancing to the carolers that were singing at the store. They thought she was pretty cute. We've been singing Christmas carols at home & in the car. Her favorite songs are Deck the Halls, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells and Winter Wonderland.


Here is a picture of Isabel with Santa.

With a little assistance from daddy, Isabel wrote a letter to Santa and then decorated the letter and also painted him a picture. He seemed impressed that she did all that for him. I don't think kids write letters to actually give to Santa these days much. Anyways, you can see her giving it to him. She was VERY excited to give it to him. The decorated letter is on one paper and then a painting on a another paper and them she glued them together.


Isabel had her visit & picture with Santa when we first got to Cashwise, but Henry was sleeping. By the end of our shopping trip (& all the samples - tastes of the holidays) he was awake and we took pictures of him with Santa. Isabel was so excited to see Henry with Santa that she gave up going on her beloved penny horse so that she go with Henry. Isn't that sweet! We told her since Henry just woke up we were going to have to go home right away after he sat on Santa's lap because he would be hungry ( & HE WAS!) and she would go onthe penny horse with daddy while mommy & Henry went by Santa.

Isabel says she loves Santa and that "He's the Best!"




Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday

We did family photos ourselves on Sunday to use for our Christmas cards and give away individual photos of the kids. We wanted to have Skye take pictures, but that isn't in the budget so we will wait until this spring to have her take pictures of 4-year old Isabel and 6-month old Henry and family pictures. So, this is Isabel's 3 1/2 year old picture. I just ordered prints online to give our to family.

She wore several outfits on Sunday. She likes to stay in her jammies as long as possbile (who doesn't) and then she picked out her outfit for the day. She picked out a striped top, tights, & socks (she figured because they were all stripes that they matched) and some solid shorts. Later in the day she put on her Christmas outfit for pictures & we went out later since we were all clean & dressed up nicely.


We were quite crafty on Sunday. Well, mommy & Isabel were crafty while daddy & Henry took a nap. This first craft is a paper chain advent calendar. I found all the ideas for all three crafts online in different places, but because I closed the windows and I am sleep-deprived I cannot remember what the urls were. But you can get the idea of how these were all made by looking at them. I don't know that any had directions either. I think they were all pictures anyways. On the paper chain advent calendar (it's 25 links) we wrote activities or getting something from the candy dish or extra hugs/kisses on each of them. She still has the advent calendar I made her last year which will have chocolate in it (which reminds me, I need to put the chocolate in there tonight). These are mostly activities, which I also happened to correlate with things I already have planned, like visiting Santa or writing a letter to santa or a visit to the library, etc.Isabel helped me come up with what to write on each.


This was pretty fun & simple. It was based just on a picture and then I just googled "cone pattern" to get the larger pattern and then free-handed making it smaller to have 2 different sizes of cones to decorate. When we made this I really got to see her creativity. On the first one she put a star at the top and then proceeded to put 4 more stars on the top and then decorate the rest. The the other two she wanted them to be "different" and she put other shapes at the top of the tree.




She wanted to continue being different and she wanted to make her own design with the strips I precut. She made 2 of the cards and I did the others. I figure these cards we will use to attach to some gifts we give. She also made a bunch of stamped Christmas cards a couple weeks ago. Anyways, I have to wonder if the reason why the teacher said she had trouble following a pattern was because she wanted to be "different". She followed the pattern just fine when she made her card, but she was not happy about it. Apparently, she must have quite the artist spirit in her.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Start of the Holiday Season

This morning while daddy & Henry took a morning nap, we made puppy chow. Since we were waiting for daddy to put up the tree, she asked that we make a Christmas treat. It is very yummy and every time I walk by the bowl I grab a handful.

The kids have their own small trees upstairs in the hallway by their rooms and I let Isabel decorate hers completly, well, I put on the star & pearls. She put on the lights, garland & ornaments.

This afternoon we decorated the main level with christmas decorations and put up the xmas tree. It looks nice.


Friday, November 27, 2009

My Baby Girl

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pictures from SMM

These are all pictures that are in the slideshow (below), but I know some have a hard time viewing the slideshow so I wanted to make up some collages. There are many more pictures in the slideshow, but these were my favorites.

I have not had to go anywhere really that was just me & the 2 kids, but I came to many realizations while all four of were at the Science Museum yesterday since until he can't start solids & is exclusively breastfed. Some day soon (hopefully) I will be on my own for these activities and will have to figure it out.

Science Museum of Minnesota

video

We went here yesterday with the kids.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Crafty Girl


Yesterday was filled with crafts & projects. She & I did the snowman craft together, it makes a magnetic picture frame. She made hers and I made one for Henry. Now I just need to get some pictures of them to put in there. She also made several other "projects" (as she likes to call them) by herself. Actually, she is always making projects and going through glue like it's going out of style. I kinda wish I would have stocked up more on glue during back to school sales.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crafts & a Playdate

These are all pictures from several different days.

Since our next holiday is Thanksgiving, we have been making turkey crafts to decorate our dining room picture window. After next week we will begin our Christmas crafts.

The top picture is a toilet paper roll turkey.

This turkey hat was made tonight when we went to the Wee Pals childcare & preschool open house and Run, Yell, Tell Puppet Show (teaching kids about strangers & bad touch). It was a free event and it's a good thing to start teaching kids at this young age about being able to say no and getting permission from a caretaker before accepting anything from anyone.

Isabel got this sun catcher kit as a present from her friend Gavin after Henry was born.


Now that Isabel has been feeling well we have been working to fill up her social calendar, although it has been tricky since other kids have gotten sick. But we did have some friends over yesterday to play in the bounce house. It was nice for her to burn off some energy and play outside.



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday, November 14th

Isabel wanted me to take a picture of her with dolly.

This morning it was girls morning out. We went to Lowe's for the Build & Grow Clinic where she made a garage that came with a little car. Then we went to the open house for Tri-M Graphics and we got some snacks and got to do 3 make & takes. I let her complete them with as minimal supervision as possible. She ate the candy cane as soon as we got home & she showed daddy her craft. I don't think she realizes the snowman has chocolate in it.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday, November 8th

Here is a picture of Isabel hanging out in Henry's room as I take pictures of him. Even though all these pictures are indoors, we did get outside on this 70-degree day, but she didn't want me taking pictures of her outside. She actually hid in the closet when I told her I was bringing my camera outside. We went outside and were bug hunters. We did capture a daddy long legs and put it in her bug house. And we blew a bunch of bubbles.

Isabel thought that Larry needed to look pretty and put some of her necklaces on him. If you look closely you will see he has a pearl necklace on too.

Isabel really loves her brother. She wants to hug & kiss him all the time.