Wednesday, April 29, 2009

With Her Dolly

Since mommy was taking pictures today of herself, Isabel asked that she have a picture with Dolly. I obliged, even though we had not comber her hair yet and she has some nice bedhead going on.

Starting tomorrow she has grandma coming to stay here with her & daddy while mommy goes to visit her friend Kendra in Philly. Then it's Isabel & daddy alone for the weekend. After that, daddy take a trip to for wrk for a few days, so it's just mommy & Isabel then.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Garage Creations

This afternoon we didn't make it back into the house too quickly after going to get the mail. Isabel wanted to play outside and was eyeing up the broken down cardboard boxes I had in there waiting to go to the recycling drop-off. Anyways, after watching her try to stack the boxes against things as she tried to make a "house" I offered up my assistance and got some cissors & duct tape and we created a very crude playhouse. I would have done more, but she told me it was finished and I had to stop. Ok then.

Then she found some hammers. Actually, the hammers came out when the playhouse was constructed and she decided it needed a window and she thought the best way to put a window in cardboard was to hammer a hole in it. When that didn't work out the way she intended I offered to help cut one out, but the hammer still didn't go away and she was looking around for something to pound.
I found a piece of scrap lumber & grabbed some leftover roofing nails and started to nail nails in part way for her. She isn't really strong enough to do much nailing, so I had to do most of the work. After a couple nails I decided that we should make something rather than just hammering in random nails, and so came the birth of our homemade harp. She helped me put the rubber bands on.
When daddy came home she was VERY excited to show him. She keeps thinking it's a xylophone because of the shape.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Our Busy Friday

We had quite the fun time today. We started out by meeting grandma at the MN Zoo for a 3-hour visit today. We saw lots of animals, but Isabel was her observant, pokey self, so we didn't see everything. Actually, she was more interested in collecting sticks, leaves, pinecones, dandelions & playing in/on rocks & dirt than she was in the animas. Guess we could have just explored a new nature center. There is one near grandma & grandpa's house we will have to check out sometime (not sure how close it is, but is in their general area of the Cities.)

On the way home we stopped at our local McDonald's to pick up Red Pine Seedlings, which we now need to plant. They were giving them out today for Arbor Day. It was something they were doing in collaboration with the MN Forest Association & KARE 11, so it was just MN McD's. While we there, she got a kiddie cone & I bought some apple slices (since I can't do sweets these days w/o feeling ill.)

Once we got home, I decided we needed to wash the truck. A swear a flock of birds decided it was their personal dropping ground. So, now it may be covered in waterspots but at least it isn't bird poop. The truck sits outside, so it's going to get rained on this weekend anyways.
If you notice in the picture on the right, she decided to turn the house on me. She thought she was hilarious. Then I took the hose from her & sprayed her and they was even more funny to her.

Then I ran into the house & grabbed some water balloons we had & filled them up. She really wanted to get Molly wet with one, but that didn't happen. Poor little girl isn't strong enough to acually break a balloon when she throws it. But she did think it was hilarious when I would throw them at the ground by her and they would splash all over. When those were gone & I wouldn't fill up anymore she decided to go get the sponges we used and throw those at me, and her little play mop. She had so much fun. Too bad it's suppsoed to be mid-50's tomorrow and isn't supposed to get above 60 until Tuesday we don't hit 70 again until the Monday after that. We did enjoy these 2 days above 80 degrees.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Playing with My Software

So, I thought I would play around with my photo editing software and see what other things I can do. Click on th top picture to see what it looks like bigger, I changed the picture to be more of a watercolor. I love whe she lkes to hold my hand. Some day she might not want to do that anymore or it's too uncool to. :(

We spent 2 1/2 hours here today, by far the longest time we have spent at the nature center. We packed a lunch (half of which she ate before we got there.) We saw some pretty amazing things. We saw three different kinds of snakes. The first was a garter snake just like we have in our garden. The second was a 3.5-4 foot fox snake. I had never seen a snake like that out in the wild before. Yes, you see longer snakes in pet stores or at zoos, but never in the forest like that. What caught our attention was that it sounded like a rattlesnake (not that I have ever heard one firsthand). Anyways, we took a picture & video and when we were done we talked to people inside the interpretation center about what it was. There is no rattle on the end, it just flicks it's tale against the leaves to sound like a rattler. The third snake was a very thin, long, yellowish/golden snake. It was fast underneath the leaves so I didn't take a picture and didn't ask what kind it was, and after trying to find it online I can't. Who knows, I may have seen something rare to MN.

We didn't hike too much around the nature center because there was too much to look at: leaves rocks, flowers, sticks, & orienteering markers. For the first time she noticed the orienteering tags on trees and was facinated by them. I am not sure how many paths they have, but there were a lot of names (a different name for each path with coordinates listed). She had me read every one we found to her. We'll have to see if she pays attention to these on other trips there, if so we may have to go borrow a compass and get started on teaching her how to use it and find those markers thoughout the nature center.
It was a nice day. Accuweather says it s 86 degrees in our town. I suppose it doesn't feel that warm because of the wind, but it does feel nice. As you can see from the pictures we started out wearing light coats and by time we left we shed the coats because it had warmed from 64 to 74.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!!!

We had some friends over for an Earth Day playdate. And like last year we did planting of seeds & plants. It's a fun, hands-on activity for kids and it helps them learn to connect with nature and might just encourage our friends to grow some of their own food this year.

Last year we did the huge playgroup thing for Earth Day, but we did a huge playgroup on Friday. So, this was just a small group. We had over Caitlin, Amelia, & Gavin and Cheri, Cole & Jackie.

We planted sugar baby watermelon, cherry tomatoes, peppers, & marigold seeds and then each kid also go am Impatiens plant to plant, so they had something tangible that they could already see. Since we planted some of those seeds the other day, Isabel planted some other flower seeds and we planted a pot with some basil seeds in it.

We had a wonderful lunch of sandwiches, watermelon, carrots, chip, organic juice & leftover birthday cupcakes.
I really like when we have these morning playdates that go into lunch & we have lunch together. Otherwise, we leave right before lunch & we are hungry and still have to get home & make something. Putting lunch off makes both mommy & Isabel cranky. Plus, then the kids can play more together after we have lunch and the kids get their second wind.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gymnastics Class

Today was the last day of this session and they handed out ribbons to the kids. When Isabel got hers she whispered to me "It's exactly what I wished for." I found that hilarious that she said that. I am not sure that we're going to keep doing classes at this center anymore. I am less & less impressed with this instructor and the other instructor for this age group doesn't have any room in her classes. So, I am still debating what I want to do. We can start going to the center in the town to the south of us. It costs more than the other place and they don't have the big in-ground trampolines that Isabel loves. We already go there for open gym. The HUGE positive that the "new" place would offer is that they offer classes on a variety of days/times rather than lumping them on the same 2 days. So, we have more flexibility in our choices and they will work both now & next fall when she starts preschool (the current place might not work at all in the fall if we can't get into the full classes). So, I need to think about this.
The current place is better competitively (for when she gets older, so we could always switch back if it works with our schedule), but she probably going to be too tall to really have it be a competitive sport for her, but I could be wrong. We just like it for now because she has gained a lot of self confidence from the class and it has really helped her develop her gross motor skills.
But now that she is three, there will be other classes we can consider for her that she might like too, like Dance & Tae Kwon Do. I don't plan on putting her in too many sports, so we'll just have to see.
On the way home from class today she says, "Balloon, ba, ba, ba, Balloon, B" I asked her "Balloon, B?" And she says, "Yes, Balloon starts with B." So, that started us playing the "What Does It Start With Game?" She amazes me sometimes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

We went to the liqour store attached to our grocery store and bought daddy a bunch of beers for his birthday present. I think he was pleased with the idea.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Busy Sunday Morning

Well, after some breakfast we got to work on making a cake & cupcakes for daddy's birthday. It's technically tomorrow, but we're celebrating it for 2 days.

Then we made some Kool-Aid lemonade. She asked me 3 days ago is we could make some lemonade. I finally got around to looking in the pantry to see if we had any or if we needed to add it to our grocery shopping list. We had one packet left.

Then we planted some seeds. I tried to have her follow some sort of pattern in planting (cherry tomatoes, peppers, sugar baby watermelon, cucumber, spaghetti squash & marigolds) but they are pretty random. I am going to really be testing my plant knowledge as I determine what is what later one. The tomatoes, peppers & marigolds will be easy, it's the viney plants that tend to look the same.

And we ended our morning by going to River Bend Nature Center for their annual Maple Syrup Pancake Brunch. We went for lunchtime and filled up on pancakes & sausage. The maple syrup is stuff that they harvest & make there. It was yummy.
Next week we have our typical busy things. The one special thing we have planned is our Earth Day playgroup. We invited 3 friends to come over and we will be reusing plastic containers to start seedlings in and transplant flowers to. Plus I made up little bags of other seeds & print off instructions for their mommies to take home and help them start a garden this year.
It seems like more people are interested in learning about gardening this year them ever before (in my lifetime). I think the rise in fuel & food costs last year kinda got some people spooked and made them think about things, as well as all the layoffs this year. You know, some food prices never did come back down when fuel costs came down.
Anyways, not sure what else we will plant. Isabel asked if we could plant carrots like Curious George did. I have never really done carrots and I am not sure she has the patience for them. I think beans & peas & lettuce will be good crops for her to help out with. They grow relatively quickly and are above the surface and she can harvest sooner and see the actual vegetable.
She doesn't like raw tomatoes, although she keeps on trying them when she sees them. I am sure this summer will be no different. She'll want to try them jus because she wants to help pick them and then realizes she doesn't care for them.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our Juicy Juice Playgroup Party

We were accepted by to do a Juicy Juice Playgroup. They sent us (all free) bottles of their new lines of juice, cups, napkis, tablecloths, and then supplies to put together wonderful goodie bag for the kids. The goodie bag consisted of a reuseable shopping bag, BPA-free sports bottle, mini-playing cards, growth chart, coupon, & activity book. It was such a great party.

I think we had about 9 moms and 15 kids here. It really was a lot of fun. We got the bounce house out (our 2nd time using it) and that was a HUGE hit. And dragged out all the outside toys. There was plenty for everyone to do. Plus I had out Auntie Annie's Cheddar Bunnies, animal crackers, jelly beans, and some other beverages.

Isabel knew all week that she was having a party with her friends and kept asking if that day was the party. Although, as much as mom likes the big parties like this, I think Isabel gets a little overwhelmed by so many people.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Being Creative

Yesterday we picked up an unfinished birdhouse & some paints, so today she wanted to paint her birdhouse. And then kept painting. She made a picture & painted her bunny mask too.
This morning she saw the camera sitting out and asked me to take pictures of her. Sometimes she can be such a ham and then there are other times where she tells me to put the camera back in my pocket.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Want a Picture with Bunny!

This morning when we were taking a picture of Isabel with mommy, she told me "I Want a Picture with Bunny!" So, I obliged. The tripod was already set up with the camera on it, so all I had to do was hit the button a couple times. It made her happy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Finally! It's Spring!

We got outside some to play today with some yard toys. The first picture is of a homemade kite she made. She's been into makig kites lately. Hopefully it stays nice all week because on Friday we have a big playgroup here and I am hoping to keep everyone outside & get the bounce house going.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Here is Isabel, Blake, & Jayden donning bunny ears. Aren't they cute?!?!?! Next year we'll have to have space for one more picture.

Busy Easter Weekend

We went to WI by mommy's family. The whole family was there, which was nice. Isabel got a chance to see her younger cousins. She was very good with Jayden, which was comforting to see. While we were there we kept quit busy. The top picture is of coloring Easter eggs. Isabel & mommy did most of them, but daddy helped some as well as Auntie Phanie (I love hearing Isabel call her Phanie!!) and Jayden (more of a photo op thing.)

This morning she & Blake had an Easter Egg Hunt in the front yard at grandma & grandpa's. Well, Isabel & Auntie Razz had an egg hunt, Blakers just ran around. Isabel was so excited for the egg hunt that she was ready about 15 minutes before Blake was ready to go out. Uncle Al had to entertain her on the deck for a while and as soon as she heard it was time to go, she was off like a shot. I hd to run to get out there to take some pictures.

Here is Isabel with the Easter Baskets she got. Grandma & Granpa filled an RK Easter Basket (see below) for each of the grandkids. And when Isabel got home she found that the Easter Bunny had filled her basket that she had left out. She seemed most exicted about the "sugar bunnies" in her basket & the toothbrush. Funny girl. Anyways, she also got an Easter Basket from her other grandparents last weekend when we had brunch with them. She loves the Color Wonder set but still doesn't get that it takes about 5 seconds for the color to show up, not instantly like regular markers. She then gets frustrated and gives me the marker and tell me to use that color while she tries another and the same things happens again & again. We might just have to stick to regular markers (rather than the CW kind) for a while.

Here Isabel was helping grandma make Rice Krispie Easter baskets. Isabel loves to help in the kitchen or with crafts, I suppose that is because I do so much of both of them with her.

Here Isabel is helping grandma make this bunny craft. I forget what they are called (boo boo bunnies, perhaps). Anyways it's a washcloth made to look like a bunny with space to put an ice cube in the body of it to use when a kid needs to apply ice.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009

Allergic to Body Excretions?

My poor little girl. I think she is allergic to her body excretions in general. As a baby, I had to change her within 5 minutes of a poopy diaper or she would start to get welts on her rear. She would turn pink-faced right away with drool and easily developed drool rash (it just seemed to appear out of nowhere after a little drool.) Now, check out her face. She has had an awful runny nose for over a week now. She is having a hard time shaking this head cold. She has been taking 3 hour naps, and today was no exception. It was actually closer to 3.5 hours today.
She has this scabby sore nose, but this morning she woke up with a rash on her face (right under some dried snot). I am sure she wiped her nose a couple times and spread it all over her face and it sat on her face and caused a reaction. There are no bumps anywhere else on her body. I put some hydrocortisone on it this afternoon, so we'll see if that helps.

Caribou Wild Berry Smoothie

Yesterday while daddy was taking a longer nap, we snuck out of the house and went to Caribou Coffee and got a Wild Berry Smoothie to share. I got one of these a couple weeks ago and let her have some and she loved it. After she was done drinking, she kept twirling (dancing) around the store to the music they were playing. She's been in love with twirling in a circle lately.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt & Meeting the Easter Bunny

We had a couple of options of Easter Egg Hunts to go to. We decided to go to the one an area ECFE was having that was INDOORS. Indoors was the clincher. They had games to play, coloring sheets, a craft (which we never got around to), meeting the Easter Bunny, and hunting for eggs.
They had 3 huge piles of shredded paper that eggs were hidden in. Isabel loved playing in there. First se found her eggs & then turned temin for her goodie bag, but later we went back just so she could throw the paper and make huge piles to jump in.
She also met the Easter Bunny. She is timid around the Easter Bunny, but not completly scared like she is of Santa. She had to quick color a picture (before we left home) that she wanted to give to the Easter Bunny, which she did. She gave the bunny her picture, shook her hand, and stood by her for some pictures (but couldn't get a smile out of her.)
Poor girl has a big scab on her sore nose as a result of her headcold the last week.
She actually just fell asleep while I was typing this up & I had to take a short break to carry her up to her room. My little girl is so tired that she actually stayed asleep. Normally she doesn't transfer well and normally she won't fall asleep unless she is in her bed. She's still recovering from that head cold.
After the Easter Egg Hunt we went out for brunch, which was nice. Tomorrow, we are supposed to go by grandma & grandpa for brunch at their house, but we are supposed to get 6+ (up to a foot depending upon how north the storm tracks) inches of snow through tonight into tomorrow morning. They said on the weather last night that tomorrow morning is supposed to be the worst, guess we'll see.
We'll be spending Easter in WI with mommy's family.