Friday, July 31, 2009

Days 1 & 2 at the Cabin

Currently, daddy & I are sitting in a parking lot of a restaurant using their wifi so we can keep connected to the rest of the world over the internet. Kinda sucks not having computer access.

Anyways, we got here yesterday and daddy wanted to sit out on the deck looking at the lake playing the ukelele. We had gone in to town to see some community concert that grandma & grandpa were going to, but we left after 3 songs. It was very formal, very gray, and kinda holy rollerish. I heard it got really preachy later on.
We are at the cabin with grandma & grandpa until Sunday, when they leave and we have the place to ourselves for a couple days. The water is pretty high here, so there is no beach at the cabin. So, we went to a nearby public beach so that we could play in the sand. We had a picnic lunch there too. She had a great time. She loves playing with sand & water together.

Across the street from the beach is a park and it is pretty nice and has a good variety of equipment to play on. She had a good time there as well.

Here are some pictures from at the cabin of Isabel deocrating a cake for grandma birthday today, making some crafts and picking up snail shells in the lake.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chutes & Ladders Park at Hyland Park Reserve

This afternoon, Caitlin & I took the kids (Isabel, Amelia & Gavin) to the Chutes & Ladders Park at the Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington. We spent a good 3 hours there. We had lunch in one of the picnic areas outside recreation area. If we had not done that we would never have gotten the girls to eat what little food they did choose to eat. Then we got to playing.

Isabel is in some of the above pictures, but I mainly was just taking pictures of all the different areas to show others in MOMS Club and anyone else on the internet trying to find out more aboaut this park. I found some reviews & a few pictures of this park and a short video of one small area of the park, but other than that I didn't find much in the way of pictures and what I did find did not capture just how big this play area is and how many different areas it has.

I have to say that the best feature of the park (as a parent) was that there was only one entrance/exit and the tables & benches were right there, so there was no children able to escape as long as you stayed watch in that area.

The kids had a lot of fun. The girls loved the water sprinkler feature it had. Since I read baout it, I was prepared and had suits & towels for the girls. They started out on a smaller playground set but finally got up enough courage to climb the rope and go down bigger chutes. There is also a sand play area, but they didn't play in that too much (probably since they played in the sand at the picnic area we were at).

When we got there it was kind of overwhelming. It is very large with many areas and there were LOTS of kids there. There were many summer school programs there with kids and when they started to leave it was not so overwhelming and got quieter. I am willing to guess that once kids are back in school it will not be so busy and will be a great place to take a kid to play. They still had a lot of fun.

Another great feature is that the majority playground is built over this recycled rubbery mat. So, there was not wood chips or sand or stones getting in their shoes & you could let a little one crawl around w/o having to worry about them sticking as much stuff in their mouth and it was safe to crawl around on. There was a sand area & one area with wood chips, but it was pretty well separated.

And just for my blog readers, here is a collage of pictures of just Isabel from the day. I don't like to put all my pictures on Facebook. It's nice to say some just for my faithful readers here.

Chutes & Ladders Park at Hyland Park Reserve

This afternoon, Caitlin & I took the kids (Isabel, Amelia & Gavin) to the Chutes & Ladders Park at the Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington. We spent a good 3 hours there. We had lunch in one of the picnic areas outside recreation area

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Toddler Tuesday @ the MOA

We went up to the MOA for Toddler Tuesday. Once school starts she won't be able to go to these since preschool is on Tuesday & Thursday. She doesn't remember, but I have taken her to these twice before when she was younger. Actually, I have only been to the MOA in the last 3 year the 3 times (now) that I have taken her to these events.

Anyways, the theme this week was "French Culture Day". They had out coloring sheets of animals with their name in sheet and a project to make stained (paper) glass cutouts; we only made one off those, Isabel preferred to glue the tissue paper on the cutout rather than make the stained glass. The crafts & pictures you see above are only about half of what she did. She has been a crafting machine lately.

The also gave out crepes & nutella to the kids, which was a nice snack and she loved using a knife to spread on her nutella. They also passed out copies of the first Harry Potter books to all the kids. It will be a few years until I read that to her (or she reads it to herself), but I was glad to get it, as I borrowed the frist 2 books when I read them and the rest I purchased, so now I only need to buy the 2nd one to have the complete set.

And they also had someone read a bunch of Babar books - I am guessing that is a French book - and a couple of people that did a segment of songs & words in French. She has a really great time with this.

Next we headed over to the Lego Imagination Center, but before we got there we stopped at the Rain Forest Cafe and we had to check out the aquariums in the gift shop. She was so excited about all the fish. I was happy to see that because I wanted to take her there sometime after the baby was born. The RFC will have a coupon in the new Twin Cities Entertainment Book (I follow the TCEB on twitter, so that is how I know - plus they will have a Menards coupon in there too - yeah!). Anyways, we spent about a half hour at the Lego Center before we got hungry and it was time to go snag some lunch.

We had lunch at Chipotle. They were one of the places that had free kids meals (with adult purchase) on Toddler Tuesday. Actually, other restaurants had better deals, but I never get fresh Chipotle anymore (usually 45-60 minutes later after daddy picks it up on his way home from work). She got a free small quesadilla (or one taco), which was actually perfect because she hasn't been eating big meals lately.
The last thing we did before we went home was stop at Haagen Daaz and shared a Large Caramel Chocolate Cone ice cream. Yummy!

Once we got into amusement park she was so excited to see she could meet Dora RIGHT AWAY! Her is her favorite right now. We don't actually get Nickelodeon, but we check out a lot of Dora books & dvds from the library. So, she had no idea who Sponge Bob was (or whoever the other character is with him there - I don't know) or any of the other characters that the rides were named for.

On Tuesdays they have a deal where a kid can get a 3-hour wristband for $9.95 + tax for specific rides (that are geared for under 6). There were several that she could ride by herself because she was over 36" and then a few she could ride with a chaperone because she was under 42" and the required chaperone gets to ride for free. So we went on 4 rides together, but she did 18 total, making it 22 rides for that wristband, which made it 50 cents a ride. So, that was a pretty good deal I thought. Her favortite ride was the Wonderpets ride (it's one in the bottom row with 4 kids strapped in). She went on that one 5 times in a row. She did NOT like the Rugrats bumper cars. She hated being bumped into and only went on it once. I thought if they didn't end the ride when it did she might actually start crying.
But overall, we had a fantastic time. I had not planned on the amusement park, but I still felt bad about not letting her go on one $3-4 ride (yes, one ride cost that much for her age - cripes!) at the Rice County Fair after we told her she could go on one and then changed our minds after we saw the price on one. And I doubt she'll get to go on any at the Steele County Fair for that same reason. They just cost too much. So, I figure this was a good thing for her and she was so surprised by all of this since I didn't tell her my plans until we left and we didn't decide on the rides until we got there.
In a month we will probably do this all over again because the these is "The Very Hungry Catepillar" and that character will be making an appearance. She LOVES that book, so she will have fun with it and if I have enough energy in 4 more weeks (I'll be 31 weeks pregnant) we'll go do that. I may have to talk to grandma about seeing if she is interested in joining us. I will probably only be able to do the carousel with her at that point. I think my belly will be too big to do some of the other rides.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last Monday of July

We made some recycled crafts today. The above picture is of the milk carton birdfeeder made out of an empty gallon container, sticks that were trimmed from a tree yesterday, some twine & stickers. I did the cutting & tieing. She picked out the sticks, put on all the stickers, filled with bird seed, and picked out the place to hang & hung it up (with a boost from mom). She is really excited to feed blue jays, for some reason they are her favorite bird right now.

This next picture are pencil holders that we made out of tin cans, excess fabric, adhesive, & extra trim pieces. She picked out what fabric she wanted to use on which can out of many choices I gave her, then I cut the fabric & sprayed on adhesive. She rolled the can over the fabric and then I cut the trim pieces and applied the glue and we took turn pressing down the trim (depending upon how thick it was - she didn't want to do the thin ones that might let the hot glue touch her fingers.)
She made the purple one for herself and the other 2 we made as Xmas gifts that will go to her preschool teacher & teacher's aide. I have a couple more projects we will be making to go along with the pencil holders as the teacher gifts.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crafting Day

We did a lot of crafts today, most of them as things for grandma for her birthday. We already gave her & grandpa a present when we celebrated the July birthdays earlier this month, but we will be with grandma on her birthday and everyone deserves to have something to open on their birthday as well as a cake (or some kind of dessert), so Isabel & I will be making a cake for her while we are up north with them for a few days.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Busy Days

We've had some busy, but fun days. Yesterday we started out our morning going to a Kids Summer Movie Camp at the theatre in Faribault. Seats are $2 each for the Wednesday 10am show. We saw Tale of Despeareaux. We did buy popcorn, but even buying a popcorn and these 2 admissions was the same price I paid on Monday night at this theatre for Harry Potter. Then we came home, had lunch, made some crafts & had storytime & a nap. Then we went to a birthday party for 1.5 hours, then to our church family picnic and finally to Central Park for the kickoff of Crazy Days (which is sure was for us.)

The picture above is from today when we went to the park. We got out our her old big stroller and walked there and played for about 1.5 hours, most of that was in the sand. Then back home for lunch, storytime & a nap (yes, she is taking them again pretty regularly and is sleeping less at night; she gets up earlier now which will be good for when preschool starts in the fall.) Afterwards we went to the pool for 1.5 hours, then went to Subway for supper, to the library to get new books & turn in her reading log for book prize and finally to Central Park for the 11 @ 7 concerts.

Tomorrow we have a playdate in the morning and in the afternoon we are going to Friday Fun Day Event at FPL and then to my OB appt. We will be home in time for a decent late nap.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Granddaughter Luncheon

I got the idea from this from Family Fun magazine. I thought it would be a nice thing for Isabel to be able to do with her grandma & great grandma and then thought we should also invite Isabel's 2nd cousin Olivia who lives near to enjoy the Granddaughter's Luncheon. We had lunch and made a craft together.

Grandma made us a MYO salad & sandwich buffet. Then after we ate lunch we made the craft that Isabel & I had planned for us. It was an easy one of hot glueing shells and/or polished river rock to a frame. They turned out nice. After the craft we had dessert of homemade sugar cookies & tea. Isabel & I stayed a little longer than everyone else to hang out with grandma a little longer. We made the drive up there, we might as well get to spend a little time with each other.

Tomorrow has another one of her preschool day camps. She had been asking to go to school since the last preschool day camp. So, I think she will be excited for this tomorrow & another one next week.

Sunday in the Sun

FINALLY! It was nice out and the sun was out. So, we were out there to enjoy it. We spent the afternoon at Lake Kohlmeier and went fishing and then to the beach to build sand castles. Daddy bought a fishing license & pole w/ starter kit so that he could legally fish with her. In MN, under age 14 can fish w/o a license. He thought it would make sense to do this since he hopes to go fishing at the cabin next weekend with her and maybe another time or two before the snow flies.

Then after coming home to rest for a bit & eat supper, Isabel & I rode bike up to the pool in town and went for a swim. It was a nice day.

More Comparisons

At Birth
Isabel: 21 1/4" length, 7lb. 2oz. weight, 14" head circumference
Dad: 22" length, 8lb 9.5oz weight, 14 1/2" head circumerence
Mom: 21" length,

2 Months
Dad: 25" long, 15 pounds
Mom: 22 3/4" length,

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Fall-Like July Saturday

It was a chilly Saturday in July (another day where it never even hit 70 - bah!). Daddy says he likes it, but I would have rather had it be about 10 degrees warmer (at least) and have the sun be out. Anyways, we started out our afternoon going to the Customer Appreciation Day at the Faribault Harley Davidson. Isabel liked trying our bikes with daddy. I think daddy found a cruiser he would really like to own some day.

After the HD dealership, we went to the Rice County Fair. It was really small, at least compared to what we are used to with our county fair. But she seemed to have fun. She enjoyed seeing the animals and petting the ones in the petting zoo. And she really enjoyed getting to eat cotton candy, which we still have some left.

On the way home she fell asleep. I have to take pictures of these peaceful sleeping moments and remind myself that she does slow down at some point. After a rough start this morning, she had gotten herself in a better mood and we all had a good day. She likes to be silly and try to make us be silly. This nap didn't last too long because as soon as I tried to carry her in the house she woke up and that was the end of that.

This evening, Isabel & I made some supper. We went out to the garden and picked some veggies. She loves to go out there with me and pick/eat veggies. We picked several yellow squash & zucchini and some peas which we used in our soup. The few green beans that have grown were eaten by her in the garden, and she even got a few raspberries from a bush we planted this year. We actually planted 2 bushes, but one died already. Anyways, we also put some herbs (chives, oregano, sage & tarragon) from our garden in the soup. To all of that we added chicken soup base, water, leftover chicken (that we made the other day that we bought from a local farmer), onion, celery, & carrots. Isabel was very excited to make Vegetable Soup. Daddy just has to live with the fact that mommy likes to make soup as a meal. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Art Attack Party at Faribault Public Library

This afternoon we went to the Art Attack Party at the Faribault Public Library. It was quite busy, but she didn't seem to mind and had a great time making all sorts of things. She made a paperbag puppet all by herself (you can't see it but she drew on a nose & mouth in the correct spot, which is awesome for her age), a mask (covered in feather), a pipecleaner creation (she had some name for it, which I can't remember), got her face painted and got a tattoo, played bean bag toss, and made edible art. The beaded snake/necklace/bow/tie (whatever she decides it is at that moment) is from our playdate this morning. She worked hard on getting that long string all the way full.

She finished all her reading for the summer reading program at this library and got the other 3 prizes (her first prize was a duck finger puppet) which are a box of colored chalk, a slinky and a book. She thought it was pretty cool that she got so many prizes for reading she enjoys anyways. I hope she always loves to read.

More from Yesterday

This is her at naptime. She was sleeping so hard that she didn't even flinch with the flash going off.
She's been into tracing her hand and is getting much better at it. Before she would just have some lines by each finger, but now she is tracing all around her finger. She's getting much better.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Paper Bowl

I don't have a picture of the final product yet because it is still drying. She had a great time making this paper bowl and coudl do all of the steps. I don't own a sieve (just colanders) so we made due with reusing a plastic container as the mold and let it dry overnight so that it would hold shape and I could flip ove the top of a smaller container to dry the outside.

Her favorite part was squishing the excess water from the slurpy stuff. You can find the directions to make your own paper bowl here.

We started out with pink construction paper, but once we added the newspaper to it, it became putple, which she thought was pretty neat to see her paper change color.

Now I really want to make paper making frames so that Isabel & I can make some homemade paper. That would be fun and a neat gift.

Owatonna Degner Airport Tour

This morning we met our playgroup from MOMS Club at the Owatonna Degner Airport for a tour. There was a pretty decent sized group with 9 moms and 20+ kids.

Isabel's favorite two parts (in this order) were sitting inside the airplane and running around the big display planes outside.

The kids also got to see a plane take off, which they thought was pretty neat. And for those interested, they will be having their Annual Fly-In Breakfast on August 30th.

Piggy Pancakes

I got the idea from this blog called The Mother Load. I thought it was a cute idea and earlier this week when we went to the library they had the book, "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" on display, so I checked it out so we can read it (she thinks it's hilarious) and so that I can make these Piggy Pancakes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Riding Her Bike

She asked me to take this picture of her and "send it to all the grandmas and grandpas" (so this will be in your email.)

This summer she has been working on learning to ride a bike. We initially bought her a 16" bike (they fit in the stores) but the one we bought online was about 1/2-1" too tall for her to ride. So, I began my quest to find a used 12" bike (I certainly didn't want to buy another new one). So, I found one for $1 at a rummage sale and my prego brain didn't register that it didn't come with training wheels until we were in the car driving away.

So, we tried to use the training wheels for the 16" bike, but they were not adjustable ones so they didn't work out. Bah! So, continues the quest. Then I found the above bike at a rummage sale for $5, complete with training wheels but was missing the tube from the back tire. No problem! We just swapped the tire from the dollar bike since they were pretty much exactly the same. I wasn't going to get a tube for $1 (it would cost more than that) and it was much easier to swap out tires that have to install a tube. Plus we took the wheel beads off the dollar bike and put them on this one. So, for $6, this is her 12" bike.

She was having some trouble figuring it out (partly because pedaling in reverse was the brake). So, we brought the trike out for her to learn to pedal better on. Some friends told me that when their kids had trouble it helped to have them learn on a Big Wheel (which I did pick one up at a rummage sale, but she wasn't with so she wasn't fitted for it and it's too big for her - we'll just save it for later) or a trike. She never had much interest in actually pedaling her trike before, but she understood it would help her learn to ride a bike so she was motivated.

Pretty much every day we go out to practice riding. She really wants to be able to ride her bike while I walk to the park, which would not be a bad idea since the last month of pregnancy I don't know how well I will be able to get up/down on my bike & pedal us down there & back.

So, next year she will probably be able to use the new 16" bike and baby boy will probably have a purple 12" bike to start out on too, because I would rather save my money to buy a bike they will use for 2-3 years rather than something they will outgrow in one year.

Mommy & Me Day

Today was a relaxed mommy & me day. We went to the gym and then to get mom's haircut, then to the dollar store (where she got to pick out a special prize because she was soooooo good while mommy got her haircut) and then home for some lunch, some shows, storytime & naptime.

The above picture is from today. She is wearing one of the shirts and the shorts we tie-dyed yesterday. She was very excited to wear them.

This is from yesterday and is the final craft project we did. It is her 3-year old handprint. We had received a stacking series of these (ages 1-5), and I just forgot about getting it out to do, so now we did it. Not too terribly late. I did order one of these kids for baby boy. I want him to have the same opportunities for childhood memoribila as Isabel and since her stuff (handprint kit, baby book, & 1st year calendar) was all gifts I have to find ones for him.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tie-Dye Party & Potluck Lunch

6 moms, 10 kids, 20 once-white items, lots of food, and 3 hours later and we are finished with the tie-dye party & potluck lunch that we hosted. It was a lot of work but we made some very nice items that I think Isabel is very proud of making.

Here is Isabel putting rubber bands on the three items for her (2 shirts & 1 shorts) and she is sitting next to the 2 onesies I did for the baby.

The part she was very excited for was stirring. The stirring was a really good step for all the kids to help out on.
While our items were soaking up dye, we had a potluck lunch. I like having playdates that incorporate lunch because then no one has to leave early to get their kids fed. We had a lot of yummy food.

Isabel was pretty wiped out afterwards. She is just blankly starring at the tv when everyone finally left. There were a lot of people here and it can be hard for a kid to share all their toys with that many people. We had a couple of tantrums, but I think that just lets the other moms feel normal seeing that other kids throw tantrums too. It usually seems to happen at their own homes, is what I noticed. Isabel is more likely to throw a tantrum at our house and her friends at their homes. Sharing is hard.

Monday, July 13, 2009

SCHS Extravaganza & more....

Blogger wasn't uploading for me yesterday, so Ihad to wait. Anyways, the top pictures are also featured in the bottom collage, but they are my favorites from yesterday and thought it would nicer to have them bigger. You can always click on the collage to enlarge it.

Anyways, after church yesterday we went to the Steele County Historical Society's 35th Annual Extravaganza. We had a good time. We ate lunch there, went on a horse-drawm wagon ride, she made a bracelet, went inside a train car, looked at a model train, looked at catepillars, chrysallis & monarch butterflies, checked out the old tractors & cars (she really loved looking at the old cars), watched some of the tractor barrel races, watched some branding being done on wood, pumped water, shelled corn and ground corn, oh! and listened to music. I think that was everything we did, plus there was so much more to do.

Afterwards, we came home for storytime & naptime, then went to the pool to swim, then home to practice riding bike and then watched daddy manage a fire in the fire pit. It was a busy day, but didn't feel as busy as it sounds when I type it out. We had fun though.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fleet Farm Kid's Fishing Day

This afternoon we took her to Fleet Farm for their kid's fishing day. It was advertised on the front of this week's circular and I called to find out what it was about. They had a bunch of stations the kids went around to and learned about fishing, got a signature and then at the end turned in their completed sheet for a grab bag filled with fishing supplies, a hat, kids sungalasses & a small bag of chips, plus she got gummy worms and tattoos at a couple of the stations.

She had a lot of fun going fishing with our friends that one day, so this was kinda neat, plus we got some freebies to start our own tackle box. We plan to take her fishing again soon (kids under 14 can fish w/o a license in MN) and we might just buy our own equipment & license so that we can fish with her. We thought, we may do that when we go up north at the end of the month.

You can see a picture of her grabbing at the minnows to put in the minnow races. She really got a kick out of most of the activities (which there were more than I pictured).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tea Party Playgroup

This morning we had a tea party playgroup. Isabel had asked to have a tea party the other day, so I thought I would see if our Friday playgroup was interested. Yesterday, Isabel & I made suagr cookies, set out some strawberry yogurt-covered raisins and set the table. This morning I made some strawberry jam mini-muffins, cut up some fruit & made sugar cookie tea.

I also prepared a craft for the girls to do. It was a little bag that they could paint & put foam stickers all over. They played in the house a bit and then we went outside.

This afternoon it looks like we will be able to get to the pool. Yeah!

Here is Isabel helping me with making suagr cookies yesterday. She actually helped me with making the dough as well. Her favorite part of baking is cracking the eggs. She has it down pat now and it's been a long time since I have seen an egg shell get away from her. Sometimes I thinks she tells me she wants scrambled eggs for breakfast just so she can crack the eggs and whisk them up. She is not as good at whisking, but she's getting there. She did end up eating a lot of dough. She thought that after we made the cutouts the leftover was to eat, no re-roll.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Today was a busy day that started out with a trip to the gym. After I am done with my yoga class and go get Isabel from Kids Club, she likes to "workout" herself. We usually ends up doing a rep of 10 on 4 different machines. Of course she can't do it herself so I have to get on the machine and help her. Although, it will get harder to do on some as my stomach continues to get larger.

This afternoon we had a couple of friends over for a "Relaxation" playdate. This was definitly a playdate for the moms (all three of us). I had won an hour chair massage that was to be split up between 3, 4 or 6 people. It ended up being 3 of us getting 20 minutes massages. I had the massage therapist set up in the hallway upstairs and the other moms played in the basement playrooms with the kids so that optimal relaxation could be achieved w/o child interruption.
I made some snacks for us, which you can see a couple of them: watermelon w/ mint leaves (from my flower bed) and cucumber sandwiches (croissant half topped with a ranch dip, garden greens from my garden, cucumber slice & tomato slice) and I also made snack necklaces for the kids out of Fruit Loops (which were a huge hit with the youngest ones) and a veggie tray. I also made raspberry daquiris (na for me). And to help the relaxation continue for my mommy friends I made some chocolates for them to take home, and a little gift basket (reused a strawberry basket) with lavendar foot bath salts (I put those together) some bath gel from Bath & Body Works and a tealight candle from PartyLite.
I enjoyed putting together & planning out the food & activities & take home for this "theme" playdate. On Friday morning, we are having a Tea Party theme with some friends fom our usual Friday playgroup. The kids will get dressed up & Isabel & I are making cookies tomorrow for this and we will have sugar cookie tea. I still have to come up with a craft. I had an idea of one to do, but I don't know if it will be too messy for dressed up kiddos.
Next week we are having a Tie-Dye Party & Potluck Lunch with several friends, so that will be a lot of fun. And then the week after we are doing a Grandmother/Mother/Granddaughter Luncheon with daddy's side of the family. That is actually at Grandma M.'s house, so she will be planning the food, but Isabel & I planned out the craft that we will do & bought all the supplies for that.


Yesterday, we went to the park to meet some friends (from gymnastics & ECFE class) at the park in town. Then in the afternoon we read stories out in the tent and were going to take a nap out there, but she was too squirrelly and it was a tad hot, so we brought it inside, which is lucky that we did because while she napped inside it was POURING outside.

While she napped I worked on these pillows. On July 4th we stopped at JoAnn Fabrics to buy some fleece that was on sale so that we could make a blanket for baby boy as a gift from Isabel. She wanted something for herself as well, so I told her she could have a pillow. So, she picked out this fleece and there was enough to make a pillow for her & one for her dolly. I had never made one of these tie things before, so I started with the dolly one and then did hers and now I think I am ready to tackle the blanket for baby boy.