Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mom's Mistake

This is what happens when mom leaves the room to answer the phone and has plaster of paris & our other supplies out.
It could have been worse. The clean up wasn't too bad.
More picture will come later. We made the plaster and poured into molds to dried. Now we just need to paint our projects.

Pictures & Updates

The top one is from today. I took her to see "I Like Me" at Stages Theatre. This is the 7th or 8th show I have taken her to there. I really like their theatre for a children's theatre. The first charater was her favorite and she called her the "sparkly, pink girl" because "pink is my favorite color and I like sparkles." And she also liked Henry, who is the shorter character in the other picture. She liked him because her brother is going to be named Henry. Ironically, the taller character is Big Mike/ Michael and Michael is going to be his middle name.

After we got home I called and reserved us tickets (for all 4 of us, Henry will get a lap pass) to go see "Twas the Night Before Christmas" in December.

Also - wanted to note that she is wearing the jumper that grandma S. made her for her birthday.

This picture is from Saturday when Isabel's grandma & grandpa M. came down to babysit her. Since they don't get to see her very often, there is a tendency to let her do a lot more (or at least tolerate her convincing them to do even more) than mom might do. She did A LOT of painting projects with grandma and yes, she did paint the wall. I walked in on her fingerpainting the wall while grandma was washing her hands. And yes, it was cleaned up. It was actually the first time she tried to paint (or color or anything) on the wall. She had a good time with them and was excited for a week when we told her they were coming and would ask every day if they were coming that day.

I think I got this idea out of Parents magazine. It's so simple, I should have known about it a long time ago. She loves popsicles & yogurt is so good for you, so this is perfect! All you do it stick a popsicle stick in yogurt container (I like to use the smaller multi-pack kinds since she might not eat it all if it was a larger one) and pop it in the freezer. Then push from the bottom to get out the yogurt pop. Yoplait won't work because of the shape of the container & ridge. You also might have to run some warm water over the container to slip it out. She loves these and will eat all of it, whereas if I just gave her a container a yogurt she has a tendency to eat about half.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Down On the Farm" @ OPL w/ ECFE

Every month (during the school year) the library in Owatonna hosts a collaborative event with the Owatonna ECFE on one Thursday night. Last night was the first one for this school year. There is always so many people there and it's tough for Isabel to pay attention to the 30 min. storytime portion, but she LOVES the 30 min. craft & activity portion of it. They had a sensory station set up, which she played in for a while and a playdough table, which she played at A LOT. And then there were two crafts, one was making a pig and the other was gluing cutouts of a farm, farmer, & animals on a piece of paper.
This morning we are going to gymnastics open gym and will meet several of her friends there. She is very excited for this.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Breakfast Potluck Playgroup

We spent the entire morning at our friends Cheri's house for the breakfast potluck playgroup she was hosting for MOMS Club. Isabel had a great time and it was hard to get her to leave. There was lots of yummy food and we had a really great turnout (I think there was 14-15 moms with kids there, so well over 25 people total.) And the potential new member I invited to the playgroup decided to join.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

At Home Math Games

I checked a book out of the library about math games you can do with preschoolers and it had a lot of fun ideas in it. The top one is what we called the snack game. You could certainly use non-snack items, but I thought it would be quite the motivation to finish the game completly if you get to eat all the goodies in it afterwards (& a couple were candies.)

Anyways, it was an easy game to set up & make and she caught on fairly quickly (according to daddy since he played it with her while I was out). The challenging part was coming up with 12 differernt small snack items and figuring out which ones I wanted to go in which number.

I labeled an egg carton with the number 1-12 and filled each with a different snack and the number of pieces corresponded with the number in which it filled.

Then I mixed them altogether in a container and she had to take them out and sort them into like piles and then count how many there was of an item and out it in the appropriate spot. Then it was time to snack.

Our second game here is a craft for her to do as well. We used an animal magazine of hers, some large craft sticks, glue, tape and a pair of scissors. she picked out the pictures she wanted to make puzzles of, then cut them out. She did a really good job of cutting straight; I was impressed; so all I needed to do was trim it down to size.

Then she lined up the craft sticks on top of the picture to see how many each needed (we made two) and placed tape over the sticks to hold them in place. Then we placed glue over the entire backside of the picture and put it on the non-taped side of the sticks then left it to dry. When it was finished drying, I sliced the paper between each stick in order to make separate pieces that she can put in order.

She was not quite as interested in putting them in the correct order as she was in making the game and then building with them afterward.

Today I also went into to her preschool and read to the kids for storytime. It's only 10 minutes, which is 2 books. The kids, including Isabel, all seemed to like having someone new come in to read to them. I am going in again in 2 weeks. I wanted to be able to do this a couple times before the baby was born because who knows what things will be like and how easy it will be able to coordinate.

We also had an ECFE fun shop class this afternoon. Tuesdays are a busy day for us with preschool & ECFE class. She did take a nap today (it seems like she takes 1-2 naps every 7 days), so that was helpful.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Busy Sunday

Ok, our day with heading to the Crofut Winery in Jordan, MN in the morning for their Grape Stomp. We had dressed & planned to do some stomping, but once we got there and Isabel started touching some mushed grapes she wanted nothing to do with it.
But we did stay there for a while and did everything we could.

Then as we headed towards home we saw a sign for HillCrest Orchard and decided to stop there. We sampled 4 different apples and then went out to pick a 1/2 peck of "Sweet 16". A 1/2 peck netted us 23 apples, most of which Isabel picked. She thought it was fun.

Then we continued on our way taking backroads and daddy decided we should stop and check out Albers Park. He drives by it sometimes on the way home from work when he wanted to not be on the interstate, so now was our chance to explore it.

Our fourth destiantion was home. It was a nice fall drive in the country areas. Some of the leaves are starting to change (slowly, since it has been too warm) and there was a nice breeze with an overcast.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Airfest Day Two & All-Natural Play Clay

Today we went tot he 2nd day of the Faribault Airfest. What a beautiful weekend for it! Almost every year it rains the weekend they have this airfest, so we have never gone. I am glad we went. It was a good time, even if it was hot.

They had an airshow today that started out with parachuters, then had some aerobactic races followed by single plane aerobactics, some more races and some more single plane aerobactics, then a large-scale model radio-controlled airplane doing aerobactics and then one more pilotewd plane doing aerbactics. It was pretty neat.

There was a lot of opportunities for people to try in different helmets and climb on board a plane or simulators. Someone could also pay for real helicopter, plane or hot air balloon ride, but we didn't do any of that. Maybe some day I will get up in a hot air balloon, I think that might be kind of neat.

Yes, daddies & mommies could play too. And daddy did his fair share of playing.

We made some all-natural homemade clay this morning. You can read all about it on the Green Blog.
There are more pictures of her making it on that blog, so check it out. Remeber to click on the picture to enlarge it to see it in greater detail.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Faribault Airfest: Day One

We spent time here tonight and saw the hot air balloon launch. They had about 12-13 balloons total that launched. Tomorrow we will go back for all the kids activities and see the airshows and parachute jumpers.

End of the Week

Well, here is part three of our hot air balloon project. We needed to punch holes in the balloon part and the basket part and attach them to each other using yarn. Turned out pretty good. Now we are all in the mood for the hot air balloon launch this evening at the Airfest.

This morning we went to open gym. She was very excited to go to gymnastics. She was really hoping it was class, but she was happy with it just being open gym time. We still had some passes left from last year that we are using up. Hopefully we can add gymnastics class back into our schedule as soon as the budget allows.

Hot Air Balloon, Part Two

This is a 3 day project. It took 24 hours to have our layers of paper mache dry on the balloon. Then last night (after we returned from ECFE) we painted the balloon. All three of us painted it, as it was quite a bit to paint with such a big balloon. Isabel enjoyed mixing the colors to see what new colors it would make. Daddy wanted her to keep it neat at first, but realized his desires were fruitless and she was going to do what she wanted. Can't stifle her creativity!

Then we used bottom cut from a 2-quart milk jug as the basket and used paste and leftover red tissue paper (same tissue paper we had reused on the drum she made for the fair). She wasn't as interested in correctly applying layers as she was in playing in the paste (I think we need to make some homemade playdough soon!) and daddy didn't care for the feel of the paste on his fingers, so it was up to me to complete the paper mache on thebasket.

Today we will finish our project by putting holes in the balloon & basket and attaching them together with leftover string. Then we will have to find a place to hang out creation.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Picture Day

Today was picture day for Isabel at school and for dolly at home. I only bought the class picture, so no one should expect a picture from this. I don't like that I can't choose my picture or even see it in advance, plus it was kinda expensive. When I know I can go to Wal-Mart and get a ton of pictures for $7.99 and get to choose the pose, it's hard to be convinced to spend 3-4x as much on pictures. As it was it cost $6 just for the class picture, but I couldn't turn down have a class picture from preschool with all her little friends. Since this was just the school class picture I told her she could pick out any dress she wanted to wear and this is the one she chose. It's been her favorite dress in the last month.

This afternoon when it was time to do baby belly pictures, she really wanted to take pictures of her dolly & with her dolly. So, the picture of dolly on the chair (like she had to sit on a chair for her pictures today) is one that she took. She can actually do a pretty good job with a camera. I need to get her another one (hers broke before mine did, otherwise I would be using that one.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday, September 16th

I need to give credit to my friend Cheri for the idea to make a hot air balloon. They just finished making there and it happens in several parts. Anyways, I thought it was a great idea because we plan to go to the Airfest in Faribault this weekend, where she can see an airplane airshow and also hot air balloon launches. So, I thought this tied in perfectly and would get her really excited. We'll need to see how long it takes to dry. She really gooped on the paste.

Well, we have been continuing our stretch of 80 degree days. On Monday we went to the beach and today I had daddy get out the slip'n'slide. I had planned to let her use it, but since she was covered in paste, it turned out to be a really good idea in order to get her a little cleaner. She was very excited to use her Dora slip'n'slide today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ECFE Fun Shop "Bubble Mania"

Daddy took Isabel to her ECFE Fun Shop this afternoon. It was called "Bubble Mania". She had a good time.

ECFE Fun Shop "Bubble Mania"

Daddy took Isabel to her ECFE Fun Shop this afternoon. It was called "Bubble Mania". She had a good time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Godfather's Tour 2009

We did this tour last year (it was more comprehensive last year and they spent more time explaining stuff and actually let the kids help make some dough & poke holes using a tool in the dough). Check out the collage from last year, she looks so much more grown-up now. It was still fun and I don't think she remembers anything from last year. Last year she was timid and this year she got right in there in the front of everything and was asking questions and participating more. And I notice last year she still had the paci....we were a month away from taking that away for good. I can't believe what a difference a year makes, but it sure does.

This morning I went to my yoga class to find out it had been rescheduled and since Isabel was home with daddy I wasn't going to be able to fit it in the schedule today. So I just came home and we took the long way to the park so that I could get in a 2 mile walk. The plan for this afternoon is to head to the beach and it's supposed to be mid-80's today, probably the last 80-degree day of 2009. The rest of the week it is supposed to be 70's and next week it's supposed to drop to the 60's. So, let's take it in & appreciate this warm weather while we have it because we didn't have a whole ton of it this summer.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Letter Pancakes

Here is today's breakfast creation. She was very excited to have her initals made into pancakes. Not a lot going on here today. We went to church today and she has been bumped back into the nursery (or for her we are calling it the playroom) do to them reconfiguring the ages of classes. She had fun in the playroom and didn't care she wasn't in church school. I talked with our minister a bit as we were eating (there was lunch there today) and he said once we move into the building (next month) we will see our congregation size grow a lot in the first 6-12 months (maybe even double w/in a year, guess a big fancy bldg with all sorts of bells & whistles will do that) they will be restructuring the classes again & again. In the new church (it's almost finished being built) they will have lots more classrooms and we've just gown too big for the current place they are renting that the 3 year olds got squeezed out of the classrooms & back into the nursery (not that that room is really big enough to handle more kids). Oh well.

Then we came home and she helped me with freezing some tomatoes & drying tomatoes & herbs. She also separated the seeds of day lilies and peonies we collected a few days ago into respective bags.

Today she saw I got a "Gardening with Kids" catalog and was so excited and asked if she could take it and look through it. I don't know how I got it, but it has some neat stuff in there. We talked to her a few days ago about next year putting in a small raised garden bed that will be all hers and she can planted whatever she wants in it. She was happy about that. She loves to garden with me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

U of M SORC Open House

Tonight, all three of us went to the U of M South Outreach Center Open House in Waseca. This is the 3rd (my 4th or 5th) one of their annual open houses that Isabel has been to. We missed the one when we moved to WI. We were there for three hours and still didn't get to do everything. By the end we were all pretty tired, not just this preggo. Isabel had a great time and we all left stuffed with food. It's unbelieveable how much food they give away at various points. I missed out on the wine tasting once again, but daddy got to try them.

Of course, since we were there so long Isabel got home & down for bed a half hour late. I guess it could be worse.

She got to milk a goat by hand, feed & pet some goats, see some baby piggies & calves, make some crafts, play some games, collect lots of stickers & other prizes, get a tattoo (she loves getting tattoos), got on a wagon ride, go through a "black light tent", learn about & touch a bunch of grains, learn about bugs, and eat lots of food. Oh! Plus she met Goldy the Gopher (which she thought was a bear) and was very impressed with the large pumpkin, the white pumpkin, the yellow cauliflower & purple broccoli she found.

Whew! And we didn't even make it to the corn maze and she wasn't old enough (next year she will be) for the pedal tractor race. But I think we did get to everything else. Oh wait! I take that back, as we were leaving I saw we missed the walking tour of the flower gardens. She actually probably would have liked that better than the wagon ride. So, something to keep in mind for next year.

We had fun!

Gainey Park

Yesterday Isabel got to see her friends Gavin, Molly, Amelia & Gavin and play with them at Gainey Park. When she went to bed that night before she asked me if she could go to school since our playdate had changed for the next morning. She really wanted some friends to play with, so I found some available friends that morning and she was pleased. Plus, she got to hang out with her friends Casey & Dani at kidcare at the gym.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


This afternoon we did some crafts before she became completly exhausted and took a nap (actually, she is still down & it's been just over 2 hours now).

The first craft we made is a pom-pom spider with google eyes. She picked out the multi-color yarn & I picked out the black and we both spun our yarn around pieced of cardboard. Then she picked out legs to both spiders and I applied hot glue to the ends and she stuck them inside. She picked out her big fat eyes, which I have to admit I didn't want her to pick out but they turned out very cute. They are very fun & cute spiders.

The ideas for this craft came from The Preschooler's Busy Book.

We also made a recycled placemat, which will be on the Green Blog later on. So, stay tuned for those pictures.

And as soon as she wakes, the plan was to make rice krispie bars. She has been asking for them for a few days. Turns out it was part of her snack today at preschool, but she doesn't care. She wants more rice krispie bars, which is good because I have a craving for soemthing sweet right now.

1st Day of Preschool

Well, as it turns out, neither of us got up to an alarm. Lucy came in meowing 20 minutes before my alarm and I just couldn't force myself to fall asleep again (although, I am sure daddy could) and I went up to get Isabel up just after her alarm (radio) should have gone off and it didn't. But she pleasantly got up and got ready right away this morning. She was nervous yesterday about going and kept telling us how much she would miss us and I tried to help calm any fears. And this morning she was excited and was just fine when I left her. She realized it was the same room she was taking ECFE classes in since she was a baby and I told her about storytime, craft time, playground time & snack time (she was really excited about snack time). There were a few other kids (I had never seen before at ECFE or the preschool day camps) who were balling A LOT and Isabel was confused why they were so sad, so it reaffirmed it was such a smart choice to do the ECFE classes there and camps. She said goodbye quickly to me and ran to go play with her friend Casey at the Legos. She knows 4 kids in the class and has played with Casey a lot, so that makes it even more fun. Almost time to go pick her up!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Morehouse Park

This afternoon we changed our plans and went to Morehouse Park to feed the ducks & geese instead. Isabel had a good time with that, as well did mommy & daddy. Those geese are sure mean to the ducks. It seemed like everyone else had the same idea. Poor waterfowl are going to be gluttons today and then tomorrow there will be nothing.

Then we walked the trail from there to the Blast ice cream shop and had ourselves some treats. Then it was a walk back and time to play in the park.

On the way home we stopped to pick up a Redbox movie for Isabel as something to watch this afternoon in lieu of storytime & a nap, but I don't think it caught her interest to well. But she did stay up and is going to bed early tonight. We have to change up our bedtime & wake up times now that preschool starts tomorrow and she has to be there at 8am. She really needs to be getting up a half hour earlier, but to do that she needs to go to bed earlier and it seems that the late afternoons naps might have to give *sniff*sniff*.

We'll see how tomorrow goes. She might be so exhausted after school that she takes an early afternoon nap, or maybe not.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Rice Lake State Park

Well, like I posted about earlier, we did join our friends for a couple hours at their campsite. We just had to buy a daily vehicle permit, which was $5 (glad to see the prices on daily & yearly passes came down from a couple years ago). We had roasted marshmallows & smores and they introduced us to smores made with Reese's peanut butter cups. Yum! The kida had some fun playing in a tent. Kids just love playing in tents, which is why we had our up a couple times this summer just so Isabel & her friends (or us) could play in it. We were thinking we might set it up again soon for a few days and have a campfire in our firepit and "camp" at home. Although, I am not really in any condition to be sleeping on the ground, so we will probably just hang out there until it's bedtime or carry her in if she falls asleep. We'll see.

No big plans for tomorrow. We may go back to the beach again. It's supposed to be nice and she really wants to go back. For all we know, it could be the last beach-worthy day. Daddy would like to the go to the Blast (local ice cream place) for ice cream. So, I think we can probably accomodate those things.

Lake Kohlmeier

We've been to the beach at Lake Kohlmeier a few times this year. She has really liked when we have gone because she can play in the water & in the sand. She loves playing in the sand and being able to add water to it is so much fun. It's also kinda nice to go when the lifeguards are not on duty (done for the season as of last weekend or maybe the weekend before) because then she can use her inflatable ring. She was kicking herself all over the place with it.

We packed a picnic lunch, which is always fun to have a picnic and were there for just under 2.5 hours. We came home for storytime & naptime so that we could have some energy to go to Rice Lake State Park after dinner to hang out with some friends and roast marshmallows. Yum!

Yesterday we did spend a good 1.5 hours on the other side of Lake Kohlmeier on one of the fishing piers. The fish practically jump on the hooks, so daddy doesn't think it is as much fun. I thin it's fun and you care catching them fast enough to sustain the interest of a preschooler. I also got some canning done yesterday (7 qts. of tomato-zucchini salsa & 4 qts. of tomato juice.)

Friday night we went to River Bend Nature Center for their Full Moon Hike, so Isabel was allowed to stay up much later than usual. It was pretty neat and I learned a lot. She was a little scared in a few parts, but she still liked it. It was neat to hear all the night critters, including an owl. The have a Half Past Moon Hike the beginning of November, but I am guessing we may be busy with baby boy and I am not sure I can do an hour hike (since you are technically not supposed to exercise for 6 weeks after birth). But we do hope to go there for their Halloween Enchanted Forest. It sounds like A LOT of fun. It's pretty close to when baby boy is due, so she may have to go with one parent or maybe we'll have some grandparents here visiting that can take her (I'd have to call & see if they would be ok with that on our membership.)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

2nd Haircut

Well, yesterday Isabel got her haircut for a second time. We had a playdate with her friends Amelia & Gavin and their mom Caitlin is a hair sylist. At her job she concentrates on color, so she doesn't cut hair often, so I think a head full of preschooler snarly curls was a challenge. But she did a good job and we are thankful to her for being so nice and cutting it for her. She really needed her hair cut before preschool started next week. It is much easier to comb again since there isn't quite as much hair to get snarls in. She cut off about 2 inches. She & I have hair that is about the same length, but she seems to think she has hair like daddy now because her hais "is short". She likes it and got a lot of compliments yesterday. I think she looks so cute with a chin length bob.

Yesterday evening was the preschool open house, which was a chance for the parents & kids to go and check out the room & teachers & bring in paperwork, etc.
Today we had a play-dough playdate turned dance party with her friend Gavin at their house. He had another friend, Riley, over as well and his mommy is due less than 2 weeks before me. Then we spent some time in the driveway this afternoon playing with chalk & ice and then water balloons.
Oh! And funny story -- one of the moms who came to our brunch & books playdate emailed me saying she wasn't sure what side conversations the kids were having because her son asked her, "Can I see the hole I came out of?" "because Isabel's mom is having a baby and it is going to have to come out." "Is it near your poopy hole?"
Luckily his mom had these conversations when his sister was born, he just didn't absorb them since he was much younger. It made me laugh out loud, but I think she was afraid she might have to have a birds & the bees talk at age 3. She found humor in the whole situation.
Great! My child is going to have all her friends from preschool going home asking what a "gina" is and if they "came through a tunnel called the birth canal" (if they can remember the words).
But just how does that conversation go for 3 years olds, is it something like this (at least with the words I have taught my child):
A - "Let's go catch bugs."
B - "Ok. Let's use a net."
A - "My mommy's having a baby."
B - "Oh. How does it come out?"
A - "Through her gina."
B - "Where's that?"
A - "Down here (pointing), it's a hole you come out of."
B - "Oh. Did I come out there?"
A - "You came out a birth canal."
B - "Oh. I want the blue net."
A - "No, you can have the orange net."
B - "Ok. I want a snack."
A- "Me too. Catching bugs is hard work."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Brunch & Books Playgroup

We invited over a handful of friends to a Brunch & Books playgroup where we had a potluck brunch (it's always fun to share foods) and exchanged used books that we had doubles of or maybe didn't care for or bought at a used bookstore or thrift store. Each kid brought 5 books and we let them pick through the books on their own. Isabel thought that was pretty cool because normally she has mom standing over her looking at what she is picking out & saying yes or no. And then of course the kids got to plays lots. So, it was a fun way to recycle books, socialize, & eat the "most important meal of the day".