Saturday, October 31, 2009

Isabel Hold Henry

We came this morning and Isabel was super excited to be able to hold her brother. She wasn't very interested in sharing him with grandpa M., who had not gotten a chance to hold him yet. She is very excited we have Henry and loves him very much already, but having to share us will be a struggle for her.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Preschool Halloween Party

Parents were invited to come to preschool today for the last hour for their Halloween party to see all the kids dressed up and watch them parade around the school, have snack, hear a story, and watch them do some songs.

It is interesting watching the kids and seeing who they gravitate towards as friends. Even at age 3 they quickly develop friends. This is actually the first time Isabel gets to pick out friends that mommy didn't. Granted, several of the kids in her class we alreadydo some playdates with or she has gymnastics class with. But there is one girl in her class that I didn't know the parents of that she seems to really like and has asked me for a playdate with several times. Her parents came today, so I was able to introduce myself and give her my contact info. Turns out that their little girl only talks about Isabel at home. So, sometime after the baby is born we will set up a playdate with them.

As we watched them act out the motions to "Going on a Bear Hunt", both mommy & daddy couldn't help take notice that Isabel has daddy's preference for choreographed dance, which is to not do it. She would do it if she looked over at me and I would do it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fun Shop Class: Pumpkin Patch

I managed to get her to take a nap early this afternoon, so she was very energetic and could do this fun shop class and go to the pumpkin party. I, other hand, didn't get much of a nap and am pretty tired.
Anyways, they had a TON of crafts for us to do and she was loving it. She had so much fun. She has one more of these classes and I could possibly sign her up for more, but I didn't want to sign her up for really many for when the baby will have just been born. I also with the classes were on another day other than Tuesday since she has preschool on Tuesdays.

FPL Pumpkin Party

Well, tonight she chose to wear the tiger costumer I bought her for this year. We went to a Pumpkin Party at a local library. There was lots of activities to do including 2 crafts, tattoos, pumpkin bowling, Halloween tic-tac-toe, Mr. Pumpkinhead, bean bag toss, storytelling, snacks and a couple other things we didn't get around to doing.

She had a good time and didn't seem to mind that it was extremely crowded.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Police Car Visit

This is Isabel with her preschool class. One of her classmate's dad is a police officer, so he came in uniform with his squad car and the kids got to ask him questions and go inside the squad car. What she remembers most about this is that they don't have handles in the back of the police car, that made quite the impression on her.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Let the Halloween Festivities Begin

I took her to the Lowe's Build & Grow Clinic this morning. This time we created a "Frankenstring" Magic Trick. It is actually kinda a lame trick. But it was nice to do with her. Daddy usually takes her to these, but I decided to let him go back to bed (he was very tired) and take her there and to run some other errands.

This afternoon/evening we took her to the Enchanted Forest at River Bend Nature Center. I told her pick out a costume. She went into her costume trunk and picked out these pieces to wear and said she was a Fairy Godmother.

She has plenty of opportunities to wear her costumes, so might as well let her wear whatever she will enjoy (or weather appropriate if necessary.)

I don't plan on putting the costumes away either. They will stay out for her to play with whenever she wants to play dress up.

There were lots of activities and we were there for 2.5 hours. We did everything they had to do there, which included going on two of the trails that had drama students pretending to be animals and acting out a scene, birds & educators from the U of M Raptor Center, making 2 crafts, playing 4 games for which she won prizes (the drama students also gave out prizes on the trails), went to the campfire & sing-a-long and roadted marshmallows, had her face painted, went on the horse drawn wagon ride twice, watched a juggler (she was facinated by him juggling the fire batons) while eating snacks we purchased.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dragon Costume - Pumpkin Fest

I picked this costume up at a rummage sale this fall for Isabel because she thought it was fun and I thought she might like to use it for dress up with her friends as well as be a nice warm costume for cold events.

And tonight was one such cold event. We went to Pumpkin Fest, which is a free event sponsored by Wells Federal Bank, Auto Glass Specialists, and Cashwise Foods.

The event has three different areas, one of which is the food tent (yes, free food of hot dog, chips, bottled water, hot apple cider, brownies & an apple - it's a lot!) They have a heater in there, but it still gets chilly. Plus you have to walk outside to go from one area to the next.

Another area is in the bank where they are taking pictures, sign up for door prizes & get some popcorn. We can go pick up our pictures tomorrow from the grocery store and it's a free picture.

This picture is of Isabel and her little friend Jacqueline from MOMS Club. They were both dressed as purple dragons, so we thought we should get some pictures of them together. I believe that she is 7 months old, or maybe it's 8 months. Darn preggo brain.

And the third areas is in the bays at Auto Glass Specialists where the kids received trick-or-treat bags, AGS cardboard car banks stuff with some tattoos & a small slinky, tickets to play games to win prizes & coloring station, and a huge pile of pumkpins for them to pick from.

Seriously, this was a completly free event. Our community has some of the best free events for kids & families that I have ever seen.
Isabel won a lot of rubber ducks from a fishing game, so she is having a bath tonight, even though she doesn't need one.

Early Childhood (Kindergarten) Screening

Today was Isabel's early childhood screening that needs to be completed before she starts kindergarten. Our school district likes to do it after they turn 3.5, which she isn't yet but I asked if there was an open spot because she is less than a month from being 3.5 and I figured it would be much easier to do if I was still pregnant rather than having a 6 month old with me. Our district tests twice a year, so the next test will be in April (which we don't need to do now.)

Some comments & interesting things about each area:

Developmental - When asked to tell about a button, she offered up several things and at the end said "You use it to make shirts and cafts" (not pronouncing the "r"). The teacher asked her to repeat that, which she did. And then turned to me for clarification and told her she said crafts and then commented that I was wondering if she would say something about using button for crafts because just last week we made a craft (puppets) with buttons. For this one they have different scores based on how old they are in their 3's & 4's. The older they are the higher they had to score and she scored better than she would have had to if she was in her 4's.

Height/Weight - 85% for height (yes, that has slowed, but is still tracking to be about 5'9-5'11) and weight is 75% (which is where she has been all along, although she muct be getting more muscle because she looks like she has thinned out even though she has still gained some.) Everything looks good.

Hearing - When the clinician described the test to her and how she would raise her hands for beeps, Isabel told her this, "I have a smoke alarm in my room. And there is one outside my room. I have a smoke alarm inside and outside my room." The clinician, was like, "Uh-huh. That's good." I knew what Isabel was thinking so I commented, "Are you telling her this because the smoke alarm beeps like this test." And Isabel responded enthusiatically "Yes!" Hearing test was perfect, she even heard the last beep which was supposed to be barely audible & didn't need to be heard to pass the test.

Vision - I was annoyed that one of the symbols they had to identify wasn't really anything, but they go with whatever the child says it is. Being able to identify the symbol with the name they assigned it was the purpose of the test. I was also a little annoyed that when they came to the really small lines they asked, "Can you read that or is it too small?" She's a smart girl and was bored with this test already since they were doing both eyes & then each one individually, so she said it was too small and of course that ended the test. She didn't need to identify anything on that line to have good vision and pass the test. I was just annoyed that the clinician opened it up to allowing a kid to get out of trying like that. She had an eye test when she turned three that was at an optician and her eye sight was good there, so I was not concerned.

Speech - She passed this just fine. She has a couple of sounds that she struggled to pronouce in some words, the r sound & ch sound. The clinician was not concerned because she could prounce the sounds in some words and not in others, so she is working on the sounds and at under 3.5 she was not expected to be proficient in all the sounds completly and she said because she is pronouncing them in some words & not others, that they will come. The thing that made me laugh in here was the clinician asked her to name foods that people eat and the first thing she said was "Flowes in the pot we gew (r's gone)." The clinician asked her repeat and she did and then looked at me and asked if I knew what she said, which I did and told her and then she gave me a puzzled look and I explained that we grew nasturtiums in pots this summer and you can eat the flowers on them. The clinician then just commented that she heard there was flowers you could eat but didn't know anyone who did. So, I guessing that was the first time a kid told her they ate flowers. Then after she did proceed to tell her other foods. It did annoy me that the clinician did not document or count flowers as one of the number of foods she named (she had to name so many.) Seriously, who is she to judge what people consider food or not as longa s it is something that is edible. That one more item would not have improved her score or anything, it was the principle of the idea for me.

Exit Interview - This went well since Isabel scored well above what she needed to and we don't have any concerns. They offered a bunch of literature and then gave us information about kindergarten readiness. One of the things they had on their was about being able to tie their shoes, which I had to ask about and she said that most kids learn how to do this between ages 4-6 and that Isabel is a little young to probably have the motor skills to do this, but she might be able to if we wanted to try.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fabric Ghost Decorations

Isabel told me yesterday that she thought we should have more Halloween decorations and we noticed someone had some small ghosts hanging in a tree in their front yard. So, I grabbed a sheet that was torn up to use for rags, some yarn, and permanent markers and we got to work making some ghosts to hang from the hooks on our front porch. Originally I thought about putting them in the crabapple tree, but it has been raining all day and didn't want to go out there. Plus, these decorations are really for her. So, since they are on the porch she can see her ghosts, the jack-o-lantern, the Halloween window clings she put up in the dining room window and the spider she has in the window too that she made at yesterday's fun shop class. She is pretty happy with all her scary decorations and was running around on the porch screaming, pretending she was scared. Daddy helped us hang them since I wasn't sure I could reach without standing on something. Isabel & I had a fun time making them, but she does have some permanent marker on her face.
She is a tired girl and is actually taking a nap right now, which she hasn't done in about 3 weeks. I asked her this AM on the way to gymnastics I asked if she wanted a nap with mom and she said dad woke her up too early and would need a nap. Actually, he got her up 30 minutes LATER than normal and was not happy about being awoken. So, after storytime in mom & dad's bed she fell asleep within 10 seconds of my finishing the last book.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday & Tuesday

This is one from today. Daddy took her to this class in the afternoon since I was napping. It was a rough night of contractions that left me with very little sleep.

She had a great day at preschool today. They had a cop come in talk to the kids and show them his squad car. When I asked her about it she said, "Mommy! They don't have handles in the back! Why don't they have handles?"

They also had third graders make puzzles for the preschoolers and had them come in and give them to them and put them together with them. She talked about the "big girl" who gave her a puzzle all day.

This is a picture from Sunday when we did some leaf printing which turned into hand printing. She had fun.

This is from Sunday when we walked to the park. She wanted to make sand angels.

The past few months, dolly has to go everywhere with her. Actually, I think the increased attachment to dolly & dolly becoming her baby happened when she stopped saying that she had a baby in her belly.

Dolly has to go everywhere with her and when I drop her off at preschool she gives her a hug and tells her she will miss her and put hers in her carseat (often times buckling her in) and hugs her when I pick her up.

In these pictures she is pushing dolly on a swing and teaching dolly how to make a sand angel. And this is dolly is the original dolly, the other ones don't hold a candle to first one. Even when it looked identical to one of the others, she could still tell which was the original. This one has seen better days, but dolly is her dolly.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Prettiest Leaf in the Pile

Busy Saturday

Well, we started out our day at the Faribault Library for a special Maisy storytime. The read a bunch of Maisy books & we sang songs, then Maisy came out to greet the kids. Isabel was very excited to see the "real" Maisy. We don't even watch the cartoon. She watched one video over & over once, but everything else has been books. We have a couple of Maisy books and have checked out several others from the library.Anyways, after a while, Maisy left and the kids received coloring sheets of Maisy and began to color. The kids started to leave, but about 1/3 (including us) stayed and colored and read our own Maisy books. Then Maisy came back out again and Isabel was able to give her two hugs. That just made her day. Her friend Kynnedie (from preschool & gymnastics) was there too.

This evening we went outside & daddy raked up some leaves into a pile so that she could play in them. She has been asking to go play in a leaf pile, but the leaves took forever to start turning colors and we still have little leaves on the ground. We need a couple nice windy days to knock a bunch down and then we'll have a nice big pile for her.

Welcome Back Fall

Well, our second event of the day was to go hiking and exploring at River Bend Nature Center. I cannot tell you often enough how much we love it there and are so happy we have it near us.The weather was pretty decent, around 50 degrees and the sun was shining, which was a huge help.

This girl runs non-stop these days. She rarely naps, although I make her take a quiet time, which more often than not is not very quiet. But at least it gives me a little down time to get something done and maybe take a nap of my own or relax and read a few pages of something that doesn't have pictures. We still do storytime with her twice a day (before quiet time & before bedtime.) Although lately we aren't able to read as many stories because she asks many questions on every page and we don't want to stifle her curiousity. Besides, it's her storytime, not mine.

Today she asked us to enter the trails a different way and take some trails we have never been on before. I have to admit I was a little nervous because we got on a trail that I didn't know where it led to and I didn't want to get lost & end up starting labor contractions. Obviously, we made it home so we didn't get lost and have to birth baby boy in the woods. But we did find some new & interesting things to look at.

I managed to get her to slow down once in a while to take a few posed pictures, but it was like pulling teeth to get them. I really wanted to get some pictures of her in the fall colors. Daddy & I love the fall and it's just so pretty & smells so nice & has so many great memories.But about her slowing down -- seriously, it's like she is stuck on one speed these past few weeks and she doesn't even nap to restore some energy. She just keeps going. Although, I have to wonder if that is what I am like when I am not pregnant.

This is a picture Isabel took today. She is quite good with a camera. I wish our old one we gave her had not broken. I have not given up on it and may see if I can repair one of them. Otherwise, once we have some extra cash I would like to buy her a cheap, but decent camera. She loves to take pictures, but I don't like to hand over my camera or camera phone to her.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fun Times

This top picture is of Isabel in the car with her new foam swords. Recently, she has developed an active interest in pirates and started to find things around the house to use as pirate swords. Some of them were not the best choice and could hurt, so I decided it was best to just go to the dollar store & buy some foam swords. We have been playing pirates all day yesterday & today. She takes all the pillows off the couch and puts them in a line and says that is her pirate ship. And her dollies become pirate babies. She doesn't like it when this pirate mommy kidnaps her pirate babies.

This morning we had an apple picking event at one of the playgroup member's house who has a small orchard of about 12 trees. We picked a bunch of apples and already we have made apple sauce, apple butter, & apple cookies. We still have apples left that I will use at a later time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Crafty Girl

Tomorrow we have a birthday playgroup for MOMS Club to go to for her friend Cole. So, we made some gifts for him this afternoon. I am teaching her that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. :)

So, we made him Chocolate Chip Cookies in a jar that he can finish making with his mommy. And she strung him a Fruit Loop necklace.

Preschool Picture 9/17/09

This was the picture taken at preschool. We only bought the composite (class photo) since we plan to have new pictures of the whole family taken next month. So, don't expect a copy of this. It was just too pricey to order "just because".

Also, we won't be sending out announcements about Henry right after the birth. It's not in the budget to mail out pictures 2 months in a row for an annoucement & Christmas card (not sure that even one is in the budget, but hopefully it will be). So, we will wait until after we have the family photos done in November and send out the annoucement as part of the Christmas card.

Of course there will be plenty of pictures on the blogs & FB for people to see of both kids.

Burger King Play Place

Yesterday evening, Isabel & daddy got their flu shots and we had planned to go to the library for a special event that was published, but apparently it was rescheduled for Saturday. So, we told her we could go play and took her to the Burger King Play Place. We have never really taken her to this one before. She had a lot of fun and burned off some energy.
Earlier in the day she had her friend Sadie over for a couple of hours for a playdate. They had a good time and played nicely together.
In the afternoon I had Isabel's preschool parent-teacher conferences to go to. Since her preschool is in the public school they have conferences the same as the rest of the school, which is twice a year. The next one will be in February. I guess they do them only twice a year in this school. Anyways, it was a good conference. She does well on on the skills & academic stuff they need to learn (really, she knows pretty much everything she needs to know academically) but she needs to learn to not interrupt (which the teacher said almost every 3-year old preschooler has that as something to work on since they are so excited to be there and want to share so much) & remembering to take turns w/o reminder. She said that a prompt to not interrupt and to take turns, she does comply but does need reminders. The other thing she needs to work on is helping with cleanup. She does what she does at home and gets distracted singing the cleanup song and keeps singing & doesn't help much. So, I guess we need to work on multi-tasking.
I talked to her about these things and she might try harder at them now that she knows the expectation.
Today we enrolled her back in gymnastics (guess we are being optimistic that daddy will find a new job soon) because she has been asking about it a lot and she will certainly need a place to burn off energy this winter. So, this was her first gymnastics class w/o mom in there with her. She did great! We had a nice talk about how she has to follow directions of the gymnastics teacher and take turns and she did really well.
This afternoon we have a playdate at her friend Casey's house and tomorrow she has a birthday party to go for her friend Cole.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Playing in the Snow on October 12th?

Yes, it's Octobe 12th. Isn't that crazy that we have snow on the ground. Although I think I heard on the radio that our total of snow & rain only made it to an inch (NOT 3-4 like the weatherman said.) Anyways, I took her outside after lunch (before it all completly melted) to play for a while. It is really wet slushy snow, but she had fun nonetheless. The top picture is of her throwing a snowball at me and the bottom picture if of when I was pulling her around in the sled.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More Sunday Pictures

We made sugar & spice roasted pumpkins seeds from the pumkpin that daddy carved. This was a pumpkin that we grew in our garden. Isabel had a good time making these and loved eating them even more. I have to say, I much prefer them to be sugar & spice rather than just salted, much more tasty.
I made some accessories for Isabel's tiger costume. The costume, which I bought from Target, was just a one-piece jumpsuit type thing. So, I used an old black headband and hot glued some ears I cut out of black felt on top. And then a braided some of this textured black yarn & tied it to make a tail and stitched that to the backside of her. So, now her outfit is complete. I looked at buying a ears & tail combo, but Wal-Mart wanted $5 for it and I knew I had the supplies to make it. I just needed to make the time to make them (which they didn't take long at all) before the baby came. Anyways, she LOVES the ears. She says she can be a tiger with them or a cat or a bat. I am sure she will come up with more animals to be with them.

Part of how she helped out with the pumpkin carving was to tell daddy what she wanted the pumpkin to look like. He drew out designs she suggested on newspaper that lined the floor and she would yea or nea it. He couldn't figure out exactly what she wanted the mouth to look like, so we told her to show us what the scary pumpkin face should look like.

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins!

She didn't like the feel of the insides of the pumpkin and would only take out a couple of seeds at a time. Daddy had fun using a nice pumpkin carving kit I got that came with all sorts of fancy tools. Finished product is below.

Yesterday I posted pictures of Isabel & daddy painting their pumpkins from the field trip they went on. Today she finished them by painting faces on them.

The finished products of our pumpkin decorations.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

School Field Trip & Bus Ride

On Friday, Isabel & daddy went on her first bus ride and school field trip. I was supposed to go, actually it was supposed to be last Friday but was rescheduled due to the rain, but I bailed because of contractions & a sore back that kept me awake the night before and I wasn't so sure riding a bus would be in my best interest. Daddy said there was a lot of walking and it would have probably made me miserable. He said they had a good time and came home with some small pumkins and mini ornamental corn. The field trip was to Tweite's Pumpkin Patch.

Saturday Fun & Lots of it

This morning, daddy & Isabel went to the Lowe's Build & Grow clinic to make a ball toss game. These clinics that Lowe's offers are great for her. She loves getting badges and making stuff. Like most three year olds she starts to get distracted half way through the project and wants to make something else using the leftover pieces. I dropped them off & ran and errand while they did it, then I picked them up and we headed over to McD's to have a treat & let her play at playland for 45 minutes. Then it was off to the grocery store so daddy could do a beer run & Isabel could ride the penny horse.

Here is Isabel & daddy painting pumpkins. They are not quite finished yet. They are letting them dry and will paint a face on them. So, stay tuned for a picture of the finished pumpkins. They painted the small pumpkins that they got on their school field trip yesterday. They also painted my baby belly. Daddy said my belly was big & round like a pumpkin now, so I said they could paint it. You can see pictures of that on the baby blog. Isabel said she wants to paint my belly again, but I told her this would probably be the only time.
We have a pumpkin to carve too, but she really wanted to paint her small ones first. So, it will probably be tomorrow that we get to carving one.

Here she is painting some paper to wrap the presents for her baby brother's birth that she bought last night at Target. She picked out a bib, onesie, and toy. She really wanted a bib that said Baby Henry on it and didn't quite understand why Target would not carry something like that. If I had been on top of my game I would have bought a plain bib and helped her use fabric paint to write it on. Anyways, she was fine with the bib she picked out because it had words on it, words were the most important thing. Apparently it saying Baby Henry was just a bonus.

First thing this AM she wanted to go outside & see the snow, our first snow of the season. Of course it all melted as soon as the sun came out today. She was disappointed there wasn't more, but still excoted none the less. She wants to know when we will get more and is really looking forward to the day she gets to watch the snow flakes fall.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

River Bend Nature Center w/ MOMS Club

I can't say this enough. We love going to RBNC and it was fun to go there with so many friends that had never been there before. It was certainly a fun, exciting, & challenging time with being 37 weeks pregnant. The kids are such explorers and it wasn't as easy as it used to be to keep up with them and they didn't always like the nice paved trail and decided going up the slippery hillside was more fun. And then there was the point where I was the closest adult (still about 10-15 feet away though) when one of the kids decided to jump in the turtle pond (luckily it was warm out, his mom had a change of clothes and the water levels are extremely low this year) and was in up to his hips. Scared the bee-jeezus out of me as I saw him get in a jump stance and make the jump. It was covered in duckweed & he had never been there before, so he didn't realize it was water. Still scared me.

We explored under rocks and found some slugs, roly-polys & worms. Not as many bugs as we usually find, probably because of the cold we have had recently and the immense amount of rain in the last couple days. The frogs & turtles all appeared to have gone underground already too. But they kids did love touching & holding a slug & worm that we did find.
And Isabel loved collecting the largest leaves she could find. She found several of them and made a bouquet of them.
Before this playgroup for MOMS Club, we had a few friends over for our own playdate and made Milk Jug Catch Games, which you can read about on the Green Blog. Isabel loves to be crafty. We served everyone the overnight blueberry coffeecake that Isabel & I made. It was very tasty.
Then we went to my OB appt and finally grocery shopping. It was a very filled day from about 9am-3pm. How she can do all that & not take a nap, I don't understand. I am about ready to pass out myself.

Daddy & Me Fun Shop ECFE Class

This is from yesterday. Isabel & daddy went to a Daddy & Me Fun Shop ECFE Class together. I guess she loved playing in the shaving cream. And she came home with a fun painting she did with paint & cars. It sounds like they had a good time there together. It was certainly quiet in our house while they were gone.

Daddy & Me Fun Shop ECFE Class

This is from yesterday. Isabel & daddy went to a Daddy & Me Fun Shop ECFE Class together. I guess she loved playing in the shaving cream. And she came home with a fun painting she did with paint & cars. It sounds like they had a good time there together. It was certainly quiet in our house while they were gone.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Saturday Fun

Isabel & I had a good morning out going to a garage sale, then to Starbucks where we hung out for a while and read a couple Dora books and then grocery shopping. We spent the rest of the day at home.

The above picture is of her eating raw spinach, plain. Just a bowl of it. It certainly pays to have your kids eat the foods you eat. Isabel is such a good veggie eater.

This afternoon Isabel tells me "Water becomes oil" and I told her it didn't and we would do a little experiment to see that oil & water don't mix. So, we mixed some food coloring in water and poured it into a bottle and and then added oil. We made the water orange, but it wasn't quite enough of a contrast, so we added green to it as well. Now she gets that oil & water separate.

Later in the evening we made our own shrinky-dinks by reusing a plastic container that held soem bakery danishes.