Thursday, April 30, 2009

18 months old

Isabelle turned 18 months old earlier this week. So hard to believe it's already been 1/2 a year since her birthday, which seems like yesterday. Although the last 6 months have flown by quickly, they also have been very very busy since she's been walking, running, dancing, and talking up a storm.

She's been sick all week with a cold but seems to be feeling better for the past few days. She had her doctor's appointment yesterday and we were thrilled to hear she only needed one shot and then no more until she's 5 years old (except for one make-up shot they have delayed until who knows when)!! YAY!

Despite being under the weather, Isabelle was an absolute flirt at her appointment- zooming around the room seeing what would happen if she drew with crayons on the walls, pointing out the river (one of her new words) out the window, and flirting shamelessly with Dr. Ege. She even smiled big and turned her head to her shoulder when he asked if she was flirting. It was sweet that her old nurse Sue saw her on the schedule and complained that she was out that day and wouldn't get to see her. She was really wonderful when Isabelle was tiny and we came in all the time for problems.

Isabelle came up in the 90th% for height at 33.5" (she first measured at 34" so she may be in between) which makes her really tall! We had noticed a huge spurt in her height lately. She weighed in at 32 lb 4oz (down from 2 weeks ago when she must have had a really heavy diaper on!) and her head measured at 19" (90% also). Dr. Ege was really pleased with Isabelle's 60+ words, starting to put 2 words together into short sentences, and her "owie" on her knee showing that she plays hard. :)

He reiterated his belief that she is just a big girl who eats and plays harder than other kids and stated that he doesn't even view her as overweight as she is "just big" in all dimensions. I asked about switching her to lower fat milk as I've heard others do, and he disagreed- saying that he wants Isabelle to form healthy eating habits but for us to not restrict her as she's healthy and happy now. He was not worried about her drinking less milk lately (maybe 10 oz/ day) as long as she eats cheese and other forms of calcium like yogurt.

We were surprised when he asked about potty training as it has been far from our minds- other than the fact that lately Isabelle has been periodically pointing and saying "Pee pee" which makes us wonder if she's becoming aware of when she pees. He told us there are two approaches to potty training- putting out a potty now and letting her slowly become more and more curious (and imitating of us) over the course of 6 months or so before becoming totally potty trained. The other approach is potty training entirely in a weekend but not doing it until they are totally ready (at least 2 years old). We are unsure and need to learn a bit more about both as she's clearly not ready for the second option yet, but would be ready to start the first.

Here's a picture of her playing in the rain this week:

And a picture of her "patting" baby's back to help her go "night night."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Utah trip!

We were a little worried about how it would be to fly with Isabelle now that she's a walking, running, energizer-bunny. Last week we went to Utah for a long weekend (4 nights) for my old friend Becca's wedding. Initially I had thought about going on my own, but Paul and I agreed it was as good a time as any to bring Isabelle for a short visit to see family she hasn't seen in a long while.

Amazingly, Isabelle did super well on the plane. Our strategy was to pretend that we were in the car and once she was in her carseat (and us in our seats), that nobody had the option to get up and move around. It worked wonderfully! She got a little fussy as she got past her normal nap time and was really tired, but pulling out her "lovey" was all she needed to suck on to comfort herself into a nap. The bad news is her nap lasted only 10 minutes as she fought it off until we almost landed.

We stayed with my parents who very generously adapted their home to help baby-proof it as well as their activities, to help support Isabelle's naps. It was nice that she saw them just last month visiting us here, so she knew exactly who they were when we arrived and had no stranger anxiety whatsoever. Her first night going to bed was pretty traumatic for everyone, as she seemed terrified about going to sleep in the pack and play (a very tight fit for her now) in a strange place, and was crying and appearing very scared for an hour and half until we finally got her to sleep. Luckily, after that initial difficulty, all her naps and nights went much smoother as she accepted that was her new crib on our trip. She really enjoyed playing in their yard, especially running up and down the grass hills and having Paul teach her how to roll down the hill (while giggling of course).

Isabelle is so attached to my mom it's amazing- first thing when she wakes up, she asks where "Mimi" is and searches the house until she finds her. My parents gave Isabelle a new baby doll as well as an animal puzzle- both of which she enjoyed playing with during the whole trip. Amazingly Becca brought a HUGE gift basket the day we arrived which was so thoughtful we couldn't believe she had time/energy to make it, given her wedding that weekend!

I had a very busy schedule with a rehearsal and dinner on Friday, helping with flowers and decorations Saturday, and the wedding on Sunday. I was able to join Paul and Isabelle for a brief visit with his mom and Winn, and Paul's brother Dan before heading off to help with the wedding. Isabelle's Uncle Dan drove up from Las Vegas to meet her for the first time! We enjoyed watching her play with him on the sofa and got a bunch of sweet pictures of them together.

Friday night Paul and Isabelle joined me for the rehearsal dinner at Squatters where Bec's friend Audrey was great at entertaining Isabelle with her sunglasses. Here's a "glam shot" of Isabelle there. Isabelle also enjoyed flirting with some of the cute kids there at dinner- and especially had her eye on Becca's nephew Tyler (age 5) who waved and took pictures of Isabelle also.

Saturday I enjoyed helping Becca prepare flowers and decorations for the wedding before joining Paul and Isabelle for a late brunch with Grandpa George, Grandma Leslie, Great-grandpa Ron, Great-grandma Colleen, and Uncle Dan. It was fun for us to see how amazed everyone was by how well Isabelle eats- both the amount and the variety of foods. We spend so much time worrying about her eating too much, that it was really refreshing to hear some praise for her good eating. Isabelle really enjoyed all the attention at brunch, showing off her words and sign language for all.
Paul squeezed in a nice game of golf with his family while Isabelle napped that afternoon before joining us for dinner with my parents, where Isabelle was way too overstimulated to enjoy.

Sunday morning we all got ready for the wedding and Isabelle looked absolutlely darling- and amazingly matched Becca's wedding colors exactly (totaly coincidence). We knew the wedding would be a stretch for her as she had solidly taken 2 naps every day for the whole trip, and the wedding was smack in the middle of when she normally would have napped. She was a maniac at the wedding! I had to sit near the front as I was doing a reading for the wedding, and had to work really hard to block out Isabelle's sounds of fussing from the back while Paul tried to sooth her. She was unwilling to sit still for 1 minute. I heard her yelling "uh-oh" repeatedly and by the end, realized she had noticed the flower petals that were thrown in the aisle and could not wait to go pick them up.

Becca looked absolutlely radiant and I was really touched to see her husband Scott cry during the vows they shared. I got a little emotional as I read and spoke to Becca and her new husband Scott, as Becca is one of my oldest and dearest friends and has been through much heartbreak in her life- and very much deserves a family of her own filled with love. It was a lot of fun to catch up with Becca's family and to spend some time with their kids.

Becca tried to get Isabelle to be in some pictures with her and the kids, but she kept running towards me and out of the picture. She did enjoy carrying someone's bouquet and watching Tyler blow bubbles.

We got to spend Sunday afternoon and evening with my brother Michael who was leaving the next day for a trip to Brazil to meet his girlfriend Angela's parents. Unfortunately Isabelle was still pretty exhausted from the whole trip and not too willing to play, but I enjoyed seeing and catching up with Michael.

Isabelle was so tired at the airport before the flight home, she was pretty much solidly crying and fussing until we got her on the plane, gave her her "lovey" and she went straight to sleep. We were really really lucky that we got the last seat on the plane for her carseat as it was a sold-out flight and we hadn't bought her a ticket. I can't imagine flying with a toddler on your lap as there is no way they would stay there.

We were all really happy to get home, see Uintah, and be in a familiar place. Isabelle celebrated being home by playing with the sprinklers and reacquainting herself with all her toys. It was a great trip home to see family and friends, but so good to be back home.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter eggs, dresses, and duckies

We had a wonderful, although very rainy Easter with Isabelle this year. We had put together a small Easter basket of rubber duckies, duckie Pez, a stuffed animal Duck, and a bunny book. We also thought it would be fun to try a small egg-hunt using plastic eggs, but didn't want to give Isabelle so much sugar. So we decided to put one animal cracker (her favorite snack!) in each egg so that it makes a sound if she shakes it, and to surprise her with a treat when she opens the eggs.

Since it was supposed to be (and was) very rainy on Sunday, we had an outdoor egg-hunt in our backyard Saturday afternoon. It took Isabelle about 5 seconds to understand that she was supposed to hunt for more eggs and put them in her basket. We were amazed by how quickly she found the eggs!


Sunday we dressed her up in her Easter/dress for my friend's wedding and took some pictures, gave her the basket, and watched her play with her rubber duckies. We enjoyed an outing to the little neighborhood zoo where she enjoys the animals more each time (although Paul was less than excited about how heavy she was in the backpack carrier). We had another egg-hunt in the basement in the afternoon with her zooming all over and finding every single egg in under 5 minutes! She also enjoyed opening a card and Peter the Rabbit egg-hunt book from Grandpa George & Grandma Leslie.

It was a great Easter for us and really made me excited for future holidays with her as she so quickly engaged in the egg-hunt this year already.


Cutest thing Isabelle has been doing lately is saying "more?" whenever she likes something. For example we drive past the horses on the road near our house and she always says "nay nay" to them, and then says "more." I asked her "more what baby?" and her answer was "more nay nay." Haha. As if I could make more horses appear! This has been her way lately of saying she likes something. If we blow raspberries on her belly she'll say "more" and then try to blow a raspberry herself. It's been a lot of fun to get into her head a bit and know more about everything she's enjoying.

She's also been trying to jump- which is just about the cutest thing in the world. Don't have a picture of that yet- but she bends he knees and just pulls her head up as far as she can (without getting any lift yet), but if we pull her up to help her jump, she giggles and giggles. Sure enough we learned she was taught to try to jump by Nanny Shari (who teaches her most everything!). Here's a cute picture of them together.

We've had a busy few weeks with lots of playdates with Isabelle's growing circle of friends- neighbor Ella and she like playing in the yard a lot (Ella calls her "baby Isabelle"), and we had a fun playdate with Lyla and Aaron and baby Madeline last week. It was so cute to see Isabelle and Lyla actually chasing each other around the room and giggling. Isabelle even sat on Katie's lap to sing songs. We hope to plan more regular playdates as they seem to be increasingly interested in playing with each other. As we drove home from Katie's house, Isabelle was saying "Amy" and "Lyla" without any trouble understanding her.

Now the downside- the last few days she's been more and more whiny - I think out of frustration for when she can't say what she wants. Her language is just improving every day. Her Nanny Shari told us she was so proud of Isabelle for signing "Help Bear Please" to let her know she wanted help getting her bear out from under a pile of other animals. So she's starting to put signs together to communicate what she wants, but is so much more frustrated when it doesn't work or she doesn't know how to say what she wants. Today on the way home from lunch with Daddy, she was crying and whining and I kept asking what she wanted- she finally said "more Daddy." :(