Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Watering flowers, and swim class

The sun has been shining and we enjoyed a very warm (nearly 80 degrees) weekend. We've enjoyed getting out yard into shape bit by bit over the past month, and I finally got all my flowers potted, the mulch done, and our lawn is as green as it's been. Paul treated our soggy back yard with some sand a month or so ago and it has made a huge difference! Isabelle has enjoyed helping water all of Mommy's flowers with her new watering can, but isn't too keen to share the can with any of her friends just yet. One of the cutest things lately is how much Isabelle enjoys smelling our blooming lilacs- she inches towards them sticks her nose in the air, and takes a huge sniff. Now she sniffs all flowers thinking they will all smell like lilacs. :) A neighbor pointed out she will be sorely disappointed.

Isabelle started her first swim class yesterday at the Issaquah pool. We decided to share taking her so Paul can take her when he can, and I will when he can't. For her first class we both went (me on the sidelines) and it was quite an adventure for Isabelle. Her eyes were HUGE watching the kids get in and out of the pool before our class started, and she was a little scared right when they got in but within minutes was smiling and enjoying the water. Paul said it was the best part of his week so far. :)

We enjoyed a belated Sunday brunch last weekend at Palisade- a lovely spot right on the water in Magnolia. Isabelle enjoyed their saltwater fish pond more than the food, and we all enjoyed the views along the shoreline.

We're keeping our eyes out for some summer play equipment for the yard for Isabelle, and just ordered a "sand and water" play table that should arrive this week. We can almost not keep up with her learning and words. Yesterday I was asking Paul if he wanted broccoli or asparagus with dinner, and in the background heard Isabelle saying something over and over again. Finally I realized she had been saying "brokli brokli brokli" to let us know what she wanted for dinner. And she wasn't kidding- she ate a HUGE amount of broccoli and even asked for more!

Here she is playing her piano and playing peek-a-boo with the newspaper:

We're relieved that she has been less successful at her attempts to scratch our faces (mostly mine), as I've caught her hands in time or turned her around so she can't reach me, despite trying. Hoping that she'll eventually learn this behavior doesn't get her anything she wants. We're still working on her sharing with her friends, but realize that we don't want to scold her for not sharing as it's something we want her to want to do, not have to do. Here's Isabelle and Ella enjoying a wagon ride together:

Here's Isabelle with her "purse" on her shoulder saying "bye" pretending to leave for Target like Mommy does.

Monday, May 11, 2009

It may be Mama's Day but not ready to play nice

Something convinced Isabelle in the past week to start trying out more aggressive behavior to see what it nets her. As you can imagine, this has been painful and difficult for everyone. One day she just decided to claw Mommy's face with her nails as hard as she could to show just how upset she was about heading up for naptime. Unfortunately, this was not a freak incident- but she has continued to claw and scratch at my face (and Paul's once) whenever she's been upset (but usually when she's overtired).

Advice anyone??? I've tried holding her hands and saying "no scratch" each time and even to tell her it causes "owies" for Mommy, but she laughs at my reaction and thinks it's funny (even when I'm crying). The book I read recommends mini time-outs by setting her down in a room and walking away or turning your back for 30 seconds or so to help her calm down and not get attention. But this seems to only reward Isabelle since she usually does this when we're heading upstairs for naptime, so setting her down or delaying nap would actually give her exactly what she wants. *Sigh*.... I have no idea how to stop this behavior and it has been really awful to witness and be a victim of. Hopefully this is a phase she will outgrow (just like the headbutting was).

This same week she has started to play a little rougher than we'd like with her friend Ella. Whenever Ella and she play, Ella is generous about sharing her toys, but Isabelle completely has a tantrum if Ella touches any of her toys. She just doesn't get the idea of sharing yet and it is something we'll continue to work on for quite a while I'm sure. A few days ago, Isabelle physically shoved Ella away from a toy (Ella's toy actually) that she wanted. Where did my sweet girl go??? :( I worry she will make Ella not want to play with her anymore if this continues or gets worse. So we are hoping to help her learn to play nicer and use her words more than her body.

Looking seriously tired:

So.... heading into Mother's Day weekend, I had had a pretty rough week of it with Isabelle. I had received a lovely (and very yummy) "Edible bouquet" of fresh fruit from Paul's dad and Leslie, which was so sweet of them to think of me. Paul cooked me a lovely spicy eggs strata breakfast and I was really touched to have Isabelle walk over and hand me a Mother's Day card they had made for me. That was a big change from last year when she would not have been able to do that! We planned to head up to Flower World (a huge nursery near Monroe) to pick out some flowers for my pots for the summer. Isabelle did well on the ride there and at the nursery - which is so huge it's like Disneyland for gardeners, with maps, parking attendants, and really long lines to check out. I was pretty overwhelmed but it was good to see all that was there and hopefully my flowers will do well. While I checked out Paul took Isabelle to an area they had some animals for kids to see and apparently Isabelle was just flabbergasted by the peacock who flared his feathers and made some noise.

Unfortunately we were so far from home at such a late time, that we had missed lunch and there was no way Isabelle would be home for her nap- so we ended up heading for lunch at 2:30 and slowly making our way home. She screamed the entire drive home from lunch due to being overtired and even begged for her "lovey" basically asking to nap. It is so frustrating that even when she's that tired, she still won't fall asleep while we're out in the car or stroller. Screaming didn't stop until we got home and put her down for a nap she was clearly unable to skip (at 4:15! when she'd normally be up from her nap).

So it was a mixed Mother's Day with some fun and some difficulty- we just keep learning how far Isabelle still is from only needing one nap and from being able to take a longer tip or errand.

Here's Isabelle trying to help Mommy vaccuum:

Isabelle thinking she's cute in her outfit- prancing around and showing off: