We all enjoyed a lovely visit from my parents this past week, but especially Isabelle. She is just crazy about her Mimi & Papa (as she calls them), and on their very first day after her nap, proceeded to hand Mimi every single book downstairs, pulled herself onto the sofa next to her, cuddled up, and asked my mom to read all the books to her. When it was time to go upstairs, I asked if she wanted "a ride" (to be carried) or a hand, and she instead requested "Mimi crawling." She waited for my mom to join her on the stairs and crawl up together, giggling the whole way. We are so happy to see her enjoy her grandparents in this way and are always astounded by how much she remembers her strong feelings towards my mom in particular. Here's Isabelle with my mom's purse:
We enjoyed several fun outings together as well as a few nights out for nice dinners (for me while Paul graciously watched Isabelle). We visited Kelsey Creek Farm in Bellevue again, which has quickly become one of Isabelle's favorite parks as she gets to visit the animals and walk all over the trails.
We also visited the baby tigers at the Cougar Mountain Zoo (3 months old now) and got some great pictures of them. Isabelle was way more excited about feeding the wallaby apples and touching all the statues of animals. But we couldn't get enough of watching those baby tigers run and jump, chase each other, wrestle, and then lay down for a cuddle. I had promised Isabelle a visit there since earlier in the week we had tried to go with friends, only to find the zoo closed that day. The whole rest of the day Isabelle kept whining "baby tigers?" since that is what I had promised. She doesn't forget!
One of my favorite outings with my parents was to the Tibbetts park where my mom played with a tennis ball with Isabelle and then walked around the park with her, allowing my dad, Paul and I to play a little 2 on 1 tennis together. Even though my dad hadn't played tennis since he last visited, he said it was the most fun he'd had in years. Now if we could only get my mom to want to hit a ball with him, they could play together. It felt great for Paul and I to get out and hit and obviously we got a bit of a workout when we played the singles side against the other two. I noticed while we were playing tennis that Isabelle and my mom had disappeared behind the barn and I wondered if they were at the river. A little while later, they reappeared, with my mom chasing Isabelle across the grass, and Isabelle erupting in fits of giggles whenever she turned to see my mom chasing her. It was the best thing ever to see.
My mom later told me she had no idea where Isabelle was leading her on their walk and she even tried to dissuade her from going further, but that she seemed determined to keep going, and ended up leading my mom straight to the little bridge over the river at Tibbett's Manor that I always take her to. The amazing part is this proves she knows exactly where everything is, since she had never in her life walked there (always in a stroller) and never starting from the tennis courts. We've talked for a long time about how even as a baby, Isabelle started expressing preferences over which trails we took on walks and that the pattern quickly emerged that she chose the routes that led to parks (or not home).
We enjoyed several nice outings to the parks as well. Here is a cute picture of Isabelle enjoying the "big" slide for the first time with Paul (shortly afterwards she went down on her own squealing with joy).
My parents brought with them two presents for Isabelle as well as a lovely parea for me from their vacation to Tahiti. Isabelle was very intrigued about opening the presents and for the first time really participated in unwrapping them. She loves both the puzzle and the building/nesting blocks they brought. My mom found her in their room the day they were leaving looking for more "presents." :)
Isabelle enjoyed sitting with my dad or "Papa" and looking at the pictures from Tahiti of sea turtles. She also got my dad to make all the animal noises one of her books makes, and enjoyed sitting with him at mealtimes.
We were sad to see them go but are already looking forward to their next visit mid-October just before Isabelle's birthday.
Great title, eh? Well this topic seems big around our house lately with Isabelle talking more and more about poop and pee as she's been leading us towards potty training. We did get her a little red potty this week as she's been reading about potties in some books for a while and quite curious. First time she sat on the potty she pooped in it! We were very proud and decided to allow a little "nakedtime" as the books recommend. Not 5 minutes later did she start crying because she'd peed all over herself and the carpet. :( Guess we weren't quite ready for it all yet. She was upset for the rest of the day about the potty (not wanting to go near it), which is fine with us as we are in no hurry at all. But yesterday when her babysitter was here, Isabelle pooped again in her potty and was quite excited to tell us about it when we got home. I guess each step forwards is a good one. She may be more excited about having a stool to reach the sink and her own soap than anything else. :)
I took her on a couple of fun outings this week, enjoying the (finally!) cooler weather we've been having. We went to Kelsey Creek farm where we visited all the animals. Isabelle was a bit scared of the geese honking at her, but absolutely was riveted by watching the horses and the class of kids learning to ride them. She kept pointing out one horse riding in a circle saying "circle, silly!" and laughing about it. She bravely faced the huge pig (she was previously scared of) who was sleeping and she continues to talk about "piggy snoring." But more than anything, she was fascinated by the piles of horse poop. I have a whole series of photos where all she kept saying was "poo poo" and pointing at it, and then sticking her tongue out to indicate it was "yucky."
As much as we enjoyed walking around and seeing the animals, she became trouble when I tried to get her back in the stroller for the long (and steep) walk back. I continue to struggle with how to get her to listen and her usually running the other way when I try to get her to come with me. It is very frustrating and difficult physically to pick her up and carry her when she's throwing a tantrum.
First she decided it was more fun to push her stroller: Yes in this picture she is running away as fast as possible, and in the next running back down the hill.
Paul and Isabelle really made my 36th birthday great- since we celebrated throughout the week in many different ways. Paul and I enjoyed a lovely night out at Seastar early in the week, and then met up for a mid-day Harry Potter movie on Wed. My birthday was on a Friday and Paul took off work so we could spend it together, and we took Isabelle to the park in the morning and enjoyed our first ever family bike-ride before a nice dinner at Jaks that evening. It was really fun to ride next to Isabelle and Paul on his bike and she thought it was quite funny to see me next to her.
Paul got me beautiful white roses, a white chocolate strawberry cake from the best cake shop in Fremont, and a new putter (much overdue!) which I put to use this weekend. It will take some adjusting for me to get used to it, but I'm thrilled to have a better putter. Isabelle enjoyed singing "Happy Birthday" and of course eating cake, but kept saying "more Happy?" meaning "more cake" rather than more singing. :)
Here's Isabelle wanting the putter (and roses) all for herself:
One funny part of the cake was they mistakenly wrote the message "Happy Birthday Jean" so I guess being 36 and Jean wasn't too bad for me this year! :)