Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter activities

We had so much fun playing in the snow storm here last month. We had probably 6-8" at our house and Isabelle enjoyed sledding and making snow angels with her friends Evie & Charlotte. Unfortunately the storm kept us from driving to Montana to visit Paul's sister Shanna for Thanksgiving as the roads here and between us and them were just too treacherous. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Isabelle ended up quite sick with a pretty high fever and rash all over her body for several days over Thanksgiving weekend. We never figured out what she had other than it was some weird virus.
Now that she's recovered, we have gotten fully into the Christmas decorating. Isabelle had so much fun picking out the tree with us and decorating it with ornaments. She was so disappointed when we'd finished putting all our ornaments up, as she wanted to keep decorating every day! Our next project is to make a gingerbread house. We had fun with friends decorating holiday cookies last night and it was such a reminder of how much Isabelle has grown and changed in the last year- as I could remember at last year's decorating party that she got bored quickly and went off to play, leaving me doing all the decorating. This year she decorated every single cookie and was very focused!
We've visited Santa twice but neither time has she wanted to sit on his lap. We decided we're ok with not making her sit on a weird guy's lap she doesn't know, but she continues to want to visit him- maybe just for the candy canes. :)Visiting Santa's reindeer:We're off to try our first attempt at volunteer work as a family later this week- when we plan to visit the nursing home in our neighborhood and try to cheer up some of the old people there. We are really hoping Isabelle will learn the spirit of giving and helping others, rather than only thinking of Christmas as a time she gets present. Although I'm really excited to do this with her, I am concerned she may become scared of the more impaired residents- so we'll have to see how it goes to decide if we plan to continue volunteering there.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

3 years old and full of fire!

Can't believe Isabelle is 3 years old already. It still seems like yesterday that we had her 1st and 2nd birthday parties. I think this last year sped by even faster than any of the others- as she was such a busy busy busy 2 year old! I've gotten so far behind on blogging as a symptom of that. :)

Isabelle was still sick with a cold on her birthday- so we let her stay home from preschool and open presents all day. We enjoyed the relaxed day together. She enjoyed it so much! She loved all the new puzzles and toys she got from family, playing with her new play food from Uncle Bry & Aunt Eva, and her new puzzles from Grandma Madonna and Mimi & Papa. She adored her new leopard tutu from Grandpa George & Grandma Leslie and insisted on wearing it for several days straight. :)

We gave her new digital camera (kid-proof) that she had a blast with and it became nearly impossible to take a picture of her without her taking one of me simultaneously! We also gave her a new "big girl" balance bike- a new invention to help her learn to push off with her feet and find the balance point so that she will move seamlessly (in theory) to a big-girl bike without need for training wheels. She's still figuring it out a bit-but is supposed to scoot herself along with her feet until she goes fast enough to put her feet up on some pegs. Probably her favorite gift from us was a nice wooden jewelry box with her name stenciled on top. She loves watching the ballerina dance, and pulling her jewelry in and out of it.

A few days later we had a wonderful birthday party at one of Isabelle's favorite places to play- a bouncy house. Paul was nice enough to have her party on his birthday! We were truly touched by how many friends came to help us celebrate her birthday! It was so much fun to watch Isabelle go down this huge inflatable slide with her friends. Huge smiles all around. She loved having everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to her maybe most of all. We were so proud of her when she thanked her friends for coming to the party one by one. She seemed so grown up to us!The cutest birthday card of all- hand drawn by cousin Lillian:

Some of the things she learned to do this year:

Potty trained herself at 2 1/2
Jumping
Singing and memorizing songs (Raffi songs are her favorites)
Riding her trike without help- even up hill
Going on her scooter
Feeding herself all meals without assistance
Putting dishes away and helping to clear the table
Feeding the cats
Telling elaborate imagined/pretend stories
Getting self dressed/undressed with much less help
Go on amusement park rides (and loves them!)
Drawing circles and borders around her drawings
Insatiable need for new books every day- never wanting to reread stories anymore

Some of Isabelle's favorite things at this age:

Playing with friends
Doing anything on her own
Fancy Nancy, Frog & Toad, Llama Llama books
Helping Daddy on any project
Cuddling up for story-time (this is new for her!)
Playing "escape" with Daddy
Hide & Go Seek where she shows us where she's hiding
Teacher Brooke at preschool
Princess dress-up

Fall at the Arboretum with friends


We enjoyed a lovely Fall outing with some of our neighborhood friends to the Seattle Arboretum. It was a gorgeous day and the girls were adorable holding hands while they walked together. We got into a little trouble without a stroller, as Isabelle still isn't so good at longer outings and she ended up needing to be carried and then pushed in someone else's stroller to the car. I keep waiting for the day when she can listen and follow directions, without a complete meltdown each time!



Monday, November 15, 2010

Halloween





Paul had the great idea (albeit last minute!) that we all dress up in costume to have more fun this year at a friend's pre-trick-or-treating party and on the streets. He made a dashing pirate and I dressed up as a witch, with Isabelle as a beautiful peacock.

Getting all ready to go:



At the party with friends:

Trick or treating with friends!



Wally is the best accessory a witch can have!


We had so much fun even though Isabelle was seriously pooped from not napping for several weeks. She got really scared by a Star Wars guy in costume since she couldn't see his face, but otherwise had a blast and couldn't wait to come home and hand more candy out!

The week before Halloween we'd gone to a friend's "Little Monster's" party. Here are some pictures of the fun party full of adorable kids in costume: