Memorial Day

Yes, I realize it is no longer Memorial Day. I'm just a few days behind on posting! I had over 300 pictures to go through from the weekend though, so cut me a little slack.

But anyways, our Memorial Monday was really nice. We had absolutely perfect weather (almost 80 and sunny), and we were busy all day. Right after breakfast, we went over to G-G and Grammy's house (Chris' grandparents) and visited with them for a while. Although G-G was steaming the carpets, so we really didn't see too much of him. But Grammy sure took advantage of getting all the hugs and kisses since she didn't have to share the kids with him!

Afterwards, we went over to the park to look at the ducks and geese for a while and then headed down to watch the parade. Since it's a short parade, only about 10 minutes, there were hardly any people there so we had a prime watching spot. (Butterfest will be a different story though in a couple weeks)

After getting home (Grahm fell asleep on the ride), we all had lunch and then continued to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and went outside and played. Grahm spent the majority of his time climbing on the patio steps (big surprise there!). Isabelle took her butterfly net (a gift from Mimi and Grampi) and caught 3 butterflies! When asked if she wanted to keep them or let them go, she chose to let them go each time. What a sweetheart. One of the butterflies she caught was really pretty: purple and green wings with black spots.

And then (no, our day is not done yet!) we went over to Mimi and Grampi's with one of the butterflies to let it go at their house. Isabelle hot tubbed a little bit too while we were there. We went home, had dinner, and then went to bed. A very productive and busy day, but very enjoyable. And it's a good thing we spent so much time outside because we've had nothing but cold weather (along with wind or rain) all week.


Our Weekend at the Cottage

For Memorial Weekend, we headed up to Mimi and Grampi's (Chris' parents) cottage. We left Friday after Chris was done with work, which was perfect timing because that is when Grahm takes his nap, and came back home on Sunday. We had a really fun time and our days were always busy.

Things we did:
Dug for money in the sand (Isabelle found over $6!)
Played cribbage
Attended a birthday party for Chris' cousin who will be 16
Roasted marshmallows and made s'mores
Spent a lot of time outside
Went fishing (for the first time with the kids...it's harder than it looks!)
And visited with family

Isabelle did get hurt while we were up there though. She was running with Elly (the dog) and ran right into the kite string. She's okay. It did look awful for a few days though. It's finally clearing up and you can hardly see it anymore. It looks like a bad burn around her neck. So if you see a line on her neck in any of the pictures, that's what it's from.

And on a side note, Isabelle's potty training has been going excellent! Ever since I switched her over to big girl underwear a week or so ago from her training pants, she rarely has an accident. She only had one accident all weekend, so I'm very proud of her! I was so worried for a while there that we were going to have 3 in diapers. But Isabelle has really been growing up this past month and is starting to inch out of the toddler stage and into being a big girl. She also eats by herself now, which is something I worked with on her while Chris was gone to training earlier in the month. We were still having to partially feed her because she used to only take a bite or two and then ask for help. But while Chris was gone, I got stubborn and had enough because there was no way I was going to feed three kids with only two hands. I figured if she didn't want to eat, then she wouldn't get any snacks. She eventually came around and now she eats all by herself! Only rarely will she turn to Daddy (the "softy") and ask for help. But he's done good and hasn't given in. He used to, which is why I worked on Belle when he was gone. She sure is growing up fast. It's hard to believe she's only 2 1/2.

*Edited to add: Sorry, I keep changing the post because I keep changing the slideshow. The other two I had on there didn't fit completely on the screen and you couldn't click on the pictures if you wanted to see them again.


Story Time

After reading Isabelle a very short book Sunday night before bed, I told her she could pick out one more book to read. She turns to me, holds up two fingers and says "Two books." "No, only one more book" I told her. She then holds up one finger and says (in a rather disappointing voice) "One book." So, she goes over and picks out a book. And she doesn't pick out a short book or even a medium sized book. She picks out one of the longest books she has! It's a Peter Rabbit book that has stories about colors, numbers, time, and letters in it. (And after looking on Amazon, I found out it has almost 150 pages!) Looking at the clock and realizing how late it is getting, I ask her which part of the book she would like to read. To which she looks up at me with a puzzled look, as if wondering why she only gets to read part of the book. "All of it. One book. Only one book." was her response. No lie. She outwitted me, that little stinker!


Bedtime Routine

I am in charge of putting Isabelle to bed at night and Chris takes care of Grahm. Right now, Grahm really isn't into books (unlike his sister at this age), so he gets a bottle and then goes to bed. But Isabelle, on the other hand, has quite the bedtime routine. After brushing her teeth and using the potty (she has gotten so much better with that the past few days!), she gets her pjs on and picks out a book for us to read. Depending on what it is (i.e.: a long Dr. Seuss or a short board book), we may read between one and three books. Then after that we turn off the lights, lay down, and sing some songs. I always let her choose what she wants me to sing to her (and sometimes she'll sing along, depending on how tired she is), and it's always the same songs in the same order:
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The Monkeys at the Zoo (to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus)
The Donkey Song (as she calls it - it's the theme song to Winnie the Pooh)
The Honey Song (again, as she calls it - it's actually Return to Pooh Corner)

Every once in a while she'll throw in another song in there, but otherwise this is the "playlist". So once that's done, I turn on her twilight turtle (a turtle that has the constellations on it's shell - very cool), and off to sleep she goes. I can't wait until Grahm starts to get more into a bedtime routine, other than taking a bottle and going to bed. It's such a special time to spend with them when everything is quiet and they snuggle right in with you. Definitely one of my most favorite parts of the day.

Mommy's Big Helper

Well, Isabelle recently helped me make some banana bread while Grahm was taking his afternoon nap. In the past, I have only let her help with the mixing. But this day was different. She graduated from my little helper to my big helper and actually measured out the ingredients for me (under watchful supervision, mind you). I gave her the correct utensil (i.e.: cup, tablespoon, teaspoon) and she scooped and dumped for me. Granted, it took a little longer doing it this way, but she really seemed to enjoy having such a big role and took great pride in what she did.

Her "kiss the cook" face

Showing off her utensils

The finished product (well, up until the part where you bake it anyway)

**Edited to add: Isabelle's Great Grandma in California made her the apron that she is wearing. Isabelle absolutely refused to start baking until she found it and had it on. We had just a little meltdown because we had a hard time finding it. It was in a different drawer and buried (literally) under a whole bunch of bibs.


No Energy = No Pictures

Well, we've been busy since Chris has come home - walks, playing outside, going to playgroup, visiting with friends and family, doctor appointments, Mother's Day, and just everyday normal activities. Right now Chris is at the putting green with Isabelle (she got a free Princess hat from Disney Movie Rewards and immediately wanted to go golfing with it), and I should be taking a nap since Grahm is taking his nap, but I wanted to make a post real quick since it has been a while.

We've had really nice weather lately (70's today!) and have been trying to take advantage of it by spending the majority of it outside. And when both kids are outside being supervised only by me because Chris is at work, I can't possibly take any pictures because I'm too afraid of Grahm falling down the steps since all he likes to do is climb them. And yesterday the people who live two houses down had their little dog outside and let Isabelle (with Chris) go pet it. And now she wants a dog again. When asked what kind of dog she wants, she wants that one. Not one like it, but that exact one.

With Tiny Tots over, I started taking the kids to playgroup twice this week. And they've been playing outside on the playground, which means more running around for me. I'm glad they are having fun though, which is important. But man, by noon I am exhausted! I have been trying to go for walks when the mornings aren't too cold or rainy, which seem to help me stay energized. Well, until 8 at night anyway! I could close my eyes after Isabelle and I are done reading a book at bedtime and fall asleep right next to her!

Well, I'm going to try and get a short nap in before Chris and Belle get home (after I have a bowl of ice cream, of course!). And hopefully next post, I'll have pictures to add.


Our Day

Well, Chris will be home tomorrow night...yeah! I know Belle is looking forward to having him come home. Just yesterday she started asking when he was coming home. And when Elly started barking, Belle got excited thinking it was Daddy home from work. She also found some balloons that she wants to blow up for a party for when he comes home.

Today I had my last physical therapy appointment, which went okay. She said that I positive something in my right leg. I can't remember the word she used, but basically I have a lot of tension that runs from my calf to my lower back. And without Chris here all week, my back has really been taking a toll with the extra lifting and bending over. She was so nice and gave me a soft tissue massage, which helped for the time being so I could do my exercises. And my back felt better leaving than when I arrived, but now it's back to throbbing pain. But since I'm pregnant, there really isn't much more they can do for me. I was feeling a whole lot better last week, and I know that once Chris is back I'll be able to get better again. But she did say that if the pain continues after I have the baby, I should really go back to physical therapy because there would be so many more options they could do for me once I am no longer pregnant. Right now, I'm able to manage it pretty well on my own. Well, not right now right now per say since I have the added stress of caring for the kids by myself, but once Chris is home.

But after my appointment we had some lunch (McDonald's...the first fast-food meal I got them all week) and then took a slow walk around the neighborhood. I didn't really want to take a walk, but Belle had it in her mind even though I never mentioned it. In fact, after lunch I asked her if she wanted some ice cream, a cookie, or strawberries. Her answer: Want to take a walk. She's like her dad...she picks the answer that isn't there, not the obvious one. I mean really...what kid passes up ice cream to go walking????

After that, it was a pretty ho-hum evening. They played for a little bit, Grahm went down for a nap, Belle and I played puzzles, we ate dinner (Mac 'n Cheese and corn...hey, Chris is the cook in the family!), and then I gave the kids a bath before bedtime.

I am so glad tomorrow is Friday.


Watch Out Tiger Woods

Well, not really. He has nothing to worry about...at least not yet! Belle went golfing with Mimi and Grampi on Monday, and they even cut down an old putter for her to use (so cute!). And while she had a good time, she is still very much a 2 1/2 year old: running around the course, stopping to look at ladybugs, and wanting to play at the park.


How Different They Are!

While I was playing downstairs with the kids tonight after their bath, we heard some thunder. And everytime Isabelle heard it, she would tell me that she's scared. So while I held her until bed time, Grahm just continued playing with the toys...completely oblivious to the storm that was going on outside.

As we made our way up the stairs, Isabelle saw the lightening and then heard more thunder outside. She bolted for her room at that moment. This is what I encountered when I entered her room*:

She actually ended up falling asleep about 10 minutes after that, still in the same position (although I pulled the blanket off her head).

Now here's Grahm:

While he wasn't smiling in this picture, he was running around the house laughing and smiling just a few minutes earlier. Apparently storms do not bother him. He's perfectly content ransacking his sister's bedroom while she sleeps.

*My brother Dave gave me the idea to take a picture of her and post it. So if Belle is going to be mad at anyone for this picture when she is older, she can blame him. :)

Outside Play

It was 78 degrees today at noon. So this afternoon after lunch, our neighbor friends came over for a while. The kids had a fun time running in the field out back picking all the dandelions and looking in the prairie dog holes. They also spent some time on the swingset and digging in the sandbox. I wasn't able to get many pictures of them playing together because Grahm kept wanting to climb up and down the back porch. And he wouldn't follow the other kids no matter how hard I tried. Very independent he is!

Thanks for coming over Merranda, Justin, Ethny, and Rhys! We had a fun time!

Long Night

Well, night two without Chris was a little worse than night one. The first night both kids slept through the night, but I was up every couple hours because I just had a hard time sleeping by myself. Last night, however, was awful! I finally fell asleep sometime after 11:30 and I was awakened by Isabelle around midnight. She came into the bed, and I thought "Okay, you can sleep on Daddy's side tonight and that will be that". However, that was only the beginning. She fell right back asleep as soon as she crawled into bed, however, she tossed and turned for 20 minutes straight. I couldn't take it anymore! So, I carried her back to bed, and breathed a sigh of relief thinking that my problems were over. Well, one hour later, she was back. I thought I'd try letting her sleep in bed with me again because I was just too exhausted to drag her back to her bed. However, she was back to kicking me in the back, hitting me in the head with her arm, and sleeping sideways. I carried her back to bed, tucked her in, and went back to sleep by myself. Well, lather, rinse, repeat this process three (yes, three) more times. However, each of these times I got up as soon as she crawled into bed and walked her back to her room.

So not only was I tired this morning, but Isabelle was very whiny and disobedient (which I believe is from the lack of sleep she got as well). I am just so glad Grahm slept through the night again though, which definitely helped! He was his usual chipper self today. But because of Isabelle's mood this morning, I chose not to take her to the last Tiny Tots class. While I feel bad that we missed it, I didn't want to reward her bad behavior. And I also didn't want her disrupting the class with her attitude. It was not a fun morning.

But once her mood improved and she stopped sulking, she played with Grahm for a little bit in her room.

The aftermath of the storm

Hanging out together

Actually sitting in the chair for a change (he's usually standing on it)


Dad Time

Before Daddy left tonight for his training this week (all week long), he spent a little play time with the kids and the dog. Rough housing with Dad is something they cannot do with Mom, so they absolutely love it. Belle loves climbing on him, while Grahm loves the fact that he can tackle Elly while Daddy holds her for him. Don't worry, the dog doesn't get hurt. And when things do go awry, Chris is right there to interfere (such as ear pulling, as you will notice below).

Afterwards, Belle was wandering around with her hands in her pockets, which she has loved doing the past month or two. I don't really know what brought that on, but she usually does it at least once a day.

Well, hopefully Chris does well in his training and passes it, and I can remain sane the whole week without Chris. At least the kids are at an age where they can play with each other. Unfortunately, it's not always nice play (i.e.: hairpulling and pushing). But for the most part, they are great towards each other and Isabelle is very giving of Grahm and looks out for him and gives him toys.

I guess I'm just more worried about the nights alone. I hate, hate, hate being alone at night. I have to be completely exhausted before I fall asleep because I analyze every noise I hear and hope it's not someone breaking into the window downstairs. I'm just glad we're not at our old house anymore because that place made a ton of wierd noises! I can guarantee the t.v. will be on all night every night so that if I wake up in the middle of the night or something it's not pitch black and silent. I hope this week goes by fast and Friday night gets here soon!

Ice Cream!

It's not often that Belle gets ice cream, but when she does I make sure to go all out for her...chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a couple cherries (her favorite part). Oh, don't think that she's not spoiled and never gets any treats. Believe me, she gets her fair share of candy and cookies and anything else sugary in our house (which we have a lot of because being pregnant brings out a major sweet tooth in me). It's just a lot of work to make an ice cream sundae as compared to pulling a cookie out of the box.

Here she is so excited to be getting some ice cream. Notice Grahm smiling behind her for the camera? What a cutie they both are!

Belle showing off her treat. And Grahm straining to be in the picture.

I felt bad the next morning for not taking any pictures of Grahm, after he was trying so desperately to partake in them, that I took a couple before breakfast. He has found a favorite new toy the past couple days...paper cups. He loves them!

Here he was smiling at his sister who was being goofy at the time and making silly noises for him.

Thank You, Mom

Isabelle got these really pretty flowers from MorMor (my mom) for May Day on May 1st. She was so excited to get her very own flowers and still comments that they are "Belle's flowers" to me. I also received some flowers from my mom for May Day as well as for Mother's Day. It's so nice to be able to have flowers in the house now, knowing that the cat won't be jumping on the counter to eat them.