Sunday, March 25, 2007

We miss daddy!

Andy's been gone since Friday afternoon and he comes home tomorrow! Isabella and I are very excited to see him. These past couple of days just seemed to drag along. We had some good mother/daughter bonding time, but our family just isn't complete without daddy.

We spent a lot of our weekend in the great outdoors. Isabella just loves to be outside. When she wants to go out, she points to the closet where we keep her shoes and coat. After I open it, she grabs her shoes, brings them to me, and sits in my lap; waiting for me to put her shoes on. I think I get the picture. Of course, there were a few moments that she wanted to go outside and it wasn't a good time. . . like it's almost time to eat or it's getting dark. I would say to her, "Isabella, we can't play outside right now." Her response to that is to start crying and drop to the floor. Yes. . . tantrums. We are definitely in that phase. The past couple of days, whenever she didn't get what she wanted, crying and falling to the ground would commence. I'm thankful that she gets over these pretty quick and I'm mostly able to keep my sense of humor about everything; but it does get old after a while. I know that we just have to stick to our guns, not give in, and eventually she will learn that this behavior doesn't get her anywhere.

Here are some photos from our outdoor adventures. . .

This way Mom!!! Follow me!I am so happy to be outside!!!Spring is finally here! The earth is coming back to life!!!
The joys of splashing through the puddles.We often go to the library down the street since there's a nice little area with benches and trees. Isabella was pretty intrigued by the boys who were skateboarding. At one point, it sounded like she kept trying to get their attention by yelling "hey, hey!" I laughed.Bella has picked up a couple more signs, 'hat' and 'wash hands'. She has also totally nailed 'drink' now. I always feel so proud whenever she does her signs. . . my smart girl!!! I really really tried to work with her this weekend on signing 'more' and she just won't do it. She points and does her 'please' sign, so I guess that's just her preferred way of asking for more. She has also learned where her belly button is. If I ask, "Where's Bella's belly button?" she will lift up her shirt and point to it. Again, I am a proud mama!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More molars!!!

Bella's inner monster has really surfaced the past few days. I blame it on the new molar that just broke through yesterday. This was the third molar to surface and I know that the fourth is on its way. She has happy moments, but she's much more edgy than usual and can really lose her cool pretty quickly. Nap and bedtimes have become a little more traumatizing as well. We can usually lay Bella down and she will wave to us as we say goodnight. For the past few days, she immediately starts to cry as soon as we put her down. It is heartbreaking to walk out on a little one who is crying. She generally cries for less than a minute, but it still makes you feel like the meanest parent ever. One night, she woke up twice (and thankfully put herself back to sleep). Otherwise, the teething doesn't seem to be messing with her sleep too much, which we are pretty happy about.

Bella has learned two new signs these past couple of days: 'dog' and 'drink'. I noticed her doing the dog sign when we were watching a Baby Einstein video. Later, we were looking through a picture book, she saw a dog and did the sign again. Then, when I was changing her diaper I asked her to show me the sign for 'dog' and she did it. She also started doing the sign for 'drink' though with this one, I think she is more mimicking us than actually knowing what it means. Still, the fact that she is even doing it is encouraging. She hasn't caught on to 'all done' or 'more' yet which is surprising since we use those all the time and they are pretty easy.

Bella has also learned where her tongue is. We'll ask her, "Where's Bella's tongue" and she will stick it out for us! She'll also point to her hair when we ask and sometimes she'll point to our eyes.

Andy's heading back to Wisconsin tomorrow for a church conference in Appleton. So, it's going to be a girl's weekend for me and Bella. Andy will be coming back on Monday afternoon. I hope these teeth quit bothering Bella or it may shape up to be a long weekend.

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SEASON

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Stuck inside

After a couple days of beautiful spring weather, winter decided to visit once again. We got about six inches of snow on Friday so we didn't have much outdoor play this weekend. Yesterday, the three of us did a little shopping and had a late lunch at Fuddrucker's. The roads were a little better by that point and it was nice to get out. Today, Isabella discovered her hat drawer. Inside that hat drawer was also this bow headband that came with one of her newborn outfits. It finally fits her now - over a year later! She thought that it'd be fun to empty out the drawer. . . I thought that it 'd be fun to pile the hats on her head. This was only a few. . . I forgot how many hats this kid truly has!My sister, Mary, bought Bella a Baby Einstein DVD about first words. She really likes it!Bella's learning how to feed herself with a spoon. Usually, we'll have to put the food on the spoon and then she'll bring it to her mouth. This time, she did it all by herself! Granted, it was yogurt which sticks to the spoon pretty easily, but this is still a pretty big accomplishment!!!Of course, it is still quicker and easier to use your hands!Your Hand in Mine

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Beautiful Days

Yesterday and today have been absolutely gorgeous, so we've finally been able to spend some real time outdoors. Isabella loved it. She enjoyed picking up dried leaves and running her hands across the little bit of snow that is left on the ground. We played outside for quite a while and when it was time to come in, she wasn't happy camper. Looks like we might have an outdoors girl! Schoolwise, this has been a pretty busy week for Andy. . . lots of late nights and not much free time for him. Fortunately, things will let up a little after tomorrow. Yesterday, I finished the book I've been reading since the beginning of November (The Divine Conspiracy). Normally, I read things a little faster than that, but this was a thick book with a lot of meaty material, so I had to take my time. The new book I am reading now is 'Captivating' by John and Stasi Eldredge. I've only read the first chapter so far, but I can already tell that I'm going to like it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Signs and Teeth

Isabella learned her first sign. We've been working with her on some sign language and she has already picked up 'please'. Well, it's not the actual sign, more like her version of it; but she is very consistent with using it. She actually uses it all the time now. When she wants something, she points to it and does her sign. It's really cute and much nicer than the whining or the "eh, eh" that she was previously doing when she wanted something. She has also done the sign for 'milk' a few times, but I think it may have just been a coincidence because she's not very consistent with that one. She's starting to say Mama more often. In fact, it must have been her favorite word this weekend, because she was saying it a lot! Ahh, music to my ears! We also think that she says "What's that?" when pointing to things. I also discovered, this week, that Isabella can stack things. We were playing with her plastic stars and she stacked four - one on top of the other. She's learning new things all the time!

Yesterday, Isabella was a little grumpy in the early evening. For the past week, I knew that she was working on a molar, but yesterday, I discovered that she is actually working on all four of them. The top two have already poked through, the bottom right is just about to and the bottom left is close behind. That really explains the crankiness!

The photo up above is from today. We took advantage of the extra daylight and went for a walk. I've had more cabin fever this year than any other. It was still a little chilly, but felt nice to get outside.

Bella has always loved to play with phones. Now it seems she's actually starting to learn how to use them. Sometimes, when we ask her to say hello, she'll put the phone up to her ear and pretend to talk. (Please ignore the dirty mirror. The glare from the flash really accentuates the handprints, which, by the way, are all Bella's. It's hard to keep that thing clean when she's always touching it, but I promise that it doesn't generally look this bad).
I had a hard time taking pictures of Isabella this week. She was either on the go or didn't feel like smiling for the camera. So, this is the best I could do for pics. . . Isabella playing with some old boots.

Scrapbook pages. . .

Meeting Jacob
Where's Bella?
Family Pajama DayThat's all for now!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I let myself get a little too anxious. . .

So, I wrote in the last post about how I wasn't overly concerned about Isabella's lack of actual words at this point. Well, a few hours after I wrote that, I let my anxieties get the better of me; and unfortunately they have been with me throughout the weekend. I decided to look online at what other kids Isabella's age are doing and some have these long lists of words that they're already saying. That, along with all the milestone charts that say kids should have at least 3-5 words by this point, really led to my anxiety-filled weekend. Tonight, we watched a video of Andy when he was about six months older than Isabella is now and that somewhat lessened my fears since he wasn't really talking much (actually I didn't hear him say one word) in the video. It's funny how a man who is so verbal now was so quiet as a kid. Anyway, he turned out fine (for the most part - ha, ha!) so I'll try not to worry so much about Isabella. Upon advice from others, we are working more at teaching her some sign language. This was something we were doing a little, but not consistently enough to really get anywhere with it. Hopefully this will give her other means of communicating other than just pointing at everything.

This week is Spring Break for the college and seminary. It feels so funny to have spring break when it is still very much winter outside. Still, the week will have a slightly slower pace, so that will be nice.

Here's a picture that I took of me and Isabella. She's enjoyed playing with 'baby' lately. I'll say, "Bella, where's Baby?" and she'll go get her (most of the time). I'm trying to teach her different body parts by using the baby. She enjoys pointing at the eyes and mouth the most, just not when I ask her to do it.
I've had some difficulty getting a good picture of her as she just would not sit still long enough. Here she is running off to some other activity. Her latest thing is getting her bowls or cups out of the cupboard and carrying them around as if she's drinking out of them. So silly sometimes!I just discovered that Bear's hands are velcroed together, so I decided to give Isabella a bear hug. She looked adorable as she walked around with this big bear attached to her. Daddy and Bella snuggle time. This lasted for all of two minutes and then she was on the go again.Another page of the nephews. . .