Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!

We had a busy Christmas this year celebrating with family and friends.  Isabelle had a lot of fun opening presents!  Her favorite gifts this year include an elephant walker, pink jumbo legos, and lots of stuffed animals, new outfits, and books.  We spent Christmas eve with DJ's family, Christmas day at my parents with the Klowaks, and headed up to Green Bay the next day with my mom's side.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Our Favorite Christmas Board Books of 2015

This year, my daughter Isabelle and I - now ten months old - have been busy reading all sorts of Christmas books together.  I've always loved holiday picture books and it has been so much fun re-reading some of the classics and finding new authors to enjoy.  Isabelle loves to be on the move and doesn't have a very long attention span, so we have been reading a lot of board books.  Board books have been great for us - they are a lot sturdier then traditional picture books, usually have short phrases or words and lots of bring pictures, and they are the perfect size for her to hold and help turn the pages.

There are so many great books to choose from, but here are some of our favorite Christmas board books that we have read this year:

#5 Fa La La by Leslie Patricelli
A cute and simple book about baby's first Christmas.  The story follows baby as he gets ready for all the fun of Christmas including decorating the Christmas tree, making presents, and singing carols.  The book uses simple words and phrases and is full of holiday spirit.

#4 A Christmas Carol: A BabyLit Colors Primer by Jennifer Adams & Alison Oliver (illustrator)
I loved the BabyLit Primers series because it introduces classic literature in board book format - and also teaches basic concepts like colors, shapes, and numbers.  This one focuses on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and is filled with bright colors.

#3 Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck & Felicia Bond (illustrator)
This is the perfect book to introduce little ones to the story of Jesus's birth and the first Christmas.  The book uses simple rhymes to show how each of the animals - and a few important people as well! - were part of the first Christmas.

#2 Llama Llama Jingle Bells by Anna Dewdney
Ever since reading Llama Llama Red Pajama, we have loved reading the Llama books!  They have short and simple text that has a wonderful rhythm and the board book versions are perfect for little ones.  Plus there is always a subtle lesson to be learned!  We also read the Llama Christmas picture book Llama Llama Holiday Drama.

#1 Where is Baby's Christmas Present?: A Life-the-Flap Book by Karen Katz
There books are perfect for babies and toddlers and includes sturdy flaps on each page!  In this one, baby is looking for his Christmas present and finds all sorts of holiday surprises along the way.  Other holiday board books by Karen Katz include Baby Loves Snow and Counting Christmas.

Happy Holidays!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Happy Holidays from the Smith Family

Our 10 month picture from a few weeks ago - see the rest of them here

We have had a crazy couple of weeks finishing up school and getting ready for the holidays - less than a week until Christmas! I have been settling into my new hours at the library and am looking forward to having sometime off in the next couple of weeks.

Isabelle continues to be an awesome eater and is enjoying having all sorts of new foods.  We are down to nursing twice a day - in the morning and at bedtime - and have been able to start introducing her to dairy.  It has been a welcome chance since I was previously not able to have dairy either since we noticed it bothered her a lot when she was about two months old. 

Storytime is on a break for the holidays, but we try to get the library about once a week to pick out new books.  I have been having lots of fun reading her all sorts of Christmas books over the last few weeks and we are making good progress on our list.  Isabelle is working on lots of new things lately like waving and clapping and 'so big!'  She is also becoming a lot more comfortable walking with her elephant walker.  We also have two new teeth coming in - maybe they will be here in time for Christmas!

Happy Holidays!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Clifford, Christmas Cookies, and Graduation

Isabelle now has two teeth and is doing an awesome job eating everything we give her.  We're down to having milk three times a day - nursing in the morning & bedtime and a bottle during lunch - and she is enjoying getting to have 'real' food throughout the day.

We've had a busy week this month already!  Tuesday we went to the holiday party at the Lomira library.  Isabelle made some ornaments, meet Clifford and some new puppies, listened to stories, and had our very first Christmas cookie!  DJ and I also made it to storytime and playgroup the next day for the first time in a few weeks.  It's neat seeing her starting to play more with other kids at the library!

Friday we went to my grandma and grandpa's house in Green Bay for our annual Christmas cookie making day and out for fish.  We got a lot of baking done (even though Isabelle didn't nap all day) and Isabelle had lots of fun helping make cookies - especially playing with the measuring cups and cookie cutters!

And yesterday, Isabelle graduated from the '1000 Books Before Kindergarten' program at the Waukesha Public Library.  The grandma's joined us for music and the graduation at the library for reading our first 1000 books this year!  We even got a graduation hat :)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Turkey Day!  We had a nice and quiet Thanksgiving this past weekend - we spent Thanksgiving day with DJ's family and Friday with my family in Germantown.  Isabelle loved having turkey and mashed potatoes :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 2015

Isabelle is almost ten months old now!  At her nine month check-up a couple of weeks ago she was 19 lbs. 9 oz. and 28 1/4 in.  She didn't grow as much as last time, but she is well into twelve month clothes - and even twenty-four month clothes in some cases.

Isabelle loves making different sounds - our favorite was 'eeeee' a few weeks ago - but no real 'words' yet.  She is also enjoying some new activities such as playing with puzzles, tossing around her ball, and attempting to chase the dog.  We have started feeding her finger foods (which she loves!) and she now has one tooth - and another one well on it's way.

DJ is enjoying spending time with Isabelle during the day and I am finishing up working part-time at the Germantown Library and will start a full-time schedule next week.  I am enjoying my new job a lot, but will miss having Fridays off and shorter hours during the week!  We tried to get a few out-door things done over the last few weeks and it finally snowed over the weekend.  DJ went up-north hunting last weekend and I took Isabelle with some of my college friends to the Germantown Christmas parade.  We had lots of fun watching the parade, seeing Santa, and going on a carriage ride!

We are looking forward to Thanksgiving this weekend and in the meantime, Isabelle is has been busy eating waffles...

and learning how to drive :)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Our Favorite Halloween Board Books of 2015

Llama Llama Trick or Treat by Anna Dewdney
Trick or Treat, Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
Where is Baby's Pumpkin by Karen Katz
You Are My Pumpkin by Joyce Wan

See all of the Halloween books that we have read here.

Happy Fall

As summer draws to an end, we are enjoying the fall weather!  Isabelle had lots of fun at the pumpkin farm and we had our first trip to Holy Hill with her this weekend.  We are enjoying lots of walks and trips to the park near our house as well.  Storytimes continues to be our highlight of the week and we usually switch off between going to the Germantown library or the library in Lomira.  

Isabelle is becoming an expert crawler and is practicing walking while holding our hands or grabbing onto something.  She loves any new food that we give her and has started eating a few finger foods in her highchair.  We are excited for trick-or-treating next week!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

8 Months Old

Here is Isabelle's eight-month-old picture (a little late...)

This month's pictures was extremely hard to get since she wants to be on the go all the time now - she is getting in a lot of practice crawling all over the house and standing up on anything she can find!  This probably wasn't the best picture, but it was definitely my favorite!  It was the first time we sat in our new chair in our bedroom and she loved it.

DJ and I took Isabelle to Jessica and Patrick's family cabin this weekend and Isabelle had a great time at the aquatic center - she loved the splash park!

Still no teeth yet.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Moon

This week I started my new job at the Germantown Community Library.  I will miss the library and being able to have Isabelle and DJ walk to work, but it will be nice getting home earlier in the evening!

We started Isabelle on fruit - so far we have tried strawberries, blueberries, and bananas.  We ended the week by taking her out by Holy Hill tonight to watch the 'blood moon.'  Isabelle was super good even though it was way past her bedtime!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Little Packer Fan

Isabelle has gotten a lot of practice crawling these past few weeks and loves being able to move around more!  She has also started pulling herself up and standing.  She is enjoying trying new foods every few days - this week we had avocados.  No teeth yet - but she has been waking up during the night more so I think we might be getting close.

Storytime at the Lomira library has started up again and we have been going every Wednesday morning.  We love listening to the stories and it's so fun seeing her start to play with the toys and some of the kids afterwards.  We also attended the '1000 Books Before Kindergarten' open house where we turned in our first reading log, got to put a sticker on our caterpillar circle and made some picture book craft projects.  So far we have read 665 books together!

 We have spent most of the weekends enjoying the warm weather as well as visiting grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, great-grandparents, great-aunt and uncles and even great-aunts!

Isabelle has also become quite the Packer fan...

and a little referee!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

We're Crawling!!

Isabelle turned 7 months old last week - here we are for our monthly picture with our monkey!  We also got our 9-week pictures up.

We had a busy week - glad that tomorrow is labor day so we have some time to recuperate.  Friday morning we had a visit from Grandma Michelle and Aunt Donna at the library.  Isabelle crawled for the first time - she's doing about two "crawls" at a time!  Friday afternoon we took Isabelle to Whitewater.  We saw Matt's house and went to lunch with Matt and my mom and then went out in Whitewater with some friends I used to work with at the university library (Isabelle's first trip to the bars!)  On the way back, we stopped at DJ's parents house for a quick visit.  

Saturday we took a walk and went to the little park near our house.  There is a just a slide and some swing and a sandbox - it is the perfect size for us right now!  Isabelle sat in the swing for awhile.  We loved being in the swing, but she wasn't too sure about it moving.  She is a lot more comfortable swinging on mommy and daddy's lap, but we managed to swing my ourselves for a few seconds at a time.  

Today we spend the afternoon at the Chamber Appreciation Days in Lomira.  I worked at the library table and Isabelle and DJ walked around.  Isabelle hung out with her friend Theodore and got a balloon animal from a clown!  Tomorrow we are going to stay home and get some things done around the house.  I am going to make lots of baby food and Isabelle is (hopefully) going to work on making her Christmas presents for her grandparents.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Family Weekend

DJ was up north this Saturday, so Isabelle and I took a trip to Germantown to visit with my parents and Mike, who was home from Chicago.

On Sunday, DJ's parents came to Lomira for a visit.

Isabelle has officially outgrown all of her six-month clothes and some of our nine-month ones are getting a little short for us as well!  Isabelle always wants to be on the go and hardly ever sits still - even when she's so tired she can't keep her eyes open.  Thank goodness for the bouncy chair!  We're still scotching everywhere (only backwards so far) and have started to sit up on our own from a crawling position.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

We're Scooting

The last couple of days Isabelle has started scooting everywhere!  She usually gets on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth for awhile before falling over.  She's only scooting backwards right now, but I'm sure we will be crawling soon enough.  We can no longer leave her on the floor without finding her half way across the room a couple of seconds later!  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Here Comes the Flower Girl

This weekend we were in Madison for our friends Liz and Cory's wedding and Isabelle was the flower girl.

It was a super busy weekend, but Isabelle did a great job.  She got to wear a pretty dress and, since we're not quiet walking yet, sit in a wagon.  Grandma Michelle took her down the isle and she loved being the center of attention.  We even had mashed potatoes for dinner!

More picture to follow...

 I spent some time decorating Isabelle's room this weekend with the Cricut and jungle animals:

Oh, and day was our first wedding anniversary!  Hard to believe that it's been a year already.  We stayed over at DJ's parents house last night, but we had a nice and relaxing evening at home.  Isabelle was mad that she didn't get to have any cake...

but we enjoyed it :)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Veggie Time!

We're having a great summer - and only a month left!  Isabelle is having lots of fun trying new food.  So far she has had carrots, sweet potatoes, and green veggies.  We haven't found any that she hasn't liked yet!  Isabelle has also been very chatty lately - her new favorite word is "ba-ba."  She also loves laughing, especially at our dog Hannah!  The weather has been nice lately and we've been enjoying our daily walks with daddy to visit me at work.  We are looking forward to storytime starting up again in the fall!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Six Months Already

Isabelle is six months old today - she is getting so big and has started to develop her own little personality.

We are working on sitting up by ourselves (usually)

and recently started to introduce solid foods (which she loves!)

DJ and I have been taking her to storytime and some of the programs at the library.  Isabelle has started to interact with kids at storytime a little and has made a few new friends.  Yesterday we went to see a snake show in Germantown and got our faces painted in Lomira.

We are adjusting to our new home in Lomira and were finally able to find sometime this weekend to get some things done around the house.  I have been busy with work and my internship/classes in Germantown and Isabelle and DJ are getting into a routine during the day.  The library is close enough to our house and they usually take a walk at least once a day so we can visit and I can feed her.  A few weeks ago we went to Jessica and Patrick's wedding and Isabelle made it until about 9:30pm or so before we had to send her to DJ's parents house for bedtime.

Isabelle is always wanting to be on the go so the exersaucer has become a lifesaver when we need to get anything done when she's awake!  I still read to her some chapter books at bedtime when she is nursing, but I mostly stick to board books so she can look at the bright pictures and turn the pages with me.  She especially loves books that rhyme or have fun sounds in them.

Happy six months Isabelle - we're having so much fun watching you grow!