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 :)