Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween: Part One

For several years now, my hometown, Columbus, Wisconsin, has held its Halloween festivities on the Sunday prior to the actual holiday. We thought it made good sense to schedule a visit, so my family would be able to see Isabel in her costume. In addition, the nursing home where my mom and dad reside had several events scheduled including trick or treating and a costume contest. The benefit to Isabel, of course, is that she gets to celebrate Halloween twice since we do plan to go trick or treating on Friday in Minnesota with some friends.

For the indoor celebration, Isabel was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. She wasn't exactly sure what was going on, but she was thrilled whenever anyone put something in her basket. My dad tried to get one of her suckers, but she wasn't giving it up. And usually, she's so good at sharing! She got a huge kick out of the other children who were dressed in costumes. One little boy who was exactly her size was dressed as a very cute Count Dracula. It was a hoot to watch the two of them eye each other up.

We haven't heard the results of the costume contest. There is going to be a vote at the next council meeting for cutest, scariest, and silliest. I don't know about you, but I think our girl has a lock on the cutest costume!

After leaving the nursing home, we went to the homes of a couple people we know to trick or treat. It was good practice for Friday. Since we'll be outside on Friday evening, and it is known to be cold in Minnesota in October, Isabel has a different costume, one that will keep her warm and toasty. You'll have to stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Encounter with Hannibal Lecter

Okay, the little girl's name is Sophie, but the gist is the same. Sophie bit Isabel in the face yesterday at ECFE. Yes. Bit. In the FACE! Sophie is an overly friendly 19 month old who likes to hug and kiss other little kids. Okay, fine, but she goes too far, kissing too fervently and hugging too tightly. So she has Isabel in a clinch, and hey, Ibby is an affectionate little girl, so she's tolerating it until she decides enough is enough and tries to push Sophie away which just makes Sophie hold on all the tighter. Just as I have my hand on Sophie's hand (which is by this time clutched tightly around Isabel's throat) and am about to pull her off, Sophie bares her little fangs...uh...teeth...and latches onto Isabel's face. Up to this point, despite all the unwanted affection, Ibby had been pretty quiet, but now, she lets out a loud wail. So finally, Sophie's mom intervenes and hauls her kid off of my kid who is now crying HARD. The bite occurred awfully close to her eye, but thankfully, didn't injure it. So now Isabel is sporting a good sized red welt (about the size of a nickel) and has the beginnings of her first black eye. She is going to make an awfully tough looking Little Red Riding Hood come Halloween. We'll just tell everyone she took on the Big Bad Wolf and won. But what a trooper. She cried for five, maybe ten minutes tops, and afterwards, was her happy, little easygoing self. What a girl.

Richard and I discussed the incident at length last night after Isabel went to bed. You try so hard to protect your children and keep them safe, and in a split second, boom, injury. Thankfully, this was minor, but it makes you think about how quickly things can happen. Still, I would rather be the mother of the bitee than the biter. There are some real behavior issues to deal with there. Yeah, come to find out, Isabel wasn't the first child Sophie has taken a bite out of. Every time I look at Isabel's eye, I want to be mad at somebody. Sophie? No, not fair. She's just a kid and obviously doesn't know any better. The mom? Well, a little, but kids do bite at this age, and I'm sure it's not an easy thing to deal with. Myself? If I just would have...or...I should have...or I could have...doesn't change the fact that it happened. So. Isabel has her first injury. And despite what my sister said after I relayed the incident to her, I do not plan to homeschool.

Tuesday, Two Hours After the Incident

Today, Looking a Bit Worse

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Beautiful Fall Day

Sunday was a beautiful day, sunny and bright with temps in the high 50s. We figured we better get out to the Arboretum to see the flowers and spectacular fall colors before it's too late to catch the show. We weren't disappointed. We walked a few of the wooded paths, and with the sun shining down through the leaves, the colors were so vibrant they seemed almost neon. The rose garden was stunning, and the mums were beautiful, too, but the dahlias were incredible. They were five to six feet tall, and the colors were absolutely amazing. It was a great afternoon.

Isabel All Toasty in her Fleece

The Stroller is Okay, But I'd Prefer to Walk

Leaves are Pretty, and They Taste Good Too

Checking Out the Waterfall with Daddy

The Maples

One Fine Dahlia

Monday, October 13, 2008

Four Generations of Schoens

This past weekend, we traveled to northern Minnesota to visit Great Grandma Jean, Richard's grandmother. To tell you the truth, we should have gone before now, but I don't know what has happened to the time. The past few months have gone so fast and been so busy. We were feeling terrible that Great Grandma had not yet met Isabel. Well, we finally put our guilt to rest with a nice visit on Saturday afternoon. Pictured below are Isabel and her great grandma and four generations of Schoens: Isabel, Daddy Richard, Grandma Sandy, and Great Grandma Jean.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

American Sign Language

Ever since bringing Isabel home in May, I've been wanting to teach her some sign language, but that proved difficult because I didn't know any signs myself. Even though she's already fifteen months old and starting to talk (her favorite words are hi, up, and Mama), I thought learning some signs would be good brain work for her. Even if she wouldn't pick up or use any signs, I figured it could help with her talking vocabulary. So a couple of weeks ago, I borrowed a dvd from the public library called "Signing Time." There is an entire series of these videos for babies and toddlers. I didn't know what to expect when we played it for the first time. Amazingly, Isabel sat still through the entire half hour program. The video features an adult, Rachel, who shows the sign. Then, for each word, several images of the thing itself or little kids making the sign are shown. Ibby was mesmerized. After a week of watching the video once a day, she has picked up the signs for three words: more, milk, and eat. I also think watching the video is encouraging her to say more words. I could swear she said "eat" yesterday. And this morning, I do believe she said "bye" to Daddy when he went to work. Anyhow, we'll continue to watch the videos. It's the only TV she gets, and the videos are not only fun but certainly educational. The only problem is I cannot get the songs out of my head. "It's signing time with Alex and's signing time with Alex and Leah..." Sigh.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Isabel's New Chair

I had a $25 coupon, so I broke down and bought the cute stuffed chair from Pottery Barn Kids. I've wanted one for awhile, and the coupon gave me just the impetus I needed to spend the money. I purchased My First Anywhere Chair, the smaller one, and after my friend Lynn reminded me there was a bigger one, the Oversized Anywhere Chair, I thought that maybe mine would be too small, but after seeing Isabel in it, I'm glad I went with it. She just loves it! I think she delights in the fact that it is just her size. She curled up in it immediately.

After awhile, she realized it would be a good place to read a good book.

Before bedtime, she needed one last cuddle in the chair.

Daddy taught her how to chair dive. Today, I'm trying to teach her that chairs are for sitting. I guess we're going to have to get a beanbag for rough housing.

Oh, and guess who else likes the chair?