Saturday, March 27, 2010

Isabelle 19/20 months

Little Miss Isabelle turned 20 months on the 24th and we are in high gear, getting ready to introduce her to the world as a big sister. My due date is April 9, so there are just under two weeks left. Despite my mind having a hard time imagining that I'll go to the end, I'm pretty sure I will so I'm trying my best to sit back and relax (though, as any mama knows, that's impossible to do with the nesting instinct going full steam ahead. But I can try.)

Isabelle keeps us fully busy and entertained. Here are some of our favorite sayings and things she does lately...

"One minute" (while holding up her hand a la The Supremes' "Stop in the Name of Love"). When she wants something and we say "one minute," she'll repeat it and momentarily collect a milisecond of patience before resuming whatever request she was originally after.

"Be careful" (Be care-pul), which she says when she's doing something that she probably shouldn't be doing, namely precariously climbing on furniture, toys, her parents...

"Just one more," which is another phrase she likes to put out there before we get to it. For example, when it's one hour to dinner and she wants "just one more" grape, cheese, yogurt - whatever the snack du jour is (of course, it's never just one more that she really wants) .

Before she goes down to bed or for a nap, there is a musical bunny hanging by the side of her crib that we pull the string on and it plays a lullaby. We've been playing this bunny's music before any sleep period of hers since she was about 12 weeks old. As such, I can sense when the 3 minute music period is about to end within a second of it doing so, having heard it so much. Lately though, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me or that my pregnancy hormones were bordering crazy. I swore I heard this bunny playing music for extended periods of time or once I thought for sure it had stopped. Turns out, if Isabelle isn't asleep by the time the bunny's sonnet is done, she gets up, reaches through the rails of her crib and pulls the string to hear the music again. Sometimes I wish I still had a video monitor in her room to watch all the things she gets up to when we're not looking. :)

This is less cute, and hopefully a passing phase...taking the diaper off. She is probably ready to be potty trained, seeing as she asks to use the potty and can do so well & frequently (though not #2 yet). I'm sort of putting it off until after the new baby arrives and things calm down a bit, but until then we'll be using pull ups because she's way too good at un-attaching her normal diapers.

She has recently started covering her eyes when she's in a shy mood. For example, if she is dancing and thinks no one is watching then suddenly notices us, she will bear a huge, shy smile, cover her eyes, and continue dancing with her hands covering her eyes. :) Speaking of dancing, she's a big dancer and a big fan of sing-a-long songs.

"Share, share!" This she says with only part understanding - the part where the other person gives up whatever they have to her. She less understands the reciprocal element to this, but we're getting there.

She can identify about 1/3 of the alphabet and most of the primary colors. Yoly said that she heard Isabelle count up to 9, unprompted, the other day but I've only heard her get to 5 and then skips to 7, 8, 9, 10 - either way, after 3 it's certainly not always accurate yet.

Endless two word statements - "Daddy work" ("Daddy shoes" "Daddy car" lots of Daddy this or that) "Coffee (Kafee) hot" "Mommy necklace (naaklace)" "Evie house" (her friend Evie, whose house we go to for play dates often), "Eat food" (or "food eat" followed by her pointing to her open mouth, meaning she hungry (hangray), etc...

But the most fun about her expanding vocabulary is hearing "I lu loo," especially when it comes from out of the blue! Oh how I love being her mom!

{Helping mama organize...sort of}
As part of my uncontrollable nesting, I decided to organize my make-up. As always, Isabelle was right by my side "helping." Not being a foot away from me, I failed to notice her digging her finger into my MAC palette and Laura Mercier creme blush. She had decent aim, with the eye liner between her eyes and the blush on her cheeks - I was pretty impressed. I swapped it out with an empty mirror case, which was decidedly less fun.

"These things are so tricky to open!!"

"Yep, not as fun as your overpriced make-up mom."

"But WOW, I did a great job!"

"Man I'm cute.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pink elephants & lemonade

Having tea with my favorite hostess

Toddlerhood is full-on. Wow. I feel like we are on the go non-stop. When we get home from nursery she goes down for a nap, and once she's up it's off to the tracks! Generally about 3 of the 5 week days we have play dates in the afternoon, and then the other two days we either try to go to the pool or run errands. But to stay home, cooped up (relaxing) in the house? No sir, no way. Her unleashed energy would make our walls rattle. I'm really curious how it's going to work when the little one arrives, recalling there were days on end when I didn't leave the house after Isabelle was born. Soon we will see!

Speaking of nursery, which she's been going to regularly since January, she seems to love it. I feel it's been wonderful enrichment for her and the playtime she gets with other little ones is second to none. She normally goes from about 8am to 12pm, and it's delightful to walk in the room to pick her up and see her laughing and playing with other children. Nursery on the other hand, should also be called boot camp for little immune systems, but apart from the string of colds she has caught, it's been nothing but positive.

In other news, Isabelle, our darling daughter, is well...a genius. (Okay, okay - I'm not really that parent, it's just that her development never ceases to amaze me; especially comparing it to 6 months ago, 12 months ago, and realizing that she's only 19 months old now. It's pure *magic* watching your child grow and learn.) Practically every day there are new words coming out from whoknowswhere and she is speaking with more understanding of concepts, series, short phrases and occasionally using prepositions like "after" or "to", as well as conjunctions like "this, not that" etc. Clearly she has no true sense of grammar, but to see her developing language and delivery is amazing.

This week we've had numerous tea parties, dress up in her new prima ballerina costume, and lots of runny noses. We're gearing up for new baby's arrival in the beginning of April and I'm trying to do things to ensure that Isabelle has the mild end of blind-sight when baby comes home. However, I get the feeling that no matter how we dice it, it's going to be a big shock to have mommy's attention divided for the first time in her life. Considering there were times that I thought my body might mold to my Dutalier when I was nursing Isabelle in those early days, it is hard for me to imagine what it's going to be like nursing #2 with a toddler who barely lets me alone enough to prepare her dinner for her. We'll all figure it out I guess!

{Nursery morning fun}

National Dress Day

Her school hosted a national dress day, in which the kids dressed up in clothes representing their home country. Here are just a couple snaps of her classmates...
Can you stand it?

Camera phones do NOT do justice the cuteness that was going on in her school this morning...

So, what does an American/Dutch baby dress up in? In our household at least, we found an old I heart NY t-shirt that I picked up in the JFK terminal last summer, pants that appear to be a bit on the Eddie Griswold side, and clog house slippers that she refused to wear, so we sent them in a handbag. We'll try harder next time.


There was a Doha food festival at the American School last Friday, and the Green Box hosted a booth. As such, I was asked to prepare a lot of juice for our booth to hand out to the passerbys. Isabelle was a great sous chef, er juicer, helping out by handing me carrots and celery and conducting quality control. (If I were in the states, I would definitely get one of those kitchen stands for toddlers from Williams Sonoma as she LOVES helping out at eye level).

{At home...}

I've already mentioned that relaxing at home translates, to one little Miss Isabelle, as being cooped up. AND I've mentioned that nursery is kind enough to share every runny nose that passes it's doorway with our baby. SO, what do you do when you're home sick, unable to go anywhere? You improvise.

{She said she didn't do it...}

Who needs those "vintage" mix tapes from high school anyway? (sniff sniff)

{Prima Ballerina}

Unfortunately, I didn't get the camera in time to capture her dancing & twirling, or admiring herself in her bedroom mirror, but I did get the camera in time to catch the dress-up portion of the afternoon. She's a girly girl through and through!

After a quiet 5 minutes, I go to find her pulling out my shoes and replacing her moccasins with my orange flats.

Saying, "bye, bye, see you soon!