Friday, April 30, 2010


On Thursday nights I’ve been taking Bella to Family Playtime though the Anoka Hennepin ECFE. It’s $2 per night and no formal registration required. The flexibility is nice for nights we can’t make it. However, I try to go as much as possible because Bella really enjoys it. She calls it going to “play with new friends”…even though we’ve been going for a year now. When she was really young I took her Monday nights to baby playtime (birth-2 years), but ended up enjoying the family playtime better (birth-6 yrs). Here’s the schedule for the night

6:30 – sign in, get name tags, wash hands, pay, say hello to the teachers Ann and Nancy
6:30-7:00 – playtime in the general playroom. The playroom includes some standards – a kitchen with play food, little people with houses and cars, random toys, a playbox that has something different in it each week to scoop/play with (sand, water, rice, chick peas, etc), art tables (painting, playdough, stamps, coloring, crafts, etc) and an easel for painting.
7:00 – move to the gym for parachute time. Bella’s favorite! She talks about this parachute all week. She loves to “pop” animals in the parachute and sit in the middle while the adults spin them around
7:05-7:30 – we usually stay in the gym to play for a bit. They have balls, riding toys, a slide, a tower to climb, swing, etc.
7:30-7:50 – back into the playroom for more general playing
7:50 – circle time to sing songs. Bella loves this part too, although she’ll often just sit and listen and not sign along/do the hand movements. For 1-2 songs she’ll participate, otherwise she is content with observing.
8:00- time to go home!

The amount of kids can really vary. In the winter there could be 10-15 kids (plus 1-2 parents for each) so it’d be really busy. But last night there were 4 kids total! So once the weather gets nicer I think it’s a smaller group. That’s fine with me as it gets me some one-on-one time with the teachers. Last night I was able to have a good conversation about how to handle Bella’s tantrums (thankfully they support my approach of ignoring her until she calms down and that time outs aren’t effective when they are this young. Also gave me some good tips to handle fussiness at meal times when she doesn’t want to eat what we’re eating).

It’s also nice to connect with some of the other moms, but it can be touch and go. There are a few that are friendly and a few that seem to have no interest in talking to anyone outside of the few people they already know. They usually have the most annoying kids too because mom isn’t watching them and they’ll do things like hit Bella and I’m the one that has to say something. Poor Bella doesn’t have any concept of hitting or pushing people around so she just gets confused when this particular bully of a girl is around …but I guess it’s a way to learn the realities of life!

A couple of the other moms are pregnant with #2 as well or have 2 young kids already, so it’s really nice to talk to them about that. My biggest concern right now is getting Bella used to the idea that she’ll have to share everything once baby comes, but I know that’ll be an adjustment no matter what we do to prepare her!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April Update

I’m so hot and cold with this blog! I tried using a different site (Shutterfly or maybe it was Snapfish?) because I could upload my photos to print right on the blog, but our internet is so slow at home that it takes me all day (literally 8 hours) to upload 100 photos. So I’ve given up on that for now. So here I am back to blogger because I really want to keep documenting the goings on of Bella Boo!

Before I begin, I’ll note that she still refers to herself as “You”. She doesn’t refer to anyone else as “you”. So anywhere in the below you see a Bella quote that contains “you” it really means her…

I’ve said before her terrible twos have begun but now they are in full swing. Last night’s drive home consisted of Bella freaking out/having a tantrum the entire way because I wouldn’t let her drive. I don’t know where this came from, but for the first time ever she didn’t want to get in her own seat. In her own words “No Bella’s seat. Mama’s Seat. You drive!!” when I tell her no, that only Mama gets to drive her car she freaks out “yeah, yeah! Bella driiiiiiive!!!”. Reasoning doesn’t even work with a 2 year old. She doesn’t care that she couldn’t reach the pedals.

These freak outs now turn into all night events. She’ll calm down and be fine then the littlest thing will set her off. Once we got home she was perfectly happy because I let her watch The Wiggles while I made dinner. Then JT got home and we got ready for dinner…god forbid JT push her chair the table so she can reach her food “No, too close!! Sit back!!”. Another tantrum because she wanted to be 2 feet away from the table. Finally we got her situated, had dinner and went upstairs to play more. Earlier in the night she found some short sleeved PJs with shorts. So I let her wear them while she watched TV and ate dinner (to avoid a freak out…I choose my battles) but told her she had to wear pants and socks to bed. Well the pants were fine but the socks were just too much for her and freak out #3 of the night occurred. Then she wanted to take her socks off but put her shoes on. What goes on in those little heads? So JT made a good parenting call and decided it was bed time.

The good news is that she always admits when she’s tired and will often tell us when it’s time to “Go sleep. ZZZZZZZ” (she makes the snoring noise with it). So once she calmed down enough to talk she agreed she was tired and we put her to bed. But I just can’t help but wonder what we are going to have to deal with down the line with this drama queen!

“Go Gramma’s House!”
While it doesn’t usually end up in a full out tantrum, at least 3 times a day I hear this “Go Gramma’s house! Yeah, yeah, OK…Gramma’s house”. As if HER saying “yes” and “OK” seals the deal. But seriously, this girl needs to go to Gramma’s house everyday! And this is my mom and dad’s house only. Not that she doesn’t like JT’s parents/Nana and Papa’s but she goes there 4 days a week for her ‘daycare’ so I think my parent’s house is more of a treat. Sometimes it’s the first thing she says when I wake her up in the morning “Ready to go to Gramma’s house!” but mostly it’s when I pick her up from Auntie MoMo’s (Jt’s sister, Mara) “No go home. Go Gramma’s house!!”. If she keeps this up or keeps increasing how often she says this I’ll be ready for her to move in w/ Gramma and Grandpa soon.

B-E-L-another L-A!
She can spell her name! She never ceases to amaze me and this is the latest “trick” she’ll do for me : ).

No more paci
She’s given up her pacifier at home! She is still using it for naps and Auntie Momo’s and my parent’s house, but she no longer uses it to go to bed or take naps at our house. We started one day when we were in her room getting ready to go to bed and I told her “uh oh Bella, we don’t have a paci. Can you go to bed without one?” She did and from there we just told her that she didn’t need one at night anymore. Initially she told us to “buy more pacis at Cub!” thinking we ran out, but eventually she gave up on that too. Just within the past couple of weeks I stopped giving one to her at nap time and she’s been fine. Every once and a while when she’s getting tired she’ll ask for one if we are in the car or out and about, but a reminder that big girls don’t use pacifiers usually takes care of it.

Like I said, she is still using them for naps during the week/when she’s not home I’ll probably ask family to stop that w/ her 2nd birthday coming up.

Outside play
It’s so nice that the weather warmed up early this year. Bella loves to go outside and play in her car in the driveway, blow bubbles, draw with sidewalk chalk and water our plants. She LOVES watering the plants! I know she’ll be a big help in Papa’s garden this year!

Potty Training – not yet!
We have the ‘big girl’ potty out in our bathroom but it’s been used as a stool for the past 2 months rather than a potty. Every once and a while she’ll ask to use it (her: "You go potty!" me: "what? no, I don't have to go" her "no, YOU GO POTTY" me: "oooh yeah, you is you"), but never really needs to go. While I’m sure if we tried right now we could get her trained, but we are holding off for a few months until she seems really ready. She’s not quite dry all night yet anyway. Also, I’m not sure if I’M quite ready for that yet. I actually don’t mind diapers. Everything is contained and there is more control over when you make a stop to change her. I’m not really looking forward to running to the bathroom at Target to try to make it in time or cleaning up pee off my bathroom floor!