I have a few things I like to do with Isabelle.
Someday I might forget so I'm writing them down.
I will try to get pictures eventually but mostly I try to be phone-less when I'm with her so that's why I don't have any now.
I like to let Isabelle sit on the counter when I'm in the kitchen
and I give her my basket of measuring spoons and cups.
She measures water
and takes sips out of the measuring spoons.
Today she did this for a good, long time while I made cookies.
She likes to pick up the apples in my fruit bowl
and I count them as she does.
If she finds a tomato on my counter she always wants to feed it to the chickens next door.
If its getting old...we do.
We sit together at the island
and play kid games on the iPad
or share a snack.
She likes to pick the marshmallows out of a handful of Lucky Charms
and she feeds me the cereal parts.
It cracks me up!
Isabelle showed a natural fear of bugs when she was really small.
She would seem somewhat interested unless you brought one close to her and then she'd freak out.
So I decided to try to help her see bugs as cute...rather than scary.
When we go on walks, I point out little, harmless bugs to her.
this other red bug that we have a lot of on the sidewalks here
At first she would look but keep her distance.
Then she started looking, acting interested (almost like she was doing it to please me) but then she would stand perfectly still... afraid to move until they were far away or until I picked her up.
Now she will notice bugs on her own as we walk...she will point at them, crouch down to look at them, cover her mouth and giggle
(this is a new thing she's been doing lately and it's adorable)
She still tends to wait for them to walk away before continuing our walks...
(and she never tries to actually touch them)
but she will sometimes get up and continue walking while giving them a wide berth.
I think she is still nervous of bugs but not terrified anymore.
I do this with my boys as well, but its more fulfilling with Isabelle.
(since she's still young and willing to listen to me)
I like to point out things that are beautiful as we go on walks.
I point to flowers and say how pretty they are.
She will often walk up to them to sniff them or touch them gently.
We reach up and touch the leaves or flowers on the trees.
We point at clouds.
We blow dandelion seeds.
We say 'hi' to the chickens.
I hope its helping her learn to appreciate the beauty of the world around her.
I would often point out mushrooms if we found them in our yard over the fall and winter.
We would pick them and I would show her how soft they were on the underside.
There was a particular spot in our yard next to a stump that had a bunch of mushrooms.
One day we sat down and picked them one by one.
That was last fall...
the other day as we finished our walk she pointed to the stump, so we went over there.
She immediately started looking for mushrooms.
I love that she remembered that!
We only found one and it was old and hard.
But we each held it and looked at it.
and then we drummed on the stump for a bit...because hitting things with sticks is always fun.
We like to walk around the block.
We find interesting things as we go.
bugs and mushrooms and flowers, as I mentioned.
One day we found sidewalk chalk that had been left out so we sat and drew for a minute.
sprinklers that get our feet wet as we walk by.
About a week ago, I grabbed a stick as we walked
and I ran it along a chain link fence to make noise.
I tried to get Isabelle interested but she didn't really care...
she had noticed something else.
That was fine.
We moved on.
Then a couple of days ago we went walking and when we came to that fence
she picked up a stick and ran it along the fence.
I love it when she remembers something we did before
or learns a new thing.
It's so fun to watch her little mind work.
Our last outing ended with her tripping on the sidewalk,
falling to her knees (scrape!)
stopping herself with her hands (scrape!)
and then the momentum sent her right over onto her face (scrape!)
She had a bloody mouth
and was crying like mad.
I took these pictures a couple of hours later...
(It was incredibly hard to get a picture of her fat lip.
She kept sucking it in and licking it and hiding.)
She is healing fine, though she still has a bit of a fat lip...
and I feel so bad!
I hate that she was damaged while she was with me.
Even though, logically, I know that it wasn't my fault and that kids get hurt like this sometimes.
I just hope that when we go on our next little outing
she doesn't remember it
but instead remembers bugs, flowers, sticks and mushrooms.