Something girly in this photo

Can you spot the girly fun in this photograph? Here's a hint: We got the idea from KA!

After a couple hours in the pool, most of it had worn off. So much for annoying Dad!

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Reading Session At The Armory

We went to the armory today for our weekly reading session. Javier was in his element surrounded by all things National Guard, including big guns, little guns, trucks, jeeps and parachutes. If that child had his way, he'd be in big-kid bootcamp (only he'd be the one crying that he's tired after running for 2.5 seconds).

Bella, on the other hand, couldn't have cared less about being there. She gravitated toward the balls and enjoyed getting chased across the open garage area. She also loved the standard icey pop at the end of the session. In fact, she loved it so much, she was eyeballing everyone else's icey pops and holding her hand out to the adults with one - as if they were going to give theirs up!

I thought she'd enjoy getting tossed around in the parachute bc she she cackled like a mad woman when they just had balls in there. She looks like she's enjoying it ... but really this is the beginning of quite a loud and enthusiastic meltdown.

C'est la vie. All was well again when we hit McD's for lunch. :)

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Javi the Reader Bug

Javi's favorite part of the summer so far has been our weekly trips to the library. He gets dressed, spends 15 hours trying to get his hair to lie flat and then when we get to the library, he sits quietly at his table with 800 books.

When the hair won't lie flat, I allow him to wear a hat. It's much easier to wear a hat indoors than to hear him flail around the room because his hair WON'T STAY DOWN.

I used to love the library, too. It makes me happy that he enjoys it so much. I wish we could leash Bella up outside, but someday she'll sit at her own little table rather than try to climb on one.

I'm sure the librarians love it when they see us coming. :)

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Javi reading to Bella and mom

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Why is my child chanting "Ayuda-me!!!!" from his room? Oh, it's because I'm making him lay down in his room for an hour... reading a book or drawing or just laying quietly. For ONE measly hour.

But no! He has to jump around, tiptoe up and down the stairs, sing loudly, "sneak" to the downstairs bathroom, yell for help (that's the Ayuda-me part) etc.

Why? Why can't he just chill for an hour? Can someone explain it to me?

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5 Minutes In The Lives Of Javi & Bella

They would do this all day if I let them.

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Ready for her first concert

I think Bella would fit right in at a hip hop club. Don't you?

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15-month stats

Bella is a very healthy, big-headed little girl!

At her pediatrician visit, she weighed 21.5 lbs and measured 30.5 inches - which put her in the 25th percentile for weight and 50th for height. However her big ole head put her in the 95th percentile! She's a catch already: beautiful and a big brain.

The doctor said she's growing right on her track (super sized head and all). She also said we could drop the night-time bottle and just give her a little calcium-fortified orange juice and a bit more fat to replace the calcium and milkfat she'll lose. We still offer her milk at night, but it comes in the form of a sippy cup and she rarely finishes it.

The ped also said we can start establishing a couple rules - which should help with the insatiable urge to CLIMB. We tell her "no, no, Bella" but she just smiles at us and keeps right on doing whatever it is she wants to do - pull pictures off the wall, dance on the end table, or pull old cans out of the recycling bin.

Oh well. We'll figure it out eventually, right? Until then, at least she's finally fitting into her 12-month clothes!

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Letter to Bella, month fourteen

Dear Bella,

Last summer you were an immobile cuddlebug. This summer, you are a busy bee who has an active social calendar and a bevvy of friends. Whether we're hitting the library, attending the weekly reading session, meeting up at the pool or the park, you are always on the go ... and ready to party.

This month has turned you into a full-fledged toddler. We sold your bottles at a yard sale, relegated the pacifier to nap times only, moved you into a big girl car seat and even let you spend a little daytime with a sitter. Despite all these changes, you've taken the past month in stride.

But that doesn't mean you've gone easy on us. You've discovered the Temper Tantrum and boy do you ever love it. You're also a climbing fiend - causing many to predict you'll become a gymnast. If there's something to climb, that's where we'll find you. That means we've had to remove all the DVDs and CDs and tighten up the books on our bookshelves so to keep you from climbing up after them. We're almost ready to pull all the prints down off the walls to keep you from hanging on them.

I'm okay with your high level of activity, though, because it explains to me why you aren't talking. Don't get me wrong, you have some words, namely: hi, bye-bye, Dada, Mama (only when you're upset), uh oh, ball (gaw) and star (gar). But I am still hoping for a baby who will repeat words and chirp out the easy ones before she's a preschooler. You aren't quiet, though. You babble all day long and often "read" out loud to yourself.

Each and every day brings a new reason to smile. Yesterday, you went on a walk with your big brother to the next street and back. The whole way, you held his hand and followed his lead. Every few seconds you smiled up at him. You were amazed by him, by the freedom that comes with growing just a tiny bit older. I stood back and watched you: a marvel, a whirling dirvish, a monkey girl, a miniature person growing so fast that it takes my breath away. Those are the moments I cherish.

Love, Mama

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Still Not A Firecracker Fan

Last year we avoided any fireworks because we thought Bella was too young to appreciate them and that the noise would upset her. Fast forward one year and we were proved right.

We skipped them last year and skipped any big celebrations this year, but thought we'd set off some small firecrackers at home, as well as light sparklers. Even this was too much for Bella. She was okay with the first sparkler and even seemed to enjoy the colors of the first few firecrackers.

After that? She was done. DONE. The thrashing, the crying, the terrified glances back at the firecrackers as she tried to climb over my body ... it was all very passionate and dramatic.

We began the day very patriotically. We dressed her in a cute red, white and blue sundress with matching bottoms, put a white clip in her hair and her white shoes on. Plopped her in a red wagon and gave her a red, white and blue whistle for one hand and an American flag for the other.

We then pulled her around the neighborhood to let her get her 15 minutes of sun while also checking in on the neighbors and getting some pictures. She loved that part of the holiday. Maybe next year we should stick to daytime cook outs, maybe some watermelon and a sparkler when the sunlight fades.

But fireworks? I'm not banking on that until she's at least three. It reminds me of how Javier was petrified of Santa Claus and wouldn't go near even a picture of Santa until he was five. I mean, fireworks and Santa Claus - who is raising these weirdo kids???

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