Greetings from the Pumpkin Patch

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Halloween part 1

We thought our church's Trunk or Treat was after Awanas tonight, but it turns out they did it during Awanas. Not knowing this, I ran around trying to find Bella a costume because we cannot track down the ladybug costume I saved from Javi's first Halloween.

Can we take a moment to acknowledge that I saved that costume for almost 6 long years? Can we all shake our fists at the heavens that just when I'm all hyped up and ready to have Bella's first Halloween costume to be Javi's first Halloween costume the darned thing disappears?

Okay. I'm over it because I used my creativity and made something just as cute. I got the Angel bib from Kmart, paired it with white tights, a pink long-sleeved onesie, a pink beret and silver mary janes to create the perfect Angel costume. I don't believe a cuter Angel ever existed. And, no, I'm not at all biased.

She's going to be a fuzzy pink bear on Halloween because I don't think this costume is warm enough for walking around outside all evening. Of course, she'll be under a blanket in the stroller so the pink bear sleeper may find its way back to the store come Thursday.

Anyway, the comments want to know how cute this Angel is. :)

Of course there are more pics on our Flickr page.

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She Inches!

Okay, so Bella's been rolling her way around the house for a while now. She sees something she wants? She rolls over to it. Lately, she's been getting into downward facing dog during that rolling.

Tonight? She started putting that down dog with the roll and - bam! - she's chasing her pacifier and the cat around the room. This precursor to crawling shows us that the baby proofing must be done ASAP. Here's a video to enjoy.

There's a longer one, but it's super dark because we took it before I got the bright idea to turn on an overhead light. Click here to view it.

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My Daily Life

Bella is sleep a lot lately. When she's not asleep, she's gnawing on anything and everything she can fit in her mouth. This includes chewing on her own gums. Three times I've tried to fish whatever she's chewing on out of her mouth only to find that there's nothing in there - she's just biting down on nothing.

The poor thing needs something to erupt from her gums soon so she can relax a little. Luckily, this isn't keeping her up at night - but it does make her extremely uncomfortable while she's awake.

So, to keep myself in great spirits, I've taken to tracking the relationship between Daphne and Tiger. Not only do they have the same coloring - they seem to have the same personality, as well. Very sweet, very loving, and very - very - needy. Since I won't cater to them, they've turned to each other for comfort. Here's how we usually find them:

Notice Sassette's weird hair pattern? Yeah, we hope the hair fills in soon. She also loves keeping an eye on the animals. Neither of them get away with much on her watch.

In fact, today I had to separate her from Tiger because they were getting into too much trouble together, what with Tiger refusing not to lay right up against her and Bella refusing to stop trying to get Tiger's paws in her mouth. Yep, this is my daily life.

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Bella's First Swing

Sassette took her first ride in a real swing this past Sunday at Kiwanis Park. She thought it was okay, but really chewing on it was much more fun than swinging in it.

You have to check out our Flickr for some great pics taken by the talented Laura Bruce, as well as some snapshots by yours truly and the Javinator (who might be a budding photographer).

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Mom's Birthday

My mom turned 60 last week! We had a surprise birthday party for her at El Rancho Caribbean Restaurant in downtown Sanford.

I'd like to take a minute to pat my sisters and myself on the back. We planned and prepared for the party without a single argument and without mom having even a clue that something was up. She'd have been completely clueless except Francis kept calling - which made her suspect something.

But we had a great time! You'll have to click on our Flickr badge to see all the pics, but here are a few of my favorites.

Grandma & Bella:

Bella & Ethan:
Bottom of the Hill cake homemade by Laura Bruce:

You can tell I have a Bella bias. :) Oh, and there's a close up of the lady at the bottom of the hill on Flickr as well.

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I forgot to mention we went camping the first weekend of October. We packed up both cars and headed out on Saturday morning for an overnight stay in the woods.

Were that it was that simple! I must've brought everything Bella owns - the bumbo chair, the pack & play, several jars of baby food, 15 outfits, 10 blankets, socks, hats, 2 bathing suits, a million bibs, etc. I probably needed 1 of each of those things - but if the world ended or our house burned down while we were gone? Bella was set!

Everything was going great until Sunday. We set up camp and had lunch before taking the boat out on the lake. It's drastically low, but we still had a great time. Then Jeremy and his son came out and rode around with us. I stayed on the boat w/ the kids while the crazy men swam in ice cold water.

We came in for lunch as the sun began setting - around 6 pm these days. Billy got a fire going while I set out everything for dinner. We had steaks, corn on the cob, salad and cucumbers in vinegar for dinner. Then while Billy snacked on swiss cake rolls, Javi and I dipped green apple slices into a cup of caramel pudding for the perfect, low-cal caramel apple taste.

Actually, Javi had about 2 apple slices and then went through a half bag of roasted marshmallows. He was sticky and dirty so we trooped up to the bath house for showers. Billy stayed at the campsite with Bella, so I had to bring Javi into the women's bath house.

I got Javi cleaned and dressed w/o him seeing any naked lady parts and we went back to the campsite for a movie. We were about halfway through Bridge To Terebithia when the day caught up with Javi and he crawled into his tent. Billy and I stayed up for probably another hour before we called it a night as well.

Tell me why I had to pee like 18 times that night? And I had to unzip the tent sloooooowly so as not to wake Bella. All deals were off, tho, when Javi fought his way out of his tent at 6 am and then peed right outside our tent. It sounded like Niagara Falls - and of course Bella was up after that.

Billy made eggs for everyone and we went on a little walk. I thought this day was going to be uneventful. I should've known it was too good to be true. First, I realized I lost my bathing suit and sundress. I searched everywhere for it before realizing I left it at the bath house the night before. Of course it wasn't there - and it didn't show up in lost & found.

We should've just packed it in and gone home, but noooooooooooooooo, we had to enjoy the day. So Billy and Javi are down playing football while I get me and Bella ready for a day on the boat. Unfortunately, I had too much stuff in my hands - including Bella - and lost my footing...

I just knew I was going to land right on top of Bella, so I tried to twist so that I'd land on my back. It didn't work, but I did save Bella from being crushed to death ... except she scraped her forehead on the gravel. It was horrible and I still feel like a bad mom 2 weeks later.

But, we all survived and Patch Adams (as Billy called Bella when I forced her to wear a big white bandage on her forehead) has healed nicely. Let's just say I'm not interested in camping again any time soon!

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Playing Catch Up

I haven't updated in a while. The good news: That's because we were so busy. The bad news: That's because we were so busy. :)

In the week or so since our last update, we've had 2 football games, several practices, a Bowl-A-Thon, a Scouts meeting and "Belt Loop Frenzy," the fair and Grandma's surprise birthday party.

Javi and Bella both enjoyed the fair, though Javi made much more of his time there than Bella did. He got the all-night pass and we got every nickel of our money's worth. Like last year, he rode every ride multiple times. Unlike last year, he refused to ride anything was completely tall enough for.

Rather, he only wanted to ride the things required him to stand on his tiptoes to get on. And he refused to let us ride anything with him. This includes the Super Shot, the Himalaya, the Pirate Ship and the Dragon, as well as miscellaneous fun houses, slides, jumping booths and games. It was the Dragon that did him in. He got off the ride, looked at Billy and said, "Okay, Dad. I did not like that one at all."

Bella just hung out in the stroller while Billy and I shared a funnel cake and butterfly fries. I slipped some cider vinegar in with the ketchup so they were just tangy enough to suit both our tastes. You can tell the fries were the highlight for me. :)

Belt Loop Frenzy was an all-day affair that took place in a pasture in Harnett County. I'd like to see it was fun and exciting, but that'd be a lie. It was hot and grassy and not well organized - but Javi had a blast and walked away with belt loops for football, baseball, basketball, fishing, maps and compasses, geology and soccer. Some scouts camped out, but we made our way home about 5 pm. Needless to say, we aren't looking forward to doing that again any time soon!

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Jumping Javi

We hit the fair last Thursday. Javi had a really hard time flipping backwards. Poor thing must be heavier than they thought. Billy was convinced he needed to be connected to all the resistance bands. Nevertheless, he jumped his little heart out and then gave up despite having several minutes left. Apparently, he was "just too tired."

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BW Needs A Nap

Poor Billy was out of sorts this morning. I suppose it was the lack of coffee, but today at work, he bent down to scratch his ankle and noticed something wrong. Can you spot it?

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Letter to Bella, month six

Dear Bella,

Your first fall is slowly approaching and with it comes the soft, sunny days we both appreciate. You enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of the outside world; I enjoy how you require no external stimulation when you're not stuck in the house. It's sad, though, because being outside is a sign that 1) it will soon be cold and 2) you are learning that At Home is not always where you want to be.

You are the big 0-6 today. Just six short months ago, your dad and I were examining your perfect fingers and toes, exclaiming about what a thick head of hair you have, and falling in love with you. Today you've laughed, screamed, cried, eaten, slept, and attacked the cat - but your fingers and toes are still perfect and our love for you has grown exponentially.

Sassette, you are the funniest, happiest, lovey-est baby I've ever known. I gain a pound every time you rest your sweet, furry forehead on mine or your face lights up when you look at me. It's complete saccharine and I can't get enough of it.

You're getting to be a big girl, too. You love to play sitting up, though your "I'm so excited to see you!" personality gets you in trouble because you get so excited you fall backwards. You also fall over when Tiger or Daphne pass by - then you get mad because you can't follow or grab them. You try your hardest to sit up from any position and cry when you can't quite get there.

Speaking of the pets, you love Daphne, but Tiger the Kitty is your absolute favorite. You've already put his foot in your mouth and today you allowed him to lick bananas off your hand. If Tiger is in the room, you struggle to get close to him. Usually this is to get some part of him in your mouth, but he doesn't seem to mind that you want to eat him. Go figure.

Sitting up isn't your only trick. You can also put your own pacifier in and I think you'll be crawling soon. You'll push up on your toes into a down-dog position, then drop one knee and try to drop the other, but then you flop over. Of course, just like when you learned to push up, your arms go completely unused. Those squishy arms are always the last one invited to the party.

But I'm okay with you not crawling for a while. You already scoot around wherever you want to go (hello, wherever Tiger is). I am not ready for you to be able to crawl into other rooms or toward dangerous objects (yes, Tiger I'm talking to you). I guess it'll be time to baby proof soon - ack! yet another chore.

I haven't fed you as much solid food this month. You went through some weird bout that included really runny poos, crazy diaper rash, a low-grade fever and lots of crankiness. I kept waiting for a tooth to break through, but one day all your symptoms just disappeared. I don't know if it was a coincidence, but I stopped all food except for formula right before the symptoms cleared up... so I just never started them back up.

But you're a huge fan of oatmeal mixed with bananas, so I decided to let you eat that in celebration of your Half Birthday. You tore it up, but the sweet monkey in you did share with Tiger so that was nice. Of course, I think you were trying to lure him in for dessert, but that's just a hunch.

In general, you continue to amaze and amuse me. I love that we've spent the past 6 months home together. I have been tossing around going back to work outside the home, but it feels me a suffocating anxiety. I don't want to think about someone else having the pleasure of being in your company all day, someone else watching you crawl the first time, and - most especially - someone else hearing you utter your first words (which I know will happen any day now).

It's not easy being a work-from-home mom, but you, my sweet Sass, make me happier than I could have imagined.

Love, Mama

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Funny Girl

Bella sometimes gets tired of holding her head up and will lay it back in her exersaucer. She often stares at one of us during these mini-breaks and then goes right back to playing. This pic was taken right before dad walked into the room with a slice of cheesecake ... she popped right up and started smacking her lips!

I tried on another new pair of pants this morning. Think they fit?

Sassette also slept with a blanket last night. She's quickly turning into a big girl!

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Baby In A Box

Yesterday was gorgeous, so we spent some time outside. I didn't have a blanket to use so I pulled out Bella's toy box. She had a grand time!

FYI: We had a yard sale Saturday and I finally got rid of all the extra stuff that's been hanging out in her room. It finally looks cute again! This makes me happier than it should. :)

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Happy Birthday!

Billy turned 34 yesterday. We had a leisurely family day that started with breakfast out. Bella had her first taste of pancakes ... and loved them, of course.

Billy then tinkered around while I kept the kids occupied. Javi and I made a cheesecake and a batch of cherry-chocolate-chip bars. Then I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. His parents and my mom came over to eat and celebrate with us.

The best part of the day? Bella wore jeans for the first time! They were too precious. I bought a huge lot of fall/winter clothes off ebay and I can't wait to dress her in every last outfit!

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