Gettin' her summer on

Ms. Bella loves the pool as much this year as she did last year. I am quite surprised because the water was freezing and she had to be held the whole time she was in - but I suppose I should've know that she'd turn out to be a water bug like her big brother.

In fact, I was sitting on the steps with her on my knee (like Billy is doing in the picture above). I put one hand on her belly to steady her and reached over to grab Javi's goggles. How 'bout that child pushed right past my hand and plunged headfirst into the shallow end. Luckily everyone was right there and I grabbed her right up (her little butt never even went in). We expected frantic crying, but instead, she just wanted to do it again.

The entire time we were at the pool, my wee one had to be in the water or trying to get in the water. Even though her lips were purplish and her teeth were chattering. I look forward to a long summer of chasing her away from the edge and then away from the sand buckets/ash trays stationed along the fence.

Ah, childhood.

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Fighting Skin Cancer Early

Bella loves playing in laundry baskets. However, when you mix a laundry basket, a bottle of sunscreen and parents who are too busy playing American Idol Karaoke Revolution to pay attention - you can only wind up with disaster.

Last night it took this form:

She realized quickly that we weren't excited about her new discovery:

That's when she tried to make a run for it. However, the inch-thick layer of sunscreen in the basket kept her from going anywhere:

Needless to say, she got a nice late evening bath and our karaoke game ended early. I'd like to state that I went platinum on Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On and Billy went platinum on the GNR version of Knocking On Heaven's Door. We were completely tied and don't let him tell you anything different!

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Stacking Rings

I thought I posted this yesterday. My baby not only stacks rings, she also counts and gets easily distracted! I tried to get video of her sorting shapes but she needed my undivided attention. Maybe tomorrow!

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Using A Fork

Bella still prefers to self-feed, but if you help her get food on a utensil, she'll do her best to get it in her mouth. I took three videos during this meal - in the first one the pancake kept falling off the fork, in the second one she preferred rubbing the fork through her hair ... and here's the last one. She finally got it right!

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Bed Head

I forgot to post these yesterday. Welcome to Bella's impersonation of Flock of Seagulls:

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Think she has brain freeze?

This was taken during the icey pop fest.

She is such a happy girl when getting spoiled by Daddy.

Meanwhile, Javi was stalking Millay, an older girl from around the corner who is NOT HIS GIRLFRIEND, but every time she comes through the neighborhood, he tries to put on the one wife-beater tank top he has (thanks to my nephew) in a weird testosterone-fueled attempt to impress her. That's her family you can see out the window.

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Icey Pop

Bella had her first taste of icey pop today. Don't ask me why we chose red, but she loved it - even if she did look slightly demonic by the time it was over. We tried to just let her chew on an unopened one bc she's cutting two more teeth, but she spotted Javi slurping a grape one and was through playing around.

Unfortunately I ran out of time and you don't get to see her fall apart when she realizes the fun is over.

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Checking in

In case you've been living under a rock: My laptop died. With it went my April 2008 folder chock full of Bella pictures. However, I am a good girl and always update my Flickr page. I am also a lazy girl so I do not want to download those pictures so that I can write a letter to Bella. But I will. Because how can I stop now after 12 months of letters?

In other news: I took the kids with me to vote yesterday. Bella wouldn't sit or stand still while I was in the voting booth, so I pushed her in the general direction of Javi - who was casting his own vote. After staring at the ballot and only voting in a handful of available elections (bc I've been told DON'T VOTE if you don't know who to vote for. DO NOT vote for someone based on a) name recognition or b) how cool the name is), I moseyed (moseied? mosey-ed?) over to see how my loving children were making out.

Guess what? BELLA WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. Okay, that's an exaggeration. I could see the top of her fluffy head about eight tables down in the empty cafeteria adjacent to the voting area. Javi was busy being Javi (you know, extolling the virtues of REY MYSTERIO 619!!!! and marveling over how BARRACK OBAMA CHOKE-SLAMMED HILLARY CLINTON ON RAW - OH YES HE DID AND IT WAS AWESOME!!!!) and couldn't care less whether his sister was stuffing her face with dust bunnies or sticking her fingers in electrical outlets.

The good news is that when I called Bella's name, she came toddling down the aisle to me with the brightest, happiest smile as if to say THANKS FOR TAKING ME OUT OF THE HOUSE MAMA - IT'S BEEN WONDERFUL. The bad news is I then got the genius idea to walk down to the nearby pond and let the kids run wild for a bit.

It would've been okay except that Javi lost his shoe in water drainage mud pit and Bella tried to eat the gravel (and the grass and the flowers and some random trash). Javi then had a rock throwing contest with his friend Darrian (who was along for the ride) and wound up hitting a baby turtle who was floating just under the surface.* I'm down with being a country boy who must THROW THINGS and MAKE NOISE and BE DISGUSTING but I draw the line at turtles. I'm the girl who stops her car to move turtles out of the road, okay. There's a line and he crossed it.

So we all trudged back - Darrian burning up in a pair of sweat pants, Javi crying because his shoes are muddy, Bella trying to suck the last drop of warm milk out of her sippy cup, and me in my flip flops that don't quite fit both my feet (yes, one foot is too big for the darned things ... but I paid $4.43 - how can I just toss them away and buy another pair? HOW?)...

Luckily we all made it out alive - even if I didn't have a camera with me for evidence. I plan to retrieve my camera from its new home on Dana's desk (because I've been too lazy to drive to ReMax) today so that I can begin re-establishing my picture files. In the meantime, here's a little something to get you through the day:

wanting the paci

*yes, the turtle survived too

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Reverse Psychology

I'm often unsure whether Bella is ignoring me or simply doesn't understand what I'm saying.

For example, when I ask her to "give kisses," I only get one about 25 percent of the time. The other 75 percent she either continues doing whatever she's doing or she just smiles at me.

So today I took it back to the old school. I said, "Don't you give me kisses! No kisses! No kisses!"

How about that monkey tripped over herself trying to get over to me and give kisses. Big, open-mouthed, slobbery, snotty kisses. That's the best kind, right?

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