Friday, April 29, 2011

You Know It's A Friday...

Whew! Wednesday night, we had tornado warnings, so we cleared out everything from the hall closet, piled it on the dining room table, and gathered all of our emergency supplies. It didn't take that long, but having to put everything back together again on Thursday morning after there was no tornado (thankfully!) made me wish I had a basement!

I've been up early with the babies this week, so on Friday morning, I couldn't resist turning on the royal wedding. Bella will look back on this post and roll her eyes, but being American, it was fun to watch all the royalty. Sometimes it's just fun to get girly and silly over a wedding!

Yep, walking around with a bucket on her head. Looking forward to our much-needed Date Night tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kissing "Cousins"

Bella and Rex are getting much friendlier these days! Aren't they cute? Rex has been giving his mom kisses on request for awhile now, but Bella is much more reserved with hers. He must have caught her on a good day!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Swingin' In The Rain

Our swing set was given to us last Fall by our neighbors, but there was only one infant swing that was getting too small for Bella. The new ones came in the mail today!

All red and shiny - Summer can officially start anytime now!

Bella loved her new toddler swing! She was all bathed and dressed for bed in her nightgown, but Steve and I couldn't' resist letting her check it out!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

It was an incredible, blessed, inspirational worship service at Eastside this morning!!! I have never seen our church this full - looking out from the choir loft was amazing - people were having to sit on folding chairs in the aisles because there were literally no seats empty in the pews. Pastor Chauncey delivered a wonderful sermon on the fact that as believers we are raised again with Christ to walk, but so many of us choose to stay "in the grave" in our Christian walk.

After church, we had a great dinner with Mel and her friend, Brittani, our friends Ben and Carolyn, and a fairly new couple at church, Daniel and Shay and Shay's son, Connor. We were a little too crazy to actually remember to take pictures, but it was a lovely meal with lots of delicious food!

Once everyone left and we got cleaned up, we took Bella outside for her Easter basket and family pictures. She's still young enough that we don't really make a production of Easter baskets...we just hand it over.

The whole family...

Just the three of us. We used bubbles to keep Bella's attention.

Bella was really excited to see her Easter basket!

I put some coloring books and stickers in her Easter basket, but the best gift by far was the Cinderella lip gloss! She loved it! It was so cute...she kept putting it on and smiling up at us!

Sharing her lip gloss with Mommy!

Daddy had to have some, too! She kept putting it on our chins instead of our lips!

The hubby and wife picture...don't we look handsome?

This is what happens when we act natural. Our kids are going to think we're the coolest!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Egg Scramble 2011

Our church's Easter event was today, and we took the whole family. It ended up being much chillier than any of us expected, but we brought a sweater for Bella and stuck it out.

Steve and the rest of the deacons had the "assignment" to go and talk to people. He used Bella as his ice-breaker and also got to enjoy some time with her. I was at the prayer booth; we wore shirts that just simply said, "may i pray for you?". We weren't sure how busy the prayer booth would be, but I was able to pray with two women who came and wanted prayer for themselves and their small children. It was really neat!

Looking for eggs with Daddy!

We affectionately call this the "butt picture". I have no idea whose rear end this is, but it totally distracts me from Bella picking up eggs.

Mel was a great help in taking Bella around whenever Steve was needed. They went to the bouncy house and the bubble station. Mel said Bella loved the bouncy house!

The main event was the helicopter that dropped eggs on to the field. I got to be with Bella for that part, and she went crazy! She loves pointing out planes, so as soon as you could hear the helicopter's blades, she was looking around everywhere until she spotted it. So cool!!!

Steve's yearly picture with the Easter Bunny. Bella was completely content to look at the bunny from a distance.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Garden After All

I'm going to look back on my blogging the last few weeks and wonder how in the world I had the time to blog this frequently?!? I have no idea, but it seems like we've had a lot of "little moments" that I've wanted to share lately, especially knowing that we will make our blog book at the end of the year. It has definitely made me more purposeful in my blogging, because I want Bella to see all of these "everyday" moments we've enjoyed.

[I got distracted because Bella just tried to spank Rex while saying, "No! No!" I want to feel guilty, but now Rex is sitting on Bella's back, so they seem even.]

I didn't think we were going to work on a garden this year, but Mel decided to plant a few herbs and vegetables. We got garden boxes and trellises, and planted all of our goodies yesterday. When I say "we" I mean Mel (and Bella helped).

Mel started with seeds in a special "green house" box, then transferred them to the boxes.

Setting up the boxes...Bella wanted to help with every step!

Getting some filler dirt for the bottom of the boxes. Mel added plenty of potting soil to the top half of the boxes so the roots would have enough room.

Adding potting soil, and finally...

Adding in the little plants! We got some great rain last night, so they're off to a great start. Hopefully, these little guys will do better than last year's garden. Our previous gardens have had big plants, but not a lot of produce.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm Not Sure If I'm Ready for This...

Steve and I have always discussed the possibility of putting Bella in our church's preschool when she turned 3. We have two different reasons - we would like Bella to pick up some more verbalization skills, and we would like to give her an opportunity to socialize when I'm not around.

The wonderful advantage of being a stay-at-home mom is that I get to be with Bella all the time. That also ends up being a bit of a negative in some situations. I am with her...all...the...time. Preschool would be a chance for her to get away from me. A chance for her to experience new things without having me right there to rescue her. I want her to be able to gain some independence and learn what she can handle (and that not all toys are hers).

All that to say that we have started the process to send Bella to a 2-day preschool in the Fall. It would only be two mornings a week, which would be the same amount of time that she is in nursery on Sundays (about 3 hours). She would be going to our church where the teachers already know and love her, and we trust them completely. She would also get to socialize with the same children that she sees on Sunday, so that would be good for her, too! We decided to start her this Fall instead of next because we don't want to wait an entire year until she's 3 1/2.

I felt really silly, but as I was driving yesterday with the registration papers in my hand, I definitely started to get choked up! :) I had to remind myself that two mornings a week wasn't exactly like she was going off to college! If all goes as planned, Bella will be a little Eastside Lion in August!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Enjoying The Sunshine

When we weren't focused on the party this weekend, we were able to enjoy some beautiful weather! It is definitely warm here and I think it's staying for the summer!

We decided not to a garden this year, but the ground where it had been has amazing weeds! I guess the soil is still fertilized. The weeds are growing crazy-tall and had some very pretty flowers. It made me a little (actually...very) sad when Steve mowed them for our party.

Leaning forward to smell the flowers...I love that they were almost as tall as she is!

Rex loved climbing all over our wall - the kid is fearless!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Favorite Birthday Moments

We celebrated Bella's birthday last night and it went really well!

[In the spirit of total disclosure, I should mention that Bella was pretty miserable the entire time, but everyone else had fun.]

We invited a few close (adult) friends who are involved in Bella's life and there were four kids, so Bella had some friends to play with. We had a princess theme, but didn't go too crazy with it...there was a castle cake and a princess sign (Oh! And princess hats!), but no themed games or anything like that. Bella's grandparents on both sides have filled our playroom with toys, so when friends asked about gift ideas, I suggested Fancy Nancy books (I love them!)

Some highlights...

Mel picked out some fantastic balloons!

All of the ladies before the party! (A little jealous about how tan my mom is!)

Bella and friends! That would be David, Sean, and Charlotte is with the adults.

The little princess is posing...and thinking about eating that rock in her hand.

The princess castle cake! I followed a Betty Crocker video online and it turned out really well! It was pretty time-consuming, but also pretty easy once it all got going. Mom helped me smooth out the sides and I made the windows/doors with pink wafer cookies (Kinslee would be so jealous!).

Opening presents...we have incredibly generous friends and we got some wonderful Fancy Nancy books (my request), a Disney store gift card that I can't wait to use for dress-up clothes, and a Rapunzel doll from Mommy and Daddy. Grandma Meyer had her open her new doll early and Grandpa Meyer sent some Bible books.

Blowing out her candles...she is starting to get really good at this! I used the "#2" candle from her early birthday and the added a few extra ones...unfortunately, the extra candles were trick candles that Steve had gotten for my birthday, so Bella got to blow them out three times!

A little blurry, but the whole gang! Our friends were so great and had fun wearing their Disney princess (or prince) hats. I made one for Bella, but she refused to wear it (stubborn independence is fun, huh?), so it's all the rest of us!

Happy Birthday, Bella! It's crazy to think that the next year will bring potty training, many more words, a new little sibling (hopefully), and maybe preschool! I'm going to go lay down now...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Letter To Bella On Her Birthday

My precious little girl,

Today is your second birthday, and boy, are you a force of energy to be reckoned with! You are truly an inspiring little person, and your daddy and I love you so much!

It is incredible to think that you have only been on this earth for two years, and you have learned so much! God has given you a curious and inquisitive spirit; your favorite phrase is, "What is that?"

You love wearing shoes and headbands. You love performing and making people laugh, but you're stubborn enough that you rarely do it on cue - you definitely know your own little mind. If you had your way, you would run around most days wearing nothing but your diaper and mommy's sunglasses.

Your favorite toys are your grocery cart from Grandma and Grandpa Wires, and your doll house from Grandma and Grandpa Meyer. You are the queen of simple pleasures- your most boisterous laughter comes from daddy tickling you and you running up and down the hallway!

Baby girl, your nickname means "beautiful," and we are told over and over how beautiful your blue eyes and long hair are. But our prayer for you is that you would be a beautiful girl on the inside, too. More than anything else, we pray that you grow into a sweet, kind, and loving little girl. We pray that you will love Jesus, and others, and that your life will glorify Him.

I promise you that your daddy and mommy will make mistakes as we raise you, but I promise that we will also do everything we can to point you to Jesus through our actions. To love you so much that our hearts feel like they're going to explode. To love each other so that your home will be a stable, solid one.

You have truly been the most amazing gift, and we are so thankful for you!

Happy birthday, darling!


Your Mama

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What A Week!

Okay, so I don't have anything terribly interesting that happened this week; it just seems like we're either all or nothin' around here. Other people feel that way, too, right? Monday, my friend Whitney needed to take one of her children to the pediatrician, so we watched her 2-year old, David. He was wonderful, but it's funny to see toddlers interact with each other. For the most part, he was content to play alone and wasn't exactly sure that he wanted Bella close to him. Of course, that meant that Bella wanted to be close to him and kept trying to touch him. It was pretty funny to watch.

David and Bella watching The Incredibles...while sitting an appropriate length away from each other. (I need to work on my picture-taking skills.) Bella got curious and tried to invade his personal space. I'm not sure if David was more worried about her being that close or that she might steal his juice.

Tuesday night was a missions fundraising event for one of the guys in our youth group. Bella stayed with a babysitter (friends of ours), but she ended up not going to sleep while she was at their house. They had some trouble with their car, so they were driving around late, and we finally got Bella into bed at 10:30!!! Needless to say, it's been affecting her all week...our cycle the last few days has been early to bed, but early to wake up, so really sleepy and fussy all day, wanting to go to bed early, and the whole cycle starts again. Whew! I am ready for about 14 hours of solid sleep! (I know, I'm a wimp!)

I am spending today cleaning and getting ready for my mom's visit this weekend. Hopefully the babies cooperate! I'll post pictures later of her party on Sunday!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Our Cousin Wall Is Finished!

A few months ago, we started our "cousin wall" - pictures of Bella's cousins so that she could get familiar with their faces. Since we don't live near any family, I really think we should have 8x10's of each member of our family posted, but we just don't have the wall space. :)

So here is our completed space beneath our kitchen counter. It's the perfect height for Bella, and since she can't read yet anyway, I didn't worry too much about how high or low the names were arranged. I can't wait for her to get to play with all of her cousins this summer in Michigan!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Clothing Optional

This post and the last post probably should have been switched, because she was in a better mood yesterday morning, when this picture was taken, and then seemed to feel yuckier as the day went on. Hope she's feeling better for the busy weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How We Spend Our Sick Days...

Bella has not been feeling great the last couple of days...nothing too serious. She has a little fever, a little bit of a runny nose, and has been acting a little miserable. She was not interested in eating dinner, so this is how we spent the last hour before bed (and when she woke up from nap time and at about 4:00)...snuggled up under a blanket watching Beauty and the Beast. Disney princesses can make just about any bad day better.

Birthday Video

It's a little over a week until Bella's actual birthday, but I wanted to post this video from her early party last weekend. What a difference a year makes!

Singing "Happy Birthday" last year; Bella did not understand that the celebration was for her!

Even being offered chocolate didn't help make her any happier.

Much better!!! I'm excited for her actual birthday and the real party...hopefully, we can remember to be nice and calm!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Highlights From The Weekend

We had another great visit with Steve's mom and dad this past weekend! We got pictures taken of Bella and had a "Fake Birthday" party on Saturday afternoon.

Walking through the mall on our way to get pictures taken. She is doing so much better at listening and obeying. It was nice to have her be able to walk through the mall and look in all the windows, but still hold on to my hand. I loved it!

We got an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen (Daddy's favorite!) for her early party. She dug into the frosting flowers right away!

Playing with her new cell phone from Great-Grandma Ferguson and her magna-doodle board from Uncle Matt, Aunt Julie, and the cousins! She loved her presents!!!

Modeling her new "Fancy Nancy" undies that Grandma got her for when she starts potty training. (Mommy's not prepared to start that anytime soon.)

On Sunday morning, Bella got to wear her new "strawberry" outfit to church that Grandma and Grandpa got her for her birthday. She loves the laptop and blocks that they got her, too! She is definitely decked out with toys after this party!

Mom and Dad took Bella to the park to play on Sunday evening. Mom and Bella had fun on the swings; Dad and Bella found planes that were flying overhead.