Unofficial start to summer

Why do long weekends always seem to fly by? It’s Monday night, and I’m sitting for the first time all day. But the day has been both fun and productive, and we’ve had a blast visiting with mom-mom and pop-pop.

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We’ve had pool time, and grilling time, and we finished a ton of projects around the house.

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Our new neighborhood has a very similar pool to our old neighborhood, with one major upgrade – zero entry! After a few minutes getting used to the water, Bella eventually walked in all the way up to her armpits.

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Bella had so much fun on Sunday that we went back on Monday. Looks like there will be lots of summer days at the pool in our future.

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Mom-mom and pop-pop also bought Bella a water table. Lesson learned. Full bathing suit attire is required. Bella was absolutely soaked after 30 minutes!

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But oh did she have fun. And the main reason she was completely soaked down her front was because she decided to try and drink out of the cup that came with the table.

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We ended the long weekend with a nice cookout on this gorgeous evening.

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I’m so excited to spend a lot of time outdoors with Bella this summer. She certainly loves all things water-related right now, so there will definitely be a lot of pool and water table play time in our future.

How did everyone else welcome the unofficial start to summer?

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Mother’s Day 2014 (plus my special gift)

After a quick trip to Ohio, I was happy to be home for Mother’s Day this weekend!

Bella started the day off perfectly by sleeping in until 8:30. I actually think she would have kept sleeping, but I woke up and starting walking around and I think she heard me.

Lance’s mom and stepdad were visiting, so he made all of us breakfast! I had requested “anything with nutella” and was delighted with a waffle, fresh fruit, and a big thing of nutella. Yum!

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It was such a gorgeous day. We spent lots of time outside and I capped the day off with a hockey game.

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Bella also helped Lance and grandpa James install a ceiling fan in her room!

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Bella made me some sweet artwork at school.

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And finally, the best gift of all! Bella learned how to walk while I was in Ohio! It was so exciting to see her motoring around when I came home. Happy Mother’s Day indeed.

So blessed to call myself mama to this perfect girl!

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Strawberry Season is Here!

Growing up, I had one annual trip to a farm. We’d go in October looking for pumpkins, although never actually picking them from a field. And I loved those trips to Linvilla Orchards. So one of things that I’ve really enjoyed in North Carolina are all of the great strawberry picking farms and that we can get multiple trips a year to get fresh pickings.

Last year, when Bella was around four months old, we went strawberry picking and came home with lots of fresh berries. This year, it turns out that our new home is only five minutes from that farm!

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Bella has been under the weather with what we learned today is an ear infection, so she wasn’t super into the strawberry picking.

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Favorite parts? Putting the strawberries into the baskets and then pulling them back out. #thingsinthings never fails.

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Unfortunately the farm opens at 1 pm on Sundays, right in the middle of nap time, so they were pretty picked over by the time we got there. Next weekend we can hopefully make it on Saturday instead!

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Some random man even came up and asked if we wanted a family photo. He had his own large Canon camera so I happily handed over mine figuring he probably knew what to do with it :-).

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I hope this is another annual tradition. And it probably will be since it is so close to home and we all love strawberries in this household.

The other benefit of traditions like these are that we can look back at the photos each year to see how Bella has grown. Love this.

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The berry looks much smaller in her hand this year.

16 Months!

It’s May! My favorite of the non-fall months. We’ve had a mix of gorgeous days and yucky, rainy days here in April. But what else does May bring? Bella is 16 months!

I spent all of the last month saying that Bella would walk by the time she is 16 months old. She has seemed so close for a full month now. But we aren’t there yet. More on that below.

First, our monthly chair photo!

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This is really the first month that I’m seeing her more as a toddler and less as a baby. Her cheeks are still kinda chubby, but she seems so much more like a big girl!

MOVEMENT: Bella is an expert crawler. Pretty funny for someone who took to it so late. Now, she seems to like crawling so much that she is in no rush to move to walking as her primary way to get around. I am fully confident that she could walk now if she wanted to. Over the past few weeks, she is looking super steady on her feet. She no longer leans too far forward and looks off balance. She can go pretty far holding onto one of our hands. She no longer wants to hold two hands, just one. But, when she walks on her own its only 5-10 steps and then she plops down on her butt. She also hasn’t figured out how to go from sitting to standing without pulling up. So while walking is coming, it isn’t quite here yet. I’m actually less stressed over it because I feel like it has to be soon and that she is physically ready. This is becoming an extra long update, but when we moved to our new house, we added another gross motor activity. Stairs! Bella loves them. She can fly up them and in just a few hours, her Grandpa James taught her how to go down them. So now all she wants to do is go up and down the stairs. Like over and over again.

found her spot on the stairs!

found her spot on the stairs!

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SPEAKING: Like walking, I think we are really close to a talking explosion. Her big word addition this month is “wawa”. At first we thought this meant water. Then it seemed to cover both water and milk. But now it may also cover food. So maybe it really means “want”. Either way, it means it is time to get something in her belly! She also says “nana” when I pull out a banana and more “mama”s and “dada”s. We can tell that she is understanding so much more of what we say though, so I think all of her babbling is going to turn into words in the near future.

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TEETH: Out of nowhere, we noticed that Bella had all four of her molars. She had one night of sleep that she woke up a few times. But it was only one night so we didn’t think much of it. About two weeks later we noticed the first molar was through and tried to get a good enough look at her mouth to see if there were others. It turns out she had all four. So I guess we are going to be in for it when her canines come in!

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SLEEP: Our great sleeper is still a great sleeper. She is waking up earlier on some days, but she has been consistently sleeping all night since we moved into our new house. She is also taking longer naps (in the 3 hour neighborhood) on the weekends, probably because her new blackout curtains make the room so dark!

LOVES: Going up and down the stairs. Everyone else’s play kitchens (she just got her own today…more on that in another post). Pushing her walker. Blowing on all of her food, hot or not. Pulling tissues out of the tissue box. Holding (sometimes using) utensils. Wearing things on her elbow like a purse. Going down the slide all by herself!

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We’re looking forward to more warmer weather and more time outside. Bella loves doing all thing outdoors, and with the temperatures finally on the warmer side, we’ll happily oblige!