Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Special Friendship

Bella and Maya were destined to be best friends. My good friend Jenny and I were pregnant at the same time and we were so excited that we were both having girls and that they would be so close in age. Maya is only 4 weeks older than Bella (though you probably wouldn't know it by looking at them!). I have written about it here before, these girls have a special friendship. I have had the priviledge of watching Maya a few times a week since she was about 10 weeks old so basically, life with Maya is all Bella has ever known. Maya is like a sister to Bella, and for good reason, we love the Spires family and they are like family to us! We have a lot of fun on our days together and I try to take pictures to remember these early days of the girls together, because, well, I know Jenny and I are going to try our hardest to make sure these girls have a lifelong friendship! I see lots of make believe, and song singing, and dressing up, and sleepovers in these girls future!

It all started here, Bella and Maya's first meeting. They were quite into each other yet (or even aware of each other!)

They love playing with this table together! Usually though, they are battling over the same side, today they were sharing and not competing for the same three inches of the toy!

Sometimes we make obstacle courses out of furniture to add to the fun!

Ladies who lunch. Just the first of many lunch dates for these two!

Maya is playing in the entertainer, so of course, Bella wants to crawl into it! She is always interested in what Maya is doing!

And once Maya was out Bella decided to climb into the underside of the entertainer, silly girl!

Sometimes we use old diaper boxes to put lots of toys into and then they have fun pulling everything out of it. And then we fill it back up and....repeat.

Sometimes Maya makes silly faces for the camera....

Ok a lot of times Maya makes silly faces for the camera :-) She is a ham!

And we are back to playing with the play table. Basically this is how our day goes, we just rotate around the living room from toy to toy! Mix in a couple naps, a few meals and wham! It's 5pm! Where does the day go!?

Notice they are each looking at the toy the other has. Why is it that kids are so interested in what other kids have? It's like they could love the toy they are playing with so much but they see the other playing with a toy and immediately, they must have it! A lot of days I will be constantly saying, "no no, Maya is playing with that, lets share with Maya and let her have her turn with the toy" or "no no, be gentle, we can't push each other out of the way to get a toy" or "no no, Bella was chewing on that book, lets let Bella finish chewing on the book and then you can have a turn" (Yep, **ew** is the correct response here, but they are babies and there is only so much I can do, they both chew on everything and well, yes, they frequently end up chewing on the same toy, it's life)

I will leave it with this picture. Sweet friendship. A moment where they were both trying to play with the same toy but it was so incredibly cute. Maya put her arm on Bella's back and left it there for like 1 full minute, which in baby land is like an eternity. Love these girls!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our First Big Trip with Bella

We recently went to Wisconsin to visit Rowdy's family and also took a quick overnight trip to Chicago to see the city. It was Bella's first flight and our first flight with a child! We seriously loved the trip and loved seeing everyone but, I have said it and I will say it again, traveling with a child is just SO different than traveling with just adults! Man, I was exhausted by the end of the trip! Bella did great, especially considering how unstructured her usually very structured schedule was. She did good on both flights and was very interested in everything that was happening on the plane all around her. The only part she didn't like and got a little grumpy with was landing, not her favorite. A little story from our flight home: we had made it the whole flight and Bella did great, we were so excited to be home. We landed and the pilot came on and said, the good news is we are here early but the bad news is they don't have a gate for us so we have to wait about 10 minutes. Not great news but not devastating either. So we got everything together so we'd be ready to go and then, cue the scary music, Bella made her **ahem** "poop face." Sorry folks, but, it's the truth! Well, I was holding her and there was definitely something going on. We pulled up to the gate, the seatbelt sign went off, I could smell Bella so I wrapped a blanket around her and hoped we could fly under the radar until we got off the plane. The whole flight Bella had been "talking" to a 2 year old boy in front of us. Well, we stood up to get our bags and the boy stood up and looked up at me and promptly announced to the whole plane that "Your baby has a stinky diaper!" Thank you little boy, thank you for making that known to the whole plane, if it wasn't obvious already to everyone around us with a functioning nose. It was a good laugh and we got off the plane and beelined it for the bathroom to change the little miss. Oh traveling with kids! It was so fun to see family and so great to have all of Rowdy's siblings in one state at the same time! Rowdy's Dad was inducted into the Milwaukee Baseball Hall of Fame so that was also very exciting. We stayed one night in Chicago and explored the city a little but we definitely need to go back so we can see more of it! Please excuse the excessive amount of pictures, we just had so many fun things to capture and remember!

This pretty much sums up our little girl on her first flight. She took about a 30 minute nap and wanted to play the rest of the time!

In Chicago on Michigan Ave. We loved walking around and we had such great weather while we were there. I loved snuggling Bella close and she definitely loved exploring the city this way!

Me and my sweet girl!

Bella and I on the Magnificent Mile

More Bella and I, near the Old Water Tower

Our family near the Old Water Tower in Chicago after a yummy lunch

Bella, Rowdy and Grandma Kay (Bella's Great Grandmother)

The Whole Gang! Rowdy's Dad and all 7 kids! A BIG family!

Rowdy and his brothers, Scott and Tuffy

Rowdy and I at one of the parties

This is what Bella and I did during church. We stayed in the service for a little while but Bella got a little squirmy and rambunctious so we headed out to the lobby. She was very content to play with the contents of her diaper bag and eat Cheerios.

How cute is she, seriously! Love her!

Goofy face!

Love her!

I can't help it, I have to post every picture, she is just too cute!

Giving Dad "the eye" Ha! Seriously, what is that little face she is making!

Being a little social butterfly

Silly girl, we had a lot of fun playing in the lobby!

Daddy and his princess

Uncle Tuffy, Rowdy and Bella

Oh how I love her face so much!
Just chilling on the couch in her jammies, eating cheerios and reading Harry Potter, my kind of girl!

Attempt #1 at getting a family picture....hmmm...a little distracted and Bella is apparently trying to jump out of our arms and get the camera

Ok, we will take it, a family picture at church in Wisconsin

Playtime with Peanut

Here a few pictures from our recent playtime. Yes, we still call her peanut, because well, she is a peanut! She is at such a fun age right now and we are just loving every minute! A few updates on Bella: She is clapping, still playing peekaboo, playing some version of "how big", has pulled up to stand twice but she is still not doing it a ton yet, she loves to stand and her crawling is improving day by day, she is addicted to cheerios (seriously, she sees a cheerio and that is all she can focus on, she becomes obsessed with getting the cheerio!). She is such a sweet and joyful little girl and we just love her!
I could not love her sweet face more!

She loved having so many toys to play with!

Dad kept putting letters on her head, she didn't mind (or even notice really) that they were stuck on there!

This was the first picture with all of her new toys, it took her a minute to fiure out why there were so many floating toys in her tub!

But once she figured out they were all for her she had so much fun!

Seriously, I could squeeze her! Such a cutie!

Reading a book with Daddy, she LOVED it!

I'm not sure why she doesn't have a shirt on but she loves her play table!

She loves standing up and playing with all the fun buttons and music
Silly girl! This is how I found her one day after nap. Granted, I played a roll, I am the one who apparently gave her three pacifiers for nap time somehow!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Getting Ready for Christmas!!

Ok, ok, I know we still have Thanksgiving but I can't help but get SO excited for Christmas. It is, and has always been, my favorite holiday and seeing all of the new Christmas items in stores is really getting me excited to celebrate! There is just so much adorable baby stuff, I don't know how I will pick out just a few things! Bella may end up with different Christmas pajamas for each night in December! One thing I am excited for this year is holiday cards! We have always wanted to do holiday cards but never really got around to it when it was just the two of us. Now that Bella is here, we can't wait to order our cards! We are taking special Christmas pictures this year and I know I will have so much fun designing a card. I have used Shutterfly in the past for ordering pictures and they are awesome! I even made a special book of all my pregnancy pictures, pictures from my baby shower and ultrasound pictures, basically everything from Bella's entire time in my belly and I love that sweet little book so much and Bella even loves it too! Their website is so easy to use and they are super fast at getting your order to you to enjoy! I have been trying to decide what holiday cards to order and so far I think my favorite is this one, I love how traditional it is! I also really like this one, I just think it is so cute and joyful, which is what its all about! And then there is this one, if I could make it say "Merry Christmas" it would for sure be the one! And another cute one is this one, again, very traditional and very "Christmas" which I love! It will be so hard to make my final decision. Once I pick out our pictures it will make it easier and then I can't wait to order our Christmas cards! They also have a great selection of other cards for any time of the year and, as I mentioned in my last post, I really need to figure out Bella's birthday and I have already seen a ton of cute birthday invitations! So many fun things to celebrate this time of year! Merry Christmas!! (Even if it is only the first week of November!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy 9 Months Sweet Bella!

Isabella Grace is 9 months old! 3/4 of a year! 3 months from 1! Ok, now I will try to stop panicking about how I really need to get in gear and start planning her first birthday because the holidays are really going to distract me from that and if I wait until after Christmas we will be in big trouble! I also realized I need a lot more pictures of 9 months but, since Bella is napping, that will have to wait until later! We had Bella's 9 month checkup today and she is still our sweet little peanut. She is tipping the scales at 14lbs 7.5oz, what a fatty! Ha! She is still on the charts so we are happy about that and we know she is growing just like she is supposed to be, she is just our teeny tiny little girl! She is 26'' long. She absolutely hates going to the doctors office, she is ok if I hold her but she screams even when she has to be weighed! What a baby! Haha, just kidding! :-) She seriously got so upset anytime anyone wanted to touch her at the doctors office but they wanted to do an eye test today so I figured we were in for some solid screaming after the way the weight check went. Well, my daughter is a weirdo, yes you heard me right, a weirdo. They had to put these sticky sensors attached to cords all over her head and then she had to wear an eye patch while watching a tv with lots of different images and blinking lights and music playing and each step the nurse kept warning me that "ok mom, she is probably going to cry now, all the kids hate this part....", well, not my little weirdo. She LOVED sitting in the dark room with what looked like little electrodes attached to her face and apparently she wants to be a pirate when she grows up because the eye patch didn't even phase her! She sat so well for her test and passed with flying colors! Woohoo! She seriously just cracks me up every day! I love this stage so much and I love that each phase just keeps getting more and more fun! We love having Bella in our lives and are SO excited for the holidays and all the fun memories we will make!
  • She is still taking her sweet time in the mobility department. Her army crawling gets better and better every day and she is definitely getting stronger but she is still not crawling all over the house.
  • While she may be taking her time with her gross motor skills her fine motor skills amaze me every day! Today she was pinching my eyelashes. She picks up food so well and feeds herself so well! She is such a good eater and really will try to eat most foods, but still makes a face sometimes on that first bite! She loves all of her baby foods and has been really enjoying eating off our plates! Here are some big girl foods she has had lately: french fries (one of her faves, of course my daughter is a carb lover), mashed potatos, rice, guacamole, bread, pasta, chicken and any cooked veggie. I love feeding her big girl food and seeing her face with each new flavor, she loves spices (we only give her a limited amount of spices and try to give her almost no salt, it's really causing us to watch what we eat! )
  • She is starting to gain a lot of upper body strength and pushing body up, she will try to crawl over my legs to get to a toy, or a cell phone ;-) It's so funny, she hasn't really figured out bending her knees. She definitely can and is starting to get better at it, I am working with her on learning she has knees. She will just lock her legs instead of using her knees to propel herself when climbing. I think this may have something to do with why she hasn't figured out any sort of advanced crawling. She prefers the good old army crawl for now I guess!
  • She loves going to restaurants and is such a flirt! She wants to see everyone all around us and wants to make sure they see her! She will crane her neck and move her body to see other people's tables or the servers and will giggle and smile, such a cutie!
  • She recently started playing peekaboo and it's the cutest thing on the planet. Still working on "how big", waving and clapping.
  • "Mama" has resurfaced in her vocabulary and, I'm not going to lie, it's awesome! That was one of the first words she started babbling but then it completely disappeared! Lately she has been very "Dada" obsessed! I honestly really don't care what her first word is but I seriously love hearing her babble mama!
  • She is still our rockstar sleeper! We had our ups and downs early on and I know there will likely still be sleep setbacks but for now, we are enjoying our sleep quite a bit! She is starting to stay up a bit later as she gets older and we are fine with that, she gets so excited when Dad gets home that she doesn't want to go to bed only an hour after he has arrived! She generally goes to bed between 6:30-7pm these days and will sleep until anywhere between 7-8am, usually at least 7:30. It's glorious! Maybe it's one of those blessings of parenthood, new mommy syndrome or just the total brain shut down that comes with sleep deprivation but I have almost forgotten those sleepless nights of the past, and I am happy to put them behind us, for a while at least!
  • She is one incredibly beautiful, smart and sweet little girl who we love more than anything!!
Sweet smile!

Here is an exampl of some of her climbing, she was crawling around on our coffee table to try to get a toy onthe other side, silly girl!

And here she is with her other favorite toy, my cell phone, oh silly girl!
Stay tuned for more 9 month pictures!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We celebrated Halloween for a week straight! Last weekend our church had it's annual "Trunk or Treat" and we had a great time! It was packed and everyone got so into it and it was so fun to start celebrating the fun holiday season! We can't wait to attend this in the next few years as Bella gets older. So fun! Rowdy and I went to a fun Halloween party for the big kids on Saturday night :-) and Bella went to play with Grandma and Grandpa Julia. My mom got Bella a Halloween outfit when I was pregnant and it worked out so perfect! It was the perfect size and so stinkin cute on her! And on Halloween night we had some fun eating sloppy joe's and hanging with good friends. The mom's (Marcie, Jenny and I) took the kids (minus Bella who apparently was exhausted from all the Halloween festivities and passed out at like 6!) trick or treating. It was so fun to watch Sophia trick or treat and think of all the fun we will be having with Bella in the coming years! So far this holiday season is off to a great start!

Cutie pie! I love her smile so much! This is her Halloween outfit from Grandma Julia, so adorable!

She was far more interested in chewing on her block

Loved her in her little cozy outfit

Our wonderful friends the Spires. How cute are our little girls?!? Little Maya the Butterfly and Little Bella the Cow!

Bella, Maya and Micah

They are Halloween buddies, Micah had some trouble sitting up in his costume :-)

Love these kids!

They are so fun!

Best friends, the cow and the butterfly :-)

Our cute little cow

My little cow and I

We walked around snuggling and checking out all the decorated trunks and fun costumes

Rowdy and Bella, she LOVES him so much!

Our little Halloween family 2010