Friday, July 31, 2009

Beach Days

We're home after a wonderful week at the Outer Banks, NC!

The annual Stanley Family vacation was chaotic and busy in typical fashion, and Bella LOVED being around the aunts, uncles, and cousins all week! She relished the opportunity to play all day with friends from waking moment to collapsing in bed, and learned a few new songs, too.

Unlike last year, Bella was not a fan of the ocean, but preferred to run around and play in the sand.

Anastasia loved the sand, too - in a different, messier sort of way.

Right behind our house was a pond inhabited by hundreds of turtles! All of the kids enjoyed feeding them our scraps of bread. They'll walk right out of the water and take it from your hand if you let them! Bella was fascinated watching them fight over the pieces she threw into the water. She volunteered the sign for turtle to show everyone what we had seen.

The biggest surprise of the week was Thursday evening on the beach when we turned to see Daddy walking toward us!

As usual, the week flew by and we had a great time. It was a sad Monday morning when Bella awoke to the normal quiet of our house!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thought for the Day

Every child needs a younger one around to learn patience and gentleness. Every child also needs an older one around to challenge them to bigger things.

I couldn't just leave the post about a messy diaper on the top!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Don't Ignore the Toddler

subtitled: There Goes My Quiet Time

I put Bella in bed early for her nap because we have a doctor's appointment for her arm today. She had told me she was tired, so I chose to ignore the sound of her calling to me. That is, until, I heard...

"Mommy! I took off my diaper!"

Not only did that end nap time, but it started laundry time.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Amanda's Giveaway

Well, I am taking the bait and entering Amanda's Jumpstart Giveaway! She writes an enticing review of this online learning game designed for kids ages 3 and up. Patrick has mentioned the idea of introducing Bella to some computer-based learning, and this looks like and interesting possibility. Besides, if I win the 3-month-membership then it fits the budget, too.

Check out for more information about this learning game. And go visit Amanda! Even if you don't win the giveaway at least you can see some pictures and stories about her adorable little Philomena!

Teething Mood Swings

How can a little girl who is so darn fussy at night be this positively adorably happy during the day?

You wouldn't believe me from these pictures, but you know better.

Tylenol, Motrin, Orajel, OH MY!

Oh, and I do love these homeopathic teething drops. They really do seem to help but they don't last as long as the Orajel.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Terrific Two!

Happy Birthday, Isabella Marie! Two years ago I discovered how infinitely I could love another human being. My heart swelled even bigger than my ankles at the sight of your beautiful, precious, perfect little face. As I rocked you yesterday, relishing a few extra snuggle minutes before nap time, I recalled what it was like to hold you for the first time. I could not have imagined life being any better, and yet with each passing day you make it so.

As for the "little" bit: you are a tiny treasure by the growth charts. The doctor's visit revealed that your 23 lbs 4 ozs and 33 inches keeps you solidly in the 10% for growth. No worries here, you've been on the same steady curve almost since you were born, and you are healthy!

What you lack in size you more than make up for in personality and Joi de Vive. You make me smile and laugh so often during the days with your silliness and antics. One minute you are shushing your baby doll, the next you are singing a song, and before I can turn around you have decided it's time to play zoo. I love to hear your silly voice, see your "pouty face," and kiss you sweet soft cheeks. Multiple times a day I have the strong desire to capture the moment forever, and I beg God to never let me forget just how wonderful you are right now.

You light up a room with your giggling and singing often! I am both amazed and amused by all the songs you know. I stop even trying to keep track, because just when I'm sure of what you know you shock me with busting out another one. Daddy and I were laughing the other day because you had "The Hole in the Bottom of the Sea" stuck in your head; not conventional for a toddler, but you've been singing it since you heard it on VeggieTales. As I write this right now you are singing a made-up song about "I see Anastasia" and "playing in the morning."

Isabella, you warm my heart with the way you help take care of your baby sister. No one can make Anastasia laugh as much as you do, and you're a big helper with getting toys and "need go make Anastasia happy." You are full of kisses and tickles for her; you are still learning what "gentle" means, but you are trying very hard. Anastasia breaks into a huge smile when you come close to her, and often squeals with delight when you shower her with kisses.

I am proud of how well you behave in Mass... sometimes. Although whispering isn't your strongest talent yet, you can often be seen folding your hands like the rest of us or heard singing along with the Memorial Acclimation. How about when you say, loudly, "Bye Jesus!" as we leave? You love to make the sign of the Cross and are learning the Our Father and Hail Mary.

I thank God for you every day, for the joy you are to all of our family. Hy heart just bursts watching you play, amazed at the incredible Gift you are to us. You capture everything that is wonderful an beautiful in life. I Love You.