Saturday, June 28, 2008

Outdoor Fun

We went with some friends to the Philadelphia Zoo on Wednesday. With the cost of tickets for the three of us to get in equaling half of a family membership, we decided to get one. Now we can go to the zoo for free anytime we want during this next year.

Bella really liked this turtle statue.You can't pass up these little photo opportunities.
Milking a pretend cow.
Another family picture - two in one day!Today we were invited to the shore for some fun with church friends.
Bella loved the beach. Except for the time when we had to leave the water, she was so well-behaved all day.Later in the afternoon, we went on their boat. (Earlier in the day, the guys went out fishing in this boat while the ladies stayed at the house/beach). Bella found the radio, turned it on, and started dancing. That's what she's doing here.
She also enjoyed pretending to drive. Don't worry - we never left the dock.
Andy was out of town this past week. It's so nice to have him back. I wasn't feeling the greatest for the past two days and I don't know how I would have survived if it happened while he was gone. We're heading out to Kentucky tomorrow for a family camping trip. I will probably return with lots of fun pictures!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Things seem to be going better *fingers crossed*

Since my last post, I've made some modifications to my and Bella's day. When I have more planned for her, she's in a better mood which tends to mean fewer behavior problems. We've been to the park a lot, played in the little pool a lot, went out for ice cream, did some art projects, play dough, etc. Usually I don't have to try so hard to entertain her, but it seems to be helping with our issues so I'll keep it up.

I've also eliminated her afternoon nap. We've been in a transitional time with that and it seems that on the days she'd nap, we'd have some bedtime battles. I'd much rather battle during the day when I have energy than at night when I'm tired. So far, the no-nap has been working out well. She goes to bed (and stays in bed) at 8pm and wakes up around 8am. I'll take it! In place of naptime, we're doing quiet time. I tried to have her do quiet time in her room, but she seems to think she's being punished. Soooooo, I've made the whole house have quiet time for at least an hour every afternoon. I'm still working on getting that time to be what I want it to be, but it's coming along.

Today, I got lots of random hugs and kisses from Bella. That did wonders for me. She does love me. It was hard to believe when, just a few days earlier, she threw her Care Bear at me for no apparent reason. She did an unprompted, "thank you, mommy" after I put her shorts on. That was nice.

While I'm sure we're not at the end of this issue, I appreciate these little pieces of encouragement along the way.

Here is Bella playing in her little pool. These are from last week, but had I taken pictures this week, they would have looked exactly the same. It's not the biggest pool, but that didn't stop Daddy from taking a dip as well.
We bought Bella a tube for when she goes swimming in the big pool. She loves her fish and wanted to wear it that whole evening.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don't let this sweet face fool you. . .

It has definitely not been all fun and giggles around here this past week. We are seeing sides of Bella that we have never seen before. I mean, I thought I'd seen her tantrum in the past, but in comparison with what she's been up to lately, those seem so mild. I almost don't recognize this child. It's been rough. I wish I could blame it on an ear infection or teething, but I can't - it's just the phase that we're in. There has been a lot of deliberate disobedience, strong-willed behavior, and power struggles. Time-outs used to work beautifully for us. She doesn't stay put now. I'm pulling out all of my Super Nanny moves on her. I'm exhausted. I know that this is normal two-year-old behavior, but it's hard not to feel inadequate - like I'm doing something wrong. I mean, it just feels like I must have done something wrong for my child to act that way. I have to keep reminding myself that it's less about her behavior and more about how I respond to it. This has probably been my toughest parenting week yet. I'm saying "I" a lot here. Andy's dealing with this too, but I've been having a harder time with it - it has me in tears. Maybe this sort of thing is just tougher on moms - especially when you're with the child 24/7.

Bella is definitely a persistent child. If only she could use her powers for good. . .

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Long time, no blog

Bella and I have been back from Wisconsin for over a week. She did really great on the trip home. These are some pics that my mom took of Bella at the park one of the last nights we were there. She was being such a ham that evening. Just before climbing the steps, she'd pose for a photo - cheesy smile and all. We have about ten similar-looking photos.She went on the big slide all by herself. The was the first time!This tube led to another big slide.The internet on my computer hasn't been working this week. I have more photos of Bella to share, but can't easily access them. The weather has been really hot this week and so we've been spending a lot of time in pools - Bella's little pool and a friend's big pool. Bella loves the big pool and even swims by herself (with a tube around her and mom close by). It's so cute to watch her kick her little legs. She just loves the water!

Tonight we're taking Andy out to Outback Steakhouse for Father's Day. Should be yummy! Happy Father's to all of the Dad's out there!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Lori's Graduation

Since this was the main reason for our trip to Wisconsin, I thought I'd share some photos from Lori's big day!

Here she is before the ceremony with our parents. . . . . . and with Grandma Helen. . .
. . . and with me & Bella (who was clearly not in the mood for a photo).
The two graduates: Ryan (Lori's boyfriend) and Lori
Later on at the party, we got a photo of Grandma Helen with all of her granddaughters.Me and Bella!We finally got her in the picture-taking mood.Cake time. Yummy!Congratulations Ryan and Lori!