What a nice day.

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Today we really didn’t do anything all that *special*…but it was just a really nice day. I am so amazed right now how much Bella has grown over just the past month. It seems she is changing and growing so much right now – it makes for some pretty darn wonderful days.

We had some termite treatments done at the house this morning, so I had to be out of the house for the entire morning. I took Bella over to our neighbors house to play with Erin. She and Erin are SO CUTE when they play right now. They are great little buds and find each other so entertaining. Today, they made princess crowns, then had a tea party. Bella is also fascinated with Ethan, Erin’s little brother, and that is fun to watch as well.  After the playdate, we went to swim class. Bella is doing SO GREAT at swim class. I am absolutely amazed at her interest level and at how good the teachers are. She is learning to pull her arms out of the water when she swims right now, and she can swim all the way across the short length of the pool (with the teacher right by her for confidence). The method that they use is a normal freestyle, but then a turn to float on their back to take a breath, and then turn again and move forward. This activity is definitely the first thing she has ever shown this much interest in. She absolutely GLOWS with happiness in the water. In fact, my only problem is the struggle we seem to have at the end of our time at the pool getting her out of the water…I really think she would stay in there all day if she could. Speaking of activities, she said she doesn’t want to do her music class anymore, so I asked her if she would like to try Ballet. She was very enthusiastic about that idea – so we tried a Ballet/Tap class out last week. She LOVED it! So we are going to give it a go for the fall. I only had my cell phone camera on me – but this class is absolutely adorable. They have to wear the whole “ballet” garb for class. Since I didn’t have any yet, I just improvised a bit, but I promise to get some good photos when she starts the real class and has the whole setup! She is really excited about tapping around in those taps shoes, too – and I actually bought a pair from another lady in the class – so she has already started grabbing them to “tap” around in the house. I think she is going to have a lot of fun with it.

Anyhow, back to our day…we went shopping and got a backpack for when she starts preschool. (Which she is actually excited about!!!) She picked out a cute little pink and purple bunny one at Old Navy – and then proceeded to pick out a TON of clothes she wanted. (I actually had to do some editing at the checkout counter…) This was pretty hilarious, as she has never really shown an interest in “shopping” for her clothes before, but she definitely had some today! Then, this evening, we went to the concert in the park with the Byrne’s family. Was such a fun day, she was so cooperative and easy going through all of it. And now…I’m exhausted and off to bed. Enjoy the photos!

Growing and Growing…

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Sunday was the 1 year mark from when my Dad passed away. It seems so surreal to me that he has been gone an entire year – and it actually feels like he has been gone much longer. So much has happened over the last year – and Bella has grown so much, it just feels like more than a year to me. I’m not really the type to remember “death” anniversaries. I find myself thinking about the loved ones that I’ve lost at random times – like when I hear the song, “Breakfast at Tiffanys” or “No Woman, No Cry” – I think of Lara or in January around her Birthday, I feel like I’m forgetting to call somebody…I reminisce about NaNa and how she would come and stay with us during high school, and take Chrissie and I on special trips to Louisiana, and about how we shared a room on the cruise to Alaska. When I hear “Mama’s little baby loves Shortening” or sing other silly songs to Bella, I think of my GranDaddy. None of these things are really remembered items from the days of their death – and I really kind of like it that way. With Dad – I feel like reminders pop up so often, that I am officially going to try to forget this particular day on my calendar. I would rather remember his Birthday, or the trips we took, or the happy moments we shared, than a crappy day that reminds me he is no longer here.

Despite that, I was in a bit of a funk on Sunday morning, but I was determined to get myself out of it. I stuck to my normal routine and took Bella to our local Farmer’s market and then we really ended up having a really nice afternoon with friends. Rick and Sharon had a company pool party and we headed over to enjoy their delicious spread (Bella’s comment about the roast was “MMMMmmm, MMMmmm, Mommy, I like this meat!), and take Bella for a swim. Bronwyn’s darling little girl, Isla was there – and Bella had a great time snuggling and loving on her. (Good practice for when she becomes a big sis!) She loved swimming in their pool, and has been getting so brave in the water (ducking her head under regularly on purpose)…I decided last week she needed to start swim lessons (so I can feel a little “braver” about her bravery!).

Today was our first lesson. She absolutely loved it! She held her breath for 10 seconds under the water while the teacher pulled her around the pool, learned about kicking, pushing off the side of the pool, back floating, and even big arms. She was SUPER excited when Jeremy showed up to watch the lesson as well. I think she tried twice as hard once she saw he was watching too. The teacher said she really did great – and that she thought she’d get the hang of it in no time. I’m absolutely thrilled that she genuinely seemed to be having a good time…To me, swimming is such an important safety skill to learn – especially living so close to the water, but also, I have so many fond memories of my childhood spending time in the pool, that I can only hope she’ll have some of the same.