At 18 months young, Bendelle is independent, adventurous, hilarious, dramatic, energetic, dangerous, wild, sweet and oh-so loving. You cannot take your eyes off this child for a second! She is fearless. She is always trying to climb (up anything!) as high as she can. And then she'll just sit there for a minute before she decides its time to jump off (umm, no!). A month or two ago I taught her to hold our hand before she attempts to climb/walk/explore anywhere and that has been not only the sweetest thing ever, but also a lot safer! It's the cutest when she holds her hand open to you and says, "hand! hand! hand!" until you hold her little hand.
Outside is her favorite place to be. Sometimes she'll ask to go "outside? outside?!" as soon as she wakes up. When I go to get her from her crib in the morning, sometimes she'll ask for her socks, then shoes, then bow - she is so smart and knows how to dress herself (more or less) and is obsessed with accessories. Homegirl always has to have a bow in her hair. Sometimes she'll be playing and out of nowhere she'll pat her head and if there's no bow there she'll ask, "bow? bow? bow?!" And she loves necklaces (which I am still careful about) so if she sees one laying around, she'll immediately grab it and put it around her neck.
She doesn't watch that much TV but some mornings or evenings we'll stick on a movie or show for her. Her favorite show is Caillou (sometimes she'll give me the remote and ask to watch "Cai") and her favorite movie is Frozen! Every once in a while I will pop some fresh kernels of popcorn for her and put her in her tiny comfy chair with a blanket while she watches Frozen for a good 20 minutes. I think she's really captivated by it because of all the singing, but we don't mind because we love the humor in it and can totally relate to Kristoff who talks for his pet reindeer :)
As always, she is loving her baths and will stay in there as long as we let her. We've been introducing and encouraging her to use the potty and to our surprise, she both peed and pooped in the potty several times before she turned 18 months old. Once it really starts to warm up here, I want to do some serious (naked) potty training!
When Aaron has off, we've been taking her to church on Sundays and story time at the library on Mondays. Our church is not that big but there is always a responsible adult/leader of the church that will take her off to do some one-on-one reading, playing and learning during the service. And we love taking her to story time at the library where she can listen to new books being read out loud (by someone other than us!) and be around other babies and toddlers. We recently enrolled her in a 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, which has been so fun since she loves books and reading so much. Basically, we keep track of everything we read to her and every time we hit 100 books, we turn in her reading log and her picture gets bumped up a notch on the reading log chart!
She loooves playing at the park, going down the slide, playing in the sandbox and swinging on the swings. We recently went to Seal Beach for a week and I had so much fun taking her to the beach and letting her play in the sand. She loves playing with rocks and pebbles as well, so when we went to an old favorite beach, we collected some pretty beach stones for her to play with and they are sitting on our bedroom floor right now, where she plays with them on a daily basis.
The other day we took her to my sister's new pool to swim and even though it was in the 90s she could have stayed out there all day. Aaron taught her to kick in the water and she had so much fun splashing around and holding our hands while she explored around the pool.
Everything is so fun, new and interesting right now and it's so exciting to see her learn new things and hear her say new words everyday. I feel so blessed to have this fun, bright and beautiful little daughter and could not be more in love with our little family.