You have won 2nd prize in a beauty contest. Collect $10.

Our neighborhood has hosted a community picnic each May for the last 30 years. This year’s picnic included a pageant for girls, with the specific instructions “no pageant dresses and no makeup.” They only wanted sunsuits. Let me state for the record, I am SOOOO not a pageant person! But the casual aspect sounded good, and it was a Saturday - I thought it would be fun if I took Helen and paraded her around. If she won, it would make a great Helen Update, right?

And it was fun. Helen took a stroll across the stage with her mommy, noticed some posts at the edge of the stage, and bent down to touch them. It’s like she didn’t even notice all the people standing in front of the stage, looking at her! I was hoping for a big smile and a flash of those blue eyes, maybe even a little wave, but you can’t put that kind of pressure on a toddler. The best you can hope for is “no crying.” After everyone walked across the stage, they had us line up and the judges started whispering to each other and pointing at their clipboard. That was where all the fun stopped, in a hurry. It was like I forgot there would be judging involved. (duh!) I was ready to go home at that point.

But we had to see who won, and our Helen took 1st runner-up, along with some flowers. When they tried to put a sash & a tiara on the winner, the little girl cried and buried herself in her daddy’s knees. The sash fell to the ground, and naturally Helen reached down to pick it up. ;)

This past weekend we went to visit Brian’s uncle & aunt on their farm. Helen got a chance to walk around their big yard and chase their border collie. Too bad the cows took an opportunity on a hot day to hang out in the creek on the other side of the field, or else Helen would have had a chance to hear a real “moo.” But she charmed J. & L. in true Helen style.

Yesterday we tried the pool for the first time. SHE LOVED IT. She played on the steps for a little while, splashing everything near her. Then I held her and walked around in the pool, getting in deeper water. After about 20 minutes of trying to drink the water by putting her face down in the water then rubbing her eyes to get the water out, I noticed a little red rash forming around the eye area. Turns out she was rubbing the sunscreen on her hands into her eyes, and she must have been allergic to it. So we had to go home and get the Benadryl and take a bath to wash all that sunscreen off. But the pool sure was fun while it lasted.

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day!

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