Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bathtime again

Well, my last post was a bit premature- we ended up taking Natalie to Prompt Care again today, as she has developed a rash on the back of her legs and faintly on the back of her neck and a few other places. Added to that, she has been poking at her ear (which she an infection in not long ago), and has been more fussy than usual the last couple of days. Turns out it’s a viral rash. The poor thing has got a low grade fever, runny nose and a canker sore in her mouth on top of the rash. She’s a trooper, though. By looking at these photos of her bathtime tonight, you might be surprised to find out that she’s sick again! 


CIMG3192  CIMG3188

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Feeling good (finally)!

Well, all three of us have been sick lately, but that still doesn’t excuse our lack of posting on the blog! Having said that, Nickie is feeling sick again with a fever. I’m finally almost 100%, and Natalie seems to be completely better.

It’s been an exciting few weeks as Natalie continue to discover new ways of impressing us and endearing us.  She’s added quite a few “words” to her vocabulary. She regularly says book (booh), dada (coincidentally, most likely), mama, yeah (clear as day), bye (buh) and hi.  I haven’t heard her say “booyah!” for a while.

She is SO close to walking. I believe she is capable, but needs to overcome her fear of doing it solo without that tangible support from us. But it’s so adorable to see her strolling quickly across the living room floor with her shopping cart.

Natalie is loving “real” food- she always wants what we have, and sometimes throws a little tantrum if she doesn’t get her way. She is definitely communicating what she wants more clearly, for better or for worse!

Natalie got to make up for last weekend and stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Saturday night and Sunday morning. Nickie and I had fun at Baby E (Elliot Lanter)’s 1st birthday party and then went out to eat at an…interesting restaurant, then hung out with Jason at home.


I promise I will post some photos soon. Speaking of which, we need to get Natalie’s photo into the Beatiful Babies contest that the Regis and Kelly show are running!  In the meantime, here’s a cute one to tide you over. You can see her teeth peeking through her coy smile.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Trying Not to Neglect the Second Year Book!

Joel and I just received Natalie's first blog book in the mail today. It is an amazing service that actually publishes your blog (with all pictures) in a hardback book! It is so cool to have Natalie's first year bound and documented that way. We know that she will love looking through it as she grows up!
Joel and I were talking about how every year's book will be great. I then made the comment that her second year book is going to be much thinner! We both agreed that we really didn't want that to happen, so here I am to make an overdue update!
It has been quite a tiring couple of weeks! Natalie came down with a nasty cough, that developed into a pretty bad upper respiratory infection. She was suppose to have her one year doctor appt last Thursday, but we had to make it a sick visit instead. Dr. Murray said that she had an ear infection (that is number three) and was rattly enough in her chest that she wanted us to use an inhaler. I do not recommend attempting to use an inhaler with the tube and mask on a one year old any time soon! It was horrible and difficult every time. Natalie didn't seem to get better at first, she actually seemed worse! She was not eating or drinking, having diaper issues, and then when I would attempt to feed her, it seemed that she coughed and then threw it all up. I took her back to the dr. She agreed with my assumptions that she was just gagging from coughing and she didn't seem concerned about the diaper issue. By Sunday, she was finally starting to seem a tiny bit better. Unfortunately what happened next, made me actually understand how bad she had been feeling. I came down with a nasty stomach virus, that I couldn't keep anything inside on Sunday afternoon. Then Joel got it Monday morning. It was so exhausting to be sick and try to take care of a sick little girl who was quickly getting better. I am so thankful to say that almost a week later, we are all finally feeling pretty good, although Joel and I ended up with the cold that Natalie had as well! Aye aye aye!
Now that Natalie is feeling better, she is such a joy! She now loves to eat all kinds of food- we have now added cheese, deli meats, carrots, green beans, and other softer veggies to her diet. She absolutely loves to eat whatever we are eating. If we don't offer her some from our plate, she begs for it by whining and reaching out for it. Cute, but annoying at times!
She still hasn't walked on her own. I really think she is so close and could actually do it. Yet, she seems to just be dependent on having that security still. However we have gotten pretty good at walking with just one hand/finger for support.
She has added the phrase "yeah" to what she can say. She enjoys saying that almost as much as saying "Bye!"
The cutest thing that she now does is dance! She loves to play the alphabet song on her musical table and dance (her dancing is doing this small bouncing movement...sometimes we add clapping if we feel really crazy and there have been a few times that she has added some neck rolling too!) It is way too cute and funny. Of course we will work on getting that on film and sharing it here as well.
Natalie is also beginning to chose to get more cuddle time and hugs than before. It is so sweet when she actually comes up and just throws herself into you to get a huge hug.
Here's hoping that the next blog post doesn't have to mention any illnesses that come our way!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A letter from Daddy


Happy Birthday, my angel! I can't believe a year has passed since the day you were born. I will never forget that day. You truly changed my life the very moment you cried for the first time. I was your daddy, and in my new role, it was my singular desire to protect you from this harsh new world. A year later, and I still want to protect you from the dangers that exist- the pain and sorrow life eventually brings to all of us. I know that I can't always be there to hold your hand, nor should I be. Letting you go will not be easy, if even simply letting go of your hand as you try to walk is any indication.

There are so many things I want to say to you. I want to tell you how beautiful you are, and that you will always be beautiful no matter what. Do your best to ignore ignorance. Don't ever let anyone's words or actions take your self-value away.

I want to tell you everything will be okay in the end. There will be trying times in your life, but you will persevere. Be strong, keep that sense of humor that you're already showing us, and lean on us when you need to. Know that even when your mommy and I can't keep watch over you, God is there. Talk to Him. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most importantly, don't ever lose faith.

I want to tell you thank you. Thank you for a year of joy. A year of not being able to stay grumpy when I see your photo, or hear your laugh, or even just when I think of you! Thank you for bring your Mommy and I even closer together than we were before your blessed arrival.

More than anything, Natalie, I want to tell you that I love you. I haven't written to you enough, but I hope I have been showing you my love firsthand everyday. You make my heart grow with every beat, and it can still only barely expand fast enough to contain the amount of love I hold there for you and Mommy.

Happy Birthday, my girl. It's been an amazingly wonderful first chapter of your life. Let's make the next one just as good!

Love always,

A Note to the Birthday Girl

Dear Natalie,
Happy Birthday sweetie! I can't believe it is already time to say that to you! It seems like just yesterday when your daddy and I were driving to the hospital, praying that everything was going to go ok- shocked that you would be arriving so soon.
I cannot thank you enough for the love and joy that you have added to my life. There isn't a moment in the day that goes by without me thinking about you or enjoying something about you. I also know that I have not shed this many happy tears in my entire life until now (including right now as I write this). You make me so proud with everything you do. Your personality is one of the happiest, most enjoyable ones that I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Your smile and giggle can light up any room. Your eyes, and especially your eyelashes can make anyone love you and be jealous of you all at the same time.
Sometimes I miss the days when I could just hold you for hours while you napped....or the days that I could just videotape you simply existing because even that was such a beautiful thing to watch. However, you are now so amazing with your flurry of activity and constant learning that I don't have much time to stop and think about missing anything but the moment we are in! I love feeling your little hands reaching for mine so you can walk. I love watching you hold up that same book that we have just read thirty times, wanting to read it just once more.
I love watching you burst with love and excitement when Daddy comes in the door. I love that you have so much love for him, just like I do. And I love that you have the two of us to constantly love you and to watch us love each other for your entire life.
Your sense of humor cracks me up. You never get tired of sneaking up on Daddy with me, and I love watching your face as you try to hold in your giggles until the last moment.
Just recently, you have begun to really talk in your own way. I love hearing your voice develop and I cannot wait until the day that you and I can talk together about all kinds of things and I can hear you say I love you Mommy, when I tell you how much I love you.
Your kisses, even though they are quite large and sloppy, are the best. Your hugs, even if most of them happen because you are tired, fill my soul. Even when you decide to show Mommy how strong your teeth are, in a way, I love that too.
Well, it is getting harder to see the computer through my tears, so I better stop. Thank you baby girl for this past year. You have been an amazing baby and I will cherish each and every one of my memories. I cannot wait to make lots of new memories with you as you move on into being an amazing toddler. I love you more than anything, Natalie Lynai. Happy Birthday!
Love Always and Forever and Ever,

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Natalie's Birthday Party!

Today was the big day! Natalie's first birthday party! We had it at the church to accommodate our guests. Our theme was "Winter One-derland" with lots of snowflakes in shades of blue and purple. (Side note- it was an excellent theme to have right after Christmas because then I got all of our decorations 50% off!)
Our party began at 1 with some socializing and visiting. We then sang to Natalie and allowed her to have her first piece of cake! Natalie liked treating the cake like play-doh instead of food. She didn't attempt to eat any of it for the longest time and was quite content with smearing and smashing it between her fingers and hands. It wasn't til the end that she licked a bit from her fingers.
After that we opened all of the presents that people brought! Natalie is one lucky girl! She got so many things! (3 things of diapers, 5 outfits, a bib, sippy cups, 3 stuffed animals (one of which is interactive), 3 stacking toys, 2 bath toys, 6 books, and some monetary gifts!)
We also had all of our guests write messages to Natalie for her first birthday scrap book. We ended up with some amazingly touching messages, that have made me cry. I love that we will have a scrapbook of all of these memories for Natalie.
She was a great girl the entire time. She began battling quite the runny nose and the desire for a nap towards the end, but she was as pleasant as can be through it all!
She fell fast asleep as soon as she was in the car. When we got home, I was able to get her into the house, out of her coat, and onto her changing table without having her wake up. We decided to take advantage and get a picture of her with her dolly so we could actually have a comparison shot for her birthday.
I am still not ready to be reflective yet. That will still have to be another day.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year (and a Very Overdue Update)

Happy 2010! It has been way too long since we have given a general update. I debated on whether to wait until her birthday and give a massive update then, but I thought we could focus on her birthday events if I did an update now.
Natalie has changed so much, even just within the past couple of weeks. She has become stronger when she walks. She still has to hold onto your hands/fingers, but she is getting closer and closer to being able to do it on her own. She can now stand by herself for a minute or two before she gets nervous and wobbles. In the past couple of days she has begun to let go on her own (before we would have to stand her up and let go to have her try). She is also starting to attempt to walk while holding onto tables and such to get around. She doesn't get far, but she tries.
She had her second ear infection and she had a rough go with a severe diaper rash that was caused by the antibiotics she was on for her bronchitis. The doctor said that she will probably be prone to that happening each time she is put on an antibiotic, which is good to know so we can be prepared.
We have begun to have Natalie try more and more "real" food. She loves cherrios, any kind of bread, cheese, noodles, and she is willing to eat anything if Mommy and Daddy are eating it. The other night I had her eat small bits of my pizza and she was so excited to be eating with us! We are making the transition to milk instead of formula. Currently she is drinking half formula/half milk. She has done great with that so far, and I don't think it will be much longer before we are fully on milk, Soon I will begin trying to slowly wean her off her bottles.
Natalie got three top teeth (her two incisors and her right front tooth) all in a week's worth of time this past month. Her left front tooth just broke through this week, so she suddenly is up to 6 teeth!
We think that suddenly a switch went on in Natalie's mind this week. She went from not saying much (not really even babbling much) to have full "conversations" almost constantly! She suddenly puts inflection in her voice and you can truly see that she is trying to communicate. She now says book and she loves saying bye. Sometimes she sounds like she is trying to imitate what we are saying, but there aren't many other words that she says completely on her own. She recognizes many words though and reacts. She continues to sign milk and she has begun to sign eat. I am still not sure if she is signing all done or if she is just moving her arms around.
She loves having Joel or I sneak uo on the other person with her and "scare" them. Her sense of humor continues to develop and we have so much fun laughing together.
Natalie loves a couple of her books now. She does not want to read all of her books, but she has two books that she likes to read over and over and over. One of them is called Dog- It has a bunch of photographs of dogs and some textures and movement that she likes. The other book has farm animals in it and some textures as well. Her last favorite is Moo, Baa, La La La. She will pick those books up and hold them up, say book and want you to read them to her several times in a row.
I am going to refrain from any reflections on Natalie turning a year in this blog and save that for later.