Saturday, February 27, 2010

Learning Spurt

Joel and I have decided that just like growth spurts, kids can have learning spurts. This past week, Natalie has learned so many things! She can now sign "more" when she would like more to eat; she raises her arms above her head when you say "So big!"; she can point to her ears (very consistently), eyes, mouth and nose (not as consistently); she will play pat-a-cake when you begin to say the rhyme; last night she learned how to drink from a straw (about 30 seconds after trying it for the first time!); and just tonight she began blowing kisses and purposely throwing a ball back and forth with Joel and I. With all of this learning, she continues to be more and more fun!

Natalie has also become much better with the day care change. Yesterday was the first time that she did not cry when I dropped her off. She has been happy when we pick her up for over a week, but it took longer to keep the tears away when it was time to be dropped off. She is able to take great naps there (at least an hour at a time, sometimes longer and sometimes more than one!) which makes such a difference for how her evenings are. This was a hard transition, but we are so happy with it now. Now we just have to pray that she will do ok next month when she gets moved to the toddler room!

We just had a great girls overnight with grandma last night. We went out to eat, where Natalie got lots of attention and compliments from strangers. It was hilarious though because when they would talk to her, she would get a really serious look on her face like she was thinking, "Do I know you?" Today we went grocery shopping together. Grandma would ask her if she wanted certain things, and it was so cute to watch Natalie look at something and decide that she did not want it and shake her head no. We attempted to offer her a new box of crackers that we thought she would like- she shook her head no. We tried another box- still no. We then pulled a box of club crackers (some of her favorites) and she began to shake her head no, until she recognized the box and then got excited and reached for the box. Too cute!

Natalie has also completely fallen for Barney episodes. She will pretty much sit or stand in one position and watch almost an entire episode. She will laugh and dance throughout each one. We don't watch them very often, but she sure gets excited when we do!

She continues to be the light of our lives!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Brush, brush, brush

Well, with all these teeth, it's about time we started brushing them. Here is Natalie brushing her teeth with Mommy. She doesn't quite have the hang of the actual brushing motion- it's more like a chew-toy for her, but she loves doing what she sees us do!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy moments...

Well, as the ellipses in the title may allude to, there are some "meltdown moments" as well- and we have photos to prove it! I will post those in the near future, but for now, here are some of Natalie's sweeter pics of late.

Natalie loves taking Daddy's hat off when he gets home from work. These photos were taken shortly after I got home one day last week.
She managed to let me keep my hat on (momentarily) for these shots.

Here is one of Natalie asleep in Mommy's arms. Nothing quite as innocent and peaceful as a sleeping child.

Natalie LOVES "sneaking up" up on you and surprising you. Here she is right after opening the bathroom door and "surprising" Daddy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Daycare

Wow. First of all, I'm sorry for not writing sooner. Between all of us being sick, and time flying by as it is, things get away from me! Monday was Natalie's first day at her new daycare, and when Nickie called me crying after dropping her off, I realized this was going to be a hard transition. I got to experience it firsthand today when I took Natalie in before work. As soon as we entered the building, she started scream-crying, and never stopped while I was there. Leaving her there with someone I didn't know while she is red in the face and looking at me as if to say "why are you doing this to me?" was probably the single most difficult moment of being Natalie's father so far.

Logically, we know that she is just going through a "stage" and that it will all be fine, and that she'll grow to love the people there, and this will be a distant memory soon, and, and, and...but in the here and now, it's just plain heart-breaking.

The good news is Natalie is healthy again. We're hoping she will stay that way for a while! I will leave now with a random photo...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

13 Months and Other Changes

Our little girl is now 13 months old! She continues to grow and change almost daily. She now has 7 teeth- the seventh one just popped through this week. It is funny how we couldn't imagine her with teeth, and now I can't imagine her without them!
She now can shake her head no, which is quite helpful at times, and quite discouraging at others..especially when she wants to be stubborn about not doing something!
She continues to love to dance, and now she does this "jazz hand" thing where she shakes her hand at her wrist- almost like Beyonce in that "Single Ladies" song...too funny!
We still cannot report that she is walking...I have tried to get her to take a step on her own, but unless she has your hand she just stands there, stretching in an attempt to reach your hand herself!
She continues to develop her independence, which at the age of 13 months is a nice way of saying that she throws massive meltdowns when she doesn't get her way! Many times these meltdowns happen around food. She loves to put too much food in her mouth at once, but if you attempt to take some away, she has a huge meltdown, which almost seems like it would cause her to choke more than having too much food! She also has developed a love of certain things over others and doesn't understand why she just can't have only the foods she loves. She loves her puffs, her crunchies (baby form of cheetos), bananas, crackers, cheerios, bread, and cheese. She likes other foods (green beans, peas, carrots, applesauce) but she can play that she is full, but if she sees one of her favorites, she will suddenly get upset that she can't have any! Silly girl!
Natalie will have another milestone tomorrow. She is starting a new day care. Her previous one just had too many small issues, that ended up adding up to us just not feeling comfortable with her going there any more. Her new day care is brand new (new building that just opened in November). They have security cameras running in all classrooms, they have daily lesson plans, and all staff members wear scrubs and khakis- all for just $5 more a week until she is in toddlers, then it will actually be $5 less. The only downfall is it will add quite a bit of driving to our day due to it being on the other side of town, but it should be well worth it.
I am a little nervous about Natalie's first day. Especially after today when she had a major meltdown when I attempted to leave her in the church nursery. She has never done that before, and I hope it was more of a fluke than a hint of what is to come!
Well, Joel, Natalie, and I need to get ready for Natalie's second Super Bowl! Unfortunately it won't be as exciting since Daddy's Steelers aren't in it this year! But we still plan on having a good time at our friend, Jason's!