Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nasty Illness



Sorry for the lack of blog updates. Natalie has had her first big illness of the year. She had a bit of a cough on a Tuesday night, but we had no idea what that was leading up to. She woke up Wednesday morning looking like this-



I of course took off work and thought it was just a bad cold. By around 4pm, I realized it was something much worse. I took her to the south express care. They warned me that it would be about a 3 hr wait, so we drove over to the north location. It was still almost a 2 hr wait. Natalie was miserable the entire time, just a rag doll in my arms. The dr tested her for RSV and said that she wanted to do a chest x-ray (the second one of Natalie's life)- the xray experience was as miserable as the last one...crushing as a mommy to have to helplessly experience with her)
Her RSV test came back positive, so we received a script to get a breathing treatment machine. I was told that she would be miserable for 3-5 days and I would have to miss that much work. Thankfully that included MLK day, so I only had to miss two more work days.
When we got home, Natalie continued to get worse. Her temp went up to 104, which prompted me to call the on-call doctor to check to see if we should take her to the ER (Her express care papers said yes) The on-call doctor was not very pleasant and stated that it was not needed. PawPaw and Maamma came over to help in the morning since I still had to go to work to set up two days worth of subs.
Natalie slooowwwly improved over the next several days, but unfortunately her high fever caused her to get a large cold sore on her upper lip (which I am still surprised and happy that it took this long before she got her second one)
And if that wasn't enough, on Sunday, when she was finally seeming to be getting a lot better, she suddenly woke up from her nap miserable! She just kept crying! I noticed that she was pulling at her ear a bit and we had been warned that RSV could lead to an ear infection, so we went back to express care and yep, she was diagnosed with an ear infection in her left ear. Thankfully that beautiful pink medicine clears it up quickly.
Finally after all of that excitement, she has been getting better. She is still on the meds for the ear infection and the scab from the cold sore is still healing, but thankfully she is back to her awesome and adorable self. Joel and I mentioned several times how thankful we are that we have a healthy lil girl. Just these small illnesses are so stressful and tiring, we cannot imagine what it must be like for parents with seriously ill children. We count our blessings every day!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mommy's Second Birthday Note

Dear Natalie,
I can hardly believe that it is time again for me to write to you on your birthday. You have changed so much this year! You are no longer my little baby, but my little girl.

We have watched you grow:

from the bottle to a sippy cup
from needing a hand to walk to wanting to race across the room
from barely being able to say a few words to forming sentences
from discovering a few foods you can eat to discovering there are only a few foods that you won't eat
from just noticing Pumba to ordering him around and loving on him
from screaming at drop off at day care to wanting to call your friends on your play phone at home
from no comprehension of church to getting excited about dancing to the music and putting your hands up to praise Him
from having no real concept of clothing or shoes to choosing outfits and attempting to put on your own clothes and shoes
from enjoying music to creating your own; from sharing a few giggles to purposely repeating something that you find hysterically funny just so you can laugh again
from no concept of numbers or letters to loving to count, say your ABCs and begin to identify both
from playing with a few toys for only a few seconds to being able to play actual games and pretend
from listening to a few favorite stories to reciting your favorite stories with me
from only a few sloppy kisses and sleepy hugs to tons of them throughout the day
from only being able to receive the words I Love You to saying them without prompting
from having no concept of manners to saying please and thank you constantly and even a bless you after a sneeze
from no hair to....well, a tiny bit of hair...ok, that one we still need to work on!!

You truly are my little girl and I enjoy every moment with you. I love being silly with you and making each other laugh like crazy and say "oooooh, funny." I love when you are so sleepy and begin giving me the longest kisses ever. I love hearing you say, "Hi Mom!" when I enter a room. I love watching you play with other children...you are always so sweet and have never demonstrated anything but kindness to others- I hope this doesn't cause you pain as you move into the big two year old room! I love that you cannot fall asleep until you put your arm up my sleeve as I rock you to sleep---some may say that I shouldn't rock you any more, but I wouldn't give up that time with you for anything! I love watching you "swim" in the tub on your belly. I love being able to figure out what you have been trying to say for the past 3 minutes before I finally get it. (Like this morning you were holding onto a little Christmas elf and you said "Off." I asked you what you wanted off. You repeated, "Off." I told you that I didn't know what you wanted off. You stated one last time with a ton of stress on the sounds "Aaaauuuufff!!" Finally it clicked! OH! Elf! Yes, you have an elf, don't you?! You smiled at your silly mommy for finally getting it. And of course there was the time that you identified that a broken cracker was in the shape of a triangle. I got so excited that you applied that learning that I pulled out a square one and asked you, "Natalie, what is this?" You crinkled your nose, looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Cracker.")
I guess I have started to ramble, but there are so many things that I never want to forget about you and all of our time together. You mean the world to me and could not be more proud of the little girl that you have become. I will never get sick of hearing you say "Hold You" when you want to be in my arms. I know that phrase will go away too quickly and I will miss it from that moment on.
I pray that this year will bring us continued joy, learning, fun, excitement, and love as a family. I know that this year will have a lot of new and challenging roads as well. You have already learned about time out and tried it out a few times! You are learning that you have an opinion and a voice, so now you are learning when you can apply both. You are learning about the potty...you aren't too keen on it except as a different type of chair at the moment, but I know that will change this year too. As we face all of these new roads ahead, I will cherish every moment. You are my angel...my beautiful girl. My love for you will always grow. I love you Natalie Lynai. Happy Birthday.
Love,
Mommy

Posing with the "Yearly" Doll




Here is the one shot I got with Natalie with her monthly growing doll, that I guess now will be her yearly doll. Wow, how she has grown!

Natalie's Fun Birthday Afternoon




















Natalie had a great birthday today! She got to have a cookie party at day care. I was very blessed that my boss allowed me to slip out of work 30 minutes early so I could experience the party with Natalie. She got an Elmo balloon that they tied to her chair. When I came in, she was admiring her balloon and repeating, "ooooh, pretty!" over and over. She and her friends enjoyed the cookies she brought. Afterwards, I tried to get a picture of her and her best friend Lauren, but at that time, Natalie was getting a bit clingy (she was pretty confused as to why mommy was at day care but not immediately leaving to go home with her) so the only shot that I was able to get is when I asked Lauren to take a picture with Natalie. She immediately went over and gave Natalie a hug! Too cute! Natalie's "boyfriend" Miles is in the picture where Natalie is cheesing with her balloon and Miles is behind her.
Natalie's teachers were nice enough to give her a book and a $10 gift card to Build-A-Bear! So we headed over to the mall so we could make a teddy bear. Natalie seemed to enjoy the experience. She picked out the bear, got to step on the button that added the stuffing, kissed the heart before they put it in, and then "washed" her new friend in the "bathtub". It was then time for Natalie to make her birth certificate for the bear. She was suppose to give the bear a name. The conversation went like this-
Natalie, what would you like to name your bear?
Name.
Right, what would you like to name him?
Name.
Yes, let's give him a name...for your bear.
Bear.
At that point I gave up, and asked if we could call him Mr. Bear. She said ok. :)
After that we played at the mall playground for awhile and then picked up a happy meal on the way home. The only thing that would have made the afternoon better is if Daddy could have been with us, but he had to work.

2 Years Old...?!

Natalie,

Happy Birthday, my little angel!! I cannot believe you're two years old today. The past two years have gone amazingly fast, and I wish I could relive so many of those moments that seemed to pass so quickly that I didn't have enough time to really cherish them as much as I'd have liked.

There are so many things about you that swell my heart with pride. Your kind heart; your sincerity when saying thank you and love you; your precious smile; your bright eyes and the intelligence that lies behind them; your infectious laugh; your little bits of wispy hair that never seem to want to lay down; your warm hugs; your manners; your ever-growing vocabulary;  your imagination (boy,  can you tell a story!); your ability to light up a room, your long sleepy kisses; the way you tuck your hands into our sleeves when you fall asleep....and so much more.

I am so very happy to be a big part of what's shaping your world, your life...but you know what? You're also shaping my world and my life in ways that I could never have imagined. Thank you for being you,  Natalie. I can only imagine what the next two years will bring! I love you more than I could ever begin to say. Happy Birthday.

Love,
Daddy

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Natalie's Second Birthday Party!

We had a great birthday party for Natalie today.  This year we decided to do a smaller party with only my parents, Angela and her daughter Ruthie, and Jason at our house.  I didn't want to do a big party this year, yet, I wanted to do something, and I think we were all happy with the comforts of a small party at our house!
Natalie first opened presents from Mamma and PawPaw.  They got her two singing cards, which she loved.  Although with all of the technology that she has, she thought that no matter where she pushed, they should start singing.  When they didn't she said something like,  "Oh no, it don't work!" She got a Dora microphone, which was hilarious!  Natalie believes that she needs to attempt to put the entire microphone in her mouth in order for her voice to be heard.  It also plays music, which she loved dancing!  She also received a dora bed set which will be awesome when we get her a big girl bed (planned for the near future)  She still loves having her pillow have Dora and Boots now, as you can see by the picture (tonight she loved laying on it in the middle of the living room floor while watching her videos)
We gave her a Dora magnet book, a Dora flap book, and a Dora bathroom set- which included a mirror that she loved to say hi to her reflection.  We weren't really planning a Dora themed party, it just happened that way in the end!
We then sang Happy Birthday with her two candles lit on her cake.  She learned quickly how to blow, but of course needed help to actually get the candles to go out.  You can hear in the videos that I posted that at one point I kind of changed the sound of my voice as I modeled for her to blow and she copied that as well.  Too funny!
The highlight of the event is how she handled the birthday cake piece that she received.  I gave her the piece and a fork.  She stuck the fork in the middle of the piece and tried to lift up a bite.  The entire piece came up from the plate!  At first you could tell by her reaction that she knew this wasn't right.  For a second she tried to fix it by poking at the cake, then you could see the wheels turning in her head that this really wasn't a bad deal and she began eating it like a cake pop!  It was hilarious and adorable!  She ate quite a bit of cake too!  She loved it!
I will save my reflection for her birthday....I can't believe we are going to have a two year old! We love her so much!







Birthday Party Videos!

Here are the two videos from Natalie's birthday party today. She was adorable and had a lot of fun. I think we will always cherish the video of how Natalie handled her birthday cake!

video video

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Overwhelmed!

This is the one Christmas video that has to be shared.
Natalie had already opened her several small gifts from Santa that were in her stocking. We then pulled out her three gifts from us and put them around her. This is the video of her reaction of having more presents to open. It was hysterical! You will then see that for some reason she thought that she should get on her big present instead of opening it. At then end you get to see her awesome reaction to her baby. It was her favorite gift from us, by far!

video