Sunday, January 22, 2012

Finally Mommy's Letter to You

Dearest Natalie,
Sorry that this letter is so tardy. I didn't want to rush myself through your yearly letter from me. So, time just got away from me. Anyway, here I finally am, to write to you.
You are the most beautiful, bright, bubbly, bouncing little girl I have ever met. There is not a day that goes by that I do not thank God for such an amazing gift of being your mommy. I decided to pull up last year's letter and compare how much you have changed this year:

from sippy cup to cups with no lids
from racing across the room to hopping, dancing, prancing, etc. across the room
from forming sentences to having entire conversations that have humor, wit, and deep thinking
from a few foods that you won't eat to eating normal lunch time foods at preschool
from loving on Pumba and ordering him around to playing dress up with him...and still ordering him around
from calling friends from day care on your pretend phone to telling us what you learned at preschool
from dancing and praising Him at church to saying our meal time prayers on your own
from attempting to put on your own clothes to mastering it with most items
from repeating something that is funny to finding humor in all kinds of situations
from beginning to identify letters and numbers to being able to identify all of them
from playing games and pretending to playing actual board games and having pretend characters play with you
from reciting a few favorite stories to sitting through several books at a time and rereading them on your own
from tons of hugs and kisses throughout the day to ...well, that hasn't changed
from saying I love you without prompting to saying it out of the blue to show you really mean it
from just starting to learn manners to being very polite, even to random toys
from a tiny bit of hair to...well, more hair! That is now very curly and if it was straight would almost touch your shoulders in a few places!
from diapers to fully potty trained!!!

This really has been a year full of learning and changes and I have loved being along for the ride. My love for you just continues to grow! I pray that you know that and feel my love and support for you every day of your life. I know that this next year will provide tons more learning and developing...and maybe even adding to our family! So I am holding you closer than ever and enjoying every single moment. I love you Natalie Lynai and I always will.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What a day! (A novella)

I didn't go into work today until noon, so I was the lucky one that got to take Natalie in to get her shots and drop her off at preschool afterwards. I was dreading her getting the shot. I just kept thinking of last time, when I had to hold her arms down as she screamed, red-faced in pain. That was a year ago, but I didn't know if that meant this morning would go better, or if it simply meant it would be a new and different horrible experience! Natalie was excited, though, and we even watched "Elmo Goes to the Doctor" before we left this morning. She was excited to get her heart, ears, eyes, tummy and mouth checked out, just like Elmo. I kept thinking "yeah, but Elmo didn't get needles jabbed into him like a voodoo doll".

We got to the Doctor's office, and it was going great. Dr. Murray said Natalie's heart sounded great, she looked good, her growth was perfect...Dr. Murray even said Natalie was a clever girl, when she identified several colors that Dr. Murray pop-quizzed her on. was time for the shot. (Cue dramatic music)

I tried to prepare Natalie (and myself) by telling her it was going to pinch a bit, but like Sid the Science Kid said, "It might hurt a little bit, but it's going to help a whole lot". The nurse came in, wielding the dreaded needle. Wait..."needle", in the singular form? That was different. Last time, Natalie got a series of shots. Hmm. The nurse had Natalie lay back, and told me to hold Nat's hands, and "no matter what, don't let go of her hands!"

I sighed and thought "Ok, no going back now"...I smiled down at Natalie, much like I imagine an owner smiles down at the dog they are about to put to sleep. The nurse told Natalie to take a deep breath, and blow it out like she was blowing out a birthday candle. Well, she just blew out her real birthday candle less than two weeks ago, so the nurse didn't have to tell Natalie twice. Nat did a great job, and before she could get her first "candle" blown out, I glanced down at her leg, and saw the nurse sliding the needle into Nat's thigh. I quickly turned my focus back to Natalie's face, which was starting to flush with, presumably, a mixture of pain and a sense of betrayal. Surely she had realized she'd been duped, and I'd been had. I braced myself for that realization to manifest itself into a plaintive wail, but I quickly joined in with Nurse Rhonda, telling Natalie that it was over and she was a big girl! I looked at Natalie hopefully, and to my surprise, she was...fine?! She didn't cry, she didn't frown, she didn't even crinkle her nose or say "ow". She simply looked down at her newly acquired Daffy Duck band-aid and said "Look- happy faces!" She even said the band-aid made her happy!

Yeah!! This was going to be a great morning! As we walked from the Doctor's office to the elevator, she happily said "Ok, now I go home with Daddy!".

Uh oh.

"No, sweetie, we're going to Big Girl School, remember?"

"But...I want to go home with Daddy."

The truth was, I wanted to go home and spend the day with Natalie too. But I knew that wouldn't do any good for either of us in the long run.  And besides, Natalie liked Big Girl School, so no big deal. As we walked to the truck, Natalie was sounding more desperate about going home with me. I explained that I would go into the school with her, and take her to the potty, and talk to Mrs. Powers together. She said ok. She was on board. Whew, bullet dodged.

We got to the school, and when we entered the classroom, several of the kids said "Hi, Natalie!". It made me feel good that maybe she was making new friends here already. We went potty, and talked to Mrs. Powers like I had promised. I even got to meet "Grandma Virginia", who is not only very sweet, but seemed to have taken quite a shine to Natalie. They were getting on so well, in fact, that I told Virginia I was going to go ahead and leave. Remember that plaintive wail that never materialized earlier? There it was!

I instinctively spun on my heel and started back toward Natalie to console her, but Virginia waved me off and said that she'd be okay. I quickly left, hoping all the while that I wouldn't hear Natalie screaming as I walked through the halls. I didn't hear anything, but I still felt awful. Nickie said that Natalie is a routine girl, and it sure is true. It's funny how things worked out. My expectations for how the morning was going to go were completely turned upside down. If nothing else, Natalie has taught me to expect the unexpected!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The best dog ever

So we really have the best dog. Natalie decided that it would be fun to play dress up...with Pumba. As you can see he allowed it. Natalie loved it and kept saying how pretty and beautiful he was. We have an amazing daughter and an amazing dog.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Quote of the day

Natalie got a boo boo on her arm and said "I need the band!" (band-aid)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Another First- Sunday School!

Natalie had another first today! Sunday School! At our church, kids start getting actual bible lessons at the age of 3 (they have recently started adding mini lessons in the nursery) so today was
Natalie's first time in Sunday school! We of course did not know how it would go, with her crying and clinging past. I stayed with her for the first
15 minutes. She did get a bit teary and wanted to always have her hand on me, but she didn't totally freak. They sang two songs while I was there- I found myself getting teary when they sang Jesus Loves Me- ugh this week has been hard on me! I had to go do the bible story for the older kids, so I told her that I would be back and asked one of the teachers to hold her hand since that seems to help. When I was finished with the bible story, I peeked through the window of the door and the
teacher gave me a thumbs up, so I didn't go in and went into service instead! At the end of service they said she did great! She did her craft all by herself and never got upset! Natalie told me that she told them that I went to work (her only explanation for when I am not with her!) I am including the pictures of her crafts!

Natalie's Cosby-rific Birthday Party!

We had an amazing birthday party for Natalie yesterday! We had a Cosby-theme since Natalie loves Cosby. We are fortunate that our church's back bay provides the perfect atmosphere for a party- it even has a McDonald's-like playland and lots of toys and even indoor basketball hoops. The kids had a blast playing. We also had three Cosby-themed crafts that were enjoyed. There was Cosby trivia and Cosby sweater contest for the adults with hoagies for the prize.
Natalie got lots of amazing gifts. The Noggles got her an easel; the Southards got her the very hungry caterpillar and I Spy game; the Lanters got her a container of sea creatures, dora toothbrush and toothpaste, bubbles, and chapstick (make-up according to Elliot-who is just a few weeks younger than Nat); Nathan's girlfriend Bethany got her a stuffed bear and a matching Eric Carle book; Nathan got her a Strawberry Shortcake set; the Lanes got her a My Little Pony hardback book; the Stallworths got her an Old Navy gift card; Dianne Fulton got her a stamp set; the Kellys got her a Minnie tea set and Minnie jewelry; my parents got her a Little Mermaid doll and Playdoh alphabet and number set; the Lotts got her a Cinderella toothbrush holder, princess bubbles, an outfit, and a pj set; the Busbys got her a dress and a purse. We have one lucky girl!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

First Day at "Big Girl School"!

Today was Natalie's first day at big girl school (preschool) She was in good spirits this morning and didn't seem totally against the idea, so we were hopeful for a good day!
As I was driving her there, she kept saying, "where is big girl school?" which was cute since she always knew our route to day care so she could tell this was different. When we arrived she wanted me to carry her. I told her that you have to walk at big girl school. She said, "oh ok" and walked without a fight. When we got inside she was standing very close to me. I spoke with the teacher and then Nat let me know that she needed to go potty. By the time we did that, the other kids had arrived, so I said goodbye. Her lip started to quiver and I told her that we don't cry at school, we have fun. She quietly whimpered an ok. But unlike day care she didn't cling or actually start crying so it was a success to me. (unlike myself that bawled in the school office as I turned in paperwork and all the way to work!)
When I picked her up, Mrs Powers did say that she cried a bit, but then played and had a good day. She did have an accident but it was while they were outside so here's praying that was a fluke. Mrs Powers also said that she ate really well and took a long nap.
Natalie was most excited about the ring, sticker, and most of all the helium balloon that she got today. She played with it all night. We did notice that she must have fallen at some point because her knees are bruised and scraped up a bit- definitely not slowing her down though!
She is actually saying that she wants to go back tomorrow- here is praying that she means that in the morning!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A note from Daddy on your birthday...


I can't believe you're three years old today!! The day you were born was the most magical moment of my life. To be able to help you come into this world was an unforgettable privilege. From the first moment I saw your misshapen little newborn head, I told you that you were beautiful. I whispered it in your ear and told you to never forget it. I've reminded you many times in the last three years just to be safe.

I am consistently impressed by the amazing traits you already show us. Your awesome sense of humor (you have an uncanny sense of comedic timing!), your good conscience (putting yourself into timeout when nobody told you to), your ever-growing imagination (we scratch our heads at some of the stories you tell us!), your intelligence (you come up with something new every day that we didn't know you'd learned), and more than anything, your big heart. I adore your happy and loving nature. My heart is indefensible against your smile. All I can offer is yours upon request.

I will love and cherish you always. Happy Birthday, my little angel! (At this point, you would say "I'm not angel, I'm Natalie!")

Love always,

Happy Birthday Natalie!

I cannot believe you are three!!!! Where has the time gone???? You are the most amazing little girl. I am not ready to write my yearly letter....this milestone seems harder since you are not a baby anymore- I mean you are starting "big girl school" tomorrow!!!!
You had a good day today. I woke you up with a candle in your bagel. You hate waking up so much that your first reaction was that it was too bright- ha!
I left work a few minutes early so I could watch you eat your birthday cookies with your friends. This was your last day with your friends, which your closest friend, Myles even gave you a hug goodbye!
Then since your Daddy had to work late we met him for his lunch (our supper) at McDonalds. We then stopped at Walmart to buy your first folder and notebook for school. You picked out your own styles (you went with Disney fairies). We actually ran into PawPaw at the checkout line! So what does that mean? You got ice cream! I wish I would have thought to take a picture, but I didn't think of it! Sorry PawPaw!
Here are the pictures of your special day!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A general update before an emotional week

As my winter breaks ends, Natalie had a great weekend of spoiling with grandma and pawpaw. She loves riding in her car, "shopping" with grandma's pantry items, and of course eating ice cream! (which now PawPaw and Nat have matching bowls!)
We also went to my Aunt Jennifer's for Christmas. Natalie enjoyed dancing with grandma and playing in my cousin Andrea's bed with her dollies.
The latest thing to blog about is the way that Natalie has been handling her anger. She is not a typical child that throws a tantrum. Nope, instead she chooses to give everyone the silent treatment and will only utter the occasional grunt and rarely will answer with a "nothing." when asked what is wrong. This can last anywhere from a minute or two to over 30 minutes! I
It only makes me quite afraid of the teenage years!
This week is going to be filled with events and emotions. We have her third birthday, her first two days of preschool, and her birthday party. I can't believe that I am going to have a child in preschool! She is such an amazing little girl and I love her so much!