Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

The first part of our day was a little crummy.  Mommy has a terrible cold, and Natalie was running a low-grade temp.  But, after a looonnngg afternoon nap for both of us, we were ready to go to a holiday cook-out at Papa's house.

This little one was in a better mood and ready to socialize.  She loves being outside, and was enjoying the breeze and watching the bigger kids play.

There were bubbles and miniature golf...and the adults sat and watched and laughed and enjoyed.

Papa provided hours of entertainment by rigging up a box behind the tractor.  So fun!

Then it was time for Mark to drive, and take Natalie along for the ride. :)

Finally, Grace learned to drive!  She felt SO big, and had a blast pulling the smaller kids around the yard.

 Getting some coaching from her daddy....

 I've been calling her "toothless wonder".  She is so gorgeous!
Check out these long legs!
She even pulled her daddy around in the box -- we were cracking up!  Do you ever feel like your family is WAY more fun than anyone else's family?  I always have so much fun with my family....I feel a sense of pride about it, and wonder if other people feel the same way about their families....

Natalie was pretty relaxed all evening, and enjoyed lots of snuggles and kisses, and even a little snooze in the fading sunshine.

(Love these sweet toes!)

Whew!  That was a lot of pictures!  There were so many great ones, I had a hard time choosing just a few for the post.  Pictures tell a thousand words....and I hope that someday I look back and these and smile and laugh and remember how much fun we had today. 
Hope YOU had a fabulous holiday weekend, too!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Catching Up

After a crazy two weeks back at school, I feel like I am finally catching up.  It was good to see my kiddos off to third grade.  I got a good taste of what it will be like to work and be a mom, and it was tiring!  My evening routine before bedtime included things like making lunches, ironing clothes, packing diaper bags, and cleaning pump parts.  By 9:30 each night, I was ready to crash!  I missed Natalie so much, but now am really looking forward to our summer....and a little more time of leisure together.

We are catching up on all kinds of things around the, laundry, grocery-shopping, etc.  But mostly, I'm concerned about catching up with this little lady.
This is the face she made at me this morning when I went to get her from her crib....Hey, Mom...I haven't seen you at this time of day for awhile!

This weekend, we are catching up on our "family time"...and loving every minute of it.

Today was family picture day.  My sisters and I gave my mom a certificate for Mother's Day to have all of the kids and grandkids get together for pictures.  We even bought matching outfits for all the kiddos - Grace and Natalie had matching dresses, and Nick and RJ wore matching polos.  However, between mommy's developing cold, daddy's grumpiness about having his picture taken, and a hot/tired/hungry/fussy baby.....I'm not sure our part of the pictures turned out very well. :(  Natalie wouldn't even smile for ONE picture!  I was planning to use those as her three month professional photos, but we may have to go for a "reshoot" so we can at least capture a couple of sweet smiles for the scrapbook.

Looking forward to more family time tomorrow.  Hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Three Months Old

Today my Natalie is three months old.  She gets more and more beautiful each day!
We started in this outfit.....until she threw up all over herself and the chair about 3 minutes in.  So I stripped her down and went for some naked shots.

 I love her little rolls!

Next outfit....her little romper says "Tweet Tweet I'm So Sweet".  (Target has the cutest baby clothes!)

 Soooo big. She's getting a little bit harder to photograph as she is moving around much more!

Natalie has been busy this month learning all kinds of new things!  She rolled over and also giggled for the first time this month.  She continues to get more and more vocal, and I love her little voice and all of her coos and sounds. 

We moved Natalie into her own room a couple of weeks ago, and she transitioned beautifully!  She is sleeping great through the night....goes to sleep at 9 and usually sleeps until about 6 the next morning.  My new favorite time of day with Natalie is at bedtime. I rock her and sing to her in the dark in her nursery, and I love the way she stares at me until her little eyes get heavy and she can't stay awake any longer.
She eats 5 times a day, every four hours.  She loves music and also cranes her little head to see the television -- her daddy loves this, and claims that she is most interested when he has Sports Center on.  She is awake longer during the day, and continues to take her best naps in the morning.  She is past her fussy evening phase (thank goodness!), so our evenings are enjoyable again.  As you can see in the pictures, she is drooling like crazy these days, so we usually keep a bib on her all day to prevent so many outift changes.

She is the sweetest baby with the most precious little personality -- such a beautiful blessing to us!

(I'm having a hard time capturing one of her sweet smiles on camera, because I'm usually alone with her during our photoshoots.  She will smile beautifully, but once I put the camera up she gets a serious little face because she can't see me anymore.  Stinker!  I'll have to see if Daddy can help us out...)

Friday, May 20, 2011


That's right, it is finally the weekend!
My first week back to work felt like the longest. week. ever.  My kiddos were good, and it felt good to be back in the classroom....but man, did I miss my baby girl!

I'm looking forward to two whole days with my darling.
I mean, who can resist these sweet toes?!?

And beautiful blue eyes...

And chubby little legs...

And cute little baby buns...


 This is what I did every night this week when I got home from school.  Stared at my girl.

And when I wasn't staring at her, I put her in my new sling so I could have her close by!  I tried a sling when she was about 6 weeks old and she hated it.  I got this one for free and thought I'd try it again and she loved it!  Her face in this picture makes me smile -- I think she must wonder about me and the camera that I'm constantly shoving in her face.  Her little look seems to say that thing again??

Tomorrow Natalie turns 3 months old! :)
Hope you have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Monday is coming....

The time has come.  Twelve weeks have flown by and I have to go back to work on Monday. 
I'm not ready.  I don't want to leave this little angel.

I am lucky because I only have to work for two weeks....then I get to have the rest of the summer at home with my sweet girl.

The past three months with her have been the best.  Full of loving, snuggling, smiling, laughing, crying, learning. 

I am going to miss her so much.  I am so in love with her that when I'm away from her, I just don't feel quite like myself.  Like part of me is missing.  I have absorbed her smell, the feel of her skin, her beautiful blue eyes....all to the point that they have become a part of me. 

I love teaching.  I am looking forward to seeing my kiddos at school and finishing out the school year with them.  I just want so badly to do both.  I want to be a stay-at-home mom so I don't miss a single second with my baby.  But I also want to be the teacher that I've always dreamed of being -- a career that I have put so much time, energy, and love into for the past five years. 

So, it's not going to be easy.  And it is going to take every ounce of strength to walk out the door on Monday morning and leave her behind.  I will cry.  I will worry.  I will fight every urge to turn the car around. 
At least this sweet face will be waiting for me when I get home...

Then we'll do it all over again in August.  *sigh*