Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Favorites

In true year-end fashion, I've been organizing photos and catching up on Natalie's scrapbook.  These are my favorite pictures of Natalie from the last year.  Two things were quite apparent to me as I compiled these.....first, our baby has changed so much in the past year!  It has flown by!  Second, my child is extremely photogenic. :)

My 2012 faves....

Feeling very thankful and blessed.....and so looking forward to what 2013 will bring us!
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

22 Months

We are SO close to having a two-year-old!  These days, she is less and less baby, and definitely a full-blown toddler.

Our sugar bug at 22 months....
I vowed to do a whole year of outdoor photos at the beginning of her second year - this winter weather won't cramp our style!  She is obsessed with this hat and mitten set these days.
She loves to put them on and chase her daddy around the house.  He pretends to be scared of her little mitten lobster claws, and she squeals with delight as he runs from her screaming "Oh, no! Don't get meeee!"  Her reply?  "Get you, Daddy!" followed by a growl for good measure. :)
This month, Miss Personality is talking more in phrases & sentences.  Some of the little gems we've heard this month:  "I seeee you!" (while hiding), "Mommy, more please?", "I don't know", "Baby, where are you?", and "I don't want to".  Little lady is independent, that's for sure!

We had a great Christmas, and this month, she's enjoying playing with play-dough, coloring with crayons (and the bath crayons she got in her stocking!), reading books, doing puzzles, building with Legos, and anything that is related to a babydoll.  She puts them in the cradle, rocks them and swaddles them in blankets, kisses them and feeds them and must have them in bed with her at night.  She has a baby highchair, a baby stroller, baby is babyland around here.
All her favorite things in her baby stroller to push around the house. :)
Here's a little video I took of her on my phone one day.  I was sitting at the kitchen table trying to get some work done and she was playing underneath the table.  I heard a bunch of kissing noises so I started to video her but she didn't know it. 
She kisses baby, then hugs baby, then puts her to "sleep"...did you hear her pretend snoring? :)  She cracks us up!

She is really into singing and dancing right now.  She especially loves to sing in the bathtub.  She got a singing Elmo for Christmas, and when he sings, she gets the little microphone that came with Elmo and dances around with it.  Another video...notice the bossiness when she realizes Daddy isn't playing the drums as he should be...

She is getting so tall and has outgrown most of her 18 month clothes and moved up to a size 6 shoe.  I suppose we'll have to start at least thinking about potty-training sooner or later - but I'm in denial about that for now!
She's very aware of her routine - getting ready in the morning, mealtime and playtime, bedtime, etc.  She will start doing the next thing without my prompting - a girl after her mommy's heart. :)  She is still loving "helping" when she can, and the tantrums are rare for now (we are enjoying that while we can!)
I've officially started party planning for the big 2nd birthday....but we are looking forward to these last couple of months with a 1 year old!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Meeting Santa

We've been talking a little about Santa around here.....nothing about him bringing presents, or watching for good behavior, or that he is the main man at Christmas time (because he isn't!) but we point him out in books and on TV, and have been telling Natalie that she gets to see Santa and sit on his lap.

So today, we decided to get on a festive outfit and go meet the big guy...

It was a small miracle that we were even able to get her to pose in front of the tree!  She is generally uncooperative for posed pictures, but she was proud of her reindeer shirt and her new shiny shoes.  Daddy told her to show off her shoes for Mommy's camera, and she stuck her little foot forward and put her hand on her hip!
We waited a few minutes in line....

Then I got her out of the stroller and had her watch some of the other kids go sit on Santa's lap.  She grinned and waved at him, and I asked her if she wanted to go sit on Santa's lap.  "Yeahhhh!" she replied.  We waited our turn and she walked right up to him.  We said hello, but she got suddenly once I plopped her on his lap and walked away. :)

A candy cane distracted her a bit...
But she didn't last all that long.

Another holiday activity to check off the list, and one for the memory books!
Ho, Ho, Ho!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Little Helper

The busy-ness of the season is upon us....heck, the busy-ness of LIFE is my everyday.  Unfortunately that leaves little time for blogging.  A shame, really, because I often look back at posts that I've written - memories typed in my own words.  Writing it all down when it first happens, and then reading back later, is so much different than just looking back at pictures.  The photos capture the moments, but the words bring the memory flooding back like it just happened.  Feelings and emotions captured, the little details that you'd once forgotten about.  Blogging has given me a space to write down our story, and I've missed being able to do that lately.

Which is why I couldn't let this weekend pass without recording a seemingly small event that lasted no longer than half an hour.  But one that left me with such joy that I want to always remember it.  So I'll write it down.

My sweet little helper.

I had been hoping to do some baking this weekend.  Armed with Mark's grandma's snickerdoodle recipe, my KitchenAid mixer, an apron for me and one for the little one, and a last minute run for some parchment paper, we were ready.  Natalie has been really into helping in the kitchen lately.  She loves to dump and pour and stir, and when I ask her if she wants to help, she responds with "Yay!  MEEEE!!!  Help!" and runs to the kitchen.  She pushes one of the kitchen chairs over to the counter and grunts and groans and hoists herself up.  When she's finally up there, she'll proclaim "Ready!" and wait for her job.  I made the cookie dough ahead of time and chilled it, so we were ready to make the dough into balls and roll it in the cinnamon and sugar.  As I rolled each ball and handed it to her, she carefully rolled it around to get it coated, then piled them all up in the middle of the cookie sheet. :)  She talked and jabbered the whole time, and looked so darn proud of herself after each cookie.  She imitated me rolling the cookie dough.  Then she discovered that the cinnamon and sugar tasted sweet and couldn't stop licking her little fingers.

It suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks - we are here already?!  I have a daughter who can help me bake cookies!?  She isn't a baby anymore....she's this little person who helps in the kitchen, and says "Goodnight Mommy" and kisses me in the morning and sings in the car with the radio.  She colors in coloring books and makes funny faces and helps put ornaments on the tree.  And she says "thank you" when I give her dessert after dinner and she puts her head on my shoulder and rubs my back when I pick her up from daycare at the end of the day.  She looks for her Daddy when she gets up in the morning and can't go anywhere without a babydoll and likes to watch Sesame Street.  All of a sudden, I'm realizing that she is almost two years old and can do all of these wonderful things.  Such a little person she is becoming!


And all I want to do is make life so sweet for her....because she makes my life complete.
I am beyond excited for Christmas with her this year!!