Monday, August 27, 2012

18 Months

*Note: I apologize for my lack of blogging lately!  With school starting and Lovely Apple completing 47 orders in the past 30 days, things have been more than busy around here!  Can't promise that things will be better on the blogging front anytime soon, but I'll continue to try to post Natalie-related things, just for memory's sake.  So, without further ado....our little lady at 18 months.

A year and half?! 
The past month has been one of major transition....summer ended, and school has started back up.  We are no longer sleeping in, lounging around in our pajamas all day, planning fun outings and playdates with friends and cousins.  The slow pace of sweet summer has been replaced with a busy schedule, a more strict routine, earlier bedtimes, and groggy mornings.  Things are getting a little better, but Natalie has been pretty thrown off by the switch.  Naptime at daycare has been hit or miss, resulting in a fussy and tired baby at night.  I know we'll back into the swing of things, but it's been hard on both of us to get back to it!  I miss my girl like crazy each day.  It was easier to go back this year than last year, but I can't never shake that feeling that I'm missing something during the day - and the thought of stay-at-home Mommyhood is never far from my mind.
Despite all that, the little bug is still growing and reaching milestones.  She is getting taller and thinner, and her shape reminds me so much of her daddy.  Her 18 month clothes still have room in the waist, but the length won't fit her for much longer!

She is talking more and more and more.  She's just a little parrot, repeating everything we say.  Plus a little of her own baby language thrown in the mix.  I love when she jabbers when she's playing.  She'll be busy doing something, just humming and blabbering away.  She is really into pretend play these days.  Likes to carry purses and put on my shoes.  We bought her a bucket of plastic food.  Oh. My.  She is obsessed with that bucket and makes a beeline for it each day when we get home.  Last week she filled each of her teacups with cucumbers and zucchinis and eggs.  Then proceeded to put some french fries and hotdogs in her Daddy's shoes.  And a peach between the blinds and window - which I didn't notice until I pulled into the driveway the next day.  We are finding that darn food in all kinds of crazy places!

She has become majorly attached to her Baby, a Cabbage Patch doll lovingly passed down from my cousin Diane.  Baby goes everywhere with us.  And when Baby is not with us, she searches around the house saying "Baby?....Baby....BABY!!???!"

Natalie is Mommy's Helper.  She lives to pour things while I'm cooking, carry things to the car, and put things in the trash.  She likes to pick up her clothes and put them in her basket, and also help me "fold" the laundry.  Her most favorite words this month are "NO", "NO WAY" (?!?!?), and "MINE, MINE, MINE".  That's pretty telling, isn't it?  She wants to be a part of everything we do.  Frustrating at times, of course, but I love that she is able to learn through our daily routine and the things that she observes us doing.  She gives hugs and kisses, blows kisses when she says goodbye, and makes funny faces to make us laugh.  She watches us sooo carefully.  Our little critic, our little mime.

Independent.  She has started screeching when things don't go her way.  We are talking about manners and doing timeouts and trying to lead by example and summoning up lots of patience, but I also feel like I am starting to tread in uncharted territory... We are going way past just caring for the daily needs of a baby.  We are shaping her, which often leaves me questioning....Am I doing it right??  We try to trust ourselves and most of the time Daddy and I are on the same page.  Guess we'll just have to figure it as we go.  That's what everyone else is doing, too, I suppose.

She is SO fun, and SO lovely.  Just the light of our lives!

Happy Half Birthday, little bug!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Summer is sad!  We've done a lot of fun things while I've been off work, but we had our hearts set on getting Natalie to the zoo this summer.  Mark has been working some weird shifts at work, so he ended up having a Friday off.  We decided to get up early and head to the zoo before it got too hot.
Natalie was perfectly content to ride around in her stroller and look at all the animals.  She pointed and babbled and laughed.  We named the animals as we went and she made the animal noises, too.  We dodged from shady spot to shady spot, drank plenty of ice water, and it really wasn't as hot as we thought it would be.

Hands down, the absolute coolest thing at our zoo is the polar bear.  I was too enamored with watching him to actually take any pictures of him, I guess!  I did get this picture of Daddy and Natalie in front of his home.  He was putting on such a show!  Belly flopping and back diving and putting his face against the glass to look at the kids.  And he was HUGE!  I could have skipped the rest of the zoo and watched that big guy all day.

Alas, there were other things to see and do...

Watching the soon as Natalie saw them she pointed and said "Rrrrooooaarrrr". of the Mommies had a bunch of babies in her pouch!

She wanted to pet the sheep, but this guy was a bit timid.

Merry-go-round....her favorite thing the whole day, I think!

Looking at the lazy lions through the glass.

She also really liked the gorillas and the seals, but I didn't get pictures of all that.
By lunchtime, we were all hot and tired, so we headed home to get some lunch and cool off.  It was a fun morning at the zoo!