Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Landscaping

Odin has long helped us landscape our front yard. It now has some lovely water features (aka water filled holes he dug) and some nice areas of soil reclamation (piles of dirt from the holes he dug).

Natalia loves to be outside. She loves to help. So what could be better than helping us garden? Nana bought Natalia a little hoe and spade and now they work in the front yard together.

Didn't they make a nice trench?

Right Side Up

Natalia has really started talking. My favorite new word of hers is


Last night was spent turning books, baby dolls, Mickey, Elmo, teddy bears, etc. upside down. Always accompanied by "up-a-si-down". The little extra "a" is what gets me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Round One Goes To . . .

I don't think there is anything cuter in the world than children who dress themselves. This probably stems from the fact that my mom let us choose our outfits when we were little, and really, who don't look at childhood photos of themselves and think that they were adorable. (I don't mean the glasses and braces photos - those are just painful. I mean the photo of the 3 year old with blue cords, a green velour dress, a striped t-shirt, and shoes on the wrong feet. The priceless ones.)

Well Natalia decided to follow in her mothers footsteps. In the past couple of weeks she has started to have very strong opinions about what she wants to wear. I am no longer allowed to just pick out her outfit. In fact, the first thing that I pick out is generally UNACCEPTABLE!!! Getting dressed was turning into a round of an Ultimate Fighting Competition. So I decided to let the child have some say. I mean really, so long as she is covered, I see nothing wrong with her going out in her princess dress if she wants. (Which, by the way, is how we went to the supermarket yesterday.)

And that is how we ended up wearing blue camo pants, pink sandals, and a brown spotted shirt. With "Cookie . . . Back" and "Big Bird . . . Here"

I must say I'm pretty impressed. She got her shoes on the right feet.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mama Rock

Natalia has a thing for Paul Simon. She has known how to ask for Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes since she could say "A-wa . . . a-wa"

But recently, she has become obsessed with Love Me Like A Rock. She will now come up to me when I'm sitting at the computer and say "Mama . . . Rock"

Always, "Mama . . . Rock."

It is, in fact, what we are listening to right now.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My First Valentine's Day Party

My Mom's Group decided to have a Valentine's Day party for our little ones. We all gathered at Lisa's house for a delicious brunch and a fun Valentine exchange. Lisa created these cute personalized "mailboxes" for all the kids so that they could exchange Valentines.

Natalia got to put Play-Dough in the mailboxes which made a very gratifying "thump" each time she dropped a little tub in.

She and Ava took their mailboxes and emptied them out together. She especially loved the sticker Valentines she got from her friends.

Mommy loves them too.

I am still finding big stickers all over her cloths (she decorated herself once we got home). She also seemed to be in the Valentine's Day spirit the entire weekend and helped spread love throughout the house. Every day brings one more special find - a little piece of sticker stuck to the floor, legs of chairs, her car seat, a book, or Odin the dog.

Mas Yo-yo Por Favor

Natalia has missed her Opa. He was away all weekend at a seminar in Vegas and didn't appear until this morning. She immediately perched herself on his knee (yoga style no less).

She didn't budge from her perch until he got out a yo-yo and started showing her how to use it.

They then spent much of the morning winding up the yo-yo and doing tricks. Every time Opa thought he was finished Natalia would say,

"Mas . . . Mas."

"Po ta bo" (we were having a Spanish morning)

He would look at her for about two seconds, consider the other things he should be doing (like putting on his shoes), and then say,

"Okay. One more time."

She probably got 15 "one more times" before they wandered off. That little girl has Opa wrapped around her pinkie so tight I think her finger might be losing circulation.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What A Little Stinker

Natalia is not even two years old and the child that "a bite" is a very subjective kind of thing.

When told that she needed to take "one more bite" of her chicken before she got her gummy vitamins (which is genius by the way - what kid doesn't want to have to eat gummy bears every day?) she took a teeny tiny bite of chicken that was

this big

When she was later told that she could have "one bite" of ice cream, she shoved the entire cone in her mouth and took a bite that was

this big

It's not even like she has an older sibling to learn these things from. (Unless you count Opa - which maybe I should.)

Rain Rain Go Away

Or don't.
I kind of like my raincoat.

My Little Beanstalk

What a difference a year and a half makes. Unbelievable.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day Everyone. We love you!!!
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

And She Continues To Grow

My sweet little baby is not such a baby any more. I came home from a weekend seminar and she was talking in sentences. Okay, so they are two word sentences, but still. I left and she was still nursing. I come home and she is surviving entirely without my help and saying things like,

"Opa come. . . Opa home."

"Big chair . . . heavy chair."

I can't believe it. How did this happen?

And will she always have those curls?

PS - I am doing much better. So much better in fact, that I almost started nursing Natalia again when I got home. Calm down, I said ALMOST. I didn't do it, but I was sorely tempted.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Sweet Sweet Baby Girl

I have the sweetest baby girl in the world.

Tonight was the last night that I nursed Natalia. The time has come to stop that wonderful bonding daily practice. Never again will I see that same gleeful smile after she nurses. Never again will I get kicked in the face or watch her contort herself while nursing. Boo Hoo. I have been working on weaning her for about a month, but this week my body decided to give me a little helpful nudge.

And so, as I finished nursing Natalia before she went to bed, I shed a tear.

She looked up at me, smiled a huge toothy grin and said:

"Bye Bye Boob-boobs"

I smiled wistfully at her. "Yup, bye bye boob boobs."

Then she looked at me with a solemn and yet adoring look and said "Mommy sick" and gave me one of the biggest hugs she has ever given. We sat there for a minute while SHE rubbed MY back. It took my breath away.

I am such a lucky mom to be blessed with her.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You Always Turn Into Your Parents

There is something about how your parents raised you that you can never escape. And it seems as though it is always those things you hated most as a child that become part of your own parenting M.O. One of the things I remember hating as a child was going to look at houses. (This was something I eventually grew to love, but as an 8 year old it was not my idea of a fun time). My parents used to buy trashed houses and then we would fix them up and rent them out. Every weekend we would go look for the next deal. The houses always smelled like cat and dog pee. Sometimes they were so bad Mom and Dad made us wait in the car.

I always assumed that I would one day subject my own children to that, but I certainly didn't think it would happen before they turned two.

This past weekend we went to look at a bunch of foreclosures that are going to be actioned off in two weeks. Nana, Opa, Odin, Natalia and I all stuffed ourselves in the car and went off in search of the next disgusting Graff-Baker investment.

I had a great time. We walked around 7 different houses. Okay, I walked around 7 different houses. Natalia walked around 6. I mean really, it wouldn't be a good find a fixer-upper weekend if there wasn't one house that requires children to stay in the car. This one wasn't that bad. I didn't feel like I needed a haz-mat suit and as long as I didn't touch anything I didn't run the risk of hitting a live wire.

Natalia had a good time too. She loved running around all of the new houses, hearing her voice echo in the bathrooms. She especially loved our time at Safeway.

I always wanted one of those red and yellow plastic cars. Never told Mom and Dad that I wanted one, and therefore never got one. Maybe I'll just have to get Natalia one. Isn't that just fulfilling the second rule of parenting? After you turn into your parents, you give your kid everything you never had and always wanted. Isn't that why I got her the wooden train set?