Monday, October 25, 2010

Birthday Photos

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Happy Birthday, Lovey!

Red roseWow, a year already… It seems like time flies by faster with each moment, I am almost afraid to sleep, worried that tomorrow Natalie will be 18 and moving out of the house.  She amazes me and humbles me in so many ways!  Tonight, we were having dinner with some friends she hadn’t met before and she was so in love with them!  Of course, they were in love with her, too, but it was amazing to see how she can tell which people are good souls and which ones aren’t.  There have been people she has met along the way who she wants nothing to do with, while others are her favorite people instantly! 

She walks like a mad-woman now, scurrying along past tables, chairs, the dog… she knows how to go up and down a single stair (since we only have one in our house…) and when she falls down, she knows to pick herself back up and walk some more! 

Today, when I left the house, my darling girl gave me puckered kisses and said “bah bah” as I walked out the door.  It broke my heart with joy to hear her as she learns to talk.  I swear, the other day she even said “I love you”  She knows what she wants and how to get it now, even knows how to pull off her pajama bottoms so we can change her diaper!  She is a clever little monkey and climbs on EVERYTHING!!!  I think we will have to put locks on the top cabinets, she will be able to reach them magically soon enough!

I love you so much, my sweet Natalie Rose… I hope that every birthday is as special as this first one was – and that every year brings more joy to your life as you have already done for us!Birthday cake

Friday, October 15, 2010

Birthdays and Belly Buttons

Natalie is finally 1 year old! This previous Sunday, a group of us gathered to celebrate the life that exists in this beautiful creature who, only a short while ago, did not exist. Her beauty, strength, intelligence and sense of humor only grow exponentially with each day and as we sat around watching her interact with the people around her, we noticed that she really is just a tiny human being.

Last year, she did nothing but eat, sleep, poop... now, she eats solid foods, sleeps through the night and tells us when her diaper is full. She plays peek-a-boo with blankets, or by holding her hands over her eyes. She loves to hold on to a blanket or stuffed animal. She gives kisses, hugs, smiles. She is even beginning to walk. The tiny person we thought was so fragile this time a year ago is now a strong, opinionated little girl with a beautiful personality and the brains to make us feel like maybe we won't be smart enough for her. She learns so fast, we had no idea. She is even learning parts of her body. She can point to her nose and, she can lift her shirt to show us her belly button! She has no idea that one year ago, her belly button still had bits of umbilical cord attached to it. She doesn't know yet that that cord is with her older sister, binding them through love they could not even begin to imagine. As my world gets more complicated with school and a toddler, it gets more amazing with every new step she takes, every new set of words, even the expressions on her face.

My little girl is starting to hold on conversations and, while we don't hear clear words, we are starting to hear the beginnings of words: "puhpuh" for puppy, "dada" for dad, "mama" for mom, "see" for sleep, and as her "l" sounds get more pronounced, we are just waiting for the first time she says "I love you." She certainly hears it often enough, it would be a likely first phrase.

Her party was a huge success, like everything she has tackled so far! She loves to eat pickles, bananas, lemons and even jalapeno cheddar bratwurst. When she falls down, she laughs and gets back up. She problem solves and finds solutions to things we didn't even think of. Not only is she learning new things every day, but so are we! It's hard to realize that this is only the first small step in the wonder that is Natalie. We've been through so much the past 2 years that it's impossible to imagine what the world would be like without her. We are so blessed, so loved and so excited to see what is next!