Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year (almost)

I've taken a bit of a holiday (pun intended) from blogging. But, then I received a text message from one of my (three) readers saying, "blog already" and it took me out of my holiday coma and prompted me to down load some photos and document the season.

So, I'll make this recap as quick as possible by using photos and bullet points:
- Our nanny is leaving, so we have spent our holiday break looking for a replacement
- We decorated the house for the holidays, it looks festive, but in actuality, I wasn't in the spirit until Christmas eve
- My wonderful friend, Ashley, was in town for the week leading up to Christmas. It was good to see and spend time with her and her family
- Natalie had three holiday dresses, so her celebration began the day before Christmas eve when she wore the first one. The best part - for all three, I only paid a total of about $35.
- We scaled back this year. We got old toys from my mother, which Natalie loves, and bought her a rocking horse which was a big hit! Everyone else got smaller gifts too...no need to spend money when we have so much to be grateful for already.
- I still have presents to hand out to friends I haven't seen
- We are excited to ring in the new year and are looking forward to the changes it will bring
Starting to open gifts
playing with the tupperware drawer on Christmas morning ~
this is the first time she actually climbed in
Christmas hat from Auntie Laura
Red holiday sweater

Tonight we are thinking about braving the cold temperatures to go to 3ve (a three-day new years eve celebration). God Father is playing with Rattle and Hum and because Natalie loves music, we think it is only right to let her ring in the New Year with dancing.

Happy New Year to you and yours. May 2010 bring good health and happiness to your life.

Friday, December 18, 2009

What a difference a year makes

This time last year I was holding a new born (well, a 4 week old) and trying to squeeze into a skirt to rush to Phil's holiday party. This time last year, I was leaving my baby for the second time in her life. This time last year, I was thinking being a mom was an easy gig. This time last year I was getting sleep, longing around in the mornings and spending my days running errands.

A lot has changed...
This year I was chasing my 13-month-old around the house, while slipping into my dress and trying to get to the party on time. This year, my big girl waved goodbye to me (one thing that didn't change - same baby sitter, G-ma and G-pa). This year, I am thinking being a mom is still pretty easy - but there are days... This year, I'm not getting as much sleep, I'm not lounging around in the mornings, and spend my days in an office.

A lot has changed...but I wouldn't trade it for anything

Friday, December 11, 2009

Choices

Because of my aforementioned weight loss and an impending holiday party that is hosted by hubby's work, I needed a new outfit. True to form, I couldn't decide in the store. So I bought three dresses, a shirt and a pair of snazzy heels. The shirt is out because after the fashion show I hosted, it was decided that it was "not holidayish" (if that is even a word). The shoes are more "work" wear, even though Phil said, "You would wear heels that high to work?"
So, back to the dresses. The last dress I bought, the cheapest one, was more "motherly" - if an off the shoulder short black could be "motherly", so it is going back. The decision now comes down to two...a form fitting (read-tight) black number

and a silver strapless stunner

I think I'm leaning towards the silver one - more holidayish, but I'm going to wait and make the decision tonight when I'm ready with shaved legs, washed hair and make up on. I'll update with a photo of the winner later.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Two things

First thing is that we are now the proud owners of a new heater and air conditioner...which is supposed to keep us comfortably warm all winter and cool all summer. For the money we paid, it better. I won't shock you with the total price tag, but if you want an idea, take what amount you are thinking it would cost and double it and you might be close. I almost fell off the couch when he told us the total price tag.

Second thing is so wonderful I barely have the words to explain, but because this is a blog, I'll try. You might be thinking, "Oh she found the cure for cancer" or "She must have solved the crisis in the middle east", but no...I have kicked those pregnancy pounds and then some to the curb. I don't know how it has happened, maybe a combo of lack of sleep, breastfeeding, and forgetting to eat? Any way, I'm just excited to report that while at the mall last night trying to find an outfit for a holiday party on Friday I tried and purchased dresses that are half the size I used to wear! It is very exciting and when I actually decide what dress I'll be wearing I'll take a picture for the blog.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

12 months have come and gone...

This is a long overdue post…but better late than never.

A few weeks ago we went to the doctor for Natalie’s 12-month check up. We found out that she is healthy and growing (but not too fast). She is still a string bean, a touch over 29 inches (40 something% on the growth chart) and 17 pounds 12 ounces (4% on the chart). For those tracking her growth, she has grown two inches since her last appointment (9 month), but has only gained a little more than a pound…which means we are now free to pump her full of calories. The doctor instructed us to put butter on everything and put cream in her whole milk, seriously.

Basically the doctor said that because Natalie isn’t totally interested in eating (she just wants to walk all over and see what she shouldn’t touch) that we should try and make each bite as highly caloric as possible. So add the fat we have. The only problem is the extra fat hasn’t sparked Natalie to eat it all up. I’m not worried any more, I’ve thought it over and she is very happy and healthy (I mean, hello, she hasn’t ever been sick – knock on wood). We will keep offering and if she won’t accept we will just keep offering.

The other instruction given to us by the doctor was concerning sleep and eating at night. Because Natalie normally nurses to sleep, the doctor said this means she doesn’t know how to fall asleep on her own so we need to “teach” (train) her how to do this, which she suggested we do by letting her cry-it-out. (I feel bad just typing those words…) She said that if Natalie knew how to put herself to sleep that if she woke up in the middle of the night she would just put herself back to sleep without us. So, we figured that 1. Natalie already falls asleep on her own for naps, so doing it at bedtime wouldn’t be that hard and 2. If she cried, it wouldn’t be that bad…well we were wrong, on both accounts.

When Natalie was born we decided that we didn’t want to be the cry it out parents unless we had to, we figured (at the suggestion of my mother) that comforting her and going to her when she cried would help to build a happy, healthy and secure child (I mean it worked for me). So far, we have been on this path – and other than a few nights of almost crying it out, we hadn’t done it. So the Tuesday before Thanksgiving we decided to see if Phil could put Natalie down without letting her cry. It didn’t work, it was horrible, she cried and cried and so we decided that we would change the bedtime routine a little, but stick with me nursing her to sleep.

Our new bedtime routine involves Phil giving Natalie her bath and getting her totally ready for sleep without me. Then, he passes her to me, kisses her goodnight; I feed her and put her down. Because the doctor suggested that we stop letting Natalie eat at night, we also decided that if she woke up in the night that Phil would be the one to get up with her and see if he can put her down. If he couldn’t then we would cave and I would feed her and she would either sleep with us or go back in her crib for the rest of the night. So far, this is working. She has been waking up more than normal lately, but not needing to eat.

The other part of this story involves weaning. It was always my plan to nurse Natalie until she was 1 and then wean her over the holidays (and by wean I mean, let her wean naturally with a gently little nudge). Well, the whole feeding to bed might extend the nursing for a while, who knows. I’m along for the ride and hope that it isn’t a ride that goes on longer than expected. I’m hoping that my mom is right when she says that it will just happen and it will be quicker than expected and not to really worry about it. Easier said than done, but I guess she has been here and done this before (three times).

So, there, that is my update on Natalie. Now that I have all that updating done I’ll be able to update you on the new outfits Natalie has, our holiday plans (which might involve a trip to somewhere sunny), painting projects, holiday decorating, and anything extra that is going on in our lives. For now, I'll leave you with the below. We are teaching Natalie Bulgarian, in this video she is being asked "where are your shoes"...she is brilliant

video

Monday, November 30, 2009

Natalie on the Internet

I submitted a Birthday post to Ohdeedoh, it is a design, home, baby website, for Natalie. After waiting almost a month, I got to see the post this morning.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Minnesota or bust

Four days after we got home from our cruise, I needed to travel to Minnesota for a few work meetings. Not willing to part with Natalie for those few nights, I decided to bring her along. My mom being the wonderful grandmother she is decided to come with us so that Natalie wouldn't have to stay in the hotel all alone while I was at work.

Natalie spent the days with Grandma going swimming, going on walks and just hanging out in the hotel. We also decided to go to the Mall of America on our last night in town. After our long drive there, we wandered around and then had dinner. The mall has an amusement park in the center of the mall, which Natalie thought was pretty cool. They also have a butterfly exhibit where you can hold and see butterflies. Natalie wasn't too sure about the butterflies, but I wasn't either.

Family Photos

Before our trips to see U2 we had some family photos taken at Memory Grove. I'm so glad we were able to capture the fall season and our happy little family.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cruisin' straight to ONE

We have had a lot of fun around our house (and away from our house too)!

Let's start by recapping our recent trip to Mexico - aboard the Radiance of the Seas cruise ship. We left on a Saturday morning on a flight to San Diego.

As always (knocking on wood), Natalie was a great on the airplane. There were a few kids, but she was the ONLY one who didn't cry - not once. She was great! We had the bulk head seats, which gave us a little more leg room and a spot for her to play (on top of our coats). We made a few walking trips up and down the aisle. Natalie has decided that it is much more fun to walk everywhere than it is to just play on our laps.

We left the airport and went straight to the boat and promptly, like any cruise ship patrons, went to the big cafeteria to eat. We were on a 5 night trip which left San Diego, made a stop in Ensenada Mexico (which we won't do again, not a great port), and a stop in Cabo before returning to San Diego. Below are the photos leading up to Cabo:
Grandpa, Natalie, Phil, God Father
Phil & Me (self portrait)
God Father & Phil
Formal Dinner Night
Grandma, Natalie, Me
Bathing Beauty

We made a stop in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and it was by far the best stop. We walked (forever) from the ship to the beach, but stopped for margaritas along the way, which made the walk longer and shorter all at the same time.
Those cups are bigger than they look
Once we got to the beach, my brother, who loves the ocean, ran in. It was perfect - the water was just warm enough, but not too warm; the air was moving, but it wasn't cold or hot...I would go back tomorrow and we are already planning a trip for next year.

My brother, the God Father, took Natalie in the ocean for her first time. She loved the water (just like her God Father)!
Grandpa, Grandma, Godfather enjoying a beer in the ocean
Dada & Natalie in the ocean
Splashing around
Natalie taking a nap on the beach
Family photo
God Father, Natalie and Me
Beach Baby
On the water taxi back to the boat

After we got back on the boat we all stuffed our selves with a late lunch, took a nap, then got ready for the birthday party. Natalie turned ONE on the cruise, which is actually why we went when we did. For her birthday, the God Father gave her a very fitting card. It had a photo of Marlon Brando as the God Father and then when you open the card he said, "Someday - and that day may never come - I'll call upon you to do a service for me." It cracked Natalie up. She started laughing and it became her most favorite toy for the remainder of the vacation.
Laughing at the card
After we opened cards and presents, we went to the dining room for the late dinner. After dinner they brought out a fruit tart with a candle. Everyone sang Happy Birthday and then Natalie promptly ate the whipped cream and fruit. Yum!

Natalie was the hit of the ship. She made a bunch of new friends, walked all over, never really cried, stayed up late, slept in late, took naps, slept in the pack and play most nights, played in the water, and was the perfect little girl we knew she would be.

What a way to celebrate a birthday! We also had a party for her when we returned. I'll post photos of that soon.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween

Natalie had a great first Halloween. She dressed up as a cheer leader for the Denver Broncos (at her fathers request - and his purchase).

We had a great day visiting friends and family, which meant that we weren't home for any trick-or-treaters, which also means I have two large bags of candy left over.


This is my mom's teddy bear and Natalie loves it

God Father, Auntie, Mama & Cheer leader

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More of the same

Like I said in my last post, Phil and I were gearing up for the Las Vegas U2 concert. In a nutshell, it was more of the same, but wonderful too...full story below.

Thursday started with an early wake up call, packing of the car, driving to my parents house, more packing and loading of cars and driving, more driving, and then a little more driving...
My mom and I decided to drive to St. George separately from the boys so that we could take a side trip to Richfield, a small town somewhat on the way to St. George. We loaded Natalie in the car and went on our way. It normally takes about 4 hours to drive to St. George, for us, it took about 9 hours! We made a few stops along the way - to give Natalie a break, to play on the swings, to slide down a few slides, to hit an antique store, to grab some Wendy's, to visit my grandparents gravestones. It was a very special day for three lucky girls! We finished off the drive by a stop at the Walmart in St. George - Natalie loves people watching and man oh man are there some interesting people to watch at that store.

Friday morning, Natalie, my mom and I hit the hotel pool. Afterwards Natalie took a nap and I packed up the hotel room, when the boys returned from golf, we went to lunch and started the drive to Vegas. We stayed very close to the concert venue on Friday night - which was great because we were able to walk to and from the concert. We caught the last song of the Black Eyed Peas and while waiting in the crowd decided to try and sneak into the 'inner circle' - which is where we were for the concert in Phoenix (basically this means you are closer to the stage). Well, using my wonderful skills, I convinced the guard at the "door" to the allow us in. After some prodding he allowed us back (YIPPEE)! It was packed (clearly because the guy at the door wasn't just letting us in, he was letting everyone who asked in). We were close to the same spot we were for Phoenix and enjoyed a big chunk of the show from there. We then decided to move to the back of the GA area and take in the view. It was a blast of fun! We walked the long walk back to the hotel on a U2 high.

The next day we drove Phil and my dad to the Boulder golf course and then packed up the hotel room and prepared to move to the Excalibur hotel for the last night in Vegas. This was the cheapest room we could find on short notice (I failed to reserve a room early); but I don't recommend it. What I recommend is staying at the Mandalay Bay (which is where my brother stayed). The rooms are wonderful and while walking the mile back to my room made me wish that I had paid the extra $250 to stay there (almost).

Saturday night we took turns walking to the Mandalay Bay to watch my brother and his band play. Natalie fell asleep in her bath and didn't wake up until I was at my brothers show, which meant I got a call from Phil with Natalie screaming in background, so I ran (with my mom and dad) the mile back to our hotel room, only to find Natalie and Phil peacefully sleeping...

We woke up early Sunday morning and made the drive home. It was a fantastic trip, made all the better by the time we spent with family (it is nice to have a husband who likes to be around your family!). Natalie was a dream baby the entire time; never fussed when we kept her in the car or didn't let her have a designated nap, stayed up late and most of the time woke up late too! Glad we are home, now we can start getting ready for the cruise.


Friday, October 23, 2009

YOU TWO

Tuesday morning started with champagne and the bar swearing in...then a quick drive to the airport, followed by a short flight to Phoenix. The flight was delayed and the traffic was horrible, but we made it to the hotel in time to change clothes and then run to the U2 concert. Phil, Laura, Philip and I made it into the "Inner Circle" of the show, which meant that we got to be up close and personal with Bono, The Edge, Adam and LMJ.
Phil and I are gearing up for the Vegas show tonight and my mom and dad are babysitting Natalie. I'll update with more photos soon.