Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Natalie!

Natalie turned two on September 13th. It was her first birthday with us. It was a day of mixed emotions for me. I wondered what her first birthday was like. Did her birth family mark the day in any way? Did they know, then, that this would be her last birthday with them? That they would be relinquishing her to the orphanage in a matter of weeks?

I have no birth story to share with Natalie. That bothered me more than I expected. I wanted to ask her birth mom about her birth, but emotions were running too high and our time together was too short. I have no photos of Natalie when she was a baby. I have no idea what the first year of her life was like.

I wonder how her birth family felt this year on her birthday. We plan to send photos of Natalie's first six months with us. I hope they're a comfort to them. I hope they can see how happy she is. And that she is so so loved.

Okay, enough depressing stuff. This is a birthday after all. It's time to PARTY!

Natalie hasn't had much experience with American birthdays. But when the cake and presents came out, it didn't take her long to catch on!

She ripped the wrapping paper one careful strip at a time. She drove her five-year-old brother crazy!

When Wes was two he was infatuated with the number 8 (he carried around magnets, foam numbers, birthday candles--all shaped like 8). Everett at two loved the color yellow. Natalie is obsessed with HORSES. We had a "My Little Pony" cake. Here she is sharing her cake with her horse.

Grammy and Papa sent Natalie a play kitchen.

Everett delivered a "pizza" to Grandma Joan.

Natalie delivered the kitchen sink. Already she has her daddy's sense of humor. :-)

Happy Birthday, sweet two-year-old!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm a duck!

Natalie started preschool today!

She's in the "Duck" class. She'll go Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m--2:30 p.m. She's been asking about "Naa--ee's schoo" (Natalie's school) since Everett and Wes went back to class.

If I give you my sunglasses will you smile for the camera?

In front of the preschool and starting to get a little nervous. Natalie was so excited about her "horsey" lunch box and her backpack.

Waiting to check in and showing a few more nerves.

Hey, it's my friend Helina! What shoes did you pick for your first day of school?

I'd say she's looking pretty comfortable with those magnifying glasses. When I left her she whined a little but I stood outside the classroom and she never broke into full-scale crying. It's 11:01 now and still no call from the school for me to pick up my inconsolable child. Yay!

P.S. I'm home all by myself with only the animals for company. I've been dancing around my empty house since I got home! :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And when she was bad...

Ahhh, the terrible twos. How I have NOT missed this stage. Natalie is gifted, apparently, because she's been acting two for a month and her birthday isn't for two weeks.

Natalie's motto at almost two is, "Hey, let's see what reaction I get if I --"

-run right into the street

-run away from mommy in the store, at soccer practice, and whatever location seems most inappropriate

-say the same word over and over for twenty minutes straight: "black horse, black horse, black horse--"

-beg for candy twenty-four hours a day: "ca-ee, ca-ee, ca-ee"

-pretend not to understand "inside voice" and always talk as LOUD AS I CAN

-scream in the car because I know it annoys mommy and she can't do anything about it

-call mommy's bluff and refuse to join her even when she says, "Okay, bye Natalie. See you later."

-spit at people when they make me mad

-squash the cats

-watch how the floor floods when I play with the fridge's water dispenser

-refuse to stop talking while mommy's on the phone

-refuse to stop talking while ANYONE is trying to have a conversation that isn't about me

It's a phase. It's a phase. It's a phase. This is my mantra that keeps me going. I feel better now. Thanks for allowing me to vent.