Friday, December 29, 2006

It's been awhile...

Okay, so I've been completing slacking on the Natalie blog, for which I do apologize. Between moving, settling in with the inlaws, and the fact that the room Natalie sleeps in holds the computer I upload my digital photos in, well, it's been a challenge. My only real free time is when she is sleeping, and that's when I think about blog updates. But then I remember, doh! The photos are still on the memory chip.

So... happy holidays and best luck in keeping those new year's resolutions. One of mine is to simplify... so rather than a lenthy catchup, I'll let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy!

Mommy and daddy found a really cool irish pub in south tampa.

I am soo... Siesta Key. Bummer that it was cloudy when Sio
came to visit.

Whoa. This east coast sand is so much fluffier than SB.

Diddy's got nothing on me.

The "real" Santa should get some cool lights like these.
Maybe then I'd sit on his lap and smile.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


It's four days before we move and Dean has been working like crazy to move all our stuff into storage. I finally relented and hired a mover.


Monday, October 02, 2006


Natalie discovered crayons today! Well, let me rephrase, today Natalie discovered the USE of crayons and did not try to eat them. Progress!


Note her crossed ankles. She's such the little lady. No idea where that came from. And she put the hat on by herself too...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bye Bye Beach

Our California beach days are coming to an end... rapidly. Just a few more weeks and we leave Santa Barbara for more affordable shores. Or more affordable mountains, not sure yet. We're headed for a hiatus in FL and then we'll decide where the new adventures begin.

I'm excited about this. And nervous. And a bit sad to leave Santa Barbara... it's so beautiful here. I think Dean and I are really appreciating this, now that we are about to leave. And now that Natalie has become such a beach girl this summer, it's a shame to have to leave somewhere where you are literally a five minute drive to an uncrowded beach.



But when a crappy 3 bedroom fixer is 800k or more, it's time to go. I'm excited as I've never lived anywhere else but CA. I'll miss lots of things here... mostly being close to family and friends. But really, as long as I have Dean and Natalie, I can be happy anywhere. Besides, either way, it will be a good move. I'll get to live near my brother again and become a decent skiier, or we'll be on another shore, enjoying a warmer ocean in an affordable house, closer to Dean's family. Either way, it's going to be an adventure.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Natalie!

Natalie, this is the first of your many birthday letters to come. It's a tradition I want to start so you'll have a chronicle of your life through my eyes. And selfishly it's for me too, so I remember just how amazing you are at every stage.

But first, you should know that this letter may always be late. Today should be May 22nd as I write this, but it's not. It's June already. I'm sorry! But really, you better get used to it. It runs in the family, I inherited it from my mom, and frankly, your dad isn't any better than me. You're doomed to a life of lateness, in one form or another. We'll try, but I'm sure this may frustrate you at times. I apologize in advance.

Wow Natalie, what a year. You have accomplished so much more than I have this year. When we brought you home last year, we didn't know what to do. Now, I know just what makes you happy... playing peekaboo, chasing the kitty, watching bubbles or dancing with me holding you in my arms. You have brought your dad and I so much joy this year, that I don't think words can express it. I love walking into your room and finding you standing in your crib with that big gummy grin on your face, ready for a day of fun.

You are such a social creature! You love nothing more than taking a walk in the stroller and smiling at everyone you see, just to get them to smile back and chat with you. And at that, you are almost always successful. You love the attention! I find this so endearing, and wonder how this will fit into your personality as you get older. I hope you always smile at strangers with the hope of getting one in return.

You are also a complete water baby, just like your dad. You love, love, love being in the pool, even being dunked. You love the beach, and your most recent discovery of fun... SAND! You just jet off and I can already envision you running around the beach soon, maybe by the end of this summer. I know you'll be so cute I just can't stand it.

On the not so endearing side, you really seem to enjoy throwing your food and sippy cups out of your highchair. Whether or not you're still hungry. And lately, you have no time for diaper changes. You wiggle and squirm and if I don't have just the perfect distraction, you leave a huge mess in your wake. I know you're just excited to keep exploring, but could you cut your mom just a bit of slack? You're also an early bird, I don't know where the hell that came from. I don't love this, but accept it as my fate for the time being. I've got my whole life to sleep, and you will be this age only once... I'll blink and it will be gone.

Natalie, I love you so much. I look forward to the 2nd year of your life and all the changes you will go through. I cannot wait to enjoy each moment as it comes. Soon enough, I won't be the center of your world, and I know I'll long for these days. Just don't run away too fast, okay?

Birthday Girl

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

A toast to all mother's!

My first mother's day has arrived, my little one and hubby are both in bed and I sit here pondering this moment. I'm so exicited for this day... Natalie is almost a year old. This journey into motherhood has simply been amazing. Much more than I ever imagined. As my mom well knows, I was not one of those girls who grew up knowing she wanted children. In fact, for a long time, I simply wasn't that interested. I was young, self absorbed and taking on the world (well, okay, maybe just my space in San Francisco), but still. Who had time for kids? Then my nephew was born. Seeing my brother become a dad and falling in love with my nephew was a turning point. Maybe, I thought. But it was not until I met Dean that I really began to want kids. With Dean, I could imagine what life might be like with children. I loved him so much, the idea of creating a family with him seemed natural. And here I am today. With a silly grin on my face, thinking of Natalie and slighly amazed at how I got here.

Isn't she adorable?


Now, on the other side of this day, is a day to celebrate my own mom. So mom, a very happy mothers day to you! Having Natalie has made me realize even more, how much you sacrificed for Pete and I. And how much you love us. Without you, I would not be the person I am, something I am extremely grateful for. I'm so thankful for all that you did... staying home to raise us, taking us to the library every week so we'd learn the joy of a good book, getting me into dance and music classes, and just standing behind me and making me truly believe in myself. Had I not had the love and support of you and dad behind me, I wouldn't have had the courage to do half the things in life I did. Knowing that you and dad would always be there for me, made me strong. Still does. I'm grateful for that.

And that is something I'm thinking about today. I hope Natalie grows up with the same feeling. That she knows Dean and I love her unconditionally. That we will be here for her always, even in the tough times. I want her to have the courage to challenge herself and find out what makes her happy. She'll ultimately decide what that will be, and I hope that knowing how much her parent's love and support her, will help Natalie live a happy and full life.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cousin Alex

As promised, here is a photo of Natalie's newest cousin, Alexander. Looks like the Dixons (Vonks) will be carrying on their lineage of red heads. Too cute.


It's been such fun talking with Debbie about her first weeks becoming a mom. It brings back all the memories of bringing Natalie home. I'll never forget walking in the door with her, the tiniest thing, setting her on the couch and looking and Dean and saying "what do we do now?" After all the preparing and reading of books ad nauseum, I realized that nothing can prepare you for that moment. Or the weeks ahead as you get to know your new baby. It's great. And it's difficult. I think I cried more that first month than my entire life. Tears of joy. Tears of frustration.

Here's what they should really teach you in jr. high algebra:

Post Partum Hormones + New Baby/ Sleep Deprivation = CRAZY WOMAN!!

I had my moments, as Dean can tell you. Like when I completely freaked out when he was going to go back to work after 2 weeks. I sort of lost it (okay, not sort of) and thankfully, he was able to stay home one more week. That saved me and by the third week I was ready.

And Debbie, I promise, you will get a full nights sleep again. It just might not be as soon as you'd like. But treasure these moments, they pass so quickly. And send more pictures!

Friday, April 28, 2006

She's Back!

Okay, so it's been awhile. I know. The four weeks have gone like this:

  • out of town wedding (Milwaukee brew pub - awesome)
  • out of town wedding (Wayfarers Chapel - gorgeous)
  • throw easter dinner party & insist upon making everything homemade
  • host couples baby shower & buy it all from Lazy Acres

Between all the above plus working on some hectic design projects, things have been a bit busy. I don't know, I thought when I quit my office job and started freelancing from home, I'd have all the time in the world. Riiiiiiight. Rather, I find that I feel more disorganized than ever and time just seems to slip by. The good news is we finally found another nanny, which is a huge relief. No more working in the morning before Dean goes to work, then rushing to work when Natalie naps, then working more in the evening when Dean is back home and Natalie's in bed. Talk about a LONG day, sheesh.

But there is finally a light. The project wrapped up, the nanny is here 2 afternoons a week and Natalie is just as adorable as ever. It's hard to be too down when that cute little face is looking at you.

So, the recap from the long absence:

  • Natalie has a new cousin!!! Baby Alex born March 27th. He's gorgeous. I'll post a photo once I remember to ask his mom if that's okay.
  • Went away for my first weekend since Natalie was born. It was FANTASTIC. I missed her, and still managed to have fun. She and Dad had a great bonding weekend.
  • We learned that trying to keep a 10 month old awake for 6 hours makes enjoying a wedding difficult.
  • The Easter bunny made an appearance. I did not see him myself though, as I have in years past. Just ask my family.

    And Miss Natalie is getting the cutest curls. Check 'em out.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

Dean and I could not wait for Natalie to crawl. We encouraged her, put toys just out of her reach, clapped with enthusiasm whenever she tried. And then she did it!

and did it some more. and got faster. and further.

On the one hand, it's the greatest thing when she's crawling and giggling to get to you. And following you around the house. Need some self actualization? Have a baby! Plus, it's just plain fun and interesting to see what interests her. A whole new world has opened up for her because she now has some control over what she plays with and explores. That part is amazing.

But on the other hand, my days of leaving the room for 5 minutes and knowing she was safe are over. Lounging on the couch? Gone! And of course, the more dangerous and object is, the more applealing it is as well. I'm constantly redirecting her and trying not to say no all the time. The new word is danger. Not that she understands it yet, but eventually...

So mom, just a shout out to say thanks for keeping me safe when I was a wee one. I know now how much effort that really entailed.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's a sad day...

One of my best friends dad died this weekend. Unexpectedly.

It's an awful feeling to know your friend and her family are in such terrible pain and there is nothing you can do but offer your love and support. I just want to take their pain away and I can't. I'm still in shock and find myself thinking about it when I go to bed at night. If I think about it too long, the sadness is almost overwhelming. So if I feel that way, I can only imagine how it must be for my friend.

Ironically, he was one of the most fit men I know his age, perhaps with the exception of my father-in-law. Life is just like that sometimes. So unfair. So, I did the only thing I could, called my parents and told them how much I loved them. I sat with Natalie, cuddling her for the longest time thinking about how truly blessed Dean and I are to have her. If you know me at all, you know I'm not one to count my blessings, but I find myself doing that these days. Perhaps that is a good thing.

Here's to you Andy. I'll miss many things about you... you're teasing nature, subtle sarcasm, and great bbq's at your house. But mostly I'll miss just being around you and your family, and experiencing the love you had for them firsthand.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

She's on the Move, and so am I

After much awaited anticipation, Miss Natalie is crawling! Not an army crawl, but a full blown crawl and she is getting faster everyday. She took her first few, what, knees, on her 9 month birthday and is now going strong. And she's so cute about it I can't stand it. I can hear her when I'm in the kitchen crawling over. When she hits the tile her hands start slapping against it. That and her giggling as she thinks it's so fun to come find me. As the Stone Roses say, I guess I wanna be adored, cuz I just love it when she finds me. As soon as I get the video thing worked out, I'll post the proof her for all her adoring fans to see.

And I'm on the move as well. I'm taking my first weekend away in a few weeks to be the Matron of Honor in my friend Joan's wedding. I'm so excited! And nervous. Not because I don't think Dean can handle it, he can. It's just going to be weird, like leaving your arm at home. It will be the first time in ten months I'll have been apart from her for more than a few hours. I'm not sure how it will be for me, or her. I do know that Dean will be REALLY tired when I get back and understand why I often flop on the couch at night.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sunny Days

Mom and I were cruising around State Street today as it was a beautiful Santa Barbara winter day. It was so sunny she bought me a new hat. Isn't it cute?


Monday, February 20, 2006

Love is in the Air...

Will you be my valentine?


Thank you grandmama for my cute valentine's day dress. Well, okay, it's really my cute 1st Christmas dress, but it still fits. Who knows, it may be my first Easter dress too! Stay tuned.

And of course, I couldn't post today with out a big: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! My fabulous mother has just turned 29 again (see mom, I got your back). Here's to a year full of health, happiness and adventure mom, you deserve it.

And here we have some mommy/daugher lovin' going on. I'll do anything to make her smile and laugh. MAKES my day. You can't see it here, but man, that girl has eyelashes to die for. She has no idea how lucky she is. But that's okay. She will soon enough. Way too soon for me I'm sure.


Note the headband Natalie is wearing. That came from the cute red bear grandmama gave Natalie for Valentine's day. I should have taken a close up as when we put in on Natalie, it was like BAM, here's insta 80s baby. Remember Olivia Newton John in Xanadu? Or think John McEnroe on the court back in the day. Yeah, you know the look.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Bath Time

Dean gives Natalie most of her baths and it's about the cutest thing I've ever seen. I don't know who has more fun, Natalie learning how to splash or Dean watching her enjoying herself. Makes me fall in love with him all over again.

One of the great things about having a baby is all the cute baby clothes. Below is one of my favorites, the hooded bathrobe.


Really anything hooded is pretty cute on a baby. Comes with the territory. Now anything hooded on me? That's another entry entirely. Let's just say if you notice me wearing more hoods/hats/sunglasses lately, it's to hide the fact that I have very little time to put on makeup these days. But I'm working on it. I got a pedicure the other day... my first in months and it was HEAVEN. Nothing like a little pampering to perk a gal up. Now my toes are all cute and red just in time for Valentines day. And I love that. Perhaps a little too much. I keep looking at my toes and smiling.

I really need to get out more.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Brought to you by Pedialyte.

Grape Pedialyte to be specific. Natalie has been very sick this past week. Let's just say what goes in, must go out. After a week of this and her starting to get dehydrated, we've had to take some drastic measures. Apple Pedialyte was rejected. Cherry? Rejected. Then we tried the lemon lime powder. Rejected. The already digested formula. Rejected. (which I can't blame her, talk about a horrendous smell) Then she started to reject her regular formula, so I went to the store in search of something else. Behold the Grape Pedialyte.


So we are now giving her a few ounces of this by the eyedropper every hour or so. I wouldn't say she likes it, but she'll tolerate it. And for that, I thank am very thankful.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hello World

The Natalie blog has finally arrived!

After intending to start this back in... ahem... MAY 2005, Natalie's blog has finally come to fruition. So, join us as we share Natalie's world with you. We promise lots of photos, vidoes and antecdotes about Dean and I stumbling our way through parenthood. Should be interesting to say the least. Weekly posts at a minimum will be forthcoming. And hey, you never know when YOU might get a mention. I know, you're shaking with excitement.

Wondering about the name of this blog, Dean & the Dixon Chicks? When Natalie was born, our friends had a pool for her birthday date. As it turned out, Uncle Pete was the winner and several new family names we're created (including NatalieGate since the $$ was kept in the family.) Our friend Don came up with the Dixon Chicks and we loved it! Hence, the name. Oh yeah, and we added Dean since he proclaims "I am not a chick". Guess we gotta give him that.

Here's the latest photos of our fashionable gal, sporting the coolest baby Puma's ever. Thanks Auntie Melissa!!

Oh, and please feel free to post some comments anytime...