Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Three Times the Charm

To Natalie on your 3rd Birthday.

Happy 3rd Birthday Natalie! For the third year straight, I'm late on your birthday entry. But I figure since we had your birthday party early, that evens things out, right? In any case, you should get used to my lateness and crazy logic now as I don't see it changing much as you get older. It will probably just become increasingly more annoying. Until you realize that your dad is even worse than I.

You are three years old now. Three! And I think I fall a little more in love with you everyday. Watching you grow and develop is the most amazing experience for your father and I. On a daily basis you completely crack me up with your silliness, humor and expressions. As our neighbor Christie has pointed out many times, you are quite the thespian child. And I love it! Your affinity for acting out your emotions is wonderful. I hope that stays with you. You'll attract many people with your comical expressions should they continue to develop.

You are also one of the sweetest little girls I know. I love how you'll often, out of the blue say things like "I love you mommy" or "You're a good friend mommy". It just melts my heart. You get very concerned when you see someone upset and want to make them feel better. When I tell you daddy is having a bad day at work, you go give him a hug and say "it's okay daddy".

Dean and I are watching you become a little girl right before our eyes. Your becoming more independent everyday. Next week you start preschool. How did that happen? And I know you'll love it. Though you're on the quieter side, you do love to join in and play so I've no doubt you'll make friends and enjoy being around all the kids. I'm also very curious to see what sort of expressions, ideas and games you come home with. It will be the first time you've been away from me on a regular basis and I look forward to watching you grow through the new experiences of other adults and kids.

You also love to sing. You've started to make up new words to the melodies of your favorite songs like Twinkle Twinkle, ABC and Baa Baa Black Sheep. I love how you'll just suddenly break out into song in the middle of running errands. It's usually how we know you're awake in the mornings. You begin to sing. Honestly, while I'm usually thinking, can't you give mommy one more hour to sleep, even while exhausted, I'll be smiling at your morning concerts.

Oh, and did I mention that you are potty trained! After a couple slow starts, and a few meltdowns (on my part, not yours) with Dean encouraging me to stick to it, it suddenly just happened. That weekend at grandmama's solidified it. (by the way grandmama, you're hired for #2) And right in time for preschool. Phew! Okay, the gummy bears might have helped too.

And so I don't forget, here are a few interesting facts about you at this age:

- you still hate talking on the phone. You run away from it screaming "no!" most times. I'm sure I'll look back on these days fondly in the future.

- you love blueberries, milk, quesadillas,

- your best friend right now is probably Sara, who lives across the street. But you adore spending time with Nolan, Kiley, Jessie and Gabrielle too.

- When you want us to do something right away, you say "come on" in the most adorable, dragged out fashion. I really need to get that on tape.

- you have to sleep with cow, binky (I know, I know) and blue bear. Although cow is definitely preferred over blue bear.

- you always pretend play and include your cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents in the mix. I find this adorable as most of them are far away and I know they'd all love to know they are central characters in your plays.

- you have the. best. hair. ever. We still cannot go out without at least one person commenting on it. I love that. I hope you love your hair one day too. It will be one of your signature features.

- you love to play mommy monster and daddy monster.

- you are a complete water baby like your dad. Florida was a good spot to land in.

- and finally, you are just too cute for words! Here is a picture as proof.

Happy Birthday dear Natalie. Your father and I love you more than words can express, and I hope you grow up feeling this with you always. And that it allows you to explore the world, challenge yourself and be happy with yourself exactly as you are.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Birthday Fun!

Natalie is turning three on Thursday. So to honor the year, we are essentially having three birthday bashes, one for each year! Note to self: this could become very expensive down the line should this pattern continue.

The birthday fun started last weekend with a trip to DisneyWorld. When my brother came out last November, we went with him and upgraded our one day passes to three day passes. It was too good a deal to pass up. We figured we might as well milk it before she turned three and we actually have to buy her a ticket. Yeah, Disneyworld is only an hour away, but it is 'spensive! We had a great time and it was amazing to see how much more she got out of it only six months later. That's one thing I love about the young years, your kids change so quickly, something can be experienced in a whole new way in just a short time.

Here we are meeting Mickey and Minnie.
Meeting Mickey

And here are Dean and Natalie on her favorite ride, the teacups! She just loves watching the mouse pop out of the tea kettle. Thinks it's incredibly funny.

Then today, we threw her birthday party. After we narrowly averted a cake castrophe (will not be using that bakery again), much fun was had by all. Natalie is a total beach girl, just loves playing in the sand so we threw her a beach themed party and got her a sand/water table for her birthday. She was in heaven, as you can see from the photos below. Three of her little friends came over and they played in the sand, decorated visors and devoured cake. She had a really nice time. We'd invited more kids, but they couldn't make it for various reasons. And now, I'm kind of glad. I think too many more kids would have been overwhelming at this age.

And here is a cute video of her blowing out the candles. Apologies for having to endure my singing while watching.

Then on Thursday, her actual birthday, we'll have a final, small family celebration where she can open family presents and go out for ice cream or something. Hmm... and actually, now that I think about it, she may get another celebration next weekend if we head down to her grandparents house. Boy, I hope she doesn't expect a 2 week long birthday extravaganza every year! I may have just made a large parenting error... :) Time will tell. But hey, what the heck, birthdays only come once a year and if you can't overdo it when you're a kid, when else can you?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mom, you rock

Happy Mother's Day Mom!!!

I hope you're enjoying a wonderful day and I'm sorry to be so far away on a day that is meant for me to appreciate you. So many things you've done and do for me mom, have helped make me a better mom myself today. And for that, I'm eternally grateful. As a kid, it's amazing how your appreciation and love for your own mother evolves...

- when you're little, you take her for granted, mom's always there to kiss the boo-boos, make your favorite dessert and play games with you. She's there to soothe you when you're scared and help you learn how to make and be a friend.

- when you're a teenager, everything changes. Your mom can be an annoyance and suddenly much less smart than she used to be. I mean, everyone knows that driving around aimlessly all night with your 16 year old, newly licensed friends is a great idea. Come on.

- Then, you go off to college and have to start doing most things for yourself. Kaboom! All the things your mom did for you become clearly evident. Yeah, doing laundry kind of sucks, but she did it. Sometimes you really don't feel like cooking, but she did it. Sometimes you want to sleep in, but she couldn't becuase you were three and liked to get up at 6:00. Once all these realities strike, you suddenly want to go home for a weekend to have a home cooked meal, in a clean house and relax! And even HANG OUT with your parents. Whoa. Oh, and suddenly, your mom has gotten smart again like she used to be when you were little.

- Then your on your own, working at your first "real" job and realize that water, electricity and trash pick up all cost money, hard earned money that is not in abundance, a whole new appreciation arises.

- then, one day you become a mother yourself. And you REALLY start to get it. And I'm only three years in... :)

So mom, as I've gone through all my evolutions in appreciation for what you've done for me (and Pete) I hope you can enjoy this mother's day knowing that I am so grateful for all your sacrifices, for all your advice and for all the times you kept your thoughts to yourself knowing when I had to make mistakes on my own to learn something. I'm sure that was the hardest part of all.

You taught me that I could do or be whatever I wanted if I tried hard enough. Knowing that you and dad were always there to support me made this possible. Sure, I made some mistakes along the way, but you and dad taught me to learn from them, not repeat them (mostly). It's nice to know that when I'm going through a really tough mothering day myself, that you had them too, and not only survived, but flourished. That helps keep me sane on crazy days.

And becuase mom's always loves photos of their kids, here's a recent one of Pete and I.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Third Trimester Vertigo

In exciting pregnancy news, I am officially in my third trimester. Whoohoo! I am slowly gaining girth and losing speed, but very much enjoying the vigorous kicks of Dixon Chick #2. Or I guess it should be Dixon Chick #3 if I am Dixon Chick #1? Hmm... I'll have to think about that.

So, the first week of trimester three brought some fun times. I woke up early Tuesday morning, turned over in bed and experienced the most intense vertigo I've ever had. It was awful. When I flipped over, the room literally started spinning. I closed my eyes and really thought I was going to lose my cookies. This lasted about 20 secs and finally subsided. Then I was afraid to move. After awhile, I decided I should flip back over to my left side, which is optimal during pregnancy, in case I was having any blood flow issues. Bad idea. Complete vertigo once again. At this point I'm mildly freaking out, it's about 6:30am and I'm wondering if I need to wake up Dean. I'm feeling weak and nauseous and hear Natalie starting to make her waking up sounds. Uh-oh.

I lay there for awhile and then wake up Dean and tell him I need some help. I explain what I'm feeling and that I am afraid to move. He goes to get Natalie and I try to get up after awhile as I really have to pee (what woke me up in the first place). I try to sit up and again have this horrible dizziness and lie back down. After a couple times I finally am able to make my way the 10 feet to the toilet while holding on to something every step of the way.

So I'm basically completely debilitated at this point, lying in bed and Dean has to work. So Natalie gets some tv. I hear her constantly calling Dean for a show, for food, etc, and poor Dean is having a really tough morning at work, with constant conference calls and trying to manage. I finally get through to my OB and get a 1:30 appt. Dean calls our neighbor and thankfully she takes Natalie for the afternoon. The OB basically tells me I probably have water behind my ears, it's not pregnancy related and gives me a prescription for a motion sickness pill. This helps, but I'm still down for the count for the rest of the day and the next day. Things begin to subside but it is only, Friday, that I am feeling able enough to drive a car. What a nightmare. I'm still waking up early in the morning with some dizziness, but it seems to abate once I get up and start moving. Scary times. But I'm back in the land of the living (moving?) and very happy about that.

Also, I've had many requests for belly shots, so here is one from last week at 27 weeks. The thing about subsequent pregnancies, is no matter how big and uncomfortable I feel now, I know I haven't seen anything yet. I know what's coming.

Notice the gummy bears on the counter in the foreground. This is the bribery we resorted to for potty training Natalie who starts summer preschool in one month. After a slow start, it's going well. More on that later.

27 weeks