Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Big Sister Certified!

Sunday afternoon, we took Natalie to the "big sibling" class at the hospital we will be delivering at. Here she is practicing her skills at holding a baby doll:






They watched a video and then we took a trip up to the nursery to look at the newborn babies:


The nurses there were SUPER sweet and even unwrapped a newborn and held him up to window so all the kids could see what a newborn looks like. It was even neat for us to see as well, it is so easy to forget how tiny they are!


Then we toured a postpartum room, so she knows what to expect when she visits us in the hospital. After the kids were done looking, Natalie pulled us back in the room so we could see it too. Her favorite part--the cartoons playing on the TV! Ha!


Here she is! The certified big sister!!

34 Weeks

On Sunday night, Mike took my "tummy picture" for me...only this time, someone who was feeling rather ornery, kept getting in the shot!


34 weeks, 3 days:


Sunday morning, Natalie wanted to take my tummy picture, so here I am at 34 weeks, 4 days:


...and then she requested I take HER tummy picture! LOL!

Baby Shower

On Saturday, my friend Emily threw a baby shower for me. It was perfect! My mom allowed us to gather at her house (thanks mom!) we had a great time.

Here is Emily posing with Natalie (UNDER the dining room table-LOL) to get her to smile:


Lindsay, Emily, and myself:


Natalie received a couple gifts as well:


She was also a WONDERFUL helper! I enjoyed watching her open the gifts for me...we just had to keep reminding her to slow down! :)


I was (obviously) thrilled with this handmade sweater set. A lady that works with my mom had this made for our baby, and I have never seen such detailed, intricate knitting. It really is beautiful!!


**thank you to Dorie for taking all these pictures with my camera!**

More help from Natalie:


On a side note, later that evening when we got home, I noticed that Natalie had a gold crown sticker on her shirt. I asked her where that came from and she told me she found a few of those pretty stickers on the envelopes she opened for me! LOL

Amanda, Natalie, and I. Amanda is also expecting, and is only 6 or 7 weeks behind me!!


Posing with the grandmother's:


My Aunt Betty, Nadine (cousin), myself, and my mom:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Car Switch

This is the big purchase we made a couple weeks ago.


Going from driving a smaller car to a minivan was an easier transition than I thought it would be. In fact, I love driving this vehicle! It's a smooth ride, and I can't complain about the doors that open with a touch of a button when my hands are full. The seats that fold into the floor are a bonus too--no hauling out benches when you need extra cargo room!

We had originally looked at SUV's or crossovers with 3rd row seating because to be honest, I didn't feel we needed a minivan at this point with just two kids. However, we are adopting, and even after this baby girl is born, we (Lord Willing) are hopefully not done having children. So we decided to go ahead and get this instead of needing to upgrade again in a couple years. Another problem with the cars that have 3rd row seating is that I couldn't reach to the 3rd row back seat! So until our oldest (yes I'm planning ahead) can buckle and unbuckle themselves, I need a vehicle that I can reach them in.


What has surprised me are the comments we have received from others because we now drive a "minivan!" I wasn't aware it was taboo! Leave it to the people who don't have kids, to make snobby comments on what WE chose to drive. We love it--and it suits our growing family. That's what matters! Once we are done having children and our oldest are able to buckle and unbuckle themselves without help, we might transition over to an SUV or crossover. Who knows. Although I really do love those power doors... ;)

Inside Fun

Natalie loves to strap these on and hang onto me while I walk around the house. I can't say I'm having near as much fun as she is, but I DO love to hear her giggle!!



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vacation

I'm backing up a little (over 2 weeks now) to share pictures from our vacation with you. This is the first time Natalie has flown since she was 5 months old. She was VERY excited!!


She was also very well behaved on both plane rides (there and back)...I can't say I have ever looked forward to sitting next to a four-year-old on a flight, but she was awesome! We hit some turbulence while descending, and she threw her arms up in the air and whooping each time we came out of our seats. There were several people around us laughing at her enjoyment of it all.

We landed in Birmingham and Mimi (Mike's grandma) picked us up from the airport, and she made fast friends with Natalie:


Another new friend of Natalie's:


Natalie met so many cousins on this trip, you'd think she'd be overwhelmed. Not at all. She couldn't wait to play with them day after day!


Mike enjoyed chasing after his cousins as well...I bet they all slept well that night:


Jumping:


Natalie with Grant and Cade:


Under Mimi's bed:


Playing with Pop's truck (that he played with as a boy):


Watching cartoons while they cooled off:


This is where Natalie slept throughout the trip. We brought along an air mattress for her, and she found animals to fill it up wherever we went!


After several days in Birmingham, we met up with Mike's other grandparents and drove to Atlanta. With traffic, it ended up a long drive, and I was DONE. Between my legs falling asleep and contractions, I was glad we were there! Natalie obviously was too! She was happy to see Nani and Pop waiting for us, and they enjoyed playing outside quite a bit:


The entire purpose for this trip was to attend the grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary party that Saturday. (We just extended it so we could visit with lots of other family as well) This is Friday night, Natalie is opening a gift from Grandma and Grandpa:


All of the grand kids + spouses:


The day of the celebration...that is their original wedding cake topper!


Grandma & Grandpa watching a slide show together:


Cutting the cake:


Natalie enjoyed the day with more cousins to play with! After the dinner was finished, they were happy to get the wiggles out:


Uncle Buzz & Natalie playing:


We drove back to Birmingham Sunday afternoon, and that trip went much faster with very little traffic. She made herself at home at Grandma & Grandpa's house!


Playing with Grandpa:




We made it back home that Monday night after our flight was delayed several times. Mike brought us home, only to turn around to go back to the airport to work.

Pride

Natalie was messing around with my headband this morning, and I reminded her (a couple times) to stop because it could break. When she woke up from her nap this afternoon, I was fixing her a snack in the kitchen when she comes in to tell me:

Natalie: (staring at the floor and using a tiny voice) Monnie, I did something bad...
Me: What happened?
Natalie: I did something bad. I'm sorry, Monnie. Come here, (grabs my hand) I'll show you.

She takes me into the living room, where I can clearly see my headband in two pieces on the sofa. She explains she was playing with it again, and it broke. She is so upset with herself about this, there is nothing I can say. The lesson has already been learned. So I sit down, scoop her up in my arms and praise her for telling me right away and being honest! I told her can always get another headband, but she needs to remember not to play with them from now on. (Which I guarantee you, will not be a problem!)

Even after praising her, she was still upset with herself. She asked me twice if I could get another headband just like that one. She wasn't happy until I assured her it would be made right.

I am proud of her. Yes, she made a mistake, but what kid wants to confess their mistake and risk getting in trouble? Yet she didn't hesitate at all in telling me the truth. Natalie is honest to the core, and I adore that about her.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sunday School

I found a picture on facebook with Natalie in it and wanted to share. This is her sitting with her Sunday school class during their group lesson. It was taken in Jan or Feb of this year.
Front row, pink shirt/brown jumper:


I think the helper (older girl) sitting to HER right is also named Natalie. My Natalie talks about her quite a bit and thinks it's so neat they share a name.

Three things I love today:

I love that Natalie pronounces "jell-o" as "dumbo." I bought her favorite flavor and made some yesterday because she has a bad cold. But last night, when she kept asking for 'dumbo' (a movie that she doesn't really care for) I was stumped. It took a good 5 minutes, and a lot of frustration on her part, until this Monnie could figure out that she wanted to eat JELL-O!! So today, when she has asked for dumbo, I head right for the fridge. HA!

I have loved snuggling and rocking with my sweet four-year-old, even when I get sneezed and coughed on constantly. (despite her best efforts to cover her mouth and nose) It is kind of gross to be a personal tissue, but I wouldn't trade those moments for the world.

I also love my husband and his sweet, unexpected gestures. He brought me kit kat's (my favorite) today for no reason. It's the little things...

Getting back!

I am behind on blogging again as we have been out of town for the last week visiting family. We flew back home Monday night and I have spent the last two days getting back into the groove here at home. The laundry is finally done, we are stocked on groceries again, and the kitchen is functioning. Natalie has a bad cold and I have a mysterious rash on my hands and wrists that is driving me bonkers!! Thankfully it's clearing up, as well as Natalie seems to be on the mend.

I have tons of pictures to share from our trip! I will hopefully be getting those posted in the next few days...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sweet Baby

Last Monday afternoon, we had a 32-week ultrasound to check up on our little girl. (and yes, after double checking, she is still our little GIRL)

This is the profile picture they wanted:



Then the technician did something completely unexpected, she did a 3D ultrasound!! We were so surprised! It was neat to see what our baby looks like! She is on the left side of these pictures, the placenta is on the right:


After taking these measurements 8 days ago, they determined she was about 3lbs, 12ozs. Tomorrow I will be 33 weeks!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Fun

Saturday morning, we went to the pumpkin farm. It's only 10 minutes from where we live and we love this place!! We went last year and were so impressed with all the fun things they had for toddlers and preschoolers to do. Mike and I especially needed the distraction
after losing Cole Friday afternoon. We were glad we went again this year, we had fun together.

They have a huge jungle gym, and Natalie called this area her "princess tower!" Oh, my girly girl.


Sliding:




She actually wanted her picture taken behind the 10+ paintings this year:


Laughing at Daddy:


Crawling through the underground tunnel:


They had pony rides again this year, and Natalie didn't even hesitate to walk up to the lady and tell her she didn't want to ride on a little pony, she wanted to ride a big horse! (That is what we loving refer to as the "Alverna in her"--my grandmother never hesitated to speak her mind) The lady was amused and actually gave Natalie what she wanted! Mike walked with her last year, so I volunteered to walk with her this year. HA! Only 2 laps around and I was huffing and puffing trying to keep up (with my squished lungs) not to mention, trying to watch my step!

I love the look on Natalie's face in this picture:


Getting to pet another horse after her ride:


The first time she went in the haunted house, it was with Pop. She later got Daddy to go with her by telling him, "don't worry Daddy, it's not scoopy!" *spooky*
This is a great picture of Natalie and Pop (click to enlarge):


Alligator Chomp! (Daddy is a gators fan):


Natalie with Nani & Pop:


Posing with Daddy and Monnie:


This was before our hayride started. I think Nani tried to take 10-12 pictures of the three of us, and Natalie was doing something in EVERY one of them! This was the best one, even though her eyes are closed:


So then what happens? I tell her to go sit with Nani & Pop, and I get this PERFECT picture of the three of them. It's awesome, and all b/c Mike told her to say 'boogers'...I laughed but was about to mention to Mike that 4-year-olds don't need help in that vocabulary department. Then I saw this picture on my camera seconds later. So needless to say, Mike didn't hear a peep out of me!


The six of us:


So after the perfect 'boogers' picture, I was trying to think of other creative-yet-not-gross words to get her to smile. (Yes, we were still after a nice picture of us...thank you Nani for humoring me) So I told Natalie to say 'ghost' and she starts "ooooooh-ing" like a ghost would. This picture cracked me up! LOVE IT:


On to the inflatable slides!


Sliding down on her belly inside the inflatable train:


Barrel rides:


She is Daddy's buddy for sure!


She is 2nd from the back, they went all the way around the pumpkin patch!


The 2 minutes we were in the patch:


By now, she is tired, hungry, and her blood-sugar is probably running a little low. Getting grumpier by the minute as she kicks her feet along. (She is definitely my daughter) I love this picture. Such nice scenery, she's even holding a pumpkin Nani handed her, but her expression is hilarious:


Our family:






We left shortly after this last picture to feed the poor girl. She had a blast, and is already talking about next year.