Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That Face!

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Timeout to Rock

Throngs of screaming fans.
Colorful lights.
Real instruments and a sound system.
Live music.

Yes, folks, today we took a TIMEOUT ... TO ROCK!

We went downtown with our good friends Tammy, Scott, and Owen to see a kids' concert promoted through The Vera Project. Take a look at the list of bands ... this concert was the bomb diggety!

Actually, I won tickets to the show from ParentMap, the most fabulous parent publication I've ever come across ... I dream of working for ParentMap ... it's the bomb diggety (my new catch phrase, btw). Who doesn't love free tickets? Mine came in the form of a family pack. I am still not entirely certain what that means, but for us it meant a dad, two mommies, and two toddlers. Good times :) Thanks, ParentMap!

Watching Recess Monkey perform live was such a treat. According to their website, they are known as Seattle's Greatest Children's Music Band. While I am by no means an expert, I must agree. I've listened to their songs online and even bought a few from iTunes. The performance sealed the deal for me. These three guys have an energy and enthusiasm and stage presence that made me love their music even more.

Right in front of the stage - in the midst of a sea of little concert-goers - Natalie and Owen were rocking out and trying out new dance moves and having an absolute blast. Tammy was able to snap a few photos, and you can check out her blog to see them. Natalie was all about the fancy footwork. Owen, on the other hand, worked the punch-and-point as his signature move.

After an hour of the mosh pit and crowd surfing, our little rockstars were exhausted. We loaded everyone back in the car, shoved snacks at the little mouths - Owen promptly fell asleep, mid-crunch - and headed to my most favorite sandwich shop in the whole wide world ... Jimmy John's!

We were able to get our sandwiches all the way back to my house for a quick patio picnic while the kiddos got some fresh air before naptime.

It was such a great day!


Today is one of those days in the NW when the reason(s) for living here are so very apparent. It is gorgeous. The sun was shining when we woke up, and it has continued to shine all day. Temperatures started out around 50 but climbed to around 80. The sky is an amazing shade of blue. The air is so fresh. And that's probably enough reason for me to be marveling. What has me really marveling is the learning that is taking place in Natalie's little brain on a daily (heck, hourly) basis. I just can't help but marvel at the observations she makes and her ability to communicate what she's thinking. Almost-two is a fun, fun age! (Someone remind me of this when the terrible twos set in.)
A few of Natalie's observations from today ...
  • Natalie was hanging out with me in the bathroom as I got ready this morning. While blow-drying my hair, I could tell she was pointing at the handles on the drawers and saying something. I switch off the dryer to hear Natalie say, "White circle." Yep, the drawer pulls are, indeed, white circles.

  • After grocery shopping this evening, the fetus was craving a Jamba Juice (RazzMaTaz is my current favorite), and who am I to argue. The Jamba girl poured my juice into an original size cup and then asked if I would like her to pour the extra into a kid's cup ... guess she thought I'd like to share with my offspring. Sure, why not :) As I handed Natalie her mini-cup, she said, "Little." Then she pointed to my cup and said, "Big." Sure enough!

  • And, finally, Natalie counts to 14, which is fabulous in-and-of-itself (that's a weird expression btw). While at the park - after the grocery story and the Jamba Juice - three young girls were playing hide-and-seek. The one that was "it" stood nearest us, and Natalie noticed that she was counting. She said, "Girl counting."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tribute to a Childhood Idol - Updated

Updated with a comment from my daddy ... (scroll down; it's in italics and it is so sweet!)

It makes me sad that I haven't thought of Michael Jackson in probably years. He was such an important part of my childhood. Yet he's been pretty much forgotten (by me) in the last two decades. But there are still memories of the time in my life when I idolized this amazingly talented performer ... memories that today are making me smile through a few tears.

I had the posters ... many, many posters. When I close my eyes, I can still see the lavender vinyl purse with a photograph of his gorgeous face displayed on the side. I coveted that purse; it was my priced possession for what seems like a very long time. Oh, and The album. You know, the album. The most phenomenal album of all time. Yes, I must've played that Thriller album on my tiny portable record player about a zillion times. So many memories of roller skating in my basement ... Billie Jean, Wanna be Startin' Something, P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), ... I knew every song by heart. There were times that my heart ached from liking him so much and not being able to meet him.

My childhood memories are filled with images and sounds of Michael Jackson. The soundtrack of my life would be incomplete without including his music.

One of the strongest memories I have of my younger brother Randy is his reaction to the Thriller video. He was absolutely, unequivocally petrified. At the tender age of just five, and through the fault of a not-so-smart babysitter, Randy was exposed to those images and then haunted by them for the next five years. On the nights that he just couldn't get those zombies and werewolf out of his little head, he would beg to sleep in my room. If I wouldn't allow it, he would resort to sleeping on the floor in my parents' bedroom.

I think it was the year I turned 9. My dad worked for an insurance company ... and I didn't really know what that meant. He convinced me that one of his clients knew Michael Jackson and arranged for me to have a phone conversation with Michael. I can remember everything about that day. Wishing away every minute of the school day. Brimming over with anticipation. Hoping that I would know what to say. Hoping he would like me as much as I liked him.

After dinner my dad took me to his home office, a little corner of our unfinished basement with filing cabinets and half of a ping-pong table used as a desk. It always seemed so very official to me. The fact that we went to his office made this phone call seem that much more special and important and official. My cheeks hurt from smiling. My dad dialed the number - it was written on a little scrap of paper - and waited while it connected. I can even see the phone, a beige old-fashioned kind with a springy cord. My dad spoke - very officially - with one of Michael's assistants, and I danced around with excitement. Finally, I was handed the phone and had a brief conversation with my idol, my crush, my Michael. The words are a blur but I remember the sound of his soft voice. I remember that our conversation ended when his assistant got back on the phone and said that Michael needed his rest. You see, the Pepsi incident had happened just a few weeks before, and Michael was still healing. I, of course, understood that his health was a priority and graciously bid him farewell ... there was probably a squeal and a juvenile, "I love you" involved.

The next day at school, I told everyone - and I do mean everyone - about my very special phone conversation with Michael Jackson. I am fairly certain my news was met with mixed reactions, and most people probably thought I was either a little crazy of a big fat liar. But it didn't matter to me. I had talked to Michael Jackson.

Flash forward to a birthday celebration about 5 or 6 years later. As my family sat around the table enjoying slices of cake, my favorite Uncle Steve started telling stories and reminiscing. Between bites, he said, "Hey, favorite niece Dana, remember that time when I pretended to be Michael Jackson and your dad called me and we talked on the phone?"

Squeaking brake sound. Cricket filled silence.

What?!? Everyone else seemed quite amused by this little story. I was devastated. I can see the humor in it now, but to have such a vivid, pivotal childhood memory revealed as a fraud was pretty upsetting. For several years after that, my Uncle Steve would call to sing Happy Birthday to me while impersonate Michael Jackson. His attempt at an apology and humor.

Dana, your story brings tears to my eyes yet today. The only reason you got to talk to Michael Jackson that day was because your parents loved you so much they wanted to make the impossible happen- even if it was only for the moment. Your eyes lighting up and that wide smile was all I needed to know that it was not a joke on you, but a moment to be cherished forever. I would go back and do the same thing again if I thought it would make you smile like that again. Yes, I'm the Dad that wanted everything for his little girl- even the impossible. Love, Dad
Wow! I didn't expect to have this much to say about a man I haven't thought about in quite a long time. This little stroll down memory lane is just a simple tribute to a childhood idol, a talented performer, and an important part of my early years. Michael Jackson, you had an impact on my life and you will be missed.

FFF: Seattle Center with Grammy & Grampy

On Monday we spent our last fun-filled day with Grammy and Grampy ... before they set off on a very long trip back to Illinois - about 2,200 miles. We miss them so much!
It only seemed fitting that we "send them off" with visions of downtown Seattle in their heads. So we headed down to Seattle Center, home of the very famous Space Needle. Woo hoo!
It's not a great photo, but you can tell that's the Space Needle, right?! (My camera settings were way off!)
We visited the International Fountain and watched the water "perform." Natalie was much more interesting in either getting in the water (way too cold for that) or walking the full circumference of the fountain ... and what a great walk it was. Right around lunch time, we boarded the Metro "Choo-Choo" and rode a short distance to - I wish I could remember what it's called - where we found a huge food court. Each of our hungry bellies got exactly what they wanted ... including a Mrs. Fields' M&M cookie on the way out the door. Another short ride ... with Natalie "choo-chooing" the whole way ... we were back at the Seattle Center with the Carousel in sight. Introducing Natalie to this childhood wonder seemed like a great idea to me. Unfortunately, Natalie never did warm up to the idea. I offered several horses, but she firmly replied, "No!" to each and every one. You can see the look of ... displeasure on her face. We sat on a bench and watched the horse go "up-down" and Grammy and Grampy waving at each rotation.

Much more Natalie's cup-of-tea ... and a bit of a surprise to me ... the "Car-cars." She hopped right in, attempted to put on the seat belt, and put both hands on the steering wheel. I had flashes of 14 short years from now ... and my face took on Natalie's look of "terror" from the Carousel. But she LOVED it. Guessing she's more of a city mouse like her mama. I mean, you can't take a horse to the mall, right?!

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By the way, Natalie is still talking about those darn car-cars ... everyday she asks about them ... and retells her adventure with Grammy and Grampy aboard the "choo-choo" and with the horses going "up-down." Her memory amazes me!

Be sure to check out other favorite fotos at Kiss the Frog 4 Me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm in love with an ... Owl

Heard this funky Gavin DeGraw song today ... I'm in Love with a Girl. Do you know it? It's one of those tunes that totally gets s-to-the-tuck in my head! Hope you're singing it right now. Or at least doing a quick search so you can hear it.

Anyhoo ...

As I was perusing Etsy in search of a handmade delight for Natalie's upcoming birthday, I couldn't help but belt out my own version of Gavin's catchy song ...

I'm in Love with an Owl!

Natalie has already been singing this song for the past few weeks. She's a little owl obsessed these days, and I am in total agreement with her ... there's just something so cute about these wise creatures! Whenever we go on a hike, Natalie is on the serious look-out for an owl. Chad makes this great "Hoo-Hoo" noise that tricks her everytime.

For her birthday, I would like to get her an owl ... preferably homemade and one-of-a-kind ... so one day she can blog about the best birthday present she ever got and how she still has it twenty years later ... that's a tall order of a little owl, huh?

Well, I think I've found just the owl for the job ... introducing ... girly, funky Strawberry the Owl ...

Found this little darling at Homemaker Hobbies (a little piece of me), and I am in l-o-v-e!

I haven't officially purchased Miss Strawberry yet ... I have to think about it overnight because that's just how I am ... so don't go running over there and steal it out from under me. I'll hunt you down! But you are more than welcome to go visit April's site and find your very own super adorable OWL :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not so sweet and innocent anymore!

Remember this recent post? Well, there's more to the story ... and there's a bit of back-story required.

I was a bit "sheltered" growing up. I think that's the right word. I lacked a certain "education" about the ways of human nature, the birds and the bees, and what-not. Perhaps this had something to do with being a child of the mid-seventies. Perhaps this had something to do with my mornings in Catholic mass and days of Catholic school education. Perhaps this had something to do with my parents not being entirely comfortable talking about "private parts" and the likes. Perhaps I was the one who would die of embarrassment if/when my parents attempted a serious conversation about such matters, therefore my parents gave up trying. I don't know ... which came first the chicken or the egg? It's that kind of predicament, right?

Anyway, here's what I can tell you about my (previously) limited knowledge of all things "sexual." A girl's part was referred to as a pookie bear. A boy's part was called a winkie. That's right, folks, you read me correctly. I don't think I was exposed to the "real" words (slang-excepted because I did go to public middle school) until I was in my high school health class. I took health as a senior, by the way. I was the only senior in the class. Why? Because I thought I could escape that graduation requirement; that's how much I dreaded the thought of learning about the nether-regions. Sadly, my guidance counselor caught that little "oversight" and made sure my schedule allowed for the health class ... my senior year. Delightful! So I learned the proper names of both the male and female anatomy at the tender age of 18 while surrounded by the most immature group of freshman ever to grace my high school.

Still don't believe just how naive I was? Here's another little tale - at my expense - to further demonstrate the vastness of my cluelessness. I remember this so vividly. As a sixteen year old, I was reading magazines in the bedroom of my dear friend, Sarah Lou. She is 5 years older than me, and I counted on her to answer some of my embarrassing questions. On this particular evening, I asked her ... "Is oral sex when two people talk about sex with each other?" She looked at me with a combination of shock, amusement, and pity. Before she could even answer, I quickly added some insight into how I came to this conclusion (all by myself). I said, "Well, in English class we have oral exercises. The teacher calls on us to answer aloud. So it's like we're talking about whatever it is we're learning." Yes, I made a huge leap from oral exercises in English class to oral sex. Impressive, I know! Sarah Lou did her best to explain my error, as tactfully as possible - probably not an easy feat considering she too was a good Catholic girl!

Phew. That's the back-story. Now, onto the story. This story involves - like most things in my current life - Natalie.

If you read the Co-ed Bath & Private Parts post, you know that Natalie has become more aware of her own private parts as well as those of her male counterparts. She clearly sees a difference, and she wants to learn more. Who can blame her right? Upon our return from Denver (and the now blog-worthy bath scene), Natalie continued to point and say, "parts" whenever I changed her diaper or put her in the tub. The word pookie bear rattled around my head. I probably even had it on the tip of my tongue a few times. But when the word finally broke free, I said, "That's Natalie's vagina." Can you believe it?! How scandalous. I used the actual, medical term for that particular body part, just as I had for all the other body parts I've taught her. She gave the word a try in her own little voice and repeated, "Geyena." Yep, that sounded about right to me. I didn't even blush :) After a moment of pause - for a little almost-2 contemplation - Natalie said, "Emmett parts." Oh, geez, was I ready for this one? I took a deep breath and said, "Boys, like Emmett, don't have a vagina. They have a wink ... penis." "Penis," she was almost too quick to repeat.

Speaking of repeat, Natalie did repeat this new bit of knowledge ... in front of her Grammy, the original creator of the terms pookie bear and winkie. Boy, did Grammy blush a few shade of pink ... and give me a look that said, "Where in the world did she learn those words?!"

From her very own sheltered, sweet, innocent, naive momma ... you know, the one who pushed that baby girl out of her vagina? I think that's pretty much how I explained it :)

Here's what I figure. If, down the road, Natalie decides to give her vagina it's own special - less clinical - name (like pookie bear or chottie), then so be it. But for now, I am sticking with the "real" words for all body parts ... until we start getting into more specifics ... I know for a fact that I am not even remotely prepared to say clitoris in front of my daughter ... or anyone else for that matter ... I can't believe I just typed that word!

P.S. As long as we're talking about vaginas ... please keep my good friend Laurie in your thoughts. Perhaps you remember that she recently gave birth to her second 9+ pound baby. Well, as a result, on Friday she has her first physical therapy session ... for her vagina. I cannot wait to find out what is involved in physical therapy for one's vagina. (Sorry, L, I couldn't resist ... )

What'd you say?

Natalie has been cracking me up lately. That's really not breaking news, but I just have to share a few of the funny things she's said ...

"Pink or Green"

We were at the park the other evening, and we stayed a little longer than we should've. It was getting close to bedtime, which makes dealing with things like a little boo-boo a whole lot harder for an almost two year old. On our way to the car, she stumbled and fell ... but it wasn't major. I scooped her right up to soothe her, and through her tears she said, "Binky. Binky. Peenk o Geen. Peenk o Geen."

I wasn't surprised by the binky request. Natalie definitely resorts to the comfort of a binky when she's tired. Add to that her little fall, and she was ready for something to suck on. When we are out of the house (and it's not nap or bedtime), I usually tell Natalie that I only have a pink binky with me because she'll only take it if she really needs it. What cracked me up and touched my heart is the fact that she was willing to settle for the much harder (and much less loved) pink binky. It didn't matter ... pink or green.

"Sun. Sun. La, La, La"

Today we were in the car ... on the way to the post office to mail packages to our friends in Chi-town, and Natalie kept saying, "Sun. Sun."

And I replied, "Yes, baby girl, it is a nice sunny day. We haven't seen the sun in a few days, huh?"

Again, she said, "Sun. Sun."

Still thinking I had the right translation, I said, "I know, I am really enjoying all this sunshine today, too."

Natalie was quiet for a few seconds, and I was reveling in my success of a) figuring out what she was saying and b) holding up my end of such a stimulating conversation.

Then, I hear this determined voice from the backseat say, "Sun. Sun. La, la, la, la, ..."

That's when I realized I hadn't turned on the radio! Our new favorite SONG ... Upside Down by Jack Johnson from the Curious George soundtrack. Natalie calls it the "George Sun."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I practiced saying, "Happy Father's Day," with Natalie all morning long.
I baked cinnamon rolls, and we let Chad sleep in until 9:00. I finally gave into Natalie's constant "daddy requests" and we tiptoed up the stairs with the laptop - I needed access to my iTunes. As we crept through the door, I played yet another really great song by Frances England called Daddy-O, and we climbed in bed to snuggle with our daddy. (D-A-D-D-Y. Oh how I love you, Oh how I love, Daddy-O)
The song ended, and I prompted Natalie to wish Chad a Happy Father's Day. She triumphantly, enthusiastically, oh-so-confidently said, "Happy Birthday to you!" Close enough, right?! :)

Natalie and her Daddy - since last Father's Day
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What Natalie wrote inside CPV's Father's Day card:
I love you because you ... take me to the zoo and park and duck pond, chase after me, strum the guitar for me, wear a hat, play peekaboo, make up silly songs, let me try by myself, read me stories, teach me all kinds of new things, build projects for me, and love me like only a daddy can!


We had a really nice Father's Day celebration - nothing fancy but very nice. Having my parents, especially my DAD, here made it even more special for me. We did a little birthday celebration (early) for Natalie, too. I made my "famous" lasagna, my dad's favorite, and cherry cheesecake, CPV's favorite. We all have very full bellies. After watching an action-packed movie, in which the Dad is the hero and kicks some serious butt, I am exhausted and heading for bed.

Tomorrow we'll attempt our 2nd Annual Handprint Project!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Grammy and Grampy are Here!

Or, Gnammy and Nippy, as Natalie calls them, arrived here in the NW just a few hours ago! They drove all the way from IL. It took them three days and many tanks of gas ... and a few stops at places like Mount Rushmore and Missoula, Montana ... but they are finally here. We are looking forward to spending a full week being entertained by them, and if this evening's Hammock Ball is any indication, we're in for a real treat!

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Here's how it's played
... Grampy launched the beach ball from the hammock - like a gigantic sling-shot with very little force. Grammy stood on the other side of the sandbox and did a fair job of "fielding" the incoming flying objects. Natalie stood in the middle and loved every minute of it ... and chanted, "More, more." When the ball rolled her way, she picked it up and gingerly handed it back to her Nippy. This went on forever, and we all had sore tummy muscles from all the laughter.

It is so good to have our Grammy and Grampy here with us!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Scene of the Crime

Natalie threw herself a little Nap Rebellion today. My baby girl, who typically sleeps 3 hours during her daily nap, didn't want to take a nap. I put her in down at the usual time - five hours after she woke up in the morning; that's her schedule and she's happiest when I stick to it.

After twenty minutes of listening to her chatter in her crib, I went in and rocked her. She never actually settled down while I rocked her. She kept asking me questions and wiggling around. I knew that wasn't a good sign, but I was in serious need of my own nap ... this growing a baby deal has me exhausted after 1:00 most days. So I put her back in her crib, told her it was time for a snooze - that I was taking a nap, too, and hoped for the best. Natalie got a little quieter for a time, but she was still awake another twenty minutes later. Eventually she called out for her binky, and I went in to retrieve her binky from the floor outside her crib.
Another 15 minutes later, I surrendered ... very hesitantly because I had been lying down this entire time on the verge of falling asleep myself. No nap for Natalie means no nap for me, and I was a little distraught by this reality. So distraught, in fact, that I just couldn't do it. I couldn't give up the precious sleep that I and my unborn child desperately needed (doesn't that sound so dramatic?). What's a mom of 1, expecting 1 to do?
I closed the gate at the top of the stairs. I closed the door to my bathroom. I closed the door to the guest bathroom. I closed the door to the guest room. I left Natalie with a relatively small and safe area in which to play and expend some energy. I got her out of her crib, told her to play for a little while, and let her know that mommy was just going to be in her bed resting. I did not expect to fall asleep - just rest - but thirty minutes later I woke with a start having realized that Natalie was unsupervised. I bolted from my bed to check on her, and this is what I found ... a smiling little girl busily reading a stack of books .... and this ...

I totally got what I deserved but my plan also worked. Natalie was ready for her nap and slept great until I woke her up two and half hours later. I couldn't let her have her usual three hour nap because that would've totally thrown off our evening schedule. But I also couldn't resist taking a picture of her sleeping so peacefully. Considering the mess she made, doesn't she look so sweet?

Not only does Natalie look sweet while she's sleeping, but she's also very helpful. Together we restored order to her two rooms ... until the next Nap Rebellion, that is :)

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FFF: Quiet, Sweet Time with my Firstborn

Here's my favorite photo from the week. Natalie and I sat in the hammock after dinner - while mommy was feeling oh-so-nauseous - and talked about all kinds of things. I am loving this new conversational phase. Of course she can answer my barrage of questions, but she is also getting so good at expressing her thoughts. Our chatter and giggles almost made me forgot how awful I was feeling. I was just loving every minute of our time together ... just the two of us. I am already realizing that those moments will be harder to come by this time next year. (Didn't see Natalie's special announcement? Click here.)

Thankfully, my sweet husband had the forethought to grab the camera. Who am I kidding? I totally shouted through the open window - into the kitchen where he was cleaning up the dinner mess - and suggested that he come take a picture :) He climbed the spiral staircase leading to the loft above our garage and captured this overhead photo. I love our expressions, the way we're kind of intertwined, and the textures of the hammock and grass below.

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More than anything I love spending quiet, sweet moments with my first born :)

Want to see other "favorite" photos from the week? Head over to Kiss the Frog 4 Me!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Natalie's Special Announcement

Natalie has been keeping a big secret, and she's finally ready to share it with the world. Sharing such important news made it tough to find just the right words, so she used music and photos instead. Enjoy :)

This movie was created using Google Picasa.
This extraordinary and perfect song is titled Family Tree by Francis England.
I apologize for the not-so-great quality of the audio. It sounds great on my computer ... go figure! Oh, and the timing of the lyrics is right-on, too ... so aggravating!

Natalie was a little remiss in not mentioning that our good friend, Carrie (aka Oliver's Mom), sent us this song yesterday, and we fell in love with it after listening to it just one time. Thank you, Carrie, for helping to make our announcement extra special :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hike Self?

Daddy took NHV for a hike today. He's such an outdoorsman, and I think it's great that Natalie gets exposed to what he loves. She rides in the backpack (made by Sherpani), and they sing songs and spot animal characters from the books we read.
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On this particular hike, after taking a mid-hike break, during which this photo was taken, Natalie was hesitant to get back in the backpack.
She kept saying, "Hike self. Hike self. Hike self."
When Chad retold this story, he admitted that it took him a minute to figure out she was asking to hike all by herself. She wanted to walk rather than ride.
Chad complied, held her hand, and hiked another 1/10 of the trail. She did great! Most exciting of all, my baby girl is developing her sense of SELF!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Seat for Our Friends

Natalie totes around her Elmo and Eebee doll ... and finds some pretty interesting places for them to "rest." Just the other day, Elmo and Eebee got a front row seat of all the backyard action from the flowerpots. How cute is that?!
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Backyard Babe

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P.S. It's H-O-T here in the NW. Not that I am complaining. Just thought you'd like to know :)

P.P.S. Random thought ... I didn't wear my first bikini until I moved to Florida. I was 20. After seeing how cute Natalie looks in hers, I wish I had started much sooner!

P.P.P.S. Happy Birthday, Grammy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Co-Ed Bath & Private Parts

Me: "Natalie, those are Emmett's private parts."
Look of understanding; like she's storing away new vocabulary.
Me: "Natalie, you may not touch Emmett's private parts."
Look of confusion; like what's so wrong with private parts?
Not wanting to plant seeds of wrongness,
Me: "You may touch your own private parts but not other people's."
Look of compliance. Oh, okay ... but his seems like more fun than mine.
(Saving my next thoughts for a much later conversation.)
Cute photos to go along with silly story ...
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All the while, my BFF Missy is just trying her best not to crack up
and ruin this little impromptu lesson!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Garage Sale = Early Birthday Presents

During our recent trip to Denver, Natalie played with our buddy Emmett's sandbox. After seeing how much fun she had, I was on a mission to get her one. But I was not interested in paying full price. I scoured Craigslist for a while. But this morning totally on a whim, we decided to drive around our neighborhood garage sale. I wasn't very hopeful to find a "big" item like a sandbox or a slide because we didn't even leave the house until almost 10:00.
After an hour of buying puzzles and books and an adorable Little People farm, I was just about to give up on my quest for a sandbox. That's when I saw it! A woman was just getting home - probably from her son's soccer game or something - and setting out a few garage sale items. One of which happened to be a sandbox - with lid - in seriously great condition. I bolted from the car. I am not even sure if the car had come to a complete stop! Not only did we get a perfect sandbox, but our purchases also included a Step 2 climbing/slide structure. We hadn't planned to spend $90 on garage sale items that day, but this was a deal we couldn't pass up! I quickly justified the purchases by declaring them "Natalie's birthday presents." Presents we would certainly be giving her early, like six weeks early! Just look at the excitement on her cute little face!

While Natalie and I took our naps, Chad went back and picked up our recently-purchased-massive-hunks-of-plastic. The backyard was all set for us by the time we woke up. The photos above show Natalie's reaction to her birthday presents :)

And this is just a picture of Natalie being her cute little self. She actually looked at the camera - which is a rarity these days - so you can see her big, beautiful blue eyes!

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