GranDawn’s Log: THE BIG 1!!!

Dear Nathalie,

Today is the anniversary, but not of your birth, of your DUE DATE!  I figured if I was going to be late this time, I would be late with a purpose.

LOOK HOW YOU HAVE GROWN!!!

1yearcomp

You may not know this, or maybe you do…hard telling what you will know by the time you are able to read and understand these rantings of mine, so moving on…when I learned that the doctors calculated your due date to be the day after my birthday…yes, you were due on July 5th…my heart hurt a little.  I remember growing up with a birthday on the 4th of July…parties were challenging because everyone takes a vacation that week…plus you get the American flag (not that I don’t honor the flag) thrust upon you as a cake or presents.  I have heard from others with birthdays the first week of July and they have shared my sentiment.  So, I prayed HARD that you would not be born that week at all and YIPPEEE!! You were not!  So, here I am a week AFTER your birthday saying Happy FIRST birthday and I am late because you have been celebrating your birthday for over a week!  It began the weekend before with a trip to Ohio to visit your Daddy’s side of your family, then AUNT PIXIE CAME HOME JUST FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY and spent as much time with you as she could…you took to her pretty quickly, almost as if she’d not been gone at all.  That first night when you fell asleep on her I thought she might cry she was so happy.  THEN there was the party for you at your home on the Saturday AFTER your birthday where 35 of your family members witnessed you play with a cake in a baby pool.  It was the best.  BUT that was not all…We visited with Mrs. Jen Babin today and she had a birthday gift for you!!  (And a gift for Whimsy) I believe that today should be the end of it…WHEW…that was a lot of love going around for one tiny person!

Other things of note:  You are definitely walking.  You took your first steps (according to my texts from your Mummy records) on June 9th – and just as I had hoped it was in the presence of your Mummy.

You can climb stairs as if you were doing it since birth.  Going down the stairs is something entirely different.

You had your one year check up and you weigh 18 pounds and I THINK that Mummy said you are 29 inches tall.  Whatever it is, you are at the 25th percentile on the growth chart in both height and weight.  Dr. Bajuyo said that you are a proportionate baby.  A tiny one, but proportionate.

You like spaghetti.

You are no longer on formula.  It’s foods and whole milk for you now kid.

You have many teeth.  You bit my foot today while we were visiting Mrs. Jen, she missed it and kept asking you to do it again while she was watching – yes, she is a very good friend of mine.

You definitely understand what a KITTY is…and will point at one if I ask “Where is the kitty?” – so, I upped my game today and now I am referring to the kitties as Ripper Kitty, Cally Kitty, and Whimsy Kitty.  You may not know your relatives by name but DADGUM you will know the kitties!   Oh, and Whimsy is new this month.  The two of you have an adorable little rivalry going…  there are toys that you actually fight over, and she is a kitten…not a human, you are fighting with a kitten.  AND you seem to understand that Cally gets scolded when she tries to escape out the front door because every time you saw her at the door today you growled and chased her away from the door…Thank YOU!

You like to share all of the things!  When you are not fighting Whimsy, you occasionally offer her your food.  AND you try to play in the kitty water dish…fair is fair.

nathalieoneyearANIMATION

It’s been a whirlwind kind of month…your Mummy is 21 now which means, she can now drink because you cry.

I kid…you are a pretty good baby, and Mummy isn’t too fond of many things to drink. Perhaps she will take up smoking!  I kid again…she has asthma and frowns upon smoking as a whole.

Ooops, that was a rabbit trail. I’m going to say farewell before I put my foot in my mouth.

I love you little one.  This first year +7 days with you in our lives has been awesome!

Keep on toddlin’

Love, GranDawn

 

GranDawn’s Log – Month 11

20170528_173437_HDR001[4]Dear Nathalie,

Your 11th month FLEW by!  I am late (3 days) on writing you once again… for shame.

I forgive me.

You celebrated your first Mother’s Day by coming to church and going to the zoo.  You also accompanied Grandfather when visiting me at work one day and you actually let Miss Julie and Miss Debbie hold you… because they were wearing name badges and you LOVE name badges!

You crack me up with the way that you always have a toy in your hand when you are crawling and how you cannot resist burying your face in something soft and fuzzy.  If we lay your blanket on the floor, you will crawl over to it and rub your face all over it…sort of reminds me of a dog rubbing its body on the carpet after a bath – except cuter.  You even bury your face in our cat, Ripper.  Our other cat, Cally, would claw out your eyes before she allowed that but Ripper will let you do just about anything to him, except try to keep hold of his tail while he is walking away… he reluctantly tried to bite you for that.

Your Daddy bought you a new car for your 11th-month celebration, well he bought it for himself but he is fully resigned to the fact that you will have thoroughly ruined the interior of it by the time you are in kindergarten.

You are continuing to get stronger, you regularly stand up from a squatting position and walk while barely holding furniture.  I am constantly having my phone in camera mode with the expectation that you will take those first steps at any second… but I hope you do that in Mummy’s presence rather than mine.

You are really expanding your diet these days.  Mummy bought Cheerios just for you, and I saw you snatch one of her french fries the other day… having teeth does have it’s rewards.

Your vocabulary has not yet expanded… much to my disappointment.  You seem to be content with getting what you want by smiling, clapping, or opening and closing a hand at something.  Otherwise, you babble the Mum and Da and Ba sounds – oh and growling, you still growl and giggle.  I suppose I should just be patient, you will talk when you want to talk – right now you are all about moving… all over the place… quickly.  Oh, and you really like electrical cords, and outlets, and heating vent hoods… we are trying to get you to understand the word “No” but some people fear the repercussion of you understanding that and then using it against us.  I am not one of those people.  Matter of fact, I actually snapped my fingers and sternly told you “No” the other day and then realized “Crud, I am confusing her with a dog.”  I don’t recall what exactly you were doing but odds are it involved putting something in your mouth.

I think that about covers month 11.  We do have a surprise coming your way next month… someone is making a special trip to come see you for your first birthday.

Until next month, NattyBug (yeah, I have added that to the list of nicknames.  Did I mention that I have called you Chikorita as well?), you keep doing you and working on those leg muscles – perhaps after you start walking you will start talking?

Nathalie11mo

Be sure to practice blowing out candles… or – a candle.

 

Love, GranDawn

GranDawn’s Log: Month 10

nat10moDear Nathalie,

This month will forever go down as the time that Grandfather yelled at me to call 9-1-1 because you were trying to poop.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Your bowel movement was an emergency situation.   In his defense, you were congested when we took you that day and you DO sound like you are hyperventilating when you are trying to poop, but for those of us who WEREN’T holding you, it did not seem like it quite warranted an ambulance.  It took another episode of your hyperventilating and crying and holding on to my shoulders while bearing down like your life depended on it before that spectacular poop finally appeared…and then, you were a different child.  You went from BLAH and sleepy to WOO HOO!!  LET’S PARTY!!  It’s amazing what a good poop can do for a tiny person.  This has led to the addition of Wellements Baby Move being added to your care arsenal…you seem to like it …even though we gave it to you incorrectly – straight, no chaser.   Apparently, you are supposed to dilute it in 2oz of formula or juice…oops.   Your father must have tried it the same way because he said it made his tongue tingle…but when you realize all of your father’s food allergies and sensitivities, that could have just been a specific to him thing… in the end, you’re still alive, it’s all good.  (Which really could be a motto for parents everywhere.)

During the same weekend, we decided to give you a sippy cup for the first time (at our house) and you REALLY like sippy cups…I am not sure what made it harder to get that thing away from you – the GRIP you had on the handles or the VACUUM created by the force of suction while you tried to inhale the contents – regardless the struggle was REAL!

We had you overnight on a Saturday…big mistake for our Sunday plans.  We apparently didn’t realize that you would be such a Diva in regards to your sleep placement.  Pack& Play be damned!!  It was crib (which we don’t have) or adult human torso for you, nothing else was good enough.  Which meant that your grandparents did not get enough rest to be able to function let alone prepared to BE anyplace other than on the couch in pajamas at 9 am.  This is a wee tad frustrating considering that the Pack&Play was where you slept for most of your life to this point…and I do NOT want to invest in a crib DAGNABIT!

Other things that happened during this time:

You did get to visit your family in Ohio again…Mummy says that you enjoy patting your Grandpa Doug’s belly.

Easter came and went…  you were pretty indifferent to it all, the parents decided against putting a basket together for you (no jelly beans for baby) but Mummy did have THREE cute dresses for you.  One was sparkly, one was frilly, and the other was a bit more casual.  All of them adorable.

You continue to explore new foods.  Sweet potatoes were a hit… real ones, not baby food. One time when we dropped you off to your daddy, Grandfather and I had to leave as your father threatened to feed you a cheese poof called Chester’s Puffcorn because we did not want to be witness to that kind of debauchery. (For future reference, they are delicious)

You are really getting the hang of standing up.  You no longer need assistance to get things out of the toybox at our house… you just zoom-crawl to it and stand up and dig in…you don’t need no stinkin’ grown-ups to help.

You do not like the feel of grass.

You were bitten by one of your kitties (Dash, I think) after you hit her upside the head with a toy phone.  You are less grabby toward kitties now.  The wound quickly healed… we are still watching your psyche.

And finally, I was able to spend some one on one time with you this week.  It was great fun until you needed to poo (yes, that again) it was like trying to talk someone through a labor pain.  Seriously… your distress is heartbreaking and your mummy and daddy are trying to find solutions.  Back in the day (meaning when your mummy was a baby) your mummy had the same kind of problem…not as severe… and her pediatrician had me put Karo syrup in her bottles…  not something I would do these days after knowing what I know now – the Mayo Clinic says:

“Don’t treat infant constipation with corn syrup. Dark corn syrup was once a common home remedy for infant constipation. However, today’s commercially prepared dark corn syrup might not contain the type of chemical structure that draws fluid into the intestine and softens stool.”

 

Not to mention… I theorize that to be the reason your mother has a sugar addiction such a sweet tooth.

nateaster

I think that covers month number ten… I know that you did not get any Jelly Beans for Easter tiny one and odds are you are heartbroken (not really)… but don’t forget…GranDawn loves jelly beans and she really likes discounted items and the day after Easter… you come see me next year, I will share.

You keep growing teeth, Chikorita, there are lots of foods for you to explore,

Love, GranDawn

 

GranDawn’s Log: Month 9

Dear Nathalie,

Again, I am tardy with your letter.  Three whole days!  Why oh why can I not get this timing right??

Wee girl…you are full on crawling all over the place these days.  I expect you will be walking soon.  You seem much happier now that you are mobile and in control of (to an extent) what space you inhabit.

Also, rumor has it that your sleeping is starting to develop a pattern.  By “starting” I mean I just heard about it and by “pattern”, I mean that one day you sleep through most of the night and the next you are up hourly…that is a pattern, right?

Your eating is progressing with more and more foods of the baby kind being introduced – unfortunately, that spitting up thing is still an issue…

As of my last peek into your mouth…you have two little teeth on the bottom.  The IMG_4847_1489863575321only way for your Mummy to get a picture of them was for her to give you something to shove into your pie hole.  Look how cute (ignore the food all over your nostrils) your little teeth are!! Now that you have teeth, you are also learning how to adapt to having your teeth brushed.  Mummy thinks she takes better care of your teeth than she does her own…  She was always really difficult when it came to getting her to brush her teeth.  DON’T be like Mummy in that regard.

Also, SHOUT OUT TO MAXTON for getting his first tooth as well!!!   5 months old…seriously dude, cut your parents a break.   All these babies getting teeth just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.  The universe was calling out to the baby food companies to create a baby food combo of corned beef and cabbage – AMIRIGHT?

IMG_4911Now, back to you Nathalie…Let us talk about your cuteness:  I must say, you are super cute when you open your mouth for one of those little Gerber puffs but when you WEAR a yogurt puff… oh…my… word… the cuteness level is a bit more than I can handle…especially when you adorn your face with them.

Okay…I’m exaggerating.  It’s cute, but I am not losing my mind over it.

However, stick you in a pair of overalls and THAT is unbearable…okay, I am exaggerating again.  The real and ridiculous truth is that all I have to do is make this wacky noise that is my version of Whale-speak – it makes you giggle and then when you try to mimic the sound…THAT puts me over the edge…ALSO, it makes Grandfather smile and I really like it when Grandfather smiles.   (PSSST…you totally have him wrapped around your little finger.)

Not too much has changed since my last letter…primarily the crawling, perhaps a battle with some dry skin issues that Mummy is concerned could be Eczema and with the crap shoot of skin conditions and allergies that are within your heritage…it is highly possible.  Here is to praying it is not… I imagine we will have an answer by my next letter.

Nathalie 9mo

Until next time sweet girl, you keep rocking that crawl and teeth growing thing…perhaps soon I can introduce you to the best food in the world…CHEESE!!!

Peace Out BABY!

Love, GranDawn

GrandDawn’s Log: Month 5

Dear Nathalie,

Though you did not realize it, you were present for a couple of very important moments this month.  First, we had to say Goodbye to your mom’s first cat, Ash.  She was an old cat, same age as your momma, but she became senile and she was not living a happy life.  You, however, did not have a care to give about this event based on the picture below:  goodbyeashLook at that, your mom and dad are saying farewell to a heavily sedated cat and you are just living it up!  It’s not your fault, I get it, no one has taught you any manners yet.

Aunt Pixie celebrated her 26th birthday, and you missed it.  It’s okay, we know you don’t have a car or a phone… or the motor skills to operate either of them or the vocabulary to wish someone a Happy Birthday.  Maybe next year.

You also celebrated your first Thanksgiving.  You were completely oblivious to the mountain of food but you were so happy to be surrounded by people.  You were so busy people watching that you hardly noticed that you had a protrusion trying to work its way through your tender little gums.

Yes, you are teething…and it sucks. You live with your hand in your mouth most of the time, but don’t worry – Gramma ordered you a Munch Mitt.  You also like to nom on your blankets so I also ordered you this weird thing called a Terry Teether.  Let’s hope something brings you some relief.

Between teething and the regular waterfall of regurgitated formula that you expel, you are constantly damp. Based on being with you for several days straight,  and the science behind the people at WebMD, I am fairly certain you have GERD.  I have been trying to mentally invent a contraption for you to wear around your head or neck to catch the flow of liquid that regularly escapes your mouth.  A bucket bib per se, but one that has the bucket part right under your chin –  because a regular bib just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Enough with that.  Let’s talk about the cool things you are doing.  You DEFINITELY like squeaky toys and Aunt Pixie someone has threatened to shop the pet aisles for your Christmas toys. You are rolling over onto your tummy and lifting yourself up.  You are showing your future potential as a contortionist by chewing on your feet.  You like to grab the faces of the people within in your grasp (and promptly gauge them with your sharp little nails).  You are experimenting with baby food… you are not keen on the apples but so far sweet potatoes are acceptable – rumor has it that bananas are next on the list and this will be a very intense moment as this is one of the things your father seems to have an allergic reaction to…I will be asking my friends to pray for you later today.  Oh, Miss Nathalie, how I wish you had been born with my iron stomach.  OH, you also seem to enjoy when I cover you in a blanket and slowly pull it off of you, sort of like peek-a-boo but not really. You seem to need constant entertainment; I read somewhere that is a sign of higher intelligence… why couldn’t you just be – nevermind – you’re perfect.

nathalie5months

Keep reaching for your toes Little Miss.  We love you bunches.

Love,

GrandDawn

 

GrandDawn’s log: Month 4

Dear Nathalie,

You have survived 4 months and 4 days of life thus far.  Bravo little one, BRAH VO!

You are developing quite nicely.  Your visual acuity is on point and your ability to reach out and grab your feet has come along quite nicely.  Which also means that you enjoy it when I play with your feet!  For today anyway.

Your ability to crush the heart of a grown up is well above average –  you have the “sad look” perfected like no other.  There is something about the way you squint your eyes and push out that little bottom lip that makes the heart just seize up from the desire to make you happy again.  I fear for your Grandfather… he did not get the nickname “Uncle Sucker” for nothing.  We may just have to change the “Uncle” part…

On one of your more recent visits, I subjected you to a viewing of one of my favorite animated movies:  The Last Unicorn…to be honest, I watched it while you did your Nathalie thing and discovered new objects and demanded to be entertained… the only time you showed any interest was during the theme song… so, like a good GrandDawn, I purchased the song and added it to your playlist.  I really hope that playlists are still a thing when you are old enough to comprehend this letter.

As I type this, you are visiting  Dr. Sarah Bajuyo and getting shots (your mom loved getting shots – really, she did) and your current stats are 13 pounds and .02 oz and you have sprung up to a whopping 24 1/2 inches!  Your father likes to point out that you are more than 1/3 of  your mother’s height.  It’s okay, your mommy might be less than a giant physically, but she is FIERCE – don’t mess with her… she may appear to be a cute, little, angelic snuggle bunny – and she is for the most part, but she can turn into the Mother of Dragons when you push the wrong button… consider yourself warned.

nathalie4months

To be honest, you are still simply perfecting the art of cuteness and not much else.  You are trying your hardest to hold yourself up in a sitting position but you just aren’t there yet,  you keep spotting your feet and then you reach for them and once that happens your course is set and downward you go… like one of those little Roly Poly bugs…pill bugs I think they are called.  Anyway,  until you get that stuff down, I am afraid that we just can’t move forward with some of the activities I have in mind for you.  (Like learning how to write, type,  complete jigsaw puzzles, and Aunt Pixie is sure to want to teach you how to use chopsticks while you are mastering the art of common utensils.) I suppose we just need to let you develop your gross and fine motor skills for any of that to happen… Although, it would be really awesome to see a baby using chopsticks while writing on a fine piece of parchment with a calligraphy pen.

I know, I know… slow my roll.  I hear you.

Just keep doing your Nathalie thing, you will eventually catch up…I have patience.

Love, GrandDawn

 

 

GrandDawn’s Log, Day 77:

nathalie77

Dear Nathalie,

Look at you!  Still cute.  Constantly morphing between looking like your father and your mother.  You look especially like your momma when you yawn.

Day 77 is a big day… not really, it’s just the same two numbers in a row and in sum it equals 11 weeks, which again, is the same two numbers in a row.

You have had your first bath in our kitchen sink, no pictures were taken, but I believe Aunt Pixie has a video… that she will taunt you with, in about 14 years.

You are becoming more and more aware of your world.  Your mom has been back to work for a few weeks now and is still finding it hard to leave you… when she brings you over for one of us to watch you during the brief time between her going to work and your dad getting off of work, she is not saying things like “Take this little curmudgeon off my hands!”  No, she unbuckles you from the carrier and picks you up and hugs you and snuggles you and tells you that she loves you.  There is no getting you away from your momma during those last precious minutes that she has with  you before she has to go and deal with People.  She would much rather hang out with you.

You still like to kick and so your Gramps and I purchased this little play mat for you…

nathalieplaymatwe are convinced that you are intentionally kicking those little piano keys.  Shame on anyone who tries to tell us differently… even if we do perfectly lay you down on the mat so that your feet can reach the keys… pffssh – whatevs

You are much more aware of your surroundings and your mom is certain that you are recognizing the pattern of her preparing to leave – because when she does, you become a bit upset, even in your sleep.  If you don’t cut that out, Daddy is going to think you like Mommy better.

What else, what else, hmmmmm….. OH!!!  Nicknames for you are inevitable…the conversation has already begun:

natnamesI think I like Nathalima Bean…  however, I have already called you Little Bug, I am not sure why. I am going to attempt to refrain from doing that again… I am not fond of bugs.

Also, you are “conversing” a little bit.  You look up at our faces and you make intentional little noises like you are actually attempting to communicate and we – at least I – repeat them back to you.  During one of these conversations I just started saying your name in a sing-song sort of way and you started to just drift off… you are so WEIRD when it comes to lullabies… first Hozier’s In a Week and now… YOUR NAME.  WTFrank Kid?!?!

Oh, and another thing that you find soothing…the voice of your grandfather.  There are times when you are being held by someone and get upset and he will pet your little head and look into your little eyes and just say something in a calm soothing voice… a phrase that always includes referring to you as “Precious” like it is your name, and then…you are okay. I COMPLETLEY understand, he has that same effect on me.

Oh, and you like it when people play with your lips… not sure what is up with that, but you do. I don’t fully understand the inner workings of baby brains, I just accept that it is something you like and exploit the crap out of it to get a smile out of you.

I look forward to the day when you can appreciate it when I attempt to play with your toes…right now, you are not into that crap at all.

To be honest, in this household, I think I am your least favorite.  Between Grampa and his soothing voice and Aunt Pixie’s utter adoration, I seem pretty vanilla in your world of humans, and that is ok…I become really likable to children when they learn to string more than two words together.  I will be focusing on vocabulary with you the moment you seem to spit out a syllable with intent…and, I am going to teach you cursive writing in the event that your mom is too busy and the school systems still insist on no longer including it in their curriculum!  Sorry, rabbit trail.  Look more pictures!nathalie77b

Enjoy your babyhood little one and don’t mind me plotting your future lessons in my head, you just do you.

Love, GrandDawn