GranDawn’s log: Month 7

Dear Nathalie,

No one can believe you are more than half a year old already!!  The years really ARE short.

nathalie7mo

You will be happy to know that the interlopers are gone and you and your parents have returned to your abode.

You will be saddened to know that Aunt Pixie and her kitty Avery moved to Washington… a mere 4 day drive away from home.  Saying goodbye to you was the hardest thing Aunt Pixie had to do that day.  I don’t think I have ever seen that many tears fall upon her face…ever. You have had two video calls with Aunt Pixie already and the most recent one was yesterday…As soon as she started talking to you from the computer you started inch-worming your way across the floor at her!  You were so smiley and pounding your little hand in excitement for quite some time…and then you saw my sock covered foot and decided to gnaw on my toes.  You really were excited to see her, though.  I pray that continues.

byeauntpixie

Your development is happening nicely.  You are sliding around and belly scooting along the floors and you even reach out occasionally to people you want.  You are becoming consistent in pulling on your ear when you are tired…specifically your left ear (or at least when I see you doing it).  You hold your bottle pretty much on your own. Your menu has expanded a bit but I am not kept current on that…you had some concoction that had chicken in it yesterday.

Unfortunately, and contrary to the doctor’s assumptions, you are still spitting up ALL. FREAKING. DAY.

Other than all of that, life seems to be back to routine…although rumor has it there may be a kitty in your future.

grandpas-girl

Happy 7th-month tiny one.  Keep doing what you are doing.

Love, GranDawn.

 

GrandDawn’s Log: Day 187

OH MY GOSH NATHALIE!!

I totally missed your 6-month milestone, your second quarterly review!   In all fairness to me, only by 4 days.  I might even say that it is your fault.  YOU have been quite the distraction this week.  Perhaps we can place the blame elsewhere… but that would be a long story and I don’t know if you understand the word “interloper” or if you would ever be able to wrap your head around the lackadaisical way the County of Elkhart handles things regarding unwanted “Tenants at Will” but let’s just remember this is the year you spent living at The Grand’s house for the holiday season… yes, you have pretty much been staying with us (your parents too) since Thanksgiving.  In the spirit of the holidays, I am just going to give the review 5 stars and thumbs up!!

The good thing about having you here every day is that I have really gotten to watch you in all your glory and fury.  Yes, you have fury…and it is ADORABLE, but maybe not so much when your parents are trying to sleep.  You are sleeping more during the night but there is no real pattern to your sleep time.  I think this crazy living situation has sort of screwed that up for you.  BLAME THE INTERLOPERS!!  Your daytime naps only seem to average about twenty minutes (unless you count the ones where GrandDawn gets you to sleep). You still demand to be entertained most of the time, which is really unfortunate for whichever parent is in charge of you because that means that a lot of things don’t get done regularly.  I imagine it is really hard on your parents with Dad working a normal(ish) Monday- Friday 9am to 5pm (ish) and then Mom working whatever days 4 – 6 days a week usually at 3pm to 10:30pm.   People who work the same shift can tag team childcare and household chores… but then they need full-time childcare and that cost can be expensive. There is always one sacrifice or another in parenting.  Moving on…

You are SOOOOO close to mastering sitting up (spitting up is something you excel at and may have even earned a degree) and your rolling over is spot on…you have tested out the Downward Dog pose for Yoga and quickly dismissed it as a means for transporting yourself and have opted for simply rolling along the floor toward whatever objects have your attention.

I want to let you know that most babies BABBLE. You, my dear Nathalie, growl and grunt. You are a little weirdo and I love it!  You fell asleep on me the other day and you were even growling in your sleep…followed by smiling in your sleep.  Super. Flipping. Cute.

You have successfully (meaning without showing signs of being allergic) consumed oatmeal, sweet potatoes, peaches, apricots, prunes, apples, bananas – sort of,  combinations of those things, and I believe next on the list is pumpkin or blueberry.  If you show signs of being allergic to pumpkin I will be heartbroken.  AND…your father allowed you to suck on a lemon and you did not make the face one might expect from a baby experiencing a face-puckering citrus fruit for the first time.  I wasn’t there…but I imagine he may have been disappointed.

You have also experienced your first illness… it began right before Christmas and you were feverish and congested and based on the past day or so, I think you are finally getting through it.  I must apologize because odds are that my pneumonia which then became your mom’s pneumonia became your own personal ick… I am so sorry.

nathalie-sick

Your first Christmas has come and gone.I am happy to report that the very first Christmas present you opened was…A UNICORN!!!  I think that your seventh present was a unicorn too…Thank you, Mrs. Jen! A this exact moment you are visiting with Grandma Christine and Grandpa Doug and they brought you SO MUCH STUFF!!!  I hear that you are being a super cute baby for them, and I think you may have a diabolical plan to hide your fury so that they keep bringing you more!  Between all of your grandparents and the extended families, you received quite the HAUL .. Let’s just call it Mount Spoiling and be done.

Finally, let’s talk about the rankings of your favorite people… because you know I was trailing behind GrandFather and Aunt Pixie; however, I do believe that I have lapped them! We have been playing a lot together and I have made you laugh and laugh and GROWL. This past week with you I have had the magical touch in making you fall asleep and for one of your naps you slept for 45 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of snuggling with me and then slept for another 90 MINUTES!!! WOOT!! How do you like me NOW?!?!?   Not to mention, I have found the magic trick to putting you down when you fall asleep in my arms…a good magician does not share their tricks. Unless of course, all of this magic touch is a by-product of your illness.  Whatever…I’m celebrating in the end zone and taking my penalty with glee!

nathalie-six-months

Happy New Year Nathalie!!!

Keep loving me the most.

Love, GrandDawn

 

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 93

Dear Nathalie,

Yesterday you officially turned three months old!  Go YOU!

You’re at an age where I have to do math in order to title my blog posts…but you’re worth it, for now.

Now, for your quarterly review:

I thought that I was beginning to notice that you enjoy it when I play with your toes, and after checking with your mommy supervisor, it was confirmed for me today!  YAY!  I don’t know why I like the idea of playing with your toes, other than being able to play “This Little Piggy” along with all of my whimsical variations of it…it could be an illness.  When you are old enough to complain, feel free to ask me to stop.

Your babbling is at that stage where it is adorable and your spittle bubble blowing abilities are top notch!  You are pretty capable of rolling from your back to your side. Your digestion could use some improvement, what with the constant spittle after feeding… it’s an issue that you need to work on.  I had spittle in my jacket pocket from you yesterday…that was ridiculous.

You are beginning to really interact with the toys I shove in your face and you do love a good minute in front of a colorful television screen.  We have all resigned ourselves to your morbid lullaby… your father now has it downloaded.

nathalie3months

Your face is definitely a mommy/daddy mashup.  Your eye color seems to be favoring that darker blue of your mother.  Your hair color…might actually be mine.  If so, people will call you a redhead, and a blonde, and there will be random people who say your hair is brown… like Aunt Pixie, she says my hair is brown. I admit, my locks are all three, it’s quite wonderful to not have to color it as I go gray silver white  whatever color each individual strand decides to turn into.  If you do get my hair color, you’re welcome. I will, however, apologize in advance for the unbearable warmth if you get the QUANTITY of hair… you come from a long line of thick locks, and if you have thin hair, it ain’t from my branch of the tree. If you get curly hair, I am totally saying it is from your dad unless they are perfect ringlets…we shall see.

I think that covers everything for now.  I don’t know that you will receive any kind of monetary compensation for your performance, but lots of love and ridiculous faces from and interactions with silly adults are coming your way…perhaps an increase in food variety, if you get that digestion thing handled.

Overall, good job Nathalie, thanks for joining the team.

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

 

 

GrandDawn’s Log: Day 56 – guest writer

Dear Nathalie,

Last night, I tried posting a video to Facebook but they would not let me.  It was a video of you sleeping peacefully while listening to your favorite lullaby “In A Week” by Hozier. Apparently, I don’t own the rights to the song…whatever.  This is your cuteness and the official notification we received.

nathalie 8 weeks In honor of you being officially 8 weeks old today, and though you are cute and wonderful, aside from the little kitten sound you made last night, there is nothing new to report so I am posting the letter that was written to you from your Aunt Pixie during the time your mother was in labor:

Dear Nathalie,

You are about to come into the world. As I was driving through the hospital campus, I was stopped by a parade of baby geese and the rest of the flock. I will consider that a good sign. Small babies with a large, loving family.

The sunset is as beautiful as could be and I think it is another way the world is trying to welcome you. I took a picture of it for you so that you can one day see it for yourself.

It is 9:14 pm on June 26th, 2016. I am terrified and excited for you and your mom. Your grandma and grandpa are in a waiting room with me right now. Your mother still has not been assigned to the room that will be your very first performance stage.

It is 10:30 pm. Your mom is finally in a room. Your last meal inside of the womb is chicken nuggets, french fries, nerd’s candy, and sweet tea. Your keep being a little impatient and it has made it difficult for your mom to eat.

It is 10:37 pm. I have decided to record a few “golden quotes” from this joyous event for you. Your mother said this zinger. “Laughing makes me leak!”

It is 10:57 pm. I finally felt you kick for the first time in 9 months! ❤ It was fantastic and well worth the wait.

It is June 27th,2016 at 12:06 am. Your mother is very hangry. Your last womb meal was, as previously stated, interrupted repeatedly by contractions. Thus far, your mom has continued to keep her spirits up the best she can. Her golden quote # 2 is “I don’t know what to do with my legs…just… I don’t want this. -gestures to her lower body- I just want to be an upper body.”  You have been rather cantankerous. She has also been praising your father’s soft hair, but I do not have an exact quote for you. I apologize. Just know that he has fantastic tresses that your mother adores and she has expressed a desire for you to also have such wonderful locks. I have faith in your hair.

Your mother is also taking my role of Captain Obvious. “Oh my word, this hurts a lot.”  Yes, that is a direct quote. Your mother has a very delicate manner of speaking sometimes. 

It is 1:00 am. You, coming into the world, made your mom cry. She is so strong.

Your grandparents and I are leaving the hospital for now. I will return with them in the morning. We are all exhausted. I can only imagine your mother’s exhaustion. Your dad is being such a wonderful rock for her. (Go, Daddy!)

It is 9:50 am. Child, it has been 12 hours. Get out of your mother’s tummy already so that we can gush over you!

It is 10:50 am. Small Woodsprite.Your mother loves you so much. You’re so close to being here. She is starting to try to move you from your cozy home into this giant world. Please be gentle.

It is 11:19 am. Tiny Woodsprite, I have been praying. I think you’ll one day have a voice like bells. I’ve been crying for you and your mother. I can hardly wait to meet you. I already love you more than you know. Please be kind to her. Your mother is so sweet.

It is 11:46am I just got a message from your dad. All it said is “11:23”. Tiny heart, are you here? I’m trembling like a rabbit!

It is 11:55 am. You are here tiny Woodsprite! I have not met you yet, but your mom did amazing and you are here! She has you pressed against her chest right now. Your daddy is right there with her. He must be beaming. Her heartbeat must be so loud in your tiny ears. Welcome to the world tiny amazing girl.

I was listening to music and the song that played the moment you were born is Florence + the Machine “Breath of Life”  How appropriate for that to be your theme song.

Amazing girl, I held you for the first time at 1:55 pm. While you were in my arms, I whispered to you about how much we all love you. I told you how happy we are to meet you. I described the world and the sky outside for you. It is blue and beautiful. I can’t wait to see your eyes. You are so tiny and cute like a little otter. You hiccup when you cry (just like your mom).

I adore you.

XOXO,
Your Aunt Pixie Aunt Pixie

Here are some pictures that Aunt Pixie took that day:
20160626_203613-COLLAGE