By Tiffany George
Andrew has always been a cautious little boy, walking only when he was sure that he could do it, avoiding grass, being terrified of slipping in the tubby. This is what we have been used to for the past two years. Now insert Commando Natalie. Our little cupcake is as fearless as they come. She’ll grab a toy and pull it off the shelf with conviction, climb up onto the bean bag mountain with no worries about what may greet her on the other side, and let go while standing, no matter what she may tumble upon when she hits the ground. Natalie had two major injuries this week, but seems unfazed by them both. The first incident drew blood from her mouth when she saddled up to Andrew’s train table, then let go and took a header into the open drawer…OUCH. A few kisses and some chomping on a frozen yogurt in its wrapper did the trick. Two days later, she crawled over to Andrew’s dump truck, tried to stand by putting her weight on the dumper, and BAM…got clocked with the dumper right below her right eye. She has a mini black eye beneath that eye, but is still just as beautiful.
Aside from terrifying her mother with her free-spiritedness, Natalie has also accomplished many other milestones. She bangs on command, be it her tray or the toy box, and she can bang two toys together too. She has perfected the kung-foo swipe of the spoon when we try to feed her, always resulting in a heaping helping of baby food blown across her high chair. Now that she is learning to feed herself (puffs, banana, pear, watermelon, peas, carrots) she has a one-track mind. She knows that she can do it herself and that’s the way she wants it! I am so proud of these new tricks that she can do, but it is still sad to see the baby days passing by so quickly.
My favorite thing that she does is “reach, reach, reach”. She holds onto the finger of one hand with her other hand and puts her hands way up high above her head, on command. It is so cute. She loves it when we do it with her, and if everyone else at the table is doing it, she’ll look at you to say “come on, what’s your problem, hands up!” I guess we haven't caught the full reach on camera, but here is a shot of her getting into the reaching position...and get a load of those nice big new chompers on top!
She also loves it when Daddy does this little game with her, whereby he says “1,2,3” and then tosses her wet cloth on top of her head after she has been cleaned up in her high chair. She’ll just sit there, giggling away while the cloth remains on the top of her head. She leaves it there for a while before removing it, sometimes even when she can’t see! We can tell she is smiling by her cute little cheeks popping out of the sides!
She can easily pull herself up to standing, and is cruising along objects that she can find. Since we don’t have couches yet and I keep forgetting to get the walker from Meme & Papa’s house, she has gotten creative on her own. The other day she walked Andrew’s step stool from the bathroom, all the way across the kitchen and over to the peninsula, which served as her road block. She also loves to crawl over to the kitchen table and stand up underneath it. She is so darn cute when she does it, but she’ll learn that standing up under tables is not the best idea!
She also babbles a lot and has been making some mamamamama sounds of late. She makes ba sounds (which we tell Andrew is her trying to say brother) and ga sounds, and other nondescript cooing as well.
Natalie also loves gentle rubies on her cheekies. As you may recall, Andrew loves “tick ticks” from Meme and Papa on his arms and Natalie’s version of this is gentle strokes of her face. She nearly goes into a trance when we do it. I managed to snap this shot with one hand while stroking her cheek with the other.
The apple of her eye is still her brother, as he could probably attack her with a hot pot and she’d still smile at him. She constantly wants to get his attention, and is so happy just to have him look at her. He is very gentle with her 99% of the time, and for that other 1%, let’s just say I’m happy she’s learning to be able to defend herself :o)
Her favorite game is to play “gimme that”, whereby she holds onto an object such as a cloth, and we tug it away, saying “gimme that, gimme that”. She also loves to sip her drink and shoot it out of her mouth across her high chair tray, earning her the title of “watering can” or “sprinker” of our house. She also loves to nail her cup to send it off her tray so that Mommy has to quickly snag it, yelling “defense”.
Natalie had her first taste of the winter’s cold on Sunday when we went outside in the snow. I sat her down along a pathway that Pete had snow blown and she just sat there like the stay puffed marshmallow man! Her expression changed very little when she went for a cruise in the sled. I don’t think she really knew what to make of it, but she was content.
She has learned to dance as well, the head-bobbing, rocking back and forth kind of dance. She loves to dance whenever she hears music, or when Mommy sings. Andrew is constantly asking me to sing, so she gets a chance to dance a lot. Her favorite song is probably If You’re Happy and You Know It and she can clap her hands along with the songs now too! God knows I’m clapping too, because I’m the happiest Momma on Earth!
And here are a few Christmas photos that I just had to share. I know the season is a bit past, but they are just too sweet!