Christmas was so much fun for us this year. Natalie really enjoyed the present opening and was more than willing to help others open their gifts - whether they wanted help or not! She got some really nice gifts but she still loves her books the best of all. Natalie gave me the best gift of all this month- she learned to consistently say MOM. It's her third word after NO and COOK. Hope everyone had a great holiday!
Natalie has been taking piano lessons since this summer at The Piano Preparatory School in Beavercreek and she loves it! She's still working on basic concepts right now (rhythm, high and low notes). She enjoys singing along while she and her teacher play. Howard had the idea and has arranged it all. I think he expects Natalie to pay him back some day by becoming a piano star. With Natalie, you never know!
Seven years ago today at 8:20 pm, Natalie Elizabeth was born. She was impossibly tiny, blue, and not breathing. Now she's a bright, healthy, and beautiful 7 year old! For her birthday I wanted to share (and record for her and myself) seven things that make Natalie who she is today.
1) HER GIGGLY LAUGH- You'll hear it if you tickle her in just the right place or if you say something funny (or in some cases not funny at all but something Natalie finds hysterical).
2) HER LOVE OF BOOKS- She will choose books over toys any day and she literally screams with excitement when entering a library or bookstore. Right now her favorites include Fancy Nancy and The Berenstain Bears. Lately, she also likes to read my old copy of DannyandtheDinosaur before bed.
3) HER LOVE FOR HER FAMILY (especially Cook)!
4)HER RECENT BIG GIRL ATTITUDE- Until very recently I always stayed in Natalie's bed with her until she fell asleep. Now she has been pushing me out some nights and choosing to go to sleep by herself. I'm going to miss that snuggle time with her but glad she's becoming more independent.
5) HER LOVE OF MUSIC AND DANCING- She likes a huge variety of music from musicals to rap to rock and country. The Grubbs got her a hello kitty CD player for her birthday and she's been dancing away to it today.
6) HER WARINESS REGARDING CHANGE/NEW ROUTINES- She may not look much like her mom but she definitely gets this from me. Try to deviate from her normal routine and you're likely to get "the look"!
7) HER STUBBORNNESS/PERSISTENCE- Luckily the above pic is an extreme example after a long day but Natalie is, in general, sure to let her feelings be known. Her persistence has helped her tackle tough physical obstacles and is probably a good part of why she is here today. She possibly gets her "persistence" from me also.
I know that I already have seven but I want to add that she also has a unique talent for ruining otherwise good pictures of us together by either moving, making a face, or not looking at the camera. Believe it or not, this pic was the best of about 10.
I love seeing more and more of Natalie's personality come out as she grows up. Happy 7th birthday to my girl.
I really can't believe that my once tiny little baby started first grade this week. We decided that a change in school for this year would be in her best interest and have high expectations for this school year.
Here she is trying out her new Hello Kitty headphones for school. She's smiling here because she's listening to Jay-Z (she may be disappointed that he's not likely part of the elementary school music curriculum).
All dressed and ready to go on the first day.
She refused to smile for me but I'm sure that she was excited on the inside!
She had a great first week! Two girls in her class gave her the bracelets she is wearing :)
This is one of the cards that my friend Andy kindly designed and printed for me to pass out to Natalie's first grade classmates. I hope that these help the other kids understand more about Natalie.
I am mom to Natalie Elizabeth, a strong and feisty 8 year old born, along with her twin brother Andrew John, nearly 17 weeks early on 9/2/06. Andrew passed away on 9/4/06 and Natalie spent 110 days in the NICU. As a result of her premature birth she has Cerebral Palsy. Despite her challenges, she is constantly doing new and amazing things and surprising everyone!