Sunday, September 5, 2010

The birthday approaches

Mike and I have been taking advantage of our Netflix and watching a movie almost every night. We've seen Session 9, Music and Lyrics, Zombie, Law Abiding Citizen, Frontiers, Crank 2 and an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Usually after Natalie goes down for bed, we have a little time to unwind, clean up, and shower, then we have to start the movie if we aren't going to stay up late. So, that hasn't left much time for blogging, or even reading.

Not that I haven't thought of a million little things to write down. It makes me sad that I can't capture these little thoughts as the day wears on, but it is a rare moment I get to be on the computer while she is awake with out lots of key banging from Natalie.

Especially as Natalie's birthday approaches, I continue to marvel at new skills and how big she is. Right now, she is playing with books on the other side of the room. She just looks so much older. Her legs look so long! And how she holds them is not like a baby, but like a child. And her face starting to thin out just a little along with more hair and more expressions make her look older. So much about her is child like versus baby like, but yet she isn't all the way there yet either. Hence, the reason why the term toddler was created.

Her motor skills are the easiest to marvel at. She is officially a walking toddler now, able to walk pretty much the length of our house. These gross motor skills also include standing, kneeling, stooping, squatting, and of course crawling. Then there are the fine motor skills of how she handles objects and turns pages. But even more amazing are her mental leaps. Just this week, she learned that she can put items into a container. It sounds and even looks like no big deal, but to us, we know its a huge new understanding. She puts toys of all sorts into the pot, bowl, and bucket we have for her. But it appears that with this understanding, she also realized that she can put things into our hands. So, she is handing us toys a lot now. She smiles so big when we say thank you. Also related appears to be understanding how to put the rings on the cone. On top of that, is her talking. Our story time librarian mentioned that she seemed ahead and also one of our baby books says that she is a bit early on "jargoning," which is talking in what seems to be a foreign language. She says only three words consistently: Mumma, hi, and Daddy. But, she has really started trying to repeat what we are saying. The two best examples:
  1. Yesterday and today it sounded like she said Kai-lan during the Ni Hoa Kia-lan theme song.
  2. Often when she stands up and puts her arms up over her head, I'll say "tada." Tonight in the bath, just as she put her hands up, it sound liked she said tada.
Its hard not to constantly tell Natalie how pretty, adorable, and smart she is. We obviously don't want a raise an arrogant, vain, and deluded child. But we can't help but marvel at how awesome she is. We know that some of it is that raising human life and how children grow and learn is amazing, but we also can't help but notice that she seems to be ahead on most things and to progress without much trouble. .

Each day that goes by seems to bring us closer to ending nursing. So, I find myself trying to cherish as much of that time with her snuggled against me as possible. Its hard to believe 11 months later that we had trouble with nursing. There were plenty a time in the begin when I couldn't get Natalie to latch on; either her mouth would open wide enough at the right time or she would put her hands in the way. She's be giving her little newborn meow cry in my face and sometimes I ended up crying. But, we got over it. Feeding her breast milk only got us this chubba baby in less than three months:

There are chubbier pictures from Christmas, but they are too potentially embarrassing for a future teen Natalie for me to post. Where we used to struggle to nurse, now most of the time I swing her up into place on her side and she latches on perfectly in within a second. Now that she is bigger, we get a nice snuggle from nursing. Her legs just tuck around my side. Then, I can smooth her hair and wrap my arm around her back. Its very nice and I'm sad to think that these regular daily snuggles will be gone. But, when we cut a nursing before, Natalie started to snuggle up to me more during the day. My guess is there is a good chance that will increase as we cut nursings. As it is now, she really only needs the first thing in the morning one. The other two, she goes back and forth on. I could probably replace them with regular milk or food, but I'm going to try to wait until our doctor's appointment the first week of October.

So, I'll miss the closeness. I'll also miss the power of breast feeding, even though that has already been declining. Nursing has been a very powerful tool in getting Natalie to sleep, including on the plane to and from Texas. Now that we are so efficient, its pretty convenient. But overall, its hard for me to picture no longer nursing. The idea that my breasts will no longer be used for feeding Natalie is just crazy. No longer nursing would be such a huge change in our day as well as our relationship. And there is also the idea of my breasts being my own again. Wearing a tank top with a strapless bra again? Wow. Of course, this will only be until we have our next child ... but a reprieve for a while is still very welcome.

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