Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A few good days

We've had a few really nice days around here. First, July 2nd was my Mom's Day Off. I asked Mike to be with Natalie for the equivalent of a full work day. Not only did it provide a nice break for me, but I felt that Natalie needed some experience with me being gone for a longer period of time and Mike with caring for her exclusively for a longer time. Everyone wound up having a great day. I got to spend time with a friend, got some craft type stuff done I can't do with Natalie around, shopped for Natalie's fall clothes, got a drink at Starbucks and started a blog on a teaching book, and got my hair cut. Meanwhile, Mike and Natalie went to the big park in Auburn where they saw ducks and played with lots of other kids, did the weekly shopping, and went swimming. Mike said she missed me very little. She mostly just said Momma hand forgetting it was him who was with her. But there was one time when she thought a woman was me and she ran after her saying "Mommy, I coming." He also had no real behavior problems. The biggest snag was a swimming diaper overflowing with poop upon coming in from the pool.

Another nice day we had was the Fourth of July. The third was rainy and we were mostly stuck instead. But, on the Fourth, we brought Natalie to Mike's aunt's house in Sebago. We spent almost the whole visit (from about 11 to 4) outside, only coming inside when a thunderstorm rolled in. Natalie had a lot of fun playing in the water, climbing on the lawn chairs, eating various snacks, and interacting with Mike's aunt and cousin. She didn't nap though, so she got a bit cranky for a bit. We took her to their bench swing by the water and got her to snuggle with me and kitty, but she couldn't calm down or get comfortable enough to sleep. After that, she was better though and we spent the last hour watching TV. She napped some in the car on the way home, but she was still tired the rest of the night at our house and we were all happy for bed time.

Today was a pretty good day, too. Mike is on vacation, so he let me stay in bed for a bit this morning and accompanied us out this morning. We first went to the park for about half an hour, then to story time. Natalie was great at story time. She tried to get Mike to walk with her to see our little neighbor, but he wouldn't, but she didn't throw a fit over it. He chased her around afterwards, and I got to talk to a couple moms and get us some nice books. We had a little fiasco while I looked for my book club book and needed help from a librarian. After nap, we invited our other neighbors over to swim (the ones at story time were invited too, but busy). They stayed for maybe an hour. Natalie was very excited to show the little girl her room and toys. Up until they went home, Natalie hadn't watched any TV all day! As Mike finished swimming and some pool maintenance, I put on a movie for Natalie, but she wasn't that interested. The night went pretty smoothly, even though she barely ate her dinner.

As far as Mike and I are concerned, we've had low key nights. We watched some of the Twilight Zone marathon for the fourth both on Sunday and Monday. Tonight he is watching a material arts movie without me so I can write my book blog, which I'm feeling a little guilty about not getting to yet. I'm feeling a bit bad about us not spending too much quality time together, including me really feeling the pregnancy lately and not wanting to snuggle even for the most part. I'm also wishing that I could get him more alone time in the house during his vacation, but at the same time, if we constantly go out without him, then I didn't really get any vacation. Tomorrow is our errand day; I'm willing to go out with Natalie alone, but then he'll need to move the car seat over just for one day since I have a car appointment on Thursday. So, we'll see.

Even though we have savings, we continue to worry a bit about money. I spent about $200 on Saturday while I was out. Most of that was on clothes for Natalie. I was glad that we tried on them on her immediately and Mike agreed that they looked good and were reasonably priced. I think I'm going to have done a better job with clothes shopping this fall. I also spent some money at the dollar store getting her small gifts - things like craft supplies, stickers, and books that can be for her birthday or for "rainy" days. We got her a plastic kitchen unit, too. It was $15 at a big yard sale down the street. Its really dirty, but using the power stream of the hose helped some. Natalie has already played with it some on the deck, and we plan to move it into her room at the end of the week in place of her crib. (We haven't moved that out because Mike needs to disassemble it to get it through the door). The other big purchase we'd like for her is a water and sand table for the back yard. I've found one on Criag's list for $45 used. Mike is a little weary of how good of condition it will be in and also that we've spent a lot of money recently. I'd really like to get it for her because I know she'll like it and because there isn't much for her to play with in the yard, especailly if we are to have other kids over to play. Looking in the Boston area on Craig's list and on eBay we couldn't find a better deal. I'm hoping we'll get it, and I think Mike is going to agree too because he knows she'll enjoy it. I feel a little bad about spend money, but not too much because we are spending money now for later - fall clothes, birthday presents, stocking up on items to use coupons, etc.

And to finish off, some cool things Natalie has been up to:
  • More words, of course. Though I can't really remember any of them at the moment. She continues to string words together to make meaning. I'm particularly impressed by her use of verbs, such as try. This is a big one recently, especailly when someone else has food she wants to try. She also uses coming, run, talk, carry, take, read, taste, and watch.
  • Today Natalie went up and down stairs alone on her feet! First at the park, she suddenly figured out the railing and went up the stairs alone several times. Then later on our steps up to the pool deck, she went down using the railing.
  • We went out to eat on Friday to celebrate the start of Mike's vacation. Natalie got mac and cheese and a fruit cup. A spoon came on the tray. She picked up the spoon and just started eating the mac and cheese with it all on her own. She usually only eats yogurt with a spoon because you can dip it in and don't have to really scoop. But she ate half of the mac and cheese with the spoon.
  • I'm not sure if I've ever written before that Natalie uses hugs to manipulate us. She uses it to delay things she doesn't want, especailly tooth brushing and having her hair rinsed in the bath.
  • Natalie has been captivated by refastening the straps to her booster seat. She'll do them both up then whine for them to be undone so she can do it again. She'll do this 20-30 times in a row.
  • She's getting better at sitting on chairs on her own.
  • She is getting closer to climbing up into her car seat on her own.

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