Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Natalie's First Blizzard

Natalie finally experienced her first big snowstorm! I took her out in the little bit of snow we got on Saturday, but it was such a wet and gross snow that it wasn't very fun. The snow we got yesterday was WAY better for taking her out. I'd say we got about 14 or 15 inches of snow where we are. Not the 36 we were expecting, but still enough for a snow day for Chris - which was great because he leaves us today for the Superbowl and won't be back until Monday!
Snow days call for Juicy Couture jumpsuits...just sayin'
All bundled up and ready to go outside!
We were probably out for about 45 minutes. Natalie wasn't so sure what to make of it, and the wind kept whipping the snow into her face, so she would get a little whiny when that happened.

But she sure was cute walking around in the snow:

Then we went back into the warm house, played some games and enjoyed some snow ice cream: my new obsession! I currently have 3 batches of snow ice cream in my freezer, which should hopefully last us until our next big snowstorm. Get the recipe here.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Natalie Claire: 12 Months

Ok, so she turned 12 months two months ago, but I have to at LEAST do a 1 year update since I dropped the ball on the last few updates. I hate to say it, but I'm so glad these monthly photos are over. She is constantly moving and will not sit still for a second, so getting posed shots of her is literally an exhausting task. I kind of dropped the ball on these last ones. I normally would have taken the time to get better ones, but I just didn't have the patience with her this time. 

Name: Natalie Claire

Weight: 21 lbs. 8 oz.

Height: 29.5 in
Health: She had a cold right around the time of her 1st birthday (and I think the croup for like one night, when she sounded like a barking seal when she coughed...but that literally was for one night and then it turned into a cold)

Sleep: Sleeping 12 hours from 8pm-8am, with one wake up between 4am and 6am to nurse. If I was working full time and had to get up early to get ready for work, these early morning wake ups would be the bane of my existence, but since I can go back to bed if I need to, I don't really mind them. I think I will start trying to drop these though.

Social: I worry that my little one is a bully! Or, that I'm not socializing her enough. At Gymboree she's very precocious - into everything, goes everywhere, and has started pulling other kids hair or wants to touch their faces. It's out of curiosity of course, but she does seem to be more up in people's personal space than the other kids there.

Diet: Now that she's one, nothing is off limits, I can try (and have started trying...since I'm writing this two months after the fact - peanut butter, citrus, whole milk) There is really nothing I won't try with her (except of course, coffee and alcohol, hehe). I made it to my goal of one year exclusively breastfeeding (with a bit of food throughout the day), but I never fed her formula or milk!! Now that she's one, I can slowly start introducing cow's milk. I will drop one nursing session a day and replace it with milk for a few months. Then I will drop another session, and so on and so forth. So I will nurse her 4 times a day and give her 1 sippy cup of milk (which she is being very resistant to drinking)

* 3 words - THOMAS THE TRAIN. That theme song can come on in the other room and she will come running to the tv. She LOVES Thomas and loves the song, it's the funniest/cutest thing ever.
*She loves shaking maracas or anything that makes noise.
*The dog's water bowl. OMG how she loves the dog's water bowl. It is all. she. wants. all. day. long.
*Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" - She loves dancing to that song, but really, who doesn't love Taylor Swift?

Dislikes: I can't really keep up with her food preferences. One day she loves eggs, the next day she can't stand them. One day she's eating broccoli and I think I've got the best baby in the world, and the next day she won't even touch it. It's very hard to prepare meals for her, and it's hard to know what is her not liking the taste of something, or if she's just not hungry.
*Walking - she started walking two weeks before her birthday, so she was 11 1/2 months. It's the craziest thing, one day she just starts walking and from that point on, that's how it is. You could see in her eyes the excitement and the determination she had as she was figuring it out - this foot, then that foot. And the rest is history.

*First Halloween - she went as an octopus

*In her first wedding as the ring bear-ess (she was 10 months)

*TEETH: She has 4 teeth on the bottom and 2 teeth on top. I think the worst of the teething is over (at least until molars come in? I hear those are hard)

*Talking: Says "Dada" and "Mama" alll the time.

PS: I can't believe I have a 1 year old.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Natalie's Birthday - Part 3: Cake Smash and Gifts

Natalie's First Birthday - Part 1
Natalie's First Birthday - Part 2

Now on to Part 3! After we showed the slideshow, it was time for Natalie's cake smash time! I didn't want her brand new first birthday tutu to get dirty, so I stripped her down to her diaper and put her in the high chair:
Natalie's Smash Cake
Natalie was pretty confused and unimpressed with everyone singing to her. Chris and I blew out the candle for her, and then she just stared at the cake for a good, long while.

She enjoyed her first taste of chocolate, and ate a little bit, but was pretty spent and tired of all the attention after a few minutes. I ran her upstairs, threw her into the tub, quickly rinsed her off and got her right into her pj's with a brand new pink tutu that she got as a gift at her baptism.

Natalie opened one gift, but I didn't want her to have to open every single gift in front of everyone. In hindsight, maybe I should have - because it is pretty funny to watch her rip open gifts. But I was afraid it would take forever, and I was afraid she would get overwhelmed by everyone crowding around her (who am I kidding? This kid loves the attention...) So, we waited to open the rest of the gifts until after everyone left:

Natalie's friends, the neighbor girls, stopped over for cake and to play with Natalie at this point. Natalie LOVES these girls, and they dote on her so much. It really melts my heart to see all of them together. I am very lucky to have some great babysitters so close-by in a few years.
Natalie's Thank You was ordered from Party Invites and More on Etsy

And that was Natalie's First Birthday Party - Can't wait to see what's in store for her next year!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Natalie's First Birthday - Part 2

Yesterday, I shared Natalie's Birthday Party - Part 1. After everyone arrived to Natalie's Birthday party, and noshed on hummus, taco dip, and spinach dip, we served lunch to the guests: Swedish meatballs, baked ziti, chicken piccata, grilled chicken salad, garlic broccoli, and chicken a la vodka.
I was chasing around Natalie for most of the day, but it was so nice to have friends from High School, College, work, and friends we've met through friends over the past few years all together in one room, catching up and reconnecting.
Around 3:00pm, Natalie was exhausted and ready for a nap. I nursed her to sleep upstairs but didn't have a crib to put her in and wanted to get back to the party. She stayed sleeping on my shoulder and then I transferred her to the couch where she slept for about an hour.
When she woke up, we showed a 10 minute video-slideshow of Natalie's first year. I worked really hard on it just in the 24 hours leading up to the party!! I'm so glad I did it though, it makes me cry pretty much every time I watch it.
Watching the slideshow
Here's the video I put together highlighting the best of Natalie's first year. I did this exclusively on imovie on my ipad. Enjoy!:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Natalie's First Birthday - Part 1

On November 22, 2014, we celebrated Natalie's first birthday with all of our closest friends and family.

The party was held at my In-Laws house. We had hoped that the renovation on our new house would be done in time to have her party there, but our house was nowhere near ready to host a large group of people by that time, and we worried we would be too crowded in our current house.

I had a custom made invitation made by Simply Printable on Etsy, and then I had them printed at CVS:

I was really proud of the birthday balloon wreath I made for the occasion. I followed this tutorial at How Does She. I'm going to decorate for birthday with this wreath for years and years to come.
We had 8 kids at the party - technically 6, but I had two pregnant friends there so I counted them in the mix for Dr. Seuss party hats for each of the children.
On the table by the front door, I put the book Happy Birthday To You! By, Dr. Seuss with a framed poem that read:

Stop here you see!
And write a very special message to me. 

Share a birthday wish, or just say "Hi Baby!"
For your most favorite one year old lady!

Write your note on any page
This is something I'll treasure at any age. 


Natalie's High Chair was decorated with this kit I bought on Amazon, the balloons were from Party City.

I had two garlands with Natalie's monthly pictures from 1-11 to show how much she's grown in the past year. The first garland were with photos of her sitting up in a chair each month:

The second garland were the overhead photos I took each month with her monthly stickers on her shirt:

I had various "1st Birthday decor" items all around the house.

My parents brought the cake and the smash cake from my favorite/the best bakery in Pennsylvania, The Bakery Nook. I haven't been able to find a really great cake bakery out near me in Queens yet. I've been disappointed with the cakes I've ordered in New York for the past few events, so I asked my mom and dad to bring the cake from Pennsylvania.

Natalie's First Birthday Outfit was ordered from Eleventh House Designs on Etsy.

I loved the little tutu, and Natalie didn't seem to mind it either - I guess I've got a little tutu wearer on my hands now!
Tomorrow: Part 2

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Melissa and John's Wedding - Part 2

I posted back in October about my sister's country wedding on October 4, 2014. You can read part one here. Now on to part #2!! After the ceremony, we took a lot of pictures during cocktail hour. Natalie would NOT keep her boots, socks, or her headband on....of course. Oh well, she still looked cute :)
The reception started, the bridal party was introduced, and John and Melissa shared their first dance:
Melissa and John often go country line dancing with their friends. So there were a lot of line dances at the reception and it was so cool. I had learned a few of them prior to the wedding, but I mostly watched!
John danced with his Aunt Karen:

Melissa danced with our dad:

My dad's birthday was 2 days before the wedding, so my sister surprised my dad with his own special Birthday Cake!! I thought this was so sweet because my dad's birthday was overshadowed by my baby shower last year, and now by Melissa's wedding this year, so he deserved a little something special!

During dinner Natalie kept busy playing with spoons, toys, and of course, my iphone, before she fell asleep in the stroller for 95% of the wedding (she woke up during one particularly loud line dance)
Then it was time for Melissa and John to cut their wedding cake!

I cannot stress enough how amazing our newly purchased "selfie stick" was at the wedding. I had people I had never met before come up to me and ask if they could either take a selfie with me, or borrow my selfie stick for a few minutes. The selfie stick was the life of the party, and everyone wanted to use it. I think selfie stick sales on amazon probably went up the Monday after the wedding - I really should get some sort of commission...
The bouquet was tossed, the garter was tossed, and Melissa's friend Charlene and her boyfriend happened to each catch the bouquet and the garter which was perfect!
All in all it was a really fun, fabulous night and I am so happy for my beautiful sister and new brother-in-law!!