Friday, March 23, 2012

Natalie's First Marathon

For the past several years Gary, Katie, Louie and I have cheered for the runners who participate in the Little Rock Marathon.  Katie and Louie have always been a good momentary distraction for the participants from their aching legs.
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This year Natalie was able to join in the Marathon celebration and she did a great job of clapping and yelling "Yay!" to lift the spirits of the runners.
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Me and my kids
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"Are those bears?"
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Katie and Louie posing regally for the runners
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My precious family :)
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I love seeing Louie and Natalie together.  Our boy outweighs Natalie by 110 pounds, but is a true gentle giant with his little sister.
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Congratulations to the 1,983 Marathon finishers!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pwease, Pwease

This is a story from a few weeks ago...I'm a bit behind on blog posts.  
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Sunday night I gave Natalie a new toothbrush that better fit her tiny mouth.  I always brush her teeth first and then let her have a turn at trying it herself.  We use baby toothpaste that is safe to swallow.  The grape flavored toothpaste must taste delicious because after Nat brushed her teeth she signed for more.  I am trying to encourage verbal word use, so I asked her to say "Please" a word she had never said before.  She said it so cutely and must have seen on my face how adorable I thought she was.  After 10 seconds of brushing she held out her toothbrush and said "Pwease, Pwease".  How could I resist that cute entreaty?  So more toothpaste was put on the brush...10 seconds later "Pwease, Pwease".  I knew I was already trapped into a cycle that was surely going to end in a tantrum, but wanting to encourage excitement and joy towards dental care I let her brush her teeth a few more times.  Sure enough when we told the toothpaste bye-bye for the night Natalie had a small fit.  The next morning I cut the whole routine short and only allowed her one round of teeth brushing.  A tantrum followed.  I didn't have time to let her ride it out like I usually do because I had to get ready for work, so I grabbed the kitty cat dress you see below and showed it to her.  She fell in instant love with it and was so happy to put it on along with her favorite ever shoes.  Tooth brushing was forgotten and crisis averted.  We all made it to work and school on time.


Look!  I got stickers on my hands for using the potty.
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Yay for my kitty cat dress!
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Our First Outing As a Family of Five

A couple of weeks ago Gary and I managed to stuff ourselves, two giant Newfoundland dogs, a child in a large carseat, a stroller, diaper bag and drool rags into my little Toyota RAV4.  It was quite a tight fit, but it felt wonderful for all 5 of us to be going on a little adventure together.  We drove to the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge.
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Our first family portrait.  We hope to get a better one soon!

The Bridge was built in 1899 and was originally used as an railroad bridge.  It completes a 15 mile trail system known as the Arkansas River Trails.
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Natalie munching on her cereal snack
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Pretty Boy Louie
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We also walked around the wetlands trail which is nearby.
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Katie and Louie are so big and high maintenance that despite the fact they they are not quite human I definitely consider myself to be a mother of 3.  It's honestly not always easy. Before Natalie came along I never even noticed how much floor space Katie and Louie take up.  I would just step over them when necessary.  Now when I am in the kitchen Katie, Louie and Natalie are usually there too along with Natalie's doll stroller and other toys scattered about.  It is really chaotic, crowded and noisy at times.  Although I do sometimes get stressed and exhausted I wouldn't change a thing.   It's difficult but not as hard as I thought it would be.  My fear of not having enough energy to keep up never materialized.  Somehow I always manage to get the necessities covered.  
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Back in 2008 I posted on this blog about how we originally started out as a family of five.  It feels so right to be back at our starting number.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

A Trip to the Park

Here I come Mama!
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Look! I'm a big girl going down the slide by myself.
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Yikes!  It was almost a crash landing that time.
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Hi There!
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Aren't you coming into the tunnel too?
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See you later
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Sharing the slide
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Dolly, Dot Dolly"

When Natalie and I went to the doctor's office recently I had to take a picture of her with her doll when I noticed the similarity between them.
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  (by the way, the thing around Natalie's leg is the doctor's paper id anklet)

Natalie has another doll that is the same kind as this one just with a different dress and hairstyle.  She calls the other doll "Dolly" and this one "Dot Dolly" :)
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"Dolly" has been with Natalie since the night we became a family in China.  At night she sleeps with one arm around each doll.  Often during the day she will request "Dolly, Dot Dolly" and we will go on a hunt around the house to find them.

November 7, 2011 Natalie met Mama and Baba and was then introduced to "Dolly"
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First Hairdo and First Boyfriend

When I picked Natalie up from school yesterday I was surprised to see her hair pulled up on top of her head.  One of her teachers had decided to give her a new look.  It looked so hilarious that I couldn't stop laughing for a few minutes when I saw her which of course cracked her up.
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Today when I picked Natalie up she was sporting the same hairdo again.  I think her teacher has created a style-my-hair-monster.  Natalie is such a creature of habit.  With most people it takes a few repetitions of an activity for it to become a habit - not so with Natalie.  She remembers everything that happens and will ask for a repeat the next day of something you were planning on being a one time event.
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The other big news at school is that Natalie has her first beau.  I've been told that J.H. will seek Natalie out when she is by herself and will sit beside her.  When the children walk down the hall J.H. and Natalie will often hold hands.  They also like to hold hands during dance time.  Here is Natalie giving her boyfriend a good bye hug.
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I'm so grateful that she is making friends, loves her teachers dearly and has such a wonderful time each day at school.  She seems to be completely at ease there and 100% confident that I am going to pick her up at the end of the day and bring her home to our Happier than Ever Haus.
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