Friday, June 20, 2014

The Brooklyn Children's Museum

Natalie and I had a wonderful time visiting The Brooklyn Children's Museum.  We went last year also, but found many fun new exhibits to explore this year.


The new sensory room was a big hit.  Natalie especially loved the hammock swing.  She buried herself in it and laughed hysterically while I spun her in big circles.

This year we discovered the interactive gardens.  My favorite part was the fragrance garden.  They had mint, geranium and other plants that you could rub between your fingers and smell.

"The driver of the bus says 'move on back'" (from Wheels on the Bus song)

Working the desk at the pretend theater

Making pizza

Eating pizza

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

We Love New York in June, How About You?

Natalie and I had a wonderful time with Sissy and Stella in New York this year. We went on lots of walks, played princesses, went to the Brooklyn Children's Museum and took a trip to Coney Island. (Pictures to follow in future post)

Walking Stella in Brooklyn

Getting a piggy back ride from Sissy during a sudden rainstorm

Friday, June 13, 2014

Forever Friends

Natalie and I just returned from our annual pilgrimage to NYC.  Our first day was spent with our very dear friends in Long Island.  Natalie had a wonderful time playing with "S" (age 10) and "A" (age 6), who were also both adopted from China.  The older girls were so sweet with Natalie. It was wonderful to see her interact with them and fun to see her hold her own.  Natalie is definitely no shrinking violet; she is a girl full of plans and ideas which she loves to share with others.  Natalie had the time of her life and I think she would have been thrilled for us to move in with this amazing family.  
Portrait of "S" taken by Natalie

Tuckered out girls take a 5 minute rest before bouncing back up to conquer the world again.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Natalie's First Dance Recital

Natalie just had her very first dance recital.  She and 6 other little girls from her class did a tap dance routine to the song "Mairzy Doats" (a hilarious song that I remember my father singing to me when I was a little girl).  

Excitement (and messy hair) before rehearsal.

The dress rehearsal was on Thursday.  The girls only did about 25% of their routine that they had worked on for months.  Here are some of the girls before their practice run.

Friday was the big night.  Before her dance I gave Natalie a card to commemorate the experience.  She was so thrilled and immediately started looking at it with her friends.  The girls did a much better job (maybe about 75% of the routine) during the actual recital.  I was so proud and loved watching my brave little sweetheart on stage in front of a few thousand people.

For months Natalie had been wanting roses... I'm not sure where she got the idea.  I told her that she would probably get some as a surprise at some point in her life knowing that I was intending to give some to her after the recital.  When she got them she was absolutely thrilled.  It was probably the best $10 I ever spent. 
As much as Natalie loves dancing I imagine this is the first of many recitals to come.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Moments in May

Since I'm on a kick of trying to catch up on my blog posts I thought I would post some miscellaneous pictures that show what Natalie and I have been doing lately.  From all the recent posts you can see that our lives have been extremely full.  I am actually ready for some quiet time now, but I'm guessing Natalie is not.  She loves to be on the go and be around people as much as possible.

One of the things we love to do on an almost daily basis is turn on some loud, happy music and dance around the house for about 30 minutes.  The other day Natalie wanted to wear one of her fancy dresses during our dance.  She loves it when I pick her up, spin her around and then throw her on the bed.  This particular time I was captivated by the way she looked in her red dress against the blue and white material, so I asked her to be still so I could take a couple of pictures.

Hanging out with her friend at a birthday party.

Natalie's little boy friend requested princesses and race cars on his birthday cake.  It was a definite crowd pleaser.

One of my favorite moments in May was when I took Louie to visit Natalie's class at school.  We gave them all a lesson on how to introduce yourself to a dog you don't know.

Natalie was so proud to have HER dog at school.
She enjoyed introducing Louie to all of her friends.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Graduate

Natalie just graduated from the Pre-K3 program at Pulaski Heights Methodist Children's Learning Center.  In the fall she will go into our public school's Pre-K4 program.

After graduation we went to a pizza party with all of her classmates.

Natalie loves all of her friends, but that night she decided that she needed to hang out with her girlfriend "S" because they had matching sandals. The ideas she comes up with crack me up on a daily basis.

She is off for the summer and is thrilled to be spending every day with me.  We have lots of fun things planned for the summer.  It's going to be a whirlwind of swimming, dance, and trips to visit loved ones.  Natalie keeps asking me, "Where are all my friends, Mama?".  I tell her the answer that she already knows, that they are in school still for the summer.  Her response every time: "But not me Mama.  I get to stay with you!" and then she always gives me a big hug.  It will be interesting to see how long she stays excited about being out of school.  She is such a social butterfly and loves to interact with people.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mothers' Weekend

Instead of just celebrating Mother's Day, we decided to make it a whole weekend of girl time.  My mother came to stay with Natalie and me and we all had a blast.

The celebration of motherhood began Friday morning with a "Mothers' Breakfast" at Natalie's school.

This is the card I received from Natalie after she was interviewed by one of her teachers.
 On Saturday, Mom, Donna, Natalie and I went to see Disney Princesses on Ice.  Natalie dressed as Ariel.  She shared a big tub of popcorn with "Marm"... I think Natalie ate about 80% of it.  We all had a wonderful time.

After the show Mitch joined us for a yummy fish dinner.

The next morning Mom, Nat and I had brunch at the Purple Cow where Natalie and I took our first selfie photos.  The pictures remind me of ones you would get from an old fashioned photo booth.

 That afternoon we went to the Children's Theater to see a production of Sleeping Beauty. Natalie doesn't have a sleeping beauty dress, so she decided to dress as Cinderella.

It was a wonderful weekend with two of my very favorite people on the planet.  

It is quite a wonderful gift to be in the middle of this mother sandwich.  Being a daughter to such an amazing Mother, having an extraordinary daughter of my own and spending time with them together is one of the best feelings in the world.