Natalie continues to grow into an adorable, sweet toddler. Some favs as of late:
– Her growing vocabulary. She can say the following words: eye, ball, balloon, bubbles, me, Na (for Nat), Nana, Dada, Ga (for Grandpa or Grandma or goose), Mama, boo, choo choo and uva (spanish for grapes). She also loves animal sounds, like woof, roar / rahr, ssss and moo.
– Her enthusiasm in which she greets new people. Natalie loves to walk up and down our street. She is quick to wave and smile – whether you are a sweet nurse from the Children’s Hospital or a punk high school boy. She especially likes to dance to the music outside the hot dog store; run through Chipotle to look at the high chairs and say ‘hi’ to the diners; and peak in the cupcake store. Oddly enough, she can also be shy with new groups – she often clings at the start of music class and has started ducking her head between my legs.
– Her love for imitation. She loves to be like Daddy, Mommy and Nana! Recent imitations include: holding either Daddy’s razor (turned off) or electric toothbrush (turned on) against her neck, using Nana’s make-up brush and compact, drying her hair with Mommy, putting on Mommy’s jewelry. Thankfully, this love for imitation has also helped us give her inhalor breathing treatments (between Natalie, Daddy, Mommy, Teddy Bear and Elephant, we’ve had about 30 breathing treatments today – two of which had actual medicine in them) and brush teeth (Natalie brushed my teeth while Daddy brushed hers – quite a spectacle.)
– Her interest in initiating games. Hide and seek is a favorite – although Natalie would much prefer to do the seeking. When I try to get her to hide, I cover my eyes and count to 10 – inevitably, she becomes curious in what I’m doing and is usually inches away from my nose by the time I reach 10. She also likes to go in her crib while Jordan or I grab mousey and have him dance around. Of course, we cannot forget “surprise!,” whether it be surprising Daddy nearly every morning in the kitchen or bathroom – or surprising Aunt Jira and Uncle Alex over the top of the breakfast bar at Nana’s and Pop’s.
– Her expression of preferences. Nearly every day, she picks out her outfit or PJs (out of a choice of two items, usually). She also likes to pick out her shoes – which is way better than the one blue “duck” shoe that she had last summer. (Thank you, Nana and Aunt Jira!) I wouldn’t mind of her preferences for food – cheese, fruit and bread – was a little less pronounced – what about some lean protein and fresh veggies?
– The seemingly small things she notices. Natalie notices a lot of things that I don’t – just earlier this week, she was very intune to the chirping birds as we walked home from the park and even gets excited at the sound of a dog bark when we are inside. What blessings to be thrilled by!
Of course, 16 months isn’t perfect. Natalie’s palate leaves a bit to be desired, though isn’t terrible. She has started throwing brief temper tantrums – she throws back her head and screams. We try to make sure her head is safe and then let her scream for a couple seconds or distract her. (Our nanny does a better job than me in helping her put words to some of those emotions.) She doesn’t like getting her diaper changed, though some strategies like stickers and making a big deal of how she is stretching and growing tend to help. She is very independent – she often doesn’t want to take the stroller at the start of a walk, but by the end, prefers to be carried. Jordan is much better at carrying than I am – She’s probably about 27 lbs and doesn’t really “hold” on.
Each day, Natalie brings us – and so many people around us – so much joy. We are truly blessed to have such a loving, fun, caring daughter.