Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby!

In April, we had a really special birthday in our family. . .
Natalie turned 1!!!

We were down in San Diego, getting the kids settled in with my parents before our big vacation. I love these photos I got of Natalie climbing the stairs. I think they really capture her big personality!

It's been awhile since I posted about Natalie, so throughout this post I'm going to list a bunch of her recent milestones, likes, dislikes, and just random stuff all about her.

*Natalie has such a great laugh. It can be a little tough to get her to laugh, depending on her mood, but when she laughs she really laughs. It's great!

*Natalie LOVES animals. Since she was really small she has gotten a huge kick out of watching and chasing our cats around the house. Whenever she sees one of the kitties, she starts squealing and laughing and crawls over towards it as fast as she can go. Sometimes it seems like nothing makes her happier than the kitties do. She also loves it when dogs get really close to her, I'm talking right in her face. She laughs and thinks it's just the greatest thing in the world!

*She also loves taking baths with Kirsten. She's a champion splasher, and loves to splash as big as she can in the tub. I've gotten soaked by her plenty of times!

We had a little family birthday party for her, with all the California extended family (and some who were even visiting from Arizona too!)
Look at Natalie's adorable cake! Thank goodness my Aunt Lani was there to make it look this cute. I shudder to think of what it would have looked like if I had decorated it myself!

I love how she's out of focus behind her cake in this shot. I plopped her right down on the table behind her cake while we sang to her, to see what her reaction to it would be.

Hmmm, I think I'll just take a little taste. . .

And then she dug right in! She actually cried when I took her away from the cake and put her in the high chair so we could cut it up for everyone.

This was SO different from Kirsten's reaction to her first birthday cake. Kirsten barely picked at her cake, and didn't seem to know what to do with it. Natalie instantly knew!

*Natalie can stand up by herself without holding onto anything (even though she doesn't do it often and prefers to hold onto stuff), but she hasn't taken any steps yet without holding onto things. She's been cruising around the furniture for awhile now, but hasn't taken her own first steps yet. I'm completely fine with this. Crawling babies are so adorable, I'm never in a rush to want them to walk!

*A few things she's recently learned how to do, after her first birthday are:
-Clapping! It's so cute! We can either tell her to clap or start clapping and she imitates us.
-Waving! She waves the best from her car seat. I'll turn around at a stoplight and wave at her and she'll wave back at me.
-Playing peek-a-boo! We can say, "Where's Natalie?" and she'll cover herself up with something and then pull it off.

Whoa. . . she really was going for that candle flame!

As soon as we got her in the high chair, she cried until she got her piece of cake and then she ate pretty much the ENTIRE piece! Little piggie!

*Speaking of being a little pig. . . Natalie is a really good eater. She gobbles up pretty much anything we put in front of her, whether it's fruit, avocado, eggs, potatoes, meat, or whatever else. Sometimes she eats more than Kirsten does in a meal! Crazy!

*Lots of people have started telling me that Kirsten and Natalie look alike. I still think they look very different, but I can see similarities mostly when they laugh and smile.

*Right before her first birthday, Natalie said her first word: "Hi!" It's the cutest thing!

*Natalie LOVES car rides. She's always been one of the best-behaved babies in the car I've ever seen. With very few exceptions, she's quiet and happy no matter how long we're in the car. I guess she just likes riding around in her car seat! Some days I just have to put her in the car and drive somewhere, anywhere, just because it makes her happy and quiet.

There it is. . . all that remained of Natalie's piece of cake. She got her first taste of ice cream too!

She liked the ice cream. . . except when it got a little colder in her mouth than she was expecting. Isn't that a great reaction? Brain-freeze!

*It's so nice to dwell on the positive stuff, but lately Natalie has also been extremely difficult. She tries my patience in ways Kirsten never did. She's teething a lot and she's a really bad teether. She cries a LOT, and doesn't always cry for any particular reason. She's been really clingy and needy and if I try to put her down and go do anything (even fix her some food or a bottle!) she'll just crawl after me, sobbing and screaming. She throws temper tantrums already, and she's barely a year old! Sometimes no matter how much we hold her she still just keeps crying. And she's LOUD. She used to be such a happy, easy baby, sometimes I wonder what happened? Where did my sweet, easygoing baby go?

*Despite all that, I love Natalie so much. I realize that her personality is emerging, and she is VERY different from her sister. Natalie has a BIG, high-energy, center of attention, social butterfly personality. She refuses to be ignored, that's for sure! It'll be interesting to see what kinds of trouble she'll get herself into in the years to come. I think this one will be a trouble-maker!

So Happy Birthday, Natalie. . . We love you so much!!!


  1. What a darling little girl! Love the pictures. Beautiful :)

  2. What a CUTE cake!!! ;) Brown and pink and polka-dot to match her outfit. Too bad we didn't take out the support toothpick on the candle. (I want to photoshop it out) I LOVE the brainfreeze picture.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Natalie! Great pictures! Looks like you had a great time!

  4. Sounds like our girls are alike. Hadley's first real word was HI too. And they both are high energy and social!

  5. That is quite a reaction to the ice cream!! Hillarious! She is so cute, I can't wait to see her again!

  6. Wasn't it just yesterday we were voting on her name? And now she's such a cute one-year-old!

  7. Your aunt is a great cake decorator! That cake is darling.

    I'm glad that Natalie had such a special day. She's adorable.

  8. Happy birthday to Natalie! What a cutie! I love the cake eating pics!


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