Friday, December 30, 2011

Natali's word list at 16 months







All Done








Thank You


Lilo (One of Kelli's dogs)

Nite Nite

Off (turning off light switches)




Here You Go

I flew with a guy yesterday who has an 18 month old boy who has yet to say a word. I was a bit shocked, but "they" say girls develop faster than boys. I think Natali is a little too intelligent. She's been able to reason with us for a while. Reminds me of my niece Haley....another smart cookie. Haley was able to reason and negotiate from around age 2 I think...definitely by age 3. I fear Natali is on that path.

Sure it might sound great to have an intelligent kid, but there are downsides.

I've accepted the fact that Kelli is more intelligent than me...but I am smarter. There is a difference. If Natali becomes more intelligent than me...well they could rise against me.

I'm totally content with an average child. I was average....average is well...average. Eh.

Finally...Natali has her first set of Legos. I bought the Duplo 200 piece set for Christmas. She kind of gets how to put them together and pull them apart. I built a small house only to have her take it from me then have me dismantle it for her. Nice.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Still my baby

Natali is growing up fast. I miss when I could hold her in my arms without her protesting. It's rare that I can hold like a baby much anymore. When I try she squirms right out. Every now and then she lets me be a dad and she becomes a baby.

Today she wasn't feeling the best. The only thing that calmed her down was laying on my chest and letting me hold her. And I was totally okay with that.

She's still my baby.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Does a cheaper daycare = a more sick kid?

Last week a notice was posted in our daycare about a child having Strep throat.

Natali was acting a little funny over the weekend. She stayed home with my Monday and Tuesday. I noticed something was up right away.

She was much more lethargic than normal. Sleeping more often than normal. Not much of an appetite. Then I noticed the same in a sore throat Tuesday afternoon. It got worse Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning we both went to the doctor. I tested positive for strep. Natali was clear. It likely had it but was on the downside by Wednesday morning. We were both prescribed anti-biotics.

This got me thinking. Are more expensive daycare centers more free of sick kids. Follow me here.

In theory the higher priced daycare centers have families that make more money and there fore can likely take days off work to watch a sick kid. The inverse being true for lower priced daycare centers. If you are barely scraping by you might not be able to take a sick day each time your kid is sick.

Kelli burned through all her sick days early in the year due to Natali being sick so often.

I tossed the question to my facebook friends. Turns out I was wrong.

I have friends that work at expensive daycare centers. Here is a direct quote, " I work for a very nice upscale montessori school and we have the same issues. The parents are "too busy" and/or out of town and the nanny drops them off. Yep, even when they have Nannys they do it. They feel their health and time is more valuable than yours. Once one parent does it, the domino of sick children begins!!!"

When Natali is sick I can't justify taking her to daycare. She already feels crummy. Taking her to a school with a bunch of loud kids won't make her feel any better. I guess we are fortunate that I typically work weekends while Kelli has them off. We are much more flexible this way.

Thankfully Natali was back to her normal self Wednesday afternoon. This morning she was a little off by not wanting much to eat. She did take her medicine fine though (helps it was super sweet!).


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

All Kelli's fault

Natali is too intelligent. I blame Kelli. She's the smart one with a Masters degree and a white collar job. I'm just a blue collar worker (Union=blue collar).

This week Natali turned 16 months old. She's so big. When she sits on my lap I am in awe at how much she has grown.

Natali is now on her second pair of shoes. She started at a size on a size 5. Her feet aren't size 5 yet....but they are bigger than a 4.

I have a few friends who had their first kids within the last 16 months...and are preggo again. No thanks. I said it when Natali was born and I still feel the same and done.

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Kelli has done an amazing job at dropping the baby weight...and then some. She has lost over 40 pounds in the last 5 months. She weighs less now than when I met her. Maybe this vague mention will get her into blogging again?


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Talking on the Remote

Natali has been "talking" on the phone a lot today. For a good 5 minutes she picked up her baby monitor, put it to her ear and walked around talking to it.

Tonight she picked up her Roku remote and talked for 10 minutes. This video picked up the end of it.


Thanks for screaming!

When we first started brushing Natali's teeth it was easy....for me anyway.

For whatever reason she let me brush her teeth more than Kelli. Not a big deal, it was being done. I could do her entire mouth and she smiled the entire time.

Over the last two weeks though it hasn't been easy.

Natali knows what "brush teeth" means. She brings her fingers to her mouth and wiggles her fingers. Natali then walks (most of the time) to the bathroom. That's where the happiness stops.

Natali watches as we put the training toothpaste on the toothbrush. She is smiling most of the time. She continues smiling...tight lipped when the toothbrush is brought to her mouth. No amount of coaxing helps. Natali just smiles and shakes her head "no".

Fine down on the floor we go.

Natali then begins screaming and crying....which actually helps as now her mouth is open. We brush her teeth slowly and sing to her. Natali screams nonetheless. Once done she walks out of the room though she was in a fight. Silly child.

Hopefully the screaming fights will end....someday.

She does have one good hygenic habit.

Natali LOVES to wash her hands. She loves water in general but whenever she hears a faucet one she moves her hands in a hand washing motion and walks over. Oh my little OCD

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanks for killing the light there buddy

Natali had her first REAL Thanksgiving this year.

Again we spent Thanksgiving dinner with our friends the Eric and Angela and their family.

Last year Natali was there of course, but she really couldn't eat anything.

She was able to eat this year though...and boy did it do a number on her.

Lots of dirty diapers today. More than 5 so far....normally she's a 2 a day dumper.

Speaking of diapers. Eric clued me on something I truly didn't know.

I always assumed that when a kid is potty trained it's an A to Z training. Once done the kid is in no more parental assistance.

Eric and Angela's daughter Marin is almost 5 and will be starting school next year. Before she goes she has to be able to use the restroom solo. At first I was like , well she's potty trained so that's not an issue right? Wrong. Parental help is still needed to "tidy up" the kiddo.

That's when the light at the end of the diaper tunnel grew dim. I was eagerly awaiting starting potty training next year and being free from poop that's not mine. Nope. Several more years of poop ahead apparently. I am now 110% positive Natali is the only kid I need. I don't mind dirty diapers...but it's not something I will list on "things I like to do".

Natali had a good time at Thanksgiving though. After about 6 minutes she warmed up to them and was fine. She enjoyed watching Marin run around the room. For a while Natali was doing circles in the living room in front of everyone, she enjoys being the center of attention.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

A lot happens in 6 days

I (Darren) am finally flying again. Back to the

My first trip back was 6 days long. Very abnormal. I didn't care to be gone that long.

Kelli and I video called a few times and I thought that was sufficient. Nope. When I returned I was surprised at just how much Natali changed in those 6 days. Natali had a new word, longer hair and was just older. Eh.

Natali's internal clock is just like mine. Set in stone. No matter what time she goes to bed, Natali is up at either 5:30AM or 6:30AM. One of the other, never in between on her own. When I saw 5:30AM..I mean on the dot. Not 5:28AM or 5:31AM....5:30AM.

Great on weekdays...but weekends....yeah.

Natali's walking is going very well. She can walk at a rapid pace without falling. No running yet.

Over the weekend we went to a Little Gym for a birthday party. This was the second time at a Little Gym for Natali. She did much better the second time around.

The first time she wasn't walking much and just cried the entire time.

This time she cried at first when we entered the gym area. Natali likes to scope out new areas from a distance.

Natali just hung out in our arms for the first 15 minutes or so...taking it all in. Profiling each person in the room.

After pizza and cake she was ready to go. Social and full of energy.

I've noticed this same behavior at mall play areas and parks. Guess it's a good thing, better cautious than dangerous.

Natali's 15 month check up went okay. She has a pretty good memory. She knows the Dr and he never gives her he was fine with him. When the nurse came in Natali started screaming bloody murder. The nurse always gives shots. Yeah.

Natali is in the 50th percentile for height and weight at 31.8 inches and 23 pounds. Her head size is off the charts though...big head on her shoulders...literally.

Kelli and I escaped to Los Angeles for the day to visit the LA Autoshow. Her mom was in town and watched Natali. Only our 2nd kid free day since Natali was born.

I've been to the LA Autoshow every year for the last 3. This was the second time for Kelli. I loved it. She liked it. I sat in my next car for the first time. A Volvo XC60. SUV...with the option of built in child booster seats! Best thing is I can order the exact car I want, pick it up in Europe, drive it around in Europe and then have it shipped to the United States. I just have to wait till 2014.....when the Prius will be paid off.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Free Museum Day

Natali is sick again. She had a good run.

She's been coughing since Wednesday. Had a fever since Thursday.  She's been pretty good today. She doesn't eat as much as she normally does. Hopefully tomorrow is better than today.

Bank of America has a sponsorship/deal with Museums across the United States. The first weekend of each month all Bank of America card holders get in free. Simple. Just show your card. So we did.

We went back to the Dallas Museum of Natural Science and History which includes the Children's Museum.

Natali had fun again. She really enjoyed the soft play room. After about an hour she was ready to head home.

Her speech set is getting so big we can't keep count of her solid words.

Natali tries to repeat many of the words we use. Sometimes she's close with her new words, "alright, Lets go"...but sometimes she no where close...still cute.

She has had problems using the word "more" lately. Natali uses the word "more" while signing it for way too many things. She uses "more" to say she wants something. We just don't know what she wants. Natali gets very frustrated when she can't communicate what she wants....which is good in that she learns words fast.

Hard to believe it's been 15 months since she entered our lives.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Back in the air

We took our first family trip in at least 2 months over the weekend. We flew down to see my dad in Houston.

Natali did fine. She's a travel pro. It helps that Kelli and I have travelling with a toddler down to a science. We had one diaper backpack, one backpack for us (chargers, ipads, magazine), one car seat and one Go-Go-Babyz roller. That's it.

Natali had not seen my dad in almost 4 months. She is very standoffish with new people. We were a little worried she wouldn't remember him. Not an issue. The moment we walked into the house my dad picked her up and Natali was fine. Nice.

It was a very long day. Natali woke up a little early and had just a 15 minute nap on the plane, maybe 20 minutes in the car....and that was it.

By 5PM she was spent. She slept in the car on the way to the airport for about 30 minutes. Not enough.

When Natali is tired she is happy, but volatile. She is fine as long as no one interrupts whatever she is doing. If she is walking in circles fine. Starring into infinity fine. Trying to slide off a chair...well she needs help...and here comes the crying.

Thankfully she's very easy to console. It's very rare I can't calm her down in less than 10 seconds.

DFW airport has REALLY nice kids areas. Lots of room and soft stationary play equipment. Natali loved the slide. George Bush Airport (IAH) doesn't have a play least not in the American Airlines area.

We found a somewhat empty part of the waiting area. Natali roamed for a bit. She kept signing that she was hungry and wanted "more". We showed her the apple sauce and she signed "more". Fine. After it was opened...nah.

Thankfully the plane was on time and we timed our arrival so we only waited about 30 minutes before boarding so she never got too bad.

Once on the plane she was fine. Slept for part of the flight.

Once back at DFW she was out. She slept through getting off the plane , riding the train to a different terminal and all the way home. I put her in her crib at 9:10PM. Her normal bedtime is 7PM.

This morning I decided to let her sleep in. Yeah about that.

Natali has an internal clock. Almost every morning she wakes up at 6:15AM. Today was no exception.

She stood up in her bed and cried. After 3 minutes I had enough. I brought her to our bed (Kelli left for work at 6AM) and Natali immediately fell sleep until 7:40AM.

Since today is Halloween and her day care said it was costume day I decided to dress her up.

Our great friends Eric and Angela bought Natali a Michigan State University cheerleader outfit when Natali was born. It's a 12 month outfit so it didn't fit until recently.

Over the weekend I bought Natali some stockings as it's the proper thing to wear with a cheerleader outfit...I think.

Anyways she looked adorable. Best costume of the class in my opinion.


The bottom photo looks a little funny. There was a dog's rear end pointing up originally...I used Iphoto to remove him...not a pro job...just a quickie.

Beyond that she is becoming more amazing everyday. Her vocabulary is expanding. Her current two favorite words are "uh oh" and "outside".

More soon. Trying to update at least once a week.

Friday, October 21, 2011

No more bottles....and lots more words

Natali is now bottle free. She's actually been bottle free for about 3 weeks now.

She bounces between whole milk and water. Every now and then she grabs my bottle of "ghetto koolaid" which is Walmart brand crystal light flavoring...she likes it.

Her vocabulary is always increasing. Her newest words is "diaper". She says it with a Bostonian accent so it's like, "Daaaaper".

Natali will say diaper while either making a dirty diaper or as soon as she has finished making a dirty diaper. It's cute...and annoying.

I try to keep her diet somewhat varied. Thanks to me she eats a good amount of fish. She either eats fish sticks or white fish (imitation crab) shaped into sticks. She likes them both. Aside from that she eats chicken, refried beans (she loves them), carrots, corn, peas, natural applesauce and more.

Her favorite breakfast is mini-pancakes. Natali won't touch them until I put the sugar free syrup on them. She'll put both hands in the air and wait. Very cute.

Natali and I took a few hours and stopped by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. She had a good time. They have a good sized kids area that she loved to just roam around. Still not so sure about playing with other kids just yet though.


There is a metal beam from one of the twin towers from 9/11. It will be difficult explaining that day to her.

Finally.....Kelli's side of the family eats more ice cream than the average American....probably twice as much. I'm sure it's a genetic marker....Natali loves it too. Hear is a frozen yogurt induced smile.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Walking, "Talking" and putting us in our places

Natali is walking most of the time. When she wants to get somewhere in a hurry, she crawls.

Most of the time when she's home she is barefoot. Every now and then when she gets home from being out I will leave her in her shoes.

With her walking so much....she loves to go places she knows she's not supposed to go.

Our living room is like a prison yard. Gates block off the entertainment center, hallway and area next to the couch so she can't go back to the dogs (I will never leave her with the dogs out of my sight).

Natali has learned to manipulate the gate between the couch and dogs quite well. She goes for gold and will not pull back and unless I physically pick her up and move her away. It's like she becomes deaf.

That's not to say she doesn't respond to our "request".

Natali knows the word "no". If she is doing something I don't like I will firmly and slowly say, "no" and most of the time she stops. If I see her heading for the open bedroom door early enough I can verbally stop her. Once she's crawling and kicks on the turbo.....there's no stopping her.

Her speech has really advanced. Her firm words are , "outside", "socks", "shoes", "all done", "doggy", "mommy", "light" and "daddy". She will repeat or attempt to repeat any word we say though.

Natali has learned how to manipulate us. She will fake cry to get her way. Sometimes I will let her cry it out or join right along with her crying. Either way often makes her stop crying.

Her sleeping habits are "interesting".

On daycare days she wakes up between 5:40AM and 6:10AM. She then gets one nap around 11:30PM till 1:30PM. Most of the time after daycare she is awake the rest of the day until her 8PM bedtime.

I debated moving her bedtime earlier, but her internal body clock will always sleep no more than 10 hours. So put her to bed at 7PM and she will get up around 5AM. Eight PM works.

Finally...some photos.





Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Family Photos

A few photos from our first family photos. We had a GREAT photographer while we were in California. Her name is Channa Vance. If you are in need of a photographer in Sacramento I HIGHLY recommend using her. Very affordable and easy to work with.

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Kicked to the curb

Natali has been kicked out of the infant classroom on Friday. Starting Monday Natali will be in the toddler room.

The change happened pretty quickly.

Two weeks ago they asked if they could move Natali to the toddler room for an hour or so a day to get her used to it. I was tinking she would be moved in a month. Nope. Done.

I figured there would be a pretty large price change. Nope...$3 a week.

Natali is fully walking now. She only crawls when she gets tripped up. She hasn't mastered standing up from a sitting position without climbing up on something. In time.

I found out this week Natali likes seafood. While shopping I found "seafood sticks" which are like cheese sticks but made of white fish. Natali loves them! She also tried my salmon and eggs...again she liked it. Yay!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The gig is up

Yesterday when Kelli picked Natali up from school there was a milestone.

Natali saw Kelli and WALKED all the way across the room to meet her. Too bad I missed it.

Then today Natali is walking more than ever. Still wobbly but she will walk down the hall unassisted. Across the room unassisted. She even walked, bent down to pick up her sippy cup, erected herself and drank while standing up.

I think Natali has been a closet walker for a while. Walking in her crib and showing off at school for weeks. She didn't walk in front of us to play mind tricks on us. I think walking in front of Kelli yesterday was a fluke.

It's been a rough week. Monday and Tuesday Natali was up from 5:30AM until 4PM nonstop. She didn't nap at day care. Once Kelli picked her up from day care, Natali fell asleep immediately.

She then slept from 4PM until 6:30PM on Monday. We woke her to feed her. She was cranky...very cranky. Just dinner and a bath then bed.

Tuesday we let her sleep till 7PM. Same thing. Cranky. Bath, dinner then bed.

Today she took a nap. Kelli and I were happy as we got to spend some quality time with Natali.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Escape Plan

Natali is walking more...still primarily crawling. Patience.

Natali has never been too difficult to put to bed. Most of the time...say 8.5679 times out of 10 she lays down, plays for a bit, then goes to bed. The other 1.433 times (who's counting?) it's a little tricky.

I've noticed that if I put her down gently (as opposed to the ol'toss and run!) and then QUICKLY exit the room, she's fine. If she rolls over and watches me leave....then she screams, cries, summons the demons.

I bought Toddler 411 today. The Baby 411 book was great. I plan on reading and referring to it like I did in the past.

One thing I did read was about eating. We should introduce a new food 10 times before giving up. We've tried pasta twice....8 more times to go. Natali does like grilled scallops AND that's a plus.

Natali knows a little Byrd sign language. I've taught her hungry and "I love you". Hungry in "Byrd" is holding her hand at the corner of her mouth. She does it well. Natali all does "I love you". I taught her tapping her chest means "I love you." She has associated hearing the phrase with tapping her chest. Natali does "all done" every now and then.

This will be Natali's first full week of day care ever. Due to my training Monday-Friday and Kelli not being able to swap weekdays for weekends....this happened. Not great.

When she goes to daycare it's hit or miss if she takes a nap. When she doesn't take a nap she sleeps from the time she gets home till 6:30PM or just 90 minutes for us to interact. Eh.

It's just a week.



Monday, September 19, 2011

Confidence, Confidence, Dry and Secure!

Over the weekend Natali took a big step forward in her confidence. Out of nowhere she started just standing on her own...still...but standing for long periods of time. She just stands, talks and makes hand gestures.

Natali stood around a lot over the weekend. It got to the point where, while out shopping for a new fridge, she would fuss until we put her down and let her just stand.

She did take a few steps on her own.

Natali is also able to start walking, stop, continue walking and recover from being wobbly. Progress indeed.

I haven't talked about her teeth much. She has four middle bottom fully in. Four top row teeth about 1/2 in and two side teeth about 1/3 in. Not bad.

Our weekly grocery bill has dropped a full $20. Reason? No more formula! We actually stopped giving her formula about a week after her 1 year birthday. Natali now just drinks whole milk and water. Nice.

Kelli should be updating soon. It's been busy lately as we haven't had a full day off at the same time in a while now that I'm temporarily working a Monday thru Friday schedule and Kelli is working weekends to save on daycare.

Finally Natali has correlated a camera flash with her "ugly" face I taught her. Nice eh?

Monday, September 12, 2011

We've got a walker!

Yesterday we were all on the living room floor when Natali finally had enough. She took her first official steps.

Coincidentally Natali turned 13 months old yesterday. Hmmmm.

We are very proud of her. Hopefully she starts walking more and more.

She's come a long way....and has a long way to go. We are glad to be along for the ride.



Friday, September 9, 2011

The mushy stuff

Natali is growing. Everyday growing up. She "talks" more.....tries to "walk" more. Getting bigger.

When I hold her in my arms it upsets me that one day she will be too big to hold. I take way to many pictures of her. All an attempt to keep her small. One thing I love about photography is the ability to capture a moment in time forever in my own way.

With all of this...I still only want one. I don't want to experience any of this (the good and the bad) again.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Closer to walking

We had a nice trip to San Francisco. Natali is now up to 26 flights.

While in California we saw some friends who has a daughter two weeks younger than Natali. They are both teachers and it showed.

Their daughter, Cacey, is WAY more advanced than Natali. Cacey has been walking since she was 9 months old. Of course she is much smaller than Natali so it was a little easier to walk (so I hear). Then there is the whole talking and communication thing.

Cacey opens says many more words than Natali. What she doesn't say....she signed.

I tried to teach Natali sign language, but since I'm not here everyday, and Kelli didn't really participate, it didn't stick.

Natali talks...but only on her own terms. She will say "dadda", "mamma", "up","hi", "doggy" and "Replublican"...but only when she feels it. Kidding out the Republican thing. Bleh.

Natali is walking a bit more though. For a while she would only walk if we held both of her hands. Now we are down to one hand. Progress.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baby Steps

So Natali stood unassisted for the first time while in New York. I got to thinking and came up with an idea. Carpet.

When she stood in New York it was on hard wood. I figured she had issues balancing on carpet. I yanked the rug from the living room. She's been much more comfortable standing and walking (while holding our fingers) this week.

I think we weaned too fast. We went from 6 bottles a day to 3. I bumped it up one.

Today while Natali played hooky (I kept her out of daycare as she wasn't in the mood to go) I let her drink out a sippy cup as her only option for water. She did very well. We were out for 3 hours and she eventually drank just fine while in her car seat.

She's eating more table food and less baby food. I'm pretty sure after the current baby food is gone Kelli won't make anymore.

Natali's sleeping habits have been off this week. Some days she goes along fine with one nap. Yesterday she had NO nap at day care. Rough day at home followed. She woke up in the middle of the night and then very early.

Whenever I tell someone that I am , "one and done," they get upset. It's been said if you have one kid you are doing it for yourself if you have two you are doing it for your child. Bleh. I just plan on being very involved with Natali and making sure she is as involved in outside the house interest as she wants too be.


Sunday, August 14, 2011


Natali is a year old now.  It's amazing how fast time goes.  We had her 1 year check up and shots on her birthday.  There were lots of shots, which sucked, but she was a trooper and got over it all really quickly.  Natali is now 21.2 pounds and 29.5 inches long.  Her head circumference is 18.5 inches, which from the calculator I found is the 90th percentile.  I don't know if that is a good thing or bad thing or if it doesn't matter?  Maybe her big head is the reason she won't walk, too much brain to hold up on 2 feet. :-)

While at the doctor's appointment we received a large packet about weaning.  This is going to be a big challenge for us.  We have had such a good routine going with the formula and baby food.  We knew exactly when and how much to feed her and she always had a really good variety of foods.  Now she is supposed to eat "table food".  We have been giving her finger foods for a while now, but if we have to switch all her food to table food from pureed food it is going to be a big challenge to find a good enough variety for her.  The other thing is the formula.  We are supposed to switch her now to whole milk from formula and feed her from a sippy cup instead of a bottle.  I have been working on this for 2 days now.  I am still giving her a bottle first thing in the morning and before bed at night.  Then throughout the day she gets whole milk from a sippy cup.  Of course, she hasn't quite mastered the sippy cup yet so that has been yet another challenge.  The milk thing has been going ok though.  I think that will be the easiest part.  The table food is much harder for me.  I am still giving her some pureed food, because we have it, and it can be easier to get her to eat spoon food.  I have been trying to find a good variety of small vegetables to give her too.  She will eat veggies just fine (corn, peas, etc), but I have to give them to her first before I show her what else I have.  If there is anything else on her tray with the veggies she won't eat them.  She loves hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and just plain bread.  She likes chicken too.  I think tonight I'm going to try a turkey burger patty cut into little pieces with peas and carrots (served first of course).  I am trying, but this is definitely not going to be easy for me.

In other news, Natali has figured out a few things she is absolutely not supposed to do (such as pull on the window blinds).  However, she will crawl in that direction, stop, give me a big grin, and then immediately pull herself up and mess with the blinds while smiling and laughing at me.  I hope it doesn't get much worse or I will be one frustrated mom.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One year old

Today Natali is one year old. It's been an amazing year watching her grow.

As I did one year ago today, I published a video on youtube chronicling the last year of having Natali in our lives.

It hasn't been easy. Flying a plane through bad weather onto a wet runway during a thunderstorm is easier than raising a kid. That being said I am very happy Natali is in my life.

Of note, this video is not viewable on "mobile devices (Iphone, Ipad etc) as I have songs in the video in which the owners blocked being played on a mobile device. Silly I know.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Peanut Allergy Test.....done

Natali will be one year old tomorrow.

I thought about having a big party....but we aren't big party people....and it's her first birthday which she will never remember. We will have our own little party (there will be cake and hats!). Maybe something bigger next year.

Natali completed her 24th flight last week. We have traveling with a baby down to a science. Check all bags. We each have a backpack, Natali is in her feather weight car seat attached to rollers. Done.

We spent the last week in New York with family. My two year old niece and Natali played a little. The two year old is named Renee. She walks....Natali doesn't. Renee would take toys away from Natali and walk away. Natali didn't care much....just gave a WTF?!!? look.

While in New York Natali was tested for a peanut allergy. We were in a hotel room and Natali had a few regular M&Ms (cut in half). I grabbed some peanut butter M&Ms from my brother in law and thought "Natali would love these!". So I gave her a few when Kelli walked in and was in shock I was giving Natali peanut butter. Ooops.

My sister in law is a Pediatric Nurse. She was in the other room which was connected. We yelled over that Natali had peanut butter. She yelled back that as long as she is still breathing she is fine. Phew.

The day before we left Natali finally stood on her own. Her record was about 35 seconds before she sat down. Since we have been home she hasn't tried once. Bleh.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

She had the fever

So I thought Natali was teething. Maybe.

She was fussy all day taking hour long naps. Going from happy to fussy in a flash.

I took her temprature around was 103.1. I tried giving her tylenol. She fought anything coming near her mouth. She was wearing only a diaper.

When Kelli got home we teamed up and got the Tylenol down. Fever dropped to 100.3.

Within an hour it was back up to 102.5.

My sister in law Jami is a Pediatric Nurse. Kelli calls on her often. Jami advised that Motrin does the same thing as Tylenol, but is a different drug and thus can be given during the time frame that Tylenol can't.

Kelli went out to buy Motrin.

We had a cold rag on Natali's head for most of the evening. She went to bed with a 100.1 temparture.

This morning I found a happy and cool baby in her crib. Thankfully it was Natali and not some other baby.

She did spit up some of her first bottle, but she was happy otherwise.

Her fever was gone. She was at 98.1.

Her overnight diaper wasn't as full as normal. In fact she didn't have a good pee until later in the morning...almost afternoon. She then 1'd and 2'd like normal.

She was her normal self....almost. She didn't care for solid food much. Natali would eat finger foods (Cheerios and such) but not much from a spoon. She's taking in fluids so I'm not too worried.

Glad to have my baby back.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

She's lucky I love her

Natali is less than a month away from being one year old.

Kelli and I have been spoiled by Natali. Natali is very easy to take care of. Very little crying, hangs out in her crib until we get her, manually defragments our computers, and hold her own bottle.

When Natali has a bad day though it throws us off.

This week I'm off a bit more than normal. I arrived home Friday night and don't go back to work until Thursday.

This morning Natali woke up crying. Very abnormal. She was very warm and upset.

I assumed she was warm because the fan was off in her room and the house was at 78 degrees. I took off her onesie and brought her to our room.

She got her bottle and immediately went back to sleep next to me. I was happy as I enjoy my mid morning naps with her.

At 8AM she woke up screaming. I picked her up to console her. Didn't help.

Over the last few days shes been poking at her upper mouth area. Yup...more teeth are coming in.

I walked around with her and she calmed down. Another bottle. Once the bottle was done I tried to give her some solid food (apples and oatmeal). She didn't want anything coming near her mouth.

Back to bed.

She woke up around 10 AM (an hour later). Not crying. Just sitting in her bed. I watched her for a few minutes and then picked her up. Once I came in the room she started crying. I calmed her down and brought her to the living room.

She laid in my lap for about 20 minutes relaxing. She was still in just a diaper, and warm.

I gave her a bottle and tried again with solid food. Nope. She did take a Gerber snack cookie tough.

Upset again...randomly. Bath time.

Natali loves her bath time. She was happy....till bath time was over. Crying again.

New diaper and back to bed.

She slept from 11AM till 1:30PM. Another bottle. A little string cheese and 1/3 of my yogurt (Greek style...good stuff!). Back to bed at 1:55PM.

As I type this at 2:10PM...she's again sitting up in bed. I'll give her a few minutes.

She's lucky I love she reinforces my decision that there will only be one.







Monday, July 11, 2011

Can you believe it's almost been a year?

One month from today Natali turns 1 year old. This time last year Kelli was blogging about being 34 weeks pregnant .

It's all gone by extremely fast. I swear each time I turn around Natali is changing.

This morning she woke up around 6:20AM and I gave her the morning bottle. She is now holding her own bottles as long as she can lay in our laps. I just watched in amazement as just a few months ago she was this tiny body who could barely hold her head up.

I'm pretty sure she is associating the word/sound "Daddy" with me. I said it to her thousands of times over the last few months. Yesterday she said it while I was on speakerphone with Kelli. Today I tried to put her to bed around 3PM. She played in her crib for 20-30 minutes. I watched and listened to her via the monitor and camera. I heard the pacifier fall to the ground. She played a little longer before crying. The crying turned into the "daddy, daddy, daddy" sounds soon after. I came into the room and she was still making the sound.

Natali loves to read books. Well okay she loves to be read to. If either one of us picks up a book Natali will come crawling over. Once in our lap she will sit quietly as we read to her. Her Grandma read to her for 15 minutes straight last week. Natali just sat and watched the pages and listened to the words.

She appears to be quite the smarty pants as well.

We blocked off the back part of the living room behind the couch where the dogs are. Today one of the baby gates was open that leads to the hallway and kitchen. Natali crawled over the baby gate (she's mastered the task), down the hall, into the kitchen, thru the kitchen and to the other baby gate which was open (because it was blocked off by a baby fence behind the couch). She went thru the gate and up to the next gate which the dogs were behind.

She loves to scamper away, stop and look back at us with a smile.

I'm thinking we might celebrate her birthday a little early as a large part of her family will be in New York in early August.

I'm still 100% sure I don't want another child. Natali is enough. It was hard enough having her. It was a lot of work that produced a smart, beautiful and funny child.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

At least she likes her bed

Natali is a pretty easy baby (easiest baby we've ever had......). The older she gets the less she cries.

She does have one odd ritual all her own.....taking forever to fall asleep.

Each night we put her to bed around 8PM. She will cry for 10-15 seconds and then give up. For the next 20-45 minutes she plays in her bed by herself.

Natali will hold onto the rails and jump up and down. She will play with her bear. She will roll around and kick. All quietly.

I used to think she just wasn't tired and get her out of bed. She would then get grumpy and throw a fit....because she was tired.

I guess this is her ritual. It's her thing. It works. It's funny to watch her on the camera though....her quiet play.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My First Pool

My mother in law is headed to town next week. She mentioned Natali should have a pool. We had been meaning to buy one for a while. I researched them.....yeah  I research everything and bought one. I found a nice one on Amazon for $35 that had a built in shade. I should have bought that one. Eh. I bought one from Target that was $25 and had a built in slide and dinosaur ball game. Yeah I know Natali is 10 months. Bleh.

The instructions stated 2 adults could blow it up in 20-30 minutes. Hmmm yeah.

Instead I used my new home air compressor. Not just any air compressor, a Dewalt 90 PSI 2 cubic foot per minute compressor. It's nice.

I had it inflated in 5 minutes.

Natali then played in it for about 10 minutes. I then spent 15 minutes taking it down. We did this two days in a row.

Beyond her first pool her speech is developing. She will say "Hi" every now and then. Lots of "Mama's" and "Dad Das"...but neither one directed at any certain person.

She can totally stand unassisted....if she wanted. When we let go of her while she is steady, Natali will slowly lower herself to the ground. She just needs more confidence.

When holding on to the couch or entertainment center she will walk left and right, she gets the concept. She will climb on or over anything in her way. This morning she crawled over to her feeding chair and sat down.

The times when we leave the baby gates open Natali will cruise right over them.

We mailed off a huge box of new toys and gently used clothes to our friends Jason and Jackie who are expecting their first baby in August (also a girl). I really love my Fedex discount (75% off!). Next too free flights, Fedex is the next best perk.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Smart kid

Natali is amazing. Yeah I know she is my daughter....which is why I am amazed at how amazing she is....pretty sure it's Kelli's genes....ha.

Natali is moving about very well. She is often sneaky about it. She will start off with a slow crawl. Then the moment we look away she kicks it into turbo and zoom!

Her confidence in standing on her own is getting better. She will climb up on anything and let one hand go every now and then.

We are both surprised at how much Natali loves books. She will crawl over to the entertainment center where her books are stacked and pull them down.

Whenever we pick up a book, no matter where Natali is in the room, she will smile and QUICKLY crawl over to us to be read to.

Her words....err...sounds are getting more varied. She makes the ma ma, da da, ba ba and sssss sounds. She looked at Kelli last week and said, "mmmma ma, mmmmmma ma" over and over. Probably a coincidence....but Kelli enjoyed it.

Yesterday Natali learned a new trick. She realized that whenever she cries, the dogs will howl. So Natali started fake crying to get the dogs to howl, stop, then start fake crying again. Cute...but annoying.

We couldn't ask for better sleeping habits. She is able to put herself to sleep with minimal fuss.

Whenever she is tired we put her in her crib and she will either go right out or cry for 20 seconds, realize she is tired and go to sleep. Rarely much more than that.

She averages two naps a day and sleeps 8PM till sometime in the 6AM hour.

As much as I love her....I still and totally fine with having just one kid.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

To A Pilot's Son


To a Pilot's Son

Though my job takes me to far-away places,
Far from home among many new faces,
Enjoying rich, glowing sunsets and brilliant sky blue,
The sad part is it takes me away from you.
But to a pilot a plane is a mixed blessing,
Like cold, sleepless nights and 4 o'clock dressing,
All the nights missed tucking you in bed,
Too many bedtime stories that won't get read.
Cobalt blue sunrises followed by fiery red sunsets,
The scale of privledge balanced with regrets.
My job pulls me here to Timbuktu, but
The heart of me is always with you.
Missed days and nights filled with great joy and laughter,
Too tight of schedules running here and thereafter,
To earn a living, son, this is what I do;
I miss every minute separated from you.
If a king's ransom I had, I'd be a stay-at-home dad,
Every night rubbing your head and tucking you into bed,
Long walks on the beach to take,
Seeing your smile when I wake.
So, son, keep in mind as you grow older,
A strong healthy body and oh so much bolder.
All those days and nights and days away too long,
I miss you every minute I'm gone.
If God should send me for that final flight west,
Don't be sad, don't protest.
Keep your head and body strong,
To win the challenge long.
And remember as you gander at the sky above you,
That forever in time I will always love you.

-Captain Rick Kerti

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


We are very lucky.  Natali is a very good sleeper.  As Darren mentioned in his last post, Natali usually goes to sleep around 8pm and wakes up in the morning around 6:30 or 7am.  She is still on 2 naps a day too.  She will typically take a late morning nap around 10:30 or 11am, and a late afternoon nap, around 4 or 5pm.  There is a big difference though between what happens when I'm home by myself and when Darren is home with Natali.  If Darren is gone during the week I get Natali up at 6:15am and feed her a bottle and get her dressed then she goes right to daycare.  If I am home with her on the weekend she wakes up by herself, usually around 6:30 or 7am and we get up and start our day.  If Darren is home with Natali during the week she will wake up at her normal time and gets a bottle, but Darren does not get out of bed.  They both go back to sleep after the bottle for another hour or so.  This doesn't really bother me, but I am starting to wonder if the inconsistency is affecting Natali in some way.  Darren switched his schedule around this month so he is home weekends instead of weekdays.  I switched my schedule a bit too, so I work 1 weekend day and we are still able to do just 3 days of daycare.  Those 3 days are all consecutive now though.  Previously it had always been maybe just 2 days in a row and then another day at the end of the week.  Darren is only home with her 1 day during the week, so she isn't getting that extra sleep she had been getting previously on some days.  This is the first week we have done this, so we'll see how it goes.  Her daycare teacher mentioned how fussy she was today, and she thought she was extra tired but wouldn't sleep.  That fussiness carried over when we got home.  I put her down for a nap, so hopefully she is better when she wakes up.  Tomorrow is her third day in a row of daycare this week, so I have a feeling she will be fussy tomorrow too.  I am home with her on Friday and Darren is home Saturday and Sunday, then I am home with her again on Monday.  She will catch up on her sleep those days I hope.  We'll see how it goes.  Hopefully it is just a random fussiness today and it doesn't continue.  We may have to revisit those sleep habits if it does continue though.  I'm not sure how we could adjust things, maybe an earlier bedtime when I am home alone with her?

In other news I think it is time to get rid of a couple of baby items.  Our living room is getting way too cluttered (much like the rest of our house).  I am not sold on the only 1 kid thing, but Darren still maintains that Natali will be an only child.  With that in mind I would really like to get rid of things and not store them anywhere.  We have a baby swing and a bouncer seat we need to get rid of and also a plastic infant bathtub and a lot of old clothes.  We have a bassinet too, but the base for the bassinet was converted into a toy box that I will not be getting rid of.  I guess we will keep the bassinet until we are ready to do away with the toy box too.  I would love to have a garage sale because I know I could find a lot more things around this house I would like to sell.  Darren would have a fit though.  I could put it all on Craigslist, but it would take several different listings and I think it would all go really quickly with a garage sale.  I will think about it a bit more.  If anyone around the Dallas area is in need of a baby swing, bouncer seat, infant bathtub, or infant girl clothes from newborn through 6 months, please let me know. :-)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Almost 10 months

Time is flying by.

Natali finished her 22nd flight over the weekend. She does travel like a champ. Never cries much....just sits back and relaxes. I do wonder if there is a record for number of flights before a baby is one year old.

She has gone from crawling slowly to Need for Speed Full Bottle. Wow. She is very sneaky about it.

Natali will start slowly inching toward a door and then take off.

Her speech is developing. When she is in the mood she will mimic what she hears. Just the sounds of real words...beyond "da da".

Natali has learned to clap and kinda wave two different ways. She will either wave both of her arms up and down and squeal with excitement or slowly open and close one hand...but only if we do it first.

One of her really cute little new things is licking her lips. Not sure where it came from but if she sees someone licking their lips she will start doing it over and over again.

Her diet has grown exponentially over the last two weeks. Natali has had wedding cake, frozen yogurt (with peanut butter bits from Kelli!), fruit snacks and graham cracker cereal.

Natali's sleeping habits are finally becoming routine.

In the past we used to wake her up around 9PM...feed her and put her back to bed hoping she would sleep till 6AM. Now we just feed her around 7:30PM and put her to bed just after 8PM. She normally sleeps till about 6:20AM. Not too shabby.

Finally....a simple Natali video....


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hazelnut baby poopachino

If you've ever used the lavatory on an airplane and smelled coffee, there's a reason for it. It kills odors. Many flight attendants place bags of coffee in or near the lavatory to kill the odors.

I had a bright idea last week. Use my coffee grounds to kill the odor in the trash can next to the changing table. I drink coffee daily. I use an aeropress which creates a small coffee brick when done. Each day I dump the brick into the trash can. The smell is much more tolerable and a little hazelnutty.

There are a few things that make me smile:

1) Landing a plane full of passengers in bad weather

2) Watching kids and soliders get off the plane

3) Mail

4) Seeing my wife walk through the door after work

5) Mid-morning naps with my daughter


Whenever I am home Natali and I have a routine. Kelli leaves around 6:20AM. Natali wakes up around 6:30AM. I give her a nice big 6 ounce bottle and then we take a nap. I love just watching her sleep next to me. I'm still in awe of her.

Natali is being a little more expressive lately. Her new thing is to scream. Not in pain....just screaming...especially when she sees a photo of herself or herself in a mirror.

She is also being a little more expressive in her moods.

Natali is working on her tantrum technique. Not good, but it's too be expected.

Just a few months from now Natali will be one year old. Not sure where we will throw down....Euless, London, Portland.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Mother's Prayer for its Daughter

Though I am a father, this prayer still applies. I just finished Bossypants by Tina Fey. Very good book. One chapter really caught my eye. Here it is:
Fey, Tina (2011). Bossypants [Kindle Digital Version]. Retrieved from

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For Childhood is short—a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day— And Adulthood is long and Dry-Humping in Cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

A long month

Darren has been gone a lot for the last month or so.  Since he has to commute to work now it takes away a lot of his home time.  His schedule for May has him home only Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  It's great for daycare, not great for being a family.  He gets to spend 3 days a week with Natali, but I am at work most of that time, so we only get 3 evenings together a week.  This past Thursday was my birthday.  I thought we might do something together, but it was not to be.  With the crappy weather moving in Darren had to actually head to work on Thursday night so he wouldn't get stuck due to the weather.  He left for the airport about 20 minutes after I got home from work.  I completely understand why he had to go, and I am not upset about it, but I was really disappointed that he had to leave.  We are both having to make some sacrifices right now.  I can't wait until September when he gets to quit the crappy commuting and be based back here in Dallas again.

Knowing how bad this month has been with Darren just being home weekdays I wanted him to get a different schedule for June with weekends off.  Not only have we been missing time together, but Darren has been missing some fun things Natali and I have done on the weekends.  We had dinner with Eric and Angela one night, we spent a long weekend in Sacramento at my sister's house, we went to San Antonio for a day visiting Darren's best friend from high school, and today we had a nice playdate with some other good friends of ours.  It has been nice being able to hang out with friends because it gets lonely without Darren around, but I know Darren really would have liked to do all of those things with us, so it sucks for him too.  We talked it over and decided we could manage ok if he bid for weekends off.  If he did that he would always get a 3-day weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Saturday, Sunday, Monday).  Then I would just have to shift my work schedule by a day to be home 1 day during the week.  That way he would get weekends off, we could still do part time daycare, and we would have 1 full day each week when we are all home together for the entire day.  Luckily for us Darren got a schedule for June with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off each week, so I will be working Tuesday-Saturday and stay home with Natali on Mondays, and all three of us will be home on Sundays.  I am looking forward to it.  Anything would be better than the crappy schedule he has this month.  Of course, Darren did just inform me that he wants to trade a trip at the beginning of the month for a different trip on different days.  I am very supportive of whatever he wants to do, but it does disappoint me a bit.  The trip he wants to trade for would have him come home late at night on Monday the 30th, and then be gone again from Wednesday morning through Saturday.  This means he would only be home 1 day during that week, which doesn't work out for daycare.  Of course, the 30th is Memorial Day, a holiday for me, so it actually will be doable.  It is unfortunate for me though, because I was actually scheduled to take Natali to daycare that day anyway.  I was honestly really looking forward to it.  I love my daughter to death and I enjoy taking care of her, but it was going to be such a nice little break for me.  I had planned to drop her off and then come home and do some really good cleaning for a few hours and then go see a movie.  It was a good plan.  I sort of feel bad for wanting a break, but I honestly could use it.  I'm not complaining or anything, but in Natali's 9 months of life I have had 2 days away from her when we went to Vegas and my mom watched her when she was 3 months old, and then I had a few hours 1 night back in February when my mom watched her and we went up to Winstar.  Otherwise, my only time away has been when I'm at work and Natali is at daycare.  Work is definitely not what I consider a break.  Of course, spending my "break" day cleaning is not my first choice either, but I feel like my house is a constant disaster and I would love to be able to clean without worrying about waking up a sleeping baby, or trying to figure out what I can clean in the 5 minutes Natali is distracted in her exersaucer with Cheerios.  The house never gets clean this way.  Plus, I was planning a movie too, so that would have been a real break.  Oh well.  It was not meant to be I guess.

Anyway, enough venting.  I am a good supportive wife who recognizes the sacrifices we are both making for Natali.  I understand how great we have things in the long run and things could always be worse.  Natali is a very easy baby to care for, so its not like my time alone with her is difficult.  Although, it is a bit more exhausting these days now that she crawls.  That baby can move!  :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Single Parent....blogger

Tuesday morning my sleep was interrupted by a slap on the face and baby noises. After Kelli left I gave Natali her bottle and we took our morning nap together. She woke up before me and was ready to get out of the bed...thus the slap and baby noises. Best alarm clock ever.

Natali has perfected her crawling. She is now all over the place. Her speed isn't too quick....yet.


I took her to her 9 month check up last week. Natali is an even 20 pounds and 28 inches tall. The Doctor put her in the 75% percentile.

She is still trying to stand on her own. Shouldn't be much longer. Right now she can stand fine but gets excited, shifts her weight and falls.

I came to a realization the other day about Kelli and her making meals.

We have been together for almost 9 years. In that time she has made maybe 14 meals for me. Not exatterating. Kelli had made Natali over 60 meals. Bleh.

Her diet is expanding. Lots of fresh foods. All her meals at home are made by Kelli. We can mix and match things (like pear and mangos or butternut squash and peas). She likes it all.


It's still hard to believe it's been 9 months. I look back at photos and videos of her and just sigh. She has changed so much in the last 9 months. She went from beautiful. Of course when she was meh I thought she was beautiful. Maybe she is still meh?

Natali and I took a trip to the park yesterday. She wasn't in the best mood.


I hope Kelli will get back into the swing of blogging. It's harder for me since I'm on the road 4 days a week. If not I am okay being a single parent blogger.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blah, Blah, Blah

I'm updated my stillageek blog tonight, this one tomorrow. I think Kelli has abandoned blogging again. For now.....


Thursday, May 12, 2011

9 months in

Natali has been alive longer outside the womb than inside the womb.

I took her to her 9 month visit. It helps that I have weekdays off every now and then.

Natali weighed 20 pounds exactly and is 28 inches tall. She's gained 2.4 pounds and 1 inch since her 6 month visit.

I tried to make sure she was in a good mood for the visit by feeding her at 6:20AM, taking a nap with her till 8:30 AM and then feeding her solid food (apple and pineapple mixed together with oatmeal!) at 9:30AM. Didn't work.

She was fine playing with me or in my lap, but if her foot touched the paper covered examination table she screamed. So yeah she was pissy when the nurse took her measurements, getting weighed, getting the doctors examination and getting her blood drawn. Drama momma.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On the move

While I was criss crossing the western portion of the United States working, Kelli and Natali flew to Sacramento. I think Natali has been on 20 flights...gotta check her log book.

Over the weekend Natali finally figured out how to crawl. Kelli sent me a video of the event. I was amazed and saddened. She's been on the move ever since.

Gone are the days where I could put her in the middle of her room and wash my hands. I tried it on Tuesday. Natali was right behind me as I walked to the restroom.

While she enjoys being mobile, I can tell she wants to walk. She will use EVERYTHING to pull herself up right. Once up she will occasionally stand with one hand free and momentarily two hands free. She's practicing. Smart girl. Too smart maybe?

On the trip to Sacramento Kelli tried out a new car seat. In the past we used the Britax seats we have installed in our cars. They are GREAT seats...but they are huge. The are too wide to fit down the aisle of an airplane, thus I had to lug it over the seats.

Kelli and Natali traveled alone. Kelli found a narrow and light weight seat on Amazon.

She bought a Combi lightweight car seat . I then bought a Go Go Babyz travel system .  It worked great. Kelli was able to wheel Natali down the aisle and put the entire thing in the seat with Natali still in the seat. Easy. Glad it worked out. It will be our new travel seat until she is 1 and is able to use the kid safe seatbelt system.

Beyond that Natali has been a very easy baby for us. Sleeping through the night, easy to calm down, lets us know when she is hungry, helps Kelli with her computer problems and


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Am I being selfish?

I am from a family of 5. My parents had my brother,  then me, then adopted three girls.

Kelli is from a family of 4, all from her mother.

Natali is so far our only kid. I have no desire for more kids. On more than one occassion I have expressed my desire to be snipped to Kelli. She protest each time.

I only want one kid. True years ago I wanted zero kids. I changed my mind. I don't think I will change my mind on wanting more.

Natali is perfect in my eyes, however I don't want to go through sleepless nights and all the other little things newborns require. Once is enough thank you.

On a podcast the other day I heard if you have just one kid you are being selfish and that having a second kid you are doing it for your first kid. An instant friend.

My sister has just one kid. My sister in law has one kid (but another is planned). My brother in law has two kids (supposedly neither one planned). Hmm.

Natali will grow up in a house of two intelligent adults who will literally be able to show her the world. She will see her cousins several times per year since, even though they live on the east and west coast, they are just a single flight away.

Most families plan a weekend get away to see family. Natali will be able to say on a Friday night "Dad can I see my cousin Haley tomorrow ? The flights to Sacramento are green." Saturday morning I can drive her up the the airport and either fly with her, or simply send her on her way.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Marathon Day

I arrived from work Monday afternoon. Natali looked at me inquizitively when I came in. She seemed to be thinking, "Well look who's back."

Today we were back into our routine. Six ounce bottle, Ten minutes of news, then back to sleep. We did extended our nap though...and that might have been a bad idea.

Most morning we nap from 6:20AM till 8:45AM. Today we went to 9:25AM when Natali woke up next to me and started talking.

Between 9:25AM and 7:50PM she slept just 30 minutes. It was a marathon day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Standing up....

So Natali learned a new skill yesterday...standing up.

I think she has been studying what it takes to stand up for a while. Yesterday she went for it.

Natali can now go from laying down in her crib to standing up holding the rail. We saw this as a problem so I lowered the mattress.

Natali being the daughter of a geek and a scientist apparently has a highly advanced brain. After I lowered the mattress I put her to bed. She closed her eyes and PRETENDED to go off to sleep. As soon as I left the room, the door wasn't even closed, she sat up and reached for the rail and stood right up. When I came back in the room she was smiling with the pacifier in her mouth. In my head she was saying, "you're in trouble now dad!"

She tries to stand up all the time now. All day yesterday she would use myself or Kelli to pull herself up. She tries to pull herself up using the exersaucer...which teeters so it's not a good platform.

Natali doesn't appear to have any interest in crawling. She can move herself around the room by rolling and pulling herself around. She will get in a but high position...but only in an attempt to stand on her own.

Her latest sickness is mostly gone. She hasn't been drinking much lately. Maybe 16 ounces yesterday. She ate solid food fine though. My sister in law (a nurse) said as long as Natali is still urinating there is nothing to worry about. If she stopped then she might be dehydrated.

I have little doubt Natali will bypass crawling in favor of walking. Time will tell.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sick again....damn daycare

Natali had a solid two weeks of being not sick. She was really great on vacation. We were happy.

Last week she was in daycare for 3 days...and got sick...bad.

I left for work on Thursday and didn't get back until Monday. Natali got really sick Sunday which meant Kelli had to burn another sick day. I have 70ish hours of sick time, but it's VERY hard to call in sick if I'm out flying, especially since I am based in Chicago currently.

Monday afternoon the daycare sent out an email...sixteen kids were out sick. An epedemic?

Natali was prescribed an antibiotic.

I arrived home at 1AM Tuesday morning. Tired.

Today Natali is a lot better. I am 100% sure it's because I'm home. She needed some daddy time. We had our normal morning of a nice bottle which watching Headline News, a 2 hour nap followed by pear oatmal and The 404 podcast. Natali was in a great mood all morning. I was happy to home again.

She did get a little fussy during her afternoon nap, but my this evening she was back to her normal self.

I hate taking her to daycare as she is almost always sick. I just hope this builds her immune system quickly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Back from cruising with a baby

We had a great vacation and cruise. Our plans of buying everything for Natali in Miami mostly worked. I had to make two trips to Walmart as we left some things we meant to bring behind (spoons and small stuff).

We spent about $150 for all the supplies for Natali for 7 days including formula (we bought the ready to go packets...easier on the go!), solid food, diapers, wipes, blankets (we forgot our own!), stoller (el cheapo $15 special...did the job), and of course treats.

Using the ready to go packets worked great. They only made 4 ounce bottles, but that's what Natali is used to so no issue.

Norwegian Cruise lines is fairly kid friendly. We requested and were given a pack and play. Great...but it was kinda word in that the pillow pad was convexed and caused Natali to roll to the outside of the pack and play. Solution? She slept in the bed with us. Didn't bother me, slightly annoyed Kelli. Bleh.

Natali did very well staying awake for long periods of time without getting pissy .We took turns staying with her in the room. It helped having other family onboard as my mother in law and sister in law watched Natali a few times.

Our next planned trips are New York in August and Hawaii in January. Sure there will be more than those though.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Packing for vacation.....with a baby

Natali has been on a big vacation before. When she was just 8 days old she traveled to Oregon for a week. I doubt she remembers it though.

For that trip we bought a lot of supplies locally rather than pack them. For this trip we are going on a cruise. There's no Walmart at sea.

We thought about it and came up with a solution. Buy supplies after we land in Miami.

We are bringing minimal diapers, formula and wipes. Just enough for two days max.

Saturday I will take an earlier flight (one of the many perks of working for an airline!), rent a minivan and buy supplies for the trip at a local Walmart. A few hours later Kelli and Natali will arrive, I will pick them up and head to a hotel for the night. Easy.....we hope.

As far as clothes. In the past Kelli and I have always traveled with just one carry on each. We went to Tokyo for a week...with JUST a carry on each. We pack VERY efficiently.

For this trip we had to rethink our approach. Natali doesn't need much in the way of luggage space, but we still couldn't get by with just two carry ons as we are gone for 8 days. Solution? One big ass suitcase.

I have been a fan of Delsey bags for years. They are light weight and high quality. I researched bags (again I research EVERYTHING) and found a 29 inch Air Energy bag at Kohls. The sticker price was $279, on sale for $139. I bought it online with a coupon and free shipping for $106 all in. Not too shabby.


We packed last night. Max weight for checked bags is 50 pounds. The Delsey bag weighs 12 pounds. With all of our clothes....all three of us....the weight is 39 pounds (12 pound bag + 27 pounds of clothes).  We are bringing a standard carry on with a duffle bag inside to bring back souvenirs and what not.

Should be a fun trip. Seven nights on a boat.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

She can breathe clearly now the crap is gone

Natali is MUCH better now. The breathing treatments are really helping. We are going to continue them even after we think she is cured, just to make sure.

Each of the last two mornings has been great for her. No congestion. Very little coughing.....and no wheezing.

Natali truly seems happier. This afternoon she was "talking", laughing and making faces at us for over an hour.

Her personality does seem to be a good mix of the two of us. She loves to laugh, yet is content just laying in her bed staring.

Finally, I bought Natali a new traveling shirt. It was a bit expensive, but I couldn't find anything like it online, so I had to buy it at the DFW Airport employee store. At least I know that she will never be embarrassed by seeing another baby wearing the same shirt.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Natali is happy...and mostly healthy...and I'm very thankful

I am a cautious person. True I strap myself into a metal tube with two jet engines on each side a few times a week....but for the most part I live a very reserved, cautious...boring life. I don't like taking chances.

Prior to Natali being born I was very worried about having a sick kid. I don't know why. I thought about down syndrome, muscular sclerosis and more. I was so worried we would not have a healthy child. I was relieved when Natali came out normal...well mostly normal...she does have Kelli's nose. But I digress.

Often I just stare at Natali, smile and sigh. I'm very happy we were fortunate enough to have a healthy, happy and beautiful child.

For a while Natali was fine with me spraying saline drops into her nose. Now with two oral medications and the nebulizer, she is more fussy. If ANYTHING other than a bottle or pacifier comes near her head she pushes it away. We have learned how to trick her into taking the medication though. I hold her and bring the pacifier near her mouth, Natali then opens her mouth, Kelli swoops in and uses the injector to squirt the medicine in Natali's mouth. We repeat as needed.

She doesn't mind the nebulizer too much. Natali likes when I blow on her face, so the nebulizer is like a continuous breath.

Sure Natali has a minor respiratory problem, but it's nothing compared to what some parents have to deal with.

It's been almost 8 months since Natali came into my life, and I am still in awe of her. I'm sure I always will be.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Bronchiolitis again

Natali was not a happy girl yesterday.  Her coughing fits were so bad they were causing her to throw up.  Then she started wheezing really badly and she didn't want to eat.  Darren called and made an appointment with the doctor and I came home early so he could go to work.  We had a late afternoon appointment with the doctor and they tested her oxygen saturation.  Normal is 98 and Natali was at 87 when they first tested it.  She watched it for a minute and it went up a little, to 92.  So, they got out a nebulizer and did a breathing treatment in the office.  The doctor says this may be either the beginning of asthma or she has bronchiolitic airway disease, which is better to have because it will go away eventually.  The asthma likely will not.  Asthma is more likely if there is a family history.  I didn't think there was, but my mom says my grandma and my uncle both have it.  We'll see.  I just want to get her better now.  The doctor gave her a prescription for an antibiotic and a steroid and we are having a nebulizer delivered to our house today to do our own breathing treatments.  They usually deliver it the same day, but our appointment was so late yesterday that they delivery place was closed.  I hope it comes soon because Natali really needs it.

After the doctor yesterday we went and picked up her medications before coming home.  Once we got home I fed Natali a bottle and waited to see if she would keep it down.  She did, so I went ahead and gave her the medications.  Then she threw everything up.  I sort of panicked at that point.  Not only did I have a vomit covered child and carpet, but she didn't keep down any of her medicine.  I had no clue what I was supposed to do at that point.  Thankfully I have a sister and sister-in-law who are both nurses.  I had conversations with both of them.  I feel very lucky to have medical professionals (and mothers) in my family.  They are a big help in these situations.  I got Natali cleaned up and immediately put her to bed.  The rest of the evening was more of the same.  We really could have used that nebulizer.  Oh well, we survived.  Natali did surprisingly well overnight.  She had a coughing fit around 3am, but otherwise she was fine.  She is much happier this morning, but still very wheezy.  I'm hoping we get that nebulizer soon.  I got a call from the delivery service this morning confirming my address for delivery, so hopefully it won't be too long.

In other  news, Darren and I aren't big fans of our pediatrician.  He is very good at his job, he just isn't a very personable guy and he isn't very forthcoming with information.  He even seemed to get upset with me when I said I had given Natali some Tylenol earlier in the day.  He asked what I was treating because I hadn't taken her temperature.  I said I didn't know I just thought it might make her feel better since it's the only thing I can really give her.  He said I need to be careful because Tylenol can cause liver damage.  I was a bit annoyed.  It's not like I'm constantly dosing my daughter.  It's the first time I've given it to her in over a month.  He kind of made me feel like an idiot, and I definitely am not.  I am very tempted to change doctors.  The only thing the stops me is I absolutely love his nurse.  She is the one that does most of the things for us, all the normal shots and stuff.  The doctor doesn't do much but look at her.  Changing doctors is hard.  There is another doctor in the same practice that I really liked when we met her at the hospital, but I wonder how easy it is to switch doctors within the same practice.  I don't really want to go somewhere else because I really like the location of this practice too.  I think Darren and I will have to discuss it some.  If Natali keeps having problems and we have to go more often I think switching would be a good idea.

Oh, and Darren thought he wouldn't get a flight yesterday and he would just be back home to help me, and then he got sent to Canada at the last minute!  Of all places to get sent when you really don't want to go anywhere, they sent him to a place that makes it harder for us to even communicate with each other. :(  Hopefully he will be home today, but he might not be.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Still coughing

Natali is still coughing....going on two months now. It's not as much as she used to cough....but it's still there.

The coughing is worse in the middle of the night when she is in a deep sleep. Giving her a little water helps....most of the time.

The Doctor still stated it was normal and nothing could be done.

In the morning when I give her the first bottle of the day there is a 30% chance she will get a coughing fit bad enough to cause her to spit up all the formula. It upsets her for a bit. I'm going to switch to the "Sensitive Stomach" formula for her first bottle.

She can stand for about 5 seconds pretty regularly. Of course she only does it once. As soon as she realizes she is standing unassisted she will hold on to us or something else from that point on. She just needs a little more confidence.

Her crib gymnastics are getting extreme. She will spin, roll over. wiggle around and I swear she did a back flip once. Yesterday I walked in to see her in the corner banging the old baby monitor receiver against the side of the crib. Yeah I took it out.

I took Natali to her first aviation museum yesterday. Admission is free since I work for the company that owns the museum...I'm sure this was the first of many visits.

On a personal note, I turned 34 this week. Kelli asked what I wanted. For the first time in years I can't think of anything. I have a beautiful wife who laughs at my silly jokes, supports my choice in career and let's me claim her as my own. We have a wonderful healthy baby who happens be just as beautiful. We have a house we call are own. I am set....and very thankful.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Natali WANTS to crawl

Natali is learning to crawl. Kinda like learning to drive a manual transmission. She knows she needs to go forward, but she is still learning to use the clutch. Bad analogy eh? Bleh. Short, cute video makes up for it.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Seven months later

Seven months the world was changed forever. Time has flown by.

Natali is progressing well. Very little crying nowadays. She eats solid foods like a champ. She is doing pretty well with finger foods (disolveable treats). Sleeps through the night without a problem....when I am home anyway.

She wants to walk. If I hold her hands and scoot away from her she will pick up her legs and walk toward me. Natali really enjoys standing. The saying, "You must crawl before you walk," isn't true with her.

Natali could sit up long before she could roll over. I think she will try to walk before she crawls...or at the least go from crawling to walking in fast forward.

Her latest thing is standing up. She loves to stand on her own....leaning on something of course.

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Less than a month until the big vacation. Lots of planning to do. Kelli and I are going to make a list of what we need. We are debating renting a car when we get there and buying what we need there, versus buying it ahead of time. If we do that I might take an earlier flight so I could get the car and assist with getting Natali (and the other nieces) from the hotel to the airport and then from the hotel to the cruise ship.



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Natali's new game

We have mentioned in the past that Natali took quite a while to figure out how to roll over.  We saw her do it for the first time at about 5 months, and she very rarely ever did it.  I guess she figured she didn't need to roll over.  Well, all that has now changed.  She won't stop rolling over!  We put Natali down for a nap and she is immediately all over the place in her crib.  She likes to put her feet up on the crib rails and push herself around in circles.  She has also decided that rolling over is great fun.  Of course, once she rolls over onto her stomach she rarely rolls back.  Instead she just starts whining and we have to go put her back the way she was and then she immediately starts rolling again.  This typically goes on for about 20 minutes or so before she finally falls asleep.  Its amusing and totally annoying all at the same time.  Of course, as I type this we have had a breakthrough.  She rolled over onto her stomach and stayed that way.  I sat her waiting for her to start crying, but she never did.  She stayed that way for a few minutes and then just fell asleep that way.  It's the first time she has slept on her stomach in several months.  She used to when she was little, from about 1 month to 2 months or so, but once she started lifting her head up more she wouldn't sleep that way anymore.  It always used to make me nervous having her on her stomach, but it doesn't now.  I figure we are past the point where I need to worry about it.

I do worry about her getting stuck in her crib though.  With how mobile Natali has become there have been a few times that her feet have been stuck through the crib slats.  It makes me nervous that she is going to hurt herself.  We thought about possibly getting one of those breathable crib bumpers, but I don't think that will be any better.  It seems like it would probably make things worse.  If her foot got stuck up underneath the bumper it would be harder for her to get loose than if it is just stuck through a slat.  I am pretty sure if her foot is that stuck she won't struggle to the point of really hurting herself.  She will likely just stop struggling and cry for help.

In baby food news, I ended up buying 2 jars of baby food.  I bought a jar of turkey and a jar of ham.  I was told Natali can start pureed meats now, but it seemed like a lot of work to make myself and I wasn't sure if she would like it anyway, so I bought the little jars just to try it with her.  Darren was suddenly became concerned about preservatives in the food, but the ingredients list just says turkey, water, and cornstarch.  She eats store bought food at daycare anyway, so I'm not sure where this sudden concern came from.  I wonder if he is concerned enough to make her food himself?  I think probably not.  We will have to take store bought food with us on our upcoming cruise too.  I think trying to bring our homemade food would just be too much of a hassle.  It's really going to take some thought and planning though.  Anyway, back to the prepared meat.  Natali loved it!  She downed the turkey very quickly.  I was pretty happy about that.  I guess if she likes it that much I will have to figure out how to prepare it myself.  The cost of baby food really adds up quickly when you buy the jars.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back in the skies: Flying with a 6 month old

Natali hasn't flown anywhere all year. Crazy for the daughter of a pilot. Sunday we took a trip to see Grandpa.

True we could have driven the 4 hours to his house like normal people. But I only have two weekend DAYS (both Sundays) off this month. Driving wasn't an option.

Since it was a day trip we only packed clothes and supplies for Natali (in a small diaper backpack) and a computer bag with our Ipads. That's it.

Even with just two things...we used up 5 security bins since I was a "normal" person and not a pilot. The first trip through Dallas I left our Ipads behind. Thankfully it wasn't busy and no one stole them. Ugh.

We flew on American Eagle to Hobby from Dallas on a ERJ. We were a little worried her car seat wouldn't fit. Nope fit fine. Any parents worried about a Britax car seat fitting on a regional jet...they at least fit on ERJ's.


I rented a full size from Hertz. Hertz is my second favorite rental company. They are great as they post your name on a board with the car your rented if you join their club. This makes it easy to get in and out. I prefer National as I like to pick my own car. Hertz assigned me a Toyota Camry. Boring...but fine.

We spent the afternoon with my dad. He had not seen Natali since she was two months old.

Natali was a little fussy as she wasn't used to her Grandpa.

6monthsstanding1 6monthsstanding2 6monthsstanding3

She didn't sleep much at all. With her awake we trotted off to lunch.

Natali sat in a high chair for the first time last week when we ate dinner with Eric, Angela and Marin. She did fine so we were fine with her sitting in one again.

Off course Natali is Miss grabby hands. Eh.

After lunch Natali crashed. Slept a good two and a half hours.

The flight back was out of Bush Intercontinental. On the way we stopped by too see my mom. Hard to believe it's almost been 11 years.

Bush is a bigger airport than Hobby. We were glad travel is light on Sundays...all the damn bins. Would have been less in the summer as we would not have been wearing jackets.

With that done I will say this. While it's perfectly legal to carry children under two on your lap while flying, it makes me uneasy. I've been through moderate turbulence (few people have been through severe...if people ended up in the hospital it was just moderate). I know how much things can get tossed around. We aren't planning on bringing a car seat for our flight to Miami in April. Kinda uneasy about it. Currently pondering alternatives.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pink eye

Natali has conjunctivitis (pink eye).  It's a pretty mild case, but we got some ointment for it anyway.  The doctor said to wait to use it since the pink eye might go away on it's own.  I used it once last night and this morning she seemed fine, no crusty eyes.  Yay!  Daycare is a wonderful thing for working parents, but I could really do without the germs and sickness.  I mentioned to the doctor I was glad she was at least only part time and he said it didn't matter, "part time daycare, still full time germs".  Nice.  Well, I'm glad she's only part time anyway.  It's really nice to have Darren able to stay home with her for 2 days each week.  Of course, the days she is sick and he is out of town make it harder.  I had to take a sick day on Friday so we could see the doctor.  Hopefully next time Darren will be around when she is sick, then he can take a sick day.  He has a lot more sick time than I do.  I only get 5 days a year.  I have never needed to use them all, but I have a feeling I might need them this year.  I've already taken 2 days, so only 3 left for 9 months.  At least with my job I can make up the time on a weekend if I don't have days left, but that is harder now too.  With Darren staying home during the week he is often gone on the weekend and I can't work anyway.  I tried it last weekend when we were up against a deadline.  I took Natali up to work with me for a couple of hours.  I put a blanket on the floor with her toys and she sat and played for a long time.  I had her bouncer chair too, and she spent some time in that as well.  We made it 2 good hours before she decided she had enough.  Luckily that was about all I needed to get the important stuff done.  A lot of times there is work that I can just take home and do, so that is helpful.  It's easier to work at home with a baby than take her and all her stuff out of the house.

During the last month or so Natali has become Miss Grabby Hands.  She will grab at anything and everything she can possibly reach.  This has led to a few incidents of slobbered on papers and one entire cup of Diet Coke, with ice, being dumped on her and me and the couch.  We have to be extremely careful with her now, and she isn't even mobile yet!  I am really concerned about what happens when she starts crawling and walking.  Our entire house is a child hazard, and we have yet to do any childproofing except for baby gates (which were put in because of dogs, not kids).  Things may get really interesting here in the next couple of months.  I think we will end up just childproofing as we see a need.  Natali will quickly let us know what we need to put away or secure when she starts moving.

Making baby food is still fun.  I have learned a lot and Natali is doing well.  She still eats the jar food at daycare and I'm fine with that.  They have fed her a few things that I just can't bring myself to make (green beans).  Between here and there she is getting a wide range of foods and is eating fairly well.  We recently started her on the little cereal puffs and she is finally getting those in her mouth with regularity.  Yesterday I bought her some larger puffs, shaped like cheetos.  The package said they were good for crawlers, which is about her age.  I was concerned about choking at first, but they still dissolve, so it's not a problem.  Natali really likes them.  I think she prefers finger foods to being spoon fed.  I will have to see what else I can give her.  I'm not too sure what else is ok at this point besides pieces of banana.  I will probably try that with her today.  Suggestions on other items are happily accepted. :)