Sunday, July 29, 2012

Going retro

We took our first family road trip yesterday...and it was a marathon.

My dad lives down in Houston. Even since October 2007 Kelli and I have flown down to see him. Natali has always flown down to see him.

Most of the time we fly up and down the same day. We have stayed the night at least once.

Yesterday some friends of ours were having a birthday party for their 3 year old. They just moved to Houston from the Dallas area.

We discussed the benefits of driving vs flying. Complicating things was the fact that I had to work tonight. If we stayed the night in Houston it would be a very long day for me traveling and then working later.

The last flight back to Dallas on Saturday nights leaves at 6PM. The party started at 3PM. Not a lot of time to enjoy the party. Flying wasn't an option.

I gassed up the car Friday night. At 5:01 AM I picked Natali up out of bed, changed her diaper and put her straight into her car seat. We backed out of the driveway at 5:04AM.

We thought for sure she would sleep....nope.

Long 4 hour and 30 minute drive. Non-stop. My 2004 Prius average 47.8 MPG while driving 75 MPH (the speed limit on most of I-45). If I had gone 65 MPH I would have easily cleared 50 MPG.

Early lunch with my dad. Natali had a ton of built up energy after having being strapped in for almost 5 hours.

We left his house just after noon with the intention of driving around so Natali would nap. It kinda worked.

Natali napped for just over an hour.

At the birthday party Natali was her normal self....being super shy. It took her about 30 minutes to warm up to the people at the party.

Our friends hosting the party, Chris and Wendy,  are on the shorter side, thus their son is on the shorter side. Natali is a good 3-4 inches taller than the birthday boy, Liam. Another toddler there is 2 1/2 years old and is a good 5-6 inches taller than Natali. Kinda odd seeing the oldest kid in the room being the shortest.

After Natali warmed up she had a good time.

Wendy is very detail oriented and had lots of activities for the kids. In addition to having lots of toys around they all painted boxes, made their own magnetic picture frames and of course she had cupcakes in addition to birthday cake.

We left the party at 6PM. Natali watched Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on her Ipad for most of the ride home. We thought she would fall asleep. Nah. Not until we turned the Ipad off did she finally doze off. We did get 49.5 MPG on the return trip. I attribute the high MPG due to less AC usage (the Prius uses an all electric air conditioning system) and more highway driving vs stop and go driving.


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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just a few weeks away

Can you believe we are just a few weeks away from Natali being 2?

Everyday she is changing. Sometimes I want to squeeze her tight to keep her from growing up.

Her speech and use of words is rapidly expanding. She often forms 2-3 words sentences and has started to use "Thank you," and "Welcome". She mastered "Please" a long time ago.

She is still very shy in public and meeting new people. Last night we went over to a friend of mine from work. He is also a pilot and is a bit senior to me. Another family came over with a 1 year old and 6 year old (the dad was also a pilot with my airline).

Natali was VERY shy at first. After about 40 minutes she warmed up to everyone. She played with the 1 year old quite a bit (the 1 year old weighed MORE than Natali...he was a boy though). At the end of the night Natali hugged everyone goodbye. Very cute.

The baby chair she's been using since she started eating solid foods still works...but Natali doesn't want to use it.

Natali has been climbing onto regular chairs for a while. Tonight for dinner she REFUSED to sit in her baby seat and instead sat in a regular chair. Guess we need to buy a booster seat eh?


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Natali has become clingy lately...but only with me (Darren).

I think it's because....every few days I leave. A few days later I come back. Natali has picked up on this pattern.

She is very happy to see me when I first get home. The next day things are normal. The day after that though...she becomes aware that I might be leaving soon.

Natali will follow me room to room...even when Kelli is home. She will randomly stop whatever she is doing and hug me or sit in my lap.If I am sitting on the ground she will walkup behind me and rest her head on my shoulder. Clingy.

Yesterday I was sitting on the ground when Kelli sat next to me and hugged me. Natali did not care for that and walked up and told Kelli "Back" and tried to hug me. We all then had one group hug.

I leave on a trip tomorrow....and I know Natali is aware. Each day her clinginess has gotten worse and worse. She knows I'm leaving.

At first I felt bad about leaving so often. I then did some math.

The average middle class Dad works 5 days a week. Thus he only sees his kid after work and on weekends.

I work 3 days a week...sometimes 4 days...but rarely every more than that. Thus I see Natali 4 full days a week while the average Dad sees his kid just 2 full days a week. I win. Kinda. The average full Dad is home every night. Eh.

As far a milestones. Natali can count to 12 out loud, can make all the sounds of the ABC song thru Z. She REALLY knows the letters A,B,C,D and W by sight. Natali is a whiz on the Ipad. Still not potty trained...but she knows when she goes and what it's called. She can climb the super high bed, couch and ladders. Finally she can adjust the timing on a 1975 Ford F100 just by listening to it idle.

It's almost been two years since Natali was born. Crazy how fast time has gone by.