Tuesday, December 24, 2013

First real Christmas

It's been a while since I've blogged. No real excuse.

Natali is full on toddler. She hasn't had a single accident since being potty trained. She went from no interest to full on "I got this". It's nice...and strange. We still use overnight diapers, but about 75% of the time she wakes up with a dry diaper anyway.

Her shyness is slowly going away. In the past week she's come out of her shell quite a bit.

While at a grocery store the cashier handed Natali a roll of stickers. Normally Natali turns her head and hides. This time she took the stickers and said ,"thank you," to a total stranger.

Then the following weekend we went to visit friends and their house. Natali has seen the kids and parents many times...but has NEVER spoken to the parents. Natali walked in and was totally relaxed. She spoke to anyone who spoke to her and even initiated conversation.

This is technically Natalis 4th Christmas. This is the first one though that she appears to "get it".

Natali sat on Santas lap for the first time AND told him what she wanted for Christmas.....a bike.

Beyond those tidbits she has found a new cartoon to be interested in....Dora the Explorer. This is so much better than Calliou...though  I do miss Doc McStuffins.

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Monday, September 16, 2013


I can finally say Natali is potty trained. The cruise where she saw her cousins potty trained seemed to really put the spark inside of her to just do it.

For over a week she's been wearing underwear during the daytime and a diaper overnight. She only had one accident at school where she had a #2 while sleeping at nap time.

I still have a problem getting her to go to the bathroom. I think it's just the "being told what to do" that's the issue. Every now and then she will tell us she has to go and for the most part she goes.

Natali appears to have my (Darren) iron bladder as she can hold it forever. Mine comes from flying around the country and not being able to go whenever I want (say while landing a plane or preparing for takeoff.....or just not wanting to walk all the way back on a short 40 minute flight).

She has really come into her own lately. Natali is talking more and, for the first time ever, will talk to people on the phone and in a video chat. In the past Natali would giggle or remain silent while on the phone. For video chats she would just stare. Recently she has talked to me and her Grandma Richmond.

In other exciting news....Natali has learned her full name. Since I was "blessed" with two middle names we gave her two middle names, Amelia and Winnell. Amelia because Kelli and thought it was pretty and the whole flying thing. Winnell is for my late mother.



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Getting closer

Natali is almost potty trained. Almost.

The cruise really seemed to get her going. She is very influenced by her peers.

When Marin came over about a month ago Natali noticed Marin was potty trained (of course as Marin is more than twice her age). Natali went to the potty and took off her pants and diaper in an attempt to use the potty.

During the cruise she noticed her cousin Renee was potty trained. That really pushed Natali to at least pee on the potty.

Since we've been back Natali has been in just underwear most of the time. We've had only a few accidents, but many more happy moments. Natali is doing very well with #1....not so good with #2.

She appears to have her fathers iron bladder as she appears to "hold it" for a long time sometimes.

Yesterday Natali and I (Darren) took a trip to the zoo. I put her in just underwear from the time she woke up. We stopped and used the potty a few times...or  tried to. She never went, but more importantly didn't fight it and had no accidents.

As far as Natali telling us she has to go.....it happens....but not very often. More often is that we bring her to the potty and she goes. Still progress.

We're getting closer.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Three years old

Natali is 3 years old. Hard to believe eh?


To celebrate her 3rd birthday we took a weeklong cruise to Bermuda. Seriously. It was a planned family vacation with her Cousins, Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents. Fun week.

Natali still isn't fully potty trained.

We did have some success while on the cruise. Natali's cousin Renee is 4 years old and fully potty trained. Natali picked up on this and actually ASKED and USED the potty a few times. She had a dry diaper all day at least 2 days.

Things were looking up. Then we got home...and she quickly reverted.

Work continues.

She did get to ride in First Class for the first time. Natali had enough real airline miles from real tickets and purchased a First Class seat for her return flight from Newark. She didn't know any different from coach...which is good as she can't non-rev in First Class until she is 6 years old.

I hope to update this blog more often. We head to the Doctor tomorrow for her yearly checkup. Stats will be posted.

Here's a few vacation photos.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Where did June go?

June went by fast.

Over the last two months we sold our old house, packed up and moved into the new house.

The transition went very well. We were worried Natali would have problems adjusting. Not at all.

It likely helped that we visited the "new house" several times over the last few months. Natali has been calling it the "new house" for a long time. She hasn't had a single issue.

What has been an issue is potty training.

Her Daycare teacher was shocked when Kelli told her Natali won't use the potty at home. Natali has been using the potty just fine at school, even pulling down and up her pull up!

We are still trying. Natali will sit on the potty fine, but hasn't actually used it in the new house. We have tried taking away her Ipad, which had no effect at all. She didn't miss it at all.

We then tried a slice of birthday cake as she LOVES birthdays. Nope.

Cupcakes. Nope.

M&Ms. Nope.

Cookie. Nope.

Lollipop. Nope.

Natali knows what she is doing. She will sit on the potty for a while then say "I'm all done, no Lollipop for Natali."

We aren't giving up.

It's hard to believe Natali will be 3 years old next month. We ordered a new growth chart for her room as we had to take the old one down.

I'll try to update more, hopefully the next one will have potty training progress.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Loves her cousins

Natali is rapidly approaching 3 years old.


Potty training is still planned this summer. She knows what a potty is. She will ask to sit on it every now and then, but she's used it only a handful of times.

She did go #2 with her Grandma recently. Kelli and I were at work when Natali told her Grandma she needed to go "poo poo". She went down the hall and went. Natali has never done that with us.

With all the house stuff we haven't made the time to potty train. That will change in July.

Beyond that Natali really enjoys playing with her cousins.

We recently flew to California to visit Natalis cousin Haley (and her parents Jami and Kelly).

As always Natali is VERY shy with everyone but Kelli and me. It doesn't matter if  she met you last week, for the first 5-20 minutes of meeting you she is very reserved. I was very shy as a kid as well. She will grow out of it.

Natali has been taking swimming lessons for months and is very comfortable around water.

Jami and Kelly have a pool in their yard and the girls wanted to go swimming, but it was a bit chilly. They did have a great time kicking and splashing though.


I still look at Natali with amazement. She has come so far in such a short time and yet has a long way to go. I'm

Almost done

It's been very busy in the Byrd household.

We listed our current house for sale on a Sunday. We had an offer for full list price on the following Wednesday.

The plan is the close on June 7th on the old house and June 13th on the new house.

The new house is almost done. As far as our eyes can see the new house just needs carpet, appliances, a good cleaning of the floor  and touch up paint.

Here's a video of the almost done house.



Monday, May 6, 2013

First ear infection

We had a really good run....2 1/2 years of no ear infections.

Natali had a really rough night last week on Thursday. She woke up crying and screaming. She said her ear hurts, but we dismissed it as her sleeping on it funny.

The next day she was really moody. She never complained about her ear, but she had big mood swings.

Saturday she was normalish, but late in the afternoon she said her ear hurt. Sure enough she had a yellowish ring around the exterior of her left ear.

Off to the urgent care clinic. I felt bad for not looking at her ear closer on a weekday.

Ear infection confirmed. Thankfully Natali likes taking medication.

Still not potty trained. With all the house selling stuff we haven't given potty training much attention. Now that we replaced our vinyl flooring with carpet....we think we will just wait until we move into the new house, which should be in late June.



Sunday, March 31, 2013

Now arriving gate 2....those "terrible twos"

Natali is a pretty good kid. I've been around a few kids...I know she is pretty easy.

People warned us of the "terrible twos". Natali turned two in August. I cringed....nothing happened...until lately.

She is learning how to push our buttons. Two of her favorite things to do are spill/spit water and take off her shoes.

The spilling/spitting water came along as a surprise.

She USED to have a sippy cup in bed so if she was thirsty overnight she could drink. Then she started to "spill" the water on the side of the bed and carpet. I thought it was an accident....until it happened several times.

Natali also will drink water while sitting at her table and then spit the water onto the table. She then turns around and says "uh oh I made a mess".

Beyond water she is taking off her shoes again. Natali went through a phase of taking off her shoes when she first started walking. It passed. Now it's back.

Either in the car, sitting in a shopping cart or wherever.

We are still working on potty training. She knows when she needs to go, but doesn't tell us until it's to late. A few times we've snatched her up and ripped her pants like they are on fire, then plopped her down on the potty. Baby steps.

Natali's vocabulary and speech skills are amazing. I thought my niece Haley was advanced at 2 1/2 as I was having conversations with her at that age. Natali seems well past that.

Natali is literally a sponge. We will give her a new fact...like where her cousins and grandma live. She repeats it a few times and then over the next day or so will ask us where they live. Before long she is telling us where they live like, "Grandma lives in Oregon" and "Haley lives in California."

She learned a while ago that "Mommy works in the building," and "Daddy works in the airplane."

Her sentence structure is also quite advanced. I'm very proud of her.

Beyond that we are just really busy getting this house ready for sale. Natali often says, "I want to go see the new house."

We should be there in under 90 days. Likely around 70 or so.





Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tour of the next house

It's coming along well. Hard to believe it won't be done till June!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The pacifier is gone for good!!

Natali has always been quite fond of her pacifier.  However, we are not those parents that let their toddler run around all the time with a pacifier in their mouth.  I can't remember when we made the pacifier only at bedtime rule, but I'm pretty sure it has been over a year at least.  There were exceptions of course.  She always had one on an airplane and we let her have it a lot when we were in Germany.  It helped make her comfortable in those different situations.  For daily life though she was only allowed to have it for naps and at night.  Recently however, Natali had started to wake up in the morning saying her mouth hurt.  Of course the obvious culprit was the pacifier, so I decided it was time to get rid of it for good.  We went to New York to visit my brother and his family early last week, so I let her have it during the trip, but when we got back I decided that was it.  Darren wasn't totally on board with the idea yet, so I waited until he was gone.  Then I hid all of the pacifiers in the house.  That first night Natali was in her normal routine of brush teeth, get pacifier, go to bed, so there was obvious crying at first when I told her the pacifiers were all gone.  That only lasted for a minute or two though and then she went right to sleep.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I thought it would be a much bigger battle than that.  Of course, she sleeps at daycare without a pacifier, so that might have helped a bit too.  I thought we might also have a problem with her waking up in the middle of the night asking for it, but that didn't happen.  She slept right through the night.  The next night she asked for a pacifier again, but didn't protest at all when I told her they were all gone.  Since then she hasn't asked again.  It has been a whole week now.  My little baby is growing up!

On another note, we are going to try potty training again this weekend.  It has been since Thanksgiving when we tried previously.  Recently Natali has started announcing every time she pees.  Of course, then she asks to go potty after she has already gone in her diaper, so it really isn't helpful.  I'm hoping this is a sign that she is really ready this time.  We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Behind the camera

I am a photographer....I even have a degree that proves that fact. I like being behind the camera, not infront of it.

Natali has known was a camera is for a while. She even knows when we are using our Ipads as a camera. She quickly wants to get behind it and look at the picture.

Yesterday Kelli and Natali went to our dog park as it was a fairly warm Texas winter day. Kelli shot a video of Natali, and Natali couldn't wait to see the screen.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sleeping on the plane...without the car seat

We took a quick trip to Atlanta, Georgia this weekend.

Natali has flown around 50 times. For at least 46 of them she was in her car seat.

We bought the CARES harness a while ago but only used it once on a short flight down to Houston. We were worried Natali wouldn't be able to sleep in a regular seat on a longer flight while being strapped into the harness. We were wrong.

On the flight to Atlanta Natali was fine in her seat with her Ipad and pacifier (it's only for bedtime and airplanes).


On the flight back Natali fell asleep before we took off while strapped into the harness. She slept the entire two hours. We did make a makeshift pillow with a blanket.


It's nice to know next time we fly (which will likely be to New York) Natali can sleep just fine in a regular seat. Things will get even easier when she can use a booster seat instead of a car seat.


The Georgia Aquarium was fun. It's definitely not stroller friendly which is why we left ours at home. The dolphin show was also not toddler friendly. It had a lot of dark scenes and strobe lights that didn't really help the really unnecessary story.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Lactose Intolerant?

Natali has had this odd quirk for a while.

Whenever she sits at her table she will often tense up, strain and squirm....almost like she's full of gas or trying to shoot out a #2. She does this for minutes at a time. It's not comfortable to watch her do this.  No gas comes out....and she doesn't make a dirty diaper.

We have tried different chairs...and putting her on the ground...she does the same thing.

I (Darren) finally thought, maybe it's her diet.

Milk products and I don't get along very well. I get cramping, gas or both. Natali is ,at my guesstimation , 45% Black. Lactose intolerance is huge for people who are classified as black. The rates are as high as 75% of people classified as black are also lactose intolerant.

So on Saturday we tried replacing her milk with Soy milk. She drank it at first....but has since shunned all milk (likely due to taste).

Sunday she squirmed a little. Today (Monday)....no squirming, straining or tensing up. Not even once. This has been a common occurrence every morning (when she has the most milk) for a long time.

I feel bad that she has shunned all milk. Time to do some research and taste testing of lactose free milk. Also not good as she likes cheese. She eats A LOT of cheese via slices and sticks.

This is an ongoing study as Kelli is high skeptical of Natali being lactose intolerant. From what I've seen over the last 36 hours....I'm thinking I'm right.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Natali is 2 feet 11 inches tall. She grew 6 inches last year. Kelli is only 5 foot 3 inches tall. Yep Natali is more than half as tall as Kelli. I am pretty sure Natali will be taller than Kelli.

When I was younger my mom told me I would be 6 foot 4 inches tall. My brother was to be 6 foot 5 inches tall. She had our wrist tested/measured.

My brother really is 6 foot 5. I am just 5 foot 11...with the hands and feet of a 6 foot 4 inch frame. I can easily palm a basketball...and wear size 14 shoes. I had some health issues in my teenage years that stunted my growth. My genes still say I should be 6 foot 4.

Beyond her height Natali is growing on the inside as well. Her speech in very developed. I remember my niece Haley being very intelligent at 2 1/2 years old.

For Christmas Natali made out like a bandit. She got her first play kitchen, a shopping cart (she loves shopping carts!), Doc Mc'Stuffins light up shoes, Doc Mc'Stuffins doctor kit and more. She really likes her kitchen.

Our friends Eric and Angela recently had their second child. We've been over to visit a few times. Kelli heled the new baby....but not I. I have zero desire for another child. Cute....and neat....but not for us.

This is a good thing as the new house we are buying has one less bedroom than our current house (3 vs 4). Since we will maintain a guest bedroom, we have no room for another child. It won't be fair to make Natali share her room.

Finally a few photos.

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