Monday, July 30, 2007

BSM - Aloha!

My daughter is a pretty little girl - at least, I think so in my admittedly biased opinion! I am always vaguely aware of this but every once in a while a particular expression catches me off guard and I am suddenly rendered speechless, swept away by her overwhelming beauty. Her sparkling blue eyes...clear, smooth skin....face framed by dancing curls: these things are truly lovely! But even more than these physical features, it's the innocence and sweetness and zest for life shining through her that I find so striking. I also feel like moments like this give me a glimpse of the young lady Nadia will one day become.

This picture, captured at our compny picnic on Saturday, is one such image:

Future heartbreaker

And another fun one, also from the picnic. She loves that lei and wore it all afternoon again yesterday!


This is the life!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Company picnic

I left you yesterday with a feverish Nadia sleeping after nodding off over lunch. Well, she set a new record for long naps. The kids slept...and slept...and slept. Finally I woke her up after FIVE HOURS!!!! And even then she resisted waking up.

The first thing Nadia said was "hot, Mama." And she was right; she was burning up with a fever of 102. Out came the Tylenol, but Nadia has never liked medicine and she grimaced and shook her head. So I explained that it would help her feel better, and she said "okay, better," opened her mouth and took it like a champ. I love it that I can reason with her like that now!

Within 1 minutes the Tylenol had kicked in and Nadia was once again her energetic, cheerful little self. She went to bed an hour late, slept straight through the night, and woke up this morning just fine...so whatever caused the fever and lethargy, it was short lived - and an opportunity yo share a few extra snuggles! She's such a sweetie...she hadn't felt good, but she wasn't whiny or crabby in the least!

Since Nadia was better today, we went to the company barbeque, hosted at my boss's new custom home. I've helped with some of the design plans over the last couple years, so it was neat to see the finishd product. And wow is that place gorgeous! Nadia was the hit of the party, with everyone exclaiming over how cute she is, how big she is, and how much she looks like me (that's always nice to hear!). But I swear, I nearly had a heart attack 10 times over trying to keep tabs on her around the pool! I am suddenly very thankful that we don't have an in-ground pool. Nadia and my boss's little girl scampered around together - Nadia called her "Girl" and Yemisi called Nadia "Nad-sha." We had a fun time, but by 2:00 we were ALL exhausted so we loaded in the car, where Nadia fell asleep in 2 minutes flat.

Aloha

Free TV, anyone?

Well, how's that for opportune?! My husband and I were just talking about wanting to get a nice, sleek new television, and now here's a contest with a chance to win one for FREE! 5 Minutes for Mom is giving away a beautiful 37" Insignia LCD HDTV, courtesy of Best Buy. Hey, I'm in...how about you? Click here to read all about it and get in on the fun!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sick & Snuggly

Does it make me a bad Mommy to admit that I like it when my little girl is sick? Not when she's *really* sick, of course...when she's just a little bit under the weather. It makes her unspeakably sweet and cuddly! Like today.

She woke up a little late this morning and seemed happy enough. But within 15 minutes I knew something was not right. My mile-a-minute little bundle of energy was content to snuggle in my arms and lay her head against my shoulder. Miss I'm-Not-Scared-of-Anything was frightened by the cat running past and by her cup falling off the table. I asked her "are you sad today, Nadia?" and she nodded with her bottom lip quivering as those gorgeous blue eyes filled with tears.

Well, that about broke me heart!

I took her temp next, and she did have a bit of a fever. I asked her if she had any boo-boos and she said no, so that's good.

We had planned on playgroup at the park, but I decided to skip it and we settled in for a cozy day at home instead. I flipped on PBS, and Nadia was content to snuggle up beside me on the couch and watch the full half-hour of Caillou and almost all of Barney. She *never* does that! And when I had to get up for the phone, she just laid there on the couch hardly moving, eyes a little bit glassy. But she talked about what we were watching and she got especially excited about a segment with a puppy dog!

Watchin' tv

At lunch, she literally well asleep mid-bite! I'm hoping she'll wake up from her nap a little more perky.

Asleep at the table

I'm sorry she's not feeling well, but I don't think it's anything too serious...and I really do enjoy the extra hugs and snuggles! The older she gets the busier she gets, so I miss those sweet times. It's nice to cuddle up with her and read books and talk. She's extra affectionate today, too, handing out lots of kisses.

I do hope she's feeling better tomorrow, as it's our company picnic and everyone has been asking to see her!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's fair to share

Smoothie Queen  - selective color

Nadia had already finished her breakfast when I decided to make a strawberry-peach smoothie for my own breakfast. But the fact that she had a full tummy didn't stop Nadia from mooching...nope, she had more of "my" smoothie than I did! But that's part of motherhood - nothing can be claimed as "just mine" anymore, it's all up for grabs.


072707_14

But I didn't mind too much....after all, I don't get to snuggle my girl like this very often anymore!


Mother and Child


And she did quite graciously allow me to have a few sips. Well, she begrudgingly allowed it anyway!


Sharing with Mommy

But tell me, who could resist a face like this?!

"Cheese!"

The Sorting Hat


Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?



Ravenclaw - 13
Gryffindor - 11
Hufflepuff - 10
Slytherin - 10

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Fly!

Fly

It's an honor!

In the sixth month or so since I joined the blogosphere, I have discovered some truly wonderful blogs. These blogs have inspired me, touched me, entertained me; they have made me laugh and cry and think.

Two such blogs are Melody's Slurping Life and Stacy's Land of K.A. So it came as no surprise to me when they recieved recongition for the beautiful words and pictures they share. I most heartily agreed that they were most deserving of these awards.

But what did surprise me was that they in turn bestowed these awards upon me! Wow, to receive that recognition from from ladies I admire so much is truly an honor.

Melody says I'm a Thinking Blogger.

And Stacy named me a Rockin' Girl Blogger.

Thank you, ladies!


It's now my privilage to pass these awards on to other deserving bloggers. Now I read quite a few excellent blogs, and I'm not the only one that thinks they're great. These awards have been around long enough that these deserving authors already have badges decorating their sidebars. So I am have just one of each award to hand out.


Kimberly
, no matter what you write about, your posts always make me laugh. So girl YOU ROCK!!

Alissa, your dedication to actively improving your photography inspires me. So girl - you're a THINKING BLOGGER!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Nuggets of Nadia humor

Life with a toddler is amusing. I know my readers already know that! Here are a few little stories of things that have made me laugh recently:

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A few days ago Nadia was in the kitchen with her sippy cup while I was in the living room. I heard her cough and splutter a bit, and next thing I knew she was racing into the room to excitedly report "mama, I go *cough, cough*!"

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Nadia is always right there beside me to help with loading the dishwasher, folding laundry, putting away the groceries…I have such a great little helper, especially now she's actually big enough to be a real help! Hopefully she will still be that way at 12 years old. ;o) A dew days ago we were tidying up the bedroom and I told her to put Daddy’s shoes in his closet. She gave me a running commentary of what she were doing: “Daddy’s shoes….open door…in closet….close door….all done!” and then she was back at my side asking “more?”

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The kid is obsessed with buckles. If I skip buckling her into the highchair or shopping cart, she has a fit! At least she's safety conscious. :o) But speaking of carts, I have decided ALL stores should have carts with cars on the front!

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I sometimes wonder why I even bother to cook for Nadia and her Daddy. He prefers his food room temperature: I serve a nice hot meal...and he sticks it in the freezer to cool. And now Nadia is just like him in that If I give her good that's even slightly warm she declares it hot, and won't eat it even once it has cooled off completely.

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A few days ago Nadia and I were at Walgreens and I saw a bin of used disposable cameras. I asked the clerk it they are recycled or disposed of, and when she said they're just tossed out I asked if Nadia could have one. She said yes, so I handed one to Nadia and she was thrilled to have her very own camera! She put it right up to her eyes and said "cheese!" How the heck does she know to do that?! I never tell her to say cheese! I think I'll have to look into a kiddie camera for her birthday (start 'em young, right ladies?!)

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There are little signs of a toddler in my life everywhere. Last week at work I found a meat tenderizer in my purse.

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Nadia doesn't say "yes" and "no" very often; instead it's usually "yeah" and "nope," with a big ol' poppin' "p" at the end of nope. Also, if I tell her something she really doesn't like, she says "oooookay" all drawn out with drooping shoulder sand downcast eyes. And she says "ummm...." and taps her chin when thinking. The girl is a riot!

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Nadia still doesn't have any interest in television - except for one commercial: the one for 9-K Advantix with the singing dogs. "There may be bugs on some of you mugs, but there aint no bugs on me!" As soon as she hears that commercial she drops whatever she's doing and runs over to stand 2 feet in front of the tv and sing "woof woof" to the melody.

BSM - Experiments

I have three favorites to share this week:


Miss Nadia

I hate flash. I mean, I really, really hate it! So I am trying to force myself to learn to take better natural light pictures indoors - which is rather hard with a PAS! I have taken so many pictures and almost all of them ended up in the trash bin due to blur and poor light. But I have had some pretty decent successes this week, and this is one of my favorites. I adore that single curl in the front, and the light is pretty darn awesome! I also love the b&w conversion, which is thanks to a new technique shared by Stacy - I had never before encountered gradient map layers. Thanks Stacy, you'll be seeing a lot more black & white photos from me now! :o)


All in a row

This one is another example of something I am trying to experiment with. I have never before been a big fan of stylized treatments, but all of a sudden I am finding myself attracted to them. I used a watercolor filter for this and I really like the drama it adds.



Oma's adoration

And finally, this sweet one of Nadia with her Oma, my mother. I just love the total adoration so clearly seen in her face! This picture is also an example of something I am trying to master. Since I'm not often able to achieve DOF in my photography (once again, thanks PAS!) I have started trying to create it artificially in processing. It works out pretty well, but it sure will be nice when I can get that effect by simply lowering my f-stop instead of spending time in Photoshop!

Visit Picture This for more inspiring Best Shots!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dear Nadia...

Oh my darling daughter! You are growing up so fast! I still think of you as a baby, as having just turned one....but today it struck me that you will be 20 months old tomorrow, and then you will be just 4 short months away from turning 2 YEARS OLD! Watching you blossom into such a sweet, exuberant, bright little girl makes me so proud…and also a little bit wistful to see how quickly you are leaving babyhood behind, but not too much - the days just get better and better as each new accomplishment brings even more fun.

Every day I am amazed to see new ways in which you are growing and changing.

There are the physical signs of you growing up: Clothes that are just a little bit tighter and a little bit shorter each time you wear them. Comments everywhere we go about how tall you are getting. The very beginnings of downy hair on your legs. A round little belly and chubby little thighs that are no longer quite so round and chubby.

I marvel at those things. But it's the other signs of your march towards big-girlness that excite me even more.

The last few weeks have been especially full of amazing developmental leaps. All of a sudden, you are completely KID - not baby at all! You are independent and creative and opinionated.

No longer are you content for Mommy to carry you into the store. Oh no, you want down! You tell me "no hugs, walk" and off you go. (that's one of my favorite things you say: "hugs" for being held. You don't ask for "up," you ask for "hugs." How could I ever deny that sweet request?!)

At the playground, you run and climb and slide all by yourself. It feels a little odd to watch from the sidelines, but you are big enough now. You are such a little monkey! At home, you push big items around as improvised stools - nothing is safe from you anymore! Baby swings are a thing of the past too; you want the big girls swing, and I must say, you do a pretty darn good job.

Going places with you is such a blast now! You get so excited, clapping and cheering and shouting "yay!" as you run forward at breakneck speed. Even driving by a park or the mall gets you going.

And my goodness, the way you talk! You say everything. New words are so commonplace that I don't even recognize them as new anymore. Nouns and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, pronouns and prepositions - you're comfortable with all of them. You string together 3 and 4 words like it's nothing. Of all the fun things you've learned, this grasp of language is easily my favorite. I LOVE being able to communicate with you!

You're smart, too. A few days ago we were playing with Mr. Potato Head at Oma's house. You had never before seen that toy, but all it took was one demonstration of how to stick the peg in the hole to dress the little spuds, and you got it.

You still aren't one to sit still for an extended period. You're my little Energizer Bunny - all go, go, GO! No television and finger games for my girl. But you are getting better about it, and you'll sit and read books for 5 minutes at a time now. You love flap books, but quite mysteriously most of the flaps around here have turned up missing. Hmm...

One of my favorite things about you is your exuberance and passion for life. You do everything 150%! Yes, it is exhausting for Mommy, but I love to watch your eyes fill with wonder and excitement over everything you see. Your Oma told me a few days ago that you remind her of me as a little girl - she called me Jellybean because I was so outgoing and full of energy. I hope you will keep your vivacious nature; somehow over the years I have lost mine. It's amazing to see little bits of me reflected in you...I just hope you will pick up on only my good traits and leave the bad.

Another thing I love about you is your affectionate nature. You are a busy little girl without a lot of time for snuggling, but a hundred times a day you run up to me for hugs and kisses. I have always loved your hugs and kisses, but now that you are big enough to seek them out they are even more special. Every day now I hear the words "love you, Mama," and that never fails to warm my heart. You are so friendly and affectionate with other children, too - especially babies, whom you passionately adore! You really are quite sweet, but sometimes you get overexcited and you don't know your own strength, so I have to watch you closely.

I suppose to anyone but a Mommy, these little things that make you YOU would seem insignificant. But I am a Mommy - I am YOUR Mommy - and everything about you thrills me. Watching your personality take shape more and more; seeing your eyes fill with the pride of accomplishment; observing your wonder at the world around you - these things fill me with a pride and joy I never before imagined. I hope you will one day be blessed to experience that incredible feeling as you watch your own little ones (now that's a strange thought: my baby with babies of her own!).

I remember well the mix of emotions I felt the first time I laid eyes upon you, one day shy of twenty months ago. I remember the awe I felt that such a perfect little creature had come from me. And I still feel that sense of awe and wonder and pride every time I look at you, my precious little girl. My Nadia. I love you, Gobby-Girl!

Piggyback

Friday, July 20, 2007

A bite for quack-quack

Breakfast for a silly girl

The morning at breakfast, Nadia spotted her duckie across the room and told me that he was hungry and needed some of her cereal and bananas. So I brought her the duckie and and she alternated a bite for her, a bite for quack-quack (as she calls him).

"here, quack-quack!"

A bite for duckie

She does so well with the spoon now, too.
Cereal & Milk

Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee

Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee

The peace of night
Sweet dreams, my angel!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Daughter the Genius

Not even 20 months old and the girl knows her letters! Well…sorta anyway.

Hanging on the wall in her room are wooden letters spelling out her name (you know, just like in every other American child’s room! But ours are special, handmade by her Pappy!). She’s never paid much attention to them, but this afternoon when she woke up from her nap she wanted to examine them.

So I pointed to each letter and spelled it out: “N-A-D-I-A.”

And I’ll be darned if she didn’t repeat it, pointing to each letter in turn and saying the right letters in the right order: “N-A-D-I-A.” Then she grinned and clapped for herself.

I’m telling you folks, I’ve got he next Alberta Einstein on my hands here!

Well, maybe not. Half an hour later I found her repeatedly banging her head into the wall and laughing. Oh yeah, sharp as a tack, this one is!

Feelin' the love

Thanks to all of you that left such sweet, encouraging, you're-not-the-only-one comments on my "funk" post! You guys are the best!!! I think just writing about it actually helped, as I am feeling somewhat better today. So get ready for a flood of pictures and words once the dam breaks! :o)

Thursday's Theme - DRIP

I wasn't going to do Theme Thursday this week, as I've been feeling uninspired (see yesterday's post) and had nothing to share for the DRIP theme. But since this blog's creation I have never once missed participating in BSM or TT at Picture This, and I wasn't about to start now. So I did a quick search for "drip" on my Flickr photos, and one picture popped up:

Kinda sick

LOL! My girl a few months ago, a little bit sick with a DRIPPY nose.

And a bath picture....just because it's one of my favorites and it sorta fits the theme. :o)

Sink bath

Are you curious about what other people have done with the DRIP theme? Then click over the Picture This and check it out! Lots of creative ideas there...maybe it'll inspire me to get clicking again. :o)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Funk

Y'all, I am in a funk. No, it's not like I'm terribly depressed, no need to worry. But I'm feeling so uninspired creatively.

I am in such a photographic rut. I have hardly taken any picture in last week or so, and even when I do pick up the camera, my pictures are lifeless. Blah. Boring. They lack that spark that makes them special. I have to say, I have had fun living 100% in the moment and enjoying my girl without thinking about capturing the perfect image, but at the same time I miss my passion for it! Hopefully it will come back soon, or my daughter might - *gasp!* - have a whole week of her life missing from pictures!

But it's not just photography. I've got writers block, too. Now this blog is never filled with hard-hitting discussions about important matters, but even my usual inane adoring-mother chatter has stopped.

So, if you're wondering about the lack of posts, that's why. Hopefully I'll be back up and running soon!

In the meantime, here's one picture of Her Cuteness to supply your daily Nadia Fix.

Up the slide

Wordless Wednesday - Window to the Soul

Window to the soul

Monday, July 16, 2007

BSM - Little Fairy

I've hardly taken any pictures latley! I just looked through the folder and I have a whopping total of 15 for the week - that's how many I usually have per DAY - and most of those I already posted for Wordless Wednesay and Thursday's Theme. So I am digging through the archives this week to share this picture of my little fairy from last Halloween. It's one of my all-time favorite pictures!


The perfect fairy

Alright, now I've off to explore the rest of this week's Best Shots at Picture This!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Addicted

Hi, my name is Chirstina and I'm a blog-a-holic...

Okay, I saw this at Musings of a Crunchy Domestic Goddess and I just had to play along. :o) The funny thing is, I scored exactly the same as Amy!

71%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Online Dating

A conversation

This morning I was cleaning the kitchen while Nadia looked out the sliding glass door at the back yard.

Me: "What do you see out there?"

Nadia: "My car."

Me: "What else is out there?"

Nadia: "The chair."

Me: "Anything else?"

Nadia: "Grass."

Okay, so I admit it's not exactly a thrilling discussion...but to me it is pretty darn exciting. I was have a real, honest-to-goodness conversation WITH MY BABY! I just can't get over how cool that is. Not that long ago I was still excitedly observing each new word, and now all of a sudden she's saying everything and talking in complete sentences. Wow! She's such a big girl!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday's Theme - HOT!

With all the recent rain, this summer has been unusually mild for Texas. But that's all over this week, with heat indexes in the triple digits. So what better way to beat the heat that some fun at the water park?!

Water play

She was timid about getting water in her face at first, but then a couple of older girls came to show her how it's done. She still didn't like it....but she ran through the spray 3 times! I was so proud of her and swooped her wet little self into a bear hug. Of course, she just squirmed to get down. She kept calling the girls "baby," though, even though they were at least twice her age! So I told her they're "big girls" and then she called then "girls" the rest of the time.

Water dance

That's enough!
She also swung on the big girl swing all by herself for the very first time! My baby is growing up!

Big girl swing!

Now click over to Picture This for some more hot images!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Monday, July 9, 2007

BSM - silhouette

I love silhouette images and I've been wanting to capture one for a long time now. Finally yesterday I did it! Silhouettes are one of those things that I understand how to do in theory but not in practice. It happened kinda accidentally this time and I had to edit it pretty heavily to get the effect I wanted, so we'll see if I can reproduce it

Silhouette

I can't wait to see what everyone else has shared for Best Shot Monday this week!

Friday, July 6, 2007

"Professional" photography?

Hubby was off work today. Again. Because of the rain. It's nice to have him around, but it's really gonna hurt this next paycheck! Anyway, we decided the day called for a fun family activity, so off we went to Grapevine Mills Mall.

Passing by Kiddie Kandids, we were offered a free session and 8x10 (this location is a training store, and it was a new photographer looking to expand her experience). Hey, photography and free - two of my favorite things! So I said yes.

It was, um....an adventure. Nadia's only had "professional" portraits done twice before, and both times it was before she had reached the jump-&-climb stage. She's used to Mommy taking her picture, and I don't tell her to sit still and smile - I chase her around with the camera and capture whatever expression she offers! So this was a foreign experience for her and it was pretty comedic. The photographer tried to get her to smile by using this little yellow rubber ducky; well, Nadia didn't want to laugh at that, she wanted to have that rubber ducky for herself! After several failed poses, we decided to try a picture of me with her, and another with the whole family.

These were the two pictures we had to chose from:



I went with the "Mommy & Me," because it's so hard to get pictures of us together since I'm always behind the camera. I like it but don't love it; I'm not overly impressed with either shot really. In my opinion there were lots of other good opportunities she missed, but oh well. I really, really want a family portrait, and it annoys me that the photographer decided on her own to delete those ones without letting me see them. She said "Nadia was making a goofy face." Well, please let me decide whether or not I like that goofy face!

I couldn't help but marvel at what passes for "professional photography." Not to be harsh, but, well, this girl had no idea what she was doing! I asked her what cameras they use, and she said "I don't know....Nokia maybe?" So I asked if it's Nikon and she just shrugged her shoulders and said "I know it's digital." LOL! So after that I didn't ask her anymore questions about their setup. :o)

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While at the mall, we also stopped by The Rainforest Cafe. I wasn't sure how she's respond to the big robotic crocodile, but once again my little adventurer showed me that I don't need to worry about her. She LOVED it, and the whole car ride home she was "roaring" like the crocodile. Wanna guess what she called the big guy? If you guessed "Elmo" you'd be right! Crazy kid....

She also greeted every single item we came into contact with. There was a constant stream of "hi baby! hi daddy (ie, any man)! hi clothes! hi kitty! hi car!" coming from her stroller.

I swear, the kid hardly stops talking these days! She's hit another new verbal level, and the last week or so I hear at least a dozen new words from her every day, she's putting 3 words together, using "me" and "you," etc. I ask who she is and she points at herself and says "Na-da!" She also wrinkles up her nose and says "pleeeeease" when she wants something she knows I'll say no to. Little stinker! We took a ride on the golf cart this evening to the park, and she wanted to climb up on the jungle gym but the step was too high for her. And while it wasn't totally clear, I really think she said "other way" and walked around to the other side where she can do the steps by herself! That really astounded me.

Okay, I'm done rambling now. Hey, it's late, I got off on a tangent! Good night!

Stinker of a story

Alright, folks, it's happened. I've been initiated into the ranks of "real moms."

By that I mean that I now have a poop story to tell. Just like all "real moms" right?

A few nights ago Nadia really, really didn't want to wear pajamas. I've got to pick my battles with her, and since it's warm anyway I figured what's the big deal if she just wears a diaper to bed?

Well, I soon found out what's the big deal if she just wears a diaper to bed!!

She went to sleep just fine and all was well. And then a few hours later I went to check on her before heading to bed myself.

My girl was sleeping peacefully in the middle of the crib. But she was naked. And she was covered in poop. And the crib was covered in poop. Poop. Was. Everywhere. And woo-ee did the room stink!

My first reaction was horror. And then came hysterical laughing. Finally the mother's "just gotta do whatcha gotta do" sense kicked in.

I gently lifted Nadia out of her crib and she jolted awake immediately. I did a quick wash up, diapered her - and put pajamas on! She was still in that sweet, groggy, cuddly state so I thought I could just bring her to bed with me and cuddle the night away, leaving the mess for the morning.

But as soon as we reached the bed she was wide awake, pounding on Mommy and Daddy's heads and jumping from one to the other. Yeah, we weren't up for that tonight. So I left Nadia with Daddy while I went to strip the bed and remake it.

I came back for Nadia and the entire walk back to her room, she jabbered to me a mile a minute. But the instant I laid her in the crib, she was silent. She laid her head on the pillow, I covered her up, and just like that she was asleep.

That night, she again said no to pajamas. But she wore them anyway.

"Love Mommy"

"Mommy? Mama? Up, Mommy!"

That's what I heard at 6 a.m. this morning. Nadia thought she was ready to start her day.

But that's to early for her. This kid is not an early bird. I know from experience that if she gets up before 8, the rest of that day will be a disaster. So I let her get up, eat breakfast, get dressed....and then I laid her back down for a couple more hours of rest.

"Night-night, Mommy" she told me as I covered her with the teddy bear quilt my Gram made for her.

"Good night, sweetie, I love you" I replied.

And she said, "Love, Mommy."

That's the first time she's said those words. Music to my ears!!!

I love you, too, baby girl. I love you, too.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

My Little Patriot

When Nadia and I headed outside this morning for our Independence Day photo shoot, I laughed at myself as I grabbed the flag bandana I'd bought at Target last week. Nadia never keeps anything on her head for more than 2 seconds, so I just knew it wasn't going to work. But I was wrong - she happily wore it for over half an hour! And she even cooperated pretty well for pictures (meaning, she kept the running away from me to a minimum).

Wear the flag proudly!


My little patriot


Little American - b&w


Entourage - b&w

Little Miss America

Chuck E. Cheese is pretty all-American, right?!

The 4th of July....a day traditionally spent outside sweating in the hot summer sun, grilling, eating watermelon, running through the sprinkler, and finishing with a spectacular fireworks display.

Yeah, that wasn't our Independence day this year. The torrential rain we've been having made that pretty much impossible. I did miss the fireworks. I've never so much as set off a single firecracker, but I LOVE a big show! But I do have to admit that I'm a little grateful to have the rain as an excuse to not keep The Girl out 3 hours past her bedtime and fight the crowds this year.

But anyway, that's not to say our holiday was a bust. Not by a long shot. In fact, it was pretty darn great!

It had a deliciously lazy start with sleeping in 'till 8:30 - I mean seriously is, there any better way to start the day!? Thank you Nadia, for letting Mommy sleep late *and* get a few minutes of "me time" this morning before you called for me at 9:30, bright eyed and bushy tailed and oh-so-sweet!

Three hours later, I was watching my daughter dance and squeal with complete joy. We had been to Chuck E. Cheese with her twice before and she liked it....but this time she LOVED it! I have truly never before seen her this excited and my heart swells with joy just thinking of it now!

As soon as we arrived Nadia made a beeline for the rides and games, and she was one happy little girl. But just a few minutes later Chuck E. came out, tossing tickets into the air and leading the kids toward the stage. Nadia didn't even notice the tickets...she was too fixated on that big mouse! The second she saw him she started laughing and clapping and waving and dancing and jumping up & down and shouting - the true definition of glee! She scampered right at his heels, patting his leg and exclaiming "Hi, Elmo!" every 2 seconds. (Yes, "Elmo." According to Nadia, all animated characters are Elmo. I have tried to tell her otherwise many times but she thinks I'm making it up). Oh my gosh, it was SO adorable!

Chuck E. Cheese and all the staff lined up along the stage area for their little performance. All the other kids stood several feet away with their parents, imitating the dance steps. But not Nadia. Oh no! My girl stood right next to Chuck E. and she was too busy shouting "Hi!" to bother with following the dance. After about a minute she moved to greet the next staff member, and then every 10 seconds she moved on to the next person in line. Once she reached the end, she ran back to Chuck E. and danced her little heart out. My goodness, the joy in that smile lit up the room!

Enthralled!


The show was supposed to be about Chuck E., but I think Nadia stole the spotlight. Everyone was laughing and enjoying her antics, and so many people stopped me to exclaim over how adorable she is (I quite agree!).

Unfortunately, between me being distracted and the poor light in there, I didn't get any good pictures of it. That memory will have to live in my mind. I did get this little video of her with the mechanical Chuck E., but I didn't take it until the end and at that point she was tired and starting to get cranky. This is seriously one tenth of her excitement at the beginning. I tried to embed the video here, but it doesn't want to work so I gave up....just follow the link.

We also rode lots of rides and played lots of games and climbed around a lot. Nadia rode the Barney ride 5 times in a row. The little boy came out in Daddy, and he had a grand time playing wack-a-mole and skee ball and various other games. And I challenged him to a round of skee ball - would you believe we tied?! Nadia usually loves pizza but this it just couldn't compete with all that fun...she ate all the olives off of it and then clamored to get down.

After two hours there, she was one worn out little girl. As we pulled into the driveway, I told her "okay Nadia, let's get you inside and down for a nap" and she said "home, night-night. yeah." And down she went!

So that was our 4th of July...how was yours?

Wordless Wednesday - Explore your local Library

***I know, I should post something all red-white-and-blue and patriotic today. But I don't have anything like that. We're doing our 4th of July photo shoot today, so if you tune back in tomorrow, I'll have something for you. :o) But the local public library is a pretty solid all-American thing, right?***

Explore your public library

Piggyback

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Photo of the Day - Catnap

Catnap
Catching a nap on the way home from Church on Sunday.

Another question for my Blogger friends:

Is there a way I can require an e-mail address to leave a comment? I don't see that Blogger offers that option, but I get so many wonderful comments that I'd like to respond to personally but I'm often not able to since I don't have the person's e-mail. It frustrates when people leave such sweet comments and I can't say "thanks!" individually. Like yeterday with all the great comments on the picture of my little drama queen at the doctor!

But I had to laugh at all the comments saying "it's good you had your camera with you." LOL, I always have my camera with me! If we leave the house, it's in the diaper bag. Oh, and she wasn't upset - just goofy and dramatic and silly. And I don't even know why that scale is there, since they don't use it. In fact, she's graduated to standing on the big-girl scale! But I'm glad the scale is there, as it worked well for pictures and gave them a timeless Norman-Rockwell feel. :o)

Monday, July 2, 2007

BSM - Drama Queen

This is another picture from our trip to the doctor on Friday. Gotta love that natural light!

Drama queen
Nadia's such a little drama queen. No, she's not mad here...just being a goofball and making silly faces. One thing for sure is that this girl doesn't lack for personality! She's so funny and so expressive, and she doesn't hold back on anything - she put herself 100% into everything so does. I love that about her...even though it's exhausting! I sometimes feel like a bad Mommy because I laugh at her when she's upset, because it's just so overly dramatic and funny!
Don't miss the rest of the Best Shots at Picture This!