Thursday, August 1, 2013


At 8:44 pm on August 1st, 2012 I was 22 minutes away from meeting our first baby. I remember my head being so clear, just focusing on bringing our little girl into the world, nervous that I was doing it right, wondering how she would look, taking deep breaths to calm my racing heart. Nothing can prepare you to face the actual moment when a new life is all of a sudden there, and you did it and you are responsible. When the doctor said, "Say hello to your new baby girl!" I remember being so overwhelmed; I didn't know what to do or say or how to respond to something as HUGE as this except to open my arms and reach out for my baby, tears streaming down my face as I tried to fathom that my body had worked on creating this being for nine months and now she was here, tangibly in my arms. I was trying so hard to stop crying because I wanted to see her more clearly, but I remember looking into her face with those perfect cheeks and beautiful eyes and searching for her little fingers with mine and feeling my husband leaning over my shoulder, soaking in everything together, and I didn't know what else to do except literally sob with adoration, wonder, and awe for our unbelievably perfect little girl.

 That was a year ago! Natalie Jane Poulsen has now been with us for 365 of the best days of our lives. Starting out at 8lbs 9oz, she is now more than twelve pounds heavier and has changed so much. Gone are the days of stretchies (when she would thrust her bottom lip out, throw her fists behind her head so her elbows were pointing in the air, and crane her neck back so far we thought she would hurt herself), cradling and rocking her to sleep cozy in our arms, waking up to nurse her in the middle of the night, and easy diaper changes. We've graduated from texts like "HONEY! She just LAUGHED!!" and "If she doesn't go down for a nap this afternoon I'm going to go crazy" to "We need to move the printer, she keeps climbing up on it and pulling down all the books" and "New record: seven steps!" Every day has been new and exciting - we live for the thrill of development, when all of a sudden she learns something new or is able to do something she couldn't before. I am grateful for every stage of her growth; I don't pine for the newborn days or wish I could go back to when she was x months old, but I do treasure each cozy, happy memory while I also enjoy what she is doing in the moment. I can understand how people just keep having more children: the first year of life really is incredibly special.


August 2013!
We had a GREAT time celebrating alllll day!

First, we woke up, had some cozies and then bathroom mirror time, all Natsby's faves.

Natalie had bananas and strawberry cereal for breakfast, a preferred meal of hers. Then we put the presents in the middle of the living room floor and let her go for it.

 We used extra crinkly wrapping paper which she loved and left the edges open so she could tell something was inside. She got really excited when she saw the flashing lights.

Then she got bored and decided to wander off...

So Daddy helped her with the rest. (She was transfixed by the bow for a while.)

 Then, she played! She combined blankie and drumset so that she could partake of both. (The other wrapped present was a new swimsuit Austin picked out, so cute!)

Daddy/Natsby cave

Austin had to go to school after that so Natalie and I played for a while and then had a glorious morning nap. Then we played some more!

We had lunch (cut up strawbs and sweet potato baby food, classic) and then went on an outing! We chose a couple of cute new items at Once Upon a Child and then picked up supplies to make sock puppets (stay tuned). We were pooped afterwards so we took aNOTHER wonderful nap!

 Then, Daddy got home for his break! Hooray! We took turns reading the Dr. Seuss Happy Birthday Book (bday tradition in our house) and went swimming.

I can't get enough of this (p.s. check out the new suit!)
Natalie got to eat her very favorite thing, ICE CREAM, before dinner and I'm sure it was a highlight of her day.

 We had dinner at McDonald's (only because it's Monopoly time, aka freebies!), said goodbye to Daddy while he went to class, and then went to the library on our way home. Daddy snuck out of class early and we got all ready for bed, read a story, sang songs, and had cozy time before putting our sweet girl down after her big day.

You guys, she's ONE!! We still can't believe it. It seems like she suddenly grew up about ten times in just one day, just because she is officially a year old. CRAZY! This time next year she'll be TWO!! But we aren't thinking of that yet. We are just enjoying our wonderful Natsby every single day - she brings SOOO much joy to our lives and to those around her; she's independent and so smart and she loves her Kitty and sippy and is sometimes silly, sometimes serious and doesn't get anxious around strangers and sleeps well and plays well and is healthy and beautiful and WE LOVE HER SO MUCH.


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