Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the 14 Month Old



Sweet baby Sarah you are 14 months old today and here's how you've grown:

* You still wear a size 3 diaper, but it's almost time to move you up to a 4.
* You wear 12 month clothes, but still fit in some 9 month outfits.  It just depends on the brand.
* You have two top molars coming in right now and your bottom gums feel swollen.  It's been pretty painful for you but you at least like the Ora-gel.  Unfortunately, you like it so much you lick it off my finger before I can get it to where it hurts.
* You talk a lot more now.  It's mostly unintelligible, however it has tones and inflections so I know it means something to you.
* You have two new tricks; you can point out your mouth and tell us what a duck says, but only when you want to.  If I ask you to do it on command for someone you look at me like I'm crazy.
* You're a pretty good eater.  You LOVE grapes, blueberries, green beans, carrots, cheese, raisins, lima beans, and snack happily on cheerios and kix.  You love freeze dried fruit slices.  You'll eat hot dogs, turkey, and chicken but not a lot and not all the time.
* You are definitely allergic to peas, and peanut butter.  And based off the peanut butter reaction, I think you're allergic to eggs (like scrambled, not just eggs in something).
* You have been introduced to sweets.  I tried to stop it but mommy's not a good example of healthy eating and I put my cookie down within reach one time.  You b-lined straight for it and shoved it in.  Needless to say, you really liked it.
* You communicate mostly though pointing.  You point at something and then yourself when you want it.  However, you're not very accurate when you point so it takes a while sometimes for me to guess what it is that you want.
* We're still waiting on you to officially be a walker.  You practice when you want and we really can't force you.  When we try and you're not in the mood you curl your legs and refuse to even stand up.  Yesterday you walked all the way from the tv to the couch (about 10 steps) all on your own.
* You like to practice walking on mommy and daddy's bed (under supervision of course).  I guess you figured out it's soft because when you fall down after a few steps you laugh and immediately stand back up.
* You're favorite things to do right now are read books and do puzzles.  You literally can spend hours getting books and bringing them to daddy and me and sitting in our laps while you flip through the pages.
* You're still a big fan of the bath time and will hold on to the side of the tub while it fills up bouncing with joy until we put you in it.
* You are highly opinionated, extremely determined, and we're completely in love with you.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Shamrock Shake

Dear McDonalds,

You know I love you.  You know I have an unquenchable addiction to your salty french fries and delicious chicken mcnuggets (with sweet and sour sauce of course).  You remember when I was near the end of my pregnancy and I wasn't really craving you but I figured I was as big as a house so what the heck and I begged Chris to go and get you at least twice a week.  In fact, one day I had you for lunch and dinner when I was getting near the end.  You and me, we go way back.

So why McDonalds?  Why have you forsaken me?  Why do you release my happy childhood memories to limited areas instead of allowing the whole world to enjoy your seasonal and delicious shamrock shake?  Do you hate me?  Are you like a horrible parent that favors one child more than another?  Because I'm beginning to think so.  For the second year in a row now, my brother who lives in Cincinnati, OH has posted and texted about how he is enjoying a glorious Shamrock Shake which prompts me to drive straight to the closest McDonalds to order one only to be greeted by a 15 year old who has no idea what I'm talking about.  See, you are not only abandoning me, but neglecting a whole new generation.  SHE HAD NO IDEA WHAT A SHAMROCK SHAKE WAS!!!!!!!!!

So McDonalds, I'm sorry to say this, and it hurts me more than it hurts you and your over 1 Billion served, but I think it's time we went our separate ways.  I've been thinking about the "d" word recently and well, your blatant favoritism of the people up north has pushed me over the edge.  It also doesn't hurt that we here in Millington, TN have finally upped our status enough to get a Chick-fil-a.

This is good bye, that is until you meet my demands of adding the Shamrock Shake to the Memphis area.  That's right, you don't even have to put it up here in Millington or Atoka...I'll drive 30-40 minutes to go to town to get one.  But until then, this is day 1 of my McD's free life style.

(Or unless I get pregnant again...then all bets are off and it's Chicken McNuggets and Chinese food all the way.)  But seriously...I want a Shamrock Shake.


Sincerely,
Natalie 


P.S.  You suck!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Picture Stress

Tomorrow is our last round of pictures with Shannon.  And I'd love to say that I'm excited about these pictures, but I'm not.  Not that I don't love Shannon.  I do!  She is amazing and I would highly recommend her to anyone in the Nashville area.  We bought her first moments package and I don't regret it one bit!  I love every single session we've done with her and I think she's done a great job catching Sarah's milestone throughout the year.  But I'm photo-fun-ed-out.  Getting ready for these pictures is really stressful for me!  I have to pick the family outfits (cause Chris doesn't care what we wear) and I'm HORRIBLE at putting together outfits.  I live in two things: workout tshirts and shorts in the morning pre-gym, and a tshirts and jeans in the afternoon post-gym.  When I have to buy nice outfits, I seriously shop off the mannequin.  I look at a plastic dummy and say, where's all the stuff for that to a sales lady.  I'm pretty pathetic.  So dressing myself for pictures for posterity sake AND my daughter--gag me!  And please, don't get me started on shoes and accessories.  The only piece of jewelry I wear regularly is my wedding set and anniversary band, and little diamond studs in my ears so my holes don't close for the umptenth time.  And well, shoes, it's very sad when your husband owns more shoes then you.  I have about 3 pairs of sneakers (running, gym, and everyday) and 2 pairs of Teva flip flops, and 2 pairs of "church shoes" which is actually the same shoe I just bought it in both brown and black.  

ANYWAY, I usually get outfits together months in advance.  And I try to think of something cute and special for Sarah to wear to make her pop.  And while many people make fun of it, we do the matchy-matchy color for family group shots because, well, see above for my inability to put together outfits.  So it's easier for me just to say what color we are going to wear then try to get "coordinating" colors and outfits put together.  But this time, it's less than 19 hours from picture time and I haven't got a clue what everyone is wearing.  I don't even have Sarah's hair bows picked out yet!  I think I've been a little bummed about these pictures because we were supposed to save the last shoot for when Sarah is standing and walking on her own and the little stinker just flat out refuses to do so.  She can stand and walk on her own.  She's done it many times before.  But recently she just throws herself on the ground crying when I try to let go so she can practice.  So I'm deathly afraid of an photo shoot tantrum.  (Like when she basically cried through her whole 4 month old shoot.)  Though I must admit, Shannon does such a good job, you can't tell that's what she did.  

So, to try to get myself pumped up for pictures.  (Wahoo.) I thought I'd show you some of my favorites from the past.  Prepare for picture overload.  But I kept them small since there are so many.

Sarah's Newborn pictures
This is our first family group shot.  Sarah's only 10 days old and her stupid nasty umbilical stump hadn't fallen off yet, so I begged Shannon to try to keep it out of the picture.  Obviously the family color was pink...you know...because we had a girl.

I love how precious and tiny she looks sleeping across our arms.

Stole this idea from a friend.  Her cute little toes with our rings.

That flower bow doesn't look nearly so big on her now.  She wears it frequently.

Sarah's 4 month pictures (Milestone: tummy time)

This is probably my FAVORITE family picture.  I just love Sarah's smile.  And we went with green for the family color scheme since it was spring.  The next day was actually my first mother's day.

I think I would have liked this picture more if Chris's eyes and top of the head hadn't been cut off.  It's a really darling picture of Sarah.  And see how she's reaching for me.  That was the beginning of the clinging throughout this photo shoot.


I love this picture.  I had it blown up and put in our bathroom.  I like it because it reminds me of when her hair use to stand up on its own before it got long enough to lay flat.  It was adorable.


So the diaper cover is awesome.  I saw some on etsy and they were over priced.  I overestimated my ability to be crafty so I purchased all the stuff and quickly was overwhelmed and begged my friend D. Burns to "help me" make it, which in the end turned into me talking her into making it for me.  But it's perfect and I love it.  And if we ever have another girl I'll probably beg her to make me another one with different flowers so I can hang that picture up to the one of Sarah.

This is one of the only pictures Shannon snapped that showed how irritated Sarah was.  I like it because it's the early stages of her attitude.  

I don't know, this one just seems classic.

Sarah's 8 Month Pictures (Milestone: crawling and pulling up to stand)


She was thrilled over these blocks.  And Shannon had to snap quick because Sarah knocked them over pretty quickly.  (And immediately started chewing on them.)

This one I had blown up to 20x30 (the size of a poster) at Costco for only $9.  Then I spray glued it to foam poster board from Wal-mart ($3) making an awesome mantle picture at a fraction of the cost for a sturdy board print and it covers all the cables and chords up there.  It makes me happy.  Of course I never noticed the precarious placement of my hand until I saw this thing in poster size.  Now I'm looking forward to replacing it.

This was from a series of her crawling along the sidewalk towards Shannon.  I just like how blue her eyes are.

Not a big fan of my giant thighs.  But I think this picture is sweet because she couldn't stand up on her own, yet she's happy just to be leaning against me.  You know, like she trusts me.  Little does she know that now if she leans against me I step away trying to get her to stand on her own.  I'm awesome.

I wish I could zoom in on just their faces.  They are making the same face.  It's ADORABLE.  

We went through a phase where if I lay on the ground she'd immediately crawl on top of me.  I thought it was cute.  She's grown out of that phase so I'm glad I have this picture.

Cheesing it up.  My only complaint about this picture is Daddy put the hand on and it folded the brim up like a dork.  Now she looks nerdy instead of being able to tell that her hat looks like a watermelon.

This is her "huh?" face when you call her name.

Christmas Mini Session (this wasn't apart of the first moments package we bought, I just wanted some pictures to send out in our awesome Christmas cards.)
I've realized I'm always making a dumb face in pictures because I'm trying to get Sarah to laugh.  You can also tell she's clinging to me for dear life, because this was another one of those sessions where she cried the whole time.

This was the first time we ever swung her between us.  She laughed hysterically.  That's not always the case now.  Sometimes it makes her scream and cry.  Never know till you do it which mood she's in though.  

Ok, so I like this one because she's just tutu cute!  Ha, bad pun.

So wish us luck tomorrow getting Sarah to NOT cry the entire time.  I'm going to try to talk her Auntie Cami into coming.  It seems that when Cameron is there we have a good session and we she isn't Sarah cries a lot.  (Cam was there for Newborn and 8 month and missed the other 2).  However, our session is at 9 am and I don't think Cam knows there is a 9 am on Saturday.  And really, let's hope the little stinker shows off her standing and walking skills, because I'm tried of telling people and myself that she really can do it.  

And then, really, wish us luck if we ever have another kid since Shannon Payne Photography has moved to Nashville.  Fun fact, I interviewed more photographers than pediatrician for Sarah.  Yes, you read that right, but in my defense I really liked the first pediatrician obviously because that's who we chose.  Whereas it took me 5 tries before I found Shannon.  In fact, I think I'm done having kids because I don't want to go through the stress of trying to find another photographer.

Oh and just in case someone is thinking it, no this post is not an advertisement for Shannon.  She didn't ask me to do it and I'm getting NO compensation.  But seriously, if you live in the Nashville area and need family pictures...here's her website.  www.shannonpaynephotography.com  And really, if you know of a good, affordable, family photographer in the Memphis area, I'll be needing that name when it's time to do Sarah's 2 year old birthday pictures or else we're going to Sears.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Saying "No"

Well, this post isn't actually about Sarah, though she does love to say no. It actually comes out slightly German because she says it as "Nine! Nine! Nine!" She even does the little finger waggle! I have no idea where she got that from but it's cute (for now).

The other day when an administrator from the school I use to teach at called and asked me to take a part time job with them put me in a dilemma. (And truth be told, if a different administrator had called it might have been a yes just because of the higher level of not wanting to disappoint factor.) I hemmed and hawed and dwelled over the situation. I looked into mother's day out opportunities. I talked to Chris about the position, and he, not knowing how I felt, said "I think you should do it!". Which didn't help the situation. So as I was talking it over with my mother in law as we made 26 pounds of spaghetti for the Youth Camp Fundraiser that evening I came to the decision that I didn't want to do it. Here I had the opportunity to go back to work part time, and I don't want to.

And that's when I realized, I like my life. I like my routine. Sure when I first had to tell people I was "just a mom" I was a little embarrassed, but I can now say, "I'm a stay at home mom" and I like it! And taking on a job outside the home would just mess up my routine. The routine I've worked hard to create and love. And while it may not sound exciting to you because I basically do the same thing every day and sometimes multiple times a day: change diapers, chase Sarah, feed Sarah, clean up that mess that is created by feeding Sarah, laundry, more laundry, read books with Sarah over and over, forwards and backwards, skipping many pages in between, and go to the gym. That routine makes both Sarah and me very happy. And it's not worth sacrificing that routine when I don't have to.

Plus, she's pretty darn cute.  And the weather is getting nice so we get to go to the park more often.  And did I mention I get to go to the gym for 2 hours a day, and spend the rest of my day playing Little People with Sarah?  Cause, it's pretty awesome.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Chatty Cathey

Well, we weren't able to get video of Sarah walking last night.  However, we did get another one we've been trying for: Sarah's chatter.  Sarah talks a lot.  It's pretty cute and often results in me and Chris giggling.    Ma Schwartz has been asking us to get Sarah's chatter on video for a while for G.G. Wright but Sarah's been clamming up.  Unfortunately, her chatter is starting to change.  She use to sound like she was always talking about tacos.  And if you said "taco" to her, she would tell you all about it.

Warning, this video was taken in the bath tub.  (Sorry Mom!)  It's the only place she's guaranteed to talk because her best friend is always in the tub with her.  In the video, it may look like she's talking to the fish spout cover, but don't be deceived.  She's talk to her reflection in the little metal thing underneath it.  Sarah is in love with herself.  She waves at every reflective surface we pass.  She gives herself kisses in the oven (when it's not on!)  Yep, she's pretty vain.  But I guess if I was that cute, I'd be in love with my reflection too.



Monday, February 7, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Lack of Pictures

Sarah has decided to go on a camera strike.  The moment I get that thing out and turn it on she stops whatever cute thing she's doing.  She refuses to talk for the camera.  If she's standing or even taking a few of her baby steps she immediately sits down and starts to crawl.  She is breaking this mommy's heart.  And in turn I have neglected the blog for lack of photographic evidence of her amazing-ness.

So I guess I'll just tell you a few cute things she's doing without the pictures to back it up.  And perhaps we should all start getting use to the idea of picture-less posts.

Sarah's really into "reading" books right now.  She's always had a few favorites but now she'll bring you a book and want to sit in your lap and turn the pages.  It's adorable, but she doesn't actually let you read it. She turns the pages too fast.  Chris put me in my place one day when with a big smile he was talking about how cute it is that Sarah brings him a book and crawls in his lap to read with him.  And I complained about how all she does is flip the pages real fast and then crawls away.  And he said "yes, but for that moment that's where she wants to be, in your lap with a book.  Isn't it sweet?"  I felt like a jerk.  Chris is right.  It is adorable.  And what's even cuter is now instead of you patting your lap to let her know to crawl in, she comes over with the book and then pats your lap to let you know she's climbing in.  So sweet.
Sarah's also been loving on her baby Belle that she got for her birthday.  She likes to pick her up and pat her on the back and say "awwwww".  It's very sweet.  The other day she handed me Belle, and I was talking to her having a full on conversation, you know making the voice for Belle also, and Sarah walked over to me (3 or 4 steps--not real walking) grabbed my knee and then bent her head down so she could look in my face.  She had an expression like, "mommy, you know that Belle isn't real...right?"

We've been practicing walking a lot recently.  Sarah took the most continuous steps to date yesterday; I think I counted 12.  That was pretty cool.  But what was really neat was when Chris asked her to bring him something and he said, "stand up and bring it to me" and she did.  She stood up and walked the 5 or 6 steps to Chris to hand him the toy.  

And speaking of walking, she started screaming in Sacrament yesterday so I had to take her out.  We took a holding on to one finger tour of the building before heading back in.  As we walked past the back row she slowed down and did a pageant wave to everyone we walked past.  What a diva!

Sarah also loves to do her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse puzzle.  She'll play with that thing for 20 minutes straight without getting bored.  Chris and I use it to help her practice walking.  I'll hold the pieces and he'll hold the puzzle and we have her walk back and forth between us getting pieces and putting them in.  The coolest thing is to see her thinking.  She'll point at a blank place, then Chris will say who it is and tell her to go get it, and she'll walk over to me and pick that piece from the puzzle.  If you ask her where something is, she'll look around for it and usually find it and give it to you.  It's really amazing to see her start processing things like that.

And that leads us to our last cute story.  We were over at Ma and Pa Schwartz's for the superbowl yesterday.  Sarah was playing with her little people car that has a mommy and a baby that go with it.  Holt was sleeping on the couch and everyone else was in the kitchen eating.  I like to keep Sarah's little people pieces together so I was concerned that only the mommy was in the car and the baby was missing.  So I asked Sarah, "where's the baby?"  She looked at me, then crawled over to where Holt was sleeping on the couch, pulled herself up, pointed at him and grunted.  She was saying, "the baby's right here."  Not the one I was looking for, but I was floored that she understands the concept of Holt being a baby.  Of course, now that she was aware of him there within reach, she kept trying to touch him and bring him toys, and mess with him.  It was pretty cute. 

So sorry again for the lack of photographic documentation.  My goal this evening is to have Chris help me get a video of Sarah walking.  So I guess check back tomorrow and see if we had any success.