Friday, June 27, 2008

Playing with Spaghetti

Today we had delicious spaghetti for dinner. As usual, we made too many noodles (or maybe we drank too much of the sauce) and had some noodles leftover. Natalie was such a good girl sitting quietly on her daddy's lap while we ate that we decided to give her a little bit of plain cooked noodle to play with. Childhood developmental specialists all say it's good to give your child different textures to play with so it really was the responsible thing to do :)

Video 130 of Natalie playing with spaghetti noodles. She pulls the noodles aparts, messes them around on the table, squeezes them in her hands, throws some on the floor, and eats a few pieces here and there.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bait and Switch

Here's the bait: Photos and videos of Natalie (here's one of her with a little pink barrette in her hair taken by Lisa in April). Doesn't she look like a little girl in this pic? What a cutie. And well worth logging in to her blog at least 2 or 3 times everyday, right?

And here's the switch: Once you are hooked on this site, you'll notice we have added Google ads to this blog (see way bottom right). That's right, we are shamelessly exploiting our daughter. We got this idea from other "mommy bloggers" who claim they have stopped working because of all the money coming in from ads placed on their blogs. So, we decided to go for it. The result? So far this week we have earned ...*drum roll* ... 10 whole cents (that's US dollars)! Google pays only when total earnings reach over $100.00, so if we keep this up, in another 100 weeks (approximately 2 years) we'll get paid! So please visit more often and all moneys collected will go towards Natalie's college fund. Thanks for visiting!

Note: Clark would like to point out that the term "Bait and Switch" is technically incorrect. He says it is inaccurate because we aren't baiting and we aren't switching anything. Personally, I think the "bait" (a.k.a. motivation) are photos and videos of a little cutie patootie (a.k.a. Natalie). The "switch" comes when you scroll down and are suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with Google ads. This point is still being debated at time of publication.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Guess who can do what?

We are so super excited. Natalie has taken her first few independent toddler steps! She's not very brave and used to cling to us when standing, but recently, she's begun to trust in her own abilities and take a few brave steps away from the sofa and into our waiting arms. She's super happy when walking and will oblige us by doing it over and over and over again (we just pick her up and put her back by the sofa).

Watch Video 129 of Natalie taking a few independent steps, first to her mommy, and then her daddy, and then her toy box. What a huge milestone for her!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Busy as a Bee

This morning Natalie spent over 20 minutes busying herself in my purse. She pulled out my lipstick, compact, keys, and various accessories. Most interesting of all was my wallet. She spent another 10 minutes on my wallet, pulling out my credit cards, money, and receipts.

See Video 128 of Natalie emptying out my wallet. She hands me most of the money (good girl!) and when she tries to give something to me and I say "no thank you", she tosses it aside (smart girl!).

Also see Video 129 of Natalie playing with my wallet from a different angle. In this video, you can see how coordinated her fingers are now. Also, she understand that things have two (or more) sides and will flip the credit cards around to see both sides.

Natalie making a mess of my purse and wallet this morning. This is just the beginning.

After emptying out my wallet, she's now reaching into my purse and is pulling out...

My pashmina. She crumples it and uses it to mop the floor (maht day). She's learned to do this by watching our helper, Suparti, use a cloth to wipe clean her play mats.

I'm trying to feed Natalie breakfast. To keep her occupied through the meal, I've given her my card wallet. She makes short work of emptying that, too.

More Bah-roos

Yesterday, while looking for baby teeth wipes at the new Toys r' Us that opened just down the street, we picked up a big, pink balloon at their grand opening. Not only am I super happy that a Toys R' Us has opened so close (and convenient) to us, Natalie was also happy to be re-united with her friend the "bah-rooo!". She insisted on playing with it through dinner.

Natalie posing with her friend bah-roo.

Natalie smiling, happily eating and playing with bah-roo.

Natalie loves showing things to the people around her. She even very generously gave me the balloon to hold for a few seconds.

Half-way through the meal, Natalie becomes interested in the little part where the balloon attaches to the stick.

Very interesting. I wonder what happens if I do this...?

Uh oh.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Reading with Natalie

Yesterday, Natalie was very quiet and sweet while reading with us. As she's getting older, her concentration is getting better so she can pretty much sit through an entire (short) book with us now. She loves to sit in our laps (we're like her sofa) and will occasionally crawl out from her comfy seat to turn a page or grab another book, but then she'll crawl back in and plop herself down on our lap again.

Reading quietly with daddy.

Look at the concentration. Natalie is following her daddy's finger as he points out important objects like "orange" and "banana". She can now say "nana" (a little imagination required).

A close-up shot.

Same angle with different light settings.

Natalie helping to turn the page. Her little fingers have become really good at coordinating for small movements.

Natalie lounging in her "sofa".

Thumb-sucking action.

More thumb-sucking action.

Reading with mommy. Natalie furrows her brows while concentrating on the very interesting book.

Natalie likes to read the same books over and over again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What did Natalie do tonight?

Tonight, when I got home from work, Natalie and I hung out together for a while. She gave me kisses and then protested when I tried to hug her for too long. Then daddy called to say he was on his way home, so Natalie and I got ready to go and surprise him at the MTR station.

Here are pics from our journey:

Natalie in her stroller in the elevator. She loves to sit with one foot up (the left foot) and play with her sandal strap.

We stop by City Garden Hotel for a quick pic. Natalie sticks her hand out to feel for rain (ok, not really, but it looks like it, doesn't it?)

Close-up of the Natalie. She's wondering why we aren't going anywhere. Can we get moving again please?

Natalie waiting to cross the street while I play with camera settings.

Natalie still waiting to cross the street and checking out the people around her. Lots of strangers give her friendly smiles.

Natalie still patiently waiting for the light to change. People around us are giving me strange looks as I squat and fiddle with the camera and snap pictures of the cute and quiet baby in the stroller.

Once again, we've stopped in front of another (well-lit) store so I can fiddle some more with the camera. Here is what I see whenever I'm out with Natalie in her stroller. Again, the left foot is up and she is playing with the sandal strap. It's velcro and makes the SHrrhhsss! sound when she tugs at it, releases it, and tugs again (and again and again).

In the Fortress Hill MTR station waiting for Daddy. I'm still playing with the camera and trying to capture movement (with Natalie sitting so still). Lots of people going into the MTR.

We've now moved to the other side of the pillar and there are a lot less people coming out. Natalie loves being out and is very "gwai" sitting quietly and patiently in her stroller. She just loves to people-watch.

Natalie holding her sandal strap. You can see the blur of someone coming out of the MTR station.

Yay, Daddy's here! Here is Clark pushing Natalie through the throng of people on our walk back home.

Clark holds a "walk" pose while I take a few pics with slow shutter speed to capture more movement behind and around him. Natalie holds a pose, too.

While Tracy is waiting to cross the street with Natalie, Clark takes the camera and starts fiddling with it, too. He manages to capture this movement photo while Natalie and I stand still again.

Little busy walker

Natalie loves to walk and will ask us to take her walker out (by pointing and yelling of course) so she can stand behind it and push it around. She hasn't gotten the hang of how to steer yet and will happily walk a straight-ish line until she hits something (a wall, a shelf, the sofa, my foot) that stops her from moving forward. Then she'll yell and call for us to help her turn the walker around so she can walk a straight line some more.

Today, Natalie did a little steering and managed to get her walker into the hallway by herself. See photos below:

Natalie making her way into the hallway. She's a determined little walker now.

She stops just inside the doorway and squats to pick something off the floor. While squatting, she accidentally turns her walker into the door.

Hey, how come I can't move anymore?

If the walker won't move, Natalie decides she still can and cruises along to the side of the walker where she can see me better and we can chit-chit.

Natalie happily chatting away with me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Standing by herself

Today Natalie let go of us while standing and she can totally stand by herself without holding anything. See the photo we captured below. She loves standing now and we think she'll be walking within the next few weeks. How exciting! We're excited. It's a big milestone for her.

Also, see
Video 127 of Natalie fussing when we take a necklace away from her, and calming as soon as she gets it back. Hail, our little princess :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I have hair, teeth, and a belly button!

Watch Video 126 of Natalie pointing out her hair, her teeth, and her belly button. At first she can't find her belly button because it's hiding under her onesie and she wonders where it went. We have to help her unsnap the bottom before she can find, and when she does, she's really happy it's still there.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sleeping Bum

Natalie likes to sleep with her bum in the air. We put her to sleep on her back or on her side, but at some point, she always manages to roll and squirm around until she's in the bum-in-air position. We find it really cute! Here are a few more pics.

And from another angle.

Playful Nat

Natalie is becoming more and more playful and will take the initiative to incite the people around her to play with her. This includes yelling and pointing at someone, crawling over to give you a toy, raising her arms in a "pick me up now" pose, or even crawling over from behind to pull at my pants and peek up and smile at me (see pic below).

Watch Video 125 of Natalie playing with us. She's very "busy" now. In cantonese, we would say she likes to "gow gow juhn". If we're chilling at home, Natalie will happily bang toys together, sort objects, and talk on the phone (she knows how to turn it on, but not off). She also likes to put small objects into bigger objects, open and close doors, pull out books and flip through them, and "find" things. She's non-stop!

Natalie crawled up from behind me to peek up and smile at me. She found this game really fun and did it over and over again.

Natalie wearing a bucket hat. She gives me the bucket and laughs when I put it on my head. But she doesn't find it quite so funny when I put it on her head.