Monday, March 30, 2009

Four--Whether I like It Or Not

Natalie turned four against my will.

As she's been counting down the days to her birthday, I've been begging her to stay three. I've tried to set aside more time for cuddles, just to soak them in while I can. She promises to still cuddle with me even though she's getting bigger. I'm counting on it.

Natalie decided on a puzzle theme for this year's birthday party. I love the thrill kids get from parties and I have so much fun doing them. This celebration turned out great, even on a shoestring budget. (I spent a total of $8.00!)

The invites were puzzles, of course.

Here's the table all set for her friends. Each guest got a personalized cup (remember when you were a kid and you loved any and all things personalized?) and a mini puzzle to take home.

We played a muscial chairs-type game with puzzle pieces. And then went on a scavenger hunt using photos that were cut into puzzles.

Then it was on to lunch...

...and the requested puzzle cake.

The presents are always a hit. She got lots of really great stuff.

Here she is all dressed-up in a new outfit from Chloe.

This Polly Pocket car from Grandma Seely probably wins as her favorite gift, although the four dollars from Grandma Hatch got some pretty excited "oohs."

I'm not ready for my baby to be four. She's just so huggable and fun and has the most delicious "kissy" cheeks. Though she nows holds up one more finger to show her age, I'm sure her delightful personality will only get better with age.

Happy Birthday, Natalie! We love you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Scrug

With as many nicknames as are used around our house, it’s amazing our children know their actual given names. Most of them come from their dad’s imagination and he uses them help fulfill his ever-present need to tease. The three of them together are known as his “Kiddy Kats” and Jon offers kitty kisses on a regular basis. Having endured them a time or two in the past, the offers are usually met with a squeal and a bolt in the opposite direction.

Alyssa (also known as Pants, Marissa Hose, Teresa Nose) was dubbed “Mouse” by her dad at a very young age. It was a suitable name due to her tiny stature and quiet personality. I seldom use it, however, as it always seems an intrusion on their father-daughter bond.

When Natalie was born, she was (won’t be for long) smaller than Mouse and thus became “Bug.” Variations such as Natabug and Natascrug evolved over time. Eventually the first half was dropped and “Scrug” was here to stay. It’s the perfect name for our spunky, mind-of-her-own, never-a-dull-moment little girl.

A few Sundays ago, I sat listening to a Sacrament meeting talk when Natalie asked me for a tissue. I was startled by a large black smear that covered her face from the middle of her nose to the tip of her chin. It looked as if she’d attempted to draw a goatee with a black marker. Embarrassed and stunned, I quickly escorted her out of the chapel. She had been coloring on a wipe-off book and I was worried that the pen had leaked all over her and our pew.

To my relief, the ink came off her face easily. As I cleaned her up, I notice her tongue was completely black as well. “Did you put that pen in your mouth?!” She was adamant that she didn’t and insisted that there wasn’t any on the pew either. Once we returned to our seat, it was obvious what had happened and how the ink was spread to her face.

She didn’t have a tissue to erase the wipe-off marker, so what better instrument than her tongue to do the job? Such a Scruggy thing to do!

Scrug recently learned how to cross her eyes. She and her sister both have that freakish Hatch gene that allows them move one eye back and forth while the other remains crossed. They love creeping me out at the dinner table.

A Scrug only a mother could love!