Saturday, April 9, 2011


My sweet Madison,

How is it even possible that you are two? Today has been hard on Mommy. I've rocked you to sleep twice today...and I've cried both times. It's just so hard for me to believe that you're two - you're a little girl now. You've reminded me all week though that you're "Mommy's little baby". We even talked earlier in the week about how you'd always be my little baby. I hope you always remember that - even when you're sixteen!

We had the best day today! You've been talking about your birthday and your birthday party for months now...constantly reminding everyone, "My birthday is coming up." You picked out Mickey Mouse Clubhouse decorations for your party months ago too. We looked at the decoration book together and you got soooo excited when you turned to the page with Mickey and Minnie. So, naturally, you were super excited when I told you this morning that it was birthday time. We had breakfast this morning with Aunt Patty and then made a quick trip to the Dollar Store for a few items we needed for your party. You were all about this - you even grabbed a pack of GI Joes and said, "I need this for my party. Put it in the buggy, Mommy." And you absolutely loved your party! You were fascinated with your Airwalker Mickey and Minnie balloons. And we ate birthday cake and ice cream, and blew out your candle, and sang "Happy Birthday", and opened presents...just like we'd been talking about for months. We had a great time with our family. I asked you after your party if you had fun and you said, "uh huh" in a super excited voice.

I had fun too! But because today was your birthday, my mind just kept going back to your actual birth day two years ago. The time has flown by, and I know it will continue to do so. I know that soon another year will have passed and we'll be celebrating your special day once again. You're growing up on me! And it's so bittersweet - I am so very proud of you. You are growing into such an amazing little girl. But as much as I look forward to much as I know I'll enjoy each and every new year with're still growing up. And you probably won't even understand how bittersweet it is until you are completely grown and have a child of your own. Then, too, you'll know just how much I love you...just as I now know just how much your Nana loves me and your Uncle Matt.

And love you I do. So. Very. Much. I love that we have actual conversations. I love that you wake up in the morning talking and fall asleep at night talking. I love your love of animals. I love your "great big hugs". I love that you love water - just like me! I love that the opposite of big to you is "baby" (like "it's a baby one"). I love that you like to guess who I'm talking to when I'm on the phone. I love that you're kind. I love that you're super silly! (Nana says you're more silly than Daddy and me put together.) I love that you love books and music. I love that you break out into spontaneous song several times a day (you know so many!). I love your big blue eyes. I love that you say "two both 'ems" when you have two of something and I ask you how many you have. I love that you refer to your ABCs as ABCDs - you even sing "now I know my ABCDs" at the end of the song. I love that you count to eleven. I love that you're girly, but not too girly (I like to think you get that from me). You love clothes and necklaces and bracelets and shoes and baby dolls. But you also love trains and airplanes and big trucks and rocks and basketball and football too.

I love you Madison - everything about you. You are perfect to me. Happy Birthday, Bug! You have charmed so many in your two years. I hope you know how much you are loved.


Monday, December 20, 2010

The Good Stuff

Madison (while carrying a bucket and a radio): Mommy, I ready to go.
Mommy: You're ready to go?
Madison (while handing me another bucket): Get ready, Mommy.
Uncle Matt: Where are you going, Madison?
Madison: To the party.

Ah, our little socialite.


Madison (while looking out the window): He's coming, Mommy.
Mommy: He's coming?
Madison: Yes.
Mommy: Who's coming?
Madison: Santa Claus.


Mommy (talking to Madison while she eats pizza in her high chair): Do you know who's coming to see you this week?
Madison: Santa Claus.
Mommy (super surprised): Yes, Santa Claus is coming to see you.
Mommy (sure she isn't going to answer this one correctly): Do you know what Santa is going to bring you?
Madison: Presents! (Mommy was thinking toys, but right you are! I don't know how she knows this stuff!!)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Time Flies...

....when you're having fun!

Where does the time go? I've been meaning to blog forever! Just seems like there's never enough time - and when there is time, there's something else that needs to be done that I've probably been putting off for entirely too long (like laundry - lol!).

Our baby is becoming less and less a baby every day. I'm so proud of her, but I can't help feeling robbed of the baby stage just a bit. She's entirely way too grown up. Seriously, she talks like she's 2 to 2.5. She can pretty much say anything she wants to. We are amazed. Her ability to communicate makes her very easy to reason with...and that makes me one LUCKY mommy!

Some of my favorite things Madison has said or done recently include:

--Saying "I hold you, Mommy" or "I hold you, Daddy" when she wants to be picked up. Melts my heart EVERY time!

--Madison hates when the sun is in her eyes. I mean, HATES it. She always has. We had to make a trip to the doctor a few weeks ago. On the way, the sun was really bright. Madison was crying because it was in her eyes and said, "The moon's in my eyes".

--Madison can correctly identify her nose, ears, eyes, mouth, tongue, head, hair, forehead, chin, cheeks, arm, hands, fingers, elbow, belly, back, booty, knees, feet, toes, and heart. We keep adding new body parts every week or so.

--Madison can tell you the sounds each of these make: cow, horse, dog, cat, lion, bear, duck, bird, turkey, monkey, crocodile, deer (yes, a deer), rooster, snake, frog, pig, owl, big truck, train, car, and Santa.

--Madison usually speaks in complete sentences or at least using long phrases. Typically, she even uses "I" appropriately instead of referring to herself in third person. I love it when it's obvious to me that she's still learning! For example, sometimes when I ask Madison, "Did you poopy?", she replies, "I poopy did". hehe! She's too cute!

--She's just started saying she misses/missed things or people. It's the sweetest. Last Friday, she told Nana, "I miss Daddy". And last Sunday, when we got home from Grandma's house, she was so excited to see Adele. She kept saying, "I missed you, Adele. I missed you." Adorable!

Here's some of what we've been up to:

--Halloween - Madison was obsessed with pumpkins. We'd take walks with her in the subdivision and look for pumpkins. Her very favorite was a big plastic pumpkin that was lit up by the light on top of the pillar at the end of a neighbor's driveway. She loved the "big pumpkin". We carved a pumpkin with her on Halloween day. Afterward, she sat by it and hugged it and kissed it. She said it was a "nice pumpkin". We thought she might not like the inside of the pumpkin but she proved us wrong. She kept saying, "Get some, Mommy!" She dressed up as Minnie Mouse for trick-or-treat. She went twice - once at home with Mommy and Poppaw (Nana gave out candy) and once at Grandma's with Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Aunt Jennifer, Ryan, Carrie, Malyn, Tyce, and Kylor. She loved putting candy in her bucket!

--Birthday Party - Madison received her first birthday party invitation from a friend. She really enjoyed seeing some of the little girls from her class outside of her daycare. I had planned on just having one party in Man this year again on her birthday. However, after seeing how much fun they all had at the party together, I think we may do a party near home too!

--Playing Mommy - Madison LOVES her babies. I've been calling her octomom. I swear, she wears herself out (and Mommy too) some days taking care of her babies. It's adorable though, and I am completely amazed by how motherly she can be already. Our favorite is when she sings "Rock-a-bye Baby" to them and when she has us help them do the motions to "Itsy Bitsy Spider" or "If You're Happy and You Know It" while she sings and dances.

--Reading - Madison's favorite activity is reading. I can't tell you how much times I've picked her up from daycare to find her sitting on the little couch reading. I walk in and say "Madison, what are you doing?" and she says "I reading, Mommy!". She loves it! Some evenings we come home and all she wants to do is read. Her teachers at daycare say that she brings them books and says "Read this, please." I guess we share a love for reading!

--Zoo - We took Madison to the zoo back in October. She was a hoot! I really thought she'd love it, but I think we were all surprised by just how much she did. She got so excited about all of the animals. We would point to where they were and she'd say "I see 'em!" Her very favorite was the monkeys! She was bouncing all over the place when we looked at them!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

4 Years

Today I looked, I mean really looked at my wedding ring. At one time it had sparkled and shone, but today, I noticed it was really dull and darkened. I quickly cleaned it up and was amazed at how willing it was to shine again. And since I can't keep myself from thinking of life as a series of analogies, I of course began to think of how symbolic my treatment of this ring is towards my marriage.

I don't ever really forget the ring is there. It's lived on my finger for 4 years now and it will remain there - Lord willing. I move it around quite a bit. I fidget with my ring and spin it around on my finger constantly.

When my hands are cold, I sometimes switch my engagement ring to my right hand and wear both rings separated. When I do that, I quickly remember how it felt to wear that engagement ring. I would stare at it often - knowing the lifetime promises were going to quickly follow my receiving it.

When it's hot, my fingers swell and it becomes impossible to take the rings off. When I play with Madison, I either take the rings off or turn them around so that the diamonds are sideways so that I won't scratch her. My wedding rings are the only pieces of jewelry I've ever owned that actually have any value. (and there you have another possible analogy.)

I feel quite sentimental about it all right now.

I'm not one for shows like The Bachelorette - not one to get caught up in the fairytale of it all. I do sometimes wonder how those couples will fare after it all ends. How could you possibly succeed after all the dramatic romance and perfectly orchestrated dates are no longer the norm, and real life sets in? And it makes me think of how sometimes that is how our own engagements and dating can be. So much romance and excitement, and then, before you know it, you find yourself 4 years and a baby later in the midst of a very real life and the hands that are wearing those rings are just a little more worn out looking. Ironically, my own experience of marriage and love involves so much more reality that the reality show.

But tonight, right now, my ring is shining. And when I think of the man whose finger I also placed a ring on back then, my heart shines a bit too.

But maybe his awareness of these feelings of mine is lose somewhere in the daily living. Perhaps the requests of "could you do the dishes/laundry/etc." crowd out affectionate expressions. Maybe the love I have for him appears somewhat dull to him. Perhaps like my ring, it needs a little shine from time to time.

I think I can take care of this ring a little better. And I think I can create a little more sparkle in my marriage as well. And I will.

But right now, I'm delighting in the comfort of the permanency of it all. I'm finding pleasure in the indention that remains under my rings and finding pleasure in my promise to walk this life with this man. And just as the ring has become quite a part of my actual hand, my husband has become a part of my actual being.

I can't imagine life without him.

Happy Anniversary, Matt. I love you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Where Does She Get It?

This will probably be a bit random - just a few stories/observations from the last few weeks.

--Sometimes I call Madison my little politician. I've been letting her walk to and from her classroom a little more lately, so she can get more practice on the stairs. It always takes us so much more time though by doing so, because she has to say "hi" and "bye" to so many people. She does this pretty much everywhere. She did it Saturday at the mall. Matt asked her why she tells some people "hi" and some people "bye". Mommy explained to him on Madison's behalf that obviously some people are coming and some people are going. We can't help but to sit back and smile and laugh and think, "Where does she get this?!" She is definitely a ham!

--Madison has started trying to talk using sentences. She gets so excited and is so animated. We got so tickled - it actually sounds like she's yelling at us most of the time. It all started completely out of the blue on Saturday. Most of her sentences usually start with "Oh, Oh...." I can always make out the many single words she uses, but I can only make out a few words here and there when she goes into babble mode. I just can't believe that this babbling will soon turn into comprehensible sentences. Our baby girl is growing up way too quickly!

--Sunday, Nana and Poppaw came over and took us out to breakfast. While we were in the car, I asked Madison what she was going to eat. Our conversation is as follows:
Mommy - Madison, what are you going to eat for breakfast?
Madison - Oh, oh...(babbling).
Mommy - Are you going to eat eggs?
Madison - Eggs.
Mommy - Are you going to eat pancakes?
Madison - Pancake.
Mommy - Are you going to eat French toast?
Madison - Fren toast.
Mommy - Yeah, so what are you going to eat?
Madison - Oh, oh...(some babbling) all of that.

I'm not completely sure if that's what she said, but it definitely sounded just like it. We all laughed so hard. Doesn't surprise me the least if that's what she said - she loves to eat, especially breakfast.

--Little Ladybug got bit today at daycare. The bite mark on her hand looks bad, but I think it's partly because her skin is so sensitive. There's no denying that it would have been painful though. It broke my heart for her when Matt told me about it (he picked her up today). I think Matt thought I'd be mad about it. I wasn't though. I mean, it could have easily been her. It just made me sad that she had been hurt by someone. It also made me think that I'll probably have to watch this happen over and over as she grows - her being hurt by someone. The easiest reaction is to just get mad - and believe me, I wanted to be. But I know that these things will happen, and my job as a mother is to comfort her when she hurts even if I can't always stop the hurt from happening. Another life lesson learned....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Morning Conversation

So, Madison has finally shown some separation anxiety. It's not horrible, but it's still WAY more than I'm used to. She now gets upset when I start to walk out of her daycare class. It breaks my heart just walking out, all while smiling and happily telling her bye. I want to just scoop her up and stay with her until she feels better about staying, but I know that if I do, I'll just be making it worse. I also know that she's just fine right after I leave.

This is the conversation we had this morning when I pulled into the parking space at daycare:

Me - Madison, are you ready to go in?

Madison - No.

Me - Do you want to go play with your friends?

Madison - No.

Me - You don't want to go see Miss Debbie?

Madison - No.

Me - Do you want to just come with Mommy? (I was really just testing her to see if she was just repeating "no" over and over.)

Madison - Yes! (said in a very excited fashion, while nodding her head)

Me - I'm sorry, honey. We still have to go in to daycare.

I then get out and open her car door. She then looks right at me and says, "bye" (waving ever so sweetly). I could just see her thinking, "You can go on in to daycare, Mommy. But I'm staying right here."

Friday, August 13, 2010

2 Months of Silence - The Good and the Bad

It's been so long since my last blog entry. So much has been going on - some good, some bad - and I think I've really just needed some time to collect my thoughts.

The Good:

Matt graduated from his LPN Program on June 24th. Words cannot begin to express how proud of him I am. He searched for a job for a few weeks, and ended up accepting a job at Mt. Olive Correctional Complex. I'm super happy that he has a job again - I know he's really missed working. We are also super excited that he was able to find a position that doesn't require him to work all evenings. I worried that Daddy working evenings might be a pretty big adjustment for Madison (and for mommy). To say that Matt is involved is a huge understatement. I've given a Madison a bath by myself twice since she was born. There have been two evenings when Matt wasn't home with us - both times, Madi wandered from room to room looking for him calling "Daddy...Daaaaaady?".

Madison has grown and changed so much, and we just adore her. Every day her vocabulary amazes us. We just can't believe how well she communicates - she makes things so easy for us! She knows so many words - we lost track somewhere around 75 - and she'll try to repeat just about anything you ask her to. She adores June and Adele (even though June is terrified of her) and has even started calling them by their's so cute! She still loves taking a bath and constantly asks (and signs) requesting one. One of our favorite things is her animal sounds - a cat seas "mow" (like "now" with a "m") and dog says "oof" or "foof". She also loves saying her daycare friends' names - especially Anna, Abby, and Kinslee! She is so much fun and her laugh is contagious!

Madison has been walking since about 14 months, although she made someone hold her hand (she held onto your finger) until about 15 months. Then, one day, she finally decided she was ready to just do it on her own. She's never looked back! We constantly have to remind her not to run now!

Miss Priss is also a bit sassy. She always tells Adele to "get down" when she thinks she's up on something that she shouldn't be. I also heard her tell Anna "at, at, at" when she was trying to get into the diaper cabinet at daycare. She will tell us "no - hot, hot, hot" when we're around the stove. She thinks if it applies to her, it applies to everyone!

Madison is still a big eater (on most days, anyway). Her favorite foods are scrambled eggs, noodles, yogurt, cheese on toast, applesauce, tacos, and spaghetti. Miss Debbie says that Madison is always the first one to the table when it's time to eat. She also gets really upset when she's ready for lunch and they tell her it's not time yet. Matt swears that she gets this from me (and she probably does), but I really don't make a big deal about food in front of her. It must be hereditary...haha!

Madison seems like she's grown sooo much since her 12 month checkup. She had her 15 month checkup on July 28th (though she was actually 15 months on the 9th). She weighed 22.9 pounds and was 31.5 inches long. It's crazy to us how each day she looks less like a baby and more like a little girl. When I compare pictures of her from 12 months to pictures of her now, the change is almost unbelievable.

The Bad:

Madison has had five seizures since the first one. She had a total of 6 in a little less than 8 weeks. The last one was on July 10th - 5 weeks ago tomorrow. We've been able to keep her healthy for a little while. This is actually the longest she's been healthy in some time. She's had several viruses (including hand, foot, and mouth - which was horrible!!!). She also had another ear infection.

We went through some testing - a normal EEG, a sleep-deprived EEG, and a MRI. All of the tests came back normal. At one point, the neurologist mentioned seizure medication. In the end, though, he decided this wasn't the best course of action for Madison. Even though the seizures are absolutely terrifying, we were all very thankful he decided against the medication due to the side effects that could have come along with it. Dr. Taravath still feels that the seizures are febrile and that Madison will outgrow this. We are just hoping it's sooner rather than later - or that she already has!

We also saw an ENT specialist on July 27th for a consultation about putting tubes in Madi's ears. She had 3 ear infections in about 4 months. The doctor said he is willing to wait to see what happens, but if she has another one soon, we will probably have to go ahead with the tubes.

I've been traveling a lot with work. I'm currently working on an audit in Nicholas County. I'm hoping we will be finished soon, because the four hour commute each day is really taking its toll on me. :-( Thankfully, I get to go in a little later and leave a little earlier than we usually do. If not, I honestly don't know how I'd make it.

This pretty much sums up what's been going on with us the last few months - just been trying to deal with everything going on with Madison. It's been a lot harder on us than it has been on her though, and that's comforting in a way. She's just as happy as ever! I try to focus on that instead of the worry. She's loved and she's happy...and she will get past this. We all will.