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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.

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

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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 names...it'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.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Walking!

Madison is doing a pretty good job walking - although, 99% of the time she won't take a single step unless I hold her hand. She'd much rather walk than crawl though (even if she makes me walk everywhere with her). We figure she'll be walking on her own before too much longer - just waiting for her to be ready to do it on her own. We are so proud of her!

(Disclaimer: This video is very poor quality...haha. We had to set the video camera on the TV stand. haha!)

video

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nightmare

I should preface this by saying that, most of the time, febrile seizures are harmless (terrifying, but harmless) and my goal is not to scare other mothers. I am currently trying to get over the fear.

Between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, 3 to 5 percent of children will have a febrile seizure. One-third of these children will have another one, and about half of those will have a third. Febrile seizures are most common in the toddler age range. A child is more likely to have febrile seizures if either of his parents had them when they were young. Kids who have their first febrile seizure in their first year of life are the most likely to have another one. A child is also more likely to have a second seizure if his fever was low when he had his first one, or if the seizure occurred early on in his fever.

Monday, I got a call from daycare saying that Madison's temperature was 100.4. They said they were going to keep checking it to make sure it didn't go higher and they'd call me to come get her if it did. At about 3:30, they called to let me know that Madison's temperature was 102. I left immediately to go get her. She looked a little tired when I got there, but Miss Debbie said she didn't seem to be feeling too bad. I called the doctor's office on the way home to see when we could get in to see the doctor (as Madison would need a doctor's note to go back to daycare anyway). They said they could get us in at 5.

At the doctor's office, Madison's ears were checked and the doctor checked her throat for strep. Her ears were fine and the strep test came back negative. The doctor said she likely just had a virus and to call back if she got worse or if she wasn't better in a few days. During the appointment, Madison seemed extremely tired. She even fell asleep on the exam table while we were waiting for the doctor. However, her temperature was only 99.8. We headed straight home, and Matt stopped at Pizza Hut in Cross Lanes to pick up a pizza. Madison fell asleep as soon as we left the doctor's office and slept the whole way home. When I pulled into the garage, she woke up and started babbling and playing. I started to gather up our stuff in the passenger seat, and when I glanced back at her, I saw the most frightening sight ever.

Madison's eyes were open wide and were completely vacant. Both of her arms were stretched out in front of her and her fists were clinched tightly. She was violently convulsing. I remember thinking to myself "Okay, she's having a seizure. It will pass. It will pass." And then she started turning blue....first her lips and then other parts of her face. I lost it. I dialed 911 and frantically told them what was happening and tried to stay calm enough to give them our address. I remember thinking "Okay, it's okay. It's okay. Help is on the way." I was calm for maybe 2 seconds, and then I just felt like there was no way the ambulance could arrive quickly enough. I yanked Madison from her car seat and ran to our neighbor's (both are nurses). I pounded on their door, while Madison was still convulsing in my arms. No answer. I completely lost it. The panic I felt in this moment is indescribable. I just remember thinking "so this is what it's like to hold your child while she's dying and there's nothing you can do about it?" While all of these thoughts were running through my head, I was running through the subdivision screaming for help. One of our neighbors came to me. She took Madison from me because I was shaking so badly. As she was holding her, I remember alternating between screaming Madison's name and crying out to Jesus. I kept kissing Madison's head. I could barely stand to watch. As each second passed, I felt as if Madison was slipping further and further away from me and further and further into this dark unknown. Another neighbor came running. She tried to comfort me. Finally, Madison started to come out of it. It seemed as if her breathing was very labored and she was moaning. I took her back in my arms and we sat on the neighbor's porch until the ambulance arrived. The whole event seemed like it lasted an eternity, but I think the seizure lasted about 3 minutes and the ambulance arrived maybe 2 minutes later.

When the ambulance arrived, Madison was completely unresponsive. Once they got her in the ambulance, she started to cry. The EMTs were so happy that she was crying. They gave her some oxygen because they said her oxygen levels were low. About this time, Matt got there. I don't even remember what I said to him. I think I was just in shock at this point. The EMTs helped me into the ambulance and we headed to the hospital. Matt followed behind in the car. Madison's fever went up to 102.8 in the car, so the EMT and I undressed her. She just seemed so exhausted.

When we arrived at the hospital, they gave Madison Tylenol. They ran some tests...all of which came back negative. Nana, Poppaw, Grandma, and Aunt Jennifer came to check on Madison. After awhile, she seemed to be her normal self again. She ate a popsicle, some cheese curls, yogurt, and drank a ton of gatorade. She played for a little while and then went back to sleep. We were discharged from the ER around midnight.

After the events from that otherwise uneventful Monday, I've been trying to cope with it all. I can't seem to get those images out of my mind. Madison slept with me in the spare bedroom Monday night and Tuesday night. I stayed home with her Tuesday and Wednesday. Nana came Wednesday evening and stayed with Madison Thursday. I was a nervous wreck when I was home with her that first day...terrified that it would happen again while I was alone with her. Matt came home and napped with her in her bed, and I cried the entire hour it took me to iron Matt's school uniforms. Wednesday evening, we made a quick trip to the store. Matt drove and I rode in the backseat of my car with Madison. It was the first time we'd been back in the car since it all happened. As I strapped Madison into the same car seat where it all began, tears just streamed down my face. I cried again at the doctor's office yesterday as I explained what happened.

I do feel better after talking to the doctor. She explained to me that the brain turns itself off as a defense mechanism against the sudden spike in fever. Before shutting off, a message is sent to the rest of the body to go into "survival mode". All of the blood is pulled from places where it is not needed as much to the vital organs to protect them. This is why Madison's lips and face turned blue. Her breathing may have been shallow, but she was still breathing. Her oxygen levels were probably low because the blood had not fully circulated back to her extremities. She was very empathetic...she even hugged me. I feel like maybe I would be better prepared (at least mentally if not emotionally) if it happens again. I just pray with all of my heart that it doesn't.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Red and Yellow

video

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Transitions

It's crazy how many changes take place around the one year mark! Pretty soon our baby girl will be out of the baby room at daycare and into the 1 year old room. I remember when we visited her daycare before choosing which one she would be attending, the 1 year old room was a completely different world compared to the other classrooms. I remember them telling us on our tour that people always expect the 2 year old room to be the "wild" room. Then, they introduced us to the 1 year old room. Haha! Madison will soon be one of the ones kept on the far end of the hallway...away from the office and as far away from the babies as possible! hehe!

The plan is to move Madison up to the one year old room at the end of the month. I'm wondering if this will be her last week in the baby room.

A lot of changes have been taking place in order to get Madison ready for the 1 year old room. For the past few weeks, she's been sleeping on a cot at daycare instead of in a crib. I really couldn't believe it at first and was terrified of her falling out. Anyone who has seen this girl sleep would completely understand why I'd be afraid of this! She's done great though!

Madison is also doing MUCH better with table foods. I seriously thought for awhile that she'd be 2 and eating baby food - haha! She absolutely loves watermelon, bananas, graham crackers and yogurt. She's also doing really well with feeding herself.

We've also made the transition from bottle to sippy cup. I was totally stressed over this for a few days - especially because there's NO bottles in the 1 year old room. Today is day 5 without a bottle. We can see improvement with the cup every day. It's easier for Madison to use the toss and go cups with the hard spout and no stopper (this is what they use at daycare), but she's also doing fairly well with the soft spout cups (I'm thankful b/c these don't spill!). She looks so grown up when she drinks from her cup! We are so proud of her!

Madison had her one year checkup on April 21st - almost 2 weeks after turning one. This was our first visit with the new pediatrician. Madison weighed 19 lbs, 13 oz and was 29 inches long.

Friday, April 9, 2010

THE BIG ONE!

Dearest Madison,

One year ago, we welcomed you into our life...all 5 pounds, 10 ounces of you. You were so tiny - yet from the very beginning our love for you was so big! I remember feeling you in my arms, as light and small as holding a folded t-shirt and simultaneously feeling a weight in my heart that felt much heavier. There was an ability to love inside me that I did not recognize. I loved you simply because you were. I was bound to you in love as much as you were bound to me for your very life. You have changed our lives (and even us individually) in so many ways. You are our constant joy!

It is so hard for me when people ask what you're like or ask me to describe you - you are one complex little girl.

How can someone be so sweet and so rotten? You give the best hugs. I love when you throw your arms around my neck and say "ohhhhh". Your smile is infectious, and your eyes light up every time that gorgeous grin beams across your little face. You are such a sweetheart, but you are sneaky too. I can't help but to giggle a little when you mock my "NO"s with your "no no no". Or how you say "no no no" as you are doing something you're not supposed to be. It's as if you just acknowledging that it's not okay makes it okay.

You are falling in love with animals. Poppaw recently taught you to motion for a dog to come to you. Now, every time we see one, your reach your little arm out and make that motion with your hand. You also do it with cats, and as you make the motion, you say "cat, cat, cat". You get so excited when you actually get to pet them!

You are so incredibly friendly. This is probably my favorite thing about you! I hope you always stay this way. You just LOVE people. You are always smiling and waving and entertaining. You are such a ham! You got a Disney Princess Power Wheel for your birthday. While riding, you take your right hand off the wheel and wave and put it back and then take your left hand off the wheel and wave and put it back. You do this over and over. More Gramma says you're practicing to be a parade queen. You love "talking" on the phone. You smile so big when we let you - you've even starting participating in the conversation a little.

You are doing such a good job with communicating. You point a lot to let us know what you want. You're also signing "more". You have your own sign for "all done". You take both hands and put them out to the sides (like how I would motion "I don't know"). It's so cute! You do it every single time someone says "all done".

Your absolute favorite thing right now is books. You definitely get this love from Mommy and not Daddy. You will read (play with) with your books for the longest time. You just flip through the pages and point to the pictures and babble. We love it when you read to us! You also really love music. You love the Beatles, the Jackson 5, and the Beach Boys. You bounce and dance and sing along. You are such a happy little thing!

You aren't walking yet. You are cruising along the furniture, walls, doors, toys with ease. And you even do a pretty good job if we just hold onto you with one hand. However, you have yet to take more than just a few steps on a few occasions all by yourself. That's fine, though. Take all the time you need. You can already crawl nearly faster than I can run!

Happy 1st Birthday, my love! You are our blue-eyed, water-spashing, hello-waving, "cack cacking" (quack quacking) baby girl! As it's been said many times before, the days may be long, but the years are short. You have changed so much over the past year, and we know you will be changing even more over the next one. Can't wait to experience it all with you!

There is a passage from a book (Stepping Heavenward) that makes me think of you:

Here is a little mouth to kiss;
here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery.
Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost,
since it is abode of a kingly tenant.
I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all.
Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart,
welcome to her time, her strength, her health, to her most tender cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blessed!"
I thank the Lord every day, with amazement, for giving you to us.

































Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!!!


I never get to update this thing as much as I'd like to. Seems like it's always either post a blog or go to sleep - usually, sleep wins out.
Madison got over RSV, only to end up with a stomach virus. Matt and I were both pretty worried about her. It was awful seeing her throw up like that. She ended up losing some weight, and that had us really concerned. The vomiting lasted about 3 days and the diarrhea another 2. We were so thankful when she started feeling better.
Madison's appetite has really increased in the last week or so. She looks like she's gained some weight back. Couldn't be happier about that!
Last week, Madison started walking behind her little stroller. She had lots of practice last weekend at the lake, and has gotten pretty good at it. I love watching her having so much fun!
This week, we've gone back to having really rough nights. I'm not sure what's going on, but I've been up with Madison pretty much every night this week for at least a few hours. It's very odd for her not to sleep well - especially this many nights in a row. I feel so bad for her because she just cries so loud and just screams like she is in pain or is terrified. When I go in her room, she seems to still be asleep. The only way I can get her to stop crying is to wake her, then she cries because she's sleepy. I'm not sure if she's teething (so far, she hasn't had much trouble with it) or if she's having bad dreams or what. All I know is I hate it! I hate that she isn't sleeping well (and that I'm not either!).
Madison saw the Easter Bunny twice this week. He came to see her at daycare Thursday, and we went to see him at the mall Friday. She liked him both times!
Madison will be one on Friday. This just seems so unreal to me. I'm kind of struggling with it. I'm so proud of her, but it just seems crazy to me that she's technically only going to be a baby for 6 more days. Today was especially hard for me. I went to see a friend and her newborn baby boy at the hospital - the same hospital where Madison was born. Tomorrow is Easter - a year ago, we came home on Easter day. Time really does fly...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

11 Month Pictures

Ready for bed
Always being silly!


I was really late posting Madison's 11 month "letter". Finally got around to it, but forgot to post the pictures.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sick Babies Learn New Tricks

Last Tuesday night, I slept about 45 minutes. It was so strange to me that Madison didn't sleep well at all during the night. I expected to get a call Wednesday from daycare that she wasn't feeling well, but they never called. However, by Wednesday evening she had started with pretty severe cold symptoms. She didn't sleep well again Wednesday night - I was up with her just about every hour or so. By Thursday morning, I wasn't feeling well either. I decided it would be best to call in Grandma! Thank goodness my mom was able to come and take care of both of us.

I called the doctor to let her know that Madison had been exposed to RSV at daycare and that she was showing symptoms. The doctor said that it probably was RSV, and to let them know if her symptoms worsened. We went back to Man with my mom Thursday night and came home Friday evening. By Saturday, Madison's fever started to rise higher. Her breathing was more rapid and she just seemed so tired. She had taken such a small amount of liquids and just seemed so out of it that we decided it would be best to take her on to the emergency room.

Once there, we did a lot of waiting and then poor little Madison had to go through so much - a nose swab, some blood tests, a chest X-ray, a catheter, and an IV of fluids. The tests confirmed that Madison does have RSV. She also has an ear infection. We got home at about 2am. Madison seemed to perk up a bit after getting the fluids - she was beginning to get dehydrated.

The next few days, she's been on the mend. Grandma Peggy and Aunt Jennifer stayed with us Sunday night and went to Madison's follow-up appointment with us Monday. They stayed an extra night to take care of Madison on Tuesday so I could get back to work. Madison was able to go back to daycare on Wednesday. She seemed happy to be back!

Somehow, despite being sick, our baby girl learned a few new tricks. Madison is now crawling - really crawling. She had been army crawling for so long that we thought she was just more comfortable doing it that way. While at my parents' house in Man on Friday, she started crawling using her knees and elbows (with her belly off the ground). After a short time, she finally got the hang of it and pushed up to her hands. We are so proud of her! She is also pulling up on everything with little trouble. She's getting so much stronger!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

11 Months

Madison,

You are 11 months old! Overall, the last month has been a great one for you!

You now have 8 teeth (four on the top and four on the bottom). We adore your smile - and you show it to us so often! You are such a smiley baby! I hope you are always as happy and smiley as you are now. Your smile is so beautiful, and we can't help but to smile every single time you do.

You stopped crawling army-style and started crawling with your belly off the ground. I was so surprised! I was beginning to think you would just crawl army-style until you were ready to walk. I love watching you crawl! I don't even mind chasing you all over the place!

You started pulling up this month. At the beginning of your 11th month, you started pulling up on your bouncy seat and on the blocks at daycare. After a short time, you were pulling up on just about everything. You've even started cruising a bit! We are so proud of you! You are pretty proud of you, too! When you started pulling up, we would yell "yay!", and you would yell back to us. You are so funny!

You are babbling so much now. You also say mama, dada, cat (you started with kitty, but traded it in for cat), no, stop, done (and, sometimes, "ah done"), bye-bye. We also think you are trying to say duck. You've been calling Daddy "Matt". I'm sure this is completely my fault. After you started repeating "Matt" when I called out to him to come help me with something, I realized I probably need to always refer to him as "Daddy" in front of you. You're still calling him "Matt", but I'm hoping it will pass quickly.

Your new favorite thing is dancing. You've always loved music, but now you bounce and tap your feet with the beat. You love it when we sing to you, and we do very often! Your new favorite song is "Barbara Ann". After we sing it a few times, you chime in with "Ba Ba Ba". We get so tickled!

Your favorite toys this month are your Elmo (the one the blows kisses), your new puppy from Aunt Patty, and your musical table. One morning, we even took Elmo along for the car ride to daycare. You just didn't even want to leave him behind. You cuddled with him in the car until you fell asleep.

This is the last month you'll be a baby. Next month, you'll officially be a toddler. We still can't believe how quickly the time passes!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

10 Months

Dear Madison,

You are 10 months old! I think over the last month we've seen the greatest change in you yet. You are doing so many new things!

You have four teeth - your 2 bottom front teeth and your canines on the top. We call you our "vampire baby". You won't be our vampire baby much longer! You have 3 teeth coming in - your 2 top front teeth and another tooth on the bottom.

You are starting to actually "play" with your toys. You interact so well now. You also show preference to certain toys. Instead of just going after the toy that is the closest and easiest to get to, you now do whatever it takes to get to the toy you want. Your favorite toys this month are your "My Pretty Learning Purse" and your Bright Starts teething ring. You absolutely love that teething ring. I get so tickled because you just throw all the other toys to the side when you're going after it!

Your language skills seem to really be taking off. It actually sounds like you are trying to repeat a lot of the things we say. You also seem to understand words now, even if you aren't saying them. You are, however, trying so hard to say "kitty". It doesn't surprise us at all. We figured all along that "kitty" would be your first word. You love June and Adele (and Potter) so much. You get so excited when you see them and immediately we hear "kkkiii". Sometimes it even sounds like you're meowing. haha!

You are trying to pull up on things now, though you aren't quite strong enough. I can tell that you get frustrated because it's so hard for you. I want to just help you every single time - I hate to see you struggling...and it's much easier on my nerves (I'm so afraid you'll fall and hurt yourself). But I know that letting you try on your own is the only way you'll learn. So I just watch you, with my hands stretched out - just close enough to catch you if you fall. It's amazing to me how you are constantly teaching me what it means to be a mother. I realize that I'll always be doing this...nervously watching you with my hands stretched out, so that I can catch you when you fall.

One of your new favorite things to do is walking (running, jumping) while we hold on to your hands. You've enjoyed standing with our support for some time now, but you hadn't really made an effort to take steps. You've really taken off in the last week though! We're surprised by how quickly you're catching on!

Of all your new accomplishments, I have two favorites - you've starting playing pat-a-cake and participating when we sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider". It amazes me that you do this, and I think it's the cutest thing ever! You don't always do the motions in the right order and sometimes you're motions are a little delayed, but you do them! I love when you put your hands together up over your head when I sing "Up Came the Sun". Sometimes I catch you doing the motions on your own, and when I start singing them to you, you get the biggest grin on your face. I love that we are starting to communicate, and I think that you love it just as much!









Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to the husband who laughs with me, who comforts me, who finishes my sentences, who rubs lotion on my swollen pregnant feet. Happy Birthday to my love and my best friend!

Happy Birthday to the father who carries his daughter around on his shoulders, who sings silly songs, who has an abundant supply of hugs and kisses, who loves his daughter with an intensity rivaled only by that of her mother. Happy Birthday, Daddy!Happy 27th Birthday to a wonderful husband and father! We are two very lucky girls! We love you!




Sunday, January 17, 2010

9 Month Checkup

Madison's 9 month checkup was Thursday (the 14th). She now weighs 18 pounds, 4 ounces. She's 28.5 inches long. Dr. Darnell says she's still around the 90th percentile for height and around the 25th for weight. Said she's doing really well and that everything looks great! She was so quiet during her exam - which is so unlike her. I was really shocked, especially since she had just been flirting with a 10 year old in the waiting room. haha!

Madi has been doing much better with her crawling the last few days. She's still army crawling, but she's pushing up a little more and is also gaining some speed. She's also starting kind of talking. She says mama, dada, baby, and bye-bye. We're actually pretty sure she knows what she's saying when she says mama, dada, and bye-bye. She is just so cute!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Nine Months

Madison,

You are nine months old. Each day, you are more and more our "big girl" and less and less our little baby. You are so full of personality and have stolen so many hearts. You are beautiful, funny, strong, sweet, persistent, and easygoing. You mean everything to your mommy and daddy. You make us so happy!

You are still trying to get the hang of crawling. You push yourself completely up on all fours sometimes, but you prefer to army crawl. And, sometimes, you still use rolling as your major mode of transportation. ;-)

You are into anything you can get your hands on now. And you want it all! We've been playing with little squirt toys during bath time, and you try so hard to hold all of them at one time. Sometimes you try scoop them all up into your arms and sometimes you hold one in your mouth while holding one in each hand.

You've been blowing raspberries lately. You think it's soooo funny! We can't help but to giggle at you. You've also been attempting to wave. You're stubborn though - you never do it when we try to get you to!

Your new favorite toys are your Elmo, your musical table, and your Violet puppy. You interact so well. You are always babbling, and screaming, and squealing. Your babbling has changed so much lately, though. Now, it sounds like you are really trying to talk. We keep joking that, once you start, you'll never stop. We keep wondering if you'll talk as much as you babble. If so, we're all in trouble!

Happy 9 months, lil' monkey! We love you!

Mommy and Daddy