Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Santa, baby...

I am seriously behind (what's new?) in posting pictures from Halloween and Thanksgiving...I know...

But this last weekend Jim and I took Madelyn to visit Santa for the first time at a local nursery who'd arranged to have this fantastic photographer there for mini sessions.

I just got the shots and my heart is melted all over again....

My mom sewed the little dress that Maddy is wearing. It's amazing to have such a talented Nana...this is seriously heirloom quality. Maddy did really well with Santa - she didn't cry at all!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Find Him

Among all of the wonderful things I am thankful for this Holiday season...the list is endless. At the top of it, however, is my appreciation for those who serve and protect and my sincere and profound relief that if my husband has a bad day at work, he's not likely to be shot.

With that in mind, let's find this guy. He left 4 spouses to mourn their soulmates and 9 children without Mommy or Daddy to tuck them in tonight.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Walkin Gal

Welll, she's done it.  She's started walking.  Tentatively, for sure, but she's definately taking steps.

I've had a hard time capturing it on video, because everytime I go for the camera, she stops.  Add on top of it, I don't know how to get the videos off our camcorder and there's been a serious lack of footage.

This morning I was going to take her picture and thought I'd try to get her walking on my little camera video recorder...and I got it!

I can't believe she's big enough to start walking!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

American Child

So....I'm sitting here working away (no, really, I was), listening to my Ipod, thinking about the ramifications of site limits and upload protocols and SharePoint when a Phil Vassar song came on.

And maybe because it was Vetran's Day yesterday.  Or maybe because that now that I'm a mom, I'm such a sap it makes the "Very Independent Heather" want to puke, the words made me mist up.

It doesn't matter if you like Obama or if you don't (and for the record for my extremely conservative friends or my husband, I had high hopes and I'm increasingly becoming very, very disappointed so knock it with the "what do you think of him now" comments I can't seem to get away from).

It doesn't matter if you think that our economy is going to continue a nose dive or not.

It doesn't matter what your politics, what your religion, what your hobbies, hopes or dreams are...

Things are still better for us here in the U.S. than they are in Kabul or Baghdad or Mogadishu.

And I am sincerely thankful that my child was born an American one.

American Child
Lyrics by Phil Vassar and Craig Wiseman

I was ten,
I was thin,
I was playing first base
with a secondhand glove and dirt on my face
In nowhere, Virginia
Who'd ever figure that kid in the yard would go very far
It was 419 Lakewood , had no silverspoons
Just an old beat up upright that played out of tune
Now I'm singin' and living the life that I love
And when I count my blessings I thank God I was
An American child

An American child
'Cause dreams can grow wild
Born inside an American child

Seven pounds, three ounces, she's got my nose
And she's into my heart as deep as it goes
With a promise that's more than just someone's last name
Anyone's equal, in late August came
An American child

An American child
'Cause dreams can grow wild
Born inside an American child

My grandfather would have been eighty today
But in '45 he fell down beside an American child

An American child
Oh, an American child
'Cause dreams can grow wild born inside an American child
An American child 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Funny Girl

From the day they're born, our children are interacting with us.

Madelyn has been no different. However for the first time, Madelyn tried to make me laugh.

On Monday, I was fixing dinner for she and I and she started making these growling noises from her high chair. I look over, and she's growling at me like a little dog.

Then she grins.

So I laugh.

When she realized what she did made me laugh, she started giggling, then she growled again.

And I laughed again.

And we did this for a good 20 minutes.

How cool is that? My kid was trying to make laugh.

I love being a Mom.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Our Pun'kin

Holidays are so much more fun now that we have a little one.  They're WAY more work when you're the Mama, too....but it's so worth it.

This Halloween, Missy was a little young to really understand what was going on...and obviously we didn't go door to door, just to her various Grandmas and Grandpas...but it was so much fun just because Maddy is Maddy - and an adorable doll.

Knock, Knock, It's Me...Miss Ladybug!

Who needs candy, when they have a bink!?!?

Or grandma's walker?!?  That's much tastier than candy!

On one of our last sunny weekends, before the Great Flood Prep '09 began, Jim and I took our little Miss to the local pumpkin patch.  It was so much fun to watch her experience new things - she was quite taken with all of the pumpkins.  She liked banging her fists on them...or putting them in her mouth.   We decided to wait another year or two for the hay ride and the corn maze...but we had a fun afternoon nonetheless.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Idaho Girl

Phones In Church

A man in Topeka, Kansas decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to San Francisco and started working East from there.

Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and making notes. He spotted a golden telephone with a sign, which read "Calls: $10,000 a minute.." on the vestibule wall and was intrigued.

Seeking out the pastor he asked about the phone and the sign. The Pastor answered that this golden phone is, in fact, a direct line to Heaven and if he pays the price he can talk directly to GOD. The man thanked the pastor and continued on his way.

As he continued to visit churches in Seattle, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Reno, Denver, Oklahoma City, and around the United States, he found more phones with the same sign, and the same answer from each pastor.

Finally, he arrived in Idaho, upon entering a a church, he saw the usual golden telephone. But THIS time, the sign read "Calls: 35 cents." Fascinated, he asked to talk to the pastor, "Reverend, I have been in cities & towns all across the country and in each church I have found this Golden telephone and have been told it is a direct line to Heaven and that I could talk to GOD, but in the other churches the cost was $10,000 a minute.. Your sign reads only 35 cents a call. Why?"

( I love this part...I love Idaho ............)

The pastor, smiling benignly, replied, "Son, you're in Idaho now ...You're in God's Country, It's a local call."

American by Birth - A Idahoan (even a displaced one) by the Grace of God!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Who Knew

Who knew that in three short little years

This little family

Would include this little miracle?

Happy Anniverary to Us

Monday, November 2, 2009

Our World

Friday, October 30, 2009

Binky Baby

My baby is a binky lovin' fool.  When we first introduced her to them (WAY before we thought we would...), we really had no idea how much she'd love them.

Some folks continually caution us to take them from her now.  Personally, I don't have an issue with her loving them.  We'll deal with the ortho issues if they happen.  If.  As her Mama (and thus the ultimate rule maker, besides Daddy, of course), I'm okay with her having a "transitional" object.  She doesn't cling to a lovey all day long.  If her binky is her lovey, fine by me.

At our Pediatrician's recommendation, we keep several binkys in her bed at night, so that if she loses one, she has many to "find".  Consequently, I commonly wake her up to find a binky in her mouth and one in both hands.  It's pretty darn cute.

Her favorite binky related game is to have one of us put the binky in our mouth and let her grab it with her own (which is also the best way to get a sloppy baby kiss).  She's also quite fond of trying to figure out how to carry multiple binkys at once.

The lesson for my blog readers?  If you're every watching our daughter, a sure fire way straight into her heart is to come bearing binkys.

Wha? Wha?  Don't you be takin my binkys.  They're MINE!

How many binkys can I hold?  Two, three, ten???

I can stick them on the end of my finger too?  SAH-WEET!

Lemme try!

Oh binky, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Helpin Mama

Lately Madelyn has taken a whole new interest in the laundry basket.  This is what it looks like when a little Miss wants to help her mama fold clothes...

Let me just climb in here and see what we've got...

Wait...what I really wanted was out there...what do I do now?

DOH! come help me!

Maybe if I chew on my shoe,  Mama will buy me more.  Hey, it works for dogs!

It goes like this, Mama....don't you know anything?!?!

Look at me mama, I can fold clothes AND carry my shoes around, I'm a multitasker!

Sand Man

In case you were wondering what 60 sand bags looks like....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Enough Already!

Jim and I went to the meeting King County had for our specific neighborhood last night.  It wasn't nearly as informative as I was hoping it was going to be.  The planner they had there has a great deal of experience in flooding issues, but is new to our area and had not even walked our neighborhood.  So, after a period of general questions, it was more along the lines of "what do you think we could do to help mitigate the damage". 'bout ya'll build a levy on our side of the river!?!?  Say what?  It's already been decided that it's more feasible to protect the other side and let ours flood?  Great, thanks for the help.

One thing that did come up was the possibility of them doing a sand dump in our neighborhood so we could sand bag without having to make the trips back and forth to the more regional sand bagging facilities.  Sand bagging is not going to do Jim and I a lot of good unless the flooding is very minor - there is no way we can sandbag around our entire home and keep the flood waters out.  If the flooding comes hard and the river rises to the worst case scenario flood levels, the engineers have equated the strength and volume of the entire river at that point to 4 railroad trains stacked two wide and two high coming at us at 40 miles per hour.  Nothing but elevation is going to protect you from that kind of power.  The worst case scenario flood level is at 70 feet above sea level.  Our home sits at 64.  What we can do, however, is have sand bags ready to cover our air vents from the crawl space and the doors.  That way, if it is just a foot of water instead of six feet, we could try to keep it out of the house.  The garage would go, but the house might possibly stay dry.

The one other interesting piece of news we found out is that if we flood more than 4 to 5 times, the FEMA regulated insurance we have on our home will buy us out and turn our land into green space.  Since the Army Core of Engineers say it will take them 4 to 5 years to fix the damn if (notice I said if) they get proper funding, realistically, it could be a lot longer than that.  So...good news folks, we only have to flood 5 times and we're out for good.  :::sigh::::

It's so surreal, making decisions about what you realize you're going to have to sacrifice if push comes to shove and what you're going to try and save.

But I digress (I know...shocking)....

The real thing on my mind this morning is the amount of literature and TV entertainment that seems to be coming my way lately in which children are either in harm's way or harmed themselves.  The last three episodes of Grey's had children getting hurt or losing a parent.  Same with Private Practice.  Even the books I'm reading...the last two have had children or their parents put in very difficult emotional situations.

What's with that?  I've always been a kid person and thus more easily affected by stuff like that, but now that I have Madelyn it just kills me.  It can bring me to the "ugly cry" (thanks Oprah, I love that term) thinking about her being in a similar situation.  On last night's Grey's, the major story line was about a young mother in for what seemed to be minor injuries.  When they turned major, her very young soon was off to the side crying, watching his mama suffer.  I can't even imagine Madelyn in that position.

It's enough to turn me off of my two favorite shows and stop reading for awhile.  Since...we've got some packing to do and furniture to move, that's probably not a bad plan. 

But in the meantime, hey Hollywood, lay off the kids for awhile!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Teaser Pic

So....Jim has some editing of the shots to do and we've got a busy weekend ahead of us, so I don't know when that will get done.

But in the meantime, I couldn't not post this adorable picture - edited or not.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Heavy Heart

Remember that Green River Flooding I mentioned earlier today? I just left a planning meeting for our neighborhood in which city officials came to talk to us specifically. Things do not look good for our little group - especially our house.

At the end of the meeting, as I was looking at the projection lines and I pointed out our house to one of the gentlemen there, he said, "ma'am, you need to prepare for the very real possibiity that your house will be under 4 -5 feet of water at some point this winter".

Remember that sandbagging I mentioned? Scratch that, I'll be up the hill and as far away as I can possibly be.

Stupid Shutterfly

I have a love/hate relationship with that site.

For whatever reason, if I add more than one album post, it screws up the previously posted album.

So I'll have to parcel 'em out to you one day at a time.


September 2009 - Boise Idaho

Catchin' Up has been a little hectic in the last two and half months. If I ever thought I was busy before, this motherhood of a (now 9 month old!?!?!!) is a whole new personal high in the busy department. I truly, truly do not know how working moms of multiple children manage without a nanny or a maid.

And honestly, I don't even know where to start....

Work has been insanely busy - and it's good to be involved in an exciting projects - but working 65 hour weeks when you're also trying to keep up and home and with your baby girl makes for one tired, stressed out mama. And one dirty house (though my hubsters has been a champ about helping out). One neglected blog. Many, many neglected friends (whom I'm hoping understand, since most of them are working mommies themselves). More than a handful of neglected relatives (who I hate neglecting the most, after Jim and Madelyn). Dying house plants. A Weight Watchers plan that is just that, a plan, not an action. And a long list of personal to dos. Oh - and a computer that died and has now been replaced (which adds more to the "to do" list....Learn Windows 7, get computer set up). Happily, though, we released the system I've been working on for two years (TWO YEARS!) and thus far (day two) it seems to be working very, very smoothly. littlest munchkin. She is growing so quickly I just don't know what to do! It's exciting and makes me sad all in the same breath! She's definately not a tiny baby anymore (though she is tiny...she just had her 9 month appointment - she's in the 25th percentile for height, but only 5th percentile for weight. She is still my long, lean baby. Go figure). She's absolutely her mama's daughter - she is a VERY independent girl. Very. And I applaude that. Unless we're talking about changing clothes or diapers (which is something she hates the most - she does NOT like not being in control of her body).'s not so helpful to have a very indpendent girl.

She's ----->thisclose<------- to standing on her own and walking. Since our family vacation to Idaho in September, when she really started pulling herself to standing in earnest, she's been practicing those skills on the couch - and she can now walk around the entire edge of the coffee table if properly motivated (by toys, not food....which is good in the long run - but completely unlike her mama). She's started on finger foods - and not just puffs. She's moved on to Veggie Bootie (a hit), cheese cubes (a REALLY big hit), sliced fruit (the soft kind, bananas, pears, etc), pasta (not a hit....which just floors me), hamburger (a hit at first and now...not so much). We keep experimenting with things we eat that we can start feeding to her.

She's very talkative - especially when she's doing something she doesn't want to do (like letting her mama change those diapers).

She's completely mobile. No more army crawling for her....she's been full on crawling since September and can scoot around pretty darn fast. She's much rather have us carry her, which I think goes to the independent thing, oddly enough. Down low she can't see what's going on. Up high, she can survey the action and decide what she wants to do next - and then, by golly, we better get her there to do whatever it is she wants to do!

She cuddles her lovies (though she doesn't want to take them with her during the day), she is lost without her binkie (and I'm not ready to deal with that anytime soon....I'm okay with it for the near and far future) and her Daddy is still her absolute favorite thing in the world.

She's sleeping through the night (yeah!), though I'd be lying if I didn't say I wished she would sleep well in bed with me. I'd have her in there every night snuggling away. However, being the every independent girl she is, she actually sleeps better in her crib. In her own room. Far from her mama. The mama who is alone most nights and imagines wicked people breaking into the house and stealing her adorable baby. I really do read too many dramatic stories for my vivid imagination.

She had her first serious cold and fever that turned into an ear infection. It wasn't as bad as some of my friends deal with...but I will say that one feels pretty helpless when they're trying to soothe a sick baby. I don't envy anyone who has a seriously sick child - it has to be absolutely heartrending.

And she's still got the most amazingly beautiful smile I've ever seen. It just lights up my whole world.

Around the house, Jim and I have been trying to prepare for the eventual flooding of the Green River this winter. If you've never been to my house, you might not know that our house is about 500 feet from the Green River, give or take 100 feet. We're holding out hope that it's not going to be bad as the Army Core of Engineers have been been warning it will be and that, at most, we're talking messy streets or sewer back ups. But when major players in the Kent Valley start building flood retaining walls around their businesses, you have to pay attention. So, we've purchased flood insurance, are making plans for what we'll do when word comes we need to evacuate, starting to move our irreplaceables to the upstairs, and knowing we need to clean out the garage (because if the garage floods, but the house doesn't flood, cleaning up icky chemicals would be a hazard - especially with a baby in the house), and thinking about what I'd do if word came in the middle of the night that we had X number of hours to evacuate and Jim wasn't around. Part of me would want to sand bag my little brains out and part of me says Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200. Proceed immediately to in-laws with baby and clothes and formula in tow.

As much as I'd love to do some remodeling and have insurance money help pay for that....the reality of such a clean up effort on such a global (or rather, neighborhood) scale is not something I care to deal with.

And on a sad note...for those of you who've known me longer than others....I finally had to let my little boy go. And it tears me up just saying that. George was my best friend and constant companion for the last 15 years. Not having him around the house at night, when I'm alone has been really, really tough. I'm a fairly independent person myself. Except for at night. I really like some companionship at night or my imagination goes in directions that are not comforting. Not having him great me at the door when I come home is surreal. The entire experience is just surreal. I keep feeling like he's just hiding from me and he'll show up in one of his favorite spots at any time.

But it was time - even if I didn't want to admit it. Even if I wasn't ready and had been left to my own devices would not have taken him in, he was ready. The toughest part was that the week before hand, he was doing great. No messes. No sick kitty. Playing and romping just like his old self...with no idea what was coming. But it did come and it was over quickly, with him in my arms singing his favorite song to him. And my "cats are a pain in the butt and I'm tired of stained carpet" husband was sobbing right along with me.

I've often wondered what I would do when it came time. I've always feelt so guilty that I didn't stay with Cassie in her last minutes...that I couldn't man up and be a good kitty mama. I've felt bad that I didn't have a nice spot to bury her or the money to have her cremated and returned to me. So, I feel better that I could do that for George. I know that he's just an animal, as was Cassie, but they were both my best friends and companions during a time that my life was not so steady and I wasn't as stable as I am now. While I have absolutely amazing friends and a wonderful husband and a fantastic set of parents and sibiling, only George was with me when I was scared as a bugger on a plane to Korea and wondering what I was going to do, only George was with me during my worst breakups and new experiences. Only George remembers what it's like to drive across country in a car with all of your belongings (okay...Dad and Drew were there for that too). George kept vigil during some pretty intense all nighters getting thesis papers ready and craming for the next big test. George was there when I was so broke I had two jobs and no money to do anything but sit and hang out with my cat. So even when I felt like I was all alone, I wasn't. I had George. And now I don't - and I'm not quite sure how to deal with that sometimes. So, while I asked my in-laws if I could bury him on their (flood free) property, I'm just not ready for that. He sits in a little urn on our fireplace (at the suggestion of said "cats are a pain in the butt" husband - who still tears up when we talk about George). It's small enough that most people wouldn't even notice it. But it'll stay there until I can let go all the way.

Not having to deal with a geriatric getting blind and deaf cat is a bit of a relief in some instances (no more kitty litter is nice while I have a crawling baby) and I wouldn't want another cat until we're either done with babies or the next baby (who does not exist yet for the Grandparents reading the blog) is no longer crawling, mostly I just miss my friend. And I hope that some day my daughter is able to talk her Daddy into another kitty. Because going through life without a constant furry friend who loves you no matter what just isn't the same.

The next set of posts are going to be various pictures I've uploaded to our Shutterfly account...because I'm lazy - and the easiest way to post them is to do it via Shutterfly instead of loading directly into this post.

Enjoy the pictures :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

1 Minute!

We're making headway, folks, we're makin headway!

Last night, I put little miss down, crying, as usual....and this isn't something new to our "sleep training", she's cried at bedtime since day one unless I've rocked (and rocked and rocked and rocked) her to sleep.

But last night, we put on her jammies (normal crying....I hate that :( She always cries when we change her clothes or her diaper), we rocked (no crying), and she started dozing. I stood up, carried her to her bed, we said our prayers, and I layed her down. Of course, the normal crying (Mama! How could you leave me here alone!!??!?!?!) ensued. But it lasted for 1 minute and she fell asleep. ONE MINUTE. Yahooooooo!!!!

And she's really starting to cuddle up to her lovies - it's pretty cute.

Now, if I could just get her to stop crying when we put on her jammies....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Zoom, Zoom!

We have a baby on the move!

Hello, friendly Blog's been awhile. And while I want to apologize for that -the reality is that I've been doing what mamas are supposed to be doing....working hard at work and taking care of the family at home. There hasn't been time to keep up the blog. And, our home computer is it's last leg, so uploading photos to anyplace is pretty much impossible. We're going to be buying a new system soon...but we're (read my husband) is waiting for Windows 7 to come out in October, he doesn't want Vista. So...for the time being, I don't have a way to share photos.

In the last few weeks, Madelyn has really made a lot of huge leaps. She is now a baby on the move! No more putting her in one spot and expecting her to be in that spot if you walk away for a minute. She's not full out crawling, but she's doing a pretty good belly crawl. And it's pretty amazing how far she can get on her belly. She's crawling under and around our coffee table, from her bedroom to her bathroom (if I let her get that far), all the way across our bed (so you have to keep a sharp eye!). We'll be childproofing soon - but in the meantime, we're having to keep a darn close eye on her!

Little Miss has also figured out how to pull herself into a standing position. She's can't get from lying down to sitting - but if she's sitting up, she can grab a hold of anything around her and pull herself on up. Which meant, it was time to put the crib down one level. Once she's sitting, we'll have to put it down even further...but for now, one level will do.

And speaking of cribs...our munchkin isn't happy about it, but she's now one of the "victims" of crying it out. I say that because those of us who use some sort of "CIO" method are often lambasted by the mothers who are into the more "attachment" style parenting. And trust me....I tried the "gentler" versions of teaching her to sleep. No one likes to hear their baby least, any mother with any sense of connection to her child doesn't like to hear that.

But when you haven't gotten more than an hour and a half worth of sleep in a row since the child was born and she's six months old, you start to get desperate. Not to mention that it's not good for your little one, either.

So...finally...we cried it out. And I must say, the first night I cried right along with her. But she's done really, really well. The first night (which was five days ago) she cried for half an hour and woke up once in the night and went back down within 15 minutes. Last night, she cried for 15 minutes and was up once for five minutes. She's starting to figure out it. It still completely sucks when I put her down. She cries as if I've physically hurt her...and I can't stand that...but I know she's fine....and within 15 minutes she's cuddled up to one of her three lovies and she's just fine.

I wish that she'd been one of those kids that would have taken to the gentler approaches, because all in all, while I'm a pretty good mix of "old school" parenting and "new age attachment" parenting. Jim and I both believe in instilling a strong sense of values, clearly defined boundaries, and as she grows, letting life teach her the lessons she needs to be taught instead of enabling her or coddling her. That having been said, I want to be there right by her side to guide her, encourage her, and kiss her boo boos. I've been reading "Positive Discipline" and it has some pretty cool ideas about how to do that - be loving and kind, but firm.

So...I'd have preferred if we didn't have to cry it out. She's my little baby...I don't want her to cry :( But, since she seems to be stubborn like her mama, at least she's catching on quick.

Now eating....eating is easy, peasy with this kid. With solids, at least. She still tends to be a bit of a grazer when it comes to the bottle....but with solids, she's a champ! In addition to the sweet potato, cereal and bananas (her favorite, hands down...) that you've already heard she's into, we've added carrots (loves 'em!), peas (doesn't love 'em unless they're dipped in bananas), green beans (again, only with the naners), pears, peaches, squash (she's so so on these, she'd rather sweet potatoes), apples, prunes, whole grain cereal, turkey (which she flat out won't take any which way...she just gags) and beef (ditto...seems we have a vegetarian on our hands).

We keep being goaded gently pushed into starting to add cheerios or the like to her diet by my pesky more experienced sister-in-law Jenni. I say this in jest because I'd be lost without Jen. She is definitely one of Madelyn's favorite people and she takes amazing care of our little girl while Jim and I work. But since she's raised three of her own and also takes care of her sister's kids (one of Jim's other sisters)...she's been there, done that and is pretty good at letting us know what to do next. And to our credit, we did offer Mads an incredibly soft piece of cooked carrot one night. But she just looked at us like we were insane and spit it out.

So it seems she's not ready for that. I know Mama and Daddy aren't ready for it!

This weekend Maddy and I are going home to Idaho for a family wedding. We're really, really looking forward to that. Or at least, Mama and the family in Idaho are. Maddy probably could care less, as long as she gets her naps on time, relatively, has lots of people to play with and it's not too hot.

After that, we'll just be enjoying the rest of the summer. All three of us will be going home to Idaho again in September, but other than that...we're just enjoying each day as it comes.

And quickly they come, when you're trying to keep up with a precious little munchkin.

Friday, July 31, 2009

This, Exactly.

Read this....

(for my un-net savvy audience, click on the "read this" text).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heat Wave

If you're in or around the Puget Sound you may have heard, we're having record high temps - into the high 90s in the city and 100s in the outlying areas.

For a week.

In an area that doesn't air condition homes.

We put a thermometer in the munchkin's room last didn't get below 80. Even at 4 in the morning. Even with all the downstairs windows open (which I never do. Never. One of my biggest fears is someone breaking into the house when Jim is gone and I'm there alone with the baby).

She and I took at least two cold showers last night, three the night before, just to get her cool enough to get her back to sleep.

If I won the lottery today, I wouldn't even leave town. I'd check into the poshest hotel with working A.C. I could find. Then I'd figure out what to do with my millions.

I'm thinking any big dollar purchases in the near future are going to include central air for our home....seriously....

Babies and heat just don't mix.

So tell me...what are you stay cool without A.C. when it's broiling tips? I've already tried the ice cube water bath behind the fan didn't really help much. I'm curious what everyone else does.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

6 Months!

Time has gone so is hard to believe our little munchkin is 6 whole months old! Things have been moving fast and furious over the last has kept both Jim and I hopping.

We has a wonderful first fourth of July with our little gal - and a visit from Nana (my mom). Nana and Mama took the muchkin out for her first trip to the zoo. She didn't care much about the animals, but it made for a nice little outing. The 4th also marked our little water baby's first foreway into the lake(s) her grandparents live on. We weren't surprised to see that she absolutely loves the water. She's always loved her bath...and the lake is one big bathtub her her. Luckily, she also has an aunt and uncle with a she's constantly in the water.

Here are a few videos we've taken - enjoy!

Our Swim Monkey

Sittin Up Baby!

Ready Set...I'll Be Crawling Soon

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Maddy Month by Month - 6 Months

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Maddy Month by Month - 5 Months

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Sweet Taters!!

Things have been pretty hectic in our neck of the woods.... It seems like as soon as we get home, it's nearly bedtime for the munchkin and then bedtime for Mama, since the munchkin still hasn't figured out how to sleep through the night. Such is life with a baby... and since she's our little miracle, I'm not complainin'.

Work has been fantastic, but very, very busy. So, when I'd normally take time to eat (and write a blog) during my lunch hour, I'm on the phone and muting myself so they don't hear the crunch, cruch, cruch of my lunch. Which is no biggie, but the blog has fallen to the wayside.

In the last two weeks, as you saw in the video, we introduced cereal. I'm tickled to say she's up to three foods! Cereal, Sweet Potatoes and Bananas - all of which she loves! We haven't decided what our next will be - so I think we'll hang with these three for a week or so.

We're looking forward to the Fourth of July holiday. Not only does Mama have a day off, but Nana will be here to visit us! We haven't seen her since March, so we're really, really looking forward to her visit. And we're hoping the weather holds and we'll get to let Miss M wear the VERY cute swimsuit that Gigi sent to us (thank you Gigi!!!!!!) It might be her first toe dip into the lake.

Recently, we did a photoshoot with all fo the cousins (minus the littlest, newest one, since it was too cold out and minus Miss M's older sister, since she's in Louisiana). Daddy took the pictures and they turned out pretty swell. It's a good lookin brood we have.

The pictures in the next post document all of our fun :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

My dearest love...

This is not your first Father's Day. You've been an amazing father for years now. But this is the first Father's Day that you are daddy to my little girl. Words cannot do justice to what I feel when I see you with our little girl. There have been times, I know, that you weren't so sure you were up for starting all over again. Having a baby is hard work. You knew that, I didn't.

And every time you love on her, I fall a little deeper in love with you. You are an amazing man with a well of compassion and love that you don't often acknowledge is there.

So...I will speak the words that are in our daughter's eyes when she sees her Daddy...

I love you

And truly....God bless the broken road that lead me straight to you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Munch Mouth

I have a five month old. A FIVE MONTH OLD! How did that happen!?!?! She's getting so much bigger every day and I'll update with all of the exciting changes since our last little monthly update soon...

But I wanted to share this video of her very first attempt at cereal :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Holy Roller

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am most thankful for these two munchkins

So...she wasn't so happy while I was recording this because she thought I was leaving her for the night. But she's cute nonetheless...

And her rolling over...

I wish I could figure out how to embed. I'm doing everything my crafty friend Rebecca has taught me to do, but it only copies part of the code. ::::EDIT NOTE - I finally figured out how to embed and came back to this post to fix it....:::::

And, as usual, please excuse the ridiculous baby child's grammar is going to be horrible, but I can't help myself.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tippy Toes!!!

And no...I'm not talking about Seinfeld!

I said she's discovered her toes...but girlfriend can now get them in her mouth!

Last night, I was getting her ready for bed. This is always, always my least favorite time of the day. She reeeeeeeally hates the process and she absolutely knows what it all means and fights it pretty hard. Normal for most kids, but I have read that's even more the case for acid reflux babies. Yea us : We start by warming a bottle and taking it, a binkie, and a blanket in her room so we're all ready. I pick out her jammies and set them with a diaper on her blanket on the floor. Then, she and I run her bath so it's all ready. We get her undressed and undiapered (the part she loves - this kid so loves to be nekkid...) and then into the bath. After the bath, we get dried off (this is the time when she starts crying) and dressed. I used to give her a massage during this time, but after a month I gave up because she does nothing but cry during it. we read a story (right now, she LOVES 8 Little Monkeys (you know...10 little monkeys, jumping on a bed...only with 8 for attention span purposes ;) ). She gets all excited when I do the doctor's voice. Then rocking and bottle and bed.

ANYWAY - last night I was throwing her diaper in the pail and wasn't actually looking at her. When I looked back at her, she had her toes in her mouth. I started to pick her up before I realized, "Holy crap, my child has her foot in her mouth - this is a first!!!" I promptly set her back down, buckled her down, and ran for the camera. Yes, I left my buckled child on the changing table. Please don't call CPS on me. I'll post pictures when I get around to downloading them.

In the last week, our munchkin has also figured out how to pull on her toys in order to make them "sing"/play music all on her own. It's adorable - it's like she's finally figured out that SHE can do what I've been doing for her for months!

She's also starting to put her own binkie in her mouth (if it's easily accessible)....she'll either reach for it with her hand OR (even cuter) if she's in bed, she'll scoot her head till she can wrangle her mouth around to grab it. She's clunky about it...but she's getting it done.

And - now that she turns over, she's waking herself up ALOT. She'll turn herself over in her sleep, wake up and not understand where she's at or what to do and start crying. I figured this out at naptime on Sunday.

I'd put her down fast asleep in her crib. 15 minutes later, I wanted to put her baby monitor in her room. I snuck in, quiet as a mouse, and as I was sneaking out, I heard her peep. I stood still, looked over at her crib and she was on her tummy, arms under her, arching her back and head peering out over the crib side. The minute she saw that I saw her - game over (and nap over).

I wanted to be frustrated, but how can you get frustrated when your baby is being cute and grinning at you.

Oh yeah, she's got me wrapped and she knows it.... Maddy 1, Mama 0

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thankful Thursday

So a girlfriend of mine does a weekly post called Thankful Thursday...and it occurred to me that I haven't voiced what I'm thankful for lately.

Bear with me...the story has a point.

I've been a little down the last couple of weeks. I'm having a really hard time getting used to only seeing Madelyn awake and happy for an hour or two a day. Her poor little tummy causes her to be pretty cranky some days and by the time I get home, I've got an hour or so before I start the whole routine of putting her to bed. She's figured out what certain actions mean and she's not so hip on bedtime every night. She loves her bath, but she knows once bath time is over, we're going to start getting ready for bed and she fights it pretty good. Add into that the fact that most babies aren't so happy in the early evening anyway (my friend Kim calls it the witching hours - from 5 to 8 pm) and I don't get to see a lot of my happy, laughing baby.

Jim's work schedule has been crazy for the last two weeks and he has the same run next week so we have maybe half an hour of face time in the morning and half an hour in the evening. During that time, one of us is generally feeding Madelyn while the other is trying to get ready for work. Not exactly quality couple time. Heck, it's not even family time. It's rush time.

So, I've been feeling sorry for myself. Not liking the situation and just generally feeling down.

But last night was different.

Maddy was happy (yea!) and that allowed me to play with her *and* get some stuff done around the house. Granted, it wasn't much, but getting anything done feels like an accomplishment. Madelyn loves it when we dance, so while we were upstairs, I put on Carrie Underwood and danced with my baby to "All American Girl". While I was dancing with her, I was listening to the lyrics and overwhelmed at just how much I love this little person, how very precious she is to little All American Girl. Despite the sleep deprivation, challenges of being the only one on baby duty all night long, tummy troubles and fussy babies, just how very, very blessed I am to have her.

So - today....

I'm thankful I have a job. It allows me to provide for my daughter, even though I'm away from her more than I would like.

And I'm thankful I have a husband with a steady job. If I were to loose mine, he would continue to provide for us and we'd be okay. Poorer than we'd like, but okay.

I'm thankful that husband is so helpful around the house and has started doing things outside of his comfort zone, like cooking dinner for us.

I'm thankful that husband loves me enough and is caring enough to mend fences when we're being snippy with each other because we're rushed, we're tired, and we are generally grumpy that we're not spending enough time together.

And....I'm so very thankful for my little All American Girl. She is so, so precious to me.

And finally, I'm thankful that God let me know the kind of love I've never known before....that of a husband who wants to build a relationship and a family, despite the challenges, and the love a mother feels for her child. It is both awe inspiring and humbling.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Maddy the Model

Every month or two, I talk my husband into putting up all of our camera equipment, backgrounds, and lightening and doing a photo shoot with our littlest munchkin. It can be a bit trying, because baby's will only model for so long.... So it usually ends up being a two day affair.

Eventually, if we do it often enough, I figure she'll get used to it and we can get it done in less than two days. I'm excited about the nice weather that's here, perhaps we can start taking some "nature" shots with our baby out in the yard.

Below are a few of the latest taken two weeks ago. The rest are at:

Love Letter #4

My little tiny munchkin...

This love letter is a little late - and I'm sorry for that - but I've been soaking up every little bit of you I could for the last couple of weeks and haven't spent a ton of time with the computer. I started back to work this week and what an emotional rollercoaster that has been.

On the one hand, it's good. Some day you'll understand what I mean by that. I have a whole new bucket of respect for stay at home moms because it is SO not at all what I thought it'd be like. Having a baby is hard! Even one as cute, cute, cute as you are. You are absolutely, next to your dear old Dad, the person I love most on this planet!!!! However, being that your Dad works nights and I spend a good portion of my day all alone without help, I get lonely for someone who can help me with you... Or at least do the things that need to be done while I play with you. So...being at work is good! I so very thankful for my job, I like my company, and I'm happy to bring in money to help secure the stability of our family.

But being away from my baby is hard, hard, hard. Just look at you! I know I'm biased, but you're simply gorgeous and when you're feeling good, you are the most amazingly happy baby. Daddy is going to have to beat those boys off with a stick. Daddy says when you're 30, but I say you can date when you're 25. This morning, when I was done getting ready and needed to put you in your carseat to go, I spent a few minutes just cuddling you. Daddy had fed your your morning bottle and you'd fallen back asleep snuggled up next to him. Every cell in my body wanted to stay just right there. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it because I absolutely hate leaving you. When you smile, you light up the room and I hate that I go all day without you smiling at me.

Some of the changes from your last love letter:

You've started giggling. Honestly giggling!

You love it when I pretend I'm going to eat you up and my hair tickles your face.

You love playing the "kisses, kisses, kisses" game. I come at you and say, "kisses, kisses, kisses!!!" and kiss your little mouth. You giggle and have started to reach up for me with a grin when I start saying "kisses".

You've found your feet!!!! You are grabbing them all the time now and it's so precious.

You've started talking ALOT and I love that sound.

You are SO close to rolling over from your back to your tummy. If you knew what to do with that shoulder, you'd be all over it. Scratch that....I started this blog post and then you went and rolled over for us this weekend!
You are still in love with your Daddy, but you've started to give up Mr. Star. You're much more into your jumper now that you're such a big girl. Mr. Star doesn't make enough noise for you. I'm not saying he's gone to the wayside, he's just not your favorite anymore. You also love your rings for chewing and a crinkle book for the same reason.

You've started to wrap your arm around my neck. Granted, it's just for stability when I'm carrying you around, but I'll take it.

You've *really* started to notice George and you reach out for him now. That is so much fun to watch.

You've also started to recognize that your room is where I put you to sleep - and you cry when we go in there, even in the middle of the day. I chalk that up to you wanting to be in the midst of things at all times (you're so like your Mama in that way). You just don't want to miss anything by going to sleep.

I'm afraid to say it outloud, but you're starting to go down easier at night. You don't necessarily stay down easily, but it's not as hard at night. I don't know if I'm just getting better at being consistent or you're getting better at it. Probably both. You still don't sleep very well, but Dr. Fasullo thinks that's because of your tummy. Some nights are really bad. The night before last you were up all.night.long. Mama got two fourt-five minute naps before having to go to work. I thought I was going to be dead the next day and actually cried at work (in the one saw me, thank gawd).

When I turn you on your tummy, which you don't like much for the afore mentioned tummy trouble reasons, you've started to try and put your knees under you to scoot. Maybe crawling is soon? Lordy me, I hope not just yet!

You still sleep in our room. Before I had you, I thought for sure you'd be in your own room by 3 months. Now I battle deciding when to move you into your own room. I'm so not there yet, I like you sleeping in your little co-sleeper next to me :)

You're starting to notice that Daddy and I eat food that isn't milk. I am holding off introducing any solids till we've got your tummy troubles under better control, but I know that's a sign for starting your baby on solids - that they notice what Mama and Daddy are eating. This is exciting to me and makes me want to cry in the same breath. Solids will be fun! But how is it that my baby is old enough for solids, you're growing up too fast. I know this is the lament of every parent....and it's so true.
And speaking of those tummy troubles - they're still around. Your tummy still hurts you and when you're having a bad day, my heart breaks. We've tried going back to breast milk and that hasn't changed anything. We've tried Zantac, that hasn't helped. We've tried rice cereal in your milk, that did nothing but make the spit way thicker. Dr. Fasullo has us trying Prevacid next...and we're going half breast milk, half Soy formula till we run out of the breastmilk in the freezer, then it'll be all formula. And I'm starting to wean on the pump. Working has made pumping that much harder - because I just don't get as much and anymore, I think it comes between you and I spending quality time together. And that's more imortant to me. Besides, you seem to be happier on Soy.
You're trying to hold your own bottle. You can't do it unless it's empty - but if it's empty, you can hold it. You get excited when you see a bottle, empty or not.
All in're just a bigger girl. Daddy calls you his "big girl", but I remind him you're still a little baby. You may have grown a lot, but you've still only been around for 19 weeks. That's not very long to be saying you're a "big girl". I think I'll be saying you're only a little baby long you actually are a big girl. It's passing too fast for me and it's exciting and sad all in one breath.

Daddy and I took more pictures of you two weeks ago (when you actually were 4 months old) and these are some of those shots:

Is that you, Mama? Whachoo doing down there?

Daddy....What you doing with that thing pointed at me?

Get my feet, Daddy, get my feet!

You woke me up from my nap for this?!?!

Take me to the beach, Mama, I'm ready!