Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Friday

It may be raining outside but my heart is light and my spirit is free.

It's my Friday.
I have an amazing husband.
I have beautiful, healthy children.
I have a great family.
I am not dealing with unspeakable natural catastrophy or leaders that rule by oppression.
I have a God and He is good.

And the best thing about me is them....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Miss Chomper

Speaking of teeth...

We've had our first biting incident.

When I picked Madelyn up from daycare last night, I was informed by one of the little boys that Madelyn had bitten him.  After talking to her daycare provider, it turns out that Madelyn has an admirer.  This same little boy is obessed with loves to play with our beautiful little miss and follows her around constantly torturing trying to pick her up or hold her hand.

Apparently our VIG (very independent girl) had enough and turned around and bit him yesterday.

The mature, responsible parent in me is not happy that my daughter bit someone else.
The educating parent in me spent time explaining to her that teeth are not for biting (though I am not sure if the message reached her or just sounded like the teacher on Charlie Brown).

The insecure parent in me is a little afraid she'll turn into "that child" that other parents complain about.

The vain parent in me thinks it's pretty darn cute that this little boy is so taken with Madelyn....she is pretty adorable if I do say so myself.

The mama bear in me says "that's right, little dude, mess with my daughter and she'll chomp on you".

Teeth are not for biting...and they sure are cute.

Lovin' This

File this in the "Things I Love" Category....

I love to watch Madelyn run to people when she's excited to see them.   Her face is all aglow, her eyes are wide and excited and if she can say your name, she'll call it over and over again.

She does this when I pick her up from daycare.
She does this when Jim comes downstairs after waking up in the afternoon.
She does this when people she knows come to the front door.

She'll take your hand and drag you back to whatever you're doing at the moment.

I just love it and all the innocence and youth it represents.

Pearly Whites

My girl has a healthy fear of our pediatrician, much to my pediatricians understandable dismay.  We have a wonderful doctor - she's patient with my many questions, my "worry wartedness" and completely understanding and supportive of working moms since she is one herself.  She's funny and very gentle with our children.  You can't blame Madelyn though, every time she goes, she's getting a shot or her ears are being scraped.  It's so bad that at our last visit, Madelyn cried when William was getting shots!

So, you can imagine my trepidation for Madelyn's first dental appointment.  I didn't want to be the mother with "that" child....  The child with nasty teeth and numerous cavities because said child flipped a lid every time her mother came near her with a tooth brush.  We do brush.  Every night.  And every night Madelyn flips a lid.  I try to be as nonchalant about it as I can be.  While Madelyn has "her turn" with her Piglet toothbrush and apple flavored trainer paste, I lotion her up.  Then, it's "Mama's turn".

Queue screaming child soundtrack here.

Every night.

So, imagine my delight when not only does it turn out that Madelyn's teeth are in "better shape than most", but that she actually liked riding up and down the dental chair (even if she had to be coaxed the first time by having Mama and William ride with her).  She thought "Mr. Thirsty" was pretty cool the way he sucked water out of her mouth.   She wasn't so sure about the little mirror, but she sure did like the part where she got to pick out a new tooth brush, 5 stickers ("more, Mama?") and a little toy.

She has a new best friend, Holly, whom she talks about nightly ("Mama, go Holly and up, down?") and I have a new phrase to help coax her...."let's brush the sugar bugs off your teeth, darlin!"

Brothers & Sisters

(Okay, maybe a few words this Wednesday.  It's long, but there are cute baby giggles :) )

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Staying Put

Is it wrong that I want this little guy in my room until he's 43?

I know my husband would object.  I'm guessing the little guy will object in about 8 years.  I'm quite certain his wife, when he has one, would object too.

But the monkey and me, we agree....he needs to stay put so I can listen to his sweet little noises all night long and lean over and kiss his little head.

Name Games

Madelyn - A woman of magdala, High Tower

I never set out to give my child a biblical name.  I'm not opposed to it, it's just not what I set out to do when I suggested Madelyn as a first name.  What I really wanted was to be able to call my little girl "Maddy" as a child and allow her to have a very professional, yet feminine name as an adult.  The funny thing is, Jim and I almost exclusively call her Madelyn, not Maddy.

For months we've been trying to get her to say "Madelyn".  So, imagine my "aha" moment last night when we were going through our nighttime routine and I realized she's been trying to say "Maddy" for quite sometime.  Mama just didn't understand Madelynese.

Mama: Can you say Madelyn?
Mads:  Mah-ee
Mama:  Yes, you... (Mama is thinking she's saying "me" in a southernish accent)
Mads:  Mah-ee (Mama thinks she's saying Mommy now)
Mama:  Who's Mommy?  (Mads points to me)
Mama:  Who are you?
Mads:  Mah-ee (points to herself)  Mah-ee (points to herself again) Mah-mee (points to me)
Mama:  Ohhhh!!!  Are you saying "Maddy!?!?

At this point, she wrinkles up her forehead, looks at me like I'm completely dense and says:  Yeah, Mama, Mah-ee.

It only took her 24 months and the kid is already smarter than me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sweet William

My sweet, sweet boy....

I just can't tell you how much I love you.  Yes, I'm the cheesy mother that's going to post about how much she loves her son.  I talk about how much I love Madelyn all the time.  Heck, I was worried I couldn't *possibly* love anyone as much as I loved her.

But I do...I love you to the moon and back.

And you've had a rough go of it in the past few months.  You took me by surprise with that.  You were so quiet and calm and peaceful and honestly, I think that's your nature.  I've probably jinxed myself by typing that...but I do.  But we had a rough patch of it about when you turned 3 months.

You'd been sleeping pretty darn well and were starting to coo back and forth with me.  You were holding your head up really well.  You would snuggle up with me at night and didn't need me to swaddle you. You were drinking your bottles so well and I was keeping way ahead of you (go me!).  You didn't nap on a consistent basis during the day - but overall, you were getting a lot of sleep.

I wrote in your baby book (which I've been *terrible* about keeping up, I'm sorry m'boy) on the 13th of January that you were getting a bad case of cradle cap.  By the time we went to Papa and Gigi's to visit, your scalp was just one big mass of ickyness and it was starting to come down onto your face.  You'd rub your eyes till your forhead was raw.  You were getting terrible spots on your body.  You'd cry and cry.  You wouldn't sleep.

And we couldn't figure out where my happy baby went!  We went back and forth to your doctor's office (and she is awesome - you don't like her much because she is the self professed "baby torturer" by messing with your ears and giving you shots...but she's so good with you and with me too).  At first, we thought it was an ear infection that was causing you distress and just normal cradle cap and possibly that you had eczema.  I found out that your great grandfather had it - so that made sense. 

We treated it and your ears got better, but nothing else did.  It was getting worse.

So, I took you to a dermatologist.  He is a very nice guy but what he had us do wasn't working and you continued to get worse.

Then, we put you on sensitive formula because your dad and I were starting to think maybe the gassiness you had (and boy did you have it) was really bothering you.  That did nothing for you.

Then our dishwasher leaked and we had to have the house dehumidified.  And things REALLY got bad that week....  And we chalked up the serious eczema to the dehumidifier.  Only when they were gone, things didn't get any better.

Finally, we put you on soy formula.  That didn't really help much, but when I put you back on breastmilk things got really, really bad.  You cried non stop.  It broke my heart.  You were exhausted but you wouldn't sleep.  I can see in your eyes during that period of pictures how very tierd you were.

So your pediatrician had us put you on a hypoallergenic formula and we took you to an allergist.  The trip to the allergist was one of the worst experiences I've had as a mother.  The allergist was great, but your skin was so blotchy we couldn't do a patch test.  So, we had to draw your blood.  Only, the lab we used wasn't specialized for children.   I will never do that again.  Never.  You started crying when you saw the needle.  I don't know how you knew, but you puckered up the second you saw it.  Then, the tech couldn't find your vein and while I had to hold you down, she dug in your arm.  I know how much that hurts as an adult.  Having your scream and look into my eyes was pure torture.  She found it just about the time I was going to deck her.  I don't ever want to repeat that experience.

Turns out you have a milk protein intolerance and you're allergic to peanuts.

Nuts, my little peanut.  I eat a lot of nuts.  So, we're armed with the formula and an epi pen while I try to figure out what we're going to feed you instead of PB&J.  I'm praying you're one of the 20% that outgrows it and we'll retest you at a year old and every year after that.  I'm hoping I can use all the milk I have banked in 7 months....

After a week and a half on the formula, you're like a different baby.  You're happy again.  You're sleeping so much better.  You are still a cat napper during the day and you wake at least one or twice during the night - but it's not every hour and half.  It takes me awhile to get you down for good - but all in all, it's fairly smooth.

You still sleep in our room in your co-sleeper.  I really don't want to move you.  I will at some point, I'm sure...but I don't want to.  I like peeking at you in the middle of the night.  I like hearing you breath.  I like kissing your head.  You're already getting so big, I don't want to miss any of it.  Your sister is not a snuggler - I'm hoping you're different and want to snuggle with your mama.  I'm already looking forward to building forts in your room and Madelyn and you and I having slumber parties on a Friday when Daddy is at work.

You talk to me all the time.  You coo and I coo and you coo's precious.

You smile all the time....and now you giggle.  You giggle when your Daddy talks to you.  You giggle when your sister plays with you.  You giggle when I squeeze your belly.

On your 5 month birthday, you really started rolling from your back to your tummy.  You'd done it the first time at the end of February, but hadn't really done it again.  On Sunday, you couldn't stop!  Each time you would look at me like, "what in the heck just happened?!?!"

You've started reaching out for things with your hands.  You love to chew on your "Mister Star" (it was your sister's favorite too).  You are reach for the car seat toys I have above you.  You LOVE to hold your bottle....the look in your eyes when it's coming at you is priceless....and you reach up for it.

You are starting to enjoy being put in the exesaucer. You weren't so sure about that at first, but you're starting to like it.  I have to laugh though, the first time we put you in it at 4 months, you could bounce yourself up and down on the lowest setting.  Your sister couldn't even touch the ground at the same age and setting.  We had to put books under her feet.  You've got the advantage of weight on your side.

You've started trying to scout yourself forward when you're on your tummy.

I love the smell of you.

I love to nibble your little cheeks.

I love that you're my constant companion.  You think life is good no matter what we're doing, as long as I'm holding you.

I love the way you stare at your Daddy waiting for him to look at you and how you grin when he does.

I really wish we could bath you more.  We don't because it's hard on your skin.  I hope you love the water as much as your sister does.  Sometimes I take you into the shower with me after your sister has gone to just need a bit of a water bath and you stay warmer when the room is steamy.  I love how squishy you feel.  You've got the squishiest baby thighs and tush.

You're starting to get really curious about what we eat at dinner time.  We'll try solids soon and I can't decide whether to start you on oatmeal or sweet potatos.  Your Daddy votes for applesauce.

I still keep you swaddled....I don't know when we'll break that.  You fight it at first, but honestly, you rub your eyes till their just raw if I don't.  I'm hoping as time goes on you'll get over that.

You've really started to interact with your sister.....she'll try to make you laugh and you'll giggle.  This eggs her on and then she'll giggle...which makes you giggle even more.  I love the sound of my children laughing.

I could stare at you all day long. Really, I could.  Who wouldn't want to when you look at this face...

My Girl

Where do you start when you're so far behind in updating your blog? There's so much to say about my babies that I don't even know where to begin!

I've been reading through entries where I've talked about Madelyn and I look at pictures from a year ago, much less from when she was born….she has changed so very much and grown so very much, it's just amazing to me and I just don't know where to start in telling stories or talking about her. She is such a little firecracker. She's got so much going on in that little head of hers.

So, I'll just do a brain dump of all the things I love about Madelyn or think, I need to remember this forever. Sit down, this is going to take you awhile…..

Every little thing she does is magic

Her independent streak grows daily (if I say stubborn, then I'm also calling myself stubborn since I'm the same darn way). Maybe I don't love this, and yet I do. It's constantly "Mama, me…" and that's cute, unless it's bed time and I'm really trying to get her into her jammies because Will is losing it and I'm all alone. Then I don't love it so much.

She alternates between Mama and Mommy since she's started daycare. I love hearing Mommy, but I love it when older little girls say "Daddy and Mama" like a southern belle….so I can't decide which I want her to call me.

Daycare outside of the family has been a new adventure for her. The first week was TOUGH. She'd cry hysterically when I left. Stasha has been awesome though – on those first mornings, she'd call me later in the day to tell me that Madelyn was doing okay and had stopped crying pretty quickly. Now, a month later, she asks me in the morning if we're going to Stashas and when we get there, goes right to her. The other night, when both Jim and I were reprimanding her, she says, "Mama, Stasha GO!" Hmph!

We're getting closer and closer to potty training. She's very curious and talks about pee pee all the time. She'll tell me after she goes. She wants to sit on her potty chair but she's yet to make anything happen. We've had a few accidents if she's running around like a jay bird – and she'll announce it after the fact if I didn't catch her in the act.

When the moon hits your eye like a big peeeeeza pie, that's amore

She's still such a darn picky eater. She's no longer a teeny weensy thing –she's up to the 50th percentile, but it's still worrisome to me (me, worry? Nahhh) mainly because I really, really want to raise a healthy eater. I know, I know….it's my job to provide her a healthy meal, it's her job to eat it – but I still have a hard time sending a 2 year old to bed hungry. That having been said, she'll be up for 2 hours in the morning before she'll indicate she's hungry. If I try and get her into the highchair any sooner than 30 – 45 minutes after she's gotten up she'll revolt.

Her favorites include:

• PB&J sandwiches

• pasta and marinara sauce

• black olives

• cheese (cheddar particularly)

• apples (she says this all day long… apwuls pweese, apwuls pweese and now…Mama, mama, apwulsaaaas)

• bananas

• bread of any kind

• cereal (and particularly cereal with raisins or dried strawberries)

• turkey sausage

• green beans

• raisins

• cranberries

• mac and cheese

• hotdogs

• grilled cheese and tomato soup (for dunking)

• pears

• meatloaf (but not hamburgers or ground beef…weird!)

• ham (she also asks for this often…)

• black beans

• waffles and pancakes

• tuna fish on crackers (actually, she'll just eat the tuna fish off the cracker and ask for more)

• grapes

• chicken nuggets

• pizza (but pepperoni or Canadian bacon – hold the pineapple, she'll pick that off)

She loves to dunk things. We'll do French dips and she won't eat the sandwich so much as she'll dip the big sourdough bun in the sauce. If she sees ketchup or ranch sauce, it's game over until she gets some. She'll dip anything in them. Apples in ketchup. Pears in ranch sauce. You name it, she'll dip it. If it's food she doesn't like, she'll keep dipping and licking.

She drinks her milk out of her bowl (like her Daddy).

She is a water drinker! I don't even bother with juice. All day long it's "waa waa, Mama, waa waa".

We try really hard to just feed her what we're eating for dinner without offering her other options if she doesn't like it – but if it's something really out of the norm, I will give her a "back up" meal. That having been said, we now do "One bite of this for one taste of that". I'll set her meal before her with portions of everything and she doesn't get more of her favorites still she's tried everything or at least had a bite of her veggies.

She can climb into her own highchair and buckle herself in. I keep thinking we need to move her to the table. Not all of the adults in the house agree on that move just yet…she's rather messy still.

She's getting better and better with her fork and her spoon. She can spoon feed herself cereal and soup if she really, really concentrates. She still prefers her hands for most everything. I just don't know at what point I start cracking down on that.

She loves her hippo bib best. Seriously. A hippo. "Mama, no raaah (her word for lion…she has a lion bib), hippo, hippo!"

And she'll have fun, fun, fun till her Daddy takes her t-bird away

Watching Madelyn play is just good for the soul. I love to watch her figure things out and see what her imagination will come up with.

She loves to dance. She always wants to dance. She got a Dora the Explorer microphone that plays music for Christmas and she'll turn that on and hold it to her mouth like she's singing and march around and around. She holds her babies and dances them around. She *really* likes to dance with Mama and Daddy, which consists of taking our hands and spinning around in circles. She's always asking me to dance and I always oblige her. Jim always says, "You're a fly girl, you're a fly girl" (hello, does that date us or what?) and she'll shake her little tushie.

She has a new found fascination with being dizzy. She'll spin herself around and around (typically in her bed) and say, "Mama, dizzy!"

She loves to jump, which she can now do properly. She'll try to jump off of anything and everything.

She loves her legos and will build a single pile of them as high as she can get them to go and then knock them down.

She got a kitchen for Christmas and *loves* it. She's really starting to pretend, so she'll make us "dinner" and set plates and bowls in front of us and try to feed us. If you ask her what she's making, it's always "Peeda" (pizza). I think that's become her "go to" word for food. Everything is "peeda". Or pie. She's ever even had pie.

Along the pretending line of things, she likes to put her babies to bed, try to diaper them and swaddle them like I do Will. She'll put them into her baby stroller or her baby pram (she has both) and will say, "Bye Mama" and take off for a "walk" with her babies.

She loves play do and wishes we would play with that I've had to hide it because inevitably she'll ask for it five minutes before dinner. Or five minutes before bath time.

She loves to color. This is one of her favorite activities at day care. Thus far it's just scribbles but more and more the scribbles aren't just random chicken scratches across the paper, she'll actually color over something. She won't draw a circle if you tell her "draw a circle", but she does draw circles frequently. If you ask her what the same circle is over and over, she'll give you a different answer every time.

Madelyn loves to go on walks. She constantly asks to go on walks – whether it's pouring rain or sunny. She loves to be outdoors. She loves to walk to the park. She loves to walk up the steps at the end of our neighborhood. She wants to walk everywhere we go. Problem is, she doesn't want to stay with Mama and Daddy. We're working on that.

Madelyn is a total water baby – she absolutely loves to swim. We're in week 3 of her second round of swim lessons. She'll let me dunk her under water now. She likes to jump into the water and wants to do it without Mama catching her. She hasn't figured out yet that she can't quite swim. We've been to the King County Aquatic center a couple of times and we've been to the Federal Way Rec Center pool. The Rec Center pool is *awesome*. It's got a slide that is just Madelyn's size and she LOVES it. I've yet to be bold enough to take William and Madelyn at the same time by myself – I really want her to go as often as she wants to and I want Will to be a water baby too….but I'm nervous I couldn't keep them both safe.

My Little Bookworm

She loves to read. I could read for hours to her at night. Lately, she'll take a book for herself and look through it and grab a book and hand it to me for me to read to her. During the day, she'll pull book after book out and "read" through them (babbling to us). She also likes to read to William.

When books have big letters printed out on them she likes to point to them and say "twooo twooo twoo" while I say the actual letter name.

She loves all of her books – but these books she asks for over and over:

• Good Night Gorilla

• Just in Case You Ever Wondered

• Elmo Loves You

• I'm a Big Sister

• Gossie and Friends books

• The Please and Thank You Book

• Anything by Sandra Boynton – but specifically Moo, Baa, Lalala, The Going to Bed Book, Pajama Time, But Not the Hippopotamus, Horns to Toes and In between, Bob and Bath Time

• The Christmas Carol (seriously….she'll have me read this over and over. And who knew that in the original poem the reindeer's name was "Donder" and not "Donner". I thought it was a misprint at first)

Gibber Jabber

Madelyn doesn't talk as much as I'd like for her to – for her 2 year appointment I think I counted 60 – 75 words that she had said, but not all the time. That's on the low end of the scale….and I am sure it's due to her binky. We're working on that…

She does a lot of two word sentences and I know she understands much more than she says. I can give her pretty complicated instructions and she'll follow them (if she's in the mood  ).

In addition to those 60 – 75, she says:

1. One

2. Two

3. Three

4. Ouch (it comes out ahhch)

5. Owee (she uses this a lot lately)

6. Cow

7. On

8. Why

9. Pie

10. Rock

11. Whee

12. Water (wa wa)

13. Home

14. Help (Help please!)

15. Apple

16. Applesauce

17. Cat

18. Dog

19. Hot (she'll say this even if it's just a little warm)

20. Good Good Girl (it comes out gu gu girl)

21. Hippo

22. Now

23. Up

24. Go (this is often "Mama, Go Now!" "Mama, Go Walk!" "Mama, Go Stasha?")

25. Shoe

26. Sock

27. Cheese

28. Yellow

29. Airplane

30. Soup

31. Bowl

32. Ice Cream

33. Caillou

34. Eat

35. Pizza (Peeda)

36. Freda (Her Grandma Freda)

37. GiGi (Grandma Griffitts)

38. Guy (this is her word for anyone that seems scary to her. If she sees a witch in a book, she'll say "guy! Guy!". Lately she's taken to pointing at our front door and saying "Guy! Guy!". I didn't figure it out until we were looking at her Aladdin book and she pointed to the character Jafar and said, "Guy!")

39. Stasha (this is her daycare provider)

40. Purple

41. Green

42. Key

43. Pee Pee

44. Poop

45. Amen (it comes out Aaaa-meee)

46. Me

47. I fly (And she'll run around with her arms out saying "I fly, I fly")

48. Bee (for a bee)

49. Bee (for her Aunt Bree)

50. Drew (her uncle – only it's more like Dew)

51. Santa Claus

If you ask her what a cow says, she'll moo. If you ask her what a monkey says, she'll tickler her armpits and say "ooh ooh ohh". If you ask her what a lizard says, she'll stick out her tongue. She'll roar for a tiger and a lion. For all other animals, it's "eeeh eeeh".

Along the same lines as talking, she loves to sing. She'll follow me and do the actions for the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, I'm a Little Teapot. She loves when I sing the ABCs – if I start up, she'll go over to her ABC refrigerator magnet and push the button so it starts singing. When we're playing in the bathtub at night, she'll make her little fishy swim if I start to sing "Three Little Fishies".

Rock a bye baby

She's such a good sleeper! She rarely, rarely wakes up in the middle of the night. Now that we have a video monitor, I can see that sometimes it takes her a long time to fall asleep, but for the most part, she goes right down. Especially now that Will is here, she no longer wants or needs to be rocked. In fact, if he's being really fussy and we're alone, she'll ask to just be put directly to bed by saying "Mama, ni, ni" and pointing at her bed.

As of late, she pretends to go "ni ni" or she'll put her babies "ni ni". If we're alone and rocking, we go through the list of names she knows and she asks me if they're going "ni ni" (Mama ni ni? Yes Madelyn, Mama is going to go to bed when we're done rocking. Baby ni ni? Yes, Madelyn, Will is going to bed too. Daddy ni ni? Daddy is at work, sweetie. Nana ni ni? Yes, Nana is in bed. Gigi ni ni? Yes, Gigi is in bed. Papa ni ni? Yes, Papa is in bed. ) In our world, when it's her bed, everyone has gone ni ni ;)

Naps are a different story. At home she'll generally nap from 2 pm to 5 pm. I tell her its nap time, we go up to her room, straight into her bed and not a peep until I go in and wake her up at 5. At day care she rarely naps. I'm hoping that's just part of an adjustment. At daycare she's either on the couch or on a mat on the floor in the open. She still really does need that nap. "No nap" days are no fun by bedtime.

She's a night owl and does not like to be woken up early in the morning. If left to her own devices, she'd go down between 8:30 – 9 pm, be up at 8:30 – 9 am, eat lunch around 1 pm and down for a nap at 2. That was our schedule when Will was first born and I was home. If I have to actually wake her up instead of just going in when I notice that she's up (and she won't call out for me…she just hangs out in her bed), she's pretty darn cranky. The first 15 – 20 minutes of being up are always a good snuggle time. She's not too interested in doing anything but that and watch some TV.

She can climb into her crib, but she has yet to try to climb out. She just calls for me till I come.

By the end of February, she's stopped doing bottles altogether at night…we do a sippy cup of water that she'll hold as we rock and read. Then she'll say "All done" and put it on her night stand. Part of me is glad – but part of me hates to see the last of these baby things go.

When I rock her, she'll lay her head on my shoulder and run her little hand up and down my arm. I just love that.

She'll say her prayers with me at night by either folding her little hands into a prayer or holding my cheeks in her hands and trying to mimic what I'm saying. She finishes by saying "Ahhhmeee".

Brothers and Sisters

Madelyn loves her little brother. She is constantly stroking his head, giving him kisses, bringing him his binkie. Lately she wants to change his diaper.

Funny story: One day she decided *she* was going to change his diaper. So, she sat between my legs while I took his diaper off and started to wipe him off. She looks at his boy parts and then up at me like, "what the heck, Mom?!?!". So, I said, "those are Will's boy parts because he's a boy." She looks back down at him and back at me, then back at him and pokes him. This made Will giggle, so she pokes him again and he giggles again…. It doesn't phase her now – but at first she was pretty darn curious.

When we took William for his 4 month check up and she for her 2 year check up, Madelyn had her shots first.  She cried and we calmed her and wiped her eyes.  When it came time for William's shots, she looked over and him and saw what was about to happen and big tears sprung to her eyes and she leaned over and started trying to shush him before he even uttered a peep.  My baby was crying because my baby was sad and sweet that is!

Sometimes Madelyn doesn't love Will. When she's really needing some love she'll pat the swing and say, "Mama, BABY!" and want me to put him down so we can play (typically it's when she wants to dance). When I was on maternity leave, she really had a hard time of things in the morning. I always tried to get her up before I got Will up so we could have time together. If he woke up and started crying, she'd grab my hand and just hold it tight in her lap while staring at the TV as if to will me not to move. She really doesn't like it when Will cries, particularly at bedtime if we're reading a story. She'll try to shush him and give him his binky. She doesn't understand it when he doesn't calm down and she'll start crying. Those are the times that break my heart because I know that she really, really wants her Mama and she's not going to get as much time as she used to.

She doesn't like it if we get into the car. She'll say, "Mama, baby!! Baby!!" as if to say, "Hey lady, aren't you forgetting someone?"

She's always talking to him in her little gibberish and trying to make him laugh.

Now that he giggles, she tries to tickle him.

He watches her constantly – and it's just amazing when they look at each other and start interacting. I just love those moments.

That Face

Madelyn is just like her Mama – her emotions are written all over her face. She'll give me the side eye when she's trying to avoid me. She and I get into some serious locked eye battle of wills. I'm still winning. For now.

She has an infectious laughter and she now tries to mimic our smiles and sing songy voice when we talk to Will.

She will try to bat her eyes and tilt her head and grin when she wants us to do something.


This is where I admit my kid watches way more TV than I thought I'd ever let her. Every time I see another parent talk about a movie their 2 year old has seen or a character they love, I don't feel like I'm scaring her for life quite so much.

But she does – she loves TV. And I do my best to always interact with her – we talk about what we're seeing and I try to pick shows that include dancing or doing things (i.e. The Wiggles, Monkey See, Monkey Do). Her favorites include:

• The Wiggles

• Monkey See, Monkey Do

• Caillou

• Sesame Street

• Chuggington

• A Bee Movie (During the movie she'll say, "mama, Go, Bee, GO!")

• Santa Clause is Coming to Town

• Happy Feet (with a LOT of fast forwards over the scary parts)

• Madagascar 2 (with a LOT of fast forwards – and I have to say, this is a favorite for Jim and I…we quote it all the time)

• Merry Madagascar

• All 3 Tinkerbell Movies