Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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…me..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 all.day.long. 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 crying...how 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