Sunday, December 26, 2010

After the letter...

... comes pictures!

 Her Christmas-Day tutu, picked out by my awesome goddaughter

Playing with the magnet set on the fridge, from Neil's family. She loves it! 

Giggling with dido with the teddy-in-the-box that dada picked out for Christmas 

The pic of Maddy and my goddaughter. I wasn't sure I shoudl include Taylor, so here is a close-up of awesome 4-toothed Maddy! I love that crazy little smile so much!  

And on a lighter note... Maddy eating the table corner-bumpers as she watches commercials. Ah, my sweet Maddy-girl! 

Month eleven letter

Dear Maddy,

Here is the obligatory opening paragraph at how fast time is passing. Well? It's only sped up! I am in shock how time is slipping away from me. Between work and you and house cleaning and everything... But we're doing everything we can to enjoy every second with you.

You are now 11 months old. And now wearing 18-24 month clothes. I just had to retire so many of your old clothes... I am a little in shock at this last growth spurt. You were my baby one day and now you are such a big girl. You are walking along furniture so well and standing by yourself, both by letting go of the furniture and also in the centre of the room. But really only when you are distracted by other things, mostly what is in your hands. I think that will be the major motivation for you to walk - you'll want to hold on to something and move along. Now you just crawl with one hand on the ground and the other hand holding something, so your elbow is on the ground. Awkward, yes, and you abandon what is in your hands. Soon abandoning whatever it is you have will not be an option. And then you will, in your great stubbornness, walk.

Your personality is coming through more and more. You are such a strong willed little girl but only when it is something you truly want. The rest of the time, the most of the time, you are such a go-with-the-flow Madds. You are so quick to smile and laugh! Peek-a-boo, ba-donk-a-donk, nibbles on your belly and arms... FITS of laughter. And already you are a scientist. You experiment with the different noises that things make, moving things... It's glorious to watch you interact with your world and try to figure it all out. You are also very motivated by music. You will listen and songs, your favorites are commercials and Dr Who theme song. Oh! And the Brady Bunch theme song. You always stop to watch that one. And the commercial with the laughing babies. Well, most commercials, really. Just like mama used to love.

You are starting to talk. You will mimic us and try to say words. We have figured out cheese - said chssss. You always say "Dgia". All the time. We have no clue what that one means. We have tried to figure it out but nothing is coming to us. See ya? GI Joe? Maybe one day it'll click for us. And today you said 2 words. When you do something positive we cheer and clap and say good girl! Today we were at the mall and you were having some water through a straw. The first sip was a shock and you weren't expecting it, some water was spilled. The second one you knew what to expect and when you took a small sip, I said good girl and took the glass away. Well, you clapped your hands, like I do when we're cheering you on, and said "goo guur". Good girl. Just like mama says... Like mama says... Like mama...

Today I stared at you for what felt like forever. You were standing and playing and walking along the tables covered in your teeth marks. And it shook me to the core, again... the enormity and importance of what we did, that we created life, brought (more) tears to my eyes. No matter what you do, what you become, what you achieve - we will love you always. We changed the world to bring you here and the world that we inhabit is better because of it. It is perfect with you here.

I love you, my Nunu. Happy 11 months.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

What a crazy day!

Today was a crazy day! It was the first day we purposely skipped a nap for Maddy. She's been doing 2 naps a day for the last few months. But the last few days she hasn't been able to settle for her afternoon nap. So? We skipped her morning nap and are testing to see how it goes. It went... ok! She was showing some sleepy signs around her normal nap time but we played through it and kept the morning busy by going to brunch at IHOP.

And as an aside, wow it was GOOD. Possibly my new favorite brekkie place good. I'll see how they are once they are open (it was their training weekend) but yum! Grain and nut pancakes with blueberries and bananas... heavenly and kinda sorta healthy!

And then home for a nap. Well, the nap started in the carseat and stretched into the crib. About an hour and a half... which really wasn't quite long enough. But as Madds' nap started a friend of mine came over for a visit and we got the chance to catch up and then she got the chance to see Madds once she woke.

Another aside, I miss my mommy-friends... those women helped me through being a new mom and I am not sure I would be (as) sane without them. And I miss them so much. But life now doesn't make visiting easy... Maybe one day!

Then, this afternoon, we took Madds to her first birthday party of a buddy. One of the boys from Mom's Group. It was wonderful to see the ladies and see how BIG the kiddos are now. I find it funny that while Maddy was one of the youngest in the group, she's one of (or the) biggest. Ah, dada's genes are kicking in... I also can't believe another one of Maddy's "friends" is one already... I keep saying that she's only 10 months - it sounds so far from a whole year old. But it's just around the corner. So around the corner we've started thinking about her 1st birthday party...

We came home for dinner time and it was going well until Madds got her fingers caught between a mirror and a hard place (the wall) and WAIL and a meltdown. Soon after we started the bedtime ritual and she fell asleep immediately.

I think the one nap worked. Is it time for my baby girl to lose a nap? One a day, just like a big girl. Like someone with friends that are a year old. Like someone who is so close to being one herself.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What do I tell her?

Neil and I make a good team - we fill in each others weaknesses pretty well. It's one of the things that make us a good couple.

I get stressed out and want to get everything done NOW. He calms me and reminds me to relax and enjoy life. But I can motivate him to get things done, when he wants to procrastinate.

I tend to hold on to friends even when the friendship turns unhealthy. Neil reminds me it's ok to let go. But I remind him sometimes a friendship is worth fighting for.

Neil can find it easier to remember the sad or negative parts. I find it easier to remember the happy parts. We balance each other, so the memory isn't skewed one way or another.

He can't remember where the car is once we get to a place. Or can't navigate his way to the place. I am pretty good at remembering both.

Despite my good short term memory, my long term memory is horrible. I have a different way of remembering things. Some of the bigger events, I remember a picture of it. Like taking one or two images from a movie that reminds you of the whole film. But most of the time I remember the emotion of an event. And when the emotion fades, so does the memory.

With Maddy here, with us, I try to remember my childhood. I try to remember believing in the tooth fairy or Santa or the Easter bunny. I try to remember my first days of school, my childhood homes, my favorite friends, and all the things you do as a child. And there are pictures of some of these events. I remember driving hom from my aunt and uncle's place Christmas eve and looking into the car beside me and seeing Santa, in the car. I remember him putting his hands under his cheek, mimicking going to sleep, and I remember the fear that Santa was getting close and we had to rush home NOW. But the more I try to clear up the memory and hold on to it, the farther away it gets. It's like looking up at the stars in the sky. If you look straight at them, so just can't see the seven stars of the Seven Sisters. But if you look, casually, out of the corner of your eye? There they are! But try to look at the head on again and some fade away... Neil is the exact opposite. He can tell me stories of every moment of a childhood event so clearly that I can see it all happening, like I was there.
What will Maddy be like? Will she be like Neil, and remember it all? Or like me, and hold on to the emotion and then let it drift away...
What will I say when her 3 year old self wants to know what my favorite Christmas gift was? Or her 5 year old self wants to know when I stopped believing in Santa. Or what I thought about my first trip to Disneyland... What do I tell her, when I can't remember?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I can't stop!

Everyday Maddy is doing something new and acting older than I thought she would by this age.

She's started reaching up in the air when she wants to be held. Even in response to being asked. To see my girl reach up and want to be held, it melts my heart.

She has a favorite book! Barnyard Dance. She LOVES it. She'll request it over and over and try to turn the pages and clap in joy. Yesterday when I was reading it she keep trying to mimic when I'd "baaaaaa".

She is starting to mimic. It's not a perfect replication of the noises we make but she's trying. And now? We must be careful what we say around her. So so so careful. First word cheese, second one fuck? Oh no she won't!

This morning was an early one. This afternoon's nap was not good. Madds fell asleep quickly tonight but mama is too tired to move off the couch. Well, dishes to wash, laundry to fold and then bedtime. Sweet, glorious bedtime. Good night!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

And because it's apparently posting Saturday...

Maddy and Santa, December 2010

First word!

Today Neil and I decided that Maddy really has said her first word. She says mama and dada and baba. Sometimes to us, but sometimes just for fun. But there is one word she says and only says when the object comes around her.


Yes, our girl's first word is cheese.

She says it more like "chsssss" but she only says it when we pull out the little blocks of cheese.



Photo update

With work and Christmas and everything we haven't been taking as many pics of Maddy. And the pics we do take have her in her pjs or sweats and a mismatched tee... but there have been a FEW taken.

Here's Maddy and the end table. The end table that she uses as chew toy. Those little dremmel-like teeth are wreaking damage on the finish of our (cheap) tables. 

A picture dada took of Maddy yesterday. Her hair is getting so long! It's now in the mullet phase, but we're not going to get it cut now. Madds doesn't like sitting still, I can't imagine convincing her to sit for a haircut! 

When I got pregnant we were so worried about this floor grate, and how a child would take to it. Well, she LOVES it. She sits on it, plays on it. Licks it. So, nothing to worry about!

If you look REALLY closely, you can see all 4 teeth (and the gap between the top 2). And you can see the excess drool on her shirt, from the teething. 

And here is the result of hurricane Maddy. Drawers open and empty. Shelves cleared. And then the magical part is Maddy leaves the room and when she returns it's all put away! Ready to be destroyed once again. 

Today we are heading to meet Good Ole Santa Claus and getting a few errands done. And maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to put the tree up today! And likely tomorrow we'll be taking it down because someone's little fingers are all over it but we're hoping the baby gate will save the tree. Hoping... 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My first one as a mom

I have been alive one or two years now. Well, 36 years. Ouch. I am 36 years old... How did that happen ALREADY? Back to the point, Birch. Stop your senile thought-wandering.

I have had many birthdays now. I have memories of parties and gifts and people who helped me celebrate aging. But this year is possibly the most special (other than the one where you turn legal to drink, but for very different reasons). This year is my first birthday as a mom with my baby in my arms.

On Monday my parents celebrated my birthday. My dad came over after work and we had cupcakes with candles I got to blow out and I got two cards. One was from my parents, generically extoling my daughterly virtues. The other was a sparkles covered, cartooned birthday card that said "Birthday love to my mommy" from Maddy. My eyes filled with tears at this card. Part of it was hormones (again, this cycle thing keeps HAPPENING every month and messing my hormones like mad) but most of it is just another realization I am a mom, a mom to an amazing little girl that I love more than anything. It also sent me down the future paths filled with handmade cards and macaroni artwork and playdough vases and dada and Maddy going to pick out gifts for mama, consisting of the #1 mom mugs and silly patterned socks... And those future birthdays are going to be so wonderful! For the first time since that uncertain time when aging begins to hurt, I am looking forward to my future birthdays, to getting older. To getting to celebrate it all with my Maddy. And Neil and my parents and friends and family. With everyone but this year and for the rest of my days, with Maddy too.

Other than this new notch in the bedpost of aging, life is continuing to be good. I am valiantly fighting illness and exhaustion and almost winning. Well, I am getting no more ill or exhausted and that in itself is a victory. And life is getting more organized. More normal. I think it'll all work out and I'll really be able to do it.

Last night, before heading out to take advantage of 15% Tuesday at Save-On, Neil and I gave Maddy her bath. My little girl stood by the side of the tub in her naked glory. And I couldn't resist... I HAD to! I gently reached Maddy's adorable little tushy and said "ba-donk-a-donk" as I grabbed. And this? This was funny to Maddy. Each pinch of her tush, with the accompanying "ba-donk-a-donk" had her more and more in stitches. And these little moments filled with my family and laughter and love are what make life wonderful. Make me happier than I ever thought possible.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's like having a new dog...

Well, not EXACTLY like having a new dog. Maddy isn't house trained yet... but she IS learning new tricks! We've taught her three "tricks". Well, we taught her 2, she taught us one.

We taught her to clap. CLAP! She holds her left hand still and her palm outward and brings her right hand towards it to make sound. And we clap and cheer when she does it and she loves it! We also taught her to make a sound out of her mouth and then hit her mouth, to change the tone. We do it, and she'll mimic us. And then we cheer again! Cheering is a good motivation for her. YAY! (<-- like that) Tonight I was making the motion and Maddy opened her mouth and meant to hit her mouth... but hit herself squarely in the eye. Oops... next one was on the mouth.

She taught us to conduct! When Maddy is happy she sings and waves her arms above her head. We started mimicking her, and now we'll all do it on command. We'll say "Maddy! Let's conduct!" and we all conduct together. On Maddy? Adorable. On a mama with flappy and droopy arms? I nearly take flight. But if you concentrate on the kid, it's perfect.

Yesterday we took Maddy to the Festival of the Trees. It was a wonderful time! We sandwiched the festival between afternoon nap and dinner out, so we weren't there long. But it was glorious. Madds looked around at everything and LOVED the bubbles.

 She even got to wear dido's Santa hat! (Dido was volunteering there).

And next year it will make some sense and be even MORE fun!

Today we bundled up the humans and the canines and took Walter and Sherman to their yearly Santa pics at Petsmart. Walter was staring off into the distance but Sherm was captured in his hammy glory! No digital pic, I'll try scan it later, but we survived and Madds was awesome and the dogs pretty amazing too. The rest of the day was spent at home as I was in denial about, then eventually accepted that I am getting sick. Much liquids and garlic later I am hoping to be on the mend.

What a wonderful (but full) weekend and a crazier week to come. Wish us luck!

Friday, December 3, 2010

So how awesome is Maddy?

Ok. I need to chronicle how awesome Maddy is... Presenting the (not) comprehensive list of Maddy awesomeness!

1) Her giggle. It's adorable and natural and she is (almost) always quick to giggle! Peek-a-boo? HILARIOUS! Tonight I was whispering "ah-choo" in her ear and she was waiting in anticipation as I moved closer... then GIGGLE! But really, I am so happy that she is such a happy girl.

2) Her voice. Madds has the sweetest little babbling voice. Yesterday she was trying to say "ba ba" but instead she's say ba ba... bah. Then she'd frown and try once more, and once more say it three times. I just sat there, on the ground, staring at her and enjoying every frown of concentration and noise.

3) Her rolls. Her ROLLS! They are scrumptious... I could just nibble that kid for hours. And then when I hit a few rolls around her belly or armpits? See #1! Tonight Neil was pouring her bath and Madds and I were sitting on the bath mat. Madds was in her diaper only and I was awed by her adorableness. So disproportionate (compared to adults) and so perfect. So perfectly perfect. 

4) Her inquisitive nature. New things are awesome, everything was put here for her to explore. And move. And taste. And touch. And lift then drop. Including the toy shelves and everything in her room and baba's tea and the pen container... and as she seems to be growing a few more centimeters DAILY we're on constant alert. But to watch her experiment with the sounds something makes, and how it's different from what this other object makes... it's glorious.

5) Her annoying is even cute. The only person who can grind their teeth and make it fun. Madds is learning where her upper and lower teeth are and the noise is kind of nails on a chalkboard, as adorable as that can be.

6) Well, an hour after her bedtime and she's still "singing" in her crib. Time to go in and try to convince her a well rested Maddy is even MORE awesome than a tired Maddy. But a tired Maddy? Yup, still awesome.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Update from sleepy-land

First. So so so so so tired. Sleepy. Which has resulted in less blogging and more staring into space (once chores are done) summoning the strength of will to get my ass OFF the couch and INTO bed. Of course, despite my tiredness I have not been sleeping well. Last night one of the many times I woke was to Neil's nose whistling a soft "woot" each time he exhaled. Which made me laugh (and wish I had a recording device) and had me up for a bit. Then I thought of something for work (which I remembered in the morning) and something to do around the house (which I forgot). As a child no one TOLD me that you have to close your eyes to sleep, so I would lie there waiting for sleep to come. It's like that now. Except my eyes are closed.

Second, Maddy is AWESOME. Seriously. She's so much fun, so sweet, so ready to giggle, so impish and adorable. I am biased, but I am loving every second of her. Tonight I was in the bath and I could hear her softly babbling to herself "doo doo doodoo" and then giggle. Potty humour FTW! It was 9pm and she should have been sleeping but my heart filled with joy to hear her sweet sounds. She's still into EVERYTHING and standing up at every opportunity. She loves the bath and will respond if she hears it running. She's just so interactive with her world! I know I am missing out on so much, I know there could be so much more that I could update about her if I was home, but I am not. And that is ok too. Only some (aka lots) of guilt.

Third. I am now apparently able to only think in tweets. My life is filled with a constant tweeting-commentary of what has to be done and what is around me. Of course, I never tweet. That would make too much sense. I blame the tired. And these tweets? I am constantly juggling them. Today I updated my boss on things I am doing. I looked around the piles on my desk and updated her where each project was. Including an update on the stack of Christmas cards I had sitting in the corner, ready to work on over lunch. I stopped and apologizing for the verbal diarrhea. She understood and laughed but wow... I need to get better organized and sorted out.

Fourth, work goes well. I am thinking again, which is kinda nice. It's not a passion (but what in government is?) but I still like the Ministry and my co-workers and the role I have.

Last, I could not come even a little bit close to doing this without my awesome mom and husband. Especially mom, and her giving up so much to take on a demanding and tiring full time job. I know mom loves Maddy so so so much and loves spending the time with her but I also know how hard it is to care for Maddy full time (and still get everything else done). My mother is amazing and wonderful and the best mom and baba ever. I want everyone to know how amazing she is and that I appreciate her and know how lucky I am. I also couldn't do this without Neil and how he's stepped up and is so involved with the house and Maddy. I am so lucky to have a husband like him. Plus? He's cute too - that doesn't hurt *grin* I can't imagine doing this alone or with an uninvolved dada. Oh, and wine. Wine is also very important.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Month Ten Letter

Dear Maddy,

Ten months. TEN months... You are within spitting distance of a year old.

Everyday there is something new, everyday you make us smile and laugh! You have changed absolutely everything in our lives, from what we do, how we live and how we see the world. And everything is better than I could have ever imagined. I thought being a mom would be good but I thought it would be hard work and kind of thankless. And sometimes it is. But most of the time it's so much fun! You are such a happy little girl. You have a spirit to you that already makes interacting with you a joy. Yes, you can get famously upset when something doesn't go your way, but that is fun too. You have the spirit of an explorer, and you are always on the move. You are an amazing little soul. An old little soul.

I am now back at work and I want you to know, Maddy, you are still always on my mind. I look at your picture on my desktop or on my phone multiple times a day. I think about you and your routines throughout the day. I miss you always. But having the chance to think again, challenge my little grey cells, is also good for me. Right now the grey cells are THIS close to short-circuiting but we're hanging in and I am hoping it'll get better (aka seem normal) soon. Madds, I have always been good at knowing where I park the car (unlike your dada, but that is another story). When I got pregnant you sucked some of that memory juice away and I would have to concentrate to remember where the car is. And now that I am working and caring for you and keeping track of the househodl stuff, for the first time ever I lost the car. I was SURE I was in the right place, but the vehicle was not. That sense of panic? Not pleasurable. And it was me, the car was one row over. Or when I got lost in a mall, on my way back to the office, a trip I had taken hundreds of times before. I stood there, looking around helplessly as I tried to figure out how to get to my desk. I knew there was a way, but could not see that route in my head.

But my girl, we're getting ready for your first Christmas and trying to figure out what the traditions will be. I know that some will evolve with time, but I want Christmas morning to be the time of opening gifts and stockings and seeing what Santa left you. I want us to then have a huge breakfast together, with baba and dido, and celebrate the most important part of the holiday season - family. I know there will be a time when we're going to seem so much less relevant. But until then, I'll do my best to show you the importance of family and maybe when the teenage years are over those morals will emerge again.

Maddy, I am frantically typing this at work over my lunch hour. When I get home there is dinner and savouring every second with you. Once you are asleep, then there is cleaning up after dinner, then laundry and other chores to do. But I don't want to lose this letter tradition. I want you to realize how important you are to all of us and I want you to read about your life as a baby, and where your parent's heads were then.

I love you more than I ever thought I could love. Ten months ago everything changed and our lives became complete with you here.

I love you, my Nunu.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

So much fun!

Every day Maddy becomes more and more fun!

The other day she was playing peek-a-boo with us, using the door. She'd sit behind the door and close it a bit. Then she'd crawl to the opening and we'd scream PEEK-A-BOO! and then she'd laugh. And then she'd close the door a bit more and crawl around it and we'd scream peek-a-boo... and laugh and laugh and laugh!

Yesterday in the bath Maddy was holding the sponge in her hand and would hit it against the side of the tub. When it dried, she'd dip it in the water again and listen to the sounds. Then she compared the sound that her hand made hitting the tub to the sponge and alternated the hitting. She EXPERIMENTED! She's exploring and learning her world.

Tonight dada was bathing her, and he was holding the ball under the water and letting it go. It would fly up out of the water and dada would scream peek-a-boo (a favorite in our household) and Maddy would laugh and laugh and laugh.

Everything is so much fun for her! When she notices the bathroom door open, she makes a beeline for the forbidden room. But she's not very sneaky about it, she makes an insistent "mmhmmm mmhhhmmmm" and the thunk thunk of her hands and knees moving on overdrive. Same for the dishwasher, another forbidden fun. It's adorable! Her little butt wiggles at lightening speed and she makes her way there.

And the faces she's making, as she gets to know her new teeth. Sucking her mouth into an exaggerated fishy mouth, moving her bottom lip as close to her nose as she could get and every variant in between. It's all... fun and adorable! Adorable and fun! It's all just so wonderful, to spend time with my most amazing little girl.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow day!

Well, not really. It's not snowing (but it is bitterly cold) and I am not at home because of the weather but because of baba's doctors appointment. But still, I am home with my girl today! There are loads and loads of things to do. Stuff around the house, cleaning and Christmas cards. Then after her appointment, baba is coming over so I can head out to the malls and shop. Not for me, of course, but to finish (as much as I can) the Christmas shopping. And then home, to make dinner. And back to the working world tomorrow! But between all the stuff, I am going to sing and play and tickle and talk to my most amazing little girl. In celebration, here are a few recent pics of Maddy. I have been negligent in my picture posting of late.

 TEETH! The tops ones are coming in well, too.

 See the slober? Teething!

Maddy in front of the patio door. But what is that on the glass?  

THAT is what is on the glass! 

Our girl

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A-fishin' we will go!

Madds is into everything. We have, for the most part, put everything above her reach, in locked cabinets or behind closed doors. And while Neil was diligent about closing the bathroom door I was less so. I liked the sun coming through (it is our only east facing window) and keeps the main floor feeling more open (to me).

One day, a week or so ago, the three of us were relaxing in the living room. Maddy wandered off to get into something and I listened for her tell-tale sounds. Boing-boing? In her room, playing with the door stopper. Bang-Bang? Hitting the mirror in the hall, playing with the baby in the wall. Thunk? Taking her shoes off the shelf and throwing them to the ground. But I heard.... nothing. Wait... was that a splash? I went to find the mess she was getting into. And I found my baby-girl. In the bathroom. With the toilet seat up, standing at the bowl. Playing in the water. What was she playing with? Here's where it gets even worse... she was flicking my used kleenexes, discarded in the toilet when I was too lazy to open the lid on the garbage.

I feel assured that Madds only flicked the kleenex, nothing more, since she was out of our sight for only seconds. But, Madds, please forgive me for not shutting the bathroom door. Rest assured, when the kiddo is awake, the door is always closed. Always!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Living for the weekend

It has been so wonderful to be with Maddy all day, again. Yesterday we went and visited a brand new baby boy. It got the ole uterus twitching and itching. But in the sober light of a 7am Sunday morning, the baby-making machine is once again closed for business (for now). Then there was dinner with friends, their families, and my parents at the parent's house. It was wonderful to see Caleb and Kiran (and their moms). I miss the playdates so much. Seeing another child, learning from friends, and just getting the reassurance that things are ok and Madds is progressing as she should. And today we did a few errands out and around the house. We went for lunch to a new Vietnamese place, Mini-Mango, which was really good! Madds had her first Pho. And? She LOVED it. I mean squealing, wiggle-butt dancing, and waving for joy with every mouthful. When I was preggo I ate a LOT of pho, so that may be it.

Maddy is crazy amounts of fun. She's babbling almost constantly now! And the noises are so fun. She's starting to try to mimic faces and sounds. Of course, she only mimics the most obnoxious noises that she hears... but that's her way. Today we went and grabbed the weekly groceries. Madds was in the seat of the cart and was obviously tired. She'd lean in some sort of fierce pimp-lean and look blankly forward. Until we bundled her up and went outside. Madds had her head back as the small snow flakes landed on her face. And the snow was hilarious! Her mouth was open in pure joy and she was giggling. There is something wonderful about seeing your child happy - it's a joy that goes to your very core. Neil and I were smiling and laughing with Madds. Even strangers walking by smiled at her innocent glee.

Madds has 4 teeth now! Her bottom 2 are all the way out, her top 2 are almost there. Well, we see the footprint of one and the corner of the other. The top teeth are larger than the bottom ones, and there may be a gap between the teeth. We won't know for sure until they are finished migrating but it's looking quite British from this angle.

I have to admit, Saturday morning it was hard to switch gears and remember what to take and plan to have an outing with the Nunu. In some ways, it felt almost foreign to have her with me again. But it only took a short time before I remembered it all and felt like a pro once more. And now we're preparing for bed, another Monday will be here too soon. Then just 5 days until I get my girl full time again! We're now just living for the weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It still goes

Life? It still goes on. Even when I feel like I am not getting everything done. Like I am more tired than I have been since Maddy was born. Like I should be doing so much but have no energy. Like this is maybe going to be normal.

This weather is pretty horrible for getting home. But yesterday I left my office at 433pm and got home at 523pm. Today I left the office at 428pm and made it home by 502pm. Five minutes saved me twenty... But don't worry - I worked through my breaks and part of my lunch. I am not really screwing over tax payers. I will be working slightly modified hours, an extra 20 minutes a day and I'll get one day off a month in lieu. Which is perfect for a mom with a girl who needs her.

I am liking the new job. It's a positive work environment (so far) and while interesting the work isn't so far outside my comfort zone that I will be coming home exhausted. Although there is little of interest to report. I am trying to eat better and lose more weight and mostly successful except for the buy one, get one free holiday latte deal at Starbucks. And a group of coworkers who needed one more person to even it out. But eggnog latte? Yum! The renewed motivation to lose it to fit work clothes. I feel like I am pregnant again, in that I have about 6 outfits to wear. Although there are comfy (fitting) jeans for casual Friday tomorrow.

This semblance of normal is only possible because of my mom. She comes here in the morning, she cares for Maddy perfectly, she stays until we get here, she accepts all my calls to hear how Maddy is doing, she helps around the house (taking out meat, washing dishes, tidying after Maddy). She is perfect! And I am the luckiest woman alive to have her as a mom and Maddy's grandmother.

And Maddy is doing so well. She's happy and growing and standing and into everything and babbling and squealing. Tonight she said her first sentence! And a multi-lingual one at that. "Dada nein nein Baba". My dad is not my baba! Profound.

Well... dishes to do, bedding to change, dogs nails to trim, lunches to make... Life of a working mom to live.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I went to work today.

My mom came over at about 7am, and I got myself ready to go. It was hard to leave. So hard to leave. My eyes filled with tears as I shut the back door behind me. When I got to the garage, I turned around and waved, again, at baba and Maddy in the kitchen window. Then I sat in the car and let a few tears flow.

I made it to work at about 810am and my day started. I met too many people to remember, chatted and small talked with a few. I read a lot about grants, I tried to absorb most of it. And I looked at pictures of Maddy a lot. I thought of her, what she was doing, what her mood was like. I called home only twice and spoke to her and mom.

My boss let me leave 5 minutes early and I rushed home! When I got in I ran into the living room and grabbed Maddy and held her as tightly as I could. And then the crazy began - I made dinner, we ate, I played with Maddy. And I soaked in every second I spent with her. I held her and made her giggle. I crawled with her, and tickled her toes and tummy. I gave Mady her bath, and held her close. And then too quickly, way too quickly, it was bedtime. I sang her lullaby through the tears and laid her down. Now I have laundry and dishes and cleaning and blogging and everything else to do.

And I miss Maddy.

But I made it through day one, and I will return for day 2. Everyone there seems wonderful and the ministry is a positive one. I have the option of starting when I need to, to balance daycare, and can get one flex day a month. I think I'll enjoy it there! But missing Maddy is almost overshadowing the positive.

I am now living for Saturday, when I can spend the whole day with my girl and husband. Being a working mom has started. Fuck, it's hard.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today is a day to remember and tonight is a night to try to forget

Today is Remembrance Day. At 11am Maddy sat on my lap and I started to try explain to her why we remember. Instead tears came and I held her tightly. So many mothers have lost their children, and now I can understand how that would tear your soul apart.

The rest of the day I tried to forget how soon I go back to work. Tomorrow is my last day of being a stay at home mom. Tomorrow is the end of my time at home with Maddy. And the day is going to be filled with errands. Going to buy my mom a carseat and then going to 2 daycares (way to save that until the last minute...). It's tearing me apart, to leave her. I feel guilt for taking away the remaining 9 weeks of leave I could have with her. Nine weeks of watching her smile and laugh and crawl and walk. I am going to likely miss her first steps, the first time she walks from one piece of furniture to another, her first words, so many firsts... and I could have seen then, if I didn't go back to work. And I am feeling envy, for the moms I know that get to stay with their kids still. They will still get together, still be able to enjoy their time with their kiddos, still delay returning to the real world. And I am looking forward to this new job, this new opportunity. And I think that is that hardest part. I am looking forward to something that is taking me away from my daughter prematurely. And the guilt of being a working mom starts...

Maddy has been struggling with the time change. She's up at 530am (UGH!) and I have been getting up with her, to resettle her. This morning I woke at 5am, and waited for the 30 minutes until she woke. And then couldn't fall back asleep. I am tired. And then add PMS. And guilt. And I am a bit of a mess. Ok. A lot of a mess.

It's going to be a hard... and then it'll get even harder when I am working and still feel the compulsion to get it all done. But other moms have done it, and I know I will too. Because I have to. For Maddy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stats update

Weight - 21 pounds, 9 ounces which is about 86 percentile
Length - 72.7cm which is about 78 percentile

Yes, the units of measurement are different, I went by what the clinic told me. Still doing awesome, Madds!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Awesome baby is awesome!

Madds is getting a tooth up top (her third one coming!) and has been spending a lot of time running her tongue over it. In the most adorable way!

I love this little girl more than I ever imagined.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

40 weeks

Maddy was inside me for about 40 weeks. She's now been outside me for about 40 weeks. I have now been not pregnant as long as I was.

It's reaching the point where I can fondly think back about being pregnant and miss it. The sleepless nights, peeing, bleeding gums, exhaustion, inability to walk at a reasonable speed, aching hips and back, swollen feet... all seems so much more distant than the wonderful feeling of your child moving and kicking and hiccuping inside you. That endless connection to another person - the one time in life where your body contains 2 souls (if you believe in that kinda thing).

No, I am not ready for a second child. Our house doesn't have the room for it. Which means moving, which means a higher mortgage. Or massive renovations. And then add the cost of 2 daycare spots? Punishing. Not feasible, if we want to have a life and travel and save and add to RRSPs. How do people do it? Back to the point...

My body has been mine for a long time now. How is it doing? Well, when I got pregnant I was too heavy. I am just 3 pounds heavier than I was the day after I peed on the stick and 2 ponds lighter than I was at my first prenatal doctor's appointment. So, I am where I started but where I started? Not a healthy place. I have renewed motivation to lose, as I still can't really fit into my pre-pregnancy work clothes. Same weight? Very different shape... Plus, I have the most amazing little girl to be healthy for. I want to live a long and robust life for her and for my (possible) future grandchildren. And my complication after the pregnancy is slowly getting better - still in physio, still having to do my exercises (which I need to do better in remembering), still getting stronger. I am not "normal" but I am good.

Inside I am another person. I look at the world not in how it will affect me, but how it will affect my daughter. Everything looks different to me now. I care more about my health than I ever have - I floss, I have no interest in smoking ever again, I want to be more active. I care about what I do - I have to lead by example, and I look at my actions in the light of "would I want Maddy to do this?".  While I am proud of my accomplishments, when I see Maddy achieve something, like stand or roll or sit, the sense of joy is tangible, greater than it ever was for something I did. Being a mother is awe inspiring that way.

80 weeks of Maddy, half of that inside me and the other half outside me. What a crazy ride... I am someone's MOM. I am an amazing little girl's mom. And I am so lucky.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh no...

She CLIMBS now!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween one, done!

Maddy had her first Halloween! It was a pretty low key affair. We started Maddy in a pair of almost too small pink pjs with a skeleton on them. That glows in the dark. It's for a 6-12 month old and I had to squish her in it.

Baba and dido came over and we all had dinner. Baba brought chili and garlic toast and Neil made his famous yummy caesar salad dressing. Of course, Maddy only ate what she could feed herself. That has not gotten any better. After dinner we dressed Maddy up as a peacock, and put the dogs in their annual Superman and Spiderman costumes. Every year since we got them they have dressed up in these exact costumes. Every year they have hated it. Every year I have a blast dressing them up and since I am the human... I win! Here is Maddy, being held by dido, with Sherman on the couch and Walter on the ground.

We took Maddy to one neighbour's place, to trick or treat. She was given a coffee crisp, which she chewed on happily, as we visited a little. We considered going to a few more houses, but the one other neighbour we know well had her lights out. And it was getting close to Maddy's bedtime.

Then we came home, played a bit and handed out candy. Twenty-nine kids. And between me and baba we bought about 400 pieces of candy. We were that generous house, the one that gave away handfuls of chocolate, and there are too many chocolates left.

Madds had her evening bottle. She has been having a blast running her fingers through her hair, especially when eating, and this results in crunchy hair sometimes. Crunchy hair I can have fun styling. FAUX-HAWK! Well, I said faux-hawk. Neil said Ed Grimley...

Maddy's first Halloween was underwhelming. She doesn't understand anything that is happening and while it was fun to dress her up, it was really just for us. One day it'll mean more, to take her out, and she can have fun deciding what to pretend to be. I think, also, that Halloween has never been one of the holidays that means a lot to me. As a child, I always felt my super-thick glasses ruined any costume. And I dreaded those houses where people would expect me to sing or something for my candy. Plus my irrational fear of spider webs (not spiders though) makes the decorations creepy and icky and gross and bad. Very very bad.

I want to be sure to let Maddy decide what holidays are her favorite, and not have me and Neil colour it but right now it's about me and Neil. So we kept this one low key. Christmas though? We are SO GOING OVERBOARD WITH THAT ONE! Can you tell it's my favorite holiday?

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

False alarm...

On the post below? False alarm. I wrangled the writhing Miss-Miss down on the change table and looked more closely. And? False alarm. No teeth nubs, just whiteness under the gum where teeth are likely emerging. But they are coming! Eventually...

More from me! Another first!!

I am a posting whore today... But there is more news to share!

I was sitting with Madds on my lap. I tilted her back and started blowing raspberries on her adorable little belly. She threw her head back and laughed and laughed! With her head back, I was able to see her top gums. And I saw TEETH! It's hard to see her top gums, but I am nearly 100% positive that there are 2 little nubs of teeth emerging.

More teeth, more standing, attempts at stair climbing... it's been a crazy day!

If you PROMISE me you won't tell Neil, I'll post these pictures.

It's our secret, right?

Today the batteries died on the camera. They have been threatening to for days and instead of changing them, I have been avoiding taking pics. But I can't stop documenting my girl's childhood! So the camera came out today and the batteries died. I raced upstairs to grab more batteries, leaving the door to the stairs up open. And I turned the corner, coming down the stairs to THIS.

I am not sure this picture clearly conveys what the Maddster was doing. Check this one out:


And Neil would be (rightly) so upset that I stopped to take a few pics instead of making sure she doesn't fall down and hit her head. But in the end, I got the pics and Maddy safely made it to the floor again. Win, win! Unless you tell on me...

Standing machine!

She did this for about 5 minutes this morning. While watching TV of course... *sigh*

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Month Nine Letter

Dear Maddy,

You are now 9 months old. Plus one day. I kind of missed your birthday yesterday, I was sick. Very achingly sick. I even thought about hopping on the computer to even post a few lines about being sick, but instead I slept. More. I slept all night, all day then all night. This morning I am better. Perfect? No. But I am able to get up, care for you, and function. Yesterday baba and dido and dada cared for you. Today I am caring for dada, he's sick now too.

And now you are 9 months and a day old! And you are, as always, just amazingly awesome.

This month has flown by. And when I think about your 10 month letter, I know that I'll be back at work and not with you all day. And it's breaking my heart. But back to you!

In this last month, your personality continues to shine through. You are just a happy baby! You are quick to smile at new people, you are content to play alone, you are always ready to laugh. Although when you are unhappy you are spectacularly unhappy. And I may have mentioned this before, but you can be loud.

You are mobile and crawling on your hands and knees. You get into everything. EVERYTHING. No corner of the main floor is safe from your exploration. Which means mama is constantly cleaning and tidying up. And you are on your knees reaching and grabbing everything. Not as much on your feet, yet, but at times. I see standing and walking on the horizon... And of course, as I have been typing this all day, you stood a few more times today. I am not sure your realize that you're standing as much as you are getting a better view of whatever it is you're looking at in front of you.

You are babbling so much more now! Ga ga ga ga, da da da da, ba ba ba ba and mumumumumumum. There are times when you sit in front of the mirror and happily chat to the baby in the wall. We can hear hints of your speaking voice now, in your babbling. And it will be adorable! Except when you're unhappy. Then you make a specific sound, a frantic EMMMMMM. Not AS adorable, but still awful cute.

TV is still your friend. You love to watch commercials best. And I think that's genetic. Aunty Iris was telling me a story, about how one of her nieces or nephews was obsessed with commercials. This child would ignore all shows, until the commercial was on, then would sit transfixed. That child? Was your mama. Although you still are pretty interested in Doctor Who, especially the music. I try to keep the radio on during the day, to prevent you from spending too much time watching TV but sometimes I forget. No mama is perfect!

Today you had your first milk. It was not a wild hit. You happily took your sippy cup but instead of what you expected there was milk. And that was not a happy taste. Even after a few sips, it led to this face.

This has been another wonderful month, another month filled with joy at getting to be your mama. As always, I can't wait to see what the next month will bring. Happy 9 months plus a day my baby girl!

Love always,


Sunday, October 24, 2010

It was everywhere

Last night Maddy had her first perogies (pics were taken) and a bunch of other food at our delayed Thanksgiving dinner. She also ate a LOT of mandarin oranges, a favorite of her's right now. By the end her stomach was huge! She sat on the floor and played afterwards. But kept burping up just a little bit of orange, something she normally doesn't do. We brought her home and she just wouldn't settle. Finally at about 830 I went back in and held her, singing softly. As I held her, she turned to the side and in the dim light I could see STREAMS of stomach contents coming from her mouth and nose. She was still again, and then another wave of sick. That's when I called for Neil. He got to see wave three. It was all over me, her, the floor, the crib... it was everywhere.

I stripped myself down to my tee and jeans, stripped Maddy down and then threw her in the bath. I carefully washed her and shampooed her hair. While I did that, Neil cleaned the room, stripped the bed, pulled all the dirty stuff out of the room. I brought Maddy into the living room to give her some liquids and make sure she was ok. Once we established Madds was ok, we settled her in for the night and she fell asleep quickly.

Neil was a little frantic but got everything done. I didn't get sick, despite being covered in it. Although I felt nauseous much of the evening and there was the smell of bile in my nose all night. But? We did it! We made it through our first projectile puking event and we managed very well. We did it as a team.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's happening.

I am returning to work. On November 15th. I am leaving Maddy for the day, every day, in 3 weeks. I am going back to work.

I interviewed for a position with Municipal Affairs a few weeks ago. They didn't want me for the position I interviewed for. But they wanted me for another position. So they closed the position I interviewed for, and opened the other one and today HR called and offered me the position. Starting November 15th. So SOON. So very very soon.

I feel better knowing that she'll be with baba during the day. She'll be with someone who loves her almost as much as mama and dada. But she won't be with me. There is a good chance I won't get to watch her take her first steps, speak her first words... I'll miss so many of the new things. I'll miss the little changes in her, the new food favorites, the new nap schedule, the new everything. And I love our days together, I love our routine, I love just sitting with her and making her laugh until she's nearly in tears. I love being home with her.

I never thought I'd be a mom who could stay home with their child. I thought I would be bored with it. But? I could. I would be content to stay home and be Nunu's mama. I love spending every second I can with her. She's so much fun! She's really such a sweet and fun and exciting little girl. She has a great sense of humour and loves to laugh. And she's also so independent. She is happy to go off and explore herself, as long as she can check back on mama. It's a joy to be with her every day!

But work. There is some part of me that is also looking forward to going back to work. To think about something other than when was the last poo, what should the next meal be, what should we do today. This is a new opportunity, a new and interesting position. It will be a fun position (I hope). And, the money will be nice. It's wonderful to get EI on mat leave but that money doesn't go far. But of course, I feel some guilt for being excited about returning to work. Being a mother is a guilty thing.

My girl is fast asleep in her crib. I think it's time for me to sneak in, cover her once more and kiss her forehead - the way I do every night. And then crawl into bed and be nervous and excited and scared and sad and guilty about the new position. And maybe sleep a bit too *grin*

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Baba and Dido are home

Baba and Dido are home! They are home! And we're back to the full Maddy-raising team. It was wonderful to see Maddy in baba's arms again, to watch dido dance with her, to feel the love they have for little Maddy. Maddy (and mama and dada) got a few little gifts, which Maddy instantly put in her mouth. Of course.

On Monday we voted. Maddy, dada and I went to a school nearby and walked through it's dated halls. As an aside, the school was built in 1956, just a few years after our house was built. Back when this neighbourhood was filled with young families. Now? Now it seems old and tired. But there were signs of happy little children everywhere, which gave it a life that the cracked walls and cement floor lacked. We have talked about sending Maddy there one day... Back to Monday. We walked into the tiny gymnasium, and registered and filled out forms and were eventually given ballots. Maddy and I went behind the cardboard divider and I filled in three little ovals, as she watched. And being there, exercising my right to vote, with my daughter who will one day be able to vote... it literally moved me to tears. Well, the once-a-month hormones MAY have contributed some... but I teared up. Maddy was lucky enough to be born in Canada, today. She can do whatever in life she wants to do, she will most often be treated with respect for her person, seperate from her gender. She is safe and loved and healthy. She will one day vote. And so many people in the world, especially women in the world, will not have these Canadian basics. We are so blessed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tonight has been an amazing night

Tonight dada and mama were craving slurpees. Don't judge. Anyway, after I left dada and Maddy we hanging out in the living room. Maddy began to crawl away, to the kitchen, and was looking all around saying "mum, mum, mum, mum". SHE SAID MUM WHILE LOOKING FOR ME! When I got back, Neil told me. I held my daughter in my arms and cried... she knows I am her mum. I am her mum. I wish I could have seen it, but I know it's coming now. Mum. 

And then after dinner, all three of us were hanging around the living room, as we usually do. Maddy was hovering around the vent in the floor, as she usually does. But tonight? Tonight she babbled in a way and for a longer time than she's ever done before. There were many "ba ba ba ba" and "ga ga ga ga" noise and a few others mixed in. Maybe it's because we went to a mom's group filled with standing and babbling babies? This one? This one brought tears to dada's eyes. (video coming!)

And while I frantically vacuumed before Maddy's bedtime, dada and Maddy hung out. Maddy, not normally one to be held, sat happily on dada's lap for around 20 minutes. Another first! 

Every day with Maddy is so much fun, so amazing! She's just an adorable, sweet, funny, curious and engaged little girl. I never knew love could be like this... 

Dada came home, we are a family again

Dada came home late Tuesday/early Wednesday! We are a family of three again and it feels right. Although poor dada has had a hard time transitioning back. He's always worried that his baby-girl will fall over and get hurt. Now that she's crawling everywhere, pulling herself on to her knees all the time and pulling herself to standing once in awhile, it makes him nervous - and dada missed the 6 days of transition to this mobility that I had. But dada is starting to adapt and is loving the new Nunu! And (knock on wood) she hasn't really fallen hard yet. Yet. 

Every new phase of Maddy becomes my favorite one. I love the new mobility and her independence and the places she'll squish herself into! But I know the next phase of standing, then moving along the furniture, then walking, then talking, then... I am sure whatever comes will be my new favorite phase. Well, until we get to the teenage back-talk/attitude phase. I am pretty sure that won't be fun. 

But until then? Mirrors are so fun! Sitting in front of mirrors is so fun! Everything (except being grumpy) is so fun!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

She stood! She stood!

I am exhausted. No clue why I am sleepy today but I can barely keep my eyes open. I grabbed a pillow and blanket and laid on the floor of the living room to rest. Maddy was crawling around me and pulled herself onto her knees using my hips, while watching TV (of course). As she stared at Voyager she straightened her legs and stood, while leaning on my hips! I am not sure she realized what she was doing... she fell to her knees and then stood again! Even in the end, as I cheered, I am not sure she got it - what she was doing. But I saw it and I am looking forward to seeing it again.

Monday, October 11, 2010

We're making it!

Maddy and I are making it! We're surviving being a duo. Although we're missing dada so much. Yesterday we tried to Skype, to see dada and catch up. Maddy was having NONE of it. The second she saw her dada on the computer and talking to her she completely lost her marbles. Much crying and wailing and she was DEVASTATED. We quickly ended the call and I calmed Maddy. Poor girl, she did not get the fact dada was on the computer. Not even "Itsy Bitsy Spider" would calm her.

Today we went to a friend's place for Thanksgiving dinner. For about 10 minutes my friend's husband watched Maddy. He's amazing with kids! And for those 10 minutes I was able to let down my guard. I stopped listening and watching and caring for my daughter. I knew she was safe and I spoke to another adult and relaxed. For the first time in days I felt lighter. Soon, dada will be home and he and I can share the Maddy duties. One parent can do it all, but the constant strain of caring for another person, one who gets into everything, is hard. 

One more day until he's home and I can't wait... 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Doing it alone

Last week we found out Neil had to go to San Fransisco for work. But he was leaving Thursday, coming back late Friday. I'd miss him, but it would be all good. I could handle one night alone, just me and Maddy.

Early this week we found out that after San Fransisco Neil would have to go to Indiana. Until Late Tuesday. That makes me a single mother for 6 days. With no grandparents nearby to help. And over Maddy's first Thanksgiving. I was a little stunned. Dinner that night called for wine in the recipe, but I was just going to omit it. After hearing the news I opened a bottle of wine for the recipe. And finished the bottle afterwards. 

Honestly, I am not worried about caring for Maddy. She sleeps well at night and I'll have about 12 hours of a break from being mom. Plus 2 short naps. Although by Tuesday I know I am going to need a break from it motherhood. Just an hour away from the house alone, without kiddo and a diaper bag and blankets and toys and food and water and snacks and... You get it. 

The hard part? I am missing Neil. I am missing our evenings together, I miss having someone to talk to (who talks back). I miss talking and snuggling before bed. I miss my best friend. 

We're almost done day 2 now. Maddy is in bed, I am watching TV and on the computer. I may open another bottle of wine, to finish over the next few nights. I'll get caught up on my emails and maybe a few chores around the house. I hung a few pictures so far, did a bit of yard work, got an oil change and groceries. More yard work and other such activities are planned. I am just aching for adult conversation. 

In more lighthearted news! Maddy is sitting and reaching for anything and everything. I have to finish the baby-proofing the next 6 inches...

And in equally as cute, although even more frightening news, Maddy is trying to get onto her feet. No, she's not doing it the normal way, by pulling herself up, she's just trying to stand in the middle of the floor. She'll get herself on her feet and hands, in a modified downward dog, before she collapses to the floor. The picture below isn't quite the downward dog - Maddy had to keep her eye on the TV - but you can see her perched. 

It's been awhile since I have been able to write. This evening Maddy's nose started running this evening. Just a little. And then it ran more. And more. And she began to almost purr as she tried to breathe through her nose. Luckily Maddy is a mouth breather (like her mama) and it didn't bother her much. She had her evening bottle, and it was a bit more of a struggle. Then she went down to bed. And since then, she's been waking every 20 minutes of so in tears. She sucks her thumb to sleep but she can't breathe with her thumb in her mouth yet she can't sleep without it. And so she wakes upset. And there is nothing I can do. This is breaking my heart. And may also prevent a good night's sleep. Curses! I jinxed myself by saying caring for Maddy would be easy. I see a rough night ahead... 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sing a song of signing

Today Maddy and I went to our first signing class! It was fun and there was loads of signing. I think they kiddos were a little uncertain about all the hand waving. And the cheering. But there were many kids to grab at and many toys to play with, which is always a hit.

I am not sure we're going to teach Maddy all the signing we're being taught there. Bubbles? Bear? Maybe not. But I want her to know eat, more, finished, bottle, milk, tired, hello, goodbye, play, mama, dada... maybe please and thank you (although the concepts are just too abstract for her yet). Mostly I want her to know food and more and finished, because those are the things I am never certain of because Madds is becoming very anti-puree. She prefers to feed herself, instead of being fed by a spoon. She'll let me feed her some by spoon, but only until she sees finger foods, then no way! But I am never sure when she's full or when she's sick of puree. Today she had her first all finger-food meal - black beans, macaroni and half a banana. And she loved it all! And only about 1/4 landed on the floor (to be scooped up by 2 hovering puppies)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Reliably sitting up

Awhile ago Madds sat up by herself for the first time. But once she did it, she didn't seem to continue the trend. Today? Today is non-stop sitting, then crawling, then sitting, then crawling. Just because she can now. And she is SO proud! But the way she does it is quite awkward, she gets on her hands and knees kicks one leg forward, while the other is still bent behind her and then plops her butt down. The she sits up and brings her bent leg forward. and it's adorable! But it really is obvious that kids her age have rubber bands for muscles. She's so flexible, my knees ache just watching.

She's also crawling so much more! She's reliably taking up to 5 steps on her hands and knees before collapsing to her belly. Although yesterday she crawled about 5 steps to the item she wanted and then stopped, without ending using her belly crawl. And she just did it again! Crawled forward to grab at the laptop cord (I think it has to be something motivating to get her to crawl). I sit back and watch her concentrate on getting one hand forward, then the other. And the babbling (not screeching) is starting too. Not too much, but it's definitely more words than noise. I can't wait to hear her little voice - I have an idea now what it will sound like.

And in scary news... Neil was supposed to go to San Fran. Leaving Thursday, back Friday. I could handle that! But today he founf out after San Fran he has to go to Indiana until next Wednesday. 7 days of just me and Nunu.  No baba for breaks. No dada for breaks. No breaks... I am a little panicked at the thought. I have been feeling meh of late and then add no breaks? But I know we will be ok. However, if anyone is in the neighbourhood (especially if they have wine) PLEASE stop by. Give me an adult to talk to!

Lastly, here is a pic of Maddy teeth! They are really coming in, on the bottom. And I have seen hints of upper teeth coming in too.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A wonderful weekend with the girls (and one boy)

This weekend Madds and I went down to Calgary for a reunion weekend with some friends from University. A friend, her 2.5 year old daughter, Maddy and I piled into the CR-V and drove down. Both our girls were really well behaved on the trip down and it was so much fun to listen to the (endless) questions of a 2 and a half year old. Too soon we'll be trying to answer Maddy's questions. Aack!

We met with three girlfriends down there, one with an 11 month old daughter, one with a 6 week old son (the lone boy) and one that is childless (and gets to sleep in still). It was wonderful to get a chance to sit together, talk and catch up. We were all so close in University, many years ago, and it's wonderful to still have the friendship and connection. And with 3 other moms, it was also great to share information and lessons learned. I can understand why a community of women raised the children - one person cannot know it all. Even WITH the internet *grin*.

I was so impressed with Maddy! She was so easy-going and was comfortable being held by pretty much anyone. She went to bed well and slept well. Even when she didn't get to nap long enough, she was happy. I couldn't have dreamed for a way she could have been better. And I did pack way too much, of course, but at least I didn't forget anything. Better to have too much, than too little. Especially when I don't have to carry it far.

Since coming back, Madds is babbling in a way she never did before. I think she learned from Eva and all the beautiful chatting she does! And she's also learned downward dog - she gets on her feet and hands. No clue who taught her that, but it's pretty impressive. She's exploring more and I can't keep her in a room at all. The one bad change is her morning waking time has changed to 630am. And that is too early for this mama. I was handling 7am, I am not as happy losing that 30 minutes. Well, time for another coffee, someone's nap time and the rest of the day starts. First up? Laundry!

Friday, October 1, 2010

We are still here!

We are still here and still doing well! Maddy is mostly awesome, except during the frequent grump periods this week. If she doesn't wake up slowly and gently? GRUMP! If her schedule is messed up too much? GRUMP! If she doesn't get enough to eat? GRUMP! If she's just in the mood for it? GRUMP! This week has been some frequent grump. But mostly awesome and amazing fun.

She's still JUST about crawling. Today I watched her trying to figure out how to get her arms going the way she wants, to crawl. She was on her hands and knees in a pool of sunlight on the kitchen lino. And her face would fill with concentration as she'd focus on lifting on arm, then the next... and after a few lifts, it was back on the belly and army-crawling anywhere and everywhere. 

Nothing 6 inches about the floor is safe! Because she's not sitting herself up reliably yet or crawling on her hand and knees she can only reach so high, to explore. So the house is pretty much baby-proofed to 6 inches. The rest? Well, it's time is coming. Today I heard her playing with the spring door-stop in her bedroom. But there was silence for a few minutes... I went to explore. Miss Maddy was army-crawling down the hall with the spring in her hand and a look of pure pride on her face! The muffin-head twisted and turned the stop until it came off in her hand. Oy vey... 

Well, I hear the thunk, thunk of army crawling punctuated by grunts and whines... Maddy snack time! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Month eight letter

Dear Maddy,

Today, my girl, you are 8 months old. And these have been the hardest, yet most amazing, 8 months of my life.

This month you have learned to (belly) crawl, sprouted 2 teeth, fell in love with feeding yourself (and the mess that ensues) and every day show us something new. A new sound, a new smile, a new activity. Everything changes daily. Yet you are still enamoured with singing, even mine, and still find tongues sticking out funny, and love to be bounced, and love to go out and see new things and meet new people. You are starting to look more like me but still look so much like your dada. It's fun to see you take something from each of us and turn it into a whole new fabulous person.

You are fearless, as only an 8 month old can be. You will touch and taste anything that you can. Dirty or clean, edible or decidedly not, bolted down or free - it is in your hands and seconds later in your mouth. We have the house pretty child proofed. You can't quite open cabinets or the kitchen drawers, but you are days from doing it. So I better get those locks on before... Same as the dropping of the crib mattress. You are not standing (yet) but you will be. And to prevent you from tumbling headfirst over the railing, your mattress has been dropped. Harder on my back, easier on my mental state.

You are selfish in the same way you are fearless. You can't understand the world apart from you (and your needs) in that world. This is the one time in your life where you are allowed to completely selfish, so enjoy every second of it my girl. There is no "later", no "in 5 minutes" in your world now. It really is a joy to try to guess your needs and provide what you want, when you want it. No, it's really more an honour. And, no, that wasn't sarcasm, my Nunu. It really is an honour to be your mom.

Today your dada and I were talking about love. Dada and I love each other very much. We are best friends and committed to spending the rest of our days together. But the love we have for you is so different. We love you for who you are, the characteristics you have shown us to date. You have the sweetest and most charming personality. And you are so free with your smiles and giggles! You are an explorer and a thinker. You are independent. But you are still pretty easy-going and will let us cart you around anywhere and will happily visit with almost everyone. But beyond that, the love we feel is not a choice, it's biological. It's primal love. We created you and we made a vow to care for you forever. We love you with every cell in our bodies.

As I was typing this out you crawled on your hands and knees for the first time! You were grumping as you did it, but you crawled! Oh Nunu, it's happening so fast. And we're loving every speeding second of it!

I am loving every moment with you and also can't wait to see what is around the corner. Happy 8 months, my girl, my Madds, my Nunu, my perfect Maddy.



Saturday, September 25, 2010

A perfect Fall afternoon

Today Neil, Madds and I went for a walk to the nice park nearby to swing on the swings

Slide down the slide

and ride the horsey!

We then went for about an hour walk through the neighbourhood, talking about the houses in the neighbourhood (and their cuteness), about our future homes and about childhood memories of autumn. It was a truly perfect Fall afternoon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

She pulled herself up

Maddy loves to explore the electronics. Her love motivated her to pull herself up on her knees to better explore... The old VCR is now going to be stored. I am once again looking for a smaller stereo to replace our ancient one from the 90's.

Right now I am just placing everything up high and out of her belly reach. And soon that won't be enough, I'll have to start hanging things off the roof. Or actually find a place to put everything away. And in a house with little storage? It is not easy!

The toothy smile

If you look closely, on the bottom, in the centre and slightly to the left... there is her FIRST TOOTH!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tooth number two!!

Maddy now has 2 teeth! One is all out and about a millimeter high. The second is JUST peeking out of her gum. Both are in the center, bottom gums. As soon as there is something to actually see, pics will be coming. Although I am going to do my best to get a pic of Madds with her little tongue stuck out as she plays with her new teeth.

She's also trying her HARDEST to crawl on her hands and knees. In the past she'd move a hand or a knee (a millimeter or two) and then drop to her belly and go. Now Madds weebles and wobbles on her hands and knees, trying her best to coordinate them to go in the direction she wants. She can move on hand appreciably forward and one knee and then it's too much and she's back on the belly. She's just days from full out crawling! And everything is now in her little tiny, yet frighteningly strong, hands.

With this tooth out and once she crawls the way she wants I am hoping her fragile and grumpy mood stops. Because she's been QUITE the bear the last few days!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

She's a follower!

Today I was hanging with the Nunu. We were in the living room and I needed to go to the kitchen to make a bottle. While in there, I was talking to Maddy. She saw me in the kitchen and started her belly-crawl towards me. In the past she'd just crawl to the edge of the rug and hang out there. Today? Today she ventured off the rug and through the hall and all the way to the kitchen!

Before she reached me, though, she passed the dogs' bowls. And tried to practice feeding herself by grabbing a handful of kibble. I was watching and cleared the kibble out before she tried to swallow them. Then put the bowl on the counter, only to be taken down during naps and after bedtimes. She also made a bee-line to the stairs leading to the back door. So now that door is perpetually shut. Life is compartmentalized now!

But she's now leaving rooms and entering new ones. She's also into EVERYTHING, refusing to nap any length of time and refusing purees she used to love. So, it's all good but grumpy. So good and so very grumpy...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Keyboard yum

On Sunday Madds and dada were hanging out together on the couch. Dada was showing Maddy his favorite video game and Madds was loving the images and randomly hitting the keys. Somehow Madds managed to kill dada's toon (her first WoW death!) and while Neil was telling me, he turned to look at me. He turned back to the laptop and noticed something wrong. There was a key missing on the keyboard. I grabbed Madds and Neil carefully stood up and we started searching for the key. After a few seconds I noticed Maddy was gumming something... Could she have? She could. She did. Madds somehow (in about 5 seconds) pulled a key off the laptop and was eating it. Well, key was removed and replaced and Maddy was a little put out her "food" was gone. Life with Maddy seems to be one heart attack after another...

Corner Girl (with gas)

Madds has a love for corners and tight spots. Maddy will always make a bee-line to the corner and snuggle in there. We lent our Bumbo to a friend who is expecting. The Bumbo used to block the space between the wall and couch. This morning Madds noticed the gap and was in there! She even moved herself backwards and got out herself.

The gas comes from the prunes for breakfast (our girl was a little backed up). And the prunes were a success!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's been quite the week!

Last night, as I was making her bottle, I put Maddy on the floor of the kitchen. I placed her as I always do, on her hands and knees. She still has issues with staying seated and when she wants to stop sitting she THROWS herself headfirst onto the floor. And on lino that results in major grumping.

I finished up making her bottle and turned around to pick her up. And she was SITTING. I did not put her down sitting yet there she was... It hasn't happened since but yay Madds! Another first, sitting herself up!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

She did it again!

Another first. Tonight, Maddy at dinner was playing with her food. We're trying to get her to practice her pincher grasp and give her puffs or nutrios. Tonight I mixed it up a little and gave her a mum-mum. She was holding it in her right hand. And then? Then she passed it over to her left hand...

I remember the nurse in mom's group talking about this milestone, being able to control her hands enough to consciously pass something from one hand to another. To be able to coordinate letting go. And it's happening now. Damn! This is crazy fast!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Really, so many many firsts this week...

We had our first tooth this week. A tooth! And it's still working it's way out. You can't SEE much but you can feel it.

We had our first runny nose. Scary but thankfully it was just a wee little cold and she's back to normal.

We had our first hands and knees crawl. Only a few steps, then it's back to belly crawling. But it's the start of something rapid and scary and mobile.

We had our first bits of cheese. I smooshed it between my fingers until it was mushy and then broke it into little, little pieces and Madds happily opened her mouth for the snack. Her look was a little confused at first but in the end it was a success!

We had our first big girl bath. Well, not totally big girl. But instead of in the reclined baby tub she's in the small tub, sitting up and splashing. Well, splashing and losing her balance and falling over and going boom! It was ok in  the end and she was just fine, I promise. But pics were taken and Madds is happily chewing on various bath toys. And mama MAY have shed a tear at how big her girl is. Maybe. Shaddup. I am hormonal...

We also used our first big girl towel after her bath! Up until now I have been using a baby towel. On a child the size of a 1 year old. Yes, I am grasping at anything to make me feel like I still have a baby. But too quickly she's moving beyond so many baby things.

This has been a crazy week and it's only Wednesday... let's hope this is enough in the firsts department, for now. I need to get used to this all!

Our first brush with illness

We have illness in the house. Neil has a cold. And while he tried to stay away from her, Madds now has a bit of a runny nose. I THINK we've managed to nip Maddy's cold in the bud (her nose stopped running this morning) but it was close. And it was scary. I didn't know how sick she'd get, how she'd react, how it would disrupt her patterns.

She had a runny and stuffy nose, but not a bad one. There was a flash of a fever yesterday but some advil took care of that. Her naps have been shorter than usual and she's wanted to sleep earlier than usual. Right now I threw her down for an extra afternoon nap, just because she was a little fragile after her really short 1pm nap. She has been a little flat in affect, not her normal bubbly self, and a little more whiny that usual. But we're so lucky it wasn't worse. So lucky!

Although we're still going to stay home for at least one more day. And I have to say, mama is going just a LITTLE stir-crazy, being stuck in the house. But Friday we'll get out a visit (as long as no one gets more ill). Yay!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

She has a TOOTH!

We have seen something hovering under her bottom left (looking at her) gum for a few days. But every time I touched it it was pretty gummy feeling. This morning after her nap I felt once more. And? WE HAVE AN EMERGING TOOTH!! I felt it's freakishly sharp edge on my finger tip. Aack!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I have been trying for days...

For DAYS I have been trying to capture Maddy's new smile. She started this grin a few days ago and I love it! It's adorable! But I have never been able to.

I went to a friend's house, a friend that is a super talented photographer. Madds was on her living room floor, hanging out. Natasha grabbed her camera, laid on her belly too and took a handful of pics. I am mean she took 5 pics tops? Tonight she sent me 4 of the pictures. They are STUNNING. And she, in a few seconds, captured Maddy's new smile.

To see this smile in a photo brought tears to my eyes. There is my girl! 

And another photo, one that brought more tears to my eyes as I looked into my girl's big blue eyes. Again, Natasha captured Maddy, with one click of her camera. 

Her talent awes me...