Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update on measurements

Today I weighed/measured Madds

20 pounds and 27.75 inches.

Making her 91.7% for weight and 88.9% for length.

Making it make sense why she's in clothes for a 1 year old!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

She chews our food

We have started giving Madds salmon. First time I pureed it and added a lot of fruit to make it smooth. Second day, I flaked it only and added less fruit. And? She chewed it!

Tonight at dinner we had salmon and peas and rice. The rice had a sauce, but I took the salmon and the peas (and some runny fruit) and Magic-Bulleted it and that was her dinner. She ate part of our dinner. Soon? Meals will not only be planned around us trying to be healthy but making the tasty and healthy for Maddy too. Really, this still feels like it's happening too fast. But I am loving every speeding second of it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

And there she goes

Today, for the first time, Madds left a room on her own. She moved and shimmied to the dining room door and slowly made her way away...

She still would watch mama, to make sure it was all ok. And of course Sophie came for a ride too! 

But Maddy would always turn,

and move farther away,

My little explorer is off! 


(I had to add the last one because... well, how cute is her first gang sign!?)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The ONLY time duck-face ever works...

Month seven letter

Dear Madds,

My love, my girl, my baby. You are now 7 months old!

You are my strong little girl. You know what you want, and you let us know when you aren't getting it (or when we take it away). Mostly your vocalize your displeasure through closed-mouth whining. Loud closed-mouth whining. Your joy? You either sing (aka squeal) or just smile the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. But we never wonder what mood you're in or what you're feeling. Your emotions bubble out of you!

You are also such a social little girl. You will smile at almost anyone and almost anyone can hold you. Although once in awhile you still play shy, often at the time when we want you to be social the most. But I think that's the way of the child, always keep mom and dad on their toes!

You're an explorer. You look at everything, you touch everything, you eat everything. You were just exploring the stereo. You actually opened the cassette deck and have your fingers in there. Rolling is getting you most places now except the one direction you want to go - forward. You are still trying your hardest to fly and flutter yourself forward! and when it doesn't work? We have whining and you drop your head into the carpet and flail in frustration. Although you are now getting on your hands and knees. We all cheer when you do it and then you drop to your belly and raise your head, with a proud grin on your face.

You do not like to be still. Sitting is not for you. It's either standing (and bouncing) or rolling. You CAN sit, in either your stroller or highchair or car seat. But on the floor? You almost immediately flop to the ground and head off in a direction. My little mover and shaker...

Cuddling still is not a favorite thing to do. Although those times when you do drop your head into my neck and hold on tight? They make my heart sing. You are so perfect in my arms, little one. You generally snuggle only when you're sleepy and it's nap time. If you're alert you are on the move! Your other sleepy tell is sucking your thumb. We're trying to discourage you from sucking your thumb when you're out and about right now (in fear of future orthodontic bills) but your thumb in your mouth to sleep is what you need.

Sleep... after months of sleep issues I think we have a firm grasp on sleep! You easily go to bed between 7 and 8pm and you sleep until about 6am. Then you sing and play in your crib until about 7am (when momma gets up). You are a happier baby with that time to slowly wake up. This morning I found you on your back, feet hooked on the top of your crib bumper and the hugest smile on your face. You are still having three naps a day (8, 1130 and 230-ish) but we're going to work on moving it to two a day.

You are a good little eater. You have solids three times a day plus bottles in between. You are good with almost any food now, even mushy peas which you HATED before. Today, in honour of your birthday, we're going to try salmon. You happily eat in your highchair and then after each meal get a few minutes to play with your spoon and drink from your sippy cup.

We still call you Madds, Maddy, and NuNu most. And I am pretty sure you understand your name, you almost always look when we call for you. Except, of course, if there is something really interesting in front of you, then we're easy to ignore.

Seven months together and you're my perfect little love.There is nothing more fulfilling than getting the honour of being your mom. Hopefully I can do a good job and teach you the skills you need to succeed and the confidence to achieve what ever it is you want. It's the most important thing in my life right now.

Love always,


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Stuffs

1) My daughter is apparently incapable of waking up from her afternoon nap in a good mood. Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy! She's laying on the floor, on her stomach, with her head buried in the carpet, feet kicking and whining because I won't let her eat the hair-covered dog blanket.

2) I FIXED MY FAUCET. An internet order for a stupid proprietary wrench-like thingy for a discontinued kind of faucet, $50, a visit to Purolator later and it's done. You have to live in our house to understand how amazing that is. But still cheer a little for my faucet please.

3) I tried the one-piece snow suit on Maddy today. It's huge but she's growing fast. Although it made me realize that winter is coming. Well, that and a high of THIRTEEN on Saturday. Ugh.

4) Another Maddy grumpy fit because I took away the used dog toy and replaced it with her shockingly expensive Sophie toy, which is really just a dog toy made of safe plastic. This kid knows what she wants!

5) I think the dogs are now scared of Maddy. When she rolls near to them, they move away quickly. It's either because of the LOUD noise she can make or maybe it's because she keeps trying to eat their toys. Either way, it's cute, in a funny kinda way.

6) Laundry and dishes never ever ever end. Ever.

7) I think Maddy can only squeal now. She doesn't chatter or babble or talk. Just squeals. It's kinda painful. any advice on how to get her to babble more?

8) Today I had my proudest mommyhood moment. I made Maddy giggle until she had tears! Nothing sounds better to my ears than her laugh.

Aaaaand... end scene.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things I forgot in 5 days

1) How much STUFF a NuNu needs
2) How much planning leaving the house entails
3) How to plan a day around naps
4) How grumpy she is when she is awoken abruptly
5) How LOUD a NuNu is (especially when grumpy)
6) Seriously, how BAD it is to wake her abruptly... very very very LOUD bad

While I didn't forget this, it really is so wonderful to have my baby girl in my arms again, where she belongs.

Also, just because I need to chronicle this. Today we retired Maddy's bucket car seat. A few days before her 7 month birthday and we switched her to a rear facing convertible seat. She's comfortable in there, I am certain I installed it correctly, and it is higher so that she can see out better. Her favorite part (still) is the tightening strap, which she has already nom-nom'ed. Also? It's gonna be harder without the bucket. I have to hold her in my arms and can't put her down. So I can't carry much out, locking the door is harder, and I see more trips to and from the car in my future. But my little (big) girl continues to grow and change at a pace I was not expecting.\

Another chronicle... her pjs? 12-18 months now. Her clothes are comfortably roomy at 12 month size. I bought winter jackets for her, at 18 month size, because anything smaller won't fit by October. She's definitely her father's daughter.

Today (as alluded to above) Madds was woken abruptly from her nap by mama and wow. Just WOW. The fit? It was epic in it's enormousness. Much snot (and loonie sized nose snot-bubbles), and tears and wailing and sadness. For 45 minutes. Straight. Did I mention LOUD? She is just distraught when she isn't allowed to wake up slowly. I see icky school years. But after the fit? She REALLY looked like me. I am not sure what that says about me... but... wow.

Monday, August 23, 2010

We are home!

After a lotta driving and not a lotta stopping we MADE IT HOME! I rushed into the house and called for Maddy. Baba had her ready for bed but she was still up. And there she was. My baby girl! I rushed up to baba and took Maddy in my arms. She looked at me quizzically. I think I was expecting (hoping?) that I'd get a huge smile of joy at seeing mama. After some time, and many songs and tractor games and mirror time we got a small smile. And then it was bedtime. She was up a little later than usual, just so we could see her before bed.

But she has GROWN. Omg she's grown. She's thicker and heavier and her head shape has changed and her face has changed. She's grown up so much in 5 days! Baba and Dido are saying that she's started to get up on her hands and knees (although she's not sure what to do after that).

I went in and watched her sleep. She's laying on her side, her thumb deeply in her mouth, her blanket wrapped around her. Tomorrow we'll spend the day, as a family of three, and all get to know each other again. I plan on nibbling Maddy until she giggles uncontrollably and holding her until she gets tired of being in my arms and watching her roll and get up on her hands and knees and make her favorite foods and stare into her eyes. Our vacation was wonderful! Our homecoming? Even better, because the most perfect thing was waiting in baba's arms for our return.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We are here...

.... and she is not.

We've called home a LOT. I have spoken to her over the phone. We talk about her all the time. We've shown video and pics to anyone who will look. At the wedding we even sat for a bit together and looked at photos.

But Baba and Dido are loving her like crazy and having a blast with her. And Neil and I have had a good time drinking wine and sight seeing and staying out late (like 11pm!) and sleeping in (until 8am!). We are visiting and making friends. We're doing well.

But every single moment we're missing our Maddy and day dreaming of bringing her here and showing her around. And also taking her on many many vacations in the future!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I leave her tomorrow

Tonight was the last time I put Maddy to bed for 4 nights. The last time I gave her a bath, fed her solids... Tomorrow morning Neil and I leave for Kelowna.

I am having a hard time with leaving. Instead of packing I spent the afternoon playing with her. I had her giggling for about 10 minutes straight, by nibbling on her arms and legs and sides and cheeks and pretending to sneeze and singing! I am going to miss Maddy and her smile and her laugh and her smell and the way she feels in my arms. I am scared she'll start crawling while I am away. Or that she'll cut her first tooth. I am worried she'll be hard on baba. Mostly, I am worried she'll forget me.

I have never been away from her this long. Baba and Dido have been away from her that long and she was a little uncertain when she saw them again. What will happen if I walk in on Monday and she plays shy? Or worse, doesn't seem to care if I am there or not...

But despite my sadness and my fears, I am also looking forward to the chance to get out of the city. Neil and I will have the opportunity to spend some time together, talking and reconnecting. Not that there are problems between us, but right now there is not a lot of time for just the two of us. We'll get out a bit and go for a leisurely dinner out, drink some wine, walk and sight-see. And talk and talk and talk. And I think this, looking forward to parts of the vacation, is the hardest part. My baby girl is 6 months old and I am looking forward to a vacation that won't have her there.

I feel like a bad mother for this, although I know spending some time on Wendy the woman and Wendy the wife will only help Wendy the mother. I think there is an expectation of martyrdom that comes with motherhood. That a good mother never sleeps (and never complains about it), never takes time for herself, never stops working or cleaning or cooking... Anything else is selfish and denying your child something. I know rationally that this is not true, that emptying myself without ever filling myself up is not good for Maddy in any way. But the pressure of society to do so weighs heavy on my shoulders.

I love you Maddy. I will miss you every second we're apart and I will be thinking of you almost all the time. I'll only be away from you for a short time, and when I return I promise you that we'll spend hours together playing and laughing. And next vacation? I promise it will be all three of us together.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My little... boy?

Today I had my first post-pregnancy physio this morning. That's another post... But when I came home baba had put Madds in a tee shirt we bought when I was pregnant and we were still calling Maddy "Sprout". It says sprout *grin* She was also in a green pair of sweats and was adorable! But? With the colours and styling of the clothes and Maddy's short hair she looked like... a boy.

It was strange seeing my daughter look like a boy, but we were just hanging around the house. Then tonight we went out to do errands. I was going to change Maddy into something more girlie. Neil asked me why. Well, my baby girl looks like... a boy. Neil pointed out that I was being silly (I was) and we left the house.

He was right, but I cringed when I think I heard some women commenting on our little boy. At this age children really are so androgynous. Without the trappings of society (or nakedness) you really can't tell if a baby is a boy or girl. But there is something so strangely upsetting when someone thinks your child is the gender they are not.

Also, in this picture I see my mother. It's so strange to me...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This is all happening so fast!

Madds had an off day today. She was sleepy all day (and thus grumpy) even though she had 4 naps. The things she usually loves would barely crack a smile, like tongues sticking out, the tractor game, Itsy Bitsy Spider, sneezing... She also ate more than usual.

Today at lunch Madds finished everything on her plate and wanted more. I put her sippy cup on her tray table and went to the kitchen to get more food. These sippy cups? They are awesome! Very light and easy for her to pick up. When I returned Maddy had picked up the awesome sippy cup, placed it in her mouth and tipped it up. She was giving herself something to drink.

This is all happening too fast...

Tonight at dinner again I gave her her sippy cup and a spoon with some food on it. And she sucked on the spoon and drank from the cup. She even made motions to hit the spoon on the top of the cup and then put it in her mouth. Too soon she'll be feeding herself (and the ultimate mess that will ensue).

While she doesn't always get it right

In fact, it can go quite wrong

But sometimes it comes together and it's drinking magic!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I saw myself in her

Today at dinner Madds was in her high chair. After eating we were sitting around and relaxing. Madds was looking around, pretty seriously, as we were sitting there. And for the first time ever I saw myself in her face.

Maddy looks like Neil, smiles like Neil, has Neil's colouring, has Neil's height. I joke that I gave birth to my husband, in female form. Sometimes I look into her eyes and see a glimpse of my mother. But tonight for the first time I saw a glimmer of myself in her. It wasn't in her features but in her expression and in her eyes. It was me! Others have said that they see something of me in her eyes but I didn't see it. Until now. She really is my daughter! *grin*

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Then and now

I was looking at the picture of Madds napping in her crib. She looks so much like a big girl!

Then I went back to the archives, for the pic when we first laid her in her crib.

Neil always said he wondered why cribs were so big when babies were so little. Well, those little babies GROW. And grow fast.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting lost in my head

I am beginning to forget some of the basics of communication. I have been getting lost in my head.

I am with Madds all day. And while we try to get out, most of my time is spent with just the two of us. I try to talk aloud to her but she doesn't talk back quite yet and the silence - the lack of communication - causes me to retreat inside myself, just think instead of speak. This happens to me when I am alone too much, when I have traveled alone, when I have been too solitary. And it's starting to spill over into my relationships with others. Neil, my friends, my parents. I just have forgotten how to talk. 

I can still normally keep up with trivial conversation. Although that too is slipping... But in my attempts to have deeper conversations with friends, I find I am struggling to convey my thoughts back to them. I can't seem to provide feedback to what they say. Instead of prompting for more information, supporting, bringing insight... I seem to think and keep the thoughts inside. And then the conversation awkwardly dies. and later I realize what I have done but by then it's too late. The moment has passed. And I used to think I was an ok listener. Now it's frighteningly gone. 

I know I need to get out more with friends (without Maddy). And I need to stop writing blog posts in my head. I need to live life, not write it. Maybe when I get back from vacation, I'll make more of an effort. Make one night a week my getting out night. go out with friends, hit the gym, shop... whatever I want. Or maybe I need a project where I am forced to think about more than which food are we starting today, has there been a dirty diaper yet, is she sleepy or hungry now, is it time to do something in frontierville (sorry FB friends). 

For those friends that I have unintentionally slighted, I am sorry. I'm working on finding my way out again. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sleeping beauty...

... except in the evening.

No clue why, Madds has decided going to sleep in the evening is passe. Crying (and pain crying, not fussing) for over an hour. No clue why... no clue.

Naps are still awesome though!

EDIT: Look at that thigh roll! Baby leg rolls... yum yum!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

We have a highchair. It was complicated.

We finally have a highchair! We were lent one, by a friend, and we were going to go with that one. But our Madds? She just fits now, and although she has slowed down on the growing she won't fit it for long. So we started the hunt.

First? Wow, expensive! Second? Many are quite.... unappealing... visually... But we found one we loved on paper. This one. We wanted to get it in white and orange. Apparently it doesn't come in white and orange in Canada. Pink was ugly. We were going with blue and white! But we can only get it through special order, sight unseen. One smaller more local store it would take 4-6 weeks. But if we didn't like it, we couldn't return it. Um... So we spend a good chunk of money on the chair and we take all the risk? No. Another larger corporate store would order it in, and we could return it if we didn't like it. But 6-8 weeks until it comes in. Madds is eating three meals a day and it's safer for her to be in a chair instead of on the table in the Bumbo. So we gave in and bought something there. It was 1/3 cheaper and isn't HIDEOUS.

Carter's® 'Bumble' Folding High Chair

And the Nunu in the highchair? Makes it ADORABLE!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

We made the decision

Well, from the start Neil was ok with having Maddy stay home with baba and dido. He let me make the final decision, and he would support me either way. I was not ready to leave her. I still am not ready. But? I came to a decision. Maddy will stay in Edmonton when we go to Kelowna.

Already I am hurting at the thought of being away from her. It's going to be so hard... but 10 hours of driving for Maddy would be too much. She doesn't like to be in any one spot for any length of time. And with the stops and breaks for her, it would be more like a 14+ hour drive. And Neil would have to drive most of it, if Maddy came, since there isn't really enough front passenger seat space for him with the car seat in. Madds would have her sleep schedule messed with, a new place and all. And we JUST got some control over the sleep thang! Baba and Dido love her so much and are amazing with her. They will get the chance to spoil her and spend loads of time with her. And with Maddy only waking once it should be easy on them. And it'll be easier in Kelowna as a duo. We can even do a wine tour!!

I can list so many reasons why it's better for Maddy to stay in Edmonton. The only real negative is being away from her. Even now I have tears in my eyes... It's going to be agony to be away from her for that long. I think the longest I have been away from her is about 3 hours. This will be FIVE DAYS. She's so frighteningly close to crawling. What if she does it while we're gone?

I am not sure I won't change my mind. But we're starting the process of teaching baba and dido everything Maddy. And I am trying not to think too hard about being apart from her.

Friday, August 6, 2010

She knows what I mean, if you know what I mean

I know you're all itching to know... sleep is going ok! We have delayed Madds' bedtime to about 7pm and making sure she gets her evening bottle before bed and she's sleeping through. Well, one waking between 3am and 5am and then back to bed until 7am. Is this interesting? No. Will this be the last I write on it? Also no. Hehe. 

And I think today Madds understood her first word. The word? No. 

She was having brekkie and as soon as the spoon with food was out of her mouth the fist/finger/bib covered fist was in her mouth, spraying food everywhere. I kept pulling her hand away from her mouth, in an attempt to thwart her. After about 10 attempts I finally looked her in the face and said "Maddy? No."  She looked back into my eyes, a huge frown took over her face and then proceeded to have a little tantrum. Apparently "No" is not the word she wanted to hear. She's also starting to recognize her name. Preliminary language skills... it's amazing how much she has learned and done in her 6 short months on Earth. 

She's definitely trying to communicate herself. Our days are filled with high-pitched, ear piercing screeches. If this continues I can definitely see an operatic career ahead of her. Here is a short video. Keep in mind, she's been doing this for hours already today and is a bit hoarse. As you watch, please make sure the volume is down. Trust me. 

She's also interacting with her world, with purpose. On Thursday we had 2 of her little friends over for a visit. All three sat facing in each other, in a circle and had preliminary play! They touched each other! They looked at each other! There was some unintentional scratching and hair pulling but it was a glimpse of a future with play dates and best friends. And in my photographic BRILLIANCE I didn't get a picture of all three kids looking at the camera. So first it's Maddy in the centre (obviously) and Caleb to the right. Then Maddy and Kiran to the left. Yes, my daughter is the one sitting all by herself, with no support, even though she still tends to topple over. I was taking pics though! And I know the other moms would have Madds' back. Literally. 

And one more of my girl. She's discovered she has a head and keeps reaching up to touch it and touch her hair. Adorable and if you get just the right pic? Funny too! 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

She's an inch/mile kind of girl

OK. Guess what this is about. Sleep. Yes, sleep. Again. ARGH!

Maddy normally wakes at around 8pm, after we put her to sleep. We were Ferberizing her when she woke (wait, then go in and calm her). But a few days she missed her before bed bottle due to an early bedtime and a full solids belly. So I went in and fed her a bottle. And then the next night? She was SCREAMING and missed the bottle... so I went back in for a bottle. But it was all cool! She'd sleep until 5am for a feed then was up at 7am. And then 5am became 3am which was 130am last night. Plus a 5am feed... So 3 full feeds after her bedtime. And those are about the times she wakes in her sleep cycle. Add the 11pm wake? And we're back where we were. I gave her an inch (one bottle) and she's running a full mile.

So, tonight it's back to an evening bottle before bed and then Ferberizing the first waking. What's going to make this even more challenging that usual? Maddy has started SCREAMING when she isn't getting what she wants or attention. Not crying. Top of her lungs, ear splitting, monitor distorting, shrill, loud SCREAMING. If you heard it, you'd know why I must capitalize it.

And I am going to try to shuffle her naps a little. She has three 30-45 minute naps, at 9am, 1130am and 2pm. I am going to push the 9am back a bit and see if we can skip the 1130 and then make the afternoon one at 230-3pm and then maybe we can keep her up past 6pm and get a night bottle in. Maddy, there are thousands of words, as a record to you on what we do to get you to sleep. As a teenager this may backfire (as you try to sleep your day away) but at least you'll know!

In non-sleep news? Madds had yogurt for the first time and I think it was a success. It's hard to tell, the first few feeds, but she definitely didn't hate it. We have meat, veggies, fruit and now dairy in her and so far (knock on wood) no problems!

Teeth. She's getting closer! When she smiles her huge open mouth grin you can see white under her gums, the bottom two teeth are starting to emerge. But I still can't feel them, when I brush her gums. I am not sure I am ready for that toothless grin to disappear.

Someone is calling for brekkie! Must answer to the the boss and her needs.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I just love...

I love my Maddy and I love taking pictures of her! I really wish I had some skill at photography and a decent camera, but here's one more of her.


They were a success in flavour and a HUGE success in mess.

What is this yum? 

More yum! More yum!

This yum though? Got EVERYWHERE! From her toes to her forehead she was blue. Good thing she washes well.

EDIT: Blueberries coming out the other end? Just as staining... My baby girl's butt is blue!