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...

It's been awhile

It's been awhile since I blogged. It's not that there are no changes. Because daily there are new faces! New movements! New ways to get into things! New foods! Like the first lick of a purple Popsicle. Which she LOVED (of course). There has been nothing bad happening, preventing me from writing. Everything is going really well. It's just that I struggle to express what it means to be Maddy's mom.

Maddy is amazing. She's so much fun! She's a little ham, loving any attention she gets. When there are new people around she'll often shine -  giving big smiles and reaching for people. She's pretty mobile, but not hands and knees crawling yet. She's more a belly crawler and that is often done more slowly. She's still managing to get all around and into everything. She LOVES electrical cords, she loves the VCR and stereo. She's not hitting milestones in an WOW! EARLY! kind of way. She's still not crawling, sitting, standing. While we saw a tooth, it still is pretty well hidden in her gums. She's normal, she's doing things when she should. But? But there is something about her, about her personality, that gives the impression that she's so much more advanced than she is. That she's doing things she shouldn't be, for this age. I think my girl just has an old soul.

The real struggle for me isn't to catalog what Maddy is doing. That is easy. What I struggle with is how can I put into words how much I love Maddy. How can I express the depth and strength and solidity of my love. This isn't a love that will end. She is now, and forever will be, my daughter. I love my husband and have every intention of spending the rest of my days with him. And we have one year down! Happy anniversary, my love. But on the off chance we grow in different directions, if something should happen, we can part ways. My love for Maddy won't change, won't end, even if she goes in a different direction from where I am. She can never stop being my daughter. When I am away from her, she's always on my mind. When I am with her, it's almost always fun. When she's napping or sleeping, I just want to go in and grab her, hold her in my arms....

All those sayings about parenthood, how it means a large piece of your heart will forever be running around outside your body, how it changes you... I always thought it seemed so saccharine. It was all so dramatic. And I scoffed at it all. Now? Now I understand that despite how exaggerated it sounds, it doesn't even BEGIN to come close to expressing the kind of love you feel. I see the world in a different way, I am looking for the way it all will affect Maddy. I am always seeing activities that I want to do with her, things I want to show her, things I want to protect her from.

I thought my mom had the soul of a martyr, always putting me first. No, it has nothing to do with martyrdom, it's just that the thing that matters most is your child, not yourself. So much more about my childhood makes sense, now that I know what love they feel for me. Everything makes more sense now.

My girl is going to wake from her nap soon. Her 9am nap is moving to a 930am nap. Once again, things change just as I got used to how they were. But soon she'll be up and we'll have some time to play and giggle and crawl and explore before lunch and another nap and errands (always errands!).

I love you, my Maddy girl.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Mum mums!!

Madds is starting to play with finger foods. Today I gave her grapes (with most of the skin removed and in small pieces) and she loved it! At dinner tonight she had a few grains of rice with us. It's so much fun!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Her big blue eyes

I could stare into those eyes forever...

Monday, September 6, 2010

And it starts!

Maddy is officially belly crawling, much to the dogs' chagrin. She's pulling herself forward now, especially to get whatever toys the dogs are chewing on. And electrical cords and corners and under things and pretty much any place she could bump her head/hurt herself on...

It's hard to be social

We had a very social two days! On Saturday we went for Dim Sum with a friend who is leaving Edmonton. Then went to another friend's to help with her house renos. Well, I took care of Maddy and visited while Neil did the renos... Then yesterday we had friends over for a late lunch then went to a surprise birthday party/baby shower (I wish I knew about the baby shower part...) and saw friends we haven't in awhile. It was wonderful to see everyone but it was also draining to be that social.

I am normally alone with Madds. Or we may have one or two moms and their kids over. And they have to leave quickly after arriving, since there are naps or meals or something... I am just not used to crowds anymore or prolonged visiting. Although it really was so wonderful to see everyone and get the chance to catch up. Today though? Today is just me, Neil and the Maddster and we're going to do errands (mama needs a new bra and Madds needs diapers). And maybe a few new burp cloths for Madds. She's still the messiest eater and she's in her raspberry phase (all day she's sticking her tongue out and spitting everywhere) and she's spitting up. We're always wiping.

To be clear, she's not spitting up any more than before, it's just that now it smells like vomit, where before it smelled like formula. You know, everything that didn't smell much smells SO much more now. Diapers? Ugh. Spit up? Ugh. Even farts, which once were just rumbles, now have an aroma. I think they start babies off cute and less smelly so that you get attached. Then when the odour comes? You already love the little creature and can't imagine life without her, smells and all.

With no segue at all, how is it September already? I have 4 more months of maternity leave left. Can that be possible??! Only 4 months? Baba is going to take Maddy full time when I go back to work, until about May or so. We won't have to worry about too many winter colds and we can save all the daycare money to rebuild our nest egg. And it will be a little easier getting Maddy into a daycare or dayhome when she's a bit older. Baba is the best! I went and saw one daycare and it was strange to think of leaving my daughter there one day. It was a smaller room, with some older toys and things. But the daycare had a more academic focus, which the nerd in me liked. But I wasn't completely sold and it's a small place with few spots. Another bonus of waiting a few months before we need to place Maddy is we'll have a better idea is she'd be more suited for an academic kind of daycare or a crafts one or a place where she can run and play more. Right now we'd be placing her in one that showed a lot of TV, because she's LOVING the TV!

It's actually a little scary how fixated she becomes on the "boob tube" as my mom calls it. She'll stop everything and stare. If you try to block her view with your hand? She's bobbing and dodging your hand, trying to catch a glimpse. And it doesn't matter what's on TV, anything is fascinating. So? We have no more TV on when Madds is awake. Just music or the radio. Well, except for news because I need some way to keep up with the world. I can't be a total hermit!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Little round cereals? Check!

Today I got together with a few friends. Again, we talked all things mom but this time? This time the kiddos interacted too. It's just wonderful to see your child and another playing. Well, your child grabbing their hair. And them grabbing your child's mouth like a fish hook. And the third one grabbing the extra Sophie's laying around...

Today one of the kids was eating Cheerios. I took a few and gave them to Maddy. Maddy ate a solid snack. Not pureed or mashed or flaked. Solid. And she did well! She chewed, she swallowed. She ate! Afterwards we went grocery shopping and I bought "Nutrios" for Maddy at home. They had no salt or sugar added. Healthy! But they also apparently forgot to add flavour. They taste like styrofoam wrapped in cardboard. But Madds still ate them with only a small grimace. Next ones may have some salt or sugar and thus flavour...

But my friends inspired me to let Madds sit in the grocery cart. And she did it! At first, she kinda flopped to the right. Then she slumped down. Then she grumped. But then she realized if she sat there, so could see new things and meet new people. Then it all came together! Madds charmed the staff and customers and had a blast. And mom snuck into an aisle and snapped a fast pic with her phone.

Woo hoo Madds!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Phippo becomes part of the family

Coming close to a year ago I had a hormonal reaction to a pink hippo, we later named Phippo (pink-hippo... p-hippo... yah). Today, my girl played with Phippo.

She also pushed herself under her crib, while playing. But that's just a strange side-effect of her shimmying.

I thought I'd be worried

I was worried that I'd be a worried mother. One that looked at milestones and fretted if Maddy wasn't there, looked at where the other kids around her are and fretted if Maddy couldn't do something too, decided where I though Maddy should be and fretted if she didn't meet my goals. It turns out I am not. At least right now.

Maddy isn't leading the pack in terms of food or crawling or teeth or sitting up or pulling herself up or talking or word comprehension. She is eating more mashed foods versus pureed now but still isn't on true solids. She's making more and more motions towards crawling but is still content to roll and shimmy her way around the house. Her teeth have been playing peek a boo with us for months but seem to have subsided the last bit and are happily hidden. She hates sitting and would rather roll or stand so she's miles from sitting herself up and even further from pulling herself up. And she still loves "singing" more than babbling. And I think she understands a few words (like her name) but what a mouth is, or hands or food? Nope.

But none of that matters. She's healthy and happy and learning at her own pace. She's one of the happiest babies I have met, almost always ready to giggle or smile. And her giggle is beautiful! She's so social. Rarely does she play strange and she's happy to meet new people and see new places. When she meets a new person she'll often give them a huge Maddy smile, making them know she's so happy she's able to meet them. She's always eager to explore and is always moving and looking and touching and experimenting. She's most often easy going, except when it's something she really wants to do, look at, eat. Then when you get in the way, she grumps. But I love that she knows what she wants, and it isn't everything.

She's perfectly Maddy and while I am here to help her learn what her mouth is and encourage her to say mama instead of "SQUEEEEEEAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL" and cheer in pride when she gets closer to crawling, I am not at all thinking she should be anywhere or anything except what she is right now. And I am so happy I am not a bit worried.