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!