Monday, January 31, 2011

Why should it matter so much?

Maddy is a fabulous and healthy little girl. She's meeting her milestones when she should, she's growing and learning and exploring. And I wrote a blog post about how I am just not concerned with comparing her to other kids, and their milestones. That is true in all areas but one. Weight.

From the start Maddy has been on the heavier side of the percentile scale, 90th percentile. She hasn't moved from that curve and is gaining at exactly the right pace. She's awesome and healthy! But already, there are those little comments creeping in about weight. When Maddy has been around other babies that are lighter, I have seen other women fawn over how lean and long the other baby is, while making "those" comments about Maddy. That she's a "solid" baby, or obviously a "good eater". I have heard the comments about her rolls and her little belly. And it's not just the mythical "them" - I have been guilty of liking the percentile scale used that makes my child leaner.

Maybe I am being paranoid, but I fear for my daughter, in a society where even at one year old there are subtle digs at weight and the preference for lean. I hear people fawn over the child that is tall and skinny. I hear sly comments over the rolly-polly child... I have already talked to my parents and Neil about how I do not want to talk about food in a negative way around Maddy, I don't want her to grow up seeing her parents complain about their weight. I don't want her to know what a diet is before she's in school. I want food to be about taste and enjoyment. I want her to learn what is the healthy thing to eat not because I am quoting a weight watchers book or talking diet, but because this is just the way it's always been. Veggies and fruits all the time. Lean meats and complex carbs. No desserts every night. No chips for snacks... I want her to live healthy eating not have to learn it later, in school, like math or history. I want her to love herself for who she is, the awesome girl she is.

And everything I want for her, I have to show her by example. I have to love myself, for who I am. I never had food issues growing up. I ate what I wanted, until I was full. And if I wanted junk food, it wasn't in the house and so wasn't an option. I grew up with healthy ideas around food. And then friends and marketing and society and laziness set upon me and those healthy habits were ignored. But because of that fundamental non-issue with food, I just have to rediscover the healthy (versus learn it). And I want that for you too, my Nunu.

Oh Maddy, life for a female can be so hard. There are so many conflicting messages and ideas of what you should be. I am going to do everything I can to make sure that you are as prepared as possible, with healthy ideas and habits. But I am fallible myself, my girl, and can't be the perfect teacher through example. But between what I do and say, I'll do my best for you. And 90th percentile or 9th - you are beautiful and healthy and exactly who you should be.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

We survived. Nay thrived!

The party was wonderful! A few friends (note to self, bigger house next time, something better for entertaining), much visiting and only one HUGE house-clearing tantrum. Seriously, this person normally such a sweetheart. But today this someone had a poor morning nap and no afternoon nap and a post-immunization runny nose. And then we threw a house full of people and a disrupted schedule at someone... and someone lost their marbles. And I mean lost their marbles in a loud, loud, LOUD way. Loud. And snot covered.

But before the fit, we had about 20 people over. There was enough food and not enough space. Dido couldn't be here, with his foot after surgery, so he was Skyped in and got to see the singing and the cupcake and then we parked him (the computer) on the bookshelf and he watched us all visit. Although for awhile, near the end, his video was facing the ceiling/corner of the room. So he heard a bunch of people talking... Oops.

We visited and we ate and we sang, but ran out of time to open gifts. They are still sitting in the corner of the room until tomorrow, when they will be opened and pictures taken for the guests, to put in the thank you cards (which reminds me, buy thank you cards...).

But Maddy is in bed after a bath that stripped the layer of snot off her face. And nary a peep from her room. House is half cleaned (the food is put away) and then rest can be done tomorrow. Now I am sitting and blogging and staring blankly at the house around me, willing it to finish cleaning itself.

Maddy is now one year old, the party is done and the stream of parties for all the other one year olds around us is done. Now? Now we rest. Take the rest of the winter off from the big stuff and just relax and spend time as a family.

Come spring? We tackle a few house projects!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A few more pictures, from Maddy's Baby Wisp session!

I was sent two more (bitty) pictures from Maddy's session with Baby Wisp! The CD is to follow soon, be prepared for more! She looks so little...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Check-up? Check! Immunization? Check too (but not a happy check)

This afternoon we had Maddy's 1 year visit with the doctor and it was a success! Maddy looks awesome! And at the doctor's office she was 90th percentile for height, 70the percentile for weight and 75the percentile for head. No concerns raised by me or the doctor. She's meeting milestones like she should be.

Then we went to the health clinic and had another check-up. The second appointment? She's 70the percentile for height, 90% percentile for weight and 96th percentile for head. Um... OK. Accurate? So she's either shorter, fatter with a large head or taller, leaner with a large but less large head. Either way she's awesome and healthy.

She's had her immunizations. Three pokes. None were enjoyed. Well, Maddy went into it pretty fussy. She was being held by dada for a looooong time in the waiting room and then in the nurse's office and the Nunu? She does not like to be restrained! And then dada held her as she got three pokes in the arms. Arms, like a big girl! This is the controversial MMRV vaccination time. Any vaccine is still scary... there is the chance that there will be a reaction. And you're hurting your child. And then you're disrupting their schedule and causing them discomfort for a few days. But I still believe it's worth it. Maybe if Maddy should ever have a serious adverse reaction, I'd believe differently... or at least regret these words. But I believe it's worth it.

It was a very normal-ish day. No celebrations with Maddy, no presents, no cake or singing. Just a lot of holding and loving and being so so so thankful that we have our Nunu with us.

Although now that we made it through year one, it's the start of the "when are you having a second" questions... This is something for another post... but one year of Maddy? Check! A lifetime of watching her grow? I am going to love checking these off.

Month Twelve Letter

Dear Maddy,

Today you are one year old. You have made it aaaaaall the way around the sun, once. And in that year you have tripled in weight, you learned to hold your head up, sit up, belly crawl, crawl, stand, walk along furniture, eat solid food, then feed yourself solid foods, drink from a cup, speak a few words and make MANY sounds... And most importantly you became the centre of the world to a few people that love you so much. It's been a pretty impressive year for you!

Let me preface this next part by saying there is NO way a woman should ever experience her first child's first birthday and PMS at the same time. The hormonal rollercoaster? Woo hooOOooOO! But many times in the last few days, my Maddy, I have just held you or watched you in amazement that you are here, you are so wonderful and that I get the honour and privilege to be your mom. And so many times the joy of knowing you has brought tears to my eyes.

Before becoming your mom, I had another (now abandoned) blog. And I had a naive and vain ramble about being a mom and would you know if your child wasn't cute. I look back on that now and laugh at old me. The love for a child is more than an appreciation for the physicallity of your child... it's about creating life, life that was once part of you, and then doing everything you can to nourish and grow that life into everything it can be. Yes, I think you are absolutely adorable, and others have said similar things. But whether or not you are cute, I want you to feel loved and that you love yourself. Happy and strong in knowing who you are. I was once a young girl (oh so long ago) and I remember how hard it can be to figure out how to fill the body you live in, to make it feel authentic and all part of you. And I am going to do everything I can to help you feel good about yourself. But, Maddy, as much as I want you to be strong and certain I also want you to know humility and responsibility and accountabilitty and learn your true strengths and weaknesses. In short? I want it ALL for you and I will be there with you, as you achieve what you can.

I think ahead to what this next year will bring. Walking, more talking, and more asserting yourself. There will be falls and bruises and scrapes. Daycare and illness. But there will be playing in the park and swimming and going for walks and playing with friends... the boundaries of your world is going to open more and more and I can't wait to be there to watch you learn and experience so many new things. The last 365 days have been amazing, with you here, and I am going to enjoy every moment of the next 365 days even more! Well, as long as this constant teething takes a break. You are drooling constantly - our entire house is slightly damp right now *grin*

In all seriousness, I love you, Nunu. Happy first birthday!


Friday, January 21, 2011

MIA but I am back and asking for help!

Life has been wonderful, despite being a family of two. Missing Neil but he'll be home tomorrow! And today I had the day off (again) and spent it with Maddy (and the housekeeper and my hairdresser) while baba was at the funeral. My cousin was a good man, and he will be missed.

But today Maddy started saying a new word, over and over again. I prompted her to say it this time but... AAAT-ch?

Yacht? Itch? Batch? Help?!

And while you can see her 6 teeth in the video, you can also see her salmon she was eating for dinner. Oops.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Missing my family

Today Neil left, to a wedding in Mexico. It was too much to think about having to wrangle a Nunu on a plane for many hours. She does not sit still, she does not like to be held. She would not do well. Plus, I have just started a new job. It's not a great time to be taking vacation (although as an aside, due to my dad's surgery and appointments and a funeral this week I have been taking SO MUCH VACATION. And there is Maddy's 1-year appointments coming up. I have been away so much, I have avoided making doctor's appointments I need...)

Anyway, we decided that it would be best if Maddy and I stayed home while Neil went. And I miss him like crazy. I miss his company, I miss spending time with him. I miss having someone to talk to during dinner, as errands are done, before we go to sleep. But I also miss his extra set of hands. Maddy is getting more challenging. She wants to be entertained more - she'll grab a book and wave it at us, grunting loudly, until we read it. Although then she'll often wander off or watch tv. But don't stop reading! You'll get another grunt of discontent.The same books over and over. And then she'll grab something she shouldn't (and couldn't reach just the day before) and when you take it away she throws herself down on the ground (head first) in a heap of wailing. On the carpet that is ok. On the lino in the kitchen? More wailing (this time legitimate, even though self-induced).

But no matter how challenging, this little girl means everything to me. Just look at that hair, those big blue eyes, that... stuff?... on her nose... *sigh*

I think I am also a little burnt out. I have been trying to get it all done, but I have forgotten something important. Me. I need some Wendy time, away from the house and the dishes and the cooking and the cleaning and being mom and wife. I need time with my girlfriends, to just be me. Once Neil returns and we have the party done, then it'll be my big priority - to get out in the evening. Take some time to recharge. And also start planning our next vacation, with all three of us there.

Friday, January 14, 2011

No one held me...

And still she took 2 small steps this morning, moving towards baba. TWO small steps, not just the one.


Still panicking here. Still so excited!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One small step for Maddy...

... one giant leap for bumps and bruises.

She did it. She stepped. Not walked (yet) but took one small step forward. She stepped. Forward. Stepped. Stepped. STEPPED...

I am so so so so excited and still so so so nervous about life with a (getting closer to) walking Nunu.

Someone hold me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

All she wants to do is... stand

The last few days I have been home with Maddy. And it's been wonderful to spend the time with her! I've noticed, now? All she wants to do is stand. Next to things, in the centre of the room, anywhere and everywhere. Today she stood a few inches from the water cooler. Then she decided she wanted to explore the water cooler... and she tried to walk forward to the cooler. She tried to move her feet and then got a little unstable and fell to her hands and knees and moved forward that way. But with her excellent balance, constant standing, walking along furniture or walking dragons... I know walking is on the horizon.


It's been coming for awhile, but I am not sure I am ready for this. Not at all sure.

Monday, January 10, 2011

She's becoming such a big girl

Maddy is changing daily, and everyday she's moving farther and farther from being a baby. And more and more into the little girl she's going to become.

We've started trying to redirect her, set some boundaries for things she can't do. Like eat the table. Or play with electrical cords. And when we say "no" or "ne mona" (Ukrainian for you can't) she'll stop, look at us and SCREAM, one sort burst of sound. Not really in anger, just in response to us thwarting her desires. And then she'll grin. And do what she wanted to. We keep saying no, she keeps squawking, then once she realizes we MEAN it... it's face scrunching up, open mouthed (and silent to start) CRYING. Big huge tears and all. She's a girl who knows what she wants.

But the cuter part of her knowing what she wants... when she's in our arms she'll look in a direction, point with her pointer finger (sometimes flexing that finger, to emphasize her desires) and say "DGIS". Which sounds remarkably like "this", and is her way of telling us to take her to whatever it is she's pointing at, she wants to explore. Which can be pictures or windows or balloons or the ceiling (dada can only reach that one). She's already telling us where to go...

At Christmas dido and baba bought Maddy a walking dragon  which she loves to make sounds with. But we've always had it facing the wall, so she can't move with it. Today I put it the middle of the room, on the carpet, and left it. Maddy stood up behind it and started making noises. And then it moved. And she followed behind it. On her feet. She walked. With assistance, of course. But she did it. We know walking isn't far off. Maddy has good balance already and will stand both holding on to things and also by herself. Sometimes she'll just stand up in the middle of the room as she's looking at something.

The start of language, the start of walking, the start of the toddler years. It's all starting. And now we just have to be ready to keep up with her...

Friday, January 7, 2011

More "omg I haven't posted in soooo long, I'm sorry" updates

Life? She continues to be crazy. And still I never seem to get around to posting... I keep hoping it'll all calm (and it almost is). Once Neil returns from his trip, we'll be in the clear. Maybe.

Happy Orthodox Christmas Eve!* Tonight we would normally be at baba and dido's eating and celebrating, but this is not a normal year. But we still had the food and the friends and the family! Just a bit earlier.

Yesterday dido went into hospital, to have surgery on his ankle. It's been bothering him for years, and this will hopefully fix the problem. But until it heals, it will be very painful. Right now he has a nerve blocker IV in his leg, numbing him completely from the knee down. Once that is removed? It will be quite hard for him. But in a few days he'll be out of hospital and will be home, where he can begin to heal. And we're bringing Maddy in whenever we can, to cheer dido up!

Maddy. Maddy! She is just so much FUN! Teething has been cruel to her, the last few weeks. But tooths 5 and 6 have made their appearance and hopefully we can take a break from teething for awhile. Hopefully. But otherwise she's standing and walking along furniture and eating the furniture and babbling like crazy. Much is "duck" right now, which when said loudly and with vehemence? Sounds kind of like something else... Ah well!

And we're planning a small birthday party for her. I can't believe we're sneaking up on a YEAR since labour started... Back to the point. We sat down and made a list of all the people we wanted to celebrate with... and it was huge. Then we sliced and diced the list. And it's still huge... But smaller huge. It will be a low-key affair. Some snacks, some drinks, some visiting and then cupcakes! I originally wanted to order a TARDIS cake (but pink). However, Neil talked me out of it, since no one would likely know what a TARDIS is. Including Maddy (she just likes the music to the show). I think the only real splurge will be helium balloons. Maddy saw some at the hospital and was enthralled. And helium balloons are something I always wanted at my birthdays, as a kid. One of the many joys of having a child is getting to (legitimately) be one again! We're having the party on January 29th. Because there were a few friends and then my mom's group all with kiddos are the same time, we're just happy we got the weekend we wanted. This Saturday we have 2 first birthday parties, then next weekend a first birthday party, then the weekend after yet another. Then Maddy's! But after this, it should calm for awhile. I hope.

So much hoping this post! Hoping for calm and no more teething and dido to heal rapidly. But life truly is wonderful. So wonderful that I sometimes get scared, wondering what will go wrong. Can life really stay as simple and happy and perfect as it is now? Do I really get to be that lucky? I have a wonderful husband, an amazing daughter, loving and supportive parents, two adorable dogs, a good job that I enjoy and a small but cozy home over my head... I have it all! And I have never in my life been happier!

* this was typed up Jan 6th, but I guess I didn't publish it until checking on it at work on Jan 7th (on my break). So... oops!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Toothing update

Maddy had 4 teeth and was showing all the signs of teething. Her 5th has broken gum (her upper right) and the other side is days from breaking too. Six teeth! And while the bottom 2 are close together the top ones (all four) are not. But it's adorable!

We survived the holidays!

We made it through Christmas and New Years!

Christmas Eve we went to my aunt and uncle's for food. We rushed off soon after dinner, missing the gift opening, because it was Maddy's bedtime. So much revolves around the sleep patterns of our child... But it was wonderful to catch up with family and visit and spend the time with my goddaughter.

In the morning we woke at our usual time and hung out until baba and dido came over. Maddy, this year, didn't really get Christmas. We tried to convince her to open her gifts but didn't push it when she showed no interest. Then she got sleepy and we put her down and Neil, mom, dad and I opened all the gifts. Maddy? She was SPOILED! And not so much by us. Look to baba and dido to see the culprits... But some we have put away until she's older/for something new. And much was clothes, which now fits her (my big big girl). We were running low on clothes, so that was a glorious set of gifts. After Maddy woke we have a huge brunch and then spent some time as a family, just visiting. Baba and dido left, to prepare dinner, and we spent time as a family. That evening it was over to baba and dido's for dinner and home (almost) on time for Maddy's bedtime.

Boxing day we went to visit with close friends and their family. They have three children and holding the new baby... I missed my baby Maddy, I already feel like those days are a lifetime away. But it was visiting and then home for someone's naptime, which we only kind of missed.

After 3 days of messed up bedtimes/naptime, Maddy was tired. We spent the next 2 days hanging out together and doing a few errands and enjoying the break from the rest of the world. And trying to get Maddy back to normal.

It was a quiet Christmas with family and food and visiting. But most importantly, it was about being together, as a family. And that made it one of the best Christmases ever, to share it with my Nunu.

New years has also now come and gone. It was meant to be an evening with baba and dido, and snacks, and then fondue once Maddy went to bed. But there were so many snacks, that the fondue was skipped. We shared some de-alcoholized "champagne" and then by 830pm baba and dido left and I had a bath and we tried to stay awake. By 1030 we were exhausted... and it was bedtime. We celebrated in the morning, over brunch with a friend. And that brings us to today, the day we're having our Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner! yes, it's very early, but dido has surgery for his ankle on January 5th so we're celebrating early. The first time in 20+ years we have... But no matter the date, it's the food and the company that matters! And it is possibly my favorite part of the holidays for me! Pics will be taken and posted!

Since it's been so long... some catch-up.

Maddy now has three moles! The original one on her belly, then a small dark mole on her lower back, now one on her chest/shoulder above the first one. Not surprising, considering how many I have... but it's fun to watch them pop up.

She is getting more and more... willful. This morning she found a mechanical pen I put too close to her reach. I took it away, it's dangerous. And? WAAAAAAAILING! She get so genuinely, heart-achingly sad when something doesn't go her way. Her little face scrunches up, tears come so instantly... it's complete distress. And it's happening more and more. She knows what she wants and she can't always communicate what that is. And that bothers her. A lot. And even when we do figure it out, we can't always give in to her. It's hard to see her upset, but boundaries start now.

Her words! Mum (or mama), Dad (or dada), baba, kook (cookie), chsss (cheese), DUCK/guck (duck), goo guur (good girl). She'll bark at the dogs in her own way, so she's picking up canine too... And the still constant "dgia" which we have no clue about.

Well, naptime is coming to an end soon and there is always something to be done. I have a list of 36 goals for 2011, the number decided on since it's how long I have been on this earth. I have done one already! Purge my kitchen or the things I never use. Maybe, when there is time, I will post the goals here and use you all for accountability... Maybe. As I digress, there is still laundry and cleaning and everything to do!

Happy 2011 to you all! 2010 has been the best year of my life, spending it with my family of three. Looking forward to seeing what 2011 will bring!