Sunday, February 27, 2011

This n' that

Tonight Neil and I are sitting, relaxing, computering and watching the Oscars. Someone won, and this someone said "To my daughter, who has taught me more than I could ever teach her". Those words brought tears to my eyes... the truth of them hit me at my core. The last 13 months have made my life make sense, my world is clear, my purpose realized. I am meant to be the mother to my most amazing little girl. I have already learned patience and priorities, what truly matters, how beautiful the sound of laughter can be and how much joy one small human can bring to life. This little girl? She is also possibly the only person in existence to wear bright red jeggings with flair and panache.  Well, maybe just wear them and look absolutely freaking adorable.

Tonight Maddy woke with a cry, and I went in to check on her. She was distraught because she was on one end of the crib and her Roger (teddy) on the other. Once Roger was in her arms, she nestled into my arms and calmed. And I held my girl, smelled the shampoo in her hair and sang her the lullaby I always do. And I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Month Thirteen Letter

My dear Maddy,

You are motoring your way (literally) into the second year of your life! You are a walking and exploring machine and NOTHING can stop you. Well, except the change in flooring between the laminate and the rug - that used to get you every time although you're better at lifting your feet now.

There is very little pre-toddler left in your life. No bottles, no baby food... Although are still in your crib! Not ready to even begin thinking of changing that yet. You are a pretty mobile sleeper and I could see a few falls out of bed. Although, we're never really sure about how (and when) you sleep. We shut the door and can't open it again until morning. Which is defined by when you start talking. Are you up before then? Maybe... We can't check on you, since it'll wake you every time and you are NOT happy to be woken up. I miss the days when before I'd go to sleep I'd go into your room, check to make sure you had your blanket/Roger and were peacefully breathing. Before we dropped your crib to the lowest level I'd also lightly kiss your forehead. Now I huddle next to your baby monitor and strain to hear you breathe or move before I can close my eyes for the day.

We have booked your spot in daycare and you start in just over 2 months! And your crazy mama has already started thinking about what will need to be done every morning and how much more rushed it will all be. Luckily I am now able to get ready in less than 10 minutes (10 minutes if I need to straighten my hair). There was a time when I'd even look in the mirror before leaving for work. Now, I glance down and hope it matches and I am clean. And with the bottle you wanted breakfast later but without the bottle? Breakfast needs to be pretty soon after waking, which will be good once the daycare days start. Although mama doesn't function as well immediately. Another thing I'll learn to do!

You are such a social little girl! We can take you to new places and to new people and you are calm and curious. You may not instantly warm to them, but you rarely get upset. You take it all in stride and adapt quickly to a new place. Finally, a trait like your mama! You really are your dada's daughter and are so much like him.

Every day, every second with you, is amazing. You are our world, Maddy. Every month sees so much change, it's like having a brand new Nunu! Here's to another month of walking and moving and learning and exploring.

We love you so much, Maddy.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our first bottle-free day

Yesterday morning I gave Maddy her last bottle. We were down to the one. And now we're down to none... She doesn't need formula and I don't want to get into the giving her milk in her bottle. Plus the docs are very anti-bottle come a year old. I have replaced her bottles with glasses of milk. Not as filling and she needed breakfast much earlier than usual. But no more bottles...

No more bottles.

She's also loving the walking thang. She lifts her knees and walks with her feet out to the side. And it's the most adorable thing I have possibly ever seen! She's falling a lot too, but quickly picks herself up and keeps on trucking. I think she's about 80% bipedal now.

She's becoming such a big girl now. And it's not going to slow down, it's not going to move at a leisurely pace. NOW I understand the need for a second child, it's to hold onto that fleeting babyhood. And, no, there are no plans for another! I just understand why others do it... not US :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Better than I could have dreamed!

Maddy did better than I could have dreamed in the car! She slept for about 1 hour on the way there and only got really fussy as we approached Lloyd. Then she napped for about another hour from Lloyd to Saskatoon, and again was fussy only when we got close. Driving home she slept pretty much from Saskatoon to Lloyd and was up from Lloyd to almost outside Edmonton but was pretty calm and just snacked and played with toys and looked out the window. There was some fussing, but NOTHING like I was expecting. Ah, kids... they do what they can to keep you on your toes. Well, put you firmly on the ground if you were expecting to be on your toes? Whatever the metaphor, Maddy was great in the car.

And she was also on her best behaviour at family's place. She didn't have a complete meltdown at any time, or play strange or throw up on anything valuable or try to eat their furniture (although as soon as we got home she tried to chomp on the coffee table here...). She did get a little upset when some cousins left... she really gets so sad when people go now. But she was her usual Maddy-awesome and we were so proud of her.

And the weekend was filled with family and love and visiting and getting to know and re-know each other. It wasn't nearly long enough to get all the stories shared, but soon we'll get together again. There was even a little party for her, with yummy banana cake (which we were supposed to take, but was forgotten in the fridge, sadly). And Maddy opened her first gift! For the first time, she took an interest in the bag and paper and pulling the stuff out. And she also had her first bath in a big-girl tub. She didn't look too small for the tub... and that was a little sad. My baby is a toddler now. Speaking of toddling... She spent the entire weekend walking and walking and walking. Their floors are beautifully carpeted and Maddy was able to easily walk and there was so much space for her to practice in, with just enough furniture to give her something to aim for.

In short, it was a perfect weekend. And now we'll more confidently make car trips. Although you KNOW that means the next time, when we expect this weekend's Maddy we'll get a fussing, screaming, little muffin-head. Because that's just how parenthood goes...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our longest (and farthest) journey yet!

This weekend Neil, Maddy and I are heading out to Saskatoon* to visit Neil's family. My first chance to visit Neil's family! I am so excited to meet everyone and can't wait to get there. But this is also going to be our longest trip with Maddy, double the time (7 hours versus 3.5 hours). And we'll be there for 2 nights. So far Madds has only been away from home one night. It's our double/double trip! And Maddy is at a phase in her development where she's all about GO GO GO GO. She doesn't like to sit still, she wants to go and explore and touch and walk... and tantrum when she doesn't get her way.

Speaking of tantrum... Is that normal? To have heart-wrenching MELTDOWNS when she is moved (and she didn't want to be), or something is taken away (that she wanted) or she isn't carried to her desired location to explore (as we hold her, she crooks her finger and says "DGISH"). I have started trying to remember to tell her what is happening, to warn her that I am taking something away or I have to pick her up. Or change her diaper. Wow, changing her diaper has become a fit-producing event. Or baba leaving leads to cries. But not mama. And that doesn't hurt. Much. Anyway. Telling her sometimes prevents as much of a meltdown. Only sometimes. I think we're at that awkward phase of all the tantrums and limited ability communicate/rationalize with her...

Well, tomorrow will be packing and prepping food and making sure we have absolutely everything for a one year old to travel with. Pics will be taken, happy stories of family and (hopefully) successful tales of travelling** will be shared upon our return.

* We have people staying at the house and an alarm, in case anyone is thinking of robbing us. My mom made me post that... she gets worried when I mention we're away. WE ARE PROTECTED ROBBERS!

** Anyone have an opinion on driving all evening/night Sunday versus leaving Monday morning and driving all day? Night driving - negatives: driving in the dark, having to stay awake, coming home in the middle of the night and still having to get up with Maddy in the morning, positives: Maddy sleeps through the travelling. Day driving - positives: sun. awake drivers. negative: awake Maddy.

*** - and no, I didn't put three stars in the blog text but wanted to chronicle that we switched Maddy's car seat on Monday! We drove with her in it, on Tuesday and she was comfy and still fell asleep. With her being almost the size of a 2 year old? It was just time...

Monday, February 14, 2011

So totally walking

Since Saturday Maddy is always walking, or trying to. It's exciting and frightening. She's so unstable but so insistent. And she's taken to learn running too - she puts one hand on the coffee table and runs around the table. Running practice! But every single time she tries, she gets better and better and better. Faster, more stable. What an amazing little girl we have.

Today I had my first chiro appointment, to see if something can be done to fix my aching hips. And then x-rays and errands and picking up the paperwork for daycare. Oh! Daycare! We're in at the place we want, Neil saw it and likes it, and I still feel so so so so so happy there. What a productive Monday.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Walking...? Ish?

Well, I think Maddy is walking. She walks but is she walkING? I dunno... Everyday, more and more, she's bipedal. She stands in the centre of the room and takes as many as 7 steps. Or to and from furniture. But still much of her locomotion is on her hands and knees. It's such a gradual process, when do we call it there? I arbitrarily call it... TODAY! Maddy is walking.

And today I also cut her hair. Her bangs were tickling her nose and we spent so much time brushing them to the side. And the barrettes? They were, more and more, becoming a snack. So today after errands, when Neil was downstairs, I grabbed the kitchen shears and snipped. They are uneven but so much better than what was before. Today? Maddy had her first haircut.

February 12th is a day to remember.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The time to capture the last time...

Every day we're taking steps further and further from baby-hood. We've eliminated the afternoon bottle and tonight I gave Maddy what we're intending on being her last night bottle. I had Neil take pictures of the last night bottle. And the pictures? Are HIDEOUS. I mean, Maddy is awesome cute. I am the hideous one. I was going to share... and now nope. Anyway, the only bottle left is her morning one... Bottles (and formula) will soon be left behind. And with that being one of the only times we can snuggle with Maddy? It saddens me. But for everything we leave behind, there are 5 new things to celebrate.

Maddy is still not walking independently - although tonight she was almost running laps around the coffee table. She's not talking in "real" words but is often chattering away in her own little language. Tonight she was in an awesome mood - she has been fragile of late, with teething and immunization and a little cold - and we had a blast laughing and tickling and reading books. When we sing "Head and Shoulders" she starts acting out by grabbing her head and then watches intently as I finish the actions. She claps her hands at Pat-a-Cake. She knows what her tongue is and will stick it out when we talk about it. And her little, tiny, 1 year old tongue? Adorable! She's getting good about identifying "duck" and will ask for mum, dad and baba. She's awesome! Being her mom is an honour and I can't imagine loving anything more than her.

But I am starting to do something I said I wouldn't. I am comparing... Other kids are walking already, talking more, signing more, turning on complicated TV sets... and then I wonder if I am doing something wrong in that Maddy isn't. Should I be doing more? Reading more? Videos? Flash cards? Should I spend more time teaching her and less time rolling on the floor nibbling her belly until she collapses in fits of laughter? And when I think that... when I think Maddy isn't doing enough... I feel guilty, I feel sad... that already looking to find her lacking. And I do not want to do that or be that. But I have to be honest, as I chronicle her childhood, that I could become that person if I forget to enjoy the now. And the now really is so wonderful! Maddy is exactly where she should be. Please don't let me forget that...

And to celebrate blogging twice in a week - woot! - a few pics this time!

Maddy's signs of sleepy - thumb sucking and holding onto Roger, her teddy. Oh Roger... never leave us! You have become an important part of our little family. 

Maddy in her birthday outfit (the same christmas tutu and a Boston Terrier tee) with some of the decorations - a clothesline with Maddy's little outfits from the first few months and photographic evidence that she really was that small! 

Singing happy birthday to Maddy! The skirt and tights have been removed and a blanket laid down to protect us all from the mess (that never occurred). Maddy was MUCH more interested in the plastic milk bottle toys than us singing or the cupcake. 

No interest in the food. But for some reason as she sat there and ate/played her little leg kept lifting up. My girl? She does it her way! 

Still in the air... What? 

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's not you... it's me

Hello again, dear neglected blog. It's been... a week? Already? Wow, that was a fast week... And it's not that there is a problem with you, it's a problem with me (and illness and time management and laziness and...).

At a training session on campus right now. While the bureaucrats ate and are now bored and surfing the net, the instructor is off doing... other stuff? And wanted his full hour for lunch. So here we sit, the 4 students of Access. So this industrious mom is using her time to visit the now often neglected blog. And update (this time without pics... what I mean is AGAIN without pics).

Maddy is awesome! She's been fighting the teeth for weeks now and we finally have a break. After this little stretch we now have 4 upper teeth and 3 on the bottom. And the are adorable and gappy! Otherwise life is good. Maddy is still THIIIIIIS close to walking. Yesterday at a birthday dinner at my parent's place, she stood in the centre of the room, watching TV and holding something. As we all watched Maddy took FOUR little steps towards the TV and then once she realized what she was doing? Drop the floor and crawling. We know the walking is coming soon and then a whole new world opens up for her (and us).

Otherwise she's constantly talking to us. Her words? They don't quite make sense yet. But they are said with great care and deliberation. This morning as I was changing her pants the word was "dgoost". She'd say it, then look at me expectantly. Then try a slight variation... "dgust"? And once again look for a reaction. I have to admit, I smile and clap and cheer for any of her words, real or not. It's adorable to hear her try, and awesome that this communication has started.

Now that we see Maddy's personality begin to emerge, we have started the daydreaming about what is to come. Asking her what she wants for dinner tonight, and then explaining how we can't have oranges AGAIN for dinner. Singing songs with her. Hearing her call out "Mommy! Daddy! WATCH ME!" as she slides down the slide. Although we're pretty sure we're mum and dad - not mommy and daddy. Although we constantly refer to ourselves as mama and dada (t0 Maddy, not at work or anything) she calls us mum and dad only. Which is still pretty freaking adorable, if you ask me.

Well, my instructor - who appears to be a conspiracy theorist fan - is instructing us on how the US has recalled all their ambassadors and there is a new world currency about to be created and that China has called their debt repayment from the US and that parcels of US land are going to be labelled as China and used to manufacture Chinese goods and... Well. Ya. But it's now time to learn again! Hope he sticks more to Access databases and less to conspiracy. Lemme guess, he's a fan of the new Jesse Ventura show...