Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!

And now for something that may surprise you... PICTURES!

 The Birch sit. While Neil can't do this, his aunt and her daughters can. I love seeing the family traits leak into her behaviour. 

 Maddy and Daddy sharing nutells. Yes, Maddy was LOVING it. 

 Sleeping Nunu. She often wakes in this spot in the morning. One of the reasons that a crib won't be leaving her room any time soon. Well, that and OMG SHE'S STILL MY BABY! 

Sherman and Walter. And a huge mess in the living room. Maddy's existence has aged them both (grey face anyone?) but they are loved. And no longer bups, but pup-pee. 

There were more pictures I wanted to post but for some reason blogger doesn't want to change the direction and I give up!  Too many other things on the list of stuff to do. 

I never speak in absolutes*

For the last few months I have been saying that I am feeling content with the size of our family. I like the fact that adults outnumber kid and that one of us can tune out, the other will be able to cover it. I like the fact that we can devote our full attention to Maddy. I like the fact we don't have to move/do renos to make room for another child. After so so so much money thrown at this house, moving saddens me. Upgraded roof insulation, sump pump and weeping tile, air conditioning, a brand new and secure fence... plus the exisiting big garage and safe neighbourhood and close to daycare. I like the fact we aren't daycare-poor with one kiddo. I like the fact that we're past that period of time betwen when I go back to work and our most favorite daycare accepted kids. I love our family. But very recently...

I always thought if I had one, I would have 2. I didn't like being an only child growing up. But after aching hips, other joints and back. And the whole post-labour issue. And sleeplessness (and my lack of ability to cope with sleeplessness). And colic. And my AGE. And it all, I was feeling very happy with one. But there have been...

There are pregnat people EVERYWHERE and it's been long enough that I look at the waddling with wistfullness. And the sleeplessness and colic is fading into the background... I did it once, right? And Maddy really is so much fun but time is FLYING by and where did my baby go? And there is that special relationship siblings have. I don't really understand it, but I recognize that it could be so special. Or? The could hate each other. But the only way to know...

And the other one could be even more colicky. Or a worse sleeper. Or clingy. Or whiney. Or, I hate even saying this, could have health concerns. But what if they are the snuggler that Maddy is not? What if they sleep as well as Maddy? What if, because we have an inkling about sleep, that there wouldn't be the same level of colic?

But maybe it's not a for sure, in my mind, only three? Maybe?**

* And, yes, I realize what I said. It's meant to be "funny".

** And there is a VERY important other person that has to be 100% part of this decision. And I am only mentioning it here, to think it aloud here, and have not even brought it up to him... so if you're reading this honey? DON'T PANIC! Just blame the my-cycle-is-about-to-start hormones.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Month Seventeen Letter

My dearest Maddy,

Today you are 17 months old. Today Dada and I were talking about the Maddy that you were, as a baby, and the Maddy you are now. He mentioned he wanted to stop time right here and just enjoy this time with you for awhile. As awesome as you are now, every day you do or say or morph into something that is even MORE awesome than the day before. I am not sure I could stop time right now...

You are developing such a sense of humour! You will do things just to make us laugh. Sometimes it's things like let your milk fall out of your open mouth, because bad mum and dada laughed the first time, even though we tried so HARD not to. Or you'll crawl on our bellies as we lay on the ground and try to nom us. But you also are (already) pushing the boundaries. You have taken to climbing on top of the riding cars we have. We are pretty sure you understand that you are not supposed to , we say no and tell you to get down. But you insist on doing it. And as you are carefully standing, with no hands, you say with a smile "dow". Today both cars were taken from you. One on the dining room table and the other downstairs and you walked backwards off the car and nearly hit your head on the table. Dada's poor nerves just can't take it! You have so many words - daily another one. Nana (banana), "beaw" (bear), hat.. yet still so much frustration at not being able to fully express yourself. You hang (literally) off the countertops and yell in frustration as we scramble to figure out what snack or drink you want. But what you know, you are so proud of. You will open the grocery fliers and say beebee (baby), puppy (no longer bup), nana... whatever you can name you do. And it's awesome!

Today you were watching the creepiest show ever (Into the Night Garden). Well, I find it creepy. You find it enthralling and just sit and stare. But you were watching the Ninky-Nonk and I was taking that time to just stare at you. Watching you sit, topless on the carpet (you spilled a lot of milk on yourself) and play distractedly with Odg on your lap, while staring fixedly at this show. You noticed me staring and looked into my eyes. And smiled a quiet, secure smile. You know how much we love you.

And we do love you. So very completely and purely love you for exactly who you are and whoever you will become. You are our everything, my girl, every moment you are awake. But when you sleep? Mum and dada have fun on their computers, going out with friends... whatever we need to stay refreshed and the best parents ever, for you. And now? It's much past mum's bedtime and I must say goodnight. Happy 17 months, my girl.

Love always,


Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day, part 2. And version 2

Yesterday we had our second Father's Day celebration for this year, along with Neil's second Father's Day as a dad with a kiddo on the outside.

We celebrated (with a fancy dinner of prime rib) 3 weeks ago, due to crazy scheduling issues. Mostly, my dad works Sundays at a golf course and isn't home in time for Maddy's dinner time. And what's the point of celebrating fathers day if my dad isn't there? But then rain intervened on the real Father's Day and we all got together again (corned beef this time). We hung out at baba and dido's and watched Hurricane Maddy tear the place apart. As she was playing with the wooden pysanky, baba was counting them with her. "One, two, three, four, five..." and Maddy, as she played, nonchalantly said "one, two, tree". We all stopped and stared at Maddy. We prompted her. And once more, "one, two, tree". A few of us (me included) had tears in our eyes as we listened to our little girl count. Does she understand the abstract concept behind counting? Hells no. But she was able to recite "one, two, tree". We even got it on video!

It's amazing us all, how quickly she's picking up language. It's not too surprising, since I guess both Neil and I were early-ish talkers. But it's still so much more... emotional... than I thought it would be. I never thought hearing Maddy count to three would move me to tears. I thought it would be fun to hear her count, but not this. I am just so completely proud of her, when she accomplishes something new. More than for anything I have ever done myself.

This morning I took Maddy to daycare and we walked into the toddler room. Maddy normally wanders around there, until we go together into the big kid room. This morning, my fearless girl walked out of the toddler room, into the next one. All I heard, as I watched her round the corner, was a huge "HAI" and people responding with a hi back. I followed her in, and she was already in the science area, playing with whatever she could find, pointing to the bins and naming "bear". She barely acknowledged my kiss and hug and goodbye. Too intent on the things in front of her, on whatever she could explore and learn. My little girl, no longer my baby.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I promised myself that next time I blogged that I would post pics. And then life got busy and the batteries died in the camera and the replacement batteries were waaaaaay up one flight of stairs and then we went away and then... PICTURES!*

 Lazy Daisy resting and watching TV. This is a normal Nunu just before bed. 

 Compared to this, a sleeping Nunu. Hard to see her actual size under her awesome Sleep Huggers sack. Colour chosen by dada. 

 Morning Maddy face. Every weekday morning Maddy has milk, toast with marmalade and fruit. Mostly because anything more requires thought and mum doesn't do that well in the morning. 

Maddy is learning about how to climb onto things. She's taken to standing on her dragon and rolling around on it. I blame daycare for teaching her to let her feet leave the floor. Or maybe just growing up... Either way? It's a different world with a climber. In the background you can see a dada and 2 bups, all relaxing. 

Maddy watching (more TV) from her little chair. It has since been moved up to the top of the armoire (for the reason in the previous picture). But she loved the chair and loved the fact "Doo-Rah" was on it. One day, it will return. We hope. 

Life continues to be good. We went to Calgary (sans Nunu) for a friend's 40th birthday dinner. And we're just spending the days since then catching up on everything that still needs doing around the house and also trying to get over a silly daycare/summer cold. 

Oh! The weekend before last we had family pictures taken! Check out a few of them here. So wonderful to have these memories captured. Can't wait to pick the ones to hang on our wall. Our family. Our happy, wonderful, perfectly-imperfect family.

* I have a new laptop which I love! However, I am also a wee bit lazy about installing even the most rudimentary editing programs I have. So? Pics are completely unedited and for that - sorry! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Things I want to remember...

Daily Maddy does something that awes us. And there are so many things that I fear I will forget. My memory... it's just not made to hold moments for the long term. So? I blog! (frantically over lunch, but I blog)

We have started tickling her hand. We slowly run one finger in circles on her palm and then up her arm. Yesterday, at dinner, Maddy reached out for my hand and ran her finger in one or two circles on my palm. Then she quickly stopped and flipped her palm up for tickles back. She scratched our back? She wanted her's scratched back (and for much longer).

Yesterday morning when I went in to get Maddy out of her crib she was awake and laying on her back. I leaned over to whisper my good mornings and she looked me in the eye, held her palm out to me and pointed to it. I gently held her hand and lightly tickled her palm as her hand relaxed in mine. This simple act brought tears to my eyes... I remember, when I was a little girl, being woken by my parents and having mom on one side and dad on the other, both tickling my arms as I slowly woke. This time, I was the mom. I was gently waking my daughter, starting her day off on a happy note.

Maddy is always talking to us now. There is a constant stream of chatter (and constant motion) in our house now. Around and around and over and under and through... Maddy is a perpetual motion machine, powered by the sounds of her babbling. And while the sounds don't quite make sense, the one and speed and pauses? Sounds just like conversation. It's awesome!

She's walking more and more, when we go out. She MAYBE is starting to get the fact that she must hold Mum's hand when we're out. And if no hand holding? She's in my arms, or dada's arms or the stroller. No exceptions. No matter how adorable it is to see her trying to figure a way around it.

She's also spending a lot of time naming her family. Mum, Dada, Baba, Dido (and she's even syaing Dido well!). Over and over, she names her family. The people that will always be there for her.

What animal noises does she now know... Dog (bow wow). Sheep (baaaa). Horse (neeeeeigh). Frog (her own variant of ribbit). Train (choo choo). Monkey (eee eeee). Cow (moooo). We're working on cat (meee-ow) and pig (oink) but nothing yet. She knows the words tickle (tick-o), up (said... well... up), down (dow), all done (all doe), all good (all gooo), nite-nite (aka, bedtime said nie-nie). She says sit (pronounced shit. Yes, shit). And book (booka-booka). She knows kitty (ki-eee) and dog/pup (bup). And Elmo and Dora (Eh-mo and Dooo-ah). And the favorite in the whole world, Roger (Odg). And Mimi, if Odg doesn't come when called. She knows shoe and tree. And hi and bye. And baby (bee-bee). And cookie and cheese and apple (app). Nuck (which means milk - and there is NO correcting her). And eye (although often she'll point to her ear and say eye, other times it's to an eye). Nose and mouth are on their way. She's said bubble and red and yellow and octopus and other things mimicking us. PEEEEASE? is being learned as a way to get what she wants. And the constant "dis?" or "dat?". And then sometimes she's getting 2 words together - hai bup! I think sometimes, when she's not trying, it's easier to say things. When she tries to repeat them, she gets lost in it all. But if you sitback and just listen to her conversations, they are filled with the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.

Dammit. Lunch over. More frantic blogging another day... And pics to come too.

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's all happy*

I think we're finally past Maddy's virus (just a wee residual cough) and there doesn't appear to be more teething... And so Maddy is her happy and easy going normal self! I have to say it again, I love my daughter because she is my daughter but I love her personality too - she's just such a fun and easy-smiling little girl! On Tuesday we clinked glasses, to celebrate the 2 amazing dad's in the room. Clinking glasses? HILARIOUS! So much in life is hilarious!

Every morning when we walk into daycare we start in the toddler room and I sign Maddy in then change her shoes and hang her coat and put her lunch by the fridge. Next we move to the older kid room. And Maddy starts every morning at the "Science Lab". She looks around, grabs the bottles of rocks or dirt or colours and shakes and plays. She touches everything in the area then wanders off to the rest of the room. She'll linger by the leggo, then most often it's to the books and she's pointing and asking "dis?" or naming what she can. The staff at the daycare have positive things to say about Maddy's development. They are happy with her language skills and say she's soon going to be a talker. She's just a happy and easygoing child. We are so unbelievably lucky to have such a great kid.

Sometimes I wonder why/how we are so blessed. I think most of it is just Maddy's personality, which we lucked out on. But maybe part of it is that we really try to focus on her and provide mostly positive reinforcement to her actions (the kid LOVES to be praised). And we both work so hard on not sweating the small stuff, we're careful which issue to make a battle. And, honestly, unless her safety is in jeopardy there are few battles worth fighting. Well, her safety and that Og is NOT allowed in the bath with her in the evening. Which, let me tell you, led to an epic bath time meltdown the other day. But back to the point, I think because we don't stress too much that Maddy doesn't either. Those times when one (or both) of us are edgy and angry and short, we can see it in Maddy's reactions to everything. When we can't handle it, she can't handle anything.

Right now Maddy's favorite thing in the world (more than even mum and dada) is Og. Nothing makes her squeal in joy and smile more. The next favorite (although I think mum and dada are above this one) is books. Maddy loves to look at books, be read to. Now she grabs them (never upside down) and reads to herself. I can just hear her quiet whispers as she reads aloud whatever story she sees. She also loves "Eh-mo" and trains and "bups" and "ki-ee". She has taken to walking backwards, while distracted, and giving us heart attacks as she nearly falls. She can reach the top of the dining room table, the place where we put most stuff that she shouldn't have, which honestly leaves nothing that is free from her fingertips. OK, the back of the kitchen counters and the centre of the table are still safe. Barely... If I knew then what I know now? I think I would have bought higher bookshelves (that would have been attached to the wall) just so there was SOME place on the main floor free from her grasp.

And how are we doing, you ask? Well, let me tell you! (And, yes, I know that no one has asked but I wanted to tell you anyway, I needed some sort of transition). Neil has now lost about 35-40 pounds since Christmas-ish. And like a man, he lost it by making small changes in his diet. No desserts at lunch, smaller portion sizes, eating home more (and the non-processed meals I make). And, by doing just as much, I have lost about 10 pounds. A far cry from my goal of about 20-ish by now. But we're both stepping up the effort and we're both jogging. Neil goes hard with a cardio trainer app and comes home sweating and manly. I take the dogs and we walk more than jog most of the time.

The first time I went for a jog I put on sweat pants and runners, grabbed the leash and we were off! I started slow, but by the end of the first block my (now) non-smoker lungs were doing great and I was able to keep going to the next block. But while my legs felt good and my lungs felt good and the dogs were still with me, my pelvic floor was not doing as well. I was dribbling with every step. A big dribbling. Even though I wanted to keep jogging, I just couldn't. We still walked for awhile but I came home feeling defeated and ashamed. My body had failed me spectacularly.

I didn't want to go for a jog ever again. I didn't want to feel that sense of humiliation again. I wanted to stay home, feel sorry for myself and sit on the couch. But after much love and support from Neil, I peed until I couldn't pee anymore, put on a good thick pad, replaced my bra with a sports bra and THEN put on the sweats, runners and grabbed the leash. And we went for jog-walk #2. And I am not going to say the pelvic floor was flawless but with the preparation I did really well. And my lungs did well, and my legs did well! In fact, the thing that failed first? The DOGS. My out of shape aging "bups" were lagging behind and being dragged. When I tried to sprint the last block? Yah... no. There was nothing left in their little weak legs. We walked instead.

Very long post later... Everything? It's all happy.

*written Thursday night but I forgot to publish it, so published Friday morning - on my break. I am not wasting taxpayer dollars!