Friday, July 29, 2011

Still? Awesome.

Yesterday Maddy had her 18 month immunization. Both Neil and I were stressed all day about it. But? It was only ONE needle. And then we're DONE UNTIL SHE'S GOING TO KINDERGARTEN! Can you tell I am a bit happy about that one? I hate the pokes.

Maddy was awesome. She stared in confusion at the needle as it went into her arm... and once the liquid started to flow there were tears. But? Extra special treats (toddler ju-jubes and apple juice) were enough of a distraction to make her forget. And there was no real mood changes. No need for analgesics, even. She was awesome.

Maddy is about 80th percentile for height, 92nd-ish for weight and about 92nd-ish for head. So? On the bigger side. But she's following the curve almost perfectly. She is awesome.

The nurse made a comment about her vocabulary, which is pretty large for her age. And it's still growing daily. I took it one way (the negative way) and Neil interpreted it to be positive. When we showed off her animal sound naming, which we love to do, the nurse said "My, you must work really hard to get her to know that". I took it to mean "OMG YOU CHINESE TIGER MOM" and immediately got a little defensive and denied that we flash card our kid all the time - she's just a verbal kid. Neil took it to mean, "Wow, you guys must really spend time with her and giver her attention". Maybe she meant something in between? But whatever the case, Maddy? She's awesome.

I was at the immunization appointment early (oops) and instead of waiting there were went next door. To the library. Maddy's first time there! She's now the proud holder of a library card. And mine is renewed. But Maddy... oh Maddy! I think she thought she'd entered heaven. As I was doing the paperwork she demanded "DOWN!" until I finally let her go. Always within eye sight, but able to walk around. Then she got to pick out a book from the drawer. Oh wow, that was exciting! So many to pick up, exclaim over, then casually throw over her shoulder. Finally we went to the kid's section. Books. Everywhere! And perfect sized chairs. And a computer with ELMOO! on it. Or ZOOO-EEE! Maddy was just overcome with (loud, loud, loud) joy. Daddy met us there and we had fun watching our girl have fun. Then? It was time to leave. We made her LEAVE THE HAPPY PLACE. We try the we're leaving in 2 minutes. 1 minute. Maddy doesn't get that. She only understood when we picked her up. Then it was all ear-splitting SCREAMS OF PROTEST! Neil and I just put our heads down and motored out of there, as the confused patrons stared. But, we know where to take Maddy on rainy days when she just needs out of the house! Awesome!

With no segue... This weekend we are buying our first potty. Well, not OUR first potty. Maddy's first. She's starting to understand when she poos and pees and will walk herself to the change table. I have no thoughts of Maddy being fully potty trained anytime soon. But we're starting the journey to controlled evacuation. Which, despite the fear... is pretty awesome.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Month Eighteen Letter

My Maddy-girl,

This one feels special. This one is a delineation... It marks a new size in clothes (although you're well past the size), it brings you into the realm of no more months but years in age. It makes you a toddler. And? You are definitely acting your age!

Your vocabulary BLOWS OUR MINDS DAILY. There is no way to overstate how many times a day your dad and I look at each other quizically. "Did YOU know she knew that word??!". I chronicled 52 in an earlier post. Now? I think you're closer to 75 words and sounds. More? You have started on adjectives. You know soft now... When we ask if your teddy is soft you gently pet its head. Last night we introduced you to pickles. More on that in a bit... but you were NOT a fan. So? Dad and I jumped and sang about how good pickles were! And within a few repetitions you were saying pickle!! Were you eating it? Hells no... but you said it.

You know clock (but don't pronounce the "L"), fork (which comes out as "fook"), sit (pronounced with an "sh"). THOSE are fun. But you can name The Count and Zoe and Bert and Bird and sort of Ernie from Sesame Street. You know shirt and hat and foot and hand and now have eye, ear, nose and mouth (mouff) down. You know grape (you say "grate") and every berry or cherry or even nub on your toothbrush is "GRATE!". Even this morning at daycare, I was in the other room and overheard the staff marvelling at your vocabulary.

And you love to communicate with us - you love that you can get your point across. And this has lead to MUCH hilarity. A new favorite game between us is the sneezing game. The game? We sneeze. At each other. Hmm... doesn't SOUND like much fun but there is a call and answer part (I say "ah" you say "CHOOO"), there is the mimicing part (I say "ah ah aaaaaah CHOOOOO" and you say it back). Or you call and I answer. And then sometimes I mix up up and say "aaaaah BOINK" which makes you giggle like mad.

Yesterday we went to the doctor, for your check up. And? You're awesome. You're meeting milestones. You're about 32" tall (70th percentile) and about 27 lbs (90the percentile). I'll get the confirmed numbers for you on Thursday (for your needle-poke appointment). But the doctor has no concerns, except maybe for you to drink more milk. But we also get much yogurt and cheese and other dairy goodness in you.

Food. Food! Food... from the start you have been a good eater. You eat what's in front of you and a good amount. I must admit to feeling a little smug in how awesome you were with the eating. And now? Not so much. You know what you want, and you're perfectly ok to pass on whatever is in front of you if you aren't in the mood for it. And new things? Like pickles? Nope. You gently place it on your tongue and quickly pull it off. At least you're still attempting to eat the food and not just looking at it and deciding it isn't good. The only thing you consistently eat right now is fruit. You demand to have the fridge opened, then you (by yourself) open the fruit drawer and grab "APPO!" or "ORNG!". Orange may be an orange or lemon, which you proceed to bite a HUGE chunk out of. And then I step in and peel it for you. I'll give you a few pieces in a bowl and then you wander off. I'll finish cutting the orange and have more ready just as you return and ask "MOAR ORNG!". Ask? Demand? Well, whatever it is, it is more orange. With your apple (or peach or nectarine or plum) you just grab it and go. And like a big girl you eat away. After a few minutes your face and hands (and neck and shirt and arms) are covered in juices but you're so proud to announce "ALL DOH!" and hand back a 3/4 nibbled fruit... You're getting pretty awesome with the spoon. It's a messy process, but you are so proud when you get it done. And we're so rpoud of you. Always.

Your independence is rearing its awesome (yet sometimes a little frustrating) head. I am so proud that you want to brush your teeth yourself! I am also completely stymied on how *I* can get in there and brush your teeth properly, before you go at it. I was combing your hair the other day and you inisited "ME!" as you grabbed the comb and began trying to comb your own hair. And this will be the next 20 or so years... me setting boundaries and you pushing them, letting me know when you're ready to take the next step. And hopefully I can let you go, with grace, my Maddy. I hope I can be there, also, to catch you if you stumble. Hold your hand until you're ready to set off again.

Happy year and a half, my girl.

Love you always and forever,


Thursday, July 21, 2011

And we're back to three! (five if you include the dogs)

Well. Hello there! Welcome back, me, to this kinda neglected blog. But I am back! And still stupidly busy. And still kind of lazy. And still drowning in stuff to DO. But I am back.

Friday afternoon Neil's family descended. And there were 5 people at our place (2 adults, 3 kids) and 2 more adults at my mom's. And it was WONDERFUL. The house always had movement and energy and I felt more active and engaged. I loved having a house full! Maybe I was a Duggar in a past life... But way too quickly they all left and the house was empty again. Monday, it was just me and the Madds at home. And the dogs. And it was... still. We spent the day lazing around and reading "BOOOK!" and watching TV and tidying up. And then Tuesday Madds went to daycare and I still had a day off to do errands (like an oil change and groceries and stopping for an obscure ingredient for a recipe at a specialty store). Those things that are hard to do with an active and curious toddler. And then it was back to work on Wednesday. And then this afternoon Maddy and Daddy were sick and home early. So one/both will be home tomorrow. And the weekend is only ONE DAY AWAY! Tomorrow night we have a wedding (health permitting), so baba is getting some Maddy time. And the weekend is already filled with errands and chores and stuff (health permitting). But, taking us back to LAST weekend. The Baptism.

Sunday July 17th 2011. In the basement of the Amenity Hall at my parent's retirement community. There were about 50-ish people and Uncle Tom officiated. And the ceremony was perfect! The food delicious (thanks to my mom) and the guests happy and friendly. I had a wonderful time seeing those family members that I never seem to see and visiting and laughing and forgetting to eat and losing my wine all the time (I eventually gave up). Maddy was such a well behaved girl, once she had her Odg in her arms. It was a perfect coming together of family and friends to welcome Maddy into our community. I made one mistake in seating strangers together. And forgot to thank my dad (ugh!) and forgot to specifically thank the people who travelled so far to come and celebrate with us. But, well... I never thought about a speech!

Now there are thank you cards to write and those everyday things we ignored need to be done. But I still miss my new extended family and wish they were still here. Or lived closer. I remembered how awesome MY family is and wish we could do more together. I remembered the importance of the extended community I live in and the need to visit with them more often. And thank them for being there. And tell them ALL how much I love them! Now that Maddy is here, it's even more important that I hold on to these relationships. So that Maddy can know a world filled with family and love and crazy Ukrainians and polite Englishmen (and women). I see many family dinner at our place in the future... and I can't wait!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And the family descends!

This weekend Neil's Aunt & Uncle and Cousin & 2 kids and Cousin & 1 kid all descend into Edmonton and we're having a FAMILY WEEKEND! And Maddy's baptism Sunday, which Neil''s uncle is officiating. This is the first time that they will meet my parents, only the second time I have met them. They are sweet and loving and kind. They are first bit of family-through-marriage they we have a relationship with. I am so excited to have them come and meet the crazies in my family!

It's taken me hours of list writing (and re-writing and re-organizing) and delegation of many tasks (thanks mom!) but we're nearing that point where we may ACTUALLY be ready. There are a few groceries to get tonight and a few more from Costco tomorrow. The housekeeper comes in the morning to clean the main and top floor, we cleaned the basement already. Our invasion of the freaking annoying ants has been stopped. Oh yah... more on that in a bit. The family arrives Friday late afternoon. Friday dinner is at my parent's. Saturday they are doing touristy things and then dinner is at our place. Sunday I grab the cake and the cheeses... then we baptise! We may just be ready. But, really, my mom has done 90% of it all (once more, thanks mom!).

Back to the ants. Yesterday, when I was leaving for work with Maddy, I noticed about 6 ants inside our back door, on the landing. IN the house. We have an ant hill in the front yard and one establishing itself in the back. The backyard-ant-igans have occassionally caught a ride in with a person, but never this many. I was running just-on-time and didn't want to be late, so Maddy and I were off. When I got to work I texted Neil and let him know about the ant issue them promptly forgot about it. When I got home? There were at least 50 in the house, making their way down the stairs to the basement and being generally really really icky. Neil started on the whatever-he-needed-to-do-to-make-it-stop. I made dinner. We have an old house, that has shifted with all the rain and recent foundation work. There is about a 1/2 centimeter gap between the door frame and door, at the bottom. And the buggers were just wandering in, searching for food. A bunch of caulking later and the stream was less, but they were still coming in. Finally, Neil moved our bottle recycling container (which was leaking bits of sugary pop and other liquids) which took away the ant's nearby food source. That and caulking? No more ants. However, my little dust buster? FILLED with squashed and still kinda alive ants. I couldn't kill them all so I was a mean and horrible person and I just vacuumed them up. And then begged Neil to be the one who cleaned the hand held vacuum out next because... well... ICK.

Well, the weekend will be filled with family and visiting (and pictures) but not much blogging. Until next week!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy birthday Dada!

Today is Neil's (late) thirty-somethingth birthday! We were talking, this weekend, about meeting/starting dating when he was 29. And 8 years later (ha! I just outted his age!) here we are. Married, with an awesome kiddo, and a house and 2 crazy dogs...

We had a quiet day of celebration - just went for dinner to a family friendly place and spent much of the time entertaining Maddy as she insisted it was time for "DOW!" even though the food had yet to arrive. Then one last nigth of quiet before the panic sets in and we have to get ready for the arrival of many family and the baptism. Tonight I looked around the house and saw those things that needed to be done... Yikes! But it'll all come together (or close enough) and we'll have a wonderful weekend of visiting. And hopefully I'll remember to take many pictures!

Many of the blogs I read have drama. Illness, struggles, sadness. It makes for a much more interesting read than this blog. Here? While it's not perfect, it's pretty damn good. We're happy. We're lucky. It's maybe not an interesting read, but it's exactly what I want my life to be.

In the chronicles of Maddy, she's learning words at a CRAZY rate. I have been meaning to write them all down... the awesome daycare lady at the awesome daycare says she thinks Maddy has as many as 50 words/sounds. Hmm...

  1. Mum/mama
  2. Dad/dada
  3. Baba
  4. Dido
  5. Odg
  6. Mimi
  7. Baby (beee beee
  8. Puppy (pup-pee, formerly bup)
  9. Kitty (ki-eee)
  10. Bear (bea-w)
  11. Tree (twee)
  12. Apple (appo)
  13. Ball (bll)
  14. Bubble (bubb-o)
  15. Car
  16. Toast (t-st)
  17. Cheese (chss)
  18. Milk (muk, formerly nuk) 
  19. Cookie (coook)
  20. Book
  21. Elmo (EL-moo)
  22. Dora (Dooo-rah)
  23. Bird (Birrrr)
  24. Hat
  25. Shirt
  26. Shoes (Shooooo)
  27. Up
  28. Down (DOW!)
  29. All done (all doo)
  30. All good (all goo)
  31. We sit down (we shit dow!)
  32. Tickle (tick-o)
  33. Hi (hai!)
  34. Bye
  35. Please (peeeeeeeeeese, and only grudgingly)
  36. This (dis)
  37. That (dat)
  38. Moooo
  39. Oink (onk)
  40. Bow wow
  41. Ribbit (it's strange...)
  42. Fish (pursing mouth)
  43. Train (choo choo)
  44. Monkey (eee eee)
  45. Sheep (baaaaa)
  46. Horse (neigh)
  47. No (although does she understand what it means...?)
  48. Eye
  49. Nose (n-se)
  50. Mouth (mouff) (these last 2 are not 100% yet, more like 75%)
And we hit 50! I am sure there are more that I am not remembering...

Dada is a year older and life is wonderful. I really can't ask for more. Well, maybe winning the lotto, 'cause, well... how cool would that be? But otherwise, we're awesome.

How perfectly dull.

* moar words! 51. Uh oh 52. Door (doooo-rh)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Just for Elaine!


Maddy and Daddy sitting together, playing on the computer. What are they doing? 

WoW, of course! Maddy was fascinated by the dancing dog. 

Photo editing program! I have no editing-skills, but my girl has cute-skills for certain. 

Learning to use a spoon. First time eating yogurt herself! 

Enough pictures already! Can't a girl get some peace??

Saturday, July 2, 2011

This n' that

Last week Maddy and Daddy were outside, waiting for me to get everything together to leave on an outing. Daddy often takes her to our crab apple tree, they have been watching the leaves grow and the flowers come out and now? Apples are growing! Maddy was carried up the the tree, when she promptly announced "TWEE". Daddy said "Yes! And these are baby apples". Maddy thought about it for a few seconds, then said... "App-el twee". That is when Daddy's jaw dropped to the grass.


Maddy has been announcing to us, for days, "WE SHIT DOW" (aka we sit down). And it's been a bit of a mystery what we're shitting down for. But today I remembered that the kids are told to sit down for both snacks and for reading. I think she's announcing her hunger, or her desire to be read to. Glad I have it figured out now!


I am not really sure that Maddy understands "no". When we ask her if she wants a snack, she shakes her head and says "no". No matter the snack, the drink... it's a shaking no. But then she clamours for a something out of the snack cupboard. I think that is a testament to the fact that we're trying more to encourage the good behaviour (and redirect the bad) instead of just yelling no. But... well... it's a little challenging when your child knows what they want, but can't name it. And can't quite get "yes" and "no". "Maddy, do you understand what no means?" Shaking head, "no!".


Maddy is standing by me, reading the Elmo book aloud. She turns each page and babbles a few words, flips a few flaps. It's a riveting story... The dogs were in the background, fighting over a nylabone. Maddy stopped her reading, turned and said, loudly, "PUP-PEE NOO!" Maybe she does get it... 


Maddy is working very hard on eating with her spoon. She holds the spoon in her right hand and has become quite adept at delicately shoveling bits of food into her mouth. It has added considerable time to meals. There are points when ever Maddy is done with the slow eating and grabs handfuls of food and puts them on the spoon. And then that is still slowing her down? She just pops a few handfuls in her mouth. Learning still has to be efficient! 


Today we were almost home when a slurpee craving hit. We snaked through the residential roads to get to the 7-11. As we were driving there we passed a road-side lemonade stand. On the way back we followed the same circuitous route to get back. I hopped out of my car with my twonie, the the little table with the "lemonade 25 cents" sign (with an "e" backwards, of course). I asked for 2 glasses, from the 2 little boys. A third child, a girl, came running from the front steps to help. The mom was patiently sitting on the stairs, watching over her brood. She called down to me, to take as much change as I should get in return. I told them to keep the change, one day my little girl may want a lemonade stand... She laughed and said they boys have wanted to do this for so long. By craving iced pop syrup, we were given the opportunity to help make a little boy's dream come true. Taking the detours in life can lead to wonderful things.