Monday, December 17, 2012

Month thirty-two, thirty-three, AND thirty-four

My Maddy,

Well. Hmm... Nearly 4 months late. And there is really no excuse (that isn't cliche). Everyday I check my email, everyday I see the MULTIPLE month reminders to write this letter and everyday I can't figure out how to start. And today I am starting.

We are VERY quickly approaching your third Christmas! And this year you are starting to get it. Every morning you wake up and look at the still lit Christmas tree and say quietly, "Oooohh... it's Kwistmas Day!" with awe in your voice. And I always say not yet. And you smile and happily go about your day. We haven't emphasized the whole gift part of Christmas this year. Seeing Santa was about visiting and getting candy, not about what gifts you wanted. So the REAL Christmas morning is gonna blow your mind. We spoiled you just a little. Baba and Dido may have gone a bit more overboard... they probably did. We'll see in a week.

Santa 2012!

This year, though, you helped us decorate the tree. Every time you put an ornament on the tree you proudly exclaimed "I DID IT!" and then came in for a high-five. You also were pro at handing ornaments to baba and dido, then telling them where to hang everything. So much personality, Maddy. So much joy at life and smiles for everyone.

Putting up the tree

I re-read the last post, and you have grown up so very much since then my love. You are now developmentally ready for pre-school (you'll be starting in the new year) and you can follow simple instructions and are starting to get time sequences (we'll do this, then that, then a third thing). You take your socks off, and put them on. Take your coat off and put it on. Although still you are reluctant to make transitions if you are not told what to expect. Go with the flow, you are not. But let the idea sit in your head and moments (sometimes literally moments) later you are good to go.

Two and a half on the left and one and a half on the right.

You know all letters and their sounds, for the most part. Sometime you miss that some letters have 2 sounds, but will still get one of the two sounds. You spell out words you see, on TV, in books, as we're driving. You LOVE counting things now. "Mommy only TWO hands!", "Mommy, dere are TREE dogs". Along with counting comes holding your fingers up, to indicate the number of items you see. Adorable! You can count the 29, but sometimes get caught on thirty (calling it twenty-ten). Counting to 29 was easy for you, I was going 21, 22, 23... and you recognized the pattern and finished for me - which is the reason for the twenty-ten.

We aren't into the "why" as much yet. When we ask why you seem unsure what to say:

"Mommy! I am VEWY upset!"
"Why are you upset Maddy?"
"Because.. the basket... didn't go... to outer space... on an egg..."
"Oh... right. Of course?"

My girl.

Although you do know when you are upset or scared and tell us how you are feeling. The last few nights you have had nightmares, which have upset you greatly. Again, not able to tell us what they were about, it was just so apparent that you were heartbreakingly sad.

You still love to snuggle next to me and watch videos on youtube. And you still love elephant movie. Although there are others we watch now, like French (aka Shrek 2) and Madagascar. But now you play with us. You love to get us to "shit the ball" (aka shoot, aka throw/roll in random directions). You love to make daddy play cooking with you, on your tiny little play kitchen. And you are still content to play off, by yourself. Making up games and stories and "reading" books.

Along with the fun, I am also trying to instill in you some chores. When you get home you are asked to take your coat to the front door. Most of the time you just bring back the coat and the hanger to me, when I am still at the back door. But it's a start! You also turn the light on in the living room. And daddy taught you how to use a flashlight to turn the overhead light on in your room (although off is still a challenge). You insist on going into the fridge to your your own snacks and milk (and opening the milk jug, then often licking the lid. We don't give your milk to guests...). You will only wear white socks now. Colours and patterns are forbidden. And you will only wear your daycare shoes and one pair of boots. Which you actually had a fit when we put on, but the sneakers in the snow? Not gonna cut it.

All this to say, your independent streak is really starting! Although it's not SO bad that we can't often distract, distract, distract (and get our way). For now. Only for now. I know it will not last. And? I am really ok with that. I have a girl who isn't yet a pushover, who isn't yet told by society what she can and cannot do. What she can be. I need to hold on that, on to her stubborn independence, and nurture it. Everything else will be busy trying to break it...

Maddy, my girl. I love you endlessly. Always know that you will always be loved.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Month Thirty One

Maddy. My dear Maddy.

I did it! I managed to write ON your month-day!! YAY!

You are, right now, singing and kicking your walls in your room. And demanding cereal and/or milk. Instead of napping. On a day where it is obvious to me (and anyone who watches you for more than 10 seconds - because you would have had at least one meltdown in that period), you need sleep. You have had an amazingly busy week with baba and dido babysitting you. And then a missed nap due to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese (which you, incidentally loved). And nightmares last night (3 from 550am to 730am). Tonight is going to be challenging.

But this last month. You are again changing by the hour. Your have expanded your movie interests. Bird movie (aka Rio) is a hit. Your are interacting more with your toys and more imaginative games. You are expressing interest in crafts now. You love colouring with markers, on paper and your belly and cheek. I love washable markers.. best invention ever. You still don't get knock knock jokes, but your punch lines are much more descriptive now. You love to "play" and demand that we join along but you are also able to play by yourself for long periods of time, if we have guests or mommy is cooking or busy on the computer. Although you still love to join me on the computer (and ask for "Lolli-POP, Lolli-POP" aka YouTube).

I just went in, to try to calm you. I held you and jiggled you like I did when you were a baby. But you are anything but anymore. Your torso was the length of mine, your legs dangling off to the side. But your eyes became heavy as I sang and rocked you. Just like when you were my baby.... Until I laid you down, and that is when the screaming and wailing and demanding and negotiating started. This is one battle, though, that I cannot lose my love. You will be unbearable tonight without even a short nap. And your dad has been in a course all weekend, and he won't have the energy to thwart your meltdowns. And after a full day at home with you, neither will I. Oh, what is that I hear? Nothing? Silence? Can you have... maybe?

Next weekend we're hitting the road, to Saskatchewan to visit family. After 2 weeks away from daycare and at home with baba. Well, rarely home with baba - she has you out and about every day! But then we'll get back into the routine. Back to normal. Daycare and regular naps and regular dinner and regular. I think we'll all need that. I have a very busy few months at work, which includes some travel (3 trips) and time away from you. Until the crazy really hits I'll need routine.

Maddy, you are so perfectly you. And (I think) so perfectly sleeping you... thank you for this nap, Nunu.

Mommy loves you. Even when you're a grump. For always.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Month Twenty-nine AND Thirty

My dear Maddy,

I am really good at missing these letters right now. There were SO many times I almost started typing. But instead I surfed the internet or watched TV or just sat like a big lump on the couch and didn't. Not that I haven't written this post in my head hundreds of times. Or that I don't think everything you do is mind-blowingly awesome, but just I am... trying to stay balanced. And some balance means being still and a little disengaged.

OK. Month 29? Maybe the highlights have passed through my memory. But some things I want to remember... Me witnessing you have a conversation with a peer. A girl, in the preschool room. You said hi, asked her what she had, and said it was pretty. All I stood there, mouth agape. You are so much more interactive with other kids and are starting to actually play with them, not just by them.

Another thing you love to interact with? My driving. You are QUITE the little backseat driver. "Turn the wheel now please" as I wait to turn left. And you always seems to want to steer me right into oncoming traffic... Or wailing "GREEN MEANS GO" as you see a green light - for the cars perpendicular to us. And when you have had enough? "One, Two, Tree - GO. MOMMY ONE TWO TREE GOOOO". Again, normally you are trying to get me to go through the stopped car ahead of me. It's abundantly clear why 2 years olds are NOT allowed to drive.

You LOVE movies now. It was all Tangled and Winnie the Pooh, but now it's "Elephant Movie" (aka Dumbo). Which I actually never liked as a kid, and still really don't. We're trying to lure you into others like Little Mermaid (Ariel movie) or Toy Story (Toy Movie) or Lion King or Cars or Peter Pan... but you stubbornly hold true to elephant movie. But we sometimes slip another film in and I am enjoying catching up on the Disney movies. Cars? Good show!

Although I have to say the cutest Maddy-ism is the new way you say yes. "Me too". There is rarely a yes to be had, but instead "Maddy, do you want to watch the elephant movie? ME TOO!" or "Maddy, you just fell, are you alright? Me too, mommy". It's a little confusing at times, but still adorable. I think I am going to miss this one a lot... Other Maddy-isms? For a few hours you said chimpanzee as "pink-pan-cheese". Although you have it perfectly now. And shrimp used to be trumpets, but no longer. Spaghetti used to be "Messy-kitties" but then it's morphed to "Passy-ghetti". We still, however, "clink" things with the mouse, on the computer (instead of click) and

You are growing. You are TALL. Although we still can't convince you to give up your high chair or your diapers. Potty training you frightens me, until you are ready. Asking you to do it before you want? I can't see anything good coming of that, stubborn one.

Yesterday we took you to Heritage Days, your third one! And it was... not good. You had a rough nap (if you even slept) and were grumpy and demanding. Oh so demanding! We spent about 1.5 hours there and most of it was spent trying to keep you calm. Very little chance to eat or see much of anything... I am starting to think that the best time to take you out isn't after your nap anymore - maybe before lunch is better. Not every moment is easy, not every outing is perfect. But oh, my Maddy, you are always perfectly loved. Always.

Right now you are nestled next to me, sucking your thumb and holding Odg and watching videos on YouTube. Right now you you love toy commercials, watching dogs pop balloons (or most things about balloons) and kids playing in ball pits. I dunno... I just clink where I am told to.

Every day with you, Maddy, is an adventure. I love you so much my dear.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Month twenty-eight letter

Hello my little love!

Well, here I am - late as usual. I even put this in my calendar of things to do on Saturday. But instead something much more important came up - spending the day hanging out with you. We played outside and watched videos and TV and read books. So much more fun than writing!

This last month has flown by. Although so many are flying by now...

You continue to be absolutely, unequivocally AMAZING my Nunu. You are doing really well in daycare and spend much of your time in the preschool room, where you are learning so very much. Your language and ideas are blossoming. You love to point to things and ask "What's dat?". We'll often answer, but if I know you know... then I say "I don't know. What is that?" and you answer with great pride. You're also getting a better grasp of your physicality and now want to walk up and down the stairs yourself (although do better with a hand to hold). And do so much more on your own. Luckily we aren't at the point where you want to dress yourself, but that is coming. And I have to admit to looking forward to the outfits you will create!

The hardest thing right now for you is transitions. This was most apparent on our trip to Jasper (which was a great time, but exhausting too). You did really well up until the point we had to change. Fun at the lake throwing rocks! When it was time to move on? Meltdown. Fun at the playground going down the slide over and over and over. Time for lunch and to leave? Meltdown. Fun playing in the courtyard of the hotel, hiding behind the pillars and dancing. Time to leave? Meltdown. Actually, the best behaved on that trip was Walter - he was a stellar travelling companion! He snuggled on mom's lap the entire time and even napped some.

Some stories about you... things I don't want to forget...

One evening you were being a grump. Your dad and I were in the kitchen as you wandered in and whined for something. I am not even sure we could understand you - you wanted something and you were past the point of patience even before you walked in the room. We then kind of mocked you by mimicking your intonation... And then you showed us. You stopped, looked us in the eye and said "That's not nice!". And, no, it wasn't nice at all. Schooled by our 2 year old!

Or how you say Pablo as "PLA-blo", garbage as "grab-age", face cloth is a "BAFF clop", when we ask "What time is it" at your bedtime and get "Time a NAP-time!", or listening to you sing yourself to sleep with Wheels on the Bus or the alphabet or the song your dad sings to you each night... And I know there is more that I wanted to capture, things that were too important to forget that are already being crowded out with everything else that needs to fit in there.

My lunch is over and I must write another briefing note today. Third one's a charm! But I love you Maddy. Happy 28 months, my love.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Month... oh which month is this? Letter

My dearest Maddy,

Once again, your mom (I am now mom, not mommy, momma, mama. Mom) forgot to write. AGAIN! I blame life. And that if I don't write it down I cannot for the life of me remember. Like, at all. So I have added it as an appointment to my calendar. Will that guarantee I get it right from now on? Hells to the no. But it does mean I am really really trying. And I think that is the biggest lesson I am learning about being a mom. I won't always get it right, I'll sometimes get it horribly wrong. But I am always always ALWAYS trying.


And you are always so much a 2 year old. One second overjoyed and laughing and smiling and the next tragically upset because I won't stop cooking dinner so that you can go play upstairs. Or downstairs. Or eat 3 apples at once. Or... anything.

Twenty-seven months. I just counted. Two and one-quarter years old. I have been saying almost two and a half. It's easier (and a little more indicative of your developmental age). You continue to soak up knowledge and words at an amazing rate. You are always putting ideas together, looking for relationships and ways that the new information fits into your existing knowledge base. You still LOVE music and singing. Now you love demanding of us, when we sing, "FASTER!" or "LOUDER!" and the newest "QUIETER!". You love Super Why and Wiggles and Bubble Guppies on TV. We have also graduated to movies - Winnie the Pooh and Tangled (aka ra-PUM-zel). We'll add more when we can PVR them off Movie Central.

I have also started giving you my (now ancient) smartphone, with games and apps on it. You are starting to even get the idea, and request a few over and over. And then coat my phone is a surprisingly tenacious coating of... toddler. Even if I clean your hands before there is just... toddler... all over everything. You like the one where you create and pop balloons and make animals make noise (and robots and instruments). There apps are "baby" apps, but we're starting you off slowly with the tech stuffs.

However, this week we bought a tablet. Initially it was more for you, to play on and amuse yourself. And now your dad (not dada or daddy. Dad.) has adopted it as his own and is having fun with it. Although we are also loading it with games and apps and movies for our impending trip.

What trip? Our first road trip! Well, second really. But you were 5 months old the first time. Wait - third. You were 13 months the second one. And now this one. Third, for certain. This time we're going to Jasper. Deets to come, after we return. I am starting frantic planning mode and have arranged for driving over nap times and meals in the hotel and a possible pack and play if you won't sleep in the bed and outdoor and indoor activities we can do with you. And with a dido that is on crutches and in a cast from a surgery 9-ish weeks ago. And the dog.




Luckily there is time.

I just hope you have some fun and bring more of your happy-mood, and less of your grumpy-mood. And that you don't fall off a mountain. Or into a lake. Or get eaten by a bear. Those dangers ever present in the wilds of a national park.

Happy 27 months (plus 6 days) my sweetest, most perfectly nunu-like Nunu ever.

I love you,


Monday, April 9, 2012

I need some record...

I need some record of this time. Something to remind me how wonderful and yet insanity-inducing our dear Madder can be.

Maddy is a toddler. Oh, such a toddler!!

In one breath she loses her marbles when she accidentally drops her bowl of goldfish, raisins and ta-lee-shew (her name for yogurt covered raisins - no CLUE how that can about) but then laughs manically when she throws said bowl intentionally.

She'll yell at Walter to go away if he hovers near her, as she almost drops food but then will lay with him on the floor in the sunlight laughing in joy. And we have video of that! Although Neil is behind me in the video cursing his phone (which kind of makes it wrong to post that video on the blog...).

Every day there is a new food that is loved (and 5 more that are now hated). This changes daily, making meal planning OH SO fun. Every toy with multiple little pieces (Mr Potato head or leggo, for example) must be opened simultaneously, so there is full coverage of toys on the living room floor. And with no area rug anymore, this also ensure that multiple times a day Maddy (or us) go slip-sliding on SOMETHING and either fall (Maddy) or get imprints on the bottoms of our feet (us).

Meltdowns. Oh the MELTDOWNS. Larger and louder than life, completely uncontrolled. Maddy screams and flails and slams her heels to the floor and wails. It's a sight... It's frightening and aggravating and exhausting all at once. It's obvious there is no control or choice anymore - she's just UPSET. Neil is amazing at diverting her from that state. Me? Not as good.

One day, Maddy had a meltdown in front of my parents. It scarred them (and scared them). Mom is now concerned there is something wrong (there is not) and is always just a little fearful that Maddy will lose it again, when they are alone together. Easter dinner, at Maddy's godmother's, was spent with Neil and I hovering over her, trying to prevent a meltdown that had been looming for hours. And while we made it through dinner (as one of us played outside with a Maddy that refused to go back into the house and the other ate, switching off) we did not make it to the end of the evening. Right after dinner, before dessert, we had to run off. I grabbed the kid and wrestled her into her carseat as Neil collected everything strewn everywhere.

The boundary pushing, already! If you tell her not to touch something, her little finger will hover over the item, gently moving up and down until there is a touch. And another reprimand. And another bit of hovering just to see what happens next.

She knows what she wants. What she wants to watch on TV. Or the 'puter. Which episode of which show. And cannot understand at all if something can't be brought up (the joys of raising a child in today's age... I remember a time with just 3 channels and... I digress...). She wants blue socks, not pink. And pink shoes, not green. She wants her tutu (aka ballerina) and the BLUE dora pjs. Not green pjs. She wants cereal and toast with p-butter and jam for breakfast. Not eggs. She wants my-nana, not oranges.

She is certain.

But she is capable of such funny stories and snuggles and kisses and giggles that make it all worth it. She is so smart and funny and astute already.

She is a toddler.

She is also great birth control, because I can't imagine that I could eve have the patience to go through this all again with Maddy already here. Plus, my mom informed me I am "way too old" to have a second.

Thanks Mom.

And thanks, Maddy, for being the wonderful and amazing toddler that you are.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

From five to four...

How to write this? Where to start?

March 6th Sherman, our first and most obnoxiously loving and high strung and determined and crazy puppy, got sick. He threw up about 15 times, mostly all over our area rug (which has since been disposed of). The next day he was in the vet, and they thought it was a virus. By Monday March 12 he was no better and we were back to the vet. Blood tests were taken and an infection was found and we started treating that. And Sherman was doing so well. He was eating (small amounts) again and happy and loving. But once the  antiobiotics were done, he started getting worse again. On March 29th we went back to the vet and had blood and urine and an ultrasound done. And they found foreign objects in his stomach and surgery was booked the next day at another clinic. We had this diagnosed and we had a plan.

And then it all fell apart.

Friday morning the vet opened Shermo up and found the foreign objects (thought to be beads) were just undigested chick peas. The problem was in his small intestines. There was an obstruction and it caused the small intestine to go necrotic.

Backtracking, Sherman has ALWAYS been an exuberant chewer. Pearls, walls, cabinets, baseboards, mouth splint, undies, kleenex, paper, toilet paper, the toilet paper holder, Neil's rug from Morocco, the frame of Neil's BA, rose bush branches with thorns, an entire couch (well, loveseat)... the list goes on. Sherman felt anything was fair game to chew. He also felt that toys were only given to him as a challenge - to see how long it toook him to tear it all apart. One toy, a green dino cuz rubber toy, had been in the rotation for a few years. It was missing pieces, but doing ok. Sometime in the last few months Sherman must have chewed off a chunk and swallowed it. This time it didn't just pass through.

By the time it was removed it had expanded to many times it's original thickness. And it was stuck. There were small abrasions leading up to the piece, where it managed to squish through his intestines and did some damage (which was being fixed by the antibiotics).

The vet removed a large section of Sherm's intestine and reconnected the healthy parts. We were given warnings about it taking 72 hours for confirmation that the edges would reconnect. And if it didn't reconnect there was the chance of hemorrhaging. And that some bile went into his throat and may have caused scarring but they treated that. They said he should be ok.

That afternoon I went and saw him for about 20 minutes. He was so so so out of it, drugged to prevent him from moving and opening the incision. I petted him and kissed his floppy jowls and promised him he'd be ok. We fixed this. And he'd be coming home tomorrow. And then life took hold of me and I left to get dinner and do all those things I "needed" to do.

At about 730pm the phone rang. It was the vet. Sherman had stopped breathing.

I panicked. I screamed for Neil, downstairs, and passed the phone to him. And I crumpled to the floor and cried. Bawled. My Sherman...

It's all a blur, but Neil talked to the vet. They said if they couldn't get him breathing on his own soon, the prognosis was very poor. And they couldn't.

And he died.

On Saturday we went and paid the vet (just materials, she donated her time) and the cremation and picked out the box he'll come home in... and then spent a lot of time crying and trying to fill the absolute silence he left. Even with a toddler our house feels empty.

Sherman was such a special dog. He lived life to the fullest and was so happy and strong and loving. Oh so loving! So much licking from a smelly, smelly mouth loving. He was into everything and loved everyone. He always believed he knew what was needed (many kisses). He never stayed still, he never slept until he was sure he wouldn't miss anything (which meant being kenneled). He was willing to chew anything. And annoy his brother in any way possible. He was an anxious and high strung dog too, and we knew it aged him. But he lived life completely and loved with abandon and never held a grudge. And we had plans for many many more years of play and kisses and happiness...

The vet thinks that his body went into shock from the surgery and the extent of his injuries. She assures us that he didn't suffer. And it helps me to know that he wasn't alone. He didn't die alone... there were people with him who in the short time they knew him already loved him. That, I think, is what makes it almost bearable. Almost.

We love you Sherman. And we miss you so much... It wasn't supposed to end this way. And yet it has.

And now we have to figure out life as four.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Month Twenty-Six Letter

My Maddy,

It seems the only time I write is on your month-day. Or the day after your month-day, in this instance. I am not sure why I have stopped blogging... Lack of time? Excess laziness? An addiction to Pinterest? Trying to do it all and something invariably falling to the wayside?

Anyway, you are twenty-six months old and a force of nature! You live big and certain. And loud. Oh Maddy, you are capable of great noise. GREAT noise. You have at least one super duper meltdown a day. Sometimes more... You know what you want (or don't want) and you aren't scared to let us know. You also, just like your dad, have blood sugar issues. If you haven't eaten in awhile (like after a long nap or in the morning) you aren't too good with the unexpected. Or if we deny you something you want. Or we can't give you that exact thing you want. Or.. just because. When it happens, it's force of nature LOUD though.

You also hate baths. HATE. BATHS. We can get you in the tub every few days, if we're lucky. Why? Who knows! It's just your thing right now. And I know, you will have things and phases and they won't last. This one is a tad smelly though... Such a force of nature.

Another current Maddy-ism is your inability to sleep through the night. You wake at LEAST once, normally a few times, and one of us has to go down and find Odg, or Mimi, or sock, or PIN-SESS, or ... something. And often it's me. And I am just a little exhausted from not sleeping through the night once in weeks. And your dad is in the same boat. Last night you woke at 4am and it took 20 minutes (of you whimpering) until you would lay down again. And then you refused to be covered. You are a force of nature.

Fruit is the one thing you will almost always eat. Although typing that has almost certainly guaranteed that you will never touch a piece of fruit again. You also love "DEEP" which is almost any sauce. And a few veggies, like peas and corn and carrots (sometimes). And broccoli most of the time. It's a challenge, because I am loving trying new recipes. And you like the same things over and over. We always have fruit to supplement dinners. Force. Of. Nature.

You are turning into a girly girl. Princess and pretty and pink and purple. I bought you beautiful green and teal shoes and you SCREAMED when they came even near you. I exchanged them for the pink and purple shoes? You called them "PEETY" and wore them all day. Nature? Force of. Maddy.

Right now I can hear you, making noise in your bed an hour after your bedtime. You are singing and talking to your NUMEROUS teddies you insist on sleeping with. Odg, brown mimi, pink mimi, Farley, Gramma piggy, and Kee-Kat. And then a few extra each night, right now it's Snow White, Cinderella, Piglet and Winnie the Pooh. Remember, you are in a wee and tiny toddler bed.

Well, Madds, I have to work on our taxes and have a bath and do the dishes and make lunches and fold your laundry. And I want to be in bed in 1.5 hours. Maybe even before you'll settle down?

Force of nature, my love. Force of nature.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love you Maddy,


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Month Twenty-Five Letter

My Madster,

Today you are 25 months old. And you are WELL into the terrible of the terrible twos. Today wasn't so bad, but your determined nature plus teething plus amazingly loud lungs equals really crazy loud meltdowns. Frequently. Well, daily. And they are so hard to see, as your mom. The normal frustrated tantrums are fine. It's our job to set boundaries, it's your job to find them and push at them. But when a tantrum spirals into that place where you forget why you are upset and are just awash in the sadness and anger and fear... that breaks my heart. I hold you, rock you, lose hearing and hope that the meltdown ends soon. As my tears fall.

But the rest of the time? YOU ARE FREAKING AWESOME. You are so smart and funny and responsive and engaged. You LOVE to sit with us and watch videos on the computer. You randomly call out requests. Funny-man. Squirrel song. SQUARE. One-two-three. Fire truck. And we find that video. Much of the time you do ask for things we know. Wiggles. Max and Ruby. Diego. Little People. DOODLEBOPPSSS (emphasis on the last syllable). Wow, the Doodlebops are a much loved show right now. I was quite sad to know that they are no longer together, and we'll never be able to take you to a concert. We are going to take you to gymnastics though. Your first extracurricular activity! Today some friends asked us what activities we hope you'll one day get involved in. And our first response was "whatever she wants". Then? Well, singing and music and soccer and dance and brownies and... Well, whatever you want.

What if you want a programming class? Maybe you maybe are too electronically engaged. But your parents are geeks, we are on our computers and you see and want to join us. It's going to be interesting to balance the general philosophy of no screen time being best for kids against our lifestyle. But we'll figure it out, as a family. As a strong and committed and loving family.

Maddy, Madster, Nunu, Mad-delicious, my love... Happy 25 months! And I look forward to decades upon decades more months to celebrate the amazing you are.

Lots of love,


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Month Twenty Four Letter. Waaaay late.

Dearest Maddy,

Days ago you turned TWO YEARS OLD. And your mommy didn't actually even remember to post a letter on this very very neglected blog. I blame... pinterest? Facebook? Getting things done around the house? Really, I blame me and me dealing poorly with some stress. Life threw me a lemon and I sat in the sandbox feeling sorry for myself. Screw the lemonade!

But, Maddy, my love. You are TWENTY FOUR months old (plus a few days). And you are awesome. You are talking up a STORM and so funny and so active and so happy. Tonight we stripped you down before your bath and you RAN. In and out of every room, naked to the world. And screaming "GLIDE GLIDE GLIDE" in a very loud and boisterous manner. I had to finally grab you and throw you in the tub, which resulted in the start of a meltdown (naked running is apparently fun) but the toys distracted you and you happily played. You know what you want in life and you let us know when it's not happening your way.

At 2 you are 34.5 inches tall. You are about 32 pounds (ish). Your hair is still dark blonde, your eyes are still a beautiful blue. You smile so often and we've had a bit of a break with the teething (still at 16). You are a talker and you have started on 3-4 word sentences, with prepositions and all! Your grammar isn't ideal but your manners? Please, thank you, you're welcome, excuse me... you us them all! Well, excuse me is more like KYOOUSE me. But close enough!

You are playing with us now, and playing house and pretend. Other kids? Not as much with them yet. You play near them. But will stand on furniture and other dangerous things to get our attention, so we'll interact with you. And we have FUN! We KEECK DA BALL. And KEETCH. And RUN. And play houses and dolly. And pretend to eat foods. And sing. And do so many, many awesome things.

How did we celebrate your night? Well, it was the last year we could phone it in... So we did. We woke you in the morning, to sing you happy birthday. Which you shushed and then threw yourself on your bed oh so dramatically when we didn't stop. And you opened a few gifts! A "ball-reeena" skirt and a book. Then daycare and MUFFIN-MAN there (aka cupcakes). And dinner at Swiss Chalet with baba and dido and us. And then more gifts and bed! Saturday we took you to Telus World of Science where you played and ran and played and explored and played and experimented. And then a Thai meal and a good night's sleep.

Sleep. You are still pretty good at going to bed. And you don't really get out of bed unless one of us is in the room. But? You keep waking (and waking me) to have your socks put on again, if they come off, or if Odg goes missing. I am getting good and quickly stumbling down the stairs and finding socks in your sheets or Odg on the floor. In the dark. Did I mention I was sleeping when you cried out?

Oh Maddy, you are awesome. You are kind (you let the greedy kids take toys from you, you just look sad and confused) but you are no push over (if a kid smacks you? You smack them right back). You are so observant and so verbal and so astute. So often your dad and I are scrambling to see what it is you are seeing. (Elmo? Where? There is no... wait. There. Hai  Elmo!). You put things together so quickly. You have never called every 4 legged animal a puppy. You know their names, you can recognize what they are (even when they are abstract caricatures of the animal). You are independent (like most toddlers) but really only with the things you can do. Yo don't demand to dress yourself but you will insist on brushing your teeth yourself, after I do. You are the most amazing daughter and we are so lucky to be your parents, to get to raise you and watch you grow.

I love you, my twenty month old Maddy. I'll love you endlessly and forever. Even when you become a teenager *grin*

Love always,


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Holidays 2011/12

Pictures to come, but we did it! We made it through Christmas morning 2011 with nary a tear or paper cut. My parents came over and we exchanged gifts, watched Maddy open everything (so so much everything!) and we all got spoiled ourselves. Then mom and I made brunch and we ate hootenanny (so much fun to say) and bacon and fresh lemon curd and fruit. And then we listened to an overtired (and over excited and over sugared and overwhelmed) Maddy sing in her crib (instead of nap). She sang for nearly 2 HOURS after being put to be there. Then napped a bit and then woke in an off mood. This was a sign... Ooh! My first foreshadowing!

The night we went to my aunt and uncles and ate and ate and chased Maddy and ate. And we barely made it out before Maddy's bedtime (to a chorus of "Stay just a few more minutes! We need to ____" *insert things family here*). Maddy was great there, except for the wee meltdown at being forced to leave the fun new place.

December 26th brought us to some friends' place and more eating and visiting and chasing Maddy, this time with new and interesting people to meet. And a family friendly/kids welcome environment. Once more, Maddy did well except for the meltdown (again) as we were leaving. She started and the hostess asked "Whose children are crying?" Neil answered - "Mine." She started to look to see what other kids were crying - was it her daughter? And no. It was just Maddy, wailing at the decibel of a group of toddlers.

Between Christmas and New Years there was some illness, some cleaning/re-organizing and much staying home. And many delayed naps and crib-singing. However, the monumentous event was the delivery of Maddy's very first no-rails TODDLER BED. There was an aborted attempt to assemble it on Thursday December 29th but instead it was assembled on December 31st, while baba and dido took a kiddo out. And that night, with the crib shoved in the corner of her room, Maddy was ushered into her bed. A bed she was able to usher herself out of.

I think the outing/running around at the rec centre exhausted Maddy enough that she was pretty much out. That left baba & dido and Neil & I to sit around and polish off a bottle of non-alcoholic wine, eat too many chips coated in Helluva Good Dip and play cards. At about 10pm I had to check on Maddy. Had to see where she ended up. I have heard stories of kids falling asleep against the door of their room or in the closet or in the corner... I tiptoed in and found that stuffies had taken over her bed, namely a HUGE pink bear (about her size now) plus his friends. And I could not see Maddy. My heart jumped into my throat and I was about to start searching when I looked closer and saw... Maddy? Under the bears? I pulled off big pink bear and there she was, nestled under the toys (and not under her quilt). Teddies removed, blanket placed over her and she was out until 730am the next day! Night 1 of toddler bed was a complete success!

January 1st, nap one of the toddler bed. Naps that have been starting with up to HOURS of singing/playing. And? She did awesome. I asked her if she wanted a nap and she grabbed Odg and was crawling into bed. And hour later she awoke and we scored another victory! That night it was, again, easy to get her in. And Neil and I settled onto our respective couches and nosed around on our computers. And at about 10pm we heard "THUNK" and silence. We looked at each other and RAN to Maddy's room just as the cries started. The three of us sat on the floor, holding each other and trying to calm a crying Maddy. She just kept saying "Fall DOWN. Fall DOWN". Neil asked where it hurt and she pointed to her bed. And then crawled off our laps and into her bed, grabbed Odg and snuggled in. And fell back asleep. She was over it. We were still shell-shocked.

But another good night and we're on January 2nd 2012. After a relaxing morning we asked Maddy if she wanted her nap. She said "NYO!". We still ushered her in bed and Neil went to his computer and I went to our bed to finish my book (the Hunger Games trilogy? Amazing! Could not put it down.) Neil came upstaris and was talking on the phone as I read and listened to Maddy on the baby monitor. I listened to her talk and play. And... walk? And... a click? Click?! The door. I ran downstairs and found a smiling Maddy walking out of her room. Any attempts to restart her nap was answered with a firm "NYO!" So? We skipped her nap.

Skipped her NAP.

I was expecting a wailing melt-down of a child when we did a few errands. Nope. She was great. At dinner? She was happy. After dinner...? Just fine. A bath and bed a bit early and she was immediately asleep. I asked the all-knowing Facebook and my friends responded that some kids are ready to miss some (maybe not all) naps by age 2-ish. Maddy's age. Oy.

This holiday break was filled with fun and family and food. And a Maddy that is no longer my swaddled infant but a little girl in her toddler bed who many not need naps and is pretending as she plays and talking up a storm. My beautiful girl, baby no more.