Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Best Christmas!

The day I got engaged was "the best day of my life".  Then my wedding day became "the best day of my life".  Then the day Eric and I were both home safe from Iraq became "the best day of my life".  The day we found out we were pregnant soon took over, followed by the day Maddie was born.  Isn't it funny how that works?  Well, Christmas 2009 is going to be REALLY hard to top as the best Christmas ever! 

The fun stuff began on Christmas Eve when we started a new family tradition.  We started buying an ornament for each of us to open on Christmas Eve.  I picked out "Mommy's Artist" for Maddie,

a travel bag, or carry-on for Eric (symbolizing his 100,000+ miles he's flown since April this year)  Eric, please comment with your total, I know it was over 100,000!

and a Mommy and Baby bear having storytime for myself.  (Yes, I picked out my took the pressure off Eric and I was sure to get one I liked)  :)

We also picked out a special ornament for my mom since she was here, but she took it home so I don't have a picture...
Here's Maddie with her ornament.

And touching Grandma's ornament.

Then on to Christmas morning...Maddie kind of understood the concept of Santa, in her own little 18 month old mind.  She knew that Santa brought her presents, but she never asked to see him or asked "go?" (as in, where did he go?).  (A week after Christmas she's still saying Santa when she plays with her kitchen and some of her toys).  She was such a joy to watch on Christmas morning.  The first toy she opened was her "favorite". 

She played with it a while before moving on to open another present.  In fact, I think we had to actually MAKE her leave the first toy alone so she could open more.  She probably would've been fine with just one present.  But...we couldn't stop with one :)  So we got her to open more...

Mommy and Daddy had to help with a few just to keep her moving at a pace that would get us through all the presents in one day (ok, that made it sound like there were a lot more presents than there were...)

Then Daddy helped her open this book from Aunt Laura.  It's a potty book and she is SO into it!  Eric read it to her once right away, then we read it to her a couple more times Christmas day and finally I had to HIDE it from her so I could get a break from it :)  Plus, it's paper pages and she's not quite ready for those books all by herself yet...

Then Maddie got a really sweet handmade "Old World" costume from Auntie Nancy.  Eric just couldn't resist trying on the hat...(it's elastic in the back, that's how it fit over his big head :))

Then we moved on to the playroom.  What could possibly be under this big blanket?!?!  :)

It was a last minute gift that we found for a SUPER deal and just couldn't resist...

The first thing she had to do was wash her hands.  She's been obsessed with washing her hands since she saw this kitchen.  It's good to know I'm setting a good example :)
One more pose with the kitchen...


Potica is a special holiday tradition in Eric's family.  I had never heard of it until the first time I met his family at Christmas 2003.  Eric really enjoys it and looks forward to it when we go to visit his family so I wanted to attempt to make it for him for Christmas this year since we weren't visiting with his family...and this way it is becoming a tradition we'll pass down to our children.  I was a little nervous before I attempted making this bread since I have a history of having really bad luck when it comes to rolling any type of usually sticks to everything and I end up scraping it in the trash.  Well, luckily the Potica turned out.  Here are some pictures of the process:

This is the walnut, butter, vanilla, egg white filling

Here's the dough all ready to roll out

The dough rolled out, I probably could've made it bigger and more even, but I know for next time!

The filling spread out over the dough

 I just realized I didn't take a picture of it rolled up :(

The FOUR loaves of Potica, in the oven starting to bake

Mmmmm....all done.  Apparently it's a good thing when it splits on the side like this, I thought I messed up!

The sliced Potica on Christmas morning

A close up.  Yummy!

Maddie is an official Slovenian!  She really enjoyed the Potica, although she called it "cake".  :)

We all enjoyed the Potica!  We finished one whole loaf in about 3 days, I sent a loaf home with my mom to share with other family members, and we have two loaves in the freezer.  Maybe I'll get one out to have with Maddie for New Year's!

Oh, What a Year!

2009 has been one insane year!  This was our first full year as a family of three :)  This was the year that Maddie experienced so many of her "firsts".  She crawled in 2009, she pulled up, she cruised, she learned to walk.  She has learned so much!  She's already learning her ABC's, she's counting to 13 (maybe not in the right order...), she knows her colors at about a 90% accuracy and her imagination has blossomed in 2009!  Just the other day she was crawling around and growling and said she was a lion.  The sings "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", "ABC's", and "Jingle Bells", some parts to E-I-E-I-O and "Itsy Bitsy Spider".  She also sings in her lion voice!  It's so adorable!!!  During 2009 Maddie also learned to go down a slide all by herself!  She's started climbing up in the kitchen chairs (later than most kids, but I'm not complaining about that!!)  She has already used the potty in 2009...but maybe 2010 will bring the end of diapers, no rush on that so we'll see.  On a physical note, Maddie has gained 9 pounds and 6.25 inches through 2009.  Her hair is growing like crazy (FINALLY!) and she's just your average active toddler.  Maddie has started to "tease".  When I tell her to come to me (to get her jacket on, change her diaper, get dressed, etc.) she looks at me, laughs and runs away.  I REFUSE to chase her, that will only make a bigger game out of it.  She has just really gotten the most fun sense of humor in her young age.  She laughs if we sing the wrong words to one of "her" songs, she's just too smart!  One of the nicest things about Maddie that has come about in 2009 is her ability to entertain herself in her crib!  Like right now, for instance, she's been awake for about 30 minutes but I've been messing around in the kitchen and blogging so she's just sitting up there singing and playing in her crib.  She's so pleasant in the mornings!  She'll only cry if she's woken up suddenly (like a loud noise from outside) or if her diaper is about to explode.  She still loves her Snuggly...we now carry Snuggly with us everywhere we go.  Maybe this is a bad thing, maybe it's not.  We'll never really know for sure.  Some people might judge me for it, but this is her security and her best friend so I'm going to let her have it until she feels she's ready to be without it.  Yesterday morning she lost her Snuggly just before 5am in her crib.  I watched her in the video monitor as she was moving her blanket around trying to find it.  She fussed for about 10 minutes, didn't find it and went back to sleep without her Snuggly or her thumb!!!  When I went up to get her around 7, Snuggly was on the floor.  I was proud of her for being about to go back to sleep without it :)

During 2009 I've learned so much.  I've learned to seriously pick my battles.  I'm learning to be more carefree and think about what's REALLY important.  I have a very happy, friendly, unselfish baby girl to enjoy every day...if that means the laundry sits in the dryer overnight then I'm ok with that :)  I'm realizing that she's not going to be my little girl forever.  She's already grown and changed so much, I can only imagine what she's going to be like next December...  I'm also learning that it's ok if things don't go my way :)  But it's also ok if things don't go Maddie's way.  I guess that's a typical "mother of a toddler" skill you have to learn...COMPROMISE.  I'm enjoying it, though.  My biggest lesson this year has been patience...although I'm sure that lesson will continue throughout my life!  I'm learning to be patient with Maddie when she wants to be silly and I want to be serious.  I'm learning patience when she wants to "help" and it's actually creating more work for me.  I'm learning to be patient while she learns to "use her words" instead of screaming in frustration.  My biggest struggle in the patience department comes when I'm trying to cook a meal and Maddie wants to eat "NOW".  She tells me "hurry" now...nice, huh?  :)

2009 has been an overall struggle for our family, even with the many blessings we've had.  In April Eric took a job overseas.  He works for 8 weeks, then comes home for 3 weeks.  It's a blessing in that we're financially secure now.  We don't have to worry QUITE as much as we did when Eric was working in Houston.  But the job is also really hard because Eric is missing out on watching his baby girl grow up, and the two of us are missing out on being together.  (In our 5 years, almost 10 months of being married we've only lived together in the same house for 1 year, 9 months).  2010 will bring this same schedule, pending any major changes to his contract, so we're just trying to get used to it as much as possible.  But every time Eric leaves, it gets harder and harder.  He just left this past Monday and Tuesday morning Maddie was already crying asking for Daddy.  It will only get harder as she starts to get an understanding of time...8 weeks is FOREVER to a toddler! 

Tonight Maddie and I will ring in the New Year 6 hours after fancy plans, I just plan on putting her to bed at her usual 7pm-ish and I will go to be around my usual 10:30 and pray Maddie sleeps through the fireworks!  If she doesn't, I guess we'll ring in 2010 in our rocking chair in Maddie's room...there could be MUCH worse ways to celebrate a new year!

My hopes for 2010...I hope to get more "me" time.  I REALLY need to get better about setting my alarm so I can have my peace and quiet before Maddie gets up.  I need a really good devotional so I can have my alone time to pray and mentally prepare for the day (and a much-needed cup of coffee) before Maddie even starts to stir in her crib.  I'm going to work on that...if I can manage to get that to last through January, then I'll work on another resolution for February :)

What are your "resolutions" or hopes for the new year?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

God Bless You!

Today Maddie was playing upstairs while I was putting away her laundry.  She found some shoes that are too small for her and brought one to me.  I said, "that's a blue shoe".  Maddie responded by saying "ahhh...ahhh...ahhh-choo".  Silly girl :)  She always finds a way to make me laugh!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Amazing Baby Girl

My sweet Madeline is 18 months old today.  I know people say it all the time but...where has the time gone?!?!  I just can't believe I am just 6 months away from having a 2 year old.  Amazing!  This baby girl continues to amaze me on a daily basis.  Here are some of my favorite things...

1.  She's such a happy girl.  Maddie doesn't just get angry or grumpy for no reason.  When she's playing alone, she's happy.  When she's eating, she's happy.  When she's doing pretty much ANYTHING, she's happy.  She just sings and plays and goes off into her own little world in her imagination :)  She's so sweet.

2.  She has the most incredible imagination!  When Maddie was born I was thinking how much fun it was going to be when she started playing with dolls and stuffed animals, or just REALLY started to interact with her toys.  I thought she'd be at least 2, maybe even close to 3.  Never did I imagine she would basically be playing "mommy" by 18 months old!  She feeds her animals and dolls, puts them to bed (complete with a "snuggly"), covers them up, pats them and says "shhh shhh", and sings her naptime song to them (Nap-t, Nap-t, close eyes, close eyes)  :) 

3.  She remembers things I have forgotten!  Let's just say I'll never be able to tell Maddie "we'll go to the park tomorrow" and think I can get away without taking her...even at this young of an age she remembers things from over a month ago that we haven't done since then.  If we take a few weeks off from the library or The Little Gym, she still doesn't forget.  When I ask her if she wants to go to the library for story time she says "bear", "toys".  When I tell her we're going to The Little Gym tomorrow she says "beam", "Patty", "ball", "yellow", "kick", "bells", "roll", "hands", "stamps".  :)  She's so cool!

4.  I love that she randomly breaks out in song.  Her favorites are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, ABCs, Naptime (Yo Gabba Gabba song), and Ring Around the Rosey. 

5.  She LOVES animals!  Maddie has no fear of animals.  She loves dogs especially.  Last weekend we encountered a questionable Pit Bull and Maddie cried when I wouldn't let her pet it.  Now, before you judge me...let me explain.  I'm a firm believer in judging a dog by its owner, not its breed.  I'm not worried about letting Maddie touch a Pit Bull any more than her touching a Poodle.  However, this dog had JUST attacked another dog thereby proving it was unpredictable!  Back to Maddie's love of animals...she has two little stuffed dogs that she has named Patches and Murphy (yes, after our dog).  She wants to play with these dogs all day!  She holds them up to the window to show them what's going on outside, she feeds them, changes their diapers (I know...), puts them to sleep, and has them sleep with her in her crib for naps and at bedtime (except tonight she wanted them to sleep in the chair...).

Ok, there is a lot more that I love about Maddie but I need to get off of this computer and get downstairs to clean up the kitchen from dinner.  BLAH.  I like putting it off, but that just makes me get to bed way too late!

I'll leave you with two pictures we got in the snow yesterday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The "man" in Red

Maddie got to see Santa today!!!  One of the moms in our playgroup has a Santa costume so she dressed up to have some photos taken with the kids today.  It was pretty insane, to say the least.  I'm pretty sure all of the toddlers cried at Santa.  What a mess!  Maddie is already shy around new people so this "guy" really freaked her out.  Here are some pictures of the madness...

The first glimpse of Santa coming into the room.

Santa was talking to the kids

Who is this person and I why can't I see "his" face?

Hiding around the corner

One of the more decent shots of her with Santa...blurry but at least I got this one.

Uh oh!  I thought Santa was gone!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Funny Girl

Maddie is SUCH A GOOFBALL!!  Tonight I was getting dinner out (nothing dogs and leftover potatoes) and Maddie saw the hot dogs on the counter.  She started saying "hot dog" but I wasn't fully paying attention so I didn't realize what she was saying.  Since I didn't say anything, she felt it was necessary to get my attention.  She came over, looked up at me and said "hot dog" with an attitude look in her eyes.  I told her I didn't understand and she said "puppy" and ran over and pointed to the hot dogs on the counter.  :)  dog = puppy...get it?  She cracks me up!

Speaking of food...I'm finding it very interesting what Maddie requests to eat these days.  I'm a big believer in feeding her what I eat.  I don't want to get her in the habit of me making her a special meal.  However, if she eats at least SOME of what I give her, I'll give her something else as long as she specifically asks for it.  Tonight I gave her the cut up hot dog and some leftover potatoes.  While she was eating she asked for cereal.  I asked if she wanted cereal, just to clarify that I heard her correctly and she said, "yes, Froot Loops".  So, that's what she had for dinner...a hot dog and potatoes with a side of Froot Loops.  Go ahead...judge me if you must :)

Tomorrow I'm leaving Maddie with a babysitter in our house for the first time EVER!  I left her with family members last summer when she was an infant, but I haven't left her with a stranger.  We met the babysitter yesterday and Maddie fell in love with her :)  It took her about 10-15 minutes to warm up and get used to her being in our house and then she started showing off and being goofy.  I mean, goofier than I've ever seen her!  She was literally bouncing off the walls.  She ran into the window in the playroom, was throwing herself across this big ball we have in the playroom torpedo style, throwing things, bringing things to the babysitter to show them to name it, Maddie was doing it.  She just made me laugh!  At one point I told Maddie to give me a high five and put my hand up.  She looked at my hand and completely dissed me!  She turned to the babysitter and gave her a high five instead...when it was time for the babysitter to leave I asked Maddie if she wanted her to come back another day and she said "yes" without hesitation.  I'm so glad they hit it off!!!  I'll still be a little nervous tomorrow, but I know she's in good hands so I know we'll both be fine :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Diagnosis (updated)

I have a pretty messed up back...but nothing the chiropractor can't fix.  YAY!!  I was worried that I might need to have surgery because my back hurt me so bad sometimes.  Here are a couple of x-rays I found online (my dr. office just got the software to start uploading x-rays to the computer so hopefully I'll be able to post mine before too long) that are similar to what mine looked like.  The major difference is that my spine is curving the opposite direction...scroll down to the title Second Appointment with Dr. W and ignore the first picture in that post :)  Also, my lower back is more curved than my upper back, where this person's upper back is curved more than their lower back.

He told me that although I was having mostly upper back pain, the root of the issue is my lower back.  My lower back was curving and over time my upper spine had to start curving to compensate for my lower spine.  On a scale of 1-10, 1 being the slightest curve he sees, 10 being the worst curve he sees, my upper back is about a 3 and my lower is about a 7.  YIKES!  The good news is that my bones are healthy and the discs appear to be normal as well.  Also, the side view of my spine shows an "almost textbook perfect" curve.  It's just the front/back view that shows a curvature.  He went ahead and started more treatment today.  Now that he knows exactly what my spine looks like, he's starting to move it back where it belongs.   We'll go through 6-8 adjustments followed by that same treatment they did yesterday with the electrical pulses to the muscles (to relax them) with moist heat therapy.  After that, he'll continue with adjustments and add on some physical therapy and start using the traction table.  We didn't talk about how long the treatment is supposed to last, but he did say that I'll start to physically feel better after about 14 treatments.  I HAVE TO WAIT THAT LONG?!!?  :)  I'm interested to see how all this goes!  I can tell you that last night I could tell the muscles in my back had been relaxed just from the electric pulses/moist heat therapy they did.  I was in bed, took a REALLY deep breath and my back popped RIGHT where I've been trying to get it to pop for MONTHS now.  That kind of sold me on the chiropractor right there :)

I go back again on Friday so I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Hundred

YAY for Sarah making it to post #100!  I find it amazing that I've found something I can stick with :)  If you haven't noticed, I gave up on Foto Friday...but hey, at least I'm still blogging!

So, I wanted to come up with something spectacular for my 100th post.  I've been thinking about it for DAYS (that's why I haven't posted anything in a few days) but nothing incredible has come to mind.  So, I'll do my usual...

Maddie continues to amaze me every day.  The past two times I've taken her to the Kid's Club at the gym, she hasn't wanted to leave!  When I go in to pick her up she comes running at me with a crayon saying "color".  I ask her if she's ready to go bye byes in the car with mommy she says "no" and goes back to coloring.  It's amazing how much my little one is growing.  I wish she was that comfortable everywhere I take her.  She has her few places where she's comfotable, places she's been going to for a while and she knows she's safe and Mommy will return.  Hopefully before too long she'll be ok everywhere I take her.  Next week we're heading back to see my side(s) of the family so this will be a good test of Maddie's confidence.  I'll be with her everywhere, but we'll see how quickly she warms up to family that she hasn't seen since June (some of them since Aug 2008).  Please pray for us!!!

So, what has Maddie been up to lately that's just too cute?  She's started saying "sit down" when she's standing on the furniture.  Funny how she knows she's supposed to be sitting but she just thinks it's something we say when we stand on the furniture, not an action that's supposed to be done.  I'm staying consistent and making her sit but it's still cute to hear her say "sit down".  Yesterday Murphy (the dog) was standing in front of Maddie and she started getting excited over something and started wagging her tail.  Well, her tail was hitting Maddie in the face so I said, "Murphy, watch your tail".  Maddie giggled and said "washateal" (watch your tail), then she was following Murphy around until her tail hit her in the face so she could laugh and say "washateal" at her.  It's so funny to watch her!  Just tonight Maddie came running into the kitchen and said "come Mommy" and patted her leg...we pat our leg when we tell Murphy to come.  I asked her if she wanted Mommy to come with her and she looked at me with an expression that said "what don't you understand about 'come Mommy'?".  So I followed her and we sat down to play together.  What a cutie!!!

Now onto something about myself...I finally made an appointment to see a chiropractor today.  I've been having back pain for quite a while.  It seemed to get worse when I was in the Army preparing for my deployment to Iraq.  Within the past year I've had 2 pretty bad back spasms.  One left me in bed for about 3 hours before I was able to get up to do anything.  Thank God Eric was still home then!  The other was just a month ago or so.  It only lasted for 45 minutes and I was able to move very carefully but couldn't stand upright.  Then just recently my lower back started hurting so bad at the end of the day.  I guess just having a 25 pound toddler that still requires a lot of lifting/carrying is doing that to me!  I figured I should get in to see someone about this before it got so bad that I wouldn't be able to take care of Maddie.  The appointment went well.  The dr. said my spine was tighter than it should be.  When he pressed on it, it didn't move much which told him there's definitely something going on in there.  Then he hooked me up to the computer to measure my muscle output (or something like that).  When that was finished he showed my results compared to a "normal" back.  Wow!!  It was pretty crazy.  My muscles were working way too hard to support my spine.  I only had three areas of my back that fell within the "normal" range.  Three areas were in the extreme range, two of them I middle back (between my shoulder blades) and my lower back.  The one that surprised me was my neck.  The right side of my neck was in the extreme range but the left side was in the mild range.  He also told me that my posture is out of proportion.  My left hip is posterior, my right shoulder and shoulder blade are lower than my left and my head tilts to the left to compensate for my body being "crooked".  I guess that explains why the muscles in the right side of my neck were working harder than the left!  So since my muscle test was so bad he wanted to do some x-rays.  I don't have the results of that yet, I get to go back tomorrow morning at 9:30 to get those results.  But I did get a bit of treatment today.  I can't even describe it...something was attached to my back that sent electrical pulses into my muscles and a HUGE, HEAVY heating pad was put on top of it.  NICE  :)  Then I had a nice mini-massage with BioFreeze.  I kind of hated to see that end...Oh well.  Tomorrow I'll find out the specifics on my x-rays and find out what kind of treatment I can expect and how long I can expect to be going through treatment.  I'm sure I'll have chiropractic appointments for life, but that's ok!  As long as I'm pain free and can run and play with Maddie I'll put up with 30 minutes a month at the dr. office :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bad Habits

At the risk of making myself seem like a bad parent, I'm going to tell you something really funny that Maddie did today :)  I bought a toddler quilt/pillow sham set from a local online yardsale website and went to go pick it up today.  Well, I didn't have quite enough cash on my so I had to stop at the ATM on the way.  I waited my turn in line, then pulled up, put the window down and took out my $20.  Then I put the money in my wallet, put the window up and pulled away.  Immediately Maddie says "french fries", quickly followed by "cheese".  I about died!  She thought we had stopped to get some fast food :)  I had a good laugh at her and explained that Mommy didn't get her any french fries.  She got over it so that was good, but I really had to think about how frequently I go through the drive through!  I took her through a drive through once last week and another day we ate at McDonald's with some friends.  That's the most we've been to fast food in a while so it's funny that she knows what it is.  She's just too smart!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thank You!

Wow!  I actually have some readers on here!  Hopefully there are a few, and it's not just the same person checking my blog 15 times a day...  :)  Eric reminded me that I hadn't updated the blog in 10 days so here I am to post.  Please bear with me as I have some randoms thoughts going on...some people in the blog world call this "random ramblings" so that's what I'm going to do today.

1.  What an incredible tragedy to hear of the shootings at Fort Hood.  I'm no longer in the service, but it just hurt me so bad to imagine how the soldiers stationed at Ft. Hood are feeling right now.  It's one thing to be deployed overseas, to a war zone.  Everyone going overseas to any area, combat zone or not, has a certain level of fear.  It's not fair that soldiers should be fearful on our own soil; especially within the "safe" confines of a military installation.  It just breaks my heart when I think how I would feel if I was still stationed there...I would be so afraid to even leave the barracks, afraid to go to the PX, afraid to even go for a run.  It's so scary.  I was watching the memorial on tv today and just had a really uneasy feeling as I saw the old sites of Ft. Hood.  The memorial took place in front of the III Corps building.  The barracks I lived in were directly across the street from that building.  The flag they kept showing flying at half-staff was the flag I raised and lowered every day for 10 days back in 1998 at Thanksgiving time.  We used to run on the track in front of that building twice a week, and we ran to the location where the shootings took place every Friday.  How safe I felt back then!  All we can do now is pray for the soldiers and their families that have to continue living there and serving there in fear.

2.  I have an ever-growing to-do list.  It seems I can't ever cross anything off of it, but I continue adding new things.  I just looked at my calendar and I have seriously over scheduled myself for the holidays!  I try not to think about it and just take everything one day at a time...I leave for Baltimore in 13 days and that's such a short period of time to try to accomplish all I want to accomplish! 

3.  I have an ever-growing toddler!  I don't know how much she weighs or how tall she is, but judging by her attitude alone I can tell she's developing right on schedule...she's turned into a true screamer in the past couple of days.  She screams when she's angry, she screams when she's excited, she screams when she's tired, she screams when she's scared, she screams when she wants attention, she screams when she doesn't want attention.  I just can't win. 

4.  I'm trying to figure out how to parent a toddler :)  I bought the book "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers".  So far so good.  But I'm having a hard time finding the time to read the book...I'm sure it would be a lot more helpful if I was actually reading it!  I've gotten through the first 3 chapters and want to finish the book by the time I go to Baltimore (refer to #2).  I'm just really struggling with how to handle her in these new situations.  How do I handle her when she screams?  I don't want to giver her attention for it, because if it's attention she wants, then I'm "giving in" by paying attention.  But I don't want to just ignore it because that behavior is NOT OKAY!!!

5.  I don't enjoy cooking anymore AND my weight watchers membership expired.  These two things combined equals Sarah slipping back into her old ways :(  It's so hard for me to cook with the screaming toddler and I don't look forward to making a mess to clean up.  I've resorted to buying frozen meals (EEEK!) and eating a lot of tuna and lunchmeat (EEEK!)  (For those of you who know me, this is a HUGE deal, I used to LOVE to cook!)

6.  I want to get back into crocheting.  It's something I used to really enjoy.  I would just sit and make hats, or find a cute pattern online and get out some leftover yarn and make big deal.  Now I have a half-finished afghan sitting in a basket in my bedroom that I started two years ago (sorry Eric!).  I haven't worked on it in about a year...well, I have gotten it out and done a row or two here and there, but nothing significant.  I found a pattern online for Yo Gabba Gabba dolls that I REALLY want to make for Maddie but I feel kind of guilty letting the blanket go unfinished before starting another project.  BLAH

7.  I've put off blogging about Maddie's first experience trick-or-treating so now I feel like it's too late.  Maybe one day soon I'll do it anyway...let me know what you think, should I post it or not?

8..  my mind is empty now :)  Well, not really empty, I have a lot going on in there but no words are coming to me to write.  I need to get the kitchen cleaned up (but I'll start by changing the tv channel off of Nick Jr. first) then fold two loads of laundry, straighten up the living room, clean the playroom and then get ready for bed.  Maybe I'll find time to crochet a row of the blanket and read a chapter of the book...we'll see.

thanks for reading!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Been a While...

Whew!  Two weeks and no blog from me.  WHAT?!?!  (oh, ignore the one you got yesterday-for those of you who receive email updates-I was setting up mobile blog from my new iPhone and sent a test blog; I've deleted it now so you won't see it on here) 

So, Eric was home for a glorious 19 days!  It's always so nice to have him home, and always such a challenge at the same time.  It's challenging because we look forward to so much "quality" time as a family, get our hopes up to spend so much time together, talk on the phone for weeks beforehand talking about all we want to do (children's museum, zoo, family visits, picnics at the park, dinner out with friends/neighbors, etc.).  But when he gets here, I have a big ol' "honey do" list for my poor husband.  Ok, I start out with a few things, then we come up with ideas together, then Eric comes up with more things on his own.  The point is, Eric ends up doing so much around the house that we end up running out of time before we've had much family time.  Now, don't take this as complaining (I know when you read someone's typing, you hardly ever read it in the same "tone" as the person writing it).  I'm so appreciative that Eric does so much to prepare Maddie and I for being without him for another 8 weeks.  He's doing 8 weeks of normal household projects in just 3 weeks.  That's a lot of work in a short period!  It just so happens that this time he was home we also squeezed in a 4 day vacation and had some major changes to our living room that required A LOT more than we were prepared to take on. 
The other thing that happens when Eric's home is that we get thrown out of our normal routine/schedule.  I want to be at home with Eric and I want Maddie to spend time with him while he's here so I don't take Maddie to her normal playdates or to the library and I don't go to the gym like I should.  We don't eat meals as regularly, or as healthy, as we do when he's not here.  Maddie doesn't get her naps in and stays up WAAAYYY past her bedtime (we had her up well past 9 when she's normally in bed aroun 7).  Thanks to those late bedtimes, she's now sleeping in much later than she used to.  This entire week I haven't been able to get out of the house when I've planned.  The good news is that the clocks are getting changed back this weekend so at least she won't be waking up an hour earlier!  We'll be back to our normal time of 7ish :) that I got the rough stuff out of the way, let me talk about the WONDERFUL part of Eric coming home!  Maddie LOVES her daddy!  She never stopped asking for him last time he was gone.  She never forgot him.  She remembers him every day.  She remembers that Daddy blows bubbles in the water, she remembers Daddy mows the grass (that's why every time she hears a lawn mower she says "daddy").  She thinks Daddy is a super hero :)  She looks up to him like you would not believe...Daddy can do no wrong!  She wants Daddy to get her out of bed in the mornings (probably because Daddy lets her get out of bed and get straight to playing...mommy makes her get her diaper changed first thing).
When Daddy's home Maddie gets carried through a store or, better yet, gets to walk through the store.  She just has to say "hold you" (hoju) and look up at Daddy with her sweet little eyes and Daddy says ok...especially if she says "please" (pees).  Maddie gets to be Daddy's big helper "heppa" with EVERYTHING!  She loves being a big girl and helping Daddy with his projects.  It's so sweet to see how proud she looks when she's walking around with the screwdriver.  When Daddy asks her to hand it to him, she proudly hands it over.  Here's a picture of her being Daddy's helper:

And here she is combing Daddy's hair while he's working...hey, there's no excuse not to look good, right?  :)

Besides our vacation to Cozumel, we did have a few nice family days.  One day we spent at a park.  It was so much fun!  They have different size play areas so we were able to let Maddie explore more on her own in the toddler area.  She really enjoyed it.  And I think Daddy enjoyed watching how much she's grown!  (Oh, and he enjoyed being a kid again...)

Daddy left again this past Tuesday.  There were plenty of tears, again, as Daddy headed toward security at the airport.  Every time he leaves it gets harder and harder.  It's definitely harder on Eric than it is on me.  But when I see how hard it is on him, that's when I get emotional.  I can't even begin to put into words how we feel everytime he leaves.  He's missing out on so much, Maddie's missing out on so much, but we're just trying to keep our focus on the bigger picture.  Down the road when we're all together as a family again, this will all be a distant memory and we'll all be thankful for the sacrifices we've made in the past.
For now Maddie is back to asking for Daddy all the time.  When she hears an airplane she says "pepane....daddy....caca....hodju"  In English that's "Daddy went bye byes on the airplane and he took his backpack with him, and she wants Daddy to hold her".  For some reason she's so fascinated by his backpack and always mentions it when she mentions daddy going bye byes on the airplane. now we're beginning to get back into our routine again and trying to get used to being just the two of us again. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just a Few Pictures

Here are some of our favorite pictures from our vacation.  To see these and more photos, please visit my flickr page at

Sunset from our balcony.  This was the first night we were there.

Sunset with Mommy

Pretty little baby girl

Do you see the hermit crab walking on her arm?  This was one of the biggest ones we saw :)

Maddie's favorite shell

Excited to bring Mommy a "treasure" she found on the beach

Baby footprints :)

A day on the boat

Getting ready for her first scuba lesson...not really :)

Having some Daddy time on the boat

Just woke up from a nap with Mommy

Do you see how big my baby is getting?!?! 

Our Vacation

What a vacation!  It was really nice to get out of the house :)  I didn't have any meals to prepare, I didn't have any cleaning up to do, I didn't have two pesky animals to worry about.  It was as relaxing as a vacation with a 16 month old can be!  Maddie did as well as can be expected for the trip.  She enjoyed the plane ride with Daddy.  He showed her the clouds, she said "weee" as we hit turbulence, she looked perplexed at the idea that we were in the air...she said "uh oh" when she realized we were above the trees (when we were about to land).  I think the whole idea confused her a little.  But at least she was more aware of what we were doing this time.  This was her 4th trip by plane and the first time she began to grasp the concept of traveling through the sky.  It's really cool to share these experiences with her and watch her trying to understand what things are and what's going on.

Another cool experience we got to share with her is the ocean!  She's been to the beach before, but just like the airplane, I don't think she could really grasp it.  Our hotel room was an ocean front room and as soon as we got to our room and she looked out the sliding glass door, she yelled "pooool!"  She couldn't wait to go swimming in that giant pool :)  We kept telling her "that's not a pool, that's the ocean" and by Wednesday evening she finally starting calling it "ocean" instead of "pool".  Maddie enjoyed playing in the sand, as she has in Galveston, but there were some really cool things at this beach that Galveston doesn't have.  This beach had a TON of shells.  Most of them were pretty small and a lot were broken up, but I found one bigger shell that she just fell in love with.  She was holding it to her chest, patting it and saying "shh shh".  She really loved that shell!  We took pictures of her with her shell because we thought we couldn't bring it home.  But we managed to get it home afterall :)  One of Maddie's favorite things we found on the beach were hermit crabs.  These things were SO SMALL!  The shells weren't even as big as my pinky fingernail, that's how small they were.  Maddie thought they were cute and even let them crawl on her hand and arm.  It was really sweet.

One more fun experience for us to share with Maddie was going for a ride on a boat!  We went out on a glass bottom boat (which sounds a lot more exciting than it really is) on Tuesday morning.  We left around 11 and got back sometime around 2.  Maddie enjoyed seeing other boats while we were out on the ocean, but I'm not sure if she really understood the concept of the boat.  At least we have pictures of her with us on the boat to show her when she's older.  She got to watch the fishies through the glass window and one of the crew members on the boat was feeding the fish crackers so we could see them come to the surface of the water to eat.  She liked that! 

Other than those things, we just enjoyed some time at the pool.  Maddie loves the water so she would've been content to stay in the pool all day except they didn't have a kiddie pool and she wanted to be on her own...that's why it was actually better to be playing on the beach!  Maddie seemed to enjoy the food while we were there.  She wasn't too picky, but she didn't eat any vegetables the whole time we were there, barely ate any fruit, and loaded up on desserts.  But somehow she still managed to get the Mexico poops :(  Yesterday was the worst when she had a blowout on the way to the airport.  YUCK!  Hopefully it's run its course by now and she'll be back to normal soon.  At least she isn't acting any differently! 

Well, I guess that's all for now.  I'll post pictures once I put them on the computer.  Hopefully we got some really nice ones!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009