Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stair Master

Maddie can now go UP and DOWN the steps all by herself!  Of course I'm right there, one or steps behind, but she's doing it on her own and feels like such a big girl when she makes it to the top or bottom!  It's funny to watch her trying to go up the steps with a dress on :)  I usually have to bunch it up behind her and hold on to it so it doesn't get in her way! 

In other news, Maddie is ONLY walking these days.  It's amazing that Eric just left 10 days ago and she was only walking a little bit.  Now she's not only walking everywhere she goes, she's got really good balance, too!  It looks like she's been walking for months at this point.  I guess that the advantage of her walking later is that she's more confident and has better balance.  Yesterday I was just watching her toddle around the house and I just had the biggest smile on my face at what an awesome little girl I have.  Now that she can walk she wants to be so independent but yet she still doesn't want Mommy to go too far from her.  It's so precious to watch!  One of my favorite things is when she brings a book to me.  Where ever I am, whatever I'm doing, I stop and sit on the floor with her to read a book to her :)  It's so sweet how much she loves books!  I never want to do anything to discourage her from reading.  Plus, why would I pass up the opportunity to snuggle with her in my lap for a minute?  :)

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE being a mommy?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Words Update

Here are a few more words I forgot to mention in the initial "Maddie's Words" blog...and in "A Few More Words"...

help, rock, walk, please, bouncy, up, out

I just can't get over how many words she uses on her own!!!  I didn't think she would really be communicating with me until she was much closer to 2 years old.  I though the first two years were the biggest struggle because of lack of communication.  Well, that and the fact that their job is to push the limits and see what they can get away with and what they have control over...  :)

Foto Friday

Here are some pictures from Saturday August 22nd through Friday August 28th.

My newest favorite picture of Maddie

I bought this apron for Maddie before I even knew I was pregnant.

I always dreamed of having a daughter to help me in the kitchen.

Maybe letting her walk around with a wooden spoon isn't a good idea.

Maddie looking in her "oven". I don't mind her playing with the warming keeps her content while I get stuff done!

On Tuesday Maddie got a new chair. She was so happy! As soon as I took it out of the box she climbed right up!

But sitting in the chair didn't last long. In this picture she's doing "bouncy bouncy". If you click on the picture to open up the full size version you can actually see her saying "bouncy" :)

Another pair of new shoes! I love that she's walking now :)

Maddie loves meal time. She's been practicing using a spoon but usually just ends up using her fingers...and that's just fine :)

Talking on her cell phone while driving...boy am I ever setting a bad example!

Kisses for Murphy. If you open up the full size picture you can see how she's gripping Murphy's mouth...Murphy is so tolerant!

More kisses for Murphy

And some more...

And now Murphy is being used as a home gym...see Murphy starting to get up? It wasn't pretty after this shot was taken...but we all survived and Maddie only whined, no actual crying from Murphy dumping her on her head. Remember that comment I made about Murphy being tolerant? I think this is where she draws the line!

Cutey Patootie! She LOVES this ladybug dress! We read "Ten Little Ladybugs" and she kept pulling at the ladybugs at the bottom of the dress and laughing. She's so adorable!!

A Few More Words

Here are a few words I thought of while I got Maddie ready for bed...

bubble, powder, play and bird.

Didn't want to leave any out!

Maddie's Words

Maddie amazes me every day! She will be 15 months old next Saturday. I have a whole list of words she says without any encouragement from me. Most of them are items she sees and can recognize on her own. Others are just words she knows that might not actually have an item associated with it (ouch, kick, etc.). Here are the words she says on her own...

turtle, bear, hat, elmo, apple, juice, towel, pillow, ball, bone, no, girl, car, spoon, cup, tv, buckle, cheese, swing, crayons (she says color), mama, daddy, grass, tree, phone (hello), tiger, bath, baby, diaper, eye, nose, head, hair, ear, toesies, hand, keys, peaches, banana, fish, rain, sock, shoes, pants, backpack, tractor, bottle, kick, ouch, thank you, clap, snap, splash, kiss. There are probably more but these are the ones I just wrote down in the past 10 minutes.

I want her to be able to recognize animals by their name so we're slowly working on that (turtle, tiger and bear she has down). Most animals she sees she just makes the sound the animal makes. Those animals are...

dog, cat, cow, horse, elephant, monkey, duck, owl, lion and frog.

Maddie also has a few phrases she says. The only one she says on her own is "there it is" (da dis) when I ask her where something is and she sees it. When I kiss a boo boo (she says boo boo too) she'll say "all better" I don't know how to type how she says it!). When we're looking for something/someone she'll say "where are you" (waa ou). She also says "love you" (la ou) when I tell her "love you" first.

I just wanted to share these with you all!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bike Ride

When Eric was home he bought a bike seat and helmet for Maddie. She LOVED the helmet the first time he put it on her, then he had to tighten the chip strap so it fit snuggly and we pinched her chin while snapping it...needless to say, she wasn't a big fan of the helmet since then! We still put it on her and he took her for a few bike rides because once she got going she was happy and forgot about the helmet. Well, I told Eric I wouldn't take Maddie on bike rides because I feel like sometimes I still need training wheels...I'm not really sure of myself on a bike so I would be really nervous to take Maddie for a ride. And to make matters even worse I don't even have my own bike! Even if I did, the bike seat is mounted to Eric's anyway. I'm able to ride his bike, but the seat is mounted too high for me so when I stop I have to hop off the seat in order to get my foot to touch the ground.
The past few days when Maddie and I have gone out to the garage to go get the mail (we go that way so I can put her in the stroller to walk to the mailbox...yes, it's that far) she's said "hat" and did sign language for "hat". So I've been putting her helmet on her and she's really happy :) I was thinking how nice it was going to be when Eric came home again in October, she'll really be ready to go for rides again! Well, today we went out to get the mail (with her in the Baby Bjorn...she's about too heavy for that!) and she wanted to wear the helmet again. I put it on her, told her how pretty she was and all that stuff and then took it off of her. She started to cry!! So I put it back on her and walked inside to show her herself in the mirror. She laughed and was really happy, saying "hat" the whole time. But...she STILL wouldn't let me take it off of her! She wouldn't even let me put her on the floor (I wanted to take a picture of her walking around inside the house with it on). I finally got her convinced that if I put her down I would put on my shoes and socks and we would go for a bike ride. That made her happy! Oh I have to go against what I told Eric, and go out of my comfort zone, and subject both me and Maddie to a bike wreck...Ahhh, the things we'll do to make our kids happy, right? We went for a short bike ride, only about 10 minutes or so. I chose roads where there isn't a lot of traffic. Also, it was just after 4pm so there's not too much traffic at that time anyway. We did fine and only had one minor close-call :) Maddie was kicking my butt the whole time, something Eric hadn't mentioned so maybe she didn't do it to him...mommy's butt is much more "bouncy" than daddy's afterall :) Then toward the end she leaned forward enough and grabbed on to the bottom of my shirt and held on for a while. Maybe I didn't have her strapped in tight enough...I'll check that out next time!
So, we had a nice time out riding the bike together. I'm glad I did it. It feels good when I get out and do something active and outdoorsy with Maddie because I really want that to be a part of our every day life when she's older, so why not start now? I would just like to wait for another bike ride when it's cooler...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Little Gym

Maddie had her first "workout" in a gym designed just for kids!!! She's a "bird" (the class for 10-19 month olds) in the parent/child classes. The class lasted about 45 minutes, but felt like 15 minutes! It was structured enough that she had to follow some directions, but unstructured enough that she was free to be a 15 month old :) When we first went in to the building Maddie could see all the fun climbing stuff and mats and all and she kept saying "play play" and doing the sign for "play". She couldn't wait to get in there! There was another class going on at the time so we couldn't go in just yet. The nicest surprise was that Maddie's friend Jonathan was there for the class too!! So they toddled around in the waiting area for a while until the previous class finished up. When it was time to actually go inside Maddie got a little nervous. She wouldn't walk in by herself, I had to carry her. She seemed very intimidated by the whole environment. The class started out by singing a song while shaking some for everyone, right? :) Then we walked and ran around in a circle (this helped Maddie loosen up a little until the class leader talked to her!) and clapped a while. We had a chance to play with a parachute (Maddie wasn't afraid of it, but didn't want a lot to do with it either) and got to chase bubbles! Next was time to explore and play on the mats and different equipment (balance beams, uneven bars, etc.). We did a log roll together, where I held Maddie to my chest and rolled down the "cheese" wedge with her. Then I helped her do some forward rolls on the mat. She seemed to have fun with that and even wanted to do it once by herself (it didn't actually work, but I praised her for her effort!). Next we had some time to play on the bars. Maddie held on to the bar while I held her by the hips and raised her above the bar and below the bar. Then I let her kind of hang while swinging her back and forth. She had a lot of fun playing with the bar! After that we did some jumping then got back in the big circle to play with balls and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. All of the moms and kids were sitting in the circle getting ready to sing the goodbye song...all the kids except Maddie and one little boy...Can you believe that in a 45 minute period Maddie had become confident enough to wander around in the gym without me? She's getting braver and braver every day :) I can't wait to take her back next week!!!


She finally started saying it..."no". This is a word I was hoping to avoid for a while, although I do say it regularly so it shouldn't come as a surprise that she started saying it. For example, Me: "do you want some water?". Maddie shakes her head no. I say "No? Ok, do you want some milk?" Every time she shakes her head "no" I say the word. She's smart, so naturally she would associate it and begin saying it herself. I'm not going to this point it's cute to hear her say "no". She has the sweetest little voice and for now she's only saying it when I ask her a question and she's not saying it in an "ugly" way. I'm sure I'll be posting again in the near future about her getting ugly with's guaranteed to happen, it's only a matter of time!

One bad thing she just started is hitting :( She hasn't hit people yet (well, once I was pretending to sleep on the couch and she slapped me on the cheek...but I won't count that) but she hits her toys. She recently learned to say "ouch" when she bumps or gets scratched or just hurt in whatever way. Well, she's acting that out with her toys. She'll be holding a teddy bear then just hit it and say "ouch" with a mean look on her face. I tell her it's not nice to hit that she needs to be sweet and gentle with her toys. Hopefully this hitting phase won't extend beyond her toys and even then, hopefully it won't last long! I'm getting her to say "sorry" when she does something that might be hurtful, hopefully she's understanding what that's all about! I'm trying my best to explain feelings to her but I don't know at what age I should get her to truly understand all that....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is it Potty Time??

Last Friday Maddie came over to me, grabbed at her diaper and said "diaper"...well, "baa-per". I thought it was funny and I asked her if she wanted Mommy to change her diaper. She nodded and grunted "uh huh". I didn't think she really needed to have it changed, but I thought if she's going to tell me she peed, I'm going to change it! I took her upstairs and sure enough, she had peed. I praised her and told her what a big girl she was for telling Mommy she had a wet diaper. Well, she didn't do it again, which was no big surprise...she's only 14 months old, how could I seriously expect her to tell me every time she goes?!?! Today she started with the "baa-per" thing again. Twice today she did it! I just can't believe it! No...I'm not going to start potty training! But I will continue to praise her for knowing when she goes and for telling me about it!

I have a whole list of things that I think about throughout the day that I want to blog about...but then when I sit down in front of the computer, they all leave my head :( I need to start carrying around a notebook or something so as I think of things I can write it down and know what to tell you on here...oh well, one day :)

Maddie got a new chair today! She has a few shows she enjoys watching on Noggin. Her favorite right now is Go Diego Go. She LOVES Click the Camera and she always says "click" when the camera says "say click". Then when Diego is on his way to go rescue the animal in trouble he says "clap clap clap" and Maddie claps (and says the words) along with him! I always said I would never let my kids watch too much tv; and I don't think she's watching TOO much tv, just a little more than I thought I would ever let her. But when I see her really enjoying what she's watching, how can I turn it off? She really pays attention to what she sees and hears on the tv these days. I enjoy sitting on the couch with her and talking about the different colors, shapes, numbers, etc. that we're seeing (education is my justification for letting her watch the tv). Oh yeah, so that brings us back to the first sentence in this paragraph...Maddie got a new chair today! She likes to sit on the couch to watch tv (not on my lap, just by herself) but I don't trust her to be left alone on the couch. She knows how to get down off of the couch ok but sometimes she's just not aware of where she is and sits up at the edge of the couch. If I hadn't been right there, she would've fallen off the couch several times by now! So, I decided to get her a little chair to sit in the livingroom that she can climb in and out of all on her own! It's the cutest little chair :) As soon as I took it out of the box tonight her little face lit up and she climbed right in! She sat there for a little bit and then started standing in the chair, bouncing in the chair, and sitting on the arm of the chair...sheesh! I know she'll fall out of this chair several times over the next few weeks. But at least it's lower than the couch, right? :) Oh, and I haven't put the legs on it, it's just sitting on the floor for now. Maybe once she masters sitting nicely in the chair I'll put the legs on it for her!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday's Fotos :)

Sorry these are a day are some highlights from Saturday, August 15th through Friday, August 21st. Enjoy!

Cute little gecko outside our window :)

The shelf Daddy built. Mommy painted it so it's all ready to go in the playroom now!

Daddy and Maddie crawling to the water together. They had so much fun playing together at the beach!
Maddie catching some waves
Woah! Look comes a BIG one...
Good thing Daddy was there to "save" me!
Kick kick kick
Stopping for a quick rest in between waves.
This is one way to make a "big girl" look little again!
Daddy dug a hole and Maddie thought it was a nice place to sit. She kept climbing in and out of it
My baby girl's little footprints in the sand :)
My toy shelf with some of my toys in it! I LOVE being able to pull my toy bins out to play.
Daddy got a REALLY bad sunburn when we went to the beach...OUCH!
Mommy thought I looked so cute in this little dress that Grandma R got me for my birthday.
My new little shoes. I like walking in them so much!
Coloring at the kitchen table
Straining to see the tv from the kitchen table.
See where the tv is from where I'm sitting? I LOVE Noggin!

Foto Friday Postponed :(

Sorry...I have so many pictures I wanted to add this week but it's just taking so long! I'll try to post some when Maddie's down for her afternoon nap today :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Maddie's Memory

I forgot I wanted to blog about how incredible Maddie's memory is. First, I've been saying the alphabet to her and trying to get a head start on her learning her letters. It's really been paying off because when I say the alphabet (one letter at a time, slowly) she knows some of the letters that come next. When I say A, she says B. When I say B, she says C. When I say O, she says P. When I say Q, she says R. She's not consistent on this, but most of the time (when she's in a cooperative mood) she'll say them. It's really cute to see that she's capable of learning this much at such a young age!

A few days ago the cat was sitting on my lap and she got spooked when I moved my leg. Well, for any of you who have/had cats you know how high they can jump and that they stick their claws out to grab on to anything on the way down. Yes, she caught my little pinky finger and tore a big chunk of skin off. Nice, huh? Well, I cleaned it out, put antibiotic ointment on and put a bandaid on. Maddie didn't like the bandaid AT ALL. I told her Mommy has a boo boo and showed her the bandaid and she was trying to back away so the bandaid wouldn't touch her. So, that was Tuesday night. I haven't worn the bandaid since then. It's now Friday morning. When I got Maddie up this morning she looked at my hand and said "boo boo". I hadn't even mentioned it to her or anything. What a memory!

Another amazing display of memory skills is when we read books together. She enjoys making animal sounds. In fact, I don't think she even says the actual names of the animals, she just identifies them by the sound they make. She LOVES to read "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?". She knows what animal comes next. For example, when I read the green frog page, she starts making a cat sound before I even say "I see a purple cat...". When I'm on the cat page, she starts barking like a dog. One day last week I was reading a new book to her (Snuggle Up, Sleepy Ones). I had read the book to her two or three times one night, then the next night she was already making the animal sounds for the animal on the next page. She knows that the monkeys come after the zebras and that the elephants come after the giraffes!

Is my baby the smartest or what?!?! :)

Poor Baby

Maddie is just walking around today saying "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy". I keep telling her "Daddy went bye byes on the big airplane" and she smiles and says "Daddy, Daddy". Then I ask her where Daddy went and she waves bye byes. I don't think she fully understands that Daddy didn't just go to the store quick and he'll be back in a few minutes. I don't know when that reality is going to hit her, or if it even will this 8 week period. I just know how much fun she had with her Daddy this time that he was home and how much they bonded. Daddy became her best friend! They really enjoyed playing together, riding bikes together, eating together, sneaking tasty treats behind Mommy's back together :) Hopefully she'll keep those fun memories in her mind and these next 8 weeks will go by quickly so she won't be too shy with Daddy when he comes home on October 10th!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The End :(

I can't believe how fast Eric's vacation went. His first vacation was only 12 days so we were really looking forward to this one being longer. Unfortunately we also had a bigger "to do" list for this I guess that's what helped it go by so fast! We're getting ready to leave for the airport soon and it's just so depressing every time we have to do this (even though this is just the 3rd time). Maddie has grown and learned so much since Eric last left on June 3rd. Each time she learns new things makes her so much more enjoyable. Eric's having a really hard time leaving her this time. I know he doesn't want to leave me either, but especially Maddie! He's been tearing up pretty much all day every time he talks to her and hugs her. She doesn't really understand what's going on, so that's good for now. One day she'll fully understand that Daddy's leaving for a long time. That'll make things that much harder! For now we just have to appreciate the time we do get to spend together and not dwell on the time apart. When Eric's home we get to do a lot of fun things that other families don't get to do when they spend just the weekend together. We really are blessed, it's just hard to look at it that way sometimes!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Maddie, the Beach Bum

We got the opportunity to take Maddie to the beach for the second time today. I know she remembered going because as soon as I opened the car door and she could see the water from her car seat she started nodding her head. Yes, she lets us know what she likes by nodding and what she dislikes by shaking her head...hey, at least she communicates :) But the nods weren't just "normal" nods, they were the most exaggerated nods, like chin down as far as it could go, probably even hitting her chest, and then back up as far as she could go, head hitting the back of the car seat! I could tell she was excited then I reached in to unbuckle her and started talking to her about going swimming at the beach she started laughing and kicking her feet. She REALLY loves going to the beach!

First things first, we changed her into her swim diaper, applied a nice, thick layer of sunscreen and got her bathing suit on. Next, we ate lunch so we could avoid eating with sandy hands later. Then it was straight off to the water...She kept going nonstop the whole time we were there (just about 3 hours). She played in the sand, played in the water, went in the water with mommy and daddy a few times, found seashells and helped destroy mommy's sad attempt at a sandcastle. She was so cute when she found a seashell she would hold it carefully between her thumb and forefinger and crawl as fast as she could down to the water, rinse it off, and carry it back up the beach to play with it. I don't know where she learned to rinse it off, I wonder if Steph did that with her last time we were at the beach (about 3 weeks ago).

Well, I guess that's it for now. Look for pictures on Friday!

Tomorrow is Daddy's last day at home :( We get to spend a good part of the day together, he doesn't have to be at the airport until around 4ish so we get almost a full day together. He leaves tomorrow and will return again on October 10th (or somewhere around then).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wakey, Wakey, Eggs and Bakey

I woke up to the sweetest sound coming from the baby monitor this morning...Maddie was so calmly and sweetly saying "Ma Ma". She never cried or fussed at all. I guess she was just missing me :) I got up almost immediately (it's much more motivating to get out of bed to a sweet baby instead of a fussy one) and went up to get her. I heard her saying "Ma Ma" again as I was going up the stairs. So I opened her door and said, "yes, princess, Mommy's here". She gave me a big smile and immediately said "Daaaa-ddy". Little snot! :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Foto Friday

Another week has's been a crazy week, but we didn't take many photos :( The biggest highlight of the week (at least for me and Maddie) was going to the zoo!!! Yeah :) As we exited off the highway it hit me that I forgot the camera! sorry for not having many decent photos this week. But you're welcome for not taking a picture of what Maddie did in the tub the other night...she POOPED! GROSS! At least it was a nice solid one and not a runny messy one, right?

So, here are some pictures from Saturday, August 8th through Friday, August 14th... Enjoy!

Daddy built a new toy cubby for Maddie to store toys in in the playroom! This is a picture of it upside down as he was constructing it. It's now being painted. I'll post updated pictures next week!

Daddy cooked spaghetti and meatballs for us for dinner one night. YUMMY! I made him (ok, asked him SO nicely) to make a double batch so I can freeze the sauce for future use instead of buying any.

Maddie got the biggest fat lip...poor baby just fell flat on her face on the tile floor.

Another view of the fat lip.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Foto Friday

Here are some pictures from Saturday, August 1st through Friday, August 7th...

So sleepy...had to rest on the floor while watching tv.

Giving Daddy kisses through the window.
Looking cute in my Ralph Lauren tennis dress :) The shoes didn't last you can see in the next picture.
She took one or two steps and was ready to take them off. She needs a little more time to establish her balance.
She's discovered a love of "coloring"
We took Murphy swimming for the first time this summer...she didn't miss a beat!
Maddie all ready for her first bike ride with Daddy.
There they go!

50th Post!!

This is my 50th blog posting since starting my blog :) I just want to give a quick update and let everyone know that Maddie is walking more and more every day! We're so proud of her! Maddie is also really getting into playing with crayons...yes, playing with them more than coloring with them. I think I need to make it a more structured activity and maybe put her in a booster seat at the table instead of letting her do it in the playroom.

Daddy has been home for a full week now and he's already getting Maddie into new things. Today he took her for her first bike ride! He bought a little bike seat for her and a cute little helmet that's pink with little bunnies on it. She wasn't cracked on the idea of the helmet at first, but she liked her bike seat and really enjoyed the ride. Eric said she was pointing out things along the way, such as "ball", or "baaaawwwl" as Maddie says :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

And She's Off...

I don't want to jump the gun and say Maddie's officially walking yet, but I can tell you that she will be within the next couple of days! She's been walking like crazy today. Walking to Daddy, walking to Mommy, walking by herself without any encouragement from us, etc. She's doing really well! It's especially cute when she reaches her destination and she cheers for herself "yay" :) One time today she walked to Daddy, turned around and walked back to me without holding on to anything! We were probably about 5-6 feet apart. I was kind of sad that she hadn't started walking sooner, but this is perfect timing since Eric's home to watch the entire process. I have no doubt she'll be walking before he heads back to Nigeria in about 3 weeks. He's been so impressed with her and all that she's able to do and say now. Yesterday Eric let her taste his root beer. She LOVED it! She took a sip from the straw, walked a few steps away from him (holding on to the couch) then turned back and took another sip, and so it went for at least 5 minutes. Today she was "tickling" my toes, then she would walk to Daddy and "tickle" his toes, and go back and forth. What a goof ball!

Another quick update...Maddie got her first two molars within 2 days of each other! I noticed the top, right side molar on Thursday and the top, left side molar tonight. No wonder she's been so cranky! Hopefully those teeth will continue coming in smoothly so she won't be in much pain and she'll be a happier girl for us :)

Well, we'll update in a few days to let you know when she's walking!