Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Card 2009

I made our Christmas cards for the second year in a row. I LOVE how they turned out this year and had to share.

They were actually a combination Christmas Card/Lydia's birth announcement/we've moved announcement. (The envelope had our address change on it with a label that said We've Moved!) We had a big year if you remember.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

So my life is all about being behind these days. I am one day shy of a week late in posting our Christmas. It was a great holiday. Madeline and Lydia made out like bandits. Not to mention Kevin and I... our families were very generous to us this year. We only hope they feel the same way towards our gifts!

So festivities officially begin on Christmas Eve Eve when Madeline and I had the traditional "making of the Chocolate Pies!" Let me explain... this chocolate pie is a tradition of Kevin's family. Until just three or so years ago Kevin's grandmother, who will be 99 next month, made this pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas. When she moved out of her own home three year ago (at the ripe age of 96) I took over this task. I hope I live up to her tradition and standards. I really do try.

Having an adorable side kick to help you do the work can't hurt. That photo was taken during Madeline's favorite part. It took two adults, Kevin and myself, to stop her from sticking her fingers in the pie mix the entire time we were making them!

The next day our holidays truly kicked into high gear with Christmas Eve at my parents house. I took so few pictures I am kind of ashamed of myself. (Mom and Dad please tell me you have more photos... I was a slacker.)

I did get this totally awesome shot of Super Madeline.... my sister-in-law Kathy made the BEST cape and magic wand for Madeline... I think that is going to need an entire post of its own however...

After family presents were opened Mom and Dad opened their house to some of our extended family, including my mom's cousin's and their families. It was a fantastic evening with my very colorful family!

Then we continue with Christmas Day. Kevin and I were awake and laying in bed long before either one of our girls were up. Talk about kids on Christmas morning!
Once Madeline and Lydia finally got up we all came down to see that Santa had indeed stopped at our house!

Our tree with all of our presents.

Madeline didn't react the way I had anticipated. She was excited, but I am just not sure she really gets the concept of Santa and I know she didn't understand that all of the presents were for her. She just kept trying to give all of the gifts to other people. I guess I shouldn't complain. She does have a very considerate soul and a servants heart that is for sure.

Madeline asked Santa for two things in particular. Her very own camera and her own tools (like daddy's). I think Santa got the message. (I'll be posting her fabulous photography skills very soon.)

Lydia hanging out in her bouncy chair with her Christmas stocking. She looks really happy to be there doesn't she?

So after opening our gifts, eating breakfast (a sausage strata, yummo) and packing up our gear and children we headed to Kevin's parents house for the afternoon.

Lyda warmed up to Christmas after all.

Oh my gosh is she a doll. I mean really?!?! Look at that little face! I want to kiss her forever!

Anyone need a handy woman. I know just the person to call.

After naps Madeline and Lydia put on their Christmas best and posed for some photos.

Four generations. (L to R) Bruce, Madeline, Kevin, Grandma (or GG as we call her) and Lydia.

GG got some snuggle time with Lydia. (Lydia is named for GG, but that story deserves a post of it's own as well.) The love that GG has for her great granddaughters is amazing. Her face lights up when they are around and Madeline LOVES her back so deeply. It is an amazing bond. I am so glad that they are getting to know their great grandmother. She is an exceptionally strong woman. I am awefully fond of strong women being one myself... :)

I had to try to get a photo of my girls together too... but Lydia, as you can see, was DONE with being handled.

I still love this photo. (Can you see the scrape on Madeline's chin? Two days prior she was running though the house and tripped on the carpet which sent her face first into a speaker. She scraped her chin on a support bar in the speaker and brused the bottom of her chin and bit the inside of her lip. Because of the amount of blood in her mouth I was worried she'd knocked out a tooth. Gladly I was wrong and she is just fine now... )

So that was our Christmas. A wonderfully busy two days. This week has been crazy and with New Years and my dad's family's Christmas celebration the next three days will be even crazier. Look for me some time in 2010. Until then... HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The one where I can't decide what to title this post...

I just spent the last two hours putting Lydia to bed.

Why Maureen, you exaggerate! It can't possibly take THAT long, can it?

Oh, how I wish I were kidding. My littlest was swaddled at 9:15 pm and two hours later she is in her own bed for the third time. I am just hoping that she doesn't wake up again.

So when asked why I haven't blogged that is why. Everything takes just a little longer. Getting ready in the morning takes longer. Preparing a meal takes longer. Putting shoes on takes longer. Getting us in coats and out the door takes longer. Playing a game of "checks" (aka. Doctor) or "Where's Madeline" (an elaborate game of hiding that no one but Madeline actually knows the rules too, which usually ends in tears because we aren't playing it right) takes longer. Putting everyone to bed takes longer. All of that time adds up and what is displaced?


Sad I know, but it is the truth. Children must be fed. Clothes must be cleaned. Baths must be given. Work shirts must be ironed. Trash must be taken out. Dishes must be done. So my past-times suffer.

I love this blog. It is almost silly to think that the reason I blog is to remember the crazy times in our life, but the crazier it gets the less time I have to record it all. I don't want to forget this time in our life, but I don't even remember what I had for breakfast today let alone anything cute/silly/memorable that may have happened today.

I hope that after the holidays life will calm a bit. I am hopeful. Not at all convinced, but none the less hopeful.

It is now 11:15pm. I hope to post again tonight; Lydia turned 2 months on Saturday and I don't want to forget. After that I should go to bed. I'll probably stay up crocheting Christmas presents. I'm crazy like that. To be honest, crafting makes me feel like I am reclaiming a little bit of myself again. I love being a mother. I just miss doing something I really enjoy, just for me. Even if it is as simple as crocheting a simple gift or reading a book that makes me smile.



Lydia- 2 months (and a fried egg)

On Saturday Lydia celebrated her 2 month birthday. I know it is cliche, but it is hard to believe that 1) that much time as passed because it seems like just yesterday she was born and 2) that it has been such a short period of time because it is almost impossible to remember what life was like before she was here.

December 9
She almost looks like a doll in this photo.

Height: 24 3/8 inches (off the charts)
Weight: 11 # 12 oz. (75th percentile)

*taken at her 2 month check up on Dec. 17th.

December 9
Oh how I love her faces!

Lydia is a pretty easy going baby. She is easy to sooth and very content to sit in her bouncy seat or on the floor as long as there are people around for her too look at. She loves to be held facing away from the person holding her. She just wants to see the world around her. She also has amazing head control and has since the day she was born. She loves to sit up (with support from an adult of course) and has been holding herself up in a seated position for the past few days.

December 9
All smiles!

She smiles and coos frequently now. She smiles the biggest for Madeline and loves watching her sister play around her. (Although Madeline has started telling me to just put Lydia down and play... "don't hold her mommy, play!") I keep trying to get her "talking" on video and as soon as I do I'll post that. Her jabbers and coos are adorable. Madeline was a very talkative baby and I am thinking Lydia will be too!

Getting ready for the big guy:

December 20

As for the big question:

How is she sleeping?

It could be worse. She still cat naps throughout the day. Some days it seems like she sleeps all day. Other days she seems more alert, but no matter the situation, she is sleeping in one or two larger stretches at night. We've had two nights in the last week and a half (not consecutive) where she slept for a 6 hour block. Most of the time she sleeps for 4-5 hours, nurses and then sleeps another 2-3 hours. Our biggest problem right now is that she doesn't really go to bed until much later than we want her too.

Like tonight: she was up from 5pm to 9 pm almost straight. Then I nursed her and she fell asleep at 9:20pm. I attempted to put her in her crib in her room (which she has been in since she was 6 weeks old) but she woke up in less than 5 minutes. I rocked her back to sleep and put her down again at 10:10pm. She woke up crying in less than a minute. So I nursed her one more time and she was in bed at 11:10pm sleeping peacefully. We'd love to have her just sleep in her bed from 9-11pm even if she isn't down for the night. I'd just like to have my arms free for a little while. (see my previous post!)

In short, she is lovely. So far she is easy to love and easy to care for, just like her sister was at this age. I feel so very lucky to have had two such peaceful and easygoing infants. I only hope Lydia doesn't follow Madeline's footsteps at the age of 2 1/2. But that is a whole other post!


And totally unrelated to ANYTHING normally posted on this blog:

I found an egg with a double yolk this week. That has to be good luck or something doesn't it?!?!? Kevin ate it. He assures me it was yummy.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hugging them into submission

A few weeks ago my friend Anna came over for a playdate with her two kiddos, Madeline (Maddie) and Cullen.

My Maddy spent most of the hour and a half they visited hugging Maddie.  A lot.  It got so bad that we had to physically remove Maddy from Maddie after a particularly long and firm hugging session.  With Lydia only being a few weeks old I think it had everything to do with Madeline trying to get attention from her friend AND from me. 

It is hard to see in this photo but Cullen is HUGE in comparison to Lydia.  I guess that is the difference between 4 weeks and 4 months!  He was rolling all over like a champ and just wanted to love on Lydia.  Totally adorable!

And I have no idea why that second photo is turned sideways.  Just tilt your head to the right.  They are still aweful cute, even with a neck ache.

Come back soon friends!  That is if Maddy hasn't scared you away with her hugs.


First of many

One of the first things I said to Kevin after Lydia was born was that having two girls meant dressing them in matching outfits.  Theses jammies, courtesy of Maw Maw and Paw Paw, are just the begining.

Love it.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

If you give us cookies...

It is far too late for me to be up.  But once Kevin got off work at 10pm and got home at 10:30pm we decided the tree we purchased yesterday needed to come inside to avoid the rain/flurries projected for the next few days.

Have you ever read the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff?  It is a fabulous children's book.  This is my version:

If you want to move your Christmas Tree in doors:

First, your going to have to move the rugs.

Then, once they are moved you will notice how dirty the floor is.

You'll have to sweep it.

Once you get the broom out and have swept the floor, you'll notice the tree stand is a little deeper then you thought. 

You'll have to measure (and remeasure) to see if you have to cut branches off the bottom. 

You settle on putting rocks in the bottom of the tree stand.  You steal them from the makeshift patio umbrella holder on the deck.  (That umbrella stand rocks, literally, and so does my creative husband who made it btw.)

You finally get to bring the tree in the house. 

You sweep some more.

Once you are done with that, you struggle to get the tree into the tree stand because it is about 5 inches too tall.

You run to the shed to get the hand LAUPPAS (for those of you who don't watch Roger on This Old House that is loppers).

You forget your flashlight and have to go out in the dark (because it is now almost 11pm).

You cut the top branches off the tree.

You finally get it into the stand.

You move it into place.

You don't like where it is.


You move the dining room table.

So you can move the rug under it.

Then you move the table back.

You move an arm chair to make room for the tree.

You have to tilt the tree down to get it through the archway and then slide it across the room.

You sweep again.

You decide the couch needs to be moved. 

You sweep.

Then you have to move the arm chair back.

You realize the dining room table is too far over now and you have to move the table so you can move the rug so you can move the table.

You sweep.

Finally, you stand back and admire the tree.

And maybe move the rug a few more times.

So that is why it is 12:30am and I am just now going to bed.  After a day where both girls, BOTH OF THEM, napped for an hour and a half, AT THE SAME TIME, and I didn't nap because I'm crazy I am going to be totally wasted tomorrow.  Maybe, just maybe they'll sleep in.  I'll let you know how that goes for me!


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Pretty Special

Me: I love you.
Madeline: I think you're pretty special.

I think my heart melted.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

So in Love

I am going to be honest here. Really, really honest. I am totally in love with my newborn and I feel really bad about it.

Silly? Yes.

Unnecessary? Yes.

Unexpected? No.

I am a worrier. When we brought Madeline home from the hospital my anxiety kicked into high gear. Would I be able to care for a baby? Was she getting enough to eat? Why wasn't she sleeping? Why is she sleeping so much? Was she crying because she knows I am an inadequate mother? What if she doesn't like my hair cut, or the wall color, or my sense of fashion and all of that makes her break out in a rash?!?!?

So in those first few months how did I deal with my stress? I cried. A LOT. I remember the day Kevin went back to work after Madeline was born. We had been home together for a full week and I was terrified to be alone. Ok, not alone alone, but home with a baby by myself. What if she was crying and I couldn't calm her? What if the doorbell rang and I was still in my pajamas? What if a bird got trapped in the chimney and I accidentally let it into the house and it pecked my eyes out? (Do you see how crazy I am? I told you I was going to be honest.) What if....... So I cried. Every time Kevin called to check in on us I was crying. I couldn't even tell him WHY I was crying. (There never were knocks at the door, or birds pecking my eyes out.) I just chalked it up to my anxiety and hormones.

Eventually, (meaning many MANY weeks later.) the crying stopped. We survived those early days and because of that I am a much better mother than I was two and a half years ago. I've had practice and Madeline has taught me so much about what being a mother is really all about. She is STILL teaching me so much about myself and about what kind of mother I am and what kind of a mother I want to be.

After Lydia was born I still cried. Normal crying. I cried the first time I saw my girls together. I cried holding Lydia in my arms because she was real and beautiful and ours. I cried thinking about what our future holds, both good and bad. I cried. A lot less. When Kevin went back to work, after only 4 days at home with us, I missed him terribly, but I wasn't in tears every time he called. Now just six weeks after bringing Lydia home I can't remember the last time I cried. It has been at least three weeks. At least.

And man do I feel guilty.

Because I am so less anxious I am enjoying Lydia more. I am gazing into her eyes as she nurses, smelling her head, and drinking in all of her little noises and squeaks. (Don't you love how babies squeak?) I am simply enjoying having a newborn.


I enjoyed Madeline as an infant, but I enjoyed it through tears. I was stressed out and dramatic and tired and wet. I feel guilty because I don't remember loving Madeline this much. All that other stuff got in the way of the real deep emotions I had for my daughter. My love was cloudy. Of course I loved and still love her. After the initial shock of new mother hood I felt that deep love for her fully. I guess I just feel guilty because although Madeline made me a mother for the first time, Lydia has made me a better mother.

I don't love her more, I just love her differently right now. I am not clouded by tears and anxiety.

So I feel guilty. Mainly because I worry about what all that anxiety did to Madeline as a baby. Is Lydia going to get a better mother than Madeline did, just because I have made all my mistakes with the first one? Any moms out there want to share their incite? It may help to ease my guilt. That is until they are teens and I blame myself for EVERYTHING that goes wrong in their lives. But at least I won't be alone in that. I am sure they will blame me too.


December 2009

Love and Joy abounds in our house these days. I can see it in Madeline's eyes. Can you?

Here's to the holidays!

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Why I should Twitter

There are so many little moments that I want to record but I don't have time for a full blog post. Like how a few days ago my little girl seemed more grown up to me then I ever could have imagined only because she said two little words. "Sesame Street" Until then she had called Sesame Street "Sessa Reet". It was sweet, it was cute, it was hers.

Or like how today Madeline napped laying on a pile of books in front of her bookshelf and woke up with carpet face and a impression of the edge of a book on her tummy.

Or how Lydia smiles (which have turned intentional in the last week or so) might be the best part of some hours around here.

Or how much I love the look of our exterior Christmas lights reflecting through our front door. (and how that might be the ONLY thing I like about our front door esthetically speaking that is.)

I want to capture those moments but I don't feel like that warrants an entire post.

That is why I should Twitter, but I won't. If I did there wouldn't be a record here of all the stuff I want to remember when I am less sleep deprived and many years removed from this time in our lives.

Until life is slower, so in about 15-25 years, I will embrace the shorter post. I will make it my own. Who needs Twitter anyway? Not me!


I may be busy...

but at least her hair looks cute!
November 13


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Besties* Forever

So life is crazy and although I started writing this on Thanksgiving, I didn't get around to finishing it until today... further proof we have a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 week old. Argh.

A Week of Thanks- Part IV
My Husband

aka. my BFF, Kevin, Honey, Daddy, etc.

Kevin, hanging out in the tent he and Madeline pitched in the back yard two weeks ago on a random Thursday.

Kevin and I met in 1994 and started dating in 1996. We have known each other for over half of our lives. (Pretty cool since we're only 30) I can't say I always knew we would be together, but when I wasn't with him my life didn't feel right.

He is my almost perfect compliment. When I am crazy (in a good way) and he is reasonable. He can manage finances without getting an ulcer and I get antsy just thinking about money. I make decisions, act on them and think about it later. He weights all his options, plans and projects, then acts. I think in the now, he thinks about the future. He made me like the holidays... which was no small feet mind you and it took many years.

He is the Yin to my Yang.

The Lucy to my Ethel.

The A-1 to my steak.

The Hawaiian Punch to my graham cracker. (Don't knock it till you've tried it.)

This Thanksgiving I am most thankful for him. This last year has been stressful (buying a house, selling a house, finding out we were pregnant the day we got the house, moving, settling in, changing jobs, dealing with my pregnancy (16 weeks of nausea, many more of heartburn and hip pain), having Lydia, bringing her home and figuring out how to be a family of four, plus all the normal life stress). Kevin has been there through all of it thinking of what is best for us as a family. Without him many of the other things I am thankful for would not be possible. I can never thank him enough for working so hard to provide us with the life we have. He works so that Madeline and Lydia can have me at home with them and so that we can live the life we live. Our life may not be perfect, but I am so happy that it is our life together.

I am thankful for my husband more than any blog post can convey.


*Kevin hates it when I use that word. Only seemed fitting here however!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Because, honestly, they are the REAL reason you are here

A Week of Thanks-Part III
My Girls

I never thought I'd have a girl, let alone two. It isn't that I didn't want them, honestly it was the complete opposite; I wanted a girl too badly. I am not normally superstitious, but when it came to having children I always felt I was jinxing myself by wanting a child at all, especially a girl. If I wanted a girl too badly I'd never get one. Now I have two!

My girls are amazing. Madeline makes me laugh and smile a million times every day. Even when she is getting on my nerves or testing the limits she has a way of saying the funniest things. Today she informed me that when I was a baby she was the mommy and I nursed from her... then she looked at me and said, "but now you're a grown up and I like that." I mean really?

She is compassionate and cares so deeply at just two years old it amazes me. Yesterday two solicitors from the phone company came to the door and when I told them I wasn't interested she got upset that I sent her "visitor friends" away. And whenever we are out with out Kevin, or Lydia she is constantly talking about where they are. "Daddy is a work, but he be home later. Lydia is at home with Daddy. We all be at home soon." My grandmother left the dinner table to go to the bathroom once and she had an emotional meltdown, that is until Ma returned to the table.

And I could (and should) deticate a whole post to how loving Madeline is with her sister. When Lydia cries, Madeline stops whatever she is doing and comes to see what she can do to help. She fetches bop-oos (pacifiers), burp clothes, diapers or anything Lydia needs. She loves Lydia and showers her with kisses all day long, and tell her she loves her each time. I can't wait to see what their relationship will be like as they grow up. I love it so far.

Lydia is only 6 weeks old so it is hard to tell what kind of kid she'll be, but to be honest, she is already so laid back. She cries of course, but is usually easy to soothe and has just started smiling with purpose. Last night she even slept for 5 hours! I love that... I am hoping for a repeat tonight, but that might be too much to ask. I really am so in love with her already. Baby love is a wonderful thing! (I have an entire post dedicated to this... so be looking for it... soon!)

So I am thankful for my girls. My children... my loves. I can't wait to see how my girls grow up. I never had a sister, and although I love my brother and the relationship we have I always wondered what it would be like to have a sister. (My mom is so close to her sisters and I am envious of that at times.) Now I get to see how my girls grow as sisters. I hope they are close; as close as I would have liked to have been with a sister, but only time will tell. Until then I will just enjoy my girls, watching them grow and learning to love each other. Amazing.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Because without them, we'd be loosers

Let it be known that I am not feeling particularly clever, or literate for that matter, tonight. Bare with me.

Week of Thanks- Part II
Our Friends*

Not only do our friends make me less of a looser, but they help me keep my sanity. My friends in no particular order:
  • have talked me down from emotional hysterics
  • fought to protect me, you and our entire nation
  • cooked us dinner (and it was yummy too)
  • known me longer and better than most people, except my family members
  • reassured me that my child was 'normal' (especially when it comes to speech and language!)
  • Helped me become a better person, a better mother and a better wife (honest you did.)
So thank you to my friends. This lame-o list is in no way comprehensive... there is sooo much more that you do to make me thankful. You rock.

*One of my best friends in the entire world, and one of the few people who I can be totally honest with, no matter the situation, is my brother. He married a lovely woman, Kathy who is also very dear to me. Then there is Kevin's brother and our sister in law Beth who are hilarious and wonderful in their own ways. I mention this here, because although they are technically family, they are some of the best friends I could ask for. Even if I wasn't stuck with them, I choose them as my friends.


Monday, November 23, 2009

They raised us better

There are a million people in the blogging world who are posting a week of Thanks. One thing they are thankful for each day this week. Like most everyone, I feel I have a lot to be thankful for in my life. I wanted to share that here. Where better? So it may not be my original idea, but I am running with it.

A Week of Thanks- Part I
Our Parents
Both my parents and my in laws deserve a huge Thanks from Kevin and I. Over the past 5 weeks (can you believe Lydia is 5 weeks old!?!?!) they have been a tremendous help in thousands of ways.

To list just a few:
  • All of them have watched Madeline at one time or another so I could, have a baby (thanks to Bruce and Sue for watching Madeline for three days while we were in the hospital with Lydia)/nap/shower/grocery shop/maintain my sanity/etc.
  • They have fed us. I have cooked a total of five dinners in the last 5 weeks. Awesome. (Some of this is because of the kindness of friends too, but that is a different day of thanks...)
  • They have talked me back from my ledge. Having two children is stressful and I have to thank my mother in particular for always taking my phone calls and having the uncanny ability to talk me down from my craziness. (most of the time...)
  • They make us laugh which we need right now, second only to more sleep!
Most importantly
  • They love both our girls passionately. When Madeline walks into either of their houses, their faces light up, and I know how special that makes Madeline feel. They are all giving our girls the greatest gift a grandparent can give, and that is the knowledge that they are special and that they are loved. Amazing.
So thank you Granny, Poppy, Maw Maw and Paw Paw. We love you.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

1 + 1 = 759

I was never (still am not) very good at math. I know that if you add 1 and 1 you should get two... and we did, we added one baby to one preschooler and instantly we have two children. BUT let me tell you the amount of work that goes into parenting two children is much more than doubled. Hence I've been missing from the blogosphere. Because I currently have one sick 2 1/2 year old, a one month old (WHOA can you believe it has been a month?!?), it is the week before the official start of the holidays and I haven't showered in a couple of days (gross, I know...) I am going to do a bullet list to save my time and creative energies.

  • Lydia is awesome. Her one month check up was great and she is now 10 pounds 2 ounces! and 23 1/4 inches long.
  • Funny 82 year old Grandma quote of the week: "Are you talking about Marijuana?!? Oh, that isn't even illegal anymore, it barely counts as a drug!" I laughed so loud half of St. Louis Bread Co stopped eating to stare at me. Love you Ma!
  • Madeline's napping has gotten worse and has spread to bed time. I have gotten up from this post four, no make that five, times to put her back in her room.
  • Six
  • We started putting Christmas decorations up at our house. It is awesome. Photos someday, maybe, if I'm lucky.
  • Madeline has a cold which has caused her to loose her voice which is cute and heart breaking all at the same time.
  • Seven
  • I am hoping and praying that Lydia and I stay well. I don't know if I can handle being sick and I KNOW I can't handle me and Madeline AND Lydia sick.
  • Eight
  • I did four loads of laundry today. Unfortunately only two of them are folded and all four loads are in different places in my house. One folded on a sofa, one folded on the table, one in a pile on my bedroom floor and one still in the basement. Did I mention the piles of laundry (both folded and not) from earlier in the week that I haven't dealt with in my bedroom? Oh yeah. Good times.
  • Did you see how much I typed in that last bullet, and Madeline still hasn't come out of her room!!! Wooo Whooo!
  • Nine. I think I jinxed it.
  • Mothers out there: Will I EVER get to go to the bathroom alone again? I'm thinking the answer is no...
  • Today is my little brother's 27th birthday. Happy Birthday Elliot. You may be younger and smarter and skinnier than me but... wait, I'm now too depressed to come up with a witty comeback. Thanks a lot.
Ok, that is all the energy I have for now. That and I NEED a shower, BAD! Off to take a 1 minute hose down... it should be excellent.


Thursday, November 12, 2009


video from this morning


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Craft Fail

So last week Madeline and I attempted the always popular fall leaf craft.

You know, the one where you iron leaves in between sheets of wax paper, then hang them from the windows where they catch the fall sun and the fall colors sparkle in the rays.

I think I may have built this craft up too big in my head.

Madeline was totally uninterested until we broke out the leaves.

Then she just wanted to pull them apart. I did manage to save this one leaf from her frenzied tearing.

So how is this a fail you ask? Let me tell you! The wax paper didn't melt. We tried both sides of the paper, just in case I had messed it up and ironed it backwards and as soon as you lifted the wax paper, the leaf just fell out.

So what did I learn from this project? #1- Test a craft before attempting it with a 2 1/2 year old. She wasn't disapointed or anything, but I think she questioned my sanity. #2- I have no clue which side of wax paper has wax on it! #3- leaves smell very bad when ironed.

This is not my first, nor my last craft fail. Honestly I am just proud that I attempted a craft with my 2 1/2 year old just two weeks after bringing home a second baby! Go me!

I'll let you know how the next craft project turns out... that is if I can work up the nerve to try that again.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Can you tell me how to get to Seame Street?

40 years ago today Sesame Street made its debut.

I may be 30 but I still love Sesame Street.

Happy Birthday "Sessa Reet.**" Here's to 40 more years!

*Don't ask why I look so yellow... I honestly don't know! Maybe that is the color of the day? (And don't even get me started on my hair... let's just call it my ode to Oscar the Grouch.)
**How Madeline says Sesame Street.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Madeline is 2 1/2 years old!

It's Saturday. I'm only three days late with this post. Not to shabby if you ask me!

Update posts are a priority for me. Although I am keeping a baby book for both my girls, this blog is very important part of my record keeping as they grow. I love that I can blog about the little things they do, the funny things they say, the places we visit and the friends they have on a more daily basis. I also rely on this blog as a place to record the larger milestones they are reaching so these updates are important to me and I hope, some day, the girls will appreciate the time I took to record this information for them.

So today is Madeline's half birthday. I can't believe she is two and a half. TWO AND A HALF!!! Before Lydia was born I still saw her as my baby. (Honestly she will ALWAYS be my baby.) But now she seems so grown up. I know she is in a huge period of growth, both physical and intellectual, but seeing the two of them each day makes me realize how BIG Madeline really is.

Doctors don't do half year check ups so the stats I have are based on our home scale and crude home measurements. Madeline is about 33 pounds and ___ inches tall. Although there is no real scientific basis to my observations, I believe she is about to go through a growth spurt. Her cheeks are really chubby and she is eating a lot of food. Next she will get clumsy and finally she will grow taller. It is her pattern and I have every reason to believe she will be much taller by Thanksgiving.

Gross Motor:
Madeline scares me every time we are at the park. Our favorite park, near our house, has a "rock wall" that is about 10 feet tall. She climbs right up without much hesitation most days. She is steady on her feet and has started scooting her "bike" around the playroom. (It is a four wheeled ride on that you have to push with your feet.) She loves hopping up and down, or 'jump, jumping' as she calls it. She can briefly stand on one foot and has even tried hopping on one foot on occasion. She runs with ease, climbs and descends steps without problems and is always, always on the move.

Fine Motor:
Madeline likes to draw but has been getting frustrated recently because she can't make her drawings look the way she wants them too. She is upset that she doesn't have the skill to draw a smiley face or a cake or a tree and asked whoever is "drawing" with her to do it for her. I am working on letting her just mark up a page and tell me it is whatever she wants but she is really focused on making a picture of something. We'll work on that.

She can use a fork, spoon and even a knife, but has reverted to using her hands recently. Not sure why, but with the addition of Lydia, I'm not pushing too many rules right now. At least she is eating.

We tried kids safety scissors a few weeks ago and that was also very frustrating for her. I told her we would try again when she is 3. We may not wait that long, but at least she isn't asking to try and then getting frustrated all the time.

Last, I know I need to break out the play dough, but I honestly can't deal with the possible mess right now. Maybe in a few more weeks when Lydia is sleeping at night more and I am a functional and rational human being during the day. That way I may actually have the patience needed to use play dough with a two and a half year old.

What can I say about Madeline's language skills.... other than I think they are better than mine. Ok, not really, but she amazes me with all the words she knows and how she uses them every single day, correctly. In the last three weeks she has begun using more adjectives and adverbs in her sentences. While spending the night at my mom and dad's she busted out this jem of a sentence: "I can't see my kiki*. I can't EVEN see you!" EVEN... even... that is some complicated wordage there.

*Kiki= her blanket which is her special lovey.

Our latest lessons in language have been learning the difference between a need and a want. Madeline is constantly telling us she needs things: like knives, and power tools, and chocolate. We are trying our best to teach her that although she might want those things, she does not need them. She is starting to, on her own, differentiate between what she needs and what she wants. Although I know she is 2 and that is a lesson that will take many years to actually learn. (At the age of 30, I may or may not have learned the difference between needing and wanting chocolate myself.)

Social Development:
Madeline's ability to handle stressful social situations has been tested in the last month or so. Even before Lydia joined the family Madeline was starting to realize that something was going on in her world. She started with minor acting out and an increase in whining. Once Lydia arrived she started testing the limits with full force. The first full day the four of us had a home was difficult for Madeline and she spent most of the day in tears and throwing herself on the floor. Although the words "you've ruined my life" were NOT uttered by Madeline her actions were most defiantly an indication of her very strong feelings about the subject.

She loves introducing her sister to anyone who walks into the house and is very very protective of her sister. When my grandma was holding Lydia Madeline walked up to her and said, "Ma, be careful and hold her head." This to a woman who had 8 children, has 14 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. She has also been very concerned about people coming into the house and leaving with her sister. For the first few days we were home every time someone would leave she would remind them they couldn't take her sister. She even woke up with a nightmare one night last week, mumbling in her sleep about someone taking her sister away. I guess it is safe to say she has Granny and my pension for worry.

The photos throughout this post were taken yesterday. I asked Madeline to show me what certain emotions look like and I took a photo. She is so animated and I love her faces. She is certainly an emotional and dramatic little star.

She loves performing for all of our visitors and has been known to break out in song and get a whole room full of people to pay attention to her. She is gracious however and after she demands you clap for her she always says thank you and takes a bow!

What is better than that face? Uh, nothing!

Her Role as the big sister:
Madeline loves Lydia. For the first few days we were home she was very interested in everything baby. Not only did she want to know where Lydia was at all times but she wanted to know what we were doing with her and what all of her cries meant. She has calmed down a bit, but is still very interested in how Lydia eats (nurses) and loves giving her kisses.

She has been regressing a bit and asking us to wrap her up, carry her, and feed her like a baby. Just yesterday (or was it the day before...) she asked to nurse again. She hasn't nursed for over a year and a half so of course this was a surprise to me. I explained that she got her food like that when she was a baby and now she eats big girl food. She seemed satisfied with that answer but still wanted me to hold her like a baby.

Other than one incident where Madeline tried to pick Lydia up on her own Madeline has been very gentle with Lydia. (Not that her picking Lydia up was rough, it wasn't, it just isn't what we want her to do with her sister.) She loves giving her kisses and wants to sing her songs while we change her diaper. Madeline is also very concerned when Lydia cries and in the last day or two has come to get me every time Lydia makes any noise and informs me Lydia is hungry and I should nurse her. Totally adorable.

It is amazing to see her as a sister. I worried that she would be ruined by the addition of our #2 and although there have been challenges she has really shown us how great a sister she is going to be.

I think that wraps it up. Madeline is growing up fast. She is still giving us nap time troubles and is asserting her independence in new and unusual ways. Even so, we love her more every day.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

November 2009

The masthead for October never happened. I'm ok with that. I have a newborn. I am ok with lots of things these days that I may not have been before. That is life with a two week old.

So on to November.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

2 weeks and Halloween

I can't believe two weeks have passed. I know it is the lack of sleep but it feels like it has been BOTH many months and just days since Lydia was born. All is going well. Sleep is scarce. Madeline's tantrums and boundary testing have toned down, a bit. Today was my first day at home all day with just the two of them. (I have to admit that my dad did come over and take Madeline to the park in the afternoon, so I guess technically I didn't go the whole day by myself.) The day went pretty smoothly and Madeline was very well behaved and Lydia slept at all the right times (except the hour she was awake while Madeline napped, so much for me getting a little rest).

I am off to bed now but I wanted to leave you with photos from the last few days, including Halloween!

Peacefully sleeping in the middle of the day.

Madeline Opal _______, Doctor (That is how she introduces herself to people when she meets them. The line is where you would insert our last name.)

Our little cub. Isn't that just the cutest?!?!

And finally, to assure she hates me in her teen years:

Madeline, "nursing" her baby Maggie. Madeline has taken a keen interest in how I feed Lydia. I nursed Madeline for a year and one day exactly, and I know she has no memory of that. She however is very interested in what exactly is going on when I nurse Lydia and has even asked if she can nurse Lydia. When I explained that you have to have milk in your chest she simply replied, "I don't have milk in my chest, but I have milk in my tummy!" Totally cracks me up.

Madeline is turning two and a half on Wednesday. I hope to do an update posting on or near that day. Let's see how that works out for me! Oh, and should update that masthead... priorities, priorities!

Happy two week birthday Lydia. We are so happy to have you as our fourth team mate!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Because you asked so nicely...

Kevin's bestie* Scott is currently on his second tour of duty with the US Army in Iraq. To say we miss him is a HUGE understatement. He left us a comment the other day that I can't ignore.

I know it has been almost two weeks since Lydia joined our family, but honestly I don't know where the time has gone. It isn't like I am using it to sleep... let me tell you. Honestly posting is just not at the top of my priority list, but for Scott, I make a major exception.

And I know that photo doesn't show our little girls best features off, so there are a few from the hour after she was born.

I do have a lot to blog, but right now I hear her crying from the other room. Birth story, meeting the big sister, coming home and adjusting to life as a family of 4 coming soon.

Until then, we love you all!

*Yep, I said bestie... deal with it.