Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Traditions

As Madeline's Mommy I proudly accept the title of "Maker of Memories". I understand the responsibility of raising my kid(s) and realize that everything I do - or don't do - in their day to day life will make a lasting impression. The fun part of that job is making holiday traditions that she'll look forward to. My favorite holiday has always been Christmas, and I hope that through my holiday cheer and family traditions it will be Madeline's as well.

Some of the traditions I'm starting with our little family are:

Family Photos.

Cookies. I love to bake cookies. I love to gift cookies. I LOVE to eat cookies.

Jeff's favorite: White Chocolate Peppermint.
My favorite: Snickerdoodles

One day Maddy will have a fave and I'll be sure to bake those every year. When I was working outside the home, and lived near a ton of friends, I liked to bake 5-10 different types of cookies and then gift them. When we make more friends here, and when Maddy is a bit older so she can help, I hope to make that many again. This year we only made 3 types, but I'm hoping next year we'll have the need to make more. I also want to get brave and make other Christmas treats like marshmallows, white chocolate popcorn, nutty buddies, etc. One day we'll have a Bake-Day and it will be GLORIOUS!!!

Pajamas. I want to get Madeline (and other kid(s) we have) a new pair of pajamas to be opened Christmas eve. I think part of the fun (for me) is searching for the perfect pair of pajamas, and the other part of the fun is the opening a present Christmas Eve night. Sure, one day she'll know it's going to be pajamas, but I hope it'll still be fun. Then, in our pajamas we'll snuggle up and watch a Christmas movie.

Movies. I eventually want to have a movie-a-night for the week leading up to Christmas. At this point there are 4 must-watch movies in our family.

Last night we watched Elf. I love Elf! Obviously, with her being 16 months old, it didn't hold Madeline's attention for long, but she really liked all the bright colors and the singing done by Zooey Deshenel.

Tonight we'll be watching The Family Stone. If you haven't seen The Family Stone, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's got quite a few big stars in it, which is usually a recipe for disaster, but I think it's one of the best movies ever. It's funny and touching and you can relate to the family. A little bit dysfunctional, a little bit quirky, but they love each other and hold each other up when times are tough.

Tomorrow we'll watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. It should come as no surprise that this is Jeff's favorite movie, but I think it's funny as well. It's not exactly a kids movie, and it may have to be watched after Maddy goes to bed for a few years, but it's still one we look forward to.

On Christmas Eve we'll watch A Christmas Story. It's so cheesy, it's quoted more times that any movie should, but I'll still smile and laugh as Ralphy comes down the stairs in the pink bunny costume, and when he gets his mouth washed out with soap, and when his dad mispronounces FRAGILE, and when they go to the Chinese restaurant for their Christmas dinner. It's an oldie, but a goodie for sure.

As the years go on I'm sure we'll add more traditions, and I look forward to it. I look forward to the year when we get out the box of ornaments and Madeline jumps up and down so excited, when she proudly decorates her own sugar cookies, and when she performs in a Christmas musical. I hope she grows to love Christmas like we do.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lets RAK November - Week 3 and 4

Things got a little busy around here with Thanksgiving, so I didn't get around to posting Week 3's RAKs on time. SO, here are both weeks 3 and 4. I have to apologize for the lack of photos, MOST of the time I just forgot to grab my camera when I left the house, and then there were a couple times when I remembered to bring it with, but the battery was dead. Because of the lack of pics this post may bore you.

RAK 15: The week before Thanksgiving I donated some Thanksgiving meal types of food to the local food bank.

RAK 16: I went to Target's $1 spot and picked up a few Sesame Street books and donated them to the Salvation Army donation center. The lady seemed surprised that I was bringing children's books. She said they usually only get adult books donated to them.

RAK 17: I printed up 10 business-card sized cards that said: "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." ~Kathryn Stockett, The Help and put them on random cars in the high school parking lot down the street from my apartment.

RAK 18: I wrote 3 Thank You cards to loved ones and mailed them out. "Thank you for being there for me when I need you." "Thank you for loving Madeline so much." "Thank you for being so thoughtful and generous." The people I sent them to seemed to really appreciate the cards - and 2 of the 3 noted how unexpected it was to get something so simple and heartfelt in the USPS mail. It's a shame that people don't write/send letters anymore, dontcha think?

RAK 19: I got some coloring books and crayons at Hobby Lobby and dropped them off at the hospital's pediatric unit.

RAK 20: On a nice sunny day, Madeline and I (she strapped in the Ergo baby carrier on my chest) opened the door for 10 people before going into Target to do our normal Target shopping. A few people didn't even acknowledge the cute baby, but most were very gracious. One older lady asked me why I was holding the door for her. I responded, "why not?" :) She just put her hand on my arm and gave me a big smile.

RAK 21: I went to my favorite coffee shop and paid for the car across from me's drink. Across from you? I can hear the confusion from here. My favorite coffee shop is ONLY a drive through, there's no cafe. There are two drive-up windows, one on either side of the little building and you can see the car across the way through the building while you're waiting for your drink to me made. A car pulled up across the way shortly after me, and when the barista told me my total and asked for my car I simply asked her to charge my card for the other customer's latte also. (When I worked at Starbucks a few years ago this was a pretty popular RAK that always made people's mornings on the way in to work. I loved to see how happy it made people to get free coffee!)

RAK 22: I hadn't planned this one, but shortly after I got my ^^peppermint hot chocolate^^ I was sitting in road construction traffic and s-l-o-w-l-y crept up to the STOP/SLOW sign holder. She looked like she was FREEZING. I hadn't taken a sip of my HoCho yet, so I rolled down my window and asked if she wanted it. I was still within sight of the coffee shop, and it was obvious that the lid was still perfectly clean so she gladly accepted it. :)

RAK 23: I made "Breastfeeding Kits" and dropped them off at the maternity ward of the hospital. Each kit had 2 breast pads, 1 tube of lanolin, a pack of oatmeal and a bottle of water. I only made 5 kits, but hopefully they got passed out to women who wanted to breastfeed. It would be nice to get a breastfeeding kit that WASN'T provided by a formula manufacturer.

RAK 24: When the school supplies were on clearance at Target (are you starting to understand my love/obsession with that store??) I stocked up on about 10 boxes of crayons. I dropped them off to an elementary school. I think it's insane that teachers are supposed to supply their classrooms with the supplies it needs.

RAK 25: I wrote 3 thank you notes for the USPS mail carriers. I put one in my apartment mailbank's outgoing box. I put one in a blue sidewalk mail box outside the hospital. I put the last one in the "stamped letters" slot inside the post office. I know mail carriers get a lot of flack, but geeze louise I wouldn't want to do their jobs!! When I worked in an office setting I'd usually try to be chatty with the mail carriers and some of the stories I've heard are unbelievable!

RAK 26: I left 2 quarters on top of 4 different machines at a laundromat by the University.

RAK 27: Instead of donating old towels/blankets to Goodwill, I instead donated them to an animal rescue that was set up at Petsmart one Saturday. I figured they could use the blankets to line the crates so that the dogs didn't have to sit on the cold metal or concrete.

RAK 28: Donated some carnations and daisies to a local assisted living home. The worker at the front desk said she'd put one on each person's bedside table.

RAK 29: On a busy errand-running day I complimented 5 strangers. "Wow, your hair looks really pretty!" "Your daughter is adorable!!" etc.

RAK 30: Left "Have a great day!" notes on cars at the mall parking lot.

That was it for my "Lets RAK November" 30 Day Challenge. I really enjoyed the challenge and was really happy the other morning when I saw my neighbor getting all the snow off another neighbor's car for her. He is the owner of one of the white cars that I scraped all the snow off his car in the very first RAK that I did. :) I love to see the RAKs being paid forward! :) I look forward to doing this challenge again in years to come and I really look forward to my kid(s) helping me. <3

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lets RAK November - Week 2

Another week in November down, another 7 RAKs completed! Here they are!

RAK 8: Thankfully I've never had a fire emergency where I needed to call the fire department to come save the day, but I'm ssssooooo appreciative of the fact that there is a fire department to help if ever I should need them. I wanted to bake some goodies for the firefighters and drop them off at the station. So, I baked some brownies and drove to Station No. 1 in my town.... only to learn that the station was shut down for remodeling. Luckily, when I got there there was a truck sitting out front (apparently there was a mobile-trailer-office set up behind the station where a few fire fighters were in case someone in that neighborhood came for help, though, I never would have noticed the trailer if it weren't for the fireman who pointed it out!) and I saw a fireman loading up supplies. I asked him if the guys in his truck would like the brownies or if I should take them to another station. He said it was up to me, but that they'd eat them. I decided to give them to him and as I drove off I saw the fireman in the front seat stuffing his face with brownie! yay!

RAK 9: I really like when someone posts something on FB that made them think of me. I may be wrong, but I think gone are the days of sending e-cards, so instead I found funny little e-postcards at and shared them with 5 friends on FB. Here are two of my faves. (The two that were the least crude. haha!)

RAK 10: I wanted to make some treats for my apartment building neighbors. I found a delicious recipe on Pinterest for pumpkin snickerdoodles and decided to make them for my neighbors. Imagine their surprise when I rang the doorbell and when they opened the door I was there with little bags of delicious cookies!! Special delivery!!

RAK 11: I didn't get a picture of this, but I'm sure most of you have done this in the past and don't need a picture to imagine what it'd look like... I donated 3 bags of clothing to The Goodwill. I originally wanted to donate them to another shelter, but a friend pointed out that The Goodwill was helping others by providing jobs to people who (sometimes) have a hard time finding work else where because they have disabilities, etc.

RAK 12: I've heard good things about the Starbucks VIA instant coffee so I decided to put them on the windshields of some of the cars in the college parking lot (9 cars total). Jeff says that he doesn't think anyone will trust them to drink them (thinking they might be laced with something?) but I suppose that's their prerogative, I know that I didn't put anything in them and I think it's a nice gesture, because who wouldn't like a free cup of Starbucks coffee?

RAK 13: When running errands I often see people too lazy to put their shopping carts in the cart corral and instead leaving them all over the parking lot. As someone who has worked at a store with shopping carts and who has had to wrangle the carts regardless of the weather I know how bad it sucks to walk up and down every aisle and try to gather up all the carts. So, before grocery shopping one day I took a few mins and gathered up 5 stray shopping carts and put them in the cart corrals. Again, I didn't get a picture of this since I was alone when doing it and needed both of my hands.

RAK 14: I stole this RAK idea from a good friend... I found a quote I liked about beauty and printed up cards to put inside beauty products. Obviously, if you're buying skin aging creams, hair dye, concealer, etc you trying to make yourself appear/feel more beautiful. While I don't see anything wrong with buying and using those things I do wish that women and girls felt more beautiful just they way they already, naturally, are. I put 10 cards in 10 different beauty product boxes. I hope they make the consumer pause and smile, even if just for a second.

That was it for this week! I'll post 7 more next week! Happy RAKing if you're doing any of your own!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lets RAK November - Week 1

I read a blog where a woman did 30 Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) during the month of her birthday. It really inspired me and made me want to do something similar. I thought about it and decided I wanted to do 30 RAKs during the month of November. December has become so much about instant gratification, greed, over indulgence, etc. even if you try to limit holiday over indulgence in your own family the world around you doesn't comply. So, I've decided that I want this to be an annual tradition. As Maddy gets older I want her to help decide what RAKs we do, and help us do them as a family. I want it to teach her humility and goodwill toward others. Then, after a month of selfless acts we can be more appreciative of all the shiny, sweet, delicious, beautiful sights to see and treats to eat that are inevitable in the month of December.

These are my first week's RAKs:

RAK 1: There was a big winter storm the night of Oct. 31st, and we woke up to 10"-12" of snow. There is a handicapped man, and an elderly woman living in my apartment building. The last time it snowed I overheard them talking about how when it snows really heavy they feel stuck in their apartment because the task of clearing the snow from their cars is so overwhelming. So, early in the morning I cleared their cars for them.

RAK 2: I made Rolo pretzel turtles and brought them to the library across the street. We spend a lot of time at the library between checking out books and going to story time, so I wanted to show my appreciation to the librarians.

RAK 3: I taped quarters to the kiddie slots at Toys R Us. I remember asking my mom for quarters to get a bouncy ball, sticker, skittles, etc and imagine how awesome it'd be to be 6 years old and just see money there for me to use!! How cool!

RAK 4: I didn't get a picture of it, but I swept up all the fall leaves in the walkway and up to the door way of my neighbor, Lisa. She's kind of OCD about sweeping her doorstep and after the snow melted, all of the remaining tree leaves fell, and it was really windy. Our walk way was so full of leaves! I got Jeff's big push-broom and swept them all away. (Got a stupid splinter! THIS is why I don't do manual labor, people! ;) ) I'm hoping that she noticed when she got home from work, but haven't asked her about it.

RAK 5: I made pumpkin spice rice krispie treats for the apartment management. In comparison to other apartment horror stories I've heard from friends, and landlord horror stories we've lived ourselves, living in the apartment complex we live in has been a pretty enjoyable experience. The grounds are kept nice, if you have a repair request they fix it w/in 24 hours, they're always friendly when we go into the office to pick up a package or ask a question, and they try to make the complex feel like a community with events like holiday BBQs, swim parties, trick or treating for the kids, etc. So, I wanted to thank them.

RAK 6: There was a "help the homeless" event in my town over the weekend where the shelters asked for winter clothes for the homeless... but thanks to some awesome friends coming into town to visit us I missed it. I really wanted to donate some winter clothes, though, so I called around to a few shelters/outreach organizations until I found one that would take my donation. There was a brand new mens winter coat, two beanies, thermal longjohns and some fleece boot liners.

I know, I know... she's not wearing shoes. She was only standing there for 15 seconds.

RAK 7: I donated $7 on the 7th to the Liz Logelin Foundation.

"The Liz Logelin Foundation was established to assist families who find themselves in the heartbreaking, catastrophic situation of having lost a spouse, life-partner, and parent. The Foundation’s goal is to financially assist these families as they deal with the loss of their loved ones, and struggle to move forward. The Foundation was established in 2009 by Matthew Logelin, who lost his wife Elizabeth in 2008."
I've followed Matt's blog for 2.5ish years now and feel strongly that what he's doing for other families, through the LLF, and for his own daughter in the wake of his wife's unexpected passing is nothing short of amazing.
For more info: and

I've really enjoyed doing these RAKs, and look forward to the rest of the month. I'll post another RAK blog next week!! :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The other side of the coin...

It's amazing to me how many times a day/week I find myself catching my breath, feeling that lump rise it my throat, pinching myself, or staring in disbelief... How did I get so lucky to be able to be Madeline's mom?!

~When I check on her before I go to bed; cover her with her blanket, put her bunny back in her arms, watch and listen to her sleeping soundly.

~When I get her up from her nap and she immediately nestles her head onto my shoulder and we sway back and forth in rhythm with her lullaby cd while she rubs my arm... sometimes she needs a little snuggle before she's fully awake.

~When I pucker my lips and make the "muah, muah" noise trying to get the squirrel's attention because I know she'll like to look and squeal at him, but instead she doesn't even notice the squirrel and bends and twists to get in front of my face and plants a big kiss on my lips.

~When she stumbles and falls and immediately looks for me and comes running.

~When she hides behind the door and dramatically plays peek-a-boo with me. The harder I laugh, the harder she whips her head back and forth and the louder she GASPS when she comes out from behind the door as if she really surprised me.

~When she comes to me, raises her arm - gives me her outstretched hand, and then leads me into her room to help her get a new toy out to play with her. (since the 84 other toys that were already out are old and boring now. ;) )

~When I'm cooking or doing dishes and she comes up behind me, buries her face into the back of my legs and wraps her arms around my knees.

~When she wants me to pick her up and she enthusiastically throws her arms into the air and then signs "please" (in sign language) and then throws her arms up again.

~And then when I pick her up like she asked me to: she curls her arms up between her chest and mine and then leans into me. Her head under my chin. Happily kicking her legs or wiggling her hips - making it apparent that she's happy to be where she is... in her Momma's arms.

I love this little Bean more than I thought was possible. And I am so lucky to be her Momma. Can't get enough of her. ♥

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Such a strong personality!

At 14 months old Madeline has a VERY strong personality. This is nothing new; she has known who she was from day one. But now that she's getting older, bigger, stronger, louder, etc. There are a few challenges that we've been dealing with. Things that I know are common and routine for toddler-hood, and while I know the psychology behind why she's doing these things, I don't know how to make her feel validated/secure/understood so that she doesn't make these undesirable traits into habits.

1. Hitting. If she's not happy with someone/something she hits it/them. It started with her just swinging at it/them, but has now turned into full on slapping or today - close-fisted hitting. Not cool, dude.

I try to catch her hand/arm before she makes contact, bring it down to her side and tell her either in her ear or in her face while looking directly into her eyes, "No ma'am. We don't hit when we're mad."

2. Head butting. This usually happens if she's sitting on my lap and reaches (repeatedly) for something I won't let her have. IE: A knife at the dinner table. If I have already told her not to touch something a million times and then restrain her hands - usually by holding her hands in mine - she gets frustrated and will throw her head back into my throat/chin.

Again, all I know to do is to tell her "No ma'am. We don't do that. That hurts." If she continues to do it I set her down on the floor (if we're at home) and tell her that if she's going to act that way she can't sit on my lap.

3. Yelling/screaming. Usually if I'm not letting her do what she wants - playing in/eating the dog food for example - and I keep removing her from where she wants to be she'll walk around yelling, "NO!!" or other baby-words that I can't understand, but her sentiment is quite clear. She's pissed and letting me know about it.

I normally don't do anything in this situation because yelling at her isn't going to get her to stop yelling and I don't feel like I need to do the whole "inside voices" schpeal yet since she doesn't really do this out in public.

don't make her angry - she'll cut you!

I want her to be able to express herself is she's upset, and I want her to feel comfortable doing so, but I don't know how to get her to do that without being hurtful.

I'm sure some of your kids have/do act this way when they're upset. What do you do in similar situations? What words of wisdom can you give me?


Monday, October 10, 2011

Milk Sharing

Many moons ago, after trying to nurse my daughter, dealing with thrush, intense pain, nipple shields, Raynaud's, plugged ducts and a myriad of other issues I finally got to a point where I couldn't continue on. Mentally, emotionally, I couldn't keep trying to nurse my daughter. I stuck it out for 11 weeks though, and for that I'm truly proud of myself.

After having a lot of mixed emotions about the events leading up to, and then the actual, birth of my daughter I was determined to at least make breastfeeding work. There was no other option as far as I was concerned. When I decided to exclusively pump there was a couple of weeks where I struggled to get my supply where it needed to be. You see; your body, the hormones in your body that are produced when you nurse a baby, responds SO MUCH BETTER to a child actually suckling at the breast. The warmth of the baby's body against yours, the smell of their sweet baby breath, the sweet sounds of the inhale, suck, swallow, exhale, repeat while they nurse - it all triggers your body to release hormones and other chemicals to tell your body to produce milk. You don't get quite the same physical reaction from the mechanical whir of an electric breast pump. The flanges are cold and hard. There is no peach fuzz covered head to nuzzle. And pumping - especially exclusively - can feel really lonely. So, while I made the transition from nursing to EPing I had a couple weeks where I FLEW through my tiny freezer "stash" and couldn't keep up with what Madeline would drink in a day.

I went to my most favorite breastfeeding support group looking for support and reassurance that my daughter was thriving on my pumped breastmilk. One of my friends/lactation counselors asked how I was doing, and I broke down. I cried and told her that I was out of frozen milk and that I was terrified that I'd have to give her formula. She told me what I already knew: that formula wasn't the end of the world. But I just didn't want to. I wasn't going to give formula unless I was COMPLETELY giving up on breastfeeding and I wasn't ready to do that yet. I asked about herbs to take to increase my supply, I vowed to make special oatmeal lactation cookies, and drink a TON of water a day. But I was still worried.

Another mother at the breastfeeding circle who I had only previously said "Hi" and "cute baby" to, came up to me and asked why I was crying. I explained my situation and she said to me, like it was no big deal, "Don't cry. You can do this. Come to my house after the meeting and I will give you milk. I'll give you enough for a week. If you need more after it's gone come back and I'll give you more. If you don't use it all give it back. But in the meantime, focus on getting your supply up and if you fall short use mine. You can do this." I was shocked. I never would have expected someone to be so selfless. Like I said - I didn't know her, she didn't know me. That was HER milk that she had worked hard to pump that was meant for her daughter. I couldn't believe this blessing had been plopped into my lap.

Truthfully, I don't know that I even knew milk sharing existed. I knew of wet nurses "back in the day", but you don't hear about that happening anymore. I'm sure that in the days before having Madeline I probably would have wrinkled my nose at the thought, but now that I was in the situation I was in, after reading everything I could about breastfeeding, becoming educated on the topic, and being so damned determined to provide my daughter with breastmilk I didn't bat an eye.

Sure, it was someone else's brestmilk. But so is that 2% you buy in the grocery store. The difference is that the milk in the grocery store was originally intended for baby cows. And my daughter was a baby human. Thus, making the human breastmilk idea not so icky after all. Sure, you can worry about all the what-ifs, but I chose to trust that her healthy, happy, chunky-thighed 9 month old daughter was thriving on her momma's breastmilk and if it was good enough for her daughter then it was good enough for mine.

So I went to her house after that meeting and she loaded up an insulated bag full of frozen milk, gave me a genuine hug and sent me on my way. Thankfully all the herbs and water and yummy lactation cookies worked and within a week my supply was up where it needed to be and I was even able to freeze a bag of my own here or there to start my own stash. I returned what I didn't use and was - AM - so unbelievably grateful to that woman.

I always said that one day I wanted to repay the favor to someone else in need. But because I was EPing I always felt nervous to give it away since once I stopped pumping all I'd have left was what was in my freezer, and if I gave away too much my daughter wouldn't have breastmilk for as long as I'd like her to. I told myself I wouldn't donate any milk until Madeline would take another type of milk in a sippy or bottle. I'd have to feel confident that if I gave away some of her milk that she'd be ok and could drink something else.

At 14 months old she will finally drink organic cow's milk if it's warmed up and in a bottle - not a sippy. (Don't even try the sippy. She'll look at you like you're nuts and throw it on the ground.) She still prefers breastmilk - hello?? It's way sweeter! - but she'll drink cow's milk if need-be.

After counting up all the bags of frozen milk in my deep freezer I decided to take the leap and post on the HM4HB Colorado page that I had milk to donate to a baby in need. I posted that I had 60oz of milk that I could part with and was willing to meet up with a momma in Northern CO to give it to her and her baby.

My post wasn't on that page for more than 6 hours before I had someone contact me asking if it was still available. She lived down in Colorado Springs (3 hours South of where I am) but was willing to drive to get milk for her son. Her son is just shy of two years old, he is adopted (which is why she isn't BFing him herself), he has Down Syndrome, two heart defects, bad acid reflux, asthma and was FTT (failure to thrive) on all the different high-calorie formulas the Drs were prescribing to him. He spent most of last winter in the hospital with RSV 3 times and pneumonia twice. Once she switched him to donor breastmilk he finally began to gain weight and meet him developmental milestones. He is still not eating many solid foods, but is doing great on breastmilk and the few solid foods that he does eat. She is hopeful that by stocking up on brestmilk before it gets into the cold winter months she'll be able to keep him inside, feed him the "good stuff" and keep him out of the hospital this year so he can enjoy the holidays at home with his family.

I was more than honored that she trusted me to help feed her child. To help keep her child healthy. She's seen him be sssssooooo sick and weak, she doesn't want that to happen again, and she was putting her trust into ME and MY MILK to keep her little boy from having to go through all that again. I'm honored.

I met with her today at the local Target food court to give her 60oz of my milk in the same insulated bag that donor milk was given to me in a year ago. I feel incredibly blessed to have a healthy daughter who has grown and thrived on my breastmilk despite my struggles. I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to respond to the pump as well as I have so that I could build up a freezer stash of 460oz so that I'd feel comfortable giving away 60oz to someone who could truly use and appreciate it. And if I get to a point where I have more milk to donate I would love to donate again.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Today at naptime I rocked you to sleep in the glider your Gramma and my Grandpa bought for you. While I rocked you I was blown away at how big you seem. Gone are the days of you looking like a little squishy Bean. You seem like a full blown toddler now.

You always sleep to music, so I put on your Disney Lullabies cd, closed the drapes and turned the lights off. When we first nestled down in the rocking chair you grabbed your Bun-Blankie

and snuggled her up under your chin. I cradled you and started rocking, humming along with the music.

As you stared to get sleepy you started to rub your eyes and nose and yawned a biiiiiig yawn - it was the first time (that I can recall) where you audibly yawned. It made me smile and imagine you doing it more and more the older you get. Three songs in, it was hard for you to keep your eyes open... but you tried as hard as you could. It was funny to see you raise your eyebrows as high as possible trying to force your eyes open. By the time the fourth song started you were out cold - and still holding on to Bun-Blankie. I kissed your face, breathed in your sweet baby breath and then kept rocking.

I held you close and rocked you for 2 more full songs before I finally laid you down to go finish the laundry. I know it sounds cheesy, but I swear - I felt like that was the last time I'd get to rock my baby Madeline to sleep. From now on, I'll be putting my toddler Madeline down to bed.

I look forward to toddler adventures, but already miss my baby. ♥

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dear my one year old,

My dear, sweet Maddy Jo Bean. I can't believe you turn one year old today. It doesn't seem possible that an entire year has passed since you came into our lives. This first year of your life has been a crazy, emotional, awesome adventure and I wouldn't change a thing! You've taught me so much about myself, and through being your mommy I've been forever changed.

You've always known who you were. Your personality hasn't really changed since you were born. You're generally a happy, easy going baby, but if you're upset you make sure everyone within earshot knows it. There were those first few weeks where you were "colicky", but looking back it only lasted for a short period of time, and you've been my sweet Bean since. (Our lactation consultant, Tiffanie, reminded me once during an emotional break down - of mine - that you had a rough entrance into this world and thus had a story to tell. She told me to let you tell your story, and remind you that I was there for you. That I was sorry you were upset, but that I loved you. You did have a bit of a rough entrance into the world, and it helped for me to remind myself of that when you'd be inconsolable for hours every night.) Your emotional outbursts are getting fewer and farther between now that you've learned some sign language. Communication is key, and when you can't communicate what it is that you want or need you get frustrated. However, now that you're a Big-Girl-Bean your outbursts are getting more dramatic - and more amusing. You throw your head back, sometimes you cover your mouth with both hands, sometimes you cover your eyes. Sometimes you toddle over to me, crying, put your head on my shoulder and when I kiss you or pat your back you pull away, look me straight in my eyes and make your saddest face and start crying harder. As if you REALLY want me to know that you're REALLY upset. haha.

You've always been a Daddy's Girl and that hasn't changed. Since your Daddy works he gets a fabulous Welcome Home greeting every evening. I know it warms my heart to see you SO happy and excited to see him come in the door - I can only imagine how it makes him feel. When he comes in the door it's like no one else is in the room. I hope that never changes. I hope you're always a Daddy's Girl because your Daddy really is great and he loves you so so so much!

The days leading up to your birthday had me a bit emotional. My thoughts were, "if this year has flown by THIS fast, how fast will the next 17 go?!" I feel like I can't blink or I'll miss something new and wonderful that you're doing. You started walking about 3 weeks ago and the list of things you can do increases by leaps and bounds every day! My favorite thing you do, now, is watching you stand up, look over your shoulder at me, giggle and then start running away from me. When I get up and start to "chase" you you start to laugh and squeal in delight. I stomp after you in a dramatic, slow motion style and you just scream and laugh and I can't get enough! When either you trip and fall or when I "catch" you and you tumble to the ground I "tickle attack" you and you laugh sssooo loud. I wish I could bottle your sweet baby laughter. I know, for a fact, that the sweet sound could cheer up the saddest of days.

I feel so lucky to have been able to stay home with you and look forward to our future. As you get bigger we'll be able to have more out-of-the-house adventures, but until then I'm happy to be home with you, reading, dancing, singing and playing.

Happy 1st Birthday Madeline Jo. I love you more than I could ever express.

7lbs 3oz 1 day old

18lbs 12oz 1 year old

Monday, August 8, 2011

Madeline's 1st birthday party

What the world? I can't believe my kid is going to be ONE YEAR OLD tomorrow! We had her birthday party this last Saturday so that my family who was visiting from Florida and my mom could attend. Many people say that first birthday parties are just for the parents, that they're no big deal, but for me it was more than that. I was excited to plan my daughter's very first birthday party. I've never planned a party before for myself or anyone else, but I wanted to plan out something special for my girl. I liked looking through Pinterest to get ideas about a theme, decorations, food, cake, etc. I liked going to Hobby Lobby to get the supplies to make the decorations and the cake. I liked making pennants for the "Happy 1st Birthday" banner. I liked making cakepops for the first time. I really enjoyed making my girl's first birthday something special.

Next year, I'm hoping she'll (we'll) have friends from playgroups, library story time, Cool Beans Playhouse or where ever, so that I can also plan games and party favors too. I've already been looking through Pinterest for party ideas for the future. In a few years she'll be jumping up and down shrieking that she wants a Fancy Nancy party, or whatever it is that she thinks is cool when she's 6 years old, but until then I'm going to plan - and execute - awesome parties to the best of my ability. And I'll take a ton of pictures so she can look back and see what awesome parties she's had.

Her FIRST birthday party had a Watermelon/Picnic theme:
My mom made Madeline's adorable watermelon dress

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My heart breaks

I'll never, ever, understand why good women have to go through such insurmountable pain from the loss of their child. I'll never, ever, understand why unborn babies have to die. I'll never, ever, understand why good, loving women who want nothing more to have a child have fertility problems.

I obviously get the science of it. Sometimes there are genetic issues, sometimes there are unforeseen health problems, sometimes something unexplainable goes wrong. But it doesn't make it hurt less. I'm not someone with strong enough religious convictions to find comfort in the thought that "God has a plan for them." It may be true, but it doesn't make me feel better. It doesn't make me less angry for the mothers, or sad for the babies.

In 5 days 4 of my friends have lost their babies. Two of them were in their first trimester, one was in her second trimester, and one was 4 days from her due date. I know life isn't fair, but this takes the cake. All of these babies were wanted, loved, and looked forward to. Their mothers had dreams for their futures, and it's not fair that their dreams got ripped away from them.

I wish for a day that this kind of pain no longer exists for my friends or any other mothers. My heart goes out to my friends, I wish I could take your pain away. :( Rest in Peace Baby Aiden, Baby R, Baby N #4 and Baby Rory.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Maddy's 1st cold

Before I was a mother I did a lot of babysitting. I took many child development, child psychology and education classes. I worked in a preschool - and particularly loved the 18 month class. I had many friends with babies. I loooooved babies. I had endless amounts of patience for kids - especially sick, sad, tantrum-y, clingy kids. Stinky diapers didn't phase me. Spit up by the bucket full didn't phase me. I thought for sure that all that experience and education with babies and kids would leave me cool, calm and collected when the day came that I was a mother and my kid was sick.

Color me wrong.

Looking back now I should have known something was off with Madeline, but I just chalked it up to teething. She was teething, but she was acting different. We were at her Guppy swim class last Wednesday (June 29th) and she wanted nothing to do with the nursery rhyme games we were playing. She didn't want to "swim" after her rubber duckie. She didn't want to play in the bubbles. (The swim class is held in the heated therapeutic pool that's used primarily by arthritic seniors and handi-capable individuals. It has water jets like a hot-tub has and you can sit on the steps and the babies like to play with the bubbles.) She didn't want to laugh and "talk" to the other babies and even started whimper-crying when the instructor tried to play with her. Instead she just wanted to lean into my chest, put her head on my shoulder and play with my necklace. She felt warm, but not enough for me to worry. The other parents looked at me with pity, "poor baby" "teething is so hard" "I remember those days" were some of the comments I got.

When we left the Guppy class she pretty much went back to her normal self, so I just assumed her clingy behavior had something to do with teething mixed with a developmental thing. All babies that I've known have gone through multiple stranger-danger phases where they're really bashful and ONLY want mom or dad. I took her home, changed her clothes and put her down for a nap.

The Bean that woke up from her nap was different than the one I laid down 90 mins prior. She was a FUSSY-MUSS!! Tantrums over every.little.thing! The yelling and growling and squealing was like nothing I'd seen her do before. There were
(more than) a few times that I looked at her and asked, "What is your deal?!" I was at a complete loss. My girl has always had a flare for the dramatic, but she's not normally so angry.

I trudged on, counted down the minutes until Jeff got home from work hoping that he would bring our Bean-girl back from the abyss, and was disappointed when our resident "Daddy's Girl" didn't return when her Daddy walked through the door. So, we struggled through dinner, bathtime, pajama time, story time and I collapsed
on the cough with an audible "Phew!" when I finally put her down for bed.

30 mins after she fell asleep I heard, over the monitor, the first signs of her cold. Snoring like a dude. Darth Vader mouth breathing. I, still in denial, laughed at the sounds coming out of her room and thought her teething, or maybe eve
n allergies, were making her snore. About an hour after that, though, the coughing started. The type of coughing that was caused by drainage down the back of her throat. The type of coughing that would end up waking her up every 2 hours or so. ALL.NIGHT.LONG. (for the next two nights.)

The next day when I'd put her down for her nap she's sleep for about 15-20 mins before coughing herself awake and then giving up on the
nap all together about 15 mins laters. A sick baby NEEDS to sleep to get better, but thanks to this stupid cold she wasn't able to sleep.

Saline spray? we used it.
Nose sucker? we used it.
Vicks on her chest, back and feet? we used it.
Hyland's homeopathic cold remedy? we used it.
Humidifier? we used it.

Nothing seemed to help. I felt sssooo helpless. I wa
s less than cool, calm and collected. Not only was I paranoid that her cold was actually some yet-to-be-discovered llama flu, but I was also sick. So, not only did she need sleep - but so did I. And since she wasn't sleeping, either was I.

In reality, she was only really - REALLY - sick for 2 days. It came on fast, hit her hard, and then she started to get better. She was still suuuuuuuu
uper snotty, I still needed to suction her nose, she was still taking crappy naps - but her temperament and personality was pretty much back to normal after those two days. And, two days after that she started taking good naps again, and stopped waking herself up at night, so her mood improved even more after that.

I was not a fan of this cold. And wasn't stoked that
she shared it with me. But we both survived. I need to dig around in my dresser and find my big-girl-panties, though, for the next time she's sick because if she's sick with something worse than a cold I can't be FUH-REAKING out, thinking in worst case scenarios, when all she has is the flu (or strep throat, or chicken pocks, or some other totally benign childhood illness) and all she needs is her mom to be cool, calm and collected and take care of her.

poor, sick Maddy Jo

Friday, June 24, 2011


Now that my girl is 10 1/2 months old she's finally starting to like more solid foods. Actually getting the food into her mouth is still a skill that she's working on (hahah!), but at least she's not just blatantly shunning it all together. She's never, EVER, been a fan of purees and has always preferred finger foods. Chewing and successfully swallowing the little pieces has proven tricky, though. She is getting better though; less dramatic gagging, more swallowing, more SUPER disgusting diapers (yay! :-/ ). She also thinks it's sssssoooooo fun to "accidentally" drop her food over the side of her high chair into the open and waiting mouths of her BFFs - the dogs! We're working on teaching her NOT to feed the doggies, also working on trying to remember to lock the dogs out of the dining room while we're eating.

There is a new - but the same, really - development that is REALLY irking me now that she's getting to be a bigger girl and eating more "real" food. The assumption that she needs to be eating all the garbage that older kids - or adults - are eating. And the assumption that she needs to be drinking less breastmilk. (Why does EVERYONE have an opinion on your parenting?!)

First off: Do what you want with your kids. To each their own. I won't tell you not to feed your 6 month old that Happy Meal, because your kid isn't my concern. But, please pay me the same respect, and realize that MY kid is none of YOUR concern, and you're not allowed to make choices regarding her health. For the love of all things holy, when you're thinking about feeding whateveritisyouhaveinyourhand to MY child, please ask first. A quick, "Hey can she have this?" would be reallllllllly appreciated. We've made the decision that she won't have refined sugars, greasy fats, processed foods or meat yet. She has her whole life to eat poorly, but for this first year of her life we'd like to feel confident that she's eating only good-for-her foods. And if we say, NO, to you giving her whateveritisyouhaveinyourhand don't give us a hard time about it. You had the chance to feed your kids whatever you wanted them to have. And you're right, they turned out great regardless, but you had your chance. This is ours. Thank you.

Secondly: We agree with the WHO's recommendation that babies should be exclusively fed breastmilk for the first 6 months of their life, and then it should still be the main source of nutrition for the child's first 12 months - and then continued for as long as it's mutually desired by both mother and child, but preferably until closer to 2 years old. Maddy LOVES her some milks. And I work SO FLIPPIN' HARD to provide her milks to her. So I'm not going to push her to stop drinking it before she wants to. Yes, my situation is different than if I were nursing her in the traditional way. Yes, I less-than-love pumping and dream of the day when I don't HAVE to do it anymore. But, I feel the same way about EPing as I do about BFing: I'm not going to stop giving her my milk until she's done with it. At this point she's still drinking about 30oz of milks per day. Even with her increased amount of solid foods, the amount of BM has only decreased about 2-3oz. At this rate I KNOW I'll be pumping passed her 1st birthday. And while there are days where I procrastinate and complain about having to pump, I remind myself that in the grand scheme of her LIFE I won't be pumping for very long. And honestly, after all the issues we had in the beginning of our BFing relationship it makes me feel good that she loves her milks so much. It makes all the heartache, physical pain, emotional pain, exhaustion, and hard work totally worth it. I don't know why people - even some misinformed Drs - think that breastmilk suddenly loses it's nutritional value at 6, 9 or 12 months of the baby's age - but that's just ridiculous!

Madeline will eventually decide that "real" foods are more exciting than her milks, and she'll start eating more solids and drinking less BM. As she gets older we'll introduce her to more diverse foods, and will relax on the quality of food as well, but until then just know that we make the choices we make because we love her and we believe we're making the best decisions for her with regard to her health.

I'm pretty positive that she's doing JUST fine on a diet of her milks, peas, corn, blueberries, Cheerios, black beans, cheese, rice, asparagus, yogurt, grapes and hummus. She's a happy, healthy, intelligent girl who's meeting - and usually exceeding - her milestones. :)

/I'm stepping off my soapbox now. Man! I hate feeling so defensive about the choices we make as parents.

Friday, May 27, 2011

What's in a name?

April 23, 2010.

I was laying in bed, at my mom's house, in her guest room - which is my old room - in my old bed. Jeff was at work - he was working graveyard shifts. My mom was in Florida. She had gone there about 2 weeks prior to help take care of my Grandpa, who was very sick with cancer, and my Grandma, who was suddenly very sick with pneumonia and in the hospital. I was laying in bed, with my dogs on the bed with me, but otherwise alone. There isn't a tv in that room, and I didn't have the radio on. I tried reading, but I couldn't focus.

On April 8th, 2010 Jeff and I went to the gender scan ultrasound appointment and learned we would be bringing a daughter home, sometime in August. We were overjoyed (admittedly, I was a bit nervous and shocked - I'd always dreamed of having a boy one day, even my pregnant-lady dreams all involved a son), my mom was excited for a grand-daughter and she and my Grandma joked about my getting "payback" by being blessed with a daughter.

But now Jeff and I had to pick a girl's name! We already had a boy's name picked out, but hadn't given much thought to a girl's name. (I already, briefly, talked about how we settled on Madeline's name, but most of the emphasis was about her middle name - Jo - being picked in honor of my Grandpa. This is about how Madeline came to be.)

We went to Disneyland to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary on April 9-11, 2010 and went back and forth on girl's names, ending up with a short list of about 8 names on the back of an envelope by the time we got home that weekend. After we got back from California is when my Grandma got sick and my mom flew to Orlando to help my with grandparents.

My mom called me early the morning of April 16th to tell me that my Grandma passed away. I didn't see that coming. I cried and cried and cried. I woke Jeff up - who has just gotten home from work an hour before and had just falled asleep - with all my crying. I called my boss to tell him the news and told him I wouldn't be in. And then I sat. And cried. And sat. I had an OB appt, scheduled far in advance for that day and decided to go - to make sure everything was ok with my daughter - but all I remember of that appointment is crying to my Dr about my Grandma's death. I'm sure she checked her heartbeat. I'm sure she told me what new changes to look out for, what new milestones to expect, but I don't remember any of it. I just remember crying. Thankfully, Jeff was there to drive me to and from because I don't remember the drive there.

I went back to work the next Monday. I don't remember much that whole week. I was in a weird haze. I'd call and talk to my mom every day. I'd ask her how she was doing. I'd ask her how my Grandpa was doing. I sent flowers. I tried to not cry very much to my mom since I knew her pain must be a million times worse. And she was being so strong for my Grandpa's sake, so I didn't want to make her cry by my crying.

At some point during that 1st week without my Grandma I stopped crying, but I still don't remember doing anything specific.

Which brings me back to the night of April 23, 2010. Where I was laying in bed, at my mom's house, all alone except for my dogs. The book I was trying to read was The Art of Racing in the Rain (which has a pretty sad part in it, by the way, I don't recommend reading it following the death of a loved one) but, like I said I just couldn't focus so I put it down.

I was alone in a dark, empty house, at night... feeling really alone - emotionally - and kinda numb and then I realized - yes, REALIZED, suddenly after a week of being so detached from the world - that I wasn't alone, after all. My daughter was with me. Always with me. So, I put my hand on my stomach and started talking - out loud - to her. I apologized for not talking to her much lately. I told her I loved her. I asked her how she was feeling. I was trying to re-connect with her.

I was told early on in my pregnancy that I had an anterior placenta. Which meant that my placenta was positioned on the front of my uterus, which made feeling my baby's movements harder than if the placenta was positioned on the back wall of my uterus.

I was talking, out loud, to my daughter as if she was going to respond to me. At one point I asked her, "Can you hear me? Let me know if you can hear me." Nothing happened. But I kept talking. I told her about my Grandma. I told her I was sorry that she'd never get to meet her, and told her about how much my Grandma loved her. How excited she was to meet her. I cried some more, but I kept talking. Eventually, I declared that she needed a name! And I reached over to the nightstand and grabbed the envelope of names. I asked her if she liked Johanna? (nothing.) Arabella? (nothing.) Amelia? (nothing.) Madeline? (kick.) My heart jumped. I held my breath. I smiled involuntarily. And I went on. Josephine? (nothing.) Kendall? (nothing.) Isabelle? (nothing.) I said Madeline again. (kick. elbow-roll. kick.) I laughed and told her I was going to tell her Daddy that she picked her own name.

And when I told him how it happened he just smiled and said, "Well, ok then. Madeline it is." ♥ And it was. From that night on I never thought of her as anything else.

I swear, I came out of that sad, dark, lonely haze after that night. My daughter had a name - that she picked - and I was talking about my Grandma again. I was still sad, I'm still sad, but I wasn't numb anymore. As super-cheesy as it sounds, my Bean-girl pulled me out of that haze and reminded me that I had something wonderful to look forward to.

People would ask me how we picked Madeline, and I would usually give a generic answer about finding it in a baby book, liking the meaning, etc etc... but it's sort of hard to explain that we didn't pick Madeline. Madeline did.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

slow down and enjoy the ride

The last couple of nights my girl has been waking up a lot, I mean - 3-4 times a night, which is a LOT. Yes, I'm tired because of it. No, I don't drink coffee. No, I don't get naps since she only takes 30 min naps. But... I haven't minded. It's not going to be like this forever. She's not going to wake up in the night frequently for much longer (in the grand scheme of things). She's not going to need extra snuggle time for much longer. So, for now, I'm going to enjoy it.

I'm going to enjoy the weight of her little body laying across my chest. I'm going to enjoy her little fingers raking my arm back and forth a hundred times. I'm going to breathe in her sweet baby breath. I'm going to steal a million kisses from her soft forehead. I'm going to find peace in the rhythm of her breathing as she matches it with mine. I'm going to smile to myself as she turns her head to the right, then the left, then the right again while she's trying to get comfortable. I'm going to savor this moment because it's going to be gone before I'm ready for it to be.

There will be days when she'll want her Daddy over me. There will be days when it seems she likes spending time her friends more than me. There will eventually come a day that she'll want to be around anyone other than me. But for now, she wants her Momma. And as tired as I may be throughout the day, I'm so happy that I get to be there for her and that I can make it all better when she wakes up and needs an extra snuggle sesh. I'll gladly snuggle-bunny my Bean, even if it means I don't get a full night's sleep. Because my girl doesn't snuggle with just anyone. She's not a snuggler. I'll take what I can get. And truthfully, middle of the night snuggles are sort of sweet; the house is quite, the world outside is quite, it's just me and her, and I get to watch and take in every little thing about her while she drifts back to sleep. And once she does... I softly kiss her face and lay her back down. Ready to come back to her as soon as she needs me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Half Birthday?

My dear, sweet Madeline,

I can't believe it's the eve of your 6 month birthday! Six months?! Where has the time gone? People warn you, when you're pregnant, that the time FLIES by but there's no way to really understand that until you're thrown into parenthood. Mommyhood. Sweet Bean, I'm so lucky to be your Mommy!

You personality is too big for your little 14lb body! You're bursting at the seams, and if I dare to blink I miss something new you're discovering! You've got the most infectious smile and laugh and I spend most of my day trying to get one or the other out of you. Thankfully, when nothing else works, I've found your tickle-spots and they don't let me down very often! Your Daddy's favorite thing to do is to throw you so high into the air and you squeal and laugh until he can't throw you anymore because his arms are too tired!

You're so alert and so curious about the world around you. Within the last month you've really started to notice the dogs. Even though we try to stop him, Rambo constantly wants to smell and lick your face while you roughly yank his ears and pull his hair and laugh when he steals a kiss. Roxanne is afraid of you - you're unpredictable - but you looooove her! On the rare occasion you get to pet her (when she's not paying attention) you laugh and scream and throw your head back in pure joy that you FINALLY got to pet her floofy hair! Once she gives you a chance I know she'll love you too!

We've started going to a story-time at the library across the street, where you bounce up and down and 'dance' to the music and songs we sing. Where you smile and laugh at the other babies and where you look on in amazement while the circle leader plays the flute and makes finger puppets come to life! I hope that some of these babies will become your friends in the future.

Now that you're SIX MONTHS OLD things are about to get crazy fun, and fast! You'll be crawling soon - not like you have ANY trouble getting anywhere you want to be now. You roll so fast across the floor and pull your toys off the shelf, you put everything into your mouth and seem determined to find every piece of lint on the floor that I missed and put it in your mouth before I can jump over the coffee table to stop you! You'll be starting to eat 'real' food and it'll be an adventure to find out which ones you like and which ones you don't.

I'm so so lucky that your Daddy works hard so that I can stay home with you. My heart would break into a million pieces if I had to miss out on all the wonderful things you do in a day. Colorado is my dream. Living here and staying home with you in my dream come true and I can't wait to see you embrace this life that I'm trying so hard to make close-to-perfect for you.

Sweet Bean, you're an amazing, beautiful, independent, brilliant, happy, curious - WONDERFUL baby and I'm so happy that you're mine! (Ours.) Happy Half Birthday, Baby. I can't remember my life before you. ♥

Monday, January 31, 2011

30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Nine

Day Nine: Post a photo of the person who has gotten you through the most. What did this person do for you during your troubled time? What made you turn to them out of everyone else in your life?

Truth be told, I've been blessed enough to not have very many troubled times and the few times where I've hit some bumps in the road I've turned to different people, or to no one at all.

In general, however, my mom has gotten me through the most. She single handedly raised me, provided for me, nurtured me, taught me, comforted me, disciplined me, rewarded me and loved me.

For the first 17 years of my life it was pretty much just me and her. (Then at 17 I started dating Jeff and eventually married him when I was 22, at which point I became his problem. lol!) We didn't live near family for the majority of my life, and I didn't meet my brother and sister until I was in high school, so she was my whole family.

She sacrificed everything for me. Selflessly gave everything she had to be the best mother and father she could for me. And while I wasn't the easiest teenager to deal with (and she will tell you I'm still not always a walk in the park), I learned it from the best ;) and I hope she knows that regardless of my 'tude on any given day I love her and am so thankful that she was picked to be my mom.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm still here.... well, a new HERE, but I'm still here in the blogosphere...

I feel like it's been sssssssssssssoooooooooooooooooooo long since I've last updated that I need to have a OMGBBQAMAZBALLS update to come back with, but I don't know where to start!! THIS IS TOO MUCH PRESSURE!!!!

We live in Colorado now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!

Apparently, if you wish for, pray for, talk about and think about something often enough it really does come true!!

It's amazing! Money is TIGHT, tighter than tupperware, but still I'm happy here. Happy with the weather. Happy with the people. Happy with my life.

(seriously, Jeff's truck was broken in to - window completely smashed out and GPS stolen, I lost my cell phone, and I've had pink eye for over a week and I'm still happy!!)

I'll start back up on my 30 Days of Me photo challenge in a few days, scouts honor!!

Madeline is doing wonderfully!! She weighs 14lbs and 12oz and is 26" long! She's up on her knees, rocking back and forth like crazy in preparation to crawl, she rolls both ways - and rolls across the room to get what she wants! She's mainly wearing 6 month clothes, but is in some 9 month pants - thanks to her fluffy cloth diaper-butt! She is still exclusively breastfed, but we did put together her high chair, so when she's ready to start solids we'll be ready for her! We just put together her big girl crib as she finally outgrew her bassinet... she's 5.5 months old - I can't believe she's almost 6 months old!! I feel like I JUST had her!

ok, that's all for now.... it's been awhile though, so I'll leave you with a current picture of my sweet girl!