Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy 2-month birthday, Madeleine!

Dear Madeleine -

We are so thankful for you this Christmas Eve, and the two months we've been blessed to have you in our family. In so many ways it feels like we've known you so much longer than two months, and in other ways the time has definitely flown by. Gone are the days of the floppy, sleepy newborn, and we now have quite the bouncing baby! You are getting so big - I can't wait to see how much you weigh at your appointment. You have the most adorable rolls on your arms and thighs, and your tummy is so chunky and cute. That double chin and those cheeks are too much - you even have another nickname already, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Your alertness grows and grows. You are starting to try to find your thumb. You get really frustrated, but it is also so cute!! You can really focus on certain things, and you love to talk, babbling on and on. You talk the most when you are on your tummy and in your crib. You have the sweetest voice, Madeleine. Your dad and I just hear you and melt. Someday we will understand you, but for now we will take the sweet baby talk. You are also smiling so much more now - we love it! You do so well out in public, even now, in busy December, but you also love those recharging days when we just stay home.

You continue to eat and sleep so well! You are a great napper, going down easily during the day, and you sleep for nice long stretches at night, already going 12 hours between feedings at night - 8pm - 8am. Some nights you still wake up around 4 or 5 to snack a bit. Our biggest challenge continues to be bedtime. You are (at this point) unfortunately a night owl like your mom. We feed you around's dark and quiet, you're in your PJs...we put you down. Many nights you'll go to sleep for about an hour, some nights not at all, but you don't typically go down for the night until anywhere from 10:30 to 1am! We don't know what your deal is, but the good news is you are typically happy to just lay in your crib and play/babble yourself to sleep eventually. We are debating starting your bedtime routine at 3pm, just to get you to sleep at a reasonable hour. :) Just kidding.

Here's a list of "firsts" for your second month:

First surprise - on Thanksgiving we surprised the Whites and took a day trip to Cleburne. It was our year to be with them, but we changed our plans when we thought you were coming in November. It was so much fun to put your carrier on Aunt Heather's doorstep and ring the doorbell and hide. Your Nana just cried and cried, and everyone loved having you there on Thanksgiving.

First road trips - both to Cleburne on Thanksgiving, and then to College Station. We went with Miss Cindy and Jake, and we had lunch with Miss Jamie. You were so good, and you and Jake were so cute hanging out in the backseat. You slept in the car and Jake just stared at you - not used to having company back there!

First slumber party - we've gotten to spend the night at your Granna and Grandad's house a few times. This is where you first slept through the night in your mom's old Moses basket from Mexico. I kept waking up just thinking you were going to want to eat soon, but nope - you kept sleeping!

First lovie - this cute little lamb with a satin-y tummy. We'll see if it "sticks," if not we have lots of other animals you will love.

First time to hold hands with a boy - Madeleine, some of the big kids have really just taken to you. Avery loves to play with you, and so do Elizabeth and Micah. You even got to meet Emma - she came all the way from Waco to see you. Her family is very special to us - your mommies and your Granna and Mama Lou have been friends for a very long time. Avery and Micah say your name so sweetly, and when we were at the Saxes, Micah wanted to hold your hand while his mommy was holding you. Your daddy kept an eye on him though. I think you made quite the impression when you filled up a diaper at their house. You made such a mess that Miss Ally had to give you a bath in their sink! We'll save more holding hands for a few years down the line, what do you think?

First time to Memorial Park - last Saturday we had such fun going to the park as a family. You did great in the jogging stroller. Next we went to Barnaby's for breakfast. Dad had blueberry pancakes, and you got to eat too!

First nickname - well, it's not really your first - your dad and I have lots of silly little nicknames for you - Madeleinsky, Madestinksky, Chunky Chicken, Lovie, whatever strikes our fancy :). Your Grandad started calling you "Cachetes" (Ca - CHE - tess) which is Spanish for "cheeks." Imagine that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just the three of us...

Y'all know my sweet and talented friend Sarah from Fish Lips Photography...well, she took our newborn pics when Madeleine was just 10 days old! These are the pics - we just love them!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Joy and pretty dishes - use often!

Between holiday festivities at MOPS on Dec. 1 and our church's women's Christmas banquet last night, my spirit is full and it's only Dec. 3!

The women's banquet was "decorate your own table" and our table WON! No thanks to me - I'll tell you right off the bat I had zero involvement really - mainly because Madeleine was so little when all the planning was going on, but major hats off to Tiffany and Erin for getting things going, and all the other ladies for their contributions. Erin sewed our placemats, napkins, cute cupcake ornaments, etc. and Ally made these cute place cards/napkin rings. Each table was beautiful, and I am already brainstorming for next year! Here's our table and another one of the tables for our Sunday school class. I didn't get a pic of our third table. :(

Our speakers were Nancy Monarch who talked about peace and our pastor's sweet wife Kelly Matte who talked about joy. (Our "hope" speaker was out sick.) The holidays, for some folks, can be the most difficult time to find peace - whether it is because of family drama or stressing out about unrealistic expectations or insecurities. AMEN! We need to relax! Kelly gave a great example about the joy of the season - it is so overwhelmingly wonderful - we have a Savior! He has come to take away our sins and give us eternal life with him. A staple for Christians, but it shouldn't lose it's excitement. She compared our joy as Believers to our "good dishes" in a china hutch. Oh we know they are there, but we save them for special occasions (too rare!) or we forget about them. She encouraged us to enjoy the promise of this season and to share it with others.

In honor of that, and because I just love drinking from a pretty cup, I decided to have my coffee in my china this morning.

It was such a sweet time of fellowship, I just love each and every woman in our class. So many different personalities and beautiful stories - I have learned so much from them, especially in this season of becoming a new mom. These ladies have prayed for me and encouraged me in more ways than I could've ever imagined.

I'll leave you with the beautiful hymn Kelly quoted - "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" written in the 1700s.

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.