Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy 4-month birthday, Madeleine!

Yes, her 3-month picture was a pink and brown outfit too. This girl has a lot of pink and brown in her's "in" apparently.

Dear Madeleine,

You are four months old today. It's a special day too because exactly one year ago today, we found out you were coming to join our family! I remember that day so vividly, and I am amazed by how the past year has flown. I do feel like when you were born we started at the bottom of a big roller coaster hill. The first 3 1/2 months we just slowly chugged up one side of the hill, figuring out the basics: eating, sleeping, snuggling, crying. Click, click, click, click, click...then we hit 3 1/2 months and whoosh! We started flying down the other side of the ride, moving so fast and having so much fun!

It feels like all of a sudden we are incorporating things into our days like teething, rolling over, giggling, exploring, and Dr. Koush even said we could be watching for cues from you for the introduction to solid foods. My, my, Madeleine. What a big girl you are.

Here are few day-to-day basics:
You finally dropped your late-night feeding right around your 3-month birthday. That, combined with you dropping the paci and picking up your thumb around Valentine's Day has allowed you to regularly sleep 12+ hours each night - about 8p - 8a. Oh bless you, sweet child.

You were taking four 45 min.-hour naps per day, but now you are down to three. You really aren't an awesome napper, as far as the length of the naps go, but I'll take it. Hopefully you'll condense them and stretch them out soon. You are good with napping in the car, at other peoples' houses and in your parents' arms (like you did with Daddy at Micah and Archer's birthday party.) And twice you have just fallen asleep on the floor, while playing. It is just adorable.

You eat 5 times/day for about 30 minutes each time - same as last month - roughly 8 or 8:30, 11, 2, 5, and 7:30. Except today, you ate seven times. Growth spurt!

You are so cheerful. You spend lots of time smiling and giggling, but those sweet things are hard to catch on camera. You get so distracted when cameras or phones come out. Here's a blurry smile photo (hey, I'll take what I can get!) and a sweet video of your giggles!

First Madeleine Giggles on Camera from Allison White on Vimeo.

You are very active. You have rolled from your back to your tummy and also from your tummy to your back. Sometimes when you are on your tummy, you scoot around in a circle, making it a full 360 degrees! You are starting to really reach for toys and play with them. Your favorite right now is your plastic chain. I think you love it so much because you can suck your thumb while you play with it, if you like.
You celebrated your first Super Bowl, your Daddy's 30th birthday (and you kept the surprise so well!) and your first Valentine's Day.

You talk a ton. You are really exploring the noises you can make and all you can do with your mouth. You blow bubbles and raspberries, you squeal and laugh and really explore your range. You chew on things, and this week you started teething symptoms. Lately, you love chewing on my finger. Is this not the face of teething?

At your check-up today, you were 15 lbs. 3 oz. (83 percentile, what a chunk!) 25 1/2 inches long (91 percentile, going to be tall like your daddy) and your head circumference was 16 inches (41 percentile.) You did great with your shots. Even though the flat spot on your head has rounded out a bit, Dr. Koush thought it would be good to see a physical therapist just in case some of your neck muscles weren't getting enough practice. See, baby girl, when you always turn your head to the right, the other muscles don't get to work, so we need to just make sure we get some exercises to practice turning your head to the left! Right when we got home, you started looking to the left quite easily, showing off for your parents (you are so tricky) but we are still going to make an appointment, just to be proactive and sure. Maybe we should put you on the other side of the TV when we watch Family Feud. Look how funny you were in your bumbo that day! (Sidenote: You really don't like the bumbo that much, but that day when we tried it, you really wanted to face the TV!)

Oh Madeleine, we adore you and are so happy to have you as a part of our family!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"The many windswept yellow stickies of my mind"

I love those lyrics by Imogen Heap. So much so I was tempted to change my whole blog to that theme a year or so ago, but I didn't. Instead, here is a post with so many random thoughts that Imogen's words are the only appropriate title. I love Imogen.

Do you ever have anything that you buy at the grocery store and swear to yourself "this time I will eat it!" Then, inevitably, it rots in the drawer. My item is baby carrots. What an easy, healthy snack, and they are always so affordable. You'd think...but I usually throw them out cause they've either dried up or gotten slimey. I am doing better on this batch - I think I bought 2 bags for $3, and one bag is gone. We'll see about the other one.

Does anyone use their Chi straightener anymore? I feel like any time I straighten my hair (or straightenED - probably haven't used it in at least a year) it just looks stringy. More often than not I use my Chi as a little emergency iron for the edge of a skirt or a wrinkled sash or something. New uses for old things, eh?

I have started to pray that God would startle me in my sin. You know those little sins we all have? In thought, word or deed they just become...comfortable. You tune out the conviction of the Holy Spirit because isn't that bad. Enough of that nonsense. It's been really interesting - I've noticed my sin so much more and it truly has startled me.

Have y'all seen that commercial for popcorn seasoning where they sing "No more naked popcorn...?" That has become the jingle to sing lately in our house. Makes me laugh.

This is a funny game that Cason and Madeleine started lately. Anytime he blows on her face, she inhales sharply, as if to try to breathe in whatever air he is blowing at her...or something. It's really cute.

Madeleine and Daddy - funny game from Allison White on Vimeo.

I have major stay at home mom ADD. Y'all it's crazy. I know there are so many factors - not having a set schedule on lots of days, Madeleine being unpredictable some days...I don't know, but it drives me crazy. Just last week I put some clothes in the wash, then I started taking down Valentine's decorations, then as I was putting them away I realized a cabinet in the bathroom needed reorganizing, I started that, then the dryer went off. I went to put clothes away, then I started reorganizing my own closet. I'm not even talking about the days I stop by the computer to check for an email and then I lose and hour on the internet. Sheesh. Some days Cason gets home and I have about 4 projects started all around the house. Bless his heart.

I just read Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero-Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. If you weren't at all convinced that I was a dork - hello. There's your proof. I am especially anal about grammar and punctuation, mostly due to the editing class I had to take as a PR major, but I also used to write for a living. This book comes with stickers of apostrophes - big ones - that you could use if you saw an error out in public. Y'all, I didn't go that far, but ooooeee was it tempting. Bottom line: use "it's" if you could replace it with "it is" and use "its" if you are talking about possession. I could go on, but I won't. Sometimes I am tempted to edit other peoples' blog entries, but I don't.

Back to the SAHM ADD - I feel like I have been noticing entropy more and more in life. Do y'all remember entropy from physics? It has to do more with the second law of thermodynamics, but in a nutshell, for the rest of us non-scientists, it has to do with disorder. How it is more likely for something to fall apart or get messy that it is to stay neat. I have been seeing this in relationships, in my own home (daily messes...the leaves dumping on our yard...) Honestly, just how it's more likely for your house to get messy than for it to get cleaner. :) It happens in relationships too - it's more likely for there to be a misunderstanding or a feeling of neglect if you don't maintain it...anyway...entropy...ponder it.

Teething is not super fun.

I really like putting my ipod on shuffle when Mads and I are at home during the day. The shuffle function often brings us stellar tunes to which we can dance together, and it will go from PlayRadioPlay to Stevie Wonder in no time. Oh man I love dancing with my baby girl. I also love singing with her in the car. I was singing along to Amy Grant's "Better than a Hallelujah" the other day, and Madeleine was just cooing in the back seat, on the exact same page as her mama. Blessings abound.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Best Song of 2010

I've been meaning to post this for months, really, and after watching the Grammys, I still think this is my favorite song of 2010 (despite the wonderful perfomances by Mumford and Sons/The Avett Brothers.) I am so into folk right now.

Anyway, my talented sister Liz wrote this song for Madeleine's birth. Not only does Liz play the guitar, she is a chemical engineering major at UT, mature beyond her years (I look up to her in so many ways), seeking the Lord with everything she is and a fantastic cook to boot. Hello. She made lamb burgers for her roommates the other night. Julianne and I joke that mom and dad saved the best for last. This song is so beautiful and precious to me, and we sing it to Madeleine all the time. It is also quite apropos for Valentine's Day.

Madeleine's Song from Allison White on Vimeo.

Madeleine's Song
By: Liz Deily

Oh Madeleine, I hope you're ready to be my friend.
I hope you're ready to open your eyes
And see this beautiful world for the first time.
You're a masterpiece,
From the wisps of your hair to the toes on your feet.
And today is your first day here on earth,
I wish you could know how much you're worth.

Well did you know that you're one in more than seven trillion?*
And I hope you come to know Jesus while your heart is still young.
Cause He made you well, yeah He made you perfectly.
And He loves you more than anyone does, even me.


Well, one day you'll know broken hearts and bruised knees,
But know that in your tears you can always come to me.
And one day you'll grow into a lovely young lady,
But for now you're small, and you'll always be our baby.


Well, close your eyes, for now it's time for sleeping
We will dry your tears and we'll help stop all your weeping.
It's time for rest, which is what we do at night,
And we'll celebrate each day you're here, with morning's light.

Oh Madeleine, let the adventures begin
And know that whatever comes, we'll love you to the moon and back and then some.

*In one of Liz's super-smart science classes during her freshman year, she learned that each baby's DNA is a combination of one in more than seven trillion! How amazing is that?

And just in case you didn't get enough cuteness, here are some Valentine's pictures of Madeleine.

Also, a funny thing is when the flower company accidentally sends you (but doesn't charge you for) two bouquets.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

DIY Valentine's Decor

Well as Houston has been shut down this week due to rolling blackouts and the impending doom of whatever this winter storm was supposed to be, Madeleine and I have been staying put for the most part (both because our activities have been cancelled and because she just got over her week-long runny nose, so I was in no hurry to have her out and about!) We've been spending our days inside with a fire going, and it has been quite nice. I am starting to go a little crazy though.

I think I love the notion of Valentine's Day more now than I ever have. Sure, my parents made it fun when we were little, and there was always the celebration of candy and cards and such at school, but for the majority of my life, 'ol V-day has been awkward. In school you were bummed you weren't dating someone, or if you were, it still had this weird pressure about it. Now that I'm a wife and a mom, I am thrilled with the idea of making Valentine's Day memorable in our home and starting traditions to celebrate the love of our family and the love of our Savior.

Valentine's Day has quite the potential for tacky-but-cute decorations - moreso than other holidays, I think. Here are some of the things I've made/put together this year.

I got this idea for a pot of hearts from Mine for the Making. Hers is a little different than mine - I didn't buy as many hearts, and the dollar store only had fuzzy pink hearts, so I covered half of them in red glitter. It's a nice stand-alone decoration, but then I grouped it with a red candle and our digital frame.

Aww that picture is the first one Cason and I ever took together. :)

I also made a Valentine's tree for our kitchen table. I figure Madeleine can make little ornaments when she gets older, but for now these glitter hearts will do. The middle branch has some LED lights wrapped around it with gardening tape. Jamie and I saw branches like this at the nutcracker market, so we made some ourselves. I wasn't quite sure what to do with mine until now - painted it white and it found itself a part of the Valentine's tree. I just added two little red candles and some heart confetti.

The mantle just has a sign from Hobby Lobby and some wire heart garland. Again, tacky but fun!

My favorite project were these decoupaged mailboxes. I thought it would be fun to start the tradition to have little mailboxes that we filled with notes to each other throughout the month of February. Unlike real mailboxes, you can put the flag up when you have put a note in someones box. As a words of affirmation girl, I think this will be so much fun! I decorated the boxes for each of us - the footprint heart totally worked for Madeleine, but I decided against it for Cason and I.

The kitties have just been trying to stay warm. Theodore is famous for making "kitty caves" in our bed on the mornings when it doesn't get made. Sometimes I start making the bed, not even realizing he is in there until he runs out. Sorry, dude.