Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy 11-month birthday, Madeleine!

Dear Madeleine,

Mommy is a little late on this post because we were very busy on your 11-month birthday! What a month - per usual I feel like it has flown by. You are such a busy girl - here's a little bit about your 11th month.
Pretty soon after you celebrated 10 months, you took your first steps! We were in Denton at Nana and Pop's for Labor Day weekend, and we were watching our Baylor Bears play TCU. You took about three steps across the rug in their living room. We were so proud of you (and the Bears for winning that game!) You have recently started taking about ten steps in a row, but you still crawl as your primary form of transportation. That weekend you also explored Nana and Pop's house, visited the Palamaras and Rachel and spent some time in the pool with your cousins and Aunt Heather. Yes, the center of attention once more.

You continue to remain active and squirmy! You used to just roll back and forth when we tried to change your diaper, but now you do a straight sit-up. Ninety degrees, up you go. It's funny, you don't really have the abs to show for it. :)  Sometimes you don't even have the patience to finish your bottle sitting in our laps; we let you stand up in front of us and hold it for you for those last few ounces.
You are an active explorer in our home. You love to crawl around and lead Mommy on adventures - exploring the contents of cabinets, looking at all of our shoes in the closet, finding remnants of meals past underneath your high chair and continuing to look for the cats. You are so good at finding something new in a room, quickly picking up on what wasn't there before.
One of the biggest battles of the month was some sleep regression/redistribution. You started having such a hard time going down for your afternoon nap - I couldn't figure it out. Many days (for about two weeks) I had to push you in your stroller around the house to get you to calm down and fall asleep for your afternoon nap. Miss Sara even had to do it at nighttime once when she was babysitting. When you finally would fall asleep in your stroller, I would push the stroller into your bedroom, close the door and let you sleep for a couple hours. I couldn't figure it out, but it was horrible. One day it took us 3.5 hours to get you to sleep - I'd let you talk then cry then I'd comfort you, then push you in the stroller but it didn't work, then take you out and let you play but you were rubbing your eyes and crying, then I'd give you a bottle, put you in bed, scream, then back in the stroller until FINALLY you went to sleep. The best part of this season is that it is over now. The key (per a suggestion from Miss Laura) was waking you up from your morning nap after about 45 minutes. This ensured that you would be tired and ready to go down in the afternoon, then in the afternoon you sleep two or two and a half hours. While I hate to go in there and wake you up, the longer afternoon nap is worth it! Here's a picture of you right after you woke up in your stroller.  Rough.
Madeleine, you are so communicative. You say "mama," "dada," "hi" (all the time), "bye," "Nana" and "banana" ("uh-nuh-nuh.) You are also starting to experiment with other words and sounds. We were blowing bubbles the other day, and Mommy kept saying "bubbles, bubbles" and you would repeat "buh-buh-buh-buh." You say hi and wave your sweet hand (more like a fingers pinching together) all the time. When we see people at church, from your grocery cart seat, when you see friends and family; you just love to greet people.  Your toys and the cats are the recipients of your frequent greetings as well.  So sweet of you.  You like to do all of your tricks all in a row too - you will wave and say "hi," then you will do your motorboat sound with your finger to your lips, then you will clap. It's so cute. You are great with verbal understanding too. We can say "Madeleine, clap your hands," without demonstrating, and you will do it. You are learning so many commands about looking out the window, come to Mommy/Daddy, no, etc. etc. Granna taught you how to find a person's nose and how to respond to "sit down" in the bathtub. You love to dance, mostly to the tunes of your teapot or puppy. We just saw you one day, bouncing along to the music, completely unprompted. Of course we now encourage you to keep on dancing because it is so much fun. You also love that toy that has little animals that pop up. Maybe you've got a smidge of your dad's OCD tendencies - if those animals are up, you MUST put them down.

This month has allowed you time with all of your great grandparents, and you've gotten to see some of them twice! With your parent commitment ceremony, a Denton visit, a dinner at Linnet's and a trip up to Plano, you have been blessed with some sweet time with these family members who love you so much! Great Grandma Carole even babysat you while we all went to Shay's wedding. You love that sweet and special time, and I love that you are building relationships with them.

Thanks for another wonderful month, Miss Madeleine.  I can't believe you are almost one!!


Friday, September 23, 2011

How very pinteresting

Following the masses, I have really been enjoying pinterest. I've only been on the website a few weeks, but what a resource! I promised myself that I had to justify the time I spend browsing and re-pinning by actually doing some of the things I saw, so without further ado, here is my first Pinterest review. The first thing I did was some melted crayon art for Madeleine's playroom. I really loved it, and it was so easy, especially since I made it in the peak of the August temps of 110+. The sun did its thing and the crayons just melted - no heat gun required. The darker crayons melted very quickly, and the orange/yellow crayons took much longer. I guess my science teachers were right about darker colors absorbing heat faster. (I do have another set I did with a heat gun - I'll sell em to you if you want them - way cheaper than the etsy price! Let me know.)
After the crayon art, I tried the oh-so-easy DIY dry erase board. I did all of this in-house - took a frame I already had and put scrapbook paper I already had in it. Hung it in the laundry room, and voila! We are both enjoying this, however, I like how I can cross things off the list by simply using my index finger and wiping it off the glass. My sweet husband still likes crossing the item off for the simple satisfaction of it. I go back and erase his crossed-out items. Ha.

I tried the make-your-own coffee creamer in the pumpkin spice flavor. I've really enjoyed it. It is certainly not as sweet as your favorite coffeemate flavor (mine are cinnamon vanilla cream and hazlenut) but I liked knowing that the ingredients were simple and natural, and I wasn't just drinking a bunch of preservatives. I am looking forward to trying other flavors as well.
The next thing I tried was this shrimp recipe. I was excited because I had never cooked with shrimp. I know, I know, such an amateur. It was really good, but it wasn't really worth it. I wasn't a huge fan of shelling and "de-veining" the shrimp (aka pulling out their digestive system.) The shrimp also made out house stinky. So for me, cooking with shrimp, not worth it; I'll just stick to ordering it elsewhere. If you enjoy cooking with shrimp, you should try the recipe. :)
Another recipe that was a bigger hit was the autumn chopped salad. Super easy and quite good. The only thing you really have to chop up is the pears. Everything else you pretty much dump in the bowl. My kinda salad. This one was a big hit with Cason too.
Last but not least, I attached a magazine holder to the back of my bathroom cabinet door. I just used those adhesive strips that come with command hooks. It holds my hair dryer, my curling iron and my straightener. The magazine holders were 4/$2.99 at IKEA, so very marvelous and inexpensive.
One more thing - I almost forgot since I forgot to take a picture. I made these stuffed mushrooms, and they were delicious. Long live Pinterest!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quite a Weekend

I don't typically do "calendaristic" posts. We did this, then we did this, etc., but this weekend just merits one because we had two big events. Well maybe three if you count the tea party, but I'll get to that in a minute. Friday night we didn't do much of anything except clean/rest a bit before we hit the ground running on Saturday. I missed sewing with all my little seamstress friends at Erin's, which I hated, but I just had too much to do. Saturday morning started with a tea party for Madeleine and her Daddy. These pictures make me so happy. I just love these two, and they love each other so much!
Cason headed to our class' service project - assembling parachute packs we all bought to send to Colombia. The packs have all kinds of biblical tools and literature - what a good idea - to just drop them from the sky into remote areas! I didn't get to go since Madeleine really needed an am nap, and I had a few more chores, but it went really well. We packed up and went to Waco!! One of Cason's co-workers gave us his season tickets, so we were going to meet up with the Scotts and let the babies enjoy some good football! Season tickets are the way to go since they come with a personal parking space right by the stadium and free dinner beforehand. We got to see lots of our friends, and Madeleine was really good. She clapped when all the fans clapped and seemed quite interested in everything going on. She got so excited she started spitting (another one of her "tricks" - see picture below!) We didn't stay the whole time since we were with her and were driving back that night, but she did so well, just getting squirmy at the end.
Sunday we went to church and then came home for an afternoon of some more prep before Madeleine's parent commitment service. In our church, we don't have infant baptism, and this service places more responsibility on the parents as far as raising the child in a godly home and committing ourselves to fostering her spiritual growth. The Bible verse we picked for her was one we'd prayed over her since before she was born:

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have know the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:14-15

Our family, who we were so excited to have in attendance, was thrilled to see Madeleine's photo as "the" parent commitment slide photo. Haha. She's so cute, why not? :) Madeleine got a bit squirmy, but she did great. Early on we knew she wouldn't wear her bow. Check out the video below for some spidey mom reflexes. :) We had lots of sweet family in town for the event (Bill couldn't come because of a wildfire issue near his school and subsequent evacuations, so we missed him very much!) and we all celebrated with a barbecue dinner back at the house.