Friday, January 27, 2012

15 Months

Dear Madeleine,

Somehow, you are 15 months old.  Time passes, and you grow.  Some things you do, we can take credit for, they are things we taught you.  Some things...I don't know where they come from, but you just do them.  They are who you are, who the Lord has created you to be.

I'll be honest.  My flesh doesn't always love being a Mama.  Somehow, being a Mama and loving on you gets in the way of my own plans and silly to-do lists, and my flesh hates that.  My spirit loves being a Mama.  The experience humbles me and brings me much closer to Jesus.  There is nothing like you loving on me, smiling at me and the ability to watch you learn and grow.  What a gift.

We continue to get to know more of your personality - little details get filled in.   Here are a few things about you at 15 months old.
  • Physically, you continue to get bigger (can't fool me) - that tummy is a force to be reckoned with.  You are 25lbs. 4oz. (83%) you are 31 1/2in tall (81%)
  • You are a great eater - you love....pretty much anything we put in front of you, even veggies.  Although, sometimes you get a little fickle - we have to sneak your lentils into applesauce or quesadillas or we have to sneak your spinach into your scrambled eggs, but generally, anything is fair game when it comes to your appetite.
  • You are very much into being outside.  Enough said on that other blog entry.  Oh, you love it.
  • We are trying to do some decoding as far as your sleep goes.  Basically, it's time to drop a nap, and we are figuring out that magic formula of sleep that allows you to operate at your best.  It's going well so far, but not without a lot of questioning and doubting from your Mama along the way.  Where did you hide your Madeleine manual, huh?
  • We are also encountering some of our first issues with your willpower.  We aren't into "discipline" yet but you are learning the phrase, "Madeleine, you need to obey Mommy" and you love to say "no" when you don't like where Daddy or Mommy are headed with their instruction.  Your "nos" or your "differing opinion" about what's going to happen still errs on the side of playful (and not so blatantly defiant) but I see it coming. (wink)
  • You are very much into reading.  I'll read a book to you 100 times if it means you'll grab it off the shelf and back your lil bottom up into my lap.  I feel like I've been forever waiting for your interest in books to arrive!  Your current favorites: "Where is Baby's Bellybutton?" (while we read it, you point to all the same parts on you - where are baby's eyes?  "baby!" "eyes!" you turn around and put your little pointer finger on my eye, where are baby's feet?  you grab your feet, you get the idea...hands, bellybutton, mouth...you've got it!) You love "Pat the Bunny," you even smell the flowers on that page, you love "Curious George Goes to the Zoo," especially the flamingo page, and of course you love "Where is Spot?"  We go through all the rooms in the house, as we read the book and lift each potential hiding place for Spot, you say "NO!" because you know he isn't there. 
  • You've got the cow saying "moo" and the kitty cat says "meow" but that's about it as far as animal sounds go.
  • Sometimes, you will actually keep a bow in your hair.  Pigs are flying.
  • At your 15 month appointment, they asked us, "so she can say about three words, right?"  I said "Actually she knows about 20!"  I didn't know what was "normal" but apparently you are very talkative.  They don't all sound exactly how they should, but you can say: Mama, Dada, uh-oh, baby,  cheese, hi, bye, milk, me! (for lambie, sometimes you say "ah-me!") night-night, bus, bubbles, Nana, Pop, Elmo, Bible, Jesus, bow, eyes, tree, bath, please, hat, no.
  • You love music.  It takes but a few notes or a beat to get your dancing (bouncing, then the hip sway/shake, then a twist move) clapping or singing (you say "la la la la la") 
  • I think the most amazing thing about you right now is watching you make connections right before our eyes.  Here are four things I don't want to forget about this month...actually this very week!
    • In the past couple weeks, you have started to enjoy Sesame Street - we'll have it on sometimes when we are home in the morning.  Well, before you even watched it, we had read an Elmo book to you that talked about you and Elmo being "So Big!" (hand gestures included, but you didn't do them much.)  We had Sesame Street on TV, and when Elmo came on, you did the "So big!" hands-above-your-head and ran into your playroom to grab the Elmo book and bring it into the den.  I was amazed.  I thought you were so brilliant.
    • We enjoy the "Children's Folk Songs" Pandora station - such sweet songs.  Well, "I know an Old Lady..." came on.  The second you heard the word "spider" as in: "I know an old lady who swallowed a spider..." you did the hand motions for "Itsy Bitsy Spider."  Shocked again, I said "Yes, Madeleine!  Same spider, different song!  You are so smart!"  You listen quite carefully.
    • You saw a pair of sunglasses in a book.  You pointed and said "eyes" then you turned around, looked at Mommy and her glasses and said "eyes."  Yes, baby.  Glasses are for eyes.
    • The last little "out-of-context" connection you made was when I said "Madeleine, where are your hands?"  You showed them to me, but then you shouted "bubbles!" Because in your "Where is Baby's Bellybutton?" book, Baby's hands are behind the bubbles.  Naturally.
  • You doubled your teeth quota in just three months.  I hadn't realized it until just recently, but at one year you had eight teeth, and now you have sixteen.  Impressive.
  • "Hi" and waving are definitely still your thing.  You will say hi and wave to...well...anyone and anything.  Book characters, Sesame Street characters, people out in public...you bring such sweetness and joy.  Last week you randomly woke up and were very, very hungry at about 11:30 at night.  I took some milk in there and got some cuddles with you.  You sucked that milk down, took the straw out of your mouth, and as you were falling asleep on my chest, you said "hiiiiiiii...."  So sweet.
Madeleine, remember when you were just a little chunk?  Your crib mattress was high and you couldn't roll over?  Here is a picture from that time, as well as a picture of you now.  

Also, I hung up your garland from your birthday party in your playroom.  You love to look up and say "Baby!  Hi!"
Now here are two videos that really capture you right now, including moos, mowers, dancing, climbing on tables and your mom trying to sing your favorite song from Sesame Street. Love it.



Love you, sweet baby.

Mama

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Outside

While "winter" in Houston doesn't always provide us with romantic snowscapes worthy of a postcard or calendar photo, it does afford some beautifully warm and mild weather.  Usually it gets cold and nasty in February, right when we are ready for "true spring."  (sigh)

We have seen snow, during recent winter seasons in this house, but not yet this season.  Madeleine started walking around 11 months (still hot September) but now that she is 15 months she navigates the outdoors quite well, and it is a easier time to let her roam free. I realized that the other day we spent a total of four hours outside together!

She loves her wagon she got from her Granna and Grandad for her first birthday.  We enjoyed it during our warm December days and continue to now.  I love this picture of her and her daddy - they'd taken a Saturday morning walk to the HEB by our house to return a redbox movie.  I love the look they are giving each other.

She also loves her swing in the front yard, so much so that when we are on wagon walks or a jog in the stroller through the neighborhood, she motions and whines to each swing we pass in many other yards around us.  "Ehhhhhh!  Ehhhhh!"  "Madeleine, that's another family's swing.  We'll play on Madeleine's swing when we get home."  Here's a picture of Madeleine and her Aunt Liz playing on the swing just before Christmas:

The rest of these pictures were taken over two different days - one this week and one last week. Our backyard isn't anything special, oh I'd love a vegetable garden and a fountain...someday... but even now it is magical to me, maybe because of my overactive imagination. I feel like it's a little forest back there. Lots of big trees, plenty of wildlife, and the sound of our windchime from Madeleine's Nana and Pop makes it all the more pleasant. Madeleine certainly enjoys such simple activities as digging in the dirt (and I certainly don't mind,) as well as carrying sticks and putting them in an old bucket. We are so fancy.
How can you not love this little smirk and muffin top? She looks so tough, the presumed queen and defender of the backyard.
Nothing is really off limits, I mean, I keep an eye on her of course, but I typically let her roam, even if it means getting between the boxwoods and the exterior wall of our master bedroom or venturing into no man's land behind our garage...
The backyard is a simple place where we say "hi" and "bye" to the squirrels who come and go. We point out airplanes, we lay on our backs and look up at the tree branches blowing in the breeze, we pick up leaves and play with our sticks in the dirt. There aren't a lot of to-do list items crossed off or "major" things accomplished, but they are some of my most precious times with this amazing little girl the Lord has given us. It's not all sunshine and roses...sometimes she eats dirt, sometimes she throws a tantrum because I won't let her stand on the patio table (what?!) but for the most part, it is a peaceful place for us. After all, she spent some time back here her first day home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One Week

Nope, still haven't blogged about Christmas...getting there...hopefully. As I reflect on my blog and the memories I want to capture and preserve, I think about the home movies we had growing up in the Deily family. While I enjoy the recitals, birthday parties and Christmas mornings, my favorite videos are the everyday ones. The times when my sisters and I were sitting around the breakfast table on a Saturday morning, and Dad just decided to pull out the video camera - capturing an impromptu moment. I want to capture the day-to-day with Madeleine and our little lives because I know I will soon forget it if I don't. Especially as a stay-at-home mom, every day and every week is different. So, for this entry I decided to just freestyle write a few things about one week - Monday to Monday, January 9-16. More details about some days than others, some with pictures, some without, but just wanted to capture.

Spent some time with the Lord through our church-wide devotional book, Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament
Madeleine slept in until 9:15 two or three days
We had a lot of rain on the first Monday - I mean a lot. The water crept about 2/3 up our lawn - even higher than it was during Hurricane Ike in 2008. I sent in a picture to the news on a whim and they mentioned it!   After the rain, we took a walk to the bayou, and it was chaos over there - lots of abandoned cars up on the Braeswood medians.
Madeleine ate a lot - one dinner she had avocado, green beans, tomatoes, bananas, mandarin oranges, pinto beans, turkey, string cheese and wheat bread.
I lowered the crib mattress to the lowest setting, I finished cleaning out two majorly packed out, messy closets, I rescued some beads from Madeleine's mouth, she threw her towel and play remote in the bathtub, we identified Granna, Grandad, Nana and Pop several times in their pictures in the bathroom, and at the end of a busy Tuesday, red wine in my cat tervis tumbler (no need to be fancy!) from Cindy.

Madeleine had some bad bedtimes, stubborn, night owl like her mama.
Granna and Aunt Liz came to play with Madeleine - taught her that the kitty cat says "Meow"
Took about five bags of stuff to the Faith Center; feels so good to clean out and give away.
Met with my accountability group at Olive Garden - unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks, please.
Wednesday zoo day with 3 moms and their kiddos - gorgeous weather, active animals, Madeleine did a sic 'em bears when we saw the bears
Laundry happened
I'm reading Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Of course fluctuating weather from monsoon, to cold, to mild, to warm and humid again...oh Texas. Should've taught ESL on Thursday, but Madeleine woke up with major yellow snot.  Quiet day at home with Mads, cleaning, cooking and I built a fire (feeling so domestic! ha) and the sweet Carpenters came over for dinner,  thought Madeleine had pink eye thanks to all her goop in her right eye...
Cuddles with Madeleine at 5 am after a very whimpery night
Make doctor appointment, leave for Inside Out Women's Retreat, Cason insisted on doing the pediatrician visit solo and letting me stick with my original plans, Madeleine says "hi" to everyone in the waiting room, gets diagnosed with an ear infection
"Delight" Women's Retreat in College Station at Ally's parents' house for our Sunday School class, Inside Out - perfect two nights away...Blue Baker, icebreakers, sessions, s'mores, more sessions, lots of prayer, 4 mile run, La Bodega, got to see Jamie
Solid Word from Pastor Gregg on Sunday morning as we continue our studies of John and the Holy Spirit - conviction is specific and points us to Christ, guilt is general and heavy, pushing us away from Christ.  Cason taught Sunday School and we had a class vision meeting. Made homemade margaritas and watched Moneyball Sunday night.
Lots of time with cubby bear, many reads and repairs of Where is Baby's Bellybutton? (Madeleine's current favorite) eyedrops 3x/day - with her savvy daddy's strategy.

MLK holiday with Cason home - his fourth day home with us, mainly Madeleine. Major to-do list conquering, family errands and a trip to see Miss Kirby Fuller and have a pizza dinner with her family. We watched BU lose to Kansas during the men's basketball game, but all was not lost, I was surprised to be the "tweet of the game" on baylorbears.com.

So that's just a slice-of-life Monday to a Monday as we begin 2012. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012

As I continue to wade through the hundreds of pictures and our wonderful memories from the month of December, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed when it comes to blogging and documenting things for our little family. We had so much fun! I am feeling quite optimistic about 2012. I always love a fresh start, and the calm of January is always refreshing after the busyness of December. I think Madeleine is excited about this year as well.