Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I just happened to notice my ticker on the side of my blog that keeps track of Maddy's age. Normally, I'm much more prone to look at the one directly below it...the one that keeps track of how far along I am in my pregnancy...and mentally try to scoot it along at a faster pace. But I just noticed how old Madalyn is today...
2 years. 7 months. 2 weeks. And 3 days old.
The 3 days are what got me. Sometimes it's so easy to get frustrated with toddler-dom (as in "where do the pee-pees go, Maddy? 'In the potty, Mommy.' "Then WHY are they in your panties??") But there is a part of her that is still so little.
I realized tonight it must be the "3 days old" part.
A wise Mommy once told me that your kids will never again be as little as they are right now, today, so enjoy this moment. See, tomorrow she'll be 2 years, 7 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days old. It's a subtle difference, sure, but it's there. How else do they get from being infants to teenagers?
How many days old are your tiny ones? Or if you don't have any children yet, remember to savor their smallness when they do come, no matter what their ages.
Even when they keep picking their noses after you've told them repeatedly to stop. I mean, I've heard other people's kids do that, and I'm sure it's just disgusting.
Friday, December 19, 2008
"I want my crib back! I want to sleep in my crib! I don't LIKE my big girl bed!!!!"
That's right. The girl hasn't slept in a crib since...I really can't even remember when we switched her. Um, August? She's never looked back. We don't talk about cribs. She hasn't seen a crib lately. So whyintheworld is she suddenly, acutely, missing her crib at 9:45 at night??? Oh, M.
When I go in to comfort her and patiently explain that the crib is no longer a slumbering option, she wants me to stay and snuggle. Which is all good and fine, but, remember, the little angel is in a toddler bed that doesn't comfortably accommodate a Mama with a growing tummy. When parts of my body start going numb, I tell her that it's time to go to sleep, and Mommy is going out of her room...
"No, Mommy. God said He wants you to stay in here with Maddy. You stay here, Mama."
Come again? I do believe M can probably hear God's voice clearer than I, so I lay with her awhile longer, just to be sure. I mean, how can I argue with that?? I have no idea how she would even know to say such a thing! It's not common practice in our family to say, "God said for you to do so and so"! Then my oh so wise girl says, "Get out of here, Mama. You can come back later."
And that is that. We are often just shaking our heads by the end of the day...
Anyone still need a gift for a toddler/pre-school girl?? Or do you have one with a birthday coming up? Because this here little gem is a steal and a half at Amazon right now...The Playskool Cherry Blossom Market for $15.00...that's (get this) 75% off! And if you get your order to over $25.00, you can cash in on free shipping as well. (To do so, I would recommend adding on this or this). You'd wind up with a very impressive gift, and could cackle to yourself over what a steal you got while feeling ever so smug!
My only word of caution would be to snatch it up now, before Amazon jacks the price back up. I've already watch the LeapFrog fridge phonics dip to below $10, and then soar back up. Oh, and stinkin' cute Robeez infant shoes were $9.87 (normally $27.99), but that came and went as well. (**Edited to add: OH WAIT! I lied! Here are the Robeez...they are still available! I told you this was crazy!**)
As for me, I keep taking deep breaths and telling myself that Maddy has a tent. Maddy is getting a kitchen for Christmas from her grandparents. She doesn't need a market. She doesn't need it. She doesn't....... However, my newborn niece on the other hand...hmmm...I wonder if I could save it for a few years???!!! I would feel pretty smug when I pulled it out of my closet and wrapped it for her 3rd birthday :).
****This deal courtesy of the ever fabulous WantNot...which you all should be reading if you want to get in on some truly amazing deals :)*****
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
- *Telling Maddy it was "still night-night time" when she woke up at 7:30am this morning. It was still dark(ish), and Mommy didn't sleep so well with Daddy being out plowing snow all night, so I was hoping for justafewmoreminutesplease. My reward for this trick? The little peanut snuggled up in my bed and slept until 9am.
- *No potty accidents so far! M is in
the same pair of undies she started the day out ina diaper, but only because she is down for a nap. Don't, however, ask me how many accidents she had yesterday, nor inquire about how many I am sure to have this afternoon simply because of the above brag.
- *Making chocolate cherry cookies with M. It started out so nicely: I found a recipe in a local paper, had all the ingredients already in the house, had visions of M and I spending quality Mommy/Daughter time. I was even envisioning sharing the sure-to-be-perfect cookie recipe with all of you. However, it called for the unsweetened chocolate to be "melted and cooled", so I popped the bowl in the fridge to speed up the process after heating it. Bad idea, because it got too cold and didn't combine well with the rest of the ingredients. So I have cookies with chocolate flecks. They are o-kay, but not share-worthy. Maddy had a ball helping, even if she did dump a good amount of sugar onto the floor instead of into the bowl :).
- *Cleaning up the kitchen, making lunch, cleaning again.
- *Seriously contemplating a nap. Everyone else is sleeping, after all. Granted, Dan was up all night working. But, still...
Monday, December 15, 2008
Can we trust that God will take care of us? I mean, really? And, um, how? How do we, who are down here, trust a God, who is up there, to contend with whatever lion is roaring in our face, breathing down our necks? Your "lion" (bankruptcy, loss of a job, divorce, death of a loved one, pick your flavor) may be so scary, near, and real that you can smell his stinky breath.
Church on Sunday was real, supportive, and very, very touching. It ended with a Rob Bell Nooma Video ("Rain", my fav), so you know that means good, right? Oh, and it also ended with a tearful, pregnant hormonal girl. I'd love to say my tears were a reflection of the depth of my feeling (which they were), but then again, I tear up when I hear those OnStar commercials where the wife has just been in an accident and they patch her through to her husband who says "Baby, I'm on my way." Whew. Only 5 and 1/2 more months. Anyways...
I love the song "Hard To Get" by Rich Mullins, and was about to write out the lyrics, but, I found this, and it is ten times better :). I could have written these lyrics, although, if I had, I'd be a famous songwriter, but you know what I mean...
Here is my favorite quote from the song:
"I can't see how You're leading me,
Unless You've lead me here
To where I'm lost enough to let myself be lead.
And so, You've been here all along, I guess
It's just Your ways and You are...
just plain hard to get."
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Here are two options for our Christmas card (and yes, I'm ordering them tomorrow :), so let me know what you think...a special thanks to Miyuki, our photographer, who patiently said, "Maddy! Look at the camera! Maddy! Please smile!" over and over. This first one is just thrown in to be funny. The two choices follow...
Let me know what you think!
Friday, December 12, 2008
- A Dora ball.
- A Dora game for my Leap Pad.
- A Lightening McQueen toy. (Think "Cars")
- An "I Spy" Book.
And that was that. I can't tell you why all of those items were picked, but they were what she told us over and over that she wanted for Christmas.
So the big day came. We met friends for an evening celebration of the amazing, unique lighting of a nearby downtown. Santa would be there. Sure enough, we found a long line (outside, of course, in the freezing cold), and joined it. We inched along, and by the time we neared the large stage where Santa sat, Madalyn was dancing with excitement. I wasn't sure if she planned to sit on Santa's lap or put on a show, complete with robust renditions of toddler-interpreted Christmas carols. It was our turn and I handed her over to Mrs. Claus, who deposited her on Santa's lap. She was awestruck, caught up in the moment. When the question came, "And what do you want for Christmas?", my never-at-a-loss daughter...lost her words. Her eyes turned to me and I recited her list:
- A Dora ball.
- A Dora game for her Leap Pad.
- A Lightening McQueen toy.
"Right, Maddy? That's what you want?"
Madalyn looks at me. She looks at Santa. She waits a beat. Clearly, it's now or never.
"AND, an 'I Spy Book!" she instructs. I laugh...I had totally forgotten her last item, and she wouldn't take a chance on not asking for the book!
As we walk off the stage, Madalyn looks at me and says, "So...where are the toys, Mommy?" She apparently thought Santa produced on the spot! ;)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So we pray. Well, first we cry, and rehash the whole event, and wonder whatintheworld we're going to do, and how quickly we can sell our house. We resolve to try every avenue, explore every option.
And then...we put up all our Christmas decorations. Since we are real-tree people, we haven't decorated yet because we haven't gotten our tree. We haven't gotten our tree because we are waiting to go with Dan's brother and his wife and they are available this upcoming weekend. Anyways, we put up the decorations. Which seems like an odd thing to do the day after Dan was laid off. But what is a normal thing to do?
We have had a lot of (financial) ups and downs (o-kay, mostly downs) in our married life so far, but our married life so far has been awesome. There was a small, irrational little part of me that was actually glad that Dan will be home to spend time with us. We've been here before. Up until now, Dan has been laid off every winter...it was just part of his prior position. Of course, we were thrilled that his new job was year-round and salary. Such peace of mind, we thought.
We aren't quite sure what to do, but we've been praying hard even before this happened. We've known we needed to make some (major life) changes, and were just asking for the right path. So what seems disastrous we are so hopefully interpreting as a nudge. In, you know, a direction. Now, knowing what direction would, of course, be particularly helpful. So, if you'd like to pray for us, please pray that way.
Our preference? We don't care if it's hard, or challenging, or new, or different, or near or far. We will not lose our optimism, our joy in our family, our love for each other. Those things are absolutes. I saw my husband smile today, heard my daughter's uncontrollable laugh, ate yummy grilled turkey and provolone sandwiches with mustard, and made the house feel like Christmas (minus the tree). I am thankful for each of those things. But, Dear Lord, we need a plan. We want to please You and make You proud. We want to be generous and love each other and others well. We celebrate Baby Jesus, Advent, and that He grew up to do so much with a few small fishes and loaves of bread. Make 'em multiply. We're ready.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
In the landmark battle of Mama and The Socks v. Madalyn, once the victory of Mama became apparent and the socks were being put onto the feet, a certain two and a half year old most certainly did not say to her patient, loving Mama who cares about the warmth of her toes, "You are going to have to go in time-out, Mommy, because YOU are not listening to ME."
A toddler with that much sass would never be blossoming under my
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
HILARIOUS. And, yes, that is a double-dog dare.
Don't make me put a cherry on top.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Number One: I have world-class best friends.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sure, I'd be happy to advise you anytime on how I do such a great job of priority-setting. No charge.
Soooo...I don't know how to upload a YouTube video to my blog. I know that makes me terribly behind-the-times. I tried by clicking on the video upload thingy and pasting the link in the box, but my computer just rolled it's eyes at me. Apparently there's more to it than that. But I truly love this ad, so you should make the extra effort to click the link! :) I know it's all advertising, but I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. I know what I'll be doing after I vote. How about you?
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Madalyn and I shared it.
And I was a little sad, to be honest, that I had filled her cup up quite so full after I tasted it...there wasn't enough left for me! :) So, if your planning on sharing, I suggest doubling the recipe. Otherwise, you may find yourself feeling selfish and jealous way too early in your day!
Go ahead, stick a couple cut-up bananas in the freezer...you'll thank yourself in the morning!
NOTE: I substituted the plain yogurt for vanilla yogurt. I've been forbidden from buying plain yogurt by my dear hubby for this simple reason: I use a half cup or a cup of it for some recipe, and then promptly let the rest spoil in the fridge. Every time. On the other hand, we all love vanilla yogurt. There you have it :)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Have a happy Monday!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Amazing. The theory behind the incentive is that education produces jobs which in turn stimulate the economy. The program is funded by anonymous donors who "want neither the praise nor the blame for the program." I thought that was well said and admirable.
The news cast mentioned that so far the only down-side of the program has been that some students were simply not prepared for college and did not succeed in their first couple years. Apparently the district is now taking steps to help all graduating kids be "college-ready." I'm not sure specifically what that means.
But I'm told I can find out at the 6:45 am news cast. Looks like I'll be googling it when I make my way to the computer at 10:00 am! :)
So, anyways, I might just check out what it would take to move to Kalamazoo...
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Chicken Pizziola? No mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.
Chicken and Dumplings? Multiple things I don't have.
Macaroni and Cheese, homemade? No milk or Colby jack cheese.
Pancakes? Um, no milk or eggs.
Joy of Cooking Instant Skillet Dinner? Ugghh. Maybe.
USE CODE: SAVOR for 60% off
Casa Real - $10 Gift Certificate
We're having Mexican tonight! ;)
So, 10:25: we arrive. I remember to talk about story time behavior as we walk in. Madalyn doesn't hear me, though, because she is saying "DA! DA!" and other syllables to see if her voice echoes in the breezeway. She is constantly checking for echo-edge lately.
Maddy says a rather loud and boisterous "HI FISHIES!!" as we walk by the fish tank. I start thinking "this may not end well." She heads over to the children's section and straight for the toys. Fine. The story room isn't open yet.
10:30: The door opens. All the moms instruct our children to put away the puzzles and blocks. "Madalyn, put away the puzzle. See? It's time for story time!! We can come back and do puzzles afterwards-and-also-get-a-movie-if-you're-good-please-put-that-puzzle-away-right-now-(crying, refusing)-do-you-want-to-just-go-home??"
I get the puzzle out of her hands. I take her into the room, hoping she will get distracted. More tears. Utterly refusing. I finally pick her up and head out. The sweet teacher whispers, "Feel free to bring her back in after she calms down" I say, "Thanks, I will, we're just going to have a little chat."
10:35: Back to the breezeway, the only place I can feel o-kay about her wailing without disturbing anyone. We chat. I reiterate the high points of behaving in story time: we get to sing songs, do a project at the end, play with puzzles afterwards, and pick out a movie. On the flip side, if we continue crying, we'll just go home. We walk to the bathroom to get a tissue to dry her tears. On the way back through, we see our friends arrive. "Oh look, Maddy! It's H.! Don't you want to go to story time with H?" Maddy doesn't hear me because she is detouring back towards the puzzles. I manage to reroute her.
10:40: We're back in story time. Madalyn doesn't want to sit in the circle on a carpet square, but opts for the hard tile outside the circle. Fine. It's still touch and go here, and I don't know if we're going to last. Then the teacher turns on Raffi's "We're Going To The Zoo." Madalyn's eyes light up. Sensing my opportunity, I ask her if she wants to go stand in the circle with the other children. "Yep!" she says as she bounds into the middle.
10:41: Some children are standing. Most are still sitting on their carpet squares or in their mother's laps. Madalyn is dancing and jumping with her whole body and heart around the center of the circle while loudly singing,
Monday, October 20, 2008
I did not skip our library storytime on Tuesday for no particular reason at all. Sure, it may have been raining. Sure my stomach was feeling a little funny. But, truth be untold, I did not skip out of pure laziness! Nope, not me!
I did not take Madalyn on fast-food lunch dates two consecutive days this past week (Wednesday and Thursday), once with my mom and once with Rebekah. I would never subject her to unhealthy fare in such abundance! (Of course, if I DID do such a thing, I'm sure I would have opted for the apple slices and not chocolate milk with the Happy Meal. Oh, how I love the way Mickey D's does not give me a way out of Mom-Guilt!)
And, for good measure, on the way out of the McDonalds we did not go to with Rebekah on Thursday, Madalyn did not drop her cookie in the parking lot, and I most certainly DID NOT pick it up, blow it off, and give it back to her. That would be totally disgusting. Who knows where that parking lot has been???!!!
I did not fill out Madalyn's first book order, given to us by our teacher-friend Meeghan. I did not relish the task of picking out each and every book, memories of bringing home my own book orders as a child flooding my mind. I did not imagine the smell of new books and scrutinize the order to see if it mentioned how long the books would take to come in! I did not remember how my heart would skip a beat as I saw the brown Scholastic box sitting on my teacher's desk after lunch. :)
After all, I was not picking out books for Madalyn, and it had nothing to do with my "school-days" nostalgia.
Dan and I did not announce that our family is growing...and not just by Bubbles, our new beta fish. Madalyn did not vehemently insist that Baby Carney is in "MY TUMMY!! NOT MAMA'S TUMMY! MADA-WYN'S TUMMY!" while smacking her belly repeatedly for emphasis. I did not finally say, "O-kay, the baby's in Madalyn's tummy" in a world-weary voice to avoid a complete meltdown. She did not eventually concede that the baby is, in fact, in Mama's tummy afterall (who knew?). We are all not crazy excited and of course, are not, in the least, a little crazy apprehensive. We are not trusting God fully, knowing firsthand (ie: Madalyn) that He provides for that which He gives.
Dan and I did not enjoy a weekend away at Frank & Andi's house while my parents watched Madalyn. I'm sure we did not spend a good chunk of time telling each other cute Madalyn stories and secretly missing our little girl. I mean, come on, it's our weekend away, right? I did not have a dream that our new baby is a boy. I did not consult the oh-so-reliable Chinese calendar online, which confirmed ever-so-accurately that the baby is a girl.
So I'm glad I got that ironed out. :)
I did not enjoy my first "Not Me Monday" post and will not be looking for new things I would never do this week!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I'm ecspecially loving the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red. Madalyn loves that story. Of course, I couldn't actually show them to her, or tell her I was putting them in her hair, or they'd never stay in. She'd want to play with them instead. But I could have the satisfaction of knowing her favorite story was playing out in her tresses. Maybe I'd just take a picture and show her later :).
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I've had a bit of a blank on what to post. But felt compelled to post something lest you think I've abandoned this blog. So, how about some cute Maddy moments? Those are always good, right? Just humor me and say "right"!
*Madalyn calls my high heels "hop-heel-toes". I have no idea where she got this from, but she is very consistent in her use of the term. As in, "Mama, are you going to wear these hop-heel-toes to church?" I love it. I actually think it is an accurate description of what it feels like to wear high heels.
*Every week, Madalyn brings a paper home from her two-year old class at church stating what they learned, a suggested activity, and things to read throughout the week. Two weeks ago, they learned about obedience. Maddy literally came home saying "The Bible tells us to obey!" Much to my delight, now when I want her to listen, all I have to say is, "Maddy, what does the Bible tell us?" And she will say "Obey, obey, obey" nodding her head up and down while she does what I've asked.
O-kay. Maybe it doesn't always work that way. She is two. But still, I want to hug her teachers at church and cry tears of joy.
*This week, Madalyn learned about how God wants us to help others. She came home with a picture of David playing the harp for King Saul. I asked her who was in the picture and she said, "Noah, the Jungle King." Again, I couldn't make this stuff up. Apparently, the story of David didn't quite stick.
*Today Madalyn and I went for a walk. It's the first time we've walked a significant distance, just the two of us, no stroller or bike, no distractions. It was such a beautiful afternoon. We talked about how the trees drop their leaves in the fall, and found some beautiful ones. We collected pine needles, sprigs of lavender, and a dandelion as well. It was one of those moments where I felt truly present, and soaked up every second I could spend walking very slowly with my daughter. Everything looked so beautiful, vibrant, and warm.
Then I realized why. I got these great new sunglasses from Target, and they make everything look bright and vivid. When I took them off, nothing looked quite as beautiful. I highly recommend getting yourself a pair...they will make you feel much more cheerful :).
*So I've mentioned a bit about church. It's been a long, I mean looonnnnggg, time since Dan and I have felt at home in a church. I am so thankful to say that we now do. To add to how awesome of a blessing that in itself is, a few weeks ago the service opened with a string quartet playing Coldplay's "Yellow." I'll tell you what, it was amazing. What encourages me further is the upcoming series entitled "Confessions of a Sinful Church." If that wasn't engaging enough, here are the upcoming messages:
October 19: "We're Sorry for Being Self-Righteous Hypocrites"
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Meet Sparky the Robot! He is my first knitted toy! I made this little guy for my nephew's second birthday and included a couple of robot books. He truly was a joy to make, and I grew quite fond of him during our hours upon hours spent together. It was actually a little difficult to give him away. Particularly when the birthday-boy was most engaged with the plastic, colored toys that make noise. :)
It reminded me of a quilting class my mom and I took with the most amazing instructor, Ruth Ann. She was a great teacher who I keep meaning to take several more classes from...she's that good. Anyways, Ruth Ann showed us some of her personal quilts, and they would take your breath away. I, somewhere along the line, made a comment such as "Wow, your family must loove to receive such beautiful things as gifts!" Ruth Ann looked at me with a shocked expression and said, "Oh, no! I never, ever give my quilts away! They are like my children! Besides, my family would never appreciate them." I later regaled this story with much disdain for not sharing such a talent with others, but...
After Sparky, I kind of understood.
You spend hours of your time, yourself, on making a homemade gift, and your heart is a bit in your throat when the receiver opens your hard work. I think that's why I love receiving homemade things so much...they are so personal, a true gift of self.
So how do you feel when you give away something you made yourself? Anyone relate?
Funny story: Madalyn watched Owen open our gift, recognized the robot as the same one that's been hanging out at our house all these days, and proceeded to calmly walk up and snatch it away. It took quite a bit of explaining to get her to understand the time had come to part with our dear Sparky!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
But I digress. The point is that Aunt Jane told me about Water for Elephants and I jotted down the title in my journal. And then promptly forgot about it.
Until source number (2) reminded me: my beloved Real Simple magazine. Last month they did a write-in survey entitled "What's Your Favorite Book Club Book?" I hungrily read every last response, and Water for Elephants was the very first novel listed. Convinced, I placed a hold online through our local library's website (how much I absolutely LOVE the fact that I can request a book online and then have it set aside, waiting for me, when I arrive at the library is, entirely, another post altogether.) I picked it up and read it in a matter of two days, tops.
I loved it.
Here is my disclaimer: there are some sections that are, um, not suitable for readers under maybe 21, or preferably not for non-married readers. But those are short in length. The overall tone of the book is so rich and deep. You will keep turning pages. There is just enough sentiment, just enough mystery, just enough of your own memories of the circus to keep every one of your senses engaged. You can taste the cotton candy, feel a fine layer of dust and sweat on your skin, and hear your heart pounding when the acts begin. And there are unexpected layers and emotions you won't anticipate in a circus novel.
The story is beautifully crafted, and the ending is absolutely what every author aspires the ending of her novel to be: perfectly satisfying and just a little cheeky.
O-kay, I promise to end what it beginning to feel like a book report (wow, it's been awhile since I've done one of those!), but I do promise to keep posting about the books I read, because I know how much I appreciate a good recommendation.
As a side note, Real Simple has started what they call a "no-obligation" book club online that you can check out. I'm planning to follow along, so I'll post some thoughts here.
Go forth and read, fellow bookworms!
Monday, September 15, 2008
She was wearing a sticker on her dress when she came out that said "The Bible Is True," so I am pretty sure she was spot on with remembering what she had learned.
I so want to bring her up to know how BIG God is, that He can be trusted, that He is good and made her very, very good too. I want her to know what I am still trying to learn: that He loves us and that even when things go horribly awry, when situations are hurtful or devastating, when we are let way, way down, it is really, on a very eternal, deep level, o-kay. We are loved and protected. There is always, always reason to hope and reason for joy.
And sometimes we have to throw a big, old-fashioned fit and get it out of our system when we are disappointed. That's o-kay because it is honest. It is raw hurt and disappointment expressed.
He can take it. He expects it.
I want her to know Him. But on a primal level, God is showing me that is largely His job. My relationship with Jesus has always been intensely personal; it's about me and Him. It has been since my childhood. I pray He gives Dan and I the words, the actions, the love to show Maddy truth. But in the end, it is He who will whisper His words, uttered uniquely for her ears, spoken in the way she can best understand...
Jesus is true.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Oh, sure, I'll just whip him right up! :) You want a pig and frog while I'm at it?!
Funny story: Madalyn is playing happily with play-doh when she suddenly begins begging me to "Make a lion, Mama! Make a lion with Play-doh!" I have no idea where she is getting this from, and then I spot the barrel the play-doh came in:
One of Maddy's latest accomplishments was putting several crates of toys completely away, all by herself, while I was in another room. I told her to pick them up if she wanted to move on to another activity, and she did, without me helping and continuously encouraging. I was so proud of her, but my heart swelled even more when I picked her up from the Church nursery today. Before she knew we were there, with her back to Dan and I, I saw her picking up toys and putting them away with the teachers...no one telling her to at all.
I'll tell you what, there may be challenges but...
That's my girl.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Wait, you don't need to answer because I already know you do. How do I know? Because it's so cool, and well designed, and original. It would look just marvelous on you, darling. And here's the really cool part: our friend, Brad Ruggles, a way-cool blogger and graphic designer, came up with it! The even cooler part? This shirt is entered in a contest to benefit Compassion International's Global Food Crisis Fund. If it wins, you'd be able to purchase this awesomeness and help hungry people have a good meal. Brad won't make any money off the proceeds, but I think you'll agree, he deserves some serious praise for his graphic skills.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
She has already discovered that "Mommy, I need to put my poo-poos in the potty" will get her out of her crib and into a few more minutes of staying up quicker than a wink. Why don't we just take a chance, you ask, after all, she does have a diaper on at bedtime? The answer, dear reader, lies in the "artwork" that she "painted" all over her walls when the poo-poos were indeed deposited in her diaper. Now the simple idea of her repeating her artistic glory is enough to wisk her to the potty each and every time she merely suggests a need to go.
All of these challenges, you know, they're tough. But Dan and I apparently felt the need to step it up a notch. Apparently we were all like,
"Yeah, this potty-training stuff is work, but we need something more to shake up our lives. What else could we do to complicate things further?"
I know! Put Maddy in a big-girl bed! Messing with bedtime seemed like as good of an idea as any.
Seriously, it was in an attempt to avoid further "incidents" as described above. If you've got poo-poos, baby girl, just scoot your heiny out of bed and come tell me. No need to express yourself creatively.
Dan and I have considered getting her an easel and finger paints to allow for artistic freedom, but Dan is afraid it will only encourage her study of the medium.
Anyways, I heart Craigslist, because we scooped up a pretty much brand-spanking-new, beautiful toddler bed and nightstand for $50.00. I was morally opposed to toddler beds (I've been known to call them "a waste of money"), but Dan kept telling me a twin was too big for Maddy. "What if she falls out?" No matter how many times I explained the concept of guardrails, it fell on deaf ears. So Dan finds the toddler bed/nightstand online, shows me the price, throws in that we wouldn't have to spring for a mattress right now since you can just use a crib-sized one, and I caved. Dan picked up the set from another Father-Of-A-Precious-Baby-Girl who was selling it near his work. The guy explained to my husband that his daughter had finally graduated to a twin. He says, "Yeah, my wife wanted to put her right into a twin from her crib, but I was too afraid she'd fall out, so we purchased this set."
Ahh, a kindred spirit for D.
He was only too excited to come tell me that story.
Of course he hasn't been the one to try and wedge his body into the dollhouse-sized bed when Maddy demands "Snuggle me!" at bedtime.
I'll let him have that job a few times, and we'll see how quickly we move up in the furniture world.
In other news, Maddy had her first Gym & Swim class today. Up until now, she has only had Swim, but I thought gymnastics would be a fun add-on. However, all she did for the entire session was half-heartedly walk up and down the balance beam, while asking "Time to go in the pool, Mama?" every 30 seconds.
She was like, "Mom, Michael Phelps doesn't do this ridiculous cross-training. Let's hit the pool and get serious."
You have to admire her dedication to the sport.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
You reflect so much of your Daddy. Many people have said that it is just crazy to see the two of you look at one another, mirroring the same blue eyes, thick lashes, and expressions. You look so much like him.
As for you and I, well, we share the same freckle on our left ankles. And that's pretty much where the physical similarities begin and end. Some try and say your hair takes after mine because it is curly, but, truth be told, my hair at your age was snow white and about 80% less!
No, we don't resemble one another physically.
But the other day, much to my time-standing-still, slow-motion, prayers-furiously-hurled-towards-heaven horror, you feel down the stairs. Head over feet, all the way from the tippy top to the bitter end. I ran down after you, repeating, "oh no, oh no, oh no" over and over. You must have seen the pure terror on my face. All I wanted to do was scoop you up, assess for broken bones or head injury, and than hold you and make it all better. Praise God, thank You so very, very much, you, my sweet child, were unharmed.
And here is where our similarities begin.
At the bottom of the stairs, in your fear and hurt, you did just like your mama used to do as a child. Like your mama still does. You ran away. You did not want me to hold you or comfort you, did not want my kisses and assurances. You needed to be alone with your pain, to try it on for size, to test your own reserves first. I always did this too. I remember whacking my knee on the table, stubbing my toe, burning my finger, etc., as a child, and running out of the offending room, into a place of solitude. I didn't want anyone to touch me, talk to me, until the pain subsided to a manageable amount.
You, my most precious one, are fiercely independent. Deeply dramatic. Pure girl. And so perceptive of others at such a young age. You told your Aunt Rebekah the other day, out of no where, "You have very pretty eyes." You've been known to tell complete strangers at the playground, "Oh, I like your shoes, girl." You brighten the day of others with your kind words.
I love you more than I can tell you, show you. So, when you fall, baby girl, take all the time you need. Have it all out. But know that I am always here and will do everything in my power to let you know I am always for you.
We like to sing "I'll Stand By You" together (the Carrie Underwood version :). Here's part of it:
If you're mad, get mad
Don't hold it all inside
C'mon and talk to me now
What you got to hide?
I get angry too
Well, I'm a lot like you.
When you're standing at the crossroads
And don't know which path to chose
Let me come along
Cause even if you're wrong,
I'll stand by you..."
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
But none of those are the true reasons.
It's officially potty-training time at the Carney house. With the world's most independent toddler. And the world's most determined Mama.
So things are getting interesting.
Any prayers that you can offer up on our behalf are coveted and advice is appreciated ;)!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Just don't be suspicious if you receive an eerily similar one around the Holidays. I'm sure I pay a handsome sum for the gifts I give my loved ones :)...
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
*This amazing deal found at http://www.wantnot.net/**
Edited to add: *Seriously, I could buy myself about 12 of these purses! Does anyone else feel the same way??*
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Oh, there are no exaggerations about the "terrible twos". Whatever horror stories you've heard--they're all true.
So anyway, on the evening of the above described playdate, I had renewed vigor to step-up discipline standards at home. So when my gentle little flower started pitching a first-class fit about not being able to have a sucker before dinner, I got down low, looked her square in the eye and said: "We do NOT speak to Mommy like that. Your behavior is unacceptable. Because of the way you are acting, you are going to time out." And onto the chair in the living room she went. She of course climbed down, crying and expressing her sorrow to the fullest extent. I picked her up each time and plopped her right back down (got that technique from Super Nanny, oh yes I did. Thanks, Jo.)
After the timer went off, Dan went in to speak with our daughter. They were having a discussion about exactly why she was placed in timeout when I came in the room. I neared the chair, and Madalyn turned to me. Huge tears in her eyes, arms outstretched...
"What do you want to say, Maddy?"
"Mommy, I'm sorry." She climbs into my arms and I hold her close. In that moment I know the meaning of true, pure, immediate forgiveness. I'm a little choked up, to be honest.
"Oh baby, it's o-kay. Mommy loves you so much." I was suddenly overcome to tell her it's fine, don't worry about it, Mommy will buy you a pony.
I'm a new mom. I want to raise Madalyn to be polite, empathetic, and kind. I want her to be disciplined. So let me hear your thoughts: what discipline strategies have worked for you?
Today we walked into the library, reviewing proper library-protocol as we entered the foyer.
"Remember, Maddy, we speak softly in the library. And if there are other children by the toys, we need to share nicely. When Mommy says it's time to go, it's time to go, no fussing (here I am remembering carrying her out against her gracious will last time, all the while casting apologetic looks to tight-lipped librarians). Do you understand?"
"I understand, Mama," came the sweet reply. And she did great.
Maybe we're getting somewhere after all.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Go to this link, and tell me that these clothes for M. are not worth the somewhat hefty price tag, even though they are crazy on sale, and great quality, and mostly, just so incredibly cute.
C'mon. Talk me out if it. Particularly that rock 'n roll tee.
Thanks. I appreciate the help with my self-control.
So, yeah, I hope I'm pregnant. With five babies. Because I'm pretty sure that's the only way to justify my consumption of calories today! Ummm, does anyone else ever have three dinners in one night, each complete with its own dessert? Just, ahem, curious.
**DISCLAIMER: This sample diet is in no way indicative of a long-term pattern of health for this gal. O-kay, maybe it's a pattern at certain times of the month. I wonder if we have any chocolate chips...**
Monday, August 25, 2008
Everyone in my family heard me say, "I just can't believe how well she rode that horse. She looked like she'd been doing it all her life" 15 times.