Tuesday, December 23, 2008

...and three days old.

I should be wrapping. And drinking the slurpee my sweet husband just got me. But first, some thoughts :)...

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

Oh, Little M...

M's down for the night. She's talking softly in her bed, and then is quiet. All of sudden, I hear crying. She's clearly upset about something, so I listen to hear what she's saying:

"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...

A Steal of a Deal...

***Edited to add: And, just like that, this item is back up to $50.00. The Robeez, however, are still there. Oh, Amazon...you're such a tease...****
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

Silly/ Favorite Maddy pics...

*Daddy's birthday...

*Maddy calls this her "dinosaur face"!
My day has so far included:
  • *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 in a 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

Then Again, I Cry @ OnStar Commercials...

Kensington's been keepin' it real lately about the current recession and it's effect. I'm so glad. Because there are a lot of struggling, hurting people right now who need a lot more than pat answers or trite quips. I wanted to leave a link to Sunday's message because I love its premise *(I just realized that you still need to click on "Current Series" then "Audio Messages" and "December 14th" to get to what I'm talking about...sorry, it's not letting me link directly to the spot)*:

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

Maddy! Look at the camera! Smile!

**Updated** Thank you for all your responses...I truly appreciate the input! In the end, the bottom picture won out and is officially on our card. I was very surprised how much love picture Number 1 got, even though I never intended it to be an official contender! Hey, if you guys love Maddy not looking at the camera and making funny faces, I'll be sure to hook you up! I've got 10 times more of those kind of pics than the traditional kind! :)*******
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

"And An 'I Spy' Book..."

She'd been rehearsing her list for weeks. "Madalyn, what are you going to ask Santa for, for Christmas?"
  • 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

Now Accepting Christmas Miracles

Yesterday a tearful husband called me at 9:18 am (approximately...ahem) and told me his boss had called him into his office and laid him off. Unexpectedly. A few weeks ago, all the salaried and year-round employees in his company took a significant pay cut, and we thought that was the end of it. Sure it was a blow. But I'm sure you can guess our mantra, right? "At least you still have a j_ _!" Can you guess the missing letters? Sorry, there's no prize. So you understand why Tuesday's news seemed a particularly low blow. Oh, and the little detail of a big national holiday coming up. What is it again? Oh yeah....CHRISTMAS. Nice timing.

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 pray.

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

Itty Bitty Not Me

A short little "Not Me Monday" post to give you a brief insight into the week of Maddy and I. It's been a bit trying around here. Someone tell me again how many more days until spring? We're going a little stir crazy...

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 perfect parenting loving care.

I most certainly did not have at least two days where I told Madalyn "It's a good thing you're cute" and she did not lovingly embrace her Daddy when he walked in the door each evening as if her savior had come. I'm sure I had plenty of patience with frequent bouts of whining caused by caged-up-toddler-energy and crabby-hormonal-Mommy.

I did not tell Maddy that all Mommy wants for Christmas is for her to put her pee-pees and poo-poos in the potty EVERY time. And I did not mean it with all my heart. I may mention this request to Santa next time I see him at the mall. It's worth a shot at this point.

Have a great week!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rebel Without A Cause?

I've talked about MckMama's blog before and how entertaining I find it! Well, if that wasn't enough of a reason for you to visit, here's a great incentive: from now until December 14, you have a chance to enter an amazing raffle MckMama is offering. She is giving away a Canon Rebel SLR, the very piece of equipment she uses in her professional photography business. As if that wasn't enough, the prize package also includes an extra lens, a high speed SD card, a posh camera bag, a gorgeous camera strap, a blog makeover from a design studio, and a 16 x 20 canvas print of one of the amazing shots you take with your fancy new camera.

Wow! Right? What could make the whole thing better? To enter the raffle, MckMama asks that you give a $10.00 donation which will benefit some amazing charities. I won't give all the details, since you can read about it here, but it's a beautiful thing, and she's raising a boat-load of money.

A couple of my very cool friends have SLR cameras, and I've seen their beautiful work, so this is a prize not to miss! Have fun :).