Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

a case of the sickies

What's this, lying down on the couch? Someone must be feeling pretty icky! :(

Spent most of the day in Mama's arms, except a few short movies on the couch and my afternoon nap, which I spent curled up on Daddy's chest. Rash, fever between 101-103, chills, groaning, and a lot of snuggle time. Sad day.

postscript: Just fell asleep in Daddy's arms at 6:43 as we watched the Oscars. So, so sweet.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

what's new

These days Maddie is saying LOTS of words. Some of our favorites from this week:
Choo! Choo! (when she reads her Thomas book from Grammy and Papa)
poo poo (self-explanatory)
moon (pointing to the sky)
Sshh! (repeated after Mama in the car, or when imitating Night-Night)

New activities:
-Wanting to climb up and down (and up and down and up and down) into a chair or lap, and onto the couch
-Pushing herself around on the busy bee
-High-pitched whine while following Mama everywhere, pointing at verboten objects such as the coffee cup, knives, ink pens, candles, etc., wanting to hold them all, RIGHT NOW
-Putting her feet on the counter while eating

-Plopping down with gusto on the dog's back, side, rear, head, appendages

-Giving big hugs to everyone: family, friends, small people we meet in public, church members' legs (someone I've never met before mentioned last Sunday after getting a snuggle, "how very ecumenical of her!" :)
-Kissing people she loves (yesterday when she saw her baby friend Nicole, instantly bent down to kiss her twice on the forehead)
-Finding and opening plastic Easter eggs (good practice!)
-Walking around with blankets, clothes, etc. over her head, bumping into things

Friday, February 22, 2008

and all is right with the world

Maddie must have learned to log onto the computer, find my blog, and read all in one night. Either that or she developed a severe case of the guilties after her crazy busy day yesterday, because she slept until 7:18 this morning! After waking up with a squeal and a smile for her Daddy, she crawled into my arms in bed with a big, vibrant "Mama!" and then nursed and fell back asleep until 8:13. 8:13!

Last night after posting I had a case of the guilties myself. I try to paint a fair picture of parenting on my blog, both to celebrate and share reality. Truth is, Maddie's such an easy baby and I hardly find things to complain about. After a particularly tiring day, I felt it important to record for future remembrances--toddlerhood comes with all sorts of new challenges for my deep wells of patience and energy.

But today she is sweet as sugar, full of kisses and snuggles, and the fact that I got out of bed at 8:13 for one day in the past 14 months? Well, that is enough to keep me content for months to come.

Who, me?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tired: a toddler triptych

A mother and child enter the library. It's after lunch, and the little one is happy, quiet and well-fed. The children's section is to the right, and the duo comes upon two other toddlers sitting and reading with their mommies. They pick out a couch, slide a basket of books over, and start to read. Approximately 41 seconds pass, and the busy bee is off the couch and on her way to a bookshelf. She proceeds to pull books off, look at them, and toss them to the floor faster than her mama can read the dewey decimal spine stickers and reshelve appropriately. The other families leave after a few minutes, and toddler decides it's high time to leave the children's section to explore other areas of the library, all while using her high-pitched, excited, screaming voice. Four minutes, 7 seconds, 8 interventions and 3 tantrums later, mama decides it would be best visit the library another time. Like in nineteen years, when toddlerhood is over, adolescence on its way out, and the child has some concept of the term "inside voice."


5:15, dinner time. The mini-monster has a tray of steamed yellow squash and diced chicken, and to top it off, a fruit smoothie to wash it all down. Mama is attempting to finish the meal by 5:45 when Daddy is due home. Chicken fries in a pan, vegetables steam nearby, and the smell of garlic bread fills the kitchen from the oven below. Child decides, with some degree of thought, between two options: whether to throw uneaten squash peels to the floor or smoosh them through hair, starting at bangs and continuing to crown. Mama intervenes, using a carefully chosen disciplinary word, "no," to communicate with seed-haired child. Child replies with sweet-yet-sinister tone, "NO!" and throws entire handful of food to floor, where dog is working at speed of light to keep up with sweet manna raining down from heaven above.


5:52. Mama sits down to dinner (finally) and child decides she is done. Mama leaves steaming plate to clean child off and deposit on floor. For next eleven and half minutes, the whirlwind runs across the floor, carrying tupperware and spoons here and there. After each lap, she stops to pause by the dog, backs up slowly, and then throws herself down onto the dog's rear, reclines until her head rests fully on the dog's back, and then gets up and runs away, only to return a few seconds later and go again. Dog sighs.


post script: 7pm. Dada bathes and soothes child to sleep. Mama pours a large glass of homemade Pinot Noir. Completes daily crossword. Sighs. Bedtime, anyone?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

13 Months

Dear Maddie,

Happy Valentine's Day to my favorite little valentine, who is so darn easy to love! Just this morning, after a rough night's sleep (I woke up every time the wind whistled, thinking it was your cry), you greeted me with a big hug and snuggled deep into my neck. Instantly I was happy to be awake and have our special morning cuddle time. Ever since giving up the bedtime nursing session, I've craved and enjoyed our mornings together like never before. It is my one sweet assurance of the day, knowing you will snuggle down into the crook of my arm while you nurse. Every once in a while you will pause to lovingly touch my face, or squeeze your Daddy's nose, or make some comment such as "Bah!" or "Dada!" or "Ooh! Ooh!" We always try to get you to linger after finishing your snack, but once you are fed you are on the go. And you go and go, all day long.

A nice segue into just how busy you are these days. On a Friday a few weeks back, after spending all day with you, your Daddy asked if you were exceptionally energetic that day. I laughed. You are like the energizer bunny. You hardly pause from the moment you hop out of our bed until we put you in yours at night. Fortunately, due to your activity level these days you are finally a napper. After months and months of 45 minute snoozes, you have settled into a nice 1 1/2 hour nap in the morning and at least an hour in the afternoon. I hardly know what to do with myself during these long breaks (oh yeah, this is when I do housework, but anyway). You wake up happy, laughing, and ready to play! play! play!

With the warm weather you have especially enjoyed our times in the backyard. You have discovered a brand new source of adventure just right out the french doors. This week you have spent hours playing in the fountain, pouring water all in the plants, swinging on the hammock, climbing on the adirondack chair and planter benches, and chasing the dog or your ball around on the grass. It is so nice for us to get outside after all that rain! It is doing wonders for both of us!

This weekend marks an important mile marker in our time as your parents: it will be our first evening away from you. It's been a long, long time since your Daddy and I had a night to ourselves and we are so excited that you are ready for us to get away. This is one of those things that I'm so glad I planned months in advance, as I've had time to prepare myself emotionally for leaving you. I have no worries about you, as you are so easy and amiable and fun and distractible and will be absolutely fine without us. It's me and your Daddy who will have the harder time.

Amazing how you've done that: completely captured our hearts, become an extension of us, like another limb, and when we are out and about in the city I know I won't be able to escape the feeling that I'm missing something, like the feeling of usually carrying a purse but purposely leaving it behind for the evening. The responsibilities will feel light, but so will my arms for lack of your squirrely little self. But getting away is really our gift to you, as much as it is a celebration of the milestone of making it through a year of parenthood, as much as it is to celebrate Valentine's Day and your Daddy's 31st birthday. It is a gift because one of the greatest things you can have as our baby is two parents who love each other. And we do, baby, we do. Thank you for teaching us how not only to love another person, our child, but for making us fall more in love with each other every day. You have strengthened and completed our love like we couldn't have imagined.

I love you with so much of my heart it is bursting with joy as I type these words!

Always & Forever,

Your Mama

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I finally figured out how to upload videos! Hooray!

Look out grandparents, here comes fun!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

hiking Las Trampas

Hiking the ridge

Peeking through the fence

Sharing my found treasures with Dada

Girl and sky
Post-hike sleepies

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

keeping the grandparents occupied

Coffee: it starts early

Too cute for words

One of Mama's new favorite pictures: watching the duck-ducks with Daddy

Monday, February 04, 2008

gooooooo team!

The extent of sports fanatacism in the Joyce family is limited to dressing our child up for a Super Bowl birthday party. Note that she is not wearing a football uniform, but a baseball cheerleading outfit. And no, we are not Giants fans, but friends with an unfortunately rabid fan who deemed it necessary for our daughter to show support for the SF nine. Of further interest is the fact that the Super Bowl was actually the first football game we've watched all year. We'll just continue our own local Maddie fan club. GOOOOOO cuteness!

Friday, February 01, 2008

field trip

We're trying to spend Fridays as a family, doing fun things together. Today was a trip to a children's museum in Berkeley:
Go whirly go!

A pensive moment in the wind tunnel

SPLASH! Fun at the water table

You pour Daddy, I'll watch!

city sidewalks

Look at the big girl walking through Berkeley with her Daddy

a first, but not a fun one

Today Maddie got her first goose egg...surprisingly the first, considering her penchant for wild exploration and daring discovery. It is on her head, right under her little bangs near the hairline, hidden from view.

She has this new fascination with the door on the TV cabinet. In the past week, she has taken to licking the bottom where the fasteners are (?!) and pushing and pulling the doors. Today she got especially excited and fell right over on her head onto the floor. :(

It was an ouchy fall but she quickly recovered with a trip outside to smell the flowers. That's our girl! Bound, bound, bound and rebound!