Saturday, February 28, 2009

what we've been up to

The other day while Daddy was taking a nap we went for a long nature walk, finding all sorts of treasures. But the find that trumped all others was our little friend, worm:

Maddie carried "him" all the way home to show Daddy and wasn't so sure about letting go but eventually set him free in the back yard.

Today Auntie Jennie came over to visit and we played, visited the park, and enjoyed cupcakes with strawberry frosting:

And I spent a long time laughing at my silly Daddy, who was trying to convince me not to go to the bathroom in his flower pot!

Monday, February 23, 2009

all girl

I grew up with two brothers. We played war and houseboat and cars and G.I Joes, and any time my Barbies were involved it was in kidnapping and rescue schemes.

Fast-forward to my baby girl, who is interested in all things girl: princesses, dress-up, sparkly things, jewelry, makeup, shoes, shopping, purses, etc., etc. She would wear a princess outfit every day, if I let her:

And just this week, after a long silence from upstairs, she emerged from my closet looking sheepish and holding the mascara wand, declaring it "lip gloss!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Dear Maddie,

Yesterday, on Valentine's Day, you turned twenty-five months old. We celebrated with a little valentine and a few M&Ms, which you promptly identified as "My favorite snack!" Sweet girl, you've had no more than two of the melt-in-your-mouth goodies at a time, yet you can unabashedly declare them your favorite. That's my girl.

We had your two year check-up this week, and you were a superstar. You greeted the nurse Betty and had her so smitten by the time she was finished that she was ready to take you home with her (even after the immunization!) Your doctor couldn't have been more pleased with your language and social skills as you sat obediently through all his pokes and prods. Your Daddy and I were just beaming with pride at what a good girl you were. As a matter of fact, the doctor didn't even ask any questions because you just spoke for yourself: happy, healthy and exceedingly well-adjusted for two years old.

Not that you are without your moments, mostly in the form of struggles for control and independence. You will tilt your head to one side and stick out your pointer finger and thumb as if you are preparing to deliver an opening statement in the Mama vs. Maddie Debate Championships. Then with an assuring tone you communicate your "need" for "just one show" or "just one cookie" or as you let me know that you are going to be doing something your way. It is  both totally frustrating and hilarious at the same time. Because I am the Mama, my way usually wins out, but you are just so darn persuasive that it worries me about the years to come.

You have a great sense of humor and delight in making your Daddy and I laugh. You also love to be a part of every conversation, interjecting your thoughts and opinions at most every moment, raising your voice to a shrill scream if, God forbid, we do not acknowledge your points as necessary and valid. You continue to talk from the moment you wake up, "Mama, I just really hungry. I need my bref-kast," until you fall asleep at night, "Iloveyousomuch." It's no wonder your vocabulary is as big as it is; you never stop using words. Just tonight you were trying to get to a different screen on Daddy's phone, pushing buttons and getting nowhere, and you said to no one in particular "I am really frustrating." We looked at each other in astonishment, and then you repeated, "This is frustrating. Help Dada!" 

You are exceedingly playful and are using your imagination more and more these days, inventing snowboards out of paper towels and makeup out of mud. Wooden spoons are magic wands and wet napkins are mustaches. We love to watch you play by yourself, making up songs and carrying on lengthy conversations. You are going to be a great playmate for your little brother and we can already see how you will keep him more than occupied and well-directed.

Daddy and I are so glad we have thousands and thousands of pictures and videos of you up to this point so you will have a record of your time as our only child, and will be able to see the affection, love and attention that was showered on you from the moment you entered our lives. With each day we grow more in love with you and more in awe of the person you are becoming. Our prayer lives are shaped by our belief that God has gifted you with an incredibly big heart that will not only be filled with His love, but able to love others with excess. We pray also that your confidence will be rooted in Him and will lead you to inspire and encourage others. Above all, we want you to know that you are greatly loved and cared for, and in all the ways that we mess up and fall short, God will provide. He is crazy about you, even more so than your crazy parents.
photo by melissa
Love, Mama

Thursday, February 12, 2009

my funny valentine

Today's special project was writing and sending valentines and making valentines cookies for our friends. Maddie was very excited about doing the "decorating" and spent a long time lovingly adding sprinkles to each cookie. She lasted much longer than I had anticipated!

Maddie enjoys her decorated cookie

adding sprinkles to her cookie (the finished product had approximately 1/4 inch
of pink, red and white dots covering the surface of the buttercream)

Posing w/Mama but unable to take her eyes off the buttercream-laden spatula


Other highlights from our recent weeks with a two year-old:
-"We don't put things in our nose." That about sums it up. She's found her orifices and is interested in finding things that "fit," including egg yolk this morning.
-Singing: Maddie knows a number of songs and will sing to herself while busying about. Just this morning she was singing the ABC song. She is remarkably clear and accurate, and so far the only missing letter is "K." I think she gets too excited about L-M-N-O-P.
-Nighttime: Sleeping in the big girl bed is going well, other than the occasional mid-night waking. After a couple of books and a song, Maddie will let us know when we can leave with a "Bye-bye. You go sleep in the Dada bed now. I love you so much." (that would be the sound of my heart melting)
-On being a big sister: Our double stroller arrived this week and Maddie sat down in one of the seats and then pointed to the other, "Samuel can sit there." We've also been reading books about waiting for our new baby and today she announced she was "off to the hospital to see my new baby." 
-Mama's milk: Also part of reading aforementioned book is talking about the baby nursing, not yet ready for the "big girl" food and drinks that Maddie enjoys so much. One night after waking up around midnight, she announced she needed to drink "Mama's milk." She quickly went back to sleep but it left me curious. I was telling Ben the story the next morning and Maddie proceeded to lift up my shirt and started licking my belly button, remarking "Yum. Mama's milk is good." Hilarious.
-On missing Grammy & Papa: Maddie will announce a number of times a week she is getting on a plane to "go and see Grammy & Papa in Oregon." At Babies 'R' Us this week, I let her play on the Tigger boat ride in the front of the store (haven't seen a quarter-operated ride in a while). She told me she was going to take the boat into the water and up to Oregon. This time she was going to see Grammy and Uncle Joe.

We've been having a lot of fun, but toddlerhood has definitely been a lot of work as well. We are dealing with whining, demanding snacks/movies/attention, not wanting to share ("Mine!"), refusing affection ("No Mama, no kisses!"), and other startling behaviors that Baby Center and other parents remind me are perfectly normal and expected given this stage of development. Despite these Jekyll-Hyde extremes, we find we are still getting to enjoy her curiosity, sense of adventure, hilarious sense of humor, ample affection, and developing imagination.

Friday, February 06, 2009

puddle jumping

Earlier this week we ventured out into the winter weather for some puddle jumping. After many days inside fighting colds, we were glad to get some fresh air!

taking a break

even the smallest of puddles create the biggest of smiles

pausing for a photo op

silly Maddie! sitting in puddles is wet business