Monday, December 19, 2011

The World of Pooh

I have fond memories of my childhood with the stories from the book "The World of Pooh" and I have been looking forward to when Madelyn is old enough to enjoy it with me.

I didn't expect her to latch onto it so early, but about a week ago she brought us the book at bedtime and said "Pooh!"  To humor her I started reading the first story, figuring that a book with few pictures and many words was only going to last a minute or two.  To my surprise she wanted to hear the whole story.  She was restless, and she wanted to hold a different book, but when given the option to stop reading she wanted me to keep going.

So, for the last week it has become a bedtime pattern.  I read a Pooh story while she is restless and moving around and looking at other things and then usually we read one or two of her other books.  I don't think she is really following the story completely, but she likes to hear them and it is a nice change from "Goodnight Moon."

Tonight however Madelyn wanted to lay on the bed between Justin and I and she was very quiet while we were reading.  When I finished the story we looked at her and she had fallen asleep.  I don't think she has fallen asleep while we were reading stories for at least a year.  Sometimes you just melt...

And so the Pooh stories will live on for at least one more generation :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's Here!

I posted a few months that Madelyn did a photo shoot for a Target add, which came out today, check out page 17!  We appreciate our neighbor dropping off a copy of the add for us yesterday - it is a lot of fun to see the end product :)

Target Weekly Add - December 18, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Photo Card

Scalloped Ribbon Christmas
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Snapshots of This Fall

We finally downloaded a bunch of pictures to the computer so I thought I would share them :)
getting ready for her first overseas flight!
No one told me I was going to be on the plane for this long...
playing in the leaves :)

Madelyn couldn't let me read a story with a different child in my lap without including her too...

At the Como Conservatory with Uncle Aaron

Thanks Aunt Lauren for the awesome t-shirt!


It often seems that Madelyn's receptive verbal skills are increasing rapidly but her expressive verbal skills are progressing much more slowly.  I have to remind myself not to be frustrated when my 20 month old isn't putting together sentences...after all, she is only 20 months old.

For a while it seemed that she wasn't really gaining any new words, but over the last couple of weeks she has been incorporating many more words into her vocabulary.  For instance, she could say "up" and "down" before, but now she is using them in context to help us understand what she wants.  She also has added a couple more names to her vocabulary of people "Wa-Ba" for Robin, and "Ro-Ro" for Ronan, two babysitters who she looks forward to playing with.   We had cheeseburger pie for dinner tonight and Madelyn was very proud of herself when she managed "pie."  I am not sure if she was expecting a different kind of pie for dinner, but she seemed to be happy enough when she found out what it was.

The new word that has been the most fun for me is "bye," because she says it to me every morning now when I am leaving for work.  It's very clear and usually accompanied by a wave and if I'm lucky a kiss blown my way as well.  Tonight, when Madelyn was skyping with her Mommom she demonstrated her thorough knowledge of the word.  When Justin asked Madelyn to say goodbye she walked over to the computer, looked directly in the camera, said "bye!" and closed the computer.  At least we know she understands the concept.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Last Christmas Madelyn's Mommom and Poppop gave her recordable storybooks from Hallmark that they had recorded for her.  It was a way for her to have them read her stories whenever she wanted to hear them, and to not have to wait until she saw them or until we could work out a time to skype.  
You would think that these are pretty simple straightforward technology (which they actually are). However, Justin and I could not get them to work well and so Madelyn only listened to them off and on.  It took my mom to figure out how they work (and we give her a hard time about technology...) - the pages are triggered by light.  So when we were trying to read them in Madelyn's room dimly lit for bedtime it is no wonder that they didn't work well.  Since my mom figured them out and showed Madelyn how to "read" them herself, she listens to them almost every day.  She asks for them not by the story, but by who recorded it.  "The Very First Christmas" is Mommom and "Frosty the Snowman" is Poppop.

She also has a favorite's the last page of "Frosty" where Poppop reads "thumpty thump thump, thumpty thump thump..."  it is an excellent rendition :)

Thanks Mommom and Poppop!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year Justin had to work Wednesday and Friday, so the trip up north 5 hours to spend Thanksgiving with my mom's family wasn't a practical option.  Fortunately, some friends took pity on us and invited us to their family Thanksgiving (for which we are very grateful!).  It was fun to spend time with them, and for Madelyn to get a chance to spend some time with kids her age.

And, since I last posted about crazy weather, it seems relevant to mention that on Thanksgiving Day we did not wear coats and the temperatures were once again in the mid-fifties.  It was beautiful for the kids to play outside.  We tried to teach them how to play football, but evidently 2 and under is a little young for the concept of organized sports.  Maybe next year.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Suddenly, Winter...

We live in a place with confusing weather.  Last weekend I took Madelyn to the park on Saturday morning.  I's November, it's cold, we should bundle up (at least a little).  So I wore a sweatshirt and my fleece jacked and grabbed a pair of mittens.  I had Madelyn in a long sleeved shirt, fleece jacket, puffy vest, mittens, and hat for good measure.  The park is 4 blocks away.  By the time we got there I had taken of her vest, her hat, and her mittens.  I took off my mittens and wanted to take off my coat but was running out of places to carry things.  My phone had indicated it was 45 degrees out.  It was not.  It was 60.  Nonetheless the weather was lovely and it was nice to be outside.

One week later (exactly) the clothing choices of last weekend would not have been sufficient.  We had our first snowfall today.  Technically it was not Madelyn's first snowfall.  In fact, Madelyn was fascinated by the snow last year and liked to watch it out the window.  But, today was the first time Madelyn has ever really played in the snow, so I am counting it as a first.  Also, it was the first time Madelyn has ever worn snowpants (thanks for the snowsuit Grandma!).

It brought back memories of bundling up as a kid - so many layers, so hard to move.  Madelyn did not appreciate the bundling up process.  However, Justin and I are rookies so I anticipate that next time it will go more smoothly.  Also, cute mittens from Babies R Us are fine as long as you don't try to play in the snow with them...oh well, you live and learn.

Justin is much more fun than I am when it comes to playing outside.  He and Madelyn made snow angels and threw snowballs...I took some pictures, although the snow angels happened after I put the camera back inside the house.  Madelyn had a lot of fun and kept asking for "more."  I think she just wanted Justin to keep playing with her in the snow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Second Time's The Charm

When we took Madelyn to get her first haircut she was not a big fan.  However, we were impressed with the people who cut her hair since it is not easy to cut the hair of a one year old who does not want to sit still and really doesn't like all the noises in a salon.

So, after putting it off a lot, I finally took Madelyn to get her hair cut again at the same salon.  This time she was much more cooperative and the haircut only took about 10 minutes.  There were no tears, no accusing looks, no pleas for mama to save her.  It was a great experience and her haircut looks great.  Turns out all that anxiety was for nothing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Best Day of the Week

For me Thursdays feel like a crazy rush of getting to places and a whirlwind until I finally get home at night and have to steel myself for one more day of work before the weekend.  But I am pretty sure that for Madelyn Thursdays are the best day of the week.

For one thing, Madelyn sees a significant percentage of her favorite people on Thursdays.  She sees Justin and I (not really very exciting but I am going to count us anyway) and also my mom, but that does not make Thursdays special.  What makes them special is that she goes to my parent's house in the afternoon and gets to have dinner with Grandma and Grandpa.  And then she gets to play with Emma while we are all at choir practice.

We have a new routine in the morning when Madelyn gets up - she asks me where Daddy is (he has usually gone to work), and where Grandma is (and I tell her that she is coming).  Then she asks me about Grandpa and Emma.  Every day but Thursday I have to tell her that she won't see them that day.  But, on Thursdays I get to tell her that she'll see Grandpa and it is in fact "Emma Day."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Story I Meant to Tell

If we ever travel internationally with a child in diapers again (although I am not sure what circumstances would result in that happening) there are two things that I will definitely remember to do.

1) Bring a diaper changing pad - it should be on the list of things that must be packed.  It should not be assumed that it is in the diaper bag.  That is not a safe assumption.
2) When changing a child in a public restroom in another country it is best to bring someone for support if possible.

We realized at the MSP airport that the diaper changing pad was not in the diaper bag.  It turns out that at no airport that we went to can you purchase one, and the only place we were where there were stores that might have had a changing pad was in Rome, but everything was closed on Sunday so we completely struck out on purchasing one on our trip.  Fortunately, I brought my raincoat and so that was our makeshift changing pad for 10 days.  Also fortunately it did not rain, and after several runs through the washing machine I am willing to use my coat again.

Unsurprisingly, outside of the airports and the Colosseum, none of the public restrooms that we went to had diaper changing stations.  So, I become quite adept at changing Madelyn on the floor on my raincoat. 

On our tour in Turkey we had a lovely lunch at a resturant overlooking olive groves.  By the time we got to lunch we had been on the tour for 4 hours and Madelyn's diaper was not clean any longer, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take her to get it changed.  I followed the plan that I had used up to that point in the trip, which was to pick the biggest stall available and then use the floor.  What I had not counted on was that the lights were motion sensitive and turned off every 30 seconds if motion did not continue.  And, being on the floor I was out of the range of the sensor, wherever it was.  There was almost no natural light in the bathroom so it was very, very dark when the lights turned off.  Which, in addition to being a challenge for diaper changing when you can't see, also scared Madelyn, so she would cry every time the lights went out.  At which point I would need to stand up and wave my arms until the lights turned back on.  This is where the plan of bringing a support person comes in. That way, someone could have kept moving and kept the lights on while I changed the diaper.  And, who knows what else could go wrong where it would be a good idea to have some help along.

Lessons learned :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Still Rearranging...

We made a quick trip to Ikea this past weekend after a friend gave me a tip that they had a kids table and chairs for $19.99.  That is a good deal!  We also picked up some organizational storage for Madelyn's toys.  Suddenly, we have a playroom!



Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Ever Expanding Vocabulary

Although in general I have felt that Madelyn has sort of hit a plateau in her expressive language, I realized that over the last couple of weeks she has added a couple of new words/phrases to her vocabulary.

Last week she dumped a cup of water on my bed and promptly followed it up by saying "oh no!"  I am pretty sure that I did not manage to keep from laughing, even though I was trying to get out the door to head to work and having to mop up the water was not on my morning agenda.  She looked so serious when she said it.  Since then she has been using "oh no" with some frequency, although it has not completely replaced "uh-oh."

I sing in the choir which practices on Thursday nights, and since Justin either participates in choir as well or is working we have a babysitter watch Madelyn at church whose name is Emma.  A few weeks ago Madelyn surprised us all by saying "Emmie!"  Now, every time we go to church Madelyn wants to know if she is going to see Grandpa and if she is going to see Emma.

Over the weekend Madelyn named one of her stuffed animals, a stuffed lamb that we gave her for Easter.  The lamb has been christened "Mimi."  I find it interesting that of all her toys, the lamb which she only plays with on an occasional basis, is the only toy that has a name.

Madelyn also often says "hmmm" in response to questions while she is "thinking" about her response.  It makes me smile every time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Fun

We decided not to head out trick-or-treating for Halloween since Madelyn is so little and we didn't think she would really be that excited about it.  However, I think it is in the cards for next year.  My parents had dinner with us and got to see Madelyn all dressed up in her costume, and Madelyn helped hand out candy to all of the neighborhood kids.

I tried having Madelyn hold the bowl of candy, but she kept throwing it down and saying "oh no" (a new phrase she picked up last week).  My next plan was to let Madelyn hand out the candy, but she thought that if she gave the kids something they should give her something back, so we quickly abandoned that plan I and just held the bowl and Madelyn and let the kids pick out their own candy.

We had more trick-or-treaters this year than we have had the past couple of years, so it was good that Justin talked me into getting two combo bags of candy and not just one.  After all, you want to have some left over :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

And the Winner is...

The long-sleeved pink onesie.  It was just more comfortable and easier for diaper changes, plus warm enough for Minnesota fall.

We took a break in the middle of the day to get some pictures taken at Babies R Us since they had a free Halloween special where we got the sitting and a free sheet of pictures.

Here is the link to the pictures. No one can say she is camera shy :)