Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy holidays

Looking at my last post, I realized I didn't want to leave you all without a Merry Christmas wish...

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday. That Santa is very good to you and yours. That you eat well, you drink (very!) well, and you have lots and lots of merry moments.

Love,
The Valliers

Sleep much?

Our little non-sleeping-loveable-little-miss (oh-god-why-can't-you-just-figure-out-how-to-sleep-thru??!?!?) has taken to waking up at 6am these days.

Consistently.

Luckily she wakes up in a good mood and is happy enough to play with her stuffies and music box in her crib for a bit (read: 30 minutes), while I continue to doze.

But I'm not "sleeping". I'm dozing. Big difference. Especially in energy levels as the day (week) goes on.

I'm thinking she's getting older, maybe we need to move her bedtime a bit later? Instead of the 7-7:30-ish time that she is currently going to bed, maybe we need to move it to 8pm?

I don't know. I'm sure I could research the "appropriate time for a 14 month old to go to bed" - but I thought I'd just ask the experienced moms out there. What do you think? Is this an anomoly because she's a) teething, b) soaking thru her dipe, or c) an non-sleeping demon that has been put on this earth to slowly torture me through sleep-deprivation techniques?

And really - should I just move her bedtime and hope for the best?

xxoo.S

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Her first "official" haircut

This morning, after doing some Christmas errands, we took Maddie to get her first haircut. I say first, because while I have trimmed her bangs a few times, there was no way I was going to attempt cutting the back of her hair.

An adorable children's haircutting place opened up near us - Melonhead - and after sticking my head in the other day to check it out, I couldn't resist booking an appointment for Miss Maddie.

It is honestly the coolest hair salon ever! Instead of barber chairs, they have little planes, trains and cars for the little ones to sit in. They bring a bunch of toys for your child to play with while they're doing their thing, and there are a bunch of tv's tuned to Treehouse throughout the shop.

We were greeted by name, Maddie got to pick her "chair" and after being given some My Little Ponies to play with, the shawl was whisked on and the hairstylist started cutting. And she was fast! I'm guessing it's a trick of the trade, try to get it over as quickly as possible before the kid starts squirming.

After shopping for the past hour and a half, and because it was 11:30 (so just before lunchtime), I expected Maddie to give a bit of a hard time. Nope - of course she didn't. She was totally awesome, to the point that a few of the other stylists came over to comment on just how amazing she was acting.

And because it was her first haircut, she got a certificate, a picture and they collected some hair for us. And of course our little "ham" smiled very nicely for the picture! (Who's the rockstar in the glasses? heh.)


xxoo.S

Friday, December 19, 2008

Personal Santa Message!

I know Maddie won't "get" it this year - but how cute is this??? Check out Maddie's personalized message straight from the big man himself, courtesy of our friends at Sympatico MSN...

How cool is that!?

xxoo.S

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A day in the life (Or: eating from the floor like a dog…)

I wake up hearing Maddie sing-song-ing to herself in her crib. It’s not even 7am yet. I need a shower, I need to brush my teeth, I need to get dressed. All before she decides she’s not happy in her crib anymore and wants out NOWNOWNOWNOW.

I do all these things in under 10 mins, while Daddy helps keep Maddie happy and gets her dressed (and yes, she looks like her Daddy got her dressed – whatever, it’s just daycare, its not a fashion show).

He does the hand-off, while I’m putting on makeup and trying to make my hair not look like it hasn’t just been wet down in the shower and left to die.

Maddie plays in the bathroom cupboards, obsessed with my pick, hairbands, and lipgloss.

I grab extra diapers, my fancy work boots and a sweater for her. We head downstairs for breakfast.

I start to get some breakfast together, while she gets milk in a sippy cup that she proceeds to throw a) at the tv, b) over the baby gate into the dining room, and c) into the green bin under the sink (she’s OBSESSED with the green bin!!!).

I wrestle her into her highchair. I give her the cut up banana and her milk while I get the toast ready. As I’m buttering the toast, with my back to her, I hear a) the sippy cup get tossed to the ground, and b) slap, slap, slap as a bunch of banana falls to the ground.

I give her some toast, and try to swallow some down myself while I make her lunch. I’m mashing avocado, scooping cottage cheese and cutting up pear while she yells screams yells at me.

She’s now eaten maybe 2 pieces of banana, and 1/8 of a piece of toast. I try some yogurt. She grabs at the container, jamming her fist into the yogurt and spreads it across her face. I force feed the rest into her while she screams at me. Then I wipe her face, her hands, her forehead, part of her hair and the tray down.

I let her down from the chair, she immediately picks up a piece of toast and throws it at me. Then mashes a fallen banana piece into the floor with her foot.

I gather up the banana pieces and throw them into the green bin. I pick up the toast and (without realizing what I’m doing), eat it.

Yes. I eat toast that has been thrown on the floor. Twice.

And not only that – even as I realize I’ve just eaten off my floor like a dog, I pick up another (non-mashed piece of banana) from the seat of her chair and eat that too.

She plays with the phone, calling god-knows-where, while I finish packing her lunch. I run this, my computer bag, her diaper bag and my purse out to the car. I get my jacket and boots on. I chase her around the living room, trying to get her jacket on.

I manage to wrestle her jacket on, find a spare binkie and get her into the car seat. I return to the house to find my keys and blackberry. And we’re off. I drop her at daycare and head to work.

I realize I left my tea and my lunch on the counter in the kitchen.

Oh well – at least I ate half a slice of floor-toast.

Yum.

xxoo.S

PS - don't feel too badly for me. There were fancy croissants in the kitchen at work when I got into the office. So I'm good...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Maddie bits

We've taken to asking Maddie "are you a crazy girl?" ... because she indeed acts a little crazy every day. Here's a selection of her most recent adventures...
  • She's obsessed with clementines (we call them Christmas oranges), we peel each section for her and she eats an entire orange with breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner. And if she happens to find one she can reach, she just starts eating it... PEEL AND ALL. Eww - gross.
  • She knows her diaper genie stinks ... so when she's in her room she often goes over to it and waves her hand in front of her face (like we do, when we're telling her she's "stinky". I've caught her doing it a few times while playing too - and then I smell her bum - and yup, it's stinky. Does this mean she knows she's pooping? And if so, can we potty train her? ;)
  • She knows the sign for drink, and knows how to say juice. But instead of using either of those, she just points and SCREAMS at the fridge until we give her a cup of juice as a snack.
  • Because we have an evergreen tree in the front yard that she was obsessed with in the fall, and often wanted to "touch" (and I would tell her not to, as it was "ouch"), she now touches the fake Christmas tree we have, and says "ouch". Even though the needles are fabric (or plastic), and nothing in any kind of way is prickly about our tree, it's still "ouch".
  • Also on the "ouch" bandwagon? The stove (well, this doesn't bother me, as it could be), her head when banging it on her crib bars, her fingers when she slams them in a cupboard door, and (for some reason) - snow!
  • She likes tea. I know that's not crazy - but she's very very obsessed with my tea mug every chance she sees it.
  • My purse is a new obsession. As is my new blackberry bold. Like seriously kid? Do you not have enough stuff? Can't I have a few things that aren't your playthings?
  • Paper. Magazines. Letters. Christmas cards. Flyers. Newspapers. Random envelopes or old bills. They. All. Get. Torn. Up. She loves to tear paper. Thinking of returning all her presents and saving the money and just giving her a skid of photocopy paper (and boxes - yay!) to play with. She'd be just as happy I bet...
So that's it. Our house is in constant disarray. I don't know how anyone keeps their house tidy with a crazy toddler toddling about and wreaking havoc everywhere they turn...

Hope that gave you a giggle or two (at our expense) ... and if not - I'm sure THIS will...


xxoo.S

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Clingy

We've entered a stage that I'm really not enjoying so far.  The "cling".  When we go to new places, when I drop her off at daycare, even certain times of the day when I just want to get stuff done around the house.  

She clings.  And whines.  And is generally miserable unless she sitting in my lap, or being held on my hip.  And if she gets to do that, well then she's just as happy as a clam.

Anyone else go through this?  I spent the first 2 months of daycare drop offs with a kid that barely looked back to say bye to me, and now I leave feeling guilty and horrible.  

xxoo.S

The cheesiest

That would be me, apparently.  

I've realized in the past couple of years that I'm one of maybe, a dozen people, that actually really enjoys Christmas music.  I love listening to it from about November 15th onward.  It makes me feel all warm and gushy inside.  I like listening to it when I'm wrapping presents.  I like listening to it when I'm baking cookies.  I like listening to it in a boat, on a moat, with a goat.

I used to apologize and roll my eyes in chagrin at myself, yes, I'm cheesy.  Yes, I know it's too early to be listening to the Love Actually soundtrack.  Yes, the Beach Boys are terrible...

Not anymore!  I stand by my stance that it's a lovely holiday, with lovely music of from all sorts of genres, and I like all (most) of it!

:)

xxoo.S

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend update

It felt like the weekend was never going to get here last week.  Both Seth and I kept thinking we were a day ahead (i.e. Wed felt like Thurs - you get the picture) - maybe had to do w/ the crazy weekend prior, or the Monday/Tuesday sick baby.

Anyways - we relaxed with a movie on Friday night (Wanted - not bad, def better than I thought it would be).  Saturday we cleaned the house, I bake cookies and Seth fixed the roof (well, assisted on fixing the roof - thanks again Dave!!!).  G&L came over to visit, and we all ate dinner before the "boys" headed back to Greg's to play some rockband.  Liz and I watched a terrible movie and random tv.

Wow - just rereading the above - my life is not that noteworthy anymore.  Unless I become a movie reviewer...

Anyways, Sunday was spent doing some more Christmas baking, and taking Maddie to get her pic with Santa.  Yeah, it didn't go well.  So now we have 8 wallet sized photos of my little girl SCREAMING her head off on Santa's lap.  Money well spent, I say.  I will scan one and post for you all to chuckle at.

That's all I've got folks.  Heading to bed now - up late these past two nights working, and then Maddie decides she wants to wake up several times throughout the night ... I am a walking zombie and it's only Monday?!?  

Yikes.  This working stuff is hard...

xxoo.S

Friday, December 5, 2008

3am!!!!!

Remember when I used to complain about getting no sleep? Oh wait - I've never stopped complaining about that.

Well last night really put its money where its mouth was ... she did her regular 11:30 wake up (or as we call it around here - the-within-15-mins-of-mommy-hitting-rem-stage-wakeup), and then the regular 3am wakeup.  Then I'm usually good to sleep until 7am.  Except not last night.  Looked like she was going back to sleep, but then a half hour later, she's crying again.  And rinse and repeat.  And rinse and repeat.  And...well, you get the picture.  

Fast-forward to 6am and it's quite obvious that she's not going to sleep.  So up we get.  And I feed her breakfast.  And I shuffle around like a zombie.  Until 8:30 when she starts throwing random toys and magnets (why magnets?  who knows) at me, at her stuffed animal friends, over the baby gate.  Just throwing.  Aggressive little beast.

So I'm like, hey - wanna go for a nap dude?  She's like, duh. 

I throw on some Bob, she goes down like a dream.  And it's what?  Noon?  Still sleeping.

Me?  Oh, I've done a bunch of work, a bunch of housework and am fighting sleep.  Because I know the minute I close my eyes and blissfully drift off?  That's when she'll wake up.  And that my friends, is just not worth it.

Or is it that I just don't want to give her the satisfaction?

xxoo.S

PS - happy Friday!  Hope you all have a good weekend - we're getting our roof fixed, having friends over for dinner, getting Maddie's pic w/ Santa, putting up the xmas lights and grocery shopping - but probably not all in that order...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Heartbreaking

Usually, during the daycare drop off dance, Maddie gives me a cursory glance as she scrambles out of her carseat (yes, we're still using the bucket - she's tiny!), and then runs off to the playroom to hang out with the other kids.

Grumpy, tired, happy, energized.  It's never really mattered.  She's never been that clingy.

Until today.

Don't get me wrong.  She didn't cling and cry and make me feel like a bad mom.  She just hovered. Hovered around my legs while I stood chatting with Alexise. Rebuffed the advances of the friendly 3 year old that is usually the one leading Maddie away from me, by the hand.

I didn't give in to the urge to make a big deal about it.  I just did what I always do, gave her a big hug and kiss, and told her to be a good girl and have a good day.  

Then I opened the door to leave.  As I'm shutting it, Maddie comes barreling towards the door. There's a long vertical window beside the door, which is what she pressed her face up to as she slowly (sadly?) clenched and unclenched her fist "bye bye". 

And that wasn't even what got me!  It was her big, brown, soulful eyes staring at me.  Not crying.  Not making a fuss.  Just looking at me like, "I'd rather be with you today Mommy."

Me too, bubs.  Me too...

xxoo.S

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Oh Roseola!

It's been a whirlwind week and a bit.  I started the new gig officially last Monday and when you're working from home, it's a bit strange to start a new job, as you kind of live in la-la land for the first few days.  Add to the confusion a daycare provider unavailable for periods of a few days due to appointments and a teething baby, it's lots of fun.

Grandma Vallier came up as of Wed afternoon to help watch Maddie through the crazy week - while I had meetings and work schedules that I was trying to figure out.  Grandpa and Grandma Burke showed up for a visit on Thursday afternoon, dropping off Christmas presents and taking us all out to dinner.

That night (Thurs) Maddie didn't sleep well and felt warm to me.  The next day I headed into work for the full day and she hung out with Grandma Vallier.  She apparently seemed fine all day, but felt warm at one point again.  Figuring it was just teething, I didn't worry too much about it.  That night, at Maddie's bedtime we headed down to Kingston as we had the Xmas dinner with Seth's extended family on Saturday afternoon.  

Saturday morning saw Maddie definitely not feeling well, very tired, cranky, not hungry and still running a bit of a fever.  We kept up our hectic pace though, as I still just thought it was teething... 

After a crazy Saturday night where she wouldn't sleep at all unless tucked up beside me, and running a fever of 39.2, we headed down to the hospital to get her checked out.  They did the regular checks, and also did a catheter (DON'T recommend this on a 13 month old, at least I don't recommend having to be in the room while it happens) to check whether it was a UTI.  They didn't find anything, so we were told to monitor her fever and take her to the doctor at home if it didn't drop in the next day or so.

So we headed back home, on a long long drive where we had to stop a few times to change a diarrhea diaper, try to feed a cranky baby and bathroom breaks for the adults.  4 (!!!) hours later we were home.  The rest of the day was a nightmare as we dealt with a cranky-ass toddler and two sleep-deprived, cranky-ass parents.

Monday we kept Maddie out of daycare and took shifts on watching her - me in the morning, Seth coming home early from work to watch her in the afternoon.  The fever had broken and she was doing a little better.  Still very sucky.  Still not eating/drinking much.  Still very weak and wobbly on her legs.  But better than the past few days.

So we sent her to daycare today (Tuesday).  I knew she wasn't 100% but we both had work commitments we had to keep.  And then I get the call.  From daycare.  Around noon.  I looked at the phone, say the daycare provider's number and thought, shiiiiiiiiiiit, what's happened?

Apparently Maddie had developed a rash all over her belly, back, face and neck.  Weird right?  I couldn't think of any allergic reaction she could be having, so I googled "baby fever rash".  And low and behold, a million pages come up about "Roseola".  Apparently very common, it's a viral thing that babies under the age of 3 can get - sudden high fever, accompanied by low appetite, lethargy and irritability (check, check, and double check!).  Then once the fever breaks, a rash shows up for a few hours to a few days.

So there we have it.  A reason for the fever.   A reason for the cranky, non-eating baby.  Where she got it?  Have no idea.  How long she'll have it for?  No clue - the rash is still there.  Will she be back to her old self soon?  God, I hope so...

xxoo.S


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Looking for a gift idea?

I was introduced to this site from one of the (many) blogs I read regularily.  It resonated with me - what a fabulously wonderful idea.  And the costs vary to the very affordable to the wow, who has that kind of money?

Quick rundown: 
The Heifer Fund provides families (who apply for the program), a starter animal that is native to their area and training on how to best care for that animal.  They must promise to give back the first offspring of that animal to another family in the community. Any subsequent offspring are theirs, to use to feed their family or sell to make extra income. It helps families improve their lives, without taking them out of their local cultures, and by giving them a sustainable resource that they are responsible for.

I hate preachy posts, so that's not what this is about.  Just take a look, and maybe, tell someone else about it...

xxoo.S

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bump!

Maddie has her first owie.  

She was playing around yesterday and while laying on her belly, with her face about 2 inches above the ground, her hand slipped and she landed on her cheekbone. After the 'toddler-delay', she started screaming. She wasn't too hard to calm down, and I didn't think much of it. 

After getting her up from her nap, there it was. A big (in my mommy eyes - small in reality), nasty, red bump.

She doesn't seem too bothered by it at this point. I, on the other hand, am devasted that this happened under my 'watch'.

And Seth, he just keeps asking her, "How's the shiner, monkey?"

xxoo.S

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's official

I met up with the women from my babyville group last night for dinner + drinks.  It was really nice getting the chance to meet up without little ones running (crawling) around distracting us.  And since I don't get to meet up with them very much anymore because of work, it was nice for me to see a bunch of familiar faces. 

Of course conversation centered around the kids, but when doesn't it, when a group of moms get together?  That, with a dash of friendly "husband bashing", is pretty par for the course, no?

Anyways, sleep habits came up, as they often do.  And it turns out, every single child is sleeping through the night regularily now.  Oh, EXCEPT for Maddie!!!

And here's the real kicker.  She's the OLDEST member of that group of kids.

Awesome.

Needless to say, I was jealous and well, that's it.  Just jealous...

xxoo.S

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Winter wonderland - DAT!

We woke up to a few inches of snow dusting everything, enough so that you can't see the grass, and all the trees have a pretty little layer of snow on them.  You know, general winter wonderland stuff.

Hilariously, Maddie noticed it right away.  As I was making my tea, she sat in front of the sliding door in the kitchen, looking outside, pointing outside and saying "Dat!", then looking back to me for confirmation.  I was like, yes, that's snow.  Brrrr cold.  But pretty.

I can't wait to get her out there, playing in it!

xxoo.S

Monday, November 17, 2008

Irrelevant?

It is countless, the number of times I am having a conversation with someone, telling them about something that's going on with me, has happened, or I'm planning on doing, and they finish my sentence for me, saying, "Yeah, I read about it on your blog."  Or, "Yeah - I saw that on Facebook."

Obviously I embrace new technology.  Heck, I'm a geek, I love it.  But it's a little disconcerting to realize having a real-life-honest-to-god conversation with me is no longer really relevant to know what's up, what's new, and what I've been doing.

And then I start to think, well, maybe I'll hold back on the updates a bit.  Keep these news bits for in-person talk, and just post about those news bits.  Um - and then I realize the amount of brainspace that would be required to keep all of it straight and I reassess.

Facebook is fun.  Facebook is for the "now".  It's also a way of sharing bits and pieces of your life with other people that you (likely) don't talk to on a regular basis.  I'm far more involved, in touch and up-to-date with random highschool friends than I ever expected to be.  And they know far more about my life than I ever expected to share.  But whatever.  I've always been a loud, obnoxious, "share-y" individual.  So really, nothing's changed there!

And the blog.  Well, it started as an update page for close family and a way to journalize (is that a word?) about my life with Seth after being newly married.  Something that would be fun to look back on in 30 years and think, how young and foolish we were!  Harharhar.  

But after the arrival of Miss Madeleine, the entries got far more frequent.  And I think the blog became a way for me to work out my new-mother-angst (albeit, not quite as privately as a journal), ask for advice, and also try to keep track of some of the adorably cute things Maddie did on an everyday basis.

But the culmination seems to mean that I don't need to even open my mouth for anyone to hear about the latest in my life.  And I chose that - by sharing it in the blogoverse.  But for a yapper like me, it's like, well - what can I talk about now?  Without seeming like that strange old uncle that just keeps telling the same stories you've already heard, over and over again.

Maybe for now, that's just what I'll do.  And you can tune out as much as you like...

xxoo.S

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Maddie bits

  • She's starting to add more words to her vocabulary - she now is able to say dada, mama, nei-nei-nei (meaning no), YA (not yes, just YA), dis (meaning "this", as in give me "this"), dat?(meaning "what's that"?), it-thay (kitty), and as of this weekend, ouch and hot.  As I did a bunch of baking this weekend, I was trying to teach her to stay away from the oven - by telling her it was "HOT" and it would be "OUCH".  She turned it into a game and now plays around the oven even more than before.  Awesome.
  • She finds toilet humour hilarious.  Meaning toots, stinky bum, or burps - all make her laugh so hard.  Yesterday she was playing with the lid of her diaper genie and I kept telling her that's where the stinky diapers go - P-U, stinky!  She was having a giggle fit over that.  And now knows how to wave her hand in front of her face for P-U and grab her nose for stinky.
  • She's turning into a total mimic.  She loves to play with pots and wooden spoons - pretending to 'stir' something, and I've even caught her 'tasting' the spoon.  I must do that a lot!  
  • I'm trying the sign language thing again with her - since she's mimicing a lot of our actions, I figured maybe we will have more luck this time.
  • Still not sleeping through the night on a regular basis ... yeah, that's just a killer.  She WILL grow out of this, right?
  • Lastly - I gave Maddie a taste of my baking the other day.  She doesn't like shortbread.  WHa??  
xxoo.S

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The friendship dance

I've got a date with my Babyville mom group friends tonight - sans bebes.  I haven't really seen anyone since the end of September, as I've been busier than I expected to be with this whole "work from home" stuff.

It should be a good time, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and having a proper chat with full attention, instead of being distracted watching the kiddies play around.  It's so funny how difficult it is to make friends outside of a forced situation (i.e. school or work).  There's the whole dance back and forth where you are testing the waters on getting together, what you'll do, how you'll meet up.

I really enjoy living in Brooklin now - have gotten used to having to get into my car to get absolutely anywhere now (oh, I do miss the walking and the subway though...).  But I'm not going to lie, it's far away.  My girl friends in the city I now see only on special occasions.  My other girl friends live east end, yes, but not THAT east end.  It's still a bit of trek to see them.  I have my BFF, L, living in the Brook, but we don't see each other near as much as either of us thought we would.  I guess with me in baby-la-la-land for the past year, we have just been living different lives.

Needless to say, without sounding like a total loser (maybe not?), I'm a little lonely for girlie interaction. I miss being able to call someone up and just say, let's go to the movies.  Let's go shopping.  Let's go get a coffee (or drink!).

I know life has changed a la child.  But I think you should still be able to do those things every one in a while!  

xxoo.S

PS - Sorry to place a Thursday morning whinge on you.  Sometimes I wonder if I am a whiner and shouldn't miss those aspects of my "old life" so much.  Do other moms?  Because I don't usually hear anyone saying so.  Maybe they do, they just don't admit it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Count one down

I picked up Maddie's "major" present today.  It's a play kitchen.  I had thought about getting her one for her birthday, then thought to myself - she's a bit too young for that just yet.  

Then I found out just a couple of weeks ago that she plays with the play kitchen at daycare all.the.time.

So I was like, sweet.  Christmas present - done!  And proceeded to check out the various options we had.  There were A LOT of options...

...from the very basic cooktop...

...to the basic full size kitchen...

...to the deluxe, there's more stuff in this kitchen than in my own, play kitchen...

As you can see - lots and lots of choice.  
But we decided to go retro...

I can't wait to watch her play around with it (and get the heck out of my kitchen cabinets!!!).  Oh - and the last but not least charming little cherry on top?  Her first "kenmore" set... adorable...
xxoo.S

Congrats to me!

I just made the final payment on my OSAP loan. No more student loans! Yaaaaaaaaay!

xxoo.S

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The terrible 13's?

So everyone goes on and on and on about the terrible two's. I get it. Kids turn into little devil-monsters when they hit the age of two. Has something about realizing they can control their own destiny (i.e. get what they want) by having a temper tantrum (or five).

But, um, no one warned me about the terrible 13's. Maddie is officially 13 months old and this past week has been a bloody nightmare! I mean, I love the fact that she's walking around, plays by herself, babbling away, playing with the most random things (what is WITH her obsession with ziploc bags???).

But what I don't love? The screaming. And crying. And fits of despair that she shows you, when you refuse to give/do/show her something she wants.  

Here's a perfect example:
As I've said before (glowingly, if I recall), the kid likes music. And she knows where the radio/cd player is in the kitchen. She used to point up to it and dance away if there was a song on that she liked.

Not anymore. Now she DEMANDS that I turn it on (if it's not on). Wants to be standing up in front of the player, pushing buttons, playing with the volume, opening and closing the cd part.

And she'll stand there for an hour if you let her. It just doesn't. Get. Old.  

So eventually you (being the parent and apparently with a shorter attention span than a 13-month-old) get tired of it. And take her down off the counter. Away from the stereo.

And that's when Satan joins us.

She arches her back. She screams. She cries. She cries so bloody hard that she barely breathes. And she points and points and points and points.

Oh, I get it. You want the stereo, kid. But I have to make dinner. And I think child services might have something to say if I let you just stand on the counter by yourself, next to the hot stove. Just saying...

And so I listen to the temper tantrum that ensues. For 5 minutes. For 10 minutes. For 15 minutes! Seriously? How does she even REMEMBER what she's crying about?? It's just ridiculous. And loud. And not just a little annoying.

So why doesn't anyone warn you about this stage? Because damn. It's tough.

The only thing to do? Get back at her by making her hair look ridiculous.  ;)

xxoo.S

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our Halloween monkey

Here she is - so happy and proud and just chuffed to be all dressed up and walking around like a big girl...
xxoo.S

I know I know

I owe you all some halloween pics.  I will post soon.  I promise.

Thanks to a generously lent costume from our daycare provider, Maddie was dressed up as a little monkey this year.  She absolutely loved halloween.  Seemed to "get" that she was dressed up, that others were dressed up, and all was good with the world (I was a little worried that she would hate her costume or get scared seeing the other kids in costumes - apparently I was worried for nothing, she's a helluva lot smarter than I give her credit for I guess)...

So we took Maddie trick-or-treating to our neighbours on the right and left of us.  She loved that too.  I think probably would have gone on to more houses if we had let her.  And then she helped give out candy to the kids that came to our house.  It was so warm out, that everyone was outside on their front steps, so was a lot of fun in that sense.  Except Miss Maddie kept wanting to follow the kids down the sidewalk and onto the street.  There can be a bit of downside to having a social butterfly for a daughter - especially when she's just a year old.

We've lots of other news - but I'm tired, so it's relagated to bullets for today...
  • We sold the Accent.  I had to say bye-bye to AB (that was her name for the past almost-5 years).  It was a little bittersweet.  When we got her, I never expected that I would have her for a full 5 years, but I guess since I did, I got a little attached.  But I wasn't attached to the car payments and 2 insurance payments we've been making - so in the end, I was like buh-bye AB!  Thanks for the km's, thanks for not breaking down, thanks for being a solid little car.  Hope you treat your new owners the same...
  • Maddie has started having nightmares at night.  I hate it.  I hate trying to calm her down and not being able to.  I hate not being able to tell her (or show her) that all is fine, she doesn't need to be afraid.  And I hate being woken up for 1-2 hour stretches in the middle of the night because she can't get back to sleep.  Any thoughts/advice/help?  Any feedback whatsoever is welcome!
  • Lately I've been feeling more and more like my old self.  I've gone to a few concerts, met friends for dinner and organized a few more 'ladies nights' coming up in a few weeks.  I love being able to leave Maddie with Daddy and take off for the night.  It's the social life that I've sorely missed this past year and I'm really enjoying getting a bit of freedom back in my life.
  • Grandma Thompson is coming to visit for a few days as of tomorrow.  The plan is shopping (of course), maybe some furniture restoration (could be tricky), and hopefully lots of Christmas baking (yum!).
  • I have officially accepted a new position with a company - so I am happily gainfully employed as of the end of this month.  I am soooo happy and excited about this opporutnity that it doesn't warrant being explained in this bullet - I'll write a post soon.
Happy early November friends & family!  We're loving the unseasonably ridiculously warm weather lately and hope it bodes for a mild winter.  Hope you're getting outside and enjoying it while you can, wherever you are.

xxoo.S

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Maddie pics


Her new favourite pasttime - destroying the tupperware cupboard.

She LOVED the pumpkin patch. It was cold, windy and raining - she's having a blast.

Yeah, we had to do it.

This is today - she came home from daycare having made her first craft.  I was so proud I thought I would burst.  Her little scribbles on that hat made me ridiculously happy.  She was clearly quite proud of herself as well!

First thing she does when we get home from daycare?  Goes and grabs the catfood and tries to fill up their dishes.

xxoo.S

Monday, October 27, 2008

The guilt

I'm still finding it difficult to get used to this working from home gig.  While I know that I was a solidly efficient worker at the various previous jobs I held, no one ever works ALL the time.   I spent time on personal emails, looking at various websites that were not work-related, and just chatting with coworkers.  In fact - if you look at that, and add on an hour for lunch - it probably adds up to at least 2 hours of non-productive time each day (if not lots lots more on those days where you just didn't feel like doing any work).

But now, as I drop Maddie off at daycare everyday, and come back home, I get SUCH feelings of guilt if I'm not working 100% the entire day.  Because the thought goes through my mind - just who do you think you are?  Having someone else take care of your child while you fritter away valuable time at home?  

And being the procrastinating, deadline-driven worker that I am, I often do my best, most efficient work as time is winding down (i.e. late afternoon, or hours before a project is due).  Why am I like that?  I don't know - always have been though and I don't see it changing anytime soon. But of course, that means that a lot of my mornings, while working from home, are spent wracked with guilt.  Guilt that I should be working.  Guilt that I'm paying someone to watch my child while I chat on the phone with a girlfriend.  Guilt that if I wasn't working, I should at least be doing SOMETHING (washing the floors? ironing clothes? I don't know - but I can say in the past, my house is always at it's cleanest when I'm working on a big work project - see, I can channel my procrastination so it's somewhat productive).

So here I am.  Writing a blog post about it.  And feeling guilty...

xxoo.S

Sunday, October 26, 2008

She's a weirdo

Our newly mobile (walking around CONSTANTLY) child is now developing randomly odd habits.

The latest being, she likes to try to put her own bib on.  She goes into the drawer where the bibs are kept, pulls one out and then positions it under her chin and walks around with her head down (chin keeping the bib in place).

We got a video of it, but I'm not sure it really conveys just how (hilariously) weirdo this is.

I love that she totally looks like Seth, but when it comes to personality, she is clearly taking after her weirdo Mommy...

xxoo.S

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

1 yr stats

We had our 1 yr doctor's appointment today. After searching for parking for ages and ages, we arrived at the office just on time, and it was packed! Apparently they were running late, which meant Maddie got to play with the doctor's office grungy toys for almost a full 45 minutes before her name was called.

She also walked around, charming people with her smile and Flirty McFlirt. That's right, she's almost exclusively walking at this stage. A lot of reinforcement from both me and Alexise (daycare provider) - telling her to "stand up!" when she'd start to crawl. So now she usually tries to get around by walking (and falling). She also likes to use her walker lots still - but that's okay - as long as she's not crawling. That's for baaaaaabies!

Anyways, Maddie's name was finally called, and in we headed for the dreaded 1 yr check up. She was weighed and measured - 27-3/4 inches tall and 18lbs 4oz. Still smack dab in the 25th percentile. She's just a tiny one. Everything else is good and apparently she's progressing on as she should be. Then it was time for her shots - the nurse opted to give them to her in her arms, since she was walking - and her thought was that making her legs hurt might put her off walking. My thinking was her legs are bigger than her arms, so it would hurt less in her legs. But apparently I was wrong.*

I had to literally hold her down (to ensure, as the nurse so eloquently put it, that the needle didn't break off in her arm) while she got her shots. And holding down a 1 year old - regardless of being tiny or not - is not easy. Especially after the first shot. She was like a tazmanian devil. A MAD tazmanian devil.

So that's that. We're done with doctor's appointments and shots until 15 months. Boo.

xxoo.S

*As so many nurses in my life are apt to tell me. ;)

Monday, October 20, 2008

A fun weekend

This past weekend seemed to go by in a bit of blur - but a fun blur, not a omigodwhenisitgoingtoend blur - which is a nice change from all the sick/teething/bumrash weekends we seem to have endured recently.

After being in daycare on Tues, Wed and Thurs, Maddie got a break from it and hung out with Mommy on Friday.  She slept in a bit that day, we lounged around after breakfast, went outside to play for an hour before lunch, and by then she was sleepy.  (Side note: we're doing the transition from 2 naps to just one nap a day - tyring to get her used to going to sleep after lunch as that's what they do at daycare, so why not try and make the schedule work in both households, right?)  She took a nap at noon, was up again by 2pm and out we headed to get some errands done at the store, played outside a bit more and that was that really for Friday.  

On Saturday Seth had baseball all morning, while Maddie and I cleaned up around the house.  Well, she played and splashed in the toilet (ewww), and unrolled the toilet paper (annoying), and pulled on the vacuum cord (ummm, dangerous), while I ran around trying to get some shit done.  Then we had lunch and I put her down for her nap.  Three hours later (and starting to run late on the whole, "go see Daddy play his last baseball game before heading out to a birthday party" plan for the afternoon) I just started slamming around and doing my best to rouse sleeping beauty.  It worked, she got dressed for the party and we headed out the door.  Of course we didn't make it in time to see any of the baseball game, but we got to visit with all the tall baseball boys, who Maddie of course flirted with and charmed the "sox" off (haha - sorry, too punny!).

Then we headed to her first little kids' birthday party.  She wasn't the youngest there, but of the mobile ones, she was.  And it's funny to see how she deals with being in a busy, kid-filled situation.  Pretty much like I think I used to.  She ignores the other kids and heads into the other room to play quietly by herself until she feels comfortable, then comes out and kinda plays around, but really sticking pretty close to Mommy and/or Daddy.  

It doesn't really bother me that she's not one of those kids getting in there, into the thick of it all.  Probably because I get it.  I still hate being forced into a group situation where I don't really know anyone.  I'm much better at hiding my uncomfortable-ness and acting all social and outgoing.  But I'm secretly cringing and hating every minute of it.

And that's why I'll never be that mom that says, "Oh go on Maddie.  Go play with the other kids.  Be social!"

Sorry - tangent.  So we had our bday party and I have the cutest pics of Maddie sitting at the table "like a big girl" with a party hat on her head and eating spaghetti like everyone else.  She was so happy and proud of herself sitting there it almost made me cry.

I should also mention that we had a weekend growth spurt on our hands - so we could, literally, not fill the child up.  She just kept eating.  And eating.  Andeatingandeatingandeatingandeating.  It was bananas.  And I more than once pulled out the line, "Where the heck are you putting it all?  Do you have a hollow leg?".  Yes, I've turned into that cheesy adult with the corny lines I used to roll my eyes at.  Sweet.  Now I really am a grown up!

Wow - another tangent.  Okay - so back on track ... After the bday party was over, it was time for the adults to enjoy themselves a bit.  We played a bit of Wii.  Drank a bit of wine.  Watched a bit of SNL.  And another newsworthy event?  Maddie slept. Through. It. All.  Upstairs in her playpen, just slept away like she did it all the time.  Awesome.  Our social life is officially on an upswing.

On Sunday morning Seth had another baseball game, which Maddie and I tried to actually make this time - unfortunately we made it just in time to see them lose the game by one run.  Harsh.  So instead of spending the morning in the fresh air at the ballpark, we did the next best thing.  Headed to the nearest McDonald's and initiated Maddie on the art of the Big Breakfast.  And holy shit, did she love it.  Couldn't get enough of the sausage, we eventually just stopped giving it to her.  And so smiley and happy and proud of herself sitting in the highchair and looking around at all the other people smiling and commenting on just how much of a cutey she is.  Yes, she was in her element.

After a big long afternoon nap (and a lounging afternoon for Seth and I), Maddie headed out to Uncle Greg's with Daddy to watch some late afternoon football, while I got myself ready and headed into the city for my date with the Goddess of Pop.  Yep - the Madonna concert.  It was good times - and I had lots of fun getting out of the house for a little girlie fun.  Although, when I got home, I have to admit it was nice to hear that Maddie had already woken up for her bottle and apparently was asking for me by name "Mam-mam-mam-mam".  How adorable is that?

So that was our weekend - hope you all enjoyed yours just as much.

xxoo.S

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's a bit lonely

Working from home is a bit harder than I thought it would be.  Trust me, I'm not complaining.  I know I've got it good.  I'm lucky.  All that jazz.

But it is harder than I expected.  It's far easier to be distracted (just ask my fridge, it sees the light of day more often than I'd like to admit).  And it's far easier to procrastinate (as you just have to flip on the tv during "lunch" and then look up and an hour has passed.

And it's kinda lonely.  I talk to people on the phone, yes.  But really, at the end of the day, it's just me sitting at my computer and working in a silent house (silent because anything else is distracting and/or leads to procrastination).

It's only the 2nd week, it is was a short week at that - so the schedule isn't quite "there" yet.  We'll see.  I'm sure I'll get used to it.

At least Maddie and Seth are getting nice home-cooked dinners.  And the house is staying clean.  And the laundry is getting done.  Those are definitely all bonuses that I'm not overlooking.  And hey - who's the superwoman that's working + cleaning + cooking all at the same time?  Oh hey, it's me.  Gooooooooo me!

xxoo.S

Monday, October 13, 2008

Maddie's Year in Review

I wanted to do a year in review - but instead of trying to recap each month, I'm just going to let the pics speak for themselves...

Her first hour - October 9, 2007:

Stretched out sleeping - Oct '07 (1st month):

Already a Daddy's girl - Nov '07 (2nd month):

Her first sit on Santa's lap - Dec '07 (3rd month):

Happy after her bath - Jan '08 (4th month):

Snow angel - Feb '08 (5th month):

First taste of solids - Mar '08 (6th month):

Sitting up now - Apr '08 (7th month):

Leaf's fan (getting pudgy) - May '08 (8th month):

World traveller!  Ireland - Jun '08 (9th month):

Canada's Wonderland - Jul '08 (10th month):

Loves her books - Aug '08 (11th month):

Mischevious - Sept '08 (12th month):

Birthday Girl!  Oct '08 - One Year Old:

xxoo.S

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm thankful for...

  • Being blessed with an amazing, supportive, fun-loving family.
  • Having a great group of friends, old and new, that come from so many different areas of our lives.
  • Living in a fantastic house that I still can't quite believe that we live in, although I am getting more and more used to it (and looking forward to renovation season!)
  • Finding a way to work from home, for however long I'm able to, so that I can spend a bit more time with my little girl as she grows up so fast.
  • And of course - for a loving, laid-back, down-to-earth husband who is the perfect complement to my neurotic, high-strungedness.  And for an adorably smart, gorgeous, loving little girl who has made our lives much more rich by just being here.
xxoo.S

PS - pardon the cheese - but hey, it's Thanksgiving.  What are you thankful for?

Friday, October 10, 2008

A fever and some new slippers!

Well, Maddie had another first along with her first birthday yesterday - her first fever!  I dropped her at daycare in the morning and she had felt warm, but when I had taken her temp she hadn't registered over 37.3 (like 99 degrees Fahrenheit?).  I asked Alexise (our daycare lady) to keep an eye on her and to give me a call if she thought she was getting any warmer, I would come pick her up.

She called me at noon to say that she was acting fine, but that she was getting warmer - registering a fever of just 100 at this point.  I knew she'd be fine if I left her - but I figured, she would sleep easily here, and that if she was feeling crappy, she definitely needed her sleep - so off I went to pick her up.

I only got about an hour and a half nap out of her, then she was up for the rest of the day and totally dragging!  I gave her some tylenol and tried to keep her up as long as I could - but by 6 she was ready for her bath (more than an hour earlier than what we usually do).  Before her bath I took her temp again and this time it was 38.6 (around 101.5 f), so I gave her more tylenol and she was tucked away in bed before 7pm.  I had to wake her up around midnight to give her a bottle (as she refused it before bedtime) and she felt sooo hot at this point.  I wiped her head with a cool washcloth and put her back down to sleep.  She was up again around 4am and I gave her some more tylenol and rocked her back to sleep - where she stayed until 8:30 this morning.  Almost 14 hours of sleep!  But the fever was gone - which is good.

From the above, sounds like I handled it like a pro, huh?  Not likely.  I was pretty scared and nervous and, I don't know, whatever it is that new Mom's go through on their first time with a feverish baby.  And with Seth in Montreal the past few days - well, let's just say it wasn't a fun night for me - but I guess whatever I did worked, because she's back to her old self today.

Oh - and she got the coolest birthday gift from Alexise, our daycare lady.  These adorably small Padraig wool slippers.  Both Alexise and her two-year-old daughter are always wearing them when I drop Maddie off, and I've made a few comments on how comfy and cute they are ... so she got Maddie a pair for her birthday - how nice is that??  Anyways - I think they may be my Christmas gift for everyone this year - they are pretty cool.

Have a turkey-lurkey weekend everyone!!!

xxoo.S

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dear Miss Maddie,

Happy birthday little one!  You are one year old today.  Exactly one year ago Mommy and Daddy were sitting on a hospital bed, staring down in wonder at the tiny little being that now ruled our life.  I remember being so afraid of breaking you everytime I touched you - and yet, I couldn't stop touching you, holding you, cuddling you.

And you still amaze me bubbs.  Just yesterday I watched you stand up on your own without any support (or coaxing from me) and I was almost moved to tears.

I just can't believe how much one little person can grow, learn and do in just a year.  You have learned so much and so have Daddy and I.  We've learned how to have a 2 minute shower.  How to get dressed in 30 seconds flat.  We've learned to enjoy eating a cold dinner, as your feeding needs come first.  We've learned to live without tv much of the time, as we're too busy playing with you.  And that a trip to the park to play on the swings can be the highlight of everyone's day, not just yours.

I look back at our life just over a year ago and am shocked at just how different it is.  Daddy has changed jobs twice since last year - all in an effort to have more flexible hours and be home more often to spend time with his little sugar pop.  Mommy is still off work, opting to work from home instead, which gives us lots more freedom and time together - at least for now, while you're still getting used to daycare.  We don't go out to dinner, rarely order in take out, and I can barely remember the last movie we went to at the theatre.  Our Saturday nights consist (maybe) of a rented video and some popcorn after we've tucked you in for the night.  And we are blissfully happy with that arrangement.  Priorities have changed, shifted, focused.  We are a family now and you made us that way.

I was going to write you a letter that highlighted a mood, feeling, or memory from each month of your life - but then I realized that is what this blog is already.  It's my diary of our lives to you.  And I hope someday you enjoy reading back over the first of hundreds of entries - as much as you may silently roll your eyes and chuckle at just how novice of a mother I once was!

So instead, I'm writing to you today about who you are right now.  An inquisitive little one year old, that flirts with everyone you see at the grocery store, park, mall.  An extremely loving, happy, laughing little girl that is also strong-willed and demanding of attention.  

You are happiest playing with your toys while either Mommy or Daddy are sitting there with you.  You absolutely love when we play games with you - chasing you around, letting you chase us, "racing" you across the lawn, hide and seek, peek a boo - you name it, if you have both Mommy AND Daddy's attention on you at once, you are laughingly, giggingly, happy!

Your sleeping is getting better, but you're still no star sleeper - and I'm guessing you may never be.  You need to be reassured at night when you wake up - maybe you don't like the dark, maybe you don't like being alone, I'm not sure.  But it's a rare night when we don't spend at least a few minutes rocking in the rocking chair and having a quick cuddle before you go back to sleep.

You're getting used to daycare and you seem to like other children, but you still won't sleep for her and rarely take a bottle from her.  But you never cry when I drop you off and you're always laughingly happy to see me when I come pick you up, so I think you like it well enough.

You are still a tiny little thing, barely wearing 12 month clothes.  Most of the 'warm' stuff I have for you is still a bit too big - but you don't seem to care, notice or  mind.  The one thing you do care about though, is your shoes.  You like to play with your shoes in your closet.  You love when we try different shoes on you.  And you really enjoy when we're out shopping for new shoes and showing you the different choices.  Never did I think that it was possible that a shoe addiction could be genetic, but you are your Mommy's and Grandma Thompson's little girl in that regard.  And we love you for it!

Your best friend right now is Simon, the kitttttyyyyyy.  You love to cuddle him, lay on him, give him hugs and kisses and more hugs and more kisses.  And he loves you too.  He wouldn't be around, sitting directly in the middle of your play area constantly if he didn't.  Although I have to say, I feel sorry for Garfy (the more timid kitty) when you start running around.  He's going to need nerves of steel very soon.

It's been a fast, but also long, year for us.  It feels like it's flown by, but it also feels like we've been doing this forever now.  I can't imagine life without you sugar pop - you are the apple of our eyes.  I hope I always remember just to enjoy the moments - because that's what this past year has been all about.  We've (both) been happiest when we're just enjoying each other, spending time together and playing.

You are a very special little girl.  We love you monkey. 

Love,
Mommy

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Milestone day

Maddie stood up on her own today and took some steps, unprompted.

She stands up by sticking her butt up in the air, straight legged, and then just straightening up.  After many tries, I finally got a video this afternoon - I'll post it soon.

Such a big girl now - it's kinda crazy how fast it all happens.

xxoo.S

The partaaaayyy

So we had Miss Maddie's birthday party on Sunday - and it was a success to say the least.  My main concern was how Maddie was going to weather all the attention and people, and I'm glad we kept it small, as I think she was close to the breaking point a few times.

Everyone was very generous and there were lots of presents to open.  And Maddie was actually pretty interested in the opening presents part (with the help of her cousins, of course!).

After we finished opening presents and Maddie got a chance to play a bit (and the grownups got to eat a bit), we moved on to cake!  We stripped Maddie out of her party dress, down to her diaper, for the cake eating event - there was no way I was letting that pretty dress get ruined by the red icing!

I was pretty happy with the cake, and it was so worth all the work it was to see Maddie's face when I showed it to her.  She loves her Elmo!

We let her get a taste of icing before giving her a piece of cake with most of the icing scraped off (yes, mean Mommy) - she liked the cake, but not as much as the icing!


She had a great time at the party - and when everyone left - slept for almost 2 hours that afternoon!  

Thanks again to everyone for making the drive up for the party - it was definitely appreciated!

xxoo.S

PS - I can't believe I forgot to tell you how she looked like she was going to cry while we all gathered 'round and sang Happy Birthday.  She just kept staring at me the whole time, like "what the heck is happening mom?  please make it stop!" ... I guess it's hard to understand what really is going on at that age - luckily she got her mind off the attention by digging into the cake as soon as the singing was done ... here's a video of the action...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Playgroup pics!

Here's a few pics of Maddie hanging out with her playgroup friends...





Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Big girl now

So big that she actually recognizes those words.  If you tell her she's a big girl - after say, walking a few steps, or trying to brush her hair with her brush, or actually getting the spoon in her mouth - she practically squirms with delight.

She can now stand on her own quite well - and does so of her own accord fairly often.  She is also able to walk a few steps towards me (or daddy) before teetering over.  She points at things she wants, says "momma" a lot more now (usually when she wants something - the manipulative little bugger!), knows how to turn the channel with the tv remote, and make random calls with the phone.  She is constantly getting into stuff, and learning more and more to play on her own (VERY good skill!).

She's also almost completely on table foods now too - she loves loves loves to eat anything I'm eating.  Will never ever ever turn down food that comes from mommy's plate - which is kinda like a newfangled diet, as I seem to be sharing my meals more and more with a hungry, growing little girl.

And she's sleeping better and better at night.  She still wakes up sometimes, but I do my best to give her a chance to put herself back to sleep, and it seems to be working.  I'm guessing all this eating of "grown up" foods is also helping her sleep longer.  Let's hope this trend continues (fingers crossed).

I can't believe it's time for her birthday party already.  We have it planned for this coming Sunday - keeping it small (just family) so it doesn't overwhelm her.  My big project for the week will be preparing for that party (Elmo theme - yee haw!), and figuring out how to make the cake.  I've found a cake pan that is Elmo's face - now I just have to find a recipe for the cake + frosting.  I want to make from scratch so her first taste of cake is the real thing - not from a box (or can for that matter) - but trying to find a "good" cake recipe is proving to be daunting.  And figuring out how to do the icing is going to be a bit of a trick as well, but you know me - I like a challenge, and at worst, it will at least resemble Elmo, right?

So that's the news from the Valliers this week.  She's off to daycare tomorrow and Thursday while I get the house ready for the weekend and run some last minute errands.  It's best to keep myself busy when she's at daycare, as I get pretty lonely.  Yes, I'm a sap.  :)

xxoo.S

Thursday, September 25, 2008

WOW! Her first steps!

So we were sitting in our bedroom, hanging out with Maddie just before getting her in the bath, and Seth was trying to teach her how to get down from the step in our room (as she often just crawls over it and falls flat on her face).

Instead, she decides to grace us with her first steps!  So I quickly run to get the camcorder and manage to capture her 2nd set of steps on film...



Don't mind the nekkid-ness - she has a bad bum rash and we've been leaving her dipe off as much as possible to try and air it out.

What a big girl, huh?  I honestly didn't think she was going to actually take her first steps before her first birthday, as she had shown very little interest in even standing on her own (even though she was cruising around with her walker like crazy).  

I guess she decided to prove me wrong.

I don't expect that will be the last time that happens...

xxoo.S

First words?

Here's a question for the experienced parents out there ... how do you know when the first word is "officially" said?

I only ask because I know that Maddie couldn't possibly have started talking at 8 months - but that is when we started hearing discernible words coming out of her mouth. Although the "dadadadadada" really was directed at almost anything.  And the "it-thay" was clearly "kitty" - but was it really that clear?  Or was it because we are her parents, and know what she is trying to say?

She now says what sounds like "daddy" and quite strategically pulls out the "mama" whenever she's upset or whiny (and yes, it gets me everytime).  And I'm sure she's said "hi" and probably a few other "words" that may or may not be discernible to an outside party.

But now that she clearly is trying to say lots of words, understands a tonne of words, and does say some words with frequency and fairly acurately - how do you pinpoint the "first official word"?

Crap - just another thing for me to get wrong in her baby book...

xxoo.S

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

As requested...

Maddie started this hilarious habit a few months ago of making the funniest "frustration" face while in her highchair.  I had friends over for dinner one night and they got to see it and where killing themselves laughing.  And then told me that I absolutely had to make sure I got a vid of that and posted it.  So here it is (although she doesn't do it half as well as she does when she makes the face spontaneously)...



xxoo.S

Monday, September 22, 2008

I think she likes spaghetti

Starting a morning off right

Maddie has learned the art of the "hug". She cuddles right in and gives a strong little squeeze, gripping onto my shoulders like a monkey.

Love it...

xxoo.S

Sunday, September 21, 2008

An update post

It's been a couple of weeks since I've written - it's just been a busy time for us with lots going on.  I'll update you quickly on the latest at casa Vallier ...
  • Seth is starting a new job on the 29th.  Yes, another new job - but it's a great opportunity for him to work with some old colleagues that he enjoyed working with in the past, working in an industry in which he's very well-versed, and no overnight travel - which was a big plus.
  • My mom came up to visit the weekend before last for several days - and spent the Saturday babysitting Maddie while Seth and I went to a friend's wedding.  It was nice to have a night out and it was a beautiful wedding.
  • Maddie spent 2 days last week in daycare - for full days.  She's still not loving it, but getting used to the idea and managed to nap for a couple of hours there.  From what I'm told - the sleep is the biggest issue usually, so we're lucky that she'll actually do it.
  • And as you probably deduced from the above, Maddie is now taking the bottle quite well.  The secret?  We got her taking an old-school (BPA-ridden!!) Avent bottle, so went out and bought some (more) new bottles for her - the new BPA-free Avent bottle.  Details aside, she's taking the bottle.  Yay for her.  Yay for us.
  • Maddie is sooooo close to walking.  She walks and steers her "walker" like a pro - and is able to stand on her own for a few seconds (as long as she's not really realizing that she's doing it).  I'm so exited to see her become the little toddling toddler that I know she will be in just a few days?  Weeks?  Months???
  • This past weekend Seth's parents came up for a visit.  And again, we spent Saturday night out w/ friends, while the grandparents babysat.  We are definitely getting spoiled these days!  Loving the new freedom though.  And Maddie loves her grandma and grandpa, so she didn't miss us at all.
  • To keep myself busy and not losing my mind of loneliness while Maddie is at daycare, I've been trying to scratch off all those outstanding projects before I head back to work and my spare time gets drastically reduced.  It's kind of like reverse-nesting-instinct.  Instead of the rush of getting organized before the baby gets here, it's the rush  before you have leave your baby for 12 hours a day...
  • I'm We're definitely looking forward to having two paycheques coming in again - just in time for our little girl to officially turn one.  We're planning on a small birthday party on the Sunday (5th) before her birthday.  Now we just have to figure out what to get a little girl that really doesn't need anything...
There you go people.  You are updated on the ins and outs of the Valliers' life as we know it right now.  I will do my best not to leave you so high and dry again.  I know you missed me!  ;)

xxoo.S

Friday, September 12, 2008

She says "Mama"

She started saying it really properly last night.  

And honestly, as heartwarming as it is, it's also heartbreaking.  

Because she's saying it admidst sobbing cries from her crib at 3:15 a.m.

Damn child - will you ever sleep??

xxoo.S

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dear Miss Maddie,

Happy birthday my sweet!  You are 11 months old today and I am amazed at how fast you are growing and learning and growing and learning!

This past month we had Mama Hat up for a visit, we finished your room (finally!), we went to Kingston for a week-long visit, went to a family reunion and introduced you with many 'oohs and ahhs', tried daycare for the very first time (you hated it), endured a nasty case of thrush (and resulting yeast infection 'down there' - grossness!), and also the worst baby-cold-flu that made your previous colds look like a breeze.  

It's been another busy busy month with it's share of ups and downs - but the biggest milestone of all I think is your new (and elusive) ability to sleep through the night!  You've done it a handful of times and I'm hoping that we'll eventually string together a solid week of them.  It's my fault that we stopped the trend, as we went to Kingston for an overnight visit just as you were getting the hang of it - so that screwed it up.  Then you got sick - which also screwed with sleep and eating and Mommy's nerves as my happy-go-lucky baby was nowhere to be found for almost a week.

But through all that chaos, you still have managed to continue to learn how to walk - you are constantly walking around pushing your highchair, the kitchen stool, your baby-walker-thing, the piano or just cruising from chair-to-ottoman-to-tv-stand-to-couch.  You also love to walk while you have an adult holding your hands.  So we spend lots of time doing this every day as well.  You haven't quite got up the nerve to try out a step or two unassisted, but with all your practicing, I know we'll get there soon!

You got your first haircut the other day - just a bang trim - but it immediately made you look so different!  We were so used to seeing your scraggedly hair everywhere, and now it's just a straight cut of bangs across your forehead - it makes you look like a little girl!

And your eagerness to learn continues to blow our minds.  If I ask where Daddy is, you point to him.  If I ask where the kitty is, you find it and point to it (or give the lucky kitty the cutest full-body-hug anyone could ever ask for).  If we ask for a kiss, you (usually) oblige.  You're learning eyes, ears, nose and mouth - and enjoy grabbing our faces (sometimes quite hard!) during it all.

You also love to point out things you're interested in, especially when being carried.  You point to the CDs and I take you over to them and you would spend forever just touching them, looking at them, doing your little "ooh" and "ahh" noises that you make when your thinking about something.  You love visiting the bookcases, the pictures in the bookcases, the microwave, the radio in the kitchen, the pictures of the "baby" (you) on top of your bookshelf, Teddy, and the lightswitch (which you obsessively turn on-off-on-off as long as we'll let you).

You are also completely obsessed with removing the air duct grate in the kitchen, opening the drawer with the ziplock bags and pulling them all out, unloading the tupperware cupboard, 'helping' load the dishwasher (by climbing in it), unrolling the toilet paper at every chance, splashing your hands in the toilet (ewww), splashing your hands in the cat dish, and dumping and examining any trash can/recycle bin you can get your hands on.  Please.  Stop.  Doing.  That.

I can't begin to explain how much I've enjoyed spending every day with you this past year, monkey.  You've taught me patience and understanding.  You've taught me to slow down and just enjoy the moment.  That sometimes you just need to dance!  You've reminded me how important it is sometimes just to stop what you're doing and have a giggle.  How tears can turn into a smile pretty quickly if a person really tries to make it happen.  And that sometimes making spills or crashing items together are just a learning experience and aren't necessarily all that annoying.

I hope I'm keeping my end of the bargain up and teaching you lots of useful things and doing what a mom is supposed to do.  And at the end of the day, I hope when you go to sleep, you feel warm and cozy and cherished and loved. 

Because you are.  Immeasurably so.

Love,
Mommy

Monday, September 8, 2008

Another milestone

Well the weekend was a bit crap as I was sick the entire time (still sick today - whatever this virus was - it was a doozy!), but Maddie definitely seems to be over it, which is nice.

As for the milestone - we cut her bangs last night.  I was trying to hold off on cutting her hair until she was at least a year old (I had heard that it was bad luck to cut a baby's hair before a year - whatever) ... but her hair was so long it was constantly getting in her eyes and was clearly bothering her.  So now she has straight little bangs across her forehead.  So sweet!

Maddie didn't do her 1/2 day at daycare today as the daycare lady's daughter is sick (yup - she's been once and already infected kids - nice one).  So we took a pass on today and will be doing her half days on Thurs + Fri of this week.

Seth has today and tomorrow off work - so hopefully we'll do something fun.  I think it's nice enough for the park today - I'll see if I can convince him...

xxoo.S

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An (almost) 11 month old just kicked my ass

Both physically and emotionally. I don't think I've ever been so glad to see her go to sleep (yes, I'm sure I'm exaggerating here and that I have in the past been just, if not more, glad to see her go to sleep - but it's hard to see through the pain and anguish that today has been to remember past pain and anguish-filled-days).

Seriously though. You know what's more exhausting than having a kick-ass cold yourself? Having a hubby with a kick-ass cold... make mine a double and add an (almost) 11 month old with a kick-ass cold of her own and thrush on top of that.

While we're at it ... let's triple it up with a dose of "hubby leaving for fishing/boys' weekend" - leaving me alone with aforementioned child with kick-ass cold and a side of thrush.

Damn. Could I feel more sorry for myself?

Good thing I planned a retro-girls-sleepover-night for Saturday. If not, I would seriously have been playing the odds for a nervous breakdown.

Instead, I say, "Bring on the Bellinis!!!"

xxoo.S

First day of daycare...

...and it went not so well. As I had posted earlier, Maddie's been sick (and therefore sleeping even less than she usually does) and just not herself lately. But we had to do the 'first day' at daycare at some point - can't wait for the right time, because like most things, if you waited for that, you'd be waiting forever.

So off she went - 8am to noon was all she was going to be going for, and even though she hadn't slept well, and wouldn't eat breakfast, I still had my hopes up that it would be okay. Because Maddie loves other children. So much so, that I was hoping it may help keep her happy, occupied, interested and not-grumpy for the 4 hours she was there.

Ummmm, not so much. I dropped her off - she was in a great mood - wanted down on the floor to chase after the kitties (itttt-thay!), gave the daycare provider a big smile, and seemed not bothered in the slightest when Mommy gave her a big hug and kiss goodbye.

So I headed out, ran some errands, picked up some groceries, feeling good. Feeling like, hey, this isn't so bad after all. (Especially after a nightmare night with a baby that wouldn't sleep)

And then I go to pick her up, right at noon. I'm happy - I missed her, but not terribly - and am very interested to see how her morning went. I walk up to the door. And see my daughter crawling down the hall... crying.

Ummmm - shhiiiiiitt.

So apparently she didn't have a great morning. Apparently she wouldn't let the daycare provider put her down - ever. Apparently she was exhausted, but wouldn't sleep - fought the closing lids so badly (like she does - that didn't really surprise me). Apparently she freaked out about ... toys that made noise, the other kids, the outside, the swing, getting sprayed with water (don't blame her on that one), being inside, not being held constantly, having to sit on the floor. Yeah, just about anything. Superfreakoutattacks.

So the daycare provider asks me - does she need to be held all the time? I'm like - uh, no. She usually doesn't want to be held - she wants to be down on the floor, go-go-going. She asks, does she not like to be rocked to sleep? That one - harder to answer, as she sometimes does, sometimes doesn't - and does like to fight sleep. She asks, does she often not drink her milk? Um - yup.

I couldn't get a read on whether the daycare lady was upset with Maddie. I know she was sad that her first day wasn't better, but I got this feeling like she thinks Maddie will be more effort than she originally thought. Which is a bummer, because I know just how easy Maddie can be. And happy. And fun. And joyful.

All of which she was not, this morning.

Poor little bugger.

I am so not looking forward to Monday - our next 'half-day' in the daycare orientation plan.

xxoo.S

PS - one thing that did make me feel better, was that at least she felt solace in the daycare providers arms. I mean - that's something right? That she felt comfortable enough with her to want her to comfort her?