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.  :)


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...


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...


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)...


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...


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!  ;)


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??


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.


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...


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!!!"


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.


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?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Weight update

In my haste to update you dear readers on Maddie's poor snotty nose/warm forehead/cheesy mouth, I forgot to tell you that I also got Maddie weighed while we were at the doctor's.

I didn't get her naked, so I guess it's not "official" - but she weighed in at 8.3 kilos - which converts to approximately 18 pounds, 4 ounces.  Two pounds more than two months ago.  Yaaaaayyyy!  Also bringing her back up from the 10th percentile for weight - not quite back to the 25th percentile, but definitely up a bit.  Double yaaaayyyy!


Another first

Although not a first that I was looking forward to - Miss Madds has a fever. She woke up on Monday morning with a bad case of thrush in her mouth, but as it was a holiday, we could get her to the doctor until yesterday. Poor thing must have also caught some viral thing at some point over the weekend, as she's now running a low grade fever, has a runny nose, cough and has thrown up a few times the past couple of days.

We're sticking close to home today and hopefully with some Tylenol and the medicine the doctor prescribed for her thrush, will be feeling a lot better by tomorrow. Because tomorrow is another milestone day - her first "trial" at daycare. She's supposed to be spending a half day with our daycare provider tomorrow morning - to ease her (and me!) into the routine.

But I guess that will depend on whether she's sick or not...


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Weekend update

We left for Kingston on Tuesday afternoon and spent the rest of the week there, visiting some family and friends, doing some shopping and laying low as much as possible. I love going home to Kingston with Maddie, but it does get tiring as I feel like we're constantly running around from place to place. So we didn't do nearly as much running around as we usually do - and still it was an exhausting week...

Wednesday we headed to the States for some shopping at Target with Grandma Vallier. We stopped in at a Friendly's to grab lunch on our way, and Maddie had her first 'off the menu' meal. Grilled cheese, mashed potatoes and brocolli. That was the absolute healthiest option on the children's menu ... and that was after our waitress suggested a hotdog + fries (ummm, she's 10 months old - I don't think so...), and then asked if we wanted gravy on the mashed potatoes. I literally laughed out loud at that suggestion. Again, she's 10 MONTHS OLD. Gravy Really

After our healthy meal (including a desert of vanilla ice cream) we headed on to Target where weshoppedshoppedshopped. I do love that store. I do wish they would come to Canada. Or at least let Canadians order from their website.

Friday saw us doing some more shopping with Grandma Thompson this time (Mama Hat!) - at a new children's store in Kingston - Bonnie Togs. GREAT store. Lots of Osh Kosh and Carters stuff - so Maddie got some more fall clothes and some cute pumpkin pajamas. And later that day, when Seth finally got to Kingston, I took a much needed nap!

Saturday morning saw us heading to Frankford for my family reunion. It was great to see a lot of family that I hadn't seen in many years - some since my wedding, some since before that even. I wish we got together as a family more often, but it's hard as we seem to be scattered across Ontario.

Sunday we had some friends over in the afternoon for a bbq - lots of kids running around and good friends chatting - it was fun and went late into the evening. Monday was spent doing a lot of nothing - we watched a movie and relaxed at home.

So that was our week. Now September is here and the countdown is on for my return to work - October 1st officially. The next couple of weeks are already booked with plans and I expect the month will go by very fast.