Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy Easter!

I'm a little behind in uploading pictures which explains the delay in my Easter post!  A bit of back story - three years ago, Nick and I claimed Easter as our holiday to host.  We are willing to travel all other holidays and given the size of my family, we definitely put on the miles but we wanted one holiday that we didn't have to go anywhere.  Easter has never been a big holiday with either of our families so we weren't disrupting major traditions by claiming it.  I also remember how much fun it was when grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins would come over to OUR house when we were little and I want to give that same experience to our kids.  Through all this rambling, a tradition was born.  We host Easter.  Just a side note, the first year we hosted is actually when Rich and Linda met my mom and dad for the first time.

We open Easter up to whoever wants to join us and this year was our largest gathering yet!  We hosted 18 people!

To make the day even more special, it was Miss. Madelyn's first Easter.  It was also the first holiday I felt like she actually understood something was going on.  Obviously, she couldn't really participate but she was so tiny and Thanksgiving and Christmas she slept most of the time.

Onto the pictures!
Prep started a few days before Easter!

Nick helped me by ironing!  Thanks babe!

Ben painted some eggs - no dye this year!

And I made this beauty!  Many many layers of jello.

Before you know it, the Easter bunny had arrived!
Ben's goodies

Madelyn's goodies

Happy First Easter!

Ben and Madelyn - it's tough getting a picture of Ben with his eyes open
Then Nick made breakfast while I set up the tables.
Nick made pancakes on a stick.  He is obsessed with putting food on a stick.  I don't know why.

I opted for scattered, small tables vs. one big table.
And then we celebrated!
Yummy food!

Munchies and drinks were outside

Rocking her first pair of flip flops!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Madelyn's 6th Month

My sweet baby is 6 months old already.  I know I say this every month but it is killing me that she is growing up so fast.  This was a month of many milestones and lumping them all into one really makes me realize how time just slips away from you and before you know it, you've got a toddler on your hands.

Big Moments for Madelyn -

1. Rolling over - this girl can really get around!  We've started "baby proofing" some aspects of our house, ie: moved the fireplace tools to the basement and constantly keeping the basement door closed.  She seems to stay in the same room you start in but can definitely move around.  This as posed a challenge when it comes to combining baby drool, grabby hands and four pets with shedding coats.  I am constantly wiping her hands and face trying to keep the amount of pet hair ingested to a minimum.  Every diaper change turns into a mini wipedown before using the cloth wipe on her booty.  Madelyn is capable of rolling both directions and doesn't seem to favor one over the other.  However, once she's decided which way she's rolling on any particular jaunt across the floor, she can't seem to roll back which creates a problem once she gets to the various obstacles that are in her way.  Like I said, this seems to keep her at least contained to one room for the time being, so I am a-okay with it.
Right after her first roll - I'd show the video but true to form, Madelyn isn't wearing pants

2. Solid foods - me oh my, sweet potato pie, Madelyn loves solids!  We started about a week and a half before she hit the 6 month mark but she was exhibiting all the "signs of readiness" and I figured, why not.  We had been giving her raw carrots or peppers to chomp on in an effort to keep her entertained at the dinner table but her lack of teeth meant she wasn't ingesting any of it. 

Miss. Madelyn's first "real solid" was avocado on Cinco de Mayo.  I cut the avocado into strips which made it easier for her to grab but once she mushed it around and her hands got slippery she ended up smushing it all over her tray, face and belly.  Since then she's tried various fruits and veggies as I have made them for dinner.  I usually pull the food out of the big pot before salting and give her the unsalted portion.  Seeing as Nick and I have no food allergies and she hasn't had any issues with the fact that I haven't eliminated anything from my diet while she's breastfeeding, we aren't really following the "1 new food every week" rule.  She's not trying that many new foods at a time, and I figure if she were to have a reaction, we could reasonable figure out what caused it.

Her favorites seem to be sweet potatoes and she is pretty indifferent to bananas.

For now, we've been stripping Madelyn down to her diaper and feeding her in the bumbo because, man alive does she make a mess.  It is usually straight into the tub after eating, bumbo and all.  It's been working so far, but we may need a new strategy once she starts eating more than 1 meal a day.

3. Unassisted sitting - Madelyn managed to squeak this one in just a mere 2 day before hitting the 6 month mark.  She had decided late Saturday night that it was party time.  Nick brought the little lady into bed with us and she was sitting between us.  We figured the cushiness of the bed was cradling her slightly and allowing her to sit.  Once we woke up Sunday morning, she wasn't able to continue her skill on the floor but lo and behold, later that day she was sitting for 10 minutes or so all by herself.  Of all the milestones, this one makes me sad(ish).  It makes me realize how much she is growing, and truly separates her from "little baby" status.

Everything else around here seems to be status quo.  She's still breastfeeding and sleeping well.  Her hair is still out of control.  Madelyn still loves to share her opinions with us on a regular basis.

Overall, it's been a pretty fun month!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

"Now that... my kids are grown, I understand how much work and love it takes to raise and to keep a family together. The example of your strength, devotion, and patience is now rippling through the generations. Thank you!"
~Forest Houtenschil

"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child."
~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." ~Rajneesh

Friday, May 6, 2011

Letters to Madelyn

Miss. Madelyn,
I have read a few other blogs in which mamas write little letters to their children, sharing with them thoughts, feelings and milestones.  Although I document your monthly endeavors I want to have something that is just for you.  Written about you, for you.
I wish I had started this before you were born but there's nothing I can do about that now.
I can't believe in 10 short days you will be 6 months old.  6 months!  You have completely changed my life in every way.  Everyday I am overwhelmed with how much I continue to fall more and more in love with you.  I am proud of your accomplishments and will always be your biggest cheerleader.
When you were born, you looked just like your daddy.  I searched your face for glimpses of me but found none.  However, as time goes on I start to see glimmers of myself in your perfectly round little face - and that makes me over the moon happy!
I can't wait to show you everything this big world has to offer.  I can't wait to see what you have to offer this world! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Island Baby

Boy is she mad at me!