Sunday, March 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Madelynn Grace!

Today our baby girl turned 2! (Okay, it was actually last Thursday.  I started writing her post on her birthday but didn't finish it.)  Where has the time gone?  When Carter turned two I was just three short (or very long to a very pregnant women depending on your perspective) weeks away from having Madelynn.  It almost seems strange that baby number three isn't on their way.  But we have really enjoyed taking time with our two amazing kids and really enjoying them.  Madelynn has been a true joy and I am so thankful for her.  She is such a blessing to our family.  It's amazing how each child is just the perfect fit for your family.  She really is just the perfect little lady for our family and I am beyond grateful to be a mama to this beautiful little girl who lights up our life every day. 

In her second year of life she went from a baby to a toddler and began to walk.  She is talking a little more than when she was a baby ;)  but is still a quiet little thing.  She loves to whisper and usually whispers when responding to someone she doesn't know super well.  She really does have a quiet soul.  She is pretty calm and doesn't have a lot of words in her vocabulary.  She is starting to talk much more lately though and is beginning to repeat us frequently.  Some of the words she has mastered are mama, daddy, Max, more, Rory, light, nose, ears, eye, mouth, hair, Paw Patrol (sounds more like Pa Pa), Wally (for Wallykazam), Grandpa (pa pa), Minnie, go, no, mine, hot, baby, doll, boy, eat, duck, bu buy, and many animal sounds.  When she finally decides to say a word she says it very clearly.  I think she waits to say a word until she feels like she has it down perfectly.  She might be my little perfectionist.  That can be a great thing and not so good :)  She is careful and precise in everything she does.  I always think of her as dainty.  She is still little.  Not tiny anymore but on the small side for a two year old.  We think she is about 21-22 pounds but she doesn't have her two year old check up until April so we won't know for a few more weeks.  She was 20 pounds at her 18 month appointment.  We just moved her car seat to front facing last week for the first time.  She loves it!  We waited a lot longer for her because she was so small.  Pretty sure Carter was 21 pounds at his first birthday :)

She HATES baths and has basically hated them her entire year of being one.  However, the last three baths have gone much better and she is actually playing a little.  She refuses to sit down but she will bend down and splash in the water and likes to play with the water coming out of the faucet.  They still don't last very long but she has started to tolerate them a little better than the scream fest that it was for the last year.  She is a great little eater and eats most of what we offer her.  Much different than Carter.  Carter has always been a little pickier than her.  She loves her blankies still just as much as she did a year ago.  She has her big one and a little one and must have both on and off throughout the day.  She still sleeps so well!  Goes to bed about 7 each night and sleeps until 8 or 8:30 most mornings.  Often she even sleeps later!  If she stays up later because we have plans during the evening she will often sleep until 9 or 9:30.  She is pretty fantastic!  She is obsessed with her big brother and could be around him every waking moment of the day.  She loves to follow him and do whatever he is doing.  Even if he isn't very nice to her she still loves him so much and shows him so much adoration. 

She loves to play with her babies and put them down for naps, cover them up and tell us to shhhhh.  She is a great little mama.  She holds her babies in the cradle position and pats their bottoms.  She also loves to play with trucks.  Pretty sure if she were a first born that would be different but because she has a big brother who could live on trucks and trucks alone, she also loves trucks.  She loves animals and loves to make all the animal sounds she knows.  She doesn't say the name of the animal very often but just loves their sounds.  She is in love with Minnie Mouse which is why did a Minnie party this year.  She just got a kitchen for her birthday and loves it!  Her and Carter love to play together at the kitchen.  She is a girly girl with a great rough side to her.  She loves to be thrown in the air, pushed crazy fast in her little car, swing high on swings and run and chase her brother or daddy. 

She is obsessed with her daddy and lights up when he walks in the door from work.  However, she loves her mama just as much and will typically choose mama when she is hurt, sad or tired.  She is not a great shopper and doesn't last long.  She always wants to be held which I don't appreciate when I am trying to shop at the same time.  I much prefer to shop alone these days!  She loves to be silly and will laugh at almost anything Carter does that is meant to be silly.  Even if he isn't being silly at all.  He has a great audience of one!  She thinks everything he does is funny and fabulous.  I don't think he understands the HUGE responsibility he has on his shoulders.  I pray every day that he would grow to be a godly example of a man for his little sister to admire and expect for herself someday in her future husband!  A little more sass has begun in the last few weeks.  She is quiet most of the time and then will express her opinion in a loud "NO" or high pitch squeal when something doesn't go her way.  This is fairly new to us.  Sadly, I tend to want to smile or laugh because it's so stinkin' cute and unexpected from her!  There have been a few moments that I realized after the fact that she was really being kind of naughty and let her get away with it because it isn't normal and it's kind of cute coming from this quiet little lady.  I am going to have to really watch myself with her!  She will be a holy terror if I don't discipline when needed :)

We are madly in love with our sweet Madelynn Grace!  Happy Birthday baby girl! 

(Sorry for another post with no pictures.  I cannot upload pictures to my blog right now.  If anyone knows anything about blogs please tell me if something is going on with blogger in general or if it's something I'm doing wrong!  It's driving me crazy!  I really want to keep up on my blog and can't when I can't get pictures on here.  I still need to go all the way back to Christmas.)


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Carter!

Our boy turned four yesterday!  It amazes me that it has been four years already since this amazing little man came into our lives.  He is a true blessing.  I have never felt this kind of love.  This is a love that only a parent can understand.  Every year and every phase with our Carter man is amazing but it also makes me extremely sad when I think about how fast he is growing up.  I miss holding that precious newborn baby boy.  I miss those mornings when it was just him and I home alone and I would give him a bath in the kitchen sink every single know because I was a first time mom and thought he needed a bath seven days a week, 365 days a year.  Ha!  Poor Madelynn!  I miss the nights that we would just snuggle in his rocking chair in the middle of the night when he wasn't wanting to sleep in his crib but would gladly sleep on me.  I miss when he called elbows "belbow" and amen was "ameeen."  I miss the days when he was still a baby and a toddler but I LOVE these days so much too!  He is changing so much and so fast and I really do love it all.  But I miss those early days too. 

Carter is funny, spunky and stubborn.  He is extremely funny and loves to make us laugh.  He is always asking us to watch him so that he can do something silly that he thinks will get us rolling!  He is obsessed with all things trucks, construction, fire, ambulance, police, cars, etc.  Seriously, obsessed!  He is always playing that he is a fireman putting out a fire and that he is going to rescue me.  He tells me almost every day "mama, you can't go in the kitchen right now because there is a fire that I need to put out."  Or he plays that he is a police man and he is going to take care of the bad guy.  Today (and many other times in the last few months) we had this conversation..."mama, I want to be two things when I grow up...a construction worker and a garbage truck driver.  Oh, and a fire truck driver.  So that is three things.  And a police man.  So that is four things I want to be when I grow up."  Seriously, this is one of my favorite conversations to have with him because he wants to be so many things when he grows up!  He often says truck driver and ambulance man too.  He has dreams and I love it!  And I think it is adorable that being a garbage truck driver is so fascinating to him and something he strives for.  Precious.  He has an imagination that melts me.  He is very creative in his play and comes up with the best ideas and most fascinating stories.  He is great at playing alone and can create a whole story with multiple people involved all by himself.  He has always been great at playing alone which I am thankful for.  This gives me some time to get things done.  He loves playing with his friends too and will take anyone willing to jump into his imagination with him.  Especially his buddy Owen.  Oh my, these two are two peas in a pod.  We had Owen over for a play date recently and they both put on construction hats and had flashlights and pretended they were going out on a hiking adventure.  It was awesome. 

My little blond haired blue eyed kid is also extremely stubborn.  I would say that his year of being three was way harder than his year of being two.  He has an opinion about everything and doesn't always have the maturity to express his opinions in the most kind or appropriate manner.  We are working on that and we often see great improvement.  Other days we feel like we are failing as parents.  Isn't parenting about that most days?  Great highs and sometimes some really low lows.  It is nice that he is older now because we can reason with him a lot more now and explain why a behavior or a choice is not okay.  He understands things now.  That doesn't always change his behavior but we hope and pray it will eventually sink in and be a growth in progress.  We are always talking to him about talking kindly no matter how upset he is about something...this typically is an issue with his sister.  Having a little sister to get in his stuff is hard!  And also an amazing opportunity for him to learn great life lessons and grow so much.  He absolutely loves his sister but they still fight like siblings do.  Again, we continue to work on that.

He is about 39 pounds which means we are really close to switching his car seat to a booster seat.  He does know how to buckle himself in with the five point harness though which has been nice for us.  He is very independent now and gets himself fully dressed everyday often even picking out his own clothes.  He puts his own shoes on, brushes his teeth (with a quick finish off by us to get all the nooks and crannies), he gets his own snacks out of the fridge and cupboards and even helps Madelynn do things when she needs something.  It has been a joy watching him become independent and enjoy doing things for himself.  He was potty trained right before his third birthday and was even completely potty trained at night just a couple months after.  We have been beyond blessed with how easy he was to potty train.  Such a blessing!  He still loves his blankie and needs it every time he gets hurt or goes to bed.  He is basically done with naps :(  This was a hard transition for me because nap time was when I did my homework.  However, bed time was becoming quite awful at night when he did nap during the day and we decided that just wasn't worth it anymore.  As soon as we cut out naps, he was a dream going to bed!  Bedtime at 7 and he was asleep within minutes.  He stopped coming out to the living room 20 times and would actually stay in his bed.  Miracle!  And totally worth giving up naps for!  He still does quiet time but it looks different everyday depending on his mood, his behavior, and what I need to do that day.  Sometimes he does quiet time on his bed with books or a couple cars, sometimes on my bed watching a movie, sometimes in his room just playing quietly or sometimes snuggling on the couch with me and a movie.  I am so thankful for the 7pm bedtime and that he sleeps until 8:30 most mornings!  If he goes to bed later he sleeps in even later!  It's fantastic.  His favorite food is still mac and cheese and his new favorite cartoon is Paw Patrol and Walikazam. 

He did swim lessons this year, started preschool this year and started cubbies at church this year.  It was a big year for him!  He is a good friend but often struggles sharing his toys.  He loves having play dates with his friends and even had one over for our first play date without the friends mommy.  They did really well!  He is memorizing Bible verses every week for Cubbies which makes me so happy.  He cares about people and will pray for someone randomly if he knows something sad is happening.  He has a sweet soul. 

Carter man...
You make us so incredibly happy.  We are blessed to be your mama and daddy.  I know we make mistakes sometimes but you are the first to forgive if we ask for forgiveness.  You have a sweet spirit and yet a spunky wild side as well.  You melt my heart faster than I knew was even possible.  When you look at me and sweetly say mama because you missed me I am instantly brought to tears.  We are so thankful for you buddy!  We are proud of you and who you are becoming and we know that God has incredible plans for your life.  These have been the best four years of our lives!  We thank God for you everyday!
Love, mama and daddy.

Monday, January 6, 2014

November Fun

Crazy hair night at Cubbies...both kids had fun with this!

Madelynn has some I had to try a pony.  It didn't stay in longer than a couple seconds but it was still fun.

Carter had a Thanksgiving party at preschool and we signed up to bring the dessert.  So we made little turkeys out of candy and cookies.  Carter loved helping me make them and stayed until every last one was made.  It was some fun mommy/Carter time.

We stayed for the Thanksgiving party and really enjoyed watching Carter interact and learn.  We are so happy with his preschool!

Mixing the cornbread batter for the Thanksgiving feast.

We need to work with him on cutting.  We actually gave him his own pair of scissors in his stocking for Christmas so that we could start helping him learn how to cut.  I guess I should get on that...

Playing a fun game at his party.

Show and tell...
He was supposed to bring something he was thankful for (like a picture of someone).  He brought a picture of him and Max and Emma (our kitties).  Emma died the day after we took the picture of them with Carter.

Madelynn even got to enjoy the Thanksgiving feast.

These two were working so hard together and drawing pictures.  It was a sweet moment between the two of them.

For Christmas we painted some pieces from Create A Memory downtown and gave them to the four Grandma's.  The kids did really well.  I only snapped two pictures.  This one was a Christmas tree that Carter chose for Grandma with tractors (Jay's stepmom in Iowa).  I got so busy helping them paint and keeping the paint where it was suppose to be there I forgot to take anymore pictures :(  Fail.

More swim lessons...we did a lot more lessons during the fall.

Helping daddy hang Grandma's Christmas lights on Thanksgiving...and giving mommy a heart attack.

Silly face on Thanksgiving...another fail.  I only took a couple pictures on Thanksgiving.  We had dinner at my mom's this year with some of the family on her side.  It was a nice afternoon...and then we went shopping late that night.  We were able to have my cousin Carrie stay with the kids while they slept and Jay, Craig, and I shopped till about midnight.  It was fun and we got some great deals for Christmas presents!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas Family Photo Shoot

This year our friend Ashley took our family pictures.  We have so many talented friends and are thankful they are willing to take pictures of us.  It isn't always a simple task ;)

Friday, January 3, 2014

19, 20, and 21 Months!

Wow!  I got really behind on Madelynn's monthly blog posts.  So here is a catch up!  Just three more after this before she turns two.  Crazy!

Our Madelynn Grace...
She is this crazy combination of sweet, quiet and sensitive and silly, spunky, sassy, and stubborn.  It often confuses me.  She has caught the hearts of so many people at church because she goes to just about anyone, loves to snuggle with them in the nursery, loves to be read to by them in the nursery, and is just quiet and sweet.  And yet she has days at home where she is sassy to her mama, squeals at her brother when he takes something from her, and tells her mama no way too often!  She's a tricky little thing.  Even when she is being sassy though she is incredibly cute and sweet.  She is a funny little girl.

Some of the basics...
She is still super petite.  At her 18 month appointment she weighed 19 pounds which put her in the 10th percentile.  That is the highest percentile she has ever had :)  We have not weighed her since then.  She eats great, loves having a snack, loves her big blankie, little blankie, baby doll, and Minnie Mouse and insists on sleeping with those four items and those four only every nap and every night.  She goes to be about 7 and sleeps till around 8 every night.  Quite the change from her first nine months of life.  She takes one nap a day which can be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half (not the best napper lately).  She wears 12 month clothes still but is starting to fit in 18 month clothes as well.  She is also still in a size three diaper. 

She seems to love music.  She walks around the house quietly singing all the time.  She also loves to dance.  When she hears anything that sounds anything like music she starts to move.  She has this one move that is classic Madelynn.  Her arms go up in the air, one higher up than the other and they start moving while she bounces up and down.  I must get it on video soon!

She has days where she is happy and content all day just playing with us and her brother.  She has other days where she wants to be held ALL DAY LONG.  I can't figure it out.  The last few days have been a bit rough so I am hoping that it means she is teething.  I want an explanation for her clinginess and crankiness. 

So far she is a perfect combination of a girly girl and a girl who loves all things cars and trucks.  She loves jewelry, my makeup, putting clothes on, wearing shoes, picking out her clothes and shoes, all things baby doll and pink.  However, she also loves playing with Carter's trucks and cars and driving them all over the house.  Basically if her brother loves something, she loves it.  She loves her brother so much!  She lights up for him more than even me.  He makes her day when he says "hi, Mady" in his sweet soft voice.  She loves to snuggle with him on the couch and watch cartoons.  She is always crankier and needy when he isn't here.  He walks in the door, she lights up and wants to play with him.  It really amazes me.  I pray all the time that this relationship will continue and they will be best friends forever.  Don't get me wrong...they have their bad moments too!  They fight and get mad at each other too...usually this just happens when Carter takes something from her (which happens far too often!) She follows him around the house all day long and loves to mimic him. 

She is obsessed with her grandparents and could spend every waking moment with any one of them.  She is sweet to people and makes them feel special.  She gets very shy around new people but will go to them if I hand her off.  She has fallen for a few different people at church and will reach out for them or go to them quickly if they ask her too.  It's pretty sweet.  She has a sweet soul. 

She is still very quiet...verbally.  She isn't saying much yet.  She does say mama, dada, me, no, uh huh, doll, baby, bye, more (just started tonight), and will repeat some things if we are lucky.  A few weeks ago in the car, Carter was trying to get her to say the colors.  He would ask her to say brown and she would say it.  She said five or six different colors after Carter told her what to say.  She hasn't done it since but I know she is capable of saying so much more than she lets on!  Someday she will talk.  She is able to communicate amazingly well though.  She tells us everything she needs by pointing to things and answering yes or no to our questions.  She understands so much too.  She understands almost everything we ask her to do or talk to her about.  I am not the least bit worried about her!  She slept late (meaning she didn't sleep for the first nine months), she walked late, and now she will talk when she feels like it.  That would be the stubborn streak that I was talking about earlier. She is also great at animal sounds and can say many of them!  She loves animals too...real and stuffed!

Right now she is 100% a daddy's girl.  This girl seriously LOVES her daddy right now and wants him almost all of the time if he is home.  If he isn't home she settles for me but if he is she wants him most of the time.  It's pretty sweet.  I will admit my feelings have been hurt a couple times but I am so thankful for a little girl who loves her daddy.  I pray that she will watch her daddy and how he treats his girls and understand how she should be treated by a man someday.

My Mady girl...
We love you so much!  I feel blessed beyond belief to have the privilege of being your mama.  There is no greater gift!  You are an amazing little lady with so much joy!  You are a special gift to us and anyone who gets to be around you.  Love you baby girl!

Here are a few pictures of our girl...
Carter had crazy hair night at Cubbies and Madelynn wanted crazy hair too.  She would not stop whining and pointing to her hair until we did it too.  She cracks me up!

She has hair!!!  I had to try a pony.  It didn't stay in very well but there is actually enough hair to try it now.  Very excited about this!  She was bald forever :)

Stylin' in her pink boots...

She got to come to Carter's Thanksgiving party at preschool and just fit right in.  She loves being a part of everything Carter was doing.

Super silly girl!  Special dinner on the couch together.  Carter looks sick but he wasn't...just very zoned on the TV.  They never get to eat dinner on the couch or watch TV while eating but Jay was working, I was being lazy, and I thought they would love it.  They did!

My silly girl!