Tag Archives: Birthdays

Happy 3rd Birthday, Madeleine!

3 Years Old!!!

Here is Madeleine’s 3 year birthday post!!! I am always so shocked by how quickly she grows and how quickly these big milestones arrive. Three. I still can’t quite wrap my mind around the idea that my little baby girl is 3.

You might remember this post announcing Madeleine’s birth. The many different things that we’ve gone through since she entered our lives is simply remarkable. 🙂 In one way, the 3 years absolutely flew by. In another, I cannot believe that the tiny baby in those other photos is the same girl that I see before me today.  We, as a family, have been through so much – it is so rewarding to come out on the other end and see how amazingly she is growing and becoming her own person. Although, she had very strong opinions from the day she was born, the opinions have become even more emphatic now as she has become even more verbal.

I don’t have a size update that’s any more current than last month for her MRI visit at the hospital. She is just shy of 32 lbs (according to our home scale) and last month she was about 3 feet tall. I am taking her to the doctor on the 23rd, so should have an update after that!

Things we’ve done this year:

  • Switched her from her old daycare to her new school, which she is really enjoying!
  • Upgraded to a “big girl bed”.
  • Our first big family trip to Hawaii – it was a first for Alex, too. I still need to post about this, at some point.
  • She learned to ride a bike with training wheels.
  • We are officially completely potty trained!! Is there still an accident on occasion? Sure. But about 98% of the time, she makes it to the toilet.
  • We had our first trip to Canada! Her first ever border crossing.
  • Her vocabulary has exploded and the things that come out of her mouth take us by surprise on a daily basis – in a good way
  • She is running around like crazy. Jumping off of things, climbing things, dancing, singing and living life to the fullest!
  • She had her first hair cut about 6 weeks ago to even it out. With the chemo, it all grew in at exactly the same length. It seems like that’d work well, but it was a lot shorter in front and then got much longer in back.
  • She has learned to swim and absolutely adores jumping off the ledge at the pool.
  • She is recognizing people, remembering them even if she hasn’t seen them in a while and knows who they are.
  • We have moved from “kiddie” toys to more big girl toys. She loves to “write” in her composition book, put puzzles together, play dress up, play with make-up, do art projects, help cook, take care of baby dolls, etc. She even brings the kitty toys to the kitty so she can play with it.
  • Pretend play is in full swing. We have an extra kitty around the house about 30% of the time. 🙂
  • She likes to help clean up, brush her own teeth, wash her own body and put on her own clothes. She is very independent and strong willed.
  • We’ve reached temper tantrums. They are not like the typical tantrums, however. When she is upset with what she has been told, she literally flings herself onto the floor onto her tummy, folds her hands together and buries her head on them while saying something like “I don’t want to take a nap!” LOL! Alex and I often find ourselves trying to not laugh because it is really pretty cute and funny.
  • She’s made new friends at her new school and is a very sweet girl to her friends.
  • In about a week she will start transitioning to her new classroom! Crazy!! Her new classroom will be a preschool room. She tells us that she’s going to go to preschool with all of the big kids. That’s right!! She’s officially going to be a big kid. I am both proud and sad at the same time.
  • Started going to movies at the theater. We’ve been a couple of times with her and she thinks it is super fun.

I’m sure there is more that has gone on this year, but I honestly cannot remember it all and I have been awful about blogging so I don’t have it documented.

As has been the case for the last couple of years, Madeleine just keeps stretching out longer and slimming down like a bigger kid. She looks more grown up all of the time.  With as active as she is, it’s no big surprise.

So, I’ll get to posting the rest of the photos now. She’s had a great year and I am so proud to be her mama. I do my best to tell her that often, and now she said “you proud of me, mama??” 😀

Outtakes from the photo shoot earlier today:

What’s outside? No, I will not look at you. Or smile. I don’t want to!! (That is literally what she was saying to me. Can you say Diva?)

How’s this face?

Standing Up!

I don’t want to! I all done!!

So we took off the skirt and moved to her smaller rocking chair.

The head tilt is a bit extreme. LOL!!

Slightly less extreme head tilt. That’ll work!!

Happy 3rd Birthday, sweet girl!!

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Happy 3rd Birthday Party, Madeleine!

Happy 3rd Birthday to our baby girl! She is already 3 – My goodness, time really flies! My mom seems to be making a tradition out of flying out to Seattle to visit on Madeleine’s birthdays, and this year was no different. 🙂 

It is such a joy to see Madeleine growing up and learning every day! She is such a big girl with a very clear idea of what she likes, wants, dislikes, doesn’t want.  And, since this is her first big birthday party and the first one that she will probably remember – I let her be a big  part of deciding what she wanted for her party.  Her decision? “Butterflies! And purple!”

Again: Since it’s her first “real” party (the first year she couldn’t have other kids there because of the chemo, and then 2nd year she was recovering from major surgery) I went a little bit crazy and fear I may have set the bar for future parties way too high.  I really wanted her to have an amazing time and I was so excited to see her play with her little friends and enjoy herself. 😀 So, once I had her theme, I was off!! I chose an accent color of teal to go with the purple because I thought it would keep the colors young and cute for a 3 year old.

I began by pinning a bunch of ideas to a board on Pinterest and then officially started by making custom invitations on Vistaprint to send to our friends and family.  Then, I began calling around for party locations, cake costs, etc. Madeleine got to help choose the cake flavor by taste testing several mini-cupcakes with different flavors. She went to the party store and helped me pick out decorations and put them in the basket. She was quite a good helper and was thrilled to do it. In fact, she even helped me shop for her birthday presents. Haha! I always do that because at least I then know it’s something she wants.

We have been heavily planning for about a month and Madeleine had been asking about going to her birthday party for that same amount of time! She was beyond excited.

Once I decided on a venue, I went to meet with the party coordinator for that location and selected balloon colors, clarified what I would do vs. them and continued refining details. One of the things I really wanted was a beautiful cake/dessert table for her. I saw a number of them on the internet while doing my search and was really excited to put hers together.  I had a cake and mini-cupcakes custom made (by my former boss! :D) to match the theme. I made Madeleine cookies at home and had some to put out on the table, but also used them to put in mini-food bags for guests to take home. I had a little mini candy bar out with theme colored candies. It was pretty fun!!

For her attire, I found some things online and B was kind enough to make her a color coordinated tutu to wear with it! Unfortunately, M was feeling a bit finicky and refused to put on the same skirt she had been asking for non-stop a couple of days prior. Oye! I did manage to snap some pretty adorable photos of her in the skirt for her 3 year photo shoot, though. Stay tuned for that post.

Overally, the party was a great success! The kids had a fantastic time, from what I could see, and Madeleine was thrilled to see everyone. 🙂 We hired a music instructor to play music games with the kids. This was a great way to engage the kids with something cute and fun and Madeleine had the biggest smiles during this part. At the end, we finished with a nice song and turned out the lights. Then we used flashlights to create stars on the ceiling (and then also the floor). In fact, when I asked Madeleine what her favorite part was she said “the lights on the ceiling and the floor!!”

Now I’ll get on with it and post photos. Thank you to all of those who came to the party to celebrate with us!!

The kid’s table

 

Cake table from afar!
 

Cake close-up with mini-cupcakes on mini-cupcake stands. Also take notice of the butterfly glitter on the table. hehe!
 

Checkin’ out her cake table. She could barely keep her hands off of all the goodies!
 

Ready to start the music time!
 

The kids getting Maracas!
 

We needed to make sure daddy had a maraca, too!

Ribbons!!

The kids sat down for dinner. 🙂

Pizza was a hit!

So cute

Madeleine and her “little buddy” James. She met James at her former school before we had to switch facilities and she adores him sooo much and specifically asked if he could come to her party. She grinned SO big when she saw him again. They fell right into step just like they were when she was still at school there.

Trying to wrangle the kids into a group photo proved more challenging than one might think. The kids were all far too distracted by all the treats on the table. haha!

The “best” with everyone in it.

 

Smile!

Singing happy birthday before she blew out the candles!!!

Mmmm – cupcake time!

Hope you enjoyed the photos!!! There are tons more, but it’d be a bit much to post every photo. 🙂

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Madeleine’s 2nd Birthday

Seeing as how Madeleine’s major surgery was so close to her birthday, my plans for an elaborate birthday party this year were foiled. Doh! So, instead, we had a small brunch with just a few folks.  My parents had planned a trip out to Seattle for the weekend before her birthday before the surgery, so once we knew about the surgery and her inability to go to daycare for a while my mom extended the trip on both ends so she could help out. But this meant that my dad would fly out for only a couple of days in the middle of my mom’s trip. I know, confusing! LOL!

And thanks to the distraction of the surgery and recovery, I was literally planning it the day before.  Oye! And here are the photos. 🙂

For our BIG girl!! 2 Candles 🙂

Cupcakes for the party go-ers

Us with my parents. And no, she never stands still for photos. Haha!

Say a big welcome to our party guests:

Grandparents

More Grandparents

Bri and Paul

Bri and D!

One present was very difficult to wrap:

What is this?!?!?

Later in the afternoon, though, she got the hang of it and insisted on driving it all the way to the car. ((don't worry, we surrounded her on all sides to make sure there were no parking lot accidents))

And after brunch, it was time to open presents! She really had the hang of this this year.

A super Giant Card! She was amused by this.

Ripping the paper! Whoo!

What could possibly be next, but cake! And since it was brunch, I just did cupcakes. 10 am is too early for a full fledged cake.

Someone was nervous about the flame.

BLOW!

Ta da!!!

Yum! And this was the only bite she took. Ha! Not a sweets girl.

Thanks to those who were able to come celebrate with us!  Madeleine had a great time. And next year will have to be a big bash, planned well in advance, where she can run and romp and play.

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2 years old – What’s happening?

2 Years Old!

Happy 2nd Birthday to our little girl! She’s no longer our baby – and is officially a little girl. Crazy how fast time flies. Apologies for the delayed birthday post. Between her surgery and my mom’s visit and then getting caught up at work and Halloween, it’s been a bit of a whirl wind! 🙂

We haven’t gotten in yet for her 2 year check up. We have it scheduled for a couple of weeks from now.  I need to stop referring people to M’s pediatrician! When I scheduled it he was scheduled a month and a half  out. Geez! That has never happened before – but the scheduler said he’s one of the really popular ones. I’m not surprised, he’s really great.

I do, however, have stats for her since she went to the doctor on her birthday for her eye surgery follow-up and on the 20th for her post-op from the most recent tumor re-section surgery. She was 24.6 lbs after the surgery. She lost about a pound and a half from the surgery, which isn’t surprising. She hardly ate at all for nearly a week, but I think she’s probably re-gained that by now. She’s about 33.5″ inches tall (I believe that’s what it was…I know it was 33.something…). It’s the first time they’ve measured her standing up instead of laying down! If the “double your height at 2″ trick works for her, she’ll be nearly 5′ 7”. I guess she’s not taking after her mommy with the petite jeans! Haha.

What has she accomplished developmentally at this point? A lot!!

  • She has become quite the chatterbox. We hear lots of 3 word phrases and even some 4 word phrases. Things like “kitty doing here??” (what’s kitty doing here) “Brush teeth now” “wonn a wosie song?” (Ring around the Rosie Song) “Tiger says grrrrrrr” “Go dowtairs watch Mickey” (Go downstairs and watch Mickey) “Birdie fwy in cwouds” (Birdies fly in the clouds)
  • Along with words comes counting. She is pretty amazing, if I do say so myself! She can count from 1-10, sometimes going to 11 and 12. We haven’t made it to the teens, yet. She’s been doing that for the last 2 months. September 3rd, to be exact. How do I know that? We were at my friend’s wedding reception and M just started counting. 🙂 Now she loves to count everything! And she can identify numbers visually, too. From 1-10.
  • We’re also working a lot on letters. She’s not identifying  very many of them, but she is quite comfortable with the ABC’s and we sing them often. When I say “we”, I mean, she actually sings along with me. 😀 It’s pretty darling.
  • Next comes singing. We sing, a lot! And she’s learning words to songs. For example: Her teachers sing a certain song to her. She came home one day and started singing it and making hand motions and we had no idea what she was doing! We didn’t know where she came up with it until we asked her teachers, but she now calls it the Farah Song. That’s her lead teacher’s name. 🙂 She also loves to sing Ring Around the Rosie and does the little dance/motions that go with that one as well. The Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (aka: wonn a wosie song), Daddy’s froggy song (aka: Froggy Song), The Marine Corps Hymn (aka:Daddy’s song), The Star Spangled Banner (aka: Pretty song).
  • Her world of animated movies has expanded greatly since her hospital stay. They kept her entertained when she couldn’t be active like she normally is. Shrek and Tangled are her two favorites. She used to call Shrek the “Donkey movie” but now she asks for it by name. Tangled is still the “horsie movie”, however. Rio is another one she enjoys a lot, it’s known as the “Birdie movie”. We don’t watch anywhere near as much as we did when she was post-op, but we will generally have movie time on a Saturday or Sunday where she gets to pick one to watch.
  • Mickey is still a huge obsession!! I let her watch an episode in the mornings before daycare while I’m gathering all of her things and getting her lunch put together for daycare. She can name all of the characters and sing the different songs.
  • Books are still #1 in this house, in terms of repeated activity. They are in basically every room in the house and she reads them constantly. In fact, she has so many books that her book bin and shelves are overflowing. I need to come up with a better storage solution. She reads them to herself, though, if I’m busy. It’s quite cute to listen to her ramble on about what she sees on each page.
  • She is learning about different animals and has all of their sounds pretty much mastered. She’s also learning about all sorts of different fruits and vegetables and what they look like/are called. We have been teaching her how to pick up after herself and how to take off her own shoes and put them on the shoe rack herself.  She also is quite good at identifying colors and shapes and has gone from not knowing quite what to do with some of her puzzles to being a master at them.
  • The kitty is still her BFF. She loves to let the kitty in the house in the morning (kitty sleeps in the garage so she doesn’t keep us all awake at night) and she’s very good at being gentle with her these days. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t still get excited and squeal and shriek and chase her around…none of which Calliope is too fond of. She’s even got her name down “Kai-pee”. 😀
  • In the last 6 months she began daycare and is thriving. It has really shown what a sweet disposition she has. Other kids will be mean to her, take her toys, push her, whatever and she doesn’t retaliate. She’ll get upset, but she doesn’t retaliate. It makes me a little mad on the one hand, because I don’t want other kids to pick on her. But on the other it makes me proud that she is such a sweet girl. I foresee needing to teach her to stand up for herself a bit in the future.
  • Her days at daycare are full of different activities. Today was picture day! She’s also been to an “Assembly” at which the Reptile Man did a show. She goes for walks, plays outside every day, does art projects, has singing time, reads, etc.
  • Her “redhead” personality is still in full force. She is quite stubborn and will freak out if she doesn’t get what she wants when she wants it. For example, when I am getting her out of the car to walk up to her class, she will ask to walk, and if I’m running late and try to carry her so I can hurry – screaming ensues. LOL! Generally I try not to do that, but sometimes it’s necessary.
  • As time goes on, she’s getting more and more snuggly. It is so awesome! I think it’s one thing to be snuggly as a newborn, but to have a little toddler that wants to snuggle with you and to know they mean it – that is awesome. I love her little hugs and kisses. In fact, in the hospital she couldn’t get enough of them – more than likely because she felt crummy, but she would grab my head with her little hands and pull it in towards her to get hugs and kisses.
  • We have been gradually introducing her to the potty. She sits on it in the evenings before bath time, and sometimes now she asks during the day. Daycare is gradually introducing it as well – offering her the potty and letting her try. So far she has had a number of successful attempts with us here at home, but none at daycare. In fact, Alex thought that he’d try this weekend to see how she would do if he put her in her Minnie Mouse undies. It went horribly with no successful attempts on the potty and she didn’t seem that interested in trying, so we know she’s not ready to try full time, but at least now we know. We’ll try again in a month or so to see if she’s more ready, then. But she is telling us when she’s gone and she does know what the potty is and what it’s for. So…we’ll see!
  • She is learning self-care. She rubs shampoo around on her hair and soap on her body during bath time. She’s also brushes her teeth and has a little stool at the sink which she stands on to get water on her toothbrush. Of course, I still have to help her with all of these things to make sure they’re correctly taken care of, but it’s fun to see her attempt and learn. Now she tells me that it’s time to brush her teeth, go potty and take a bath. 🙂
  • We’re finally seeming to be back on track after her surgery with regard to sleep. I’m hoping that continues! We may even have to push her bed time back, because the earlier I put her to bed at night, the earlier she wakes up. And when I’ve put her to bed about 1/2 an hour to an hour later, she seems to sleep until a more normal/reasonable time. When I’ve been putting her to bed at her normal 7:30, she seems to be getting up way too early (think 4-5 am early).
  • Madeleine is getting better with her manners. She knows to say please and thank you, although generally needs to be prompted because she doesn’t say it the first time. Right now we’re working on saying excuse me after any…gaseous emissions. She’s starting to get the hang of that, too. In fact, she said excuse me the other day when something was in her way while she tried to push her little grocery cart around the house.
  • She’s getting to a point where she remembers people that aren’t every day people for her. That’s pretty exciting. 🙂 For example, Uncle Paul came up and spent a couple of days with us and after he’d left, she kept asking about him. She always seems to be drawn to those that don’t gush over her. She likes people who play hard to get! Haha!
  • In terms of things we’ve been doing as a family – she got to visit the pumpkin patch for Halloween (more on that in a later post), she had a long visit from my mom after her surgery since I needed help so that I could work effectively from home while she was recovering. More on that in another post. Alex has taken her to the boats at Bellevue Square. For those not from the area, these are in a children’s play area at the mall that kids can climb and play in. We have gone berry picking, taken a trip to the Puyallup Fair and for mommy daughter pedicures. But mostly, we’ve just been busy with work, daycare, surgery, doctor’s visits and trying to get back on schedule and some sleep.
Now, for some additional photos. A friend had this shirt made for her. Isn’t it cute? And sparkly!! She loves sparkles – such a girl.

Whaaa? You want me to look at the camera??

And now, for some close-ups:

Still reading

Look at those pretty eyes!

You want me to do what?? Smile? Huh!

"Away!"

"You, pink Bear, you stay right there!"

 

I love this picture, because it's such a classic Madeleine face.

Hangin' out post-op.

I love this little outfit.

Ready to play outside!

One of her many birthday gifts. 🙂 She loves that thing!

Her cutie little rain jacket! 🙂 Out for a walk.

Ready to brush her teeth!

Time for mommy to help!

At the fair, checking out a fire truck!

Petting the miniature horses at the fair

"Cow say moooo!"

Hope you enjoyed! 🙂 I’ll try to catch up on posting about the last month or so.

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Happy 2nd Birthday!!

Dear Madeleine,

2 years ago I was a very scared mama, in the hospital while you were making one heck of a dramatic entrance. I should have known at that point that you’d have the fiery personality of the little red head that you are. 😀 Once you arrived, it was like nothing else mattered but making sure you were ok.

Today, you turned 2. It’s amazing that it’s been 2 years since that morning in the hospital. I think of the tiny, helpless little baby that you were. So little and sweet. I remember your first giggles. The first time you smiled at me and it lit up my entire day. Taking you for walks in your stroller. Seeing your dad get wrapped more and more tightly around your little finger as each day passes. The first time you rolled over and your first “real” food. The first trip we took as a family, your first Christmas and holiday season. Celebrating each month and each milestone as they came. Watching you learn to walk, learn to speak and telling us which animal makes which sounds. We have had so many firsts and so many amazing memories already, in your 2 years of life.

And then, my world was shattered on July 23rd, 2010. My sweet baby girl was diagnosed with cancer. You had lost all strength from the torso down and we were eventually told you would probably never walk. We started your chemo. Had your surgery to have your port implanted. Biopsies were taken and you started physical therapy. Not all in that order, but it was a whirlwind of blood tests and doctor’s visits with several different specialists. All I could do was focus on each day. Each hour. Each minute. Which appointment was next and when did you need your next dose of which medication? I was so sleep deprived I literally kept medication logs and notes of when you slept last and for how long so I would know when to put you down for a nap again and when to give you your next dose of each type of medicine. But I was ready. Ready to fight.

I have never felt so helpless, but also so determined in my entire life. It was my job to fight for you. To be your voice, since you didn’t have the ability to tell us what was going on. And speak I did. I called those doctors all the time. Your oncologist just loves to tease me about that! I asked so many questions. I fought. I fought for you. Because I knew then, just as I know now, that you deserve the chance to walk and run and play like every other child. I cannot even explain to you how incredibly in awe I am that everything has worked out in the way that it has. You are our miracle baby. You are so determined. You are so amazingly strong. You are so resilient.  You bounce back from everything as though nothing ever happened. Even this last surgery – we’re only 2 weeks out and you are already running around again, playing and acting as though nothing has happened – except when you see your incision and tell me about your boo boos.

Because of you, your daddy and I have a whole new appreciation for life. For health and happiness. We know who our true friends are. Who truly supports us and who is just here for the attention that a family or friend with cancer brings. It’s brought a whole new clarity to our lives about what is really important and who is really there for us at the end of the day. Because of you, we’ve seen who we can trust.

On this, your birthday, I want you to know how incredibly special you are. You are the light in our lives and always know how to bring a smile to our faces. So fun to be around, so funny, so smart and so sweet.  Really, I could not ask for a better child. 🙂 So – Happy 2nd Birthday! I hope you had a great day, and I hope you forever know how much we love and adore you. We are so incredibly grateful for your amazing outcome from your treatments and we cannot be happier to watch you walk, run and play every single day.

Keep learning, keep loving and keep being the sweet, amazing girl that you are! You have a strength and stubbornness about you that is so difficult to find. It will serve you well – it already has!

Love you so much,

Mommy

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A Year and a Half

18 Months!

We have reached Madeleine’s half birthday! Amazing.

She has had a lot going on this month with doctor’s appointments, including her 18 month well-child check-up with her regular pediatrician.  According to their measurements she was 22lbs 8oz (unclothed. She was clothed in her last weight check at hem-onc) so she still hasn’t really gained much of any weight since the whole steroid crazy weight gain. She also somehow shrank by half an inch. (I kid, I kid). Length is notoriously inaccurate at this age. They measured her at 31″ in length, but she was 31.5″ at hem-onc a couple of weeks ago. Both of her measurements put her in the 25-50%, which is great. That means she’s well-proportioned and Dr. George was quite happy with that.

After going over all of her “what is she doing now” type questions, she is right on the mark, if not advanced, developmentally. Most notably, we discussed that her movement is catching up to where she should be because SHE’S WALKING NOW!!! (I know, I can’t get over it). She even walked for Dr. George, which he loved. He also mentioned that her language development is quite a bit above where a lot of kids are for 18 months. He said that normally 2 word phrases don’t start until age 2, but she already has a couple of them. It’s exciting to know that she’s ahead of schedule in this area, because I was worried for a while that there’d be some learning delays from all her time in the hospital.

The other noteworthy thing that happened at this appointment was: Vaccines! Since she is able to finally get her vaccines for the first time since she was 9 months old, we went ahead and got her all caught up. Dr. George said his max. is normally 5 shots, and that’s how many she was due for. It ended up being immunizations for like 9 or 10 different things, but only 5 pokes. She was pretty miserable for the next day or so, but has fully recovered now.

What else has happened for her during her 17th month?

  • She is now WALKING!!!! Yup, I know you know that already, but it is so huge, I figured it should be first on the list.
  • In terms of movement, she is also doing some other new things. She is knee walking. I assume she does this because she feels more comfortable with that than with always walking, since she’s still fairly unsteady on her feet.
  • She is also doing this crazy hand/feet walking. Imagine she has her bottom up in the air and her arms and legs are fully extended. Then she proceeds to walk on her hands and feet forward to whatever she is trying to reach. I call it her crab walk.
  • Thanks to her increasing height and mobility, she is now into EVERYTHING. Even things that were previously too tall of her to reach, she is getting in to. Like the TV console. She can now reach over the gate and pulls stuff off of it. Remotes, my glasses. Water glasses. I am running out of hiding places for things that she can’t get! She’s also into the little tray on our entry table, pulling my keys out constantly to play with. Not so great when you’re trying to leave the house and cannot find your keys! But she thinks it’s fantastic.
  • Her vocabulary is expanding every day. I have 50 words in her word list, but I know that I am missing some because she says new ones every day. I would guess that she’s got closer to 60 or 65 words. Compared to last month, she has more than doubled her words! Just yesterday she started saying bunny (we have a wild bunny who hangs out in our back yard/our neighbor’s back yard eating plants and grass). She also just started saying “binky” tonight. And she is getting much better at pronouncing the words. Bath now has a very clear “th” sound on the end. Bye has a very clear “eye” sound on the end, instead it used to just be “ba”, for example.
  • I bought her a number of different puzzles and “mind exercise” type games this month. She is already getting much better at them! Things include stacking wooden shapes on different numbers of pegs, fitting shapes into wooden cut-out puzzles, and stacking rings.
  • Musicality is a force to be reckoned with in this house, too. She has a mini-piano, wooden drum and wooden xylophone. She loves all three and plays them regularly.
  • We’re still doing well with her appetite and eating new things. Her most recent addition to her diet is brussel sprouts. She loves them, which I was a little bit shocked by. But she often surprises me with what she likes and dislikes. Her daddy also fed her Kimchee the other night. For those of you that aren’t aware of what this food is, it’s pickled cabbage slathered in red hot chili pepper sauce. Yes, you read that right. But Madeleine adores it. She gobbles it down. And yes, daddy gets to change those diapers the next day! EW.
  • Reading continues to be quite fun for her. She is very good at pointing things out in her books and has even learned the word “mouse” from Goodnight Moon.
  • Madeleine got to go down to Olympia and see Alex’s family for his brother’s birthday dinner. She really enjoyed that and they all got a kick out of being able to see her walk.
  • We also had Alex’s mom up to visit this past month, so she got to spend some time with Madeleine as well.
  • Coloring is super fun for her now. When we go out to eat and she sees the crayons, she even says “color! color!”
  • We are slowly introducing the potty to her. And by slowly I mean, if I need to go to the bathroom I’ll sit her on the potty (clothed) while I sit on the big potty, just to get her used to seeing it.
  • She is currently cutting her 11th and 12th teeth. Molars on the top. This has made for a miserable week with a very fussy, very tired baby. Especially in combination with her cold remnants. She is not sleeping well at night and has fallen asleep on me while we’re downstairs playing in the morning. As opposed to the first set of molars that came in one and then the other, providing her with a brief break between them – these two are coming in simultaneously, providing very little relief from the pain. One tooth is 3/4 of the way through, the other 1/2 way through.
  • She’s also been recovering from yet another cold. She seems to be feeling better from the cold itself and no longer has a cough, but those darn runny noses take forever to clear up. Ick.
  • Before bed we have started picking up her toys together. I have her focus on putting her duplos back into the duplo bin while I pick up most other things, but I’m sure this will start planting the seeds for her to know she needs to pick up after herself.
  • Imaginative play has officially started. She pretends to call people on the cell phone. She pretends to feed her baby as well. And just today she tried to share her string cheese with her stuffed monkey! (not the sock monkey, a different one)
Otherwise, not a ton that’s exciting happened this month. We’re hoping the yucky weather disappears for good soon so we can go outside and play more frequently! But she is certainly as cute as ever, so I’ll share some photos!

Yes, that's salami on my head.

Look at her medical file! Wowza.

Bang bang bang!

"Hello? Who's there?"

Look at those eyes!

Hi Uncle Trevor!

Looking at lights with grandpa Steve.

Hi mommy!

She has discovered the window, and can see over the ledge now.

Very pleased with herself. ha!

She climbs. OYE!

Getting very sleepy

And, she's out! For those of you who know her, this is very very rare for her to fall asleep like this, so we know she's exhausted. If only she'd sleep later.

Duplo time! She loves playing with duplo creations.

Potty!

Asleep on me again!!

Working hard on her puzzle

Look at how flexible she is!

Feeding her monkey a string cheese

Grandma Karli, Alex and Madeleine

Outtakes from her birthday photo. She was so happy at her daddy's silly game, it made it really tough to choose one.

Another cute smile

Look at that smile!

Such a sweet girl

That daddy, he is so funny!

A classic Madeleine face! I couldn't leave it out.

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17 Month Photos

As promised, here are the photos from Madeleine’s 17th month.

Helping daddy study

At dinner with mom and dad "ahh, what to drink??"

Her first experience with play doh (home made play doh at that!)

It was rather sticky though. Hmmm

Agghhh! It's stuck on my hand!

Sleepy girl

Very excited about coloring

She makes the goofiest faces.

The fish face is a favorite

Feeding the baby doll!

Her gum ball machine!

Makin' music

With her little wagon

She likes to pretend our house is her own personal jungle gym.

Lovin' the sock monkey!

Attack!!

Look at her neck!!! She definitely has her daddy's neck.

Close-up

PEEK-A-BOO! Which reminds me, she adores playing peek-a-boo these days, but is a total cheater and peeks through her fingers at you. LOL!

Isn't she sweet? 🙂

"OK mom, I'm done! Really. Done."

And last, but not least….

My favorite of the day 🙂

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