Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tough Decisions

In under a month, we will be the proud owners of our own little slice of suburbia!  While we wait for our new home to officially become ours, I'm left with some tough decisions..., what color to paint the walls.

I've lived with white walls for so long that I'm going a bit color mad.

Here are the paint chips I picked up the other day.

If they all look the same to you....well, they do to me too.

I know that I want to paint the kitchen green, the dining room blue, and the living room grey, but which shade of grey? Who knew there were so many shades of light blue?  Who knew there were so many shades of white for that matter?!

And here are even more of my color choices!  (I heart Pinterest!)

It's a tough decision...but it's at least it's a fun one.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Life in Yogurt

We spend a lot of quality family time in the grocery store. (Cause we're awesome...)  

Madeline goes to daycare two mornings a week, which would be a perfect time to quickly get the grocery shopping done on my own.  Instead, I like to be a delinquent parent who shirks her maternal responsibilities to go shoe shopping, pick out paint samples, or research fad diets I have no intention of following on the Internet.    

Besides, grocery shopping is the perfect summer activity, and it's free.  (Besides the groceries...I guess.)  

Madeline is still too young to insist on kicking me until I buy her a Snickers, or to throw a temper tantrum when I try to put her in the cart, so someday, my feelings on this matter may change.   But for now, the grocery store is the place to be as far as Maddie is concerned.  

She thinks being in the cart is great!  It's like a ride.  She kicks her feet, (which are still too short to reach me!) wiggles in the seat, and squeals in delight.   If there's Muzak playing, she grooves to her jam.  And of course, she yells so loud that the people on the other side of the store may wonder if there's a screaming baby hidden amongst the frozen pizzas.  Luckily, she's cute so not too many people give us death glares when she starts sounding her primal yelp.  

Plus?  It's cold in the grocery store, and it's been like, a bajillion degrees lately, which is too hot for fun.  Therefore, the grocery store has become our new fun.  Jealous?  Eric and I coast up and down every aisle, even if we don't need anything in that aisle, just to make the fun last.  Double jealous?  

Plus?  We're teachers with glamorous lifestyles so we can visit the grocery store in the middle of the day when there's nobody else there except for some old ladies buying pro biotic yogurt.   (In fact, we may have met the oldest lady in the world in the yogurt section last week who told us all about her twenty great-great grand children none of whom have red hair even though she and her daughter had red hair.  She was very sweet, and very, very old.  Like, she could have been the old lady in the movie Titanic old.)       

Speaking of which, if you spend a lot of time in the yogurt section of the grocery store...we do, may start to notice that the yogurt is set up in a human life line.  

See, there's Madeline down at the beginning of the section next to the Yo Baby yogurt. Separating Madeline and I are children's yogurts featuring lovable characters such as Go-Diego-Go on the lids, followed by the Yoplait Lights of my teens and twenties.  

And there I am, next to the Greek yogurts.  Beyond me lay the digestive-aid yogurts such as Activia because apparently someday I will need help pooping on a regular basis.  Something to look forward to.

And when I reach the end of the yogurt life line, I'll probably still be cruising the aisles of the super market talking to young couples about my twenty great-great grand children all of whom have red hair.  

(I just had a thought. What if that old lady in the yogurt section was me in the future, and we were stuck in some sort of time-space-continuum.  Spooky, right?  See how fun the grocery store can be?!)  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

45 Weeks

Madeline is moving so fast, it's hard to keep up.  Literally.  We spend most of the day following her around the apartment making sure she doesn't get into the diaper bin.  She really wants to get into that diaper bin.  We've had to rearrange furniture and get rid of our coffee table to ease our fears that she'd injure herself on sharp corners.

It's so fun watching her learn and grow.  It's almost as if you can see her mind working every problem out. She learned where the toys in her room are this week, so when she wants to play with them, she simply crawls into her room and starts pulling everything off the shelves.  She'll spend some time playing with her dolls.  Then she'll flip through some books.  Then she'll find where her clothes and shoes are kept and start burying herself in those.  She takes her onesies and places them on her head like she's trying to try them on.

She's pulling herself up to standing easily now, and she's even starting to glide along the couch.  Her newest trick is walking along in a bear crawl.  It looks like she's doing the downward facing dog yoga pose.  She stands on her toes, pushes her butt way up into the air, and scoots along on her hands and feet.  During her lessons this week, she tried to go from that position to standing, which impressed her teacher very much.

She's still being more clingy than usual, but it's not surprising given how fast she's growing and learning.  I think she just wants reassurance that Mumma and Dada are still going to be there even though she can now crawl into the other room on her own.  It's so cute when she comes crawling up to me, full speed, and starts tugging on my ankles to get up.  She's such a little ankle biter.

Madeline is eating better and better.  She's pretty much feeding herself for every meal now.  I've learned that if I give her some finger foods to play with, she'll tolerate me scooping food up into her mouth at the same time.  This helps when I'm feeding her yogurt or fruits that are too slippery for her to feed herself.  She loves cheese and toast, or crackers, the most.  She could take or leave avocado.  

Madeline is also finding her voice these days.  And, boy, is that voice loud.  She loves yelling in the super market for some reason.  She's not upset, she's just yelling...loudly.  Maybe it sounds weird to her in the big space?

She learned to say "Hi" over the weekend.  When we say "Hi, Madeline!" she says "Hi" back.  So cute! She babbles constantly, and she continously tries to imitate words we are saying.  "Up" becomes "Uh-uh."  Baby becomes "Bahhhb."

Last, but not least, her hair is really, really starting to come in now.  Her daycare teachers commented today that it looks like it has grown a lot from when they saw her just last week.

I was smoothing down her hair tonight after her bath, and I was remembering how her hair used to turn into this downy, poof-y peach fuzz after baths when she was a little, little baby.

It made me a bit nostalgic.  She's such a big girl now.

Monday, July 25, 2011

March for Babies

Thank you everyone who helped make our March for Babies a success!!! 

Thanks to amazing fundraising efforts and generous donations from family and friends, our team raised over 3,000 dollars for the March of Dimes.  Totally Ahhhh-maaazzz-zing!

Mother Nature even cooperated by cooling it down....a bit.  Normally low 90s are enough to make me gag, but after a day with highs of 104 degrees, it didn't feel too bad.

So, we walked!  Technically, our team was the first to cross the finish line.  We cheated a little bit by taking an unintentional "shortcut," though in our defense, the trail was not well marked.  Since we were in the lead, the rest of the walkers took our shortcut too.  Just like lemmings over a cliff.  Ooops.

 We also got to spend a great weekend with Nana, Poppy and Aunt Co-co who came up from New York for the walk.  Pretty awesome!

Thanks again for making this year's walk a success, and for helping us honor the memory of Ellis Jane.  

Much Love,

Friday, July 22, 2011

This Face

This is Madeline's go-to facial expression these days.

  I think she's trying to say, "Give me yer lunch money if ya know what's good fer ya!"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dear Mother Nature

Dear Mothe Nature,

I realize that it's summer, and you are just doing your job, but could you please make it a little cooler out for the March for Babies on Saturday? I know it's not your fault that they scheduled this event in July instead of April, but you must admit that 97 degrees is a bit much.

You see, when it's excessively hot, I become extremely cranky and short-tempered. It's not pleasant for anybody, and I'd prefer my daughter not see me like that. I don't want her picking up my bad habits.

If the temperature does not come down, our March for Babies may turn into a Head to the Bar and Drink for Babies. Somehow that just doesn't seem right.

I hope you seriously consider this matter. I've always been a big fan of yours. I love what you do with the fall.

Best Regards,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Forty-four Weeks

 Madeline is ten months old!
(Omigawd, how did that happen?!)

Madeline has been zipping around all over the place the past week, which is why she's sitting up in her bunny picture.

Lying down is no longer in her vocabulary.  So much so, that sleeping has become a problem again.  Who wants to sleep when you can crawl around your crib instead, Mumma?

She's getting more confident in her crawling abilities.  She goes further now.  She tries crawling into other rooms.  She follows me to the bathroom.  (Perhaps she shares her Mumma's love for playing behind the toilet??  Hopefully, we'll never find out!)  She'll crawl between me and Eric depending on who she wants to play with at the moment.

Now that she's mastering the fine art of crawling, she's started seriously focusing on pulling herself up.  She's just about there.  She loves pulling up on the couch to see us.  She loves pulling up in her crib instead of sleeping.

She's at the same time much more independent and more clingy.  There were a few moments today when I walked across the room to just to get something and she lost it.  She shrieked until I came back to her.

It's nice to be needed, but geesh Maddie Bear, I was just going to get your sippy cup!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Adventures in Self Feeding

I once played in an Ooozeball tournament (volleyball in knee-deep mud) when I was in college.  I always thought that would be the messiest thing I'd ever done...then Madeline came along.    

I've been a little slow in the finger food department for Madeline because I'm paranoid she's going to choke.  She only has 1.5 teeth after all.  The fact that she thinks it's hilarious to stick her tongue out and make gagging noises does not help ease my fear.

But, I've been stepping it up lately, giving her chunkier foods, and letting her feed herself. (Mainly because she starts screeching whenever I try to feed her with a spoon.)

Have you ever seen a baby feed herself?  It's pretty gross.  This is probably what the caveman looked like when he tore into an antelope for the first time.  

She's been eating a lot of turkey loaf this week.  Have you ever seen mashed up turkey loaf?  Have you ever seen it after a sippy-cup of water has been dumped all over it, carrots have been mixed with it, and it's been mashed between two grubby little baby hands?  It's pretty gross.  It looks like Madeline is eating a plate full of vomit.

Since she's still figuring the whole self-feeding thing out, about half of the vomit loaf ends up in her mouth.  The other half ends up in her lap or on the floor.  This means that I get to spend a lot of time picking vomit loaf out of Madeline's chins and elbow crevices.  Jealous?  At least her bellybutton is an outie.  No vomit loaf in there!

As messy as it is, it's fun to watch Madeline feeding herself.  She looks like such a big girl with her plate and cup in front of her!

P.S.  This little gadget in the pictures below is the coolest thing ever.  I can fill the net with any solid food and let Maddie go to town without worrying about her chocking.  Mmmmm, watermelon!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I Heart Harry Potter

Well, it's the end of an era.  I just saw the final Harry Potter film.  The ride is over.

I am a huge Harry Potter nerd.  I was the person who would buy the books at midnight, sit down, and not get up again until the thing was finished.  I spent hours scanning for clues for how it would all end.  (I totally called the whole Snape plot line, P.S.)  I used to go see the movies at midnight on opening night as well....until I got old.

Therefore, now that the last movie is over, I may go into a deep Harry Potter depression.  What am I going to obsess over now?

What struck me the most in the final film, more so than any of the other movies, (or the books for that matter) was the focus on maternal love.  Sure, there's love of all shapes and sizes in Harry Potter, but the love between mother and child struck me the most.

It's obvious that a woman, and a mother, wrote these books.  Even the nastiest characters want to make sure their child is safe above anything else.

Or maybe I'm just seeing it that way because I have a baby now, and I didn't for the books and other movies.  Madeline was a teensy sprout when part one of The Deathly Hallows came out last fall, but it didn't strike me then.  The ending has all the mushy, love stuff in it.

Those of you who are big Harry Potter nerds like me, bring your hankies...that's all I'm saying.

I can't wait to introduce Madeline to the series when she's older.  I hope she enjoys the books as much as I did.  We can read them together, and I'll be able to experience the whole thing all over again through her eyes.

Maybe we can even go to Harry Potter Land!  (I don't know what it's actually to me, it's Harry Potter Land.)  I want a wand and some butterbeer asap.  

This girl?  Total nerd.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Last summer, Eric and I visited the Brimfield Antique Show for the first time.  The Brimfield Antique show is the largest antique market in the country.  Also, last summer I was ludicrously pregnant.  Also, it was the middle of July.  Also, it takes place in a field. Also, it was hot the day we decided to go.  Really hot.

Needless to say, we did not last long.  We didn't buy anything, and ended up booking it for the air conditioning at Friendly's by noon.

This year, I was really looking forward to going back.  I wanted to go in September, but you know, I was busy giving birth to the Maddie Bear and all.  I thought about going in May, but we also forgot about going in May.

So here we are, one year later, and we finally returned.  We picked up the A-mster, had enough gear to keep Madeline fed and happy for probably six months, and headed to the show.

Um, to say this show is huge is an understatement.  But, I'll say it anyway.  "It's huge."  There was so much stuff that I quickly found myself overwhelmed.  I had the desire to see everything because who knows what treasure lurked in the next stall over, but sadly, it would have been impossible to see everything.  After an hour or so, everything turned into one big blur of old stuff.

(Speaking of old stuff...poor Eric, who was pushing the baby stroller over the roughest antique-fair terrain man has known...had the pleasure of speaking to many judgmental elderly ladies.  Every blue-haired nymph we happened upon told him A.) To cover the baby up from the sun.  and B.)  She was way too skinny, so we should feed her more.  In response.  A.) It's called sunscreen.  It's been commonly used since 1944, and we reapplied more than once.  Get with it ladies.  Also, she had on a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, and she had a stroller canopy over her head. B.)  Now I'm paranoid that Madeline's not getting enough nutrition.  I stuffed her with enough turkey loaf and bananas when we got home that she could be a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. )

Anyhow, here's a sampling of what we saw:

I was thinking of getting these for the new house.  Ya know, to class up the place a bit.  

Mmmm, I love bright colors.  
Madeline was entranced by the fountains.  
These almost made me pee my pants with delight...until I saw that it cost $60 for salt and pepper shakers.
At that point, I peed my pants with sadness.   
Industrial spools.  There was entire section of old industrial hardware and furniture.
It almost made me wish we were staying in the lofts.  Allllll-most.  
Mmmmm chocolate fish. 
My goal was to find Pyrex Heaven.  I did not find Pyrex Heaven, but I got close.  (Pyrex Purgatory?  The red-headed step child of Pyrex Heaven?)

In the past week my Pyrex collection has multiplied...
 As long as it's turquoise, I'm happy.  

I probably could have purchased a lot more of it today, but if I bought all the Pyrex in one day, what would I have to look forward to next summer?  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Madeline Crawls

Well, she did it!

When Eric got home shortly after this video was filmed, I told him that we had a crawler.  His eyes opened wide in worry, and he glanced at the floor.  Naturally, he thought I meant that we had a mouse.

Nope, just a mobile Maddie Bear.  So much nicer than a mouse!

Of course, she promptly tried to pull all the furniture down on her.

She also got her passport today.

I wouldn't be surprised to check on her tonight only to find that she's crawled away to Japan with that no-good baby from down the hall.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vermont, Nous Vous Aimons

A year ago, I couldn't hardly wait to bring my future daughter to Vermont.

This past weekend, Madeline made her visit to visit Grammy and Bob's little cabin on Lake Champlain.

We relaxed by the water...

We ate lots of great food...

We were endlessly entertained by the cuteness that is Madeline...
This is her forget-college-I'm-joing-the-circus outfit

And we got lots of family time.   

 We can't wait to go back.  

43 Weeks

Good golly Madeline is changing so much, so quickly...I don't even know where to start.

She gets around a little bit better every day.  Every time she gets up on her hands and knees we hold our breath waiting to see if she will crawl.  It's going to be any day now, I just know it.  Even her early intervention teacher was impressed.  We've been quite busy chasing her around the apartment.

It's becoming clear that when she babbles, she's trying to imitate our words.  During her lesson yesterday, she kept trying to repeat the word "baby" because she was playing with a book of baby pictures.

Speaking of which...boy, is she fascinated by other babies.  Usually when she's dropped off at day care in the mornings, she's excited to see her teachers.  Eric said that today she was more excited to see the other babies than the adults in the room.  It was if she missed her friends over the past week and couldn't wait to tell them about all her adventures.

When we see babies in public, she lights up like a firefly.  Her favorite books all have pictures of babies.  She squeals in delight when she looks at her reflection in the mirror.

I think she's starting to realize that she's looking at herself when she looks in the mirror.  Today I put a tissue (unused, obviously) on her head while she was looking in the mirror.  Instead of turning away and taking the tissue off like she usually does, she reached for it while keeping her gaze locked on her reflection.  I've heard that's a good test to establish whether or not a baby recognizes herself.  Who knows? Might be.

She's still a silly-willy most of the time.  When she is standing holding onto the side of the couch or the coffee table, her new favorite trick is to let go and let herself fall backwards like a tree being chopped down.  She lands on her butt with a thud, cracks up, and scrambles to stand back up so she can do it again.  Every time she falls, there's a moment where a look of panic mixed with pure joy crosses her face.  I have a feeling Madeline may be a daredevil.  I don't know where she got that from.  Her Mumma hates roller coasters, flying, heights, and just about anything that could possibly involve falling.  If Maddie keeps this daredevil streak up, she just may give her Mumma an early heart attack.    

Madeline almost always refuses to let me feed her now.  The only time she seems to take food from a spoon is when she's really, really hungry or when she really, really likes the food.  Otherwise, she'd prefer to do it herself, thank you very much Mumma!  This is both awesome because it means she's growing up, and frustrating because it means most of her food ends up on the floor instead of in her tummy.  I'm always worried that she's hungry.

Good thing we've got a steady supply of Cheerios, Mum-mums, and Gerber Puffs to serve as between-meal snacks.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Two Very Special Men

Today I'd like to take a moment to reflect on two very special men in my life.  These two wonderful men have been there for me since I first met them in the early 1990s.

They've helped me ring in the new year.  They comforted me when I watched the final episode of Sex in the City.  They've been privy to deep conversation with friends.  They've been for breakfast when there was nothing else in the cabinets.  In short, they've influenced who I am today....mostly in the way of my waistline.  

These two special men are Ben and Jerry, and damn, do they make great ice cream.

This weekend was special because Madeline was introduced to Ben and Jerry for the first time when we visited the Ben and Jerry's Factory in Waterbury, Vermont.

First, we entered the magical land of peace, love and ice cream

Then we waited in line for...

...this deliciousness! 
Then Madeline had her first ever taste of ice cream!
(Scratch that one off my summer bucket list!)
But she wasn't quite sure if she liked it?!

So we gave her a teensy bit more.  
"Good God, Dada, what are you feeding me?"
Wait, on third thought, that was pretty good.  Where'd the spoon go?
After we ate, we visited the Flavor Graveyard 
Where we paid our respects to poor Bovinity Divinity. 
And Madeline's sugar high kicked in.
Does she make a better Ben?

Or a better Jerry?
Madeline, I hope you have as much fun with Ben and Jerry as I've had.  

P.S. More Vermont photo explosions coming soon to a blog near you!