Friday, November 23, 2012

What We're Thankful For

I decided to do this post about what I'm thankful for because I feel like there's so much around me that on a day to day basis, I take for granted, that bring so much happiness to me. But I thought I'd also list some things that bring Madi true happiness, because it really is the simple things that make us the happiest on a moment-to-moment basis.
I'm thankful for: my parents (first and foremost), my in-laws, family in general (grandparents, mimma, brother-and-sister (both sides), booboo!, kylie, etc), friends that are there even though we haven't talked in awhile (Holly & Courtney), being able to go to school and work towards a career that will make me even happier, my work and the kids I work with that bring the biggest smile to my face everyday, the fall season, peppermint hot chocolate, starbucks in general, watching christmas vacation every thanksgiving with my family, running, having this blog and so many supporting readers, my Aunt's lemon pie that she makes every holiday, walks and park trips with Madi, well, Madi in general. She is the main source of happiness in my life.
Madi is thankful for: her family and all that they do, those turkey cookies her cousin Karli made yesterday, swinging with Papaw outside, EYE KEEM (ice cream), Kingston, all puppies in the world ever, friends at school (joseph and mikey), when mommy paints her nails, playing at the park on sunny days, collecting fall leaves, singing in the car, giving booboo kisses and pretending to change his diaper, spending time with kylie, having more stuffed animals than any child in this world would ever know what to do with, waffles, and SYRUP!, Caillou on TV, and of course, Mommy ;)
I sincerely hope that everyone's Thanksgiving was filled with love and LOTS of good food :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

DIY Kitchen Chalkboard

Since we just moved into our new home, we've both (my husband and I) have been itching to do a pinterest project to help make this apartment feel more like a home. Well, we finally did one! It was super simple and easy but it added a lot to the entry way and kitchen.
There are versions of DIY Chalkboards all over Pinterest. For this one, you basically spray a mirror of some sort with chalkboard paint and hang it up to write your grocery list or other important memo's on. I sent Clayton out to pick up a cheap $5 mirror from Khol's. He came back with a beautiful $20 mirror from Garden Ridge.
Close enough.
The first step was to line it all out in painters tape. That was a task since the frame was so big.
Then we painted it and let it dry near a window. I used Kylon brand Chalkboard paint for $7.99 at Hobby Lobby. It dried really quick and without any imperfections.

It had some spots around the edges where the tape covered a part of the mirror and it wasn't painted. I realized as Clayton was about to re-tape it and put a second coat on that he just needed to take the mirror itself out from the back. Aha! So it was a lot easier that way.
Finished product! :) Total cost was about $28. But it could have easily been about $13 with the MUCH cheaper mirror.
(as soon as we got it up, he wrote "I love you, Taylor" on it) *blush* ;)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Our Girl Day

Today, Kylie spent the day with Madi and I. We went to The Woodlands Children's Museum this morning, then went to Chickfila for lunch, and then came home so Madi could take a nap.
They both LOVED the museum. It's really close to home, reasonably priced, has extremely nice workers, and has so many cool things for the kids to do.
Like "sand" tables that are actually filled with rice.

The giant teeth were just cool.

And a giant Lite Brite!

A play grocery store with little grocery baskets, produce bins, tables, and a checkout station that beeped when you passed food by the laser :)
They also have this little craft station where the kids can help themselves. They made hats this time.

This part was new. They had a little science experiment station where they tested surface tension. Kylie spent a lot of time there.
Then we went to Chickfila to get lunch. We were all super hungry and Madi wanted "Chick a lay eye keem!" (Chickfila ice cream)
Then Madi was ready for a nap so we went home and once Madi went to sleep, Kylie and I did stuff. We wrote in our journals first. I wrote in Madi's some while she colored in hers, we did our nails, and used sidewalk chalk on the balcony.

She wanted to draw the solar system so she drew Earth, Mars, Saturn, and the Sun. For some reason that kind of struck me as odd. It seems like yesterday she wanted to draw horses and now she's drawing "Saturn's moons." Yikes.
This one is just cute because she has a crush on Clayton :)
Hopefully we'll have more days like today. Madi and I love having Kylie around and today was super fun. I told her, "you need to come over more!" and she was like "I KNOWWWW!!"

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I've been meaning to write this post since we moved in. I wanted to talk about how awesome Madi is doing sleeping in her own room and in her own big girl bed all night.
When Madi came home from the hospital, she slept in a little bassinet thing next to my bed. When I decided that she was too big for it (about 3 months), I tried to move her to her crib but she was so used to being elevated slightly and having her legs up (it was a strange, but awesome, bassinet) so she wouldn't sleep flat in her crib. The nights were tiring and nothing would help her sleep. All she wanted was to be back in the bassinet. So one night I made a makeshift nest for her in my bed. I rolled up a recieving blanket to hold her legs up and laid her on a pillow to elevate her. And voila! She slept like a rock. And I guess the rest is history.
Here we are now, she's a little over 2 and she's just now sleeping in her own bed. And I'll be completely honest... I'm sad about it. I loved having her sleep in bed with me. It was just her and I in our big bed and we could cuddle and talk and play until it was time to go to bed and then I could sleep right there next to her all night. I loved every second of it. If I could do it over, I wouldn't change a thing. We were both happier for it.
I was always worried about the dreaded day where I would have to transition her from my bed to her own. I didn't imagine it would be so easy though. Madi is a CHAMP at handling change. For real.
The first night in her bed, I laid on the floor next to her bed and made her lay down. She asked to get in my bed a few times but eventually she laid down and agreed to let me sing her to sleep. She woke up a few times during the night asking for me but once I would go into her room and reassure her, she would go back to sleep. No crying. The second night was the same way but she only woke up twice. The third night, I think she woke up once. And ever since then she has (mostly) slept all night in her bed with no fuss. She rocks.
I still lay on the floor until she falls asleep at night but she's afraid of the dark so I'm still trying to decide how to go about that one. During naptime I just lay her down, kiss her, and leave the room and she'll go to sleep on her own. Baby steps, I guess.
So that's that. Here's some pictures from the last week or so :)
 Good morning!
Napping :)

Bought this for her room. I hung it on the wall and she looked at it and said "Aww CUTE!"

We went to Chuck E. Cheese the other day with my niece and parents. This girl LOVED Chuck E. (she's kissing him)

Running and exploring on the way to check the mail.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

This morning we woke up and took a trip to a nearby pumpkin patch with Clayton's Mom, Grandma, his brother, girlfriend, and my nephew. I knew Madi would have fun because she had a blast last year. Now that she's older, she can get into it and understand it more. We went to the Old Time Christmas Tree Farm in Spring, Tx. They have so much for the kids and families to do like hay rides, animals, bouncy houses, and a million cute props and places set up to take cute pictures. AND, it's only $3 to get in :)  
She was so excited to see all of the pumpkins!

We ended up buying two big pumpkins and taking them home, and we stayed for a couple of hours even though it was burning up. I asked Madi if she was ready to go and she would say, "no, I want to play!" But after awhile, we all needed some A/C, and food. So we went and had lunch then headed home.
I bought some kids washable paint at Target the other day and decided that I would let Madi paint her pumpkins with that when we got home. I haaate carving pumpkins, like with a passion. So I am not going to do that unless her Daddy is around to help me (or do it for me). So since he was resting for work, we went out on the balcony, laid an old pillowcase under the pumpkins, and I let her paint away.

I thought that she would be hesitant to get the paint all over her hands, but boy was I wrong. She slapped her hand down in the paint and started rubbing it all over the pumpkins. So now we have a purple pumpkin and a pink pumpkin. Our balcony (and us) are a little colorful now. Madi went straight to the bath afterwards and I'm headed there soon. She had a lot of fun though. :) it was a lot funner than carving the huge things too, which in my opinion is just a chore (party pooper, I know).
We're both really tired, and headed to bed. It has been a very long day. But I do plan on posting soon about her success with going from cosleeping, to sleeping all by herself in her big girl bed in her room! Also, more about how we're settling in. Stay tuned :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Starting A Home

So today we moved into an apartment in The Woodlands. Clayton and I got married three months ago (tomorrow) and this will be our first place together, not only as a married couple, but also as a family of three. It was so nerve-wracking and wonderful all at the same time.
Before we left with everything, I went to say goodbye to my Granny. I have always lived with my parents, on the same land as my grandparents. It was hard leaving my house, but even harder to say bye to her. She told me that she was staying away from the front windows because she didn't want to see me packing up all of our things to leave. I know that we're only moving 25ish minutes away, but it's still rough. Very very rough.
Family and friends came to help us move. That was a blessing. We didn't have to hire movers or anything, all we did was hang out, move heavy furniture, and eat pizza. It was nice having all of our loved ones in our livingroom talking and laughing on the first day here. It definitely made it feel more like a home and not just a temporary space.
The one thing I hated was having to completely start over! When you move from your parents house, you realize that you don't have a lot of the things that you need. Like oils to cook, detergent, cleaning supplies, a vacuum! So, we'll be accumulating all of those necessities slowly. But right now, I'm in the livingroom sitting next to a lamp, writing and listening to the silence. Madi is asleep in her bed in her room (bless her little soul!) and I am hoping that she stays in her bed all night.
So, this is our home now. 910 square feet of bliss. (so far ;))
More adventures to come!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Date Day Adventures

Madi spent the day with Mimi on Saturday while Clayton and I went on a date. We had such a good time! We went on a 10.3 mile bike ride around The Woodlands. We went from Bear Branch Park and went all the way to the Woodlands Waterway, made the loop, and biked back. It had been such a long time since I've biked for that long, I didn't want to stop! I definitely felt it in my legs when we did stop. But we had such a good time.
Clayton took this at the gas station and told me "don't you dare delete that picture!"

I'm not sure how he took these pictures without falling over.

Took a water/snack break at a park near the water.

We're super photogenic, lol. NOT
Then we went to the W.G. Jones State Park and hiked for about an hour. We had never been there, and it was about to be dusk so we just looked around. We found walking sticks and just walked around talking and laughing. I love that one on one time where all we have to worry about is what we're going to do next. We trekked 2.5 (ish) miles there and went to go get Madi.
In my opinion, it was our best date. It felt amazing outside and we got to do something that we both love, being active. We didnt spend ANY money, at all. It was a completely free and fufilling date. We're planning on renting kayak's on the Waterway in a few weeks for our next date.
Active dates = win.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Lately things around here have been changing. We're adjusting to the new changes and are welcoming new ones in our life.
I started working at Madi's daycare as an Assistant Teacher. That means that Madi now goes to daycare full-time, instead of just three days per week. That was the hardest part for me, letting go of the days that I did have with her. But it is the best thing for us right now. Madi can see me from her classroom so we can keep an eye on each other throughout the day. I know that she is having fun with her friends and isn't upset, and she can see that I am nearby. Its a good thing for us both. The first few days that she saw me in the other room, she was upset. Her teachers said that she wanted to come in my room with me. But it only took around three days of being upset. Now, she pokes her head around the corner where she can see me and she will play peekaboo with me or stick her tongue out at me and giggle. Then keep playing. That makes me feel SO much better. I get to keep an eye on her and know she is learning and playing, while I get to help provide for our family. I truly enjoy my job and the people that I work with. I'm so glad that life has given us this opportunity and that Madi has adjusted so well.
Being a part-time student, a part-time teacher, and a mommy, I don't have as much time for blogging, which I absolutely love. But I've promised myself that I won't let this fall through the cracks. I do this not only for Madi, but for me also. I will only be posting once per week however. I feel like that is a good compromise. Maybe a couple times per week if time allows.
More changes are to come if things play out the way I want them to. But that is for a different post. :)
I will be posting again soon. Thank you for all of the support we are getting. For now, here are some pictures from this week!
We saw Brody this weekend. She kept licking his cheek instead of kissing him! Then she'd giggle and say "I wick him!" She's goofy. Then he fell asleep on my chest for about 30 minutes. Swoon.

Getting lunch before going to daycare/work. She was making funny faces at me so that I could take her picture and then show her.

She's holding a picture of her Great Grandmother (Mimma) when she was around 1 or 1 1/2. They look SO much alike. So I took this and framed it for Madi's Mimi and Mimma. :)

Talking and taking pictures before bed. I love that sweet smile!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dear Madi, From Daddy

Dear Madilyn,
I love you. More than anything. Your mother, my lovely wife, asked me to write you a letter. So here goes nothing. You were born August 31st, 2010, the day after Mommy turned 17 and a little over a month after I turned 18. Naturally, being such a young couple, our pregnancy was a little unexpected. We were nervous as could be, but we were also beyond excited. I remember sitting with Mommy wondering what you would look like, who you would take after, and even what your cry would sound like. Well nine months roll by and the day comes that you're about to enter the big scary world. I'm scared. You have no idea how scared I was. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect, but the time was now and you were coming. Ready or not. I've never experienced and will never again experience anything as frightening and beautiful as your birth. You gave us all quite a scare, booger! I remember the doctors rushing you out of the room and the intensity of all these unfamiliar emotions hitting me at once. You  were finally here, you were real. You were beautiful. Beyond perfect.
Our first moment together, I gave you my finger and you immediately grabbed it, held it tightly, and just slightly opened your eyes up at me. "Oh my god" I thought to myself, my eyes starting to tear up. You were looking at me and holding MY finger, as if you knew I was scared. As if you were trying to calm me down and say that everything is ok. In that exact moment, I knew that I became Daddy and you became Baby and that I would do anything for you.
I will always love you, always protect you, always care for you, and I will always provide for you. Today is September 26, 2012. It's been over two years since that day and I love you still now. Just like I always will. I love you more and more everyday. You constantly surprise me with how smart you are. You are a gorgeous little girl with pretty eyes and bouncy brown curls. Your favorite word seems to be "no" right now. You love your family and you love your animals, especially puppies. "PupPups." You really love the outdoors and more than anything you love to swing. And I love swinging you. I'll push you really high and hold you there until you giggle and say "Ready, GO!" It worries Mommy, but we don't care. We just laugh and keep swinging. ;) You love to kiss and hug. And as much as I wipe your big wet kisses off, I secretely love them. Shhh. Don't tell Mommy. While Mommy was pregnant I would always ask her "what if she doesn't like me?" to which she would reply, "She'll love you. You're her Daddy." I don't know why I ever worried. Your face lights up as soon as I walk in the door. It melts my heart.
I'm going to wrap this letter up, but I could write for days about you. You're simply amazing. Perfect beyond words and explanations. I love you with all my heart and much much more.
Love, Daddy