Friday, August 31, 2012

Dear Madi

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to say in this letter. There’s so many emotions that I have, and I know I won’t be able to get them all out at once, but I’ll try. When I found out I was pregnant with you, it came as a shock. I didn’t really know what I was going to do. I mean, I was young (and still am). But it didn’t take me long to figure out that your life was my responsibility and I was hell-bent to make your life as good as I possibly could. I did what I needed to do to make sure that I was on the right track. I refused to be a drop-out living in Grangerland the rest of my life, watching you have to struggle because of my bad decisions. I REFUSED. I still do. I always get questions like “how did you do it?” and I always tell them that I have a good motivator. That’s you. I was ambitious before you came a long but I’m 10x better, in every way, since I had you.
Its cliché but the day you were born, my life started. I’m not talking about the life of never getting to see my friends, or party, or anything like that. I never did that stuff before you and I didn’t have any desire to do it after I had you. I’m talking about the life that I had always wanted. Everything was so much brighter and looked more promising. I never imagined my life playing out the way it did, but now, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. You are my soul, in every way. You’re smart, friendly, kind, loving, and beautiful. You impress me more and more every single day. It’s amazing how much you learn from week to week, and gradually as the days pass, you’re starting to talk even better than the day before. I mean, you can talk in sentences! Even though you’ve been talking well for a while, it STILL blows my mind. Sometimes I sit and just listen to you talk as you’re playing and just have a moment of “omg, shes’ growing up too fast!” I remember sitting and holding you when you were a couple of months old wondering what your voice would sound like, or what your first word would be. Look at you now!
I know this probably goes without saying, but you’re surrounded by so much love. Your Mimi and I always said, “you know, it’s a shame this baby doesn’t have anyone to love her.” Everywhere you go, there’s family and friends who are over the moon about you. Even your teachers at daycare are in love with you. Ms. Briann at daycare said “I love you, Madi!” as we were leaving the other day and you turned around and said “I luh you too!” I thought she was going to melt onto the floor. Your Daddy is wrapped around your finger, just like your Mimi. Papaw would do anything for you. He pretty much sits at your feet. Nonna looks at you like you’re her world. Granny and Pawpaw believe that you’re the smartest, most beautiful, girl on this side of the county. You are just so loved.
I always write you letters, probably about 10 per month, lol. But I want to document your childhood, partly because mine wasn’t (cough cough… MOM), but also so you have something to look back on and read. I hope that you will cherish these letters and the albums that I spend hours on. I know that I will. Every now and then, I look back and read your journal and ooh and aah about the different things I’ve written down. Like how you smiled for the first time, or said your first word (which was Mama, no matter what Daddy says!) It’s all passed so quickly but these letters are a way to hold onto those moments for a little longer.
Baby, I love you so much and you’re my entire world. I hope that you know how loved you are, not only by your parents but from everyone else you are surrounded by as well. I hope that if you’re lonely, you can read these letters and know that no matter what, you’re not alone. I hope that I’ve conveyed how much you mean to me and I will continue trying, no matter your age. I love you. Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Madi's Favorite Things!

Madi’s birthday party is this weekend! I know that all of the texts and emails will begin to flood in saying, “What does Madi like?!” and “What should I get her?” Well, I hope that this post will help me answer those questions because I find myself telling everyone the same couple of things anyway. Maybe this post will allow for some ideas to brew about what to get her that she would enjoy. Also, I realize that a lot of my readers will not be attending her party since they don’t live nearby (IG aunts and cousins!) so my hope for this post is to also celebrate her and how her personality and interests are constantly changing. I think that this would be a good list to compile at every birthday, so that when she’s 17, she can look back and say, “I liked Elmo THAT much when I was 2?” and so on. So here goes nothing … :)

If you know Madi at all, you know that there would not be anything other than babydolls in the top spot. This list is not in order but when I think of her and picture her in my head, the mental image would not be complete without a baby doll or stuffed animal in her hand. She plays with them nonstop, putting them to sleep, patting their back, even pretending to change their diaper by lifting their legs in the air and saying “wipe booooty!” She’s also interested in real babies. She adores her little cousin Brody and points to babies in stores while we’re out. (though a “baby” to her is anyone younger than about 15, lol)

She’s also a big outdoors person. We spend the majority of our free time at parks and exploring outside. She plays with the puppies and swings, collects fallen leaves, follow trails and identify different things that we find, etc etc etc. She never gets bored outside. We throw balls back and forth and name sounds that we hear. She is without a doubt happiest when she is outside playing.

Madi is an organizer. She takes her shoes that are on the shelf and puts them in rows, exactly where she wants them, then organizes them in a different way, repeat repeat repeat. When we go out, she organizes the magazines on the doctor’s office waiting room tables. She organizes her babies on the bed. (She most definitely got that from me and not her Daddy) I’m not sure how that would translate in terms of helping with an idea of what to get for her, but it’s a cute characteristic that I definitely think is worth noting.

One trait of hers that I’m pretty proud of is her love of books. She’s interested in them all. She has a shelf of books that she takes out at the beginning of the day that we read through some time during the day and they don’t get put up until it’s bed time, mostly because she won't let me. She loves to look through them whenever she can. Some of her favorites are Corduroy's Birthday, Where's Spot?, and this cheap $1 Sesame Street book that tells you to do different things like wiggle your fingers, stick your tongue out, count your eyes, etc. She giggles the entire time. (money well spent!) We are having some difficulty with “lift the flap” books and NOT tearing the flaps off, but we’re working on it ;) I mean, why would there be a part of the page hanging off and hiding a main part of the story? I get it baby, it just doesn’t make sense.

She loves to play in her play kitchen that is a hand-me-down from my niece who is now 8. It has an oven, microwave, sink, cabinets, pantry, etc. It’s so cute, but she doesn’t have many toys to play with it. Things like fake food, fruits, veggies, dishes, utensils, etc. She has a few but I know that she would enjoy having more.

That pretty much sums up her favorite activities. I know that that was extremely long but let me wrap this up with saying that a girl can NEVER have too many clothes and shoes ;) (2T/3T clothes, size 7 & 8 shoes)

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I got the idea for this post from Dani Hampton at Sometimes Sweet
This is me, right now. 

Loving: weight lifting. I just started doing it again since I have more time now that the semester has ended. It's so hott outside here in Texas that its no fun (and not very smart either) to get out in the middle of the day to run miles at a time in the direct sunlight. So when Madi goes down for a nap, I use the weights that we have here and a routine I found online and just go! My entire body feels different afterwards. I've really wanted to try CrossFit but I don't think I have the time to do it. If you've tried it, let me know how you like it :)

Reading: this is where you can start to tell that I didn't come up with the idea for this post on my own. I'm not reading anything right now. I've had my head in a textbook for six weeks and I'm about to dive right back in next week so reading has not been a huge priority. I will say that before the semester started, I read An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and was completely amazed by it. It's such a touching story to read and it makes you believe that there are still good people out there in the world. I'd definitely recommend it. It's available on Nook too :)

Watching: now is when we're going to talk about guilty pleasures I guess. I love Dance Mom's. There, I said it. I set the DVR to record it and I sit down and watch it when I get the chance. Now stop judging me! I also love So You Think You Can Dance! I fast forward through the judging and talking and just watch the performances. If I had a nickel for every time I got the goosebumps or cried over those talented dancers, I'd have some serious dinero. So much talent on that show. Makes me miss dancing! Those are the only real shows I sit down and make time to watch. I'm still deciding if I like The Week The Women Went. 

Thinking about: nutrition. Shocker, right? I've just been seeing so many comments made in various places that are just so far from the truth that it's crazy. Like since a Starbucks drink is "nonfat" it's suddenly good for you. Or that diet food is better for you than the natural versions of things. Or that 100 calories worth of Honey Nut Cheerios are better for you at breakfast than two eggs in coconut oil, which is high in calories. It's just things like that that drive me nuts. But I guess that means I'm headed in the right direction career-wise. 

Anticipating: Madi's second birthday! It's right around the corner. I'm running around getting the last minute details finished and also trying to make sure her cake gets ordered in time. I just can't believe that she is going to be two. I'll have a two year old! Crazy. But we'll save those emotions for a later post ;)

Wishing: that this week with Madi was going by a tad slower. I enjoy this time with her so much, I just wish that I got more of it. She's growing up so fast and learning more and more as the days pass. I'm incredibly lucky to be able to stay home with her when I'm not in school though, and I know that. I just miss her sweet face when I'm in school. How can I not?

Making me happy: I have so many things making me happy right now. Being home with Madi, having Clayton as my husband and spending time together just the three of us. Also, this sweet little boy pictured below. He's such a blessing and he loves his Aunt Taylor already! I can tell :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Potty Training Games

I don't know where to start! I began potty training Madi Thursday evening. I'm thankful to say that we've (both) made big strides since then.

Thursday evening, I put Madi in panties and told her to throw her last diaper away. She threw it in the trash and said "bye bye diaper!" Then the "games" began. I had bought about 18 pairs of panties for her knowing that she would go through them quick the first day or so. Boy was I right. I was throwing panties in the washer about every 5 minutes. She went through them like it was going out of style. "Mommy, I peed!" was beginning to get old.

Friday, she was still trying to grasp the idea of what she was doing. She had many accidents but she also successfully peed on the potty many times too. I could tell she was grasping the idea better and also working on holding it too.

Saturday, she made big progress. She only had a few accidents and I took her to the potty about every half hour which helped lower the amount of accidents as well. She was really getting comfortable using the potty as well.

As we end day 3 of potty training, I'm so very proud of her. She's only had 3 accidents today total. She's also used the potty many many times successfully. But we have one problem... She won't poop on the potty. It seems like she's scared to. I sat with her for 20 minutes at the potty because she said her belly hurt. I could tell she needed to go but wouldn't. Then she had an accident once I let her get off.

Did your child have this problem? Do you have any tips on how to make her more comfortable with using the potty for #2?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Starting Over

Those who know me, know that I am a runner. Well, with that being said, I haven't ran (consistently) in about 5 weeks. The last time I ran was on vacation in Florida. Once we got back, my mini-mester anatomy and physiology class started and I found myself with my head shoved in a book 24/7. It has made it extremely hard to find time to run. Excuses, excuses, I know...

I truly believe that you have to MAKE time to exercise. But I also believe in having priorities. I made up my mind that for the 6 weeks I was in this class, my time should be devoted to it and that I should give it all that I have for those short(ish) weeks. The first day of class, as I was packing my backpack, I threw in running clothes and put my tennis shoes in my car. I was hopeful that I would find the time after class, at least some times to go for a run. Those clothes have sat in my book bag for almost 5 weeks now and I hate that.

Yesterday, I got out of class early, finished my paper 3 days before it was due, was caught up on quizzes, and didn't have to start the next chapter material until the following day. I didn't know what to do... but then I realized that I was a block from my favorite running spot, with all the clothes I needed, and I had an hour to spare! I was thrilled.

I went to the restroom, changed clothes and went to my car. When I got to my car, I realized that I only had one sock (makes for uncomfortable running), no headphones for music (blah), and didn't have a water bottle with me. But at this point, I didn't care at all. "Naked" runs are cleansing for me. No distractions, just you and the road you're on. (my bare toes ramming into the front of my shoe was a tad distracting though...)

I went to the beginning of the trail and started stretching. I noticed myself rushing a little because I was so anxious to just GO! But I finished and started walking. I set my Nike app up and I started running. It felt so good. I had to stop myself from sprinting once I got started. I felt like I could run forever. Those muscles working again like they should felt amazing.

It was over 95 degrees fahrenheit outside, I had one missing sock, no water, and no music. But it was the best feeling I've felt in awhile.

I burnt out pretty quickly, but that was expected. Your body can't go a month without running and then pick up and perform like it never missed a beat. And I knew that, so I was satisfied. I walked back to the car and went to get a route 44 ice water from sonic. I'm a little sore today, but I can't wait to go again tomorrow. Now that my class is winding down, I can take my head out of the textbook and start living like a normal human being again. Well, hopefully ;)

"If you're tired of starting over, stop quitting."

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Healthy, Simple, (and kid friendly!) Dessert

I have such a sweet tooth, constantly. But I am also an extreme health nut. So I'm sure you can guess that I'm always looking for healthy ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. I'm going to share one of my favorite desserts (or bedtime snacks) with you now. This idea comes from one of my favorite dietitians, Dietitian Cassie, who stresses a balanced diet with all that she teaches. She suggested this on her twitter feed and I tried it and loved it. Also, Madi loved it too! (major bonus for a picky eater!)

What you'll need:
small non-stick skillet
two apples (or pears)
organic unrefined coconut oil
ground cinnamon

How to prepare:
cut up apples into cubes or bite-sized peices and heat coconut oil on medium in a non-stick skillet. Once the oil is warm, pour the apples into the oil (carefully, it might splatter) and let it sautee for about 5 minutes or until the apples are soft.

Drain the oil into a bowl and then pour the apples into a serving bowl. Top with cinnamon (however much you want, it speeds up metabolism!) and stir so that it is evenly distributed.

Then, enjoy!

It tastes, to me, like the inside of a pie filling, except without all the things that make you feel guilty afterwards. There's no sugar, crust, or artificial apples. It's all natural and the perfect amount of fat and carb to make a healthy and delicious dessert!

Did you try it? Did you alter it at all? What was your opinion of it?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

23 Months

Madi will be 2 years old in a little less than a month! I can't believe how fast time is flying by. She amazes me more and more everyday. I've attached one section of her journal for this post. I keep a journal that I write to her in about her milestones and cute stories. This one is from July to August. It has several stories that I think are too cute. Enjoy :)

You now pronounce "Kylie" "kah-lee" instead of "kygee"

When I ask you what your name is, you say "mahni howff!"

Carousels are your absolute favorite. We were all playing putt putt golf on vacation one night and you were bored. You'd chase the balls and throw them in the water. Then when we got inside, you found a small carousel and freaked out! Your night was made.

You're so smart, and adorable. I'll say, "what does Mommy say?" and you'll say, "NO!" and point your finger. Then I'll say, "and what does Madi say after that?" and you say "wahhhh!"

You love the ocean and pool, thankfully. Last year when we came to Destin you didn't. Now all you say is "ima go beach!" lol.

You don't eat. Ever. And when we're in a restaurant, all you do is scream. Especially if we're with Nonna and Papaw because you know that they'll get you out of your seat.

Sometimes you talk in your sleep. It's usually a couple of words as your tossing and turning to find a comfy spot. The other night you said "yay Cameron!" I guess you were dreaming about watching your cousin play baseball. :)

You have music in your soul. You dance all the time, even when there isn't any music.

You pronounce "breakfast" "buttkiss" funniest thing ever.

When I ask you who's the boss, you say "Madi's boss"

You know the sounds and can recognize a puppy, lion, sheep, goat, pig, horse, donkey, rooster, monkey, rhino, puffin, penguin, snake, mouse, and MANY more. You're so smart!

You walked up to a lady who was holding her purse low and you told her you "wike it!"

It scares you when I have to lay you down in the bath to rinse your hair. But it makes you feel better when we say "I got you baby" back and forth to each other the whole time.

You're afraid of heights! But love to be startled. (like your mama on the second part!)

You're SO ticklish around your neck, jawbone, and ribs.

Your daddy came over to spend the day with us today and when he walked in, you said "daddy I miss you!" Both of us almost died. So cute.

You love to hold hands. But only mine. You asked to hold my hand just now while we were laying in bed. You're asleep now with your hand still in mine. <3

You are finally starting to say "yes". Your daddy asked if you missed him while he was gone and you said "no." then thought about it and said "yes!" We were both shocked.

This past weekend was pretty eventful. Your daddy & I got married on Saturday, July 14th. You were so good during the ceremony. While we were saying vows, you walked up and hugged both of our legs then walked back to Mimi. You scattered rose petals on the ground in front of us. It was really sweet. But if you're wondering why you're in none of the formal photos it's because you were too busy playing to take any. You were running around the entire time. But you were well behaved and didn't give us any problems. :) I just wish we had some of the three of us. But I'm sure we'll get many of those as the time passes.

You started back to daycare today. (July 16 2012) Ms Brenda was SO excited to see you when we walked in. She screamed and jumped up from where she was sitting to come hold you. You cried when I left but had a pretty good day. They said you were a little cranky but that was expected. You are so resilient. When I picked you up, you ran and got your sippy cup and headed for the door just like you usually do. I asked you on the way to the car "did you cry today?" and you said "cry for mommy." it broke my heart. I would stay with you 24/7 if I was able to! I just love you so much.

You met Brody for the first time today at Mimi's house. You were confused because he wasn't in Hilda's tummy anymore. You patted his head and gave him a lot of kisses. You loved to be around him and constantly wanted to be right on top of him. Yet, you cried when I held him. JEALOUS! Hilda said that she's going to make Brody sleep with a dictionary to make sure he's as smart as you are :)

You refer to him as "baby bow-dee"

You've been kissing little boys at school. His name is Joseph and he loves both of us. He runs up to us and hugs me when we get there, he's really sweet. But the other day when I picked you up, I had both of you in my arms. All of a sudden you lean over and kiss him on the mouth! I was shocked. Then you did it again the next day. When I ask you about it, you say, "Madi kiss joffuf!" and then laugh.

I was trying to get you in the bathtub but you wanted to take your stuffed animals with you. I told you that you couldn't take them in the bath because they couldn't swim. So you looked around and picked up your stuffed dolphin and said "dolphin swim!" I almost let you take him too. You're too smart!