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


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Potty Training is Complete

This week has been hectic. A lot of things have changed around here and Madi and I are still adjusting. But I'll save all of that for a later post. I just wanted to let everyone know how wonderful Madi is doing with her potty training.
We encountered some problems in the beginning with getting her to go #2 on the potty but that only lasted for a few days. She just had to move at her own pace. Now she rarely has accidents. Usually they are at school when she is preoccupied with something their class is doing. But all kids do that.
I also didn't use a reward system. Madi LOVES candy, but I refused to use that as a prize to get her to use the potty. Instead, I found that she really responded to me getting excited. So every time she would go #2, I would do a psycho-happy-freak-out-dance for her and she couldn't stop giggling. She looked forward to that, and it worked for her.
She still wears a pull-up at night, I've decided to hold that off for Christmas break. However, she doesn't wear anything during naptime and has honestly never had an accident while napping.
It's been one month since the potty training began and I'm happy to say, we lived through it! Madi is such a smart and adaptive little girl. All the milestones that I've dreaded getting to, like taking the bottle away, getting rid of the pacifier, and now, potty training, she has handled them ALL like a champ! Thank goodness.
(doesn't she look so big?!)
Right now, we're piled up on the couch, sick as dogs. We both caught a stomach bug from her daycare.
But hopefully we'll be back to normal soon :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Life, as of now

I like to write posts sometimes just to document the NOW, and not necessarily have any main focus. After all, one reason I do this is to journal our life. So, these pictures document our life, well, as of now :)

Clayton and I bought Madi a train set for her birthday and she LOVES it. She wakes up in the morning saying, "I pay wiff tains!"

This has been constant in her life, but I had to include the picture. She loves her Papaw :)

This girl is sneaky. I find little surprises all the time like this. 

Brody is Madi's new baby cousin and we are both in awe over him! He's almost 2 months old and is so sweet! She always says "I kiss bow-dee!"

We pretty much spend all of our free time at parks. We have a few favorites but every time we get in the car, she says "go pahk?"

This is Clayton's best friend AJ who lives in Virginia. He met her for the first time when she was about 9 months old. The other day, we were looking through old pictures together to admire "baby Madi" and we came across this picture. Madi said "who's dat?" and I told her is was Daddy's friend AJ. She said, "AJ cuuute!" and giggled. I just thought it was the cutest thing.

Daddy bought her a Texans jersey to match his t-shirt. It swallows her but they look so cute together :)

Always mommy's co-pilot!

She had her 2 year check-up at the doctor the other day, which included a couple of shots. To cheer her up, I took her to play with a 7 week old yorkie. (it worked) Also, she was in the 99% for height and 50% for weight!

While getting ready for bed, I asked Madi, "are you mommy's girl or daddy's girl?" To which she replied, "daddy's girl!" I made a fake sad face and she said, "AND mommy's girl!"

Another "baby bow-dee" picture ;) (look at those rolls!)

I love bedtime with this girl. We sit in bed and talk about our day, read books, and snuggle. (we also take a few pictures) ;)
Also to note, right now, Madi has boycotted all food, except waffles. (lol)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Nutrition, Post #1

I originally scheduled this post for next Tuesday, but things happened and I felt it was best suited for today. I am focusing this post on Nutrition, which is my passion. I truly believe that the things you eat directly effect your happiness, health, and the way you feel. I think that everyone should be aware of the things they are putting into their body and also what effect it is having on the systems inside, whether that effect be good or bad.
I have seen a lot of things, just this week, that just irk me to the core and I can't hold it in! The other day I was walking to the commons builing on campus and they happened to be having a Nursing information seminar for students there. The place was packed with future nurses. As I walked through, someone reached out trying to hand me this slip of paper. It was a voucher for free pizza and ice cream for attending the seminar. I was speechless. He said, "This is a nursing information seminar, would you like some free pizza and ice cream?" I firmly said, "No." and kept walking. It bugs me to the CORE that our future nurses are stuffing their faces with Pizza Hut pizza and soft serve as their learning about how to care for other people's health. GRR. Then while I was talking to someone else about it, they told me that Nursing majors aren't required to take any Nutrition classes- at all. How in the world are you going to help people become healthier if one of the main reasons for sickness and disease is something that you know nada about? I just don't get it. Medicine doesn't fix every problem. I think Doctors/Nurses and Dieticians should come together and work together, not working as if the other side doesn't exist.
Secondly, I have a lot of friends who have the typical idea of 'health' that any normal young adult would have. That being, cut back on sweets and eat things that are labeled "fresh" "natural" or "healthy." Which isn't necessarily healthy by any means. Or to eat good food (ish) but still drink soda's, because they don't understand the detrimental effect of sugar on your body. That is from a lack of knowledge, I understand that. What I can't understand are girls starving themselves. I won't say much on this, but it makes me so sad when I see people have such an unhealthy relationship with food. Food is what keeps you alive (with the help of other things, of course), so I don't understand why someone would go to such drastic measures to be thinner. If you eat HEALTHY, your weight should take care of itself. Your body isn't out to get you, saying, "I'm going to store every single thing you put into your mouth!" No. If you give it the right things, it will work at it's highest efficiency and your body will start to change to mirror that change in your diet. Health should be the main focus, not having hip bones.
I realize this is longer than the Magna Carta, but I could write for days about this. My firm belief is that our bodies are made and hard-wired to process and metabolize things that come from the earth. Fruits, vegetables, meat, nuts, seeds, etc. A diet full of natural foods is the best for your body. I always remind myself of three different things. I ask myself, where does it come from? If you can trace its source, it is probably okay. Milk comes from cows, fruits and veggies come from the ground, poptarts come from...? Who knows. If you don't recognize the ingredients, your body probably won't either. Also, is it in its natural form? A sweet potato is in its natural form, sweet potato fries are not. That extra processing always adds chemicals and ingredients that make it far less good for you. Lastly, I ask myself, would a caveman recognize it? A caveman would recognize meat, but not a big mac. Things that come from the ground are naturally high in nutrients. Processed foods are packed with artificial dyes and ingredients that slow your body down and make it less efficient. The biggest enemy is high fructose corn syrup. If you want to know how bad it is, watch this video --> Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It's lengthy, but details in an amazing way how sugar is pretty much poisoning your body, AND is hidden in a lot of places you wouldn't suspect.
Remember, I am NOT a Registered Dietitian, just a Nutrition student, and have collected this information from my own personal research. I will post more information and recipes because I truly believe in the importance of good nutrition.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Birthday Party Wrap-up

I just want to thank everyone that came to Madi's 2nd birthday party. She had a lot of fun (once she warmed up) and got a lot of presents. She loves them all so much she can't pick which one to play with next. (hard life, huh?)

I asked her on the way home if she had fun, and she said "had fun! Played with balls and babies!" Then she picked up her new lion stuffed animal that her Aunt Holly got her and smiled big. I'd say she approves. :)

So once again, thank you to all of the family and friends that showed up to celebrate Madi's birthday with us. Thank you to my mom and my niece for making the cake, which turned out wonderfully! Also, thank you for the wishes I received on Facebook and instagram. We appreciate it :)

(and with all that was going on, I only managed to snap one semi-decent picture. Oh well.)