Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy 3 Months, Madelyn!

Anna and Madelyn matching again


This morning Anna and I had craft time. She colored with crayons, markers and decorated with her new favorite - stickers. For the first time I opened her Tadoodles First Marks by Crayola.

I have been a little nervous about turning Anna loose with markers that actually mark on paper (as opposed to the Color Wonder markers) and I was right. Yes they are washable, but they are messy. The ink that came out of the marker almost seemed to puddle on the paper which was then smeared all around the paper and Anna's hands. Also, because she has used "real markers" rather than these that are triangle shaped, they were not intuitive for her to use. Anna had difficulty figuring out which part to draw with. And my final complaint :), someone thought that "no caps to lose" was a feature - I'm not so sure I agree. The markers now have to be stored in their own bin to prevent the marker from getting on everything else.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Does this smiling face strike fear in your heart and make you run the other way? Probably not, but to Anna it does. Anna recently joined the ranks with her friends and became an Elmo fan. Whether he's on TV or on a box of crackers she instantly recognizes him. Because of this fascination, Aunt Susu bought Anna a TMX Elmo which giggles and falls down when you push his ticklish spots. The first time we tickled Elmo, Anna ran away and it took some heavy convincing to even get her to touch Elmo. This morning we had Elmo in the middle of the kitchen floor when Anna came downstairs and she sidestepped around him. I tickled him and Anna took off into the other room. Who would have thought!?! After breakfast I guess Elmo didn't seem as scary, so Anna went and picked him up and brought him over to me. I pushed the tickle button, Elmo started to move, and Anna held him as tight as she could to keep him from moving. Oh well - I guess we'll keep Elmo turned off for now.

The "Lego Situation"

I recently read an article in the August issue of Real Simple magazine entitled Happiness in a messy house by Rebecca Walker where the author talked about "the lego situation". The "lego situation" at my house looks something like this - there are books in the bathroom, puzzle pieces in the kitchen, random toys covering the family room floor and legos lining the stairs; in other words, there are toys EVERYWHERE. As Anna follows me around the house with toys in tow, she leaves a trail (and a hazard for bare feet!). This weekend after rearranging the toys several times in an effort to "hide" them (most of Anna's toys live downstairs in our family room), I decided it was time to bring in some new equipment.

On Sunday we purchased the Closetmaid Cubicals storage unit from Target. It was easy to assemble and very sturdy. It has 9 cubbies which allow for either displaying items or tucking things away in cloth bins. The bins make for easy cleanup since I can put the bin in the middle of the room and Anna will toss her toys in it.

I know that the stage we are in with two kids under two that there will inevitably be lots of toys strewn about the house for a few more years but I feel better knowing that at the end of the day, everything has its place.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ready to Move

I just looked in on Madelyn in her crib and her head is now at the foot of the bed. This little girl likes to be on the move. Here she is enjoying some tummy time.

Tummy Time

Tummy Time

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I've decided I'm not very good at doing hair, whether it be mine or Anna's. Anna's Mimi bought her some cute hair bands and clips which have made it a little easier. I did manage to get Anna's hair in pig tails for a few minutes before she pulled them out.

Pig Tails

On a side note, I also found something that has made my hair much easier to "do". I have curly hair and am constantly battling it; most of the time my hair stays in a ponytail. I bought a flat iron and absolutely love it. It takes me about 10 minutes to fix my hair after blowing it dry. Granted it does take more time than pulling it up, but sometimes it's nice to have a change of pace.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Maddie's New Toys

Yesterday was a good mail day for Madelyn; two toys arrived in the mail for her.

The first was from my husband's cousin. After reading my blog about Maddie liking the soothie pacifier she sent Maddie a WubbaNub. The WubbaNub is basically a soothie pacifier attached to a small stuffed animal to help babies keep their pacifiers in their mouths. I gave it to Maddie and she instantly grabbed a hold of the little frog's foot, so cute! Thanks Lori.

Maddie's WubbaNub

The second was a gift from my husband and I. Since we have sooooo many toys strewn throughout the house we hadn't bought any new toys for Maddie until now. We were looking for a play mat and ended up purchasing the Fisher Price Kickin' Boppin' Gym. This baby gym was cheaper than many of the play mats and converts so that it can be played with while sitting. Maddie instantly loved the bear whose nose lights up and she began kicking and kicking. She laid beneath the gym for about 40 minutes the first go around which is amazing for her. The one down side was that she often kicked the gym base rather than the toys and so I kept having to reposition the gym.

Play gym

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Mornings with Madelyn

After sharing about my mornings with Anna, I decided I needed to write about my morning time with Madelyn as well. As I mentioned before, Maddie has been sleeping from about 8:30pm until 7:30am which is such a blessing. When she does wake up in the morning she is absolutely adorable giving me lots of smiles and coos. She stays awake long enough for a diaper change and a feeding and then is back to sleep in her swing.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Before Maddie was born I had this idea that I was going to be a baby-wearer. I thought it would be super convenient to carry Maddie in a sling or Baby Bjorn around the house so that my hands were free to play with Anna. I had read great things about how happy babies are in slings and to me it all seemed ideal - especially since I already had both pieces of gear from Anna. So far this has not become reality. The several times I have tried Maddie in either she has cried. I'm not sure if it is because she likes to be carried facing outward so that she can observe everyone around her or if I haven't given it enough time for her to get accustomed to it (to me, it's hard to give it more than 5 minutes when she is so close and screaming in my ear). I'll probably give it another shot or two (any advice??) but most likely the sling will be retired and the Bjorn will be put away until we can put Maddie in there facing forward in a month or two. Anna loved it this way, hopefully Maddie will too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Mornings with Anna

Yesterday I was talking to a lady who had a two year old and was due any day with twins (I can't even imagine!). She was asking me questions about how Anna dealt with a baby coming into the house and how our life is these days. As we talked I felt so blessed that Anna has done so well with Maddie. Before Maddie was born I was sad that I was about to lose my "Anna time"; I envisioned the constant care of a newborn and Anna sitting in the corner pouting. Not so. In fact it is quite the opposite - I sometimes feel a little sad that I spend more hands-on time with Anna.

Breakfast with Anna

The mornings have become Anna and mommy time. Anna usually wakes up before Maddie and so we spend time having breakfast together and enjoying our morning milk (or coffee in my case). When Maddie wakes up, she is up for about 15 minutes to eat and then is happy to rock in her swing and fall back asleep for a few hours. During this time Anna and I read lots and lots of books - every book in Anna's "library" is pulled out and read. We cuddle, we play with toys, we laugh lots. I'm not sure how long this will last so I plan to enjoy every minute of it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lots of Firsts

There have been a lot of "firsts" for our family over the past two weeks - some good, some not so good and others absolutely adorable.

- first time sleeping through the night (8:30pm-8:00am!); we are continuing to give her a bottle before bedtime which seems to be working well.

- first time using sidewalk chalk
- first popsicle

First popsicle

- first bubble bath, she was so entertained!
- first black eye :( ; Anna ran face first into the kitchen table

Ponytail & black eye :(

- first ponytail, inspired by Anna's friend Taylor

Anna's first ponytail

- first time without a goatee in 4 years, he looks so handsome

Daddy & his girls

- first (and second) visit to Phoenix, AZ

- first time working out at a gym in 2 years; it has only been 3 days :)
- first night alone with the two girls

I think that about sums up the past two weeks. It is so much fun being a mom!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Loving Our Friends

Over the past few weeks Anna and I have been getting reacquainted with our friends now that I'm a little more comfortable with handling Maddie. We've seen friends from church, from the neighborhood, friends we randomly met at events around Raleigh and even friends from our birthing class. It is so nice to be able to sit (ok, so maybe not actually sit down) and chat about what the kids are going through and share stories. I am convinced this first year and a half of Anna's life would have been so much harder to make it through without them. So, thanks ladies!

On a side note, it is easy when you make friends because of having kids the same age that the kids can become your only topic of conversation. I was reminded of that the other day when a friend of mine said she was tired of talking about the kids and I looked at her and ashamedly said I'm sorry, I don't know what else to ask you about. I need to remember to get to know the whole person rather than just the "mom part" for I know that is what I want as well.

Friday, July 11, 2008


On a lighter note :), I was doing my weekly loads (and loads) of laundry and realized that I had gone through yet another bottle of stain remover. I am not a person who spends a lot of time on laundry - in fact my idea of sorting loads is 'Anna's clothes', 'Maddie's clothes', 'darks', and 'whites with anything that is over 5 years old and won't fade' - but as I've been pulling out Anna's old clothes for Maddie, I'm finding clothes that are horribly stained. Now for every baby/toddler load I go through it piece by piece and spray every little stain. Hence the frequency I go through stain remover. My current favorite is OxiClean's Baby stain remover spray.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Encouragement for Mom

If you are anything like me, you want to be the "perfect" mom. I know perfection is unattainable yet in my head I strive to be at least close and daily I see how I fall short. A few weeks ago I was talking to a wise woman who made a statement that will stick with me for a long time and I thought it may be an encouragement to others. She said I'm never going to be the perfect mom but I am perfectly designed to be the mom of the children God has given me. How true!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Just Like Mommy

I was painting my toe nails yesterday and Anna came over and was very intrigued. She pointed to the nail polish and wanted hers painted too. I thought why not? The color of choice for Anna's first pedicure is Elephantastic Pink.

Anna's first pedicure :)

Monday, July 7, 2008


Yes, I dress my children in matching outfits. I've heard from several friends lately whose parents did the same thing and they do not have favorable memories of how cute it was. Granted one was a guy and the other's memories were from middle school - so maybe it wasn't cool for them, but I think my girls look absolutely adorable in their outfits. Here is my current favorite (More pics can be found on my husband's blog):

Anna and Maddie

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 4th Weekend

It has been a fun weekend for us with lots of time spent with friends. It's the typical July 4th filled with hot dogs, burgers and watermelon though I'm not sure that I've seen a single firework. On Friday we went in the blaring sun to the neighborhood celebration. Anna is still a little young to spend much time at these events but she enjoyed her first snowcone (we were prepared with a bib, spoon and bowl which unfortunately may have taken some of the fun out of it) while watching the "parade".

Snowcone on July 4th

Anna also had another first this weekend - she played her first bocce ball game. The rest of the weekend was spent with various friends at the pool (sometimes with a little rain mixed in). Madelyn happily tagged along.