Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year with Our Little Baby

2011 was a good year for our family.  Madeline went from a loaf of bread to a full-fledged toddler, we said so long to Lowell and bought a new house.

Other highlights?  I thought you'd never ask....

(P.S.  I totally stole this from here, here, and

In January, I went back to work and Madeline started daycare.  It was a big transition for us, but it went smoothly thanks to Madeline's cheery disposition.  She had her first cold and her first taste of solid food. We discovered she loves watching football, and we delighted in Madeline's giggle.   We got 2.5 Madeline's of snowfall, which led to a lot of cozy snow days.

February started off badly when our cat pulled a nutty on me and the baby.  Madeline ended up with stitches in her ear, and I got staples in my head.  Ouch!  Meanwhile, Madeline started sleeping in her own crib.  She didn't care, but Mumma did.  And I experimented with making baby food for Madeline to eat.

In March, Madeline turned six months old!  I stopped my love affair with breastfeeding.  Madeline became a bit of a diva. (Not MY daughter?!?)   We celebrated her first St. Patrick's Day with a burrito and a walk with drunken corner people.  And we took Madeline to the aquarium for the first time.  She still loves fish.   

I continued experimenting with making baby food, and Madeline ate it all up...except for avocado.  We began Early Intevention services because Madeline wasn't rolling over yet, and her Mumma may or may not be a worry wort.  We went on a lot of adventures including visiting Nana and Poppy in New York, taking a day trip to Rhode Island, and a Mumma-Dada day in Boston.  Also, Madeline met the Easter Bunny for the first time.  She didn't cry.  I bet money that this year...she will.  


In May, it rained a lot.  (We also happened to meet our house for the first time on that same day, but I didn't mention it on the blog at the time.)  Madeline finally learned how to roll over and stand with support.  Around the same time, I resolved to stop comparing my child to other (less awesome) children.  Meanwhile, I came up with a brilliant business idea for baby-drool anti-aging face cream. (Still in the works, P.S.) Meanwhile, I shared pictures of Madeline's old nursery


In June, Madeline helped cheer on the Bruins.  Eric and I realized we are the worst parents in the world when we forgot our child at daycare.  Madeline learned to clap and wave.  I made Eric the sappiest father's day video ever!  (But it's still pretty awesome.)  Madeline got her first passport at the ripe old age of seven months.  And I passed on a valuable life-lesson to my ginger-haired daughter: Always wear sunscreen!  

Madeline celebrated her first Fourth of July.  We introduced her to Ben and Jerry on our way up to Vermont where we visited with Grammy and Bob.  She learned to crawl and to say her favorite word, "baby."  We Marched for Babies in Ellis' name, and thanks to my amazing family and friends, we were one of the top fundraising teams in our area!  

As Madeline became more mobile, we found ourselves spending most of our time trying to prevent her from doing herself serious bodily injury.  We packed up our old apartment, and Eric and I once again realized we're complete opposites at most things in life.  I shared what we keep in our diaper bag.  
We went on an amazing cruise to Bermuda with Nana, Poppy, Auntie Carol, and Uncle Kevin.  
Most importantly, we became the proud homeowners of our current little piece of the rock!  Then we tested our survival skills during Hurricane Irene.  

We brought Madeline to her first Red Sox game.  Madeline learned to walk!!!  My mother took Madeline's final bunny picture to celebrate her first birthday.   We had a big pink party in our new house.  Our family noted the third anniversary of Ellis' birth.  Meanwhile, Madeline learned to say "No" and hasn't stopped since.  Finally, I practiced my baby-tossing skills after a child bit Madeline at daycare.  

Eric and I left Madeline overnight for the first time, and realized we should probably get out more often. (Although we still don't much. Boo.)   We celebrated my favorite season in our new house, and brought Madeline apple picking for the first time.  Madeline finished Early Intervention, scoring above her age range in nearly all categories.  Maddie dressed as Winnie the Pooh for her second Halloween, but sadly, the holiday was ruined by a freak blizzard and the plague that keeps on giving.  

Madeline made a mess of herself when she discovered how much she adores spaghetti.  I shared my thanks.   We had a visit from Nana and Poppy.  Grammy and Bob invited us over for Thanksgiving, and Madeline refused to eat anything but corn.  Last but not least, my sister gave me the gift of the Baby Jesus.

Madeline and Mumma did some killer arts and crafts projects.  Madeline visited with good ole Saint Nick.  She did not like him.  Meanwhile, she developed an unhealthy obsession with another man in red...Elmo.  (He's taking over the world; don't say I didn't warn you!)   I discovered the complete awsomeness of  Yo Gabba Gabba.  Eric and I shared our picks for the worst Christmas songs of all time.  And we celebrated Christmas with our family, and then drove to New York to celebrate with the rest of our family.   

Which brings us to....

Happy New Year's Eve Everybody!!!    

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This Christmas

I've been so busy getting my Christmas on that I've been neglecting my blog.  And since Madeline currently has a double ear infection and pneumonia, and since we will be spending the rest of the week visiting with family, I probably won't be posting for a while.

In the meantime, a look back at our Christmas:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Worst Christmas Songs

Eric and I have a lot of "debates" over Christmas carols.  Mainly, I love all songs about the Baby Jesus, and he hates them.

I leave the radio set to holiday music all season long.  When we're in the car together, I sing loudly and bop around to the music.  He groans and rolls his eyes a lot.  I'm not sure if it's me or the music.  

Granted, my favorite Christmas carols are the likes of "The Little Drummer Boy," so maybe I don't have the best taste in holiday music.  And I must admit that Eric's right; there are some pretty God awful songs out there.  Even I have to change the station on occasion.

Which brings me to an exciting game of....

Question: What are the top five worst Christmas carols of all time???

He Says:

5. Happy XMas (War is Over)- John Lennon

As a Beatles fan, I feel like I shouldn't hate this song as much as I do, but it's just really annoying.

4. (Tie)  Christmas Don't Be Late and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

Both of these songs are like MacDonald's.  When you're a kid, you think it's awesome, but as an adult, it's disgusting.

3. The Twleve Pains of Christmas

Need I say more?

2. All I Want for Christmas- Maria Carey

Cheesy 90's Christmas music at its worst!

1. Anything by Mannheim Steamroller

I hate to sound like a music snob, but in what world do electric guitars and orchestras go together??

She Says:

5. Last Christmas- Wham!

Oh, Wham!...Sigh... I think the real reason I hate this song so much is that every time I hear it, it gets stuck in my head for days on end.  And it's just so, so, so terrible.

4. Merry Christmas, Darling- The Carpenters 

"The logs on the fire fill me with desire."  Really, lady?!  Really? Karen Carpenter, you get a "That's what she said!" for that one.  Vomit.  

3. Do They Know it's Christmas?  - Band Aid 

There are so many offensive lyrics in this song I'm not sure where to even begin.  The whole thing wreaks of colonialism if you ask me.  No Christmas?! snow?!  That's horrific.  Wait...Miami doesn't get snow either?!  Get a bunch of rich white guys to write a song for the Floridians too!  (However misguided, this song did raise A LOT of money for the crisis in Ethiopia, and that, my friends, is the only reason this song is not number one on my list.)  

2. The Twelve Pains of Christmas- Bob Rivers 

As if the "Twelve Days of Christmas" wasn't already obnoxious enough, they just had to add "Hangovers" to the mix.  

1. The Christmas Shoes- New Song

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  I'd rather be hit in the face with a frying pan than listen to this song.  It's like someone took the Lifetime Network, a sick puppy, Oprah's ovaries, and country music and put them in a blender together to create this song.

P.S.  I'd just like to point out that I have both "All I Want for Christmas" and "Happy XMas, War is Over" on my Ipod, and I listen to them daily.  I also happen to have the Mannheim Steamroller version of "Carol of the Bells."  Suck it, Eric.  Merry Christmas, ho, ho, ho! 

Now it's your turn:  What Christmas songs do you find most obnoxious?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Late to the Party

Certainly not late to the cookie party last Saturday, and certainly not late to the potluck we had at work today. I'd never be late to a party where food is involved.

No, I am late to the Yo Gabba Gabba party!  Cause this show?... is pretty Yo Awesome Awesome!

I realize that I'm several years late to this phenomenon, but I've never had a child (or a drug abuse problem) up till now (the child, not the drugs) so I'd never watched it.  

On Monday, I was feeling sick and Eric was making dinner and Madeline was fussing.  Since I'm a bad parent, I turned to ye olde Netflix Kids to entertain my child for me.

Out of sheer desperation, I clicked on Yo Gabba Gabba, and found myself rolling around on the floor with laughter.  Madeline was mesmerized, but also confused.  Yet, she dutifully tried to jumpy-jump along with the show when they asked her to.

I assume Yo Gabba Gabba works on children's brains the same way crack works on adults' brains.  Then again, maybe it works on adults' brains in a similar fashion because I've been singing "Party in My Tummy" all week.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Painting

I finished my art class last night.

Behold, my beautiful art work....

It's a little crooked, but that's is my house.

So glad Eric forced me to take this class.  I had so much fun.  He's getting me another round of classes for Christmas.  Hizz-ahh!

Meanwhile, Madeline was sick last week, which means that I'm home sick this week, which means she will probably be sick again next week.  Round and round we go.

How come Eric never gets sick??  His daily regimen of a glass or orange juice must really work wonders.  Not that I'm complaining.  It's nice that at least one of us is healthy...

We won't be sick for Christmas.  We won't be sick for Christmas.  We won't be sick for Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Around the Mighty Internet

Some cool things:

This Nutcracker App looks pretty amazing.  I haven't downloaded it myself, but I would like to.  I watched the preview and the illustrations look beautiful.  I can't wait until Madeline is old enough to appreciate stuff like this.

Becoming Sarah had an interesting take on vaccinations this week after her daughter caught Whooping Cough from a family friend.  Scary.  Vaccinations are an interesting debate, and one worth having I think.

Baby Rabies is having an Inappropriate Elf on the Shelf contest.  That's a contest I can get behind.  If only I had an elf....There are a lot of dirty-minded people out there.  Pretty funny.

My mother is hosting a cookie swap this weekend so I was looking at the Decorated Cookie's blog for inspiration.  She always has such cute ideas, and she makes it all look so easy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Elmo, The Little Red Dictator

Recently I've come to the conclusion that my irrational fear of the Zombie Apocalypse is completely ridiculous.

What I really should be fearing is an Elmo apocalypse.  Because, seriously? Elmo is an evil genius who is hell bent on taking over the world one baby at a time.  

About three weeks ago, Madeline plopped herself down on my lap with a Sesame Street book, opened it, pointed to a page and stated, "Elmo!" clear as a bell.  

Nobody has taught Madeline who Elmo is.  We have no Elmo toys.  We've only watched Sesame Street a handful of times.  The book with the picture of Elmo in it does not even mention his name.  I also checked in with daycare to see if she learned it there.  They were just as perplexed as I.

Without anyone having taught her, Madeline has bowed down to the unstoppable force that is Elmo.

Since then, Madeline has become Elmo obsessed.  If she sees him on a shelf in a store ten aisles away, she'll yell for him.  If I get a Toys R Us flyer mailed to the house, she picks the Elmos out from the pages.  There are little Elmos on some of her diapers, and she stares at him lovingly every time I change her.

 I grew up watching and loving Sesame Street, and yet, I find Elmo pretty obnoxious.  When I was a kid, (wow, I'm old) Elmo was only a secondary character.

Have you watched Sesame Street recently?  Big Bird has all but faded from the show.  I haven't seen an episode with him in it yet.  I also noticed that while Ernie makes an appearance in the show's intro, Bert is nowhere to be seen.  What?!  Shenanigans.

Elmo is everywhere.  Him and that gosh darn Abby Caddabby...whoever that is.  Elmo even has his own show within the show during every episode called, "Elmo's World."

Which leads me back to my main point...

Is Elmo, in fact, trying to take over the world?

Maybe he really is a liberal, Commie tool sent to brainwash our children as Fox News has recently suggested.  I do find his red fur suspicious.

Don't say I didn't try to warn you folks.  Don't say I didn't try.   

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

15 Months

Dear Madeline,

Today you are fifteen months old!

I don't know how much you weigh because you haven't had your check-up and shots yet.  I threw you on the bathroom scale last week, and you came in at 22 lbs.  We'll go with that for now.  You're still very tall and lean.  You stood a full head taller than two babies we met last weekend who were both a month older than you.   Your hair is still surprise there.  Your eyes are brown, but can appear green depending on what you're wearing.  The color is a lot like Dada's eye color.

You've been such a silly girl, Madeline.  You crack yourself up with your shenanigans.   You think throwing things at dinner is funny.  You think knocking down all your blocks is hilarious.  You play peek-a-boo with us every night during dinner and crack up every time we pretend to be startled even though you do it wrong and say "Boo" way before you take your hands away from your face.  The laughter that emanates out of you is a delightful mixture of little girl and evil genius.

We've started playing a game with you where we chase you from one corner of the living room to the other while chanting, "Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp," like we're going to gobble you up.  You love to let us capture and tickle you before you turn around and "Chomp, chomp" us right back.  You think it's so funny to scare Mumma and Dada away.

It's been impossible to get you to keep your socks on your feet because you've been very interested in what you call your "toe-toe"s recently.  Tonight, you were intent on playing with Mumma's toe-toes, which was both kinda gross and ticklish for me.  

You're still bossing around all your stuffed animals.  You like to bark out the order, "Bumm!"  before you make them sit on their behinds in a neat row facing you.  Then, you go down the line one by one and knock them all over.

Bert, Ernie, Ugly Baby, and your Madeline dolls have been favorites of yours recently.   We can always distract you from something naughty by telling you to go find Bert or Ernie.  Sometimes you get the two of them confused and call Bert and Ernie and Ernie Bert, but we're still impressed that you can say their names at all.

You are quite the chatter box, little one.  Even your teachers at school comment on how much you talk.  You never stop.  I've had to start watching what I say around you already because you try to repeat everything.

 It amazes me how quickly you learn.  I only had to tell you that the "babies" on your sippy cup are named Belle and Cinderella once or twice for you to started calling them "Belle" and "Rella" yourself.  You can say all of the babies' names at daycare, and you call your teacher Rah-Rah in place of

You're also starting to string two words together.  You don't just say Bye, Bye now.  You'll say "Bye, Bye, Mumma" or "Bye, Bye, Dada."

Books have become a good friend of yours again.  After dinner, you like to bring us one book after another insisting, "Booo, Booo" until we drop whatever we're doing and read to you.  Dada especially likes to curl up with you on the couch to read.   You listen patiently and point to the different pictures, naming the objects you know.  Some recent favorites are Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin and Goodnight, Gorilla.

Dada taught you to help put away your dinnerware when we're unloading the dishwasher.  You know where your drawer in the kitchen is, and you can pull it open yourself.  Dada will pass you a bowl or spoon, and you'll carry them across the kitchen to your drawer, dump them in, close the drawer, and return to Dada for the next thing.  I hope this enthusiasm for chores continues.  God knows it didn't for your Mumma.

Meanwhile, you're sliding into the terrible twos at an ever increasing speed.  You're so strong willed.   You are capable of making a particularly annoying whining sound that could melt the ears off of a gargoyle.  We're trying to break you of that habit, but I think it may be here to stay.  Luckily for us, you also love, love, love to make us happy.  I'm finding that praise goes miles and miles with you.  You're so eager to please.  

Sleeping hasn't been going as smoothly as it was, but I think a lot of that is due to the fact that you've been sick a lot this fall.  It's hard to sleep well when you've got a stuffy nose and scratchy throat.  We've pushed back your bedtime to 6:30 instead of 6:00, but it seems you've been staying up talking to yourself in your crib until 8 or 9 a lot of nights.  The good news is you're perfectly happy amusing yourself in your crib until you nod off to sleep.  The bad news is that you still wake up at the crack of dawn no matter how late you fall asleep.

As I type, I can hear you stirring over the baby monitor.  You have another cold, and your trying to get comfortable.  Tonight was a rare night where you went right to sleep.

You need your rest so that you can be healthy and strong for Santa in two weeks.  Sleep well, Maddie Bear.

Love You to Pieces,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sorry, My Baby Ate Your Homework

Madeline was home sick from school today...which means that I was also home sick from school today.

I decided to try to get some much needed paper correcting done this afternoon while I was home with the beastie, and oh holy moly, quel nightmare!

How do moms who work from home do it?

I spent two hours shifting piles of papers from one side of my body to the other so that Madeline couldn't reach them.  Everything I didn't want her to touch, she wanted.  Everything I allowed her to play with, she tossed aside like a used tissue.  She may, in fact, have used some papers as tissues.
(That's B quality work you're sitting on, Maddie Bear. You better not have a leaky diaper.)  

And never has my baby loved me so much than when I wasn't totally engrossed in h.e.r.  She kept trying to sit in my lap, give me kisses, or play with my hair.  (That's a new one!)

Eventually I was able to distract her with my empty Dunkin Donuts cup.  Considering the sweet smell of Dunks coffee lured her from the safety of my womb into this cold, cold world, I figured it just might work.  It did...for about two minutes.  

America's babies run on Dunkins.  

Luckily, she fell right asleep after lunch.  I guess a night of not sleeping and kicking Mumma in the face tuckered the gal plumb out.  In the forty minutes I spent grading while she napped, I got twice the work done that I did in the two hours she was present.

Now, how do I explain the crumpled up papers and baby drool to my students???

Madeline Meets Santa

Madeline is afraid of everything, so Eric and I did not have high hopes for Santa Claus this year.  Last year, she was such a little nugget that she barely blinked an eye when we passed her over to a strange man in a red suit.      
Look at how little and bald she was!!!

This year, while she did not like Santa when we brought her to see him on Saturday, she did not lose her ever-loving mind either.  For that, I am happy.

We were going to bring her to the mall like we did last year, but my mother came up with the brilliant idea of bringing her to see the free Santa at a local nursery.

We took our own pictures, there were cookies, cider and a make-your-own s'mores station, and it didn't cost a cent.  Actually, we donated some money to the Jimmy Fund...but it's a better cause than the Mall Gods.

The Santa was great.  He had a real beard and was very patient with Madeline.

Sitting on Santa's lap was not going to happen, so Eric and I sat in the photo too.  She cried a little when I first brought her over to him, and she pouted mightily, but she calmed down and let us take her picture in relative peace.  


 While we were there we got our tree too!  Double Hooray!

Maybe next year Madeline will be a bigger fan of Santa??? Can't wait!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crafting with Mumma Bear

This project took a little longer than I three weeks longer...but it's finally done, and I love it.  

It's a long story involving some bug-infested pine cones, obnoxiously overpowering cinnamon scented pine cones, a lack of glitter, some much needed nail-polish remover to remove the permanent glue from my hands, and a glue-gun...yada, yada, yada...I have a garland of pine cones round my banister.  The end.