Thursday, April 27, 2006

Maddie's new chair


Maddie was inspired by her girlfriend--that she hasn't met yet--Maya, to get her own big girl chair. She loves her chair and likes to stand on it and say, "No" completely aware that she should not be standing on it. Today, I caught her jumping on it.

When we first got the chair, it was right below the TV and allowed her to be at the perfect height to turn the TV on and off. She figured out real quick that doing that was the fastest way to get our attention. We moved it over about three feet, and she hasn't figured out (yet) that she could just push the chair right back over if she wanted to continue to rule the house.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It's hard not to brag

It's not like I brag about Maddie on purpose. It's just that she is so...well, so far better, cuter, more advanced than any other little rug rat I know. I really can't help it.

In a conversation today with a coworker who has a 19 month old boy, I was stunned by how much more advanced along the Mad-Ster is. I know, he is just a boy, and cannot be compared to the greatness of a girl, however she is heads and shoulders more advanced...verbally, socially, and developmentally. She mentioned that her son, who started walking at 15 months, was able to run pretty well now. Maddie is ready for the Chicago marathon.

Today, for example, Maddie said "dangerous." Oh, yeah, that's a THREE syllable word. I told her not to stand up on her little plastic car because "it was dangerous." She, shockingly, did as I asked and stepped off. A few minutes later, she went to climb on the car again, shook her head no, and said, "day ghr us!"

I really don't want to be "one of those moms" who is constantly comparing their children with others. They all really do develop at their own pace, and I certainly don't push Maddie. Hell, I don't even know what it is she should be doing at any given age. I'm just shocked by how little other little kids are doing at such an older age.

Oh God, I am one of those moms.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Grandma Wendy came for a visit

Grandma Wendy (Zak's mom) came up for a short and sweet visit. Maddie only wanted to play out "Side" every second of everyday. It was a good thing we had such nice weather.

It was nice enough for Maddie to wear a skirt to daycare. Maddie's aunt Terra bought her this most adorable brown peasant skirt. I LOVE IT. She's a super cute and trendy girl! Justin, a boy at day care was so happy she had on a skirt and kept telling Maddie over and over again, "CUTE! MADISON, YOU ARE SOOO CUTE IN YOUR BROWN SKIRT! SPIN IN CIRLCES!" Now, this boy was really trying to be sweet and was shocked to see maddie in a girly outfit for once. I will warn Maddie that usually boys who ask you to spin in circles are trying to look up your skirt!Other than one minor mishap of a backwards diaper, Wendy did a great job, and we were glad to have her in for a visit.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Pee ON the potty?

I bought Maddie a little potty the other day when I was out shopping. I know she's only 16 months old, and I'm not trying to potty train her yet. However, it was on sale, I will need one soon, and I want her to get used to seeing it in the bathroom. Several kids at Ms. Tippi's house are being potty trained so it's a big deal in her world anyway. When one of the kids announces he has to go potty, Tippi tells me Maddie runs with them to the bathroom to supervise.

First thing about little kid toilets is that they come in several shapes, sizes and colors. How's a girl supposed to know which is the best one? I ended up buying the one with the least amount color and no bells and whistles....and yes, they do actually make noise these days. I didn't want her to think of the toilet as a toy, otherwise she would "shit" (maddie's word for sit, but a good pun anyway) on it all day. Just like her dad. L0rd knows if I gave her a book to sit and read, we'd really be hanging out in the bathroom all the time.

She really likes to sit on it, fully clothed and with the lid down...this may be a problem soon. I get all excited and clap and dance when she sits on it. Sometimes Maddie sits on her potty and I sit on my potty, and we clap and get excited together.

Every time I've tried to put her on it with the lid up, she just gets annoyed with me and closes the lid. I have tried to put her on it naked just before her bath, but she gets right up and puts all her bath toys (or whatever else will fit) in it. The other day, I found one of her shoes in it.

Recently, I was filling her bath with water, and I put her on the little potty naked. She stood right up, turned around to face the potty, thrusted her hips forward, and peed ON the potty and all over the floor....as if she had a penis.

I guess this may be how the little boys at Ms. Tippi's go pee, and she thinks that is how she has to do it too.

This should be fun.

"Good girl, for potty on the toilet. But, honey, you're a girl and have a vagina. Girls sit on the toilet to go pee pee."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

16 months


Dear Maddie,
Yesterday you turned 16 months old. It was also the 7th wedding anniversary for the two geniuses who brought you into this world.

So, what's new with you, you ask? Well, you are beginning to put two words together to form mini sentences.

"All Gone" "Hat off" "Bottle, please" "More, please"

I can understand you almost all the time, but still remind you to "use your big girl words" when you whine or yell at me and your dad. You know exactly what I mean and blabber on and on in "Maddie Talk." The cool thing is that we can actually pick out some of the words that you say, and you make perfect sense!

You are fascinated with the outdoors, partly because we live in cold Chicago, and we've kept you indoors for the past 5 months. Also, Ms. Tippi takes you to play in the park for HOURS per day. In addition to your favorite word, "shoes," you now also say, "side." You go the the window and the doors and say, "side?" as if you are asking to go outside. At your worst, you scream and cry and twist the door knob to go out. At your best, you sit and look out the window and "oh and ah" about what you see. When you talk about the birds, sky and grass you gasp with excitement, laugh and point.

When we do go outside you just love to run around in the grass, step on flowers, and carry around sticks or mulch. I think you've just started to understand me when I say "Stay on the grass...only on the grass" because I say it one billion times when we are outside. Your dad and I have to make human blocks because you insist on walking in the street. You've even tried to crawl though my legs to get to the street. When we don't let you play in the street (and when it is time to go inside), you scream at us which only makes the neighbors come out and stare. Thanks.

"No" is another popular word. Sometimes you're just pissy and say "NO" to everything I ask...including if you want some ice cream. Just in the last few days, you're beginning to understand that "No" doesn't always work to your advantage. I know reverse psychology, and I'm not afraid to use it. You've figured this out and now you say, "Yeah" all quick, flippant and teenager-like when you want something. I correct you with a "Yes, M'am" because "yeah" is kinda rude, even though it's cute right now.

Easter was last weekend, and you saw the Easter Bunny for the first time. You just stared and stared at him. You wouldn't smile, speak, look at me, or move. I thought about asking the Easter Bunny to move in with us. You know, for some peace and quiet.


I took some beautiful pictures of you playing in a park in the daffodils. I'm not sure if you should be a model, or I should be a photographer! It was only in the upper 50's outside and I made you wear your sandals and a sundress. I know you were freezing, but IT WAS CUTE and we were only out for 10 minutes! Plus, you were far more interested in the flowers and free roaming parkland to be bothered with the cold.

I love you, baby. Happy Spring!

Loves,
Mama

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Pa Pa did it!















My dad kept Maddie safe and sound, fed, and diapered all by himself for three nights and four days! That's pretty impressive, and we are thankful. Zak and I came home from a great vacation (another post on that later) to find Maddie her usual cheerful self, and detailed notes about what occurred when we were gone. She did some baby trickery to get him to take her on long morning (i.e. 7am!) walks BEFORE she went to daycare!

Sneaky little girl.

My dad has only been gone for about 3 hours, and she woke up from her afternoon nap asking for "PaPa? PaPa!" She played this evening and yelled (as if he was just down the hall) for him to come and play with her, and when I was getting her ready for bed she said his name.

Thanks for everything, Dad. I love you!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

VACATION!

Zak and I are taking our first trip alone since Maddie was born, AND WE CANNOT WAIT!

We got married in Maui in 1999, and we promised each other then that we would always take a vacation to celebrate our anniversary. This included the "no matter how poor" or "how many children we have" we would at least go to downtown Chicago for one night. So far, so good...

1st Anniversary: Puerta Vallerata, Mexico
2nd Anniverary: Ocho Rios, Jamaica
3rd Anniversary: Santa Fe, New Mexico (I still contend this one didn't count because we went with friends).
4th Anniversary: Riviera Maya, Mexico
5th Anniversary: Kauai, Hawaii (when we found out we were preggers with Maddikins)
6th Anniversary: Galena, Illinois (not sure this one counts either...since we drove there, with a five month old who was attached to my boobs the whole time).
SEVENTH Anniversary: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!!! YAY!

First of all, I cannot believe we've been married for seven years (and together since Fall 1993). God, we're old. Second, did I mention WE ARE GOING ON VACATION!?!

My dad volunteered to hang out with Maddie, change some diapers, feed her occasionally, and make sure she gets some shut eye now and then. We'll be gone for just three nights. Maddie will still go to daycare during the day (my Dad is good, but not that good)! We leave at the crack of dawn on Wednesday and come home on Saturday afternoon.

Since this is the first time we will be away, and since we are going to a foreign country, I've been all weirded out about "what happens if we die" type of things. I remember when I was pregnant and I bought a whole bunch of extra life insurance right before Maddie was born, in case I keeled over on the delivery room table. She wouldn't have a mama, but she'd be rich!

So, I didn't croak, and all is well, but we've been meaning to put a will together and establish a trust, and guardianship for Maddie since she was born. This trip inspired me to finally do it. Zak, of course, thinks I'm a dorkwad and totally paranoid, but he did it too. We got some software that puts everything together for us, and we just fill in the blanks...very cool. If we had a gazillion dollars, we'd need a lawyer, but we don't, and I think this will do.

So, I'm not sure how to end this blog post with something funny and witty for you to enjoy your day...since I just talked about death and all....

I will point out that my grandmother, who is in her 80's just told me that she, her mother, and all her sisters lived well into their 80's. I got good genes, dude!

Wish my dad good luck with the Mad-ster, and think warm sunny beachy thoughts for us.

We'll be back on Saturday. Check ya later!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sweet Baby Sleep

Stink bug pose (above)
Maddie is so sweet when she sleeps, I could literally EAT HER.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Stranger, are you out there?

A new phenomenon in my life as a blogger is that strangers are sending me emails and leaving comments about my blog and about Maddie. I find this totally cool and very flattering. I started this blog as a way for our friends and family to keep up with our daily antics. It is also the best excuse to NOT call people on the phone when all I really want to do after Maddie goes to bed is drink red wine and watch reality tv with Zak. Sorry, parents.

Last November, my mom called to see what was happening, and I casually mentioned that Maddie was "running around," and she gasped...."You mean she's WALKING?!" I sighed, annoyed, as I usually do with my dear mother, and told her she need to read the blog for updates.

"I am her GRANDMOTHER, and shouldn't HAVE to read the blog for information about my GRANDDAUGHTER." Well, yes, I agree. However, it is nearly impossible for me to call all the grandparents for updates on a bi-weekly basis. So, my mom stepped it up and is now a daily reader.

Because Maddie-The-Girl is out on the internet, I knew people randomly read my blog, just like I read other blogs. However, I really didn't think people who don't know us would come back consistently.

So, if you are a stranger, please send me an email or post a comment and let me know if you read this site regularly. Who knows, maybe I could even earn money doing this one day? My blog idol, Dooce, supports her husband and daughter by blogging. I would never compare myself to her...she's a superstar. I'm not worthy.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bring it, girlfriend!

Maddie had her first lay down on the floor, kick, pound, cry and scream kinda tantrums today.

What did I do to this precious girl to make her cry, you ask?

She wanted to play with wire hangers, and I took them away. She would poke her EYES OUT! She is allowed to play with plastic hangers (dull edges), but no pokey wire hangers!

Oh, lord, she screamed at me and ran away! Normally she would scream at me then want a hug. NOW, just a scream, some whiney baby curse words, and she stomps off. Hmf.

Her tantrums really don't bother me. I just normally ignore her and hope she will figure out that this behavior will not get her what she wants. I'm no dummy, honey.

I do feel bad because I actually laughed out loud at her. It was really funny...how unreasonable she was. I couldn't help but to laugh at her. That REALLY pissed her off.

Next time, I'll try to get a video or picture. Let's see what she says about that!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

All kinds of kisses

Maddie is a little kisser. She will give air kisses from across the room (which are more "pop" sounds than a kiss noise). She will blow you kisses with her sticky palms. She will lean her forehead into kiss, but kinda just bonks her head into my head.

I've also just taught her how to give Eskimo and butterfly kisses. I remember when I was a little girl, my Aunt Diane and mom would always give me Eskimo and butterfly kisses. For those of you who don't know, an Eskimo kiss is when you rub noses as if you are both shaking your head no. A butterfly kiss is when you put your eye right next to someone elses eye and blink your eyelashes quickly.

She really only does this with me. I think that is because I'm the only one to ask for kisses, like 100 times an hour.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Coldplay and some other dude

My dear friend Shannon was happily chatting about her weekend plans last Wednesday, and she mentioned she (with her husband--Alan, brother--Jack and sister-in-law--Michelle) were going to the Coldplay concert.

"What? Why didn't you invite me and Zak?" I whined like a third grader.

She stammered..."Um, well, I guess I didn't think about it. Coldplay is one of your favorite bands, right? Oh, I.... Um, well, our seats are behind the stage anyway....We are going to take a limo there too."

"YOU SUCK!"

I immediately got on ebay to see if we could find some tickets at a decent price. Found some! I then called our trusty teenage babysitter to see if she was available. She is! I then called Zak, the master of all things concert ticket related to buy tickets. TICKETS PURCHASED!

Zak likes Coldplay too, and we both saw them at Austin City Limits last summer. Zak's real interest in going, however, was that Richard Ashcroft was going to open for Coldplay. He was like a kid, all giddy with excitement on the way to the concert. I'd like to think his excitement was related to the fact that he was on a date night with me, but after 7 years of marriage, I'm smarter than that.

We arrive to the show, and walk into the building to be face with a sign that said, "Richard Ashcroft will not be performing tonight due to illness." The sign should have read, "Richard is back on the smack and can't perform tonight. Too bad for you."

Of course, Zak does not see this sign (because he is a man) and I quietly mumble, "Did you see that sign?" He looks up reads it, looks at me, re-reads it, and deflates like a balloon. I could literally hear the air coming out of him.

At this point, he is so sad, he's literally slouching and dragging his feet as we walk. What do we do? HEAD TO THE BAR, of course! At the bar, we find out they have replaced Ashcroft with....can you guess? I know, we live in Chicago, and there is lots of music...it should be easy to find a band to open for Coldplay last minute...

A DJ! We could hardly contain our excitement over a DJ! Yes, like a DJ who plays at a wedding! Yipee!!

Of course, we decide to hang out in the bar until Coldplay starts.

Our friends join us, and we all make fun of Zak's disappointment together. None of them knew who Richard Ashcroft is, and Zak spends the evening trying to get them to acknowledge some of his songs. "You know, Bittersweet Symphony!" We continue to tease him. Then, the bills comes.

At this point, I've had me some martinis...several martinis, and it was a largish bill. I pay with a credit card, then fill out the tip, and put everything away. I asked Zak if I caculated the tip correctly, because no matter how many years I spent in college, I can NEVER caculate a tip correctly. I even carry one of those dorky tip cards to help me out. What I attempted to do was give a 20% tip, but it turns out I left the waitress $5 instead...like 2%. He busted out laughing and told the entire table how horrible my math was. All proceed to make fun of me. We gave the bill to the smartest, and least drunk person in the room...Michelle, who is a teacher. Apparently, Michelle learned to do math way before she went to college.