Thursday, April 28, 2016

Happy 2nd Birthday, Maddie Grace

It's a bit cliche in the blogging world to write your kid a letter on their birthday. But I've always been one to jump on a bandwagon, so here it goes...


It's the eve of your second birthday. I'm sure I'll say this every year, but I can't believe you are turning 2. It is such a paradox of feelings: simultaneously feeling like we just brought you home from the hospital, but also that you've been ours forever. The ways you've grown in the past 2 years are mind-boggling. From a squirmy, fussy baby into a walking, talking, independent toddler. You amaze me every day and you're more than I ever could have asked for. 

I often feel like it's my job as a mother to teach you (because it is!), but I truly think you've taught me more. Just as you've grown in the past 2 years, I have as well. When I was pregnant, I was so ready to meet you. But for my first lesson in patience, you waited a full week past your due date to (ever so slowly) enter the world. And every day since then, you've tested and strengthened my patience. You've taught me to conquer my fears. When it's just the two of us together, somebody has to kill that spider! I also eat much healthier these days. You need your fruits and veggies, so I've got to set the right example. You've changed my life direction and career path by giving me a new perspective on what is most important to me right now. And that, of course, is spending time with you! I am absolutely loving my days at home with you and treasuring every moment. Well maybe not every moment, but you know what I mean. We're both learning from each other, and I'm so thankful we have this opportunity. 

Anyway, enough sappy, here's what you're up to these days:

  • Running - all day, every day, you are in motion. Dancing, jumping, spinning, hopping, climbing. Your level of energy is incredible!
  • Talking - a mile a minute! You repeat everything we say, but also form your own thoughts and speech. Some words are crystal clear, and others require a little decoding. We joke that I am your translator for others.
  • Singing - we're in the midst of a 10 week music class, and you love to sing the songs you've learned! Current favorites: Goodbye, Hello, Old Brass Wagon, and Merry Go Round.
  • Sleeping - in your "big girl" bed. We took the front off of your crib and affixed a small toddler rail. You love to be in your bed... and you never get out by yourself. When you wake up in the morning or after a nap, you stay in your bed until I come into your room... even if your beloved blankie or baba (pacifier) fall out onto the floor! I've told you that you can get out on your own if you want, but you haven't yet. I'm not really complaining. Before bed, we read two books while you have a snack. Then you brush your teeth with Daddy, he turns out the lights, and you & I sing songs in the rocking chair. Then I lay beside your bed and hold your hand until you fall asleep. 
  • Enjoying - the little things! Some of your favorite things right now are: your friend Isobel, music class, library story time, rocks, bubbles, the color yellow, your stuffed "owl", three special blankies, feeding Bailey, watering your garden, and walking around the block.
  • Wearing tattoos - I can't remember exactly when or where this started, but you like to have tattoos on your hands at all times. Your favorite right now is kitty cat tattoos. You also like to have your toe nails painted!
  • Teething - your canines are all coming in at once and your two-year molars aren't far behind. You complain about your "new teeth" a lot.
  • Learning - you know 10 colors and 10 shapes. You've had those down for a while. Now you're learning your ABCs and 123s. You can sing A-G skip a few LMNOP skip a few Y and Zzzzzzz! You can count 1-3 skip a few 8, 9, 10! You even know a few days of the week too. You enjoy watching Baby Signing Time and know close to 50 different ASL signs.
  • Eating - macaroni and cheese is your current favorite. You also love oatmeal, soup, and lima beans. And sweets. You definitely inherited your mother's sweet tooth. "Eat dinner, two cookies" you like to say.
  • Attaching to toys - owl, puppy, and little fishy are your current favorites. But, we accidentally lost little fishy on our trip home from Pittsburgh, so you still speak fondly of him even though he's not around any more.
  • Remembering - everything! You can recall things we did weeks or even months ago. It amazes me. You love to talk about your experiences.
  • Showing sensitivity - so much sensitivity. I love this character trait of yours. Sometimes it is a challenge, but with every great challenge comes great rewards. You are sensitive to loud sounds and bright lights, new people and new experiences. But you are also so sensitive to others feelings, and very perceptive. You feel everything so deeply, the highs and the lows. 
  • Playing cautiously - ok so maybe it's because I'm constantly following you around saying "be careful!" (I'm working on lightening up), but you like to watch and observe before jumping in.
  • Becoming independent - it's simultaneously exciting and heart-breaking for me to watch. You brush your teeth, comb your hair & pick your bows, wash your hands, attempt to dress & put on shoes, feed Bailey, and open doors.

You are such a special girl, beautiful inside and out. You're smart, silly, and sensitive. Your Daddy and I love you more than you'll ever know. Happiest of birthdays to my sweet little 2 year old.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Maddie's 1st Birthday Party

I know, I know. She turns two in less than a week. But, in preparation for her 2nd birthday party, I scrolled back through to look at something in her 1st birthday party blog post, and gasp, I never wrote about it! Not even a long lost draft to be found. So, I'm going to toss this together real quick before it becomes an even more distant memory.

We held Maddie's 1st birthday in our backyard and it was a Farmer's Market theme. We invited close friends and family, catered in BBQ from a neighborhood restaurant, and ate chocolate cake. Some of us got a little more cake on our faces than others! Ahem, Birthday Girl. The weather was pretty warm, but we played outside anyway. Maddie opened her presents indoors and a slideshow of her first year played in the background. My dear friend, Katie, photographed throughout the party so that we could enjoy the fun without worrying about snapping candids. The party was small, quiet, and fun - just like Maddie!

This was the invitation from Pera Press on Etsy:

Here were some of my favorite decorations:

Our guests enjoyed the festivities:

The birthday girl definitely enjoyed herself:

And we all celebrated surviving the first year!


We can't wait to celebrate Maddie's 2nd birthday next weekend!!