Oh, hello there

Long time, no see. We’ve had crazy times around here, and my computer is broken, so this whole blogging thing has taken a back seat. I’m hoping to get back to normal now, but my computer is still broken, and it has all the photos I want to use for the blog posts I have drafted on it, so I need to wait until that’s fixed before I can do those. In the mean time, I thought I might do a little update, considering how long it’s been.

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So, hello!

We don’t really have a baby anymore. Madelyn, just these past few weeks, is looking like a bona-fide toddler. She is so, so cute.

She started walking shortly after her first birthday in February (oh my goodness, I really need to finish her 12 month update), and pretty much just took off running. She is now almost as fast at running as she was at spider crawling, which is saying something because she crawled like a flash. She’s also really good at climbing, both up and down.

Oh, and she says words! Not many (too much running), but it’s very exciting to hear what she has to say. She says the following:

“Dad” – a LOT, as well as all the variations of Dad (Dada, Daddy, Da, etc)

“Mum” – no where near as much as Dad, but still, she says it

“Ma” – her word for breastfeeding, she says it as she assumes the position, or while pulling down my shirt in public, so I know exactly what she’s asking for

“Cat” – clear as a bell, and while pointing at the cat, so there’s no denying it

“Please” – minus the L, so more like “Pease,” and usually said with an exclamation mark, or long and drawn out

“Who’s that?” – or rather, ‘Whosat?” and also, “Whatsat?” which really makes me realise how often I must say those things

“Wow” – very rarely said just once, it’s usually “Wow, wow, wow” about something really exciting like waking up or painting a picture

“No” – sounds more like “Ni,” and again, usually said several times in a row, while running away holding onto something I don’t want her to touch

She also ‘Moo’s like a dog. So maybe I shouldn’t homeschool.

Madelyn’s ability to communicate is unbelievable. I didn’t realise a toddler so young could understand and communicate so much, but it is very, very clear what she’s trying to say most of the time. She’s very expressive and good at pointing, and she babbles away constantly (we’re guessing she’s going to be a chatterbox once she gets her tongue around the words).

Around her first birthday, Madelyn picked up a regular nap. Everyone else is talking about dropping their one year old down to only one nap a day, and mine decided to start actually having a nap during the day. I discovered that I need to keep her super busy and tire her out by actually going out and doing something in the morning, and she’ll typically have a nap when we get home for around 2 hours. So we have an activity that we go to each day of the week. We have swimming lessons, a coffee group, music and then Playcentre twice a week.

I’ve shared a bit about swimming lessons on here before. Madelyn loves her swimming lessons. Her favourite part is when they get to crawl/walk/run across the mat that floats in the water and “jump” off the end to be caught by Mum or Dad. She’s really good at closing her eyes and mouth before going under water. In fact, the other night she slipped over in the bath and fell under the water, and was totally unperturbed.

We love coffee group. Most of Madelyn’s best friends come to coffee group, and it’s so nice to catch up with them all each week. Last week at coffee group, Madelyn and her little friend gave each other a cuddle and a full on, open-mouthed kiss. It was very sweet and so funny.

Madelyn adores Mainly Music. She used to stand up and sway while singing her little heart out, but lately she’s been taking a while to warm up to it all and get off my lap. I guess she’s just becoming more aware of her surroundings, so is feeling a bit more shy and unsure. She still loves to go though, she gets so excited as soon as she realises that’s where we’re going.

Playcentre is so wonderful. It’s essentially an early childhood education environment, except that the parents/guardians are with the children the whole time. We’ve made some really good friends there, and there is so much for Madelyn to play with. She really loves to paint pictures. The other day, she had a paintbrush in each hand, and was exclaiming “Wow! Wow! Wow!” as she painted.

On the work/ministry front, we are very sad because a dear friend of ours is leaving the ministry Angus works for. She is such an incredible, talented young woman who serves God and loves people with all her heart, and it is a huge loss to have her go. Nevertheless, we are excited to see what God has planned both for her and for the ministry here in the future, and we know that He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him.  In exciting news, the dance studio I teach for is moving to a new building. My boss has worked so hard, and is such an amazing woman and boss, so it’s awesome to see this new season happening in the studio.

I’m learning to find my identity as a wife and mother first and foremost, rather than as someone who works in full time ministry. It is harder than I thought it would be, because if I struggled with not receiving recognition and praise while working in ministry, the amount I get now is almost insulting. There is no one to thank me for changing dirty nappies, or waking up through out the night, or tidying up the lounge. I need to, yet again, learn that I will receive my reward in Heaven, and so not to seek an earthly reward. I also spend a lot of time reminding myself that I will never regret this, I will never say “Gee, I wish I’d spent less time with Madelyn and more time out working with other people.” It’s a journey.


So, that is what we’ve been up to. I will try really, really hard not to go so long before writing another blog post. Oh, also, you should watch this. especially if you’re having a bad day:

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The way you go from exhilarated to dizzy when the roller coaster stops

Right now, I am wallowing.

The dance studio I teach for just finished their show, and it was amazing. My mum and step dad came and looked after Madelyn so that I could focus on helping backstage, and the kids all did so well. It was such an awesome weekend.

But…

It’s been a long time since I’ve been nervous before a show. Instead, I find myself feeling really down once the show finishes. It happens the second the curtains close. As they go down, sadness wells up inside of me. And a certain amount of hopelessness too.

I didn’t do enough. I should have done that differently. I looked stupid. 

It is a sort of calm after the storm. The way you go from exhilarated to dizzy when the roller coaster stops. I can’t talk myself out of it, only wait for it to pass.

Tomorrow, I will feel differently. I will be buzzing, excited that the show went so well, just as others feel immediately after the show finishes. But for now, I am wallowing.

Nine months old

Little Thing is nine months old.

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She just gets more and more fun to have around. She is so cute. After being born tiny, and then having a few months of being a big baby, she’s now bang on the 50th percentile for both weight and height, so I get even amounts of “Wow, she’s so big!” and “Wow, she’s so little!” depending on who is talking. She seems both massive and tiny to us.

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She has little friends her own age! We actually noticed it about a month ago, but couldn’t quite believe it because they’re all so young. I have a few friends with babies around Madelyn’s age, and they like each other. They actually get excited when they see each other, and when they see someone’s mum they’ll look around for their little baby friend. They smile at each other and touch each other’s faces and laugh together. When Madelyn sees one of her little friends, she kicks her legs and hyperventilates in excitement, just like she does with her big friends. DSCF2338

She’s learnt how to clap, and is so proud of herself about it. The day she learnt how to clap, Angus, Madelyn and I spent all afternoon all clapping together, and she got so excited that we were all interacting. She loves to clap and have people clap back, its like her own little version of a conversation. She also likes to bang her knees, and loves when we all do that together too.

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It wouldn’t be another month without a change in crawling style. For now she is favouring crawling on her hands and feet, with her butt straight up in the air. She squats when she stops to play with things, and it looks like any second now she’s just going to stand straight up. She is pulling herself up on everything and cruises around a little bit, but prefers crawling because it’s faster. She does this thing where she pulls herself up on the coffee table, grabs on to something, slides it off the table, squats down to swish it around the floor a bit, then pulls herself up, grabs something else, and so on. This keeps going until the coffee table is cleared, and then she’ll pick something off the floor and try to put it back up, and then invariably she will get distracted by playing with all the magazines, cups, sunglasses, etc that are now on the floor and will crawl away with something in her hand, wagging her bum in the air.

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She loves playing in the sand and the water. She went under the water in the heated swimming pool for the first time yesterday (the day before she turned 9 months old). She loves to eat the sand, and crawls straight into the water and then gets angry when she’s lifted out (though swimming lessons are still a very serious matter). She also loves playing in the grass. And just being outside in general. Whenever she sees an open door, she tries to escape.

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She’s so cheeky. She is obsessed with eating the cat food, and cries like I am being so mean when I take it out of her mouth. Every time I look away for longer than a second, she races over to the cat’s bowl and tries to get some in her mouth before I notice. She also really enjoys ripping and eating paper. Any time she sees a piece of paper, a magazine, or a book, she’ll make a beeline for it and put it in her mouth and pull it so that it rips. One thing that has become very useful is that she understands the word “Stop!” Whenever she’s escaping somewhere (except to the cat food), if I call out “Stop!” she’ll stop. It’s so cute. Of course, she starts crawling away again thinking I’m chasing her as soon as I get close, but at least it buys me some time to get over to her and pick her up.

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She’s such a funny, happy, social little girl. What an indescribable gift.

The summer sun knows me by name

A perfect day.

There was already a sandpit in our yard when we moved into this house last year, but I didn’t think there was any sand in it. So I was extremely excited to pull off the cover to find that not only is there sand, there are toys.

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When she started getting tired, we went inside and I tried to put her down for a nap. But even though she was grizzling and rubbing her eyes, it was just far too hot for her to sleep.

A tub for toys doubles perfectly as a paddling pool, so we sat in the shade and cooled off.

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Then we enjoyed some afternoon tea (and forgot to save some for Daddy)

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Oh, my life. It is so wonderful. She is so wonderful.

Six months old

My baby is half a year old.

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I can’t believe how fast these last 6 months have gone, nor how wonderful they have been. She’s stubborn, strong-willed, and knows how to get what she wants. We’re going to have fun with her. I love this about her, because I see her growing into a woman who is bold, uncompromising in her values, and not afraid to be a voice of justice.

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Miss Madelyn started commando crawling at 5 and a half months, and now it’s a lot harder to get good photos of her, because she doesn’t stay still for long enough. She gets around surprisingly fast, and she gets into everything. She refuses to stay on her changing mat long enough for me to put a new nappy on her. She follows us around everywhere, but cries as if her heart is breaking if we go too fast or move just out of sight. The poor cat has been chased a few times, too. Madelyn limps over to her, giggling her head off, and then as soon as she reaches out her hand to pat her, the cat scoots away as fast as she can.

 

 

She loves having people food. There hasn’t been anything so far that she’s refused to eat, though there are clearly some tastes she prefers over others. She loves, loves, loves water. I think she could actually just survive off water if we let her. Whenever she sees us drinking out of a cup or a water bottle, she wants some too. She’s actually pretty good at drinking out of her sippy cup. She can get it to her mouth, it’s just tipping it far enough that she needs help with.

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Her sleep is still erratic. Starting on solids is said to help a baby sleep longer, but not our Madelyn. She’s up every two hours wanting some more milk (maybe because she’s so busy during the day, she doesn’t get all she needs). We’ve had a few late nights where she’s just been hyperactive, like she has restless leg syndrome. She rolls around and around and around and gets up on her hands and knees and rocks and rolls some more, until she finally crashes.

She’s really funny and loves people. A few days ago, we were at the supermarket, and she was crying, then suddenly stopped and started smiling. I turned around to see what she was smiling at, and she’d caught the eye of one of the other customers, so had gone all cute. Cheeky little monkey.

 

We just adore her. She is so cute and playful and funny, she loves being the centre of attention, and she is so headstrong. We are excited about the woman she will grow up to be, and we are thankful for the time we get to spend with her now.