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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Eleven months old

I had this all typed up, I just needed to add the photos, and then the computer crashed and I lost it!

Our little tornado is now 11 months old.

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“Tornado” really is the best word to use to describe little Madelyn. She is everywhere. She crawls so fast, and gets into absolutely everything. She loves to be chased, climbs everything, and flings herself around on couches and mattresses. For the past few weeks, she’s been squatting while playing and trying to stand up. Two days after she turned 11 months old, we were at the beach, and she started standing up on her own! She’s gotten really good at it since then, but still hasn’t even tried to take a step. She’s such a fast crawler, she actually runs on her hands and feet. 

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It’s amazing how good she’s getting at communicating, even though she can’t really talk. She does have a few words – “Mummy,” “Daddy/Dad” and “Ma ma” (to indicate she wants to breastfeed), as well as “Look!” and “That!” which she says while pointing a lot. She does a lot of pointing, and is very insistent about what she’s pointing at. It’s very obvious where she wants to go or what she wants to play with. She can also cheep (“ee ee”) like a chick, and quack (“bap bap”) like a duck. She chatters away constantly, and looks very intently at people when she’s talking, just like she’s telling a story. She talks about her daddy a lot. Even at the supermarket, she tells the checkout ladies all about her dad (you can tell she’s actually talking about her dad and not just babbling, because her voice has a special tone for “Daddy”). One morning, we woke up after her daddy had gone to work, and Madelyn pointed at the door and said “Dad dad dad!” I replied “Yes, we’ll go and see Daddy soon,” to which she frowned, pointed again and shouted “DAD DAD DAD!” Baby Girl knows what she wants.

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Madelyn loves books. We go to the library once a week, and she gets so excited every time. Partially because there’s a wide, open space for her to run around in (on her hands and feet, with lots of flinging), but also because there are books she can “read.” She’ll spend hours opening and closing books, looking at the pictures, lifting the flaps and feeling the different textures in “touch” books. She loves being read to as well, and especially loves animal books where she can try and repeat the sounds the animal makes. Madelyn also loves playing games, especially Peek-a-Boo. She likes being the hider best. She’ll pull something over her head, and then you say “Where’s Madelyn?” and then she uncovers her face with this massive grin. One day recently, she even covered her face with her hands, babbled questioningly, and then pulled her hands away and said “Ah!” She loves chasing people and being chased, and shrieks with delight when she is caught.

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It sounds crazy, but she sings. Not just tunelessly either, she actually sings in tune. To music that is playing, or with people who are singing to her. She matches pitch. It is uncanny. And when she sings to someone, she looks them in the eye, cocks her head to the side, and really sings her heart out. She claps whenever she hears music, and lately we’ve started noticing that she’s actually clapping in time with the beat. The other day her daddy even saw her tapping her foot in time with the music. It’s crazy that she has such an innate sense of rhythm and love of music.

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She is becoming so affectionate. She loves giving kisses and cuddles, and has started climbing up into peoples’ laps to just sit with them. Her kisses are prolonged and open-mouthed. She reaches out for people other than her daddy and I. She likes people to sit on the ground and play with her, and she stands up and holds their shoulders while she plays. When someone is lying on the ground, she’ll come up and recline on them, as close as she can to their face. She gets really into it, and keeps wriggling around and slides off, so then she gets back up and starts again.

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Madelyn is a little performer. Whenever we have people over, she puts on a little show, where she’ll crawl around the middle of the room we’re all in and do the cutest things she can think of. She loves to make people laugh, and she loves to see everyone delighting in her.

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She is so wonderful. So funny, so crazy, so beautiful. Our lives are better because she’s here, and we love her so much.

Ten months old

Madelyn Maria is now 10 months old.

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She is such a funny, happy little girl. It seems like every day she learns how to do something new. Her big thing this month is pointing. She points at everything. She also loves to clap, and if she’s upset and wants to come to someone, she points at them and then claps and points again, like “You! Yes, you!” It is so cool seeing her try to communicate. She’s so chatty and constantly babbles away. She’s so social, and loves being around people and making new friends. Often when we’re out, she’ll suddenly laugh and smile, and when I look at what she’s looking at, she’s just trying to get someone’s attention. When she’s playing, if she sees someone, especially another baby or child, watching her, she’ll call out to them constantly until they come over and play too, like she’s saying “Hey! Come and play with me!”

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She’s so close to walking. She pulls herself up to stand and cruises along everything. She’s really close to standing up on her own, when she’s playing and gets really excited, she gets up on one foot and one knee, and it feels like any second now she’s just going to stand right up. But she’s so fast at crawling, so there are a lot of times where she could try to take a step, but crawling is faster, so she just crawls instead.

Her sleeping is much more consistent now. She usually goes to bed at about 8pm, wakes at about 12:30am, and then two or three times after that. We’re still co-sleeping, so her night wakings don’t bother us at all. The day Madelyn turned 10 months old, she fell asleep at 7pm, and I was cooking dinner, so I put her down to sleep in her ‘nap nook’ (a mattress on the floor in her room), thinking she’d sleep for half an hour or so. At 9:30pm, she still hadn’t woken up, so Angus and I went to bed, and left her in her nap nook. She slept until 12:30 (I didn’t sleep at all), and then I brought her back into our bed. From then on, she’s been starting the night off in her own room, and she’s been sleeping longer and longer.

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Madelyn still doesn’t eat a lot, but she does love trying new food. She eats a huge variety of foods, and especially loves fruit. She’s getting really good at feeding herself, and leaves a lot less mess now. A week or so after she turned 10 months old, she started drinking out of her sippy cup by herself, and feels very clever about it.

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She loves sand so much. She eats it whenever she gets the chance, and just loves to play in it. She plays happily by herself for a surprisingly long time when she’s in sand. She likes water too, but far prefers sand. She loves to be outside, whatever she’s doing. She gets bored sitting at home, she wants to get out and explore. Nothing is more exciting than having a big adventure outside.

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Madelyn is such an awesome baby. We love her so much, and she brings so much joy to our lives. She’s so happy and funny and cute.

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.

Eight months old

Madelyn Maria is now eight months old.

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This has been another amazing, exciting month with so much development. It’s so incredible to see her little personality evolve. She is so, so cheeky. She is determined to get into the cat food, so every time I’m not looking she races towards it. If I see her and call out her name, she looks at me, giggles, and crawls faster. She get so excited about everything, and loves being around people. I didn’t get a photo of her the day she turned 8 months old, because she was sick and it felt cruel to dress her up and make her pose for a photo when she just wanted to cuddle and breastfeed. But she was dedicated at church the next day, so I got a few of her then.

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She’s started playing games. She loves, loves, loves “This Is The Way The Lady Goes,” and “This Little Piggy.” And she loves chasing. I hide behind something, then peek out and call “Madelyn!” and she crawls over with a big grin on her face. I crawl around the other side, so she gets there and goes “Where has she gone?” and I peek out and call “Madelyn!” and she crawls around to my side, so I crawl to the other side again, and on it goes. She loves it (and okay, I do too). She also loves it when we copy her. We were having dinner one night and just started copying her, and once she realised that’s what we were doing she got so excited. Now she’ll do something and then look at us like “You do it now!”

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Her crawling style has changed yet again. Now she crawls on one knee and one foot, unless she wants to go really fast. It looks so funny. And she pulls herself up to stand on everything. She isn’t quite cruising the furniture yet, but I’ve seen her drop something and then use all her brain power to figure out how to pick it up while still standing.

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She has two teeth! Her two bottom teeth popped up at almost the exact same time. They’re still not quite through enough to be called full teeth, but they’re definitely there. She won’t let me show anyone though, so it took awhile even for Angus to believe me that she had teeth. They didn’t seem to bother her too much when they came through. She had a bit of a temperature, and was a bit grizzly, but it was no where near as bad as I thought it would be.

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Two days after Madelyn turned 8 months old, she started waving! Her great-grandparents were leaving after visiting for the weekend for her dedication, and when they waved goodbye, she waved back. She waves with her fist closed and her arm straight, and lifts her arm up and down with it straight. She looks so proud of herself when she waves, you can see how much she loves to be interacting.

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She is so precious, so beautiful. We love her so much and are so thankful to have her in our family.

Seven months old

Our little daughter is seven months old.

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I can’t believe how fast she is growing. It is so exciting to see her learn new skills and try new things. She is such an adorable, happy, cheeky little baby.

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Madelyn is so sociable, and still so happy to go to anyone. The other day, I was running late to help teach a dance class, so I just put her on the floor in the waiting room (beside her babysitter) and ran in. Apparently the parents in the waiting room were surprised that I was able to do that, and that she didn’t even cry. She just loves being held and talked to, no matter who it is.

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She’s also starting to recognise her favourite people other than Angus and I, and she gets excited about seeing them. She laughs and smiles as they approach, and gets sad when they leave. It’s so cute that she has friends and favourites. And she has started doing the most wonderful thing – when she’s being held by someone else and sees me, she’ll reach out her arms and lean towards me, making it extremely obvious she wants me to hold her. It melts my heart every single time.

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She has started crawling, but prefers her own individual style. Every now and then she’ll crawl for a couple of seconds, but otherwise she pushes herself right up onto her hands and feet and then kind of flops forward. She gets herself quite high off the ground.

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We’ve started a bedtime routine, and she’s really taken to it. We have dinner, and then a bath (I get in the bath with her, it saves finding time to shower during the day). Then we read a story in the dim light, and then I feed her to sleep. I wasn’t sure if a bedtime routine would work to get her to sleep easier, but one night when we got home really late, I decided to skip her routine and she just wouldn’t settle down. So I read her a story, and then she lay straight down and opened her mouth, ready to feed. The past couple of nights I’ve also put her to sleep in her cot, leaning into it to feed her, and then getting her out when she wakes the first time once I’ve gone to sleep. She stresses out when I put her down in her cot, and starts trying to roll back over to me until I feed her, so I can’t tuck her in beforehand. I’m hoping she’ll start to get the idea soon. She does well at staying in her cot for a few hours at the start of the night.

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Her language and speech are really developing. The main sound she makes are “Roo roo roo,” “yee yee yee” and “Ga ga ga” (Update: Two days after she turned 7 months old, she started saying “Dad dad dad,” and two days after that she started saying “Mum mum mum”). A few days ago, her Uncle Isaac was staying with us, and she woke up ready to play at 6:30am. She climbed up on Angus, looked towards the door and yelled out “Ale yee yee!” in the exact tone that she would say “Uncle Isaac!” if she could talk, so Angus took her in to wake him up and she had the time of her life pulling on his chest hairs while Mummy and Daddy slept in. So now we call Isaac Ale Yee Yee.

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She is so delightful. Angus often smiles at her as she sleeps or feeds and says, “We have a nice baby.” We’re so thankful for her.

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.

Five months old

It almost seems impossible, but my big girl is five months old.

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This has been an exciting month. Madelyn loves to make people laugh. She loves being the centre of attention, and just shines when there are people to smile at her and play with her. She has this big, beautiful smile and her face just lights up when someone smiles at her. She giggles and squeals with delight so much.

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Daddy worked at a Monopoly-themed camp, so Madelyn dressed up as the Scottie dog player piece

She’s a chatterbox, and will tell me long and detailed stories the entire way around the supermarket. She smacks her lips for awhile after a feed. She’s learning to do more and more with her voice too. The most fun thing for her to do is blow raspberries, and she always looks so pleased with herself. Yesterday morning, she did a little fart and then blew a raspberry like she was copying the sound. I couldn’t stop laughing.

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She is getting very strong and mobile. She isn’t quite crawling yet, but can creep around to change direction, and has started scooting backwards by pushing herself up on her hands and knees and kind of flopping down. She gets so frustrated when she’s trying to move forwards and keeps going backwards. This afternoon she was putting her leg up and pushing her toes against the floor, and she was so, so close to actually moving herself forwards. She rolls over all the time now. Changing her nappy has become rather difficult, because she refuses to stay on her back. She has even managed to roll herself right off the changing mat a couple of times.

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She’s just getting over her first cold. I am extremely thankful that it has only been a cold, because several of my friends’ babies have had bronchiolitis and it sounds awful. Madelyn has just had a runny nose and a little cough, and has wanted to feed hourly (day and night). She also had her first fall tonight. I felt so awful. I put her on the chair next to me while I got ready to feed her, and then suddenly there was this thud, and she was lying on the ground. She looked shocked, and started to cry just as I started feeding her, so thankfully she wasn’t upset for too long. I called Angus and he came home and checked her, but she was giggling and smiling and alert, so he said she was fine.

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Her sleep has been erratic. It’s been a while since she’s had a big 8 or 9 hour stretch of sleep, for the most part she’s been sleeping for 3 hours before waking up for milk and a cuddle. For a couple of nights this week, she’s felt awful and so has been awake and crying for several hours. One night she ended up sleeping on my chest, like she did as a newborn. Another night, Angus took her for a drive to McDonalds at 4am. But for the most part, she sleeps really well, just waking up for a quick drink and to check we’re all still there.

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She can sit up all by herself now. Angus’s mum brought down his old high chair (with a new cover, courtesy of his gran), which she loves to sit in. She thinks she is the coolest kid on the block sitting in her big girl high chair. It makes meal times so much easier because she feels like she’s a part of things. She can sit at the table and play with her toys and talk to us while we enjoy our meal.

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We joke that she’s a Pentecostal baby. At church one evening, there was a video played in which the speaker got really fired up. She got really excited too, and started calling out with delight, like she was saying “Amen! Preach it! That’s good!”

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It seems crazy, but we’re sure she sings and dances. Whenever there is music playing, she bops around and goes “Aaaaah!” It’s incredible to think that when Madelyn hears music, she already automatically wants to move and make noise with her voice. She also enjoys “This little piggy,” and actually giggles when the little piggy goes “wee, wee, wee all the way home.”

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Madelyn is such a delight. She is so funny and so adorable. We love our little daughter.