Infant Days: The Epilogue

It was just over two years ago (!!) that we told the world M was going to be a little girl. A few months later that little girl entered the world and completely rocked mine to its core. It was T O U G H and I feel like I was very open and honest and blunt about our struggles with parenthood.

Sometimes I wonder if M will ever find those posts and IG pictures and FB updates, and think I felt regretful. It wasn’t always glamorous and I very rarely painted it as such. And while I hope that was/is helpful to new moms, I sometimes wonder what M will think.

So I thought I’d write a epilogue to the infant days. My 19-month-old is full bore toddler now so we’re in a completely different chapter. (Maybe even book?)

I think every parent has a favorite age. Some will say each stage was their favorite and then the next one happened and it was even better. Kudos to those moms and dads. That is not what I (or K) would tell you.

I loved the newborn snuggles but I struggled during the newborn phase. Even after we cleared the fog, it was hard to find my groove. But then M started rolling. And sitting up. And eating some soft foods.

Then she started smiling and babbling. Pointing and shaking her head. Reaching and rejecting. By the time she was 13 months she could pick out her favorite foods, point to what she wanted, and walk across the room.

And we hit our stride.

I’m sure there are many parents who do not love toddlerhood. Eighteen months is a challenging age. Some parents love newborn age, some like school age (this will be K’s favorite I bet). I am a toddler-lover through and through. M is so much dang fun.

I love that she can communicate- even when I don’t know what she’s saying. Sometimes she’s crying because there’s a thread on her pants- but you know what? I know why she’s crying and that’s such a relief. She’s feisty and inquisitive. She loves doing everything herself… but wants mom or dad close by. She follows the dogs around and expects them to follow her. She can point to and name her body parts. She loves to figure out how something works. She likes to help with everything. She tells us when she’s ready for bed (even if she’s not sold on it when it’s actually time to sleep). She’s down for any adventure. She really is such a fun kid and such a fun age.

SO… for all the struggles and tears and complaining I did 1 year ago, let me just share what a good time we’re having right now. Sure, it’s not always easy. We have tantrums and breakdowns. But dang, it’s rewarding with M. She’s one of my favorite people to hang out with.

I might be singing another tune when we potty train… or transition from crib to bed… or start thinking about preschool. But for now? I am one happy human with my sassy little toddler.

*For those that struggle with toddlerhood, it will change. I would never paint a rosier picture than it really is, but I wanted to share that motherhood isn’t miserable forever and ever with no moments of joy.

12 Months (!!) of Madelyn

This is the last of the designated M posts. I’m not planning to do more quarterly updates and this will round out the birthday-related topics. I’ll likely give an 18 month update mid-2021.

On Saturday we had a zoom party for my baby. It was lame, but it was safe, so I’ll take it. She also recognized people on the video so I think she enjoyed herself.

Nicknames: Maddie, Mads, Moo, Maddie Lou, Poodle, Snoots

Stats: Chunky monk is 23 lbs. and over 31.5 in. long. Clothing-wise she’s slowed down a bit and we’re still hanging out in 18 months outfits. (Thank Jesus.) She’s above the 99th percentile in height, though. WOOF.

Likes: Her dad, her dogs, and her stuffed animals. She loves music and dancing, likes to watch the dogs run around inside and out, and loves having her toes eaten. Lol

Dislikes: Shots (duh), being wiped off after a meal, Mom leaving the room, and having dog toys taken away from her. She hates being restrained, too. She also refuses to leave socks/shoes on.

Sleeping: M has always been a great sleeper. We were struggling with bedtime AND staying down for the night for a few weeks, but she’s back to normal now. I think it was the 1 year sleep regression. UGH.
We’re still doing 2 naps/day and I will hold on to them both as long as possible!

Eating: Our little poodle loves her noodles. She is a carb queen. She also loves avocados, eggs, meatballs, fish, and turkey. But pasta is the way to her heart.

Development: I don’t have time to list all the new things this girl can do. She does everything in her own time but once she’s got it, she’s got it. She stands, walks along furniture, walks with help, walks with her walker… but no independent walking yet.
M is a MONKEY. She climbs on everything- stairs, couches, toys, humans, dogs… lol. She knows how to get up and how to use tools to get up, and she knows how to go down (“feet first!” we say over and over).
She knows 4 or 5 body parts, yes and no, how to wave and clap and point and she tries to blow kisses, she signals “all done” when she’s finished a meal, she cuddles her stuffed animals, and she has mastered the colorful rings toy.
She makes a million sounds, says mama dada and da (dog), and will repeat back sounds and syllables of words you say to her. She knows who people and animals are- and can tell our dogs apart by name.

Personality: I hate COVID. Moo is so much fun to hang out with and take places. I hate that we can’t go anywhere with her. She has a happy disposition and she’s way more clever than me. She’s starting to find certain things funny and she’s starting to find some things scary. I love that we’re seeing her imagination develop. Unless she’s super tired or in pain, she’s a happy happy girl .

Travel: Sigh.
We have done some longer drives lately. We popped down to Cabela’s in Tridelphia, WV a few weeks ago and Maddie did great!
We took her to the reverse Christmas parade our town had and she loved driving through the float displays, waving at everyone.

Mom’s Summary: It was weird to see my baby turn one. I remember everything about the day she entered this world- and it doesn’t seem that long ago. M brings joy to everyone she meets and that’s especially true for me. I’m so proud of all the things she’s learned this year and I LOVE that despite all the isolation, she’s a happy friendly adventurous little girl.

M is starting to get a feisty, head strong, clever personality. I’m looking forward to shaping her into a kind little kid 🖤 I struggled a lot with the helpless newborn stage. I am much much more cut out for the communicative and temperamental toddler stage. I know that’s weird to prefer (and maybe I’ll take it back), but I love her budding personality- even the more difficult side, lol.

I now have a T O D D L E R and I am not ok. 😭

All professional photos courtesy of Jackie Beachy Photography.

To My Little Love

Sweet Moo Baby… today is your last day being ZERO.

Last year I knew we’d be meeting you soon. We had a scheduled induction on December 4th at 8am… but at 2am you decided to start things yourself. Now that we know you, I completely understand. You’re a headstrong, determined, do-it-yourself little spirit. I love your spirit.

When we brought you home Bristol barked and growled at you. She wanted to play with you SO badly. Enzo was more than happy to cuddle up & nap all day- although I think he was quickly over the sleepless nights. But you figured out sleep quickly. And then you figure out eating. And crawling. And babbling. I love your smart little brain.

Watching you grow and learn and move has been the greatest joy of my life, babe. You bring out all the strong emotions in me- pride, love, fear, frustration, humor. You are such a clever, funny, goofy little girl. I love your personality.

You’re not one for cuddles yet, but you will sit on my lap for a few minutes of Blue’s Clues. You gentle pet and play with Bristol’s fur when you’re taking a bottle. You nuzzle your head into my neck when you’re having a rough night. You freely give me and your daddy and all the stuffed animals kisses. I think you’ve learned not to kiss the pups- it results in a mouthful of hair. I love your big, sweet heart.

Mommy and Daddy had a doozy of a first year. We learned a lot about being your parents. We picked our battles. We had little sleep and lots of help. We navigated a pandemic as new parents and, as a result, we got to spend lots and lots and lots of time with you. I will always be so thankful for that. Despite the world being upside down, you were hardly affected. I love your resilience. You are a brave, happy, incredible little soul.

Your daddy and I spent many years together without you- but this year with you has been one of our favorites. I’ve never seen him so in love with or proud of another human. You will forever be the apple of his eye, my love. I’m happy to share his heart with you ❤️

Happy Birthday, Moo-da-Lou. We love you forever and always.

-Mom

Nine Months of Madelyn

Time is a cruel mistress… I love M’s independence and intelligence, but I dislike how fast it all happens. Sigh. But here we are… my kid is NINE months old.

Nicknames: Maddie, Moo, Poodle, Moo Lou, Moo shu, Snoots

Stats: M is 21 lbs. 12 oz.  and 30 inches long. We’re essentially into 18 month clothes now. She is literally half my height- almost.

Likes: Watching people, petting cats, playing in water, eating dog bones (which we strongly discourage), bouncing on her knees or bottom, her lion Donovan & her rabbit Chad…

Dislikes: When someone leaves the room, when she’s not allowed to have dog toys, when the dogs aggressively bark, when she’s DONE eating and I make her wait 0.05 seconds while I wipe her off.

Honestly, she’s a pretty happy girl. Not much makes her mad.

Sleeping: Like a champ. She tucks her arms under her body and sticks her butt in the air. She also sleeps on her side occasionally with her leg kicked up like an adult. We’re down to two naps a day.

Eating: All the things. We’ve had to cut out bananas due to constipation issues (who knew??) but she pretty much eats anything. Not a fan of raw peaches. Big fan of noodles.

Development: The amount of development that’s happened in the last 3 months makes me want to cry. Baby Girl can sit up, crawl around, and pull herself to her knees (not to her feet yet). She’s so determined and can find/hunt/obtain almost anything she puts her mind to. She says dad and dadada, mamama (rarely), and bababa. She copies sounds and hums along to songs. She’s so incredibly smart. She lights up when the dogs pay attention to her.

Personality: I don’t know when/how I put such good energy into the universe to get such a fun and easygoing baby, but I thank the Good Lord Jesus daily. M is happy and chill. She’s opinionated and headstrong, but she’s usually up for anything. She’s smiley. She waves “hi” to anyone that’ll look at her. She LOVES watching and petting animals. She’s truly a joy to be around.

Travel: We haven’t gone far, but we did purchase a camper trailer. After a trial weekend with a borrowed camper we took the leap and jumped on the camping bandwagon. M is a fabulous camper. She likes being outside, sleeps just as well (if not better) in her bunkhouse, and seems to really like hanging in the camper. The dogs have been fantastic, too. Bristol is kind of a spitfire but has really taken to camper life!


Mom’s Summary: Someone told me that every new stage M entered would be more fun than the last. I have found this to be 100% true. She was fun 3 months ago and she’s even more fun now. But it also kills me that she growing up so fast.

In the mornings M usually wakes up around 5am for a small four ounce bottle. (I’d say she does this 5 out of 7 days a week.) When I scoop her up she hugs my neck for a few seconds before looking for her snack. And when she’s done we cuddle for a few minutes before I change her diaper and put her down for another two hours. I don’t love getting up early, but I LOVE this moment with her. It’s my favorite part of the day. I will be so so sad when she no longer needs her early morning snack.

I can’t believe our next update will be ONE YEAR.

Six Months of Madelyn

Yesterday our Lylee Girl would’ve been 9. I’m so sad she’s not here, but I do feel her presence in both Mads and Bristol. It took a baby and a puppy to mend that big ol’ bearsize-hole in our hearts. 

And today I’m here to share M’s 6 month update.

Let me repeat that… 6 MONTHS. akjsdkfsjdhfjnsdkjfhsd. W H A T ! ! ?

Who took my baby and left me this adorable, cuddly, animated child?

*sigh*

Nicknames: Maddie, Mads, Moo, Moo Shu, Lou

Stats: She had her wellness appointment last Thursday. Our little chunk is 18.5 lbs and just shy of 28 inches long (& that puts her in the 97th percentile). Yeah, she’s wearing 12 month clothing. UGH.

Likes: Her puppy siblings; she is obsessed. Baths and splashing in the water. The breeze and Daddy gently blowing on her face. Watching Dad mow the yard back and forth. Walks. Bright colors and music on TV shows. Putting things in her mouth.

Dislikes: Being too hot or having the sun in her eyes too long. Being overly tired, but also being forced to take a nap. Mom taking away the things she’s trying to put in her mouth.

Sleeping: M goes down around 7pm and sleeps until 5am, takes a small bottle, and snoozes until 8am. Sometimes she sleeps right on through until 7 or 8am.
She’s supposed to take three naps but sometimes she fights (& wins) when it comes to that third one… She does great in her crib for naps now!

Eating: Formula still, but we’ve added in adult food! M has tried broccoli, mashed potatoes, avocados, bananas, peaches, strawberries, and sweet potatoes. I think broc & ‘cados are her favs.

Development: She has learned SO much since her 3 month update! She rolls like a champ, grabs at everything, and smiles at us all day long. She laughs, but we’re still waiting on that deep, hard belly laugh. She babbles (“dadadadada”) and squeals and watches everything around her. She can sit up but still needs a spotter. (Balance is hard.) She can stand with help, but no steps. She wants to crawl SO badly but she hasn’t figured out how to get her legs under her and use them yet.

Personality: Man… she is so happy most of the time. A do-it-myself attitude is starting to come through, but she’s the sweetest little diva. She snuggles in at night and she definitely has a special love for her dad…but when she’s tired or fussy or just moody she’s a momma’s girl.
I love how chill she is. We can go somewhere and she’ll just sit on my lap and people-watch. All she needs is some shade, a comfy lap, and sometimes to suck on. She’s a happy girl. I love it.

Travel: L O L Ugh. By this time she should’ve been to Dallas, Texas and Dayton, OH. Possibly South Carolina, too. But we’ve been at home in Ohio.


Mom’s Summary: These past three months have been the absolute best. My hormones have sorted themselves out, we’re all getting a decent amount of sleep (albeit restless because I still wake up & check on her), and we’ve banked extra time at home watching M grow.
COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our lives and business, but it’s given us extra time with M and it was time I didn’t know I needed & wanted. Don’t get me wrong- there were stressful and awful moments- but it was a special opportunity for us to spend a month and a half with just her. I love being her mom more and more every day.

And that’s it for six month! Will we have a walker by 9 months? Only time will tell, lol.

**All photos by the insanely talented Jackie Beachy ♥**