Saturday, July 28, 2007

Taking Sabbatical

Our big news is that Rob and I decided that I will take a little time off from my communications job to focus on Madeline. So today was my last day -- I handed in my security badge and laptop and said my good-byes.

It was one of the very hardest decisions I have ever made in my life. Thankfully, in the week since I informed my boss, I have felt completely confident in my decision. It reassured me to know that I'll always be able to go back to work (in the meantime, I'm excited to freelance), but Madeline's growing so fast and she'll only be this little once! In fact, this morning when I looked at her, I was certain her face had changed.

I'm sure this decision is just as difficult for almost all women. Torn between a profession that I enjoy and my new job as a mom. I think just one conversation with my mom would have provided so much clarity. But her example is part of my inspiration -- she stayed home with us and then went back to work and had a very full, successful career. She had it all....just not all at once.

So tonight Rob and I are popping a bottle of champagne that's chilling in the freezer! In fact, he's waiting for me now....

Monday, July 23, 2007

Stella Comes to Visit!

This weekend, our good friends Neil and Ashley drove down from Chicago with their beautiful daughter, Stella, who is almost eight months old. After a little small talk, the girls quickly became great friends, bonding over the Cub's game and their mutual love for tissue paper.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Flurry of Activity

Here are some quick highlights from the last four months:

The Delivery
I went on bedrest unexpectedly when I was 34 weeks pregnant. Thankfully, Madeline waited until only nine days before her due date to say, "I'm outta here." Thirty six hours into what I called labor, Rob and I checked into the hospital ready to have a baby. Nancy drove hundreds of miles to get home in time from a business trip for the coming excitement. The nurses were very sweet and told me to come back when it hurt, which was troubling because it did hurt! Another day of huffing and puffing and all sorts of weird positions later, I finally knew what they meant and we raced to the hospital (this time without stopping for Starbucks!). Five hours later we were holding a healthy baby girl who Rob and Aunt Andrea helped deliver! We had a picture of my mom in the room with us -- I felt so calm that I knew she was there with me. Madeline's middle name is May to honor her.

The Following Weeks
In the days and weeks that followed, Rob and I both just stared at Madeline. If she fell asleep in my arms, I would sit on the couch without moving, sometimes for hours at a time. Pops, Meg's dad, got home from Brazil and met his first grandchild, and Mollie drove through the night from Denver to help us for a week. Aunt Nicki came home from France, "Little" Madeline met "Big" Madeline, and Great Grammy came home from Florida to meet the little girl.

A few observations from a new mom (sort of like Jeff Foxworthy's You Know You're a Redneck If..."):
  • You allow spit-up to remain between your toes because cleaning it would wake the sleeping baby in your arms.
  • When a full container of salsa falls and splatters in a six-foot radius, it is acceptable to let the dog take first crack at cleaning it (this only qualifies if the baby's in the front carrier, which Madeline was, in my defense).
  • Your trips to Target are like "Supermarket Sweep," running through the aisles. It never even occurs to you to look at the new clothes and accessories (shoes!) because you're racing to find diapers and Vaseline.

At Madeline's two month check-up, her body finally caught up to her head size. Rob breathed a sigh of relief since he felt quite responsible (as one of two guys in 3,000 of Bradley University's graduates who needed the extended cap size).

Madeline's First Vacation
Over the Fourth of July, we tossed our three-month-old into the car for a 12-hour car ride down to Arkansas to visit my grandparents. We had a great time boating, fishing and golfing. Madeline got to show off her triangle top bikini.

The Baptism
On July 8, Madeline was baptized at First Federated Church where Rob and I were married. The sermon was great, but let's be honest...we were all holding our breath to see if Madeline would cry when the water dripped down her forehead. She didn't make a peep and cooed while Frosty, the pastor, walked her up and down the aisle.

Afterward, Nancy hosted a lovely brunch in Madeline's honor at the Grandview house, complete with cross cookies frosted with Madeline's name.

Madeline is Four Months Old Today
The big news to report is that Madeline has discovered how to pull her big toe into her mouth. What a fabulous way to pass the time - it's something we should all try from time to time. We learned at her check up that she's in the 90th percentile for height...I wonder if she'll tower over her mom?

Madeline May Arrives!

Madeline was born on March 19. How can four months go so quickly? We are head-over-heels in love and are thoroughly enjoying our rest again since Madeline decided to sleep through the night. I love how she giggles her little head off -- it's like there's just too much joy for her little body to bear and it spills over everywhere. It's completely contagious.

When Madeline was three weeks old, Rob and I brainstormed a list of "Things we Love About Madeline" over breakfast one morning. Here are a few things from the list:

  • When she rests her chin on her little hand, deep in thought
  • Her little "froggie" legs from being squished for nine months
  • Her little bird noises (hence her nickname for the first couple of months)
  • Her bed head!
  • Her crooked little sleeping smiles (we don't care if the books say they're from gas)
  • The way she plays with her tongue like she's trying to figure out what it is
  • The incredible smell of her skin!
  • When her eyelids get sooo heavy...
  • When she looks into your eyes and stares like she's thinking "I don't know exactly who you are or where I am, but I like it here...
  • Singing her Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely"
  • Hugging her and kissing her over and over

So here's the real question: How can something so tiny, soft and adorable sound like a car backfiring when she's doing her business? The pure force of it has nailed doors and moving objects (mom and dad). Rob and I joke that she sounds like a Starbuck's barista -- Latte, extra foam?

Here It Goes....

Welcome to our blog! With our family and closest friends spread out from Denver to Hong Kong, we wanted a way to share the joy we've felt since Madeline entered our lives four months ago. Our friend Chelsea suggested this blog, and after enjoying hers for months, I decided to give it a try! I'm already finding out that this may take a little time to get the hang of!

We named the blog "The adventures of Madeline May and her dog, Maple," because when you look through the hundreds of pictures we've taken since her birth, her best pal Maple, our two-year old Vizsla, is sure to be in the shot somewhere. If you don't see her....look carefully. There's probaby a tongue or a nose or doggie red-eye somewhere in the background.