Friday, February 29, 2008

Naked Baby on the Loose!

That's what my parents used to say when my sister Mollie would get out of the bathtub and run around like crazy. (Sorry Mols). Now I hear myself saying it when Madeline squiggles out of my arms before or after her bath and takes off, head down, charging like a bull. It must feel so fabulous and liberating -- like when men take off their ties at the end of a long day or when we girls finally get to ditch our hose.

We're so proud of Rob. He managed a four-day conference, with 140 attendees from all around the world this week beginning Sunday night, and it was a huge success! We surprised him with a little party last night. Andi and Kyle came over and we put up balloons and made a big congratulations sign (it was actually a "Congats" sign....noticed this morning it was missing the "r"). Most importantly, I handed him a chilled beer the second he walked in the door. It's important to celebrate anything and why not ham it up and have a little fun?

It has been a nice week. We got to spend time with Ellie and Dan while Buffy was in New York City with her mom and sister. The girls adore each other -- well, Ellie's a bit afraid of Madeline, and she probably has good reason. Even though this picture looks a little....violent....the digital delay actually just missed a hug the girls were giving each other. It is probably one of the cutest things I've even seen. They literally wrapped their arms around each other.

Today we went to our monthly neighborhood coffee and then lunched with our dear friend Claire, who surprised us by treating! We're looking forward to a relaxed weekend and Kyle's birthday party Saturday night!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Madeline's First Step!

Madeline took her first step on Valentine's Day! She has been standing on her own for awhile, so we knew it might not be long... And sure enough, while trying to hand me a toy, she tentatively slid a foot forward before crumpling to the ground. We tried it again...and she took three steps (Hey, who cares if she was technically trying to catch herself as she fell forward). She hasn't tried again since, but she will in her own time.

The other very fun news is that her passport came in the mail -- we're getting so excited about planning our trip to Beijing to visit my family.

The day we had her passport picture taken, I fed her quickly and whisked her to Kinkos, rushing to be home for her next nap. It wasn't until I looked at the finished photo that I realized she had little hardened sweet potato peaks sticking out above both ears where she ran her messy fingers through her hair. It kind of looks like Nick Nolte's crazy hair in his infamous arrest shot (only cute, not creepy...)

Besides the long travel, I think the toughest challenge about our visit might be reversing Madeline's days and nights. It's worth it though, and doesn't everyone say that babies are adaptable?

Oh, as a side note, I cut 11 inches off my hair on a whim (the new Katie Holmes) and I love it, though ironically, my long hair was a lot less work. Having a new look has inspired me to pull things out of my closet that I haven't worn in ages, experiment with jewelry and buy a bolder shade of lipstick. I guess that's why they say change is good!

So, as we plan our China adventure, we're having fun practicing the Mandarin phrases that we read about on Ning's blog (though we have no idea how to pronounce them!). Ni Hau to you! (Hello and good-bye...)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Uh oh....

So Madeline is a bully. In her defense, she is the cutest, sweetest, most loving bully I've ever met. She adores children her own age, and gets so excited when she's around them that without understanding her own strength, she grinds their faces into the carpet, knocks them to the ground and puts them into headlocks. 

Rob and I realized that she may be learning from the way that we interact with Maple. I noticed, as I playfully wrestled a toy out of Maple's mouth and tackled the dog to the ground, that Madeline was watching me very carefully. 

So, now we say the word "gentle" whenever we touch anything. And poor Maple must be wondering why we don't rough house anymore, one of her favorite past times (that, along with waiting under Madeline's high chair for the occasional avocado chunk or Cheerio). It's both hilarious and horrifying: Hilarious to witness the absolute glee and enthusiasm Madeline feels around her friends, and horrifying that there's a chance they'll cry at least once per play date.

On a separate note, this weekend we had so much fun pulling Madeline around in the fresh snow on a baby sled that our neighbors lent us. She loved it, dragging her hands in the snow and licking it off her snowsuit. She also learned some new tricks -- she knows where to point when we say, "Where's mommy's nose?" and claps her hands to cheer for every little thing.