Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Little Girl

Today is Madeline's real birthday. One year ago, we hadn't formally met. At this time last March 19, we still didn't know that we would hold her in our arms in a few short hours. Now I can't imagine a day without stepping on puzzle pieces, finding dried sweet potatoes in my hair and feeling her little arms around my neck. I am head over heels in love.

Today Rob came home with birthday flowers for Madeline, which we agreed would be a fun tradition to begin. And now that Madeline insists on eating what we're eating, I made her a special birthday dinner for the three of us -- healthy versions of macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and grilled cheese. Rob and I haven't eaten like that since fourth grade, but to tell you the truth, it was pretty good.

Miss Madeline has been very busy. Last week, she popped up and decided to walk across the room. She hasn't stopped since. Seeing her travel by foot takes me by surprise -- it seems as foreign as if Rob come in from work "walking" on his hands.

And speaking of Rob, Madeline has become very attached to her daddy! They had some serious father-daughter bonding time last Saturday while I was at an all-day conference. Now, while Rob takes his shower to get ready for work, Madeline crawls up the stairs and wails outside the bathroom door -- I think she's saying, "I know you're in there! Get out here so we can keep playing!" This morning, she fussed for ten minutes after he left for work. She was so desperate to be in her dad's arms, that we had to strip her out of her yogurt-covered PJ's (breakfast) so Rob could hug her in his pressed white shirt and tie.

Last Sunday, Rob's family came down to visit. We had a great time celebrating with Grammy, Grandpa and Aunt Nicki (Gram is in Florida)! They came in with bags of gifts, including Madeline's entire spring and summer wardrobe, plus toys, books and her very first tricycle. She is one lucky and very loved little girl.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Madeline's First Birthday Party!

Madeline is officially a party girl! She had a blast at her monkey themed birthday party this past weekend with her friends Ellie, Quinton, Ella, Claire, Emma, Gino and Lauren. She shrieks with delight when she's around other children! It's incredible to see that much joy.

There were twenty pounds of bananas and stuffed monkeys hanging from chandeliers and popping out of cabinets. The older kids decorated bananas with googly eyes and pipe cleaners and colored in coloring books (Madeline observed while chewing on crayons). We all drank Jungle Juice and ate Monkey chow, banana ice-cream and my personal coup d'etat -- real homemade (a first!) Martha Stewart monkey cakes -- including a mini-one for Madeline, which she decimated. That's my girl!

We decided to keep the party small so that it wouldn't feel overwhelming for Madeline (though that was hard for me, since I like to invite everyone I've ever known!). It was the perfect size and a very special day.

The best part is.....the celebrating continues! Rob's family is coming down this Sunday, and then at the end of March, we'll celebrate with my dad and grandparents during their visit from China and Arkansas, respectively. Madeline's real birthday is Wednesday, March 19, but I'm already teaching her the fine art of stretching the party out as long as possible....