Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stunt Baby, Soft Baby, and Several Other Things

There have been several small things happen over the last few days that I've wanted to "blog" about, but I'm just now getting the chance. So, instead of several short entries, you're getting a long one with all of the pictures and stories.
First of all, let me explain at least part of the title. When I was younger, we had some neighbors that had a baby. The dad used to put the baby on a beanbag at our house and spin her around, toss her up in the air, and do other crazy things that would make her laugh/squeal. As he did it, he yelled "Stunt Baby". Several times throughout Madigan's life we've used that phrase to describe some of the daredevil things she's tried. Which brings us to the story and pictures: Last Friday night two of Madigan's best friends got to come over for a little while. They were all having fun playing with the toys in the living room when Madigan decided that things were just a little too boring and she wanted to liven it up some. So, she started doing "Stunt Baby" tricks on her scooter.
No fear!!!
Look, Mom. No hands!!Move over, Evil Knievel - Here comes Madigan and Joanna!We're just waiting for her to learn how to pop a wheely on the scooter...

However, when Madigan's not practicing for ESPN's Winter X-Games XXV, she does have a softer side. She's really developed an interest in babies lately, so I decided it was time to introduce her to Soft Baby. For those of you who don't know, Soft Baby was my mom's favorite baby as a child. She then passed it onto me when I was little and Soft Baby and I were inseparable. Unfortunately, all of this love has taken it's toll on Soft Baby physically - she's lost all of her hair (the result of me carrying her around by her hair), her skin has yellowed a bit, and the stuffing inside her has packed down so she's pretty flimsy now. However, none of that has mattered to Madigan. She loves the baby and whenever we go in the living room, the first thing I hear is "baby, baby, baby". We dug out some of Madigan's newborn clothes to put on her and she's wearing the hat Madigan wore in the hospital (because her head was cold from the lack of hair...). Anyway, that's probably more than you ever wanted to know about this doll, but it's been really special for me to see Madigan playing with her.
Going for a ride
Still working on the "gentle" hold
Sweet kisses
All of this playing with babies has even rubbed off on Daddy. (Not really, but I couldn't resist posting this picture :) )Let's see... now for some other things that I've meant to blog about:
1) Yesterday I was filling Madigan's sippy cup up with milk and she started fussing and trying to tell me something. I couldn't figure out what she wanted, so I closed the refrigerator and tried to get her to "use her words". We weren't getting very far (since we're still working with a limited vocabulary) and the melt-down was coming on fast. I moved her into the living room, but that only made her madder. Finally, she ran back into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door. She then started emphatically saying "PEETS PEEZ, PEETS PEEZ, PEETS PEEZ"...
Pizza please. Yes, my 17 month old recognized a Little Caesar's box on the bottom shelf and knew that it held pizza. How she knew that, I don't know. However, after getting a small piece of the crust for her, she was in a wonderful mood!

2)There's really not much a story to this, but I wanted to share these pictures. I was making a veggie tray on Saturday night and Madigan wanted some. So, I gave her a carrot and her own bowl of dip and well, this is the result...
3)Madigan has really started mimicking whatever she sees these days. Her latest is talking on the phone like Mommy and Daddy. Our friend Laura took this picture when Madigan was staying with her one day and attached it in an email entitled"Our friendly operators are standing by". (Make sure you note the multi-tasking!!)Then last night, we caught this on video. She was having quite a conversation with someone! I think she was telling on us for something (when she says "mommy" and "daddy") - probably ratting us out to the grandparents. The funniest part of it to me is that when she finished the call, she tried to put it in her back pocket like I do with my cell phone!

Hope you got a laugh out of that - we sure did!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cooking with Madigan

Yesterday I tried out a new recipe, so I decided to bake some cookies as well (in case the dish didn't turn out well!). So, Madigan crawled up in her chair and we made cookies. I rolled the dough into balls and handed them to her to put on the plate. She was thrilled because this time she actually got to TOUCH the food! And, she did a pretty good job (although the spacing of the dough was off just a bit :) ).
We were just about finished filling the pan when Madigan hesitated just a bit. I looked at her and said, "Put it on the pan." She looked at me, at the pan and then at the cookie and before I could stop her (I had my hands full of dough for the next cookie), she shoved the cookie into her mouth. I couldn't even get on to her because I was laughing so hard. She had chipmunk cheeks and dough was oozing out of her mouth. I think if we'd been in the movies, that would have been one of those moments where the angel was on one shoulder and the devil was on the other. The devil won this time... but the cookie dough sure did taste good!Here's a video taken after she had eaten the cookie. See if you can hear what she says "bye bye" to (hint - it wasn't to you like I was trying to get her to do)

That's right - it was to the cookies. She wanted to make sure they got a proper farewell before going into the oven!

(And, in case you were wondering, the new recipe turned out pretty good after all!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Our Long Weekend (aka "Home Improvements: Part Two")

We were very excited to get a 3-day weekend off of work. So, we spent a large portion of it... working. But, it was good work and we're very happy with the results. We decided this weekend to tackle painting the kitchen and replacing our very worn out stove/oven range. After buying this house five years ago, the first thing we did was paint the kitchen. In order to do that, we had to strip down some very loud VEGETABLE wallpaper (I still have pictures if anyone wants to see!) At that time, we decided we would paint the kitchen white because well, white goes with everything. Over the past five years, I've learned that another exciting feature of white is that it SHOWS everything, especially food splatters! So, we opted for a different color... RED! It turned out very good and has us wishing we had done it 5 years ago!

Look - it's the Passover!
Here's the new stove. It's amazing - an oven that actually preheats and doesn't burn everything put in it, an oven light that works, a DIGITAL timer, a stove where food can't fall below the coils. Wow!
A few pictures of the finished product:

A Madigan story: While painting, Madigan did an excellent job of playing/reading by herself in the living room. But, she occasionally had to come check and make sure Daddy and Mommy were doing an acceptable job of painting. One of those times, she was NOT in "paint clothes" and accidentally backed into a wall... a WET wall. She got red paint all down her back, on her pants and of course, in her hair. So, after cleaning up the clothes and her hair, I changed her into some more appropriate clothes. It wasn't until about ten minutes later that Ted started laughing and said, "Did Mommy dress you to look like her?". Sure enough, we both had on a white long-sleeve shirt and black windpants with a white stripe down the sides! What can I say, she's a very stylish kid!
Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Our Little Helper

I've noticed that I often write about the trouble Madigan gets herself into. I think that's because those stories tend to be funny and well... there seems to be an abundant supply to choose from. But, Madigan is also quite a little helper and I've been very impressed with some of the things she's done in the last few days. So, I thought I would redeem myself a little and write about that today.

1) Madigan now "sets" the table for us. This actually started as a way for me to get supper cooked without her hanging on my leg but has turned into a fun game for us both. I hand her one plate/cup/utensil at a time and say "put this on the table". She walks over, puts it on the table (or sometimes the chair - I'm not picky) and then turns around, claps and says "yea!!!" This continues until the table is set or dinner is done. Very cute and pretty helpful as well.All done, Mom...Yea!!2) A few days ago, I changed Madigan's diaper (just a wet one) in the living room and set it to the side (because I was being lazy and didn't want to get up). Madigan walked right over and picked it up and headed out of the room. I laughed and said, "Are you going to throw that away?". Ted and I then joked about all of the places that diaper could potentially show up and about 30 seconds later she came back in the room... without the diaper. So, I got up to see what she had done and finally found the diaper... in the kitchen trashcan...with the lid back down. I didn't even know she knew how to lift the lid to the trashcan. (which also makes me wonder what else she's put in there...)3) Also in an effort to keep her busy while I cook (can you tell this has been a problem?), I started letting her "cook" with me. She'll sit on the cabinet or stand in a chair beside me and do whatever I'm doing with her own bowl and spoon. One day I made something with eggs and gave her the egg shells in her bowl. She did a great job "beating" the eggs. :) We also made rice krispie treats one day, but I had a hard time convincing her that they needed to cool in the pan and not in her mouth.4) She's gotten very good a picking up her toys now that we've simplified the process with the tubs/baskets. One day she even picked up the toys, I picked up the tub, and she pulled out her toy vacuum and "vacuumed" where the toys had been. I'm not sure where she got that idea - Mommy and Daddy sure don't do that. :)So at this point, Ted and I are trying to decide which chores we can hand over to her. At what point can a kid start mowing the lawn... ?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Home Improvements and the Many Faces of Madigan

Disclaimer - the main purpose of the first part of this post is to make sure our families are informed of the changes going on in our household so that the next time they visit we don't hear, "well you didn't tell me you did that...". For those of you reading this that 1)don't care about any home updates or 2)see our house more often, feel free to skip ahead to the pictures of Madigan! For the rest of you:
Sometime last year, Ted decided he was going to build a room onto the shed in our backyard in order to house his "treasures" (safe from little hands). That project was completed in August. He did a FANTASTIC job but due to the extensive amount of time and energy it took, I told him that we weren't even allowed to talk about another project until 2008. So, it's the new year and we made it all the way to January 5th before we were buying paint for the next project! The new room out back opened up the other room that had previously held his stuff, so we are moving the day bed in the front room back there and will have a real guest room/office again! But before doing that, we decided the room needed a little color. It turned out to be a little more color than anticipated (very very bright yellow!) but we like it. Here's a picture of the work and our little helper...
This is a picture of the only clean corner we have in the room at the moment. We're going to do some more decorating and I'll post pictures of that later. But, at least you can see the color (although it's much brighter in person!)
Another new addition to the house: Our poor butcher's block in the kitchen was about to collapse, so we spent some money we received for Christmas (which had been earmarked by the giver specifically for something for the house!) on a new kitchen island. We love it!So does Madigan. She likes to hide things in the cabinets! Here she is playing Vanna White and showing off the features!Last but not least, due to the overwhelming amount of toys, books, and other gadgets acquired over Christmas and from cousins, the time had come to do some organizing. I took all of Madigan's toys and divided them up into 6 rubbermaid containers that fit between the couch and wall in the living room. We only open one tub a day and you would think it's Christmas all over again. Because there are only a few toys out instead of a room-full, Madigan plays with toys she's never played with. It's been great! Here's a picture of the tubs (you'll see a bigger tub full of the larger items - they stay out everyday, but are easy to clean up)...And here's an example of the fun inside one tub...And for the books, I HAD to figure something out for the bookshelf (which typically looks like an empty shelf with a mountain of books in front of it). So, I bought some baskets and rather than try to shelf the books, we simply pile them in the baskets and put those on the shelf. It's been wonderful! Okay - enough about that stuff. Now for the Madigan stuff...
Although she's always shown some of the characteristics, there's now no denying it. Madigan is without a doubt, a full-fledged Drama Queen. We credit this behavior to her GeeGee (my mom). Her latest is mimicking our expressions, but hers are even more dramatic. These are just a few we caught on the camera tonight.

Hope you enjoyed that show. We sure have been!
Last thing, right before she went to bed tonight, I was getting Madigan some milk in her sippy cup. I heard "uh oh" and turned around to find this.Apparently she was needing a bedtime snack :).
Well, that's enough for tonight. Hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tornado warnings, good friends, and an embarrasing picture

And so, we've returned to a semi-normal routine around here. We finally unpacked everything, got all of the Christmas decorations put away (I HATE that part), and spent several days reorganizing all of Madigan's new toys/books so that we are able to maneuver through the house again. Ted returned to work last week and I returned to work on Monday. Madigan is back to her "regular" sleeping/eating/playing patterns and has been reunited with all of her friends (she was SO excited to see them all!)
And yet, routine doesn't ever seem to equal boring around here. In fact, I had a little bit of excitement at work yesterday. Central Arkansas had some tornado-type activity and was under tornado "warnings" and "watches" at various times throughout the day. Not uncommon around here. Typically, we turn on the TV/radio, check how close it is, keep an occasional watch on it and go on with everyday life. However, yesterday I happened to be at one of my elementary schools instead of at home and that's not exactly how things go when you're working with almost 600 students in grades K-4. I was seeing one of my third graders when the principal came over the intercom and said that everyone needed to go to their designated places for "tornado procedures". Not knowing what my designated place was, we headed toward his classroom hoping to just follow his class. Unfortunately, they were already gone, so we went into the closest "approved" place - the computer lab. There were four other classes in there, which meant almost 90 students crammed under computer lab tables with their faces to the wall. Amazingly, they did a great job and were quiet just liked the teachers requested...for about the first five minutes. Following that, there started to be little whispers. One in particular caught my attention. A first grade boy repeatedly whispered, "we're going to die, we're going to die!". I turned to offer my calm assurance that we were actually okay and just taking necessary precautions, only to see that he wasn't actually scared. He was simply tormenting the kindergarten girl squatted beside him. So instead, he got my mean teacher glare. Shortly after, one of the students across the room decided that it was the appropriate place (hunched under a table, surrounded by other students, in a room with no ventilation) to pass some gas. I'll leave the reaction of the other 89 kindergarten, first and third graders to your imagination. Then, the complaining started... "it's too hot (which it was), his breath stinks (it did), my neck hurts (which I'm sure was true for the 120 pound 3rd grader huddled under the short table)" and on and on and on. Finally, after THIRTY minutes, someone sitting comfortably in the central office decided that the "slight rotations which had weakened considerably" were safe enough for us to return to the classrooms. I think next time I'm going to drop my child off in the "safe place" and then take my chances with the tornado!!
On a totally different note, returning to a routine has meant that we get Jenna back! For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, on Wednesdays and Thursdays Madigan's friend Jenna comes over to stay with us (and her mom watches the two of them on two of my work days). Today was her first day back with us after the holidays and Madigan was elated! They play so good to together - I don't know how I'd get laundry done if it wasn't for their playtime! Here's a picture of them playing and reading together on the new Princess couch/bed today (a wonderful hand-me-down from cousins Avery and Ella).
And last but not least, remember all of those pictures that your parents have of you that you can't believe they 1)ever took, 2)kept after developing, and 3)would show people (especially people you were interested in dating)? Mine was a picture of me about Madigan's age standing up wearing my dad's cowboy boots...and nothing else. How humiliating! Well, apparently this isn't going to be one of those things I say, "I'll never do ______ like my parents did" because here's one for Madigan. She found these glasses in some other hand-me-down toys from her cousins and well... I'm going to leave you with that! Have a great day!