Friday, January 28, 2011

Standing/Kissing Cousins

Chubbs spent the afternoon playing with her cousin, Svana. Svana was so sweet to make sure that Addison got lots of kisses. Addison was just doing her normal push up routine when Svana bent down to give her cousin kisses. So sweet. (-: (I think Svana would have appreciated it more if Addison had used a bit less tongue...we're working on unFrench kissing...)
She also delighted in hand feeding Chubbs maple flavored puffs (they both ate so many that they will both reek of maple for weeks to come...sorry Kalyn). She was insistent on feeding Addison one before she had one herself. I only intervened when she would take a swig on her sippy cup and then place it in Addison's mouth to offer her a swig. So thoughtful. (Sorry this picture is blurry...they were moving rather fast. Chubbs chomped them down at the same lightening speed that Svana hand delivered them. They make a good team.)
Here was the best part of our afternoon play date:

Addison notices Svana playing with her stand up toy and she got so jealous. That was her stand up toy. So, for the first time, she stood a lot. I could actually take my hands away from her to take this picture. She stood all by herself for minutes at a time, over and over and over again all afternoon! I couldn't believe it. All of a sudden she wanted to be like her cousin and be upright!

Svana would stand on the other side of the toy and I would place Addison across from her. Addison was not about to be outdone by her cousin. So she stood and stood and stood. She might have gotten a slight streak of competitiveness from me.

It literally made my week. Come over anytime, Svana! (Haha, it literally looks like she is balanced on little peg legs...I promise that there are feet there as well...I think for this shot she was up on her tip toes a little bit)

Such a big girl! I'm starting to get used to the way I start to despair about Addison doing something- I push and push her until I am just so frustrated, and then one day Addison just decides she wants to do it.

Stubborn, stubborn.....(she must get that from her idea where else that could possibly come from)

We love our cousin Svana! (and Lauren, too....when are you going to come visit us?)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Professional Pianist

Today is both my mother's and mother-in-law's birthday. Because of the special day, we hired a famous, professional pianist to play them a special song. (They are also both piano teachers)

Like most professional musicians, she was a bit temperamental, but we were overall happy with the service that she provided.

Happy Birthday to the Grandmas:

We love you both! Hope you have a wonderful, wonderful day!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crossed eyes?

We had an eye appointment for our Chubbs today. Before I discuss our findings, kindly observe her eyes in the next few pictures. What do you notice?

If you're saying something right about now about crossed eyes, you are in the same place that I have been for months now.

She had one eye appointment back in the summer, where we were told that her eye sight was great. Because of all of the extra stress her body has been under, it is natural that it takes longer for her eyes to mature and stop crossing.

Well, since that time, I haven't noticed the crossing getting better. I see her settle for long periods of time into a cross and happily keep them there for hours. You'll notice in the pictures above crossing, right? (please, please agree with me) Those are just from the last few batches of pictures. I have lots more, just like those.

Our Pediatrician told me the last appointment that we needed to get Dr. Hastings to take another look at her eyes because if they are crossed for too long, she can lose vision in one of her eyes.

Thus, I dragged Addison in today, fully expecting to be given a patch so that we could fix this crossing.

The first nurse came in, nice lady. She looked in Addison's eyes and asked if the crossing was better.

"No." I replied confidently. "In fact, I think it's gotten worse because she'll stay crossed for a long time" (sometimes it's hard to get a picture of her with uncrossed eyes)

Nurse #1 looks at me strangely, and then leaves.

Nurse #2 (are these people actually nurses?) boldly strides into the room, ready to take a look at this horrible crossing.

"Have you noticed her crossing been getting better?" Nurse #2 asked me. I don't know if she was hoping for a different answer the second time?

I of course, replied again that the crossing has not gotten better. That she remains crossed for a good portion of the day.

Nurse #2 gives a snide, strange look and then leaves.
Next thing I know, I hear Nurse #2 discussing us in the hallway with Dr. Hastings. (Um, I can hear you, people)

She was saying how this baby wasn't crossed and that the mom is insisting that she is. She said that she just couldn't see it and something was obviously up with the mom's over-active imagination.

Dr. Hastings then comes into the room and makes a lame observation that I could probably hear that they were just discussing us. (so brilliant. no wonder she's a doctor)

And then- I am still baffled. She went on to say how much better the crossing looks now.

I looked at Addison and she was crossing her eyes in front of us.

I pointed to them. What did the doctor say?

Addison's crossed eyes are an optical illusion. Apparently because of the extra skin she has over top of her eye, some of the whites from her eyes are covered that makes it appear that her eyes are crossed. Also, because her nose is so flat between her eyes, it makes them appear even more crossed. huh?

Dr. Hastings shined her light into Addison's eyes and sure enough, the light lined up perfectly in the same spot in both eyes.

She went on to say that this optical illusion is exaggerated in photos.

Sometimes Addison does cross her eyes like this:
and that we still have to keep our eye on, but her normal "crossed" look isn't actually crossed at all. Her crossing isn't bad enough to need a patch, glasses, or surgery. We're just supposed to keep watching her.

I guess things aren't always the way they seem. Hopefully as her eyes continue to mature, they will stop appearing to be crossed, but it's nice to know that her vision isn't being compromised.

I feel a little bit like I am the crazy mom. I was so sure Addison was crossing her eyes. Her Pediatrician sent us there because he noticed the eye crossing.

But then I just got pretty much laughed at today at the opthamologist's office. Anyone else dealing with apparent crossing due to the almond shape of the eyes and flatness of nose?

(Side note: sorry if this post gives you the willies. I know crossed eyes can be a bit of a weird subject matter....)

As far as the apparent crossing, it's OK. I have a plan to help her eyes get to be where they need to be. Spa treatment is the answer to every problem.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Failed Advocate

Recently, I realized that perhaps I have failed as a friend with a special needs child. Perhaps I have failed to communicate what life has really been like since having a daughter with Down syndrome.

I am blatantly honest on my blog. It is how I have survived the hard times and celebrated the good times. I have found a new balance in myself and that balance includes naked honesty.

Sometimes being so honest can cause people normally not touched by a special needs child to see only the negative and stare in horror, unable to look away because of the grotesque nature of the accident.

Lately I have gotten the feeling that people are carefully watching my life and praying like anything that they don't wind up like me. My first reaction is to cry and feel sorry for myself that people are pitying me in such a fashion. My second reaction is anger and hurt.

I have failed as an advocate of Down syndrome.

I have failed to convey how blessed and wonderful my life is, not in spite of, but because of Addison.

I wish that I had a friend with a child with a disability when I was pregnant with Addison. I wish I could have watched someone go through hell and see how none of it even seemed like a blimp on the radar because of the love they had for their child.

I was devastated and heartbroken when I found out that my daughter had Down syndrome because I had no idea what Down syndrome was. It sounded like a horrible defect to me. a mistake. I was so ignorant.

I wasn't trusting God in His complete sovereignty. To my way of thinking, this shouldn't happen to me. I was too good to be touched by such a trial. That was for other, less educated, less classy people. People not as deserving as myself.

I was an absolute arrogant fool.

God created my daughter perfectly. perfectly. There is nothing wrong with her. Health problems were part of her perfection. Having to work through those was part of His plan for us. He created her and has sustained her life in a miraculous fashion, turning my life upside down in a wonderful way.

In a way He gave me far more than I deserve. He gave me the most amazing baby I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams. He gave me Addison.

You have seen me this past year- open and exposed- showing my fears and my doubts, revealing my inner struggles as I faced this change in my life.

I am here to tell you that Addison is honestly the best thing that has ever happened to me. Having Addison has changed my selfish little self into a slightly less selfish version of myself (just call me a work in progress). It has made me more accepting, more loving, more human.

Loving Addison has been my favorite thing ever. Holding her close and thanking God every day for giving her to me- I didn't know what living was until she was here to show me.

I have failed as an advocate of Down syndrome when I see others around me desperately praying and pleading with God to please let them not have the life that I have.

First of all, don't you think God knows better? Don't you think God has a perfect plan for your life as well? If He has a special needs child in your future, will fretting and worrying really change that? If He has a special needs child in your womb, the unknown can be scary, but you also can know that you are about to receive the greatest blessing known to mankind. Why would you desperately plead for something other than God's perfect plan for you?

Second, how can you look at the love in our house and the joy and happiness and wish anything else for yourself? Your joy and happiness may come in another form, or it may not. Either case, don't waste your pity on me.

My Addison, my Chubbs, is my greatest blessing. God gave her to me because He is good.

I'm sorry if you look at my life and are thankful every day that you aren't me because I have a daughter with Down syndrome and a lot of health needs.

I'm sorry because you just don't get it. You don't get what life is truly about. You don't get what love is really all about. You don't get what honestly trusting God is all about.

I'm sorry that I have failed in my mission to portray that.

This past year has been difficult- surgeries, hospital stays, financial struggles because of the former-

-but I am here to tell you that I would do it all over again in a heartbeat for my Chubbs. None of that even matters because I have Chubbs. Have I not made that clear? What do I need to do to get you to hear me? I love my daughter and will fight for the rest of my life for her to have the most amazing life possible. I will diligently work alongside her so that she can reach her full potential.

And you know what? I will love every minute of it because it's another minute that I get to celebrate life with my greatest miracle.

I look in her face and my eyes well up, not because she has Down syndrome.

Tears start to fall not because she has health problems.

I cry when I look at my beautiful daughter

because I am so thankful

that she is mine.

I am so blessed.

It is my dream that those of you following Addison's amazing journey would not fear what we have for children. It is my dream that you recognize God's goodness in our life and you trust Him for goodness in yours.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daddy's little helper

So, last night we had a small issue with some frozen pipes between the jetted tub and the shower. (It was very, very cold outside). Aaron told Addison that she was the only one small enough to crawl under there and unfreeze the pipes. As you can see, she was thrilled to help.

This girl would do pretty much anything for her Dada. (don't worry, I didn't let her go any farther than this)

Also, a short crawling update. At the end where she tries to eat my hand, the video cuts out before she almost breaks skin with her sharp fang. Wow, she has sharp teeth.

We had a visit to the ENT today. After now four hearing tests (months apart), we still know...nothing. Apparently this child has the smallest ear canals known to mankind. Her Dr. today (who is a huge tubes advocator) said that even if he wanted to give her tubes, they couldn't put them in this tiny. He assured me that just waiting and following up with another appointment in a few months won't do any long term damage to her hearing. I know she can hear me, but am I crazy to be nervous that we still have yet to get one test where they actually have good numbers to back up her hearing? Her ears are too tiny for any of their machines to get a reading. They only positive remark the whole appointment was that no news was good news....oh and that her earrings were cute. I'm so glad that we trucked across town in negative degree weather for that appointment.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Good Memory

I had one of those days where I honestly just wanted to bury my head in the sand, letting the world continue on around me. It was cold outside, my house was/is a mess, my baby was (somewhat) cuddly- perfect recipe for just staying in.

But Chubbs had a very big playdate with three handsome boys and then we had to run across town for Aaron's grandparent's infamous January birthday bash party. I had to work hard to pull my head out of the sand, but I'm really glad that I did.

There's nothing quite like getting together with good friends, comfortable conversations, yummy homemade pizza, and well tempered babies playing nicely together that really makes you glad that you made the effort to join civilization for the day. The birthday bash was fun as well. Overbooking a day with parties is busy....but can be fun if you have good company like I did...Chubbs and Aaron are nice people to dash around town with.

I'm writing this rather rambling post tonight because I just have to share the following picture. My friend who hosted the playdate, loaned us a tummy time mirror when Addison was born. We returned it months ago when it became apparent that Addison no longer needed it. Well, tonight, Addison spotted the mirror across the play area, remembered that it used to be at her house, and was determined to get to it.

This included crawling over one of the aforementioned handsome boys.

It looks like she was trying to give him kisses and hugs, but in actuality, she was trying to get over him. As soon as this "obstacle" was removed (his safety came into question), she shot over, recaptured the mirror and immediately started to eat it. Just like the good ol' days.
He certainly didn't complain about all of the attention from the only girl at playdate. (-:

I was amazed that she recognized the mirror. She hadn't seen it for months. Such a smart baby to have such a good memory!

I know it's strange for me to be so excited over something so small. But when you are told that your child will have mental limitations, and you have no idea what they will be, you latch onto anything positive that happens and celebrate in the biggest of ways. I am so pleased that Addison remembered this mirror. (And became rather possessive of her rattle....out of all of the toys there, she knew which ones where hers)

That one crawling over the other children- that's MY baby. (-:

Anyway, I'm off to bed where there is a whole pile of warm, cozy covers and soft flannel sheets are calling my name. Winter may be cold and the temp the next few days may reach -30, but it just gives me that much more to be thankful for- heat and warm blankets.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

solid foods/diaper challenge

Addison has really rounded a corner with eating solid foods. For months, I've been prying her mouth open, shoving baby food down it, and wiping up everything that she spits back out.

Lately? She cries until I give her solid foods. She licks her lips and smacks her chops until foods that she can sink her teeth into (she has two now) come into view. She also prefers to feed herself. I tried to put some rice in her mouth tonight, she backed up to look at it carefully and then put her hand out to bring it to her mouth. Put anything her her hands and she will bring it faithfully to her mouth and seek to devour. (I'm sure this has something to do with teething, but I'm still taking full advantage of it)

We went on a family date to Moe's the other day for lunch. It was so much fun. She started out with sharing cheese softened nachos from my plate, and then we ordered her own cheese quesadilla.

She loved it, and it was so wonderful to watch her smack away on it. She seemed like such a big girl.

She then discovered that a TV was right there, and she was pretty much in heaven.

I got a little teary eyed watching her, thinking about her one year birthday coming up in a couple of short weeks. I can't believe that my baby is turning one.

Watching her start to enjoy food and heartily eating really brings me back to almost year ago.

She had just had her G-tube surgery. A NICU doctor told me to keep working so that she could someday taste food and enjoy it for herself. He was so dismal about this hope and kept emphasizing how hard we would have to work for her ever to be able to eat on her own.

If only he could see her now.

I love seeing her chubby jaw munch away and her tiny fingers wrap around desired objects and pull them effortlessly to her mouth.

I love seeing her view a bottle, crawl towards it if necessary, reach out both hands, hold the bottle and put it in her mouth- holding it the whole time herself.

Once upon a time, I had to teach her how to suck from a bottle. 5 ccs was a huge victory. Tonight she just polished off two jars of babyfood, a stack of rice, some peas and carrots, two biter biscuits, and a handful of puffs. I am so proud of her. I hope to see this growth continued. It has done this Momma's heart good to see.

Also, she has started to army crawl. This started earlier this week. I was sitting on the couch, drinking green tea and she was playing with her toys next to the couch. Next thing I knew, she had tipped over the green tea, was lying in a pool of it, and had the bag in her mouth as she was liberally sampling. (mere seconds before she was several paces away)

I fished the tea leaves out of her mouth, striped her of her wet clothes and put her back in the middle of the floor to play while I went and got her a dry outfit.

I returned to find this:
I have a feeling that life is about to get very interesting. I'm lovin' it. (-:

Also, thank you so much for all of your sweet comments on her one year pictures. Your opinions have helped me narrow down the pics. Still haven't decided for sure, but am certainly that much closer!

I know that this post borders on bragfest, but after months of hard work to achieve something- when that something is accomplished, you better believe I'm going to raise my tiny little voice and scream from the blogtops what my amazing baby girl is doing.

I'm so proud of her.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Photo Gallery

password: addison

What is this? Our gallery from the one year photo shoot. I get to choose 15 to go on a CD that I can do anything with. I would like to print out one or two in opinions? thoughts? (can you tell this is the first time that I've gotten professional pics of Addison) I'm really excited about these pictures!

We can't get a decent family picture, ever, because if Da-da is anywhere near, Addison is going to want to stare adoringly at him....only makes sense, right? (-: (also, the first family picture with us kissing Addison, seriously just makes me laugh.)

I will say, this is the first time Aaron and I have gotten pictures done since our wedding pictures (four years ago), so it was nice to have a decent couple shot as well.

If you get a chance, check out our gallery and give me your opinion!

Thanks in advance.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Big Feet, Small Feet, Feet, Feet, Feet.

As I sit down at my faithful computer to write another post that will be sent into the silent sphere known as blog land, my mind is drawn towards a rather unusual topic- feet.

I have rather large feet. I used to wear a solid 10 until life was slightly kinder to me and they shrunk to a respectable 9/9.5. Narrow long feet can still be worn rather gracefully, but unfortunately my feet have always been labeled by the letter "W". We'll not go into what that represents. I've always had big feet- which happens to go well with my tall height, but I have always been teased about my Big Foot status....mostly by jealous short people. (AKA siblings who are mere inches shorter than I)

This brings us to Addison. I assumed that she would inherit my large feet syndrome (as she is my daughter)...but unfortunately, she has decided to put new meaning to "tiny feet". Her feet are so tiny, I don't they they merit the use of the whole word "feet". She has two "fee-".

Now, I have no idea how big her feet actually were when she was born. I still get mad about this whenever I think about it. After the air had cleared from the NICU stay and we were home a few months, I called in to ask if we could get a copy of her footprints for her baby book. They informed me that they only do footprints if the parents specifically request it. This makes no sense to me. My child was fighting for her life, getting her footprints was literally the last thing on my mind. Why would anyone NOT want footprints? I felt a bit like this was their way of saying "Yeah, we didn't think your baby would live anyway, so why bother?"

Anyway, ranting aside. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but I never put Addison in shoes.

This could be explained by a variety of reasons:

1. I am a horrible mother (I realize your mind probably wanders here first, but let's entertain a few more reasons before we settle on this)

2. We buy her so many outfits, there's no money left over for the shoes. (once again, plausible but not true....did you realize you can find baby's shoes on sale for mere cents???)

3. Addison has insanely talented toes. (As weird as that sounds, now we're getting warmer. Remember how she used to play with her nasal cannula with her feet?????)

4. Addison has very rambunctious legs that kick and kick until her feet once again find the freedom that they crave. (yep)

5. Addison's feet are sooooooo tiny, even newborn shoes don't fit her. (and yep once again)

Look at these small feet. Not only are they tiny, but they are amazingly narrow (so jealous). No wonder she has trouble standing. How do you balance sixteen pounds of chubbiness on these tiny toothpicks of feet?
Myth busting reason #2. Checkout Chubbs' collection of shoes. Most of these are size two or newborn with a four in the front row and a six in the backrow. (note: this includes not buying any shoes for at least half of her life as I realized that it was a lost cause)
So many shoes, just waiting for the day of cooperative feet....Sigh. Seriously, how cute would she look in all of those shoes! (note: the flip flops were purchased for last summer but at this rate might not be worn until summer '12

I am happy to announce (drumroll please) that after almost one year of solid growth......Addison now fits into newborn shoes!!!! My sister sent these shoes as a welcome home from the NICU gift....We can wear them now. (Sorry, Addison, you're going to be a year behind on your shoe fashion)

This is size two. We have a lot of size twos and I was hoping she would at least sort of fit in them by now. I'm thinking that not even rolled under tights will help keep these bad boys on.

Oh yes, these are the boots that you have seen in several pictures. Truth is, I balanced it on her foot, quick took a picture and two seconds later she kicked them off. Makes a great picture, but she has never actually worn these boots. (Sorry Grandma)

In conclusion to this rather random post on feet, I present you with these monster shoes...any guesses on how old I was when I wore these?

eight months. Yep, the Bigfoot jokes started early. We plan on having Chubbs wear them for her kindergarten graduation.

The footed gods have smiled down upon me and sent me a tiny footed daughter. I have been redeemed in the world of feet. Addison totally balances me out.

As happy as that makes me, I really hope that she can start keeping shoes on soon. Because every outfit needs to be framed in by some seriously cute shoes.

Now that newborn ones will fit (only lengthwise though, they are still way too wide), we now need to work on the talented toes and kicker feet....hmmmm suggestions?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Date night, Snowman, Pizza

Addison on date night with friend Drew from the NICU (one year ago they were weeks away from being isolette buddies)

Kissing buddies. They sure have come a long way. (-:
"What? Addison's Daddy is here???"

Chilling out...what a great date. (They were actually celebrating Addison's Daddy's birthday, but hey, we can turn anything into a date for a pair of cute one year olds)

Look at this cute snowman

on Chubbs' back. Thanks, Grandma Smith for the awesome jacket.

"Thanks Daddy for the frozen pizza." -(different meal...I promise I didn't serve frozen pizza at my husband's birthday dinner....didn't spend all day making a new pulled pork recipe to have you think I'm a complete slacker.)

"Thank you Mommy for forever capturing my finest moment for the world to see."
We had Addison's one year photo shoot today. I know it's a few weeks early, but I wanted to actually have the pictures for her one year party. I am so excited about the sneak peek that I was able to see on facebook. I cannot wait to share these photos with you. They look absolutely amazing.

But meanwhile, my candids taken with a cheap camera (that is for you Patti haha) will have to do for now. (-:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm just a normal mom

Once upon a time, I thought that because I was now having a baby with Down syndrome, that my life would be a life of constant discouragement and hardship because of the Down syndrome. Well, as it turns out, Down syndrome and I have had our ups and downs- all of them concluding with the fact that bottom line I love my daughter.

But honestly, at times life is hard and it has absolutely nothing to do with Down syndrome or health problems. Sometimes life is hard because I'm a terrible friend or I have a student warn me to watch carefully when I cross the street because he's so angry with me or I overload a free weekend so that I have a four day weekend and start it off stressed out.

See, even Addison has it out for me. lol.
Sometimes my daughter, possessing Down syndrome, is the best and brightest thing in my life. It's ironic, really. once I thought that it would always be the black spot in my life. Now, my daughter is my source of comfort:
Yeah, her kisses may feel a lot like bites, but they are still kisses....I'll take that.(-:

I'm getting her official one year pictures this weekend and I'm nervous because I'm actually paying money for them and I want them to turn out perfectly- also, I can't decide on an outfit for her to wear. I want a ruffled mini skirt with attached leggings, but I can't find it anywhere here in town.

I'm throwing a very small birthday dinner party for Aaron on Saturday and I have already changed the menu three times- simply can't decide. Maybe dust with a side of crumbled puffs on the floor. (that's ready now.)

I'm playing in a new quintet for several hours tomorrow night, and my endurance is not up to par and I have no reeds.

I'm subbing for my coworker at his church on Sunday as pianist/choir director/offertory/music person. It's stressing me out, but hey, it's what's paying for Addison's one year photos.

I'm annoyed with the world and freezing cold.

There- a whole list of hardships that have absolutely nothing to do with Down syndrome or having the label "special needs mom".

I'm just a normal mom. with normal problems. normal tears. normal complaining. normal feeling sorry for myself.

But like any normal mom, you know what makes me feel better? Thinking about my beautiful baby who smiles at me and reaches out for me when she sees me. Watching her sleep, her chubbs legs wrapped around her teddy bear and her little hands grasping her blanket.

Cuddling with her, seeing her watch me with wide, blue eyes that stare at me with absolute trust and love.

Yes, I'm just a normal mom.

Now I'm going to go finish my normal pity party....with a tub of normal fudge sauce that a student gave me today (not the student that threatened my case you were wondering).

Happy normal Thursday night to you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Da-da

Stubborn McPhee
"I will not do that." (I am starting to see this face from her a lot)
(Please excuse the peas on her sleeves. We just finished solid food time right before this picture.)

Standing McPhee
"Well, while I'm up here, I might as well do a little stretching."

Giving Daddy Kisses Goodnight McPhee
"Open mouth, sharpen fang."

A little update on her drumming skills. She's not quite there yet, but she's starting to get the right idea.

And last, but certainly not least: A special message from Chubbs to her Daddy:

We love you, Aaron. Happy birthday!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Curious McPhee

I love how curious Addison is. She is fascinated by everything and wants to wreck havoc on whatever she can get her grubby little hands on. (I call them grubby because the chances of her having spit up on them moments before are high) If it's something that she's not supposed to get into, she is even more drawn towards it. She finds danger irresistible.

She has become the master of rolling toward objects that strike her interest (the more she shouldn't be interested in them, the faster she rolls...i.e. the trash, diaper rash cream, open vents)

She is also quite adept at lifting herself up by her arms and twirling herself in a circle as she decides which direction would most behoove her to investigate.

She also is so, so, so close to crawling. She'll lift that little diaper enhanced butt high in the air and push off with her strong legs, moving herself a fraction of an inch....just enough to get to the coveted toy/dangerous toy that daddy left lying around. (yes, I know, we should investigate that child proofing thing that we've heard so much about) Once again, crawling in a circle, or pushing herself backwards- piece of cake. (-:

She'll also stretch herself. This is hysterical. She'll want a toy, so she pushes off and it's still not enough. Instead of pushing off again, she stretches and stretches, turning her chubby self into a long, lean toy grabbing machine.

She is very creative about her approach to playing with toys. I now will let her investigate her toys in piles all around her in the living room. She carefully pivots from one pile to the next, rolling, stretching, and pushing off to get what her little heart desires. It's a huge mess to clean up afterwards, but it is totally worth it.

Her favorite toys are toys that makes noises. (right next to toys that are easily chewable/eatable, sweatshirt strings and Mommy's hair.)

She has a little steering wheel toy that has a keypad right next to the wheel. For each key pressed, a different song is played and a screen in front of the wheel lights up. She loves to press the different keys, listening to the songs while driving with the wheel.

This morning she wanted the songs to happen faster. She was frantically pushing the buttons, listening and watching. I turned my back for one minute and I heard the poor little toy going crazy. I heard the first syllables from each song repeated over and over and over again.

Instead of "The wheels on the bus go round and round" I heard "The wh-The wh-The wh-The wh-The wh-The wh-The wh interspersed with honking and a few of the other songs.

Curious as to how she accomplished pushing the button repeatedly so fast, I walked in close to see her solution to making it play songs faster. Her chubby little cheek was pressed against the keypad- pushing ALL of the buttons at the same time. She was elatedly watching the screen go crazy with lights and seemed content to hear only the first syllables of songs. LOL. How's that for good cognitive reasoning/problem solving?

Yep, I love how curious she is. I know it makes life more difficult as she is intent to get into more trouble, but it also makes it so much more interesting. When she was in the NICU and even for months afterwards- all of her energy went towards breathing and staying alive. I thought the day would never come when I would laugh at her antics.

Well, I am happy to announce that that day is here. Antic McPhee is out in full force. I couldn't love it more. I hear her bumper pads being ripped off of the crib (when did she get so insanely strong?)....better go. One more successful "nap" down.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I am at the height of lazy.

I took an afternoon off from writing and housewifery. While Addison napped, I napped. Novel concept.

The luxury of a nap is surpassed by very few other things. I yawn as I type this, knowing that this is my first nap in a very, very long time and might be my last for a while. It was good nap. It was worth the lost work time. Sometimes you just have to nap instead of work. The world looks so much friendlier after awakening.

I also have my eye on trying a new bread recipe: Vermont Maple Oatmeal Bread. I can actually feel myself drooling as I look at the picture. If I can find the motivation to get up out of a reclining position, that is what I am going to go make.

I hear strains of "It's Signing Time With Alex and Leah" accompanied by a tiny foot tapping against a wood surface as Addison hangs out in her walker, feeding herself puffs and cheese and watching her Signing DVD. What a big girl. (-:

I almost don't care that yesterday I accidentally deleted a bunch of necessary programs off of my computer so now I have to stand on my head to get my computer online.

because I got a nap today.

I almost don't care about all of the stresses in life right now.

because I got a nap today.

How long before the euphoria wears off? I give it an hour. Time to get that bread started.

happy sunday.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sledding with Daddy

Addison's daddy stopping in to share photos of our little excursion this afternoon. Addison loves the snow and we have been looking for an opportunity to take her sledding on our "hill" in the front yard. We have bigger plans for when we get a larger snowfall, but until then the little hill is a nice introduction to the sledding world.

Getting hooked into the sled
The littlest snow angel
Snow angel lessons--first the legs and then the arms
Before we went down the hill we had a tow testing to see how she responded to the movement.

"Mush daddy, mush!"
The only thing better would have been if you had been wearing a Carhartt snowsuit.

I look forward to many more sledding/skiing adventures with you my sweet Chubbs!

your daddy

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bragging on Addison

Go ahead, brag on me. I know I'm awesome.
(Please excuse the Christmas fits her so well it's hard to stop using...)

A while back I posted how frustrating it is that Addison absolutely refuses to put any weight on her legs. Addison may be stubborn, but so am I (I know, I rarely admit this). After weeks with hours of tear filled practice (on both of our parts) check out Addison's latest and greatest skill:
Putting weight on her legs...WOOOHOOOOO!
She'll only do this to reach for a toy, but she'll push her little legs up until she is standing so that she can reach it on the cushions.
We stay close because her fall is usually imminent. Said fall usually ends in the splits. Longest standing time so far? 5 seconds.

Cuddling with Daddy afterwards is the best reward ever.

We have a long way to go still, but I call this progress! (Just wanted to report since you all listened to me whine about this a short while ago.)

Also, after a week of prying her mouth open to shove solid foods down, she just happily ate almost an entire jar of baby food big girl!

So proud of Chubbs- here's to celebrating small accomplishments that represent huge effort....