{p,h,f,r}: Spring flowers, little babies, and big troublemakers

Because I’ve got a ton of pictures to post, time to post them, and it happens to be Thursday!



I’m not sure I ever appreciated rose bushes until this spring.  We have several well-established bushes outside our front door, and it seems like every day there are twice as many blooms as the day before.  They’re not wimpy, either; it’s hard to get a sense of scale from the photos, but most of them are bigger across than my hand.  I’m finding myself outside taking photos of them pretty often, and an important part of Maddy’s morning ritual is to go look at the blue sky and the pink flowers.




After some lengthy scheduling delays, we got to take a peek at Baby Spike (so named thanks to all the people who have told us that our first child was so good that our second is destined to be a terror).  Our last ultrasound was a pretty disappointing experience, with a tech who wouldn’t let me look at the screen until the last 10 seconds or so.  This time, we got to go to the fancy imaging department at the children’s hospital, where the whole thing was broadcast on a big HD screen for our viewing pleasure.

Everything looks great, but Johnny was once again unable to determine the gender, try as he might.  He leans toward wanting to find out, and I do not, so our deal is that if he can tell by himself without professional help, he can know.  It’s amazing how the resolution is so good that they could count every individual finger bone, but the two of us totally had no idea if we saw anything or a lack of anything in the gender department.



The new morning calisthenics routine never fails to amuse us (and that ponytail doesn’t hurt, either!).



In case I ever doubted it, it has become abundantly clear that Johnny and I do not dictate all the activity of this house anymore.  Just yesterday, Maddy realized that she could suddenly reach both Johnny’s guitar and the coveted (and full) coffee mug on its formerly-safe shelf.  With the help of those admittedly-cute tiptoes she’s demonstrating above, she can pretty much reach any flat surface in the house, and it’s time to do round two of baby proofing*.

*The lazy kind, where I pretty much just make sure there are no knives near the edges of the counters.


Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter for {pretty,happy,funny,real}


Maddy at Eight Months



Two-thirds of a year! Time is flying! This month's quick update brought to you by photos from my phone, and mobile blogging from the midst of our moving-box maze.

Maddy had a big month of mobility, perfecting her crawling and learning how to pull up to standing on everything. She's going to be standing independently in no time, I'm afraid, and walking won't be far behind.

Besides calling me “mama,” it seems that “dada” is beyond her grasp. It sounds more and more like she's calling Johnny “Bubba,” which I find pretty hilarious. At our prompting, she said, “bye bye” – clear as day- to a cat; neither of us would've believed it if the other hadn't been there.

The day we left California, it was 94 degrees. Last Sunday in Massachusetts, it snowed. True to her Minnesota ancestry, Maddy enjoyed it (though she's still confused by precipitation in general).
She's been spending a lot of time exploring the very small territory of our non-childproofed apartment, reading books to herself, and conducting in-depth studies of her own toes. Real troublemaking is just around the corner!



{p,h,f,r} County Fair Edition

Yesterday was the opening day of the local fair, and since we can't pass up a good time, we headed over as a family after Johnny got home from work. Admission was $1, which meant that even if we had a baby meltdown in short order, we weren't losing much.


I'm still not really used to the variety of produce that grows around here. The garden variety produce (literally) I can understand, but it's weird to go to the farmers' market and see homegrown grapes and avocados. So it follows that the produce competition at the fair was a little different from usual, including this beautiful variety of grape colors.

Bonus pretty: The best of the quilt competition. It was a pretty great selection!

Maddy enjoyed the fair a lot more than we expected, especially since we were there close to (and then past) her bedtime. She's turning out to be a real extrovert, so anytime she gets to be around a lot of people (kids, in particular), she's very excited. She babbled at no one in particular, and then loved the parakeets in the Floriculture building.

We didn't go too crazy with the fair food (mostly because it was a last-minute trip and we didn't have a chance to get more cash), but the splurge of the night was a cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting and bacon. Yes, it totally looked like a baked potato. And yes, it was awesome. The stand was selling one for $6, or a value pack of 5 for $30. Super value.


Just to keep us from having too much fun, we ended up with three very flat stroller tires. We discovered on our way back to the car that we had parked in a field full of sand burrs, and Johnny has his suspicions that they were to blame. I'm holding out hope that they're just mysteriously flat but not injured; wish me luck.


Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter for {Pretty, happy, funny, real}!


Maddy at (Six and) Seven Months

seven months

Happy seven months to Madeleine! Her six month birthday fell on the day we left for our road trip, so I never blogged it. Sorry to the 2 people who missed it; the 49 pictures that follow should make up for it.

Since month five, lots has changed! Maddy went from a proficient sitter to a totally capable, if ungainly, crawler who would rather stand up and walk.


She recently mastered the art of pulling everything out of her toy box; putting stuff away is close behind, right? Bueller?


She socialized her way across the country, charming cashiers and waitresses from MA to CA. She always has a beaming smile for anyone who gives her attention (especially women), and she’s generally extremely good-natured.

Trying on a fur cape from the Kim Kardashian line at Babies R Us

She’s extremely curious about what everyone is doing, especially in the kitchen (“stirring” and “chopping” will be early vocabulary words, I think). Every day brings a new discovery: today, she set off the carbon monoxide detector (terrifying) and initiated a game of peekaboo (hilarious).  She continues to be a fierce presence in her walker; I’m pretty sure this will be the last thing I see before she breaks all my toes someday:


Investigating everything.

Speaking of food: we’re starting to introduce real food, with pretty good results. Favorites so far are plain greek yogurt, avocados, rice, and garlic bread. Baby food was kind of meh, and rice cereal was a big miss.  It’s *possible* that she has started to associate the word “mamamamamama” with me (well, with food, but me and food are tight).

This month brought her first ex utero Notre Dame game, and she had a great time doing pushups and getting excited for a couple victories.  Sorry baby, the heartbreak is bound to come.

She’s discovering lots of new activities: swimming, swinging, and riding in carts are new favorites (especially the “zoom” option on all of those).

She weighed in at 20.5 pounds at her six month check, and 21.8 on the home scale last week (keeping her soundly in the 95th percentile), but she’s still just our little Maddy.

Maddy at Five Months

Five months

Here we are, almost half a year in!  Maddy’s stuck in a middle ground of seeing lots of things she’d like to do, and not quite being able to do them yet.  She’s really mastered all kinds of rolling and can scoot backwards, but hasn’t figured out the forward crawl yet.  She seems to know what she’s missing, though – lots of frustrating grunts come out when there’s a toy in front of her.  Luckily, she responds very well to excited “Yay!!!”s from us, so at least we have one motivator in our bag of tricks.

Shopping cart sitter!

Big day! Having to use both hands to steady her eliminates any possible efficiency from this development.

The walker has really been a lifesaver for me, because she’s totally happy to run small laps around the kitchen while I do things.  She’s equally happy to follow right on my heels while I’m cooking.  We’ve started wearing shoes all the time to avoid mangled toes.


Miss Maddy still seems to be big for her age: here she’s wearing a 6 month top and 12-18 month shorts.  The cloth diapers certainly don’t help, but even on her smallest days, she’s a 9 on the bottom.


With the warm weather, we’ve been trying to spend some time outside every day.  Our house is more or less surrounded by wasps, so usually we take the stroller out and walk around for a few miles.  The other day, we sat outside on a blanket on our little strip of “yard.”  Maddy did not appreciate the grass.

All things considered, she’s still a really happy baby, always willing to smile (for Daddy, at least).


Scrape courtesy of a sippy cup that was not child-friendly.

Over the last week or so, she’s started making a lot more noise.  I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see the shrieking phase end, but there is a sense of justice when she starts screaming at 7AM, mere hours after the neighbors have ended a raucous party downstairs.  I’m sure the dogs of the neighborhood have been enjoying the concerts, too.  There are lots of frustrated grunts when she doesn’t get what she wants, and the occasional loud, teenage sigh.


Favorite pastime: licking the condensation off any cup, bottle, or glass she can get her hands on.  As I type, she’s napping and I’m drinking a very wet glass of iced tea in peace.  She’s eaten a little food when she really wants to – strawberries and bread, mostly – but isn’t really crazy about any of it yet.


Right of first licking

We dressed up for Cow Appreciation Day earlier this week, and she was named the unofficial cutest baby they had seen all day.  Not bad for a spotted onesie and headband I whipped up during naptime.


Miss Maddy Moo

Keep it classy, Maddy C.Fats-3