Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weaning happens

Most of you know about my ardent support of breastfeeding. And due to this, most know that Maddox has been breastfed on demand for over 2.5 years. I have been committed to nursing him until he was ready to wean himself. This, of course, has led many to wonder just how he would go off to college with his mother's boob in his mouth. Well, worry not! The wondrous transition has truly begun! I have had many comments in my arsenal to use in response to questions such as "when will you wean him?". Like, "I don't know, ask him" - when he obviously wasn't talking, "He is weaning" - since weaning begins with the introduction to solids, "I don't know, 30?" - when I just want to freak someone out. But the truth is that I have felt ready to move forward lately and have been gently (key there is gently) encouraging him to wean. We got him to give up the middle of the night nursings very easily about 2 months ago. Then this week, we got him to take daddy reading books before bed in replacement of nursing. I say "we" because this has very much been a family initiative... a very slow, very thoughtful, and very sensitive one. Aaron has stepped in to offer his chest, lap, and arms instead of mine. I have offered more hugs, kisses, and snuggles during the day. And Maddox, well he just stopped asking at night.
It is easy to joke right now. I am in a very positive mood about this at the moment. But in all reality, it is a very special and sad time. I remember the first time I witnessed a 2.5 year old nursing. It was at my first La Leche League meeting when M was 3 months old. I was flabbergasted!! I couldn't IMAGINE nursing a child that age. I never had the intention to... it just happened. It isn't his age that makes me ready to move on even now. It is just time. Every nursing couple has a time when it is just right to bring it to an end. I didn't set out to nurse for 2.5 years, but I wouldn't change it at all! Nothing in all of this world and all of this glorious life has seemed more right or more natural or even more rewarding than nursing my son until he was ready to be done. I know there are so many that will never "get it" and that is quite all right.
So, anyways, I was feeling very sad about this the other night and I wrote something that I will share here. I am happy that he still seems to be nursing before his nap. I don't think that will last long though since I am only at home with him during a nap about 2 days a week. So, in the next few weeks, our nursing will likely end completely, we will find another way to love and bond, and I will rest for a bit. And I am sure I will think fondly of the next chance I will have to nurse a child of mine.
I am sitting here in tears because this is the first night that my 29 month old son went to bed without asking to nurse. We have been nursing on demand and have had a wonderful nursing relationship. We had a lot of problems in the beginning, but ended up with a really rewarding experience.
Recently, I have felt ready to move on and wean, but it is still bittersweet. It is heart breaking to not have him at the breast and snuggling with me at night. He is such an amazing and independent little boy.
As much as I think I am ready to wean him, during moments like this I feel like I am not even close. What I am starting to realize is that it is not about me at all. This is a gift I have chosen to give my son, the gift of me. It is about him and what he needs and my role is to meet those needs in as loving a way as I can.
So, these are tears of sadness, for losing my baby, but tears of joy for finding the young man he is becoming.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Catching up...

It has been a LONG time! We have been so swamped with building the house, moving, getting the other house rented, and, of course, having our jobs and Maddox!!
We are moved into the new house and are starting to really feel settled. The weekend we moved, Maddox stayed with Grandma (Debbie as he calls her). He came to visit the old house during the move and seemed a bit bothered about his room being empty. He kept signing all gone and pointing to his closet. We tried to reassure him that all his stuff would be at the new house, but he still seemed concerned.
When he came to the new house finally, it took a few days to get used to it, but he seems comfortable now. One bad sign of how busy we have been... when we left the new house one day to run errands, Maddox started saying, "Eat eat eat?!!". He was convinced that since we were leaving our house, we must be going to eat. Obviously, we had to eat out a LOT when we were going through the move. Now that we are settled and are eating at home again, he seems to be going through withdrawal... yesterday he kept telling us "Eat, bye-bye". Apparently he wanted to go out to eat!
Halloween was a lot of fun. We went around to some homes in the new neighborhood with the little girl next door. She is almost 3 and super sweet. They went up to one house together, alone once we told Maddox that he would get to ring the doorbell. He rang it and ran! 2 and a half and already pranking people. Maddox dressed as Peyton Manning and we used his helmet to gather his candy... now he seems convinced that the Colts will give him candy. He signs candy every time he seems them.
Maddox seems to have picked up a new form of affection during the move... I personally think it is the long weekend with Pretty Baby (mom's dog) that did it... he now likes to lick everything! He licks us, our clothes, the couch... the floor!! It is gross and odd. We are trying to ignore it (masking our disgust when he licks the concrete) and hoping this disappears. :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Planes, trains, and automobiles

This weekend we went to Chicago to visit Jennifer and Will (Aaron's sister). We had a fantastic time. Maddox got to see just about every type of travel there is and experienced several for the first time... always exciting for him. He had his first rides in a train, a trolley, and a cab. And he saw lots of boats, planes, and even a horse buggy. We took the train and trolley to the Shedd Auquarium. It was about a 2 hour commute, but Maddox seemed to enjoy it. The aquarium was a lot of fun and Maddox sat through his first 4D movie... although it was only 15 minutes long. He didn't like the glasses or the air/bubbles/shaking that made it the 4D... so I guess it was a 2D movie for him. Later he napped in the stroller while we walked rather aimlessly around downtown... well it wasn't aimless... we just missed our train. By the time we made a train after dinner it was around 9pm. The fantastic cubbie fans were also on the train. Maddox made fast friends with 2 totally trashed men behind us. They thought he was the coolest kid ever and he throught they were idiots... perfect fun for a 2 year old! At one point he signed to one "bye-bye" "you" and "sleep"... basically, he told the guy "Hey dude, you are done! You need to go to bed!". He had the entire train car cracking up a few times. It was a good ending to the fun day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Maddox VS. the CLAW

So, you know those silly machines at the entrances of grocery stores... where you pay to use a ridiculously small claw to try to pick up tightly packed stuffed animals? No one ever wins these things, right? Well, of course Maddox wanted to play. When it is just the two of us, I always insist that they are a waste of money because no one ever wins. Yesterday, Daddy was with us and we all know what a softy he can be. So, out came a dollar for 2 rounds of the CLAW. The first round Aaron set the claw and then he let Maddox push that magic little red button. As you can guess... they didn't win. After seeing the ridiculousness of this thing, Aaron stepped back to let Maddox have at it. With the precision of a wrecking ball, he maneuvered the claw about and again hit that magic red button. We watched as the claw dropped and slid one of the prongs against the plastic chute where the prizes go down. The words, "Aw, you were so close" were rolling off my tongue just as the claw closed and began to pull back up... WITH A TOY!! I couldn't believe it. I can't count the number of times I have stood at a machine just like this and maneuvered that little claw just right, looking at each possible angle and waiting until just the last moment to push the button... all to no avail. And here stood my giggling 2 year old with a stuffed Univ of Virginia mascot falling down the chute for his little arms to grab. The two older women in the entrance found the whole scene to be just as amazing and amusing as I did. I tell you, the kid has luck like you wouldn't believe.
So, now that he won this lovely toy that looks as though it will only last a day, he decided to hug it, kiss it, and name it Bobby. That's right, this thing is the closest we have come to him having a lovey... it has a name!! If you ask where Bobby is, he will sign car since that is where he stays (my attempt to make him last as long as possible). So, if you ever need a crane operator, just give my toddler a call!!
Maddox 1
Claw 0

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Maddox's interpretation

Maddox has started the phase of taking everything very literally. This weekend we were playing in the yard and I told him to "knock daddy over". He ran up to daddy, stopped and knocked on his knee. It took a few seconds to figure out what he was doing.
The next day we went to Don Pablos for dinner. I looked at Maddox shoveling mexican rice in his mouth and said "Is that yummy in your tummy?" He immediately took a handful of rice and lifted his shirt and proceeded to try to put the rice IN his tummy.
I am sure this new phase of development will lead to many interesting, confusing, and hilarious moments as mommy puts her foot in her mouth... oops, better watch what I say!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Words are flowing

We went to pick up Maddox at my mom's the other day and found that his vocabulary grew in one day to include baby, Bebbie, nigh-night, and peepee. He now will try to mimick almost anything. And his signing is still growing. The other day he signed bike, dirty, and cracker. He was telling me that the bike trailer was dirty with cracker crumbs. It was an actual sentence!!
He has added turtle, clean, trailer, and banana to his signs too!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Christmas in July... and August

Maddox's new favorite literature topic... Christmas. He insists that we read him his holiday books over and over... especially ones that have carols. There is a special place in paradise waiting for a father that sings 17 verses of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"... in a row... with a smile... in August. :-)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Snips and puppy dog tails

It has been a very hectic few weeks. Maddox had a fairly serious run-in with Baxter... and BB won. Maddox was taunting him with a tshirt and Baxter snipped and caught his nose. We freaked! It looked so awful! We have been trying to keep them seperate since then and that has helped. We just think that BB can't handle the craziness of a two year old since he is getting older and his heart isn't doing well. The nose is healing well though. There is a bit of a scar, but I am confident that it will fade away shortly.
Maddox had his tongue snipped last week for his tongue-tie. It really wasn't that big of a deal once it was all over, but it was hard to go through. They put him under concious sedation and we had to watch him during that. It was very disturbing to watch him be drugged like that. I never want to see him in that condition again. He was a total trooper though. He healed quickly and was asking for salty crackers the next day! We have seen him extend his tongue a bit further than before, so we are hopeful that it will provide some amount of improvement for his speech and future.
This past weekend we went out on Mom's boat and Maddox swam in the lake! He did so well. The water was a bit cold for him... he is used to 90 degree water at swim class. Then on Sunday we went to a friend's house that has a heated pool. Maddox was loving it and spent the entire time swimming around by himself in his life jacket (I was within arms reach of course). He also climbed up on the diving board all by himself and JUMPED!!! Yes, at 2 years old, our little guy is jumping off of diving boards!! It was amazing! Who knows, maybe Aaron and I have a future of sitting in pool areas watching a diver or competitive swimmer one day!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs

So the other day we are in the car and Aaron and I have slushees. We are taking turns letting Maddox have some. Well, one time on Daddy's turn Maddox felt he was taking a bit too long so he started signing "share". At least he understands the concept!!

Tonight we were eating dessert. Maddox and Aaron shared a biscotti and I had some ice cream. Maddox insisted that I share with him, so I did of course. About 2/3 of the way through, he signed "all done". I say "Maddox, you are all done with ice cream?" He shakes his head no and points matter-of-factly at me. Apparently, I was all done and the rest was for him! :-)

One other cute moment... Maddox started associating anything from Disney's Cars movie with boo-boos after seeing the movie and the scene where they wreck. Well, tonight we were playing with his shake-em cars that you shake to make them drive. These ones have the hoods and the doors that open when they wreck. When that happened, Maddox signed boo-boo and went up to kiss the car. I think, if he was able to, he would bestow kisses on every peice of Cars merchandise too!

Here is a list of the signs that Maddox knows and uses now:
More, eat, drink, sleepy, bed, home, fish, bird, dog, kitty, horse, share, boo-boo, thirsty, hungry, cheese, cookie, ice cream, cracker, nurse, play, read, book, please, thank you, sorry, in, out, time, baby, car, bike, train, rabbit, plane, dirty, grass, ball, potty, boat, surprise, brush teeth, all done, help, mine, shoes, socks, apple, candy

Here is a list of the words he is saying:
Daddy, doggy, mommy, bite, bike, num num (nurse), bye-bye, hi, mine, ducky

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mommy... you moron

There are many times in parenthood when you question whether or not you are doing things right... well this time the answer was a resounding "NO you idiot!!".
Over time, Maddox has begun going to bed later and later. I am sure that this is because Aaron and I are night owls, Aaron works a lot, and we are often busy until late with swimming or gymboree etc. Maddox finally hit the point where he wasn't going to bed until 10:30 or so.
The chaos level in the house had started hitting an unmanageable pace recently. If felt like Maddox hit the terrible twos with a vengence and we were in for a crazy ride. Every night at 7:30 he would turn into the tazmanian devil. He would run around crazily, scream, laugh, cry. He would go from happy and content to angry and frustrated and back. We couldn't figure it out. Finally we thought to ourselves, maybe he needs to go to bed early tonight. So, at 8:30 we shipped him off to bed. To our astonishment, he didn't take too long to fall asleep. We had thought that he would be up fighting it for hours. And he stayed asleep... and he was pleasant the next day!! So... he is still two, there is no doubt about it, but he is a lot less "devil" in the evenings and a lot more enjoyable. We don't claim to always be the smartest folks around... or the fastest.

Maddox speaks!

It has been TOO long since my last post. But this has been a BUSY wild and crazy month! First of all... we have gotten back two of our favorite words! As you might know, Maddox started talking at 12 months old and by 14 months would say "Daaaeeee" and "Doooeeee" with so much gusto! But we lost those words within about 2 months and didn't get any knew ones. This is what started our journey with the First Steps Program and his speech therapy. Well, after about 5 months and the work of a WONDERFUL therapist (Miss Mary), we have those two awesome words back. There isn't that from-the-gut gusto yet, but there is still excitement! And we have a few more words now too! He is saying hi, bye, momma, b-b (baxter), and mine. We have heard help, go, and mommy a few times. A big part of his progress is due to our use of American Sign Language. He knows at LEAST 75 signs and using at least 50 himself. He is totally in love with the Signing Time DVD collection and it has been our saving grace! It has helped so much with his frustration being able to sign his wants and needs. My heart melted when we were in the car the other day and Maddox wanted his foot wiped off. After I did it, he looked at me with a BIG smile and signed "Thank you". ALL BY HIMSELF! It was so neat! He is starting to sign "Sorry" too. It is wonderful to see him learning manners and how to show care even without "words".
On top of these wonderful developments, Maddox seems to be cutting those 2 year old molars. Yesterday, he pointed to his cheek and signed "hurt". I was so proud of him for figuring out how to share that he was in pain! And when I told him I was sorry, he signed sorry and then thank you. I can't wait to see what his little mind has to say. I know that I won't always like what comes out of that cute little mouth, but I still can't wait to hear it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Maddox is 2

Maddox turned 2 yesterday! We had a wonderful weekend! Aaron and I worked for 6 hours on a super special spidey cake!! It turned out wonderful!!
We woke up on Saturday morning to rain, thunder, and lightning. We quickly realized that our park party (even with a shelter) was not going to happen. So, we started brainstorming other locations... and Donatos to the rescue! They had their party room open and worked to get everything set up within 3 hours for us. It ended up being a GREAT party! Ironically, one of Maddox's presents from us was a fake pizza and apron (to go with the kitchen we got him), so he got to dress up for the folks working. They also put on Spidey tattoos to match Maddox! They were really great! On his actual birthday, Sunday, we went to the Children's Museum to see the new Marvel exhibit and see Spidey life-size. Maddox had so much fun!!! You can check out our photo gallery (link on left) to see more pictures.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Macaroni and WHEEE's

Maddox rode his first pony and first horse this weekend. We went to Brown County state park and had hopes of taking M on a horse tour. When we got there we were disappointed that they do not allow double riding and the minimum age is 8. We were so sad, but we brightened up when we saw little Macaroni. Maddox went on a ride around the loop riding Macaroni and smiling from ear to ear. After the ride we found out about a place just outside the park that does rides. So we headed out and saddled up. First, we got to pet baby horses that were only a few weeks old. It was really neat and the mommy horses were so protective. Once it was time, Aaron and Maddox hopped on Bandit 2 and I got on Shawnee. M didn't seem too sure at first and quickly bored of us waiting for everyone to get ready. But, once we were on the trail he was having a blast. He rode barefoot and held the reigns. When we trotted he would giggle non-stop. Aaron and I were sooo happy to find a way for him to have this experience. Now, every time he sees a horse, he points and smiles.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Growing so fast

This isn't a profound or funny post... I just need to brag on my little guy. We have had Maddox in swim classes since he was 9 months old. The baby class was more playtime than anything and, after a year, it was obvious to us he was bored. So, we tried him out in the next level class, Super Swimmer 1, which is an actual swimming class. He is soo young for it, but he did pretty well. There was a lot of new stuff for him and the first 2 classes had some rough moments. Today was different though. He was very eager to try new things and push himself! He sat on the steps with the other kids and listened well. It was amazing. He still fussed a bit on the back floats, but he has come SOO far! My little guy is learning to swim! I am so proud of him, more because he is trying new things and pushing his comfort levels. That is a great thing to learn at ANY age. We will continue to move at his pace of course, but this is very exciting to watch!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's not easy being me

As you can imagine, after this LONG winter, we were VERY eager to get outside and get active. We have been going on bike rides nearly every day and have been thrilled to find that Maddox is very happy to ride in his trailer. We had assumed that he would hate it since he now hates to be strapped into anything. But instead of protesting, he runs to the trailer and tries to climb right in. He asks to go all the time with a look on his face that is hard to resist. Once he is in the trailer, he insists that he take his shoes off so that he can put his feet up on the mesh and feel the air on his toes. If I could read his mind, this is what I imagine him thinking/saying:
"Mommy, Daddy... I have had a most difficult day. I could really use a little ride around the neighborhood. I am very tired and need some "me" time. Could you please hop on your bike and I will sit back here and put my feet up and take a little breather? Thanks, I really do appreciate it. Now, let's get going!"
Maybe it is the wind in his hair and toes, or the "extreme" biking daddy does with him on occassion, but whatever it is, we are happy to be out of the house and on the move with a very happy Maddox.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Maddox Gold, that's spelled E-V-E-L K-N-I-E-V-E-L

I will put this out there now... all these thoughts together at once will make it seem that Aaron and I are blind, unobservant, unfit parents... unless you know Maddox.

It started with his birth when he pushed off my ribs and flew out so fast the doctor almost dropped him... no seriously!! LOOK! --->

Ever since, he has been determined to outdo, outrun, outclimb, and outmanuever everyone and everything. He rolled over on his own at 5 weeks!

Well, as he toddled his way through this second year, there has been no shortage of moments of pure fear for Aaron and I. There was the time he climbed on the table behind the couch and stood there 3 feet in the air... at 14 months old!! The tumble down the stairs because he refused to let daddy leave him behind. Oh, the barrel roll on the Rocket Rider (though I totally blame that one on Aaron). He has fallen off the back of the couch, into table legs, off the tub, off the bed, down the stairs, off the porch... you name it, he has been there, face first.

The most recent event tops them all though. He is a true daredevil and loves the adrenaline rush... (a very slow heart attack starts now for me and doesn't end until he is about 40...) We were at a new park with our play group and there was a very tall, steep slide. Of course, he wanted to try it out. He climbed all the way up and down he went. It was so steep that, towards the bottom, he would come away from it a bit and slam somewhat at the bottom. HE LOVED IT! He did it about 5-6 times before he grew bored. Later, as we were leaving, he asked to go again. So, up he went. Once at the top, he put his hands out in his "Catch Me" stance. I quickly told him "NO you have to sit on your bottom" but it was too late. He fell face first down the slide and I had to catch him halfway. My heart was out of my chest!! But not a single tear from him! I couldn't believe it. We noticed later that he had a "war wound"- a large scrape on his elbow.

I can't let myself think of the awful crazy things he is going to get himself into in the future... it is just too terrifying. Do you think I would be frowned upon if I sent him to preschool with pillows duct taped to him?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Maddox's Creativity Flourishes

Maddox is quite the creative spirit lately. He has been exploring his new-found power of creation with "cooking". He pretends to cook with anything he can get his hands on and recently started experimenting at dinner time. His favorite is to doctor-up his favorite food, gaucamole. He will add fresh squeezed lime or lemon, salsa, anything we will give him and mix it all together. There was also the tortilla chip-ceasar chicken-sour cream creation... oh and the berry juice-onion strip-shrimp dip...
Recently, his creativity has been showing in his attire. A while ago he insisted on only leaving the house if he could be dressed as a pirate. And yesterday he paired his spiderman wristband with his toolbelt-turned-headband. This is all of course when we can get him to keep his clothes on at all!

New Images in our Photo Gallery

It has been a LONG time since I have posted any images to our family photo gallery, but I am doing it now!! So, please take a look when you get a chance.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Ok, so after a LONG time of doing nothing because neither Aaron nor I have time to maintain an actual website anymore, I have set this up to share the growing number of cute/funny stories of Maddox's life. I wish I were more humorous and cleverly witted than I am... for that I apologize now. You will have to read Ginger or Tara's blogs for that, but I will give you a glimpse into life with Little M and the chaos that ensues. So, check back often... and leave a comment or two.