In typical Colorado fashion we finally got our October snowstorm. Madeline was so excited to go out in the snow even though there wasn’t a whole lot that accumulated on the grass and it was freezing outside. I went out with her, but my hands got so cold I could only stay out for 10 min. Mike and Emma took Madeline back out for some more backyard fun. They pulled her on the sled and just had a good time playing with her in the snow. She is one lucky little girl to have family that loves her enough to play outside when the temperature is in the single digits!
Madeline’s first field trip in Pre-School was to the Colorado Pumpkin Patch only 15 minutes from our house. We met her class at 10am, stood in line to get our tickets and then headed first to the bounce pillows for some bouncing fun. The bounce pillows were basically like jumping in a bounce house without walls or a ceiling. Madeline had so much fun bouncing and flipping. Oh boy did she master the flip. She spent several minutes flipping all the way across the length of the bounce pillow and then kept telling the kids, “Watch me. Look what I can do.” After Madeline was done bouncing, we headed over to feed the farm animals. We spent a few dollars feeding the llamas, sheep, and ponies. Madeline loved it. Then we spent some time at the big slides. We grabbed our sack mats and headed up to the top. We went down a few times together, went back to the bounce pillows for a little bit and then went back to the slides. Madeline was so excited to see her friend Jack that she immediately picked up her sack and headed up to the slide alone with Jack. I was so excited to see her be so brave and go by herself down the slide. The first time I could tell she was shocked by how fast she went. But then it was back up to the slide she went. She literally ran back to the line after every slide. We spent a good deal of time there and she probably went down at least 10-15 times all by herself. By this point, it was time to eat lunch, so we headed over to the stacked hay tower and ate lunch with her classmates and then took a group photo. On our way out of the pumpkin patch, Madeline got to pick out her little pumpkin and then we headed home. It was a great first field trip for Madeline.
With all the new restrictions with COVID I decided it was best to not take Madeline back to ballet. I knew that she still needed a fun activity to participate in so I signed her up for private swim lessons at PPA. Her instructor, Carolyn, is simply the best. She is so good with Madeline. Madeline has improved so quickly. She can lay on her back and float without any problems, kick with straight legs, blow bubbles in the water, put her face sideways in the water, go under the water, and can scale across the wall on the side of the pool. She loves her new purple goggles and she can put them on all by herself. When we get to her lessons, she is like a maniac trying to get her clothes off so fast so that she can go swim. She looks forward to her lessons every week. I'm so excited that we found something that Madeline absolutely loves. I hope she will continue to love swim like her older siblings do.
Just when I thought 2020 couldn’t get any more bizarre, it totally snowed in Colorado the beginning of September. The kids were actually excited by it. Madeline was the only one that actually got on her snow clothes. She was so excited to play outside in the snow. She ran up and down the grass several times just trying to catch snow in her mouth. There is nothing better than the excitement from a 4-year-old when it snows outside.
All Madeline wanted for her birthday this year was a stuffed animal unicorn and some Frozen Legos. She was so excited by her unicorn cake that I had custom made for her. She got dressed up in her favorite shiny pink twirl dress and let me take a ton of pictures of her outside. We started out the morning with an amazing pancake breakfast with fruit and bacon. Then we let her open up all of her presents. She got her coveted unicorn stuffed animal in addition to the Frozen Lego castle, some Moana Legos, and some Sylvania Family toys. Peter was eager to help her put together her Lego castle. It was so cute watching them work together. Afterwards Abby and Madeline played with her Legos for most of the day. After lunch we sang “Happy Birthday,” and then enjoyed eating the unicorn cake. This was the first birthday where Madeline wasn’t scared to blow out her own candles. After cake and ice-cream, we all headed outside to watch Madeline hit and break open the unicorn piñata. She loved hitting the piñata but it was a little hard for her to break it open, so Peter took some swings at it and completely destroyed it. After all, picking up the candy is the best part of the piñata anyways.
Madeline weighs 29.7 lbs. and is 40.5 inches tall (3 ft 4.5 inches). That puts her in the 75th percentile for height at the age of four which is pretty incredible considering none of the other kids broke the 50th percentile when they were younger. She is still a tiny little thing, though, since she is still only in the 10th percentile for weight. Madeline is just as cute at 4 years old than she was at 3 years old and she has grown up into such a nice little lady. Her amazing curly hair is still the highlight of her cuteness wherever we go. Strangers constantly comment on it when we are out and about doing errands. Madeline loves to do errands with me. Everyday she asks me what we have to do during the day. She gets excited when I tell her we have appointments to go to.
Madeline loves to talk. When we are talking around the dinner table she usually interjects with, "Now it's my turn to talk." She usually tells us made up stories that involve many of the things that were just talked about. It is so cute that she wants to be part of the conversation. At bedtime after I have sung to her and rubbed her back, she always says, "I have to tell you some things." She used to say, "I have to ask you some questions," but that really was her way of saying that she just wanted to talk for a little bit before I said goodnight.
Madeline loves to play pretend and she is really good at it. She loves to play with Sylvania Family animals, stuffed animals, her doll house, the Little Einstein's characters, Toy Story characters, Disney princess dolls, LiteBrite, her kitchen and her pretend food, and her dress-ups. It is not uncommon for Madeline to walk around in a dress-up, with her tap shoes, rolling her hello kitty suitcase around the house. Every time I sit down and play pretend with her, I just let her take the lead and all I have to do is follow what she does. She is so fun to listen to as she talks for all of her toys. I could listen to her play for hours.
As much as Madeline loves to play with her toys, she equally loves to be on the iPad. She always asks, "Can I do some learning on the iPad?" The amazing thing is she will actually sit and do her learning apps for at least 20 minutes before moving onto a TV show or movie. Her favorite learning apps are Duolingo Kids, Kahn Academy Kids, and the Fisher Price app.
Madeline loves to go on vacation, and she loves to stay in hotels. She frequently asks when we are going to another hotel. This year during COVID has made it a little harder to travel but we managed to do lots of things in Colorado, Utah and California and Madeline loved all of it. She especially liked skiing over the winter, playing at the beach in California, going biking in Colorado and Utah, and hiking and swimming in Colorado during the summer. Madeline is an excellent hiker and usually walks the entire time without complaining. This year she hiked around the Painted Mines, Spruce Mountain Open Space, Garden of the Gods, Mt. Herman, Steamboat Springs, and Crested Butte. After the kids started school, I put her in private swim lessons as her extracurricular activity this year instead of going back to ballet. She has loved swimming with Carolyn and has progressed really fast. She can do straight leg kicks, blow bubbles in the water, go under water briefly, float on her back, and pull herself along the wall.
Madeline loves to be active. She is constantly asking us to play chase with her in the house, or ride bikes with her outside. She joins us when we are exercising in the garage and will do her version of pushups which is really cute. She even asked me if I could buy her a real pair of running shoes, some shorts and a running shirt just like Emma so that she could run with Emma.
Being the youngest in the house, Madeline gets a taste of life with older siblings. Sometimes the big kids get into trouble and when I get upset with them during those times, Madeline is always quick to ask, "Are you mad at me momma?" or "Are you happy with me momma?" It just melts my heart and I quickly check myself to make sure I am disciplining with love and not anger. Madeline is a great example of love and tenderness.
One of my favorite moments with Madeline is probably at bedtime. After reading books I tuck her in with her 3 blankets: purple (has to be the purple side face down), white fuzzy, and her quilt last. Then like clockwork she says, "I am a Child of God, 2 verses." She loves this song so much. I have asked her many times if she wants a different song, but she doesn't. Then she points to her back and asks me to rub her back. When all of that is finished, she pipes in, "I have to ask you some questions" or "I have to tell you one thing." This is the time of day where she tells me all of her thoughts. Most of the time she recounts what happened during her day or asks me things she doesn’t understand. She is a sensitive and inquisitive soul and I love that about her.
Madeline had so much fun during the summer. Throughout the summer she spent lots of afternoons at the playground with Peter. Her favorite park was definitely the new playground in Cordera. Madeline also loved to go to Flying Horse and swim. It seemed like every day she asked if we were going to go swimming. She played mostly in the kiddie pool section and she went on the big waterslide with the older kids a few times.
In June we took a trip to Steamboat Springs. While we were there, she went on her very first bike ride in the Burley trailer and she loved it. In the middle of our family bike ride we stopped and went on the Alpine slides. She went on them twice and had a blast. She loved riding up in the chair lift just as much as she loved riding down the slides. When we went to Steamboat Lake Madeline rode on the paddleboard and went for a ride in the double tube for the first time. She loved sitting in between my legs on the paddleboard and taking photos with the Go-Pro.
In July we took a trip to Utah and Madeline got to go on two more bike rides in the trailer. She played at the biggest park we have ever been to in Grand Junction. She had the most fun going on the zip-line. While in Utah, Madeline loved playing in the splash pool that Grandma Anne bought for her. She played in it every day while we were there. Back at home in Colorado Madeline began to become interested in the little puzzles and figured out how to put them together all by herself.
In August we took a trip to California and Madeline had a great time flying on an airplane, staying in a hotel (which is what she called the little house we stayed at), going to the zoo, and playing at the beach. At the zoo she loved the giraffes and pink flamingos, but she was the most fascinated by the jaguar that kept pacing back and forth in the indoor exhibit area and the lazy baboons. At the zoo she got to put several coins down the donation coin funnel. Then Andrew gave her a quarter so that she could smash it in the machine to get a souvenir coin. Back at home in Colorado Madeline had fun riding her bike around the neighborhood, doing some "mountain biking" down the steps in the front of the house. She also had her dentist appointment and did such a good job sitting still getting her teeth cleaned. Madeline did lots of playing in and around the house playing on her rocking horse, her doll house, and jumping on the trampoline. Madeline tried a pickle for the first time this month and she loved it.
With the amazing weather we had during the month of May we tried to get Madeline outside as much as possible. She absolutely loved riding her bike more than anything else. She became quite good at balancing on her little push bike and by the end of the month she was so fast that we really had to either run or ride the scooter just to keep up with her.
One of Madeline’s favorite indoor activities this month was playing with all of the stuffed animals from the girl’s closet. Although she has her own basket of stuffed animals in her room, there were just so many that we had to store the rest in the Abby and Emma’s room. Madeline loved to dump them out and sit in the big pile of animals. She would usually find her favorites right away. It was not uncommon for us to find Madeline just in her underwear playing with all of her toys. When we asked her why she was naked she would tell us, “I was just hot, so I took my clothes off.”
On one particularly warm day we headed over to the drive through at Baskin Robbins and all got ice-cream cones. We headed over to a park nearby and walked around. Madeline was really excited to try the pink bubble gum ice-cream. She was really happy with her choice. Every few minutes we would have to lick her ice-cream, so it didn’t melt on her. She is not the fastest ice-cream eater. While at the park we found some dandelions and Madeline was all about blowing as many out as she could. Then she proceeded to find some nearby sticks and just play pretend. We love watching her and her imagination run wild. We will often hear her make up stories about the things she did. It’s cute to see who she incorporates in each story. More often than not her stories usually involve the older kid’s friends. She always calls them her friends too.
Almost every day in May Madeline would ask us a few questions. She would either say, “Is the zoo open yet?” or “Are the parks open yet?” or “Can I do some errands with you?” It became apparent that Madeline just needed to get out of the house, so I quickly whipped up a small mask for her and let her come to Lowe’s with us to get supplies for one of our home projects. She was really good about keeping her mask on at Lowe’s, so I let her come with me to the grocery store. She had the best time doing errands again with me. It was fun to see her excitement about going to the store. After we got home from errands we celebrated with popsicles in the backyard while Mike and the boys started to put together the gazebo.
Oh, how time is flying too fast with Madeline. She is already 3 ½ years old, weighs 28.7 lbs., and is 39 ¼ inches tall (@3ft 3 inch). Madeline’s personality is coming out more and more these days. She definitely lets us know what she wants and when she doesn’t get something, she lets us know about that too. Still, she is really sweet. She responds well to calm explanations and will usually be pretty agreeable if she understands. Most mornings when I am getting ready for the day, she asks to have either a ring, bracelet or necklace. She loves to wear my jewelry and so I have a few things that I will let her wear just for fun. Madeline has become quite the storyteller. Whenever someone is recounting something that happened earlier in the day, Madeline pipes up with a story that is pretty similar to what was just said. She is becoming quite the conversationalist. She loves to be part of the conversation and so she makes up her own version of things to feel like she fits in. We just all nod and smile and at her because it's so cute that she wants to be part of the conversation.
Ever since the quarantine she often asks us if we can either go to the park or go to the zoo. It is so hard to explain to her what is happening so we usually just tell her that many people are sick so we can’t do those things yet. However, we have still found ways to get out and have fun. There are a few new things Madeline has done this month. When we read books before naptime or bedtime, Madeline usually likes to read back to me the story I just read her. Sometimes she is really good at remembering and sometimes she needs a little help. I think it is cute that she does that. After I sing her songs and rub her back before bed, she now asks me to go and get someone else because she “still needs someone.” It is her way of procrastinating being alone in her room. Usually Emma or Abby will go in and talk with her and rub her back for a few more minutes. Anytime Madeline is hungry she either asks for a popsicle or some gum. I would say she has developed a little sweet tooth but neither one of those in our house has sugar in it. Go figure. Madeline has finally learned how to ride her pushbike. She has really developed some great balance throughout this month. She is pretty fast on that little bike of hers. Here are some of Madeline’s favorite things:
Favorite color – Pink
Favorite books – Little Quack, Little Blue Truck Books
Favorite movies – Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2
Favorite songs - I am a Child of God and The Primary Colors
Favorite musical artists - Queen and Billy Joel (asks Alexa to play Queen every morning)
Favorite food – Popsicles and Gum
Favorite animal – Cat
Favorite inside toy – Stuffed Animals
Favorite outside toy – Pink pushbike
Favorite thing to do outside – Go on walks around the neighborhood or jump on the trampoline
Favorite cereal – Rice Krispies (but she calls them Krisp Ricepies)
Favorite person – Mom
Favorite princess – Rapunzel
Favorite game – Hullabaloo
Favorite hairstyle – Curly and Wild
There were lots of changes that happened in March for Madeline. She went from being the only one at home with me during the day to being home with everyone all day every day. She loved the attention and she loved doing her “homework” when the other kids were doing their schoolwork from home. We introduced Madeline to some new learning apps that she now does every day before she gets to watch a cartoon. Her favorite app is Kahn Academy Kids. She is learning so much every day. The older kids usually take breaks throughout the day to play with Madeline. They either play toys or do puzzles with her inside the house or they take her outside for some fun in the backyard. We have even introduced Madeline to some fun games that have been tucked away in the game closet for many years. She loved playing with the Lightbridge and the Hullabaloo game. Since we were all quarantined at home, I spent more time making bread and Madeline loved helping me grind the wheat and mix the dough. She even got to slap the loaf before the rising part. She thought that was fun. I love that I have many helpers to keep Madeline entertained and I know that she just loves having everyone at home.
Spending everyday with Madeline never gets old. She is the light of all of our lives, and she keeps us thoroughly entertained. We learned some new hairstyles this month. She loves it when I do high pigtail buns with ribbons. We always do her hair that way when she goes to her ballet and tap class. We even do high ponytail braids and she loves that too. But it is not uncommon for her to just want her hair down and crazy. Every time she wakes up from a nap her hair is pretty wild. I try to put it up in a simple ponytail but most often she will pull it out. Her wild hair definitely fits her wild and fun personality. Even though she likes it wild, Madeline loves to pretend to do her hair with her own pretend hairdryer. She will often bring her make-up bag in my bathroom and do her make-up and hair when I am getting ready in the morning.
Madeline loves running errands with me. She always goes with me when I go to get my nails done. She is the most popular little kid at the salon. They all know her by name now and Lin and Kim love to give her hugs. Jimmy always tries to sneak in little treats for her. After I get my nails done, we sometimes venture over to Athleta. It is always a fun store for me to shop in and on one particular adventure, Madeline decided it would be fun to copy all of the manikins. She was pretty spot on with all the yoga poses that each manikin was doing. It made me chuckle.
This month Madeline discovered the love of popping packing bubbles. Every time a new package would arrive, she would ask to pop all of the bubbles. She would start by popping them with her fingers and would eventually arrive at stomping on the rest. I love watching the world through Madeline’s eyes. She is just so happy all the time.
This was an exciting month with Madeline. It started out like any other month with errands, weekly ballet and tap lessons and plenty of imaginative play at home. I love how talkative Madeline is these days. She loves to talk so much that sometimes she makes up stories about what she has done or where she has been during the day. She will often use one of the kid’s friends in her made up stories. It is pretty darn hilarious. When Madeline isn’t wearing her favorite Frozen nightgown, she is usually seen wearing one of her play dresses. Her favorite is still the Elsa blue dress and cape, but she also loves the Cinderella dress. There really isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t ask me to help her put on one of her play dresses. She plays for a while and then she is onto the next thing. She loves all of her dress up things, especially her hello kitty rolling suitcase and her tap shoes. She wears the older and slightly too big tap shoes almost every day. Her good tap shoes stay in her class bag and she only gets to wear those on Thursdays when she goes to her ballet and tap class. She continues to love the ballet statue and there isn’t a time when she doesn’t kiss and hug that statue as we are leaving class. This month Madeline discovered Penny the Horse at the grocery store. I decided to finally give in and let her ride the pony after paying for our groceries. It was only a penny after all. She just loved riding the pony and so I made a deal with her that when she was good in the store, she would get to ride the pony afterwards. Let’s just say we had many good shopping days. Most of the month was spent with smiles and laughter and joy. However, there was a brief period where Madeline got really sick and was not herself for a few days in a row. She actually fell asleep on my bed mid-morning those days and just slept. Even being sick Madeline is still the cutest little curly haired girl I have ever seen.
There is never a dull moment with Madeline. This month she had plenty of opportunities to play in the snow as we got a ton of snow during the month of October. She loved wearing her brand-new silver coat outside and drinking hot chocolate inside when she was done being in the cold. Watching Madeline play is always such a treat. She is so creative and imaginative. She loves playing with her Little Einstein toys, her Little People figures, the eraser animals, and her stuffed animals. We continued to work on potty training and Madeline had fun picking out a new pair of underwear every day. She leaned towards her Frozen underwear or something with pink in it. She truly is a lover of the color pink.
Oh, how we just love everything that Madeline does. She has been working on potty training lately. She is not loving it, but she will sit on the toilet willingly even if she never ends up doing anything. Madeline just loves to play with her pretend kitchen and food, and she is always up for playing dress-up and putting on her pretend make-up. Madeline has been my buddy during the kid’s cross-country meets, and she loves it when she gets to play on the playground after the meets. Madeline was able to play with her friend Ella this month. Those two had a blast playing at the big playground together. She gets to see Ella every week before her ballet class since Ella also does ballet at the same place but in the 4 year old class. Madeline has loved going to her new ballet/tap class. She is such a good listener and has picked up some new skills rather quickly. She loves to give the ballerina statue a hug and kiss every time we leave ballet class. It is adorable.
When I told Madeline that her birthday was coming up and asked her if she was excited to get presents, she said, "Is Santa coming to bring me presents?" I just chuckled because last Christmas she was finally old enough to understand that Santa equals presents. I had to tell her that presents this time would only be from mom and dad. Either way, it was pretty darn cute.
I decided to not do a full fondant cake this year and to simplify things a bit and just do cupcakes. I found the cutest examples of unicorn cupcakes and went in that direction for Madeline's 3rd birthday. Since the week was kind of busy we somehow managed to pull of a little party for Madeline with very little preparation. With some simple decorations and a few fun balloons and gifts, we had a very fun and exciting party for Madeline the day after her real birthday. This year she wasn't quite as scared of the candles but still wanted Peter to sit with her while we lit her candles on the cupcakes. She even piped in and sang Happy Birthday to herself while we were singing it to her. The cupcakes turned out really cute and they were actually really yummy. I tried a different fondant than I normally use and everyone gave it a thumbs up. Even Madeline loved eating the cupcakes. She also loved her chocolate dipped strawberries and lemonade.
Madeline loved her balloons and all the gifts she received. This year the kids gave her two new Little Blue Truck books. She was so happy to see her new books. Grandma and Grandpa Kelsch gave her the cutest castle card that lights up to go along with her fun gift. They gave her a pretend wooden makeup kit with a mirror, comb, two shades of lipstick, two shades of nail polish, eyeshadow, an eyeliner pencil, and a perfume bottle. She spent a good 10-20 minutes just playing with it on the couch before we gave her the last present to open. We gave her a pretend cash register and she just loved that too. We loved pushing the buttons, swiping her pretend credit card and playing with the pretend money in the cash drawer. It was definitely a perfect little party for our sweet little 3 year old Madeline!
Madeline weighs 27 lbs and is 37 inches (3 ft 1 inch) tall. Madeline is our spunky curly haired angel. She talks non-stop and we just love it. She definitely prefers to be outside playing and spent the remainder of the winter and most of the summer riding the moped with me or one of the girls. She LOVES going for rides on the moped or just taking walks around the neighborhood. She especially loves it when the kids will jump with her on the trampoline. She loves to draw with chalk on the sidewalk and play with the sparkly rocks out in front of our house.
Madeline loves to play with her toys just as much as she likes to be outside. Her favorite toys are her Little people, Little Einsteins, kitchen toys, and the Sylvania family animal people with the house and all the fun accessories. She is constantly asking Emma and Abby if they can get the Sylvania family out for her to play with. Since Abby still loves to play with those she is often seen playing with Madeline. Madeline also loves to play dress up and will usually ask us to help her put on one of her pretty dress up dresses.
When we let her Madeline LOVES to watch cartoons on the iPad. She loves being able to wear her pink wireless headphones when she listens to her movies. It's amazing how well she can maneuver around the different apps on the iPad. Her favorite movies are Mr. Incredibles 1 &2, Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Returns, Kung Fu Panda 3, and the Croods.
Madeline's favorite books are the Berenstain Bear books. Her favorite one of those is the Spooky Tree book. She also loves the Little Blue Truck books. Her favorite one of those is Little Blue Truck Christmas. She also likes Cat in the Hat, the Mother Goose book, and Go Dog Go.
Madeline is super smart. She can count all the way to 20 by herself and recognizes 95% of the letters in the alphabet. There are only a few she gets stuck on. She knows all of her colors and she can recognize most objects on our learning cards. Madeline can also sing really well and knows the words to so many songs...both primary songs and popular songs. The other day we were in the car driving to Denver and a song came on and she just started singing it. I couldn't believe she knew the words so well.
Madeline says a lot of cute things. She loves to copy the things we say to her. When I say things like, "I love you sweetheart," she will say the same thing back. She also calls us honey when we call her honey. Without a doubt she always tells me she loves me too after I have told her that I love her. We love it when she calls the elevator the "alligator." It cracks us up every time. She usually calls Peter Pete and sometimes she has called him boy. We laugh when she does that. She also loves to say, "what the heck..." If she hears a bad word she will be quick to say, "Don't say that word." She is such a good example to her older siblings.
When she wants to tell someone that it is hers she will say, "That is mines" or "Is that mines?" It is too cute so we don't try and correct her.
Madeline loves to do things by herself. If she is really adamant about not wanting help she will say, "Let me do it." She usually likes to try and take off her clothes by herself before her bath. She has learned how to put on her own pull up diaper. She can usually put on shorts or pants by herself but she still has trouble with shirts. We still help her with her shoes but she loves to do the velcro straps by herself.
Madeline loves all kinds of foods, especially chocolate chips which she has been known to sneak into in the pantry. Occasionally we stumble upon something she just doesn't want to eat. After taking one bite she will say, "No thank you," when I try and feed it to her. She just keeps repeating that until I can convince her to eat just three more bites. At least she is polite about it!
A month before she turned 3 we converted her crib into a toddler bed. She didn't have any problems staying in bed at night but will occasionally wake up a little too early. She has been known to go in and wake up the girls which they don't love.
Madeline started a ballet/tap class right before she turned 3 years old. She has only been to 2 classes but she already seems to love it. She is really good at following directions and being friendly with the other two girls in the class.
It's amazing how time flies so fast when the kids are little. It was almost like I woke up one day and Madeline was a little girl and not really a toddler anymore. Madeline had lots of FIRSTS this month. At the beginning of the month she had her very first dentist appointment. She did really well sitting in the chair at first. Then she wanted me to sit with her so I held her on my lap. She let Dr. Patterson count all of her teeth and she let the tech brush her teeth.
Right before the kids went back to school, we decided to transition Madeline from a crib to a toddler bed. I knew that she could stay in bed all night since she slept in a toddler bed during our family reunion over the summer. Mike and Andrew worked together to take the front railing off and replace it with a toddle rail. Madeline was so excited. She actually did really well transitioning to a bed with more freedom. At night she never got out of her bed but during nap time she will still occasionally play in and around her bed before she finally falls asleep. I feel like it's a win because she doesn't come out of her room when it's time to sleep.
One of the things we are trying to focus on more is potty time. Madeline really doesn't have any desire to potty train but that is not to say we aren't trying. I bought her some pull up diapers so that she could learn how to take them on and off by herself. That was step number one. Step two was learning how to get on and off the potty by herself. She can actually do it without using a stool. I'm not sure how she swings her leg all the way around but she somehow manages to get on toilet by herself. Finally, she learned how to wash her hands by herself. The most important piece now was actually sitting on the potty long enough to actually go. We tried reading books, singing songs, and eating snacks but none of those things really helped. The only thing that got her to sit on the potty by herself was knowing that she had to go and not having her pull up or diaper on. I let her roam around naked and I went about my business in the kitchen. I noticed that she walked back in the bathroom and got on the potty and was bracing herself against the wall. Oh boy...she was doing something. She did actually go in the potty but it kind of scared her and she started to cry. I'm not sure if I will be able to convince her to do it again but at least she did it once.
Since Madeline is almost 3 years old, we figured it was time to give her an activity that she could participate in. Since I did ballet and tap with the other girls it seemed like the natural thing to do for Madeline. I found out from a friend about a good ballet/tap program and we did a trial class to see how she would respond. I was so surprised at how well she listened to her teacher and how well behaved she was in the class. When the class was finished, she was so happy.
Even though Madeline had lots of FIRSTS this month, she also had lots of repeated cuteness from things she does all the time. Some of my favorite moments this month from her was her love of playing in the grass, mopping the floor with me, talking on her pretend phone and actually pausing as if she were actually talking to someone, using her own resistant band when I was doing my PT exercises, playing with puzzles and telling me the numbers as she put them in the puzzle, and having a blast during bath time. There is never a dull moment when Madeline is around.
Every day we count our lucky stars that we have Madeline in our family. She is the cutest, silliest, happiest, and most fun little 2-year-old. She is always happy and so much fun to be around. This month she continued to shine with her radiant smile and curiosity. She constantly asks for bubble baths and at the end of a long summer day she is ready to play in the bath. She loves playing with her toys and rocking on her rocking horse. She loves to eat all kinds of foods but really took an interested in watermelon on those warm summer days. On one occasion she was eating a lollipop and then grabbed some bell peppers that I was cutting up. It was so funny to see the sweet in one hand and the healthy in the other. This month she got to visit both the doctor and eye doctor for checkups. She was insistent on bringing her doctor kit with her. While we were waiting in the room, she took the time to give Abby a checkup. It was the cutest thing ever. Her playful imagination never gets old. We just love our little Madeline.
Madeline has changed so much since she turned 2 years old back in September. She is now 25 lbs. and 36 inches tall at 2 1/2 years old. Her hair is still super curly and adorable. She will still wear baby headbands and will usually want to pick them out herself. One of her favorite headbands is the hot pink flower. Sometimes when I try and fix her headband she will say, "No, I fix it." She is becoming very independent. We tried pigtails for the first time and she was able to sit still long enough for me to put them in. She just looks so cute in pigtails. She will sometimes ask specifically for pigtails now. Even though she is moving away from the baby stages, she still sucks her thumb when she is tired or nervous and loves to do so while holding one of her
favorite pink blankets. She has two pink crocheted blankets that she loves because she can poke her fingers in the edge and wrap her fingers in and out of the tiny holes.
Madeline talks so much now. Madeline is simply the smartest little 2-year-old ever. Her vocabulary is so extensive. She talks in simple sentences and she knows exactly how to communicate what she wants. Lately, she has been trying to talk to Alexa on our Amazon Echo Dot to tell her to play Madeline's playlist. Alexa doesn't quite understand Madeline just yet. Madeline loves to tell us stories and sometimes it is just jibber jabber but most of the time we can understand what she is saying. Sometimes her stories consist of random thoughts one after another. I think it is her way of telling us about what she is experiencing. Madeline loves to talk on FaceTime with Grandma Anne and Grandpa Franz. Every time Grandma picks up, she always asks for Grandpa too. Her favorite time to talk to them is before she goes to bed. She loves to go and cook in her little kitchen and then bring the food to the iPad so that they can pretend to eat it. It's hilarious. Madeline will often copy things we say and loves to call us "sweetie" or "sweetheart." She loves to say hi to people in the store and waves goodbye to people when we leave. When we change her diaper and it's a stinky one, she will often say, "I know, I know..." Back in December she had the worst diaper rash that lasted for 4 days. It was bad enough that for quite some time she would get nervous when we would change a dirty diaper. She would calm herself by saying, "No diaper rash." Poor girl.
Madeline is still a great eater. She loves breakfast and lunch but is not the best eater at dinnertime. Her favorite breakfast is cereal and fruit. She loves LIFE, Cheerios, and my homemade
granola, which she calls, "grabola." She loves peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch. She loves the circle babybel cheese and fruit leathers most as snacks during the day. Madeline's
favorite treats are lollipops and cookies. We just introduced her to lollipops but only give them to her as special treats. Madeline still prefers to drink milk over any other drink and will willingly drink water. Overall, she is a pretty good eater and will eat all fruits, peas, carrots, corn, broccoli, yellow peppers, some pastas, chicken, pork, and salmon but doesn't usually like beef or hot dogs. Madeline is great at using her spoon and fork and still uses her hands for some things. I'm not sure where she learned it but one day I saw her eating her blueberries by sucking them up with only her mouth like an elephant would with its trunk. It was kind of hilarious. Sometimes when we are eating together Madeline will knock my cup with her cup and say, "cheers." Emma taught her how to do that. It doesn't just stop with cups though. Sometimes she does cheers with her bowl or plate as well. At dinnertime, which isn't really her favorite meal, she always tries to be done way before her food is actually gone. She loves to tell me..."All done. I want to take a bath, brush teeth, get jammies on, and go to bed." She is such a smart girl.
Madeline has really taken an interest in coloring. She loves to color with crayons, pencils, markers and colorful pens. She is often found stealing the girl's erasable pens from their desk drawer. Sometimes she will draw in a coloring book but her favorite thing to do is to draw on a blank piece of paper. She mostly draws scribbles and repeating circles. Madeline loves all kind of toys. She loves stuffed animals and usually has quite a few in bed with her when she sleeps. She also loves playing with the Little People and the Lego Duplos. Her favorite Little People characters are the princess ones. She carries them around everywhere she goes. Her latest favorite toys are the mini princess clip dolls. She usually asks to sleep with one when she goes to bed. Of course, she still loves her Little Einstein dolls and was so excited when we found Quincy who had been lost for over a month.
Madeline loves to play. She begs us to either pull her across the floor on the blanket or play duck duck goose with her. She also loves it when we chase her around the house. She will say, "chase me." It is surprising how fast she is. Madeline loves to play in the nursery at church but went through a month where she hated it and cried when we took her. Once I started being more consistent with church nursery and the club daycare she quickly became ok playing with the other kids until I returned.
Of all the things Madeline knows how to do, she amazes me with how well she can sing the songs I have sung to her since she was a baby. She doesn't just know some of the words...she knows all the words. She can sing so many songs all the way through. Now when we are getting ready for bed sometimes I will start to sing to her and she will put her finger up to my mouth and say, "Shhh..." because she wants to sing to me. It is cute and kind of funny.
Madeline still loves books. Her favorite books are: Bear Hunt, Little Blue Truck books, Mr. Gumpy, If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Pig a Party, Eric Carle's Head to Toe book, Pinkalicious, Goldalicious, Curious George and the Chocolate Factory, Curious George Feeds the Animals, Curious George and the Dinosaur Museum, and the Mother Goose book.
Living in a house full of technology, Madeline falls right in line with the other kids and not only knows how to work the iPad but she loves it all too much. She loves to watch movies on her iPad and on the big TV in the basement. Her favorite movies are: The Heffalump Movie, Mary Poppins, Boss Baby, and Incredibles 2. When she is in the basement she will take all the pillows off the couch and make a big pile on the floor and jump from the couch to the floor. She reminds me of how fun life can be from the eyes of a 2 year old.