The First Year – We Made It!!!

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Happy Birthday, Madison Elizabeth!

Wow, we have kept our child alive for a full year – amazing!  I firmly believe in the saying “time flies” now more than ever.  I still can’t believe that a mere year ago, Maddie was still in my belly and we hadn’t yet met her.  Now, we have this wild one!

Wild One

The Past Month

The past month has been amazing to watch.  Maddie has progressed in so many areas, so quickly, and it’s absolutely mind-blowing.

At 11 months, she was taking around 10 steps at a time; now she’s walking across our entire apartment.

She has gone from saying one or two “words” (namely: “dada”) and mumbling unintelligible baby babble to saying several new words and making noises that sound much more like words….even though I may not know what they are yet.  It’s clear she’s trying to speak and is – in her mind, at least – communicating.

She has been saying “dada” for a while, but in the past month or so started saying “daddy.”  There were a few “nana”‘s thrown in here and there, and a few other random words that would pop up – “ok” for example.  In the past month, though, she’s added “duckie,” “puppy,” and most recently, “uh-oh!”  I was told she said “toes” yesterday.

Most interesting to me is that she’s started repeating words we say, and even repeating our inflection.  So when I say “duck-ie!” she repeats it, using my same inflection.  That is fascinating to me.  She repeated “duckie” and “puppy” about 20 times on our 15-minute walk last night!

A Visit From Grandma

One of the most fun parts of Maddie’s birthday weekend was getting a visit from Grandma Janet, who lives in a land far, far away (northern Michigan).  We didn’t get many pictures, unfortunately, but Grandma came with lots of presents, and enjoyed spending three days with her precious grandbaby.

Maddie & Grandma Opening Present

The Pre-Birthday Par-Tay!

To celebrate this big milestone, we had a pool party/picnic/cookout on Saturday, May 12, 2018.  She had so much fun.  Maddie was bestowed with many gifts from the many generous people who love her.  Most notably, there is now a large, pink child’s Mercedes in my living room, proudly owned by my little diva.

In Car

She had cake and cupcakes, of course.  She wasn’t so sure about the cake at first.  We sat her in her chair and put the cake in front of her, but there were lots of people gathered around watching her, and I think she was a little bit overwhelmed.

Birthday Cake

Of course, we “helped” her a little bit to get a taste of the frosting, and once she did she decided that cake and frosting are really quite good, and she played with/ate frosting for a good little while.

We also went swimming, which she has loved pretty much since birth.  She got to ride in her boat float, which she enjoyed.  There were lots of big kids in the pool, and I think that was her favorite part – getting to hang out with and feel like one of the big kids!

The Official Birthday Celebration!

On Monday, May 14, 2018 – her actual birthday – we had some professional pictures taken at JC Penney Portraits.  This girl is such a ham for the camera!  The entire session took no longer than 10 minutes; Maddie was a champ!  She posed, smiled for the camera, and moved right on!  I cannot say enough great things about JC Penney Portraits and our photographer at the North Hills, NC location.  Sadly, I can’t remember her name to give her her due credit, but she is the same photographer who did our family pictures last December (see the cover photo of the two boys and Maddie on the front page), and she is amazing!  Definitely go see them if you want some great, affordable pictures taken.  Just look at how cute these turned out!

Collage Cake


Collage Dress





Happiest of birthdays, Madison!  I can’t wait to see what each new year brings.  This has been the best year of my life, bar none, meeting you, watching you grow and learn, and being touched by your immeasurable happiness and joy.  Thank you for making me a “mommy.”  I love you to the moon and back!


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