Sunday, October 30, 2011

Some Catching Up

Hello friends and family!  Just thought I'd pop on here and fill everyone in on what's been going on with us.  You'll have to forgive me:  I am horrible at updating this blog.  For good reason though ;)  We have been busy with little projects around the house getting ready for the new baby.  I am pleased to announce that our once disgustingly cluttered mess of a basement has turned into play-area, crafting area, and laundry area that is nice and neat.  We painted the walls and concrete (so it's not so rough on Madison) and cleaned everything from top to bottom.  Kyle is just finishing up some walls around our ancient furnace down there and that's about it.  Madison LOVES the play area.  My mom scored a great Fisher-Price desk at a garage sale so she has a little area to color, paint, etc plus other fun stuff.  It'll be nice when we're cooped up during the winter because we can go down there for a little change of scenery.  I didn't even think about it but I'll have to get a picture and post it.  So, now we're moving onto our garage (which should only take a few days; just a little re-organizing) where most of our spare bedroom stuff is going to be stored.  Speaking our spare bedroom, while I have free bits of time, I have been clearing it out and my goal is after Christmas (we have to keep the bed in there until then because my Grandparents are coming) it will be emptied and construction on a new nursery can begin. much to do, but I feel like we're actually making pretty good headway.

When we haven't been working around the house, we've had a few little outings with Madison.  We went to Apple Hill for the afternoon and went to one ranch that had a small petting zoo.  It was so fun.  Madison absolutely loves animals (she can't say a whole lot of words but man can she make each animal sound!).  She was a little unsure of the sheep but loved petting the cow.  After that farm, we met up with our friends Andy and Killian at High Hill for a little afternoon snack of Apple Pie.  We also took Madison to the Sacramento Zoo and she actually felt comfortable enough to get out of her stroller and walk around with us.  It was so cute to see her walking around like a big kid.  And of course, every Saturday is usually spent by Madison, my mom and I shopping around looking for some good deals whether it be on groceries, Madison some winter clothes, or stocking up some Christmas presents.  Sunday's, Madison and I go over to my mom's for dinner and Kyle gets over there as soon as he gets off work.  It's a fun little routine.

We've also had the Shelton family over a few times but unfortunately, Madison was super sick during the twin girls birthday party.  We just saw them this week though and it is so fun to watch the three of them play together.  They're really the first little kids that Madison isn't too shy to play with.  I even walked over to Madison and Emma to hear then talking away in there own little language.  So cute!

In other news, Madison is a little sports girls.  She didn't mind the World Series, but she absolutely loves football and the Packers :)  Even without Kyle being home during Sunday, football is on all day at our house.  And maybe by seeing her mommy and daddy do it a few times, Madison will take time out from playing to cheer or yell at the TV while football is on.  It's pretty funny.

Madison is just growing and developing so fast it is insane and seeing it makes me realize I am going to appreciate every moment of "baby" time I get with the next one even more.  I know it's a cliche, but they really do grow up so fast!  Madison has started saying some more words such as "juice," "uh-oh," "thank you," and letter sounds like "O" and "S."

On the new baby front, I have my 21 week ultrasound on November 16th and if the baby is cooperative, we will hopefully see if we are having a boy or girl.  So, that will probably be my next post in the blog.  And now, I will leave you with some pictures of our adventures and I just uploaded some video clips to my facebook, so you can look them up on my facebook page.

Our miniature Packer fan

Kangaroo girl at the zoo

She didn't want to leave the river otter exhibit at the zoo.

Kyle helped her reach over to pet the cow.

The 2 people I love most in the world.

Madison at the pumpkin patch.

Madison and Killian playing at High Hill.

Madison and Emma checking out books.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Some Exciting News!

Wow, we have had a busy last few days!  It has been such a fun-filled summer, but to be honest, I am so ready for some fall weather.  The fact that Football season is starting makes me want cool weather even more!  Anyway, just thought I'd share what our little family was up to this busy Labor Day weekend.  Well, we started the week going to this cool (and free) water park down in El Dorado Hills.  It is so much fun!  We took Madison to it last year but she was too little to enjoy it.  She actually hated it.  But this year, after her usual scoping out of the scene, she had an absolute blast!  She was running through all the water squealing like a Picolote Pete firework.  It was so fun to watch her.  Well, we didn't really watch, we were in there with her playing too.  Kyle and I were soaked through our clothes by the time we left.  Since that was such a hit and the heat just seemed to be increasing, we went again Friday afternoon with my mom (the park closed after Labor Day).  This time, Kyle and I came equipped with our own swimsuits!  Again, Madison was our little squealing firework running through the water and even going up and checking out some kids.  That was pretty cool to me because she is a little on the shy side.  So, it was fun to see her interact with other little ones.  That evening, too tired to cook, we stopped by Hog Wild (new BBQ place in Placerville) and got dinner to bring home.  It looked great, but I dodn't eat much of mine...more on that later.  The next day, Madison and I went with my mom to do some shopping down in Folsom and at Ross, I found 2 more of these Disney "Look and Find" books which she loves.  She has been pulling those guys out everyday since so I think it was a $12 well spent.  Sunday morning was spent doing our regular routine of getting Starbucks with my mom and eating cheese bagels while watching the Country Music Countdown.  Madison likes her some country music (well, anything with a beat really) and did her usual dancing around while asking for more bites of our bagels.  Sunday night, my baby girl spent the night at her Grandma's for only the 2nd time.  Since her last molar just broke through, we thought that it would be a good night to do it (no teething pains) and my mom had Monday off.  She did great although my mom had a little trouble getting her to go to sleep at first.  I had a fit-ful night's sleep but managed to sleep in an extra hour, so that was definitely nice!  To wrap up the weekend, me, Madison, my mom, and brother all went to Apple Hill.  We stopped by Abel's Acres to see the horses and the vendors and then we went to High Hill where we set up a blanket by the pond and ate lunch and pie there.  Madison was having a tickle war with her Uncle Tor and loved running barefoot on the grass.  It was such a fun/busy weekend!

A quick update on Madison's language:  she is talking SO much!  Not too much to where you can understand, but wow is she trying!  Although we might not understand everything she is saying, she understands 90% of what we are saying.  It is insane how we'll say an animal (for example) in passing and she'll interrupt us to do that animal's sound.  She follows directions so well too.  So, obviously we have a strict cursing ban on the house and Kyle and I now even double think about what is on TV.

In other news, I am SO pleased to announce that Kyle and I are expecting baby #2!  I am 11 weeks along and due March 28th, 2012.  Madison will be just a few short weeks of turning 2.  I just went to the Dr today for my first ultrasound and everything looks great and healthy.  Even though it's our second time on this merry-go-round, seeing that little baby in there is just awe-inspiring!  We got a great view of it's arms and legs but it was moving around so much that the Dr wasn't able to get a great shot for a picture.  Seeing that baby on the screen definitely made it feel real (you would think the morning/evening sickness I've been having, worse than with Madison, would make it feel real enough, huh?).  Luckily, I am thanking my lucky stars that the 1st trimester is almost over and I can go back to eating good dinners!    Again, the Dr said everything looked great and it looks like I am on the road to another boringly healthy pregnancy.  I just hope this labor isn't as long as the last!!!  Anyway, as always, thank you for reading and I hope this finds everyone in good health and happiness!  Much love to you all!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Madison is talking....well, kind of.

Madison in her Amish-made bonnet from Great-Granny

I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer so far. We sure have been. Ever since we got back from our vacation, we've been having pretty lazy summer days that consist of hanging around the house and in our backyard. Actually, the other day was so hot that we took Madison through the sprinkler a few times. It was hilarious! She wasn't that into it at first, but after a few times of passing through it with me or Kyle she was cracking up. It was so fun and impromptu (none of us had swimsuits on) that we all had to come inside and change into dry clothes afterwards.

In the few moments that Kyle and I have been motivated, we've been working on our basement, as mentioned before. It's a lot of work, but it's definitely getting there.
Madison's 1st Happy Meal
Let's see, we have done a few fun things since my last post though. We took Madison up to Tahoe for the day and gave her her 1st Happy Meal. Yes, I know it's by far not the healthiest lunch for a 16 month old, but we figured since she eats very healthy all the time, one Happy Meal from McDonald's wouldn't kill her. And Kyle was so excited about it. It was so cute. Anyway, we went to a little beach past Camp Richardson in South Lake Tahoe and spent a good few hours there. We ate lunch and lounged on the beach while Madison was playing with her sand buckets. It was just a fun day getting out of the house.

God-Parents on the left,  Pastor, and Alex with his Mommy & Daddy
Also, just cast weekend, I had the huge honor of being at one of my best friend's (Nikki Lingford) son's baptism as his God-mother. I really can't describe how that made me feel! We started off the morning at the church where little Alex got baptized in front of lots of family. Surprisingly, Madison stayed quiet the whole time with my mom-thank God for crayons and coloring books! After the ceremony, everyone went to the Lingord house for the whole after noon for food and cake. It was such a great time and I was actually able to get Madison down for a nap so we were able to stay longer.
Me, Madison, my mom, and my second mom (Alex's Grandma)
So, that's what has been going on with us. Now, as described in the title, Madison has been talking a little! Well, let me clarify, she talks in her own language. For example, when you ask her to say "please" she responds with someone that sounds like "day." And "thank you" sounds pretty darn close with "tay tay". And of course she says momma, daddy, and bubba. Even though some of her words sound nothing like the real word, I'm still excited about it because she uses the same "her version" of the word every time. So there is consistency. :)

Anyway, hope this post finds everyone well and we'll be talking to you soon!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hot Days of Summer

 Hello family and friends!  I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last updated the blog. July has been a pretty good month in the Van Buren household. We started the month off by going on our annual family vacation to Pismo Beach for 10 days. Needless to say, it was soooo much fun. This year we were blessed to have 2 sets of amazing family friends with us through the 1st half of our trip. The Turner/Lingford family took the hotel room we had previously booked (before we had bought our travel trailer) and the Robertson family got a hotel room for a few days. The first half of our trip was spent walking down Pismo's main street and pier, playing on the beach with Andy, Killian, and Sue, going to Avila beach and watching the seals and even a little wine tasting trip. On 4th of July, everyone gathered at our campsite for a big BBQ. It was mass chaos with so many people, dogs, and babies-but that is what made it so fun and memorable! The second half of the trip was just the family and we had a lot of fun breaking in our new trailer. Madison had so much fun on the beach and playing in the sand. We cannot wait to go back and are planning a tentative trip for Memorial Day weekend. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it'll work out.

We returned to a thriving garden thanks to my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. Our tomatoes are doing way better than last year and the corn is almost as high as our fence! The pumpkins are starting to take over as well. Once more veggies are coming in I'll have to post a picture.

Excluding a few days/nights here and there, Madison has been doing great. She has been in such a great mood and I love seeing her like this. She can get so grumpy when she's teething badly but luckily those days are becoming fewer and farther between. She also has been testing her legs and just trying to run everywhere. Madison is turning into a beautiful, funny little girl and it's insane how fast it's happening. She understands everything we say and follows directions so well (well, when she's not feigning deafness). I have to say the funniest/cutest thing she does is chase around Charlie all day and then cuddles with him on the floor when they're both tired. It is so sweet to see the bond between our beloved dog and child.

When we first got home from vacation we were blessed with amazingly cool weather and now it's just plain hot. So, our days consist of spending some outdoor time in the morning while it's not too hot and staying in the cool of our house the rest of the afternoon. But as Madison's growing up we have more of a variety of indoor activities like coloring. I got Madison some jumbo crayons and she loves it. Obviously right now we're not focusing on staying inside the lines ;). Just holding the crayon correctly which is also helping in teaching her how to hold utensils to feed herself. She has far from mastered feeding herself with utensils, but she's on her way and LOVES doing it.

Next on the Van Buren family to-do list: clean out and organize our basement into a play area (which we've started) and start.....wait for it......potty training Madison. Wish us luck!
Out at the end of Avila Pier with Andy and Killian

Wine tasting with Nikki

I love this picture!  Madison in full tantrum mode!

Simon and Charlie hanging out in the trailer

My 2 best friends, Andy and Nikki, and our beautiful children

The Robertson's watching the fireworks from our seat in the dunes

Our little beach baby at Avila

I LOVE this picture of Kyle and Madison

Madison's first time in a pool

Our little family

Madison with her Uncle Tor on the pier

Madison was all about walking around everywhere

The chaos of our campsite on 4th of July

Me and my beautiful little girl.

Madison enjoying a snack on the beach

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June Has Been a Busy Month

Daddy's Girl
Well, it's been a few weeks since the last blog and we've been busy! In the last few weeks, Madison got another tooth on the bottom which gives us a total of 7 teeth. We had about a 2 week reprieve of teething pains where Madison was her happy little self, however, just the last 3 days she is teething hard again. She is uncontrollably drooling, biting on her fingers, etc. Unfortunately, it is even going into a cold. The poor baby just started coughing a lot today. However, in the 2 good weeks between teeth Madison was weaned from her last bottle! We saved her after-bath but before-bed bottle to wean last knowing it would probably be the worst. On the 1st no-bottle night we gave her some milk and a snack before her bath, read her a bed time story after her bath (instead of the bottle), and then I put her in bed waiting for the explosion of crying once I shut the door. I hesitantly turned on my video monitor as soon as I left her room, and to my immense surprise, she was looking around, sort of confused and then laid down. It was AWESOME!

On other food news, we are finding out that Madison is quite the picky eater. She will like one thing one night and hate the same thing the next. And the only way she'll eat ANY veggies is if it hidden in Mac and cheese. It's a little frustrating, but one of those things that comes along with being a parent!

Madison with the buffalo
We have been up to more than just teething and spitting out mouthfuls of dinner though :) Madison, my mom, and I made it down to the Wagon Train and walked around, but by the time we got down there (after Madison's nap) everything was pretty much wrapped up. But we were able to get a picture next to a giant Buffalo which is, as I said before, Madison's nickname.

Kyle and I got our garden planted with our usual stuff (watermelons, pumpkins, strawberries, tomatoes, eggplants, various peppers and bell peppers, cilantro, basil, and rosemary) and some new stuff including: cucumbers, garlic, blueberries, and corn. Our garlic is already sprouting and the corn is taking off. It's fun to watch all of our new stuff because we don't know what to expect. It's a great learning experience. The really annoying part though is that birds and slugs are attacking our strawberries! But a few days ago we spread slug killer out there and hung up some CD's on a fishing line to hopefully keep the birds away. I can't wait to taste our 1st strawberry and now, hopefully, that'll happen soon.

Kyle and Madison at the Fair
Last week, the El Dorado County Fair was going so on Thursday the three of us went. As embarrassing as this is to tell, I will say what I did as soon as we walked in. We went directly to a kiosk inside the gates to enter our ticket numbers for a raffle. I parked Madison's stroller so that she would be facing me and forgot to set the brake. I turn my back for literally 5 seconds and Madison is rolling backwards a few feet away from me! Some nice man caught the stroller and brought it back to me while I was in tears at my mistake feeling like a horrible mother. Kyle was besides himself laughing. Ugh, it was horrible, but Kyle made me feel better abut it. It is kind of funny now looking back on it. Besides our run-away stroller episode, we went around to look at all the vendors, animals, and even a monkey show before we got mine and Kyle's reason for going to the fair, the 20/30 Club tacos. We got ourself a nice spot on the grass and ate our tacos while Madison crawled around on the blanket. We even got to visit with a lot of Kyle's friends from work because they were all meeting for a quick briefing right behind us. It was a great day that was followed by a great Father's Day where Madison and I went to a Robertson family BBQ and then went home to fix Kyle his favorite dinner followed by a chocolate cake. Last weekend was a fun weekend!
Madison dipping her feet in the pool at Andy's house

This week, Kyle and I have been doing some yard work and getting stuff together for our annual Pismo trip which we'll be leaving for soon. My brother also cut and highlighted my hair since he is now a licensed Cosmetologist. So, if you ever need your hair done, you know who to call! Today though was super special because Madison, her Grandma Corrie and I went to Madison's cousin's 1st birthday party. We got to see all of our Van Buren family and even got to meet some for the 1st time. It was such a fun way to spend an afternoon and rather than explaining our time, I'll just leave you with pictures. Much love to you all, and I probably won't be reporting until after we get back from our vacation. So, Happy
 4th of July!

Madison and the birthday girl, Johnna!
Madison liked getting some cake from her Grandma
Madison and her Great-Uncle Darell
Madison and her Great-Aunt Pam who was showing her a pond
Me and Madison enjoying the party
The Van Buren Clan: Me, Madison, Pam, Johnna, John, and Corrie