Monday, May 30, 2011

Is it funny or sad that children songs get stuck in my head all day?!

Funny thing:  As I'm sitting here watching Toy Story 3, I realize that throughout my days, about 90% of the songs that get stuck in my head are from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Veggie Tales.  I guess that shows what music is playing in our house most of the time.  Anyway, I notices that this weekend while humming "Where is my Hairbrush" and thought I would share it.

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend.  I just want to say that in this house, we are so thankful for all the sacrifices that our soldiers and their families make to keep us safe.  It's crazy to think that my little cousin (well, not really little-just in my mind) is going to Boot Camp this week.  My prayers go out to him and my Aunt.  I love you guys so much!

We had a fun and busy Memorial Day weekend.  Madison and I went to the mall with Grandma and Uncle Tor.  We didn't stay too long though since our little Buffalo (one of our many nicknames for Madison) was not in a great mood.  Sunday morning, Madison and I went to church with her other uncle, Christopher.  Now this expedition has a bit of a story.  So, we've only brought Madison to church twice with us (Christmas and Easter) and she was young enough to sit in our lap and just fall asleep.  However, she's getting to the age that socially with other kids would definitely be a good thing and I really want her raised in church and Sunday school like my brother and I were.  Anyway, I decided that it was time to put Madison in the child care center at the church while I went to the service.  I knew it would be good for her and it was only for an hour.  However, I was a ball of nerves.  Besides Kyle and I, Madison has only ever stayed with her 2 Grandma's.  I was expecting to take her in there and that she would start screaming once I went to leave.  However, to my pleasant surprise, I took her in there and she automatically started to play with some toys.  I thought, this is good.  So, I kissed her on the head, and told her bye.  As I looked back, still no crying--from her at least.  I don't know what it was, perhaps leaving her with someone I didn't know, but I broke down.  For some reason, it felt like she just grew up a little more right then.  So, shaking and trying to conceal my crying, I found Chris and other family friends (the Turners/Lingfords) and sat down.  I couldn't believe it, but her number never flashed on the screen (they assign numbers to each kid so if they're freaking out, they put the number up on a little screen in the church and the parents know to go get them).  Breathing a huge sigh of relief after church dismissal (to be honest, I didn't get much of the message that was preached this time) I went to pick up my Buffalo.  I went in there and she was being rocked by one of the ladies in the nursery clutching a Mickey Mouse.  Smiling to myself, I thought, of course she found the only Mickey Mouse in the nursery (he is her absolute favorite!).  However, the lady said that Madison was real quite and was good except she stole this Mickey Mouse from another baby!  So, it was a little embarrassing, a little funny, and also a huge relief that everything went well (for the most part).

Madison + Killian = BFF

Loving the swings.
Sunday evening we went over to my mom's house and had an AMAZING Tri-tip dinner.  We rounded up the long weekend by going to the park with Andy, Killian, and Alaura.  It was the 1st time Madison actually had fun at the park.  She was crawling up the little stairs to try to get to the slides and walking around holding my hand.  However,  Madison definitely needs to learn how to share (hence the story above).  Poor Killian was just trying to play with toys that she wasn't playing with when at that moment Madison decided she needed to play with them.  And Killian, being the sweetheart he is, gave them back to her with no fuss!    For those of you who do not know, Andy has been my best friend (and man-of-honor in our wedding) since we were in the 5th grade.  So, it is so fun to see our babies grow up together like we did.
Andy and I at our 8th Grade graduation.

So, I would like to end this post by just saying how thankful I am for wonderful family, amazing friends, an incredible husband that works so hard so I can stay home with Madison, and of course, again, our troops for making my life what it is!!

PS: Our life is not all sunshine and strawberries.  I'll post about our teething pains next post.  I just thought this one was getting a little long :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Official 1st Steps!

Well, it has happened.....Madison took her 1st steps tonight. Actually, let me re-phrase that. Yesterday, she took a shuffle step. But tonight she decided that crawling is over-rated and went for it. My mom and I were sitting across from each other with Madison in the middle when we decided to try the "walking drill" again between the two of us and she just went for it. At that moment, Kyle whipped out the video camera and started recording it. Of course, as soon as the camera came out, she was over it, but luckily for us, she started right back up in a few minutes and that is what this video clip is of. A little later, while we were in Madison's room, she was going at it again but this time she was even more sure of herself. She was holding onto a walking toy when she apparently decided to go give Charllie a kiss who was halfway across the room. She walked over to him, kissed him, let go of him and was just standing there like a standing pro. Then Charlie licked her square on the face and she still just stood there without getting knocked down. It was so amazing to see! A little bittersweet though because, all of a sudden, I got a flash that she is not going to be my baby much longer! It's exciting to open a new chapter in our lives but I now see why people say to enjoy every moment of that baby-hood because it flies by so amazingly fast!

In other developmental news, Madison also has gotten 2 teeth in 3 days! She is finally catching up with other babies her age with her 6 little teeth. At least I know now why we've been having such long nights lately!

We didn't get to make it to the zoo this week like we had planned (due to this unseasonably cold and rainy weather-we currently have a fire going in our house) but we got some house projects done. After being neglected last Spring (c'mon, we had a brand new baby!) our front yard has received a nice clean-up. Next week, the backyard! We also, FINALLY, finished our bathroom remodel. Here are some before and after pictures.
Before we even moved in.

Our new shower.  Tile done by Hoagland Tile (friends of ours).

The new vanity and part of the new toilet

To wrap up our crazy day today (I swear our life is usually very boring) Kyle and I decided to exchange anniversary gifts. Even though our anniversary isn't until Saturday (and we're not celebrating it until next week when Kyle's off work) Kyle talked me into exchanging gifts. He is so impatient! ;) It was definitely fun though. I pre-ordered a Limited Edition of Gears of War 3 for him (one of his favorite video games) and I got......let's just say 3 little things that came in 3 little blue gift bags labeled: Tiffany & Co.

Love you all and thanks for reading!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Catching Up

Wow! I was re-reading this blog last night (the 1st time since Madison was born) when I was inspired to start updating it again. Needless to say, SO much has happened in this last year, however, since most of you are my facebook friends, you know all this. So, instead of repeating everything you all know has happened, I'll start with what the Van Buren family has been recently up to.

I guess I'll start with Kyle and I. As you all know, we are very blessed and I am able to be a stay-at-home mommy. Just recently I have finally gotten into a nice routine with handling my mommy and wife duties at the same time :). As of now, my days consist of playing and taking care of Madison all day, cleaning, household accounting, and getting dinner on the table by 5pm. It took me a while to feel in the swing with everything, but I am so proud of our smoothly ran house. Also new with me, I finally took the plunge I have been too scared to make for the last 10 years: getting contacts. After getting used to them for a few days, I absolutely love them and I can see all the time now!

Kyle has also gotten into his new routine of being a dad and full time (and on-call) Deputy Sheriff. I know it's rough on him working 12 hours a day and dealing with the type of people he does but you would never be able to tell when he walks through that door. He turns into the amazing father I knew he'd be. Madison and I love when we hear his truck pull into the driveway! Kyle has also been doing very well with moving forward after his dad passed away. Last week was a little rough since it was Larry's Birthday. We spent the morning with Kyle's grandparents and went by the cemetery. We still all have our sad, hard days but, like I said, we, as a family, are moving forward as I know Larry would want us to.

Onto happier things, Kyle and I celebrate our 6 year wedding anniversary next weekend. I think we're planning on a nice dinner and movie (or maybe eve go to the casino) during the week when Kyle's not working. I can't help but think where we were last year at this time with a new baby. I remember my present (a big fat upgrade to my wedding ring) but for the life of me, I can't remember what we did or if we even did anything! I guess that shows the state of our sleepless lives back then!

Now, onto the star of our family, Madison. Just a few weeks ago, she finally got her 4th tooth and we can see 2 others almost here. Her new routine, due to the pain of teething, is waking up at 3am and fussing the rest of the night. She has always been a good sleeper (minus when she's not feeling good) so it's been a long few weeks for us since we're not used to this! I told Kyle that I think we deserve an easier teether for our next baby because Madison is definitely NOT an easy teether.

Madison is also SO amazingly close to walking. It is such a mental thing for her right now. She'll walk around holding one of our hands, or pushing her play grocery cart (which is harder then walking because that thing is really light so she can't put any weight on it without it tipping over) and she'll even have moments of just standing without holding onto anything. So, we think that when she finally realizes that it requires way more energy to crawl than walk she'll do it. She is a very independent baby and does things on her own time. There is no trying to get her to walk from me to Kyle the good ole fashioned way. She'll just suck up her legs and sit when we try that. I guess she'll just do it when she's ready :)

So, for Easter Madison got a gigantic bunny rabbit that she has completely befriended. She kisses it and gives it hugs, but the greatest thing she does is she crawls in it's lap to read. Just this week though, while she has her book and sitting in it's lap she has started reading to herself in her baby gibberish. It is the cutest thing ever! You can just barely hear her talking and she'll be pointing to the words. Kyle and I are each responsible for teaching her different things (for example, Kyle is the one that taught her how to dance!) but I have to take credit for her love of books :) I have been reading to her since she was first born hoping to instill a love for reading as I have and to also boost her language skills. So, I think it worked!

One more thing that is new to Madison (it's hard to think of everything because she is learning so much everyday) is that she makes animal sonds. It is so funny! Right now she'll make dog, bird, and sheep sounds when you ask her what each animal says. I keep trying to get video of it, but of course she refuses to do it on camera. So, hopefully I can post a video of that soon. Oh, and words she is saying is bubba (our nickname for Charlie), daddy, momma, emma (short for Grandma), and nini for bananas. Again, it is crazy how fast she is learning right now.

I will ends this crazy long post with some pictures. Also, we're hopping to make it down to the zoo this week so I'll definitely post some pictures of that. And I will keep trying to get some good video clips to post up here. Like I said though, she pretty much stops everything she's doing once the camera is on! We love you all and I hope you enjoyed the update!
Kyle was showing her how to use his iPad
Madison finally realized how much fun sand can be in Texas

         4 generations on a 4-wheeling trip!
  (My mom,  me with Madison in my lap, and my Grandma)

Me and the birthday girl at her party

Madison's 1st Easter
A walk through Morrow Bay

A few short video clips: