Sunday, September 27, 2009

Family Outing to Long Grove Village

Last Monday Tim had off work, so we visited the nearby Long Grove village that we had been told by friends that we had to stop by while living here. It is in a historic district and has some buildings that have been preserved from the 1800's when the German immigrants were living there. It is really a quaint little place. It has an Apple Haus with amazing apple cider freezies, apple pies, cider, and breads.
They also have many little shops, cafes, and restaurants to visit. It was a cool Autumn day with the sun peaking through the clouds at us. What good memories.

Maddy loved the fountain. I think she would have climbed right into it if I would have let her!
Tim and Maddy inside of the Confectionary
From gummy candy to fine chocolates, there was no shortage of options. It was all so beautiful and smelled so sweet! In the end I got two small truffles: a dark chocolate raspberry and a dark chocolate coconut. Tim go three milk chocolate peanut butter meltaways. YUM!
We didn't actually buy this, but let her hold it for a minute to see what she would do. Her eyes were so big and she kept trying to bite it! We decided we better put it back before she ripped into it with her two tiny teeth!
Tim did give her a little piece of a of chocolate covered pretzel. I guess there was more chocolate than he realized on it, because before we knew it, this is what her face looked like! It was so funny. We had to get a pic of her in front of the sign :0)
It is definitely a place we will visit again and maybe bring family to when they come visit(wink wink Mom B ;) We might even just go there to sit at one of their outdoor tables, read and have a coffee some afternoon. So glad we went!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Baby Girl is Growing up!

I can hardly believe it, but Madison Hope Baylor is 9 months old today!
(As a friend so cutely pointed out to me, she has been "out as long as she was in")

She has a bit of a cold right now, so she is not quite as happy as the picture above :) But usually she is such a joyful little girl!

What she is saying: She is always jabbering (baba, mama, dada) sweetly to herself as she plays. She has just started to seem to actually say dada and mama when she wants Tim or I. She might not always distinguish correctly between the two names, but she is catching on and knows it is one of us. It just melts our hearts!

What she is doing: She is also "cruising" around the furniture. It's kind of funny, because she gets frustrated when she wants to get somewhere in the room where there is no furniture to hang onto. But then she finally gets down and crawls to it. Sometimes she will let go of the coffee table for a few seconds at a time to play with something in her hands and will stand there so balanced until finally she realizes she is not hanging on and promptly grabs the table.

Separation Anxiety or Loves to be the center of attention? From what I read, they say babies around 9 months old might go through separation anxiety, where they are very sad when you lave them-especially with anyone else. That's the weird thing. Madison has absolutely no problem when we drop her off at nursery at church or when we have to leave her with a babysitter. She seems as happy as ever and we always get great reports. But when she is at home and I have to leave the room, she bursts into tears! It makes me sad, but kind of chuckle at the same time. If she doesn't see me leave the room, she will suddenly realize and then start crying! Before I know it, she has started her "trail of tears" - where she crawls to find me crying the whole way. Again - so sad - but silly at the same time! When she gets to me, she pulls up on my legs and grabs the bottom of my shorts as if to say, "pick me up mama". I love that crazy nutter!

Things that make her smile: 1. When daddy comes home from work 2. when I open up the blinds in her bedroom first thing in the morning and she gets to look outside!
3. When the music comes on for her Baby Einstein Video 4. When we get to the nursery at church and she sees all of the toys (do you think she is bored with ours or what?) 5. When Tim or I crawl around on the floor with her 6. When I take a piece of fruit off of her highchair tray and eat it 7. When we kiss her toes

The Bottom Line:
We are loving on our little girl. This stage is so much fun with her. She is discovering so many new things and makes the best faces as she interacts with new things. We are so thankful to have her in our lives. We just couldn't imagine life without her.

Here is our most recent family picture outside of the little house that we meet with our college group on Sundays.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This Time Last Year

This time last year, I was just about 28 weeks along in my pregnancy with Madison. I was almost a month into a very difficult school year with a very difficult class (the hardest of my 6 years!). I was looking back to the post I wrote mid- September last year.
In that post I was reflecting on how I had just gotten home from a long day of teacher conferences. I remember being caught up in the swirl of teaching and life just flying by. Tim and I were getting so excited for Madison to arrive. My belly was getting bigger and we were starting to make all of our preparations.

I thought I would make a little comparison of what my life was like then and what it is like now.

Then: I would stay up late grading papers, writing less
on plans, or writing parent e-mails.
Now: I still stay up late, but mainly because I get home late from class and I just want some quiet time with Tim.

Then: I would wake up at 5am, check the weather and traffic report while I was getting ready - just to make sure I wouldn't get stuck on my 1 hour+ commute into work every day.
Now: Madison wakes me up around 7am to eat and then we get our day started with breakfast, coffee (for me of course), and the Today show. I see the traffic report come on and I just thank the Lord that I don't have to make that drive!

Then: I would spend my day bustling about at school teaching other parent's children, which really was a cool opportunity, but it was awfully draining.
Now: I bustle about my day: feeding, playing with, and all around caring for my daughter, finishing school work, making/planning meals, cleaning the house and running errands. Again - such a wonderful time in my life, but it can be tiring as well.

Then: I was feeling Madison kick inside of me, dreaming about the day I would meet her face to face.
Now: I get to see her cheery smiles when she first sees me in the morning and hear her sweet chirps and babbling as she discovers new things. I have gotten the privilege of getting to know her and have grown to love her more than (at this time last year) I ever thought I could.
I suppose this is more of a reflection than anything. I rejoice when I think of where I was last year(looking forward to my life today). I LOVE my job now as a full-time student and a stay at home mom! I am so thankful that Tim is able to work full-time at our church so that I have to opportunity live that life.

And yet, even in writing this, I have realized that often I hope for my contentment to be in something else besides Jesus Christ. I know last year I thought things were so busy and hard, and how perfect it would be to stay home with Madison.
These are truly wonderful days with her, but I will still face struggles, doubts, business and discontentment at times. I don't want to waste these days looking for something else to make this time even better (being home with Madison and NOT being in school). But I want to make an effort to capture and treasure each moment of this phase in my life. It will never be just like this again. And God has given it to more for a reason. It seems to be my tendency to look to the next thing, instead of just enjoying what is in front of me and thanking the Lord for it. It is in these times that I must remind myself that Christ is my hope and my firm foundation. He truly is the giver of all good things.

"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice" ~Philippians 4:4