Thursday, August 29, 2013

Unfinished Laundry

I'm standing in the laundry room folding a load of close when I a soft whine from my daughter's room..."Oh no" I think to myself. "She's waking." I look in the dryer and see half of the clean load still left to fold and then put away. "Just hold on a few more minutes please Madi so I can finish the laundry and get the next load put in."

But alas, two more whines, each a little louder, and I know that I need to go get her before she gets into a full-blown cry. She's hungry and the laundry can wait. Yet this has been one of the hardest adjustments I've had to make in my daily routine since becoming a mother.

Once I start a task, I thrive on completing it. I've always struggled with leaving things incomplete - loading the dishwasher, finishing a blog post, wiping off the counters, folding and putting away laundry...I think you get the idea. Once I start working on a task I like to finish it so I can cross it off my To Do list.

Ah, the infamous To Do list. I've even been accused of putting "Relaxing" on my To Do list just to ensure it would happen. (Guilty as charged.) I also (somewhat shamefully) admit that I have put things I've recently finished on the To Do list just for the satisfaction of crossing them off. I obviously have a problem and love To Do lists a little too much!

However, I have had to learn to adjust since becoming a mother. It would be irrational to prioritize my satisfaction at finishing whatever task I am on rather than attending to Madison. It hasn't been easy for me to learn how to walk away from something before it's finished. God is continually working to teach me patience and prioritization.

I won't look back years from now and regret not finishing folding that load of laundry, but I would regret not spending that time with my precious daughter while I had the chance. So I walk away from the half-finished load of laundry, go into Madison's room, and am greeted with the most beautiful smile and coo as my daughter sees me looking into her crib. I know in that moment that I am beyond blessed  to have her and that nothing could be more important than spending time with her.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Return to Running

Running. I have a love/hate relationship with this sport. Unlike cycling, which has always come naturally and easily to me and my thunder thighs, running always challenges me. Even at the peak of my marathon training when I was in great shape, I was still challenged with every run and every race.

I was fortunate to be able to complete not one, but two marathons before having a baby. I'm not ambitious enough to sign-up for a third at this time, but I know myself well enough to know that unless I have a goal and something to work towards, my runs would be aimless and too easy to skip.

Enter the 3-Sjøersløpet half marathon on November 2! 3-Sjøersløpet means 3-Lakes Race. The course covers parts of Hålandsvatnet, Stokkavatnet, and Mosvatnet (one of our favorites to walk and take Madi to as you can see here).

With the race less than 10 weeks away I've buckled down and started training seriously. I've pulled my old Katy Fit running schedule and started training four-five days a week for the race. Our gym, Elixia, includes daycare and Madi is always an angel for Liz and Migerije and they tell me she's absolutely precious.

Otherwise I am borrowing a jogging stroller from my friend Georgina and taking Madi out to Mosvatnet for a jog or leaving her at home with Daddy to sleep in while I go running.

I am blessed to have an incredibly supportive husband and the resources to be able to train at all. My only goal for the race is to finish. I can look at improving my pace in the next half marathon. :-)


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Best

We have quite a few cute dresses for Madi to wear to church on Sunday. Last week we got out a dress that was the first purchase we made after finding out we were having a baby girl. We bought it at a stylish baby boutique here in Stavanger and I absolutely adore it! And it looks fabulous on her! (Although with a face like that what wouldn't look fabulous on her?!)


Saturday, August 24, 2013

More Trouble Than A Zoey...

Sometimes Zoey is more trouble... but other times Madi is more trouble... especially days like today when she refuses to nap...


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Disconnect to Connect

Even though this video isn't in English, it's point comes across clearly.

I first saw this video a couple years ago when our Family Life minister Freddie was encouraging our Sunday school class to pick one day a week to turn off technology. Jason and I liked the idea, but thought it seemed an impossible undertaking given our technological jobs working at a computer all day and the ever-growing world of social media.

However, now that we have Madison we are starting to re-think our priorities and considering implementing some kind of "disconnect to connect" in our own lives. We are far too guilty of turning the TV on when we get home just to have it playing in the background for noise when instead we could be listening to uplifting music. Guilty of sitting together on the sofa on our computers after Madi has gone to bed when instead we could be visiting with one another about our day and enjoying a bit of quiet together. Guilty of checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, BlogLovin', and Pinterest when I feed Madi when instead I should be memorizing her beautiful face and talking to her. Guilty of checking Facebook too often after I post something just to see how many likes or comments I have.

We know the time we have with Madison is going to fly by far too quickly. We can't believe she's already two months old! It's time for us to disconnect from the realm of technology so that we can instead connect with what's most important to us - our beautiful daughter who is already growing up too fast!

We'll start with baby steps - an evening without the TV, a day of not checking Facebook, and then perhaps eventually work our way up to a full day without computers, TV, or iPhones. But don't worry - I'll still make sure to blog about this little cutie and how she's doing! :-)


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Madi: Two Months Came Too Soon!

- You have had a lot of firsts this month! You had your first smile, started talking and laughing, and have somewhat learned how to grab objects.

- You've started drooling and gnawing on your hands. If I didn't know any better I'd say you were teething, but it's far too early for that! You've also started blowing bubbles. :-)
- You are great at following objects with your eyes. In fact, the swing can no longer be used as a desperate attempt to get you to nap because you've noticed the stars and teddy bear above and just stare at them. Even if we take them off you still stare up there wondering where they are!

- Speaking of naps... you hate them. I guess I shouldn't be surprised when your Mommy and Daddy aren't big fans of naps either! You usually give me one good nap in the morning (which I LOVE because it gives me a chance to workout, shower, get dressed, and eat). However, the rest of the day you've decided that you don't like to nap unless you have a pacifier or are in our arms. How you got into that habit is beyond us because we don't do either regularly for you. Instead Mommy and Daddy stand in your room picking you up and putting you back down every time you calm down. So far you just start wailing once you are 10 inches from the bottom of the crib. :-/

-You continue to sleep fabulously at night though (perhaps because you aren't napping...) so we can't complain too much. You were typically going every 3-4 hours at night. However, once we introduced you to the Miracle Blanket (which Daddy refers to you in as a Madi Burrito), you've been going typically 4-7 hours in that first stretch. Woohoo!

- Mommy and Daddy took you to two doctors and flat-out asking if they prescribe baby Zantac here in Norway because we knew from talking to your Aunt Stephanie that your reflux was causing you heartburn. Apparently they do have it in Norway and it required us visiting the one private pediatrician in all of Stavanger to get it. And he had to look up the dosage! The medicine was even special order because none of the pharmacies carry it as it's not a registered medication in Norway. I'm incredibly grateful that we pushed getting it because ever since you started it you aren't screaming in pain and are much more pleasant to be around! :-)

- You got to meet another set of Grandparents that came for a visit. We had a blast hanging out with them and you even took them to your first concert at church.
- You had your 6 week checkups with the nurse and doctor at the helsestasjon. They both commented on how strong you are and how good you are at talking, smiling, and making eye contact. The nurse said she can tell that Mommy has been interacting with you for you to be doing so well. That made Mommy feel very good!

They roped you into this modeling gig too?!
- We've been introducing you to a bottle this month. You are not having it girlfriend. Poor Daddy has tried four times and two of those times he had to come get Mommy and she had to give you the bottle. Why you will take it from her and not Daddy is beyond us!
- Since we are done having visitors over we decided to move you into your room. You've been doing great the past few days since we made the switch. We setup two iPads using an app called Baby Monitor to know when it's time to get you and feed you.
- Mommy and Daddy celebrated our five year anniversary on Aug 16. You let us take you to dinner with minimal fussing which we greatly appreciated!

- Last week was our first week just Mommy and Madi. We made a lunch or coffee date every day in order to get out. You did fabulous at all of them! It was great to get a chance to visit with old friends as well as get to know new ones. :-)
- You like to clasp your hands together in front of you in the most adorable way. You hold this hand clasping while you are eating as well as at other times. I love it!
- Since you've started noticing more, it's been rather difficult to capture smiling pictures of you with our phones if it's just Mommy or Daddy and not both of us. We get you to smile at me, but as soon as we quickly lift the camera up to take the picture you start staring at it intensely. But when both Mommy and Daddy are home we can get some really good ones like these where you gave us some great looks!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Could I be any cuter?

No, I don't think she could be any cuter!! :-)


Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy 5th Anniversary!

Innumerable hugs, laughs, kisses, and smiles
Thousands of pictures
Hundreds of letters, card, and notes
Tens of trips across the world
9 years together
5 years married
1 precious daughter













Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A 3 am Reminder

Night feeds are one my favorite things with Madi. The house is quiet, she usually latches and eats very well, and then I hold her upright afterwards for awhile before laying her back down. It's free from distraction and a chance for me to bond with her (she's two thirds asleep so the bonding's really just on my end, but I'll take it all the same ;-) )

It was during one of these peaceful nighttime feeds that I took an opportunity to pray and thank the Lord for my beautiful family. I thanked Him for my husband and my daughter.

I asked Him to forgive me for messing up with her so many times. I've yelled at her, been rough with her, gotten angry and impatient with her. I've improved so much, but I still fail so many times.

 I thanked Him that Madi still loves me and wants to be held and comforted by me. That she still smiles and laughs and talks to me despite how I've reacted to her sometimes. And in that moment I realized what it feels like to receive unconditional love from someone. 

Madi has given me a huge gift - a small glimpse of the unconditional love and grace my Heavenly Father feels for me. No matter how many times I screw up and fall short He is always there to forgive me and give me another chance. He forgets my transgressions the way my daughter forgets how impatient I was the night before when she wouldn't eat well and today still lets me calm and comfort her in my arms. She's already forgiven me and wants me to be near me and have me hold her.

You are such a treasure and a blessing. You are changing me and growing me to be a better Christian, wife, and mother. You are so patient and loving with me and I thank the Lord for you and the lessons that you are teaching me about our Heavenly Father's love, forgiveness, and grace. Thank you and I love you so much baby girl. Mommy


Monday, August 12, 2013

Little Talker

Madi loves to talk! And we all know who she gets that from...Daddy! ;-)

Here she is talking up a storm to her favorite guy in the world. And then she gets too excited and gives herself the hiccups. She likes to do that a couple times a day. 

Here she is chatting it up with Mommy!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saturday Lunch

We snuck out this weekend for a bite to eat. This little cutie woke up before our food came and wanted her own lunch! 

I decided to embrace the European culture and fed her in nursing cover, barely a burp cloth, and no pillow. She did pretty good too!

The whole time though I felt like I was doing something wrong... I kept looking around to see if the police were about to jump out and give me a ticket (which would never happen) or to see if someone was giving me the stink eye (which also didn't happen- no one batted an eye or seemed to even notice/care). 

I'm still not sure where I stand on nursing in public, but I sure wasn't going to make Madi wait just because I was shy. And afterwards she was great company!


More Grandma and Grandpa Visits!

This past week Madi got to meet another set of grandparents! My dad and his wife Mary flew out to Norway to help us around the house and meet their first granddaughter.

They arrived late in the evening so the initial meeting wasn't until the following day in pajamas. :-)

We took them to our favorite places around Stavanger like the butcher and the farmer's market and our favorite Norwegian restaurant Skagen. They also got to attend church with us where Madi was an angel (for the third week in a row!) and slept the entire service.

They also got to attend Madi's six week checkup with me at the helsestasjon.

But mostly we just spent time at home enjoying this little one!

Do I have to wake up Daddy?!

Bottle attempt...She was not a fan
Madi's beautiful necklace from Grandpa and Grandma!

It was a huge blessing to have them here helping cook dinner, clean the apartment, and cuddle with this mischievous little cutie!! 

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