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SFO

A few weeks ago I got add another airport to my list of places I've been in[1. Thanks to a flight delay, I had plenty of time there to walk around.]. If only a few more of them were international... SFO

month 4

Yep, only a month late. Again, written around the right time and just waiting on photos. Dear Maddison,

You are now 4 months old. We would like to tell you that you that you are about the size of a four-month old, but you passed that a little while ago. Instead, we have a six month size kid. Don't worry - Mom is only a little dissapointed that you are completely outgrowing all the cute summer clothes that she had saved for you.

Monkey Butt

This month you took your first out of state trip and handled the bus, train, and plane like a champion. As long as you were fed and had a place to sleep, we had no issues. And you are not picky about sleeping locations.

On our trip you slept overnight and napped on the floor of hotel rooms, at a baseball game, in several restaurants, walking around downtown Minneapolis, and driving across the interstates of Minnesota. Yep, when we travel, we get around.

At the ballgame

We are happy to report that you are back to sleeping through the night much more consistently. You still don't sleep for 10 hours at a stretch, but we'll take 10 to 5 after the waking period that we went through. Both your mom and I would like to thank you for returning our sanity (especially your mom).

You're becoming more aware of the world around you all the time. Recently, you've discovered that your hand are those things on the ends of your arms that sometimes hit you in the face and you even have a little control over them. When you sit on my lap, you will gently feel my shirt, my face, and you are reaching out to your jungle gym animals more and more all the time.

This looks fun

And as you look and experience everything for the first time, you're also starting to let us know that your personality is in there as well. You've been smiling for a while, and recently you started to laugh. The first time we heard it was when Mom laid on the floor and lifted you up and down over her. We weren't sure if it was laughing or crying, but based on continued experience, it was indeed laughter.

You seem to be more of a "Hey, your antics are mildly entertaining to me" type of laugher, and we still do double check to see if you are unhappy. We should know better, because if your are scared or someone you don't know is a little too loud and in your face, your bottom lip comes out, your eyes get big, and let out a little whimper. Don't worry, it doesn't happen too often.

At the zoo

I have to admit, we don't approach each new stage of your development with quite the wonder and amazement that we had for Brooklynn. Up to this point, it's been more of a "Oh yeah, that's what babies do" reaction. But that's been great. We all enjoy watching you grow and develop, and the fact that it all seems to be going so smoothly is just icing on the cake.

And no, you didn't get any icing from your sister's birthday cake. Sorry, you're not quite big enough for that yet. Thanks for not minding too much.

I see you

Love, Dad

month 3

Editor's Note: Yes, this was written when she was actually about three months old. Yes, I know she'll be five months in a couple days. The pictures were a little behind. Dear Maddison,

You are now 3 months old. Congratulations on completing the first 25% of your first year with us. Just, think, do this about 71 more times and we will be asking you to leave the house.

I see you

Don't hurry too much, as we really like having around. Especially during the day. The night, that's a different story. We still like you, but I think we are seeing you just a little too frequently at oh-dark-hundred. We thought we were going to completely luck out with you and have a baby who started sleeping through the night at two-months old and carry on throughout her first year.

It lasted about three weeks, which was just long enough for us all to get used to sleeping. It hasn't impacted me nearly as much as it has your mom. She's the one who hears you first. She's typically the one who gets up with you as well. In fact, there are times that I wake up thinking that we had a good night only to find out that you were up.

Concerned

We'll get some combination of naps, food, and burping all figured out to help you get back to a consistent sleeper. We just discovered that you like a pacifier to help you drift off to sleep. This alone has been wonderful. I had been in charge of putting you down at night which involved bouncing and rocking. Two bounces for each rock in one direction. I counted the rocks just to pass the time. If you are really tired, sometimes you go down in less than 200 rocks, but if you are little restless, it has taken upwards of 750. On the plus side, my calf muscles have never looked better.

You are starting to become and excellent smiler and object tracker. If we cross your line of vision, your voice eyes light up and your mouth makes a big toothless grin that fights for space between your cheeks. And no one makes you smile quite like your sister.

I love my sister

She sits by you on the floor and plays with you. You don't play back with quite as much activity as she would like, so she will lay on top of you and put her face directly in front of yours. And invariably, your hands come up into her hair and latch on. She whines and tells on you that your were pulling her hair, but we haven't got it in us to put you in break.

She doesn't really mind, because, in her words, that's just what babies do. Your sister actually loves you very much and is a little protective of you. When you go to school with Brooklynn and mom for drop off in the mornings, Brooklynn will stand guard by your car seat to make sure the other kids and germs don't get you. And at your two-month doctor appointment when you got your first shots, Brooklynn informed us that the nurses you gave you the "pokes" were naughty.

Tiny hands

You only cried for a little while and short round of food made everything better. You are developing right on schedule and on the upper end of the growth curves. That just means you have plenty of rolls and wrinkles. Your mom would like to make sure you enjoy it now, because that type of physique is only adorable on a baby.

Just keep reminding us to wipe the milk from under your third chin, unless of course you are planning to save it for a midnight snack and sleep through the night.

Standing

Love, Dad

backlogging

If anyone is keeping track, I'm just completing pictures of Maddison for when she was 1-3 months old. Yeah, a little behind, considering she is fast approaching her 5 month mark. Still, 37 more pictures up than were done yesterday[1. We won't mention the fact I still need to start memory books for Brooklynn from when she was a baby.]. As much as I have felt stressed out about the time constraints and issues dealing with two kids, it's still pretty great to have them around. Especially when they are happy and good with each other.

Showing her the ropes

late night projects

For anyone wondering why I haven't been posting long written articles[1. Or really much of anything for that matter...] recently, it's because we stay up until midnight doing projects like this: Brooklynn's 3rd birthday cake

Yes, I'm a little behind on the letters (written but no photos) and general baby news. Maddi is still around and hanging in there, and hopefully after everything settles down a little later this summer we can get back to the baby updates with a little more regularity.

Until then, have a virtual piece of Little Mermaid cake on us.

couching it

Hey, look everyone. We still have kids that are growing. They even coordinate. It's like they're sisters or something. Sisters

If you haven't been to flickr recently, click through the link on the image. They've changed their layout[1. Yeah, it might be a little late compared to some other photo sharing options, but it's better than nothing.].

it's always nap time

Maddison has been on a schedule were she is up a little later than we would like. This leads to us being up a little later than we would like, which means the adults in the household are feeling a little sleep deprived. The children however, have plenty of time for naps[1. I've been encouraging Rhiannon to nap as well while she's home. Yesterday she finally took me up on it.]. I think I'm going to start sleeping on the living room floor more often. She makes it look comfortable.

photo

(Thanks to Rhiannon for the picture.)

heat wave

I know we haven't been quite as hot as some of our family that lives north of us, but we've been in the 80 degree range for the past few days. Since I grew up in North Dakota, people assume that I should be well acclimated to the cold, but summer is probably my favorite season. Long, warm[1. I like hot days too, with the caveat that I don't have a lot of outside work to do and it is still tolerable at night.] days. Plus, Maddison has plenty of warm weather clothes to wear, both new and hand-me-downs from her summer-born sister.

Over the bush

month 1

Dear Maddison, You are now one month old. You've gone from a "small" 8 and half pounds at birth to closing in on 11 pounds. Your double chin is filling in nicely and you have the makings of a third down there. On the days when it's nice and you have been in dresses, your roly-poly thighs get to make an appearance.

DSC_6852

You're very strong for someone of your size. You are starting to hold on to your mom's hair and dad's shirt collars quite firmly, enough that we have to make sure to pull your hand away before we move you. When you lay on your tummy, you can lift up your head enough to look all around. You don't like it when we put you like this and eventually, if left there, you will put your head back down and sigh, as if you are accepting your fate until someone comes along and moves you again.

You like to be moved, to be held, to be bounced, but you also will lay down and go to sleep all on your own if you are tired and calm. And, like your older sister, being carried up and down the stairs is about the most reliable way we've found to calm you down when you're crying.

DSC_6659

I'll try to refrain from making comparisons to your sister on every topic. We haven't prepared for you in nearly the same way. We didn't read all the books. We didn't take the prenatal classes or make sure that everything was purchase and prepared months ahead of time. I barely made it to the hospital in time for your arrival.

You might conclude that we didn't care enough to do all the preparation and you are getting a lesser childhood because of it, but that is not the case. In fact, you probably have calmer and much better prepared parents than your sister every dreamed of. We know that you will cry from time to time and spit up and that you will manage to leak through the occasional diaper onto your clothes.

DSC_6551

This doesn't phase us. In fact, when you got both poop and spit-up on your mom in the span a few hours one afternoon, we thought it was more entertaining than anything else. (She did go shower after that, so it wasn't appreciated. Maybe in the future you'll refrain from that sort of behavior.) It's a good thing you like baths, because you tend to get a little dirty from time to time. We're doing our best to keep up with that, but please stop trying to drink the dirty bath water.

I said that I will do my best to not compare you to Brooklynn, but I can't tell you about your life without mentioning her. She loves her baby sister so much. When I pick her up from school each day, one of her first questions is "Where's Maddi?" and then she demands to hold you. We help her put a pillow on her lap and lay you down.

DSC_6586

She tries to hug you and kiss you and hold your hands and feet and shove her fingers in your mouth because you "like that" all at once, and you squawk a little bit and look over at us as if to ask why we are letting this monster treat you like this.

All I can say is get used to it. From what your mother tells me, sisters have to deal with each other for the rest of their lives. As much as it seems like Brooklynn is trying to harm you, we're pretty sure that she really just doesn't know how to handle a little person that doesn't talk to her yet. She gives you a hug and kiss every night before she goes to bed and of all the people in the house, she's probably the most concerned one when you are crying.

DSC_6715

In short, Maddison, you are very loved in this house. Probably more than you care for. There are times when you get fussy and angry and it turns out that all you really want to be is to be wrapped up, put down, and left alone for a little while so you can sleep in peace.

Let's hope that sort of problem is the worst of your issues as you get older. Thanks for joining us. It's good to have you here.

DSC_6963

Love, Dad

dog days of spring

The weather this past weekend was gorgeous - highs in the 80's, blooms on the trees, flowers in bloom. Yesterday, it was in the 30's with a couple inches of wet snow. Too much a good thing an all. We did make sure that we got out and enjoyed the weather while it was nice. It's amazing the things Brooklynn does on a playground compared to fall last year. She's zipping down slides, quickly climbing up ladders, and generally getting around a lot more than she used to. I can already tell we're going to have some injuries at some point as she tries out new things and pushes her boundaries.

The price of being a growing kid I guess. We'll do our best to prevent the bumps and bruises and just enjoy the ride.

Early Summer Swing

it's alive

We had Maddison's two week appointment last week[1. A little delayed due to our doctor being out of town.]. She's 9 and a half pounds and 20.5 inches, up a pound since birth an a half inch longer. Just like Brooklynn, she's above the 90th percentile for weight, but unlike Brooklynn, she isn't that high for length. Rhiannon will attest to the fact that Maddison eats, a lot.

The Double

All of that eating combined with a slight lack of lengthening out means Maddy is rocking one heck of a double chin. It's ok. She's a baby.

venturing out

I was outside the other evening trying to finish up a few projects and I also had Maddison with me. The best thing about a baby? For the most part, they stay where you put them.

Unattended

Just because they were "safe" and not moving doesn't mean that the baby's mother will be thrilled when she finds out you put her child down and got grass all over the blanket.

sister time

When I pick Brooklynn up from her school after I finish work and head home with her, she usually has two concerns. The first is if she was a good enough girl that she gets a treat. The second is if she can hold Maddison when we get home and see her. I can hold her

Yeah, we're working on getting those switched and eliminating the need for a treat entirely. Still, we're not going to complain about having two great little girls.

hanging around

On our way home today, Brooklynn decided that she didn't really want to get back in the car after we picked up some food. On a Friday afternoon after my first full week back at work with extra driving and a baby at home disrupting my sleep, it wasn't exactly what I wanted to deal with. Still, she picked a great wall to sit in front of[1. If only I hadn't taken the picture with a pole right behind her head...].

Waiting

I think we're all looking forward to the weekend.

cozy

We try to wrap Maddison up and put her down when she sleeps, just to get a little break and to get a few things done around the house. Still, there's something about half wrapping in her in a blanket and letting her sleep in my arms that's very calming to me. Cuddly

performance art

Brooklynn has been singing songs she's learned for a while now. She's even taught us a few new ones recently. But the actions that go with the songs is a little newer. This past weekend, we got a full rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, complete with hand motions to the corresponding body parts.

Coordinated and smooth it was not, but she demonstrates significantly better control of her limbs than her younger sister does right now[1. It really doesn't take much to have more coordination than Maddison. Just saying...].

Head, Shoulders...

good to be home

Today was my first full day back at work since Maddison was born. It was also my first day back at my normal company after a 9-month field assignment. Good to be back in the normal office, although I will miss some things about the other company.

It's also good to be at home after a long day. I'm spending more time on the road each day with taking Brooklynn to school and picking her up.

Here's us before heading home from the hospital. This night was the end to a day that seemed even longer than today, but yet it still flew by. It was good to be home in our own beds.

The Gang's All Here

checkup

Maddison had her first officially scheduled one week appointment. She weighs about the same as she did a week ago. Half inch or so longer. And very well rested. One Week Checkup

So well rested that she couldn't even be bothered to wake up at the doctor's office. In fact, she slept the entire afternoon away to the tun of about 3.5 straight hours. This included driving over to pick up Brooklynn after her school day and stopping to get supper on the way home.

Now, 2 am in the morning? That's the time to party. Turns out our newborn is more of a college student schedule than anyone else in the this house would care to deal with.