Monday, August 21, 2017

THREE - Madeline Abigail

One of Maddie's favorite books is "Oh the places you'll go" by Dr. Seuss.  At this point, she has it pretty much memorized.  Which is so fitting because - oh MAN, I cannot wait to see all the places this little firecracker is going to go in her life.  She also loves Go Dog Go and a few others.  She is a bookworm. Loves to read to herself and her "friends" (aka pretend friends on the stairs) and when she can get her little brother to stay in one place, she loves to read to him. 

She is also a bag lover. She will find any and every bag that is available and shove a million random things in it.  Then she will put it on her shoulder and yell "see ya later mom, I'm going to work".  And instantly my heart swells and breaks because I know that will actually happen sooner rather than later. 

She loves to color. Her preference is markers. She really likes the permanent ones the most, but she doesn't discriminate.  However, after a few too many incidents of coloring all over her body --- she is mainly stuck with colored pencils and crayons to her dismay. 

She doesn't really like to get dressed and when she is dressed, she likes to change her mind frequently.  It always makes for an interesting adventure each weekday morning. And apparently she has also taking to changing in different outfits "for fun" in her extra clothes at school. However, her pete the cat shirt and puppy shirt are a few favorites that she does like to wear on repeat.

She rolls her eyes. I'm not quite sure where she learned this one from. But I have to hold back my laughter when I see her do it in the rear view mirror when I ask her a simple question and she doesn't answer. Like "Maddie, how was your day?".  No answer.  Look in the mirror and she's given me not only an eye roll but now the silent treatment.

She LOVES chapstick and lip gloss and all kinds of make up.  She loves dolls and carries them everywhere.  But give her a WWE wrestler or a Star Wars character (her recent favorites are Finn Balor - wrestler - and Darth Mall - Star Wars bad guy) and she can hang too. Love her versatility - I'm hoping that will serve her well in life.

She really doesn't like when you try to do her hair. She's more of a free spirit (HA). Many times her hair has been compared to that of Gene Wilder...and I'm confident that someday soon, she will be more conscious of the way she looks and beg for her hair to be done very particularly, so for the time being, I'm like - let it go, girl.  Crazy hair and all.

She has the best smile and the sweetest heart - when she wants to (but really, doesn't everyone?).  She can be downright frustrating and I'm convinced she's going to be the mean girl of the class --- but then she'll prove me wrong by giving someone a huge hug that needs it or sharing her toys unprompted.  Her laugh literally lights up a room.

She talks like she's 6.  Which is quite confusing to people that don't know our family because she's rather tall also.  So we have had several people ask if she's a twin with her five year old brother.  When I say no, they ask if they are Irish twins.  And when I say they are two years apart...people give me a funny look. But I love that people think that because to me, it means they are pretty amazing siblings.

She doesn't like to go to sleep at night - I think she's convinced she's missing out on something.  She FOR sure gets that from her dad because she's the kind of kid that you pop a movie on and she's determined to stay awake for the whole thing.  And when she crashes, she crashes hard. She fell asleep ON me the other night because she was so tired and I almost cried. Because feeling her sweet three year old body limp against mine was the best feeling in the world.  At that age, those moments are so rare and as the years go on, they become even more rare. 

She negotiates like it's her job.  Actually I'm pretty sure she's convinced that is her job.  Just to negotiate with her parents on every limit we set.  We say 5 minutes, she tries to get us to 10.  When that doesn't work - maybe 7?  She'll trade movie time for outside time or vice versa and "if I don' have to take a nap....I promise I'll go to bed early".

She has proved to be completely different than her older brother, which, of course, brings new parenting challenges with each age and stage.  But I always go back in my mind to the day we found out that Maddie was a girl during our 20 week sonogram. We were both so in shock and somewhat terrified. A girl?! How were we going to know what to do with a girl? We felt like we were "expert" boy parents (you know...with a 15 month old - HA), but no idea how to raise a girl.  And yes, she's had her challenges and continues to each day...but God knew just what He was doing when He made our Madeline Abigail.  And she is going to challenge me for the rest of my life - teaching me more about love, strength, perseverance and complete joy.  I know we are going to have lots of rough times as mother and daughter in the years to come - but I hope and pray that during those tough times, I can always go back to this moment right here that Ali captured between us.  Remembering the utter joy and privilege it is to be your mom every single day. And see you grow up, learn, explore, love, be challenged, imagine and bring our whole family so much love.

And as for this guy?  Well, he claimed he didn't know how to raise a girl because he grew up with four brothers - but Maddie and her dad, they have the most amazing relationship.  I'm so thankful that she has him in her life to love and cherish. I'm also confident that she can ask him to do anything for her and after a few minutes of negotiating, he will give in ;)  But the love between these two is something I love being a witness to everyday.  And it has grown so much in this past year. He knows exactly how to raise this sweet girl and she loves everything about him.

Three years have flown by.  Our firecracker baby that surprised us early in the morning on Fourth of July, continues to amaze us.

Your three year stats are:

weight: 37lbs (92%)
height: 39.5in (94%)

Sweet baby girl, my prayer for you is that you continue to see the world with the fresh and positive perspective that you have right now.  You take each day and challenge one step at a time.  You overcome obstacles, break down the walls and continue to love unconditionally.  As your mom, everyday when I'm having my own struggles, I think of you. Knowing that someday, you will be a grown woman sitting in the same place I am and I hope some of the things that I struggle with as a woman in the workplace and in this world, you don't have to.  I'm so thankful that you are my daughter and I pray that our relationship continues to grow each and everyday.

Happy number three, Maddie!!! 

(well, this is a tad your birthday was July 4...but life is crazy and you'll learn that soon enough!)