How old is Madeline currently?
Maddie turned 6 months on December 11th, (she was born June 11th). It is incredibly hard to believe it has already been 1/2 a year! I am learning very quickly that what they say is true- the days are long but the years are short! The first six months had many long days, (and even longer nights), but were also so incredibly sweet!
What have been some of your favorite memories made with Maddie so far?
There are honestly too many to count, but some of my favorites have been some of her "first" holidays! Although we don't celebrate Halloween as a holiday- we did dress her up, because well...who can resist putting a baby in a puffy costume; And of course, it had to be a unicorn!
We also celebrated Maddie's first Thanksgiving this year...To which we were more than grateful for the gift of our Savior Jesus, our family, health, but most of all this year, we were abounding with thankfulness for the gift of our sweet girl!
And of course we are anxiously awaiting the celebration of her first Christmas!
Speaking of Christmas, I have been trying to think of new traditions to do as a family in the coming years as Maddie gets older, and I would love to hear any ideas you guys might have. I am particularly thinking of ways we can teach her about the gift of our Savior Jesus in some sort of yearly tradition.
This year we started one with our whole family, which was breakfast with Santa! My parents had Santa come to their home and afterwards we made breakfast for dinner. The babies were still too young to really know what was going on, but I know it will be a special memory that they will cherish with their grammie and papa in the years to come!
In addition to her first holidays, another monumental moment was dedicating Maddie to the Lord at our church. ♥️ It was a special day, because as many of you know, God gave us our Miracle Maddie after years of prayer, and now we give her back to Him! We believe that it is our role as parents to seek the Lord about what He has for her, and seek the council of the Holy Spirit as we raise her; So that when we send her off like an arrow into the world she will be sharpened and calibrated, shooting straight at the target marked for her high calling!
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day looks pretty similar to what I wrote about in my "A Day in the Life of a New Mom" post...But much more structured. I wrote that post when she was three months old, so she wasn't on a schedule quite yet.
Since about four months old Maddie has been sleeping through the night, and we have got her on a pretty good nap and feeding schedule during the day which has made daily life a lot more structured. To set up this routine, we didn't really follow a sleep program, but we more or less followed her ques and started to pick a regular time to put her down based on when she seemed to get a bit fussy. We also did a phone consultation with Amy from Simply Sleep Solutions when we had a few rough patches that needed to be smoothed out when Maddie was four months old. Since then she has been a near perfect sleeper! Of course, any parent will tell you that life with kids is anything but predictable, but having your little ones on a routine certainly helps!
My daily routine now starts earlier in the day, around 5 am. I wake up, drink coffee and have a protein muffin or snack, spend time with the Lord and pump, then work out anywhere from 6:30-7 am. This early start to my day allows me to get my workout and quite time in before Maddie wakes at 7am which has been great! My workouts these days vary from working out in my basement, (where I make up a quick circuit workout, most of which I end up sharing on the workout section of Dashing Dish, or I go to a local group class at a gym called Tru Fit, which is a mix between cross fit and bootcamp style classes.
After working out I get ready for the day, have breakfast, and do some work for Dashing Dish, (while caring for Maddie of course- and might I add, she has become quite the little sous chef!) What I do for work changes each day, depending on if I create recipes, take pictures, answer emails, do some editing, or write posts/devotionals. I then wrap up the day around 6:30 pm, when we get Maddie bathed and ready for bed, and feed her before putting her down for the night around 7 pm. Sean and I spend the rest of the evening spending some time together, and I typically fall asleep around 9pm.
I have also been working to promote Nourish, which means traveling and speaking...which makes me super excited to spread the word about my new book! I look forward to doing this type of work for Dashing Dish, but I have to be honest, I didn't know how I would feel about leaving Maddie this early.
I took my first trip away from Maddie this past November, which wasn't bad at all considering it was just overnight. We are also blessed in the fact that Sean works from home, because he was able to care for her when I was gone, which makes leaving much easier!
What are some of the best things about watching Maddie grow?
One of the most special parts about being a parent is watching your child grow. Every new discovery, ability, and development is so fun to watch, and it makes you feel so proud! It really does give you a whole new revelation on how the Lord must be so proud, cheering us on as we grow up in Him! :)
Something that has made me smile more than anything is watching Maddie take notice of her surroundings in a whole new way, including our dog Zoey! Maddie will follow Zoey with her eyes and even smile and laugh at her the moment she is within her sight! It is just precious to watch!
I also love watching Maddie explore her surroundings and notice familiar faces, and even respond to the emotions. She is taking everything in to the fullest, and "chatting" up a storm which makes it so fun to interact with her.
Maddie has also become much more interested in books and toys. Some of her favorite toys include her Skip Hop activity center, crinkly books, teething toys, and anything with cloth or tags such as this Taggies book.
Madeline also tried her first "solids" just one day before she turned six months old. Pediatricians typically recommend waiting until they are sitting up on their own before giving them something in addition to breast milk, which was just about one week ago for Maddie. We started with mashed sweet potatoes for a few days, which she certainly didn't seem to care for, (she actually shuddered in disgust, lol!) And we are on to avocado this week which she also doesn't seem to love quite yet! I have heard that many babies will turn their nose up to many foods the first few times they try them, but eventually they will start to enjoy them, especially as they are able to eat different foods mixed together.
For all of you mommas out there, I would love to hear what your experience was like when trying solids for the first time, as well as any tips you may have! :)
What have been some of the biggest life changes since having a baby?
One of the biggest changes has been how quick the days fly by! I have always been someone who packs quite a bit into each day, so the weeks have always seem to go by quickly, but since having Maddie the days FLY by! It seems like it will be Monday one day, and Friday the next! I think all of the little "tasks" that come with having a child fill up the day even more than expected!
Because the days seemed to be filled with tons of little tasks, Sean and I are finding it even more important to go on date nights and spend quality time together. Sure, it takes more effort these days (pumping, sitter, preparations for baby), but boy are these times together so needed and important! We made a commitment before Maddie to always put our marriage first, and continue to date each other! Its not always easy when they out this little to get out, but we know when she gets older and sees us putting a priority on our marriage, it will speak volumes to her, and even better help her thrive!
Overall, Madeline Joy is living up to her middle name to the fullest...She brings us SO MUCH JOY!!! All of the busy days, difficult moments, and continual learning are more than worth the joy that she brings us every day. If we were to describe our lives since she came into our family, we can say without a doubt, it would be THANKFUL!
And that just about wraps up our first six months as new parents so far! As always, thanks for joining in on our continued journey with our Miracle Maddie friends! xo Katie