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This is a pretty brief post.  Friday was a beautiful day.  Here’s Madison hanging out with me when we first woke up:

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Later in the morning I strapped her into the Ergo baby carrier, and she helped me water all the seeds I planted last week.  She seemed to really enjoy watching the water come out of the watering can.

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In these 3 pots from left to right is the raspberry bush, cilantro, and tomatoes.

Here’s a close-up of the raspberry plant.  It’s grown a lot of leaves since I planted it last week!

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Here’s a close-up of the newly sprouting little tomato plants!

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Then I put Madison in her swing on our front porch while I weeded the beds in front of our house.

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Weeding was not very fun, but I’m glad it’s done!

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Later in the day Madison discovered her toes for the first time!

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I was excited, so I got a video of her with her toes 🙂

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The weather has finally warmed up around here, and it seems like it’s going to stay that way.  I’m so excited.  I’ve got Spring Fever for sure, and I’ve been planting stuff like crazy!  Friday night when we got back from Charlotte I planted my new raspberry bush that Bryan bought me for Christmas.  It just arrived this week.  I’m so excited for fresh raspberries!  I also planted some cilantro.  Then on Saturday and Sunday I planted tomatoes, watermelon, lettuce, broccoli, basil, daisies, poppies, and sunflowers!  I’m feeling the Spring Spirit!

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Saturday afternoon Bryan, Talan, Madison, and I went to Lake Wheeler to enjoy the beautiful mid 70’s sunny day.

This lake always has such nice memories for me since it is where we had our rehearsal dinner/ pig pickin the day before our wedding (almost 2 years ago!)

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The last time we were here was last summer in early August.  I was 9 months pregnant with Madison at the time, and I chose to sit in the shade while Bryan and Talan rented a pedal boat.  I just couldn’t stand the thought of trying to get into a little boat with my big stomach and then sitting out there in the sun with no shade.

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This time however was a different story!  All four of us rented a pedal boat, and we floated around the lake, enjoying the sunshine and cool spring breeze.  Bryan ended up doing the majority of the pedaling so it probably wasn’t quite as relaxing for him.

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It was Madison’s first time on a boat!  She didn’t love it.  She was tired, and she didn’t like having the sun in her eyes.

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Afterwards we had some ice cream sandwiches while we sat in the shade on rocking chairs, enjoying the pretty view.

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It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

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Happy Spring!

This past week Bryan had to go to Charlotte for a work trip, so Madison and I tagged along.  We had a fun time!  It was Madison’s first big road trip, and she did really well.  She lives a good life.

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We arrived Wednesday around noon, and dropped Bryan off at the place where he was working that day, and Madison and I checked into the hotel.  Then we ventured to the mall across the street, and did some shopping!  We spent most of our time in White House Black Market where all the ladies ooooed and aahhhhed over what a sweet, easy-going baby she is.  (I was there for about 2 hours and she patiently watched me try on clothes from her stroller the whole time!)

I ended up getting a skirt, a shirt, and a necklace, all on sale. The sales lady who had been helping me was very disappointed by how little I bought after spending so much time trying things on.  Oh well.

After shopping, we ate at Maggiano’s for dinner, and Madison thought their bread was delicious.

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She was really good all through dinner even though it was well past her usual bedtime by the time we finished and made it back to the hotel for the night.

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It was Bryan’s first time eating at a Maggiano’s and he liked it as well.  Madison really wanted to dig into my lasagna, but that was not an option.

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The next day Madison and I drove to Concord Mills outlet mall!  Do you see the theme that is emerging of how we spent our time?

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We spent most of the day hitting up a bunch of stores at the outlet mall.  Madison scored some pink shorts for $4.99 and some pink sunglasses for $1.99.  I got a dress from Ann Taylor (marked down from $120 to $30!) and a shirt from Banana Republic, also on clearance.  Awesome.

That night we had dinner at Cowfish, which was good – it’s a fusion of burgers and sushi.  There’s going to be one opening up here in Raleigh soon at North Hills apparently.

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Then on Friday, our last day, Madison and I hit up IKEA!!  She was so excited to visit Ikea for the first time.  She was also thrilled to wear her new shorts and sunglasses.  Can’t you just see her excitement?

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I got a really cute napkin holder (for $1.99!), 4 picture frames, some kitchen scrubbers (2 for $.99!), and boxes and magazine holders for organizing stuff next to my desk.  Fun!

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That afternoon we drove back home.  It was a late night by the time we got back, and we were exhausted.  Bryan was exhausted from working and driving… and Madison and I were exhausted from all the shopping.  🙂

I jumped on the measuring board bandwagon.  I think they’re so cute, and I’ve wanted to make one for Madison’s room since before she was born.  Several months ago I bought the board from Home Depot.  It sat around for awhile until I found the time to sand it and put a coat of primer on it.  I also filled in some holes and crevices with wood filler and sanded that down once it dried.  Then it sat around for many months until finally this past weekend I found the time to work on it some more!  Yay!

First I painted two coats of white paint on top of the primer.  Then I measured off one foot segments, and put down some Frog Tape.  I painted two coats of green paint on alternating sections.  Madison watched from her swing to make sure I did everything correctly.  She’s a lady of leisure.

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I took a video to document the process.  You must watch this because Madison is cute.

Then I removed the frog tape to reveal my lovely green and white 1-foot segments.

And here is my lovely board once the tape was removed.  The green and white segments are looking lovely.

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Next I printed out numbers 2-6 on my printer and cut the numbers out to make some stencils.  I just used regular paper, although something sturdier like card stock probably would’ve been better.  It still worked fine though.

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I taped the numbers down to mark each foot segment (I’m going to hang this one foot up from the floor in Madison’s room, which is why it starts off at 2 feet.)  Then I painted two coats of pink paint into my number stencils.

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And I peeled off my stencils immediately while the paint was still wet to prevent any sticking.

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Next was the most tedious part of the whole project.  I measured off one inch marks up the whole side of the board, and then used frog tape to create little dashes for every inch of the board.  That took awhile.

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Then I painted over the frog tape.

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And removed the tape to reveal my pink inch-marker dashes.

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Ta daaah! Pretty!

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Madison is excited about having it in her room.  I think I’m going to get some kind of clear protector coat to paint over the top before I hang it in her room though, just to keep it from getting dinged up over the years.

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I’m planning to use a sharpie to record her heights as she grows.  The first one will be right at 21 inches – her height when she was born 🙂

Madison is loving food.  I’m doing Baby Led Weaning, which actually should be called Baby Led Eating.  It’s been going so well so far.  Madison seems to be loving it.  It’s fun for all of us, and it’s really easy, too.
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Basically, here’s some information from the website:

“Baby Led Weaning, quite simply, means letting your child feed themselves from the very start of weaning.”

 

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“You just hand them the food in a suitably-sized piece and if they like it they eat it and if they don’t they won’t. (But they do, really they do).”

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Madison really likes being involved in dinner.  She really enjoys participating in meals and getting to eat at the same time that we’re eating.  I don’t always give her exactly the same foods that we’re having – if something is really sugary or salty, I don’t give it to her.  So mostly she just has fruits and vegetables plus she’s tried steak, bread, and yogurt so far (obviously).

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I tried giving her a piece of apple and she loved sucking on it, but when I gave her a piece of cooked apple, she really enjoyed it because it was mushy enough for her to actually eat it.  The carrots and broccoli she’s eaten have also been cooked so they’re soft enough for her to eat.

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I think it’s also good practice for her to learn how to eat off of a spoon.  Of course it’s all very messy at this point, but she has to learn some time, so I figure she might as well start practicing eating on her own now so that she’ll be able to feed herself and learn to be less messy sooner.

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Plus she gets to experience the full sensation of different foods including their different shapes, textures, and different ways of being prepared as opposed to only eating everything of the same mushy consistency off of a spoon.  Ultimately, I hope that this will prepare her for being an open-minded eater since we plan to expose her to everything we eat, as long as it’s healthy, so she’ll grow up eating Indian, Mexican, Italian, vegetarian, meat, etc. instead of only eating baby food out of jars.  (Oh and baby food in jars is pricey, so this is much more cost effective, too!)  I think it’s important for her taste buds to be exposed to a variety of tastes, textures, and spices early on so that she has a chance to explore food and learn to enjoy a wide variety.

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“That’s the essence of Baby Led Weaning. No purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher, no baby rice, no weird fruit and veg combos… just you and your child, eating food that you enjoy with you and your family.”

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So far it’s going great.  Madison seems to be loving it, and it’s super simple for us.  And I believe in the research I’ve read that says that up until one year old, breast milk contains all of the necessary nutrients and is still the most important food, and all that she really needs, so eating regular food is just a fun learning experience, but I’m not worried about her getting in all the food groups every day or anything like that.

And here she is in action 🙂