Our front patio is on my mind a lot.  It needs a lot of work.

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Since we moved in over a year ago, we have done two things:

  1. We plunked down our Christmas-colors-themed door mat that we had been using at the town house
  2. We got a black wooden glider bench as a Christmas present from my mom (I asked for it, and like it a lot!)

That’s it.  Clearly it needs more love.

Here are my ideas.  I would like to add two square white planters on either side of the front door with some sort of lovely plants in them.  Here’s one I found on amazon for $21.99:

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I’d also like to put down an outdoor rug over on the left side where the glider is.  Maybe something like this to coordinate with the grey siding and stones but also bring in a little color.  It’s on overstock.com for $59.49:

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I’d also like to change out the ugly overhead porch light that is currently in front of our door.  It’s just a plain little white boring thing that adds no personality or charm to the porch at all.

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I’m thinking something more like this might be nicer.

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We bought a few hanging hooks from the store a while ago, and some day we’ll install those so that we can hang some flowers or ferns or something along the edge of the patio ceiling.  Something like this:

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I’d also like to put some kind of art or something on the back wall above where the glider is.  I saw this sign, and thought it might be fun to make something like this:

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I also want to get some sort of tables so that there’s some place to put things like decor, flowers, drinks, etc.  I saw this square coffee table on craigslist for $20 (and another one similar to it for $10), and I’m thinking I could paint it some cute color, maybe a pale blue to go with the rug.  I would put the coffee table in front of the glider.

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It’s actually a pretty long space to the left of our front door.  I don’t think you can tell in the pictures, but the glider is currently about 2 feet out from the back wall, so once it’s scooted farther back, there would be plenty of room for a table in front of it as well as a 4 x 6 rug under the whole thing.

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I’d also like to get a new doormat.  Something to match the new decorations, so I did a quick search, and found this one on overstock.com, and thought it was pretty cute.  Plus it has the blue that might go nicely with the other rug and table if I went that route.

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So those are the ideas I’m tossing around in my head right now.  Who knows when we’ll get around to doing any of these, but I’m looking forward to it 🙂

Any other ideas to add character and charm to our front porch?  Please share 🙂

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At Madison’s 9 month check-up the pediatrician said she is very healthy.  Not that it was any surprise to hear that!

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She is a little girl though.  Her height is in the 45th percentile, so just below average, and her weight is only in the 25th percentile (she weighs just over 16 pounds now).  Little baby!  She’s still wearing 6-9 month sizes in her clothes.  She can actually still wear some of her 3-6 month pajamas, although they’re getting a little short.  Some 9 month size clothes fit well, and some are still too big.  Her head, however, is in the 99th percentile!  So, when she grows out of clothes, it’s often because we can no longer fit them over her head 🙂

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She was a very good girl at the appointment.  She loved playing with the crinkly paper covering the table.  That kept her entertained while we waited.

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She did have to have one shot, but it wasn’t too bad.  Apparently the next well-visit we have, her 12-month check up, is going to be pretty bad.  LOTS of shots coming up.  Booooo.

Last week I discovered that Madison likes helping out with folding laundry!

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She actually entertained herself with socks and clothes for 45 minutes while I sat next to her and talked on the phone.  It was fun for both of us 🙂

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Although I tried it again today, and it didn’t seem to be nearly as fun for her.  I guess the novelty wore off.

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That’s ok.  I like the cute pictures of course 🙂

Bryan’s parents were in town visiting last week, and I went out to get my hair cut Saturday afternoon.  Bryan’s mom and niece stayed home to watch Madison.  Madison fell asleep in her Nana’s arms.  So sweet 🙂

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Madison still takes about 4 naps a day – 30 minutes each.  She’s pretty consistent.

Last week was Madison’s Nine Month Birthday!

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I just did a quick little photo shoot of her, and of course I took about 40 pictures in 10 minutes.

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I love ALL of them!  Even the blurry ones!

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I have a hard time deleting any pictures of Madison, because I feel like each and every picture captures some element of who she is right now, and I feel like I have to save it so that I can remember all the little things about how she is right now, right this moment.

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So it took some real discipline to narrow down the pictures for this blog post 🙂

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She loves cheesing it up for the camera!  It is NOT hard to get good pictures of her.  Really.  We hold up a camera, and she puts a big smile on her face 🙂  Well, plus she’s very photogenic and completely adorable.

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As I was going through these pictures on my computer, she was looking at them with me, and it made her smile to see pictures of herself.  But looking at her next to the pictures – as beautiful as she looks in these pictures, she’s even more beautiful in person.  I wish I could really capture how much her blue eyes sparkle!

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Yesterday I discovered that Madison really enjoys Big Band music!

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Brian Evans’ song I’m A Traveler came on, and she loved it!  In fact, that song came on during our photo shoot, and she looked over in the direction of the music, and started smiling and seemed very excited.  Here’s a YouTube clip of the song.

If she was really fussy, she used to go to sleep for her naps listening to the sound of the vacuum cleaner, but since I discovered her love of Big Band, we’ve been listening to it on Pandora, and she’s fallen asleep really easily with the songs blasting 🙂

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I much prefer it to the sound of a vacuum!  I guess this is part of growing up – her tastes are evolving.

I have been thinking for a little while that I’d like to do a post documenting an average day in our life right now.  I was recently looking back at a note I had made on my phone back at the beginning of December where I kept track of our schedule for about a day.  At the time I was attempting to see if there was any pattern to anything as far as sleep, eating, etc. went.  I did not find a pattern.  Here’s that schedule, and a picture of what Madison looked like then 🙂  My how she’s changed!!

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Tuesday, 12/4/2012

2:45 am M fell asleep

6:45 am M woke up, I nursed her

7:00 am M fell asleep

9:00 am M woke up, I nursed her, changed her diaper, played with toys

10:00 am Swaddled and put her in her swing

10:30 am M fell asleep

12:00 pm M woke up, nursed her, changed diaper, changed clothes

1:15 pm fell asleep

2:00 pm woke up, nursed, changed diaper

3:00 pm fell asleep

5:15 pm woke up, nursed, changed diaper

7:00 pm fell asleep, put in crib

7:20 pm woke up

7:30 pm fell asleep in swing

10:40 pm woke up, nursed, played, put on nightgown.  Very fussy but wouldn’t go back to sleep.

1:00 am fell asleep in our bed

1:30 am woke up, extremely fussy, nursed.

2:00 am fell back asleep in our bed.

2:15 am woke up, fussy

3:00 am back asleep.

6:45 am woke up.  Nursed.

7:00 am fell sleep.

10:10 am woke up, nursed, changed diaper.

HOLY COW, I’m so glad our schedule doesn’t look like that any more!  So much has changed since December, and I had almost forgotten already how crazy our schedule was back then, so that’s what motivated me to want to document what it looks like now because in a few short months it will be completely different again, I’m sure!

Last night I put Madison to bed in her crib at about 8 pm, and she fell asleep on her own without crying, which is always miraculous and wonderful (and does not happen every night .  At least 50% of the time she still cries when I put her down for bed).

6:15 am She woke up crying so I went in her room and nursed her.  I put her back in her crib and she fell back asleep.  I also went back to bed, oh happy day!

8:15 am Madison woke up.  She wasn’t crying but I heard her babbling in her room, so I went in to get her, nursed her, changed her, and got her dressed for the day.

9:00 am I brought her into my bathroom and put her in her exersaucer to play while I took a shower and got ready for the day.

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9:30 am Madison and I went downstairs, I changed her diaper, and then sat her at the table for breakfast.

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This morning I mixed up a bowl of baby oatmeal with a jar of baby food (pears, apples, and oatmeal), and spoon fed her.

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9:50 am She was getting sleepy, so I put her in her swing and sat next to her reading some articles in the Rolling Stone magazine.

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10:15 am Madison still hadn’t fallen asleep, and I was getting hungry, so I ran the vacuum around the downstairs of our house, which is a soothing sound for her and we have Bryan’s family coming to visit, so I needed to vacuum anyway, and then I poured a bowl of Cheerios for myself.

10:30 am I sat down next to Madison to eat my cereal, and she fell asleep.  I read some more of the Rolling Stone, and then searched online for recipe ideas for dinners this week.

11:00 am Madison woke up.  I printed out recipes for chicken Tikka Masala and Slow Cooker Apple Crisp that both sounded good to me, and Madison played with her pacifier in her swing.

11:10 am I nursed Madison.  While nursing I debated what I wanted to do next.  Going for a walk sounded like a nice idea, but we needed things from the store, so going shopping might be a better idea.  I was also feeling hungry for lunch, so I decided we should have lunch first, and then go to Target.

11:20 am I set Madison up with some toys on the floor to play with while I got lunch ready.

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I put leftovers from dinner last night into the microwave (chicken, rice, and broccoli) and got her leftovers from breakfast out of the fridge.  I finished cleaning up from breakfast, and started unloading and putting away the clean dishes from the dishwasher.

11:26 am Madison fell over onto one of her toys and started crying, so I picked her up to comfort her and held her while I finished unloading the dishwasher.

11:30 am We sat down for lunch.

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I gave Madison pieces of broccoli and chicken on her tray, and one by one she picked each one up, chewed on it, and systematically threw each one onto the floor.

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After 3 pieces of broccoli and 3 pieces of chicken were on the floor, I gave up and spoon fed her the rest of her leftovers from breakfast and held some pieces of chicken for her to eat.

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12:00 pm Lunch is over.  I change Madison’s diaper, all set to go to Target, and it starts raining.

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Dealing with the car seat, stroller, or shopping cart, loading and unloading everything in the rain does not sound appealing, so Target gets put on the back burner.  Instead, I take Madison upstairs with me, and put her in her exersaucer to play so I can clean up our bedroom.

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I start to make our bed, but she starts crying every time I’m out of eyesight.

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I bring her into our bedroom, and finish straightening up our room, but she’s very fussy whenever I’m not right next to her, so I decide she must be ready for another nap.

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See that tear on her cheek?  But the smile on her face?  I couldn’t get a picture of her crying because every time I came near her, she was happy – she only cried when I wasn’t next to her, but that tear is evidence of what happened when I walked away from her to do something else 🙂

12:15 pm It’s still raining, so still no Target.  I put Madison in her swing.  I upload all the pictures I’ve taken today up until this point, get them ready for the blog, and start typing this up.

1:25 pm Madison finally falls asleep.  I continue working on this blog post.

1:30 pm I put together our shopping list.  It looks like the rain has stopped, at least for now.  I pick up the mess on the floor from lunch.

1:55 pm Madison woke up.

2:00 pm I nursed her.

2:30 pm We finally left for Target!

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2:50 pm Arrived at Target!

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Turned out to be a beautiful day.  Madison was a wonderful little shopper.

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She played with her toys, played with my fingers, played with my purse, and chewed on the shopping list to entertain herself.

3:35 pm As we were in the check-out lane, my brother Andy called, so I talked to him as we checked out, I loaded up everything into the car, drove home, and unloaded everything from the car.  Talking on the phone with a baby in one arm while caring groceries in from the car with the other hand… that is serious multi-tasking!

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4:15 pm As soon as I hung up the phone with Andy, it immediately rang again and was my doctor’s office calling about a prescription and needing me to call my insurance company about getting a fax number.  So I quickly put the cold things away in the fridge and freezer, and put Madison down on the floor to play.

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4:20 pm I called my insurance company, and ended up needing to give them lots of information to create an account as well as get the fax number.  Madison patiently played on the floor.

4:40 pm I finished my phone calls, and considered trying to put away the rest of the stuff from Target, but then I realized Madison was pooping, so instead I changed her diaper.

4:45 pm Madison was fussy because she wanted to nurse and was sleepy, so I nursed her.

5:00 pm She fell asleep nursing so I moved her to her swing, and tackled putting stuff away from Target.

5:20 pm Madison woke up from her nap, and I sat down next to her at my computer to work on adding to this blog post.  She sat in her swing smiling and waving at me.

5:25 pm I took Madison out of her swing.  She seemed to be in a happy playful mood, so I put her in her walker to play.

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She wasn’t too happy about being in there though.  I tried sitting and playing with her, but she was not interested.

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5:40 pm I decide to give Madison an early dinner.

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Usually we’ll wait and all have dinner as a family when Bryan gets home around 6pm, but Bryan’s not going to be home for dinner tonight, so I go ahead and feed Madison.  Tonight she has black beans with sweet corn, greens, and wild rice.

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She seems to like it.

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It starts pouring rain while she’s eating, so we listen to and watch the rain while she eats, and she listens to thunder a couple of times.

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Here’s the little river of rain water running by our house outside.

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So glad  the rain held off while we were out at Target!

5:55 pm Dinner time is over, so I take Madison upstairs and put her pajamas on.

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I’ve found that it’s easier to put her pajamas on earlier rather than later because if I wait until I’m actually putting her to bed, she’s really fussy and gets very upset when I am taking off and putting on clothes.  Doing it right after dinner seems to work much better.

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I can’t believe how big she’s getting!  She’s not a tiny little baby any more.  She’ll be 9 months this Thursday!

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6:00 pm We come back downstairs, and she’s really fussy.  She’s obviously still very tired, rubbing her eyes and unhappy, so I put her in her swing and I sit down at the computer to work on adding more to this blog post.  It’s too early to put her to bed, but the swing seems to help pacify her.  I uploaded pictures and got them ready for this blog post.

6:25 pm Madison fell asleep in her swing.  I uploaded the rest of the pictures up until this point, and proof-read the post.

6:45 pm I got hungry and decided to heat up something for dinner.  I put a frozen Amy’s meal in the microwave, straightened up a little in the kitchen, brought down a load of laundry, and ate my cheese enchiladas.

7:15 pm Madison woke up.  I put her in her jumparoo, which we currently use as more of an indoor playground swing since she doesn’t really know how to jump in it yet.

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She really enjoys it as a swing though!

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Then I put her back in her walker for a little while.

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She played with some toys and pushed herself backwards.

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Then she got sleepy and fussy again, so I sat with her and let her look at a magazine, which she enjoys doing.  She likes the feel and sound of the paper I guess, but she also likes eating the paper, so I had a pacifier in her mouth to prevent that from happening this time.  Finally, she helped me wipe down all the kitchen counters.

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8:15 pm She was acting pretty sleepy, so it was time to go upstairs to bed.

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I took her upstairs, changed her diaper, put on the ocean white noise, and nursed her.

8:30 pm I put her in her crib.  I heard her crying as I closed the door, but it stopped immediately, and I haven’t heard anything since, so I’m hoping she’s out for the  night, like last night.

8:35 pm I came downstairs in time to see a pretty sunset outside the back of our house.  Nice end to the day 🙂

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So there you have a glimpse into one average day in our lives right at this moment 🙂

This week we went over to Melissa’s place to visit with her.

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Madison showed off her new ability to sit up all by herself.

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She will sit and play independently for 5 or 10 minutes like this now!

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Too bad I took these with my iPhone, and some turned out blurry.

So the other exciting part about this visit was that Madison got to experience her first dip into a pool!

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I bought this little swimming suit for her last summer before she was even born.

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It was on clearance at Target, and I thought it was cute, but I never imagined how cute it would really look once it was on Madison!

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She seemed to enjoy the water.

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She liked splashing the water with her hand.

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I think she’ll like it a lot more once she gets a little more used to it.  We took video of her experiencing the pool for the first time, of course.  🙂

Also, here’s another picture of Madison showing off her sitting skills.

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And today she was trying to “blow raspberries” which is the only way I know of to describe that “bbbbb” sound.  Anyway, it was cute, so I took video.  Of course.  Unfortunately she would only do it when her swing was moving.  I tried to get video of her with the swing stopped, but she wouldn’t do it.  She’s very opinionated 🙂

That’s all for today!  Unfortunately our internet has been acting horribly, so I haven’t been able to post as much as I’d like to, but hopefully that will change.