Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Getting My Groove Back

Loyal readers will know that the whole reason I started this blog, back in good old 2007, was to provide myself with accountability and motivation to dig myself out of a rut. Well, I am not in a rut this time around, but I do find myself ready, again, for the same sort of accountability and motivation as I get back on the fitness bandwagon.

So let me hereby publically state a few goals.

GOAL #1: At least three big dogwalks a week.
To this end, behold the new Chariot: that which enables me to get out of the house with both girls and both dogs and go wherever I want to:

GOAL #2: Start running again.
I can't run with Madelyn in the jogger until she is at least 3 months old, so I'll be getting a babysitter twice a week (and the Gutsy Dad once a week) to watch Madelyn while Jillson naps and I run. This begins on Saturday!

GOAL #3: Strength training twice a week.
Bring it on, Jari! Where's the pump??? RIGHT HERE!

GOAL #4: Committing to self-care.
This can mean any number of things, but for starters, check out my new haircut! I did it myself (long story, sort of) on inauguration day.Speaking of the inauguration, I took these pictures of the girls so that I'll be able to show them where they were when history was made in our country.And these are my inaugural donuts:Finally, the latest installment of "I made this," celebrating Jillsie at 8 months old.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sleepy Heads

I adore my cute family; especially when all is quiet on the western front, as it were. Here is the Gutsy Dad "watching the news" with Maddie.Three sleeping girls (one in each corner).Snuggling with "that new animal."I wish I could include cute pictures of myself snoozing, but that would require two things: (1) me actually sleeping and (2) someone there to take a picture.

Gutsy or Just Plain Stupid, You Decide!

For those of you (hi, Jim!) who really miss those New England winters, here are a few pictures that are guaranteed to strike a nostalgic chord. Our neighborhood pond froze the week Madelyn was born, which also happened to be when my hockey-coach father was visiting. I don't need to tell most of you how special it was for me to watch my dad and my husband teach my daughter how to skate. Yes, despite the complete lack of athletic ability possessed by the Gutsy Mom, Jillsie got out on the ice before age 3.

It's either a testament to my good doctors or a testament to my own stupidity that I was out walking around on the ice-covered pond when Maddie was only 6 days old. (I knew better than to put on skates.) But I couldn't miss the opportunity to be out there with the whole family.
Papa, Jillsie, Kiki
Using the Chair with Meme
Stepping Away from the Chair
Wipe Out!
Observation Committee
"Hey, Mommy, Watcha Got in There?"

Monday, January 19, 2009

What's In A Name?

A few of you have been asking, so in honor of Maddie turning three weeks old, I’ll share how we came up with the name Madelyn James.

Madelyn is a name I have always thought was beautiful, but one I had forgotten about for a long time. Then, one day, about seven months into this pregnancy, it came back to me in the shower. Yes, like most of my profound thoughts, it came to me while I was standing there buck naked in the shower enjoying the warm cascade of water coming down.

After the shower, I mentioned the name to the Gutsy Dad, and, aside from wondering where it came from (my head, honey), he agreed it sounded nice with our last name. So the name made it onto our short list. There was a brief period during which the name was completely off the table because we thought, erroneously, that Madelyn was also the name of the Gutsy Dad’s father’s ex-wife…not a woman he adored…but then he remembered her name was actually Marilyn, so Madelyn was back in contention. Phew!

Once the name rose to the top of the list, we had to confront the matter of spelling. We liked three spellings, but how to pick? The Gutsy Dad graciously stepped aside and allowed the crazed English major in me puzzle it out. I initially preferred the traditional Madeleine, and a quick googling revealed, of course, three famous Madeleines: Albright and Peyroux (fine associations) and McCann (not so lovely). This spelling was ultimately ruled out, however, for two reasons: (1) it begs to be mispronounced and misspelled, and (2) it simply looks too frou-frou with our last name. The next spelling I ruled out was Madeline. I adore the children's books about this young lass, but again, this spelling begs to be mispronounced (or, pronounced differently than our way). For the record, regardless of spelling, we like to pronounce the last syllable to rhyme with “pin” not “dine.” So that brought us to Madelyn. It looks nice with our last name. It seems likely that people will pronounce it “lin” (hooray) and not “line” (wrong). It has the same number of letters as Jillson. And, it probably doesn’t hurt that good friends of ours who have twins Jillsie’s age have a Madelyn spelled Madelyn. (Googling also revealed that President-Elect Obama’s grandmother was a Madelyn. Neato!)

Now, with a name as lyrical as Madelyn (especially when combined with our last name) we needed a strong, no-nonsense middle name. I also longed to use a name from my father’s side of the family. And so, what better name from my father’s side than my father’s name? We think Madelyn James sounds strong, intelligent, and unique. Just like my dad! It also makes me happy that Maddie is the 4th generation (that I know) to carry the name James. James is the first name of my grandfather, my father, and one of my brothers. I am so pleased to give this name to my daughter, too, to keep it going. (For the record, Jillson is also the 4th generation to carry her name. Jillson is my grandmother’s married name, my mother’s maiden name, and my middle name.)

Finally, to us, Madelyn James just seems to “go” with Jillson Patricia. Either could be the president or a judge or the poet laureate. Both can be called out the back door or at a playground or at soccer game without the parent feeling like a doofus. Jillsie and Maddie sound cute together, too.

So that’s it. That’s how we came up with Madelyn James. The Germans think we’re nuts. But we love it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Visual Aid for Previous Post

Where To Begin?

There is so much I want to write about, and so many things I want to be doing and working on, that I have NO IDEA where to begin. Not to mention the fact that I am somewhat sleep deprived these days. I want to tell you all about my experience at the German hospital, about the great times we had with my parents here, the skating we did, the other events I have been up to. I want to tell you about my friends who are having hard times and about how this makes me count my blessings every day. I want to tell you that I've finished my Christmas cards, my thank you notes, and the birth announcements (ha ha ha). I want to draw up a plan for myself for 2009; I want to brag about how much weight I have to lose and how I plan to do it; I want to make lists of my favorite children's books, my favorite baby gear, my favorite happy songs. I want to make a cookbook of all my family's favorite recipes. I want to tell you about the cabbage leaves that saved my boobs and the layout I designed just this morning. I want to tell you how adorable both of my children are, and how adorable my husband is. But there are dishes to do, and laundry to process, emails to answer, and Christmas decor to put away. The oil needs to be changed on my car, we need winter mats for my husband's car, and Madelyn needs a passport and a social security number. Jillson needs to be potty trained, the dogs need to be walked, and I need to make a latte. And that's it. That's where to begin. With the coffee. Okay, Miss Silvia, here I come.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Meeting Madelyn

A few selections from the first few days. These are backwards, chronologically, since I am too lazy to re-order them.



3. GOING HOME (The "Heron Island Going Home" sweater by Sarah Humphries; provided by Ari & Olive Hoogenboom; arrived in the mail while we were in the hospital.)


5. LIPS (Seriously, how do they do that?)



8. SNUGGLING WITH PAPA (Check out the hospital-issued Bambini schlafsack!)

9. WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME, MOMMY? (The hardest part about being away from home...)


11. MEME

12. PAPA