January 2011

Wow! It’s so hard for me to believe Madeline was ever that small.

But, look at the difference between our Sweet Pea last year on Mommy’s birthday, and this year on the same day. (Pay no attention to the shiny-faced woman holding the child covered in chocolate birthday cake.)

Mommy and Madeline January 31, 2010

Mommy and Madeline January 31, 2011


I’ll spare you my lecture (read: tirade) about the product of the same name, how calling words you’ve been told to memorize in exchange for a prize like Pavlov’s dog is not reading, and the gullibility of the parents who think it is.

Instead, I’ll share some cute anecdotes about two of my favorite topics: Madeline and books.

She actually displays some of the very same behaviors as the kids in the commercial for the aforementioned product. For instance, when she sees this card…

…she says, “Baby!!”  (Gasp! Thirteen months and she’s READING!!)

She has a cute book in which a toddler’s mommy plays hide-and-seek with him. She “reads” that one, too. It goes like this…

Madeline points to the page and says, “A-ga-da-ma-ma-dis?”

Then, she lifts this flap and says, “NO!” See? What do those kids on the commercial have that she doesn’t?

Then, there’s Bubbles Bubbles, a poignant story of Sesame Street characters and their bath time rites. It’s quite moving. Madeline loves it. She reads it over and over again.

“Bah-bah Bah-bah nis-be-no! Bah-bah Bah-bah na-na-no!”

Yes, I think she’s the most adorable child who ever lived. I’m her mommy. I’m supposed to think that.

No, I don’t think she can read. (For the record, I don’t think the kids on the commercial can, either.) But, it’s so much fun to watch her try!

Due to the eleven snowflakes that fell from the sky, frightening adults and mesmerizing children all over the state of Alabama, I have been off work all week. Every day, I’ve gotten computer generated phone call from the county board of education letting me know that the “pur” road conditions caused by the inclement weather, teachers and students were permitted another free day.

You’d think I’d be bored. Are you kidding? I’m so far behind on things that really need to be done, I don’t have time to get bored.

I mean, the baby isn’t going to dress herself up like the Michelin man and go for a walk.


Madeline has really begun to develop quite a vocabulary. My current favorite thing she says is when she holds her toy phone to her shoulder and says, “Woe?”  I’m pretty sure she has a direct line to someone at Fisher-Price.

So, I thought I’d present you with the latest version of the dictionary, as spoken by Madeline.

1. Dada  – Dan; any picture of anyone or anything; Uncle Ben.

2. Mama  – me.

3. Boon  – balloon

4. Hohoho – What Santa says; what a duck says; what a puppy says; what a cow says…

5. Daydee – baby; baby doll; any other kid.

6. Bah-bah – her book, Bubbles Bubbles.

7. Mo’ – more

8. Teekateeka – Tickle, tickle

9. Duckkkkkkk – duck

10. Dissss – “What is this object, Mommy? Will you please identify it for me?” or “I dropped this and cannot reach it. Would you be so kind as to pick it up and give it back to me?”

11. Datttt – “What/who is that?”

12. Ball – ball

13. No –  “Absloutely not.”

14. Emo – Elmo

15. Wow – “That’s quite remarkable!”

16. Boo – “Oh! There you are! I thought you were missing!”

She also got a stuffed dog for her birthday that sings, recites numbers and letters, etc. When you press his paw, he says, “It’s learning time! Ruff Ruff!” To which Madeline resonds, “Erf! Erf!” And, when she received a singing purse for Christmas that declares, “It’s music time!” her natural response was, of course, “Erf! Erf!”

Is it terrible that I’m completely baffled when people don’t gush over how adorable she is? Does that make me a bad person?

Madeline would also like to give a shout out to her new friends, Lilah and Audrey, whom she met during our Christmas visit to the Carolinas.  Haaaay!

I’ll end with my two favorite quotes of the day, both from her new teacher, Ms. Janelle:

“Your daughter lights up our whole day! We wish they were all like her!”


“She really likes to ‘read’ to all her friends.” (M likes to open up a book, point to the pictures, and babble in the same intonation in which we read the book to her. LOVE IT!!)

The new header is a picture of the trees we saw on another first – my first white Christmas ever! It was beautiful and I hope to see many more in the future.

She never paid any attention to the tree, so when we set her in front of it on Christmas morning she didn't know what to think.

"Day-deee!" Every little girl needs a baby doll to push in her pink stroller.

Her very first purse, lipstick, mirror, and keys.

Happy girl!

On our way to South Carolina. The snow has already started to stick!

White Christmas!!

"I'm trying to read here, people! Keep it down!"

It’s time to say goodbye to 2010, the year of so many “firsts” that will never happen again, but we’re so excited that they did. I’ll list a few here, but there are so many that I’m sure I’ll leave some out.

January brought us Madeline’s first smile, our first wedding anniversary, and Dan’s first trip to a National Championship football game.

 There was a first tooth, followed by a second, third, fourth, and fifth. My personal favorite was the first word (dada, of course) followed VERY closely by the second (duck) and many more to be discussed in a later post. The first laugh has grown into a red-faced, belly chuckle that I absolutely LOVE!

We had a first trip to Greenville to visit family, then in March we had a first visit to Charleston (for both Madeline and me) when Uncle Ben and Aunt Elizabeth got married.

There was a first Valentine’s Day…

Look how stinkin' small she was!

A first Easter…

A first Fourth of July…

A first Halloween…

A first Thanksgiving…

And a first birthday…

Look how she’s grown!!

This was also my first year to have a real Christmas tree. It’s my first year teaching in Alabama, as well as my first time teaching seniors. (Wow. That’s all I have to say.)

I asked Dan if he had experienced any firsts this year, but he couldn’t think of any. Hmmm…I have one! Dan watched The Wiggles for the first time this year. Ha! I knew there was something!

2011 will bring lots more firsts, a million surprises, and countless things for which to be thankful.

As for you, loved one, I hope 2011 brings you everything you’ve been praying for and more. I want you to have true joy. I hope your burdens are lightened. I pray that you laugh more than you cry. I want you to know that you are loved this year.

Love, peace, blessings, and a Happy New Year!!!

The Head Family

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – II Corinthians 5:17