Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Madison's Merry Christmas

Madison's first Christmas was a huge success!! Here's a taste of the holiday. Ryan's family joined us for a Christmas Eve lunch, followed by family presents and off to St. Michael's for Christmas Eve Mass.

On Christmas Day, we enjoyed a quiet lazy day with Nana, Aunt Michelle and Jimi. Madison enjoyed playing with her new toys and recovering!

Our Christmas Eve table, inspiration from pinterest! If you aren't on - join. now. it is magical!

Christmas Eve Family Photo 2011

Castile Family on Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve bedtime with Daddy!

Ryan & Jess' ornament exchange 2011

Michelle helped me stage a photo session with Madison! She might not love it later in life - but she's cute now.

Thanks for checking in on us! We hope to be more active in 2012!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

We're back....

I miss blogging and often think about, but clearly never sit down to do it. Now that Madison is almost 7 months (gasp!) I'm afraid I'm going to forget everything! It is already hard to remember what she was like as newborn. Perhaps that will provide me with some motivation to share. Here's a brief update from Miss Madison:

Age: 6 months 3 weeks

Typical Day: up between 6-7am (if before 7 I snuggle in mommy and daddy's bed until 7), nurse, play, breakfast (fruit and rice cereal), nap 930-11...but usually only 45min to 1 hour, nurse at 11, play, lunch at 1230 (rice cereal and fruit/veggie), nap 1-3...but usually just over an hour, nurse at 3, play, eat a veggie at 430, nurse at 6, bath, books, bed by 7!

What I like to do: sit up! Play with my stacking rings, read books, be outside, look at the dogs. I love my babysitters Miss Beth and Aunt Michelle, I always smile when they come over. I enjoy playdates with Brayden, Addison and Lily.

This is my bff Lily

What I can do: rock on my hands and knees, roll all over the floor, hold my sippy cup (but not tilt it up), rake puffs with my fingers but I need Mommy's help to get it into my mouth, sit up

How do I sleep: short naps! I don't want to miss out on anything...but 85% of the time I sleep through the night. Lately I've been keeping mom and dad on their toes with infrequent nights of frequent night wakings (ie every 2 hours). I usually do this at least once a week to be sure that they don't get too comfortable with me always sleeping though the night!

Exciting things I've been doing: the Ashborro Zoo, Pumpkin patch going, jogging with Mom, and the NC State Fair

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sleep Woes

Just when we think we are starting to see a trend...

Up until Wednesday night, Madison had been doing beautiful, wonderful, amazing 10+ hour stretches at night. It was so nice to feel rested and refreshed. We knew we were lucky, but we didn't know how quickly it could change. When I woke up Thursday am, Madison had rolled onto her tummy (I tried to take a picture, too dark). Thus - the swaddle is now banished forever. I knew this was going to be a scary, but I wasn't prepared for the terror to come...
Thursday night we put Madison to bed without her woomie (google it, I can't make that up. think glow worm).

She fussed and stirred and flailed her little arms and legs until 2 am. Yup, 2 am. I slept on an air mattress, or rather, laid awake and stole 10 minutes here and there while in the supine position on an air mattress in her room. Finally, at 2 she slept until 6 am.

But here is the real delimma. Madison wants to sleep on her tummy. Today during naps I caught her on the video monitor trying her hardest to get to her stomach. She hasn't mastered rolling, so she gets stuck on her side. Tonight we put her down and almost instantly she tried to roll over. For the past two hours she's been sleeping on her side. Peaceful, deep sleep.

But for those of you that know me, it should come as no suprise that this has me freaking out. My capstone paper in college was on the "Back to Sleep" campaign to reduce SIDS. I've always been the poster child for recommending it. Now, here I am with my own baby who is making a decision not to sleep on her back.

One call to the pediatrician later they now have me convinced that I don't need to stay up all night watching her. It was their recommendation that her side is fine. If I wake up and she's on her belly, I should put her back on her back.

I am freaking out. I admit it. I'm terrified to know what is the right thing to do. This child HAS to sleep. She is clearly much more comfortable on her side. But, the risks are huge. However, perhaps with her not-so-beautiful "breathable bumpers" and the angel care monitor and sleep sake mattress wrap...perhaps we are taking a lot of the necessary precautions. What's a momma and dadda to do????

I think another night on the air mattress is in my future....

Just for fun, here are some pictures of Madison sleeping:

This is Madison's "mad scientist" hair

Favorite position to be in on her back, arms up

One of my favorite pictures of her sweet face and arm

Very young Madison all swaddled up

Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Parenting Fail(s)

So this whole "new parent" thing is certainly a challenge. Every day is a challenge. We struggle with how much to feed, how often, when to sleep, how to fall asleep, if we should wake up, what she should be "playing" with, who should watch her, is she cold, is she hot. Really I could go on, but you get the picture. We do feel we are starting to make some progress with understanding Miss Madison and cracking the parent "code." However, we've had a few mishaps over the past 24 hours that are worth sharing.

Friday, Ryan and I are in the car returning from the dreaded DMV, when I look in the rear view mirror and see this:

Perhaps you can't tell (ie the glare is terrible)...but this is Madison with her headband pulled down completely over her eyes. Like horse blinders. Of course we had to photograph this first before fixing it. Poor girl wasn't even fussing.

Then later...the same day. We are working on "sleep training" by having Madison learn to put herself to sleep. This does NOT involve crying it out, I just am not there yet. But does involve putting her down awake and having herself learn how to fall asleep without being bounced and rocked and patted for an hour! So I often stay in the room (aka hide in the corner out of sight) and peek on her. This is what I saw during one peek:
Not my finest moment. I am so worried about crib safety, this child has no blankets, the ugly breathable bumpers, an angle care monitor and yet she still manages to put the small "lovey" over her face! EEEEEEK. Of course she was just fine, and once I made sure, I snapped a quick picture for your viewing pleasure. We are now doing more frequent checks!!

And, just in case parenting wasn't challenging enough. I got up the courage to try out some new baking recipes for a BBQ we are going to tonight. The pictures on the internet of these cupcake ice-cream cones look easy enough, and so fun. However, several things went wrong with my attempt. First to note, the chocolate dipped cones are a bad idea when you plan to bake them in the oven. Chocolate at 350 degrees melts. And, what doesn't melt does burn. So yucko all around. Even after burnt melted chocolate, I decided I'd give the icing a try. As you can see below, it was not so much a success but a failure...

*Sigh* Such is life. So far, today our parenting has been a little better:) We spent the day at the pool with Madison, Aunt Michelle and a few friends. Now we're off to a BBQ (without the burnt, melted ugly ice cream cupcakes). Happy pre-4th of July to you all!

Thanks for checking in!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Welcome Madison Kay

We are only 3 months late in our announcements. Yup. We haven't sent out birth announcements. We haven't posted on our blog. We are that on top of things...opps. Sorry Madison. But, the past 3 months and 1 day have been a whirlwind and a blessing. We'll provide a quick synopsis and then lay on the pictures.

Madison was born March 30th at 5:59pm. My water broke at 11pm on the 29th, coincidentally on my due date! My parents had arrived at 2pm that day - so Madison was just waiting for them to arrive before she came (sweet isn't she?). Labor was not fun, please don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It hurt. A lot. And yes, I had an epidural (my friend Suzanne can vouch for my low pain tolerance, when I passed out from jamming my finger). But, she is totally worth it. I know people say it all the time, but it really is true. Here she is...fresh out! All 6lbs 13 oz

Here is Madison the first week:

1 month:

2 months:
I love this one - I know she isn't looking at the camera, but that sideways look is one she does a lot!

3 months:
Here she's waving to the camera

A little about our girl... She's such a delight. I literally cannot get enough of her. Luckily she puts up with me. She knows where she gets her food - smart girl! Madison is a happy baby. Of course she cries, but mostly if she's overtired or hungry. Currently, she goes about 3.5-4 hours between feeds. And yes, she sleeps though the night. Kind-of. So we try to put her down around 8ish. Then between 11-12 Ryan gives her a "dreamfeed." He picks her up, puts the bottle in and doesn't wake her up. Back down she goes and wakes up at 7am. So lucky for me, I go to bed around 10 and sleep till 7. She does have infrequent night wakes where she needs her paci or a little TLC, but for the most part she's a sleeper. Madison is in her own room too. She lasted 2 months in our room, but she is a noisy moving girl in her sleep and it just wasn't working out for us!

She loves, loves, loves her rain forest playmat. I couldn't believe how expensive these things are $75, but worth every penny. The girl cracks herself up when she plays on it!

Of course, being the daughter of a PT, she get's plenty of tummy time. She's rolling, but only on accident and Ryan has yet to see it! If you're up for it, below is a video that Aunt Michelle took.

A quick little update on Ryan & I. I know, not nearly as exciting as talking about Madison. Ryan is still enjoying work at Cisco. He is primarily working from home, but doesn't mind the 3 minute drive when he does go into the office! He very much enjoys what he does and is looking forward to his new Mac computer. I've been rebuilding my caseload to start back up at work. This has proved more challenging than initially thought, as the company I contracted with stopped providing the services. So...after a week of high stress...I found a new home, which I am very happy with and look forward to a long happy future with this company. I will also continue to do outpatient services at the clinic 2 afternoons a week. We finally found a "nanny" for Madison for 10 hours/week (in addition to the one day that Aunt Michelle watches her). This woman seems wonderful, lives in the neighborhood and we will be taking Madison to her. Additionally, we lucked out and found ourselves a few good babysitters so that we can have the occasional night out with friends! All and all, life is pretty great with the Castile Family.

Thanks for checking in!

July 1 Resolution

I will blog more...I will blog more...I will blog more

I want to blog more, I like blogging. I am just terrible at it. Kind of like I'm terrible at catching up with people on the phone. I love to talk and I love to email, but apparently I struggle with blogging. But, my July resolution is to be better. With that said stay tuned...I've got all sorts of fun blogs heading your way!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spoiled Rotten

Our friends and family are so super sweet, this we knew, but what has been so amazing are all the homemade generous and sweet gifts that Madison has received. I often tease my friend Kelly, who is fantastic at making jewelery, that I need a hobby to create sentimental gifts and the past few months have only made that more abundantly clear. I wanted to "showcase" all the homemade gifts that Madison has received over the past few months.

From "Aunt Kate" in Texas - a beautiful, warm blanket and the cutest hat and booties. The booties are so detailed and have a "mary jane" stitch to them! I am imagining cute newborn baby pics in these already.

This is a blanket made from one of my patient's mom's. She cried when I told her I was pregnant and then surprised me at Christmas with this blanket. She is also pregnant, with her fourth child - a boy, due around the same time as we are. I see lots of play dates in our future!
This blanket was made by my sister, Kate. It is very warm and soft!
If you know me, you know I love seersucker! My childhood best friend, Gwen, is amazing at sewing. She even has her own etsy site: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BigSouthBaby. She made this for Madison and I am hoping it fits for Easter!
Ms. Ewing, Kelly's mama, made this soft and snuggly blanket for Madison. I think it's perfect to wrap her up to come home from the hospital and packed it in her diaper bag!
This one tugs at my pregnant and overly emotional heartstrings. My Grandma Angie, my mom's mom, sent this to Madison at Christmas. It is so simple, but very much represents her. Her home is covered in quilts and many childhood holiday memories involve making forts with her quilts. I simply cannot wait to give Madison some floor time on this quilt, snap a picture and sent it Grandma!

Aren't these homemade gifts just amazing and talented???
We are so thankful for you all and all of your blessings and support over these past months. We are so excited for Madison to be born and introduced to all the fantastic friends and family we have.

Thanks for checking in on us!

Dare We Say Ready...

It's unlikely that you can ever be truly prepared for a baby's arrival, but we think we are prepared to say that Madison's nursery is ready. Which, is of course somewhat comical, seeing that she probably won't be sleeping in there for the first few months! I am bound and determined to get her used to crib early on though, so that she is not in our room forever! I have to give Ryan the most credit for getting her nursery done, he has done such a great job with hanging everything, putting furniture together and doing all the heavy lifting! My jobs have more been centered around washing and folding clothes, but they are so darn cute it makes laundry more fun! Here are some pics of the "final" product:

Her closet, she might have more clothes than me...
The "Big girl side" 6months+
I found these baskets at Michael's for 50% off and I stocked up. Ryan wondered what we'd put in them, but they are all filled!
One corner of the room
We bought the letters at AC Moore and Ryan painted them. I was pushing on spelling out her name, but Ryan was right when he suggested just the initials! Madison has a lot of letters. The mobile is from my mom.
The swing won't likely be staying here, but it's cute for now!

We still have a few more things to add, but overall, it's close!

Thanks for checking in on us!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting Close(r)

Well, it's almost March and then we can say, "Madison is due this month!" We are very hopeful that she does not decide to make an early appearance this week as Ryan is in Texas for Cisco training! My mom is in Indiana and my dad in Washington D.C., so we're just asking her kindly to stay put until the weekend:)

We've been enjoying lots of "selfish time" over the past few weeks. We've made an effort to go out with friends and make plans for things we'd like to accomplish prior to Madison's arrival. This past weekend we enjoyed the NCSU Basketball game. Our friends Jeff and Erin and Jason and Ivy joined us as well! And, they actually won! Somehow, this was my very first basketball game - I'd like to make it to many more. On Sunday, Kelly and I took the kids she babysits for to a NCSU gymnastics meet and it was great. We might have enjoyed it more than the kids - thank goodness for Angry Birds to keep them entertained!

This is us with our friends Ivy and Jason. Ivy's the one responsible for most pictures on the blog! Jason works at Cisco with Ryan and happens to be our "backyard neighbor."

This is really my stomach?!?!? EEK! The shirt was a gift from Casey!

Thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shower for Madison

I want to start this post off by letting everyone know that it is 70 degrees and I'm sitting outside on the back porch! In February! Life is truly wonderful!

The first week in March my wonderful sister-in-law, Michelle, and two girlfriends, Casey & Kelly, threw a shower in honor of Madison. It was such a treat to be with so many of my favorite girls! All my college roommates were there, my close friends from work, my mother -in-law and other sister-in-law, and various other girls that mean so much to me were able to make it! Even my mom was able to make it from Missouri - that was so special. I admit, I always get a little nervous before events such as these, groups of people coming together that don't know each other, but that's just silly! The girls that threw it did a great job of coming up with a few games and there was plenty of food and baby girl-themed gifts! Madison is one lucky little gal - and she's not even here. Below are a collection of pictures from the shower.

Krysta, Sue and I concentrating on our games! Krysta made it in from Greensboro and Suzanne from Columbia, SC!
Kelly's mom, Katherine, made this amazing cake! The head was chocolate and the body a lemon pound cake. YUMMM!

The gifts are so pretty - I just love all the pink!

This is Ryan's side of the family! His older sister Christy, mom Florence and younger sister Michelle.
Me and my Mommy!
Casey to the left and Kelly to the right. I know these girls worked hard to pull this shower off and I could not be more thankful!
This is just a pretty spread of the table and all the great food!

It was such a wonderful day to share with my closest friends. I've enjoyed putting all the sweet gifts to use in preparation for Madison's arrival. Her nursery is almost done, pictures are up and clothes are washed and put away. Crazy that her due-date is quickly approaching. Thanks to everyone for all the love and support - we are so lucky and blessed!

Special thanks to Ivy for all the pictures:) I'm lucky to have such a great photographer for a friend!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


This post is looong over-due, but as I expected, I'm kind of a slacker on posting. BUT - I'm going to try to do better, at least until Madison comes!
A few weeks ago we actually started working on the nursery. Our furniture came in and our very nice neighbor, Jamie, helped Ryan pick up and move the crib and dresser upstairs into the nursery. I wish I'd taken pictures of the actual move up the stairs - those were some heavy boxes!
Ryan had been warned that setting up the crib was very challenging, but he didn't seem to struggle at all. Maybe that's the engineering classes paying off!
Here he is putting it together:

The crib and dresser are from Babies R Us. Of course, once he had the furniture up, I couldn't wait any longer to put up the bedding and curtains. Both are from Restoration Hardware and I fell in love with them months ago. When we decided not to paint the nursery (as our friends pointed out - it is ALREADY gray, why paint it gray?) we decided to splurge for the matching curtains. I love that they are pink - but not bubble gum pink. The room is soothing and calm. We still have a lot to do, as far as decorating goes, but we are both so happy with the the progress!

Dawson and Sadie are a little confused about this room!

Here is the crib with the bedding it it!

It was dark, so the the lighting isn't great - but here's a glimpse at the curtains and furniture.