Merry Christmas!

Madisyn's Moment to Shine

Madisyn had her first Christmas concert this year and she did really well! They sang "Joy to the World," "Happy Birthday to you (to Jesus)," and "We wish you a Merry Christmas." She was one of the "more quiet" singers :) You can spot her right in the middle, top row.
Daddy and Madisyn before the program.
Mommy and Madisyn after the program.
Here's the beautiful gingerbread house that she made.

Amazing light show for ALS

This house is in the neighborhood next to us. If you want to see it, HERE'S a map. Believe it or not, it is 100x better in real life!


I felt like a complete idiot… last night, while we were celebrating our friend Katie’s birthday (only eight days late), I had put some clothes in our large sink in our laundry room/half bath. They were all clothes that needed spot treatment (anyone with kids understands this) and I wanted them to soak in cold water before treating them with Shout. Well, I turned the water on, stepped out of the room while it was filling up and, you guessed it… forgot about it!!!

I walked in there to get something else and saw water everywhere including entering the hallway and also under the drier. Brad, Rob and I grabbed towels and started cleaning while Katie and Kyle watched the kids. We finally got it all cleaned up and we put all the towels in the wash.

About 15 minutes later, Rob went downstairs to adjust the humidity and noticed that the half of the basement had standing water! I can not believe how much water had come through the floor! Needless to say, the guys moved everything and used the shopvac to clean as much as possible. It still smelled wet, but we ran a fan and I think it’s finally drying out. Luckily we hadn’t gotten our drywall done yet (which is the next step in finishing a room downstairs). Unbelievable!

Madisyn's love

Rob was traveling for a couple of days last week and is traveling this whole week (he usually travels once a month) and here's Madisyn's reaction...
"Where's Daddy?"

"Daddy is bubbye, far away."

"I want to give Daddy hugs and kisses." Complete with puppy dog face.

Here's our future baseball player :) (Thanks, Aunt Darlene for the outfit!)

Madisyn was making Landon absolutely belly laugh. I think she can make him happy, anytime, anyplace, regardless of how upset he is!


A lot has happened! First of all, congratulations to Angie on finishing her first marathon! Madisyn and I went to cheer her on, Madisyn wanted to run with everyone, I think she's going to be our next marathoner (high hopes, maybe). She looks too happy to be running 26.2 miles :) That's her husband who jumped in for a few strides for support.

Next were two BIG surprise birthday parties! One was for my mom, who turned 50. It was a woman's only party. I think there were about 25 women there with lots of great food and a very nice time (she was totally surprised seeing that her birthday isn't until December 18).

Then a few days later we had my father-in-law's surprise 60th birthday party at our house. That was tons of fun with most of the Dykema family here and a few friends as well (about 25 - 30 total). He was definitely surprised as you can see by the look on his face :D

Update on the kids
Our ever-falling, accident prone child... After the concussion (and past stitches, medical glue, and numerous calls from daycare that she's fallen and gotten hurt again - including today, which was a bump on the head, cut on the forehead, busted lip, and bloody nose all from tripping over a little boy's foot) we have come to the conclusion the she's either terribly clumsy (like her mother) or needs glasses (like her father did at three). I called after her concussion and the FIRST time she can get in is January 11 (they have a special doctor for kids this young). BUT at least she keeps us laughing!
Our conversation the other day:
"Madisyn, you're a cool dude."
"I'm not a cool dude."
"Yes, you are."
"No, I'm not. I'm not a cool dude, I'm a mover and a shaker!"

Eight months old and crawling isn't enough. No later than he started crawling, he decided it was time to stand. Just trying to catch up with his big sister. And about a month ago he switched from saying "dada dada" all the time to "mama mama," and I soak it right up.

Life as we live it...

This week was my first week full-time since Madisyn was born (a couple of months ago I got offered a new opportunity at work). I'm thrilled about the potential and think it will be a great fit for me. Of course I had a lot of reservations being "full-time" again, but luckily it's flexible and I should be able to work at least a couple of days each week at home. And... this past week went surprisingly well! Thankfully the kids love daycare and have wonderful people caring for them. Here are a few updated pictures of our little mover and shaker... he started full out crawling last week.

His new haircut :)

Soulja Boy Dance

I wish I could dance this well!

Trust me, it gets better and better each time you watch it!

Halloween 2007

Halloween past

Happy Halloween! Here's a picture of Madisyn's first Halloween... this years pictures to come.

Post Farm

We finally made our annual trip to Post Farm tonight and had a great time! Madisyn wanted to get a small (and she meant small... it was $0.25) pumpkin for herself and one for Landon. She fed the goats and rode on the swings. We may go back again to let her ride the hayride and the tractor pulled "train."

Like father, like son.

Madisyn was a little sceptical to feed the goats this year.

Anyone with two (or more) kids knows the difficulty of getting them to smile at the same time :)

Mommy and her little princess. What an ordeal we had with her yesterday... she got a concussion after falling while climbing into her stroller to go on a walk (watch out all of you with little climbers) and had to go through a cat scan. They actually wanted to send an ambulance because she was throwing-up so much, but I didn't want to wait that long, so brought her in immediately. Long story short, she's doing 100x times better today. One of our scariest moments as parents!

Here's the big boy doing his thing. He's not crawling yet, but seemingly very close... watch out! He loves to go from his tummy to sitting up and back to his tummy again.
When he tries to crawl he gets on his knees and arms and then he tries to go to his toes and his arms. Forget crawling, he's ready to walk ;) (let's hope not!)


I'm so lucky! I'm married to the most wonderful man! We spent the entire past weekend celebrating our anniversary up north. It was perfect... we went out to dinner, shopping and to the cottage Friday night, then Saturday we took our time making it over to The Shack (we highly recommend it... the website doesn't do it justice). It was gorgeous, especially with the fall colors. Our room had a fireplace and hot tub and everything was made of hand-carved wood (as noted by Rob, even the toilet paper holder :) ).

Miss Madisyn Grace

For about two months now, Madisyn's been "fully" potty trained (she wears underwear except when she goes to bed). Yeah! Here’s the big dilemma… number two! She waits a couple of days and then does it in her diaper after she wakes up (before we realize she’s awake). I have tried bribing her with everything… any ideas?

Mission: to get a video of one of us trying to go to bed with her, yet another one of her a-typical toddler behaviors. When we try, she giggles and tells us, “No, you take a nap downstairs!” She thinks we’re ridiculous for even thinking of sleeping with her in bed. She truly insists that we not sleep with her. At least we don’t have to worry about her ever trying to sleep with us.

Six months and three days

(eating rice cereal for the first time)

Half a year old! I am completely overwhelmed with how much change has gone on. Aside from the normal growing up and developing, I can’t believe how much different our lives are now; compared to when Landon was in so much pain. I still vividly recall the days and nights of non-stop crying where the only way to relax him would be to hold him against my body, on his left side, and walk or sway. How tiring and stressful those days were! I felt like such a poor mother recognizing and verbalizing my need to get a break from my kids. My back never stopped hurting as I was constantly carrying him and not maintaining good posture. And now, he’s just a little bundle of joy!

He’s at this stage where he absolutely adores Madisyn. I swear, the second she walks in the room, he glows! She is absolutely amazing with him, which may be part of the reasoning for his adoration of her. She’ll come up to him and give him toys, sing to him, give him hugs and kisses. In fact, at school the teachers told me that she came into his room to visit (one of the many things I love about our daycare) and she brought him every toy from the shelf :)

He started sitting up on his own about a month ago. He scoots some, but not a lot yet... I'm hoping that he starts crawling and walking late, since I realize how difficult it will be with two mobile children!

I wish I could keep them this age forever!

Just the two of us

I believe this is the only picture of just Rob and I since we've had Landon. The camera seems to be much more attracted to the kids!

"I love you"

"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy?"

"Yes, Big Girl?"

(pause) "I love you, Mommy."

She's started saying this to Rob and I lately and I thought it was absolutely precious until today when she kissed the window and said, "I love you, spider." (there was a spider on the screen outside)

Oh well, I'll take the non-prompted, "I love you," any day. :)

Two MORE girls!!!

Madisyn, myself, Ethan and Patty a month ago

Ethan and Madisyn last week

Doug and Patty had their second child, a little girl, Isabel Mya (not sure on the spelling) last week, 6 lbs. 1 oz. and 18 1/2 inches long. She was their second miracle child. Ethan, who will be three this October, was born at 28 weeks along, 2 lbs. 14 oz. and now he's as healthy as can be (as can been seen from the pictures). To make a long story short, Patty's doctor said that if she hadn't had a doctor's appointment scheduled for last week Wednesday then Isabel would have likely been stillborn. They noticed that Isabel's heart rate was irregular and she was sent right to OB and ended up with an emergency C-Section. Praise God for giving the doctors and nurses the wisdom during that time!

My coworker and his wife (who the diaper cake was made for) also had a girl last week Thursday. Jim got the call from Megan while at work, left around 12:15 and Katherine Leia was born at 5:58, 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 20 inches long. From the sounds of it, everything went fairly smoothly for them.

Two more girls!

My girlfriend and housemate from Hope, Kara and her husband Ross welcomed Rylee Grace on Saturday, August 18th. She was a couple of days overdue, but a petite 6 lbs and 8 oz. and 18 1/2 inches long. From the pictures, she looks absolutely precious (with lots of dark hair!).

Other friends, Brian and Liz welcomed Reese Elizabeth on Friday, August 10th. She was 7 lbs. 9.6 oz. (I didn't even know that some they measure ounces in to the tenth) and 19 inches long. She has a great story to go along with the delivery. She too has a lot of dark hair (as can be seen from the picture). Here's the happy family (the big brother is Braden who is 20 months old).

I almost forgot! Landon rolled from his back to his tummy a week ago! This means that there have not been any short nights in quite some time (I don't even remember the last!). He's been sleeping 10-11 hours/night!

Babies, babies, babies!

Nick and Bethany, friends from college, just had their first baby on Monday. Congrats, you two!!! His name is Porter (Bethany's maiden name) David and he was 6 lbs. 13 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long. We hear he has hair, but not red (sorry Bethany!), but have yet to hear if he's pooping on command and not crying as Bethany insisted would be the case :) We hope to see them soon and I'll post some pictures then.

As you can assume, it is the baby craze time in our lives, seems like everyone is pregnant (many with their second or third)! OR... twins ;) (as we found out this week) I can't wait to have permission to make that announcement!

We know of six more due in the next month! One of them is a coworkers' wife who we held a baby shower for this week. It will be their first and you could see them glow, it was really sweet! I was excited to make my first attempt at a diaper cake. Here's how it turned out. I was fairly pleased, but also have some ideas for next time, which I think will improve it a bit.

Here are a few of the latest pictures of Madisyn. Her latest is correcting me when I call her "Honey." She says, "No, Daddy's Honey." I guess she's right :)

(photograph by Tina Vink, link on picture as well as below)
We are a busy family of five! I enjoy time with my husband and kids, running, being outdoors, shopping for deals, and cuddling. My wonderful husband keeps busy playing with the kiddos, hunting, fishing, exercising and working on projects around the house. Madisyn is six, in 1st grade, loves being outdoors and isn't one bit afraid of bugs or worms! Landon is four, a spitting image of Daddy, and is the sweetest, naughtiest and funniest little boy, all in one! Tinley was born February 24, 2012 and has already blessed us beyond belief! Here's a glimpse into our crazy and wonderful lives... hope you enjoy!

Tiece of Cake

I've finally decided to make a blog (Tiece of cake) dedicated to cakes... as to not consume the family blog.

(photograph by Mindy Leigh Photography, link on picture as well as below)

Madisyn Grace

Madisyn Grace
"Baby" & "M" (photograph by Melissa @ M Design and Photography, link on picture as well as below)

Landon Adrian

Landon Adrian
"LD" & "Bubba" (photograph by Melissa @ M Design and Photography, link on picture as well as below)