Madison Elizabeth

Happy 12 months, Madison!

Madison's Monthly Highlights

Weight: Well, our little Cinco de Mayo baby has officially made it to the one-year mark! I am a little late in writing this because one-year-olds are constantly on the move, y'all. And it has been a overwhelming, incredible, amazing, exhausting and wonderful 12 months and counting! Maddie weighs over 21 pounds now - right at 21 pounds, 7 ounces at her last doctor's appointment. Although she isn't growing at quite the same rate as she had been a few months ago, she just looks more grownup. I still see some of her babyness when I look at her and then other times, I get a glimpse of the beautiful girl the Lord is growing and shaping her into.

Clothing: We do a lot of little dresses/boxy tops with leggings or bloomers underneath. She is starting to try helping to put her clothes on - so sweet. Unfortunately, bows are something she is more adamant about helping to pull off these days. But we're not giving up hope yet! One day, when she has more hair, the bow thing will stick! Madison still really likes to try putting on her little silver sandals, too.

Because it is sprummer weather here in Columbia (that would be not quite just spring, and not quite summer yet), I can't get too advantageous with layering like I want to. We have to make it lightweight and breathable around here!

Sleep: Still hovering between 10.5 and 11 hours a night with two naps during the day. Some teething has interrupted her sleep. She has not one, but two teeth now! Which is a big deal since up until this point, she had zero teeth. Now she smiles more with her mouth open and you can see those little pearly whites popping through.

Eating: Fruits, veggies, a little protein, grains and dairy are on constant rotation in our home. Maddie still loves munching on oatmeal for breakfast, diced pears and bits of cheese during the day, baked/smashed sweet potato and veggies for lunch or dinner. Goldfish crackers and these veggie puffs are her go-to snacks for at home and when we're on the go. We often have midday smoothie with spinach and yummy fruit and she is all about some watermelon slices! Also, she maaay have heard her first lick of ice cream not too long ago. And she had too much energy afterwards! Just from a little lick!

Personality: Madison is a little bundle of energy and joy. She is constantly laughing, smiling, babbling and giving hugs. It's funny that she didn't seem to like cuddling much when she was littler but she enjoys snuggling a lot now. She loves dogs as much as ever and still really likes to move - scootching, walking with her push walker, clapping her hands, shaking her head, bopping to music.

She may seem a little shy in larger groups or when we're in a store and someone stops to say hi, but she quickly warms up to others. Madison is really silly and loves it when Daddy and I try to "get her" by chasing her and trying to tickle her as she scootches away. Her wants/dislikes are becoming more vocalized as she figures out how to express something she sees, wants or doesn't want.

Madison is still a true adventurer but is still really content to sit and flip through the pages of her books for the afternoon. She is repeating a lot of the words I say and will give a big open mouth smile when she's really happy. One of the cutest things she does is peak around the corner from her play room into the living room, or in the kitchen, as if to say, "Peekabo!" Just the sweetest.

Firsts: She went to her very first baseball game with Daddy while I was shooting a wedding. Though they only stayed for part of it, Dean said she really liked cruising around the railing near where their seats were.

She had her first birthday celebration! We did a big Mexican fiesta theme - plenty of photos of her party to share soon! With that, she also had her first (healthy) homemade birthday cake.

She also went to her first Rhythm and Blooms night at the zoo. She loved bopping along to the live music and playing with our friends' kiddos that we shared picnic blankets with.

Madison also cruised through the kitchen and opened one of the cabinets while standing! I guess you could say it is time to babyproof :)

Likes: Balloons! As if the photos above weren't enough of a give away :) I surprised Madison with a big pile of pink balloons to play with on the morning of her birthday. That girl had so much fun grabbing them and watching them bounce in the air. Oh and candles! When I light a candle in the bathroom or on the table, Madison will drop whatever she is doing and scootch over so she can see the flame.

Her second main attraction right now is standing up with assistance and using her Fisher Price walker to walk through the house. She is pretty close to standing/walking by herself!

When she isn't zooming from room to room, she likes pulling things off of shelves, putting her books back on the shelf, rocking her car seat back and forth (as well as when she's in the car seat!), reading her books, play with her musical stuffed dog toy, dancing, making cute little sounds, lots of babbling, trying to climb our stairs (!!!!), hanging out on the front porch, tickle time/hugs with Daddy, taking baths, clapping to sign for more food, getting snacks out of her snack catcher and throwing them on the ground (we're working on this), talking to DaDa on the phone, cruising around from chair to table in the house and holding out my debit card to help pay whenever we check out!

Dislikes: If Dean or I leave the room for a minute, being told no, laying down for naptime, itchy skin and having her nose cleaned out.

What I want to remember: All of the sweet in between moments. Not just the big, showstopping ones but how it feels to snuggle Madison at naptime, how she giggles when we're playing and how blessed we are by God's precious gift in our lives.


You may also like: Madison's 11-Month Highlights | Follow our daily adventures with #sweetmaddiegirlgram

Happy 10 months, Madison!

Baby Easter cute bunny ears
Baby's first Easter ideas

Madison's Monthly Highlights

Weight: Since we've been off a month for her checkups (our doctor's office was so busy, the earliest they could see Madison for her 6-month appointment was when Madison was 7 months!), we went to Maddie's 9-month checkup this month. She weighed in at 19 pounds, 6 ounces.

Clothing: She got to wear her first little Easter dress! And bunny ears! Of course we absolutely keep the focus on the Lord's resurrection. He is the reason we celebrate! It is so sweet to have the same tradition I did growing up. My sister and I got a new dress to wear to church each year and we just adored the fun frocks we got to put on. Dressing up in your best clothes and twirling around just reminds me of how much God adores us, His children, and delights in us.

Sleep: About 11 hours each night with 2 naps a day. We have started rocking her not quite as long and putting her down in her crib drowsy but awake for naptime. It has been difficult to hear her crying and crying for those minutes (that feel like hours!) until she settles down and falls asleep but her naps have been so incredible since introducing this method!

I think crying it out is hardest for mamas and daddies because we think, "Oh no! My baby is hurt/in pain/needs me!" It's hard to allow the space and time for a baby to get it out of their lungs, while we're feeling helpless and like we're making the wrong decision. I'm so grateful Dean and I have been able to talk it out and continue allowing Madison to learn to fall asleep on her own as she grows. It makes for a much less tired mama and a very well-rested baby!

Baby's first Easter cute ideas
Baby's first Easter basket ideas
Easter book for baby
First Easter basket for baby
Baby pink bunny ears
Baby reading book cute photo
Baby first Easter ideas
Baby yellow Easter dress

Eating: Madison is still eager to try new foods. Most recently, it's whatever is on Daddy and Mama's plates! We generally give Maddie some Cheerios, cut up pears or a fruit and veggie teething wafer for breakfast followed by a squeeze pouch for a late morning snack. Lunch is usually some variation of shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt, more cut up pear bits or the latest thing - almond butter bites. (Basically I smother a whole wheat wrap with almond butter, fold it over in half and tear it into small pieces for Madison to devour). Her dinner usually consists of the items mentioned above she didn't already eat that day along with bits of what Dean and I have for dinner - maybe some whole wheat pasta, cooked veggies, baked sweet potato fries, bits of chicken.

I've also given her some smoothie (usually frozen banana, frozen spinach and a handful of strawberries/mangoes with some water or almond milk for the base) through her sippy cup with a straw. I already feel like an undercover food smuggler by trying to sneak greens and veggies in her food when I can! haha not that she won't it otherwise but some things do taste better in the guise of a smoothie, you know?

Baby first Easter photos
Baby Easter eggs basket ideas
Infant bunny ears
Easter ideas for babies
Pat the Bunny book for babies
Baby tumbler cup
Annie's organic bunny snacks

Personality: Madison has become quite the little explorer! Since she doesn't do much crawling, just scooching as we call it, she really hasn't been able to maneuver around the house on her own. Until now. I think she realized that she can scooch from place to place just fine, thank you. No need to wait for that crawling thing to all come together, let's just move around on our bums - across the nursery, out of the play room and under chairs.

So in the Fairweather house, baby proofing from the ground up has officially kicked off! We are finding ourselves saying no and putting those things on a higher shelf/off the ground more and more. It is just delightful to watch Madison move around and find new, exciting things in her world though - such a large pile of decorative yarn that quickly became tangled around her leg or peeking into cabinets in the kitchen.

Madison has also started dumping things (namely her books) and pulling out everything from bags or containers (like my purse or a box of tissues). I gave her the tissue box so that was my bad. I honestly didn't think she would pull so many out! Dean was like, "So you get to use all these, since you allowed her to pull them out." haha :) Maddie is also communicating more - shaking her head no, saying yeah along with dad, dog and mama as well as fussing/grunting and pointing to tell us she wants something. She is standing with assistance and has almost starting cruising from the outside of her crib. She has loved getting to take steps while we hold her hands.

Firsts: She got to see a horse up close at a family portrait session for our dear friends. She also attended her first birthday party for twin girls we know from church, and she tagged along for not just one, but three portrait sessions (one for my head shots, two that I photographed).

This month Madison also rolled over onto her tummy in her crib. She has been a pretty still sleeper up until the rolling started. She also had some eczema pop up on her chin and neck, which has been itchy and unenjoyable as you can imagine.

We bought foam letters and numbers for her bathtime so this was her first experience with more than one toy in the tub. She only had a rubber ducky up until now. I dumped a handful of the letters into her bath and Madison was definitely overwhelmed by them all. We know to only give her two at a time now.

She also celebrated Resurrection Sunday for the first time and we read the story of Jesus to her and explained what it meant. Madison also participated in a sweet backyard Easter egg hunt with all her cousins! My mother-in-law is SO smart. Each of the 7 cousins were assigned a specific color egg to hunt for and they all had the same number of eggs. Perfectly done so that no fighting - or hoarding - could take place.

Burlap Easter basket
First Easter basket ideas
Yellow baby Easter dress
Easter portrait ideas
Easter portrait idea
Cute Easter portrait ideas

Likes: Pointing at everything, looking at all the lights (lamps, window light, ceiling lights), all doggies, giving kisses to said doggies in the books we read (it is JUST as cute as it sounds!), standing up with assistance, taking steps while we hold her hands. She also loves being tossed back into a pile of pillows on the bed, trying to look at Mama and Daddy's phones, saying, "Da. Da!" everytime I get a call (because she thinks every call is to/from Dean). Maddie also is giving us more kisses, waving hello and bye-bye to people and things, snuggling, giving hugs, turning the pages of her books (she especially likes her Record-a-Story book from Grammy and Grandpa!). Bath time and when Daddy comes home are still two highlights of each day :)

Dislikes: Itchy skin and having a stuffed up nose.

What I want to remember: Madison motioning for me to read to her, watching her bop and clap to her tropical piano music, spending Easter weekend with the Fairweathers and the wonder and amazement of life through the eyes of our sweet child.

You may also like: Madison’s 9-Month Highlights | Follow our daily adventures with #sweetmaddiegirlgram

Top 10 Must-Haves for A Newborn

Newborn girl photography | Lorin Marie Photography

"I just love seeing what first-time mamas-to-be register for. It cracks me up at the amount of unnecessary items they put on there." A mom of 5, nursing her littlest baby boy, shared with me her thoughts on registry ridiculousness.

That was not going to be me, I told myself :) After talking with other experienced mamas, reading many product reviews & baby guides like Lucie's List, we put together our registry for Madison. I have to say, we may have fallen victim to "Look at this baby thing! We MUST need this for Madison!" for a few items but overall, Dean & I regularly use just about everything we registered for & received.

After our first 3 months with Madison (see her newborn session here), I wanted to share what items we used & valued most! As a new mom, I know that everyone has their own thoughts & opinions about what works best for their baby, for their family. These are a few of our favorite newborn items, intended to be a guide for anyone just starting their registry or wondering what to buy for their little one - beyond an infant car seat, stroller, onesies, diapers & wipes :)

Top 10 Must-Haves for A Newborn

Top 10 Newborn Essentials | Lorin Marie Photography

For sleep time:

Newborn Essentials | Lorin Marie Photography

1. Woombie - It's like THE ultimate swaddle of all swaddles in our household. The Woombie is like a baby sleeping bag, complete with a zipper up the front! Ain't NO baby busting out of this swaddle. SO handy for mamas (or dads!) like myself who couldn't quite master the art of swaddling with a regular ole blanket. Madison slept like a dream in her Woombie, til she outgrew it. (Currently, she is in swaddle transition in The Magic Sleepsuit. Yes, it looks & sounds hilarious. Yes, we laugh sometimes when we put her in it. And yes, it really works great!)

2. White noise machine - Oh, white noise. So underrated & unappreciated by the vast majority of the world, until a new baby enters the family. We usually keep our Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine on the white noise sound but there are also options for heartbeat, ocean waves & rain, too. We even brought it with us to the hospital when Madison was born - it was great! It's a wall plug-in (no batteries required), easy to transport & also has an MP3 jack if you want to play lullabies or other music from an iPod or your phone. (BONUS: Buy a handy travel version for road trips! We love our MyBaby by Homedics Sound Spa - & for $9.99, it's a great deal).

3. The 5 S's - I first heard about these 5 from Lauryn Galloway's blog before I was pregnant & tucked it away in my to-be-used-in-the-future file in my head. Dr. Karp is a pediatrician & professor of pediatrics who researched & developed an easy-to-remember way to help soothe your fussy baby: Swaddle, Stomach, Shush, Swing & Suck. We weren't sure how effective they would be until we tried it with Madison - so, so helpful! We always swaddle & generally add in some shushing & swinging with Maddie. It does take a few minutes to get her calm but boy oh boy, does it work! But each baby is different with what will help soothe him or her! If you want even more info about it, Dr. Karp does have a book (I read it while pregnant) but you can totally get by just knowing how to do each one. All you visual learns, check out this video to see the Baby Soother in action.


For feeding + diaper time:

Newborn essentials 2 | Lorin Marie Photography

4. Breastfeeding pillow - There are two pretty popular options to choose from - a Boppy or My Brest Friend, both ranging from $30-$40ish. My sister-in-law highly recommended the second pillow, which I snagged from Once Upon a Child for less than $10! Do y'all have those stores near you? So. many. inexpensive. baby. items! While Maddie was teeny, fresh-from-the-womb, I really liked the My Brest Friend because I could easily rest her on the flatter surface of the pillow, compared to a Boppy's rounder style where she seemed to fall through more often. Now that she's older, I think having a Boppy would be a great pillow to nurse with! Plus it doubles a tummy time aid. Score!

5. Portable changing pad - If you buy a diaper bag, it seems like most options come with a handy changing pad. If not, definitely register for one of these! My diaper bag did include a portable pad otherwise I had my eye on this JJ Cole Changing Clutch - stylish & practical! Perfect for diaper changes in the car, at church, out to dinner or wherever you two may travel. Yes, many public restrooms have changing pads but not all. Plus, you don't have to worry about laying out the liner to keep your baby from getting germs. You can just pull out your changing pad & put that over the public one. Easy peasy!


For awake + play time:

Newborn essentials 3 | Lorin Marie Photography

6. Bouncer/rocker of sorts - Ahh there are SO many options for what your baby can rock, bounce, vibrate & swing in! We settled on this great Safari Dreams bouncer by Fisher Price. It wasn't the cheapest option - WalMart has less fancy bouncers - but it has been one of the most used baby items we have! As much as I love to cuddle & snuggle with Maddie, there are times when I need to put her down & she seems most content in this seated position. It's not too upright so it's great for newborn use but it's also perfect to grow with your baby! There are sounds you can play, an overhead mobile with animals & a soothing vibrating option. In the beginning, the noises & vibrations seems to overstimulate her but now at 3 months, that girls LOVES kicking her legs & looking at the animals overhead!

7. Rattle toy - In the first few weeks of Madison's life, there wasn't too much play time since she was such a sleepy head & just adjusting to life in this big world. As she grew though, she absolutely loved looking at her rattle! It's a bright red dachshund puppy that has a clear rattle in his long tummy so as you move it up & down, the rattle shakes back & forth. I can't find the exact version online since hers was a gift from Grammy & Grandpa Fairweather but something with bright colors, sound & good contrast like this Bright Starts Rattle & Shake Barbell is similar & would be great for play time.


For hygiene + bath time:

Newborn essentials 4 | Lorin Marie Photography

8. Medicine kit - For the times when Madison was really colicky or seemed to be extra gassy, we immediately reached for our Little Remedies kit. Gripe water, gas drops, pain reliever & syringes are all included in this kit, plus a canvas carrying case to stash them all in one place. Although we use these meds fairly often, we're not big fans of the nasal aspirator that's included (it's kind of small & flimsy. A larger one they gave us at the hospital works better for us!) or that you need to refrigerate the Gripe Water. It's not listed on the label but thanks to the head's up from experienced mama friends, we knew to keep ours in the fridge. You'd be better off buying a kin that doesn't need to be kept cold, like Mommy's Bliss, when your first bottle runs out so you can easily travel with it.

9. Infant bath tub - As part of Madison's bedtime routine each night we give her a bath. Which in the beginning, when I was super-tired-mama-all-the-time, was a bit difficult towards the end of the day. Having the Summer Infant Deluxe Baby Bather I could set her in made all the difference in the world. It makes it easier to rest your baby & keep a hold of her while cleaning them so you aren't struggling to hold them up & trying to wet them & keep soap out of their eyes & hold their neck up. Goodness, why don't mamas get gifted with more arms when their little ones are born! It's also nice that you can adjust the back rest to go up or down as needed & it's pretty easy to rinse out if your newborn releases her bowels in the tub. Which may happen in our house a time or two :)

10. Bath kneeler - This goes hand-in-hand with #9! Like the cherry on top of a delicious ice cream sundae, the Skip*Hop Moby Bath Kneeler is a lifesaver on your knees! I have to say, we do have a fairly squishy, thick bathroom rug near the tub but even that isn't so comfortable to kneel on after a minute or two. This bath kneeler is comfy, easy to store (we hang ours on a towel rack behind the bathroom door) & cute as can be. That's a win in my book!


For a fantastic budgeting resource, check out Val Marie Paper's budgeting spreadsheet. It's incredibly helpful!

Mamas, I'd love to know - what have been your favorite, go-to newborn items?

Madison's Newborn Session | Columbia, South Carolina

Pastel newborn photography

A few days after our Cinco de Mayo baby was born, we scheduled to have Casey Edwards come by our home to photograph Madison in all her newborn wrinkliness.

Even though I had picked out several outfits before Maddie was born, there was no way to know if the outfits would be the right size for her til the day of. After a several morning wardrobe changes all around, we finally settled on two sweet outfits for Maddie. And one ginormous bow :)

Casey drove all the way from Greenville to capture these special moments & we're so delighted that she did! Here are just a few of our favorites of our new family of 3 (plus a cameo by Granmom!).

Baby girl newborn portrait session
Newborn portrait session
Newborn portrait session 2
South Carolina newborn photography
Baby girl newborn session
Baby girl newborn session 2
Cute newborn photos
South Carolina newborn photography 2
Pink newborn bow
South Carolina newborn photography 3
Newborn photography South Carolina
Newborn photography session
Mint green newborn outfit
Family newborn session
Newborn photos
Tiny newborn feet
Pretty newborn photos

Introducing Madison Elizabeth Fairweather | #MyFairweatherBaby | Newborn Photography

MyFairweatherBaby | Lorin Marie Photography

We're delighted to introduce you to

Madison Elizabeth Fairweather

Our precious baby girl Madison entered the world just shy of 42 weeks on May 5, 2015 at 2:27 AM. She is our little Cinco de Mayo baby! We're now calling the holiday Cinco de Madison, thanks to the suggestion of our sweet friend Amanda. And yes, there will **definitely** be some Mexican themed birthday parties in her future! Who doesn't love piñatas?! And baby sombreros! Which I began searching for the day we left the hospital. They **do** exist :) Party City for the win!

Madison Fairweather | Lorin Marie Photography

I went into labor in the early morning on Monday, May 4 & after about 18 hours of labor at home, Dean packed up the car & we drove the 15 minutes (which, at the time, seemed **much** longer) to the hospital. Madison was born about 3 hours later on Tuesday morning, healthy & pink & with adorable newborn wrinkly fingers & toes. (It didn't occur to me until we realized the date that we had delivered on a holiday. Truly a reason to fiesta!) She weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces & measured 21.5 inches long, & we love her to pieces.

As my mother-in-law later asked, "Can you imagine life without her??" No we can't. At all :)

Must-have baby photos in the hospital | Lorin Marie Photography
Must-have baby photos  | Lorin Marie Photography
Baby yawn | Lorin Marie Photography

We are beyond blessed that the Lord would entrust us with this sweet baby girl & bring this diapered bundle into our lives!!! After she was born, I kept adding "She's so cute!" to everything she did - like "Ohh, she did a tiny sneeze - she's so cute!" & "Look, she's asleep. She's so cute!"

And that is still my consensus. I know, I know, I'm her mama so I'm supposed to say things like that buuut truth is I can't help it.

I am SO thankful for my incredible husband who was supportive & encouraging the whole time! Dean pushed on my back over & over ... & over & over during my hours of back labor, made sure I stayed hydrated, kept me calm, prayed for us & read the Scripture verses we had printed (Val Marie's labor verses). He was such a wonderful coach & I cannot imagine having gone through labor & delivery without him beside me :)

Hospital newborn photos | Lorin Marie Photography
Baby swaddle | Lorin Marie Photography
Must-have hospital baby photo  | Lorin Marie Photography

And we are really grateful for the wonderful Bradley Birth classes we took for 12 weeks beforehand (if you're in the Columbia area, look up Ruth Glowacki. She is a fantastic teacher!). They focused on preparing us for what to expect throughout a natural labor & delivery as well as teaching Dean how to be my labor coach. We joked during my pregnancy that he would have to wear a referee jersey, carry a clipboard & blow his whistle at the hospital to make sure everything went OK. He ended up leaving the ref gear behind but I still think it would have been fun...

Newborn layette outfit | Lorin Marie Photography

One verse I had been mediating & reflecting on during my pregnancy that really brought me comfort was John 16:21, which says:

"A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born
she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world."

That is the best way I can describe the feelings I experienced after birth. Good-bye, painful contractions. Hello, beautiful little daughter!

Newborn baby girl | Lorin Marie Photography
Daddy kissing baby | Lorin Marie Photography
Newborn pink mittens | Lorin Marie Photography
Newborn hospital photos | Lorin Marie Photography