Friday, December 30, 2011


I think I have OCDAST... in other words, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder About Some Things.  Like I'm not obsessive about all things, just some things.  For instance, I go crazy if my sheets aren't straight and pulled tight.  I fall apart if my desks at school aren't straight.  But other things don't bother me as much, like 12 jackets thrown over the back of my love seat.  I should probably be embarrassed to type that out loud.

If any of you know me very well, you know it's typical of me to chase Madeley around with a wet rag.  While constantly cleaning her hands and face, I'm also fixing her hair and whatever else needs fixing.  I don't know why, but this area is one of the "some things" I obsess over.  I hang around her high chair just waiting to help her eat or clean her up!  This morning, she actually told me to go, ha ha.  She did not want any help with her oatmeal!! 

I just wanted to help her eat the oatmeal... aka make sure she didn't get it everywhere.  
Then later, I had a ham, egg, and cheese biscuit that she literally stole from me.  Every bite stressed me out.  It was messy and greasy and not made for kids!

I think she's actually hugging it in that last pic.  Goodness, I wanted to crawl out of my skin!  This is obviously something I'm going to have to work on.  I realize that.  But it's just funny that not every mess bothers me.

When we were at Rebekah's house earlier this week, a friend watched as I chased and cleaned Madeley every step of the way.  At one point, I said to Madeley, "Push your hair out of your face, baby."  Of course she did (great at following directions).  The onlooking friend then said, "Wow... I bet your house is spotless.  Isn't it?  Because you're like OCD!"  Rebekah laughed out loud!!!!  (She's seen my house at its best.)  I simply replied, "Not quite.  I'm not OCD about all things... just some things."

When it comes to cleaning, I probably need to attempt to be OCD.  Ha ha.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


My friend Susan just posted this to her Facebook page:
"Almost cried with a lost toddler in the middle of Target.  I've never really seen such real fear in a little persons eyes as was in that little girl looking for her mommy.  FYI: the mom was found but had no idea the child was lost.  Umm you have to pay attention especially with toddlers!  Just sayin!"

Really???  Thank goodness for Susan and anyone else that was there to help.  Susan said the little girl described her mother perfectly... seems like she was paying more attention than the mom.  I get freaked out if I lose sight of Madeley at the family Christmas party, much less Target!!!  I was behind her every step of the way at The Wonder Place.  I may be an overprotective mother, but I would rather be that than a nonchalant one.  I feel bad for the mom, and I'm sure she was pretty upset with herself.  Sometimes parents need a wake-up call to remind us of what is most important.

Now... slight change of subject.  I used to intentionally get lost in our tiny Walmart when I was a child.  Then I would scurry to customer service and have them page my mother.  "Attention Carol Balwanz... Your daughter is lost and has come to the front desk.  Attention Carol Balwanz... Please come to the front desk."  When she would arrive, it would be all she could do not to whip me in front of the entire store.  But that didn't stop me from doing it again.  And I distinctly remember a few times when she had to page me as well.  She would get to the front of the store, ready to check out, and I would be no where to be found.  "Attention Morgan Balwanz.  Please meet your mother at the front of the store."  I am laughing, but that story sounds a lot like the one I started with.  I can assure you though, I was at least six years old and it was different back then.  Small town, small store.  But my mom still wanted to beat me, just the same.  And when I say beat, I just mean a regular old spanking!

Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Girls Day

Madeley and I had a wonderful girls day today!  We headed out early this morning for The Wonder Place. 
She's making her "mad face."

We met my friend, Tara, and her daughter, Lola.  We've had these plans for a long time and finally made it happen today.  The Wonder Place is a great, creative place for children to play.  Now, here's one of the hardest part of me being a blogging mom... Madeley does not want her picture taken.  She literally runs from the camera screaming, "No!!"  So I end up with 15 pictures of the back of her head and one blurry one of her face.  I'm not joking... you should see my camera role.  Anyhow, these are the best I could get.

It didn't take her long to find the books.  All she wants to do is read!!!

After playing, we headed to US Pizza!!  Lola is such a big girl!

Madeley made a big mess, stressing me out... but she ate well, so I was happy.

To end the day, we went to Barnes and Noble to read some books.  Since Madeley loves to read, I had this specific event planned out in my head.  I just knew we would sit and read book after book after book and have an enjoyable time.  Ha ha.  That did not happen.  Instead, Madeley ran from shelf to shelf, grabbing books, dropping books, taking books.  Agh.  Tara had to tell me everything would be okay.  Once Madeley calmed down from the excitement of all the books, we did have fun.  We read and played and looked around. Now this is funny...  I told her we could pick out a few books to buy.  So when she finally found the one she wanted, she wanted all four copies of the same book.  I literally had to pry two of the books from her hands.  Then I hid the third one and bought the fourth one.  Don't worry... I told a worker where I put it.  It was actually just on a high shelf that Madeley couldn't reach.  I am so happy with the books we picked out, and I know she is too!

She did not even fall asleep on the way home.  She just acted silly and talked the whole time.  We played until she about crashed at 7, still begging me to read her more books.

Good news... Derrick got me an iPad for Christmas!!  I blogged on it yesterday and today.  It takes some getting used to, but I already love it!!!  Thanks for a wonderful gift Derrick!!
So the iPad has an app called Photo Booth.  It takes all kinds of silly pictures.  Derrick and Madeley played on it today... she looks like a cartoon character.

On this next picture, he asked her where her head was.  She got very confused, ha ha!!

Thanks for reading!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

I've missed you.

Hi.  My name is Morgan.  It has been 50 days since my last blog.

Many of you have told me that you miss the blog, the stories, and the pictures of Madeley.  Well, I guess I have too.  Life just got very hard, and the easiest thing to cut out was the blog.  I felt relieved not to think about it each night.  But I must remember my reason for blogging in the first place... Madeley.  I have never kept a scrapbook (not that kind of person), so the blog is my scrapbook.  Funny stories, adorable pictures, hardships of all kinds... I want to share them.  So here we go...

In the past 50 days, you have missed a lot with us.


Derrick's 32nd Birthday


I'm pretty sure that Keep and Teach cropped Madeley into this next picture with Santa.  It's quite possible that she refused to sit in his lap, leaving them helpless in taking an adorable picture.  She repeatedly told me she did not want Santa to visit her on Christmas Eve... even if he was bringing toys.

Christmas went very well, but not without some hardships.  Many of you know that Derrick's mother passed away the day before his birthday.  She'd probably be telling not to blog about her if she could, but I must.  She was a wonderful woman that fought a good fight against cancer.  And we did at one point think she was cancer-free, but it didn't last long.  Once the doctor gave us a timeline, we started spending as much time as we could with her.  And she started eating as many chocolate covered covered pecans and soft peppermints as she could.  She also fed Madeley enough of those peppermints to make up for the years she'll miss.  We had Christmas early in anticipation of what would come.  When I told her thank you for the shoes she got me, she replied, " You're welcome.  You boys sure are hard to buy for!"  She definitely gave us some laughs.  

One thing that continues to stand out to me is this...
As she faced death, I know she must have been scared, not ready to leave.  When she went to the alter at church, she did not pray for healing.  Instead, she prayed that her heart would be ready to meet the Lord.  I know the Lord must have granted her request and welcomed her with open arms to heaven.  

My little miss priss...

Here she's eating her favorite, peanut butter!

Playing with the tea set Santa brought.  She insists on actually having tea... we use water.

On Christmas day, we had breakfast at Dad's.  When we were getting ready to leave, I could not find Madeley's sippy cup of milk.  We all looked and looked and looked.  One of my biggest fears is losing a milk cup and finding it a week later.  ICKY!!!!  Anyhow, we finally had to give up the search and head home.  Well today, I saw Madeley completely leaned over in the toy box at Dad's... her feet were sticking straight into the air.  A few minutes later, she comes out drinking yesterday's sippy cup.  I said, "NOOOOOO!"  I yelled so loud it startled her and Dad came out to see what happened.  I said, "Guess who found the sippy cup and guess who's drinking yesterday's milk!!!"
Dad said, "Oh well, it's cold enough in here to keep that milk good."  And if any of you know my dad, you know that's the truth.  It was probably 65 degrees in there!!!  So I told myself she would live.

Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend fun

I just love my weekends with Madeley! Here are a few pictures from this weekend...

Early morning coloring. Of course she's flashing that beautiful smile!

Ice cream sundae

Nighttime play date with friends

During their bath, Madeley grabbed Dalton's behind and said "booty booty booty!" Rebekah and I laughed and I thought... oh dear!

In this picture, she had just stolen Jessica's phone and had no intentions of giving it back.

We spent a lot of time outside Dad's house tonight. Madeley was wearing only socks, I don't even know why I didn't put shoes on her. By the time we got into the car, she had blown a hole in the toe of her sock. And let me tell you, that just sends her over the edge. It's all she thinks about or talks about for an hour after she realizes the hole is there. We had tons of fun though!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011


Sometimes I miss being in school. I absolutely love the feeling of success... receiving a 98 on a research paper, finishing an extremely hard math problem, or memorizing some crazy facts (that I probably don't remember now). I just LOVE doing well! In teaching school, my success is only seen in the successes of my students. I truly don't feel successful unless the kids are trying hard, passing tests, and are proud of themselves. I saw some of that today, and it was wonderful! Students that have previously made F's are making A's... it's like nothing I've ever seen. I guess this is the reason why we teach. Right teachers?

Back to the back to school discussion, I miss it. When I was in high school, I liked the subjects in which I performed well. I did not like to read though, so I didn't like history and I somewhat liked English. Now, I could talk about books all day and so much of history interests me! It makes me wish I could go back to these classes and pay attention. Maybe one day I can get my masters. I've always thought about it, but it's a big commitment. We'll see.


Derrick and I really enjoy The X Factor. There are lots of contestants we have enjoyed watching. I don't even think I could pick a favorite right now... except I did LOVE the Bobby Brown performance by Marcus Canty last night! Good stuff!


I love these pajamas Barbie got Madeley for her birthday...

They say "All I need is love and hot cocoa!" So cute!

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

Madeley had an amazing time tonight. If Halloween means suckers, I'm pretty sure it's her favorite day thus far. We shouldn't have had cupcakes at her birthday party, we should have had suckers. She ate one after another tonight. Derrick called her a chain sucker. Ha ha!

Anyhow, Madeley was dressed as a butterfly this year. She was the cutest butterfly I've ever seen!

We went to Trunk or Treat at the church and on the way, Madeley started looking for a sucker.

I think there may be a sucker in here...

I hope there is...

Can't stop me now!!

Here's her wonderful smile...

Toward the end of the night, she got very good at holding out that bucket and saying whatever was necessary to get more candy. It was just precious!! By 9:45, she was more than willing to go to bed.

Here's a short video from right before we went out:

YouTube Video

Happy Halloween!!

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fun time

I can already tell that 2 is going to be a great age with Madeley, and the "terrible" part just seldomly creeps in. She is lots of fun with lots of attitude! I saw her cross her arms after getting on to Joe tonight, she later pointed her finger at me and said NO, and she sings a song with more feeling than I've ever seen. She is such a mess! I think we may have spoiled her...

I have taken a few pictures over the weekend. She is starting to get tired of me trying to catch the best moments, so she's started running from the camera.

Big coat! This is her in the process of falling over. It may just be funny to me because I saw it happen.

We went swinging in the woods.

Sad face...

Coloring Halloween pictures...

So as you can see, she is just as fun as ever!


Thursday was the absolute best day I've had at my job all year. The majority of my students worked hard, learned a lot, and were very proud of themselves. I was more than proud of them! It was like seeing hard work pay off. Friday was a great day as well. I feel like now that I have seen what these kids can do, my expectations are higher than ever!! I'll let you know how this week goes!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Loves

I'm ready to share what I'm loving!

First, we have to praise the Lord because my mother-in-law got wonderful news today... She doesn't have to do anymore chemo or radiation because her cancer has shrunk to nothing. She will receive some maintenance treatments once a week to ensure healing and will also continue to get scans every three months. But all in all, she is on her way to being MUCH better. We are elated!

The classroom has become the most negative territory in my life. My students really need some inspiration. So, I'm loving these items from etsy...

I may just print the pictures and frame them!!!

I'm also loving this cartoon... it's a hit in the teacher's lounge! It's called No Animal Left Behind.

I'm loving fall. Madeley and I took some pictures at one of Dad's neighbor's house last night. She was just precious!

Scared of the skeleton...

Here she is coloring outside tonight...

I'm just loving my family. Derrick and Madeley make me so happy!

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