Friday, October 31, 2008

A Halloween Preview 2008

We had a little Halloween dress-up preview last night since the Rickster is headed out of town and will miss the big night. When I first told Maddy about a week ago that he would not be home on Halloween, she burst into tears! Awwww -- she is such a Daddy's girl! Usually, I take her trick-or-treating and he stays home and hands out treats until we get home. Then, she takes over and throws handfuls of candy into each trick or treater's bag. So, she put on her "Princess Witch" costume last night so that he could see it too! The hat (my favorite part of the costume) kept falling off her head, so she really had to pull it down! I'm guessing that she won't be wearing the hat much for trick or treating.

Look carefully, you can see her eyes under the hat! Yes, she did dress up a Web*kinz chipmunk -- what -- nobody else does that???? And she insisted I take a photo of Princess Chipmunk by herself and be sure and post it!! Can you tell who is the boss at our house?

Isn't she lovely? Sweet little Web*kinz!

Doesn't her witch hat make a cool shadow in the background?
Almost a little scary!!!

So, tonight she is trick or treating with her best friend, Mei. Will try to get some more photos, but no promises -- I'm supposed to be holding the flashlight and Princess Web*kinz. I'm sure there will be loads of giggles and lots of running from house to house. No doubt there will be some candy-eating going on! Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween and get lots of yummy candy too!

Flashback Friday - Halloween

2007 -- Leopard Princess!

2006 -- The year of Cinderella

Waving to her loyal subjects!

2005 --The year of the princess/ballerina!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Double, double . . .

Having a little first-grade girl is so much fun and SOOOOO different than boys! Do you remember when you were in grade school and chanted rhymes while jumping rope?? Some things don't change much.

One of the things Maddy and her friends do involve criss-cross hand-clapping and slapping rhymes. If you don't have a girl (I'm assuming boys don't do these -- mine never did anyway), you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. She and her little buddies rattle off the rhymes and clap hands so fast, it is almost unintelligible. But, the sweet girl that she is, she tried to teach them to me. Believe me, some are quite complicated! However, I have figured out the easiest and it goes something like this. You crisscross slap hands, forwards and backwards and do some other crazy hand motions to the rhyme of: "Double double dis dis, double double dat dat, double dis, double dat, double double dis dat." Repeat -- now faster; repeat--faster and faster until the Mom [moi] gets very confused and the little girl collapses in a heap on the floor giggling her head off at how incredibly silly and slow her Mom is doing the clapping/slapping rhyme. Yes, first graders are fun!

And just because it seems weird to have a post without a photo, here's another one of M doing a little dance on the bridge at East Campus!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This and That and Photos!

Last Sunday, Maddy took a little cooking class sponsored by our local school system's hearing impairment services. Since Maddy is the only child in her whole Catholic school with a hearing aid, we thought it might be a good idea to be involved in activities where she can see other kids with hearing aids [and I do think it made her feel good to see that other kids have hearing aids -- she's not the only one]. She was a bit hesitant and wanted me to stay. And, believe me, I thought of that and had offered to help, but they said they had enough helpers. When I went to pick her up a couple of hours later, she reported she had fun and wanted to go to the next one too! YAY!! Can I just say -- I am so proud of her! Not that long ago, she would have never wanted to go to something like that by herself when she didn't know anyone at all. But, she walked right in and then waved bye to me as I left! Plus, she made some wonderful treats -- pretzels, caramel corn, vanilla corn and a rocky road treat made in a cupcake liner. Yum!

Then, we went to part of our University campus known for having a good background for photos. There were so many people there with exactly the same idea. It was a perfect fall day!! We actually had to wait for a location on a little bridge. It was lots of fun! Maddy and I had a good time and I got some sweet photos -- at least I think they are sweet. Or I guess, sweet and scary -- as she tried to jump out and scare me!! :)

And in other household-type news, I removed the wallpaper border from the kitchen. I thought at first . . . this is so easy!! HA! But then I realized that I also had to remove the gluey residue as well. It wasn't really hard to get off, but time-consuming (and we have a small kitchen). It took me about 3 hours Saturday night. When I finally went to bed, I couldn't get to sleep because my arms and shoulders hurt so much from being extended over my head getting the wallpaper glue down for 3+ hours! Mark my words, I will never put wallpaper up again!! Haven't even started the painting yet, but that is next! Keep repeating to myself . . . it will all be worth it when it's finally finished.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Fall Evening at the Park

Whew -- after that last post, I needed to get some happier pictures up of my little princess! Suddenly, it seems like it is immediately dark outside after dinner! Are you also noticing how short the daylight hours are these days? We went to a beautiful park recently around 6:30 PM. I thought there would be plenty of light left for some photos. Boy, was I off --it got dark so fast!! But, we still were able to get a few photos of our sweet girl playing. I love her little sweater-knit poncho, don't you!

Who doesn't love a tire swing!! We need one of these in our yard!

Riding a bouncy elephant -- too bad I didn't get the elephant in the shot.

Even though it was getting dark, leaving the park was not a popular idea, but
. . . the promise of ice cream put the smile back on her face!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Flashing back this week to the first few months home with Maddy. Isn't she just about one of the cutest babies ever -- not biased at all, am I!! She's only about 16 -17 months old in this picture and had only been home about 2 months. There had been so many changes in her short little life. I think she still looks a bit scared and shell-shocked in this photo. What a brave baby girl she was --meeting a new family, coming to a new place, being sick on the way home (such long flights!), having to adjust to different food, smells, time changes -- oy! It would be enough to make me run for cover! When we met her, we discovered she had developed a distinctive coping mechanism of blocking things out when it was too noisy, too many people around, when people got too close to her, or everything was just too much for her to handle. There could be chaos going on all around her (like the red couch photos), but she could totally block it out and remain calm and detached from the noise and confusion. It about breaks my heart that she had to figure out how to cope at such a young age. I know that I can't do anything about her first 14 months of life, but I will make certain she knows she is loved and cherished every single day. She was an incredibly sweet baby and now is such a loving little girl. We have been so blessed!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Putting on the Glitz!!!

Wow -- we had such an exciting Saturday night -- and it was so out of the norm for us!! We are not really "party" people at all --homebodies is more like it! But, on Saturday we attended the Aksarben Royal Coronation Ball. It is quite the event -- kind of like prom for grown-ups! And, it was really fun (yeah, I was a little surprised by that too)! By way of a little background, this event has been going on for over 100 years. It is a way to promote and celebrate volunteerism, civic philanthropy and civic pride. Its most important job to to award scholarships to students with need in Nebraska and the Coronation Ball is a means to acquire more community support and funds for future scholarships.

Our son, Connor (above) was chosen to be an escort this year and so we attended with Philip and Catherine (photo below). It was really lots of fun! The food was terrific and we sat at a table with some fun and friendly people from Omaha and the surrounding area. Actually, I think Mr. Tennis made a new best friend! And the Rickster looks like he may want to be King next year with that crown over his head, doesn't he! Well, he is King in my book!! :)

Part of the fun was getting all dressed up. At least it was fun after I found a dress that I loved. And yep, you guessed it -- I dragged out the Spanx and felt quite glamorous. My dress actually felt magical -- hey, any dress that can make me feel tall and skinny IS magical! Little Maddy was too young to attend and stayed with my parents. We arrived back at their house around midnight to find sweet Maddy sitting up in bed waiting for us, with tears starting down her little cheeks -- oh, my sweet baby!

But M had a busy busy day today -- first attending a friend's b-day party at a pumpkin patch and then another one at an indoor playground. Add to that our neighborhood block party this evening! I think work may be restful after this weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Love Fall!

Even though I often think summer is my favorite season of all, I do love fall! We're really having some lovely fall weather with cool temps in the morning and warming up nicely during the day with brilliant blue skies -- just incredibly nice weather. And I love fall because the humidity is going down a bit and not affecting my hair so much -- I have way too many bad hair days in the summer! And I love that the grass is not growing much, so I don't have to mow so often. I like mowing as much as the next person, but I am getting a bit weary of it this year since Mr. Tennis was laid up and all the yard work landed squarely on my shoulders. Back to everything I love about fall --and I love pumpkins and sweaters and gourds and smore's and, of course, Halloween candy -- but you all knew that already, didn't you! I love Homecoming parades and football games. I love wearing knee-high socks again and throwing out the old ratty flip-flops. I love spending time going to the zoo or pumpkin patch with The Hubs and Maddy. I love that she is thinking about her Christmas and birthday lists already. And I love that I finally figured out how to do a collage -- yay me!! So even though I know that after fall comes nasty old winter, I am enjoying every second of the cooler weather and shorter days, aren't you?!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Go! Fight! Win!

Ahhhh-- my little cheerleader -- isn't she sweet! Her cheer/dance class has been so much fun for her. It's a fairly large class with about 12-13 girls ages 4-7. At first, I thought that would be too many girls in the class and she'd feel lost. Happy to report that did not happen -she is enjoying the class so much! There are two teachers and one is a former daycare teacher, so I think she knows how to keep order in the dance room. Bonus - I think it is helping her self-confidence a bit already. And for those of you non-cheerleader types like me -- here's one of the first of the cheerleader mottos she learned -- "Hands on the Hips, Smile on the Lips!" She just got her pom-poms the other day. They are so different than those used back in my high school days -- they are more metallic and stiffer than the other fringy-type ones. Very cool! I have a terrible sense of rhythm -- I really have a difficult time keeping the beat -- so cheerleading was way out of my realm of abilities. I'm so happy that Maddy is having the opportunity to try lots of different sports and activities.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Yes, it's true. I'm a big copycat! Kate at Livin LaVida Lia started up a Flashback Friday so that we can see glimpses of the adorable Lia when she was just a little bitty girl. So, I'm following her great idea. Maddy is nearly 7 now. Here are a couple glimpses of her in her younger days.

She was just about 2 in the photo above. If you're wondering, she's holding and wearing (or trying to wear) a black beret that Mr. Tennis used to wear in the winter sometimes -- stylin, eh!!

And she wasn't yet 3 when this photo was taken, but she already loved carting stuffed animals around. Some things never change -- she still carts stuffed animals everywhere! This photo was in the CCAI calendar the next year -- a calendar girl at only 3 years old!