Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring is in the Air!

Signs of spring are popping up all over and it just really makes everything better, doesn't it! I was so thrilled the other day on the way home from work to see some trees greening up already!! The warm sunny skies just make all the stresses of work, collecting stuff for tax prep and tidying up the ever messy house simply disappear. Even though there may be snow forecast for tomorrow (!!!), Maddy and I headed to our neighborhood school yard tonight so that she could practice some of her climbing. I swear that girl is part monkey!

No fear -- the girl has no fear!

Kind of a scary-looking apparatus, isn't it?! She loves to climb it.

Those front teeth are finally starting to come in! I almost hate to see her sweet toothless smile change!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Artist in Residence

Miss Maddy has always loved to draw. Give her a piece of paper and a pencil and she draws and draws and draws -- usually pictures of her stuffed animals or scenes from a movie. Simba (from the Lion King) is always a favorite subject. In the picture above, as you can see, the hyenas [see them laughing!] are trying to get the young Simba. That's Nala behind Simba saying "a-oh" with Zazu the bird flying above. Yes, Lion King is one of her favorite movies!

We finally bought one of these two-sided easels and she LOVES it! It is the perfect size for her and so much fun to see her working on her intricate drawings. Plus -- BONUS -- if she's using the chalkboard, a friend can be using the other side's dry-erase or paper board! It's two -- two boards in one!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring and fluffing and stuff!

Finally -- spring is officially here!! And get this, the hub allowed me to take down a Christmas wreath that was still hanging on a door to the backyard/garden! Oy -- I'm sure the neighbors were thinking of sneaking over and removing it!

We are definitely ready for warm weather, though I did hear a forecast that said there may be snow on Tuesday. :( So, guess we're not quite out of the winter woods just yet!

And Maddy is finally starting to feel better. She had sinusitis over a week ago and after a few days of antibiotics, she started to sound and feel even worse instead of better! Took her back to the doc and evidently she had caught another virus! Poor baby! She still has such a gunky nose and coughs quite a bit a night, but is feeling more like herself. So much so that she modeled a bit for me yesterday! Don't you love all the pieces of hair in her face!!

The Rickster and I raked up about a ton of leaves from the back by the garage and there are still a million left to go. I'm calling in help to get all those since I just don't have enough time to get all the yard work done. Heck, I barely get the housework done, yard work has to wait and wait and wait! But look, some little daffodils are thinking of blooming!!!

Inspired by a few decorating blogs that I visit, I did a little bit of spring fluffing in my foyer! It's not much, but it is my first try at putting something besides a pot of fake flowers there. Now, if I could just get moving on the rest of the house!

Look -- a flying bunny!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Larry Goes on a Roadtrip

Do y'all remember Larry -- the darling little bichon puppy that belongs to my son and his wife? Well, Larry had a roadtrip this week to visit. Philip has been on spring break this week, so he and Larry came to town. First, Philip and Connor went to lunch with Maddy at school (Larry could not come to lunch). While inside the school, they saw the Principal -- who said, "hey, no jeans at school and tuck those shirts in!" He was kidding (we think) [both boys attended the same school as Maddy and know the Principal]! Then later, Philip and Larry picked up Maddy at school, so she had plenty of time to spend with Lar! And oh my -- she loved that puppy! He's small and sweet and no trouble at all. He loves to play and follow her around the yard. He doesn't nip, he doesn't jump on you or bark. He doesn't make messes! She is smitten!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Work In Progress

I mentioned a while back that Maddy was getting some new bedroom furniture. It has arrived and is so lovely!! Her room is fairly small and we had to move everything out to get the new bed, a dresser with FIVE drawers and night table set up. You would not believe the stuff that resurfaced in the clearing out of her "little" room. Whoa!! Who knew that she could fit so much stuff in that tiny room!!

I'm no decorator, so it will take a while for the room to be totally finished, but here are a few photos before it gets too cluttered up with the many stuffed animals that she dearly loves and cannot bear to part with! We need some new curtains and some wall decorations, but I don't mind if it takes a while for us to decide.

This was my rocking chair from when I was a little girl -- isn't it sweet! What do you think -- should I paint it white? I remember learning to read and sitting in this chair reading to my dolls!

At first, Maddy said she couldn't sleep in her new bed because her room was too neat and none of the other bedrooms looked so neat and tidy!! I'm afraid that is the truth! Decluttering starts soon!

These favored few get to rest on the bed. Not to worry, they will be joined by many others soon, I'm sure!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Now, this is really carrying the "togetherness" thing too far I think! Miss Maddy and I are both feeling a tad bit under the weather this week. :( I must be feeling worse than she does as all I want to do is lie on the couch, watch TV and use about 5 million Kleenex. She still wants to PLAY, go somewhere, do something, even though her little nose is a big mess! I knew it would happen. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking that we had all been remarkably healthy and had not even caught a cold during this cold/flu season. I know enough to never verbalize such a thought, but now I know I must not even think such a thought. We thought we had simple colds for the first week or so, but when it dragged on and got progressively worse, I knew that more than Kleenex and over-the-counter meds were needed. We've both been to the doctor and have sinusitis or whatever they're calling it. So, more Kleenex, more liquids and more chocolate and we'll be good as new soon, very soon (I hope)!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So, so cute!

Interrupting my regularly scheduled blog posts (not that I have any scheduled - I'm not that organized!) to introduce a new member of the extended family . . . Larry!! Larry is a little 4-month old Bichon recently acquired by the newlyweds, Philip and Catherine! Larry's middle name (do dogs really have middle names?) is Fabio. You don't think Fabio is a strange name, do you? Fabio was one of the recent contestants in Top Chef and was named fan favorite (mine too). Philip and Catherine rejected my other suggestions for names for the puppy, so gave me naming rights for the middle name. Isn't he the cutest little guy! Reports are that he is very well behaved; for a puppy, that is. He sleeps in his kennel at night and only barks for an hour or so at bedtime when he is put to bed in his kennel in the kitchen. Am so glad that they are not letting him sleep with them as . . . ewwww, I have never liked the idea of pets sleeping in bed with a person! He may visit next week while Philip is on spring break. Miss Maddy has a new toy for him already -- guess what it is??? A Milkbone stuffed animal! Who knew they even made such things! Maddy says she'll keep Larry's toy at our house -- wouldn't want to let a stuffed animal get away, would we!

On the ride home, Larry rested comfortably in Catherine's arms.

Larry -- trying to be the boss in the kitchen!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Flips and jumps and balancing!!

Living in a Midwestern University city has its benefits -- great museums, great arts and musical performances -- and what is most important to many in this state - great sports! Although we don't often get to see all of the University sports teams (many are sold out way ahead of time!), today we went to see the final Women's Gymnastics meet against Iowa State. Bonus -- we all received bandannas too!

Senior Tricia Woo -- she was AMAZING!!

Gotta have some snacks!!

I've never seen a gymnastics meet at this level . . . except for on tv! And bonus -- it was "Pepsi* Pack the House" so admission and all Pepsi* products were only $1!! I love me a bargain! Maddy and I had so much fun. We took our neighbor, Sarah, who is a 2nd grader, and those two girls were a riot. Afterwards, they were trying out some balance beam moves along the carpet lines -- I think they need a LOT more practice. And yay -- Nebraska won the meet! Go Huskers! The NCAA championships will be in our fair town in April, so hope we will be attend and cheer on the Big Red!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A daughter is . . .

"A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future." -- Author Unknown

Six years ago today, we met our daughter in a warm room at the adoption registry center in Guangzhou, China. All of the little girls in our group were dressed alike in little sweatsuits, except for the twins. They wore a different outfit but matched each other, of course. We were the second or third parents called and presented with our daughter. She was sucking furiously on her finger, but otherwise was very quiet, just taking it all in.

I had been thinking about her for years and what she might be like. She would be petite and dainty with beautiful straight (unlike me) black hair. She would be bright and sweet and have an amazing sense of humor. She would have a killer smile… one that could charm anyone and everyone who met her. She would be the soul of kindness and generosity. She would be a true friend and would approach life with enthusiasm and optimism. She would be loving and affectionate – it would never bother her to kiss and hug her family in public! She is all of these things and so much more!

For the last six years, she has brought the greatest joy into my life and that of our family every single day. She has gone from a quiet bewildered 14-month-old baby to a sweet, confident first-grader. I can't wait to watch her unfold yet further and to see her become the beautiful young woman she is destined to be.