Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

So sorry this post took so long to get out. We have been so busy. We're all in school now and Matthew is studying more than there are hours in the day. I've been trying to keep everything together with school for Maddie and I, keeping the house in some kind of order, making sure everyone has something to eat daily, and making sure we are clothed in clean clothes. It's ALOT to do all by myself. AND did I mention I'm hosting book club in two weeks and running a 5k on Saturday??? So here it is, the update you've all been anticipating......

Madeleine had her first REAL haircut at a salon out in town. She loved every minute of it. As many of you know, I'm not crazy about it, but I like Maddie to have her food groups and extras are just that. When we got her haircut they offer suckers to keep the kids busy. Do you know that my child of 21 months has never even experienced a sucker-EVER. Needless to say, she was in salon heaven.

We are feeling a lot more comfortable in our new home now. We hosted a party on Christmas Eve for our neighbors and new friends that turned into being the hit of the block. Madeleine enjoyed showing off her playroom and new storytime movie projector. As you can see, Maddie's favorite part of the season was sneaking into the cookies.

This year was so much fun! Madeleine loved opening her gifts and helping us to open ours. Santa brought Maddie a car and he just happened to save enough room on his sleigh to bring Granny. Granny stayed for a nice visit and spoil us a little.


Maddie's giving some love to her fave ornament

"MOMMY you kiss the doggie too!"

Madeleine is doing very well with her potty training and has been telling us " I poo-poo" to gain admittance into the bathroom. She is funny in that she says poo-poo for both number 1 and number 2. She also has learned that saying "I poo-poo" puts off going to bed atleast five or so minutes.

I know the saying goes "big girls don't cry", but such is not true. Madeleine went to school for the first time today. She was very big and went about meeting new the kids in her class and playing with toys, barely pausing as I kissed her goodbye. It was me, the big girl, that cried the night before and teared up as I closed the door to her classroom. The teachers said she did wonderfully and even pottied at school. It does sound quite ridiculous that I was so upset by the fact she stays at school for a mere 3 hours a day. I have included some pics of my little cupcake as she brushed her teeth before school.

I took some random pics of Maddie in the park behind our house and getting ready to go out for the day. You'll notice the chapstick application is a must. She absolutley insists on her lip gloss before exiting the house or car. I think she takes after me too much sometimes.

These were taken in the afternoon I was teaching Madeleine some of my domestic diva skills. We made Rice Krispies Treats. We had tons of fun making a mess with marshmellows and Krispies everywhere!

The new year promises to be full and terribly busy. I am excited about returning to school in just a week now that Madeleine seems to be getting settled into her new schedule. We send big hugs and kisses and wishes for a blessed year ahead.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We've Moved!!!

We actually made it to South Carolina. It was quite a drive to get here, but we did it (in 1 day)! Matthew, Madeleine, Jolie, and I are settling in nicely. We are living in North Charleston on the Weapons Station. It's nice to be back on a base to be able to shop at the commissary and have everything so close. There is a park in the back yard that Madeleine loves to play at everyday. We got pretty lucky and got a four bedroom one story house with a screened porch and fenced backyard. There is plenty of room for all of us now. Madeleine even has her own playroom with dress-up corner. Here are some pictures of the house:

Living Room Dining Room Maddie's Room Maddie's Playroom

Maddie's Playroom Maddie's Bath
Master Bedroom
I know there aren't really too many pictures on the walls, but we're trying to find new one's we like. You get the idea of the house though!
We celebrated Thanksgiving just the four of us. Even Jolie was invited to the table for dinner. It wasn't as great as being at Nanny's gathered around the family with all the fun that goes along with it, but we are lucky to have been together. Now that we are back on a base, I'm reminded that every holiday Matthew is home is a treasured one.

I did spend my second Black Friday as a mom outside Toys R Us at 4am to purchase Madeleine a remote controlled Jeep that she drug around the store the week prior. Of course, I didn't get one due to the fact that there was already about 150 people in line ahead of me. I truly found this to be such nonsense and I have vowed to never do such a ridiculous thing again.

In other news, we are into the full potty training mode and all is going well. I know that you may recall the toilet she received last year for Christmas, well now we are serious. I didn't realize that these days most people wait until the child is already 2 to potty train. I thought the training should be done by the age of 2. In looking at part time preschools for Madeleine to attend, I had to ask if there was even potties in the room because everyplace we visited talked about us bringing plenty of diapers for her. They gave me such looks when I asked and most told me that they don't really start to encourage that until they are 2 and don't really stress it until 2 1/2!!!

So it's true, as I said above, I'm breaking away from full time mommy to send Madeleine to school in the mornings. I have decided to return to college. We are all really excited and I can't wait to see how Madeleine will thrive with more friends her own age. I'll keep you all posted on how we both handle the change.

We are meeting our neighbors and already have a standing playdate after nap with the girls across the street. We are hosting a gathering on Christmas Eve for the few neighbors we have to get everyone together and visit. We are planning on having about 5 families and set up the porch for the kids to decorate cookies for Santa. It should be a nice way to spend the holiday.

We have an appointment to finally have our family pics done this week so I'll be mailing out Christmas cards with an updated family photo to everyone. I have finally finished all the shopping and wrapped every gift. It is a nice sense of accomplishment to be done so soon.

I'll update again after Madeleine has her meeting with Santa. I hope you all have a wonderful and most blessed holiday season! We are sending our love and prayers of a safe and joyous new year!

I did promise a picture of Maddie from Halloween, so here she is!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Another month BUZZES by....

Wow! The time has flown by. I can't believe that we are packing up to leave already. It hardly seems as though we've been here for three years. We are so excited and are ready to meet the challenge of settling into a new place. We've heard wonderful things about Charleston from everyone we meet. Going back to live on a base is a welcome thing for us, seeing as how we've braved Galveston for three years. It will be nice to have a yard Madeleine can safely play in, go for walks without worry of being accosted, and sleep peacefully since we won't fear our home or vehicles being burglarized.

Yes, it will be bittersweet. I know that Mom and Grandmother are crying just reading this, so take heart and know we will miss the family and hope you visit soon! There will be lots we can explore in our new hometown.

Madeleine seems to know that the move is upon us, too. She is quite crabby and acting out at times. It could also be a case of terrible twos. We have explained to her about the move and how we'll take all of our things and the dog, but we'll have to talk to Granny on the computer with the web camera instead of at our weekly lunches. We think Madeleine is very bright and is taking in the whole conversation until she points at her dolls and says "Dora, Dora". We then assure her that Dora will make the move too and all is right in her world again.

In other news, Matthew ran his first 10K for Breast Cancer Awareness. He did a wonderful job and we are really proud of him. Madeleine had so much fun clapping for all the runners as they came across the finish line. Of course, her favorite thing was listening to Mommy's IPod.

As fall comes to the island, we've enjoyed our time outside. We've had some wonderful afternoons in the park. Madeleine also visited her first pumpkin patch, where she was very sure they were all balls, not pumpkins. We took some random pics at the patch, because Madeleine was afraid of the scarecrows at the picture spot there.

We decided to celebrate Halloween with our little princess who stunned the neighborhood by beeeeing the cutest Bumble Bee the Woodlands has ever seen. She walked holding Mommy and Daddy's hands to a few select friends and so graciously blew kisses for each treat she attained.
It was as all the holidays have been since her birth, magical. She was just precious in her costume and the manner in which she carried herself was so mature. ---I'll have to post pics in her costume later. Mom has all the good ones on her camera.

I truly hope that this post finds all our friends and family in good health and spirits as the holidays approach. I will post again after the move and keep in touch as we prepare to spend our first holidays without our families and celebrate just Matthew, Madeleine, Jolie (the dog), and myself.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Adventures in Parenting

Becoming a parent is one thing, but becoming the parent of a toddler is a whole new thing... I have beamed with pride at all of Madeleine's accomplishments. She rolled over so well, crawled so cute, walked so steadily, chattered up a storm. Now she has learned some things that leave me not so much beaming but with clinched teeth as I watch her climb up the mountains of furniture and toys that I'm sure will lead to a busted lip. As she leaps from the furniture, barely missing the corner of the wooden tray on the ottoman or brushes passed the edge of the breakfast table that is just tall enough to put an eye out as she rounds the room for the hundredth time chasing our poor dog. Yes, there are still times that I beam at new frontiers she conquers, but mostly I'm just thankful to make another day without blood.

We have spent the month enjoying time together as a family. Madeleine has learned to put on makeup, or so she thinks. I always allowed Maddie to play with my makeup bag while I fixed up my face, that was until now....You can see from the pictures that Madeleine has figured out how to not pretend to, but actually open the eyeshadow and concealer. She took care to apply the makeup with the correct brushes and sponges atleast. She has become quite the diva. She takes care to always bring along a purse and ask for chapstick before getting out of the car. I don't know where she gets these ideas?!?!

Matthew and I have been wanting to take a family vacation with just the three of us. We decided that we should take Madeleine to San Antonio to visit Shamu. We met some friends there and took the kids to SeaWorld together. Madeleine absolutely LOVED SeaWorld. She was on her feet during all the shows, clapping, singing and dancing. She would even put her baby on her head and push her around like the trainers ride on the noses of the dolphins and whales. It was truly a delight to see her have so much fun! I must say that I had quite a wonderful time there too. I got to feed and pet some dolphins. The babies had fallen asleep in their strollers and Matthew got me several containers of fish to feed the dolphins. It was truly the highlight of my month!

While in San Antonio, we stayed at the Hyatt on the Riverwalk. The hotel was in a great location to explore the downtown area. I will hand out a warning to any of you who think a trip to the Riverwalk is in your future...The Riverwalk is not such a toddler/ baby friendly place. The walkways along the river are VERY narrow and with many stairs on bumby pathways it is not in the least "stroller friendly". Don't think just because you're in San Antonio on the famous Riverwalk that you will find any quality Mexican food. We were absolutely disappointed in the food we tried there and when we expressed our dissatisfaction the waiter told us that is was mainly for the tourist. Being from Texas though, we expected better. We did enjoy some great Bar-B-Que on the second night a the County Line on the Riverwalk. We also enjoyed a great meal in our hotel room for breakfast. The pictures will show how Maddie loved the cream cheese that came with Matthew's bagel more than the fruit plate we ordered for her.

We finished our trip to San Antonio with a visit to the Alamo. After having 12 years of Texas History I felt the need to actually see one of the most historical places in our history as a Texan. I will not lie and tell you that it was wonderfully inspiring or that it even had a sentimental touch. I don't know quite what I expected, but what I got was just a few buildings that had been stripped of anything from the period and turned into gift shops. Why is it so difficult for historical societies to leave things as they found them and only restore, not remodel places with significant history. It really puzzles me how in America we cannot sustain the history in the archecture of a building longer than 170 years. Appearantly some parts of the Alamo mission where torn down to make the city streets wider. This would be absolutely unheard of in Europe where they have protected structures and even ruins for hundreds of years. Well, that will conclude that tangent and I will step off my soapbox now.

We only have a month left until the big move and time seems to be flying by us. I will update again next month and let everyone know how Madeleine did with Halloween.

Love and Hugs!