Monday, August 31, 2009

Go Take a Hike!

     Here's Madison, getting ready to go for a hike!  She's full of energy and all ready to go roughin' it!  You can see that book bag she wears - that's the very one we got for her in Hong Kong over a year ago.  She still enjoys wearing that backpack, and filling it with all the essentials (like her stickers, shiny rocks and the Little Einsteins, of course).

This was a great set all throughout the month of August - it had a working waterfall and a few other neat things.  Before we took the set down, we just had to take a few snapshots of Madison on the stage "out in the wild."

It was a great month for a "Wilderness" experience or two.  Though we never actually went camping or even hiking, we did head down to the Wilderness Lodge and we did have fun at the church all month with campfires, s'mores and ... bears!

How the time flies!  Look how she grows.  She's so active, running and climbing all over the place - and she always has that same smile.  Today was such a rainy day - a real drag.  But Madison's smile can brighten any day and make us all laugh.

Tomorrow, we start September, and a new season with Madison.  Fall is coming soon again, and we just can't wait to head to the festivals, fairs - and yes:  we really are heading to the mountains.  It's our tradition to go see the leaves, take a hike, and just get away from it all.  So soon enough, we'll really be roughin' it! 

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Golden Corral Steaks $9.99!!!

Madison has had her first experience with Golden Corral, and all is well with the world again.  We had our first official "Buford Board Room Meeting" today, where Madison and all of the rest of us made a path of destruction through the Golden Corral, eating probably a little more than we should have.

We've joked about going to the Golden Corral for ages, but hadn't been in years - so it was only fitting that now being with Madison, we go there.  And oh boy, did she love the concept of "all-you-can-eat."

She spent the whole afternoon with a huge smile on her face, because of good friends and lots of her favorite foods.

She tore into the corn on the cob, the broccoli, and some other food too - but then, quite suddenly, she saw the desserts.  It didn't matter that everyone was watching to see her reaction: she squealed with delight when she saw the ice cream - and after a few samples of that, she plowed through the rice krispy cakes! 

It was good company, and a great time by everyone to kick back, relax ... and stuff our faces!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Perfect Gift

Madison thinks it is fun to hop into boxes, so we thought we'd make a game of it.  Here she is, ready to be delivered... but where?

Oh!  Someone got a gift at his desk!  That's very nice.  But you know something...I don't think the gift belongs there at that desk.  I think it needs to be redelivered let's climb back in.  The fun is that she just jumps in, closes the lid and lets us carry her off!  I wonder where to next?

No, no, no!  That won't do!  What is the matter with you?  We've got to deliver this very valuable gift to someone in need of a smile.  You can't just drop this off in the middle of the KidPak stage!  Now let's get her back in the package and deliver her to someone who needs cheering up!  Go, go, go!

There you go!  Much better! 

She kept climbing in and wanting the lid on, so we kept putting her in different places, watching to see what her reaction would be when she popped out of the box.  Seriously, she must have popped out of that box in at least ten different spots.  She loved it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tiny Dancer

     Here she is, our little ballerina.  Yesterday's shopping fun got us a video of "Angelina Ballerina," based on a children's book that follows the adventures of a little ballerina mouse. 

     Madison insisted plugging it in immediately this morning, but nowadays just watching a movie is not enough.  You have to wear the appropriate outfit!  For example, when watching "Tinkerbell," you have to wear wings.  Well, when watching "Angelina Ballerina," of course you have to wear a tutu!

     Madison loves dancing, and learned to do a proper pirouette today, as shown beautifully in this photo above.  Mommy started dance lessons when she was three - and in her first recital a few years later, Mommy had the part of a mouse!  Look at this cute picture of Mommy at her first dance performance to the left.  Isn't she cute!
Dancing runs in the family.  Just don't expect Daddy to put on a pair of leotards!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eat at Joe's

Today was a busy day for Mommy and Daddy, who traveled with Madison to the big city to look for costumes and props and such for church. 

After a full and successful day it was time to eat, so we decided to visit Joe's Crab Shack for some crab, shrimp and fun.

Madison loved it.  She enjoyed the food, of course, but she also really enjoyed the atmosphere.  At one point, the house lights went down, flashing disco lights blinked, and "Cotton Eye Joe" started playing loudly.  Waiters and waitresses danced all over the restaurant and Madison absolutely had to join them.  Daddy took her out of her booster chair and put her on the floor, where she could have fun with those who were dancing.
The meal was good and so was the service.  In fact, the whole day was a great day for us.  We had fun together as a family - and Madison even got her first "Joe's Crab Shack" tie-dye t-shirt.

It was such a nice day.  Madison wasn't even crabby when she went to bed!  I know that was a bad joke.  I had to put it in or she would hit me with her pink ball!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Empresses' New Clothes

Today Mommy and Madison went to the mall to have some fun together.

Madison picked out several fall outfits today for herself.  Picture this:  Mommy and Madison at JC Penny's, having a great time while going through all these different outfits.  They do look very nice, of course.

Madison picks her own clothes quite frequently, and simply loves to go clothing shopping.  This is troublesome, because she's like ...only three?  Hello?

She can't even speak coherent sentences yet, but she's already at the mall picking her own clothing!  Do you think I should be worrying?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Madison's First Lightsaber Duel

One of Daddy's very good friends got Madison a lightsaber (complete with it's own crystal inside!), and today Nana took it upon herself to make Madison a padawan, so she can be trained as a proper jedi knight.  Training started right there in the driveway, where many a lightsaber battle has occurred between Madison's cousins.

But lo!  Before they knew it, the Dark Lord Ye Ye suddenly arrived!  Nana fled in a panic, but Madison bravely stood her ground, ready for an exciting lightsaber battle!

Ye Ye and Madison clashed lightsabers right there in the driveway in a thrilling fight that had the neighbors stopping!  It certainly looked like curtains for Madison, but from out of nowhere, she made a brilliant parry and followed with a strike that brought Ye Ye down with her purple lightsaber.  

Ye Ye fell to the ground dramatically, clutching his chest and wandering all over the front lawn before finally falling.  Fortunately, Madison dropped her lightsaber and ran over to his still form, kissing him on the lips.  

This kiss brought Ye Ye back to life, so she could fight him again of course.  She helped him up and put his lightsaber in his hand... and then promptly hit him again.  At which point he fell again.  So she had to kiss him again.  

This happened about fifteen times.  It was pretty fun to watch, actually.  Tonight, before going to bed, Madison pretended to swing around her lightsaber (we don't allow real lightsabers to be on inside the house - too much risk to furniture!).  She swung it around as we were about to put her in bed for the night.  Oh yes, the force is strong with this one.

It was a great day with Madison, actually.  Ye Ye came over earlier with a great present for her:  bubble wrap.  He happened upon a very large sheet of bubble wrap that we spread across the kitchen floor.  Ah, the simple things in life!  Take a look at this fun picture where Ye Ye and Madison had fun running across the bubble wrap, popping it.  You can see she kept dragging him across so he could have fun too.  It was great hearing her giggle.  Giggle, giggle, POP, giggle!

She's been feeling a bit better lately, as you can tell by the photos.  Her nose is still a bit runny, but her spirits are high.  Even now, she's drifting off to sleep with a smile on her lips, thoughts of jedi knights dancing in her head.

Monday, August 24, 2009

At Her Fingertips

     There are times it is best not to leave Madison to her own devices.  Earlier today, she was using her markers on some of the coloring sheets we printed out for her (as you can see below, she's in her "yellow" period).  
     Mommy had the table covered and one of my old t-shirts on Madison, and stepped away to take care of some laundry.  When she came back, the coloring sheets were done - but so were Madison's nails!  As you can see below, she had used the markers to paint each of her nails a lovely pink color!

Of course, all of her fingertips were painted too - but that's besides the point!

     Mommy and Daddy were pretty quick to say, "No, no, no!"  In fact, Mommy decided it was time for some serious punishment:  it was time for Madison to get tickled under her armpits!
Madison was clearly terrified.  Here she is to the left, holding up her arms as she says, "No, no, no!"

It was a nice day for all of us.  Madison was a little under the weather, but had a nice long nap in the afternoon.  She woke up all filled with energy, and enjoyed playing outside on her playset as Mommy did some work in the yard.  

It was a good day, but after giving Madison a good bath, it's time for bed for all of us.    

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cuban Sweet

They call her Cuban Sweet - 
she's the queen of the mamba beat!
When she plays the maracas they go:  
chick chicky-boom, chick chicky-boom, 
chick chicky-boom!

Periodically, it's good to have a jam session in the kitchen.  After a long day at work, Daddy puts on "Cuban Pete" or maybe even "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride," and everyone dances over and over again!  Today, Mommy gave Madison the maracas - and yes, she went chick chicky-boom, chick chicky-boom, chick chicky-boom!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Surf's Up!

Today we went over to Rachel Hitchcock's house to celebrate her birthday. Madison got to hang out with a few others who were roughly her age - and a few others of us who act her age!

It was a nice day, with nice weather for a pool party outside.  Madison is getting more comfortable in the water, especially with her floaters on.  In fact, you can see from the photo above where Daddy talked her into doing a little surfing!
Madison enjoys visiting Rachel and her sister Abbie.  Someday they'll know how they have so much more in common - how each was adopted from across the world.  But until then, it's simply fun to hang out, scream a lot, run around the house - and oh yes, put bugles on each of their fingers...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wake up!

Madison woke up before Mommy and Daddy today, calling out from her crib:  "Mamma!  Dadda!" 

Loud storms last night rumbled through, keeping the parents up for a bit, but not Madison.  She sleeps through just about anything.  That girl was zonked, but when she wakes up in the morning, she's rip-roarin' and ready to go!

Daddy walked in to pick her up out of her crib.  After reading to her a little bit, Madison decided to check out some of the new shoes Mommy has bought for her.  She found them after inspecting the clothing closet on her own.  And lo!  There were new shoes in there, just purchased yesterday.  Madison is a fashion expert by now, squealing with delight at clothing stores and very anxious to try on anything she can.  

Later on in the day, she pointed at her Tinkerbell DVD again.  Madison has been fascinated with Tinkerbell as of late, and even has a Tinkerbell costume (complete with wings) to wear as she watches the Tinkerbell movie.  

Right now, though, it's bedtime again.  She's such a bundle of energy - look at her in this photo taken moments ago, riding around the kitchen on her stick unicorn.

     If they could only bottle that energy...

Anyway, even the seemingly uneventful days are filled excitement with Madison around.  It's time for night-night, and Mommy and Daddy are ready to retire for the evening and get a good night's rest.  

Tomorrow, we're heading to a birthday party - and a pool!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Visit to the Dentist

Here Madison is, holding her brand new toothbrush.  We get one for each of us every time we go to the dentist.  Mommy and Daddy had their appointments today (all clear - whew!), but Madison's won't be until next year, probably.

In the meantime, she has fun with Sally, who is Dr. McDonald's receptionist in the front office.  As Mom and Dad take turns getting their teeth scrubbed, Madison stays in the waiting area with an arsenal of toys, movies and furniture to jump around on.

She does brush her teeth, of course.  She couldn't wait to use her new toothbrush - in fact, she took it out of the package as soon as we got to the car when Daddy wasn't paying attention.  One minute I was looking in the backseat, and there she was brushing her teeth!

To celebrate our lack of cavities, together we went to the California Pizza Kitchen for a Southwestern Pizza and some more noodles for Madison.

She enjoyed the coloring sheets more than the food, and waved goodbye to everyone on her way out the door.  

"BYE!" she'd say, waving to each patron and waitress.  She's a princess and she knows it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hop on Pop

Madison enjoys books.  We've got a nice rocking chair in the nursery where she drags us to when it's time to read.  Up nearby is the bookshelf, upon which are the books Mommy and Daddy have been collecting for years.

It seems so long ago that we started collecting children's books for her in advance.  At the time, we thought we'd be seeing her about six months after sending in the adoption paperwork.  But as most of you know, the process expanded and we found ourselves waiting for a few years.

All the while, we collected books.  Mommy and Daddy read to her when we can, obviously choosing the younger books for her like her current favorite "Hop on Pop."  She simply adores this book.  Her favorite part is "Hop on Pop," but she also likes other portions as well.  Seriously, she starts cracking up out loud when Daddy gets to the part about hopping on pop.  Maybe it's the way Daddy reads it - or perhaps it's that she realizes that other people hop on their pops too!

Madison's favorite books currently are Dr. Seuss ones, along with a Winnie the Pooh series that features different values.  She loves all her friends from the 100 Acre Wood, so it stands to reason the Pooh books are always requested.

Rolie Polie Olie has been a much-requested read as well, and some children's books on China and even adoption books line her bookshelf.  We've got lots of older books as well for her to grow into, just waiting to be cracked open.  

Mommy and Daddy are big fans of all sorts of books, and hope Madison will continue the habit of wanting to read.  In fact, we're looking into going to a storytime soon at the library.  We think she's ready - that'll be fun!  

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Here's a photo of Madison from several months ago, when she met Spider-Man.  I put this picture on to show how she's been growing by leaps and bounds ever since we first spied her (pun intended).  Clearly, songs like "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" do not phase her.
I'll stop now!

One of the benefits of Daddy's workplace is meeting fascinating characters like Spider-Man.  Each and every series we do at church brings a new theme for the kids, such as our fire department series from last month.  August's series is "Roughin' It," which is about camping in the great outdoors (expect a back woods shot some time soon!).  

It's a fun opportunity to have a neat backdrop to take a photo of Madison with.  We've got photos of her on an icy mountain, on a horse farm, and even hanging around a bunch of fruits like below:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Making Adjustments

Madison loves going to the chiropractor with Mommy and Daddy - she's been about three or four times since we've met.

Dr. Williams, pictured to the left, keeps her entertained the whole time while subtly inspecting and making adjustments.  At first, we were concerned how things would go - but Madison thinks it all is fun!

She knows the routine very well, even though she's only been a few times.  We forgot, and nobody else was making a move to do so, but she remembered to put the blanket on top of Mommy when she went to lie down.  

Not only that, Madison herself automatically lies face down on their bed when Dr. Williams comes in.  She likes putting her head in the little slot in the bed, where you can hear muffled giggles!

Madison would be a good nurse, remembering all those little details and having fun with the equipment.  She especially likes the back massager because it vibrates and tickles when she touches it, eliciting more giggles over and over again.  

Madison is a joy anywhere she goes, but the chiropractic office is one place she lights up - and brings smiles to everyone else too!

Here she is, checking the alignment of Daddy's feet.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Tonight, Madison came with us to a simple birthday party, only to be swept away in a dastardly mystery!  Unbeknownst to her, arriving at that same party was a criminal mastermind.  Everyone there was a suspect!

As the evening progressed, clues unraveled and those in attendance began to make accusations of one another:  Whodunnit?

Clearly, Madison was not concerned.  As we celebrated grandma's birthday - and Uncle Dave's birthday too - Madison spent the evening with her cousin upstairs.  It was a long, but fun murder mystery party that everyone was really getting into.  Occasionally, Madison would grace us with her presence with the latest in fashionable accessories:  like these olives below!

Grandma did it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Back to Normal

Daddy had to work most of the day today, catching up on a lot of things.  But Madison had a good day with Mommy, going grocery shopping and helping out around the house.  She really is a good girl, trying her best to be helpful wherever she can.  Of course, sometimes she's a little too helpful...but it's the thought that counts.  She is such a considerate child.  

Daddy got to spend some time with her later on this evening in the playroom, where she's been using Daddy lately as a wall to climb up.  She'll grab Daddy's hands and use her feet to walk up Daddy's legs, stomach and then chest... until she's at the very top on his shoulders.   Madison just loves climbing all over Mommy and Daddy.  Gymnastics is seriously not that far away!

We all looked through our trip pictures ("Mommy!"  "Daddy!"  "You!"), and there were quite a few good ones.  What a nice trip that was.  Tomorrow, we'll all head to church.  In fact, it's pretty late right now, so I'd better turn in myself so I'll be fresh for the morning.


Friday, August 14th, 2009

Today we had to say goodbye to the Wilderness Lodge and Disney.  It was really a very nice vacation.

Madison said a proper goodbye to Fire Rock Geyser.  We made our way to the geyser in time to watch it go off.  Madison was delighted, waving "hi" and even calling out to it.

That is, until the wind started to blow the falling water a little towards us and spraying us a bit.  
Then the hiding behind daddy and the laughing came.

What made this vacation so unique was that we did Disney without the parks.   Neither of us could have imagined enjoying the parks in this heat - the weather was unbearably hot.  Spending all that to get in when it is so crowded, and then so hot, and then with a three-year old... these thoughts kept us from even going to a park.  We know we'll be back soon enough when it is less crowded and cooler, so we could afford to take it easy on this trip.

We had full days (just read about it below!), but it was all nearby and at a nice, relaxing pace.  The great thing is that Mommy and Daddy could tell Madison had a really good time!  It was funny watching her this morning.  She was staggering slowly down the hotel's hallway, whereas before she was jumping and leaping down the halls.  She was getting worn out too!  Yep, it was time for us to go home.

The trip back was uneventful.  Today was my mother's birthday, so we made it to Gainesville, Georgia in time to wish her a happy birthday (the party is on Sunday).  We got her something from the Polynesian.  We got her something to go on her car antenna.  Yes, it's a Stitch!

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Giddyup!  We hopped on a boat this morning and headed to Fort Wilderness, where first of all, we had a nice breakfast at Crockett's Tavern.  Daddy got to eat grits, and everyone got to eat those Mickey-shaped waffles where the syrup falls in just the right places and... I'm getting carried away, aren't I?

Anyway, next we visited the stables, where Madison got to ride another pony.  She gets so intense when riding - she's so into it!  Just because she's not smiling 100% of the time doesn't mean she isn't enjoying it.  This girl seems to belong on a horse, from two years old.  
By the way, Daddy does not want to get her one.  A stick horse will do just fine for now.

After a bit of a rest, we went back again to the Polynesian for a swim at their pool, which was just fine by Madison.  Here she is to the right, doing the hula for us.  She just starts to even hear the first notes of "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" and her hands start going out to the hula.  

After a a long afternoon at the pool, we ate Captain Cook's there.  Daddy got Madison a smashed penny with Stitch on it, and we hopped on the monorail once more to say goodbye to the Polynesian.

But we weren't done for the day yet.  The sky opened up for a bit - and rain poured out pretty heavy.  So, while we were back in our room, we took that opportunity to rest for a bit.  Daddy finished a book, while Madison and Mommy napped for a while.  When it looked to be clearing up, together we decided to head over to the Disney Village.  

Boy, was that place crowded!  We did very little shopping 
because of the crowds, but Madison was just loving all the sights and sounds.  We'll have to come back again when it is a little slower (not in the summer).  The one big thing we did at the Village was go eat at the Rainforest Cafe.

Oops!  The periodic storms that take place inside the restaurant didn't sit well with her!  Each time, she'd start crying and Mommy would hold her until they passed.  They fortunately only lasted about ten seconds, and during the meal only happened three times.  AND, Madison got more and more used to them.  She actually started pointing at the gorillas and telling them to Shhhh!  Those crazy monkeys kept on making noise, just like the elephants and the leopards.  

Madison had a good time inside, but didn't like the storm that much.  What she did like was the Python Pasta.  She cleared that plate and even ate some of Daddy's food.  Talk about an appetite!

It was very late when we left to get back to the hotel, but Madison had a good nap today.  Also, we knew we could sleep in the next morning.  So we trudged back to the hotel room for one last evening in Disney.

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Aloha!  Madison enjoyed very much her visit to the Polynesian Resort.  This morning, we had a breakfast at Ohana with Lilo & Stitch.  It was a huge breakfast, Hawaiian style - and with a few visitors as well.  Madison gave Lilo a big hug, and got an even bigger one from Stitch.  Pluto was there also, and Mickey Mouse stopped by to say hello too.  We bought Madison an autograph book, and she caught on very quickly.  She presented the book to each character, who happily signed for her.  Later, she went through the four pages looking at her signature collection.

This is where it all starts - soon, we'll be searching for obscure Disney characters in far off places to sign this book for a complete collection!  She's now a part of the paparazzi!

It was a lovely day at the Polynesian.  We enjoyed the pool - it has one of those great gradual entrances like at a real beach.  Daddy even got to go down the rock slide, which he's always wanted to do since he was like ten.  Madison especially enjoyed the water feature there, where small jets of water shoot out of the ground randomly.  She just laughed and laughed.  So did we!

The new Bay Tower just opened up near the Contemporary.  It wasn't our cup of tea, but we snuck in to take a look because it was brand new.  Madison enjoyed riding around on the boats across the lake, and also the monorails of course.  She's jumping and hopping all over the place, dragging Mommy and Daddy everywhere.  You really have to keep up with her!

Speaking of which, after a good afternoon's nap and rest, we went to do a craft at the Cub's Den there at the Wilderness Lodge.  Madison made a necklace and had fun in their playroom for a short while, and immediately after that, we went back to the Wilderness pool again to relax.  Madison swam for the first time without anyone touching her - she was using floaties on her arms, but she was also paddling and kicking.  Big moment!  "How Does She Know" was playing on the big stereo system as Madison laughed and slowly paddled back and forth between Mommy and Daddy in the pool.  I don't need a photo to remember that moment...

When it was time for us to get out of the pool, they were playing bingo again in the shade.  We joined the fun again, and this time Zena was one of the three winners!  She took Madison up to the DJ and together they picked a prize for Madison:  a fun playdough kit that we'll have to open up at home.  Madison clutched that prize tightly as we headed back to the room again.  I offered to carry it for her, as it was a little big - but she wasn't going to let go!

Later on that night, I took Madison down to the beach to watch the Electrical Water Pageant.  The shore was empty, as a rainstorm had just cleared everyone off.  But we sat there in the dark quiet and waited for the music to start.  Madison was surprised when it did, and smiled big when the music from "Pete's Dragon" started playing out on the water.  We joined Mommy in the hotel room after that and watched the fireworks over the castle from our balcony.  

A little over a year ago, in Hong Kong Disney, we watched the fireworks there from our room.  How time flies!

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Today we left the grandparents to head to Disney, and had quite a bit of fun at the pool.  This is an unusual trip for us - Disney without the parks.  We have breakfast planned for tomorrow at the Polynesian Resort - it's at Ohana's with Lilo & Stitch. 

Today was primarily a pool day.  After checking in, we went to our room.  It said it had a "woods view," which was accurate.  But we can also see the lake, the monorail, and even - through the trees - Cinderella's castle at the Magic Kingdom.

After settling in for a bit, we went down to the pool and had some fun together as a family.  We even played bingo for a bit, but didn't win this time around - but it was still fun.

The temperature is still amazingly hot outside, but swimming in the pool made it alright.  Madison's swim lessons seemed to be paying off, as she's been using her feet to kick in the water and even using her arms to doggy paddle.  It's a sign language thing too - she sees the pool and starts to make that gesture with her hands.

Later on, we walked around the Wilderness Villas and saw the train collection there.  Of course, we explored the Wilderness Lodge itself, which is quite beautiful.  It is our favorite place to stay for a variety of reasons, one of which being you can just hop on a boat and go anywhere.  Yet, you seem to be displaced enough and "away from it all."

Zena packed peanut butter and jelly, so we had sandwiches and even noodles for lunch.  Dinner was bigger:  we ate downstairs, and even got a rice crispy snack in the shape of Mickey's head! 

Monday, August 10, 2009

After a day of travel, we arrived at Grandma and Grandpa's house all full of energy.  Okay, so only one of us was filled with energy and that was Madison, who never slept a wink the whole trip down.
She watched "The Aristocats," "Cinderella" and of course "Lilo & Stitch" on the way down, and spent the day fooling around with Grandma in the backseat.  

Grandpa had dinner prepared when we arrived, and we spent a quiet evening at the house.  We arrived safely, but boy was it hot down in Florida.  Temperatures felt like they were around 100 degrees!

Still, as you can tell by the picture to the left, you can never go around underdressed for any occasion.  Madison found Grandma's closet and immediately put those high heels on herself, adding the flowers, hat and a small purse later because it looked just right.  We think so too!

We did a bit of grocery shopping nearby, hoping to pack enough to save a little money when we go to Disney.  There is an "ethnic" section in that Publix, and that is one of the few places in America where Zena can find her prized candy bar.  It's a Crunchie bar, the holy grail of candy bars, one from England that you can't find too often.
Zena quickly snatched up about four.  They'll be gone before Friday!

Monday, August 10, 2009

We're going to Disney World!

Off we go!  Mommy got everything packed and as you see in the photo above, Madison may have a slight hint of where we're going...

This morning we told her we were all going on a trip in the car.  She looked concerned a moment, and then asked, "Mamma?"

"Yes, Mamma's coming too."

She looked at Daddy and asked, "Dadda?"

"Yes, Dadda's coming too."

She looked at Grandma and asked, "Nana?"  

"Yes, Nana's coming too."

Then she pointed to herself and asked, "You?"

"Yes, Madison is coming too!"

You see, every time we look at a family picture, we say, "That's Mommy.  That's Daddy.  And that's you, Madison."  

So, right now for the time being, her first name is "You!"

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cleaning up

Madison is always pretty helpful around the house.  While watching Grandma sweep up around the kitchen, she couldn't help but go and find the dustpan to start cleaning up herself.

Today is the last day Grandma will be with us for a while - tomorrow, we've decided to drive her back home to Florida. 

It started out as, "Let's drive her back."

Then it turned into, "Maybe we can go do a little something while we're down there."

And's "Let's go to Disney World."

Yes, that's right, we're headed to Disney.  There was a pretty decent deal at one of our favorite Disney hotels, the Wilderness Lodge, so we made reservations there.  Basically, with Madison we've got plans to spend a lot of time in the pools, and a breakfast with Lilo & Stitch.  She loves those two lately, so it's perfect timing!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Time for Bed

It's bedtime, and Madison knows the routine.  She tromps down the hall to find the bibs.  They're in the kitchen drawer that's just barely in her reach above her.  She says, "ni-ni," and gets not only kisses from everyone, but she also rubs noses too.  You have to rub noses.  That came from Mommy.

We'll heat up the milk for her and put it in her sippy cup - she changed from bottles about a month ago. 

She'll trot back to the bedroom, press play on the CD player, and then climb up into Mommy's lap in the rocking chair.  Sometimes it is Daddy's lap.  There are occasions where she'll insist on one or the other for the evening.  And yes, she'll want to pull along a friend too.  Tonight, it is the Bee - which she has a strange attraction to.  You'd think it would be the lifelike Asian baby or the cute teddy bear.  But no - it's a large Bee puppet she spotted at church one day.

When she's done with her milk, it's time for another round of "ni-ni."  She climbs down off of Mommy's lap and trots back down the hall to find anyone to say goodnight to.  That's usually Daddy's cue to pick her up and place her in the crib.

We sing, we tickle and we cuddle - and then we say goodnight.  She hardly ever calls out to us, instead content to cover herself - and her friends - in her pink blanket where she drifts off to sleep to the music of the lullabies.  

At times, she'll talk herself to sleep - or spend time playing in bed.  But lately, she's worn herself out during the day and been asleep mere minutes after being placed in bed.

Creeping down the hall, we check on her later.  Sure enough, she's snoozing.  Mommy and Daddy make sure she's covered up, as the quiet lullabies continue to play in the peaceful room.

Ni ni!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dinner with Nana

Madison loves her Nana.  Here's a photo of them together at dinner, enjoying a giggle.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Stop!  Go!  Stop!  Go!  I wonder how many other parents have fallen prey to the "stop, go" game?    It was a little over a year ago and I was reading to her a book of opposites.  Later on, I was trying to demonstrate one set of those opposites.  I said "stop" while pushing her in the shopping cart - and then I'd stop.  Then I said, "go," and of course I went.  She caught on pretty quick!

These were some of her first words.  "Stop!  Go!"  

We all have to stop when she tells us - and then we go when she tells us "go!"  This is everyone, including her grandparents.  

Of course, when climbing on daddy's back, this sort of command works pretty well too.  Today, she insisted that I give her a ride, but also made sure we were both properly dressed with fairy wings as well.

Later today, we had a nice walk with the grandparents (Daddy's parents) down to the lake. Madison likes to ride in the stroller down to the park, picking up sticks and pine cones.  And of course occasionally yelling out, "Stop!  Go!"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I got one!

Madison has been learning to use her chopsticks - and lately has insisted she have those over any other utensils.  This can be especially challenging for any of us when we're eating something like noodles.  Yet, she pressed on with much enthusiasm until she cleared the whole bowl.  She loves those noodles!  

You can see in this photograph that these are special training chopsticks, with places to put your fingers for guidance.  They were a gift from a very kind waitress at a nearby Chinese restaurant (shameless plug here:  Oriental Garden II).

It's funny how she naturally gravitates towards the chopsticks.  Perhaps it is a genetic thing, or perhaps it is just a fascination with pinching things (like Daddy's nose)!