Saturday, August 30, 2008

and the award for most patient dog of the year goes to...

...Hanalei the Wonder Dog!
Exhibit A: "Giddyup! Giddyup!" the little one says

Exhibit B: "Oh, Doggy! Kiss. Kiss."

Exhibit C: "Uh-0h. Losing my balance."

Not to mention:
-multiple ear pulls, "love pats" and dog climbing excursions each day
-parroting the parents' words w/a stern tone, "Hanalei, COME!"
-extremely close observation of mealtime

*But no need to go calling the ASPCA, as there is unlimited daily snacking, love and affection provided by the small person

This Week's Theme: Climbing

in the planter boxes

on the dining room chairs (and table)

oh, yes, and to the top rung of the ladder
(with Daddy close by)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

a few nibbles

Maddie is going through some crazy developmental changes these days. But apparently developing strength, smarts, independence and dexterity requires some work in the wee hours of the night. For the past week, she's been waking up multiple times at night, crying out, "Mama!" or simply sighing, whimpering, and tossing about. 

I figured that by the time my baby was sleeping through the night, I'd learn to sleep through the little sounds and wake for the serious ones. Not so much. Maybe it's the second pregnancy and the fact I'm waking three times to use the bathroom and at least a dozen other to change positions, but I swear, I hear every peep coming from that room. It will probably come in handy if and when my kids are sneaky adolescents. I found myself smiling at the thought that when I was home visiting my parents, my own mom probably still stirred when she heard me wake to use the restroom. At this rate, I am assured that long after my kids are grown and gone, I'll be waking to phantom cries in the middle of the night.

Maddie loves to sing and will ask for her Maranatha kids CD most mornings, saying, "More holy" or "More hallelu!" Her aunt Jennie made the CD when she stayed for a few days while we were out of town, and it brings much joy to the our household. She loves to do the motions to, "He's got the whole world in his hands," and especially loves to sing, "little bitty baby." 

I found her singing to and playing with her stuffed animals yesterday, asking them babbling questions and then saying, "Okay, Froggy?" and "Okay, George?" It kills me it is so cute. I never expected my 19 month old baby to act like such a big girl so much of the time. She is into puzzles and books, telling me all day long, "Sit down. Puzzles." 

It is as if her brain is growing by the second, soaking up new information and digesting it then spitting it back out in new skills, words, jokes and incredible understanding. She is counting items, pointing out letters in her books and is a pro at finding princesses or Nemo. I never imagined we'd be buying into consumer packaging at such an early age, but I actually find it rather sweet.

Maddie likes to peek at my belly and say hello to the baby. She is obsessed with big pregnant bellies and has lifted up many a shirt searching for the baby, much to her mama's embarrassment. Luckily most of our pregnant friends have their own toddlers and are more than happy to display "silly" belly buttons and "big bellies" for Maddie. It is really fun to see her so interested and aware. The other day we were leaving our friends' home after a play date and I said, "say goodbye to the baby in Susan's belly," and she leaned over to give her belly a kiss! 

I'm writing in baby Nemo's journal less frequently than with my first pregnancy, but I find myself writing lots of prayers and hopes for this new little one. Ben and I feel like Maddie is such a uniquely special person, and it is my prayer that in getting to know our new little one, we will recognize and appreciate how different and special he/she is, too. I pray that I can be as intentional and hands-on a parent, find the time to take care of myself in addition to two babies and a husband, and learn to divide and expand myself and my heart further. 

The blessing of being a mama has taught me such great love, the limits of exhaustion, the need for mercy, boundless creativity and the joy of each new day, fresh with possibility. It is a journey I wouldn't trade for the world.

Friday, August 22, 2008

fun in in the sun

Who needs a wine press with legs like these?

All wet and lovin' it!

Taking matters into her own hands 
(shortly before soaking Mama and the camera!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nineteen Months

Sweet Madeleine,

You turned 19 months this past week, and what a month it has been! We've spent three of the past four weeks traveling up and down the West Coast. Camping in the Sierras, camping on the Central Coast, down to Santa Barbara and then to Anaheim, back home and then up to Oregon. Whew! You've proved to be the most adaptable and easygoing baby ever, as you handled each trip with your usual joy, curiosity and vivacity!

Something new in the last month or so is your ability to sit and work at an activity for an extended period of time. You've always been good at quiet play, but now you love to color in your books, play with stickers, and do puzzles. It's amazing to see you place puzzle pieces in their exact spots with dexterity and ease. In so many ways you are resembling a talented, capable little girl and not the baby you once were.

You are friendly with everyone from the waiter, to our neighbors on the plane, to "grandmas" you meet in waiting rooms. Nobody is a stranger to Maddie, just a friend waiting to be hugged or greeted with an enthusiastic "Hi!"

In addition to your charming and delightful personality, you've also developed quite a sense of humor. You love coming up with your very own sayings and shouting them triumphantly, looking for laughter and applause. At Grammy and Papa's house, you kept us all entertained while you jumped from the hearth shouting "Koo-La-La!" With each jump, your words became more and more exuberant and when Papa joined in the fun, repeating your silly phrase, it was as if you experienced a taste of heaven, to see that smug and satisfied grin spread across your face.

One of my favorite parts of vacation was seeing my family love and enjoy you to no end. Getting to spend extended, quality time with your Grammy and Papa, Uncles and Aunt, and cousins was soul-satisfying in a way I couldn't have expected. I get to experience the joy that you are each and every day, but to see those I love most dearly enjoying you was so touching and so sweet.

You are such a loving girl, and with a gentle prompt you would bestow kisses and hugs with wild enthusiasm. No family member departing the premises could leave feeling unloved, what with your showers of affection. 

On a final note, you've come up with a name for your new sibling. A few weeks back, I was looking at a picture of a 9-week embryo in one of my pregnancy books and I showed it to you, explaining, "that is what our baby looks like." You glanced at the picture for a moment before saying, "Hi, Nemo!" Always making us laugh, constantly keeping us on our toes, that's the toddler you are!



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

a few pictures

Maddie and her throng of grandparent admirers

Somebody's feeling happy because she got ice cream
(something grandparents are good at)

A few weeks of traveling is taking its toll

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


A highlight of our time off was a trip to Disneyland with Grammy and Papa, Aunt Michele and Uncle Ben, Uncle Joe, and cousins Grace, Lizzie, and Elijah. We all had a great (but exhausting!) time, big and small kids alike!

Grammy, Papa and the kiddos on our first morning at Disneyland!

Trapped on Pirate Island

Posing with our drivers' licenses at Autopia

Family Portrait

Flying high on Dumbo

Papa & Maddie on Dumbo

We spent many afternoons lounging at the pool. 
Miss Maddie loved the spitting turtle!

On the carousel: Grace


Maddie loved the "horsies!"

Posing with Ariel at our Princess Lunch

Watching the Electric Parade with Papa & Grammy

Dancing around the Plaza Gardens to the swing band

The trip was a total blast! Our first morning, we were lucky recipients of Dream Passes which allowed us to ride on the most popular attractions without a wait. We spent most of the day running from ride to ride, laughing and screaming and having a great time. Without her much-needed first trimester midday nap, Mama fell asleep before Maddie that first night!

Thursday morning we had early entrance and so Mama, Maddie and Dada ran off to Fantasyland, tackling 7 or 8 rides without any lines. After each attraction, Maddie would say "More, please!" and clap her hands with glee. Favorites included Dumbo, the Carousel, and Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Friday, our last day in the park, concluded with a late night watching the Electric Parade, fireworks, and dancing to a swing band in the park. Maddie stole the dance floor with her spins, twirls, head banging moves, and bounces. It was a night her Mama and Dada will not quickly forget: magical, wondrous and totally special.

camping in the Sierras

Long time, no post. We've been busy on vacation. Hooray! Enjoy these photos from our family camping trip to the Sierras:

the East Carson in the early morning

Ben's biggest trout to date: 23+ inches
(sorry to rub it in, Papa and Boppa!)

Maddie playing peekaboo with the tent

back to sleep in Dada's sleeping bag after a 5 o'clock wakeup

those mountain streams are cold!

drawing in the sand