Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is always so much to be thankful for but this year (and every other year) the thing we're most thankful for is family. I could probably go on and on using elegant prose and sweet sentiment but to put it simply: there is nothing more wonderful than our amazing little girls.

"I love Thanksgiving! Food, food, food - and I'm finally not the only Butterball in attendance!"
Having Grandma and Papa here for Thanksgiving was the best!

Isabelle striking a pose. Please note the rock star guitar pinned to her dress. After its purchase a few days ago Isabelle is rarely seen without it - most likely so she can always channel Miley Cyrus.
"Is it done yet?"
Madeleine: "I smell turkey!"
Time to dig in.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Smell Roses

Even though we're living in Husky central we're still rooting for our hometown Ducks. I had to wait until after the double OT nail biter against Arizona tonight to post this but we are stoked there's only one game standing between us and the Rose Bowl. Just don't blow it against the Beavers guys!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Tale of Woe

It was a blustery Friday morning. I had just dropped Madeleine off at daycare and Isabelle and I were chatting peacefully as I drove her to preschool.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a kamikaze squirrel jumped out of a nearby bush and ran as fast as his legs could carry him toward the rear wheel of my monstrous van.

I tried to swerve to avoid hitting the pint-sized rodent but my efforts were in vain as I heard the inevitable bump-bump sound of wheels on fur. Things only got worse when I realized to my horror that a group of former students were watching the scene while waiting happily at the bus stop. At the time my only hope was that they hadn't seen I was the squirrel-murdering offender so I sped off, choosing instead to be a cowardly hit-and-run squirrel killer.

Looking back at how events unfolded I can only imagine that if the children did know it was me they may have thought my swerve of avoidance was actually a calculated move to rid the earth of all things fluffy and cute. And now I am no longer Mrs. Brock, beloved kindergarten teacher - I am that mean lady who kills harmless animals. Oh, if they only knew how many times I have successfully maneuvered out of the way of dim-witted animals of all sizes - my most heroic of all being the moves I used to save the life of a miniature tree frog.

To make myself feel better I will now hold up Eleanor Roosevelt as evidence that great people really do make horrible mistakes:

Here she is sporting her favorite fur coat - made from squirrels.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Madeleine!

Today Madeleine turned one year old! I can't believe how fast the time has gone by! We had a low-key birthday at home with just the four of us. Here's a look at our day!

Mommy and Madeleine on her special day.
Serious sisters.
Silly sisters.


Time to party!

"For me?"


Madeleine had all afternoon to open her presents. What did she get? Her favorite thing - books of course!

Her favorite gift was "The Button Book" that Isabelle picked out.
Isabelle loved the decorations...
...and so did Madeleine.
After making Madeleine's favorite dinner of French Vegetable soup (Isabelle's favorite too - she said she loves it so much that she's going to marry it) and freshly baked bread it was time for Madeleine to try her first bite of cake.
"Delicious!"
"Mommy, what has happened to me?! This just doesn't seem right."
"Maybe Daddy wants some cake."
Now, in true blog fashion it's time for "the list". I've never made one before because I find it simply impossible to limit myself to just a few things I love about my children but today I will make an attempt. It's going to be hard to narrow down but we've come up with the top 12 things we love about our sweet Madeleine (one item for every month of the year):

1. I love how you play bootie with me - Isabelle (This game involves Isabelle dumping protective shoe booties used for home tours onto Madeleine's head, causing both girls to dissolve into giggles and snorts of laughter.)







2. We love how you play hide-and-seek, waiting for us to hide and then crawling as fast as you can to find us before tagging us on the head with a big smile on your face.


3. We love the crunched up face you make to show how silly you think we are.

4. We love how every morning when we come into your room you smile, clap your hands and give us a standing ovation simply for saying good morning.


5. We love your big, still-toothless smile and dimples in your cheeks.

6. We love how you've learned how to give wet, slobbery kisses (with tongue) and wave to your adoring fans.

7. I love how you crawl towards me and climb on me to say "hi". - Isabelle

8. We love how you're so mischievous and, knowing full well that you're not supposed to put things in your mouth, will slyly try to place an item in your gnashers while giving us your "I know I'm a stinker" smile.

9. We love how you love water and will splash and kick your legs in the tub, soaking yourself and everything else within a five foot radius.

10. We love how you love books and will sit patiently on Isabelle's bed listening to stories way beyond your comprehension level at bedtime.

11. We love how when you really want something you will put your head down and crawl at breakneck speed, huffing and puffing (never mind that it's usually a no-no item like the fire or Mommy's wine bottles that you desire).

12. We love how you babble so well, complete with hand motions for emphasis, that it sounds as though you're carrying on a discourse regarding the state of the world's affairs.

and #13. (let's go ahead and make it a full baker's dozen)

We love how you complete our family. At night when you're snuggled close and I'm rocking you to sleep I look down at your little face just inches from my own. Your big brown eyes look up at me while you listen intently to my whispered endearments and I feel as though my heart is so full of love for you that it might just burst. You are the perfect addition to our family and there isn't a list in the world that could truly show how wonderful you are.

Happy Birthday Madeleine!

Opening presents
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There isn't a more fun playmate than Isabelle.
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Happy Birthday!
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"Yummmm."
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Disney on Ice

Saturday night Isabelle and I headed out to the Events Center to see the much anticipated Disney on Ice starring Tinkerbell, who continues to be Isabelle's favorite Disney character. Isabelle was feeling very grown-up as Daddy and Madeleine stayed home and she got to meet up with her b.f.f. Laney and Laney's big sister Emersyn. We had seats right on the ice so everything was close up, exciting and frosty.

A quick pose before the show.
We sat through "Cars",
"The Little Mermaid"
and "The Lion King"

before Tinkerbell made her appearance in the second half finale.
It was definitely worth the wait.
Great show!

Friday, November 6, 2009

She's Got Skills

Madeleine has been working hard at learning to pull herself up, stand and take a few steps while holding Mommy's hand but it should be no surprise to anyone that the thing she is really adept at is eating. She has mastered the art of feeding herself with both hands, ensuring that if one hand is stuffing food in the other is busy picking up the next bite. She can sign "more" (we'll all admit a very important skill indeed) and enjoys being very independent while drinking from a cup. She doesn't seem to mind at all if she ends up with a soggy shirt. Of course she does let us know the warm bathtub is where she'd like to be straight after dinner.

Here she is in action (please ignore Isabelle's hacking cough in the background - we believe the piggy flu paid a visit to our house last week.)

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Another Halloween has come and gone taking with it my poor doomed pumpkins (now smashed in the street by evil teenagers) and leaving us enough candy to keep our waistbands expanding for weeks to come. Isabelle could hardly wait to trick-or-treat while Madeleine just seemed confused as to why she was stuffed inside a giant purple elephant.

Princess Jasmine and "Lumpy" the purple heffalump.


"Look! I'm still somewhat mobile! (No thanks to you Mommy!)"

"I will admit I'm nice and cozy."
Off to trick-or-treat!
Yes, indeed it was raining but we were not be deterred from the promise of Snickers bars, Almond Joy and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. We actually got lucky - there was a 1-hour break in the downpour so we were just drizzled on - well worth it for the payload Isabelle came home with. However, now that I'm looking at this picture again it appears that I'm trying out some new-fangled torture device on poor Madeleine.

Madeleine: "I'm beginning to feel a bit ridiculous."
The first piece of Halloween candy, devoured slowly, with relish. It was a tasty Mounds bar.
Madeleine: "Isabelle got the princess costume and all the candy? Life just isn't fair! At least I get to play with all the shiny wrappers."
Here are my Halloween sweeties in action.
**Scroll down to the bottom of the page to pause music in order to hear the videos.**
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The day after Halloween is still pretty great with all the candy sorting and re-sorting. Isabelle spent a good hour teaching Madeleine the finer points of classification.
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And finally Madeleine has had enough and Isabelle says, "okay Maddy I'll do it myself" as her protege crawls away.
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