Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey, Snow and Pumpkin Pie

Dear Snow,

Thank you for coming early this year and letting me have almost a full week off work for Thanksgiving. You know I love you when I'm snug and warm, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies by the fire. Somehow you knew I was several days behind in cooking preparation for turkey day and without a day off it would be 2 AM bedtime for me. You also knew I wouldn't be content with just one snow day, because I'm greedy like that.

Thank you snow for delighting my girls so, especially Madeleine who enjoyed your white fluff for the first time (that's right, I did notice you didn't make an appearance last year). Even if we were woefully unprepared, lacking a sled, our cardboard box was kind of fun.

Thank you snow for not overstaying your welcome. You melted just in time for Grandma and Papa to make it here safely for Thanksgiving.

Thanks again, snow! We can't wait to see you again!

My snowballer toughies. Yeah, I wouldn't want to meet them in a dark alley either.

From this... this.

Baking pumpkin pie. Yes, I do realize there is a large bottle of Jim Beam whiskey next to Isabelle in this picture. And yes, it is a necessary ingredient.
Back out in the snow on Thanksgiving day. Isabelle and Jason built this snowgirl together over the course of several hours while the rest of us stayed warm in the house.
Jason grew kind of attached.
Dinner? You bet! A bit of this...
...a bit of that...
...and several plates of this.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


We had a fantastic afternoon today at the new Ethiopian Community Center in south Seattle. It opened a few months ago but the event today was the first one we were able to go to. Several local adoptive families organized an afternoon of eating and dancing, topped off by a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. What could be better?

After napping for the first twenty minutes (truly, dead-to-the-world-napping) Madeleine was thrilled to wake up to a roomful of new faces and proudly ran around showing off her "Opia dress" to everyone. She was one of the youngest but gamely joined in during all the activities. She also devoured an entire roll of injera and a mound of doro wat to boot. This girl loves to eat!

As soon as the coffee ceremony began the smell of incense filled the room and it was almost like being back in Ethiopia.
The children all crowded around to pass out the popcorn.
Maddy didn't need to fight her way in though - she was content to stare at the kernels that fell on the floor...
...and then protected them with fervor (as though anyone else wanted to eat dirty popcorn). I watched her closely as she played with this popcorn for 10 minutes. The moment I looked away, satisfied she wasn't going to eat it, down the hatch it went. Ughh! I wonder how many disgusting floor germs she swallowed today?
Last weekend I went to a Central Asian Traditions cooking class at PCC Natural Market with several women from my Kazakhstan adoption group where we learned how to make Kazakh Mantu, as well as dishes from neighboring countries. How lucky we are to live in an area with such rich culture!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Madeleine!

Today we celebrated Madeleine's second birthday. I can't believe she's already two! In honor of Maddy here are just a few of the wonderful things we love about her:
  • We love that she can hear a song once and be able to sing most of the lyrics.
  • We love that she'll tolerate being Isabelle's "patient" for an hour while playing "doctor", complete with ear and mouth checks and broken arms.
  • We love that she has an opinion about everything she wears and it usually involves being "fancy". This morning she was adamant she put on one of her frilliest outfits but was okay with taking it off at lunchtime so it wouldn't get dirty. After lunch we were sure she would want to stay in her cozies but no, she wanted the dress back on right away. She also loves to put on fashion shows. As soon as she opened a new outfit today she tried to squeeze it on over what she was already wearing.
  • We love that her favorite toys are all books. She can sit for hours going through her picture books or being read to.
  • We love that she laughs all the time. She comes up with her own games and cracks herself up. Tonight she kept shouting the words, "movie premier!" while running through the house. I don't know what that was all about but she sure had fun! (Where did she even hear the words movie premier?)
  • We love that snuggling is one of her favorite things. She even loves to snuggle with Isabelle. She is very affectionate and gives hugs and kisses all day long.
  • We love that she is so verbal. It's pretty amazing to carry on a conversation that makes sense with a just-turned-two-year-old.
  • We love that even though she can sometimes be impatient (usually at mealtime) she has about the cutest pout face in the world.
  • Most of all we love that Madeleine has brought so much happiness to all of us. Her sweet little smile, and even her cries make every day better.
Happy Birthday Madeleine!
We love you!

Her chosen outfit...complete with clips for her hair.

Another thing we love...her facial expressions. She was pretty sure she was reading this card.

She thought this bag would make a good purse. In the middle of opening her presents she said, "goodbye!", tossed it over her shoulder and took off.

Saying, "roar!" Jason and I got her new bedding for the big switch to her toddler bed.
Taking a "happy birthday" phone call.
So proud to have a big pillow and blanket.

While we were transitioning from crib to bed Isabelle and Madeleine read books together.

It's finally ready!

Even though it was bedtime Madeleine couldn't wait until tomorrow to put on one of her new outfits.
Isabelle and Madeleine doing "sister power!"
Tucked in for her first night as a big girl. When the rails came down for Isabelle she never once got out of bed. She would stay in bed until I came to get her in the morning and continued to do this until she was four years old. It's doubtful Maddy will do the same. Let's just say she has a different energy than Isabelle. But, as of right now she's staying put and is fast asleep. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
This is how our day started off. Madeleine loved every minute of it!