Monthly Archives July 2007

And We’re Off!!!

I have to admit something here to everyone that reads this blog. When I leave, I cry. It doesn’t matter where I leave, how long I’ve been there, or where I’m going… I always cry. It’s one of those things that you try to call endearing to make yourself feel better, but secretly it’s a negative attribute that clouds ones personality. When Maddie was born, I promised myself that I would try really, really hard not to pass that personality trait on to her. Life is about enjoying the moment and looking forward to the wonderful possibilities that come your way.

Obviously, she is older now and more aware of the whole leaving aspect. She’s aware of what “missing you” feels like… it hurts sometimes and I don’t blame her one little bit for trying to avoid it at all costs...

Read More

Family Day…


Sam and Connor came over for the last time today before we leave to China. Maddie simply loves them and they are soooooo good to her and for her. She just beams. I’ll tell ya something… there are almost 12 years between her and Connor and there are nearly 12 years between me and my brother, Mikey. (I think I’m the only one in the world that still calls him that by the way.) When I was a little girl, I remember being in absolute awe when Mikey would shuffle cards. I remember being in absolute awe when we would make pudding on the stove together and he had the strength to push that flexible wire whisk to the bottom of the pan so that it did not burn. I really looked up to my big brother and Maddie is starting to do the same thing with Connor. He can do no wrong in her eyes.

Today we ...

Read More

A Daddy Day!

I was along for the ride all day, but I was the official photo taker – I’ve gotta blog more! I like to tell stories about Madeline. We started the morning off with heading out to Reedville Cafe in the morning for some excellent grub… there’s nothing better than a hometown breakfast on a rainy day! Maddie, of course, had her fill of pancakes which left her in an excellent mood!

We then went shopping with Dad and got some things for him – he still needs more things but getting him to shop for himself is almost impossible. He bought some new running shoes with Maddie’s approval on the color choice. It will surprise you to know that she felt if he bought anything other than pink, then he just was not a hip dad!

We then HAD to stop by the golf store and as soon as we got in there, I took Ma...

Read More

And She Sleeps…

It has been a week since I’ve written in Maddie’s blog – we’ve been busy. I think because it gets dark soooooo late (9:30), I find that the day just isn’t long enough. I usually blog at night when Maddie goes to sleep. Sleep has not been plentiful for Maddie and she needs it. She’ll not be a happy camper when she’s older and realizes that I snapped this candid moment and posted it to her blog! Had to do it Maddie!!

Maddie and I have something in common right now though! I’m sleeping even less than she is simply because of my back! Sheesh – this pregnancy thing was much more novel the first time around. Look at this picture and SEE how huge I am – doesn’t it look like my back would hurt? :)

We’re all so happy in our new home (especially Maddie with her bunk beds) and we’re really not ...

Read More

Making Brownies

Andy and I have been at workshops so Maddie has been spending time with Grandma Barbara and her cousins, Elena and Ethan. I know she loves the time with them, but I miss her so much when I’m away from her… you know, distance makes the heart grow fonder! Summer is supposed to be OUR time so I feel like the workshops are intruding on that sacred time.

When we got home though, Maddie begged to make brownies. What a perfect time to use our new mixer!

Then of course we had to use our new convection oven!

But of course, we had to eat some of the batter before baking the brownies!

Of course… it was good quality time!!!

Read More

The Last Birthday Celebration…

… before your birthday celebration Maddie! You’ve been counting the birthdays and the next one will be yours – I promise!

It was a great celebration today and Maddie had a great hula lesson from Sammy! I think they are both naturals! Maddie helped wrap Connor’s birthday presents and even helped unwrap the presents. I don’t know who was smiling more – Maddie or Connor. They both were thrilled to give and/or receive the gifts. Thanks to all who came over, for sharing the All Star Game, and Connor’s birthday cake with us!!



Read More

Maddie’s Busy Day At the Races!


The peanut had to wake up early, but she made it to the ultrasound appointment with us and as soon as she saw Amelia’s pictures on the screen, she immediately woke up! I’m so glad that she is going with us to all of these appointments. She’s excited – I can tell because she’s wanting to give up some of her securities in order to share them with her new sister. SHE actually said to me yesterday, “mommy, maybe baby Amelia should take my blanket. I think she’ll like my blanket.” That is HUGE!

Maddie spent the rest of the day with her Grandma Barbara and cousins Ethan and Elena. She loves her cousins and just kind of claims them as her own. She’s not shy and she looks up to every single one of them for different reasons...

Read More

Take Maddie Out to the Ball Game!


Things that Maddie likes at baseball games….

1. wearing sunscreen, glasses and a hat
2. eating snowcones
3. eating pretzels
4. eating licorice
5. running the bases after the game with her cousin Kayana
6. reading books with her cousin Elena
7. notice that baseball is NOT on this list

It’s the most perfect thing to do on a warm Sunday afternoon and you can’t beat the $8.00 general admission tickets. Baseball, even if it’s triple A, is Americana at it’s finest! We spent the afternoon with Grandma, Grandpa, Larry, Kim, Alexis, Kayana, Susan, Doug, Elena, and Ethan...

Read More

Maddie turned Grandma’s Hair Purple….

On our last day in Tucson, Maddie and Grandma Dotty had some serious bonding moments. Andy and I packed and just let them be all day long. If Maddie asked for something, Grandma Dotty gave it to her… it worked well in Madeline’s eyes! They started off the day finger painting and I noticed that Maddie was showing her controlling side by making Grandma observe rather than participate! I can’t tell if she thinks that she’s a teacher or if it’s the need for a sense of order in her life. They were both having fun though as Maddie narrated a story for every single one of her pictures with the reoccurring theme of rainbows!

Now, what I’m about to tell you in slightly hilarious, but you must know that I asked permission to tell the story and post the pictures...

Read More

Happy Fireworks Day in the States… and China?

The 4th has always been special. I think it became even more special on a personal level when we moved overseas. America with all of it’s positive and negative attributes is still the best country in the world. We’ve discovered that many of the people that live here don’t really know how lucky they have it day in and day out. Maybe it’s because it’s so familiar, but I think it’s easiest country in the world to live in. Your worries are different when you live overseas and it’s a pleasure to “head home” for the summers to let those worries be at bay for a short time. I love America and I want Maddie to grow up loving it too inspite of her TCK (Third Culture Kid) status.

The 4th is about fireworks and BBQs. Even in the heat of Tucson, we had it all...

Read More

Maddie and the Moosehound

Jacob Terwilliger is his name when he’s in trouble. He’s a moosehound (aka: a chocolate lab) that I bought the week I moved home from Hokkaido, Japan. Jake is officially 11 years old. To be honest, he wasn’t supposed to live this long. He had parvo when he was a pup and the vet said it would shorten his life (he’s 11) and that he would be smaller (he weighs 110lbs). He’s a well traveled moosehound – he has lived in the States and in Saudi Arabia.

Jake is the most gentle giant and even in his old age, lets Maddie torment him just a bit! I think he secretly loves it when Maddie arrives mostly because she has been feeding him either intentionally or unintentionally since she was born...

Read More

Maddie’s Carpet

When we lived in Saudi Arabia we had access to some of the best carpets in the world. It’s funny because we didn’t even like carpets… until me moved to Saudi. It’s kind of like how I didn’t like pottery… until I moved to China. (See the April 16th blog entry!) Since we moved into our new place in Oregon and have bamboo floors, it only makes sense to buy a carpet!

In the middle of May, we contacted our favorite carpet man in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He was absolutely wonderful when we lived in Saudi and Maddie loved going to his store because he would let her crawl all over the carpets. He’s actually from Afghanistan and always had “the story” behind the carpet. See the article written in Arab News back in January of 2003 where they wrote a great article called “From Andkhoy to Jeddah” ...

Read More

Larry the Balloon Man!


Grandma Dotty surprised Maddie today by inviting her neighbor, Larry, over to the house because he is a balloon man! If you remember, a few weeks ago Maddie encountered a balloon man at the Portland Saturday Market. This was more special though because Maddie got a few different things and Larry explained to Maddie (and us) how he puts these things together.

He actually started doing this 10 years ago in college and has not been able to give up this great hobby. (See www.twistedtucson.com) What a great thing it is to have the ability to make people and their children smile! Thanks Larry for the pink horsey, the flowers, the toucan, and the American chopper bike! Don’t be surprised if we come knocking on your door for a princess tomorrow! Don’t ever give up your talents because the sm...

Read More

My Little Nest

Sometime around February of each year, Andy and I start craving quality Mexican food. In our honest opinion, the only place in the entire world to get this food is at Mi Nidito in Tucson. I couldn’t enjoy the margaritas this year, but the food was enough to knock my socks off. As Maddie gets older, she too is learning to appreciate the finer things in life! Andy always orders the President’s Plate which was named after Bill Clinton’s order when he dined at the restaurant during his presidency. Dad shows off his ability to match President Clinton!

Item 1: Beef Taco… you must eat this first to maintain the crispy outer shell

Item 2: Chile Relleno… you have to eat it when the cheese is still hot or it gets congealed

Item 3: Beef Tamale… who cares if you’re already getting full? If Bill...

Read More

Maddie Nests…


I love seeing Andy nest. When Andy nests, then Maddie takes his lead and she nests too. It’s good for the soul!!!

Today, Andy helped clean up Mom’s back patio. When we were falling asleep last night, I “heard” it raining so I went outside to inspect and found that it was only “raining” in one spot on the patio. The sprinkler system had sprung a leak so Andy (and Maddie kind of-sort of) helped repair it this morning. Once Andy got started though, he went nuts. He re-potted tomato plants, planted columbines, put that basil plant into the ground, blew all the leaves off the patio and most importantly installed a misting system over the patio. It actually works quite well as it brought the temperature down from 110 to 85 in that area!!!


As dad finished up, Maddie came inside to nest eve...

Read More

Swimming in the Sun

Sixteen years ago, I worked at the Desert Garden Restaurant as a hostess and I watched all of the guests playing in the awesome pool at the Westin La Paloma. Everytime I go back now as a guest, there is a bit of satisfaction just knowing I’m on that guest side of the fence!

Maddie joined us for some serious swimming and giggled her way through the heat by staying cool in the pool. She’s getting braver and braver in the pool which makes me want to sign her up for swim lessons. I think we’ll have to do this next summer for sure!!!

Happy Swimming Madeline! Stay Cool!

Read More