Saturday, March 29, 2008

She's 14 Years Old...

Just a small, family celebration for Maddie's 14th birthday - Dinner at Red Robin with friend Monica and her Mom, Elizabeth (with the embarrassing birthday ditty sung by the wait staff) then back home to blow out a candle on a cupcake. Maddie received a birthday call from her grandparents early this morning (in fact, they had to call back because her 'Royal Highness' was still asleep!); another from cousins Kate & Jack; and another from Aunt Claudine.

As always, both sets of grandparents were way too generous with their gifts, as were Maddie's Aunts & Uncles. Dr. Nick and Mrs. Barbara, our next door neighbors in Reading were even kind enough to send along a gift for her and Josie. I hope she realizes just how truly blessed she is to be so loved.

I didn't go into a recitation of the 15 hours of labor I endured to bring her into this world - which was a huge relief to everyone. (hee-hee!) I did let her know that she has become more beautiful every day since then... (she looked like Yoda when she was born - no lie!!)

Maddie at 8 weeks

Our Maddie Now

Happy Birthday Precious Girl !!!!

Josie and the PussyCats ?!?!

When we joined Andrew and Donna at their home for dinner on Wednesday night, little did we know the treats that awaited us! First: their beautiful home; Second: the great Chinese food; Third: the great conversation (our husbands are both "scary smart" guys); Fourth: meeting Michael (who is 10x more handsome in person!) and finally, the after dinner entertainment!

Ladies and Gentlemen ! Introducing....

On Guitar: the Rockin' Miss Maddy T

On the Other Guitar: The Soulful Miss Gwen

Making her way to the Stage: Jo-Jo on Piano

Here's a slideshow of their hilarious performance, dutifully captured on film by all adults present. (There is no musical accompaniment for the show, as it would have sounded something like screaming cats and nails on chalkboard!)

Josie and the PussyCats (A.K.A. The Happy Monkey Band)

Spring Break Report - Part II

A Double Dose of Happiness

Michele, Josie, Donna, Maddy and Gwen

The true highlight of our trip to California was meeting up with friends Donna & Andrew, who are fellow adoptive parents. Donna and I "met" on-line in the summer of 2005. We belong to a MSN website for adoptive parents, which Donna helped establish and still manages. I could go on for pages about her talents as a mother, wife, writer, scrapbooker, (the list truly does go on...). Suffice to say, she is simply a lovely person and we all had a great time together.

Donna and I met up on Tuesday at a park in San Jose that was perfect for the girls to get acquainted. Huge playsets, lots of grass to run around on, a small petting zoo and a huge barn that was home to cows, pigs, lambs and goats!!

I have watched Gwen & Maddy grow through Donna's website "Double Happiness" since 2005 - when Gwen joined the family, through 2006 - when Maddy joined her jei-jei (big sister) - to the present. Although the girls arrived a year apart, they are only 2 months apart in age. Both are exactly as I have envisioned them through the years. Their personalities are distinct and totally lovable. Looking at the photos of them days later still brings a big smile to my face. They are funny, sassy, active, sweet and kissable!

We spent an enjoyable few hours and the park with the agreement that we would share dinner with our husbands and all our kids (Our Maddie was suffering from a stomach flu and Donna & Andrew's son Michael was taking finals at college) on Wednesday evening. More about that in my next post. In the meantime, here is a series of photos taken while both Donna and I were issuing posing orders to our daughters at the park... I like to call this series:

Exercise in Futility

Until next time....

Friday, March 28, 2008

What We Did on Our Spring Break - Part One

On very short notice, we decided to spend part of our Spring Break in California. We really enjoy the San Francisco/San Jose area where so many of James' family members live.

We arrived on Easter Sunday. We went immediately to visit Uncle Rich, Aunt Ivy, Alicia and Zoe. James was the only member of our family to have met Zoe (she's 14 months old). So, the girls and I were very excited and impatient to get our hands on her! Cousin Alicia seemed to enjoy seeing Josie again - it went much better this time around because they were not in the position of having to share their precious GungGung & MaMa. (these little ones can be downright territorial about their Grandparents, sheeees!) We enjoyed dinner together at an Italian Restaurant and then headed to our hotel for some much needed rest.

On Monday, we did the sights in San Francisco. The pictures tell the story, so enjoy. Our best fun was yet to come, so check back in a few hours - I'm still working on the photos from our remaining days!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Josie Is 3 !!

Today, Josie turned 3 years old !!! We had a small celebration here at home - just one of many I'm sure. We will have the 'big' celebration on Thursday evening at Grandmom & PopPop's house at the beach. Aunt Suzanne, cousins Zack and Liam will make the trip from Philadelphia to join in the celebration! Yeah !

Josie blowing out her 3 candles!

Josie also got a 'singing' Happy Birthday call from her cousins Kate and Jack. Rumor has it that Kate and Jack are headed 'South' in a few days to visit a certain Mouse... We hope they have a Magical time!!!

Josie opened gifts from far away too - of course, they had to wait until she was done her cupcake...

GungGung and MaMa sent a really cool Thomas the Tank Engine set and Uncle Rich, Aunt Ivy and cousins Alicia & Zoe sent along a HUGE Lego set!! I have video of her opening both gifts so I'll share that once I can get it downloaded and edited!

Josie also got a few small gifts from Mom, Dad and Maddie. There's more to come so stayed tuned!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Our Lucky Charm

Sunday, March 16, 2008

St. Pat's Parade

Well, It wasn't much of a parade - but it's ours. Our town's St. Pats Day parade was started by a lady who moved here from Ireland in the late 1980's. She loved America and decided to make our town her home - close enough to the action of Washington, DC but with the slower, Southern pace of life. She opened an Irish import shop and the only Irish Pub within 50 miles - The Blarney Stone.

I know that everyone is Irish on St. Pats Day, but I'll just mention that 3 of my 4 grandparents were "honest-to-God-just-off-the boat" from Ireland. I am (chemically enhanced) blonde and green eyed with freckles. How's that for a pedigree?! Oh, well. I won't be in a pub tomorrow so today's parade is as close to a celebration as I will get. Here are a few shots of the parade. It lasted about 35 minutes:

Miss 'Rose of Tralee'

Classic Fire Trucks

Civil War Re-enactors. We have 3 major Civil War Battlefields within 10 miles of our house!

Josie didn't make it to the parade, which started at 5PM. She was much too happy running around the house in her underwear (I swear, this child WILL NOT keep her pants on !!!!) and playing with her Little Einstein dolls. James gladly stayed home and watched car racing on TV. It was a quick trip downtown for Maddie and I and we had a nice time! Happy St. Patricks Day to All!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Goddard Space Dinner

They both left with strict instructions to take as many photos as possible... This is the ONLY ONE taken! James mumbled something about traffic, arriving late, no time, etc. What a disappointment! James & Maddie, however, had a wonderful time at the dinner. James said everyone thought Maddie was in college - Yikes!! My baby is not even in High School yet!!!!

And, speaking of High School (nice segue, huh?!) Maddie was accepted to the new Catholic High School! We are so excited she will be a member of the first class to complete 4 years at the school. They are opening this fall with only sophomores and freshman. Last night, we attended the registration meeting. We met the new Asst. Principal and some of the teachers. It gave Maddie a chance to get a look at some of the kids she will be spending the next 4 years with. She was happy to see 3 of her current classmates at the meeting.

Maddie will be taking Physics, Chemistry, Algebra I, English I, Sacred Scripture I. Christology, Bioethics (the Human Person), World History and either French or Latin. There aren't many options for electives for freshman. Looks like she will taking Personal Fitness for Athletes. I keep begging her to sign up for the concert band and to start playing her cello again - but she's dead set against it. Oh well, hopefully, she'll come to appreciate what a gift it is to be musically inclined.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Goofin' Around

March is a special month for all of us here at Buddalicious... both of our lovelies were born in March, so we spend most of the month celebrating in one form or another. This month we also have St. Patricks Day, Easter and Spring Break.

Josie had her mind set on having a Backyardigans/Lady in Pink birthday cake with everyone in the family dressing as the characters in the story. Daddy was to be "Agent Secret"; Maddie was to be "Henchman Tyrone"; Josie was to be "Lady in Pink" and Mom was going to be "Miss T".

This all changed when she saw "The Little Mermaid" this past weekend. Now, she MUST be dressed as Ariel and have an Ariel cake. Only problem is I don't know how we are supposed to dress like Sebastian the Crab; Flounder the Fish and Scuttle the Seagull...oh well, I'm sure we'll find a way.

Josie has been recuperating from Bronchitis so, we've had to put swimming lessons on hold.

Maddie is gearing up for soccer tryouts, hitting the gym for cardio workouts and then strength workouts twice a week. Both girls are doing well and looking forward to celebrating their birthdays with family and friends.

Sorry this is so short - there's a lot going on in the next few days. I have a scrapbooking weekend (local) with my friend, Marty, and Maddie will accompany her Dad to a black tie event Friday night celebrating the 50th anniversary of NASA. The guest speaker is Mr. Neil Armstrong! Can't wait to share the photos of this event with you....