Sunday, February 27, 2011

Two Years!

This week marks two years since we brought home our precious little girl. What an amazing two years these have been! We have watched her blossom from an infant who could not sit on her own or even pick up anything with her tiny little fingers. Today she is very independent, kind, thoughful, smart, and so very funny.

I have been very remiss in blogging for the past year. So, I have "harvested" the past year's Facebook status updates about Maddie:

Fri February 25, 2011, 6:09 pm: This sweet child of mine is so cuddly when she's sick. All I've heard since she got up from her nap this afternoon is, "Mama, I wanna snuggle." No arguments from the mama!!

Sat February 19, 2011, 9:46 pm: Today was a good day... took Maddie and two of my beautiful nieces to see the model railroad show at the Essenhaus, then to St Mary's College for their annual Chinese New Year celebration. Wow... what a show! I feel blessed to live in a community that celebrates my daughter's heritage.

Fri February 18, 2011, 8:00 pm: I tried to get Maddie to eat a sandwich earlier tonight. Her emphatic response, "NO! That tastes like yucky spiders and I'm fwustrated!" Dear Lord - Thank you for giving me another 10 years to prepare for when she's 12. As dramatic as she is right now, I shudder to think about that age!

Mon February 14, 2011, 8:15 pm: Maddie and I were talking about the five senses. I asked, "What do we do with our nose?" She said, "Stick my finger in there and pull out the booger. Then we blow it!"

Sun January 16, 2011, 2:40 pm: When I wasn't looking, Maddie got into the star stickers. When she was done, she brought me her artwork: a calendar with her star stickers all arranged very neatly in a small grouping. She said, "Look mommy, I made a constellation. It's a treasure chest." My little 2-year-old amazes me with something new every single day!

Sat January 1, 2011, 1:42 pm: Starting the new year out on the right foot... Maddie is napping in HER OWN bed. That is good on so many levels!!

Fri December 31, 2010, 6:03 pm: As I'm getting ready to go out tonight, Maddie said, "Wow, you're beautiful, Mommy!" I melted. After I said, "Thank you!", she demanded, "Now you tell me!" Sigh... they learn all too fast!!

Sat December 25, 2010, 5:15 am: Two years ago today the China Center for Adoption Affairs chose Doug and me to be parents to our sweet Madeline. That four-year wait was excruciating but the second we met her, we knew why we had to wait. God has perfect timing! Merry Christmas to our friends Kris, Shawn & Kaycee, and John, Lisa & Anna who were chosen for Kya and Lucy on that day as well.

Fri December 24, 2010, 8:19 pm: When we got to the hotel this afternoon, Maddie was running around the room chanting, "It's a crappy song, crap, crap." I was about to say something to her when she started singing, "If you're happy and you know it, crap your hands; crap, crap!"

Fri December 24, 2010, 7:43 am: Maddie and I are watching Polar Express. She just asked if Santa was coming back to leave her presents under the tree. (We opened our presents Wed eve when Doug was home.)

Thu December 23, 2010, 8:03 pm: Looking forward to a wonderfully relaxing weekend in Rockford with Doug and Maddie... just hanging out at the hotel, swimming, and taking Maddie to see where her daddy works.

Fri December 10, 2010, 6:54 pm: this morning Maddie wanted to play airplane. so as i'm flying her to the kitchen she says, "I wanna be the co-pilot!" hmmm... wonder who she learned that word from!?

Thu December 9, 2010, 8:14 pm: Me: Get your finger out of your nose. Maddie: But there are boogers!

Sun November 28, 2010, 7:39 pm: On our way home from seeing Santa this evening, Maddie said, "Mama, I want to go home and hold you and snuggle." Love, love, LOVE that girl!!!

Thu November 18, 2010, 5:55 pm: there is nothing wrong with my kid's imagination. as i'm rushing around putting groceries away, I hear her yell, "I have new shoes!" I turned around just in time to catch her trying two hot dog buns on her bare feet!

Sun November 14, 2010, 5:36 pm: Happiness is seeing Christmas lights through the eyes of a 2-year old. Last night we walked around and looked at the lights in downtown Shipshewana. Maddie was jumping, clapping, and squealing, "This is awesome, Mama. Look at all the tiny lights!"

Tue November 9, 2010, 7:04 pm: Tonight I'm thankful for my husband. It's wonderful to have another "adult" present to help abbsorb some of this 2-year old's energy.

Sat November 6, 2010, 6:49 am: I'm thankful for my mom. She came over for dinner a few nights ago, and stayed around to read Maddie her bedtime story. Maddie loved it. There is an incredible bond between Maddie and her two grandmas... I love that!

Sat October 30, 2010, 10:59 am: I had an epiphany while Maddie helped me reload the curio cabinet... it can be free of fingerprints after she goes to college.

Wed October 6, 2010, 5:41 pm: With Maddie and me both sick, her crud even worse than mine, how can it be that she has that much more energy than I have?

Sun October 3, 2010, 8:14 pm: Maddie's prayer tonight: "... and God bless Miles and Cassidy and SpongeBob and some pineapple. AMEN"

Mon September 27, 2010, 7:02 pm: Dinner with Maddie... always an adventure. Tonight we had to use a flashlight to rule out that she had a small lima bean stuck in her nose.

Tue September 7, 2010, 7:11 pm: Maddie keeps talking about wanting to go to school... "Step, step, step on the schoolbus; and the wheels on da bus go round an' round; an' my backpack, an' paper, an' pencils, an' colors, an' snacks, an' kleenexes, an' scissors..."

Mon September 6, 2010, 9:43 am: Wow... whirlwind weekend! Road trip, first annual (hopefully) reunion with other families who traveled to China with us, a day at the Cincinnati Zoo, and now a day at home to recuperate. Good times!

Wed September 1, 2010, 5:50 pm: "Sowwy Mommy. It was a atsident!" That's Maddie's explanation for everything... dinner on the floor, broken sunglasses, dirty footprints on the kitchen countertop... the list goes on forever.

Sun August 8, 2010, 8:37 am: My only not-so-proud moment on the plane... a rancid smell wafted around our seats. I thought it was the guy snoring behind us. Then Maddie loudly and proudly announced, "I tooted. Maddie is stinky!" I would have expected that AFTER a week with the Grabers, but not before!

Sun August 8, 2010, 8:32 am: Maddie did amazingly well on the first leg of our flight, especially considering she had only 4 hours of sleep.

Thu August 5, 2010, 6:46 pm: 26 Grabers... 15 kids and 11 adults (and I use that term loosely)... is CO ready for us?

Sat July 24, 2010, 12:17 pm: Dear Mom... I'm sorry for when I was 2!

Mon July 19, 2010, 6:59 pm: My kid's off button is broken!

Sun July 18, 2010, 7:46 am: We tried out Goshen's new splash pad at Rieth Park yesterday afternoon. It was a hit with Maddie.

Sat July 17, 2010, 10:39 am: Sad day in the Snow household... we found out this morning that Squirt is in end stages of renal failure. This is her last weekend with us. This tiny kitten showed up five years ago on our doorstep, the morning after we found out Doug has MS. She was a welcome distraction at that time. It's very ironic that her demise is due to complications from diabetes.

Sat July 17, 2010, 9:53 am: Had a great evening with Maddie... her first Movie - Toy Story 3, then her first trip to The Chief for some pink ice cream.

Sun July 11, 2010, 6:47 pm: During dinner, Doug belched (I know, big shock). Madde reached over, patted his shoulder, and said, "Escuse me!"

Tue July 6, 2010, 9:07 pm: Maddie's prayer tonight... and God bless "Miles, and Daddy, and Tassidy, and Kai Lan. The end!"

Mon July 5, 2010, 9:26 am: Seven whole days without pull-ups or diapers (for Maddie, that is). Only 2 accidents all week! YIPPEEE!! Thanks Sara and Mia for being our inspiration!

Thu June 24, 2010, 6:27 pm: When I picked up Maddie from the sitter tonight she said, "I wanna go home." I asked her what she wanted at home and she replied, "I wanna have a tea party and watch Kai Lan with mama." No way could I deny such a sweet request, so instead of dinner, we had a tea party with little sandwiches, fancy cookies, and the good china.

Mon May 31, 2010, 6:55 pm: Busy weekend, but a great weekend nonetheless... can't believe it's almost over. Maddie's latest overused sayings: "You guys..." and "I'm mad!". She has such a vivid imagination. Right now she's in the tub, being supervised by her daddy. The conversation coming from that direction is hilarious.

Wed May 26, 2010, 7:09 pm: Woohoo... Maddie told me she had to poop in the pottie - her telling me that is a first! After she declared herself "All done!", I transferred from the potty to the tub. Unfortunately she wasn't all done and she finished the job in the tub!! Two steps forward, one step back.

Sun May 16, 2010, 8:22 pm: Today I told Maddie to bring me her socks... a minute later she came running into the kitchen, waving her socks and yelled TA-DAAAA! I have no idea where she picked that up but it was good for a laugh today. It's so much fun to see her wit and sense of humor developing. She's a real ham.

Sat May 15, 2010, 6:19 am: Last night, Maddie kissed an "owie" on my face, patted my cheek, and said, "Dere ya go, Mama." My heart melted - I so love that sweet girl!

Sat May 1, 2010, 2:03 pm: loves this drizzly Saturday... full of "eskinose", butterfly kisses, and big hugs. My heart is full.

Sat April 3, 2010, 6:43 am: Lots of hugs and eskimo kisses... well worth getting up at 6 AM on a Saturday for that!

Thu March 25, 2010, 5:10 pm: Maddie just burped, then laughed and said, "Two times" then faked a second burp - loud and long - then lauged and laughed. Where does she come up with this stuff?! I'm blaming this one on her father.

Mon March 1, 2010, 4:50 am: At 4:10 AM and Maddie woke up crying for her mama. So different from one year ago... crying her little heart out because she was scared to death of me (and Doug, and Grandma Jo). Sweet Maddie, you are so very loved.

Fri February 26, 2010, 7:10 am: I don't wanna close my eyes... I don't wanna fall asleep cause I'd miss you, baby. And I don't wanna miss a thing. ~ Aerosmith (Can't believe it's been a year already!!)

Sat February 20, 2010, 6:39 am: Poor Maddie... she has 8 new teeth coming through at once! Eye teeth and molars at that. OUCH!!

Sun January 24, 2010, 6:05 pm: The Wiggles are out... Barney is in. Woohoo! A whole new batch of annoying songs that will plague me throughout the day!!

Fri January 15, 2010, 7:47 pm: Maddie has three new molars. Hmmm... no wonder she was so miserable last week!

Tue January 12, 2010, 5:22 pm: F... is for Feathersword!

Sun January 10, 2010, 8:13 pm: In spite of all the puke and poop and cold weather, I enjoyed my week with Maddie immensely... sad to see it coming to an end.

Sun January 10, 2010, 10:19 am: is thankful Maddie waited until after we got off the plane before throwing up all over herself!!

Fri January 8, 2010, 12:01 pm: hopes Maddie's tummy settles down before we get on our flight home tomorrow afternoon!!

Thu December 31, 2009, 7:34 am: Winding up the week early this afternoon, then Maddie and I are leavin'... on a jet plane... Sarasota, here we come!!

Sat November 28, 2009, 2:32 pm: Maddie had her first encounter with Santa and she was NOT impressed! WAAAAAAHHHH!!

Mon September 7, 2009, 6:45 pm: After a full day of being in a stroller and shopping cart, Maddie has way too much energy. In the time it is taking me to type this update, she has climbed onto a chair, flipped the dining room light switch off and on, climbed on up onto the dining room table, rearranged the centerpiece, knocked off every placemat, knocked down and spilled her sippy cup, ate dog food, and spilled the pets' water bowl!!

Mon August 24, 2009, 4:05 pm: and Maddie and her Grandma are roasting in FL.

Sat August 22, 2009, 3:56 pm: cleaning house, moving Maddie, cleaning again, chasing Maddie, doing laundry, kissing boo-boos, feeding Maddie, cleaning again. Mom duty is exhausting but oh-so-rewarding!!

Fri July 24, 2009, 7:47 pm: (road trip) + (baby puke) = (not my idea of a good time)
Sweet Maddie... we are so in love with you and that love grows even stronger each day!
Much love,
Mommy & Daddy

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Maddie and Her Daddy Talking About Airplanes

This was an early morning conversation between Maddie and Doug one morning last week.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Maddie is going through the "clumsy" phase. Last week, she fell at the babysitter's house and still has a bruise on her cheek from that fall. She also put her right hand on their wood-burning stove and blistered her fingertips. She falls about 75 times (or more) per day. Between drying her tears and cleaning up behind the tornado that is Maddie, it's difficult to get anything else done.

In addition to the tumbling, we are working on alternatives to whining. Yes, the girl whines and it drives me just a little nutso! I know that is a phase most kids go through and am trying to be patient with that. I think this is probably God's revenge for my impatience with OPK's (other people's kids) who whine. :) We have been working very hard on turning her whines into "Please" and other more effective forms of communication (like pointing and showing me what she wants). We're making progress. Score so far today: Maddie - 3, Mom - 10!

Last week, Maddie's babysitter asked me, "So, is Maddie bossy at home too?!" Since she doesn't have other kids around most of the time at home, we hadn't noticed the bossiness. However, she has an independent streak a mile wide. She refuses to be fed by either Doug or me. She has to feed herself. As Doug says, she thinks she has to "drive" in pretty much any situation.

If it sounds like I'm complaining, please know that I am not. I love my little girl with all my heart and wouldn't change a thing. She is pushing me to grow beyond anything I ever imagined!

Yesterday, we finally knocked out the wall between our kitchen and living room. The demolition part is done, but we still have some wiring and drywalling to be done. Once that's done, there will be lots of cleaning and painting to take care of. Then, after the first of the year, we want to put new flooring in the kitchen.

Yes - that felt GOOD!
Dave, tearing down the walls.
Too late to turn back!
I'm glad Dave has to deal with this wiring maze.
It's still a work in progress, but we're getting there.
Thanks for checking in.
Much love,
Beth, Doug, & Maddie

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat

For Halloween this year, Maddie dressed as a duck. We took her trick-or-treating in the pouring rain and howling wind at a couple of merchants in Downtown Goshen. Nice day for DUCKS!
Maddie still loves playing with the dog's collar when he's not wearing it. She snaps it shut every time and does so very quickly.

Uncle Dave confiscated this Harley from the neighbor's garbage. With the exception of one dead battery, it works perfectly. Maddie absolutely loves riding it. For now, it's in the basement. I'm sure by springtime she'll be flying up and down the road on her hog!

Dave's nieces, LuAnn and Grace, were here yesterday and spent the day playing with Maddie. They all had a great time!

Maddie was introduced to McDonald's Play Place for the first time with LuAnn and Grace. She wasn't too sure about the slide at first. LuAnn held her while sliding down the tube. Each time, Maddie had the most terrified look on her face until they stopped. Then she would break out into a huge grin and shrieks of glee. She jumped up, ran over to the entrance, and wanted to go up again.

Maddie's favorite book right now is a scratch 'n sniff book with a bunch of different fruits. This video is of her sniffing the fruits. She makes the funniest scrunchy face when she sniffs the book.

This week, Maddie found a step stool in our bedroom closet. It is one that we had when we were little kids growing up on the farm. It's wooden, red, and had painted on the top, "This little stool is mine, I use it all the time; to reach the things I couldn't, and lots of things I shouldn't." She quickly figured out how to use it!

I was making dinner one evening last week and I heard her toddling into the kitchen behind me, grunting. I turned around to see her carrying that stool. She brought it over and put it down beside me at the kitchen counter, and climbed up to see what I was doing. Ever since then, when I'm in the kitchen, she puts her little stool right next to me and wants to get in on the action.

Saturday, I was transferring laundry from the washer to the dryer. She brought in her little stool and put it between me and the washer and got up again to "help" me. She's still a little too short to be able to reach anything but she had to feel involved.

After I was done with the laundry, I hurried into the kitchen to prep a couple of dishes for a carry-in we went to that night. Maddie followed and put her stool next to me. I was working at three different stations around the kitchen and she was having a very difficult time keeping up - she couldn't move her stool fast enough. So, she pulled two chairs over from the dining room table and placed one at each place where I was working. Then she could quickly climb up wherever I was working. I was stunned! How can a 16-month-old come up with a solution like that??!

Maddie is becoming more and more independent. She eats with a fork, not a spoon. If we try to feed her anything, she shakes he head no and completely refuses. Once we put it down, she feeds herself. She has a stubborn streak that definitely takes after her father's side of the family!

Maddie likes to walk around the house with a pen and small pad of paper. She walks, stops and writes, then walks again. It looks like she's walking around taking notes about something. I told Doug that we're lucky that she is learning to write on paper and maybe we will be able to avoid her writing on walls, etc. Not five minutes later I saw that she wrote on her sheet on her bed, the linoleum in the kitchen, and the table cloth on the dining room table! When will I ever learn to keep my mouth shut!?

Maddie is also a very loving little girl. She frequently wants hugs, kisses, and to just wrap her arms around my neck or her daddy' neck. That is the best feeling in the whole wide world!

Thanks for checking in on us.

Much love,

Beth, Doug, & Maddie

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grandma, The Wiggles, and Lucy

We went to Terre Haute to visit Grandma Patrick last weekend. They just got back from NM and bought Maddie this adorable hat.

Grandma's friend sent Maddie a bunch of play pots & pans, a tea set, and made her an apron. Maddie played with those toys all weekend.

Monday evening we took Maddie to see The Wiggles (a.k.a. WEE-WEE in Maddie-speak) live at the Morris Civic Auditorium in South Bend. What a show! It was enjoyable even for adults... what little I saw of it anyway. Most of my evening was spent staring at Maddie's backside as she stood on my lap and danced, jumped, clapped, and got all caught up in the show. The show lasted for an hour and 45 minutes and she was into it the entire time. I was afraid that she would lose interest, but no... she LOVES those guys! In one of their songs, they sing, "Bow to your partner," then pause and bow. Maddie bowed right along with them. I didn't even know she knew the song but it became evident that she knew almost everything they sang.

Maddie and her mommy enjoying the show.

Yes, Daddy adores his daughter!

Spectacular show!
When we were in Terre Haute last weekend, we met Lucy and her family for lunch before we headed home. Lucy was in the same orphanage as Maddie and we got to spend lots of time with them when we were in China. It was so cool to see how much little Lucy has grown and changed. She is a trip! She is a month younger than Maddie and is doing pretty much everything Maddie is doing. It did my heart good to see another mama darting after her daughter as she tried to make a run for it when we were getting ready to leave the restaurant! This photo is Lucy's daddy and the girls.

This is Lucy's beautiful mama and oh-so-sweet big sister, Anna.

Maddie is doing new things every single day. She knows animal sounds for cow, horse, chicken, pig, dog, and kitty. She loves to play with Legos. She can sit on the floor, taking them apart and putting them together for hours on end. She is also learning her numbers. The other night on the way home from the babysitters I was counting telephone poles... one, two, three, four, five... and she said six. I thought it was a fluke so I did it again and again she said six! The next count, after I said six, she said seven. She continues to amaze us with all the new things she is absorbing. Of course, along with the good comes the bad... she has learned her first 4-letter word and loves to spew it out... s##t. Hmmm... wonder where she picked that up!

This video is a great representation of Maddie's dancing throughout the entire Wiggles show. It's a little dark but you'll get the gist.

It's time to sign off for now. Thanks for checking in with us.

Much love,

Beth, Doug & Maddie

Sunday, October 11, 2009

16 Months Photos

Maddie continues to grow and change before our eyes. Since she figured out how to clasp the dog's collar, she has to close all clasps she encounters... on her high chair, on her carseat, and even on her changing pad. She's getting quite adept at all of them.

Maddie loves to sing and play the piano. She also loves to play football with her babysitter's 4-year-old and 7-year-old boys. She runs, then drops and rolls just like the boys. She even tries to hike the ball! Yesterday we went shoppig at E&S Sales in Shipshewana. When she saw the tractors in the toy aisle, she got so excited that she almost jumped out of the shopping cart. She has become quite a tomboy. She loves to build things with her Legos. Everything she builds becomes a truck or tractor and she purses her lips and goes "brrrrrrrrrrr" as she pushes it across the floor.

We never thought it was possible, but every day we are more in love with our little girl. Every day she is more fun and more beautiful than the day before. We are truly blessed to have Maddie in our lives.
Enjoy the photos...

Much love,
Beth, Doug, & Maddie

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Growing So Fast!

Little Miss Bed-Head getting her morning dose of The Wiggles.

This week we had Maddie's 15-month checkup. She has caught up in every way and is a healthy little girl. Since we have brought her home, she has gained 6 pounds and grew 6 inches. With her vocabulary, she is ahead of other kids her age. According to Dr. Chris, 4 words is the expectation by this age. Maddie's vocabulary consists of 15-20 words.

When we walked into the doctor's office on Monday, she immediately spotted the aquarium in the corner and pointed and yelled, "Fish!" I didn't even know she knew that word. She amazes us with new things like that every day.

Last night, Maddie spotted the dog's collar on the back of a living room chair. She climbed up, picked up the collar and studied it for a bit, then snapped the two ends together (it has one of those plastic interlocking clasps). She then brought it to me to separate, then worked at it a little bit and snapped it together again. She did that over and over until she had it down pat and could do it without hesitation.

At bedtime last night, once again doing everything she could to fight sleep, she handed me the TV remote and said, "Wee-wee!" (That's how she says Wiggles.) Our girl LOVES The Wiggles!

This was a tough week for Maddie's mama. I went to TN on a business trip for two days and had to leave Maddie at home with her daddy and grandmas. It was a great opportunity for Doug and Maddie to deepen their bond and they did! She is Daddy's girl like never before. When I first got back, she didn't want to have anything to do with me. That was hard. However, the next morning things were back to normal and she loves her mama once again.

While I was gone, we discovered that she likes raisin bran for breakfast! She picks out all the raisins and then eats the bran.

I have a very demanding toddler wanting my attention so this entry is done. Thanks for checking in.

Much love,

Beth, Doug & Maddie