Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bouncing cousins

Matthew's birthday celebration was Saturday, and his parents pulled in a great, big Batman bounce house for the occasion. We were able to go over in the morning to get some bouncing in before the festivities began in the afternoon. These kids bounced for hours and had a great time! Happy birthday Matthew!

A Day to Celebrate

Today is a special day because:
1. It is Matthew's birthday (6)
2. It is Aunt Colleen's birthday (undisclosed)
3. Two years ago, Madi was baptized!
We chose this date for a few reasons. It was close to Christmas. It was during the holidays and was easy for our visiting family members. We also felt like it would be easy to remember! The ceremony was performed by Deacon Lee Levenson at St. Vincent Ferrer, our parish. It was also special because Madi's little friend Jackson Roberts was baptized during the same service! With Uncle Andrew as Madi's Godfather and Aunt Colleen standing in for Aunt Kathy, who was unable to make the trip, it was a beautiful and moving service.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Jammin' Madi

We had our Murphy family Christmas party last night. Madi received her first guitar as a gift from Aunt Sheila, Uncle David, and cousins Murphy and Myles. Murphy, being the gifted musician that he is, was able to tune it for her. Myles, who plays bass, enjoyed jammin' out with her. She also was able to experiment on Murphy's drums and play piano with them. We are grateful to have musicians in the family!

Baking with Aunt Carol

I don't often bake with Madi. Thankfully, she has two people in her life that adore baking with her--Grandma Murphy and Aunt Carol, our next-door neighbor. Aunt Carol gave Madi this great Santa cooking ensemble and invited her to bake for most of the morning one day over the holidays. It was so much fun for Madi and awesome that Jimmy and I got some housework done!!!

Madi's new hairstyle

Does anyone remember the banana clip phase? Well, I went through it for quite a few years in my early twenties when I had extremely BIG hair. Madi came across my clips the other day, which look like some kind of salad mixing utensils. She loved them instantly and insisted that I put them in her hair. I had to snap a picture just for nostalgic reasons:-)

Madi's Creative Projects

Madi does the funniest, most random things sometimes. This weekend she was gathering lunch bags and wrapping them in Kleenex. Then she would secure them with my hair clips. She collected them in a basket and said she was delivering them to people. Some of them finally ended up in her new set of baby bunk beds she received from Aunt Kathy and Kelsey for Christmas. I think she was still in the spirit of giving!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Spirit of Christmas

It is so easy to get back to the true meaning of Christmas when you see children sing and praise Jesus. Yesterday, we attended Matthew's Christmas pageant at St. Vincent's. Matthew was a shepherd, and his line was, "Come and worship everyone! Hear the Christmas story of God's son!" He was so precious. All the children were so precious. Madi especially loved the song "Happy Birthday Jesus". She can't wait to be on that stage someday too. Great job, Matthew!

Tag, you're it!

I love this picture! Yesterday we were visiting Grandma and had so much fun playing tag--really it was Madi running back and forth to tag us and we would tag her back. After a while, she started to get frustrated and complained that she didn't want to be it! The beautiful pajama top was an early Christmas gift from Marie and Bob. We had to take the pants off because she was such a little sweaty thing, as usual!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Seeing Santa Claus 2008

This year's visit to Santa was amazing, to say the least. We were again joined by Grandma and Grandpa Murphy. Madi embraced Santa wholeheartedly. She waited patiently in line for almost an hour. The longest part of the wait was when we were next and waiting for our turn. I could see her fidgeting with excitement. And finally it was her turn. She walked over to Santa and handed him the rose that she had so proudly brought for him. She handed him some pictures she had drawn (actually they were caricatures of Santa that Jimmy had drawn) that were tied in a golden bow. Then she dove at him and gave him the biggest hug. It was such a moment. I had tears in my eyes, and I know Jimmy did too. She'd come such a long way...

Santa proceeded to ask Madi what she wanted for Christmas, and she was able to tell him about the pinata that she's been hoping for. He quizzed her for more information about her special request. It was all so precious and priceless. Then Santa gave her a jingle bell, and thanked her for coming. Madi was thrilled with the whole experience. I have a feeling Santa's going to bring her more than just a pinata this year. She's been a very, very good girl:-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Seeing Santa Claus 2007

Madi's first trip to see Santa was in the company of both sets of Grandparents, her Aunt and Uncle and cousin Matthew. It was not a very pleasant event for Madi with the exception of the family gathering. She had no idea what was going on and insisted that I remain right by her side with Santa. My brother has the disk with the photos, so I'll try to get them and post a photo soon.

Last year was much better. We prepared Madi's wish list in advance. She was a bit tentative when she first laid eyes on Santa, but we assured her everything was fine. She brought her baby Xiao Xiao for the occasion, along with Grandma and Grandpa Murphy. Madi handed Xiao Xiao over to Santa first--to make sure he could be trusted with her precious baby. Then he wooed her with a beautiful silver bell. She was on his lap in no time; although, she still continued to act a bit shy. Madi gave him her list and voiced her requests. It was a wonderful experience.

We went for a great dinner at Legal Seafood and continued shopping in the mall after dinner. Grandma Pauline and I split from Grandpa, Jimmy and Madi to go into a store. When we came out, we couldn't find them. Shortly thereafter, we heard a child yelling, and it was clearly Madi's voice. We then saw Jimmy and Madi running by with Grandpa following behind. Jimmy was holding Madi up and she was shouting, "Tanta! Tanta!" They were chasing Santa Claus, who was about twenty feet in front of them. All of a sudden, she was the bravest kid in the bunch!

Her three requests from Santa last year were: a baby tiger, fizzy water (La Croix, preferably), and M&M's. She was obviously a good girl last year, because Santa delivered all of those things and more!

This year, she wants Santa to bring her a pinata...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We'll miss you, Miss Dawn!

Yesterday's happy news was followed up today by sad news. Miss Dawn, Madi's teacher from her Little Owls class is leaving the YMCA to pursue a better career opportunity. Miss Dawn is a very special person in our book--in many people's books actually. One of our first 'Mommy and Me' classes together was under her leadership. Madi and I took her class together for about 9 months.
Eventually, I decided that I wanted to begin working out, so I began leaving Madi in the babysitting room occasionally. What a painful experience. It was like ripping Madi's heart out, and mine too. She hated that room. I'm still not sure why--the women were very good to her. I suspect there were too many babies, and she wanted to be a big girl.
One day, I walked her to the babysitting room, and she flipped out like she'd never flipped out before. It was probably her fourth or fifth trip there. She took my arm and dragged me down the hall crying for Miss Dawn. I knew that Miss Dawn was teaching a class at the time, but I was in complete shock. Something (Madi) compelled me to walk into Miss Dawn's Little Owls classroom that was in session. We walked in the room, and I know I looked like a deer in the headlights! I just stared at Miss Dawn and said, "Do you take 2 1/2 year olds?" full knowing that the class was for 3 and up. She, like the saint she is, saw the despair on my face and took Madi into the classroom without question and sent me on my way to the gym. My entire workout was filled with confusing thoughts about what I would do next week if Madi flipped out and how I would get out of this one. I felt that I had really gotten myself into a difficult situation. When I went to get Madi after the class, Miss Dawn cheerfully greeted me at the door and announced that Madi did great. She also offered to begin taking Madi into the Little Owls class even though she wasn't 3 yet. Miss Dawn had solved all of my problems!
Madi trusted Miss Dawn in territory that hadn't been treaded before--new places and new faces, and ones without Mommy included. I know there will be many other 'Miss Dawns' throughout Madi's life, but the original Miss Dawn will always hold a special place in our hearts for helping us both deal with the pain of separation. We wish her only the best and we love her dearly.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The email we received today...

"Good Morning Mrs. Murphy, I received and interfiled the documentation. Your I-800A application was approved late yesterday. The Approval Notice went out in the mail this morning."

We have been waiting to hear this since August!! What does it mean, you ask? Well, the US Government has given us the 'green light' to adopt again! We still have some hoops to go through--the certification and authentication process--our completed dossier going to Holt, and finally--our dossier going to China, but this is a HUGE step that's been completed so we'll celebrate with a toast tonight!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving in Michigan

On the ride from the airport, Madi began pointing to bridges (overpasses, really). She was obviously moved by this abundance of bridges that she had never seen before, so she came up with, "There are too many bridges in Michigan!!" and she would slap her legs for effect. She complained about the bridges all week, especially because of the fantastic reaction she was getting!

I thought about blogging a few times during our trip, but my heart kept telling me to live in the moment and enjoy every minute with the family. So I did. We had such a nice time in Michigan. We laughed alot. Yes, Madi saw snow--not a lot of snow, but she saw snow fall out of the sky. We met Kelsey's boyfriend, Nick, who is very sweet and good to Kelsey. He gets a thumbs-up from the Aunt and Uncle in Florida (and from Madi too:). Refer to the slideshow for photos.

The puppies were very cute. Madi loved Hogan (aka Hoggin) and Hollister and slept with Aunt Kathy and the puppies every night. We would hear them get up in the morning to take care of the puppies and make them scrambled eggs. Kathy makes them each a scrambled egg every day. You heard me--they eat a better breakfast than most people! Madi was constantly saying, "I love you boy" and "I love you girl" in her special little accent. Madi was Kathy's "little helper" all week. Kathy let her have a hand in everything just about. She was an award-winning Aunt, to say the least, and Madi was glued to her all week. Kathy was playing with her constantly.

We went out for a couple of really, really good dinners with Kathy and Kelsey, and Nick joined us one of the evenings. Madi was a champ at both restaurants we went to. She was praised pretty much everywhere she went and received special treatment because of her behavior. Yes folks, me bragging again about my daughter!!! On our way home from dinner one night, we drove through some neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. We found one house that was absolutely decked out in Thanksgiving theme. We had never seen anything like it. Please check out the picture in the slideshow. Anyway, Madi was so impressed that she asked us if she could draw them a picture. The next day, she proceeded to draw them some pictures and insisted that we deliver the pictures to the house. So, we drove over and walked up to their door (which had a 'no soliciting' sign!), and rang the bell. The homeowner answered and glared at us as if we were solicitors--until I explained our motive and the fact that we were visitors from Florida. He seemed pleased enough with the delivery, and Madi was extra-pleased with her good deed.

Thanksgiving dinner was spent at home with Kathy, Kelsey, and Kathy's best friend Gary. Gary is a wonderful, kind-hearted man who we've known for many years now. He is absolutely hilarious and always adds levity to our family gatherings. We love his company. Anyway, it was just the six of us, and it was perfect. We wore our most comfortable clothes and adhered to no schedule. Kathy single-handedly made a wonderful spread for all of us.

On the ride back to the airport, we decided to count the bridges. We counted 141. Turns out Madi was right about the bridges afterall! Kathy and Kelsey, I know there is so much more to add. We have so many funny things to remember and reflect on that I could blog on forever!! Thanks for a wonderful time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some classic lines this week...

The other day, Madi wasn't feeling so well, and I started lecturing her about how we both need to drink more water. I went on and on about how we haven't been drinking enough water and how important it is for our bodies I finally said "Madi, it's very important to drink water because [pause] we need to stay...". Madi completely shocked me by finishing my sentence in her little voice, "hydrated!" It took me completely by surprise. I guess I've ranted about this one to her before!!!

Yesterday, we attended a beautiful baptism ceremony. The pastor took the baby from the Godparent's arms, and began to walk up to the altar. Madi watched quietly, turned to me and said, "Where is God taking the baby??"

I am not a big fan of motorcycles. Whenever we see a biker without a helmet, I have often told Madi that is a dumb thing to do, even though 'dumb' or 'dummy' is not a nice word. This week when we saw a biker without a helmet, Madi began to shout, "Dummy!" Suddenly, I wasn't so sure how that sounded so I can up with a better plan. I told her that we should really shout "Danger" since it is more appropriate, and dummy isn't a nice word. She very logically responded, "okay, Mommy. I say 'danger' to the person and say 'dummy' to the motorcycle"! How could I argue with that????

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Five days and counting...

We can hardly wait for next week. On Tuesday, we will depart for Michigan for a nice well-needed Thanksgiving visit with Madi's Aunt Kathy and cousin Kelsey. Madi nicknamed Kathy "YaYa" and Kelsey "Boo Boo" when she was too little to pronounce their names. Kathy just kind of became "YaYa", but Kelsey's nickname was formed one day when we were Skyping. Kelsey had a biking accident and her whole hip was a gigantic bruise. She would show Madi her "boo boo" everytime we Skyped them. Madi began saying she wanted to call Boo Boo! Madi and her cousin Kelsey are very close. Kelsey is a sweet and beautiful teenager, and Madi simply adores her. She very much looks up to Kelsey and took to her right away. Madi and Aunt Kathy are very close too. I remember how patient Kathy was with Madi the first time they met. Kathy handled everything just perfectly and waited so patiently for Madi to warm up to her. I know it was killing her! All she wanted to do was grab Madi and squeeze her!

Next week will be Madi's second trip to Michigan. Our last visit was in May for Kelsey's confirmation. We had such a good time celebrating with them, and Kelsey looked gorgeous, as usual. It was very special for us to be present for such an event, especially since we are her Godparents! The pictures posted are from that special day. I had to include the last one of Madi because I love her expression. That was about 'Take Ten' and I'm sure her face hurt from saying, "Cheese" so many times. What can I say, the poor kid is constantly tortured by her paparazzi Mother.

A few things will be different this time around. Kathy and Kelsey have two new puppies that we've yet to meet, and Kelsey has a new boyfriend, whom I cannot wait to meet! I promise I won't embarrass you Kelsey--well maybe just a little:-) We feel confident that Madi may see snow for the first time (that she'll remember), and if not--she'll definitely get a good memory of some freezing cold weather! Oh, and I'm sure she can also count on a special manicure and pedicure from YaYa as usual...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Madi's Special Ring

Madi began quizzing Grandma Murphy about her rings when she was a little over two years. She was always fascinated with her claddagh ring--but especially with her diamond engagement and wedding rings. Grandma explained to Madi that Grandpa gave her those rings "because he loves me". Madi replied with, "Grandpa loves me too!?!" like why aren't I wearing a ring??? One weekend, Grandma and Grandpa went shopping for a very special ring for Madi. They walked in the front door and announced that Grandpa had a surprise for her. Grandma pointed to her rings and asked if Madi remembered why Grandpa gave them to her. Of course, she remembered the words, "because he loves you". With that, Grandpa said, "Well Madi O., I love you too and gave her the box. Madi was so overjoyed--I believe she knew exactly what was about to happen. She opened the ring box and felt like a true princess.

Madi only wears this ring when supervised, for obvious reasons. I am a little overprotective because I distinctly remember my parents giving me my first gemstone ring in my youth, and I wore it for all of half an hour. I went out to play in the neighborhood and lost it in someone's lawn. My ring was never to be found again.

One day in October, I opened up Madi's ring box, and the ring was missing. I questioned Madi about it's whereabouts and we "traced our steps" to find it...but no such luck. I was just sick about it. I thought for sure I had vacuumed the ring up and thrown it away. I thought it was gone forever. A few weeks later, something kept telling me to organize Madi's crayons and such. Low and behold I opened one of the containers and Madi's little ring was sitting inside. What a lucky day! The ring is back in the ring box and Madi knows it is now with her other special jewelry--"up high"!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

I love my Job...

I went out last night with some moms in our Mom's Club. It was fun, kinda, but what it really did was reinforce how much I love being a Mother and how much I adore my husband and my family. I am proud to wear my "Mommy clothes" everyday, even if I've worn the same thing for two years. I am proud that I don't usually wear makeup or care if I have a few wrinkles or gray hairs. Truth be told, I feel I've earned the wrinkles and the gray hairs. Thank God I'm around to even have them, right? Anyway, getting out of the house is fun sometimes, but it always reminds me where I'm needed and wanted most--at home. I'm thankful for the people in my life who I love, and who love me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Madi the Monkey

I wouldn't be surprised if Madi ended up in the Olympics someday. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up excelling in anything athletic. The child is a natural, and her body was made to be in motion. She taught herself to do a somersault at 16 months old with little assistance, and she's been improving her skills ever since. The beautiful part is her true love of physical activity. She doesn't partake in physical activities because she has to--she does them because she wants to.

Her favorite gymnast is Nastia Liuken. She picked up that name quickly, and during the Olympics contended that she wanted to be "the white girl". I was shocked when I first heard this (obviously) but then realized that Nastia was wearing a white leotard. For weeks after the Olympics, and actually still to this day, she makes us announce her as Nastia Liuken, and she will get up for a little performance of some sort. She has often watched gymnastics on tv and literally broken down into tears because she wanted to do the tricks that they were doing. We explained to her that she has to learn to walk on the balance beam before she can learn to do flips! For now, she settles for a cute little class once a week, where she can practice and learn new things. More importantly, she can demonstrate her listening skills and ability to follow instructions, which the teachers are quite impressed with by the way! Her passion allows me to stress the importance of a nutritious diet and lots of rest. She reminds me to give her Juice Plus everyday!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Tale of Two Xiao Xiaos

Long before Madi came home, there was a special baby doll brought home by Grandma and Grandpa Murphy. We ended up naming the doll Xiao Xiao (pronounced 'Chow Chow' and nicknamed after Madi's given Chinese name, Xiao Yuan). Xiao Xiao sat in Madi's crib waiting for months, if not a year. Over time, Xiao Xiao has become Madi's 'everything'. She has taken this baby everywhere and many of her experiences have been in the presence of Xiao Xiao for the last two years. This condition of this doll's hair is indicative of how much she's experienced!
Over the Summer, Madi and Jimmy went to a birthday party in the neighborhood. Somehow, a container of kerosene spilled on Xiao Xiao and saturated her entire body and hair. While Madi was napping, we tried and tried to remove the traces of kerosene to no avail. We washed her with everything under the sun. We had no choice but to deem Xiao Xiao unsafe for Madi to play with. The mere thought was devastating to us, and to all of her Grandparents--to anyone who knew of Xiao Xiao for that matter.
Grandma Murphy and I plotted about how we would discuss it when she woke up and called a local merchant to line up a quick replacement. We were sitting on her bed, and I told her--point blank--the truth! I told her that something happened to Xiao Xiao and she was simply unsafe to play with. I explained that we would go on Monday to buy a new Xiao Xiao. Madi took the news remarkably. In fact, she took it much better than we did! We knew that the kerosene would wear off in time, and chances were that Xiao Xiao would be fine, but Grandpa Murphy would hear nothing of it. He was adamant about a replacement for safety reasons.
We picked up the new doll that Monday, and the original Xiao Xiao went in hiding in the spare room for a few weeks. We visited her daily. Once we determined she was safe again, Madi decided that the new doll would be Xiao Xiao, and she would be the older sister. Her original doll would be the baby and would be named Xiao Yuan--fitting that she chose to name her beloved original doll after her own given name.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Madi's Cats

Madi came home to three black cats--Schroeder, Cinnamon, & Rooty. We suspected that she had not been accustomed to having pets in China, and Jimmy and I were in agreement that it was very important to teach Madi respect for animals. We also knew that we would have to protect her from harm should the cats not accept her right away. We were often reminded by friends and family that the cats would have to be put to the street if they didn't get along! In the beginning, Madi and the cats were fearful of each other. The first time one of the cats sniffed her foot, she absolutely freaked out. Then Grandpa decided to tease her and touch her foot pretending to be the cat. That didn't go over too well--Madi jumped sky-high and practically leaped into his arms. We got a good laugh at her expense!

Madi went through a phase of trying to pull their tails if she could catch them, and they learned quickly how to stay very far away from her! I remember once when Schroeder aka "Baby Co" hissed and batted at her when she was in his face. Madi, of course, began to cry--mostly because her feelings were hurt. We used this encounter as another example to teach her why she needed to respect animals. I'll never forget that Grandma Murphy came to Madi's defense immediately. She was furious with us for not punishing the cat!

I'm happy to report that Madi and her cats are now best friends. She likes to reminisce about how she pulled their tails when she was a baby and points out how she is so good with them now because she's a big girl. Schroeder, who rarely entered her bedroom before, is now found frequently sleeping on her bed. Madi loves her cats; although, once in a while she gets a little jealous if I'm petting one of them, and she'll grab my hand and say, "Pet me! Pet me!"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Madi and one of her best buddies, Miss Mary Kelly at the voting precinct last Tuesday! They were proud to be American and take part in the voting process with their mommies!
Posted by Picasa

How will our Garden Grow?

Today was a great day! We worked on a wonderful project with our local Mom's group to build a garden for charity. With about five other families, we planted tomatoes, peppers, carrots, herbs, & strawberries. Despite a serious red ant problem, we were able to have everything planted within an hour--actually, I think the red ants made us plant a lot quicker! The kids had fun and really seemed to love the idea of helping others. We will adhere to a maintenance schedule to see that a portion of these fruits and veggies are delivered to the Caring Kitchen in Delray Beach.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Florida Loses a Superhero

It's true. It's happening. Is it really? Yes, it really is...I've been trying to ignore it for days now, months even, because I can't believe it's truly happening. I can't ignore it anymore. Am I sad? Yeah...I'm really, really sad. We are losing a precious Superhero in our own Delray Beach. My brother and his family are moving back up North. I'm crushed (forgive me, I think I'm grieving at this very moment). Matthew (I love you too, Mom and Dad) has been such a blessing in our lives that it's hard to imagine him living anywhere else, but I know it will all be okay. I know that God works in mysterious ways....

2009, a year of change--Barack Obama--a move to New Hampshire, it's all good, right? Yes, it is all good. I'm so happy for my Brother and his wonderful opportunity and for his family's new opportunities too! So, why am I sitting here crying?? Because I'm contemplating life over a glass of wine, that's why!! After all, I'm the one who wooed them down here in the first place! They were here from the beginning--the final days we waited for Madi, and the day we brought her home. Did God send them down here to give Madi and Matthew a solid beginning as cousins? I believe he did. Should I feel guilty? No, no--because I know they have all been loved. Loved by a solid community of loving friends and loving family. I know that that doesn't just go away--no matter where you are. Love knows no boundaries. I know that Andrew, Colleen, and Matthew were brought here to Florida for a purpose, whatever that might have been. I know that they changed people's lives, and people changed theirs. They were there when we needed them, and I know that we were there when they needed us. That gives me peace, and I hope it gives them peace too. I wish them a journey of peacefulness, happiness, and tons of love. But am I sad? Yeah, I'm terribly sad...

Andrew, Colleen & Matthew--you will always have a home in sunny Florida:-) :-(

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We're Back!

Ahhhh...the little things we take for granted. Our internet is back up and running, thankfully, so please stay tuned for blogging to resume in the near future!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Murphy's Law of Gardening

Yesterday morning, Jimmy and Madi opted to spend the morning gardening together while I went to church. They planted some carrot seeds that arrived in the mail compliments of a charity. Madi helped Daddy plant a bunch of other things too (please don't ask me to name them). They did a great job and had a blast together. Madi was very proud of her work.

Around 1:00 pm, I noticed that I was having trouble accessing the internet. I picked up the phone--no dial tone. Then it occured to me. Yes, once again, my dear husband (and I do mean that sincerely) chopped our phone line with his razor-sharp shovel.
With that said, I am down at my brother's house writing this blog. AT&T expects our phone line to be remedied by Thursday (hoping for no costs but expecting no miracles!) Please call our cell phones if you need us, and please be patient with blog entries. I have a feeling this may be the last one before the weekend!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Twilight Zone Halloween

Wow. Where to begin...Halloween was really, really strange this year. We were joined by one of Madi's best friends, Ana, her baby sister Monica (aka Mo Mo) and the lovely Mrs. Carrie Socha. They arrived just before 5:00, and we decided to make an appearance down the street at a friend's house. They host a Halloween party every year, and daughter Mary is friends with Madi and Ana. Well, leave it to us to show up while the family is still getting dressed and preparing for the party! We felt so awkard--not because of them, of course--but because of our inappropriate timing. We visited for a few minutes, and then headed back to our house. It started to rain just as we pulled up to the house as timing would have it, but we were lucky enough to escape the major downpour.
Once the rain subsided, we decided to take the girls to a few houses, accompanied by Grandma Murphy. Out of the ten houses we hit, I think three of them were home. We started to wonder if we had the right day! The ones that were home commented that we were the first trick-or-treaters. We were starting to see a pattern here! The girls feet were getting sore, so we headed home. A few minutes later, we decided to pay our immediate neighbors a visit. Poor Ana tripped over a cord in our neighbor's yard, and they weren't even home to give us a treat--guess that means we got 'tricked'. Our second 'trick' came when we walked two doors down and a vicious dog emerged from the house, beyond the control of the girl who answered the door. It sent this poor girl into a panic, and I was frozen--I mean frozen. So was Madi. The dog tore right past us and went for Ana, who was trying to move out of the way. Thank God for Carrie's instinct, because she scooped that child up faster than anything I've ever seen. The dog bit her dress, but thankfully no one was hurt. The girls were stunned. We were stunned. I don't think they were even sure what happened! As a friend quoted, "It sounded very Disney-like"! And they didn't even get any candy!!! We decided that trick-or-treating was clearly over for the night. We walked back to the house in shock and couldn't wait to have a cocktail! (We needed one after that debacle.)
Shortly thereafter, the first group of kids arrived with frightening costumes, and that was it. The girls were done. They opted to go inside and watch a movie. The night was full of rain, so most of the evening was spent with friends piled up inside our garage. Despite the chaos, the kids ended up having a fun Halloween. I wonder if the Socha's will ever want to spend Halloween "Murphy style" again???!!! I am still giggling today when I think about the bizarre events of the evening...and then the real kicker....our van got egged last night! (maybe it was the Socha's?)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Madi's First Nightmare

Okay, so I know this wasn't her first nightmare, but it was the first one that she could actually verbalize what happened. How fitting for the night before Halloween! Around 3:00AM, we heard a scratching or kicking the covers sound, followed by Madi shouting, "Go! Go! Go!" in her little accent. Then she burst into crying and screaming for Mommy. I ran to her room and she was sitting on the bed crying. I asked her if she had a bad dream, and she said, "Big bug! Big bug!" and pointed in her bed. I turned on the light, and we looked for the bug which was nowhere to be found. I explained that it was only a dream, but Madi wanted no part of her bed and insisted on going to Mommy and Daddy's room. So what did I do? What every professional would tell you not to do! I took her into our bed for the first time ever! It was a crazy night, to say the least. Madi kicked me throughout the night (she evidently thought I was the big bug) and Daddy recounted this morning various antics of her sleeping on his belly, tickling his face with her hair, yada, yada, yada.

At 8:00AM, Madi woke up with a big smile, rolled over, and said, "Mama, where we goin' today?" Hmmm-she didn't remember a thing! I told her the whole story, and she giggled as if it were fiction. I also explained that I was washing her whole bed today, so we can make sure there are no bugs in the bed tonight. Can't wait to find out what Halloween night will bring!! Oh...and please don't call the house between 1:00 and 3:30--we'll be napping!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween - Chapter Two

Madi's second Halloween was a much different experience than the first. I knew what we were in for when Granda Murphy and I went shopping at Costco and Madi laid eyes on a person-sized witch. She was so freaked out that she was trembling! She had declared early on that she would dress as Dora but agreed to only wear the outfit, because she was afraid of the wig and the boots!

We took her to the Pumpkin Patch at Cason again, and Grandma and Grandpa Murphy took her to a pumpkin patch in Boca. Throughout the month, we had to constantly reassure her that there was nothing to be afraid of. She loved to practice trick-or-treating in the pantry. Days before Halloween we would find her treat bag full of the odds and ends she'd collected!

We didn't expect much for Halloween night. In fact, we fully expected Madi to be inside and in bed early! Grandma and Daddy took her to a few of the neighbor's houses, and then we brought her home. Well, then we assigned Madi the task of handing out the candy. She absolutely loved her job, and it gave her a totally different outlook! Daddy decided to take her out for more trick-or-treating, and she didn't get home until 8:30! Daddy had saved Halloween!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ride, Madi, Ride!

Christmas came early at the Murphy house today. About mid-morning, I received an email distribution from a woman in the local Mom's group who was trying to sell her daughter's bicycle that she had outgrown. It peaked my curiosity, since Madi has been interested in bikes lately, so I shot her an email to ask a few questions. At 2:00, we were driving over to 'check out' the bike for a test ride. Madi loved it immediately and it seemed to fit her just right, so we bought it (for less than half the store price:-) It rides even better once Daddy came home and pumped more air in the tires!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More About Grooming Madi

I still encounter some resistance when trimming Madi's little fingernails. The other night, I told her that all the Supermodels like to keep their nails nice and short. Not that Madi knows what a Supermodel is--but it sure sounded important enough! Then she asks me to tell her 'the story'. I tell her about how Mommy was scared to trim her fingernails when she first came home--how Mommy had never cut fingernails so little, so Uncle Andrew had to come over for months to show Mommy how to do it right, without hurting Madi.

Then I tell her that Mommy is a pro now, and after lots of practice I know that I won't hurt her little fingers. Madi loves to hear this story. Hopefully, it reinforces the "practice makes perfect" adage! The story never gets old to her, and it sure helps get the job done faster!