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!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grooming Madi

On Tuesday, Madi and I went to get haircuts. I can remember Madi's first haircut like it was yesterday (shown in first two photos). She had been home for a few months when I decided to start taking her with me. Madi was definitely suspicious, to say the least, about people she didn't know. I knew, early on, that my best shot at ever getting her haircut would be to gain her trust in Mommy's hair stylist. So, for about eight months, she went with me. She observed. She studied. And finally, one day, she told me that she wanted to get her hair cut too. I wasn't sure whether to believe her. If I truly thought she would go through with it, I would have invited half the family! Was she really ready? She sat very quietly and very intently watching Debbie work me over, trying to psych herself up for the big event. Knowing what a small window of opportunity we had, Debbie gave her a quick snip all over--the whole process took about five minutes, if that. It was a huge step for Madi, and she was rewarded with a certificate and a sucker.

A year later, she's a pro. She has had probably eight haircuts with Debbie. Now, she gets her hair washed at the sink. She sits by herself in the chair like a big girl, and she gets a blowdry. She still gets a sucker, of course--she's no dummy:)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just for you, Mumma!

My mother-in-law called this evening to say that she was disappointed in the blog. She was disappointed that the costume they bought Schroeder for Halloween didn't make it into the "Preparing for Halloween" sequence. We couldn't get the costume on Schroeder yet, but here is Cinnamon sporting the rooster mask last week. Enjoy!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Preparing for Halloween

Last week, we realized that we really didn't have a lot of 'fun' stuff to decorate for Halloween, so Daddy and Madi went on an outing to Target to see what they could find. Unfortunately they didn't have much, and Madi had her eye on this dead-looking tree with lights on it. We think she thought it was a Christmas tree. Anyway, she convinced Daddy that she really wanted this tree. It was $40! Mommy knew right away that the tree must go back. This became my opportunity to teach Madi how to bargain shop! We made a deal that if we went to another store and found stuff she liked better, we would return the tree. I also promised that after Halloween, we can go back to Target and buy the tree for half the price (if it's still there). Madi agreed to the terms of the deal, and we ended up buying four really cool things for less than the tree! We took the tree back the next day, without argument I might add:-)

Congratulations Myles!

On Saturday, we attended cousin Myles' baseball game. They lost the game we went to, but later in the day, they beat the same team and took the championship! It was fun to watch the game, and Madi was extra-impressed with the playground and carousel nearby! Cousin Murphy happily climbed through some tight spots with Madi and showed her all of the fun things in the Science Explorium too. It was a great morning with the boys!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ain't Love Grand?

We missed Grandparents Day about a month ago. We didn't have the blog then, but we do now! Madi is very lucky--strike that--Madi is very blessed. She is blessed because she has four Grandparents that love her very much. They love her in very different ways, and she has such a unique relationship with each of them. She knows that Grandma Murphy will play princesses with her for hours on end and will lay on her bed and pretend to be a baby as long as she wants. She knows that Grandpa Murphy will always pretend to be a fellow dance class student--the student who really doesn't know how to dance properly, so Madi has to teach him the 'right way'. She knows that Biba will always be willing to climb into a fort with her and will teach her the simple joys of nature and making little people out of tinfoil. She knows that she can laugh at Grampster because sometimes he's "Grumpster". He may not be playful, but he always has lots of hugs and kisses for her.
Most importantly, Madi will know that Biba and Grampster traveled all the way to China with Mommy and Daddy to bring her home. They were there to witness Madi being placed into our arms. They were there to provide Madi the loving support of a family that her foster family of ten months had given her.

Madi will know that halfway across the world, Grandma and Grandpa Murphy were there to greet us at the airport--to cautiously and lovingly earn her trust (which took all of fifteen minutes and some gifts) and to move into our house for a week to help us adjust to our transition.

Madi's Grandparents have all, most certainly, had a great hand in molding our child into the amazing person she is becoming. There is so much more to be said, for Madi's sake, about her Grandparents. We are so grateful for these priceless influences in her life...

Happy Anniversary Honey!

Hard to believe 16 years has gone by since Jimmy and I were married. All of our years together have been great, but this child has brought so much joy to our lives! We are going out to dinner tonight. Yes, we are actually leaving Madi with a fabulous sitter named Hannah. Madi was resistant to the idea until I mentioned popcorn and a movie. Then she was in the garden picking flowers for Hannah! It will be nice to dine out; although, I already know that we will spend the better part of our evening talking about our darling daughter!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Madi's First Halloween

As we approach Halloween, it reminds me of Madi's first Halloween. She had been home with us just over a month. Prior to Halloween, Jimmy and I took her to Cason United's pumpkin patch with the neighborhood gang. She looked so adorable in a pumpkin onesie that Aunt Lori and Uncle Blake gave her. She was fascinated with the pumpkins--the big ones she climbed on, the little ones she didn't let go of. She was also fascinated with the hay.

We picked out a Piglet suit for her first Halloween costume. It was very appropriate--her suit was dirty in a matter of minutes! She was a bit too young to be afraid of spooky stuff, thankfully. We took her to a few of the neighbor's house for her first trick-or-treating. She willingly accepted the candy--and then tried to give it back!!

I just put up a slideshow of our pictures from Madi's first Halloween--Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Madi and Matthew

Madi and cousin Matthew are close. They have lived down the street from each other for the last two years. They are almost three years apart in age, but they couldn't be more close in bond. In fact, they could be siblings--which reminds me of a story.

One day, when Madi was probably 18 months old, we were riding in our van and Madi began kicking Aunt Colleen's seat. As this began to agitate Aunt Colleen, she turned around and said, "Madi--if you don't stop kicking my seat, I'm going to take your feet!" With that, cousin Matthew was quite distraught and shouted without hesitation, "You leave my sister's feet alone!!!" I guess that about sums it up...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Madi O. Maloney?

There were many times during our trip to Tampa we thought we might have lost our daughter to the Maloney family! Madi and Emily (currently pronounced 'Em-a-yee' by Madi) had such a great reunion. Clare is such an amazing Mom. She was fortunate enough to stop working when they moved to Tampa. It is clear that her and Emily have become even closer. Madi is very comfortable with both Clare and Ed. They are very special people.
Emily's birthday party was so much fun. Though there were nine friends present, it seemed as if it could have been just Emily and Madi in the room, and that would have been just fine with them! Madi was invited to Emily's dance class as a guest for her first experience with tap dancing. I'm pretty sure she'll want to take tap lessons soon!
Clare had the girls marching around the house banging pots and pans one afternoon and had them engaged in painting crafts for a good couple of hours on another occasion. It was entertaining just to be together! The Maloney's love music (I mean--they really love music) and the girls spent much time dancing around the house. They live in a great neighborhood with a terrific park and nature trail. Clare and I took the girls for a stroll one morning. They became our personal trainers and would order us to "Run!" We had such a blast catching them up to each other in the strollers and then pulling away. They were both screaming for each other like lost loved ones! It was hilarious--until Clare stopped short and Emily did a full flip over the front of her stroller! Thank goodness for Emily's flexibility and sense of humor. She laughed it off without injury...
The girls were so good considering they were together every waking moment for five days. Despite their moments of stubborness and serious competitive 'spirit' (to put it gently:), we are certain they will be in each other's lives forever.

Posting Comments

Hello Everyone--we've had a couple of people say that they weren't able to post comments. I made a change to the settings, so please try again and let me know if you are unsuccessful. Also, for some reason the blog is under review for being spam, and I'm not sure how that affects viewing/posting so please hang in there! Thanks!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jimmy's New Blackberry

Jimmy got a new Blackberry phone at work. That means Madi inherited his old one. Madi thinks she is too cool with her new Blackberry. She knows that it is somehow "above" the average cell phone!
So, on our way over to Tampa, Jimmy was trying and trying to get a good shot of Madi for his new screen saver. What he kept getting was Madi playing peek-a-boo with her American flag until he managed to get this fabulous shot! Mission accomplished!
We are having a great time. Can't wait to post when we get home!!

Sleeping Beauty

I love taking pictures of Madi sleeping. What is it about a sleeping child that is so beautiful? Is it the peacefulness on their faces? Is it the wonder of what they're dreaming of? Or is it just that the house is quiet for once???!!! (hee hee, just kidding, Madi!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Emily! Here we come!

Tomorrow we are off to visit Emily Maloney. We became really close friends with the Maloney family and they moved to Tampa! Is it something we said??

Emily is turning four, and we are going to her birthday party. Madi and Emily are extremely close. It's almost unbelievable. Anyway, I'm sure we'll have lots of stories and pictures to post when we get back on Wednesday! we come!!

Flashback: And so the journey begins...

It was Monday, June 26th, 2006. We had been waiting for 18 months. We were frustrated. We were angry. We hadn't gone in her bedroom for months. We weren't even certain it was ever going to happen.

Grandma and Grandpa Murphy (Jimmy's parents) had treated us to a lovely overnight stay at the Hard Rock Casino with them. We were all checked out and waiting for our car at the valet stand. For some reason, I decided to check my cell phone--1 missed call. When I saw what I had missed, I felt the blood rush from my body. It was our adoption agency. My heart told me it was 'the call'.

We immediately called them back when we got in the car. I could barely dial the phone. And then we received the news. We had been matched with a baby. "What?" "Yes, Lisa--you and Jim have a baby". "Her name is Xiao Yuan Wu, and she's from Wuwei City, Gansu Province. Her birthdate is 9/19/05. She's bald, and she's beautiful!"

Surprised I could speak, I relayed the news to Jimmy, Grandma, & Grandpa. I still don't know how Grandpa managed to stay on the road. We were all screaming. Our heads were spinning. Finally, we were having a baby.

The FedEx package arrived on Thursday. What a strange feeling knowing that your fate--the next piece of your life's puzzle--is in that package. Jimmy was out of town until Friday. How could I possibly open it without him? It was something that was meant for us to do together. I settled for sleeping with the package right beside me.

Friday finally came. At the end of the work day, we sat down with a glass of champagne, and we opened it. We saw her for the first time. I knew I loved her immediately. I knew she belonged to us. We read through all of the details we had received about her, falling deeper in love as we discovered what she was all about. God had delivered us Madi O. Murphy.

Friends and family gathered that evening to see the first glimpse of our future as a family. Our adventure was about to begin.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So there it is...

A distant memory! I'm sooooo glad we captured the photo when she was a baby!

Flashback: How Strong is Madi???

When Madi was probably, oh, fifteen months old, she made this expression that looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger (a Chinese baby version of course) flexing his muscles. Her face was even flexing! It was so funny and cute that I immediately burst out into laughter and took her to the nearest mirror to do it again. We named it her "strong face". For the longest time, you could say, "How strong is Madi???" and she would do that face on cue. Friends and family were constantly prompting her. It lasted for months until the next trick prevailed! If I mention it today, I wonder if she'll still do it? I'll have to give it a try and will let you know...