Thursday, February 12, 2009

She's Full of Personality...And Then Some!

Madeline is going through a phase (I hope) right now where she at least claims she doesn't like to have her diaper changed. I think it's more about obstinacy than anything, but whatever.
She was due for a diaper change yesterday afternoon when we were playing some computer games (one of her favorite pastimes), so we finished the one we were on, and I told her I was going to send a quick email, and then we were going to change her diaper.
About a minute later, I was plunged into total darkness as Madeline turned off the light, which she can now reach (!), and shut the door. She then triumphantly exclaimed, and I quote: "You'll never change my diaper now!!!"
I nearly busted a gut laughing.
But we did change her diaper.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

REAL snow in England!

We did have a little bit of snow here a couple of days ago, but today, unexpectedly, we woke up to REAL snow. Enough snow to make a true snowman. So we did! With a few breaks in between to go out front and watch all the "big kids" (teenagers) having a neighborhood-wide snowball fight in celebration of school being cancelled. They have no snow removal equipment here, so anything over an inch or two pretty much closes things down. Needless to say, Bill still went in to work today, even so!
Madeline has quickly picked up on the tradition of hot chocolate after playing in the snow. She wanted "five" marshmallows in it today. She usually asks for things in quantities of three or five: not sure why, but I sure get a kick out of it!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Yes, I Am Alive...

...And yes, Christmas in the US was wonderful!

I post this blog not because I feel a huge need to document our trip back home, but because if I don't put SOMETHING up on my blog soon, I am in serious danger of being disowned by certain friends and family--you know who you are...!

We flew out of the UK on December 13th, and nearly 24 hours after leaving our home in Peterborough, arrived at Bill's parents' home in Ponca City (as a TOTALLY unrelated, but somewhat interesting side note: here is a list of the cities that Bill has lived in: Ponca City, Provo, Madison, Peoria, Peterborough. Other than that one little blip there, anyone notice a pattern? Pittsburgh, here we come? Or maybe Portland?). Anyway, it was a long and exhausting day of travel, but it could have been worse.

We enjoyed two weeks with Bill's family, including their traditional Christmas Eve get-together with the Foy family, consisting of lots of soup, a pinata, and a reading of the Luke 2 Christmas story. Madeline wasn't totally sure about the pinata, until the candy came out--then she had fun going around and helping herself to things out of everyone else's piles! The privilege of being the only one of her generation there, I suppose... She helped Grandma Hardy illustrate the Christmas story with the Little People nativity Grandma had bought for her to play with--right down to having Mary ride the donkey! I wish we had some video footage of that; it was really cute.

Madeline really enjoyed getting to spend time with her relatives, and her uncles, in particular, were a big hit! They may now never have children of their own, after helping us keep Madeline entertained. :-)

The day after Christmas we left Oklahoma to fly up to Wisconsin to see my family. Madeline and I almost missed our connecting flight because I'd taken her to the play area in the airport not realizing that our flight was so full they decided to board everyone a half hour early (nearly giving Bill a heart attack in the process), but other than that the trip went quite smoothly!

We had a fantastic time with the VanCleaves as well. We finally got to meet "Baby Caitlin", Madeline's new cousin, for the first time (and sent her to the emergency room a half hour after she got there, when Madeline accidentally fell on her face--don't worry, no real damage done). Madeline also got to experience the joys of sledding and snowmen for the first time.

Bill only got to stay in Wisconsin for a week, as he had to get back to the UK and his job, but Madeline and I stayed on a week longer, and had a wonderful, relaxing, fun time with just us and Grandma and Grandpa VanCleave. Madeline especially liked Grandpa's trains, and spent lots of time down in the basement with him, watching them go, pushing the button to make the train whistle sound, and saying "All Aboard!" We even got to make a trip to the zoo, where we had a great time despite the cold weather.

But all good things come to an end, and on January 9th, Madeline and I packed up whatever we hadn't sent home with Bill (we'd spent our entire "Economic Stimulus Check" and then some while in the US, stocking up on clothing, food, etc., so I'd say we did our part for the US economy), and started the long journey home. Apart from a cancelled flight from Milwaukee to Chicago and a resultant bus ride, the trip, even as a solo parent, really wasn't too bad, all things considered.

Madeline was very excited to see her Daddy again, and I think also to be home, although she does talk about missing Grandma and Grandpa a lot, and wants to go back to their house again. Mommy was somewhat less excited to be home, though I suppose it is good to be back in a "normal" routine again, or at least to have all of our "stuff" instead of just what we could fit in the suitcases.