Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

The weather here was beautiful today, a perfect day to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday. After being away from home for a week, there seems to be a week's worth of work to catch up. How is that possible if we weren't even here??

Today, I managed to go to the pool store to stock up on some supplies and order a roller for our solar cover. (What was I thinking, going to the pool store on Memorial Day.....it was so busy!) I worked on catching up on laundry from the trip, rinsed out hot tub filters and tinkered with hot tub/pool chemicals, stained the wooden post and wooden shell of the mailbox, worked on spray painting some flower window boxes, watered the garden/flowers, hosed off the new layer off leaves and gunk that the willow tree dropped on our patio (David just did this yesterday too....damn willow!), David & I dug out various pool toys from storage and inflated them, David assembled a larger round table for the 3 season room that we never put together last summer (the one that was there will go out on the pool deck once the solar cover roller is installed), David rearranged the furniture in the 3 season room to accommodate the larger table, David made us lunch while I was staining the mailbox & he later grilled us some hot dogs for dinner.

I would say our day was quite productive but I still have sooooo much to do! If only I could have David on vacation & at home for a few more days!! However, we found some time for play as well. We took a break and enjoyed our pool and the inflatable dolphin that David's mom sent us last year when we moved in (we never got around to inflating it last year because we moved in so late in the summer). The picture above is of Madeline test driving the dolphin but somehow it eventually became Mama's mode of transportation in the pool. I was having a bit too much fun taking flying leaps off the pool deck while trying to land on the dolphin. (I am lucky I didn't pop that thing!) Madeline was near-by hanging on to a foam "noodle" and riding the wakes that resulted from Mama's dolphin pounces. David floated near-by on a rigged-up "noodle chair" and just laughed at me each time the dolphin tipped me over.

Finally, to top off the day, we treated ourselves to ice cream cones at a near-by ice cream shop. Mmmmmm......I LOVE their Snickerdoodle ice cream. It really was a perfect day, a perfect weekend, and a perfect end of a travel week. Now if only every week had a 3-day weekend, that would be pure perfection!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Back From Austin

Yes, the start to our trip to Texas was a bit crazy however the last little bit that we were in Austin was uneventful.....good news! David finished up his last bit of business on Friday and we flew out of town on Saturday. We were lucky to spend more time with Uncle Charles.

On Friday evening David, Madeline and I went to try to see the bats come from under the Congress Street Bridge. If you are not familiar with this, it is an absolute amazing sight! The bridge, in downtown Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America with over 1.5 million bats! To get an idea of what it looks like when 1.5 million bats come out at dusk you gotta click here to see a youtube video and wait to see the swarm in the sky. This video is pretty much what we saw last time we were in Austin. Unfortunately, only a handful of bats were out on this trip. It is my understanding that in May the mothers prepare for birth with them giving birth in June and so this most likely was the reason for poor viewing (I believe the prime times are in the months of July, August & September). Oh well...but the above picture is of Madeline and David awaiting the bats. (We have the same pose last time we were in Austin and Madeline was still in a stroller).

Before flying out on Saturday morning, Uncle Charles took us to breakfast and we were able to see him, Merl and another friend, Carol. It was the perfect send off before a long day of travel. We thought we were flying Delta again on the way home and I was a little leery after our experience with them on the way to Texas (and especially since we were taking 3 flights to get home!) however, it turned out we were on Continental (nothing like waiting until the last second to look at your itinerary). We did not have any problems getting home and arrived on time at about 10:30pm. I love to travel but nothing feels better than that first night in your own bed after being away! Needless to say, all three of us slept like rocks.

Today, I was a bit bummed. I wanted to dig into yard work and enjoy being home however, I had to get out and about to plant flowers at the cemetery and replenish our grocery supply so I did not return home until late afternoon. However, when Madeline and I got home David had already mowed the lawn and took care of some of the work around the house that needed to be taken care of. Although I was antsy-pantsy to keep working David forced me to enjoy the beautiful day and so, this afternoon we used our pool for the first time this season. Yes, I think the neighbors thought we were nuts when we were opening our pool in weather that required us to wear sweatshirts. However, knowing we were traveling we were no dummies! And so, this afternoon we enjoyed our pool, graduated to the hot tub, David grilled out for dinner and the Coronas and lime never tasted so good! What a great homecoming!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mermaid Lynn-La!

"Lynn-La" is Madeline's "mermaid name". Don't ask....long story how "Lynn-La" evolved however, I am proud to announce that we now have a little "Mermaid Lynn-La". Although the video (below, at bottom) is of poor quality (not to mention sideways) I would defintiely say that Madeline is officially swimming. Now, she is no means a strong swimmer however she can jump in the pool and swim 5-6 feet (video does not show this extent)before sinking. The weather here is awesome (mid 90's) and the pool at the condo we are staying has a very nice water temperature. Madeline has been more than pleased to spend the day swimming. I guess she is in practice for whenever we go (not sure when) to visit "Uncle" Jon at his new house (with pool) in New Orleans.

So far (knock on wood), Austin has been treating us better than Dallas (aside, of course, from my visits with Shirley, Jon & Joe). I love Austin. Although I haven't had much opportunity to get out and about this time around, I think it is a cool city and am happy to be back here. For those of you familiar with Buffalo, I guess you could equate the "pulse" of Austin to be similar to the feel one gets in Buffalo's Elmwood Village. I would say that Austin is Elmwood Village all very grown up.

After a brief visit with David's Uncle Charles and friend, Merl, last night I am looking forward to some more visits while here. Also, I would love to do a little shopping and also take Madeline to see the bats at night come out from under the Congress Ave Bridge. Maybe, if we are lucky, we can squeeze that in after David's Friday meetings. Cross your fingers.
video

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

There Is A Bug In My Lemonade!

So, last I posted it looked as though our nightmarish trip to Texas finally turned around. I was able to see a little more of "Texas Grandma" (Shirley), Jon & Joe and after losing our reservation in downtown we were able to check into the Great Wolf Lodge (or as Madeline calls it, the "sparkly hotel") for the remainder of our stay in Dallas. Although it was nice that Madeline and I now had something to do while David worked, it sucked for David that he now had a morning commute. But, if you recall, after losing our reservation there were no closer hotels to downtown because of the number of people in town for the conference. Yet, Madeline and I made the most of the water park. This girl is a fish! Minimally, Madeline would give Ariel a run for her money! Madeline went full speed/full energy for hours at a time. I would literally have to drag Madeline away from the pool to force a little down time on her. Tuesday morning, Shirley came out to visit with me. I think Shirley was amazed at the amount of energy dear Madeline exuded. Madeline easily got Shirley and me tired just watching her yet, when Maddie was not in the wadding area, Mama was forced to partake. Needless to say, I was dead tired at bedtime and sore in the mornings.....I'm getting old!

Great way to make lemonade out of the sour lemons, right? Welllllllll.......this morning, as I was starting to pack up I took a damp towel off of the bathroom floor and from underneath it scattered about 7 bugs. I freaked out! What the heck!!! Concerned about cockroaches, I called the front desk and told them they needed to send someone over to identify the bug. After a full-blown case of "heebie-jeebies" set in, the front desk still did not send anyone. I decided to capture one of these bugs and ask a housekeeper in the hall if it was a cockroach. After the poor housekeeper dealt with a psycho guest (me), I called back the front desk and gave them an earful about how I would NOT be checking out at 11am (they previous denied my request for a late check out) because I would have to empty out my 3 suitcases, shake the suitcases out, shake out all my clothing and repack my suitcases. And yes, as I was shaking out my stuff, bugs were all over the place. I probably saw about 20-25 total! Each time, I would let out a mini-shriek and Madeline would ask, "Where's the bug???". The front desk ended up sending the maintenance supervisor to my room who told me that the bugs were NOT cockroaches but some type of beetle. Hmmmm.....why did the housekeeper tell me they were??? I wasn't sure that I believed the guy. Were these really just beetles or was he just trying to have me not go bonkers??? The two positives of this are that (A) we were checking out of this hotel anyway (in order to travel to Austin) and (B) sounds crazy, but at the same time, I was glad that I was able to get my late check-out after all (although not how I would have wanted it) because David had morning meetings set-up in Dallas. After all was said and done, when David came to pick up me and Madeline so that we could leave for Austin I showed him the captured bug and....alas, he was able to ease my mind that it was not a cockroach. Regardless......it (the bug) had too many legs and was in my stuff!!!

We are now in Austin and I do have to say that I love this city! Let's hope it treats us better than Dallas did!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nightmare Start To Texas

My cousin, Michael, informed me that Delta stands for - "Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport'. Geez, Michael, where were you when we were booking our flights?!?! We arrived in Texas, finally, but 35 hours behind schedule. We traveled to Russia and David traveled to China quicker that Delta was able to get us from Buffalo to Dallas!! You would be amazed at the ridiculous series of events! I will outline below:

-We were supposed to fly out of Buffalo on Friday but our flight out of Buffalo got canceled. They claimed weather in Atlanta but (A) the Weather Channel didn't report any crazy weather and (B) many other flights on Delta and other airlines were going in and out of Atlanta.
-When trying to reschedule a flight, the next flight Delta was able to get us was a full 24 hours later.
-Our flight Saturday was delayed leaving Buffalo. We were concerned about the ability to make our connection but we anticipated that we could luck out.
-We landed in Atlanta and still figured that we could make our connection....this is, until the plane tried to pull into the gate and there was a broken down plane sitting at the gate we were supposed to pull in to. As a result, we sat in the plane for about a half hour until they figured out what to do.
-It was decided that they would pull us into the first gate that opens up. Instead of pulling into a gate in terminal A, we pulled into gate B1. We thought we were still going to luck out because our connection was leaving from gate B3, the next gate over.
-We got off the plane and our connecting plane was still there, it had not departed the gate yet. However, since they already closed the door to the jetway we were not allowed to get on the plane and thus, we missed the flight to Dallas. So, we were stuck in Atlanta overnight.
-By this time, it was quite late and we were traveling with a 4 year old who was up waayyyy past her bedtime. (I do have to say that through all of this, Madeline was really a trooper and considering everything, she has been very well behaved....yeah!) However, we still needed to secure a new flight to Dallas and a hotel for the night. The airline got us a hotel about a half hour away from the airport....great.
-Sunday's flight was for 8:30am. We got on the plane and thought we were ready to go however, there was a mechanical issue and a part needed to be replaced. So we sat in the plane a half-hour.
-Finally, that mechanical problem was solved. Ready to go?? NO!! ANOTHER mechanical problem arose and maintenance had to be called out again. Between the TWO mechanical problems on our plane and the broken down plane that was in the gate the night before I was "thrilled" about flying....NOT!
-FINALLY, we departed and arrived in Dallas a full 35 hours later than scheduled!
-Now the problem with the hotel....After our flight was canceled on Friday we changed our hotel reservation in Dallas to be Sat-Wed instead. However, when we missed our connection on Saturday I guess we had too much going on in our heads and we forgot to call the hotel so they booked our room. We were able to check in last night (Sunday) but cannot stay for the rest of the time we had planned on because our reservation was given away. There are no other rooms available in the area of the convention center (downtown) because of the conference that David is attending. I'll talk more of this later....

Yes, we finally made it. However, what really SUCKS is that we planned to depart on Friday evening so that David would have time to visit with his best friend Jon who traveled to Dallas from New Orleans to meet-up with us here. Also, we wanted to have the weekend to visit with Jon's mom, Shirley, (our "Texas 'mom'/'grandma' ") and Jon's brother Joe who both live in the Dallas area before David would be tied-up with his work obligations. So, needless to say, David was very disappointed.

The plan was to go to the Texas vs. Cubs baseball game. I thought that I would stay back from the game because I didn't want to roll up to "Texas Grandma's" kick Madeline to the curb and take off to the game. However, Madeline made herself right at home. She was intrigued with "Texas Grandma's dog, Shadow, and was instantly occupied with the swing set in the backyard. Also, Shirley had Joe's son, Geoffry, come over to help occupy Madeline. Madeline was not phased in the least so we decided to go along with original plan and head to the ballpark. Despite the fact that we didn't get to the ball park until the 4th inning (again, damn Delta), it felt great to relax for a while, have a beer, enjoy watching the Cubs win and enjoy some 90 degree weather. Yes, we are very disappointed that our weekend was ruined but we now have to make the most of what we have. (Gotta love David's silly smile in the picture...yep, the look of someone who missed too many flights!)

After the game, we went back to Shirley's house and enjoyed an evening visiting out on her back patio, enjoying munchies, cocktails and then some pizza. Except for a 5 minute nap, Madeline was still going strong and we were all amazed that she didn't stop running, having fun and being busy the entire time she was there (especially since she was sleep deprived from the night before.) Yet, when Madeline's head hit the pillow she was out in two seconds flat.


Now, we have to get ready to check out of this hotel. The front desk tried to find other accommodations for us and we did our own online search too. Pretty much anything that we could find would be a half-hour commute for David to get to the convention center. Now, no matter where we stayed, Madeline and I would be outside of the downtown area and would be limited to the hotel and its walkable surrounding area while David was at work. For those of you not familiar with David's days when he travels, they very often go from 8am until 11:30pm as he attends the conference and then takes the evenings to meet over dinner with various business contacts/opportunities. Because of this, we opted to make some lemonade out of this batch of sour lemons that this trip has provided so far. So, looking at the options available, we decided to make our new hotel reservation for the Great Wolf Lodge. The commute would be the same for David whether we stayed there or at one of the other available hotels, the cost of the room is actually less expensive than our original hotel, it is located closer to "Texas Grandma's" house and Mama-Dirtyfoot and Madeline will have plenty to keep us busy all day. It is looking as though things are starting to turn around.....let's hope!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait!

Crazy, crazy days here!! Haven't had much time to post but I will try to catch-up my ever-so-faithful blog followers. Wow....where to start??

Wednesday, Madeline had a routine follow-up appointment with her Ear/Nose/Throat (ENT) doctor to check on her ear tubes. I was told that she still had fluid behind her right ear (where the tube came out a couple months ago) and that the tube in the left ear was coming out (normal). Since we were planning on flying to Texas on Friday, I asked how this would effect Madeline in-flight. They recommended that she not fly with the fluid as it could rupture her eardrum. They, however, offered to squeeze us in on their schedule for the next day (Thursday) to have new tubes put in her ears. The doctor would have recommended this anyway, however, she was nice enough to squeeze us in so that Madeline would be good to fly. Thursday's ear tube surgery went well and the doctor gave us clearance to fly the next day (Friday).

On Friday, we were all ready to depart for Texas. David has business in both Dallas and Austin this week and since we have friends/family in Texas, it was decided that Madeline and I would tag along to visit while David worked. We were all set to go....bags packed and waiting for David to get home so that we could leave for the airport. As David was on his way home I got a call from the airline that our flight was cancelled and that we couldn't get another flight out until late on Saturday. Darn.... So now what? I had no dinner planned and, in fact, had no food in the fridge. Knowing that we would be gone, why would I grocery shop?? So, Mama and Papa shrugged their shoulders and decided to go out to eat.

Today, we are having a lazy day waiting to leave (again) for the airport. Madeline was able to make a dance class that she would've missed if we did fly out yesterday. Mama was able to take care of some last minute things that she didn't get a chance to do the day before and Papa, a true Indiana boy, was able to watch some of the Indy Car time trials on TV. Of course, the buzz of the race cars along with the pitter-patter of today's rain lulled David into a nap on the couch. This nap time was irresistible for Madeline who decided to use David as a buffet table.

Prior to all this chaos, we have been busy trying to get some things done around the house. David started to stain the deck to the pool although we will have some more work when we get home. We also finished preparing the pool for the season. It is no longer green.....of course, always a plus. We are just waiting for the water to warm up. We planted some flowers and pretty much kept very busy.

Well, let's try this again.....We have to leave for the airport in about 25 minutes. I will try to share some Adventures of Mama-Dirtyfoot from Texas.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lipstick On A Pig

What I really want to say is "polishing a turd" but David hates the sound of that. I, however, insist that the turd analogy is much more accurate. Our pool deck (heck, the pool too) is really a piece of poop. I am not quite sure how old the pool deck is however I am pretty certain that the former owners of our house never stained or did anything to help preserve the deck. Our pool is also a bit dated. David and I are thinking that we may need to replace the pool in a year or two so until we do that we really don't want to replace the pool deck until we know what the new pool will be like. Therefore, in the meantime, we are trying to pretty up the deck until we are ready to replace it. ("Before picture" above) Or shall I say we are putting "lipstick on a pig".

This weekend we are working on getting our pool deck stained and our pool opened. Yes, I did say opened.....although I know it'll be a while before we can swim. Why are we in such a rush to open the pool?? I mean we live in Buffalo!!! It is still cold!!! But actually, we are heading out of town next weekend and will not return until Memorial Day weekend. So, our thought is that the weekend we return is when most people try to open their pools however when we return we will be ready to go. Yet, the warm weather better get here soon!

So, what did we accomplish thus far this weekend? Well, David washed and scrubbed down the deck in preparation of staining it. I turned the dirt in the landscaping around the pool (We pulled up some God-awful weedy landscaping last fall) and I planted two small shrubs and a handful of annuals next to the two rose bushes David planted a couple weeks ago. Madeline and I also worked on mulching this area too.

As previously stated, we worked on opening the pool. Since this past Fall was our first experience in closing a pool for the winter, this was also our first experience in opening a pool. Let me tell ya, we certainly learned a lot! Number one - we realized we pulled our pool cover too taught for closing. Our pool cover tore and caused many issues in trying to minimize the amount of leaves that ended up in the pool. Also, we are not sure if this had anything to do with us but over the course of the winter our pool skimmer cracked and needed to be replaced. Yep, not happy about that added expense as we were hoping to buy a solar cover reel and the skimmer replacement wiped away the majority of our budget for what we would have spent on the reel.....WHHAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Although the deck is now scrubbed clean, it still must be stained. Yes, we started the process of opening the pool but the water is still green.....ooohhh how pleasant! So, I guess you can say that "the pig" is still naked of its lipstick. Yet, nonetheless, David encouraged us to "break in" the deck this evening. After putting Madeline to bed we temporarily moved some outdoor seating to the pool deck. We headed out to the deck with a jumbo candle and two glasses of wine. Ahhhhhh..... the sound of the pool filter running sounded like summer as we sat sipping wine while overlooking our beautiful green pool. We are soooooo close to being ready for summer!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yippeeee! and Whhhaaa!

Yes, I am very happy that my computer is now fixed and back from Best Buy! Hopefully I can get some regular blog posts going again soon. HOWEVER, the BIGGEST "Yippeeee!" is because David and I are now done with our post-placement visits. I posted this photo of Madeline and me from Madeline's "Gotcha Day", June 25, 2007. As I look at this picture, all the memories of that day on one hand feels just like yesterday but so much has happened since then and so, at the same time, it seems like it was a lifetime ago!

The photo was taken just after we left the baby home. We were sitting on a little swing in the play area on the grounds of the home. We had to buy the hat that Madeline was wearing in the photo. We were told by our coordinator that we would not be able to leave the home without a hat for Madeline so our coordinator took us shopping for a hat the day before. And despite the temperature being in the upper 90's, the Russians surely gave us crazy looks if, after Gotcha Day, Madeline was out and about without a hat on. Gotcha Day was extremely hot and I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel. Despite being poorly air conditioned, the hotel was still a relief from the extreme heat outside. Holding Madeline that day, I had so many thoughts going through my head. First, I couldn't believe that it was official and that we had our daughter, Madeline with us. Secondly, I couldn't believe it was official.....holy crap!! Now what?!?!?!?! I am sure all mothers go through this "Oh My God" moment. And finally, I was sad/mad at the same time because my mom wouldn't be home to great us when we returned to the States. She, just as much as I, couldn't wait for Madeline.

All these thoughts and feelings were going through my head as we climbed into the van of our Russian driver that day. And so David, Madeline and I began our life as a family.....as I clung onto Madeline who rode without a car seat (they don't have them in Russia). And, yes, cling I did....If you ever experienced Russian roads (extremely bumpy) and Russian drivers (crazy, with minimal traffic rules) you'll know that Madeline should feel lucky that she isn't scarred with claw marks from me and that ride.

And sooooo, here we are. We have made it through all 4 (6mos, 1yr, 2yr, & 3yr) of our post-placement visits by or social worker. An update and photos are off to Russia to arrive before the third anniversary of our court date (6/14/07) and we are done. Although I am happy, I once again have mixed emotions. I now am a bit sad too because, not only do I love our social worker and it is sad that she will no longer visit, I am sad that this means our Maddie is 3 years older. She has lost her "baby look" and looks more like a little girl....no longer a baby. She is getting so big, so quickly and this milestone is a reminder of how fast she is growing up. Slow down, girl!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicago: "My Kind Of Town"

We are home! Yeah, we got home late last night and despite the fact that I love to travel, nothing feels better than that first night back in your own bed. Our trip actually had a dual purpose. (A) David had a work conference in Chicago and (B) Madeline and I tagged along so that we could visit David's Mom & Dad the weekend prior to his conference as his parents live about 50 miles outside of Chicago (in Michigan City, Indiana)

So, this past weekend, the three of us have been able to have a nice visit with David's parents. David's mom is still in the rehabilitation home but is making some nice progress in her stroke recovery. Initially, the plan was for Madeline and me was to stay in Michigan City while David went to Chicago for his conference. However, when we actually thought out our travel plans in returning home, it logistically made more sense for Madeline and me to be in Chicago when we were ready to depart. Sounds great.....but what do you do in a very large city in which you are not familiar with how to get around while also accompanied by your 4-year old? Oh, by the way, David's "work day" was more than one's typical 8-hr day. On Tuesday, David was attending work functions for about 16 hours of the day! Yes, I have been to Chicago before and yes, many of the sights looked familiar, but how do I navigate and what did I want to do in such a big city with a 4 year old? I have to say, at the end of the day, I was quite proud of my bravery in tackling the day - just Maddie & Mama-Dirtyfoot.

Madeline and I started out our Tuesday long after David left for work (yep, the girls slept in a little bit) . We left the hotel (we stayed at the Renaissance Blackstone) and, by foot, searched for a place to stop for breakfast. After fueling up our tummies, Mama-Dirtyfoot and Madeline walked to a metro-bus stop and navigated the metro system to get us to Navy Pier. We girls had such a fun day together! It was a perfect day to be at Navy Pier as the temperature was warm and the sun was shining down on us. The "Pier Season" just started but it was mid-week so the crowds were light. Madeline and I walked the pier together and stopped along the way to explore. We walked along, looked at the huge boats, enjoyed the skyline, rode the "Lighthouse tower ride", the carousel and the Ferris wheel. Mama was a nervous wreck on the ferric wheel! I hate heights & the swaying action of the passenger cars! The painful expression on Madeline's face when she is riding the Ferris wheel is probably because I kept telling her to stop moving!!!!! Madeline thought the fun house-type carnival mirrors along the pier were the most hysterical things she ever saw! We also did some browsing in the gift shops and enjoyed some ice cream cones. After our ice cream fix, Madeline and I headed to the Chicago Children's Museum which is also located at Navy Pier.

Yes, that in itself was a full day, but we were not done! Madeline and I wanted to head over to the American Girl store which is located in the shopping area of The Magnificent Mile. We found a different metro bus and off we went to our shopping destination. Now, I knew American Girl was expensive.....but HOLY CRAP! No, my dear daughter will NOT be receiving one of those dolls anytime in the near future....at least not while Madeline is apt to color on a doll that would cost well over $100! No, no, no NO....that is not happening. Instead, Madeline was equally as happy and Mama-Dirtyfoot was MUCH happier to spend less at the Disney Store. For about $20, I got Madeline a new set of 8 princesses (which she absolutely LOVES and also a new pair of sparkly pink Minnie Mouse flip-flops AND sparkly pink princess sunglasses). After our brief shopping spree, we got on another completely different bus and headed back to the hotel.

After getting our bearings and decompressing for a tad, Madeline and I headed back out by foot to find a little deli to grab a bite for dinner. The last picture is Madeline (holding cat picture) in the place we ate for dinner. The cat picture thing is this really cool magnet set that the people at the hotel front desk gave to Madeline from the gift store for no reason what so ever! (I actually thought they were trying to get me to buy it for Madeline but they were just giving it to her!) Anyway, after the day's events I hardly have to say, that Madeline crashed shortly after we got back to the hotel for the night. And as I listened to Madeline snore, Mama-Dirtyfoot vegged out and waited for David to get back from his long day of work commitments. I was apprehensive, at first, to venture out the way I did but I am glad that I sucked it up and just did it as Madeline and I had a great mama-daughter day!

One last FYI.....my Facebook friends already know this, but my computer is on the fritz. I had to get it sent out and it won't be ready for 2-3 weeks! Therefore, my computer time is limited to when David is home from work when I can hop on his laptop. With that being said, I might not have many posts up until I get my own computer back.....I might go nuts!!!