Monday, October 27, 2008

The Adventures of Maddie - Los Angeles County Fair Edition

On September 5th, Maddie and I went with Liz and Daniel to the opening day of the Los Angeles County Fair. Because it was the opening day admission was only $1!

The day was packed full of activities, we saw all of the animals, we took the traditional hot dog on a stick picture (Maddie's got to be the hot dog), we had yummy chocolate milk and ice cream (Maddie even tasted Mommy's ice cream!), we went shopping, we played in the snow and much, much more!

The Adventures of Maddie - Summer Olympics Edition

In August we watched the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Maddie rooted on Michael Phelps and our AWESOME women's beach volleyball team of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh! To the right, Maddie watches swimming, and above Maddie puts her hand over her heart for the first medal ceremony - Michael Phelps first swimming gold of 2008. Go USA!

Playing Catch Up!

I haven't posted in forever and a day! I will try to do a few update posts so I can get some cute Maddie pictures up.

A brief overview of the last two and a half months:

We went to the LA County Fair!
We went to Chicago for the JASNA AGM!
We moved!

Yay for us!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Adventures of Maddie - Masquerade Edition

I apologize for the delay in updating, life with a 3 month old is busy, and things get away from me quickly!

Maddie went to a masquerade farewell party for Nathan and Charity/Annie Beal on July 29th.  The Beal siblings are both going (at this point have both gone) up to Oregon for school.  Charlene was in charge of food for the party, so of course it was amazing as usual. 

Maddie donned a mask for a few seconds for this quick pic taken with my iphone.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Adventures of Maddie - Little Miss Watermelon Edition

Friday we went to lunch at Grammy's. I was babysitting Daniel and it was actually his request, we had gone 2 weeks before, and he liked getting spoiled. We took Subway sandwiches with us, and Grammy had some cookies and some watermelon. Maddie sat up on her Bumbo chair on the table while we were eating, and I let her suck the juice out of watermelon pieces. She was surprised by it at first because it was cold, but after a moment of indecision, she went to town sucking it for all it was worth. She ended up with a face full of watermelon juice, and was very cute.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Adventures of Maddie - Play Date Edition

I looked it up online, and apparently it can be "Play date," "Play Date, " or even "Playdate," and at least one article has it "PlayDate." So, there.

Title aside, Maddie had her first play date on July 17th. We went to meet Katie and her daughter Audrey (10 months) at Heritage Park in Cerritos. They have redone the island and it's absolutely beautiful. It is Revolutionary War era "Boston Town" and you can actually follow Paul Revere's ride through the island. Every building is full of slides and stairs, and there are tunnels to crawl through. The grass and pond are much nicer than they were when I was growing up! We sat on a really steep hill right next to the pond (my thighs were feeling it later), and had a picnic. Then we got to cruise around the island and check everything out.

Maddie and Audrey found each other very interesting. Audrey liked reaching out and touching Maddie, and Mads was quite jealous that Audrey can army crawl. Audrey was a preemie and is very petite, so next to her Maddie looked huge! You wouldn't have thought they were more than 7 months apart in age except that Audrey can army crawl and babbles more. I have one healthy looking baby!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tea and Sympathy . . . and Star Wars

Tonight Rebecca and Katie are spending the night. Tomorrow is Katie's last Sunday at church before she moves to Colorado, so today we had them over to watch the Star Wars trilogy, non-special, non-Greedo shooting first nonsense, edition. The came over at noon, and we went to to Fresh and Easy to get stuff to make pizzas. We had one for lunch and one for dinner. We then made scone! I am so excited. I used the recipe from the "Afternoon Tea" book I bought myself for my birthday. They were so little, and cute, and tasty! I had no hope of finding clotted cream anywhere on short notice, and Fresh and Easy was out of Creme Fresh (what? It is there every time I go shopping!) so I got some heavy whipping cream and whipped it up with a bit of sugar, yummy! The recipe calls for "good quality strawberry jam" for a topping, and what is better quality than my own, made yesterday, yummy in the tummy strawberry jam? Nothing, I say!

Mom got me a clear teapot and blooming teas from tea posy, so we picked one (Butterfly) and to watch it bloom and steep. This picture of the tea is after we've let it steep for a long time after our first cups. So our "flower" is a little sideways. The tea was fabulous, the scones were awesome, so fun! In fact, the scones were so good, that Katie asked if we could make more, so we headed off to the store at 10 p.m. to get more flour and cream, and we had second helpings.

I love tea.

I love scones.

I love my jam.

Strawberry Jam

Friday night I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. making and canning my first batch of strawberry jam. Why, you ask, was I pulling cans out a boiling water bath at 2:30 in the morning? Well, I had finally received my canning equipment after getting the wrong set from the canning company, and Thursday night at Bellflower's Street Fest I had bought strawberries from the "farmer's market" booths. While we were at the Street Fest I forgot to take any pictures of Maddie, or anything else for that matter, so "The Adventures of Maddie - Bellflower Street Fest Edition" will have to wait until next Thursday!

I had taken a look at the strawberries Friday morning and they were looking a bit sketchy, so I knew I had to make the jam that day or lose the $15 I spent on the fruit. Maddie didn't go to bed until 11:30, so I didn't get started on the jamming and canning until midnight. I was really disappointed with the quality of the strawberries, I had bought nine little green baskets, and I only managed to get about 6 cups of good strawberries, resulting in 4 cups of mashed berries. My directions were very specific about using over-ripe fruit, basically canning will not improve the quality, more likely it will decrease the quality. So, I ended up throwing away a lot more berries than I was happy with.

Bad berries aside, the actual jam making and canning seems pretty straight forward and easy once you get the hang of it. I managed to get a lovely thick jam, with lots of chunky pieces, it's almost all chunky pieces actually and SO tasty. I used Pomona Universal Pectin, which lets you use less sugar, and I only used 1 cup of sugar to my four cup of berries, giving my jam a nice sweet/tart taste.

I then got to ladle my hot jam into hot jars (straight from the heated dry cycle in the dishwasher) through a special canning funnel, and then screw on the lids and bands (straight from being sterilized in hot water, my canning kit has a cool little dealy-joby thing with a magnet on the end to get them out of the water), all of this was very . . . hot. Then, I got to stick them in boiling water, that was 1 -2 inches over their top for 5 minutes or so, and then pull the out with a jar grabber do-hicky. I did drop one jar on the kitchen floor, and oh my goodness, it did not break! Wow! So I just grabbed it back up with the grabber (duh) and put it with the others. 12 hours later I got to push down on the lids to make sure they were sealed, and they all were! Yay for me and for my fabulous jam. Jam, jam, a-jamma!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Adventures of Maddie - Independence Day Edition

We celebrated Maddie's first Independence Day at the Beal's house. Steve made amazing ribs with bourbon maple bq sauce (so yummy), and we go to eat and hang out. After that we went to the drive in and saw Hancock. I gave it a 7 out of 10, Ed was a bit more harsh with a 5 out of 10 rating. The second feature was Don't Mess With the Zohan, and it was so bad we decided to just go home. We saw a few fireworks from our vantage point at the drive in, and a between films a few people toward the front of the theater set some off. Next 4th of July we will actually go to a show of some kind, or set off our own. A notice was sent out at our apartments saying we couldn't set any off, and that was disappointing.

The best part of the day though, was watching the six one hour episodes about the Revolution on the History channel.

Mommy Rocks!

Well, I have completed my first week using The Firm dvds. It is much like the exercise class I used to take, I guess our instructor stole most of her moves from these dvds :) They are NOT easy, but I feel really great after I have completed my work out for the day (usually at about 1 am as I have to wait for Maddie to be officially down for the night or I can't get all the way through the dvd, so my usual start time is somewhere around 11:45 pm).

Anywho, 5 work outs down, rest day tomorrow and then I am on to my second week!

And I have officially lost 11 pounds at Weight Watchers. Just 18 more pounds and the baby weight is gone - then I can start on the fertility drug weight. Yay!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Adventures of Maddie - Mommy's Birthday Edition

For my birthday on Friday, Ed and Maddie took me to dinner at Ariel's Grotto at California Adventure. It is character dining with all of the Disney Princesses. Maddie loved it and so did I . I had yummy onion soup, a huge shrimp cobb salad and apple crisp desert. Tasty!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Adventures of Maddie - Acting Debut Edition

Last week was Vacation Bible School at church. Maddie and I went down several times during the week to take pictures to put into a slide show so that everyone could see what went on throughout the week. Thursday night one of the ladies in charge of VBS called and asked if Maddie and I would be willing to participate in a skit on Friday morning, and then reprise our roles on Sunday (apparently the skit called for an expectant couple, but those are kind of hard to get at noon on a Friday, so we would do in a pinch). The skit was silent, and set to a song by Chris Rice called Untitled Hymn, or Come to Jesus. Rob, the youth pastor, got to dress up in an old white choir robe and play Jesus. There were five verses about various things and Maddie and I got to represent the "joy verse." We walked out onto the stage, got congratulated by Jesus and then ushered over to the big wooden cross on stage where the actors (all kids) from the previous verses were also standing. Friday Maddie was awake and chipper, looking out into the audience (comprised of about 93 kids plus VBS leaders) which elicited a collective "aaawww" from the audience. Sunday she basically slept through the whole thing, but was still very cute. The above picture was taken after church, we didn't have batteries in our camera, so we had to "borrow" some from the remote control for the overhead projector in order to take this picture.

For those of you interested, here are the lyrics to Untitled Hymn by Chris Rice:

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Semi-Chaos, the Organization Dillema

We are currently living in a semi-chaotic state. I never was the best housekeeper, and now each task takes about ten times as long because I have a Maddie permanently attached to me. I don't have a sling, and I'm starting to think she might not even like one because she likes to sit up and face out. She abhors being treated like a baby. I have a front/back carrier, and she rides in it occasionally, but we just can't quite get it to fit right. Maddie also is not fond of daytime naps - so getting housework done is a hit and miss kind of thing.

We desperately need a schedule, so here is a basic one I came up with last night.

Monday -

Weight Watchers Weigh In
Menu and Shopping Day

Tuesday -
Laundry Day

Maddie's Room

Dining Room

Living Room
Our bedroom

Project Day

Rest Day!!

Monday's grocery shopping will have to be tonight, but I feel good that I've already started on Tuesday laundry. I would kill for my own washer and dryer. Our apartment complex only has two and they are overpriced and in constant use.

We did weigh in last night and I lost over 4 pounds, bringing my two week total to 8.2 pounds, so yay me!

The Adventures of Maddie - Baptism Edition

This is Maddie's unamused face - I assume I will be seeing quite a bit of it during her teen years.

This past Sunday Maddie was baptized.  This may come as a surprise to some who are aware of the covenant baptism vs. believers baptism discussion Ed and I have had for years on end.  However, a week ago Ed told me he'd decided to go ahead with the whole infant baptism thing, so we were able to take advantage of our former pastor visiting our church on Sunday (he left in January to take a job with the denomination in Michigan) and got Maddie sprinkled.  Although, Pastor Dave made sure it was a bit more than a sprinkle - poor pumpkin had water running down her face.  A baby boy about a month older than Mads was also baptized.  We had lots of friends and family come, which was great, including Ed's Dad and his brother Richard and his family who hadn't yet met our baby girl.  Poor Maddie slept through the first part of church, and when she woke up I thought we were going to get called up for the baptism at any minute so I held off on giving her the bottle I had pumped earlier.  Boy was I was wrong!  It was more like 10 minutes, and by the time we got up there Maddie was so hungry she burst into tears before Pastor Dave was half done speechifying.  She cried through the whole darn thing.  

Oh well, she looked cute in her dress!

After the baptism, Janice sand the song that she and I had written.  I wrote the lyrics and she wrote the music.  I had written the lyrics before I started my second ivf - I knew that however it turned out God still had me in his plan (hard though that is to see sometimes) and so it was really special to have Janice (who is now pregnant) sing it at Maddie's baptism.  Here are the words, I hope to have the video uploaded at some point:

Promise (Faithful)
Lyrics by Jessica Melendez, Music by Janice De Vries

In the cool of the desert night
You spoke to Abraham
Scattered diamonds across the sky
To remind him of Your plan
As he knelt in the still warm sand
It must have seemed like a dream
But every night those very stars
Still speak Your promises to me

You are faithful to Your promise
You've written it across the sky
You are faithful to Your promise
Even to one such as I
I've broken a thousand vows
And I've shattered a thousand more
But You are faithful, Oh Lord, You are faithful

In my hours of unbelief
And my moments of faith
Your mercy never changes
Your grace falls like rain
And the valleys seem so dark
As I walk this foreign land
But the valleys that You send me through
Are in the hallow of Your hand

You are faithful to Your promise
You've written it across the sky
You are faithful to Your promise
Even to one such as I
I've broken a thousand vows
And I've shattered a thousand more
But You are faithful, Oh Lord, You are faithful

copyright 2007

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Adventures of Maddie - Father's Day Edition

For Father's Day Maddie and I took Ed to lunch at the Blue Bayou at Disneyland. We made the reservations weeks ago, and we had also snuck out to Downtown Disney to pick up a Mickey picture frame, a copy of the original Submarine Voyage attraction poster, a guide to "hidden Mickeys," and Disney family window clings, all of which we presented him with before church. It was really hot on Sunday, so it was awesome to be in the dark, cool restaurant watching tourists float by on the Pirates of the Caribbean boats. We had saved up our 35 extra Weight Watcher's points for the week, and we blew them (and then some) on the yummiest lunch! We split a crab cake appetizer, and then Ed had prime rib with potatoes and veggies, and I had the short ribs with the same. We both had real (gasp!) coke, and it was sooooo tasty!

After lunch, we wandered around, had a pineapple float from outside the Tiki Room, got a present for our 8 month old friend Zane (he hasn't gotten it yet, so I can't say what it was! Plus, we got Maddie a similar thing, so I can't say what that was yet either! Aaaahhh!). It turned out our gift was going to take about 3 hours to make, so we went on over to California Adventure - Maddie's first time there, and cruised aroudnd the animation building. Maddie took the "What Disney Character Are You" computer quiz in the Beast's Library, and she is most like Dot from A Bug's Life! Too cute! Then we went on her first ride - Monster's Inc., Mike and Sully to the Rescue. Maddie loved it, she was fascinated by everything.

After Disneyland we decided to go to the drive in and we got to see The Happening. It was very scary and I highly recommend it.

So, we left the house at 8:30 a.m., and we didn't get back until 10:30 p.m. - we are crazy people! But Ed had a great Father's Day, and so did we!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mommy was touched by Fish!

Tuesday night, Ed and I, his sister Cynthia, and his friend Gary, went to see Fish in concert at the House of Blues on Sunset.  For those of you who don't know (that would probably be all of you), Fish is the former lead singer of the British progressive rock band Marillion which Gary, Ed, and Cynthia have been fans of for years.  Fish hasn't been in LA since 1997 (apparently Ed and Gary somehow missed this because this was everyone's first Fish concert), so the crowd was out of their minds with excitement.  It was an awesome experience, we were so close to the stage - and during one song Fish came down into the audience and he actually touched Cynthia and I on our heads!  Whooo hoo!  It was like being blessed by the Pope or something!

Awesome Possum!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Adventures of Maddie - Movies Under the Stars Edition

We had quite an adventure on Friday night!

During the summer the city of Bellflower shows "Movies Under the Stars" every Friday night in a little open air plaza off of Bellflower Boulevard. Friday, was the first movie of the year - Grease. As Ed had band rehearsal, Maddie and I decided to meet Liz and Daniel at the movie. The plan was to walk down with the stroller, and have Liz drive us back home when the film was over. So we set out a little after 7, packed diaper bag in tow, and strolled on down to the plaza. I was feeling very proud of myself that we'd managed to both bathe, get dressed, and out of the house on an outing within a decent time frame. About halfway there I realized I'd forgotten her sweater, but never fear - Ed dropped it off on his way to band practice.

We got to the plaza, and it was packed. Probably about 300 people or so, all of Bellflower turned out it seemed! I got a hot dog from the hot dog guy (at some point I really should learn his name), and he was very happy to meet Maddie. Mads was super good, she only cried twice when she was hungry, the rest of the time she enjoyed snuggling under blankies and getting held by Liz and Daniel, and admired by random toddlers.

About halfway through Grease a horrible thought occurred to me. I had thought through what to put in the diaper bag, getting the stroller ready, digging up my sneakers, but it had only just hit me that we needed the CAR SEAT to put in Liz's car for our ride home.

About halfway through the movie it occurred to me that I had neglected to bring her car seat! We were so prepared except for the most important travel item! The car seat had been left in the living room, and it's base was still strapped into the backseat of my car. Ed had already gone to practice, so we had to figure out how to get us home.

My first plan (pay close attention, it's complicated) was that I would take Liz's car and drive home, park her car in Ed's space, get the car seat from the living room, hook it into my car where the base already was, drive back to the plaza, load us all up, drive back home, and Liz and Daniel would take their car and go home from there. Brilliant plan.

When I got home and ran into the house to get the seat, it suddenly hit me that my trunk is FULL of random junk and hasn't been cleaned out since I graduated in 2005. There was no way we could fit the stroller in the car with all of us in it! So I scrapped my original plan and grabbed the base from my car. I'd never installed it before, Ed usually does that, but we'd figure it out.

When I pulled back up to the Plaza Liz and Daniel were the only people there except a few volunteers cleaning up. We managed to get the car seat in, Maddie strapped in, Daniel situated next to her, but we could not get the stroller into the trunk of Liz's car! We took pretty much everything out of her trunk, and it still wouldn't fit! So we decided to leave it sticking out of the back along with her bottled water and other Sam's club purchases.

We finally get into the car, sweaty from our battle with the stroller, and we realize that we've left everything else - purses, sleeping bags, folding chairs - on the bench in front of the car! So, we had to pile back out of the car and shove everything into wherever it would fit - which was mostly on top of Daniel. I had a folding chair in the front with me, and Daniel's school project diorama on dinosaurs under my feet, so I rode home with my feet up on the dashboard. Luckily we all, including the diorama, made it home in one piece.

In the immortal words of William Shakespeare - "All's well that ends well.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Adventures of Maddie - Olvera Street Edition

This morning we drove into downtown Los Angeles. We had an appointment at Vital Records to get her birth certificate. That could be another whole blog - the incompetence is amazing! It's slightly more complicated to get a birth certificate when your baby is born at home, but there is no reason it should be this problematic. We were there for over an hour, got several different stories from different people (this is after weeks of phone calls confirming what information they needed) and now we have to go back because they put the wrong file number on her birth certificate! Aaaahhh!!!!

Instead of wasting a trip into downtown LA, we took Maddie a few blocks over to Olvera Street, birthplace of Los Angeles and the crunchy taco, for lunch. We had some yummy food and took pictures in front of the famous Burro, the big cross, and the Virgin Mary mural. Maddie was awesome and seemed to enjoy hanging out with all the tourists.

So, in spite of dealing with government employees, we managed to have a fun day!

Hi there!

Welcome to my Narnia Mum blog!

I am a new mommy to the beautiful Madeleine Grace and wife to Ed. I will be using this blog to keep friends and family updated on Maddie's adventures and other goings-on in our little family.

We are huge fans of the Chronicles of Narnia, and Maddie's room is done in a self-created Narnia theme, so hence the title of our little corner of the blogosphere. Hopefully we will get lots of fun stuff up on this page!

To the left is a picture of us at Disneyland, Maddie's 1st visit. She was 3 weeks old. We went for dinner and to see the parade.


Narnia Mum Jessica