70 posts categorized "Maddy"

September 03, 2009

Maddy had a little dot - it's hue was yellow as snow....

Okay, I'm really bad to be making jokes about this and it's certainly not that I don't take class room discipline seriously but I just couldn't resist that subject line.  Someday, I'm sure Maddy will find it funny too.

Our new Kindergartners have a system at school whereby we, as parents, are kept informed of our child's behavior via a glorious system known as the Daily Dot. 

Every morning, I kiss my kids and smile and wave and holler "Have a wonderful, Green Dot, day!"  after them as they skip merrily off to class.  You see, if the daily dot is green, the day was good.  But if the dot is yellow, then there was a little problem.  At some point, there's a red dot involved but we believe that's reserved for kids who bring porn or guns or wear Sarah Palin t-shirts to class.

Yellow dot Today, Maddy had a Yellow Dot Day.   She clobbered another child at recess and rather than apologize, she opted to take the dreaded yellow dot.  Yep, that's our Maddy.  She would take the amputation over the option of opening her sweet tiny yap and mouthing the words "I'm Sorry" to another person.  Stubborn?  Ya think? 

Once the deed was done and recorded, she was pretty upset.  In fact, to say she was distraught about this is a tremendous understatement.  When she saw that yellow dot, it was all over.

Gwen got her first (thus far) yellow dot last week, she seemed to be rather impressed by it and ran back into her class at the end of the day to grab her teacher by the hand so that she might bring her to me and confess her sin with the largest audience possible. 

Maddy would have nothing of that.  When her teacher sauntered over to casually deliver the news, Maddy climbed up into my arms and buried her face in my neck and sobbed.   She takes these things SO hard!  She's not always tender in the way she plays with other kids but she's plenty tender in the way she responds to criticism or... (gasp!)...  correction.

Looking forward to only Green Days from here on out!

July 31, 2009

A day of celebration and tears


Exactly five years ago, as the hot summer sun was about to make it's daily debut, a 4 pound Chinese baby girl was born and screamed her first protest at the world. 

And the world totally deserved it.

Her family was probably worried about the baby's obvious prematurity.  In China, it's a common belief that premature babies are likely to die in early childhood even if they beat the odds and survive infancy.  This little baby was just barely 4 pounds and her future was uncertain.  She also had a very minor cleft palate -- something her family might not have noticed because it was very VERY minor. 

Or, perhaps, their concern was the fact that this infant was female and the family already had a little girl and really needed a boy to guarantee their security in old age? 

Whatever the reason, someone bundled up the tiny infant and carried her down this dirt road towards the gate of the local High School. 

It was a Saturday on the last day of July and it was HOT.  But we know for certain that most of the teachers lived on campus and someone would probably find her right away.   Her family probably knew this too.

They quickly scribbled a note on a torn scrap of paper that stated her birth date and time.  She was only a few hours old when they set the newborn girl down on the ground.  Then they turned around and walked away. 

From this heartbreaking act of desperation, our family was completed. 

That little girl was Madeline and Maddy is five years old today.  Today, I'm certain her birth family will think about her and wonder what happened to the baby they left alone at the gate of that school five years earlier. 

As a mother, I'm sure they can't find any peace with what they did.  It's just the nature of moms to fear the worst and that's probably the case with mothers in China too.  How can they possibly expect that their baby is a thriving, robust, little fireball living with her virtual twin sister in a lovely house in Silicon Valley, California.  They can't know that she's got a Mommy and Daddy and Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even a kitty who love her to pieces.  They would probably love to know that she's an artist and her favorite food is cantelope, cheddar cheese and chocolate pancakes.   

Someday, this little girl - who we've affectionately nicknamed "Our Scientist" - will attend Stanford University.  We're absolutely sure of it.  And we'll celebrate birthday after birthday with her and watch her grow up and fall in and out of love and marry and have babies of her own. But her birth family will probably weep each year as they remember the little baby they left at this gate -- the baby they gave back to The World. 

And, every year, we'll remember them and be gratful that their difficult choice put their baby on a path to us.  And we'll quietly hope that this will be the year they find peace with their choice.

May 25, 2009

Butterfly Silhouette

I've been playing with Silhouettes.  At first, I thought this would be easy since I'm pretty good at back-lighting my photos and unintentionally ruining them with shadowed faces.  However, it seems there might be a bit more to creating a good silhouette when you're actually trying to do it on purpose!   

Last night we headed to the local park to pose against the blue/gold sky as the sun set.  We tried a few different settings and paid close attention to capturing Maddy's pretty profile.  To make it more interesting, we added some props (the paper butterfly was our favorite but we also used a flower and bubbles).  

In the end, we owe just about all of our success to the fact that Maddy loves chocolate and will do just about anything for even the smallest piece of it.  Even a single little m&m will encourage her to do anything I ask.  Every time she held a perfect pose, I'd pop one into her mouth!  

This photo was too pretty to just post all by itself so I added an interesting matte and some embellishments.  But the photo itself is unaltered.  You can see the original here>  Silhouette butterfly-000001

May 18, 2009

Daddy is not 100!

Yesterday was Daddy's birthday.  We started the day with snuggles and four or five enthusiastic rounds of The Birthday Song.  Then Gwen told us how to make a birthday cake:

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 pounds of sugar
  • 4 pounds of chocolate
  • mix it up
  • bake it in a hot over for three minutes

 Maddy said Daddy was more than 30 but not 100. 

Maddy made daddy a card 
 Maddy made Daddy this pretty birthday drawing.   Then we headed to San Francisco for the day.

super daddy
Daddy demonstrates the super hero pose.

Reflections of San Francisco

This is a cool photo Daddy took of the Jewish contemporary museum and St Patrick's church, reflected in an adjacent window (Mommy did a little bit of post processing, perspective correction, cropping, etc).

shake man

Gwen is understandably skeptical about the extra feet and fingers on the "Shaking Man" but you really have to see the next photo to appreciate how Maddy felt about this bizarre statue...

 shake man Daddy took this photo looking over the shoulder of the statue.  Maddy's expression is priceless!


dancing in bear feet 

We call this photo "Dancing in Bear/Bare Feet"


can you feel the love 

This heart (also in Yerba Buena Gardens) is really pretty.  We wanted Gwen and Maddy to pose sweetly and this is what happened.  Can't you just feel the love?   This was one of many clues that our girls still can't really function without naps (they slept all the way home).

Minor skirmishes aside, this was a really fun day!   For Dinner, we all went out to Krung Thai (Michael met us there).  None of the girls in our family like Thai food but it's a favorite of the guys so it makes the Birthday Dinner list every year.  No worries though - rice is always good!  Happy Birthday, Daddy!  We sure do love you!

May 15, 2009

Our Fashion Princess

I thought I'd share this photo as part of M3's Fashion Friday challenge.  

I was making lunch and listening to Michael Bublé and Maddy was excited to dance.  Of course, she can't dance unless she's wearing proper dance attire and this was her sélection du jour.    Hee hee... as you can see, she's not very excited about having her picture taken when it's taking up valuable dance time!

Maddy princess grunge-000001 
Such a beautiful face!  

Speaking of beautiful faces, I just found out that there are five babies from her orphanage who need foster care sponsors.  Less than $2 per day allows a child in Qinzhou to live with a family instead in an orphanage.  Maddy was sponsored and we pay that gift forward by also sponsoring.  The updates and photos are so special! 

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