Monday, December 28, 2015

Madoc Turns 7

Madoc's 7th birthday roses.

Madoc, this year you turned 7.  We celebrated with a slumber party that included your three best friends.  You wanted a "teddy bear picnic" party and so we did exactly that.  You enjoyed making your very own teddy bear, coloring it with fabric markers, stuffing it with lovely charms and designing a tutu, dress and hat for it.

Madoc my love, we continue to be absolutely impressed and inspired by you.  Your wit, your sense of humor, your compassion for others and your creativity.  You started sewing on your sewing machine at age 5, making dresses for friends at age 6.  You construct bags and pillows and cat toys and dog capes with ease.

Your energy and enthusiasm and downright determination to always be making things keeps me on my toes - you are always asking for food coloring for something, or sticking something you've found in the freezer to see what happens.  Your art is gorgeous - filled with color and light.

This year you got an American Girl Doll for your birthday.  I'm not sure how you got your hands on one of the catalogues but it was the ONLY thing you read - cover to cover - every single day for the month leading up to your birthday.

This year you also got a very large pair of tumbling mats and have been absolutely committed from morning to night to improve your cartwheels and handstands.  You literally cartwheel in for breakfast and cartwheel out to school.

And finally, this year you got a purple Hannah Montana electric guitar.  Something you have been asking for over the past year.  I can't wait to hear you play it when you finally *get* how to play it.

We love you my darling.  You are a shining light, a sparkling Opal filled with glistening colors, each one deeper and more sparkly than the next.  I wish all the best for you in life, my littlest lovely.

And to Chase, I know that being a big sister is sometimes - okay most times - one of your hardest jobs, but you have done fabulously.  I hope you will one day realize that much of what Madoc has become comes down to you - how you care for her, lead by example and support her.  So proud of you, my love.  I know you have been dealt a challenging hand, my dear, and you continue to find your smile every day.  Keep smiling, keep loving, keep laughing.  No matter what.

Work around the house

Winter Wonderland!

Unsuspecting sister...
Frosty, the Snowman!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Holidays!

So I decided to charge my camera battery again.  It has been a year.  I have been relying on my phone and Facebook to take and share photos - and in doing so, I have stopped work on this blog.  But I realized this year that I'm doing a dis-service to my children by not blogging.  I know they might actually *want* to see this some day... so I'm dusting off the cobwebs.

This year, my darling children, we live in Portland, Oregon.  It has been a long year, but overall a good one.  Things are actually looking up for the first time in what seems to be a very very long road to improving Chase's health.

This year, we spent Christmas at home - surrounded by family.  Dad, Fern and Mom, I'm sorry I don't have photos of you here - I promise I will take some and post them soon.

In the meantime, here are some photos I snapped from Christmas dinner, hosted by Auntie Lockett and Uncle Courtney Taylor.

Saturday, April 05, 2014


Today Madoc lost her first tooth.  My absolutely gorgeous little girl is not so little anymore.  I love watching her grow and become more and more independent and opinionated.  She has so much to say.  Very strong opinions about everything under the sun.  Extremely dra-Madoc.

And the loss of this tooth has been the favourite topic of conversation for the past three months.  The last three days have been all about how wobbly it could possibly get before it fell out.  And then, who would collect it?  And how much is it worth in America?

Madoc's best little friend in Singapore was French.  Her big sister lost a tooth just before we left and was extremely excited for La Petite Souris to come ... in France they believe in a little mouse who comes to the child who has lost their tooth.  The mouse eats a small piece of cheese (how French) that the child has left along with the tooth, and then leaves the tooth and some money.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Paper Airplanes

Had to post this photo.  I just love it.
Hubs and Chase flying paper airplanes.

Dentist (Featuring A Wobbly Tooth)

I finally took the girls to the dentist.  We usually go every 6-months, but due to our relocation to Singapore and then speedy return to Portland, some things kinda slipped through the cracks....

We were pleased to hear that both girls have gorgeous teeth, with no cavities.  Phew!  Chase will probably need braces when she is 10.  

And Madoc is feeling VERY grown-up as she has her first wobbly tooth!  SO exciting.  It's been wobbly for about 3 months now.  We are all curious as to when it will come out, and how much, exactly, it will be worth.

Happy 8th Birthday, Chase!

My darling Chase.  You just turned 8.  You are so gorgeous and smart.  So funny and silly.  So beautiful and brave.  We are so proud of you.

You will probably remember this as your "family birthday party."  It was a very special one - you had your grandparents, uncles & aunts - and cousins.  It was so lovely.

Everyone had a crown - and we had to guess our name.  You were Wonder Woman.  Dad was Ken.  I was Donald Duck.  And Madoc was Madoc.

We then had fortunes read.  Yours said you would be famous.

And then we had cake.  I made you this gluten-free Angel Food cake.  Served it with a blueberry sauce.  You loved it.  I think you would have eaten the whole thing if I would have let you.

And you picked out your own roses this year.  
Eight for you, and one for each of us.

I so hope this year is a great one for you.
The world is your oyster, my dear.
You are strong, brave and clever.
We love you so much.  Always and forever.  No matter what.


I decided to get some chicks for the girls.

The first day, the girls couldn't put them down.  They were obsessed.  Madoc read the chicks a bedtime story and awoke first thing the following morning to read to them again.  I (foolishly) told her that reading to them would help them grow, so she soon decided to stop reading to them because she wanted them to stay small and cute.

Chase had a hard time picking out the "right" chick.  There was a lot of discussion about which one was the best chick.  Hard to tell, when they are one week old - and there are about 75 all running around inside a tub together.

Now, about two weeks later, the chicks are not so interesting.  They are growing very quickly and I'm thanking my lucky stars we arranged the re-homing before we bought them.  They have taken over the den - so much so that Hubs doesn't want to watch TV anymore.  Not that we watched much at all, but now we watch none at all.  Good stuff.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


What? Yes, we have relocated to my hometown, Portland, Oregon.  And yes, I've vowed to start blogging again.  Not because I have more time (I don't), but because I haven't done it in so long I fear if I don't start again - now, today at this very minute - I may never get to it.

So much has happened.  We moved from Hong Kong to Singapore - to escape the pollution.  Upon arriving, we immediately faced health/food allergy issues with Chase - and then spent the next six months trying to figure out exactly what she could and couldn't eat.  The poor darling had a scope, an MRI, multiple blood draws, learned how to swallow pills, had to swallow some of the nastiest liquid imaginable in advance of her scope.  Long story, short - we now have an official diagnosis, which is not for this blog, but there are still so many questions about how, why and what's next.  I still try every day to figure out what to feed her - both so that she is well fed and not bored by the sheer repetitiveness of what is on offer.

After six months in Singapore, we finally took our home-leave after two years abroad.  We left Portland in December determined to return and put down roots, but how?  A week after we returned to Singapore, the answer presented itself and we decided to relocate as soon as possible, so just two weeks later, the girls and I found ourselves on another 26-hour flight back to Portland.

As we are returning without jobs, my husband and I have been in touch with everyone we know, applying to jobs, moving from my father's to my mother's to a friend's home.  We may need to move to yet another friend's home before this is all done ... we've lived in 10 places in the last six months.  That means we have packed/unpacked a total of 20 times in the last six months.  We're pretty much totally over it.

Given all this, the girls are doing remarkably well.  I can only liken it to being in a car on a cross-country ride together - as they aren't in school, we spend every waking moment together, as a family.  And while we aren't stuck in a car, we are with each other all. the. time., which in my mind is great and exactly what we needed to iron out some issues that arose due to my husband's weekly travel schedule.

Chase is reading so many books.  About 6 per day.  Madoc is learning to read.  Both girls are doing an amazing job at math.  Chase can already do algebra.  Fabulous.  I love having them home with me.  They are so gorgeous and bright and brilliant and fun.  What an amazing time in our lives.  What a gift this time is.  It is a time we have needed so badly.  A time for all of us to relax, regroup, recharge.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Oh my dear Chase, over the past 12 days you have eaten so much white rice.

You see, when we moved to Singapore your tummy went all funny.  It may have been going funny for some time, but now that you are older I don't check the toilet so much as I used to.  Long story short, just after moving here it became very obvious that you tummy (actually your digestive track) was having some challenges.

And so I took you to see a doctor, who ran some tests to see if you had, perhaps, caught a bug.  But they came back negative.  And then, after it continued another two weeks, I took you to see a specialist.  Who told me you needed an endoscopy to help us understand what was going on up there ... but she wasn't available to do it, so she referred us to another doctor.  And after we left the office I decided to put you on a very strict, anti-allergen diet, just to see what would happen.  And would you believe, that in 24 hours, everything returned to normal?  After six weeks of not normal, it all went back to normal in 24 hours.

And so I shared this information with the specialist, who was amazed at the results.  She told me to continue on and come back in a week, to see if we could maintain it.  And you did.  You are such a trooper.  Such an amazing little girl.  You only ate what I fed you, even when other kids were eating cookies, and never complained.  And 8 days later, your tummy was doing just fine.

And then the specialist referred us to an allergist, who took some blood and ran some tests - as well as put pieces of tape on your back, which will be removed tomorrow.  I hope they give us some indication of what is going on.  I do find relief in that our paediatrician wants to see us in a month - that's good news... and that the "diagnosis" on our receipts has changed to "food allergy."  With luck we will find the things that are triggering your upset, eliminate them and help your gut heal quickly.

You are such a superstar, Chase my dear.  You have no idea how much we love and appreciate all that you do, all that you are.