Thursday, December 31, 2009

GoodBYE 2009...HELLO 2010

The BEST of Madaline: The Magnificent Mayhem Maker

It's that time of year again. Where we take a look at where we have been, what we have been doing and where we are headed.

It has been a magical year here at Madaline: The Magnificent Mayhem Maker. I have made LOTS of new friends. Friends that I am so grateful to have, and that I would not have had, had it not been for this blog.

And, so, because I think it is important to let where you have been, play a roll in shaping the path before you - I thought it would only be appropriate to end the year, with a list of what I think is 'The Best of Madaline: The Magnificent Mayhem Maker'. And, so, as we say good by 2009 and usher is 2010 - I leave you with our very own, Top 10:

10. The Olly Chronicles

9. & one of my Favorites: An Afternoon w/ Ollie - Take 2

8. At LEAST it's NOT Chicken Pox?

7. Clock-less Time

6. Patiently Waiting

5. Definition of Bedtime: Wikipedia vs. Mom

4. Potty Training - Part I

3. The SCARY Phrases of Motherhood

2. I am a WOHM! And Proud of it!

1. I am a Mom? I am REALLY a mom?

And, so, that wraps up the best that we have had to offer this past year. And, with that, I wish you, a,

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Wrap up Mayhem Style

We have been busy around here.

I am on vacation until January 4th. I vowed that this year, Madaline and I would do something. Perhaps, something constructive - and so we have. Ok. Not really. But, We have been playing with Play-Doh, her new toys that she got for Christmas, and doing some baking. Oh...and we are Potty Training. Which, we are somewhat successful with. So, well, at least we are doing, something.....constructive. Right?

And, so with that......I thought it might be best to bring you up to speed in photos. Take at peak at what we have accomplished up to this point. Or, at least, take a look at what we had been doing. Make sense? That way, you don't have to read my awful writing - and, you get to look at my cute Mayhem Maker, Morris & Murphy, Olly, and a few others. Sounds good...right?

Ok. Here goes:

Our Holiday week (actually, this was almost two weeks ago now that I am finally sitting down to write about it) started with the making of Gingerbread houses. It was just a lot of candy and frosting, followed by more candy and frosting, and ended with a LOT MORE candy and frosting. *belch* I am not sure I can ever really look at a snow-cap again, and not be reminded of my daughter and her spit soaked fingers in the frosting dish as she plastered gingerbread with candy.

But, as you can see, she was proud of her creation and it was kind of fun. Just a little bit - especially since Daryl and I went shopping later that afternoon, and her Grammy got to deal with the sugar high.

We made I Should Be Folding Laundry's peppermint bark as well as many other goodies - Monster Cookies, Graham Cracker Toffee, Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Oreo Truffles....Some that was taken to family parties and we gave a LOT away. It was fun - The Mayhem Maker and Olly had a good time crushing candy canes with a meat tenderizer in my dining room floor. Also - you will see that Morris got in on the action as well. Or, he way trying to at least.

And, because I had so much baking and candy making to do, Olly was kind enough to spend some of her time at my house entertain my Mayhem Maker. This meant she got to reap the benefits of after bath time snuggles

And, we had a simple Christmas....Not a lot of extravagance.

Daryl and I really wanted to make sure that Madaline played with her toys. That she didn't flit from toy to toy in a toy overload haze or stupor. We worked really hard and had many conversations on what we thought would be special and something she would actually be interested in. We didn't want to just buy her toys to buy her toys and end up with her being overwhelmed - which is what happened last year.

And, at almost a week late, we are pleased to say that we were somewhat successful in our thinking. As a result, we have had a fantastic week of playing with each and everything she received. And, the smiles or should I really say her typical Mayhem Maker smirk, has been ever present on her face since Christmas Day. And, to see that little grin, usually followed by her sweet giggle, each time we play with one of her new toys, has just been music to our ears.

And, so, I, or we rather, hope that your holiday, was just as sweet, just as magical and filled with just a hint of Mayhem...Just like ours!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Friday Feature: Bread and Butter, a kitchen shoppe

When I started the month of December, I look at the pages of my idea book. What I saw, was that I had lot of ideas and that I was filled with high hopes for my blog in the month of December. Really, I had all these great ideas. Perhaps my most favorite idea, was to that I was going to put together a Friday Feature. I was going to highlight fellow bloggers, shops/stores that I adore, and even my favorite holiday tricks & tips. Well, here we are, the next to last Friday in December, a week away from Christmas, and this is the first post. I am working on creating a button for this little project - but, well, I am not so good in the create an avatar department. And, so, without further ado, - My first installment of: The Friday Feature.


I think it is safe to say, that Madaline and I bake, ALOT. I even have a separate blog about my escapades in the kitchen, that my sister & I co-author. Well, I do more on it than she does, but, that is neither here or there. The Townsend Bakery is really more my dream, my baby than hers, but, it wouldn't be the same if here name wasn't attached to it some how.

And, so when a fellower blogger put out a call looking for some of our favorite food based blogs, I jumped at the chance to put The Townsend Bakery in for consideration. Never in a million years, did I expect what actaully came of it.

You see, Jill, the creator and author of Scary Mommy, has set up and started, one of the most ADORABLE on-line kitchen shops I have ever seen.

It has the sweetest, most eclectic collection of kitchen stuff. You can find adorable aprons, fun cookware and some great holiday gifts. All right in one place.

So, you can just imagine the squees of joy I let out when I found that Jill linked to one of my Townsend Bakery recipes on her new site. I mean really, Just look at this apron.....

Isn't it adorable?

I can so totally see myself serving up Christmas dinner or serving my apple cake with tea or coffee. My husband might actually think I was Martha Stewart or June Cleaver instead of just thinking that I pretend to be like them.

Additionally, it was fun to see lots of different items geared towards children on her site. Jill, being that is is a mother of three, knows that children love to cook and should be encouraged to aid and experiment.

And, with idea shown in the picture above or with charming accessories, like these measuring spoons, our kiddos are for sure going to be right at home in the kitchen.
And, even if I didn't have Madaline, I would want those measuring spoons. They would make me crack up every time I needed to measure out a teaspoon or two of good vanilla extract.

And, I am honored to be a part of her site - I am honored to have one of my favorite recipes featured there. How could I not be? Thank you Jill...THANK YOU!

And, with that my dear readers, I have something to ask of you. Take a look at your Christmas list - do you have people left to buy for? I know I do - I have NOT even started to do my Christmas shopping. So, perhaps instead of heading to the mall or you local big box chain store, you take a minute and poke around Bread & Butter, a kitchen shoppe. You won't be sorry.

All images belong to Scary Mommy or Bread & Butter, a kitchen shoppe.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday: Endless Possibilities

"The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination."
~Ward Elliot Hour

Looking for more? Other than mine?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hunting vs. the Snowman

My husband works wonky hours. But, the bright side of that, is that he and Madaline get to spend most mornings home together. This is has been great in a sense that it has cut down tremendously on the amount of money we pay in daycare.

Last night, after the Hubs got home from work we have the following conversation:

HUBS: I think I am going to take Mads to the sitters in the morning - as, there are only [insert number here - I can't remember] of hunting season left

Me: Fine with me...not a problem.

Which, brings us to this morning. Madaline has not been sleeping well. She insists on sleeping with a blanket that is now too short for her, since she has gotten so tall. This results in her little piggy toes getting cold at night, because, being the spirited child she is, refuses to wear socks unless absolutely necessary.

*yes, I am well aware that this dilemma could be solved by putting her in footed PJ's - but, Mads is also at the point where, she likes to pick out her own clothing in the store - and don't anyone come back and give me that line 'well your the parent' - because, this is just one battle that ain't worth it*

And, so, we were up several times last night to the calls of "MOMMY....MOMMY....COVER ME UP..P L E A S E....COVER ME UP!" Or, you could insert "DADDY" in there once or twice for the Mommy. And,finally, shortly before 7 am, she figured it was light enough out for her to get up for the day.

Which brings us back to my original story...the Hubs & his plans to go hunting today. *whew*

So, Picture this: The Hubs is standing in the kitchen sipping on a cup of coffee, as I am putting my shoes on and preparing to go out the door. Madaline, head for of bed head hair, and still in her PJ's wanders into the kitchen. She gives me big hugs and kisses and tells me to have a nice day. She then turns to my husband, with those big eyes and sweetest smile she has and says:

"Daddy, you stay home with me today?"


"Daddy, you stay home with me today and play with me?"


Hubs looking over the top of Mad's head says to me:
"Did you put her up to this?"

I reply: "NO...I have been trying to get out the door to get to work"

"Daddy, you stay home with me, we build a BIG snowman"

Hubs: "Yes Bug, Daddy stay home with you today"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday: Playdate NEEDED!

Madaline is an only child.

Clearly she is a creative child.

Perhaps it is time to schedule her a playdate?

On a completely different note.... There are some great things going on today in blog land.

There is a fabulous auction being held today to benefit both:

thank you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kicking Off the Holiday Season - Merry SITSmas!

Merry SITSmas!!!!

The lovely ladies over at SITS are having a HUGE bloggy carnival and great giveaways today. Take a moment and check it out, if you have time. I am kicking off the holiday season by stealing, err, borrowing an idea from one of my favorite bloggy friend - Connie, over at the Young & the Relentless.

So, grab a muffin or brownie, some coffee or cocoa, pull up a chair, as I share with you a little bit of Holiday Mayhem, err, Cheer!

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
4 & 8 Cup Glass Pyrex Measuring Cups
Oversized Muffin Tins
New Socks
A Necklace from The Vintage Pearl
Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics Cookbook

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
My cousin crocheted me an afghan for Christmas my senior in in HS to take with me to college the following fall. I still have that afghan and use it regularly.

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
I want to learn to knit, so I can make scarves.

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
Is it bad that I really can't remember or that nothing sticks out? We always had wonderful holiday's, but I remember going from house to house to visit family during my childhood then I do the presents.

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
She really hasn't asked for anything - but, then again, we haven't asked her either. LOL

6. What is your favorite holiday foods?
It's a tie between the fresh baked rolls for dinner and the Cinnamon Bread French Toast Bake that my mom makes about every other year for Christmas morning

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
Cookies, Townsend Bakery Chocolate Crunch Mix, and I *might* try my hand at some dipping & candy making.

8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas - the older version, and I only like to watch it, when they play it on TV with commercial breaks.

9. Favorite holiday song?
O Holy Night

Favorite holiday pastime?

My parent's Christmas Eve party - its a tradition as old, if not older than I am. Good food, my loving family, and lots of laughter.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Week Full of Happiness

Who says HAPPINESS can't be found in a bowl of ice cream?

It's now been OVER a week since I have blogged about anything. I hope you all haven't forgotten about me...or missed me too much. I suppose you have been wondering what we have been up too....Hopefully, I can bring you all up to speed.

Madaline has been spending LOTs of time perfecting her coloring skills.

My cousin Ryan & Madaline

I also noticed the other day, as I was coming thru the back door, having just gotten home from work, that my two year old, is using our fridge to showcase her new found artistic talent. I never thought that something as simple as my daughters artwork could make me feel like I can really finally call myself a mom. And, I really do feel like a Mom lately.

Before we could gear up for the Holiday season we needed to celebrate some birthday's in our family. I ended up baking this obscene cake for my sister Molly - I called it a Strawberry White Chocolate Layer Cake. White cake, brushed with strawberry puree, layered with white chocolate custard and then covered with white chocolate cream cheese frosting.

She was an happy camper. Happy Birthday Olly!!


In addition to that cake, I myself, have been on the search for perfect Blondie Cookie Bar recipe. As I was typing up the post over at The Townsend Bakery - it struck me that finding this perfect cookie bar recipe was kind of like the need to have 10 different pairs of black shoes.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

And, finally, perhaps is looking back at the last week or so, and reflecting on all that we have done, it was this, that made me the happiest. My daughter helped her Great Grandmother blow out her birthday candles. Just last night, we celebrated my Grandmother's, Madaline's Great Grandma's 84th birthday. I marvel at the fact that not only does my daughter have the privilege of growing up to know her Grandmother, but, her Great Grandmother as well.

Madaline & her Great Grammy

Madaline & her Grammy

It's been a good week. It's been a busy week - and most importantly, It's been a happy week.


Thursday, November 26, 2009


We have a lot to be THANKFUL for...

We are thankful for our family -
for they have shared tears, laughter, hardship and triumph with us over the years

We are thankful for our friends for their never wavering support, heartfelt advice, and always there, without fail when needed at a moments notice.

We are thankful each night to come home to a warm house, in a safe neighborhood, surrounded by both family and friends who care and love us.

We are thankful that both my husband and I are healthy & that we both have jobs to support our little family, when so many are still unemployed .

And perhaps most importantly....

we are thankful for Madaline. We are thankful for the all the wonderful, magnificent mayhem she puts into our lives. We are thankful because she reminds us to take a closer look at the little things, that it is sometimes important to take life at a slower pace, and that your days should be filled with hugs, kisses, giggles, grins and just all out silliness.

Today we are THANKFUL, and we wish you and yours, a very, happy, healthy, and thankful, Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

wordFUL Wednesday: HaPpY bIrThDaY to 'The Wandering Sagittarius'

My sister, Molly, known here as Olly, turns 20 today. And, in her honor, I dug into my archives and found a post, that was originally published just a few months ago -


I remember, the day that you were born, it was the day after Thanksgiving, 1989, and I spent the evening at the Height’s Theater watching “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”. You arrived into this world at 10:25, and I got to see you shortly there after.

I remember, that while you learned to walk, you preferred to run. One time, your newly found talent landed you in the emergency room for doing a forehead plant on the stairs at my house.

I remember that when you were a little girl and you were afraid to go outside – and any time we left the house, we use to have to do a sky check.

I remember that for some reason you didn’t think it was necessary when you were a little kid to sleep in a bed – you slept by it, under it, or next to it – but hardly in it. This made it necessary to always check the floor next to my own, as not to squish you when I got out of bed.

I remember that when I graduated from High School you graduated from Kindergarten – At graduation you managed to find a cricket – and if you look closely at most of the pictures from my HS graduation – you are holding this cricket.

I remember the summer before I went away to college – we traveled all over the place – we could spend whole afternoons browsing the books at Barnes & Nobel, at the State Park Pool, or over in Ithaca at the Discovery Center – we would really go anywhere we wanted, as long as we were back to Watkins by 5 – to pick Mom up from work.

I remember the day I left for college – you helped move me in my dorm room and mom said you cried all the way home – she often said she thought you would wear your first HWS sweatshirt all day, every day, if she let you…

I remember that mom & dad took you to get a cat after I left for college – Buttons – he’s was a nasty little thing – flea infested and the whole nine yards – I was the lucky one that got to give him a bath the next time I came home for a weekend.

I remember when your second grade teacher though I was a figment of your imagination – until mom set her straight and at your second grade end of year picnic, I introduced myself to her by saying “Hi – I am Molly’s imaginary sister Heather”.

I remember when you broke your leg, attempting to do a cartwheel – It also happened to be April Fool’s day, so I thought it was a joke at first. I was the first one to sign your green cast…

I remember when you went tub diving - scary then, but rather funny now – and unfortunately, it does not look like the Olympic committee is going to make it an event for the next round of summer games.

Two Words……”Townsend Terror”

I remember the way we laughed as we sorted through a couple of decades of photographs the summer before I got married – remember Dad in those plaid pants? I remember that was also the same summer that I heard you say – I can drive if you want…..

I remember when you play Varsity Soccer as a freshman – and last year when you put in two plenty shots during an Odessa game. I also, unfortunately, remember the one you missed and how I could feel your pain and disappointment all the way up in the stands.

I remember how you blubbered like a fool at my wedding rehearsal, but kept it together like a champ for the actually ceremony. And, I remember how your maid of honor speech even made my husband cry

I remember a year ago, when Daryl and I moved in at mom and dad's while we finished the house – it was real, it was fun, but it wasn’t always “real fun” – but, I did get a kick out of standing over you while you slept on the couch, staring at you, until you woke up, cause you felt a “presence”.

I will always remember that your face is one of the first faces that my own little girl saw after she was born as well as the first time she puked on you. And, I remember that Madaline said “lolly” before she said mum.

I remember taking you last fall to visit the HWS campus, that will be your home for the next four years – and thinking how proud I would be no matter where you choose to go to school while silently wishing and hoping that you chose my Alma mater.

I know that we have many more years to create memories that can start with the phrase “I remember” – but I want you to remember, mom will always make the “Geneva Ice Cream Run” when you need it, don’t ever let Dad catch you with less than a ½ tank of gas in the car in the middle of winter, ….but most importantly, I want you to remember, that no matter how big, how old, or far away you get – you will always be my little sister

Tuesday, November 24, 2009





I certainly hope that this is NOT an indication of how things will be all winter - considering that it's only November.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Patiently Waiting

Every Night. Yes, Every night - They wait for her. Each evening, as Madaline takes a shower bath. They stand watch. And, they wait.

They wait. Patiently - as patiently as an almost 5 month old kitten can wait. Some nights their tails swish back and worth - a silent tell tale sign of their frustration. But, each night, without fail, they are always - always waiting for her.

Murphy just sits and waits. Every night. Some nights he sits on the floor, but most nights, he perches himself on the toilet. And, there he waits. He waits, hoping, that Mads might pop her head out around the side of the shower curtain and say "MORE-PHY", "MORE-PHY, what ya doin'?" His ears will perk up and his whiskers will twitch. He continues his wait...

Morris does wait as well as Murphy does. She is clearly the more impatient of the two. She wanders in and out of the bathroom. She paces - Back and forth - Back and forth. She jumps up on the edge of the tub. She bounces down. She jumps back up & then back down - again. Over and over and over. She bounds off to do a lap around the downstairs, only to come back about 15 seconds later - Her eyes dancing with excitement, head cocked to the side as if to say "Is she done yet? Is she done yet?"

And, finally, she is done. The hot water tank drained of all it's steamy goodness and her fingers and toes wrinkly as a prune.

But, its her face - It is her. Madaline, with her innocence mixed with just the right amount of Mayhem. The kind of mixture that makes you shake your head as you smile with wonder and amazement. It is that, her, Madaline, Madaline & her Mayhem, all that she is - that is what they wait for.

Patiently. Each night - without fail.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday: Digging

They say that fall is the perfect time for planting bulbs.
Do you think it matters that there are no bulbs and the dirt just ends up on the deck?

Looking for more? Other than mine?

Friday, November 13, 2009

At LEAST it's NOT Chicken Pox?

We have....

drum roll



Just this past weekend, we had the flu. GO us some more!!!!

And, now, we have Itch Mites. I actually thought Madaline had chicken pox. She was COVERED with raised red welts/lesions on Wednesday night when I got her out of the tub. I was so furious and frustrated and irritated, that I even tweeted about it. I called her sitter - no exposure - none of the other kids had any sort of skin irritations.

So, off to the Pediatrician we went yesterday morning. And, as I am taking the scenic 45 minute drive there, mourning the loss of more of my vacation time, when I realized that, at least we already had the flu. One less nasty sickness option to catch while we were waiting in disease infested petri dish known as a Ped's waiting room? RIGHT? THAT can really be considered a bright spot? RIGHT?

And, oh boy, do I just kind of wish we had just chicken pox. But, we don't. We have itch mites. You can't seem them, but, boy oh boy, do they make a meal out of your body! And, itch? Holy crap, I haven't seen or needed this much hydrocortisone cream & benadryl cocktails since I was 8 & away at sleep away camp. For all of us. Madaline has them, I have them and the hubby has them. We are one big happy, err, ITCHY family.

It seems they live/grow on Oak trees. And, I was like....we don't have any trees.....and then, it hit me. Like a freakin' freight train!

Two weeks ago Madaline and I went walking up Memory Lane after her nap. After which, I borrowed, err, stole leaves out of the neighbors yard, for my daughter to jump in. We have continually played in this same pile of leaves for two weeks. Yes - we have been dealing with these bite for two weeks. I have checked Morris & Murphy religiously. I have deep cleaned my house, ironed mattress - and yet, they do not go away.

All, well, because we have continued to play in the yard and in the leaves.

Fun times I tell you...Fun times.

So, for a third time the house has been scrubbed from baseboard to ceiling. The beds have been stripped & ironed.

And, in case you are wondering, YES, I have clearly learned my lesson. The leaves have been returned to the neighbors yard. thankyouverymuchindeed

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday: My Cup Runneth Over

Take a pot of this

Add in the Mayhem Daddy & the Mayhem Maker - who are recovering from being sick

And, while we may run out of soup and grilled cheese

'My Cup Runneth Over' with dinner time memories such as these

Want more? Other than mine?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And, The Winner Is....

I went to in the numbers, and it kicked back commenter #9. Delete

Blogger McVal said...

I didn't sign up yet?
I'm a follower - not a twitterer... Those frames are so sweet! I know just the person I could give them to!
Pick me! Pick me!

Val - Please e-mail me your addresses I will get things all squared away on my end.

Thanks to everyone that participated in my very first Give_A_Way.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Terror of Townsend

Most days, my Dad picks Madaline up from our sitter, and then sits with her at my house until I get home from work at 5:30 or so. Lately, Madaline has gotten into a bad habit of not taking a nap at the sitters. And, most works days I don't mind. It just simply means an early bedtime. What I do mind, is the terror she is in the evenings. I have gone so far as to crown her the 'Terror of Townsend".

Just the other night as I walked thru the door and found myself disappointed. I was not greeted with my usual "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, you home!" - as she will run into the kitchen, throws her arms around my legs and give me a big hug.

All was quiet.

Too Quiet.

It seems, Madaline had entered the house, climbed up on the couch, with her beloved bear, and zonked right out cold.

Still in her coat.

Still in her hat.

And, as always, using Beloved Bear as a pillow.


Oh! Don't FOREGET.....I have a Give_A_Way going on. If you haven't already entered you should do so. You will be happy that you did! Click here to enter