January 29, 2010

You Just Don't Get Cuter Than This


Nursing Rabbits

Therese was carrying around her piggy-bank all morning a few days ago. (It's actually a rabbit bank, not a piggy bank.)

I thought maybe she was obsessing about her pennies.

Some time later, I hear Therese talking to herself.

"Rabbit, you are just so hungry."

"I've been nursing you all day, and you just never stop eating."

"Rabbit, you must let me rest. This has been going on for hours."

Cracking up, I asked Therese to let me photograph her with her nursing rabbit.

January 23, 2010

Nibble, Nibble Like a Mouse... Who's That Nibbling at My House?

Anna Marie and three friends had a slumber party at our home about a week ago. We were still in new-baby sleep-deprivation mode, and I'm not sure what we were thinking. Really. The sleep-deprivation is clearly responsible for some seriously questionable parental decisions. Accordingly, we were deprived of ever-more sleep while the gaggle of girls giggled the night away.

To make matters more interesting for the girls and the sleepy parents, we discovered at some point in the evening that there was a mouse in our walls chewing away on our wiring.

How did we know this, you ask? Well, we heard him. Loud and clear. Behind the thermostat.

     Nibble, nibble (mouse).

     Giggle, giggle (girls).

     Nibble, MUNCH (mouse).

     Giggle, SCREAM (girls).

We also saw him. Yep. It took nothing more than to remove the cover from the thermostat to see his beady little eyes staring out at us.  Eeeew.

There was no way to reach him or grab him, so we put the cover on the thermostat and vowed to set traps and call pest control in the morning.

The nibbling racket (and it was, indeed, a racket!) continued into the wee hours. We were exhausted and finally fell asleep. Apparently, the girls did NOT.

Upon awaking in the morning, we were informed that our illustrious guest, Heather, had decided sometime in the middle of the night, to pray to good St. Francis to quiet the noisy, sleep-depriving mouse. Heather and her comrades informed us confidently in the morning, that St. Francis had, indeed, taken care of the mouse almost immediately upon the completion of her prayer. According to Heather, he was dead.

"Yeah, right," I must have been thinking (and telegraphing), because Heather then proceeded to look me in the eye and say, "Look for yourself, Mrs. Leone," as she nodded toward the thermostat. It was not without trepidation that I opened the face of the thermostat.

I was stunned at what I saw:  The mouse, its teeth firmly clenched around the wires chewed bare, lay dead.


I'm telling you, the strangest things happen at our house.

At anyone else's house, there'd be a mouse and a trap.

At our house, it's a mouse, in the thermostat, at a slumber party, during which our devout twelve-year-old friend Heather prays to St. Francis (notwithstanding his reputation as an animal lover), and a mousy electrocution immediately ensues.

Oh, we have photos. Surprised?  (Never let it be said that this blog only includes photos of the kids...)


Disclaimer Number One: Our thermostat is not set to 64 degrees. More like 70. Mr. Rodent was apparently wreaking havoc with our temperature settings.

Disclaimer Number Two: Yours Truly had nothing to do with prying open the jaw and removing said electrocuted mouse from the wall. Thank God for husbands. Amen.

Separated at Birth?

When Joe needed a new associate at the firm about a year ago, he hired this great guy Dan.

The million dollar question: Was he really out to hire a great patent associate?

Or was he out to hire his clone?

You decide.

She's Growing!

And with the new year, comes four-week-old photos of Marguerite.

Look how big she's getting already. I had fun sending some of these photos to her birthmother in Georgia.


Marguerite Helps Us Ring in the New Year in Style!

As tradition would have it, we found ourselves in our favorite New Year's Eve celebratory locale again this year: The Daniel family home. 

But this year was a bit different. For, amidst the amazing food and the interesting conversation and the festive atmosphere, came the sound of babies cooing and babbling and, yes, even crying... 

We had great fun introducing Marguerite to some of our very favorite people, including the newest among them, sweet Baby Joseph Daniel.


Baptism Day!

Little Miss Marguerite was baptized just a week after Christmas, by our friend and pastor, Monsignor Holmes. We were honored to have the Hinelines agree to be Marguerite's Godparents.


Christmas 2009

Christmas was particularly festive this year...

We had lots of snow:

Plenty of snuggles...

Some Santa-related secrets...

 Endless new-baby love...

Boundless (gift-related) anticipation...

A bit of three-year-old impatience...

And oodles of fun gifts...


The Spelling Leones

The Leone kids participated in the Holy Family Homeschoolers spelling bee again this year.

Andrew hung with the bigger kids, finishing around the middle of the pack in the K-3rd bee. That's young Andrew in the red boots:


And Kathleen, beginning with a field of twenty-two kids, came in fourth in the 3rd-8th grade bee. Here she stands, spelling a word—the last girl in the final group of five competitors.

Santa Train

We decided to take the kids on the Santa Train in East Troy this year. The day turned out to be memorable for more reasons than one. As it turns out, it was the day on which we were scheduled to have our conference call with Temple, Marguerite's birthmother who was, at the time, still pregnant with our little Marguerite.

The conference call was scheduled for one hour before train departure. So we drove the 1.5 hour trip to East Troy and planned to sit in the parking lot and take the important call in the van.

Before the call came in, however, we decided to go into the gift shop and load up on some sweets for the kids. We figured sweets equal quiet. And if there was ever a time we needed a bit of quiet, it was for the duration of this most important phone call.

Just before we entered the train depot's gift shop,  the kids took a ride on the big wooden horses corralled out front.

With candy in hand, we made our way out to the van, made the sugar distributions, and took the very important call. It was wonderful to talk to Temple and to answer her questions and help quell her concerns. With tears in our eyes, we hung up the phone, knowing the arrival of our new daughter was imminent, and feeling the very special joy of just having spoken to her birth mother.

We embarked on the Santa Train ride with eager hearts, hardly able to think about anything other than our forthcoming trip to Georgia to adopt Marguerite.


Blocks on Steroids, Kathleen-Style


The Best of Thanksgiving Guests

We were joined this Thanksgiving by favorite guests.

Uncle Larry enjoyed eating. And eating some more. Here he gets a few turkey leftovers as Elizabeth cleans the kitchen.


And John, Claudia, and Jen Daniel entertained us with their wonderful company, as they always do. It's begun to feel like it just wouldn't be a real holiday without the Daniels' presence.