Monday, December 19, 2011


Meredith, upon arriving at our East Memphis destination, and after asking "how much longer?" approximately 67 times: "Mom. Is this South America?"

Madeline, after I said, "Let's go kiddos": "WE'RE NOT KIDDOS. WE'RE LAREAUS."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday with the Spickler Boys

Speed racers. Approximately 200 laps of the kitchen/living/hall/guest bedroom were made.

Sharing a snack of crackers cheese. As we say.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent: Expectation, Anticipation, Preparation

This year, we celebrated Thanksgiving at home. Because of that, we were able to start Christmas earlier than ever. Our Christmas tree came home from Easy Way on November 27. Pandora was set to the the "Frank Sinatra Holiday" station, and good times were had. It should be noted that Madeline pretty much potty trained herself over Thanksgiving, and her method of potty training involves wearing only a pull-up when at home.


Just right.

You've got an ornament on your face, Meredith.

We even made it to the Peabody this year--our first time to see the tons (almost literally?) of gingerbread and the wall of a Christmas tree. It's been a beautiful Advent season, and we're grateful to God for the way he's blessed us with time and space and peace to enjoy it all this year.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday, December 09, 2011

Mommy, Daddy, and Mer at Nut Remix

Chris was just about to smile...And mommy was just about to get in trouble for using her cell phone...

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

What Happened in November

WARNING: If you aren't ready for some SERIOUS Lareau blogging, then click away now. This may be my longest post ever.

It's been a long time since we really documented anything, and there's lots of growing going on here. I'd better get busy. November was crazy because Meredith got sick for 10 days, we all helped do a big fundraiser at Mer's school, and then I got sick for 7 days. Oy vey. So here are some pictures to trigger my memory. Because despite nagging fevers, it really was a great month.

We'll cheat a little. Cause it's not just November we missed. Here's Mer dressed up as a "Regular" Fairy (this will make sense in a minute) and Madi dressed up as a tiny dancer.

And here's Mer dressed up as Superhero Tooth Fairy for a Halloween party. (She's over there on the right, looking more princess bride-y than anything, but she never hesitated to describe herself as Superhero Tooth Fairy). I don't think I need to mention that this was her idea. Lesson learned (not that it's not perfectly okay to be the Superhero Tooth Fairy): don't allow children to nap until it's time for a Halloween party. They will absolutely wake up with insane costume requests, and you will not be able to rise to the occasion. This is experience from 2 years and 4 Halloween parties, so take notes, folks.

Kayle and Rick came for Thanksgiving. It was so wonderful to have them here. Kayle and Mer made the pumpkin pie, which started out as "aw, this will give them bonding time," and then I went to bed with a fever. It ended up as "girls, yall better make the pumpkin pie, or there won't be any dessert." They rose to the challenge and it was perfect.

The girls had lots of good play time outside because...

we smoked the turkey. Credit where it's due: Chris smoked the turkey. And he did an amazing job. It was INCREDIBLE.

However, it started out purple. You don't see this in the food magazines, folks. This is what cranberry brine does to the turkey. But it was all good. Trust me.

See? Oh yeah, babe.

We're thankful for aunts and cousins, cause otherwise, Meredith would soooo rarely have her hair dreams come true.

So Mer's hair looked amazing, and so did the table. All thanks to Kayle. Thank you God for our family!

You know what? I'm stopping there. I'm not sure yall can handle all this. I'll be back with more, soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Madi is suddenly becoming wise.

She came to snuggle with me after her nap.

Me: I love you, Madeline. You're a good girl and a kind girl and a smart girl.
Her: hmmm. Except sometimes I'm not.

True. True.

She then promptly spilled a full glass of water and wanted me to photograph the two squares of toilet paper she brought to clean it up.

Nothin' but awesome. Truly.

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Princesses Cheer for Tigers

The girls played together all day. As I worked in the kitchen, they passed me and went upstairs. They were relatively quiet up there, which is surprising given that they were preparing something that was the opposite of quiet. In about ten minutes they came down, and it was immediately apparent that whatever was coming should be filmed.

The original "cheer," followed by the whispered counting and the follow up cheer is how this was performed each time they presented it. Which means it was a plan. Which cracks me up.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Husband, Dad, Arsenal Fan

Most of you know that my husband, weirdly enough, started an Arsenal fan club here in Memphis. The group--the Memphis Gooners--are recognized by the official Arsenal web page, and listed there so that poor wandering Arsenal fans can find their ilk when in Memphis.

Check out the page to see some of his endearingly-serious-about-this writing as well as a couple pics of the Lareau bambinas.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Computer Lesson

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Friday, October 21, 2011

A Room Full of Girls, Just Waiting for a Boy

We're having donuts and Tom and Jerry this morning with the King girls. The King parents are off to the hospital, and we're all eagerly anticipating Baby Edgar's arrival. It's like Christmas in October!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Madeline at (a little more than) Two and a Half

Madi 2.5:
  • Perhaps not as nutty as we once thought.
  • When determined to be nutty (some might say defiant/disobedient) she is incredibly strong willed.
  • This, however, is coupled with a complete aversion to punishment. 99% of the time she cries tragically at even a fake spanking (You know the sort -- where you only make contact with the diaper and she probably didn't actually feel anything).
  • She's still funny. She has an ear for funny phrases and noises and repeats them at funny times.
  • I can't tell yet if she's shy or not, but she's definitely happiest in groups if she's being held. She's super affectionate--patting and scratching our backs all the time. But make no mistake--she clings. (Which I've just decided to enjoy.)
  • So, she can be clingy in a group, but at home, she plays more independently than Mer usually did/does. She doesn't mind being on her own. She "re-boots" best by sitting on our bed with a stack of books.
  • She tells people to call her Madi-Poo. We don't know where this came from. Needless to say, it's not exactly the nickname we might have chosen. If you call her something silly, like "Crazy girl," she'll correct you and say, "No, I Madi-Poo." Awesome. She's correcting her teachers, too.
  • She's a weird eater. Won't eat if she's tired. Likes to eat the same thing over and over--3 bowls of sweet potatoes, 4 containers of yogurt. Overall, favors fat over lean. My girl.
  • Meredith loves it when her sister quick steps/stomps through the downstairs rooms.
  • Meredith loves it when Madi dances spontaneously (and there's usually not music). What's not to love?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Now We Are Six

Now We Are Six

A. A. Milne

When I was one,

I had just begun.

When I was two,

I was nearly new.

When I was three,

I was hardly me.

When I was four,

I was not much more.

When I was five,

I was just alive.

But now I am six,

I'm as clever as clever.

So I think I'll be six

now and forever.

She is, you know. Clever. And all it implies. The man who gave us Winnie the Poo was a genius, as any fool knows, and he nailed the age of six. She is clever. Meaning aware. Meaning not so little anymore. And it's all going to be more complicated now.

Don't worry. She's still very much a little girl. But she is becoming more Meredith in all she does. Stronger, funnier, weirder, smarter, more frustrated, more focused...

Here's a list of Meredith attributes. Sorry that I have no choice but to filter her through the lens of Kate.
* she's a really good speller. YES!
* she can dance like you would not believe.
* she doesn't care enough about handwriting. (I am trying not to say a word. I am fully aware that handwriting matters not a whit.)
* she's still obsessed with the empty Sears distribution tower at the end of the street, and would like to raise money to help restore it. I have mentioned that people need food and water, but she feels we should address that AND the Sears building.
* she makes eye contact with me, and we laugh at things. This is awesome. Obviously.
* she tries really hard to learn things, when she's in the mood to do so. Which is, praise God, more often than not.
* she is either completely, endlessly patient with her sister, or not at all. This reminds me very much of me.
* she loves to go out to eat. Again, she is my daughter. Like me, though, she is not terribly picky. "Out" is not complicated.
* she is weirdly responsible about some things. "Mom, my map of Kenya is due in TWO weeks. When are we going to start?!"
* she adores Chris and ranges between miffed and furious when his schedule takes him away from her. And does not hesitate to lecture him.

There's so much more. And there always will be. Love you, Mer.

Birthday with community group.

Combined birthday with Lea. They are literal BFFs. Born 2 days apart and have been hanging out since they were 3 months old. Their parents, brilliantly, decided on a combined party this year.

Opening the birthday box from Marme. Hilarity ensued. There are many pics equally as good as this one, and we weren't prompting them.

Party in the sun!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Meredith!

Happy Birthday to the most amazing 6 year old 3-d map maker with large hot pink flowers in her hair anywhere, ever.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Madi Jams to the Dulcimer

Despite being exhausted by a napless afternoon (and her own generally awful behavior), Madi was able to do a little jam dance when we came across this dulcimer player in Mountain View, AR.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cousin time.


Lyndi and Hadley.

Craft time.

Cold morning on the porch.

Swingin' and readin'.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Perfect Lake Day 2011

Thanks to Josh for producing a fab video while the rest of us were sleeping. Thanks to the fab Mills for being amazing hosts.

Friday, August 19, 2011

What Happens When You Have Girls

At some point on our CO vacation, we filmed this gem. Most of you honestly won't want to watch it. But it does a pretty good job capturing what we're in for with these girls.

Apologies: We're sorry we bought Kidz Bop 19. We're sorry they're not in car seats. I would recommend those with serious car seat issues (you know who you are) not view this film. I would also apologize to Katy Perry, the songstress of the original "Firework," but I feel that's just not necessary.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Madeline, Meredith, and Hadley

Friday at the park!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Aaaand We're Off! First Grade!

Adam, Meredith, and Ariana outside the classroom.

Meredith signing in.

Serious face. Locker!

Finding her desk--while her dad hangs around the classroom as long as possible.

Saturday, July 30, 2011