Recipe for a Forever Family: Take One Mom (formerly from the Midwest), Add One Cutie Pie (formerly from China), then slowly Stir in Two Big Drooly Dogs.

More shots today...

Poor Maeve! It was time for her 15 month check-up and more shots. The appointment was today and all in all it went pretty well, at least my eardrums survived again. My little girl has quite the memory and what I really admire is she is able to break it down and know what she likes and what she doesn't like. Here is how the appointment went.

- Walked into the waiting room. Big smile on Maeve's face as she remembered she likes playing in this area and there are lots of old magazines to try and rip up.
- Our name is called and she walked behind me into the examination room without a fuss. Smiling as she went by the nurse's station where they always smile and praise her for being such a big girl.
- Door shuts behind us in the exam room, still she is smiling as she remembers I usually read to her the children's books in there. I did and she was intent on our reading.
- Nurse comes in to take her vital statistics and the crying begins. This was "The Nurse", the one who gave her shots last time. No shots yet, only the basics taken and crying immediately stops upon her leaving.
- Doctor walks in and he actually gets a small smile. That is until my little Mensa candidate realizes that although he doesn't administer the shots, somehow he is the brains behind this organization and gives the orders. Crying reaches piercing new heights when he trys to listen to her heart, check her ears and other routine exam procedures. My reminding Maeve that we just saw this on the Wiggles this morning, when Anthony wasn't feeling good and the other Wiggles called Dr. VeryGood falls onto deaf ears. Actually, she heard me, but by this point she was a pretty shade of purple and not willing to listen to reason. Desperate mother resorts to singing "Wheels on the Bus" much to the Dr.'s amusement. Dr walks out and calm resumes, punctuated by deep, hiccupy breaths every few seconds.
- Then "The Nurse" is back....with the shots! Oh No!!! Frantic baby scrambles to get away, dig a tunnel, learn to fly, anything to escape her doom. Too late, it was over before she realized it.
- After "The Nurse" (who is actually really nice) leaves, sobs while I dress her again and get ready to go. Sobs on the way out, until she spots the one thing in this universe that can bring a smile to her face again...the sucker bowl. She remembered that and was intent on getting one as soon as she saw them. Doctor and shots were a thing of the past. Now she was happy and focused on her cherry sucker, the only evidence of the whole horrific ordeal was a still tear stained face.
- Still smiling because she knows what is next. A stop at McDonalds for some french fries for the trip home. Yeah!!

The doctor's visit was a success. She continues to average slightly above the 50 percentile for height and at her new weight of 19 something lbs, she is actually on the chart this time. The doctor was very pleased with her progress and her weight gain. My only question was regarding what type of milk to keep her on. Right now she drinks whole milk and I drink fat free. I was hoping to switch her over, but found out it is recommended to keep her whole milk until at least two. Turns out the extra fat in whole milk encourages brain development during the crucial first two years. I feel better about those french fries now. With the number she scarfed down today, we may be looking at the next "Einstein"! :) 3 comments

We're Back!

After two weeks of fun in the Midwest, Maeve & I are back home again. We had a great time and Maeve was able to see her Grandparents again and meet her the rest of her new extended family...Aunts, Uncles and cousins by the dozens. I'm also happy to report that Maeve did extremely well on both plane rides, she actually enjoyed them and oohed and aahed the surrounding passengers...she is learning to love an audience. :)

I already knew that Maeve liked the water (aside from bath time), but she nows looovvvveees the water. Not only did she love splashing around in the shallows of the lake, but she is a natural born "Tooner", that is she appreciates a slow pontoon ride with her Grandpa around the lake. Here she is on one of her almost nightly "Toon" rides.

After a full day of playing nonstop with her cousins, a "Toon" ride mellowed her right out and she went straight to bed afterwards. And her cousins, Maeve loves her cousins! She had so much fun playing with them, especially my 7 year old niece. She made it very clear from the start that she wanted to spend all her time playing with Maeve. At first Maeve was a bit shy, but by the third day, she would literally shriek with delight and try to jump out of my arms when she heard her cousin come in the house. Here they both are with Grandma.

Maeve also had another exciting day on vacation...she was baptized. :)
Steps to baptism, according to Maeve.

#1 First refuse to wear a bow in your hair and then pack up your purse for church, being careful not to forget your keys.

#2 Figure out being baptized involves water, worse water on your head, that sounds too much like a bath. All this occurs while new godparents are holding her. One word...WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

#3 Hold grudge after said head wetting ordeal and cry until we leave the church. Evil and uncaring Mother still insists on taking pictures. ;)

Aside from a little bit of a meltdown at her Christening, Maeve had a blast during her first vacation. She was a complete trooper, attending graduation parties, visiting so many new people, attending a birthday party, hosting an overdue impromptu 1st B-Day for Maeve, not to mention all the new experiences of a different environment. Although a little shy of the adults at first, Maeve loved all the children and joined in the fun right from the start. She even warmed to all the adults, still checking for me or walking back to me on a regular basis...she is a Mommy's girl afterall. During the entire two weeks, there was rarely a time when there wasn't smiling or giggling. She can't wait for our next trip now. :) 2 comments

Update Time

Well it is official...little green martians are inhabiting my child again. In short she has a slight cold that has her nose running a mile a minute. The tissues are out by the dozens, but to no avail. Maeve takes delight in rubbing her nose and smearing all her nose's runny stuff all around. Did I mention, she usually likes to get her hands dirty first. I wash, wipe and scrub, but it is an uphill battle. The good news is that she is having a great time. Here are a few other tidbits.

- The poor dogs. Maeve is breaking every rule of "No-No" in the doggy world. Every chance she gets she jumps on them or is climbing over one or the other. She has taken to eating their food when possible (I don't leave it down for long) and likes to walk up to them and steal their chewy treats. It's not all bad news for the dogs, they have discovered that if they sit near enough to her while she is eating she will dump her food onto the floor so as to enjoy the entertainment of two dogs frantically licking the floor clean.

- Maeve has discovered the joys of toilet paper. No, we have not begun potty training, rather she knows how much fun it is to unroll the roll and then rip everything to shreds. She also likes to rip other random pieces of paper to shreds as well. The good news is that if my paper shredder ever goes on the blink, I can just give everything to Maeve to tear up.

- In typical newly walking toddler fashion, Maeve tends to watch her feet and look down when she is walking. This leads to some occasional "Mommy" mix-ups when she approaches the wrong person who happens to be wearing similar pants or shorts as me. Today, in our exercise class it happened again. One of the other women and I had almost identical capris on, Maeve had walked off a few feet then came back, but went to Katie instead. She was hugging her legs until she finally looked up. I wish I had a camera for the look on her face. :) Maeve quickly regrouped looked around, found me and high tailed it back over.

- Stairs and climbing are her favorite activities right now. I have to keep a close eye on her because she is always trying to figure out how she can get to a higher elevation. The fact that her balance isn't that great doesn't bother her in the slightest. Although I have gates up at all stairs, she is bound and determined to find a way up.

- Besides eating the dog food, hair ties & barrettes are high up on the list of favorites. If I put something in her hair, it is just a matter of time before it is in her mouth. Doesn't stop me from trying. :)

- Her comprehension is definitely there. She only says a couple of words, but I can tell that she knows more than she is letting on. She is starting to bring me her books to read to her and especially loves her word book. Maeve mimics me, especially the sounds I make on a regular basis and she knows the songs that I sing to her. Many of the songs have actions involved and she anticipates them. For example, part of "Wheels on the Bus", talks about the people on the bus going up and down. She has started bouncing up and down when I get to that part. I used to bounce her myself, but now she is doing it on her own. I can mix up the lyrics and put them out of sequence, but she recognizes that part and responds. It is so much fun to watch her soak up more new things each day.

- She is sleeping in to almost 7am now. I thought I would be happy to lose the 6am rise and shine call, but it is actually throwing my schedule off a bit. I need to regroup and reorganize now. She is also taking two naps a day. A short one in the morning, and then about two hours in the afternoon. Maeve is usually pooped around 7:30-8pm and out she goes.

There is more, but it is time to finish packing for our big trip back to the midwest to meet the entire family. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and a ton of cousins are all eagerly awaiting our arrival! We leave tomorrow for a nice vacation. 3 comments


A few days ago we tried JC Penny's photography studio again, and...

SUCCESS!! Well, at least no major meltdowns. The photographer missed the few real smiles that Maeve flashed, but we did have a few cute poses. Although I wish the photographer would take more pictures to catch more smiles, I think JC Pennys does a nice job overall. That and they are one of the few places that their "initial" baby coupons apply to Maeve & me. Most studios have coupons based on the baby's age for the first year. Pennys (& I think Sears too) coupons are based on the inital visits, not age of child. The "Picture People" were recommended by one of my friends, so I'm going there next, but I'll continue to go to Pennys. You just can not beat their prices. :)

Maeve & I

Maeve holding my hands (& her Sunshine toy).

Mommy & Maeve Feet


A Day in the Life...

Yogurt...not just a food, but a face mask!

Now that I have my own "Dora" cellphone, I'm ready to face the world.

If I could just figure out how to get out of this place...

Don't worry Smudge, I'm taking you with me as soon as I figure out how to open this door!

Poor Baby, she has had a tough day. Better give her a little back rub so she is all set for the next time I want to bounce up and down on her head.

I'm sure that Mommy left these out for me to climb on. I'm climbing just like they showed me on the Disney channel.

The dogs may weigh 5x more than Maeve each, but she can sure tire them out!

I was giggling until Mommy busted me doing something I'm not supposed to do. Maybe this crying face will do the trick and get me out of trouble.

A girl on the go needs a little snack. I don't know why Mommy doesn't want me eating this...My doggies love it and it is in this handy container that is just my size.


Update on Maeve

It has been awhile since my last post. Maeve has been keeping me busy, especially since now she is walking...everywhere. Here is what's happening in our lives.

- Not only is she walking, but she is trying to run. At this point, these short bursts of speed end up in her taking a tumble, but for the most part she gets up, shakes it off and starts again.
- She is growing so fast. Our next doctor's appointment is not until next month, but I can tell. The shoes I bought for her a few weeks ago were a size "4" and on the big side, now they fit perfectly, maybe even a bit snug. When we first met, the 12 mos clothes hung on her. She easily fit into the 9 mos clothing with room to spare. Now, some of the 12 mos are starting to appear small. I've brought out a few of the 18 mos clothes from the closet and encorporated these into her wardrobe.
- She is eating!! Not everything, and her favorite game is still to spit out all new things (and some of the old things), but the variety of food that she will eat grows daily. I've weaned her down to one formula bottle a day, usually in the morning during our exercise class. At this point, Maeve doesn't feed herself, except for cheerios and crackers. She still refuses to hold the bottle as well, although I know she can do it as she has done this in her carseat. I've never seen a 10 year old that is still hand fed by his parents, so I know that she will come around. It will just take time. What is nice right now, is that she eats with me. So whatever I'm making for myself, I make a child size, mashed up serving for her. Aside from the occasional french fry, we are both eating a very healthy diet.
- While still very shy of adults (she takes awhile to warm up to someone), Maeve blossoms around other children. She is approaching other kids and trying to communicate with them. Today, she and another little girl shared some cheerios. It was so cute.
- Her exploring is getting a little dangerous. She has learned to climb and a climb she will, everywhere, whenever possible. I have to keep a close eye to make sure that she doesn't go head first off something.
- Maeve is loving all the little classes that we are participating in. Our swim class just ended, but now we are in a gym class for her age group and she loves it. We are also attending 2-4 playdates with the different Mommy groups I belong to each week.
- I joined a Stroller Stride class and love it! It is an excercise group of Moms with their kids. I thought it would be easy, but it is atually pretty tough. But the best part is that Maeve is right there with me. During the cardio, she is in the stoller with me pushing, but at some of the stops I take her out and she stays right next to me while I work out. She loves the end when I'm doing crunches as she jumps right on my stomach and bounces nonstop. :) She finds my grunts of pain highly amusing.
- She isn't speaking actual words yet, but her grasp of what is going on around her is excellent. She know what I mean when I ask her to come to me, or if she wants up, is hungry, etc. She has started actively mimicking me, whether a sound that I'm making, my expression or an action, so I feel the words will start flowing soon.

These are just a few things that I see on a daily basis. She continues to amaze me with her antics and how quick she catches on to something new. I'll try to do one more post tonight a little later with some of the more current pictures. 0 comments

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