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.

FBI's Most Wanted!

Obviously, the business of crime fighting must be getting a bit slow (a good thing) and the G-Men (or G-People to be more politically correct) are expanding their search parameters just a bit. Not sure what I mean?? Maeve and I just returned from our Christmas vacation visiting family in the Midwest and guess WHO was "randomly" selected for search at the checkpoints in the airport, both on our departing & return flights.

My reaction was, "Are you kidding me???". Evidently not. So you wonder, what does a potential fugitive and causer of mayhem look like...

Now I was curious, what might have tipped the authorities off on this suspected troublemaker? I've put together a few items of interest that might explain it.

The Addictions
- Orange Juice (also known as juice & juicy). Any child guzzling down such copious amounts of the orange stuff is subject to suspicion, especially after knocking off a hefty sippy cup in seconds flat, comes the incessant chant of "More, more, more, more, more..."
- Dora. Although innocent enough at first glance, the glazed, hypnotic trance it produces when played should be the first tip off. The extreme & unhappy reaction when the battery to my laptop gave out mid flight...mid Dora show, should be the second.

The Escape Attempts
- Sometimes the temptation of the wide open spaces of an airport and an overloaded Mommy can be too much of a temptation. My favorite part was after rounding her up for the umpteenth and delivering a stern scolding, I could hear other parents use Maeve as an example of what not to do in the airport with their children. Can we say "Timeout" and a sobbing child? Yes, we can.
Note - Mommy wised up and turned on Dora at this point...dilemma resolved.

The Alias
- She was wearing her "Cinderella" necklace, that when the button is pushed spouts out "I'm Cinderella". Maybe they took her a bit too seriously or someone went a little loco after hearing it for the 245th time. (Not me, that's what they make Ipods for...guaranteed to drown out all mention of Cinderella within a 10 foot radius).

The outfit
Now this one I question, because I picked out her outfit that day. So, none of her crazy concoctions of colors, materials and headbands as accessories that day, but looking back...I wonder. I did have her "Pirates Loot" t-shirt on her. That combined with all the "Bling" she was sporting (multiple hair pretties, huge Cinderella necklace, multiple Cinderella bracelets & rings) might have tipped them off. Maeve played with all her "jewelry" all day, taking it on & off, storing it in her pockets. It might have been mistaken for her "Loot".

I do want to note, that in each case they did end up exempting her from any additional searches.

PS - The holiday trip was fantastic. I'll have more details in a later post. 1 comments

A Toddler's Fashion Sense - Maeve's Style

Fashion Styling Rules according to Maeve....


1) A girl can never have enough shoes nor have enough occasions to wear them. Sparkly purple shoes that fit over footsie pajamas are a bonus! (Still likes to suck her two middle fingers and you can see the old pink jacket in the corner of the picture. New twist is has to sleep with MY pillow. )

2) Snow boots are for everyday wear and notice the hair pretty...only on one side, rarely on both. Maeve loves those boots and she insists on multiple hair pretties, but prefers them all on one side.

3) Hats are in! Lately she has been all about the "hat" and loves to try all her hats & baby bonnets on. Notice the red around her neck. That is a headband. She never lets me use them in her hair, rather she wears them as necklaces and usually about 3 or 4 at once. Another favorite pair of shoes.

4) On our historic election day, Maeve actually let me pick out her outfit, all except the socks & shoes. 9 times out of 10 she will pull out those tomato red socks no matter what she is wearing. It is all about bold fashion choices after all.

5) Chicken Little for Halloween. Nothing to crazy here, but for those who know this is one of the costumes that I bought for her last year. This year I had found matching penguin costumes for us. I was so excited because Maeve loves penguins and seemed to like the idea, until four days before Halloween. Then it was, "No Way Mommy! No Penguin!!" Hence, Chicken Little was resurrected from the depths of the closet. Of course, the outfit would not be complete without her favorite Dora shoes.

6) I call this her 'Superhero' phase, although I'm not sure why she started to do this. For a solid 3 weeks, she insisted on wearing her bib backwards and inside out.

7) Just like Mommy! Here my budding fashionista has discovered eye makeup and boy did she have a ball. This takes you to the number one rule for Moms...If it is quiet, there's trouble! (Another headband.)


A Tradition Continues...

Everyone remembers last year's picture with Santa? Right??

The screaming child struggling to get away from the "grit your teeth smile, rolling eyes and gripping my daughter for dear life to keep her in his lap for the picture" Santa? The picture that made such an impression that it graced the Christmas card cover of her adoring Grandparents?

So, this year was going to be different. I had it all planned out. Maeve & I have been talking about Santa for over a month. She has a Santa toy that she loves to give hugs and kisses too. Every time we see a Santa picture, I make sure I point it out and say how wonderful he is. Maeve regularly tells me she "loves Santa" and is excited to see a new picture or display. So, overall a perfect plan geared to procure the perfect picture.

Here is how it went down.

The day in question was a typical lazy Sunday. After treating Maeve to all her favorites that morning at the local coffee shop, we set off. Planning our arrival the the Christmas village, I ensured that we arrived ahead of the opening time, so Maeve could check it out and get comfortable. Maeve was wearing a dress that she loves and her noisy shoes. (We have been watching "Happy Feet" lately and she loves to 'tap dance' like the penguins.) So off she went to explore the play area, stopping to pose for pictures for me in front of Santa's house. Giggling and happily chattering away in that toddler mix of understandable & gibberish words, Maeve was so excited to talk about Santa. We had our Santa hats, our Santa toys and other little children were showing up to see Santa too, so plenty of company for the short wait.

We missed the actual arrival of Santa due to a well timed poopy diaper on Maeve's part, but we quickly took care of that and resumed our place in line. Looking back, I should have seen that as the omen it was, cut my losses and taken off. Instead, we waited in line with all the other children. Maeve was happy and care free, smiling at the other parents and making friends with some of the kids her size. As we drew closer, we could actually peep into the Santa's window and we saw Santa a scant four feet away, sitting in his chair talking to a little boy. I was worried about Maeve's reaction, but she leaned right into the window and waved at Santa, turning to me saying "Santa! Mommy, Santa!!". Santa waved back and Maeve had a grin ear to ear on her face. As we turned the corner to Santa's door, Maeve let go of my hand and joined all the kids hanging out in the doorway, literally pushing her way to the front to get a closer look at Santa. Still all smiles, still excited, still happy.

Then, suddenly, as the parents behind us pulled back their children & those in front of us finished with their pictures, Maeve found herself alone in the doorway staring a big guy in a red suit. We were next and the realization appeared to hit her like a ton of bricks. "Maeve, do you want to go sit in Santa's lap like the other kids?", I asked. Her smile fell, her eyes welled, her arms reached out and a huge "NOOOOOOOO!" sounded out her as if she was predicting the end of the world. So, I did what every good parent does in this type of situation. Picking her up, I turned to the Santa & the photographer and said, "Tell me when you are ready." ;)


A few of my favorite things

We have quite a few new stories to share...

1) Earlier, I posted our Mother's Day picture of Maeve & I sporting our "Me" & "Mini Me" shirts. We are in that phase where she copies everything that I do. If I cross my legs, she crosses her legs. If I sit on the couch, she sits on the couch. It's a riot to watch.

2) We are quickly memorizing the entire dialogue for "Madagascar" ( Zebra as Maeve calls it), "Finding Nemo" (Nemo), "Toy Story" (Toy), "Monsters Inc" (Monster) and of course "Elmo goes to Grouchland". I'm sure this will prove vitally useful at some point in my life.

3) Maeve loves those movies and has her favorite parts in each of them. In Madagascar, she loves when the lion and the zebra sing "New York, New York". She insists on putting our faces cheek to cheek like the characters and we sing "New York, New York" right along with them. She also likes to go "Surprise" along with the lion at the beginning of the movie, complete with goofy look and hands up in the air. :) In Toy Story, she always grabs the microphone from our video game player and participates in the staff meeting that Woody gives to the other toys. In Monsters, Inc., she pretends to be scared at the beginning. Somehow, she has figured out that she should be scared, so as soon as the movie starts, the movie that she insisted on watching, she will hightail it out of the room and peek around the corner during the first scene. Then she comes back laughing.

4) Bedtime is going very well now...although we went through a very, very, very, very (did I say very) rough spell there. We are down from 2-3 hours of Maeve & I struggling over her bedtime, to 8:30pm sharp, we have our routine and off to bed she goes. Sunday, she was so tired and cranky that I asked her if she wanted to go to bed at 7:15pm and she said Yes (I almost fell over). So upstairs we went and off to bed without a single fuss.

5) She loves her dresses, especially one in particular. I have to hide it sometimes, or she would wear it everyday along with her pink sandals with the flowers. I swear people think I have nothing else for her to wear. When she isn't wearing her dress, she likes to pick out her clothes. She has come up with some pretty interesting combinations, but what can I say, she is a fashion forward trend setter, just like her Mommy...that's what I say when I don't match. :)

6) Who knew the sound "Ugh" could have so many inflections and meanings...and who knew that I could understand them all.

7) Maeve still carries around her 12 month pink jacket religiously. It is her "blankie" and I am careful to always have it nearby. I finally did convince her that it is too small to wear. She reluctantly agreed to wear a bigger jacket, so now we tote around two jackets everywhere.

8) Maeve has excellent eye sight. She can spot a M&M 4.2 miles away. 1 comments

It's been awhile...

Between work, connecting with SKYPE with the folks and Maeve's new found dislike for has been a struggle to find time to update our blog. Work is still crazy, but the 2-3 hours it was taking to put Maeve to bed seems to be finally over. She only got out of bed once tonight and went right back when I asked her too. YEAH!!

Here are a few pictures to catch up from April...



 Maeve's new things.  

- "Sure!" or "Sure, Mommy!"  That is her typical response when I ask her to do something.  She says it in such an agreeable tone of voice, it is just the cutest thing.  We still have our moments where "No" and occasional "deafness" occur when I ask her to do something, but most of the time she is completely happy to go along with the flow.  Of course, when she has a popsicle in her hand, her favorite word is "Mine!".

- Bedtime is the new playtime.  :)  It took her a little bit, but Maeve loves the fact that I converted her crib to a toddler bed and she can now get in and out at will (which she does!).  Now, after I put her down at night, she usually gets back up and plays in her room for a little bit.  I can hear her on the monitor cruising around. Most nights, she is quite the conversationalist, talking (although I don't know to who), humming and singing up a storm. She evens picks up after herself! In the morning, she is always sound asleep in her bed with all of her toys put away, even the ones that were left out from the previous day. Now...I just have to teach her how to load the dishwasher. ;)


A Lazy Sunday...

The weather was very agreeable today.  After the excitement of Saturday, we were both ready for a nice relaxing day.  Did I mention she slept in to 7am this morning.  Of course, I am now programmed to wake up at 5am, but the early morning quiet was a pleasant surprise.  

It was so nice, that when Maeve did wake up, we both dressed in shorts and t-shirts.  The clothes are size 2T and fit her for the most part, but a few brands run a bit large as we found out today.  Walking the dogs through the park, Maeve was running along side of me.  Then, all of a sudden, she came to a complete stop and hollered out, "Mommy!  Wait!!!"  Looking back, I see Maeve, about 8 feet back, with her shorts falling down around her ankles. :)  

"Mommy!  My Pants!  My Pants!", she is very indignantly shouting at me.  I am trying not to smile, and just tell her to hoist them back up.  Which she does, with a painstaking grimace that only a two year old can manage.  Then I hear, "Mommy, I coming!", as she hurries to catch up .  

Now this scene repeated about four times before we made it out of the park (& I folded over her waistline to try and keep them up).   If anyone had a video camera, I'm sure they would have made it big on "America's Funniest Home Videos".

Party Animal

It was a busy day today.

In the morning, we had our usual walk and stopped off at the coffee shop to read the paper.  (Well, I read the paper, and Maeve colored it purple.)  After that, we stopped at the store to grab some wrapping paper for our gift for the birthday party we were going to that afternoon.  Looking back, that is where the trouble began. :)  

Normally, we eat in a very healthy manner, but today I decided Maeve could splurge a bit.  So, I let her have some M&Ms.  The result was a small child (25 lbs soaking wet) chasing a large bullmastiff (100+ lbs dog completely dry) around the couch, madly waving the roll of wrapping paper and shouting "Go!  Go!  Go!"  Both were having a great time with this new "game" and it went on for about 20 minutes or so.   The dog tired out before the child. ;)  Then it was time for the "CLOSET".  That is where Mommy has many of her shoes.  Maeve took out most of them and spent the rest of the morning clomping around in them.  She was a good sport and put them back afterwards...not exactly as neatly as I had them lined up before, but at least they were in the closet.   Finally, it was time for a nap.  A good thing, because Mommy needed one too.  After a quick nap, it was off to the party.  We didn't have time to eat before we left and Maeve was such a good sport about it...that Mommy indulged her again.  So, she dug right into the chili dog (fully loaded), Mac & Cheese, a little potato salad, and plenty of chips and cheetos.  Maeve is not a big eater, but she loves to sample.   After washing it all down with some juice, it was time to play.  Her first experience with a Jumper (the big inflatables that the kids all jump around in) was a huge success.  Maeve loved it and all the other games that were out too.  She even took turns with the other kids swinging at the pinata, although she didn't know what to do with the candy that came out of it (probably a good thing as you will figure out soon enough.)  After the pinata, it was time for ice cream & cake, with the tropical floats (sherbert & 7-Up) as the big treat.  Maeve only had a couple of bites of her cake, but downed her float in record time.  Still ready to go, she grabbed a handful of Cheetos and headed inside with me to watch the birthday boy open his gifts.   This is where it gets really fun.  Looking down, I see Maeve with a Cheeto in each hand and a funny look on her face.   The funny look didn't last was quickly replaced by a full view of all the things she had eaten during the day, not necessarily in chronological order.  OHHHH NOOOO!!!   Luckily we were in the kitchen, which is much easier to clean up and few noticed, so we didn't take away from the moment, but I'm thinking, my poor Baby, she must feel horrible.......Not really.  

"Champion Partier" that she is, Maeve took it all in stride.  Looking up at me, with a look on her face that said "You don't think I'm going to clean this up, do ya?", she calmly stuck one of the Cheetos in her mouth.  Quickly grabbing a couple of wet wipes and paper towels, a friend helped and we had her cleaned up in no time.  At which point, she ate the other Cheeto and took off for the Jumper again.  After I chased her out of that, Maeve snagged a cup of jellybeans on the way out and was merrily chomping away on those while I was saying my goodbyes (the party was over) and profusely apologizing about the rug.  Driving home, I kept checking on Maeve, but she was fine.  She was perfectly content to drink her water and read her new "Elmo" book (a party favor.)  We even ran a couple of errands on the way home.  Then true to nature, as soon as we arrived home, Maeve turns to me and says "Eat?!"  I played a little safer this time and stuck to Chicken & Rice. ;)   


A Few Mysteries Solved!!

1) Why I can never find my shoes...

2) Why my water bill is so high...

3) How to dry your hands...
  • First, wave them around.
  • Then use cheeks to wipe off excess water.
  • Be sure to intently watch "Little Einsteins" throughout the whole procedure.
  • As a back-up, keep dog handy for petting to speed up drying process.

4) The most comfortable spot in the house to relax...

5) The proper way to sit in a chair...


A Lazy Day...

Here is "The General" spending a lazy afternoon watching "The Little Einsteins".

First, it is very important to wear your green, fuzzy, "don't know what it was exactly, but on sale for St Pat's Day" headband. Next, snuggle up on the couch, after jumping up and down repeatedly to ensure said couch is at maximum snuggleness!

When tired of the couch, go get one of Mommy's good pillows and plop on the floor for a perfect headrest. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
Hi Mommy!!

My GIFTED child!

Here's proof! Maeve will dazzle you with her skills handling not just one cup, but TWO cups!!
(If you want to turn off the music, just click the little speaker icon above the "rockyou" emblem.)


This one is for Grandpa!

Here you go Dad. I found this and thought you would like it.

You can either "click and drag" the penny to "scratch" off the picture or you can just wait and it will "scratch" on it's own. 0 comments

Happy Birthday Day Maeve - The Big "TWO"!!

Maeve's Birthday was today, March 23. She is now officially "TWO", although she has been breaking me in on the "Terrible Twos" for a bit now. It was a busy weekend, complete with her birthday party on Saturday and then Easter and her first visit from the Easter Bunny on Sunday.

Saturday's party was a simple affair and a complete blast. The theme was an eclectic mix of holiday and toddler favorites - meaning Mommy shopped Target sale ads and the dollar section. :)) So, we had a combination of Elmo, Spring Festival, Easter Bunny, Balloons & Leprechaun theme happening. The weather was perfect and we had plenty of cake & ice cream, games and treats for all the kids. Overall it was a huge success.

Easter Sunday was an excellent excuse for Maeve and I to get all dressed up. We stopped off at the Coffee shop first and she received so many compliments on how cute she looked and then off to Mass. I forgot that on the holidays, due to the crowds that they split up the Spanish and English services and we ended up at the Spanish Mass. That was okay. After all, we are both learning Spanish, so we just took it all in.


Adventures in Motherhood - The Saga Continues...

Cute as a button and ready for bed. Seems like it would be easy doesn't it?

When Maeve first came home, she was very much a self-soother, in that she was able to calm herself down when she was upset. She was so used to having to do it herself, she had no idea what a "Mommy" was for. Well, that has changed. "Mommy" is good for all sorts of things, including comforting you when you are sad or upset or just don't want to go to sleep.

Bedtime goes pretty smoothly. We have our little "rituals" that we have settled into. When it is bedtime, she gets into her pajamas and we brush her teeth (which she loves to do). Then it is off to watch the "Ni Hao, Kai Lan" episode that I downloaded from Itunes for the millionth time. Twenty three minutes later, she presses the button to her sound machine and climbs into her crib after a hug and kiss from me. Then we play peek-a-boo three times with her blanket, before I tuck her all in and wish her good night. It usually goes pretty smoothly.

Usually, until her first, full flung temper tantrum last night at bed time. Oh my goodness! It was almost funny to watch her seethe and then scream at increasingly high decibel levels at the indignity of going to bed before 8pm. It would have been funnier if I had not lost hearing in at least one ear. I did not know a child could scream "Mommy" so loudly, so angrily, so indignantly and so often in less than two minutes. Finally, after five minutes...."Mommy" caved and we watched "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan" again. Then off to bed she went, not too happy, but decidedly less noisier (notice I didn't say quiet) than the first attempt. :)

Here is my little angel at a Baby Shower that we recently attended. She had such a good time, unfortunately every time I pulled the camera out, she instantly became more serious and refused to smile. The flower "pretty" in her hair was a gift from the hostess. She is very talented and makes a variety of hair "pretties". Maeve loved her new flower.


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