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." ;)


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