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.

Webster's Definition of "Spoiled"

According to, the definition for "spoil" or the inflected form "spoiled" is as follows,
a : to impair the disposition or character of by overindulgence or excessive praise b : to pamper excessively

Let's see if this definition fits Maeve...

This past Sunday, I woke up at 7:30am to a three year old poking me and hollering, "Wake Up MOMMY!" in my ear. (My little angel had actually let me sleep in a hour past my normal wake up of 6:30am. No spoiling there, just a generosity of soul that recognized Mommy needed a little extra sleep that morning.) Next, after a quick breakfast, a certain small person convinced me a trip to the pool was just what we needed. Something about asking the same question, "Mommy, go swim?", fifty different ways has a certain persuasive aspect to it. Off we went for the next hour or so. (With my best interests still at heart, my little angel realized I might need a little refreshing and the ice cold water was just the trick.) Then it was back home, where the little general graciously allowed me time to do the yard work and a few household chores. (My angelic cherub even grudgingly picked up almost half the mess she had made with her toys in the living room.) Shortly into the afternoon, my little angel, decided she didn't have time for a nap, when the world was desperately in need of a princess and in her big pink foo-foo dress, complete with crown she certainly fit the bill. So, sans the nap, but with global peace and an environmental campaign to save the rain forest in mind, Maeve headed off to the local grocery store with me.

At the store, Maeve became a little cranky (now who can blame her, after all saving the rain forest can cause some stress in a three year old), so Mommy resorted to her tried and true method of offering her a treat to eat while in the store. "Do you want some cake?" I asked, meaning a plain cake donut that has satisfied her during past trips. But this trip to the store didn't include regular Maeve, this was mighty Princess Maeve who was on a quest for global peace and rain forest restoration. This Maeve quickly located and insisted on having a 1/4 chocolate sheet cake decorated with various flowers and trim. A cake that was not complete until three ballerinas and a fanciful "Maeve" was added to it.

Now, I could have said "No", but it wasn't truly spoiling. After all, Maeve did recognize that Mommy was a little tired and what better to fix that, then a quick sugar fix. Plus Maeve knows Mommy loves chocolate too. Besides, who can say "No" to the mighty Princess Maeve, promoter of world peace and champion of the rain forest!

PS - Maeve has been singing "Happy Birthday" all day today and telling me that this is her (or mine) birthday cake. :) 0 comments

Happy Birthday to Me!

It was a busy & exciting day today. I took the day off from work and Maeve and I headed off to Court first thing this morning for an 8:30am court appearance. Now before anyone thinks Maeve has busted me out & they are sending me to the big house for forcing her to go to swim lessons, think again. I simply finally filed for her re-adoption in our state and today they finalized it...again. I say again, because the adoption was finalized and legally recognized two and a half years ago when Maeve first came home, but every state differs in how the parents obtain a modified birth certificate. It is not necessary (I have the Chinese one), but it is convenient and a nice thing to have later in life when it is needed (signing up for Little League, etc.) Now, while some states just require you to turn in copies of the finalized adoption paperwork & presto bingo, the new birth certificate is mailed to you automatically, my state requires that I go through the "re-adoption" process. Basically, a whole lot of paperwork, $20 fee and a court date.

So off to court we went this morning. My choice of attire was dictated by my desire to look least like a felon (not that my wardrobe has any items that resemble that I hope, but my initial trip to the court house to file the needed documents had exposed me to the wide variety of clothing choices that people make when they appear in court. I now see why judges lose patience and the jails are full.) Maeve, I dressed for maximum cuteness, pink dress, high pony tails, huge flower hair pretties. This was deliberate on my part, not for the picture I wanted when we were done, but for the mayhem my very active child was bound to cause. We arrived in plenty of time and waited with the rest of the folks outside the court room. There were three adoption cases, including ours, and a bunch of misdemeanor cases. Maeve & I were first and headed back to the judges chambers. Maeve greeted the solemnity of the proceedings by jumping up and down on two of the judge's very plush chairs, then moving to the sofa for more bouncing enjoyment. Meanwhile, I'm trying to answer the questions, keep her under control and pray silently that he doesn't kick us out. I thought I was in for it, when Maeve hid behind me and kept jumping out and hollering, "Peek-A-Boo" at the top of her lungs at the judge. I was picturing contempt proceedings and I don't even know what contempt proceedings truly are, but the judge & his clerk just smiled and were actually completely amused and entertained by her antics. (Maximum cuteness dressing strategy pays off again. I use it for the airport too.)
After all that, we got our picture (now Maeve played shy) and headed back into court to wait for the paperwork to be finalized by one of the clerks. Meanwhile the judge came out and started to hear cases. Thankfully, he turned a deaf ear to the ruckus that Maeve was causing (where are those nice rooms, like they have at church when you need them.) I did feel very fortunate, because while waiting I watched both of the other adoption requests go south. Both were family adoptions (someone within the family was trying to adopt the child out of foster care), but not all the requirements had been met and each petition was denied at that point. Even though the judge handled it very nicely, it was heart breaking to watch. Also hard to watch was when the court officer explained to all the misdemeanor folks their options on paying their fines. It didn't really catch my attention, until he came to the part where he told them that if they couldn't afford to pay the fine (out of work, etc.) they could do the jail time. The officer was very nice about this, not an ounce of judgement in his tone, just explaining the options. Glancing around, I realized by the looks in a few faces that jail time was a real option for some. That was very sad. Needless to say, I was happy & relieved to leave. I always knew that Maeve & I were fortunate & blessed, but sometimes it really drives home.

After that, what was a good Mom to do on her birthday, but drop Maeve off at the babysitter and head out to see a movie on her own. Yeeesssss!!! A movie without animation, 3D glasses, six trips to the bathroom (4 of them false alarms), and I could eat all of my own popcorn. Such heaven is normally only dreamed of, never actually experienced. :) But that's not the end of it, then I went shopping, leisurely shopping (no rushing around to get everything done before a toddler's patience wears thin) and even took in a class at my beloved Apple store.

It was heaven, but then it was over and time to go home to take Maeve to swimming lessons. Still continues to be the longest 30 minutes of my life, but we are making headway and I'll update more in a later post. The funniest part of the day happened after swim class, while Maeve was splashing around in the baby pool. She had met a little girl, her own age and they were having a great time playing and splashing with each other. I was sitting next to her Mother and the Dad with the brother was nearby too. Just so you have the complete picture, there is me, completely freckled caucasian, my asian daughter, her new hispanic friend, and the hispanic parents all at the baby pool. A woman and her son walk up and the little boy joins in the fun with the girls. I caught the woman closely observing the girls and glancing up at me. I knew something was coming, but wasn't ready for when she asked me, "Are they twins??". I don't know what surprised me more, the question of twins or the assumption that I was the Mom of both and not the other gal. I'm also not sure who was more surprised, me or the other Mom. I just stated that they were not and pointed to the other Mom...right next to me. Just the right funny ending to top off a really good day.

Below, I have scanned in the birthday card my parents sent to me. Dad handcrafts all of our cards on one of his programs, but you can always count on Mom to add her own personal touch.


Maeve's Revenge

Meany Mommy has been making Maeve go swim lessons. Even worse, I have already signed us up for the August session. What's a toddler to do you ask? Silly question. Plot revenge of course!

First patiently wait for the perfect opportunity. Yes, Sunday night is presenting nicely as the time Mommy is at her weakest. Poor Mommy spent all day doing yard work, laundry and assorted chores, while playing with Maeve and even taking her to the pool in the afternoon (the kiddy pool nearby, no swim lessons.) Maeve, making secret observations, notes that Mommy is pretty tired, well, actually exhausted is more the word by the time 8pm rolls around. Next step is to go to bed with minimal fuss. Must set herself up as sweet angel child. Then simply lie in wait, biding her time, she waits for the perfect moment to strike.

She hears Mommy complete some more chores and finish her prep for the coming week. Then she hears Mommy go to bed. Even though, she knows Mommy probably fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow, she waits a hour to make sure Mommy has hit the deepest point of sleep possible....then she STRIKES!

Maeve (poking Mommy's face): "Mommy, Wake UP!!!"
Mommy (very groggily): "Huh? What's wrong? Why are you up?"
Maeve (wide awake with a big smile): "Mommy, Go downstairs?"
Mommy: "No, go back to bed."
Maeve: "Mommy, I hungry. I have snack?"
Mommy: "No, go back to bed."
Maeve: "Juice?"
Mommy: "No, please go back to bed."
Maeve: "Milk?"
Mommy: "Maeve, in the morning. Now you have to go back to bed."
Maeve: "Water?"

Now, groggy Mommy realizes that a game is afoot. She had made sure that Maeve had a full sippy of water prior to going to bed. Meanwhile, Maeve climbs up in Mommy's bed and proceeds to roll over her, ensuring every elbow and knee is well placed.

Maeve (grinning like a mad woman): "Hi Mommy! Read book?"

Well, you can see where this is going. Maeve kept me up, on and off, for at least two hours. If I happened to doze off, there was the helpful poking in the face until I woke back up. If I put her in her room, a small tantrum ensued (which I ignored), only to result in her coming back into my room when I dozed off. Needless to say, I am heading off to work completely exhausted, while "you know who" is peacefully sleeping, catching up on all her beauty sleep.

Has Mommy learned her lesson? Hmm...I don't know, but I've heard swim lessons have been extended into September.

Ni Hao!!

Just a quick update...have go to work.

Here is a picture of one sleepy Maeve (just up from her nap) with her new Kai-Lan doll, cell phone, Dora sippy & Dora shoes. The doll is new and she loves it. Yesterday's constant chant was "Ni Hao! Ni Hao!" (chinese for Hello), because after all it is Kai Lan from "Ni Hao Kai Lan" on Nick Jr. I saw the Target ad for all the Kai Lan items and showed it to Maeve. She literally freaked out when I asked her if she wanted to get a Kai Lan dolly. "Yes Yes Yes!!!" So, off to Target we went and one short trip later, we ended up with a Kai Lan doll, a Kai Lan game & a new toy cell phone, that she picked up and chatted on the whole time we were in Target...I couldn't resist getting it.

The doll also came with a Kai Lan necklace. She doesn't have it on in the picture, but it is a favorite too and she wore it most of the day.

Go Run?!

That's how Maeve greeted me at the door last night. Wearing a cute little sundress and her new Nike sneakers, the first words out of her mouth were, "Mommy, go run?!" Then it went something like this.

Mommy: "Well, what about swimming? Do you want to go swimming?"
Maeve: "Swim in the baby pool?" (she used to beg to swim in the big pool.)
Mommy: "No swim with Mandy & Michelle in the big pool."
Maeve (shouting): "No! No big pool! No swim! We go run! I run!!"

This was the first time ever she has turned down an opportunity to go swimming. This conversation repeated itself in various forms for the next 15 minutes while we changed into our bathing suits. While Maeve did willing put on her bathing suit, she kept insisting on swimming in the baby pool and even put her Nike sneakers back on...just in case I changed my mind about running. She even made a last ditch effort as we were leaving, trying to insist that we take the stroller and not the car. (There are two pools. Swim lessons are to far and we drive, but there is a closer pool that doesn't offer swimming lessons that we regularly walk to with the stroller.) Ignoring her stroller requests/orders, I put her in the car and then listened to a rather angry & insistent Maeve for the five minute ride over, "Mommy, no big pool! I swim baby pool!! No Mandy & Michelle! NO!!". This continued for the two minute stroll from the parking lot to the pool gate. In the pool area, Maeve trailed about 10 feet behind me with the same angry chant...quite entertaining for all those around us. I continued to ignore and sat her down to take her shoes off. At this point, Maeve tells me, "Mommy, no you go swim. I sit here!" Oh boy...another loooonnnngggg 30 minutes.

I walked her over and sat on the steps with her and, yes, when it was her turn I made her go out. Both instructors, Mandy & Michelle were highly supportive and tried to help out, encouraging her and pointing to me, saying, "There's your Mommy." anytime she became upset out on the water. But no smiles, no happy Maeve, just a "I'm gritting my teeth to get thru this" little girl. Still, I high fived her after every turn in the pool and smiled and waved like a mad woman every time she was out in the pool and turned, looking for me.

Then the Turning Point!

Michelle asked who wanted to jump in the pool? That is how they end the lessons, letting the kids jump into the pool and they catch them (heads do not go underwater unless the kids are ready.) Michelle asked the question and Maeve shrieked! My immediate thought was that it completely freaked her out and she was scared, but No! She was so happy, and doing a little dance because she could hardly wait. I walked around with her to the side of the pool where they jump from and stood next to her. Maeve turned and pushed me away and I mean pushed. Heaven forbid I cut in front of her. Off she went and jumped four times into the waiting arms of Mandy and Michelle. All smiles and completely happy, she even high fived Mandy & Michelle at the end of class before we went to swim in the little (baby) pool. Less than a hour later, while driving home after splashing in the baby pool for awhile, I asked Maeve if she had fun. "Yes!!" was the answer. Pushing my luck, I asked if she liked Mandy & Michelle. Again, a loud "Yes!!" came from the back seat. Then, really pushing my luck, I asked if she wanted to go swimming again on Tuesday with Mandy & Michelle. "Yes Mommy! I go swimming with Mandy & Michelle!!" was the swift reply. Now, I am not claiming complete victory yet. A lot can happen between now and then to make Maeve change her mind, but it was nice to hear that I hadn't put my child through a complete torture session.

As we were going home, I told Maeve, "I'm so proud of you!". Maeve looked at me and said, "I proud of you too Mommy!" 0 comments

Not so high hopes on Swim Lessons about some cute pictures instead?!

I don't have any illusions on how Swim class is going to go tonight. Unfortunately for Maeve, she has a Mommy that has decided that learning to swim is very important (& more importantly safety around water.) So, like it or not we will continue to go.

So, how about a few cute picture to take my mind off the loooonnnngg 30 minutes ahead of me tonight? :)

Just like every child out there, Maeve loves to hide & "Pop Out" of boxes, hampers, baskets, etc. These two pictures are from Sunday when I was doing laundry and had emptied the hamper.

Talk about a perfect opportunity...Maeve couldn't wait to get in the hamper when I dumped it out. Of course, I had to help her in and out, so it wouldn't tip over. Just one more reason why I was so exhausted Sunday night, but on the upside I do get my workout and as she gets bigger, I am progressing up in weight lifting. My favorite picture from this past Tuesday was actually one I took before we left for Maeve's swim lessons. After she put her bathing suit on, I asked her to put her shoes on. Normally, she goes for her sandals (her favorites), but since Sunday the sandals have a new rival...her Dora sneakers. She loves them. Heck, if they had them in adult sizes, I would have bought a pair for me. They are awfully cute.


Swim Lessons...the story continues

The picture says it all. We just finished our 3rd lesson and Maeve whimpered through half the class. Today I sat at the edge of the pool and let the swim instructors take her out on her turn. The first couple of times, Maeve cried almost the entire time, but then she settled for just an extremely unhappy look. I feel bad "forcing" her to do this, but I do know, despite herself, she is enjoying it at some level. At the end of class, I asked her to jump into the pool (into the waiting instructor's arms) just once when it was her turn and she did. Maeve then proceeded to line up twice more to jump again, so I know she liked that part. When I asked her if she had a good time, she said "Yes", but when I asked her if she wanted to go again on Thursday, Maeve said, "No Mommy. I have to say No."

It wasn't all bad. After swim class, we happily splashed around in the kiddie pool for another 30 minutes before calling it a night.

"Mommy, I so proud of you!"

First we woke up at 5:30am...make that I woke up at 5:30am and dragged a sleepy Maeve along for the ride. We headed off to the registration event of a local running group. (I have been threatening for a year or two now to get back into running, so finally decided to do it.) Earlier this week, I checked to see if it was okay to have one adult and one child in a jogging stroller as part of the program, so no problem there.

Maeve might have been a little groggy in the car, but by the time we hit the track it was a different story. Today, I had to run a mile (2x around the track) to establish my pace group. My plan was to push Maeve in the jogging stroller, but Maeve had a completely different idea in mind...she was determined to run it right along with me. Maeve almost ran the whole mile. She only stopped to ride in the stroller for a little bit, and that was just to suck down her sippy cup. We had the only jogging stroller on the track and definitely stood out from the crowd. Here's how it went for most of the run.

Mommy: Panting, breathing hard, trying to keep a pace.
Maeve: "Run Mommy! Run! Corre Mommy! Corre!" (Corre is Spanish for Run.)
Mommy: Panting, breathing hard, still trying to keep a pace.
Maeve: "This is fun!! Mommy, say Wheeee!! Say it Mommy! Say Wheee!!"
Mommy & Maeve together: "Wheeeeee!!" (yes, I heard laughing around us)
Maeve: (as other runners passed us) "Wow Mommy! They are super fast!!" or "Mommy, they really good runner!"
Mommy: Still panting, breathing hard, trying to keep the pace that Maeve has set.

Maeve made quite a few new friends with her "super fast" & "good runner" compliments. I think everyone thought she was quite cute. One thing to note...we did not finish last. Yes, some of the newer runners now have quiet mental goals to beat a three year old. Me? Luckily, I managed to keep pace with her. It would have been difficult if we had ended up in two different pace groups. ;) I do know, I definitely have to up my game plan if I have any hopes to keep up with her when she is four.

Finally, the mile was over and we were given a pace group assignment. I started to head to the exit, but Maeve goes, "Mommy, go run!" and took off. We had to do another lap around the track.

After dragging Maeve from the track, we were off. Grudgedly accepting that "running" was done for the day, her next words were, "Go Swim?!" Maeve chanted this the rest of the way home and I'm not sure if I truly agreed or it was the effects of the brain washing, I thought it was a good idea too. First though, we made time to call Grandma & Grandpa (& also talked to Aunt Darcy.) Maeve was in a talkative mood and even sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" for each of them. Now, if she can remember to hold the phone up directly to her mouth when talking, it will be even better. But Grandma & Grandpa (& Aunt Darcy) all got their fair share of Maeve today, including a few "I love Yous!". Knowing I had avoided being disowned once again (it's so not about me anymore), we headed down to the pool, where she happily splashed around for a hour or so. There were a few other kids there, which was bonus for her...more pool toys to play with and argue over.

We had a good time there and even practiced some of our swim lessons moves (I have a good feeling about Tuesday). Then it was back to the house where I insisted Maeve take a nap. It wasn't so much for her as it was for me. Mommy was tired. Very, very tired.

After our nap, we worked around the house for a bit, each doing our part. Maeve making the mess and Mommy cleaning it up and then we drove off to run some errands. I had realized that morning that "Miss Constantly Growing" just barely fit into her size 7 Nikes and needed a bigger size. We ended up with two new pairs of size 8 running shoes. One absolutely adorable pair of Dora running shoes (which she refused to take off the rest of the day) and a new pair of Nikes (no laces, Velcro just like Grandpa.) After a couple more errands, we stopped off at the grocery store. Now it was hot and time to eat, so "Miss Sunshine" was more on the "Miss Cranky" side by then. Luckily, the grocery store had recently brought in racing car grocery carts. Maeve can sit in front and drive the car while Mommy wields the cart behind her. She loves this car and I am eternally grateful to the person who thought of it! A big Thank You to this mystery person! I hope you made millions from it!

Finally, we made it home and Maeve immediately demands her "Juice". This girl is addicted to Orange Juice and I had run out the day before. She really didn't freak out too much when we ran out, but when I pulled out the new gallon jug, she went beserk. This girl has an issue and I am seriously considering rehab. She sucked down three big sippies of this orange stuff one after another. Luckily I had thought this might be a possibility, so I iced them down and made sure the cups were 1/2 water too.

What a day! Now, relaxing on the couch, watching a little Nick Jr (the "General" has the remote afterall), Maeve plops down next to me, looks me in the eye and says, "Mommy, I so proud of you!"

That's my girl! I'm proud of her too!


Baby Got A Boo-Boo

"Poor Baby!" That's what Maeve keeps saying. That and, "Baby got a boo-boo."

Poor dog indeed. Baby developed a small skin lesion that the Vet said was cancerous, so she went in for surgery to have it removed last Friday. Good news is they got it all and all the lab work came back that it had not spread further. Upon picking her up, they warned me that she might be a little lethargic (have they met my dog....she sleeps 99% of the day, any more lethargic, she would be in a coma.) Also, the Vet told me not to be alarmed on the size of the incision. Even though the original lesion was the size of a quarter, she has a 7 inch scar. The Vet took out extra skin on all sides and went down a fat layer or two to get it all out and make sure it had not spread. I told him not to worry. Baby, my very tubby dog, would have been fine to lose several fat layers. Now when people see the stitches and asked what happen, I simply say, "liposuction". 0 comments

High Hopes - Swim Lesson Update #2

Our first swim lesson on Tuesday, while not a complete disaster, did not go quite as well as I had hoped. So, the strategy on Wednesday was to talk constantly about how wonderful Michelle & Mandy were and generally convince Maeve that they were her new two best friends in the world. Yea right. Why do I ever think I can fool Maeve? She just gave me that look of hers... a mixture of "Are you nuts?!" and "You are going to have to do a whole lot better than that!".

So Thursday, the day of our next lesson, arrives and I tell Maeve that we are going swimming. I now have one happy, excited little girl. After trying on three bathing suits, we settle on the one above...a little to small but she was determined to wear it. We gathered our gear and I told her, "Okay, let's go to our swimming lessons." Mini Sherlock Holmes caught the "lesson" in that sentence and announced, "No!". "No wimming esson Mommy." The ride over consisted of me trying to convince her that she would have a fun time.

Me: "Swimming lessons are so much fun!"
Maeve: "No!"
Me: "I like Mandy, She is really nice. Do you like Mandy?"
Maeve: "No."
Me: "What about Michelle? She is really nice too. Do you like Michelle?"
Maeve: "No."
Me: "Don't you want to go swimming in the big pool?" (she usually begs to go in the big pool)
Maeve: "No. Ittle pool Mommy."
Me: "Swimming lessons are fun. Don't you want to take swimming lessons?"

This was my favorite part. She really said it just like this.

Maeve: "Mommy, I have to say No."

This conversation continued the five minute ride over and then for another 30 minutes while we played in the little pool waiting for our lesson to start at the big pool. I managed to drag her over a few minutes prior to the lesson starting, but she insisted on sitting wrapped in her towel next to me for the first few minutes of the lesson. She was watching the instructors (Mandy & Michelle) and the other little girls (three this time as another joined the class) intently, checking for any sign of distress, sharks and electric eels. Finally, I insisted that she "unwrap" herself from the towel and sit with me on the steps. Maeve did, but whimpered any time the girls came close. About half way through class (another looonnnnggg thirty minutes), it seemed a little better. I motioned to Mandy that I was going to hand Maeve over to her and she got ready. The look on Maeve's face as I picked her up and gave her to the alleged enemy was priceless, but at least she wasn't screaming like she did on Tuesday. She made it through the "ordeal" of Mandy walking her the length of the pool practicing her kicks and swirling her around (she almost smiled here). Still slightly terror stricken when she got back to the steps, she did nod her head that she was having a good time and she stayed in the pool. When it was her turn, Mandy took her out again and she did even better this time...hardly a single whimper. Still by the end of class, Maeve was ready to go and while the other kids are begging to stay, we were off...Maeve on a mission to make the parking lot in five seconds flat.

Still there is hope...On the drive home, Maeve is happily babbling about the ice cream I promised her when we get home, when out of the blue she says, "Mommy. I like Michelle and Andy." Tuesday is looking better already. 0 comments

Swim Lesson Update

Oh boy!

It all started well. (I know, it's an ominous way to begin the story.)

We arrived early and spent about a 1/2 hour in the kiddie pool waiting for the lesson in the "big pool" to start. Maeve happily splashed around and played with the other little kids. Then it was time to go to the "big pool". As soon as I said, "Let's go over to the big pool", Maeve made a dash for it, completely happy and excited to try out the steps at the big pool.

So far, so good...but then Mandy & Michelle entered the picture. The swimming instructors.

Although they were both perfectly sweet and ever so ready to make a good impression, Maeve wants nothing to do with them. This is a class for 3&4 year olds, nonswimmers only. The other two little girls in the class today could not wait for their turns with Mandy & Michelle. They took them out in the water and practiced kicking, blowing bubbles and all sorts of fun things in the pool. Not Maeve, she eyed them like they were international terrorists, watching closely to ensure they didn't make any sudden movements. Mandy assured me that this was standard behavior and it would pass if I let her take Maeve for a lap or two to practice kicking. So I tried that....Hmmm....Let's just say now everyone in the general vicinity of 2+ miles now knows that Maeve does not like to go swimming without her Mommy. So enduring the slight disdain of two teenage swim instructors and returning a few knowing grins from a couple of other Mommys in the area, I jumped in the pool and appointed myself the third swim instructor, just for Maeve.

Thirty minutes took a looonnng time to go by today. Maeve was happier with me in the pool, but the "Mandy" incident left her wary and she had her guard up the rest of the time. Heaven forbid I get to close to one of the girls or she started to whimper again. I asked her a few times if she like Mandy & Michelle and she nodded her head "Yes", but when I asked if she wanted to go swimming with them, she shook her head "No" so hard I thought she would give herself a concussion. So, that is how swim lessons proceeded, until right before the end of class. The other two girls are begging to stay and Maeve is insisting we leave...NOW! She wanted out of there and quick. So, I thanked the girls and packed Maeve up and off we went.

By the time we hit the parking lot, Maeve was happily babbling to me about the trees and the flowers around us (that wonderful short term memory lapse of hers was kicking in strong.) Five minutes later, driving home, Maeve shouts out to me from the back seat, "Mommy, Go Swim?!?"

Swim Lessons start today

Maeve's loves to go to the pool. It is her "most favorite" thing to do. In the summer, every conversation ends up talking about the pool, or going swimming or her bathing suits. Here are a couple of examples.

The obvious...
"Mommy, Go Swim???" (chant this incessantly for 15 minutes or 48 hours)

The sneak attack...
Me: "Maeve, what do you want to wear today?"
Maeve: "Swimsuit. Look, Mommy, swimsuit. Go Swim????" (whine and throw fit when Mommy insists you wear something else...up to 30 minutes)

The subtle change of conversation...
Me: "Do you like your juice?"
Maeve" "Yes, I like juice. I like milk. I like water. Go Swim??? I go get bathing suit???" (repeat with conviction 20, 30, 400 times as appropriate)

Luckily we live very close to the neighborhood pool and go quite often. Right now we spend most of our time in the kiddy pool, with Maeve usually asking to go to the big pool to play on the steps after we have been there a bit. Our community has several swimming programs and I have signed us up for lessons on Tuesday & Thursday night.

Is it time???

Quick & TRUE story about my parents. Here is what happened....

I called the morning of the "4th" to chat with everyone. Mom mentions that she showed Melissa (my SIL) the Easter video on my blog, but then goes on to say she is going to try to get my brother to show her how to make it bigger, because it is so small. She also asks me when am I going to send a new video. The rest of the conversation goes something like this...

Me: "Why do that? I sent you a link so you can view the video full size."
Mom: "You did? When did you do that?"
Me: "Right after I sent you the link to the Memorial Day video I made of Maeve."
Mom: "What?! I never saw the Memorial Day video. I never knew about that."
Me: "I sent it to Dad. Didn't he show it to you."
Mom: "To your Dad?!...(slightly muffled as she calls to Dad) Tttttooonnnny! Did Laura send you a video of Maeve for Memorial Day"
Dad: "(slightly muffled) I remember nothing. I don't know what you two are talking about. I have the right to remain silent. I don't remember."
Mom: "(talking to me now) Laura, you know your father. He doesn't remember. Here, you talk to him and give him heck."
Me: "(now talking to Dad) Dad, how could you not show Mom the video??? I don't know about this memory of yours....a little drool and it's off to the old folks home."
Dad: "I don't know what you are talking about. I am sticking to my story."
Me: "Okay Dad. I'm resending the link so you can show it to Mom. I'll call back later today to see if you received it."
Dad: "Great, because Tony (my brother) is fixing the video hook up and we can talk with video so we can see Maeve (sooooo not about me anymore.)

Later I resent the link, but something seemed fishy so I checked my old emails as well. Guess what I found from Dad on June 9th...

I had no truoble downloading or playing your file, it was great. Send more. I am sure that with your imagination and talent "which you get from your father" you will just get better and better.
Your Dad

I kept looking and found this from Mom the same day...

You are GOOOOOOOD. I loved the video. I'm so jealous of Vern. I should be the one having fun with Maeve. Oh well, I'll just have to wait until Labor Day.
Love, Mom

Proof positive that both had seen the video (Vern is our neighbor and I have a shot of him playing with Maeve in the Memorial Day video). So, later in the day I call back for the video call armed with this new information. Everyone was laughing over this one, and I and my brothers are now questioning when it will be "time". :)

Of course, Mom with a big smile just said. "See what you have to look forward to Laura."


Happy 4th of July!

Maeve & I had such a good time on the 4th! We went to the pool, ran a few errands and then headed off to our neighbors for a nice "4th of July" picnic. Maeve had a blast, and thanks to a mid afternoon three hour nap, was ready for more. We watched the fireworks, or as Maeve calls them, "the sparklies", from our own backyard. Maeve finally konked out about 10pm at night and I think I made it to 10:01pm. ;) 0 comments

Baby's Revenge

Here's the back story:

As you know, Smudge (one of our dogs) passed away in May. Smudge was Maeve's biggest playmate and buddy. Those two would play for hours, usually with Maeve chasing Smudge around with a big funnoodle. When Smudge would finally tire out (& I have to point out it was always Smudge that tired out first), she would just go to her spot and lay down. Baby, our other dog, normally was laying somewhere like a lump through out all the ruckus, oblivious to it all. To say Baby is a bit on the "sedate" side is putting it mildly.

Now fast forward to present day, without Smudge, Maeve looks to Baby and tries to get her to play...all the time. Baby on the other hand, is still her normal "do I need to get a mirror to prove she is breathing" self and not much interested in rough housing with Maeve. This is okay with Maeve, because this makes Baby a sitting target. Maeve jumps on her, tries to ride her, and generally puts her through the wringer of love & doggy adoration.

I am working with Maeve on this ("Yes sweetie, I know you love Baby, but let's not break her in two to show it.) But it appears Baby in her own passive manner found an opportunity for revenge the other night....

I tucked Maeve in at 8:30pm Wednesday night, with Baby already asleep in her room (despite the "abuse" Maeve is the favorite). About 10:30pm I hear Maeve crying in the hallway. Walking out I see the problem. My daughter is half asleep and had gotten up to use the bathroom, but at some point, Baby left Maeve's room and laid down to sleep in the hallway. Or should I say sprawled out in the hallway from wall to wall (she is a big dog). A wide awake Maeve would have climbed right over her, but a half a sleep and "I gotta go" Maeve didn't know what to do and started crying...and peeing on my carpet. I quickly swooped up Maeve, jumped over the dog (who still hadn't moved), headed towards the bathroom. After cleaning her up and changing her PJs, I put Maeve back to bed. Baby then decided to get up and moved back to her spot in Maeve's room to go to sleep...but not before getting a lecture from me.

Hair Pretties!!

I owe a big Thanks to Christy of "The Chrysanthemom" blogspot. Her June 20th entry showed how easy (& inexpensive) it was to make these flower hair pretties. Check out Christy's blog (the link is on the side under Other Blogs to check out.) She also makes jewelry and sells it online at This is a site that specializes in hand made items by individual sellers. They have everything from paper crafts, jewelry to clothing and toys. Mom, check it out and show it the girls too. You could sell your jewelry there if you wanted. (Christy's blog posted with permission.)

(Quick note - do wait until the glue has completely dried before letting your daughter actually put them on her matter how hard she begs. You will avoid gluing the hair pretty to her head...I admit nothing.)

Here are a few more pictures of a very happy Maeve showing off her favorite new hair pretties.

Smile for the camera. Maeve is happiest in motion.

Here she is posing for Mommy...

Close up time...

"Jacket" forever. I still have to sneak her jacket away to wash it. It goes everywhere with her.


Smudge (2004-2009)...In Loving Memory

"Desert Winds Smudgalicious"

Born on March 24, 2004
Passed Away on May 10, 2009

The first "Baby" in the house, she willingly and easily ceded her title as "Princess" to Maeve when she came home. Always gentle, always sweet, she routinely checked on Maeve anytime she fussed, Smudge was trained as a Therapy dog and specialized working with children. Her devotion to Maeve & myself was complete and we were devoted to her. She was loved and is now sorely missed.

When we talk about Smudge, Maeve usually tells me, "Mommy, Smudge playing with the other doggies in heaven. She okay." Maeve is right. 1 comments

Poor Baby...

Here is Baby & Maeve crashed out on the floor. It was a long day of fun and games for Maeve and another long day of "Maeve" for Baby.

Unfortunately for Baby, Maeve looovvvveees her. I say "unfortunately", because Maeve shows her devotion by...

- using her as a handy "step-stool". Why climb up, when Baby provides such a nice step next to the sofa, chair, etc.
- jumping up and down on her. Who needs a trampoline when you have an ever patient 130+ lb happy hippo to jump on.
- constantly ordering her around. "The General" is still alive and kicking with poor Baby bearing the brunt of most of Maeve's commands.
- horsey back ride anyone? Well she is as big as a small pony.

Now, for the record, I do not allow any of the above and have had several talks with Maeve on proper ways to show Baby how much she loves her. Except for ordering her around all the time, Maeve is getting much better at treating poor Baby in a more appropriate manner. For Baby's part, she is as gentle as she is huge & adores Maeve. She puts up with everything and comes back for more, constantly following Maeve around (when she is not napping.)

Don't be fooled by her slightly droopy looks, Baby has a sense of humor with the situation. More than once Maeve has gone sliding down Baby's back when a "horsey back ride" abruptly ended when Baby sat down. My favorite was the "bounce back". This is when Baby was standing by the counter & Maeve smacked into Baby when she came running around the counter at full steam. Baby didn't move, but the force of the collision caused Maeve to bounce back at least a foot. It was the funniest thing, with Maeve all upset and Baby acting completely innocent. 0 comments

The Weekend

We had a fun weekend. Maeve was a good sport while Mommy did some shopping, so we hit the playground and the pool each day. Tons of fun, but most of the laughs were from our shopping trip. Or should I say, Maeve was quite entertaining to all around us. Oh, where to begin...

- First there was the exclamation from Maeve at one store, "Look Mommy! I made a seven!!". And indeed she had. She had licked a number "7" onto one of the full length mirrors. (Licking is a new favorite past time...It could be worse.)

- Then there was the to be expected, "Mommy! I gotta go POTTY!!!". Of course this happened when we were in a dressing room and I was half dressed. Did I mention that I had asked her 10 minutes prior. Hmmm.

- My favorite was when she tripped and landed on her little tushy. (You know where this is going.) I asked her if she was okay. Maeve replied, "I okay Mommy. I hurt my tushy. Mommy, kiss it. Kiss my tushy!". Then I had a three year old following me, shouting loudly, "Mommy, kiss my tushy!!". She finally settled for a kiss on the head, but not before half the store was in stiches.

Life is never boring with Maeve around. 0 comments

Maeve Update

Tonight, Maeve offered me the moon...

We were sitting out on the patio in the early evening. Still light, but the evening sky was beginning to show. Maeve happily pointed out the moon to me way up in the sky. Stretching her arms out, standing on tip toe, she made several attempts to "reach" it.  This is her normal routine when she sees the moon, and tonight was no different.  She kept trying to grab the silly moon. "I can't reach Mommy! I can't reach!!", she told me.  "Stretch higher, you can do it", I replied, envisioning a future NASA astronaut.  Then she stretched up so high, straining on her tip toes and brought her hands together, gently cradling an invisible moon. Walking over to me, she said, "Here you go Mommy. The moon" and handed it over.   Some moments I will treasure forever and this is one of them. We spent a half hour throwing it back into the sky and catching it again. Who knew the Moon was on a "catch & release" program.

This past Saturday, Maeve offered me a moon of a different kind. ;) Saturday night, Maeve had been in a bed for awhile and I was just dosing off, when I heard Maeve get up and go to the bathroom. So far, so good. About three minutes later, I hear the distinct sound of....humming. Loud. very loud, tuneless, little girl humming. I ignore for a minute or two, then wondering that all consuming question that typical parents of toddlers have at any given hour of the day, "What the heck is she doing in there?", I got up and opened my door to see what was up. And what do I see??? There's Maeve. Standing square in front of the toilet, with a hand on each side of the toilet, peering intently into the bowl, her pants were still down. She is loudly humming her tuneless tune while she is patiently waiting for me. The following conversation then ensued.

Mommy: "Maeve, what are you doing?"
Maeve: "Oh, Hi Mommy" with a hint of surprise, like imagine seeing you here.
Maeve: "Look Mommy" (pointing into the toilet) "There's a lot of poop in there!"

Then with a big grin, Maeve immediately turns around and presents me with a bare tushy for wiping. She had been patiently waiting for me to show up for my part in the potty routine. Just one of the many things they don't put in those nice official baby books. :)

Note: Those goggles in the picture. We were no where near the water, but one of my friends offered them to Maeve that day and she wore them the rest of the day. Goggles, after all, provide a polished finished to all toddler looks. 0 comments

"I reading!"

This picture was taken on January 4, 2009.

Maeve, my little chatterbox, was unusually quiet. The norm is that I can tell from the volume level where she is at any given time. She is a bit of a chatterbox...just like her Mom. This afternoon was different. The conversation went something like this:

Mommy, calling out from the other room: "Maeve, what are you doing?"
Maeve, hollering back: "I reading."
Mommy, questioning, still from the other room: "What?"
Maeve, hollering back again: "I reading!"
Mommy, this time poking her head into the room: "You're what?"
Maeve, losing patience: "Mommy! I reading!!"
Mommy, seeing very cute picture opportunity: "Don't move!!"

PS - Mom, that is the book that you gave me at Maeve's baby shower. 2 comments

"That was fun!"

Today, we went to Maeve's 3 year check up. As per our tradition with Doctor visits, Maeve cried through most of it and really screamed when she received two shots. But...the funny part came as we were leaving. Her face still red & puffy from crying, the nurse offered her a sticker and a lollypop. After careful consideration, she made her selections. A elephant sticker and a pink lollypop.  Before leaving the office, I dutifully unwrapped the lollypop and stuck the elephant sticker on her shirt.  As we are heading towards the door, Maeve turns to me, big smile on her tear stained face, and says....

"Mommy, that was fun!" Then, happily trotted out to the car with me and we went home.

Mental Note: At Maeve's next check up, make inquiries about short term memory loss symptoms. ;) 0 comments

Easter 2009

My first attempt at making a movie with my updated IMovie. It's not quite how I would like it, but not too bad considering this is the first time I have used the program. :)


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