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May/June Wednesday :: 14 May 2003
"Baby's coming pretty soon." Lilly keeps reminding us of this fact. Her excitement is palpable despite the fact that she has no idea how a new baby is going to turn her life upside down. I suppose the whole seems like loads of fun: all kinds of new baby items are popping up around the house and Nanny's come out from New York for a visit. For a whole week Nanny and Lilly spent all day together: gardening, shopping, and playing outside. Every evening both of them are exhausted.

Lisa had been dealing with Braxton-Hicks for two weeks but finally the real thing started on Tuesday night. They were pretty irregular so we went to bed to see the morning would bring. Contractions were stronger Wednesday morning and became regular enough that we could start timing by 8:00 a.m. We tried to hurry things along by taking Hank for a walk around noon and we left for Hospital by 2:00 p.m. Despite the excruciating contractions, the triage staff weren't ready to admit us. After an hour of laps around the maternity wing, things had progressed enough so that we were admitted by 4:00 p.m.

We soon discovered the cause of Lisa's extreme pain. The little bugger was sunnyside up, causing painful "back labor." What our personality-challenged nurse lacked in bedside manner, she more than made up for in skill and knowledge. With her guidance and a few gymnastic-like positions for a couple of pushes, the baby turned on its own, assuming the correct face-down position. With that dilemma resolved, Momma quickly delivered our new baby girl at 7:10 p.m. Maeve Emerson was a chunk at eight pounds, six ounces. Though she was only half inch longer than Lilly, at 19 and 1/2, she outweighed her by almost two pounds! As exciting as the birth of a child is, the second time around was certainly much less nerve wracking. Even cutting the cord seemed very matter of fact.

Momma and Poppa's calm was matched by that of little Emma. While I made the requisite family phone calls, Emma ate for two hours and then slept for five. As she slept, I reflected on the fact that I am now totally outnumbered by girls. (My friend Michael astutely pointed out that men are always outnumbered by the women in their lives, even if there's only one.)

Thursday :: 15 May 2003
Nanny and Lilly couldn't wait to see the new baby and were at the hospital by 9:30 a.m. Lilly climbed right up on the bed to hug and kiss Momma and Emma and then immediately wanted to hold her, "I hold the baby." We set her up with a pillow on the couch and she knew just where to put her arm to support Emma's head. Lilly was of course quite taken with her sister and cooed and kissed her and was thrilled when the baby grabbed her thumb. The day also brought visits from Uncle Chris and our old friend Deidre. Of course, there was also the endless parade of nurses and doctors. The verdict from all, including Lisa's doctor and Emma's pediatrician, was that Mother and baby doing splendidly.

Friday :: 16 May 2003
The hospital staff cut us loose around 10:00 a.m. Nanny reported that Lilly was beside herself and kept running to the window. By the time we got home, they were waiting in the yard. Lilly ran up to the car and climbed in to catch a glimpse of her baby sister. After lunch we had to take Nanny to the airport. Lilly was sad about Nanny leaving and had it spilled over into some trouble at bedtime. When I finally got cross with her, she turned to me, pouted, and rocked back and forth. Then in a meek little voice she shyly pleaded, "Poppa, I love you, but I don't want you to yell at me anymore." Emma didn't sleep as well as at the hospital, but certainly better than her big sister did at her age.

Saturday :: 17 May 2003
While Momma and baby bonded, Poppa and Lilly gardened outside for three hours. (Let me rephrase that. I gardened. Lilly played in the dirt.) She thought that was the greatest thing in the world and I was inclined to agree. Lilly was very concerned that I was getting my hands dirty. "You NEED gloves. You can't get your hands dirty." This got her thinking and soon she wanted her own gloves. I found her gloves but the child got everything else filthy as well. She was a bit upset when she started to realize how dirty she was but was consoled when I assured her that we'd take a shower when we were finished. Grabbing the child and soaping her up in the shower with us is MUCH quicker than the whole playing-in-the-tub routine.

Sunday :: 18 May 2003
We ran some errands with the family today. Emma had explosive poop and had to be changed in the car. On the way home, Lilly noticed gunk in Emma's eye and, recalling the recent diapering incident, informed us that "baby has poop in her eye." Our friend Tony came out to the house for a visit in the afternoon. While Emma nursed we accompanied Lilly down to pond to throw rocks. Back at the house, Lilly wanted attention and started getting quite loud and annoying. We redirected that energy to get her to show off her "new" room for Tony.

Emma has been eating really well during the day and sleeping for 2-3 hours at a stretch. At night however, she nibbles and then falls asleep. As soon as she's back in the bassinet, she wakes up and wants to eat. This cycle repeats endlessly making it very difficult to sleep. Just what it seems we can't go on, she'll fall asleep at 3:00 a.m. and sleep until 6:00 a.m. Needless to say, Momma is a bit frazzled.

Monday :: 19 May 2003
Lisa took Lilly to daycare this morning and was confronted with a screaming fit of epic proportions. She did not want Momma to leave. When we called back a few hours later though, she seemed to be doing well. We had a relaxing day enjoying the bowling-ball phase. (So called, because infants just sit quietly in their car seats or bouncy chair and you just move them around wherever you want them.) When I went to fetch Lilly in the afternoon, she immediately asked where the baby was. At home, she ran to the crib to say hi and to kiss her.

We all went to Emma's 6:30 check up with Doctor Whalen. She was down to eight pounds, two ounces: down four ounces from her birth weight, but up an ounce from her going-home weight and well within normal limits. Unlike Lilly, she showed no signs of jaundice. Lilly was well behaved but got overtired staying up so late and had a hard time going to bed. As she was brushing her teeth, I said something about "the Doctor's" (meaning the Doctor's office). Lilly, sharp little tack that she is, thought I was using the plural instead of the possessive and corrected me: "only one doctor."

Tuesday :: 20 May 2003
Lilly was much better today when I dropped her off at daycare. A number of kids greeted her right away and one girl wanted Lilly to sit next to her. She gave me a big hug and a smile as I left. Emma went with us to a meeting at our architect's office. Driving home from daycare, Lilly spied a moped. She identified it as a "little motorcycle" and then stated: "I want a little motorcycle." At home, she was running around acting out trying to get attention. She adores her baby sister, but she's not thrilled with us now that she's been replaced as the center of attention.

We reached our goal of having only one child in diapers at a time. As if to drive this point home, Lilly got up in night to go. She did feel the need to wake me up to witness the event, but never the less... As I was tucking her back into bed, she asked "are there monster's outside?" I told her no and that even if there were, Hank was right outside her door to protect her. Emma slept in bed with us tonight and we certainly got more sleep. Despite our misgivings about this, Doctor Whalen assured us that we wouldn't spoil her by doing it for a couple of weeks.

Wednesday :: 21 May 2003
First thing this morning, Lilly jumped on our bed and told Lisa, "Momma, I want a little motorcycle." On the way to daycare, we saw guy on a crotch rocket. Lilly immediately pointed out, "that's a BIG motorcycle." When I asked her if she wanted one of those, she reiterated, "No I want a LITTLE motorcycle." Then as an after thought, "I need a helmet to go with it." Lately, Lilly has been assuming the role of the mysterious character Kiki. We're not sure exactly, but Kiki seems to be a part imaginary friend and part kitty alter-ego. It's cute for a while, but the meowing gets a bit much after an hour or so, and it gets downright annoying when trying to talk to her: "I'm NOT Lilly. I'm Kiki!" To which I can only respond, "OK, Kiki, brush YOUR teeth."

Thursday :: 22 May 2003
Emma has three basic noises. The first, and most alarming, is a plaintive cry that sounds like a demon goat bleating from the depths of hell. The bleating cry usually means she's hungry. The second, which she sometimes combines with the first, is a series of loud snorts. This usually means she's pissed off about something. The third noise is a staccato squeak that sounds for all the world like a dog chew toy. This usually happens when she's sleeping.

Friday :: 23 May 2003
I met my girls at the Big East clinic for Lilly's three-year-old check up. Lilly is exactly normal: in the 50th percentile for both weight and height. (Her stats? Height: 37.25 inches; Weight: 31 pounds, 12 ounces.) She was very well behaved and let Doctor Whalen poke and prod her without protest. Emma is now sleeping about four or five hours with only one feeding during the night. I'm sleeping fairly well as is Lisa, though I hope Emma doesn't insist on sleeping with us much longer.

Sunday :: 25 May 2003
We invaded Will and Sarah's for a pool party. Lilly was in heaven — a true water bug, as her grandfather is wont to call her. She splashed around on the stairs on the shallow end and floated a bit on her own. We had to coax her out of the water to eat and then she crashed on a deck chair in the shade totally exhausted. She was so spent that by the time we got home she didn't want to get out of the car. I had to pour her into bed.

Monday :: 26 May 2003
In true Memorial Day fashion, we had a little family picnic on the porch. I grilled veggie dogs ("hot-gogs") but Lilly wasn't impressed. She told us that she didn't like the "black stuff" on her hot-gog and made me peel it off. Note to self: in the future, cook Lilly's hot-gogs in the microwave not on the grill. Lilly loves playing outside. She bugs us incessantly until we let her outside. Today after swinging in her tree swing, we set out for the pond to look for turtles and fish and, above all, to throw rocks in the water. Momma and Emma spent a couple of quiet hours alone while I slipped in the shoreline mud with the three-year-old who-never-stops. When I left for band practice at 4:30 p.m., Momma was on her own for bedtime for the first time. She reports that it went pretty well even though Lilly wasn't happy to have her story time interrupted by a crying baby.

Tuesday :: 27 May 2003
The mail brought gifts from my Aunt today. Lilly grabbed the one for her, pointed to the tag tied to it, and said it was her name. A guess? Maybe, but it was still rather disconcerting to have her "reading" at age three. We've noticed that Emma's nose is much pointier than Lilly's was at her age. Lilly had the typical flattened baby nose (and it's still kind of button-like) while Emma has one more like beaks on her Momma and Poppa. Also, it appears as though the child is going to have red hair. Not surprising I guess, considering my Danish grandfather and Lisa's Irish aunt.

Wednesday :: 28 May 2003
Momma took Emma to her two-week checkup this morning. Aside from her extremely dry skin, especially on her feet, she is doing splendidly. At eight pounds, seven ounces, she's and ounce over her birth weight. In addition, she's grown an inch, now measuring 20.5 inches. Lisa brought the babe over to my office for lunch in the cafeteria. She slept during the entire visit while my female co-workers oohed and awed over the little one. After sleeping all day, she was awake and fussy for most of the evening. According to Lisa's books, this is about the time that should expect to start seeing a spike in crankiness, peaking at around three or four weeks and tapering off again by six.

Thursday :: 29 May 2003
We had a battle of wills over dinner tonight. Lisa put out a plate for Lilly containing a piece of quiche, some grapes, and some pear slices. Lilly refused to eat any of it, saying she wanted cheese and banana bread. We told her that what she saw was what she got and that if she didn't want to eat it, we would go straight to bed. Much wailing ensued. We told her that she only had to eat one bite of each thing, but she cried and pouted more. We told her that if she at one bite of each thing, she could have some banana bread. She wanted to go directly to the banana bread. Finally, we got her to eat one grape and choke down one bite of quiche. She was rewarded with dessert and the battle ended with no clear-cut winner. As I was tucking her into bed and singing "Mockingbird," she interrupted me: "I want to tell you something." She threw her arms around my neck and said, "I love you [more than anything] in the whole wide world... and the bathroom."

Saturday :: 31 May 2003
This morning I was overseeing Lilly getting dressed. She came to me a bit flustered because her underwear's elastic waistband was all twisted and she couldn't get it up. She looked at me very earnestly and said, "I have a little problem here." Lately, I've noticed that whenever she slips or almost falls, she grins impishly, giggles and says "whoa," sounding for all the world like a stoned surfer dood. We had the Batsons and the Gavins over for a cookout this afternoon. It was a bit chaotic having two girls and two boys, ranging in age from three to seven, tearing around the house and yard. Despite the four-year gap in their ages, Lilly took to Ella Batson right away and they played together all afternoon. When everyone had gone home and things settled down, Lisa and I discussed an issue that has been increasingly taking center stage: Maeve Emerson's name. The original plan was to call her Emma, but we find ourselves calling her Maeve more and more often. Lisa and most of our friends now prefer Maeve and, although I was initially uneasy about two one-syllable names, I'm starting to warm to the idea of it and accept that "Maeve Hall" isn't too harsh and staccato. It has yet to be seen how this will shake out.

Sunday :: 1 June 2003
We dragged the two little ones on a five-hour tour of remodeled houses in the Madison area. Emma/Maeve was fine, of course. She just slept the whole time. Lilly did rather well also with only a few minor meltdowns. We tried to head this off with stops for ice cream and playtime in the park. When asked what kind of ice cream she wanted, Lilly replied, "Regular ice cream." We verified that "regular" meant "white" and bought her a dish of vanilla. Despite the ice cream, as we pulled into our driveway, she asked if it was time to eat because "we didn't eat very much today." Emma fussed and cried more than usual tonight, but we also got her to sleep in the bassinet for a couple of hours, which was first.

Monday :: 2 June 2003
A child's memory is a wonderful and mysterious thing. Twice in the last two days, Lilly has come up with distant recollections out of the blue. "We went on grandpa's boat a long, long, long, long, long, long time ago," she announced when the subject of boats came up. In fact we went boating in New York last summer. Then, while eating blueberry yogurt for breakfast this morning, "I picked blueberries when I was a little baby. I remember." She did indeed accompany Nanny and Grandpa on a blueberry-picking expedition when she was four months old. This sort of thing shouldn't be possible, should it?

Tuesday :: 3 June 2003
Lilly loves to make up stories. Sometimes they make sense sometimes they are just nonsense. When we got home tonight, she called me into the living room to play hide. We snuggled on the couch and covered ourselves with a blanket (still pronounced "minkey"). I asked her what we were hiding from and she launched into an elaborate explanation. We were hiding from Egg (named Egzar) who had feet and big teeth to try to bite us. If he did bite us though, his mommy (who is a frog) would yell at him. The mind reels, don't it? After narrowly escaping Egzar, Lilly went to watch for Uncle Chris out the window. Even though she'd been clamoring for him to arrive, she was very shy when he actually showed up. Her temerity didn't last long and she soon dragged him upstairs to play for half an hour. By then she was all about Uncle Chris. She wanted to sit next to him at dinner AND she wanted him to put her to bed. All the excitement made it hard for her to sleep though and I made more than a few trips upstairs to deal with some crisis or another.

Wednesday :: 4 June 2003
As we were getting ready to leave this morning, Lilly mugged for Maeve and kept asking her, "You love me baby?" Finally, she turned around and proudly announced: "Baby loves me SOOOOO much." When I picked her up from daycare today, Lilly and several other girls were engrossed in making a mud pie. Once I finally dragged her away, she had to show me the monkey bars and insisted that I help her swing across them. She looked quite frightened, but was all smiles when we got to the other side.

Thursday :: 5 June 2003
So this name thing has got us in a real quandary. Lisa's calling the baby Maeve all the time now. I'm not sure, but I seem to making a conscious effort to avoid doing so. Lilly says that she likes two names for the baby and happily switches back and forth. There have been two significant developments in Maeve's life relating to her ubiquitous activities of eating and sleeping. First, we've started her on a bottle. It's still breast milk, but this allows Lisa a little more freedom and a bit longer leash: Poppa can feed the baby now. The other breakthrough is that we've found that she will sleep at night somewhere other than our bed. In a 3:00-a.m. fog, Lisa reasoned that since she sleeps all day long in her bouncy chair, maybe she would do the same thing at night if we put the chair in her bassinet. Worked like a charm. The little one now awakes only a couple of times during the night for a feed and a change. Like her sister before her, Maeve has developed an unsightly case of baby acne. It's easy to over look though because of her incredibly blue eyes and adorably expressive mouth. She still makes noises that resemble a farm animal or chew toy more than a small human.

Lilly has been stretching her bedtime routine out longer and longer. She is going to silly and ridiculous excesses while brushing her teeth, going potty, getting into her pajamas, and picking out stories. At Lisa's suggestion, I used a timer tonight and tried to enforce a five-minute limit on each activity. This ploy was mostly successful but then, as I shut the door to her room, Lilly reminded me, "If I'm crying, I want you, Poppa." Not surprisingly, I had to make a few trips upstairs later.

Thursday :: 5 June 2003
This morning Lilly climbed into bed. She settled down for a while and we all went back to sleep. Suddenly she jumped up and scrambled out of bed and headed off down the hallway to her room. She returned with two dolls: one for her and one for the baby, which she placed gently in the bouncy chair next to her.

Saturday :: 7 June 2003
Every morning, Lilly now insists on helping me feed the dogs and make the coffee. She drags me out of bed saying, "It's time to feed the puppies. Come ON Poppa. Get UP." I stumble downstairs trying not to trip over Hank. Lilly scoops the food and puts it in the dishes and then "helps" me pour water from the pitcher. Then she scrambles up on a nearby chest to open the door for the dogs. Then she immediately reminds me: "I want to make the coffee with you." She scoops the coffee into the filter, usually spilling a bit, and derives great satisfaction from closing the lid of the coffee machine and pressing the On button.

We went over to our friends Joy and KC's house in the afternoon. Their little girl, Grace, is a year older than Lilly and after the usual shy, stand-offish period, they played wonderfully together. Lilly especially liked dressing up in Grace's ballerina outfit. Maeve slept the whole time.

Sunday :: 8 June 2003
Our friends Paul and Shawn came out to the house for a cookout around noon. Lilly was, predictably, shy, but soon warmed up, especially to Shawn. She was a little crabby when we told her that she couldn't monopolize the poor girl's time for the whole visit. Between that and just being worked up by all the activity, she was quite a handful when they left. I got a little frazzled with Lilly misbehaving and Maeve screaming her head off. Extended difficulties during Lilly bedtime activities put me in a bit of a meltdown state of mind. I did what many fathers do: retreat to the basement to cool off. By morning I was loveable ol' Poppa again.

Monday :: 9 June 2003
Both Lilly and Momma informed me that Lilly was a very good girl today. Lilly apparently was really making effort, telling Momma a number of times "I want to be a good girl." Not only good, but gorgeous; she seemed just radiant this afternoon.

So it seems as though we will be calling our second child Maeve. We're using the name pretty much exclusively now, so there doesn't really seem to be any point in trying to resist. Speaking of Maeve, she has been sleeping a LOT over the past couple of days. We guessing she's going through a growth spurt and need all the energy she can get.

Wednesday :: 11 June 2003
Maeve has began smiling in the last day or so. I remember when Lilly started to smile but I had forgotten what a glorious, warm rush it is when your little baby girl smiles at you. Her smile seems to me to be very sly: one side of her mouth sliding up before the other along with a hint of a wink. Another milestone came and went tonight: four weeks after Maeve's birth, the withered remnants of her umbilical cord fell off. Time marches on, eh?

Saturday :: 14 June 2003
A couple of firsts today. We gave Maeve her first bottle of formula today. It's not a cold-turkey switch: she's still taking breast milk, both from a bottle and au natural. We're introducing it in hopes that it will fill her up more before bedtime, thus increasing time between feedings. The other first had to do with Lilly and her bikes. She bugged me to get her tricycle down off the garage wall. She hopped on and asked me to push her. I started her out and let her go on her own. Her feet stayed on the pedals and she moved her self forward. Momma, Poppa and Lilly all joined in triumphant cries of success. We yelled "You're doing it," as Lilly looked around with jubilant smile on her face. Her locomotion skills are still a bit limited. Her movement is easily stopped by a small twig or a slip of the foot, but she was most definitely riding her trike on her own.

Sunday :: 15 June 2003
Despite the fact that she's now eating some formula, Maeve was up in the night three or four times demanding food. We guessed that she may be bulking up for a growth spurt. Nothing to do but keep the child fed. Lilly excitedly shoved my "Poppa-day" gift into my hands this morning. It was a basket and key chain that she made at daycare and she was more than a little pleased with herself. I think it was the hug that accompanied the gift that I liked best. Later, as I was putting together my other Father's Day gift, a Black & Decker Edgehog, Lilly was inspecting some of the parts and hardware. As she turned a wingnut over and over in her hands, she spoke in hushed tones: "That's so cool."

Monday :: 16 June 2003
This morning Lilly was showing me her foam alphabet puzzle. Holding up the plastic bag containing all the pieces, she informed me, "There's lots of cool stuff in there." After I left, Lilly was doing some art projects with Momma. She kept telling Lisa that she was making cards for Poppa. When Lisa asked if she wanted her to give them to me, Lilly replied that she would just e-mail them. Lisa was busy with the baby and didn't really think too much of it. Later, however, she was letting Sabrina up from the basement when she noticed three or four cards on the basement steps. Apparently, shoving paper through the kitty door to the basement is e-mail. Maeve continues to eat, eat, eat.

Wednesday :: 18 June 2003
That growth spurt we were speculating about? It seemed to have happened overnight. Maeve was noticeably heavier this morning and her ears were bigger. She's weighing in at over 10 pounds now.

Friday :: 20 June 2003
Nanny and Grandpa's plane arrived at 10:00 a.m. and the girls were there to meet them. Grandpa spied Lilly from across the crowded terminal and bellowed her name. Lilly squealed and ran to him. First stop for the crew was ice cream at Culver's, then some clothes shopping (of course). Later Lilly and Grandpa wrestled on the hotel bed. They all ended the afternoon at Lilly's dentist appointment with Doctor Dan. Lilly has a cavity. It will need to drilled and filled, but she doesn't know it yet. Doctor Dan also said that Lilly's thumb sucking is causing a bit of movement for her teeth and that we should try to discourage it.

I met up with the whole gang at home and we headed over to Tony's dinner. Lilly ordered pizza for herself even though she didn't eat much of it; she and Grandpa snuck out early to go play on the grass outside. Baby Maeve slept all through dinner. Lilly asked to have Grandpa put her to bed. Grandpa was more than happy to, although Nanny thought she needed to supervise. Finally, as she was climbing into bed and curling up under Grandpa's arm for her bedtime stories, Lilly looked at Nanny and said, "Nanny get out." It's obvious that Grandpa's fears about being forgotten or abandoned were extremely unfounded.

Saturday :: 21 June 2003
We met Nanny and Grandpa at their hotel and hit the Buffet for breakfast. Next stop was Phil's Tractor Store so that Grandpa could indulge his latest passion: antique Ford tractors. Lilly was all smiles as she pretended to drive some of the demos out front. Inside, Phil's wife took a shine to Lilly and gave her some fruit snacks, which she accepted with glee. Nanny next directed us to a shoe store. Lilly's feet had grown to a size nine so she was overdue for new shoes. She picked up a pair of ultra-cute adidas-style striped sneakers.

After returning home to rest and clean up, we headed back downtown for Maeve's baptism. The doddering old priest was a bit thrown by the baby's name. ("This is an unusual name: May-vee Emerson.") He eventually got the job done despite numerous completely unrelated jokes and anecdotes. Maeve only hollered when he poured the water on her head and Lilly only jumped up and down the altar steps a few times. For my part, I stood back and mumbled my acquiescence. Afterwards, at dinner, we kept asking Lilly what she wanted to eat and she wouldn't tell us. When our waitress approached the table though, Lilly shouted at her: "I WANT MAC AND CHEESE." Then as an afterthought, "I'm Lilly." Tonight, Lilly requested that Nanny put her to bed.

Sunday :: 22 June 2003
Nanny and Grandpa showed up and we all sat in the grass under the chestnut tree in the back yard. Lilly was in heaven pretending to plant flowers and Grandpa cooed at the baby in her bouncy chair. Later we had a picnic and Lilly had more chips than she did veggie burger. Late in the afternoon, Lilly went to spend the night at Grandpa and Nanny's hotel. She swam in the pool with Grandpa and displayed her increasing independence in the water. After pizza it was time for bedtime. The report was that she was a good girl and enjoyed herself immensely.

Monday :: 23 June 2003
By the time I got home from work, I hadn't seen Lilly for nearly 24 hours. I was blown away by how beautiful she was and how much I really did miss her. As part of the long, drawn out process of goodbye today, Nanny bought Lilly yet another baby doll. Lilly promptly named her Emily and was quite enthralled by her included nuk.

Tuesday :: 24 June 2003
Lisa and Maeve helped chaperone Lilly's field trip to the McKenzie Nature Center. Lilly was impressed at how well Lilly behaved when she was with the other kids on the trip. Apparently Ms. Denise really cracks the whip on those three-year-olds. I asked her how the field trip was when I picked her up. She told me that it was good and then launched into an account of a Fox that was trying to bite her. She also talked about the baby deer that was sleeping and the poppa deer standing nearby. The poppa deer, she informed us, was called a "fag." We stifled our laughter and told her that it was actually a "stag." To which she nodded and replied, "Yeah. Stag." Lately Lilly has been having a hard time going to sleep. She cries, or gets up, or talks to herself and we often have to make multiple trips upstairs. I think she's still having a bit of a hard time adjusting to baby Maeve despite all her professions of love.

Friday :: 27 June 2003
Over the last few days, Maeve has become much more aware of her surroundings. She smiles at us a lot, which delights both us and Lilly to no end. ("Baby smiled at me!") She reacts to our voices, our faces, and our actions; we can often get her to stick her tongue out by demonstrating how it's done. Yes, we are the ridiculous parents cooing and mugging for the baby. (Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.) Maeve's baby acne has just about disappeared now and it's looks as though she may be as drop-dead gorgeous as her big sister. Unlike Lilly however, Maeve's eyes are very dark. While Lilly got her Poppa's steely blue eyes, Maeve's are more like her Momma's — dark and mysterious, always with a hint of smile glinting in the corners. In addition, she has an unusual halo around each pupil that only underscores how dark the rest of her eye is.

Saturday :: 28 June 2003
Our friends Reid and Jean came up from Chicago for the weekend. Although Lilly had fun roping new people into seeing her room and reading her books, the highlight of the day was a visit to the UW Memorial Union. The Babcock Hall ice cream was a hit, of course, but feeding ducks down by the lake sent her into paroxysms of glee. We were watching the ducks when a kindly old gentleman offered us some of his bread so that we could feed them ourselves. Lilly could barely contain herself. As the ducks swarmed for each piece of bread she threw, she shook and squealed and stomped her feet. As I was tucking her in at bedtime, she gave me a big hug and told me, "Poppa, I had fun feeding the ducks today." So did I.

Sunday :: 29 June 2003
We went to breakfast at Pasquals. Lilly had her usual pancakes and was very well behaved. She did however insist on using the bathroom four times. All trips were productive, but I'm still unsure why everything couldn't have been accomplished with one. Later in the afternoon we did some craft projects. A kit from the library was a supposed to turn into a monkey puppet. I helped Lilly "sew" it together using a blunt plastic "needle," yarn, and felt pieces punched with holes. I was amazed at her hand-eye coordination and that she didn't tire of the task and abandon it. After gluing a face on the monkey, we moved on to cutting things. Momma had bought Lilly a pair of blunt-tipped baby scissors and she delights in using them to reconstruct previous art projects. My budding Dadaist diced up an old drawing and glued the pieces back together with some additional coloring. She handled the scissors well, but I had to constantly remind her not to get the fingers of her free hand in the way of the snapping shears. At one point during our art sessions, Lilly looked at Maeve napping in her bouncy chair on the kitchen table and asked, "Can I make a picture for baby Maeve?"

Monday :: 30 June 2003
When I got home from work, Lilly wanted to show me her baby in the swing. She took my hand and dragged me into the front parlor to see one of her teddy bears in the baby's swing. She asked me if I wanted to know what her name was. She mumbled something about Emily and I absently replied "Oh, baby's name is Emily." I was met with an emphatic no: "My baby's name is NOT Emily. My baby's name is Corn Job." I thought I had heard her wrong, so I repeated "Your baby's name is... Corn Job?" Lilly cocked her head and remarked matter-of-factly "yeah."

If you're looking for LillyWeb, it IS still on-line but no more updates will be forthcoming. Crumbcrunchers is now your source for all information pertaining to the Hall girls.

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