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March/April Monday :: 01 March 2004
This morning Lilly shouldered her new responsibility: feeding the animals. She gets her step stool from the bathroom and can feed the kitty by herself. She helped with the puppies, but we need to find a lighter water pitcher for her to be a bit more self-sufficient in the morning.

Monday :: 15 March 2004
Finally at ten months, Maeve is crawling. Well, sort of... She now can flip back and forth from back to tummy and swims, rolls, and pushes herself around. These methods are extremely effective on wood floors, but less so on rugs. Lisa documented all this on video today and I got the briefing when I returned home from work. The teeth that have been threatening to erupt still have not made an appearance though her discomfort seems to have lessened.

Lilly greeted me at the door this afternoon in her new Easter dress and hat. Momma and the girls had gone clothes shopping today and Lilly was quite excited to show me everything and, despite the chill in the air, model all her summer outfits. She was especially pleased with her Hello Kitty flip-flops. Lilly has been eating like a horse (or at least a good-sized pony) lately. She just keeps shoveling it in and asking for more. She's thin as a rail though; even her toddler belly is going away as her stomach muscles get stronger and stronger.

Tuesday :: 16 March 2004
Maeve's daycare teacher Miss Pat gave me the latest on her mobility. Maeve's best friend Anna is crawling and Maeve tries to keep up by rolling. This is often too slow for Anna, so she'll come back and roll with Lilly. True friends... As soon as we got home from daycare, Lilly whipped off her shoes and socks so that she could put on her beloved flip-flops. At bedtime, she lovingly placed them next to her bed in anticipation of putting them on fist thing in the morning.

Wednesday :: 17 March 2004
Lilly had a hard night. Whether she was overtired, not feeling well, or just in a mood, every little thing reduced her tears. I spent a lot of time talking to her and comforting her, but it was hard to make out what was going on through all the sobbing. She finally drifted off after a few hours and woke up the next morning her usual sunny self.

Thursday :: 18 March 2004
Today was the big day: show and tell at daycare. What to bring? Her new flip-flops, of course. In the afternoon, Lilly helped out by making Maeve's bottle all by herself. She took this new DIY-attitude to shower time the next morning. Though she wanted to take a shower all by herself, we convinced that washing her hair by herself would be a big help. She did a reasonably good job and I got a rousing rendition of both the Bob the Builder ("Can we do it? Yes we can!") and Dora the Explorer ("We did it. We did it!) songs.

Saturday :: 20 March 2004
Lilly was invited to a birthday party at Rocky's today. We dropped her off and ran errands with Maeve for a couple of hours. Lisa was nervous: as she put it, it was Lilly's first "big-girl" party. I'm sure all sorts of child-abduction scenarios were running through her head, but she held it together pretty well. We collected Lilly safe and sound and she chattered at length about exchanging tokens for tickets and then for prizes. Apparently, actually playing the games with the tokens was immaterial.

Sunday :: 21 March 2004
We took the girls to see a Peter Rabbit Easter ballet performance. Lilly was very excited and, consequently, was very disappointed when the performance was sold out. We promised her we'd get advance tickets and take her next weekend and she sniffled and nodded her head. Later though, we realized that, given Lilly's aversion to large anthropomorphic mascots, such a performance might not be a good idea. When we talked to her about it, she did seem pretty apprehensive. She finally decided that she needed a few days to think about it.

Lilly wet the bed again tonight. I wasn't home but Lisa talked to her at length about it and finally got her to realize that trying to get attention this way was pretty counterproductive. Tearfully Lilly agreed to not wet the bed anymore. We'll see...

Tuesday :: 23 March 2004
Lilly politely asked to play outside this afternoon when we got home. After reminding her of the safety rules (don't go near the water; don't go near the road), I took Maeve inside for dinner. Lilly ran around in the driveway singing at the top of her lungs, loading her toy shopping cart up with rocks, and swinging her polka-dot umbrella. As you might guess, we had a bit of an issue getting her to come in to eat her dinner. At bedtime, as she jumped on her bed, she gave me a play-by-play. "I'm exercising. My legs are getting strong. Work those muscles. Work those muscles!" While reading the Help Me Be Good book about being messy, Lilly sternly addressed the protagonist on each page. "Annie you're being naughty. You can't handle it!"

Wednesday :: 24 March 2004
Our little Maeve is developing quite the temper. When we had to take some of Lilly's papers away from her, she threw a fit: screaming and crying. She was red-faced and inconsolable all the way up the stairs and into bed.

Friday :: 09 April 2004
Lilly got an orange balloon at Red Robin while were there for lunch and then wanted to take into the grocery store afterwards. I tried to convince her that it might not be a good idea; that the ceiling was really high and if she lost it, we couldn't get back. After I convinced her that, no, I wouldn't be able to find a ladder in the store, she switched tactics. "But I won't let go, Poppa." I told her that I knew she wouldn't let go on purpose, but that IF she did, it would be gone. She was silent for a moment and then hit me with some stunning logic: "But I won't let go, Poppa." At that point, I gave up. Not one minute inside the store, she lost her grip. A look of utter terror was on her face as the balloon floated up the rafters. Then she burst into tears. I tried to comfort her, but I did feel compared to point out that my prediction had come true. (In turns out that parents are right about some things after all.) I think I'll get a lot of mileage out of this incident though. In the last few days I've already been able to drive a few points home by saying "You didn't MEAN to let go of your balloon either..."

Saturday :: 10 April 2004
Over the last few weekends, we've been trying to get some of the spring yard work done. Lilly loves being outside with me. She repeats the safety the rules and sometimes adds other important guidelines too: "Don't talk to any dog I don't know." All the energy barely contained inside is released in a chaotic frenzy: she wants to do everything all the time at once. And she wants to tell me about it. Every five minutes she races over to me, "Poppa, I have to tell you something." Playing in the sandbox is a favorite activity that can occupy her for hours. She's finally got the hang of her tricycle. She zips around the driveway and only occassionally go backwards or tips over. Every once in a while she'll triumphantly shout to me "I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" Once she told me "I'm really good at riding my bike, so I want to do it for a while."

Maeve's crawling has been steadily improving. She's been swimming and dragging herself around and can now easily go from laying flat on her belly to sitting up. Quite amazing to watch, actually. Over the last couple of days though, she has made the transition to crawling on her hands and knees: a true crawl. She is also pulling herself up to her knees on my leg, the couch, or a table. With all this progress, we hastily bought padded corner protectors for the coffee table.

Sunday :: 11 April 2004
This morning when Lisa went to fetch Maeve, she found her standing in her crib. So despite her slow start at mobility, Maeve is moving at light speed. If she keeps going at this pace, she'll be walking by her first birthday. We had a bit of an Easter brunch today and Lilly was all a quiver. She knew she had to wait for our guests to arrive before she could look for her Easter eggs and basket, and the delay was interminable. When everyone had finally arrived, she took off on her hunt. She quickly found everything and editorialized on the old bunny's methods: "The silly Easter Bunny put an egg in the plant. WE don't put eggs in plants." The girls charmed everyone including Uncle Chris and his new girlfriend, Liz. Lisa remarked later on, that she didn't worry about Lilly or constantly wonder where she was the whole afternoon. That, I guess, is a milestone of some sort, if not for Lilly, at least for Momma.

Thursday :: 22 April 2004
While I was feeding the dogs this morning, Lilly started reciting letters at the breakfast table: "M - I - N - U - T - E..." I finally realized that she was reading the label on the container of Minute Maid orange juice. I'm not sure who was prouder: her or me.

Maeve was crawling on the floor when Lilly and I went to retrieve up at daycare this afternoon. She saw us, squealed, put her head down, and made straight for us. Her two top-front teeth are pretty well in now with four more uppers on their way. She hasn't really been cranky as a result, but she does grind her teeth, much to the dismay of everyone within earshot. As I supervised Lilly's bedtime routine, I observed how proud I was of all the things she could do by herself. Lilly turned to me and pointed out that Maeve couldn't really do anything. We decided that the only thing she could do by herself was to crawl. Lilly cocked her head sideways and wondered: "Yeah. I can't imagine that." Actually, it's not for want of trying on Maeve's part. She tries to put clothes on by herself and tries to jam her chubby little feet into doll shoes (even though we've never put shoes on the child).

Lilly has been having trouble going to sleep at night prompting us to speculate about instituting a later bedtime. Several times tonight, she came downstairs and lurked in the kitchen, scampering upstairs when she heard us get up in the next room. Both Lisa and I talked to her about it, and we thought we were getting through to her. However, when we looked in on her on our way to bed, we noticed a picture, which should have been hanging on the refrigerator, on her night stand. We shook our heads and kissed her goodnight.

Saturday :: 24 April 2004
We noticed an announcement in the paper about a children's arts festival at the Civic Center. Sounded like it might be fun so we headed into town. I guess we really didn't know what to expect, but apparently we mentioned to Lilly that there would be arts and crafts. Turns out there wasn't any of that. We wandered around past clowns and Mr. Science with Lilly getting anstier and antsier. "Poppa, this is boring," she began to whine. Just as we were about to high tail it out of there, we noticed the Cash Box Kings blues band setting up. Lilly didn't really seem interested, but I convinced her to listen for a while. After about five minutes she started moving a bit so I told her she could go down on the floor and dance with the other kids. She pouted and shook her head. We moved to an empty seat right in front of the band and she began to bounce more, though she was still too shy to get out and dance. Finally she ventured a out on the "dance" floor and tentatively bounced up and down (nothing like her crazy out-of-control Dora the Explorer dance though).

Towards the end of the set, the Kings handed out harmonicas to some of the kids. Lilly grabbed one and took right to it. When the harpist in the band asked the kids to take turn playing into the microphone, Lilly put aside her trepidations and took up the challenge. She played long notes, short notes, high and low notes, and really seemed to be trying to play off the bands rhythm and melody. The crowd hooted and hollered and the band seemed genuinely impressed, exchanging knowing glances among themselves. After the dust cleared and the band was packing up, Lilly tried to return her "moniker." The front man told her that she could keep it because she had done such a good job. As we headed out for ice cream, Lilly was literally beaming, blowing her harp all the way down State Street.

We went to Coldstone for ice cream and I got a bit confused about the logistics for ordering and paying. Lilly kept telling me that I wasn't in the right place. It turns out I wasn't and we had to backtrack and apologize to other customers for my ignorance. Lilly didn't mince words: "I told you Poppa."

Sunday :: 25 April 2004
Maeve floored me today. I showed her how to work her wiggly bug toy. By pulling down on a string at one end, the caterpillar-like thing vibrates and scrunches up on itself. The first time I showed her, she cocked her head and stared blankly. The second time, she grinned and giggled; and the third time, she grabbed the pull string from me and did it herself. Then she did it over and over and over, obviously very amused by the whole thing. In contrast, I remember trying to get Lilly to catch on to this for months. Not that Lilly isn't smart. Her language skills are mind-boggling. She complained to me the other day about the blanket on her bed not being flat. "It makes it very difficult to jump." Getting the girls' dinner yesterday, Lilly observed: " Maeve is waiting very patiently today." Her memory seems freakishly good as well. When Lisa said "oh oh spaghetti-0s," Lilly mused: "I haven't heard that in a long time." She went on to explain that "not this Christmas with Aidan, but the Christmas without Aidan and Maeve (just me), Nanny said that at her house." That was a year and a half ago! My friend Wendy came by for a visit today and observed that Lilly is going to give me trouble in a few years because she's so smart. Tell me about it.

Thursday :: 29 April 2004
Today was Lilly's last day in Ms. Deni's room at daycare. Next week she moves to the four-year-old room with Ms. Jennifer. Lilly has been beside herself with excitement about the move for weeks, but it's reaching fever pitch now. We've taken this opportunity to work on her thumb sucking (afterall, four-year-olds in Ms. Jennifer's room don't suck their thumbs). Maeve's left eye was all full of guck when I picked her up. We are hoping that's just her current cold and not something more serious. Ms. Pat gave Maeve some solid food today: bananas and green beans. Despite the fact that she did fine with them, Lisa was not too happy. I think she's having trouble letting go of her little baby. In the mail today, Lilly got a birthday present from Aunt Sandra. It was excruciatingly hard for her to understand why she couldn't open it right away. She ended up sleeping with it even though she told be repeatedly that there was no way she could sleep because she really really really REALLY wanted to open it now.

Past diary entries: January-February 2004
November-December 2003
September-October 2003
July-August 2003
May-June 2003

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