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March/April Saturday :: 05 March 2005
We had some errands to run and grabbed some lunch at the mall's food court. Maeve freaked out: "eetah! eetah!" (pizza, pizza). She ate an entire slice and asked for more. After lunch, Lisa and Maeve headed one way and Lilly and I headed to the bookstore. I grabbed some music mags before heading over to the kids' section. Lilly asked to buy just about every toy she encountered and couldn't understand why I would say no. To her, the argument that she had too many and, in fact, had just purged her swollen collection at home held no water. It came down to one thing: "it's not fair."

Sunday :: 06 March 2005
We took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and ventured out the park in Sun Prairie. While Lilly cruised all over the place on her own, Maeve was content just to have me push her in a swing. The melting snow turned the concrete foot path into a bit of a stream and this intrigued and excited Maeve to no end. After stomping and splashing for a couple of minutes, she finally connected the dots and began shouting "otter! otter!" (water, water). We ended up, as we often do after weekend outings, at Culver's. Lilly and I got ice creams and Maeve loudly objected whenever I wasn't fast enough delivering her tiny (Momma-approved) bites.

Monday :: 07 March 2005
As I walked in the door tonight, Maeve was strapped into her booster chair at the kitchen island. She immediately started pointing at the table, saying "table." I agreed with her that, yes, it was indeed a table. She continued: "Poppa table." I asked her if she wanted me to sit at the table. With an air of frustration, she pointed at her booster seat and said "Poppa table — chair." She wanted me to move her chair over the table for dinner.

Wednesday :: 09 March 2005
This morning Lilly came up from breakfast and announced that she was growing. Naturally I agreed, but she had more data to back up her assertion. "My eyes are out of the glass." It seems that she noticed that, until today, when she took a drink, her eyes would look directly into the bottom of her juice glass. Now, she peers over the rim when drinking her juice. How can one argue with empirical evidence like that?

Saturday :: 12 March 2005
I woke Maeve up from her afternoon nap announcing that we were having tacos for dinner. Despite the fact that she's never had them, she excitedly began chanting "Tacos! Tacos!" Unlike most kids her age, she has absolutely no fear of trying new food. Tacos were no exception. As she stuffed her face, Lisa asked "Maeve, what do you think of tacos?" Maeve paused long enough to answer quite clearly: "I like taco." After dinner, Maeve and Lilly played their new favorite game: jumping on Poppa. They took turns pummeling me and laughing hysterically. It was fun but a bit hard on the ol' ribs.

Sunday :: 13 March 2005
We went to brunch with Will and Sarah this morning and Maeve babbled about pancakes the whole way there. She ate two whole cakes (as much as me and more than Lilly) and asked for more. She's also got a taste for syrup now and screams when the pool for dipping isn't big enough. After lunch we went to a performance of Caribbean folk songs performed with voices and drums. Lilly was entranced; she clapped enthusiastically and bounced up and down in her seat the for the entire hour. Towards the end, she asked me how long it was going to go. Thinking, she was tiring of the show, I told her we could leave if she wanted. She shook her head emphatically: "No. I love it." Lisa kept Maeve in the back but she bounced a good bit too, tiring only at the end.

Wednesday :: 16 March 2005
Lilly came down tonight after bedtime a bit concerned that she had "forgotten" to practice her letters. Apparently Miss Jennifer was going to be testing them the next day. She sweetly asked me if we could write them out and if I could help her with the ones she had trouble with. How could I say no? The next 45 minutes were some of the best of my life as we wrote out both the upper-case and lower-case letters while laying on her bed.

Saturday :: 19 March 2005
Max's Mom invited Lilly over for an afternoon playdate. While Lilly was gone, Maeve dragged her snow suit and boots out of the mudroom and into the living room. She insisted on having us help her suit up and then went to the back door and started banging. I went outside with her and she pretty much just stood around looking at the trees, passing cars, and the sky. She walked around a bit and wasn't the least bit interested in the little snow man I made for her. Her round little face started getting red but she didn't want to go in. Finally when she started falling down and getting frustrated with the deep snow, I decided to take her in. She screamed bloody murder as I trundled her into the house and stripped her down. Lilly wasn't in a very good mood either when I went to collect her from Max's. We got the two cranks into bed as quickly as we could tonight.

Sunday :: 20 March 2005
At the redneck buffet today, Lilly and I got ice cream as dessert. Maeve clambered for some so insistently that Lisa actually got up and got her a dish of her own. Seems like only yesterday that Momma was scolding me for giving Lilly even the tinniest bite. My how things change with child #2.

After lunch we went to a local farm that displays newborn lambs. Lilly and Maeve were excited and enjoyed not only the lambs, but chicks, piglets, ponies, calves, and baby bunnies. Maeve wasn't the least bit timid or shy. She plowed her way through the crowd and up to fences, pushing kids and adults alike out of her way in order to get a glimpse at the livestock. By contrast, Lilly was polite and a bit timid, willing to wait her turn even when older kids barged in front of her.

Wednesday :: 23 March 2005
We got a note sent home from daycare today. It seems that Maeve has been pushing over the other kids — sometimes because she wants a toy someone else has, sometimes for seemingly no reason at all. We tried to have a talk with her: "We don't push. You aren't going to push your friends, are you?" Maeve looked at us solemnly and murmured, "no."

Friday :: 25 March 2005
I was off in the afternoon for Good Friday, giving me the opportunity to spend some time with the girls before departing for Chicago (for a performance by the legendary band Slint). Lilly cried as I got ready to go: "I don't want you to leave Poppa." I hugged and kissed her and hit the road. She reportedly cried and whined and sniffled and carried on until bedtime. It's nice to be adored, but sheesh.

Saturday :: 26 March 2005
We spent some time in the afternoon coloring Easter eggs. Lilly, despite our protestations, insisted on dunking some eggs into multiple dishes of dye, rendering a number of them a rather muted grayish-green. Once the eggs were dry, she decided to adorn them with stickers from her overflowing sticker box. The fuzzy hearts were a nice touch, but I did question the shamrock and Dora stickers. She was often quite zealous in her sticker application, cracking the shells on two or three eggs.

Sunday :: 27 March 2005
We had the regular crew over for Easter brunch: Will, Sarah, and Mick; Dee and Riyaz; and Uncle Chris and Liz. Chris distracted Lilly while I hid eggs and candy. Lilly naturally hogged all the eggs, leaving only one for poor little Maeve. Maeve didn't seem all that bothered by it though. She was busy trying to stay out of everyone's way. She eventually warmed up and had Liz reading her stories on the floor. Lilly barged in later and challenged Uncle Chris and Liz to cut-throat game of Go Fish.

Sunday :: 03 April 2005
Lilly proclaimed today "a nice spring day" and wanted to ride her bike. I got her bike out and strapped her into her helmet, promising that I would be out to watch later. She came in twice wondering one I would be out. By the time I got set up with my soda, magazine, and lawn chair though, she was ready to move on to the sandbox. Maeve and Momma joined us later and the girls played nicely in together, relishing the sand on their bare toes. Later we walked down to the pond and Lilly attempted to teach Maeve how to throw rocks into the water. Maeve quickly tired of this and toddled off back towards the house with Momma. Lilly and I walked over to the Sturino's dock and looked for fish. It was difficult to tear her away until she suddenly decided that she had to go potty and we headed off at break-neck speed.

Penny, Maggie, and Molly arrived just as we got back to the house. They had finally gotten around to delivering the girls' Christmas gifts. Lilly was thrilled with clothes for her Bitty Baby and as we showed Penny around our new kitchen space, the Hall girls played with Roberts girls.

Tuesday :: 05 April 2005
This morning as we were getting ready to bustle out the door this morning, Maeve knocked over Lisa's briefcase. She stopped and quietly and mournfully intoned "I'm sorry." It took us a couple of reassurances to get her back to her happy-go-lucky self. After dinner this evening, Maeve shook her finger and Hank and told him in no uncertain terms: "Hank upstairs!"

Wednesday :: 06 April 2005
Maeve asked for an apple ("opp-uhl") for dinner tonight. Lisa peeled it and I sliced it and put it on her tray. However, when I placed it in front of her, the slices were stuck together giving it the appearance of being one big chunk. Maeve patted it and looked at me accusingly: "cut it," she demanded. Once I showed her that it was cut, she munched away quite contentedly. We've noticed that despite her voluminous food intake, Maeve is indeed slimming down. She's not skinny yet, but Lilly was pretty chunky for a while prior to turning into a rail.

We inquire almost daily about whether Maeve has pushed her friends at daycare. She always says that she hasn't. Today she added, "hug Anna," so maybe she's really getting it. Lilly brought home the math workbook that she had been working on at daycare over the last several weeks. It was 20-or-so pages and I was truly impressed. Lilly was quite proud of it too and scolded us a couple of times when we accidentally turned two pages at once.

Friday :: 08 April 2005
Lisa got some "chapter books" for Lilly at the library today. By the time I got home, Lilly had already decided that she wanted to start with Charlotte's Web. We dove in and I was surprised at how attentive and unwiggly she was, though she had a bit of trouble keeping all the characters straight at the beginning.

Saturday :: 09 April 2005
Maeve has become obsessed with ladybugs. She scours the house looking for them and loudly alerts us to their presence with yelps of "aydee-guck!" Up until the last few days she insisted that we get her a tissue so she could pick up her victim and carry it to the garbage. Now she has become less squeamish and grabs the hapless creatures with her thumb and index finger before trotting over to display her catch.

When Maeve went down for a nap this afternoon, we all went outside to get some yard work done. Lilly decided she wanted to garden. This involved spending close to an hour digging a hole in the mud by our side door. Later she informed me that she planted some flowers. I didn't have the heart to tell her that the "seeds" she was planting were salt crystals left over from the battle with driveway's winter ice. I sort of hemmed and hawed when she asked when they would come up. Later, at Lilly's insistence, I removed the plow from my tractor, hooked up the trailer, gave her a ride as we collected sticks in the back yard and dumped them in the field on the other side of the road.

Saturday :: 16 April 2005
More yard work today. As I was mucking out the pond, I pulled up a wriggling tadpole. I grabbed it and raced up to the house. The girls stood speechless as I filled a bowl and dumped their new pet into the water. They sat in the middle of the kitchen floor and stared, Maeve giggling uncontrollably at times. We had a bit of a conflict when Lilly wanted the tadpole (by this time named Rain) to spend the night in her room on her bedside table. Cooler heads prevailed and Rain remained in the mudroom over night.

Sunday :: 17 April 2005
I spent the afternoon painting shelves in the garage. Lilly decided she was going to clean the driveway. After getting her set up with her little shovel and broom, a bucket, and a pair of gloves, I sent off on her self-appointed mission. Half an hour later, she came over to show me her progress. I had to suppress a chuckle when the bucket contained three twigs and a leaf. I sent her back to work with a cheerful "good job." A few minutes later she was back complaining that she was hot. I told her that she could go inside if she wanted. "But Poppa," she whined, "the driveway's not clean yet." I got her a water bottle and, now refreshed, she headed back to work. A little later Lisa dragged her away and took her and Maeve to the grocery store. They returned with goldfish food for Rain the tadpole and the whole family crowded around to watch Lilly sprinkle some flakes into his bowl and a whole lot more on the floor.

Monday :: 18 April 2005
This morning as we went down for breakfast, Lilly looked at me and wondered aloud, "How's my little fellow doing?" Rain the tadpole was, of course, doing just fine hanging out in his bowl. When I came home from work this afternoon, my three girls were waiting for me in the front yard. It was a bit dizzying to see Maeve and Lilly cavorting on the greening grass under the budding crabapple trees. They both sent up loud shouts and squeals when I pulled into the driveway and could scarcely wait for me to get out of the car.

Wednesday :: 20 April 2005
Wednesday is show-and-tell day at daycare and when there is a pollywog in one's mudroom, there really is no reason to consider taking anything else. Maeve spent some time in the two-year-old room today in preparation for her permanent move in May. She reportedly did well and was all smiles when I picked her up. Miss Jennifer, Lilly's teacher, reports that Lilly has lately become somewhat of a wild child. Apparently she has come under the influence of fellow hellion Holly, who, Lilly refers to as her "best friend."

Thursday :: 21 April 2005
Tonight we finished Charlotte's Web. The bittersweet ending sat pretty well with Lilly and we talked about how all the best stories have sad AND happy parts. Lilly was a little preoccupied with the prospect of her kindergarten aptitude test tomorrow (though she ended up doing just fine).

I'm sure regular readers have noticed that length between Crumbcrunchers updates has gotten longer and longer. After five years of updates, I'm feeling the strain of trying to keep current and making timely posts. Sometimes I'm not sure how much longer I can keep blogging like this; maybe I should just enjoy my girls instead of trying to document them? At the same time, I feel like this is an investment — not just for our far-flung families but also for me to have something other than fleeting memories to hang on to when Maeve and Lilly are teenagers and don't want to be seen with their terminally uncool Poppa.

Saturday :: 23 April 2005
We had lunch at Red Robin before heading over to the Kids Expo at the Alliant Energy Center. Both girls were drawn to the gymnastics area and went through the obstacle course three or four times. Maeve let me guide her and hold her hand a bit. I was impressed at how well Lilly could do the balance beam by herself (I never would have guessed it judging from her general spastic lack of coordination) and Maeve was actually able to walk the beam pretty well with me holding her hands. The girls were also fascinated by the fire truck and ambulance on display. While Lilly was bit shy and wanted me to get in with her, Maeve showed no hesitation in climbing in and poking around on her own. The kid is fearless.

Sunday :: 24 April 2005
With our encouragement, Maeve moved from being just interested in playing on and around her potty to actually using it. We all stood around and applauded her accomplishments. She seemed justifiably proud of herself and wasn't at all afraid of flushing her handiwork away like Lilly had been. Later at dinner, when Maeve asked for another helping by saying "Maeve's turn," Lilly took a condescending tone with her: "Just to let you know Maeve... we don't 'take turns' with food." On a side note: Maeve's pronunciation of her own name is something akin to "Maisch."

Wednesday :: 27 April 2005
Lisa worked late tonight and I was on the phone with her when I noticed Maeve dipping into her yogurt with her fingers instead of her spoon ("hoon"). I interrupted my phone conversation to tell her to use her spoon. Maeve barely glanced at me and said "mmm-mmm," clearly indicating no. She eventually switched to the spoon once the contents of the container were below her reach. After dinner, she asked to use the potty and, after sitting and reading her bathroom books, she gleefully, but not without a bit of surprise, pointed out her success.

Thursday :: 28 April 2005
This morning as we were frantically trying to get out the door Lilly announced that she was going to tie her own shoes, which she, in fact, did. With potty training in full tilt and now this, it's been a week of milestones.

Saturday :: 30 April 2005
Lilly kept me company (or "helped" as she likes to call it) while I installed a new water filtration system in the kitchen. We had a bit of a problem with leaks due to an unseated O-ring and Lilly was very interested. ("What are we going to DO?") When she asked why it was called an O-ring, I held it up and said, "because it looks like an..." She answered her own question and fell into paroxysms giggles. Shortly thereafter she began to dance around singing a tuneless stream-of-consciousness song that seemed to be some sort of cautionary tale about O-rings.

Past diary entries: January-February 2005
November-December 2004
September-October 2004
July-August 2004
May-June 2004
March-April 2004
January-February 2004
November-December 2003
September-October 2003
July-August 2003
May-June 2003


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