Monday :: 02 May 2005
As I walked through the door this evening, Lisa informed me that Lilly had lost her TV priviledges tonight because not only had she grabbed Maeve and pinched her cheeks, she had made a fist and threatened her. Welcome home... On a cheerier note, Maeve's vocal repertoire has expanded significantly. For example, when she's wondering where Lilly is, she'll say "shisha go?" She's also very good at asking "what's this?"
Tuesday :: 03 May 2005
After dinner tonight, Lilly asked to ride her bike in the driveway before dinner. When I told her that this would preclude watching Clifford on TV, she happily accepted these terms and headed off to the garage to get her bike. Maeve was delighted to have me all to herself while Lilly was outside. She dragged me into the living room to play "hohny girl" (pony girl). Then she grabbed the couch pillows and told me to lie down on the floor ("Poppa eye down") so we could play airplane (where I put my feet against her belly and raise her into the air).
Wednesday :: 04 May 2005
Maeve wants to walk the stairs at daycare, carry her papers home, and zip her coat. She is as fiercely independent as her sister. Speaking of Lilly, Maeve hit her with a spoon at dinner and then tried to smear yogurt in her hair. No wonder Lilly gets fed up with the hellion from time to time.
Lilly and I finished up The Trumpet of the Swan tonight. When I asked for her assessment, her answer came back "I LOVE it!" Later that evening, Lilly came down with "something VERY important" to tell me. "Poppa, one of my teeth is wiggly." And indeed one of her lower teeth was quite loose. She was a bit freaked out and kept hemming and hawing back and forth about whether she actually wanted it to come out or not. Then she looked at me seriously. "Is my tooth loose because I'm going to be five?"
Saturday :: 07 May 2005
We spent three hours in the UW Hospital ER with Maeve tonight. She threw up in her bed and as we were getting her into the tub to clean her up, she began shaking uncontrolablly. At first I just dismissed it as either a chill or the fact that she was scared and upset. But as I got her into the water, it seemed more like a mild siezure or convulsion. She was still trembling spastically as we got her into her sleeper. I took her downstairs and sat with her wrapped in a blanket while Lisa rang the nurse on-call. She did stop shaking, but her head and hand movements were still spastic and definitely not as fluid as normal. The nurse told us to bring her in immediately. I called Maggie Roberts and when she arrived a couple of minutes later, we left, leaving Lilly blissfully unware and sleeping. By the time we got to the hospital, of course, Maeve was fine. The doctors couldn't find a thing wrong with her and soon she was running around and playing peek-a-boo with the sliding curtains in the ER bays. Their best guess was that, based on her cold symptoms over the previous few days, she had had a quick fever spike that caused the trembling. The conclusion was that she was in no danger now and that everything was fine.
Sunday :: 08 May 2005
Today was Lilly's fifth birthday. When the girls got back from church, we drove over to the west side to go shopping for decorations and favors for next week's big birthday party. Next stop was for lunch and, as specified by the birthday girl, was at Culver's. The free birthday sundae was enourmous and Lilly wasn't able to eat the whole thing. Maeve was doing fine after last night's ordeal and despite warnings about limited dairy, we had no choice (in the interest of keeping the peace) but to give her a bit of ice cream. We dropped Momma and Maeve off at home so Maeve could take a nap and Lilly and I headed out for a round of mini-golf. I gave her a few pointers, which she promptly forgot. It didn't matter though because she had a blast chasing the ball all over the "greens." Back home, I was sidelined by an horrific headache, so Lisa took the girls over to see Betty and the Roberts. By the time they got back, I was up and about and able to make Lilly's birthday dinner: egg salad sandwhiches with olives (again, her choice). As I was tucking her into bed later, I asked her if she had had a good birthday. "It was the best day EVER," she replied. Then she added wistfully, "But I still feel like I'm four."
Monday :: 09 May 2005
Lisa reported that Lilly was an extremely good girl today. Apparently she's taking this five-years-old thing quite seriously. Not only did she help Momma clean and organize the mudroom and play nicely with Maeve, she didn't suck her thumb. As she explanied, "I didn't even think about sucking my thumb because I'm five years old and I keep my promises." At bedtime tonight, Lilly suddenly announced that although we were six or seven chapters into it, she didn't want to finish Stuart Little.
Tuesday :: 10 May 2005
Maeve grabbed Lilly's Carebear from her during the car ride home from daycare. I had to take it away from Maeve and return it to Lilly which precipitated in horrific wails. When we arrived home, Lilly announced that she was going to give Maeve the Carebear. I praised her for her thoughtfulness, but Lilly shook her head and went on. "No Poppa, forever. I'm five now; I don't need a Carebear." As if I needed anymore proof about how much older and more responsible she was, Lilly turned off the TV, went upstairs, got into her pajamas, and brushed her teeth — all by herself while I was putting Maeve to bed. Lisa worked late tonight and Lilly was quite upset by the prospect of her being home after she was asleep. She came downstairs four or five times asking when Momma would be home and we even called her on her mobile once to tell her how much she was missed.
Wednesday :: 11 May 2005
Ms. Jennifer called Lisa at work today to inform us that Lilly's tooth fell out. When I picked her up this evening, she had the thing taped to a card, which proudly presented to me and her mother. She wanted me to take it off the card. Despite my concerns about it getting lost, she insisted. Not 10 minutes later, the tooth was gone. We spent half an hour of tearful searching until I was hit by a stroke of genius. I postulated that maybe the Tooth Fairy had been worried about the tooth getting lost so she grabbed it before that could happen. After I explained that the Tooth Fairy was magic AND invisible, Lilly calmed down enough for me to sneak upstairs and put a quarter under her pillow. Soon she questioning my theory again though and I told her there was only one way to find out: check under her pillow.
Saturday :: 14 May 2005
As expected, Lilly was bouncing off the walls this morning in expectation of the long-awaited and planned-for birthday party this afternoon. Maeve seemed blissfully unaware that it was actually HER birthday today. Luckily, we were able to ship the girls off to Betty's in the morning so that Lisa, Uncle Chris, and I could prepare. We got the tent up first and were just hanging the last of the balloons when the guests began to arrive.
The kids milled around shyly for a few minutes until Midnight the pony and his crew made their appearance. Lilly was the first rider and the 12 other kids queued up and trembled in anticipation. We got the first round of rides in before it began to rain in earnest. We gathered under the tent and had our cupcakes and ice cream. Lisa expressed doubt about the appropriateness of ice cream in such cold damp conditions. Despite some shivers and blue lips, not a single kid failed to line up for the sundae bar manned by yours truly. By the time we were done with our ice cream, the sun was out again and we were able to get another round of pony rides in before Midnight had to leave. Following Midnight's departure, Lilly tore into the pile of gifts. I was impressed at how gracious she was: asking to have every card read and saying thank you. In fact, I was amazed at how polite she was all during the party: she wasn't at all bossy or bratty.
Later in the afternoon, after the party wrapped up, we piled into the car and sped to the west side for baby Mick's baptism. We got there late and bustled into St. Dennis' cry room, which was a good thing since Maeve wanted to crawl all over. She kept sidling up to me and saying "Poppa" until I bent over so she could kiss me. Following the baptism, we went to an incredibly mediocre Italian restaurant for dinner. Service was so slow and Maeve was so cranky that we had to change our order to go and hit the road.
Sunday :: 15 May 2005
Lilly was up early asking for assistance opening her birthday toys. She insightfully asked "Why does everything come in so much packages[sic]?" The big hits were the American Girl dolls (form Nanny and Grandpa) of course, but also the Dora figures, the multiple My Pretty Ponies, costume jewelry, and, of course, the magnificent Hello Kitty Roller Disco set. Maeve was very content with her Bitt Baby and there were only a few incidents of gift misappropriation.
Monday :: 16 May 2005
I met the girls and the clinic this morning for Lilly's five-year-old and Maeve's two-year-old check ups. They did well and both were given a clean bill of health. Lilly did have some painful shots and I had to carry her out to the car with tears streaming down her face. Later at Pick'n'Save, Lilly grabbed Maeve's cookie right out of her hand and ate it. The resulting screaming and crying almost drove Lisa from the store and immediately resulted in the suspension of Lilly's TV privileges.
During our clinic visit today, Dr. Plumb told us in no uncertain terms that Maeve should not be using a Nuk anymore and that the best course of action was to yank it cold turkey. At bed time, we tried to prepare Maeve for the lack of a Nuk and she seemed to understand. However, she was clearly not happy with this state of affairs and wailed for nearly three hours before finally exhausting herself. Lilly informed us that Maeve's screams were upsetting her as well: "I'm worried about my baby sister."
Tuesday :: 17 May 2005
Maeve was moved to the two-year-old room. She reportedly did well and seemed even more independent than ever when I picked her up. We approached bedtime with trepidation but things went quite smoothly. Maeve whined and wimpered for her Nuk for about five minutes before giving up and going to sleep.
Friday :: 20 May 2005
Lilly was gone (off to Max's birthday party) by the time I got home, so Lisa and I got to spend some time alone with Maeve. She showed me her new "silly walk." This involves putting her hands behind her back, bending forward slightly, and shuffling her feet. She thinks it's just hilarious. She also showed me how she can run. "Maeve run," she calls out and then she walks briskly from one side of the room to the other, usually in danger of falling over at some point during transit.
Saturday :: 21 May 2005
I spent the afternoon cutting down some yew bushes and then digging and chopping out the stumps. Lilly and Maeve watched me from the window and laughed, cackled, screamed, and offered suggestions for quite some time. Around 4:00 we drove over to my friend Todd's house for his 40th birthday party. The girls charmed everyone and Lilly found plenty of crackers to snack on. After about an hour though, Lilly climbed into my lap and asked, "Is all we're gonna do at this party is sit around and talk?" When I pointed out that was generally the way grown-up parties worked, she retorted, "that's boring." The boredom vanished shortly when I let Lilly and Maeve sit on the edge of the pool and stick their toes in the water. This, of course, turned into a bit of kicking, which, in turn, escalated into clothes-soaking splashing. By the time Momma found us, the girls were shrieking with delight and we we all sopping wet. As the sun slid lower, Lilly and Maeve started to get cold so we packed up and hit the road.
Sunday :: 22 May 2005
I took the girls to the park so Momma could get some cleaning done. Our first attempt was a walk to the neighborhood playground. Within 10 minutes, Lilly announced that she had to go the bathroom, so we headed home. On the way, she decided that she didn't really have to go. At home though, I forced her to try, threatening that we wouldn't take the car to Fireman's park in DeForest if she didn't. After changing Maeve's diaper as well, we set out again. Lilly found a little friend to play with and Maeve amazed me with her independence. She clambered up the stairs, across the swinging bridge, and down the slide over and over (and over) again. She dragged me around the playground ("Poppa come") but wanted to do everything herself. I thought I was going to have to fight with one or both of them about leaving, but the mention of lunch sent them both scampering to the car.
Monday :: 23 May 2005
Lisa was frazzled when I got home from work. Apparently Maeve and Lilly had been fighting all afternoon. Lilly was unwilling to share and Maeve wanted everything Lilly had. I can understand some of Lilly's frustration. Maeve is very independent and headstrong. She wants to do everything herself and everything has to be hers. It takes forever to get out of the house in the morning because she insists on putting on her own shoes and coat, climbing the steps down to the garage, and then climbing up into her car seat in Momma's car.
Everything has to be just right and done by her. This afternoon when Maeve noticed that Momma had moved a couple of puzzles that she had been playing with earlier, she freaked out. She started screaming, ran to put them back the way she wanted them, turned to Lisa and said "Momma NO," and then hit Momma's leg. We both responded immediately in our sternest voices: "We DON'T hit." Maeve stopped cold and then slowly her mouth curled down into her shovel face and then she burst into tears. The other day when I picked up her vitamin to give to her, she threw a fit and then refused to take it.
On the bright side, Maeve can now pronounce her name correctly. It has gone from "Maisch" to "Maise" to, now, "Maeve." She continues to have other pronunciation issues though. For example, the other day we were trying to get her to say "car" instead of "har." Patiently I said "Maeve, say kuh - kuh - car." She looked at me and very carefully responded, "kuh - kuh - HAR."
Tuesday :: 24 May 2005
After daycare this afternoon Lilly informed us that she had "some exciting news:" another loose tooth. As if that wasn't enough excitement, she is bouncing off the walls in expectation of Nanny, Grandpa, Aunt Sandra, and Aidan arriving on Saturday.
Saturday :: 28 May 2005
Lilly was beside herself as we pulled into the airport parking lot. We didn't have long to wait for the NY crew and when they did arrive, Lilly alerted the entire airport with her shrieks of joy. She smothered Aidan and together they walked to baggage claim hand in hand. Maeve went right to Nanny and Grandpa but kept a wary eye on cousin Aidan, only two months her junior.
It was today that I started noticing Maeve referring to herself in the first person. Once she started, she didn't stop: "I run. I climb. I cough..." She's smart but she's headstrong and she's probably going to be the death of me. Maeve knows Lilly's name, but usually calls her sister ("shisha"). At lunch time we tried to get her to say Lilly. After a few tries, she looked at us, leaned forward and screamed, "NO. SHISHA!"
Sunday :: 29 May 2005
Aidan and Lilly are hopeless enthralled with each other and inseparable. Maeve, on the other hand, is not so enamored. She hasn't been outright hostile (except for the time she pushed him off her tricycle), but she's been keeping a close eye on him. Nanny took the girls shoe shopping (as is the custom) and I was surprised at how big Lilly's new sneakers were. Lisa explained simply: "Your daughter has big feet." Before Lilly left with the NY crew for swimming and a sleepover at their hotel, she informed that "today is the best day ever."
Monday :: 30 May 2005
With the help of neighbors and in-laws we took down a dead tree in the back yard. Lilly accompanied Nanny and Momma to Culvers to buy lunch for the work crew. She then helped clean up afterward and was her usual cheerful self. Suddenly the realization that Aidan was leaving took hold and a dark cloud settled over our merry princess. By the time we said our goodbyes and Nanny, Grandpa, Aidan, and Aunt Sandra left, she was bawling. As she got ready for bed, she was sobbing so hard that she could barely talk. "Today is not the best day ever. It's the saddest day ever." I tried to comfort her as much as I could, but eventually I had to leave her sobbing "Aidan. Aidan!"
Tuesday :: 31 May 2005
Lilly woke me up this morning to tell me that she "still misses Aidan." She was still throwing crying jags on and off when I picked her up from daycare in the afternoon.
Friday :: 03 June 2005
The impending arrival of her other cousins finally banished the sorrow over her missing Aidan. Aunt Beth, Uncle Tim, Sarah, and Adam didn't arrive until 6:30 p.m. but Lilly couldn't be contained in her bed once they were in the house. She was up very late laughing, giggling, and playing with her cousins despite the fact that she should have been asleep.
Saturday :: 04 June 2005
We went to the zoo this afternoon. Maeve chattered incessantly about "ani-mahls" for the entire car ride. Sarah and Maeve walked hand-in-hand for most of the time we were there. In contrast to Lilly at this age, Maeve is absolutely fearless when it comes to watching the animals. She yelled "ooh-ahh" at the "ookies" and clapped and barked at the seals. She eagerly fed the goats at the petting zoo and pressed her face right up to the otters' glass cage. When we took a break for ice cream, it became obvious that Lilly's loose tooth was going to be falling out any minute now.
When we got home, she asked for an apple and the first bite dislodged the tooth and we had to dig it of the apple's flesh. After bedtime, Lilly's excitement over the arrival of the tooth fairy turned to trepidation. She became quite frightened about the prospect of the tooth fairy coming into her room and going under her pillow. We finally settled on putting the tooth in a little box on her nightstand and I had to write a note for the tooth fairy explaining not to put remuneration under the child's pillow. As expected, everything went according to plan and Lilly woke up in the morning with a quarter (I know, I know, we're cheapskates) in the box.
Sunday :: 05 June 2005
Aunt Beth and family headed to Oshkosh to visit friends and Grandpa Hall and Auntie arrived to visit us. Maeve took straight to Auntie, showing her baby and all the accessories and activities that go with her. This surprised us because she's usually not very receptive to new people. Lilly was sweet and gave both Grandpa and Auntie genuine hugs.
Monday :: 06 June 2005
"Vacation" starts today. After work, we packed up the van and headed to the Dells. We found our secluded lake house in Lake Delton (actually on Blass Lake) and I tried to get the girls settled. Lilly and her cousins were thrilled with the house and the lake, immediately making plans to catch some frogs. Maeve squawked when we installed her in the Pack-n-Play and Lilly had a number of misgivings about sleeping in the bunk room with her cousins. I eventually got things settled down a bit and hit the road back home so I could go to work the next day.
Tuesday :: 07 June 2005
I arrived back in the Dells around 6:00, in time for dinner. Maeve did not want to go to sleep and stood screaming and hollering. I had quite a time trying to get Lilly settled down too. Seems the unfamiliar surroundings are not restful for the girls. Maeve was still screaming when we went to bed, so out of respect for the other residents, we brought her in bed with us, ensuring that we didn't get much sleep.
Wednesday :: 08 June 2005
Despite the restless night, everyone seemed bright and chipper in the morning. We packed up for a day at Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park. It was cloudy and chilly when we arrived so we opted for the indoor water park. Maeve enjoyed splashing in the kiddie pool and Lilly hit the kiddie slides. After half and hour of cajoling, I was able to convince Lilly to go on the huge tube slide. Half way down, she was already yelling to "do it again." I think she must have gone on it 15 times by the time we had to move on. After lunch, Lilly drove go-karts (how did she know exactly what to do?) and went on the kiddie coaster. Maeve was having a bit of a meltdown (lack of sleep, no doubt, coupled with a skinned knee), so Lisa took her home. The park was not busy so Adam, Sarah, and Lilly were able to run from one ride to another with no waits at all. Lilly and I rode a smallish wooden coaster called Pegasus. When I looked over at her during the ride, I saw a look of abject terror. As we pulled into the station though, she was all smiles and immediately asked to do it again. Finally, after seven hours at the park, we dragged ourselves home. Lilly was better about bedtime tonight but Maeve gave us a command performance of standing and screaming and not sleeping until we brought her into bed with us.
Thursday :: 09 June 2005
Lisa and Beth took Lilly and Sarah horseback riding this morning. Maeve and I spent the morning by the lake playing in the sand and giggling. Lilly enjoyed the ride, but she did ask Lisa if all they were going to do was sit on the horses and walk!?! Uncle Chris arrived this afternoon and in the evening, we all went out to eat. Maeve refused to sit in a high chair, so we tried a booster seat. No luck with that either. She did manage pretty well just on the bench though. Her dinner was pizza but she insisted on ketchup for dipping and when the pizza ran out, she used her fingers for ketchup transport.
Friday :: 10 June 2005
We went to a smaller waterpark this morning. Lilly hit the wave pool with Uncle Tim, Adam, and Sarah. Maeve dabbled a bit in the water, but was more interested in digging up the plantings in the picnic area. Once again, I had to convince Lilly to go on a slide with me. And once again, after the first ride, she couldn't get enough. It was pretty fun, so I didn't mind the 10 or 12 times we climbed the tower for the slide.
Later in the afternoon, Lilly and I took the little rowboat out on Blass Lake. We spied a heron or crane on the other side of the lake and tried to get a closer look. Suddenly, the sky clouded up and it got really dark. As the wind picked up, Lilly got scared. "Poppa. This was NOT a good idea." I headed for shore as quickly as possible, hoping that the heavens wouldn't open up on my trembling little girl. As soon as we landed, things cleared up (of course) and Lilly spent some time making sand "cookies" on the dock. Maeve's usual performance repeated itself again tonight.
Saturday :: 11 June 2005
Beth and Tim took their kids and Lilly to an amusement park this morning. In the afternoon, we all went to Mirror Lake State Park. The kids were going to play in the sand and while Adam and Sarah had their bathing suits, we hadn't brought suits for our girls. We instructed Lilly not to go in above her knees. By the time we left a few hours later, of course, Lilly was soaked. We went home so Lilly, Lisa, and Auntie could get cleaned up for Mass. When they left, Maeve screamed for 15 minutes straight. In fact, she was generally pretty disagreeable the entire time they were gone and this continued right through to bedtime. As we brought our screaming two-year-old to bed with us, we tried to take comfort in the fact that once we got home, everything would return to normal.
Sunday :: 12 June 2005
Back home; "vacation" is over. The biggest news upon our arrival was that Rain the tadpole's legs had grown considerably. At 3:00, we went over to Uncle Chris' house to welcome Liz home after her emergency back surgery. While Adam, Sarah, and Lilly ran amok in the back garden, we kept Maeve busy playing with our cell phones. This is normally a good strategy because we just turn them off and she pretends to call Nanny or whoever. In the space of a few minutes though, she managed to figure out how to turn them on and thought it was great sport, especially after we would take them away from her and turn them off. "I turn it on," she would say grinning from ear to ear. Our hopes of a normal bedtime were dashed tonight. Not only did she scream for hours, she would not lay down. Every time I would go to check on her, she would be standing slumped over the crib's guard rail, staring catatonically.
Monday :: 13 June 2005
Lilly started her new swimming lessons today. Lisa says that she could see improvement in just one session already. Maeve is still screaming and standing and we are stressing out. We are refusing to bring her in bed with us, but we are worried that she is going to hurt herself.
Wednesday :: 14 June 2005
Our tribulations with Maeve continue. She is scared of something and this is some new separation anxiety. She wants the light on at night and just screams and screams. It's wearing on us.
Thursday :: 16 June 2005
We put Maeve down prepared for the usual fits. No difference tonight. However, when I checked on her at around 9:00, she was sitting down with her legs between the slats of the cribs and she was sleeping. I lay her down and she woke up and flipped over, but then went right back to sleep. She was quiet all night, though when we got her in the morning she had been sitting up again (as evidenced by the marks on her legs and face). We are cautiously optimistic.
Sunday :: 19 May 2005
Father's Day was spent with my girls. We went to Pasqual's for breakfast, then across the street to Michael's for an early ice cream. Being Father's Day, my sundae was free. Of course, that meant that I had to purchase ice cream for my irrepressible offspring. Lilly got in a bit of a snit when she found out she had to share some of hers with Maeve but I pitched in with some of mine and peace was restored. After wiping our mugs, we strolled over to the park and watched the girls play. Maeve is absolutely unafraid of anyone or anything. She totally ignored her sister and did her own thing on the stairs and the slides.
Friday :: 24 May 2005
Long story: I fell Thursday night and spent all night in the ER. Happy ending: I'm OK and was even better when Lisa and the girls came to pick me up. Maeve kept pointing out the obvious: "Poppa has boo-boo," and wanting to give me hugs and kisses. Lilly was sort of freaked out; she couldn't bring herself to look at me and was awfully tearful. Just worried 'bout her Poppa...
Wednesday :: 29 May 2005
Maeve's new thing is jumping down stairs. Our little daredevil doesn't really care how high or hard they are, she just giggles and leaps into the breach. Afterwards she proudly proclaims: "I did it." She usually lands solidly and upright, but we always have to be on the ready. Today she was to quick for me and took a bit of a tumble on the concrete steps in front of daycare. I was able to break her fall but she ended up with some skinned knees. On the way home from daycare she was up to her antagonistic ricks with her poor sister. Maeve pointedly said "That's MY Poppa. Not YOUR Poppa." As expected, this statement sent Lilly into hysterics and they screamed back and forth all the way home.
Maeve is still sleeping sitting up. She sticks her legs through the slats of her crib and slumps her head forward. It can't be comfortable, but she sleeps like this all night, night after night.
Past diary entries: March-April 2005