Monday, April 30, 2018

teeth, tennis, and a tiny egg

On Friday, Mom came for a visit. Mae and I gave her a tour of the house, since it was completely empty last time she was in town! I feel like I am struggling to get house stuff done, but I know I've accomplished a lot in only a few months. I'll share some photos of our new place soon. I want to finish hanging curtains, light fixtures, and artwork to make it feel more like home and less like a project. We are also getting a new storm door, replacing the front door hardware, and dealing with termites! (Fun fun.)

Friday morning, we went to Mae's first dentist appointment! I wanted to get her started with appointments, since she now has all of her baby teeth; the last 2 molars have just broken the surface. I think Mae and I are both very glad to be done with teething for a while. The dentist "checked" her elbows, knees, and fingers so she could get used to his gloves and dental mirror before checking her teeth. Then she got a quick fluoride treatment, lots of stickers, and a giant sparkly bouncy ball. I was also pleased that the dentist recommended keeping her pacifier for another year so she doesn't substitute her thumb. That is going to be a challenging transition, so I am happy to delay it as long as possible.

After leaving the dentist, we played with the giant bouncy ball for a while in the little park across the street. Then we drove to a bigger park where Mae showed Grandma her climbing skills and slide technique. Jen and Anna joined us for a few more minutes of playtime after lunch. Then we went home for nap time.

Friday evening, Dan and I took advantage of Grandma's offer of babysitting and went downtown for dinner. Grandma and Mae had pizza for dinner and then spent the rest of the evening at the park.

Saturday, I made a last-minute decision to travel to Kelsey's senior day with her tennis team. I was so glad I was able to be there while she was recognized! While they were announcing her at the beginning of the match and listing off her many athletic and academic accomplishments, the girls behind me were whispering, "Kelsey is soooooo smart." I am a proud sister for sure!

We got back to my parents' house late Saturday evening and I drove home Sunday morning after a much needed night of sleep. Sunday afternoon was packed with housework, running, and church.

We have several busy weeks ahead, and lots of fun things planned. I am super anxious/excited about running my first marathon next weekend and hoping that I don't get injured or sick this week! I am also very excited for this little mama mourning dove who has nested in a dead plant on our front porch. I hope we have a tiny dove chick to admire in a couple weeks!!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

know your elmos

We've been talking about Muppets a lot recently. It's one way to keep Mae distracted during diaper changes, since each new diaper features a picture of a Sesame Street character or two. If you're not familiar with Sesame Street, Mae and I have created this helpful guide so you can learn the names of her favorite Muppets.

There you go! Mae's complete guide to the Elmos (er, Muppets). Her Elmo identification skill is pretty advanced, considering she has never actually watched Sesame Street. (We are more of a "Moana" household at the moment). We hope you learned a lot from our nifty chart!

Monday, April 9, 2018

the crib crew

Until Mae turned one, we followed all the rules about infant cribs: no blankets, no pillows, no bumpers, no stuffed animals. Nothing but a sheet and a baby. When she turned one, I cautiously added a lightweight knit blanket to the bed. Then a stuffed doggy. And then the bedtime roster really took off. Here's the current lineup.

1. Blankie: I poured my love into this handknit blanket, so she WILL sleep with it every night and like it, goshdarnit. Just kidding, it's so soft and cuddly how could she not love it? Every night we read two books and then I sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Hail Mary" while cradling her in my arms. I used to softly stroke her cheeks, but now she thinks it's hilarious to pet my face while I sing. Then we do 1 to 5 more rounds of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" (or "Up Above," as Mae calls it) before I lay her in the crib and tuck her in with this snuggly blanket.

2. Romy: The original member of the Crib Crew. This is the rag doll I pined for in Rome until Kelsey shoved money into my hand and made me buy it.

3. PJ: The beloved doggy stuffed animal from Aunt Colleen. If we travel anywhere, PJ and Romy MUST come with us.

4. Taco: Have you read the book "Dragons Love Tacos?" (I have... many, many times.) This skinny red dragon is featured throughout the book, and Mae has lovingly named him after his favorite food.

5. Bunny: A stuffed Peter Rabbit from Tim and David for Mae's Baptism. I'm sensing a bit of a literary theme here.

6. Moo: If you feel disappointed that you've gifted Mae a stuffed animal and don't see it featured here, this selection will prove that we really have no idea how baby brains develop their preferences. Mae received this little dalmatian in a gift bag from Isaac's birthday party and immediately deemed him crib-worthy, completely by-passing her usually tedious vetting process. Also, I could not convince Mae that he is actually a black and white spotted dog and not, in fact, a cow. She has only ever referred to this animal as Moo.

7. Honk: Apparently Beanie Babies are still a thing! This Canadian Goose was part of a Wawa-themed gift basket won by Dan's Aunt and Uncle and gifted to Mae at Christmas. Mae was very happy to receive "Honk." (I appreciate Mae's convention of using animal sounds as names. Much more creative than my stuffed animals "Cowie" and "Elephant").

Last, but decidedly NOT LEAST, in the Crib Crew, are "Blue" and "Pink," Mae's pacifiers. Blue is in her mouth and Pink is carelessly discarded next to Honk. I honestly don't know if the world would keep turning for Mae without these pacifiers. They are the first item requested at bed time, and the last item reluctantly relinquished in the morning. She insists on placing them carefully into a small box in her dresser for safekeeping.

I'd just like to note that everyone in this bunch (except a very lucky Taco and Peter) has survived multiple trips through the washing machine after the Great Stomach Bug incident of 2017. THANK GOODNESS.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

easter and retirement

Last weekend we celebrated not only Easter but also Dad's retirement! On Friday afternoon, Mom threw a little a retirement happy hour at a restaurant near his office. It was fun to be introduced to many of his coworkers that I have heard about but never met! His former manager Brendan gave a little speech, and then Dad thanked all the family members who were able to be there.

Mae and Oliver were entertained by the stash of goodies that Emily brought along in a little tote she calls the "Hermione Bag", for it's seemingly endless supply of activities (play doh, coloring, stickers, straws, felt books, etc). I think this photo captures all the emotions involved with Mae and Oliver's love/hate relationship.

I must share the amazing toast that Aunt Ruthann wrote for Dad's retirement. She didn't get a chance to read it at the party, but Mom read it out loud to Dad at dinner afterwards and we all loved how well it described him!

Let's raise a toast to Tim
On this, his retirement day
He has earned these future days off
With now more time to play

His family all love him
To this they'll attest
As husband, dad & grandpa
They'd award him "The Best!"

He loves to play games
Whether on boards or on courts
His golf swing is smooth
Tim is good at all sports

On the slopes he's a master
The tennis ball he'll kill
Whether bocce, pool or corn hole
He plays them all with skill.

He is friendly, smart & funny
He can pack a car trunk like a pro
He might not land a musky
But he makes a mean mojito.

He walks closely with our Lord above
As a Christian he does his part
He eulogized his father-in-law
With words straight from his heart.

And now on his Retirement Day
We all lift a glass to him
For 37 years with Lilly
We all salute you, Tim!

He's going to have a lot more time for tennis and mojitos now; although, I think his immediate calendar is going to be very full of house projects!

Saturday morning, I missed out on running with my group. We were scheduled to do 20 miles, but I planned to do 16 on my own. Kelsey joined me for the second half of my run and motivated me to finish all 20! Then I was pretty worthless the rest of the day. Saturday evening, we had a big Easter dinner. I managed to take only one photo, but at least it was this cute one of Henry, Libby, and Mae playing the piano.

For the most part, the adults had a nice time visiting while the kids played. This was mostly thanks to Dan, who entertained/policed the kids for a long time. Courtney got this photo of him moderating an important Baby Summit.

Sunday morning, Mae was thrilled to open her Easter basket. The biggest hit was a little motorized fan... and she hasn't even discovered that it's attached to a tube of mini M&Ms!

Before anyone asks... NO, I did not make Mae's Easter dress like I did last year. It's from Target, and it's ADORABLE!! Happy Easter!