Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fav's...

Current happenings....

Our favorite song these days is "Frosty the Snowman" (thank you Avery)... Ummm... I get stuck after the first verse, which is a problem because my daughter has obsessive compulsive tendencies and requires the song to be repeated and repeated and repeated... I need to sit down and just memorize the lyrics as my child is going to be made fun of -- because at this point I'm just making up the lyrics. Frosty is doing and saying things he's never done or said before... whatev.

Maeve's favorite book at the moment is "We're going on a Bear Hunt"... I do love how sensitive Maeve is to people and animals. This is a book that we read over and over and over again too. And recently, Maeve's become really sad at the end of the book because she thinks the bear is sad. She is so empathetic that she gives the bear a hug and kiss. Yesterday morning she started to cry with crocodile tears even. How sweet is that, (I think)? Except that I flash forward to teenage years and realize that I'm going to have an emotional one on my hands. But, don't worry... I made up an alternative ending so that she isn't as concerned about the bear's emotional well being now. Its good to start covering up real emotions from an early age, right?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bantu Knots...

Well, I branched out and tried a different hairstyle today. I'm excited that her hair is completely detangled and I know that this fact will remain largely true when I unravel the knots in a few days, but I'm not sure that I'm totally sold on this look. I think I just miss seeing her hair... Regardless, its staying in and she's still as beautiful and sassy as ever.


Sorry for the poor quality photos... my camera is sick so the iPhone is going to have to do for a while. Grrrr....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ahhhh....

I have got to say I am ready, with a capital 'R' for spring. I am done with this drab winter. So, how ecstatic was I to see the sun out and shining all day today. I thought I'd missed the nice weather this week due to a little thing called 'work'. It is forecasted to be solid rain for the next 9 days. But, mother nature threw us a bone and gave us one more excellent day. Ahhhhhhh....

The day started off questionably. Apparently 5:20am seemed like a perfectly good time to start the day for Maeve. Umm. Awesome, in not a good way. By 9am Maeve found herself back in her crib due to cranky behavior and had her first of 3 naps today. This well napped lil' girl became the happiest toddler in Seattle this afternoon. She was so so fun.

We get giddy when the sun is out so we packed in a whole lot of fun. After saying goodbye to Auntie Jodie and the girls (who had come down for a couple of nights and played with Maeve on Thursday), we headed to the lake for a run (nap #2), playground fun, and a bonafide picnic out on the grass for lunch with Amber, Amy, Avery, and Bennett. Post nap #3 found us dusting off the trike, meeting a bunch of our neighbors who have kids the same age as Maeve, and another play at the playground. We had a dance party at home and ended our night with a bunch of laughter and stories. Such a fun day.

I'm going to have to be forward thinking and not do puffs on bike days in the future... I could barely squash that helmet on Maeve's head...


Whaoo hooo... Slides!


Life is pretty awesome...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sheer Joy...

Great Auntie & Uncle Visit...

My Aunt Doreen and Uncle Johnny paid us a visit. We always love it when they come to stay... Maeve loves having visitors and was able to show off all her new talents since their visit last year. She also managed to get them to read a few stories as well. Thanks for a very relaxing visit Doreen and Johnny... Maeve loves her great Aunt and Uncle :-)

Maeve cooked us some breakfast this morning -- always the considerate host...


Great Auntie Doreen reading one of Maeve's current favorites...


High Fives...


I just think this photo is super cute...


Great Uncle Johnny walking Maeve to the park...


Snack time, with an audience, makes it way more fun...


There was some significant lounging on my part today :-)


Doreen and Johnny treated us to dinner out... so nice!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hunkered In...

If you read the post about yesterday, you'd understand why we didn't do anything today. It was so nice just to be.

Unfortunately, because I "just be" a little too often, I need to exercise. I aborted the plan to run outside today because it was windy. I want to work out, but I don't want to work out too hard... ha ha. So, Jillian made an appearance. Maeve's never met Jillian before because I typically bond with her while Maeve's sleeping. It was hilarious watching Maeve try to mimic the workout. It became counterproductive, however, when Maeve saw me lay down to do sit ups. She climbed onto me, lay her head back on my knees and put her feet under my chin. Ummm... not helping Maeve. Not helping.



Then, because we "exercised" we decided it would be a good idea to make cookies. This is a big step for me. I know my friends' toddlers are sort of capable of helping with baking, but Maeve isn't. She likes to fling things everywhere, she's at high risk for jumping down from the counter, and she wants to stick her hands in the kitchenaid when its operating. But, because I'm trying to give her the experiences she deserves, I persevered against all odds. I'm happy to say that both of us survived, all body parts are accounted for, and we have very edible cookies in house.


P.S. - Ignore the bed head that we didn't remedy until evening bath time... Lazy days mean we don't have to do hair...

Gong Show...

I think that's how I have to describe yesterday. Amy and I took Maeve and Bennett to a toddler fair. Being rookies to these types of things, it sounded really good on paper. I'm still glad we went, but it was pretty chaotic... Although all the games and activities were geared for toddlers, I forget that the concepts of lines, and only taking 3 shots at the basketball hoop, for example, would be lost on Maeve. That being said. Still fun. Where the gong show really started was at lunch. Innocently enough, Amy and I took the kids to Red Robin so that they could fill up their bellies and then crash into a coma-state en route home and nap peacefully for hours... ha ha ha ha. Lunch was a scene, to say the least. We left the waitress an awesome tip just because she had to deal with us. I lost it and barely recovered at the point when my diet coke was spilled across the table... I laughed so hard, I was crying. We left, with two toddlers and two balloons in tow...

Napping was sketchy on both parts but we regrouped later that day downtown -- this time with Amber and Avery on board too. A little shopping was done and then dinner out. What the hell were we thinking?! Two meals out in one day? Maeve won the award of crazy/wild child in the restaurant. Awesome. Super fun and relaxing. As I type this, my shoulders are rising just thinking about it. We survived, and I uncorked a bottle of red as soon as the wee one was snoring away upstairs.

Maeve and Bennett "fishing"...


Maeve trying to figure out what to do here... kick? I only know how to play basketball... Apparently we need to work on soccer.


Cupcakes were spotted early in the carnival experience. Thank the lord, Bennett won at the cakewalk as I'm not sure what the other option would've been for Maeve...


Yum!


Double Yum!


What's a carnival without face painting. Maeve immediately rubbed hers off as soon as it was on... Oh well.


And, second to the cupcakes, the highlight may have been when Maeve discovered mud puddles outside of the carnival...


A fire truck made an appearance to the carnival...


Dinner. I can see my need for wine when I look at this picture. Ha. Here we are showing off the strawberry cheesecake all 6 of us shared....

Friday, March 18, 2011

Whoa...

Slow down girl, you're growing up too fast. Maeve's vocabulary and word combinations have started to take off... She is talking up a storm these days, which gives her the opportunity to share her opinions more freely too. Ha.

She can count to 10 now, although she has taken the BNL song, 789, to heart as the number nine is often skipped...

We are working on colors -- green is still the answer of choice, but she now acknowledges that a different color in the spectrum could, in fact, be the correct answer...

And, shapes. She's just starting to figure out the shape cube -- She still needs frequent help, but the synapses are firing. And every time she get the shape right, an arm will rise and a "yay" will be exclaimed...

Circle.. circle.. I know its here somewhere...


"Yay" I got it! I'm awesome at this thing...


Seriously... give me something more challenging

Shiner

You should see the other guy...



Pancakes & Cookies...

Ahhh... Fridays. I do love Fridays. Pancake breakfast was held at my place this morning, and our regular crew was joined by Steph, Anna, and Peter. It was awesome, chaotic, and fun as always. Anna brought the kids a treat -- sprinkle cookies. Umm. Thanks Anna ;-) I will be the first one to admit that I am anal retentive about little kids and their food. I don't like it -- they're messy and put their sticky hands everywhere. But, because children need to eat, it must be contained within the established eating quarters. So, while some of the kids were still eating, the vacuum made an appearance to prevent sprinkle invasion. I may have a problem. But, I'm okay with it...

Happy campers...


Amy got a break and Amber was the designated story reader this time...


Steph and precious Peter...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Recent Babblings..

A certain someone has figured out my name and gets a kick out of calling me it from time to time...

"I don't want to" was first uttered this morning, and is off and running... this phrase is definitely a hit already.

Songs... she will start to sing songs on her own, sing along with songs, and basically mumble her way through parts she doesn't know... and I love it. When we're in the car, I turn the music to the back speakers so that I can better hear her vocal gifts :-)


Thursday, March 10, 2011

T.r.o.u.b.l.e...

...with a capital "T". Don't let this innocent face fool you...





This shows the real Maeve :-)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Changes in Ethiopian Adoption...

International adoption is unpredictable and tricky. You have two different countries and hundreds of different agencies helping facilitate the adoption of children. It would be great to think that all children could stay with their biological families -- of course that would be ideal. But, in a country like Ethiopia, they just don't have a governmental support system to make that happen, and therefore there are literally millions of children who need homes.

Unfortunately, because of some isolated circumstances of corrupt practices, there is a movement by the Ministry of Woman's Affairs in Ethiopia to drastically cut the number of adoptions by 90%. OF COURSE, it makes me sick to think of unethical adoptions, but unfortunately, it would seem, that the outliers are affecting all other ethical adoptions. This drop in adoption would drastically affect the lives of countless children -- children like Maeve.

The Joint Council has launched an emergency campaign for the children of Ethiopia. Please sign this petition today. You can read more about the proposed changes and emergency campaign on this blog.

Thank you for your response. And, thank you for forwarding on this important action.

Addendum: I feel like I need to state that I would be okay with the slowing down of adoptions to ensure that all checks are done, so that every adoption that takes place is ethical. I just hope that these investigations wouldn't cause such a radical decrease in the rate of adoption -- there are so many families ready and willing to adopt a child who truly needs a new home. International adoptions raise difficult issues and there are usually no quick and easy answers.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Now I Get It...

On Saturday, after participating in the Ethiopian Community Center's playgroup, I drove Maeve to the Wilson's so that she could have a sleepover, and I drove back down to the Beach House to have a girl's night sans children. I have been quite tired and had been looking forward to this break for weeks. I love my girlfriends and I think its so important to stay connected and have this type of time with them, but I have to say, I really really missed Maeve. I remember hearing people talk like this pre-Maeve, and essentially I would roll my eyes at their lack of release from their children. But, now I totally get it. I've had to leave Maeve overnight before, but its usually because I have to work, not because I want to relax... it felt weird. Anyway, don't get me wrong -- I wasn't sitting in the corner rocking back and forth -- I pushed through and had a great time. But, I did pick up Maeve earlier than I had planned today. I love that little girl...


I didn't miss having a toddler through the night and early morning, however. I couldn't sleep-in very well, but I "managed" to stay in bed dozing off and on for quite a while, just because I could :-) Who wouldn't, with a view like this from your bed?


Despite missing my girl, I never worried that she wasn't being totally and completely loved on the whole time that I was away. Annie kindly sent me plenty of photos and videos of all her happenings. Here is Abe being sandwiched by Dan and Maeve...


Maeve and her love affair with the Wilson boys... Eli.

Beach House!

After work on Thursday, Maeve and I drove down to the Beach House to join the gang for a few nights of leisure (a big thanks to Jeff and Janey for always being so generous to us and sharing their home). We always love staying there -- it is just so relaxing. The kids love it too because they get to head to the beach and explore. Throughout the weekend we managed to lounge, play games, watch movies, and have funny conversations... Thanks Amy, Amber, Leann, and Melanie for a great Beach Weekend (and Avery, Bennett, and Maeve, of course!)

Everyone geared up and ready for some serious exploration...


"Check it out... you can throw the sand in the water behind us!"


Now this is my kind of puddle for stompin'...


I love the beach!


A huge mouthful of sand...


...somehow this doesn't taste as good as it used to. Ha ha.


It was cold. I won the prize as Maeve was the first one to ask to go inside. Thank you Maeve. Brrr...


There were plenty of stories. Of course Amy was the favorite storyteller, as always.


Let me give you a hug -- aka a head lock


Maeve returning the favor...


Bennett, Avery, and Maeve. Friends...


Our fantastic view.


On Saturday, Maeve and I drove back into the city to attend the monthly Ethiopian Community Center play group for young children. I am just so excited that this is an option for Maeve, and myself. It is an opportunity to meet other Ethiopians and adoptive families. It is a time for the children to play, learn Ethiopian songs, do crafts, and eat Ethiopian food. And, I spent my time chatting to some new and old friends that I've met through the adoption process. I feel so fortunate that our city has this Ethiopian Community Center. Eventually, when Maeve gets older, she can attend the cultural class that is offered once a month, so that she can learn more about the amazing country she is from.