I am happy to report that our first week with the responsibility chart and second family meeting have gone extremely well. It seems to be a great system for her. She loves positive reinforcement (I mean, who doesn't... but she REALLY likes it), and reminding her to choose a different behavior to keep the star on her chart worked perfectly. I have also shuffled things around in the kitchen in order to make her more independent, which has been great too. She loves being a 'big kid' now.
Maeve is growing up so fast... and its so fun to chat with her and find out what she's thinking. The thing that makes her the most happy are her friends, and her family falls in a close second. Ha. She's going to be trouble as she loves to be in cahoots with her buddies and dies laughing when her gaggle of friends are doing something together or being slightly naughty. Uh oh. Her expressions are hilarious these days too. Here are a few things that she's spouting these days:
"I know that already!" (No, she actually didn't...)
If I ask her a question, any question, she will often start her answers with "Of course [fill in the blank]"
"Do Princesses wear underwear??"
"I'm the leader!!" or "I said it first, right mom?!" Competitive, anyone?
"Now we need to go fancy or posh-like, mom" (Fancy Nancy is still a strong influence. Ha).
Never a dull moment and I'm loving all of it. I hesitate to say this, but she has become far more reasonable and rational now that she's a little bit older. I mean, we still have our moments, but far less. Yay for 4!
Last weekend we got the girls together for a fun play date at the local beach. I still can't believe how lucky Maeve and I are to have these two girls and their mom's in our life. The girls are within 4 months of each other, all born in Ethiopia, and we are all single mom's living within 5 miles of each other. On top of that.... they love each other! It really is so special. I think we got the last day of summer at the beach too... The weather is turning and I've decided to embrace it. I made a pumpkin pie on Sunday and wore boots yesterday. Fall is making a strong appearance...
I feel like we've gotten a lot of use out of this pirate costume this summer... This time, Maeve wouldn't "button" the front however, because then you wouldn't be able to see her dress. Ha. We met up with Brennan, Rosanne, and Brian for a little "Pirate Days", and it was almost like a prefunk for Halloween. They got a treasure map and received toys and candy from the local stores. It was a hit. And, little did we know that within 20 hours of these photos being taken, Rosanne would have her beautiful baby girl, Sienna. Arghhh! Congratulations :-)
This one here has decided she's afraid of witches. Fair enough. I'm not sure what the catalyst of this newfound fear was, but I've decided its a thorn in my side. Maeve kind of jokes about it and says she knows that witches aren't real, only imaginary, but I do see there is some hesitancy around it all -- thankfully its not terror, that would be aweful. The thorn is that she won't leave my side all day and wants to be in the same room with me at all times -- even to the point that when I took a shower this morning, she fashioned herself between the shower curtains and lay on the tub rim, waiting for me to finish. She won't head upstairs or downstairs by herself right now either. On top of it all, she's in a particularly affectionate phase at the moment. Really, super sweet, but without ever being further than an arms length away from her at the moment, I am feeling slightly smothered. Ha. Fortunately she goes to bed easily and will stay in her room upstairs... not sure why that's any different than the rest of the day, but I don't question good things. Go away witches and leave Maeve alone.
There's a big kid living in the house now, so there needs to be some accountability and responsibility, I've decided. So, we had our very first family meeting tonight. We took roll call, we made an agenda for a family goal with input from all, we initiated the reward chart, finally..., and a little person was given 10 tickets that each represent 1/2 hour of TV or iPad time that has to last the week. Today we took a trip to the local dollar store so Maeve could chose reward items, and she's very excited about earning them. I have taken the advice from a friend who mentioned that kids do better when they have earned the reward at the start, and then get stars taken away for poor choices, instead of the other way around. I'm brand spanking new at this whole thing, so I'm hoping it goes well. Maeve seems very excited about the whole thing... let's see if it lasts.
Ethiopia follows a different calendar and celebrated their new years today -- the year 2006. We are so lucky to have a large Ethiopian community locally and Maeve happily put on her Ethiopian dress and headed to the outdoor party to celebrate. She loved it. At this point she knows several kids pretty well, and any excuse to run around and then eat Ethiopian food is a good day for both of us. Maeve's good friend, Lucy, joined us... so the girls had fun together. As I look at the pictures I took, I realize that I didn't capture any to show the general happenings... there were a ton of people celebrating and most everyone was wearing their traditional outfits. So beautiful.
I wish I could articulate exactly how FUN this experience was. I mean, it was SO fun. Stacy had asked me earlier in the summer what I wanted to do for my 40th birthday and I thought about it for a moment and decided hang gliding. Yes, hang gliding. To which Stacy gulped and said, 'okay'. I had put her in a similar situation about 20 years ago when I was 20 or 21 (can't remember... I'm old), when I tried to get her to go sky diving with me. She said 'yes' initially, but when it came closer to the time and when she realized that I actually meant I wanted to go, she politely declined. SO.... she braved it and came this time. SO SO fun. I highly recommend it. Stacy would say so too. Jodie and Sharon came along as our cheering squad. I totally forgot to take a picture of the sign in the parking lot when you pull in that says "Ambulance Park Here". Ha ha ha.
Labor Day weekend was great -- it was very low key and mellow, but the weather was perfect and warmer than predicted. I hung out with all members of my family, north of the border, and also caught up with some old friends -- a mini high school reunion, if you will. Tilly was in town for just one more day before we flew back to NZ, so Shari was called out to join in on the fun, along with Ann and myself. We had an impromptu pool party at the house Tilly was squatting at (ha ha). Fun times...
I had to head north as Maeve spent the week before with all her relatives, getting spoiled, no doubt. Her daycare was closed and so everyone pitched in to help. I am extremely lucky and grateful that I have my family as a close resource. It seemed like the perfect way to wrap up the summer trips and activities in my hometown. I failed to photograph a family reunion on my stepdad's side... but it was fun to catch up with some people I hadn't seen in years. I was so exhausted by summer activities by that point, I just sat and ate instead. Ha.
Tilly and Ann
Here we are... Class of 1991
Maeve was playing in the hot tub...
We spent a day with Grandma and Grandpa and I said I wanted to go on an adventure... so we headed to Lynn Canyon. It was a little busy on the holiday weekend, but great to be out and hiking a little.
"I'm the leader!"
Watching the cliff divers...
We did a couple of loops in the park and then had a climb back to the top. We nearly lost a couple along the way. Ha.