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Saturday, May 22, 2004
I had a Project Management seminar to go to this morning, so Jill was on her own for the soccer games.† Hilde played the entire game, mostly without holding on to Jill.

Maeve got hit in the face with the ball once.† She cried for a little while, but they she went right back in and played again.† Later in the day Jill explained to Maeve that if Maeve is the one kicking the ball, then it won't be hitting her in the face.† We'll see if that's enough motivation for Maeve to make sure she's always the one kicking it.

After I got home, I took Maeve and Hilde to Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins for playing so well in their soccer games, and for Hilde doing so well with the hearing test.† After we got the ice cream, I asked Hilde if she wanted to sit on the same side of the table that Maeve was sitting on, or if she wanted to sit by the window.† She chose by the window.† The guy at the next table drinking his coffee was impressed knew what she wanted.† I'm always giving Maeve and Hilde choices, so they are used to making decisions.

He also mentioned that they were well behaved.† Maeve has been very well behaved for as long as I can remember.† Hilde is just as good.

Then they did something that I'm pretty sure I never did with my siblings.† Hilde said, "Switch?"† They traded ice cream cones.† The guy said he had never seen kids do anything like that.† After a few licks the cones were traded back, but it was still very unusual that it happened at all.

Friday, May 21, 2004
We often joke with Maeve that she has no Rs.† She can pronounce them to some extent, but she definitely doesn't practice using them very much.† Other than that, Maeve developed her speech very early on, so I got spoiled by that.

Hilde doesn't seem to have Ss, Fs or THs.† Jill had asked someone with a Child Development degree when we should be concerned.† They said that when she gets a little older that we could have her hearing checked.† In some cases, if children can't hear certain frequencies, they never hear certain sounds, so they can never learn those sounds.

The Quota Club, the group that sponsors the Sign Language Story Hour, sponsored a free hearing screening.† Jill took Hilde.† Just like the last time that she took Maeve and Hilde to the Sign Language Story Hour, the ladies gushed over Maeve and Hilde.† The ladies called Maeve and Hilde by name as soon as they saw them.† There was even a poster with pictures of different Quota Club events.† Jill said that one of the pictures was the picture of me with Maeve and Hilde that had gotten in the newspaper.† They had cropped it so that it was just us.

The lady who signs the stories is also a speech pathologist.† She gave Hilde a hearing test, and Hilde was very cooperative.† Hilde had no problem hearing any of the frequencies.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
At dinner we were discussing how Jill is the only one that does not have blue eyes.  I usually claim responsibility for giving the children blue eyes.  In discussions like this, I say that all of Jill's chromosomes just let mine control most of the kids' traits.  This blue eye discussion particularly rankles Jill because she knows that she also contributed a blue eye chromosome, which she claims came from her father.  He had blue eyes, so Jill has a blue eye chromosome.  It just isn't dominant.

Tonight Jill decided to take her rebuttal up a notch.  She said, "Maeve, can you say, 'Mendel'?"  Maeve said "Mendel" without any problem.  Then Jill said, "Mendel's laws of genetics".  Maeve repeated it perfectly.

Monday, May 17, 2004
There was a patient on The Paramedic Show who had severe coronary artery occlusion.  Maeve knows that a "chest pain" patient is suspected of having a heart attack.  I got my pathophysiology book and showed Maeve and Hilde occluded arteries.  I also showed them the coronary arteries, and explained that depriving the heart of blood/oxygen can cause chest pain.

Maeve said that she wanted to pick a page to look at.  We went to the index and she pointed to "obstruction of urinary tract".  When I opened to the page, Maeve saw the diagram of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.  She said, "Kidneys!"  We established that urine comes out of kidneys.  Then Maeve said, "The peeps goes from the kidneys into the bladder.  The bladder is a bag inside you that holds the peeps until you go to the bathroom."

We should have her through the first year of college human anatomy and physiology by the time she's 8.

Saturday, May 15, 2004
Today Maeve and Hilde both had soccer games at the same time.  Jeanne also wanted me to help tear up the flooring in her kitchen and a bedroom to expose the hardwood floors.  She wanted to have someone buff the hardwood floors that were under the tile and carpeting.  I did some of that work, then went to the two soccer games.  After the games, we all went to Jeanne's for lunch.  I stayed behind and finished exposing the hardwood floors.

Friday, May 14, 2004
Jill was getting Maeve milk and root beer.  We call it "milk and beer".  Jill put the root beer in first (I always put it in last) and then put in the milk.  Maeve saw the last of the milk going in and told Jill to leave enough room for the root beer.  Jill said that she puts the root beer in first.  Maeve said, "Oh, Mom likes milk and beer, too."  Jill said that she didn't, and that she doesn't even drink much milk.  Maeve said, "Maybe that's why you aren't skinny.  Milk is good for you."  Jill explained the other ways that she got her calcium and vitamin D.

Thursday, May 13, 2004
Jill and Jeanne were complaining about the weather men who would be off by 10 or 20 degrees in the forecasts, or predict sun/rain and then have the other really happen.  Maeve said, "Maybe the weathermen got it right, but God changed his mind."

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
It's a running joke that I say Jill cooks the best dinners when Jeanne is coming over.† Tonight Jill was cooking something that was taking a lot of preparation time.† Maeve asked if Jeanne was coming over.  Jeanne wasn't coming.

Sunday, May 9, 2004
Marianne visited yesterday and today.  She brought some AED playing cards for Maeve and Hilde.  Marianne told Maeve that I probably wouldn't know what any of the cards had on them.  I played along.  On the card that shows "All Clear" just before a shock, there is a person laying down hooked to the AED, and another person kneeling with their arms in the air.  I said the person on the ground was Jill who was tired from coaching soccer, and the other person was Hilde waving her arms yelling, "Do some coaching, lady!"

Saturday, May 8, 2004
Today during Hilde's soccer game, Hilde just wanted to hang onto Jill's legs again.  Jill wanted some playing to go on, so she was leading Hilde around by the hand.  Jill kept dragging Hilde in front of the ball.  Hilde started to like that.  She wanted Jill to drag her in front of the ball again and told Jill, "I want to kick the ball again".

Friday, May 7, 2004
There is a new wing being built on Landmark Hospital in Woonsocket.  Maeve mentioned it for Jill, and said that it was a wing so her doctor could move closer to the hospital.  Jill said, "Is it just for kid doctors?"  Maeve said, "Mom, he's called a pe-di-a-tri-cian."  Maeve said it slowly so she wouldn't confuse Jill.

Thursday, May 6, 2004
New Hampshire and Rhode Island don't have motorcycle helmet laws.† When we lived in northern Massachusetts, we spent enough time in New Hampshire to see plenty of motorcyclists without helmets.† I told Maeve that I never ride without a helmet, leather jacket (yes, even in the summer), long pants and gloves.† I also almost always wear boots.† We say that motorcyclists without helmets aren't very smart.† Sometimes we even see motorcycle injuries on The Paramedic Show, and other times we just talk about what kinds of injuries sliding down the road at highway speeds without a leather jacket or running your head into anything without a helmet would do.

Tonight we stopped at CVS to get Mother's Day cards from the kids.† Just as we were getting out of the van, a guy came out of CVS wearing tennis shoes, shorts and a tank top.† He hopped on his sport bike and drove away.† I was glad that Maeve or Hilde didn't yell, "Look, Dad, that guy's not smart.† He should be wearing a helmet."† We did chat about it quietly.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004
For her birthday yesterday Maeve got some toy handtools.  She got two saws that have a part on the blade that moves, and make a noise that is supposed to be sawing.  Today Hilde was using one on their rocking horse.  She told Jill, "I'm sawing the horse's heiney off."

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 - Maeve's 5th birthday
We wanted to have a Mexican theme to Maeve's birthday.  It was going to be "The Cinco De Mayo for the Cinco De Maeve".  Maeve insisted her birthday was the 5th of May, because cinco is 5.  I had a hard time explaining why we were celebrating a day early.

Sunday, May 2, 2004
Maeve woke up with a nosebleed today.  It was well under control, but I got to talking about how the medical term was "epistaxis".  I said it was a good way to scare people, because everyone knows what a nosebleed is, but few people know what epistaxis is.  I said we could tell her Sunday School teacher that she had epistaxis, just to see what she would do.  I said another fun thing to do was to talk about eupnea.  First I said that tachypnea is breathing fast, and dyspnea is some difficulty breathing.  Eupnea is normal breathing, but almost no one uses that term.  We could tell her Sunday School teacher that she had eupnea all morning, but that her epistaxis had stopped.  Maeve didn't want to do that.  I'm pretty sure I would have ended up explaining the terms before they would keep a child "suffering" from those ailments in their class.

Saturday, May 1, 2004
Jill is the assistant coach for Maeve's soccer team.  This week was their third game.  Maeve's coach ran around on the field with the team, while Jill yelled instructions from the sideline.  The opposing coach walked up and down the sidelines yelling instructions.  His yelling was a lot louder.  He was almost hoarse because he was yelling so loudly and passionate, so he even sounded more like a coach. It was a lot easier to hear him, and he said things that you would expect a coach to say, like "Good D!" and "If the ball gets back here, kick it as hard as you can the other way."  The other team's goalies would also dive for the ball.  It looks very impressive, and they did a great job of preventing goals, but I told Hilde that it was also a good way to get kicked in the face.

Hilde and I couldn't hear Jill yelling from the other side of the field, especially over the yelling of the other coach.  I yelled, "Hey lady, do some coaching!"  Apparently Hilde liked that, and for the rest of the game, every so often, she would wave both arms and yell, "Do some coaching, lady!"  The people on our side of the field thought it was all very funny.

Maeve and I went to the convenience store between games.  A few parking spaces over, there was a pickup truck with several rolls of insulation.  It was Johns Manville insulation, so there was no pink color to give it away, and there were no pictures on the packaging.  Maeve said, "Look, Dad, insulation."  That was a proud Dad moment.  I told her she was right, and that most girls of any age wouldn't know what that was, and almost everyone her age wouldn't know what it was.

Thursday, April 29, 2004
Maeve has a habit of coming into our bedroom at night and making Jill switch beds with her.  Last night, Maeve and I fell asleep snuggling on the couch, and Jill fell asleep in Hilde's room.  Jill woke up and went to our bed, but she left us on the couch.  I got paged from work about 3 AM.  I picked up Maeve and she asked what I was doing.  I said, "We're moving to someplace more comfortable."  I put her in her bed and she said, "No, your bed..."  I said, "There's someone in my bed", referring to Jill.  Maeve said, "Kick her out."  Instead I snuggled with her in her bed until she fell asleep.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Jill, Maeve and Hilde went to Nanny's yesterday.  This time it was Hilde who tried to get rid of Jill as soon as they got there.  She said, "You don't have to go in.  You can just stay out here.  You can just drop us off."  It was OK for Maeve to stay.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Maeve and Hilde got temporary tattoos.  Jill pointed out that I was the only one without a tattoo.  She said maybe tattoos aren't a guy thing.

Saturday, April 24, 2004
Today were Maeve's and Hilde's second soccer games with the local league.† Jill came to this one, and Hilde just wanted to hang onto her legs.† Hilde wouldn't even practice with Maeve.† I pulled Hilde away and talked to her for a few minutes, and then she started practicing.  Jill couldn't figure out why I could get Hilde to practice and she couldn't.

We went to get me a haircut in between games, and of course Maeve and Hilde got their candy.

Maeve had a great time in her game.† She keeps getting better at kicking the ball and going after it.

Friday, April 23, 2004
Jill asked Maeve if she would like Jill to be a pastor.  Maeve thought about it for a few minutes and said she would like it, because then she could sit up front in church.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Hilde usually asks for "plain peanut butter in a bowl" for breakfast.  Jill wanted to buy some peanut butter without any hydrogenated oils.  She got natural peanut butter.  The bagger asked if natural peanut butter was supposed to separate like it was doing.  In the morning Hilde said it was "icky peanut butter".  Jill went and got her some non-natural peanut butter.

Saturday, April 17, 2004
Today were Maeve's and Hilde's first soccer games with the local league.  Hilde was supposed to be there at 8:30 AM to practice.  Maeve and Hilde usually prefer to stay up later at night and wake up later in the morning.  It's usually tough to get them ready to go to preschool on Tuesdays by 9 AM. I wasn't sure how easy it would be to have everyone ready in time.

Jill is the assistant coach of Hilde's team, but she had a church meeting, so I was her replacement.  I think I did a great job.  Hilde and Maeve practiced kicking the ball from one end of the field to the other before the game.  Hilde got bored a little before Maeve did, so Maeve ended up doing more practicing than Hilde.

I did notice that Hilde had her tongue hanging out a lot while practicing.  I said it looked like she was doing CPR.

Hilde seemed to have fun running around during the game.  At her age, there isn't too much fierce competition or practiced strategy going on during the game.

After Hilde's game we went to get groceries to make a picnic lunch, since Maeve was supposed to be early for her 1 PM game.  We planned a picnic lunch so we would be at the field 45 minutes before we had to be there, and wouldn't be late.  There was a petting zoo in the parking lot of the grocery store, so we visited that after getting our groceries.   There was one baby pygmy goat that Hilde was trying to get to come over to be pet, but the baby goat was not interested.  Hilde kept yelling, "Baby, come here!"  We also saw camels, ponies, chickens, more goats, a kangaroo, a zebra, and even two skunks!

Maeve and Hilde made their own sandwiches when we got home.  We also got water and chips, and left for the soccer field.

After lunch, Maeve started practicing with her team.  Maeve seems to be doing better than during practice on Thursday.  It looks like the practice that she did with Hilde in the morning was very helpful.   I'll be excited to see how much better she is after a whole season of this.

During the game, Maeve did a pretty good job of running after the ball, and didn't seem to have any problems getting right in the middle of a pack of people trying to move the ball around.  She even got to be the goalie at one point.

It was a cooler day, but it still got up to the upper 60s during Maeve's game, with lots of sunshine.  Maeve's coach said that she looked flushed and sent her over for some water.  Her head felt hot.  I gave her some water, and asked if I could take off the t-shirt under the team jersey.  Maeve insisted it stay.  Later, after Maeve went back into the game, I visited her while she was goalie because everyone was at the other end of the field.  I gave her some more water, and then poured a bunch on her chest and back to keep her cool, since she wouldn't let me take off the t-shirt.  After the game, I asked Maeve and Hilde if they wanted to play around with the soccer ball at the soccer field, or go home for more water before going to the park with swings.  Maeve said she wanted to go home first to change all of her clothes, because, "My underwear are soaked."  We would find out later that Maeve was not hot and flushed, but that she just had a mild sunburn on her cheeks.

Jill joined us at the park with the swings and the slides after her church meeting.  Maeve and I watched the skateboarders for a while.  There were about a dozen skateboarders, and Maeve asked why none of them were girls.  I said I didn't have a good answer, but that maybe too many parents tell their girls to play with dolls instead of sliding skateboards down railings and ramps, or the parents say that skateboarding isn't a girl thing (of course I said she could do anything she wanted to, whether people say something is a boy thing or not).  Maeve thought maybe girl skateboarders didn't think it was a nice enough day.  Jill thought maybe all of the girls were tired from winning their soccer games, and they would go to the park tomorrow.

Thursday, April 15, 2004
Today was Maeve's first soccer practice.† We knew that Maeve needed to know how to kick the ball, but they also practiced stopping the ball, passing the ball back and forth between two teammates, and kicking the ball between two cones.† Using the cones as a goal instead of a net was a little confusing, because we talked about kicking the ball into a net.

Hilde spent some time on the swings, but then Hilde also got some practice kicking a ball around.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Jill thinks she would prefer a peppy car to her large, sluggish minivan.† She says she misses having a manual transmission.† I think the seating and cargo space is nice, and the minivan doesn't seem very sluggish to me, though I have to agree with her about the transmission.† Still, it is something that Jill is exploring.† Today Jill asked Maeve what she thought of a particular car that they saw in the parking lot.† Maeve said, "We can't get a car to replace the van because it is not as easy to play in.† We need a van."

Sunday, April 11, 2004 - Easter
As part of their Easter candy, Jill got Maeve and Hilde a box of Jelly Belly jelly beans to share.  There were forty different flavors, and the lid had a map of what each different flavor was.

Maeve and I were downstairs and we heard something that sounded a lot like a bunch of jelly beans being dropped on the floor.  Maeve and I went upstairs to help collect them all.  Then I worked with Maeve and Hilde to sort them out and get them all back in their places.  Some of the flavors got mixed with others that looked very similar, but for the most part we got it all straightened out.  That was a fun hour and a half.

Saturday, April 10, 2004
I moved to a new cube on Wednesday, and I asked Maeve and Hilde to come to work to decorate my new cube.  I told them I needed some new drawings from them.  They also needed to see where everything was in my new cube, how to get to my cube, etc.

We stopped by my office for almost two hours today.  My new cube is away from the windows, and there are no lights near my cube that are always on, so it is much darker.  Maeve and Hilde found the pads of paper, pens, highlighters, etc.  By the time we were done, I had four drawings sprucing up my new area.

Saturday, April 3, 2004
Today I got to be a judge at the Rhode Island Robotics Design Project exhibition.† Jill took Maeve and Hilde to the Sign Language Story Hour.† Ever since the first time, when we got our pictures and names in the paper, everyone knows Maeve and Hilde by name.† When Jill walked in, the lady in charge started to explain how Jill needs to register the kids at the welcome table, and what happens during the story time, craft time and snack time.† Then she recognized Maeve (Hilde was wearing a hood that covered her head).† She said, "Maeve, where's your dad?"† Jill explained it then, but during the craft time Jill still had to hear several accounts about what a great job I do helping with crafts.† Apparently I have a lot of fans there.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Jill and Hilde were driving in the grocery store parking lot and someone drove diagonally through the empty spaces and crossed Jill's path.  Jill honked, and Hilde said, "What does he think he's doing?"

Sunday, March 28, 2004
We are thinking about getting the outside of the house painted.  I took Hilde and Maeve to Lowes for paint samples.  When we brought them home, Jill was showing Maeve what she liked and asking Maeve what her favorites were.  Maeve went in the breezeway and made her own paint samples.  She cut squares out of different colors of paper, and glued them onto another piece of paper.

Saturday, March 27, 2004
Yesterday Jill was grilling chicken in the backyard and she noticed three hawks flying around.  She mentioned how large they were, and said she hoped they wouldn't try to carry away our children.  Jill took the food in and I watched Maeve and Hilde in the backyard until Jill was all done preparing dinner.  Hilde went right in, but Maeve was dawdling.   I told her to hurry.  I reminded her about the bird that had flown in through the open sunroom door last year.  I said Mom and her bird phobia would have enough trouble with a bird like that.  If a large hawk flew in, it would be very bad.

Maeve said she has a book about birds that says hawks are good with kids.  That sounded a lot like the dog book that we have which shows which breeds are good with kids.

Maeve said that to have a hawk as a pet, "you need to be two and a half, and four and a half, and that's what we have".

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Maeve and Jill were playing "I Spy".  Maeve said, "I spy, with my little eye, something grey."  Jill looked around and didn't see anything grey.  She asked Maeve who is was close to.  Maeve was giggling, and said it was close to Jill.  Finally Jill gave up and asked what it was.  Maeve said it was Jill's grey hair.  Jill had told Maeve that she gets her hair colored to hide her grey hair.

Sunday, March 21, 2004 - Ivy's Baptism Trip To Texas
After the vineyard tour we came home to change for the baptism.† Jill changed into the fancy clothes that she had, but she said she didn't feel comfortable in them.† I mentioned to a number of people that I looked better than my wife because of that.† I know there won't be many opportunities for me to look better than Jill, so I took advantage of that.

Saturday, March 20, 2004 - Ivy's Baptism Trip To Texas
We left for Texas today for Ivy's baptism.† Jill asked what Maeve wanted as a gift from Texas.† Jill suggested a house, after we get me a job there.† Maeve was very insistent and said, "I get to pick the house."

Friday, March 19, 2004
Tonight after their tub, I put Hilde in the living room watching Paramedics on the Discovery Health channel.† While I went to get Maeve out of the tub, Jill sat with Hilde.† At the beginning of each call there is a quick written description of the call on the screen and Maeve and Hilde ask what happened.† Tonight, Jill was sitting with Hilde when the commercial ended and Hilde asked what happened.† It was in the middle of a call, so Jill just said, "I don't know.† It looks like that woman's heart has stopped."† Hilde said, "No, Mom.† They are doing CPR."

Ever since Maeve and Hilde went through their CPR training with Marianne and got their bag valve mask, they love to point out when they see one in use with a patient.

Thursday, March 18, 2004
Jill, Maeve and Hilde went to a pet store called The Dog House today to look at dogs.  They ended up being a little pricey, and Jill said they would have to come back with me to try to convince me that we needed to spend a lot of money on a dog.  Maeve's favorite was a chihuahua.  She said, "I like the little blonde one."

Monday, March 15, 2004
We got the pictures back of Maeve and Hilde learning CPR.  I mentioned that Maeve and Hilde had their tongues hanging out a lot.  Of the 40 pictures we took, there were 31 where you could see their faces.  In 19 of those, at least one of them had their tongue hanging out.  I said we would have to pay attention when we watch the paramedic show to see if those paramedics have their tongues hanging out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Maeve and I were watching the Crocodile Hunter and we saw Steve visiting lemurs in a zoo.  Maeve asked why they are called lemurs.  I said I didn't know why any animal is called what it's called.  "Why is a cat called a cat, or a dog called a dog?"  Maeve said, "Maybe they call them lemurs because they do a lot of leaming."  I asked what leaming was, because I had never heard of it.  Maeve said, "It's a kind of jumping and swinging."

Monday, March 8, 2004
Today Hilde was comforting one of her babies, and using the bag-valve-mask (BVM) that we got yesterday.  She would stroke her baby, rock it and coo to it.  Then she would give it a few breaths with the BVM.  Then she would go back to stroking, rocking and cooing.  Then it was back to the BVM.  We'll see if she keeps that up until she has kids of her own.

Sunday, March 7, 2004
Marianne brought over the CPR mannequins so I could recertify and meet the last of the requirements for my paramedic recertification.† Maeve helped four years ago.† This year Maeve and Hilde both helped.† We had Junior and the baby.† We started with a bag-valve-mask (BVM).† Maeve or Hilde would hold the mask on the mannequin's face, and the other would squeeze the bag.† Marianne asked if she could teach Maeve and Hilde to bag correctly, why couldn't she teach some of her EMTs to do it correctly.† Maeve and Hilde got some of their large dolls and practiced bagging them.† Marianne also taught them to perform chest compressions.† By the time she was finished, she had one doing chest compressions while the other bagged - true two-man CPR!† When we were all done, Marianne said we could keep a child BVM because she had extras.

Friday, March 5, 2004
Maeve saw pictures of her first New Year's eve where we posed her with a bottle of wine.† She asked Jill why she can't drink wine now if she was able to drink wine then.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004
Jill had to deal with a mutiny today.† Maeve said she wanted the thin crayons that were on the top shelf.† They are not washable, so Jill said Maeve had to use the crayons on the table.† When Jill went into the living room she heard Maeve saying, "I think she should change the rules.† We don't have to listen to her.  If she won't change the rules, we will say G H D B N instead of A B C D E.† If she won't change the rules, we won't eat dinner..."

Hilde came running into the living room and said to Jill, "You aren't a nice lady."

Thursday, February 26, 2004
Maeve usually ends up sleeping in my bed.† Usually she kicks Jill out, but sometimes she is in my spot if I come to bed too late.

Jill was driving around with Maeve and Hilde and Maeve said she wanted a bigger house.† Then she wouldn't have to share a bed with me when she comes in at night and kicks Jill out.† I could get my own room so Jill and I wouldn't have to share dressers and get confused about whose stuff is in which drawer.† It would also let me get more clothes.

Hilde said, "No bigger house."

Sunday, February 22, 2004
Today I heard Maeve crying in the living room and I went to see what the problem was.  She and Hilde were both laying on the floor, and Maeve said that Hilde had rolled her onto a video tape, and that had hurt Maeve.  I said I didn't think that Hilde could do that because Maeve is her bigger sister.  I asked Hilde to lay still and asked Maeve to roll Hilde over.  Maeve couldn't do it.  I asked Maeve how Hilde could have rolled Maeve over if Maeve couldn't roll Hilde, and Maeve is Hilde's older sister.  Maeve claimed that Hilde was stronger.  I asked how her younger sister could be stronger than her.  She said Hilde eats more than she does, and that makes Hilde stronger.

Friday, February 20, 2004
I hear that old gasoline will gum up an engine, so my plan with the motorcycle and car in the garage is to drain the gas and replace it with fresh gas before trying to get them running again.  They have both been sitting for about two years.  The best way I could think of to dispose of the old gas once I got it out of the vehicles was to just burn it off.  I filled a bucket with gas from the motorcycle, put it in the backyard and started it on fire.  I put it close to the house so the neighbors wouldn't see a flaming bucket of gas and start asking questions, or call the fire department, or whatever.  Then I thought it was a little too close to the house, and it should be further away from the house, even if the neighbors would see it.  Rather than move it while it was still on fire and risk having a flaming river of gas going into and around my house, I tried to put a pan over the bucket.  The bucket had a handle, so the top wasn't flat, and the pan didn't smother the fire.  I ended up getting a pie tin about the size of the bucket opening, putting on my firefighter gloves, and putting the pie tin in the bucket.  That put it out.

Jill took Maeve to gymnastics practice.  When they left, the fire was still going near the house and I hadn't yet come up with the idea of the pie tin.  Jill said, "Your dad is so silly.  What are we going to do with him?"  Maeve said they could put me out with the trash.  Apparently Jill asks this question often, and the trash idea is one of Maeve's favorite responses.  Jill asked if Maeve thought the trash men would take me.  Maeve said, "Why wouldn't they take him if he's dead?"

Jill explained that she didn't want to kill me.  She just wanted me to go away with the trash men.  She then asked Maeve if maybe they could just give me away to someone else.  Maeve thought that might work.  Jill asked if they would have to tell the recipients just how silly I am.  Maeve said, "OH NO!  Then they wouldn't take him."

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Jill was driving around Woonsocket and saw a Woonsocket Call truck.  She pointed out the newspaper truck and asked what Maeve and Hilde thought was in the newspaper today.  Maeve said, "Today in Woonsocket, there were some guys working in a deep ditch with very sandy dirt.  They didn't have anything to hold up the sides, and it caved in.  Three guys were stuck, and their friends tried to dig them out.  The rescue guys brought strong boards to hold up the sides.  When they got out, the helicopter flew them to the hospital."  Jill said, "What have you been watching with your father?" 

It sounds a lot like an episode of Critical Rescue, where four guys were laying pipe in a 12-ft deep trench in Florida.  When it collapsed, one was on top of the dirt and was able to get out with just a broken ankle.  The other three were buried, and over 70 rescuers were involved in getting them out.

Monday, February 16, 2004
Jill has some problem with me doing my own eletrical wiring.† She keeps telling me about a bumper sticker she saw that said, "Wiring is not a hobby".† I think it's a great hobby, as long as you do it right.† I have every connection in a box, I staple the wires where they need to be stapled, I usually use wire that's at least one size larger than the minimum for the load, etc.† I don't leave live wire ends exposed, I don't work on anything without both shutting off the circuit breaker AND testing it with a multimeter to make sure it's not live, etc.

We are taking a class at Home Depot on refinishing your basement.† The instructor said there was no need to get an electrician to do the wiring, and told us some of the rules to follow.† Given that information, I had Maeve ask Jill if she was going to do some wiring in the basement.† Jill wanted to say that she wouldn't, and that wiring is not a hobby, but she didn't have any good reason to say that after the instructor said we could.† That was fun to watch.

Sunday, February 15, 2004
This afternoon we came home from our weekend trip.  Jeanne's plan "to turn them" didn't seem to have worked.  There had been talk of putting up the tent to sleep in, but the tent was not used.  When Hilde saw us, she ran right to us, and pretty much ignored Jeanne until she left.

About the only thing Jeanne did accomplish was adding "fruitloop" to Maeve's and Hilde's vocabulary.  Now Jeanne is the "fruitloop wacko" and I am the "silly fruitloop".

Thursday, February 12, 2004
Today Jill, Maeve and Hilde came for lunch.  Jeanne ate with us, and Hilde spent lots of her time saying, "Go away, wacko!"  Jeanne is going to watch Maeve and Hilde this weekend, and she says she has all weekend "to turn them".  I told her that Jill has had years, and they are still Dad's "sturdy girls".

Sunday, February 8, 2004
Lately I've heard Maeve and Hilde calling Jeanne a "wacko", even though they have told me in the past that Jeanne was definitely not a wacko.

Jill and I are planning to spend a weekend away for Valentine's day this coming weekend.  This will be the first time that Jill and I have spent time away alone since Maeve was born.  Today we were talking to Maeve and Hilde more about how Jeanne was going to stay with them.  When we first said that we were going away, Hilde was saying, "Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, ..." like she says, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, ..." when she wants to go to sleep with Jill and Jill is out.  Jill reassured her that Jeanne would be staying with them.  Hilde said, "Go away, Wacko".

Friday, January 30, 2004
Last night we were watching Paramedics on the Discovery Health channel.† Most nights at 7 PM we watch at least part of the show.† We recently saw two episodes that we hadn't seen, but most of them are repeats.† One patient was a four year old boy who had just been discharged from the hospital after bilateral hip surgery.†† He was having trouble breathing.† I asked Maeve if she remembered that part.† She said, "He's the one who spit up blood."† I remembered the cast and his difficulty breathing, but sure enough, before he got to the hospital he spit up a lot of blood.

Today at work I mentioned how nice it is to be able to share that with my kids, and be able to hopefully make all kinds of medical conditions and procedures more familiar, so they won't be so scary or confusing.† Maeve's first choice of shows to watch without me are cartoons like Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, Arthur, Angelina Ballerina, etc.† If she's watching with me, her first choice is the "doctor channel", and then Animal Planet.† The people to whom I was speaking said they would have problems not getting sick to their stomachs watching Paramedics, much less have their kids not have issues.† Jill is sometimes bothered by some more graphic scenes, but Maeve and Hilde have never seemed to mind.

While we are watching, I explain what's happening in a clinical way, and explain why the paramedics have to do what they are doing to help the patients.† Even for scary situations, I try to explain it in a matter-of-fact way, and explain what needs to happen to correct the problems.† It would be nice if Maeve and Hilde would feel empowered to think through problems logically and take effective corrective actions, instead of going right to worthless panicking or running around screaming like most people.† It's along the same lines as "crying doesn't get you anything".† Panicking doesn't get you anything, either.

I asked Maeve tonight if she thought it was scary.† I pointed out that it is scary for a lot of the patients, and some people get scared when they watch the show.† Maeve said she didn't think it was scary.† I believe her.† Hopefully I won't find out later that it was a really bad idea to start watching this with her and Hilde when they were two years old, but right now, it looks like it's going well.† If the mechanical engineering career doesn't work out for them, they will always have this medical stuff to fall back on.

Sunday, January 25, 2004
We went to a hockey game tonight between the CVS AllStar Hockey Team and the Boston Bruin Legends.  The best we could figure was that there were a number of former Boston Bruin players, and some other older gentlemen who liked to play hockey.

There was one "referee" who was trying to be funny.  He would pretend to skate right into the boards and hurt his face.  At one point, a player threw down his gloves and started to fight with the referee.  Later the referee had a hockey stick that looked like it went through his abdomen, like a trick arrow through the head.  He also came out with a toilet seat strapped to his backside.

The final score was 10-13.  My guess would be that they didn't have former Boston Bruins playing the goalie position.  That seems like a pretty high score.

We asked Maeve after the game if she wanted to learn to play hockey.  She said she didn't, because they wear toilet seats on their backsides.  We explained that he was a little different.  We also said that if she was going to live in New England and not have Rs, that she would have to learn to play hockey.

Friday, January 16, 2004
We have been having some very cold weather here.  It has gotten down to -10 at night.  With the 15 MPH winds, the weathermen said there hasn't been weather this cold here since Christmas day, 1980.

With people using electricity for some of their heat, there were calls for energy conservation today.  I was going around the house turning out the extra lights.  Maeve got her exasperated tone and said, "Dad, we still need to see."

When it is this cold, it's hard for kids to go outside and stay warm.  They either have to put on so many clothes that they can't move, or they end up with cold toes, fingers and faces.  This is making me think that moving to Canada might not be such a good idea.  Maeve likes Texas, but I think that might be going a little too far the other way.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Iíve had a runny nose for about two weeks.  Over the weekend Hilde and I started having gunky eyes.  Hilde went to the doctor yesterday and got diagnosed with conjunctivitis and a probable sinus infection.  She got two prescriptions.  I called my doctor and got similar prescriptions for me.

Today Maeve went to preschool and Hilde stayed home sick with me.  We watched an Animal Planet show about a man who has a large crocodile as a pet.  I tried to convince Hilde that a crocodile was a better pet than a cat.  I donít think she was convinced, but at least I laid the groundwork for future discussion.  I tried to rest on the couch, but she kept having me read her books while she sat on my stomach.  We played with Play-doh and played with her doll house.

Until now Hilde has been very resistant to taking any medicine.  She would cover her mouth and struggle when we tried to give any to her.  With her new medicine, she has been entirely different.  Jill fills up a special medicine measuring spoon and Hilde has been taking it herself.  With the eye ointment, Jill was applying it.  Now Hilde does that, too.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Nanny doesn't have mail service on her road, so she has a post office box.† Jill went to get her mail on Monday when they visited, but she accidentally kept the keys.† Jill was talking to Maeve about it today.† Jill said she should mail the keys back to Nanny.† Clever Maeve said, "If you mail the keys to her post office box, how will she get them?"

Thursday, January 1, 2004 - New Year's Day
We went to Marianne's today with Jeanne.  Yesterday I had put the plugs in the pool return lines.  I had to stick my hand in the water and tighten the bolt.  I told Maeve that the cold water made my hand hurt and she asked why.  I didn't know, but I said that Marianne would probably know.  We asked and she said it was because the cold water causes the blood vessels to constrict, and that cuts off the blood/oxygen supply to the nerve endings.  When the nerves get hypoxic, there is a sensation of pain.

Monday, December 29, 2003
Maeve has some small red dots around her eyes yesterday.  Some training in my past made the term "petechiae" come to my mind when I saw them.  Last night I didn't do too well finding a picture of petechiae in the books I had.  Today Jill called, said the dots were still there and asked if I was concerned.  I searched online and found, "Rarely, but not uncommonly, children can develop petechiae in a periorbital and sometimes superior vena caval distribution following bouts of vigorous coughing or vomiting."  We had noticed them the morning after Maeve vomited, and they were only around her eyes.

Of course, petechiae are also associated with meningitis.  Maeve has had a fever (and a cold), but has not demonstrated any other symptoms, such as chills, sore throat, headache, malaise, aches, neck stiffness, more generalized petechiae, or progression to purpura.

The final word was had by Maeve.  Jill consulted with Maeve, asking, "Do you think you have meningitis?"  Maeve said no.

Sunday, December 28, 2003
I had some work to do on the computer.  Jill asked me to come up in 20 minutes.  It was a little closer to an hour and a half when I came up.  She accused me of having gotten sucked into the computer.  Hilde heard that and said, "Dad got sucked into the computer?"  Jill had to explain exactly what she meant.

Friday, December 26, 2003
I signed Maeve up for the Philip Morris USA Youth Smoking Prevention mailing list.  I was reading the newsletter to her and it said, "Studies have shown that kids whose friends smoke are nine times more likely to try smoking than kids whose friends don't."  I asked Maeve, "Do any of your friends smoke?"  She said they didn't, and I explained how that made her less likely to smoke.  Hopefully that will last.

Thursday, December 25, 2003 - Christmas
This year it was just our family for Christmas.  After dinner we went to the LaSalette Shrine to see the lights.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - Christmas Eve
We went early to the Christmas Eve service at church, because it usually gets overfilled.  We arrived early enough to get a seat right up front, and Hilde got a short nap before the service.

Maeve was sitting next to me, and I let her hold her own candle.  Later Jill said she thought Maeve was too young, but it worked out just fine.  Maeve did everything just like I had explained it to her.  She tipped her unlit candle into my lit candle, and then held hers straight up and away from any flammable clothing or hair.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
The annual showing of "A Year Without Santa Claus" came and Jill said to Maeve, "Oh, that's so sad, to have a year without Santa Claus."  Maeve replied, "It's a good thing he's not real."

Monday, December 22, 2003
Maeve and Jill were discussing amniotic fluid today.  We recently started getting the Discovery Health channel again, so we had seen some baby deliveries in the last few days.  Maeve said the amniotic fluid "looked like boogies".  I got a couple books and we looked it up.  One book also had a good diagram of amniocentesis, so we talked about that.  I like having a four-year-old who is asking questions that most people twice her age don't even have enough knowledge to consider, and eagerly listening to the answers.

Sunday, December 21, 2003
Hilde got a petticoat to go with a Christmas dress that Jill bought.  When she put it on, it was so white and billowy that I said she looked like a ghost.  I asked her to put her hands in the air and moan like a ghost.  She was pretty convincing.  She ran through the house making ghost noises, and then game over to poke me.  I was screaming, "Get away from me ghost!  Help!  A ghost is after me!"

Saturday, December 20, 2003
We went out to a buffet dinner tonight.  I said I was tired, and that Maeve had no yogurt to put in my pockets if I fell asleep at the table.  She said she would use her watermelon.  I said that I would just wait until she finished her watermelon.  She leaned over and whispered, "Then I'll just ask Mom to get more."

Friday, December 19, 2003
Jill wanted to clean out the playroom a little, but Maeve and Hilde always complain when Jill suggests giving away toys they haven't even seen in months.

I said I could send Maeve to her room "to hide" while Hilde and I wrapped Maeve's presents in my room.  Then we should send Hilde to her room "to hide" while Maeve and I wrapped Hilde's presents.  That would give Jill time alone to clean the playroom.

Jill said it would ruin the story that Mom and Dad get the presents from Santa.  I asked Maeve if Santa was real.  She said, "No".  I told Jill that ruining the story wasn't going to be an issue.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Today Maeve was dramatically groaning and saying, "Oh, Dad!" when I said something silly.  I said she sounded like a camel, and that Hilde and I should ride her to preschool.  She groaned again and I had another chance to say that she sounded like a camel.  I felt her back and asked if she knew what that was called.  She didn't, so I said it was her hump.

Thursday, December 11, 2003 - Maeve's preschool presentation
Today was Maeve's preschool Christmas presentation.  We were talking about Santa showing up.  She said he always comes in the backdoor.  I asked why he sneaks in the backdoor instead of going in the front door.  She said that even though he was just a guy in a costume (and not really Santa) that he parks his sleigh and reindeer in the woods.  That way the reindeer can go potty if they have to.

Friday, December 5, 2003 - DC Vacation
We checked out this morning and stopped at Tyson's Corner on the way to Shirley's house in Leesburg.  Jill wanted to visit a few stores and see the Christmas decorations.

We had lunch at Shirley's house and I got a short nap, until three children woke me up.  We were going to leave for home about 9 PM, but since I was up I thought we should leave then.  Even with rush hour traffic and the start of a large snow storm, we still averaged 50 MPH around DC and through Baltimore.  We stopped when we were almost in Delaware for dinner.  After that there was a lot of snow on the roads in New Jersey and half of Connecticut.  Rhode Island was well plowed, but we got stuck behind a line of plows going 25 MPH that wouldn't let anyone pass.  We averaged only 40 MPH from dinner to home.  The snow kept falling, though, so it is probably a good thing that we left when we left.  As it was, it took 11.5 hours to get home.  If we had waited for more snow to fall it probably would have been worse.  Rhode Island was the only place that looked like they were clearing the snow well.  We never went sideways and didn't slide off the road.  We had 18 inches at home by the time the snowfall stopped.

Thursday, December 4, 2003 - DC Vacation
Jill wanted to walk around Old Town Alexandria today, so I took the kids to DC.  We had some popcorn left from the night before, so we took it to feed pigeons or something.  We ended up finding a pond with pigeons, seagulls, ducks, geese, and even a few squirrels.

We went on a quick stroller tour of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial and the Korean War Memorial.  On the way back to the museums we stopped by the National Christmas Tree.  The preparations were going on for the lighting later that night by the President, so we couldn't get in the fenced area to get up close to the trees.  We did see some model trains running around the base of the tree, and we saw a few state trees.

Our first museum was the Natural History Museum.  Since I had already done a lot of walking while Maeve and Hilde rode in the stroller, I said I was tired and might take a nap at the lunch table.  Maeve said that if I did that, she would put bread crumbs in my pockets because Jill hadn't packed any yogurt for lunch.

We finished the day by going through the American History Museum.  We left as they were closing the museum at 5:30.  It was dark, cold and little drizzly by the time we got out, but we had a very productive day.

As Hilde had done every other day that we went to DC, she fell asleep in the stroller on the way to the Metro station.  She slept all the way back on the Metro, back to the room, and even slept for another hour in the bedroom.  Jill and I were surprised that she would sleep through all of that noise.

Wednesday, December 3, 2003 - DC Vacation
Today we started at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.  Jill and the kids went in while I tried to find a handicap entrance for the stroller.  That looked like a bother because of the extra security, so I folded up the stroller and went through the revolving door.  I took the elevator whenever we changed floors, and I mentioned that the kids kept using the escalator with Jill.  She said she was curious to see the kids, but it wouldn't have been the first time that she would have seen something as strange as a guy pushing around a stroller without even having any kids.

We walked a few blocks to Pop's office and had lunch with him.  After he invited us up to his office.  To get into the DOT build, we had to go through the most thorough security inspection that Jill or I had ever been through.  The guy had us unpack the lunch leftovers, unwrap food in aluminum foil, demonstrate that the camera and flash worked, etc.

We finished the day by going through the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building.  Jill got some souvenirs from the gift shop, and they had a display of gingerbread houses.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003 - DC Vacation
We went to Chinatown and the Zoo today.† We stopped for a picture and a snack in Chinatown because we had to switch subway trains then anyway.† It was a little cold, and windy, so we were quick.

At the zoo we saw a sloth bear that Jill said looked "like Grandma napping on the couch."† Maeve and Hilde agreed.

On one large downhill sidewalk, Jill said she would let go of the stroller, and Maeve and Hilde would have to lean to steer the stroller, just like a luge ride.† Maeve said, "OK!", but Hilde had a definite "NO!".

When Jill was on her little vacation, Maeve and I saw a documentary about the 1982 Air Florida flight 90 crash into the 14th Street Bridge in Washington DC, and then into the Potomac River.† Of the 79 people on the plane, only five survived.† Four motorists on the bridge were also killed.

I lived in Northern Virginia when that crash occurred.† I remembered that planes taking off have to make a hard left turn immediately after takeoff to avoid the Washington Monument and the White House.† There were also reasons for the pilot to have done more deicing or rejected the takeoff.† Pilot error was a huge part of that crash.† Still, having to make a hard left on takeoff made it even more difficult to avoid a crash due to the extra weight and drag of the ice on the wings, and the slower air speed caused by that.† What I remember most was a comparison of Washington National Airport and Dulles Airport; the distance from the start of the runway to the point of impact in the Potomac River was shorter than the length of the runway at Dulles.† If the plane has been taking off from Dulles, they would have still been on or over the runway after traveling the distance the Air Florida plane traveled before crashing into the Potomac River.† The pilots would have had that much more time to either get enough speed or abort the takeoff, and the crash would likely not have happened if the flight had been leaving from Dulles.

So I was prejudiced against Washington National Airport since 1982.† When we saw the documentary, I shared my feelings with Maeve.† The documentary made all of those points clear, too.

Jill got sarcastic and asked if we were going to avoid all airports with short runways, like JFK in New York.† I said that would be fine.† I've seen pictures of planes going into the river there, too.

We took the subway into DC, and the line we used stopped at National Airport and went over a bridge parallel to the 14th Street bridge.† Every time we did that, Maeve would ask if that was the airport that the plane took off from.† Then she would ask if that was the "cold icy river that the plane crashed into".† Then she talked about how the plane hit cars and trucks on the bridge, and "squished one all the way down".† We had this discussion twice a day, once on the way in and once on the way out.† Jill asked, "How many times do I have to hear this story?"

Monday, December 1, 2003 - DC Vacation
Today we went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.† On the way into D.C., Hilde rode a subway for the first time.† At the museum saw another display of the Apollo lunar lander and lunar rover, similar to the display that we saw at the Houston Space Center.† There was a large, detailed model of an aircraft carrier.† Maeve and Hilde didn't appreciate the original Wright Brothers 1903 airplane as much as they liked the Snoopy and the Red Baron display.† They also had a great time with the hands-on exhibits, and getting to sit in a Cessna cockpit.

Tonight my mother came to our timeshare for dinner.† I cooked lasagna, and we had more caramel.† She also delivered Christmas presents early.

Sunday, November 30, 2003 - DC Vacation
Today we went to Pop's for a belated Thanksgiving dinner.† Shirley and Kevin came, too.† We toured the garage complex first.† The floor in the store room had just been done, and Pop was waiting for some gravel to fill in around the foundation.

Saturday, November 29, 2003 - DC Vacation
We met Becky and Shelly in Alexandria today.  We spent the day at the Torpedo Factory and had lunch at the Chart House restaurant.  Jill, Becky and Shelly waited for a long time at Starbucks while I went to a toy store with the kids.

Afterwards we checked into our timeshare.  Our room had a view of the freight/passenger train rail lines, and the Metro lines.  Maeve and Hilde loved watching the trains coming by, and talking about riding the Metro into DC.  If one was watching and the other wasn't, the one watching would yell for the other to hop up on the couch to watch when they saw a train coming.

Friday, November 28, 2003 - DC Vacation
Today we packed everything up and drove to Shirley's house.  My parents came for dinner.  I had made some caramel from sweetened condensed milk and it was quickly eaten.

Back in October, I had asked Pop about getting a Mack bulldog hood ornament for the minivan.  He had it tonight.  Jill wasn't as excited about it as she should have been.

Thursday, November 27, 2003 Thanksgiving - DC Vacation
My mother and I drove to Richmond today.  I hadn't seen my family for two weeks.  Maeve's hair was shorter, and she had fingernails because she stopped chewing on them.  Jill sent me to the park with my mother and the kids while everyone was getting dinner ready.

Jill said that Hilde was taking the Armadillo that she got from April everywhere that she went.

After dinner I was helping Maeve get ready for bed in the bedroom and she whispered to me, "Mom has been pulling our shoes off without untying them, and she has been giving us plain root beer".  Those are both things that I usually complain about when I'm around.  It sounds like Jill had run amok without me around, and Maeve ratted her out.

Sunday, November 23, 2003 - Paramedic Refresher third weekend
We discussed injuries to male genitalia.  One patient had shimmied up a flagpole and was on his way down when he forgot about the cleat.  Another patient was working with a portable belt sander that caught his gym shorts.  The belt sander had to be transported to the hospital so the patient could be extricated.  Yet another patient was carrying a tombstone from one table to another and got caught between the tombstone and the table where he was setting it down.

Thursday, November 20, 2003
Bret once told a story about his relatives saying that people from the North had a funny accent.  Bret said that people from the North not only think that Southerners have a funny accent, but that they are also stupid.

Jill went to Walmart and asked someone where something was.  He answered with a Southern accent.  Jill thought he sounded stupid.  She said, "Have I been out of the South so long that I think everyone with that accent is stupid?"

Sunday, November 16, 2003 - Paramedic Refresher second weekend
Today someone said, "Rehab is for quitters".

We also talked about "Mr. Freeze".  One paramedic had a call for a "man down".  It was winter time, and some neighbors noticed this guy had been sitting on his front step for three days.  They knew it had been three days because it snowed three days earlier and the man had snow on him.  He had made one pass with the snowblower, and the paramedics found him sitting on the step, with one hand on the snow blower and the other clutching his chest.  He was frozen solid.  Knocking on his thigh sounded like knocking on a table.  The funeral home guy wasn't sure how to get him into the hearse, because he was in a sitting position and one arm was sticking out to rest on the snowblower.  The police helped to "break" him so he would fit.  The paramedic said he didn't want to be around to smell it when the guy thawed.  That led to the question, "If a turkey takes 24 hours per 5 lbs to thaw, how long does it take to thaw a man?"

Friday, November 14, 2003
Email from Jill at Grandma and Grandpa's:
"My brother showed up this morning with a freshly shot deer.  Maeve and Hilde have had their first lesson in hunting.  Maeve keeps asking why Uncle James needs to shoot a deer.  I explained it was to eat, but that didn't go over well.  Dad hung it up in the shed to cut up and Hilde wanted to see it.  I explained it was a dead deer and not moving and maybe scary - she looked anyway.  Now she keeps saying dead deer, dead deer, dead deer.   I'm not sure how to handle this, but I can almost guarantee we'll have venison to take home."

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Last night we left for Baltimore about 9:30 PM.  I was going to drive to Baltimore so that Jill could sleep most of the way, and not have to deal with any big bridges.  Then I would take a plane back so I could go to work and work around the house.  It took us 6.5 hours to go 360 miles.  That wasn't bad, even though we got jammed up in New York city because of some road work.

We got to Baltimore about 4:15 AM and Jill woke up.  My plane home didn't leave until 9:10 AM, so we drove to look at our old house, and around UMBC.  There are a lot of buildings that weren't there when I graduated.

While driving around UMBC, Hilde and Maeve woke up.  We parked at the airport and everyone came in to go to the bathroom.  They left to finish the rest of the trip to Richmond, and I went to take a little nap at the gate before my plane was ready.

Sunday, November 9, 2003 - Paramedic Refresher first weekend
We talked about one patient who, when he was born, didn't have a ureter from one kidney to the urinary bladder.  A surgeon at that time took some skin from his thigh and made a ureter.  As an adult, he developed some of kidney/urinary problem.  When he went to the hospital, they found that the inside of the ureter had started to grow the hair that belonged on the outside of his thigh.  They had to go in with some scope and trim the hair.

We discussed how important it is to insert the needle above the rib when performing a needle decompression so you avoid the veins and nerves under the ribs.  The instructor said if we looked at the bottom of ribs at a restaurant that we might be able to see the grooves where the veins and nerves were (we will probably have eaten them by then).

We also talked about different ways for people to have bad outcomes, despite our best efforts.  Someone mentioned that once you become a vegetable, you go to the "greenery".

Saturday, November 8, 2003
Tonight I brought up a suitcase to pack for their trip to Virginia.  I said Maeve had to sleep in it.  Hilde said "no", and it was clear I was joking.  When it was time to go to sleep, Maeve said she wanted to sleep in my room.  Maeve kicked me out and later I found her in the suitcase.  I told her she didn't need to sleep in the suitcase, but she said she wanted to.  I put in a blanket for her so it wouldn't be so bumpy.

Thursday, November 6, 2003
Bob the Builder and Wendy have about the same tools.  We saw a picture of Wendy with no hat, and I said she has prettier hair.  Maeve said that Bob had no hair.  I showed her some hair peaking out from under his hat and said we couldn't find picture of him without hat.  Maeve said he always wears his hat because Wendy is always hitting him in the head.

Monday, November 3, 2003
When it was time to brush Hilde's teeth tonight, she didn't want to for some reason, and covered her mouth.  I said if she covered her mouth like that that I would have to put toothbrush in her nose and bend it around to get her teeth.  Jill told Hilde I couldn't do that.  When I did my OR time at Dewitt Army Hospital, I saw the doctors run some string from a tonsillitis patient's nose, into the throat, and back out the mouth.  Remembering that, I said, "You're right.  Toothbrushes don't bend like that, but string will." Jill gave me a look as though I wasn't supposed to suggest things like that.

Thursday, October 30, 2003
We went to Vadenais Farms today to pick pumpkins and pet the animals.  All of the pumpkins had been picked, so we could get them from the store instead of mucking around in the fields for them.

When we got home, Maeve wanted to scoop out the big pumpkin.  As she worked and had most of her arm in the pumpkin, she said that Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater's wife must have been very wet.  Jill said, "I'm sure he loved her enough to clean it out very well before putting her in it."

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Jill took Maeve and Hilde to a Halloween party tonight.  They were out until 7:30.  I had to get up at 2:30 AM to go to work.  Jill said I could give them a quick sink bath.  I wasn't quite sure what that was, but I washed Hilde's legs and her back too.  The bathroom sink wasn't big enough to rinse, so I rinsed her in the kitchen sink.  As long as I was there, I washed her hair, too.  She stood up in the sink to finish getting washed and rinsed.

During her sink bath, Maeve was washing some play dishes that were in the other section of the sink.  We talked about her washing all of the dishes while she took a bath.  She said we could get a very big sink so we could all take a bath and wash dishes at the same time.

Monday, October 27, 2003
I took Maeve and Hilde to Walmart tonight.  We walked through the sporting goods department and Maeve asked about fish hooks.  I explained that you put some bait on the hook and put the hook in the water to catch fish.  You can use worms for fish bait, and we use peanut butter to catch mice in mouse traps.  I asked her what we would use to catch a Maeve.  She said, "Grits".

Thursday, October 23, 2003
Maeve and Jill were watching a TV show with a math lesson.  A boy had three sticks.  One was 2 feet long, one was 3 feet long, and one was 5 feet long.  The boy wanted to get a stick that was 1 foot long.  By putting the 2 foot stick up to the 3 foot stick, the boy knew that the difference was 1 foot.  He pulled a hacksaw out of his backpack and cut the 3 foot stick at that point.

Jill told Maeve it was pretty smart of the boy to know how to use a hacksaw like that.  Maeve said she was wondering why he was carrying around a hacksaw in his backpack.  Jill said that Maeve was just like her father to ignore the main point and focus on some unrelated topic.

Monday, October 20, 2003
Jill tried to paint the sun porch a few days ago, but it took most of an afternoon to paint one corner.  The husband of one of Jill's friends came today to start painting the sun porch.  We decided to pay someone so it will get done faster and with no trouble for us.

Friday, October 17, 2003
I said I was tired at the dinner table and wanted to go to sleep.† Maeve said if I went to sleep at the dinner table that she would get some yogurt and put it in my pocket.† Hilde laughed and really seemed to like that idea.

Monday, October 13, 2003
We went to see the Columbus Day parade this morning.  This was the first parade that we had taken Maeve or Hilde to.  They enjoyed it, but Jill mostly noticed how bad the flag teams were.

At one point a clown got too close.  Maeve tried to hide in my lap, and accidentally untied my shoe by pulling on my shoelace.  I told her not to do that, because I'll need my shoes tied if we need to run away from the clown.

Sunday, October 12, 2003
Today we cleaned up the sun porch to get it ready for painting.  It will become the new playroom once it's painted, insulated and carpeted.

Saturday, October 11, 2003
Today we went to the Octoberfest in Newport.  Apparently Octoberfest consists of playing the accordion and drinking beer.  We don't play the accordion, so we did our part by Jill having 3 pints.

Jill had to go to the bathroom a lot.  I asked Maeve why that was.  Jill answered that she drank so much.  I told Maeve that alcohol blocks the body's production of Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH).   ADH decreases urination at the correct rate to maintain the correct amount of water in your blood.  When ADH production is blocked, you urinate more and end up dehydrated.  So it was the alcohol inhibiting the release of ADH that caused the increased urination, and not just the additional water from the beer.

When we went to dinner, Maeve was stirring her drink with her straw.  She said she was making her ice dizzy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2003
Jill, Maeve and Hilde went to see Nanny Carol yesterday.  As she usually does, Maeve told Jill and Hilde to go away as soon as they got there.  Maeve told me, "I need to spend time alone with Nanny every day."

Monday, October 6, 2003
After tub tonight we were cleaning ears.  Hilde took a q-tip and I reminded her that we were only supposed to clean the outside and to not put the q-tips in the ears.  Maeve asked why.  I reminded her that the doctor had found a bunch of impacted ear wax, and even wanted to flush it out.  Maeve didn't look like she understood so I told them to go into the kitchen.  We had a little chocolate cake left, so I got some crumbs on a plate.  I showed them how the crumbs would move around if you shook the plate.  I said that was like ear wax coming out of the ear on its own.  Then I squished all of the crumbs with a fork until everything was stuck to the fork.  I said that if they pushed the q-tips all the way into their ears that it would get stuck inside and wouldn't roll around any more, just like the cake crumbs were all stuck to the fork.

Saturday, October 4, 2003
I said I was going to the barber in the morning without Maeve or Hilde.  Maeve protested, so I said I would take her if she got her hair cut.  It is halfway covering her eyes.  She decided she didn't want to go.  Hilde wanted to go, but I said her hair was still short enough that she didn't need to go.  She started pulling the hair from the sides of her head over her eyes, so I would think it was too long and she needed a haircut.

Sunday, September 28, 2003
Maeve wanted Jill to snuggle in her bed tonight.  Maeve was covering her nose.  Jill said, "I just brushed my teeth.  My breath can't smell that bad."  Maeve said, "Your breath comes from your lungs, not your teeth.  I can still smell it."

Saturday, September 20, 2003
Today Hilde crumpled up a rainforest poster that Maeve had.  Maeve was screaming, "She scrunched my poster, she scrunched my poster, ..."  Hilde ran into the kitchen and opened a drawer.  She was saying something that turned out to be "roller".  She got the pizza dough roller and rolled the paper flat.

Sunday, September 14, 2003
Today Hilde's Sunday school class put some cotton stuffing in pantyhose and put a face on it.  Apparently it was supposed to look like a baby, but it looked a lot more like a potato.  The crafts are usually made to remind everyone of some lesson.  I asked Maeve and Hilde what the stuffed pantyhose lesson was.  Maeve said, "It reminds us that God wants us to eat potatoes."

Saturday, September 13, 2003
Today I took Hilde to my barber to get her hair cut there for the second time.  Maeve was still asleep, so it was just Hilde and me.  We had talked about kazoos last night, so we stopped at the party store first.  There were no kazoos, but we did find Hilde a little soccer ball toy and a whistle.  After Hilde got her bangs cut, she watched the fish while I got my hair cut.

Friday, September 12, 2003
I came home this morning to sealcoat the driveway.  I found my children watching Barney, and they followed me to my bedroom while I put on some work clothes.  I don't like Barney.  I had seen a skit on Mad TV or a show like that where the actor said that the children on Barney kept changing because he ate them, except for the fat one in the front.  Barney was saving her for a special dinner.

I told Maeve that Barney eats children.  She said he didn't.  I said, "He's a dinosaur.  What do you think he eats?  He eats other dinosaurs, animals, and even people."  Maeve said, "Well, dinosaurs might do that, but Barney is a guy in a costume, and he doesn't eat people."

Monday, September 8, 2003
Today Jill heard Maeve in the playroom today pretending to be teaching a class.  Maeve said, "Let me tell you a story about a dolphin boy..."

Wednesday, September 3, 2003
I have never liked the purple dinosaur Barney.  He always seems pretty dumb.

Maeve knows that I don't like Barney.  I've been home on a few days when Maeve has been watching Barney.  She once told me that, "You know the show is almost over when Barney talks to you."  I asked Jill how Maeve knows anything about Barney.  Jill insists that Barney is a "bridge" program, because it comes on just before Caillou.  So I'm supposed to believe that Maeve and Hilde only watch Barney because they are waiting for Caillou.

At the store today Hilde wanted to get some Barney diapers.  Maeve yelled that Hilde couldn't get Barney diapers because I don't like Barney.

Sunday, August 31, 2003
Jeanne was talking about her upcoming vacation to Florida where she will swim with dolphins.  I mentioned the Corky and the Juice Pigs song about Dolphin Boy.  She hadn't heard it, so I played it.  Maeve thought that song was pretty silly, so we've listened to the CD a few times.  Today Jill came home and asked what I was listening to.  Maeve said, "Dolphin Boy!"  I asked Maeve what other song on the CD she likes.  She said, "Pants".  Jill sang a line from the song, "Everybody now, touch my pants."  Maeve said, "It's '...love my pants'."

Thursday, August 28, 2003
Our toilet was draining slowly.  If we poured extra water in, if flushed fine.  I thought there could be a clog between the tank and the bowl, so I tried to blow out the path from the tank to the bowl, but what I did didn't solve the problem.   I talked to Grandpa about it.  He asked if anyone had dropped anything into the toilet.  I said, "Not that anyone is admitting".  He said, "They never admit it."

We discussed running a snake down the drain, but I didn't want to push any clog so far that I couldn't do anything about it, or that it would clog the whole house or cause more trouble for a plumber if we eventually had to call one.  Grandpa told me about finding a makeup compact in the drain, and about a fellow who cracked his toilet trying to push a snake too hard.

Jill and I decided to call a plumber.  It turned out that the tablet that Jill put in the tank was breaking up and clogging the path from the tank to the bowl.  They wrote, "Diagnosis: Tablet left in tank; Recommendation: Don't put tablets in tank of toilet".  Now I have proof of who caused the problem, and I didn't even need Jill to admit it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Maeve and Hilde went to the doctor today.  Maeve is about 4 years 5 months old, and Hilde is 25 months old.

Hilde is 34.5" high and 26.6 lbs.

Maeve got three shots.  She didn't like it, but she is done with immunizations until she is 11.  She was 38.75" high and 30 lbs.  Her vision is fine, but she wouldn't cooperate with the hearing test.  Maeve has told Jill that she has glasses, so she doesn't see so well, and she proved it with the eye test.  Jill couldn't see the shapes even with her glasses, but Maeve had no problem.

At dinner Jill told me that Hilde was a doctor just like Caillou in the "Caillou goes to the doctor" video because Hilde got to use the reflex hammer.  Maeve pointed out that Caillou had a light, and not a reflex hammer.

Sunday, August 24, 2003 - Mom's little vacation
We got to church about 10 minutes early today.  I told Maeve and Hilde that I think Jill slows us down too much on Sundays, and that's why don't always get there on time.

In the afternoon, Jill had committed me to help some friends move.  She must have known that she was going to be out of town.  We packed up a lunch and we all went.  Maeve and Hilde had a picnic under a tree while we filled the back of the van with boxes.  They ran around the yard while we unpacked, and then we went to the airport to pick up Jill.

Saturday, August 23, 2003 - Mom's little vacation
Jill got tired of me saying I didn't know how to cook certain foods, so she left the recipe for chocolate milk and scrambled eggs.  She left a note to "Remember to give Hilde drinks (MILK)".  She also left a shopping list for Sunday, which included milk and eggs, because we didn't have milk or eggs.  I thought it was pretty tricky to tell me to give Maeve and Hilde eggs and milk when we weren't going to have any until Sunday afternoon.

Jill has left very good instructions for how to take care of Maeve and Hilde in the past when she left them alone with me.  She asked me if I wanted them for this trip, and I said I would just ask Maeve if I had any questions.  Jill left a note for breakfast: "Protein and carb with drink".  I asked Maeve what that meant, and Maeve didn't know.  We went to Dunkin' Donuts for Munchkins.

We went to a lot of places, including the Cumberland Library and to buy Hilde new shoes.

Hilde has had a pretty rough week.  She fell during a walk on Sunday and Monday.  She slipped during a walk on Tuesday and scraped her shin.  Yesterday she slipped on the patio while we were around the pool.  Today she slipped once at the library, and again walking down the sidewalk at CVS.  At CVS, she fell mostly on her face, and had scrapes from the outer corner of her eye, across her cheek, nose and chin.  For lunch, we went to the park by the Cumberland Library.  After our picnic, Maeve and Hilde played for more than an hour.  Maeve and I kept saying that she had fallen enough, so we were trying to be careful.  We did fine until we were leaving.  Maeve ran under a swing that she had used earlier, pushed it over her head as she ran under it, and left it swinging.  Hilde headed right for it.  I told Hilde to try to do that to the swing next to it, that wasn't moving, instead of the one that Maeve had pushed.  She kept heading for the swing that Maeve pushed.  I yelled, "STAY AWAY FROM THAT SWING!", and then Hilde walked right into it.  It hit her forehead and knocked her down.  We were able to avoid any more injuries for the rest of the day.

Friday, August 22, 2003 - Mom's little vacation
Today Maeve and Hilde went to preschool because Jill was flying out in the morning, and I still have work to do. It was Hilde's first day of preschool, and they both had a great time.  After dropping them off, I took Jill to the airport for her "little vacation".

After I picked Maeve and Hilde up from preschool, we swam a little and put up the tent in the living room.  We fell asleep (eventually) while watching TV from inside the tent.

Thursday, August 21, 2003
Jill is flying to Ohio to see nephew Michael get baptized on Friday, and will return on Sunday.  Maeve calls it Jill's "little vacation".  Maeve and Hilde were doing laps around the kitchen table tonight, saying they were going on a trip to China.  All of a sudden Maeve stopped and said, "Oh, wait, we have to stop and get our tattoos first", referring to how Jill got a tattoo only a week before she is going on this trip.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Last night Maeve said she wanted to sleep in my bed all night.  I had to leave for work at 4 AM.  After I left, Maeve went into her room to talk to Jill, who had been sleeping on Maeve's bed.  Maeve said that I had left, and that Jill could go back to her bed, because she wanted to sleep with Jill.  Once they were both in bed, Maeve started talking about how she wanted green eggs for breakfast.  Jill told her to go to sleep and stop talking.

A little later, Hilde woke up and Jill went to put her back to sleep.  When Jill returned Maeve said that she wanted to lay sideways on the bed, so Jill should go back to Maeve's bed.  Soon after Jill did that, Maeve came in and said she wanted to sleep in Maeve's bed, and that Jill could go back to Jill's bed.

Monday, August 18, 2003
We went for a walk last night, and Hilde fell and scraped her knee.  We put a large bandaid on it.  Tonight when we went for a walk Hilde fell again.  This time she just tore the bandaid.  She was still fussing because her bandaid was torn.  She was fine after we went home and put a smaller bandaid on the tear in the big bandaid.

Friday, August 15, 2003
Hands of Promise cross Jill went with Jeanne to get her tattoo tonight.† Maeve and Hilde tried to stay up to see it when she got home, but they fell asleep first.† I told them that it would still be there in the morning.

One place that Jill looked for tattoo ideas was the James Avery jewelry collection. † Jill asked Maeve which one she liked best, and Maeve choose the "Hands of Promise" cross because the folded hands remind her to pray and talk to God.† That is the design that Jill chose.


Saturday, August 9, 2003
Hilde has been sitting on her little toilet for months with her diaper on.  She will sit for a little while with her diaper on, and then put some toilet paper in the little toilet.  Lately she has been potty-training herself.  She has taken off her diaper and gone into the bathroom to sit.  Jill got out the seat for the big toilet a few days ago.  Twice today Hilde told Jill, "potty, potty, potty", so Jill put her on the big toilet and Hilde went to the bathroom.

Tuesday, August 5, 2003
Jeanne came over for dinner tonight.† She tried to leave early, saying that she had to get air in her tires.† I told Maeve to tell her that we would pump them up with our air compressor.† That got Maeve and Hilde another 30 minutes of time to play with her.

When we checked her tires, they were all in need of air.† Two didn't even register on the tire pressure gauge.† I pointed out one that was very low to Maeve, and asked if Maeve knew what it was called to drive on tires that flat.† She didn't, so I said, "Wacko".† Maeve was quick to defend Jeanne, saying that Jeanne was not a wacko and that she didn't know why her father would say such a thing about Jeanne.

Saturday, August 2, 2003
Jill pulled the chain out of the ceiling fan pull chain switch.  Today I took Maeve and Hilde to the store to buy a replacement switch.  I told them we could also buy a new ornament for the end of the chain.  I showed them everything, including porcelain, glass, wood, etc.  When I got to the end, I asked which one they wanted.  Maeve picked one of the first ones that I pointed out, a basketball.  Hilde yelled, "Ball, ball, ball".  I said Jill might not want a basketball in her kitchen, but they had made up their minds.

Hilde helped me hang up the basketball.  Once Jill saw it she said, "Didn't you think to tell them that a basketball wouldn't fit in in my kitchen?"   I told her that I had.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Our pool is still cool enough that Maeve and Hilde end up shivering long before they are ready to get out of the pool.† We keep telling Maeve that her lips are blue when that happens.† Today we told Maeve that it was time to get out because she was too cold.† She said she was warming up, and that she felt her lips turning pink.

Thursday, July 24, 2003
Maeve and Hilde were sitting around the table and they started chanting something that sounded like "bloobies".† I said there were no bloobies, unless Jill had a blue bra.† I had Maeve go ask Jill if she had a blue bra.† It turns out Jill had just bought one.† Maeve, Hilde and I went into Hilde's room while Jill put it on, so no one would tell Jill what we were up to.† When Jill came in, Maeve and Hilde yelled, "Bloobies!" and laughed hysterically.

Since then, every time that Hilde sees the blue bra, she yells, "Bloobies" and laughs and laughs and laughs.

Saturday, July 19, 2003
Jill slept in this morning, so Maeve and I made breakfast.  Maeve said she wanted to make scrambled eggs.  I asked if she wanted to make them green, like in "Green Eggs and Ham".  We could use food coloring.  She said food coloring was for frosting, and not eggs.  I showed her the front of the food coloring package that says, "Food coloring and egg dye".  That convinced her.  I put blue coloring in, and they turned out a nice pastel mint green.

Friday, July 18, 2003
Today Jill stopped at Dunkin' Donuts to get a coffee, and she bought some doughnuts for Maeve and Hilde.  Hilde was about to fall asleep, but Jill knew that if she did that she wouldn't go back to sleep for her nap when they got home.  To keep Hilde awake, Jill kept saying, "Hilde has a doughnut".  Maeve said, "Mom, Hilde can't have the doughnut until we get home.  That is teasing, and teasing isn't nice."

Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Today there was a bus taking people from the nursing home to the grocery store.  Maeve said that only kids are supposed to ride on school buses, and Jill explained what the bus was.

Tonight Jeanne watched Maeve and Hilde while Jill and I were out.  Maeve said they were going to play "nursing home".  Everyone went into Hilde's room, and Maeve brought in books and a pretend snack.  She showed Jeanne what there was to read, and gave Jeanne a tour of the nursing home.  After a while Jeanne asked if she could watch a movie.  Maeve said that in the nursing home you can't watch a movie unless you are "65 and almost dead".

Friday, July 11, 2003
Maeve complained today that she didn't get night snack last night.  She didn't get night snack because she wanted to read a book, and went to bed without asking for a snack.  Today, Maeve's story is that she left us a note to remember to give her night snack, but that we hadn't read it.  She said she would leave us a note every night.

Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 10th Wedding Anniversary
Jill has been telling me for over a year and a half that she wanted "the engagement ring she never got" on our 10th anniversary.† Today she got it.

I had empty boxes from matching jewelry, and a card.† I put everything in its own padded, numbered envelope and put them in the playroom.† As soon as I walked into the kitchen Maeve asked me where the ring was.† I told Maeve that I needed her help.† I asked her to go get the first envelope, and then the second, etc.† Jill didn't get the ring until envelope #4.† I felt bad for Maeve, because with every envelope starting with the first one, she would run in the room yelling, "Ring, ring, ring, mom, ring ...", and it took 4 envelopes to get the ring.

Tuesday, July 8, 2003 - Pennsylvania Vacation
We had a lot of packing to do, because we did a pretty good job of moving into the vacation house in just a few days.† We had lots of food in the kitchen, Maeve and Hilde had toys all over, and all of the clothes were either in the drawers or the closets.

We met Becky in the morning and we went to the Sturgis Pretzel House in Lititz.† It claims to have been the first commercial pretzel bakery in the United States.

We had a picnic at a park in town, and Maeve and Hilde played and fed ducks with Steven.† Maeve even pushed Hilde in the swing a little.

On the way home we stopped at a pottery store to get some souvenirs and gifts.† Then we went to the Strasburg Railroad.† We walked through Reading Car 10, a turn-of-the-century ďmansion on wheelsĒ for railroad tycoons and dignitaries.† There was a miniature steam engine, and we even got to see the full size steam engine pulling into the station.

We drove over to the Red Caboose Motel, saw some Amish kids working on a farm, and got stopped at the railroad crossing by the Strasburg Railroad steam train.

After all of this, we went back and loaded everything into the van.† We dropped off Becky's pack 'n play and a fan, and left for home.† It took almost exactly 6 hours.† Unlike the trip down, we made excellent time on the way back.† We averaged 62.5 MPH.† There was only one quick bathroom stop.† Maeve woke up to fuss for about 10 minutes at the NY/CT border, and Hilde woke up for 10 minutes of fussing about halfway through Rhode Island.† Other than that, it was an excellent trip home.† I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been so good to have left Wednesday mid-afternoon.

Monday, July 7, 2003 - Pennsylvania Vacation
Today we went to Hershey.  We took the tour of Chocolate World.  Maeve remembered there were free chocolates at the end.

We rode the Hershey Trolley, and then went to the Hershey Museum.  The Ciscos had a membership at the museum, so they let us use that.  The museum had the specifications for the Hershey's Kisses street lights, the history of the trolleys, history of the town, and a display about Hershey's sugar plantation holdings in Cuba.

We had dinner with the Ciscos.  We talked while the kids played, until it was obvious that all of the kids were ready for bed.

Maeve and Hilde hadn't been behaving in the car on the short trips from the hotel or house to wherever we were touring for the day.  They keep taking everything from each other, and fuss either when something is taken away from them or when they have to give something back.  Maeve keeps asking when we will be where we are going.  Jill and I have had enough.  We had planned to go home on Wednesday afternoon, but instead we are going to leave Tuesday evening, and drive at night.  We've made a list of things we wanted to get done, and we'll get to everything on Tuesday.   If we can drive while the kids are asleep, it should only take 6 hours to get home.

Sunday, July 6, 2003 - Pennsylvania Vacation
Jill left for a long lunch with Becky, and I went for a walk with Maeve and Hilde.  There were some walking trails on the farm.  We saw a very old pony.  Maeve and Hilde also found a bunch of spent fireworks casings that had fallen back on the path.

Jill and I went out for an early 10th anniversary dinner.  The restaurant was very fancy.  I don't appreciate that kind of thing, but Jill had a great time being pampered.

Saturday, July 5, 2003 - Pennsylvania Vacation
Today we got a map of Sesame Place and found out what we had missed the first day.  We also looked at the show schedule.  We went to one music show, and then we went to a pretend taping of "Elmo's World".  I think the real Mr. Noodle is a big dork, but I liked the college kid they had playing the part at Sesame Place.

By mid-afternoon it was pretty crowded, we were hot and everyone was tired.  We left for Strasburg.  We went out to dinner with Becky and Rob and saw some kind of hot air balloon festival by the restaurant.  We stayed in a guest house on a farm, and the owners put on their own fireworks show.  Maeve really enjoyed it.  She kept screeching, and saying it was "amazing".

Friday, July 4, 2003 - Pennsylvania Vacation
Today was the first day for Sesame Place.  Jill and I argued about what to wear.  It was going to be 96 degrees and sunny, so I said we should plan to dress for the water park each day.  Somehow Jill thought I was being sarcastic and said we would dress to be dry the first day.  Fortunately we forgot the camera at the hotel and had to go back.  Everyone changed into water clothes.  The first thing we did when we got back to the park was go to the wading pool.

After only 4 hours Maeve and Hilde were looking exhausted.  We left, and they both fell asleep on the 10 minute trip back to the hotel.  They woke up when we got back and we went to the hotel pool.

Thursday, July 3, 2003 - Pennsylvania Vacation
We left for Sesame Place this afternoon.† It took 8 hours to go 260 miles, averaging 32.5 MPH.† We lost some time when when stopped for dinner, and it took 45 minutes to go 7 miles before the Tappan Zee bridge.† There was a bit of pre-holiday traffic.† Hilde cried for the last two hours because she "was tired", Jill said.† Maeve kept asking me how much longer it would be until we got there.† I told her not to ask me until after dinner.† Jill said she didn't think it would take that long, but it took even longer.

Thursday, June 26, 2003
Maeve and Hilde were playing on the patio while I cleaned the pool.  They found a caterpillar and put it in a Tupperware container.  They added dirt and flower petals.  They played with the caterpillar for a while.  When it was time to come in, Maeve started coloring it with sidewalk chalk.  She said, "If I see this one again, I will know it's mine because of the chalk."

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Today Jill took the kids in the pool for a little while.  The water was still a little cool, but the outside temperature was hot enough out that it was OK for as long as they were in.  Jill called Hilde a water rat.  As soon as they started talking about going outside, she kept saying "pool" and "swim".  Once they hit the water, she started swimming right away.

Jill told them that at least one of them has to learn how to swim this year, because she can't carry both of them in the water.

Friday, June 20, 2003
Tonight Jeff came over to replace a wheel stud on his minivan.  Usually Maeve doesn't like guys.  Tonight it was Hilde who didn't even want to look at Jeff.  Maeve kept me between her and Jeff, but she stayed with us for the whole time and chatted up a storm.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Hilde and Jill were reading the Spanish picture book.  The father in the picture was vacuuming.  Jill asked Hilde if Dad ever vacuums.  Hilde said, "No.  Momma."

Thursday, June 12, 2003
Early this morning I got up to put Hilde back to sleep.  When I was done, I went into the living room and heard something out in our trash.  I looked and it was a raccoon.  I did some work on the computer and checked again later.  This time there was a skunk in the trash.  I knew we had a stray cat and a skunk in the neighborhood.  I wouldn't have guessed that we had a raccoon if I hadn't seen it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Jeanne watched Maeve and Hilde today while I met with a director about another job at CVS, and while Jill was at the doctor's office.† They had a discussion about what Maeve would make for dinner.† Maeve said she would make dirt lollipops and broccoli lollipops.† She also said she would make worm meatballs.† "The worms are a little crunchy when they get dried out, but then you roll them into a meatball and they are actually very good."

Saturday, June 7, 2003
Last year I wanted the rain to replace the pool water that was drained the previous fall in preparation for winter.† I got Maeve to sing "Rain, rain, fill my pool." instead of "Rain, rain, go away, come again another day."

This year, we are singing the song, but we have gotten a lot more serious about refilling the pool with rainwater.† We got 20 feet of gutter and have temporarily redirected the main backyard gutter into the pool.† It can be put back like it was on sunny days, but quickly redirected when it rains.† With the rain last weekend and this weekend, the pool level is up to the skimmer.† I'll be able to use this during the summer to compensate for water lost to backflushing and evaporation.

This also gave me a chance to share an important life-lesson with Maeve.† I asked her if it looked silly to have 20 feet of gutter dumping into the pool.† She said it did.† I asked if it worked.† She said it did.† I explained that "if it looks silly, but it works, then it isn't silly."

Tuesday, June 3, 2003
Maeve went to the zoo on a field trip with her preschool today.† She even rode a camel all by herself.

She also fell down and scraped her knee.† She made enough of a fuss that they took her to the first aid station.† Somehow they were able to convince Maeve that she should have a bandaid, and Maeve let them put it on.† Jill and I have never been able to get her to do that.

Maeve has started using the word "apparently".† She said, "Apparently, there is a hospital at the zoo."

Hilde was going on the slide at the preschool when they went to pick up Maeve.† Hilde runs right up the stairs and goes down all by herself.† If you don't keep an eye on her, she will be on her way down before you know it.

Monday, May 26, 2003
Hilde came into the living room missing most of the curls at the back of her head.  Jill and I looked into it and found a lot of hair in Maeve's playroom trash can.  One curl wasn't cut, but the rest were pretty evenly done.  Maeve's story was that Hilde cut her own hair at the back of her head, got it even, and put the hair in the trash can.  Hilde pointed to Maeve when we asked who cut her hair.  Maeve got to go to bed right away for lying, and lost her scissors until after Hilde's birthday.

Jill cut off the one curl that Maeve didn't do.  She says Hilde looks like a boy.  I said that it will grow back by the time that Hilde is Maeve's age.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Maeve has problems pronouncing Rs, and I tell her that she needs to get some Rs.  She had some pony tail holders, and she was calling them, "hair plastics".† Jill told her that they are called "hair elastics".† Maeve said, "That's what I'm saying, but I don't have any Rs."

Sunday, May 18, 2003
I borrowed the cat trap again and caught the neighborhood stray cat last Wednesday.  I left the trap out in case there were any other stray cats roaming around, and yesterday I found a skunk in the trap.  Following instructions that I found on the internet, I successfully let it out of the trap this morning, without any problems.  The animal shelter staff were just as helpful this time as with the first cat.  They said they would release it from the trap if I brought the skunk and the trap to them.

Jill and I took care of the infant nursery during church.  Maeve and Hilde loved playing with the babies.  They were very careful and didn't hit anyone in the head with any toys.

Tonight when I was parking the van, I saw another cat up the street.  I went to look, and it was another black and white stray cat.  I know for sure this time that it was not the cat that we caught last Wednesday.  So we had at least two black and white stray cats.  It's possible that the cat I caught in March didn't really return a few days later, and that it was a third cat.  I told Jeanne and she asked how many black and white stray cats there could be in Woonsocket.

Thursday, May 15, 2003
Maeve was typing on the computer again today.† The "show/hide" feature was showing a dot on the screen in place of spaces.† Maeve said that the dot did not belong there.† Jill said the dots are only on the screen, but they aren't on the print outs.† Maeve said, "I took a class all about dots - all different kinds of dots.† You have glasses, so you don't see very well, but I see better, so I can see the dots.† The teacher says the dots will print."

Tuesday, May 13, 2003
For a long time we have been requiring that Maeve say, "Please".† She will ask for something or tell me to do something, and I will just look at her.† She figures out what she forgot and says, "Please".

Lately she has been saying "me" instead of "I", like "Me want to read a book."† She had this all figured out and always used "me" and "I" correctly, so I don't know where this problem is coming from.† She asked me for something tonight using "me" instead of "I".† I asked Maeve what she needed to say to get it.† She said, "Bitte.", paused, noticed the surprised look on my face and said, "That's German."

Saturday, May 10, 2003
Today Hilde and I went to get her a big girl bed because Jill said she keeps turning sideways at night and hitting her head in her crib.† We told Hilde we were going to get it, and she would shake her head.† We would say that she could sleep in it any time that she wants to, and she shakes her head.† It might be a while before she wants to sleep on it instead of her crib.

Hilde is still nursing at bedtime, and there was an armchair in Hilde's room for that.† We moved the armchair to the living room to make room for the bed.† When it was bedtime, Hilde ran right to the chair in the living room.† We reminded her that she was going to nurse on the bed from now on.

Thursday, May 8, 2003
Maeve made Jill a Mother's Day card at preschool today.  When she gave it to Jill, she said that Jill was supposed to cry.  Jill had to explain happy tears.

Wednesday, May 7, 2003
Maeve and Hilde like to pretend to style Jill's hair.  They try with me, too, but I don't give them much to work with.  Maeve and Hilde use combs, brushes, hand mirrors, and toy blow dryer.  Sometimes they even use Maeve's plastic scissors, that has a hard time even cutting paper.  Today, Maeve used her scissors with the metal blades instead.  Jill didn't lose too much hair, but it was a good opportunity to explain to Maeve that she isn't supposed to really cut anyone's hair.

Monday, May 5, 2003
Hilde needed her diaper changed, and Jill asked who she wanted to change her.  She said me, but I was laying on the couch.  Hilde got off Jill's lap, walked over to me, and tried to push me up.  She isn't quite strong enough to lift me yet.

Saturday, May 3, 2003 - Maeve's 4th Birthday Party
Today was Maeve's 4th birthday party.† Julia Allen thought the pool cover was a trampoline, and got wet pants and shoes.† She got out without any other difficulties.

The pinata that we forgot to break last year was tough.† All of the parents were working on it.† We didn't even bother with a blindfold, and it still took a lot of whacking.

Friday, May 2, 2003
Jill asked Maeve where she got a piece of paper.  Maeve said it belonged to Satan a long time ago.  Jill asked who Satan was, and Maeve pointed to one of our Uncle Sam lanterns.  Jill said that was Uncle Sam, and Maeve said his middle name is Satan.  Jill asked who he was and Maeve said, "He just sits around and runs our country."  Jill asked where Maeve learned that word.  She said, "That's a kindergarten word.  You learn all about that in kindergarten."  Of course Maeve is not in kindergarten.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Jill told Maeve to get ready to pray for dinner.† Maeve said they couldn't pray until I got home from work.† Jill suggested they pray then, and again once I got home.† Maeve said that God said you could only pray once a day in Rhode Island.† When Jill asked for more information, Maeve said God's friends told him that before God made the world.

Thursday, April 24, 2003
Maeve spent the afternoon with me as part of "Bring Our Children To Work" day.† I had a meeting, so we talked about how to behave in a meeting and what to do.† Maeve brought a notepad and lots of pens.† Beth tried to draw pictures on Maeve's notepad, but Maeve crossed everything off.† By the end of the meeting, she would almost follow Beth's pen, crossing things off almost as fast as Beth could write them.

I got Maeve her own nameplate for the empty cube next to me.† We set her up with her own workbooks and crayons in her own cube.

Maeve still didn't like guys.† She wouldn't even look at Badal, even when he offered her a bubble pen, and blew bubbles around her.† John offered her his job, but she didn't acknowledge.† Later he told her to get back to work, and also thanked her for decorating his cube.† She still didn't acknowledge him.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003
I went to Chuck E Cheese with Maeve and her preschool today.  While everyone was waiting on the rug, everyone was telling me how they spelled their name.  I asked Maeve how she spelled her name.  She said, "A M O P".  I called her Amop for the rest of the morning.  The bus that was sent was a short bus, and not everyone fit on it.  Maeve and I took my car.  Maeve had a great time running around, putting her own tokens in the rides and games, and keeping track of her own tickets.

Saturday, April 19, 2003
The the neighborhood stray cat is visiting regularly.  Jill is feeding it regularly.  Jeanne's idea is that it won't go to the bathroom in our yard if it eats there, and it will keep away the birds.  I'm not convinced.  It doesn't seem to have had any impact on the bird population yet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Jeanne asked me what Maeve wanted for her birthday.  I said she should talk to Jill, but I suggested a welding or motorcycle helmet, a starter socket set, or an electrical wiring code handbook.

Friday, April 11, 2003
Maeve and Hilde like playing in the dirt with the garden shovels, and in the garage with everything in Maeve's tote.  Hilde always starts with the welding beanie cap.  She likes it when I put one on, too, just to match her.

Saturday, April 5, 2003
Maeve said she wanted eggs for breakfast.† I said I wasn't sure I knew how to make eggs.† Jill asked Maeve what would happen if she would leave; what would we eat then?† I said I can make bread and popcorn.† I said that Maeve knew how to use the toaster, so we could eat toast, bread and popcorn.† Jill said that I know very well how to make eggs.† The final list is: eggs, bread, toast and popcorn.

Monday, March 31, 2003
Sometimes Maeve wants to move, and talks about what she wants in her new house.† Other times she resists when Jill suggests that we get a new house.† Maeve will tell Jill that we haven't worn out our house yet.† Jill told Maeve that our house was worn out before we even got it.† While that's not exactly accurate, it could definitely use some more revitalizing, in addition to all of the work that we've already done.

Thursday, March 27, 2003
We got the Veggie Tales Jonah movie that Maeve and I saw last October.† Maeve and Hilde keep asking to watch it, and they are getting to know every line in that movie as well as their other favorites.†

Jill got very frustrated with Maeve not obeying, and pointed out that God had a whale eat Jonah when Jonah didn't obey.† Jill and I joked about her putting a picture of a whale on a stick and chasing Maeve around with it.† Jill admitted that it was a "bad mom" moment.

Sunday, March 23, 2003
I was gone this weekend for a men's church retreat.† After I got back, Maeve, Hilde and I were putting birdseed out Hilde's window when I saw what looked like the neighborhood stray.† I picked up Maeve so she could see.† She said we should catch it again, and "tell them not to let it go this time".

Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Tonight a guy came to bring me a case of Tropicana orange juice, and tell me how wonderful it would be to have a Rainsoft water treatment system for my house.  I had prepped the kids, saying they needed do lots of distracting things, like running around and climbing on my lap.  I thought I could count on them.

Maeve was better than I could have hoped for.  She fell, cut her lip, and sat on my lap bleeding and screaming.  She had a good seat to see all of the water tests that the guy was doing for pH, hardness, chlorine, etc.  Those really were interesting for her.

Hilde was a great help, too.  She ran laps around the kitchen with her grocery cart, with the man trying to dodge her each time she came around.

The man still took two hours to be convinced that we weren't going to buy anything.  We got the orange juice, learned that our water is pretty darn good (all of his tests didn't give him much to complain about), and that a Rainsoft system to make it better would cost about $5500.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003
The cat we caught by Sunday morning is gone.† The animal shelter was not easy to work with.† They didn't return my phone calls, and it was hard to find anyone there with all of the coffee runs they had to make.† When we did find someone, they didn't seem too interested in helping, said they would not come get the cat, and would even charge me $10 when I dropped it off.† Still, it's nice to have the stray out of my yard.

Monday, March 17, 2003
Tonight I told Maeve it was time to put on her pajamas.  She said she couldn't put them on because she had to go to a Creative Memories' party, and you have to wear regular clothes to those.  I said she had to tell her friends to have their parties before her bedtime, or she would have to be allowed to wear pajamas.  Then Maeve decided that it would be a Creative Memories pajama party, and everyone would be wearing pajamas.

Sunday, March 16, 2003
Yesterday we set out a trap for the neighborhood stray cat.  By this morning we had it.

Saturday, March 15, 2003
Jill had a Creative Memories party for Jeanne today.  I had Maeve and Hilde all day.  After some shopping in the morning, we went to the library in the afternoon to see a presentation about sled dogs.  A fellow had brought his dog, sled, ropes, etc.

Thursday, March 13, 2003
Jill dropped her mother off at the airport this morning for her trip home.

All I know about Edith's feelings about coming up to help when Jill had her surgery was that she didn't like coming in the winter, because she didn't like the cold.  As luck would have it, this winter we got about 24 inches more snow than last year, and it was the coldest that it had been in a decade.  While Edith was here, we got lots of snow, and there were whole weeks when it was between 5 and 25 degrees for the entire week.

Sunday, March 9, 2003
A friend of mine asked me to come over to see about upgrading some software on her computer.  My only requirement was that Maeve and Hilde got to come.  As soon as I sat down at the computer, they started moving things from room to room.  One thing that really impressed my friend was that they took her dog's bed, move it from the living room to the foot of her bed, and put a stuffed dog in it.

Thursday, March 6, 2003
Tonight it sounded like Maeve called Jill "gappy", referring to the gap between her front teeth.  I have been calling Jill "gappy", but I didn't think I had done it in front of the kids.  I asked Maeve what she was saying, and she claimed to be calling "Grandma".

Tuesday, March 4, 2003
Often when Maeve and Hilde make a mess on the floor during dinner (like with peas, corn, rice, etc.).  I like to get my ShopVac to clean it up.  I could probably use a broom and dustpan in most cases just as effectively, but I prefer the ShopVac.  Hilde and Maeve have even started helping.  Hilde will turn it on and off, and Maeve will do the vacuuming.

Saturday, March 1, 2003
Maeve drew some lines on a piece of paper and used some stickers to put it on the sliding glass door out ot the patio.  She said it said, "No going out here except to smoke."

Thursday, February 27, 2003
We are spreading Jill's teeth so she will have room to get all of her teeth straightened out.  The way the oral surgeon made the cut, the two halves are floating separately.  He said Jill will have a gap between her front teeth like David Letterman for a while.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003
We have to spread Jill's teeth a little twice a day for about a week.  Jill has me doing it because I see into her mouth better than she can.  It's a little tricky, but Hilde won't let me do it unless she is sitting on Jill's lap.  I can work with that unless Hilde bumps me.

Monday, February 24, 2003
Maeve has been tattling on Edith.  One of the things that she told Jill is that Grandma put some toilet paper in the toilet and didn't flush it.  Jill just told Maeve that it would go with the next flush.

Saturday, February 22, 2003
Jill has started putting regular food in the blender, so she has something more to eat than broth, yogurt, pudding and Jell-O.  Today she was pureeing beef stew and pasta.

Thursday, February 20, 2003
Jill was feeling a little lightheaded in the shower today, due to her surgery yesterday.  She said she was thinking that if she fell that she couldn't fall on her face, because her upper jaw is still moving around.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
I shoveled some of the patio for Edith today so she could walk out a little ways and walk about while she is smoking.  Once I dd that, Maeve told her to go out of the house to smoke - all the way out.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Maeve asked Grandma why she didn't go out the door to smoke.  I told Maeve it was because the snow drifted up against the door, and Grandma can't walk out because it's too deep.

Monday, February 17, 2003
We got 20 inches of snow today.  That is more snow than Jill's mother has seen in the 20 years that she has lived in Virginia.   It even drifted in the back of the house, so she can't even step out the door to smoke.  I'll have to shovel that for her.

Friday, February 14, 2003
Edith seems to spend most of her time picking up after Maeve and Hilde.  That should keep her very busy.  Jill and I usually don't do it enough and the house looks cluttered, but Maeve and Hilde are very "thorough" in leaving things all over the house.  They love to pick something up, carry it to another room, put it down, and pick up something else to carry to another room.

Thursday, February 13, 2003
Jill's mother came in today to help after Jill has her oral surgery.  The pilot announced that it was 14 degrees when they landed.  Jill told her to bundle up, but it wasn't until she walked out of the airport that she realized the pilot wasn't lying.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Jill just had her "appliance" put in her mouth that will be expanded to stretch out her jaw as part of her orthodontics.  She called, and she was having trouble pronouncing, especially vowels.  She said she was helping Maeve spell her name.  Jill's long Es now sound like the "ou" part of "you".  Jill said, "M-A-OU-VOU-OU."  Maeve said, "It's E, not OU."  Jill said, "I did say OU".  That conversation kept going back and forth until Maeve gave up.

I had to have Jeanne call Jill so Jeanne could hear it.  It was fun to hear Jill try to pronounce Jeanne's name.  It sounded a lot like "June".  Jill said she was glad that she could provide Jeanne and me with so much entertainment.

Long ago Jill and I had a discussion about Jill wearing flannel pajamas with our flannel sheets.  I said that Jill would get stuck, like a flannel doll on a flannel board.  Jill would be a human flannel doll.  Her mother heard that, and she laughed and laughed and laughed.  She laughed so much that Jill thought her mother was going to die.  Jill's mother is coming to help with the kids after Jill's surgery next week.  Jill told me that I can't make fun of Jill's pronunciation with her mother present.  Her mother would laugh and laugh, turn red, not be able to breathe, and I would probably kill her.

Sunday, February 9, 2003
The playroom has been a mess for a few days.† Hilde will pick up one toy, see another that she likes and throw down the first one to get to the new one.† Maeve does a lot of coloring, but she leaves all of the papers, pencils, crayons and markers that she was worked on on the floor.

Tonight we tried to clean the playroom.† I started by getting the snow shovel and putting shovelfuls of toys into the toybox.† That gave us room to work, at least.† Maeve and Jill were really caught off guard by the use of the shovel.

Thursday, February 6, 2003
I have told Maeve that "crying doesn't get you anything", and when I remind her of that she usually stops crying and asks "with big girl words" for what she wants.

Tonight Jill told Maeve to stop pushing the stroller around the kitchen so fast, or Jill would take it away.  Maeve didn't stop, so I took it away and folded it up.  Maeve started crying and stamping her feet, screaming that she wanted the stroller unfolded.  I put the stroller on the floor and said, "Let's see if crying and stamping your feet gets it unfolded."  I even asked Hilde to help.  Hilde didn't seem too sure about why we were doing it, but she stamped her feet and screamed at the stroller.  We cried, screamed, and stamped our feet a lot, and the stroller still didn't unfold.  It was very nice having Hilde's help.

Tuesday, February 4, 2003
Last night we saw a doctor show about a woman who had twins prematurely by C-section, and one had to stay in the hospital a little longer because he wasn't healthy enough to go home.  Today Maeve played doctor with Jill, and Jill had the same thing happen to her.  Maeve even used a refrigerator magnet like an ultrasound, and said we had to watch the babies on the TV.  She would move the magnet around and say, "That one is healthy.  This one is a little sick..."  I told Maeve that Jill was lucky to have as good a doctor as Maeve.

Monday, February 3, 2003
I took Maeve to preschool a few weeks ago and didn't know that I was supposed to make sure she got her lunch and coat in her cubby.  Whenever I picked her up, she got her own coat and lunch out of her cubby, so I figured she could put everything in.  I signed her in and left.  Her teachers were talking about how I just walked in and "threw her down".  Maeve asked why I just "threw her down".

Today I took her again.  I told Maeve that I was going to just throw her down.  I walked in the door, carried her horizontally, pretended to drop her, laid her flat on the floor right inside the door, and then I went to hang her lunch up in her cubby.  Now her teachers would be almost right if they said I "threw her down".

Thursday, January 30, 2003
At lunch today we were discussing how many children is a good number for a family.  My group mostly thought that four would be too many for parents to keep up with.  Someone suggested that one would be good.  I said the problem with one is that they don't have someone that they have to share with, so there is a greater chance of them growing up without enough consideration of others or understanding that lack of consideration can have negative repercussions for them.

I said two kids are a good minimum because they keep each other in line.  I said that I sometimes call Hilde "The Equalizer".  Sometimes Hilde will retaliate when Maeve hurts her.  Sometimes Hilde will treat Maeve just like Maeve treats Hilde.  If Maeve complains, we ask Maeve where Hilde learned to treat people like that.  I also said that adults could get arrested for doing things like handcuffing children to a radiator to punish them.  If one kid does that to another, adults say things like, "Don't do that.  That isn't nice." and that's the end of it.  That comment prompted a stunned silence.  The silence was broken when someone said, "The scary thing is that he has two kids already."

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Hilde went for her 18 month check up today.  She got another shot, and again there was no crying.  She was 33.25 inches tall and weighed 23 lb 10 oz.

Sunday, January 26, 2003
Jill cleaned the playroom last night so it would be ready for company this afternoon.  When Jill was still in bed, she told Maeve to not mess up the playroom, because Jill had cleaned it.  Maeve went in the playroom and said, "This isn't clean.  Why does Mom say this is clean?"  That set off Jill, and she said, "Where does she get off saying it isn't clean?"  Maeve yelled back about a few things she found on the floor, and Jill said something about how most of the area was clean.  This back and forth discussion lasted for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, January 25, 2003
I talked to Maeve again about taking her belly button.  She told me that I couldn't because I only had room for one.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Maeve saw the picture of Hilde's baptism and said, "That is the day that Hilde got Baptist".

Sunday, January 19, 2003
We were all watching a TV show today where a father has left for work, and the rest of the family finds a squirrel in the house.  Everyone is screaming, and the mother asks the son, "What would your father be doing right now if he were here?"  The son replied, "Laughing at you."  We discussed with Maeve that a squirrel probably wouldn't be too big a problem, but that Jill would have trouble dealing with a bird in the house, because of Jill's bird phobia.  Maeve pretended to be a bird flying around the house, and then she said, "OK, Dad, now laugh at Mom."

Friday, January 17, 2003
Maeve cleaned up her own room.  I had to tell Hilde to stop dumping books off Maeve's bookshelf on the floor.

Thursday, January 16, 2003
Maeve and Hilde helped me make the drain hole bigger for the new bathroom vanity that we are putting in.  I had to chip out some floor tile before sawing through the subfloor.  We found some pretty white and blue speckled tile below the ugly brown tile that is on top now.  I told Maeve and Hilde that Mom would be mad when she saw that.  Jill was ticked, and she said, "What were they thinking, to replace that pretty tile with the ugly brown?"

Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Hilde had her eye surgery today.  Jill and I dropped Maeve off at preschool early and we both went to Children's Hospital.  After waiting, I got to take Hilde into the operating room.  They used some gas to put her to sleep, and then they kicked me out.  The started the IV after she was asleep, and the whole operation took about 5 minutes.  They just had to put a probe into her tear duct to clear it out, and then irrigate it well.  We sat with Hilde for an hour in the recovery room, and then we went home.  Hilde was a little sluggish and clingy all day, but it still went very well.  Other than me not getting to watch the procedure, we had no complaints.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Jill told Hilde that she could wean any time that she wanted to.† Hilde just laughed.

Monday, January 13, 2003
Jill left Maeve playing downstairs today.  Maeve typed her own name on the computer, printed it, and got the printout to show Jill, all by herself.

Later Jill was working on the computer and Maeve said she needed to work on the computer and do some typing.  Jill asked Maeve if she had to use the real computer, hoping that Maeve would just type on her keyboards.  Maeve chose the real computer, saying, "Where else would I do my typing?"

Sunday, January 12, 2003
Jill asked me to go to Walmart to get some tissue paper.  On the way, Maeve said we should leave the tissue paper in the bag and tell Jill that we didn't buy any.  That sounded like something I would do, so I asked Maeve who she got that idea from.  She said she got it from Hilde.  Since Hilde isn't talking yet, I don't think that's right.

Saturday, January 11, 2003
I shaved my beard today.   It was nice to not shave for a month and a half, but Jill and I decided it was time for the beard to go.  Maeve and Hilde came in the bathroom to watch.

Friday, January 10, 2003
Maeve and Hilde went to Hasbro Children's Hospital today for Hilde's pre-op visit.  They both got a lollipop and a beanie baby teddy bear.

Thursday, January 9, 2003
Today Maeve said we were going back to Texas in the spring.  She said that Baby Isaiah was also going to visit us in the spring.

Wednesday, January 8, 2003 - Flight to Providence
Maeve told Mama Pat that she can sleep on our couch when she comes to visit.† April and Isaiah can sleep on the floor.† Mr. Jim can either sleep on the smaller couch, or on the floor with April and Isaiah.

We went to HEB today to buy lots of Texas salsa and similar souvenirs before we left for the airport.† Security wasn't as stringent as in Providence, and there were no problems getting checked in.† It was almost 7 hours from our arrival at the airport until we got to Providence, but there were no incidents, and Maeve and Hilde both enjoyed the whole thing.

April did a great job planning the whole schedule.† Jill said this was the first vacation that I had been on with her that I didn't have anything to grumble about.† My favorite part of the whole trip was scaring the lady in the Houston Space Center museum shop.

Tuesday, January 7, 2003
This morning Jill slept a little later, and I took Maeve and Hilde to the playground.  We pushed Hilde down the slides.  She didn't want to go down herself, even on the short regular slide.

We went to the Houston Children's Museum before lunch.  On the way we got behind some old people driving too slowly and taking forever to change lanes.  Mama Pat said her father used to drive way too fast, just so people wouldn't complain about him being an old driver.

Maeve's favorite part of the museum was a section on motion.  She got to send golf balls down all sorts of slides and loops.  There was a special "toddler" area for Hilde.  There was some fun stuff there that Maeve wanted to play with, but she was too old.

On the way out to the car, we saw a trash truck that had an arm which reached out, picked up a trash can on the side of the street, dumped it in the truck, and put the can back.  They didn't need anyone hanging on the outside of the truck.

Maeve said that Mama Pat has very soft toilet paper. She also said, "If we had this at our house, I would put it in bed and lay against it."

Maeve wanted to run around naked tonight.  She ran around the family room, and got stuck between Mr. Jim and Mama Pat, who were both trying to catch her.

Monday, January 6, 2003
We were going to go to the Houston Space Center this morning, but it was almost lunch time before we got there.  We went to a boardwalk park called Kemah for lunch, and then went back to the Houston Space Center museum.  It was almost time to go home by the time we got there, so we quickly went through some exhibits, and spent more time at the gift shop.

Maeve had just gone to the bathroom at the restaurant, so I was surprised when Maeve said she needed to go again.  I picked her up, carried her horizontally, asked why she needed to go again, jiggled her, and growled.  When a woman who was restocking t-shirts looked up to see this,  her mouth dropped and she gasped.  It must have been Maeve's laughter that clued her in to the fact that I was just playing with Maeve.

Sunday, January 5, 2003
We went to church today with Jim and April.  It's a pretty neat church.  It gave them a lot of opportunities to show off.

Jill and Hilde took a nap in the afternoon.  I took Maeve to a different playground.  April gave me directions, but I didn't follow them.  Maeve and I walked an extra 45 minutes before I called April for directions.  Jill overheard April and thought I might be going to yesterday's jewelry store to buy a ring. Instead, Maeve and I got to see new homes being built and talk about pouring concrete, roofing, and other fun things.

Jim and April took us out to dinner while Mama Pat watched Maeve and Hilde.

Saturday, January 4, 2003
Jim and April took us to a building-monument sort of thing with a waterfall for lunch.† We parked in a tow zone, so we ate close to the car.† Jim and I moved the car and drove around the block a little when we saw a policeman and four tow trucks show up.

We visited FAO Schwarz and Starbucks.† Jill went to another jewelry store and got me another business card with information about rings she might like for our 10th anniversary.

When we left Rhode Island, it was snowing, and was expected to snow almost every day while we were gone.† In Houston, we had to wear short sleeve shirts to keep from sweating.† The temperature was around 70.† Jim said that it hits 30 every 3 years, and it had only snowed twice in Houston in his lifetime.

During Hilde's nap, April, Isaiah, Maeve and I went to a playground.† Maeve went down the spiral slide all by herself today.

Friday, January 3, 2003 - Flight to Houston
We got to the airport in plenty of time.  Maeve and Hilde loved the ride on the parking shuttle bus.

The new federal TSA people were irritating.  Too many were just standing around waiting for more passengers.  Most of them seemed unfamiliar with what they were doing, and waited for direct instructions before doing anything.  I just don't like tax money going to pay for people who don't know their jobs well enough to really make anything all that much safer.

I mentioned that a shard of glass might be a good weapon, because it would probably pass through the xray.  Jill told me to be quiet.

We flew from Providence to Nashville, and then stayed on the same plane to go from Nashville to Houston.  The plane was only about half full on each leg, so we used an extra seat for Hilde and Maeve.  I was the only one who had any problems with ear pressure.

During the flight, I read an article about how Houston has been annexing surrounding areas before they can incorporate.  Most towns do this to suck in more affluent suburbs before the suburbs can incorporate.  Houston has done a lot of that, and is now up to 623 square miles.  Rhode Island is only 1045 square miles, so the city of Houston is about 60% the size of the entire state of Rhode Island.

Thursday, January 2, 2003
We have been saying that we are going to stay with Mama Pat, April's mother, when we got to Texas.  Everytime that Jill says, "Mama Pat", Hilde pats her.

Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Maeve has had dry training pants overnight for months.  She has also been good about waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom if she needed to.  She said she wanted to start sleeping in underwear, so last night she did.

Monday, December 30, 2002
Maeve told Jill that we need a new house.  Jill said she didn't think we did, but Maeve thinks it's time to move.  I told Maeve that I wasn't done fixing the one we have.

Saturday, December 28, 2002
We got another Veggie Tales video for Christmas, so Pop got to see lots of Veggie Tales while he was here.  Matthew has a Larry doll.  Pop told Jill that he never knew what it was.  He thought it was just a funny shaped doll.

After we took him to the airport, Maeve was repeating what he told her about Veggie Tales.  Maeve said, "I never saw talking vegetables before".

Pop helped me remove the old bathroom sink, and helped start putting in the new vanity and new sink.  It was time for Hilde's nap before we finished, so we'll see how long it takes me to finish on my own.

Thursday, December 26, 2002
Maeve, Pop and I went to visit an antique car friend of my dad's in Connecticut.  The guy runs the "oldest running steam-driven apple cider mill in the United States".

We went to Mystic Pizza II for lunch.  They claim to be "a slice of heaven".  I said pizza was like Garrison Keillor's comment about pumpkin pie - "the best you've ever had isn't much better than the worst".

Tonight we tried to give Hilde medicine.  Jill had only poured it in the cup when Hilde started shaking her head and pulling on her tongue, like she was trying to get the medicine off it.  Hilde is a real challenge with medicine.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002
Rhode Island had the first white Christmas in 5 years today.  Pop said it was only raining in DC.  Marianne said she would have been disappointed without snow.

Jill had bought some croissants, and someone taught Maeve how to say it with an arrogant French accent.  She even didn't pronounce the consonants that the French think are put there just to give them something to ignore.  It sounded kind of like "craw SAW", with a bit of a growl to it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Maeve, Hilde and I went to pick up my dad at the Providence airport tonight.  Hilde was unusually friendly to him, even though we weren't sure she remembered who he was.

Sunday, December 22, 2002
On the way to the grocery store today, someone ran a red light in front of me, so I had to stop to avoid hitting them.  Of course I honked, and at the next light he rolled down his window, to apologize, I assumed.  Instead he insisted that his light was yellow.  He was not able to explain to me how his light was yellow when my light was green.  Instead he "waved" and turned off.

At the grocery store, there was an announcement that there was some "buy one get one free" Christmas candy.  I said I was in a bellicose mood, and I would go battle the old ladies for the candy.  I asked Maeve if she was in a bellicose mood, and she said she was.  She repeated, "I am in a bellicose mood."

On the way home, Jill was whistling along with "Jingle Bells".  Maeve said, "Jill, I can't hear the song with you whistling."  Jill said, "She really is in a bellicose mood."

Thursday, December 19, 2002
Today Jill realized that the bowling ball in the back yard was not one of Maeve's play balls.  Jill asked Maeve where it came from, and Maeve came through for me.  She told Jill that "the crazy wind blew it there", and that I thought it looked good in our yard.

Thursday, December 12, 2002
Today Jill was in the shower and there was no shampoo.  She called Maeve, who climbed up on a stool and got Jill a new bottle.

Sunday, December 8, 2002
Tonight Maeve, Hilde and I went out to play in the snow.  Hilde has trouble walking, so she spent most of her time on all fours, or just standing in one place.  After Hilde had had enough, I took her in and Maeve and I played for a few more minutes.  Maeve asked me to look at a shooting star, that seemed to linger, according to her description.  I saw nothing.  I explained to Maeve what a shooting star really is, and why it makes the light that it does.

Friday, December 6, 2002
The Christmas tree reflects off the living room windows.  With the bay windows, we have three reflections.  The double panes of the glass help to distort the lights.  Maeve said the reflection of the angel on the top of the tree has an "scary" face, and has two lights (while the real angel only has one light).  Maeve likes to jump up on the couch, point at the window and yell about it.  Hilde likes to climb up and point, too.

Tuesday, December 3, 2002
Maeve has been practicing the songs for her preschool Christmas program.† She got a printout of songs, and we have been singing them with her.† Jill was reading through the printed words and saw the words "reindeers" repeated a few times.† She said that would bug her if they really sang the songs that way.

She also didn't like the line in "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" that says Santa will know who is "naughty AND nice".† While I have to agree that someone shouldn't be both naughty AND nice, that seems to match some other sources of lyrics that I found.

Sunday, December 1, 2002
I last shaved on November 27, and am working on growing a beard.  We'll see how that goes.

I have a programming class all week.  I asked Maeve what she thought of my beard so far.  She shriveled up her nose, shook her head and said, "If you go to class people will say, 'Why do you have that funny beard?'"

Saturday, November 30, 2002
We put up the Christmas tree today.  We had to move the furniture around in the living room a little.  I mentioned to Jill that now there is no room for the tent.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002
Hilde has had one gunky eye for a while.  Apparently I missed a conversation or two that Jill and I had about it.  Jill had discussed this problem with her sisters, who said it was probably a blocked tear duct, and she should have it taken care of soon.

She went to a pediatric opthomalogist today.  Jill and I discussed it a bit.  I thought it was the nasolacrimal duct, but Jill was saying it was a tear duct.  I got my anatomy book and found a diagram that was almost identical to the one that Jill had.  In my book, the duct was labeled the "nasolacrimal", while Jill's just said, "tear".  I think we agreed that my book was more likely to be correct.

Hilde needs surgery to stick some metal rod into the duct to open it up, and then irrigate it a bit.  No one-year-old will put up with that while conscious, so she will need general anesthesia.

Saturday, November 23, 2002
We have had a few days of very high winds.  It has blown down part of our fence, blew the patio furniture around the backyard, and blew our trash cans down the street.  Maeve and I were out running errands and I saw a shimmery blue bowling ball by the side of the road.  I brought the ball home to put in yard, along with the other yard ornaments.  I told Maeve that if Jill asks where the ball came from, to say that the "crazy wind" must have blown it there.  I don't think Jill will believe that, but it will be fun to see how long it takes for Jill finds out the truth.

Friday, November 15, 2002
Hilde woke up at 12:30 this morning, right after Jill had put her back to sleep.  I offered to try to put Hilde back to sleep.  I rocked Hilde for a few minutes, and then Hilde wanted to get down.  I put her down, she staggered a few steps, laid down on the floor and went to sleep.  I covered her up and went to sleep next to her.  By daybreak she had cuddled up with me, and then went to sleep on my chest.

Thursday, November 14, 2002
Today Maeve asked if Thanksgiving was the same as Valentine's day.  Jill explained the difference.  Then she went through a list of people, like Grandma and Grandpa, and asked Maeve if she was thankful for them.  Jill asked Maeve what she was thankful for, and Maeve said she was thankful for her blanket.

Monday, November 11, 2002
Jill got home from visiting Becky in Pennsylvania today.  She took Maeve and Hilde.  Marianne also went so she could visit her family.  I stayed home to work on some projects.  I put in the new stove, sealed the driveway, and did some work on the insulation in the attic.  It was nice to stay up late working without keeping anyone awake.

Wednesday, November 6, 2002
Maeve's belly button was sticking out tonight, and I threatened to take it.  Maeve protested, and said that she needed it.  I asked what she needed it for, and she couldn't answer.  Jill told Maeve that she didn't need it anymore, but that she would look silly without it.  I told Maeve that I was just joking.  I also reminded her about the doctor show that we saw where a lady had a bunch of fat taken off her midriff, and they cut her belly button off the removed fat so they could reattach it.

Friday, November 1, 2002
I brought my shop vac into the living room tonight to vacuum up some cracker crumbs on the floor and the couch.  The last time that Hilde saw me use that was to "dust" the ceiling fans at the end of summer.  When I carried the shop vac into the house, Hilde started pointing at the ceiling fan in the kitchen.

Thursday, October 31, 2002
When I asked Maeve a few months ago what she wanted to be for Halloween, she said she wanted to be a "flight paramedic".  We decided that Hilde should be a flight nurse.  Maeve also said she wanted to be a policeman, so we decided she would be a state trooper flight paramedic.  I had a great time preparing.  I built a stretcher out of PVC pipes for one her life-sized dolls.  I got reflective tape and large star-of-life patches for the back of the "flight suits".  I found a helicopter and a star-of-life embroidery design, and Jill embroidered a logo and their names on the "flight suits".

At lunch I came home to take pictures.  We staged the doll having a car accident.

Hilde and Maeve each had their own basket for their candy when we went out trick-or-treating.  I carried the stretcher and Hilde.  We went up the street, but Hilde was fussing a lot by the time we got back to our house.  We dropped off Hilde, and Maeve and I finished the road.  By the end Maeve was getting pretty tired, and she rode the stretcher home.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002
Tonight I noticed that the thermostat said it was colder than the thermostat setting.  The baseboard hot-water heaters were cold.  I carried Hilde downstairs to see why the furnace wasn't coming on.  Hilde had turned off the burner switch again.  I told Hilde that she wasn't supposed to play with that switch any more, but I'm not too hopeful that the lesson stuck with her.

Saturday, October 26, 2002
Maeve got goosebumps when she got out of the tub tonight, before I dried her off.  Maeve asked about it, and I told her they were usually called "goosebumps", but that the correct term is "piloerection".  I asked if she could say that, and she pronounced it just fine.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Today was the first snow of the season.  Hopefully this will be a decent winter with plenty of snow.  I would like a good New England winter.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002
Hilde went for another doctor's visit today.  This time she got three shots, and these she noticed.  She was 23 lb and 31 inches tall.

Monday, October 21, 2002
Maeve wanted to sleep in the tent last night, so I didn't take it down.  It's a little hard to move around in the living room with the tent.  It's also hard to watch TV if you aren't in the tent.  Jill just called with a pretty strong threat that started with, "If you ever pull a stunt like putting up a tent in my living room again...".  While Jill was in Richmond over the weekend, her sister Joan asked Jill why she didn't just leave it up.  Joan got an earful from Jill about that.

Sunday, October 20, 2002
Today Maeve and I went to see Peter Pan at the Stadium Theatre.  This was Maeve's first time in a real theater with live actors.  Maeve thought Captain Hook wasn't as scary in real life as he is in the Disney cartoon.  It was a lot of fun, but it was clear to me that the actors were "volunteers".  They did have the whole "Flying by Foy - a PROFESSIONAL stage flying company" that got the actors flying around.  It wasn't as convincing as the cartoon version, but they were up in the air.  I asked Maeve after if they looked like they were flying or hanging, and she said hanging.

The play took three hours, so we had to leave right from there, rush home to get Jill and Hilde's flight information and then try to get to Logan.  Between running into traffic from Foxboro Stadium, having trouble getting through the Big Dig maze of detours, and a lot of traffic on northbound I-93, it took two hours to get there.  That seemed a little too long for a Sunday evening.  We hit way too much traffic getting out of Boston, too.  I was pretty torqued by the time we got home.

Maeve had decided that the tent in the living room should be taken down after Jill and Hilde got home.  Hilde fell in love with it right away.  She was going in and out, and putting even more toys in there.

Saturday, October 19, 2002
Maeve and I went to the welding store today to pick up some items for my new welder.  While we were there, I got some beanie hats, and we even bought Maeve a colorful welding hat.  Maeve wore her hat and a beanie hat home, and then put them in her garage tote.

We also went to see the VeggieTales "Johah" movie.  It was the first movie that Maeve had ever been to.  She was very well behaved, and seemed to really enjoy it.  I was worried about her falling asleep during the movie, but she waited until the trip home to fall asleep.

Thursday, October 17, 2002
Maeve and I took Jill and Hilde to the airport today.  I know it's a bad idea to go to Boston during the work day, but we didn't have much choice.  I also needed to get back to pick up a welder at 4 PM.  Even leaving Logan airport at 2:30 in the afternoon we hit crazy traffic and wasted too much time.  I told Jill that she didn't need to fly out of Logan again.

This was Hilde's first airplane trip.  Just like Maeve's first flight, Hilde's first airplane trip was about 20 years earlier in her life than mine was.  She was just a few weeks older than Maeve when she took her first trip.

Maeve and I put up a tent in the living room to sleep in while Mom was gone.  It's big enough that it makes getting around it very hard.  At first Maeve said she didn't want to sleep in it, but she really enjoyed it once she figured out how to open and close the flaps.  She started calling it her house.  She took some books, crayons and toys in and zipped all of the flaps shut.  At one point she said, "Dad, open my house and look at this".

Friday, October 11, 2002
We went out to dinner tonight and Hilde was in a high chair in the aisle.  A woman walked by with a son about the same age as Hilde.  The woman pretended to be talking for her son and said, "Look at that hot chick", referring to Hilde.  On the way home I talked to Maeve and Hilde about it.  I think that it's best if males are not allowed to get TOO confident.  Confident is good, but TOO confident is just bad.  They end up acting inane and causing trouble for everyone.  I told Maeve and Hilde that if anyone ever calls them a hot chick that they should kick them in the groin.  Even if they like the person, it's still better long term for him to be put in his place.  Maeve said, "OK".  Jill said we didn't need to have this conversation when Maeve was only 3.

Friday, October 4, 2002
Jill, Hilde and Maeve visited the family of one of my co-workers today.  My co-worker is from Tennessee, though he denies having lived in a rural setting.  Still, their house here is very rural, relative to the urban/suburban area in which they live.  They have several chickens, and when they were driving down the driveway, Jill told Maeve that she was the "chicken spotter".  If Maeve saw a chicken, she was to yell out so Jill wouldn't run it over.

Jill told the other lady that she couldn't have found a house more like a "Tennessee holler" in this area if they had search for years.

Sunday, September 29, 2002
Today Jill said she had an urge to decorate, and that that urge is often a sign that we are about to move.  We've had a tendency to move not long after we do a lot of work to our houses.

Saturday, September 28, 2002
Tonight Maeve said she wanted to go to Friendly's for dinner.  I said I thought we should go to RoJacks for a pack of hot dogs.  We could put the hot dogs someplace hot in the engine compartment, and then eat them with nothing else other than the ketchup we had in the trunk from shopping earlier.  I've seen it work with frozen burritos for commuting college students.

Maeve told me that she didn't like engine hot dogs.  I said I didn't think she had ever tried them, so she didn't really know if she liked them or not.  She said that she had tried them when she was a baby, and that she spit them out because she didn't like them.  Jill asked who had given her engine hot dogs, and she said I had.  That is not true, but she was pretty convinced that she would not like them.

Friday, September 27, 2002
I sometimes lay Hilde on my head and running around screaming that I have a baby on my head, just like I did with Maeve.  Now, just like Maeve did, Hilde laid a doll on her head and started running around in circles, laughing like crazy.

Friday, September 20, 2002
Maeve likes to move things from one room to another.  She will play with something in one room, carry it to another room, and then put it down to play with something else.  Hilde has started doing that now.  Jill found all of the mixing bowls by the bookshelf in Maeve's room and the brown gravy mix was on our dresser.

Thursday, September 19, 2002
Maeve got a cold last week, and has gotten better.  Hilde had it earlier this week, and now Jill and I have it.  Jill again told Maeve that it felt like her head was going to fall off, but she knew that Maeve would say that couldn't happen.  She told Maeve to watch and she slowly started tipping her head, like it was falling off.  That gave Maeve a bit of a surprise.  It's good for all of us that Jill was only joking, and that she still has her head.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Maeve's preschool had two field trips planned.  Maeve said she wanted me to go on the apple picking one, instead of having Jill and Hilde go.  We didn't actually pick any apples.  There was a little hay ride, a discussion of the equipment that cuts apples, and that makes apple cider and apple sauce.  Everyone got a goody bag with apples, a little bottle of cider and some honey sticks.

Saturday, September 14, 2002
CVS had discount tickets for a little racetrack in Massachusetts, and we went tonight.  The track is only 1/3 of a mile, and there isn't even room for a pit area.  We got to see all of the different flags and signal lights, the tow trucks, and the ambulances.  There were a bunch of short races, with pickups in one, some kind of stubby cars in another, regular stock cars in another, and even one had kids racing.

The kids racing is 10-16 year olds who have small stock cars with go-cart engines.  They can get up to 70 MPH.  A rookie girl racer lead the first 2/3 of the race, until an accident put her at the back of the field.

Hilde liked clapping, and was busy looking at everything.  She would keep seeing someone with a drink or popcorn, and she would point. She doesn't have words yet, but it was clear that she wanted what they had.  Maeve also had fun, and took out her earplugs after just a few minutes.  Hilde pulled hers out even faster, and started chewing on them.

With such a short track, a lot of what goes on is just driving fast with a lot of traffic.  There isn't too much opportunity for passing.  Minutes after we sat down Jill said, "I could do that.  I could easily do that."  Jill thought her years of commuting on route 128 north of Boston, with everyone trying to go 75-80 on narrow, windy roads, had given her the experience that she needed.

Jill's parents have lived just down the road from a little racetrack for 20 years, but Jill said today was the first time that she had ever been to a race.  She also said that she should have her father get her a NASCAR shirt or sweatshirt.  I reminded Jill that we had just bought her a high-dollar embroidery machine that would let her put logos on clothes herself, instead of paying any crazy markup.  Everyone needs to make a living, but when someone wants $40 for a polo shirt or $22 for a t-shirt, that's just gouging customers.

Thursday, September 12, 2002
Jill brought home her super fancy embroidery/sewing machine today.  It has enough features, and was expensive enough, that this should hold her for a very long time.  This one has a slot for a proprietary memory card to hold designs, but it also accepts a floppy disk.  We can also get computer software so we can create our own embroidery designs.

Sunday, September 8, 2002
Marianne came to visit this weekend.  Maeve asked me how to get boo-boos.  I explained the criteria for abrasions, lacerations, puncture wounds and burns.  Maeve is familiar with all of those.  Then Marianne helped me list the rest of the soft tissue injuries: contusion, evisceration, amputation, hematoma, penetrating, avulsion, etc.  Marianne and I were arguing about whether a hematoma is just a bad contusion, and Jill stopped us before we got to explain all of this to Maeve.  Jill said that Maeve was only looking for an answer like, "You can fall down, you can cut your finger on some glass, etc."

I think that would be a pretty lame answer.  I think it's worth explaining exactly what a laceration or abrasion is, instead of, "You can fall on the road, you can fall on the sidewalk, you can fall at preschool, etc."  I guess we don't have to explain exactly what an evisceration or amputation is right now, but we'll cover the rest when she's a little older.

Friday, September 6, 2002
Today Jill told Maeve, "I have a headache.  I think my head is going to fall off."  Maeve replied, "Don't be silly!  God made your head stuck on, with blood and stuff inside.  It can't fall off."

Thursday, September 5, 2002
Maeve asked me when she would be as big as me.  I said she grows a little every day, and would probably stop growing about the time that she learns to drive.

Tonight I told Maeve about a Peter Pan play that we could go to while Jill and Hilde are in Richmond for a wedding.  I explained that it is a story about kids who don't want to grow up.  Maeve said, "That's silly!  You have to drive!"

Wednesday, September 4, 2002
There was no hot water for showers this morning.  I was planning to call the oil company for a service call, but I thought I would check for any obvious problems first.  It turns out that Hilde had turned off the oil burner yesterday.  Jill turned her back for a second while she was washing clothes and Hilde flipped the switch.

Monday, September 2, 2002
At dinner tonight Hilde ate too large a piece of her roll.  She started to choke a little, but was able to clear her throat.  Maeve yelled, "Hilde, use those new teeth!"

Saturday, August 31, 2002
Maeve has a tendency to push Hilde around a little, and try to knock her over.  When Maeve does that, Jill usually tells Maeve to stop, and asks if Maeve needs to go to her room.

Tonight Hilde tripped on Jill's foot.  I asked Jill if she needed to go to her room.  Jill said, "Hilde, go step on your father."

Wednesday, August 28, 2002
I've finished most of the work on the central air conditioning project.  Brian and his friend Ron came over to braze the last joints and charge the system.  It works.  I just have to spend another hour or so to finalize the connections of two flex ducts, and then I'll be done with all but cosmetic things.  It's almost a month beyond Jill's deadline, but we did save about $5,000 (the pros wanted about $8,000 to put in what we got).

It was definitely the largest do-it-yourself project that I've ever done, though the kitchen at our last house was also pretty big.  At least with the kitchen I was able to do most of the floor and wall work while the kids were asleep, and Maeve could come work with me.  Everyone will be glad to have me spend more time playing after work, instead of heading straight up to the attic.

Now hopefully we will have some warmer days before fall so we can enjoy it a little.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002
One of the last steps in our central air conditioning project is to connect the flex ducts to the ceiling registers.  I made the connection outside so I wouldn't get any dust from the fiberglass insulation in the house.  I moved the ducts and registers into the right rooms and Jill handed them up to me in the attic for me to pull through.  Before we got them up in the attic, Hilde was poking them, and pulling on them.

During the day, Jill told Hilde that I wasn't home from work yet.  Hilde went into the hall, looked up at the central air conditioner return hole and called me.  I guess she's seen me through that hole a little too much lately, so she assumes that I'm in the attic if I'm not in the house.

Monday, August 26, 2002
Maeve fell and bumped her head today.  She seems to have forgotten that her arm hurt until the doctor fixed it, so seeing a doctor is a good thing, even if they are scary.  As soon as she got up, she screamed that she was OK and didn't need to go see a doctor.

Sunday, August 25, 2002
Maeve's arm still hurt today.  She wouldn't let Jill or I move it, and was in a lot of pain when we had to move it a little to get the car seatbelt on or off.  She had been holding in place across her stomach, but by this afternoon she let it hang down straight.  Maeve and I went to Friendly's for lunch, and then I drove around while she napped.

Marianne called to talk about when she was coming and we discussed the whole thing with her.  She said we should have someone else look at it, because it shouldn't still hurt.  The people at the hospital had also said we should call Maeve's doctor if it still hurt today.  We called Maeve's doctor and he said it shouldn't still hurt, and that we should take Maeve to Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence.

Maeve wasn't excited about going back to the hospital, but I told her that it was a special hospital just for kids.  Mom and I couldn't go, because they would tell us to go to the adult's hospital.  They had fish painted on the walls.  There were Winnie the Pooh characters on the walls and on some of the nurses' scrubs.

Maeve was still scared of the doctor that we saw.  He did a little fiddling around and thought he got the joint back where it was supposed to be.  Maeve wouldn't move her arm to show us if it was still working.  We went out to the play house in the waiting room and played with some games.  Maeve still wouldn't demonstrate that her elbow was fixed, but while she was playing we could see that she had regained full range of motion.  We played in the house for another half hour before we went home.

Saturday, August 24, 2002
Maeve was climbing on my back tonight, and I felt a pop in her arm when I was hanging on to her.  She initially said that there was no blood, and that everything worked, but it turned out that her elbow didn't work.  We went to the hospital.  They took x-rays and ended up saying Maeve had an elbow subluxation.  They thought they were able to get it back into place, and Maeve got a few stickers for being such a good patient.  We went home and Maeve snuggled with me all night.  Jill offered to stay up with her, but Maeve told her to go to bed.

Friday, August 23, 2002
Jill left me home alone with Maeve and Hilde tonight.  One of the projects we did was to switch Hilde's crib with Maeve's old crib, because it would be easier for Jill to get Hilde in and out of it without waking her up at night.  Both Maeve and Hilde helped me.  I had to keep stopping to ask them to let me have my tools back.

Sunday, August 18, 2002
I am getting close to the end of the central air conditioning project. When I was putting in the ceiling registers, I would cut out the hole and then wave to Hilde.  Now when she hears a noise in the attic and I'm not around, she points at the ceiling and starts calling my name.

Thursday, August 15, 2002
Jill asked a swim instructor from church how she teaches little kids to blow out underwater.  The lady said to tell kids to "talk to the fish" when they are blowing out.  To turn their head for a breath, the are supposed to "listen to the fish".  Jill didn't think that Maeve would fall for that trick, but she tried yesterday.  Maeve immediately pointed out that our pool has no fish.

Today Jill tried again, and Maeve corrected her with, "talk to the PRETEND fish" and "listen to the PRETEND fish".

Monday, August 12, 2002
Hilde and Maeve were in the garage while I was working on the central air conditioning project.  Maeve screwed screws into her ceiling tiles.  Hilde was digging through my tool bag and carrying around tools that she liked.  Maeve opened the screw drawer far enough to see the tape in the back, and she started taking out different kinds of tape and asking what they were used for.  Hilde joined right in, and even pulled two rolls out when I started explaining what they are used for.

Saturday, August 10, 2002
Today Jill left me with Hilde and Maeve all day.  I got all of the central air conditioning equipment last weekend, and I wanted to do some work on that project.  Today we dug a flat spot for the outdoor unit.  Maeve helped dig, and Hilde played with toys in the backyard.

Tuesday, August 6, 2002
Today was Maeve's first day of preschool.  Maeve was excited.  Jill was willing to stick around for a while, but right away Maeve told her to leave.  Now Hilde doesn't have a big sister to follow around, but I think she will have no problem adjusting to having Mom and the house to herself.  Jill will have to get used to not having Maeve to talk to.  She called me at work to chat because Hilde was asleep.

I picked Maeve up around noon because I had a quick project at home to take care of.  They asked for some identification.  I tried to get Maeve to tell them who I was, but she wouldn't say anything.  I didn't know about their "sign her out" policy, so I didn't sign her out.  When Jill was trying to tell Maeve how important it is that she get signed out, Jill said if there is a fire that they need to know who is there and who isn't.  Maeve told Jill that there hadn't been a fire.

When Jill tried to get Maeve to tell her what she did, Maeve had nothing to say.  After enough prompting by Jill, Maeve let out a heavy sigh and said, "Ask my teacher tomorrow."

Sunday, August 4, 2002
I was screwing some screws into wood and Maeve said she wanted to screw in some screws, too.  We went to Home Depot to get some acoustical ceiling tiles so Maeve would have something soft enough to screw into.  Maeve got a screw driver from my tool bag.  She had been getting out washers, and she knew about the screws in the same drawer.  She got out the screws and screwed three into the ceiling tiles all by herself.  In the past when I've seen her try stuff like that, she's had trouble getting her hands to do it right.  Now I have to start to plan out which projects around the house she can take care of for me.

Thursday, August 1, 2002
Maeve and Hilde went for a doctor visit today.  Maeve was 36.25 inches tall and weighed 25 lbs.  Hilde was 30 inches tall and weighed 21 lbs 11 oz.

Hilde got a shot and didn't even cry.  Then we had to get blood drawn.  Again, Hilde didn't even cry.  That seems a little weird.  Maeve made up for Hilde, though.  Maeve cried more after it was all done than she cried while it was happening.  When she went to the grocery store she wouldn't bend her arm; she kept it straight.  After she got home, she fell asleep on the living room floor with her arm straight out and whimpering until she fell asleep.

Sunday, July 28, 2002
Jill's parents came to visit for a few days.  Her father was helping me replace some pipes under the kitchen sink, put in a new faucet and replace the water line to the automatic ice maker in the refrigerator.  While I was finishing up the connections for the faucet under the sink, Jill's father was pulling out the refrigerator to disconnect the old water line.  Maeve asked what he was doing.  I said he was trying to take our refrigerator home, and that Maeve should tell him that it wouldn't fit in his car.  Maeve yelled, "Grandpa, that won't fit in your car!" every time she saw him trying to move it.

Saturday, July 27, 2002
Jill and I were arguing over who should change Hilde's dirty diaper.  I asked Maeve who should change Hilde.  She said, "Leave it in there for days."

Tuesday, July 23, 2002
Hilde walks pretty well now, but she doesn't talk.  When she sees someone with something she wants to eat, she opens her mouth and tries to get close to that person.  When Jill is standing at the kitchen counter making a meal, Hilde will walk up to her with her mouth open.  Jill says she feels like a mother bird feeding baby birds by putting food in their open mouths.

Sunday, July 21, 2002
Jill is teaching Vacation Bible School this week.  They have a circus theme this year, and all of the teachers are supposed to dress up as some circus person.  Jill decided to go as the tattooed woman.  We got a bundle of temporary tattoos and Maeve helped Jill put them on.  Hilde kept pointing at them.

Maeve came and asked me if she could get a tattoo when she gets older.  I told her that she could, but she had to make sure it would look good being on her body forever.  I explained that Grandpa would look silly with a "Hello Kitty" or "Blues Clues" tattoo.

Friday, July 12, 2002
I don't know how this discussion came up, but today Maeve told Jill that she couldn't run away.  Maeve said that Jill was married to me, and I didn't like to feed Hilde.  I hope that's enough to keep Jill around.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002
Hilde has been playing peekaboo for a while by putting things over her face and then uncovering her face.  Today she put something on her face and started walking around.  She thought she was so funny.  Unlike Maeve, however, she knows how to have it not totally cover her eyes, so she can still see where she is going.

Tuesday, July 9, 2002
Jill called today to say that Hilde was going through her wallet.  She couldn't remember how old Maeve was when she started going through Jill's wallet, but Jill said that Hilde was being pretty thorough.

Saturday, July 6, 2002
Hilde has started saying "da da da da da".  I tell Hilde she can just stop with "dad", and doesn't have to say "daddy".

Wednesday, June 26, 2002
Jill asked Maeve to put powder on her back after her shower.  Maeve overdid it.  Maeve said all of the powder on Jill's back looked like hair, and that Jill should shave her back to get it off.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002
Maeve takes coupons from the automatic dispensers at the grocery store.  At home she put them in her toy cash register, just like the people at the store do.

Thursday, June 20, 2002
Jill showed Hilde a picture of a baby in a book.  Hilde started to try to get close to the book, and it looked like she was trying to lay on the book.  Then Jill realized that Hilde was trying to hug the baby in the book.

Monday, June 17, 2002
This morning Hilde got down the one step to the playroom by herself, and Jill found her feeding Big with a spoon.

Hilde is getting to be a real handful.  She has started putting stickers on things.  Jill also found her trying to unplug a lamp at the same time that she was trying to pull things off the windowsill.

Tonight Jill looked at Maeve and said, "Grandma isn't here.  We have to cook our own dinner."

Sunday, June 16, 2002
We drove home from Richmond overnight.  We left at 9:15 PM, and with the exception of one quick sidetrip, we made it home in 8.5 hours.  Even with the gas stops and a few places where accidents closed the interstate, we averaged about 64 MPH.  With Maeve and Hilde asleep most of the time, driving overnight is the least stressful way to get home.  During the day Hilde cries way too much, and Maeve either needs to go to the bathroom or says, "My hiney hurts" from sitting too long.

Thursday, June 13, 2002
I loaded up most of the remaining trees that we cut down yesterday and took them to the landfill.  Maeve went with me for all three trips.  After the first trip, she realized there wasn't much to see and decided to stay in the truck while I unloaded.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Today Grandpa cut down two more 70-foot pine trees in his yard.  First someone climbed the tree to attach a rope close to the top. Then they came down a little to cut the top off while Grandpa pulled on the rope with his pickup.  Then they came down to the ground and cut the lower part of the trunk.

At one point, a friend of Uncle James' was in the tree and got lightheaded.  Maeve got to see him rappel down.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Jill dropped an earring down the bathroom sink drain.  Maeve and Hilde helped me get it out.

Maeve and I were walking around in Grandpa's backyard.  I pointed out that he has very long grass, even though he has three lawnmowers sitting out by the shed.  Maeve said that Grandpa likes the grass to be longer before he mows it.

Monday, June 10, 2002
This morning Hilde was trying to climb on Maeve.  I asked Maeve if she was ready to get up or if she wanted to sleep more.  She said, "I want food".

Hilde was trying to put on Maeve's underwear today.

Sunday, June 9, 2002
Every Christmas I've been telling her that Santa Claus isn't real.  I've explained the whole story, and that it's just a story.  She doesn't believe me.  When we see a Santa, I explain that it's just a guy in a costume.  She says, "No, most of them are guys in costumes, but that is the real Santa".

Maeve got some late Christmas presents.  I reminded her that Santa isn't real.  She started singing a song about her presents, and that Santa is real.

Maeve got an army t-shirt from Aunt Jeanne.  She said she was reading the tag, and said it says the shirt is for people who are big and sweaty.  Maeve didn't say which one of us qualified to wear the shirt.

Saturday, June 8, 2002
Hilde took five steps today.  She has been scooting around while holding on to other things.  Today she walked without any support.

Thursday, June 6, 2002
Jill asked Maeve what Father's Day present I needed.  Maeve thought Jill needed a dump truck for Mother's Day, and that's what Jill got.  In response to Jill's question, Maeve said that I didn't need anything, so I should get no gifts for Father's Day.

Monday, June 3, 2002
Jill and Maeve made a calendar to count down the days until I arrived.

Sunday, June 2, 2002
Maeve keeps saying, "One more week till Daddy!"

Wednesday, May 29, 2002
Maeve was talking to me on the phone, and then she hung up and told Jill, "I'm done with him".

Friday, May 24, 2002
Maeve was holding some birdseed and trying to feed a squirrel that was in a tree.  She kept saying, "Come here, squirrel".  If the squirrel would go to the other side of the tree, Maeve would follow.  The squirrel couldn't get down, and didn't seem interested in being fed by Maeve.  Maeve had treed the squirrel.

Monday, May 20, 2002
Maeve is trying to practice walking with Hilde.  It is difficult because Hilde is a little heavy for Maeve to hold up, and Maeve keeps trying to lift her.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Jill wrote in her email from Richmond, "Maeve heard the race cars today.  She wants to go with Grandpa, but not you.  I explained she could go with both of you and leave mommy home, but no, just Grandpa.

"Hilde got another tooth and is really trying to walk.  I can't put up any gates because then Maeve can't get to the bathroom.  So, I am tired from chasing children all day.  The good news is Hilde will sit with Grandma now without crying.  I can finally go to the bathroom by myself."

Sunday, May 12, 2002
We were at Pop's house for Mother's Day.  Jill was not as excited about her dump truck as I thought she should be.  I also got her earrings to match a pendant that I had gotten her before.

I helped Pop move his antique cars from his old house to his new one.  One drove all the way, one died halfway there, and one had to be towed all the way.   We started last night, and worked through some sporadic thunderstorms.

Maeve and I also helped him work on his workshop.  We helped him remove some of the old roof and put in new roof supports.

Saturday, May 11, 2002
We went to Becky's graduation today.  Hilde and Maeve weren't interested in sitting around for it, so I went for a very long walk around the campus.

We were supposed to go back to the hotel to let Hilde and Maeve have an afternoon nap.  I saw a sign that said Hershey was only only 10 miles away, but in the direction opposite the hotel.  That is the way I went.  Jill and I were just talking when suddenly she saw a sign saying that we were in Hershey.  She accused me of kidnapping her and her children.

We went on the Chocolate World tour.  I told Maeve that Pop and I used to do that when I came for the antique car flea market.  I got to tell about the mud when it rained, and how Jill was complaining, "I am not a pig!" when she came.

Friday, May 10, 2002
Jill is going to spend a month in Richmond with Hilde and Maeve, while I work on the house.  Our plan is for me to drive down to my father's house with them, and my father will get me to the airport to fly back.  On the way down, we are stopping at Becky's graduation.

We left for Pennsylvania at 5 AM today.  We dropped my car off at airport so it would be there when I flew back.  Despite a tractor-trailer accident in Connecticut and making a wrong turn in New York, we still made excellent time.  A little earlier would have been better, since we would have had less crying and less conscious children.

Sunday, May 5, 2002
I explained Mother's Day to Maeve and asked what she thought we should get Jill.  Maeve said Jill should get a dump truck.  We went to the toy store and got Jill a very nice dump truck.

Maeve is not very good at keeping secrets, so we practiced.  I kept asking her what Jill was getting for Mother's Day, and Maeve was supposed to keep answering, "It's a surprise".  At least during our practice, she did well.

Saturday, May 4, 2002 - Maeve's 3rd Birthday
Maeve and I went shopping for party favors for her birthday party.  At one store, we found a fake owl that is supposed to scare birds from gardens and such.  I thought this would be a great companion to the pink flamingos.  We hung it up in in the front of the house, and Maeve named it Dukie.  Jill had a similar reaction as she did to discovering the pink flamingos in her yard.

Georgia and her parents came over for Maeve's party.  There was only Georgia, Maeve and Hilde, but I told Bret that was about enough kids for me.  Any more kids and I think it would have been a lot tougher to deal with.

Tuesday, April 30, 2002
Hilde went for her 9 month check-up today.  She was 28.5 inches long and weighed 20 lb 4 oz.  She's grown 1.75 inches and 1 lb 3 oz since her 6 month check-up.

Monday, April 29, 2002
Maeve woke up at night and called to me that she needed a diaper change.  I said I would be in in a few minutes, but I fell asleep.  The next thing I knew Maeve was on my bed with a new diaper and her wipes.

Sunday, April 28, 2002
Maeve was singing, "Rain, rain, go away, come again another day."  I said that is silly because people sing that every time it rains.  If I were the rain, I would want to say, "You sing that every time I come.  When should I come back, or do you just want a drought?"  I also want the rain to replace the pool water that was drained in preparation for winter.  I got Maeve to sing, "Rain, rain, fill my pool."

Saturday, April 27, 2002
Hilde is pulling herself up on furniture.† Jill said she wasn't ready for Hilde to grow up that fast.† Maeve was walking by after going to the bathroom, and said, "Come on, Dad, let's go back to the garage."† I said I am more than ready for Hilde to grow up, and I would love to have two kids going to the bathroom by themselves and wanting to go back to the garage.

Thursday, April 25, 2002
Today was "Take Your Children To Work" day.† Jill brought Maeve and Hilde.† Maeve has been to work with me a lot, but always on the weekend.† Jill had to park far out in the parking lot, and Maeve told her that I always park right up by the door.† Maeve also didn't understand why they had to wait at the guard station, because Maeve and I just walk right in.

Sunday, April 21, 2002
I sometimes get calls about problems with the CVS website on Sunday mornings.  We were supposed to become new members of our new church today.  The phone rang and I had Maeve answer it, in case I would get called in and miss the new member service.  Maeve ended up hanging up on the caller.  The QA manager called me back on my cell phone.  She said she was making a note next to my name, "Secretary is hard to deal with."

Saturday, April 20, 2002
Hilde stood by herself without holding onto anything else for the first time today.  I thought she was going to fall and rushed to catch her, but she was fine. She just looked at me, wondering why I was rushing around.

Thursday, April 18, 2002
Maeve is leaving stickers on everything, like spray paint vandals "tag" stuff with their name or whatever.  Maeve put a sticker on the back of Jill's pant leg, and one on Hilde's arm.  They keep popping up all over.

Sunday, April 14, 2002
Hilde was yelling in church, and Maeve started yelling back.  I told Maeve that she had to be quiet, and she pointed out that Hilde was yelling.  I explained that Maeve had to be a good example to Hilde.  Maeve put her finger to her mouth and shushed Hilde.

Friday, April 12, 2002
Hilde is fully crawling now.  She is doing well at finding her way around the house.

Friday, April 5, 2002
Hilde plays peekaboo.  She will pick up a towel, napkin or blanket and cover her head and face.  Then she lowers it to see us, then puts it back up again.  Maeve hid, but not until she was 1.5 years old.  I've never seen someone as young as Hilde do the peeking.

Wednesday, April 3, 2002
Rosie had silly inventions on her show today.  Maeve got two napkins and pretended to sew them together.  Then she put them on her face and said she had a "stinky bear mask".  "Stinky bears come over every couple whiles", she said.

Monday, April 1, 2002
Hilde pulled herself up all by herself.† She still isn't getting too far by crawling.† Maybe she will go right to walking, and pretty much skip crawling. She does get very agitated when Maeve runs past her and she canít keep up.

Thursday, March 28, 2002
Maeve loves to watch real-life medical shows, and she doesn't have any trouble stomaching it.  Today she saw a cow getting milked.  Jill explained that the milk we drink comes from cows.  Maeve thought that was really gross, but graphic medical procedures don't bother her.

Thursday, March 21, 2002
Today Hilde was standing up by holding on to something.  She has also started clapping.

Sunday, March 17, 2002
I took Maeve to work with me today when I had to do a little work.  As we walked out of the building when we were done, there was a fire alarm going off somewhere.  I asked Maeve what that noise was and she said that someone was cooking.  Apparently Maeve is too used to having our stove set off the smoke detectors by smoking too much when some food spills.

Friday, March 15, 2002
After we pray for dinner, we sing an "Amen" song.  I usually wave my hands, and Jill claps as part of the song.  Maeve likes to wave her hands too.  Today Hilde waved her hands both times that we went through the song.

Monday, March 11, 2002
Maeve has seen too many Longaberger parties, and Jill is getting too many new baskets.† Maeve has been going around picking up baskets and demonstrating them.† She will show off the liner and the protector.† She also tells her "audience" to smell the basket, because it's new.

Sunday, March 10, 2002
We're practicing walking with Hilde.  Hilde will walk using Maeve's shopping cart to support her, just like Maeve did.

Friday, March 8, 2002
Maeve has pretended to be a paramedic treating Jill before.† Today Maeve said that she was a paramedic and that Jill had hurt her arm.† Jill also needed a c-spine collar and backboard.

Wednesday, March 6, 2002
Today Jill took Maeve and Hilde to the library.† Maeve did a puppet show for Hilde, and Hilde loved it.

Tonight we had a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses over for their second visit.† We've never had anyone show up more than once.† Jill had been doing some research on some issues with her bible during the day and Maeve watched.† Tonight Maeve brought her bible and highlighter in and sat on the couch next to Jill.† She started to flip through her bible and pretended to be talking to the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Sunday, March 3, 2002
Maeve almost dressed herself.  She took off her pajamas and put her shirt on, but was only able to get one leg into her pants.

Thursday, February 28, 2002
Maeve said that Jill's foot needed fixing.  She went and got gloves to get ready for whatever examination or surgery she would have to do.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002
Maeve told Jill to lay down on the couch, and Maeve started performing CPR on Jill.  Maeve said they were going to the hospital.  Jill asked Maeve if she was a doctor or a paramedic, and Maeve said that she was a paramedic.

Saturday, February 23, 2002
Maeve took a little bag of carrots outside with her when we were playing the back yard, near where the previous owners had left a statue of Mary.† Jill and I had considered how to dispose of the statue, but decided instead to just make a collection of tacky lawn ornaments, including the pink flamingo that I bought last year.† Maeve tried to feed Mary some carrots.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Maeve loves the real-life medical shows on TV.  Those shows are her first choices, followed by motorcycle or auto races, and animal shows.  She knows what a beating heart looks like, so when we see open heart surgery she recognizes it right away.  Sometimes the ER shows and Paramedic shows are a little intense.  I'm not sure that she should be watching this kind of show at her age, but I try to explain everything in a way that she can understand and won't scare her.  Today Jill found her "operating" on Tubby with her sword.

Sunday, February 17, 2002
Hilde is lifting her entire body off the floor now, with only her feet and hands touching the ground.  She isn't crawling yet, but she does push herself backwards well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2002
In the bathtub tonight, Hilde kept putting her head underwater and kicking.  We joked that Hilde might teach Maeve to swim this summer.

Monday, February 11, 2002
I had replaced part of Jill's exhaust system.  I jacked up the car and rolled around under the car.  Maeve didn't want to help, but I did tell her what I needed to do, and she saw me in my work clothes after I finished.

Today Maeve used her wagon to "jack up" her helicopter.  She came back from her room with extra clothes on and Jill asked what she was doing.  Maeve said she was fixing her helicopter, and that she needed to wear work clothes to roll around on the ground.

Friday, February 8, 2002
Maeve and Hilde were laying on the bed while Maeve was getting her diaper changed.  Hilde quickly rolled over and grabbed a large clump of Maeve's hair.  I keep asking Maeve if she wants to get a haircut like mine, so Hilde can't grab it, but she always declines my offer.

Tuesday, February 5, 2002
Hilde went for her six month check-up today.† She was 26.75 inches long and weighed 19 lb 1 oz.† She is still growing pretty well, compared with her 2 month and 4 month check-up measurements.  Hilde is four lbs heavier than Maeve at Maeve's 8 month checkup, and only 1/4 inch shorter.  There was only one shot, and she was asleep when she got it.† She woke up to cry for a few minutes, but then went back to sleep.

Monday, February 4, 2002
There were two calls this morning while Jill was feeding Hilde.  Maeve picked up both.  Maeve still doesn't do very well conversing.  She listens to phone calls well, but often doesn't respond to the other person when they talk to her.

Maeve told Jill that the doctor had called.  I said maybe Maeve has Jill's gift for knowing who is calling, even before the phone is picked up.  When Jill called the doctor's office, it turned out it was indeed them both times.

Saturday, February 2, 2002
We picked up Jill's minivan today.  I don't think she's a stereotypical "minivan mom", but the extra space will be nice. There are also integral child seats.  Hilde will need to be in a separate car seat for a while, but Maeve also fits in hers.  It will be nice to have five-point harnesses for them, and still not need to deal with separate seats.

One of the things that the minivan has is a remote starting system.  We can't use it when the minivan is in the garage, but it might come in handy at other times.  Maeve was standing at the window and pushing the buttons on her cell phone.  When Jill asked what she was doing, Maeve said she was starting the minivan.

Friday, February 1, 2002
Hilde drank from a sippy cup today.  Maeve's cup got too close, and Hilde grabbed it and started drinking.

Thursday, January 31, 2002
Today Hilde crawled for the first time.  As for sliding around, she moves a lot faster going backwards than forwards.

Monday, January 28, 2002
Every so often Maeve whines like a baby.  Usually we tell her that she needs to use her big girl words.  Today Jill asked, "Why are you crying, little girl?  Have you lost your mom?" Maeve stopped whining, thought for a second, and then said that she had lost her mom.  Jill asked what she looked like, and Maeve said that her mom looked like a clown.  Jill asked if Maeve's mom had big floppy feet, and a big red nose.  Maeve said she did.  I don't think that turned out like Jill had planned, but at least Maeve stopped whining.

Saturday, January 26, 2002
Maeve had imaginary friends over today.  They all had names, and Maeve would keep calling them by name.  One of the things they all did was to go shopping, along with Maeve's shopping cart.  The bathroom was an elevator in the store.  Maeve would push an imaginary button and wait for the elevator to show up.  She had to wait for the bell to ding.  When she was getting out, they had to wait for the doors to open, and Jill had to push the button to keep the door open.

Later Maeve was pretending that one of her dolls was crying.  First she sighed very heavily like Jill does when Hilde wakes up.  At this point, Jill usually tries to quickly finish whatever she was doing, and yells things like, "Hold on, Hilde, I'm coming.  Just a minute.   I know."  Of course Jill isn't coming; she's just stalling.  Maeve did the same thing, and was yelling the same things to her baby.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002
Hilde grabs everything in her reach and tries to put it in her mouth.  Several times she has gotten Maeve's hair, and she has a grip like Maeve's walnut-crushing grip.  She is also like Maeve and the Alzheimer's patient that I once transported.

Maeve doesn't like Hilde pulling her hair.  At first, Maeve just stood there and said, "Go easy.  Be careful."  When Jill explained that Hilde didn't know what hair was, Maeve explained it.  She said, "Hilde, this is hair.  It's just like you have on your head.  It's not for your mouth."

Saturday, January 19, 2002
We went to Home Depot today, and they had a clearance sale.† Jill found a sample of some red-white-and-blue wallpaper border, but couldn't find any rolls of it.† Jill was cursing "those Johnny-come-lately's" that buying up all of the red-white-and-blue things they can find.† "I've had a red-white-and-blue living room for nine years.† I had all of this before September 11."

Friday, January 18, 2002
Maeve visited Nanny Carol again yesterday.  That Jess wasn't there this time, but Maeve still ended up sick today.  There is something wrong with that house.

Thursday, January 17, 2002
Hilde has been smiling as soon as I get home for a while.  Tonight I got home and found Maeve and Hilde in Hilde's crib.  Maeve was jumping up and down and repeating, "Hilde is big".  Every time, as soon as Maeve said, "big" Hilde would laugh.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002
Hilde is rolling around now.  She has been rolling over for a while, but now she tries to roll in a particular direction.  For example, if she sees Maeve's Goldfish crackers on the floor, she will try to roll over to them.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002
Hilde is getting cereal now.  She always tries to grab the spoon, and she loves to chew on it for a long time before letting it go.

Monday, January 14, 2002
Jill got some Longaberger baskets at a party that she hosted before we moved.  She is going to have another party in two weeks.  Today Maeve was going around the house collecting baskets, saying she needed them for a Longaberger party that she was having.

Sunday, January 13, 2002
Maeve gets a snack at night, right before she brushes her teeth.† She usually eats until she says she is full.† Nevertheless, she often claims to be hungry right as we are trying to put her to bed.† In the past, it has turned out that she is just stalling.† If we give her more snack, she doesn't eat much before she is full again.

Today at 5 AM she woke up and said she was hungry.† We got a snack, and she ate two whole bananas.† She usually only eats half of one.† I guess she really was hungry this time.

Friday, January 11, 2002
We were driving around and Hilde started making noise.  Maeve said, "Hilde is talking."  Thinking that Maeve had some secret infant connection with Hilde, we asked Maeve what Hilde was saying.  We were expecting a response like, "Hilde is saying she is hungry" or "Hilde is saying we should go home".  Maeve's actual response was, "Hilde is saying, 'Goo goo goo'".

Monday, January 7, 2002
Jill was telling me about a parenting magazine article that said children are inherently good, and only misbehave because their needs aren't being met.† The trick, it said, is to figure out how to meet their needs, and then they will behave.† The real problem with this is that kids (and adults) have to learn to behave even when their needs aren't being met.† Maeve can't take a toy from Hilde just because she wants it, no matter how great Maeve's need for that toy is.† I can't steal just because I "need" more money.

We had also been discussing teens who are on drugs.† In response to this theory about kids behaving if their needs are being met, I said, "I guess your needs aren't being met, and that's WHY YOU'RE SELLING CRACK COCAINE!"† Like last week, and before Christmas, Maeve repeated what she heard.† Today she patted me and said, "You sell crack".† Then she went over to Jill, patted her, said, "You sell crack" and ran back to me to do it again.† I asked Jill if she was listening to Maeve.† When I told Jill what Maeve was saying, Jill didn't believe that Maeve would be saying that about us.† Maeve did this for a few minutes until she was bored of it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2002
One of the things that we got Maeve for Christmas was a set of twelve airplanes and helicopters.† She really likes the helicopter.† Every night we pick two to carry when we do plane.† Maeve changes airplanes, but the helicopter is included every night.† She always asks what the names of the planes are, but it's hard for her to remember the differences between F-14, F-15, F-16, F-18, etc.

Tonight she told me that she thought everyone has airplanes and helicopters to play with.† I told her that most little girls are not lucky enough to have airplanes or helicopters.

Tuesday, January 1, 2002
Marianne came over for New Years again.  Today we went shopping and toured Woonsocket a little.  Since we were just driving around to see what we could see, we were driving a lot like someone who is trying to find a particular address.  After a lot of pulling over to the side, making quick U-turns, and pulling into and out of parking lots, Maeve said, "Hold on, Mom, Dad is driving crazy."  I wonder how many times Jill had to say that to Maeve for her to pick it up and repeat it so exactly.

Sunday, December 30, 2001
Jill visited Nanny Carol just before we left for Virginia.  Apparently there was a child named "Jess" there who was kind enough to give Maeve a cold.  Maeve then gave it to the rest of the family.  We are just now getting over it.

Friday, December 28, 2001
Last Friday we drove to my father's house in Northern Virginia.† In the past we have driven at night, because I prefer to have less traffic and not lose an entire day doing nothing but driving.† Jill complains that then we are too tired to do anything for the following day.† She also pointed out that I tend to stay up until the last minute getting ready, so I don't get a nap before we leave.† Because of that, she can't sleep because she is too worried about me falling asleep while I'm driving.† Years and years ago, the only time I got into accidents was when I was asleep.† As a result, I've learned my lesson, and if I get too tired I will stop to stretch, get some caffeine, and things like that.† Still, Jill isn't convinced.

This year, Jill insisted on driving during the day.† Things went well for an hour, until we got to Connecticut.† We also hit some traffic in New York, and a lot of traffic in New Jersey.† At one point it took 75 minutes to go 25 miles.† Another fun part of driving during the day is that Maeve and Hilde are used to being awake, so they don't sleep well.† Hilde wanted to eat every hour and a half.† Because we left in the early afternoon, it was still well after midnight when we arrived, so we ended up driving at night anyway.† The trip to my father's house took 11 hours.

The trip back was much better, because we drove at night.† We drove from Richmond to have dinner with a friend south of Baltimore.† We left there around 9:30 PM.† We stopped once for gas.† We hit about five minutes of slower traffic in New York City.† Hilde didn't wake up at all.† Maeve was awake for about two hours, but she and Jill slept most of the rest of the trip.† It only took us six hours.† It would have taken another hour to have driven from my father's house.† We could have made that trip in seven hours, four hours less than we took by driving during the day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2001
For Christmas Eve dinner, we were at Jill's parents' house.  When it came time for dessert, Grandpa offered Maeve ice cream with cherries on top.  He said that it's his house, so Maeve could have as many cherries as she wanted.

One of Maeve's Christmas presents was a set of cosmetic stuff.  She had been carrying it around in a bag, but then decided to dump it out on the kitchen floor.  She then got interested in something else, so she just left the toys sitting on the floor.  Grandpa came in and pretended to be mad.  He yelled, "Who left all of this mess on the floor?"  Fortunately my children are used to this kind of yelling, because I do the same thing.  If I had been yelling, I would have expected Maeve to exclaim, "I did!"  Maeve just ignored him.  I said, "I told Maeve not to make a mess of Grandpa's floor, but she said this is Grandpa's house, so it's OK to make a mess like that."

Sunday, December 23, 2001
While visiting my Dad, someone mentioned how Maeve looked like a Precious Moments figurine.† We had already explained how Maeve's name was the same as Queen Maeve. † I thought it would be pretty neat if someone would make a† Precious Moment's figurine of Queen Maeve, with armor, chain mail and maybe even holding a broadsword over her head.† That would be a lot better than the wimpy characters they usually have.  I would buy one of those.

Thursday, December 20, 2001
Tonight Maeve and I went to get food at Taco Bell.  Maeve kept calling it Chinese food, since the last time we brought food home from a restaurant it was Chinese food.  I tried to explain how it was Mexican food, and that Taco Bell does not sell Chinese food.

Jill and I have been taking turns praying at dinner since before we were married.  Tonight Maeve grabbed our hands before we could start, and she prayed.  She closed her eyes, bowed her head and said, "Lord, bless this Chinese Taco Bell, and bless Dad on his birthday."

Tuesday, December 18, 2001
Hilde rolled over for the first time today.  Now she doesn't like to be on her back at all.  I think she can see more on her back, but she likes being on her stomach.

Sunday, December 16, 2001
We visited the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets.  Maeve has been listening to Jill again, and called them, "Fancy schmancy".

Saturday, December 15, 2001
Maeve keeps putting toys and clothes in the refrigerator.  When we ask her why, she says she wants them to be cold.  She didn't do this at the old house.  Maybe this refrigerator is easier to open.

Thursday, December 13, 2001
Today Maeve got some butter knives from her kitchen, some blocks of wood and her wire sculpture toy.  She showed me how she had a miter box just like I used to cut the new molding for the old house.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001
Maeve was sort of playing Doctor with Jill.  Maeve had the flashlight and was shining it on Jill's arm.  She said that Jill had bolts inside her, and that she would need a screwdriver to get them out.

Monday, December 10, 2001
Maeve helped me put in the new washer and dryer.  I had to move the electrical outlets for the washer and the dryer.  I also needed to change the dryer vent, because the old vent was full of lint, and the new dryer was going to be closer to the outside vent.

We got a fancy new washer and dryer, with the largest capacity available in the market, and stainless steel drums.  They were close-out specials at Home Depot, so we also got a great deal.  Jill was very excited about them, and made a comment about how she is such a good housewife to get excited about new appliances.

Sunday, December 9, 2001
Maeve is still getting used to the layout of the new house.† She heard an ambulance and wanted to go look out the big window upstairs.† That window was in Townsend.† She said she wanted to go downstairs to play.† Playing downstairs was also in Townsend.

Saturday, December 8, 2001
It snowed for Maeve's first full day in her new house.  We got to put on the snow pants and snow boots that we had been waiting to use.  We got the snow shovel that she used last year, and she helped me shovel again.  When we were done, we went inside to get hot chocolate.

Friday, December 7, 2001
The movers unloaded and mostly unpacked today.  It only took them five hours.  Pretty impressive.  The only things they left packed were things like all of the books for the office, because we haven't decided where to put the desks and bookshelves.

Unpacking consists of taking everything out of the boxes and putting it on "the nearest flat surface."  This means that the kitchen items were all over the counter tops, table top and all over the living room.  It looks like a pretty big mess.  Still, it's a lot better than unpacking ourselves, because that would have taken a lot longer, and we would have had lots of empty boxes and packing material to put someplace.

I was trying to get past Maeve with some boxes  Then Maeve started chasing me around, purposely getting in my way, just so she could say, "Excuse me, excuse me,..." and flatten herself against the wall so I could get by.

Thursday, December 6, 2001
We were eating lunch at McDonald's when Jill discovered that Hilde had a tooth.  Jill said she almost cried right there in the restaurant, because this is the last time she will have a child to get their first tooth.

Wednesday, December 5, 2001
The movers started packing today.  They should be done packing and loading tomorrow morning.  I was warned that they would pack everything that wasn't moving.  I tried to make sandwiches for lunch, but they had packed the knives, so I couldn't spread any condiments.  However, I didn't need a knife, since they also packed the bread.  At dinner I told Maeve to not make a mess because they packed the sponge.  When it came time to clean Maeve up afterwards, we found that they had packed her washcloth.

Monday, December 3, 2001
Maeve heard Jill on the phone leaving a message for the moving company today, and Jill spelled her last name.  Maeve went and got her phone and did the same thing, "... yes ... yes ... Maeve Perrin, P-r-s-3-2-5".

Saturday, December 1, 2001
Jill taught Maeve how to call me "ornery" today.

Friday, November 30, 2001
Maeve and I were looking at the moon and stars tonight and we heard a loud car.  Maeve said it was a loud car that needed a new muffler.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001
Hilde went for her four month check-up today.  She is 16 lb 13 oz, and 25 inches long.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Today Jill told Maeve that Maeve used to go to Nanny's every day, because Mom had to go to "work away".† Jill said that she had decided to stay at home to play with Maeve, but that it took money to play, so that's why Dad goes to "work away".† Maeve corrected Jill by saying that I work to earn money to decorate, not to play.† I'll have to find out where she got such a crazy idea.

Later, Maeve spent a bit of time "fixing" Jill's hair.† She pretended to wet it, cut it, blew it dry, and colored and curled it.† When she was done, she said, "OK, pay me".

Sunday, November 25, 2001
Maeve and I had gone to Friendly's last week.  Maeve got a drink that was supposed to have a cherry in it.  There was none and I asked about it.  First the waitress told me that Friendly's had run out.  Since most of the ice cream dishes have cherries on top, I knew the woman was lying.  I filled out a customer service comment on their website and we got coupons for another meal.  Today we went.  I asked the waitress if Maeve's drink would have a cherry, and the waitress brought six.  Maeve ate them right up.

Thursday, November 22, 2001
Hilde was grunting like a Marine today.

Sunday, November 18, 2001
During church today, Jill carried Hilde and I carried Maeve when we went up for communion.  Maeve was playing with Jill's hair.  Jill would turn around and tell Maeve to stop it.  The third time that Jill turned around and told Maeve to stop, Maeve asked, "What are you looking at?"

Thursday, November 15, 2001
Jill was talking to Maeve about Maeve's room in the new house.  Jill asked if Maeve wanted it painted, and whether she wanted more stickers of ladybugs and watering cans.  Maeve said she wanted yellow walls with pink motorcycles.  That has been revised to pink walls with yellow motorcycles.

Monday, November 12, 2001
Jill was cooking dinner for Maeve, and had some corn.  A few kernels fell out of the bowl in the microwave.  Jill told Maeve that they had jumped out of the bowl and were trying to escape.  Maeve didn't fall for it, and said that they had fallen out when Jill stirred it.

Saturday, November 10, 2001
Maeve and I stopped at a river to watch a little waterfall.  I explained to Maeve that the waterfall was there to help power a mill long ago, and that some people even use water to generate electricity.  Maeve quickly said she wanted a waterfall in our new house, and to use it to get electricity.

Wednesday, November 7, 2001
Maeve had a bottle up to her chest and told Jill that she was pumping breast milk.  After Maeve thought she had done enough pumping, she fed the bottle of breast milk to her baby.

Monday, November 5, 2001
I told Maeve that new babies are like Japanese beetles on their backs, because they just wave their hands and feet.  If we put Hilde on her stomach she can roll her head, but that is about it.  It's like a saying I once heard, "If you see a turtle on a fence post, you can be sure it had help getting there."

Sunday, November 4, 2001
I had Hilde and Maeve this morning when Jill went to church.† Jill had to leave earlier to teach her class, so I had to get Maeve fed and get everyone out the door.† Hilde started crying as soon as Jill left.† Maeve woke up about the same time.† I got breakfast for Maeve while I tried to comfort Hilde.† We eventually made it to church, but it wasn't easy.

I was complaining about this at lunch and Jill showed no sympathy.† "What do you think I do every day?", she asked.† She told Maeve to tell me to "Suck it up".† Maeve started yelling, "Suck it up" and wagging her finger at me.† Then she changed the phrase to "Shut the door".† Jill couldn't get her to go back to, "Suck it up".† I didn't mind her telling me to shut the door.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001 - Halloween
Maeve and Hilde's Halloween costumes were as their namesakes.  Maeve went as Queen Maeve in Irish Folklore.  Hilde went as a German "Battle Woman".

Maeve went trick-or-treating in my office last year, but she didn't seem to understand what she needed to do this year.  By the time we were done, she would go up to a door, knock, and say, "Cocoa peet".

Monday, October 29, 2001
Today Maeve and Hilde came for the inspection of the house we want to buy.† Jill spent most of the inspection in the living room with Hilde.† Maeve came around with me as we followed the inspector.† Maeve seemed pleased with her new playroom and the new pool.†

In a catalog, Jill found a rack of colored bins that should get her to like the room even more.† We'll see if that makes it fun for Maeve to keep everything cleaned up, or if she still wants to spread everything out on the floor.

Saturday, October 27, 2001
Jill is working with kids at church on the Christmas musical.  Maeve has been going to most of the practice sessions.  Maeve keeps trying to get on stage and sing with the older girls.  At home, Maeve got something that looked like a microphone and started singing the, "Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu" song.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001
We are trying to get the house ready to sell, and I have a lot of tools around the house.† Most of them are in the kitchen, where I am doing most of the work.† Jill tried to put some in the garage and Maeve stopped her.† Jill said that the tools belong in the garage.† Maeve said tools belong in both the garage and the kitchen.† Maeve also said that I would put them away, so Jill should just leave them in the kitchen.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Jill was trying to put an extension cord in the utility room while she was cleaning up downstairs.  Maeve said the cord belongs in the kitchen.  Jill said, "Do cords really belong in the kitchen?"  Maeve replied, "Yes, silly!"

Sunday, October 14, 2001
I worked with a guy once who told me about teaching his daughter that "crying doesn't get you anything".  She was making a snowman, one of the balls fell off, and she started crying.  He got down on his hands and knees to look at the snowman, and told her that it wasn't working; she would have to cry more.  Eventually she figured out that crying wasn't fixing the problem, and instead she asked her father to put the ball back.

I've explained this to Maeve in the past.  Today I was supposed to take Maeve home, and Jill had some errands to run.  Jill had already left and Maeve said she wanted to go with her.  Maeve started crying when I said that she would have to go with me.  I said I would help cry to see if it brought back Jill.  After just a few minutes of both of us crying it didn't look like the crying was going to help bring Jill back.

Saturday, October 13, 2001 - Paramedics are different, session 6
Today was only two days after Anthrax became such a big deal.  Thursday everyone had to deal with unrealistic people.  In Springfield there was a hospital and mail processing facility that were shut down, with everyone inside decontaminated, due to Anthrax scares.  In both cases, it was clear by the time the last person was decontaminated that Anthrax wasn't present in the first place.  People were having unrealistic symptoms also.  Even though Anthrax takes at least seven days to incubate, people would complain of a runny nose less than an hour after they touched something with white powder on it.

The class started with one of the medics saying, "I would feel much better about everyone making such a big deal about this if I would see just one dead body."  At this point, that is a reasonable statement.  Later in the class, this medic poured some coffee creamer on another medic, rubbed it in and said it was Anthrax.

There was also discussion of reports they had heard of people sending talcum powder to people they didn't like, such as ex-wives.

The final comment on this issue was that even if the Anthrax reality never gets anywhere close to the perceived threat, terrorism has already succeeded by causing this type of panic.

Friday, October 12, 2001
Hilde is grabbing all of the toys that hang down in front of her in her bouncy seat.  She mostly tries to put the toys in her mouth, but sometimes smacks herself in the head with them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001
Maeve got her first AOL CD today.  I don't know how she got on someone's mailing list.

Saturday, October 6, 2001 - Paramedics are different, session 5
The funniest story today was of a patient sitting at the dinner table who had what looked like bloody sputum.  One medic got concerned about TB, and began getting masks and gowns ready for everyone.  The other medic pointed out the beets on the patient's plate, saying that beet juice is not contagious.

Friday, October 5, 2001
Maeve was driving her car around today, and was yelling, "Bonehead!  Stupid!"  We've been trying to stop using "stupid", but I still like "bonehead".  I was so proud.  Unfortunately Jill told Maeve that she should use "silly" instead of either of these words.  I'll have to see if I can get "bonehead" back on the approved list.  It just isn't the same when I'm driving to yell "Silly!" instead of "Bonehead!"

Wednesday, October 3, 2001
I was holding Hilde while sitting in a chair.  She spit out her pacifier and I asked Maeve to pick it up for me.  When she picked it up, Maeve put it in her mouth to clean if off, just like Jill does with Maeve's pacifiers.

Saturday, September 29, 2001 - Paramedics are different, session 4
These paramedic refreshers are at least 48 hours, or usually six sessions.† They are required every two years.† The paramedic who had to be woken up in session 2 thought he had last taken one prior to December 31, 1999.† He had been working Friday and Saturday nights, so he was barely conscious during the class.† Rarely were his eyelids more than half open.† He would get off his shift Saturday morning and sleep a few hours before class, sleep during lunch, and sleep for about two hours before he went back to work on Saturday night.

Today he was absent.† Apparently he had somehow taken a six session class this year, and just hadn't remembered it.† He was missing out on sleep even though he didn't need the class, so he isn't coming any more.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - Hilde 2 months old
Hilde went for her two-month-old physical today.† She was 23 inches (75th percentile) and 14 lb 11 oz (over the 95th percentile).† On August 28 I listed Maeve's weights at two and eight months.† At two months, Hilde is only 5 ounces away from Maeve's eight-month weight.† That's a lot of breast milk.

Sunday, September 23, 2001
On the way to church, I was behind a car in a traffic circle that stopped to let another car come in.  Of course, the rule is that the cars in the circle have the right of way.  It just gums everything up when people don't do what they are supposed to do, so I honked.  Maeve asked why I was honking and I tried to explain the rules of traffic circles.  She didn't understand.  After church we got some sandwiches and ate lunch by the traffic circle while I explained how they were supposed to work.

Saturday, September 22, 2001 - Paramedics are different, session 3
Today during the paramedic refresher class the topic of sleeping at work during the night shift came up.  One crew had gone into a cemetery to sleep, and the caretaker had unknowingly locked them in at dusk.  One crew was asleep in the cab and a concerned citizen woke them up because she thought they had been mugged or something.  Another crew opened the back doors and was asleep in the back; someone had called the police to check on them.  Another crew went to sleep at a fire scene while waiting for the fire department to need any help.  They woke up a few hours later to find that all of the firemen had left, but no one had let them know they were done.

Friday, September 21, 2001
When I got laid off, we told Maeve that I would be "working at home" for a few days.  When I started contracting, we said I had to go to "work away".

Maeve was breaking Jill's gum out of her blister packets and putting it in a drawer.† Maeve said she had to "work away" on Saturday, and having the gum in the drawer would help her find it when she was getting ready to leave on Saturday.

Thursday, September 20, 2001
Maeve was supposed to be taking a nap, but thought it would be funny to take off her diaper.  I said it was time for a nap, and that she had to leave her diaper on.  As soon as I put it back on, she started to take it off.  I got some duct tape and taped down the tabs.

When Jill went to wake up Maeve, she asked Maeve if she should duct tape my underwear on to see how I feel when someone does that to me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001
We were reading a book about motorcycles and Jill was saying one was a police motorcycle.  I pointed to the caption for another picture that said the other picture was of a courier motorcycle.  Jill said the one she was talking about was a police motorcycle.  I said that I saw no blue lights on it.  Maeve pointed to the text and said that the text said there were blue lights.

Monday, September 17, 2001
I got a magazine with a picture of the Pentagon bombing.  I showed Maeve the ambulances and that the building wasn't as tall as the World Trade Center, so only part of it fell down.  That could be fixed.  She went to get her ambulance to compare with the ones on the cover.

Sunday, September 16, 2001
Jill was supposed to do the Children's Sermon today.  When we sat down for church, I said she had better tell me about it, because Hilde might need to be fed or something when Jill was supposed to be doing the sermon.  Jill reassured me that it wasn't time for Hilde to eat, but still she gave me a 30 second overview.  As I had feared, Hilde needed Jill's attention about three minutes before the sermon.  I think it turned out to be a pretty bad Children's Sermon, but I did a very good job considering the amount of preparation I had been able to do.

Saturday, September 15, 2001 - Paramedics are different, session 2
In the paramedic refresher class today, the instructor waited about five minutes after the scheduled start of the class to ask were one of the students was.  Two of the supervisors looked at each other and asked if anyone had woken him up.  Apparently he had worked the night before and was asleep on a desk somewhere.  I haven't seen anyone sleeping on desks at CVS, but it would be nice to be able to do that.

Thursday, September 13, 2001
Maeve watched the coverage of the World Trade Center bombing with us.  When Jill explained that the buildings were broken, Maeve said I could fix them.  It took some convincing to make her believe that the buildings weren't going to be able to be fixed.

Monday, September 10, 2001
Jill asked Maeve who she was on the phone with.† Maeve said it was Mack, her other sister.† Later in the day, Maeve was on the phone again and Jill asked who it was.† Maeve said it was Don, her sister.† Jill said she thought that her other sister's name was Mack.† Maeve said that Don was Mack's father.† Then they had to call me to tell me that Mack and Don were coming over for dinner.

Jill claims this is "imaginative play", instead of the "parallel play" that has been so popular.† I hope the "parallel play" doesn't go away altogether.† It is nice to have Maeve help me around the house or fixing the cars, and have her think that it's playing.

Sunday, September 9, 2001
Some women at church were commenting on how cute Maeve looked.  I said that I had dressed her.  That was true.  What I did not say is that Jill had put out Maeve's clothes for me.

Every one of the women commented on their husbands' inability to properly match clothes for their children.  Jill makes the same comments, and does not understand how I can't figure it out for myself.  Jill also complains about my request for her to match my clothes for work.  At least the comments of the women at church show that I am typical.

Saturday, September 8, 2001 - Paramedics are different, session 1
Today I started six Saturdays of a paramedic refresher class.  I really miss working in EMS.  Especially fun are the differences between EMS/Fire people and the rest of society.  For instance, today one of the people had their uniform shirt on backwards.  When asked about it, she said she had gone out to breakfast and didn't want to spill anything on her shirt.  At work, I think everyone would think it would be worse to have a stain on the inside of your shirt, against your skin.  However, I can think of lots of EMS people who would probably think keeping stains off the outside of your uniform is a very good idea.

Thursday, September 6, 2001
Maeve had smoked her vegetables like Grandma smoked her cigarettes.† Maeve and Jill were out for a walk and Maeve looked like she was crushing something in her hand, and then crushing it on the ground.† Jill asked, and sure enough, Maeve said she was putting out a cigarette.

Later Maeve was trying to go out the backdoor.† Jill asked where she was going.† She said she had to go outside to smoke.

When Jill complained to her mother about Maeve picking up these bad habits, Jill's mother said, "At least she doesn't smoke in the house".

Tuesday, September 4, 2001
Jill sometimes calls Maeve with her middle name.  Maeve was trying to be stern with Jill and she said, "Mommy Hannah!"

Saturday, September 1, 2001
Maeve and I spent all afternoon running errands.  When we got home Jill said that Hilde had slept all day.  Jill thought that maybe Hilde didn't like all of Maeve's noise, and that is why she is usually fussy during the day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2001
Hilde had her one month doctor visit today.† She was 12 lbs, 7 oz.† She gained 3 lbs 4 oz in four weeks.† At this rate, she will be fully grown in less than three years.

I don't know what Jill is eating, but the breast milk seems to be especially strong this time around.† At two months, Maeve was 10.75 lbs.† At eight months, she was 15 lbs.† To lag behind Maeve, Hilde would have to gain less in the next seven months than she has in the last one.

Sunday, August 26, 2001
We visited Marianne at the Trinity EMS Haverill base today.  After Maeve ate her lunch and I helped Marianne with some computer work, we went out to look at an ambulance.  One of the EMTs was giving us the tour, but Maeve doesn't like men as much as women.  She didn't really want to have anything to do with the guy.  Marianne and I finished the tour on our own.

On the way home, I asked Maeve if she had fun.  She said she did, but when I asked if she wanted to go back, she said, "Too many guys."  I'll have to have Marianne find a woman to give us a tour next time.

Saturday, August 25, 2001 - Hilde 1 month old
This afternoon I took Maeve to a Law Enforcement Expo at the mall.† We got to see lots of policemen, police motorcycles, and police horses, dogs, helicopter and a bomb squad robot.

Maeve and I took Becky to the airport today.† On the way home there was a green light that the driver in front of me stopped for.† I said, "Bonehead, it's a green light."† Maeve repeated that, and kept saying it, since that person was still in front of us.† I was so proud.† We discussed how you are supposed to go for green lights, and stop for red lights.

Thursday, August 23, 2001
Jill said that Maeve was trying to smoke her cauliflower and lettuce, just like Grandma smoked her cigarettes.  Hopefully Maeve will forget all about smoking.  She's a little young to start, anyway.

Tuesday, August 21, 2001
Maeve and I laid down on the bed downstairs and pulled up the covers, like she will be doing on her big girl bed once she decides she wants to switch to that from her crib.  Right now she's happy to just use the big girl bed to sit on while reading books.

When we got up, she was saying something that sounded like "switch".  She put her hands up and grunted.  It took me a while to figure out that she wanted me to stretch, like I used to do when she came in and woke me up in the morning.

Sunday, August 19, 2001
Tomorrow I have to drop Grandpa at the airport at 5:45 AM.  Today we tried to finish the projects around the house.  We had adjusted the height of the countertop that we put in last Monday.  We also finished all of the wiring for the ceiling fans.

At one point I picked up Maeve to show her how I was rewiring the light switch.  Grandpa was in the attic.  Maeve took the flashlight, shone it in the light switch box and kept yelling, "OK".  Maeve told me that's what Grandma and Jill did when they were trying to get the wire down to the switch in her room.  It must have taken a while, because Maeve said, "OK" over and over and over.

Friday, August 17, 2001
Hilde only breast feeds.† I've discussed it with Maeve, and now Maeve will start listing things that Hilde can't eat, like frozen corn dogs, fortune cookies, ice cream, yogurt, cereal bars, ice pops, pasta, pizza, etc.† Maeve laughs through the whole thing; she thinks it's very funny how limited her sister's diet is.

Thursday, August 16, 2001
Grandpa took Maeve to the store today to get a bicycle.  It looks like a real bicycle, except it's smaller and it has no brakes.  It was about the same price as things like Big Wheels, which also have no brakes, so it seemed like a good choice.  Grandpa even spelled Maeve's name on the seat with stick-on letters.

Wednesday, August 15, 2001
Maeve wanted to help Grandpa wire the ceiling fans.  They needed to go into the attic and Jill called to see what the rules for Maeve going in the attic are.  I said she can't touch the blown-in insulation, and she has to keep her hands out of the fans.

Tuesday, August 14, 2001
Jill's mom and dad took Maeve to the airport tonight to put my mother on her flight home.  Maeve spent more time on the roof of the parking garage watching planes.

Hilde keeps crying.  I ask Maeve, "What's that noise?"  She says, "Maeve's sister is crying."

Monday, August 13, 2001
Jill's dad and I put in the countertop with the sink today.  Having him help me is better than taking days or weeks to do it myself, and giving Jill a horror story about not having a kitchen sink for so long.  It looks very nice now that everything is in place.  Now I just have to get all of the tools out of the kitchen.

Sunday, August 12, 2001
Today was Hilde's baptism.  She was quiet throughout, though Jill had to leave and nurse her during the sermon.  Jim and April Mueller were her sponsors, and Jim gave the sermon.

Afterwards, there was a reception for Jim, April and Hilde at church.

Jill's father flew in this morning, and was delivered to the church by an airport shuttle, but his luggage hadn't arrived.  We went back with Maeve, and then went onto the roof of the parking garage to watch planes land and take off.  I pointed out the planes with their headlights on, just like Maeve when we do "Plane" every night before bed.

Saturday, August 11, 2001
My dad and mom flew in this morning.  By coincidence they had both gotten on the same flight.  Dad rented a car and saved us a trip to the airport.

My dad and I put in the last of the new kitchen cabinets.  All we have left is the countertop with the sink.

Wednesday, August 8, 2001
Hilde is still crying a lot.† I hear stories about how she sleeps for hours during the day, while I'm at work.† She really doesn't like watching the news at night.† She tends to cry and cry.† If we turn up the TV enough to hear what's going on, it would wake up Maeve.

Friday, August 3, 2001
Maeve hasn't figured out that she should feel threatened by the new baby.  Maeve might skip that stage.  She helps out with Hilde, and even tries to stop her from crying.  Everytime she gets close to Hilde she wants to rub her head or kiss her.  I hope she doesn't just skip that stage to instead choose to be a third parent to Hilde.  I don't know which would be worse.

Thursday, August 2, 2001
Hilde's umbilical cord fell off today.  She's only eight days old.  It took Maeve three weeks.  She seems to be in a hurry.

Wednesday, August 1, 2001
I picked one of Maeve's shoes off the floor today and put it on my head.  Maeve got upset and said it was a shoe.  I told her it was a hat.  Maeve took the shoe and tried to put it on her foot.  I said hats don't belong on your feet; they belong on your head.  Then Maeve put the shoe on her head and called it a hat.

Jill, foreseeing a problem getting Maeve's shoes on her feet tomorrow, told Maeve it was a shoe.  Maeve corrected Jill, saying it was a hat that belonged on her head.  I was so proud!

Monday, July 30, 2001
Hilde had her first doctor's appointment today.  She was already 9 lb 3 oz.  Jill says they normally allow two weeks for the baby to get back to birth weight.  She's in a hurry to do something.

Sunday, July 29, 2001
I threw a pillow from Maeve's room onto our bed.  A while later Jill told me that I had thrown the pillow onto Hilde.  I hadn't noticed her there.  I guess it just looked like a pile of blankets or something.

Saturday, July 28, 2001
Maeve tries to keep Hilde happy.  When Hilde has been crying, Maeve has gotten a toy and a pacifier for Hilde.  Of course, those things don't soothe Hilde.  She isn't happy unless she is sleeping or nursing.

Friday, July 27, 2001 - Hilde and Jill came home
Hilde is making a lot of noise if she isn't with Jill. †With Maeve, we had a king size bed, so there was room for all three of us. †With the full size bed, there is only room for Jill and Hilde. †I have to sleep on the couch. †It's probably just as well, since my alarm clock is going off so early lately.

Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - Hilde Born
Hilde was born at 1:50 this morning.  It was another smooth delivery.  See the birth announcement at the bottom of the photo album index

Tuesday, July 24, 2001
Maeve was talking on her cell phone today.  We asked who she was talking to.  She said it was Pastor Mick.  We asked what he wanted.  She said he wanted dinner.

Monday, July 23, 2001
I sometimes call Maeve a Warrior Queen, like Queen Maeve in Irish folklore.  Tonight I told her there was no Warrior Queen on my back, referring to the way that she likes to stand on my back, and then drop, like a professional wrestler or something.  

She laid down on her stomach like I do.  Then she stood up and dropped, just to show me how she usually treats me when she's on my back.

Sunday, July 22, 2001
Jehovah's witnesses visited.  Jill had them in, and I'm not sure they will ever come back.  First they showed Jill some Bible verse that they misinterpreted to mean that after you die, you wait until Jesus' resurrection to go to Heaven.  Jill used other verses to show that your soul is in Heaven immediately, and it's only the physical body that waits for Christ's second coming.

Then they had some other obscure concept that they got from a misinterpretation of Revelations.  Jill used several examples from Paul's letter to clear that up.

After only ten minutes they gave Jill two pamphlets and left.  Jill told them they were welcome to come back to discuss the Bible any time they wanted.

Friday, July 20, 2001
A few weeks ago I traded my pager in for a cell phone that also had all of the features of the pager.  I also get an earphone/microphone, so I can talk without having to use a hand to hold the phone up to my ear.  Maeve got a Walkman earphone to use with her cell phone, just like dad.

Maeve also wanted barbecue sauce on her hotdog for lunch.  Jill said that was just like me.  Grandma corrected her, saying that I would have barbecue sauce and everything else on it, and I would eat it for breakfast.

I called during the day today and Jill asked Maeve if she wanted to talk to me.  I could hear her yelling in the background.  She said she didn't want to talk to me because she was working.  She had screws and a screwdriver and needed to put new screws in the folding chair.

Thursday, July 19, 2001
I was explaining to Maeve that new babies are like Japanese beetles on their backs.† If you put them on the rug, they just wave their arms around; they can't figure out how to get up or move around.† Unfortunately, that is as developed as Japanese beetles ever get.† I told Maeve there is a lot of teaching that a big sister needs to do.

Tuesday, July 17, 2001
Jill wants Maeve's and Hilde's rooms painted before Hilde is born.  We got Greg Meyer from church and a friend of his to do most of it.  After I got home, I was showing Maeve where the spackle needed more sanding, spots which were missed, and the paint on the front steps.  Maeve said, "Silly guys".  Still, they have done a lot of work, and saved me a lot of time.

Monday, July 16, 2001
Jill's mother arrived today to help after Hilde is born.  Somehow Maeve decided that cigarettes should be called "Yucks".  When Grandma goes outside, Maeve tells her to remember her yucks.  Grandma threw a cigarette in the mulch in front of the house, and Shannon from across the street asked why she was throwing a cigarette in our "flower garden".  Jill thought that Shannon needed to take a closer look to see that there are no flowers in our flower garden.

Saturday, July 14, 2001
Maeve was sticking her stomach out today like she had a baby, just like I showed her.

Friday, July 13, 2001
Cards for special occasions are a big deal for Jill.  Today is Jill's birthday.  During a call home during the day, I talked to Maeve and her doll Big.  They both told me to buy a card for Jill.

Tuesday, July 10, 2001
Today was our 8 year anniversary.  Jill asked Maeve, "How did that happen?  It doesn't seem like it's been 8 years."  Maeve didn't have an answer.

Sunday, July 8, 2001
I forget what prompted it, but Jill asked Maeve, "Is your dad always silly?"  I said, "You wouldn't love me any other way."  Jill replied, "I would like to try."

Thursday, July 5, 2001
Jill called me downstairs to see what Maeve was doing.  I asked Maeve and she said she was going to the store.  I asked what she was going to get at the store.  She said she needed parts to fix her stroller, like I go to the store to get parts to fix my car.  I was so proud.  I hope she keeps this up, and that Hilde will get involved in fixing up the cars and the house.

Monday, July 2, 2001
It has been in the 90s during the day for a few weeks.† Our air conditioner doesn't seem to be able to keep the temperature in the 70s during the day.† It would seem that pregnant women don't like hot weather.

Cooler weather has returned.† I woke up to find temperature in the house at 61.† I was putting on pants and a sweatshirt to keep warm.† Jill said it was 59 when she woke up.† She said that 59 degrees in July is a beautiful thing.†† "Quit complaining; it's free."† We just have to find thicker clothes for Maeve.

Saturday, June 30, 2001
Most of Maeve's dolls have descriptive names like Tubby, Itty Bitty, Medium, Little, Big and Sleepy.† Jill asked Maeve what one of the unnamed dolls should be named.† Maeve said, "Bob".† We couldn't figure out where Maeve had heard the name Bob until Jill dropped Maeve off with Nanny Carol.† Nanny Carol has a daughter named "Barb", and Maeve has picked up Carol's Dorchester R-deficient speech impairment.† Barb is pronounced Bob.† Air is pronounced Ayah.† George is pronounced Judge.

I had a friend at work who claimed to have grown up in Northern Massachusetts, but she pronounced her Rs correctly.† When I asked her how that could be, she said it was after great effort by her parents.†† Hopefully Maeve will learn Rs as part of her regular speech development, and we won't have to take special steps to correct this.

Tuesday, June 26, 2001
Maeve seems to have a love of frozen food.  She doesn't want to eat certain foods unless they are frozen.  She likes hot dogs, corn dogs, french fries, waffles, pancakes and french toast.  Fresh cooked pancakes are very inferior to frozen ones.

Thursday, June 21, 2001
Maeve has started treating me like I am her professional wrestling opponent at bedtime.† She will get me a pillow and tell me to lie down.† Then she will walk on my back, or climb over my head.† She will stand on my back, and then just drop, so her full weight lands on my back.† She seems to think she's being nice to me by getting me a pillow, when we both know she just wants to climb on me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2001
After a day of running errands with me, Maeve told Jill that the lady at the book store gave her a drink of water.† I hadn't been to a book store.† What Maeve was talking about was Autozone, where she had spent most of her time rearranging the service manuals.† I suppose Jill would get mad if I raised my daughter to think of Autozone when someone needed a book.

Wednesday, June 13, 2001
Maeve is pretty well weaned.  She said she wanted to nurse and Jill said there was no more milk in her breasts.  Maeve took her sippie cup with milk and shook some milk on Jill's breasts to try to fill them up again.

Monday, June 11, 2001
Jill keeps jamming up walkways in the house.  For instance, she will stand in the doorway from the kitchen to the dining room talking on the phone.  Then she will ask me to get Maeve her dinner.  I can't, of course, because she's jamming up the doorway.

Today she asked me to carry Maeve down with the dirty clothes.  She was blocking the stairway so I couldn't do that.  I said, "Get out of the way, prego!"  Maeve repeated it.  I haven't laughed so hard since I saw Maeve unable to walk because she was so dizzy from spinning around.

Sunday, June 10, 2001
Maeve and I went to Home Depot.† Maeve likes to look at the birds that fly around in the store.† We were talking about it, and another shopper told us where they had seen chipmunks earlier in the week.

Sometimes Maeve and I just go to Home Depot to window shop and kill time.† I feel like a homeless person that goes into a store or library just to stay warm and out of the elements.

Saturday, June 9, 2001
We were all laying on the bed to read books, and Jill kept talking about the baby kicking.  It's always, "Did you see that?  She is really kicking tonight."  Of course we never see anything.  So I had Maeve put her hand on my stomach and I started pushing it out.  My baby kicked better than Jill's ever did, but we had to re-explain to Maeve that only Mom has a baby in her belly.

Thursday, June 7, 2001
Jill was counting Maeve's toes, but she was using the Sesame Street pinball machine song that goes up to 12.  Jill would just count 11 and 12 as Maeve's knees or shins or something.  I told Jill that if she was going to count to 12 that she should count something that there are 12 of.  Jill asked for an example.  I thought of pairs of cranial nerves, but it's tough to show those to Maeve; she would just have to take our word for it.  So my answer was "thoracic vertebrae".

Tuesday, June 5, 2001
Maeve wanted to take a couch cushion off before sitting on the couch.† She reached down between the cushions and pulled out a pacifier.† She looked again and pulled out another one.† She thought it was some sort of treasure chest.† Jill asked Maeve what those were doing in there.† Maeve said they were hiding.

Monday, June 4, 2001
Jill's feet-dragging with picking the name of the new baby is getting even more interesting.† Now Maeve is saying that the baby will be named "Lilka" when she is born.† That had been a favorite of mine, but Maeve never liked it.† Now we have to get Maeve to stop using "Hadley" and "Lilka".† Jill can't figure out where Maeve got the idea the baby should be called "Lilka", since Maeve didn't like it the few times we suggested it to her.

Sunday, June 3, 2001
Jill has been trying to get me to accept Hadley as the new baby's name, just because that is what Maeve has decided it would be.  I told Jill that she had until tonight to pick something that would meet the original criteria, or I would pick the name myself.  Jill consulted with lots of books and friends, and we finally have a name: Hilde Austin Perrin.  Hilde is a German name that means, "Battle Woman", and Austin is my grandfather's name.

I explained to Maeve that sometimes babies have one name before they are born, and another after.  For instance, we were calling Maeve "Jacques" until we knew she was a girl.

Friday, June 1, 2001
Maeve and I went out for a walk tonight and saw a lawnmower that was next to a snow blower with a "Free" sign.† I thought the lawnmower was free, but I thought I should ask to make sure.† I told Maeve that she would have to be cute when the people came to the door, to help get the mower.

Tuesday, May 29, 2001
I got a card today from a consulting company that wanted me to enter a contest.  There was a picture of a race car on the front, and when you opened it, it was a musical card.  However, instead of playing music, the card had the sound of a race car.  I gave it to Maeve, and she kept running around, opening and closing it to listen to the sound.

Sunday, May 27, 2001
Maeve and I watched some of the Indy 500 today.  This is the third year that we have seen it.  Whenever the cars would go into the pits, she would point out that they were fixing the cars.  She liked them replacing the entire front wing and nose cone of Andretti's car.  She said the noise was like a motorcycle race, and they were going around and around like a motorcycle race.

Saturday, May 26, 2001
Maeve has always been good about using my hankie to wipe her nose, and she even blows her nose well.  She also likes my hankies.  She had them all over, and I kept running out.  Maeve and I went to a store and got her some of her own.  She got some with a big "M", and others in pretty colors, like fuchsia.  She likes those better, and I get mine back.

Friday, May 25, 2001
I often have to retrieve dolls from around the house that Maeve wants to sleep with.  I usually have them peek into the room, and then pull them out quickly.  Maeve will sit on the bed and giggle while she watches their heads stick in and out of the doorway.  Tonight she told Jill and I to sit on the bed, and she took her dolls outside the room to have them peek in for us.

Thursday, May 24, 2001
Jill painted her toenails blue, and Maeve wanted her toenails to be blue also.  Jill painted Maeve's toenails, too.  When we read books, Maeve kept putting her feet up to the books to compare blue things (like bugs or cars) with her blue toenails.

Monday, May 21, 2001
Maeve walked to the backyard and I went to keep an eye on her.† When I did, I saw a skunk in the large wooded area behind our house.† I picked Maeve up and pointed out the skunk.† She first identified it as a kitty, and wanted to pet it.† I explained that it was a skunk, and it would make you stinky if you tried to pet it.† Jill had told Maeve about skunks earlier in the week when they drove by a dead one.

The dog from next door came over, and I asked Maeve is Sam should go get the skunk.† She told Sam to go get it, but Sam was confused; she was looking for food from us.

Saturday, May 19, 2001
I usually call Jill "Mom" around Maeve.  Jill usually calls me "Daniel".  Maeve has started saying, "Daniel" in Jill's exasperated tone.  If Maeve needs something fixed, or wants me to come to her room, she runs around saying, "Daniel, Daniel, Daniel..."

Wednesday, May 16, 2001
Jill had told Maeve to "hit your father in the head" when Jill got frustrated with me.† Jill had Maeve in the backpack while she was vacuuming, and Maeve started hitting Jill with her cup.† Maeve thought it was funny, but Mom had to explain that it was wrong to hit my head; instead Maeve should "pat" people's heads.

Monday, May 14, 2001
Jill accused me of not having any imagination because I don't understand eating pretend food that Maeve has prepared me.† I said I have an imagination; it's just different.† For instance, when the neighbor girl asked about the spray foam insulation that I put around the faucet outside, I would have said there was a monster in our walls.† We killed it, but this goo is its blood and it oozed out of every opening in the walls.† When she asked if Jill had killed the bushes when she pruned them, I would have said that I did kill them, but their ghosts are still around.† Sometimes they will move around the yard at night and scratch at our windows.

Saturday, May 12, 2001
Tonight Maeve and I went to get Mother's Day cards.  There was one aisle with a guy and his kids, so Maeve and I went into the aisle with no one else.  I don't like to let Maeve root through cards on her own if other people are waiting.  So I got a card for Jill, and Maeve insisted on getting two.

At home, I had finished signing my card, and one of Maeve's was done.  Then I noticed that we had gotten birthday cards instead of Mother's Day cards.  I guess that is why the other aisle was more crowded.

Friday, May 11, 2001
Jill was sorting out clothes that Maeve had outgrown.† She told Maeve that clothes which are too small for Maeve will go to Hadley.† Maeve started making two piles, saying, "Maeve, Hadley, Maeve, Hadley, ..."

Wednesday, May 9, 2001
Jill came back from our neighbor's house tonight and said that they had a huge backyard.† I said we have a huge backyard too, but it is mostly trees, and the pool.† I got out the lot plan and showed Jill how big it was.† She started coming up with plans to clear it all out, saying, "I'll be darned if my yard is that big and I don't use it."

Monday, May 7, 2001
The cat and dog from next door roamed into our yard today.  Maeve had been picking up handfuls of dirt and rocks, so I told her that cats and dogs like to eat dirt.  Maeve started throwing handfuls of dirt at the dog.  I ended up telling her that they don't really eat dirt, but it was fun to see her throwing stuff at them.

Sunday, May 6, 2001
Maeve has started being polite.  I think she had been saying, "Please", but this weekend she added, "Thank you" and "You're welcome".  She even said, "Bless you" when I sneezed.

Friday, May 4, 2001 - Maeve's Second Birthday
Maeve got an ice cream cake for her birthday this year.† She kept replying, "Maeve" whenever we asked whose birthday it was.† She also kept asking us to sing Happy Birthday to her again.† Nanny Carol even called to sing to her.

Wednesday, May 2, 2001
Maeve likes to pull the blanket over her head and "hide" from Jill and I.  Tonight Maeve did that and I said, "Whose feet are these sticking out from this blanket?"  Maeve stayed covered and replied, "Hadley's".  Her sister is still almost 3 months from being born, and Maeve is already blaming things on her.

Sunday, April 29, 2001
Somehow Maeve got the idea that the new baby should be called Hadley.  Jill has been asking Maeve what she thinks of different baby names.  Hadley doesn't even meet the initial criteria.  I don't know where it came from, and I think we have other better choices.  But Maeve has really gotten stuck on Hadley.  We ask Maeve if we should use another name, and Maeve says, "Hadley better".  Maeve is even trying to get us to set a plate for Hadley at the dinner table.  Jill's Senior High Sunday school class thinks this is funny.  They keep asking Maeve how Hadley is doing, and other questions about Hadley.

Thursday, April 26, 2001
I heard a story on the radio about The Blind Boys of Alabama who have been singing gospel music since 1939.  They have a new CD, The Spirit of the Century, with Amazing Grace sung to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals.  I bought the CD this weekend, and we've been playing it a bit.  It would be impressive if Maeve would learn this tune, become a missionary to Africa, and have the entire continent playing "House of the Rising Sun".

Tuesday, April 24, 2001
Jill was reading a book and Maeve asked if there were any babies in it.  Jill said no.  Maeve held up her hands and said, "Wait".  She went to get baby pictures for Jill to put in her book.

Saturday, April 21, 2001
Maeve has a bear made of vinyl and matching clothes for playing with in the tub.† A few months ago, one of the bear's arms broke off.† I told Maeve that we couldn't fix it, so we threw away the arm.† Tonight Maeve took the bear to Jill and told Jill to fix the broken arm.† Jill said she couldn't, because we didn't have the arm.† Then Maeve grunted and strained, tore off the other arm and told Jill to fix it.† Rather than have an armless bear, Jill decided to tape the arm back on.

Thursday, April 19, 2001
I found the bathroom rugs in the hallway today.  There were washcloths on the bathroom floor.  Jill said that Maeve decided the washcloths were better bathroom rugs than the regular rugs.

Tuesday, April 17, 2001
I found a pink flamingo lawn ornament in a store today for $2.69.† The thought of having a pink flamingo on Jill's lawn was so absurd that I just had to get it.† Jill went to the store, and Maeve and I went out to put it up in the front yard.† We were back in the house and ran to the window when we saw Jill coming in.† Jill stopped in the driveway and was pointing to it while looking at us.† She said our neighbors are going to love us.

Sunday, April 15, 2001 Easter
Maeve participated in the Easter egg hunt at church today.  I thought it would be a good idea to practice, so Maeve would be able to trounce everyone else.  Yesterday Maeve and I bought 24 eggs.  I spread them around the lawn and in the bushes of a school in town.  Maeve did a great job of finding them all.

Today I found that my training exercises were not realistic enough to have been very helpful.  Each child had a 10 egg limit, until everyone had found 10, and then it was a free-for-all.  My training exercises had been outside, with Maeve alone, using empty eggs.  Because of the rain, the Easter egg hunt today was help indoors.  There were lots of clueless kids staggering around, which distracted Maeve.  The eggs also had candy in them.  Maeve would pick up two at once, but instead of putting them in the basket like we had practiced, she would walk around shaking them.

Still, she did well.  She was one of the first to get her 10 eggs, which had more candy than she can eat in a month.

Saturday, April 14, 2001
Maeve puts food on her fork, holds it out to Jill and says, "Mom".  It looks to me like she wants Jill to eat it.  Jill has seen this before, so she isn't so easily convinced.  She asks Maeve if she can eat it.  Maeve replies, "No.  Maeve's."  Then Maeve eats it.  Apparently Maeve considers it her food, even though she offered it to Jill.  Jill said that Maeve gets very upset if she actually eats it.  Maeve will say, "Back" and Jill will have to explain how she can't give it back.

Thursday, April 12, 2001
Jill told Maeve that they were going to the bank before coming to have dinner with me at work.  Maeve replied, "No money!"  I've trained her well!

Monday, April 9, 2001
Maeve is saying "Amen" after reading books now.

Thursday, April 5, 2001
I said that Maeve wants to feed her doll at the dinner table.  Now she has tried to feed the the baby in Mom's belly by putting food in Jill's belly button.

Maeve also tries to tickle the new baby.  She will put her finger in Jill's belly button and say, "Tickle, tickle, tickle".

Sunday, April 1, 2001
I put the new file cabinet downstairs.† Maeve helped me make room for it.† She started opening the drawers.† I asked her if she wanted to get in a drawer.† She did.† I put her in the bottom drawer and closed it most of the way.† Then I asked Maeve if she wanted me to get Mom so Mom could look for her.† She did.† Jill was playing along when she came down the stairs, saying, "Where is my baby?† Where could Maeve be?"† When she got downstairs she started saying, "You didn't put her in the file cabinet, did you?"

Later we were on the hardwood floor in the living room.† Maeve was laying on her blanket and I pulled her to me.† Then I pushed her away.† Maeve said she wanted to do it again, so I pulled her back and pushed her away again.† We did that about 10 times, and Jill was getting more and more upset.† Jill said she didn't want me to do it anymore.† I stopped and told Maeve that we couldn't do it anymore because Mom didn't like it.† Maeve prevailed, however, and Jill said I could do it, but that I had to be careful not to run Maeve into anything.† I was only pushing Maeve about 5 or 6 feet, so there was no problem.† Maeve enjoyed it, and was upset when it was time to read books before bed.

Saturday, March 31, 2001
Maeve and I ran a bundle of errands today.† When we got back, Jill had sewn some pajamas for one of Maeve's dolls.† Maeve has been saying that her doll needed pajamas when Maeve put on her own pajamas, but we didn't have any for the doll.

For some reason, Jill kept getting carried away and sewing shut the holes for the arms and neck.

Friday, March 30, 2001
Jill and I were playing downstairs with Maeve.  Maeve wanted Jill and I to get into her playhouse.  Then Maeve went to prepare some food in her kitchen.  Jill wanted to get out of the playhouse, so I told her to get out while Maeve wasn't looking.  As soon as Jill stuck a leg out I started yelling, "Maeve!  Maeve!" to let Maeve know that Jill was trying to get out.  Maeve ran over and pushed Jill's leg back in.  Then Maeve went back to her kitchen.  Jill tried it again, with the same yelling from me, and the same pushing back in from Maeve.  Jill waited a little longer, and just overpowered Maeve the next time she tried to get out.

Tuesday, March 27, 2001
Jill has always told people who have to deal with me, such as co-workers, friends, etc., to "hit me in the head" if I give them a hard time.  Lately, when Jill has gotten frustrated with me, she has told Maeve to "hit your father in the head".  Maeve thinks it's funny, and it is cute now, but I think this is going to get to be a problem as she gets older.  It would be bad if Maeve still does this when she is 15.

Saturday, March 24, 2001
We saw some joggers while we were out for a walk today.  I told Maeve that some people like to run around.  For the rest of the "walk" Maeve wanted to run, except when we had to stop to look at dirt, rocks, etc.  I could walk fast and keep up with her running, but she wanted to see my arms moving like I was running.

Later in the day we went for another walk with Mom.  She kept making excuses about running, like, "I don't want to shake up the baby" and "Mom's too tired".

Friday, March 23, 2001
Jill is always regaling Maeve with all of her crazy talk about a "baby in mom's belly".  She keeps telling Maeve that it moves, and trying to get Maeve to feel it.  Of course, when Maeve tries to feel it, the baby won't move.  Maeve then whacks Jill's belly and yells, "Move, baby, move".

Wednesday, March 21, 2001
Jill is doing a good job of brainwashing Maeve.  She asks Maeve if the house is ugly, to which Maeve replies, "Yes".  Jill asks if it needs to be repainted, and again Maeve says, "Yes".

Jill asks if we need a new vacuum cleaner, and Maeve says, "Yes".

Jill hasn't gotten Maeve to answer "correctly" yet, but she is asking Maeve, "Should Dad give Mom more money?"

Sunday, March 18, 2001
Maeve has started wanting to feed her doll at the dinner table.  Tonight she put a piece of corn in the doll's mouth.  Since it wasn't swallowed, we hit the doll on the back of the head to get the corn out.  Maeve wanted us to hit her on the back of the head to get out the corn that she had eaten.  We explained that we didn't have to do that because she swallowed the corn.

Friday, March 16, 2001
I have been pushing my idea that having a "sturdy girl" is the best of both worlds: a girl can do all sorts of feminine things, but can still get away with doing "boy" stuff like fixing cars and repairs around the house.  Tonight Maeve got a little blister from pinching her finger someplace.  That reminded me of one flaw in my plan; it's not very feminine to have callouses.  I guess there has to be a choice in that area; either have soft, wimpy hands or not have feminine hands.

Thursday, March 15, 2001
Maeve once told me that I made her as smart as she is.  Today Jill was holding Maeve and we were talking about how smart Maeve is.  Maeve put her finger on Jill's neck and said, "Smart".  Jill interpreted that to mean that Mom made her smart.  I said that was Maeve trying to put more smarts into Jill by putting her finger near Jill's brain.  I put my finger on the other side of Jill's neck and tried to help.

Wednesday, March 14, 2001
Maeve really likes her new desk.  Once I get up in the morning I try to eat my breakfast.  Maeve will say, "Desk, desk" and want me to eat my breakfast at my desk.  She wants someone else to sit at their desk while she is sitting at hers.

Sunday, March 11, 2001
Today Jill was saying that she has become a New Englander.  She said it was only 50 degrees outside, but she was saying that it was hot and that she didn't need a coat.

Saturday, March 10, 2001
We got Maeve a desk of her own today.  It was an adult desk that I cut the legs off.  Now she points at my desk and I say that is my desk.  She points at Jill's desk and I say that's Mom's desk.  Then she points at her desk and I say that's her desk.  She likes to show off her very own paper clips.  She also has her markers, drawings and blank paper in the drawers.

Jill is talking about all sorts of goofy feminine colors for the desk.  She is asking Maeve is she wants to paint it pink with yellow flowers.  She talks about periwinkle.  As long as Jill was going to be so absurd, I started pushing for urban camouflage.

Wednesday, March 7, 2001
Maeve saw a lawn mower today and said, "Mommy".  I hope that lasts.  It's a small yard, and Jill won't shovel any snow.  I think it's only fair that Jill mow the lawn.

Tuesday, March 6, 2001
We got about 18" of snow today.  Maeve was helping with her shovel.  After we got it all off the driveway, we put Maeve on the piles and took some pictures.  She was near the top of the yard light on top of one pile, and was about 5' high on another pile.

Monday, March 5, 2001
Maeve was breast feeding one of her dolls today.  She was even trying to sing, "Jesus loves me..." as a lullaby.

Sunday, March 4, 2001
We sat near the organist at church today.  Maeve got a flyer from the bulletin that had some musical scores on it and was holding that up while she sang.  Maeve gets mad when the organist stops playing and starts pointing at her.  Mom was singing part of the liturgy that doesn't have musical notes in the hymnal.  Maeve flipped a few pages until she found one that did.  I guess she didn't want Jill singing without music in front of her.

Saturday, March 3, 2001
Today we went to get Maeve a new ambulance.  The one that I had got a broken connection with the speaker wires, so the siren didn't work any more.  We couldn't find another small one, so we got a bigger one.  It is a Hummer that is configured as an off-road rescue vehicle.  I like the air horn, which the other ambulance did not have.

Wednesday, February 28, 2001
We visited Jill's doctor today for an ultrasound.  The guy said he was 80% sure it was a girl.  We got decent pictures with this one.  The pictures that we got with Maeve's ultrasounds were fuzzy, and we couldn't really tell what anything was.

Monday, February 26, 2001
In Maeve's Jeremy Fisher book, there is a part where the frog has company and tells his guests he has no fish, but he does have a grasshopper in the cupboards.  Whenever we read that part, Maeve either says, "Yummy, yummy, yummy" or "Mmmmmm".  Jill said she hopes Maeve does not end up liking to eat bugs.

Thursday, February 22, 2001
Maeve loves looking into the storm drains when she goes for walks.  Today she was showing her doll the water going down the drain, and saying, "Bye" to the water. 

Jill said that Maeve talking to the storm drain made her think of 'It' by Stephen King, where the sewer monster grabs the kids.

Tuesday, February 20, 2001
Maeve was pulling money out of mom's wallet today and saying, "Daddy".  When Jill told Maeve that it was Mommy's money, Maeve corrected her by saying, "Daddy".

Sunday, February 18, 2001
We are using the woodstove in Maeve's play room.  We have put blue masking tape on the floor around the stove to show Maeve where the "No Zone" is.  We don't leave her alone downstairs, but she is very good about keeping away from the stove.  She will point at the tape and say, "No".  When we open the stove to put in wood, she gets back about 10 feet.  Whenever we go downstairs, she says, "Hot".  If she accidentally rolls a ball or something into the "No Zone", she will bring us the leather gloves so we can get it back for her.

Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Maeve has a book that talks about a little dog going into a big dog's doghouse, and the big dog growls at the little dog.  When we read that, I will growl.  Then Maeve puts her hand near my mouth and I will pretend to gobble it up.

Today we saw a magazine picture of a baby putting it's hand in its mother's mouth.  I showed that to Maeve and asked who was eating that baby's hand.  She said, "Mommy".

Sunday, February 11, 2001
I was getting pizza ready for dinner and Jill made some comment about Dad never cooking.  I said that I provide for my family; I just subcontract a lot of the actual tasks to Mom.

Thursday, February 8, 2001
Maeve was using a dust rag to scrub the living room table today.  Jill told her to not scrub so hard.  Maeve was so intent on cleaning the table.  Jill said that she doesn't want Maeve growing up as a house slave like Cinderella.

Monday, February 5, 2001
Jill came home Friday after visiting a sewing machine store.  Jill told them that she had never sewn before, but that she wanted to be able to do embroidery.  Rather than buy the $1,700 machine that they suggested, we found a comparable machine in the classifieds. Today Jill made a little pillow for one of Maeve's dolls and practiced some embroidery stitches.  I can sew by hand, but it will be nice to have a machine around.  Jill was talking about fleece booties and all of the wonderful things she can make with her sewing machine.  I just wanted to run around the house yelling, "My wife can sew!"

Saturday, February 3, 2001
Jill has been singing "Tell me why the sun does shine..." as a lullaby since Maeve was born.  Maeve has decided that she doesn't like it anymore.  Jill will say, "Tell me why" and Maeve will stop her by saying, "No."

Thursday, February 1, 2001
I left Jill with some tools so she could hang up some pictures.  Somehow she lost the tape measure, though she knew it was in the living room.  Maeve wanted me to lift up the couch.  When we did, we heard it drop.  It had fallen between the cushions and ended up in the lining on the bottom of the couch.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001
The weather today was nice enough for Jill and Maeve to spend some time outside.  First Jill wanted to re-pot a plant.  Jill was looking for her garden trowel.  She found the pots and other gardening supplies, but could not find the trowel.  Maeve was playing, and Jill casually said, "Maeve, do you know what Dad did with my trowel?  It's a little shovel, about this long."  Maeve walked back into the garage, walked right to the shovel where she left it, and gave it to Jill.  Maeve had used it when she was helping me break up the ice on the driveway.

Sunday, January 28, 2001
Jill asked if I would "be in a funk" if we had a boy.  A girl would probably be easier at this point, because we already have one and I would not have to learn new boy-parenting stuff.  We also have plenty of hand-me-downs.

So my answer to Jill was, "Not as big a funk as you will be in when I dress him in Maeve's pink hand-me-down coat."

Saturday, January 27, 2001
Maeve likes to put her blanket over her face and pretend to hide.  Jill and I will play along, running around yelling, "Where's my baby?  Where is Maeve? Is she over here?  Is she under here?", etc.  Today Jill heard Maeve bumping into things and found Maeve walking around with one of my kerchiefs over her head.  She was hiding, but she also couldn't see where she was going.  I got Maeve a threadbare kerchief so she could "hide" and still be able to see where she was going.

Friday, January 26, 2001
As I mentioned on Wednesday, Maeve is very attached to her dolls.  When Jill went to get Maeve up after her nap, Jill found that Maeve had taken off her diaper and was trying to put in on her doll.  Jill and Maeve went to the store to buy some cheap "newborn size" diapers just for the dolls.  It's hard to believe that Maeve ever fit in those.

Thursday, January 25, 2001
We took Maeve to get a haircut today where Jill gets her hair cut.  Maeve had seen me getting a haircut, so when we told her that she was going to get her haircut, she was making the sound of the electric clippers that my barber uses.

Wednesday, January 24, 2001
Maeve is getting very attached to her dolls.  Today she put her "babies" in the back of her fire truck, along with Maeve's purse and some bags.  Then Maeve got in the front and was driving, but kept turning around to talk to the dolls.

Monday, January 22, 2001
Jill is having some sort of nausea problems with this pregnancy.  It's not morning sickness.  It's just that she gets queasy easily.  For example, chicken is a problem for her.  She can't eat it, and even opening chicken noodle soup for Maeve is a problem.  Another example was that Jill couldn't clean some old cheese sauce out of a measuring cup.  Also, she can't deal with lunch meat that I say is still good, but that she thinks is too old.

Today Jill was going around with her hand over her mouth, trying to keep from vomiting.  Maeve saw her and started doing the same thing.

Sunday, January 21, 2001
Maeve and I were taking out the molding in the kitchen to prepare for the new floor tile that we are putting in.  I called Jill in to see what I had found behind the molding, under part of the wall.  Jill let out a shriek when she saw the red, 1970s shag carpet.  The wall must have been put in after the carpeting was already installed; the wall was just installed over the carpeting.

Saturday, January 20, 2001
Maeve is mimicking lots of sounds.  If I am taking a nap and Jill asks Maeve where I am, Maeve will make snoring sounds.

Tonight Maeve was mimicking the noise of the modem trying to connect.

Wednesday, January 17, 2001
Maeve is very good at saying, "No".  She often says it when she means "Yes".  For example, we will ask if she is done eating, and she will say, "No".  We then ask if she is going to eat any more, to which she replies, "No".  Jill has found a perfect use for Maeve's special talent.  Jill sings, "This little light of mine".  After the line, "Hide it under a bushel..." Maeve says, "No!"

Monday, January 15, 2001
My father flew home today.  Maeve's word for him sounds like "Pops", instead of "Grandpa".

Sunday, January 14, 2001
Today we took my father and Marianne to Dick's Last Resort for brunch.  They had live gospel singers.  Just like with the R & B group that Maeve saw at the motorcycle show yesterday, Maeve kept swaying to the music.  My father said she very well might end up being a dancer.

One of the waitresses at Dick's Last Resort tied a balloon onto Maeve's chair.  Maeve has never been too excited about balloons, but she really liked this one.  Through the rest of the meal Maeve had one hand on the balloon string and ate with the other.  She kept looking up at it and making it bounce up and down.

During dinner tonight, Marianne said that I have turned out to be a much better father than she ever expected.  I'm not sure what she meant by that.

Jill had gone off to some youth event at church, so I had Maeve for the night.  After Maeve finished eating her dinner and was cleaned up, we got out a cake.  Maeve was doing a lot of running around and playing, so I did not want to put her back in her high chair.  Instead I put a fork on the plate with the cake, and put it on the floor for Maeve.  It seemed like a good way to let Maeve eat and still keep playing.  She would eat a little cake, run off for a few minutes, come back for more cake, etc.  Marianne said she wouldn't tell Jill that I was making Maeve eat off the floor.

Saturday, January 13, 2001
If Maeve is left in her crib long enough after she wakes up and wants to get out, she usually throws her blankets and stuffed animals on the floor.  Today I went in to get her and found everything in her crib except her pajamas and diaper.  They were there when I looked in on her at 7:45, but by 8:45 she was a nudie baby.  I didn't think she could get out of her pajamas all by herself.

I took Maeve and my father to a motorcycle show today.  Jill told Maeve to not let me get anything pierced.  The show is held in the same place that often has computer shows.  The crowd for computer shows is dressed a little differently than the biker crowd.

After we got home, my father and I spent the rest of the day wiring new lights and installing new shelves in our utility room.  It was nice to have someone who does things right to help with that.  The house already has enough goofy wiring and carpentry from whatever buffoons were living there before.

Friday, January 12, 2001
My father came to visit for the weekend.  Maeve has gotten into a habit of wanting everyone to be drinking when she drinks.  If everyone isn't drinking, she points and fusses until they do drink.  My father said her demands that every drink when she does is going to make her quite a party girl.

Monday, January 8, 2001
THE DIAPER ENDTIMES HAVE BEGUN!  We got Maeve her own toilet training seat a week or two before Christmas.  It has been in the bathroom for a while.  Maeve has known for a long time how the bathroom works and what goes on in there.  Today Maeve used her training seat for the first time.

Sunday, January 7, 2001
Jill says Maeve is always happy, but around the time that I get home, she starts yelling, "Daddy", and is a lot more noisy when I am around.  I wonder where she picked that up.

Friday, January 5, 2001
Jill got a new shower curtain that is clear with some flowers on it.  Maeve does not like to have her hair rinsed in the tub, so she has been having her hair washed in the shower with Jill.  She likes to pinch my nose through the shower curtain.  She doesn't pinch my nose when there isn't a shower curtain between us, so I don't know why she always does that when she is in the shower.

Tuesday, January 2, 2001
We are getting Maeve used to the idea that there is another baby on the way.  Jill told Maeve that there is a baby in her belly.  Maeve likes to put her finger in Jill's belly button to point at the baby, and sometimes even likes to look in Jill's belly button to see if she can see it.

Sunday, December 31, 2000
When Maeve does something that I think is particularly clever, I ask her how she got so smart.  Today she replied, in a very declarative tone, "Daddy".  Now that I think about it, that only makes sense.

Saturday, December 30, 2000
I was telling Marianne and Jill a story about an auto accident that I encountered in Boxborough.  The driver had been ejected, and had lacerations on his forehead.  I was saying that the EMT from the town ambulance was focusing on finding tape to put a 4X4 on the guy's head, instead of things like O2 or getting the guy into the ambulance.  Because Maeve thought that I was looking for tape, she went to my desk and brought the tape to me.

Tuesday, December 26, 2000
Maeve brought her little piano with her when she woke me up this morning.  I made some comment about how well she was playing.  Jill said it was better than the Rock 'N Roll Elmo that she had heard "65 times already this morning".

Monday, December 25, 2000
This is Maeve's second Christmas.  I don't think she understands that this is a special day.  It seems like she could open presents every day and just expect it.

She got a lot of great presents.  Jill really likes the electronic keyboard that we got for Maeve.  Jill and Maeve spend a lot of time with Maeve sitting on Jill's lap while Jill plays it.

Our new house has a big enough kitchen, but all of the cabinets and appliances are squished into one corner.  There is less cabinet and counter space than we had in the condo.  Jill also thinks the light fixtures came with the house when it was built 25 years ago.  Home Depot had a 10% off sale on everything in the store, so we ordered more cabinets, and got floor tile, new lamps, ceiling fans, etc.  Our two day total was $3,450.18, after the 10% was taken off.  Buying everything in "Tax-free New Hampshire" saved us $172 in sales tax.  I've told Jill I will always remember this as "The Christmas that could have bought a car".  Now I have to install everything.

Sunday, December 24, 2000
At the Christmas Eve service today, Maeve saw Bruce Officer's kids.  Bruce's son has a pony tail, and Maeve said, "Jesus" when she saw him.

Saturday, December 23, 2000
I was slow getting out of bed this morning.  Jill had breakfast ready and sent Maeve to get me up.  First Maeve was whacking me.  Then I pulled her up into the bed, thinking she just wanted attention.  She started pulling on my hand, my shoulder and my hair to try to get me up.

Wednesday, December 20, 2000
Maeve came to my office for the company Christmas party today.  Russ Shamayev brought his daughter who is about the same age as Maeve.  They were looking at each other and Russ said they could probably communicate in their own language, like Furbies.

We met Meaghan Sparks.  Her mother wanted to name her Maeve, but her husband, Chris Sparks, wanted Meaghan.  When Chris walked in, Meaghan's mother said, "Chris, meet Maeve."  Chris groaned and said, "Thanks, Daniel".  I guess his wife holds a grudge about not getting to name their daughter Maeve.

Monday, December 18, 2000
The previous owners had 4 cats in the house.  We had the carpet guy do the whole house twice (the second time he maximized the deodorizer and even went over everything twice with the deodorizer).  I spent a day vacuuming all of the hardwood floors and moldings, and removing hair-filled vertical blinds.

There is a carpeted, insulated porch where the cats spent most of the time.  Even after the carpet guy was done, there was still a strong cat smell in that room.  I was telling Maeve about it, saying, "You can still smell the cats in this room."  Now every time we go through that area, she makes the noise that she uses to call cats, and sniffs the air.

Friday, December 15, 2000
We just closed on our condo sale.  I have a few tips for other potential home buyers/sellers:
* If the previous owners had cats in the house and they say they are "clean people", either:

* If you have a 19 month old daughter, the transition from one house to the other might be an easy one if she gets a big play room filled with lots of toys that you didn't used to have room for.  Owning both properties at once for two weeks will also let her get used to all of the new toys and space for her.
* At least have a contract on your house before you look for one to buy.  It's easier to find a place to live for a little while waiting for a new home to be ready than it is to own two homes at once, or to get financing for two at once.
* Get a good lawyer and ask for their advice every step of the way.
* Don't trust your realtor.  No matter what they say, their primary goal is their commission.  Your lawyer is the one that is really working for you.
* Shop around for everything.  There are people who offer all kinds of services.  We found a realtor who offered a $1,000 rebate at closing, or you could sell it yourself and pay him nothing for all the work he had done.  We also found a mortgage that offered $0 down, so we only had to pay closing costs, because we had to close on the new house before we closed on the condo.

Saturday, December 9, 2000
Maeve's fortune cookie today said "You could prosper in the field of medical research".  I don't know if that means she would be a researcher, or if she would be a research subject.  Maybe she will develop some incredible 6-sigma genius IQ.

Wednesday, December 6, 2000
I was getting ready to take Maeve to the store tonight.  Jill was going to help her put her coat and hat on, but Maeve didn't want Jill's help.  She took the coat and hat from Jill and handed them to me so I could help her.

Tuesday, December 5, 2000
Jill and Maeve stopped by Dunkin Donuts after spending some time at the new house today.  Maeve was waving at everyone and being very friendly.  The cashiers gave Maeve two free doughnut holes just because she was so cute.

Monday, December 4, 2000
Maeve was going to the bathroom in her diaper and Jill told her that she could go to the bathroom in the toilet.  Maeve went into the bathroom and Jill held her on the seat as she tried.  We will have to get Maeve her own seat in the new house.  She learned long ago what was going on with the toilet, and likes to close the lid and flush for everyone.  Hopefully that knowledge will speed along this toilet training.

Friday, December 1, 2000
I went to the new house tonight to drop off boxes of books and to clean up the garage before moving lots of stuff over tomorrow.  Jill had told me that there was no grass due to the replacement of the septic system.  I thought she meant they had left no grass over the new drain field.  When I pulled in I found no grass in the entire front yard.  Jill really meant, "There is NO grass".

Townsend is pretty sparse compared to Lowell.  Townsend has 32.83 square miles with a population of 8,885, giving it a population per square mile of 270.   Lowell has 13.78 square miles of land (the Merrimack River was not counted) with a population of 103,439, giving it a population per square mile of 7,509.  Lowell has over 27 times more people per square mile than Townsend.

In Lowell, there are street lights both in our parking lot and on the main street.  With such a high population density, there is also a lot of other light in the city.  All of that light results in Lowell being a pretty well-lit place.  I have no problem getting around in the house at night without turning on any lights.  If there are low clouds or snow on the ground, it's even brighter.

Townsend is very dark.  When I turned out all of the lights in the house, it was really dark.  That is going to be a big change.

Wednesday, November 29, 2000
Jill has been trying to pack with Maeve's help for a few days.  Maeve will spread around the newspaper that Jill is using to pack things up.  Then Maeve will wrap up things like her socks, and put them in boxes.

Often Jill doesn't move fast enough for Maeve, though;  Maeve will point to pictures on the wall, and Jill tries to explain that they are not getting packed yet, but Maeve still insists.  Jill is planning to have Nanny Carol watch Maeve while Jill tries to finish.

Sunday, November 26, 2000
Maeve and I spent a lot of father-daughter bonding time today.  First we went to Toys R Us.  Jill wants Maeve to get her own kitchen set, so Maeve will stop taking all of the pans, bowls, cookie sheets, spoons, pot holders, etc. from the kitchen into the living room.  I said if Maeve is to get a kitchen set, then she should also get a workbench/toolset.  We found a good deal on the kitchen set by the Barbies.  The packages in that part of the store were mostly pink.  We were having trouble finding tool sets, but we eventually found them in the boys' section.  The first tool set had a picture of a girl with her tools and the little apron, but the placement in the store makes it tough for most girls to find it.  We saw several tool sets, but the only workbench was for children 8 years and older.  We are going to have to work on finding a suitable match to the kitchen set.

Jill left me home alone with Maeve tonight so she could go see a movie with the church youth group.  Maeve and I put a new windshield into Jill's car.  I talked to Maeve about how I like to fix cars, my brother only likes to fix buildings (he's a structural engineer), and my sister probably doesn't own a wrench.  We all grew up with my father, who was fixing cars or doing home repairs most weekends.  We were all exposed to that, but we have different levels of interest in being handy.  I said I hoped that she liked to fix things, too.  Even if she didn't, I told her I thought she should at least be aware of what it takes to fix things.  I got to brag about the time that Jill had some problem with her exhaust system before we got married.  I found the problem and showed Jill the diagram in the manual.  She went back to Richmond and took it to the muffler shop.  The man was explaining to her that there was a problem with "the little muffler in front of the main muffler".  It took him a few seconds to comprehend what was happening when Jill replied, "You mean the Pre-Silencer?"  I want Maeve to at least be able to make it known that she is not an ignorant woman in her dealings with repair people.

Thursday, November 23, 2000
We have been having Thanksgiving dinner at church for the last three years.  People who are not going to visit family, or who do not have any family nearby have dinner at church.  We had about 40 people signed up this year.  In years past, Pam Meyer has taken care of cooking the turkey.  This year she was not available, so Jill ended up doing it.  She cooked about 40 lbs of turkey and 10 lbs of ham, along with two side dishes.  The Skardas brought some brisket, and everyone brought other side dishes or deserts.

Pastor came into the kitchen as the turkeys were being carved.  He said, "Oh no, we don't have an electric knife here".  We had our Cutco carving knife.  I wanted to say, "That's OK.  We have a SHARP knife".  Instead I kept my comments to, "That won't be necessary."

We also saw an electric knife being used on TV.  I guess an electric knife seems like a logical thing to use if you have always used one, but they seem more like a power saw to me.  They still tear the meat instead of cutting it; they just make smaller tears because the blades are moving faster.  I much prefer using a sharp knife.  I'm glad that Maeve will be able to grow up knowing what it is like to have sharp knives, instead of having to resort to gimmicks like electric knives.

After we finished eating, Maeve was chasing two older boys around the fellowship hall.  She was yelling at them, and they kept running around in circles.  I guess they knew who they were dealing with, and didn't want to let Maeve get too close.

Monday, November 13, 2000
Jill called me at work today to say that Maeve was abusing her.  Maeve is running into her with the stroller, and Maeve thought it was funny when she got Jill's finger caught in a book.  Maeve was running me over with her stroller yesterday.  Once Maeve was in the bathroom and Jill opened the refrigerator door and blocked Maeve's exit from the bathroom.  Maeve used her stroller to push on the refrigerator door, like she was trying to squish mom.

I said that Maeve was trying to get revenge for all of the "bruises in various stages of healing" that she has.

Sunday, November 12, 2000
Maeve sometimes coughs as though it's like talking.  It's all noise to her, so as far as she knows, we are trying to communicate something by coughing.  Today in church, another child was coughing.  Maeve kept coughing in response.

Saturday, November 11, 2000
Maeve went off the bed head first a few times before we got her to listen when we told her to go down backwards.  Now she can get off the bed and couch without any problem.  Today she went down stairs backwards for the first time.

Sunday, November 5, 2000
Maeve woke me up today, but I laid back down.  She walked over to the bed and pulled on my hair, trying to raise my head.

Tonight she gave me a little pillow.  I laid down on the floor with the pillow under my head.  Then I put the pillow under the head of one of her dolls and laid back down.  She took the pillow from under the doll's head, and pulled on my hair to raise my head so she could put the pillow back under my head.

Tuesday, October 31, 2000
Maeve had a good Halloween.  We were going to make her a parachutist.  We put on Maeve's body harness that she wears for airplane rides, a backpack and her bicycle helmet.  We tried to figure out how to get a parachute to float above her.  Our idea was to get a sheet with some helium balloons under it.  Jill bought a dozen balloons, but the sheet was too heavy.  We tried a plastic garbage bag, but that was too heavy.  We ended up just having the parachute hanging out of the backpack.  It didn't turn out as good as last year's sniper, but it was a good idea.

I would like to say, "We'll try again next year", but Jill is already talking about some frilly girlie thing.  If I get any sort of respectable costume I think I'll be lucky.

My office had a cubicle decorating contest.  I wanted to be the grumpy old man who hated kids.  Of course such a person has to receive the wrath of hoodlum children on Halloween.  Jill made me a window with poster board and wax paper, and I egged it.  I had extra egg shells on the floor.  I strung toilet paper over the cube, and put up signs saying, "Go Away - No Candy" and "No Trick or Treaters".  I didn't place in the top three, but I did get "Most Original".

In the afternoon, employees' kids were invited to Trick-or-Treat through all of the cubicles.  Maeve had a pumpkin basket.  By the time it was done, she figured out that she should put the candy in the basket.  There were some people with extra candy left over, so they were trying to get Maeve to take half of what they had.  With candy bars, Maeve would take one out of the bowl, bite it through the wrapper, put it in her basket, and repeat the process with another candy bar.

Sunday, October 29, 2000
Daylight savings time ended today since it was the last Sunday in October.  We explained to Maeve that the clocks would be moved back at 2 AM, so she should sleep an hour longer.  She didn't listen.

I was thinking it would be nice to get back at her on the first Sunday in April, but we didn't have to wait that long.  It wasn't intentional, but we went to a dedication of our church's new addition tonight.  We decided to leave at 7 PM, but around 6:50 PM Maeve reminded us that she thought it was 7:50, so it was only 10 minutes away from her bed time.  Ooooops.

Friday, October 27, 2000
Sometimes Maeve hides her pacifier and likes us to look for it.  Tonight she pulled her hand back into her sleeve for some reason.  I asked where her hand was.  She made her "I don't know" gesture, and waited for us to look for her hand.  After we found her hand, she pulled her sleeve even further down so we had to look for her entire arm.

Wednesday, October 25, 2000
Jill said that she had to go to the bathroom.  Maeve must have thought that Jill would be a while because she went over and picked up two magazines for Jill.

Monday, October 23, 2000
Maeve found the old toothbrush that I have in my tool bag for cleaning parts.  She combed her hair with it.

Friday, October 20, 2000
When we say grace at dinnertime, Maeve thinks we should pray several times.  If we finish too soon, she will try to grab our hands.  We finish up with the "God is great..." prayer, and she likes the rhythm.

Tuesday, October 17, 2000
Maeve has started "hiding" her pacifier and wanting us to look for it.  Once we find it, she will walk a few steps, throw it behind something, and then run around making the "I don't know" gesture, expecting us to go looking for it again.

Wednesday, October 11, 2000
Maeve is having some issues with going to sleep.  I don't know what is causing this, but she doesn't always want to sleep, even if she is very tired.  When we point out people/bears/etc. on TV or in books that are sleeping, she starts crying.  Jill pointed out the sleeping bear on Maeve's diaper.  That also started her crying.  When it was time for a nap, I thought that I would let Maeve see me getting into bed, so she would think that a nap is a good thing that everyone does.  That didn't work.  It just made her start crying.

Of course, this all depends on Maeve's mood.  There are also plenty of times that she will stand at the bottom of the stairs and point to her bedroom when she is tired.  Other times we will be trying to read her a bedtime story and she will either lay down with her blanket on the bed, or will try to close the book and will point at her crib.

Monday, October 9, 2000
Something that Maeve really enjoys is when I lay her on my head and run around yelling, "I have a baby on my head, I have a baby on my head".  Today she put one of her dolls on her head and started running around.

Sunday, October 8, 2000
Jill was making dinner when Maeve came into the kitchen and got two towels from the towel drawer and went back into the living room.  Jill wondered what Maeve was doing so she took a look.  Maeve had spilled a cup of water and was cleaning it up.

Thursday, October 5, 2000
I usually try to put a second keyboard on the desk when Maeve wants to work on the computer.  The last time that I didn't she pressed buttons to delete icons from the desktop and a few other things that I didn't want her to do.

Jill decided to let her use the regular keyboard.  Jill opened Microsoft Word, figuring that Maeve can type all she wants in Microsoft Word without hurting anything.  Maeve turned out to be smarter than that.  She put the computer into Standby mode twice.  She was pressing lots of Ctrl-key and Alt-key combinations.  Jill said, "I don't know how you did that, but it's pretty cool."

When Maeve did type regular characters, Jill said it looked like a programming language, and that I was warping Maeve's head by trying to teach her what I am working on.

Monday, October 2, 2000
Maeve has seen me use my Palm computer, and tries to grab it whenever she can.  I try to give it to her turned off, but she knows the difference between it being turned on and off.  She wants to see more than a blank screen.

Saturday, September 30, 2000
Jill and Maeve were in the living room and Jill said, "Is it time for lunch?  Let's go see."  Maeve walked over to the VCR and pointed to the clock.  I don't know where she got the idea that the VCR has a clock, or that you use a clock to tell time, but she knew.

Friday, September 29, 2000
Maeve once saw Mom put Lysol in the kitchen trash can when she changed the bag.  When we pull out the bag, Maeve runs to get the Lysol.  She will hold it up to the top of the trash can and make a noise like the Lysol coming out.

Tuesday, September 26, 2000
Maeve has gotten good at gasping.  She has a song that describes all sorts of mishaps, and the singer says, "Uh oh".  We also have a book about a baby getting out of his crib and going outside with some guardian angels keeping him safe.  Between reading the book and listening to the song, Maeve has learned to put her hands over her mouth and gasp.

Sunday, September 24, 2000
Jill has taught Maeve how to imitate "Dad driving home to see the baby".  Maeve waves her fists around, like she is holding on to a steering wheel and swerving all over the road.  Jill is working on getting Maeve to honk.

Wednesday, September 20, 2000
Patt Steiner saw the pictures of the Secret Stealth Sniper Baby that I have on my wall at work.  She said, "That's one tough little dude!"  "That's my DAUGHTER", I proudly replied.

Saturday, September 16, 2000
News from the road, by Jill:
"We drove the truck today.  I am going to get pictures of Maeve driving the dump truck. She is really becoming Southern.  Driving trucks and going around barefooted.

"She also learned to garden this morning. She took soil out of a large plant pot, after pruning all the dead leaves, and filled a small pot with dirt.  She's a quick learner, no one was actually encouraging her."

Thursday, September 14, 2000
I was getting gas when a girl approached me.  She had been standing around a European car with the hood up, along with another girl and two guys.  She asked if I knew how to put oil in her car.  "Certainly she was only trying to lure me over so she and her gang could assault me," I thought.  Is it possible that four people who are of legal driving age do not know where to put oil into a car?  Still, I went to look.  I pointed out the spout sticking out of the top of the camshaft cover with the big cap on it.  I wanted to say, "Do you think that big spout could be it?  What else do you think you would pour over the camshafts?"

The really scary thing is that the four of them couldn't figure it out.  One of the guys had a Life Guard shirt on.  I hope I never have to get rescued by someone who can't even figure out where to put oil in a car.

I have been trying to figure out how to make sure my daughter never has any such ignorant boys calling on her.  I haven't figured out how to be subtle and make sure they know how to bleed their own brakes.  I'm sure Maeve will be able to make up for any such inadequacies in her friends, but it still concerns me.  This gas station incident has opened my eyes to a much closer threat.  Perhaps some of her friends' parents will lack this knowledge.  How can I trust my daughter to the care of someone who doesn't know how to add their own oil?  Worse yet, how can I trust them to not take her to some awful place like Jiffy Lube, and fill her head with warped ideas like, "You don't need to know how to add oil. These people take care of it for you."?

Sunday, September 10, 2000
While visiting Helen, Maeve took a dog for a walk.  Jill assured me that the dog was small enough to not drag Maeve down the street.

Saturday, September 9, 2000
Maeve went with Jill and Helen to the Talbot's outlet.  Maeve learned how to shop there.  She was pushing the clothes back and forth on the racks like she was looking for something good.  She would even sigh, as though she was having problems finding anything she liked.

Wednesday, September 6, 2000
Maeve went with Jill and Grandpa Perrin to a petting zoo.  Jill said Maeve had no fear at all, and was feeding all of the animals.  Later that day they visited Granny Kay.  Maeve got some cat food and was chasing the cat around, trying to feed it.  I guess cats aren't very good "Petting Zoo" animals.

Saturday, September 2, 2000
Now that Jill is retired, she and Maeve went to Richmond today to spend three weeks with Jill's parents.  Whenever Jill's mother goes onto the deck to smoke, Maeve wants to go out with her.  Jill said she doesn't like to go out, because it is so humid outside.  I don't complain nearly as much as Jill does about the humidity, but hopefully this will get Jill to stop bugging me to get a job in Richmond, just so we can be closer to her parents.  That's a nice idea, but I am much happier with the weather in New England.

Friday, September 1, 2000
Today was Jill's last day at work. It was also Maeve's last day with Nanny Carol.   It looks like it was just in time.  Carol's grandsons have been visiting.  Coincidentally, Maeve has learned that kisses involve lips.  She used to just touch foreheads, like the Coneheads.  After those grandsons have been spending lots of time there, she now kisses on the lips instead of the forehead.

Thursday, August 31, 2000
When Jill went to Nanny Carol's house to pick up Maeve , Maeve accidentally stepped on the cat's tail.  The cat made a noise, Maeve looked up at Jill and back to the cat.  Then Maeve purposely stomped on the tail to see if the cat would make the same noise.

Wednesday, August 30, 2000
Maeve has gotten much better at "giving me the hand".  Jill was practicing with her in the tub tonight.  Maeve thinks it's funny.

Tuesday, August 29, 2000
Maeve was outside when Dave was washing his truck.  Maeve was looking at him, so he thumbed his nose at her.  I told Maeve that was an example of "Police Harassment".

Monday, August 28, 2000
Maeve has started making a growling sort of sound.  She sounds like the "Wazzup!" beer commercial.   Maybe she is seeing that commercial during the day at Nanny Carol's.

Sunday, August 27, 2000
Maeve is always trying to do what she sees Jill and I doing.  I've made a lot of comments about what a good helper Maeve is.  She will see Jill or I doing something, like dusting, sweeping, putting away clothes, etc., and will want to help. 

Today I was getting something in the garage.  While I was doing that, she got a screwdriver, wrench and pliers and tried to remove the taillight from one of my motorcycles.  She had seen me taking the license plate off that motorcycle. 

During church she took the suntan lotion out of the diaper bag.  She would grab the cap and then rub her legs, like she was putting on suntan lotion.  She even put some on my arm.  She saw me using my electric razor a few times, and she will rub it on her face if she gets the razor out of the cabinet.  She will "brush her teeth" if we give her a toothbrush.

Saturday, August 26, 2000
My company had an outing at Canobie Lake Park, a local amusement park, today.  Jill and I were not sure how Maeve would handle the rides.  Jill played her role as the concerned mother, worrying that Maeve might not like it, wouldn't want Jill to leave her or might try to get out while the ride was going.  She didn't want it to be a traumatic experience for Maeve.  I played the role of the father who lets his daughter do everything, even if it is sometimes a little too far to push her.  I said as long as there is a seat belt that she would be fine. 

She loved the rides.  The only traumatic experience was trying to get her off the rides.  She wasn't ready for them to be done nearly as quickly as they were.

Friday, August 25, 2000
Maeve likes to carry around the remote control, and she turned off the TV.  She liked what she was watching, so she pointed at the TV and looked at Jill and I, as though we had anything to do with it.  Jill showed Maeve where the power button is.  Now if we are making dinner or something in the kitchen, Maeve will go into the living room and we will start hearing the voices from the TV.

Thursday, August 24, 2000
I sometimes move cars around in the driveway with Maeve sitting or standing in my lap.  Now every time we walk past the car, she will put her finger on the keyhole, wanting to "drive".  If I have let her hold my keys, she will even try to put the keys in the keyhole.  Even if the car isn't moving, Maeve loves to rock from side to side while "steering".  On Jill's car, if you pull back on the turn signal lever, the high beam lights light up.  Maeve alternates between steering and flashing the high beams.

Tuesday, August 22, 2000
Maeve has started crossing her arms.  It's a different look for her.  I am much more used to seeing her waving her arms.

Sunday, August 20, 2000
A lady came today to buy Jill's old motorcycle.  We were talking about how Maeve likes to carry things around.  We mentioned that Maeve had found a penny on the ground and was tightly clenching it.  This woman said that children learn the monetary system quickly.  Then we told her that Maeve knows about a lot more than pennies.  She opened Jill's wallet, got out Jill's license, credit card and $11.  She walked over to her purse and put the items in there.

Friday, August 18, 2000
When Maeve wants a door opened, she has been slapping doors with her open palm for a while.  She has started using her closed fist, and really knocking.  I took her next door to knock on our neighbor's door when I had something to give him.

Monday, August 14, 2000
Maeve kicked her ball today.  She was good at carrying it around, but today is the first day that I saw her kicking it.

Jill claims that Maeve is finally saying "Mama", though Jill has never been able to get Maeve to say it when I am around.  Jill will ask Maeve if she can say, "Mama" for me, but she just giggles and tries to hide behind Jill.

Nanny Carol has taught my daughter to kick when she dances.  She has to have someone hold her hands to balance her, but when we turn on the music she will first lift one foot, and then the other.  Building on that, Jill has taught Maeve to twirl around.

Sunday, August 13, 2000
Maeve found her nostril today.  She must have known it was there, but she never focused on it so much.  It was only through most of lunch, but it made it hard for her to eat her lunch.  Later when she was running around, Jill said she loves Maeve's butt.  Jill was talking about how cute Maeve looks when she walks.  Jill asked Maeve where her butt was.  I told Jill I couldn't handle Maeve finding her nostril and her butt on the same day.

Saturday, August 12, 2000
We had painted the dining room and kitchen, and today I took down the masking tape.  Maeve wanted to get up on the chair, so I held her while I took down the tape.  She started grabbing the pieces that I took off the ceiling.  After a while, both of her hands were pretty big balls of tape.  I set her down and she went into the living room.  She came back in a few minutes dragging a magazine hanging off her hands.

Friday, August 11, 2000
Maeve is cute and she knows it.  We got a roll of pictures back, and Jill showed them to Maeve.  Maeve kept pointing to them, wanting us to go through them with her to show her the cute baby.  When we would tell her how cute the baby is, she would smile her big "I'm so cute" smile and look up at us.  She knows what we are saying.  Now she also wants us to go through the pictures on the wall, telling her about them again and how cute the baby is.

Monday, August 7, 2000
At the last doctor's visit, the doctor said Maeve is light for her age, and wanted to have Maeve come in at 15 months for a "developmental" checkup.  She is 19 lbs and 31 inches.  19 lbs puts her between the 5th and 10th percentile, so she is lighter than 90% of other babies her age.  31 inches puts her at the 75th percentile, so she is taller than 75% of other babies her age.  The doctor said that she was developing just fine, and because I was very thin as a child, that the light weight is likely to indicate how her weight should be while she is growing up.  I would rather raise a thin child.  Losing weight is not an easy thing to do, and she can use all the help she can get.  Until I got married and got a sedentary job, I was pretty thin.  I had a 32 inch waist when we were married.  I have a larger circumference now, but it's not that much larger.

Sunday, August 6, 2000
Maeve was in her high chair while I was washing dishes and saying something about how Jill treats me.  Apparently Jill didn't think my viewpoint was accurate, and she said that Maeve "gave me the hand".  I was hoping to have Maeve as an ally for a little longer.  I don't need her AND mom ganging up on me.

Tuesday, August 1, 2000
Crawling up stairs is not good enough for Maeve any more.  She wants to hold our hands, and walk up like we do.  She needs to hold onto us to keep her balance, but she usually walks right up, only putting one foot on each step.

Wednesday, July 26, 2000
We have a box of painting tools in the bathroom because we are repainting it.  Maeve likes to look through the box to see what she can play with.  Jill tells Maeve that it is not a toy chest.

Monday, July 24, 2000
The refrigerator was open and Maeve reached in, opened the egg carton and pulled out a cookie.  Jill said it was a cookie that Maeve had gotten in the morning, and she wondered what Maeve had done with it.  Maeve is like a squirrel, hiding things and going back for them later.

Sunday, July 23, 2000
Today was even more uneventful than yesterday.  Last night I lay down for a minute while I waited to hear if Maeve would go to sleep or if I had to do more rocking.  The next thing I remember it was midnight.  Maeve woke up again at 4 AM, but only needed her pacifier, which she had thrown on the floor.  At 8 AM I got her out of bed, followed the instructions for a morning bottle, changed her, and got her a hearty breakfast.  I dressed Maeve in a pink shirt and fluorescent green shorts.  I can't match clothes, but it doesn't look hideous to me.  It might have matched.  I don't know.  I dropped Maeve off at Nanny Carol's before Maeve's morning nap and came home to read the paper and get my diary caught up.

After picking her up, we stopped in an empty parking lot for Maeve to run around.  She spent most of the time with lots of pine cones, picking them up, throwing them around, and carrying them from place to place.

Once we got home, I got my two older motorcycles out of the garage to wash them before I try to sell them.  I filled the bucket with water and some soap.  I ended up taking off Maeve's pricey shoes so they wouldn't get soaked.  I also had to get her to follow some rules:

I hoped the neighbors weren't watching as I kept saying, "Don't eat that!  Keep that out of your mouth!  Suds aren't for eating!"  Once she got those rules straight, she even helped me wash the motorcycles.  She would dip her hands in the suds, rub them on the side of the engine, and then go back for another handful of suds.  She is such a little helper.

Jill told me on Friday that the house had better be clean when she returned.  I told her she should be happy if we don't have beer bottles and empty Chinese food containers all over, and if she doesn't find half-empty pizza boxes under the furniture two weeks from now.  It's a lot cleaner than that, so she should be grateful.

Maeve was ready for bed early, but I kept her up until her bedtime so she won't wake up at 5 AM.  Jill called to see how things had gone.  I told her to read about it in my diary.

Saturday, July 22, 2000
For fathers who ever wished they had instructions for their daughters, I figured out how to get them - send your wife on a two day, church-sponsored camping/whitewater rafting trip.   Jill left good notes on what Maeve should eat and when she should nap.  I didn't realize until this afternoon, but Jill didn't leave clothes for tomorrow.  It seems that every time I dress Maeve, the clothes don't match.  I suspect that is what will happen tomorrow.

We had a good day, and pretty much stuck to the instructions that Jill gave me.  After Maeve woke up from her noon-time nap, we ran some errands.  One stop was at a "tropical" pet store.  We looked at the frogs, lizards, snakes and fish.  Maeve also saw some white mice, just like in her "Goodnight Moon" book.  Just like with the book, she pointed at the white mice in the store.

Another stop was at the auto parts store.  Maeve picked out a thermostat and two packs of AAA batteries, none of which I needed.  I got a 40 lb bag of absorbent.  When I put it in the car, I left my wallet on the roof of the car.  About 15 minutes later I realized it, and was fortunate enough to find it out on the highway.  I was worried it would have fallen off in the parking lot and someone would have taken it for their own.  Everyone on the highway was moving too fast to stop, though several people had time to run over the cards and the wallet.  Maeve waited patiently while I collected all of my cards, receipts, checkbook and what was left of the wallet.  She waved at me whenever she saw me walking by.

Also at the auto parts store I won an argument with Jill.  Maeve has an outfit that has blue shorts, and a shirt with blue and white checks.  I said people would think Maeve was a boy because of the blue.  "Not a chance," said Jill.  "There is a butterfly on it.  Boys don't wear tunic shirts."  While I was trying to handle the 40 pound bag of absorbent, a large oil catch pan and Maeve, I was offered an even trade - my merchandise for my SON.  "HE'S so well behaved," said the clerk.  I WIN!

After changing Maeve's diaper, I left her shorts off so she would be cooler, and I put her in for her afternoon nap.  When I got her, I found that she had taken off her diaper, and had wet her blanket, her shirt and her socks.  My mismatching of Maeve's clothes started with me finding a replacement shirt.  I decided to use the same shorts, since they had not been in the crib with her.  We put her blanket in the washing machine and went to the Saturday church service.

Afterwards, we went to the mall for dinner and to get another wallet.  We went to the pet store, but all of the dogs were sleeping.  After getting a wallet and Maeve's dinner, I realized we had left her sippy cup somewhere.  I have to do a better job of keeping track of things when I have Maeve.  We retraced our steps, but couldn't find the cup.  We had left another sippy cup at a restaurant when we were in Texas for April's wedding, so I bought a few replacements.  As long as I don't forget Maeve someplace, I think I can get away with losing a cup or two.

When we got home, Maeve was ready to go to bed by the time her blanket was dry.  I followed the instructions for milk and bedtime book, and that was that.  Hopefully tomorrow will go as smoothly.

Thursday, July 20, 2000
We always clean Maeve's ears with a Q-Tip after her bath.  We just clean the opening of Maeve's "ear hole", just like the doctor instructed.  Maeve usually does a lot of resisting.  Tonight she took a Q-Tip of her own and cleaned out her own ears.  It had to be done more thoroughly than she did, but she did not resist at all when we did it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2000
Maeve took a credit card offer from the mail, opened it, and put it in the trash.  I guess the terms were not good enough for her.

Monday, July 17, 2000
We had a very uneventful trip home.  Maeve slept for most of he flight from Houston to LaGuardia, and even lots of the flight to Manchester.  When we got to New Hampshire it was about 3 PM, and the pilot said the temperature was 66 degrees.  That is about a 40 degree difference from Austin.

We had bought an umbrella stroller in Texas, and paid the 8.25% interest on it.  Maeve pushed it all around LaGuardia for the two hours between our flights.

Sunday, July 16, 2000
Maeve woke up at 6:30 AM.  Jill watched her until 7:00.  Then I took Maeve for a drive while mom napped.  Maeve napped in the back of the car.  The rental car people told us to bring the car back with as little gas as possible.  Maeve and I drove north on I-35 about 35 miles to see what we could see, then went back to Austin to buy Jill some coffee.

The three of us toured Austin for a while.  We saw the LBJ library and museum at the Univ of Texas.  We went to what turned out to be the bar strip in Austin.  That is where we saw the big ambulance with the big patient.   Maeve threw her pacifier out twice.  Once I noticed it was on the other side of the street just after we had cross and the light changed.  The next time she decided to leave it in the middle of the street.  By the time I got to it someone had already driven over it.  It cleaned up well.

We finished our tour of Austin by seeing George W.'s house and the State Capital building.  We just drove around the outside and looked at the statues outside.  Apparently they offer tours that run every half hour on the weekends.

Since we still had too much gas to use, we drove 45 miles west of Austin to see the "hill country of Texas".  On the way back, we stopped and got Maeve a little cowgirl outfit and some boots.  The boots are a little big.  Even though the heel is not very tall, Maeve is still working on learning how to walk in them.

Our hotel room was on the 4th floor overlooking the pool.  Maeve liked to stand on the air conditioner and look at the pool.  She would bang on the glass, and even had some people waving up at her.  After we got back from getting Maeve's boots, we went to the pool.  We had Maeve's Harley Davidson swim outfit.  We found that it was too big, so we just put it on over her diaper.  The diaper was pretty swollen by the time that we got out.  This experience really proved that Todd Stein's advice was right about diapers not holding their rated weight capacity.

We went out to a real Mexican restaurant tonight.  Maeve made a bit of a mess eating.  To clean her up, I put my napkin on the table and we stood Maeve in the middle of it while we brushed her off.  Maeve already had an audience, and I explained that rice was not a finger food.

Saturday, July 15, 2000
Texas has a lot of big stuff.  There are big roads.  I-35 going through Austin has 3 lanes going each direction, and the frontage road (one way on each side of the Interstate) has 2 or 3 lanes going each direction, so that's about 6 lanes each direction.  We parked under a tree in an attempt to keep the car cooler in the shade, and we discovered big bird deposits the next morning.  The Fiesta Market is a big grocery store.  While walking around Austin we heard the siren from a big ambulance.  They pulled up across the street from us and tended to a big patient.  We also saw a very big Baptist church.

Even though Jill had reserved a crib, the hotel said one was not available.  We had Maeve sleep between us in the king size bed.  About 1:30 AM Maeve was pouncing on me.  She thought it was play time, since she woke up and dad was there.  We had gotten a balloon from the rental car company, and it lost enough helium overnight to get within Maeve's reach.  At 6 AM Maeve woke me up by bopping me on the head with it.

I finally saw April at breakfast.  I gave her grief about the 30% tax on the rental car.  I pointed out that New Hampshire has no tax, and that it might have been more considerate to her guests to have the wedding there.  April called later, and I had to point out that New Hampshire is also a lot cooler than Texas.  Jill said April was probably wondering, "Why didn't Jill just come by herself?"

April wanted to talk to Jill, and told Jill that she had a favor to ask.  Jill cut her off and said she didn't have time to make April a wedding cake.  It turns out that April was only asking Jill and I to read scripture passages at her wedding.

The predicted high today was 106 degrees.  It broke a record that I think they said was set in the 1870s.  April's wedding was in the evening, but it still gave Jill and I a chance to talk about our mid-day wedding in Richmond with a high of 102 degrees and humidity in the 90% range.

One thing that Austin has going for itself, though, is low humidity.  You have to have water to have humidity, and the Austin area does not have much water.  Even though it was over 100 degrees, it was not unpleasant because of the low humidity.  I would prefer having high temperatures and no humidity to the weather in Virginia and Maryland, but I still prefer colder winters and Massachusetts summers where 3 days in a row with highs over 90 have everyone complaining about the "heat wave".  I just think those Massachusetts people need to move to Virginia so they can learn what oppressive heat AND humidity is.  If they still are not convinced, they can try Charleston, South Carolina.  Just before we left, Nanny Carol was talking about how hot she was in the 86 degree weather.  I wanted to bring her to Texas with us.  I can deal with the heat, but I prefer not to.

I went to the front desk to explain how much Maeve likes to play at 1:30 AM if she is in the same bed as mom and dad, and they found a crib for us.  After dropping off the crib, the hotel guy said he knew the hotel had some linens just for cribs.  He said he would try to get them from housekeeping, but that he is not bilingual, so he might have some trouble.  I think he picked the wrong town to work in if he is not bilingual.

During the rehearsal the flower girl wanted to spread her petals, just to practice.  While the rest of the practice was going on, Maeve picked up most of the petals.  She would pick up one in each hand, put them down in a pew, and go back for more.  She's not a very quick worker yet, but she had collected most of the petals by the time the rehearsal was over.  She is such a little helper.

The rehearsal luncheon was out of town a ways.  It was in the boonies.  If Texas had enough water for real trees, it would have been way out in the woods.  It was at a place called "The Salt Lick".  I don't know how far it was from Austin, because the directions were a little off.  I think most of the people were almost an hour late.  We drove about 15 miles past the town where the exit ended up being.  I took my directions in to gas station to ask for clarification.  I showed the directions I had to the guy and he said, "You're in San Marcos, man."  I just wanted to say, "I know I'm in San Marcos.  I saw all of the signs when I was getting off the highway.  It's clear to everyone that I have driven well past the correct exit.  Just tell me how to get where I should be."

I call April's new man "Shifty Jim".  He might be a good guy, but I've had some experiences with him that make me suspicious of him.  When I helped pack up April for her move back to Texas, Shifty told me I could have April's leopard print umbrella, as long as I would use it.  I'm not afraid to use a leopard print umbrella so I took it home, but April seemed unhappy by Shifty giving it away.  Jill ending up saying I had to return it to April.  Then we have this incident with directions that got everyone very lost.  It could be argued that Shifty was paying by the head, and purposely got people lost to reduce his bill.  He claimed they were "internet directions", but also said that we could blame him.  The "Internet Directions" story might be true, but the next encounter left nothing to question.  At the luncheon, the centerpiece on each table was a cowboy boot with a flower arrangement in it.  I mentioned to Shifty that it's customary to have some little contest or something to see who gets to take home the centerpieces at a rehearsal luncheon (or the wedding dinner, or something.  I know I've heard of such a tradition during some wedding related event), but that the boots looked like they had to stay.  Shifty said I could take a boot home if I wanted.  After everything else, I was not sure if I should trust him.  Fortunately Jill came along and affirmed that we could not take a boot home.  I hope Shifty is a better deal for April than he has been for me.

The church nursery during the wedding had pagers for parents, so if there were issues with children, the parents could be paged to come and get their kids.  That's better than trying to get a usher to identify and contact parents.

I gave April the same wedding day advice that Jill's sister Jeanne gave us.  When we got married, Jeanne's three sons were around 10 to 15 years old.  Jeanne said, "They know what you will be doing tonight."  I said the same thing to April, and asked her to think of the youth at Grace.

Friday, July 14, 2000
We left for April's wedding in Austin, Texas today.  Maeve's first airplane flight was about 20 years earlier in her life than mine was.  Our plan was to carry Maeve in our laps on the plane, instead of getting her a seat of her own.  We even got her a special airline harness that straps her into our seatbelts.  I made sure that Maeve fit in those of those "Am I Too Big?" cages that carry-on luggage has to fit in.  Fortunately, she did.  She fit in an overhead bin (I checked), but she preferred to sit in our laps.

I was not sitting by the window, and Maeve was blocking my view, but I was identifying everything as Long Island as early as New Haven, CT.  Maeve really enjoyed looking out the window.  If Jill would close the window cover, Maeve just pushed it back up.

At LaGuardia, we stopped to switch planes.  Maeve was being sociable and exploring everything.  She waved at everyone on the pay phones.  She was stopping to look at everything, and Jill had to say, "Come on, Maeve.  Even the old people in the wheelchair as passing us."

We paid $15.44 for lunch at Wendy's in the airport.  I did not know that my experience with higher than normal costs was just starting.

While we were waiting in line to get on the plane at LaGuardia, we saw a "Screamer" two year old with her New York grandparents waiting in line.  Jill said she hoped they wouldn't be sitting near us.  With 31 rows on the plane, the odds were in our favor.  Unfortunately, they sat right in front of us.  Since there were four of them and there were only three seats per row, one of the loud adults got to sit next to me, and she felt a need to talk to the other woman in the seat in front of us for most of the trip.  I was lucky enough to have slept through most of it, but Jill said I missed an incident that involved the escape of the contents of a dirty diaper, the Screamer, and the grandmother.

On the plane, I saw people in suits and short dresses and heels.  I was thinking that you don't want to be in a plane crash in a get-up like that.  Sliding down an escape chute, walking around on a mountainside, or swimming out of a lake in clothes like that would just be a bother.  Jill and I started having a discussion about the best way to crash.  I was saying that water would be nice if you could just splash in, but of course that does not happen.  Jill said that with the surface tension, it's like hitting concrete.  I said mountains would just cause the plane to get torn up.  Jill said that young pine trees are the best, especially if the wings shear off early.  She said the pilots should crash before we go past Kentucky - after that, they are on their own.  It wasn't intentional, but in hindsight I hope the New York woman sitting next to me was unnerved by our discussion.

When we arrived in Houston (we stopped to let off most of the passengers before flying on to Austin), the flight crew said they hadn't even noticed Maeve.  I guess they were too busy noticing the Screamer.  Even my ears were bothering me a little from the pressure difference when we flew into Houston, but Maeve just wanted to look out the window.

It was a bit of a shock to fly in at about 5 PM and have the pilot say it was over 95 degrees.  We didn't have that kind of weather when we flew out of New Hampshire.

When we went to get our rental car in Austin, we found that George W. has a 30% tax on rental cars.  That's right - 30%.  Apparently someone decided I should be funding stadiums and the like.  Regular sales tax is 8.25%.  But it's not so bad - there are weekends during the year that the government designates as "tax-free" weekends.  Then you don't have to pay the sales tax.  Too bad for me that we did not come to Texas during one of those weekends.  I can't wait to see what happens to our taxes if George W. wins the Presidency.

Wednesday, July 12, 2000
Maeve pushed her cart into the kitchen and put all of the boxes in the middle of the floor, just like we do with the empty grocery bags after we have emptied them.

Monday, July 10, 2000
Jill and I were arguing over who should clean the kitchen.  Usually the person who made dinner does not have to clean up, but they do have to watch Maeve.  I think I offered to watch Maeve instead of cleaning, but Jill wanted me to clean the kitchen.  We asked Maeve who should clean the kitchen.  She walked between Jill and I and went into the kitchen, as if to say, "It's not worth fighting over; I'll do it myself."

Sunday, July 9, 2000
We brought Maeve's beach ball into the tub tonight.  By pushing it under water and letting it pop up, I was able to make a wave pool for Maeve.

Tuesday, July 4, 2000
If we take off Maeve's shoes, she will sit down and take off her socks.  I tell her that if she wants to always go around without her socks that she will have to move to the mountains of North Carolina.

Saturday, July 1, 2000
The "oral stage" is something that I was prepared for, and Maeve has done a wonderful job of putting most everything into her mouth as soon as she picks it up.  Something I was not prepared for, though, is her "nasal stage".  She picks things up, puts them up to her nose and sniffs very hard.  She is really trying to smell things.  She picked up a rock, and instead of putting it in her mouth, she smelled it three times.  Jill keeps asking Maeve if she has stinky feet.  In response, Maeve will sit down, pull a foot to her nose and smell.  Maeve's feet do not smell, so I don't know where this whole thing with Jill and Maeve's feet came from, but I suspect this might be the source of this "nasal stage".

Thursday, June 29, 2000
Jill usually goes to the bathroom when she picks Maeve up at Nanny Carol's house.  Today Maeve went into the bathroom, put up the seat, pulled out some toilet paper and was waiting to flush the toilet. Apparently Maeve knows how to use the toilet.  It would be nice if she would potty train early, but I don't want to be too optimistic.  We could at least get her a potty seat of her own.  She already knows what steps to follow.  She might just think it's normal and start using it.

Sunday, June 25, 2000
Maeve was walking around outside church today.  She started walking down a sidewalk with a little incline, and she fell.  First she fell on one knee, then she caught herself with her hands, but her momentum kept her tumbling until her head hit the ground.  She just rolled over, crossed her hands behind her head and looked up at the sky.

The only thing that seems to bother her about falling down is getting debris on her hands.  She will hold out her hands to me so that I can wipe them off.  I'm working on getting her to brush her hands together to take care of this herself.

Thursday, June 22, 2000
Tonight I called to say that I would be working a little late and asked Jill to make dinner.  Jill told Maeve what we were having, and Maeve pointed at the freezer.  When Jill got it out of the freezer, Maeve hugged it.  Jill opened it and Maeve poured it into a bowl.  When the microwaved beeped after cooking, Maeve pointed at the microwave and whined until Jill got the bowl out.  Maeve also knows that hot foods needs to be blown on before eating it.  She looks so serious when she is blowing on food to cool it off.

Sunday, June 18, 2000
Maeve tends to get her arms pretty well covered in goo when she eats.  Years ago I saw a contraption at another fire department that was a loop with holes that pointed inside the loop.  This thing attached to a fire hydrant, and would spray water inside the loop when the water was turned on.  It was used to wash fire hoses.  You just fed the hose through and it came out the other end clean.  That was a lot faster than scrubbing hoses by hand.  I think a "hose washer" for Maeve's arms would speed up the clean-up process after dinner.

Maeve picked up one of Jill's earrings and put it up to her ear.  I put it down by her belly button and said, "No, they go here."  She still has an outie.  Jill was looking at pictures of me as a child and noticed that I had an outie, which has now become an innie.  We should get Maeve a belly button piercing now before she loses her outie.

For Father's Day one of the things I got was a parenting video from the Red Green Show.  One segment that really got my attention was how to create an entire set of bedroom furniture for a daughter from used tires.  How perfect!  Now I just have to start collecting used tires.

Friday, June 16, 2000
Maeve was doing more helping today.  She put foot powder in Jill's shoes.  She took some checks that were waiting to be sorted and put them in the trash.  I didn't really want them in the trash, but we don't want to discourage her.  We always say, "Thank you" and "You are such a good little helper".  She often claps after we praise her.

Thursday, June 15, 2000
Maeve helped me take the clothes out of the dryer.  She was looking inside, and I put more wet clothes in it.  I told her to close the door and she did.  She knows English.  She can't pretend to not know what we are saying anymore.

Wednesday, June 14, 2000
Maeve was going around say, "Bob bob bob".  Jill started trying to get her to say "mom".  I said that she was saying "mom", but she had a cold, so it sounded like "bob".  Jill didn't believe me.

Monday, June 12, 2000
Maeve went to the doctor today for her first ear infection.

Saturday, June 10, 2000
I took Maeve to the Harley Davidson Open House today.  Maeve and I sat for a while and pointed at the motorcycles going by.

A year and  a half ago Jill got me some Harley Davidson motorcycle gloves for Christmas.  I ended up returning them, and have had a store credit ever since.  I had only been able to use $5 of it, because I just don't need Harley Davidson stuff.  Since the store credit wasn't going away very quickly, I decided to get Maeve some clothes.  We got her a beach outfit (complete with a shirt, swim pants and a hat), some other outfits, and a motorcycle magnet for the refrigerator (she likes playing with refrigerator magnets).  My favorite thing was a cup and bowl set of "The day the three little pigs became hogs".  The pigs all had motorcycles and leather, and they were chasing the wolf.

Thursday, June 8, 2000
Maeve was being a good helper today.  She decided that she had eaten enough and held out a piece of food to Jill.  Jill thanked Maeve and ate the food.  Maeve got another piece of food and did the same thing again.  Jill tried to get Maeve to eat a piece of food from her at the same time that she ate a piece of food from Maeve.  Maeve would just wait until Jill ate the food, and then she turned her head to get away from the food that Jill was holding for her.  Now we just need another baby so Maeve can take over feeding it.

We were moving clean, folded clothes from a laundry basket into a tote to put into the attic.  Once Maeve figured out what we were doing, she started helping move the clothes from the basket into the tote.

Sunday, June 4, 2000
When we visited the Stein's,  Maeve demonstrated that she had learned how to take a pacifier out of someone else's mouth.  Today in church she was playing with another baby, and the other baby demonstrated the same skill, except she took the pacifier out of Maeve's mouth.

Thursday, June 1, 2000
Jill thinks Maeve is such a woman because she likes shopping, loves carrying her purse, is always "cleaning" things with napkins or washcloths, and has a southern woman's wave.

Tuesday, May 30, 2000
Maeve was blowing kisses today.

Sunday, May 28, 2000
Maeve and I watched the Indianapolis 500 again this year.  With all of Jill's brainwashing about how great Target stores are, Maeve was happy to see the Target team win.

Saturday, May 27, 2000
Maeve likes her bag and doll.  She gets the bag the first thing in the morning and puts it around her neck.  She knows how to give the bottle to the doll, when she isn't chewing on it.  Jill thinks Maeve learned to carry bags around from carrying the milk into Nanny Carol's in the morning.

During Maeve's bath she took the sponge and was wiping out one of the cups that she plays with in the tub.  She was helping clean it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2000
One of Maeve's favorite places to explore is our pantry.  She likes to gnaw on my little boxes of raisins.  We found her eating instant oatmeal off the floor.  She had chewed through a packet.  Maeve's teeth marks on our food often looks like mice.  Once she even tried to eat hot-dogs that were still in the wrapper.

Sunday, May 21, 2000
Maeve has figured out our monetary system.  She got Jill's wallet from her purse, pulled out a credit card, Jill's license and $20 and started heading for her play yard.

Friday, May 19, 2000
Maeve had enough of Liam, the other baby that Nanny Carol watches, today.  When Jill got there and told Maeve that it was time to go, Maeve went into the living room, got the two bags and her sweater.  Jill was talking to Carol for a few minutes, but Maeve was waiting at the door, ready to go.

Sunday, May 14, 2000
In Sunday School today we asked Maeve where her belly was.  Matt was surprised that she would pat her stomach when we asked her to.  She knows where most of her body parts are.  I was trying to close the rear door on my station wagon and Maeve was in the way.  I told her to watch her head.  She started patting her head.

Maeve also took a tissue and wiped off the VCR in Sunday School.  She is such a little helper.

Saturday, May 13, 2000
Maeve figured out that going off the bed head-first is a bad idea, and today slid down feet-first.

Thursday, May 11, 2000
Maeve likes to "pat" Liam on the head when he is at Nanny Carol's.  I'm not sure if she is being friendly or is guarding her turf.

Sunday, May 7, 2000
Maeve got some birthday presents from people at church.  Two people got her horses.  Chris Ehrisman made Maeve a rocking horse in wood shop at school.  Jill almost cried because it was so nice of Chris to think of Maeve.  Maeve loves to sit on it, hang onto the handles and rock back and forth.

April got Maeve a "stick pony", with a horse's head attached to a broomstick sort of thing.  If you squeeze the horse's ears it makes galloping noises or whinnying.

Thursday, May 4, 2000 - First Birthday
Maeve has not been sick all year, except for her bout with conjunctivitis, and fevers related to her teething. There have been no ear infections.  The combination of the antibodies that she was getting from breast milk and the single-child day care has worked out well.

We got Maeve a party hat.  She did not like wearing it, preferring instead to put it in her mouth.

The correct size for an endotracheal tubes for kids can be estimated by using their little finger.  Given that information, we have been cutting all of Maeve's food up pretty small, hoping to significantly reduce the chance of choking.  If Maeve does get a piece of food that is too large, she will usually spit it out for us to cut up before trying again.

Maeve grabbed her cupcake, tore off 1/4 of it and put it in her mouth.  Since Maeve spits out food that is too big, I said, "Don't worry, it will come back out".  It never came back out.  She finished the cupcake in another 3 bites.  Apparently we have been overdoing it as far as making the food small enough.

Thursday, April 27, 2000
Maeve took her first steps today not holding on to anything.  It was three steps from the table to Jill.

Sunday, April 23, 2000
Maeve "dressed up" for Easter.  She was wearing a pretty pink dress from Granny Kay, pink tights and her white shoes.  I had never seen Maeve looking so frilly.  I wasn't sure that it was my daughter.

Tonight Marianne stopped by to help with some leftovers from yesterday's Easter dinner and to wash a load of clothes.  I had washed some rags, and they were in the dryer.  When Jill and I took Maeve downstairs, the rags were on top of the dryer and had been nicely folded.  Jill told Maeve that maybe Grandma hadn't left.  Then she said that Grandma had indeed left, and now we have to pick up our own toys and fold our own laundry.

Saturday, April 22, 2000
Maeve usually pushes the cart that Jill's mother bought her from one of the 3 sides without the handle (yes, she pushes it sideways).  I thought she didn't like the handle, so I took it off.  She picked up the handle and looked at me with a perplexed look.  Jill and her mother said that Maeve sometimes uses the handle, and that she was used to it being on the cart, so I reattached it.

Friday, April 21, 2000
After Maeve eats, we clean her up with a washcloth.  She usually likes to play with the washcloth, but today she used it to wipe down her play yard.  Having Grandma around for two weeks has taught Maeve things that we haven't been able to teach her in almost an entire year.

Thursday, April 20, 2000
Maeve stood on her own today.  She didn't take any steps, but she did stand up without holding on to anything.  Jill's mother says it will be just a short while, and Maeve will just start walking and running all over the place.

Wednesday, April 19, 2000
James at Viridien saw the pictures of Maeve learning CPR.  He said that usually when you talk about Pediatric CPR, it's performing CPR on a child, instead of a child performing CPR.  He also said that the next step in her training should be teaching her how to use the defibrillator and to yell, "Clear!"

Sunday, April 16, 2000
We got palm branches this morning for Palm Sunday. Maeve got one in each hand and started waving them around.

Saturday, April 15, 2000
Maeve can walk across the room by holding on to her cart. She used to have a problem standing up if the thing she was holding on to moved. She can also slide the bottom rack of the dishwasher in and out without falling. Grandma keeps saying it won't be long before Maeve is walking. She has also said that maybe Maeve got my "Walking by Christmas" deadline confused with Easter. We'll see. She still has a week before that.

Thursday, April 13, 2000
I talked before about Maeve "tending towards dissociation". One of my specific examples was Maeve's pole with five colored plastic rings. If she sees rings on the pole, she will rush right over and take them all off. Today she actually put one back on. Grandma also bought her a shopping cart with fake food boxes in it. She takes the boxes out just fine, but she also occasionally puts some back in. The only thing I can figure is that having her grandmother around straightening things up has gotten Maeve interested (at least slightly) in putting things where they belong.

Saturday, April 8, 2000
Carol is taking a week off, so we asked Jill's mother to come watch Maeve for a week.  One week wasn't long enough for her, so we agreed to have her visit with us for 2 weeks.

Wednesday, April 5, 2000
Carol is watching another baby two days a week. He is only half of Maeve's age, but he is just as big. But Maeve is not intimidated at all. I said that when we visited the Stein's that Maeve demonstrated that she had learned how to take a pacifier out of someone else's mouth. She does the same thing from this other boy. Carol tries to stop Maeve from doing it, but Maeve is too smart. She waits until Carol is too far away to stop her, and then she makes her move.

Sunday, April 2, 2000
Maeve has been doing lots of waving for several weeks now. It all started when she discovered that her wrists rotate. Today she even waved good bye to a diaper going into the Diaper Genie.

Monday, March 27, 2000
My friend Marianne came over tonight to teach us CPR. Even Maeve participated. We got pictures and hopefully will have those back and on the web page in a few weeks. We were also having food delivered so we had some cash around. It was just over $25, but we had gotten two $20 bills from the bank, and we had a $5 bill. Maeve had a $20 bill in one hand and the $5 bill in the other. I had the other $20 in my other hand. I didn't realize that Maeve could count or understood the value of different bills, but she dropped the $5 bill and took the $20 bill from my hand.

Sunday, March 26, 2000
While we were in line at the store today we saw a family getting Isomil. Jill whispered to Maeve about how the "baby wants boobie, not that formula". The baby started crying, and the mother handed him a bottle. He threw it on the floor. They handed it to him again, and again he threw it on the ground. That gave Jill another opportunity to point out to Maeve that "the baby wants boobie, not that formula".

When we got to the car, Jill said she feels very strongly about the importance of breast feeding. She said that she just wanted to go up to that mother and ask her, "Don't you love your baby?" because she is giving the baby formula instead of breast feeding.

I said Jill might turn out to be one of those militant people who get up in your face about some issue that they feel strongly about. She would have all sorts of statistics, and talk of medical studies on the difference of babies who breast fed and who were given formula. She would have pamphlets for people who would listen, and would try to get the name, phone number and license plate number of mothers who wouldn't listen so she could post them on some "Non-Loving Mother's" webpage someplace. I also mentioned that she might wear a beret, because my stereotypical picture of that type of zealot/activist is someone wearing a beret. Jill said that it would be a pink beret with a nipple on top, and she would start a group called the Boobie Patrol.

She shared this conversation with her Breast Feeding mailing list. One mother talked about wearing her husband's military BDUs and making nursing openings under the pockets on the front.  One woman said that during winter you could easily get the pink beret with nipple appearance with a pink ski cap by putting a brown tassel on top. Two other women came up with this cadence for the Boobie Patrol:

I dunno but I've been told...
Mama's milk is never cold!
Sound off...

sound off 2,3.....yes!
I am nursing 2 and 3.
Plan on doin' so 'til they flee!
sound off....


Saturday, March 25, 2000
When Maeve eats, she will take a handful of food. She puts her hand to her mouth and it looks like she just opens her hand. Somehow the food gets into her mouth without falling all over. We have found an exception to that, though. Cornbread does not stand up to her crushing when she takes a handful. From what we found in the highchair when she was done, it didn't look like too much got into her mouth.

Thursday, March 23, 2000
Maeve started clapping today. I saw the baby in the Michelin commercials on The Weather Channel clapping, and he looked about Maeve's age. So on Sunday we started working with Maeve on clapping. As Jill was driving to work, she looked in the baby mirror and saw Maeve clapping all by herself.

Sunday, March 19, 2000
We had a rubber band in Sunday School that we had used to bundle some slips of paper that we were using in the lesson.  Maeve got the rubber band after we handed out the slips of paper and she spent a while stretching it, like she was doing some sort of resistance exercises to strengthen her hands and arms.

Saturday, March 18, 2000
I got a haircut today.  Maeve had some hair that was in her eyes and was bothering her, so Jill cut that little bit.  I offered to take Maeve for a haircut that would last her a little longer, but Jill wouldn't let me.

Friday, March 17, 2000
When I try to hold Maeve and work on the computer, she is very eager to play with the keyboard.  I decided to ask Peggy at work if I could have a broken keyboard that one of her employees had worn out.  I also got out an old keyboard that I had before I purchased my current keyboard.  Now Maeve has one keyboard in the living room to play with, and one in front of the computer.  She gets really excited when she gets close enough to press the keys.  She gets a big smile and presses keys all over the keyboard.

She can put her hands on the home keys and can reach the rows above and below those keys, but her hands aren't big enough yet to press the top row or the keys in between the home keys (such as G and H).  Last Friday I wrote about trying to teach Maeve things like her name or phone number.  Once I saw how much Maeve liked the keyboard, I decided to start teaching her to type her name and phone number.  That will probably be faster than teaching her how to pronounce her whole name or all of those numbers in the correct order.

Thursday, March 16, 2000
One of the legs fell off Maeve's high-chair.  I got a screwdriver and screwed it back together.  I left the screwdriver on the floor where Maeve could get it.  She has recently discovered how to rotate her hands and feet.  When she picked up the screwdriver, she started rotating her hand just like she was screwing something in.  That is almost as helpful as the picture I have of her with the hammer.

Tuesday, March 14, 2000
Nanny Carol was sick today, so Jill stayed home with Maeve.  Maeve has a habit of taking some of the food that she is supposed to eat and putting it on the high-chair seat.  Invariably some falls on the floor.  Jill found that Maeve hates the vacuum cleaner so much that after she is done eating and has been put on the floor that she will eat it.  If Jill stops her from doing that, Maeve will stand up and get the extra food from the high-chair seat.  It's just like a chipmunk storing food in its cheeks for later.

Saturday, March 11, 2000
Today Jill had to vacuum up what was left of Maeve eating a pancake for breakfast.  It doesn't help that Jill cuts the pieces up so small that Maeve can't choke on them, but Maeve still doesn't need to throw them on the floor.  When Jill started up the vacuum, Maeve started crying.  I picked her up, but she kept crying until Jill stopped.  I remember vacuuming with Maeve in June.  She pretended to be asleep.  If she could sleep through it before, I would expect her to be able to at least tolerate it now, instead of crying so much.

Friday, March 10, 2000
Earlier this week Jill insisted that Maeve was saying, "Da da da".  As soon as I come in, she stops.  Towards the end of the week, I heard it, too.  Jill says Maeve is trying to say, "Daddy".  I don't know how this is happening.  I'm not trying to teach her to say that.  I don't think that Jill is.  I think we should be teaching Maeve to say her own name, in case we misplace her or something.  If a mall security guard asks Maeve her name, "Da da da" isn't going to give them much to go on.  Something like "Maeve Perrin" or "(978) 453-4636" would be a lot more useful to teach her.

Monday, March 6, 2000
Maeve seems to be getting a lot closer to walking on her own.  She is still crawling a lot, but she is also "crab walking".  She is getting even more interested in what is on shelves.  She is always standing on her tiptoes to grab as much as she can.

Sunday, March 5, 2000
Since we never used Maeve's playpen in the living room for anything other than a toy bin, we replaced it today with a plastic "yard", complete with a garden gate, mailbox, flowers, vegetable garden, etc.  She especially likes to stand inside and play with the flowers.  Even though there is a garden gate to go through as well as a tunnel sort of thing that she could crawl through, when Maeve is standing and wants to get out, she surmises that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  Since the wall comes just below her waist, she just leans over and topples out.  Needless to say, Maeve still has a little to learn about going down.

She has the same problem with the stairs.  She can climb the stairs fine, but she thinks the first stair is a play area.  Once she gets there, she likes to turn around and sit down.  If we weren't there to catch her, she would fall right off.

Monday, February 28, 2000
Tonight Maeve climbed up all of the stairs.  Mom had gone up stairs, and Maeve chased her.  Jill didn't believe that Maeve had done it all by herself, so I had Maeve do it again just to show her.  When she got to the top Jill was congratulating her and celebrating, and then she told Maeve that we would have to go out and get a gate this weekend.

Thursday, February 24, 2000
Maeve climbed up her first stair today.  I'm ready to have her walking, even though it will be a lot more work to keep up with her.

Tuesday, February 22, 2000
Maeve and I watched Emergency!  We discussed how EMS has changed in the last 25 years.  In this particular show, a prison inmate had tried to escape off the prison roof and was stuck on a ledge above a window.  The idea was that Johnny would go down a rope, put a harness on the prisoner, and they would both go in the window just below.  On the roof there was a structural steel assembly that the air conditioning unit was mounted on.  There was also a big pipe.  The clever firemen put the backup line around the structural steel, but the main rope was around the pipe.  I pointed out to Maeve that a pipe is a poor choice when there is structural steel around.

Since it's TV, when Johnny was trying to get the harness on the prisoner, the prisoner leapt onto Johnny.  That sudden extra load broke the pipe, which let them take up the slack in the back up rope.  Johnny's helmet also fell off.   I explained that losing your helmet isn't a good thing, but at least Johnny and Roy usually use the chin strap.  Too many firefighters I know either remove the strap altogether or fasten the strap around the back of the helmet, so it stays out of their way.  I always liked the idea of keeping the helmet on my head, so I used those straps.

Sunday, February 20, 2000
When we lived in Pasadena we lived with a German Shepherd/Black Labrador mixed dog.  He used to like to try to chew on my shoes.  I would wiggle them around and he would jump around trying to get them in his mouth.  Today Maeve was trying to get Jill's foot.  I'm not sure if I think it's good or bad that Maeve would do that, but it did make me think about that dog.

Saturday, February 19, 2000
We got about 9 inches of snow over about 24 hours of snowfall since yesterday at noon.  Three hours after the snow stopped the streets had nothing on them but water.  I love how Massachusetts has so many snowplows.  Jill said it still wasn't enough snow, but it was nice that we finally got an extended snowfall.

Wednesday, February 16, 2000
Apparently Maeve now knows to point to her nose when you ask her where her nose is.  Jill was trying to show me, and Maeve was not participating.  Instead she was scratching at her diaper.  I did the only thing a good father could do - I asked Maeve to show me her diaper.  I don't think Jill was impressed, but she should have been.

Sunday, February 13, 2000
Today in Sunday School we were talking about how advertising sometimes misleads people.  The conversation turned to Pokemon and other similar fads that appeal to youths.  Several people in the class, especially Matt and Kristi, told Maeve to not get involved with Pokemon.

Saturday, February 12, 2000
I learned in high school biology that "nature tends towards dissociation".  Trees can stand straight up for a while, but eventually they fall.  Once they fall, they don't just lay around.  They rot (dissociate).  The Sphinxes in Egypt have eroded (dissociated), just like the Grand Canyon.

Maeve also loves dissociation.  She must take every toy out of her basket and spread them around on the floor.  She doesn't want to play with the toys.  Once she spreads them around (dissociates them), she looks for something else to play with.  She does the same with the clothes in her dirty clothes basket.  She likes to take books off the shelf and array them on the floor.  She does the same with newspapers and magazines waiting for recycling.

Fortunately I have an easy way to distract her from these activities.  One of Maeve's toys is a pole with five colored plastic rings.  If she sees me stacking the rings up on the pole, she feels compelled to immediately crawl over and take the rings off.  She doesn't want to play with them; she just wants to dissociate them.

Monday, February 7, 2000
I saw a survey from "Marriage Partnership Magazine" listing the most common terms of endearment in order.  Their results were: Baby 44%, Sweetheart 41%, Dear 39%, Lover 32%, Darling 31%, Honey 28%, Sugar 24%, Angel 20%, Pumpkin 13%, and Beautiful 6%.  I don't think I use any of those for Jill.  If I'm in a good mood, I'll use Chickie Cutie.  If I'm a little more subdued, I'll just use Woman.  I can see not getting much response for Chickie Cutie (or even Chick), but I would have expected Woman to be somewhere on the list.

Sunday, February 6, 2000
Today Maeve went out to lunch with Jill, April (the DCE intern) and some of the Senior High kids from church.  The total bill came to $42.  Jill declared that $5 was a little more than 15%, which is Jill's minimum.  April said she thought it should be more like $8.  Somehow Jill convinced April to go with the $5 amount.  Jill has always had problems with tips.

Once Jill and I had an $18 meal.  Jill calculated the tip as $1.50 was 10%, 5 cents was another 5%, so 15% was $1.55.  (I later asked her to explain the math step by step to me, but she couldn't.)  Jill asked me to round up to $2.  I wasn't pleased with the service, so I was willing to be "generous" with a $2 tip.

I usually just divide by 6, know that will give me 16.6%, so I could round down slightly if it would give me an even number.  Jill prefers to divide by 10, and then also add that amount divided by 2.  Since she has been using that method, Jill has done pretty well.  Apparently today she stopped after dividing by 10.  I am disappointed in Maeve for not catching it, but April definitely should have caught it.  April has had more education and can voice her concerns.  It's likely Maeve tried to tell Jill that she was off, but that no one understood her mumbled speech.

Saturday, February 5, 2000
I haven't mentioned diaper consumption for a while.  This weekend, though, Maeve and I got out the dictionary to find out what we could learn from the roots of the word "diaper".  This was prompted by my thinking that "dia" is Spanish for "day", so perhaps dia-per means one per day.  In that case, we either need to use a lot fewer diapers or call them something else.  The dictionary offered no useful information on the word diaper, with the only applicable definition being, "a baby's breechcloth".  I did find, however, that the di- prefix of Greek origin means two.  Per means "for each".  This led Maeve and I to a dilemma.  Do we use the similarities with the Spanish word and use one each day, or do we go with the Greek meaning and always double up the diapers?  I like the idea of one each day, because it will reduce costs, trash, etc.  However, if I am supposed to be changing the diaper as often as we do now, but using two each time, it is only fair to Maeve that we do that.

Wednesday, February 2, 2000
Just over 2 weeks ago, we started giving Maeve Cheerios to eat, and I commented that they help develop " fine tactile control requiring use of her fingertips".   Since then we have learned that the same skills are used to pick little pieces of lint off the floor.

Tuesday, February 1, 2000
Because Maeve sucks on her finger so much it has gotten chapped.  Jill keeps putting lotion on it, but it still looks bad.  I told Jill I was worried about people thinking she is some kind of freak.  When I said that, Maeve was holding my shopping list and immediately started crumpling it.  Jill said no one would think that, but even she mentioned that it looked like some sort of Elephant Man's finger.

Monday, January 31, 2000
Maeve is really starting to discover moving by herself.  In just the 10 days since she first pulled herself up to a standing position she is now crawling all over the house and climbing on everything.  She has found the stairs, but she isn't going up yet.  She just stands there.  She even tried to climb the stack of baskets in the living room tonight.

Sunday, January 30, 2000
Now that Maeve is standing in her crib, we had to take out the bumper pad this weekend, so that Maeve doesn't tear it down.  We also had to get the "infant/toddler" child seat from the attic.  It still looks a little big for her, but she is hanging out of the other one, so it's time.  Jill is experiencing a little denial about her daughter growing up so fast.  Before we know it she will be off to college.

Saturday, January 29, 2000
We hadn't washed Maeve's clothes for a little too long.  Jill went in to get Maeve at night and found her playing with dirty clothes that she had reached through the crib rails to pull out of the clothes basket.

Friday, January 28, 2000
Maeve has always had a problem sleeping if she thought she was going to miss something.  Now that she can stand up, she will wake up at night and stand up in her crib.  Soon enough she will start crying and be waiting when someone comes to her.

Wednesday, January 26, 2000
After Maeve's bath tonight, Jill and I were drying her and putting on her pajamas.  I was cleaning her ears, and I gave her two Q-Tips to play with to distract her.  In the past Jill has told me not to put the Q-Tips into her ear canal.  Every so often Maeve will stick the Q-Tip too far into her mouth and start to cough.  Jill will say, "Don't stick it in so far," and I get defensive, saying, "I'm not sticking it in" because it sounds like she is talking to me.  Jill has to remind me that she isn't.

Jill was tired, and made some comment about Q-Tips and Maeve's "ear hole."  I explained to Maeve that while Jill did a very good job of teaching her about the digestive system, that the correct term is "ear canal" or "external auditory meatus".

Sunday, January 23, 2000
Maeve was helping Matt read a Bible verse today, and she couldn't see it well enough with Matt holding the Bible.  She ripped the page right out.  Matt learned to let Maeve get a good view if they are going to be sharing a Bible.

Saturday, January 22, 2000
We put new batteries in a Disney toy for Maeve.  When you push on different Disney characters, it plays the Mickey Mouse theme.  Maeve can even sit on it and make it play the theme.  Jill and I said she can play music with her butt.  We are so proud.

Friday, January 21, 2000
Maeve pulled herself up from sitting to standing for the first time today.  She is crawling a little, but moving around is more a combination of a little crawling and a little rolling.  Standing and walking while we hold onto her are occurring more frequently.  Soon enough I will be able to send her out for a paper on Sunday morning, or to get the mail on Saturday morning so I can sleep in.

Sunday, January 16, 2000
We visited the Steins today to bid them farewell.   It was Maeve's first time really playing with someone close to her age.  We were afraid that she would handle Kristin like she handled the Fighting Nun, or roughly, like she tried to handle Baby Matty.  It went pretty well.  The only problem was that Maeve would take the pacifier out of Kristin's mouth.

Maeve will spit out her pacifier (or throw it), but soon enough she will want it again.  To make it easy for everyone, I put the part that is supposed to go outside her mouth in my mouth.  Then when she decides that she wants it, she can grab the nipple and put it in her mouth.  So it looks like we have trained Maeve to take pacifiers out of other people's mouths.

Saturday, January 15, 2000
We've started letting Maeve eat Cheerios.  She is good at grabbing things, but she has trouble with fine tactile control requiring use of her fingertips.  She can eat Cheerios from the palm of her hand easily.  Picking up individual Cheerios takes practice.  So she's practicing.

Jill had a discussion with Don in her office about Cheerios.  Don said that since they had a whole in the middle, it is difficult to choke on them.  I explained to Jill that when you chew up a glob of Cheerios, it no longer has a hole in the middle.  I also told Jill that pediatric endotracheal tubes are sized by the patient's little finger.  Comparing a broken off piece of the Cheerios to Maeve's little finger, we decided that it's about 75%.  So Maeve could occlude 75% of her airway with just a little broken off piece.  But I feel better knowing that she can't choke on an entire Cheerio.

Friday, January 14, 2000
I showed Maeve how the Fighting Nun works.   I hit Maeve in the pacifier a couple of times, but Maeve was feisty.  She would grab first one Nun fist, and then the other.  Finally she spit out the pacifier, grabbed one Nun fist, put it in her mouth and started chewing on it.  Then Maeve started clawing and scratching at the Nun's face with her free hand.   I hope no real life Fighting Nuns attack Maeve - they don't know who they are dealing with, and Maeve would tear them up.

Sunday, January 9, 2000
During church today Maeve was standing, waving her arms and even singing along.  Jill said she was going to grow up to be pentecostal.  Unfortunately that type of behavior is disruptive in a Lutheran Church, so I took her out into the hall.

I didn't get very far before one woman grabbed Maeve from me, and another chased her down the hall, trying to get Maeve.  They reminded me of two seagulls on the Mall in Washington, DC when I threw my apple core to one.  About 5 minutes later it flew past, being chased by another sea gull, probably trying to get the apple core that was still in the mouth of the first.

I yelled after the women to not drop her.  We're trying to get Maeve through her first 18 years without being dropped on her head.  People always ask me that, and I don't know what the answer is.  It would be nice to be able to know for sure.  We're doing well so far.

Saturday, January 8, 2000
Maeve keeps getting new teeth.  They bother her, and she tries to find new things to chew on.  Tonight Jill's breast was the choice, and Maeve broke the skin.  I reminded Jill how I had warned her about Maeve's foaming at the mouth, and how Jill had claimed that Maeve was not rabid.  I'm still not convinced.  Maybe Jill should get some shots, just in case.  The only other good explanation for Maeve's overzealousness is that she is a vampire.  Being a vampire without teeth would be a bother, so for Maeve's sake, I hope she's just rabid.

Friday, January 7, 2000
Maeve had another Doctor's visit today.  She is up to 15 lbs and 27 inches.  She's at the 50th percentile for weight and a little higher for height.  She is long and slender for her weight.  The doctor said that will help her walk sooner, because she doesn't have lots of excess weight to try to balance.  She is almost half as tall as my sister (58 inches).

There was a digestive tract poster up in the examination room, and Maeve was very amused when Jill pointed out the different organs.  Jill would point to an organ and tell Maeve what it was.  With every one Maeve would laugh and laugh.

Monday, January 3, 2000
Maeve figured out how to sit up on her own today.  She needs some room to do all of the rolling around, but she does it.

Sunday, January 2, 2000
We got home this morning at 1:30 AM.  Lots of fog and too many 55 MPH zones slowed us down, but the trip up I-81 was pleasant, even if radio reception was poor while driving through the mountains.  Maeve was so excited to see her wind chime, bunny mobile and her crib when she got home.

Saturday, January 1, 2000 - First New Years Day
Maeve and I discussed why it was that there was no noticeable terrorist activity during New Years celebrations.  It's possible that terrorists didn't think lots of people concentrated in one place, like Times Square, would make worthwhile targets.  It could be speculated that the government knows a lot more than they let on, and they were able to thwart these attacks before they could occur, but that wouldn't explain the lack of activity throughout the world.  I guess the terrorists aren't as smart as I gave them credit for.

We stopped in Maryland to see Elaine on the way home.  She gave us her Y2K / apocalypse food stash, consisting of a 6-pack of Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli.  I like it, but 6 cans wouldn't last her very long during an apocalypse.

We also stopped in York, PA to see Becky and Rob.  As we exchanged gifts and drank coffee at the Borders book store, Becky pointed out that at least Maeve doesn't drool as much as a Saint Bernard.  It's nice to have friends who help you see things in perspective.

Thursday, December 30, 1999
We visited Donna, Bonnie and Brennan today.  Jill had bought Brennan a Winnie The Pooh Duplo set.  Brennan was very happy when he was unwrapping it, and enjoyed opening the box.  Then he took all of the pieces out, threw them on the floor and started playing with other things.  Maeve spent the rest of the visit sucking on Winnie The Pooh.

Wednesday, December 29, 1999
Maeve seems to be able to put most people into some sort of trance, while I am somehow immune to her effect.  This morning Jill was making eggs for breakfast.  She took two out and put them on the counter.  Apparently her mother's counter is not flat, and one egg started rolling away from the edge, while the other started rolling toward the edge.  I yelled, "Egg!  Egg!  Egg!" to no avail.  Jill just stared at Maeve while the egg fell on her foot.

Yesterday Shirley, Jill and I were talking while Maeve was standing by the couch next to Shirley.  Shirley had made sandwiches.  I saw Maeve reaching for a piece of Shirley's sandwich.  I said Shirley had a lot to learn about babies.  While Maeve picked up Shirley's sandwich and crushed it, spreading mayonaise through her fingers, Shirley just stared at me, asking what she had to learn about kids.  I don't know what Jill staring at, but she was just as surprised when she saw the mess in Maeve's hand.

I'm glad that I am not affected by Maeve's trance.  I don't want to be responsible for things like eggs on the floor or mayonnaise hand.

Tuesday, December 28, 1999
We visited Shirley and Kevin today, and saw Baby Matty.  After the whole Matthew Eapen/Louise Woodward thing, Baby Matty just pops into my head.   Shirley does insist that his name is Matthew, and not Matty or Matt.

I was having an allergic reaction to the cat, and the cat didn't seem to like Maeve.  It kept hissing and growling. Maeve and I stood our ground and even kicked the cat out of the bedroom twice.

Kevin did something when he got home that scared Maeve.  There is only one other person that Maeve doesn't like.  By the time the we left, though, Maeve liked Kevin.

Baby Matty, however, had made some plans with Kevin. He urinated on Jill when she tried to change him.

Monday, December 27, 1999
Grandpa was helping Maeve drink from his glass tonight.  As is her custom, Maeve was trying to wave her hands around while holding on to the glass.  At one point the she shook the glass enough to splash it all over her face and chest.  While she was sputtering and trying to wipe the water off her eyes, Uncle James said that is how someone can drown in a glass of water.

We gave Maeve a bath tonight.  After each bath we clean out her ears with Q Tips.  She doesn't really like it, and she wants to eat the Q Tips, so we usually give her two to hang onto, one for each hand.  Last night she put one in her mouth with the other end sticking out.  Jill said that she looked like Grandpa chewing on a toothpick.

Saturday, December 25, 1999 - First Christmas
Today Maeve was sucking in her lower lip and Jill said that she looked like an old man, gumming her lower lip.

Maeve has some rubber building blocks that also squeak if you squeeze them.   Maeve has figured out that if she puts one end in her mouth that she can make the block whistle by sucking or blowing.  Grandpa Perrin says she needs a harmonica so she can have a real musical instrument to play with, instead of just a set of children's blocks.

Even though I had told her before Thanksgiving that Christmas was the target date for walking, Maeve did not walk today.  She just practiced the harmonica with her blocks.  She loves to stand, and will stand and hang on to things while waving one hand.  It looks like she is close to walking.  All I asked for was two steps, but she was too busy with her blocks. Maybe I should have told her that even if she makes a career of playing the harmonica that she still needs to be able to walk to get on stage.

Friday, December 24, 1999 - First Christmas Eve
We left for Virginia at 3 AM this morning.  The trip went very smoothly.  In 4 hours we had gotten to the New Jersey Turnpike, and were basically past any New York City rush hour traffic we might hit.  We stopped for gas and Jill spent 20 minutes doing what I thought was an excellent job of trying to get Maeve to pay attention and nurse.  Unfortunately, New Jersey was much too interesting, and Maeve kept looking around at cars, the dashboard lights, the steering wheel, the car windows, etc.

My pre-baby target time to get from Lowell to Baltimore was 7 hours.  I figured we would lose two hours or more.  Our first long stop was for breakfast just 30 minutes north of Baltimore.  We were at that point after just 6 and a half hours, so if we hadn't stopped for breakfast, we would have made it to Baltimore in pre-baby time.  We made it to my mother's house just one hour more than my pre-baby target time.  What a deal!

Jill and I took turns driving.  Jill has been afraid of driving over bridges since I have known her.  She has nightmares about the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  She always yells at me to stay in the center lane, keep both hands on the wheel and slow down, as though the car will suddenly realize that it's on a bridge and try to swerve off.  Today I was asleep and Jill drove over the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Port Deposit Bridge and the Tappan Zee bridge, all on her own.  After this, Maeve won't get any sympathy from mom about phobias.  Maeve will have to keep hearing the "Delaware Memorial Bridge story".

Thursday, December 23, 1999
Maeve got her first two teeth yesterday.  All of her drooling and gnawing is paying off.  She got a little fussy last weekend, but she is back to her normally bubbly self.

Jill and I exchanged presents already, because we are planning to leave around 2 AM for Virginia.  We were supposed to have left around 4 PM today, but I got stuck at work.  We'll see how the late night road trip goes with Maeve.  Jill said all she wanted was a token gift, because of a lot of clothes she had gotten recently and her scheme to get huge jewelry on our 10th anniversary.  I got her a Fighting Nun.  I think it's cute.

I have not recently gotten lots of clothes, and I have no desire to receive jewelry, but Jill got me two books on tape - OJ Simpson's book he wrote while he was in jail, and one by Jimmy Carter.  I think the Fighting Nun is the best gift in the bunch.

Monday, December 20, 1999
Jill and I were discussing how both her father and brother have new motorboats.  I mentioned that we might be able to go out on them while we are down there for the holidays.  I said that Maeve would love the wind in her hair.  She likes it when we just blow through her hair.  She closes her eyes and tilts her head back.

Jill asked if you can take an infant on a boat.  I said I thought we could if we got the right size life vest.  Referring to Maeve in the bathtub, Jill said that Maeve already knows how to kick well.  If she did fall out, we could just tell her to swim back to the boat.

Sunday, December 19, 1999
Maeve usually likes to sit on the bed playing with my socks while I finish getting dressed.  Today she was staring at my socks and shoes when I was putting them on.  I felt like Mr. Rogers, mesmerizing children with my footwear.

Saturday, December 18, 1999
Since the beginning of the month Maeve has made progress in figuring out what she can do with her body and what's going on around her.  She knows what my car sounds like, and what it sounds like when I come in the door and come up the stairs.  She leans over and watches the door until I come out.  She is also doing a lot of rolling around, and can raise her head to see what's going on when she's on her stomach.  She pushes herself backwards when she is on her stomach (sort of like backwards crawling).  She still loves standing.  She even likes to only hang on with one hand and wave the other in the air.  Since before Thanksgiving I have told her that Christmas is the target date for her first steps.  We still have one more week.  She still does a lot of hanging on still, but a few steps might not be that far away.

She is doing lots of gnawing on things and drooling.  I mention that and people say that she is teething.  But she has been doing that for months.  Maybe she has been teething for months, or maybe she just likes to gnaw and drool.  Whenever I see it I think of the song, "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth".

Friday, December 17, 1999
Jill took a sick day off work today, so I took Maeve to Carol's in the morning.  After the hand off, I turned around to leave and Maeve started crying.  Carol mentioned how she never cries when Jill leaves.  After work Jill said that she had talked to Carol about it, and Jill can't figure out why Maeve hasn't ever cried for her.  I've said it before - she's Dad's girl.

Tuesday, November 30, 1999
During our trip on Friday I saw a kid who was up running around, but still had a huge pacifier in his mouth.  He kept trying to talk, and I think I would have been able to understand him if he hadn't had a pacifier in his mouth.  I guess it must be a security thing, but I hope we don't have that problem.  Hopefully Maeve will find security in her armadillo and not need a pacifier by the time she's running around.

Sunday, November 28, 1999
Maeve is grabbing things now.  Jill took her to a store with narrow aisles, and Maeve was trying to grab things on both sides of the cart.  She can usually grab edges of items, but sometimes she just claws at them.

Tonight Maeve was playing on the bed as we changed her into her pajamas.  She was only wearing a diaper.    She started clawing at her diaper.  Jill said it looked like she was scratching herself.  Maeve is acting a lot like some guy, what with her scratching herself, and her loud burps and sneezes.  She was a sniper for Halloween.  In the Christmas card pictures we took tonight Maeve was dressed in lots of frilly girlie clothes, but now she acts a lot more like "dad's girl".  I'm sure Jill will refine her, but it's nice to have her expressing herself for now, at least.

Friday, November 26, 1999
Today we went outlet shopping in western Massachusetts.  It took about 2 hours to get there.  Maeve was awake all the way out there, and wouldn't eat or sleep.  There was just too much to see, and she didn't want to miss any of it.  On the way back, Jill drove.  I leaned the seat back so my head was in view of Maeve, and I went to sleep.  Jill said I as soon as I did that Maeve put the blanket over her face and went to sleep.  Jill thought maybe Maeve was afraid of seeing me.  I know it was because once she saw me, she could feel secure and felt comfortable going to sleep.  She didn't have to stay "on guard".

Thursday, November 25, 1999
We had Thanksgiving dinner at church with about 40 other people in our congregation.  We looked for foods that Maeve could eat.  She probably could have gotten sweet potatoes, but all she got was the regular rice cereal and peaches that we brought from home.

We also had the Baby Sniper Halloween pictures from the website.  Someone even asked Jill whose idea the costume was.  Jill wasn't sure how anyone could think it was her idea.

Thursday, November 18, 1999
I tried my idea of feeding Maeve her rice cereal with a catheter tip syringe.  I still think it's a good idea, but Maeve has some idea that eating involves sticking your tongue out of your mouth.  When you have a mouth full of food, that puts a lot of food on your chin.  A catheter tip syringe isn't as good as a spoon for pushing the food back in her mouth.  I haven't given up, but I also haven't figured out a way to improve the results.

Tuesday, November 2, 1999
Jill usually picks out Maeve's clothes, and I dress her in the morning.  One day Jill set out a onesie and two pairs of pants.  I asked why Maeve was getting two pairs of pants.  Apparently Jill meant to put out one pair of pants and one shirt.  Later in the evening I saw how Jill could get something you put on your legs confused with something you put on your upper body.  She was putting on a sports bra and was putting it on over her legs.  She claims it is easier to pull it over her legs than to try to get her arms and head through it.

Sunday, October 31, 1999
Jill asked me a few months ago what we were going to dress Maeve up as for Halloween.  I said I didn't think we should dress her up as anything, because at her age the dressing up is really for parents instead of her.  I didn't think we should dress her up as a tomato or pumpkin or some of the other infant costumes I had seen.  Then Jill made the mistake of putting out a dark blue long sleeved turtleneck onesie and dark blue pants.  She looked like a sniper in that outfit.

Like I said on October 14, we dressed Maeve up as a Secret Stealth Sniper Baby for Halloween.  She had a dark blue long sleeve top and pants, black socks, and black and green camouflage face paint.  Her rifle was just the right size for her hands.  We got pictures of her in the bushes, up in a tree, hiding behind a brick wall and lurking under furniture.  The pictures should be back in about a week and a half or so.  It was scary how realistic she looked, and how she fit the role so well.

Proving my point that the first Halloween is more for parents than kids, I think I did enjoy it more than Maeve.

Saturday, October 30, 1999
I took Maeve to Home Depot today.  I had left the cart outside the Tool Corral because the aisles are so narrow in there.  There was one of those lift carts in one of the aisles that the employees use to get to stock high up on the shelves.  The employee was just finishing helping another customer as I passed, and I tried to walk between the lift cart and the display.  Maeve chose that time to throw her teething beads on the floor.  By now the employee and the customer he had helped were right behind me, and another fellow was on the other side of the lift cart waiting to get through.  I had to back up to have enough room to pick up the beads.  I mentioned something about how Maeve picked a poor time to "give me a hard time."  Almost at the same time, the other three men started talking about how Maeve hadn't even started to give me a hard time, and that it would get a lot more difficult than that.

Sunday, October 24, 1999
Alison said we shouldn't bother getting Maeve any toys.  Her reasoning is that she and her brother never played with toys - they preferred pots, pans and Tupperware.  Karen Schlumberger pointed out that kids love to put things in Tupperware and then put the lids on the containers.  I don't think Jill would let me get away with a toybox full of pots and pans.

Saturday, October 23, 1999
We went to Keene, NH today for their annual Keene Pumpkin Festival.  Last year they made the Guinness Book of World Records for the most carved pumpkins - 17,693.  Pretty impressive stuff.  There were carved pumpkins all over downtown, and there were three locations with scaffoldings filled with pumpkins.  Look at the photo gallery on their website to get an idea of what it was like.

Steve Forbes, Republican Presidential candidate, also showed up.  We took a picture of him standing by Maeve in the backpack.  That was pretty neat.  I'm sure there were people around him that would frown on it, but Jill and I both thought that it would have been easy enough to take him out.  He was just out working the crowd, shaking hands, people taking pictures.  There was no heavy security presence like when I saw Al Gore going to a meeting in Baltimore.   Al was pretty safe there.  But Jill and I weren't in a mood to harm Mr. Forbes.   That was probably good for all of us.

As for Al, Jill and I agree that if he had been there, it would have been nice to get a picture with him, just because he's the Vice President.  But he's smarmy.  That isn't an anti-Democratic comment - it's an opinion of Al's personality.  He just seems kind of soft.  Still, the picture would have to be sought in a similar situation as we had with Steve Forbes.

Thursday, October 14, 1999
We dressed Maeve in a black turtleneck and black pants.  I said Maeve looked like some sort of stealth covert military sniper or something.  I put Maeve down on the bed, and she blended in so well that I had to ask Jill to where the baby had disappeared.  I was thinking that if we could figure out some way to put black face paint on, and if we got black socks or shoes, she could be a sniper for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 12, 1999
Maeve has been trying to eat a lot of paper lately.  I handed her an envelope and told her not to eat it because we had to mail it.  She immediately tried to eat it.  I was telling Jill about it later, and Jill said what I did was like offering cocaine to a cocaine addict and telling them to not snort it.  I took issue with Jill likening my daughter to a cocaine addict, and she supported her comparison.  She said, "I've seen her trying to get things into her mouth.  Her hands are shaking.  She's thinking, 'Oh, oh, oh, I have to get this into my mouth.'"

Sunday, October 10, 1999
I worked my paramedic job yesterday.  Ed Fowler said his daughters didn't crawl either - they went from tumbling to walking.

He affirmed my idea of feeding Maeve with a catheter tip syringe.  It works pretty well for people on the other end of the age spectrum.  The idea of squirting Maeve's dinner into her mouth appeals to me.  I'm sure it wouldn't be that easy, but it would be fun trying.  I can't be worse than spooning food all over her cheeks, chin and bib.  Jill's objection is that eating from a syringe is not a "developmental step".

Saturday, October 9, 1999
Maeve ate solids for the first time today.  Jill said Maeve figured out how to use the spoon very quickly.  I pointed out that Maeve has been sitting in the middle of the dinner table in her bouncy seat for over 5 months.  I think that gave her an head start.  She was probably thinking, "It's about time."

Saturday, October 2, 1999
Mom left us alone tonight so she could have a "Girl's Night Out" with April (the person, not the armadillo).  Maeve and I were on the bed asleep when she left.  I was supposed to get chicken croquettes and gravy for dinner, since it was Jill's night to cook.  Just before she left, Jill came in and was whispering all sorts of stuff.  First she said I'm only getting mozzarella sticks (she may as well have just left a bucket of lard and a spoon - it's about the same nutritional value).  Then she asks if I can give Maeve a bath by myself.  She knows, from years of experience, that it is not effective to talk to me while I'm sleeping.  Of course I said I could bathe Maeve, just so she would leave me alone and let me go back to sleep.  I found that we still need two people to give Maeve a bath in the big tub instead of in her little tub in the kitchen sink.  I ended up getting a bath along with Maeve, even though I wasn't in the tub.

But I'm sure Jill and April had a splendid time.

Friday, October 1, 1999
Maeve likes to stay awake when she's with me.  My guess is that too much fun stuff happens when dad is around, so she fights to stay awake and see it all.  She only took a 15 minute nap in the morning.  Then she was awake.  I kept waiting for her to fall asleep again.  It wasn't until after we ran some errands that she fell asleep on the way home, and I was able to put her into bed without waking her up.  Then she slept for 3 hours straight, and still looked sleepy when she woke up.

Thursday, September 30, 1999
I was home with Maeve today.  Carol was supposed to be out all week, so Jill was home the first three days, and I got to stay home Thursday and Friday.  I keep overheating her milk.  The milk won't be warm enough, but then I wait another 60 seconds and it's too hot.  For instance, I might go talk to Maeve about a computer program that we are working on, and it takes more than 30 seconds to check the bottle again.  Too hot.  Then Maeve is ticked because she's hungry, and she won't help with the program any more until she's fed.  So I stick an ice cube in the milk.  It melts quickly enough, I think, but not quickly enough for Maeve.

Monday, September 27, 1999
Yesterday Alison wanted to hold Maeve at church.  Maeve wanted to stand on Alison's legs.  Alison said what I have been saying for months, that Maeve will walk before she crawls.

Nanny Carol is off for the week, so Jill is home with Maeve until Thursday, when it's my turn.  Jill has been hesitant to agree with me about Maeve walking, but today's behavior made Jill agree.  Jill would be helping Maeve to stand, and Maeve would cry as soon as Jill sat her down.  Maeve hates being on her stomach - she can't see anything.  So we can't get Maeve on her stomach for her to learn to crawl.  She loves to stand, and takes steps.  Maeve was just over 2 weeks old when I predicted she would be walking before crawling.  Balance is still a little problem, but it looks like it will happen.

Wednesday, September 22, 1999
Whenever we give Maeve a bath, Jill undresses Maeve in the living room and carries her into the kitchen.  I have always said it's a bad idea to be carrying a baby around without their diaper area being wrapped up.  You never know when they will choose to go to the bathroom.  I was laying on the floor, playing with the baby and watching the news.  Jill took the baby, undressed her and told me it was time for me to get up and help her bathe the baby.  I didn't get up right away because I was watching the news.  After Jill thought she had waited long enough, she said, "I know how to get you up", and she held naked Maeve over me.  She guessed right - I got right up.

Sunday, September 19, 1999
I just posted some new pictures.   When Todd saw the pictures of Maeve reading, he said reading was nice, but if I really wanted to improve my life and Maeve's, I should teach her to cook and change her own diaper.  Jill caught me teaching Maeve to cook.  She's only tossing a salad, but it's a start.

I also have pictures of my "Increased Capacity Diaper Genie".  The standard Diaper Genie will only hold a day or two's worth of diapers.  By taking off the bottom and mounting it on a chair frame, my "Increased Capacity Diaper Genie" is only limited by the amount of liner in one refill.  I have pictures of Maeve with two weeks' worth of diapers.

Thursday, September 9, 1999
Jill was reading Maeve a book and Maeve was holding on to the book, also.  Jill asked, "Oh, you think you can hold the book better than me?"  I told Jill that after having a book "dropped" on her on Tuesday, I would be holding on to it also.  At least then you have some control of it hitting your head.

Tuesday, September 7, 1999
When Jill and I hung up the shelf above Maeve's changing table, Jill explained that it had to be well secured, because we couldn't drop things on the baby's head, "not even once".  I found out yesterday that Jill dropped a book on Maeve's head.  I wasn't there, so she might have thrown it at Maeve, but Jill, of course, denies that.  At least I had my chance to say, "What did mommy do to your head?" like Jill did when Maeve, of her own volition, decided to find out how it feels to ram your head into motorcycle handlebars. After that little incident, Jill said, "What did daddy do to your head?"  There were no good answers to that question.

Monday, September 6, 1999
When I got Maeve this morning, the word "galubrious" jumped into my head to describe her.  All morning, I thought that my daughter was very galubrious.  I thought galubrious meant something like "ebullient".  I later found out that galubrious isn't a real word.  I haven't decided yet if that means that she couldn't possibly be galubrious (because the word doesn't exist) or if it is for me to define, so she can be galubrious whenever I say.

Wednesday, September 1, 1999
I think diapers should have the liners made of the same material that is the "control" part of pregnancy tests (the part that turns blue or pink or whatever as soon as urine touches it).  That way you could tell from the outside if the diaper is wet, without all of this touching.

Sunday, August 29, 1999
From the start I have suggested clothing Maeve in blankets instead of pricey outfits.  This weekend we went out to yard sales.  At first Jill was saying that Maeve would lament, "My father won't buy me anything except boys' colored clothes from yard sales."  Then we found the woman selling Talbot's Kids and Baby Gap clothes, and Jill cleaned her out.  It ended up being a very good deal for Maeve.

Saturday, August 28, 1999
I got back last night from a day of white water rafting with the Senior High from our church.  Jill was supposed to come along Thursday night and camp, and then take Maeve to Canada (only 11 miles away) while I rafted on Friday.  Maeve developed a little fever, which the doctor diagnosed as "a cold".  That was enough for Jill to decide to stay home and deprive my daughter of an international experience.  She said Maeve would want to be home if she was sick.  I said Maeve would sleep wherever she was, and she would probably get more out of spending a night with her father than stranded at home.

Pam Meyer said something to the effect of my decision to take Maeve camping when she had a little cold as being the one that a responsible father would make.  Alison Maas called Jill a "paranoid mother".

Sunday, August 22, 1999
Jill has always shed a lot of hair.  It shows up in places where you would never expect to find hair.  I'm sure it fell off me or my tools, but it's weird to take apart a carburetor and find Jill's hair inside.  Lately it has been showing up on Maeve.  I will find hair near Maeve's neck, underarms, and other places. Jill always enjoys it when I make a comment about the length of Maeve's underarm hair, her facial hair, etc.

Saturday, August 21, 1999
Jill said that if she had to work after having a baby that she wanted a cleaning service so she doesn't have to worry about cleaning AND taking care of a baby.  She also pointed out that it eliminates me having to dust and vacuum.

So yesterday the cleaning people were scheduled to start.  Jill is still working 4 day weeks and has Friday off, but she had to go in until a little after noon to work on a special project, so I stayed home with Maeve until the cleaning people came.

I found that she is amused by dad finishing off the root beer by drinking it right from the bottle.  She stopped sucking on her bottle, watched me and laughed.

I also found that if Maeve doesn't drink more than an ounce after sucking on a bottle for about half an hour, it's an indication that there is a problem with the bottle, even if she had been able to drink from it before.  It seemed odd that Maeve wasn't finishing the bottle, but I just assumed that Jill would not have left me a defective nipple when I'm alone with Maeve.

Wednesday, August 18, 1999
Maeve is getting pretty good at grabbing onto things.  When I hold her she will scratch my arm or pull on my arm hairs.  It reminds me of an Alzheimer's patient that I once transported.  She wanted to hold my hand, but it was just a ploy to try to put my hand in her mouth (just like Maeve does with her hand!) and bite it.  When that didn't work, she just tried to dig her fingernails into my arm.  I kept my distance after that.  "Come here," she said.  "I'm right here," I calmly reassured her.

Sunday, August 15, 1999
We left Maeve in the nursery at church this morning.  During the service, someone else had a crying baby.  Jill said she felt a sensation like she needed to nurse, or that she was lactating.  I said it was just Pavlov's dog.  Maeve has done a great job of conditioning her mother.

Saturday, August 14, 1999
Jill showed Maeve off at work yesterday.  One of her co-workers was introducing Maeve as Winifred.  Jill was worried that people would really think that is her name.  I had been calling Maeve Winifred and Winni.  Jill wants me to stop, but she keeps calling her Punkydoodle.  I would rather be called Winifred.  I don't know who will win this one, or if we will just each have our own nicknames for Maeve.

Thursday, August 12, 1999
Maeve is at a stage now where she is trying to roll over.  She can almost do it, but her arm is causing too much resistance.  Her lower body is just waiting for her shoulders to catch up.  So I suggested to Jill that we take an arm off to make it easier.  Her reply was, "Not even once."

Monday, August 9, 1999
Jill is shorter than me, and moves the seat up in her car when she drives.  I hate to get squished when I try to get into her car with the seat up, so Jill is supposed to push the seat back when she gets out.  Several times last week I got in her car and found the seat hadn't been pushed back.

Jill also mentioned that several times last week Maeve started crying as soon as they got home, but stopped as soon as I got home.  My theory is that Maeve sees Jill not moving the seat back, and Maeve is worried that I will get injured when I try to get in.  Once I'm home and Maeve sees that I'm fine, she calms down.  For Maeve's sake, I hope Jill will be more responsible about moving the seat back.

Saturday, August 7, 1999
Temperatures are back to what they should be in New England in summer.  Last night it got down to 60.  We had the windows open, and when Jill got up at night to go to the bathroom she thought about how Maeve would not like the cold wipes in the morning.  Jill suggested we get a "wipe warmer".  I would rather just keep them in the bed with us overnight.

Friday, August 6, 1999
Things have been a little busy around here.  I hope to be able to keep up with this better in the future.

A World Book salesman came over.  We didn't know he was a World Book salesman; he had said he had childhood educational materials.  He had an entire set of flash cards, toddler encyclopedia sort of books, and, of course, the full World Book set.  The flash cards were neat, and the parents' guide that came with it was nice.  The idea was that the parent can be involved in education, instead of just sticking a child in a corner with a book.

Fortunately I missed most of the presentation.  I came in about the time he was trying to get $2,000 from my wife.  I said I already had the World Book on CD upstairs.  I had gotten that for free ($30 with a $30 rebate).  Good news!  I can take $550 off the price if I don't get the physical World Book volumes.  Unfortunately, that left the price about $1,450 for flash cards, parents' guides and toddler encyclopedia sort of books.  I explained that if we were to pay real money for an encyclopedia that we would get Encyclopedia Britannica because it is really focused on providing a comprehensively informative article, instead of just providing enough for a school report.  Of course, we would never pay real money for an encyclopedia because the Internet has so much information, and encyclopedias get outdated so quickly.  It took him a while to figure out that we meant it, but eventually he left without any of our money.

Monday, July 26, 1999
Maeve apparently likes to have people smile at her.  If I smile at her, she smiles back.  It's great that she is happy about stuff like that, but it bores me.  Smiling doesn't amuse me as much as it amuses her.  I feel guilty about not smiling, because it makes her happy, but after about 30 seconds I've had enough.  I could probably go on for hours and still have her smiling every time.

Sunday, July 25, 1999
Maeve is talking a lot more now.  Unfortunately, she mumbles, just like Jill's family.  It's a New York thing or something.  I should have seen this coming, with both Jill and her mother spending a week alone with her.  I don't know how long it will take to teach her to enunciate her syllables.

Saturday, July 24, 1999
I'm back from Workcamp.  That was fun.  Jill and I are trying to figure out if we can both go next year, and if we should take Maeve.  I can understand Jill's concern about letting Maeve use power tools, but I think she will be trained enough by then to use them safely.

Jill did say that Maeve likes to watch TV with Jill and her mother.  Jill admitted that she tells Maeve to not watch TV, because I will get ticked if Jill turns her into to some Teletubby-watching-TV-addict.

Sunday, July 18, 1999
Maeve slept for 9.5 hours.  Jill said that's the first time in 10 weeks that she has gotten more sleep than I did.  It probably won't last, but it's nice to have it happen once in  a while.

I'm off to Workcamp today.  I'll be back on Saturday.  Jill says I haven't taken a week off work since we have been married.  I think it must have been at least 10 years since I've done such a thing.  This will be new for me. I much prefer working.  Janet Spellman laughed when I told her that if I were to try to vacation at the beach that I would want to have a laptop out on the sand.

Saturday, July 17, 1999
With my sister Shirley also being pregnant, she has called Jill on several occasions for advice on the travails of pregnancy.  Unfortunately for my sister, Jill did a pretty good job of avoiding any problems.  She never had any morning sickness.  She was going to the gym through her 2nd trimester.  People at work forgot she was pregnant because she never complained or looked as run down as other pregnant women around the office.  In fact, with her gestational diabetes diet, she actually felt better and looked healthier.  Labor was very, very smooth (compared to the dozen or so others that I have been present for).  And now Maeve is a wonderful baby who behaves pretty darn well.

So Jill is of little help to my sister.  My sister is in a Sunday school class with several other expecting couples, and she talks about Jill as though Jill is some sort of mythical science fiction character.  It sounds like the class never tires of hearing about Jill lore.  Shirley calls Maeve "The Golden Child" and said that Jill had "The Golden Child Pregnancy".

Friday, July 16, 1999
Matt Vigeant thought that April (our new DCE intern at church) would like to eat armadillo since she is from Texas.  Apparently April does not like armadillo, but talking about it did make me want a stuffed armadillo for Maeve.  Every pansy child has teddy bears and Raggedy Ann dolls.  I can't think of any child who had an armadillo as a favorite stuffed animal (I know the favorite part will take some working on, and even then is probably more of a finicky reaction on Maeve's part).

Jill is a little skeptical.  She thinks Maeve will hold it against me when she gets older that I didn't think she should be a cookie cutter image of every other "typical" child.  I think Maeve will learn to appreciate my efforts to develop her as an individual.  Jill also said it's ugly; it looks real instead of like a cuddly stuffed animal.  She would also like it better if it would curl into a ball, just like the real thing.

Monday, July 12, 1999
Maeve is talking now, but she has a very limited vocabulary.  I caught Jill today saying to Maeve, "bug a bug a bug a bug a bug a."  Jill claimed that Maeve says it.  I suggested we teach Maeve some words she doesn't know instead of mindlessly repeating the ones she does to the exclusion of all others.

Saturday, July 10, 1999
Well, it looks like Jill's mother was right on Monday when she said we should spray Maeve down with Lysol.  Maeve went to the doctor (she is up to 11 lbs) and was diagnosed with conjunctivitis.  An eye cream will take care of it in 5 days.

Thursday, July 8, 1999
I met April, our new Director of Christian Education intern, last night.  I had e-mailed her a lot, but I had never met her in person or talked to her.  I had planned to not tell her who I was, make her think that she had met me on Tuesday and that we had a conversation.  When she didn't recognize me, I was going to give her a hard time for not remembering me.  When she saw me, the first thing she did was call me Daniel.  Her mother saw me talking to her and she said, "There's little Maeve!!!"  Apparently some Texans have been looking at our web site.  So much for anonymity.

Tuesday, July 6, 1999
Maeve spends a lot of time staring at things.  I tried to have a staring contest with her, but she beat me every time.  She is too good.  All of that training she has been doing is really working out for her.

Monday, July 5, 1999
My dad and Granny Kay left today, along with Jill's father.  Jill's mother Edith was left behind to help take care of Maeve for Jill's first few weeks back to work.  Edith wants to spray Maeve with Lysol to get rid of the germs that she was supposed to have gotten in the fireworks crowd last night.

Sunday, July 4, 1999
2 months old
Today was Maeve's baptism.  She was quiet until the end.  Jill's father did a great job of taking pictures.  They should be back in a week or so.

We went to Boston to see the fireworks.  The cannon that the National Guard was firing kept surprising her, but she didn't mind the fireworks at all.

Saturday, July 3, 1999
A shark has no floatation bladder like a fish.  Even a dead fish floats.  If a shark stops swimming, it will sink to the bottom, so sharks have to swim constantly, even when they are asleep.

Sometimes Maeve needs her pacifier to go to sleep.  If we try to take it out, she is still sucking, whether she has been asleep for a few minutes or an hour.  I don't know how she can suck even when she is asleep, but that constant sucking, even she she is asleep, reminds me of a shark.

Friday, July 2, 1999
Today was Maeve's 2 month check up.  She was 10.75 lbs and 22.25 inches.  She also got three shots.  After giving them, the doctor told Maeve it was his mean assistant who had given them to her, so she wouldn't hate the doctor.

Wednesday, June 30, 1999
Jill's parents arrived today.  Maeve won't look at Jill's father.  When he holds her, she keeps moving her head so she is looking away.  At least she is quiet.

Jill's parents were honeymooned in Boston 40 years ago, and they plan to retrace their steps.  Jill's father even wants to re-take every photo they took 40 years ago.

Monday, June 28, 1999

Maeve's hair sticks up after she's slept for a while.  I've ridiculed it enough that Jill tries to wet it down and comb it to the side.  Especially when Maeve wears her "Harley Davidson Rules" t-shirt, she looks like Buddy Lee, Man of Action (the Lee Dungarees cherubic mascot).  She even has that blank stare when you ask a question.  Jill doesn't like me saying her daughter looks like a wooden boy doll, so she is going to get Maeve a new hairstyle.


Sunday, June 27, 1999
In Sunday School today we read in the Weekly World News about an Australian man who invented a Spigot Bra.  The picture has a woman with two metal bra cups, each with a faucet sticking out.  "Just turn on the faucet and out comes the milk."  I don't know what kind of blouse Jill would have to wear, but it might be worth a call to Australia.

Saturday, June 26, 1999
The Diaper Genie is great, but it fills up too quickly, especially as much as Jill changes diapers.  I think they should come mounted on a 55 gallon rollaway trash can.  That way you only have to empty it when the can is full.

Today I mounted the Diaper Genie on an old chair frame, like I had mentioned before.  I'm happy with it, but Jill wants it hidden in the closet.  She says she will refuse to talk about it if anyone asks.  She even told Maeve that the old saying, "If it looks stupid, but it works, then it isn't stupid" isn't always true.  Of course I'll have to explain that cases where it isn't true are very rare.

Friday, June 25, 1999
Todd saw the picture of Maeve reading.  He said that if I really want to improve her life (and mine), I wouldn't be teaching her to read now.  I would be teaching her to make her own meals and change her own diaper.  We can spend all weekend on that.

Wednesday, June 23, 1999
Jonathan Epstein heard about the blue fuzz pacifier problem.  He said we should live with the screaming for three days, and then she will not want the pacifier any more.

Monday, June 21, 1999
Jill and I were talking about names for another child (which I don't plan to need for several years).  We like Austin (my grandfather's name) as a middle name, whether it's a boy or girl.  I like Azriela for a girl, and Vlad (I've always been intrigued by the attitude and determination of Vlad the Impaler) for a boy.  Jill said Vladimir is a good boy's name, and we could call him Vlad.  We'll see if these choices last until then.

Sunday, June 20, 1999
This was my first Father's Day.  Maeve gave me a nice card, and helped make me breakfast.  I changed my first diaper.  Ray Cravy said something about how good fathers can change a diaper in 10 seconds with minimal clean up.  Jill said I was close to 10 seconds.

Saturday, June 19, 1999
We've been using the pacifier to stop Maeve from crying.  It works for a few moments, and then she spits it out.  She starts crying again until we put it back in her mouth.  But she will just spit it out again.  I'm thinking she needs something like one of those Endotracheal Tube retaining systems, with some sort of strap around her head.

Thursday, June 17, 1999
Jill went to the office yesterday for someone else's baby shower.  We had gotten formula samples that we don't plan to use, so Jill took them in to give them away.  The men in her office were asking, "Why are you giving those away?  Aren't you going to need them?"  They were reminded that Jill plans to pump for a year.  They were skeptical, and started making "Mooooo" noises.

Wednesday, June 16, 1999
The pacifier quiets Maeve down when she starts crying, but she tries to spit it out for a few seconds, until she decides she wants it.  I had Maeve in the car and she started crying.  I put in the pacifier and put her on my shoulder.  She spit it out and it went behind the driver's seat.  When I picked it up, I instinctively (a father's instinct, that is) rubbed it on my pants to clean it off.  When I checked it for debris, it had blue fuzz, either from the car interior or from my pants.  I thought Maeve could handle it, but I knew that Jill would be really ticked off if she found blue fuzz around Maeve's mouth later, or if Maeve somehow choked on it or something bizarre like that.  Jill is tough on me about things like that.  So I had to suck the pacifier clean.  It didn't help that Maeve was screaming, trying to attract attention.  I don't think anyone saw me.  Most importantly, Maeve was saved from the blue fuzz.

Monday, June 14, 1999
Every so often Maeve will grab a handful of her own hair with that walnut-crushing grip of hers, and won't let go.  I am wondering when she will realize she is the one pulling her hair and causing that pain.  On Saturday I didn't think it was worth $10 to get her hair cut, but now I'm not sure.

Sunday, June 13, 1999
Maeve gets blue around her mouth when she nurses.  Jill says that's normal.  Where I come from cyanosis is a sign of hypoxia, and I've never thought of that as normal.

Saturday, June 12, 1999
Today was Maeve's first bottle feeding.  The information that Jill got was that it was best for dad to give her her first bottle, because she would want to nurse if mom tried it.  Jill was going to get a picture, so she opened the camera bag at the same time I sat down in the rocker with Maeve.  By the time Jill had the camera out and was looking at us (while explaining that Maeve probably wouldn't drink from the bottle while she was in the room), Maeve was sucking like crazy on the bottle.  Jill said Don had told her on Thursday that dad is the fun one; she is only  the milk provider.  I assured her there were plenty of diapers around that she would always be needed.

In the afternoon Jill went out with some church women, abandoning Maeve and I.  We went to the post office, the auto parts store, the car wash, the hardware store and the barber shop.  Just like with the dusting and cleaning on June 1, she pretended to be asleep at the auto parts store and the hardware store, so when I ask her to get me a bolt at the hardware store, she will claim she "doesn't know how"; she "must have been asleep" when I showed her.  Unfortunately for her she woke up at the hardware store.  I told her that now she has no excuse.

She didn't get a haircut with me at the barber shop, and Darrel said she wouldn't get a lollipop anyway, because she is too young.

Friday, June 11, 1999
Maeve has been having "fussy" spells that last as long as several hours.   The question of colic vs Jill eating bad foods came up during a discussion with some friends.  Jill admitted that she could correlate these spells with bad foods.  First the friends reassured her that colic is not as benign as a "spell", and second, they told her she had to discard all of the breast milk that she had stored in the freezer.  Now she has to start from scratch.

Thursday, June 10, 1999
Maeve visited Jill's office.  We're instilling a good work ethic already.  Jill even did real work while she was there.  The first thing anyone said while she was there was that Maeve looks like Jill's boss.  I'm not sure if that's bad for Maeve, good for him, or something I should look into further.

Monday, June 7, 1999
Maeve has no problem letting us know she's hungry.  She starts loudly sucking on her hand, sleeve, blanket, or even our armpit if that's where her mouth happens to be.   She should be able to be just as communicative in letting us know that she needs to go to the bathroom.

When she is changed she will start screaming.  Jill thinks she is cold.  She tries to calm her by saying, "I know, I know, I know."  Jill can't tell me exactly what it is that she knows.   If Maeve hates being changed so much, she should let us know when she needs to go to the bathroom.  Then we could use the toilet like any reasonable person.

Sunday, June 6, 1999
We talked today in Sunday School about Maeve smiling while she sleeps, and how she also gets her "scrunchy face" and cries in her sleep.  Bruce Beane said she was dreaming about coloring.   When she smiles it's because she is thinking about enjoying coloring.  Crying happens when she gets mad thinking about someone not sharing the crayons.

Kristi was holding Maeve for most of the class.  She claimed that Maeve cried every time I talked.  I said I thought it was because Kristi was getting tense every time I talked, and that was what Maeve didn't like.  When Maeve started crying and wouldn't stop, I was delegated to take care of her.  As soon as I had her she stopped crying.  I had to stick my tongue out at Kristi to make sure she noticed that Maeve didn't seem to have any problems with me.

Saturday, June 5, 1999
Jill said, "If you call her name, she will turn her head and look at you."  So I called out, "Maeve".  Jill sheepishly told me that she doesn't respond to "Maeve"; you have to say "Sweet Pea".

Friday, June 4, 1999
1 month old

Thursday, June 3, 1999
Our 30 day warranty has run out without any problems.  It looks likes she's a keeper.

Wednesday, June 2, 1999
Jill keeps calling Maeve "Sweet Pea".  She slurs it, so it sounds like, "Sweepy".  Is this a subliminal message for Maeve or a Freudian slip by Jill?  Either way, I'm ready with the broom.

We went to the doctor again.  Maeve is up to 9.5 lbs and 21.75 inches.  It's early yet, but so far it looks like she is between the 75th and 90th percentile for height and weight.  She got her first vaccination today - the second Hepatitis B shot.  Jill was distraught over the thought of the pain that Maeve would feel.  It was only a 25 gauge needle, so I said there was nothing to complain about.  She cried for a moment, and then she realized it was only a 25 gauge needle and it was all done.  I expected nothing less from MY daughter.

Tuesday, June 1, 1999
Maeve and I vacuumed and dusted.  She would watch for 10 minutes, and then pretend to be asleep.  It all looks innocent enough, but I know that when I hand her the dust rag for the first time she's going to say something like, "No one ever showed me how to do this.  I must have been asleep."  I won't let her get away with that.

Monday, May 31, 1999
Jill fell asleep while breast feeding Maeve.  (I tried to get a picture - we'll see how it turns out.)  Jill said she felt bad.  I told her it wasn't a problem, because Maeve knows where the food is and she knows how to cook.

STILL NOT TALKING!  But along with the burping, coughing and sputtering, Maeve is making lots of squeaking noises that make her sound like a dolphin.  I call her "Flipper".  The youth in our Sunday School class think she will be marine biologist.  I worry that she might get carried away and end up like the Dolphin Boy that Corky and The Juice Pigs sing about.  He left the land to live with the dolphins, only to be "hit by a boat" and "torn wide open from groin to throat."  When he asked the dolphins for help, they just said, "Eeee, eeee, eeee" and "nibbled pieces as they drifted free".  No parent wants that for their child.

Sunday, May 30, 1999
Chuck Skarda told me that the advice I had gotten from Todd about the weight ratings of diapers was not entirely accurate.  He said that, for example, 20 lb rated diapers COULD hold 20 pounds.  He didn't give all of the details, but he did say that it required that we teach Maeve more patience.  That sounds good - she can learn a useful virtue like patience AND save on diapers!  He also said it took more patience on the parents' part and asked if we got a gas mask at the baby shower.  I think we have enough patience, but I'll have to ask about the gas mask part.

Indianapolis 500
Maeve and I watched the race today.  She was awake for most of it.  She had a few notable comments:


Saturday, May 29, 1999
Jill had Maeve working on standing up.  Maeve is always trying to go the extra mile, and it looked to me like she was practicing for a part in Riverdance.  That stepping reflex is really coming in handy.

Maeve's belly button is not an innie yet, but it is getting sucked back in as Jill had predicted.  Now would be a good time to get it pierced, before it's all sucked back in.

Friday, May 28, 1999
Becky was working with Maeve on her swimming.  She has to work on her coordination, but she definitely does well with moving her arms and legs.  Becky was working pretty hard on the breast stroke.  It looked like a pretty hard workout, but Maeve seemed to thrive on the challenge.

I notice that Maeve has a very strong grip.  I told Jill I thought she could break walnuts with her bare hands.  Now we need to find small walnuts that fit in her hand.

Thursday, May 27, 1999
Maeve was foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog.   I told Jill to be careful of Maeve biting her, since Jill is breast feeding.  Jill just wiped away the foam and said that Maeve was not rabid, but she could not tell me how she "knew" that.  I will certainly be careful about putting any fingers near Maeve's mouth.

Tuesday, May 25, 1999
3 weeks old
Her umbilical cord came off today.  She still has a major "outie", but Jill insists it will "get sucked back in".  We'll see.

She's doing a lot of coughing and sputtering.  She sounds like an American-made car with 120,000 miles in desperate need of a tune-up.

Monday, May 24, 1999
It's been two weeks since I predicted that Maeve would be dusting and sweeping within two weeks.  Unfortunately, she hasn't made as much progress towards that as I would have liked.  I think she found out about my plans, so she is stalling - pretending to not be able to dust.  Less than 3 weeks old, and already I have to deal with passive-aggressive behavior from her!

Sunday, May 23, 1999
Today was Maeve's first day at church.  Finally I got to go without being hounded by questions about her and her mother.

I'm emptying the Diaper Genie again.  I think we have a chair frame in the attic that is missing a seat.  I'm going to try to remove the bottom of the Diaper Genie and just put it on the chair.  I can put a garbage bag through the hole.  It shouldn't be a problem if we hide the whole thing in the closet.  I might be able to go a week and a half before we have no more room and I have to empty it.

Saturday, May 22, 1999
My friend Becky came to spend a week walking with Maeve to quiet her down.  After reading my diary, she said that if I wanted Maeve to do things that I should teach her to swim.  Becky said that newborns swim well because it's a lot like the flailing around they already do.

We watched some A&E programs about beauty pageants for kids.  Jill and I decided that hockey would be a healthier pursuit.  Once Maeve learns to stand on her own, I can put skates on her and push her around the ice.  Perhaps it would be easier to go from standing to ice skating to walking, than directly from standing to walking.

Thursday, May 20, 1999
I can get Maeve to stand up if I hold her hands.  I'm thinking that the whole "crawl before you walk" thing is the result of lazy parenting.  Sure it will take more effort on my part to teach her to walk now, but I think it's the least I owe Maeve.  Infants don't walk not because they can't, but because they don't have a desire to get anywhere.  If they cry or point, they can usually get a parent to carry them.   I don't think that's doing her any favors.

Wednesday, May 19, 1999
We went to the doctor today.  She said Maeve is just fine.  She is up to 8 lb 8 oz (she had dropped to 7 lb 10 oz on discharge from the hospital) and 21 inches.

Tuesday, May 18, 1999
2 weeks old
Jill asked me to get her finger food at the store because she couldn't eat food requiring silverware while Maeve was nursing.  I said it would be best for everyone if there were some sort of food tray or plate mounted on Maeve's head so Jill's hands would be freed up.  Iíll have to see what I can do about that.

Sunday, May 16, 1999
I emptied the Diaper Genie for the second time since Maeve came home.  Maeve and I discussed how it would be more cost efficient if she were to do all of her excreting at once, instead of wetting a diaper minutes after we change her.

Saturday, May 15, 1999
Lots of burping

Thursday, May 13, 1999
Maeve is still not talking.  There is a lot more squeaking going on.  We'll keep working on learning real words.

Wednesday, May 12, 1999
I had to buy another 40 pack of diapers.  I had purchased the last 40 pack over the weekend.  Jill informed me that Maeve was going through about 10 per day.  During previous conversations, Jill had predicted diaper use would be 6 per day.  Jill insists 10 per day is necessary.

Maeve and I discussed the issue.  I told her to "get it under control."

Tuesday, May 11, 1999
1 week old
Maeve and I worked on crawling today.  She is good at flailing her arms and legs, but is still having trouble with dragging in the middle.

Monday, May 10, 1999
Maeve is getting better at purposeful actions.  She is often able to have both eyes open and focused on an object.  However, it often seems like she is looking at our shoulders instead of our faces.

Tonight she swung her arm around and rubbed my chin.  Iíll give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she meant to touch my face.

At this rate, she may be useful within a week or two.  I will make sure the broom and dust rags are ready.

Friday, May 7, 1999
Todd advised me to not trust the weight ratings on the diapers.  He said the number 1 diapers are rated at 8-14 pounds, but they won't hold nearly that much.  As for the older kidsí pull-up pants with 40 pound ratings, he said they don't even come close.

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