Thursday, September 25, 2008


This poor blog has been so neglected lately as here it is again, over a week since my last post. It's so easy to take piccies of Maisie's bentos especially in that they are still and other than a brief description there's little to explain. But capturing images of my little mess making, demanding, opinionated, wear your Mama out, whirling dervish love bug AND finding the time to write about all that is happening in the world of Maisie takes much more time. I'm going to try and be better about Maisie piccies and posting more often and though I've said it before, I promise again to try.

Those who follow along on Maisie's bento blog know that we're still alive and kicking as I've been good about posting over there. For those who want to know more than just what the little girl's been eating and for the non bento blog followers, here's what has been going on in the world of Maisie and family since my last post?

Wednesday I was so proud of myself for getting all of Maisie's birthday invitations out. Most of the invitations were done by evite but I didn't have email addys for her 11 school mates so I purchased cards, wrote out the invitations and placed them in each child's bag. Yeah, oh so proud until Thursday when one of the Moms informed me that I forgot to put Maisie's name on the invite...duh!!!

Friday night Eammon was out with his workmates at a leaving do, his! This past Monday was his last day working for the company he'd worked for since immigrating to this county. Tuesday he started with a new company, no rest for the weary. Hopefully he's going to love his new position as it's only the first week and he's already doing late nights.

Saturday we gathered for dinner with other adoptive and waiting families. It was fun seeing all the little ones and how much they've changed since our last time together. Having an evening out with friends was great fun too.

In addition to school and gymnastics, Maisie and I have had some play dates and we've spent time playing outside enjoying the gorgeous weather. Our activities have been a little limited as I've been trying not to drive anywhere beyond what's necessary due to the fuel shortage.

Who would have thought that almost two weeks after hurricanes Gustav and Ike passed through the gulf, that here in Metro-Atlanta 9 out of 10 petrol stations would still be without fuel. In addition, even with EPA clean fuel regulations relaxed, there are reports that it will be another two weeks before fuel levels return to normal and gas lines will a thing of the past.

On that note, don't drive around the metro area in the right lane as you might easily find yourself in a fuel line. I've seen gas lines as long as 1/2 mile long with officers directing traffic. In addition I also know of people who have waited at dry stations because there was word of a fuel truck due to arrive within a few hours!

Also for the people who only run on premium grades, they have been doubly s.o.l. as in two weeks I have yet to see a station that has anything other than regular and diesel.

IMG_3424 Today was Clifford day in Maisie's classroom so all the children were to wear red and bring in their favorite Clifford animal and/or book. We don't have anything Clifford nor has Maisie ever seen Clifford but that wasn't a problem as her teachers had extras. The exterior of their classroom door was decorated like Clifford's dog house and Miss Mary Jo & Hope shared Clifford with fans and newbies alike. Each child not only made and wore big red ears but at the end of the day they each got to eat a Clifford cupcake too!

When I picked Maisie up this afternoon she looked adorable with her little brown nose and big red ears. So cute in fact that she was able to pull the look off brilliantly wearing the only red item in her wardrobe, her Thomas the Tank Engine shirt! Maisie was the only child that had no interest in eating her cupcake so we brought it home for her after nap snack. I think she had no interest because she was full as she ate every single crumb of her bento. Her bento was cute but the hard boiled eggs that I had attempted to dye red in honor of Clifford instead came out bright pink, but she loved them.

I have the names all written out of the 38 people who voted for Maisie's bento in the Not Exactly Bento contest. Once I receive the prize, which is being mailed next week, I'll have Maisie draw a winner and I'll announce what I'm adding to the pot. Thank you again to everyone who took the time to vote and if the winner is not already packing bento, I hope that the prize package inspires them to start.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Expanding her food horizons

IMG_3336 This past week I made chicken korma and Szechuan chili ginger garlic shrimp, both served over Jasmine rice. Much to my surprise and delight, my little fussy bunny Maisie loved them both and scarfed down her meals even asking for seconds! Both meals had a good spicy kick but my little spicy girl didn't seem to notice and really enjoyed her meals. I'm so happy that I've found a way to not only get her to eat chicken and shrimp but also rice. For some reason Maisie has never liked eating rice which is sort of a pain since Eammon and I eat it quite often. Who knows, maybe one day I'll get her to enjoy fresh fruit and veggies beyond broccoli and carrots.

Maisie and I of course have had a busy week thus far, but what else is new there. My big accomplishment for the week was getting a venue booked for Maisie's upcoming birthday as well as ordering her cake and getting out all the invitations!! A month ahead and I'm so prepared, I just can't stand it!! I can't believe that she's going to be three in just a month, where has the time gone? She's growing up so quickly...boohoo...but honestly every new stage she enters is so exciting and fun and I love viewing the world through her eyes.

I've been looking at furniture for her big girl room which is! I sort of feel like Maisie's room was decorated and waiting for her for a longer period of time than she'll have actually used it. I'm ready for the change though and so is Maisie. She and I have picked out her big girl bed and we sometimes go to the store to visit it and test it out. I think when the time comes to transition her from the crib to the bed she'll be quite prepared and hopefully we won't have a problem. Keeping her in her bed and room, THAT will be the problem! Do they make crib tents for beds? I'm going to really miss that crib tent and the security of knowing that she couldn't get out!! Maybe she'll love her bed so much that she'll want to go to sleep without all the stalling tactics that she's already quite skilled at and maybe too, she'll become a good sleeper. One can always dream!

Time for bed as my little monkey will be up bright and early...Ta.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And the winner is...

IMG_2938a Thanks to all of your votes, Maisie's bento was the first place winner of the recent contest hosted by Not Exactly Bento! I really appreciate all my readers, friends and family taking the time to vote and also for following along on Maisie's bento blog. You can check out the other winning bento and if you missed it, all the bento entries.

I'm going to get the names together of all the people who voted for Maisie's bento and we'll have a little contest of our own with Maisie picking the winner. The prize being, the one you helped me win plus something that I will add to the pot. I will get this done in the next couple of days so keep checking back for the prize winner announcement.

It's difficult to believe that it's been eleven days since my last post and I truly appreciate all the comments wishing us to feel better and the emails inquiring if we're all right. With my back being out, just keeping up with daily life has kept me more than occupied. In addition I like all my posts to have some sort of piccie and trying to get a picture of the busy Maisie has been close to impossible. I'm happy to say that Maisie is 100% better and active as always, my back is about 75-80% better, having both it's good and bad days. I hope to get back to my regular couple of times a week or at least once a week posting now that I'm moving better and off the wonderful, addictive, make my head happy who cares about the stinking pain, I hope you don't expect me to do anything productive or be coherent percocet.

Friday, September 05, 2008

TGIF and win the prize

This has been a long week and I'm so thankful that it's finally Friday and that this weekend we can all be together as a family and hopefully we'll all get some good rest and be healthy. Even though last weekend was a holiday weekend, Eammon had a tremendous amount of work to do and in the end, spent all but a couple of hours working. So Saturday I decided to take Maisie out in the morning and run a few errands. She was dragging a bit and being extra clingy but otherwise she seemed okay.  Then at one point when she snuggled up to me I thought she felt a little hot so I made a point to remember to take her temp once we got home.

Towards the end of our errands Maisie needed to use the restroom and I went in with her. She thinks she can do everything herself and proceeded to completely melt down when I told her that I needed to stay with her in public restrooms as she not only wanted me out of the stall but out of the room completely. It was just a bad, bad scene so I went to pick her up to leave the store and in a somewhat less than graceful move, managed to twist just so, that I pinched my sciatic nerve. With a lot of pain and a screaming child I managed to get us both in the car and home. Eammon helped me get Maisie ready for her nap and I took her temp to find that she was running a fever of almost 103F.

IMG_3195She napped well but for the rest of the day was sort of like a limp rag wanting to snuggle and lay on me...just like she did when we first met her. Since I was in pain and she wasn't feeling well we spent the afternoon snuggled together, watching Thomas the Tank Engine, Max & Ruby and Charlie & Lola. We read books and we dozed together. Sunday and Monday were more of the same as the only thing Maisie wanted to do was snuggle and nap on me. She started complaining that her throat and tongue hurt and they must have really hurt because by Sunday night even her favorite extra-special treat foods like M&Ms and squirt cream went uneaten.

We kept her hydrated and I gave her some meds for the pain which also helped to bring down her fever and the two of us in pain, made it through the weekend. Tuesday morning I called Maisie's doc and got an appointment for that afternoon. They performed a strep test and looked at her throat and said it was probably something viral and that her throat would be sore for a few days and to keep doing what I was doing for pain relief. When I mentioned that she hadn't really eaten anything in three days the doc suggested ice cream and milk shakes. We gave that a go but she mostly ignored or refused to eat or drink most of it. Poor little girl was really miserable and for four nights she wouldn't sleep alone and only wanted to be with me so poor Eammon got relegated to the sofa and/or guest room.

Thankfully by Wednesday morning Maisie had turned the corner and was getting back to her normal energy levels...Unfortunately after having her on me and lifting her too many times, I couldn't move. We made it through the morning together...barely. Eammon came home just after lunch, stopping at the pharmacy to pick up some high-dose meds for me because what I had in the house wasn't cutting it. Maisie and I were in bed napping when he arrived home and it was there where I stayed until Thursday morning. Eammon did great with Maisie though, cajoling and playing and getting her to finally eat some real food. By Thursday morning my meds had kicked in and though I wasn't walking upright or anywhere near pain free I was able to move around within limits. Maisie was full speed when she awoke so I decided to take her to school as that would give me three hours of down time and she could be active and have some fun. She did great at school but it totally wiped her out so she took a nice long (for her) nap. For this morning I had scheduled for her to go to the New Playroom for drop-off care just so I could give my back some more down time. She had a blast playing with her friends, doing crafts, jumping on the trampoline and into the foam pit.

IMG_3209 Last night for dinner Maisie wanted dumpling sandwiches and instead of me drawing some lame face on them, she wanted to decorated them herself.

IMG_3238 Making the sandwiches herself made them more appealing and she ate almost three. She wanted them again for her bento today so she did another great decorating job this morning, just check out her cute bento.

IMG_3239 I'm still begging asking for votes in the bento contest. The person with the most votes wins one of two bento box prizes. If you vote for one or both of Maisie's bentos (#52 &53) please leave a comment here for me letting me know that you voted. If by chance I happen to win one of the prizes I will do a drawing from all the voter's comments and you could be the winner of a new bento box plus something to be decided that I will add to the mix. In your comment, please leave a way to contact you as so many of the comments don't have a link back to an email address or only go to a blog where there is no email link. So, help me win and you could take the prize. Voting ends Sept 8 so please go cast your vote!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

He knows me too well...

Eammon does not buy, nor is he allowed to buy clothing for himself or anyone else...EVER!! If you ask us why, he'll tell you that it's because I know fashion better, have time to shop and know where to go. On the other hand, I'll bring up the orange shoe incident of April 2000 and with that mention, Eammon agrees to never again shop for clothes or shoes.

IMG_3173a1 I only clothing shop for Eammon once every year or year and an half so when I do it, I do it big. For a while now Eammon's been telling me that he was in need of some new chinos, golf/Polo shirts and button down shirts. Over the summer I was so busy with Maisie's activities and schedule, I just never found the opportunity to shop for him. But Wednesday while Maisie was at school I finally found the time to shop and as luck would have it, everything was 75% off the already marked down fave a sale! Once I returned home from my little spending spree I called Eammon at work to let him know that he'd be doing some clothes modeling that night. I then asked if he was sitting down. He said yes, so I proceeded to tell him that I had just purchased $1,720.00 worth of clothing for him. Without even missing a beat he said, "Yeah, but how much did you pay?" So when I told him just shy of $400.00 he didn't even bat an eye and said "that's not bad."

IMG_3191b After trying everything on, only a few shirts and pairs of pants had to be returned. So Thursday morning after dropping Maisie at school I headed to a different location of the same store and noticed that instead of everything being 75% off the already marked down price it was 80% off because of the holiday weekend. After making my $115.00 return I proceeded to purchase $1,651.00 worth of additional clothing costing us a mere $161.00. Of the second batch of clothes I returned $33.50 worth.

So what's the end result of my shopping bonanza after figuring out returns? Original cost of Eammon's new wardrobe was $2,903.97 (plus 6% tax totaling $3,078.21) and the amount we paid was $383.89 or $406.92 including tax. Total pre-tax discount $2,520.08 or a savings of 86.78% Shoot, wish I could pay 13.22 cents on the dollar for everything I purchase!!

So what did Eammon get for his $400?


6 pairs of chinos: Izod & Chaps

14 Polo/golf shirts: Nautica, Polo, Chaps, Alan Flusser & T. Harris London.

7 Short-sleeved button down shirts: Izod, Polo, Alan Flusser & T. Harris London

15 Long-sleeved button down shirts: Izod, Polo, Alan Flusser & T. Harris London.

Eammon cleaned out and organized his closet with all his new clothes and it looks great! In addition he cleaned out his dresser drawers so we now have an enormous pile of clothing ready for donation and Eammon has a smart new wardrobe to last him a year or so until my next mega-shopping-bargain-bonanza.

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