Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Twelve months of Maisie for the final post of 2008

Jan January found Maisie loving dress up clothes and all things pink, shiny and sparkly. Everyday would find little Miss Maisie wearing a different princess or fairy dress, fancy shoes, tiaras and beads all whilst dancing around and looking at herself in the mirror.

Feb In February I bought a good camera and I had so much fun taking pictures of my best little girl. This was also the month that Maisie started to love being in the kitchen with me and helping with the cooking. Or more correctly, she loved to help with baking and licking up all the sweet batters and dough.

March March was a month filled with play dates and friends. In addition, two big firsts happened in March: Maisie's first pee pee on the toilet and it was the first time I was able to leave her at Mother's Morning Out where she didn't cry for me not to leave.

April In April Maisie got a tricycle and her indoor trampoline. Everyday she wanted to go out and ride her bike and when she couldn't be outside she was found jumping, jumping, jumping. This was also the month where Maisie learned how to open all the doors in the house including the ones being held closed by hooks and eyes.

May May was the beginning of Maisie's fashionista attitude. She loved to dress up and pose for me and then loved looking at the pictures of herself on the computer. Maisie also got to ride on Thomas the Tank Engine, which was such a big hit with her and even to this day she still talks about her ride on Thomas.

June In June Maisie started on her Fireflies gymnastics team. This was also the month where she decided that she was done with diapers and in one weekend, without too much help from us, Maisie was toilet trained.

July July had Maisie in her glory. She attended gymnastics camp and for Maisie, the gym is the happiest place in the world. My highlight of the month was being able to get Maisie on film spelling her name. Even though she had been spelling her name as well as a few of other words for a couple of weeks, documenting it on film and having it forever was very special for me.

August August brought the beginning of Maisie's second year of Wee School. She also continued with her gymnastics practices and we were able to get together with lots of friends. Maisie also found a new reason to dress up and pretend play, her new favorite book, Fancy Nancy.

Sept All of a sudden in September Maisie decided that she liked more and greater varieties of foods. We had fun packing her bentos each day for school and I was so happy that she was finally eating many new and healthy foods. School and gymnastics practice filled most of our days but we still managed to see friends for fun play dates.

October Maisie turned three in October!! Where did the time go that my little girl was already three?? We partied, partied and partied. Maisie's true fashionita attitude totally came out and she wanted to wear special outfits every day. Maisie also received her team leotard which was pink and sparkly much to Maisie's delight.

November November was a difficult month with having both Eammon and I in and out of the hospital and away from her for so many days. Maisie was a real trooper with all that happened and was a very good girl for everyone who helped us out and watched over her.

December Most of December was spent on the beach in Aruba. She was a delight on the beach being a little social butterfly, making friends and pilfering snacks from everyone she met.

Maisie truly is a delight and watching her grow up and blossom over the course of the year was so much fun. Looking back and seeing how much she along with her interests have changed, just amazes me. I'm looking forward to all that 2009 will bring and watching my little girl grow and change for another year.

Happy New Year and may 2009 bring wonderful things to everyone.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas always seems to sneak up on me. We generally leave for Aruba right after Thanksgiving and we don't return until the Saturday before Christmas. Being home less than a week before Christmas day doesn't really leave a lot of time to get into the swing of everything. Also, if someone had asked me about what Christmas traditions we have, I would have said that we really didn't have any. But then I realized that we do have some little ones and this year I think we may have started some new ones too.

Christmas eve day I dropped Maisie off at PLAY in the morning, for drop off care, so that I could have some time to get a little cooking done for Christmas day dinner. I got the Cornish Game Hens marinating and I made the custard for the English Sherry Trifle. Then it was time to pick up Maisie and we told her that while she napped, one of Santa's elves would come and bring her Christmas tree. So while she slept we put up our tree and left one wrapped present for her. Our tree is only two feet tall with lights and ornaments permanently attached so pulling it out of it's storage bag and plugging it in was easy peasy. We told her it was a very small elf that brought the tree and maybe next year a bigger elf would come with a bigger tree but honestly she's thrilled with her tree and never asked for a bigger one. We then let her open her present and it was a video which she wanted to watch immediately whilst wearing one of her fairy costumes.

While she was watching the video I made potato latkes which for us, is a Christmas eve tradition. We all gorged ourselves on the latkes and then headed out for a drive to see all the pretty Christmas lights. When we returned home Maisie sprinkled reindeer food in the back yard and then it was bedtime. Maisie was beyond excited and getting her to sleep was not easy. This morning she couldn't wait to see if Santa brought her presents and when she saw all the gifts under the tree she was so excited and had such fun opening all her gifts. We spent the morning watching another one of her new videos and playing with her new toys, then it was nap time for all of us.

Each year Eammon puts in his request for Christmas dinner. In years past we've had goose, duck, roast beef or lamb but this year he requested Cornish Game Hens, stuffing, corn bread and our traditional Christmas English Sherry Trifle. We had a really nice dinner together and everything was delicious. It was a nice day with no rushing around, no schedule, no where to go and all-in-all just a relaxing day home together as a family.

Hope that everyone had a great day too. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tanned, healthy and relaxed

* It's been yet another big gap in my posting to the blog, but after our first five days in Aruba I had very limited computer access and I wasn't able to upload pictures so I figured I'd wait to post until we returned home.

* We had a wonderful and relaxing trip spending the first five days at a hotel and then we moved to my parent's place.

* Eammon had to return home and to work after 10 days away but Maisie and I were able to spend a full two weeks with my parents and oh what fun Maisie had with her Grandparents.

* Maisie was a little social butterfly on the beach making friends with everyone.

* Chasing birds was great fun for Maisie but then Bob taught her how to feed them. Each day he brought down extra bread and waited for Maisie and she looked forward to sitting with him and feeding the birds.

* Maisie loved being buried in the sand up to her neck and how she could sit there like that...well ewww.

* She also loved being buried over and over and over again, exhausting every adult involved in the burying process.

* Maisie did have her favorite people on the beach and Alan, Carl & Sandy ranked right up there as each day one or more of them would bring her a special treat of either a mini bag of M&Ms or a mini chocolate bar. She wasn't happy to see them go home six days before her because even though she was given treats from many other people nothing was as good as chocolate!!

* The woman who worked at the towel station collected pull tabs as part of a fund raiser and Maisie loved going for a walk with Sandy and putting all of her collected pull tabs in the container.

* Maisie wasn't one to sit still for very long, running, jumping, playing in the sand and water, going back and forth to the showers, socializing and getting snacks from all her friends on the beach and of course, chasing the birds and the iguanas. One of her other daily favorite activities was to play peek-a-boo with my Dad and his hat which was very cute.

* Maisie loved finding shells and coral and one find in particular was quite interesting. Click here to see the piccie of one of her best finds and be prepared for a good laugh.

* Over and over again Maisie would lay on the chaise with my Mother pretending to sleep or relax only to snuggle for a minute before bouncing up to be on the move again.

* Maisie also showed off her athleticism when she played volleyball with Javier. She looked forward to the daily volleyball game ending so that she could get her turn.

* In Aruba my parents gave Maisie a camera and the girl just loves it. She so funny though, within minutes of receiving the camera she had it all figured out. She loves taking pictures but then she has even more fun deleting them so none of her piccies to post but trust me she got some good and interesting ones.

* Maisie loved to ask everyone their name and surprisingly she remembered all of them.

* One of the funniest moments of our trip happened when we boarded the plane in Aruba. We pre-boarded and the Captain was right at the door when we entered. He said hi to Maisie and asked her name, which she told him and then she asked his name. He told her that he was the Captain and that he was going to fly the plane. He then asked her if she would like to go in and see the cockpit. To which she replied, "no thank you, I've seen it before." I guess after being on nearly 30 flights and having many of the Captains making her the same offer, she figures been-there-done-that. All I could do was shrug my shoulders and follow Maisie to find our seats.

* Maisie then managed to impress the woman sitting next to her in the isle seat when she told her that the bumps we were feeling was called turbulence.

* Friday we left my parent's place just after nap time and didn't arrive home until the wee hours of Saturday morning and Maisie did amazingly well on the flights. She didn't sleep at all during the flight from Aruba to Charlotte nor did she sleep during our layover. I kept asking her if she wanted to lay down and sleep but she told me that once we were on the plane going home she would sleep. Sure enough, as soon as we were in the air out of Charlotte she fell asleep and didn't wake until I lifted her to carry her off the plane.

* I hadn't opened any mail since I first got sick back the end of October so you can probably imagine the obscene amounts of mail that I needed to sort through, especially since it's the holiday season with all the extras that come. Today was mail sorting day and it was so fun to see all the Christmas and holiday cards especially the ones that included pictures. Thank you to everyone who sent cards, they were the only envelopes that I actually opened today as I figure all those hospital bills can wait.

* Once again I'm a loser and never got around to making, let alone sending cards. Each year I think I'll get it done early and something happens or I just don't get to it in time and then boom, it's Thanksgiving and then we're in Aruba...oops too late again. Yep, one of those things I'll put on my list to do next year and hopefully I'll do better than I've done in the past as I can't do any worse.

* I was already behind in reading email and blog posts from when I was sick. Then add on my limited computer time and access whilst away for three weeks and well, I'm now hundreds of emails and thousands of blog posts behind and may never catch up. If you emailed something important and you're waiting for a reply, please email again and I will respond.

* So tanned, healthy and relaxed. This vacation was sooooo needed after the November that we had. I had some rough days the beginning of our vacation and had a bit of setback the day we moved from the hotel to my parent's place but after that I had steady improvement. I'm not 100% yet but being away and not having hospital pallor any longer sure makes me look and feel a lot better.

Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah, and an early Merry Christmas. Have fun, be safe and be healthy.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The three R's

Rest, Relaxation and Recuperation!

* Up until last Sunday evening it was still highly doubtful as to if I would be healthy enough to board my flight for Aruba. Maisie and Eammon's head colds had diminished significantly and they were both feeling okay. My cold too had eased up but it had set me back in other ways leaving me physically drained and depleted raising concerns about my ability to travel.

* Thankfully a lot of rest and being very careful over the weekend pushed the odds of making the trip in my favor.

* The appeal of three weeks in the warm Arubian sun, on the beach, resting, relaxing and recuperating vs. the cold, laying in bed and recuperating in Atlanta also helped seal the deal so Aruba was a go!

* Monday morning ten minutes before we were to walk out of the house for the airport the airline called to inform us that our flight was running at least 1 1/2 hours late making our connecting flight (their one and only daily flight to Aruba) impossible to make. They asked if we could make an earlier flight out of Atlanta which was leaving in 55 minutes...yeah right as we were still at home!

* I asked what other airline they were going to book us on to make our flights and 20 minutes later we were booked on a direct flight leaving about an hour after our original flight time.

* Figuring we were up and ready to walk out the door we decided to just head to the airport figuring we'd have plenty of extra time as our new flight was now an hour+ later than we had planned. Thankfully we did go early as the airport was a zoo with the longest queues I've ever seen in my life. I think everyone thought if they waited until the Monday after Thanksgiving to travel everyone else would have already traveled, but no such luck.

* Since we had been bumped from one airline to another we couldn't do self check-in so 2 1/2 hours in the queue waiting to check in...oy!

* Thankfully security lines weren't too long and were moving along quickly...except all three of us were tagged for extra security checks! Maisie did get a kick out of putting her feet on the mat with the shoe prints and putting her arms out to be patted down, it was sort of funny. But come on...a three year old being tagged for a special security check, give me a break.

* We had an easy flight and Maisie was, as always, a great little traveler even taking a good little nap during the flight.

* Once we got into our room (which as you can see by the picture we have a lovely view) Eammon and I could have easily taken a nap but Maisie was bursting with energy as evidenced by the laps she was running around the room also she was excited beyond belief to get into the swimming pool so Eammon and I sucked it up and we all went to the pool.

* Maisie loves the zero entry pool and also the large, wide ledge that runs the length so that she can swim (hand walk and kick) the entire length.

* Where we are staying for our first five nights on island, the beach has really small waves so Maisie is able to easily play at the water's edge and run in and out a bit without concerns of her being knocked over by a wave.

* Maisie finds great delight in knocking down the sand castles that Eammon so loving builds over and over for her.

* Maisie and I still have a bit of our colds remaining but unlike me, the girl has energy to spare.

* In years past, my usual day in Aruba was to be on the beach by 9ish and other than a quick break for lunch I'd be there until dinner time dividing my day between being in the water, chatting with friends or hanging out under the chickie. So far this trip, after an hour or two being out in the morning I'm ready to join Maisie in the room for a nap and then an hour out in the afternoon and I'm done for the day.

* Even though it's warm and sunny I've barely made it into the water as I can't seem to warm up after being wet. It took four days before I even dipped my toes into the ocean! Each day though I'm gaining energy and in fact, last night for first time in weeks, I stayed up later than Maisie at bedtime!!

More piccies and better stories of vacation days in my next post.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Long Time No Blog

* I can't believe that it's been over two weeks since my last post but waking, napping and going to sleep on Maisie's schedule doesn't leave much time for blogging, computer time or much of anything.

* The weekend before Thanksgiving Kathy, Chani, Maisie and I headed to Chattanooga for a girls weekend and even though I was dragging A LOT, we did still manage to have a good time. Thankfully Kathy tolerated my having to go to bed at 6:30PM and my extremely limited diet of toast, eggs, pancakes and plain pasta, none of which liked staying in me but I didn't dare anything more. Shoot, I didn't even have the energy to take along a camera but Kathy did take lots of piccies and gave a great description of our weekend all of which are on her blog. I couldn't resist nicking the picture of Maisie being held by Santa when we were aboard the Polar Express Train because I was positive she was going to hide when he came over but to my surprise she let him hold her!

* After being home for less than a week, my parents returned to Atlanta the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and we were all happy to see them. Me especially as my Mom has a way with Maisie, turning her into the best behaved girl in the world thus making my life easier.

* I only have 8 more days of antibiotics remaining. A total of 41 days on 5 different antibiotics, holy cannoli!! That along with a myriad of other drugs, never ending steroids and an untold number of pain meds I seem to have become susceptible to every disease out there.

* After nine days of full blown flu symptoms, 10 days in the hospital with pneumonia, 2 1/2 days home then hospitalized for four days with C diff would you believe that 8 days later, two days before Thanksgiving, I managed to get a stinking head cold!

* By Thanksgiving Maisie and Eammon also came down with head colds.

* Needless to say, Thanksgiving was a very laid back casual day with just the three of us and my parents.

* The Saturday after Thanksgiving my parents left us, heading to Aruba. We were scheduled to fly to Aruba the Monday after Thanksgiving but those plans were up in the air as we weren't sure I'd be healthy enough to travel or be away.

Were are we now?? More to come in my next post as my meds have kicked in and my eyes are closing but at least I feel somewhat caught up in my posting and it won't be two weeks before I post again...promise.
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