Thursday, August 26, 2010

Long Day Ahead

Tonight after I get out of class at 9pm we will be heading on a 4.5 hour drive downstate. Some of you may be asking why we are leaving so late. Well it's pretty simple. One, I have class tonight and I am not one to miss class. Two, Maggie should sleep the whole way. We have done this trip three times now with Maggie and it seems the best to leave at night. When we leave during the day she can easily add on 2-3 hours on to our drive due to all of the stops we make to feed and change her. The last time we drove down there it took us over six hours.

I slept in late so I can do most of the driving (I usually do all of the driving). The drive isn't that bad. We've made it over 30 times now since we've been together. We have noticed it gets a little more difficult with Maggie in tow. She needs more stuff than both of us combined.

This weekend should be a blast. It always is. The only bad thing is that we have to leave Sunday afternoon. I have class in the morning and the wife has to work. Wish us luck on that one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sometimes it's hard to discipline cause they are too damn cute.



Maggie and I were at Target today picking up a few things for school. I was starving, so I got a pretzel. I was nice enough to share with Maggie.

She was well behaved until I got to the school supply isle. She started doing her eating of the shopping cart thing she does. Usually we tell her no, and she stops. Not today my friends. She must of liked something on the cart because she kept going and going. Even after I scolded her. As I'm looking right at her and telling her in a stern voice 'we don't eat the grocery cart', she would just look back and put on a huge smile on her face. The first two times she did it I just blew it off. But the third time she did this (I think she put a little extra sugar into it), I almost started laughing. But I held character. What can I say she is too damn cute.

So all I did was just tightened the strap so she couldn't reach the bar on the cart. It worked.

I see this becoming a problem in the future. I need to take action now to block the "I'm so cute to be bad" look. But I doubt I will ever be able to. She's my little princess. Damn I wish I had the Force.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do you have the TV on around the baby.

Television iconsImage via Wikipedia



Having the TV on when the baby is up is one of the few disagreements my wife and I have about raising Maggie. My wife would not like it on at all. I disagree a little mostly because I am selfish in the fact that I want to watch TV. I have cut my TV time to a minimum. I may have the TV on in the morning when I am feeding her and the news on while I play with her, but that is it. I have had trouble feeding her sometimes when I feed her because she will stop eating and look at the TV. I just turn it off then.

Now I have used the TV to calm her down too. The wife uses it when she cuts Maggie's nails. She will turn on Sesame Street On Demand and Maggie just zones out on it which is just fine because it is after all Sesame Street and it rules! There is two kid's show's you just don't disrespect and will always be welcome in my home that is Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. Now I'm not going to have it on 24/7. I still believe there should have limits on how much TV kids watch. Get outside and play for crying out loud.

Yes my daughter is only eight months old but I will take her to the park or just for a walk. I want to set a good example and get on the routine of her being active and not needing TV. Childhood obesity rates are through the roof in this country. Yes I know diet has a lot to do with it but so does exercise, Maggie is not going to get much exercise sitting in front of the TV.

Yes I like to watch TV. It happens to be on in the other room right now and I have the news on just to listen to it. Maggie is in the pack and play (she's getting fast at moving around and if you take your eye off her she will be under the couch, and right now she is plotting her escape) in the room with me and can not see the TV, so I don't feel so bad. But if she wants to go play and roll around on ground I will turn it off before she does like I did this morning and happened to get down on the floor and play with her. I know some parents will just set their kids in front of the TV all day, which is their right but I would disagree with this. Kids need to be active and interact with other kids. I know I do not take Maggie to the park or outside as much as I should, but I know when she gets older and we both can get more out of it I know we will spend a lot more time outdoors. It will also give me an excuse to get my lazy ass outside.

So I leave you with this thought. Do you think your kids watch to much TV. You may surprise yourself with the answer.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

A Couple of Firsts

We had a couple of firsts today. Today was my first day of school (happens to be the longest too, 4 classes), and Maggie stood up with help for the first time today. She did it right as I left for my night class. Maggie also clapped for the first time today. We have been teaching her how to do it for the past few days and today as we were showing her she clapped once. She is growing up so fast. Everyone says that but I never really believed it. I never knew how much fun it could be teaching them everything. It's awesome.

I already have homework. What a bummer. I think I will do well this semester. My wife is telling me I am setting a good example for Maggie. I would definitely agree with that. We actually need to start a college fund for her. She has a savings account already and a bunch of savings bonds, so at least we have something. She also has a piggy bank and ever since she got it I have been putting most of my pocket change in there. Like my father, I like to save my pocket change. I'm using the same stein he used.

Maggie was already asleep when I got home. At least I have her all day tomorrow and Wednesday. Ah the life of a SAHD and now a full time student. I can't wait to practice standing up with her.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Park, School Daze, And The Force


I had a craving for some breakfast goodies from a bakery in our neighborhood this morning. So since it was so nice out, Maggie and I walked up there and then to the park. We sat in our usual bench and shared a cinnamon roll (I think she liked it). They are really good there even though they hardly have any frosting. Then we played on the swing for a bit. Not too long because daddy forgot the sunblock and a hat. We found a nice place in the shade and shared a bottle of water (forgot the sippy cup too, off to a great start huh?). Maggie then said 'hey you, that always is around when mommy is at work, nap time fool!'.

I start school tomorrow morning with three classes, come home and go back at night. I have only one class Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm a little nervous as it's been quite a while since I had this much school work load (we're talking 1996 people). I have taken a few college classes here and there but I have never been full time. I have been on Twitter (yeah I know, me on Twitter) and it seems I am not the only father doing this. Face it, the job market blows. In order for me to get the job I want I need an education. So after a year out of work, my wife and I decided I should go back to school full time. Not a bad idea huh?

I was feeding Maggie this afternoon and I hear a noise from behind me and didn't think much of it (mostly because Maggie was right in front of me). The noise kept going so I turn around and Luke (the cat) some how got the catnip container we keep on top of the fridge so he can't get to it and is trying to get the catnip inside of it. I'm looking at the fridge which is full of stuff on top and there is no place for him to jump from. I can't figure out how he did it. I think he used the force.

Oh yea, Maggie is 8 months old today!!!!!!!!


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Saturday, August 21, 2010

I don't feel like writing sh*t Saturday

It's like a wordless Wednesday or something. But it's Saturday. Plus I'm tired.

We went to the Lincoln Park Zoo today. This is just a small sample of what happened when we sat Maggie in front of the gorilla exhibit. We were sitting there for about ten minutes and Maggie did this the whole time.

I would also like to retract my statement from yesterday about Maggie being a quiet baby. She would not shut up today. Not that I'm complaining. Even when we were at the store she was alalalaaaaalaaaalsaalaaalalaalallaalaaa. It will make you laugh and put a big smile on your face.
video

Friday, August 20, 2010

5 For Friday: Reasons why I am a lucky father so far.

Well since I have not received any complaints or threats of bodily harm yet I will continue 5 For Friday. This week is 5 Reasons I am a lucky father so far.

1. Maggie hardly ever spits up (more like never). With me its been only about three times. I've been peed on more times than that.

2. She has never really been sick. Maggie has had a slight cold but that is it. I thought for sure she would get sick when I had a nasty stomach virus. After being sick at home with her for two days I went to the doctor. I was told by my doctor not to come in contact with her due to her age. I had to quarantine myself to Maggie's room while she slept with my wife in our bedroom in the pack and play. I guess she got my wife excellent nursing immune system. Because neither of them got sick.

3. She is a very quiet baby. When we are out in public she hardly ever makes noise. This may be changing though. As she likes to go dadadadadadadadada all day. But she doesn't really do it in front of other people.

4. Best baby mama ever. She has been very patient with me while teaching me the fine art of taking care of a baby.

5. Maggie has been sleeping through the night since she was about six weeks old. Hardly ever wakes up. If she does it's around 6am so its not that bad. Now getting her to sleep may be a little difficult some times but once she out she's out.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tigers Win!



Yes I am 3-0, 3 wins no losses, when I see the Tigers at US Cellular Field. Not a bad game tonight. We could of done better but the 2 run home run in the 9th inning was pretty sweet, and the Guillen toss behind the back for the double play was awesome.

Maggie had a good time until the 8th inning. She was just too hot and didn't have her afternoon nap. But all in all she did very well. The Cheerios we brought were a good idea as it kept her occupied. She is defiantly not a fan of all the noise, but this time she seemed to enjoy the fireworks. The fireworks were really cool.

Friday, August 13, 2010

5 For Friday: 5 Things I thought I'd Never Do While Being A Dad


For this weeks 5 For Friday is 5 Things I thought I'd Never Do While Being A Dad

1. Use a Boppy.

2. Pick a booger out of someone's nose.

3. Know how to use a Baby Bjorn, yet know what the hell one is.

4. Debate the pro's and con's of several different cloth diapers.

5. Start a blog.


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Thursday, August 12, 2010

The In-laws Are Coming!

Yes, the in-laws are coming. Most husbands would run for the hills or their man caves. I, however, have no need to do this as I get along great with my in-laws. Always have. It made asking my father in-law to marry his daughter pretty easy. When they visit it also makes a great excuse for me to go to the cigar store (one of my vices yes, but never around the baby!). It is something my father in-law and I both enjoy.

I also get along with both of her brothers and sisters in law. One of her brothers lives in Chicago and he sometimes helps out with Maggie. Although I think his fiancee may enjoy it a little more than he does, but they both love it.

The plan is for me to be the pit master on Saturday before we all go to the White Sox - Tigers baseball game, which I do not mind one single bit as I love to use my grill. I have perfected my brisket and ribs now and I'm starting to move on to other challenges. The hardest one being my BBQ sauce. I've made some good ones but it's not there yet. I'm thinking of doing pork steaks but who knows. I'm doing fish later this month, don't know what kind yet. Thinking a mixed seafood grill.

Well let's hope that Maggie does ok at the game and does not get to hot or mommy and daddy will have to go home early.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maggie get pumped for the 49ers!

As you can see by the above picture, I happen to be a 49ers fan. We decided to get pumped for the season and try on the new outfit from my mom. I also decided to send this to my father in law (Bears fan) and torture him a bit. I told every one when she was born I can be lenient with the baseball teams (I'm a Tigers fan, my father was from Detroit and my mother was from San Francisco, hence my favorite teams) but over my dead body will she ever wear any other football team attire. I have been to every game when the Niners are in town and watched them get beat up more than once. Remember the Mike Brown INT off T.O. in OT? I was there, we were up 19 at the half. The windy game where I believe Nate Vassar ran back a field goal for like 104 yards. Yep I was there. I bleed Niner gold.

Well, wish Maggie luck on Saturday as she is going to her first Baseball game (normally I frown on taking babies to games but the whole family is going). Unfortunately she will be wearing her Sox jersey that her uncle bought her, while I will be wearing my Tigers hat with a bag over my head. Don't even get me started on this season. I'm ready for football season, GO NINERS!
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My Tips On Dealing With A Crying Baby.



<span class=Image via Wikipedia





Babies cry. That's a fact. They cry for many reasons, dirty diaper, hungry, too hot/cold etc. It is their way of telling you something. If you're a parent you have probably figured out what different cries mean. After a while you get used to what cry means what.

I think I have done a pretty good job on dealing with my daughter when she is crying. She really doesn't cry that often but when she gets going she can't cry louder that a screaming banshee. If you're anything like me you probably don't like to hear your baby cry. For me, I just want to make things better and make whatever is wrong right. Here are some of my tips that I have learned while being a new father.

1. Stay calm. There is no reason to get upset. Remember it's a child, a baby at that, whose only form of communication is crying. I have only raised my voice slightly. It was when I first was home alone with her and she was about two months old. She wouldn't stop crying. I think all I said was "Maggie stop crying". I had to get my wife to call me from work because I sure as hell didn't know what I was doing. My wife talked me through it and I rocked her in our rocking chair and everything was fine. I only got upset because I was frustrated and didn't know what to do.

2. Check diaper. Most of the time it is usually a dirty diaper.

3. Hold the baby or rock them in a chair.

4. Try a form of soothie (pacifier, favorite toy, if mommy is around try a breast if you breast feed, self feeder). Amazingly, Maggie does not like pacifiers or to use the soothie anymore. She likes the self feeder with frozen bananas now.

3. Feed the baby. Bottle, Solid food, Teething biscuits.

4. Put them in a happy place. A swing, jumper or just on a blanket on the floor.

5. Take the baby outside (weather permitting of course). Carry the baby out in the back yard. Take them for a walk.

6. Go for a drive. Most babies fall asleep in the car so go through a drive through and get something to drink and drive around for a bit. Next thing you know they will be out like a light (or like her uncle says, who had had one too many and says "if she was a light switch she would be off". True story.)

7. Bribe the baby with cash, just kidding. Call for help. It's ok to ask for help. Call your wife, mom or mother in law (if she likes you). Ask a neighbor or a friend for help. Trust me, I've had to do it a few times. Don't be afraid. Remember the baby out ranks you now so you gotta do what's best for them.

So far I have had good luck with just these steps. I hope they helped and If you have any questions please ask. I've learned being a new father is tough. But I also know for a fact it will get easier.

Well I decided to write a little on this because this just happened to me. Maggie woke up from her nap screaming and all red. She was pissed. So I went through my steps and ended up giving her a self feeder. Calmed her right down. Happy baby, happy daddy.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In the Pool

We decided to get the pool out today. As you can see Maggie had a lot of fun in the pool. She spent long enough in there to get prune fingers. The best part is when she splashes on herself and it startles her. Kind of funny. I think we will be out back in the pool tomorrow.

We also got the new diapers in today. So I have been boiling them. I can only fit so many in the pot so I've been at it for over an hour. Then we get to wash them all tonight. The only bad part is the dryer in the basement doesn't dry them very well so we have to hang dry them. Just takes time that's all.


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Monday, August 9, 2010

A Monday trip to Grandma's

Ahhhh Monday. How I loathe thee. Woke up late today because I really didn't feel like moving this morning. We stayed up way to late last night sitting in the back yard having a few beers. Once I got moving though it was all right. I sat on the carpet with Maggie earlier sorting through some of my baseball cards trying to make a complete set. That takes a long time. I barely made a dent in this certain years cards.

My wife wanted to go see her grandmother today. She convinced me to go. So we went and after spending more than ninety minutes in the car for a thirty minute trip I had headache. It wasn't too bad because as soon as Maggie shows up I'm brushed to the side so I didn't have to do much talking. Took me about an hour to recover. After that everything was cool.

We stayed for dinner which was good. Then we went to Babies R Us to look for the refill bags for our Sassy self feeder. Which are very hard to find. Got the last one. Finally got home about thirty mins ago. Just glad to be home.

If you get a chance please check out my wife's Etsy page. She worked very hard on all the stuff and she will be adding different stuff soon. Also we will be having a give a way later this week. Should have everything worked out by tomorrow. I want to make sure everything is kosher first. Keep coming back to get updates.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Just Realized Something

Breastfeeding symbolImage via Wikipedia

I was at the store just now and I realized something. Due to our choices in feeding (my wife breast feeds) and diapers that I have never had to run out in the middle of the night and buy diapers or formula. Kinda made me feel good. Especially when I saw how much the gentleman in front of me was paying for one can of formula. That stuff is expensive.

I could go off on some diatribe about supporting breastfeeding, but I won't. I will just say this, it's a perfectly natural thing. It does not and will not offend me. It is hard to believe that it offends some people. It's a breast!
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chef Daddy

Today it is going pretty slow. We stayed in last night and some friends came over and we had pizza. Stayed up until a little past midnight and today I feel I was out all night. I wasn't even drinking last night. The wife is worse off she went to work with about four hours of sleep.

Retro on Roscoe street fest is going on today so we won't be driving anywhere due to we will never find parking within a mile of our house. So we are taking it easy and I am making Maggie some baby food today. I made her some pears and green beans. I might make some carrots later but i have to wait for the pears and green beans to freeze. We put them in these ice cub trays and then transfer them into another container to store in the freezer. They are in about 1 oz portions so it makes it pretty easy to make defrost what you need.

Some of you may be asking why we make are own baby food. Well I personally like to know where my kids food is coming from. We are not some tree hugging, hemp purse and necklace hacky sack playing hippies. VERY far from it. We do have canned baby food. We take it with us when we are out of the house. It is just easier that way. We even order her applesauce at restaurants when we go out to eat. No big deal.

Now we do buy the produce used to make her food at Whole Foods (did you see the article about them in Chicago Magazine? Check it out). Her food doesn't necessarily have to be organic. We would prefer it to be but if I could only buy peaches or something that wasn't organic that would be fine. Whole foods is within walking distance and their produce prices are not that bad, sometimes much better than the regular grocery store (for those of you who don't know the two big grocery stores, Dominick's and Jewel, like to mark everything up, they are some of the most expensive in the country, Bastardos!).




thai ronaldImage by Dave_B_ via Flickr






I recently read Anthony Bourdain's new book and he talked about feeding his 3 year old daughter nothing but organic food (hell he can afford it), which is cool. He also talked about teaching his daughter that Ronald McDonald is the devil. I already know that Hamburgler is the a demon in disguise. I wouldn't mind so much if he taught that to my daughter. You wouldn't believe or you would, how bad that stuff is for you. Will I take her to get a happy meal? Of course I will. Will I do it a lot? No I won't. It would be a special occasion kind of thing. I would rather go to my favorite deli and get a nice Italian sub and a Cannoli. But really do I want her eating all that junk food? Not really, but I know she will be eating some. Would I freak out if she did? Na.

I enjoy cooking a lot. It relaxes me. Plus I enjoy creating things, especially when it is something I have not cooked before. I do like a challenge. I have I challenge coming up. We are having some people over for a Labor Day BBQ and fish has been requested. I don't do a lot of fish on the grill because my wife rarely eats fish. So I think I will do a few different kinds. I think I will do some shrimp. I haven't done that on the grill yet. Can't wait for our little party, the wife is making Jello shots! A holiday staple in this family.
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Friday, August 6, 2010

Something new. 5 for Friday

I'm going to try out something new today, bear with me. I would like to do a feature once a week. So I came up with 5 for Friday. This will be just a list of 5 things I may like or dislike in no particular Order Let's try it shall we?

5 of the best purchases we've made for Maggie

1. Lincoln Park Zoo membership. In the coming months and years we will add more memberships. You can't beat it if you like to go a lot.

2. Fisher Price Rain Forest Jumperoo. Maggie loves this thing!

A photo I took of a lion at the Lincoln Park Zoo.Image via Wikipedia

3. Fisher Price swing. We don't use as much as we used to but it has helped us get Maggie to sleep many times. I call it daddy's little helper.

4. Cloth diapers. Due to Maggie getting my sensitive skin I'm glad we went this route. Not to mention all the money we have saved.

5. The mobile thing on the side of Maggie's crib. I have no idea what the name of this is but she loves watching it as she falls asleep








Like I said his usual position



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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Luke and the beach




This is Luke. As you can see by this pic of his usual sleeping position (on my chair no less), that his is not your normal run of the mill cat. He is by far one of the weirdest cats I have ever had. He freaks out if he sees the bottom of the bowl, he won't leave you alone until you refill it. He comes when he is called and is scared of just about everything (one time he did bitch slap a little Shih Tzu that a friend brought over) . We got him from the Anti-Cruelty Society. They named him and since I am a huge Star Wars nerd, I kept the name. I keep threating to take him back, like when your parents threaten military school to straighten you up. I could never bring myself to do it. What can you say he's family.



We decided to have a little picnic at the Montrose Beach today. It was Maggie's first time at the beach. She was looking around at everything, even those beach rats with wings called seagulls. You can tell by the look on her face that she is thinking very hard about what everything is. She is a very serious child. I put her in the water and let the "waves" (this is Lake Michigan after all) come over her feet. She had no idea what was happening and I got the lip for it. She only cried a little and was all right as soon as daddy picked her up.

Then we went back at let her play in the sand (at least most of it was sand being in Chicago and all). She is really into felling stuff with her feet and she sat there for a good minute before she reached down with her feet and tried to eat the sand.



We all had a great time at the beach. Hope to do it again soon. I can't wait until she is a little older so I can take her to some of the beaches in the Pacific and the Caribbean that I grew up around. I hope to travel with my kids as much as I got to travel growing up.

Back to being a SAHD for the next three days. My wife is gone from the house for 14 hours everyday so sometimes it can be a long day. But then again it can fly right by.





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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Come on teeth!

The teeth are coming, and I'd wish they'd get here. Its hard to see your baby upset and not a whole lot you can do about it. We are still using the self feeders, but they only go so far. We saw some teething tablets the other day. I guess people swear by them. Does anyone know anything about these? I think we are gonna try some. Maggie woke me up this morning early, because I think her teeth were bothering her. Checked on her and she was half asleep so I let her be and she fell back asleep. As for me, not so much. I couldn't get back to sleep. Oh well.

For the first time I can remember since she has been in cloth diapers and I've been watching Maggie, she had a bit of diaper rash. I really wouldn't call it a diaper rash, more of a irritation. All I know is that it was painful for her as she was screaming a lot. I put some butt cream on and gave her one of her favorite toys and rocked her until she calmed down. Then I turned on Maggie's favorite band AC/DC and she was back to her cheerful self. I put her in her AC/DC onesie (which is pink!) and we rocked out to Problem Child (which Maggs is not). Well time to make some more food for Maggie. Off to the kitchen. I don't know what my wife did with the camera but if I locate it I will post some pictures.
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No second cup for me.



A photo of a cup of coffee.Image via Wikipedia





Today it was very humid outside, and I'm sure if your in Chicago like I am you can still hear people complaining about it. Which is what we do in Chicago is bitch about the weather. Unless it's February and everyone is miserable. I would like to thank the rain this morning for making it so humid today, and for causing me to miss my second cup of coffee this morning. My wife and daughter got caught in the rain when they were walking to the library. My wife texts me asking if I can pick them up because Maggie is super pissed because of the rain. She says take your time, so I grab my keys and rush over to pick them up. My wife says I have done my knight in shinning armor deed for the day. By the time I got back the coffee was cold. :(


We live in the neighborhood called Roscoe Village, located in the light blue area of the map below. This map as I see is not real accurate. I've never heard of of a central part of Chicago. We call it the Loop. We love this neighborhood. There is so much to walk to. We now also have three street fests which means three weekends a year there is no parking. So we just stay home. We have a lot of bars and restaurants very close by, not that we go out anymore, although we went to brunch on Sunday. Felt good to be out with both of my ladies. We would like to stay in this hood but the housing prices a up there.

Map of Chicago's community areas, grouped by c...Image via Wikipedia





















Maggie's first tooth should be her any day now. Her teeth are really bothering her. Had run out for bananas and bags for out Sassy self feeder. Baby's R Us was out of them so we just used another feeder we don't like as much. So I get to go back tomorrow to see if they came in. I'm glad its only a block away. We were looking at toy kitchen sets while we were there to get her for Christmas or her birthday. I think we found a good one. But don't tell Maggie.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August? Already?

Can't believe it's August already. That makes it one full year since I lost my job, but it's all good. I spent most of today up at school taking care of tests and what not. Time to get educated and so I can better myself and my family.

Maggie is in bed (early tonight), she has had a rough day. Her teeth are really starting to bother her. It was funny to see her crying from pain and see her smile the next second then proceed to do her famous lip move. I just realized I never talked about the "lip". When Maggie gets upset or doesn't like something that bottom lip is the first thing that sticks out. It can be quite funny at times. We have managed to get a few picture of this. This one below is right after I took her in the fountains at the park a few weeks ago. As you can see she was not to thrilled about being wet. Not a fan of water too much. Does great in the pool and the bath but fountains and rain not so good.




We went for a walk two weeks ago and we got caught in in a thunderstorm and as soon as the rain hit her she started balling. My wife was pushing the stroller and we weren't moving fast enough due to our wearing of sandals, so I took mine off. Being the overprotective father I am and hearing my daughter scream like a banshee I grabbed the stroller and took off barefoot running faster than I can remember of recent. Got her inside PDQ and got her upstairs and into dry clothes in no time. Then my wife decided to show up, just kidding, she was not too far behind as she kicked into mother bear mode.