Saturday, November 29, 2008

You had a great 1st Thanksgiving!

<-- Max conks out on Aunt Susan's lap.

Hi Max!

I can't wait until you can read this blog. We are getting tens of thousands of hits per month! People like to "hear" our conversations. :)

You had a great Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend. We went to mom's for lunch and Sheri's aunt and uncle's for dinner. I've found my place in the pecking order now.

We went to mom's and when we walked through the door, it was "Hi Michael, Hi Sheri, where's Max?" Aunt Lisa (OK) immediately put you in her arms and was off to the back room to sit with you. Sheri and I were like, "hi, good to see you too." We sat down to eat and the topic of conversation was of course, "How's Max?" I am now Max's Dad and Sheri is now Max's Mom. We've lost our identities, or is it that we've gained a new one?

For the rest of lunch, you were tossed between another Aunt Lisa (MO), Aunt Susan, Grandma, and cousins Marisa and Elizabeth. You slept through the whole thing bless your little heart. It was like watching a bunch of women at a K-Mart blue light special on soft fuzzy sweaters. There was more grabbing, pulling, dirty looks, and mini-tug-of-wars than the last piece of chocolate cake at a Jenny Craig convention. Crazy. How you remained composed and cooing with so many beautiful women doting over you I have no idea? No really, I have no idea. =0) And we still had another Thanksgiving to go to!

10 minutes later we are at Sheri's uncle and aunt and it was a replay of the Maher's Thanksgiving. Another Aunt Lisa (KS) sat her daughter down and immediately took you off Sheri's hands. She's so nice. The food, packages and bags we had would have been nice to have help with as well, but for some reason, she helped with you. =0) All the great-aunts were on you like a duck on a Cheeto. Geez, what is it about ladies and cute little babies?

Sheri and I ate in silence at a table in the dining room. We could hear the crickets chirping. The room was cold and dark. In the next room, it was light and sunny. The women were cackling, yes cackling. Is that even a word? If it's a word it has to mean the sounds mother hens make over a new chick. If it's not a word, it is now a word that means "sound mother hens make for a new chick". I've always thought Sheri's family was weird, but in this case, they were just like my family.

{Side story: We were driving to my mom's and talking about this that and the other and Sheri asked, "If a herd is a group of cows, a flock is a group of seagulls, what is a group of turkeys? Is it a gaggle?" I said, "It's called a soetaert." By the way, her maiden name is Soetaert. I'm witty if you didn't know it." =0) She didn't laugh, but I thought it was funny.}

Max, you handled it all like a pro, but when you got home, you were exhausted from being "on" all day and immediately conked out. You sleep like an angel.

On a day called Thanksgiving, Sheri and I were the most grateful parents in the world. We are so thankful for having you in our lives. You are the sun of our solar system - energizing us, lighting our days, and the center of everything we do - truly a sun of a son. And the aunts would agree, you are a hottie. =0)

To Your Success,

Max's Dad (Michael)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Small Victories...

Hi Max!

Little did I know when I welcomed your little body to this world that Sheri and I would celebrate such interesting things.

After almost two days of constipation and us worrying about your constipation, we celebrated a small, but significant victory.

Today, you pooped.

Today, "You pooped," Sheri and I whooped.

You pooped, you little poop.

Oops, it's poop! You pooped and pooped and pooped.

Not like Fruit Loops or Hula Hoops, but more like ice cream scoops.

Sheri and I changed you together and looking down at you we don't know if it was us projecting our happiness onto you or if you just absolutely had the happiest look on your face. Sheer, utter relief. And judging from volume, you had to have felt a little pent-up. Definitely understand the "full of *&#$)" origination now. You were definitely full.

The conversation between Sheri and me over the last two days has been interesting to say the least.

"I think something's wrong with Max."

"Why Honey?"

"I haven't changed his diaper for 6 hours."

"Well, honey, is that what's wrong with Max or what's wrong with you?"

"No, what I mean is Max hasn't gone to the bathroom."

"Is six hours a long time?"

"Yes, he normally goes every 3 to 4 hours."

"Well, he'll go soon won't he?"

"We'll see."

(12 hours later)

"(No intro conversation)Hi honey, has Max pooped yet?"



"Michael, he'll be fine. I called the doctor and she said to try some Karo Syrup. Can you go by Price Chopper and grab some?"


(Michael working out at the gym, conversation with trainer Michelle Kelly)

"Yeah, Max won't poop."

"I remember those days."

"I need to pick up some Karo Syrup after the workout."

"Might want to grab some Benefiber as well as a backup plan."

"Okay, will do."

(2 hours later after buying Karo Syrup and Benefiber)

"(No intro conversation)Hi honey, has Max pooped yet?"


"Okay, I got the Kato (pronounced wrong) Syrup and BeneFiber."


"Yes, Shelly Kelly suggested BeneFiber."

"Well, I'll give him the Karo Syrup first."

(Fours Later)

(Me posting on Facebook)

"Michael is... praying for Max to poop."

Facebook e-mail...

"Prayers for Max!"
"Try mineral oil"
"Try mineral oil and water!"
"Have you tried Karo Syrup?!"
"Try benefiber or a gentle powder fiber product"
"Try watering down the formula"
"Prayers for Poop!"
"Try Gerber's juice mix - Prune"
"Praying for Max!"

(Eight hours later, next morning)

"Good morning honey, has Max pooped yet?"


"What are we going to do? Do you think something is really wrong with him?"

(Sheri nearly crying)"I hope not. But he's been so fussy and crying. He can't be comfortable. Poor little guy."

(Hugging Sheri)"He'll be fine. Everything will be fine."

(Sheri on phone with Doctor's office - true story)

"I'd like to see the doctor today. My baby hasn't had a bowel movement in over 28 hours."

"Ok, miss, your doctor is out of the office today. Do you want to make an appointment for tomorrow?"

"I don't know. Is it an emergency if my baby hasn't cleared his system for a day and a half?"

"It can't be good. Do you want to make an appointment for tomorrow?"

"I don't know. What should I do?"

"I don't know ma'am. Do you want to make the appointment just in case?"

"Just in case what? What if he has an internal problem? Shouldn't we get this taken care of?"

"I don't know ma'am. What do you want to do?"

"What do you think I should do?"

"I don't know ma'am. You're the mother. It's your call."

"My call? I don't know what to do."

"Go with your instincts. What do you want to do?"

"I think I'll call my mom. She may know what to do. She's not a doctor or a nurse like you are, but she's got experience."

"Good idea ma'am."


(Michael checking Facebook)

"Try mineral oil and water."
"Have you massaged his belly?"
"Prayers for Poop!"
"Hope Max is feeling better Michael"

(Eight hours later - three treatments (three one-ounce spoons) later of Karo Syrup and one treatment of Gerber's Apple/Prune Juice watered down)

"Hi, honey! Has Max pooped?"

"No, not yet."

(Michael picking Max up)

"Well, I'll hold the little guy for a while. (Max crying a little bit)"

"Okay, I'll make up a bath for him and make up a taco salad for you."

"Sounds great."

(Michael playing with Max - moving his arms and legs, patting his belly, singing stupid little songs that don't make any sense but have "woo" and "goo" in them a lot)

(Sheri brings taco salad - chicken no beef. Michael gets Max undressed and sets him gently into the sling above the tub of water).

Max says, "Whaaaaaaaaaa!"

(Sheri wipes down Max. Michael eats taco salad)

Max says, "Whaaaaaaaaa!"

(Sheri dries Max and puts him in his Tigger outfit, starts feeding Max)

(Michael finishes salad, puts dishes up, puts some laundry up, changes loads)

(Sheri hands Max off to Michael)

(Michael burps Max and holds Max for a few minutes)

"Sheri, do you smell something?" (This sentence comes out much like a statement between two nomads crossing the Sahara and saying, "do you smell something (like water)? Expectant, hopeful, almost disbelieving....

(Sheri running over)"No."

"No, seriously, I think I smell something."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes, I think we need to change him!"

(The Umpa Lumpa song comes to mind here. Umpa Lumpa, umpa lumpa...)

(Michael laying Max on the changing table)

(Sheri undoes Max' outfit)

Max says, "Whaaaaaaaa!"

(Sheri and Michael look at each other - hopeful, expectant, nervous, not wanting to be disappointed again. Sheri peels the diaper off and WAAA LAAA (trumpets go off, harps sound, and cheers explode!

MAX HAS POOPED! Not just a little, but a diaper full of yellow stuff that burns the nose hair and looks absolutely horrendous. I don't know if I had tears of joy coming to me or my eyes were just watering from the stench)

"Oh my God!"

"Thank God!"

(Max looking up at his parents like they are a couple of lunatics. Like "What? I feel great!")

Oh, the joys of parenting. Where did I leave that manual?! Didn't we get a manual at the hospital? Um, I don't think so.

To Your Success,

Max' Dad (Michael)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What makes YOU unique?

Hi Max!

I was asked by a Facebook Friend, Jedd Price, to answer the question, "What makes YOU unique?" I put some thought into it and came up with the following:

"Thank you for your persistence in asking me to answer this Jedd. Most would probably say my unconditional love for the positive and optimism. Not a naive, rose-colored glasses type of mindless bliss, but a belief that everything TRULY happens for a reason. There are no accidents. Within every seemingly negative scenario there are a plethora of opportunities. Many get buried in the despair and emotions of the moment while I have the knack of taking a helicopter view of the situation and finding the reason for the happening, the positive from the problem, the lesson from the life's incident. My father passed away at a young age. I realize that his death taught me to honor his legacy, to be an Ambassador for what he stood for, and live by the positives he modeled. My wife thinks my dad is an angel because anyone we've ever encountered speaks highly about him. She never knew him when he was alive so she didn't see the belch at Thanksgiving, the sickness of cancer as it ate away at him, and the bad jokes, the human errors and mundane conversations that make life... life. She has only heard the miracles, the great impact he had on the lives of others. My father's death as emotional, heart-wrenching, and staggering as it was and could be was a benefit to me. He passed away so that I could become a better person and reach my potential. If I didn't work towards that I would be letting him down.

I live every day looking at the positive and I am unwavering in that view. You can't offend me, you can't anger me, and you don't have any control over my emotions. Only I do. I have the 'response-ability' to any situation. I have the ability to respond in any fashion I want to every endeavor and situation in my life. For every stimulus, there is a response. For me, it is ALWAYS seeing the positive. What can we learn from the situation? What is the opportunity in the cloud with the silver lining. Many see clouds and I see the rain that causes growth. Me = +. :)"

I thought I would share that with you little guy. You had a busy week with your first smile and your first photo shoot. Unfortunately the two didn't intersect. You smiled at home, but struggled to smile in the studio. It was cold and new and stimulus overload and you told us about it. We'll both get better at those pictures.

Readers, what makes YOU unique? Add your comment so that Max can define what makes him unique. Thank you!

To Your Success,

Max' Dad (Michael)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Trust Your Gut...

Hi Max!

Wanted to tell you a little about my day. Last night was a thunder-boomer night. It was a rough one. Thunder would boom, you would cry a little, Lucky would bark a little. If it wasn't so late at night, it would have been entertaining. It was rumble, whah, whah, arf, arf. Few minutes later. Rumble, whah, whah, arf, arf. It was a melody of sorts. But it kept me up all night. I even tried a half-cup of Nyquil to put me to sleep. It seemed like I had just started off to sleep when the the alarm rang and it was time to get ready.

Getting ready, I had a haze around me and it seemed like I was taking forever to get ready. Even two cups of coffee didn't do the magic. I gave up and realized that I was probably going to be in a little bit of a funk all day.

At the team meeting I felt a little better, because I always do when I'm around positive professionals. Went and led the BNI KC Plaza at Figlio's. It was a great meeting (as always!) and even though I was a little tired, the social aspects and the positive atmosphere helped tremendously. Driving back to the office, I realized how tired I was. The 16 days of Max were catching up to me. Sitting in my office from 2 to 3:30, I made some of the most necessary calls, caught up on some e-mails, wrote a few handwritten notes, and caught myself staring out the window some. At 3:30 I headed to Avila College to lead the First Time Home Buyer Seminar for the graduating seniors. We had a good turnout and I enjoyed it. But my back started hurting and my throat was getting a twinge. Was I getting sick?

After finishing the seminar, I walked out to the car with Mike Perry (agent on our team), Chris Arrasmith (inspector), and Chad Trease (lender). It was drizzling, fifty degrees maybe, and dark. I drove home through the fog of my weariness and the rain. I had a decision to make. Do I go work out or do I go to bed?

I flopped my stuff down and headed upstairs. You and momma were relaxing in your room. I immediately pepped up a little in seeing you. I got down on the floor and put you on my legs. I played with your arms and legs for a while. I changed your diaper and being the lucky guy I am, you were only wet. I smiled and basically goofed around with you. I laid on my back and did some bench presses with you (can I count that as a work out?). You gurgled and there was the hint of a smile. My back was hurting, I was tired, it was cold and rainy outside, I was at home, and all together these were the excuses I had for not going to work out.

I started the truck and headed to the gym. A small voice inside of me pushed me out the door and got me to the gym. I warmed up. I did quads, tris, and bis. I got a terrific workout. Lots of burn and good weights, new PRs in leg press, leg extensions, and leg curls (and coming off knee surgery, that felt great). It is a good habit to get protein into your system within 90 minutes after a workout. Heading home I was wondering about just eating a protein bar and hitting the sack.

Once again, my gut told me something different. It told me that I needed carbs. So I had rigatoni and meatballs and Wheat Thins (along with the protein bar). I had two big glasses of water and a green tea (Diet Nestea). Now, I feel terrific. The carbs hit the spot, re-hydrating hit the spot, and I had a busy, satisfying day with no regrets. We got a couple of referrals, a couple of new listings, and a couple of new clients through the home buyer seminar.

Today, I seized the day. Carpe Diem. Tired or not. Energetic or not. Sick or healthy. Carpe Diem. Commitments and responsiblities will call. Answer the call.

Lessons learned today: 1) No matter how you feel, things have to get done. Period. Do it now. Do it now. Do it now. 2) Work before play. Get your work done first, then do the fun stuff. Call it the cherry on top. 3) When you are limited on time and energy, do the tough things and make the tough calls. 4) Trust your instincts. Even if your plans call for Plan A, listen to your body and mind for Plan B. 5) Always have time for family.

Another great day Max!

I can't wait for you to read these notes. Love you little guy. :)

To Your Success,

Max' Dad (Michael)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Two weeks old: Looking in the mirror...

Hi Max!

I'm staring down at you while you are swinging side to side in your swing. It is a little eery looking at you as it is a little like looking at myself. I can see so many of my features and mannerisms in you already. You don't look exactly like me (you'll be glad for that later. :), but there are so many resemblences that it is uncanny. You have Sheri's button nose thank goodness. :)

Sheri is off to the store to get some protein-enriched formula. The doctor is a little worried about jaundice. We're going to get you some sun and get you some formula to support the natural stuff. You'll be fine, but every conversation with the doctor is scary. We're worried about EVERYTHING! Plus, you have the hiccups a lot. Could you quit that? :) It's nerve-wrecking to feel your little body shudder with every hiccup.

Lucky dog is still getting used to your presence. He had an accident in the house today and it looked territorial in nature. I went online and e-mailed a dog trainer to see what else we can do to help Lucky get used to you being in the house. We're feeding him when we feed you and we are concentrating on playing with him a lot more. He'll do it. It's just going to take some time and a lot of work from me and Sheri.

We got your first pictures (professional) scheduled for Friday, the 14th! You're going to be a model! We'll have some fun and use these for Christmas photos. We're going to need to order a bunch because we have a lot of people who want to see you.

You are starting to gain weight and you grew an inch in your first 10 days. It's good to see you starting to gain. You had lost almost a pound since you were born! I guess that's normal, but you got to be so small. Like I said, everything is on the radar, everything makes us nervous. You have the hiccups again. That has to hurt! :(

I'm going to pick you up now. Let's rock a little while. I'm not sure who enjoys it more you or me. :)

To Your Success,

Max' Dad (Michael)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Paying Last Respects...

Hi Max!

With all the events occurring in the news, and the impact the events have had on all of our lives, just wanted to share this story:

"One day not too long ago the employees of a large company in St. Louis, Missouri returned from their lunch break and were greeted with a sign on the front door. The sign said: “Yesterday, the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the conference room.”

Everyone was sad to hear that one of their colleagues had died, but after a while they started getting curious about who this person might be. The anxiousness grew as the employees arrived at the conference room to pay their last respects. Everyone wondered: “Who is this person who has been hindering my progress? Well, at least they're no longer here!”

One by one, the employees got closer to the coffin and when they looked inside it, they suddenly became speechless. They stood over the coffin, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul. In silence, each stepped slowly away. When each looked inside the coffin, they saw a reflection of the person who was limiting them. A mirror had been placed within the coffin, and everyone who looked inside it could see only themselves. There was also a sign next to the mirror that said: “There is only one person who is capable to set limits to your growth: it is YOU.”"

You are the only person who can revolutionize your life. You are the only person who can influence your happiness, your realization and your success. You are the only person who can help yourself. Your life does not change when your boss changes, when your friends change, when your parents change, when your partner changes, when your company changes. Your life changes when YOU change, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs, when you realize that you are the only one responsible for your life.

To Your Success,

Max' Dad (Michael)

Max says, "Subscribe."

I've had a few people watching this on a regular basis and wanted to let you know that you can Subscribe by clicking on the button that says Posts on the right. It will give you a few options, but if you choose Atom, it will open a window that allows you to click on Subscribe to this Feed and you can get all the posts e-mailed conveniently and directly to your InBox when they occur versus trying to check it randomly to see what has been posted. If you have any questions, just ask in a Comment and I'll help you.

To Your Success,

Max' Dad (Michael)

By Request: "It is time for me to reveal who I voted for..."

God Bless America!
{I had three requests to post this on your site Max so I'm hijacking your pages for a day, but this is an important lesson for you to learn as well}

{Note: Posted at 10:45 p.m. on 11/04/2008 before Barack Obama was elected our 44th President of the United States)

Here we are on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. It's "the big day". It's Election Day.

After an endless barrage of commercials, signs, media blasts, and debates, it is time to make a decision.

I'm going to vote for the person who can guarantee that if I work hard, and work smart, I can make as much money, and build as much wealth, as I can handle.

I'm going to vote for the person who will keep me and my family safe from terrorism, dishonest corporations, and overuse of oil and gas.

I am going to vote for the person who will take care of my family, educate my newborn, give him the best chance to succeed, and see to our health care.

I am going to vote for the person who inspires me to get up in the morning fired up and ready to get in the game, living by my wits, knowledge and experience so I can compete fiercely, but fairly, for my share of the American dream.

In other words, TODAY, I am going to get up, walk into the bathroom, look in the mirror, see the affirmations along the side of the mirror and cast the same vote I have cast every day since I was around 18 years old, and first came to realize that only I was responsible for my own life. I am personally responsible for my success, my business, and my family, and looking to Presidents, Governors, Senators, or any other governmental officials or the government for relief, or blame for that matter, is an exercise in futility. Looking to the government, elected officials, or anyone else for that matter is an admission that I wasn't strong enough, smart enough, or hard working enough to make things happen on my own.

Yes, my fellow Americans, today I’m going to vote for me.

For the 39th consecutive year, I am going to vote for the person who has put me exactly where I am right now. I call on all Americans to not rely on the government for handouts, opportunities, or direction but instead rely on the fire that burns within and the fuel that inspires that fire. Let your passion and integrity direct you towards the change necessary in your life. You see, Obama has it wrong. People don't want change. People want better. Change is not always better, but my friends, better always requires change. All Americans want to be better off today than they were yesterday. And to be better off, be better. Tomorrow, I will be better than I am today. I've cast my vote. I ask for Godspeed for my candidate and promise to run a clean campaign with any of my opponents.

It's time to go back to work, because it’s still up to me to make it happen for me and for my family. As it should be. IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME! Say it with me! IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME!

Take care and God bless,


Michael J. Maher, MBA

If it is to be, it is up to me.

Max, this is right up there with Cat in the Hat. I'm not sure if there is a more powerful rhyme you'll hear.

Later, we'll discuss another important variation to this (If it is to be, it is up to WE).

To Your Success,

Max' Dad (Michael)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Count Your Blessings to Start with an Attitude of Gratitude...

Hi Max!

Kid, you are so cute!

When you were born, my prayers were answered. 10 fingers, 10 toes, healthy eyes, healthy ears, you were absolutely 100% healthy! What a reason to rejoice! When Sheri announced she was pregnant, we started getting updates from other pregnant women (and their spouses). Miscarriages happened, SIDS happened, baby's born with issues, long labor, C-sections, etc. And then you were born - 100% healthy. What a miracle! What a blessing!

It made me think about everyone I know. Most are 100% healthy. They have 10 fingers, 10 toes, healthy heart, lungs, and ears, very good eyesight with perfect eyesight with contacts or glasses, both legs working, both arms bendable, able to walk and throw a ball, see and hear the world, and yet, I see them focusing on the miserable instead of the miracle. THEY are a miracle. YOU, reader, are a miracle.

Every day is a gift. The finest gift ever bestowed upon you. This GIFT was given to a MIRACLE! How are you taking advantage of it? Can you count five blessings? 1) You're in America, land of the free, where a black man can overcome racism and become President, 2) You're an American with all the rights and privileges that come with that, 3) You have 10 fingers, 10 toes and all work pretty well, well enough to hold someone's hand or kick someone's butt. 4) Your heart is beating, 5) You can see this note, 6) You can read this blog post, 7) You can read AND understand the content of this blog post. 8) You have the right and privilege to post a comment to this post. :) 9) Do you own a car, a house, a boat? 10) Do you have friends? 11) Do you have a spouse? 12) Do you have a child? ... Do you have a child... don't newborns just smell awesome? :)

I ask you to take a moment right now to contemplate your blessings. Why are you so lucky?! Why do you think you got the good stuff while others didn't? I don't want to hear any excuses, any negatives, and any complaints. You're lucky, extremely fortunate, great things just seem to happen to you (even from birth).

Count your blessings today and every day to start with an attitude of gratitude. Interestingly enough, you'll find you get luckier and luckier and more opportunities will come to your doorstep than ever before... just by smiling, just by looking at the bright side, just by counting your blessings that I know every single person reading this can count.

By the way, speaking of counting, but did you know there are three kinds of people in the world? 1)Those who can count, 2) those who can't.

You count!

To Your Success,

Max' Papa (Michael)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Michael Maxwell Maher joins The Maher Team!

Hi Max!

The announcement for your joining our team went out to all the agents today. Congrats! Not my favorite picture, but hey, it will get better. :)