Monday, December 14, 2009

Max's One-Year Pics...

Hi Max!

Here are a few of your photos from your one-year shoot!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

With Max, every day is a Holiday...

Hi Max!

We watch Joel Osteen every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. He is such a magnificent speaker with powerful words. I know you aren't understanding it at this point, but I do know that you know down deep inside you that your daddy likes it and feels better for watching it. You watch the screen and smile. Today, you clapped when the others clapped. You're starting to get it... and no wonder...

Today, Joel talked about speaking your blessings. There are people who need your blessing - they need to know how much you love them, like them, respect them, etc. It's more than words. I know you know I love you. You know I expect great things for you in this life and you will do great things. I see you influencing millions with your character, competence, and communication. I see you being an inspiration for others motivating them to live life better. I don't know what realm of life that will be within, that is your choice of course, but I know your life will be bigger than your own. You are going to impact the whole world. You are wonderful. Your demeanor is so positive and happy. You are so smart. I am so proud that you are my son.

On Christmas Day, you will be 14 months old. Christmas has not had the same affect on me the last two years that it did the first 38. The gifts aren't as special. It's not the gift. It's the gifting. It is WHO gave the gift and the THOUGHTFULNESS of the giver. It's not the gift. It's the giver. You are the best son a father could ever ask for and I've found that all the material things in the world don't matter. You, your love, your progress and growth, and your health are everything. This has translated to my feeling about other people. I see beyond the material to the character, the love, the importance, the soul. You have taught me much about Christmas. Max, every day is a Holiday with you. Every day is Christmas, New Years, Easter, Independence Day, etc. with you.

Max, I love you. You are special. You will achieve greatness. You are greatness. You embody excellence. You aren't interested in judgment or discrimination. You love unconditionally and are loved unconditionally. You are forever curious. You seek to understand before being understood. You are a great listener. You are Buzz Lightyear, Speedy McQueen, and Superman. You are my superhero now and forever. I know I hug you and kiss you and at times that is interrupting your play time, but just know it is because I love you.

To Your Success,

Max's Dad (Michael)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Love my boy...

Hi Max (eating a puff and throwing the Hook'em Blazers sign - gotta love it)!

Can't believe it's been over a month since I've posted. You've turned 1 and you've had your second Halloween and your second Thanksgiving. It's not that I'm busy. It's that I would rather just speak to you in person. =0).

I thank God before I go to sleep each night for 1) bringing you into my life, 2) that you are 100% healthy, and 3) that you sleep at night. =0).

It is so funny to watch you play ball with Lucky now. You are just so close to "getting it". You throw ball, Lucky gets it and rolls it back to you. You hang on to the ball a little long right now and Lucky gets impatient. Can't wait to watch you two play and play and play.

You're out of the Jimmy Jumper and the swing. No more of those two. Now, you are big on toys - truck, car, and blocks, tupperware - you have your own drawer of plastic things to play with!, and cans (Maxwell House of course! =0).

The bottom line is that I love you. I love you with all my heart and soul. Every molecule in my body loves you. You can cry, you can whine, you can tip over Lucky's water bowl, and you can get messy, and I'll still love you. We'll work on things, but I still love you. =0). You're a gift from God and a miracle (Maher-icle?).

Just wanted to say I love you and that I was thinking about you. Can't talk to you now, because you are a sleeping angel (please see #3 above). Can't wait to wake up with you in the morning.

To Your Success,

Max's Dad (Michael)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Maxwell's Speakeasy + Lounge...

Hi Max!

It's been a while since I've posted - mainly because you're here and I can speak to you in person versus on the Internet, but alas, I was reminded of you once again while I was working. I saw this ad and thought of you - DUH! Of course I thought of you.

Thought it was cool and so are you.

Have a great day --- you're almost 1! Yes, it's almost 1 year. Amazing how time flies.

To Your Success,

Max's Dad (Michael)

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Name Game...

Hi Max!

I've been asked a few times how we came up with your name so I thought I would let you know. I use the initials m2 (pronounced m-squared) for documents and other places. As soon as we found out we were having a boy, we wanted to go with MMM as your initials. This led us to names like Mason, Matthew, Mitchell, Max, Michael, Martin, Mickey, Miller, Miles, etc. There are quite a few Matthews in the family so we put that one on the back burner. It came down to Mason, Miles, and Max (or Maxwell). We really liked the name Max. It means great and my grandpa's nickname was Mac. We didn't consider his real name Ignatius Strecker Maher. Strecker was my Great-grandma's maiden name. It's a family name that goes back to English royalty. We decided on Maxwell based on a few things: 1) we could call you Max, 2) one of my favorite authors and someone who transitioned my to find Jesus Christ and religion - he really tied religion to success for me - was John C. Maxwell, and 3) if you didn't like the M theme, you could call yourself Wells as well. We went with Michael as the first name because it had the best ring with Maxwell.

All in all, a wonderful name, Michael Maxwell Maher, for a wonderful boy!

To Your Success,

Max's Dad (Michael)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Max's first workout...

Hi Max!

We did our first workout together - kind of. :) We did YogaX together from p90x. This program helped me lose 30 pounds of fat and gain 10 pounds of muscle in 90 days. I am healthy, active, and energetic. I want to play with you for years and years and years. Here is our post-workout video. :)

To Your Success,

Max's Dad (Michael)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dude, I have the coolest kid...

Check out this video...

Did that make you laugh or what?

To Your Success,

Max's Dad (Michael)

First Day of Daycare...

Hi Max!

Today was your first day of Day Care! Mom dropped you off this morning and about noon we both starting texting each other about how you were doing. Finally, at about 2 p.m., I decided to drop by after dropping off my dry cleaning. I walked in (through all the security) and spied on you for about 5 minutes. You were laughing and giggling. You were sitting on the teacher's lap and playing with a ball inside a ball. You were cackling your little cackle of a laugh. I almost teared up. There I was standing in the hallway, leaning on the wall, staring at you and the scene. Your eyes were so alert and you seemed so aware of your surroundings. It was incredible to watch you play. It was if I was watching my son, you, on television. Part of me wanted to open the door and grab you and just hug you so tight and another part, the smarter part, of me stayed in the background watching you play and get used to your surroundings. I should have known that you would adapt quickly...

Quicker than your parents. We texted back and forth all morning. We struggled with it while you took it in stride. I just love that about you. Nothing phases you and you're always happy.

It was the first day of day care and there were tears shed - just none of them by you. I didn't read about this in any of the manuals. Oh yeah, no manuals. Maybe that will be my next book. One of the chapters would be called "The First Day of Daycare." And I'd tell the parents not to worry because kids are adaptable.

I was proud of my son today - swelling with pride, in fact. It was so great to see you smiling, having fun, and so at ease in your new surroundings. You're awesome (of course, your name is Max). :)

To Your Success,

Max's Dad (Michael)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

If this doesn't make you smile, nothing will.

Hi Max!

You love your new Johnny Jumper! This helps your legs get stronger so you can learn to walk faster. You're growing up so fast, buster. :)

Love that laugh.

To Your Success,

Max's Dad (Michael)

P.S. Here's the video!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

8 month pictures!...

Hi Max!

We went to Portrait Innovations for your 8-month photos. We had a lot of fun and I'm always amazed at how comfortable you are in front of the camera. You're photogenic and the photographer was having fun. Do you always smile?! I love it. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Car Jar...

Hi Max!

I was reading on Facebook and a note by Joe Stumpf caught my eye. 

> How To Create your Jar For The Car

The day my oldest daughter Traci was born, September 10th 1986 my best friend and mentor Milton Merrill said to me “ today is the day you start the jar for the car.”

I said “ what do you mean,” he said get a couple of empty 5 gallon sparkles jugs put them in you closet and every time you have loose change throw it in the jar because in 16 years you will need to buy her a car and hopefully you will have a your jar full which will be the jar for the car. 

I did what he said, and 16 years latter I saved $7,200 in penny's, nickels, dimes and quarters. A smart man once said to me," Joe when it comes to money most people overestimate what they can achieve in 1 year and underestimate what they can achieve in 5 years."

But when your commit to the long term, amazing thins start to happen. Saving $1.25 a day doesn’t amount to much over a month, but over 16 years it’s $7,200 and bought ½ a car.

What sort of life do you want to have in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? 

Go to the website and discover how much money you need in the future to create a vision of the future you desire, then become willing to do whatever it takes to bring it into being. 

As you focus each day on the future you’re creating and keep taking action to continue bringing it into being, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish

As you continue to deepen your money making mindset you may choose to further embrace the wisdom of Woody Allen when he said, "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." 

Today ask yourself.. What can I start saving today that will have a big effect in the long term?

Joe Stumpf <

Today, I start my Car Jar for you Max (I have a change jar started and today it gets bigger and more important - behold The Car Jar!). At 16, I'll help you buy your first car. It will be some sort of tank and it will have a speed governor, but it will be your first car. :) 

Thank you Joe for the great note and the inspiration to consolidate my change to a specific goal. What was ordinary change, now has a name and with that name, a purpose. Max, remember that. Take what may be insignificant and taken for granted, give it a name and a purpose. For example, your mom and I have been going on Date Nights every Friday for several years now. What is Date Night? Essentially, it is time for your mom and I to quit thinking about our professions and focus on each other. Date Night legitimizes this time off and has now become something we both look forward to each week. 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Quick update on your head!

Hi Max!

You are doing so well with the helmet. We had a doctor's appointment yesterday and you went from a 19 (not good) to a 16 in a matter of 10-12 days! We can SEE the difference (especially at the front). I've been so proud of you with your smile and laugh. The helmet doesn't bother you. You've slept and kept your schedule. That helps mommy and daddy tremendously. 

You are getting much more mobile. I heard the cabinet doors open and close this morning. You are active in your walker, but still getting used to moving around. Sometimes you just like to sit in the walker and play with the toys. You're doing awesome, I'm so happy you are my son and I love you. 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Your head is rounding! Your head is rounding!

Hi Max!

I wish you could talk. :) My mom said, "You try for the longest time to get them (kids) to sit up and speak up and then you spend the next several years telling them to sit down and shut up." My mom, the humorist. :) She doesn't mean that negatively. But she raised five very active kids so I'm sure there is some truth there. Remember, there is always some level of truth behind every person's joking. 

Your head is ALREADY rounding into shape! The front left forehead area was protruding a little bit and now that is already back to round (and matches your right side). Incredible. The difference is incredible. It's only been 10 days! The back of your head still is irregular with some denting and some lumps, but we are encouraged with the results from the front. The helmet slides on now rather than being a struggle as it was earlier. It's working. For any parent who has considered a helmet to cure plagiocephaly or misshapen head syndrome, I HIGHLY suggest it. Plus, in case of crashes, he has protection. :) I'm impressed with the speed and results of the helmet. 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why was I even worried? :)

Hi Max!

We put the helmet on you today at the appointment and I was so worried that you would cry. After all, the pictures I saw on the Interent always had the child crying. We put it on and you cracked up laughing. It was so funny. It was like you knew how nervous Sheri and I were about the helmet and you wanted to set us at ease. Too funny. 

You are so resilient and patient. 

The helmet definitely shows the deformity in your head. You have space at the front left of your head and a lot of space at the right back of your head. You measured an 18 when we started. They say under 12 mm is "normal", 12 - 20 is "Acceptable/possible helmet" and over 20 is "Helmet/potential problems". You've been everywhere from 16 to 18 over the last three measurements. We got the helmet without even thinking about it. We want to do whatever we can. 

Affordability of such a expensive item was an issue at first, but thank God for insurance. Sheri discussed it with them and convinced them that this was prescribed and should be covered. After several discussions, she made it happen. Chalk one up for Supermom. :) We got donations from Sheri's family (thanks Anna and Michele) and my family (thanks Jim and Linda). They fortunately were returned. We love that people were willing to help regardless of what they thought about our financial situation. They just wanted to help. 

My dad said that it's always better to give people the opportunity to help and that if anyone ever asks to help, say, "Yes." He said that you can always control how much or how little you use that help, but that you should always give people the chance to help. I love that. Somebody says, "Can I help you with that?" or "Want a hand with that?" You say, "Yes." You don't see that much any more. Everybody says, "No." Even when they have their hands full. We are "independent" and prideful. I'm glad my dad gave me this advice because I've made friends and probably saved dozens of accidents by accepting help. But it is a two-way street. 

My father and mother helped make me a natural-born giver as well. I give without thoughts of retribution or a motive. Give and give and give. What I have found in life is that it comes back ten-fold. You never know who or where the help or positive will come from and it isn't always tit for tat or directly from the person you helped. But is does come back. Just keep helping Max. Be helpful and your attitude of servitude will serve you well. 

You're my beautiful baby boy and I love you. 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Monday, May 18, 2009

You are such a trooper!

Hi Max!

You can say, "hi" now. :) At least I think it is "hi." I say, "Hi" and you reply, "Hi". 

I was really impressed at how you did for your helmet molding. You smiled and gurgled through the whole thing. I really feared you would cry at the mess, the tape, and the discomfort, but once again you amaze me at your positive and smiling attitude. You are one happy baby, Beebs. :)

Your family nickname is Beebs. Lucky Dog is Bubs (short for BubbaDog) and Sheri is not Bubs or Beebs, but another name close to that - but she doesn't like me calling her that name. But it goes so well with Beebs and Bubs, if you know what I mean. :) 

We get your helmet this week. I'm excited for you. At one time, I had a lot of apprehension, but after watching you handle the molding session at the hospital, I am genuinely excited to see you get the helmet and to see your head go back to round. You deserve it. You are so perfect in every way. As I have said before in this blog, I know you aren't going to be perfect, but I don't want any imperfections be because of something I or Sheri could have prevented. We're going to get you a helmet. We're going to get you braces if you need them. We will do what we can to set you up for success; however, success is up to you. 

We can wait on the "success talk." For right now, we're happy playing SuperBoy and Leap for the Skies. You're a lot of fun and we haven't even played catch yet. Your favorite toy is a toy Porsche (isn't that incredible:). It's a small white 911 that goes forward after you drag it backwards. You aren't too worried about the action, you just want to put it into your mouth. You play with that while jumping in your Johnnie Jumper. You REALLY love to jump. Jump and smile. Jump and laugh. You are sleeping as I read this, but I can just hear your giggle in my head from when you are jumping. It makes me smile. Play, play, play, my little boy. 

I'll write again after Friday's Helmet Session at the hospital. We go to a family reunion on Saturday. Can't wait for everybody to see you. They read this blog often so they know all about you. 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend...

Hi Max!

We have a big weekend here! Today, Friday, we go to the doctor's office to have a mold created for your helmet. We're going to conquer your plagiocephaly this summer! That appointment is at 3 p.m. today. I'm a little bittersweet about that appointment. I'm bummed that you have to do it and adjust to the helmet, but I'm more enthused because your head is going to be rounded and symmetrical. I see it being like braces. It's temporary, non life-threatening, and the result is positive. It's braces for your head. :)

Also, it is Sheri's first Mother's Day! Yeah!

Going to be a great weekend!

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Sunday, April 26, 2009


<-- This is not Max, but he will have to do the molding. 

Hi Max!

You are such a beautiful baby boy! You are so photogenic and happy. You are a blessing in my life. This past month, I learned a word I could have lived a lifetime without learning. Plagiocephaly is also called misshapen head and flat-head syndrome. It is caused by repeated sleeping on the same spot. It is becoming much more common now that parents are encouraged to have their babies sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS. 

On Friday afternoon, Sheri and I took you to Children's Mercy Hospital for a follow-up check-up. You had measured at 16 mm at the previous appointment. If you are under 10 mm misshapen, they call it average. If you are over 20 mm misshapen, you are prescribed a helmet. You fell in the mid-range at the first appointment and we decided to see how it was in 3 weeks. Well, on Friday, we found out you are at a 20 mm. It's getting worse. 

My heart sank for a moment upon hearing the news. I am the eternal optimist. I am the "everything happens for a reason" person. Yet, here I was, feeling down at this news. They say it is mostly curable. They say it isn't causing any brain damage at this point. They say. They say. They say. They were trying to be kind. This is a problem. It isn't normal. Luckily, they have a tool to help with correcting the mis-shapen head. It is a fitted, fiberglass helmet.  It is a molded, orthotic device to re-shape the head. 

When we were at the doctor's I put a model into your hands. You are so great. You played with it, lifted it up and down, and then looked at me and smiled. It was almost as if you were saying, "Don't worry, Daddy, I'm okay with it." I hugged you. I squeezed you tight. You are so lovable. 

This is an expensive endeavor for us. Insurance will not pay for the doctor's appointments or helmet (altogether estimated to be around $4000). That's a dent for anyone. We've had our share of medical bills over the last two years (some we're still paying on), but this is your head. I will work 24 hours per day every day of the year if that is what it takes to help you through this. If my part is to earn the money for this helmet, then I take on that challenge. I accept the challenge and will do what it takes. After all, you are going to be a fiberglass helmet model before it is all said and done. :) 

I love you my little one and this is going to be the best thing for you. 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nurture over Nature...

Hi Max!

You are a baby of beauty, my little boy. :) You are playing with rattles. You are becoming more of a little human every day. It's incredible to watch. Being self-analytical, it's been interesting to watch my progression as a human as well. I am more sentimental, emotional (coming from a 0 to a 3 or 4), and outwardly loving (key word is outwardly). It's a good feeling. For example, you were recently diagnosed with plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome). 

Plagiocephaly is caused by too many nights sleeping on the same spot. It causes a flat spot on the back of your head. The issue has become more common due to SIDS research that shows that a baby should sleep on their back until at least 6 months. We've had you sleep on your back every night without any type of cushions to have you sleep at a slightly different angle each night. You've developed a flat spot on your right side. Since it is asymmetrical, the doctor is concerned.

We are looking into helmets, because as I told Sheri, "Whatever it takes to make it right, we're going to do." With the news that you may have to get a helmet and that you had a "syndrome," I was more upset than I would have guessed. I want to provide you with every opportunity possible and the environment necessary to allow you to reach your potential. I'm sure every parent feels the same way. 

That is where reality meets ideal. The reality is that these helmets are VERY expensive. I'm sure many parents have faced this with braces. Cosmetic issues aren't covered by insurance. Rest assured, we'll find a way to make sure your head is round, but what a dilemma. I'm going to work night and day so that money is not a limiting factor to your achieving your potential. I have a talent for selling houses, helping people buy the right home, speaking and writing, and helping people. That is what I will do to conquer any issues necessary to raise you as well as I can. 

Also, I have committed to writing a "Parenting For Dummies" book after my Seven Levels of Communication book is finished. There is no reason that preventable issues can't be prevented. How many other parents didn't know to have their child sleep in slightly different positions every night? How many are just glad the baby is sleeping and not worrying about his or her head? Where's the baby manual?! I read Parenting magazine, Baby Whisperer, and more, but no simple, quick-to-read manuals exist that I have found. Readers, if you have one, please let me know!

Max, you are making the world a better place just by your influence on me and your mom. You are already starting to make an impact and I'm proud you are my son. Together, we'll conquer the world. :)

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hi Max! 

I wish this design was easier to read (click on the picture to see it in full size), but I did it at It is the coolest little site. You put in an URL or a bunch of words and it makes an artistic design out of the words. Too cool. I really liked how this one came out because DREAM and BIG came out close and then BIG and SMILE were in line. The bigger the word, the more times it appears on the site. 

Thought you would think this was cool. Do it with your own words at http://www.Wordle.Net. 


To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Hi Max!

I was so ready to build our first snowman this morning, but we didn't get as much snow as they predicted (8-10 inches turned into 1 or 2). 

We probably would have had to put that on hold anyway as you kept us up late. Your first sinus issue and your first vomit (projectile, streaming blast of white vomit) were highlights to our night as you fought to go to sleep. You finally conquered it and we appreciate the sleep. 

We'll have to wait until next year for the snowman, but for now, we'll build it with toothpicks and marshmallows. After all, Lucky goes nuts when you give him one. It's fun to watch. LOL.

To Your Success (and all the fun on the way), 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dream Big, Max, DREAM BIG!

Hi Max!

You seem to like this game we play so I thought I would explain it for when you can read these notes. 

Our nightly ritual:

Right before you go to bed for the night, I put you in your little blue chair. I say, "Are you going to dream big tonight?" You look at me with your big blue eyes. I say a little louder, "Are you going to dream big tonight?" You start to smile a little. I say a little bit louder, "Are you going to dream big tonight?" I take your hands and put them shoulder-width. I say, "Are you going to dream this big tonight?" You put a little smile on your face. I take your hands and put them straight out to your sides and say, "Are you going to dream this big tonight?"You smile and gurgle. Lastly, I'll put your hands all the way above your head as far as you can stretch and say, "Are you going to dream THIS big tonight?" You giggle and laugh. 1 minute later, you are asleep. :) We love our nightly ritual. 

We have a lot of fun together with our morning and nightly rituals don't we?! :) 

DREAM BIG MAX! Donald Trump once said, "You are going to think any way, so you might as well think big." I agree. At 5 months and 1 day old, you have your entire life ahead of you. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. DREAM BIG. We encourage daydreaming (and night dreaming). 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Your First "Sick-Day"

Hi Max!

Yesterday and Today were monumental. You battled your first cold. I was very impressed as to how you handled it. I was waiting for the fussy, achy crying, but there was none. You are a trooper. You've smiled through it. Your breathing is raspy and we're sucking crud out of your nose (oh, the things we do for you). You are sleeping right through it and you've really helped mommie and me by not whining, crying, or moaning. We are delicate parents and are very glad that you have handled this without the noise. :) You are amazing... and a quick healer. You are already showing signs of breathing better and less runny nose. 

It's cool that you are perfect. :) 

To Your Success,

Max's Dad (Michael)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I love my child...

Hi Max!

Perhaps this is what everyone was talking about, but is it possible to love your child more each and every day. Something I've known and experienced, but never to this degree, is that love is infinite. There is enough love from me for everyone and enough love from everyone for everyone else. But the love of a child fits into its own very special box. 

When I open up Google Chrome, I have three tabs open with it - Facebook Inbox, Twitter, and Now that I posted your four-month pictures, I always hesitate on that page. You have become so expressive, so smiley. You are now a little human; whereas, before you were a little pod - a sleepin' and eatin', poopin' and peein' pod. :) 

I just had to write this. In a wave of emotion, a swelling of love, I put fingers to typepad and wanted to let you know that I love you. Your everything I've ever hoped for and more. You are just a cute kid, a smiley little baby, and a night-sleeping little angel. I'm blessed to have you as my son. 

To Your Success, 


Friday, February 27, 2009

Max's Four-Month Photo Shoot

Hi Max!

This is a Photo Gallery of your photos from today. Personally, you have to be the cutest kid on the face of the earth. :)

Max, you brought tears to your mom and dad's eyes today. You are the most beautiful baby. You behaved so well during the photo session. Every morning, I ask, "Are you going to smile all day?" Today, you smiled all day. And your mom and dad smiled with you. 

To Your Success, 


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Four Months TODAY!

Hi Max!

Happy four-month birthday! Hard to believe you are already 4 months old! You are such a cute little guy. :) You now look like a little human. Before you were more like a... pod. LOL. I don't know what that means, but you are so alert and so conscious of your surroundings now. You can see things, your arms and legs work, and you are getting some hair. 

Our morning and go-to-bed rituals are even better now that you are more aware. You are much quicker with the smiles. :)  I love the morning ritual: Are you going to smile all day?! 

I grab your hands and you look up at me so intently with those big, blue eyes.
"Are you going to smile all day?!" 
You start to smile a little bit or look at me weird. 
"Are you going to smile all day?!" 
You start to smile. 
"Are you going to smile all day?!" You smile. 
"Are YOU going to SMILE all day?!" You smile and gurgle. 

I take your hands and put them shoulder width.
"Are you going to smile THIS big?" You smile. 
I take your hands and put them a little wider than shoulder width almost straight out to your sides. 
"Are you going to SMILE THIS big?" You smile and gurgle. 
I take your hands so they make a big U over your head.
"Are you going to SMILE THIS BIG?!" You smile, gurgle, and laugh. I am laughing with you. What great times you have laughing at your funny daddy. 

Our go-to-bed ritual is just as fun... for me. :)
"Are you going to DREAM BIG tonight?"
"Are you going to DREAM BIG tonight?"
"Are you going to dream big tonight?" Tired smile. 
Hands shoulder width - Are you going to dream this big?
Hands straight out - Are you going to dream this big?
Hands in a big U - Are you going to dream this big? Gurgle and smile. 

I love those times and never want to miss those two times with you. It's tough to leave the house and I come home much earlier now as you go to bed around 8:30. I want you to smile all day and dream big every night. 

For those adults reading this blog, I encourage you to ask yourself: 
"Are you going to smile all day?" and "Are you going to dream big tonight?"

My prescription: Take these two phrases and see how you feel. 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

P.S. What phrases do you use to affirm your strength, happiness, and success every morning or night? Looking forward to your comments. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

No news is good news...

Hi Max!

You have really stuck to the structured plan for the last few weeks. We added some rice to your formula and you took it like a Champ. I have been focusing my efforts on getting our real estate team and getting my book done that I haven't had time to write here about all that we have been doing. I guess no news is good news as you are growing steadily, staying healthy, and retaining your title as most awesome and cutest kid on the entire planet. :)

One new bit of news is that you started your Your Baby Can Read videos. We're having plan watching the DVD. I wonder if you are getting it, but at least you are entertaining and watching it. And I've learned how to properly pronounce words like gorilla, tiger, elephant, cat, dog, and hi. At the very least, we're spending some time together and laughing while the DVD runs. 

It's time for your pictures and we're getting them done within the next week. Can't wait to share them with everyone as you are growing like a weed. 

We did watch the most exciting game in Super Bowl history on Sunday. We kind of watched it together. I watched it with you right next to me in your swing. You watched it through closed eyelids as you slept the entire game! Still loved having you next to me for the big game. Hopefully the first of many we share together. 

That's it for now. It's not that every day isn't exciting because every day IS excited. Just not things others would find exciting - a gurgle, a laugh, a quiet sleep, a beautiful smile. Great stuff. 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama is a copy-cat...

Hi Max!

The title of today's blog post is said tongue-in-cheek as I'm sure parents have written letters to their children before I started this blog. Borack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States yesterday and he wrote a letter to his children, Malia and Sasha telling them why he began his run for the presidency. Here it is:

"Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you’ve both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn’t have let you have. But I also know that it hasn’t always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn’t make up for all the time we’ve been apart. I know how much I’ve missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential—schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college—even if their parents aren’t rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you’ll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country—but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free—that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better—and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It’s a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you’ve had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much—although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you—to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That’s why I’ve taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad"

His words are full of wisdom. I've certainly seen my goals take a step back and your care and attention take a step forward. I'm still working on the delicate balance of being an excellent father, being an excellent team leader and real estate professional, while also being an excellent speaker and writer. It's a tough balance, but you're worth it. When in doubt, your interests come first and that is most evident in my actions and changing of plans. I see a world of opportunity in you and we are so blessed to live in the United States, a place where any dream can be believed and achieved. 

I love watching you grow daily. 

To Your Success, 


P.S. I've had a couple people mention the closing "To Your Success". That is my role in your life. I can't make you happy. I can't make you a professional athlete or dancer. I can't make you succeed even. But I CAN put an environment in place that 

1) provides unconditional love

2) provides tremendous support for your failures 

3) helps you understand right and wrong

4) provides the power of discipline, both external and self-discipline

5) helps you go from dependent to independent to interdependent

That's not in any book anywhere, but that is my role. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Balboa with bambino...

Hi Max!

You will find that your dad has a strong affinity for Rocky movies. All of them, except for 5. There are few films as good as Rocky 1, 3, or 4. We'll watch them together soon. Here is a great excerpt from Rocky Balboa (Rocky 6 basically) which is very inspirational and embedded with the truth:


Max's Dad (Michael)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Epilogue from January 12 post...

Hi Max, 

A miracle occured in New York to give us a great example of Excellence. 

 Kathy Burchfield from beautiful North Carolina re-posted our January 12 blog post on Facebook (

Here is my response:

Michael J. Maher at 11:43am January 17

“First, Kathy, I am humbled that you posted my blog post. Thank you for that and Max says "fank yew" as well. =0) (Max, I tried to make that sound like you and sorry to put words in your mouth, but I tried to be as close as possible to what you might say, if you could talk. =0). 

Here's an additional thought from my last blog post (on January 12)? Who do you want as your pilot for your next flight? How about someone like Sully Sullenberger of US Airways and the Hudson River Miracle? The more you find out about Sully Sullenberger, the more you will find out that he was perfect for the job of landing that plane on water! Chesley B. Sullenberger, III is part of a Plane Safety Research Team. The Hero of Flight 1549 was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He studies planes and their safety! He was "born to be a pilot" according to his wife. He has dedicated himself to Excellence. He owns a company called Safety Reliability Methods, Inc. He eats and sleeps plane safety! Who do you want piloting your plane?!

Now look at your clients. Who do they deserve as their Realtor, Attorney, Mortgage Professional or in your profession? Is it you? Is it YOU?! If not, what do you have to do to become the one they deserve? If it seems too daunting, perhaps a change of profession is in your future? Ouch! 
(Sometimes I hit people with a truth so brutal it stings, but if that is what it takes for someone to live the rest of their life pursuing their passion and their why, then I have served a purpose.)

Lastly, find your passion, find your why, and passionately pursue your why!”

To Your Success, 

Max's Papa (Michael)

P.S. Here is my e-mail to Sully Sullenberger: 

"Hello sir,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note to applaud your efforts, not only on the day of January 15, but for all the events before January 15 - all your research on safety and reliability, all your paying attention during training, and all your dedication to Excellence so that January 15 could happen without fatalities. The miracle isn’t that you made that plane walk on water, it was that you were piloting that plane, a uniquely qualified expert on plane safety and a person dedicated to Excellence in his profession. You are not only a role model for all pilots, but for all people who pursue Excellence in whatever they do. 

Take care and God bless,