Friday, August 31, 2007

Homeward Bound!

Well today was a very special day. We closed on our very first house! It was a super crazy morning, but oh so rewarding to spend the rest of the day in our home. Liam had a ball running around in the wide open spaces and hearing an echo when he yelled. We'll be spending Labor Day weekend and the following week painting and updating the kitchen floor before we move. Hurray, a house!

PS - Liam said his first sentence today. It was "I want deedee." Deedee is our word for pacifier. He said this when he was trying to take a nap in the car on our way over to closing.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Liam, I am your father."

What a busy day! In addition to our usual Thursday errands we had various last-minute things to take care of before we close on our house tomorrow. This meant that mommy was on the phone a whole lot today. To make things even more interesting, we finally got Liam's 12 month photos taken this evening. My friend Lindsey, Marlow's mom, is an artist and photographer. She met us at the apartment and then we went to a local park where she took lots of photos of Liam. It was quite the workout, because he was walking around everywhere and climbing on the plants. He had a blast at the park. I can't wait to see how the photos turn out!

Later on tonight, Liam found daddy's light-saber under the bed. He was super excited about, it lights up and makes cool noises! Liam played with it for nearly an hour! Eventually daddy took the batteries out of it because he was tired of hearing the sound effects. :)

PS - Lindsey sent me a couple of photos via e-mail. Here's my cutie!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bye, Bye, Bye!

This morning as Liam and I were leaving for daycare, Liam said "bye" three times and waved as he did! It's not yet a language explosion, but the language part of his brain is definitely developing right now. He had a great day at "school" (daycare). He got to play outside for a while on the swings and even went down a small slide. When Sean and I arrived to pick him up he was giving a smaller baby their bottle, which had fallen to the floor. What a thoughtful little boy!

This evening he had fun pulling pots and pans out of one of the boxes I packed. His favorite pan is the angel food cake. A couple days ago he figure out that the inner portion of the angel food cake pan will fit over his arm and he can put his fingers through the hole at the end. It makes me laugh when he does this...I call him ROBO-BABY! It's not a very good picture, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fun with Daddy!

This evening I had training for my new job as a tutor/mentor, so Liam got to spend some quality time with daddy. Since it was a hot evening, Sean took Liam to the splash pad to play. He said that Liam had fun, but preferred to be held by daddy rather than running around. Perhaps Liam is developing a little stranger anxiety after all...he seems to get a little nervous in crowds. Then daddy treated Liam to some ice cream. Boy, Liam is sure going to be spoiled in the evenings when mommy's not around! When I came home Liam greeted me at the door, giggling. He wanted me to pick him up as soon as I came in. It's so nice to be loved!

During the past couple days Liam been using more and more words. I've heard him say "down" and "why". He also used "kitty" a couple times while we were briefly at my mom's house on Monday. This morning we did our usual shopping spree at the thrift store's end of the month blowout. I must have really tired Liam out, because he took an uncharacteristically long nap between 11am and 3pm.

Yesterday we had a whirlwind trip to Indiana and back so that I could transport some more of my stuff from my mom's house. Liam was a trouper through it all, even through we were in a car for most of the day.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Highland Weekend

Today we took a drive to the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly, Michigan. We got a special discount for this weekend with our zoo membership, so we thought this would be the perfect time to go have some fun before we get too busy with moving into the house. The weather was just perfect today - nice and sunny for the first time in over a week.

For the occasion I made Liam a little kilt and also a matching pocket sling to carry him in. Unfortunately, in our rush to leave this morning I forgot my camera, so here are a few pictures that I took of Liam after we got home from our adventure.

We all had so much fun looking at all the vendors, watching shows, and people-watching too. We were there for four hours! Liam stayed awake the entire time, but fell asleep on our walk back to the car as we left. Surprisingly, he didn't want to walk on his own. I think the crowds were a bit much for him and he preferred to be carried by mommy or daddy in the sling. Liam got much adoration from the vendors and crowd...he did look pretty darn cute in his kilt!

I didn't get Sean's kilt sewn in time for this festival, but hopefully it will be done for next year. We also got him a heavy leather belt, a rabbit pelt to make him a satchel, and a ceramic flute. Mommy got a specially made bronze coin. Liam got a super soft teddy bear made from angora (see photos above). He loved it so much that he wouldn't put it down!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mommy, here!

Yesterday Liam and I went to a crawler play-group. He has rapidly out-grown this play group being so big and active, especially now that he is walking. Luckily, most of the other babies who come to this group are also walking too. Liam is always so happy at these play groups. He loves meeting other babies, playing with all the toys, begging food off other mommies, and exploring.

Last night was pretty restless for all of us (just like the last several nights). I think Liam's lower, right molar is finally coming in the rest of the way. He wakes throughout the night and cries. He's also been resisting naps and randomly irritable during the day. Another sign is frequent bowl movements...ick! He's also been having a bad case of sweaty baby-head. He isn't running a fever though, just a little warm. I can't resist the smell of his sweaty little head and it gives him cute curly hair. Liam was less cranky today, so maybe, just maybe, the worst is over now.

Today Liam accompanied daddy and mommy to the hardware store to look at stuff for our new house. We found some great bargains on clearance. Not so much fun for babies though. So later we took him to Pruess Pet store. This is the mother of all pet stores! It's practically a zoo! Liam got to run around the store looking at turtles, ferrets, lots of fishes, and birds too.

Our neighbor, Chris, came over to visit for a little while in the afternoon. Liam loves Chris because he tickles and throws him in the air. Liam giggled up a storm!

For dinner I made everyone Sockeye Salmon. Yum! Liam loved it and ate nearly every morsel. Later this evening, I was busy putting clothes away after doing laundry when Liam carried one of our folding laundry baskets in to me and said "Mommy, here." I picked Liam up and put him inside the basket. He crawled out and then put the basket on his head and took off walking. He ran out to where daddy was sitting in the living room. I was laughing so hard that I got hiccups. Liam and I both ended up with simultaneous hiccup attacks, because all the play and giggling also gave him hiccups.

We also worked on doing somersaults today. I would tell Liam to put his head down and bottom up and then I helped him roll over. He thought this was great fun, especially when I demonstrated by doing a somersault too. No one was more surprised than myself, because I haven't done one in at least fifteen years!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cup half full...

At daycare yesterday, Liam had a great day and was very playful. I was happy to hear that he is really having fun there. However, I was a little miffed when I learned that they passed out Oreo cookies for a snack...that sort'a negates all my hard work to feed Liam organic, nutritious, and balanced meals.

Yesterday Liam said "cow" for the first time. He said it while we were playing with his sorting farm set. This morning he said "cow" again when we were looking at a book that had cows in it. Liam was pretty playful today too. He crawled up on the loveseat and posed for some silly pictures this morning.

Liam got to take two walks today. One with me in the morning and one with daddy in the afternoon. I had a training session for my new job this afternoon, so my friend Alissa was nice enough to watch Liam for part of the time and then Sean came home early from work to watch him for the rest of the afternoon. I was gone for only a few hours, but I sure missed him.

This evening, Liam discovered how to fill a cup of water from the tap. It was really neat to see him figure this out. Then he went on to scoop water out of the tub to fill the cup after I turned the water off. Bath time is so much fun!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Friends on rainy days

Monday and today the weather was cold and rainy. Liam and I tried to make the best of it by spending some time visiting with friends. On Monday we spent the afternoon with Alissa and 14 month-old Ashtyn. They gave Liam a birthday gift...a set of plastic T-rex bones for playing in the sand! I'm sure Liam will have a blast with these the next time we go to the beach. This evening we got to try them out in the living room at home. Liam had lots of fun exploring Alissa's house and playing with all of Ashtyn's toys. Later, we all went out together to take care of the grocery shopping. It was nice to go shopping with someone else.

Today we went to the home of Sara and 15 month-old Elli. Liam spent most of his time chasing after their dog, Cody. He loves dogs and cats. Sara tried to talk me into adopting one of her cousins beagle/basset puppies. It sure is tempting, but I think there is too much going on right now to add a pet to our family.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Long weekend

Whew, what a long weekend! Liam and I spent the last three days in Indiana. We were visiting my mother to help her sort through my father's office and also to pack up some of the things in my childhood room. We got home rather late today.

The big news for the weekend is how much Liam was talking. He was saying and repeating words left and right! Words like: water, please, kitty, thank you, up, and more.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What's lost & what remains?

Today Liam and I met up with Lisa and her daughter Lesli (who is only three days older than Liam). We went to the Impression 5 Science museum here in town. While it was admittedly a little advance for our 12 month-olds, it was a lot of fun. Liam got to run around in a large space and had a blast looking in silly mirrors, playing with bubbles and boats in water tanks, making music on a piano and xylophone, and watching balls being thrown in a miniature trebuchet. We also sat inside a HUGE model of a mouth! We were quite hot and exhausted after all that!

This evening I went to my first grief support group...hence the cryptic title to this post. The lady who runs the group suggested that to work through our grief we have to think through what is lost, what remains, and what are the possibilities (for the future). I like this. It makes it easier to work through the grief and allows me to make my feelings concrete. So much work to do...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Zoo Night

As I mentioned on Monday, I signed us up for Zoo Night, which is as special night for those with a zoo membership. We picked up Liam from daycare and took him straight to the zoo. Liam waved bye-bye to Amy, the daycare worker, as we left. The weather was rather cloudy and misty, but luckily the rain stayed away for us to enjoy ourselves. We had a small picnic dinner and then walked through the zoo backwards from our usual path. We talked to the zookeepers and even got to go inside the penguin's enclosure for an up-close look at their newest baby penguin.

Almost exactly a year ago today we took Liam to the zoo for the first time, when he was just a tiny newborn. He slept through most of that trip. This time he got excited to see the animals and would point and squeal. He was a little nervous about the llamas at first, but realized they were ok when he saw mommy and daddy standing next to them.

He got to ride in the stroller and walk through part of the zoo on his own. Daddy helped him walk up a bunch of stairs. Liam especially liked the pond with all the peafowl and ducks. He also liked watching the spider monkeys eating watermelons.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One-Year Check-Up

Whew! What a day! Liam woke up in a bad mood this though he knew what awaited him at the doctors office. Even a morning walk couldn't perk him up. But we managed to survive the day. Liam was a good sport during my check-up at 3:30 and made it through his 5:20 check-up with minimal crying.

Liam weighed in at 23lb 12oz (70%)...actually less than he was a month ago. He's probably not as heavy because he is so active now. He measured at 31 3/4 inches long (95%). The nurses were impressed with how big and strong Liam was. They were also surprised to hear that he uses several signs to communicate in addition to saying several words. The NP who saw him did a thorough check on his eyes and reflexes. I was surprised when the NP did not seem happy with the fact that Liam is still nursing. I suppose she thought that he couldn't be eating many solids if he was still nursing so much. I told her that Liam is a healthy eater and gets plenty of both milk and solids. I know for a fact that Liam is as tall and more muscular than most 2-year old boys! Too bad Liam's regular doctor was on vacation this week. :(

PS - I almost forgot! Liam made his first finger-painting today! Not too bad for a 12-month old...he was fond of the red.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Gourmet Food & Fun at the Park

Liam and I had a great day today. This morning was cool and sunny, there was almost a hint of fall in the air. We went out for a walk to enjoy the crisp air and stopped by the zoo to drop off our RSVP for zoo night this Wednesday. Once back at home, Liam and I played and relaxed. He took a long 2 hour morning nap, which gave me time to look at recipes in a book I got recently on natural and health baby/toddler foods. I marked a bunch of recipes that looked yummy and reasonable to make and then prepared one for his lunch today. He ate a cheesy apple sandwich and a banana smoothie. He loved the smoothie, but was kinda unsure about the sandwich at first. I ate a few nibbles to show him that I liked it and he eventually ate nearly half of it.

We also discovered that our local PBS station has a show called "Signing Time" that teaches kids sign language. It's very well made and includes singing, some animation and lots of children signing. Liam really enjoyed watching it and I picked up a couple new signs to use with him. He seems very eager at learning signs and has been signing "eat", "all done", and "more" in addition to "milk".

After lunch we headed to a local park to meet Lindsey, her daughter Scarlet, and the 22 month boy that Lindsey nanny's. We haven't seen Scarlet in almost a month and she was so big! She is only 17 months old, but already knows a ton of words. She's been learning her colors lately and said "yellow" and "purple" in front of me. The toddlers played on the jungle gym. Liam actually climbed the stairs on his own. He got to go down the slide a couple times too. We also hung out under a big tree for a while to escape the hot sun.

Before going home we stopped at Target to get some Tylenol. Liam has his 12 month checkup at the doctor tomorrow and I wanted to be sure to have some Tylenol on hand after his immunizations. We got home just before daddy. Liam was so excited when daddy came home that he ran over to him and clung to his legs, so that Sean could barely get his boots off! Liam is definitely running now. Sean chased him around the house while they were playing. One of Liam's favorite games right now is putting shapes into the sorter. He has gotten quite good at putting the pieces into their slot, but sometimes needs help finding the right slot. I suppose this is just an extension of his interest in putting things inside containers.

For dinner I made tempura chicken stir fried with peppers and zucchini. Liam gobbled it up along with some steamed rice and beans. He was so worn out from our busy day that he fell asleep at 8:30!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Great Lakes Folk Festival

Today Liam got to experience all kinds of great music at the Great Lakes Folk Festival. We heard Acadian music, reggae, bluegrass, and Native American chanting. Liam really got into the reggae and bluegrass music. He would bob his head and dance up and down with the music. He also enjoyed clapping with the audience. It was a hot day, so we let Liam have a little root beer float with us.

After the music festival, we went to a friends house for dinner. They prepared venison brats, salad, and corn on the cob. The perfect summer meal! Liam loved the brats and ate a bunch of sweet corn too. Yum!

Liam was supper giggly today. He laughed all the much so that we didn't always know what he was laughing at! :) I love a happy baby!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fun with boxes!

Friday Liam and I went to the crawlers group at the birth center. It was our first group, since my father died. We have been spending too much time home and not being social, so it was important for us to go do something fun. We planned a few play dates for next week while we were there. Liam impressed everyone with his awesome walking skills and had lots of fun playing with the train set.

In the evening, grandma Bev and grandpa John came to visit. They brought a bunch of boxes with them to help us move. Yeah! Then they treated us to dinner at Outback to celebrate John's upcoming retirement and our new house. Liam pigged out on bread, sweet potatoes, broccoli, steak, and mac'n cheese. The rest of us enjoyed wonderful meals too!

Today we all went to various hardware and appliance stores to look at a compare products. Daddy was especially interested in large sheds to have built at our new home and mommy got to buy a new washing machine! The little time that we spent at home, Liam enjoyed playing inside an old computer box. He crawled in and out of it and gathered up toys to put inside it. After grandma and grandpa left, Liam and I spent some time playing with his sorting/stacking boxes. I was SO impressed with Liam when he started putting the wooden shapes into their boxes. He is all about putting things in and pulling things out of containers right now. He will spend hours pulling out his "little people" figures from his toy arc, or farm animals out of counting containers.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mug Shot

Today Liam and I spent most of our time in hardware stores looking at all the various things we'll need to get for out new house. Liam was quite content to ride around in a cart or stroller while I priced a bunch of different items and appliances. I'm starting to get really excited about moving in a few weeks. I even picked out some paint colors. :)

In the afternoon we took care of another chore that I have been putting off - getting Liam's passport photo. Next spring we plan on traveling as a family to British Columbia for a conference. With the new travel rules, it's necessary to have a passport even when traveling to Canada. Luckily Sean and I already have one, but Liam still needs one. There is a lot of hoopla involved in getting one for a minor child...both Sean and I have to be present and so forth. Now that I have the photo out of the way, we can try to plan on getting the paperwork submitted sometime soon.

This evening was rainy so we ended up staying in. Liam had lots of fun playing with his birthday balloon. He also played peek-a-boo with daddy, using me to hide behind. It was so cute! I really enjoy Liam at this age. He laughs at nearly every silly thing and toddles around after me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Brush those Teeth!

We were blessed with the presence of Auntie Rae during the past two days. She came back with us after Liam's party on Sunday. It was so nice to have her visit, because Liam absolutely adores her and loves to play with her! They had lots of fun wrestling and rough-housing, and playing with some of Liam's favorite new toys. We drove Rae back to the lake cottage this afternoon, with a brief stop in Marshall. I had hoped to show Rae my favorite shop (an architectural salvage store), but it was closed. Auntie Rae was so nice that she fed Liam snacks on the drive down. Liam is such a spoiled boy!

When we finally got home, Liam got to play with daddy a little before bed time. Now that Liam has 12 teeth (that's one tooth for each month he's been alive!), we decided to give him his very own tooth brush. I showed him how I brushed my teeth and it didn't take long for him to catch on. Although he tended to shake his head rather than move the brush (lol)! This is so much easier than trying to brush his teeth for him with one of those infant tooth brushes.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Birthday Bash!

Today was Liam's birthday party with the extended family. We had the party at my mother's (and late father's) lake cottage. The day started out rainy and gloomy, but the rain stayed away in the afternoon and everyone had a wonderful time eating, talking, swimming, paddling, fishing, and of course showering gifts and love on my adorable son! Here are a few photo highlights...

We are so very thankful for all our family and so glad you were able to celebrate Liam's birthday with us. Grandpa Michael's boisterous laughter and his knack for getting toys out of their intricate packaging were sorely missed. I know he would have been so happy to share the lake cottage (his favorite place) with everyone today.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Liam!

It's hard to believe that a whole year has flown by! Liam is such a big and bright little boy - no longer a baby. His daddy only worked a half day today, so when he came home we had a little birthday celebration. With daddy's help, Liam blew out his one candle, then had fun playing with frosting...oh, and eating a little of it too.

We gave him a couple presents before we left for Indiana (where the family party is planned for Sunday). I found a great Noah's ark toy at a yard sale, which he absolutely loved. He spent several hours playing with it while we packed. He also got a fun sorting toy with a barn-yard theme. We decided to save his other couple toys for the family party. Then it was off to Indiana!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hot, hot, heat!

This morning Liam and I took a walk around the neighborhood. On the same day last year, I walked with my mom ans husband while in labor with Liam...hoping to get things moving along. This year Liam and I took baby steps together for nearly 4 blocks. Of course it was slow going because he wanted to stop and look at every stone and crack in the sidewalk, every tree and bush, and wanted to occasionally stray into someones driveway or the street. Even though we didn't walk that far, it was exhausting!

Liam was a little grumpy today and refused to nap. This might be related to the molars he has coming in right now. Things sort of got worse the more sleep deprived he got, but we did manage to have some fun too. In addition to signing "milk", Liam is also using "more" when he wants more food. It's gratifying that he understands he can communicate with us and so cute to see him signing.

This evening we placed a bid on our third house. This time our offer was accepted! Hopefully we'll have it inspected some time next week and with any luck we'll be in our new house come September! It must have been karma, because when we went out for dinner (which was totally unplanned) we ended up running into both our realtor and the owners of the home. How strange is that?!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

One year ago today...

...My water broke at around 11pm and thus began over 30 hours of labor that brought Liam into this world. It is fitting that today was the hottest day of the year, as it was also last year. I'm astonished by how fast the last year has gone by. Liam has grown in so many ways. Have I grown too? Undoubtedly. And so has my relationship with Sean; hopefully we've both grown for the better.

Liam spent most of the day in daycare. We got a late start in the morning and said goodbye to grandma Kathie before we left for daycare. I ended up picking him up early because of our meeting with our realtor. Before the realtor came, Liam had fun pretending he was daddy and wearing Sean's name badge from work. A few hours later we heard from the seller, who countered with their asking price. Apparently they're not willing to budge. After Sean and I talked it over, we're going to try for yet another house tomorrow evening...sigh. Maybe third-time's the charm!