Saturday, December 29, 2007

Puke piles and snow drifts

This Thursday night was a rough one for the whole family, especially Liam. despite having gotten the flu shot, Liam got a real bad case of the flu and started vomiting profusely Thursday evening. I never knew such a small person could hold so much vomit! To make matters worse, he ate an entire banana before he got sick...the whole house smelled like a banana-stomach acid sundae. ICK!

Friday was pretty much a sick day. Liam looked white as a sheet. I cuddled him and eventually resumed breastfeeding (once I was sure he wasn't going to get sick again). We spent most of the day watching cartoons, which was just what the doctor ordered! I also got him to go #2 in the potty for the first time in months. He used the potty a couple times this week. Liam ate his first solids at dinner time. His meal consisted of saltines and pedi-drink. By late evening, he was starting to act like himself again. He was being silly and even started getting into things he shouldn't.

This morning he was much better, although he still has some diarrhea. He ate some pancakes for breakfast and more pedi-drink. Yesterday we got a good 5 inches of snow, maybe more. Daddy had fun trying out his new snow blower. It worked like a charm! I really wanted to take Liam out to play in the snow today, but I'm not sure he is up to being in the cold yet. If it's still around on Sunday, maybe we'll go out and play in it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Talking Toys

Whew, what a day! This morning when I took Liam to daycare, I found out the terrible news that they are closing in two weeks! Now I have to find another place to take Liam. It will be difficult just because of the fact that I only need daycare for one day a week. Most places require a minimum of two days a week in order to enroll your child.

At home, one of Liam's new toys kept "talking" and making noises when no one was touching it. I even heard it play music while I was in the basement sorting laundry. Later, while I was on the phone it went off and I told the person about it and it did it again! How strange is that?

Time to go pick up Liam...gotta run!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

On Saturday we celebrated Christmas with the family. Sean's brother, wife, and nephews came up Friday night. It was great to spend some time with them, since we hadn't seen them all in a year. My mom and sister, as well as Sean's parents, joined us Saturday morning. There were plenty of goodies to snack on and Sean and I prepared a Spaghetti dinner, complete with home made bread. After we ate, we exchanged our gifts. As you can see from the picture, we were all very spoiled!

From grandma Bev and grandpa John, Liam received a huge, and I mean HUGE, red wagon. It is the Hum-V of all wagons. Liam had so much fun being pulled around in it. He even opened the rest of his presents in his new wagon!

Liam received a neat play grocery store from Aunt Shelly and Uncle Brad. It counts and talks in English and Spanish. His Aunt Rae gave him a cool electric piano. Liam's cousin Jack had a lot of fun showing him how to play it and talk into the microphone. Grandma Kathie gave Liam a bunch of play food and a toy mail box. Liam loves mailing letters and learning how to "cut" fruit.

My big Christmas gift was a new camera. My one has been ailing and is six years old. Here are a few of my favorite Christmas pictures from the new camera.
Liam with cousin Jeremy.

All tired out from opening gifts.

Sadly, everyone had to go home all too soon. Only grandma Kathie stayed till Sunday afternoon. Liam and I did a little shopping with grandma Kathie on Sunday. Then we had to say goodbye to her too.

Monday afternoon I was at the hospital for several hours getting a HIDA scan for my gall bladder. The doctors failed to warn me that the test requires an injection of radioactive isotopes and that I couldn't breastfeed for 48 hours after the scan. This was definitely not welcomed news. The last thing I wanted to do to my son on Christmas eve was deny him nurses. Luckily we were able to make it through the evening just fine. He was in pretty good spirits before bed...acting silly and walking around with the laundry basket on his head.

We made it through a rough night. Liam was rather tearful in the morning because he couldn't get any milk from me. But we were able to distract him with the celebration of Christmas. Even with everything that happened last week, I was able to finish up the play kitchen that I made for Liam. He went straight to it to check it out. I think it looks pretty nice, especially stocked with all the great play food from grandma and that I made. The other big hits were the Tonka tractor and magna-doodle toys that we got him.

Later in the morning, our friends Alissa and Ashtyn came over to play. Liam and Ashtyn had fun playing with his new kitchen and finger puppets. They got so excited that after lunch they were running around surprising each other and screaming at the top of their lungs. They got themselves good and tired for nap time.

Though after Liam's nap, things went bad for him. He really wanted to nurse and was inconsolable. He cried and tantrumed for nearly an hour. Eventually we were able to distract him with his new tricycle from grandma Kathie (it was also what grandpa Mike wanted to get Liam before he died). Daddy put it together yesterday. Unfortunately it is a little too big for Liam to peddle. But Liam is so agile that he had no problem climbing up on his tricycle and pushing it around the living room. He also figured out how to ring the bell too.

Liam is doing better now, but we still have a long night ahead of us...wish us luck and we wish you a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mommy's trip to the ER

Well, is seems that my holiday baking has caught up with particular, my gall bladder. Last night I was feeling extremely sick and nauseated all night. A pain that was all too familiar from the gall bladder attack I experience while pregnant with Liam. I think I brought on the present attack due to consuming too much chocolate in the past couple weeks.

This morning I was still feeling awful, despite the fact that I hadn't eaten anything in hours. So I called my doctor and he told me to head to the ER (definitely not what I wanted to hear!). Luckily, Sean was able to come home from work early. Liam was fairly well behaved, considering. The nurses there were super nice to him and gave him coloring pages, crayons, and a stuffed cat.

At the ER, they ran the same blood tests and ultra sounds as before and found nothing. I got sent home with a painkiller that I won't take. Meanwhile, my abdomen is still swollen and eating makes it worse. They are supposed to schedule another out-patient scan to determine whether the gall bladder is not functioning correctly...I hope it will be soon. I am really at the point of saying, "Would you please just remove it!" I am tired of dealing with this.

I did a little research on the subject of gall bladder health and it seems that may have also triggered this attack by not eating regularly enough. I have to admit that I've been skipping meals a lot during the past month. Apparently this can cause the liver to stop producing enough bile for digesting fats. And since I've been eating more fatty foods as the holiday's approach, my body can't handle it. Ugh! Now I have a house full of yummy treats that I can't eat. I can't wait till everyone comes to visit us to help the sweets disappear!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Baking Bliss?

The past few days I have been cooking and baking up a storm of my own in the kitchen. The result is a few good recipes, a few failed recipes, and a mountain of dirty dishes (with no dishwasher but myself). I have resolved to use paper plates for the family Christmas party this weekend (I know...I go to all of the trouble of washing cloth diapers only to fill the landfill with paper plates. But my hands are like sandpaper! No more dishes!).

Anyways, Sunday's home-cooking was bread and lasagna. I made a delightful lentil soup with homemade croƻtons on Monday. Today I made a family recipe, scalloped corn, for a potluck that Liam and I attended. I made fruitcake and shortcake cookies. I also attempted some fudge, but it came out woefully soupy. I regret to say that I ate most of it myself (at this rate I am going to gain back all the baby weight I successfully lost!).

I think Liam is a little jealous of all the time I have spent in the kitchen. So I let him "help" me stir some of the cookie batter to get him involved a little bit. I also made him a toy using an old cocoa can/lid and a bag full of pom-pons. I got the idea from one of the Great Start playgroups. I cut a whole in the plastic lid large enough to put one pom-pon in at a time. He loves playing with the pom-pons (also referred to as Tribbles in our house) and putting them in their "home". The only drawback is that I am bound to be sweeping stray tribbles up every time I vacuum the floors.

First Snow Storm (12/16/07)

As always, I am a few days behind. We have been busy with Christmas preparations. But I had to share Liam's experience with his first big snow (last Sunday). Although it was a long time coming, we did eventually get around a foot of snow over Saturday night and Sunday morning. Liam and daddy had fun watching the snow coming down.

Once the snow finally stopped, I took Liam out to play with his new sled. Of course, the snow was so deep that we were practically plowing through it with the sled, rather than over the snow. But Liam didn't seem to mind. He thought it was great fun to have the snow flying up around him as I pulled him around the backyard and down the neighborhood sidewalks. He kicked and threw the snow as it pilled onto his sled with him.

Of course after that, I let him play in the snow for a bit. He couldn't resist the temptation to eat the snow and loved crawling around in it too. He liked playing in the snow so much that he cried when I brought him in. We couldn't stay out longer though, because his little hands were frozen.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Liam meets Santa Claus

Like much of the Midwest, we woke to news of an impending snow storm. Knowing that the the forecasters always overreact about these things, we decided to go out. One of our stops was the Lansing City market. It's always a fun place to go this time of year. There were plenty of yummy foods, sweet smelling soaps and flowers, handmade wreaths, produce, live music and even Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

To our surprise, Liam was a little afraid of Santa. I think it was because our timing was bad and Liam was ready for a nap. Luckily Mrs. Claus enticed Liam over with a sticker and we got this super cute photo of Liam with both Santa and Mrs. Claus. We LOVE the market!

Here it is nearly 8pm and the snow is finally starting to fall, I'm glad that we didn't stay in all day!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tunnel Tricks

We finally received our new modem and were back online! This week Liam was busy with our usual outings. To keep him (and mommy) happy, we go to some sort of play group or activity just about every day. Monday is Tot Time at the community center. Tuesday varies because there are no structured activities to attend, so we usually make it up. Wednesday Liam is at daycare. This week I substitute taught all day on Wednesday. Thursday is Great Start playgroup in East Lansing. Friday is Great Start at the community center.

Tonight we had guests for dinner. Alissa and little Ashtyn had dinner with us and then stayed to play for a while. Liam was so happy to have Ashtyn here that he kept bringing her toys to play with. She was a little shy at first, but after dinner the kiddos had a blast. One of their favorite games was peek-a-boo in Liam's tunnel. They had such a riot that they were giggling and squealing up a storm!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Playing in the Snow

Saturday was the first time that I let Liam cut loose in the snow. I got him all suited up and put sun glasses on him to protect his eyes (it was a super sunny day, even though it looks dark in the picture). Liam didn't know what to do at first. I had to show him that you could pick it up and play with it, kick it and crunch it under your boots. He had lots of fun pretenting to "shovel" the snow with a fallen branch that he found in the back yard.

PS - The word from ATT is that our new moden will be here by Wednesday. Cross your fingers for us!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Guitar Strum'in

This may be my last post for a while until we get our new modem in the mail, because this is my last night of work for the semester. Today Liam and I went to our usual Great Start play group in the morning. He has so much fun at these. This time they had tempra paints out for the kiddos to use. Liam made a very nice painting. He actually held the brush and dipped it into the colors all by himself. He has such good hand-eye-coordination now.

Probably the biggest highlight of the playgroup was at the end. The facilitator brought her guitar to play during the sing-along. Liam loves the song time and will dance and clap and scream/sing. He took a real interest in the guitar and wanted to strum along while she was playing it. I am glad that he has such a love for music.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A case for home schooling!

Today was my first day of substitute teaching. I had a class of fourth graders for just the morning. This experience was truly dreadful and definitely trial-by-fire. As soon as I entered the building I knew I was in for a treat, when the secretary groaned: "Oh, that class." These kids were by far the most disrespectful, argumentative, and rude children I have ever met (And I worked as a camp counselor!). They couldn’t follow simple directions, sit in their sear, or even contain themselves from fighting with each other for more than 2 seconds. They were shouting at each other so much that the principle could hear us from across the building. No threats could scare these kids either…not even being sent to the principle or loss of recess. To make matters worse, the regular teacher did not leave me a clear lesson plan and her desk and classroom was a total wreck. I have never felt more depressed about American public schools than today. No wonder the college students I tutor and teach are functionally illiterate. This classroom was no more than a warehouse for children. I came home utterly exhausted and overwrought.

Needless to say, I have renewed my vow to find a way to send Liam to a good (and if necessary, private) school, and to home school as much as possible. I was so happy to see him when he and Sean came home this evening. Liam came running to me and gave me a big hug. I sure hope that my son will not become one of the hooligans that I saw today! His toddler tantrums seem like nothing when compared to the horrible behavior of these fourth graders.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Super Sixteen Months (belated)

Yesterday Liam turned 16 months. We didn't do anything special to celebrate. But he did "draw" a lovely picture (it's very green). We had a really good day. Liam slept in, which is very rare. Then we walked down to the community center for tot time. They had a new toy for the kiddos to play with. It was a reproduction peddle-car that looked like a 1950's Chevy. Liam absolutely loved it and was rather territorial about the toy. He would climb in and go "vroom" and push himself around (since his legs were too short to reach the peddles). Liam played really well and actually took two naps, which is even rarer!

Today we stayed home most of the day. Although we had to go to the doctor's office for his flu shot booster. Afterwards, I treated him to a trip to Pruess’Animal house...the best pet store in Lansing. He had a ball running around looking at all the animals. We got up-close and personal with a huge scarlet macaw. That was really cool, until he let out a even huger squawk that scared the both of us!

PS-Our dsl modem died, so I won't have internet access at home until the new one comes in the mail. There may be even fewer posts than usual for a week or so...sorry.

(photo added 12/9/07)

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Liam is such a bright and cheerful little boy. His current love is anything with wheels. He loves to play with his assorted toy cars, trucks, trains, and buses. I am constantly hearing "errmmmm"...his sound for a car engine, as he rolls it across the floor, table, or even the walls. Yesterday we saw a show on PBS about steam engines. Every time a train would roll across the screen he would point and say "train" excitedly.

Liam is a good dancer too. He spins and bobs with music whenever he hears it. He also loves to make lots of music with his toy piano and toy drum (at the same time!). He will get both of them going to serenade him while he's playing in his room.

He has started stacking blocks now. We often build bridges for his car, which he crashes into. He giggles with delight whenever I say, Crash!

Liam is quite obsessed with animals. He loves to look at his board books of animals. He knows the words for or sounds that many of the animals make. Every time he hears the neighbors dog barking he says "dog". He will also yell "kitty" or "dog" when he sees them on TV or in a cartoon.

Another cute thing that Liam does is pretend to "read" is books aloud. While he's looking at his books, he often softly babbles to himself or says "ga, ga, ga".

The only bad thing is that tantrums have gotten more numerous and dramatic. I know it's a developmental stage, but it can be exasperating, especially when were out and about. I try to ignore the stares I get from people when he's wailing as we wait in the check-out line. Even the littlest things can set him off sometimes. The other day Liam fell apart when I peeled his banana for him...sigh. His also been drooling like a fountain again. Perhaps his 2 year molars are coming in early just like his other teeth. In an article on I read that "often, being exposed to our child's raw emotions makes us feel the raw emotions that we have shoved into cold storage over the months and years." This is definitely true for me. With the stress the of past year, I sometimes find it hard to weather Liam's tantrums with him, but I'm getting better at it with time.