Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On the Eve of the Eve

I had to work today, while Sean was home with Liam. In the mid-morning, Liam and Sean came to the museum in the building where I work. I visited them during my break and helped Liam make some festive new year artwork in the craft room. The guys had fun looking at all the exhibits afterward.

I came home a bit late, after stopping at the grocery after work. Liam was so excited to see me when I got home! He gave me a big hug and was in a great mood all evening. Being greeted with a happy munchkin makes a long day of work worth it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas at Cheri's House

Yesterday Liam celebrated the holidays at daycare. Cheri, his daycare provider, bought small gifts for each of the kids. Liam got a train, of course. ;) He was so excited about it that when he got home, he had to tell daddy all about it. Liam is working so hard at making sentences now and puts words together. It is cute to see him gesturing with his hands as he attempts to convey what he is thinking. :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Polar Express

Today we treated Liam to a train ride with the Little River Railroad in Coldwater. This time of year, Little River has a polar express themed train all decked out with Holiday decorations. The trip includes cookies, hot cocoa, and a visit from Santa! We met my mom at the station and all road together. Liam was so excited!

We sat in the lounge car for our trip out. The windows were nice and large, so Liam got a good view of all the scenery. We ate cookies and Cheetos, and sipped our cocoa. There was a little coal stove in the corner of the car to keep us warm.

When we arrived at Quincy, Daddy and Liam wanted to get out to look at the Engine up close. We took a moment to pose on the back of the caboose. It was very chilly outside, so Liam and I went back in the train to warm up while daddy took video of the engine changing position.



On the return trip we sat in one of the passenger cars. It was a little cooler, but te seats were comfortable. After a while, then invited us to go see Santa. I talked about Santa a lot to get Liam used to the idea. It seemed like he might actually sit on Santa's lap today, but once we got next to Santa, Liam suddenly got shy. The best I could do was kneel near Santa with Liam in my arms. Santa offered Liam a candy cane, which took without hesitation, but he did not want to talk to Santa...at least he did say thank you for the candy. He did make friends with Frosty. ;)

The rest of the ride back we listened to the train whistle. Liam clowned around and made faces in the video camera after he scarfed down his candy cane. When we arrived back at Coldwater, Liam said bye-bye to the train and to grandma! He was sad to see them both go. But after a long and busy day, he quickly fell asleep in the car on our drive home.

A colorful score!


Look at this awesome picture that I found at a second-hand shop for only $5! I rearranged Liam's room just so that I could incorporate it in his play area. I think it really brightens up the room and Liam loves to look at all the fun pictures.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's that? And other questions...

Over the last couple weeks Liam’s favorite phrase has been "what’s that" – actually "wat dat". He usually asked this question every time he wanted to bring my attention to a sound he heard, like: water running through the bathroom pipes, a car on the street, the neighbor’s dog barking, or the distant sound of a train whistle. My mom heard Liam’s "wat dat" while we were talking on the phone last weekend. She laughed and said, he’ll soon be asking "why".

Well wouldn’t you know it, this morning Liam asked his first "why" after I told him I had to go to work. It made me feel a little sad and spark that mommy guilt about being away from my child every day in order to go to work. But on the bright side, he is a bright and inquisitive little boy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Puppet Pals

While we were at IKEA over the weekend, we picked up a small horse puppet for Liam (really it's more of a donkey, but Liam wants us to call it "horse-y"). He really loves the puppet and wants mommy and daddy to play puppets with him. Last night he played with his frog puppet and I played with horse. Together horse and frog went looking for bears in the dark, while horse held a flashlight in his mouth. Liam has figured out how to whisper now, and he was very cute whispering quietly as we would sneak up on various bears around the house (I have several holiday decorations with bears in them). We played like this for quite some time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Gosh, behind again!

Well, life has been quite busy between work, school, keeping house, and raising Liam. I started a couple of posts in the last week but have not finished them yet…I will try to when I find the time (ha,ha). The amazing thing is that Liam just turned 28 months! I can hardly believe that he’s such a big boy!

He’s talking even more lately. Just this morning he said “my clothes” and tapped his shirt with his hand, as I was getting him dressed. He usually uses the word “me” rather than “my”, so this was a first. Liam didn’t like the shirt I have picked out for him, so he picked another one out of the drawer.

Liam is also singing more lately. He started trying to sing “We wish you a merry Christmas” with his Thomas video last night. He also likes to sing the ABC song when he’s playing – although he’s often missing quite a few letters and they are not in order. ;)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sled-o-rama

This evening, the snow was coming down pretty good. Sean decided that he wanted to walk down to the Library for some more books and videos. He took Liam along with him, pulling him on his little sled. It was a very cute sight!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks

No time to write...so here was Thanksgiving weekend in pictures...













Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bump on the noggin'

My little guy is so accident prone. This is largely of his own making, because he often clowns around and gets himself into trouble. Today I recieved a call from daycare. Apparently, he was clowning around on a chair and fell off and hit his head on the chair as he fell. Poor guy. He actually hit it hard enough to break the skin. But no concussion, luckily!

Monday, November 24, 2008

2 weeks

I constantly marvel at the body's ability to heal itself. I can hardly believe that it's only been two weeks since my surgery. I feel so much better than I did before and immediately after the surgery. I think that my health will definitely be improved!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Silver Bells in the City

Tonight was the annual Silver Bells in the City celebration. The weather is so cold that I almost decided not to take Liam. But after looking at the schedule, I found a few events that were indoors, so we decided to take him out to the celebration.

We started by going to the city market. We visited Mr. And Mrs. Claus. Liam was rather reluctant to interact with them – other than to accept a candy cane from Mrs. Claus. I managed to snap a quick photo of him on Santa’s lap, but as you can see, he was beginning to cry. Oops! Maybe next year.


Liam also saw some clowns at the market. One of them made him a dog out of a balloon. Liam really loved the balloon animal. He played with it so much that he un twisted it and it became a rather lumpy snake. ;-)

We picked up a quick dinner while we were at the market. Then we headed out into the cold to see the parade downtown. Liam was excited to see all the big trucks strung with lights and decorations. We watched the parade for a little bit and then went to donate two stuffed animals to toys for tots. They always have a “house” with a conveyor that takes your toys in. I showed Liam what to do by putting one of the stuffed animals on the conveyor. He put his on and we watched it go bye-bye. I am very proud of him for not getting possessive over the toy after he carried it there.

The winter air was so chilly that we sought refuge at the Science Museum. We quickly walked up there before the parade ended. First we stopped downstairs at the model train exhibit. We watched the trains for a while and talked to one of the designers. Then we took Liam up to the toddler room in the Museum. He really loves it there. They have big blocks, towers to drive cars down, slides and climbers, a water play area, a play house, and much more! He was enjoying himself so much that he didn’t want to leave. But it started getting late and the crowd was getting bigger, so we walked back to the car and headed home to snuggle in bed.

The Toy Society

I stumbled across this recently. How inspiring! I think I'll give it a try!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A week and two days

Well, it's been a week and two days since I have my gall bladder removed. Last week was very painful and trying, but I am happy to say that I am feeling much better now! Hopefully, my health will improve overall, once I am healed. The surgery was fairly non-invasive. I have three small scars and one large scare at my belly button. I am sure they will fade with time.

Liam was a little upset last week when I couldn't play with him like he wanted. But he is doing better this week. I can hug him and hold him, just can't pick him up yet. He was sad to see the scar at my belly button.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

00Fun

Grandma Bev and Grandpa John came up to help me out after my surgery on Thursday and Friday. They ferried me back and forth from various doctor appointments.

Liam was so happy when they stayed the weekend. He had grandpa’s undivided attention to play trains. He played peek-a-boo with grandma and grandpa on the couch under a blanket. Sean and I laughed so hard it hurt! As a special “gift” to Sean and I, grandma and grandpa watched Liam on Saturday afternoon so that we could go see the new James Bond film. The last film that we saw in the theater alone was the previous James Bond file, when my parents watched Liam as a baby! It was very nice to spend a little time together as a couple and Liam had great fun with his grandparents!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Goodbye gallbladder. Hello pain.

I've been suffering from gallbladder disease for nearly three years. I finally had my gallbladder removed on Monday. Right now, I look like I was in a knife fight with all the incisions on my abdomen! I am happy to finally have this surgery, but I am in a LOT of pain right now. My allergies to pain medicine limits what I can take for the pain, and the medicine I have is not very effective. I sure hope that I feel so relief soon!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Little Fish

Today we decided to do something a little different. After our usual chores and Liam's nap, we went to the community center pool. The weather was too cold outside for fun, so we thought the pool would be a good way for Liam to run off some steam and do something new. The last time Liam was at this pool, he was only around six months old.

At first Liam was a little nervous. He clung to daddy or mommy. But slowly he realized that it was lots of fun to be in the water and he started to relax. He practiced kicking in the water. He played with his squirty fish toy and tried holding on to a pool noodle. After we put a floating vest on him, he swam out into the deep water holding onto mommy.

He also balanced on the frog float and had fun splashing mommy and daddy! We had so much fun that we are now seriously thinking of scraping the money together for a family membership. That way we could go swimming every weekend!

PS - It snowed today and started to stick!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Mega-Blog Update

I finally took some time to update photos for the past two months and added some more posts too! Check it out!

I voted!

This morning at 6:30am we walked down to the community center where we vote. When we arrived we were in a short line. Before long, the line went out the building! We only had to stand in line for about 45 minutes before voting. I was all done by 7:30. The 40th person to vote in my precinct! Liam was on my back the whole time. We both got "I voted" stickers!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Leaf Stomper & CandyChomper

On Sunday, a few friends came over for a little gathering. It was the first time that Lisa and her daughter Lesli came to visit. Leslie is two days older than Liam. Our friends Sara, Ian, and Ellie also came. Ellie was dressed as Bat-girl and was very cute!

Yesterday I came home from work to find that nearly every leaf had fallen off of the big black walnut tree in our front yard in only one day! The front yard was carpeted with green leaves. So after dinner, we all went outside to rake. Well, daddy and I raked, and Liam played. He loved to hop in the leaves and then fall down into the piles.

Today was Halloween, of course. Liam was dressed in his Hobbit costume and I dressed up time time too - as an elf. We walked down the street, while daddy stayed home to hand out candy. Liam liked to visit all the "pumpkin houses," as he calls them. The neighbors were extremely generous. Liam got toys, candy, and even antique coins. He wasn't able to walk too far, however, before tiring out. We only walked a few blocks...I think it was because his bag was so heavy with all that loot!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Candy

Today is daddy's birthday. Liam was the one who got a treat, however. We took him over to the Halloween festivities at a local mall and met with our friends Alissa and Ashtyn. Ashtyn was dressed as Elmo. Liam was dressed in his doggie costume. We visited a few stores for candy and stickers. Then we setting in the book store to warm up. The kiddo's played with the train table. We bumped into a few folks from my department and their kids - what a small world.

We decided to eat dinner with Alissa and Ashtyn at a Mexican restaurant. It was a tasty meal! Afterwards, both Liam and Ashtyn tried to use the potty. It was a fun-filled evening.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Snoozy, Zoo, Boo

Fall is my favorite time of year. And the best part of Fall are all of he fun Halloween activities to take part in. After a slow start this morning. We made our way to the Lansing City market to purchase chicken, produce, and enjoy some Halloween fun! All the vendors were dressed up and gave out treats. Liam thought it was funny that the gal from the coop was dressed like a cat. I thought it was funny that Bob, the produce guy, was wearing a rainbow colored clown wig. Liam got to paint a free pumpkin with daddy.

After our visit to the market, we stopped in Aldi and then home. Liam didn't get down for his nap until rather late. Consequently, he snoozed till almost 3:30pm. Unfortunately, the Boo and the Zoo event was scheduled to end at 4pm. But we quickly got dressed (Liam as the hobbit, Frodo) and hurry to the zoo. They were wrapping things up by the time we arrived. But we found a few zoo keepers who passed out candy. We got to see the zoo decorated with pumpkins, lights, spiders, and skeletons. The big cats had special treats of deer legs. We got a special treat of cider and popcorn. As always, Liam fed the goats.

Upon leaving the zoo, Liam spotted his favorite play ground and took off running. I let him slide and swing for a few minutes, but it was bitterly cold and we didn't stay long. We headed over to Diane and Brian's house to join daddy at his friend's party. We stopped in for a half hour or so to eat a little and say "hi". Liam had fun chasing Diane's little dogs around the house.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The freeze out.

Well, last night we finally decided that it was cold enough to turn on the heat, and wouldn’t you know it, the furnace wouldn’t work! The low temp got down to 27 degrees. Thankfully the house stayed at 55 degrees because of the all the energy-savings improvements and winterizing we did. But it was still rather chilly. I am also very glad that we spent the money to renew our home warranty this year. If everything goes right, we won’t have to pay much for the repairs or possible replacement...the furnace is over 45 years old after all.

I made some calls and the soonest we could get a contractor to come out is tomorrow afternoon. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that we can get things fixed before next week, since snow is in the forecast. Brrrrr!...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Train travels

Last week Liam had quite an adventure. We took a train trip to Milwaukee. I was attending a conference, but I really wanted Sean and Liam to come with me to experience some of the great things that Milwaukee had to offer. There are a lot of great Museums in Milwaukee. So between attending and giving papers, we walked around and took it all in.

Liam was very excited to ride the train. We had to wait a little longer than planned, because the train was two hours late. We were all a little cranky about this, but we made the best of it. Daddy walked down to the corner store and got us donuts. Eventually the train was here. Liam enjoyed watching out the windows for a while. We also stayed busy by visiting the lounge car to play and eat snacks. Later, Liam and I chased each other down the isles, he was getting a little stir-crazy by the time we made it Chicago.

Because our train was so late, we had to run to catch our connection. We got there just in time and soon boarded the Hiawatha to Milwaukee. This train didn’t have any lounge, but they did bring some snacks around on a cart. We all enjoyed a drink from the cart and ate the snacks that I packed. It was nearly 3pm by the time we made it to our destination.

We walked from the train station to the hotel. Liam rode on my back in the Ergo. Once we got settled in the hotel room, we went to the conference to get me registered. Then we took a stroll around the downtown district. I pointed out some landmarks. Liam liked looking at the river and all the cars. We stopped in a mall for a quick dinner, then went back to the hotel for a shower. We crashed early and slept from 6pm till 7am the next morning. We all needed that sleep because we were all recovering from colds.

The next morning, after breakfast at a diner, we walked to the Milwaukee Public Museum. This Museum is really quite spectacular. They have amazing collections of paleontological, anthropological, and ecological materials in really great displays. Liam liked the huge Mammoth skeleton and dinosaurs. He also enjoyed going through the butterfly and insect displays. We got to walk around with a bunch of fluttering butterflies. Liam was too shy to hold one, but got to look at one up-close on mommy and daddy’s hand. When we were done, we picked up lunch and went back to the hotel. Liam and daddy stayed to take a nap, while I went to the conference to present a paper.

That evening, we walked down to the lakefront. We stopped in the war memorial complex and walked over to the art museum. We briefly stopped in the museum to show daddy the amazing architecture and look at the Chihuly glass sculpture. It was a really beautiful evening for our walk. We headed back towards the downtown and looked for unique restaurant for dinner. We eventually stopped at a Caribbean restaurant, where we had a fabulous meal of jerked pork, Cuban sandwiches, sweet potato fries, and for dessert we ate rum cake and ice cream. What a great meal!

Saturday morning we walked back to the lake shore to visit the Betty Brinn children’s museum. It was a fairly small museum, but packed with lots of great things for kids to learn and play with. They had a toy train that Liam could pretend in, crazy musical instruments, a stage and puppet theater, craft area, stations to learn about the senses, digestion, and a huge model of a heart to climb through. There was also a pretend bank, grocery store, and mechanic’s shop. In a separate area, there was a toddler play land with an outdoor theme. We spent several hours there. It was a lot of fun!



After the museum, it was a nap for Liam and more conference for me. Liam had such a late nap, that we got a late start going to the zoo. It was nearly dark by the time we caught our bus out to the Milwaukee County Zoo. I had visited the zoo once before and was very impressed. Unfortunately, it was so dark that we didn’t see much of the animals…just humans dress up as animals, because it was Boo at the Zoo night. I had planned ahead and packed Liam’s doggie costume for the occasion. He looked very cute. We did get to see the Bonobos, gorillas, big cats, and bats. Liam got a cool black cat (temporary) tattoo at the big cat house. We were all pretty exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel and went to bed. What a day!

Sunday morning we had breakfast and then packed for the return trip. The train ride home went very smooth. Liam fell asleep just before we got to Chicago. I put him on my back in the Ergo and he slept nicely during our layover. He woke up in time to see the grand concourse at Central Station. We let him run around a bit and get off some steam before getting back on a train. We picked up some dinner to take with us on the long ride home. After we ate, Liam played and made friends in the lounge car. He had everyone charmed, as usual. He did very good and didn’t even fuss when we found out that the battery was dead in the car and had to wait for help.

I also have to mention that Liam was really great about using the potty while we were traveling. Perhaps it was the excitement of using the potty on the train, but Liam went #2 and #1 on several occasion while on the train and also in the hotel. This was really exciting for Sean and I, because we’ve been working on potty training for some time now. I am encouraging him to keep up the good work and daycare and at home!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bug-out


Last night when I got off work, I was feeling like we should get outside and enjoy the sunny weather before it turns cold. So instead of eating dinner at home, we picked up a quick bite to eat and took it to the Potter Park for a picnic dinner. Unfortunately, m plans were dashed by the presence of swarms of mosquitoes, who were also taking advantage of the last vestiges of summer to suck as much blood as possible before dying. We hastily ate while Liam played on the playground. We kept moving, just to keep the mosquitoes from settling on us. It was terrible! Liam didn't seem to notice, however, and would have been happy to keep swinging all night if we let him. Sadly, we had to go and get away from the bugs!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Family and Friends

This weekend was busy and hectic. But we received a surprise visit from Grandma Bev and Grandpa John. Liam was so excited when he saw them that he gave everyone big bear hugs! After we finished running or errands, we took some time out to enjoy a yummy lunch and trip to the cider mill with the grandparents. At the mill, Liam got to pick out some pumpkins to decorate our porch. He also got to feed some silly goats. Grandma and grandpa treated us to fresh made donuts and cold cider too!

On Sunday we had our friends Alissa and Ashtyn over for dinner. Miss Ashtyn is quite the expert on dinosaurs now. She brought some dinos for Liam and told us what all their names were. The kiddos were less than excited about the chili dinner that I prepared, but they had a blast playing in Liam's tunnel after dinner...the giggles were non-stop!

In other news, Liam said "you're welcome" for the first time this weekend after I told him thank you. He can be very polite when he wants to be. ;)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pretend Play


Last night Liam and I pretended to cook meals together. He was very cute choosing ingredients and cooking them up on his stove. He even embellished with sound effects of frying food. We also pretended to go shopping for food. He drove around the house on his scooter carrying bags for his food. Then he would pick out what he wanted, fill up the bag and drive it back to his kitchen. He would occasionally take out his toy phone and talk (holding it with his chin and shoulder) while stirring and cooking food - gee, I wonder where he learned this? After he cooked a pretend meal he would offer some to me and say "here you go." We pretended to eat it together. Then he would say "you full now" and pat my tummy. I would say "Oh, I'm SO full from this yummy food!" and he would laugh and then offer me more food to eat. It really tickles me to see him using his imagination and pretending.

Monday, September 29, 2008

1, 2, 3...

All weekend long Liam was counting things every chance he had. He was counting the number of steps as he went upstairs, the number of apples put in a bag, the number of blocks he stacked up, and the number of times he drove a car through playdough, you name it! He has 1, 2, and 3 down. I've heard him count as high as 6 all on his own...And up to 10 with some help. It's so exciting for me to see him learning such a complex and abstract thing as numbers.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Liam picked a peck of apples

This morning we took a short drive to visit my coworker, Julie's house. She and her husband own 10 acres with gardens, prairie, ponds, and fruit trees. Julie invited us to come out a pick apples from their orchard. Liam had fun helping to carry the bags and filling them with apples. The trees were packed, so we had four paper grocery bags full in no time. Liam loved running around on the property. He also watched for frogs in the pond and got his finger tickled when he fed the hungry koi. There were also lots of great pine cones to pick up under the jack pine trees. When we were done outside, Julie had us in for coffee (or juice) and apple muffins. Liam tried to catch one of her cats, but Sunshine was just too fast for him! He tried to coax her over with some toys, calling "kitty, kitty"...but Sunshine was too smart for this toddler. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Liam's Dance

This week at daycare, Liam made some pretty unconventional artwork. All the kiddos got to dance on paper with paint on their feet. Liam's picture is a pretty red color. Cheri added a caption and date to it with scrap-booking letters. I liked it so much that I framed his artwork. It now hangs on his bedroom door! Now we will always remember his "snoopy dance," as daddy calls it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's the blues, fool.

This afternoon we decided to take Liam to the Blue Festival. It is usually a very family friendly event, so we thought that Liam would enjoy it. The weather was just perfect, warm and sunny but no hot. Liam loved walking around in the crowds of people and playing on the chairs in the audience, but he wasn't very interested in sitting still. We went for a walk and splurged for a little ice cream. Surprisingly, mommy was the only one to end up with chocolate ice cream on her.

Then we decided to sit and wait for the next show. I entertained Liam on my lap for a while, playing silly games. Once the music started though, Liam didn't like the noise and covered his ears. Oh well, I guess he's not ready for the blues. ;)

Friday, September 19, 2008

My little "sweeper"



Liam loves to be my little helper. This evening he helped sweep the floors for me with the vacuum. We swept the kitchen, dining room, and living room together. He's actually starting to get the hang of it, but I have to point out the dirt to him and then he will go sweep it up.

In other news, I heard from Cheri that Liam didn’t want to sit on the potty at school any more. So in an effort to entice him to try it, I found some potty charts online and printed one out. I found a train potty chart, which Liam was very excited about. I gave it to Cheri today and when I came to pick Liam up from school, Cheri told me that he sat on the potty twice and went #2 on it! Reward charts really do make a difference!

PS-I don't know why blogger keeps turning this photo on its side...I've tried re-loading it four times and it's always like this, sorry.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Three days of rain.

It rained here all weekend. So there's not much in way of news. On Sunday I was the master of multi-tasking and got a bunch of stuff done while Liam took a long nap. I made two loaves of bread, two batches of pear preserves, and sorted through six boxes of d├ęcor and heirlooms from the basement. I was very successful at winnowing the six boxes down to only two "keepers" and the rest of the stuff will be donated. I am proud to say that I kept only Sean's grandmother's depression glass salt-dip and cream/sugar collections in one box. And in the second box is my antique camera collection and a few items hand-crafted by my mother when she had her own business years ago. I kept only those things that were the most important to me or possibly worth something. It has been a slow process of getting rid of things over the years – I have gone through many purges. Now next weekend I just need to tackle all the craft and art supplies in the basement! The other project I finished up today was the hobbit cloak that I was knitting for Liam's Halloween costume. Once I get a picture of Liam wearing it I will post it.

Saturday morning we ran a bunch of errands in the rain. To maximize our time out of the house, we spent an hour at the hardware store looking at lighting and other things. On Saturdays Lowes has a build-it-yourself project for kids. So we took advantage of that to give Liam something fun to do. He really got into it this time. The project was a little pirate ship. He was very excited to hammer in the nails...his aim needs some improvement though. We made a couple more stops before heading home - we were pretty soaked by then. Liam fell asleep on the way home and then napped for a while when I carried him in the house. While he napped, I finally stained our coat wardrobe. I think it looks pretty nice, but with the humidity, it took a while to dry. Unfortunately, later in the day Liam used his toy pliers on it a buggered up the finish a little in the door. Oh, well!


Lately, Liam’s favorite game is “running” around the house after the cat. Strangely enough, the cat seems to enjoy it and they play tag back and forth. Sometimes Liam get’s out Dozer’s toys and tries to play with him that way. Other times Liam pretends to be a cat himself and crawls on his hands and knees or batting at Dozer’s toys. It is so cute and funny to watch him pretend. He also likes to pretend he is a bear.

Saturday afternoon, Liam was going stir crazy in the house and literally bouncing off the walls, so we braved the rain again to take him to the History Museum. He had a blast running through the exhibits. His favorite thing to do is stop and pose at all of the cut-outs. This picture is so funny! After Liam expelled some of that restless energy, we had a much calmer evening. Sean and I prepared a gourmet Chinese dinner complete with general’s chicken, egg drop soup, steamed rice, and homemade steamed rice buns. Yummy!

Sometimes I a blown away by how verbal Liam is now. He repeats everything I say (even the bad :o). So we have to start watching our words. Along with all his talking also comes the whining. Sometimes we have to help Liam remember not to whine and remind him to ask nicely when he wants something. He talks a lot more when he gives up his pacifier, but he is so attached to it that it can be hard to do.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bountiful Beauty

I have been blessed by some generous coworkers this week. Julie gave me a bag full of tasty pears and Bill brought me a box full of tomatoes. All of these produce was organic and simply amazing! I can't wait to make preserves out of the pears.

Monday, September 8, 2008

New School

Today was Liam’s first full day at his new “school”, which we call Cheri’s house. He was so happy and excited when we pulled in the drive. At the door, he said “knock, knock, knock” and tried knocking on the door. This was just so cute. He happily ran in and quickly found the trains to play with.

I called just before lunch to see how he was doing and it was still going great. When I came to pick him up. Cheri told me that he had a hard time falling asleep at naptime. I kinda expected this. First of all he has never been a good nap-er, and secondly, he was excited to be in a new place. But he did eventually fall asleep and took a short 1 hour nap. I’m sure naptime will go smoother tomorrow. The good news, however, was that Cheri told me he sat on the potty with no trouble and actually went #1. So this was promising to hear.

It gives me so much relief that Liam is so happy and comfortable at the new daycare. I think we are all happy with the change.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Be our Guest

We were lucky to have Aunt Rae stay with us for part of the week. Liam was spoiled having her here to play with. One night, we went out to eat at the Ethiopian restaurant. The last time we ate there with Liam, he acted like we were poisoning him! To our surprise, however, he was much more enthusiastic about the food this time. He enjoyed digging into the lentils with his hands and dipping the bread into the lamb stew. The trick was asked for all the mild-flavored meats and lentils. What a feast! Yum!

On Saturday, Aunt Rae survived a long shopping trip to Target, Aldi, Meijer, and the thrift store, with Liam and I. We were all pretty tired when we came home and by then it was time for Aunt Rae to head home. Thanks for staying with us!

On Sunday, Liam was surprised by a visit from Grandma Bev and Papa John. They came up to visit because they wanted to go to Ikea with us. Shopping with a toddler can be hard, but I tried to plan ahead and brought snacks and toys to keep Liam happy and brought the Ergo for napping. While I was worried that the trip would turn out like our Saturday shopping spree, things went very well this time. It just so happened, that by the time we reached Ikea, we were approaching naptime. Liam played well in the cart for a while, then I could tell he was starting to fade. I put him in the Ergo and he was out like a light. I carried him on my back through the rest of the store. Shopping was peaceful and better yet, grandma found exactly what she was looking for. So we all left the store feeling pretty triumphant!

Grandma and grandpa got to hang out with us for the rest of the day. Liam enjoyed playing trains with grandpa. Later, they bought us a yummy chicken dinner. Liam (and the rest of us) ate up! What a fun week of visitors!

After grandma and grandpa left, Sean and I hung up the new shelf we bought at Ikea. It was the perfect thing to fill the big empty wall in the kitchen. I was very excited to finally display some of my pretty green art pottery.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Last Day at the Big "School"

This week was Liam’s last week at EC3. I was feeling sad that he would have to leave the place that he spent so much time and had made so many friends. His favorite teacher, Burger, was not there for much of the week. He said goodbye to her on Thursday. Burger gave us her address and phone number though, so we could come visit her and her horses some time.

Today was Liam’s last day at the big school. It was hard for me not to get emotional as he hugged his friends (Owen, Liam, Ben, Julian, Jacob, and Brandon) and teachers (Adrianne, Sarah, Belle, and Pat-Pat) goodbye. He seems to understand that he will be going to a new school, but I am not sure he understands that the goodbye is for good.

To help him transition to the new place, I got off work a little early every day so that I could take him to his new school for the afternoon. The new place is very different from the old school. The old place had 24 toddlers in 4 classrooms, 8 fulltime teachers, and several additional support teachers. The new place has only one teacher, Cheri, and only 6 kids total. All of the kids are between 15 months and 3 years in age and they are evenly split between boys and girls. Liam gets very excited when he sees Cheri’s house. He seems to really love it there. We shall see how everything goes next week!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ahoy Captain Liam!

Even though the date on this post is September 1st, I am terribly behind on updating the blog and am actually writing this on September 10th. So I will do my best to remember events.

On Saturday we took care of chores and such. Late in the afternoon we decided that we were going to go down to my moms lake cottage. After we ran around packing everything for the trip, however, we were too tired to go. So we had a leisure evening watching videos instead.

Sunday morning, after a big breakfast of waffles, we headed south to the cottage. It was a perfect warm sunny day. Liam had fun wading in the water and splashing grandma. He tried pulling Grandma’s kayak into the lake, so grandma decided to take him on a paddle. Liam loves to be in a boat! They paddled around the east side of the lake, looking at the cottages. Liam decided that he wanted to paddle all by himself (without grandma’s help). He didn’t do half bad, but he was not strong enough to make them go anywhere, and eventually grandma had to paddle them back to shore.

Liam was so excited to be a the lake that he didn’t want to take a nap. Eventually he laid down for a little while, but not nearly long enough. Great grandma can to spend the afternoon with us. We had lots of fun chatting together on the porch. Liam remembered great grandma and spent most of his time in her lap or play cars with her. Grandma and I made up a big dinner of steaks, fresh melon, coleslaw, homemade bread and jam, and lemon bars for dessert. We all ate very well!

Monday morning was cool and sunny. Liam, daddy, and I took the canoe and grandma took her kayak on a long paddle. Daddy did most of the work, since my shoulder was hurting. Liam behaved very well in the boat, except for one time when he wanted to switch from the middle seat to the front seat. By the time we headed back, the weather was getting hot. Liam wore himself out and fell asleep in the canoe. When we arrived at the cottage, Aunt Rae was there. Liam was happy to see her when he woke up. We stayed for a while after lunch to enjoy each other’s company. Liam snoozed on the way home in the afternoon.

Friday, August 29, 2008

2 year check up

Today was Liam's 2-year check up. His pediatrician was running extremely late due to some emergencies earlier in the day. So we ended up waiting in the office for about an hour before we saw the doctor. Liam was a little antsy, but was all smiles when Dr. T cam in. He started acting silly for Dr. T, and was very good during the exam. When Dr. T was done and ready to go, Liam practically jumped in his arms to give him a hug and a kiss. :) It was just too cute! And just what poor Dr. T needed after a crazy day.

So for those of you who wonder, Dr. T said Liam was quite a healthy little guy. He weighs 29.5 pounds (70th percentile) and is 3 feet (36 inches, 96th percentile) tall! Liam's hemoglobin test came back good at 11, which means there is no concern about anemia. All very good news!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bee Bite

As I arrived to pick up Liam from daycare today, he got stung on his hang by a bee while playing in the playground. When it happened, I was inside getting his things. But his teacher rushed him inside, where they found me. I was told that one of the other teachers removed the stinger. So I asked his teacher to find some baking soda and gauze. I made some paste for his hand. He was very brave through it all and didn't cry too much. He wanted the paste washed off, so he washed his hands in the sink. Soon afterwards, however, he realized that it had helped ease the pain and he asked for more. I made up a bit more and then wrapped some gauze over his hand. We also borrowed an ice pack from daycare before we left.

On the way home, Liam had fun sucking on the cold ice pack - not exactly how I had intended it to be used. I also called his pediatrician's office to see if they recommended anything else, since I am severely allergic to bee stings. They told me to give him some Benadryl. I stopped to get some. He was happy to take his "medicine" (he is getting so good with words!). It must have done the trick because within a half hour he was chasing the cat around the house on all-fours (like a cat), and didn't seem to notice that his hand was a little swollen. Thankfully, it looks like he may not have inherited my allergy. What a brave little guy!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Steam Train to Liamville


What an eventful couple days. On Thursday, Liam's daycare was having a end of summer Carnival. There was a hot dog dinner, cotton candy, and games with prizes! Mommy and daddy were tired from their hard day of fixing our basement windows, but we still stayed at the carnival for an hour to eat and play a couple games.

On Friday, Sean and I finished up our windows (and I must say, the finish product is quite nice). The only adventure we had, however, was when Liam and I braved a trip to the grocery store with all of the returning college students back in town...It was a mad house! I stayed up a little late that evening to can some cherry-blueberry jam. And it turned out great. But then we were woken all night by a party of more than 100 people in the house across the street. Needless to say, we are not happy with the new renters. :(

Saturday morning was a slow start, but we had special plans for the afternoon. We packed a picnic lunch and then took a road trip down to Coldwater to visit the Little River Railroad. Little River is a historical railroading organization that restores old steam engines and rail cars. They offer rides throughout the year and were one of the most affordable ones that I could find in our area. We decided to take Liam on a train ride as part of his birthday gift. When we arrived, the steam engine was simmering. Liam was very excited to see it up close. We had told him that when he woke up from his nap, he would see a train! I got tickets while daddy and Liam checked out he engine.

There were several cars on the train, including some old Pullman streamliners, some open-air cattle cars fitted with seats, and a caboose. We took a seat in one of the Pullman's because I was worried that the wind, smoke, and noise might bother Liam. The only problem was that it was a very hot and humid day. So in no time, we were sweating up a storm. Liam was a little impatient for the train to start. I took him on a walk through all the cars to take a look at everything. When the train started, he was all smiles! It was such a joy to watch his excitement. He and daddy looked out the window at all the passing scenery and waved to the people.



The trip was just the right length. We arrived at Quincy, where to our surprise, there was a town festival going on. Classic cars were all lined up, there was ice-cream and food, craft booths, and live music. We took a look at some of the cars, but the heat soon drove us in search of the ice-cream. Unfortunately, they ran out of ice-cream while daddy was waiting in line (and Liam was playing on the playground). We tried again later with success and were able to cool off under a tree. After our ice-cream we got a close-up look at the engine and even got to climb aboard. Daddy and Liam also got to climb on to the caboose.

Soon it was time to head back to Coldwater. This time we rode on the cattle car. At first Liam really loved it, but about half way back the noise started to bother him. It was tricky to walk between the cars, but I managed to take him back to one of the Pullman's for the last few minutes of the trip. Liam was very wound up from all of the excitement of the day. He cried and cried when it was time to go. :( I hope that he will remember all the fun! I know that Sean and I quite enjoyed our trip!

Today, Sunday, was much more laid back. There were no more chores to do, so we spent much of our day watching movies and relaxing. I made some banana johnny cakes for breakfast. I was please with myself, because I thought that Liam would love them, but he wouldn't even try one...bummer. He spent a long, long time play with play dough while I cooked in the kitchen. Later, daddy and Liam went for a walk to the playground. Liam likes to swing on the big boy swings now - no more baby swings for him! After his nap, we all went to the downtown library. Liam played with their train table while mommy and daddy took turns looking for books, music, and videos. We ate dinner alfresco on the patio, as we have most of the week.