Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day

As a child, I always loved leap day. I had planned an interesting outing with Liam - our last weekday together before I start work next week. However the fates intervened and conspired to keep us home today. Liam woke up with a bit of the flu and had diarrhea all day. Icky! I was equally pitiful due to some minor surgery on my foot yesterday that left me with too much gauze to get my foot in a snow boot...and there is FAR too much snow on the ground to wear sandals. It is probably just as well that we stayed home...I just wish that we felt better.

We ended up paling around the house. We watched some Wallace and Gromit while snuggling on the couch, colored some animals for Liam's ABC scrapbook, sang songs, and changed lots of diapers.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Transitions

This week is all about transitions. The past couple days Liam has been transitioning to daycare. In the first photo he is all dressed and ready for his first day of "school". On Tuesday and Wednesday we spent the morning at daycare. I observed, but didn't get too involved and just let him play. He seems very at ease and comfortable there. This afforded me the opportunity to get to know his teachers better and talk to them about my parenting philosophy. The teachers seem pretty ok with cloth diapering and with our requests to feed him mainly food we provide. So that is a good start.

On Wednesday the Music Man came with lots of drums for the kiddos to play with. Liam enjoyed it, but I have noticed that he is not as likely to stay put for play, music, or stories as the other kiddos are. I suppose he will learn how to do this with time. I have to admit that I don't think it's very reasonable to assume that kids will sit still at this age, but I'm sure he will be socialized to conform. Even at lunch time, Liam is likely to get up from the table way before the other kids finish their meal. Liam doesn't eat as much and is always ready to go, go, go and get into the next fun thing. At home he is more likely to sit at the table because there are fewer distractions.


This morning Sean and I dropped him off for his first full day alone. I went to my orientation at work, which was shorter than I expected. So I dropped by daycare to see how he was doing. He was playing just great! Whew! Now I just have to cross my fingers that the nap time routine will go smoothly.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hugs

On Thursday and Friday we went to our usual Great Start play groups. It was kinda sad, because these were our last ones before I start work full time. To my surprise, Liam seemed to sense that we weren't going to be coming back and spontaneously started giving hugs to all the other little kids, especially the cute girls! At the Thursday play group he hugged a girl named Autumn so hard that they fell over together and poor Autumn was startled. At Friday's group he kept hugging a girl wearing a cute dress covered in hearts...if only I had my camera!

Orchids & Chocolate a'plenty

This weekend was the annual Lansing Orchid Society Show at MSU. As always, Sean and I prepared artwork to enter in the competition and brought our cameras to take lots of new photos! My mom came up for the weekend to see the orchids too. She took this picture of us at the show...she had some difficult subjects, because we were too wiggly.

We also celebrated my birthday on Saturday with a "chocolate tasting" party. I made hot-fudge cake, white chocolate bread pudding, and some assorted savory dips. Our guests also brought chocolate treats to share. It was definitely sugar overload! Liam was super wound-up because he kept begging sweets off of people. In his spastic-ness he accidentally head-butted me while I was talking and caused me to bit my tongue. Ouch! I'm going to feel this for a few days! I did manage to get Liam on my lap just long enough to take this cure picture with our friends Alissa and Ashtyn, and Eva and Hannah (from left to right).

On Sunday, Liam enjoyed playing trains with grandma before breakfast. Later in the morning we went back to take more pictures of the orchids. While daddy was using the camera, I took Liam into the Children's Garden area to play. He really enjoyed it in there...it made me realize how much he loves the outdoors and misses summer! He loved watching the koi in the pond, petting the bronze giraffe, and paging through a book about plants.
I can't wait for the spring thaw!

UPDATES: And now to regale you with Liam's accomplishments! He's had a flurry of new words and signs over the past two weeks. The big one was "please", which he used for the first time on the 16th. Other words I've heard fairly regularly are: eat, fish, more, truck, car, train, video, water (it's more "wower", but I know what he means), dede (the name of his pacifier), read, fish, color, and dog. I'd say that his vocabulary is getting close to 20-words. I also heard him say the sentence "Where is it?"...he tries to parrot back sentences on occasion.

After watching all my friends toddlers signing like crazy on Saturday, I got out the Signing Times dvds and played them on Sunday evening. Liam quickly picked up a couple animal signs: elephant, lion, and crocodile. He's also been using the sign for "hurt" to tell me that he wants Tylenol for his teething pain.

Probably the cutest new thing that he's been doing is gesturing with me to some songs, like "Itsy-bitsy spider", "If you're happy and you know it", and "Twinkle twinkle little star". He also tries to sing along with me and sings to the radio with me while we're in the car. Sometimes I can even hear him say letters in the alphabet when we sing the ABCs!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Full Eclipse of the Moon

Today was pretty low-key. Liam and I ran some errands and I went to my doctor for an alignment. I had high hopes to take Liam to the MSU museum in the afternoon, but he took an unusually long nap. So those plans were out. Bummer. The only really cool thing about today is that there is a full lunar eclipse, which started about 20 minutes ago (that's 8:45pm local time). I took a few blurry digital pictures before it started and just took some slide-film pictures before coming to post. Unfortunately, both Liam and daddy were too tired to stay up and witness it with me.

PS - The perverted frosty finally died!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mommy's Birthday

Today I turned...ahem, that's none of your business! Let's just say today was my birthday!

There wasn't much time for celebrating, however. I had a busy schedule. In the morning I attempted to take Liam to story time at the local library, but that didn't go well. Instead we came home and prepared for Lindsey and Scarlet coming over. Lindsey watched Liam for me while I attended a meeting on campus. Liam slept for most of the time, but enjoyed playing with Scarlet when he got up. Scarlet had so much fun that she didn't want to leave when it was time for her to go. Liam gave her a kiss goodbye and that seemed to make her happy!

Then Liam and I went to meet our friends Eva and her daughter Hannah, and Lisa and her daughter Lesli, at the Impression 5 science museum. We had been trying to plan an outing together for some time and I was happy that it happened on my birthday. The kiddos got to explore the new toddler room at the museum. They had climbing toys, a play house, a water table, a light table, and lots of other cool toys too! Liam enjoyed it all, but especially liked splashing with the water toys. (At home he begs for a bath every day!)

After the museum it was back home for a quick dinner and then off to work for me. Whew! What a crazy day! I can't hardly believe that another year has flown by!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Crazy Sweater Pants

Last night, after Liam went to bed, I finally sewed him some sweater pants. They are made from the sleeves of old wool sweaters. I had a couple sweaters that I no longer wore, so I put them to re-use as pants for Liam. This morning I put a pair on him...I think he looks pretty cute, don't you?!

Over the weekend, grandma Kathie and auntie Rae visited us. While they were here, we went to our favorite pet store to get some fish for the 10-gal tank that we set up in the dining room. Once the fish were acclimated, we let them loose in the tank. Everyone thoroughly enjoys this great tank set up. It's very zen.

We also did a lot of thrifting over the weekend. I managed to get a nice wardrobe set for my new job. We also found a nice little set of ABC books for Liam during our shopping adventures. After grandma and Rae left, Liam missed their play and attention. He spent the rest of Sunday crawling and hanging on me like a monkey.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Parachute


To celebrate Valentines, Liam wore an outfit of red and I wore an outfit of bright pink. At playgroup, they broke out the parachute to play with at music time. The kiddos were nearly hysterical with joy and us parents were laughing up a storm too! I took a few blurry pictures and short videos of the fun. I bet you'll enjoy them as much as we enjoyed the parachute!

video

video

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Good News!

My day began on a wonderful note. I received a call that I was being offered the job that I interviewed for last week! What happy news. Of course this means a lot of changes for us, but I think they will all be worth it in the long run.

Liam and I had a fun and busy day. We first went to the state history museum. Liam had a great time running around and going up and down all the stairs in the exhibit hall. His favorite exhibits were the cars and the reconstruction of a one-room school house. The recorded sounds of people talking and other background noise made him uneasy though...I have to admit it is unsettling to hear a bunch of kids talking when there are no other people in the room with you.

Later in the afternoon, there was a great start program at the Impression 5 science museum. It was a small group today, but we all had a good time. After that, I took Liam to get a hair cut. We got home in time to meet daddy and then we headed out again for a celebratory dinner. What a fun-packed day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Man of the peace


Over the weekend, the family went thrifting at Goodwill where we scored this great sheriff's hat and some slippers that look like cowboy boots. What a great start to the dress-up basket that I have been wanting to put together for Liam!

The great coat chase

I think that the time needed to get ready to go out increases exponentially with each passing month. Of course the temperatures have been excruciating single digits with below zero wind-chills, so there are a lot of layers to put on. Add to that the game Liam likes to play...making me chase him around the house to put on his shoes, coat, then hat, then mittens. By the time I have his hat on he's already taken his shoes off and we're back to square one!

Today we braved a nasty nor'easter with high winds and snow just to pick up our milk from my friends farm. While driving through the frozen countryside, with snow blowing across the open fields and road, I imagined that Siberia looked similar this time of year. Thankfully, we are back in the warmth of home now. And there is a crockpot full of chili to eat with homemade corn muffins waiting for us. Yummy!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lost in Translation

Liam and I have entered into a new stage of communication, which is mostly mis-communication. He babbles or "talks" nearly all day long. He wakes me in the morning talking to himself in his bed and often falls asleep with a last word or two after nursing. The only problem is that most of his "talk" is completely incomprehensible to me. Sometimes I can tell that he is asking me a question, or sharing something that he thinks is important or interesting. But beyond that, I can't tell what he's saying. He also "sings" too now. In fact, on Sunday he very clearly sang "E-i-e-i-o" to Old McDonald on one of his favorite videos. All of this is very cute, but I still need an English to Toddler dictionary!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Got Static?

I have to admit that I am too tired to write a lengthy post, so here are just a couple tidbits from today. First, I was astonished when Liam said "more snow" when it started to snow again this morning. He seems to be skipping a step in language acquisition and going straight to putting words together. What fun!

While at Great Start this morning, Liam accidentally walked into the corner of a table. He gave himself quite a shiner just above his temple. It swelled up so fast that I went to get some ice for it. Though he cried right after it happened, he didn't act like he was too badly hurt and was right back into things in a jiff.

This evening, Liam and daddy were playing with a blanket that I had just taken out of the drier. Liam's hair got so full of static that it was standing on end! We were all laughing so hard and Liam running around the room! This second picture was taken just as Liam crashed into the camera.

Frosty goes x-rated?

As I was pulling out of the driveway this morning, I was startled to see that our neighbors across the street erected a large snowman sporting a prominent phallus. This is troublesome, especially since the weather is supposed to be very cold and it won't be melting for some time. But I just don't have the heart to go chew out the college kids who live there...I'll leave that job to the other neighbors. For the time being I'll have to live with the snowman flashing pedestrians. At least Liam is too young to know what it is.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Yeti in my driveway?

I may have been a bit rash to bid the snow ado in my last post. It did melt quite a bit on Tuesday, but later that night I had to drive home from work in freezing rain. Wednesday it snowed and snowed and SNOWED all day long. Liam and I decided to spend a cozy day at home. By evening, poor Sean had to plow the snow just to get into the driveway. While he was out there, I happened to look out at him and he was covered in snow (it was still falling heavily) and he looked just like a Yeti! By the end of the storm nearly a foot of snow buried everything, and under that was an inch of ice. It took two pots of hot water for me to de-ice the car this morning. Yuck!

Once I finally got into the car, I took Liam to a free lead testing and information program that the county health department was sponsoring. I was relieved to hear that Liam's lead level was in the safe zone. I also got a bunch of information about how to deal with lead when remodeling in an older home.

In other news, Liam said his name for the first time on Tuesday night. Daddy told me about it this evening. He also said "video" for both Sean and I yesterday...yes, he loves his Baby Einstein videos! Liam babbles pretty much non-stop throughout the day. I feel like I need a translator half of the time! On occasion I can glean actual words out of all his sounds.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bye-bye snow and Hello fish

Liam loves the snow so much that I decided to take him out sledding one last time before the snow melted. There was just enough new snow on the driveway for me to pull him around and have some fun. Of course when it was time to go in and get ready for Tot Time, he was very upset. Thankfully, he calmed down once he realized that we were going to walk through the snow to go play at the community center.

Liam was pretty tuckered out when we came home and he took a good nap. In the afternoon, Liam had his 18 month check up. While we were waiting, we looked through a magazine together. I was surprised when Liam pointed to a girl on the page and said "girl". He continued to point out all the girls as we flipped through the pages. The nurses told me that Liam is an astonishing 34 inches tall and weighs 26 pounds! That puts him in the 90th and 55th percentiles, respectively. He did great at the check up and didn't cry at all. I was told that he was doing great and very intelligent...just what every mom wants to hear!

On our way home, I stopped at the pet store to get Liam his first pet fish. We picked out a very nice little guppy to go in Liam's small fish tank in his room. (I'll add a picture later.) Liam was very excited about his new pet, exclaiming "oooh, FISH!"

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Happy 1 1/2!

My the past 18 months have gone so fast! A year ago today, we celebrated Liam's 1/2 birthday with a small party at the pottery painting studio, where we made a plate with his hand print. To continue the tradition, we took Liam there this afternoon to make something for Valentines Day. This time Liam got to finger-paint it himself, before putting his handprint on it.

Liam also got a happy surprise...a visit from grandma Bev and Grandpa John! They came to stay the weekend with us and Liam was on cloud nine. He loves to play with his grandparents! They brought him a set of mega blocks, which were a bit hit. Here he is playing with grandpa. We spent some time on Saturday at the local animal control office and at Petco looking at cats for adoption. There was a couple that we liked, but in the end we decided to wait.