Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Train to Pooptown

Today daddy put Liam on the portable potty in the living room, like he always does first thing in morning. Liam sat on the potty with a couple of his toys trains and did his business. Meanwhile, I prepared lunches in the kitchen and daddy went to get a shower. From the kitchen I heard a little voice say "Ut,oh"...this is never a good sign. "What ut,oh?" I asked as I walked to the living room. I found Liam looking into the potty. One look and I discovered that his trains had rolled into the potty full of poop! Icky! I quickly wiped and diapered him, then set about sanitizing poor Thomas and Friends. From now on, no more trains on the potty - this was a hard lesson learned.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Busy Bee Weekend

Whew, what a busy bee weekend this has been. On Saturday we worked on our yard. First, things first though, we hung Liam's swing so that he could be amused while we worked. It turned out to be quite handy and fun! Mommy and daddy raked, pulled weeds, re-pointed the brick path in the front yard, and bagged up old mulch and leaves, all while Liam napped. We also had 2 cubic yards of sand and 3 cubic yards of gravel delivered in preparation for finishing off the patio. Before Liam's nap, he took a ride on mommy's back while I strolled down to a mom-2-mom sale at the community center. It was ashame that I didn't know about it sooner, because it would have been handy to sell things there instead of the sale that we are doing next weekend. But Liam had fun and mommy found a couple great deals. (On a sad note, Liam's pet fish died today. I'm not sure when caused it.)

On Sunday mommy volunteered to help clean up the playground at Liam's school. I spent over three hours raking and weeding before coming home to tackle our patio. Luckily Liam was napping when I came home, so Sean and I got to work loading gravel into the pit we dug. We were about half done when Liam woke from his nap. I brought him out to play in the yard while we worked, but he was not happy that we weren't playing with him. Instead he tried to "help" daddy with the wheel barrow...which slowed our progress a bit...nothing gets done quickly when there is a toddler around! Liam also tried helping mommy rack out the gravel, but of course it was more fun to help daddy.

Now for the week's miscellaneum: I was astonished to see Liam give a classmate his pacifier when his teacher told him to give it to Ben...this means he knows who his friends are and can identify them by name even though he can't say their names yet. He started saying "my book" or "my boots" this week. He says "pee pee" when he goes potty and "butt, butt" when we change his diaper. He says "baby" and doggie" very clearly. He found a bumble bee on a flower today and said "bug". I bought him a balloon last Sunday after daddy left and he could say "balloon". As you can see, Liam is especially good at saying B-words.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Welcome Home Daddy!

Daddy was away on business all week, so we missed him very much and were extremely happy that he came back today. Liam woke up from his nap at daycare to find daddy sitting next to him. What a surprise!

When I came home from work, we decided to all go fly our kites at a local park. The wind was super strong today. In fact it was strong enough to get a bunch of our "line laundry" type kites up (see photo). Liam zoomed around in the grassy area at the park and also checked out the playground and beach (with supervision of course). Once Liam got settled on the picnic blanket with mommy, daddy got to try out his stunt parafoil for a little while. It felt so good to be outside and enjoy the spring air. We are getting excited for the upcoming Great Lakes Kite Festival, which we always attend.

After we packed up the kites for the night, we treated ourselves to Chinese. Liam actually ate it for once (he usually doesn't like Asian cuisine). He really liked the coconut chicken. Yum!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spring has sprung...

Our front yard is a'bloom with a multitude of colors. We have daffodils, jonquils, purple vinca, white hyacinth, purple, yellow, and red tulips, and a bunch of other little purple and white flowers that I can't identify. It looks so lovely! Of course Liam and I are enjoying the warm weather. We spend time walking or playing in the driveway each evening.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We Love Planet Earth!

Today was Earth Day. I wanted to do something fun with Liam to commemorate the date, but unfortunately not everyone loves the Earth as much as us. The city held an event downtown, but it was during the day and while I was working...bummer. I heard from a friend that the community college had events during the day and a parade that started at 5pm. So I decided to go into work early (that way I could pick up Liam early) and we could go to the parade. Everything went according to plan except for the fact that the college held the parade earlier than scheduled and when we arrived on campus at 5pm everything was already over...Oh well!

Instead we enjoyed a nice stroll through campus. While it's a small college, they do have great park spaces, including this wonderful Japanese zen garden. Liam enjoyed watching the koi in the pond and the cascading waterfall. He also tried raking the rock garden and splashed in the fountain.

After dinner we walked down to the Library to check out some videos and books. Liam loves the library. He exclaimed "book, book" and ran around finding books to look at. He has started saying so many new words in the past week that I can't even recall them all. Probably one of the funniest stories is that he discovered that there are spots on the hardwood floors and one evening went around pointing out all the spots for me. It was very cute.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shake, rattle, and roll...

Like much of the Midwest, Sean and I were awaken by the earthquake this morning. The vibrations here were strong enough to make the bed bounce around and the door swing back and forth. We were pretty certain that it was an earthquake, the big question was where was it...so we checked the USGS webpage and were astonished to find out that it was in southern Illinois. It seemed impossible that we felt it so strongly so far away. Lucky for us, Liam slept through it...but we were now wide awake!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

When ants attack!

Ever since the first signs of spring, we have been finding a few ants here and there around the house. A few in the kitchen, one in the bath room, one in our bed, on the wall in Liam's room...you get the idea. Well, this evening I went down to the basement to wash some of Liam's clothes. As I was moving things into the dryer, I noticed something moving on the floor, on closer inspection I discovered about 3,000 ants crawling all over the rug that was laying in front of the dryer. Totally gross! After I got over that initial freak-out of finding so many bugs in my house, I following the trail of ants to what appeared to be a hole in the floor. I then looked for some ant bate and put it near the hole. I also asked Sean to spray around the perimeter of the house outside. I hate using insecticide, but we had to do something about them.

On a lighter and less buggy note, I was able to get out of work an hour early today (due to the extra time I put in over the weekend). I was so happy to pick up Liam early. Because the weather was so perfect, I called Alissa to we made plans to meet at her house after dinner so that the kiddos could play outside. We ended up walking down to a local park. Liam was fearless about climbing all over the jungle gym. He ran across the bridge and slide down the big tornado slide. Liam loved to swing too. He also enjoyed the springy horse and rocked vigorously on it saying "weeee". He noticed some adults playing softball at the diamond nearby and said "ball". He is so observant. He even noticed barking dogs, chirping birds, and honking cars...and had to tell me about them. In fact, this morning when I honked at someone when they didn't turn at the green light, Liam said "beep, beep".

Yesterday Liam got to play outside a lot too. Sean and I started working on the patio. Liam helped rake wood chips out of the way and got to play with daddy's old tin truck and tractor in the mud.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Our First Daffodils

Today the first blooms of daffodils opened. I know it may not seem like much, but since this is my first house, and my first yard, it is very special to me. Some of the daffodils were planted by Liam and I last fall. I have been showing Liam the progress of the plants as they grow these past few weeks. He said "yellow" while we were looking at the daffodil blossoms and tried to say "flower". The pea plants that we planted together last week have also grown quite a bunch. Here is Liam checking on them after he gave them a drink of water.

There have been so many new words in the past week. Liam is talking more and more and clearer and clearer. Over the weekend he started saying “bus” and “beep, beep”.

On Sunday afternoon, we had a few friends over for coffee and munchies. The toddlers had the run of the house...I think that every toy that Liam owns was out on the floor at one point! Liam did a great job sharing. He even gave Lindsey a back rub (daddy has been trying to teach Liam to give me back rubs)! Liam was only grumpy near the end when he got tired. Everyone thought it was really cute when he got his blankie out and laid down on the floor. We all had such a great time talking that I barely thought to take pictures. I think we will try to make this a monthly event.

Saturday was pretty uneventful. It was cold and rainy, so we went shopping for tools rather than working outside. As luck would have it, we happened upon a special event for children at Lowe’s called Build and Grow. Liam was too sleepy to try it, but they were nice enough to give us an ant farm kit, a tool belt, and a patch. How cool!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Your son is "Crafty"

Last night Liam's school had a special "family night" event. The theme was travel around the world and each classroom was a particular country, like Italy, Togo, China, etc. They had food, craft projects, art, and decorations to represent that particular country. The kiddos got play passports and collected stickers or stamps for each county that they visited. Liam was pretty tired when we arrived, so I wasn't surprised that he was testy and preferred getting into the toys in each classroom over trying new foods. (And sorry, grandparents, things were so hectic that I forgot my camera). But we did have some fun.

As we toured "the world" Sean and I noticed that nearly all of the teachers, regardless of the classroom and age group they worked with, knew Liam. Apparently, our son is quite the character! Even some of the other parents knew Liam. One mom told us, "your son is crafty". I ponder this a minute...did she mean crafty like Martha Stewart and Norm Abram, or did she mean crafty like Wiley Coyote? So I asked, "Do you mean that he is sneaky?" "Yes," she replied, "he always finds a way to sneak out the door when I drop off my son. He always does it so well that we don't even notice him." So there you have it...Liam is Wiley Coyote "crafty"!

I'm not sure whether to be flattered or worried that our son has attracted so much attention. Sean and I already know that he has a big personality and an even bigger brain. I'm sure they will continue to get him in trouble for many years to come. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Four Months & Counting...

It's hard to believe that it is less than four months till Liam's second birthday. I am truly enjoying this stage and age. Liam is fill with such joy, curiosity, and humor that it is completely contagious. I can't understand why people call it the terrible twos. Sure he has his moments and occasional tantrums, but it is magic to be around his growing mind and personality! (Perhaps the worse is yet to come, but so far so good.) Sometimes I wish that I didn't have to be at work and away from him all day, but I know that he is having enriching activities during his time away from me...And we still find time for fun in the morning and evenings.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Windy Thai Food

Yesterday was such a lovely warm day, but ridiculously wind. When we all came home we decided that it was too nice to eat in the house. Instead we took a walk down the street to the nearby Thai restaurant. Liam wasn't too sure about the food. Sean and I are both dismayed that he hasn't taken to Chinese and Asian cuisine that we love so much. Liam did try a crab ragoon and a little bit of tapioca. Sean and I ate up and enjoyed the curry! We had a super windy walk home with our bellies full.

On Sunday we decided to picnic at the zoo with our friends Alissa and Ashtyn. We met them at the playground before eating. The kid's had a ball climbing and sliding and swinging. In fact, Liam was so interested in playing that he barely touched his lunch and didn't stay seated for long. Look at my dare-devil on the big slide!

After our picnic we went in the zoo. The animals were very active (and so was Liam). We had to walk fast to keep up with his little running legs. Poor Ashtyn barely had time to enjoy the animals before he took off for the next one. By far the favorite attraction was the goats. Liam got to feed the goats. Ashtyn fed one goat, but was rather unnerved by the experience and wouldn't try it again. Liam also liked the donkeys and pot-belly pigs in the farm area. Both Liam and Ashtyn also liked the river otter's enclosure...but I'm pretty sure it was because of the bubbles in the water, not the otters. If you look closely you can see an otter swimming by.

Everyone was pretty worn out before we made it to the other side of the zoo...so as usual we left without seeing all of the animals. Liam fell asleep almost the instant he got in his car seat!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

One brick, two brick, three brick, ...a thousand

This morning Sean and I got up at 4:30am after Liam woke us up and we couldn't fall back to sleep. We had gotten just enough sleep to not be drowsy, but nearly enough to make it through our busy day! This morning our delivery of 1,000 brick pavers arrived. We had to unload the pallet by hand and carry all the bricks into the yard to stack them up. I dressed Liam in clothes that he could get muddy in, since he played in the mucky yard while we did our work. To Liam's surprise, Grandma Bev and Grandpa John arrived in time to help us with the last few bricks. Liam was a little shy at first, but quickly warmed up when grandma and grandpa gave him matchbox cars and other goodies.

Grandma and grandpa treated us all to a yummy lunch. The weather was so delightful and warm today (FINALLY in the 60s) that we took a walk down to return videos at the library and also walked down to a local book store. Liam had so much fun as grandpa pulled him in his wagon. Grandma snapped pictures as we went...too bad I forgot mine! Later, we enjoyed the spring air out on the front porch. Liam had to say bye-bye to grandma and grandpa when he took a late nap. He sure missed them when he woke up from nap time.

Liam helped me plant some pea seeds in peat pellets today. I have been showing him all of the plants sprouting in the yard and I thought it would be fun to have him grow his own little plants and watch them change. Another activity we did at home this week was to color trains. I found him some coloring pages and also cut out train engine and car shapes out of construction paper. He is very proud to hang them on the refrigerator and sometimes takes them down to admire them.

Over the past couple weeks Liam has added a few more words to his vocabulary. By far my favorite is the word "bubble". Liam LOVES his bubble baths and also gets to play with bubbles at daycare, so it's no wonder he learned it. He also said tickle - he's always trying to tickle my belly - and even giggled "no tickle" when I was trying to tickle his belly. On our way into daycare, he often points out all of the "car-cars" in the parking lot and the "birdie" living under the porch. He can "tweet" like a bird and "neigh" like a horse too.

At daycare, the classroom theme for the past couple weeks has been barnyard animals. Liam's teacher brought baby chickens and a duck into class. He loved to watch the animals. They also made lots of animal crafts, like chicks, pigs, cows, and sheep. I have to admit, I am impressed with all of the amazing projects they plan for the kids.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Sunny Stroll

This evening the weather was sunny, but not warm. We put on our fleece jackets and took a stroll around the neighborhood. Liam rode in style in his ATW (all-terrain-wagon). We were having a great time, when he suddenly stood up and toppled out of the wagon faster than I could scream his name! He bonked his head on the pavement and was pretty shook up, but thankfully not badly injured. He wanted me to carry him for a little while, but eventually got back in his wagon. Now he knows how important it is to stay sitting down when riding in his wagon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The joke's on you.

Yesterday it thunder stormed and today we may get snow yet again!?! What a joke! This year is so much colder and snowier than last year. I just read my posts from the beginning of last April and discovered that it was warm enough to go for walks and such...grumble, grumble. I miss being outside, I imagine that Liam does too. The last few days he spends a lot of time standing at the front door looking outside. At least he has a gym to play in at daycare. He loves climbing on their indoor jungle gym and sliding down the slides. Once things warm up we can walk to the playground in the evenings after dinner.

Sean and I are also getting excited about fixing up our back yard for Liam (and us) to enjoy. Over the weekend we purchased a bunch of patio pavers. They will be delivered next weekend. We plan to make two patio areas and several gardens in the back yard. Sean also wants to build Liam a play house and us a grill. The goal is to limit the amount of grass that needs to be planted and mowed. Right now, however, the back yard is a big mud ball. Yuck!