Saturday, May 31, 2008


Our DSL modem died on Sunday, so I am forced to combine my posts for Saturday and Sunday.

Motorcycle Mama
June 1st, 2008

I was very nervous going to motorcycle class this afternoon. I was worried that I wouldn't pass the driving exam because yesterday's class was very difficult. However, I relaxed once I got on the bike and started riding. It seemed much easier today. I ended up passing the exam with flying colors. I only missed 3 points (for going a little outside the box in the U-turn test). So now I can officially say that I am a Motorcycle Mama!

Each week Liam has a new word that is his favorite. This week it was "cool". Apparently, we must say it rather often, otherwise he wouldn't have picked it up so quickly!

Skinned Knees & Dandelion Seeds

May 31st, 2008

Liam and I enjoyed time together in the yard this morning. He was so excited when I got one of his big trucks out to play with in the driveway. He started scooting it down the drive and it slipped away from him and he skinned his knee. This was his first real boo-boo. He was pretty upset, but I calmed him and took him in to clean it up and put a bandaid on it. Soon he was back outside! We biked down to the park to play a little. I showed him a couple dandelions that had gone to seed in the grass. He giggled when I showed him how to blow the seeds off and then tried it himself. Then he went to play on the jungle gym and slide. Daddy pushed him in the swing for a while too. Before I left for my motorcycle class, we ate lunch in the backyard.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


No not the digital version...The pseudo-meat version. This morning I heard a story on NPR about how Hormel has seen a 14% increase in sales over the past quarter. This is mainly due to increasing sales in SPAM, as people can no longer afford to eat meat. While we haven't resorted to eating SPAM yet, our diet is nearly vegetarian lately. We generally only get meat (in the form of chicken or fish) once or twice a week. The rest of the time we get our protein from cheese and beans. It is rather ironic that our budget is the tightest it's been in years, even though we are both working and making more than we ever have since we've been married. But between daycare, food, and gas for our modest cars, we are just breaking even.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mommy rides a tricycle

I think that today was sort of a let-down for Liam after such an exciting weekend. We spent most of our morning at the hardware store ordering more windows for the house and picking up a few other essentials. Liam was quite board and made his feelings known.

But after a good nap, his day was looking up. We spent the afternoon outside in the yard. Liam had fun "helping" mommy and daddy prepare a flower bed and digging out the second patio area. After a while he got tired of playing in the dirt, so I got his tricycle out for him to play with. At first he wasn't too sure he wanted to play with it. So I sat down to show him that it was fun. To the amusement of Liam, daddy, and the neighbor, Liam started pushing me around and around on the tricycle. He is SO very strong!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Boat-Boat on Water

What a wonderful weekend we had! Saturday morning we drove down to my mom's cottage to meet up with her and my sister, Rae. The weather was picture perfect and sunny. Liam was excited to see his grandma and aunt. After lunch at the cottage, Liam, daddy, and I went for a paddle in our canoe. Liam perked up as soon as I told him he was going to ride in a boat. He said, "Boat-boat on water" while pointing to some of the fishing boats. Since we weren't too sure about whether Liam would sit still in the boat, we paddled around in the shallow swamp. Liam enjoyed watching the bugs skimming around on the water. We also saw lots of little and BIG fish, swans, herons, and heard frogs croaking. Liam did very well in the boat. Later in the afternoon, I took Liam out with me in my kayak. This time we cruised up the Pigeon River, which feeds into the lake. When we came back, we ate a yummy dinner of grill hamburgers that grandma made for us.

In the evening, we all went down to the drive-in theater to see the latest Indiana Jones movie. Liam enjoyed sitting outside the car with grandma and auntie Rae. We all watched some older kids playing and Liam wanted to join in with them. Once the movie started we sat in the car. Liam played for a while and then slept through most of the film. We got back to the cottage really late!

On Sunday, Liam slept in a bit later than normal. We fixed a yummy breakfast and then went for an early morning paddle. We paddle our way through all three basins in the lake. We saw a small beaver lodge and a beaver. Later in the day we went for a very long paddle up the Pigeon River. Liam did extremely well and we were out in the water for over two hours! At one point a toy car that he had been playing with went overboard. Grandma Kathie spotted it and the chase begun! We worked together to catch it as the stream carried it away. Liam was very lucky that we caught it! After that mommy tied it to the boat so it wouldn't go overboard again. Before we headed back to Michigan, we went out for pizza with grandma. What a busy and fun weekend!

PS - On Thursday Liam said the sentence, "I see baby." and pointed to a figurine in my room of a mother holding a baby.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ben, HI!

This morning Liam surprised me. As I got him out of the car, he spotted one of his friends at school named Ben and said "Ben, Hi!" This was really cool for me because not only did Liam recognize Ben and remember his name, he actually used his name too!

Monday, May 19, 2008

What's Up?

Well, Liam has been full of new surprises in the past two weeks. He started hoping and galloping. He can moon walk backwards in the sand. He loves to dance and spin and move to a beat. He can follow complex instructions like: go find daddy and take him his socks. He asks "Up?" when he wants up. He says "potty" when he needs to go potty (but rarely remembers to tell us before he needs to go). He's getting better and better about using words to tell us what he wants, instead of screeching. I am constantly impressed by he eagerness to help. He can put the wooden tracks for his Thomas trains together and loves to assemble trains and pull them around the tracks. He shows a love of music and often plays with his keyboard or recorder. This evening he was in stitches over the cool sounds he could make with the keyboard. He laughs and giggles often and has a slap-stick sense of humor. I'm sure there is more...but this is all I can remember for now.

PS-Happy 8th Anniversary Honey!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Kites and Tigers and Bears, Oh MY!

This weekend the family too a much needed vacation. On Friday we headed west and stopped in Grand Rapids at the John Ball Zoo, where we saw Tigers and Bears! The weather was truly beautiful and we had a picture perfect time.

There were so many school-aged kids at the zoo. Liam felt right at home amongst all of the bigger kids and got in the thick of things. One of the highlights of our visit was getting to pet goats, sheep, and even a chicken in the barnyard. Liam also gently brushed a sheep who was shedding his winter wool. While this zoo didn't have a train to ride, they did have a fun wooden train that Liam love to climb on. He was in train heaven! "Boop, boop!"

We ate a picnic lunch at the park before continuing our trip westward to Grand Haven. We arrive just as the Great Lakes Kite festival was beginning. This was Liam's second kite festival (third if you count the one he went to in utero). The beach was gorgeous and the breeze was perfect for kite flying and playing in the sand!

We had a very long and exciting day. Our hotel room had a pool and mommy could resist taking Liam for a dip. However, the cold water was no fun at all, so we didn't stay long! Instead we relaxed and watched cable TV.

On Saturday Grandma Kathie and Aunt Rae joined us at the beach. They came just in time to see Liam's first kite flight. We found a very cute parafoil kite with a dog on it for Liam. He even picked it out. Liam was excited to see his "doggie" fly! We kept it up for a while, but the wind started to get squirrelly and it came down. Liam, my little helper, bright his kite back. Aunt Rae got to fly one of daddy's stunt kites for a while. We enjoyed watching all of the other peoples stunt kites and marveled at the huge 90 foot creations that filled the sky.

But then the wind died on us and we had to take down all our kites. After two days of sun and wind, we were feeling rather burnt. So we decided to call it a day and headed to dinner with grandma and auntie. After dinner we headed home to get a good night's sleep.

After taking care of a few chores Sunday morning, we met up with grandma and aunt Rae once again. This time we met them in Marshall for the Mayfaire Renaissance festival It's a small festival, but just the right size for an afternoon with a toddler. At first Liam wasn't in a very good mood (perhaps it was the kilt that mommy dressed him in?), but soon he was having fun! He enjoyed the performers and liked playing with the child-sized trebuchet with daddy. Liam also managed to charm mommy and daddy into buying him his very own stick-dragon (much like a stick-horse but with scales). It was so much fun that we may just have to find another faire to visit this summer!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Tonight Liam put together several pieces of his wooden train track all by himself! This was the first time that he put together more than two pieces. His teachers also tell me that he always tries to figure out how things work. For example, he discovers moving doors and parts on the toy cars at school.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Green Car

Lately I have really been feeling the pinch for time...there is never enough time in the day! That said, I have a few brief things to say about Liam. Yesterday he put the words "green car" together when he was asking me to give him his car. I was very impressed. Today he noticed the moon in the sky and pointed it out to mommy and daddy. He is getting very verbal and using also sorts of new words on a daily basis. In addition to his words he says even more that is completely incomprehensible. We have been encouraging him to give up his pacifier during the day so that he can talk more, although his is pretty skilled at talking (and screaming) around the pacifier.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mom's Dad's Mom

On Saturday we had another whirlwind of home improvement. This one was planned. We finally got the windows that we bought a couple months ago installed. While we weren't doing the work, per se, there was still a lot to be done (especially at clean up). Plus there were a few loose ends that we had to take care of from last weekends bathroom chaos. We managed to get everything squared away and around 4pm we took off for Indiana to visit with family.

We met up with Sean's folks and my sister for dinner. It was a really lovely evening. Then we spent the night at my mom's cottage. By morning the weather had turned cold and rainy, so we didn't get to paddle on the lake at all. Instead we went straight down to my grandparents house, where we also met up with my mom. While we were at my grandparents, my grandma let me look through some of the old family photos. I got to scan a few of my grandfather's family. The picture in this post is of my Great Grandmother and her first three kids. My grandfather is the littlest boy in the picture.

I really couldn't have asked for a better mother's day - spending it with my family. My mom gave me a lovely card (it's too bad the card I received last year from her and dad mysteriously disappeared). Sean and Liam gave me a gardening bag complete with all the tools I need to keep our yard looking beautiful.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ice Cream Social

This week was employee appreciate week. Today there was an ice cream social planned and family was invited. So I decided to get Liam out of daycare a little early so that he could meet some of my coworkers and enjoy ice cream with me. When I arrived at daycare, I was surprised to find a special mother's day gift that Liam had made (with help from his teachers) for me. After snacking on a cupcake, which the kiddos made for their mommy's, we headed to work. Liam was uncharacteristically shy, but still managed to charm everyone. The two of us had our fill of vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Then he took me by the hand and lead me back out to the rotunda. In the middle of the museum is a live pine tree, surrounded by a beautiful mosaic fountain that resembles the great lakes. He kept exclaiming "Water!" and circling around to look at the fountain. Knowing how much he loves cars, I took him up to the portion of the museum exhibit with the automotive history. He had fun running from car to car. It was a real treat for me to bring him to work like that!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Grilled Chicken

The weather was so unbelievably beautiful when I got out of work today that I decided we should get out on our new patio and enjoy the outdoors. While dinner was cooking up, Liam and I played outside a bit...well, I mostly weeded and Liam played. I pulled him around the yard in his wagon and also pushed him on his tricycle too. He was pretty worn out from a busy day and went to bed early tonight.

We did it!

I was too tired and sick to post pictures of our (nearly) finished bathroom before now. I can't believe the transformation that took place! Here are some of the construction photos.

After the leaking shower stall and tub were removed.

The new tub in place and tiling in progress.

Liam trying out the finished product (sans faucet).

PS - A special thanks to Sean's folks for lending a hand during all the construction. We really appreciate your help. Liam had a lot of fun too and by the end of the weekend was saying "grandgrand" for grandma and grandpa. I also want to thank my mom for all her over the phone consulting work, especially after my kitchen got flooded! :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Happy 21

My baby boy is not really a baby any more. Today he turned 21 months old. Sadly, we didn't do anything special to mark the day. Things were far too hectic - I had a mom2mom sale in the morning and then we had bathroom remodeling the rest of the day. Lucky for Liam, Sean's parents came up to assist with the remodeling. Liam got to spend most of the day with grandma and grandpa. Of course that was the best thing that we could have given him! Grandma and I took Liam for a walk around the neighborhood at naptime. Then grandma stayed with Liam on the porch while he slept (and mommy and daddy worked). Later, grandpa pulled Liam in his wagon and played with him outside. Fun times!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Good bye milkies?

Liam may have finally weaned himself. Wednesday morning may be the last of his mommy-milk. He has not asked for milk we'll see if it sticks. While I have been wanted to wean for some time, I am actually feeling pretty ambiguous towards it now and I'm starting to mourn the loss of that part of our relationship as mother and child.