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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Zoo Night

Tonight was the annual members only night at the zoo. We were expecting a crowd, but it wasn't that busy this year. Which was pretty nice, because we were able to enjoy the rides and animals better. Our first stop was a bouncy-house. Liam was hesitant at first, as he was the only child there, but daddy talked me into getting in too and soon Liam was having a ball. We next headed to the ponies, who were offering free rides today. Liam was so, so excited to ride a pony. We hadn't tried it yet, mostly because we weren't sure he was ready to do it...he is afraid of the mechanical horses at Meijer. But he wasn't at all afraid of the the real, live horse. He loved his pony, called Fox, so well that he cried when it was time to leave him and let another child ride.

But he was soon distracted by petting goats and chasing chickens in the farmyard. After that, we checked out the big cats. Soon we were at the picnic area, where they were serving hot dogs, chips, and juice. Liam didn't care for the hog dog, but gobbled down chips - we never eat those in our house. Once we ate our grub, we headed over to the bird and reptile house. Liam likes the snakes and spent most of his time looking at them. We also went to see the penguins up close. Liam was very excited and wanted to pet them. On our way out, we stopped by to see the ponies once more. Liam got to take another ride on Fox. We also stopped at the zoo shop, which was offering a discount to members. Liam picked out a little penguin stuffed animal to take home. We love our zoo, even of it is small.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

In a Jam

I just wanted to share my latest peach preserves. I made them with organic cane sugar and locally grown Michigan peaches from the farmers market. Don't they look yummy!

Liam took an unusually long nap yesterday and today. This afternoon, he felt a little hot after his nap. At dinner, he picked at his meal and then told us "belly hurt". Poor little guy. :( I think he might have the flu. We snuggled on the couch a lot.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Peddle Pusher

We have just been zoo crazy lately. Today we went to the Potter Park Zoo in the afternoon. Before we went, Liam talked about seeing the tiger and wanted to bring his toy tiger along with him. Little did Liam know that he was going to get such an up-close view of the tiger. We also saw the Lioness roar and the snow leopards chasing each other! He is so much fun at the zoo. He got excited to see the fish, goats, ducks, and monkeys - all some of his favorites! It is so neat to see him recognize the various animals and say their names or make animal sounds.

After the zoo, daddy and I decided to treat Liam to dinner at Clara's. This restaurant is located in an old train depot and has a train car that you can dine in. We thought that Liam would get areal kick out of being on the train, and we were right.

After we came home, Liam worked on learning how to peddle his tricycle. Daddy helped him in the driveway. He is starting to get it...maybe in another month he might be peddling his way around.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Life is Good.

I just want to take a moment to acknowledge the good (even great) things in life. This morning Liam didn't fuss when it was time to go. He didn't cling *much* when I had to leave him at daycare. I had a good, productive day at work and when I came to pick Liam up, he ran to me with smiles. After picking up our fresh farmer's milk, we went home and played in the yard. Well...Liam played, I weeded. Nonetheless, it was beautiful weather and a joy to be outside. Once daddy was finished preparing his famous pizza for dinner, he joined Liam in the sand box. I love to hear them playing together! Liam ate his dinner, rather boisterously. The elderly neighbor, two doors down even took note of it. After chatting with the next-door neighbor and procuring a cup of sugar, I made some vanilla pudding for us and her. Liam played well with his playdough and his trains. But once he started getting *fast* (as his teacher calls it), I know it was time for a bath. Daddy got Liam dressed after his bath and then read a book. Just as we snuggled in bed to go to sleep, Liam asked to got potty. I was skeptical, thinking it was a ploy to play, but he did go potty and then went to his bed without a fuss. After Liam went to bed, I did some yoga for the first time in over a year. I didn't realize how much I miss it! What a day, life is good.

PS-I am quite behind on my posts...I am still in the process of writing up our vacation posts, which may eventually appear, as well as a bunch of photos from Liam's birthday.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vacation Wrap

Sunday morning we all headed north to Fort Wayne. We were not however, all in the same car. Instead we were a convoy composed of two motorcycles (daddy and grandpa), one mini van (grandma), and one car (Liam and mommy). It was a crazy situation, but the only way that grandpa could transport his motor cycle to his new house and Sean could transport the motorcycle that his dad gave him back to our house. Except for the first part of the drive as we left Indy, Liam did pretty well in the car all that time. He also managed to get a nap in.

When we arrived in Fort Wayne, we went to see grandma and grandpa's new house. Aunt Rae met us there too. After we got the full tour of there new home, Rae, Liam, Sean & I went to the Fort Wayne zoo for the afternoon. We started out at the farmyard area first. Liam was so excited to see a horse up close. He calls horses "giddy-ups". He also petted the goats and "baaaed" with them. Liam was beside himself when he saw the little train. There was a long line, and quite a wait, but Liam did very well. I think the train ride lived up to his expectations! He just giggled and squealed the whole time! In fact, he cried when it was time to get off the was tough to say "goodbye train".

Next we went to the Australian outback exhibit. The fish aquariums were so much fun to watch - those jelly fish can put you in a trance. Liam learned the word "dingo" too and had fun saying it along with "roo". In the Indonesian rain forest exhibit, Liam and Aunt Rae discovered that there were mice living in the dome with the rain forest birds. Liam liked looking at the gibbons swinging. Although Liam looks kind of forlorn in this picture of him in the Tree House, he actually played in there for a while and did not want to leave. Liam was also spoiled when Aunt Rae took him on a bear ride - on the meri-go-round that is. :)

There was so much to see at the zoo - we didn't have energy to see it all! Before we left, Liam played in the frog fountains for a while. He had fund splashing about with the other toddlers. After getting a quick dinner, we went to grandma Kathie's house and watched cartoons with Aunt Rae. What a busy weekend!

On Monday we headed home - daddy on his cycle and Liam and I in the car. Today was a pretty boring day after so much excitement, but it was nice to have a somewhat leisure day around the house.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hurt not the Earth

On Thursday we packed up the car and headed south to Indiana. For our long-weekend vacation, we are visiting Sean's parents in Indianapolis, before they move.

Before we left town, we stopped at the pottery studio to get Liam's plate. While I was in the store, Liam decided to pour his grape juice all over himself...Ack! Needless to say, we were a little late getting out of town. I was none too please with Liam's behavior, but I was pleased with how the plate turned out. On the drive to Indiana, Liam and I doodled together to pass the time. I would draw something and ask him what it was, then later he would draw and tell me what it was. We stayed at my mom's house on Thursday night. Liam enjoyed looking for her kitty cats. He would walk around the house calling, "ki-tty, here kitty". Occasionally a cat would be brave and come to him - he's pretty good with animals, but can still be a little rough too. He was rather wound up from our journey, but I am very proud of him for going to bed with very little fuss.

Friday morning we continued our travels and after a brief stop to eat (and pet a plastic horse) at Huddle House. When we arrived at Indy we picked up Grandpa John and headed for the zoo. It was a beautiful day and the zoo was very busy, especially for a weekday. But we enjoyed ourselves very much. Some of the highlights of our visit were: watching an elephant show, petting sharks, goats, and ferrets, and watching dolphins swim around us in the dolphin dome. Our energy was fading, but we took a stroll to the White River gardens after the zoo. Liam really enjoyed watching the butterflies flit around us in the big greenhouse. We were disappointed that the model train wasn't running in the garden outside, but Liam had fun splashing in all the various water fountains. After picking up grandma, we went out to dinner. Our evening was rather strange, however, because when we returned, the people buying grandma and grandpa's house, were still there with the inspector. Liam and I went in the house and got ready for bed - he was a very tired boy - but everyone else had to stay out of the house.

Saturday was another fun-filled day. After a good breakfast, we went downtown to the museum district. It was a cool morning, so we walked around the canal and looked at the gardens and sculptures around the Indiana history museum - including life-sized bronze statues of two mastodons! We all had a great time in the museum. It is strange to see so many people and places that I have worked with or at on display at the museum...I have a lot of connections to Indiana history I guess. By the time we left the museum, we were all pretty hungry. Grandma Bev drove us to the Mug and Bun for hot dogs and home made root beer. Yum! Liam was a little pistol while we were there though, too much stimulation and too little sleep makes him wound-up!

Over lunch we decided to go to the Indianapolis Art Museum next. Liam snoozed in the car while went there. He was still sleeping when we arrived, so I carefully strapped him in the Ergo on my back and we headed in the museum. It was actually perfect timing for his nap, because I don't think he would have been very interested in the artwork and we were able to enjoy it in peace. That is until the museum guards started pestering me to take him off my back. :-/ Apparently, they have a policy that babies cannot be worn on the back. But no one said anything to me when I checked in at the front desk and got a map. The first guard I spoke to was nice enough and told me that I could keep Liam on my back as long as he was asleep. Ok...that's fair enough. But then every guard we encountered along the way had to comment about it. Finally, as I was just entering the room of pre-Columbian art (the stuff I really wanted to see), a guard told me I had to move Liam even though he was asleep. That was the last straw for me. I told him that I was not disturbing my child from his sleep and that I was going to leave. The whole thing was pretty upsetting. I had to share this picture, which was titled something like "The joys of motherhood"...the title and the image seemed ironicly out of sync.

We decided to go outside and enjoy the gardens on the grounds. Liam woke up and was happy to have had a good nap. He enjoyed running around in the beautiful gardens around the Lily mansion. It was a very lovely place. We took a brief walk through the greenhouse and mansion too. It was a lot of walking though, and we were pretty beat by the end of it.

Time to go home...On our way back to the house, we stopped to get some meat to make taco salad. While grandpa was in the store, a very careless young lady threw some trash out of her car window right next to us. I opened my car door and handed her the trash, telling her to "dispose of it properly". Some people are just gross! Once we got back home, Liam played trains with grandpa most of the evening. It was good to relax.

Monday, August 4, 2008


This evening I decided to try my hand at canning. Rather than making jam, I canned the fresh berries in syrup. I thought this would be a good way to preserve them for baking during the winter. Plus it was far less time consuming for a busy work-night. Even though I am a complete novice, all of the jars appear to have seal properly. Perhaps I should run with this success...pickles anyone?

Voted the MacGyver of Housewives.

There is a long story behind the title of this post. Mt sister decided to stay with us for the weekend and into the week. She was having fun playing with our cat, Dozer, and asked me if we had any cat toys. I produced a rather silly looking handmade toy that Sean calls "the worlds ugliest cat toy" (let's face it, cat's don't care). I told her that I made it from scraps of fabric. She laughed at said "Fabric scraps and a stick of bubble gum, right?! You're the MacGyver of housewives." Considering the guest at Liam's birthday party were chuckling about my hand-made goodie bags and playdough, I think this title is fitting. I am always trying to make something out of next to nothing - I consider it one of my greatest gifts and I enjoy the challenge.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Take me riden in the car-car.

Liam napped once we returned home from the berry patch. While he was napping, Rae and I went to the pottery studio to finish the plate from Liam's birthday party. I had everyone who attended put their fingerprints around the edge of the plate. Then I painted in train tracks and wheels to make the fingerprints look like train cars. I also added a few other embellishments. Once it is fired, I will have the studio glue the train that Liam painted onto the plate in front of the cars. It will look very cute hanging in his room.

Liam took a long nap and it was nearly dinner time by the time he woke. We surprised him with his last birthday gift - a cosy coope play car. He had a lot of fun driving it around in the backyard and in the driveway. I was able to get it used for a steal. He loves to play with those types of car riding toys at school and when we visit friend's houses. So I am glad we were able to find one for him at a good price.

Even though we had a lot of left-overs, we decided to go out for dinner because Rae was visiting us. We all had a big meal at the Chinese buffet. Liam ate quite a lot - I am worried that they will started charging us for him. After dinner, we played in the yard some more. Liam drove his car around and then decided to wade in the pool once I put my feet in it. He had a good time splashing (which he didn't have time for at his party). Then he helped empty it by scooping out the water and watering the plants (and they really needed it) or "washing" his car. He was a muddy mess by the time we were done. I managed to convince him to come in and get a bath with the promise of watching the batman cartoon. He kept saying "batman" over and over was too cute.

I can't believe my baby is already two years old!

Berry Birthday

This morning at 8:46am, Liam turned 2 years old. We did most of our celebrating yesterday with family and friends. But I had planned a blueberry picking excursion for him today. My sister joined Alissa and I, with the kiddos on a trip to Leslie, Michigan. The weather way beautiful and the kids cooperated pretty well as we picked. Of course most of what we picked ended up going into their growing stomachs! We finished the first row and moved on to the next - I spotted a mantis and called Liam over to look at it. As I was showing him the mantis among the leaves, he decided to eat a small red berry that was growing with the blueberries. He swallowed the thing before I could even get my hand to his mouth.

Then ensued frantic calls by myself, my friend, and the farmer who owned the patch, to poison control. All I could think was - "I've poisoned my son on his second birthday!" After all three of us inundated poison control's call center, we learned that it was honey suckle and was not deadly. Thank goodness!

The worse thing was that after all that craziness, we had crying toddlers and very few berries. At least the farmer let us take what we picked without paying. A small consolation for yet another grand outing gone wrong. :-/

My sister, who kept picking during the red-berry incident - knowing full-well that we had the problem covered - managed to get a couple pints worth, so I might have enough to make one batch of jam. At least my first attempt at canning will be a memorable one, though I sometimes wish life didn't have to be such a soap opera.

It's My Party!

After many weeks of planning and several months of patio-building and yard work, we celebrated Liam's second birthday in our backyard on Saturday. The weather couldn't have been more perfect and there were no major hitches (aside from the kiddie pool springing a leak - Alissa came to the rescue with a backup pool). All of the food turned out great and the Thomas birthday cake was lovely. The kids played well together and I think Liam had a really great time. He was a little overwhelmed when he woke up from his long nap to find 14 people had arrived, but after a few minutes he was his boisterous self again! He was so excited at opening his gifts that he could hardly contain himself. Many, many thanks for everyone who came and for all the wonderful gifts.

View of backyard party.

The pool goers.

Liam's cake - daddy is lighting the candles.

Yum, icing is even better when licked off a train!

Hannah and her mommy, Eva.

Miss sweet cheeks, aka. Ellie.

Liam sure loves his cars!

Party goers: Alissa, Ashtyn, Hannah, Aidan & Dan.