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.