Friday, October 31, 2008

Leaf Stomper & CandyChomper

On Sunday, a few friends came over for a little gathering. It was the first time that Lisa and her daughter Lesli came to visit. Leslie is two days older than Liam. Our friends Sara, Ian, and Ellie also came. Ellie was dressed as Bat-girl and was very cute!

Yesterday I came home from work to find that nearly every leaf had fallen off of the big black walnut tree in our front yard in only one day! The front yard was carpeted with green leaves. So after dinner, we all went outside to rake. Well, daddy and I raked, and Liam played. He loved to hop in the leaves and then fall down into the piles.

Today was Halloween, of course. Liam was dressed in his Hobbit costume and I dressed up time time too - as an elf. We walked down the street, while daddy stayed home to hand out candy. Liam liked to visit all the "pumpkin houses," as he calls them. The neighbors were extremely generous. Liam got toys, candy, and even antique coins. He wasn't able to walk too far, however, before tiring out. We only walked a few blocks...I think it was because his bag was so heavy with all that loot!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today is daddy's birthday. Liam was the one who got a treat, however. We took him over to the Halloween festivities at a local mall and met with our friends Alissa and Ashtyn. Ashtyn was dressed as Elmo. Liam was dressed in his doggie costume. We visited a few stores for candy and stickers. Then we setting in the book store to warm up. The kiddo's played with the train table. We bumped into a few folks from my department and their kids - what a small world.

We decided to eat dinner with Alissa and Ashtyn at a Mexican restaurant. It was a tasty meal! Afterwards, both Liam and Ashtyn tried to use the potty. It was a fun-filled evening.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Snoozy, Zoo, Boo

Fall is my favorite time of year. And the best part of Fall are all of he fun Halloween activities to take part in. After a slow start this morning. We made our way to the Lansing City market to purchase chicken, produce, and enjoy some Halloween fun! All the vendors were dressed up and gave out treats. Liam thought it was funny that the gal from the coop was dressed like a cat. I thought it was funny that Bob, the produce guy, was wearing a rainbow colored clown wig. Liam got to paint a free pumpkin with daddy.

After our visit to the market, we stopped in Aldi and then home. Liam didn't get down for his nap until rather late. Consequently, he snoozed till almost 3:30pm. Unfortunately, the Boo and the Zoo event was scheduled to end at 4pm. But we quickly got dressed (Liam as the hobbit, Frodo) and hurry to the zoo. They were wrapping things up by the time we arrived. But we found a few zoo keepers who passed out candy. We got to see the zoo decorated with pumpkins, lights, spiders, and skeletons. The big cats had special treats of deer legs. We got a special treat of cider and popcorn. As always, Liam fed the goats.

Upon leaving the zoo, Liam spotted his favorite play ground and took off running. I let him slide and swing for a few minutes, but it was bitterly cold and we didn't stay long. We headed over to Diane and Brian's house to join daddy at his friend's party. We stopped in for a half hour or so to eat a little and say "hi". Liam had fun chasing Diane's little dogs around the house.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The freeze out.

Well, last night we finally decided that it was cold enough to turn on the heat, and wouldn’t you know it, the furnace wouldn’t work! The low temp got down to 27 degrees. Thankfully the house stayed at 55 degrees because of the all the energy-savings improvements and winterizing we did. But it was still rather chilly. I am also very glad that we spent the money to renew our home warranty this year. If everything goes right, we won’t have to pay much for the repairs or possible replacement...the furnace is over 45 years old after all.

I made some calls and the soonest we could get a contractor to come out is tomorrow afternoon. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that we can get things fixed before next week, since snow is in the forecast. Brrrrr!...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Train travels

Last week Liam had quite an adventure. We took a train trip to Milwaukee. I was attending a conference, but I really wanted Sean and Liam to come with me to experience some of the great things that Milwaukee had to offer. There are a lot of great Museums in Milwaukee. So between attending and giving papers, we walked around and took it all in.

Liam was very excited to ride the train. We had to wait a little longer than planned, because the train was two hours late. We were all a little cranky about this, but we made the best of it. Daddy walked down to the corner store and got us donuts. Eventually the train was here. Liam enjoyed watching out the windows for a while. We also stayed busy by visiting the lounge car to play and eat snacks. Later, Liam and I chased each other down the isles, he was getting a little stir-crazy by the time we made it Chicago.

Because our train was so late, we had to run to catch our connection. We got there just in time and soon boarded the Hiawatha to Milwaukee. This train didn’t have any lounge, but they did bring some snacks around on a cart. We all enjoyed a drink from the cart and ate the snacks that I packed. It was nearly 3pm by the time we made it to our destination.

We walked from the train station to the hotel. Liam rode on my back in the Ergo. Once we got settled in the hotel room, we went to the conference to get me registered. Then we took a stroll around the downtown district. I pointed out some landmarks. Liam liked looking at the river and all the cars. We stopped in a mall for a quick dinner, then went back to the hotel for a shower. We crashed early and slept from 6pm till 7am the next morning. We all needed that sleep because we were all recovering from colds.

The next morning, after breakfast at a diner, we walked to the Milwaukee Public Museum. This Museum is really quite spectacular. They have amazing collections of paleontological, anthropological, and ecological materials in really great displays. Liam liked the huge Mammoth skeleton and dinosaurs. He also enjoyed going through the butterfly and insect displays. We got to walk around with a bunch of fluttering butterflies. Liam was too shy to hold one, but got to look at one up-close on mommy and daddy’s hand. When we were done, we picked up lunch and went back to the hotel. Liam and daddy stayed to take a nap, while I went to the conference to present a paper.

That evening, we walked down to the lakefront. We stopped in the war memorial complex and walked over to the art museum. We briefly stopped in the museum to show daddy the amazing architecture and look at the Chihuly glass sculpture. It was a really beautiful evening for our walk. We headed back towards the downtown and looked for unique restaurant for dinner. We eventually stopped at a Caribbean restaurant, where we had a fabulous meal of jerked pork, Cuban sandwiches, sweet potato fries, and for dessert we ate rum cake and ice cream. What a great meal!

Saturday morning we walked back to the lake shore to visit the Betty Brinn children’s museum. It was a fairly small museum, but packed with lots of great things for kids to learn and play with. They had a toy train that Liam could pretend in, crazy musical instruments, a stage and puppet theater, craft area, stations to learn about the senses, digestion, and a huge model of a heart to climb through. There was also a pretend bank, grocery store, and mechanic’s shop. In a separate area, there was a toddler play land with an outdoor theme. We spent several hours there. It was a lot of fun!

After the museum, it was a nap for Liam and more conference for me. Liam had such a late nap, that we got a late start going to the zoo. It was nearly dark by the time we caught our bus out to the Milwaukee County Zoo. I had visited the zoo once before and was very impressed. Unfortunately, it was so dark that we didn’t see much of the animals…just humans dress up as animals, because it was Boo at the Zoo night. I had planned ahead and packed Liam’s doggie costume for the occasion. He looked very cute. We did get to see the Bonobos, gorillas, big cats, and bats. Liam got a cool black cat (temporary) tattoo at the big cat house. We were all pretty exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel and went to bed. What a day!

Sunday morning we had breakfast and then packed for the return trip. The train ride home went very smooth. Liam fell asleep just before we got to Chicago. I put him on my back in the Ergo and he slept nicely during our layover. He woke up in time to see the grand concourse at Central Station. We let him run around a bit and get off some steam before getting back on a train. We picked up some dinner to take with us on the long ride home. After we ate, Liam played and made friends in the lounge car. He had everyone charmed, as usual. He did very good and didn’t even fuss when we found out that the battery was dead in the car and had to wait for help.

I also have to mention that Liam was really great about using the potty while we were traveling. Perhaps it was the excitement of using the potty on the train, but Liam went #2 and #1 on several occasion while on the train and also in the hotel. This was really exciting for Sean and I, because we’ve been working on potty training for some time now. I am encouraging him to keep up the good work and daycare and at home!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Last night when I got off work, I was feeling like we should get outside and enjoy the sunny weather before it turns cold. So instead of eating dinner at home, we picked up a quick bite to eat and took it to the Potter Park for a picnic dinner. Unfortunately, m plans were dashed by the presence of swarms of mosquitoes, who were also taking advantage of the last vestiges of summer to suck as much blood as possible before dying. We hastily ate while Liam played on the playground. We kept moving, just to keep the mosquitoes from settling on us. It was terrible! Liam didn't seem to notice, however, and would have been happy to keep swinging all night if we let him. Sadly, we had to go and get away from the bugs!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Family and Friends

This weekend was busy and hectic. But we received a surprise visit from Grandma Bev and Grandpa John. Liam was so excited when he saw them that he gave everyone big bear hugs! After we finished running or errands, we took some time out to enjoy a yummy lunch and trip to the cider mill with the grandparents. At the mill, Liam got to pick out some pumpkins to decorate our porch. He also got to feed some silly goats. Grandma and grandpa treated us to fresh made donuts and cold cider too!

On Sunday we had our friends Alissa and Ashtyn over for dinner. Miss Ashtyn is quite the expert on dinosaurs now. She brought some dinos for Liam and told us what all their names were. The kiddos were less than excited about the chili dinner that I prepared, but they had a blast playing in Liam's tunnel after dinner...the giggles were non-stop!

In other news, Liam said "you're welcome" for the first time this weekend after I told him thank you. He can be very polite when he wants to be. ;)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pretend Play

Last night Liam and I pretended to cook meals together. He was very cute choosing ingredients and cooking them up on his stove. He even embellished with sound effects of frying food. We also pretended to go shopping for food. He drove around the house on his scooter carrying bags for his food. Then he would pick out what he wanted, fill up the bag and drive it back to his kitchen. He would occasionally take out his toy phone and talk (holding it with his chin and shoulder) while stirring and cooking food - gee, I wonder where he learned this? After he cooked a pretend meal he would offer some to me and say "here you go." We pretended to eat it together. Then he would say "you full now" and pat my tummy. I would say "Oh, I'm SO full from this yummy food!" and he would laugh and then offer me more food to eat. It really tickles me to see him using his imagination and pretending.