Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

This poor blog is nearly defunct. Even though my boys keep on growing and changing, life has been simply too hectic to write about every thing that has happened in the past year. Grant has grown and changed SO much! Liam continues to frustrate and astound! Here are some of the year's highlights - at least those that I can remember...

July: The whole family went on vacation to northern Michigan. While the scenery and location was amazingly wonderful, our children's behavior was not. Our patience was sorely tested. We also celebrated Grant's second birthday (and Laim's 6th)! We held a joint party for both the boys in Hunter Park for family and friends.

August:  The boys and I visited Fort Wayne and stayed with Great Grandma for a long weekend before I went back to work. We had a lot of fun, especially when we visited the Children's Zoo with Grandma. I spent 14 days up north in the field - it was hard being away from everyone for so long.

September: Liam started 1st grade! Although his first day of school was not without turmoil, as there was mass confusion about which classroom and teacher he was assigned to. Thankfully, it was all worked out and he got the teacher that we hoped for.

October: What a busy month! I had a conference and grants to write. But somehow we also squeezed in lots of fun Halloween events and also took a short family vacation to Mackinaw City. This trip was much smoother than the summer vacation. Although I was terribly sick for most of it and Grant wasn't feeling his best either.

November: We visited family for Thanksgiving and stayed with Grandma Kathie. We went hiking nearly every weekend, taking advantage of the glorious fall weather!

December: We had a wonderful Christmas season. We spent some time with both sides of the family before Christmas and stayed Grandma Bev and Grandpa John. The weather finally cooled off in time for a white Christmas. The boys and I played outside in the snow...we plan to go sledding tomorrow!


Grant: Well Grant is my smiley happy guy, except when he isn't. ;) He is usually pretty easy going, and even stay that way after his second birthday in July. However, in the last couple of months, he has figured out that he too can be a rascal if he wants too. For example, he will often have his Lamby (his favorite stuffed animal) do something naughty, like break his brother's legos. And when you admonish him for it, he will say "Lamby did it". He will also sometimes admonish his bigger brother and yell "naughty bro-bro" when Liam does something he shouldn't be doing.

Grant has learned his colors pretty well and can identify some ABCs. He can also count to nearly 20! He is currently obsessed with Spiderman and spends most evenings wearing his spidy mask from Halloween. Grant also sings a LOT! He will often sing sweetly while he plays, some variation of twinkle, tinkle little star.

Liam: My eldest has grown up quite a lot in the past year. At this time last year, we were worried that he would have to repeat Kindergarten. Now he is doing well in school, especially math, which was problematic last year. Part of his success may be owed to starting medication to help with his ADHD tendencies. While I had wanted to stay away from medicating my child, his behavior was becoming more and more problematic and our household was suffering because of it. In the summer, we initiated a referral process to seek out other ways of helping Liam. After a long wait and several visits and tests, we were able to start him on some medication around Thanksgiving. The change has been dramatic in some ways and subtle in others. Overall, I do not regret doing it, since it has helped us become a happier family.

 Liam's likes are pretty much the same as they have been. He is obsessed with Lego and anything star wars. He also likes super heros. He has become a very talented Lego builder. He can assemble very complex sets rather quickly. Even more remarkable, he can build his own creations - some of which are thoroughly impressive, such as the submarine that he built this month.


2012 has been a year full of ups and downs. While we've had a lot of opportunities and fun events, I've worked so hard at my job that I feel like I've missed out on a lot of things, including sleep. But thankfully, my children, my husband (and myself) are resilient and we seem to pull together as a team when it matters. In fact, I'd say that we are a well-oiled machine, even with our problems.

I love my family more than anything and I hope that 2013 will bring good things our way!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Little Archaeologist

Today Liam accompanied me into the field. It was sort of a last minute decision. I had told him that I would take him one day this week, but had not planned for that day to be today. When he asked me, however, I decided it was a good day, since the weather was supposed to be cooler. So we quick packed him a bag and a lunch and he rode up to the site with me.

At first I was a little nervous that things wouldn't go well, because he started complaining about the long car ride almost immediately. But once we got there, he was all smiles and excited. He made friends with SK and Kyane while we mapped in some things with the TDS. He chased after butterflies and braided strands of grass with SK. Later he got to screen with Bryan and helped Jordan find fossils and cool rocks in her unit. He helped carry things and hunted for grasshoppers. He was a very busy boy.

During the drive home, he kept saying that this was the "best day ever"! I definitely scored some awesome mommy points today. He feel soundly asleep on the drive home. All tuckered out.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dental Dilemma

Today was a huge milestone for Liam and for me, as a parent. Liam lost his first tooth! I was in utter shock when Liam announced happily in the middle of breakfast that he lost his tooth. It had started getting loose only a couple weeks ago, so I certainly didn't expect that it would fall out so soon! I had only just begun researching "tooth fairy pillows" like this one to make it easier for me to retrieve the tooth since both boys are such light sleepers. I figured I had at least a month before I had to order one, but I figured wrong! Liam was so excited that he wanted to take his tooth to school to show everyone. He kept remarking about how small it was. I suggested that he keep it safe at home, so that he wouldn't loose it and loose out on a gift from the tooth fairy. This evening, I was so tired from the first long day of field school, that I nearly forgot about his tooth. I found a nice crisp $5 in my wallet. Then I crept into his room, being careful not to wake either Liam or Grant, and carefully felt under his pillow. To my relief, it was near the edge and I quickly retrieved it and left the bill. It is so surreal to be doing this for my own kiddos!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Splish, Splash, Spring?

This entire week has been unseasonably warm, more like spring than the middle of winter. On Thursday, I decided to go swimming at the community center pool. It was so wonderful that afterwards I purchase a family membership for the year. Today Sean and I took the boys to the pool. Liam was very excited and was not very nervous in the water. At first, Grant was very cautious and a little scared. But once he saw Liam trying to swim with daddy, he decided he couldn't be out-done and was soon splashing and kicking and having fun. Eventually Liam was treading water without holding onto daddy (with a flotation device of course). Grant had fun throwing a ball and then going after it with help from me. Everyone had a wonderful time and hopefully we will make this a regular event.

Before we went swimming today, the boys and I had to run a bunch of errands. As a reward for their good behavior through all five stops while we were out, I bought them both a small Lego set. Grant's was a safari rover with assorted animals. Liam's was a ninja, complete with flying serpents. Liam built his set all by himself. After I built Grant's set, I decided to make a safari cottage (the yellow one) to go along with it. Now Liam and Grant both have cottages to play with.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jumping Beans

The boys have been going stir-crazy stuck indoors lately. So today we took them to Jumping Jax - which is a large indoor bouncing-house. The boys jumped and slide themselves silly. Grant's favorite was one that had a bunch of basket balls in it. Liam like the giant slides. Sean and I each took turns playing with the boys, so that we each had a few minutes to read or play on the netbook. They had a blast and it was totally worth the $8 to get in. I only wish that I had remembered to bring my camera with me to record their happy smiles!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hot and Cold

It's hard to believe that two days ago it looked like this outside and was 45 degrees:

And today it looked like this outside and was 25 degrees:

Thankfully, my morning and evening commute was uneventful. I even got away with not driving - I carpooled! Today was also the last day of the first week of classes. I have a grueling schedule this semester, and I'm glad one week out of sixteen is d.o.n.e!

Tomorrow, sledding!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Worms

I spent much of my time over the holiday break reading for pleasure and it seems to have rubbed off on Grant. Now every evening, he constantly brings me books to read to him. He started out asking me to read the little board he's bringing me all of the oversized and long children's books that we have in our extensive collection. Occasionally he even brings me one of my own paperbacks, saying "book, book" and handing it to me.

I'm not complaining though. I'm very happy to sit and read to Grant and Liam in the evening. It is one of the few things that they can both do with me and it is very relaxing for all of us.

So here's to a good book! Or books!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Today was the beginning of a New Year and mother nature seemed to know it. The wind came up something fierce and following it was a snow squall. This winter hasn't been much of a winter...warm and wet with little snow. So while I wouldn't normally welcome snow, this little storm was a welcomed change for the new year.

We spent a quiet day at home playing and tidying. Sean and I both managed to empty a few boxes of stuff we had been storing in the basement. I also decided to finally let go of a bunch of clothes that no longer fit me. I packed five bags of items to donate in the car this afternoon. It felt good to accomplish that. Sean and I also took apart the TV and media equipment, cleaned everything, and then re-hooked it back up in a better way. We also resurrected the PS2, so now we can play those old games as well as our Wii games.

The New Year promises to be a good one, with some wonderful news from my family. My sister just got engaged to her boyfriend! I know they will be very happy together! And one of my cousins just announced that she and her husband are expecting their first child July 30th!

This evening, Grant and Liam and I all sat on the couch reading our own books. It is so lovely that they enjoy reading as much as Sean and I do. I'm going to spend one more evening scrapbooking before my break is over. So much to do...