Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New Activities for a Brain Child

I have been struggling to come up with ideas to keep Liam's brain busy. I needed some activities that he could handle on his own. His puzzles keep him occupied for 2 minutes, then he comes and gets me to help him get all the pieces in. He actually does this with most of his toys. Plays by himself for a few minutes, then comes over to get me involved. I understand that need, but sometimes I've to get work done... I can't always be torn away the second he asks for it.

So I sent an email to a dear blogger friend of mine. She has a goal to be a Waldorf teacher some day. She is extremely intelligent and has a beautiful and bright daughter that is a few months older than Liam. DING! The light bulb went off that she could give me some insight on what floats a toddler's boat in the "toy" department.

I was not disappointed! My wonderful friend sent me a HUGE laundry list of ideas! I was elated! She made my month!

It was going to be awhile for me to find myself at the dollar store to get supplies for some of the activities she suggested, but I had some stuff on hand to suffice until I could go buy more treasures.

I made a piggy bank out of an old jelly jar. We actually inherited this jelly jar from Ian's grandma who had recycled it (she had made us yummy jalapeƱo jelly). I just took a fat knife and made a big enough slit for pennies to fit into the lid. Yesterday and today Liam has doted on this "toy" for quite some time. He does ask for a little help here and there, but it's mainly for me to empty the full jar of pennies so he can start again. (Yes, I am lucky he doesn't pop these copper candies into his mouth... he has learned what is "too small" and doesn't stick anything tiny into his mouth... he actually hands me any shard of anything he finds on the floor!)

Then tonight after dinner, we found an additional accessory for the piggy bank. A cupcake pan to sort the pennies! Genius, right! He really thought this was novel!

And the kicker for today was yet another appendage for a current toy. The Pound-a-ball. We are down to one ball and one golf ball for this toy. I have no idea where the other 3 balls rolled off to. So as Ian was leaving for Scouts tonight, I asked if he had a stash of golf balls. He had a 30-pack! And they came in a mesh drawstring bag too! So Liam had so much fun unloading most of the golf balls into his Pound-a-ball maze! And then he had even more fun rolling them all over the family room!

After this activity we went upstairs to get his pajamas on. I noticed his basket was out of diapers, so Liam helped me get the new package out and he stocked the basket full of all the diapers. One by one.

He better sleep good tonight. He's been really busy today!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Piggy Back Rides

I have been giving Liam piggy back rides this past week. He seems to think it's pretty fun to have mom run around the house while he bounces along on my back! I love making him laugh. Between this activity and tickling him... I've got two guarantees for laughter!

And here are a couple shots I took after I put Liam in his pajamas tonight. I love how cuddly and charming he is at bedtime! I had to get photos of these new pajamas we found at Osh Kosh (we went to Park City on Saturday)!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Liam's well-visit

Ironic, Liam wasn't well for his well-visit to his pediatrician this morning. He's had a cold for weeks now. He started whining the minute we walked off the elevator. Then we got into the exam room, it got worse.

He knew what we were up to.

We had to strip him down for the big weigh in. 22 lbs! After taking his other measurements, we let him down to play on the kid size chairs he had his eyes on. According to the wiggly measurement, he hasn't grown in height.

When Dr. Wynn came in, he was his regular bubbly sweet self! Liam didn't want to have anything to do with him though. Ian and I took turns holding Liam through the exam. He wouldn't calm down. Then it was time for the shots. I was so glad Ian was there with us. I think it helps that Liam sees both of us during yucky experiences like this. The poor kid.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Happy 15 Month Birthday, Liam!

Dear Son,

It seems most of your fifteenth month was spent with a runny nose. Despite your cold and labored coughing, you've continued to be a delightful boy!

Your dad and mom took shifts staying home with you yesterday. I think you really enjoyed spending the extra time with your parents, especially your dad. He really knows how to entertain you and teach you funny skills. I came home to see you two giving each other high fives! He also taught you how to jump! It's so cute how you mimic jumping... it's like a tip-toed skip and each time you "jump" you try saying the word in a high pitched way that we did.

Tonight you said bye-bye for the first time! On Sunday you said kitty ("tiddy")! You continue to say mom, ma, mama, da, dad, dadad at random times. Your consonants are more clear these past few weeks. Talking isn't too far off. We are excited to hear what you have to say!

You are climbing everything! This morning you finally figured out that you can move objects to assist you in climbing. You moved the wicker chair over to the couch! Somehow you can get onto the wicker chair alone, but not the couch quite yet. So this breakthrough for you was groundbreaking in your opinion. It was very funny to watch those sneaky eyes as you pushed that chair over to make your bridge!

You cut your 5th tooth just after Christmas. You've been doing this fake grin lately to show your teeth off. I found out tonight that your dad taught you this funny face!

You are our own comedian! We enjoy your clapping, dancing, jumping and spitting skills! You laugh at your own jokes. Those jokes are mainly your above mentioned skills and our happy reactions to those skills. We applaud most every move you make! You are a very obedient boy! We are enjoying this phase of your life!

I mentioned this in my last letter, but when you fold your arms for prayers, it melts our hearts each and every time! I really feel a surge of pride when you show that sign of reverence even though you don't fully understand what you are doing. Yes, you are a copy cat, but you seem to copy good things for the time being.

We were playing with you on our bed the other night. As each of us spotted your every darting move, I thought, "How did we get here? How is it that we made such a perfect little boy? I've got a blond baby boy running around and he looks a lot like us! Did we actually make this life-altering decision? What a sweet family we've got!" Then I snapped out of it and remembered how it all began and realized how easily you've molded us into parents. We are parents! We're raising a very mild and happy child! We are so very fortunate to have YOU... just you. I sometimes imagine us being sent a very different child and how we would have dealt with a totally different person growing in our midst. I am really grateful you are in our home. You make us better people. You've changed us as people, our marriage, our dealings with others. It's really quite the miracle -- YOU!

Liam, I love you more than I ever thought possible! You grow on me each and every moment! It's amazing my heart has room in the space provided me. It's also amazing that I am granted the strength every day to keep up with you. It's a good plan to start people small and immobile. I've grown with you, that is for sure. Mentally and physically. I have to admit your growth is much more beautiful than my own though. You are my marvel, my handsome perfect boy. You are mine to love, cuddle and mold. I am a very happy mama to have you!

It will always be an honor to be your mother. I will always be proud of you, even when you stumble, fail, lose faith, cry, leave my safe care... I will always be here for you, cheering for you, helping you along the way. I hope you'll always want and need that support from me. It's yours for the taking.


Friday, January 19, 2007

My Obedient Puppy

Liam gets smarter and more aware of what we say every single day. I love witnessing his responses to my requests.

"LEEE-UMMM" (he stops whatever mischief he is up to)

"Let me see" (he will show me and hand me whatever small treasure he's found or plopped into his mouth)

"Close the door" or "shut the door" (he closes whatever cabinet, door or dryer he opened)

"Put that away, please" (he'll put his toys away or the hand towels from the kitchen drawer he likes to empty or whatever he's just gotten out)

"Sit down" or "Get down" or "Lay down"

"Be nice" (he'll pet the cat instead of pull or grab)

"Clap your hands" (no physical que needed, he knows what the word "clap" means)

"Dance" (no physical que or music required)

"Fold your arms" (no que needed, he folds his arms for family prayers and prayers over our food)

"Can I have a kiss?" (This past week he's been obliging us with a kiss on command. Sometimes a few in a row!)

"Come on" or "let's go" (he follows me or comes to me to take him somewhere)

"Show me your belly" (with both hands he proudly displays his belly)

"Where is your nose?" (he almost picks his nose on this demand)

"Let's go brush our teeth" (he follows me to the bathroom and waits for me to give him his toothbrush, then brushes his teeth like a good boy)

Don't I have such a good little puppy!?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Love for Shoes

I remember when Miss Alli was 2 and she would come over and try on all my high heeled shoes. I thought that was a girl thing... apparently not. And it's not just restricted to 2 year olds either!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Little Surprises

Sunday I went to put on my boots to find something in the toe. I overturned the boot to see it was a container of floss... then I went to put on the other boot and the same exact thing happened. Liam had found two containers of floss on Saturday and was certain to find a good hiding place for them in my boots. Granted this isn't the first time he's left treats for me in my boots. They are too hard for him to resist with all the space they provide for his toys. Monday morning this is what I found. I guess my boots are one handle short of being a hand basket! What can I say? My kid loves containers of ANY sort.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday is a Special Day!

Liam slept in until almost 9:30am today! (He must be having a growth spurt.) Since I was up at 8, I got a lot accomplished around the house before my friend, Dame Eyola, came over at 10am to help me get started on "mission organization" in my sewing/craft/ironing/gift wrapping/Avon room. Ian got a head start at 5am this morning clocking into work at 6. I was grateful to him for doing that so he could be here to play with Liam while I was up in the sewing room with the Dame. We got a lot accomplished!

After the "mission organization" session was through, Ian, Liam and I got ready to go to our friend, Vika's wedding reception. I have never been to a traditional Tongan wedding, but let me tell you there was a lot of cultural entertainment and music! Liam was so tired and the music was so loud, so he wasn't dancing around like I thought he would be. He was well behaved in his fatigued state, zoning out most of the time. I enjoyed watching all the family dancing. There was a traditional solo dance that the bride usually does, but they had another young woman do the dance and everyone tucked money into her costume. Liam and I went out to the dance floor and contributed to the fun. Vika gave us a big smile and lipped "thank you" as we walked back to our seat.

We ended up leaving before indulging in the island feast because Liam was getting restless and cranky. Crossing our fingers, we headed to a local Italian restaurant (hoping Liam would behave in a high chair as tired as he was). We gorged ourselves by choosing "market room buffet" off the menu. Liam ate a TON of food! Pasta, meatball, salad, bread... he went to town! At one point, he accidentally picked up a crayon he was playing with earlier and bit the top off. The look on his face was pure confusion... he spit that blue wax out so fast. Yuck! He continued to eat, eat, and eat some more real food after that!

He was asleep within 3 minutes of being put into his car seat. He took a two hour nap (and I got to sleep an hour of that)!

After the naps, we three went to run some errands. We hit PetSmart, Good Earth and Borders. I've been buying all of Liam's food and snacks in the organic part of the grocery stores (double checking sugar and sodium content, etc). We were running low on Liam's snacks, so I wanted to stop by Good Earth to stock up. I was so happy they had the soy yogurt! Yay, a store other than SuperTarget has Silk products! I should have checked much sooner than today.

At Borders, Liam had a ball! He ran around the entire store just giggling. He picked out a really adorable (annoying) choo choo train book that makes lots of adorable (high pitched) train sounds. He showed his selection to dad and we consulted together and vetoed the book. We ended up buying him a six-pack of board books for only $5.99! I got a $4.99 copy of Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson, since I recently found it recommended by a blog friend. I loved the book, Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, so I thought this purchase was a wise one. Ian got his Bernard Cornwell selection as that was the whole reason for our trip. I love our quarterly Barnes & Noble/Waldenbooks/Borders trips! I also love that these trips are led by Ian... since he is the avid reader in the house! I hope Liam grows up to be like Ian this way. So far so good... he loves all his books!

We got home from Borders and Liam ate a HUGE dinner. I am so amazed at how his appetite grows by the day. He is starting to put food away like his parents!

After cleaning up from dinner, Liam ran straight to Ian's arms. Ian started putting a toy in the palm of his hand and hiding it then asking Liam to pick the hand it was in. We tested him quite a few times and even tried a third hiding place to see what he would do. He passed all the play tests! A few minutes later, I saw Liam with the same toy, trying to hide it in the palm of one hand and closing his other empty hand. He came over to us and it seemed like he wanted to test us! It was so cute not only because of the classic copy-cat behavior, but that the toy was too big for him to actually hide in his tiny fist! What a smarty pants! We just get the biggest kick out of him.

Thanks Liam for your cartoon grins, good eating, funny running toddles, slobbery kisses, love pats, hugs and magic tricks today! And wouldn't you know it, I didn't pick up the camera once today. Oh well, there is always tomorrow. Another full day with my sweet baby!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Shirts I've Done so far

I still need him to model the "Made in Utah" one...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sunday Morning

I forgot to report a very cute scene that took place Sunday morning as I was trying to rush around in preparation for church.

Liam followed me down the stairs (and I thought he would have followed me all the way to the bathroom, but he stopped off in the living room). As I was putting on my make up, I noticed it was REALLY quiet, so I wondered if maybe he went back up the stairs without me. He wasn't responding to me calling him.

I quietly tip toed to the living room so I could catch whatever he might be doing wrong. I found him crouched down like a little frog spooning Daddy's leftover cereal into his mouth. It was a HUGE daddy-sized spoon he was working with. It appeared that he had gotten some good slurps of milk and soggy cereal remnants into his mouth, but there was no mess. I tell you what, he's good with his eating utensils! I just laughed so hard at this display. He felt so big and independent! So you can imagine how upset he was when I took the big boy snack away from him!

Liam's furry cousin

On Saturday, Uncle Drew brought Wyatt over to meet Liam. He is a papered German Shepherd. At only 6 weeks he is 12 lbs! He is a darling little pup and Liam was excited to see him for the first time. You'll see Liam taking refuge with me, Ian and Drew at times. He likes the doggy, but isn't totally confidant with him yet.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Applause is NOT Appropriate

So Liam has been teething the past week and a half. The runny nose that accompanies new pearly whites caused so much drainage for him that a cold resulted from the teething. Luckily Rose had him all last week since Shari had Christmas company in town and needed a break. Rose spoiled him and they had such a good time together even though Liam was under the weather.

Liam's 5th tooth broke through on Saturday or Sunday. So I thought we were over the hump of hard core teething for another little while. His nasty cough hasn't eased and neither has the drainage coming out of his cute button nose.

Two Frustrating things:
My house, myself, Liam's toys, Liam's clothes are all being slimed during his waking hours. Slime is everywhere! It's frustrating for him to get his nose wiped over and over and it's frustrating for me to have to keep torturing him.

So the slime is a combo of nose drippings and drool. Weaning Liam from the pacifier was a good idea until the puddles restarted. I keep that binky in to reduce the slime factor lately. Why he needs a binky to help him swallow the added saliva... I have no idea, but it works.

His sleep schedule was looking bright before a week and a half ago. He made it to 5:30am and 6:30am with no feedings. Now he's back to the newborn stage. I HATE THAT! It's a lot of work to get a tiny boy trained to sleep correctly AND THEN to have it all go to pot because of pain and being miserable just isn't fair! To him or to the mama!
That being said, last night was a monster of a night! I actually made my way up the stairs at the early hour of 11pm to hit the hay (unheard of for me). I took the first step upstairs and heard Liam start to fuss. DANG IT!

I spent the longest 60 minutes comforting my crying baby while NOT picking him up. I knew he wasn't hungry, I new he wasn't in pain either. So I thought it would be fine to start the sleep training process again. There were 4 occasions where I thought I was in the clear to lay my weary head on a pillow... He was asleep, he was gone, he wasn't doing those recover-from-crying hiccups anymore... So I would quietly make my way out or even just think about leaving the room those 4 times and his head would pop back up and start the process again. At midnight I was too exhausted to verbally comfort him anymore. I had to pick him up and nurse him to sleep. Then repeat this every 2 hours until 7:30am.

He sat up in his crib at 7:30am, and when he saw me, he sat there and clapped his tiny hands over and over... At the time, that didn't amuse me as cute as it was. Applause didn't seem appropriate for the occasion. What seemed appropriate was more sleep...

At least he took a morning nap today... Naps have gotten screwed up too lately.

Why oh why oh why?