Thursday, January 31, 2008

Liam the artist

Photos here.

Liam has been doing smiley faces so well this past week. I made a stick figure for him and he made the face, facial hair, hair, ears, hands, feet, etc in green. Two days later, Liam drew his own circles and faces by himself. I found the paper the next morning and about flipped! I was so proud of him for doing such perfect circles (and faces to boot)! I have yet to get a photo of that artwork... it's on the fridge for now.

Saturday we went to PERC and then to our friend Vika's house to see baby Malik. Liam wasn't so sure about holding him, but he was sweet once he got used to the idea.

The last photos are attempts at getting a shot of the chipmunk grape cheeks. It was cracking me up! Those grapes were so big!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Croup Milestone

Sunday morning, when we got to church, Liam's nose transformed into a faucet of snot. I was wiping his nose every 15-20 seconds for 2 hours. During sacrament meeting he'd say "boogies" real loud each time he needed a wipe. Cute the first few times, but as I ran out of tissue, my patience started to wear thin.

I wanted him to be able to go to nursery because he loves it so much, so I stayed in there with him to wipe and disinfect every few minutes while he played. I gave up at 11am when I heard him cough, so took him home.

The faucet nose didn't give up that day. That night at 1:30 am I heard a barking seal come from Liam's bedroom. I have heard stories about this sound and immediately knew he had croup. He coughed through the rest of the night. It cleared once he was up and about Monday morning, but that nose wouldn't stop.

Ian offered to come home before noon so I could go to work. He tended Liam and I appreciated it so much! I came home from work and Ian said he didn't have symptoms most of the afternoon. The nose stopped. There was no coughing that night.

All seemed back to normal Tuesday morning and I took him to the sitter. His nose runs a little bit, but he seems well. I am so grateful this wasn't another 2 week illness. And I was so grateful Ian could tend Liam on Monday so I could go to work (as I have already used 2 sick days in January alone).

Friday, January 25, 2008

2 years, 3 months

Dear Son,

Another month slipped by. It's been a good one. You've been so darling, even with that little attitude you let peek through pretty much daily. We usually understand where you are coming from, but you've learned very well where the time-out step is at the bottom of the stairs. Sometimes you go there with assistance, and sometimes you go on your own and stay put until you can be nice again. We think it's pretty great you understand discipline and how to correct yourself by saying sorry. You really are a well-behaved boy.

In other news, I was on the phone with Daddy this morning and you were standing in the kitchen near me. Next thing we knew, we heard squawking and then saw Orion pushing his way through the cat door with a pigeon size bird! The squawking was so loud and I was starting to freak out on the phone, so all you could think to do was start crying with fear. I stayed on the phone with Dad as I whisked you up the stairs. I shut all the doors and put you in your room, with Dad on the phone so he could calm you while I went to de-bird the house.

Almost 10 minutes later I was able to contain the bird in a towel, set him free, then come back upstairs to you - still talking to Daddy. I was impressed the two of you kept a conversation so long. I got on the other phone to talk to Dad as you wouldn't let your phone go. I went downstairs as I was talking, leaving you again and started cleaning up the attempted murder scene. I said good bye to Daddy and thought you'd just be left with a dead silence. A couple minutes later I went back upstairs to find you talking to Daddy again. Apparently you redialed him because you weren't done talking about that scary bird. Daddy was darling to accommodate your need for him.

This evening Daddy said to you, "Thank you for calling Daddy today. Why did you call Daddy?" Liam hesitates and says, "Well... birdie scary!"

We seem to be laughing a lot with you lately. We love hearing you use your versions of the English language. Your gummy multi-vitamin is a "Pooh tweet" (it's a bear shaped head) and your pretzels are "preb-ples." When you ask 'what is this?'... All that comes out is "wha-shiss?" So you are saying "wha-shiss?" a lot when you want us to name whatever you are pointing to. Your thirst to learn (and to test our knowledge of things) is endearing.

This past month you've shown greater reverence during prayers. You are extremely good at dinner and at bed time now (folding your arms the whole prayer). It's gratifying for us as parents that you've learned one of the first signs of respect to your Heavenly Father. After family prayer we cup our right hands together, raise them up, then down to let them fall apart and say "sure love ya!" It was a family tradition since I was a little girl. You picked up on this when we were at your grandparents' house for Christmas. So to have you requesting it, shortly after we arrived home, was really neat for me.

We are so proud of you, Liam. You are learning too much to report here and, in turn, teaching us daily how to be better parents for you. It's a blessing to have you in our home, to share in your special spirit and to have the close bonds that we do. You get cuter and smarter by the day. You knock our socks off with your wit and antics. You haven't slowed down in any respect of your life. I have to savor these moments! You are a joy!

Love you always,

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Swimming last night

My partner in crime, I mean good friend from work, Deana, invited us to go swimming with her and the kiddos last night. She and her hubby own a condo complex and have access to the pool anytime they want to swim. We've been meaning to go the past couple months, but the stars didn't align until last night (with some coaxing from Deana).

We had a great time! Liam was in heaven. His giggles and squeals were echoing like crazy in there!

He remained on the first step for about 20 minutes and then he slowly branched out the second and third steps. He was so brave! I'd let him play and just stay near to see what he'd do.

Since the other kids were playing in the pool, there was a small current. That current would make Liam lose his balance every now and then on that third step (ie, water to the chest level on him). At one point that current pulled him off the edge and on his way to the fourth step (over his head) and he panicked and started swimming to keep his chin above the water. I was right there to help him but I was so proud of him for trying so hard on his own to get back to that third step. I thought he was pretty freaked out but he went back to wading and splashing as if nothing happened.

He jumped off the edge into my arms 3 times and I'd let his head go under each time. He didn't seem to mind as if he'd held his breath anyway. What a water baby he is!

Snot and Stamps

What a combo!

I got out the rubber stamps for Liam last week as he was still recovering from his runny nose. You gotta love a resourceful child who wipes his nose on the right sleeve of his thermal. Lovely.

But isn't he so cute concentrating so hard on his color choices? Let me tell you, blue and red didn't cut it. Purple was his result on most of the impressions he made on those two pieces of paper. It certainly wouldn't make sense to only use one of the two ink pads at a time.

This art lesson gave me some insight as to what painting might be like. It will be awhile until I get this kit out again... and a longer while before we explore painting. I'd hate to stifle his creativity though. Maybe some Saturday we'll cover everything in newspaper and give it a go.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Liam loves puzzles

I have to brag (because that is what I do here).

Liam is really good at puzzles, shapes, putting things together, etc. I think he'll be an engineer some day with the crazy mad skills he has for memorizing shapes and how things fit together. He has always been advanced in his motor skills, from day one practically.

Over a week ago, we were sitting in Stake Conference with the below pictured puzzle we picked up from PERC. (There are shapes cut in half, cut in odd ways so it's hard to tell what shape it will result in. It was kinda tricky for me the first time.) My darling son put it together with little or no help the first few times... then would do it on his own to test his memory of how the pieces fit together.

Fast forward 30 minutes. There was a 3 and 5 year old sitting next to us... they had a hard time putting it together. They worked together and they worked separately. Still not as good as Liam.

I was smirking.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Liam talks to himself

Things I overhear:

"Blast off!" (from the living room - Little Einsteins)

"Oh Toodles!" (from the living room - Mickey Mouse Club House)

"Oh hot! I bow!" (from the eggs on the kitchen table - gotta blow on them to cool them off)

"One, phree, sik, seven, eight, nigh, ten!" (from the all over the house and in his car seat)

"Dah-ee, cuggle... peez? Dah-ee... cuggle!" (from the crib after putting him to bed - needing cuddles)

"Down kitty!" (from the kitchen - he gets the cats off the counter or table)

"No crying!" (from all over the house - telling our meowing cats to simmer)

And on Saturday, we were driving to PERC and Liam says, "Liam karp... Mommy karp!"
It took me a second to realize he was saying we both have scarves on. He loves that we both wear a scarf when we go out in the cold. That and we both put our "coke" on too.

Oh and one more thing! Driving along in the car, Liam says "M" as we pass by the big yellow M that is McDonald's. I was so proud. He doesn't do well with the alphabet and I was so so so impressed!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


We were finally able to take Liam sledding over the weekend. Only a year after his first time.

(You can see my breath swirls framing them.)

We took turns riding down the hill with Liam. He was having so much fun! He loved every minute of it... and he didn't even mind how slowly we went going back up the hill to do it again! Boy was it slippery in spots!

He looked so cute bundled up. He looked even cuter being toted around in Ian's big sled. Of course the cutest moment was when he'd peek out of the tunnel that Ian bore for him. What fun!

My boys are so handsome! Little snow bunnies is what they are! They can't get enough of the white stuff!

And those big wooly socks that went up to his knees... DARLING! He loves those socks! He'd wear them for pants if he was allowed to.

You can see all the photos HERE.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Random Things

Since the first of the month, at bed time, we've been reading books by the light of Liam's new lantern. That first night, Ian came in and started doing shadow puppets. The dog is amiably named "woof" by Liam. That dog nibbles on Liam's toes, give kisses and makes him giggle. We love having a pet dog that lives in the wall and only visits a few minutes before bed time.

Liam has a boot fascination. He has a pair of snow boots, as does Daddy and he loves to put them on and try to walk in them. We love how he can keep himself busy and make us laugh!

The other night, I was following Liam up the stairs patting him on the bum all the way.
I said, "Liam, you are so cute!"
He said, "Yeah! I cute!"
(I just wanted to hold him and squeeze his cuteness forever!)

Liam has been saying "dop et" a lot lately to both me and Ian. At the beginning of the week I had ignored it hoping he wasn't saying "stupid"... I mean, who taught my kid the word stupid?!? But I later figured out that he has been saying "stop it"... the very thing he hears from his mom quite often. I am glad he doesn't know the word stupid, but I've realized that I need to say less of a couple other words.

Liam has been helping me with the household chores:

He has been throwing his own diapers and other trash away since he was one, but he can open the door to the pantry himself this past year and that makes it nice because I don't have to get up to help him.

He feeds the cats. I hand him a scoop of food, he dumps it in their bowl and then puts the scoop back in the bin.

He vacuums! I give him the tube and he gets down on the floor and sucks up each and every crumb, piece of lint, dust, hair and whatnot. Cracks me up how thorough he is. He gets upset when it's Mom's turn. And even more upset when the vacuum gets put away.

He does laundry. I sort the whites and darks. He gets his stool and puts it up to the side of the washing machine. One by one he'll put each thing in. I let him do his thing while I go and do something else. He also helps me put things in the dryer with much satisfaction.

Oh and he puts the dish washing tablet in the dishwasher and starts it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

First Professional Hair Cut

Last Friday (1/4/08), Liam got his first hair cut. We've cut it in the past, but it was due time that we get his hair done by a professional. He didn't want to sit in the barber chair by himself, so Daddy got set up to hold him. They both looked so cute with their drapes on.

Liam made funny faces as the stylist, Kimra, did her work with the trimmer and scissors. She gave him a mirror to hold so Ian could move it when Kimra needed Liam to move his head. She was impressed that he was sitting so still and cooperating so well. So were we, praising him all the while. She did her work extremely fast! (Ian was so impressed that he went back the next week to get his hair done there.)

I was tickled at how grown up Liam looked with his new cut. I took photos of him once we got in the car. He had a cold and is coughing, but it looks like he's posing for the camera like a little model! So funny!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

More doings in Indiana

The day after Christmas we met up with my close friend, Kelley, and her family. (Kelley and I have been close since we were 14 years old.) We went to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis. I've been wanting to take Liam there. It's a place I loved going to as a kid, so I knew he would LOVE it!

Kelley's family has season passes and they got us in as their guests for free! We were grateful because we knew Liam would only last a couple hours at best, and this is a place you can spend 8+ hours and still not see everything. We'll have to take him back each time we are in Indiana so he can slowly see all the exhibits. Kelley knew what ones he'd specifically enjoy at his age, so we first went to the Dinosaur Exhibit where the kids learn about fossils and can become paleontologists digging up bones.

After dressing up as an egg stealing dinosaur, we moved on to the trains! Besides tons of model train exhibits, they had a real train that you could go inside! The windows were actually flat screen TVs and there was video of scenery passing you by. When I stepped in there, I thought we were moving and lost my balance!

Next was the featured exhibit, Dale Chihuly's blown glass! They had metal frames and glass-like plastic bulbs for kids to make their own sculptures! There was a revolving circle of chairs that you could lean back and stare up at the Fireworks of Glass sculpture, the largest permanent sculpture of blown glass by the renowned artist himself.

Next was a HUGE playzone for toddlers. A big river water table, a sand table, play houses, etc. It was so cool and I wish I had more photos. My camera's battery was dying so I would open it once for each exhibit and get maybe one photo.

After the playzone we went to stand in line for the carousel ride. This is an old fashion classic carousal that I remember riding as a kid. The classic music was booming and I was enjoying myself... Liam, on the other hand, was not too happy about the ride. It was too close to nap time and he didn't want to be on the non-moving horse we were instructed to put him on.

After a stop to the ice cream shop where the kids can pretend to serve up ice cream to customers and enjoy a fake sundae, we headed to the holiday alpine slide. I didn't get a photo of Liam on the slide since we went down from the 2nd floor to the 1st as a family. Liam loved it and we loved watching/hearing his reactions. Here is a photo of the boys standing in line.

We said good-bye to our friends so we could deliver Liam to nap time. He fell asleep within two minutes of getting out of the parking garage. We made it back to my parent's town and kept on driving around so Liam could rest. Ian remembered seeing a beloved White Castle on our way to/from the hotel pool the previous night, so we made our way to the healthiest (snort) burger place in town. (We had to get our fill of goodness we can't find in Utah.)

Liam's Pastime in Indiana

Liam learned about vanity in Indiana. Grandma had a myriad of combs and brushes to fix his hair just right. He worked very hard each day to get the perfect look. No bribe could get him out of that sink. He was sitting pretty.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Snow Video

I was finally able to get the videos off my camera from Liam's first big snow this year. Click here to see the footage. His boots are size 10 or 11 so he was having a rough time staying vertical. Cracked us up. CLICK HERE

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Christmas Report

Christmas Eve's Eve (Sunday) we went to church and felt the spirit of Christmas very strongly there. Liam got his own paper Nativity from nursery and was so excited to share it with us! After his nap, Uncle Drew and Uncle Blake came over for our Utah Christmas. We had ham, potatoes and sauteed green beans. Opening presents was a lot of fun. We were in awe of Liam's tower of gifts from his adoring Minnesota grandparents. We all got him stuff too, so he was sure busy opening everything. We soon found out that Grandma made each of us Christmas pajamas. We all smiled at each other with understanding and immediately went to go change so we could get a family pajama photo. (I'll have to upload the photo when Blake sends me the one he took on his camera that had a timer.) It was a moment of family cuteness for sure!

The boys all played guns for the longest time, then we decided Liam better get to bed because we'd have to get him up early the following day.

Christmas Eve we traveled to Indiana. We were informed shortly before we left that Christmas Eve is an ideal day to travel, we had no idea it would be as ideal as it really turned out to be. The airports were sparse with people and everyone seemed to be in high spirits. It was a great day as a family. A day of answered prayers, a Christmas miracle in and of itself. The day went smoothly with anxiety levels under control as we traveled in the skies towards Indiana. Liam was a very good boy, Ian was a very good boy and I was even under control. We didn't lose Liam, we didn't lose our heads, we didn't lose any luggage AND the car rental was a breeze! We made it to my parents' house before 9pm! Lucky because my very close friend, Amy and her family stopped by not 20 minutes after we arrived! I felt so blessed to be able to see them before they hit the road back to their home in Illinois.

Christmas Day we woke up and lazed around the house with my parents, my sister and Liam's cousin, Sierra. I don't think we opened presents until noon. It was great to take everything slow and have kids so young that they weren't nagging us to do things any earlier. It was just another day for them. They of course were the focus as the presents were being opened. They loved each toy that they wouldn't move on to the next present. We did quite a bit of unwrapping for them. They grew tired very quickly and took good naps while the rest of us continued to be lazy. My Aunt Tonya and cousin Jenelle drove down from Michigan to visit with us and eat a late afternoon Christmas feast. It was neat to talk to Jenelle about pregnancy and infancy as she is due with her first baby in February. She is the youngest cousin... always was my baby when we were kids, so it was special to spend time with her as a grown up. Later we went to their hotel to go swimming with the kids. They had a ball! I had remembered suits for me and Ian, but forgotten Liam's so he had just a diaper on. We were determined to keep him covered though that heavy diaper had other ideas. I've never seen one get that huge. We were laughing so hard at the sight each time he came out of the water.

Liam had a bath in his grandparents' whirlpool tub, played some more with Sierra and then they both went to bed.

I'll have to report the rest of the week later. Enjoy the Christmas montage

Friday, January 04, 2008

Resolution #1 Complete

With the added encouragement from Rose, Liam is free of his binky as of January 2nd, 2008! My goal was to go cold turkey as soon as we were back from Indiana. Rose knew of this so-called goal. I, however, was sick with a cold (and so is Liam) so I wasn't willing to lose sleep until I was feeling better.

So Wednesday, January 2nd, I took Liam to Rose's. I realized I had forgotten the binky for his nap time. Rose immediately scolded me jokingly saying, "I thought you were going cold turkey when you got back from Indiana..." I told her that was the plan, but I was sick and didn't want to lose sleep right now. I would try it on Friday night and take naps with Liam on the weekend to make up for lost sleep (or maybe not). So I went to get the binky and then sat it on her microwave away from Liam's sight.

I picked him up a little after 5pm. Rose had great news. Liam had taken a nap without the binky! SLEPT! for 2.5 hours! I was floored! She said she didn't mention the binky and neither did Liam and he did just fine. I was determined to try it that night. She said she didn't mean to rush me and that it might be different when he is home. I said I was going to try it anyway!

So I did. And it worked! I can't get over it. He got through the whole night without it! He mentions it, but I continue to change the subject and it seems to work. No fighting. I am stunned.

So do you think the local news will pick up my story? I am beyond thrilled. I can't get it off my mind. I was seriously ready for major fits and a few relapses. What a blessing to have a good friend like Rose to initiate the process. I feel so fortunate that Liam really was ready. Hallelujah!