Christmas 2015

January 11, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Oh yeah, and we had CHRISTMAS this year! What a crazy month we’ve been having. We spent two weeks at my parent’s house getting in all of the family and friend time we could squeeze in. I think Liam really enjoyed have a cohort for present opening. He also relished handing out presents this year.

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Aren’t they adorable?

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We thought surely the Nintendo 3DS would be Liam’s favorite gift this year. But instead, he absolutely looooved this. He set up a grocery store in the back room, complete with play food and shopping cart. Kept him entertained for hours. And when we got home he set it up in the basement and started “charging” us to put him to bed. And, of course, it’s perfect for the snack bar on movie night. He seriously plays with this thing every day.

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Mom got me these. Can’t wait to break these bad boys out in our new townhouse in Athens.

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After that it was play, play, play with the cousins!! They played inside and outside, enjoying the brief snowstorm we had after Christmas. Good times.

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Milo. Gotta love this kid. Three was a crowd – poor lil’ guy kept getting the short stick when Evie was around. But we managed a little one-on-one time with Liam and Milo, and they got along like peas and carrots. We’re really going to miss them when we go!

Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday! Happy New Year!

January 4, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Oh, Musings, how I’ve neglected thee! When James mentioned it had been awhile since I’d updated this thing, I told him I was too busy living life to blog about it.

Liam’s two-week winter break has made it difficult to sit at the computer for very long. I’m counting the days until school starts again (one more to go! He starts Tuesday – why not Monday?!!) On the bright side, I’ve been sleeping in until 9:30 every morning, so at least there’s that.

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

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1. We made Christmas cookies for the family! Liam requested gingerbread cookies, and I found a quasi-easy, less spicy recipe that was more like a ginger-flavored sugar cookie. I say it was quasi-easy because while the recipe was easy to follow and didn’t require a lot of complicated ingredients, we still had to chill the dough, then roll it out in flour, then cut everything out. Liam was absolutely covered with flour. And then when we were done, it yielded all of 16 cookies.

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The cookies were so good, we couldn’t bear to part with them. So, back to the store I went to pick up more flour and butterscotch pudding, and away we went with a double batch this time. I also threw in an extra batch of peanut butter blossoms, a family favorite. Finally, I had enough cookies to send to the whole family, plus some to keep for ourselves. I didn’t finish until 10 PM. A labor of love.

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2. Christmas finally arrived! As is our tradition, Liam opened his ornament on Christmas Eve – this year a talking Harry Potter sorting hat ornament. He loved it. I wisely chose to wrap his presents in as few packages as possible – only wrapping the big boxes and putting all of the smaller presents in a big gift bag. Liam got us up at 6:30, and we got about a five minute snooze before he was pestering us to wake up. In his stocking he found a couple of Twinkies – a treat we’d seen made on a TV show but he had never tried before – and fake dog poop, which had him mystified until I explained what it was. It quickly became his favorite gift. After hearing, “There’s a poop on you!” twenty times, Santa was starting to regret this present. Liam was already pretty poop obsessed – it’s all he talks about these days, and it’s his favorite word to write. He makes up songs about it, usually involving “poopybutt” as a key lyric. Oh, the joys of kindergarten boys.

Then Liam got down to business. He opened his first present…and then all present-opening ceased until he could play with it.

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Moving right along, we made it through everything else – lots of books, games, clothes, and art supplies – until we got to the big shabang: his new Hot Wheels track.

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A pretty good haul this year, and not much assembly required. A win-win!

3. Then my parents arrived for Christmas dinner and to stay through the weekend. I cooked a honey baked ham, green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce in a can. I also made James’ favorite, peanut butter pie, and to keep my sanity, I bought a pecan pie from The Village Inn. So not much actual cooking, really. And it was perfect. Dad brought his famous Reverend Wright rolls, and we had ourselves a feast. Liam ate ham, plain green beans, and a roll. Oh this picky eater!

The next day James watched Liam while we went to see the movie version of Into the Woods. I have fond memories of this musical, both from the PBS performance I saw a billion times in the 90s, and from our high school production of it when I was in ninth grade. I was a lowly set designer, but it was a great show. The movie had its flaws – it’s hard to top Bernadette Peters as the witch, even if you’re Meryl Streep – but I still enjoyed it. Agony was hilarious, as always. But some of the more humorous lines fell short. There’s something about having a live audience that really adds to the performance.

That evening we bundled up and saw the pretty Christmas lights at Botanica. I’d been looking forward to it all winter, but what with Liam’s constant whining and my having come down with a cold, it wasn’t as enjoyable as I’d hoped. We wisely put Liam in the stroller, but then he sat in there like a little dictator, bossing me all around the trail. “Turn this way! THIS way! No! You’re going the wrong way! Turn around! I don’t want to stop HERE!” Yeah. Fun. Maybe next year Liam age six-almost-seven will be slightly less of a pain in the ass.

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4. Then it was Liam’s sixth birthday! The birthday that lasts for a month! He got another game (Sorry, a classic), a remote control truck, a homemade 6 shirt from my mom, a crank piece for his marble track, and the biggest present ever, a giant firehouse! He’d actually asked for a dollhouse, so I searched “dollhouse for boys” on Amazon and this is what came up. It has a kitchen, an exercise room, a TV room, a bathroom, a basketball court, a helicopter, a fire truck, and a pole the guys can slide down. Needless to say, it was a big hit.

Liam asked for a birthday party this year, so after my parents left, I got started planning. We set the date for January 3, and the requested theme was Wild Kratts, a children’s show about wild animals. We spent a whole day gathering jungle-themed decorations and party favors, we planned out a fun craft for the kids to do while I’d be making cotton candies for our eight little guests. I ordered a jungle animal cake from Dillons. Everything was set.

Until…

The damn weather. Freezing rain, sleet and snow. This is Liam’s first actual birthday party with friends, and I’m realizing now how difficult this is going to be to pull off every December/January. I had to contact all the guests, postpone the cake, and reschedule for the following weekend. Then Saturday came…and no ice, no snow. For the love of Pete!

Thankfully most of the guests are still able to attend on the new date, though Evie and Milo will be missing out. We’re planning a trip to KC over MLK weekend, so we’re going to recreate some of the festivities with his cousins then. Hence the month-long birthday celebration. Now I just have to keep Liam from catching a cold or flu before Saturday. Sigh. I think next year we’ll move this to May and have a one year/seven year birthday for both kids.

5. Our new fridge is on the way! Back before Thanksgiving we had a repairman out to fix the noise our freezer was making. It was supposedly an easy fix – just replace a part in the fan – but the guy somehow managed to break it so badly that Lowes had to buy us a new fridge. Thankfully the fridge still keeps food cold, but all of the controls don’t work, and we can’t get ice out of the dispenser. A hassle, to be sure, but livable. Of course, they weren’t just going to give us a new fridge – we had to go through weeks of submitting paperwork and waiting on an official decision from the Lowes legal department. But, finally, our gift card arrived a few days after Christmas and we could get our new fridge! I wasn’t satisfied with our original fridge – the stainless steel is a pain in the ass to clean, and the ice dispenser shoots ice all over the floor – so I did a ton of research and found something that solved both of those issues. I rushed over to Lowes…just to discover I’d have to order that particular model and it would take 37 days to arrive. Well, we’ve lived with it this long, what’s another month, right? I got a call today saying it had already shipped, so I’m hopeful they can deliver long before the February 3 delivery date. Fingers crossed!

IMG_34266. We had our 20 week checkup. Liam came along and got to hear the baby’s heartbeat. I expected him to have a lot of questions for the doctor, but instead he saw fit to steal the doctor’s rolling stool and talk non-stop about his dog, Lucy. Oh well. Doctor says everything from the last sonogram was normal, except that my placenta was positioned kind of low, so we’re going to do another sono at around 30 weeks. Just in time for spring break, so Liam can come along then, too! This baby girl twists and turns and kicks all over the place, but the doctor said not to expect anyone else to be able to feel it for another four weeks. We’re still deliberating on names, and it may come down to the wire if we can’t agree. I spent a day rearranging our guest room closet and taking all of the baby hand-me-downs out of Liam’s room while my tummy is still small enough to manage such tasks. Ah, if only I could stay this size! I’m staying on track weight-wise (despite all the sweets I’m eating! And better than I did for my first pregnancy. Thanks, pilates!), but I still feel bigger than I was at this stage last time. Here, you be the judge:

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7. Happy new year! This is the first year we let Liam stay up late. I told him all about the count down to midnight and the ball dropping at Times Square in New York, and he wanted to see it for himself. But the poor guy only made it to 10:30, and James and I conked out around 11:30, waking up to hear fireworks going off outside and to smooch before passing out for the night. Liam came up to our room at 6 AM asking, “Is it midnight yet? Did I miss it?” Poor lil’ guy was pretty disappointed, so I brought up the countdown on YouTube and we watched it with breakfast.

8. Liam had his 6 year check up. He grew 1.5 inches and weighed one pound more. Which puts him in the 2nd percentile for weight and the .15 percentile for height. But at least he’s growing, which is good news. We’re still working on constipation issues, and the doctor suggested we load him up on Mirilax over the summer and get this resolved while he’s out of school. I guess this problem will become chronic until we roll up our sleeves and really tackle it with lots of fiber, laxatives, and bathroom breaks. Between a new baby’s arrival and pretty much re-potty training Liam, I think I’ll call it my Summer of Poo. Joy.  

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8. The wind chill was –1 today, but Liam insisted on playing in the paltry amount of snow we got. A small consolation for his postponed birthday party. And afterward, hot chocolate with marshmallows. Yummy! And messy.

9. Finally, we come to the reason I’m even able to write this long-ass blog post today. We’ve started a family tradition of sorts: The winter break family TV binge – for me it was four seasons of The Walking Dead, for James it was four seasons of The Tudors, and for Liam it was the entire first season of The Pink Panther. Liam and I have to tussle over the Netflix connection, but it’s worth waiting until he goes to bed for me to enjoy my show just so I can hear him crack up every five seconds at the Pink Panther. He’s taken to giving me pretend bombs to blow me up. “Oh, moooom! Here’s a bomb!” Perhaps this will surpass, “There’s a poop on you!” That would be nice.  

Christmas 2013

December 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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With snow still on the ground from last weekend’s storm, we counted this as one of Wichita’s rare white Christmases. On Christmas Eve we let Liam open his annual Christmas ornament, Dusty Crophopper from the Planes movie, complete with spinning propeller.

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Then we let him pick one other present to open.

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A guess-the-Disney-character-stuck-to-your-forehead game from Uncle Chris, Aunt Ann, Brady and Devin. We had to play it immediately. Lots of family fun! And sexy photos.

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But then we’d created a monster. He wanted to open all the gifts from the aunts and uncles. He’d had a stomach bug since Monday, laid around with a fever all day Tuesday, and we felt so sorry for our poor little guy, so we obliged. We’re such suckers.

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From Great Aunt Barb, Scotty and Ashley. He also got some games from his Aunt Kim and Aunt Jill. Our game pile has gotten seriously high. We love games in this house!

Then it was off to bed. Liam was just starting to eat regular foods again, and in our rush to get him to bed, we completely forgot to set out milk and cookies for Santa. But after the Christmas Eve Assembly From Hell, “Santa” helped herself right out of the cookie jar while watching Die Hard until midnight.

The next morning, Liam woke us up at a very reasonable hour, and whispered in my ear at my bedside, “Santa brought me a trampoline.” Indeed. So daddy and I tromped down the stairs to see the monstrosity. I asked him if he wanted to jump on it, but he wanted to check out what was under the tree first. Fair enough. First stockings…

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Then onto the big stuff. He got a soccer and hockey goal from Grandpa Bob, something he may appreciate more in the spring, but we could still set it up in the basement. Clothes, books, games…about three or four presents in, he decided he was sick of ripping paper and asked daddy to open the rest. This kid is so lazy! Finally, we got to the piece de’ resistance. A Discovery Toys Marble Track. The thing he asked Santa for, both in his adorable letter (a crayon drawing of a marble track) and in person at his preschool. At that point, all present opening ceased, and we were instructed to assemble it at once, please.

IMG_2506After awhile, we convinced him it was time to open the rest of the presents, and he discovered another big-ticket item, a LeapPad Ultra from Grandpa Mark and Grandma Julie. His very own iPad, he says! And he had a healthy stack of games and accessories from his MaMa and PaPa to get him started. Sweet.

I kept seeing all of these wonderful portraits of kids with their presents on Facebook, so I asked Liam to pose with his favorite gift. He replied, “I’m too busy playing!” So this was the best I got.

IMG_2503And this was a hilarious find at the Exploration Place gift shop, a quote from Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. >>>

It was just us this Christmas, so we spent the rest of the morning on the phone with all the relatives. We were able to FaceTime with Jill, my parents and James’ parents. Such a nice change to be able to show them all of Liam’s gifts instead of simply describing them. Of course, Liam had little interest in talking with anyone. Except for Evie. We got to see all of her and Milo’s gifts, too.  Evie especially liked seeing my festive toes. This girl loves nail polish.

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Then, in between playing all of Liam’s new games, watching him jump on the trampoline (finally!), helping him build new marble tracks, and figuring out all the cool features on his new LeapPad, James and I cooked a big Christmas dinner. But first, mango chutney, mmmmm…

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As the afternoon wore on, James did more of the playing and I did more of the cooking. I’m not sure who had the hardest job. We had another Turducken Roll from Thanksgiving, and we decided to apply the tips we’d learned from the last time to make it juicier. I also made stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce (jellied, of course) and pecan pie. All of our favorites (save for James and the green bean casserole. More for me!) Oh, and some Malbec for me. Can’t forget the wine!

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It may not look like much, but it was more than enough. I didn’t even have room for pie. The Turducken turned out a lot moister, though James and I decided perhaps this particular dish isn’t really for us. We prefer our meat boneless and skinless, and this had way too much skin and dark meat for our liking. But we were able to pick out the choicest parts and enjoy those, at least. I took the rest and ground it with some mayo for a tasty sandwich spread. James did all the dishes with much grumbling (thanks, dear!), and Liam watched A Christmas Story for the first time. He liked parts of it, though he’s a little young to truly enjoy it yet.

Moving right along, it’s Liam’s birthday tomorrow! And my very excited five-year-old and I will be driving to my mom’s house to celebrate with his cousins. (James is coming, too, of course. But separately so we can stay until Monday.) We’re planning a little pirate party for him on Saturday, his first themed party yet! Mom and I are planning a little treasure hunt cake for him, and we might come up with a game or two. We didn’t invite any friends this time – it’s a hard time of year to get everyone together, and I was concerned with overwhelming him with too many guests, anyway. But I’m sure Milo and Evie will happily liven up the party. Wish us luck!

Christmas Eve Assembly from Hell

December 25, 2013 at 1:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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It looked simple on the box. It even came with an instructional video. But after our sweet son went to sleep, the torrent of profanity uttered by his parents went, thankfully, unheard.  I think the only thing that could have made this worse was if we were assembling this outside in the freezing cold. We watched the video, poured over the instructions, struggled to get all of the pieces to fit correctly. And as we prepared to literally sew the damn netting to the trampoline frame, James looks more closely at the jumping surface and asked, “Does this look upside-down to you?” Holy #$&^%! It said very specifically that the writing had to be on the top, but I guess neither of us noticed that the writing was, indeed, backwards.

So, under the trampoline James went, un-coiling all the springs in the right order, flipping the damn thing over, and reassembling it. And then. THEN. We had to weave the netting one meticulous inch at a time onto the frame.

The worst thing about all this (there’s more!), is that we fully intend to put this thing outside when it gets warm enough. Which means pulling all of those poles holding up the netting apart and reassembling it outside. Thankfully, I think the weaving can remain assembled. But still. This kid better jump on this thing all morning. And he better damn well love it.

December happenings

December 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Sorry, no pictures! My phone has been hijacked by a four-year-old I’m STILL desperately trying to potty train. Angry Birds on the pot after dinner is enough incentive. And we’re making strides…this time going two steps forward and only one step back. He went 16 days without accident! Then seven days. And now four. It seems switching to underwear at night doesn’t make a difference anymore. I’m very much tempted to go back to pull-ups at night, but James talked me out of it. Course, he’s not the one taking Liam to the potty at 11, then getting up at 6 or 7 AM and hoping (praying) for a dry bed, only to be met with wet pad, wet blanket, wet stuffed dog, and wet pillow 9 mornings out of 10. Bath, laundry, remake the bed, breakfast. This is my life now. Until it’s not. This will pass, I’m sure, but for now. Urg.

One good thing about staying up so late and waking up so early, I’m feeling incredibly accomplished. Christmas décor, done. Christmas cards, mailed. Christmas shopping, check. Cookies, baked. Packages, mailed. (Hello, postage expensive enough this year?! Sheesh.) Presents, almost all wrapped. James is picking up one of Liam’s birthday presents tomorrow, and he’s agreed to take Liam out to Bed Bath & Beyond to get me a couple of Christmas presents. I want at least one surprise under the tree. Not that much to ask, right?

Another reason I’m feeling so organized, I broke down and bought one of those mommy planners. Not the cutesy Sandra Boynton one with all the stupid stickers, but something more my style. Practical. And I’m dutifully noting all of my to-do’s on each day of the week. So much better than my loose leaf notes stacked on the end table.

Speaking of loose leaf…my parents-in-law bought me an awesome birthday gift – a teapot for steeping loose leaf tea. One of those gifts I didn’t know I wanted and now I’m glad I have. And it seems there’s a great tea shop right on the way to the gym. I know what I’m doing on Saaaturday!

LosPollosWith some birthday money I bought a new pilates mat, a super cushy one from Pro Source, and it’s like laying on a raft in the middle of a lagoon. When I unrolled it in the living room, Liam immediately squealed, “A summersault pad! For me, mom? Thanks!” and then proceeded to do 15 summersaults on it. I told him it was actually a pilates mat for me, but we could share it. I’d only need it on Saturday mornings for my class, heh. I also splurged on the deluxe Blu-ray edition of Breaking Bad, complete with Los Pollos Hermanos apron. Now that my shows are taking their holiday hiatus, I plan on binge-watching all of the special features. Happy birthday and merry Christmas to me!

Despite my potty training woes, Liam has been really fun to do holiday things with this year. Right after everyone left our house at Thanksgiving, he begged me to put up the tree. He helped me hang ornaments (or, rather, tried putting them on, got pissed that they kept falling down, and just started handing them to me.) We talked about where each ornament came from – a lot were gifts from my mom when I was a kid, and some of them I’d made in school. And he had three ornaments of his own, a family tradition I’ve carried on with him.

Every week in December he has brought home a wonderful little craft from school. He made an adorable little advent candle made of toilet paper rolls and tissue paper, and we’ve been “lighting” it every Sunday. And this week he brought home a little tree made of a pine cone and real pine needles, with a little star on top and a cork for a trunk. So cute. Tuesday night I made an ornament for my sister-in-law out of popsicle sticks, and he loved helping me glue and paint. He wanted to make his own ornament, so I helped him assemble a little wreath, then showed him how to mix his paint to get green and put little red berries on it. I’m not usually one of those “crafty” moms, like my own mom, so we rarely do this kind of stuff. It was fun…but messy. (Read: not doing this again until next Christmas, lol). 

Today I took him over to Walmart to buy a gift for the Derby Toy Drive. I explained to him what charity was, that we were going to buy some presents for a little boy whose family couldn’t afford any, and he seemed to really understand the concept. He helped me pick out slippers and a couple of small toys, and then we put them in the bin together. At dinner I asked him to tell James what we did at Walmart, and he explained it quite well, in that cute little articulate way he has.

So now we’re just counting the days until Christmas. So many! Perhaps I shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get things done.

More presents at home!

December 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Yesterday we finally made it back home safe and sound, just in time to discover that Santa had left Liam even more presents under the tree! Sheesh, this kid has been opening presents all week! Once we got everything out of its packaging (Santa didn’t even bother with wrapping paper for these, that lazy ol’ elf), it was time for playing. Favorite present, this awesome castle.

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Here it is in action.

Even mommy and daddy have fun playing with this. Though Liam didn’t quite grasp how storming the castle works. I showed him how the cannon can fire at the wall, then how the wall caves in and the knights can storm the castle. I had them all armed with swords and shields, ready to do battle. Then Liam picked up the knights and had them fix the wall with their swords. Oh, my gentle little boy.

He also got Hungry Hungry Hippos, which was his favorite game at grandma Julie’s house.

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He got some blocks, a play mobile firetruck and soccer players (thanks, aunt Jill!), an electric guitar, Bernstein Bears book, and clothes from James’ Aunt Barb, and a scooter. He couldn’t wait to take it for a spin, and he got the hang of it right away.

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Christmas in Lexington 2012 (Part 2)

December 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Finally it was Christmas Eve, and time to put out cookies and milk for Santa. And carrots for the reindeer, which was apparently something James did as a kid. Liam didn’t quite get the concept, opting to take bites out of Santa’s cookies before settling them on the plate. (And eating the Hershey kisses off the peanut butter blossom!)

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Mama said she thought she heard jingle bells in the distance, and it was time for Liam to go up to bed. I read him a few stories, then he leaned over to me conspiratorially and whispered, “I hear jingle bells. In the distance.” Friggin’ cute.

In the morning, Liam came bounding into our room with Mama, shouting, “It’s morning! I want to see Santa!” After explaining that Santa had merely stopped by, Liam was content enough to just open presents. He still wasn’t wild about tearing open wrapping paper. He kept telling James, “I got this started for you,” which is what we always say to him to prompt him to finish opening a present.

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Then it was time for the biggest present. Exactly what he asked for! The toy with the “elebator!”

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Some assembly required.

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I love this photo.

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And I made James take this when Liam and I were snuggling on the couch. Y’know, cuz otherwise you’d have no idea I was even there. Such is a mom’s/photographer’s burden.

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The snow all melted and Liam wanted to slide down the slide in the backyard. It was more slippery than expected, which apparently surprised Mama. She was going, “Ooo, ooo, ooo!” in this photo. I barely even got the shot. Hilarious.

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Then it was Liam’s birthday! While getting dressed, it was like a little light bulb went off. “Oh! It’s my birthday! I’m four! I want to open presents!” So at nine AM we started making cupcakes, and by 9:30 he’d opened all his presents.

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DSC_0148He got a Lego car set, the game Operation, some clothes, and a Lightning McQueen guitar. Look at him go, like a little pro! Though he prefers to set it down on the ground and strum the strings with a pick. I attempted to tune the thing, but it’s more like a four-string ukulele, so I had no idea what I was doing. Perhaps Grandpa Bob can give him some pointers when he visits in January.

Operation and Legos were a bit frustrating for him, and will likely be toys he’ll grow into. Funny enough, two toys he got last year – his camera and his Mobi video game – he didn’t even pick up until the summer. But that’s just as well. With a birthday and Christmas only two days apart, poor Liam gets inundated with new toys.

Once the cupcakes were cooled, he helped Mama with frosting and sprinkles. Then with a shrimp fork in hand, he proceeded to eat a tiny bite out of each cupcake on the plate! Whatever, it’s his birthday.

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We spent the rest of our trip trying new restaurants and meeting up with some of my family. We saw my cousin Scott, his wife Lindsay and baby Lucas, who’s almost 10 months old. (The rest of the Pappas’ were laid up with the flu or otherwise indisposed. But I was able to pass on the big gift to the family we’d been working on all year: a compilation of grandpa Marvin’s stories.) We sampled chocolate covered grapes, bourbon truffles (whew, like taking a shot of whiskey!), and chocolate covered sea salt potato chips at Old Kentucky Chocolates. We’ll definitely be making this a regular stop on our visits. We had pizzas and cannolis at Goodfella’s Pizzaria (yum!), and boatloads of barbecue at City Barbecue (decent, though I wish I’d ordered something different. I got the three lil’ sandwich sampler, and the chicken and sausage weren’t that great. But the pulled pork, corn and beans were outstanding!) Robert took us by Jacobson Park, which Brady and Devin love to play in during the summer. And despite the cold, we all got out and climbed around with Liam. He love, love, loved it! The playground was enormous, and all wooden. So now we have to come back when the weather’s warmer.

Finally it was Friday, and time to take the Subaru sleigh home. We were ready, especially me because I spent the whole time with a cold. Liam wasn’t feeling too well, either. But it was nice to see family, and we can’t wait for them to (hopefully!) make a trip down to see us soon!

Christmas in Lexington 2012 (Part 1)

December 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It took us two days of driving, but we finally made it to Lexington for Christmas to see Mama, Papa, Uncle Chris, Aunt Ann, Brady, and Devin. Chris had to work on Christmas Eve, so we opened some of the presents early with the kids. Robert found these cool inflatable clouds with all of the names printed on them…just like how Papa taught him that a cumulonimbus cloud makes a thunderstorm. Very cute! Liam loved his new electric trains, which you’ll see Brady helped him open.

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At Universal we picked up Harry’s wand and the Elder wand from Harry Potter for Brady and Devin. The boys delighted in cursing their mom. A big hit!

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Brady and Liam were pals.

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Even Nala got in the Christmas spirit.

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The boys played Mama’s piano.

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Liam got to see some snow. He asked Papa, “Can we make a snowman?” When he got a “no,” he followed up with, “Then can we make an igloo?”

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Time for hot cocoa! This was Liam’s first time drinking it hot. Or lukewarm, really. With a straw. And a billion marshmallows. I think he liked eating the marshmallows the best.

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Brady and Devin got the Skylander video game, complete with about a dozen little action figures that you place on a portal by the console. Liam enjoyed messing up the game by sneaking over and knocking the guys over, or taking one up and replacing him with someone else. Giggling fiendishly the whole time, of course. Then Liam wanted to show Brady and Devin his video games.

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Then it was time for pictures!

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Say cheese!

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We haven’t seen Brady and Devin since we moved to Florida, so I think the boys really enjoyed how much Liam likes to horse around now. Much basement merriment.

And then we bid the cousins adieu. A fun weekend, to be sure. But we still had Christmas and Liam’s birthday to celebrate. To be continued!

Liam’s Ornaments

December 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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When I was a kid, my mom made a tradition of getting my sister and I an ornament for Christmas every year. It was usually in our stocking, though sometimes we got to open it on Christmas Eve. It’s a tradition I’m carrying on with my own family.

This year, because we’re headed to Lexington next week, I decided to let Liam open his ornament early. This is the first year he could actually hang it on the tree himself without much assistance. It got me thinking about the other ornaments I’d gotten him since he was born. On his first Christmas he was turning one, so we put a photo of him enjoying his first bite of baby food.

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At his second Christmas, we were reading Curious George to him every night, and he had just discovered the cartoon. Little did we know this was the start of a Curious George obsession that would last…well, at least to age four. Probably longer!

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At his third Christmas, he had succumbed to the craze that almost all little boys of his age group succumb to. Lightening McQueen!

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And though we’ve had this book for a couple of years, it wasn’t until Liam’s fourth Christmas that he has requested I read The Polar Express to him every night. James bought him the movie, and we’ve watched it four times already. So this seemed like an apt gift for this year.

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Liam keeps saying a train will be coming to our house on Christmas Eve. I think we’re in trouble.

First Visit with Santa

December 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This year Liam informed me that he wanted to see Santa. So off to the Mall of the Millennia we went! Only the best for my kid. Last year we waited in line for five minutes before Liam lost interest. But this year he wanted to tell Santa himself what he wanted. And I quote, “the thing with the ele-bator (elevator). And a scooter.” In line he was a little rascal, smiling and flirting with the mom of another younger boy. Then it was our turn. He turned to me, arms outstretched, in a panic. What?! You really want me to sit on that guy’s lap?! No way. After much wrangling we got him on my lap next to Santa facing the right direction. This Santa was all business: he deftly shoved me over, negotiated his arm between me and Liam, and said “cheese!” Twenty five dollars well spent, I tell ya. Liam couldn’t wait to get out of there. I’m disappointed he didn’t actually tell Santa what he wanted. But what can I expect from a three-year-old…especially my shy three-year-old? At least we got a good photo. Better luck next year.

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