Liam Turns Seven

December 14, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s been chaos here in the Fletcher household: the post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas, pre-trans-Atlantic move rush was complicated by a bout of suspected food poisoning amidst all of my birthday party planning. So while I booked Liam’s party at Jumpy Jump Land a month ago and sent out invitations two weeks before the event, the actual party only came together by sheer will and the incredible generosity of friends, family and neighbors. I doubt Liam will ever know the difference – he had a wonderful time jumping, eating massive amounts of pie from his favorite Derby restaurant, and opening lots of presents. He didn’t notice that: A) I didn’t remember to bring birthday candles; B) Nobody actually sang Happy Birthday; and C) There were no presents from me and daddy. I also didn’t bring anything to properly cut the pies with, so my poor mother did her best using plastic cutlery to dole out rough pieces of delicious Holiday French Silk and Pumpkin with Whipped Cream. Being the birthday boy, Liam got a piece from each. He must have worked up an appetite from all that jumping. He made short work of them.

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Because we have a limited amount of space for Liam’s things in the move, we decided to request books as gifts. Though Liam is only just starting to get into reading, he loved the idea and was delighted to open all of his gifts.

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Notably, he got several Magic Treehouse books (his favorite series at the moment), a “7” shirt from my mom, picture books and activity books that will be great for those dull moments on the way to Greece, several other chapter books, and a really cool travel atlas from Jill.

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He even got a $20 bill. Evie was green with envy.

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We had about a dozen kids in attendance, which turned out to be a perfect number for the venue. We had plenty of food and drinks, and I think everyone had a good time. I had to mind the baby quite a bit, so I relied on Jill to snap most of the photos and mom to feed all the kids. Violet was pretty good about letting my friends take turns holding her so I could get a break from time to time.

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At first I was a little concerned about having the party so early – 10 AM was the only time I could book it – but I really appreciated having the rest of the afternoon to recover. Evie, Milo and Liam played all afternoon (read: tore apart my house), then we all watched Home Alone that night. None of the kids had seen it, and they absolutely loved it. They kept telling and retelling their favorite parts to each other while brushing their teeth before bed. And the next morning Milo went on the hunt for paint cans to hang from our stairway. Thankfully he’s too young to get up to TOO much mischief. Yet.

Tomorrow I’m planning to take Liam to the bookstore to exchange some of his Magic Treehouse duplicates and get the rest of the books in the series as our gift to him. Good save, yes? That was my plan from the very beginning…

Liam Turns Five

January 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Let me just say here that my parents are amazing. Liam and I arrived at my mom’s on Friday, and I expected we’d have to bake a cake and plan Liam’s fifth birthday party for Saturday afternoon. But they’d taken care of nearly everything: baked this adorable cake, constructed a cardboard treasure chest with presents inside, and thought up the idea for a little treasure hunt for the kids. All we had to do was come up with some simple clues. Wonderful! We decided to keep this party small – just Evie and Milo and us grownups.

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While Liam and Evie played in the dollhouse (decorated for Christmas, even!), mom wrote down some clues to lead them throughout the house and to the laundry room where we’d hidden the treasure chest. But first, cake! And trick candles, apparently.

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Now for the treasure hunt! My mom had marked an “X” on her bookshelf and we told the kids to look all over the living room for it. A game of “warmer, colder” was in order. Ah ha, there it is!

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From there the clues led to the bathroom (Where would a pirate park his ship?), to a mirror in one bedroom, to my black boots in another bedroom, and finally “where would a pirate wash his clothes?” Ta-da!

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Inside were giant gold doubloons that Evie had made, and some other treasure in the form of presents. James and I brought a couple of other presents. A globe from Aunt Jill (which he promptly opened and set aside), and an Imaginext castle from daddy. Just like Christmas, all present-opening ceased until he could play with the castle. So all of the cousins moved to the living room and stormed the castle with all the little guys. Later Liam opened his “5” shirts that my mom made (both long and short sleeved) and a puzzle pattern box that she and dad made, similar to the one I played with as a kid, which was modeled after one my mom played with as a kid.

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The rest of the weekend was spent playing on their matching LeapPad Ultras. One of the cool features of this high-tech preschool ipad is that they can play some games together when they’re in the same room. They can text message each other, and their little pets can interact. Very cute.

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That evening, Evie drew a little picture illustrating the day they’d had. It says, “Me and my cousin had a birthday with cake. Liam wore his 5 shirt!” You’ll see she even included Liam’s dog Lucy and her little black dog that she carries around everywhere.

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On Sunday mom, dad and I took the two older kids to the Toy & Miniature Museum. Mom read that they’d be closing for renovation soon, so we wanted to be sure to see it. The kids raced through in record time, then spent the next hour or so playing with the little dollhouse-sized dogs mom bought for them in the gift shop. As usual, Liam was more interested in where the stairs and elevators went than the actual exhibits.

Jill showed me this cool new app that creates slide-show photos, so in case you didn’t see it come through email or facebook, enjoy the other photos we shot of Liam’s birthday weekend.

Three and a Half

June 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Today Liam is officially three and a half. And while it’s not as great a milestone as an actual birthday, I’ve found Liam has changed by leaps and bounds since December, and these things are worth noting. Someday he’s going to be my big, strong, too-cool-for-hugs-and-kisses boy, and I’m going to forget all of these details.

  • We are so close to complete potty training, I can almost taste it! Actually, yuck, I would rather not. But aside from his tendency to poop in his shorts, we’ve got the rest down pat. One last, rather gross, hurdle, and we’ve got it made!
  • Liam’s gotten really into spelling lately. A month or two ago he mastered spelling Mommy, Daddy, and Liam. We spent three solid weeks reading Pete the Cat every night, and now he can spell the words Red, White, Blue, Brown, and Wet. From Pete Rocking in his School Shoes, Liam can spell School and Lunch. And thanks to Pete’s Groovy Buttons, Liam knows that 4-1=3, 3-1=2, and so on. Thanks to Jenny K. for sending those books!
  • One of Liam’s favorite pastimes is to watch videos of himself on my phone. Once I get him to the right menu, he can swipe and play them all by himself. It’s funny to watch him on the couch intently staring at the screen. Sometimes he’ll look up, grin, and say, “Someone has your phone, mommy.” When I ask him who, he happily shouts, “Liam!”
  • Liam loves to get a laugh. Whether he’s purposely counting six instead of five toes, or jumping on daddy’s back to make him groan, he does it all with a fiendish grin and belly laugh. And if the joke has staled, he’ll simply demand, “Mommy! Laugh!”
  • Liam is quite the conversationalist. His explanations always sound like this, “I need to (insert activity) because (insert reason).” His sentences are mostly complete, and usually make perfect sense. And he remembers just about everything I say. Which can be pretty amusing because I talk to myself a lot, and sometimes don’t realize that he’s listening.
  • At bedtime Liam’s been wanting me to tell him stories in addition to reading them. He always wants the stories to involve him playing with Curious George in various places. He and the Man in the Yellow Hat come to our house, or go to the park, or go on a bike ride, and then they always end with George and Liam taking a nap. One night Liam added his own ending, “And then mommy and the Man in the Yellow Hat took a nap in their bed.” I told him Daddy might not be too pleased with that scenario, so he said Daddy could come, too.

Liam Turns Three

December 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I know, I know, all moms say it. But seriously, how is it that my little baby is three already? Every day he amazes me with smart new observations. Every day he drives me crazy whining and throwing fits, too. But I’m finding that while the temper tantrums have subsided somewhat, I’m getting a barrage of questions in their stead. A constant, “Mommy, what’s that?” and an emphatic point. Pretty soon it’ll be, “Mommy, why?” Welcome to Three.

What amazes me about this stage is how his life-long personality is forming. I’m getting a glimpse of the kind of child he’ll become once he starts school, and maybe even what kind of adult he’ll be. Here are a few of my observations:

  • Liam will never be comfortable with crowds. I really thought he’d outgrow his wariness of strangers and bustling activity, but I think Liam has inherited his father’s introverted tendencies. Since we’ve moved to Florida I’ve stopped attending so many group functions and focused more on either one-on-one play dates or activities for just Liam and me. Anytime I’ve tried to branch out –- going to story time or to a public toddler play space — I can tell Liam is way out of his comfort zone. I’m sure he’ll gain confidence once he starts school, but I suspect he’ll be that kid playing in the corner on his own most of the time.
  • He may be introverted, but I wouldn’t call Liam “shy.” Once he’s comfortable with a person or situation, he talks nonstop! It’s so cute to watch him play, giving a running narrative of what he’s doing. “Mommy, I’m gonna put this guy over here. And then I’m gonna open the door. Make the car go uuup the hill! And down again. Whee!” When people come to visit, he runs around the house like he’s showing off. He’s introverted, but talkative. An interesting combination of both his parents!
  • Driving has become a test of my patience. Liam is such a back-seat driver. I make a turn, he says, “No, Mommy, I don’t want to go this way!” I stop at a red light, “Want to goooo, Mommy!” And no amount of reasoning seems to help. “Honey, we have to go this way,” or, “Red light is stop, remember? We have to wait our turn,” is met by more whining. Last year he happily played with his singing alphabet toys, but now he’s very much concerned with where we’re going and how fast we can get there. I am NOT looking forward to Liam at 16!
  • Liam’s eating habits also drive me crazy. He’s gotten so picky that I’ve given up trying to feed him what we’re eating for dinner. Instead I fix him a plate of what I call “Rabbit Food,” dried fruit, nuts, crackers, freeze-dried peas and corn. He’s even turning his nose up at his former favorites, Tyson Chicken Fries and Chef Boyardee Forkables and Meatballs. Every meal turns into a whiny 20 questions, “Do you want fruit snacks?” Noooo! “Do you want goldfish crackers?” Noooo! If I ask him what he wants, he usually says he doesn’t want to eat, then complains two minutes later, “I’m huuuungry!” I thought giving him his own space in the pantry would help. But for some reason he still doesn’t register that he’s hungry and he needs to stop and get something to eat. He just gets progressively more upset until I suggest maybe he’s hungry.
  • As he’s approached three, Liam has gotten more interested in music. He can name almost all of the songs in my repertoire, and he frequently makes requests. He’s even started singing some songs of his own! I’m thinking of trying out a toddler music class if I can find an affordable one. Free would be even better, since Liam’s fear of large groups will likely trump his love for music. Sigh.
  • Liam’s also getting more interested in art. When I picked him up at the Y last week, they handed me two paintings he’d done. My boy is painting! I hung them up on the fridge, and every time he passes them, he remarks, “I painted those.” I hesitated to try him out on painting because he’s such a neat, finicky kid. But perhaps it’s time to break out the paints!
  • This could just be a phase, but this kid is obsessed with cleanliness. He complains when food falls on the floor, insists that I wipe his hands after he’s eaten (even when changing from one food to the other!), and has a melt down when his clothes or his blanket get wet or dirty. Today was a bit of an exception, as you can see in the above photo. But he he did get rather upset after the cupcake was gone and he realized he was covered in messy chocolate.
  • People keep telling me that kids this age want to be independent. They want to do things for themselves. But our infanthood nickname for Liam has held up: Lazy Liam. I’ve had to entice him with stickers for his sticker chart to do most anything for himself: take his own shoes off, feed himself with a spoon, brush his own teeth. So far teeth brushing and removing shoes has become a habit. But we’re still struggling with using utensils. This kid is going to insist I spoon feed him until he starts kindergarten! He hasn’t shown any interest in trying to dress or undress himself. But I think it’s like everything else he’s achieved…he has to feel confident he can do it before he’ll give it a try. I’m sure he’ll get there, but he has to figure it out at his own pace.
  • Potty training is going…painfully slowly. Most days he refuses to sit, even when I offer stickers and prizes. Then some days he’ll actually suggest sitting on the potty himself. We’re keeping up with potty videos and books, and we talk a lot about it every day, so I’m hoping someday this will all click. Someday before he turns five.
  • And lest I complain too much, Liam is the most affectionate, sweet-natured little boy you’ll ever meet. James and I get showered with cuddles, hugs and kisses every day. Liam loves to be held, carried, wrestled and tickled. He loves to climb on us like his personal jungle gyms, riding on our backs like horsies, or sliding down our legs on his tummy. Every day I think how freaking adorable he is, wishing he could stay this size and this age forever. He’s clever, surprising me by mentioning something I was sure he’d long ago forgotten. He loves to count, mischievously throwing “eleventeen” into the mix and laughing when I mockingly scold him.
  • Oh, and his laugh. That is my very, very favorite! It’s such a raucous affair, emanating from his belly and erupting from his toothy little grin. His whole face lights up, his little dimples twinkle, and I can’t help but laugh right along with him.

I don’t mean to brag…

January 30, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Well, ok, I do. Liam has simply astounded me with his ability to recognize letters and numbers. A couple of weeks ago I picked up a set of magnetic numbers, thinking we’d work a little on counting. He’d pick out a number, I’d name it, and then he’d stick it up on the fridge. Two days later he could point out most of them himself, his favorite being 5. “FIVE!” he’d shout as he eagerly pulled that number off the fridge and took off down the hall with it. Last week he pointed to one of his counting toys, and with a chubby finger counted off, “One, Two, Fwee, Four, Fiiiive!” And today, unprompted, he showed off his skills to his daddy, who ran in to tell me, “Liam counted to six! I didn’t know he could do that!”

Now he’s a little letters and numbers machine, pointing out, “A!” or “3!” wherever he sees them. I can hardly get through a book without him shouting out the letters in the initial caps. Today, carrying around his beloved “boo choo choo”, he looked down and shouted, “One!” There is, indeed, a number one on Thomas’s side panel.

So now I’m thinking, what’s next? He still hasn’t expressed an interest in singing the ABCs, although I do sing him that song almost every day. And I’ve started spelling out some easy words on the fridge and pointing them out to him. Public television has also giving him a boost, with Super Why and Sesame Street encouraging lots of letter naming. He chimes right in, though usually only when I ask him to. I can’t believe this kid was barely talking a few months ago, and now I can barely get the kid to shut up.

In other cuteness news, he’s taken to calling us Mommy and Daddy instead of Mama and Dada. Except when he calls out Mommy, he sounds a little British. Like, “Mummay!” James thinks it’s hilarious. And he’s learned a new word. Fruit Snack. He says it clear as a bell. And just like my friend Jessaca’s nephew AJ, he lives for them.  He’s still throwing tantrums, but he’s figured out there’s no need to bang his head into anything or throw himself on the floor. Which is a slight improvement.

With all this winter weather, power outages, downed trees, and blocked streets, I’ve been feeling a bit beleaguered. They’re calling for freezing rain on Tuesday, and I’m thinking, “Really? Really?” It’s not enough that I usually feel the winter blues, but now I also feel trapped at the house. I told James if he wanted to put in for some jobs in Miami, I would not object. For some reason, Florida’s been calling to me lately. It’s home to one of my favorite writers (Dave Barry), one of my favorite shows (Dexter), and one of my favorite bloggers (McMommy). Also home to hurricanes, outrageous housing prices, and lots of big bugs. Hmmmm…

Liam is 2 years old!

December 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Liam turned two while we were away, and because everyone was going to be leaving before his actual birthday, we celebrated Christmas evening with a large Elmo cupcake and another round of presents. Pictures to come, I promise! In the meantime, I snapped this photo today of him opening his special box of red stuff courtesy of his Aunt Jill and Grandma. In a big red canvas box Liam found a red car, a red choo choo, a red bull dozer, a couple of red books, a talking red critter (sitting in his lap. He called it “baby”), a cozy red snowflake blanket, red mittens, a red washcloth, and I’m sure lots of other red things I can’t remember at the moment. He kept saying, “Raa, raa!” as I pulled things out. It was so cute. Here are a few big changes to note for this milestone:

  • Liam is naming more and more colors. In the car he learned purple. He also knows yellow (Wewo), but he still stubbornly refuses to say Green.
  • The morning we left for Lexington I was wearing a shirt with letters on it. Suddenly Liam said, “Tee!” and pointed to the T. Then he said, “Ess!” and pointed to the S. I figured it was fluke. But he’s been pointing and identifying letters all week. He got a couple of little electronic toys with letter buttons that have helped reinforce the skill. Lord knows I hadn’t been working with him on it, but I am now! According to babycenter, he’s a bit ahead of the curve with this skill, which is considered an “advanced skill” at 27 months. This video doesn’t quite do it justice, but he really is pointing to the right letters!
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  • On the way to Grandma and Grandpa’s, he learned three new words: Purple, Bridge, and Mine. At Grandma’s I taught him “Up!” I think I’m going to regret those last two.
  • Liam’s getting better at names, calling grandpa “Pa-pa” and grandma “Ma-Ma”. Uncle Mike and Kim’s boyfriend, Mike, were both called, “My Mike”, and his cousin Brady was “Bee-bee”. We’ll work on the aunts and cousin Devin after I load all our photos on the digital frame. He loves pointing out people as they come up.

Liam is 23 months old!

November 27, 2010 at 9:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Sniff, sniff. This marks the last time I’ll refer to Liam as “so many” months old. Mostly because after 24 my math gets fuzzy. He’ll be two in a month, and I can hardly believe it. He’s doing and saying and accomplishing so much, it’s astounding. Hence the long list. And this doesn’t even cover it all.

  • Liam continues to add to his vocabulary. And his words seem to come in pairs. Playing with the ball, it’s “baa baa.” When we ride the subway, he points to the opening doors, “Door door!” In the morning he points to the dinosaur quilt my mom made him that hangs above his crib, “Saur saur.” Some words he can’t quite say, but you can tell he’s trying. Like when the conductor on Dinosaur Train cries, “All Abooard!” Liam shouts, “All ababa!” I’m understanding now how it is moms can decipher their children’s mumbled and broken toddler-ese. You hear this stuff enough and it sounds like they’re really saying it correctly.
  • Is it a sign of potty training readiness that Liam can wipe his own behind? It started as a way to quiet him during fussy diaper changes, but now he reaches for the wipe, diligently wipes his nethers, and shouts, “Wee wee!” I haven’t changed him in public in awhile. This could get embarrassing.
  • Liam is obsessed with the color red. When we’re outside he picks up red leaves to carry around, saying “Raa raa!” Anything he sees that’s red gets a feisty point and announcement. When I fold the laundry, he steals all of the red socks and hordes them. I was beginning to think red was the only color he could identify until we were outside and he pointed to the car and shouted, “Boo!” Took me a minute to realize he meant, “Blue.”
  • Liam has become very opinionated. And that opinion is No.
  • Liam is the life of party at the Itsy Bitsy class these days. After each pose he claps his hands and cheers, “Yay!” When a baby gets fussy, he says, “Uh oh, baby!” At the end of the class, he sits in my lap, clasps his hands together, and says, “Ommmm!” This is our last session with the babies. Next January we’ll be starting the 2 – 4 year old class. I have a feeling there will be an adjustment period.
  • Liam, unlike most other kids, prefers the crust of the bread. Give him a heel, and he’ll gobble the whole thing up.
  • When he sees a letter of the alphabet, he exclaims, “Ayyy!” Every letter is “A”
  • The other day when I was cleaning house, Liam got a little too curious about the vacuum cleaner and managed to turn it on. He ran screaming holy terror to me, and it was all I could do to keep from laughing! Poor kid was so distraught I had to stop cleaning, take him downstairs to play, and all the while he wouldn’t let me put him down. Finally, after 30 minutes, we went upstairs to finish cleaning. I half expected him to cry when I started the vacuum, but apparently by that time it was all water under the bridge.
  • I’m not allowed to get too comfortable. If I sit in a chair or on the couch, Liam will play quietly for about 30 seconds, then come up to me and pull on my hand or leg. Get up, mama! He leads me around by the hand, usually losing interest in me and finding something else to play with. If I sit back down, we rinse and repeat.
  • Despite his increasing vocabulary, we’re still doing some sign language. He modified the sign for Water, thrusting his splayed hand forward and back instead of taking three fingers to his chin. He mastered “hungry/eat” awhile ago, which has been one of the most helpful signs to know. When he’s really trying to get his point across, he’ll come up to me, grab my hand, form it into the “eat” sign, and thrust it at my mouth. Gotcha, son.
  • The mealtime routine has changed up a bit. Now that we’ve introduced a table and chairs, he eats breakfast at his own little table. He still hasn’t mastered the fork and spoon, so he either eats with his hands, or if I’ve got the patience for it, I’ll spear his food for him and hand him the fork. I’ve seen other kids insist on doing it themselves, but not my son. I think this kid would gladly let me hand-feed him through preschool.
  • Speaking of preschool, we’re already on a wait list for next fall. I’m looking at a couple of other schools in January, but I’m going to limit the number of schools we apply to because of the steep non-refundable application fee. These are all co-ops, which would mean I would volunteer to be a teacher’s helper twice a month, along with some other duties. This makes the tuition cheaper, but I also like the idea of getting to see Liam interact with other kids in a school setting. My mom volunteered when we were in elementary school, and we loved having her there. There’s a chance he may not make it in next year, which is fine. I wanted to start at two, but we can wait until three.

Liam is 22 months old!

October 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I have so much to report this month! Suddenly my baby has woken up and become a little inquisitive creature! Here’s what he’s been up to this month:

  • Liam is talking like crazy! It started with repeating words that I said or read, “Moo. Boo. Shhhhh. Bye Bye.” Then he started repeating what he heard from other kids, “Bee. Ball.” Then he started repeating words he heard on TV, “Roar! Me. Yay!” And then, without provocation, he just figured out how to say a word he’s been wanting to say for ages, “Shoes.” As in, “Mama, put my shoes on, I want to go outside. Now.” In the mornings he says, “Bye Bye, Da-da” with an energetic wave. This morning he said, “No, no, no.” The floodgates have been opened.
  • Liam can’t get enough of cartoons and Animal Planet. I’ve started taping Dinosaur Train and It’s Me or the Dog for him. He also likes Curious George and SuperWhy. I’ve stuck to PBS so far because I like the non-commercial format. I’m sure once I get sick of these I’ll start to expose him to some more of the less annoying ones. (Read: No Sponge Bob or Barney if I can help it.)
  • Liam loves being outside. Every morning after we’ve gotten dressed, he starts whining for his shoes. God forbid I put them on before I’m ready to leave the house. A fit ensues until I can get him out the door. He walks down the porch steps to the sidewalk, and it takes a little coaxing to get him to the car. Most times I just pick him up screaming and put him in there. I guess the car doesn’t count as “outside.” After his nap and snack, we put shoes on again (he says, “choos”), and make our way up the street to the Metro to meet Daddy. The other day James came home early, right in the middle of snack time, and Liam absolutely lost it! He knew that once daddy was home we weren’t going up to meet him. I had to take him outside for an hour after that just to placate him. What ever are we going to do this winter?
  • He’s getting more opinionated about his food options. Not picky, per se, but sometimes he just doesn’t feel like cauliflower right now, thankyouverymuch. Try again tomorrow. Maybe.
  • I wrote about Liam’s little response to Car Talk on NPR. The other day when we were listening to the show, Ray announced they’d be back after a short break, and Liam waved bye bye to the radio. What a smartie pants!
  • Liam sits on the potty now without protest. He doesn’t actually go in it – he would have to sit on there for longer to do that – but right now we’re just getting him comfortable with sitting there. At bath time he always cops a squat on the potty before hooking his leg over the edge of the tub. I’m waiting for one more sign of “readiness” before we start the potty training in earnest. He needs to be able to pull his pants down on his own. Right now he’s still even a little clumsy sitting on the pot. But we’ll get there soon enough.
  • My new job as mommy is mind-reader. Liam gets increasingly frustrated with communicating what he wants, pointing vaguely at something and whining as I pick up one thing after another, “Is it this? Do you want this? How about this?” Recently his fits have devolved into an annoying habit of head-banging. Not the metal rock band type, but more like knocking his head against a hard surface. According to the literature, this is a common toddler response to stress, and just a phase. And it’s one I’ll be happy when he’s left it behind. I’m constantly picking him up off the floor before he does too much damage to his noggin. James thinks he’s doing it for attention now, so I’ve been letting him get in a few knocks with my back turned to see if he, erm, knocks it off on his own. Sometimes he gets distracted and calms down. Sometimes not.  
  • I’m in constant amazement about what Liam is learning without my knowledge. The other day he pulled off his socks and tried to hand them to me. I was busy, so I told him to put them in the other room. I came back to check on him, and he’d nested his socks right inside his shoes, something he’s seen me do dozens of times at our baby yoga class, and something I never thought he noticed.

Liam is 21 months old!

September 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Even this week, while we’ve been visiting with grandma and grandpa in KC, Liam is achieving new feats and exhibiting new quirks. Here are some of the best:

  • Liam has added some new words to his vocab — woah, hey, baby,yeah, yay, and side (for “inside”). It cracks us up when he combines these to say, “Woah, baby” and “Hey, baby”. He’s gotten quite adept at these two-word combinations. Today at Jill’s house, when her dog Alfie knocked Liam down in his zeal, Liam got himself up and said, “Uh oh, woof woof.”
  • Liam is just starting to get more interested in watching TV. He loves the Dog Whisperer (barking through the whole episode), and a show we found on PBS called Dinosaur Train. It’s about a family of dinosaurs who ride a time-traveling train, learning about different species of dinosaurs and lizards. Nerdy, I know, but it combines two of Liam’s favorite things!
  • Every morning when James leaves for work he gives Liam a kiss while I hold him on my hip. Then Liam puts his little hand behind my neck and pushes me toward daddy, indicating that it’s mommy’s turn for the kiss now.
  • Liam has some definitive favorites at this age. Favorite color: red. Favorite shape: circle. Favorite song: Itsy Bitsy Spider or Six Little Ducks (both have a sign he gives me when he wants me to sing them). Favorite stuffed animal: bull dog. Favorite word: Uh oh (which has now surpassed “outside”)
  • James finally took his golf clubs out of their box, and while it sat waiting for its trip outside to the curb, Liam invented a new and apparently hilarious game. He rolls his large yoga ball right into it, shaking the box and leaving Liam in a fit of giggles. We’ve decided to keep the box.
  • After every meal, Liam sits down on the floor next to his bookshelf and reads his books. We’re surprised how careful he is with them, even the ones with the paper pages.
  • In addition to pointing his finger and expecting a return point ala ET, Liam also loves giving fist bumps.
  • Liam had a couple of restless nights sleeping in the pack ‘n play at night while we’ve been in KC, so the other night I brought him in the bed with us. He tossed and turned, then in the wee hours he threw one leg over me and slept right on top of me, with his head in the crook of my neck and his tummy against mine. No matter how I shifted to move him to my side, he kept wiggling to lay on top. I finally gave up and let him sleep like that, all snuggled up to me like he did when he was just a tiny baby.

Liam is 20 months old!

August 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s like this kid is changing before my eyes. He’s growing taller and slimming down, looking more and more like a grown up little boy. He’s figuring things out for himself so quickly, it’s like you can see the little wheels turning in his head. Here’s what else he’s been up to:

  • I was chasing Liam with the camera, desperately trying to get a good photo for this update. I was like, “Liam, let’s go knock on the window. Let’s go play with the firetruck.” Exasperated, I said, “Liam, look at mommy and smile!” This was the resulting face he made. Look how much he’s straining his neck! I laughed for 10 minutes. Check out the rest of the photos I took.
  • Note to self: Don’t let Liam shut himself in the bathroom anymore. He can’t turn the knob, but he can turn the lock.
  • Liam added “Uh-oh” to his meager list of words. He likes to run them all together now in his own little made up sentences, “Ma ma, da da, mamadada, outsah! Nana! Nana! Uh oh.” Though mostly he just jibber jabbers nonsense to me as if he’s saying something important. In the morning when he wakes up he’s so animatedly talking to me, it’s as if he’s describing his dreams. I think we’re in for it once he gets these words down.
  • This kid is skittish. He’s afraid of the printer, and recently became afraid of the paper shredder. The other day he was fiddling with the front of the TV, pushed the power button, then yelped and ran to me when the TV came to life. Of course, once he understood that it was just the TV, he was fine. I’m sure he’ll outgrow these fears – the vacuum and dustbuster, former harbingers of doom, delight him now.
  • Yesterday at the park Liam got his first kiss. And doesn’t he look thrilled to be on the receiving end?
  • Liam loves to bring me things. And he gets quite put out if I don’t take them. For instance, when it’s looking like we might be going outside, he runs to the front door and grabs James’s sneakers. Once I’ve taken those, he runs back and gets my sneakers. And if I’ve put his sneakers on the table, you can bet he’ll get those next. The other day he brought me the kitchen rug. It took me a minute to figure out what it was and where it came from. Oy vey!
  • This morning we went to the park, and when we approached the slide, I said what I usually say, “Now slide down on your tummy!” Usually he just stands there like a dope and I have to catch him before he goes face first over the edge. But this time he got down on his knees, shimmied his little feet over, and slid down. ALL BY HIMSELF! 
  • His favorite toys right now are his fire truck and school bus, hand-me-downs from his cousins. He pushes them down the hallway, laughs his little butt off, then waddles down there to push them further. When he hits a wall, he laughs even harder.
  • Liam has some quirky little habits, things I assumed all kids did, but after talking to my sister, I realized these might be unique to my little guy. Like when he hears a helicopter, he immediately shoots his finger up to the sky. But then he’ll take my hand and point it up there, as well. When we’re reading a book that has textured pages, he’ll feel it, then grab my hand and make me feel it, too. Another of his cute quirks: he likes to take his stuffed animals and clap their hands. I first caught him doing it to his sock monkey jack-in-the-box a few months ago. But now he’s doing it to his dogs, his sheep, and his dinosaur bath toy. I managed to catch him on video doing it:
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