Saturday, December 29, 2012

the golden years + why i have the best sister ever

The Golden Years by Amber on Grooveshark

It's my golden birthday today. 28 was pretty great (cheesy, I know). It's going to be tough to beat. So far today, Liam sat still for approximately 20 minutes of Dinosaur Train so I could sleep a little bit later, he read No, David! to me (something he's getting really good at--"No! No! Shhh!"), and he's currently being a rock star playing his guitar.

On Tuesday, my sister gave me most of my gift-- a list of five reasons why I'm her favorite sister (I'm her only sister) and little gifts to go with each, including some old photos that nearly blew away during a gas station stop in Cactus Flat on the way home but were saved by Craig's valiant efforts, a CD, a cool "Grandma necklace", a book she'd pilfered off my bookshelf (that I'm fairly certain once belonged to a friend of mine), and I'll be getting a crocheted blanket in the near future. The little note is laying on my jewelry box and it has brought a smile to my face all week. I'm pretty lucky to have such an awesome sister.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

merry & bright



We had a pretty wonderful Christmas. Liam spent his weekend begging for and devouring all of the cookies he could get while his mama was in the giving mood and unwrapping more trucks than a boy could imagine. This kid is truly blessed to have so many family members who love him so dearly. 


P.S. I did a little guest post about South Dakota on Sara's blog this weekend. While you're there, stick around for awhile. I must admit I'm a bit jealous of her RV lifestyle.

Monday, December 17, 2012

2012 {by the numbers}

I truly wanted to write an actual Christmas letter this year. I didn't want to be that person who bored all of my friends and family with a month by month recount of our year, though. So, instead, I decided to do 2012 by the numbers. The sweater vests at our wedding belonged to Liam and our friend Brandon. And, what can I say? The kid loves applesauce and animal crackers.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thoughts on a Saturday Night

Lately, Liam has started saying "thank you." It's one of my favorite milestones, and every time he says it, I try to let him know how much I appreciate that he says it. I know that one day the novelty will wear off. He probably won't say it as often as he does now. But, I want him to remember how important it is to be thankful.

Last night we had to do some grocery shopping. On the way home, Liam fell asleep in the car. When I picked him up from his car seat, he woke up but was still a little bit groggy. As we walked into the house, I looked down at him and said, "I love you, Liam." He looked up at me, still a little groggy, and said, "Thank you." All I could think about was how sweet and innocent he is, and how hard it is for me to bring him up in this world. As much as I keep telling myself that I can't keep worrying that he'll experience an unspeakable tragedy one day, It's something I've thought about all day today.

As Craig and I were talking about it this morning, he said, "That's why I'm glad we live here." I looked at him and said, "Craig, that town only had 27,000 people." It's one of those things that you wish you had never said. It makes you realize that it could be you. It could be your family. Some of those teachers were my age (or younger). Those students were just a few years older than Liam.

I've spent my day anxiously thinking about where I would hide my students if something had happened where I work. I've felt guilty, too. I've felt guilty thinking about those times when the mass casualty drills at work lasted longer than I would have liked, and I spent my time thinking "When  is this going to end?" and wondering how I would make up the class time.

Perhaps, President Obama said it best when he said, "This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight, and they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans..."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Liam, This Christmas


Liam,

I love seeing you this Christmas. It's like everything is brand new and so exciting. As soon as the parade of lights started last weekend, you shouted, "Oh, wow!" I glowed a little inside as you watched in awe of the lighted trucks, fire trucks, and horses. 

I came home that night and told your dad we had to take you to see the reindeer at Storybook Island. You didn't let us down, pointing and shouting "Oh, wow!" as we walked around the park looking at the lighted fire trucks and choo choos and boats. I was a little worried about how you'd react to Santa, but you didn't show much fear until your dad tried to entertain you with a puppet in the gift shop.

The other day you saw your dream house when we went for a walk-- three blow-up snow globes, a Mickey Santa Claus, Santa and his reindeer on a teeter totter, and Santa and Rudolph in a blow up convertible. I hate to break it to you Liam, but I'm not going to be that mom who has sixteen blow-up Christmas decorations in her front yard. I do promise to take you by there again some day.

We've also been opening a different Christmas book each night. It cracked me up tonight when you said, "A book. Thank you."

Liam, I hope that you never forget to be thankful. I hope you never forget about the wonder and awe of Christmas. I hope it doesn't get old for you and that every Christmas is like this Christmas.

Love,

Mom

Linking up at Growing up Geeky.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

"Oh, Wow!"

A Christmas Carol ornaments inspired by this tutorial

Joy to the World printable

one of my favorite spaces: lantern and lighted garland in the front window
Here's wishing you all a wonderful weekend. We're going to endure the snow and cold tomorrow night to take Liam to see reindeer at Storybook Island. 


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

holiday photo time

A few weeks ago, Craig, Liam, and I trekked down to Western Nebraska, so Kim, a longtime family friend could take our family photos. Kim is the mom to two of the cutest little boys and one of the sweetest people I've met. Her experience with little boys proved useful as she caught Liam in some of the cutest poses as he climbed up and down ladders, wandered toward tractors and loaders, and stopped to listen to the choo choos.




Friday, November 30, 2012

Here's Hoping for a Speedy Friday


This was the first full week I've worked in two weeks, and we didn't even have students the past two days. Let's be honest, though, some days I would much rather be working with students than sitting at a table all day at training. I'm hoping for a speedy Friday. I'm definitely looking forward to Craig's return and a leisurely Saturday.

Here are a few of my favorite links:

-I love this, and I've been thinking about this a lot lately. We technically live in a two-bedroom house, although the previous owners used what is currently our master bedroom as two separate bedrooms for their kids (minus a door).

-One of my favorite parts of the end of the year is all of the "best of" reading lists and the National Book Awards. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is definitely on my winter reading list.

-It's also the season for holiday gift guides. I love this one. It's got some great ideas for future years.

-I would like to make this pillow just as soon as I hone my sewing skills. I bought a sewing machine for $3 at a garage sale last August, but something's telling me it's probably not the best machine to use to relearn how to sew.

-I told Craig I would go to this movie with him sometime this winter. I think I'm going to read the book first. I wasn't much of a fantasy person growing up, although I do remember truly enjoying A Wrinkle in Time. (P.S. Did you know Madeleine L'Engle was born this week in 1918?)

Some recent read-alouds with the students:

-One boy could hardly control his laughter as we read this one.

-I was greeted with silence when we finished this one, so I wasn't sure what they thought until one boy said, "Wow. That was a good one ma'am."

-I read this with my GED students last month. One boy asked for an extra copy because it made him think. I love it when that happens.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

what do you do with your mama time?

a post-stylist trip shot circa 2008 (by my best guesstimate. also, i feel a bit vain knowing this is still on my computer.)


A few years ago, my friends and I had a running joke that I was the girliest of the Kyle Girls since I got my hair cut by a stylist. To say that I am a girly girl is a bit of a stretch. In fact, I would say that I was just the least trustworthy to cut my own hair. I did like those stylist trips, though-- it was always pretty fun to see my hair curled and looking like it should.

By my best guess, it's been at least six or seven months since my last trip to the stylist. That's right. Me, the girl who used to get her hair cut every eight weeks, has not gotten her hair cut in half a year. I've begun to feel a bit like Miss Frizzle (minus the cool outfits), throwing my hair in a disheveled bun before rushing to work.

For the next three days, Craig is going to be on a work trip, making my morning routine even more rushed. Fortunately, he's offered to spend Saturday with Liam so I can get my hair cut. Honestly, I'm getting a little giddy thinking about it -- strolling through a few of my favorite shops before getting all of those split ends trimmed. I might even squeeze in a solo Target trip afterward. Pretty dreamy, right?

What about you? What do you do with your (rare) mama time?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How We Celebrate Black Friday

How we spent our Black Friday:

+staying up late to finish books

+being goofy

+enjoying pumpkin brownies and pumpkin frozen yogurt before all things peppermint become the craze

+adding some much needed color to the Christmas tree thanks to Leah's homemade ornament exchange

+enjoying ribbon candy (also thanks to the ornament exchange)

+hauling Christmas decor around in the dump truck (Also, I keep forgetting that I have a toddler now. Shatterproof ornaments are on the to buy list  come December 26th, if not sooner.)

+enjoying Christmas music (A few of our favorites can be found here, here, and here. Liam loves Whitney. Who knew? I was reminded of this video as he was singing along--he still does the serious face when he sings.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Little Moments I Don't Want to Forget


I had another post in mind for tonight-- a little rundown of a few of the little projects I've completed the past few weekends, but then I stumbled on Danielle's post.  Toddlers can be pretty sweet sometimes, and if we don't write those little moments down it's so easy to forget. In an effort to remember, here are a few of this week's little moments:

-Liam has started saying "uh-uh." As in, Liam, can you sit down? "Uh-uh." Liam, do you want to hear the run down for today? "Uh uh." Each night before he goes to bed, we dig through his pajama drawer as he says "uh uh" to each pair. That is, until we get to one of his three pairs of truck jammies. At which point, he exclaims, "Oh, wow!" Truck jammies it is. (Also, sometimes I can convince him to wear rockets or Batman if the truck jams are dirty.)

-Nothing makes me more proud than when Liam climbs into my lap, book in hand, ready to be read to.  Last night, he kicked it up a notch when, right before bed time, an eerie silence fell over our house, which is never a good sign. I walked around the corner to check on him and found him covered up with a blanket reading Shake A Leg. Too sweet.

-In the past week, we started getting Liam to say Gus and Ollie (although, it still comes out as "Dus" and "Owie"). One of the problems with having dogs that are brothers is that it's hard to determine which one is which. Last night, I found Liam petting Ollie, saying "Hi, Dus."

-We didn't have daycare the past two days, so I opted to stay home with Liam yesterday and Craig and his friend Brandon took shifts watching Liam today. When I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, Liam kept smacking his lips for another kiss and another. It was too sweet, and it definitely made me want to stick around for another day with him (thank goodness for a Thanksgiving break meant to be spent with my sweet little boy).


Friday, November 9, 2012

Workin' For the Weekend

Can I tell you how excited I am for a three-day weekend? It couldn't have come at a better time. It looks like it's going to be too chilly for any extended outdoor activities, so I think we're going to The Art Start Studio (we went last spring, too, and Liam loved it then).

What about you? Do you have anything exciting planned for the extended weekend?

Now, for a few links I'm loving this week:

I was apparently on trend with the cardigan I wore for my January wedding, it turns out. (Thanks for pointing this out to me, Courtney!)

I've been perusing Pinterest for some recipes to make with my haul from Bountiful Baskets last weekend. They just started a site at my work, and I was pretty excited about my basket. I'm looking forward to future weeks. It's definitely worth checking to see if there's a site near you--great produce at an even better price ($15/box).

A few of our light fixtures are looking a little outdated, and I'm loving this look to hang above our stairs. Speaking of wiring and such, I also thought this was interesting.

I promised myself I wouldn't talk about voting or politics or the election for awhile, but I thought this post from The Motherlode and this picture were both pretty amazing.

Finally, The Beatles+brain science=awesome.

Monday, November 5, 2012

18 Months


At 18 months, I can count on Liam to: slide through the dirt in his dress clothes (it's a good thing that jacket and sweater vest were only a dollar each at the thrift store), spot or hear a dog from a mile away, shout out "vroooom, vroooom" when he sees a truck from inside the grocery store,  and turn any attempt to cuddle into a wrestling match. There are days that I step back and think to myself, "Wow. I did that. That's my kid..." And other days, I think, "He must have learned that from his dad."


He's an explorer, this one. He loves to be outside. He's started bringing me his stroller when he wants to go for a walk. No matter how cold it is outside, I usually cave. I think we'd both go a little stir crazy if I didn't. 


He also loves to read. If we're hanging out around the house, he'll climb into my lap, book in hand, expecting me to read it to him over and over and over until my vocal cords begin to wear. One of his favorites these days is the Bright Baby First 100 Words book. He'll point at each picture naming the ones he knows, expecting me to list the ones he hasn't learned yet. Tomato and strawberry get him every time.

I don't think I ever realized how challenging it would be to raise a toddler. The temper tantrums, the whining, the hitting, the whining when he's told not to hit -- it's definitely trying. But those kisses, especially when you need them most, make it all worth it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Carving



Craig spent his evening off carving pumpkins with us. There's something about culinary school that makes what would be at least a three hour task for me last less than an hour when he's involved. It's a good thing I got these pictures when I did. Within a few hours, the Boo pumpkin and at least two of the mini pumpkins were sacrificed to the deer who like to hang out down the street.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fighting Crime


Overheard during trick or treating:

As Liam is trying to turn around and stand up in his stroller...
Craig: Liam, turn around. You can't watch for crime in the streets if you aren't looking forward.

Guy Dressed as Elmo: Ooh, and we have Spiderman.
Craig: (mumbling as we walk away) He's Batman. Get your super heroes straight, Elmo.

Craig: I already have his costume picked out for next year. Optimus Prime. Liam  loves Transformers. (Craig and Liam went shopping at the dollar store on Tuesday and came home with a Decepticon and Bumblebee. I'm sure the decision was all Liam's.)

The night's high point: Getting Goldfish crackers at Subway.

The low point: Dropping his last Goldfish cracker on the floor at the grocery store. He never quite recovered from that.
an action shot of our little crime fighter


 

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's Friday. Say What?


Yesterday, I caught myself telling a student, "It's almost November." I stopped myself and thought, "Whoa, it's almost November." I know it's so cliche, but the days are seriously flying by.

This weekend you'll find me:
-Spending my Friday evening enjoying delicious fall food (and a little wine, too) at the Harvest Feast. 
-Frantically throwing together a "winterized" costume for the Downtown Trick or Treat on Saturday.
-Begging Craig to carve into our pumpkin so I can make these pumpkin seeds.
-Wishing I owned this sweater.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cousin Love


This weekend was Harlee's second birthday. We spent the weeks leading up to the event practicing Liam's sweetest "Hi, Harlee." Once he saw her, though, all he could come up with was "baby." She's definitely not a baby-- she's one of the most grown up two-year-olds I've met and is destined to become the older, more mature cousin who Liam, the squirmy little boy, chases around.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hail to the Chief: A Few of My Favorite Election Day Finds

{source}

When it comes to politics, I am a total nerd. On Election Day in 2008, I came home from work to find a grocery store bouquet of red, white, and blue carnations on the counter. I'm not going to lie, I was totally smitten. This year, I keep stumbling on election-themed items that would most definitely be sitting on my doorstep in a few weeks if money (and space) were no object:

-Election-themed puzzles--pretty amazing.

-Would Liam be the nerdiest baby at daycare if he showed up with USA cookies? Do I care?

-Considering Liam's new-found love of Charlie Brown, I'd love to add these to our library.

-I genuinely want add this map and these ballot boxes to our home.

-This print press block would also be great alongside my old typewriter and globe.



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Crash! Smash! Boom! Books With Rhythm, Rhyme, and Onomatopoeia, Too.

{As I'm watching an old episode of Modern Family.}
Me: Maybe we should send Liam to poetry camp. He really likes onomatopoeia. 
Craig: Yeah, but all of his work would be cliche. Every other word would be truck or puppy. 

It's true. Liam loves books with onomatopoeia (and rhythm and rhyme). He also loves trucks (and puppies), and we've found some books that roll his love of rhythm, rhyme, onomatopoeia, and trucks into one. 


The Little Blue Truck: We recently checked this one out from the library, and Liam loves it. We may have to purchase our own copy to keep around the house. I love the story of the Little Blue Truck helping the big dump truck out of a mud puddle with the help of his friends. At the end of the story, Liam echoes my "Beep! Beep! Beep!", which makes me smile. 

Smash! Crash!: Liam frequently requests this book at night, and it's one of Craig's favorites, too. It tells the story of Jack Truck and Dump Truck Dan who both love smashing and crashing. I had no idea that Jon Scieszka wrote books about trucks until I saw this in a little coffee shop this summer, and I recently discovered that there's a whole series of Truck Town books. I'm sure Liam will love reading the Truck Town books for many years. 

Chugga Chugga Choo-Choo: This is another book that we first discovered at the library but had to add to our collection after reading it many nights in a row. I'll concede that it's not actually about trucks, but Liam loves to "choo-choo" almost as much as he loves reading about trucks.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Story


Shortly after my Great-grandpa John and Great-grandma Alice were married on May 14, 1934, they traveled from North Dakota to South Dakota to live. Along the way, my Great-grandpa John saw a sunflower growing in a field. Everything was dusty and not much else was growing in the field. He stopped, picked the flower and gave it to my Great-grandma, telling her it was the prettiest thing he had ever seen. When I shared my wedding photos, I realized I never shared why I had chosen to incorporate sunflowers in my winter wedding bouquet. Their story showed a great deal of love and the ability to weather tough times, and that was something I wanted to remember as I looked back on our wedding photos.  

I'm sharing this story at Growing Up Geeky

Saturday, October 13, 2012

On My Mind: Family Leave

Due to some recent policy changes at my job, it's becoming increasingly apparent that if I chose to have another child, I will more than likely have to take at least some leave without pay. These changes are still very new, I'm not ready to spill any details (and I'm not sure if I'll ever be willing to spill those details here).  In true form, I have spent many late night sessions reading articles(here, here, and here), trying to sort out my thoughts on the issue.

I'm curious. Did you get paid maternity leave? Was it separate from your other paid leave, or were you required to take your PTO for your maternity leave?

In the Forbes article, it states, 

"My experience is that when faced with the choice between family and work, people will often choose family even if it means financial hardship. When someone quits without paid leave, especially a low wage worker, they are often forced to apply for public assistance which is paid by taxpayers. Wouldn’t it be better to contribute to universal paid leave that lasts six weeks, versus enrollment in public assistance that could go on much longer if the individual can’t find a new job?

Losing an employee is very expensive. Experts estimate it can cost anywhere from 50% of the wages of a low skilled employee to 200% of the salary of a professional staff person. Wouldn’t it be better to lose someone temporarily for six weeks, knowing they will come back, versus having a valuable employee quit because of caregiving pressures and replacing them? There is no guarantee the next person you hire—male or female—won’t experience caregiving challenges either."

If you're a stay at home parent, was family leave an issue that contributed to your decision to stay home?

I understand that this is a pretty delicate subject to discuss online. If you're more comfortable commenting by e-mail, feel free to send me an e-mail (my e-mail address is located under the Contact Me tab.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

on the road again + some toddler travel tips



This weekend Liam and I headed back to my hometown for my grandparents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. Liam loved dancing the night away and hanging out with all of his cousins.



In the past, I would embark on these trips alone with no fears, but since Liam's become a bit of a squirmy toddler and we ditched the pacifier completely recently, I got a little worried this time around. Surprisingly, Liam traveled really well. I thought I'd share a few things we did to make the trip go smoothly:

-Leave just before nap time-- For a 4-5 hour trip, this worked really well, because Liam slept more than half of the trip. On the way home, he slept most of the way-- it must have been all of that dancing he did on Saturday night.

-Bring car-friendly snacks-- We usually travel with  the Go Go Squeeze applesauce pouches and the Munchkin Snack Catchers filled with cereal or Goldfish crackers.

-Bring a few cloth books or board books and some car-friendly toys-- A few of our favorites include: this, this, and these cars. I'm thinking about investing in one of these-- Liam was fascinated with my cousin's during the anniversary dinner. I leave them in a little basket I found in the One Spot at Target next to Liam's car seat.

-Bring good car-dancing music--This is one of Liam's favorite activities. (He has an affinity for cheezy teen pop lately.)

-Pack one clean outfit in an easily accessible location-- It's no fun having to dig outfits out of your suitcase if there's an accident.

For more road trip tips, check out Margaux's blog.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

currently

+thinking this guy is a genius.
+wanting to hear more Delta Ray .(When I first heard them on the radio, I immediately thought of that time I dropped Intro to Logic to take Blues, Jazz, and Rock, a decision for which I continue to pat myself on the back.)
+hoping to one day have time to write a real post.
+planning to try this some day.
+looking for a new camera. any suggestions?
+not enthused about this weekend's forecast.




Monday, October 1, 2012

Oh, Great Pumpkin, where are you?


This weekend we:
-picked out pumpkins for our front porch
-watched a contest featuring pumpkin-launching trebuchets
-watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" in the theater (Liam's first theater movie!)

(Are you sensing a theme?)

Also, we:
-crunched leaves in the Saturday sunshine
-relaxed on a rainy Sunday
-drank root beer (brewed in Minnesota, chosen in honor of my root beer-loving friend)


How did you spend your final September weekend?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Liam Lately


This kid is totally cracking me up these days. For example, the double fist pump dance. He does it to everything. The Wheels on the Bus. Head and Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. They all call for the double fist pump dance, and I love it. I also caught him singing along to Nobody's Fool on the way home from daycare the other day.

He's an explorer. He loves to check things out. And he's developed his own taste in everything from jammies to books. Trucks or puppies--perfect. Also Elmo--which is how we ended up with this little gem in our library. I took him to the little book store to pick out a new book, and that's what we walked out with. He was not letting go. And so help me if I have to read "Grover gobbles grapes while gazing at gray geese in the grass" one more time. I think I read that and Llama Llama Nighty- Night at least three times a night.


When I told a coworker that I was having a May baby, she said, "A Taurus. Good luck." Liam's determined (and a little bit stubborn), for sure. Tonight he drug a Rubbermaid full of Mega Blocks across the living room for me to open. But he's also loving and sweet and all of the good things that come along with being a Taurus, too.

That smile. Waves from strangers. Those giggles. Being greeted in the morning with "Hi. Puppy." I don't know if it gets better than this.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's Fall!

Nothing says fall like yellow leaves crunching under your feet and red corduroy overalls.






This weekend we:
-stuck close to home, aside from a quick trip to the park on Sunday afternoon
-nursed a cold (Liam's. I've been lucky so far.)
-made pumpkin frozen yogurt
-finished almost all of the laundry (a major feat for a two-day weekend)

Monday, September 17, 2012

In Which I Become The Most Boring Mom Ever


Do you guys remember Liam's owl costume from last year? Those were different days. Days when Liam took multiple naps. This year I was sure I would do something similar--I need to use all of my creative ideas before Liam decides it's not cool anymore. I was almost certain I would make this fox mask, and dress him up as The Fantastic Mr. Fox. (If you haven't seen that movie yet, you definitely should.) Sadly, I just haven't been feeling all that crafty lately, and I'm pretty sure getting Liam to wear that mask will be a feat. I also briefly considered having him dress up as Davy Crockett, but his coonskin cap never stays on for more than a few seconds.

So, on Friday night, as I was searching for a few things on Amazon, I stumbled upon a Batman cape. As I clicked the button to purchase it, I realized I'm becoming the most boring mom ever. Not only am I buying a costume for my kid, but I'm sure there will be 19 other Batmans wandering around town on Halloween night. (But hey, he'll be a cute Batman, right?)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Man Date

I know it seems so cliche, but it seems like Liam went from being my little bald-headed baby to a curly-haired little toddler over night. I loved his curls, but his hair got a little unruly sometimes (here), so Craig and I started talking about getting his hair cut. I mentioned that maybe we should plan a trip to Cost Cutters or something--they've surely got experience dealing with kids. "Liam wants to go to The Man Salon," Craig said. So on Monday, Craig, his friend Brandon, and Liam loaded up for a trip to The Man Salon.






As much as I ached a little bit knowing that I wouldn't be there for his first haircut, it probably worked out for the best. Craig said he had to hold him toward the end, but overall, he did pretty well. When I asked if there were any curls left, Craig said, "Umm, well, it's definitely a boys' haircut." No curls. It's growing on me, though. I'm beginning to think he looks pretty dapper.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Little Ode To Liam's Favorite {Unconventional} Toys

Here's a little {poorly written} ode to a few of Liam's favorite unconventional toys and activities:

When you hear the dogs a scramblin' 
With a giggle right behind them--
It was Liam.
(Chasing them up the stairs!)

When it's finally getting cooler
But house is still sweltering--
It was Liam.
(Turning the baseboard heater on!)

When you walk into a room
To find your movies have been scattered--
It was Liam.
(Family Guy is his favorite!)

When you're doing a load of laundry
And you find a little treasure--
It was Liam.
(I don't know if you guys know this, but piles of dirty laundry are good for two things--practicing your diving skillz and hiding stuff!)

If you're looking for a few {more legitimate} posts on unconventional toys, be sure to check out Melissa's Toddle Along Tuesday Link-Up.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pat-A-Cake

When we were visiting my parents in July, my mom taught Liam how to Pat-A-Cake. It's still one of his favorite things to do.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blue Suede Shoes

A couple of weeks ago,  I stumbled upon this post about dressing kids on Young House Love. One of my favorite quotes from the post was: "Sure navy shoes would be cuter with this blue dress, but pink Crocs send out that 'these are the shoes I like' vibe, which we're cool with." For Liam, no shoes send out that "these are the shoes I like" vibe more than his guitar Robeez, or as Craig refers to them, his "Blue Suede Shoes." My friend gave them to us as a baby shower gift, and it seems like whenever he wears them, he gets compliments.  While early on, I bought a pair of basic brown shoes, worried that these wouldn't match all of his outfits, these have since gotten their fair share of wear. It doesn't matter what he's wearing anymore, these shoes just fit.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This kid. Seriously.

Craig and I never expected to raise an outgoing kid. We're both kind of shy. Not in an awful way. I wave and say "hi" to people I know, but you get me in a crowd of new people, I'm not going to lie, it's kind of tough. Not for Liam, though. Craig and I like to refer to him as our little politician. Last weekend, when we went to the library, he climbed up in a chair at a table next to an older boy as if the boy was a long lost friend or something. We went to the park, and as I was shooting a few pictures, he waved to the kids playing in the distance.

He hasn't been feeling well the past few days, so this morning after he woke up early in the morning, I brought him to bed with us. He alternated between giving Craig and I kisses, and at one point, I caught him practicing blowing kisses (something a lady who works at a store we frequent taught him). When he gets in trouble from me, he simply smacks his lips and leans in for a kiss. I have a feeling the trouble's only starting.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

You Know You're the Mom to a Little Boy If...


1. You find yourself attempting to catch your naked child as he dives head first into the blankets on your bed after removing his own diaper.

2. Your husband claims he's taught him all of his favorite words, including uh oh, and you subsequently have to explain that uh oh is for accidents-- we don't say uh oh when we throw things on the ground.

3. One of his first words was dog, and he's graduated to standing on the deck, pointing, and demanding that they sit.

4. You find yourself saying, "Liam, you need to sit down" more times than you can count each day.

5. His other favorite words are vroom vroom, whatisthat? (even when he knows exactly what it is), and poop.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saturday Night Fun

Liam's two favorite activities these days are trying to get me to wear his sunglasses and giggling at himself as he makes silly faces in the mirror, so of course, there was no better activity for a Saturday night than mom + baby Photo Booth pics.

Linking up with The Paper Mama.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Right.

circa 2010
When we bought the house in August 2009, one of the little details that I loved was the two trees in the back yard, planted just far enough apart to hang a hammock. For nearly a year, I begged Craig to buy me a hammock. Each summer, we hang it up, dreaming of lazy Saturdays spent laying in the hammock reading books. Sadly, it doesn't get used nearly enough.

Last week, I wasn't feeling well, Craig was working late, and Liam was feeling extra crabby. I decided to take Liam out to the back yard and lay in the hammock for awhile. Curious, Gus and Ollie came to lay underneath us. Ollie would stick his nose through the holes, and Liam would stick his fingers back through, waiting for Ollie to lick them. It was just a boy, his mama, and their two dogs, and all was right with the world.