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.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Little Red Chair

When I was home visiting last month, I dug a little folding chair out of a shed at my dad's house. I'm fairly certain it was mine when I was little. A little cleaning and a coat of red paint later, it's become one of Liam's favorite toys. We set it up in the kitchen while we're cooking or cleaning, and Liam crawls up and down, sitting for awhile, swinging his legs. 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

currently

a walk around the lake at sunset


+savoring the last bits of summer

+enjoying the little moments with my babe

+ longing for days meant for pea coats, scarves, yellow cardigans, and soup

+ looking forward to another young adult reading binge: Eggs, The BFG, When We Were Romans, and It's Kind of a Funny Story

+wishing for lazy weekends spent doing laundry while listening to NPR

Monday, August 13, 2012

{More} Summer Sensory Fun

Liam and I have taken advantage of the beautiful weather the past few weekends to experience some more summer sensory fun. Since these activities were all inspired by posts on other websites, I have included a link back to the original post in the caption section under my photo, as well as my take on the activity.

Original Post: The Kavanaugh Report
My Take: I was excited to try this activity when a large box I had been using for storage started to tear at the seams. The only adjustment I made to Nicole's idea was to give Liam a few old kitchen utensils to add texture to his painting.

Original Post: (she always loved) larking

My Take: This rice sensory activity is a great activity for those hot {or cold or rainy} days when you can't get outside.  I took Courtney's advice and introduced a few containers. Liam loved using the funnel to fling rice around the kitchen, and of course the green tray was certainly not large enough to contain the rice. It was a good excuse to sweep, though.

Original Post: Martha Stewart Kids
My Take: Martha Stewart can do no wrong in my book {clearly}, but I did make one minor adjustment to her idea: I used clear plastic hair ties rather than string to tie the ball. I also made these balls in two sizes-- one cutting the width of the sponge and another cutting the length. Liam actually liked the smaller ball best. He really loved using it to splash around and fling the water out of his water table.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Much is Too Much?

A a couple of weekends ago, my sister and I decided to head out for a nighttime drive on the Wildlife Loop Road, hoping to see elk.  Unfortunately, we saw one fox and a few buffalo, which is kind of unimpressive for somebody who gets to see buffalo on an almost-daily basis.

As Liam dozed off in the back seat, we started talking about teaching (Michaela is majoring in Special Education at a small liberal arts school near Lincoln, NE), which inevitably led to a discussion of parenting. "I just want Liam to be down-to-earth," I said. I want him to know that he needs to work hard, that he has to earn things rather than just having them handed to him.

Since that night, I've been thinking about that a lot. First, I read this article on Slate, followed by this article in the New York Times and a discussion in another online professional development course I'm taking. 

Sometimes I think it's so hard to draw that line between helping and pushing just a little too hard (although, I think one should know that she's gone a little too far when she's stating, 'We're applying to Columbia'), between exposing our kids to new experiences and overstimulating them, between ensuring that we're raising happy kids and overpraising them. Even I find myself clapping and saying, "Good job, Liam" for small feats, and this isn't the first time I've read about Dr. Dweck's puzzle-solving study.

That night, as Michaela and I were discussing parenting, she shared two stories with me. The first was about a college professor of her's who gave her own children chores around the house. She paid them an allowance for completing those chores. Pretty simple. Nothing earth shattering. The thing was, when one of her sons quit doing his chores, she quit paying him the allowance. When he saw his siblings were able to buy popcorn at basketball games and he wasn't, he begged for his allowance back. She didn't just give it back to him, though. She made him apply and interview for the job.

The second story was about a family friend of our's who only gives her children one Christmas present in addition to the stocking they get from Santa Claus. That was pretty shocking for both Michaela and me. There wasn't much on our Christmas lists that we didn't get.

I think it takes us back to the old parenting axiom-- half the money twice the time. While I still sometimes feel inclined to buy Liam things because they're cute or he "needs them to learn ... skill," what he really needs is to spend time with me and play independently, learning with simple things we already have.

Liam doesn't need a bunch of fancy toys. Look at all of these toys he can play with for free at the local library.


Life Lately, v. 7

Sit


Liam has officially learned how to squirm his way out of harnesses in his car seat, the stroller, and in his high chair. Imagine the following conversation:

Me: Liam you need to sit down in your stroller.
Liam: Sit! {{continues standing}}
Me: No, Liam. That is not sitting. 

Hole in the Wall


The thousands of motorcycles we're expecting this week have officially started rolling into town, which usually means sticking around the house for ten days. However, the weather on Saturday was perfect-- 72 degrees, breezy, and lots of sunshine. There was no way we could let the day pass without heading out, at least for a little while. So we headed to the Hole in the Wall Picnic Area. Liam loved watching the motorcycles pull in and out of the picnic area, stopping to snap a few pictures in the hole in the wall. We couldn't resist taking a few pictures ourselves.



Whatisthat?

In addition to "sit," Liam's other favorite word lately is "Whatisthat?". I count it as one word, because that's how he says it. It kind of reminds me of those old Wassup commercials. Between parades, motorcycles, and the fire crews staying at the old elementary school just down the street from our house, it's never ending.

Whatisthat? Just a giant hot dog, Liam. What else would you expect at a Gold Discovery Days parade?



Sister Bonding Time

In just a few short weeks, my sister, who has been working for Craig all summer, will be heading back to Lincoln to start school again in the fall. It's left us scrambling to cross off all of those things we had been planning to do all summer. From helping me with my endless painting projects to giving up her days off to babysit when we need her, she's always been around to help. On Friday night Craig was able to get off a little bit early, so we could catch a showing of The Three Muskateers at the playhouse.

sister paint project + play tickets

Sunday, August 5, 2012

One Year & A New Design

Tomorrow will officially mark the one year anniversary of the blog. I wrote my first post, How This All Started, on Saturday, August 6, 2011. Since then, I've found blogging to be a great outlet, a place where I can share little stories about Liam with my family and friends, as well as a place where I've been able to meet new friends.

As I approached the one year anniversary of the blog, I started thinking about getting a new design. I researched a few places that offer design services, but in the end, I realized that one of the things I really enjoyed about blogging was learning new things and  researching different HTML codes to make sure things look the way I want them to. I am, by no means, a designer, but playing around with things and learning new skills has always been fun for me, so I settled on trying to do the design myself. While there are already things I would like to tweak, I am pretty happy with the end result.

I loved my original design-- I thought it was cute, but I also thought it was a little busy. I've always loved blogs with a lot of white space and large photos, and I decided that was the direction I wanted to go. I would still love to improve my photography skills, as photography is something I've always enjoyed. I think this design will allow me to showcase the photos I take of Liam as I work to improve those skills.

In opening up that space, I did remove the sidebar information. I moved the Google Friend Connect gadget, follow by e-mail or RSS buttons, and the blog archives to the bottom of the page, so if you're looking for those things, you can find them there. I decided to remove the sponsor swap and Top Baby Blogs button completely. You can still find my favorite blogs on the Favorites page.

Finally, I want to thank all of you, from my friends and family to those of you I've met online, for being so supportive throughout the course of the past year. I've seen so many posts recently in response to negative comments. While I'm sure it's bound to happen sometime, I count myself fortunate to have been blogging for a year now without experiencing that. Thank you for your words of support and encouragement in the comment section, by e-mail, or in person. I truly appreciate it.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer Lovin'

I remember spending many summers going to my grandma's house, eating orange push pops from the Schwan's truck, so I couldn't resist when I stumbled across a box of push pops at Target last weekend.

At first, Liam tried to use the handle as a straw. Once he got it figured out, though, there was no stopping him. "Mmmmm. Num, num, num," he'd say in between slurping up the orange sherbert goodness.