Sunday, March 28, 2010


Liam is all-boy, which lately means he has been going through a lot of band-aids. Luckily, he really likes them, so getting him to allow us to clean and bandage his wounds isn't that big of a deal.

Tonight, he tripped and fell on a glass jar he was carrying. It shattered across the kitchen and sliced the palm of his hand.

There was a lot of blood.

There were several unanswered panicked calls to my mom, and then to Crystal (for the wisdom of her EMT hubby).

We washed the cut, applied several band-aids, and then ate dinner. Liam wolfed down a LOT of peas (a first for him), seemingly unconcerned about the blood seeping from his bandages.

Then my mom called me back and gave me some advice about how to determine if we should take him in for stitches.

After we hung up, I took off the soaked band-aids with Liam's help. It looked a lot better, and was only bleeding a little bit. No ER for us tonight. Whew.

Here are his war wounds with fresh bandages. What a tough little guy.

a pain in the neck

Ever since he turned two, Liam has been quite the handful. Daily temper tantrums. A constant battle of wills. And he throws things. The pacifier. Rocks. Food. Anything that's in his hands when he is upset gets launched across the room. Clearly, this will be even more of a problem once the baby is here...

Each day has been a series of handling one situation after another, pleading with him to find things to actually be happy about. Liam has always been a glass half empty kind of guy. I know that is probably just the way he is wired, so I have been trying to teach him to find the beauty in the moment. This is tricky with a two year old.

But all of this is not the pain in the neck I am referring to. No. Today I woke up with a real pain in my own neck that has given me an awful tension headache all day long. Ugh.

I learned early on in our marriage that (1) Gabriel doesn't get bad headaches, so (2) he doesn't get why he should tread lightly, speak softly, or otherwise pamper me when I get a real doozy like today. But what he does get, and does oh so well, is that Liam is in his charge today.

After church, I took a wonderfully long nap. The kind of the deepest slumber where I wake up, not once, but twice, with some serious drool accumulation. It was a good nap.

Liam has had a great day with his daddy, who managed to go outside and capture spring emerging in our backyard while Liam took his own nap.

Here is what caught his eye:

And apparently, he also caught someone else's eye...
And now Liam is digging in the dirt in the backyard while Gabriel splits wood for the fire tonight.
Gabriel, thank you for being so amazing.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

what to do before bedtime

And then he calls it a night...

35 weeks

One morning while my sister was here, Molly and I had way too much fun taking some pregnancy photos. Most of them turned out just okay, some are pretty goofy, but here are a few favorites from the bunch:

She snapped this one while I was adjusting our backdrop... It's good to see that I do indeed still have stomach muscles somewhere in there, pretty toned if I do say so myself. Thank you very much, weekly yoga class.

This one's our favorite.

Starting next week, I'll be seeing my doctor on a weekly basis until River decides to come out. I'm feeling much bigger than I look. Awkward. Uncomfortable. Big.
So far, I'm on track to gaining the full 40 pounds I did with Liam, only this time I started out about 10-15 pounds lighter, thanks to what my mom and I are referring to as the past year's stress diet...
Aside from all that, I am feeling pretty good. Now if Liam could decide that being two does not mean that he should be throwing ridiculous daily temper tantrums, we'd be doing even better.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

free pastry day

Yesterday was free pastry day at Starbucks. Molly and Rebecca made a special trip to Fayetteville with me and Liam for the treat before they hit the road back to Florida.
Liam approved.
While we sipped our coffee, Liam greeted people at the door.

The next Top Chef?

Today on Cooking with Liam, the young star demonstrates the fine art of fruit compote. The energy he brings to the table, along with his own special techniques, creates a masterpiece of flavor that can only be described as je ne sais quoi?

more special packages

Liam had a package to open everyday in the days leading up to his birthday. He got really good at opening them, and had a lot of fun doing it.

This one came from Granddaddy Woltman and Great Grannie Annie and Great Grandpa in San Diego.
From my grandparents, Liam opened a new book called Before I Go to Sleep by Ronne Randall and Tony Kerins. He is especially loving books before bedtime, and this one is a welcome addition.
Granddaddy's gift came in an Elmo gift bag, which he loves just as much as the terrific wooden construction trucks that came inside.
Thank you for such a thoughtful gift, Granddaddy.
Liam also opened a special birthday card from Great Grandma Gen (and later cards from Jim and Janelle on the farm in Iowa and another from my Grandparents). Daddy helped him read them.
Friday evening, we let him open the gift from us: play kitchen pots and pans (thank you, Ikea) and a wooden fruit set that he can cut apart.
The budding chef.
He seriously loves cutting up the pieces of fruit.
Pure joy.

the birthday party

Saturday morning, we celebrated Liam's birthday with friends, crafts, balloons, and cupcakes.

Liam had a great time. The balloons, from The Balloon Closet downtown, were an extra special treat, which Liam is continuing to enjoy.

The kiddos made Elmo-like puppets, some more picasso-like than others.

And they decorated their cupcakes with mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and dinosaur toppers.
More of the toppings ended up in their mouths than on the cupcakes, but it was more fun that way.
Throw in a few boxes of "Elmo juice" (organic fruit juice with Elmo on the front...), and you have a Liam-approved party.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


It's official.

Liam is two years old.

And what better way to start off being two than throwing a major temper tantrum first thing in the morning?

It lasted for over an hour. Screaming. Kicking. Refusing to be consoled. All because I changed his wet diaper.
He finally got over it when I sat within his view licking the beater from the fresh whipped cream I made to top his birthday waffles. I really talked it up. How good that beater tasted. How I didn't think I could finish it. How someone needed to help me lick it clean. He peeked around the door from his room, came out and gave it a little lick, smiled, and then was ready to start his day.

Yes, he is now 2.

The birthday breakfast: waffles, sliced strawberries, lots of whipped cream. He enjoyed it.
After breakfast, he tried out the new outfit Tia Molly brought for him, including the new cowboy boots.
Then he and Molly played catch the legos. This was a lot of fun.
Lots and lots of fun.
Then she took him on a laundry basket ride.
After his nap, he threw another temper tantrum. This one because he was just unhappy to be awake? Whatever the cause, it took him a good 45 minutes to get over it.
And then he went to get the chicken eggs.
I used the eggs to make fresh fettucine for dinner, which Liam wouldn't eat.
We had a nice little crowd for dinner: Grammie and Auntie Linda, Tia Molly and her circus partner Rebecca, and then the three of us.
After dinner, he opened his package from Grandma and Grandpa Hall.
It was filled with lots of great goodies:

a tractor

a sombrero And, of course, Liam wanted everyone to try on the new hat. So we did.
Auntie Linda
Tia Molly
Mama and River

His package also had lots of craft supplies: paint, construction paper, a glue stick, jingle bells, pipe cleaners... Liam wanted to open them right away. He sure loves his crafting.

We wished him a happy birthday over blueberry cobbler.

And then he called it a night and snuggled up with Elmo for a good night's sleep.

Happy Birthday, Liam. I can't imagine life without you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Continuing the Celebration

Another birthday package showed up in the mail today. This one by way of Alabama from Ben, Carolyn, and Grace.

Liam was very excited to open up the box. He kept saying open, open, open.
Inside he found something extra special: Elmo books!
In general I'm not a fan of TV character-based children's stuff, but I make a definite exception for Sesame Street and Elmo (Liam breathes a sigh of relief). I appreciate the focus on learning, especially since the approaches to learning are so varied in the programs and come from all kinds of cultures and backgrounds. It really is educational in more ways than one.
All of that said, Liam adores Elmo, and this set of books is all about learning concepts such as shapes, colors, and even rhyming. It came with an audio track which includes all of the books. The really ironic thing is that the woman reading says my name (which also happens to be the same name as Elmo's pet goldfish...) just like Carolyn does: with that southern emphasis on the second "o" in Dorothy. It's as if the book is reminding us who gifted it...
Also included in Liam's birthday gift was a bag of Yummy Earth fruit worms. Liam could hardly wait to get into that bag!

Liam wasn't the only one to get in on the birthday fun. Included were a few gifts for me. And, yes, Ben, I still count them as birthday gifts, even if they are a bit late...
A travel mug (I can always use more of these...)
A nifty spoon rest which clips onto the side of the saucepan
A fancy knife which crinkle cuts veggies (I've really been wanting one of these)
Thank you, Ben , Carolyn, and Grace, for such thoughtful gifts!