Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas misadventure

I'm thinking about applying to Nordstrom for a position in gift-wrapping next year.  Alternatively--IKEA does not do wrapping paper well (at least not their cheaper rolls...also, Spritz by Target yields similar results).  Or, I just got mad.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One of these

One of these things is not like the others

Friday, December 7, 2012

Liam Cleanem

Liam thinks that cleaning is the best.  He likes dusting and sweeping and wiping down his tray after meals.  He also likes to throw away trash.  We haven't quite mastered putting away toys yet....but we will.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Andy is a goon

I just discovered the blogger app on my maybe I will be able to update more often.  For now,I leave you with this picture of fruit that Andy drew on.  At lunch I ate 3/4 of an orange that said farts on it.  Ollie stole the last quarter.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Discipline and Correction

Liam has reached the age where he requires correction....quite regularly as a matter of fact.  Most especially when he is tired, hungry, or not feeling well.  In fact, when he's in good health, well rested, and has had a meal/drink recently, he is a delightful child who wouldn't consider misbehaving.  But when one of those is out whack, he spirals downward quickly.  Unfortunately, we have had a string of colds, some serious teething, and a transition to one nap in the last six or so we've been honing our method for correction.

First, redirecting.  Turns out, it doesn't work for Liam right now.  He can try to redirect, but once he's started onto bad behavior, he just starts a string of bad if he throws something and I stop him, he may then slam a cabinet, slap something, and try to hit the dog.  He just goes down the line of things he's not supposed to do.  But I've figured it out, and can usually get him stopped after one or two things.

So now, when he starts to act out, I pick him up, take him to his crib, and leave him there with his door open and light on so he knows it's not bedtime, and I will be back.  I leave, and let him work out his feelings.  Usually within 2-3 minutes he has settled down and started playing and laughing and talking.  It's all it takes.  I usually go to the bathroom or get a drink of water, and then I can come back for him.  Then we have a talk.  I know he doesn't understand me now, but he will one day, and I want to get into the practice.  Our talk usually goes something like this, "Liam, mommy loves you, but she doesn't want you to hit/scream/throw, etc.  It's okay for you to be angry, but we need to learn to express our anger in a way that isn't sinful."

A huge part of his problem right now is that he doesn't have a way to express his anger in a way that isn't sinful...he can't talk.  So he can't tell me what he needs.  Thankfully, I usually know and I can fix the problem before it escalates again.  I can get him a snack, or a drink or change his diaper, or sit down and read with him if he just needs a few minutes to be low key and rest.  If that doesn't work, we just go back to time out again...but it almost always works.  For Liam, it's most effective.  He just needs that bit of time to work through his feelings on his own, and he doesn't seem to be able to do it with people around.  I get that.  I need some serious alone time and when I don't get it, I want to scream/throw/hit too.

Where we are

Things have been sort of at a stand-still lately, and I have very little time to I haven't really felt like updating.  We are still in Indy, still at Andy's parents' house.  Our house still hasn't sold.  And we're still just kind of in limbo.  We are living out of two bedrooms, and Liam's dresser is the top of a bed.  I have four desk drawers and a diaper box.  All of our worldly possessions fit inside one spare bedroom that's impossible to keep clean (especially with Christmas presents in there).  I have the top of a slim desk to keep everything we need...or it goes under the bed.  So...yeah.  I am so thankful for a place to stay, but it feels like we've been on a vacation of sorts for the last five months.  You know, the kind where you just want to get home and unpack?  I keep thinking of things I need/want and they are all in storage.  You won't be wasting a prayer on us right now....we really need someone to buy our house.

Friday, September 28, 2012

I may have to quit watching Up All Night

I have a problem.  I covet the toys that baby Amy on Up All Night has.  Well...I covet a lot of things on that show.  Pretty much their living room, kitchen, and bedroom.  Like I keep meaning to pause Hulu and take a picture of the rooms so I can identify what I love in each room.  But I love a lot of their baby stuff too.

Last week it was the high chair.  I discovered it's OXO's Sprout model.  And I want it.  Because we are having major high chair issues.  We went with just a booster seat for Liam, which was all well and good when he was a sweet little thing, but now I'm pretty sure he's going to tip over a chair in it.  And then we have been using Andy's old highchair from when he was a baby while we've been staying here, but it has no seatbelt, so Liam wants to hop up and jump around and leap out of it because apparently he's an acrobat.  The OXO chair actually has a five-point harness, so his little toosh wouldn't be going anywhere.  And when he's older and more trustworthy, it can just be a regular booster at the table with no tray.

Of course, it's stupid expensive.  But I'm trying to justify it in my mind...mostly that we haven't really bought much gear for Liam.  We basically only bought his crib and then we've bought some toys/books/clothes, but we were gifted a lot of stuff or paid for it with gift cards.  Most of his toys are from his birthday/Christmas.  I buy a few basics for each season, but my mom ends up filling out his wardrobe, and Andy's mom has been buying more since we've been here.  So we really only have big expenses in food/diapers, and food is way cheaper since he weaned from formula.  And they have the chair in stock at the Buy Buy Baby that's under two miles away.  And if I sign Andy up for their emails, I can get a printable 20 percent off coupon.  So that's how I'm trying to justify the crazy expensive high would be nice to have for any future children, and I can always send it on to my sister.  And it might just end up being a "we have a new house" splurge for Liam when we move...or I'll buy it and tell Andy not to get me anything for Christmas :)

This week I was coveting the IKEA toys on the show.  I knew that I always liked this little walker cart.  I had kind of thought it would be something he would only like for a while, so I didn't get it before.  But I realize now that he loves pushing things around, and putting stuff in baskets/boxes, and would probably actually enjoy that toy for a lot longer.

Then I saw something I had never seen before, and I nearly squealed with how much I love it.  This wooden play slide.  Liam loves the slide in the church nursery, but it's plastic and ugly and I'm pretty sure he can knock it over easy (I think the common theme running through this is that my son is a wildebeest).  Then I started looking through their other toys, and remembered how much I loved them all.  And things quickly devolved from there.  Because now I want a new house, and things to stabilize and our savings account to get healthy again (it's actually okay right now....but it won't be when we have to make a down payment on future house 2 if we ever get to that point) so I can buy Liam toys.  Yup.  That's pretty much it.  I opened a floodgate, and now I need to get it in control :) Of course, I haven't actually bought anything, so maybe it's in control-ish?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Liam's new tricks and favorite things

I cannot begin to tell you how much Liam has grown up in the past few months.  He's like a real little boy now.  I cannot get enough of him...he is just too much.  We are so blessed to be his parents.  He is smart as a whip, and beyond stubborn.  There isn't a blessed thing about our boy that is easy....but it keeps us on our toes.

Every step of his developmental process I have been absolutely certain that he can do something well before he does it.  I knew he could sit up, stand, and walk way before he ever did it (because I tested him...and the things he was doing instead were way more difficult than what he should have been throwing a ball with perfect balance while standing before he was ever walking).  We're in the same place now with talking....a few examples:

Last week, he walked over to his 100 First Words book and pointed at a picture of a sippy cup until I went and got him a sippy cup.  Getting him to say words is like pulling teeth...but then he pops off with something, and never repeats it again.  But he knows what is happening....when the fan blows his hair, and you ask him if it's blowing his hair, he touches his hair.  If you ask him to honk your nose, he does it...but he won't touch his own nose if you ask.  He said the word clap while clapping all of one time because I was praising a sweet friend of his for doing it.  He tried to baa like a goat once, but won't do it again.  He just does exactly what he wants when he wants, nothing more, nothing less.  I cannot even begin to imagine where his stubbornness comes from :)

As for his favorites right now, it's been interesting to see him develop a little personality of his own...and have likes and dislikes.

Food: He likes most food...but he has some dislikes.  He won't eat anything that isn't close to it's natural state or anything that is too mushy.  Examples: he won't eat peanut butter, hummus, applesauce or mashed potatoes.  He never ate baby food.  He won't eat fruit that is canned or jarred, only fresh.  I have been letting him use a fork and spoon, and he is eating better since then.  He doesn't care for the spoon...but he loves his fork.  If he can't get food stabbed on his fork, he'll pick it up, put it on his fork and then eat it off of his fork.  He tried to fork a Goldfish cracker yesterday. 

Books: He still loves board books and shred-the-flap books (oh, that's not what they're called?  that's what they are here :)), but he's starting to like longer books now too.  He LOVES Knuffle Bunny and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems.  I'm excited to get his Elephant and Piggie books out of storage.  He also likes Kitten's First Full Moon and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Those are the only longer books we have that aren't in storage right I'm sure he'd like more if we had them here.  He also has a little board book that has cutouts in it called "Peek-a-Who" that he likes to sit down and leaf through for a long time.  And the board book "Llama Llama Nighty-Night"

Toys:  I should do this in parts.  He loves blocks (Megabloks and Duplos...probably regular blocks too, but we don't have any).  He will sit and pull apart and put together his Megabloks for a really long time.  He likes his Duplos a lot, but they are harder to manipulate  right now, so he doesn't use them for quite as long.

Stuffed animals and blankets.  Liam is a lovey kind of boy.  He has preferences for his blankets--the three that my mom made him with bright fabrics on one side, and minky fabric on the other...and satiny binding.  He carries them with him everywhere, he hides under them, he likes to cover his head with them and walk around (I think he thinks he's invisible.  He also loves stuffed animals.  He doesn't seem to have any preferences with those...he just wants to bite them in the nose and squeeze them tight.

Climbing/riding/pushing toys: Here he has a riding duck and he loves to ride it.  He likes climbing furniture, pushing things around, and scooting/rearranging things.

He is also really into kitchen containers.  He likes to stir spoons in cups, and he really wants to help stir pots and pans on the stove...but he can't.  I think I might get him some little pans/stirrers from IKEA for Christmas...but only if we have our own house by then.  The IKEA ones are metal, and Liam isn't allowed to throw or drop things that can scratch the hardwood floors those wouldn't be a good choice.

He likes balls a lot too.  We don't currently have any (the no throwing thing plus the Ollie bit the last one and busted it), but he spent the entire weekend at my mom and dad's throwing, rolling, and chasing balls.  He loves anything outside.  That boy wants to be outside all the time.

Musical instruments: He likes anything that plays noise.  He has a dog guitar he got for his birthday that he wears around.  There is a cat piano that goes with it from Target that I had to pry from his hands in the toy aisle.  It was took self-control on my part not to buy it for him he wanted it so much.

TV: I hate to admit it, but I let him watch two tv shows a day.  I know it's bad...but I know that I have limits too...and not living in our own house is difficult.  There is a lot of stuff I have to keep him out of, and sometimes, we both need a break.  We watch an episode of Sesame Street in the morning when we wake up (because neither one of us is a morning it gives both of us a chance to wake up slowly.  He usually only pays attention to the first 20 minutes or so (the street part with the people) and then to any songs.  I leave it on, but he is usually off and playing about halfway through.  And then sometime in the afternoon (usually in the "witching hour" nap, pre-dinner....mucho cranky) we will watch an episode of Chuggington.  I actually bought a season of Chuggington on Amazon on Demand...Liam liked the videos that were on Andy's parents' cable on demand...and Andy likes it I went for it because I had watched the five on demand episodes 5 or so times each.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


The past two and half months have been an incredibly refining time.  There is nothing like moving in with someone to teach you a lot about happened in college, it happened when Andy and I got married, and it's happened since we've been living here.  I have relearned something I already knew--but to a much larger extent.  I need wide margins.  I need time to be.  To be alone.  To be away from people.  To be free to do my own thing for some amount of time.  This is something I have struggled with off and on since Liam was born, and it's been a real struggle recently.  Right now, I am home alone.  And it's blissful.  I am planning out my last minutes of alone time: I am going to finish this, then I am going to eat a banana with peanut butter and chocolate syrup for dinner, then I am going to go find something to watch on tv.  All of these are things I could do with others around (maybe not the banana for dinner thing...Andy and Liam don't groove on that the way I do), but because I can do it alone, it's instantly more satisfying.  I need time to think, to create, to plan, to process, and to do.  In all seriousness, Andy makes fun of how often I look for new houses, but it's something I need to do.  I choose a house, I fixate on it, and when it sells I feel sad for about four hours, then I convince myself of a few reasons why that wasn't the house for us, and find a new one that I think is way better for X number of reasons.  Although, admittedly, my current crush may take me more than a few hours to get over if it doesn't sell.  It's a custom home with a serious midcentury modern vibe, crazy hardwoods, and a walkway and a loft...and the loft has knotty pine tongue and groove ceilings.  It needs some serious paint/wallpaper removal...but it's a real charmer and and I do some seriously awesome things to it.  And it's yard is amazeballs...and .38 acres with a lake down the way.  And a park in the neighborhood...and it's off the main drag in the northside suburb I want to live it.  And it's closer to our church than Andy's parents' house (like 20 mins instead of 30).  So yeah.  I have learned that I need alone time, and it makes me batty not to get it.  And I need to have hope that the future will be different...that some day we will be in our own place again.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Quick Update

We are in Indy now.  Have been for almost two months.  We are still waiting on our house to sell, and we're still staying with Andy's parents.  We're sort of in a holding pattern right now.  One that I would like to end.  When Andy and I went to the Dominican Republic in 2009, we got stuck in a plane outside Miami.  We were so close, but we couldn't land.  We were in the plane, circling between Miami and Cuba for hours until a storm cleared and our flight was able to get some runway space.  Then we were stuck on the runway until we could get inside.  A layover that should have been 5 hours in Miami ended up being a mad dash through customs and security and a race to make our flight.  I remember snapping at a man who tried to cut in front of me in security and drawing the attention of several people around us.  I was aggravated, tired, and ready to be home.  That's what the past two months have been like.  Only we don't have a home to get to.  Not yet at least.  We're in a holding pattern.  And I am physically and mentally worn out over it.  I have pain down into my joints...literally, they are aching.  I don't know why....but this is a lot harder than it should be.  Andy's parents are so great, and we have been so blessed to be able to stay with them, but we're ready for our own place.  Our bed.  The chance to unpack Liam's toys and eat dinner on our own dishes.  For Ollie to snuggle on his own couch and for Andy to use up crazy amounts of our own water.

Really, we're fine.  We're doing well.  We would just love to have someone want to buy our we can do the same for someone else :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

I’m feeling less complain-y

Our plumbing is finished!  Woo to the hoo!  We have a new water line and a new sewage line…and I swear to you that our water tastes better than it ever has before.  And of course, we are leaving this weekend.  We just have two-ish things to do tomorrow, and Andy’s parents are coming for a last run-through…and the we are going to move out on Sunday morning.  I’m excited/scared/nervous/sad.  All at once. 

So I’ve been reading a lot this week to avoid my real emotions.  I checked out the book Maine by J. Courteney Summer on my Kindle….and it was beautiful and aching and sad and lovely all at once.  It was a good summer book…not too fluffy…I find that I don’t love fluff…I want a book to have some substance, something to sink into.  And now I’m also reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.  I have a subscription to Entertainment Weekly (thank you Amazon for a 15 dollar subscription that makes me happy every Friday…it’s 25 now..but I got it for 15 around Christmas) and I went through and added every book that they recommended that looked interesting to me to my Amazon Wish List last week.  Then I went through the Overdrive site and added all of them that were available to my Wish List/Holds to check out on my Kindle.  I am on the wait list for three other books right now….and if we end up in the neighborhood we are looking at, I think we’ll have access to a library that uses the Overdrive ebook system…so that’s even more exciting….because it would be sad to lose that ability after having it this year.  My next books are Death Comes to Pemberley, The Tiger’s Wife, and Age of Miracles.  And I’ve been reading my way through the Jane Austen canon…so far this summer I have read Emma, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey (and Pride and Prejudice…but I’ve read it once a year since high school).  And I have come to a conclusion….if Liam ever has a sibling, and that sibling is a girl, I’d like to name her Anne Elliot Cook….because I am completely smitten with Anne Elliot from Persuasion.  And also, I would like to start collecting the Penguin Classics hardcover additions of some of my favorite classics because they are absolutely stunning.  I also read The Happiness Project (L. Keller…you are so getting that book for’ll love it) and she talked about making modest purchases that bring you happiness…and I decided that that would definitely be a happy thing for me….having beautiful copies of books I love (kept out of the reach of my son whose favorite game is throwing things).

So there’s a whole big blob of text that explains my life avoidance strategies :)..ha!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Last days

Tomorrow is likely our last day in town.  Our plumbing issue still isn’t fixed, but I can’t talk about it without getting really angry about it.  It’s getting closer.  But still not completed…today the contracting company came out and dug a hole in our curb/yard that was 12 feet deep and about 6 feet wide.  They hooked our sewage line up at the street, but our plumber didn’t come hook his lines up…so the job that we paid for four weeks ago still isn’t complete, and we are still using the rusted water line and collapsed sewer line.  The plumber is supposed to be out in the morning to finish his part…and then the construction company will be back on Monday to reinstall a curb for the city.  We need the plumber to get the large hole in our front yard filled (seriously….it’s a 6 by 6 hole right underneath the office window that’s been blocked off with Danger tape for four weeks) so we can fix the flower bed, add a few plants, mulch it, and move.  We leave for Indy Saturday sometime.  Just about everything else is finished…I just have to pack our clothes/toiletries/etc.  And we need to take apart Liam’s crib to take with us, and leave the house show ready.  We had a showing last Monday, but we haven’t heard anything from it.  So we also need to contact our realtor and get him a key to our house because he was supposed to have put a lockbox on it this week and hasn’t.  So…basically….we are leaving with a kind of bitter taste in our mouths.  Our church hosted a lunch for our family last week that was really sweet, but there have been so many bad things and so many instances where we have been jerked around lately that I am ready to go.  I want this house sold, and I want to move on.  I will dearly miss our friends and our church, but right now, the town isn’t endearing itself to me one bit.  I keep telling Andy that the next few months are probably going to be rough…but six months from now, it will all be over with…and we just need to stick it out.  I’m just focusing on happy things—like going to the Ft. Wayne Zoo with Mariah and Shannon and Theodore and Liam…and the 4-H fair…and seeing my sister….and probably going to Target next week with Andy’s mom and Liam.

Monday, July 2, 2012

An update of sorts

These past several weeks have been a whirlwind.  We have spent our days cleaning, packing, painting, and fixing all those little odd jobs that you mean to get to when you own a house, but put off for whatever reason.  We also had a crazy expensive plumbing job that destroyed our front yard and still hasn't been finished...which is certainly not what you want to have happen as you're putting your house on the market.  But it happened.  So in the last month, we have worked our tails off, depleted our savings account to an uncomfortable level, finished everything we can in our house, put our house on the market, watered new grass like mad (because the plumbing issues that were supposed to cut a four foot swath through our yard ended up destroying 85 percent of the front yard and part of the back), had Andy's debit card shut off for fraudulent activities, had our car literally stop accelerating as we drove up a hill on our way home (that was yesterday....we think it must have been low fuel), and chased our exuberant 13 month up and down and all around.  And then the little things...cancelling appointments, last lunches with friends, good-byes, cramming in one last dog haircut and vet appt. so you have a few months to figure out that.  Crying over losing your pediatrician (for real...I love her).  Trying to not buy groceries, but also not being able to live on condiments alone.  So...we're tired.

 But it's okay.  Andy's last day at his old job was Friday (of course...he's been there since 7:30 this morning working and fixing stuff) and he doesn't start his new one until July 16.  So we have two weeks off.  Two weeks where we just have to finish the last few things on our list (paint one piece of trim, stain one door...paint the soffit and try to make sense of the yard once the new sewage and water lines are hooked up) and hope that someone wants to see our house.  Then we move to Indy.  Where we will stay with Andy's parents until our house sells and we buy a new one.  We have already narrowed down what neighborhood we want to live in based on price and location (outside the loop...on the northwest side of town), so we are ready to start checking out some houses there.  We may do that next week with some of our "off" time.  Andy and I have never had two simultaneous weeks off in the history of our marriage, so I'm excited to see that.

That's pretty much where we are right now.  Liam has been a real bright spot in the insanity because that kid is a riot.  As of this morning, he's in love with his own reflection in the oven glass....he will stand in front of the oven and try to touch his reflection...and then he starts leaning to one side, and then to the other, and laughing at himself.  And that makes this mama laugh and forget about the insanity for a brief moment :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Official big news

We are moving to Indy!  In about two weeks….or a bit more.

Details later.  No time….for probably the next few weeks.  But we are Indy bound, and it’s bittersweet :)…I think more sweet…but there is still a lot of sadness in leaving our friends and our home…the home that we redid together, the home we brought Liam (and Ollie too) into, and the friends who have helped shaped the first five years of marriage.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taking care of Liam (or weird things I might forget to tell my parents this weekend)

Here are some current odd things that are involved in Liam’s care these days.

-The bathroom door must remain closed at all times.  ALL TIMES.

-Ollie’s food and water can generally only be down when L is asleep.

-When you take the dog potty, be prepared for the baby to expect to come outside…like he will hear the front door open from three rooms away and start crawling as fast as he can…if he doesn’t get to go out, expect him to stand in the door, pounding and screaming.

-L only takes two bottles of formula now…one when he wakes up, and one at bedtime.  He drinks three bottles of milk each day.  Warmed for 25 seconds in the microwave.  (I need to wean from bottles next..we’ll get there.  Next month)

-Ollie is to be put away while Liam eats and cannot have any food.  He turns into a butt when he eats people food. 

-(This might just be me) When I put on my walking shoes, L crawls to the stroller and pulls himself up.

-If you say, “Good job, Liam” he may very well clap for himself.

-Liam drinks water like it’s going out of style.  He loves to have a sippy while he is in his stroller or his carseat…dude can drink a whole sippy on a walk.  We give him a sippy cup filled about 1/3 full for naps and bedtimes to help him settle down.  Also, he is going through diapers very quickly right now.  They are filling fast.

-If L goes in the office, he’s probably trying to get on my computer.  If he goes to our room, he is probably trying to get in the dog cage, pull the guitar down, or yanking the alarm clock down.  In the kitchen, he will probably try to open the drawer under the stove.

Liam officially has a favorite author


I have my clear favorites of Liam’s books, but he has started to develop his own tastes and preferences, and will grab one book over another, which is so exciting.  Liam’s current favorite author is Leslie Patricelli.  He has two of her board books: Quiet, Loud and Yummy, yucky and he wants them to be read over and over. 

Last night we were reading Quiet, Loud, and he was full-on belly laughing as we read it.  Then he grabbed the book from me and hit me in the face with it when we were finished..which I took to mean read it again…turns out, I was right.  We read it three times.  Then I grabbed Yummy, Yucky to see if it had the same effect—it did.


I am kind of excited to be entering the phase where Liam wants me to read to him…and especially that he wants certain books.

Mother’s Day

We celebrated our first official Mother’s Day this year…and I obviously forgot to take any and all pictures. (Funny side story/example of me being a brat…Andy said that he thought that technically this would be my second mother’s day…since Liam was born two days after Mother’s Day last year…but I told him that since he didn’t recognize it or honor it or give me anything last year, I assumed he didn’t think it counted….because I am that cheerful and wonderful all the time).

This year’s Mother’s Day was nice.  We had Liam’s baby dedication at church, and Andy’s parents came down.  It was the first time they had ever been to our church, and the first time Andy’s dad has been to our house since Liam was three weeks old (Andy’s mom came to drop off their dog in March when we watched him).  So it was nice to have them here—Liam was definitely excited to see them.  It took him a while, though.  Sometimes when people come over and he isn’t used to them being at his house, he just sits and watches them a while…he did it with my grandparents.  Surprisingly, I don’t feel like he’s ever done it for my mom and dad or for his Aunt Lauren.

I got to pick out my own Mother’s Day gift because Andy forgot that it was Mother’s Day (another funny side story—last weekend I told him that I wanted herbs to plant for Mother’s Day, and Saturday morning I asked if we could go to Lowe’s to pick out herbs for my mother’s day gift…Saturday night he said, “Tomorrow is Mother’s Day?  Shoot…I feel like if I was paying attention, I would have figured out something you might want for Mother’s Day”).  So we went to Lowe’s and I picked out herbs for Mother’s Day…only neither of us brought our wallets.  So we had to drive back home and get a wallet and then I repicked out my gift.  And we dropped off some stuff at the Goodwill…not important, but I always like getting rid of stuff.

As for Mother’s Day itself, Andy was playing, so he had to leave for church early.  I got Liam and myself ready, and we all hung out with Andy’s parents before church.  Then Liam was dedicated during church, and he was so much bigger than the girls being dedicated…mostly because he so much older.  He watched Pastor Mike so intently as he was talking.  He was just taking everything in.  Then after church, we went to lunch at Bob Evan’s, which was a madhouse.  Liam did really well for the first part of lunch…then he discovered that because the booster seat at Bob’s doesn’t have a belt, he can stand up in it.  And so he did.  And then he tried to leap out of it..three times in a row.  So I spent the last 35 minutes of lunch cleaning up food off the floor, cleaning up food from Liam’s hair, and carrying Liam around as he clawed at me because he wanted to get down.  Bonus: I am getting really good at shoveling bites of food into my mouth while tilted all the way to one side to avoid grabby fingers.  Also..this is why we don’t eat in crowded restaurants.

Liam took a crazy long afternoon nap, and I had a really bad headache, so I lazed around on the couch with Ollie, and it was glorious.  I never totally napped, but I took it easy for the rest of the day, and it was lovely.  We really did have a sweet day, and I am so thankful for my sweet, wild boy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

For my grandma and grandpa

Grandma, I thought you guys might like to see how much Liam loves his ball popper…’s a hit.  I keep finding the balls all over the house, and it almost never fails that anytime Andy or I leave the room, we hear the ball popper start up.  He’s in love with it—and it’s way fun.  So here is Liam playing with his ball popper (he had been doing it for about 5 minutes before I started recording)

One Year Checkup

Liam had his one year appointment at the pediatrician yesterday.  Andy went with us for the first time since his one month, and I am glad he did.

Liam’s stats:

Height: 32 inches (98th percentile)

Head: (Large…98th percentile…technically height and head weren’t even on the chart)

Weight: 24 lbs. 14.5 oz (between 90-95th percentile)


Everything else was looking good.  He has a spot on his shoulder that feels like a veiny growth sort of thing, so his pediatrician was going to call the plastic surgeon at the children’s hospital in Louisville to ask about it because she didn’t know what it was.  We might have to make a trip there to get it checked, but it’s likely nothing.

After his checkup, he got 3 shots (one in the thigh and one in each arm) and then we had to go to the lab to have a finger prick for blood.  When he was all done, they gave him a sticker and a sucker (which he proceeded to get stuck to everything).  Here’s an up close shot of his sticker and the crumbs on his shirt:


Recent Happenings

Everything in our house is breaking.  The sewage line to the street is collapsing, so we have to replace it…the Cadillac won’t start….and the garage door broke.  There are a few others, but those are the big ones.  With that said, our savings account that we worked very diligently to build up to a decent sized number over the past five years will soon be all but non-existent.  So we aren’t moving.  So we need to get some of our stuff out of storage.  We’ll try again next year.  We went through our budget and cut it down to the bare bones to try to build up our savings again.  It’s been frustrating, but at the same time, not.  I’m aggravated to see our savings depleting, but thankful that we have the money.  Our emergency fund is just that…for emergencies.  And your sewage line collapsing is a definite emergency.  It will be good, too.  We were starting to spend some dumb money, and we weren’t being terribly careful with our finances…so this is a good reminder.  And I am kind of excited to see just how much we can save…and how little we can figure out how to live on. 

That’s been the big to-do around here lately.  Other stuff is pretty normal….Andy and I are celebrating our fifth anniversary this Saturday.  We have given ourselves one last big expenditure…we’re going away for our anniversary night.  We are going to the Westin in downtown Indy—the exact hotel where we started dating in 2003.  I’m excited for that.  Our tradition is a sushi dinner for our anniversary—we save a chopstick in a little vase and write the date, restaurant and anniversary…so I think we’re going to Mikado downtown this year.  I am so excited!  My mom and dad are coming to stay with Liam and Ollie—they are the best!

Ollie is suffering from some serious first world problems…my dog has entitlement issues.  So we’re working on it.  He thinks he should get whatever he wants…mostly Liam’s food.  And he’s being a brat about it.  So now he has to be put in the bedroom when Liam eats, and all food has to be picked up before he’s allowed out.  He isn’t getting any people food because he was being a real butt about it.  He seems to be a little nicer…probably in an effort to get some food.

That’s really about it…Liam and I can’t go anywhere while the car is broken.  We go for a walk every morning with MJ and her two youngest (Liam’s future wife).  and then we just hang out.  Pretty boring stuff, really.

Liam’s birthday video

Andy made this for Liam’s birthday party.  It gets me every time…Liam’s a fan, as well.


Liam’s birthday letter

Sweet Liam,

You are now a year old. It's a really weird feeling for your dad and I both. Sometimes it feels like it was just minutes ago that we found out you were going to join our family, and sometimes it seems like you have been with us forever. We talked about it the other day, and we are sure that Oliver doesn't remember life before you. We remember it, but we wouldn't go back to it. Because you are a delight and a joy and we just cannot get enough of you.

Your first year started with a bang. Less than a day after you were born, I was really sick. We had to stay in the hospital for a few extra days in order to get my fever under control. You were ready to go home,but I wasn't. When we got you home, though, you ended up with a horrible yeast rash and thrush because of the medicines I was on. It was a rough time, and your Grandma Keller and Granma Cook took such good care of us. Your grandparents were smitten with you from the get-go. You have had them wrapped around your finger from the moment they laid eyes on you. We spent those first few weeks of life figuring out how to be your parents, and learning how to administer medicine via IV. It was a crazy time. Daddy and I celebrated our fourth anniversary when you were just nine days old...and I'll have you know that eating sushi on the couch with your daddy while you slept a few feet away was pretty much my idea of perfection.

You are a study in contrasts, my dear boy. You are either incredibly difficult or an absolute delight. You had some terrible stomach problems and a touch of colic in your first weeks, and it was rough. Then you were magically better. Then you refused to nap. Then it was magically better. You have always been a good night sleeper, and for that we are thankful. Even now, at a year old, you are stubborn and strong willed and you scream like the dickens, but you are so sweet and loving. You love to give kisses and you like to climb all over us. Your laugh is the sweetest sound to me. You give your laughs and smiles your holding back for my boy.

You love to play, and to play hard. You like throwing things, and you likes balls and wooden toys and anything that makes noise. Pounding on things is your favorite game. You also like to open doors...and close them. Sometimes you shut yourself in your bedroom and you scream because you don't want to be in there. You are recently obsessed with the toilet and the toilet paper, so we lock you out of the bathroom. You like to climb, and you are completely fearless. You are trying to walk, but you aren't quite there yet.

You hate sleeping away from home. We spent a lot of time away from home last fall, and it was rough. Your grandpa Cook had lung cancer, and had to have one of his lungs removed. There were a lot of complications, and he was in the hospital for over a month. We spent a lot of weekends at their house, and you didn't always handle that well. Your dad was gone a lot of nights, too, which killed him. But your presence, my sweet boy, was one of the best things for your grandparents. They carried a picture of you with them wherever they were. They told the doctors and the nurses that Grandpa was going to beat cancer for you. You were their number one. They love you so much, sweet boy. Your very life was an encouragement and a blessing to them through one of the hardest periods of their life.

Your Grandma Keller is the one person who can get you to fall asleep away from home. She can rock you and hold you and you will pass right out. Your Grandpa Keller plays rocket ship with you and will do whatever you want. You love them both so much, and they cannot get enough of you.

Liam, so much happened this year. We had so many of your firsts—first road trip (to your Grandma and Grandpa Cook for 4th of screamed like a banshee from Columbus to North Vernon...we pulled over on the side of the road and gave you a bottle and you pooped and we changed your diaper in the backseat), your first Halloween (you were a dinosaur in a homemade costume), first Thanksgiving (we went to Grandma and Granddad's), your first Christmas (you did not love opening presents, but you sure liked playing with them after). First tooth (bottom right, came in March), first wedding (Mariah and Kory), and so many more. This winter was mild, so we only had snow one time, and I put you in a laundry basket to sled around the yard. You never loved baby food and by the time you were eight months old you were eating table food only. You love mango, avocados, rice, noodles, ground meat of any kind, and your favorite is broccoli. You ate salmon a week before your birthday and loved it. Your palette is quite varied.

Liam, your dad and I love you so much. We pray that you will grow up to be a man who loves the Lord. I want you to know that you are created for a purpose, and I want you to seek after God. I pray that he will be the Lord of your life, and that you will love him with all your heart.

Happy birthday sweetheart. I love you.


Happy Birthday Liam

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Sweet Liam turned one last week, and we had his birthday party the weekend before.  We did his party in Indianapolis, at Andy’s parents house, because it was a more central location (also…our house is small) and it was easier for Andy’s parents…his dad is travelling again for work, but he wears out quickly, so it was nice that they just got to stay home and the fun came to them.  Ultimately, I tried to not go too overboard.  We had Liam’s baby books out, and I attempted the photo thing above…definitely looked better in my head.  We had Jimmy John’s for lunch…it’s long been a favorite of Andy’s, and he wanted it for our rehearsal dinner when we got married, but it didn’t work it…so I was more than happy to give my husband what he wanted five years later. A party with Jimmy Johns.  Of course, I had to get something I wanted as well…so we ordered IZZE sodas in a can from Amazon….we first had them on our honeymoon, and I have been in love ever since.  And we also included Liam’s favorite food: goldfish crackers.  You know, since it was his birthday and all.

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I was originally thinking whales for Liam’s party based on one of his baby blankets my mom made that I adore.  But then I found these napkins and plates at Target, and decided to just go for the brightly colored array.  The runner is just a few yards of fabric from…I will probably use them for something else later….I just found a fabric I loved and went with it.

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My mom made the individual fruit pizzas, and they were a hit.  I saw the husbands of a few friends eating multiples (like 3 or more each).  They were darn good.  My sister added some vanilla and cinnamon to the cream cheese mix and it was awesome.  The cupcakes just about did me in.  I tried to make a batch on Thursday night from a mix.  They exploded everywhere and were ugly.  Then I made homemade and they were fine…but I made the frosting too runny so it ran everywhere.  Then after we got home, Andy told me that we should have used the ugly ones because they tasted better.  I think I’ll buy my cakes in the future.

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Liam with my grandparents…I love the way he is watching my grandpa in that second picture.

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Liam with Andy’s parents—can you believe how good Andy’s dad looks?  I am amazed at how he has recovered from having a lung removed…and all of the horrible things that happened after that initial surgery.

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Playing with Ady.  These two had a blast hanging out—and they get to do it again in a few weeks for Ady’s birthday party

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Liam’s favorite toy—my dad.

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New presents

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Ady was in love with Elmo…Liam loves him too.  And everyone loved the dog guitar.

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Birthday cake!

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With Andy’s grandma, and with my dad again (he gravitates towards his grandpas….he likes to climb my dad and he points at Andy’s dad)

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Playing with Uncle Mike’s sunglasses, and then with a balloon with Uncle Mike and Aunt Mavis

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And finally: Aunt Lauren.  Possibly his favorite person in the world (right after Andy)

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Monday, April 30, 2012


This month got away from me.  It was busy, and I was tired.  We started the month with a visit from my sister, which was amazing.  Except for the part where her nephew vomited all over her…and then on our friend Tiffany…and basically through our entire house.  The rest, though, was pretty awesome.

Liam has been growing up like mad.  He is crawling everywhere, does baby yoga all the time, and likes to walk up and down the length of furniture.  He throws balls, and opens the toilet lid.  He climbs as of this weekend.  The kid is fearless.  He attempted to do a nosedive off a plastic container that’s about a foot and a half tall….but I caught him before he could get too far.  He kissed a little girl who’s about three weeks older than him.  He wants to walk like she does, but he can’t quite figure it out.  He is getting teeth…he has two that are in, and two that are coming in. 

We had Mariah’s wedding…..which has certainly been a long-awaited event.  It was a great weekend, and we all had a blast.  It was so nice to be home, to be with old friends, and people who were a part of my childhood…like Mariah’s entire family.

We’ve been prepping for Liam’s birthday party—this weekend.  I am an overplanner for parties….but I am so excited for this one.  It’s ridiculous how much effort I’m putting into a one year old’s party….but I kind of feel like we need it.  Liam’s birth was rough…and a lot of stuff has happened over this year that has been difficult…excruciating even…but God has been so faithful to us, providing what we need, and just showing up in a big way this year….and I want to celebrate.  And I think Liam’s grandparents feel the same way :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Random Thoughts

We are still in the process of fixing up our house…we are almost finished packing up things for storage.  Almost every room in our house echoes now, which is just wild.  I think we’ll be finished with the clearing/cleaning phase by the end of the week.  Then we just have some walls to touch up and a room to paint (the red office is going neutral), and a few other small things..a few projects that were left unfinished that need to be finished.  It’s exciting to see things coming together! 

We started on Liam’s birthday party planning this weekend.  Andy designed an invitation that I just want to hug to my face and stroke lovingly.  It’s awesome.  Basically, I told him what I wanted, and he knocked it out of the park.  The best part—we ordered them on Winkflash, using their 5x7 postcard option, and we got twenty postcards for something like 11 dollars.  I don’t actually need that many, but I wanted a few extras.  I am chomping at the bit for them to get here.  And I’m not going to send them as postcards..I actually have leftover envelopes from our wedding invitations (also designed by Andy) I’m going to use those.  And I figured out the menu/games/decorations…and they are super simple and I can probably get everything done easily the week before the party!

I have some great Liam Easter pictures…as soon as I get them uploaded, I’ll post them here.

And somehow my son just woke up from the world’s shortest nap…so I’m going to go…and kill the dog…because he woke him up earlier this morning, thus causing the inability to get a proper nap today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Things going on around here

A quick update on the happenings in this house:

Liam had his first respiratory infection, complete with a trip to urgent care and three prescriptions.  Of course, I spilled one of them all over the kitchen floor yesterday, so technically, four prescriptions.  He seems to be feeling better, but he still isn’t clearing up quite like I would like.  We’re also having issues with Baby Vapo rub….we have a jar somewhere in the house, but I can’t find it.  So Andy went to Wal-Mart to get a few things Monday night and was supposed to get a new one.  He left it in his cart, and realized it halfway home.  So he went back to buy it.  Then somehow the bag with it in it got thrown away (we think…we can’t find it anywhere).  So I went back to the store today and bought one.  Ridiculous much?

Andy has been working mad hours lately because he is launching a new business with some friends.  You can check out their website at  They sell vinyl graphics for ATV’s.  He’s been working so, so hard lately.  At his regular job and at this…he’s burning the candle at both ends.  But that hard work has paid off, and some really awesome things have been happening lately.

We’re also in the process of cleaning out and fixing up our house.  We will likely try to put it on the market soon and upgrade to a house with a bit more space.  This house was always a starter house, and we’ve been here for nearly five years…and it feels like the right time to move on.  We’re excited to go house hunting and see what’s available in our area.  So I have been working my butt (random inappropriate comment…I have been watching seasons 1 and 2 of the Real Housewives of New York while I’m working…and Bethenny Frankel makes me want to use the word balls all the time…so I really wanted to type that I’ve been working my balls off…but that’s just not right) off trying to get things cleaned/cleared, etc.  It’s a big job…and since my husband is working so hard to support us, this is the area where I can step in and help.

And lastly, my sister is coming this weekend!!!!!!!  That needs seventy-five more exclamation points.  We’re so excited she’s coming…and she’s going to have to work her tush off here too :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The lack of sleep going on up in here is incredible

This house is sleep deprived.  Every member.  And we handle it in different ways.  Liam freaks out and can’t sleep, thus making it harder for everyone.  Andy eventually crashes and hears nothing (no baby screaming, no wife crying, nothing).  Ollie finds a corner and hides to catch some sleep…and stares at you with the evil eye when you disturb him.  And I cry.  Why the no sleep?  Well…it’s a combination of things.  One…Liam just isn’t sleeping.  If I was guessing, I think we’re getting another tooth.  Tooth number one involved a really snotty nose for a few weeks and a lot of sleep troubles.  And this week we have a really snotty nose and a lot of sleep troubles.  And two, Andy’s been working late.  Like 1 AM and 3 AM late.  And when he isn’t home, I can’t go to bed.  I can doze off on the sofa, but let’s be honest, sofa sleep isn’t restful…not like bed sleep.  It’s not that I don’t want to go to bed…I really, really do.  But there’s the Ollie factor.  Ollie is a total guard dog, and he won’t go to bed if Andy’s not home.  And he barks like mad anytime there is a disturbance outside.  Like….a car driving down the street.  Or a car door closing three streets over.  Or a shift in the wind.  So….when Andy isn’t home, I have to stay in the living room so I can get Ollie outside quickly when Andy gets home….so Ollie doesn’t wake Liam up barking.  And, you know, I like to see my husband for a few minutes too.  So we have been going to bed late…and Liam has been waking up more. 

Here’s last night for you:

1 AM Andy gets home for a few minutes, leaves to go back to work…takes Ollie with him so I can go to bed…so I get to bed about 1:30 (there is a reason for all this….I will likely explain sometime in the future).

3 something.  Andy and Ollie get home and wake me up briefly.

4 AM Liam wakes up.  Andy just got to bed, so I do the night feeding (which we haven’t had in several days)

5 AM Liam is screaming.  I take him to couch and get him to sleep.  He shifts position every 10-12 minutes, so I’m up at least that much….but really, I don’t sleep for some of those time periods

7:30 AM  Liam is up for the day.  So I am up for the day.

So…yay for iced coffee!  But I do have two funny Liam stories to counteract my sleep complaining.

1. Yesterday, Andy decided to give Liam a bath while he was home for lunch (we did see him for about 45 minutes during the day yesterday).  Andy turned on the water to run the bath, and Liam crawled into the bathroom and pulled himself up on the tub so someone would take his clothes and diaper off and he could get in.  We were both dying laughing….I think the boy likes bath time.

2.  Also yesterday, Liam and Ollie truly played together.  They have been playing some off and on the past few weeks…but Liam tried to chase Ollie around the loveseat yesterday.  Ollie took one of his toys…and he went after it.  And Ollie thought it was so fun….he kept coming back and prancing as Liam tried to keep up…clearly, Liam’s crawl is no match for Ollie’s run at this point.  It was the sweetest, funniest thing.

Monday, March 19, 2012

For Aunt Lauren

Lauren asked me last night what is on Liam’s birthday wish list.  I had a few thoughts…the first is that my son’s first birthday is entirely too close for my liking.  The second was that I had no idea.  But I thought about it some more, and here’s what I came up with:

I think he will shortly be to the stage where he likes things with wheels, like trucks or cars or dump trucks.  Like some of these:

From Target


From Amazon


Musical instruments are always a hit…he has a drum, and he’s getting a xylophone, and a guitar, but something like this keyboard might be fun.


Also, Megabloks (I think I saw these cheaper at Wal-Mart and Target…so no link here)


Also…any kind of ball (he’s a big fan right now…we roll them back and forth and throw them around).  Or anything he can use outside or in the bathtub or in his baby pool this summer. 


Easy wooden puzzles, like this:

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Or new board books…we read between 4-10 a day, so it’s always nice to get some new ones in the mix.

But seriously.  Lauren.  Whatever.  He will like whatever.  Because he’s a wee boy who just likes playing…and playing hard.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Video Post

These are all a few weeks old.  Basically, Liam is doing way more stuff than I have recorded…but I’ll work on remedying that soon.  Also, these are all ridiculous and not terribly interesting.  So I am sorry if you don’t heed my warning and find yourself bored :)

Seriously….only watch this if you’re my mom. It’s stupid long.



Picture Post

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