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 :)