Spring: 21-24 months

Our journey through spring and the begining of summer break, including our many outings.

My journey through sleep training

Follow my ongoing posts of my battle through sleep training and getting Liam to sleep.


Follow my battle with Lupus as a wife, mother and teacher.

Cloth Diapering

My adventures of cloth diapering, tips and tricks, favorite brands and more.

Confessions of an Antique Home

Check out my husband's blog.A newlywed, first time home buyer couple purchases a circa 1760 colonial in New England. This blog follows their adventures during their home ownership.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Liam is Two!

Last Friday my beautiful boy turned two! We celebrated his birthday over the week since both my mother-in-law and mom were in town. Every day was an adventure. Before I dive into my day to day account of his birthday week, here are a few updates:

Liam update: Liam had a blood test last Monday. His lead level actually rose to a 4 (from a 3) but is still under the 5 that they are concerned about. I am curious (and very nervous) as to how he is still getting exposed. I did catch him latched onto a window sill, like a sucker fish, just weeks prior and I had a mini panic attack. I am trying to keep him busy and out of the house as much as possible until all the lead that he could potentially be near is abated.

Liam is doing well with speech and continues to improve each week. I feel like this last month was an explosion of understanding. He now points at objects in books, signs and says his word for them (for animals, its usually an animal sound). He has learn many words over the last month, however many of them are lacking the first letter. I wish I understood his "method to madness" as they say. Liam's word for go is "bo" yet his word for car is "gar". Clearly he knows the gggg sound, yet he doesn't use it for the correct words.  My strong willed little man has learned the word no and uses that frequently. He knows what he wants, when he wants it and it truly is the end of the world if he doesn't get it, right then and there.

Just this past week Liam has really started to dress himself. He can put on and take off his shoes (he calls them soos). We don't wear our shoes in the house and he knows that when his shoes come off, they go straight into the shoe bin. He can put on a pair of pants (half way) and put on his shirt (half way); socks are still a challenge. He has also become aware of when he has pooped or not; he will come running to tell me and pat his butt. Looks like we should be investing in a potty pretty soon.

We are still working on colors. I thought he knew the color green and blue but only if I refer them to a Thomas character (i.e. where is the blue car, like Thomas?). He knows the number 5 and that it is 5 fingers... but he now thinks every number is the number 5.

Liam and Oliver (our family cat) have become great pals. They will spend a good half hour playing with each other. Liam's Aunt (my sister) bought Liam a Thomas the Tank Engine tent. The cat will run inside and bat at Liams' feet as he walks past making Liam squeel with laughter.  There are times that Liam will get too rough with Oliver and I will hear the cat cry out. I remind Liam to "be gentle" and for the most part he is.

On July 2nd Liam had his first dentist appointment. It was very quick and as he screamed with a full open mouth, they counted his teeth. All 20 of them! Apparently his last molar must have come in at some point over the last month. I was worried about the gaps between his teeth but our dentist said she wasn't worried.  She said that the gaps allow larger teeth to come in straight.  His teeth were also stained a bit yellow from the iron supplements and that she was also not concerned about.

Liam's Favorites: He is loving music and will dance with me around the living room. I put on the toddler channel on Pandora Radio and it is a great way to have the right type of "background noise". For his birthday we bought Liam a train table. He is LOVING it. He also is my little water baby and is enjoying the local pool and splash pads.

Monday, June 23rd: CT Trolley Museum.
Liam and I went to the CT Trolley Museum with my coworker and her family. We got there a little after 10am and although he was apprehensive on the first trolley ride, he actually wanted to go again. He had a blast the second time around! We even visited the firetruck museum in the back.  Below are a couple of photos from our outing.

Tuesday, June 24th: Dinosaur State Park
Before the Grandmas got there, Liam and I ventured to the Dinosaur State Park. We visited their children's area and made a bookmark, the arena and played with toy dinosaurs, briefly walked around the main exhibit (Liam was very scared) and took a hike out on the trails. He had a blast outside but still too young to enjoy inside. I'd give it 6-12 months before we would go back.

Wednesday, June 25th: Hammonasset Beach State Park
The grandmas got in on Tuesday afternoon and we decided that since we still had the state pass from the Dinosaur State Park (borrowed from the town library), we should go to the beach. Wednesday we headed out to Hammonasset for Liam's first time at the shore. He was leery at first, but by the end of the morning, he didn't want to leave.

Thursday, June 26th: Grandmas Babysat
 On the 26th, I had training at my work. The grandmas sat in on a speech therapy session and watched him till I got home. After he woke up from his nap, we all went to the local playground.
Friday, June 27th: Liam's Birthday! Strawberry Picking.
On Friday we decided to go strawberry picking, open gifts, and of course, eat lots of cake. Liam didn't care too much about the strawberry picking but he did love all his gifts and eating cake. All in all, it was a great week.

Hope you have enjoyed the updates! I am taking a break from the blog till the end of summer. I want to concentrate on finishing up writing my lab manual.  If anything should come up (strange blood work, lupus flare, etc.) I will be sure to keep you posted. But until then, hope everyone has a great summer!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Father's Day: Breakfast with a View

This past Sunday was Father's Day. I had gone out to Michaels Craft Store with Liam and we picked up a mug and picture frame. The mug was in a kit that came with acrylic paint. Liam was able to put his hand prints on the mug and after a quick bake in the oven, it became a great Father's Day gift.
The next art project we did involved the frame. I had a photo of Steve and Liam at the top, with a poem (printed on vellum) at the bottom. Steve and I had decided to make our own wedding invitations and so the vellum was left over from that. Liam's footprint was behind the poem. Originally it was a hand print, but at the last second I decided that a foot would be much better. Liam and I then did painting on Saturday morning at 6am. It was a little early for both of us but at least it got done in time. I was pretty happy with the end product and Steve was pretty happy when he opened the box. He couldn't

believe that Liam's foot was so big.

I thought it would be nice to go out to breakfast for Father's Day and so after the gift's were given, we got showered and drove out to a neighboring farm (about 25 minutes away) for "Breakfast with a View". The farm holds this even every Sunday during the summer months.
 We arrived there a little before it opened and were the third group in line. I wanted to get there early because I had heard that the place gets busy pretty quickly.
 Liam was a a little impatient about waiting to get seated. We went up and down the ramp a couple of times and I even walked down to the playground (more photos on that below). After about a 10 minute wait, we were seated.

 There were plenty of seats and all of them had a beautiful view of the orchards below. The weather was prefect, with a slight breeze.
 Liam was ready for breakfast,  spoon in hand, and mommy had forgotten to bring her arsenal of toys. By the time breakfast had come, he had already destroyed one creamer, gone through two sets of plastic cutlery and stuck both hands in my ice water. We had a nice breakfast of french toast (topped with farm fresh strawberries).
 By the time we left, there was a really long line, and I did not envy those families with their impatient children.
 Before we headed to the car, we decided to play on the playground next to the parking lot. It was a pretty low budget playground but Liam seemed to enjoy himself.

We took a quick stroll around the pond and back home we went. The rest of the day was spent keeping Liam occupied while Steve worked on the house. All in all it was a good day. We will definitely make it back to the farm for another breakfast.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Almost Summer-time" Fun: Splashpads, parks, various outings.

To think that is still only spring, yet Liam and I have done more this "summer" than we did all last summer. I would have to say that this is a fun age. He was great last year, but he really has developed a personality.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have kept him busy with mom's club playgroups, museum visits, library visits, splash pads, park visits and lots of walks. We have had something planned every day, usually in the mornings. There have been days that we have done an activity in the morning, he's had his nap, and then once he has woken up (and had a snack), I have whisked him away to another activity. Below are just a few activities:

Walks: When it was a bit cooler, we were taking daily walks to the park, the library or the historical society. We only live about 0.5 miles from all three and Liam loved to get outside. Once it started getting a bit hotter, he would walked great on the way there... and want me to carry him on the way back.... the whole way back.

Libraries: We frequent the town library often (at least twice a week) and Liam loves the kitchen, Lego table and of course the ever-so-popular train table. We actually bought him a train table (second hand) for his birthday and I can't wait to put it together. We have been to three other libraries in the area, all with good results. One of our favorites was a library about 20 minutes from us that had a huge kids section. They had a puppet stage, train table, puzzles, barns/doll houses/parking garages for pretend play, and a separate area for those not yet walking.
I love meeting up with other moms at the library too. It's a great place to talk while your little ones are playing. Liam does have to work on his social skills (still very shy) and his sharing skills. His new favorite word is "ine" which is his way for saying MINE.  Lately I have been teaching Liam his colors and yesterday he had Percy (or Edward... I get them mixed up) in one hand and Thomas in the other. I asked him, "Liam, which train is green?" and he pointed to Percy (or Edward)! I then asked him which one was blue and he pointed to Thomas. This was very exciting.

 Splash Pads: There are a couple of splash pads that are about 20 minutes from us. They are great because the ones we have been to are 100% fenced in, with some shade and 100% FREE! Whats even better is that Liam LOVES them. We recently purchased swim diaper trunks from iplay so that we can have as much water time as possible, without flying through swim diapers.

We brought buckets and watering cans for him to play with but all the kids tend to share all the toys. I made sure to put Liams name on them so that I can round them all up at the end. The hardest part was trying to explain to him that we had to go home. He could have spend hours there.

Parks and Farms: We have been going to a lot of parks, both local and near by. Liam has really become more independent, knowing exactly what he wants to go on.
  We recently visited a farm which I was sure he would love. He did like it at first, however, a goose decided to honk at him and he went into hysterics (which cut our trip short). He has become very sensitive over loud noises, including the vacuum cleaner and police sirens (of which he used to love).
At home activities: Besides having him "help" me clean, I have been trying to teach him more words and basics (counting and colors). He can count to four, though he sometimes forgets the number 1 and he knows the colors blue and green. I don't have a splash pad but I have let him use our hose to fill up cups of water. We have many mosquitoes and so this activity doesn't usually last too long. 
Also, an activity I saw on pintrest was having toddlers organize pasta into containers. I adapted this and had Liam organize dried pasta into three connected containers, sorting them by color. He really enjoyed this activity and it gave me a couple of minutes peace while I finished dinner.
I am looking forward to the start of summer, Liam's 2nd birthday and all the many trips we have planned.