Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve

I have to admit, New Years has not been fun since I was a teenager. Running about in downtown Santa Cruz for First Night, which has been canceled since 2005 and replaced with a community started parade and festival that is making the city mad.

But I fondly remember a mass of people, foods to eat, musicians and performers all just doing their thing, as well as all the city planned stuff that cost an arm and a leg to get into.

Ever since then, and the horrible party of New Years '99 into '00 which shall never be forgotten, always thought of as a terrible idea in hindsight, and forever be remembered by a few key events I wish had never happened.... New Years had not been all that much fun.

I hope that a few years from now Liam will have fun with it, getting to stay up late if he can, banging some pots and pans together and shouting outside.

Until then I shall just use the day like any other day.

On that note...

Here are some pictures!

The house! We are all moved in, keys given back to the manager at the old apartment. Now we just have a few more touch ups here until we can call it perfect. And a whole lot of yard maintenance to learn about. First thing on my list is the Hydrangeas you can still see dead flowers on!

Liam got a play yard for Christmas. Right now it is a safe place for me to put him while I do things that take my attention off of him. I leave it open most of the time when I am in the room, but it is nice to have a place for him to be when I have to step away for a while. I put an unzipped sleeping bag in it as at least a slight cushion for him when he topples over.

And he has been toppling a lot lately! He mastered crawling, and sitting, but has decided to rush full on into kneeling and pulling up into standing. While the standing does not happen except in his crib so far, he gets on his knees and can wind up on his bum or his side pretty quick. So far no serious head bonkings, but the little ones still make me wince. Thankfully I am not one of those moms who wants to go overboard.

He also is having a major teething session, so he is a little upset. Everything is making him look at me with those sad eyes. Even playing!

Liam is of course enjoying his kitty cats... I think we have one of the most tolerant cats in the world. Plus the cats are a great distraction when the teething gets to be too much for him. I only hope their nerves survive it all!

We have started the long process of unpacking. I made a rule about bringing in one box at a time and unpacking it fully before moving onto the next box, and putting things where they go. I am trying to declutter and keep a tidy house. (I also started another blog on an idea I had to help with that concept...)

And I will end this blog post on a happy note... Liam also got a swing for Christmas! And an excuse to bundle up and go outside. So far we have to limit it, his little cheeks and hands get so cold!

So Happy New Years to all, and I will see you next year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Baby's First Christmas, the day after

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who sent a gift for Liam.

Aunts, Uncles, Grandmas, and Cousins all helped make his day one full of paper tearing and amusement.

We had a calm day with Liam sleeping for a lot of it and then getting to sample part of dinner with us. He tried mashed potatoes and a roasted carrot instead of just a mashed steamed one.

I debated running broccoli through the blender, but decided against it at the final moment.

While dinner was cooking, Liam got a bath in the kitchen sink. He was drying off and getting lotioned with me while we sat on the couch when he took an interest in the Christmas Tree, leading to a great picture.
I sent it out as yesterdays Daily Liam, but here it is again.

p.s. If you want to be part of the Daily Liam, just let me know and I will either text or e-mail you a picture of the little guy every day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

Apparently, despite never hearing the song, Liam wants his two front teeth for Christmas. The upper left one is starting to show! It is just being a little nubbin behind his gums right now, but you can see the edge where it is going to push out in a day or two.

Merry Christmas little chompy baby!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Have a Crawly Jolly Christmas!

Liam is almost crawling!

He made 3 crawling steps today (all one right after the other!), and 2 last night. The motivation for these were reaching toward the cats, and grabbing at a cat toy dangled by his Uncle Dave.

I am just happy that he is almost crawling. He is getting to be more mobile, so it was not a moment too soon that the infant play yard arrived in the mail.

We wrestled with it to put it up, trying to figure out how to move it to be in the shape we wanted and finally it got into place. It is the perfect size to give him lots of room and take over half the living room. But considering that we sometimes need to do things that involve NOT watching the baby constantly, it means we have a safe place to put him where he can work on his crawling skills in relative safety and not end up under the couch or under a desk chair. It will come in handy out in the yard this summer when I am trying to garden, and Liam is wanting to play.

He also got to hang out in the kitchen while I was making dinner last night. He was in his high chair and spending time with me, banging some measuring cups together and a wooden spoon.

Plus all this, he is starting to sit up. Sometimes on his own he will end up sitting, but if we sit him up, he will stay that way for quite some time and then instead of falling over, now he will just sort of bend over and then get into his crawling pose or do a belly flop.

I love watching him figure things out, so it will be fun on Christmas morning when we give him his presents to open. He will get to play with the paper and tear them open... then keep playing with the paper and disregard the toy... like all babies. I have no expectations otherwise.

In other news, Dave is here and getting settled in. I think he is bored to death waiting for his computer to arrive. But he gets on well with Liam, he seems to like Liam and Liam thinks he is pretty great too as far as I can tell. Liam took to him right away.

Tomorrow we get to go out to breakfast with some family here, then have a nice calm morning until Dan gets home from work. We get Chrismas Day to spend as a family and I am thankful for that.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Yesterday was moving day. The movers came at 9am and piled things into their truck. They did a pretty good job loading, but the unloading was a bit sloppy. That is ok, we can restack the pile.

Liam had a rough day, so much happening around him, even with him staying in the basement with mom while the movers were running through the house.

Comcast came and hooked up the internet, can't live long without that now can we? The day ended with putting beds together, Dan crawling under the house to run the cable for my internet under the floor, and then an early night heading to bed.

We found a few quirks with the house as we started to settle in, like why they had the water heater turned up sooooo high. If you don't have it high, you run out of hot water after just 5 minutes.

Today we awoke with a strong desire to hit the Aleve bottle and get some coffee made. All of us were sore! We all whined and moped a bit, then overcame our various aches and pains with some more work. Unloading a few boxes of needed stuff, getting some more work done in the basement and tending to Liam's needs.

Poor little guy was extra cranky today, plus his cheeks are chapped. I think perhaps the new environment, rolling about on the carpet in the basement, the change from warm to cold multiple times a day as we traveled more with him in the days before moving, and perhaps the oodles of drool he has been drooling each night in his sleep that just stay on the sheets. So we have been tending to his poor little cheeks today when he seems upset. He also might have another tooth coming in soon.

He is working so hard to crawl!

But he still has a ways to go. I hope he gets there soon, he will not be so frustrated then.

I went out and searched all over for a live Christmas tree of the Norfolk Pine variety. Alive, in a planter, and NOT covered in spray on glitter. I got what I wanted, except for the glitter. Thankfully it seems rather well stuck on and is not leaving little glitter particles all over the place. Yay!

So it is a little leany... that is ok. It is the best looking tree with the least amount of glitter. Now to just collect ornaments that mean something.  We have two so far. A hand painted glass one from the realtor, Tim Saeland. (Nicest guy, I really liked him a lot. He went above and beyond in getting us to look at houses that had what we needed and not waste our time on other ones. ) and a cute little snowflake from my Aunt Judy that we are using as a star on top.

Our living room is looking more like home.

Plus the move had the added benefit of creating a bonding experience for our two kitties who have had a hard time getting along with each other. Tulip and Katchoo spent the better part of Saturday snuggling in the same carrier and have been hissing at each other less. Lets just hope that the truce lasts past the settling in phase.

Now to begin the great task of unpacking, organizing, cleaning as we go and getting all settled. Right now everything is in weird places that has come out of its box. I think the thermos is hanging out with a pile of fabric on the kitchen counter while some shelves and the baby bath frolic in the dining room.

We have a house, now to turn it into a home!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The boxes were stacked by the chimney with care...

Moving right before Christmas has put a bit of a damper on the holiday spirit this year.

We are hoping to send out some Christmas gifts this year, but they will be a little bit late. We are packing up everything and somewhere in the mess of painting and moving everything else seems to take back stage.

I know we missed Christmas last year, but if nothing else this year I want a small tree and to at least send some cards.

My mom just got here this morning so she can help us with getting the house ready and the move. Today she and I are going to finish the painting while Dan stays home with Liam and works on packing.

I am so weary and looking forward to a chance to just relax for a little while.

Will post pictures of the house once we get it all painted. Just a little bit more to do and then we are finished with that part and will be ready to move in. And clean. And unpack, and organize.

But thankfully once we are in the house, we will not ever HAVE to move again, unless we choose to move if 15 years down the line we find a better place or something.

It is almost over.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Things I can not wait for

I love reading my cousin-in-law's blog. But I am just a SMIDGE jealous. Her and her 4 girls bake cupcakes and all kinds of goodies, make fudge, decorate a christmas tree... well, the littlest one tries, but even she can help in ways, and participate. She gets to interact more than Liam can right now.

I want to bake with Liam. I want to decorate a tree... (we WILL do this this year, but it will have to wait until the 21st or so, after we move.) I want to sit in the kitchen with him and watch him lick frosting off the mixer blade. I want to do all those fun things she does with her munchkins.

In a way, I want Liam to grow up just a little bit.

But I am enjoying him as he is right now too. Learning to crawl... I love watching him try. He gets up on his hands and knees and wobbles a bit, sticks his bum in the air, and tries to move one arm and BOOMPH, down he falls, back to his tummy just to get up and try it again.

I know these times will pass so fast... and I DO enjoy them and love having my little baby who snuggles with me and sucks his thumb. I love each second of watching him learn... but I am so excited for what comes next, I can hardly stand it!!!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

House into Home

We have set a moving date... December 19th!

Thanks to my step mom and my dad we are able to hire movers to make this transition not be accompanied by back pain, arguments about how to get a desk through a door and the seemingly endless trips through the courtyard to put the boxes into the truck.

We hired 2Brothers movers, and I will let you all know how that works out. Out of all the movers I called and looked up they had the best rates, looked the most professional and were the kindest on the phone. I hope they live up to that when they come to move all our stuff.

Dan and I are closing in on finishing the painting jobs. I think that if I go over there on Sunday or Monday after he gets off work I will be able to get enough prep work done so that we can just come in on Wednesday and finish it up. All we have left is the wall for the other half of the kitchen and dining room, painting the entryway and the hallway and the accent color for Liam's bedroom. Plus the cupboard backings and the cupboard and cabinet doors. Then all we do is rehang curtains, sweep the whole place, run the vacuum and call it good. It sounds like so little when I write it down, but feels like so much when I think about doing it.

My mom and I got a lot of work done when she was up here for a week. We got the wallpaper taken down from the master bedroom. Liam helped with that!  We also did a lot of prep, painting, sanding.... so many things!

Dan's brother, Dave, is going to come rent the bottom living space from us for a while, which will help us with the monthly payments for the house. Liam will have his uncle close by and I think it will do Dan a lot of good to have someone so close who he can spend some time with.

I am going to see about getting a couple kids to babysit for while I look into getting licensed for child care. Graphic Design is not going anywhere, even as a home business... I am getting desperate for some income.

Liam is getting so close to crawling, he does amazingly well! Soon he will be all over the place!

He is starting to make "Mmmmm" sounds, some "mmmaaaaa, maaaaaa" babbling that makes me smile. We repeat his sounds back to him, add new ones... He is learning so fast. I love watching that moment when something makes a connection and he realized what he can do.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Silly Old Bluebirds

We are closing on the house in the next day or two. And while this makes us SO happy, it also means a whole lot of work.

We signed a release of liability so we could get into the house and paint and start getting it ready so that we had a little less pressure to get it all done before we moved in. Everyone knows that if you don't paint before you move in, you will either NEVER paint, or it will be many years from now. The kitchen was Ice Pink, it is now Spice on some walls and Colosseum Marble on the other walls. The master bedroom is Stone Fence, a beautiful gray with tones of blue and green to it in the right light. The second bedroom was Ugly as Sin Pink and now is a nice Sliced Cucumber, a soft green with gray to it as well. I got the idea for that color from the lichens on the tree outside the window to that room.

And the best room of all is Liam's room. It is painted Hundred Acre Sky blue and will have an accent design of Silly Old Bluebirds blue as well. Apparently Disney sold Behr paint the rights to make colors with their name on them basically. But they really are some vibrant and bright colors. I loved the idea of his room being Hundred Acre Sky and Silly Old Bluebirds. It makes it sound like so much fun.

Speaking of Liam and fun, he is learning how to crawl SO fast. He can balance on his hands and knees and keep his head up now. He is trying to take a few little crawling steps.

This is happening at a great time since we can baby proof the house as we are moving in. Outlet covers. Cabinet locks. Wires all tucked away and we can watch for sharp corners or screws sticking out as we move things. I do not want to go overboard in baby proofing, but I do want to remove the chance of certain things happening. There will be no forks in the wall sockets, and no little baby/toddler hands getting into cleaning supplies under the sink.

The plan for now is to be moved in before Christmas. With that goal set for us, we can pick a final moving day and also spent time before then finishing getting the house painted and then packing some boxes up and moving them into the garage after we close, even if it is not painted yet.

I was going to start packing books this morning, but I can not find my tape!!! I guess it will have to wait.

Liam's Uncle Rob is going to watch him on Wednesday so that Dan and I can get a whole bunch of work done then. The second coat on the bedroom walls, and the kitchen cupboards painted, the second coat of Spice on the kitchen, the first coat of that other color we are doing.... I hope we can get all that done. It feels like so much work still!

But the yard is great, there are so many fruit trees and berry bushes. Peach tree, fig tree, two cherry trees, a pluot (a plum apricot hybrid) black berries, raspberries, some kind of gooseberry cross, two types of grapes, three types of apple, a pear tree that grows two or three kinds of pears and some weird edible root plant that is supposed to be like a water chestnut, called a Jerusalem Artichoke.

Plus a raised bed to plant a whole garden in!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks, and giving it

This is Liam's first Thanksgiving. He will get to try mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, and maybe even a taste of pumpkin pie filling. We are going to my Aunt Judy's house in Vancouver to join her and her boyfriend's family for the holiday.

Dan is making the turkey, the house is filled with the smells of a really good turkey as it cooks in the oven. This year, the turkey weighs more than Liam does!

My mom is here visiting, we are about to close on a house and start the process of painting and getting ready to move in.

I tried to crochet a pumpkin pie hat last night, but it looked too feminine for Liam to wear.

His next thanksgiving, he will get to try more of the food, and maybe spend it with more people from his family.

While I do not care for the history of thanksgiving, the native american and pilgrim crap they try to teach us in school, I will use the day as a time to think about what we are thankful for.

I can teach Liam to think about what is important to him, and while we should be glad every day for these things, we can use this day as a time to reflect, and a time to spend sharing a meal with family. We can work as a family to prepare the meal too.

But for this year, we are mostly thankful for a house to make into a home, Liam being here with us and all of the people who love him, be they near or far. We are thankful for the love of our families and friends, and for the odd twists of life that brought us all together in such an amazing way.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Teeth, and the proper use for a book

Liam's front bottom teeth are coming in!!!

And while working on teething he got some new grabbing and shaking skills in the quest for getting things into his mouth. He is still making progress on the rolling and attempts to crawl.

And some great new funny faces!

We are going to be moving soon into a real house with a yard and everything! I will keep everyone up to date on the moving process. Liam will get to grow up in a nice house. I am so happy about this!!!


Friday, November 12, 2010

moving forward.... and backward a bit.

Liam is starting to learn to crawl. I am amazed. He can not even sit without help (though that is getting better too!). He sits with some help from pillows and mommy's leg. He pulls himself into a sitting position when he is leaned back, which at times can be frustrating when you just want him to stay PUT for a moment!

He will sometimes go forward by scooting on his face, and other times go backward by not moving his hands and legs at the right times. He has even gotten to his knees once or twice and pulled up his torso so he is in the right pose. Though that always leads to toppling over right now, which sometimes is the source of many giggles, and other times is the source of a frustrated cry.

He seems to enjoy when the cats come along to help him in his progress. Johnny especially appears to like interacting with Liam, even if it means the occasional handful of his tail will make a journey into a little drool covered hand. 

But truly, I am amazed at his determination and devotion to his progress. When he wants to work at it, he will cry and cry until me and Dan figure out that he wants to be on the floor.

He only occasionally gets into a tight spot and needs help getting out, and once he started licking the legs to Dan's desk chair. Other than a few stray cat hairs that I have to pull out of his fists and a few minor head bonks (darn those legs of the playpen!) he is just excited to have a new skill to perfect.

And I am excited to watch him learn it!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My little crib scooter

So Liam is sleeping in his crib for the second night tonight. (Thank you Grammy Wanda for his beautiful crib!!!)

I put the bumper in the crib, jammed in between the bars and the mattress because my little baby boy scoots.

During the night he apparently puts his head down, gets his butt up in the air and pushes with his feet, sliding along on the side of his face.

He did this in the bassinet, but to a lesser degree simply because there was not as much room to move. Now that he has more space, he is using it. He managed to scoot along last night up and around the side of the crib, then around and down the other side, winding up upside down and backwards from where he started.

It was a little odd to not have him sleeping there right next to me. I missed the soft sounds of his baby snuffling as he turned over. The creak of the bassinet when he scooted or rolled. I missing being able to reach over and put my hand on his back and feel his breathing without getting up from my bed.

The baby monitor we have is one with a camera on it, so I get video and sound when I turn it on. It helps. I can watch for a moment and finally see him twitch a hand or move a foot. Or I catch him wiggling and rolling and scooting. But it isn't the same as touching him and feeling his little ribs move with each breath under my hand.

But it is time for the move into the crib... he is outgrowing the bassinet rapidly. And it also might mean he will sleep longer in the mornings without Daddy's alarms going off.

I admit, I cried a bit that first night. And I might cry some more tonight. I know it is good for him to sleep in his own room. Now we are not waking him up when we come in, and we can talk in normal voices when we head to bed and not hushed whispers.

He seems to be taking to the crib well. He is very easy going about a lot of things. I hope that trend continues as he grows up. He adapts well to new situations. I think I have a harder time adapting than he does!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And the things you can't remember, Tell the things you can't forget.....

I bought white bread on Sunday.

While this may not seem like a big deal, the smell of that bread reminded me of the Wonder Bread I use to get at my grandma's house. A slice of Wonder Bread, and I would put a little margarine on it... I don't remember ever having Wonder Bread at home, it was a Grandma thing.

Malt-o-meal reminds me of my grandpa. Spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's and waking up early. He would make malt-o-meal and we would watch cartoons.

Poodles make me think of my Aunt Jean, Lemon meringue pie is for Aunt Judy. Cantaloupe for my Uncle John. He always had it at the table when I had dinner with him and my cousins.

Dinosaurs for my grandpa on my dads side. We always went to the museum in Houston when I visited them.

My Grammy Wanda would make cinnamon toast for me in the house in Houston with the lake out back. I remember mixing up cinnamon and sugar in a little cup or bowl to put on the toast.

The Mother's Frosted Oatmeal cookies remind me of my Aunt Saskia. I remember going to see her and we bought some of those while I was there.

And even though I have not seen my Uncle Bob for a long long time, I remember something about him having these beautiful stones. Like the kind I now go out and hunt from time to time. So when I go rock hunting, I think about him.

There are so many memories that tie the people I love to me. They come up at the most random times.

Like opening a loaf of bread that we bought for a dollar just so I could follow the recipe for my Swedish meatballs.

It is nice to know that these moments bring my family to me, even when they are far away or no longer in this world. They are with me in scents and sights, tastes and touch.

Liam is starting to recognize some people now, he hears his daddy's voice and turns to him, he sees me and smiles. He knows the neighbors, and sometimes will smile at Angie when she comes by with her baby girl, Jordyn, when I babysit for her.

What memories will Liam have of his family? Even the ones I rarely see, I have things that remind me of them.

Even my new family. Knitted things make me think of Liam's Grandma Julie. I see a nice yarn and keep thinking that I should learn how to knit. I keep trying but it never comes out right.

Some day when Liam is older, I want to ask him what makes him think of his family, what reminds him of the people who love him. If nothing else, then to put the idea in his mind to remember things.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

So much to think about and remember...

Even as I am thinking about how Liam will be as a 3 year old, and how I will feel when he starts school, I still think back to when I was pregnant. The labor, the delivery, that first day when it seemed like everything was great. Then that second night when I thought I would have sold my soul for just an HOUR of uninterrupted sleep as my husband is snoring in the "daddy bed" provided which would have been rejected by any sensible adult.

I remember the pain, but faintly. More, I remember the pain of being pregnant. The pain in my thighs that still haunts me 5 months later, the tailbone that felt like a great beast of lore had been gnawing it on vigorously. The pain of Liam pushing his feet against my ribs at 3 in the morning. But I also remember being awake at 3 in the morning, making blankets and talking to my son as he pushed his feet into me. Now I gently shhhhh him to sleep at 11:20 and am grateful. I am even thrilled the nights he goes to bed at 10:00. I relish nap time, I want to dance in glee when I set him in his swing and within moments he is asleep so that I can FINALLY brush my hair at noon, or make something to eat that is more nourishing than a pop-tart.

I want to stay up until 3am watching CSI and making something, but I know that if I do not get to sleep, I will regret it when 6:30 am comes and with it Dan's alarm clocks and Liam's wake up routine. Thankfully he just starts to shuffle in his sleep and then whimper a bit. The full on wailing only comes when Mean Ol' Mommy decided that you must have a clean diaper before I feed you, because there is a 90% chance that once you are full you will be asleep and I can get in another 2 hours of sleep before you decide to be awake until you are hungry again.

And then there is the wondering. Will he like wooden blocks or Duplo blocks? Will he want to color or play with play doh and/or mud? Will he be talkative or quiet? Cheerful or moody? Will he want to play with other kids or be content on his own? Will I be able to teach him to share? To not throw sand? Will he be the kid who cries at everything or the one who is able to tumble over and then get right back up and run off like nothing happened?

Probably he will be in the middle.

Sometimes I miss my life before Liam. But I miss the oddest things. Staying up late, being able to actually finish a chore after I start it and not stop in the middle to tend to him. Being able to dedicate time to do something without interruptions.

Then I look into his eyes, feel how tightly he grips onto my finger, hear him try his little laugh out, see his smile and I know that no matter what happened in the past, and no matter that the future brings, he is the single most important thing in the whole world to me.

The day will come when he sleeps until 8 or 9 and I know he will not need to wake  up at 6am to eat. The day will come when I can put him in his playpen and he will remain happy in the 30 minutes it takes me to do dishes and wipe down the kitchen. He won't roll onto his tummy and then get stuck and be mad about it. He won't cry because he wants to be sitting up but doesn't know how to get there.

I am sure some day I will remember these days and miss the baby who could barely move across a blanket, let alone suddenly be across a room and getting into trouble. But that is the beauty of memory. I will always remember it as my sweet toddler reaches up to me to be picked up and hugged. And then, I will remember those years as he becomes more and more independent and grows up even more. Some day I will see him finish elementary school, then middle school, then high school and college, and each time even as I give thanks for his growing ability to take care of himself, I will remember and miss the times before.

But right now, I am going to go put myself to bed because 6:30 and that feeding is going to come quickly. And I will wake up and make his bottle in my sleepy haze and endure the crying while I change him as I make sure his after feeding sleepiness can be taken advantage of without needing to wake him to change a wet diaper.

And I will know that there is nothing better than this that could ever happen to me.

I want him to grow, but perhaps, not too fast. This might be hard right now, but the best things in life are never easy.

But they are filled with love.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A life in photos

As the list for The Daily Liam grows, (If you want to be on it, just send me a message with your e-mail address in it.) I think about the wonders of technology.

I can take tons of pictures. Currently I have over 7000 pictures of my son and my little family here.

There is no cost to view them, other than the cost of the item used to take them.

Only to print them costs anything.

I love how sending out The Daily Liam has me taking pictures of him every day. Not one day goes by without a picture of my little guy. Some day I will be able to make an album of a whole years worth of pictures, the ones I sent out for The Daily Liam.

Today I uploaded a new album. I am posting ALL of the pictures of Liam that I take. I want even his family far away to be able to see him.

You can view them at Please feel free to share them!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Poop Chronicles

Every new parent does it, so don't read it if you don't wanna know...

It just took me 20 minutes to get a diaper on my munchkin.

First he spent 5 minutes screaming like a banshee before spitting up down the front of BOTH him and I. So I went to go change his clothes, and mine... And there was a dirty diaper!

It took three tries to get a diaper on him and some butt paste to keep the redness at bay. Each time I was about to put that diaper on he either messed again or sprung a leak! It took two parents and 20 minutes to finally get him in a clean diaper. A mop for the floor, about 15 wipes and three applications of Butt Paste as well.

I found it funny that somehow two adults could not get a diaper on him. He arched up his back and wiggled away and refused to be covered. Finally he is clean, dry and STILL cranky.

I think he has some teething issues that are making him unusually upset. Dan is patting Liam's back while he lays in the playpen, tossing and turning and fussy-crying.

But I wanted to share my frustration in the Battle of the Diaper. I wonder how many other new parents are amazed at the strength these little guys have. I never thought a baby could arch up and move his whole body away from something while I held his legs. I always thought babies just sort of accepted diaper changes, maybe were grateful for them... Most of the time Liam is pleased to be clean, but lately he seems to be upset by it.

Perhaps it is time to plug in the wipe warmer again and see if something warm instead of cold makes this any easier.

And I never realized just how much poop a baby can make.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Liam is learning!

He can roll from back to tummy easily now. He is working on tummy to back.

He gets toys into his mouth with better accuracy.

Now he will lurch forward when reclining to try and sit up.

He is about 95% solid with head holding up.

He is starting to push up on his arms while on his belly.

And of course, he can find his feet!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Annabell the Nasty, and Other Fun Stuff...

I finally reported the manager to the housing authority here in Oregon.

The final straw came when she hired some guy to come spray for bugs and did not give us warning. Before I could even put down the baby bottle I was feeding Liam with and stand up, he had sprayed the base of my OPEN screen door with insecticide.

Liam was not even 2 feet away from that!

Then he proceeded to spray poison on our bag of charcoal that we use to BBQ with. AND on the ORGANIC bag of dirt... which is no longer organic.

When I complained and asked for a little warning next time, she snapped at me and said in a RUDE AND NASTY tone of voice, "Fine, we won't spray your place next time and you can just live with the spiders and the bugs."

Every time I have asked for her to ask the management about the MOLD that is taking over this place, or the broken heaters, she treats me with scorn.

I have had ENOUGH. We might be low income, but we STILL deserve to live in a nice place. We don't even get rent assistance, we PAY the full amount, each month, RIGHT ON TIME!


Thankfully Liam seems ok even after getting a nose full of Spider Death Nasty Smelling POISON.

I am so fed up with dealing with mean people and stupid people here in this apartment. It makes me want to smack them ALL upside the head with a 2x4.

I just want to do the best for my baby boy. I want him to live in a safe place. Not one where I need to treat the windows with bleach to kill the mold.... hmmmm, bleach fumes or mold, which is worse? I don't even know anymore.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Never Enough

First, this is not a plea for help. This is just me thinking out loud (online) and sharing it in hopes of getting advice or an idea.

We are poor. No other way to say it. 

We are barely squeaking by each month. We have enough for rent, bills and some food once the food stamps run out. Always, Liam comes first. We make sure he has enough for food.

If not for the gifts from family, he would probably sleep in a drawer. And I am not kidding.

Our fun each month comes from a video game account that we pay 15 dollars each for. We do that because for 30 dollars a month we have something to do once the chores are done and when Liam is napping that we both enjoy that lasts a lot longer than a movie. We also read books of course, and clean and play with the kitties while Liam naps. I have started baking again recently, did an apple pie, and some banana bread.

But the long and short of it, is that I need to be working.

I have so many things I can do, I just need to find a market for them. I am posting to Craigslist every couple days, advertising myself as a freelance designer. So far, one nibble.

I also make jewelry, but putting it on a site like Etsy was unsuccessful. I made one sale, and that was to a family member. There is just too much stuff out there for someone to be found quickly. Plus the time investment for listing each item, photographing it, editing the photo, typing a description for each thing... it was a lot of time to just list a few things.

I have been watching Craigslist for freelance work, or for boutique stores that might want to sell my stuff from their store.

I also had an idea for a couple of things... one is a baby swing accessory. After using the swing I noticed that Liam's feet were cold a lot. I figured it was from the wind chill factor of him swinging back and forth. So I tucked a blanket around him... but either his feet poked out or the blanket hung down, slowing the swing and putting drag on it that would, over about 5 minutes, pull the swing out of sync with the mechanism that kept it moving. Which made it click annoyingly and also eventually stop swinging.

So I made a blanket with an elastic loop that would fit into the swing, holes for the straps to come through, and it folds up and attaches with snaps or velcro (I have not decided which to use just yet.) Liam uses my proto-type swing cozy, complete with marker lines and slightly wonky seams, he puts up with me sitting him in the swing and then marking up the swing cozy blanket thing then pulling it out again to work on it. It keeps his feet warm and does not create drag.

All in all, I think once I get this concept down, I might take the proto-type to Babies R' Us and try it on the display swings there to see if it will fit more than just his style. If not, I can make another style and from there, post it on baby oriented web sites, like the What To Expect forums, see if other moms would be interested in it. If they are, I could sell those as well as my jewelry.

My other idea was to use some of Liam's onesies that he outgrew to make him a quilted blanket. If that works out right (i will do a test one with onesies from a thrift store... before I chop his up...) I can have other moms ship me the onesies, and I can make them custom baby blankets from them.

Also, once I have the time as Liam gets older and I can get a solid hour to sit down and work without stopping, I can get back to crocheting, and making baby blankets or hats also. Or even doggie or kitty blankets! 

But to do this all, I think I need to finish testing the ideas, and then if they seem to be something I can sell, finding a way to make an online store. My own domain name, my own site.... I can design a site, I just do not know how to do the code to make it into a store where you can purchase using PayPal or anything like that.

I want to get this off the ground. I have so many ideas, I MAKE so many things... I just need to find a place to SELL them.

So I am asking you, friends, family, anyone who stumbles across this page... For ideas, for thoughts, or for a lead...

Here is a link to pictures of the jewelry I make. If you know of a place that sells things like this, send me their web site! I would love to see if they want to offer my things for sale in return for a portion of the money.

As I get other things made, I will photograph them and post them as well.

I think I just need to get the word out there! And maybe you all can help me. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Liam is 15lbs 9oz at 4 months (and 5 days...)

He got his next round of shots today as well at his Well Baby check up. He only cried for a bit, then calmed down once we held him and gave him some snuggles.

And he showed off for the doctor, rolling onto his tummy on the table (with me holding a hand to keep him from rolling OFF the table).

According to the growth charts, he is right on track.

I turned down the offered fluoride drops. I feel that until he has teeth, there is no need to add any extra chemicals into his little body. Even after he gets teeth, I am torn... I know that more fluoride than what naturally occurs in water can be harmful. Too much of a good thing makes it a terrible thing.

I think I need to do some research. I will post my findings here, along with any conclusions we come to.

We also got the go ahead to try some mushy foods once he hits 5 months. Mushy peas and carrots, here we come! Just 3 more weeks until we can start that fun stuff, to see what he wants to taste. I can not wait. It will be fun to see what he likes.

And now, some cuteness...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Don't say nothin' at all

I have been reading about all of this coverage on bullying, cyberbullying, children committing suicide because of bullying...

And none of this is new.

To this day, I still hear the taunts... the rude songs, the girls who pulled my hair and told me I was ugly. Being left out of games, singled out for some random torment. Being mocked for the clothes I had, my glasses... for my mom being a lesbian.

Thankfully I got most of the school crud done before the internet was used as it is now, but it would only have been worse if people could have found me online.

I don't know if I was bullied or just mocked.

No wonder I always had my head in a book.

Oh, and my "best friend" was only my friend AFTER school. When we were at school, she just ignored the others teasing me, ignored me, never stood up for me.

But I will know the signs to watch out for when Liam starts school.

And if I could do it all again, I don't know if it would be any different. I would still have my nose in a book, or maybe I would just smack those kids upside the head with my book.

I worry what will happen to children as more and more of our lives are online. We are now open to be bullied in our own homes, it does not end when school is out.

The best advice I can give, is that if you are getting bullied online, change your screen name, get a new e-mail address and set up a NEW facebook account, or just block those people who are being mean to you. Its what I did when a few weeks ago someone who I thought was a friend turned into an ugly bitch. I blocked her from my e-mail, my instant messenger, my facebook, and anywhere else I might see her.

And if it is in person, just bury your nose in a book and try to ignore them. I won't say that I didn't care what they said about me, but I could lessen the pain if I got busy doing something else.

Maybe those bullies never had parents to teach them to be decent people. In some cases, the parents even seem to encourage the bullies with their close minded ideas that they teach the children. People forget that our children learn by watching US. If we make an off color comment about a certain gender, race, color or orientation of people, then our children learn that it is ok to do the same. Maybe the bullies parents didn't even realize they were making a bully. Or maybe they did, maybe they just hate other people so much they want to pass that hatred along.

I wish we could all become more tolerant of everyone else in this world.

To learn that lesson from Bambi that every person should carry in their mind... "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all!"

The Naked Baby...

Wow, we ended up with so many outfits for Liam that he is fitting into RIGHT NOW. In the beginning we were a little short on clothes, and we don't have much for the 9month plus area, but in the 3-6 which he is fitting into now we have SO MANY!

I started to hang some onesies and pants on a string above the changing table, as I keep on in my quest for making sure he wore each outfit at least once. You can see them in the background here.

But as I was looking through the drawers, and the closet, and the bags of clothes, I realized there are some that may not fit him now that he never got to wear.

I have been trying to make sure he wore the outfits that were gifts, and that I got pictures. I once even thought about trying to remember who gave us what outfit... but as time goes by, I realize that other than a few significant ones, I can not remember who gave us what clothes. There are even some in there that I don't know WHERE they came from...

So if you gave us clothing, thank you! But I am sorry if I don't get you a picture of him wearing it. I do have the pictures of him in most of the outfits, they are online on my Picasa album. You are welcome to look through all the pictures of Liam that are on there, and by all means, save and print whatever pictures you like.

I warn you, we already have thousands of pictures of him. And I am putting them all online so that everyone in the family can see them. Even the bad ones, the funny ones, the ones where he looks like he is plotting world domination or just pondering how to make a messy diaper. The ones that show our daily life with him.

We appreciate each and every gift we have been given, especially the clothing! It is getting cooler up here in Oregon and I like having the long sleeves to put him in, the fuzzy pajamas... He looks so cute in them all!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I guess I'll go eat worms...

Ever since we switched to Enfamil formula Liam has been fine. But we still had two buckets of Similac formula on the shelf.

Well today I checked them against the recall, realizing that I would probably never give them to him and should see if they were recalled. If they were safe, I might see if I could find someone who needed them and let them use them.

They were recalled.

Which might explain why the first few feedings with Similac were fine, but then suddenly when feeding the buckets that had been bought from Babies R' Us all on the same day, that were more than likely the same lot number... well. I think thats why he was ok with the buckets from the other stores, they must have been different lot numbers.

And here I thought it was Similac brand itself making him sick... nope, it was the beetle larva in his food making him sick.

And I bought these MONTHS ago. And Similac is only now catching the need for recall?

Oh. My. God. I fed my son beetle larva.

No wonder he was puking, and refusing to eat, and screaming after he ate. The food itself was making him sick.

I think Similac has lost this customer for life. If I bought these in Mid July, and only find out about a week ago about a recall.... yeesh. Scary.
I bet WIC is having a major crisis on their hands with how many people feed their babies off of WIC supplied formula, and all they supply now is Similac.

Makes me even more happy that I did not switch back to even another type of Similac just to save money by using WIC.

No amount of money is too much for what I feed my baby boy. We are making it work. I would sooner eat a little less and watch the pennies and use my food stamp money for Liam's formula than risk feeding him contaminated food.

Enfamil, don't fail me now... Don't you have a recall crisis next month...

It makes me want to cry, knowing that I was feeding him contaminated food and trying to get him to eat more of it and not cry. He knew something was wrong, it just took me a few days to catch on.
I'm sorry Liam. At least we fixed it and nothing permanent was damaged. I guess you can tell your friends that you ate bug guts when you need a gross out story to top one of them. Heh... your mommy fed you bug bits. That should get you a few oooh and ahhhs on the playground in a few years.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I work a 24 hour day, how about you?

I am writing this from the bathtub. Yup. You heard me. I am sitting here in hot water plunking away on my iPhone.

For the first time in almost four months I am having a bath that is not made to be baby safe.

The floating octopus thermometer warns me that my water is too hot for Liam. Wheee!

Liam is asleep in his swing and Dan is asleep on the couch.

When Dan falls asleep in the evenings I often try to be quiet and let him sleep. Tonight I don't care. When he comes home after work, spends an hour goofing off with me and Liam then settles in to play games, I keep doing what I did all day long, taking care of the baby.

I work 24 hours a day. 7 days a week, for the last four months excepting a half hour here, 45 minutes there for a shower and a hair washing very few days, and then that five hours I was gone on Tuesday. Maybe a nap once every three weeks that isn't a nap with Liam.

Even when Dan is home, nine times out of ten I am the one seeing to Liam. I told myself this was because Dan works a "real" job and needed the rest. I get days full of baby smiles, messy chins and the occasional afternoon nap with Liam. But you know what. It's still work. All the diapers in between, the crying and fussing for an hour because something just isn't right, the spit up all down my shirt, the whimpering that starts just when I settle into cleaning something or finally get to sit down and eat.

I work a real job. I am the caregiver who wakes at the smallest fuss, checks the time and says "oh. Feeding time!"

I stay up until Liam is asleep. I get up during the day when he fusses. I feed him, change him, pat him and bounce him. Dan will do some of it when he is home, but I still do most of it. And I do it where I am paid in smiles and cooing and the random toot against my leg accompanied by a huge grin when we are bouncing.

Some of it is me just doing it because I am use to doing it and can usually get it done faster if I just do it myself.

But ya know, it won't hurt Liam to cry for a moment while Dan measures the bottles, or takes a bit longer to snap up the pajamas. Or even if he goes into his swing for an hour without socks and a blanket. (wind chill factor for a baby swing. Who would have thunk it...) it won't hurt him.

But I am getting endlessly frustrated with feeling like I am the only one who washes bottles, but I do have three bottles, They can BE dirty for a little bit. Sure, he doesn't always shut the wipe lid and part of a wipe dries out. Oh no. Not a butt wipe!!!! Anything but that!

He won't do things the way I do them, but that doesn't make it wrong. So next time Liam gets fussy and I don't know why... I don't care if you are sitting there playing a video game. I stop whatever I am doing when Liam needs things, you will too now sweetie. Not just once or twice a week either. I am going to take some time every day that is All About Me.

Especially with this class starting, I need to have time to do my homework. You let me have two hours on Monday, and that was great, and that needs to happen again and again and again.

I came up with an idea for a neat product and I wanna make a prototype and test it. So you get to watch Liam while I cut fabric and get out the sewing machine. And I won't jump up when he cries. That will be your job for a little while.

You say you want to help and I will make sure you do now. I will take that help because I realize that I desperately need it. I never tried to NOT let you help, it was always just easier to do it myself than ask you to do it, listen to the sigh when it interrupted you, and then have to wait until you finished it to take Liam. Why is it that I can drop stuff in the middle, and you ask for 15 more minutes that really turns into a half hour?

I love you Dan. Time to be Daddy a bit more often. Before I forget who Jessie is and just turn into Mama. I want to be Mama, but I still need time to be me. Which means a bath sometimes that doesn't involve baby shampoo. And a chance to sit down and DO something without having to leap up at the first whimper.

I want to be the one who gets to finish a project without taking an hour off in the middle to change a diaper, feed the kiddo, burp the kiddo, bounce the kiddo and play "kiss the baby foot" and then forget what I was doing. Yes love, this is why dishes get half done and the broom is always somewhere else in the house and things end up in odd places. Behind the TV is a PERFECT spot for the Windex, thank you very much! It landed there when I was heading into the bathroom to clean the mirror and then Liam woke up with a mighty yell!

I hope I can stick to this and not keep doing it because it is easier for me to just do it. It takes a combo of me letting go and Dan stepping up.

This can happen!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kudos Dad!

Today was my first day away from Liam for more than an hour or so. I had to drive to Woodburn to meet Bev and pick up Hope the Dog and then drive to this farm out in Molalla and see if this woman was a good home for Hope. She sounded too good to be true, but she was for real. I think Hope will be very happy out there. She has other dogs to play with and she seems to like them, and a whole pile of kids, 5 of which are russian orphans that the woman adopted. Amazing. She has a heart bigger than the 95 thousand acre tree farm she lives next to!

But I left Liam in Dan's care from 8:50 in the morning until I got home at 2:10. I came home to a happy baby who was even dressed in clothes! I had expected to find him still in pajamas! Its not that I didn't trust Dan, because I DO of course, but I wondered if he would just leave him in jammies all day or not. Not that it really matters... but... yea. Dan did great.

And surprisingly I did ok being away. I thought I would miss him terribly, but I rather liked the chance to not worry about him in the back seat, not fret about sun in his eyes in the car, or anything like that. And a chance to not be on HIS schedule for feedings. I got to drive and listen to music a little louder than I would when he is in the car and it was nice to go out and do something that didn't revolve around him.

But it was also sweeter than anything else in the world to come home and see him.

I took a nap later on, and then got up and sat with him for a bit and gave him a bath.

I love giving him baths. I love watching him try to stick his tongue in the water, I love his smiles when I splash him in the tub. We take baths in the funnest way possible. I just get in the big tub with him. That way I can get him in the water up to his neck, I can support his head while he kicks and explores the water. Much better than having him stuck in a baby tub!

Plus it makes it easier to wash him since I can just turn him over. Then while I finish washing ME, he hangs out in what was supposed to be the baby bath tub. I line it with a towel and then put one over him while he sits there.

And tonight he was just so cute...

Seeing him with that towel on his head makes me want to get those little hats that look like that. With the ear flaps.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

Yup. Exactly what I said.

Liam rolled from his tummy to his side tonight, and then, not recorded, onto his back, but he is better with side to back and back to side right now. It is the tummy to ANYWHERE that is the challenge. It took him a bit of effort, but he did make it.

Yay!  But I guess that means the days of leaving him in the middle of the bed are done. He will need to be in his bassinet or belted into a chair or something if I need to leave him alone.

Before now he was a happy non-rolling lumpkin. Now he is starting to be on the move!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Houses, Leaks and Hateful People

Mom came to visit, we found a great house, Dan liked it and we put in an offer. Waiting to hear back from the bank.

Liam is growing well and doing fine. He has his cranky moments, but mostly he is just perfect. He is having a sleepy day today, eating a lot and sleeping even more.

I think Nicole is right, babies do not eat to a certain calorie level by the day, they seem to go by how many they get in a week. Or maybe two weeks. Liam has days where he eats so little its a wonder he is even growing, then days like today where he wants to pack away 4-6 ounces every 2-4 hours. By 6pm he has downed 24 ounces, and I know there are at LEAST two or three more feedings of 4-6 before bed!

The bathroom ceiling sprung a leak. The guy said he repaired it. but then it was leaking even WORSE when the people up there took a bath. So the repair guy had to come back out and fix it. I didn't have a bathroom for most of the day and its STILL covered in plaster dust despite the plastic he put down. Ugh. I have to wash everything again.

Someone who I thought was a friend said something purposefully cruel and hateful to me on Thursday. I would ignore them and move on, but they are dating my very best friend. and now I feel like there is a barrier between me seeing that friend. Because if that person even TOUCHES me or my son I will have them charged with assault. And the only words I want to hear from them are enormous apologies while they cower at my feet. I don't think I could look at them right now without imagining causing them great bodily harm. So I can not go see my friend unless they are not home, which limits the time I can spend with said friend. Plus, while I desperatly want to be the better person, with how upset I am, I do not think that I could refrain from saying a large number of truthful but cruel things in return.

So I am rather slim on the friends front until things either blow over and cruel and hateful one apologizes, and not with one of her backwards "I'm sorry you are mad at me" apologies. I want to hear her say "I am sorry I said that your son should have been aborted or given up for adoption because you currently need state aid for food stamps and health care for said son. And I am sorry I implied you are lazy and abuse the state aid system that is put in place for the 1 in 7 people that live in poverty in this country that you are currently a member of, but I know you are trying to rise above that and not trying to mooch off the state." because that is what her words amounted to.

It makes me sad that I can not let go of this yet. I tried to pray, but found myself praying that she was horrifically injured or suddenly lost her job and needed to be on state aid and then I could go see her and call her a slacker and tell her that she should just get over all of her stupid hypochondria made up health care concerns because now her one doctor visit every two weeks is costing the tax payers money. Or I would find myself praying for her to get smacked in the head with a 2x4 and be tossed into a holding pond full of ravenous piranhas.

I look at my son, and know that he has a right to be alive. He has a right to be with me and Dan and our families. We were not trying to have a baby so we could get state aid, he was unexpected, but not unwanted. We are struggling to make ends meet and living frugally and carefully. We make do with less and repair the old instead of buying new. My food stamps are mostly spent on baby food while Dan and I live on some of the cheapest foods out there for right now. I no longer receive medical aid, only Liam does to make sure he gets his shots so he doesn't end up like those babies in California who are dying from whooping cough, a preventable disease.

For someone to tell me that because we are having a rough time right now that I basically don't have the RIGHT to have my child makes me sick.

I wish I could say more about her, and then tag her name in here a billion times so anyone who searched for her saw what a hateful person she was. But I am trying to be the better person. Maybe failing right now by typing this, but I need to get it out somehow or I think I will implode.

But in the end, she is sad and hateful and will lose everyone around her if she keeps saying things like this. While I have a beautiful son, a loving husband who has a hard time understanding me when I am so depressed. I need to cheer up for him, I need to let this go.

Ugh, adding this to the postpartum depression I am having is not healthy. But it gets easier when Liam smiles, or when Dan looks at me with those big puppy dog eyes and says "I just want you to feel better" even if I can not figure out what would make me feel better.

I will get through this. I will let go of my anger somehow. I will find a way to ask for her to get EXACTLY what she deserves without imagining delivering specific things with my own two hands. Or maybe I will just forget she even exists. That would be better right now. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lovely Eyes

I have been able to appreciate Liam's eyes so much more lately.

Simply because they are what I see the most!

He has been jamming his mouth full of fingers, fists, toys, blankets, jackets and anything else he can fit in there!

I think it might be teething time. He is extra cranky and fussy, crying horribly for long bits of time. 10 minutes or so. Cries himself right into the hiccups, then gets mad at those and cries more. Poor little baby boy.

He is still sleeping longer at night, only waking up when Daddy's alarm clock goes off. Which makes me think it might be time to move him into his crib soon. Perhaps move his bassinet into that bedroom and sleep in there with him for a few nights, then move it into the area next to the crib, then finally one night plunk him down in the crib.

My only dilemma with this is that he HATES, and oh do I stress how he HATES hard surfaces to sleep on. To get him to sleep longer than 30 minutes at a time when I brought him home, I had to layer blankets over the bassinet mattress. Not enough to make it super soft like the bed is, but enough for him to sink in about half an inch.

He can easily turn himself from side to back, and so my concerns for him smothering himself are small. He can not so easily turn from side to tummy (so he doesn't get to be belly down, he can't get there!) but if I put him on his tummy he can lift his head and I think if he had something to kick off of, he could turn from tummy to side if his little arms didn't get in his way.

I guess I will give him longer in the bassinet, just until I am ready to take those alarm clocks and throw them off the Burnside bridge in a burlap sack. I will deal with it as long as I can. One - because I love having him near me. Two - Because I always figured I didn't want him in the crib until he could roll at least to his side with more ease than he can now. I just worry about him getting in there and scooching himself into a corner or against the bars and not being able to move away and getting annoyed. The bars are too narrow to pose a risk for getting his head stuck, but I could see arms and legs getting in there. But thats also why baby monitors exist.

I tried putting him in there for his afternoon naps, but it was too hard to let him sleep for very long.

Perhaps in the mean time I can consider how to SAFELY make it just a wee bit smooshier for him. I am currently toying with the idea of blankets under the crib sheet so they can't flip up and make a smothering hazard.

Oh, and I will need more pajamas with footers on them soon. He has a couple that fit right now, but he has outgrown sleep sacks with open bottoms, he just kicks his legs right on out of them and then gets cold. We just got him one that zippers up. It has a monkey on it! Just for my little Monkey Man! Gonna go put him in that one now for bed.

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