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!
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