Friday, December 31, 2010

Our Own Personal Tupperware Consultant

Don't eat anything from the plastic containers at our house. Unless you don't mind a bit of dog hair. Then by all means, eat our leftovers!

All I Wanna Do is Zoo Zoo Zoo!

Mommy loves zoos. There are no two ways about it. She and Daddy spent 5 of the 7 days on their Babymoon at zoos in San Diego. It must be in the genes because now Liam loves zoos, too.

On Wednesday Mommy, Daddy, and Liam went to the Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Lights with Grandma and Grandpa DeWell and Aunt Lauren and Uncle Nick. It is a three hour car ride either way, but since we all rode together in a rented van it went quickly and was a nice time to visit.

Aunt Lauren and Uncle Nick picked out a restaurant on the river - the Montgomery Inn. It was pretty delicious! They are known for their barbeque (and it was indeed yummy), but Mommy and Liam shared some macaroni and cheese and the second best salmon she'd ever had. Liam even ate bread! There are few things Liam doesn't get excited about eating, but bread is one of them.

After dinner we drove to the zoo, found a parking spot, and bundled up. Liam was probably the warmest of all of us, even though he didn't have mittens and just sat on his bottom the whole time. The zoo was absolutely gorgeous. The only animals out were the polar bear (huge!) and some reindeer. But there were so many lights! Mommy thinks that as soon as they are done taking down lights after the show, the next day they must have to start hanging lights again for the next Christmas.

After the zoo it was time to warm up and head home. And what better way to warm up than to stop at Dairy Queen? Yeah, we're DeWells. Liam had a quick drink of milk and a diaper change and proceeded to pass out cold for the entire 3 hour ride home, including a stop at Nick and Lauren's and a car seat change at Grandma and Grandpa's.

Of course, Liam woke up when we got home at 1am and stayed up playing until 2am. Because of course he did.

Liam says he is looking forward to going back to the Cincinnati Zoo light show with his new cousin when he or she gets here. And Mommy just wants to go to a zoo! But she can wait until it's warmer.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite zoo animal?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why Does a Vampire Clean His Teeth Three Times a Day?

... So he doesn't get BAT breath!!

Ha! Ha haaa!


There is a fourth tooth poking through.

So when can the kid eat cheeseburgers? Because Mommy could go for a cheeseburger!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What's New, Pussycat?

Do you remember that comic strip, Cathy? The one where the lady always yelled, "Ack!"? I feel like Cathy. As in, "Ack! This baby is walking!"

Liam took his first steps at the Dallas airport on Thanksgiving day. We weren't sure it was a step, or just a stumble between the seat and Mommy's shoulder. But it is now just a month later (and two days shy of his 9-month birthday) and he is up to 6 careful steps at a time.

It will be nice not to have to carry Liam everywhere, but Mommy could have used a few more months of limited mobility!

We are also up to 3 teeth: the top front left tooth joins the bottom front two and they are now a happy little toothy family.

Daddy just weighed Liam. He is 20.5 pounds, which is odd - he was the same weight 3 months ago. Of course, he is much leaner now - he is 28 inches... 29 inches?... 26? No, that surely can't be right. Kid, stop squirming!

While in El Paso, Liam met his first kitty cats. Now when he sees kitties on youtube or hears us meow first, our baby meows back. Actually it kind of sounds like, "ehhh," in a squeaky kitty cat voice.

He waves with his hand instead of his whole arm.

He drops his toys on the floor and says, "uhh" ("uh-oh").

He is boycotting naps.

He stands by himself and dances to music.

He eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and doesn't need Mommy milk every three hours.

He is about to experience his first Christmas.... but he is the best present of all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Liam Eats Oatmeal and Avocado

Liam is good at eating.

Let me rephrase...

Liam likes eating, but he is not technically proficient at it...


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Liam's First Snow

Saturday, December 4th, Liam experienced his first snowfall. It's probably time to buy a winter coat or even a snowsuit, huh?

Monday, December 6, 2010

When Babies Fly

Just a quick update on the sleeping project... the "cry-it-out" method has not been as painful as we expected. In fact, Mommy feels her sanity returning! It now takes Liam 15-25 minutes of crying, along with 2 visits from Daddy, before falling asleep.

This is MUCH less stressful for Mommy. Up until now, the bedtime routine included trying to nurse him to sleep, creeping into the nursery and laying him down, only to have him immediately wake up crying.

Lather, rinse, repeat... for the next three hours.

By the end of the night, Mommy would find herself wishing the liquor cabinet were better stocked.

But as wonderful as this new crying routine is, it probably would not have been awesome last week, when we spent 5 nights at a hotel.

Liam's first airplane ride took us to El Paso, TX, for a wedding. Mommy's friend got married and was sweet enough to let her be in the wedding. (Mommy wore make-up! And got a manicure! And looked like a lady!)

It was a nerve-wracking, busy, hectic weekend... and it was so much fun. See?...

Liam, the jet-setter.

Meeting new friends.

Playing with Caroline (and watching the Packers!).

Helping with the toilet paper.

Who's this handsome baby in the mirror?

Liam, Mommy, and Cathy

Liam, Mommy, and Daddy

Watching the Father-Daughter dance... Good thing he can't climb stairs yet!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Stiff Drink

It is after midnight. To heck with the third person narrative. I'm too stinkin' tired for it. This baby is turning my hair

We screwed up somewhere along the way. Some how we taught the baby that he is in charge of bedtime and no, he doesn't have to fall asleep by himself in his bed. How do you tell a baby it is time to lay down and go to sleep?

This separation anxiety is driving me batty. The only way he stops crying is if I'm holding him. Daddy won't do. If Daddy holds him, he cries and reaches for me until we give in. Still, he won't fall asleep for me... and it is still after midnight.

The Cry-It-Out method seems so cruel to me. It makes my skin crawl to hear him screaming like this. But is selling him to the circus more cruel? Because it is going to come down to one of those two choices.

Anyone know how to get in touch with the circus?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Two Teeth

Liam's second tooth is coming in. In a few days he will have both his bottom front teeth.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Pumpkin Pie" Yogurt

1 Tablespoon pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
1 dash pumpkin pie spice
1 baby

Mix first three ingredients in a blue bowl. Give to baby. Hope he uses a spoon. Forget about the spoon.

Friday, November 19, 2010

There's Been a Sighting at Our House...

... of something elusive...

... and solitary...

Ohh, the humanity!

Liam's FIRST TOOTH made it's first appearance at dinner on Wednesday of last week. We could just feel it and just see it under the skin. It broke through the next day and is well on its way to being a Real Grown-Up Tooth! (Until it falls out, of course.)

Could someone fill us in on teething and the accompanying fussiness? There have only been two evenings when Liam was fussy for no apparent reason and we chalked it up to teething. At what point in the tooth-cutting process does the fussiness peak? When the tooth is breaking through the skin, or all through the tooth-growing process? Because if this is as bad as teething is for Liam, then we will count ourselves lucky.

Quick, Mommy! Knock on wood!

And stop counting those chickens!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gastroenteritis... Or, Don't Read This Post at the Dinner Table

It has been a rough couple of days.


Sunday night Liam kept waking up wanting to nurse. About 1am Mommy and Liam were dozing in the living room, when Liam sat up and upchucked all over Mommy. Then he barfed again, and again. Mommy was covered in sour milk, and peas, carrots, corn... and a green bean.


The rest of the morning was more of the same, especially after nursing. (He is just too efficient at drinking, and it all came right back up.)

We visited the doctor at noon, who confirmed he had gastroenteritis. "A stomach bug," she said. "It's going around, and it's a nasty one."


Well, the puking ended Monday afternoon. In related news, there is now a really clean spot on the living room carpet. Yay for having a steam vacuum!

Let's see, what day is today? Thursday? The diarrhea seems to be finally tapering off. Liam has been subsisting on mama-milk and a few Cheerios since Monday, so we are back to those wonderful, barely-stinky, machine-washable breastmilk poops. (Remind me why we can't ONLY nurse until he's potty-trained??)

As horrible as these past few days have been, we did learn a few things:

1. Mommy is surprisingly OK with getting puked on. Grandma J was right - "It's different when it's your baby," she always says.

2. Don't bother about buying Pedialyte. Breastmilk is just as good... as long as the baby doesn't eat too much too fast. Besides, the baby still doesn't take a bottle or drink from a cup, and using a medicine dropper elicited screams of terror.

3. Best of all, Liam slept in bed with Mommy Monday night and Tuesday night. There are few things nicer than waking up in the night next to a sleeping baby.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Catching Up on a Quiet Afternoon

It has occurred to us that we did not measure or weigh Liam on his 7-month birthday. In a week and a half he will be 8 months old. Those numbers are now gone for time and eternity, just like his furry monkey ears. The time has gone so fast; Mommy must make a renewed effort to record everything. EVERY. THING.

Ok, seriously - who has that kind of time? Raise your hand! Bueller?

Daddy has promised to write a post to you dear People of the Internetz about Halloween. He hasn't yet, if you hadn't noticed. But Mommy will give you a little taste. After all, Mommy's a giver.

What else has been happening, you ask? Well this baby has been practicing his pulling up on the furniture to standing. He is an ACE at standing. If standing were an Olympic sport, he would get the gold.

But this week... THIS WEEK... Mommy has had several heart attacks. Now once he is standing Liam lets go of the furniture. He freezes, looks shocked / surprised / proud, and in sloooow motion sits down hard. It's almost like he is trying to grow up! And walk! Like a big boy!

Anyone know how to freeze time? Because there it goes, getting away from us again.

And now, a parting video, from 1977. Why can't Sesame Street have more of this and less of Elmo's World or Abby's Flying Fairy School? (Have you seen Abby's Flying Fairy School? It is ridiculous. Where is the life lesson in using the Spice of Life to bring to life a macaroni-saurus? Idiots.) But THIS we love:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Like Daddy, Like Baby

Two peas in a pod, eh?

Also, yes - Liam is not wearing a shirt because it makes cleaning him up after meals MUCH easier. And it cuts down on Mommy's laundry.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bath Time

Tonight in his bath, Liam sat there and splashed around for a couple minutes, and then decided that he wanted to grab the side of the tub and stand up. This is a big no-no, so whenever he does this bath time is over. Of course, as soon as he was dried off he wanted to get right back in.

Is it just me, or does he look like he got caught doing something and is trying to act innocent?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Project Mayhem 2: Liam Attacks

This baby has been hanging out with Snickers. She has taught him how to be mischievious. Verrrry mischievious. And as it turns out, when a baby can crawl - and when a baby can pull himself up - he finds lots more things to get into.

The past couple days have been exceptionally challenging. Take today, for instance...

Liam took off his diaper all by himself:

(Thankfully, this was after the day's poop, and not during.)

Later in the day, Mommy found the baby pushing the stroller into the living room:

Each morning Liam and Mommy share a bowl of oatmeal. Today Liam took the spoon, wiped the oatmeal on his chair back, and squashed his head in the oatmeal. Did you know it is difficult to clean oatmeal out of ears?

And Daddy has been teaching Liam a thing or two also... like chewing on the woodwork.

And Liam's new favorite, getting into the TV cabinet. This is our life, every day, all day. Daddy nees to find a better place for the stuff in there, before the Wii-motes are ruined, the instruction books are soggy, and the little odds and ends are swallowed. Does anyone out there in Internetz Land have suggestions for baby-appropriate things we can hide in the cabinet? Liam is currently more interested in non-toys than his toys.

Question of the Day: What was / is your baby's favorite mischief?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Scott and Peggy

This is Scott. ("Hi, Scott!")

This is Peggy. ("Hi, Peggy!")

Scott and Peggy are married.

Scott used to work at Crane with Justin, until he retired a couple years ago after being diagnosed with ALS. Now Scott is in an electric wheelchair and effectively cannot use his legs or arms. He sometimes needs to use a breathing machine.

Mommy and Liam did not know Scott and Peggy until they started going to Movie Night with Daddy. Each Tuesday night, some of Scott's friends from Crane get together at the house (which Scott designed himself - and is it ever lovely!) to watch a movie and chat. Chew the fat. Shoot the... poo.

People have brought all different kinds of movies to watch: How to Train Your Dragon, The Invention of Lying, Blade Runner... even a movie called Anvil (think real-life Spinal Tap times 11).
At any rate, Movie Night is FUN, especially for Mommy, since she gets to talk to real, live, intelligent, funny people.

A couple weeks ago in Indianapolis there was a benefit walk for ALS ("Indiana Walk to Defeat ALS"). Mommy, Daddy, and Liam all went, along with other friends of Scott and Peggy. It was cold and rainy that day, and although Liam was probably the warmest, most bundled-up person at the walk, we sat with Scott and Peggy and the Shaff family in the White River State Park Visitor's Center while the other walkers braved the 2 mile walk in the rain. We felt bad that we ditched, but next year we will join the walkers!

This week's Movie Night was cancelled. But that is OK! Because that means Scott and Peggy are still Ohio. And that means Scott got to be part of a clinical trial in which he is fitted with what is essentially a pace-maker for his diaphragm. In fact, the word on the street is he is out of surgery and will be home on Friday or Saturday.

So say a little prayer for these two crazy kids.

Liam's Adventure with Grandma and Grandpa J

A message from Liam, as dictated by Grandma J...

Grandma and Grandpa J came from Wisconsin for a few days of adventure with me. On Sunday they went to church with us and then took me to my first gun show. For lunch we went to a BBQ restaurant and Mom gave me bits of turkey for the first time.

On Monday Daddy drove us all down to Bedford to see all of its sights. We stopped at a couple boat landings on Lake Monroe so Grandpa J could see what the lake is like. At one of the stops we got out of the car and I climbed a tree for a few minutes. Grandma J says I get some of my tree climbing ability from Mommy.

Then the big people thought we should drive to Nashville to lunch, but for 11 minutes I explained to them why that was a bad idea.

I can't wait until Grandma and Grandpa J come to visit again!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Playing in the Leaves

Liam and Mommy played in the leaves the other day.

Don't you just love the smell of freshly fallen leaves on a warm autumn day?

You Know It's a Bad Day When...

... the baby's diaper change includes a bath.

And midway through the bath you realize there are no towels in the bathroom.

And you hear Snickers clicking around in the nursery, where you remember you left the terrifyingly messy diaper. (Incidentally, if you come to visit, don't let Snickers lick you on the mouth. Just in case.)

And trying to re-diaper the baby is like trying to wrangle a greased pig. Did you know that even if you are holding the baby's pelvis down, he can turn the rest of his body around 360 degrees? It is a fact. And he is strong. We've started doing diaper changes on the floor. Because he can't fall off the floor.

Question of the Day: Finish this sentence. "I know it's a bad day when..."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pulling Up

We had some great suggestions of new baby foods to try. Liam couldn't decide which he liked best, so he wants to give each of you 10 baby hugs and 10 baby kisses!
Grandma J, would you bring some leeks with you when you come IN A WEEK AND A HALF(!!)?
Peggy and Scott, we're going to watch for Brussels sprouts at the Farmer's Market. Roasted sprouts are sounding pretty good right now!
Daddy, should we make some broccoli and baked salmon and share with the baby?
Grandpa Peeber, we'll have to be sure to take a deer next month, so that Liam can eat lots of venison in the coming year.

We did cook up some lentils and some chicken for Liam a couple days ago. Yesterday he tried the chicken. Even though it was pureed with a little broth, it still seemed a bit dry. Maybe that is just the nature of white meat chicken. Anyway, once it was mixed with peaches, that kid ate it up without breathing between bites! We have not yet tried the lentils.

Liam still likes gumming apple slices. Last night he was gumming one so enthusiastically that he was taking chunks off of it! After Daddy took the baby for his bath, Snickers and Bounder got leftover gummed apple in their dinner bowls. These dogs are going to be so spoiled (more).

In the last couple days Liam has been very hungry (eating every two hours) and very clingy. Does this mean he is having a growth spurt? He is about due for one. He will be 7 months next week - can you believe it? Mommy refuses to believe it.

OH! BIG NEWS! The baby can pull himself up to standing now! He has done so once on the open oven drawer and several times on Mommy's knees, when she lays on the ground with him. It is a good thing Liam wears such soft, padded diapers; he sometimes lets go of his support and lands on his fat bottom. We are trying to get a photo of him standing, but he is tricky and only does it when the camera is not around.

Yay for frost! There are no more bugs outside to bite us, so playing out in the grass has become fun. Too bad the grass is all brown and dead and crunchy. But Liam doesn't care - he can eat it just as easily as he eats green grass. We have been sitting outside in the afternoons to watch the dogs play. Liam likes it when they wrestle and chase each other, even though Snickers sometimes runs him over. One of these days, before all the leaves fall, Mommy would like to take Liam for a hike at McCormick's Creek Park. Perhaps she can convince Daddy to take a day off and join them.

Daddy is trying to come up with Halloween costumes we could wear to an upcoming party. His ideas for him and Liam include:
-Ghostbusters and Slimer
-Pirates and parrot (or monkey)
Do you have any costume ideas?

No pictures today, but there will be more soon. Promise!

An Ode to Housework

The laundry waits, the dishes sit.
The dust - it just won't quit.

The kitchen table doubles as
A shelf; there's too much clutter!

And though the baby sleeps like a log,
Mommy's gonna sit and blog.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Food Inspiration, Please

Dear People of the Internetz,

We need some inspiration. Liam has tried several foods and has liked each one. Our freezer is stocked with purees (see list below), but it is a limited menu. There are some dry lentils languishing in the cupboard which will get cooked up, and some dried apricots as well. But we need YOUR HELP in thinking of new and yummy foods to try.

Now, keep in mind that he is 6 (and a half) months old, and we should probably start introducing a little bit of texture besides "pureed." And meat. He should probably start eating a little meat, right?

We have several baby food books with good ideas, but what are your suggestions? Ten baby hugs and ten baby kisses to the most inspiring commenter... On your mark, get set, comment!

Sweet Potatoes
Rice Cereal
Oatmeal Cereal
Barley Cereal
Great Northern Beans

Monday, October 4, 2010

Six-Month Check-Up... and Mommy-(Deer)-Milk

Liam had his six-month check-up today. (NOW - WITH MORE SHOTS!) Here are the official numbers:

Weight: 19 lbs - 11 oz (75.90%)
Head: 45 cm (75%)
Length: 27 in (50.75%)

This weekend Mommy saw three deer outside, down at the turn in the creek. Two were smaller, maybe this year's fawns? As Mommy watched, the two little ones walked over to Mama-Deer and started nursing. Liam is not the only one who likes Mommy-Milk! That was pretty durn cool.

And some more pictures:

Gumming an apple slice.

So happy in his bouncy seat!

Fun-time with Daddy!