Saturday, July 30, 2011

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream

Daddy, Mommy, and Liam were downtown on Friday.  We decided that since we were in town, we should go to The Chocolate Moose.  This may have been our best idea ever.  This was Daddy's first trip to The CM, and he is now a big fan.  This was also the first time Liam had an ice cream cone all to himself.  He was a little unsure at first, but once he figured out how awesome it was, there was no stopping him.

"I don't know about this, it is pretty cold" 

"That right there is the best thing on earth!" 

"Once it hits your lips, it's so good!" 

"Mooooom, he's stealing my ice cream" 

"What do you mean it's all gone?  I want more!"
Liam did manage to survive after his ice cream was gone.  Mommy and Daddy were nice enough to share some of theirs with him.  Hopefully we didn't create a monster with this trip, but he is Daddy's boy, and it runs in his blood.....
And now, because I have nothing else to say, I will share pictures of Liam's burgeoning career as an architect.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mommy's Little Helper

Daddy is home!  Well, he was home - for an evening and a couple hours this afternoon.  He's gone again for a couple days.  But while he was here he and Liam had Daddy / Big Boy time together.

Mama's sweeties

Today Mommy finally got around to planting the two lavender plants she bought at Saturday's farmer's market.  Liam.. ahem... helped.  While Mommy planted, he moved mulch around and brought her potting soil from her pot of failed cilantro.

Very helpful.

And a little dirty.

Okay, very dirty.

So we took a bath.  In the swimming pool.  Liam got away.

"Here Mom, I found you a stick.  Let me hit you in the face with it, so you can get a good look at how awesome it is."

Tomorrow we will go to Ladies' Night at Kenzie's house and will be baking cookies for Laura's "adopted" soldiers.  Tommy will be in charge of wrangling both the new puppy and Liam.  Pray for Tommy.

Boys and Their Toys

We visited Mamaw and Papaw on Sunday after church.  Aunt Lauren, Uncle Nick, Cousin Grayson, and Memaw were all there too, and we shared lunch and an afternoon of playtime.

It is quite possible that the boys had the most fun.  As you can see, they found some "toys" to play with. 

Daddy had a ball riding Grandpa Bill's scooter around the driveway.  By the way, does anyone know of someone who could use an electric scooter?  Mamaw and Papaw are looking to get it out of their garage an to someone who could use it. 

Meanwhile, Papaw and Liam rode around the yard on the miniature Gator.  Supposedly it is "safe."  It runs at a snail's pace, and Liam can't reach the gas pedal.  Grandpa connected a string to the gas pedal so that it only goes when he is holding it.  Mommy is still skeptical.

Even Cousin Grayson got in on the action.

Ropin' horses, checkin' fences... just another day on the ranch.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

While Daddy is Gone...

Daddy was gone again last week on travel.  One of our favorite things to do while Daddy is on travel is visit our dear friends, the Lines family.  So on Monday evening we did just that.  Burrito bar at the Lines house?  Oh yeah!

And there were shenanigans, per the usual.

Yummm... dirty baby feet!  How do they taste, Becky?

 Spinning with Sarah... faster!  Faster!  FASTER!

Can you find Mike in this picture?

What??  You want me to sit right here??  And NOT move??

Eeek!  Run away!

Oh yeah, and we also watched the movie, The King's Speech.  Oh, my golly.  If you haven't seen it, you must watch this movie RIGHT NOW.  It is quite literally one of the best movies we've ever seen.  (Colin Firth, FTW!)  (And I am in love with Geoffrey Rush's Lionel Logue.)  (In love, I tell you!)  Ok, go watch it now.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monkey Want a Banana?

Grandma J, if you think riding on the mower with Daddy was unsafe, don't read this post. 

So there's this now:

This child has discovered that he can climb things.  These things include his chair (see above picture) and his stool.  And that is not all, oh no.  From his chair he has climbed onto his table (see above picture) and from his stool he has climbed onto the couch.


I've gotten over the initial shock of finding my child standing on his stool in the middle of the room like some kind of little living statue... and I've been thinking.  Is this one of those developmental phases a child goes through?  I mean, it's pretty cool that he is able to balance well enough to get himself up on those wee little seats.  Besides, he's got to learn how to get onto the couch eventually.  He can't be 12 years old and need his Mommy to lift him onto the couch.  Doesn't he at some point need to figure out  how to get onto furniture like an adult?  Does the fact that he's trying to do it on his own mean that he is ready to learn?

Then again, I know of plenty of people who have been hurt by falling.

Me: Falling out of various trees, falling off the end of the couch and onto a windowsill, falling off of my bike flying down a hill, falling on ice and landing on my face, etc.

Grandma J: Jumping on and falling off of a bed and breaking an arm

Daddy:  Falling off the driveway - or was it the deck? - and breaking a leg.

Need I go on?

I know for my own part I learned from most of those falls.  I am much more careful when I climb trees now, I don't walk on the couch with a hat over my eyes, I don't ride a bicycle downhill, and I don't walk on ice.  So at what age will Liam starting learning cause and effect, and when will he start to figure out how to avoid accidents?

As a parent, where is the balance between letting him explore and still being safe?  Do we set strict rules, like no standing on the chair, no standing on the stool unless it is to climb up and sit nicely on the couch?  Do we let him fall, but only if we know he won't get hurt?  Do we keep him in a bubble?

So, Everyone-Who-Reads-This-Blog, what do you think?  Where do you draw a line between letting a kid explore and learn on his own and keeping him safe?  (And I was kidding about the bubble.  But only mostly.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Owen County Fair

What did we say we wanted to do this weekend?  Go to Harry Potter, to the Figure 8 Derby, and to church?

Somehow, we only made it to one of those.  Saturday, Mommy went to the Farmers' Market for veggies, fresh peaches (they're ripe!), delicious sweet corn, and a lovely phlox.  In the afternoon we played at home for awhile,  ate dinner, then went to Flatwoods Park.  We were the only ones there, and it was lovely.  We all went down the slide, and we all swung on the monkey bars, and we all played on the swings.  Mommy loved being a kid again.  

We decided to skip the Figure 8 Derby on Saturday night.  There was a little confusion about whether or not the animals would be in the barns and if there would be tractors to look at.  Daddy thought Liam would like to see both of those things and didn't want to pay to see just the derby.  Besides, the derby would have been at 8pm, well past bedtime.

Because Daddy would be driving three hours to his hotel tonight, we decided to skip church and the two hours we would spend in the car to and from church.  Instead, Daddy weed-whipped (FINALLY!) during morning nap, we ate lunch, and then headed to LIAM'S FIRST COUNTY FAIR.

Time to sunscreen up!

It's almost like this kid likes tractors or something.

"Hey look, guys!  A TRACTOR!"

Don't worry Grandma J - it wasn't turned on.

Not too sure about this sheep, Daddy.

Two goats, butting heads.

This sheep was HUGE!

Mommy's favorite - a speckled goat.  What breed is it???

Because we got there so early in the day, no one was collecting parking or entrance fees.  Liam and Mommy might go again later in the week for lunch; our friend Penny is working at the Lions' Club food booth.  Then again, there is already a heat advisory for the rest of the week (Tuesday through Saturday), and today was already hot as heck.  Oppressively hot.  Painfully hot.  Sweating from the eyeballs hot.

What are some good cool weather activities for this week?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Adventures in Table Manners

First order of business:  DADDY IS HOME FROM TRAVEL!!  For two days, anyway.  He's back on the road next week and most of the following week as well.  So we are going to jam as much family time into these few short days as possible.  Tomorrow we'll go to the Owen County Fair to see the Figure 8 Derby.  Church and church pitch-in (and possibly Harry Potter???) on Sunday.  General togetherness.  Then Liam and Mommy will be taking suggestions for activities for the next couple weeks.

And now on to the Main Attraction:  we're still working on using eating utensils.  The other night Liam was eating applesauce and yogurt.  It was... a little runny.  And I think someone was feeling a little silly.

So how does one balance learning to use a spoon and exploring and enjoying food with learning to act like a human being at the dinner table?

I spy, with my little eye, a Cheerio...

...and it was delicious!

Ah, so that is what a well-mannered child looks like... at least for the next 7 seconds.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

World's Most Reliable Birth Control...

... is spending time with other peoples' children.  Particularly large groups of said children, hopped up on sugar and in need of a good nap.

On a TOTALLY UNRELATED SUBJECT, Vacation Bible School is going on this week.  Heh.  Mommy is rocking the snacks again this year.  Last year she managed to come up with her own snack ideas that corresponded to the lessons, and they were reasonably healthy, besides.  This year has not been nearly as productive.  Daddy is out of town on travel this week, and somehow this child keeps Mommy from getting things done.

Even so, Mommy has amazing friends.  AMAZING!

On Monday afternoon Laura came to help with making star-shaped sugar cookies.  Rolled-out, cut-out, yummy sugar cookies.  It was a lot of work (and we won't be doing that again anytime soon), but oh, were they ever delicious!  Store-bought cookies ain't got nuthin' on them.

Then on Tuesday Mommy and Liam went to the Lines' house, and the ladies in turn watched the Monster and helped Mommy with Rice Krispie Treats. 

And today Sarah was so kind and came down to help make cupcakes and frosting and candy stars.  Kenzie came over for a low-key Wives' Night and helped us finish up the decorating.

So yes, we had awesome snacks this week.  But only because there are four wonderful women who helped Mommy this week.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First Words (Not Nick)

Liam has officially said his first intelligible words. After spending an evening with Papaw and a tractor book, he now says "John Deere". It's not perfect, but you can definitely tell what he is saying. This must break Uncle Nick's heart, since he thinks Liam said "Nick" when he was just a few months old.
It is now my mission to get Cousin Grayson to say "Justin" for his first word.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tractor Mania

Tractor!  Tractor!  Tractor!

All this kid thinks about is tractors... and cars and trucks and motorcycles and four-wheelers... but mostly TRACTORS.  He does lots of new signs now, like please, thank you, train, yummy, bird, motorcycle (with sound effects), but his favorite one is tractor.  He signs tractor all day long.

The other day Liam was standing at the back door with Daddy pointing at the shed and signing tractor.  "Do you want to go out and look at the tractor, Liam?" asked Daddy. 

"Mmm!  Mmm!" grunted Liam, complete with violent head nods.

The boys got Mommy's permission to go outside and for a few minutes before dinner was ready.  "But NO TRACTOR RIDES for my sweet little baby!"

And then this happened:

*GASP*  Mommy!  I'm on a TRACTOR!!

Oh Daddy, I love you for your tractor!

One more spin around the yard, then time to put away the tractor.

Aaaand, that is why we can't do fun things.

Daddy would like to add:

The biggest treat of the weekend was yet to come.  On Saturday we all drove to Greencastle to see our friends Steve and Sarah Brannan who were in town from Florida.  They were having a cook-out at Sarah's family's house. 

Liam was getting a little stir crazy in the house, so he and Mommy went for a little walk.  After playing in the yard a little, they went over to the barn because the door was open.  When Liam saw what was inside his eyes got as big as saucers, his jaw dropped, he stood on his tippy toes, and he made a funny little noise.  There, inside the barn, looking back at him from the shadows, was a REAL TRACTOR AND A BULLDOZER!!  He was so excited he wet his pants (granted, this may have happened regardless of what was in the barn).

After this discovery, Mommy and Liam had to go and get Daddy to show him that tractors really do grow bigger than the one at home, and that they really do exist in the wild.  It was a very exciting day for the little guy.  We might have to take him to the fair this year so he can see all the different breeds of tractors.