Liam has his first shiner. He didn't get in a fight, unless you can call "face meets concrete ledge" a fight. He and Seth were jumping around in the sitting room at the Common House before dinner on Wednesday, and the next thing I know Liam is crying. I was just finishing cooking common meal and getting food out to plates, so our neighbor Jay (aka Mama Jay) who was watching him took him into the sitting room with some ice. From what we can decipher from the stories of two three-year olds, they were playing and Liam fell against the concrete ledge/seat that is under the fireplace in the sitting room. Ouch!

His face was bright red and swollen under his eye, and he was quite distraught for a while, not eating any dinner. But eventually he perked up, and by the next day the swelling was gone and a black eye had started. It's probably at it's worst today, in terms of intensity of black and blue coloration - should get better from here. Everyone keeps asking him what happened, but of course he's entirely forgotten about it.

I keep meaning to get a picture. Maybe tomorrow.

This morning Liam was halfway through his pancake with maple syrup when he asked if he could please have some peas to eat with it. "Green peas?" I asked him, sure that I couldn't possibly have heard him correctly. But he indicated that yes, green peas were what he wanted, so I pulled out a bag of frozen peas and put a handful on his plate. He ate them all, and is now plowing his way through a second third handful.

This kid is SOOO weird.
So, for those of you who have followed our Liam bullying saga, I found out today that today is N's last day. He's starting at the U of M childcare center. I don't know any of the details around the reasons for the move. His behavior has been much improved of late, so it hasn't been nearly as big of an issue for us, but it's interesting. There have been a few times recently when Liam has told me that N kicked or hit or bit him, but when I probe deeper on the story "Did you ask a teacher for help? What did they do? Which teacher was it?" and then ask the teacher in question, they claim no such incident happened. I think he's telling us weeks old stories like they are real, or exaggerating on things that did happen. Anyway, he won't have N to blame for things anymore!

This morning N was really cute, running to the door as I was leaving and then seeing a potato bug outside and eagerly pointing it out to all of us. "Roly-poly! Roly-poly!" in his cute little Italian/Swedish accent. His Italian heritage is already coming out in terms of his love for shoes. Apparently, he asks his mother regularly what shoes she is planning to wear, and will suggest something with a heel if she's planning to wear flats. I was wearing some cute heels when I picked Liam up the other day, and he made a point of coming over to look at them. Funny!
I was saying to Eric recently, that while we have not been so good at instilling in Liam such valuable attributes as following instructions and, you know, behaving, we've certainly taught him about love. Other parents at daycare always comment to me about how loving Liam is, how he's always giving them hugs, sits on their lap more than their own kids, etc. So I wanted to record this great story that really relates that part of Liam's personality.

Necessary background: Frequently, after we give Liam a kiss, he'll ask "Why you kiss me, mommy/daddy?" And we'll answer "Because I love you!"

We have a good friend at Great Oak who Liam calls Mama Jay. He and his wife Tracy are some of our closest friends in the community, and they watch Liam quite regularly. The other day we were walking past Mama Jay, and he reached out and gave Liam a hug and a little kiss on the top of his head. As we were walking away, I asked Liam "Why do you think Mama Jay kissed you?" Liam thought hard for a minute, then said "Because he loves me!" And then "I hafta go give Mama Jay a hug and a kiss!" And he ran all the way back to Jay and through his arms around him. It was the sweetest thing ever.
Last year, we couldn't get the kid to come inside. "More eggs! More eggs!" he said, and continued to look long after all the eggs had been found.

This year, he couldn't wait to get out the door, and we had to work really hard to keep him from gathering the eggs we passed on our way to the common house to wait for the official start. Once we got the go ahead, he found a few eggs (the plastic ones filled with other goodies) around the common house, then came and picked the ones up from our porch, and then he was all done and wanted to come inside. Nothing we could say would convince him that he should look for more. And given the snow and the cold, we didn't really mind.

Of course just a couple minutes ago he informed us that he wanted to go out and look for more eggs. Too late, buddy!
Just heard back from the pediatricians office - Liam's urine culture did come back positive for a UTI. I'd been feeling kind of silly about thinking it was anything real. He has done the crying about pain when peeing thing the last two mornings as well, but I was assuming it was some kind of erection related difficulty, since he seemed fine at other times of day, and his initial screen had come back clear.

Maybe getting this cleared up will make him a little more agreeable. And this starts to explain why he has been asking to pee more frequently.
No confirmation from the doctor, but I'd bet at least $10 on my diagnosis.

How can I tell? Not because he's complaining of a sore ear or anything like that, but because he's become absolutely insufferable. Grumpy, disobedient, prone to sudden temper tantrums. A week ago he was cheerful and pleasant, and experience tells me that a sudden shift like this is his reaction to pain, thus my prediction. I'll see how he's doing on Monday, and take him into the doctor then if he's still having trouble.
When we tell Liam we're going away, we usually tell him we're going to a meeting. I have meetings at work, we have various community meetings - it's a structure he's familiar with. But this last trip he decided that mommy and daddy were going on vacation. So we rolled with it, and he was very excited that he and Grandma were going on vacation too.

I don't know where in the world Liam picked this up, but Grandma reported that during the weekend, whenever he wanted to watch an extra show, or have an extra piece of cake or whatever, if she started to say no he would counter with "But Grandma, I'm on vacation!" Everyone else thought this was such a hoot that they started lobbying on his behalf as well. Too cool.
My son just counted his animals in Spanish. About as well as he counts in English, mind you - uno, dos, cuatro, cinco!
When Liam wants to do something and we tell him no, he has adopted a number of strategies to try to get us to change our minds, which he usually does in this order:

1. Ask repeatedly.
2. Claim outside authority: "Daddy said it's okay."
3. Tug heartstrings: "Why you say no? You make me sad."
4. Appeal to public safety: "How I going to put out the fire?"

Doesn't matter what it is he wants - one more book or story at bedtime, watch a video, open the fridge or freezer door - if he can't get it he'll eventually bring in the firefighting connection. So funny.
Well, in Liam's book, anyway. At my suggestion, grandma and grandpa gave Liam a doctor's kit. He absolutely adores it. Spent the day taking people's temperatures and listening to their hearts with the stethoscope. Had to carry the little doctor's kit with him everywhere he went, including on a walk through the woods with daddy and grandpa. His favorite part is the pager. It flashes a light and makes a loud beeping sound when you push a button, and Liam has adopted it as his therapeutic method of choice. He checks your blood pressure, pronounces it "a little high" and then flashes the pager at you to make you all better. Cute, and hysterical.

They also got him a giant art kit - markers in every colour imaginable, pastels, colored pencils, paint. Most of it is beyond him at this point, but it's definitely something he'll be able to grow into. We were all set to try it out this afternoon, but in keeping with the battles of will we've been experiencing with him lately, he absolutely refused to put on the smock, so he didn't get to paint.

His other present was a Dora lamp. It's kind of an odd looking thing, but he seems to like it, and it turns out to secretly be a great gift for us parents. We've been making excellent progress on Liam's bedtime for some time now. I know we'll sound like pushovers to many of the parents on our list, but whatever. Anyway, we've gotten to the point where we are able to leave before he falls asleep. The routine these days has been to read three books, turn out the lights, tell a story, and then lie with him until he mellows out, at which point I "have to go potty" or "have to go blow my nose" and will "check on you in a few minutes." He wants us to stay with him, but he goes to sleep much faster and easier if we leave. We've been working on shortening the time we stay with him, and the Dora lamp provides the perfect mechanism for getting to the next step. It's located across the room on his dresser, so after I turn out the lamp next to the bed, I have to get up from the bed to turn out the Dora lamp, and that provides the perfect opportunity to just say goodnight and leave the room without a lot of crying and stress and fuss. At least, that's how it worked out tonight.

As for gifts for me... well, this is one of those perfect examples of my mother. She asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I know they don't have a lot of money, and many of the things I need are expensive or difficult to find. But I've been needing some random kitchen utensils, so I asked her for a set of wooden spoons and a slotted serving spoon. Wanting to be absolutely sure she got it right and satisfied my every desire, she bought me three identical sets of three wooden spoons, and 3 slotted spoons as well (2 of the same design, one slightly different). If one is good, then three *must* be better, right?
Back when Liam was a baby, we encouraged him to adopt a stuffed animal or a blanket or some other "lovey.' But he never bought it - he had two lovies already, and they were called mom's right boob and mom's left boob.

In the last couple of months, he's started getting really attached to two of his stuffed animals - Lion and Fire Doggie. They definitely seem to be achieving lovey status - this morning we started downstairs without them, but Liam insisted that we go back to get them. He likes to put them on the table when he's eating breakfast, and will often insist that they get some food too. This morning they each got a raspberry. Liam wanted some more raspberries, but he didn't take the ones from Lion and Fire Doggie until I told him they weren't hungry and he could take them. Very sweet.

(Fire Doggie is just a regular stuffed dog, but with Liam's firefighter fascination at some point we started calling him his fire doggie, and the name stuck.)
Still not enough on the ground to satisfy Liam's overwhelming and unquenchable NEED to build a snowman, but it is progress towards his goal.

I've been so busy travelling that I haven't written much about Liam lately. He's continuing to be his cute and adorable self. He's sad about mom's frequent trips away, but is looking forward to the day when he will get to "go on a trip with Mommy to Chi-cago." We've told him we'll do that when he is four.

He's got a bunch of words that he mispronounces in adorable fashion. Two of my favorites:
"Stillnin" - as in "I'm stillnin pooping" when we want to change his diaper and he doesn't want to leave what he's doing
"Plictures" - for pictures

He's making good progress on "banana" - it's not quite there yet, but it now sounds more like "nana" and less like "mella."

He uses a high falsetto voice when he's pretending, or when he wants to be particularly charming or persuasive.
Wednesday night Liam asked me to come in and take a bath with him. He'd been feeling very cuddly that day and didn't want the cuddling to end because it was bathtime, I think. So I climbed in with him. At one point he points under the water and says to me "I love your penis!" So I explained that mommy doesn't have a penis. "What you got?" Mommy has a vagina. "Oh."

For whatever reason, Liam hates getting his picture taken on Halloween. So this was the best I could get. His lips are pursed because he's already broken into the candy and he's got a mouthful of something. He wanted to open practically every package, but then would take a bite and put it down. He likes the idea of candy better than the real thing. Although he'll suck back mom's truffles like they're going out of style, so maybe he's just a chocolate snob already. ;-)

Me, I discovered the wonder that is Hershey's Take 5 candy bar. Damn, that's tasty. Good thing there are none left in my house.

We had a fun time. I mostly stayed home and gave out candy, while Eric walked Liam around the neighborhood. After trick-or-treating was over the Great Oak band played a few songs out on the common house patio, and Liam LOVED that. We must start taking him to more live music performances - it makes him really happy. After every song he'd cry "Again, again!" and when they were done, he was begging them for "One more song, one more song!"

Emily at Touchstone is showing Rocky Horror Picture Show tonight. I was going to go over, but I'm just too tired. I did drag her over to my house to hook her up with a costume (I have an excessive number of Rocky costumes). Poor girl - she's never even seen the movie before, and has NO idea what she's getting herself in for. I hope she has fun!

[1] Despite having remarkably good pronunciation on most words, Liam still pronounces elephant "onklet." It's very cute.
Sleep: Went to bed early last night - around 9:30 - and slept like a rock until 3. That's usually when Liam wakes up and I move into his room, but he didn't wake up at 3 last night. I lied awake until close to 4, and Liam woke me up at 5:30. I went into his room, said "I love you too, now go to sleep" a whole bunch of times, and drifted off a little bit while he was settling back in. But by the time he was fully back asleep I was fully awake, and got up around 6:30. So the jury is still out on the Trazodone. My first block of sleep is definitely sounder, but my recollection from before was that the major benefit was that it helped me get back to sleep better after I woke up, and that's not the case so far this time. Of course, I didn't have a toddler last time. Also - no disturbing or intense dreams (yet).

Health: I hab a code. Just in time for my vacation. Oh well - I'm several days into it, so I'm hoping that it will start to get better soon. But right now my nose is runny and my eyes are itchy and my sinuses are congested. Ick.

Liam: Fun with pronouns! Liam only has one. When he sees someone doing something and wants to know what they're up to, he asks "Mommy, what him donin?" Doesn't matter if him is a her, they're all him to him. Even when the him *is* him, as in when he sees a picture of himself. "Him got a present! Him eatin cake!" [ profile] neoliminal - here's one just for you. Last night he was pretending to be a doctor as we were trying to get him up to bed. *Really* pretending - we'd ask him something like "Do you want to give Daddy a kiss?" and he'd answer "I not Liam. I doctor." Oh, okay, we'd say, does the doctor want to give Daddy a kiss? Then he would. He was the same way this morning with pretending to be a firefighter.
Liam was having some diaperless time earlier today. We were upstairs in his room, just about to get dressed, when he started to pee. While standing on the heating vent! "No," I shouted, "Don't pee there!" We have a little fan unit that sits on top of the vent to pull up extra heat and airconditioning, so that took some of it (it's currently drying out). A lot went behind the vent, between it and the wall. Some did go down the vent, but I think (crossing fingers) that I was able to clean most of it out, and we won't end up with cooked pee smell when we turn the heat on!
Liam's been resisting bedtime these last few nights. He gets into bed happily enough, and reads his books happily enough, but then he rolls around and tosses and turns and plays. Doesn't seem very tired, or maybe he's overtired, who knows. I'm trying, slowly, and with varying success, to stop having to stay with him until he is asleep. Last night I left the room "to go potty." Over the monitor, I can here him calling "Mom. Mom. Mommmm! C'mere, mom!" When that didn't work, he decided to change tactics. Where he got this one from I've no idea, but it was hysterical.

"Mom! C'mere. I got an idea! I got an idea, mom!"

ROTFLMAO. It was a good ploy. I belive in rewarding cleverness, so I went back into the room, lied down with Liam, and told him a story about a little boy named Liam who had an idea, only he didn't actually know what an idea was. He liked it so much he asked me to tell it again. Eventually he fell asleep.

He goes to bed much better for Eric than me - me being in the room seems to get him all riled up. (Me leaving the room is even worse.) But Eric hurt his back a couple days ago, which means it's really painful for him to do his regular part of the bedtime routine.
Two of our neighbors celebrated their wedding today, in a lovely ceremony and reception held here at Great Oak. It was a good time. After dinner, Eric and I were sitting around chatting with neighbors when our nieghbor Megan comes up to us. "I just thought I should let you know," she says... "I was just trying to talk to Liam, and he told me 'Not right now, I'm pooping.'" Okay, this doesn't read nearly as funny as it was to hear. We all thought it was hysterical. We've been encouraging him to tell someone when he goes (us, his daycare providers) because he's been having stealthy poops lately. So we don't smell them, and then he gets awful diaper rash. So it's good that he's telling people, I guess.

Liam had a ton of fun at the wedding reception. The Great Oak band played, and Liam danced and danced. After every song he'd cry "again, again!" It was very sweet. We let him stay up waaaay past his bedtime, but he had a late nap today because we went to Ikea. So far it seems to have worked out okay - hopefully he'll sleep in a bit in the morning to make up for the late bedtime.
Liam gave his head a good wack both yesterday and today. Last night after dinner he was playing in the kids room, and fell off the ladder leading up into the loft. This would have been bad enough on its own, but when he fell, his head landed on a pile of legos. Ouch! He had a very round unhappy bump, but was otherwise fine. He did insist on having an ice pack for it, which he even took to bed with him. And when he woke up at 1:30 (and again at 6) it was the first thing he asked for. "Where my icy teether?" (He's used to the icy thing being his teethers.)

He was very cute this morning when he was telling me about it. "I fall off ladder. I cry. Kids hug me." Awww.

Then, this morning, he was playing on our bed with the empty laundry basket (alternately an airplane or a truck, depending on his mood that day). He was up and bouncing around, and I'd just reminded him that he can't bounce on mommy and daddy's bed anymore now that it's up on the frame, and was on my way over to enforce that edict, when he got too close to the edge of the bed, slipped off, and wacked the back of his head against the wall. At least he missed the windowsill, which would have been more damaging. He quickly recovered, although I did let them know about it daycare so they could keep an eye on him.



April 2010

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