Saturday, December 29, 2012


A small group of family and friends gathered today to celebrate Liam's first birthday!  Lots of food, and of course some cake (cupcakes for everyone else) and the usual amount of fun and craziness made for a fun afternoon.  At least until 3 of the 4 kids here had to go down for a nap.  That tends to cut a party short :)

He wasn't all that excited about his cake, especially at first, and was actually relatively "neat" when it came to eating.  Liam would only eat the cake with his spoon, silly kid.  The one time we want him to go all out and make a mess, he insists on using his manners :)  He got some fun toys, awesome clothes, played hard and then crashed for a nap.  All in all, I think he had a pretty good day.

Happy Birthday, Liam!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Liam Turns ONE!

It has been one year since Liam Wallace entered this world and joined our family and made our lives even more joyful.  I have a very hard time believing that it has been a year already, and when I look at how much he has changed and grown and learned over this past year, I'm simply amazed.  We are so blessed to have such a sweet, happy and loving little boy.  Liam is always smiling, and loves both books and computers (taking after both his parents!).  He's quick with a high-five, always up for a snack, and loves to share his Cheerios with Harley. 

So where are we now?  Liam has 4 teeth (3 on bottom, 1 on top and another 1 on top so close to popping through!).  He's toddling around and while crawling gets him there faster, he's starting to prefer to walk.  He babbles and tells fabulous stories.  He loves to Skype and play peek-a-boo (even if he has to play it by himself).  His new favorite things are forts and he loves to see if you are paying attention when he heads over to try to tip over the dog's water and eat her food.  The kid eats like a HORSE and there are very few things he doesn't like.  Broccoli appears to be a favorite :)  He loves to play with his cousins and adores his grandparents.  Liam has always been a bit of a Daddy's boy and still lights up when he sees Jay.  He now also adds a "dada" to the smile. 

Right now he isn't a very happy boy as early this morning we had our well-baby check, including 3 shots and a finger prick blood draw.  It's been a rough go since then, but I'm hoping the birthday improves for my monkey.  A bottle and some Tylenol already seems to be helping, now we'll settle in for some of his favorite PBS shows and some cereal. 

We got our measurements today, and I thought I'd so a little comparison :)

Then:                                                                                            Now:
7 lbs 12 oz                                                                                     23 lbs 6 oz (80th percentile)
20.5 inches                                                                                    29.75 inches (47th percentile)
a big head :)                                                                                  19.25 inches (99th percentile)

I'm so excited to see what changes and adventures this next year brings.  This past year has been the most wonderful, exhausting, amazing and unbelievable experience.  Our little monkey is growing up to be a special kid, and I can't wait to see that continue.

Just a few more photos from his one year photos/family photo shoot earlier this month:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Liam's First Christmas

This year we spent Christmas with the Zwagerman side of the family up at the lake, visiting Grandma and Grandpa. With all 3 grandkids there, it wasn't exactly a quiet holiday, but it sure was fun!  It was busy weekend, full of family and friends, which is the perfect way to spend Christmas.  Liam not only got to celebrate his first Christmas, but also his first Festivus!

While he still hasn't quite figured out the whole "opening gifts" thing, he certainly enjoyed all his new toys, and he was only a *little* spoiled :)  It was wonderful to see all the family and friends and Liam had so much fun.  He played HARD all 4 days and was so tired that he slept 13 hours through the night after we got home on Christmas day!

He needs to get his rest though, we have a big week ahead of us of playing and visiting, his 1 year checkup at the doctor, and his first birthday! I still need to figure out how to do an album on here, but while I do that, here are a few Christmas highlight photos

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas and that the spirit of Christmas, sharing and giving, stays with you throughout the year.

Attempting to sneak up on the presents while Harley enjoys her new toy from Santa

Opening up presents from Santa (with a bit of help from his cousins!)

Stealing one of Amelia's gifts from Santa -- Thor's hammer

Already learning how to drive

New book!

His very own microphone


Playing paper dolls

These two are going to be trouble!


First fort!
Liam had his first blizzard this week, and both Jay and I got to enjoy a snowday home with him yesterday!  On top of that, we had no internet, so we couldn't even work from home.  Instead, we built a fort (blankets and the coffee table!) and had a blast.  Add in some PBS, block towers to knock down, books to read and all other assorted fun, and it was a good day.  Luckily we were safe here at home, and only lost power for about 5 hours last night.  We camped out here in the living room next to the fireplace and stayed toasty warm until the power came back on about midnight.  Liam and I are enjoying day two of being snowbound now as the roads are still bad.
Day 2 - Resupplied with cheerios, juice, water and books...

After recovering from the chicken pox, Liam had tubes put in his ears on the 11th.  The doctor said that when he got in there, both ears were just horribly infected and that he had to be feeling a ton of relief almost immediately  Because the infections were so bad, we ended up having to add an oral antibiotic to the antibiotic drops, but hopefully (fingers crossed), this should be the end of those for a while!  The tubes, and cleaning out that fluid, made a huge difference almost immediately in his walking -- he is all over the place now! -- and he's babbling a lot more too and trying to repeat what you say.  I'm glad he's feeling better, he's such a trooper he never let on how much his ears must have been bothering him.

We had our first professional family pictures taken this month, and we're getting ready to celebrate Liam's First Christmas AND his First Birthday!  Next week will be a busy week, with lots of fun and family, and photos I'm sure.  This past weekend he discovered the fun of feeding Harley, and playing ball, as you can see in the videos below.  I hope you all are staying warm and safe this holiday season!

** The photos were taken at the local Target Studio here, but I purchased the CD and got permission to use them :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Eleven Months & Chicken Pox

Poor Liam.  The kid just can't catch a break.  After we got back from our wonderful trip to MI (more photos coming soon) we had a visit with an ENT who quickly determined that Liam needed ear tubes to get the fluid out and try to prevent the recurrent ear infections we had been battling.  The surgery was scheduled for December 4 and life was moving right along.  We had a great Thanksgiving up in Okoboji with Grandma and Grandpa Zwagerman and Liam seemed to be feeling pretty good, if a bit tired.  Tuesday morning after Thanksgiving though, as I said goodbye to him that morning, I rubbed his head and stopped...and then rubbed and looked (and looked again!).  Liam had little red blisters all over.

There was quickly no doubt that Monkey had chicken pox, his poor head and face got it the worst, but by the end of the week he had spots from his head to (almost) toes. He was such a trooper though!  He slept a lot, and you could tell he was uncomfortable at times, but he never scratched his spots (just some rubbing) and he wasn't overly fussy.  He got lots of time with mom and dad and we had fun watching some Curious George and Clifford and Cat in the Hat.  We also discovered the pots and pans cupboard in the kitchen, which was fun, if a bit noisy!

Liam was feeling better after a quiet weekend at home, but he still wasn't quite ready for daycare so he got two days at home playing with Grandma and Grandpa Zwagerman, and the dogs.  He's pretty much back to normal now (except for the awesome cold/cough and ear infection he managed to come down with too) and went back to day care today.  We had to push the ear tubes back a week, so we'll take care of that next week now.  While I'm glad that he had this while so young and won't remember it at all, I felt so bad for our little buddy this past week.  And it's one less vaccine he'll need to get since he'll have the natural chicken pox immunity now :)

The Eleven Month photos were delayed just a couple of days until he was feeling better, but I did get a few shots with him and Mr. Monkey over the weekend.  I think if I want a good photo of him and Mr. Monkey side-by-side, I'm going to have to do it when Liam is sleeping.  However, Mr. Monkey did get to go for a ride, right before Liam took him down in a wrestling match.  Hard to believe that in just a few short weeks we'll be celebrating Liam's first Christmas and shortly thereafter, his first birthday!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So Thankful

It's not quite Thanksgiving yet, but in honor of the holiday later this month I've been doing the 30 days of Thankfulness postings on Facebook.  Today though I had too much I wanted to say that I had to spill over to the blog to post day seven.

I'm thankful for the kindness of strangers.  Liam and I flew to Michigan yesterday and from the minute we got off the shuttle at the Des Moines airport, people were stopping to ask if they could help me.  So thank you to the gentleman who took the stroller through the revolving door, the woman who lifted the carrier so I could get that darn belt off at security and later carried a bag for me until I dropped off the stroller.  Thank you to the awesome flight attendants who were always there with a smile for Liam and who made a point of telling me specifics of what we would want to know in an emergency.  Thank you to the two women we sat next to on each of our flights who were happy and kind enough to help entertain a sweet little boy with games of peek-a-boo.  Thank you to all the passengers around us who responded with smiles to Liam's attempts to say hi. Thank you to all the random strangers in the airport that took a moment to hold a door, offer a kind word or a moment of help.  Even just a smile made such a difference.  While we had an easy trip overall, all these little (and not-so-little) things made the day so much easier.  On a day with so much negativity going on with the election, it was nice to have moments of sunshine.  It has also made me much more determined to try to be aware of this when I'm traveling on my own, and I will be sure to return this favor many times over.

I'm thankful I've learned to say yes (at least some of the time) when people ask me if they can help me in some way, shape or form.  

I'm so thankful for my Kindle Fire.  Without that and the downloaded episode of Curious George and the Animal Match'em game, that hour or so we sat on the runway in Des Moines before takeoff would have not gone nearly as well!

I'm thankful that Liam is such a good traveler, making little to no noise on each flight except for his giggles and chatter.  Granted, this probably made some of the kindness of strangers happen, as I know it's easier to smile at a kid being adorable versus one screaming...which makes me even more appreciative of this fact :)  I'm also thankful that his ears seem much improved and made for a better trip. 

I'm thankful that I watched TV today and did not see a single political ad! Yea!

I'm thankful that Grandma and Grandpa let me take a nap today while they entertained Liam.

I'm thankful for the generosity of friends who have helped provide everything from car seats to cribs to toys and everything in-between, making the invasion of two little ones easier on all of us!

And more than anything, I'm thankful to be able to spend several days with my family here in Deckerville.  These opportunities are few and far between and being able to take advantage of them when we can is special.  I'm thankful that Liam got to meet several of his great-great aunts and uncles today, and that we get several days to spend here with the family and our wonderful friends.  And I'm most thankful that we get moments like this to enjoy and remember...