December 29, 2009

21 months

Somehow our little baby boy has turned into a toddler. His new big boy haircut only reinforces this definite change.

He now says things
Hold me, Mama
Purple cat vitamin
Doggies woof woof outside
Dahlia. Couch. Down!
Color markers
More juice. No milk.
The list goes on and on. It's fun to watch him discover new words and to let us in to his thought process, even when he is in a stinker mood.

Christmas day

Sunday morning I woke up with a sore throat, fever, body aches, and general yuckiness, and spent the day on the couch...apparently, the flu/cold was kind enough to arrive full strength on a day Gabe was home from work. By Monday I felt remarkably better, and today I feel fine other than a lingering cough. So, despite the interruption, here are some Christmas snapshots:

Christmas morning we woke up to find two miracles: a White Christmas and a still-sleeping toddler. We busied ourselves with warm drinks and reheated the coffeecakes I had made, and then finally woke the little guy.

We were all so caught up in the Christmas activities that we never took any pictures of the snow outside. There were several inches blanketing everything. It was beautiful. You'll just have to imagine it.

Liam was thrilled to find both a new pacifier (which he has lately begun calling his "fye fye" ?) and candy...
Enjoying our pastry and the warmth of a blazing fire in the woodstove, thanks to Uncle Forest.
Gabriel made Liam this incredible play kitchen.
Liam was more than excited to finally get to open all of the presents under the tree. And he did. He helped everyone open each present that he could get his hands on.
Grandpa and Grandma Hall made Liam an incredible tool set. I always knew that Kenny works with wood for a living, but the detail here is so impressive: a hammer, pliers, a framing square, a chisel, and a saw, all in a tool caddy with a measuring tape, a work apron, and carpenter's pencils. Lim thinks it is great, and it continues to be one of his favorite toys to play with.
Linda bundled up for the freezing temperatures in her new hat and scarf set from Molly. She looks cute, but sometimes you have to wonder just how much a cigarrette is worth when it is 18 degrees outside...
In the afternoon, we all decorated the gingerbread house.
But Liam thought it was much more fun if we left the decorating up to him.
Modeling a new shirt from Gabriel's parents.
When I came downstairs in this, Forest said, Whoa, Dorothy, you have a belly. I didn't notice before. He had been staying with us for the past week. Boys.
Although Christmas just isn't the same when parts of the family are missing, it was still a nice day. We stayed inside, ate good food, and enjoyed each other's company.

December 26, 2009

merry-making

This has been a very busy holiday season for me...enough that I haven't had much time for this space.

Here are some fun moments from the last week or so.

Liam has been enjoying crafting, and I tried to have a Christmas coloring page or activity for him most days. He really enjoyed making this "gingerbread baby" (as he likes to call it).
He discovered a new hat and wore it around the house for several days.
Watching Auntie Linda put on make-up was a favorite activity.
Feeding Grammie spaghetti.
Watching Uncle Forest play computer games.
I'll post about Christmas tomorrow.

December 17, 2009

A package from San Diego

Today, FedEx delivered a huge package from Grandma and Grandpa Hall in San Diego. Liam was thrilled to help me put the presents under our tree, but was even more excited when we came upon one that said Liam, Open Now.
Dahlia wanted to help, too.
A new ornament, handmade by Grandma.
Liam loves it so much he doesn't want to leave it on the tree.
Thanks, Grandma!

Christmas crafting

I am in over my head with all the Christmas crafting I had planned for this year's decorations and gifts. I finally got a package in the mail today for Gabriel's family, only with a little help from my crafting buddy.
I still have two more packages to get in the mail...all involving handmade gifts. And then it's on to the gifts for Liam. That Christmas countdown is going way too fast.

December 15, 2009

21 weeks

I'm the picture taker around here these days, so we haven't really been getting any belly shots. But last night I persuaded Gabe to take a few.

December 11, 2009

River James

Today I had my 20 week ultrasound, and, yes, it's a boy!

At a 13 week ultrasound my doctor thought he was a girl, and so did I. But then at 17 weeks we saw that he was most certainly a boy after all. Today was the official verdict. He's still a boy.

When I thought we were having a girl, it was fun to think of things like bloomers and dresses, but as soon as we found out he is a boy, I felt a huge amount of relief. I know what to do with a boy. We have all the boy stuff. And we have the perfect boy name: River James.

So, at today's scan, we discovered that he likes to use the placenta as a pillow. And he even measured exactly acording to his due date: April 27.

It's fun to think of Liam with a brother, and also a little overwhelming. They'll be quite the handful.

December 10, 2009

hallelujah

Today, Liam took his first afternoon nap in the last week.

I think I needed his nap more than he did.

December 9, 2009

this one's for you, Tia Molly

After I got off the phone with my sister yesterday, I told Liam I had been talking with his Tia Molly. He then surprised me by parroting back "Tia Molly," and then chanting it while he went back to playing with his Lego's.


Of course, I had to coax it out of him for a video, but here it is :-)
video

jingle all the way

Iowa

Last Thursday, we went up to the farm in Iowa. We usually go for Thanksgiving weekend, but pushed the trip back a week this year to spend the holiday with my mom and sister. The one week's difference sure made a big difference in terms of the weather.

We didn't see a single snowflake until we turned onto Highway 20, about 45 minutes from the farm. The snow wasn't accumulating until we took the Aplington exit. We didn't have any problems with slipping and sliding until the stop sign on their corner. The travel conditions really couldn't have been any better all things considered.

This is what we were greeted with:
They were bummed to have such an early snow, but it was a welcome surprise to us.

It's always fun to see the calves with their winter coats. I would have never thought that cows could look so cute and fluffy.

This one was born the day before. He got a special wool coat to keep him warm.
We brought winter gear for Liam, too. He had a hard time maneuvering in it all.
Gabe worked on the East side of the barn with Jim, digging holes and setting rail road ties for some new stalls. Liam helped, too.
Playing in the dirt just isn't so much fun when it isn't even 20 degrees outside...
This lasted about 5 minutes.
One day Liam and I went in to Aplington to check out their little thrift store. Liam loved this ramp. He went up and down over and over, shrieking "whee" every time.
Then we went into the library to meet Santa. Liam wasn't too sure about him until Santa gave him a huge Hershey's bar.
He decided that Santa wasn't so bad after all, although he is definitely better at a safe distance.
I'm not sure which Liam said more over the weekend, cow or cold. Both topics were equally important to him.
So this where milk comes from.
On Saturday, Jared, Allison, and Makenna came up for a visit. Makenna is 8 months younger than Liam, and all she wanted to do was grab him: his face, his hands, his clothes. He wasn't so sure about that.
They just seem bewildered that we would bundle them up to stand outside in the freezing cold.
For the drive on Thursday, we had left at 2 am to get as much driving done as we could before Liam woke up. We only had to stop for gas (and bathroom breaks for me...). For the return trip, we drove through the middle of the day. Liam traveled like an old pro.He took awesome naps, ate his snacks, listened to music, and waved bye bye at the passing cars.
Ever since we got home, he has been telling his farm story:
Cows
Cold
Dog
Cold
Cats
Cold
Outside
Cold
It was a good trip.
Now, if I could just convince him that naps are stil necessary, we'd be doing great.

December 2, 2009

Some evening exercise

video

to whet the appetite

I came down one morning to find Liam licking clean a bowl of chocolate. Thanks, Gabriel.

November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving

We have enjoyed the four day weekend with nowhere to go and nothing to do besides enjoy each other's company and good food. There was certainly plenty.

Thanksgiving morning, Liam helped Gabriel make some french toast. It was a good start to the day.
I filled the turkey with turkey with chestnut stuffing. It turns out that shelling the chestnuts was a time-consuming ordeal. Even Liam helped Grammie and Gabriel get it done. Gabriel is reading over my shoulder as I type. He says, "How'd you get a picture of me smiling while doing that?"
The feast.
After the meal, Liam and Linda played woodland dress-up with the rosemary sprigs.
Our little sprite.
And of course, there was pie.
It was a good day.