Recently in Babyhood Category

Sonya's Birth Story

| 60 Comments | No TrackBacks

Dear Mama,

It's been a while since I've written, so of course plenty has happened, but I'll stick to Sonya's birth story for right now.

Sonya's due date was 10 December, but back in October the doctors showed a concern for possible low amniotic fluid and I wasn't sure we'd even make it to your birthday. We *almost* made it to December. She was born 30 November at 5:05 p.m. That was at 38 1/2 weeks, which is a week longer than with Liam - all full term, so that's fine with me.

I woke up that morning and realized that I needed to start paying attention to these contractions. They stayed at about 8 minutes apart until 1 p.m. Then they got more intense. We got to the hospital at 2 p.m.

It was really interesting to me to notice the difference in labor, since last time I was induced. Nothing was less intense, however, this time I had space between contractions. With Liam, starting at 5 cm dilated I just had one LONG contraction - for an hour, until I delivered and pushing was brief and intense, too. With Sonya, the contractions were certainly no less intense, but I had time in between them to catch my breath. Even when I was pushing I had down time, which was very, very bizarre for me. It gave me time to think, which I wasn't particularly interested in, frankly. But, after 15 minutes of pushing, it was over. Now onto the hard part, you know, life.

And this will be my last birth story. We are done bringing humans into this world. Just in case you were wondering.

I've given you two grandchildren. Some would say, "One of each!" (why do people say that? I find that so repulsive.) Now it is up to your other children to give you more grandchildren.

Peace out!



| 51 Comments | No TrackBacks

Dear Mama,

This one is all your fault. Liam wants to call me 'Mom'. At 2 1/2. Seriously. And I just can't let him. That, of course, is the part that is your fault. Having brought me up with 'mom' as a taboo word, it completely goes against every fiber of my being to be called 'mom' myself.

I have no idea what brought this on. I've had discussions with him: "I know other kids may call their mothers "Mom", but not me." I've tried, "that's not my name." Mark backs me up - even if he doesn't understand it. I've tried ignoring him. I've even tried threatening him with a timeout.

The other day, he called me 'mom' and I said, "What have I said about that?"

His teary reply was, "Mommy, I want to call you 'Mom'." I gave him a hug and asked whether he could wait a few years?

He agreed.

What then? Have I laid you a thick enough guilt trip?




| 25 Comments | No TrackBacks

We're in our new house now. We all love it. Liam will ask, "where's Daddy?" when he wakes up. Mark is often already up, in the bathroom, or whatever, so I ask him, "where is he?" His response, "in our new house."

I was telling him a story about a young girl, mentioned she was a 'big girl' and I asked Liam whether he was a big boy? His response: "girl, actually." Wow. I stand corrected. Now, before you go reassuring me that this is normal, let me reassure you, I know. I think Liam is hysterical. I am loving his pink princess style.

Word I most frequently hear Liam say in his sleep: Thanks. So sweet.

And now he is awake, so off I go.


| 120 Comments | No TrackBacks

Liam asked for my watch. I put it on his wrist. He proclaimed it to be nine o'clock and started walking out of the room. And then he said, "have to get ready to go!"

On My Mind

| 295 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

Well, I'm frequently awake at about 2 or 3 a.m. these days, and script wonderful blog entries in my head instead of falling back asleep. Last night, I waxed poetic about my memories to 'Littlewoods', my mother's parents' property in Maryland. I do have wonderful memories of my 'PopPop', his home, and all the wonderful stuff we did while we were visiting down there as kids. One of my favorite memories is of my youngest brother, at the age of about 4, trying to get a lunch order out of our grandfather - who couldn't hear the higher pitch voice tones. "SALAMI, HAM OR CRAB" Mendon tried again. PopPop's response was to pat Mendon on the head and reply, "oh, yes." Mendon was soooo frustrated.

But anyway, I thought I'd share a few photos of Liam with you.

Oh, and if you don't know by now. I'm three months pregnant. And we're house hunting - in contract, in fact. It's all around Columbus, so not a big move. And Liam is having stents put in his tear ducts to open them up so that they drain properly. Not a big surgical procedure, but no fun all the same.

On to the photos. Or photo. Apparently, on this new version, I can only upload one photo at a time without it getting messy. So, here's Liam playing the piano with his cousin. And wearing his beloved wristbands.


On the Swings


Here's Liam enjoying the swings with his friend, Toby. a.k.a. the Irish thug. :-)


Two Little Hours

| 15 Comments | No TrackBacks

Mark left for a business trip today. Shouldn't be much of a big deal, I mean, how should this morning differ from any other in which he leaves for work?

Well, by the time Mark arrived in far away Dayton (1 hour 10 min drive?) Yeah.

Liam had managed to discover that he could get a (soggy) cheerio up his (very snotty) nose. Lovely. And he found it amusing.

Then the tornado sirens went off. Yes, it is Wednesday. But not noon. Try 10 a. m.

Turns out, they were testing them at a random time. WHAT?! What is that about? Isn't the point of having standard testing times that if they go off at another time, IT AIN'T A TEST? Just asking.

However, I did find out, and I think this is fairly important to know: sirens are merely warnings for people outside to go indoors. Those of us already inside in bad weather are expected to listen to the radio.

And a Liam story I forgot yesterday:

If Liam hears a noise he doesn't recognize, he blames it on Mark thusly: "Daddy tooted." Even if it is Liam himself tooting.

As He Rounds The Bend

| 16 Comments | No TrackBacks

Liam is almost two years old.

And while he can whine and tantrum with the best of them, there is plenty to love about him, too.

Here's a taste:

1. Some of my favorite versions of words à la Liam:

'napeg' - napkin
'mugan' - music
'Mee-um' - Liam
'hijk Elmo' - h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o

2. Liam has picked up the word 'now'. Most of the time, it's pretty amusing, though I still try not to respond to him in a 'now' kind of way, as I don't want him to get in the habit. On the other hand, he's clear it's a demanding word.

3. He can also be super polite: he frequently will say "thank you, Liam" or "thank you, Daddy" to thank, oh, anyone for anything.

4. If he sees a car, truck or airplane, watch out for your ears. He's liable to tell you about it - with vigor.

5. If you want something to become his favorite, call it 'cozy'. Cozy slippers, cozy coat, cozy blanket ... whatever.

6. He loves rubbing his cheek against our cheeks.

7. He can count to two. He can say numbers higher than that, but he can actually identify two things and count them - one, two, two feet! I think that's cool.

8. He's got rhythm. Some who know me from workshop days may not believe my son capable, but his father was in show choir. This stuff is innate in him and it's really cool to watch him boogie - and keep time.

9. We've recently discovered that there is a whole host of songs that if we stop in the middle of them, he will quietly fill in the next word. Very cute.

10. He loves to sing. He sings all the time - totally random stuff. I know it's a normal phase or whatever, but it is so much fun to watch him do it. And he does it totally unabashedly, as if no one were paying attention to him. It's almost as he zones out while he does it.

I've hit ten. That's enough for right now. If we ever upload photos again, I'll share them.

Stuff n' Clutter

| 53 Comments | No TrackBacks

Other than that being the best 'chex mix' recipe ever....

So, I had the surgery last Monday. It went well (or so they told me). Friends and family have rallied around us to help deal with the monkey that seems to have wormed its way into our household. Liam ran 'Da-doom' ragged. (otherwise known as Goompa) And my father loved every minute of it ;-)

I'm now on my own, still tender, not carrying Liam or driving anywhere. I can't decide whether I"m enjoying how Liam and I are interacting differently or whether I'm going to go completely bonkers not being able to either carry him or leave the house.

Ayyam-i-Ha is coming up and I am super excited about it. Not that I've decorated ... sigh. We'll see whether that happens this year. But my family is getting together for it, thus, awesomeness.

I discovered that Liam knows how to count to 10 today. I was counting something, got to 6, and Liam said, "seven". I looked at him, slightly dumbfounded, and stammered, "eight?" He shouted, "nine!" And then we said 'ten' together. Wah? That just blew me away. He'll occasionally do that with the alphabet, if there's a long enough pause after just about any letter, he'll fill in the blank. I totally don't keep up with what is "age appropriate" blah, blah, blah, so his learning just tends to leave me a bit breathless. He's big, huge, gigantically into puzzles right now, too. Rae, those puzzles you got him? EATS THEM UP. They are constantly spread all over the living room. If he needs to calm himself and isn't permitted Elmo? "Puzzles!" He's also trying to learn how to use chopsticks which is cute right up until the point at which he gets so frustrated he throws them.

You Can't Make This Up

| 26 Comments | No TrackBacks

Liam fell asleep in the car this evening. I carried him upstairs to his room, got him out of his coat, and sat with him in the rocker for a bit. As I was settling in, Liam - in his sleep - says, "Cookie, please?"

Liam doesn't say "love", but his equivalent is "happy" and then he lists folks who make him happy (Goompa, Rae, Gabby, Kate... that's the short list). Recently, he has started requesting that I sing to him about the people who make him happy when he's falling asleep. So, "Goompa makes Liam happy, Goompa makes Liam happy, Goompa makes Liam happy..." has started putting him to sleep. Very sweet. A bit repetitive, but sweet.

December with Chicago cousins (no, Mendon & Kristen do not have Asian children):


Liam making faces at the camera:


At the zoo for Wild Lights. Thank you to Nathan for this year's season pass!!!:


There are some non-diaper versions of this, but they won't be put on the web:


There was a HUGE fire a couple streets over from us, burning down an entire block of businesses on our "main drag", if you will. The only real effect this had on us was that we had no power for 6 hours in 0 degree weather. But it is definitely sad. This was the view from our house:


As we were walking out the door to go to an inauguration party, Liam threw up, so Mark and I had our own private party in our basement, which Mark set up all pretty-pretty while I cleaned up Liam and put him to bed. Here's us being happy in our basement. You should come on over and check out our place. It's cozzzzzy!


And yes, I love my felted purple hat (with a feather in it) from Edinburgh!

We are in the process of adding more videos to YouTube - Liam dancing (if you haven't seen this, you ain't seen nothin' yet!), saying his ABC's, etc.

Okay, have I sufficiently fed your addiction? ;-)

Time for a Liam Update, No?

| 24 Comments | No TrackBacks

For those of you who just want to see how big we are:


Feesh! Feesh! Liam's favorite:




I get to have a favorite, too:


Pumpkin Patch

| 19 Comments | No TrackBacks

Introducing: Gaby
Liam and Gaby are pretty good friends and playmates. We went pumpkin picking this weekend together and they had a blast. And we had a blast photographing their every moment ;-)










| 11 Comments | No TrackBacks

My life is being sucked away trying to get this video to you. If you've got 10 minutes. The dancing is my favorite, but there's also juice talking, peekaboo-ing and more.

At Mendon's Request

| 219 Comments | No TrackBacks

Okay, I was planning on doing it, but Mendon was the impetus (a.k.a. kick in the petarkus).

I've updated my YouTube site. So, just roll your mouse on over to the right side of the screen, find "My YouTube", click on it, and enjoy! There are 4 new videos, some of which are already a few months old, but you know, whatever.

Potty Talk

| 14 Comments | No TrackBacks

Hey, I've got a 16 month old, you knew it had to happen sooner or later.

Liam has been showing vague signs of readiness for toilet training, so I decided to give it a go. Before he gets into his bath, I have him sit on the toilet, as he almost always starts out his bath by peeing in it.

So, I thought, hey we're not traveling anywhere for a few weeks, why not give it a whack. This morning, when we all got up, I set him on his potty. And he used it! I'll spare you the details of how ;-) But he did, so false start or no, it's a start. We'll see where it goes from here, but wow, would it be awesome not to be changing diapers for another two years.

Video Coming Soon

| 20 Comments | No TrackBacks

Liam has a photo of his Grannie Nannie (the one you gave us, Papa) that lives under his crib. He pulls it out from time to time.

He now kisses Grannie Nannie when he sees her picture.

How could I not become a globbing mess of goo when I see that?


Sorry to barrage you with videos of Liam.

Err, no actually, I'm not. I want you all to look at them and then tell me how cute you think he is. Shameless, I know.

Anyhow, I posted two more videos of Liam over on You Tube. In one, he walks! Yes, he is finally walking. In the other, he is dancing and that video is definitely not to be missed!

So, just let your eyes (and your mouse) find their way over to the right hand side of the screen the the "My You Tube" link. Click. Enjoy.

Oh yeah, and then tell me how great it was. :-)


| 14 Comments | No TrackBacks

Holy cratcholy.

Yesterday was busy. We had friends over in the baby pool (Fun!).

Then we went to Chipotle for free burritos. The line was, not surprisingly, long, but then not only was it raining, but it started lightning and thundering. We went across the street and ate at Baja Fresh, heheheh.

Then we went to the Baha'i Nineteen Day Feast and Liam started walking! He'd taken some steps at our instigation, but last night he decided he'd start walking by himself for himself. Very sweet.

Then the storm started. The lightning and thunder were so loud and so bright I am convinced it was directly over our home. It was so loud that Liam literally jumped in his sleep! Then the tornado sirens started going off, so we headed to the basement. Fortunately, Liam slept through the whole event.

One heckuva day!


| 13 Comments | No TrackBacks

Okay, getting the videos up onto You Tube was enough work as it is, so I'm not going to re-post anything here, sorry.

But you can go to the handy link on your right (My You Tube) and see all of the latest videos.

Yeah, no, seriously. I'll talk about this for decades. Our wee family went through the fire this week and are just coming out the other side. Just something that had to happen. Thankfully, our co-living partners were gone all this week.

On Sunday, Liam came down with a stomach virus. Sick, ick. Vomiting everything everywhere. It was in the 90s and I was very concerned about dehydration since he was vomiting so much. He started nursing every 2 (remember that TWO) hours. Usually, he nurses every 5 or 6 hours.

What does that mean? It means my body produced more milk to keep up with him.

Fast forward to Wednesday. He's finally gone 24 hours without vomiting. He's eating some crackers and rice.

And he decides he no longer wants to nurse. Ever. E - V - E - R. Ummm...try not peeing for two days, maybe you'll understand?

Well, in any case, we dealt with it. He is now officially weaned (as if I had anything to do with it!!). You should have seen him. I'd try to nurse him, and he simply looked at me as if I were an alien. He ended by literally pushing me (OW!) away. Took me 2 days to be totally convinced.

However, another nice side effect of Liam being weaned (are you sitting down?) is that ... drumroll please ... he is sleeping through the night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There aren't enough exclamation points in the world for that.

Phew. Now we just have to get him to like his crib. But, hey, I'm liking life right now, so, we'll just wait on that one for a bit.

Oh! I can wear dresses now! Yippee!

Editor's Update: Liam's iron level is now normal! Double Yippee!

Truly, an auspicious week.


| 12 Comments | No TrackBacks

Well, Liam is 13 months old now. He's not walking yet, but he decided he knew how to climb two days ago.

I say decided because before that he'd sort of lift his leg, not succeed and go on with his life. Then, two days ago, I looked down and suddenly, presto! there was Liam on top of our trunk. Where is our trunk? Oh, right in front of the desk where the computer lives. So, if you see some random plus signs, numbers, etc. in my correspondence, you know why.

It also means he can climb onto furniture. Which means, basically, that a "childproof house" is now a joke. Seriously, try lighting your home or reading a book without it being destroyed by a toddler who can climb.

Some of our friends, who have a 2 and 5 year old themselves, upon learning that Liam can now climb, just laughed and said, "good luck. welcome to the end of the world." This was my mother's favorite time?

On the other hand, he is talking up a storm. It is somehow so much fun to have him 'talk' to me, others, and himself. It seems like he laughs a lot more now, too.

He's also become rather conscious of me moving away from him. Even if I don't leave the room, if I walk away he'll get upset about it. Phew - that means lots of crying. I don't like the crying, but I am not going to give in to him and have that be our frame of reference. I do things like sing as I leave the room so that he knows I still exist and can follow me if he wishes. Otherwise, he can just cry until I come back.

Hmm, maybe I shouldn't end on that note?

I hear they've placed the headstone on my mother's gravesite. My dad said it looks really nice. I look forward to seeing it. With that and the dogwood at her feet that my father planted it should look really nice.

Celebrating One

| 14 Comments | No TrackBacks

So, Liam is one.

First, Goompa came down to celebrate Liam's first birthday with us.

Then we went out to a friend's farm for 2 days. Liam met horses.


And went for a gorge walk.


Oh! And we went back to Franklin Park Conservatory, where we got married, and 'recreated' wedding shots - with my eyes shut, of course!


And finally, Liam had a 'proper' birthday party and got to eat his first chocolate cupcake. And he shared.


Yesterday, Liam started opening kitchen cupboards (they already have magnetic closures, obviously now they have to get stronger.)

Today, Liam started clapping. Randomly. And very, very seriously.


| 13 Comments | No TrackBacks

Our friends Liam and Amelia are visiting. Baby Liam loves Amelia. Like, first crush. He just lights up for her. He does all sorts of flirting with her. Stuff he's never done before and doesn't do with anyone else. More about that later.

Big Liam is the man who first got us considering Liam as a name for, uh, Liam. They are definitely enjoying each other, too. Big Liam is from Scotland, and his dear mother has sent him over to get to know his namesake. How sweet is that?


So, that flirting. Check. Out. This. Smile. He started doing this for Amelia. It totally slays me.


Oh! And my Uncle Christophe was in town this weekend, so we all went out to dinner (after he adjusted me, woohoo!) and fun was had by all.


| 12 Comments | No TrackBacks

I feel compelled to write down my thoughts. It's been a while, and I find I get fixated on thoughts until I can share them. So, in a random order, often unrelated, here's a brief hit of my life, 'cause, you know, I know you care.

1. Liam has learned how to slide off of furniture. This is pretty cool. It means he's a lot less likely to fall off and hurt himself if I'm not watching. Besides, it's just so cute to watch him anticipating reaching the floor - and that second of panic before he gets there.

2. My mother is dead. And you know what? I will be a poorer human being, unable to live as good a life, to live up to a higher potential as I could have if she were around to continue to guide me. Sometimes I think "what would she say/do?" And I can't come up with it, because she always managed to provide me with knowledge I didn't have. This sucks. This sucks rocks. This sucks rocks hard. This sucks rocks unbelievably hard. This sucks rocks so unbelievably hard I cannot begin to describe it. This will continue to suck rocks unbelievably hard for the REST OF MY LIFE. This sucks.

3. umm. I sort of got derailed. Let me regroup.

4. Oh right. Liam had his IFEC (Interdisciplinary Feeding Evaluation Clinic) appointment. Guess what? HE'S FINE. Yes, I'm yelling. 'Cause you know what? I KNEW THAT. On the other hand, it is always nice as a parent to be told that your kid is fine and that you are doing everything fine, too. So, yeah, he's fine. He's developing normally, his iron level is almost back up to normal. In fact the hematologist told us he's her star patient - usually it takes parents' a year to get kids back up to normal from where he was.

Yeah, that's pretty much my world in a nutshell at the moment.

Oh yeah! Mark is playing camera stuff of late (spring break). Take a look!

Laughing at the Catapult

| 22 Comments | No TrackBacks

The other day, we were over at a friend's home for dinner. She has two young boys, ages 2 and 5. The elder boy had received a castle for Ayyam'i'ha. It included a catapult. After consulting his mother, he made a ball out of paper (the real ball was refused as a choking hazard).

The three boys then sat in the living room, catapulting the paper ball at the sofa.

I passed by, heading outside to get Liam's baby seat out of the car for dinner. The sun was setting, the lights were on in the house, snow on the ground outside. As I came back toward the home, I could hear the boys' peals of laughter from outside.

It was pure delight. Liam laughing with his friends.

First Word!

| 16 Comments | No TrackBacks

Well, Liam celebrated Leap Day by speaking his first intelligible, purposeful word!

We were lying in bed, and I asked Liam, "Shall we eat some breakfast?"

He replied, "okay", lied down next to me and pointed at my chest. Heheheh. I told him I actually meant another breakfast, but that was fine. :-)

We have this saying:

Liam Bear
Has no hair
And he wears no underwear

No longer true (the slippers are from Scotland!):




Enjoying his new bathtub!




Family Resemblence

| 26 Comments | No TrackBacks

Oh dear.

It appears that my son may be growing up to be just like his Uncle Nathan.

If you don't have Facebook, and aren't friends with Nathan on it, sorry.

But if you saw Nathan's recent photo of him, in his kitchen at his computer, than this is hilarious. You get the idea.

If you're feeling left out, enjoy this gobstopping image. You can see the video over at my You Tube site (site link at your right).

Crib Sheet

| 9 Comments | No TrackBacks

Aw yeah... I should have done this ages ago. Friday night, after Mark had completed his mid-terms, I prepared to go to bed with Liam at 7:30 as usual. Nurse him in bed and go to sleep - can't leave him in the bed alone as we already had an 'incident'. But, I thought, Mark is done with mid-terms, he could put the baby to bed and stay with him. And he did, sort of. After an hour and a half of crying (by Liam), I went back into the room, nursed him and went to sleep.

On Saturday, I told Mark I thought we should do that again. Heheheh. Mark decided it was time for Liam to sleep in the crib.


At 8:58 pm he woke up crying. Mark and I started discussing how he would know the difference between being abandoned and crying when he needs something. By 9:03, however, Liam was asleep. 5 minutes. It could be beginners luck, but he slept the entire night in his crib. He did wake up a few times, fussed for a few minutes and went back to sleep. He also had poopy diapers - nothing you can do about that but change him. And twice I got him out of the crib (when he was fussing) because I needed him to nurse. We'll have to wean me before we wean him!

Somehow, when he woke up this morning I expected him to look different. Bigger, walking, more mature, something, I don't know. I felt so changed, I guess I expected him to be, too.

Liam is asleep

| 14 Comments | No TrackBacks

Which is why I'm writing. I've had oodles of ideas of what to write on my blog. Of course, I can't think of any of them right now.

Anyone have experience getting iron drops into a baby who doesn't like them, won't eat spoon-fed food and refuses bottles and sippy cups? Basically, Liam's iron is crazy low, but it's okay because his body seems to handling it as if it's normal, except that brain development really does need iron, so we have to get him pumping iron, so to speak.

I will soon be 32. When did 32 get so young?

I don't think I'm going to have any more children. Ever.

If I take a virtual reality vacation (a la total recall), will I forget all of my real-life concerns while I'm on vacation?

Funnily enough, even though when I look at my life objectively I think it's pretty crazy and kind of crappy, I really do have to admit I'm pretty happy. Or numb. I might be numb. I mentioned to someone that I wanted to ask my mother whether she had a preferred charity for people to make memorial donations. The person's response was basically like, "wow, you're really dealing with some weighty stuff, Mara." I sat for a moment and tried to see what emotion I felt, I just shrugged. All I could think of was, "enh, whatever." Is this the new normal?

And now you know what I'm thinking ... scary, ain't it?

Update: I've uploaded 3 new videos of Liam - crawling, discovering a cupboard in the kitchen and playing with his new shelf space in the living room.

Here's the crawling one. For more, go to my You Tube link at your right.


| 10 Comments | No TrackBacks

We've been visiting my parents this week, what with Thanksgiving and all. One morning, Liam and I kept warm by having him crawl into my sweater. Peekaboo!


Also, seeing as how most of us will not experience Liam's laugh firsthand, there's a clip up at my You Tube (see link to your right). It's with Grannie Nannie, of course. He thinks she's simply hysterical. No one else, however, is.

Umm, what was I going to say?

| 17 Comments | No TrackBacks

You know how it goes, you've got something brilliant to say at 2:00 a.m. when the baby is coughing and screaming in teething pain, but by the time you can get to the computer ... 3 days later, it's gone.

So, instead, I'll show you photos. You know that's what you want anyway.

We recently went out to LA for a wedding, and had the immeasurable joy of staying with our friend Violetta. I love this photo! Here, V is playing peekaboo with a very content Liam.


We ate out on the porch every day. Liam joined us at the table. It's a long way down!


Violetta took us to the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. It was gorgeous. Definitely proved to me that I am simply done with sun and hot weather. Finito. I love the composition of this photo - notice the feet!!


Liam's namesake over in Scotland sent us some authentic attire for our little Scots boy - here's one of the outfits. :-)


The wedding we attended was gorgeous, set in the inner garden of a restaurant on a hill in Hollywood. It is built to look like a Japanese temple. Liam was very good and loved by all.


Finally, Liam's first box!! What fun!


Liam now has at least two teeth. I think 2 more are coming in. He's over the worst of whatever this was - cold, bronchitis, whatever. He's got a bit of a cough and a rattle, but we went to the Peds GI for him today and the nurse checked his chest since we were there and said it's fine (i.e. hasn't developed into pneumonia or anything like that). Not that I was worried; he's clearly on the mend, but it was nice of her to do it.

Attn: Future Babysitters

| 9 Comments | No TrackBacks

This is, hands down, Liam's favorite video. Calm's him down - and we've played it enough that even just the music has a residual effect.


| 31 Comments | No TrackBacks

For Halloween, Liam and I went with a bunch of other kids and parents to a nearby nursing home to visit with the residents, give them candy and wish them a happy Halloween. Not sure most people got our African/Caribbean theme, but I took off his socks and everyone loved up his toes (and hence not his hands and face!).


On a feeding note, I finally broke down and bought some liquid formula to add to rice cereal - and it works! He eats it. I know, I know, I hate formula, but it works and it means he's getting some iron, since I am so not being good about getting him his supplements. I guess my parenting philosophy so far is "whatever's easiest".

p.s. new video up at YouTube: (or click the link on the right)

For the Photo Deprived

| 21 Comments | No TrackBacks

Last weekend, the Fojas clan celebrated the matriarch's 70th birthday party. Here's Liam with about 10 of his cousins:


Also of note, Liam has started pulling himself up in his crib (if not sleeping in it...).

Can you see his pride?


Truly happy with himself!



| 30 Comments | No TrackBacks

Loads has happened since my last entry. Mark dropped calc 3, we went out to LA, returned, Liam can sit up by himself, we bought a crib and Liam has had his first successful nap in it, my parents visited and I have finally managed to get Liam a pediatrician.

That last one? A nightmare.

I've worked with children, teens and adults from low-income households. It's exhausting work. Some of them have got attitudes on them as big as the day is long.

I now count myself among them. The treatment I have received is totally, completely unnecessary. A pharmacist lost my Medicaid ID card (for all three of us), shrugged and said, "well, don't you just get a new one each month?"

Momentarily, I wanted to do her bodily harm. Hi - that's all of our access to medical, gone.

I called pediatricians who were listed as taking our insurance (because Medicaid farms us out to other providers). Each one asked, "what insurance do you have?" I replied, and the immediate answer, "No."

Wow. So, like, you'll take other kids, but not mine. Ouch. Finally, I was told to call the Children's Hospital line and get an appointment at one of their clinics.

So, my next question is how do I go about this process for my own doctor? It seems to me none of the doctors listed as taking my insurance actually will, but I have to find some low-end clinic that warehouses us lowlifes so that, you know, no one else has to acknowledge our existence.

Haha. And presidential candidates are talking about health care for all? How ironic.

It's exhausting, stressful, and demeaning.

It feels slightly wrong, too, knowing that if I could tear myself away from Liam, I am totally qualified to be on the other end of the phone, giving half-information to families in need. But then, part of me thinks, "no, darn it, I'm a mother, and every mother deserves to receive the assistance I'm seeking. Mothering IS my job."

A Fairer Comparison

| 8 Comments | No TrackBacks







Oh my goodness. Now that I've done it, I can't believe there are people who don't see Mark in him. I kept searching - trying to find a photo that emphasizes his chin (for obvious reasons).

Liam's Pecs

| 8 Comments | No TrackBacks

You can see he is fairly impervious to us. He just rolled around and babbled away for about an hour this morning. He also does this thing where he arches his back, like he's showing off his pecs. It comes in handy when he doesn't want to get into his car-seat.

Liam Update

| 27 Comments | No TrackBacks

Heck, I might as well change the name of my blog to that, no? In any case, it's been a while. So, for the geographically challenged as my brother-in-law would say:


My mother knit Liam a lovely kimono sweater, due to it fitting him in June/July, he only wore it once, unfortunately. I took pictures, and as you can see from the second photo, Liam got excited, and kicked himself right out of the frame of the photo! (yes, I think that's very adorable.)


3 June, we participated in the Race for the Place, which is a race to raise funds for the Gathering Place, a cancer resource center here in the Cleveland area. Well, Liam needed his own participant t-shirt, no*?


He was on his Grannie Nannie's team:


We recently had a visit with Ms. Mel. Here she is in the midst of her study of one wee bairn:


This shot cracks me up. "Hi, my name is Liam and this is me, just hangin' out with my legs in the air."


Finally, the mushy lovey shot. Liam and his Goompa - awww!


*I hereby recognize all of my family and friends who decorated onesies for Liam with fabric markers. That is no easy task - what patience and love you all have!!!

Don't Miss

| 18 Comments | No TrackBacks

We recently had my paternal grandmother's family reunion.

My mother posted photos, most of which - surprisingly enough - include Liam. :-)

Check out her photos. I especially like the series of Liam walking with Auntie Rae!

8 year old boy, that is.

With a little surprise, just for you.

And just for fun, this shows (briefly, I swear) some of Liam's vocal range:

Grandparents' Joy

| 13 Comments | No TrackBacks

It's a mutual thing. I wish you could hear what my father is saying better. He seems to have an endless supply of amusing things to say and do with Liam.

Liam will do a body curl in order to try to sit up. I'll have him grip my hands, he sits up and then pushes his feet against me in order to stand up - all one smooth movement. Of course, you can't really see all of that since I had to set up the camera myself.

And finally, this one. Of course, he started to crank once I finally got the camera and started filming, but before that he just prattled away for awhile talking to himself into my arm.


| 24 Comments | No TrackBacks

We all froze. You could have heard a pin drop, even on the carpeted floor. We exchanged shocked expressions - did what I think just happened, just happen?

I thought, "holy crap! that's me!"

Then, my mother had the presence of mind to act. As she did, I thought, "of course! this is how we reinforce this behavior."

It was probably the most defining moment of motherhood for me thus far.

"What happened?", you ask?

Liam said "mama".


Liam Went to the Beach

| 8 Comments | No TrackBacks

We went to Headlands Beach Park (that's Lake Erie of the Great Lakes) yesterday with my parents and my sister Rachael.

If you can't see this, you can search for my videos on YouTube under 'lafeministe24'.

I've loaded tons of photos from this past weekend on Flickr.

Here's a sample:





| 10 Comments | No TrackBacks

I've got little bits in my arms, so just photos at the mo'.

Actually, I did earlier, but that totally didn't work out, so I'm doing it now while Liam talks away to his Papa.

I just couldn't resist this photo. My mother had put the socks on Liam so he didn't get cold ... it was not to be.


How could you possibly resist this face?


Everyone's 'home' for the weekend while Nathan and Ingrida visit from Scotland. Here's Aunt Lucy chatting Lilu up.


Here's Uncle Mendon working his magic. Liam loves his Uncle Mendon!


Liam also loves his Goompa. Here he's flying on Goompa's knees - and oh so happy!


And here's proof I can photograph something other than my son. ;)

Nathan, Gramma, and Ingrida


Who's Cooing?

| 17 Comments | No TrackBacks

Mr. Mylar

| 22 Comments | No TrackBacks

Sorry for the lack of update. Nothing much going on in my life, other than my mother recovering from surgery, Mark busy at school, me planning a friend's wedding party, generally preparing to move - oh yeah, and Liam. You know, nothing much.

Now that Liam is on Pepcid, as opposed to Zantac - which has alcohol in it!!! - he is doing much better. He's still not 100%, but compared to before he's a whole new baby. He's smiling, cooing - and he even laughed at my mother the other day. Oh, and sometimes, after he sneezes, he slips into a coo - "Achoo ... ooooooo." Very cute.

So, my mother was sent a Mylar balloon while in the hospital. My father brought it home and we quickly discovered Liam's favorite person: Mr. Mylar. He loves it. He once sat in his chair, alone, fascinated with Mr. Mylar for over 30 minutes. Which is like infinity in his world. I couldn't believe it.

For your viewing pleasure (or not):


| 15 Comments | No TrackBacks

One thing about this parenthood thing - at least at this stage - is all the moments I spend just staring at Liam. In wonderment. As I struggle to take care of him on my own, his constant occupation is to become independent of me. Obviously, right now, it is all small and incremental, but it is true nevertheless.

On a side note, as he finishes nursing, he holds the last sip in his cheeks like a chipmunk for a few seconds before he swallows. It's so cute.


Roll Over

| 10 Comments | No TrackBacks

Okay, the big developmental roll over is from your back to your belly (several months from now). Just so we know.

That in mind, we've started giving Liam 'belly time'. We lay him down on his belly and he lifts his legs, pushes himself up on his toes, lifts his head up, stuff like that.

And now - it's happened several days in a row now, so it's for real - he can roll himself over from his belly onto his back!

I Scoff[ed]

| 11 Comments | No TrackBacks

I did. I really did. Until today.

There are so many baby accessories, it's absurd. There are these velcro blankets that's they call swaddlers - to help you swaddle your baby. I thought it was pretty ridiculous. I mean, what does it take to swaddle your baby? Geesh.

And then I met baby thrasher, I mean, my son Liam. Liam, who hasn't slept in his bassinet for at least 3 weeks. At All. Which we thought was due to his acid-reflux.

Then my sister-in-law, Melissa, gave us her old swaddler blanket. Mark, lover of gadgets, figured out how to use it and put Liam in it. He looks like a bean burrito. But ya' know what?

He's asleep. And it's not on me. (do you see the heavens open, light streaming down and a chorus singing "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!"? Or is that just me?)

I am duly repentant.


| 12 Comments | No TrackBacks

I have lots of time at night all to myself with not much else to do other than think about what to write about on the blog. But as witty as it seems at 4 a.m., it seems just as tedious now.

I'm on an elimination diet to figure out whether Liam has any food allergies that might cause him to be as cranky as he is. I sort of doubt it, though I've discovered I have a mild allergy to raspberries. Of course, Memorial Day weekend - full with a wedding, a graduation party, birthday party and the requisite BBQ - falls smack dab in the middle of this diet in which I can eat no wheat, dairy, sugar, etc.... I think the only place I feel truly weird is bringing my own food to Nadine's wedding. Can you picture whipping out Tupperware at a formal sit-down dinner banquet? Heheheheh.

Okay, the required photos, before my son dies of (supposed) malnutrition:

Asleep on Daddy

Asleep (and adorable - look at that arm!) on Nannie

Good with Goompah

Cool Cucumber

I love this shot - all cosy with Nannie.

This looks so posed to me! (peaceful, though)

And now you've seen just about every outfit he owns, too, heheheh. [No. That is NOT a plea for clothes. We have plenty, I assure you!]

Sling Thing

| 19 Comments | No TrackBacks

Mark (and Liam's) new favorite thing is our Baby Bjorn.


As you can see, Liam doesn't technically fit in it yet, as it's still a slight stretch to get his arms out the armholes.


See his face? That's where his arms will eventually go, but for now, he's quite content to snuggle up to Mark in it and go to sleep, which I find adorable. It also frees us both up. I hand Liam over to Mark and then the sling enables Mark to still go about whatever he wants to do since his hands are still free.


Recent Developments

| 25 Comments | No TrackBacks

Last week, I think, we gave Liam his first in-the-tub bath. He did very well. He looks a bit surprised here, but there were no tears.


However, you would have no idea, by this photo, that he just finished peeing all over me and the floor. My mother then wrapped him in a much more absorbent towel and held him - now that he was done peeing of course.


He looks so sweet, so innocent here. Sigh. Liam was just diagnosed with acid reflux. What does that mean? That means this baby goes from Zero to Sixty in about a nanosecond, because if he's crying it's because he's in some serious pain. He doesn't fuss much otherwise. He's now on medication to neutralize all that acid coming back up. Hopefully, we'll be seeing more of the happy baby again soon.


Here, Liam is posing to recreate the style in which his maman apparently slept when she was his age. No joke.



| 9 Comments | No TrackBacks

I had no idea there was so much paperwork and bureaucracy to having a child.

We finally received Liam's social security card in the mail - woohoo! It is his first official, government-recognized document. It's also his first piece of mail addressed to him. I keep looking at it and saying ridiculous things like, "oooh, it's so cute!"

Mostly, though, I'm just relieved. I was afraid I was going to have to sit in a horrible office waiting hours on end to turn in a paper in order to request this card. Getting him on my insurance is still a bit of a catch-22, but this at least is one less thing to worry about. Catch-22? Yeah, I'm supposed to turn in the application within 30 days, however, I can't apply for his birth certificate until 30 days after his birth. Uh, whose idea was this?!!?

What's in a Name?

| 18 Comments | No TrackBacks

I'm realizing that one of the most surreal aspects about being a parent is that I (we) have named this unnamed being. We have put our preference upon him already. It feels ... unnatural, like in some way I'm sullying his being. It suddenly seems so bizarre to me that we give names to our children at birth. I mean, it isn't exactly necessary - he's got no clue that "Liam" refers to him right now*.

I think this is actually is a small aspect of something much larger - I wonder at every action, comment, etc. as to how that may shape who he becomes in the future. Are we scarring him already? Are we dooming his reality by doing - or not doing - X? Are we setting him on the right course by modelling some action - or not? Oh my goodness. I suppose I best get used to this new reality of mine....

*Don't get me wrong, I like his name. And, as a matter of fact, I like my own name, so either my parents got it right, I grew into it, or both.

To Prove Granny Nannie Wrong

| 14 Comments | No TrackBacks


He's not always either crying or asleep!

Get Me Off That Train!

| 13 Comments | No TrackBacks

Whoa. They ain't joking when they talk about postpartum blues due to a serious hormonal roller coaster-esque drop. The medical staff talked about the 'first ten days' being susceptible to 'the blues'. Yah. It's now 12 days out and it really was yesterday that I started feeling the fog lift. Night feedings, with exhaustion and alone time added in, were harrowing. A couple of times I sat feeding Liam with tears streaming down my face. And no, they were not tears of joy. Tears shed for the life I've left behind, the dream job I'll never have again, the freedom I had, etc. The rest of the family talked about being over the moon, full of happiness and sheer amazement at the birth of our son. And I silently sat there wondering, "what the hell were we thinking?!?!"

I think the worst part of it was that surrounded by this joy and excitement, it is practically forbidden to speak up and say that I was not happy, I was not over the moon, and, umm... would someone like to take him off my hands, please (permanently)?

Fortunately for me, my entire family came in to town this past week for my grandfather's funeral (thank you, grandpa, for your thoughtful consideration), so we had a houseful of eager aunts and uncles wanting nothing better than to do exactly that - take Liam off my hands; not to mention affording me a reason to get out of the house. Furthermore, what with them being my siblings, there was enough noise and activity in my parents' relatively small home for me to silently fade into the background while I struggled to figure out what I was going to do.

Well, as I said, fortunately for me the fog has lifted; I can see his adorable cuteness, serene innocence and something other than a future in which he terrorizes me and everyone else's path he crosses.

To end on a happy note, here we are, with a very obviously ecstatic Auntie Rae:


Check out Nathan's blog for more photos of the happy relatives with Liam.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Babyhood category.

Deep Insight Label is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.25