Thursday, December 29, 2005

Life humbling moment #1,324,436: Cleaning poop* out of the bath tub

*Not mine. Not mine. Not mine.

My good friend Jeff got Liam some gifts for Christmas. Among them is a Fisher Price Little People Floaty Boat with a Captain and a lobster and a fish ("dishie!") that squirts water. Liam had it in the tub for the first time tonight and would probably still be in there had we not pulled his kicking pruney legs out.

As Dan picked him up, he said, "Uh oh - somebody pooped."

"You pooped?"

"No! Somebody else!"

"The Captain pooped? Fisher Price is AMAZING."

Much sighing and motioning for a wipe, because, of course, the poop defies water and what didn't stay stuck to the bottom of the tub, was stuck to the bottom of the boy.

"Ok Liam let's go get jammies on so Mama can clean up the poop."

"Mama's cleaning the poop?"

Monday, December 26, 2005

Santa brought Susie some !!!exclamation points!!!

So Santa came, Santa dropped some gifts, and Santa gave the O'Neills a whole lotta love. Especially the littlest O'Neill - not Lily (though she got lots of Christmas love too).

While Liam hasn't quite gotten the hang of tearing open a present - he understands seeing a new toy for the first time. With lots of pointing and grabbing we figured out really quickly which toys were on the Wishlist in his head. And which toys he is starting to discover now, a day later.

We spent the Eve at my in-laws like always. We ate wonderful food! And goodies! And drank wine. Or rather *I* drank wine with Uncle Ryan's girlfriend and my mother-in-law. We exchange gifts. HO HO HO! Indeed! Liam got a big Elmo...

and something to bang the crap out of.

Among many other great and wonderful gifts Including books! Yay for books! Cause the boy likes his "buh." And clothes! Cause Mum likes the boy to look goooooood.

After Liam was nestled snug in his bed - Santa pulled up in his sleigh. Of course a few shots were taken of his handiwork.

As you can see, Santa did not leave wrapped gifts this year. From what I hear some families never wrap Santa's gifts (except for big things like bikes, sleds and such). Did your family have wrapped gifts from Santa? Now or in the past? My parents wrapped everything but the biggies - bikes, sleds, dollhouse, desk, etc). AND our stocking gifts were wrapped except maybe for candy. Must have been quite a night for my parents when they had all four kids under the same roof.

So Santa decided after observing Liam's lack of interest in tearing paper Christmas Eve, to not stay up til the wee hours wrapping. So Santa actually got a decent night's sleep!

Christmas morning we awoke to discover that Liam's diaper overfloweth onto his fun festive pajama bottoms. After a quick change I practically had to drag Liam downstairs as that morning of all mornings he had discovered his voice echos in the stairwell. While Dada is videotaping! So we "eh!" "ah!"-ed for a bit before I finally gave up and carried him the rest of the way.

Wow he was impressed with his stash and went straight to the wagon. Inside he saw an Elmo phone that two of his friends have and he had been coveting on every playdate. After that, he went for Dusty the Vaccuum. The Elmo phone is discarded to the right in the picture.

Christmas Day brought my parents and sister and her family to my house. We exchanged gifts! And had fun! And headed to my cousin's house across town to consume mass quantities of food. Cause it's Christmas. And it's the law.

These photos do not cover the full range of food which included many appetizers like chicken with 3 dipping sauces. And shrimp. And scallops wrapped in bacon! That's right! I SAID BACON. And homemade salsa and chips.

There was much prime rib had by Dan. Much.

Someone enjoyed his ham, mashed potatoes and homemade mac & cheese a whole LOT. Had fun with his Auntie too.

And his Papa.

This morning was spent discovering the Little People A-Z Zoo!! 26 individual animals! And a zookeeper with a little car! And things that make animal noises! The hippo was immediately thrown on sight. Not sure what THAT was about. And Mama did not always put the right animal in the right place which caused more animals to be thrown. Mama! Eh! But all in all we had fun!! And I learned that there was an animal called a Urial! I missed the Urial chapter in life science.

And Liam pooped. Finally. I guess his Christmas didn't include much fiber.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to all my family and friends!!

And tell me, did Santa wrap your gifts - now or back then??

Happy Anniversary M & D!

Mum and Dad,

Happy 35 years of marriage.

And they said it wouldn't last???

Much love to you both!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Quarterly Report: 15 months for Liam

So here we are... nestling in to the next quarter of Liam's life and I haven't even done the good mum deed of documenting any of his milestones and achievements for the past quarter. The quarter in which Liam has exploded as a little person.

He was out of the gates at his one year birthday in September by upping his communication attempts. I had been signing to Liam for about 6-7 months when he finally started signing back. First with "more." Then "milk." Then "eat," "drink," and "hat." Now he also signs "sleep" when he is tired, and "more sleep" when he wants another nap. He signs "apple" and "all done." He knows to run away when I sign for a diaper "change" but attempts the sign himself. Yes, thank you we will accept the Book Award now, in advance. He blew my doors off tonight when I realized he had signed for "help." He will try to learn any sign, it's just a matter of making it practical for him. He knows the sign for "snow" - but it's easier for him to understand when it is actually snowing.

Liam's verbals are improving. He can chant "Mama" or "Mummy" minutely and cheerfully shrieks "Dada! Dada! Dada!" when he hears Daddy opening the door when he's home from work. He was saying "Dah-DEE" for a while but has gone back to "Dada." He says "Day-ZEE" (Daisy) And what sounds like "Gih-gee" for Lily. He used to say "Duggie" (doggie) a lot but doesn't as much anymore. He has been able to say Nana, Papa and tries to say Nonni. Grampy is a hard one. Working on it! Liam yells for "geeez" (cheese), "ah-bees" (apples) and "guh-gahs" (cookies/crackers) from his high chair. He says "ah dah" (all done) and "dahn" (down) to get out of his high chair. He likes "bee-uhs" bears - and perfect Bostonian pronunciation of such) and "puh-peee" (puppy). He points to his rocking chair and says "rah, rah, rah" (rock). Both his binky and blanket go by "bobby," cause that's how we roll in the O'Neill house. We read a "buh" (book) before bed and say "nigh nigh" (night-night) light. He waves "buh-buh" (bye-bye) and is starting to do it sooner than 5 minutes after someone leaves.

The feet were finally made for walking in late October as you can see here. He hasn't stopped for much since. Things at his eye level are SO MUCH more interesting as is carrying something while walking. He falls less and less and can get quite a bit of speed up when he is motivated, by say... and open door to the great outdoors.

One of my favorite developments has been Liam's increasing ability to play and to show affection. When I provide him with a snack he finds particularly tasty, he will first stand before the snack, waving his arms up and down and smiling. After having a bit, he will come to me and pat me and lay his head against me. Can you EVEN STAND IT?! We ask for kisses and get them.

We get hugs. He likes to hug his pugs... but only one of them will sit for it - of course - Lily.

He has just started trying to play with the dogs. When they tussle playfully, he makes noise and throws himself at them. Daisy runs away, but Lily will start with the licking. As he tucks his head under him, she sneaks under and licks his nose, cheeks and ears. He laughs and waves his arms at her. And...Ultimately he OPENS HIS MOUTH and lets her have at it. YES, I INTERVENE. It's gross! But he doesn't mind - I wonder if he is try to lick her back. Brrrghlsh. Gross.

Liam bounces his bum up and down to dance when he hears music - it's a riot because it's how his dad dances. He can throw the ball as well as a great many of his toys. We are working on that.

Liam likes to put stuff into containers. He likes to carry bags around - any kinds. But especially my small black Coach bag. He gets fascinated with things and must carry them with him, sometimes all day. A pocket pack of Kleenex. His sock. His shoe. His pants. My deodorant. a water bottle. Diapers. He LOVES to carry around an unused clean diaper. He knows where they are in the diaper bag or caddy and when I take one away, he gets another one.

Liam likes to shake bells and rattles if they make a big noise. He likes to hit the table with his palm and to clap his hands. He can do the Itsy Bitsy Spider song. People! He was a BLOB a year ago today. Now he does Itsy Bitsy Spider. Is he not amazing? He is starting to experiment with his shape sorters and nesting toys. I'll see him, at the end of breakfast, put his sippy into his dry cereal bowl.

Major stranger anxiety going on over here. Mostly with men. It seems to be the trend with his friends also so we will just go with it and hope for the best for the holidays.

Funny bunny. You are the best kid EVER. You are turning into a REAL BOY by the day. People are starting to notice. And you are doing boyish things.

When I ask you to point to your cousin, Andy, in a picture, you do. Your Uncle Ryan? Yes that's him. And in this book - that's a circle. That's a square. That's my nose and here is my belly button. My sock goes on my foot and this here is my leg. Can I help you get that shirt on me, Mama? See me stick my arm through by myself? I like to have you put one mitten on me and I will walk around with it for a while. Ok, how does this shoe tying work? Can I help?

Two words - SLOW DOWN!

Oh buddy it's great to have a little person in the house with me, but do you have to be so UP IN MY GRILL? I mean yes I have to go to the bathroom, but do we have to all of us -you, me, Daisy and Lily have to be in there together? And that pushing thing you do to me when I'm cutting your food. NOT my favorite. I know you're hungry - it's coming. What's that? Oh - my lunch looks good too. Great. I didn't want to eat anyway.

My favorite thing now that you is to show me the love. You hold me back when I carry you. When you get a little nervous, you grip onto my arm. When you want some affection you put yourself in my lap. You lay back and your soft hair hits my cheek and feels better than any cashmere sweater. When you lean forward with your lips slightly sticking out for a kiss - I want to grab you and put you in my pocket forever!

So as we toddled down the hall today to Gymboree class, with you holding on to my hand, all I thought of was how much more fun is to come!

Love, Mama

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

O' Christmas Tree

This one. This is the one I choose for the toilet bowl. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 19, 2005

Season's Greetings

The above is our 2005 holiday card. I will probably get sued by the photographer for posting it but, hey, not like I'm getting crazy web traffic so I'll chance it.

I'm working on part 2 of my work project. It involves diving headfirst into Microsoft Word and manipulating various integrated templates which is enough to make one's eyes cross. I'd get into what specifically is involved but I don't want to pass out while at the keyboard.

Still astonished daily by a boy who is turning into more of a Real Boy every day. I owe the blog a Quarterly Report as Liam recently turned 15 mos. Perhaps later this week.

I am looking forward to the holidays as Dan's company generously closes it's doors for the week between Christmas and New Year's. We will get some nice family time together.

I spent much of the second half of last week fending off another nasty bug. Pretty much the same as the last one and luckily I had leftovers of the cough medicine with codeine to help out. One night Dan got the pleasure of listening to me cough for one solid hour when we lay down to sleep. And he stayed. Could this be love?

Peace out. I'll be back.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Door Bells and Sleigh Bells and Schnitzel with Noodles

On one of my favorite blogs, Friday Playdate, Susan had a great idea. And she invited readers post a list of their favorite things. Very Oprah... except you don't actually have to give the shit away. So please, if you hosted your very own 'My Favorite Things' show - what would you list?? I'm going to list some of mine, and stealing from Susan once again, I'm going to categorize them.


Cashmere. I can almost hear my mum saying something about getting it dry cleaned... but EVERYONE should own a cashmere sweater. Wrapping-up-in-soft-cozy-warmth. The stores all have cashmere this year, even Target. The only cashmere sweater I own was given to me by my brother-in-law when he worked for The Limited. It was completely unexpected. It's a zip-up hoodie and I love it.

GAP low rise bootcut jeans. I love Gap clothes. And I love their jeans because they have an ankle length which fits my short legs perfectly. There is nothing worse than finding jeans that fit but are wayyyyy too long for a 5'2"-er like me. GAP jeans aren't cheap so that's why I consider them an indulgence.

Coach bags. I've always been drawn to label bags but Coach is one of my fav's that is an indulgence but not a scary indulgence that would feed my guilt for years.

Pedicures. Take care of your feet people!

Concerts. See your favorite band or musician live. Your body will hum.

Professional photography. The best money I've spent has been on going to a professional children's photographer who formed a relationship with Liam and took the most engaging photos of him. Wait til you see my Christmas card! I cherish photos and I will consider these photos an investment in comfort for when he's an angst-ridden teenager who curls his lip at me.

Things I Can Afford

Lands End All Weather Mocs. I live in these shoes from November-March. Best part is they are super easy to slip on and off so I can drop them at the door and easily slip them back on when needed. I have them in brown, red and black. digital prints. You can upload your snaps and pic them up in the store. You can get 4x6s for just 12 cents each. The quality is above average. Makes it worth entering the store.

GAP Outlet. We have one at an outlet mall. I always get amazing deals. They also have GAP children's, babies' and maternity outlets.

DVR - One of the best gifts Dan ever gave me was signing us up for our cable company's DVR. Pausing live TV! Recording shows without a VCR! Rewinding for all the "Did you just see/hear that?" moments my husband and I share. I heart our DVR.

For Toddlers

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Home. we got this for Liam for his birthday this past July and he STILL plays with it. Door to open, lights to turn off and on, music, mailbox, window shade! hooray!

Stride Rite shoes for boys with EXTRA WIDE feet. I have come to discover that I will be paying through the nose for shoes because of my son's size. Those cute shoes you see in Kohl's and Target... yeah - not so much.

The Children's Place. I've found the best deals for well-made kids clothes here. And great sales. Also, when you sign up for their mailing list you get reusable discount passes for 15-30% off. They also have EQUAL amounts of boys and girls clothes (take note Gymboree and BabyGAP).

For my Bellllllllay

Lasagna. I can't make it well but I LOVE to eat it. My favorites are my mother-in-laws and my cousin Donna's. Love ricotta and meat in it. YUM YUM

Penne Rustica from Macaroni Grill. Perfect blend of chicken, penne, creamy zesty sauce and baked so it has a crunchy coating. The could throw a few more shrimp in there to make me happy - 3 pieces of shrimp is just a tease.

Entenmann's Coconut Macaroons. Like a box of Mounds bars. Real. Good. Stuff.

Ferrero Rocher. The hazelnutty goodness with melty chocolate middles. I keep buying them to give as gifts and they keep disappearing. It's not just me... I'm just saying!

Can't Wrap These Ones

Puppy smell

Feeling Liam press himself against me

Newborn baby clothes

The middle of a good book

Chatting with good friends

My family, I'm lucky to say

A nice glass of pinot grigio

Reaching out my foot to touch Dan's leg in the middle of the night

Christmas Eve in my house

Seeing Daisy and Lily tussle playfully

Chubby smiley babies

Waking up in the morning knowing I get another day with Liam

Monday, December 12, 2005

Liam meets snow: A short story

This is my way of apologizing for being trapped inside an endless PowerPoint presetation and being unable to update my blog sufficiently.

Saturday we dug out from the 15" of snow we got and brought Liam outside after wrestling him into a pair of boots. I have two black eyes from punching myself in the face when pulling boots on him but HEY he didn't get hurt!

First he walked around like he owned the joint.

Then he walked some more. And he saw a clean nice flat shelf of snow. He decided to take a closer look.

A closer look? ...or is that FALLING! Snow too soft!

And a face angel is made (rest assured Daddy was right beside him).

Oh no. Not such a happy moment in the snow. Lily looks on at Liam like he is a big powdered donut.

But things were soon ok and there was much [more] to learn about snow.

Daisy and Lily go crazy chasing Daddy's snowballs.

Snow tastes cold.

It's fun to play with Dada outside.

Snow is fun. Liam didn't want to go inside. And when we did.... he cried really hard.

The end.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

In and Out of Love (or Lay Your Hands On Me [please?])

Before I start - the parents and the inlaws may want to skip this entry. Lots of inappropriate comments from married mother of 1)

Last night I was blissed out. BLISSED OUT PEOPLE! And very little alcohol was involved.

Last night I saw one of the few men in my life that I have known since what I figure MUST be about 1985. My brother Gerry pretty much handed him over to me because once I looked at the cover of the 7800 Fahreheit album I was done.

Our love affair, Jon's and mine, has run hot and cold over the years. However when we see each other - it's magic baby. Puuuuuuuuuuuuuuure magic.

Last night no different. The seats Karen and I scored - which in turn were my husband's handiwork - were REAL good. This picture above does not do it justice. Like... I could see the sweat, ladies. Lovely yummy Bon Jovi sweat.

My true love really bloomed in the late 80s... when of course ALL the girls discovered him as well... but I knew he only had songs for me. After all, I spent lots of time staring out my window in my room. daydreaming, listening to them over and over and over. Wondering when he'd show up to spring me from this joint. My brother took me to see him in concert twice that year - in the winter and in the summer. Every song he sang was directed to me and I was sure he spotted me over and over again out of the 40 billion people in the audience.

I had a black nylon flag with his face silkscreened on it in white hanging above my bed on my ceiling. Posters covered my walls. My jean jacket flaired with pins. MY notebooks were covered with the words "BON JOVI" and all kinds of cursive and arty lettering.

Last night I KNEW he saw me and smiled, "There she is again," Jon thinks. "My girl." So he's married and has four kids?!? Yeah so? We had to go on with our lives because our schedules just never matched up. But we'll always have "Always."

At one point int the concert. Jon appeared, I kid you NOT - 6 DEGREES OF BODIES SEPARATING US. They had a platform set up at the end of the row behind us. He popped up there and sang "Blaze of Glory" and of course "Always," ... for me. I SAW CHEST HAIR he was so close. CHEST HAIR. JON BON JOVI CHEST HAIR. AND THE SWEAT, OH MY GOD THE LICKABLE SWEAT. So in between screaming like a school girl, I tried to take pictures with my camera phone and I was a little shaky as you can see.

So, for all these photos show, it could be ANYONE standing there. But trust me. It was him. Jon. Bon. Jovi. MEEEE-OWWWW.

We were sitting next to several older couples, and by older I just mean older than me which is AWESOME - they were probably in their 40s. But lately when I go to concerts I feel ancient so it was great to see so many older people. Anyway, they let me and my friend Karen scoot down past them to get closer to Jon and I about LOST my every loving mind. I couldn't hardly work the camera.

Today it seems like a dream. A lovely PHENOMENAL dream in which I have them man with the best teeth outta New Jersey singing "I'd Die for You." Over and over. And over.

I heart Jon. True love 4-eva.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Feeling like a Monday but Someday I'll be Saturday Night

So yeah. Here I am typing away. Working. Worky work work. This stuff isn't happening people! It's not fun. Did I think technical documentation was fun? Hm. Maybe I was drunk. Wait a minute! My boss took me out twice and cockails were encouraged. DAMN IT. She got me.

My work brings to mind a song with the line, "My life's a bargain basement; all the good shit's gone." I just can't conjure any excitement here. Even the money... blaaaaah.

But in a more interesting light, it looks as though we are expecting a snow dump here in Massachusetts tomorrow. SNOW DAY! Liam has not had much exposure to the white stuff and I'm looking forward to wrestling him into a pair of snow boots, bundling him up so his arms stick straight out and all you can see is his eyes and nose. Oh and then we'll go outside.

Any bets as to how long the mittens last? How about total time spent outside before he cries?

Sadly, it appears that the weather will put a damper on the holiday razzle dazzle that is Dan's holiday party. Unfortunately that means I have to forgo the beef tenderloin and open bar. On the plus side once Liam is in bed, I can go straight to my work, just like the right jolly old elf and the stockings,* and wrap up these PowerPoint slides I'm creating for a web class. Speaking of dazzle - I'm dazzling you with my work talk, aren't I? Aren't I!? Yeah well I'm not done yet. Wait til I start working with some templated Word files that are about as easy to manage as getting Liam's extra wide foot into his regular sized snow boot. He likes them! Really! They light up when he walks. Until he falls over from lack of circulation. Like an impression of my mother-in-law's cairn terrier, Brandy, who keels over when her paws get too cold.

Ah thank God the snow will be cleared before Saturday. When I go to that place and do that thing. Rock on! Oops.

*Now that I think of it, minus the stump of the pipe in my teeth - not a smoker. And as far as the round little belly and shaking like jelly... weeeeeell, let's just leave that one alone, shall we? Yes, we shall.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Price of Love

Attending your spouse's holiday office party.

That's right, Friday night is the holiday dinner party for Dan's company. So I will spend the night being uncomfortable in my new shoes, drinking two much wine before the meal is served, and smiling uncontrollably and getting increasingly flushed in the face due to beforementioned wine drinking.

On top of that, we are expecting a snow storm Friday. Which means no party which will negate my one opportunity to dress like a woman this year. No I know. I dress like a woman in my favorite jeans and t's. But people I got a new outfit for this affair. I spent some money at 8am on Saturday at Macy's "Please, Dear God Come and Spend Money at our Customer Appreciation Employee's Discount and a Free Bag of Chips Sale." Because who doesn't love chips? I was gonna be looking goooooooooooood. But not too good. We don't need the Partner's wives thinking the Senior Network Analyst is making too much money.

You know, the wives! Most of whom have been beyond generous when Liam was born, sending gifts and cards. Wonderful people. Really! Being honest here!

But then there are the wives, who, when Dan travels to their oppulent estates to figure out what is wrong with their husband's wireless connections (yes there is a joke in there somewhere), he finds them getting manicures from the housekeeper/massage therapist/beautician. Yeah the ones who will greet me cautiously before dismissing me with The Up-and-Down.

I didn't go to the holiday dinner last year as I was home with a 4 month old and leaky boobs that could not be contained by any sort of pretty girly outfit. Seriously I would have needed something in the Delta Burke Special Occasions line with those puppies knocking around. Plus I couldn't self-medicate with wine while breastfeeding, so really... what would be the point? The year before that Dan worked at a different company. So we were at their party at another posh place that had me shifting weight from one sore pinched toe to the other and smiling widely as I downed another glass of pinot grigio. "What? My cheeks are pink? HEEHEE."

So we will do the cliche things like, "sit tight," "keep an eye on the weather," and "wait and see." Darn I'd hate to miss it! It is going to be at a lovely place like this.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Or should it be "Run away! Run away! Fast as you can!"

That's right people I'm working outside the home while in my home. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Ok even then it didn't but please people, let me get on with it.** As I sit here surrounded with technical documentation, release notes and confidentiality agreements, I ask myself one question...

What the hell was I thinking?

Because this shit... it's not doing it for me.

Ah the things we will prostitute ourselves for to get a little money. Hopefully I won't go all George Bailey by Christmas. Or is it Heidi Fleiss?

So while I sit here without a caffe mocha (or as they say at Starbucks - a mocha, no whip), I am up WAY past my bedtime. Listening to Liam talk on his monitor. The poor kid has been awake for about a half hour and God bless him he hasn't done much more than moan and make little noises. I can tell he's awake and having a hard time getting himself back down. Not sure why it's tonight that he is awake. Maybe he senses my frustration with my work or perhaps he can hear me loudly exclaiming, "What client wanted THAT enhancement?" and "This product has gone to shit [since I left]."

Since I started my paragraph above he has quieted a bit more.*** I can picture him doing as he often does to comfort himself to sleep. It involves laying on his belly, tucking his knees underneath him, head down against the mattress, and gently rocking while doing soft "uhhh" noises. Oddly, after creating 3 pages of content, I feel like doing the same thing. But I might be muttering something more along the lines of "Dear God WHY?"

*Starting today, right now, my blog titles will be clues as to what TOTALLY WICKED AWESOME place/thing I'm going to Saturday night. Those of you that know me and already know what it is I'm so excited about are not allowed to guess. However you can still! please! comment as it feeds my ego which is so very fragile like glass.

**Look forward to more mindless posts from me as I seek to procrastinate this project even further! Joy!

***Hm not so asleep again. Pray for us all.

Happy Birthday, Mum.

And happy birthday to Nana from Liam.

We love you very much!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Photo Friday: What's In Right Now

Welcome to our quarterly issue of What's IN with Raising Liam.

Blankies and diapers. In.

A fine bolognese. Or Ragu. Very IN - can't keep it on the tray.

Traditional greetings. I mean how cool - it's like a little book you get in the mail.

Accessories that reflect your inner spirit. Or your good taste. In, baby.

Turkey legs. Even though they are also a little weird.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Whose Woods These Are I Think I Know

Can you find the neighbor in my back yard? Posted by Picasa