Come, Mommy

Monday, February 27, 2006

Oh, Happy Day!

Or ten days, actually. Gran-Gran came back up from Florida for a ten-day visit, and Liam is the happiest I've seen him in months. He hasn't seen her since mid-November, and he's missed her something fierce.

I just love it when Liam is so happy he oozes joy, and that's the effect she has on him. When she's here, it's all about Gran-Gran, and when she leaves for the evening, it's all about figuring out what toys to show her the next day. "Gran-Gran might see dump truck!" or "Gran-Gran might play wif pony." Meaning, of course, Gran-Gran will play with the dump truck and the pony. Also meaning, Mommy gets a bit of a break, as well as the chance to visit with Gran-Gran herself.

Thank you, Gran-Gran, from both of us. Actually, thank you from all three of us, since having you back means Kevin and I get a date night this week. You have no idea how much you were missed.

Friday, February 24, 2006

L is for Logic

Although neither Kevin nor I have spent much time teaching Liam his alphabet beyond what he picks up when we read to him, it has recently become apparent to me that he knows his letters, and he knows the sounds associated with some of them. At any rate, he was wandering around the living room studying an alphabet block the other day:

Liam: "L is for lion!"

Me: "That's true."

Liam: "L is for lollipop!"

Me: "Yup."

Liam: "L is for Liam!"

Me (now paying attention): "Yes, it is...hey, how'd you know that??"

Liam (triumphantly): "L is for ELEPHANT!"

Me: "Yes it is! Wait, no it's not. Well, um, it sounds like it should be, doesn't it?"

I guess this serves as Liam's first lesson in the illogical make-up of the English language. Now, if I could just explain that the plural of "foot" is not "foots."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


And now for Breaking News from the Misery Loves Company Department:

Liam has a cold. Again. I have a cold. Again. Also! There is talk of another big snowstorm for the Northeast next weekend.

Really, being how it's still mid-February and all, I have no right to ask the following question:

When is Spring coming?

Nonetheless, if someone could tell me with confidence that the answer to this question is "tomorrow", or even "next week," I would be one happy camper. Anyone?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Yes, We Are Clearly Rushing the Season

Gentlemen, start your (lawnmower) engines!


I'd bet that most of you who visit this blog also know of Moreena and her family through Moreena's wonderful writing at Falling Down Is Also A Gift. I've been reading Moreena's blog for a while now, and her writing and her family's story have both touched my heart. For those of you who don't know the story, here's the immediate issue.

Moreena's eldest daughter, Annika, has had two liver transplants in her five years of life. She's been ill again the past few months, and may need another transplant again soon. As if this weren't enough to deal with, it seems Annika's insurance, through some bizarre accounting system known only to insurance companies, has been used up for the rest of 2006. So she needs help, and soon.

There has been an account set up for Annika with the Children's Organ Transplant Association. There is also a raffle with some great items up as prizes, and some other very clever fund-raising ideas. You can see these fundraisers here.

Please help in any way you can.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Meet Mr. NO

I spent yesterday wondering what happened to my sweet, mild-mannered little boy. The day was a constant stream of "NO"'s. Occasionally there was a "'Cooter Pie say NO!!!" thrown in just for variety. We have a teenage neighbor who sometimes comes over to bail me out for a couple of hours in the late afternoon. Liam was having nothing to do with her, either. He wanted Mommy right beside him, doing exactly his bidding.

I should have known something was brewing in the illness department. He woke me up this morning by annoouncing, "Mommy, change diaper. In bed. Baby not leave bed." It seems we've got a tummy bug here. And I was busy being all happy because we've made it a week or so without anyone being sick. On the bright side, at least it's a change from runny noses and coughing.

I feel so bad for the kid, though. After something like six diaper changes already today, he's walking kind of funny. And even though he's napping right now, every so often he flinches, rubs his tummy, and lets out a little yelp. Oh, Liam, I'd fix your tummy right now if I could. I sure hope this bug is short-lived.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Adorable Words

And now for Breaking News from the Cute Things Kids Say Department:

I was drying my hair this morning when Liam came peeling around the corner into the bathroom. He was in obvious terror. The fact that he hates the blowdryer, but chose to run towards it while it was actually on led me to suspect Something Serious Was Up.

Liam: "Come, Mommy! 'Cooter 'cared! Baby 'cared! Mommy does need to pick up Baby!"

Me (following Liam towards the bedroom window): "What's bothering you? Can you show me what scared you?"

As I got on my knees to see what he was looking at, Liam pointed out the window at the gutters.

Liam: "Baby does see 'piky things! 'Piky things dripping! 'Piky drippy things 'carey!"

Yup. Liam found himself some icicles.

Me: "Those are icicles, sweetie. When the snow melts it makes icicles. Then the icicles melt and drip. They won't hurt you."

Liam: "Drippy 'piky things not 'carey?? Okey-dokey."

Pause for deep contemplation of Spiky Things...

"Come, Mommy. Those thing not Baby call them 'pike? 'Pikesicks? Spike..sils...Baby call them Ssssspikesicles!"

Somehow the term "spikecicle" seems much more accurate to me. I may have to start using it myself.

Snow Day?

Yup. It is Liam's first official School Snow Day. The only problem is he's too young to understand that lots of kids are actually happy about snow days...

This morning's conversation:

Liam: "Baby have waffles and then go 'chool!"

Me: "Waffles we can do. But there's no school today. Mrs. A. said it's closed because of all the snow."

Liam (confused look on face): "Mommy's car fixed now! Tow truck made Mommy's car feel all better! Baby go 'chool. NOW!"

Fortunately, what Liam lacks in understanding he makes up for in creativity. Last I saw, he had all his Disney figures lined up for "circle time." And he was entertaining them with a rousing rendition of "Eensy-Weensy Spider."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

So much for the early spring

So much for the predicted 8-12 inches of snow. Try 18 inches. At least. Some scenes from the blizzard of '06 (all quotes directly from Scooter Pie himself):

"Mommy! 'Now. The weather is 'now!"

"Come, Mommy! It 'nowed in back, too!"

"No funky 'nowpants! No!"

Shortly after getting all geared up for fun in the snow, the snowpants and boots proved to be too much for Liam. He tripped and fell headfirst into the doorframe. Hard. All plans for outdoor fun were abandoned at that point. We decided to bake bread instead.

"Bread is good. Bread dough? No! Yucky! Baby's head has boo-boo. Come, Mommy. Mommy must kiss boo-boo. Now."

Note the doorframe-shaped cuts and the bruise on the poor kid's forehead.

What to do while the bread's in the oven?

"Watch traffic wif Casey! Casey help Scooter Pie eat cookies!"

And after the bread is baked?

"Wash dishes wif 'pray thing. In sink. No! No wawa in eyes! Need funky glasses!"

Liam is clearly the son of chemists. Who else would demand eye protection while washing dishes? He must have read the MSDS for water. Especially the part where it says to seek medical aid if eye contact occurs.

And the question on everyone's mind tonight? We're wondering if tomorrow will be Liam's first ever school snow day.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Trip to The Pet Expo


Elvis the Pony!

Baby Must Touch 'Paca!

What's Up with that Crazy Kid???

Being the animal lovers we are, all three of us took a trip to the Pet Expo today. We managed to beat the blizzard and have some fun. No ferrets this year, but lots of other new friends to meet! Liam had his first pony ride (on Elvis, no less!) He petted some lonely-looking chickens - a few people were afraid of them due to Bird Flu concerns. Either I'm too relaxed, or I don't watch the news enough, but the birds were happy to be petted. The big winner in Liam's book was the alpaca. Liam was impressed enough to kiss him. The alpaca, not so much.

And now it's snowing to beat the band, so we may be stuck at home until Monday sometime...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Early Spring?

I'm seeing sure signs of spring around here. And way early, too.

1. Our daffodils have four-five inch sprouts coming out of the ground.

2. The crabapples are in bud.

3. The magnolia's got buds.

4. The maples? Same thing.

5. There was a robin in our yard this morning.

6. The Weather Channel says, what? Winter Storm Warning? Eight to twelve inches of snowfall, tomorrow?

I knew Signs 1-5 were way too good to be true.

Baby's Name Is?

Liam, like most kids, has picked up a collection of nicknames in his two years of life. I call him "Baby Boy" or "Tiger" or "Sweetie Pie" or "Kiddo". Since he began speaking, Liam has referred to himself as "Baby", and very occasionally, "Weem."

Then, a few weeks ago, he was marching down the stairs and yelling "BOOM!" on every step. He became known as "Boomer" for a short while.

But, as of yesterday, he has yet another name. He was scooting across the floor on his backside, so I addressed him as "Scooter."

Liam: "Baby not 'Cooter."

Me: "Hhhmmm. Then are you, maybe, Boomer?"

Liam: "No. Baby's not Boomer."

Me: "Oh. I know, your name is, um, CASEY!!!"

Liam: "Nope. Casey is big black crazy dog. On sofa."

Me (noting muddy pawprints on sofa): "Yup. That's him. So, what's your name, kiddo?"

Liam: "Come, Mommy! Baby does have new name! Baby not Boomer! Baby not 'Cooter! Baby call self new name...Baby's name is 'Cooter, um, puh, um, 'Cooter Pie! Baby call self 'Cooter Pie!"

So Liam is now officially Scooter Pie. I can't figure out where he came up with this name. Maybe he hybridized "Scooter" and "Sweetie Pie?" However he did it, I'm pretty sure he's never seen one of these.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Cranky Monday

I pride myself on being the flexible mommy. I plan a rough schedule of things we need to do each day, and if we get a couple of those things done, it's a good day. That said, when all heck breaks loose, Flexible Mommy gets a wee bit, shall we say, cranky. Today was one of those days.

On Mondays Liam and I got to the Parent-Child class at his school. Despite my earlier trepidations, the last couple of classes have been relaxing for both of us, and have confirmed in my heart that the Waldorf ideal of "let the children play" is a parental value of great importance to me. So, I was looking forward to school this morning.

So was Liam. When he woke up, we cuddled together in bed for a bit talking about what would happen if Casey came to school with us. "Casey might lick Z! Casey might lick Mrs. A.! Casey might bark. LOTS!!" chirped Liam. (I conveniently neglected to mention that Mrs. A. is, ummm, not so fond of dogs.) So we had breakfast, got dressed, and into the car, only a few minutes late, with great expectations of fun times to be had at school.

One block down from our house, the car had something to say, basically along the lines of, "Shudder, shudder, shut down. Blink engine failure light, Sppllllltttt." So sayeth the Saturn. I managed to get the car started again, got to our driveway, where the car recognized home base, promptly died, and refused to start. After a quick perusal of the owner's manual, it became obvious that professional help was needed. So I explained to Liam that we had a change in plans. "I know you wanted to go to school, Scooter, but the car is sick. How 'bout we stay home and, um, um, um?"

Dang those plans. Clearly the car needed to get to the garage, and clearly I needed to entertain a toddler on a cold, windy day. AHA! We will call AAA! They have tow trucks! Which come to the house! And Liam loves trucks! (Thank you, dear Kevin, for suggesting this when I interrupted your workday at 8:27 A.M. this morning. I love you! Have I told you this lately?)

I figured AAA would take an hour or so to arrive. They showed up in twenty minutes, which gave us enough time to remove Liam's car seat and various essential toys and blankies from the car. As predicted, the tow truck was a hit. Liam watched the tow guy move the car to the street, extend the flatbed, and drive the car onto the truck. And anchor the car with chains, and then lift the whole shebang into the truck. It was a highly entertaining half-hour or so. Liam was initially confused when the truck drove off with our car, but was happy to learn that the truck would take the car to a "car hospital." "Mommy, tow truck is amb'lance for cars??? Ooohh, Baby see flashy lights!!"

After that we killed some time by filling the bird feeders, throwing tennis balls for Casey, and cleaning the ferrets' condo. Well, truly, I cleaned, Liam played with the ferrets. And by then, blessedly, it was time for lunch and a nap. But I still had this cranky feeling because My Plans Were Disrupted, and by the time Kevin got home, I had to escape to Walgreen's to buy toilet paper. It was an emergency! Really! Mommy needed some space!

So, altogether, it was not a bad day. A little cranky on Mommy's part, but not bad. So, the car died. At least it died in our driveway. It could just as easily have died on Route 1. In rush hour.

So, Liam pointed out to the tow truck driver that his jeans had a hole. In a very embarassing place. And his hair was "funny." It turns out the tow truck driver is the father of a toddler, and therefore knew not to take these things personally.

So, as of 4:30 P.M., the car's diagnosis in indeterminate. The car is still under warranty, so things should work out in the end. And we're getting a rental car tomorrow, so we will not be housebound forever.

And, after four days of antibiotics, the ferrets are fine and dandy. The top picture features Mr. Jeremy and Miss Houdini, in all their feisty glory.

And the second photo, from today, a small milestone. "Baby peeled b'nana by SELF!

And looking back on today, maybe Mommy is not so cranky, after all.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Confessions of a Lousy Ferret Mommy

I love my ferrets. Very much. It's just that since Liam arrived, they don't get the attention from me that they used to. Pre-Liam, I was up on the newest ferret health issues, the pros and cons of various ferret diets, and was frequently on the hunt for new and different ferret toys and games. My ferrets still eat well, they have a whole room in which to run and play, I get them to the vet when they need to go, and I spend 30-60 minutes a day playing with them. It's just that Liam's needs come first these days. I know rationally that is the way it should be, but I still feel guilty that the ferrets take a back seat. Especially since this week I missed a problem that could have been very dangerous for the ferrets.

I was driving Stormy to the vet on Thursday for her monthly Lupron shot. Stormy, like many ferrets, has a benign adrenal tumor. For the last couple of years I have driven her to Philadelphia on a monthly basis to get her Lupron, and she has been doing splendiferously well. This time, halfway down I-295, Stormy started pooping. And pooping. Liquid. Stinky liquid. All over. I got her to the vet's office, and a quick look at some poop under the microscope told our vet that she had, essentially, food poisoning. It seems the last bag of ferret kibble I picked up was tainted, and now Stormy was pretty sick. Furthermore, the three ferrets at home were likely to be suffering themselves.

Fortunately, the organism causing all this poop is easily treated with amoxicillin. We gave Stormy her first dose at the office, and I picked up enough amoxi to treat all the woozles. But still, I felt bad. When I opened the bag of kibble, it smelled a bit different than previous bags, but as I was also making lunch for Liam at the same time, I didn't stop to think about it. The night before Stormy's vet visit, I noticed one of the litter boxes had some diarrhea in it. Again, I blew off a potential warning sign, thinking that Bobo, who's eating a lot of canned food due to his own medical problems, was just not tolerating his diet.

So now it's Saturday, and after a couple of rough days, everybody is healthy and happy again. We've got fresh food and amoxi all around, and after a morning of cage and litter box cleaning, there's not a trace of icky poop left. But still...if I was paying a bit more attention, maybe I would have tossed the food before I put it down for the ferrets. I might have called the vet earlier if I had paid attention to the litter boxes. If I still subscribed to all the ferret boards, I might have known of any recalls of ferret food. But I didn't do anything of the kind. And I could have lost one or more of my ferrets. Thanks goodness Stormy pooped when and where she did.

I know, rationally, that my ferrets are better cared for than are most ferrets. I know, rationally, that my son's needs have to come before those of the pets. But, still, this whole episode scared me, and I feel guilty.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Casey, the Big Black Mutt

This elegant photograph appears courtesy of Liam's Portrait Studio.