shave and a haircut… 2 bits

Liam’s hair has been getting quite long and unmanageable, and we’ve been trying every week to get him in for a haircut. Unlike the first time, when he was a little uneasy but sat placidly for the chop, now he’s TERRIFIED of the idea. When I try to put him down in the barber’s chair, he wraps his legs around my waist tight enough to cut me in half! So we took it upon ourselves to give him a cut at home. When I say we, I mean I decided that JESSE would cut his hair. My reasoning: 1) Jesse already cuts his own hair, and therefore has more experience than me; 2) Jesse is better at anything that requires neatness and a steady hand; and 3) I am better at distracting Liam.

So how’d it go? Mmmmm, not so great. Liam hates hates HATES having his head touched — washing his hair provokes a similar response, albeit of shorter duration. So he threw a fit and was incosolable — except when we offered him grapes. Still, it was not a happy experience for any of us. And Jesse hates hates HATES being the bad guy and being associated with something Liam doesn’t like. I’m rather used to that response from him, as I’m the one that usually washes his hair, cleans him up, cuts his nails, etc. The experience shook J up a bit, as he’s not normally around to witness the evil that resides within. Still, it’s done and he’s forgiven us, and I think he looks pretty good. Don’t you.

Luckily, it’s short enough we won’t have to put any of us through that any time soon. But don’t you think it makes him look like a kid instead of a toddler?

more words, but apparently not enough

16. flash — this is actually a word Liam’s had in his vocabulary for months now. It usually refers to flashing lights, but in a pinch it will do for any light.
17. meow and
18. roar — we’ve decided that these definitely are words, not mere sounds. So there.

20 March
19. food — self-explanatory.
20. poop — ditto.

21 March
21. wow — as in WOW, that’s a big tractor.

So whereas we’re quite happy with Liam’s speech progress, we had his two-year appointment today, and the developmental paper-pushers are not. The words “speech therapy” and “developmental delay” came up, which pisses both of us off. Liam is so far off their scales (the high end, that is) when it comes to most developmental issues as to be ludicrous. And as neither of us puts much stock in standardized tests, good or bad, we’ve decided to brush off their advice and politely refuse to participate in this “program” in the future. We’re very attentive parents, we’re well aware of where he falls on so-called developmental scales, and if we ever think there’s a problem we’ll address it. And in a couple years, I’ll watch my kid kick her kid’s verbal backside.

Life is Berry, Berry Good

Today Laim and I made muffins, using a slightly tweaked version of Alton Brown’s Blueberry Muffin recipe. Alton Brown is one of our favorite chefs from the Food Network. Here is Liam’s take on this classic. To avoid any hassles about copyright infringement (and to save my very valuable time), Chef Liam refers you to the original recipe cited above. We made a few very small changes.

Here Liam can be seen carefully measuring the dry ingredients. The original recipe called for cake flour; we had none, so we opted for bread flour. Flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt were all very carefully measured out by Liam. Note the awesome Tanita kitchen scale. No kitchen is complete without one. Liam especially loves pushing the buttons — which cancels out the info I already had there, in effect “pushing my buttons” as well.

The wet ingredients — sugar, oil, egg, and a cup of plain yogurt are mixed separately. I think the yogurt is really key to this recipe, resulting in a creamy-textured muffin. Liam didn’t mind, as long as we didn’t steal his last banana-flavored yogurt. We used Splenda instead of sugar, another minor deviation from the Great AB’s recipe.

Dry and wet ingredients are combined. Liam, as you can see, is a very meticulous mixer.

Now to add the berries. Although the original recipe called for blueberries, we opted to use some blackberries we had picked late last summer instead. Here Liam tests one of the berries. Frozen, and a little tart, but oh so good.

Here he tests another.

Somewhere along the line the lead chef gets sidetracked. Liam decided I could handle it from here on out, so we thawed a handful of berries and he hunkered down to enjoy.

Spoon into a muffin tin, and twenty minutes later, voila!

Despite being ready to turn in after a long day of keeping me on my toes, Liam is willing to taste the finished product, just to be certain it’s up to his usual standards. He ate two, so I guess I did ok.

words, words, words

We are have a speech explosion in our house all of a sudden. Liam has delighted us with his ability to pick up signs and communicate with us, but he’s been pretty stubborn about actually speaking. Just this week, however, he’s decided to wow us with his progress. We are going to keep an ongoing list chronicling his verbal exploits, starting here:

November-ish
1. Dada – has now moved on to Daddy.
2. Love la – I love you.

December-January-ish
3. Fazher – father — sure why not, ’cause you need 101 ways to address your dad before you ever bother to say…
4. Mama.

February-ish
5. Nanana – banana.

Friday
6. Tool – step-stool.
8. Too-too – choo-choo train.
9. Digdig– digger.
10. Boo – boots.

Saturday
11. Mo – more.
12. Sheeeeeeeeej – cheese.
13. Foooooot – food.
14. HAAAAAAAAY – hay.

Sunday
15. Bububul – bubbles.

…and counting. He also has an impressive array of animal sounds. A cat is a very realistic mrrroooww. A lion is a roar; a cow is a moo. His favorite monkey eee-cheee-cheee. And you should hear him whinnie like a horse!

Here are a couple pics of the lad enjoying an almost spring-like day in his new ohmygodit’satractorshirti’llnevertakeitoffneverneverneveryou’llhavetopryitoffmycolddeadbody sweatshirt.

news

Last Sunday Liam and I went to the Bouglione circus that came to town. Liam had a wonderful time!! He was a little scared when they kept turning off the lights between shows, and was completely uninterested in the jaguars and panthers et al. But the nearly-naked chick wearing a thong spinning on a rope right over our heads — now THAT he loved! No pics from that event, but he had a great time. We were in the very front row, right next to the caged alley they sent the animals up and into the ring. That freaked me out a little bit. Liam? Nope. He was too busy making friends with the little boy next to us. They kissed. And patted each other on the head. Too cute.

But now, sadly, my little man does not have such a sweet dispostion. He woke up yesterday evening with a fever and has been uncomfortable ever since. No 106.1 degree fevers this time, thank God. He’s running around 100.5, and is stuffed up and just generally feeling blah. He spent the better part of the day lying on either J’s or my chest. I’ve now watched Madagascar over 100 times, I swear. I’ve started running the subtitles in French, just to expand my knowledge. Here’s a pic of the poor lad. We’re hoping that he’s back to his bright and chipper self in the morning.

Happy Birthday, Liam!

Although Liam’s been acting like a precocious toddler for some time now, he only officially entered the “terrific twos” on Monday. We had a small celebration for him over the weekend, and invited friends over to help make the day a little more special than just another day at home with mom and dad. He loved the attention, and the presents, and company,, and the pizza and cake! Here are a few shots from the day. For all the pics (other than those in which I look like an idiot) click here.

When Liam went down for his afternoon nap, I set up his new train set. It was a wonderful surprise when he came down and saw it. He had a great time pushing the trains around the track and rearranging the cars/trees/houses/tracks. The “LIAM” train is a long ago present from Gramma M, and I was delighted to find that the wheelbase fit this train set.

Our mantle was full of gifts for Liam. Not exorbitant by most people’s standards, but still enough booty to make any child’s eyes shine. The pink-wrapped present was for Joanna, the little girl that came over for the afternoon. I had hoped that having a small gift for her might keep her from unwrapping Liam’s presents. But… nah.

See how well I wrap?!?! That’s a paper grocery bag, people. But, heck, he doesn’t care, and how else are you supposed to wrap a giant Little Tikes truck??

Ahhh, the favorite present of the day. If I’d known what was in this one I would have saved it for last. As it is, I had to take the tractor away from him just to get him to open the rest of his gifts!

By now, Liam’s really got the hang of unwrapping his presents. See the speed with which he tosses away the fancy curly ribbon? Of course, after all the presents were unwrapped, he and Joanna bickered about who got to play with which ribbon.

We finished the party with pizza and carrot cake. He really enjoyed blowing out his candles and being sung to. Methinks Liam likes being King for a Day!