Christmas in June

This week was Christmas in June for Liam!! He received a package from each of his Grandma’s on the same day. Life just could not get any better.

Liam posing with a cheesy grin, showing off one of his new books and toy trucks from Grandma M.

Opening a package from Grandma B.

Surprise!!! Ahh, the old “toy tractor in the shoe” trick. He falls for it every time!

Mowing the lawn in his new digger jammies. Note the appearance of his cheesy grin. I should know by now not to ask him to smile!

Here’s our multi-talented boy again, modeling new fireman jammies (thanks Grandma!) while demonstrating proper toothbrushing technique. These jammies are a size 3T! My little boy is not so little anymore!

Liam takes on the Antwerp Zoo

About a week ago, Jesse and I got a new TomTom. It’s an in-car navigation system — it’s a map; it’s a navigator; it’s practically a tour guide. We decided to try it out by taking a trip into uncharted (for us) territory: the heart of the city of Antwerp, to their world famous zoo. Why, since the zoo is located right next to the train station, did we bother to drive at all, when Belgium’s vast and incredibly efficient train system would have gotten us to the zoo’s doorstep? If you must ask, you simply do not understand the lure of little techno-gadgets.

We were quite impressed with the quality of directions and ease of use. It navigated us without error through the city centre and dropped us exactly where we needed to be. When we were waylaid by construction, it quickly recalculated our route and had us back on track in seconds. If you have a spare chunk of change burning a hole in your pocket, you miight want to check it out.

As for the zoo trip itself, the day was great, albeit a little cold. We prepared for the 67 degree weather that was predicted. Unfortunately, it was rather cool and blustery the entire time. Double unfortunately, I did not have the foresight to stash a sweater or jacket in the car for Liam. We did, fortunately, have a small baby blanket in the car — hence Liam’s caped-crusader look in the following pics.

The zebras shun Liam for choosing plaid instead of stripes.

Liam really enjoyed seeing the giraffes. Really. He was way more excited than he looks in this picture. Attribute the long-suffering look to the cold, not to boredom.

Two mommas and their little ones.

Oh, deer. What a corny look, and what a corny tag line. This picture was taken where we stopped for lunch.

Liam poses with the flamingoes.

He also loved visiting the lions, the extermely hyperactive and acrobatic siamangs, and the playful seals. No pics of him with these animals, however, as we were equally enthralled!

It seems like suddenly there have been some big changes in Liam’s little life. A couple weeks ago, Jesse converted the crib into a toddler bed. Liam has come to quickly love the freedom, and his bed is one of his favorite places in the house… except at naptime. He’s now trying to find the magic number of times I can get out of bed before Mommy and Daddy get really annoyed. I think he might become quite disappointed when he learns what we really expect from him!

The words are coming fast and furious and I can no longer keep up with a running list. Suffice it to say he’s “broken the code.” His words might not necessarily be recognizable to everyone, but that’s just a matter of time.

It’s been so stinking hot here the last few days that we’ve had his paddling pool out. Liam’s been cooling off every evening by taking a splash.

These pics are from the first or second evening, when he was still a little leery. Note the firm grasp on mom’s hand.

A sappy look where he actually looks nothing like himself, but I thought it was cute.

This is the face we’re all accustomed to!

Relaxing the following evening outside with Daddy. It’s a pity this is so fuzzy, but I was shooting from inside our kitchen with the camera at full zoom. If I’d walked out, the “Kodak” moment would have passed.

In other news, Liam’s continuing to toilet train himself. It’s been probably a week since his last accident (without pants) and now he’s started asking to have his diaper taken off if we’re out and he needs to go. I think another week or so sans accidents and I may be ready to take him out in public without a diaper.

So, that’s all our news for now. Oh, yeah, we’re deeply embroiled in the “where do we go from here” scenario that dominates our conversations every few years. We’ll let you know when we’ve made a decision.

I know… it’s been forever since I posted here. What can I say? Either nothing’s going on to report, or I have no pictures to accompany a story, or I’m too busy, or I’m just too darn lazy. No complaints, people. When you start keeping a blog, you can complain. And not before. So that means, Sue, you can upbraid me. Everyone else, go to Blogger and start one. It’s simple, it’s free, and it would give us a little glimpse into your life.


A couple days ago Liam and Jesse decided to wash the car. Here are a few shots of Liam hard at work. Naturally he wanted to use the extra long brush, and he kept rewashing parts Jesse thought were already clean enough.

cleaning all the bugs off the front of the car

sloshing around for more sudsy water

Can you see how hard he’s straining to the top of the hood? Also how low on his hips his pants actually set? And these pants fit him better than most!

Today was a scorcher! Or at least a scorcher by Belgian standards. According to Yahoo Weather, it was 75 today, and due to be 81 tomorrow. So we filled up Liam’s pool today. He’d splash around the edges, but was pretty leary of getting in. After J went to work, Liam decided to get a little more adventurous. He wanted me to splash him… just a little. Then a lot! He ended up pretty much soaked to the skin!

After he was pretty much wet through he decided to give the pool a try. A shame I put the camera away first! He loved it, and spent half an hour or so splashing me, and himself, and even dunking his head in the water. I see many hours of sun-and-water-soaked pleasure ahead of us this summer!

A few more words the wonder child has added in the past twenty four hours. I’m sure there are more.

36. tae-tah — potato and tomato (let’s not be picky).
37. hat
38. honey
39. on
40. seat
41. blue

And, today Liam learned that if someone offers him something he doesn’t want, he should say, “no, thank you.” Cute, smart, and polite. What more could a mom want?

Farmer Ohlsson

A week ago, we were at a flea market and saw a great toy tractor — unfortunately, it was a hot item and had already sold. Liam was so desperate for his own tra-ta that I did a little investigating. We found a John Deere outlet in Belgium, where they just happen have kids’ pedal tractors as well. So last Monday we made the hour trip and gave Liam the greatest thrill of his little life: about half an hour wandering in the John Deere showroom, getting up close and personal with the biggest, best, and newest offerings to the farming community. I must say, the combine-harvester in that room was monstrous! I think Liam would have been happiest if we’d bought a real tractor for him, or at least brought a sleeping bag so he could have spent one night in the hallowed hall. Instead, we brought home a Liam-sized pedal tractor.

He loved watching Jesse put it together, and couldn’t wait to try it out! Here’s a pic of him inspecting the new purchase. Unfortunately, once he climbed onto it things went a little down hill. Turns out he’s about an inch too short to really be able to use the pedals. So most of the pics from this first day show him with a frustrated frown/whimper on his face. I’ve chosen not to post those.

This shows Liam outside with his new tractor. He is just climbing into the “sheet,” which sounds surprisingly like the French would pronounce sh–, well, nevermind.

Note the rope threaded through the front of the tractor. That has been our saving grace, and has once again turned the tractor into a fantastic toy, and not the precursor to tantrums it temmporarily was. We can tow him around the yard while he steers. Hopefully by the end of the summer he’ll be tall enough to do the pedal work himself.

Liam is cranking the steering whell “hard left.” It was quite amazing to us to learn that he knows his left from his right. Will this child genius ever stop?