06 June 2015

Liam was with his older sisters and grandpa on a visit to the farm where they met some kittens, among other adventures. By the creek they spotted two frogs, one atop the other. Oh look, they’re mating!

A short while later the group spotted two sparrows who also were engaging in amorous activity. Liam spoke up: Hey, those birds are mating, too. Grandpa nearly needed Depends when Liam observed, You know, I saw frogs mating, and then sparrows mating, but I’ve never seen humans mating!

21 June 2013

 a squirrel eating popcorn

Today Liam graduated preschool. Perhaps as a reward for reaching this stage, his aunt bought him a toy robot play kit with myriad interchangable pieces. Liam enjoyed playing with this just long enough to create a rather large mess. When it came time to clean it all up, the following conversation transpired.

I need help cleaning up all the robot pieces, Mommy.

Well, where are they all? Mommy enquired.

Outside on the porch.

How did they all end up out there? Mommy wanted to know.

Without the slightest hesitation Liam responded, These squirrels came into the house and took them all outside! They carried the big pieces in their mouths, and the small pieces in their hands.

Shortly after, the neighbour’s daughter came by to play, and Liam gave her fair warning: You’ve got to watch out for those squirrels!

15 April 2012

 Liam loves his baby sister Ella

Today Liam wanted to hold his baby sister, Ella. As he got close to her to express his wishes, and by way of greeting, he gently bumped his head with hers and said Cheers!

It is great to see Liam grow and learn. He is full of temper tantrums when tired, but otherwise mostly well-behaved. He understands that Ella is a bit fragile, so he is not rough with her, but only enjoys her company so much since she cannot move and talk and play as he can.

If I had to guess I would suggest that Liam will be happy as a clam playing sports and perhaps even watching sports. He has always had pretty good hand-eye coordination for his age, and he loves throwing balls, bouncing them, playing catch, and hitting balls with a bat or hockey stick or whatever else is handy. That makes him one of a kind in his immediate family; Neither of us plays sports, and while Olivia and Charlotte do intermittently, Liam has had no real exposure to organized sport. It seems we shall all learn by his example soon enough.

18 May 2011

 Liam loves to play catch but is still learning how

An older photo this is, but it shows such determination in Liam to not only catch the ball, but to do so without taking any damage to his eyes. I laugh uncontrollably when I see this photo because it is so cute. I imagine myself at this age not looking at the ball either, and taking it in stride when I somehow never caught it properly.

Liam is growing quickly but one thing that he still loves is playing catch. He is getting pretty good at catching a balloon, while balls still move a little quickly for his reflexes yet. His arm and aim are quite good as they have been since he could walk. When he is well rested and eager he has managed a catch or two of a ball as well. It is fun to see his interest and improvement in this game. We take it as an opportunity to learn about sharing and teamwork when Olivia or Charlotte also want to join in the fun.

-Pops

07 April 2011

 Liam is now 18 months of age

Liam may be a little disadvantaged with his speech development. I had thought this as a hunch because we speak in sentences around him instead of teaching him vocabulary by showing him things and naming them alone. So I had thought that he may not be as quick to put his thoughts to words as his sisters were.

I am slowly coming to the realization that perhaps it does not matter. It seems he is picking up the vocbulary pretty well and his mimickry of complete thoughts and full sentences is pretty entertaining. So for a taste of what Liam is on about these days, here is a list of things we can decipher when he says them.

As usual there are more that I have forgotten, but you get the idea. He also enjoys making animal sounds as he sees the different ones in his books.

-Pops

02 June 2010

 Liam eats a T-bone steak at grandpa's house

Liam has been crawling and mischievous for three weeks now. He still has not figured out that crawling down stairs does not work moving forward, but that will come after he learns to crawl up stairs. On flat ground he keeps up with his sisters at play time, and gets where he wants to go.

Food has always been a passion for Liam, much like for me. At grandpa’s house last weekend he did his best with a T-bone steak and an ear of sweet corn after so many salads and other accompaniments to a good meal.

Next on Liam's agenda is perfecting his crawling on slopes and steps, though he does not see it that way. I reckon he sees himself standing and walking soon, as he tirelessly pulls himself up in his crib, on couches and ottomans, chairs and stairs. Take it one step at a time, son.

-Pops

22 April 2010

 everything we eat, Liam eats

At eight months of age Liam still has just two teeth, neither of which are useful for chewing food. That does not stop him from loving to eat whatever it is we are eating for our meals. Just two weeks ago he was completely content accepting whatever mushy mixture we had decided to try that day. He always ate well, and the mush was gobbled up three or four ice-cubes worth in a sitting. Did I mention we often mix some cereal in with the fruit or veggies to thicken it up?

Tonight it is spinach and ricotta pie with spaghetti crust. What the still photo does not show is how lustily and swiftly a piece would disappear from his tray into his mouth. It was hilarious to watch his tact and speed. Skyler was hovering around his high chair and perhaps he thought it best to get it into his mouth before she found a way to get it into hers. Or perhaps it is that there was no mush on a spoon anywhere in sight that made him giddy like a feline after a round of cat versus catnip. Either way he is beginning to prefer whole foods, and all that homemade veggie and fruit mush sitting in our freezers will likely end up in casseroles, soups, breads and desserts before long.

I will take the blame on this one. Somehow, somewhere along the way while I am playing Mister Mom for a few months, I instilled in Liam a desire to chew his food. He desires the chewing perhaps as much as the food. I fear it will not be two more weeks until he begins refusing anything even remotely resembling baby-food glup. Instead he will demand food hitherto untouched by rotating steel blades and pre-digestive cooking processes. It is time to get creative.

So what will it be next, Liam? I suppose you are going to want to learn locomotion? Fewer than eight weeks from now he will be crawling forward; he is that close.

-Pops

14 February 2010

 sleeping on his side is now quite common for Liam

One more day to six months of age and Liam is growing quickly on all counts. He has a cold or some other minor infection at the moment. It is his first malady other than cutting a couple of teeth. He seems to be taking it lightly that he has chest congestion and gags a bit when it gets in his throat. Last night was not a good sleep night, but he is currently deep into a nap the lengths of which we have not known, so hopefully his body has figured out the cause and cure, and is working feverishly on the latter.

Solid foods are Liam’s friends! No matter where we are, if he is in front of food he wants to try some. He does not seem to like applesauce or pear sauce (both unsweetened) as much as he likes the starchier, sweeter foods like potatoes and cereals. That is all right of course, because pear- and apple-enriched cereals are not far in his future of food exploration. (We have to use up our freezer stock of fruit and veggie purées somehow!)

Our little boy is gaining confidence in his abilities to sit upright, roll onto his stomach and sleep or lay on his side. He even has managed some locomotion in the form of a backwards slink that is more side-effect than meaningful movement, but he does find himself in new spots from time to time because of those efforts.

-Pops

11 January 2010

 sitting up is possible for short times

Liam has gotten to the point where he can almost roll over onto his stomach if left to it for a time. He of course cannot get back yet, but does like to lay on his side as well, even sleeping on his side on occasion. Sitting up is another favourite trick of his, but he cannot hold himself steady enough to stay that way for long.

He reaches out for whatever foods we are eating also, and so we have started him on small rations of bananas from time to time. Liam is not a fussy eater so far and we are confident he would eat pretty much anything we put within his reach at this point. Needless to say we are starting slowly with the solid food transition to ensure that he can handle it well, so for now it is an experimental thing and not an every day occurrence.

Liam loves to play with his sisters and toys, but he often cries if we leave him to play by himself. He is not ready to be alone that often. I reckon that will change a bit when he can master some form of locomotion. For now, he is pretty happy and you can tell he wants to do so much more for himself. His fine motor skills are increasingly better each week, but his gross motor skills will see him mobile in a few short months. Then there shall be three pachyderms in our herd.

-Pops

02 November 2009

 Liam is strong enough to hold his head up while on his stomach

Growing and learning lots are the things Liam does best. Reaching over 15 pounds (from 9 and a half) in two and a half months is pretty good in itself. It is the learning that has thrown me back a bit.

Liam inside of a week has figured out how to open his hands; no longer are they fists for 24 hours daily. And to go along with that he reacts, fixates on you and tries to talk back to you when held. He will grasp your fingers and stare his way into your heart with his innocent, rarely-blinking eyes for fear he might miss some crucial detail.

This evening as we sat down for a meal Liam expressed his displeasure at being left to play on his own nearby. I picked him up and sat him upright in my lap while we all ate dinner. He was like a cat watching a tennis match, soaking in all the goings-on.

Liam is beginning to take interest in toys and his crib mobiles, and he is always curious what everyone else in the room is doing. He has become very social in what seems like a very short time.

-Pops

05 September 2009

 Once the soother comes out of the mouth, Liam cries for attention

Our little guy has become attached to his soother when it is time for a nap. Without it he will get worked up and scream for attention, so we always know he has spit it out again. A well-placed pillow helps keep it in while he gets down to the business of resting.

-Pops

23 August 2009

 Liam allowed paint on his feet, but took issue with the hands

While mom had some success with making footprints by painting and stamping Liam’s feet, our little guy took issue with having paint on his hands. There was little chance of it working out, but since feet are impossible to curl into tight fists we have a good record of those for the scrapbook.

-Pops

19 August 2009

 Liam is comfy curled up into a ball, just as he has been for forty weeks

We have figured this little guy out for sleeping… we think! Swaddling seems to save Liam from rousing himself when his arm muscles twitch. If left to his own devices, the arms would flail up to his head and the resulting movements would wake him several times during the night. When swaddled he seems content to sleep for many hours on end. This is especially true at night when he has had a long day and lots of food. Even if he wakes, he will fall back asleep soon after until his hunger gets the best of him around 04:00 hours.

-Pops

16 August 2009

 day two and Liam's eyes are open

Just about two days of age and Liam’s swollen eyelids have pretty well normalized. He is not yet happy with what he is receiving from mommy, but when he has an ounce of infant formula he is zonked for hours! While we still attempt to figure this little guy out and work within his schema we now know how to get some much-needed rest for ourselves.

-Pops

14 August 2009

The moment we had waited for has arrived. Just before the dinner hour this evening things started moving along, one week past the professionals’ best guesses for a due date. This one wanted out! By eleven o’clock the contractions were pretty regular and quite intense about every three minutes.

At 01:28 on 15 August 2009, Liam Fraser James Gracey made his short jump down to the ground and experienced the outside world for the first time. Mom tried to catch him, but he caught us unprepared; After the shoulders came through, it was all down hill. The landing was padded though, so all was well. Welcome home, son.

-Pops

these are a few of
my favourite things