Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Eve

While things have been festive for quite awhile around here, we really kicked it up a notch tonight in anticipation of Halloween tomorrow!  I cannot believe this will be Liam's 1st year trick-or-treating (regardless of the fact that he cannot say "trick" or "treat" or really any version of it)!!!  While I like to have Liam participate in all my little traditions, I knew that he wouldn't be wielding a knife and carving his pumpkin on Halloween Eve, so we let him paint his own pumpkin last weekend.

I had never really thought of painting pumpkins, until I saw it all over Pinterest.  It's a perfect way to let little ones decorate their pumpkins while keeping all their fingers & toes intact.! Liam had never played with paint before, so I knew we were in for lots of excitement and a huge mess!  It was a surprisingly warm October day, so we put down a piece of cardboard (not nearly big enough) on the side walk and started with a few little bottles of paint and some brand spanking new brushes!  After we showed Liam what to do, he quickly began dipping the paintbrush in the bottle over & over!  He would put a quick dab on the pumpkin and then go back for more paint!  It was washable paint (so the label said), and I prayed that it really was.

He was such a mess, but in the moment we were all loving it!  Liam really enjoyed this new sensory activity!  He was so concentrated the entire time; he really focused on getting his paintbrush in the tiny hole of the bottle.  He was so proud of his work and wanted Conor & I both right there with him to watch. If he decided that we were not close enough to see what he was doing, he would reach out, grab our hand, and pull us in nice and close. Things started out somewhat clean, but eventually paint was on our clothes, feet, hair, face, etc. and the brush was rarely making its way to the pumpkin anymore.  So we called it quits and took a midday bath (a fun surprise he thought) followed by some laundry.  Good news: the paint really was washable!  I'm sure we'll be using it again soon since Liam loved it so much.  Whenever he sees his painted pumpkin he points and asks for "help" (I think his way of saying "let's paint again")!

Back to tonight: After we put Liam to bed it was pumpkin carving time!  The fall scented candles were lit, the hard cider had been poured, the Halloween candy had been tapped into, and I was making my first batch of homemade chex mix (Scramble) of the season!  Just the smell of it baking makes me remember being back at my parent's house and sitting around a newspaper covered kitchen table all carving our pumpkins!  Now, I get to bring these smells & memories to my own house.

While Conor is in comparison a professional pumpkin carver, my skills are about that of a 7 year old...  But I love the experience and tradition of it all, so I still carve a funky looking pumpkin each year.  I had planned on carving an owl & I had a beautiful template all ready... And as soon as my pumpkin was gutted & seeded, the little man woke up crying!  He did not go back down easy and unfortunately just kept waking up every time I tried to leave the room.  So for the sake of time, my owl carving ended up just being converted into a weird looking face (no different than any other year I suppose...).

This is parenthood, and sometimes it's frustrating.  I wanted to sit with my husband while we enjoyed one of my favorite traditions on Halloween Eve.   However, Liam just had a new molar break through and his gums looked incredibly painful.  I know that he's hurting and that my snuggles & "nursies" are what make everything okay.  And that makes missing out on pumpkin carving okay too!  Liam brings a new joy to each holiday, which more than makes up for the changes in plans that he throws my way.  I mean, I get to go trick-or-treating again now!  Winning!

While I enjoy my "me" time in the evenings and the few chances that I have to blog, I'm ready to go snuggle that little pumpkin of mine.  And I can't wait to watch his big blue eyes open in the morning so I can tell him "Happy Halloween" and begin our day of fun!  I hope all your little ghouls & goblins sleep well tonight!  Looking forward to seeing all the little ones in their costumes tomorrow!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

15 Months Old

I could only manage a slightly blurry photo, because this guy just wanted to play!

Stats:  Let me preface these by saying that Liam is not a fan of the doctor's office at this age and therefore gets upset as soon as he sees that crinkly paper on the table.  The nurse had a difficult time getting his measurements and actually took them twice, since they seemed off.  I have absolutely no faith in the accuracy of these numbers, but wanted to include them nonetheless.  Height: 32.28 inches (83%).   Weight: 22.82 lbs (26%).  Head: 18.6 inches (51%).   If he continues growing at the same rate, our doctor roughly estimated that Liam will be 6 feet tall as an adult.  Conor is 6'1 & I am 5'9 so that sounds about right, but who knows.

Favorite Foods:   Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus, pretzel chips, smoothies, & orzo.  His favorites have pretty much stayed the same.  We've started having little "dates" at Jamba Juice, which Liam loves!   He is part of the welcoming committee as he tells everyone who walks in the door "hi" at least a couple of times.  He's also fascinated by the blenders and the people working behind the counter.  We usually have them pour some of our smoothies into a small cup for him.  The kid loves having his own cup, and gleefully sips on his smoothie while kicking his legs against the bar stool.  Since Liam isn't eating much in the way of vegetables right now, I typically put baby spinach in our smoothies that we make at home so at least he's getting some greens.  He has also started going to his highchair when he is hungry and wants a snack.  I like that he is able to communicate to me that he wants to eat, and that he is interested in real foods instead of just nursing.

Liam also LOVES to have his own little sample cup of plain-tart at Yogurtland!

Breastfeeding:  Breastmilk is still the main source of Liam's nutrition.  He always nurses in the morning, before naps, and at bedtime.  There is usually at least  one other nursing session during the day, it just depends on how busy we are.   He still has rough teething days, or days he just seems off and then he'll nurse a ton!  I am completely okay with continuing to nurse him on demand, so that's exactly what we do!

New Words:  So many new words, I'm not sure I can remember them all: baby, bee, whoo (what an owl says), bye, help (he also signs this), Liam,  nose (he can also point to his and others), lights, poop (he says this when he farts right now, but we are working on making him more aware of what he is doing; no potty training going on yet),  brrr & no.  He was so excited to learn help, and now uses it all the time when he is struggling with something or wants us to do something for/with him.  He uses it out of context at times, but it's only giving us an opportunity to expand his vocabulary more.

Sleep:  Liam is still holding onto 2 naps about half the time.  I love two nap days, especially with how busy Liam is.  The days he only takes 1 nap, he is usually in the bathtub by 7pm which is very early for him.  On a normal night, he is in bed by 8:30pm and sleeps in 'til 8:30am.   We're still cosleeping and Conor & I are both still happy with this sleeping situation.  It's so special to wake up to his little face saying "hi"!  He still nurses throughout the night although not as frequently.  Or perhaps I am sleeping through some feedings....who knows.  Sometimes, he resettles himself without nursing, which makes me so happy!

Favorite Activities:  Making Coffee.  Liam has watched us use our Keurig for months now and has picked up all the sequences of making a cup of coffee.  It's so fun to watch his little mind work as he grabs a k-cup, opens the lid, drops in the k-cup, closes the lid, and pushes the brew button.  He is so pleased with himself as the coffee starts brewing.  And I have to say, Conor & I are pretty darn proud too!  Pretend Play.  I love watching Liam use his imagination and seeing it develop.  One of the cutest things he does, is pretend to put gas in his Cozy Coupe.  He uses his finger and makes a "glug glug" sound!  Walks.  Liam loves to walk around our neighborhood or get in his stroller and go for a longer ride.  He is constantly trying to get me outside and will often resort to bringing my shoes to me so that I know he means business!  He will also grab one of my reusable grocery bags if he wants to get in the car.  He is making all of these connections now and knows what to do to convince me we need to get moving!  Grocery Shopping.  When Liam rides in the cart, he likes to put throw all the items in it for me!  He's a little rough with some things, but is slowly getting better with being "gentle" (just like with the cat)!  Also, we recently used one of the car-carts so that Liam could ride in it while we shopped....  This was a huge hit!  However, those carts are massive and so hard to turn!  I don't think I'll use it for my everyday grocery shopping, but maybe once awhile so it remains something special!  Building Towers.  Liam finally has the patience to actually build things with his blocks and cups.  Before he was all about demolition, but now he loves slowly building things up and then steps back to admire his work!  Pulling in the trash cans.  He loves Fridays when Dad gets home from work and he gets to help bring the garbage & recycling cans up from the curb.  So much joy for one small task; it's just the little things in life.  Watching airplanes & trains.  Whenever Liam hears a train or an airplane he looks in that direction right away, points, & says "wow"!  Books.  Liam continues to love all books.  I take him to the library every week, so we can find new ones to bring home with us and read over and over again.  I'm always keeping my eye out for books to buy him as well.  This month's current favorites are: One, Two, Boo! & LMNO Peas!  One, Two, Boo is a lift-flap book which adds a little extra fun.  However, the flaps are somewhat fragile and Liam ripped off two when he had free reign over the book.  A little super glue made it brand new again, but now we always keep an eye on Liam when he has this book.  LMNO Peas is a fun alphabet book; however, the best part is that there is a lady bug hiding on each page.  Liam loves searching for it and pointing it out to me.  Luckily he hasn't memorized the book yet.  I need to find more books that have something to search for ASAP!  Anyone have any suggestions?

Each day is a fun new adventure with Liam!  He absolutely exhausts me, but every moment is worth it.  I love him more & more, if that is even possible!  He is just about the cutest thing ever, and I'm pretty sure he knows it.  Liam is quite the little flirt, sometimes playing this little shy game to then show off his smile!  I get so many compliments from strangers about Liam, especially his hair!  It is starting to get so long that it gets in his eyes a bit, but I just can't bring myself to cut it so I help him swipe it over to the side.  I know that little curls in the back will be gone forever once we do; and I'm just not ready!

He is such a silly boy with a deep belly laugh that sometimes lets out a snort or two!  He'll even laugh so hard that he knocks himself over!  I can't wait to see what this next month brings and watch how he continues to grow & develop!

We love you Liamasaurus!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five on Friday

I am so happy to see Friday!  For whatever reason, this week has gone by so slowly.  I am more than ready to have Conor off work for two days!  My big project for the weekend will be to sew Liam's Halloween costume (he's going to be an owl).  I have all the materials, but that's as far as I've made it thus far.  Wish me luck!  Anyways, here's what I'm excited about this Friday.  Thanks to Darci and the girls for hosting.


I made this Blueberry Croissant Puff for breakfast last Sunday, and it was to die for!  It didn't take me long at all to throw it together, and then Conor & I took Liam for a morning walk while it baked.  It was a chilly morning, so this hot breakfast was the perfect treat to come home to.  I already want to make it again!

While we're talking about recipes, I thought I would mention one of my favorite gift giving ideas: a Tastebook!  I had one made for my Mom a few years ago for Christmas.  I included many of the recipes she has handed down to me, as well as new ones that I have come up with or discovered.  It's so easy to input your own recipes, although it can be time consuming.  I especially love that there is a dedication page and that you can add your own pictures to each recipe.  For some I included pictures of the actual dish, but others I just used pictures of my mom & our family in the kitchen over the years.  Another added bonus, is that Tastebook has an app, so I can always access my recipes on my phone or ipad, which comes in handy when I'm at the grocery store and can't remember everything that goes in a recipe.  This truly is "the gift that keeps on giving" (too early for the Christmas Vacation references?) because each year I add more pages to my mom's book and put them in her stocking!

I am currently obsessed with gold polka dots!  Which is actually funny, because I'm usually not a fan of gold colored things at all!  If I had a little girl right now, I would totally put gold polka dot decals on her nursery walls!  Instead I will have to settle for something a bit more subtle...  This gold confetti mouse pad is adorable and might need to make its way next to my new computer!

With Halloween right around the corner, the festive TV specials will soon be hitting our screens!  The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is such a classic that I look forward to every year!  I'm also a huge fan of Scared Shrekless; if you haven't seen it go to youtube now!  At 15 months old, we had never let Liam watch any cartoons until this week.  Sure we have sports on the TV during the weekends, but Liam had never watched any children's programming.  He is much more interested in books & interacting with Conor & I, so we had never introduced it.  With the holidays approaching, I am excited to watch some of my favorite holiday specials with him and have family movie nights, which will be a big treat!  Two nights ago, we snuggled up the couch for Scared Shrekless.  Liam was completely enthralled (especially with Puss in Boots... he kept pointing and meowing) for a good 10 minutes.  Then he started getting restless and brought me a book to read instead.  He melts my heart!

I found these festive pumpkin & bat shaped ravioli at Costco, and my little holiday lovin' heart went crazy!  I was ridiculously excited about this find!  Although I know that Liam doesn't appreciate these little things yet, it makes the kid in me incredibly happy.  I think we all know what the Keenans will be eating come Halloween night... :-)

Happy Friday everyone!  
I have to take Liam to his 15th month well visit today, which is never fun...
but in this house, we always get froyo after!  Can't wait for that!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pajama Party

Today I'm linking up with Darci & Meredith for a little Pajama Party!  I love any reason to make our lives a bit more festive, so holiday PJs are a must is this house.  While Liam has been rocking some all black footed pajamas (black = halloween in my book), I only purchased him one pair of actual Halloween jammies this year.  I just wasn't liking the boy options.  And then yesterday, I discovered these three pairs of Hanna Anderson PJ's.  I am obsessed with them! I'm seriously thinking about purchasing them for next year....especially since they are on sale!

Now for the adorable pictures of Liam in the one pair of jammies I did buy!  We had two mini photo sessions to try and capture all the adorableness that is little L and the pumpkin jammers.  I rarely take a bunch of pictures at once, but I like this idea because it shows all his different faces & expressions!

Sorry for the terrible lighting; this was right before bed!

Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Pumpkin Patch

This is our first Fall in Utah, so I needed to find a pumpkin patch that would measure up to some of my favorites we have found around the country.  I'm probably a bit of a pumpkin patch snob...  I want to have the whole farm experience and be able to pick my pumpkin right off the vine, prickly stems and all!  My friend Victoria came through and told me about a place her coworker had recommended.  I was slightly skeptical from what I read online, but it was the only place that sounded promising.  On Saturday, we made the long 50 minute drive north of here to Black Island Farms.

It was a warm, sunny day, so we spent the first hour letting Liam run around and check out all the fun kids activities.  They had all sorts of farm animals (Liam particularly loved the goats and did not want to leave them), big slides built with hay bales, a "corn" box (much like a sand box...but with dried corn), & a fun little tractor pulled train ride.  Conor & I took turns trying out all the different activities with him.  Little L was all smiles; so many great photo opportunities!

Once Liam had filled his pants, shoes, & pockets with corn from the corn box... we decided to try out the corn maze.  Because we apparently hadn't had enough corn fun yet!  I wasn't sure how Liam would handle walking through a small maze with lots of other people; however, I had no reason to worry because he loved it!  He was super excited about finding dried ears of corn and pulling each little kernel out as we made our way through the maze.  We let him lead the way, and he actually navigated us quite well!  This seemed to be his favorite part of the whole day!  He probably could have ran around inside that maze 'til bedtime!

We finally decided to pry Liam out of the corn maze, so we could do what we actually came to farm for: pick some prime pumpkins!  We had to wait in a fairly long line to take a hayride to the patch, but luckily our little one was working on his patience and didn't get too upset.  There were plenty of kids running around to watch and keep him occupied while we waited!  The hayride was bumpy, which just delighted Liam.  He loved standing on the seat and watching the fields go by as we rumbled along.  The pumpkins at this farm were big and beautiful; some of the best looking pumpkins I have ever seen!  It didn't take us long to find the perfect three!

I could tell Liam was getting pretty tired and he definitely wanted to nurse, so I just had to sit down on a pumpkin and let little L have a snack.  Conor just happened to snatch a picture, which I just love!  Breastfeeding is still a beautiful part of Liam & my relationship (even into the toddler years)!  I am so proud to have made it this far, and for us to still be going strong.

I would have to imagine, this was the best day of Liam's little life so far!  It makes my heart so happy to see him exploring his world with big smiles and enjoying all the little things around him.  I was smiling right along with him!  Days like this are so special for Conor & I as parents as well!  We are so happy with our little family; we dreamed of days like this together!  I have always loved a good trip to the pumpkin patch, but it has never been quite like this.  I can hardly imagine what it will be like when we have 2 or 3? little Keenans tearing  around the patch with us sometime in the future.  Life is so good!

Liam's outfit:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Nana & Pops

Having my parents in town for a visit was just incredible!  I talk to my mom on the phone daily, but there is just nothing like being together in person.  We try to Facetime with our parents on a regular basis so Liam is used to seeing their faces and hearing their voices.  I so badly wish that they could be a part of our lives on a daily basis, but we are making do.

From the moment I picked my parents up from the airport, Liam was so excited!  Pops had him giggling in the back seat the entire ride home!  I can remember how hard my Dad would always make me laugh during my childhood; it is such a surreal experience to see him do the same with my baby boy.  I absolutely love seeing my parents interact with Liam, and it only gets better as Liam gets older.  Being grandparents looks good on them!  I knew that little L was going to be the happiest little boy now that he had new people to play with.  I don't think he slowed down for 1 minute the entire week!

I tried to take as many pictures as I could, wanting to capture every single moment and smile; however, I was a little busy living in the moment (my new mantra right now) to pull out my camera/phone at every opportunity.  Here are some snapshots of our adventures, which included a visit the zoo, our 3rd time at Oktoberfest,  a bonfire, a couple walks, and many trips in & out of the teepee.  (Not pictured is all the beer, wine, cider, gin fizzes, & bloody mary's that were consumed during their stay)...

My dad just stayed for a long weekend ("Somebody has to work!" he says), while my mom stayed with us for an entire week!  She is such a help to me during her visits... it's as if Liam has two moms for the week!  She changes almost all of little L's diapers (she's a pro with cloth after cloth diapering all three of her own babies).  She plays with L so I can cook without him on my hip or clawing at my legs, or lets me take a break the kitchen and she whips up one of her many delicious meals (like this baked french toast)!  Regardless of who cooks, she always  does the dishes and practically cleans my whole kitchen.  She makes my busy life just a little bit easier every day, all while being a loving Nana to our little boy.

It's always hard to see them go, because so much fun is had when we all get together.  It never feels like we have enough time with one another.  I miss them so much already, so I'm trying to plan a trip home sometime in November....  Christmas is just much too far away (unless we're talking about Christmas shopping, because then Christmas seems all too near)! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five on Friday

Having my parents here this past week has felt like a mini vacation!  It is always incredibly sad when they have to leave, so thank goodness the weekend is here.  We have plans to hit up a pumpkin patch and make Liam's halloween costume; oh how I am enjoying this October!  We're supposed to have sun all weekend, so the weather will be perfect to be outside and enjoying the crisp, fresh air.  I might even plant some bulbs for Spring!  Thanks to Darci and the girls for hosting another Five on Friday; these posts are so fun!


When I'm lacking in ideas for dinner, I always turn to Pinterest to find something new.  This week I made this Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce, and it was amazing!  It was fairly easy to put together and made for great leftovers as well.  The recipe calls for light coconut milk, but I think it's better with regular coconut milk.  If you make this substitution, then I would use slightly less cornstarch.

One of the hostess gifts (yeah, my mom is so awesome she comes bearing gifts) my mom brought with her was A Year of Holidays at Home cookbook.  I've only had a chance to skim through it so far, but it looks like there are tons of delicious recipes and menus.  Most of the cookbook is dedicated to Christmas (as it should be), but there are recipes for all the other holidays as well!

To keep with the little recipe theme I have unintentionally going, I made the most delicious pumpkin spice muffins this week!  Molly over at Jumpingbean and Jellybean posted this easy recipe on her Instagram.  They looked amazing, so I had to give them a try.  Directions: combine one box of spice cake mix with 1 can of pumpkin (I used my homemade pumpkin puree) and 3/4 cups water.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.  I would recommend adding a little raw sugar on top before baking which will give them a bit of a crispy muffin top!  And feel free to eat as much of the batter as possible since there is no raw egg.  I'm talking to all you pregnant mamas that need your batter fix!

A few of the women in my neighborhood are talking about running together, and I so want to get in on this fun!  However, I haven't run more than just a handful of times since Liam was born.  I was running 5 miles a day up until I was 25 weeks pregnant and my doctor recommended I stop, but then I never got back into it.  I keep wanting to join a gym, but I'm terrified of putting Liam in the daycares there.  I need to get some miles under my belt before I start running with anyone else, so maybe I will finally get a gym membership again.  I will probably just talk about it for another few weeks before doing anything about it.  One of my neighbors shared this video with us about Why Women Run and it got me even more motivated.  I want to feel that runner's high again...

Another one of my mom's hostess gifts was this Woof & Poof Owl.  He is the perfect addition to my fall mantle!  Each year, this company makes new decorations using similar color schemes so that their different items will always compliment one another.  I love that!  I have a small obsession with owls right now; I'm pretty sure Liam is going to be the cutest little owl there ever was this Halloween!!!

Well, I'm off to purchase the materials and start 
(and then hopefully finish) making L's Halloween costume!  
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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