Thing #1: This morning we were driving to a physical therapy appointment. To pass the time (it's a half hour drive), Liam asked me to sing him "a Lightning McQueen song." So I sang the two stanzas of "Life is a Highway" that I know. It was a big hit. (This pleased me immensely, as Soren generally plugs his ears and begs me to stop whenever I sing.) So I sang it again, at his request. And again. And again. Pretty soon he had added in percussion, drumming in perfect rhythm on the cover of a book. Then he took a turn, singing what I think was "Demons" by Imagine Dragons (he and his daddy like to listen to the Jasmin Thompson version). Then together we sang the theme song from Spongebob Squarepants. Repeatedly.
Thing #2: He's taken to using the word "whatever" in the way a bratty teenage kid would, except that it's freaking adorable when it comes out of his mouth. Like this:
"Why do I have to wash my hands?"
"Because you do."
"Siggghhhhh....whatever." (Washes hands.)
We had drive to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City for a consultation with a Pediatric Gastroenterologist. We were late and it was hot and I was super stressed out about finding a parking space and when we finally pulled into one, he said something that sounded to me like, "The lights!"
I was like, "Yep! There are lights here in this parking lot! Sure thing!"
And he was like, "No, Mommy, the lights!"
And I was like, "Do you mean the sunlight or the overhead lights?"
And he was like, "No, Mommy. The. Lights."
And I was like, "Yep! Lights!"
Finally he heaved a great sigh. "Whatever." Mom was just too dense to get it.
And it was then that I realized he had said, "High fives!" He was trying to give me "five" for finally making it! We slapped a quick high five and then ran into the hospital to beg for mercy for our extreme lateness. (Mercy was granted, may peace be upon that sweet doctor for ever and ever.)
(The reason we were so late is that I forgot my wallet and realized that I had forgotten my wallet when we were halfway to Salt Lake. We had to turn around to meet Abe at Fort Hall to retrieve it. While I was weeping over the discovery of my lost wallet, a sweet voice from the back seat said, "Don't worry, Mommy. It's okay")
Thing #3: At bedtime, I give both the boys a piggyback ride to their beds, but Liam and I play a game where I pretend I don't know where his bedroom is, and he keeps pointing to various rooms, "tricking" me into going in there. "That's not your bedroom!" I'll exclaim, after we've entered the room. "This is the kitchen!" "That's not your bedroom! It's MY bedroom!"
When we finally make it to his room ("THIS is your bedroom!"), the child loves himself a good bedtime story. I'll lie down next to him and ask what he wants it to be about. "Lightning McQueen!" he'll request. Or "An airplane!" Or "Spiderman!" Or "Monster trucks!" The stories always have to include all of our family members, with Liam starring as the hero. He gets so excited during the parts when he does something strong and heroic. He'll exclaim aloud and his eyes will sparkle.
After the story, I am required to give him five hugs and five kisses. We count these, and we must count together, or we have to start over again. Then we do an extra hug and kiss. Plus another hug. Plus another kiss.
(I love me some little boy hugs and kisses.)
Thing #4: We were able to take the kids on a couple of hikes this summer. Liam is a natural hiker. He just loves it. He'll run up ahead of the rest of us, delighted. Abe thinks maybe we should add some weights to his backpack to slow him down a bit.
Thing #5: This summer we visited Abe's family in New Hampshire. It was Liam's first conscious time making the journey, and he loved everything about it, from the parking lot shuttle bus to the moving sidewalks in the airport, to the moment when the plane lifted off the ground (he actually shouted and cheered with delight every time.)
The last time we flew with the boys, Soren was a pain in the butt and Liam was pretty easy. This time, Soren was easy and Liam was a huge pain in the butt. At airports, he took every opportunity to escape from the family unit, running wildly down the length of one moving sidewalk and then quickly hopping onto the one moving in the opposite direction, giggling madly while a frantic and exhausted parent chased after him. On the airplane, he was wiggly and impatient and had a tendency to kick the seat in front of him. It made for some long hours, but we did finally make it.
Thing #6: Liam's favorite Family Home Evening activity is a charades-type game that involves drawing a card and acting out the picture on it for the other family members to guess. He gets super excited when someone figures out what he's miming, shouting, "Yes! You got it!" And he bounces up and down with delight when he figures out someone else's acting.
(Soren plays this game a little differently . . . on his turn, he'll draw a card, look at it, and then proceed to launch into a series of completely unrelated and totally spastic body movements and sounds. It is exceedingly difficult to guess his correctly.)
Thing #7: Liam played T-ball this summer and LOVED it. At least, he loved hitting the ball and running around the bases. On the occasions that someone managed to get him out ("outs" are a pretty rare occurrence in t-ball), he'd slump sadly back to the bleachers, head hanging low. When he made it to home, he would do a happy strut and exclaim, "I won the race!" When it was his team's turn to field, however, he would reluctantly walk out to his designated spot and completely ignore what was going on with the game. Instead, he dug in the dirt like a puppy, drew pictures with a stick, chatted with kids from the other team, and chased strangers walking behind the field.
Now whenever we drive past the park, he exclaims, "Hey! I go there! That's my home! My friends go there too!"
(I took a bunch of pictures of all his t-ball antics, but heck if I can find them now.)
Thing #9: Liam is his Grandpa Hanson's boy. On days that the boys are at their house while I work, Liam sticks close to grandpa. They run errands and do yard work together and Grandpa always buys him something yummy to drink.
Thing #10: One day Liam asked me for something. "Well . . . " I said, deliberating.
"Pleeeeaaaasssee?" he begged.
"Oh, okay," I answered.
"Yesssssss!" he said, and began happily singing what sounded like the Superman theme song.
Thing #11: I was making jam thumbprint cookies with Liam. We made the cookie balls and placed them on the baking tray. Then I started pressing in the centers. "Oh! Nests!" said Liam. He snatched up a ball of dough and started breaking it into little pieces, rolling them into tiny eggs to fill the nests.
Thing #12: He often says, "Oh yes!" instead of just plain yes. And when we're reading stories, he'll watch for signs of impending plot complications and note, "Oh dear!" when he sees that the characters are heading into trouble.
Thing #13: An instant message I got from Abe one night: "I was holding Liam in my lap and cuddling him when you were reading to Soren and I was asking him questions. I was thinking I would talk to him about career paths, so I asked him, 'Liam, what are you going to be when you get big?' and without any hesitation he said, 'Big.'"
Thing #14: Liam loves the song "Let it Go" from the movie, Frozen. This is how he sings it: "Weditgo, Weditgoooo! Weditgo, Weditgooo!" And then he'll explain, "That's from Freezer!"
Thing #15: Liam loves to talk about things that have happened in the past. "You nember when I turned into a baby? You nember that? And I pooped in my diaper!" Hilarity fills his voice. "You nember that?"
Thing #16: He also loves to whisper secrets into my ears. I never had any idea what he's saying, but the whispering can go on at length and is adorable. Also, it tickles.
Thing #17: I was standing a few feet behind Liam in WinCo when he started to look around in a panic. "Mommy? Mommy??" Then he caught sight of me. "Phew! That was a close one!"
Thing #18: While I'm working out in the mornings, Liam will sometimes work out with me. He tires of the exercise pretty quickly, but will sit down on the recliner and cheer me on. "You strong, Mommy! You tough!" And he'll watch my form to make sure I'm doing things right. "She said go lower, Mommy!"
Thing #19: Liam loves to race. He makes pretty much everything into a race (exulting when he wins, sinking into despair when he doesn't), but he particularly loves footraces. "Start your engines!" he'll shout when we step into line to start the race, making engine revving noises. Then, "Ready, set, go!" And he's off. If I try to pass him, he'll giggle and swerve to blog me. I'll huff and puff and swear that I'm going to win this time, but he always beats me, much to his delight.
Thing #20: Liam is a very picky dresser. He only likes pants with an elastic band (he calls them "mysize pants," a term that originally was created to differentiate them from SHORTS with an elastic band, which are clearly not his size, as they are too short). And he prefers shirts that are red or that contain a superhero image or logo.
Yeah, he is freakishly adorable. Yep, I'm the one that gets to hear him say, "I wuv you, Mommy" every single day. Yes, I'm really, really ridiculously lucky. Precious boy.
Taking a quick pre-Sunday dinner nap with Grandpa.
Delighted at the structure he made out of cleaning supplies (instead of cleaning).
His first day of school at Sunny Times Preschool!
(He calls it "the red school" with "the nice teacher" and loves going there.)
Another "first day" shot. It was hard to get him to look at me because there was a BABY nearby that he couldn't peel his eyes off of.
He LOVES babies.
Our neighbors have a baby that visits sometimes and you can bet your booty that he's over there playing with him whenever he can.
He's holding his toy cell phone in one hand. He likes to walk up and down the sidewalk with the phone pressed to his ear.
This reminds me of a page in Aliki's book Feelings.
They found EIGHT cavities at his last dental checkup. We had to go back four times for fillings. Needless to say, he got pretty comfortable at the dentist's office.
(So comfortable that he actually fell asleep in the chair once.)
We went a little crazy with the underpants one night before bed.
Milking a "cow" at the fair with his cousin Sylvie. (A baby!)
Two sweet little lambs.
Cuddling with his stuffed animals. His favorites include "Bucky" (the little white duck in the front), "Color Bear" (I think he's squished at the bottom of the pile), and "Harry and the Purple Crayon" (a bear who is acting as his pillow in this shot.)
Posing in the hospital during a visit with Uncle Dewey (who is now home and recovering from surgery.)
Just being silly.