Tuesday, November 15

Liam's One Year Portraits

Ah, portraits. Grandparents, family, and friends love them. They casually carry these photographs around in their wallets and display them on walls and mantles, likely never giving much thought to the harrowing and exhausting experience of "picture day" itself. Granted, up to this point I've had a wonderful experience with Liam--he is an incredibly good-natured baby and has an easy smile. But since he became bipedal, taking pictures of him has been like trying to capture a baby version of the Flash on camera. He's in constant motion, so he's a blur in most pictures these days. I have a great DSLR camera and initially entertained grand ambitions of a do-it-yourself photo shoot for his one year portraits, but thanks to me having only two arms and no ability to be in more than one place at a time, it didn't work out. When he is older and able to understand directions, I'll definitely try again, but this year it just wasn't meant to be.

This year we relied on the professionals, and even that was a bit dicey. I had him napped, fed, and freshly diapered, but Liam was immediately suspicious of the portrait studio, so the photographer and I had an uphill battle from the start. Fortunately, she seemed experience with working with toddlers and was as patient as a parent could ask under the circumstances. Thinking back on it, it was a lot easier for her to be patient--she stayed behind the camera while I chased Liam back and forth across the backdrop, repeatedly moving him back to his mark so we could try to get a picture. After a few minutes of what for me was an unexpectedly physical photo shoot, I broke out the big guns--Baby Mum-mums. Mum-mums are dry, bland rice crackers, but they are like crack for babies. Liam LOVES them, and every smile or sweet expression you see in his portraits is due to the influence of a mum-mum. Those little rice crackers totally saved the day.

Hmmm...We're not even close to the "terrible twos" yet, and already I'm bribing my child. What can I say? As a mom, you do what you gotta do to get the shot. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 9

Liam's Big Day

"Smash cake" time!
Last Saturday the fastest year of my life wrapped up with Liam's first birthday party. It's hard to believe that the little newborn we brought home from the hospital is now a toddling, chattering one-year-old. We celebrated Liam's big day with family, hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, and cake and ice cream. Between the "smash cake" and the ice cream, it's safe to say Liam consumed more sugar that day than he has ever had in his entire life. He loved the balloons and toys got got for his birthday, and was especially delighted when everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Of course he doesn't know what it's all about quite yet, but he didn't question us inviting him to smash up an entire cake and offering him bites of yummy ice cream.

Liam loved it when everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to him.
As bittersweet as it is to look back and think of how much Liam has changed and grown in the last year, I'm looking forward to what's ahead. It is going to be fun getting to know his personality better and watch him make more discoveries about the world around him. His adventures are only just beginning, and I have no doubt the coming year will be as eventful as the last!
Birthday boy.

Saturday, November 5

Liam's First Year

My baby boy is a year old today. It is amazing that a year full of days that seemed so long can be so short, but here we are. In celebration of Liam's first year, I made the two videos posted below. The digital age makes it very easy for a parent to indulge in such saccharine reminiscing, and so I've done so!

Wednesday, November 2

Liam's First Halloween

My little baby bat.

This was Liam's first Halloweeen, and he went as a little baby bat. Thankfully his baby costume was soft and comfy, so he tolerated wearing it very well. The only thing he eventually started tugging at a lot was the hood, because it kept falling down over his eyes. It was a chilly evening along the coast when we went out trick or treating, so I was glad he had such a fleecy and warm costume.

He wore his new boots, which didn't seem
to hamper his walking at all.
Is it time to trick or treat yet?
This was the best picture we could get of the two of us.
He doesn't stay still for a minute these days!

Of course Liam has no idea what Halloween or trick or treating is, but the folks in the neighborhood enjoyed having such a cute trick-or-treater stop by. We went trick-or-treating with his cousins Genna (11 years old), Abigail (~20 months), and Jeffery (almost 3 years old). I let Liam down to walk as much as I could, but all he wanted to do is take off in all directions, so I ended up carrying him most of the time. Since Liam can't eat most candy yet, we only covered a block or two before calling it a night. It was getting chilly and it wasn't easy hauling my squirmy little bat around--all of the kids out in costume, the lights, and decorations had him excited and all he wanted was to get down and explore.
Jeffery the Cop, Abigail the Angel, and Liam the Bat (as usual, more interested in the ground than anything else).
Mommy and Liam.