Thursday, February 26, 2009

We have a hummingbird

Actually, we have two; at least. It's really a neat thing. This morning there was snow but, still, there were the humming birds drinking away at the feeder. (The snow was gone by afternoon when the picture was taken.) Liam loves them. We call them "special bird---hummingbird." He runs to the window and watches them drink and hover.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No photos

I'm working on trying to remember to take pictures of Liam to post. Somehow, the evenings have seemed very hectic lately. I have been suffering from an outbreak of hives (going on a week now) and by dinner time really have to take 2 or 3 benadryl to have any prayer of coping well with Liam's bath and bedtime routine. This means that I am pretty foggy most nights and tend to go to sleep early. (This is good, it gives me more time to wake up in the night and be uncomfortable!) Enough with the whining. I will try to get some pictures tomorrow -- Liam is growing again and getting so big it seems he changes every day.

This week and last week's big activity for him has been learning to walk up and down the stairs. He holds the banister with one hand and my hand with the other and stomps up and minces down. He likes to practice. He is also (continuing) with the phase of Bring-At-Least-One-Thing-From-Wherever-I-Am-To-Wherever-I-Am-Going. I read in the child development books that this is all about sorting out object permanence. I accommodate it within reason. Generally at the top (or bottom) of the stairs I am handed: a small truck, a small plastic person, a stuffed animal, a shoe, a large truck, a piece of the train, or Liam's small broom or sweeper. He realizes that he can't carry these things and still practice going down (or up) the stairs, but he is very concerned that whatever it is goes with him. Then, at the top (or bottom) of the stairs, he is delighted to get whatever it is back.

Today he wanted to bring the basketball home from Will's parents'. I said, "basketball stays here, please." Usually this works fine, he might be a little worried for a few minutes, but quickly goes on to the next thing. At home in the mornings, we've even been practicing "get a small thing to bring with you, please" and, in the evenings, "train is not a bath toy, it's a downstairs toy" with good results. He must have been tired or something today, because having to leave the basketball behind just undid him. He talked about it all the way home. Every time I looked back at him he would sign "ball, ball." And all during dinner he kept signing "ball, ball" and saying "Go Go" (grandpa) and "Eeeh" (GG). I thought he was getting over it, but the last thing he said to me before he went to sleep was (sign for) "ball, ball." I told him (again): it will be just where you left it in the morning and you can play with it then. Good grief!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Will's mother took this picture of Liam sneaking the other day. I'm not exactly sure how Liam learned to sneak. I mean, I know that I put the word sneaking to this funny little crouched up walk that he occasionally does, but I'm not sure where he learned the walk. Anyway, sneaking. Very cute. He isn't sure what to do when he catches up to whatever he's stalking though.

I've been busy lately but things are getting back to normal now and I hope to do a better job keeping this space up to date. Hope everyone is well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


A shot of Liam's nightly reading with Daddy routine. This was followed by a rousing (and not at all sleep-inducing) game of "throw the tennis ball for the dog---INDOORS." Lovely.

Grandma KM and Grandpa DM are back in California; we miss them. Otherwise it's a pretty normal week around here. Will continues to feel okay and recover from his pneumonia. He decided to stop taking morphine for chronic pain (he has been on a daily does for about 3 years, since his spleen surgery, I think) and after a 3-4 week taper is down to. . .nothing. It's hard, and it will take a while still for him to reach a new equilibrium, but every day gets a little better.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's hoping all visitors to this space find themselves surrounded by the love of friends and family today and always.

Liam had Valentine's Day celebration #1 at school yesterday. Liam is in "school" (daycare) at a wonderful place two mornings a week. We are hoping that over the next month this becomes two full days a week, but the transition has been tough for him. He is not a lover of change, our baby. He is finally starting to have better days and enjoy more about the teachers, other children, different toys and activities.

This year's for Valentine's Day he:
  • Made a valentine holder.
  • Made valentines at home for all the other kids to put in the holder (Mommy mostly planned, Daddy mostly implemented, Liam mostly refused to color and only wanted to eat the crayons. Such is life.)
  • Decorated a heart-shaped cookie at school with icing and MMs. Turns out that Liam thinks MMs are just great. He ate his cookie after dinner last night (after asking for it about 100 times between arriving home at 4:50 and finishing dinner at 5:25.
  • Made a valentine heart for Mommy and Daddy (so sweet).
We also made valentines for the family and I was feeling pretty good about them (Liam was marginally more cooperative and actually colored some) until I saw these. Maybe next year -- it would be super nice to have more time and energy to create more on my own, like I used to, and with Liam, but for now I'm happy to look at other people's projects.
Photos are: our half purchased-half home made valentines; enjoying the valentine cookie (it was more sugar than he's ever had in his life, I think; he did not sleep until almost 8:30); Liam's valentine holder from school; and the valentine he made for Mommy and Daddy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A few more kitchen photos

He enjoys it so much. This weekend he was given some appropriately sized pots and pans. I'm hoping he'll be ready to get dinner on the table in, what, 3-4 years? As soon as he stops crawling into the oven. . ..

I don't know why he's doing this

Liam is completely in love with these little trucks. He must have, well, many, too many. We all buy them, and we've been letting him take them to school (daycare) to help ease the transition, but then he brings them home too, so we end up with half a dozen or so around the house at any given moment. Today he decided to stack them. I'm not sure why, but he was really interested in it. . .and if he started with the right truck he can get 3 stacked up. (Firetruck = good base for stacking; tow truck = not so good.)

I don't mind the trucks, really, although I try to keep them out of places where someone is likely to step on them and go flying. They really roll great. They're made by Tonka, there are about million variations and they're pretty inexpensive.

He seems to be turning overnight from a baby into a little boy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Good news lymphoma re-check

Will had his quarterly re-check for lymphoma yesterday. The word is. . .he looks good. No evidence of recurrence and the blood work looked good, even his chronic anemia was some better and his kidney function was better than it has been in months. (Will suspects this is related to him being on a lower tacrolimis does, something that likely will chance this week; but, still. . .it's good to know the kidneys can bounce back when given the chance!)

So, now Will will be down to 1 chest CT a year (he'll have it in March), and semi-annual re-checks instead of quarterly. He's 3 years in remission from the transplant-related Hodgkin's lymphoma in June and 5 or 6 years remission from the regular PTLD in, I think, this fall.

The docs have now decided what we suspected all along: Will's lymphomas occurred simultaneously. The regular PTLD is so much more fast moving and easier to diagnose, it was noticed and treated first. The transplant-related Hodgkin's kept cruising along (it doesn't respond to Ritixumab, apparently) and was finally diagnosed and treated 2 years after the regular PTLD. They figure this because of the odds of the whole thing. Apparently the odds that someone would get regular PTLD and then, 2 years later, a separate occurrence of Hodgkin's lymphoma are something like 1 in a billion or so, whereas the odds that someone would get regular PTLD and that would mutate into transplant-related Hodgkin's are more like 1 in 100,000.

Will continues to recover from the pneumonia. It's a long road, but he has been really, really diligent this week about getting out and doing something every day -- walking the dog, visiting Liam at school, whatever. This is incredibly helpful to him. We hope he'll be ready to be back to rowing when the days get longer this spring.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Liam's Kitchen

Liam received a very generous Christmas gift from Will's sister and her family: a kitchen. It arrived the night before I left for work last week, so he didn't get to play with it until this weekend. He loves it. He hasn't really tried to imitate any cooking yet, unless we're all to eat trucks. He runs the trucks all over it, making truck noises, turns the knobs, puts things in the "sink," takes out the sink bowl and drops trucks through to the cupboard below, and puts the trucks in and out of the oven, in and out of the oven, in and out of the oven. . .etc.

It fits perfectly in the hallway between the main kitchen and the front door, so Liam can play while I cook dinner or wash dishes and he's in view but very much out of the way. Perfect. We like it so much, I'm already looking at play food to go with it (or thinking of making some from my excess of birthday-crown-related felt pieces), and maybe a wooden refrigerator. . .. Thank you Auntie L and family!