Christmas 2010

Since this is the last day of 2010, I thought I’d better get busy and get this posted! We had another wonderful Christmas this year. Liam has made our Christmases a very special time. There’s just nothing better than all the fun things we do during this time of year and the build up to and the excitement on a 4 year old’s face on Christmas morning.

Liam on Christmas Morning

My best friend Karen (or a.k.a. “Nanny Karen”) spent the week with us and it always feels like our family is complete when she is here. She convinced me to make real cookies with Liam this year instead of our traditional open the package and put on the pan kind. We all had a fun time baking and decorating and Karen enjoyed my stressing over the cookie imperfections and sprinkle mounds that Liam put on the cookies.

baking cookies

baking cookies

This was our first Christmas in our new house. We started putting up a few decorations outside but soon discovered that we’re living across the street from Clark W. Griswold! And our next door neighbor is a close second with his incredible light-wrapped trees and giant wreath, so we sort of lost interest in doing much decorating outside this year. But we were very excited to have a fireplace for Santa to come down this year—its always been a bit of a mystery how he got into our house before. Of course, the big question now is how he avoids getting burned by the fire & hot ashes on his way down.

I heard Liam wake up early on Christmas morning but never heard him come out of his room. I went to check on him and he was still in bed with the covers pulled up and said that he had to stay snuggled in his bed or Santa wouldn’t come. It was quite a relief for him to find out that Santa had already come & gone. After further discussion, we discovered that we had both heard the sleigh bells and reindeer on our roof that night.

Needless to say, he loved all of his gifts and spent most of the day unwrapping a gift or two and then playing for a while. He had asked Santa for a Henry and James train (from the Thomas collection) and a Batman car (which is really the Joker car) and Santa came through for him and also included a train table. Here are a few more pics from Christmas morning and Liam reading his new books with Nanny Karen.

Liam on Christmas morning

Liam reading new books

Liam & Nanny Karen reading

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a safe and Happy New Year!

A Sign of Our Times

I’ve discovered yet another thing that our child (and the rest of what Rob calls Generation Z) will never know during Liam’s visit to the optometrist last week.

Until now his eye exams have consisted of the doctor pretty much just shining a light through a prism into his eyes, seeing how his pupils react, and making an educated guess about the prescription needed to correct his vision. Back when Liam was 2, the doctor explained to us that with young children he couldn’t do any type of formal exam but he would be able to get better readings the older that he got. Well, with this visit, he got Liam to read a symbol chart.

Instead of the standard E’s pointing each direction chart, what’s used for toddlers and pre-K kids is a picture chart like the one below: (sorry about the image quality, it’s the best I could find on the web):

Childrens vision test picture chart

The doctor asked about the first symbol and Liam identified it as a cake. When asked how many candles, he correctly answered “3.” So far, so good.

But when the doc started on the second row, he asked about the first symbol and Liam said it was a shirt with a pocket. That’s when it hit me — Liam has no reference to know that symbol is an old-style telephone. All the phones he’s ever seen are either cordless or cell phones. I mentioned this to my friend who works at the doctor’s office and she said most kids call the telephone symbol a shirt.

I’m always amazed by things like this because it makes me wonder what else will have no meaning to our future generations.

Breakfast With Santa 2010

A few weeks ago Liam met up with “The Big Guy” for his annual Breakfast With Santa. Liam went fully loaded with his wish list for Christmas but Santa is getting off pretty light this year since there were only 3 small requests: James and Henry trains (from the Thomas the Tank Engine set) and a “Shake n Go” Batman car (which is really a Joker car).


Photo compliments of Jennifer Spera Photography

I can’t believe how big he looks in Santa’s lap compared to last year. We had a great time and it gave me a chance to catch up with some of my former co-workers at MCH.

But the most exciting part of the day was after we left Santa. Liam had an opportunity to ride in a fire truck. The fire department academy’s graduating class was practicing driving the truck in the parking lot and they promised to be safe and give both my boys a ride. I’m thinking Rob might have enjoyed it as much as Liam. You be the judge. 😉

Liam & Rob riding in a fire truck.

Liam & Rob riding in a fire truck.

Liam & Rob riding in a fire truck.

Metcha Tres

Anniversaries are a way to remember, relive, reflect upon, and fully appreciate again important experiences and events in our lives. And today marks one of those major milestones for us. Words fail to paint the significance of that day, but it was life-altering to say the very least…

On our second day in Moscow, Russia, 3 years ago today, Monday, December 3rd, 2007, Dede & I met Liam for the first time!

We weren’t allowed to post or email photos of him until the adoption was finalized several weeks later, but of course we took lots of pictures on that special day. This is the first time we saw our son, being brought to see us by his kind caretaker, on that frosty morning in Podolsk:

Liam's "Metcha Day" photo

Big congrats to Melissa & Nathan who’re experiencing their own “Metcha Day” today!