This blog is no longer being updated. Our adventures continue back in the US, here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Baptism Day

The day after the Harvest Party was Liam's baptism. We had been looking forward to this day for a long time... we were exhausted from the festivities the day before, but ready for another fun day. It was a small affair with just family, but it was just perfect. Father Tom did a wonderful job and even forgave Liam when he knocked the anointed oil over on the alter. Oops!

Liam was fully immersed in the font and was a real trooper! After the Holy Water bath we dressed him in his grandfather's baptismal gown, which hubs wore as well. I think I should put him in dresses more often! I kid, I kid...

Waiting patiently...

"What just happened??"

"A bonnet, mom, really?"

Liam with his Godparents

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Free Christmas Cards? I'm In!

(For bloggers with a U.S.  address only)
One of the mom blogs I follow recently posted about getting FREE cards from Shutterfly just by blogging about the photo site. Now that we have a darling baby, of course we want to include a picture of him in our holiday greeting, and after looking at what Stutterfly has to offer, I have to say there are several I love. I would buy them even if this offer didn’t exist.

Personally, I like the flat Christmas cards selection best – the ones printed on premium cardstock. Another one of my requirements is that the greeting uses the word Christmas and not Holidays. So many designs to choose from... the question is... what fits our family’s style best? Here are a few I’m considering:

This one is a good option if we want just one family picture, or one of just Liam, I think it's my first choice

Love this one too. Great for a single shot of the little guy

If I can't pick just one photo to go on the card, isn't this a cute option?

What's your vote? What are your favorites? Happy shopping!

A Michigan Harvest Party

One of the highlights of our time in Michigan was the Harvest Party held at the Stover family house (aka: The Burrow, because it reminds us of the Weasly home in the Harry Potter saga). Most who came dressed up as it was the day before Halloween. It was great fun! I think the icing on the cake was that the party also served as a 30th birthday party for hubs - it totally caught him off guard when we brought out the cake and a giant photo board chronicling his life.

Chimney Sweep & Mary Poppins!

A wee Harry Potter!

Harry Potter & an adorable dalmatian with their grandparents, American tourists in Europe


Next up.... Liam's big Baptism day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Before I regale you with our U.S. trip...

I've been tagged by Liz over at It Be Liz! And since I am a huge procrastinator, I'm going to complete this little survey before I sit down to tell you about Liam's second All American Tour. (I know... I'm also behind on his monthly updates!)

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you. .
2. Paste these rules on your blog post.
3. Respond to the following prompts.
4. Add a prompt of your own and answer it.
5. Tag a few other bloggers at the bottom of the post.
6. Leave "Tagged You" notices on their blog/Facebook.
7. Let the person who tagged you know when you've written the post.

(I'll do all of this except the last two :-P)


1) The best investment you ever made:

My Wedding (Ok, so our parents helped out with that investment.)

2) If you could’ve written any book, directed any movie, and composed any song, which three would you pick:
Book: Harry Potter (I wish!)
Movie: It's a Wonderful Life
Song: Baby Got Back

3) Weirdest quirk:

I like the smell of skunk. It reminds me of summer.

4) One wish immediately granted:
A great job for Hubs next fall.
5) Most expensive hobby:
Travel or clothes shopping

6) An inexhaustible gift-card at which store:
I'm with Liz on this one. Target.

7) In another lifetime, you’d be:
A bird. 

8) The most famous/interesting member of your family tree:
Joe Dimaggio. My Grandma's cousin. 

9) What would you say to your teenage self?
Wax your mustache, fool. 

10) What do you want to be when you grow up?
Producer of a TV show on TLC (I'm not telling my idea because I'm not grown up yet - there is still hope!)


Forgot to tag!
I think most of the people I follow have already been tagged so I just have two: Liz & Heidi

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Five Months!

Liam, 5 months!

Today my baby boy is 5 months old! The past month Liam’s personality has really started to emerge. I think he’s a lot like his mama in this department – very friendly and ready with a smile; but there is no denying that he looks just like his daddy! That nose! Those eyes! Not to mention the size of him; he is such a chunk and so tall! He is getting really heavy and I definitely can no longer cradle hold him with one arm. Teething is on in full force (still!) I can still see the little buggers under his gums – just bust through already, I say! Let’s get this show on the road!

Also this month Liam had his second travel adventure, this time to Paris to visit his daddy.  Though he was generally good on both flights, it was really exhausting for me! (See this post for more on our trip).
Here’s what the little lion is up to this month:
  • A week ago he weighed 16 lbs 12 oz., jumping into a new percentile curve – around the 70th. Not sure how tall/long he is.
  • Wearing mostly 6-9 month clothing now. A few 3-6 things still, but also a few 9-12.
  • Now rolling over from tummy to back with ease. Though he seems to be over rolling from tummy to back now!
  • Sleep is pretty unpredictable. Some nights he only wakes once, and others as many as 5 times! The good news is that on some occasions he can sooth himself back to sleep without me going in.
  • Still being breastfed, but have added rice cereal in the evening (right after he turned 4 months) and just recently pears in the morning. He LOVES food! He grabs the spoon to try to feed himself and is so smiley for the whole process. I think we might try apple next. (I puréed the pears myself and intend to make his other foods, too. It’s so easy!)
  • He’s been saying “mamamamama” for a couple of weeks now! If only he knew he was saying my name!! Regardless, I love it!  
  • Grabs for whatever I have: coffee cup, remote (his favourite! Typical man, right?), food, phone... etc.
Favorites from month 5!

Our little family in Paris

Liam loves jardin du Luxenbourg!

A coffee break at Starbucks for some mom lovin's

Good buddies with auntie Kara

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Meet Me Under the Eiffel Tower

We had a wonderful weekend with hubs/daddy last weekend, despite the challenges of traveling alone with an almost 17 lb baby. We soaked up our long weekend and also managed to take in some of Paris' great sights and attractions.

A few tidbits from our holiday...

  • Liam did great while we were in transit, but keeping him happy was challenging. Another set of hands would have been very helpful!
  • Seeing hubs at the arrivals gate made my heart skip a beat and a lump form in my throat. It was so good to be back in his arms. 
  • We were a bit too ambitious on Saturday, and paid for it with a fussy baby. Note to self and other sightseeing families with small ones: GO SLOW! It's way too frustrating trying to fit too much in a day. In the end, everyone is grumpy! 
  • We learned from our mistake on Saturday and had no agenda for Sunday, making for a happier time.
  • Hubs bought Liam a genuine French Sophie the Giraffe and she was totally a hit! Unfortunately she got dumped from the buggy to be lost forever. I think I was more sad about it than little L! 
  • Leaving hubs on Monday was hard, as it always is to say goodbye. We parted and I didn't look back. Later J asked me why, saying he was sad that I didn't. I told him I would have lost it if I did, and I couldn't bear it knowing that I still have a long day of travel ahead.
  • Wouldn't you know they picked me to get patted down at security... meanwhile L is screaming. I was livid! I couldn't keep the tears back at this point. I struggled with my things (no help from the security staff) and carried on to my gate, looking like a hot mess, I'm sure.
So that's it in a nutshell. The pictures do the trip more justice than my hodgepodge bullet points. See for yourself!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Must Miss Him...

Yesterday was a brilliantly sunny day in Dublin and I found myself alone in the city wandering around. (Thanks for watching Liam, Steph!) I didn't quite know what to do with myself without a baby to tend to... my thoughts wandered mostly to my dear husband and at that moment I remembered all the fun we've had in this [great?] city... every landmark has a memory attached; so as I meandered around I found myself smiling as I thought about past adventures and lazy days in the park. I miss him.
On my first trip to Ireland in 2006! Photo taken at a bar in Dublin

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Everyone Needs One

Mine is this girl:

I am blessed to have several "best" friends, but Kara has been downright amazing throughout the time my husband has been away. She offers a listening ear and a home away from home whenever I need one. A big thank you to a very, very special person. Your kindness will always be remembered!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

(Photo taken by Kara) 
Henry and Liam BFFs :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

4 Months Old

4 months old, August 23rd

Every time a month goes by I stare at my calendar in disbelief that so much time has passed. In all honesty, some days go by so slowly I feel like they will never end, and on the other hand, the rest go by so quickly I wonder what the heck I even did that day (it never seems like much!). Liam is adding new tricks to his repertoire every day and just like any other mother, I beam with pride at his tiny accomplishments.

We're managing alright without hubs/daddy but all of that is for another post. Here's what Liam has been up to in the past month...

  • 5 days ago he weighed 15 lbs 6 oz and measured 26 inches long (tall?) The UK charts have him on the same curve he was on at birth - 51st for weight and 91st for height. I don't put a lot of stock in this but am happy he's been gaining and growing steadily. 
  • He's still being exclusively breastfed and will no longer take a bottle. Darn!
  • That being said, we have started having him practice with the cup to avoid problems when I want to wean him.
  • He's beginning to try to roll from back to tummy, but gets stuck on his side.
  • Loves his refection, we call the baby in the mirror Mail. Haha.
  • He loves other babies. Especially his good buddy Henry!
  • Still teething, with nothing to show for it yet.
  • Grabs for toys and objects and puts them directly into his mouth!
  • Switched to the "big boy seat" in the buggy. He loves being able to see what's going on around him and this makes walks and outings much more enjoyable!
Favorite photos from month 4....

Steph and Liam watching Team Bearpark win their polo match!

"I love my new buggy seat!"

Hubs comes home to visit from ol' Paris...  a lovely day on Dun Laoghaire Pier 

"Don't drop me, dad!"

Thursday, August 5, 2010


So, Hubs left for a fellowship in Paris two weeks ago tomorrow. Wouldn't you know that the very night he left me to be a single mother was the night the Lion got his first fever. Let me tell you: It was HELL. I knew my baby would eventually get sick, and I further knew that it would probably be awful. I did not know how completely helpless I would feel and how utterly sad and worried I would be. I have never heard him cry like that. His skin was so hot to the touch I thought he might catch fire. I called my mom crying in the middle of the night (still evening in Michigan) and she assured me we would both get through it advising me to do the things I already knew, but needed to hear again. Cold washcloth, bare skin, tylenol and motrin (here, calpol and nurofen), lots of fluids and a tepid bath if the fever does not relent. The Fever went on for 2 and a half days and on the second day (Sunday) I called my friend, Liz, who has a one year old. Surely she would have good advice! Her advice was the same as mom's but she could do what mother dear could not, come over to assist, nurofen in hand. We gave L the tepid bath, she phoned the after hours clinic and booked Liam an appointment, taking us to St. James a couple of hours later. God bless her.
So, we felt fever aftershocks for a good 5-7 days after the fact, fussy and lots of night waking, but things seem to be back to some semblance of normal. I think I passed initiation!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

3 Months have Flown!

Liam at three months

It's hard to believe Liam is now three months old. He has grown in so many ways and is developing quite the little personality! He had quite the third month with many firsts including his first international flight to the USofA and first meeting of his many adoring family and friends. He has also, unfortunately, experienced his first illness, a fever which was traumatizing for both baby and mom! Daddy had just gone to Paris so that made it a bit more of a challenge. Thank goodness friend Stephanie was here for moral support. Here are a few stats off the top of my head:
  • at 12 weeks Liam weighed about 14 lbs and was 24 inches long, I expect he is a bit bigger now, though the fever may have stalled growth for a couple days
  • He giggles more frequently now, but only when we make silly pig noises and other faces and sounds that make fools of us :-)
  • He rolls over very easily now both ways (tummy to back)
  • Loves tummy time and can lift his chest very easily off the ground
  • He is so active! When he is awake he demands to be entertained. He likes his doorway bouncer, grabbing his toys and stuffed animals and kicking on the activity mat
  • He has officially started teething which is where the fever came from, I think. He has two visible buds on his lower gums and is constantly gnawing on his fingers.  
  • Still loves to be outside. The calming effect is amazing!
That's all I can think of off the top of my head. What am I missing?

A few photos from month three...
Happy boy (before the fever set in!)

On a walk by the canal

Steph's in town! Liam loves her :-)

Monday, July 5, 2010


My Grammy recently asked me (via email - yeah she's 81 and totally hip like that, although I think she might be WebTV's only customer!) if we were getting L baptized before our big USA trip. I really don't think my baby will go to baby purgatory if heaven forbid, our plane went down in flames. Didn't the Pope do away with purgatory anyway?? (hah.) But, since we are not planning to have Liam anointed with his first sacrament until our trip home, Gram's question got me thinking. So we decided to go to mass on Saturday and have the priest give the little guy a special blessing. L was great and the priest was very kind. I feel much better now.

The next day hubs went for a walk with L in the baby bjorn. As he was walking through town, he passed one of the many gypsies selling "The Big Issue" (the government pays them a wage to do this). As hubs and L passed the gypsy gave L her special blessing - you know the one, crossing herself and pointing to her eyes, then his.

I think Liam is all set now. Don't you?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hey, Jude!

Sorry about the title... had to!

Welcome to the world you little chubby cheeked cherub! I could just eat you with one million spoons. And when I meet you for the first time next Friday, I think I might!

An ocean and a few time zones apart... we still managed to get the families together for a meet 'n' greet when Jude was a mere one day old.

ETA: This is my sister's new baby (named Jude, if you didn't catch that) who is two weeks old tomorrow!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Liam at Two Months

The Lion at two months!

It's hard to believe two months have flown past. Our sweet little boy has grown so much. His cousin, Jude was just born last week and looking at pictures of him in his newborn state makes me realize even more that every moment should be cherished and no two days will be the same. When I'm going crazy because Liam won't nap or spits up all over me and himself and we both need a change of clothes I need to remember that he won't be little for long. So, at night I'll rock him just a little longer than I need to, and kiss his cheeks just a few extra times... soaking it all in.
  • Liam definitely recognizes mom & dad's voices now and smiles often when he hears us.
  • He can see us and focus on our faces now, smiling back when we smile at him.
  • He loves to be outside. When he's fussy and hard to settle the breeze on his little face calms him down almost immediately.
  • Some of my friends have proclaimed him a divo (that would be the masculine form of diva) because he simply likes what he likes and refuses to be convinced otherwise.
  • He has teased up with a few 8 hour stretches at night but most nights wakes up once at about 3am after going to bed at 8. (Which I just counted and that's 7 hours - not bad either!)
  • Absolutely LOVES bathtime. This is hubs duty and they have so much fun!
  • He has rolled over from tummy to back a couple of times, but is not doing it consistantly
  • Weighs in (as of 9.5 weeks) at 12 lbs 14 oz. And is 24 inches long. He is a tall boy like his dad!
  • Is now wearing mostly 3-6 month sized clothing.
A few favorite photos from L's second month of life...

At Merion Square Park

7 weeks old

Cheeks to die for!

*Sorry I'm a week late with this! We've been outside enjoying the gorgeous weather!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

On Lying about my Age

Here in Ireland most people wait to get married until their mid-thirties and then wait even longer to have kids. I think that trend is growing the States but it's still average (at least where I'm from) for a person to tie the knot in their mid-twenties and start a family shortly thereafter.

When people here find out my age and also that I'm married with a baby, they almost always comment "Oh! You are so young!" Yes, I suppose I am (26. Hubs will be 30 this year). I don't feel like I need to justify my life choices to these people, but I will say that it's getting a bit old and I am seriously considering lying about my age... to make myself older; just to avoid those almost pitying faces and "young" comments.

Monday, May 24, 2010

One Month!

I cannot believe one month has gone by already. Everyone says time will fly after you have a baby, but I had no idea I would blink and he would be one month old! The past month has been the most amazing, challenging, rewarding time in my life. I know that sounds cliche but truer words have never been spoken! We are totally, head over heals in love with little Liam. Here's what he's doing at one month on...
  • He's so alert and loves to be awake for all the action. In order for him to take a nap he needs to be removed from all stimuli.
  • He's lifting his head for about 5-10 seconds at a time during tummy time and can hold his head upright and steady when he's on my shoulder.
  • He was last weighed 5 days ago and was 9 lbs 15 oz. I'm fairly certain he's over 10 lbs now!
  • On a good night he goes to bed around 9 pm and is up at 1 and 5. But we've has several nights where he's awake every two hours!
  • He can focus on objects and faces - loves to look at his black and white rattle.
  • He smiles! Both mama and daddy have witnessed it. His little dimple makes me melt!
Here are a few favorite photos from the past couple of weeks...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm Getting a Wife!

In this post you'll remember the tragic event that shook one of my best friend's world. After hubs and I racked our brains to figure out something we could do to ease the pain of her loss, even just a little, we decided to invite her to stay with us for up to 90 days* this summer to clear her head. Well, she's coming! And her timing will be perfect because just days after her arrival hubs is going to Paris for a 3 month fellowship. I was really worried about being a "single mom," but not anymore! Steph is super excited to help out with Liam and I am so excited to have her here for company, laughs and good old fashioned girl time. All of this has me thinking about the good times my old college roomie and I have shared... (too bad I couldn't dig up any photos from our college days! The following photos will have to do.)

My first trip down to Austin. We went hiking in sundresses. That's how we roll.

Steph's wedding - August 2008

Steph on a visit to MI while hubs and I were home for my sister's wedding in June 09

Can't wait to have you here, my dear friend!

*90 days is the max amount of time an American can stay legally in Ireland

Monday, May 17, 2010

Updates and Favorite Photos

Since I don't have a ton of time to give a proper update I'll just jot down a list of the major stuff... here goes:
  • I was induced on April 22 (evening) and delivered Liam about 7 hours later - no complications, only 15 minutes of pushing, and best of all no tearing or episiotomy. Recovery has been great!
  • Mom and dad (aka Grammy and GrandPaddy) came to visit the day after we were home from the hospital. My mom's help and advice was invaluable!
  • Liam has already gained over a pound from his birth weight! He is breastfeeding like a champ.
  • Liam already has a little friend, Henry! They met last weekend and napped together, then woke up at the exact same time to eat. They are totally in sync!
  • Hubs is the most amazing father... seeing him as a daddy in action makes me love him even more - I didn't think it was possible!
And the pictures like promised!


Remember this post? Well... my dream came true. Pictured below is our first family walk through Herbert Park... under the cherry blossoms like I had imagined.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Meet Liam

On April 23, 2010, at 3:30 am our lives were changed forever when this little guy made his appearance:
Liam Patrick

Stats: Weight: 8 lbs 6 oz, 21.5 inches long. Everyone is happy and healthy!