The Connolly Family

The Adventures of Matt, Shannon, Liam & Paige

Month: January 2010 (page 1 of 3)

Soccer Sunday

Liam has been literally vibrating from being cooped up inside for so long.  He was fine for months and it’s like he just hit his wall this week.  He bounces in his bed.  He bounces on the sofas and chairs.  He runs around screaming.  He does his impression of Jennifer Beals.  It’s like another child has taken up residence in my previously calm, cool, collected toddler’s body.  It may be cold today, but it’s sunny and that was enough for us to head outside to try to burn some of that energy off with the soccer ball in the front yard.  Here are a few pictures:

The set-up:


Action shot:



Pele would be proud:


Dad sets up for a family favorite: ‘Kick the ball down the hill and get Liam to run down after it and bring it back.’




“I see you, Mama!”




This is my:  *I’m really going to attempt to play soccer?!* face:


“Kick it that way!”



Sneak attack:


Picture of the day:


Snap. Crackle. Pop!

Today Liam had his first rice crispy treats.  We went to the store this morning to gather ingredients and had the following conversation:

[Scene:  In the Publix in the marshmallow aisle — or the aisle that has the marshmallows and candy and such — I prefer to think of it as the marshmallow aisle.]

Liam:  What’s that?

Shannon:  Those are marshmallows.  We need them to make rice crispy treats this afternoon.

Liam:  Want, please!

Shannon:  [hands the bag to Liam to hold] Here you go.

Liam:  Mmmmm!  Marshmallows!  I LOVE Marshmallows!

Shannon:  How do you know you love marshmallows, you’ve never had one.

Liam:  Mmmm.  Marshmallows so tasty.  Marshmallows white!  Marshmallows so soft.  [Burrows the bag down in with our coats in his seat].  Marshmallows all warm and cozy.  Marshmallows snuggly.  So many marshmallows.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 marshmallows!


After his nap, Liam and I made the rice crispy treats.  He had fun counting marshmallows (and tasting a few) and watching the butter and marshmallows melt on the stove.  Then came the best part:  the eating!

I decided to let him have at it like I do when I eat them (I prefer just to pull pieces off rather than cutting them into squares — especially when they’re still warm) and put the pan down on the table in front of him.  Here are a few pictures of the momentous occasion:

‘Thumb’s’ Up!



I asked for a smile, I got this:



How much do you like rice crispy treats, Liam?






Oh, The Water

I made the mistake of trying to anesthetize Liam with 15 minutes of Sesame Street so that I could eat my lunch in peace.  I will not do that again (this week, at least).

I went into our room, expecting to find him sitting on the floor, mouth open at the wonder that is Elmo.  What I found was that he had his back to the television, he’d taken his pants off and he had a Nalgene bottle (previously full) in his lap.  This was when I realized that my foot was wet (as was half of the carpet) as well as both of his socks.  Thank goodness it was only water.

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what Van Morrison had in mind…

Master Manipulator

Liam:  Oh.  I so sad.

Shannon:  Why are you sad?

Liam:  I so tired.

Shannon:  It’s not quite time for your nap yet, but it will be soon.  How about you go play with your blocks for a bit while I finish up my lunch and then we can read some books?

Liam:  Oh, I so sad and blue.  I needa woobie.  I feel better.

Shannon:  You can’t have a woobie until it’s time to go to sleep, so you’re going to have to wait for a little bit.

Liam:  Oh, I so sad.  Watch a little bit of TV?  Just a little bit?

Shannon:  Oh, wow.

Liam:  Oh, I pitiful.  I so pitiful.

Shannon:  You got that right.


[Scene: Liam and I are sitting at the table eating lunch.  The icemaker is filling up and Liam’s ears perk up as he hears this.]

Liam:  I hear something.

Shannon:  What do you hear?

Liam:  I hear sounds.  I hear something.

Shannon:  I hear sounds too.  What do you think is making those sounds?

Liam:  [pauses briefly to think] A donkey.

Shannon:  A donkey?

Liam:  I hear a donkey.  BRAY!  BRAY!  BRAY!


I don’t even know how he knows what a donkey is, much less what sound it makes.  Maybe there’s some sort of subversive farm-animal teaching going on on Sesame Street these days.

One Little Monkey

After weeks of successfully cuddling together in bed, it finally happened.  Liam fell  straight out of our bed this morning and hit the floor hard.  For our boy who is rarely upset by hitting his head or falling on his face, this was markedly different.  The tears were immediate and it felt like it took me an hour to cross over to the other side of the bed.

I don’t think he was hurt (at least not too badly or in any obvious way), the tears were mainly fear-driven, but it will be a long time before his request to “get up on a bed with Mama” will be granted again.  Apparently bedrails aren’t only a good idea for a toddler bed, but any bed in which a toddler sits for any period of time.  I guess we can chalk this one up to learning the consequences of his actions (with minimal injury).


[Scene: Matt is carrying Liam out of the bathroom after his bath.  He’s all wrapped up in a towel and Matt turns him around so he can say hi to me.]

Shannon:  Hey Doodlebug!

Liam:  Penis.

Shannon:  Did he just say penis?

Liam:  Penis under da towel.  Penis in dere.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Penis!  Penis.  Penis.  Penis.

Shannon:  I guess so.


There’s not a much more concise way that I can figure to list a boy’s priorities than to use his own words.

Dear Liam,

I love you very much.  You’re a great kid with a sweet nature and you’re generally very easy to be around.  I appreciate all the wonderful things about you.  I would also really appreciate it if you could get it together with your sleeping habits.  Taking a three hour nap when your Gran is here to play with you and then taking an hour and a half nap when I’m here by myself is not cool.  Going to bed at 8:00 one night without incident and then going to bed at 8:30 the following night only to stay up kvetching until 10:00 is not okay.  Your Dad and I are tired.  The more exhausted we get, the harder it becomes to appreciate the essence of you.  It’s in your absolute best interest to work on some regularity in the sleep realm.  Thank you so much.




When we were at Trader Joe’s on Tuesday, Liam was given a balloon of his choice (he chose white).  Because of the incident from the previous balloon-gifting visit to TJ’s, I decided to put it in the trunk to ensure everyone’s safety.

When we got home, I found that Liam had emptied half of the contents of his water bottle onto his crotch and down into his carseat, so immediate de-pantsing was required when we got home.  As such — I put him in the house and brought the groceries in as quickly as possible.  As I was doing this, the balloon floated out of the trunk, but I didn’t have a free hand to grab it, so I left it to float in the garage.

When I left to go to the park on Wednesday, I noticed that somehow the balloon had lodged itself between the open garage door and the ceiling of the garage, with the string hanging down through one of the openings in the garage door.  I assumed that it would end up getting popped by the mechanism of the garage door opening and didn’t think anything more about it until today.

As we were getting ready to leave, I opened the garage door.  Liam always cranes his neck around to watch it open.  I hear this from the backseat as I’m beginning to back out:

“Ooooh!  White balloon fell down!  White balloon!  Oh, yay!”

Then I heard the unmistakable popping sound that could only be the demise of the balloon.  I didn’t say anything about it and hoped that Liam wouldn’t remember what he’d seen when we got back.  I wasn’t so lucky with this one.

As were pulling into the garage the following conversation began:

Liam:  Oooh!  White balloon!  Where’s the white balloon!  I want the white balloon, please!

Shannon:  I’m sorry, kiddo — I think it popped when I was pulling out of the garage earlier.

Liam:  Let’s go see balloon, please.

Shannon: [takes Liam over to the spot where the balloon is now one with the garage floor] Here it is, buddy.  I’m sorry about that.

Liam:  It’s broken.  We can’t fix it.  We can’t fix it.  I’m so sad.  I’m so sad.


I want to go out and buy him a huge bundle of balloons that I know he won’t even care about because that was just so heartbreaking to hear.  I’ll be a puddle on the floor when his feelings are hurt for real reasons.  Ah, parenthood.


Okay, so I admit to regularly watching Supernanny.  I’m not overly proud of this, but I’m also not particularly embarrassed by it.  It just is what it is.

Every week I watch families with insane discipline issues (99% of the time easily traced back to the parents).  It’s very easy to diagnose from the comfort of my own stable home.  The editing makes it even easier to see what the issue is, even without experience.  It’s designed so that most people can understand what’s going on (kind of like newspapers which are written on a 3rd grade reading level in order to appeal to the masses).  This isn’t rocket science.  As such, I don’t usually go into a tizzy while watching.  There’s a reason these people are on Supernanny: either they’re bad parents, they truly want help and don’t know where they’ve gone wrong, or they’re looking for the paycheck the show provides (or a combination of the three).

The episode I watched tonight (TiVoed from last week, I think) truly took the cake.  In this episode there is a mother who is 25 and living with her two boys (6 and 4) in her parents’ home.  The grandmother stays home with the children all day while mom goes off to work.  When she does get home from work she appears not to do much more than send text messages, play video games, mess around on the computer, and watch television.  She lives rent-free.  When Supernanny (Jo Frost) was going through the routine with the family, she asked who would be the one to get the boys up and ready for the day.  After a very long silence (with grandma clearly waiting for mom to step up) the mom’s response was (through the power of TiVo, these are direct quotes):

Mom:  “I dunno.”

Supernanny:  “What do you mean, you don’t know?  Who do you think should be doing it?”

Mom: “me, but I want to sleep, too. [nervous laughter]”

Supernanny: “Excuse me?”

Mom:  [more nervous laughter] “I do like my sleep [even more nervous laughter] but I have to, so…”

Supernanny:  “These are your kids, right?”


Cut to the trip that Supernanny planned to take this girl (I would call her a woman, since she’s 25 years old, but her actions clearly prove that she’s still a girl) to a shelter for homeless families with the expectation that she could teach a lesson about having proper gratitude for the fact that her parents have given and appear to be continuing to give her so much.  In her follow-up interview she had this to say about going to the shelter and talking to the director about the services offered:

“I didn’t really know why Jo wanted me to sit there and listen to what this lady had to say.  I didn’t know what the point was.”

When asked if she wanted to take a look around, she shrugged her shoulders as if to indicate that she didn’t want to tour the shelter.

Supernanny:  “What, you’re not feeling it?”

Mom:  “I don’t care.”

Supernanny: “Really?”

Mom:  “I mean, we can, it doesn’t matter.”

[Seriously–she actually said this.  She was sitting in a homeless shelter where she could very well be living if it weren’t for the extreme generosity of her parents and she not only was too dense and/or too self-absorbed to understand why she was there, but she couldn’t even act interested long enough to tour the place.  Then–the real kicker–she pulled out her phone while the poor director was trying to tell her about how important this program is and started TEXT MESSAGING.  Right there while the woman was trying to talk to her.  SERIOUSLY.]

Mom:  “I know that people don’t have as much as me, but I didn’t think it was necessary for me to have to go the homeless shelter.”

[Really Mom?!  Really?]

Then Supernanny took her outside and spelled it out for her and called her spoiled and told her that she’s not at all grateful for what she has.  Supernanny was much nicer than I was being while watching the thing.

Later on, Supernanny had her write down things about her parents for which she’s grateful.  Her mother actually cried because her daughter never thanks her for anything.  Matt and I don’t believe spanking is an effective form of discipline–but if I had a grown daughter who was acting like that I’d want to lay her over my knee for sure.

P.S.  I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank my parents, my grandparents, and my Mo and Pok for all they’ve done for me over the years.  No one should have to go on Supernanny to have their children and grandchildren say ‘thank you.’

I’m glad I got that off my chest.

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