Monday, November 30, 2009

The end of an era (and Chad comes out of the closet)

Saturday was moving day. After 35 years in their house (and being the original owners to boot)... Gramma and Grampa traded it in for a low-maintenance apartment. They had spent a couple of months purging to help make moving day go smoother. Chad and Darin (who spent the night before at our place, with his feet dangling off the end of Mallory's bed; she was thrilled to lend it to him) were out the door bright and early on Saturday morning since they picked up the moving truck at 7 a.m. I stopped by a few times with the kids: on our way to swimming lessons and after swimming lessons... but we somehow missed the moving truck each time. After that, we went to the library, ran some errands and went out for lunch. Our third try was lucky and we found them back at the house, picking up the last few odds and ends, the moving truck already returned. The kids spent a gleeful ten minutes running around the empty house, marvelling at the furniture-less rooms and wide open spaces ("Come look at the bedroom! Come look in the basement!"). In their outside shoes, no less!

I well remember what moving was like for us last year: an experience I absolutely do not want any part of again anytime soon! So I'm glad on Gramma and Grampa's behalf that it's behind them. Well, aside from the unpacking. :)

Chad moved into that house when he was less than a year old, so there was a lot of history there, including this hidden nook above a closet that Chad used to climb up into to eat his lunch. In the dark. In a closet. Covered - still - in Twisted Sister posters. Hey, it's a young single guy who bought the house. He might like them.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our version of the Cabbage Patch Doll/Tickle Me Elmo/Zhu Zhu Pet craze

There is really only one thing that Liam wants for Christmas this year. It's something he saw in the Sears Christmas Wish Book and has been talking about for months. Here it is, in all its glory:
Yep... a McDonald's playset. Our kids view a Happy Meal as a treat and, well, I guess it then follows that he would want this set.

We pointed out to him that he already has a toy cash register, but what he really loves about this set is that it comes with a headset. A non-working replica of what the drive-through employees wear. He is smitten. (To be fair, I wanted my share of weird things as a kid. The two that immediately came to mind are a sno-cone maker and a rock tumbler. I don't know if I ever asked for these things or if I knew my parents would think they were dumb and never bothered to make it known. I never received either one.)

Anyway, this was a request we could manage. After giving Liam an ATV last year, there was no way we were springing for another big ticket item, so I breathed a sigh of relief when Liam made it known that this was his dream gift of 2009. We thought we would just log onto the Sears website and order Liam his play set, but of course it can't be that easy. (Thank goodness we started our shopping early!) The item might be pictured in the Sears catalogue, but as it turns out, Sears has discontinued the item.

So we tried Toys R Us. But although they list this item on the US website, it's not available in Canada.

Panic starts to set in.

We search various eBay listings (for which the shipping came to more than the toy itself) and web-based toy stores, and finally Chad locates a gently used set on Kijiji. In Toronto. We make contact, and it's still available. They want a lot for it, given that it's used, but at this point we are willing to do whatever it takes. So very, very luckily, the seller lives in the same neighbourhood as my generous sister who went over to pick it up for us. We'll be seeing her in a couple of weeks and the transaction can be made then. Barring that... well, there's always XPressPost. It might cost a small fortune, but we need that play set under the Christmas tree this year.

Since first announcing that he wants the McDonald's set, Liam has also informed us that he wants a small handheld Diego videogame (ordered!) and a golf set. He already has a golf set. He tells me he needs more balls. I think we might stick a sleeve of golf balls in his stocking, and call it a day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Work and generally feeling run down have kind of thrown me for a loop this week - routine has been out the window. Hopefully I'm heading into a bit of a reprieve and there will be more to come...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Disney Day 6: Hollywood Studios

Mallory has been talking about going to Disney a lot lately. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned something about doing something together on the weekend, and she looked at me excitedly and said, "Are we going to Disney?" Ahhh, if only it were that easy, little one! She was talking about going to Disney again last night and I said, "Yes, we will go back to Disney, but it won't be for a few years." And then Chad pointed out that I hadn't finished my trip report. See... if I don't get something done shortly after I start it... I lose steam. THAT is why I tend to jump into things headfirst. Gotta strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.

The fact of the matter is that I finished my Disney album... or 99% of it anyway... at least a month ago. And since then, it's kind of been off my radar. (Will the remaining 1% ever be finished? I don't know. I think my 2003 Tanzania album is still 1% undone...) Nonetheless, here's the lowdown on Day 6 of our trip. I know I said that Epcot isn't my favourite park, and it isn't, but Disney's Hollywood Studios probably bottoms the list. It's still a nice park and there is still lots to do there... it just isn't my favourite. (I think Chad was offended when I told him that!) We started our day with another character breakfast, this one at Hollywood & Vine. The characters were JoJo the clown and the kids from Little Einsteins. We don't watch either of those shows (well, we do have one LE DVD that Mallory enjoys, but overall those characters don't get the same kind of airtime in our house as, say, the Disney princesses.) We were out of breakfast in time for rope drop. The big new attraction at DHS is Toy Story Midway Mania, and we didn't think we would see that one at all, because we weren't willing to spend hours in line for it. At rope drop, 95% of the crowd took off to queue up for that attraction and/or get a Fastpass for it. We circled the entire way around the park to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground - thinking it the more appealing choice. Except that when we got there, there was a sign up saying the playground didn't open for another half hour. That really caught us off guard and so we wandered over to check out TSMM. Lo and behold, the line was not bad at all (meaning 15 minutes or so), so we decided to try it. Note to self: the weather in Florida in August can be awfully hot... but the lack of crowds more than makes up for it! TSMM is a 3-D midway/arcade type game. Thus the long lines: you go through once, you get a score, you immediately hop back in line to try to beat it. I hope Disney does not come up with too many more of these types of attractions that bring people through multiple times. It was fun, though Mallory had no clue what was going on and it only just registered with Liam. Give us a few years and we will likely be that family lining up yet again! By the time we came out, the playground was open and we headed back over to frolick with the six-foot-tall blades of grass and ants as big as a cow.

We also caught a few stage shows in the morning. The first was a puppet version of My Friends Tigger & Pooh, a show our kids do watch, so that went over well. The second was the live version of The Little Mermaid. Mallory adores Ariel, so this was very exciting for her. All was fine and well until the sea witch Ursula came out, at which point Mallory cried (in a voice loud enough for the entire theatre to hear): "I don't like her, she is a mean mean lady!" As for Liam, he scowled the entire way through the show because there were several scenes set (duh!) in/on/around the water, and they kept misting the theatre to add to the effect. Who knew that Liam hates getting wet so much? Not me...For lunch we went to the Sci-Fi Drive-In, which was our only bad meal of the entire trip. You pay for the atmosphere here, not the great food. The kids loved sitting in a car to eat and watching old movies on the drive-in screen while we waited for our food.We made an early exit that day to spend some extra time at the pool. On our way out of the park, Chad was sad to discover part of the Star Wars attraction boarded up for refurbishment, but running into the green army men from Toy Story made up for it a bit.We came back to DHS that night for dinner at the 50s Prime Time Cafe. I just love this place. The food is great (even though it's theme-y; I had meatloaf and Chad had pot roast) but the real reason you go is for the experience. All of the furniture and decor are authentic 50s items. After you wait to be seated in the mid-century modern teak living room, you are escorted to a seat in the formica-tabled kitchen, complete with black and white check floor. The waitresses scold people for putting their elbows on the table and not finishing their vegetables. (Chad was awarded a 'Clean Plate Club' sticker for finishing his meal.) Up until this point in the trip, we'd been feeding Mallory bits and pieces off our plates for the most part, because she is under 3 and therefore was too young for the meal plan. But she was pining for some macaroni and cheese (and there was no way we would ever get her to eat meatloaf!) so we traded in one of our adult meal credits (which could be worth $50+ at some restaurants on property) for her kids dinner. Then, she didn't touch it. I mean, she did not eat one noodle. It was so exasperating, I can't even tell you. I laughed so much because if I didn't, I think I would have cried.

While we were eating, a monsoon rainstorm broke out, and we were suddenly very thankful for the dollar-store ponchos we'd brought along. Waiting for the bus back to our hotel was the only time during our trip that we got caught in the rain. I'd say that was pretty lucky!Next up: Day 7 - The Magic Kingdom Finale. Hopefully it doesn't take me another month to get around to posting it!...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sick day

I have spent months going back and forth on the issue of immunizing our kids against H1N1. To date, we have followed the provincially recommended immunization schedule, but none of us have ever had a flu shot and I am generally against over-medicating and prefer most of the time to let nature run its course. That being said, every time I hear about a perfectly healthy someone who was dead 24 hours later because of H1N1... it strikes fear in my heart. Even if those cases are 1 in 8 million.

(For the record, Chad does not have a strong opinion one way or the other either and knows that I am reading everything I can find on the issue, so he's essentially left the decision on this one in my hands.)

I had all the time in the world to waver on making this decision up until the vaccine landed in our municipality a few weeks ago and became accessible. A few weeks went by and I still couldn't decide. Then, this past weekend, I finally decided to get it. It still scares me a bit that the vaccine was rushed out, but I temper that fear by thinking about how the flu vaccine itself has been around for years - this is just a different strain of it. And at the end of the day, I would feel worse if something bad happened because I'd neglected to get the vaccine that is being recommended, than if something bad happened because I'd gotten the vaccine. You follow?

This week's vax clinics in our town were on Tuesday and Wednesday, and wouldn't you know it, Mallory woke up on Monday with a rash that is still persisting today. I think it's the start of her annual wintertime eczema onslaught (sigh). Still, we decided not to go to the clinic without Mallory being 100%.

And wouldn't you know it... Wednesday night, Liam hardly had anything to eat and by the time he went to bed, he was burning up. I spent yesterday home with him as he took a sick day from school. His fever was mid-range (100.6 F) but the weird thing is that he didn't have any other symptoms. No sore throat, cough, stomach upset, body aches, lethargy... nothing. And by last night, he was fine again. So whatever it was was (a) mild and (b) quick.

So... did he have H1N1? Do I still have to get him vaccinated? It's decision-making time, again.

Here he is yesterday... you can see the flush in his right cheek from the fever. I was trying to pump him full of clementines. They are thought to be a wintertime illness cure-all in our house.We have some landscaping going on in the back yard right now, and it's been so much fun to see the progress. I was really looking forward to the opportunity to spend a day at home watching the guys in action but... it rained all day. So no progress was made. Bummer!I also thought we might make more headway on the holiday decor, but that didn't happen, either. Liam helped me do this bannister last weekend. I still need some ribbon or something to cover the zip ties holding the garland to the railing, and maybe something to hang from the newel post to finish it off. (I know garland is really supposed to go on the outside of the staircase, not inside of it, but we have a switchback on the second floor that doesn't make that possible.)Hoping to do some more indoor holiday decorating this weekend, and some outdoor stuff, too. They're calling for snow next week... that's incentive to get out and do it now!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ainsley & Daryl

I'd hoped to get this put together before they returned from their honeymoon, but I am a few days late. Here is a sneak peek of a few of my favourite shots from their wedding. Enjoy, guys... your CD will be in the mail soon!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Time management

I spent 40 minutes trapped in an elevator yesterday. How was your day??

(The good news is, today is off to a better start already. I was up early for a run this morning and caught the tail end of the Leonid meteor shower. It's a far cry from watching the Perseids shower in August under much more favourable conditions, what with the cold and the wind, but seeing a few shooting stars made it worth braving the elements!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Keeping me on my toes

Yesterday, the kids and I went to cousin Ethan's baptism in London, and it turned into quite the day. Chad came home last night after spending nearly three days away. The first and second days went well. We ran errands, we went to the park, we went to swimming lessons, we treated ourselves to a pizza and subs, we watched movies, we hung Christmas decorations, and we had a good time. The kids were well behaved and all was well. Then, yesterday happened. First, the baptism. 12 babies being baptized in a Catholic church, and the ceremony coincided with Mallory's naptime. I was so busy just trying to get the kids out the door on time and in clean clothes that it didn't occur to me until we were on the highway that I should have brought some colouring books or other distraction to keep them busy in the pews.Liam weathered it well, but Mallory is another story. She hadn't napped much on Saturday and by yesterday afternoon, she was tired. She spent the first 20 minutes of the ceremony in her seat but after that she wanted nothing less than to be on my lap, keeping up a running stream of commentary. "Why is that baby getting his head wet? Am I going to get my head wet? What is that baby's name?" She really does not understand the difference between an inside voice and an outside voice, and when you combine that with the echoyness of a cathedral... ay yi yi. On our way to the baptism we had had some discussion about how to behave during the ceremony (i.e. be GOOD and QUIET!) and as I buckled her into the car afterward, she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, wasn't I SO SO GOOD in the church?" I couldn't help laughing. I guess her idea of good and mine are far different!
Then we went back to Darin and Jenn's (which is what I still call it, but the kids have started correcting me, it should be Darin and Jenn and Ethan's) for dinner. And I should have known something was up with Mallory when I kept asking to take her to the bathroom, and she kept saying she didn't have to go. I was pretty sure she did have to go and a few minutes later, Megan came down the stairs with her and reported a successful trip. Why she would go with Megan and not with me was beyond me. But I should have known that it meant she was having an off day.
Unfortunately... the next time, she did choose to go with me. Only it was when she was sitting on the living room floor in front of me. She suddenly got a very bizarre look on her face, and I guessed right away what the cause of it was. I was mortified. She's been toilet trained for three months and we had not yet had a public accident. In fact, I almost didn't pack a spare change of clothes yesterday simply because she had been doing so well. I always sort of assumed that any public accident she did have would be at Walmart or the grocery store. You know, the kind where they can call "clean up in aisle 4" and a guy with a mop zips over and cleans it up off the industrial tile floor - no harm done. I never imagined it happening in the middle of a major traffic path on someone's living room carpet!That was it... I had had about all I could take for one day. We made a speedy exit (during which Liam decided to take off down the street, around a corner and in the dark, without me - now he was giving me grief, too!) I was definitely not in the best of moods as I left. But while the kids can be a huge source of frustration sometimes... they can also be the best kind of stress relief. It was such a nice weekend, and a lot of people took advantage of that to hang their Christmas lights way early this year. We drove away admiring all the lights we passed on our way out of town. The kids were in the back, talking excitedly about Christmas. I stopped being mad at Mallory for being such a handful and decided it was really more my fault for not being better prepared to help her handle a long day when I already knew she was overtired. Maybe one of these days, I will get this parenting thing figured out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Last call

I am in the midst of a marathon photo-editing session, having put the kids to bed three hours ago and now being housebound and having time on my hands. Just as I went to save "Barrs4crop" I got the dreaded message that I sort of knew was coming but hadn't checked on in a while... my hard drive is full. Of course this would happen just as I am trying to get 3 sessions out the door!

I am going to go back and delete some old (think 2005 & 2006) sessions... I think I have distributed these far and wide on CD, but if there's something you need, now is the time to ask... and then I'm going to pen a letter to the jolly old elf and let him know that on my wishlist this year is a 1.5 TB hard drive. Which, with the way technology moves these days, will be a tenth of the size of my current hard drive, which has only 1/3 that capacity. Crazy, isn't it??

Friday, November 13, 2009


This morning, we sent Chad off, then did some fun errands, hit the park for a nice long time and picked up a pizza on our way home.

My Christmas shopping is about half done. Two more weeks, and I hope to have the other half done.

Tomorrow we're going to pick out some shrubs for the back yard. Very excited about that. It seems like we're getting our Indian Summer in November, so might as well make the most of it.

Recently overheard from Mallory: "OH NO! I have a BIG BIG PROBLEM!" (It pertained to one of her dolls.)Today I sent an order to the printer's and have several more projects in the works, at least in my head. Doing one more shoot tomorrow and then things will settle down. (I think!)

My Christmas cards arrived yesterday, and they are stunning. I tried a new printer and a new finish on them, and I love how they turned out. Hope to get them addressed over the next few weeks and into the mail on December 1. I know most people just throw them out come January 1 (hey, that's what I do with most of mine, too!) so I feel like I get more bang for my buck by getting them out early.

We figured out who tore out all the crocus bulbs. Not a squirrel (I don't even know if I've ever seen a squirrel in our yard!) It was the crows. I know this makes no sense whatsoever to those of you who don't live close to me but for you locals... I'm sure you understand!I've watched this week's episode of Glee 3 times.

I think I've finally decided to vaccinate the kids against H1N1. I have until Tuesday to change my mind. Again.

Mallory wants a reindeer for Christmas. For real. I have told her livestock is not allowed within the city limits but I'm not sure she is buying it. Liam wants the McDonald's playset he saw in the Sears catalogue. I hope that doesn't say too much about how and where we feed our kids.

I just put Mallory down for a quick nap - very, very late today - and am on my way downstairs to start pulling out a few Christmas decorations with Liam. No time like the present.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chatham. Not Chicago.

This weekend, Chad is taking off for a guys weekend. They're going to Chicago. This is the same group of friends he went to Las Vegas with a few years ago, and I figure if they all returned safely from Vegas of all places, they will surely all return safely from Chicago. Especially since now there are wives and kids in the picture all the way around.

Anyway, last night I told the kids that dad is going to be away this weekend and he is going to Chicago. I started to tell them about some of the fun stuff that we were going to do while dad was gone. We'll hit the park, we'll have pizza, we might watch a movie, we'll see Gramma and Grampa, good times all the way around.

But Mallory must remember our family trip to Chicago from six months ago, because she asked if dad would be going to the aquarium and the zoo, and despite my assurances that no... I don't think daddy and his friends are planning to go to the aquarium this weekend... as soon as Chad walked into the room, she asked him if she could go with him.

I need to up the ante a little... must find a way to make it worth her while to stay home with me!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Of meat and music.

I know, I know - I haven't shared much lately. Or had the most thought-provoking things to say. Going through a busy time right now (to be compounded by the fact that Glee is back on tonight after a hiatus for the World Series - yahoo!) This 'busy time' includes trying to push huge boxes of frozen meat on unsuspecting acquaintances as part of Liam's school fundraising efforts. We have hit the end of the line and are going to buy the rest of our 'suggested sales target' ourselves to nosh on all winter. Anyone want to come for dinner? - we're well stocked.

(Please don't take this the wrong way: I am not trying to solicit sales here! Besides, meat is rather, well, perishable, yaknow?? Not ideal for distributing via internet!)

In this completely-random-and-has-nothing-to-do-with-my-commentary photo, Liam is breaking out his killer dance moves. He has a KidzBop CD that came with a Happy Meal, and every once in a while, I hear it cranking out of the DVD player. If there is one thing more annoying than (some) schmaltzy top 40 music, then it's got to be a bunch of kids singing along, karaoke style, to said music. But he loves it, and to witness the dance moves that go along with it makes it all worthwhile!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Just a quick share from Sunday brunch. 18 people including 8 kids in one 'party' room, which was pretty small for any sort of party, if you ask me. It was fun, but not all that relaxing, what with the chasing of the kids, stopping them from licking and banging on the glass wall, etc. I have more photos from brunch but haven't had time to edit them yet. Work is busy and I've had the camera out lots also... everyone's trying to get their pictures done before Christmas! The good news is that my lens made it back safe, sound, and fixed, and I had it in time for the wedding, too. And the icing on the cake is that being forced into using a different lens while it was gone made me learn some new tricks with it and realize that - dare I say it? - I might even like it better! They each have their own time and place, but it will definitely be coming out more often from now on.

More brunch photos may come eventually... like I dunno... February, maybe, once all the hubbub dies down?

(Seeing this shot reminds me that I still haven't even posted (or edited) Thanksgiving! Eeep!)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Is there a doctor in the house?

I was away for the entire day on Saturday. I left the house shortly after 9 a.m. and wasn't home til the wee hours the following morning. Chad was on his own with the kids for the day, but lest you think he has trouble entertaining them when I am gone, here I present the proof that he is far more resourceful and creative than I will ever be:

That is Mallory lying on the doctor's table (i.e. our ottoman covered with blankets and towels) with a toilet paper cast on her arm.

Apparently he kept them busy for hours playing doctor. We have a couple of toy stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs, and the rest (assorted needle-less syringes, ear thermometer, measuring cups for doling out cough medicine, band aids etc.) were raided from our first aid box in the linen closet.

That, plus copious amounts of toilet paper.

I got to witness this all again on Sunday, when Mallory spent a good chunk of the day writhing around on the ottoman moaning, "I'm sick! I'm sick! I'm still sick!"

And see all these animals and dolls lined up on the couch? They had all been treated. Every single one. The elephant has a bandaid on his trunk. The giraffe? It was his throat that was sore, of course.I wonder how long til I get my couch back...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Second shooting

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Ainsley and Daryl's wedding and acting as a second shooter there. Their taste and attention to detail were evident because the scheme of the entire wedding was gorgeous. Just wait til I show some close-ups of their flowers and her dress!

Because I was 'second shooting' and not 'main shooting', I did my best to stay out of the main's way and therefore don't have a lot of the traditional shots, including very many of the happy couple themselves. But here is one I do have, and it's one of my favourites from the day. Have a wonderful honeymoon, guys!!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fall is my favourite season of all

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The official ones

...and they are sooooo cute! The class shot is a freebie. We really don't need any more pictures of Liam (!!) but we ordered one 8x10 of Pose 2. It just seemed wrong to not have a copy of his very first school photo.What is he looking at in the class shot? Who knows. We sat down last night and he told us the names of every kid in his class, along with little bits of information about some of them. Sometimes I suspect he really is a more social person than he lets on.

Monday, November 02, 2009

I think I'm going to change the title on this one. It's not like I want to scare him. (And I know now that I mistyped 'tagging'.)

The JK Halloween party

Liam's class had a Halloween party on Thursday afternoon, and some time ago his teacher sent out the call for parent volunteers. I booked the afternoon off work and signed up lickety-split. I didn't have any meetings or major commitments to worry about, and once winter hits, my involvement at work typically peaks. I figured I should do it while I had the chance.

I was so excited about this, because I was dying to spy on Liam in the school environment and see what his days are like, what the other kids are like, what his interaction with them is like, etc. We dressed him in orange and black that morning, as per his teacher's request (his class was not allowed to wear costumes) and I pulled out my Halloween shirt, too. Mallory was invited to wear her costume to Cindy's again that day and when she saw Liam and I having our picture taken, she decided to get in on the action, too. Note that in the mad scramble to get out the door that morning, we were unable to find her proper princess tights and shoes (we did locate them in time for Halloween!)

The party was scheduled to start at 2 and I was asked to come in at 1:45 to receive my instructions. The party consisted of the class rotating through different activity centers. Receiving my instructions was pretty quick so I had lots of time to spy on Liam, who was out on the playground for recess. My heart was in my throat as I arrived at the school and first saw him. Would he be playing with other kids or would he be all alone? I saw a bit of both. He was doing some crazy running around on the play equipment, but was also hanging pretty tightly with a pack of little boys at times. I got the sense that things were good.

When the kids came into the classroom after recess, I got a lot of out-of-the-corner-of-his-eye stolen glances. Not a lot of outright recognition until later in the afternoon. I was struck by Mrs. Garrow's classroom presence, the way she had the kids organize the coatroom before being allowed into the classroom, the songs and routines she had clearly established. I quickly picked out the boys whose names I have heard most often at home: Malcolm, Aidan and Nathan. They all seemed like nice kids. There was one kid who was a bit aggressive for my tastes and it didn't surprised me that he is not one of Liam's closest friends. I took advantage of having small numbers of kids rotate through my center each time to try to learn a bit about them. Besides memorizing the faces and names - which I am absolutely awful at, by the way - I tried to suss out who is JK and who is SK since the class is a split. (On the bad news side, I think that all 3 of Liam's friends are SK - meaning there is no chance of them being together again next year.)

By the end of the party, Liam was deliberately trying to catch my eye. The very last thing the kids did was hand out their treats to one another, which was utter mayhem. Although Liam had told me earlier that he did not want to take treats in to his classmates (AFTER I had bought and assembled them), he got a kick out of handing them out and almost all the kids reciprocated. I am glad that he got to participate in the handing out activity.

Before I knew it, it was 3:15 and the kids were getting coats and outdoor shoes on, and the bus kids were heading in one direction and the after school program kids were going in another direction and the parents who were picking kids up were clogging up the door. Liam was being pokey in getting his stuff together because he was busy running his mouth to me about all the activities he had done in the other centers. Finally, we were the last ones left with Mrs. Garrow. She looked like she was getting ready to leave and I finally told Liam to stop talking and get his stuff together because he could tell me all about it once we got in the car to go pick up Mallory. And Mrs. Garrow interrupted me to say no, let him speak - she had never heard him say so much at once before, and she thought it was wonderful.