Friday, October 4, 2013

Liam's 2 Years Old!

Liam is Mr. Personality.  He is such a hoot to be around.  He surprises us daily with little things he will say or do.  For instance, he loves singing Hakunah Matata, and will break out in song randomly.  What's even funnier about this is that he did this long before he ever saw the Lion King movie.  One of our sole books on this journey that we picked up in an Edinburgh thrift store is Lion King.  Bobby and I sometimes sing it while we are reading, and that had been his sole exposure to the song.

He loves laughter.  He loves doing things to make his big sister laugh.  He loves throwing back his head and laughing deep from his belly.  It is fitting that his middle name means laughter.
 He is a rough and tumble little boy, but he also loves to cuddle.  He not only loves to cuddle with his mom (and sometimes dad), but he loves to cuddle with his bear and monkey.  Since bear and monkey also come with his pacifier, we hide them during the day and only bring them out for nap and bedtime.  It is like Christmas every time he gets his bear and monkey.  We all like to be around for the unveiling of bear and monkey because pure joy can be observed.

Being a social butterfly, he picks up on the new languages really quickly.  He likes to greet people as well as tell them thank you and good-bye.  He knows these words in French, Scottish (yes I know it's English but they say hi-ya & cheers and he picked up on it on his own), Portuguese, and Spanish.  What's fun is locals absolutely eat it up that he is speaking in their language.  And he is just adorable so people want to interact with him.  Just the other day we were eating tapas and a woman in her early 20's played with Liam (peak-a-boo, touching his arm and hair, sticking out tongue, etc) throughout the entire meal.

If you couldn't tell from the pictures, he is a big boy.   Bobby and Amelie like to call him fatty and other endearing nicknames as such, but I don't want him to get a complex.  Lately, we have called him Gordito (sometimes shortened to Dito) which means "little fat boy" in Spanish.  When we say this to locals they say, "No, guapo!" which means handsome. ;)  He likes to eat...and he does so really well.  He does a great job using a cup without any tops as well as using silverware without making a huge mess.  Our reasoning behind this is that he wants to get as much in his mouth as possible.

There is so much more I could write!  I know my commentary above is very random, but at least you get a small snapshot of our little boy.  He is growing, growing, growing!  We love our little Liam more than words can express.  We are so thankful that he is apart of our family.

So, to celebrate his birthday, on September 22nd we headed to the BioParc. The BioParc is located at the opposite end of the Turia riverbed park from where we live.  What is cool and different about this zoo is that it is designed to immerse visitors into the animals' habitat and not vice versa. This is achieved by not using the traditional railings and cages that are common in many zoos.  Instead barriers are created by rivers, ponds, streams and rocks to separate visitors from the animals.

After making the 6 mile bike trip to the Bioparc, we had to wait in line for about an hour to enter.  We went on a day when all tickets were less than half price.  It seemed that everyone in Valencia wanted to take advantage of this good deal.  Once inside we headed straight for a lunch spot.  The lunch spot was incredible as we sat eating in the Savannah with zebra, ostriches, giraffes, antelope, and lots of cranes right outside our window.
We had a lot of fun walking around viewing the animals.
Picture with the lions.
"Act like a monkey!"
Hyenas being fed.  The method is to stand right where Amelie (and can see his hands) are standing and throw meat to them.  Bobby and I were ready to pick up the kids and start running should the hyenas decide they needed more food.
Our favorite area was the Madagascar circuit in which you walked around with lemurs.  We were instructed not to touch (and we didn't), but they were so close!  Some were hanging out in trees, some were jumping around, and others let us get really close.  
Liam wanted to chase the lemurs like he does pigeons in the worst way.

By the end of the day, Liam was pooped.  He fell asleep on the bike ride to get his birthday treat, gelato.  Once home, he was greeted with a birthday message from his Nanny as well as a Skype call from Mimi & Poppy (and other family members).  All sang happy birthday to Liam and he ate up the attention.
This picture was taken on another day in front of the door leading to our house, but you get the idea.
Hooray for ice-cream!!!

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