Thursday, October 31, 2013

6 Week Peak

In future years we will be celebrating Halloween, carving pumpkins, making costumes, & trick-or-treating. This year, though, we are savoring our sixth week. Halloween has been celebrated through watching Hazel & Heidi, my cousin's children, enjoy the holiday at multiple events and return with bags of candy.

 We have a six week old! In everything I've read about babies and their development there is one thing everyone agrees upon and that's the fact that all babies are different and develop at their own rate.

So, what does turning six weeks mean for us?

It means that Ian has rolled over four more times! He rolls from his stomach to his back almost as soon as he is placed on his belly. It's remarkable. He's still somewhat surprised, but he is constantly trying to flip his rump, so perhaps he knows how it's done?!

And it means he loves to practice standing up on our laps. He gets an excited and "proud" look on his face when doing so. Each day his legs feel so much stronger pressing into my lap. We have to brace him by holding his ribcage, but he holds himself up. So strong.

For a few days he had eye goop in his right eye. Yuck! Poor boy. It seems to be getting better now and for that we are grateful. It's a good thing we have a student doctor around to tell this mama that goop like that is okay and fine.

He had a visit from his Äma and Grumps this past weekend. We celebrated Grumps' 60th birthday with a Swiss Fondue and surrounded by family. He was thrilled to have his favorite meal and cuddle his grandson all weekend and we were happy to have him here. My mom sang Ian song after song, soothing and cuddling him throughout most of their visit.

While they were here Ian slept through his first quilt show. Haha. We went to the local guild's show and saw some beautiful quilts. They had one series that was multiple quilts depicting the Allegheny River, all placed side by side in a continuous flowing row. Quite neat!

He's had many visits with his second cousins, Hazel & Heidi. Everytime they see him they want to touch, look at, and dote on him. Hazel always says, "He's so cute." It's so sweet and I have to admit, the girl's right!

He's becoming more social and aware. Yesterday I was sitting with my grandma and Aunt Beth and he was really looking at us. He stared for long periods of time, which is new for him. He still had stared a bit before but then would look away quickly or to the lights or windows. Not yesterday! He looked at me on and on as I talked and smiled at him and at the very end he gave me a surprise.

Although he is not regularly flashing social smiles, he is smiling a lot! He smiles at the pattern next to his head, smiles in his sleep, smiles to some sounds or voices, and just yesterday (right on the 6 week turning point) he smiled after we had a long gaze into each other's eyes. He smiled as he turned away. I'll take it! Made me melt.

He continues to love the outdoors and going on walks. The carriers are acceptable to him as long as he can see the world around him. He especially loves sleeping in them, seeming to get his longest naps while we wear him everywhere. We try to talk to him about what we are seeing to increase that vocabulary ;)

He's very good at tracking sounds. I saw an activity where you take a toilet paper tube and talk into one ear, getting them to follow the sound by turning their head. Then switching to the other side. He turns his head each time. He also tracks Leif as he walks by, listening to the clicks of his toes.

His hands seem to be a bit more coordinated this week, too. He's grabbing the stuffed animal I place next to him to look at, grabbing our noses, things around the diaper changing station, and especially my hair.

They say that fussiness peaks at six weeks. He has seemed to follow the book in that he's been pretty fussy. This relates to a growth spurt but also to the fact that he is becoming more social and gaining new skills. It's also because I am still learning him, his signs and cues, and don't always get it right the first time! I'm a work in progress, too.

It is such an adventure raising a child. Ups, downs, joys, frazzles, endings... new beginnings. I find myself starting to mourn the days that have already passed, but the excitement of the days to come make me eager for each new day. My constant prayer and wish is to just stay present in each current moment.

Happy Six Weeks, Son!
You are very loved.

a BIG thank you.

Our second week in Pennsylvania is nearing its end. Jim's rotating in a family medicine clinic and hospital setting in Clarion and New Bethlehem. He's been able to come home every night, which has been really nice and he's had the weekends, too. My Aunt Beth has given Jim the biggest gift by encouraging him to work in my Uncle John's incredible workshop. 

Uncle John was a very talented and respected craftsman in many areas, woodworking being just one of them. His shop contains almost every tool there is, each well-maintained and organized. This shop, within a straw bale barn construction building, was his dream. Meticulously planned and designed over years and years and then finally coming to fruition, it's a woodworker's dream. It's what Jim dreams about too. Getting to spend time in his shop means a lot to Jim and he's just as meticulous as Uncle John was about organization and caring for tools. I know, I share a kitchen with him ;)

Thank you, Aunt Beth, for this chance! Jim's making something for Ian. More on that when it's done, perhaps :)

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