Monday, December 9, 2013

Swinging & Strolling

Happy 11 weeks, little one!

This week Ian swung on the swing for the first time ever! I started outside with him just to walk around the backyard and then spotted the swing and thought, "Why not?!" His neck is strong and he doesn't slump down too much when sitting in a reclined position. Well, he loved it! I see lots of swinging in our future.

Ian and I spent our first real time apart this week! I've only left him for about twenty minutes before to run an errand, but on Tuesday Jim had a dinner with the residency program and asked me to come. Our hosts didn't bat an eye and shooed me out the door, honored to care for Ian for the first time. It was hard to take those first few steps, but I did it. Jim was a bit surprised I was willing to come. Fortunately,  Jessica sent me texts with updates the entire time and he was happy and smiling while we were gone and when we got back. Whew.

Papa's hands
Though his sleeping habits are still unpredictable, he is falling into more of a rhythm. He sleeps after about 1-2 hours of wakefulness, just as one of the books said he would (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Mark Weisbluth... I recommend it!). And I'm starting to feel comfortable with when it's okay to start the process of putting him down to sleep. When he starts yawning I know that it's imminent, but when he starts rubbing his eyes on my shoulder I know that he's communicating it's time for me to start rocking and singing to him. Before he's fast asleep or already asleep I lie him down to be swaddled and then place him in the middle of the bed, his crib, or the pack-n-play. Fortunately it doesn't seem to matter where I put him, but I know that time will eventually come. With our mobile lifestyle right now I am grateful for his flexibility.

Nursing is becoming more of a rhythm, as well. I know he's hungry when he starts mouthing my shoulder or making a specific pre-cry sound. Before he wasn't so blatant with his cues, so I now appreciate a little more communication in that area! He does still sometimes cry for a while because of a gas bubble after nursing, which is hard on both of us, but it's not happening every time anymore. Lately he's been in another growth spurt and has been eating often. During the night I feed him and then place him back in his Moses basket or pack-n-play, depending on where we are living at the moment. For the last feeding around 5:30 I keep him in bed with me to finish out the morning. Sometimes it's an extra hour and sometimes, those glorious sometimes, it's an extra two or three hours. This morning was one of those glorious mornings when I slept until 8:15!!!

A frigid day at home in Blacksburg this weekend.
The weather was so nice and mild in Bristol this week that we spent almost every day going on a walk in the park behind the house where we're staying. It's a beautiful park with paved walking/jogging trails that bend and curve around the large pond in the middle. I've taken Ian out in our BOB stroller (Amazing stroller, by the way!) and normally try to time it around the time when he'll be falling asleep anyway. Then I get some exercise and he gets lulled to sleep by the movement. I bring the Boba with me just in case he does wake up and want to get out of the stroller and that pacifies him for the remainder of the walk. One day this week Jim interview all morning but then got off early in the afternoon, so he joined us for a nice, long walk all of the way to the dam. It was great to have some extended time to talk together and weigh the pros and cons of each program we've seen so far.

But honestly, the weather has not deterred us in our desire to head outside. Thanks to an awesome bunting from LL Bean (Thank you, Mom!), Ian is able to stay warm no matter what the weather is like outside. Jim also had the idea of heating up a warm flax and lavender pack a friend (Thanks, Trisha!) made me and putting it down in the bottom of the bunting for extra warmth.

The best part of this week has been the mimicking. I haven't actually gotten the posts up on Wednesday, which should be his weekly "birthday," so some of this has really developed within his eleventh week and not his tenth week. BUT, I want to document it here anyway. The mimicking is the most fun thing so far. He'll make a sound and we mimic it back to him, then he smiles REALLY big and sometimes laughs, and makes another sound. He did some of this last week, but now he does it for minutes on end. He's also learned how to make almost a raspberry sound with his mouth and gets quite a kick out of us responding with the same sound. We have a video of the first interaction like this. To our surprise he actually did it for the first time while the camera was rolling.

The mornings tend to be his happiest extended period of time. Although it's hard for me to turn on the light and get the morning started as early as he'd like to, it's always worth it! As soon as the light comes on he is all smiles. We play "Trot, trot to Boston" and he smiles, we talk to him and he smiles, and we play our mimicking game. He also likes to "crawl" up my chest. I place him down at the bottom of my abdomen and then put my hands behind his feet and let him push up and crawl all of the way up to my face. His legs are really doing all of the work right now, but he is determined to keep his head up as best he can.

He's looking more and more like a little boy and less like a newborn. Everyone who meets him comments on how big he is! He is big. I have met a few babies while out and about and he towers over any his same age and is the same size as most who are five or six months old. Makes sense, since he is now wearing six month clothing! I'm grateful that Iris, a family friend, sent us a Christmas outfit in the six month size. Otherwise he'd never be able to wear it.

Just chillin' while Mama prepares the water.
Ian seems to enjoy bath times. That's one thing I don't think I've really written about. We purchased a whale-shaped bath tub and are borrowing one from our friends while in Tennessee. He gets excited/startled every time we pour water into the tub or on him, but he never cries or fusses. He kicks his feet in the water, too.

It's so fun getting to know him better as each day passes.

Someone's just a little excited about his first Christmas! Haha! 
One of the first smiles or giggles I've been able to capture on camera.

Oh the wonder of the season. Oh the wonder of a child.

We love you, Ian Forrester!!!

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