Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ringing in the New Year!

Happy New Year!!!

We spent all of his 15th week surrounded by family. First we went to NW Pennsylvania to visit the family we lived with during his second month of life: my grandma, Aunt Beth, Julie, Jake, Hazel & Heidi, and Aunt Charlotte. My parents and sister were there with us and we enjoyed lighting the candles on the Christmas tree, singing songs, & eating a wonderful Swiss fondue.
Uncle Willem couldn't come with us b/c of work, but he hung out with me before we left!
Gigi & Ian. She loves her red-headed great-grandson.
Hazel & Heidi shared their new toys!
Beautiful German candles for the tree. We sang songs while they were lighted.

Father & Son 
Äma & her sleeping babe.
Julie, reading The Polar Express, an Orris tradition.
The hardest and most painful thing that happened in 2013 was the passing of Uncle John. There will always be a gaping hole at his place at the table. His wit, humor, creative problem-solving, and presence will be forever missed. When leaving his home last weekend, Jim and I got quiet & I got emotional, as we remembered one of our favorite people. As my mom's Christmas card said, he's "singing bass in some celestial choir."

We then headed to Lebanon, PA to visit Jim's side of the family. We enjoyed each other's company, the gift-giving, Ian got lots of attention, cuddles, and play time with his grandparents and aunts and uncle, and we dreamed about going to the beach together this summer. We've been talking about this for half a year now, but it came to fruition this visit! Brigantine Beach, we'll be seeing you in June! Woohoo!

Kim gave us a huge gift each morning and took the first shift with Ian. I'd wake up with him and nurse him around 7-7:30 and then she'd enjoy quality time with him until 10 AM while we slept!!! Whew! She soaked in every minute she could get and we did the same. I was a spoiled mama and Ian a loved grandchild. Thank you, Kim!

We were grateful to squeeze in a last minute visit with Carla, Jim's aunt, Uncle Sam, and cousin Logan, and to introduce them to Ian. They gave him this wonderful football, which he's greatly enjoyed so far. These gaping holes are perfect for his hands to grasp, no matter how he grabs the ball. Wish we could have seen Alex, too!
Uncle Russ & Aunt Erin

During meals in Lebanon, he would bounce around in his jumperoo! It was lovely to have him so content so that we could eat hands-free. He'd twist, bounce, squeal, and babble, providing us with entertainment as we ate.

Ian LOVES babbling back and forth with anyone who'll join him. It's pretty fun to echo his excited outbursts and see him smile, then do it again.

Recently Ian has been attempting to purposefully roll! In the first few weeks of his life is rolled by accident a few times, but now he's crunching his stomach and really trying to fling his body over. His bottom arm still remains an obstacle, so we'll see how and when he figures out how to get around/over it. It's amazing to me just how many repetitions he'll do trying to complete the maneuver. It's hard exercise for the little fellow, but he's determined!

He has also started to lift his bum into the air, when doing tummy time. It often means that his head does a nose dive into whatever's in front of him. He's working on those crawling muscles!

He seems to enjoy looking at the pages of picture books, as we read. Last night my heart melted watching Jim read a new book Ian received for Christmas from Gramee & Grandpa entitled, "Bedtime Hullabaloo." Both were lying on their backs on the floor and Ian kept rubbing Jim's shoulder as he read. Adorable.

As we gave him a bath last night, Ian got VERY excited. Most of the water ended up outside of the tub as he kicked, flailed, gleefully screamed, and smiled. I hope bath time is always so fun!

Ian, once again, proved to be a real trooper in the car. We attempted to time our drives with his sleep schedule, but the car also lulled him to sleep and into longer naps. For this, I am grateful.

Yesterday he stayed awake pretty late at night (10:30 PM is late for him, normally going to bed between 8-9 PM) because he'd slept for probably close to five hours on and off all afternoon as we drove. Fortunately, once he realizes it's time to bed down for the night, he only wakes up again to nurse and then fall straight to sleep again. Lately he's only waking up two times to nurse in the night. The first time is normally between 12:30-2 AM, depending on when he went to sleep, and the second time is around 4:30-5:30.

My favorite thing of all is to come up to Ian and see him smile that knowing, "You're my mama" smile. Sometimes he even breaths a big sigh and then cracks me that smile. My day is made. My heart swells three sizes. As the James Taylor lyrics go, "How sweet it is to be loved by you..."

New Year's Eve was quite different this year. I didn't even bother trying to stay up to welcome in the new year. Sleep is too precious, these days.

Thank you to both of our families for great visits! Thus ends our traveling. We are now at home until Jim graduates to become DOCTOR Jim in May! May 10th, to be exact.

Happy 15 weeks, Ian!!!
You are incredibly loved.

The you are certainly the best thing that's happened to us in 2013. 

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