Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First Food: Sweet Potatoes

This past week we encouraged Ian to sample some sweet potatoes. He's been showing so many signs of being ready to eat, that we decided to finally allow him to try some real food. 

He'd excitedly sit up in his chair, reach with his arms, and follow the spoon with his eyes.

But as soon as the food would reach his mouth, he'd realize it wasn't quite what he was expecting.
Haha. Look at those eyes! Disgust at its best.

Hmm. I'll pass. 
*Tongue reflex*
Is this really what you guys eat?
Oh gosh.
Save me from my parents!

Well, perhaps I'll have another go at it.

He repeated this same thing over and over again. Excitement and disgust, then repeat.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Food & Friends

Lately, Ian's been gnawing on his hands fervently and reaching for our food at the table. La Leche League and our pediatrician both said that, nutritionally, he does not need to have solid foods in his diet until six months. As a mama who loves my precious time with him nursing, I was happy to wait until absolutely the last minute. Six months, it is!

Well, with the gnawing and the reaching, the steady sitting, and the obvious desire and fascination, we decided we might as well start slowly giving him solids. We've been told that oatmeal is just a filler and doesn't really add any nutrition, so I decided to go for sweet potatoes or avocado. Avocados weren't quite ripe, so sweet potatoes it was! I'll put up a post of the sequence of photos soon. Let's just say, he wasn't too impressed with this orange goo. And later he wasn't too impressed with avocados either. He also still had the tongue reflex to push anything out of his mouth that came into it. (Since this post is late there has been an update, but it will come later!)

With the warmer weather of last week (FINALLY!), we were able to go outside for a longer period of time. Now that Ian has a sunhat (Thanks Mom/Äma!), I don't have to worry about my red-headed little man in the sun. Since Jim just got off a dermatology rotation, we are keenly aware of just how important it is to protect ourselves from the sun. Not that we didn't know that before!

Leif really loves basking in the sun. On days such as these, we will let him out and he'll just lie down right outside the door. Sometimes he'll walk a few feet and relax in the grass. Anyone who knows Leif knows that he is full of energy. It's nice to enjoy the dog he becomes on warmer days. And since Ian enjoys watching him so much, it's fun to have the two of them together.

This week Ian's sitting has started to stabilize. He's not quite as wobbly, though he still tips over a fair amount. He's such a multi-tasker, wanting to grab and hold things and suck on them while he's sitting. Often, something will be just out of his reach and he'll reach for it and ultimately fall. Most of the time I catch him and slowly lower him down. If he's sitting and not reaching he can go for a long, long time. If he's on an incline, then it takes him some time to get used to it and then he will last for a while. It amazes us how quickly he can master a skill.

He loves to grab his feet still. Don't you just love that huge cloth diaper bum? And those leggings (Thanks Lindsay & Mike!)... I mean c'mon. Killing me.

This quilt was from Vicki, one of my coworkers when I taught middle school. It's beautiful. Thank you so much, sweet friend!

Ian's fine motor skills are getting better and better! Now he's passing toys from hand to hand.

He is getting so fast and precise with his movements! He quickly knocked a water glass all over me and another time a bowl of chips all over the floor. Nothing's safe, I tell you! No more glass glasses for Mama (he didn't break it, for the record)! If it's near him, he'll get ahold of it quickly.

This weekend we hit the road for Richmond and visited with some of our old college friends. Friday night we got to visit with my dear and wonderful friend Meredith and her husband. She's pregnant and I could not be more excited and happy for her. With her there's never enough time to talk or visit, but it's always so good, so quality, so heart-warming.

Then the next day was the big event, when we got together with some other college girlfriends. Our lives are so different from when we were together in school. It was so fun to meet new babies, hear new stories, learn more about each other's lives, and actually see some of these people in person! I hadn't seen Kristin since we stopped in Auburn, when moving back from Louisiana. Since then she's had a child, moved multiple times and has another one on the way!

June at my shower
The little fellow with Ian above is Isaac, my friend Adrienne's little boy. He's three weeks older than Ian. It was so fun to be pregnant at the same time as her. It's so nice to have a great friend to call and chat with about the stages we're entering and the nitty-gritty about taking care of a baby and being a mama. It was great to finally get them to meet each other! Isaac was very kind to share his toys.

We were quite the group. Three pregnant mamas, two babies, and one incredible traveller! So fun to share and hear stories and see pictures. After a yummy lunch we went to Maymont for a nice walk on an absolutely gorgeous, warm day!

Amazing.... there are actually eleven people in the photo below!!!
Me, Ian, Lucy & baby, Mere & baby, Isaac, Adrienne, Jenn, Kristin & baby
Goofy bunch :)
Happy 22 weeks, sweet boy!!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

FIVE full, fun months!!!

Guess what, world!! I am five months old.
I know, my parents don't believe it either.
But it's true.

I love wearing only my diaper, but it doesn't happen very much because it's so cold this winter.

  Smiling and observing everything is another one of my passions.

 Lately my toes are quite interesting to me, but they are often hidden in booties and socks.
 However, I'm most interested in my dog, Leif. Who cares about the camera?!
 I'm all about the action. If I'm awake, I'm in motion. Just wait until I start crawling!

People say that I have big hands. It runs in my mom's side of the family.
And check out my cute "innie" belly-button.

I enjoy sucking on my bottom lip...

...and on my thumb, but any finger will do.

But I am always learning & trying new things. See, you never know what I'll do. 
Here I've grabbed my pointer finger over my forehead. I'm so unpredictable ;)

 And boy, do I love my newest trick. 
Sitting gives me such a new vantage point and perspective on the world.

It's still a new trick, so I sometimes fall.
Here I landed right on my face, but when I looked up mama smiled and so it was okay.
I was tough. I didn't cry this time.

And this boppy pillow flipped over on my back. Mama thought it was funny.

Sometimes I'm serious.

But you can almost always get me to crack a smile.

So, that's me at 5 months.

Happy five months, Ian Forrester!!

You love: SITTING!, smiling and giggling, grabbing your feet, rough-housing with Papa, snow, 
being naked, bath time, sucking on fingers, watching Mama, Papa, & Leif, being worn by Mama in the Beco, music & SINGING! (especially Old MacDonald), putting everything in your mouth, and showing your emotions by ecstatically moving your legs and arms.

You've brought so much fun, love, laughter, & joy into our lives.

You are so very, very loved.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snowing, Sitting, Singing!

No words.
Each week I'm amazed by how many things I'm able to write about Ian in these posts. I thought that there might be a few weeks where I'd have to stretch to write enough for a post. Instead, I have plenty to write and then I spend the whole week kicking myself for forgetting a few important points. And don't even get me started on pictures. I just have so many I'd like to share. Parenthood's just so full, busy, and wonderful.

We were fortunate to have a lot of quality time with Papa this week. Ian and I were a bit spoiled. Ian adores his Papa, that's for sure. And, undoubtedly, his Papa returns the same sentiments. It won't be long before these two are inseparable, spending tons of time in a workshop building things, shooting baskets and playing one-on-one basketball games, going running, reading good books and watching good movies... you name it.

As many of you know, we had a HUGE snowstorm this week! This was the biggest snow storms Jim and I have experienced in a long, long time. We missed the big one that hit this area during the year we were in Louisiana, so we were very excited to finally get a good snow.

We couldn't resist getting Ian out in it, too. In the end, we received snow up to our knees.

And since we're really both kids at heart, we had to go sledding!

It made me reminisce back to the days when my brother, sister and I would spend the entire day out in the snow. We'd run up the hill, sled down, run up, and sled down throughout the entire day. We'd stop only for lunch and hot chocolate and then would head back on the slope.

With a baby, this is not possible. But we'd spend about two hours outside, even still. Jim carved out this path by pulling me in the sled, while he wore Ian on his front. We did a few runs and then I nursed him while sitting at the top of the hill, while Jim did a run. Breastfeeding is pretty handy!
 Perhaps our favorite thing to do in the snow, was something Jim came up with. Since the snow was so deep and soft, he would hold Ian's snowsuit in a fist at Ian's waist. Then he'd drop Ian on his back in the snow. Ian LOVED it! He'd get the biggest smile across his face as soon as he'd land in the snow. Imagine this repeated about twenty times. So happy!

Jim is really good about coming up with gentle, rough-housing activities. Each one makes Ian extremely happy.

What a happy, snow baby! He impressed us.
This picture is another example of something Jim came up with that Ian loved. He'd plant Ian in the snow and pack it up around his legs. Again, a smile would grow across Ian's face and he'd bat at the snow with his fleece-covered hands. Sometimes he'd suck on the snow that remained on his hand. At first I was concerned that he'd be too cold or get too wet, but the fleece was surprisingly dry inside each time we went back indoors. 

It was very warm this day, but it's not uncommon to see Jim with short sleeves in the winter. He's a Minnesotan lad.

It seems, this week, that Ian has learned how to "relax." It's very strange for him to EVER lay his head down unless he's sleeping. It's part of the reason his neck is so strong, I think. He's been too busy and active to slow down. But this week I've caught him at it many times. 

Whoever did that last diaper change was not interested in all of the snaps! Thank you for the adorable button-up, flannel onesie, Barb!!! And these adorable overalls and handmade booties are from my mom.

Even though we had the huge snowstorm, my parents were determined to get here for a visit this weekend! They arrived on Friday afternoon, having hiked down their mile-long drive way and worked tirelessly to dig their car out under two feet of snow. Thanks for your determination!!! We really enjoyed having you here.

Äma, as my mom is called, made the most of her day and a half here before getting sick (so sad). She led Ian in a boot-camp, of sorts. She embraced this active boy's determination and desires to sit and stand. With her support and encouragement, he started sitting! He was already balancing himself a bit, but this week he was ready for some serious sitting!!!

His abs must be incredibly strong because he was able to crunch forEVER, as he is in the picture below. Do not be fooled; he is not falling in this picture. That's all determination and almost always with a smile on his face. So proud.

So our baby boy sat just before five months and rolled a couple weeks before four months. He's a physically strong little boy, but also determined. At this point I still haven't seen him roll from his stomach to his back.

His fine motor skills have also taken off. He's able to grab things quickly and hold very tightly. Just ask my hair; I think I've lost a lot of it! The felt chain that Julie gave us is fun to see him hold because he grabs one ring in one hand and another in the other hand and pulls the chain as far apart as he can. Everything ends up in his mouth. He seems to prefer his thumb in his mouth, but other fingers will do, too.

Ian LOVES to banter back and forth. His sounds are getting more and more expressive, fun, and cute.

Raspberries are very common! Therefore lots of drool also follows, leaving a patch of wetness on his shirt or bib just below his chin.

It's so fun seeing our parents as grandparents. Everyone says this about their parents and it's so, so true. They make the most of their time with him. They get on the floor, snuggle, support, cheer, and coo throughout the days. They are as engrossed by him as we are, which makes it so fun.

He brings such joy to so many. Babies have a special way of doing that, don't they?

We've been watching a lot of Olympics these days. Ian took a nap in the Beco while we were hanging out and it took him a little while to adjust to being awake again. I love his frowns in these pictures and the way he hand arm is resting on mine and his hand up by his head. He looks like an older kid, who would purposely lie in a position like this.

Haha, the frowns just crack me up! I think Jim and I both have a face like this when we're not ready to get up, too. We can relate, buddy! How about sleeping in just a little more!?

Sleeping this week has been pretty good. He's been getting up 2-3 times a night, but for a couple nights he only woke up once! I was a rested mama.

Lately, while nursing, Ian likes to grab my collarbone and neck with the hand on top. His grip is getting quite strong and his nails are sometimes just a little too long, but it's very sweet. I like to put my pointer finger inside his palm and he clenches it tightly; this also protects me from the tight grip and scratches I sometimes receive, but allows for just a little more of a cuddle.

He may have started teething, too. He has a little nub on the bottom left side of his jaw. We'll see!

 During their visit we recreated a few moments from their last visit, when he was only four days old. Here's the picture on the porch, but Ian's able to show off a few tricks now! Look at him sitting up all by himself with his legs wrapped around my mom! Love the expressions in this shot.

Then, we also had another singing and music session! We found some Peter, Paul, & Mary playbooks, some Bluegrass music, and some hymns in the piano bench. And then we also sang some old family favorites like "Down in the Valley," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," and "I'll Fly Away."

Ian was enthralled, as you can see. He even added some bass notes to play a piano duet with Grumps.

Being part of a musical family never gets old, I tell you what. I love it and I love getting to share it with my growing family.

Another thing I haven't mentioned is that he's started having giggle fits!!! He has started anticipating things that we do and just the anticipations gets him so excited and laughing. For example, one time I was sitting in a chair over him and would slowly lift my leg and bring it down on his tummy and give him a little shake. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It was killing him! This also happens if you place anything over his face and then remove it over and over again, as Jim discovered. Once he catches on, he thinks it's hilarious.

 Happy 21 weeks, Ian Forrester!!!

Mama's a bit late with this post, as usual, but today is actually your five-month birthday! Post to come. I cannot believe it's already here. This time five months ago you were in my arms about forty-five minutes after being born and delivered by your Papa. Never have I been so happy.

We love being your parents.