Sunday, March 9, 2014

Happy Hiker!

Don't turn around. And certainly don't blink.
You just might miss something. 

This boy is growing WAY too fast and time is going WAY too fast.
This week I finally realized something about my concept of time. In my mind, it's just not possible for it to be March already. In Käthe time, everything stopped on September 18, 2013. Perhaps it's the lack of sleep or the fact that I get to spend all of my days on baby time. I don't know, but it's wild the way time is flying. Some days seem long, but maybe that's because each moment is lived more fully.  Each moment is more precious and savored. But it's still funny to me that my mind can play a trick on itself like that. 

Thanks for the Philly book,
Aunt Erin & Uncle Russ!
I love the stage Ian's in right now. He's fairly easy to calm down into a nap and bedtime, since he just nurses himself to sleep (it's more about how we time the day).  There have been a few days when he was still awake after nursing and upset, but Papa had the magic touch! Now he seems to be back to falling asleep while nursing. 

He doesn't mind riding in the car. He's happy throughout grocery-shopping experiences. He's happy to see whoever we see, whether it's in a store or one of our good friends. He doesn't startle himself awake, usually. And he's really just content to be with us, wherever we'd like to go (not that he has much choice in the matter!).

When I mentioned planning our day, I just meant that I *try* to be conscious of his nap times. I watch him for signals, which normally is when he rubs his eyes, makes a bit of a frown, and brushes his hand back and forth through the hair on the side of his head. Then I try to nurse him before he gets upset and truly agitated. Often he falls straight to sleep and I have to almost beg him to stay awake by rubbing his cheek or tickling the bottom of his feet, but sometimes it takes more rocking or singing/humming.

Sometimes naps get off because of our activities, but I am trying to make decisions that put him first. Sometimes I just miss something. Sometimes I have to make it to keep my sanity ;) Either way, he is a very content baby overall and some of that can be chalked up to being well-rested.

Here's the beginnings of the story: A Boy and His Dog. Ian watches him so intently, studying his every move. Leif trumps everything, including nursing. Well, actually, Ian does not nurse well in places with any sort of activity. It's best if I go in the nursery and close the door, since Leif and Papa's movements are quite interesting to him. And if we're out, I can count on it not being a full session and more like a snack, unless he's really hungry. I've heard babies go through stages like these and then they realize what's most important. He's obviously not wanting for sustenance! 

Ian's realizing that things are more than they seem. He has started lifting the blanket and the mat to look below. There's a clip that is just so fascinating to play with. His determination is fun to observe. 

Ian chose good parents for spending time outside. He LOVES being outside, feeling the wind, the grass, and enjoying a change of scenery. Even in the cold weather, he's happy to be out. We're so grateful.

He is sitting with such confidence and stability these days. Last week I mentioned that he falls forward on his face when reaching for things in front of him. This week he learned to balance himself by placing one of both of his hands on the ground in front of him. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Although he still takes the occasional tumble, it's not always absolutely necessary for us to spot him, though we still usually do. When he's on this blanket with the pad under it, it's not so dire. But today when he was sitting on concrete... then we were spotting him.

Thanks, Aunt Sherri, for the
sleeping jammies!
This week Ian continued to dabble with avocados and bananas. If he was interested while we were eating, then we'd grab one of the two of these. It's not every day. We're letting him lead.

One of his new favorite toys is this kitchen utensil. It's soft on his gums and the long handle is easy for him to hold. He also likes banging it on his high chair, the floor, and on anything else that will make a sound. We may have a drummer in the family...

He's fascinated by my wet, shower hair and looks at me like I'm crazy. He loves Papa's different voices and sounds while reading a book.

As anyone who's talked to me on the phone will attest, Ian has some LUNGS on him. His joyful banter sometimes sounds like LOUD, ear-splitting shrieks!! It's a sweet sound, but I'm sure hard to hear through the phone!

He's also really started having gigggggle fits! I know I said he had them before, but these are just more and more fun. They normally involve something being slightly shaken, like an object he's holding or his arms or belly. Oh, how they make us all laugh and laugh!

This felt chain is one of his favorites, too. He likes to pull it apart and put it in his mouth. Thank you for the hand-me-down, Julie!!

Ian enjoys playing with blankets. He'll lift them up, cover his face, remove them, and smile. He enjoys it when someone puts one over his face and he finds his way back out.

In the car a song will normally do the trick, when he does start to get anxious. Old MacDonald, Down in the Valley, I'll Fly Away, Oh, What a Beautiful Morning, Grandfather Clock, and Twinkle Twinkle are some of his favorites. The farm animals in Old MacDonald normally do the best job, but we have to start getting pretty creative with our animals and their sounds sometimes.

*The following pictures are from my cell phone, but they do the trick. (Thanks, Erin!)

Since the weather was so beautiful on Saturday, we headed out for a family hike. A family my mom taught gave us this Kelty backpack (Thank you!!!) and this was our first time breaking it in. It was finally warm enough that I didn't worry about Ian him getting too cold and we feel very confident about his head control. So, the time was now. AND Let me tell you, he loves this thing! The entire hike he didn't make a sound. His eyes danced everywhere, taking in the beautiful creek, moss, boulders, trees, and waterfalls.
He loved it so much that he fell fast asleep without a peep. 

He napped for a while, but then was back to his observations.

Unlike when we hiked to the Cascades when he was 14 weeks, this time Ian was awake and able to view the falls for the first time. He could also listen to the loud roar of the water.

 We hiked up to the upper falls and played and snacked before heading back down and home.
 It was a really great family day.

Ian's ensemble: awesome hat from Aunt Sherri, mittens & handmade booties from my mom. Thank you!
Happy 24 weeks, happy hiker!!!

We'll have many more hikes in our future.
We love getting to walk this life with you.

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