Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beautiful Mess

Naptime anyone? Look at those tired eyes.
Hello green grass!! We've missed you.

It only took days for the grass to change from drab and brown to lush and green. It's so long now that Ian's nose gets tickled sometimes, but it's very comfortable... almost akin to a cushion.

Living on the farm is fun with a little one. He likes to watch the horses and has even grabbed one's nostril, though I missed that adventure when he was with Papa. How enormous a horse must look to a little child!! Ian and I spent a long time watching this one crane his neck under the fence to get the longer, greener grass on the other side.

Jim and I love a good campfire and we especially love a yummy meal cooked over the flames. That night we had veggies on skewers to go with some chicken.

When Ian was only a couple weeks old, we had a fire with our friends, but we haven't had one again while he's been actively observant. He was quite fascinated and kept an eye on the flames. Always observing, that fellow.

As you'll see in future pictures, we spent a lot of time outside this week. The warmer weather, the beauty of the farm, the activities we enjoy... we just can't stay inside!

Ian's been doing so many new things and pushing to new limits.

One of my favorite new tricks is that he likes to put his feet in his mouth!! During diaper changes have been the only times he's showed off this new talent. He waits until his diaper is off and I am preparing the next one. More often than not, I look up and his big toe is in his mouth! Sometimes both of them are up there! Whoa!!! Every time he does it, an enormous smile spreads across his face. It's as if he knows that this is an exciting task... even before I made/make any exclamation to confirm it!

I've kept forgetting to mention it for the past couple weeks, but he likes to shake his head back and forth. It's not to say no, necessarily, sometimes he'll just sit there and turn it a few times. It's pretty cute to observe a child learning more about the possibilities of what their own body can do.

He's been doing the same thing with his hands for the last few weeks, too. Sometimes he'll just look down and be turning his wrist different directions or splaying his fingers out, noticing he can move certain fingers on their own.

Ian's been more interested in part of objects lately, rather than the entire object. For example, he likes to study the hole of the funnel, or the eye of a stuffed animal. He specifically grabs our nose or mouth multiple times.

While sitting, Ian has started scooting forward to items he wants. He'll often end up feet from where he started. This is especially true outside, where the incline definitely helps him, but it also happens inside. It's almost a mode of transportation for him.

He's become very adept at reaching for objects in front of him, that are just out of his reach. He does not fall forward very often, but retrieves what he was planning on getting. If he does fall forward, he is normally aware that this could happen and therefore isn't too upset when it does. Naturally, if it's close to nap time, then he becomes a bit more upset than usual.

Boy is he ever vocalizing!!! Common sounds around our home include, "Buwaba," "Bababa," "Dadada," and "Mamama." Normally there's a little "uh" sound before the repetition of the consonants, sounding something like this "uh-bababa." Others are difficult to spell out ;) He loves echoing these back and forth with us.

He continues to enjoy slapping the ground and having us do the same. We mirror back his slaps, sometimes adding an extra one ourselves. He seems fascinated by this little game.

Once again we are floored by his strength. This week he has started pushing up A LOT with his legs and also pulling himself up with his hands. His favorite thing to do is to grab ahold of your hands and pull himself up to standing. Over the course of the week, his speed and precision in standing up has moved from shaky to fluid and stable. Wow!!! I'm surprised I don't actually have a picture of this. Sorry!

He especially likes to pull himself up on us while we are lying next to him. He'll stand his feet up and peddle them on the ground, lifting his bum into the air.  Oh, the smiles he makes when he's done something like this that he's proud of!! Precious.

Fun "projects" and messes fill our home these days. They are "beautiful messes," which is actually the theme of my MOPS group this year. The beginning of many, many in our future. So far, they are easy to clean up, but I'm sure this won't always be the case!! He's learning about his world. These aren't true messes, I'm well aware, but opportunities to learn and explore! There's no halting or discouraging it. And they don't cost a penny :)

One day this week, Ian and I were out playing in the yard and I was talking to him about clovers. I was telling him about how they normally are found with three leaves, but sometimes you can find them with four. Those are considered lucky. I was in the midst of telling him that I didn't remember finding many in my lifetime, when voila.... I found one!! Yay!! As you can tell, Ian was quite impressed.

Jim took some time this past weekend to work on a couple projects he's been wanting to do. One project was finishing the cradle!!! This is the cradle he made while we were living in Pennsylvania with my Aunt Beth. She encouraged him to do a project with some cherry or walnut wood in my Uncle John's workshop and he decided to do something that would be meaningful to Ian. This cradle means a lot to the two of us; a continuation of Uncle John's generous, wood-working, hand-crafted legacy. A piece of furniture that will always have a story for our children. Thank you, Aunt Beth, for giving us one of the greatest gifts.

Jim spent a lot of time sanding and studying the cradle, before finishing it with linseed oil. We LOVE the way the oil brought out the gorgeous cherry's grains and darkened up the cradle to show the true colors of the wood. We also love that linseed oil is a safe finish for babies and children.

I mean is that beautiful or what?!

The way this cradle is designed is neat because our young babies can sleep in it and our older babies can play in it, using it as a boat or rocker.

Thank you, thank you Aunt Beth. Each time we look at it we think of Uncle John and miss him, but are grateful for his presence in our home.

Our neighbor Stacy moved out this week, so we bid farewell to our neighbor of two years. Here she is with her grandma who came to help her move. We hope to still see her when she comes back to visit the area!! Don't be a stranger, Stacy!

Ian's three naps started to change last week from being forty-five minutes to an hour long to thirty minutes. The normal suggestion is that a child should sleep at least one hour or forty-five minutes. In caring for him I tried to get him down earlier, thinking maybe I was missing the window, and left him to lie in the crib longer, hoping he'd fall back asleep. But nothing helped! Finally I called all of the LLL (La Leche Leaders) and no one answered, so I decided to post to one of the forums and ask if this is common at this phase or if there's something I should be doing. The response I got... try switching to two naps. OR it could just be a developmental phase.

Now this may seem like an obvious thing to you to try, but I was completely shocked that I had not thought of switching to two naps before. I don't know why I hadn't thought to try it, but I hadn't. Perhaps some of you mamas will understand this, but I immediately started beating myself up for not thinking of this. I felt guilty, sad, & disappointed in myself. It's just a nap, I know... but I read something that said that bad sleep is like bad nutrition and it just made me feel horrible for not helping Ian get better sleep over the last few days.

Why do we feel that everything should come naturally? In this ever-changing world of mothering/parenting, there are going to be times when we just don't read the situation right. And that's okay! We're human. The child is human. MANY people have said that as soon as you feel that you've started to understand a phase or sleeping routine, then the child is ready for a new one! It's okay to reach out for help and to be given suggestions, without finding them on my own. Sheesh. And, even with that, Ian was content and happy. I wasn't "harming" him for trying to meet his needs and missing just a little bit.

I'm sure this sounds silly to some. Elementary to some. But it was a reality for me a couple days ago. Yesterday he napped twice and got an extra forty minutes than he'd had for the last five days. I know the answers won't always be this cut and dry, but YAY! This morning he already had an hour-long nap.

Instead of trying to predict or get him to sleep as soon as I see a yawn (as one book suggested), I'm waiting until he truly shows signs of tiredness (as my gut suggests... another duh!!). And it's been amazing. As soon as I pick him up, he rests his head on my shoulder as if to say "thank you" or "yes, I'm ready."

I'm grateful for this little journey this week. This is just one example. One journey. But it's one I felt I needed to share. Thanks for listening reading and journeying with me! I'm grateful.

It's getting harder and harder to take clear pictures of our active young gentleman. Here is one of my favorites of this week... he's backed himself under the table, his feet up against the wall, and he's smiling because he's loving his new abilities and skills. He's getting more and more mobile each and every day. Still scooting on his belly, this mode of transportation is working for him so far. He is precise with turning in circles or moving backward, but not necessarily forward yet.

Happy 30 weeks, little one!!!
Thanks for the beautiful messes and for teaching us just a little more about ourselves 
every. single. day.
We love you.


  1. Kathe, Your Such A Great Mom! Ha, I Have 5 And Stil Can Feel Like I Have No Idea What Im Doing!

    1. Thanks, Amanda!! You are a GREAT mom. I am awed by your ability to mother five children.