Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Content Fellow

Not him, Ian!
Oh goodness. There is so much to write. Today marks Ian's 28th week and I haven't even posted about the 27th. I think I'll take Kim's, my M-I-L, advice and combine two weeks. I'll tell myself that from now on I'll keep up, right? Of course right. (Name that musical!?)

Seriously though. I really keep thinking that there will come a week where I'll have hardly anything to say, and then Ian goes and learns a billion new tricks! Child development is astounding. It truly is.

Let's start with our visitor! Uncle Willem, my brother, came for a visit last week. The genuine care and love he shows for Ian is really beautiful. Concerned with every cry or frustration, and laughing with joy at each coo, smile, and display of brute strength, Uncle Willem certainly shows he loves Ian dearly. It's fun to see and warms the heart. 

Willem hadn't seen Ian since he was first given the jumper and could barely bob and spin. He was so impressed by his wild jumping and turning, as soon as his feet hit the ground. He said, "You haven't mentioned this on the blog!" Oops ;)

Though the visit was short, we went on a few good walks and did a lot of playing with Ian. Willem also tried reading him a few books, but Ian still prefers eating them, or being the one to hold them. It doesn't stop us from trying or giving him one to "devour" while we read another one!

Thanks for coming to visit, Will! We love you.

Today is Ian's last day on antibiotics, thank goodness. The poor guy has been struggling with some diarrhea, even though we have been giving him probiotics and bananas at dinner.

He is definitely feeling better, though. He's really move around more, sleeping more soundly, and breathing much easier. The cough is finally gone!

For a while there, and still occasionally, Ian would growl his way to sleep. It was almost like a purring sound and pretty cute. I am still loving getting to rock him to sleep. When he's truly tired he'll rub his eyes, nurse, pop off, rub his eyes, turn his chin up toward my face, and nestle his forehead against my neck, chin, or lips. Melts me straight into a puddle.

We finally transitioned from swaddling to just the sleep sack. Ian was kicking off his swaddle since VERY early on in life, but going to sleep he always liked to have his arms tucked in tightly around him. For a while I was swaddling under his arms because he also seemed to like the tightness around his middle. Recently, I finally took the plunge and used the sleep sack since I've been rocking him to sleep instead of nursing him to sleep and it's been working well. It also gives me a peace of mind because he keeps more warmth around his body. I know everything says to switch earlier, but I'm glad we waited and this worked best for him.

While he was especially sick and restless, I was playing music to continue to sooth him while he slept. Currently the iPod's dead, but we will start doing this more and more. As a child I always remember falling to sleep to music. My siblings often fell asleep to books or stories on tape, too.

I just love the crown of Ian's head. Two cowlicks create a thick patch on the top of his head.

Thursday was Ian's six month appointment, which was a great follow-up to the sick appointment on Monday. They said his ear looked great and was on-track to healing. He weighed in at 20.81 oz, which put him in the 93%. His height was 28 inches, which put him in the 93%. And his head circumference was 18 inches, which puts him in the 96%. I'm not sure how accurate the height or head circumference really were because he was a squirmy fellow, but he's growing just fine! The doctor was pleased and had no concerns.

After the appointment I came home and thought of a question I wanted to ask the doctor. I called and had to leave a message and shortly after the nurse called with the doctor's answer. When she called she said, "Hello, is this Ian's mom?" I have to admit that I had to pause a bit before responding. That was the first time anyone had ever asked me that. It felt odd but also neat. Hard to explain.

Now that he's six months he's free to really start eating solids. We've been sticking to bananas, since his stomach's aggravated by the antibiotics. However, we did get this new little contraption with a net on one end. We've been putting a piece of mango in each night after the banana and he really seems to love it! But who doesn't love some ripe, fresh mango?

Ian's saying "da" and lots of random sounds. One time he looked at Leif and said "da." There's no way to know if it was connected to dog or not, but it was a pretty cool coincidence. I try to talk to him a lot about the different things he's seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, & smelling. Sometimes it's easy to go through the day in silence, but I try to remind myself to talk about what I'm doing and what he's experiencing and doing. I also try to keep music playing to fill the house with some sounds, lyrics, and variety.

His latest game and activity is to play with his toy basket. In the beginning he was more fascinated with the basket itself, sucking on the leather handles, feeling the texture of the outside of the basket. Recently he's started to pay more attention to what's inside the basket. This morning he emptied the entire basket, playing with each toy over the course of his wakeful period this morning. It's so neat that he can play independently and keep himself busy with a task like this. Jim & I are planning a little trip for this weekend, so it's helping me to sort, make lists, and pack for the trip. (Oh, and write this post since he's napping for only 20-30 minutes today- not usual... ;)

Sometimes he gets totally engrossed in what he's doing and hardly notices I'm around, while other times he looks up at me after every movement to make sure I'm there and checks in for a smile.

Oh the many expressions that are starting to be displayed. Love this one.

And the one below... our very hungry caterpillar eating the very hungry caterpillar. We look forward to seeing what you become, but we're okay with waiting and savoring our baby right now.

Another new favorite toy is a good, old-fashioned cardboard box. We've received a few packages this week and Ian's been content with the packages themselves. None of the items inside were actually for playing with, but the video monitor was technically for him (but more for us!). 

Ian's continued rocking back and forth while sitting. Sometimes it looks comical and then we laugh and he smiles and laughs, too. Just recently he's started moving to his stomach from the sitting position. The first few times he did it we didn't hear a peep and were surprised to find him on his belly, but then we caught him in the act. He's a sneaky fellow when he learns new tricks.

Jim and I both enjoy cold weather, but we've been happy for these spring days. We've tried to get out and play some frisbee and lacrosse in the yard during nap breaks, when Jim's around. Fortunately, Ian loves to spend time outside & in the grass, too. For now he's content to just sit in it and grab handfuls of grass, which he doesn't seem to want to put in his mouth. We'll see how long that lasts!

When not sitting in the grass, Ian has started to really enjoy MOVING more. He's raising his sides up off the ground, rocking more while sitting, and has started really doing push-ups. He'll push up with his arms and just his knees will be on the ground. Sometimes he'll even push his knees off of the ground and be on the tips of his toes, but that doesn't last but a few seconds. My, oh my... watch out world! The plank? Really? Already!

Ian finally met Maria, who's been really wanting to see him! FINALLY :)

Kristy watched Ian for us on Friday while we went on a little afternoon/early dinner date. When Kristy offered, Jim and I both had the same idea... "Do we really need a date?" And then it hit both of us at the same time: "Is it a bad thing that we don't desperately need one?" We hope not! But we went and it was very nice. Thank you, Kristy!

 We just love time with our little fellow.

Yesterday Ian & I went to a La Leche League meeting; I just love those meetings. They are so uplifting and remind me that there are parents all around me who are going through the same things. And they constantly remind me that my intuition and my gut are what's best for my baby. I HIGHLY recommend it for new or seasoned mamas seeking advice about breastfeeding or interested in breastfeeding future children. They, here in Blacksburg, are completely open and non-judgemental and supportive.

Anyway... at this meeting there were six babies, all boys, crawling around. Normally Ian's so engrossed with everyone else at playgroups that he doesn't notice if I am there or not. Yesterday was different. He kept tabs on me and if he realized he was too far away, then he'd come turning back on his belly and reach for me. If he was sitting he'd turn and reach, then want to be held close. What an amazing feeling that was. I was home. I was safe. I was his comfort. What an incredible honor.

Ian & I just returned from grocery-shopping before I finished this post and I could not believe how happy and content he was for the entirety of my VERY long list and MANY trips back and forth throughout the store (1.5 hours, just about). The way to the grocery store was horrible... I suppose he really, really didn't want to be in the car or wanted to be with me. He was mad!! That was the first time in a while he's been upset in the car. But IN the store he rode in the Beco the whole time and didn't melt down when checking out took just about as long as each of his morning naps lasted. That trip could have gone very differently. I am very thankful his mood changed for the better.

I'm grateful for Ian's temperament and contentedness just to be with us. He's a baby; he does cry and show signs of discontentment. But it's important to remember that this is HOW babies communicate. He normally needs something. We adults do the same thing; we just might be more skillful at employing or hiding it.

As always, I'm sure I'm missing something.
For now, though, I'll bid adieu.

Happy 27-28 weeks, sweet Ian!!
We love being your safe harbor while you'll have us.

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