|One of my new favorite pictures. Jim snapped this one morning!|
It reminds me of Lyle Lovett's song lyrics, "You can have my girl but don't touch my hat."
It's been a busy week and a half, since I last posted. We've had many picnics and goodbyes with friends, Papa's basketball tournament (which Ian enjoyed!), Papa became a doctor (see previous post!!!), Aunt Phoebe graduated from college, we had some changes in plans, and Ian has had some major developments (BUT, name a week he hasn't!!).
We've spent much of this time being his human Jungle Jims! He would rather climb all over us, sometimes, than anything else. We spend a lot of time lying on the ground or allowing him to walk himself along our arms. In the kitchen, he likes to pull himself up on our legs and smile up at us from below. And, I finally caught this picture of him munching on those meaty, adorable toes. If only we could maintain this kind of flexibility throughout our lifetimes... I wonder how many injuries we'd all be able to avoid!!
Ian continues to love walks when he gets to ride in the backpack. His vantage point seems to be like that of an elephant or camel ride. We are so grateful that he loves to be outside, enjoying hikes, walks, saunters, or crawling and rolling around in the grass. If he's not already outside, he can be found peering outside through the windows.
Since he was born in the early fall, he had the long winter to cuddle and slowly learn how to become mobile. Now that it's getting warmer and easier to play outside, I'm grateful that his development has sprouted as well. He's on-the-move during a time when we're all itching to get outside and enjoy the dandelion puffs, the budding trees, and the feel of green grass between our toes.
Ian has started growling, occasionally. It's funny to hear him experiment with new sounds! He's also starting to sing along with me during our bedtime ritual, sometimes. Not hitting any of the same notes, he'll lean back into my chest and hold long pitches, sometimes with a few notes up or down. It brings a smile to my face each time and there's normally a point where I have to stifle a little laugh.
|"Here's looking at you, kid!"|
Perhaps one of my favorite moments from this week was when I found him as seen in the picture here. He was quiet, not making a peep, which is not like him very much these days, while he's awake. I came around the corner to find him leaning over his little photo album and looking in the mirror!! He'd sit back, moving his face out of the mirror, and then lean forward, observing his reflection. He did this multiple times while I ran and got Jim and the camera!
Lately, we've had a fair amount of rain. We're grateful for this adorable raincoat from Äma! It has matching pants, too, for when he's a bit bigger and desperate to play outside in the rain.
Life has definitely changed for us! Baby-proofing was in the works at home, but that doesn't stop him from speeding quickly into the fridge the second it's open.... among many other things you don't think about until you have a baby teaching you what mobility REALLY means!!
Below, Ian is showing us yet another yoga pose. The strength of this boy, I tell you. No wonder babies need so many naps... he never.stops.moving.
|"And now, for my next trick!"|
During the week before graduation, Papa had some time off. We got a few chairs for a steal from the YMCA and he was refinishing them for our new home. The weather was quite warm that week, so we decided to have a little family play session in the water! Ian splashed with his hands, with kitchen utensils, with rocks, and loved it! He especially loved it when Papa dipped his head in the water. He kept reaching for the stream of water cascading off of Papa's head.
Other than the pictures of graduation that I already posted, I don't have many of that day or the visit from Gramee & Grandpa. We had a nice time with them and went for a beautiful walk on the Huckleberry Trail. Thank you for the adorable new outfits for Ian & the froggy beach towel!! We also enjoyed some delicious Sal's Pizza, Jim's choice, to celebrate the big day.
Sunday (Mother's Day!) was a big day of packing and organizing for our beach trip. We were so excited for our trip and exhausted, but we were thrilled to be getting out as our family of three.
Without AC ($1500 is just not pocket change for us!) we hit the road for Edisto Beach State Park, in South Carolina. Ian enjoyed playing games where he'd stick his tongue out. We got there late and set-up camp in the dark, quickly hopping in the tent because of the no-see-ems and mosquitos. The next morning we were met by more of the same.
The campsite and state park were absolutely gorgeous! We felt like we were in a jungle. We were surrounded by huge live oak trees that were just covered in Spanish moss. It reminded me of my childhood in Savannah, memories I don't often have surface, but I welcomed them!!
The beach was awesome, empty, beautiful, and comfortable in our great little set-up. Ian LOVED the sand, the shells, the water, and the walks in the stroller along the beach (until he fell soundly asleep). We enjoyed experiencing the beach with him for the first time, the soft waves, and the walks and time we had reading during his naps.
Our beach set-up was much-improved from our trip last year. We enjoyed having this canopy to protect us and our active boy from the sun. Thanks to Äma for the spf 50 long-sleeved swim shirt, we only had to cover Ian's legs, face and hands with sunblock!
Unfortunately, we decided that after three long stretches at the campground of Ian (and ourselves) getting bitten by bugs, suffering from being sick, and not being able to be mobile and crawl around on the ground because of pestilent fire ants... this vacation was not the right one of our family at this phase and time. We knew it was going to be hot (and HOT is was!), but the bugs were what made it difficult. We will definitely go back in the future... the place was too awesome, beautiful, and pristine.
|Thanks for the warm fleece onesie, Aunt Sherri!|
So, grateful for another option, we hit the road for The Pinery in NW Pennsylvania!! Yes, quite a fair distant away... but worth it. We've filled our last few days with visits with family, croquet, bocce, hiking, walks on river road, reading, eating/making good food, and enjoying our sweet boy.
We've been playing a lot of peek-a-boo with Ian with a blanket during the last few weeks. If he was getting restless in the car, I'd cover his face, ask where he was, and wait for him to pull it off with glee. Throughout one of the car rides in Pennsylvania, Ian started playing the game back to me!! He'd cover his face, I'd say "Where's Ian?" and he'd uncover his face with a huge smile and squeal. Wowweee! That is so much fun. A whole new level of interaction and relating!
Ian still has a horrible cough, but he's trooping through it and it seems to be improving. Jim's listened to his lungs a few times and says they're clear. It hasn't stopped him from crawling and pulling up on furniture whenever he wants.
We visited the Koskers and Aunt Beth for a delicious venison meatloaf dinner on Saturday and then went to church with Grandma on Sunday, then out to eat, and for a tour and visit to her new lodgings. It was a nice, long visit and Ian was a hit with all of the folks in the lanes around her room.
He was kind of a hit with her, too. Wink, wink.
Back at the cabin, we've stayed warm by wearing our warm pajamas at night. Ian's newfound mobility proves to make Leif's life interesting. "Gentle" can be heard multiple times throughout the day as we coach both Ian and Leif through their interactions. Both are doing really well!
Since we have a bathtub, we've had fun with baths each evening. They have been a great way to wear out his extra energy and then to calm down with a nurse before bed. He's figuring out how to scoop water with a cupper we have for rinsing his hair and then to pour it out... this boy is catching on to everything!
In catching on to everything... separation anxiety has started full swing! If he sees me leave, he's not happy. I try to tell him when I'm leaving and if I'm coming back, but he doesn't understand yet. If someone else tries to soothe him, he spends most of that time crying and searching for me. This is definitely a new phase and one we'll both have to navigate together.
Today we went for a nice hike along Longfellow Trail and then Toms Run Trail in Cook Forest State Park. These trails take you through Cathedral Pines, which are gorgeous, huge pine trees... you do feel like you are in a cathedral. This picture doesn't actually show that stretch, though. We love this trail because there's a blanket of pine needles, ferns everywhere, and moss. In the heat of the summer, Toms Run follows right along a creek and we often go creek-walking, but today was too chilly for that! That's May in Cook Forest for you!!
The best part of the hike was snuggling with this little guy.
We are so grateful for our happy traveler, trooper, and fun-loving little darling! The last couple of weeks could have been very difficult, but he went with the flow (even while sick!). Thanks for being a good sport!
I'm so grateful to share my favorite place with this precious little one. There are pictures of me playing in this yard during my first summer, too. I love this place and am sure Ian will love it, too.
Happy 33 & 34 weeks, darling boy!
(8 month post to come)
You bring so much light into our lives.