Since my last weekly post, so much has happened in our lives and in Ian's development.
We came back to Lebanon, PA to visit with Jim's parents for a few days after the memorial service in New York. Grammee took off some time to be with us for a day and read Ian lots of books! Ian has started to enjoy interacting with books that have flaps to lift up and peek behind. In this picture there's an animal on each page and when you pull down the flap, you discover the sound that the animal makes.
To stay cool, we went to a few parks and enjoyed the shade. We also got to see Carla, Jim's aunt, and Alex and Logan, his cousins. (Congratulations to Alex, who recently graduated from high school and is now heading to University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown!!).
|Ian, Alex, & Jim|
|Logan, Carla, and Ian|
|Aunt Carla & Ian|
Since leaving Lebanon, life has been a blur. Well, it already was... but you know what I mean. Life got super busy with packing, last-minute projects, completing final residency requirements, moving to a new home, baby-proofing our disheveled packing home and analyzing how to baby-proof our new place, and trying to keep up with Ian's many new skills and abilities.
|There are many more pictures of Ian as a blur now that he's moving SO quickly.|
Most importantly, we have been trying to do all of those things while still savoring Ian's infanthood and Jim's time off. Boy, does this little boy LOVE his papa. He cannot get enough playing time with him. They wrestle, they roll, they crawl, they flip, they do whatever comes into Papa's head... well, or Ian's, too.
Ian has started cuddling more, showing his affection more readily. He does this by leaning in close or, occasionally, coming in for an open-mouthed kiss. The open-mouthed kiss is new and so sweet. When it's not your child, it's not very pleasant... but it's very sweet coming from Ian! He shows his affection readily to me and Jim, but it does take some time to warm up to new people. After a few hours, he's willing to excitedly "talk" with other friends and family and to crawl around the floor, play with toys, or read books.
|Someone's getting tired...|
Ian shows he's tired by rubbing his eyes, frowning &whimpering a bit, and then crawling toward his mama. The final step is precious to me. Another honest picture here to show that he's not always so happy. There normally is a reason for his discontentment and once we figure it out, he's quickly back to being our happy boy. Over the past few months we have really been able to predict and identify his wants and needs much better than before.
|There's the frown.|
He also started climbing stairs! Only a few at first, and then it was four and then seven. In the beginning he'd show his excited desire to start climbing the stairs but would end up crying, as if he was forcing himself to do it against his will. (NOW we can't stop the boy... he LOVES stairs!)
He's figured out that he needs to duck his head low below the furniture or obstacles above him in order to make it through unscathed. It's amazing how quickly he figured that out, in order to protect his head!!
Jim and I try very hard not to save him from some of these tight spots. We try to let him work his way out by himself, allowing some frustration. It normally means that when he does get out, he is PROUD! Sometimes we do need to go to his rescue, but he's normally able to figure it out. We have to quench the desire to "save" and "respond" immediately, allowing him to problem-solve. The result is that he's pretty independent, resilient, and beaming from his latest endeavor.
One of his favorite things to do before the move was to push the stroller around. We'd keep it just inside the door and he started using it as his walker. On one occasion Jim was sitting and reading and noticed the stroller going by out of the corner of his eye. At first he thought nothing of it, but then he had to do a double take... Ian was walking the stroller, as if pushing his own baby, across the floor in front of him. When he saw his papa watching, he smiled proudly and kept on his way. I love picturing this.
He also enjoys pushing the ottoman, the wooden play gym, and small, light coffee tables around the room as his walkers. He's quite good at steering them where he'd like to go, turning, and getting out of tight places.
Ian's also started playing peek-a-boo under and over the furniture! What a fun game. He played it a lot with Gramee in Lebanon around their coffee table.
His tactile ability is getting better and better, too. He can pick him almost anything... something that made moving more and more difficult.
Since everything needed to be packed, Ian ended up getting pretty creative with his toys while moving. Boxes were, of course, one of his favorites. They were everywhere. And those flaps proved to be quite interesting! He'd play with ropes, stroller tires, tape rolls, Fage containers, ratchet straps, you name it. He also started flipping things to watch them spin, especially baskets and recycling containers.
The word "Mama" certainly means Mama, now. Nevermind that it normally comes when he's tired, hurt, or uncertain about new people, but it means Mama. And I've never been called anything sweeter. I love it.
FOOOD! He's eating almost anything and everything these days. We don't feed him anything with salt, nuts, honey, or dairy, but other than that it's free game! We still are careful about trying to give him only one new food at a time, but it's getting easier because he's tried so many things by now. It's still somewhat difficult for him to get tiny pieces of food to his mouth, so he resorts to putting his head straight down on the tray of his high chair or it ends up in his lap. We do feed him some things by hand or by spoon, breaking some of the rules of baby-led weaning.
Here are a few of him eating couscous. It's everywhere...
For a break during the packing, we took Ian to the pool. What a great way to relax and enjoy time with him! He loves, loves, loves it. This contraption gave us some piece of mind, too. He enjoyed watching the fountains in the big pool and swimming and laughing with us in the therapy pool. Then, we treated ourselves to Sweet Frog for a nice, cool frozen yogurt. Ian enjoyed sampling some of our fresh mango pieces.
Here are some pictures from our last day on the farm. What a beautiful place it was to welcome our little guy into the world. This view will always hold a special place in my heart.
|See, anything can be a toy!!|
|Ripped little guy. He's on a tough regimen. He's his own fitness guru.|
Happy 37, 38, & 39 weeks, Ian Forrester!!!
Thank you for keeping us grounded and sane during our busy weeks.
You remind us daily to appreciate the little things and to laugh at ourselves...
So much can happen in three weeks.
Sorry for the delay! Some of these things have happened more recently and some earlier,
but at least they are documented! :)