Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall Fun

If I don't start writing this post, then I'll never remember everything I need to include (it ended up taking weeks to post this). There's just no way. Ian doesn't slow down for anyone and I love that about him. 

You know what else doesn't slow down? Fall. The leaves changed, they fell, and never made it onto this post before they turned crispy and brown and dry. So, how about a sweet dose of fall before we start?

Whew. I'm feeling better already.

Okay, onward...

Before I get into Ian's developments, I want to thank Kim and John for watching Ian for us (a month ago now) when we went out on our first date in forEVER (five months). Thank you, thank you! It was lovely!

Jim had the idea to do a traveling dinner, so we went to a different place for drinks and appetizers, the main meal, and then dessert. Between each course we went for a walk, spreading our meal out over about six hours. It was really nice.

Without further ado... here's what Ian's been up to:

Let's start with my favorite thing. He has started tucking his arms under ours and his own body when we hold him. He doesn't want his arms to be out and loose, but inside and tight against us and his own body. His favorite position has always been to place his head up on our shoulder, looking out at the world or into our necks, depending on the situation. But the arm position is new and entirely too sweet.

At the beach, he was like one of the birds that runs down as the tide goes out to get all of the critters and runs back up the beach when the waves come in. Now that he's walking so steadily and speedily, he can actually out-run some of the waves. Now and then he would get caught in one and immediately sit down to stabilize himself. I think I need to post a series of pictures on this. We just could watch him for hours.

Ian loves to climb up on table chairs and is quite adept at getting back down, when he wants/needs to.  This worries some people, and it worried us in the beginning, but he's gotten much more able to handle it on his own over the last three weeks or so.

He likes to pivot in circles sometimes. And, at some point in the day, normally walks in circles around me a few times. Normally he hums or makes noises as he goes.

One day about two weeks ago I was sitting on the couch and he came and started whining and handing me one of the throw pillows on the couch. I wasn't sure what he wanted and he kept whining harder each time I put the pillow in my lap or back on the couch. Well, I finally realized that he was asking me to nurse him!! When I sit on the couch to nurse him, we normally get situated with a pillow placed under my elbow and his head. He put that together into a request. Smart boy.

Thanks for the book, Äma!! Love this cozy outfit, Sherri!
Ian's started wanting to read books as soon as he wakes up in the morning. Our bedside tables (crates) are full of books to read to him, since our bed is where we read to him at night. He often starts chiming, "boo, boo," and grabs a book for us to read together. When it's a song book I often cringe because my voice is never ready to sing quite that early... but he doesn't care!

The time change didn't really affect him, thank goodness. I think it affected me more than it affected him. He used to wake up close to 8 AM and so the change has only moved him up to 7:15ish. He's been going down by about 8 PM each night, with 7 PM being one of his earliest nights this week. Jim had to work late that night, which is probably why he went down so early. The fact that Jim comes home right about bed time (bath, reading, wind-down time) makes it difficult for Ian to go to sleep early, but it's also important time for the two of them to have each day. We take what we can get!

Just lounging...
He is still taking two naps some days and only one on other days. On the days when he only takes one nap, he normally hits the hay about an hour earlier than normal. He's a sucker for car naps. If we are in the car anytime around a naptime he sacks right out. Fortunately, he'll sleep about as long as he would in his bed even if he falls asleep in the car.

He has started to enjoy resting in random places. Here he is on the yoga ball we keep in the yard for playing. He also leans back on the couch or on his bed. My favorite is when he leans into one of us, which happens a lot.

Ian has started opening doors with handles that pull down, which means that he can open every door in our house except for the knobbed ones leading outside! So, you may want to actually lock the door to the bathroom, if you ever come over. He understands that those door knobs need to turn, he just hasn't quite figured out how to do that yet.

For a while he rediscovered how fun it is to play with your tongue. He'd make all sorts of sounds and move his tongue back and forth in his mouth. He obviously wanted us to join in with his game and as soon as we would, he'd want to try to hold and touch our tongues.

He enjoys playing with toys for their purpose. He seems to have figured some of them out on his own. He likes to zoom cars around the floor, place blocks on his trains (Thank you, Jenny!!!) and attempts to put them on top of each other, and moves the beads through this little gym.

Ian has started enjoying watching trucks outside of the window. We are set back at the end of a road, so not many people or trucks drive by. We do have the trash truck that comes every Tuesday and then the daily mail truck. When they do come by, I try to tell Ian. I love to watch him run over to the curtains, figure out how to move them out of his way and onto his back, and then point and talk to the trucks as they stay in front of our house for a few moments.

Within the last month Ian has developed perseverance to look for things he wants or needs. The main thing that comes to mind is his water cup. If he wants a drink and the cup is nowhere to be found, he will point at our drinks, look for his cup on all of the surfaces around him, or point to where it is.

He's not a fan of diaper changes. They normally start off on his changing table and end with me putting his diaper on as he stands somewhere else in the house. He's understanding more and more about how each item of clothing is put on. He is willing to put his head into a shirt and then will help to get his arms into the sleeves after he realizes that his sleeves are flopping everywhere. Pants and socks, in his opinion, are not necessary, but he'll eventually sit in my lap so that I can get them on him.

Ian really loves being naked. If he's wearing a cloth diaper with velcro bindings, then he will ultimately pull it off (whether or not a onesie is overtop of it). He enjoys running around the house without anything on. So far he hasn't had an accident (knock on wood!).

His favorite thing to put on are his shoes. I know this may not always last, but I am grateful for it right now. It almost seems like he feels "grown up" when he gets to put his shoes on. When I say, "Let's put your shoes on," he walks toward me and lifts his foot or comes and sits down in my lap. I love that he's starting to be able to really show how much he understands!!

When we go to the playground down the street, Ian has started to walk there. We live on such a quiet street and I always walk so that my body is shielding him from any possible traffic. If a car happens to come, then I explain that I need to pick him up. When he's allowed to walk there he carries a smile the entire way. Do they know that they are such big kids when they can do things like this? Haha.

Sometimes I give him a carrot to play with and gnaw on while I am working in the kitchen. He decided to bring it with him to the playground that day. And, every boy needs a good stick, too.

He has started saying more words, too. He answers "yea" to some questions such as "Do you want a drink?", "Are you hungry?", "Is the dog outside?". He says "aw done," when finished with a meal. Ian says ball, book, Mama, Papa, dog, bon (phone), and points to everything saying "ba." Recently he's started saying, "Bubye!" He won't do it on command, much to the dismay of the cashiers at the grocery store, but he'll say it to his toothbrush, to a book, and to us occasionally. He knows what many things are when we're talking. Namely, diaper, brushing teeth, toothbrush, bath, mirror, drink, water, outside, playground, house, car, bed, apple, banana, shoes, shirt, pants, hat, and I'm sure there are many more!

Leaves are fun!!
Though it's getting colder, Ian is not phased. He LOVES spending time outside and especially spending this time with his dog. I spent a while raking leaves, putting them in piles, and then lugging them with a rolling trash can to the side of the yard where Jim wants to plant our garden using the hugelkultur technique (more on that another day). Ian spent hours playing in the leaves, sharing sticks with Leif, and checking in with me every once in a while. It's entirely too fun to watch him play with Leif. Our yard, perfectly hedged in by bushes and trees, is an excellent place for a child to play. The boundaries are distinct and easy, even for a thirteen month old.

This boy and his dog. I just cannot get over their sweet relationship! Last night I took the most adorable video of Ian petting Leif so kindly, sweetly, and gently. Leif didn't move a muscle and it didn't end with Ian scaring him away (as it often does/did).

One of our new hiking friends,
Anna. Ian loves her. He climbed up
to cuddle in this picture.
We've been going on lots of hikes, too. It's been great! Ian isn't too heavy to break my back yet and it's a good workout. It's no more weight than I'd carry on a backpacking trip, really. I've been going with friends throughout the week and Ian has been such a willing participant and trooper! Leif's grateful, too, for the chance to explore another area besides our yard. And he gets to socialize with other dogs, most of the time.

This past weekend Jim had Saturday "off." I put that in quotes because he worked all night Friday (6 PM to 6 AM) and then had to work again on Sunday. We ended up going to the Cascades for a nice family hike later that afternoon and ended up hiking down in the dusk. Jim carried Ian and I carried our snacks and water. I felt so light and fit, since I wasn't carrying him! It's amazing what losing 25 lbs (of Ian) will do.

Ian did get a bit fussy as we hiked down in the dark, so Jim and I sang rounds from my childhood. It was pretty fun! And it kept him happy. As soon as we'd stop singing Ian would get upset. I think we have a little music-lover in the family. Surprise, surprise...
If moments could be bottled...

Our blue-eyed blueberry boy.
Ian's eating cheese and drinking a little whole milk. He's tried peanut butter, almonds, and cashews and hasn't had a poor reaction. It seems we are almost safely through every food! It's nice to get to this point and not be constantly watching him for allergic reactions. Of course we are still mindful of it, but he's not eating as many new foods.

He still hasn't had shellfish or any seafood, which happens to be my allergy... we haven't dared expose him yet (even though we were at the seafood festival in the OBX. Hopefully he'll take after his papa!!

Ian has started "helping" me in the kitchen for some tasks! Our CSA ended last week (so sad), but before it ended we were getting a lot of kale, collards, and chard. Almost every night we'd eat some greens in a soup, stir-fry, you name it. Well, instead of cutting them up, I often rip them. So, when Ian would get fussy during my dinner prep, it was usually about the time that I needed to take care of the greens. A few nights I sat down on the floor with a bowl and some stalks of greens and started ripping the green into the bowl. Ian plopped down next to me, took a stalk and ripped pieces off and put them in the bowl! Then, when our bowl was full, he'd help me by grabbing fistfuls and throwing them into the pot or pan. Don't worry, I kept him a very safe distance away from any source of heat. It's so fun!!

Alright, I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Many things. But here's a start and there's always tomorrow (or a month from now). Thanks for sticking with us through this journey!

I'll leave you with this sweet picture of the two best friends.

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