Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Good Rain Storm

Today was one of those days; I needed a good cry. A good, freeing cry. Afterward I was able to feel more joy and contentedness while playing with Ian and freedom from burdens I'd put on myself.

And now, as soon as he drifted off into a deep sleep in my arms and was carefully placed to sleep on his own, the thunder boomed and the rain came. He's still deeply sleeping. My heart deeply grateful for the rain. Hydration for the thirsty. Saturation for the desert.
I just love a good rain storm. 
And, for that matter, a good cry.

(Thank you to the LLL leader who talked me through my burdened heart!!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

10 Months of Play!

It wasn't hard to decide where to take Ian's ten month photos!! We have spent time at the playground down the street every day for the last couple of weeks. What a great resource and I am so grateful for the ease of putting him in his stroller and walking there, rather than loading him into the carseat.

Plus,  he loves it. The stairs are wonderfully safe, with no gaps or holes, and the sections he climbs on never get too hot, even in the middle of these hot, Virginian summer days.

If we're the only ones at the playground, Ian's boisterous, quick, and on the move. If there are other children, then he's much quieter and more observant, content to sit and watch. While there are some children I'm happy he's watching, there have been a few that are FAR from good role models. I know, I know... it's just the beginning. 

Without further delay, I present to you... our ten month old!!! Unbelievable. Here's a tour of his new favorite place..
Completely engrossed in watching a few older kids (I have absolutely no idea where he gets his people-watching genes from... haha!).
Ian's excited face, normally accompanied by an excited squeal!
Steady and careful.
And always on the move...
Are you watching? I can go up.
Follow me!
This way...

There's a fun, round window. I like to wave to my family and friends from here.
And believe it or not, I decided that my ten month birthday was a good day to try the BIG slide for the first time!
I put my feeler foot down first, then I went all of the way down.
Don't worry, Mama was right there to catch me and slowly send me down. 
Here I am at the bottom! I thought that was pretty cool!!!
 Now I'd like to show you how I go down stairs, get off of the couch, or high places like the slide...
Step 1
Step 2: Choose one foot to put down first.
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6: See if anyone was watching!
REALLY big. 
Then move on to the next thing!
I like to crawl on my hands and feet, keeping my knees off of the sticky mulch.
Back up the stairs I go!

Even though I still have some of my baby pudge, I am slimming up even more.
Mama & Papa cannot believe how strong I am.
I also really enjoy the swings! 
And I really like to talk!!

(This is Ian's signature babbling or bantering back and forth face. I love that this captures it. He will talk to you in long "sentences" as though he's sure you are grasping every word. We do our best.)

Happy ten months of life, dear adventurer!!!

You love: climbing up and down stairs, swinging, waving, throwing the "ba" back and forth, throwing the "ba" for Leif, watching bubbles, playing in water, turning the pages of board books, hugging Mama & Papa, babbling, cuddling when you're sick, falling asleep in the Beco, and playing in your new room.

That smile, that wave, that strawberry hair.
We love everything about you.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Birthday Thank You

Thank you for all of the wonderful birthday messages!! I truly appreciated each and every one of my messages, phone calls, pictures, and texts. 

Technology can be a wonderful thing, connecting us to family and friends all over the world. As I read through the messages, I was overwhelmed with joy thinking about each person and their impact on my life. People from every season of my life were represented. That's pretty wonderful and amazing, when you think about it. So, thank you, thank you!!

Photo Credit: Erin! A pic from the beach.
Some of my best birthday gifts came from this little guy, who has truly started hugging and cuddling close throughout the day. He has a firm and steady hug, just like a good handshake. Fortunately, the hugs last longer than handshakes! 

There's a lot of this crazy motion, mixed with sloppy kisses, hugs, and leaning in for a loving head-butt or nuzzle.  I think this photo captures that well...
Naps are getting longer and more predictable! Yay! Happy birthday to me!
Sorry for the blurry-ness. That's life these days!

 Ian and I had a nice morning eating with friends and their babies at one of my favorite breakfast spots, enjoyed a little nap, a playdate/crafting session at a friend's home, and then dinner with Jim.

Thanks again for all of the love! 
Twenty-eight isn't looking too bad :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fever & Stairs

 It won't be long before this little man is learning everything he can from his papa. It's probably safe to say that tools will be a common "toy" and present for him in years to come. Why not start now? With the move there were often tools around, mostly safe and appropriate of course ;)

Boy, does this guy ever love a good mess!!! 
But who doesn't really... especially one who has no concept of cleaning it up!!!

This goes for any meal, too. I've finally learned to strip him down at mealtimes to just a diaper.  Every once in a while I forget, but I'm getting better. 

His eating comes in ebbs and flows. Sometimes he's desperate to eat everything and sometimes he's just not interested. I'm sure we can all relate to that.

Lately he is LOVING broccoli and "mush" (our name for the oatmeal Jim's been making). He's tried blackberries, blueberries we picked (see pics) and grapes. He's still wild about water, which is good because it's been so hot here.

He's getting better about fisting food into his mouth, but food times are getting more and more difficult. He bats the spoon out of my hands and throws things on the floor a lot. It's normal, but sometimes hard to navigate how to respond or react.

One of Ian's top teeth is now very visible and the second one is on its way in!! This means that he's really, really teething. The top teeth are definitely bothering him much more than the bottom teeth did. He's gone through phases of liking to teeth on carrots, ice in the sack thing in the picture, celery, apple slices, and my collar bone... no lie.
No broccoli stands a chance with this fiend.
We watched as much of the World Cup was we could over the last few weeks! We still don't own a TV, so everything was on my laptop. Ian hasn't seen much TV in his lifetime, so he was quite fascinated by this little screen. Of all things to allow him to watch, this one was important and educational, right? He barely watched, even when it was on. Five seconds and he was on to something new! Babies have too much to do!

Fourth of July weekend was wonderful! We went to a cookout with some great friends, watched the fireworks, went blueberry picking, went shopping for some items for our new place, enjoyed some soccer, and tried to just relax together. It's been a while month!

Here are a few pictures of our blueberry-picking experience:

The loot!
The hardest thing in the past couple of weeks was that Ian got very sick. All he wanted to do was sleep, breastfeed, be worn in the carrier, and cuddle his mama for a few days. He didn't seem like a kid who had an extremely high fever, but he was hot like a furnace. His fever ran high (103.6) and we took him into the doctor. She thought it was a virus and probably Hand, Foot, & Mouth disease and that it needed to run its course. Poor guy had sores on this back of his throat, making him only want to nurse and eat very few, soft solids. Fortunately, the fever finally broke on the evening of the third day and since then a rash spread over his tummy, but is starting to go away now. We couldn't believe what a good sport he was the whole time!
Unfortunately, his illness came at a time when I was supposed to be celebrating another little baby boy's soon arrival. But, you can't plan illnesses and this little boy needed me more than ever! Thanks for being so understanding Mere & Heather!!!
 You can tell he's not feeling one hundred percent in this picture. Little country bumpkin. Take a close look at his hair in the next few pictures...

Ian LOVES brushing his teeth these days. Anywhere in the house we can ask him if he wants to brush his teeth and he motions that he's ready to be picked up and taken to get started. For a while he never wanted to stop brushing his teeth, no matter how long we did it, but he's started almost stopping on his own! We always do it at the same time, which is pretty fun for all involved.
 This guy found his buttons! He doesn't often wear shirts with buttons all of the way down his front, but he did that day and was fascinated by them.
 Here he is sampling some of the blueberries we picked. No matter how many he tried, this was always his expression. Perhaps he thought each one he tried would taste different? Haha! We thought they tasted divine.
 I made the Pioneer Woman's blueberry crumb cake and it was oh so good!! Had to capture the yummy breakfast. Ian has started trying to peer around the camera at me. Hehe!
 Our strapping young lad is VERY good at taking off the cloth diapers that have velcro fasteners. If there aren't any clothes overtop of them, then he normally finds a way to get them off. He's getting to be so svelte!! Poor guy has matching mosquito bites on the backs of his legs, too.
 Sorry, Ian! I couldn't resist posting this one of your tush.
 And while we're posting all of the ones of him nude... Here is one of him during his fever. He took multiple baths a day to help him cool down. It must have felt soooo good because he was the happiest in the tub. After his baths, he always slept really well. too.

Okay, so minus the tub picture above, the rest of the pictures you've seen so far were of Ian PRIOR to his first haircut!! We finally did the deed, painful though it was for both of us (me and Jim, not Ian!). On July 7, 2014 (7-7-14... cool date, eh?) I cut his hair for the first time. The goal was just to snip the back, where he had the rat-tail, trim the fly-aways on the sides, and a bit around the eyes. 

To contain him, I put him in his high chair. He is normally pretty content to sit there for a little while. I then handed him his toothbrush, since he enjoys brushing his teeth so much and I was desperate for some distractions. Then, I went to work snipping as little as I could!!

Let me tell you. It was emotional!! Haha. I felt every snip. Ian could have cared less. He would have cared more had I taken the toothbrush from him, but it was ALL his! I trimmed the back and a bit around his eyes, but I chickened out about the sides... not wanting too drastic a change. 
Afterward, I beat myself up for every snip. It's definitely not a great job, but it looks okay. When Jim came home I was grateful for the reassurance that it looked good. He was pleased. Whew! Then Ian got sick with the fever and I didn't want to bother him with the haircut and I still haven't trimmed the sides to this day!

Since I flew solo on the haircut and I was so worried about it, I didn't get any pictures! The rest of the photos show Ian with his new 'do. Not too different... This one shows his flushed cheeks from the fever, but the poor boy still kept a smile on his face. The ottoman is often used as a walker.

He has really started to amaze us with his ability to stand for long stretches of time, without even realizing it!! He'll reach for a toy, put it in his mouth, and stand steady for between five to ten seconds before sitting back down on the floor. WILD!

Ian's cruising everywhere. He can cruise along the walls, the couch, tables, chairs, you name it. It might not be long...

 The following pictures are of Ian post-fever and illness.
This goofy expression is very common. "Don't mind me... I'm just _____"
 If I posted all of the shots I get of this, you'd be here all day. Every time I pick up the camera he crawls toward me and wants a good look of it. I have many pictures of him far away, crawling toward me, and then VERY up close and personal.
 Yesterday we spent time with Trisha and Jade and they let us borrow a maraca! Ian's really enjoying it!
 The back... still fairly long, but nowhere near as long as before!!! Each day he gets more and more blonde.
 Deer in the headlights!!! Those blue eyes...
 The front of our home has a wall of mostly windows. Ian loves standing and stairing out of the bottom ones, which happen to be his height. That's our front yard.
We've been going to the playground right up the road from us a lot, these days. Ian enjoys the baby swing and climbing up and down the steps of the playground. He has had A LOT of practice going down the steps.

On my birthday, yesterday, we were at a friend's home and Ian went up the steps multiple times, under my supervision. All of a sudden he started going down her narrow steps backwards and with absolutely no trouble. He made it safely down the entire staircase without any intervention from me. Way to go, Pal!!

He is also adept at getting off of sofas, chairs, or laps. He just backs himself right off, nice and easy.

What did I tell you? That goofy expression says he's up to something!!!
 This is the cradle Jim made with the quilt that my cousin, Marianne, made Ian. Ian likes to climb into the cradle and off of the other side. Since the cradle rocks, it's a difficult feat to get off. He's still working this out!
 When did he get to be such a little boy? Looks MUCH older than 9 months here!!! Perhaps from being sick, but also from lots of movement, and the natural changes of getting older, he's losing his baby pudgy-ness and becoming a little boy. Slow down, please. 

Happy 41-43 weeks, Ian Forrester!!
My, oh my, how we love you.