Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Changing Times

Weeks ago now it was Valentine's Day. Gramee & Grandpa (Jim's parents) came for the long weekend and spent lots of time with Ian. Jim had board review for the entire weekend, which ended up giving him more time with his parents, since he was guaranteed to be home around 4:30 or 5 each day (much earlier than a normal day on an internal medicine rotation).
We were very grateful for taking care of Ian while we went on our Valentine's Day date, then during an afternoon so I could have a girls' day of coffee and shopping, and then while I grabbed some groceries before one of the snow storms hit. In this season of our lives, I don't get many moments of my own, so I am extremely grateful whenever it happens. I love being with my little man, but every once in a while I do need some time. Thanks for making that happen. I know he enjoyed himself and his grandparents were also grateful for the time.
We had a problem with the tub drain, so Jim was researching how to fix it on the iPad. It turned into the "guy" thing to do. Here are three generations of men working & researching together :)

And then another of them eating breakfast together.
Ian is full of exuberance and joy, these days. He loves to make you smile or laugh by doing something he thinks is funny. He's interacting SO, SO much. We almost always know what he wants by his communication through sign, words, or motions.
He loves to be outside, no matter what the weather condition. We went on many a walk in the BOB during freezing temperatures, but he was always happy to be along and stayed toasty warm. We often got comments about how people would like to switch places with him. This hat was a great choice on windy days. His cheeks stayed warm and toasty.
He's a very precise kid. He knows where things go and will often want them in his spots. BUT, he can also make some HUGE messes. As a mom friend said earlier this week; "There's no mess that can't be cleaned up."

During bath time one night Jim called from the bathroom saying I needed to see something. I came to find this tower on Jim's head!!! I'm still not quite sure how he pulled it off! Ian handed him every item from the bathtub and Jim made it happen. (P.S. The tub has been fixed, but Ian took baths in the green bin for about two weeks. We just keep rolling...)

It happens almost every time one of us is playing with Ian while the other one is out of the room. The one who's away is normally called over to see something clever, cute, or sweet. When Jim's worked all day and comes home after Ian's asleep, we normally take a few minutes to laugh and coo over a video or pictures I took of him on my phone that day. It's precious bonding time for us, but it also makes him feel connected to Ian on days when he's been apart.

It's a blessing to have a partner in this parenting journey who loves it so much, desperate to share in the joys, growth, and challenges. I feel so fortunate to have a partner who shares similar parenting goals as me. I normally have to make parenting decisions on my own as they arise, but then we talk about them together in the evening or the next opportunity. Jim's always supportive and keeps the rules consistent. I'm really grateful.

Ian's enjoying helping in the kitchen or around the house. Tasks always take longer, but there's normally not a time limit anyway!! Here he is moving the roasted pumpkin seeds from the bowl into the mason jar. It looks tidy here, but we did have a few spills. There was a series of videos. He started by carefully moving a few at a time, then attempting fist-fulls, and then removing the funnel (which was fairly successful!), and then attempting to dump the bowl straight in. It's faster that way, but not necessarily productive! It was neat to watch his though process unfold.

Since then he's helped me with making sweet potato chips, ripping kale for salads and soups, throwing vegetables into soups or the crock pot, putting laundry away, loading the washer or dryer, and making green bean chips (which was a big fail, but not because of his help).

He's become so much more independent, which is helpful much of the time. He can climb into his carseat, walk to the playground, get his shoes and put them away, etc.

We had a fair amount of snow in the last few weeks, as you've seen in previous posts. We had some fun snowy play times inside and outside.

We had a great visit with Aunt Christine, too! She came and spent much of her spring break with us. We're grateful she feels comfortable with us and chooses to come here for her vacation! That's saying something when she chooses to come to a place where the days and noise start before 7 AM!!

We tried to fill our days with relaxation and fun. She loves our local farmer's market and natural foods store, Eats, so we definitely had to swing by those places!! We also brought her with us to a friend's birthday party and showed her one of our new favorite restaurants, Gillies. And, of course, we had to take her with us to Heritage Park to run Leif a couple of times!! 

Most of all, she read book after book with Ian and played and played. We cannot wait until your next visit!!

When Aunt Christine came, she brought us a few items from IKEA! One of them was a chair that allows Ian to sit at table height and eat off of a plate directly on the table. Until now he'd sat in his high chair with a tray and plate and utensils. He obviously loves the opportunity to sit with us at the table and takes it pretty seriously. It's really nice because he can choose to get up into the chair or down on his own. This is a welcomed change for all of us.

Sorry Ian, but I had to try putting your hair in a pony tail. And then I had to post this picture. Haha!! I mean, his papa did have a pony tail when I met him, and he plans to have one again soon.... it kind of runs in the family. Isn't he cute?

Ian really enjoys signing and having that form of communication! "Help please" has been a huge help and blessing for all of us.

The time change was a good and a bad change for us. It was bad because he was so scheduled (for the first time ever) with going down around 6:45 PM. This gave us a lot of the evening to just chill (which was nice), but then he'd get up very early before 6 AM (which was not so nice). After the change it stays light so much longer, which means that he is not ready for bed until 8ish (or 9ish during the first few days) but then he does sleep in until the 7 o'clock hour or almost until 8 AM.

Ian's a ham! He loves to be goofy and keep us in stitches. There's really nothing better than a baby/toddler's giggle. It's impossible not to smile, laugh, and have your own mood lifted when you hear them!!!

Months ago I made homemade play dough. For months now I keep getting it out to see if he's ready or interested in it. The reaction used to always be to just eat it or throw it on the floor, but now he's interested in poking it or putting it into different places. Soon, I'm sure, there will be no end to the things he will do with play dough!!

Jim finished two really tough rotations, for which we are all grateful. He won't have the toughest one again until after June sometime. Woo!! Fortunately, Ian didn't mind just cuddling with Jim on the couch (below) when he was really exhausted. This normally came after an active play session, though.

Jim has started bike commuting to work!! He has to navigate a few local neighborhoods and intersections before he can hop on the Huckleberry Trail (our rails to trails path). He's really, really enjoying going into "battle" every morning and evening. He has had a few good stories so far.

Oh, little one. You are such a joy. You make us happy and we know it :)
This post will have to serve as his 17 month post, of sorts. Today he turns 18 months! How do we already have a child who's one and a half?! Closer to toddler than baby, for sure.

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