Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ian "Work"

I didn't even think to take a first
day of school picture! So frazzled.
This week held a major first for our family. It marked the first week that Ian would spend a few hours away from home and in a "school" setting. A little more than a week before he started, I received an email stating that we had moved off the waiting list. Until then, I thought he wouldn't have a spot until at least January.

Even though I had a week to mentally prepare, I wasn't quite prepared for the emotions that would kick in on that very first day. Sure, he's spent time in other people's care before. Normally it's friends or babysitters who have been hired to watch children while the mamas are in MOPS, etc. For some reason this was a very different feel.

Ian and I had discussed how he would be going to "school" and that he would see Iris and lots of other children and people. We talked about things that he'd be doing while he was there... playing with toys, reading books, singing songs, and going on the playground. He was prepared.

Thanks, Jess, for snapping this picture!
As we walked in the door of the classroom, a picture of Ian as a newborn, swaddled and in my arms enveloped me. A baby who was incredibly dependent and needed me for it's nourishment and comfort. I snapped back out of it and into the classroom. I watched as my 23 month old held my hand, granted, but walked into the room with confidence. He stood there taking everything in and then listened to each of my directions as I explained the steps that I needed to take (label his diaper, place his sippy cup in the bin) and then wash his hands at the sink, as I stood by his side.

When finished washing hands, he stepped down from the stool. I asked if he would like play and he said, "No." Fair enough. Would you like to play with the trains? "Yes." We walked to the trains and I asked if I could give him a kiss, which he obliged, and then I said goodbye. He didn't watch me go. He was still taking everything in around him.

This boy was so far removed from the boy swaddled in my arms. This boy understands that he is secure and loved. And this boy willingly separated and enjoyed a few hours of "school."

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I choked up and tears brimmed in my eyes. What a remarkable lad we have raised so far. I'm in awe of him daily.

Without a good plan for what to do during my three hours without Ian, I decided to make it a truly sentimental morning. I went to Target, bought a journal for our new baby, and sat in the Starbucks and wrote Ian a four page letter. I bawled through the whole thing. Tears of joy, mostly. But also tears of incredulousness at the thought that almost two years have already passed us by. We are just so crazy-in-love with this kid.

Then I sat and wrote our new baby the first letter in his/her journal. The time couldn't have been better spent.

I rushed through the grocery store getting a few essentials before the excitement of getting Ian overtook me. When I got there they said he'd enjoyed himself, continuing to take it all in, and really enjoyed the sand box outside. His only hiccup was when our friend Chris came to pick Iris up early. Ian ran and gave Chris a big hug and then welled up with tears after he left. Fortunately it sounded like the teachers handled it beautifully and gave him the task of putting away the kids' water bottles. He loves to help and sort.

Reunited at last!! We both survived the first day. I shed WAY, WAY more tears, I'm sure. I even bawled telling Jim about it during Ian's nap. By now he's had two days and I did far better the second day. The teachers said that he was a champ and had a great time.

Later on the first day, Ian asked where Jim was. I told him he was at work. Ian responded quickly by saying, "Ian work," sticking his chin up slightly with pride. We've had a similar conversation a couple of times since. It's the cutest.
It's going to be a good year! Ian loves to be social and I think this will be really good for him. I will be productive during the time that he's gone to ensure that I am more present during the time we are together. And, by the time our baby arrives, Ian will be so comfortable there that it will be "his place." The new baby and I will have a few hours twice a week to do errands or bond. As a family, we are really excited about this opportunity and so grateful that Ian transitioned well.

Here's to a new beginning!

Pinery Take Two

Ian and I headed up to The Pinery for a second time this summer, but this time Jim came up partway through the week to meet us. And this time my sister, Phoebe, and her boyfriend, James, were able to join us, too! So, the whole gang was together for most of the week!! That hasn't happened since the summer when I was pregnant with Ian!!
We had a great week with beautiful weather.
 Ian started a new fashion trend. Don't look now, but the runway shows are going to be following his lead this year!

 We enjoyed campfires almost every night.
 And river time every day!!

 Ian LOVED throwing rocks in the water this year and watching them "splash!!"

 Perhaps one of my new favorite pictures ever. My big, handsome boy in my favorite place.
 I obviously couldn't choose just one photo.
 Good lifting form, as always. If only we could retain those innate understandings of how our body needs to be used.

 Hazel, Heidi, Julie, & Aunt Beth came down to the water with us one day.

 This might be my first bump picture of this pregnancy! Hello, Baby!!

 A good side view of the bump and the "big budder." (13 weeks at this point)
 Grumps and Ian, just chatting about life.

 Grandma spent a few days out at The Pinery with us. On this day she had a very productive doctor's visit with Dad and Aunt Beth present.

 We celebrated Uncle Willem's 27th birthday with a chocolate cake (what else?)!
 We went on two canoe trips! Ian's first, official trips. He did a fantastic job on the first one, which was 6.5 miles down to Cooksburg and the ice cream place. On day two, we didn't time it well before his nap and he was a bit grumpy, but cuddled so sweetly with me for most of it.

 Jim gave me a HUGE gift by sleeping with Ian for all of the nights he was there. I slept in the neighbors' house and even slept in each day until 8:30! It was glorious and I felt like a new woman. Thank you SO much, Jim!

Amazingly enough, Ian was normally lying quietly with Jim when I'd come over to the cabin around 9 AM. He let Jim rest the whole time!!

I love this picture that Dad snapped of him one morning. So focused and deliberate.

Let the record show that I did beat James in croquet two times!!! He did beat me like ten times, but hey. Progress was made. We also played a lot of cornhole and badminton

Phoebe & James and then Dad & Willem left, so the last day we spent with Mom. We had a full, fun day with her! We went to Iron Mountain Grill for lunch, the bulk foods store, then to Quiet Creek Herb Farm (our combined paradise... we could spend all day there. Or heck, we could live there!), and then on a hike in Cook Forest State Park.
 We did the Cathedral Pines hike on Longfellow trail and then we got down to Toms Run and waded around in the water. We stripped Ian down, so he wouldn't get his clothes and diaper soaked. I loved watching him frolic and play in the water. He then hiked the whole way back to the car naked. So adorable.

 A boy and his double-fisting of sticks!!

 Now before I hear it from everyone... for some reason I am having trouble downloading a few pictures from my camera. I'm not freaking out yet, but I will continue trying to troubleshoot the problem. I know that Dad would really like the group picture and unfortunately it's one of the ones causing problems! If anyone knows Nikons, iPhoto, & MacBooks... help me. There are some important pictures :)
Until next year, dear cabin! We loved our time with you. Thank you, Mom & Dad, for hosting all of us for a week!