Wednesday, February 25, 2015


What a treat! We went to a farm with our friend Anna and got to meet and hold newborn lambs. Ian was hesitant and cautious, but did pet and touch them a bit. Such a great afternoon and memory.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Life's flying by. This boy is 17 months old. My phone's filling up with pictures and my camera, too. The phone is easier to transport and post from, so I decided to do a snapshot post. I love, love, love my camera and it takes much better photos, but it doesn't always show the every day events. Here are a few of my favorite memories of the past few weeks.

LEFT: A walk on the Huckleberry with Ian, as we killed time away from home during a tub repair. He loved walking independently, gathering acorns, and climbing up and down some railroad tie stairs. What a wonderful way to breeze through an hour!

RIGHT: We tried out a new playground on our way home from the aquatic center. I loved watching him figure out how to get on top of this "dirt bike" and figure out how to ride it on his own!!
LEFT: We are starting a swap group with two other families for mama breaks. Ian, Jade, and Christian are all within a few weeks of each other and each have very compatible personalities, so far. We're looking forward to our weekly play dates and chances for mama to have some time alone, knowing he's in good hands!

RIGHT: Time outside! It's harder to snap pictures of him these days without him turning and running toward the camera. I have MANY photos that look like this!

Why this fuzzy photo, you ask? This was Valentine's Day. Jim's parents were in town and watched Ian while we got to go on a date (thank you!)! Jim had a board review that lasted all day, but he booked it out early, leaving his jacket to pretend like he was going back in, so that we could make it to our reservation. When we met in the hospital parking lot, it was already starting to snow. We had dinner at The Black Hen, which is an amazing, new, fresh and local restaurant in town. It was our first time going there and it was a really nice chance to be together.

Afterward we froze our way to the car (the wind was bitingly cold, with wet snow covering us) before deciding to get back out and enjoy some hot chocolate at Bollo's, Jim's idea. We enjoyed it and then decided we should probably be getting back because the roads might be icy and we'd make it in time to tuck Ian into bed. Thus began our hour-long trek back home. We drove back to the car parked at the hospital and drove separately, me following Jim all of the way. People were spinning out in front of us, people were pushing cars out of the way left and right, and we even watched as Chick-Fil-A employees celebrated after pushing a car, perhaps one of their own colleagues, out of a three lane road. The trip that should have taken 15 minutes took an hour.

To top it all off, though, my car was desperately in need of gas. I snapped this photo while my wonderful husband filled it up for me in the horribly chilly and miserable evening. Thanks, Hon!! We were so grateful to then make it home safely and read to Ian before bed. One of my favorite Valentine's Days ever.

The next day we got more snow!! 7-12 inches, maybe.

 Ian loved it and wanted to help.

Boy on a mission.
 We enjoyed a week of frigid temperatures.

 Unfortunately, Ian was sick with a 24 hour bug, but he kicked it pretty quickly. That was his first time with the stomach bug.
 Yogurt makes all things better. Yogurt faces!
 I got a new phone case and gave Ian my old one to be his very own "phone!!" It's so sweet hearing and watching him answer it with a "Yea." He then continues to babble to the person on the other end.
LEFT: Ian and I ventured out for a little adventure before the plows came through. Here's our road covered in snow!

MIDDLE: We went to the playground and made the only fresh tracks. This made me kind of sad. Where are all of the kids? Hopefully Ian will continue to make the first tracks on blessed snow days!!

RIGHT: Thanks to Jade and her parents, we now have a new bed for Ian! He loves it and points at it excitedly, then proceeds to lie on it or read books. Here I was just laying it out before setting it up and Ian came up behind me with a book and pillow, ready to enjoy it! Who could say no?

More snow play.
 Even though we've had a lot of time at home, we've tried to get out for a few different things.

LEFT: Romp 'N Roll with our MOPS group after a nice breakfast with a friend and her son.

RIGHT: Story time today. Ian has grown by leaps and bounds as far as comfort at this weekly event. In the beginning he was petrified to leave my lap. It's so neat to see him to comfortable and content. He now knows that he should sit on the carpet spot, he tries to follow along with the books and the songs (but some kids are just way too fascinating to watch), he walks up determined to get a noise-maker and then returns it when we're done (even though the throng of children would be intimidating for some adults!!), and then squeals with joy and laughter when the bubble machine comes out, signifying the end of story time. I'm a proud mama.

The past two weeks we've sung "Happy and You Know It" and he LOVES this song. It's fun to watch him do it around many other children. He also did the movements in the car today while I sang and just laughed and laughed. Oh what fun.

Those are some glimpses into our life recently.
Life is good.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Oh Boy!

As Ian would say, "Oh boy!" It's time for another update about our sweet boy.
Our blue-eyed, red-headed little guy does not slow down.
It's, once again, time to play catch-up on about a month!! Here we go... and wish me luck!

Ian has started saying "Oh my!", "Oh boy!", and "Alright!" Normally it's after I've said it enthusiastically. He also says, "Outside" and it sounds about the same as the first two sayings mentioned. As you well know, he LOVES being outside. He's especially loving the snow he was able to experience in Paris and now at home (we've had a lot of snow recently- more on that later!).
Ian's started saying "Hot," but he leaves off the t at the end. He holds his palm up and says it. Most of the time it's to something that actually is hot, like a fire, a stove, or the oven, but sometimes he holds it up to things that are cold. My favorite is when he spies a fireplace in a book we're reading and says it. It's so sweet and he's right... it must be warm in the book!!
Deer in the headlights. Signing "All done."
As far as signing, he does "all done", "more", "milk", "help", "please", and "thank you." The last two he just started yesterday and are still require much practice. It's so neat to see him express himself and know that he is acknowledged and understood. If he cannot get our understanding, it's frustrating to him. BUT, if we can speak back to him what he'd like in signs or in verbal language, then you can often see relief or excitement in his face. "Thank you" is pretty cute because it looks like he is kissing his hand and it's basically how he blows kisses!!

He is "blowing" kisses now, too. I just love it! He puts his palm to his face, smacks his lips, and holds his hand in front of his face. It looks like he's keeping the kiss, but he really means to give it away!

A few weeks ago Ian and I went to Paris, since Jim's schedule was pretty time-consuming and difficult. My parents had a lot of snow still covering the driveway, so my car wouldn't make it up the mile-long, treacherous mountain road. We transferred the carseat five times over the course of the weekend. That's five times too many, but now I am a pro with Ian's newer seat!!

Mom, Ian and I went shopping for much of a day. It was nice to go shopping with my mom like the old days. We left in the morning, ate lunch out, and came back home before dinner time. I can remember many, many times like that throughout my childhood and really enjoyed getting to do it again. Thanks, Mom! Ian was a great sport and took his nap in the stroller and enjoyed climbing through the clothing racks in a few stores.

Then we enjoyed a day of hanging out with Dad, Mom, and Willem on Sunday before the Superbowl.  Superbowl Sunday was the day he started blowing kisses. Ian had some time out in the snow with Uncle Willem and Äma and enjoyed watching the dogs play, too. We always eat really well-- delicious chili, steak and kale salad, omelets, pancakes, etc. Yum, yum yum. Thanks so much for having us!!

Ian loves to point at eyes, noses, ears, belly buttons, mouths, toes, heads, hair, and hands. He will point to them on other people or on himself. Sometimes he'll just walk up and start pointing at them, expecting you to say what each part his as he does it. When you say the body part he says, "Yuh," as if he's telling you that you are correct. Then again, maybe that is what he's doing. Funny guy.

He's finally started enjoying cow's milk consistently. I offer it to him at every meal now and he normally drinks a fair amount. This is a relief to me because he hadn't been enjoying it before and I was worried about his calcium intake, even though he ate cheese. He drinks water during the rest of the day, since we always have a water bottle or cup around.

We are still working on being gentle with Leif. Almost everything turns into a vehicle he can push at Leif. It takes constant direction and sometimes/often the removal of the item. Leif continues to be a great sport, for which we are very grateful.

Ian is really interacting with books, lately!! It's so fun for us to see and enjoy with him. Jim is normally home in time to read with him before bedtime this month and it's really nice to have this family time together. Ian loves "Happy And You Know It!" He claps, stomps his feet, and raises his hands for "Hooray!" If we're reading on the bed, he will stand up so that he can stomp his feet. In "Caps for Sale," Ian shakes his hands with the monkeys as they say "Tsz, tsz, tsz" and a smile spreads across his face, often with a giggle. In "The Mitten" he will reach as if to catch the mitten on the very last page.  He likes to read the signing book we have and has recently started doing the signs as we read each page. It's truly a delight to see him enjoying and understanding books!!

Recently Jim has started attempting to bike to work. We've had a few hiccups with flat tires and lots of poor weather, but soon it will be a constant. Here he is replacing his bike tire with a little help from Ian. Jim loves including Ian in his projects and, as you can well see, Ian likes to be included.

Sweet interaction and greasy faces.

Boy, have we had some cold, cold weather lately. The temperatures have gone below zero, with even worse wind chill. Ian never went outside when it was THAT cold, but we did brave it when it was in the teens and twenties, a couple of times. Good thing we have some good gear! Ian never complains about being cold. He will stay out in the cold and snow until the cows come home. I normally bring him inside before he's ready and the time depends on how cold it is and how wet it is outside. We want him to love being outside, so we try to make it as enjoyable as possible! 

One day I hope he'll play in the snow for hours with his *hopefully* future siblings, just as I did with mine. I still miss those snowy days with them.

These pictures aren't from a super cold day. 

Let's go already!!

Oh what fun you are, Ian!!