Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"I love you, okay?"

 Before life keeps barreling by, I want to do a post on our Ian Forrester. Over a month ago now he turned three years old. THREE YEARS OLD, people. And, do you know what I realized? I don't necessarily want life to be frozen or to stop because life right now is so good. Three is hard, you guys. Don't get me wrong. Three is much different than two, but three is also so, so fun. And I've been promised by a few mamas that it just keeps getting better.

He's always in motion, this kid.

What's so great about this age? Thanks for asking. I'll tell you :)

He's started making his toys interact and talk to each other. He's moved from piling them all on top of each other and saying that they are "playing rugby" to having them interact, chat back and forth, and still "play rugby," among other things. If you want a window into how you interact with your child, just wait until they hit this age. He uses the polite, kind words as well as the rushed, busy words. It's one of the most fascinating and amazing things to listen to him play on his own. Sometimes I just park myself right outside the door to the room he's in and listen to his toys interact.

Another favorite is catching him reciting the words from a book we've read a million times. Recently I caught him reciting the wolf's lines to The Real Story of the Three Little Pigs. It's so funny and impressive to listen to vocabulary words beyond his age come out of his little mouth, with inflection and prowess. Seriously, it's amazing.

His imagination has been so fun to watch unfold! I loved watching him parade around the house in this get-up one day.

He's gotten more chatty about what he's done at PMO or in MOPS and how he interacted with the other kids. It's hard sometimes because he doesn't have answers to questions I have, so I mostly just wait until he decides there's something on his mind. It's then that I can step into his world and his thinking. Good practice for when he's older, I imagine. In this way, boys seem to be different than girls (and I learned that also at the conference I went to).

Naptimes are SO easy these days! Today he had lunch and while he was eating his I was fixing mine. He came to me and said, "Mama, I am ready for my nap now." Without delay, I stopped what I was doing and followed him to the bedroom to start his bedtime routine. Welp, if you insist, little one... ;)

In the way that naptimes are so easy, bedtimes have been MUCH harder. We hit age three and bedtimes became a battle of wills. Between needing a banana, an extra drink of water, his blanket pulled up, the light on or off, music on or off, etc., etc., etc., it was a serious challenge of patience. And I will admit that I failed more than I excelled at keeping patient. I am hoping that we've turned a corner, since it has been going better lately. Whew. Parenting is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure.

PUZZLES! This kid loves a good puzzle. It's so fun to watch him work, trying multiple pieces without getting frustrated. Some puzzles become like old friends to him. He does them over and over again, explaining what he is looking for or which one is needed next. Yesterday he did a puzzle of Noah's Ark (Thanks, Gramee & Grandpa!) and told me where to put each one. When we were done, he said, "Good job helping me with the puzzle, Mama!" Such a sweetheart.

For a day (tops) we were a concerned that he felt insecure in our love for him because he would (and still does) say, "I love you, okay?" But he's not asking permission, he's just saying it and wanting a response. To which we always respond, "We love you, too." I hope I always remember his sweet little voice saying it, usually followed by a darling hug and a kiss. This boy. He sure knows how to melt us.

We recently went apple picking and then we went and got a few bushels of seconds apples. Ian likes to help process the apples. And by that I mean that he likes to use a butter knife to cut up an apple for himself. It's wonderful! He's a HUGE fan of the apple chips(!!), apple butter, and apple sauce we've been making.

Ian adores his brother with a love that astounds me daily. I cannot imagine a better relationship between these two in this phase. It's so relieving to know that Ian can be trusted with Owen. Owen's facial expressions and giggles are his most joyful when Ian plays with him or interacts with him. It's just the best. May it only grow!!

He can be caught reading books to himself often, these days. I got a new set of library books while he was at PMO and as soon as we got into the house, he sat down and rifled through each one from start to finish, perusing each page. Books are almost always lying on the floor in his room and in the guest room, where we have books available to him. They are on the floor because he does drive-bys throughout the day, sitting to read a book or two (or more!) before moving on to the next thing.

Ian's getting to the point where he can do tasks on his own for long periods of time. This doesn't happen all of the time, but it is happening more and more frequently. He can put all of the blocks away without needing my help or the motivation of having someone help him. Sometimes just the promise of getting to do the next activity or have a snack is all it takes.

Almost every day he bikes to the mailbox. It's so fun that he's able to drive his own little vehicle. Right now he's only been on the tricycle, but it may be time to break out his bike with training wheels soon. He loves biking and you can tell that he's quite pleased and proud of his ability to propel himself forward. He also bikes down to the playground down the street when we go.

Ian's starting to understand, reiterate, and follow some rules. Sometimes he states, "Now Mama, you need to hold my hand when we're in the road." Yes, yes we do! Another rule he follows is looking both ways at the stop sign before crossing the street. I am blanking on others right now, but we're learning together.

He's wearing size 3T and starting to wear 4T, because we don't have a ton of clothing in these sizes. Ian wore size 24 month for so long and then I think I blinked and he breezed through 2T and straight into the next two sizes.

Yesterday we had his 3 year appointment and he's just staying right on track... such a tall lad! At 3 years, 1 month he is 41 inches tall and in the 98.13%. He's grown 4 inches this year, since he was 37 inches at his 2 year appointment. He weighs 38 lbs and is in the 92.98%. Since his height and weight are equally proportioned, the doctor said that his BMI of 15.89 and in the 46.82% is great! She said to keep doing what we're doing. Woo!

Ian's still a great eater, eating most vegetables and almost all of the same foods as us. There's the occasional meal that he will refuse to eat, like the baked apple stuffed with sausage and celery and apple and whatnot that we had last week, but this seemed a reasonable thing for a toddler to refuse. And it doesn't happen very often. I have my fingers crossed, don't worry.

His favorite toys continue to be his animals, although I would argue that playing with Owen (and Owen's toys) is, by far, his favorite past-time. He also enjoys the robots, his new lego train, puzzles, building with blocks, playing with his swing outside (getting pushed "way up high!"), and playing with Leif. He likes to "cook" next to his stumps that Papa and Grandpa hauled into our yard.

But, of course, wrestling with Papa is still the absolute best. Whether it's in a pile of leaves, or learning how to scrum in the middle of the living room, or rolling around on the bed, he's always game for some one on one time with his Papa. It won't be long before there are three of them doing this! Someone save me.

Parent's Morning Out (PMO) continues to be such a wonderful place for Ian. He adores his teachers and the activities they do there. This year, especially, he seems to be taking in much more of the interpersonal interactions that he did last year. It's so fun to be able to hear about what's important to him as it comes up on the car ride home and throughout the week.

At this point, he's still not interested in potty training. The pediatrician was comforting & reassuring in telling us that we are doing the right thing, waiting on him. We'll see!

He's cracking jokes, telling stories, and learning a lot about how to play with other kiddos. There's so much to learn in this life, isn't there!? From zero to three, it's incredible how much they change, grow, and learn. Life's remarkable and even more so when you follow the life of a baby turned toddler turned child.

He keeps us on our toes, pushes us to places we never knew were possible, and continues to teach us so much about joy, grace, and love. This journey will never be dull and it will never be slow-paced. When his feet his the ground in the morning, he seizes the day with more gumption than anyone I've ever known. I cannot wait to see what's in store for this three year old, but I can wait. I'm going to cherish each day of this adventure as it comes. So grateful for you, Ian Forrester!!!

We adore you, darling THREE YEAR OLD!

Ian Forrester, thanks for letting us come along for the ride. 
Your exuberance, determination, and laughter bring far more than we ever could have imagined into our lives. We are so proud to call you our son. And ever-grateful for our front row seats in your life. You are going to move mountains, sweet boy.

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