Today marks 23 months for Ian. A month from today, he will no longer be a baby, but a full fledged toddler!
It makes me wonder what he will look like and what he will be doing a year from now, when we're coming up on the big 0-3. What about 5 years from now when he's catching his first yellow bus to school...or 2022, when he's getting his driver's license? I guess for now, I'll stick with planning his 2nd birthday and getting ready for his next milestones... talking and running, which are both probably right around the corner.
This week Ian had school pictures, which I am anxious to see, and also received several neat books as a gift from a coworker of mine. His favorite was a book about trucks that has wheels on the front and back covers, so when the book is closed he can push it like a toy truck. It is almost all he has wanted to play with for the past 2 days. Another book has silly eyes and is ironically the very book he looked at with awe in the kids' area at Starbucks on Saturday.
Today, I arrived at daycare for him just as they were getting ready to go outside to play. He was VERY upset that we weren't going out with the other kids. This is the same boy that was petrified of outside just a week ago!
I am sad to report that the swimming lessons I had hoped he could start this Sunday will need to wait. The only weekend class for his age group is full, but there are plenty of openings in the infinite number of weekday morning classes. I know it's crazy, but not every mother in our area is a stay at home mom, so Ian's on the waiting list for May. I get very frustrated at the fact that almost all classes or play groups happen on weekday mornings around here. Yes, Ian is essentially in an all day play group and does tons of fun things, but I would love to participate too, without feeling like I'm choosing between a career and my child. I'm sure in time I'll find a happy medium, but for now, I'm just irritated. Sorry for the rant.
Below are a few pictures from this week. Ian in his school picture outfit, what happens when I'm not home for dinner, and Ian's sudden interest in books...one step closer to fulfilling my hopes of having a child who is a reader (even if, for now, he just wants to hold them).
P.S. Happy Anniversary to Shawn and me...we celebrated our 12th Wedding Anniversary yesterday with no hoopla. By 6pm, Ian was in bed and we were on separate couches watching different TV shows... Ah romance!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Today marks 23 months for Ian. A month from today, he will no longer be a baby, but a full fledged toddler!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
We had another sunny weekend and were on a roll with the whole outside thing. In our neighborhood, there is a park every few blocks, some more conducive to younger kids than others, but we drove a half mile or so to another park on Saturday AM. We were the only two at this park and Ian liked the see saw bouncy toys, but was not thrilled at all about the swing. We'll have to revisit that concept a little later into the spring or summer, but for now, it was a bit too much.
Grandma Trish came over today for a visit and we had a great time, once again, outside. We walked to Starbucks, picked up some dog treats at our nearby natural pet food store, and hung out at the park for a while. Trish brought with her a very sweet gift a friend made for Ian, a fleece blanket, which will be his lovey at Grandma's house. It was made of an adorable car/truck pattern and Ian was really interested in the wheels on the vehicles, naturally.
Also, our niece Ashleigh made Ian a cute paper mache mouse. Not sure why, but she did. :-) It was really cute and we tried to get a picture of Ian with it, but he was not interested. It was as big as him and even Polli wasn't sure about it. Sorry Ashleigh, but it will have to go in storage until Ian gets older or we run out of storage room, whichever comes first. We really appreciate the thought and effort that went into making it.
It was really nice to have such great weather and we really count ourselves lucky to have weather like this in February. Nice weather this early does tend to come back and bite us, as it typically jump starts our plants and trees...and then a frost or snow comes in March, really screwing up our landscaping projects. We'll see what March brings...but Shawn actually cut the grass yesterday and I don't think we've ever had to start that weekly task this early.
Anyway, we also went shoe shopping this weekend. Sadly, not for me. I was concerned that a pair or two of Ian's shoes were getting too small since he would cry as soon as we started putting them on. I decided to take him to the Stride Rite store to get his feet measured and pick up a couple pair of shoes. I know they're pricey, but we haven't really splurged on anything yet for Ian and thought of all the things that should fit just right, it's shoes. I just about passed out when the woman announced that he is a 6.5 wide. We've been buying him 5.5's, and his everyday shoes are 5's, and from Target, so they're probably a generic width and not wide enough. If only he could have told me "Hey lady, I'm crying for a reason. These things hurt!"
I bought two pair of shoes and we headed out to run more errands. From that store to our car in the parking lot took almost 30 minutes (when figuring in ramps, elevators, parking lot navigation etc.) and when we got to the car and I pulled Ian out of the stroller, a display shoe was underneath him. He had shoplifted a shoe! We made the 30 minute trek back to the store to return it and then made the 30 minute trip AGAIN back to the car. Uggh. I did think it was funny, but wasn't about to keep the shoe...I had just learned first hand how much those things cost and would have felt horrible.
Ian has school pictures tomorrow and I will be reluctantly putting him in his Easter outfit for the day so he'll look spiffy for the occasion. I fully expect a mess at the end of the day...and a trip for a new outfit later, but I'll take my chances. Also, Ian turns 23 months old on Thursday. It will be the last month that I automatically announce his age in months. In another month, he'll be 2. It sounds so grown up!
I got some flack for my post about my Kindle...I know it's completely unacceptable to post about non-Ian related topics. I'll try not to have a life of my own ever again. Sorry, mom! To make up for it, here are a few misc pics from the weekend.
Also, not quite ready to make friends with giant paper mache mice.
Polli the friendly ghost (Ian loves to throw his blanket on Polli and she doesn't really mind it much either.)
Afternoon snack for Ian and Polli
Ian liked his new blanket. He actually noticed the wheels on the vehicles. Such attention to detail (or an unhealthy obsession with wheels).
Just a cute picture. No reason.
at 8:54 PM
Thursday, February 21, 2008
at 8:04 PM
Monday, February 18, 2008
Today was a beautiful sunny day in Seattle, and almost reached 60 degrees GASP! My parents will be laughing as they bask in the Arizona sun. While we actually get beautiful summers, days like this are few and far between this time of year...and there's nothing more gorgeous than our mountain fringed neighboorhood on a clear day in the winter.
Today was also a "teacher inservice" day for Ian's daycare and was closed, so Shawn bit the bullet and used some of his much bragged about sick time cache to stay home since I sacrificed almost two full days last week while Ian was down and out. Poor Shawn...he had to sleep in on a Monday. Must be rough.
When I arrived home from work, I witnessed something that we've yet to see in our 3 months home... Ian ENJOYING the backyard. This might seem like a ho-hum milestone for some, but for us, it's kind of a big deal. Ian's only two trips outside (that weren't soley for the purpose of getting to the car as fast as possible) were to put him in the snow and go crazy snapping pictures while he cried. Not really a positive experience.
Considering that his orphanage was completely indoors, his first real trip outside after being found at 3 months was to get on a train at 19 months and travel from Wenzhou to Hangzhou to meet us...where we promptly stuck him in a baby carrier and his feet never touched the concrete while in China.
So back to today. He was outside walking with Shawn on our patio, but was not thrilled about the rocks. Our entire backyard consists of pavers, flagstone, and river rock. Only a small patch of grass for Polli's "business". As long as he didn't have to step on a crack or seam in the flagstone...or over an area of river rock pebbles....he was enjoying himself. He and I left shortly after my arrival and headed down the sidewalk to a toddler park that is literally across the street from our house. It was packed and I was anxious for him to experience the great outdoors as every kid should.
He grew less and less reluctant the longer we were out and eventually forgot his fear of seams in the sidewalks. We played on the big toy for a whopping 40 minutes and walked from the park and around our block twice. He walked almost the entire time without wanting to hold my hand, which is equally as big a deal. We met up with Shawn as we rounded the block the second time and he escorted Ian back home where he gladly drained a sippy cup of water and pointed at his highchair, indicating he was famished from his exciting afternoon.
It might not be a big deal for most kids, but we were pretty proud of Ian. Only a few days ago, he was too sick to leave the house and today he overcame a big fear of the outdoors and had a great time.
Below are a few great pics of the afternoon.
He wasn't sure about our yard... standing on flagstone with river rock nearby...and the jury's still out about the bamboo.
at 4:56 PM
Saturday, February 16, 2008
We are all still slowly coming out of our colds and Ian seems to be doing better than Shawn and me at this point. Ian scored "cheerful" in his last two days at daycare and reportedly didn't cough at all (magically beginning again during the car rides home). He even has his appetite back, although part of his motivation has been the addition of a fun eating utinsil we've been using to gain his interest...a nose aspirator. It's sterile, don't worry. It is funny watching him spear his food with the part that is supposed to go up his nose. It got him interested in eating again, so we'll take what we can get.
Today was actually a landmark day for us. We've been home exactly 3 months today! Only 90 short days ago, Ian officially became a US Citizen and started his orientation with life as he now knows it. It's very hard to believe that we've been home such a short period of time given all that he has overcome and been exposed to since. Some days it feels more like a year. Some days it feels like we just left China. Eventually, I'll stop counting the months, but for now, it seems noteworthy.
Because we've all been under the weather, we put off plans last weekend to go to the Kid's Quest Children's Museum near our house. It is essentially a big "pay to play" center in a mall near us, but there are several section for different age groups. There is a water area, where kids can shoot water, make it do scientific things...essentially make a big mess. It's probaby better for the 5 and over group and Ian didn't really get it. We weren't completely ready to deal with a wet kid on the ride home, so we didn't stick around that area long.
The next section was a 18-wheeler cab that the kids can climb in and on. We tried to get a picture of Ian with it for my dad, but he was afraid of it. It was pretty big, despite the fact that it has wheels...Ian's favorite thing.
Speaking of wheels, he did like a steering wheel that turned...yes, gears. His next favorite thing. He also liked the music area where they've made musical instruments out of everyday items. Unlike some Microtia kids, he actually really likes several noises at once. He just starts to get agitated when he can't figure out where they're all coming from. There was a drum set made from pots and pans, which would probably be really easy to duplicate, and a piano made from tennis shoe soles. He liked both of these things.
Another area, intended for 1-4 year olds, had numerous toys, play areas, slides, and train tracks...to name a few. He liked the slide as long as Shawn was holding him the whole time, and was sucked in by the huge brio style train track system. He could have played there all day, but didn't quite grasp the idea of sharing and wanted to take other kids' train pieces, which we obviously didn't allow and it didn't go over well. A parent kept trying to say "Ni Hao" (Chinese for hello) to Ian, which annoyed me. How did he know he wasn't born here, that my husband isn't Asian (Shawn wasn't nearby). For that matter, how did he know Ian isn't from Vietnam or Korea? Most people don't know the difference. Ian didn't respond. The only place he knows Ni Hao from now is the Nickelodeon show...I doubt he remembers it from China. Anyway, it was annoying and the first time we've had someone be ignorant in public, so we moved on and tried to stay away from the guy.
In all, it took him about 30 minutes or so for Ian to start to go into overload. A big majority of the place will be money well spent ($3 each with Shawn's MS discount) in another year or so. For example, the jewel of the place, a huge tree house network, will be fine when he's about 5. Until then is almost as scary for me to imagine him in it as it is for him to just look at from ground level. We might try going back again on a weekday afternoon when it isn't so crowded to see what we missed in the toddler area. It was literally wall to wall kids and parents today.
We finished the morning by having lunch at Red Robin, one of our favorite restaurants when we're craving burger style fare. What better way to celebrate Ian's citizenship but with All-American food. It was our 3rd official meal out since coming home. Considering we all had to drag ourselves out of the house for this outing, we were pretty zapped at this point (still before 1pm) and having a sit down meal was a lot of work. But, Ian was really well behaved and we got through it relatively unscathed. He even ate almost half of his grilled cheese, but preferred the "peace keeping" Cheerios that I always pack in my purse.
A quick stop at Target gave Ian just enough time to engineer an outfit destroying, diaper blowout for the ride home....and we're all napping now (well, everyone but me). It was a full day and a lot of fun despite how exhausting it was. As Ian gets older, these types of things will be a lot of fun (and maybe recruiting a grandparent to tag along as help isn't a bad idea).
Below are a bunch of pictures from today. Ian's nose aspirator fork, Kids Quest Children's Museum in Factoria, and Ian's first trip to Red Robin.
Ian loved the train system...of course, the trains had wheels!
Examining the menu at Red Robin. He decided on Grilled Cheese (my favorite as a kid) with canteloupe and milk.
at 1:26 PM
Thursday, February 14, 2008
We hope everyone had a love filled Valentine's day!
He did a great job once he figured out which direction the marker part goes
He did a pretty good job drawing an arc...and I'm still convinced he's left handed!
Card making battle scars... Hang Loose Dude!
at 6:34 AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Ian looked like this most of his waking hours yesterday.
Good Morning! Awake and staying hydrated.
Kisses from Polli are always good medicine.
Even doing some heavy lifting.
At least my laptop was put to use for something today.
at 11:18 AM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Sorry for the absence of an upbeat adventure today, but I've waded my way through Vicks Vapor Rub and mucus filled kleenex to bring you this post.
We all have the crud...Shawn, me, Ian, and maybe even Polli. Either that or she's mirroring our groggy vibes. Ian and I both started sounding rough last week and while I have been coughing and blowing into the weekend, he fared OK, only showing some signs of fatigue and a runny nose. By Sunday though, he was inconsolable. He didn't want to eat, play, be tickled...only sippy, blanket and sleep were welcome. He even had a mild bloody nose in his sleep Saturday night, which was quite unexpected and freaked me out a little. After reading, I think it was just the dry air in our house. Still, waking to see blood on your baby's sheets is scary.
He went to daycare yesterday, but when Shawn went to pick him up, he looked awful. I made an emergency Target run to pick up a humidifier and some Vicks based on the overwhelming online and Real Life advice. We plugged that thing in, gave him a bath, put Vicks on his feet and chest...and he slept through the night without a single cough... 5:30pm to 8:30am.
Pushing through the pain (and with very little paid leave available), I had to work for part of the day before I could come home to stay with him, but Shawn volunteered the "sleep in" shift. When I arrived home at 9:30, Ian was awake, eating breakfast (insisting on being handfed...and unusually picky about bananas and cheerios), and we even got some smiles out of him for the first time in a couple of days. Luckily, he is downing water and juice, which makes me feel a little better about the fact that he's not eating much. His color was better, but I could tell his tank was still running on empty.
We played in slow motion for about an hour before he started to fade. We don't turn the TV on much when he's awake and he's not terribly interested in it anyway, but I made an exception and we sat on the couch and watched Ni Hao, Kai-Lan- the new Nickelodeon cartoon about a Chinese American girl. It teaches snippits about Chinese culture and a few Mandarin words in each episode. It's technically the Chinese equivalent of Dora or Diego. Shawn is so excited that he now knows how to say Hi, Thank You, Red, and Green in Mandarin. Today, Ian and I learned up and down before he started to fall asleep in my lap.
After only being awake for a couple of hours, he's down for a nap that I'm hoping can go for a few hours to zap a little more of his cold out of him. He'll go down early again tonight in the hopes that he'll be well enough in the morning to go to school.
So this is the part of parenting that I did nothing to prepare for. Sitting by idly while my child is sick. There is so little I can do at his age for a cold but I hate to see him miserable. It's such a helpless feeling. He's too young for cold medicine and I don't know that I want to suppress his immune system from doing its job right now anyway. I just really wish I could do more to make him comfortable. I suppose as long as he is sleeping restfully, his body will do its job. I just wish it would do it a little faster!
Hopefully the next time you visit, we'll all be feeling better and the mood will be a bit more positive. If we're feeling up to it by the weekend, we're planning to go to a children's museum near our house, which will be a nice way to celebrate good health (and hopefully not catch more germs!).
The first smile we've seen in a while!
He was so happy to see his blanket. Love at first sight.
It didn't take much playing to wear him out.
Nothing's better than juice and a mom-leg pillow.
Even Polli's taking a sick day.
at 11:24 AM