Saturday, August 30, 2008

Revisiting the Children's Museum

Ian slept in late today and was extra cranky, pointing at his mouth and saying owww. He must be going through another 2 year molar phase. It seems that over the past several months, they break the surface, go back in, break the surface...taking their sweet time to get the whole big tooth out and painfree.

To avoid a boring morning, which was sure to make him crankier, I loaded him up after breakfast and we headed out to the Children's Museum close to us. We wen't back in February, and he had fun, but not a ton of fun back then. Even just 6 months ago, he was still afraid of many things and was still so much smaller than most of the other kids. He had only been walking for a couple of months and still not steadily. He hadn't found his love of water yet, didn't know that big semi-trucks (or 'rigs' as he calls them) were really cool and not at all scary. He didn't have his vast experience with the logistics of the Brio train pieces and a giant tree house was not even on the table for consideration.

All of those things were a piece of cake this time. He loved the water discovery area and gladly got soaking wet as he investigated every station with sheer concentration. The "rig" was his favorite and we revisited that area several times. I got him to go in once, but when I got in with him, realized it still reeked of cigarette smoke from the owner who donated it to the museum years ago. He kicked the tires, checked out the grill, filled the tank, and kept running back to it, yelling RIG!

With my help, he scaled the steps of the giant tree house in the middle of the museum. It's probably really meant for older kids and no adults, but he really wanted to check it out, so up we went. From inside, there is a clear section of the floor that looks down into the main area, which he loved. He also wanted to look out into the museum from the "canopy" of the treehouse, saying "Look!" and asking for up each time.

We left after about 90 minutes and headed for Target, in the same complex. I wanted to look at kid's rolling suitcases or backpacks for our trip to Arizona next month. I showed him a Thomas the Train and Diego rolling backpacks, but he said "No...Away" to both and put them back on the shelf, asked to get back in the cart, and then asked for milk and eat. I'm so glad he is starting to get to the point where he can tell me what he wants. It makes life so much easier for both of us. It was crazy there anyways with school starting next we bailed and headed back to the car. A snack and juice awaited him, and he contently ate his fruit snacks and pointed out the color of every car until we arrived home for nap.

As soon as he's awake, we're heading back out to go swimming and have dinner. Tomorrow, Shawn takes off for an all day dive in Hood Canal (with his brand new $2,500 diving camera.... and mine, that he ruined on his last dive, was $300 to replace. How fair is that?). I'd be outraged, but now he can't very well get upset if I spend money at the mall after making a purchase like that, so I decided not to give him a hard time. But he'd better come home with some really great pictures!

My new favorite thing... before and after. Stop me before I go too far!

This shot has nothing to do with today's trip, but I love the look on his face. He was making a race car (doubles as a motorcycle) sound... in response to my question "what's on your shirt?"

He flew to this duck picture. DUCK! Everyone in the museum knew this was a duck by the time we left.

I love the tippy toes here. No longer afraid to get wet. The wetter the better.

He was determined to get these pipe pieces together. His engineering side comes out yet again.

The rapids were fun....until he slipped off the step stool and I was way over on the other side obsessed with my camera. I got a few disapproving looks from the perfect parents there.

Man on a mission. This was probably his 3rd or 4th trip back to the "rig".

Checking out the grill

Topping off the tank

He's a pro at these now.

Checking out the treehouse

Following the big kids. He'll be this big one day. :-(

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ian and Tractor Baby

Ian had a routine check up today at the pediatrician. When I told him this morning he was going to see Dr. Davies, he walked around saying what sounded exactly like Tractor Baby....Doctor and Tractor sound a lot alike, but so do Baby and Davies. So, I picked him up from school and we headed for Tractor Baby.

He did great, and as suspected, has grown a ton since his last appointment. By their measurement, he is 35 inches...I measure 36, so we'll call it 35.5. Still, it's more than 5 inches of growth since coming home, 3 since April. He has gained 2 pounds since April (4 total since coming home), and gained over an inch in head circumference since his last appointment. Now, all told, here are his stats (coming home stat in parentheses): 50th% for height (25th%), 60th% for weight (85th%), 10% for head circumference (-5%)...yes, that's a minus 5 percentile for head circumference coming home. It's hard to tell through his hair, but he was very flat in the back when we came home. Along with everything else, he's growing into his body...including his head, which has filled out a lot and isn't so flat in the back and high on top. Maybe it's the Omega 3's we've been giving him! Needless to say, the fact that he has caught up in so many areas, has only been sick twice in 10 months, and doing well with his iron levels, he doesn't need to see the pediatrician again until he's 3! For a boy who supposedly was "special needs", he's doing better than most kids I know. He is due for another hearing test, but beyond that, he is Tractor Baby free for a while. He'll have his fill of doctors a few years from now to make up for it.

The doc showed me his chart from April when I estimated that Ian had a vocabulary of less than 12 words. Today, he is well over a least, and is starting to put together 2 word combos. I've thought about counting his words, but realized that the number is constantly changing. Between school, the Tractor Baby office, and home, he added several new words. That was just 2 hours of one day. It really is amazing how when sounds and word associations start to click, they just take off. I never realized how cool it would be to watch him actually learning in real time. It's pretty darn amazing.

So, tomorrow is Grandma Trish's day and we're hoping things go better for them than last week. Ian was overly dramatic and Grandma is still getting used to what makes Ian tick around nap time. Once they get each other figured out, I know Ian will start anticipating Fridays as much as Trish does.

Some might have noticed the tickers at the top of the blog. I can't believe it, but it's time to start counting down to our first Family Day! November 6th is just over 2months away...the day Ian made us a happy family of 4 (including big sister, Polli).

Also noted up there is a ticker for the trip we're planning to Maui next September. Now that I've made the deposit, I can talk about it... another wait is ahead of us, this one not nearly as notary intensive as the wait to Ian. We are meeting my parents, his parents, and my brother in Maui next September for 10 days of fun in the sun. We are renting a house overlooking the water with it's own pool. I can't wait to see how Ian settles into island life. He's already our "hang loose" boy, so I think he'll do just fine. This time last year, we were enduring the grueling wait to travel. I never could have fathomed that today would have ever come so quickly. By the time we go to Maui, Ian will be 3 & 1/2. How will he grow and change between now and then? I know now not to even try to imagine the possibilities.

Also very exciting, Ian and I are headed to Arizona to visit his Grama and Paga (my parents) for a few days at the end of September. I am so excited for them to see him. They were here for his birthday in March, but so much has changed since then. My goal is to pack us both in one carryon...maybe I'll get Ian one of those tiny rolling carryons and he can handle his own bags!

I can't believe it, but I haven't taken a single picture this week. You'll have to settle for a preview of our house in Maui. I was going to upload a video of Ian and dad playing with blocks that was really cute, but Blogger tried all night and couldn't seem to get it loaded...I'll try to take more pics of Ian this weekend. Shawn goes on an all day dive Sunday and Ian & I are meeting up with my good friend Lu for what she calls a "Mom In Motion" day. Hopefully Ian will be in the mood for lunch at Zao Noodle and some shopping.

The view and pool we'll be enjoying in Maui next September

The sunset views...I can almost taste the mai tai

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ian In the Spotlight (and other weekend footnotes)

A few weeks ago, we were contacted asking if we would participate in a photo shoot for our adoption agency, with the volunteered resources of Shawn's Alma Mater, The Seattle Art Institute. Annually, the AI donates student resources and studio time to do photo sessions for children and families to obtain materials used for their website, marketing materials, etc. In return, the students can use photos in their portfolios and we get copies of the photos taken. We jumped at the chance.

Partially, we wanted to participate because it really is those little faces that help wash away fears and apprehensions about "why adoption, why special needs, why China (or other countries)". Another part of us wanted to see Ian get an opportunity to be involved with something fun and unique. Another part of us wanted to get a free family photo, and yet another part of us wanted to do it because Shawn was one of them... different medium, but still... the practice, experience, and portfolio materials could make or break their future career... and the girls who ran his shoot will show their kids their portfolios some day, and there will be Ian.

We arrived right on time and Ian was squeaky clean and in a good mood. It was daring close to nap time zero hour, so we know the smiles would fade fast once strangers were introduces and bright lights started flashing. We were right. He was great for about 15 minutes and then nothing would make him smile. They took about 5 minutes of photos of each of us with him solo, then us with him together, and then Ian alone. Getting a 2 year old to pose, smile, and not touch the VERY expensive equipment, was interesting to say the least. In the end, he did great. Whether we'll get a decent family photo out of it remains to be seen, but I know he gave them some good shots of his pearly whites, destined for the pages of their 2009 calendar.

We were in and out in less than an hour and back home less than 2 hours from the time we pulled out of the driveway. It made for a long nap and an exhausting day overall. We were sad that it wasn't feasible to take him through the Pike Place Market. We drove through Pike street on our way to the school and although it was barely 10am, it was already a crowded touristy Saturday. Shawn made a comment "I wonder if these are all tourists"... My answer: If they weren't tourists, they'd be home sleeping right now. As a city, we really take our many landmarks for granted. One day, we will take him down to see the Flying Fish, and get a drink at the first Starbucks store, ride a ferry, ride to the top of the space needle... all those things his little brain could have never fathomed a short year ago.

All these things, plus the photo shoot, and more... a lifetime's experiences since coming home from China. What a brave little boy to take it all in with stride.

Also of note this weekend, he helped me make banana bread today (stirring and chocolate chip taste tester). I wasn't able to get my hands free to grab the camera, though. Also, I turned a corner while putting groceries away and found that he was turning several items from my shopping trip into a ramp for one of his cars. Between watching Shawn do this several times, and simply getting more and more creative lately, it was great to see that he is doing something that is definitely age appropriate and oh so all-boy. Making ramps. Next it will be forts.

Also, in an effort to get him interested in educational programming, I recorded some Sesame Street episodes (on at 2am on Sprout) and he actually watched more than a half hour today. I know, what a problem to kid would rather read than watch TV...But I do want him to have some structured TV time with this kind of programming. He is most interested in Elmo, although except for the possible interaction at school, he has never seen beyond the picture on his diaper. Ironically, he calls his diapers Elmos, and came up with that name on his own, meaning he learned it somewhere other than from us (maybe that's the same source we can thank for teaching him "boobs", which he blurted out one day a month or so ago and hasn't let go of. Thanks, whoever you are!

Below are a few pictures from the weekend, including a few of Ian roaming the halls of the Art Institute with Shawn. Unfortunately, we couldn't take pictures inside the studio.

On the way to the photo shoot. Squeaky clean and not a scratch on him. With a recent 'hand-foot-mouth disease' outbreak at his school, I was sure he would be covered in sores just in time for pictures.

Raring to go! He darted out the elevator and headed straight to the photography studio...still all smiles.

"Come on dad, this way!"

The strangeness of it all was sinking in. The smile was fading. Not yet, Ian! We haven't even started!

Once we were done, we couldn't get him his blanket fast enough. You can see the relief to have his best friend in hand...and his eczema is flaring around his cheek and eye already.

Helping dad give Polli a bath. Afterward, he assumed she was going "night night" like he does after his bath.

Getting up close with Elmo. My brother used to sit this close to the TV and wears glasses now. At least Ian looks cute in specs.

I heard him play counting and talking to himself...and when I turned the corner, this is what I saw. A ramp for his car made from mouthwash and toothpaste.

After helping with the chocolate chip taste test. I agree, definitely worth smiling over!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ian Loves Grandma Trish

So, today was Ian's day with Grandma Trish. She missed last week due to a long suffering tooth ache, but she was back for two visits this week! She came on Wednesday to meet Ian's speech therapist and stuck around for the whole day. Today was her "normal" Ian day and she was back for more fun with the little guy.

When she arrived today, he was still sleeping and she was busily playing and laughing with him when I left for work. They had a fun day at a huge waterfall attraction a mile from our house. It's a huge landmark in our area and I've shamefully never taken him. He was in awe of the "bubbles", and I'm really glad she took him. It sounds like they had a great time.

He was hard on her at nap time though, and I probably didn't make it any better. I have a hard time understanding Ian not napping. He's a professional sleeper. But, having grandma around means lots of hugs and "up" time, so why would he want to go to sleep...grandma's here! So, Trish, I'm sorry for giving you a hard time about his nap. He's 2. He'll miss naps once in a while and somehow, I think he'll survive just fine. I promise I'll lighten up.

Not to leave my mom out of the grandma love, we are firming up details on a trip for Ian and me to head down to Phoenix the first part of October. Ian hasn't seen my parents since his birthday and I really want him to have good quality time with them, like he gets with Shawn's parents. Plus, we can lay by the pool for 4 days. That's always a plus!

So, tomorrow, we head into Seattle to Shawn's alma mater, The Art Institute of Seattle, for a photo shoot for our agency. Ian has been invited to participate in a media campaign and we might just make it in a few shots, too. They put out a yearly calendar, lots of marketing materials, and for their website branding. Who wouldn't want Ian to be their poster child? If his cute little face makes a family forget their reservations about adoption, special needs, or China, I'm happy. We'll get a CD of all the pictures taken, so hopefully we can consider this a family photo opportunity. We have no decent pictures of us as a family and we've been home for 9 months. Shameful!

Below are a few pictures with my new camera. For those not following along, Shawn took it diving and the underwater case for it failed, ruining it. I replaced it with a nearly identical version...I just loved my Canon Powershot, so why mess with a good thing? Shawn on the other hand punished himself for ruining my camera by promptly running out and ordering an underwater camera that is about 10 times as expensive as mine. He has a funny way of showing remorse!

Ian woke on Monday morning and wanted to play on the "road", his city rug on his bedroom floor. He also insisted on the train tracks, which are not as easy to put together as it looks!

Could there be a happier boy? Look at those smiles!

Having a morning snack with his hat. He likes it on for a minute and then usually flings it across the room.

Working on drinking without a lid. He knows he HAS to have it on a circle (coaster) and is pretty good until he gets excited and tips it too far...then out comes the lid.

Trying on Grandma's shoes. Is it just me or does he almost fit these?

Having a nice conversation with Grandma... Hopefully apologizing for not being the perfect grandchild for once.

Saying HI! to buddha... but getting ahhemmm.... A bit too personal!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ian's Slumber Party

Saturday, we headed south to Grandma Trish and Grandpa Tom's house to hang out (and pray it would be cooler there than at our house). Shawn had a night dive scheduled near them and it made sense for us to hang out there for the evening and stay over.

It did get into the 90's and VERY humid, but they have a great shady sitting area that drops the temperature at least 10 degrees. We hung out there much of the day.

Trish and I took Ian to a local outlet mall that is shaped like a big donut with kids activities along the way. Ian wasn't walking the last time I took him there, so it was fun to see him enjoy the play area and he literally ran at a full sprint ahead of us through the entire mall, often veering into oncoming "traffic". I apologized to countless people for A)My son's lack of direction and coordination, and B)My inability to keep him under control. He only tripped and fell once, but luckily there was limited drama and no no harm done.

Ian was a dream all day...and when I say all day, I mean 8am to 10pm with no nap. I know. 10pm with no nap. Insane! But, he was having a great day (with 2 dinners) and it felt OK to let him stay up so late. They have a wagon full of the old Chevron cars and Ian literally played with just those cars the entire day with utter contentment.

Tom and I left Trish to put him to bed while we took off to see Tropic Thunder, which was hilarious, but a few crude scenes...and maybe Tom Cruise's chance to redeem himself. Worth seeing if you like stupid humor and don't mind language. Robert Downey Jr. makes the movie, in my opinion.

So, by the time we returned, Shawn was back from his night dive and announced that the underwater housing to my digital camera leaked and it was ruined...So as we speak my new camera is charging...and shall never see a body of water, so help me.

Ian slept through a thunder storm that night and until after 10:00, when Shawn went in and woke him. He was a little irritable, so we cut our lazy Sunday short and headed home...where he promptly went down for a nap, then was in bed by 7pm. We had the most humid day of recent record on Sunday and a thunderstorm that night, so we were all a little cranky and tired...and ready for a cool down.

Back to the grind. Grandma Trish comes out Wednesday for a bonus day, to meet Ian's speech therapist. We decided it's a good idea for her, as Ian's primary "secondary" caretaker (after daycare), to meet his therapist.

He is really into colors right now and labels almost everything he can by color. Yellow, Blue, White, and Red so far. We're working on Green. He knows it and can identify it, but won't say it. Orange is hard and usually falls to red. There must be a developmental reason everything for kids is primary. Those are the colors he gravitates to.

He is also starting to learn his numbers. He gets as far as 1, 2... and then mumbles a couple times...and then an exuberant 9. The flash cards they use at school must have something he likes on the nine card; most likely bikes or buses.

Below are some cute pictures from our overnight stay at grandma and grandpa's house.

Hanging out in the front yard with his cars

Having way too much fun with Grandpa Tom...after 9pm!
Enjoying dinner on the patio. Ian's SECOND dinner, of which he wore half of on his bare belly.

This was after 10am the next morning. I couldn't wake him, so I did the next best thing...Grabbed the camera! He looks so long here.

Always time to stop and smell the flowers.

Exploring the flora & fauna with grandpa

Kicking back in the shade on a lazy Sunday (he was sure to point out to us the sunny spots on the chair were HOT and the shady parts were COOL.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mom's Day Off

Grandma Trish needed a break this week, so I took today off and spent the 90+ degree day with Ian.

He slept well past 8 and when we opened his door to greet him, his leg was stuck in the crib slats. I got his ankle out just before resorting to dismantling the crib, but man was that scary. A coworker had to take a saw to his daughter's crib not long ago...and it makes me wonder why crib safety isn't a greater priority. Or, maybe it means he's almost done with a crib. Uggh. Shutter to think. He wasn't in a panic though, just laying there, and not only just laying there...but in a pool of pee. He had soaked almost every square inch of his bedding. We've never seen a diaper like this. It was shredded and a good 2 pounds or more. For the first time, I had to strip everything, including his TWO waterproof mattress pads. Lovely. So, with that behind us, and after another leg grabbing fit about 30 minutes later, we were outside enjoying the already warm day.

He has not wanted anything at all do do with his stroller for months and now suddenly wants to go for rides all the time. He goes to the back door and points to the garage saying "Ride!" over and over again. Granted, for him, it means riding for a few minutes and then asking for "out" so he can push it himself. He's actually getting pretty good at it (with me steering), and it wears him go for it, kid. Sometimes it's well past bathtime and I have to tell him that the stroller went night night to convince him that it's OK if we don't go. He waves out the window "nigh nigh" and turns to walk away with a disappointed sigh. So cute.

So we went for a ride up to Starbucks and around the neighborhood. He finally met our next door neighbor, who is from Taiwan. She works nights and had never seen Ian before now. We continued to his future child care center where we found out that he has about another 4 to 6 months to wait until his name comes up on the list. I was disappointed, but there's not much I can do. A horrible thought ran through my mind that maybe more foreclosures would move families out of the community, thus moving Ian up the list... but that's pure evil. Shame on me.

After our walk, we packed up and headed out to visit my office. As luck would have it, our summer BBQ was scheduled for my day off and is only for employees, not families. I ignored the rules and took Ian anyway. They haven't seen Ian since a week after coming home and although I'm sure he didn't remember anyone, he had a great time. He was shy and quiet, but enjoyed the steel drum band playing and cared about nothing more than his bag of pretzels. He wasn't even interested in the Ben & Jerry's truck, which was unexpected. I thought he would be all about the ice cream.

Our sunscreen was wearing off and it was already well past nap time, so we only stayed an hour, then continued on to the nursery...plant nursery that is. They didn't have the plants I was looking for, but it's a huge nursery with tons of fountains and water features, so we hung out there for a while before heading home. He was tired, but enjoyed that place a lot.

Well over 90 degrees and after 1pm at that point, it was definitely time for a nap. He gave me no grief at all and slept until I initiated waking him at 4:15pm.

We went for another stroller ride in the evening and we counted today as a day of no tears (except for his leg incident in the morning which I don't count, poor guy). I could really see myself taking a day off every now and again to have good times like today.

Tomorrow, Shawn has a night dive and will be using my camera, so I won't have it with me to document our afternoon at grandma Trish & grandpa Tom's house. We are staying the night...all of us, including Polli, so it should be interesting.

Below are some highlights from our day (I took over 100 pictures today!). I'm sorry but I couldn't resist another before and after!

Hanging out with mom's coworkers

Jammin with the Jimmy Buffett cover band

Posing with the motorcycle we passed on our way to the car. He stopped and admired it like a grown man thinking about the sportscar he only dreams of driving.

Having fun at the nursery

I don't know if he was thinking this girl was real...or wishing he could lie down, too.

Posing at my request...not because he wanted to.

I liked this picture. That's a sculpture of a giant frog with an umbrella down below. It can be yours for only $18,000.

No better way to finish off a blistering hot day than with Kung Pao noodles.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More "Then & Now"

I've been slacking off again! Sorry, but I've had a rough time with another sinus infection (at least number 6 since the bad one I had in China). I've also been extremely busy at work, and probably my biggest reason for a silent blog is why everyone else is quiet too... The Olympics. I can't take my eyes off the Olympics in China, but even more, I can't take my eyes off the swimming competitions. If I were 15 years younger, I would be smitten with Michael Phelps, but now that I'm old enough to feel embarrassed about such thoughts, I'm just in awe of what an amazing athlete he is. He's right up there with Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong for me. Like Tiger did for golf, Phelps will get kids interested in swimming.

So, enough of that... I was so shocked by the Before and After pics I put together of Ian in his car seat, I couldn't resist to make more comparisons. I'm with him every day, so I don't see his transformations the way some of you have. Seeing those pictures side by side really blew my mind.

Along the same lines, Ian has started having fits that I think might be growing pains in his legs. He clenches his teeth, locks his legs, and rubs or hits his legs, crying in frustration. It only happens in the morning and lasts a few seconds to a few minutes. More bananas? We'll see how that helps. He has a doctor's appointment for a check up in 2 weeks, so we'll see what the verdict is then. I am no stranger to growing pains. They are among the most vivid memories of my childhood and I still have bad leg cramps frequently even now. I hate for Ian to go through that, but I suppose it's part of getting big. Why does he have to get big? Can't he be a baby forever? I guess he was just staying baby sized long enough for me to experience it a little before he got up, ran off and left the baby stuff behind.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bubbles, Bugs & Butterflies

We headed out fairly early this morning to Bubblefest at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. It's at the base of the Space Needle, and I was a frequent visitor when I was little. I was excited to see how much the Science Center had changed and what other neat adventures Ian would have today. I always love to see the wonder on his face as he sees things for the first time. Hard to believe that only 9 months ago, we were still getting used to him and "hotel room parenting" as we spent our final days in Hangzhou.

We arrived in a sunny Seattle in under 20 minutes from our house and found a parking spot immediately. Unfortunately, there was a really long line to get in and we ended up waiting with a squirmy toddler for more than a half hour. Luckily, the forecasted cold and rainy day did not live up to the weatherman's expectations and it was actually sunny and nearing 70 (gasp!) at 11am.

Once inside, I realized that not much has changed about the Science Center since I was a frequent visitor about 25 year or so ago. There are new dinosaur, insect, and butterfly exhibits, but most of the rest is exactly as I remember it. The bubble in "bubblefest" was basically several bubble machines in the courtyard and a few craft booths for older kids. I realized throughout the entire center, that Ian will have the most fun and get the most out of places like this when he is 4 or 5 and up. He's still too young and doesn't quite grasp that fun could be had. He's really full of curiosity, but still gets overwhelmed easily. He was timid around the dinosaur exhibit and petrified of the butterflies, which surprised me. If one flutters by gently in the yard, he'll point and say "wuwufy", but here, there were thousands and BIG. They were a little intimidating. I had a hard time seeing how many were injured, many lying on the floor with broken wings. I know that in order to have an interactive atrium of butterfies with lots of traffic, there's only so much they can do to try to prevent that, but it was still sad.

We did attend a bubblologist show, where a "bubble expert" put on a great show doing amazing things with bubbles. He sat on the floor with Shawn and watched the entire 30 minutes in awe.

He also seemed intrigued with the insect exhibit, although I think part of that calmness came from the fact that they were safely behind plexiglass. He especially liked the "snow ants" which were covered in white fur and are indiginous to desert climates. We'll have to look for some in Arizona on our next visit.

We continued to lunch and he really started to melt down. It was nearing 1:30 and he was well overdue for a nap. After being a little freaked out by the dinosaurs and butterflies, he was probably battling with whether or not he enjoyed it. I think he did overall, and I would like to go back again so he can experience the "water lab" and children's museum, but for now, 3 hours of new and different was enough.

He fought sleep as long as possible, but gave in by the time we were on the freeway. Two hours after arriving home, he's still asleep (as are dad & Polli), probably dreaming of bubbles and butterflies.

In the pics below, I've included one that shows Ian in the car seat a couple days after arriving home from China and today. Amazing how much he's grown in such a short period of time. The others are a variety from the day in Seattle. The pics of the bubble scientist didn't turn out very well due to the lighting, but we still managed to get a bunch of great shots with Ian and a variety of critters.

Hope everyone enjoyed the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. It was surreal to see Beijing again and the performances meant more to us than most people watching, I think. Overall, I think it's the best Opening I've ever seen. George Bush looked bored (and probably nervous given the comments he made about China the day before) but overall, I enjoyed watching. If it comes out on DVD, we'll probably buy it.

Ian in his car seat then and now. The seat configuration is different now, but it's still easy to see that his build has completely changed.

Ian waiting in line at the Seattle Science Center. They really need to make a "waiting with a toddler" line. It was one of our least favorite moments from the day.

He was unsure about the dinosaurs. This is the only shot of the two of us looking in the same general direction.

Checking out T-Rex

Ian and the cockroaches. Yuck...But he seemed to like them.

Checking out the giant Millipedes

The furry white ants were cool. Looked like they were regular ants rolled in cotton.

Inside the butterfly atrium. He was in awe and a little scared. These weren't like the cute little butterflies in our neighborhood!

Finally getting close enough for a picture.

But ultimately, this is what he thought of the butterfly exhibit.

The koi pond in the butterfly exhibit was his favorite part...A little like the koi pond inside the White Swan lobby in Guangzhou.