I've posted a couple of video clips on Facebook of Ian playing harmonica with Grandpa Tom. Normally, I just don't even try posting here because I usually have nothing but problems, but these are really too cute to keep to ourselves.
Turns out these loaded pretty quickly, so without further adieu, please enjoy a few minutes of good 'ol harmonica jammin'!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I've posted a couple of video clips on Facebook of Ian playing harmonica with Grandpa Tom. Normally, I just don't even try posting here because I usually have nothing but problems, but these are really too cute to keep to ourselves.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Ian stayed at Grandma Trish & Grandpa Tom's house Friday night so Shawn and I could have another date night. I know what you're thinking...That's 2 date nights in 6 months. Isn't that a little selfish? Well, it's only the second since Ian came home in November of 07, so I'm willing to risk offending that growing segment of the parenting public who are quick to jump in and say they've never been away from their kids overnight.
It was worth it, although Shawn wore jeans again, just like our last date night. He dresses really nice for work (for no good reason) yet jeans for our night out. He said it was because I was behind on laundry. OOOOHHHH. Probably not the right thing to say a month before our Anniversary.
So we went to Palomino, an upscale grill, and in true romantic fashion used a 2 for 1 dinner coupon. If we were newly married, this would be a major problem... but after 13 years, even just ordering something off the menu over $10 is a fancy night out... so I'm not complaining.
The dinner was great and I had 2 martinis (Tirimisu and Lychee...as a homage to Chinese New Year)and crab stuffed cod. It was awesome. It was worth the jeans and coupon. That's how good it was.
After, we went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was very good. I expected it to be good considering the hype, but it was better than I expected. The story is moving, it has just enough love story but wasn't over the top lovey dovey... and Brad Pitt was nice to look at in his younger (older) years. It reminded me a lot of Forest Gump and will probably do well at the Oscars. The cinematography and special effects were great. It was also very long...almost 3 hours. It moved at a good enough pace to support that length though, and made me feel like I got my money's worth considering it may be a while before I see another movie in the theater again. Who wants to pay $10 and spare their only night out for a 90 minute slapstick comedy? Not me.
We were home and asleep by midnight and I was up by 8 the next morning feeling like I wanted to go get Ian right then. I missed him and felt like if I was going to sit around and do nothing, he might as well be doing nothing with me (yeah right). We ended up going to lunch, which we rarely do because of the circus that ensues, and it was nice to eat uninterrupted. Of course, there were Chinese twin girls eating lunch next to us and they were so adorable. I thought of Ian the whole time and counted the hours until we would drive to pick him up.
As I knew he would, he had a great time at Grandma and Grandpa's house. His cousin Ashleigh stayed the night also and they had a ton of fun playing, sharing blankets, and being silly. She is great with kids and he loves her, so it was nice that they had that time together.
Ian and Grandpa Tom jammed together on their harmonicas and it was a total laugh riot. Videos are hard to post in Blogger, so I won't even try, but there are some good pics below of those two gettin' their blues on. It was too cute.
Ian did OK with his glasses, but I'm nervous about school tomorrow. I know for a fact that those things won't stay on for long periods of time and who knows what will happen to them. They plan to use "glasses" as their conversation at circle time and discuss why Ian needs glasses, and why they should not be touched, taken off, or pulled on. Hopefully he'll only be the center of attention with them for a while and then life will go back to normal. It will be interesting to see how it goes. He doesn't like them on when he's looking at a book or things close up, but he's learning how to lift them to his forehead and then bring them back down again when he's done. Again, not sure how that will translate to school.
Below are a few pics from yesterday. There are more cute shots trapped on grandma's camera...But there's even one of me with Ian. So very rare! Too bad I was having a bad hair day. Can't we schedule these things better? :-)
Tomorrow marks the start of Chinese New Year and Ian already knows he wants lots of Hong Baos (red envelopes of money) to symbolize weath and prosperity in the new year. I have one for him each day of Chinese New Year, and he can put the money in the Golden Ox piggy bank I bought him. We are planning to go to our Families with Children from China chapter's CNY celebration next Saturday in Seattle, and sometime during the week, Ian and I will make fortune cookies and paper lanterns. I would love to take him down to the China Town in Seattle for Dim Sum, but I'm afraid we won't have time during the CNY period. Maybe after when it won't be so crazy.
Showing off his blue glasses
Rare pic of the two of us... and I have hair issues. Oh well.
He couldn't get enough of this placemat for some reason. With his short nose bridge, it's almost impossible to get his glasses to stay on straight.
Jammin with Grandpa
Finding a good rhythm. He is actually pretty good at this...and bobs back and forth to the tune. It's so adorable. It just can't be described with pictures.
at 2:04 PM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I asked the woman there if there was a way to simulate the way he sees without his glasses... I really wanted to know what Ian sees now. She said putting his prescription on would give me a good idea of how he sees things without a prescription. Wow. My kid is blind. His prescription is one of the strongest I've seen. I asked her how he sees such detail and can identify things, even at a distance. She said kids are masters at faking it and don't analyze or quantify what they can and cannot see at that age. If I had known he was so limited all this time, I would have had him to the doctor our first day back in the states. I'm interested to see if these new glasses translate into a jump in any specific area of development. I have my suspicions that the amount of sleep he currently requires will drop. His eyes are probably so tired by the end of the day that he can't even keep them open. Poor Ian!
So, he was asleep by the time I got home last night, meaning I needed to test them out in the AM. I had them on him within minutes of waking up and he did AWESOME! It helps that his favorite Little Einsteins character, Leo, wears glasses. I told him that Leo needs his glasses to see better when he goes on missions. He was all about wearing them after that.
Charles Nelson Riley? Is that you?
He already likes them and he's not even out of his crib yet.
Getting the hang of actually seeing me clearly from across the room.
His new serious look
He had them on for a good 15 minutes at this point with no problem. I completely underestimated how well he would do. No bribes needed yet!
at 7:01 AM
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
So, the fourth folder in "My Pictures" happens to be a folder of Ian's first day with us. That folder didn't make it in my city specific "China" folders somehow and was out of order. Lucky for me that this happened to be the 4th picture in that folder. It's the very first picture I took of Ian at the Civil Affairs office in Hangzhou.
Love at first sight for me. I instantly went into mom mode. Not so much for Shawn. It was exciting, but it took a while for it to sink in for him, and ultimately his month off work with Ian to really get in a groove.
He is still such a peaceful sleeper and good at it, too. He sleeps an easy 12 hours plus typically a long nap, and I can count on one hand the number of night's he's woke up crying since his initally recovery from jet lag. I should count myself lucky and quit bragging so much. He's guaranteed to be a holy terror as a teenager. Isn't that how karma works?
Below are a few more of him snoozing away.
I'm not on my normal computer, so I can't tag the people I would like to. I'll have to do that later.
Thanks for tagging me, Tracy and letting me take that little trip down memory lane!
Looks just like his little frog there. June, 2008
Sleeping past 10am at Grandma's house... Without that music player next to him, all things might not be possible. Best $20 I've ever spent...Seriously. August, 2008
Sweet dreams big boy. Definitely not that baby in the first picture! January, 2009
at 5:22 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I've been stockpiling pictures all week due to a lack of time to update.
We finally had decent enough weather to take Ian's tricycle out for a test drive. Unfortunately, it was freezing cold and almost dark, so we only stayed out for about 15 minutes, but he got the hang of the pedals pretty quickly. It will take a bit of time to get the pedals AND steering down, but he loved it and kept saying "Mommy, I was going SO FAST!". One day we'll look back on those pictures and laugh at how small the tricycle is. It's perfect for him now, and will be great to have for some time as it folds in half and is made from 75% recycled materials, which makes me feel good (my "lower carbon footprint" resolution and all). It's currently in the living room and is fun to push around the kitchen. Once it warms up a little, we'll take it out again.
A high majority of the 112 pictures I took this week feature a naked kid, so alas, I can't publish them. I let him run around with no pants on most of the day yesterday in the hopes that we'd have a potty training opportunity, but the stinker held it until his nap diaper went on...and I could see the look of relief on his face before we were done with our first story. He's a little too smart for his own good. We haven't put any additional pressure on him, but a lot of our talk is about what we're about to do, etc. It's quite an exciting household these days. Not much in the way of engaging conversation.
Yesterday, we met a coworker of Shawn's and his wife at an area Chinese restaurant. This was not just an average "Mandarin" restaurant, as is typical for Americanized Chinese food. It was a very authentic Sichwan restaurant in an international neighborhood and was the closest thing we've had to "real" Chinese food since we were in China. When you're the only "white people" in the restaurant, it's a good sign. It means the Chinese community approves of what's being served.
Ian did great, but those reading this who've been to China will know that the restaurants there are complete chaos. This was an almost carbon copy of the restaurants there. It was a bit of sensory overload for him and I think he's rusty on handling that kind of environment. He was well behaved none the less, and we had a great time with great food with a really nice couple. That restaurant made me miss China so much. I didn't want to leave. I was hardly bothered by the family that stood 2 feet from our table and watched us eat until we were done, then took our seats the second we stood up. Just like China.
Ian slept until 10am today and when Shawn went in to wake him up, his bedroom light was on and he was laying with his blanket and his trains in his crib just looking around. I'm amazed constantly at how content he is to spend long periods of time in his own space. Lately, he has been taking long naps at home, ranging anywhere from 3 to 5 hours long. He's still a little congested from his sinus infection, but is basically healthy. I think he might be going through another growth spurt. His teachers are constantly telling me how disruptive he is at naptime at school, and that he doesn't sleep for more than an hour. I just think he wants his own room with his own things...and quiet... for naptime. He lived in organized chaos for the first 20 months of his life. Now he gets his own space and loves it.
Just now, I asked Ian who's his buddy and he said "Daddy Ian's buddy". I asked "Is mommy Ian's buddy?" and he laughed a big belly laugh and said "No! You my mudder!". So goes the life of a mother.
Ian helping daddy brush & vice versa
Checking out the goods in the fridge
at 2:37 PM
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
My mom convinced me that it will happen very soon and he is interested enough to prove that he is close to being ready. She said that my brother took forever and was almost 4 before he was doing "big business". My sister, who is only a year younger, trained herself by watching my mom spend hours with him on his potty pleading for success. I'm sure that 40-something brother of mine from my last post will be so thrilled when he finds out that the entire adoption community, plus family and friends are all well acquainted now with his potty habits! Sorry, Rex... If only you knew how your immature stubbornness is an inspiration to me in my plight to tackle this mountain!
OK. Enough of that. Now to talk about how my perfect, well behaved, easy to manage son surprised me yesterday. After picking him up from school, I decided to take him to the play area at the mall. He loves pretending we're going to the mall... he reenacts going to the mall all the time and thinks we go to the mall to play at the kid's cove play area (or boat tunnel as he calls it). He pretends in the car, in the tub, etc. He was great all the way there and into the play area. He played well and was easy to pull away when it was time to leave. Unfortunately, the easy ended there.
We went from there to the coffee shop for a "spicy milk" (chai). While the girl behind the counter dilly dallied with my credit card, he was running out of the store and into the mall. He thought it was hilarious that I was running after him and I had to carry him like a football back into the store, which was hilarious to him, too...as he kicked and had giggle/wiggle fits. From there, he knocked over a coffee display and then threw himself in the middle of the floor and proceeded to pretend that his legs didn't work. No fussing or anything, just overstimulated fits of giggles at how "bad" he was being. He loved that I couldn't control him. I could see the onlookers thinking "that nanny has no control over her boss's kid".
I was then carrying my purse, his jacket, two drinks, and trying to control him. He walked calmly for a minute, but then tore off into a clothing store squealing with glee. I tried the whole "bye! See you later!" trick, but he just turned and said "bye bye mommy!" and ran. OMG! I also tried telling him that his drink was going in the garbage, but he calmly replied "go away drink!". There was no winning. I ultimately threw both of our drinks in the garbage and picked him up like a football...carrying him like a 32 pound sack of potatoes to the car. By the time we were in the garage, he was calm and fixed on a yellow jeep next to our car. I was sweating and out of breath. What a great trip to the mall. Not at all what I think of as an enjoyable trip.
He was fine until about 5 minutes to go and then wanted to get out of his car seat and stand up. He was pretending that the crotch strap hurt and that the shoulder harness was choking him. Literally, he was making choking noises and pretending to gag... and there was nothing anywhere near his throat and nothing was tight. Uggh.
I might have raised my voice once and I think I said "pissed". I can't quite remember all the details. God forgive me if I swore. I didn't mean it. Really, I didn't.
He was an angel as soon as we got in the door and in his chair for dinner. Great bath, great bedtime. He even let me brush his teeth, which is a feat on a good night, so I think he just wanted to be at home. I know now that an outing is not always fun for him and sometimes he just wants his "stuff" and his routine and to heck with the adventure.
Below are a few pics of his time at the "boat tunnel" play area. Not much since most of the time I was at a sprint after him. Who needs cardio when I have a 2 year old?
Taking the steps from the mall floor to the dedicated floor that is the kid's area. He did every step without my help!
He loves the boats...along with every other 5 year old and under in our area
He especially likes the Ferry Tunnel
He badly wanted to scale this wall. Do I need to worry about his crib security? That will need to be my next big battle. I have no strength for it right now.
at 9:13 PM
Sunday, January 11, 2009
When I got home from work at 3:30, he had been down for nap since 12:30. Grandma left for home and I expected Ian to be waking up any second. Two hours later, at almost 5:30, I decided to make sure he was still breathing. There was no emergency and he wasn't sick. He was happily sitting up in his crib playing with a toy listening to his music player. He stood up with a quiet "hi, mommy!". It still amazes me that he is so good at entertaining himself in his crib.
So yesterday, we headed out for a final trip to the optical store to get his glasses ordered. We're doing the square-ish rubber frames shown 2 posts ago in yellow, but in dark gray and dark blue. With his dark hair and skin, darker glasses will look better on his face. It takes about 2 weeks for the frames to come in and then another week for the lenses... so we'll have to wait for 3 more weeks to see how he does with them.
Putting Grandma through her paces
He has amazing balance... His feet are almost as wide as they are long and he can usually balance on just about anything. I think he comes from Chinese Acrobat stock.
Playing with Uncle Rex
Ian with Uncle Rex then and now.
at 9:36 AM
Friday, January 9, 2009
Not much to say about this week. We're all back to our normal schedules. Our entire region has been impacted by flooding the past few days, after a long hard battle with snow, and it's the basis of almost every conversational topic these days. We live on a hill, but just a half mile away, people are being evacuated and/or are landlocked with no way in or out. I can see the emergency staging area from my house and just yesterday saw an emergency helicopter use our soccer field as a landing pad. It's all been a good reminder to me that no matter how safe you feel, anything can happen, even in suburbia.
I'm sitting here enjoying the quiet of the morning with my Polli-wog lap dog and a cup of coffee before Grandma Trish shows up for her Friday with Ian. It's been a few weeks since she's been on this normal schedule, so hopefully they have a good day.
Ian is still asleep and lately has been more than happy to do so as long as we let him. I'm sure having been sick is a big part of it, but just yesterday, I woke him and asked if he wanted to go to school and play with his friends, to which he replied "Crib & blanket are Ian's friends. Ian go naptime, please!" I know it was 5:30am and at that time of day my best friends are my bed and pillow...so I understand his motivation.
We played "run & jump", which essentially is Ian playing follow the leader and we run, jump, skip, etc. around the house for as long as he wants to. It includes many "mommy, sit here in the bathroom", "mommy, stand on one foot on Ian's stool", "mommy, turn around in circles", and many other commands. It is actually a decent workout and I think it zaps him, too.
Tomorrow is the busiest of our weekend days. We are going in the morning to the eyeglass place again so Shawn can help make a final decision on frame shape and color for Ian's specs. We've got to get those things ordered since they take 3 weeks. From there, we'll probably do lunch at Panera before zipping home for naptime. In the evening, my brother Rex is coming out to do our Christmas with him since he was out of town during the holidays. He hasn't seen Ian since his birthday party in April, so I'm excited to see what he thinks of his practically grown nephew and his night and day speech since their last meeting.
I can't believe I've left out the biggest event of all: We're starting potty training this weekend! Like actually putting him in undies and letting him figure out that big boy pants mean he has to use the toy-la-let. We put him in matching underwear to Shawn last night and he loved running around practically naked (he would be nude 24/7 if we let him). I got him some that match Shawn, and then several different character patterns so he can pick which he wants to wear each day. I think some days he'll want to look like daddy and others Lightening McQueen will be his big motivator. Next week, I'll bring about a dozen pair of underwear and a dozen changes of pants to school and hopefully they can get the ball rolling and I can reinforce at night. That's my hope... We'll see. I won't comment much on my reward strategy since I got an anonymous comment a few days ago saying that I buy him too much "stuff" and give him too much sugar...both couldn't be further from the truth... so I'll just say that I have it worked out so he has motivation to go. I'll update on our progress next week.
Below are a few pics from our week. Not much, unfortunately.
at 6:44 AM
Monday, January 5, 2009
I told Ian we were going to try on glasses and he could wear glasses just like: Grama, Paga, Grandpa Tom, Uncle Rex...and most importantly Leo from Little Einsteins. That did the trick. For the whole ride there, he said "Mommy, try on glasses like Leo!" It was already going better than expected.
He did great with these... but they were the most expensive of all the frames we tried. How long would they last? I was afraid to ask. At this price he would get one pair...and insurance or not, it would be a major headache bringing them in every week for repair.
I can see him sitting and doing his homework in these. They'll make great "big boy" glasses once he understands the purpose behind them and can take some responsibility for them (does that actually happen ever?).
These are the rubber unbreakable "training" glasses. Although I don't like the yellow, I think they're actually really cute. This is the only time in his life he'll be able to get away with "cartoon" glasses, so why not?
Side profile... I'm thinking in dark blue or gray.
I didn't like this shape or color. He looked like he was trying on an adult's glasses.
at 8:48 PM
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Yet another adorable picture of Ian and Polli at the window. I could never have too many of these.
Meet our little noodle addict
So excited about his potty reward. I never knew a 99 cent metal car could bring such joy.
at 8:36 AM
Friday, January 2, 2009
I'm a little late, mostly because I'm super sick. Again! 2008 Began and ended with illness for me. I had about 9 separate respiratory-ish sicknesses throughout the year, yet Ian has gotten sick a total of 3 times since coming home. He brings every little germ home from daycare and shrugs them off like nothing, but they hit me like a ton of bricks... healthy lifestyle or not. So goes the life of a mom with a 2 year old, I guess!
As for Ian, his rash from Christmas worsened and turned into sores all over his face. He also continued to have sinus issues, so I decided it was time to take him in. We went to the doctor on Monday and learned that he does indeed have an upper respiratory infection and dreaded impetigo. There had been a reported case of impetigo at his school 2 weeks ago, so he must have been carrying it around for a while and it became active when he broke out in the rash or sinus thing...or both. Anyway, he started antibiotics on Monday and by Wednesday was down to only a few sores. Today he woke with one remaining spot and a clear nose, which we haven't seen for weeks.
Despite it all, he hasn't lost his zest for life and all the energy that goes with it. I wish I could say as much for myself, but I'm glad to see that he's a highly functioning sick child. Without the physical symptoms, you'd never know he was sick.
The impetigo meant that he couldn't go to school for a few days, which combined with the holiday, kept him home all week. We still have to pay for daycare though. That stinks.
He'll be ready and raring to go on Monday though, and hopefully I will too. I have a very busy work week that can't be put off.
As you can imagine, we slept through the New Year's celebrations. My drink of choice to ring in the New Year was Nyquil. Hopefully 2009 will be a bit more optimistic for all of us than 2008 was. In retrospect, it was a bittersweet year. It wasn't great from an economic perspective, but it was historic in many ways, too. Most of all, it was Ian's first full calendar year as our son... Making it a good year no matter what.
Today, Ian has an eye appointment, which will hopefully be less dramatic than his pediatrician's office (where it seems like they're always wanting a blood draw).
Below are a few pictures from this week. Not much as I haven't really had the strength to lift the camera.
When you're sick, there's nothing better than snuggling up with your best buddy.
A traumatic trip to the doctor means 2 things: Ice Cream and new Cars.
On the mend. This was Thursday. Only a few sores left!
Everyone has their own laptop but Polli!
at 10:05 AM