Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Ian Part 2

As promised, it was a crazy weekend! After the fun we had in Seattle on Saturday, I had no idea what to expect at Ian's birthday get together on Sunday.

It was fairly laid back, but just crazy enough to keep things interesting. Ian met his great uncle Andrew (Grandma Trish's baby brother) who is in town visiting from Minnesota.

He also did a great job of opening presents...something he was not interested in doing at Christmas. He opened about 4 before he focused in on those gifts, leaving lots to open and examine later.

The best part of the day just had to be the cake... actually cupcakes. I got the Coldstone Creamery ice cream cupcakes and they were awesome. I highly recommend them. Ian ate about half each of two flavors and did a great job. The pictures speak for themselves. He loved Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles. I got a tiny piece of video. I need to fiddle with it a bit, so I'll post it another day.

Unfortunately, Ian had been brewing a nice cold, thanks I'm sure, to the outing in the rain (and wet feet) in Seattle the day before. He was not a happy camper on the ride home and literally screamed at the top of his lungs the entire 45 minute drive home. It was horrible.

He slept great once in his crib though, so I crossed ear infection off my list and determined it was just lots of congestion that was probably made worse by the ice cream. I kept him home yesterday as a precaution, and he slept all but about 6 hours of the day (up at 10, down at 1, up at 5, down at 8). It did the trick. He was almost 100% by this morning. I only wish I could bounce back that fast!

He also braved the eye doctor today and it went great. His prescription is still fine (thank goodness) and they have an awesome play area that he loved. Naturally, he played trains the entire time. An identical set that he has at home. Creature of habit. I sat next to him to play, but was in his way and pointed to the play kitchen on the other side of the room and said "Mommy, you go make dinner, OK?". So, the stereotyping has begun!

Please enjoy a few of the pictures from his birthday... I only took 260!

Last year to now. Huge difference!


Heading out to Grandma Trish & Grandpa Tom's house

Polli in big sister mode


Unwrapping presents. I think he's starting to grasp the concept.


Reading the user documentation for one of his toys.


Playing with the best toy of all.. a "choo choo house" for his train track.


Enjoying his first Peep. That's my boy. (He actually took one bite and gave the rest to me. Score!)


Reading a story with daddy


Making bead necklaces with Grandma

Enjoying his ice cream cupcake


REALLY enjoying his ice cream cupcake!


The Red Velvet cupcake... my personal favorite.

Hugs from Uncle Andrew


The morning after. Love this hair.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Birthday Adventure in Seattle

Yesterday was Ian's 3rd birthday! He and I celebrated the actual day by ourselves. Shawn was out of the house very early to enjoy his first major dive of the year and was staying the night at his parents house due to the distance to and from the dive site. Unfortunately, the weather made for poor visibility and he ended up cutting his dive short. I was so looking forward to pictures of the giant octopus he was planning to see.

As for our day yesterday, Ian and I left fairly early and headed into Seattle to the Children's Museum in Seattle Center. Something was going on and parking was impossible. We ended up waiting in the rain to pay at an automated lot far from the center, and then walked in the rain. Ian recited the whole way "This is ridiculous!". Gee, I wonder where he heard that... Me. Many times over.

Once we arrived at the museum, it was clear that this was going to be fun. That place is huge and very well laid out. He made a bee line for an off road vehicle (of course) and played in that area for the longest time before agreeing to move on to other things. There was a section called "cultural village" where homes and shops from different countries were replicated. Ian liked the Chinese shop and Japanese kitchen. He pretended to load up and serve me a dish of sushi. So cute. There was a replica of a Hutong home, but he was asking to go back to the "bus" by then, so I didn't get any pictures. I'd like to go back and check that section out a bit more. It was really well thought out.

Unfortunately, I failed to charge my camera before leaving, so the battery died about halfway through the day. You'd think I would have it figured out by now that you NEVER go out without a fully charged camera!

On our way out, Ian saw the Birthday rooms and thought he was going there for his birthday party. It wasn't pretty when I didn't let him go in. He was very disappointed that he couldn't go to the birthday party...on his birthday. I would have been confused, too!

He wanted to leave and go get soup (Panera), but he was fast asleep before we made it to the freeway. He took a long nap and we had soup and rice at home upon waking at 4:30. If Ian were to pick a last supper, I think it would be soup and rice. Boy that kid loves his soup.

He then talked to daddy on the phone, who told him he could have special birthday treats. We attempted to watch Mulan, but it got to a battle scene and he asked me to turn it to Ni Hao Kai Lan. He must be making a China connection on his birthday today... It got me thinking about the fact that 3 years ago a couple had their long awaited son only to find out he wasn't perfect. Although they kept him for 3 months, this was the day that actions were set in motion that eventually culminated in Ian becoming our son. One day we'll have to address what happened and why, but for now it's about presents, cake... and all the fun stuff the all kids get to enjoy about birthdays. I hope it can always be a good day for Ian, but also know it could be a day he resents when he's older. Time will tell. Right now, we're just going to have fun and deal with the tough stuff later!


Splashing in puddles. It wasn't until we got home that I realized his socks were soaked and his feet were FREEZING! Poor little guy!
Playing in the "bus". It was really a safari jeep, but Ian's favorite part of the entire museum. Go figure.
At the wheel
Inside the Chinese shop. Looked pretty darn authentic aside from the fact that it wasn't cluttered enough...and it needed a little old man watching TV.

Preparing me a bowl of sushi...good call, Ian!

This was in the storytime castle... Note to Grandpa: How hard would it be to build something like this (maybe with the top the size of a twin mattress so we could convert it to a bed when he's older? Hmmm?

In the Costruction Zone. They had pegboard sections and all the tools to put them together in different configurations. It was pretty cool, but very chaotic, so he moved on fairly quickly. It'll be neat when he's just a little older.


Preparing to go down a rocket slide in the Curious George area. It was a VERY fast slide, but he loved it and went back at least a dozen times.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Ian Part 1

Ian turns 3 today! He is pretty adamant that he is "only 4", but I'm not quite ready to put another year behind us. Who knows what will happen in the next year. If this year was any indicator of how quickly things change, we're in for a wild ride.

Shawn is on an all day dive today in the Hood Canal and will be spending the night at his parents' house. It should be a good time for him since this is his first major dive of the year and he hasn't been to Hood Canal yet. He's really starting to get in obsession mode as his trip to Roatan, Honduras draws near.

We will be meeting up at Grandma & Grandpa's house tomorrow to celebrate Ian's birthday, Grandma's belated birthday (3/17)....and Shawn's Uncle Andy is in town from MN for 2 weeks. He has not met Ian yet and I haven't seen him for at least 7 years, so it should be a fun day. I wish my parents could be here, but I can't blame them for staying home... Our weather sucks and it's beautiful in Arizona... but Maui is only 5 months away, so we'll hold on until then.

I originally planned to stay in all day today and kick potty training into high gear with an all day "big boy pants" agenda. Guilt (and a fear of a boring day in) has gotten the better of me and I've decided that today will be a great day to head into Seattle to the Children's Museum. It will either be a blast or a disaster without a second adult to help, but we shall see. I've seen mom's with several kids do it without a problem... Not sure if I'm that mom, but it's worth a try.

With all that said, I'm bound to have a stockpile of pictures and stories of our weekend by the time it's said and done. Cross your fingers that it all comes off without a hitch!

To tide you over until the chaos subsides, here's a quick video of Ian's morning wake up. Not much, but my goal was to get a hello out to Grama & Paga in AZ.

video

Monday, March 23, 2009

Gearing up for the Big 3

I should start out by mentioning something that I've left out of my last few posts. Ian has now officially been home with us longer than he was in orphanage care. That is substantial to me for many reasons. I know there are many out there who will understand the magnitude of that statement.

Moving on... Ian enjoyed another fun sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa T's house Friday. Shawn and I needed some time to go out shopping for his birthday. It is only the second time he and I have shopped for Ian together and the first since Ian has been home. Hard to believe, but true!

We went to the Lego store and Toys R Us and spent almost our whole b-day budget on only a few small things. I always said I would never get sucked into Thomas trains or Licensed characters. Boy was I naive! There's no getting around it, just no way. They fill that Thomas aisle with something irresistible to kids and dads... OK, and me on occasion. It's impossible to stay away.

Shawn begged to get him a PlayMobil scuba guy and shark...Not because Ian will enjoy it, in fact he will most likely play with it for a few minutes and relegate it to the bottom of the toy box. No- They're for Shawn. He justified by saying they'd make great bath toys. Uh-huh. Sure.

I'll go over his birthday loot later in the week, but let's just say he'll have plenty to open, and more than last year. We were shocked at how many aisles we skipped in TrU that contained toys he was receiving as recently as 6 months ago. He is definitely growing up fast!

Also a big deal, today is Ian's last speech therapy appointment. I'm so sad; we will definitely miss Mona. I made her a card and got her a set of the Brain Quest 2's "Max" cards that have helped Ian so much. Hopefully she can use them with her son or with other therapy families.

Also exciting, Shawn's uncle Andy is coming to visit from Minnesota this week! He'll be here for almost 2 weeks, so I'm sure I'll get a good number of pics. It will be Ian's first time meeting Andy and the first time we've seen him for several years.

Below are a handful of pictures from Ian's latest adventures at Grandma & Grandpa's house. I'd like to add an extra huge THANK YOU to Ashleigh for all the time she spends with Ian. Teenagers would probably much rather be doing other things, but she is always excited to spend time with him.


Making a bead necklace with Ashleigh

Head over heels about puzzles!

Working through the tough pieces

Super Ian!

His favorite spot in the house...

...Grandma's window seat!

Dancing in the street

Hanging out in grandma & grandpa's newly landscaped yard...on grandma's rock: Hudson

Friday, March 20, 2009

Coloring Easter Eggs

Ian's first experience coloring eggs. Pardon the barking dog. She was excited, too. Be sure to scroll to the next post to see the pictures.


video

Spring Fever

Not that you would know it by our weather lately, but today is the first day of Spring! I, for one, am looking very forward to warmer weather. I'm realistic enough to know that I live in Washington, so warmer means the 50's and the occasional 60 degree day. I know it will be rainy and windy until June or July. That's fine, I guess, as long as the 30's and snow TAKE A HIKE!

Hard to believe Ian's 3rd birthday is coming up on the 28th. We do not have a birthday party planned; it seems like a big expense for 3, but next year I would like to do it up big. I have no idea what we'll do, but Shawn and I have yet to start shopping for him. We've pawned Ian off on Grandma Trish again tonight so we can go shopping without trying to hide purchases. I'm pretty sure we'll be going to the L-E-G-O store, and a trip to Toys R Us.

Ian's big passion right now is puzzles, so we're trying to capitalize on that. We're also going to be refreshing his book selection and getting rid of some of his baby board books. More than anything else, I want to add to his outdoor toy selection, which is pretty pathetic. We can't have anything that can't be stored small in the Winter, so that limits our options. Luckily, we're within walking distance to several parks, so the big stuff isn't as necessary.

We're also looking forward to Easter. We didn't really celebrate it with Ian last year. He was still not quite ready to take on holidays yet and didn't get it at all. This year, we're talking about the Easter Bunny, Spring, and Easter Egg Hunting. He still doesn't completely understand that it's coming or why...but he really got into decorating eggs. We only did a dozen at first and after it was a success, I've decided we'll do it again before Bunny Day. I only had to raise my voice once or twice (just kidding), but our biggest disaster was that he wanted to splash the eggs into the dye...and also wanted to clap them together like maracas. Not a good idea with hard boiled eggs!
I have no idea how they expect people to color eggs with that little wire holder, though. We're still getting the dye off his hands.

Below are some pics of Ian coloring eggs along with a few from another crafty affair... Recycle was going out and Shawn took the opportunity to make Ian a "costume" from diaper and wipes boxes. It was pretty hilarious. Also some pics of Ian pretending to sleep and snuggling with Polli.

Getting prepped to color eggs.

Giving me instructions

This isn't going to be messy or anything!



Ask him to "say cheese" and this is what you get...

He got the hang of it fast.

He really wanted to put 2 eggs in one cup. I'll have to work it out so that can happen next time

My favorite picture. We're still getting that dye off his hands. How did I do it when I was little? I'm sure I didn't use that dumb wire holder

Pretending to sleep. He wakes up with this smile EVERY morning


I think this is the closest thing I've captured to his "gotcha" pictures in China.



Laying on the couch with Polli

Getting suited up in his "costume"


He didn't really like it... It lasted about 5 seconds, but was pretty darn cute.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What's Ian up to? About 37 Inches.

We had a 100% nothing weekend. We went nowhere and accomplished pretty much nothing. I am finally seeing the light at the end tunnel with my stomach bug, I think. We've also had really crazy weather. Aside from the range we had last week from record cold, snow, and short sleeve temps, today alone it ranged from driving snow, to rain, to thunder and lightening (along with power flickers), the heaviest hail I've ever seen...and now it's sunny and freezing cold. All before 5pm. Who knows what the rest of the day will bring. It's days like this that I wish I could jump a plane to Phoenix and sit by my parents' pool!

So I have nothing to report. We took a whopping 10 pictures this weekend, which might as well be zero for me.

Yesterday, Ian was playing in the kitchen and I snapped a shot of him standing next to the counter. I compared it to a picture of him in the kitchen from a little over a year ago. Wow, what a difference. He looked at that picture and said "who's that baby?". Even he didn't recognize himself. He can now reach the counter and across it by about 10 inches. It means moving everything sharp or heavy just a little further back...including the almost ever present knife on my cutting board. Yikes!



Ian is only about 6 or 7 inches taller than in this picture, but that's over only a year's time... and I'm pretty sure he has gained all that height in his legs. His hair is also a pretty big difference. Long gone are my worries that he would be a permanently bald kid.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Snowy Day...Sunny Day

I won't delay with much back story here. There's not much to tell other than the fact that I've been sick this week with little opportunity to create adventure. Essentially, it's an adventure in and of itself that that we had snow and record cold temps Monday and Tuesday...and super sunny weather yesterday and today. It was still chilly though, but 30's in the morning and upper 50's in the afternoon, making for a good reason to get out and get some fresh air. It really did make me feel better. Ian and I had a great afternoon at a big park that we hadn't been to yet, and then dinner of Chicken Noodle soup at Panera.

On the way home, Ian asked if he could watch "a TV about China", so upon arriving home, we watched the Dragon Kite episode of Little Einsteins, which includes The Great Wall and several stops in China. As rocket flew over the China landscape, Ian pointed to the patchwork of farms and said "Mommy, look! Ian born down there!" I love that he is fascinated with China. I hope that enthusiasm continues as he gets older, eventhough it will eventually mean talking about some tough topics. It will be so interesting to do a heritage trip when he's 10 or so.

While at the park today, a little girl around 5 or 6 came up to us and asked me why Ian wears glasses. I told her they help him see better. She persisted...asking if he is blind if he takes his glasses off. I told her no, but things are very blurry. She also asked if he will have to wear glasses forever and if he wore glasses when he was a baby. Nosy little girl, but very inquisitive. Not once did she ask about his ear. To date, we've only had two people ask... one curious 5 year old (who asked if his ear would grow back...very cute) and one very rude grown man (who asked if it was bitten off by a dog or fell off from frostbite).

Below are a bunch of pictures as the week progressed. Hard to believe it was snowing 72 hours ago!

Getting ready for school either Monday or Tuesday. Its's a blur. I hate the ever present glare on his glasses, but it didn't seem important at the time to get the coating. I definitely will when he gets new specs next year.


This is Monday. It was snowing very hard...and he was obsessed with filling his dump truck with snowballs, dumping it, then smashing the snowballs. He's such a boy!


Playing with the snowball maker. It really makes awesome little snowballs super fast.

Today... Just a few days later... Playing at Downtown Bellevue Park.

The closest thing to a swing I can get him to ride. He is petrified of the real thing. This reminds me of the apparatus in China's parks.


Ian and his train preparing to go down a slide


He did awesome on the ladders, which he could never do before he got his glasses.

Add a few more skyscrapers, a gateway, and some Tai Chi... and this could have been in one of the countless parks in China.


Strolling with complete strangers

I think it's a quarter mile around this little canal...and he ran the entire thing.


Having a nice chat with one of the locals. Aflac.




Ian getting in touch with his roots... A common male activity in China... Relaxing on a park bench. Just kidding (a little). Now, if he were smoking and playing a tile or card game, it'd be authentic.

Enjoying chicken noodle soup for dinner. He asks for soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Peek a boos under the table

Hitting a wall...literally.