Monday, April 27, 2009

Mommy the Lame Blogger Here...

I'm a little lame. I admit it. Not only have I been spending all my free time reading (I'm addicted to the Twilight series, finally), but I'm sick again. AGAIN! This time, my voice went and going on day 4 of very little to say. For those wondering, I don't have Swine Flu! If I had a dollar for every person who cracked that joke at me today, I could buy a pizza.

I do have very good news to report on the potty training front. Ian went 3 days (Fri-Sun) with NO accidents and only one at school today. That even included a long outing on Saturday. He is still afraid to use public toilets, but I'm not a big fan either, so that might take some time.

Last week, it took him until Friday to get as many stickers as he already has for 2 days so far this week. I'm so proud of him. He's slowly starting to understand that he is capable of "holding it", but also that "keeping it clean" is a good thing.

He is also getting more comfortable playing alone in his room and I was even able to go downstairs and do dishes while he played contently. He yelled down the stairs that he needed to go potty and I sprinted faster than I ever have in order to get there in time...and I did get there in time. It was a nice feeling. Next time I might not run so fast.

On Saturday, we made an outing to Target to pick out Ian's very first lunchbox. He picked a Lightening McQueen lunch tote, but doesn't understand what it's for yet. We'll have to give it a trial run one of these days so he gets the point.

Nothing much this week. I have a very busy week at work on top of getting over laryngitis and another sinus thing. Ian has another "play date" at his new school Friday, and then starts next Monday.

Gotta get back to my book. I only have 200 pages left in New Moon....but to avoid hate mail about my putting books ahead of my son, I did manage to get some pictures of Ian with his new water table as well as some cute shots talking to Grandma Trish on the phone.

Have a great week everyone...and stay healthy!

Ian talking to Grandma Trish on the phone....
...and talking some more.

Last week's sticker tally
Playing contently in his room

Playing with the water table (sans water), a birthday gift from Uncle Rex

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hold On Tight!

Some of you have already seen this, but since I have virtually nothing else to share right now, I'll post this for those who aren't in my Facebook Family.

I should point out that he did fall after I stopped recording, but only a slow motion sideways tumble and nothing backward or on a hard surface. We were laughing again within moments.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bring the Spring

Surprisingly, I don't have a ton to say other than how proud I am of Ian. He's doing great on the potty training front, aside from some accidents here and there, but overall, I underestimated how great he would catch on. He genuinely wants to do a good job. Ian and Shawn have a saying "keep it clean", meaning no accidents in his underpants. Based on this campaign, Ian rewarded Shawn with a sticker and 2 M&M's for going pee without an accident. Yay, daddy!

Sunday was a great day, sunny and full of time outside. Ian got his "weekend TV time" in the morning, and was asking to play in his room after about an hour of Backyardigans. It's his newly found passion based on a video we bought to watch with him in China, but never took out of the wrapping (he was NOT AT ALL interested in TV for the first year). I loved it more than he did and immediately looked up Backyardigans music for in the car. It's a great blend of jazz, blues, skat, and big band... a great compliment to his favorite classical music (a'la Little Einsteins). My well rounded little man.

Before nap, we tried potty several times and then headed out for a "family" walk. He insisted he didn't need to go (No, mommy! I not!), but a few steps before we got to the sidewalk and he was pee'ing all over his new shoes. Darn it! I turned him around and told him that daddy & Polli get to go for a walk, but we didn't keep it clean, so we had to go clean up and miss the walk. I know that sounds harsh, but it was a great learning experience that next time he'd better go before the walk when given the chance. I took him inside and set him on the potty, and he cried his little eyes out. Not a "I'm in trouble" cry, or a "I want to go for a walk" cry... It was a "I failed" cry. He was really upset with himself. He really identified with the fact that he knew what to do but didn't do it. I consoled him and gave him positive feedback as we cleaned up and changed, but I also let him know that this is what happens when he doesn't try when mommy says to try.

He helped me clean up and apologized for "not keeping it clean" and then asked if we could find daddy & Polli. for a walk. He was drying his eyes and asking a big please, so we headed out and found them on the walk path. It's one of many lessons he'll learn. I won't pretend it wasn't hard to watch, but I was glad that he understood what he had done.

After nap, I took him out again to two of our many neighborhood parks. It was a gorgeous day, right around 70 degrees, and I got a little taste of what summer weekends will be like with him. I stretched my brain to remember this time last year, but couldn't remember him being nearly this interested in going for a walk or enjoying the weather. Be sure I'll dig up some pics from last year to do a "then and now" montage.

We have nothing on tap this week, so we'll be watching the weather and acting accordingly. I bought a book called "Bringing Out Baby", which shows the amenities and kid friendly features of the Puget Sound's prime parks and attractions. I plan to pick two spots every week to take Ian after school or on weekends this spring and summer. I'm also hoping to plan a "Meetup" at a fun NW location every month...I'm tired of waiting for a working mom friendly playgroup. There are tons of former coworkers and friends from school that I've reconnected with on Facebook with kids. Time is going to pass us all by. I need to do something about it! Even if it means the occasional "hookie" day, I'm fine with that. I get enough vacation time to afford it every once in a while.

I lied before. We do have something planned this week...Ian actually is slated to visit his new class again Friday afternoon. I hope to stay for a little while, but then leave and give him a taste for his interaction with the teachers and kids. We need a few dry runs of "mommy's here!", so this will be helpful. I love that they have this easy transition plan before he even starts. It will make my life so much easier come May 4th. I also figured out that I'll save about 100 miles and about 2 hours a week by moving him. That's 400 miles and 8 hours a month, and more than a tank of gas, and about a a work shift of extra time with him. That may sound silly to those who are with their kids every waking moment, but that's huge for me! I am so excited.

I also lied before... I had a lot to say.

Another awesome week. This sticker chart works! Even better than M&M's!

He's settling into the idea of backyard lounging just fine!

Mona Lisa's smile. I sometimes wonder what complex thoughts are going thru this little boy's mind.

Playing at the park...on a "big kid toy". He felt very grown up playing at the big kid park.

The sensitive son of mine always has a soft spot for a flower

Still enjoying the big kid toy... See, he survived the earlier "accident breakdown". I've realized that kids survive more than we can sometimes.
I love it when his hair blows in the breeze. Run, Ian, run!

I tried all day to get Mt. Si in the background. I love that all of this is within steps of our house. Despite our crummy weather 90% of the time, how could I not want to raise my son here?

On our walk... on the section thru the woods. I was SURE we'd have an accident, but he held it... seems he learned something earlier!

...But starting to look a little to "serious" for my comfort zone. Better not push my luck. Let's get home!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tiptoeing into Spring

I'm not really sure where I left of on my last post, but our week really started on Friday, when Ian visited his new class. I didn't take my camera as I'm not entirely sure yet what their policy is for taking pictures inside the school. I can tell you this much. He loved it. We walked in and he went straight for the train table (big shock). At that point, I probably could have left and it would have taken a couple of hours for him to notice that I was gone.

Shortly after arriving, they went outside and he listened to the teacher and followed directions perfectly, not at all worried about his new surroundings or different teachers. We stayed for an hour and then left for our long 30 second commute home to meet up with Grandma Trish so I could head to work. It will be soooo nice in the summertime when I can walk him to school on a pleasant summer morning, then walk to pick him up on a sunny summer afternoon.

Already, we've run into parents of other kids in his class. It's great having his school right in our neighborhood. For the naysayers, this is a big plus. It means better friendships long-term (if we stay up here forever) as they progress through the classes together, and good communication with other parents. That's a good thing no matter how you slice it. I grew up in the same neighborhood since I was five and still have contact (thanks to Facebook and other networking venues) with people I went to Kindergarten with. That's almost unheard of these days, so if I can even begin to provide that kind of beginning for my son, I'm happy.

On the potty training front, things are going well. At home we've had 3 accidents (at home) over the course of 7 days, which for our second week, is great progress. At home, he does in comfortable surroundings, and has attentive adults right there every moment. At school, the teachers are busy and he is independent much of the time, so accidents are the norm rather than the exception there. They tend to give up after nap and leave him in a diaper, so he is only moderately successful there. I'm not doing much to push them at this point. With only 2 weeks left before he leaves, I can't imagine it will do much to say anything.

I would like to give some major recognition to Grandma Trish, who is accident free while in her charge. I've decided she deserves a "sticker chart" of her own and her reward will be gift cards to her favorite stores... since she won't let us pay her or buy her dinner. She can't very well turn down a Pier 1 or Chico's gift card, now can she?

Today, we headed to the mall for a new shoe fitting at Stride Rite. It has been a year since he had a professional fitting, at which time he was an Xtra Wide. Still is. Bricks for feet, this kid! He's been complaining lately that all of his shoes are too tight, and will only wear one pair- a cheap pair of Target shoes that he calls Quincy shoes because Little Einsteins Quincy wears a similar pair. I've bought 6 pairs of the same shoes now, since they can only get slightly wet or worn before they're disgusting... at $15 a pair, I've spent $90 for the only shoe he'll wear. Finally, he started complaining about those, too. So, off to Stride Rite we go, one of the only places we can get good quality Xtra Wide shoes for a 3 year old. Good thing we went. He's still a Wide or Xtra Wide and a full size bigger than his most recent shoes. Shawn freaked out (and turned a little pale) when he saw the prices, but if these shoes last him 4-5 months, it's still cheaper than replacing his cheap Target shoes every month like I have been. We ended up with a good pair of tennis shoes and a "hybrid" pair that he can wear with socks or as a sandal. I figure he'll be in Crocs or Keens full time between July and September anyway (and while we're in Hawaii), so these should last until Fall.

We went from there to the big Bellevue City Park, where I conveniently left my camera in the truck...But we didn't stay long. Ian was showing his long morning shift, after getting up much earlier than usual, so we headed home for nap and lunch.

I should also mention that today is the first day that we left the house without Ian's glasses. We decided to let it go, but afte his nap, he said his head hurt, so I think it gave him a headache. You can bet I never do that again! From now on, his spare set will be in my purse. Bad mommy! Bring on the negative anonymous commenters! :-p

After lunch, we tried heading out to the duck pond, but when they wouldn't even come to shore for bread (snobby Ridge ducks!), we continued walking and stopped at the grocery store, where I hauled around the "car cart" with 2 items for 30 minutes to make Ian happy. What ridiculous things we do for our children!

We ended the day with 7 stickers on Ian's chart for today alone (and Ian insisted on a sticker and M&M's for Shawn when he went, too). I made shrimp tacos and Ian stayed happy and energetic all the way up to bedtime, when he crashed out without so much as a peep. It was a great day.

What will tomorrow bring? No idea. Just the way I like it.

Helping mommy grind coffee for morning

Ian loves his sister!

Just being cute. What he does best.

Hanging out in daddy's his preppy golfing gear. Loved dragging out the plaid shorts!

Getting ready to go shoe shopping. I get this happy about shoes, too!

Walking thru Macy's. Who needs a stroller when you have such a pair of mature guys?

Playing in the backyard

Mr. Serious. I pretend this is a small version of what he'll look like as an adult. (check out the new spiffy sandals. Machine washable!)

Showing off his first band-aid. How I have a 3 year old who is just now getting his first band-aid, I have no idea!

It obviously didn't hurt that bad!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Highlights

We had a great Easter at Shawn's parents yesterday and captured some great moments. As usual, I did a "before and after" to show just how grown up Ian looks now. He really was still so much baby last year, it's startling to me (although uncle Mark apparently wore the same shirt).

We headed out early and had a nice laid back day of snack foods and panini sandwiches instead of the boring classic ham. The day went fast and before we knew it, it was time to do our Easter Egg Hunt. It was pouring down rain, so we did it inside, which turned out just fine. Ian caught on to the technique quickly and ignored the eggs filled with money in lieu of jelly beans and chocolate (shocking!). As a result, he was really bouncing off the walls on the way home but crashed easily and hasn't asked for another piece of candy since.

I realize that I spent about $50 too much on his basket. I could have included one or two toys and one treat, and he would have been more than happy.

Probably most important was that he went the entire day without a potty accident. Amazing since we were in someone else's house. As it ends up, he went the entire weekend with one accident. Pretty amazing considering how frustrated I was just a few days ago!

Unfortunately, all that success (which included this morning) unravelled at school. I suspected it would. When I picked him up, he was wearing a diaper and had been in one most of the day. She said he didn't have success all day. I told him we'd try one time before leaving. I let him pick the potty he wanted to use and he sat down and pee'd immediately. Ha. I asked for a pair of underpants, dressed him and we left. I wasn't very happy about their lack of effort.

Shortly after getting home, it started snowing! We kind of knew it was coming, but it's still hard to believe it's snowing this late in the year. We did have snow after Easter last year, but Easter was in March, so that's understandable. I'm so sick of the snow it isn't even funny. I'm pretty sure Shawn could sell software from just about anywhere... so what are we doing in Washington? Ughh. It's frustrating. It's a great place to raise Ian, but come on. Some sun, maybe? We'd better have one killer summer after this winter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sticker Mania

Ian happily wishes each and every one of you a fabulous Easter!

I wanted to post some impromptu pictures of Ian's phenomenal potty success the past 2 days. He is really on a roll and seems to be slowly getting the hang of telling us when he needs to go...It doesn't always include enough time to get his pants down and sitting, but he's doing really great. What a turnaround in just a day! Looking at his calendar, it's easy to see where it all falls apart: the school week. We'll have to work through that with his teachers, but ultimately this pattern of weekend success is a step in the right direction.
Check out all these stickers! He hit 10 stickers early this morning (where I drew a line to start over). He picked a Matchbox car, which turned out to be a lime green '76 Thunderbird to match his shirt. We're calling it his "hooptee car".

Unfortunately, it was absolutely pouring down rain right when the Easter Egg hunt was supposed to start at our neighborhood park. We skipped it and played (and added more stickers). Shawn and I both had tons of errands to run today, so it was fine. Ian had no idea, so no harm done. We plan to do a hunt at grandma & grandpa's house tomorrow anyway.

I spent over an hour putting together his basket and filling plastic eggs, after he went to bed. In the end, his basket is reminiscent of the baskets I was used to growing up. Shawn said it made him sick (or that could have just been the leftover candy he was shovelling in while I was finishing).

I'm sure I'll have lots to tell after tomorrow. Until then, enjoy your day with family and friends! Happy Easter!

Enjoying his "hooptee" car

We just get more done while sitting on the pot these days

Check out all those smilies!!! In one day, he reached one goal and is more than half way to another. In all, I changed one wet diaper and rinsed one pair of undies... That's what I call a successful day!

Ian's Easter Morning loot

I know it looks like I just threw a bunch of stuff in a basket, but there is a method to my madness, I swear!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Stop and Smell the Flowers

This week has been quite a roller coaster, to say the least. I hope I still have a follower or two after I blew a gasket the other day. Thanks for those who came to my defense. I certainly don't do this looking for nothing but positive reinforcement, but it's nice to see that at least one person (even if it's just my mother) approves of how we're doing!

At the risk of fanning a flame, I'll mention that I had the orientation meeting at Ian's new "daycare" on Wednesday. It went great. I spent almost 2 hours touring the facility again, doing paperwork, and asking a ton of questions. Ian and I will come visit for an hour or two each Friday until he starts on Monday, May 4th.

I received the codes to connect to his classroom cameras and they invited me to test them out at different times during the day so I can see how his class interacts. That rocks! It's a fairly narrow view with no sound, but it's something.

Today was Ian's day with Grandma Trish and also her first day with a potty training agenda to stick to. I'm sure she'll soon appreciate being able to go out for a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood with no worry of potties or accidents! Ah, those were the days (aka, 5 days ago!).

As for the potty training front, we've had mixed results so far. I'd love to say he's accident free, but nothing could be further from the truth. Stop by my desk and say "how's it going?" and I'll ignore your rhetorical expectation of "oh, fine", and instead, I'll give you a full rundown of the down and dirty of potty training. I don't think I even have a filter anymore for what's appropriate and what's not. It's OK to talk casually about poop in a meeting, right?

Anyway, it started out promising with the incentive of two M&M's as his reward. He still loves them (and covets to a melted mess), but they were out of sight/out of I started a sticker chart. On Tuesday, we started a calendar on the fridge and Ian gets a smiley sticker for each potty. After 10 stickers, he'll get to pick a prize from a hidden box of small things I've stashed away (mostly Hot Wheels, stickers, coloring books, etc.). The first day worked great. He kept going back to the fridge to look at his stickers, counting them and smiling. He was so excited.

Well, the week at school really set him back. I know they're busy and can't spend a ton of time with him one-on-one camped out in the bathroom, but he just had nothing but accident after accident. Every day when I'd pick him up, he was wearing a diaper or pull up instead of underpants. Sigh. I just felt like they didn't have the time or experience with this and gave up after nap. It's frustrating, but I fully expect that he'll backslide with transitioning to the new "place", so I'm trying to put perspective on it all.

Where he might be a little behind in potty awareness game, he makes up for it when he does things like this... He just now came to me with a magnet from the fridge (another 'mom of the year' thing I'm sure I'll get rave reviews for) and said "mommy, look...the Eiffel Tower". Maybe Shawn or Grandma told him that recently, but it still caught me off guard. That's pretty cute.

On the bright side, he only had one accident for Grandma Trish (if you don't count the one with me this morning before she arrived) but went once on the potty for her and once for me. He was so thrilled to get his stickers (I noticed that Grandma gave him an extra one... (cuz that's how Grandma's roll). He's up to 6 stickers for the week...only 4 more to go and he gets to pick a special prize.

Who knows how that will all work out with such a crazy weekend (again). Tomorrow, we have our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt and then Sunday we'll do another one at Tom & Trish's house with cousins Alec & Ashleigh. I'm working on a letter to Ian from the Easter Bunny about going potty. We'll see if it makes any impact.

For now, I'd like to give another gentle request to put our differences aside and enjoy the weekend. May the Easter Bunny bring you lots of chocolate...and the good kind... a solid Dove bunny will do!
Adding a smiley sticker to his calendar

So proud of his achievements!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Let's Take It Down a Notch

To difuse the tension around here, I thought I'd share that we've finally had some beautiful weather here in the Northwest. We went from snow on Friday to 70's on Monday. Rain is coming back, just in time for Easter, but for now, we're all feeling a little happier to have fresh air to breath and a reason to wear sunglasses for more than just glare from the overcast sky.

The picture below is a reminder that we all might need to be more like our dogs and live in the moment... and agree to disagree, because choosing to do otherwise is just bad juju.

Hugs, all!

As soon as I arrived home for lunch yesterday, Polli ran outside and made a beeline for the lounge chairs. Her favorite spot to waste away the day, if given the opportunity. Boy, will she be loving sunny Fridays this summer!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Why I Blog... and Remembering Our Log In Date

Opening note:

I wanted to acknowledge the comments left on my last post. I am fine with negative feedback. Why? Because I know this is a public blog and by airing our family laundry in such an open way exposes us to opinions of all kinds. Why is my blog public? Because blogs are what educated me most realistically during our entire process to Ian. I want to be that resource for other families. This blog is not intended to ever be a "Working Mom Anthology". I respect and enjoy the perspective of parenting from both sides. I have many Stay at Home friends. I have many who work. They all have awesome kids with amazing relationships. What we all have in common is that we ***LOVE THEM*** It's each family's choice and right to do what they need to do for their family's health, happiness, and well being. As long as it's legal, ethical, and brings no harm, it is none of my business...or anyone else's.

I have 3 target demographics for this blog:

1. Family and Friends. This is the easiest way for me to share Ian and Polli's adventures all at once.

2. China families: waiting and home. It's a community with an unspoken understanding of a very trying roller coaster of a process. Those in this group are sometimes the only others who "get it" and I'd die before losing a connection to them.

3. Microtia families and those learning about it. When reviewing Ian's file, these families and their stories are 100% why we moved forward. They were living their lives with Microtia...and surviving, THRIVING. Without them, we might have been like the other 15 families who turned down Ian's file. The thought literally turns my stomach.

So, to anyone not meeting the above criteria, you are not who I blog for. I appreciate your point of view, but in all due respect, it leaves no impact on me or how I feel I parent my son. You must not know me very well to make assumptions about my priorities as a mother, and must not know my son to make assumptions about his attachment and adjustments.

I think I've taken a couple thousand pictures in the past 18 months of a smiling, happy, thriving little boy who would respectfully agree that your harshly expressed opinion is just that... Thank you for respecting our choice to do what we feel is right for him and us.

Back to the original purpose for this post... I wanted to point out quickly that it has been 2 years today since our dossier was logged in, in China. This meant we were officially "in line", and it was this day that we started looking at files of Waiting Children. I had one already that I was just waiting for an LID date to put on hold. Shawn was worried that he was too old (almost 3 at the time) and wanted to think long and hard about changing our minds about age. We watched for the next batch of files to make a definitive decision on what to do. I saw that boy's name later on a "coming home" newsletter, and cried. I was so sure at the time that he was my son. I still have a photo copy of his file and wonder what he looks like now and how he's doing with his forever family.

All I know, is that the timing of things happen for a reason. Another year later and we would have probably been putting our adoption plans on hold due to the economy. A month later and we might have missed out on Ian's file. A month sooner and I might have convinced Shawn to consider the other boy's file.

Things happen for a reason. Whether you're religious or not, I think we all can agree to that.

Here's our post announcing our Log In Date of 4/6/07. My thoughts go out to the families logged in with us for the "non special needs" route. They are still waiting with a long wait still ahead. I can't fathom it and wonder what strength it must take to go on with life as usual with so many years in limbo.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April comes in like a lion...

I have not been much in the mood to blog. I'm sorry for being lazy, but I've actually been really busy! I'll give you a quick run down of our past week and then on to the pictures. That's always the best way to communicate what Ian's been up to in the first place. Hopefully I'll get out of my slump soon and have the energy again to tell a big story.

Monday: Ian stayed home sick after such a big weekend. He slept all but a few hours of the day and bounced back fast.

Tuesday: Eye doctor appointment. No changes to his prescription and they were so proud of him for wearing his glasses religiously with no complaints or problems. Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do to "extend" his nose bridge and resolve the problem we're having with his glasses hitting his eyelashes. It will have to wait until his next "upgrade" next year.

Thursday: Three year checkup! Ian is 32 pounds and 3 feet/1 inch. That puts him at the 35th percentile for height and 90th percentile for weight. Wow! He's still a butterball, despite the changes in his body structure since coming home. There were no concerns about his health other than his iron still showing a little low, but overall, he found Ian to be doing great and doesn't need to see him for another year! This turns the focus back to maintaining his hearing tests and ENT appointments at Children's.

Friday: Uncle Andrew came to visit. Grandma watched Ian like normal and Shawn & Andy went to the falls and up to the top floor of the Lincoln Plaza tower to see the view. I woke to several inches of snow Friday, but it melted by noon, leaving a nice afternoon. We had a great Chinese dinner and Cheesecake Factory dessert before bidding adieu to Uncle Andrew. He leaves to head back to Minnesota on Tuesday.

Saturday: It was a gorgeous day! Shawn embarked on day 2 of a 3 day hockey tournament and left early. Ian, Polli, & I headed out to the dog park for a morning in the sun with a gazillion pups. As usual, they both loved it. Afterward, we hustled home to change from our muddy dog clothes, grabbed a snack, then headed back out to see Shawn play hockey. We battled massive traffic and made it just in time. Ironically, I don't know that I saw Shawn on the ice one time. Ian ran the entire time and I never did pay attention to the game. We met Shawn for dinner later, after which he headed back for more games. We had some very unsuccessful potty training efforts, and then Ian crashed...hard. Poor kid, another crazy weekend!

Sunday: A VERY gorgeous day. I have no idea how warm it got, but it was really nice. You'd never know it was snowing 2 days ago! I intended to use today as a full force potty training boot camp day. From the time Ian woke, he went in big boy pants. Of course, he held it for hours. He just refused to go. He sighed and said "pee pee now" as soon as I put his nap diaper on. Little sucker! He had 2 accidents, then finally had one big success. A matchbox car we had on display as incentive was finally his. He wouldn't let it out of his sight the rest of the night. It was in his grasp as I turned out the lights. He had worked the whole weekend for that thing.

This week... Well, tomorrow he goes COLD TURKEY to big boy pants at school tomorrow. This should be interesting. For what we pay, I'd like this to be their one last big task before he leaves that center... which reminds me!...

It's a big deal. We only waited for 11 months. He'll start on May 4th. My enrollment meeting is Wednesday. Lots of short sentences to describe something so big that I can't even put it into words. With this transition, I will also start a new work schedule that will allow him to sleep in another hour and stay up later. That will come in handy with the longer days and busier afternoon schedules. It'll be nice to let him hang at the park later vs. leaving at 5 to get home for dinner and bedtime routine in the middle of summer.

OK. Pictures:

6am on Friday morning. It warmed up from below freezing Friday morning to almost 70 today. Maybe we'll finally get the reprieve to our horrible winter weather.

Uncle Andrew and Ian enjoying cheesecake

Up close with a herd of elk. They were MUCH closer than they appear here!

Dipping into the ketchup and hot mustard at the Chinese restaurant. He did get a bit of the mustard and actually recovered quickly.

Hanging out at the dog park. He loves this place. Best dollar I could spend on a Saturday.

It was very muddy after the weather we've had. I'm so glad Shawn wasn't with us. They were much dirtier than they look here.

Taking a rest on a bench. He wanted to lay down and take a nap. That was my hint that it was time to head home. In the end, he never did get a nap that day!

Watching daddy play hockey.

Enjoying his beans and rice at Azteca. For a kid who didn't have a nap, he was in a very good mood all day!

We got the OK from the pediatrician, so today, Ian had his very first peanut butter! We noticed a rash on his face later, but we don't know that it's from the peanut butter just yet.

Shawn brought Ian this water bottle. It's almost as big as he is...and I don't want him walking and drinking from it for fear of what might happen.