Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Since we've been home, it's been fun to transition into the Christmas mode. The weather has been generally cooler, and we've enjoyed looking at the Christmas lights. Our decorations are in the process of being put up.

On Friday, we decided to take Ian to see the doctor AGAIN (fourth time in five weeks). He had been cranky, not sleeping or eating well, very clingy, and had a fever. Turns out that his most recent ear infection hadn't cleared up even after antibiotics. Poor kid! Our pediatrician was out on Friday, but I really liked the other pedi that we saw. She had a great manner with Ian (he didn't cry once!), and she gave me a lot more information on tubes in the ears. She said that kids naturally begin to outgrow ear infections between ages 18-24 months as their face matures and Eustachian tubes get more of a slope. This is GREAT news! Maybe we won't have to place tubes in Ian's ears! We're praying Ian's ears clear up on this second round of antibiotic and that he doesn't get any more ear infections anytime soon!

So, our past week has been filled with lots holding, rocking, and reading stories to miserable little Ian -- but some laughs and smiles from Ian in between.

These pictures/videos were actually from before our trip. Ian has continued his interest in other people's shoes. Here he loved clomping around in Momma's high-heeled sandals,

especially the sound they made on the tiled floor.

Ian helped Momma make some pumpkin muffins and enjoyed licking the spoon afterward. (Thanks for the easy recipe, Aliceson ... TWO ingredients: spice cake mix & a can of pumpkin. Yummy!!)
Ian loves his weekly time with "DeeDee" (Daree) while Momma tutors. This week, Daree taught Ian where a semi truck driver sleeps and how to HAND (not THROW) large objects to other people. What a sweet lady with a heart for the Lord & a love for life! We love you, Daree!
Kim took some time on Tuesday for an Advent by Candlelight celebration with some of her dear, beautiful friends from Trinity (Kati, Melissa, Elisabeth, Aliceson, and Lauren)! The evening was filled with yummy food, good music, and a neat speaker. What a fun way to kick off the advent season! Thanks for the invitation, Lauren and Jean!
On Thursday, Kim got a FREE haircut at an upscale Aveda salon while the stylist was learning some new techniques. I've never been brave at trying new cuts, but it's easy when the stylist doesn't give you any choices. I think she did a great job! :) (And, thanks, Kati for babysitting Ian even when he was sickly so I could get the free cut!!)

Matt and I have been enjoying exchanging small gifts during Advent, a tradition we started five or six years ago. Next year, we'll involve Ian, too! Matt surprised me by bringing home a yummy chocolate/peppermint mocha.
Today, we went to "Journey to Bethlehem" at a local church. Our northern friends and family would laugh to think that the manufactured snow was the biggest hit!
We were excited to see friends Melissa, Carrie, and Eric there!
Ian enjoyed his ride on the donkey,
and all three of us thought the camel was pretty cool.

The church had lots of neat stations where kids could make crafts or sample food like they might have had around the time of Jesus' birth.
Not surprisingly, Ian's favorite station was the one that included "Baby Jesus." :)
It was neat to see so many of the church members involved, as station leaders or even dressed up as wisemen! We agreed that we'll love to go back in years to come, as Ian will appreciate even more!

Over Thanksgiving time, Kim's family got a big kick out of the way that Ian pronounces some of the ABC words in the Baby Bible, so we thought others might get a laugh from it, too!

Friday, December 3, 2010


We were so excited to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving (and an early Christmas) with Kim's whole family. (You can tell how thrilled we were to be together based upon the number of pictures we took to remember every moment of our togetherness. :))
We left for Albuquerque on Tuesday right after Matt got done with school. Ian was a trooper -- "helping" to pack up the car on Tuesday ... and even being really good in the car on the 14-hour drive.
We arrived into Albuquerque on Wednesday afternoon. We were surprised to see Grammy and Papa jamming while playing Guitar Hero.

Aunt Sarah had taught them all of the strategies they'd need to succeed at the game.

On Thursday morning, Ian woke up early to help Aunt Amy practice the piano.
All of us siblings practiced the Thanksgiving song we were going to sing together in church. As you can see, Amy was receptive to Ian's suggestions to play a little louder. In church, though, Ian didn't provide any critiques ... he was snoring away on Momma's shoulder even as she sang!
The Drool King seems mesmerized by the camera.
Ian was NEVER at a loss for a playmate while in Albuquerque. Thankfully, they were all tolerant of his crankiness as he adjusted to the new sights and people and coped with his ear infection. Here, Uncle Jason teaches Ian about money management.

As you can tell from the next few pictures, Ian loves to get AND give kisses!

We were so thankful Uncle Andrew was able to make it. He had to work a full day on Wednesday and get back to the PT clinic in Phoenix by Friday morning. We tried to take advantage of all 20 hours he was at Grammy and Papa's house! Thanks for coming, Drewski! (And thanks for letting Sarah stay longer!)

After church, it was TURKEY TIME! Though Grammy and Papa had done most of the work, we all pitched in to get the feast on the table.
Dark meat, anyone??
What beautiful cherry pies Sarah and Grammy made! Is that a turkey walking through the middle of that pie?? Way to go, gals!
Dinner is served!
We have so much to be thankful for, including the opportunity to be together on Thanksgiving!
We opened Christmas presents after our Thanksgiving dinner.

Ian got a t-ball set, a CD, an ornament, and some really cool art supplies. His gift from Andrew & Sarah involves a trip to IKEA to get an art easel. (Momma and Daddy love that store!)

Ian was excited to try his new gifts out!

Uncle Jason was a patient teacher. They worked on proper batting technique a few times during our trip.
Ian kept asking outside to go into the leaves. He'd say "rake" and "crunch" to instruct us how we should best be involved. He loved wearing his gloves from last year even though they're too small and fell off often.

Ian loved listening to other family members read from his Baby Bible,
being silly while following Aunt Amy's directions (see video, too!),

and placing mandarin oranges in Grammy's candle holder.
On Friday afternoon, we asked Aunt Sarah to take some family Christmas pictures for us. She did GREAT with such an active subject! Aunt Amy acted as chief entertainer while Uncle Jason stood guard by our props and jackets.

Ian also enjoyed laughing with Grammy and Papa,
being read to by Aunt Amy,
being zoomed around the house by Jason's Rubbermaid Taxi Service,

learning how to hammer,

looking at pictures of himself,

riding Trigger (the horse that Grammy's dad made for her as a girl),
getting lessons from Papa on how a potty works (at least how the Little People potty works),
getting covered up by Papa's jacket,
and finding his own "hiding spot" in Grammy & Papa's house and having Papa come "in" with him.

Thanks for the great time, family! We thank God for you! Ian (as you can see below) STILL likes to talk about our time together! :)