Friday, November 30, 2012

Some November fun ...

A family from our church has a HUGE train set-up on the second floor of their home. They hosted an open house in early November. Not surprisingly, Ian was super excited to go!
Ian insisted on following the trains along their routes and was very sad when it was time to leave.
Our church also had a fall festival in early November. Just like last year, Ian's favorite attraction was the hay ride. The man from our church who drove the tractor was happy to answer all of Ian's questions about the tractor, hitch, and other various attachments. Ian rode three different times!
Ryan took a snooze on one of the rides. :)
Ian also got to ride a pony. He wasn't sure he liked it. :)

We've had a little bit of cold weather this fall, too. One morning, we had to break out the cute hats Grandpa and Grandma gave the boys while we went on our morning walk.
Then, we bundled up with blankets. What a fun walk. :)

Starting "real" food!

We celebrated Ryan's half birthday by introducing him to baby food! His first meal? Bananas!

Big Brother Ian helped slice the bananas into small pieces. Then, we used the baby food mill to blend it all up. (Since then, we've gotten a nice, new mini food processor from Grammy and Papa! :))

Ian and Momma gave the pureed bananas our stamp of approval.
We all took turns feeding Ryan the food. He was a little unsure and hesitant at first.
But after the first bite, he didn't look QUITE so repulsed.
And then Ryan started looking relatively pleasant.
He ended up eating just about all of the 1-2 Tbsp. or so we prepared for him.

Since then, though, Ryan hasn't been quite so happy about foods. Whether it's banana, rice cereal, oatmeal, peas, sweet potatoes, or avocado, Ryan will generally keep his mouth tightly clamped when we try to feed him something on a spoon! When he does open his mouth (sometimes accidentally), he'll look repulsed and spit out most of what was on the spoon. Other times he seems to be gagging on whatever puree we've tried to feed him. Just in the last few days, we've seen a little progress. He actually opened his mouth a few times for today's sweet potatoes! We KNOW he'll get it ... we'll keep trying! :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ryan is half a year old!

Ryan is half a year old! What a fun age! It truly feels like only a few weeks ago that we brought Ryan home from the hospital! The next six months will probably skip along just as quickly. 

Ryan’s biggest milestone of the last month is that he learned how to sit on his own! He rarely topples over anymore and can even lunge for toys that he wants and then come back to a sitting position.  Ryan still doesn’t roll over much but he can rotate while he’s on his belly (usually to get a toy that’s out of reach).

EVERYTHING goes directly into Ryan’s mouth, if it’s up to him! He’ll reach for anything in the hands of the person holding him (or just try to dive at the object with his open mouth!). He also loves clutching Momma’s hair and trying to chew on that. He’ll sometimes gnaw on his thumb but his toes seem to be his favorite “toys.” 

It’s so cute that Ryan can now communicate his excitement by flapping his arms up and down. He gets especially excited to see family members … and loves to give all of us big, open-mouthed, sloppy kisses! He continues to “talk” a lot, often very loudly. “Ohhhhh” is his favorite word. He’ll sometimes throw in a consonant or buzz his lips, too. 

Ryan continues to be a good eater, nursing every 2-4 hours during the day. We started solid foods (bananas were first). The first day seemed to go really well, but he hasn’t wanted anything to do with foods on a spoon since. We’re sure that will change! :) Ryan is still waking up multiple times each night to nurse or be rocked. We’re starting to wonder if sleep training is in the future, as it doesn’t seem to be resolving itself. Ryan continues to be a good napper, though, taking two long (usually 2 hour) naps each day. He’s starting to give up the short evening nap and is going to bed a little earlier instead (usually by 7:30). 

Ryan continues to be mellow, pleasant, and just plain easy. We’re thankful that Ryan isn’t as fussy in the evenings as he was during the past few months. That makes for an easier time for Daddy while Momma is tutoring some evenings! 

At Ryan’s six month check-up, he weighed 19 lb. 3 oz. (79th percentile) and was 27.75” long (89th percentile). His big head is in the 99.83%! :) The doctor commented that Ryan was the happiest baby she’s seen in a while. Ryan was very pleasant the whole appointment until it was time for shots! Ryan seems to be doing well, but the doctor was a little surprised that he isn’t rolling over consistently yet. She said that he’s probably just developing on his own timetable but suggested that we call Early Childhood Intervention just to rule out any muscle issues. We don’t feel super concerned (it may just be that he’s perfectly mellow and happy in whatever position he’s placed on the floor … so why roll over?). A dear friend reminded me that her now school-aged, healthy, beautiful daughter never rolled over! We’re praying that Ryan that there are no major issues and that he just starts rolling over on his own even before ECI comes to evaluate him mid-December!

A highlight of the month was having Grandma (from Michigan) come visit for a week. Ryan (and Ian, too) got lots of attention and love! Dressing up as Santa for Halloween was also fun. He looked so cute, if we do say so ourselves! :)
Some of Ryan’s favorites this month included the exersaucer (he’s fascinated with the white ice cream cone on it!), the rock-a-stack rings, peek-a-boo, splashing in the big bathtub, being outside, and being sung to (especially “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”). 

We thank God each day for sending us such a sweet baby in Ryan David!

in the exersaucer

the white ice cream cone
the rock-a-stack rings
in the jumperoo ... so far, he could take it or leave it!

our sweet boy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ian turns three and a half!

Our oldest boy is now 3 ½! It has been fun to watch how his personality and imagination and mind have grown, even just over the past six months!

Ian is much more willing to go places without us, like to Sunday school or a friend’s house. As long as Ian knows what to expect, he can handle it well! He is finally starting to participate by doing some actions and singing along with the songs in Sunday school, even though he’s been singing them at home for months! :)
Not only does Ian WANT to do many things on his own, he now IS able to do them! He loves getting his milk out of the fridge, getting himself undressed and undressed, turning on the lights (he can actually reach the switches when he’s on tiptoe!), putting on his shoes, and washing his hands. He is so proud of being able to “read” with a book on CD and turning the pages when the bell chimes. He loves choosing his own books when we go to the library. In typical three year old fashion, though, he’ll swing back and forth between wanting to be completely independent and wanting us to help him with nearly everything.

Ian’s love for stories about “a girl named Sally who’s a bad listener” has continued. Now, though, Ian prefers to have all stories end tragically. For example, Bad Listener Sally breaks her favorite doll but no one can fix it, all the stores have run out of dolls, and Sally has to live the rest of her life without a doll. Very sad. :)
There are some things that haven’t changed much. Ian’s love for literacy continues. He still looks forward to being read to multiple times every day. He’s fascinated with letters, often spelling out words that he sees while we’re driving around and wanting to know what they spell. He is proud that he can determine the beginning sound of many words, and will randomly report things like, “There’s a tree. Tree begins with T!” He still is a huge fan of rhyming as well and currently thinks the song “Down by the Bay” is hilarious. He loves to come up with his own rhymes for the part, “Have you ever seen a ___ down by the bay?” His rhymes aren’t always real words, but he thinks they’re hilarious!

For a while, he was on a kick of abbreviating everyone’s name. We were “Ma” and “Da” and Ryan was either “Ry-Ry” or “Little ‘nel” (short for Ryan-el). Now he’s back to calling his friends and our extended family by their full names, but we’re “Mom” and “Dad” almost as often as we are “Momma” and “Daddy.” (Kind of sad!) Lately, Ian’s comments crack us up so often. For example …

·         “Look, Ma! A dead bandaid!” (when he noticed a bandaid lying next to the trashcan outside)

·         “You don’t love me TOO much!” (when Kim said that she loved Ian too much to let him ride in the car without being strapped into the carseat)

·         “And … I love myself!” (after our typical “Momma loves you, Daddy loves you, Ryan loves you, and Jesus loves you most of all” line at bedtime)

·         “That’s NOT a dump truck. That’s an articulated truck!” (while in the car)

·         “I’ll just pretend like I’m three.” (after being asked what it felt like to be 3 ½ )

·         “Can I have another scoop of ice cream because I was helpful at Ryan’s doctor’s appointment?” (replace ice cream with ANY treat and Ryan’s doctor’s appointment with ANYTHING he thinks is a milestone or accomplishment … we’ve got a master negotiator on our hands!)

Ian still likes to be wherever Momma or Daddy is, especially if it means helping with a chore. He loves yard work, cooking, baking, dusting, vacuuming, washing things, helping to pull the car into the garage (while sitting on our lap), and sweeping. Sometimes Momma will give Ian a choice of what he’d like to do with her while Ryan is napping. Ian will often choose a project like dusting over playing with toys!

In general, Ian still seems to be in a time of testing the limits and exploring boundaries. He’ll sometimes get a little overzealous with Ryan or deliberately poke/pester/annoy Ryan just to get our attention.  He has just realized that there are “good” and “bad” things to say and carefully watches our reaction when he’ll say something that he knows he shouldn’t (and doesn’t even mean), like calling another person “a piece of junk.” Some days involve a lot of redirection and timeouts, but other days (especially days when he has gotten adequate sleep :)) we see the same ol’ eager-to-please, happy, compliant, excellent big-brother Ian! Let’s just say we’re certainly thankful our Heavenly Father is guiding us along every step of this parenting journey. Parenting is definitely challenging, humbling, puzzling, wonderful, and thrilling all at the same time.

Some of Ian’s favorites include pickles, noticing hitches on various trucks & SUVs, trains, Curious George, his fireman rain boots, flashlights, Duplo blocks, and vehicles of all kinds. He still loves playing outside and most prefers tricycling, playing with the hose, or sweeping with Daddy’s big push broom while outdoors.
We can hardly remember what life was like before God sent us our precious firstborn son. Ian has taught us so much and brought us so much joy! We love you, little man!

We celebrated Ian's half birthday by going with Ian's friend Caleb to Bouncin' Bears and then having half-sprinkled cupcakes at home ...

 ... complete with 3 1/2 candles!

Ian in action ... rolling little cars down a LOOONG chute of three wrapping paper tubes taped together. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy November!

What a fun time of year! Here in Texas, the weather is perfect, and some leaves are even starting to change colors a little. Here are some things we've been up to ...

One of my tutoring families offered this desk to Ian since their child was all done with it. Ian has colored many pictures at the desk since he got it a week ago. The best feature, in Ian's opinion, is the working light that can shine from above or below.
 Last Friday, Ian was a very willing helper while washing off our kitchen chairs. Any project that involves water means a fun project for Ian! He's getting old enough where he can actually be helpful with certain tasks, even if there's a bit more mess at the end. :)

We went to the zoo last weekend. We went last right before Ryan was born. It was fun to see how much more Ian noticed about the animals and zoo now that he's six months older.

 As usual, the meerkats were a favorite stop.
 The elephant bath was also a HUGE hit. Ian wanted to stay there a long time watching the zookeepers scrub the elephants and watching the elephants do some "tricks," too.
 We got to use our garage sale-find double umbrella stroller at the zoo. Yes, this means we officially own about five strollers. But they all were bought used ... and they all have completely different purposes. Ha ha! This was the perfect stroller for the zoo, especially since the seats recline (and BOTH boys took a nap while we were there!). :)
 Ian convinced Momma to climb through the fish tube.
 Ian used a part of the money that Grammy and Papa sent him for Halloween to ride the carousel at the zoo. He was excited to choose the animal he got to ride on (a camel this time!).
 Ryan's morning nap ...
 It's always so fun to do things with Daddy! His boys LOVE him! :)

 During Ryan's second nap, there was a HUGE downpour of rain. We "camped out" on a bench in a covered area for quite a while 'til the rain slowed down.

 We were surprised at how much Ian loved the reptile and amphibian house this visit. We'll definitely have to visit again!
 We got the first "harvest" from our garden ... a single cherry tomato off our small plant.
 Ian ate it immediately. Our other "crops" are coming along slowly but surely. It has been fun to watch them grow!

Sometimes Ian's imagination cracks us up. It was fun to see his ideas of how to use this roll of curling ribbon.

October wrap-up

Here are some random pics from October that I didn't include in other posts ...

Ryan's favorite position continues to be sitting upright. A few weeks ago, we had to be careful to remember to place a Boppy pillow behind him since he would topple over after just a little bit. Now, he's getting steady enough to stay upright for much longer periods of time!

Our friend Kristy gave us the idea of making a tactile alphabet binder. Ian has enjoyed working on this project over the course of a few weeks. We still have about half of the alphabet to go. The "A" was one of his favorites since he got to collect the acorns all by himself from our front yard. Ian LOVES using glue.

We had collected more acorns than we needed to do this project, so we used the rest of the acorns to make acorn shakers out of water bottles. We made a big one for Ian and a little one for Ryan. They both had fun shaking (or holding :)) them to some music.

Ian's fascination with letters continues. Our friend, Jenn, told us about a fun project that involved matching up lower and upper case letters on spoons. Ian had fun matching up the letters to spell TRUCK in capital letters
... and then finding the lower case letters that matched.

Ian wouldn't have the attention span yet to match up all the upper and lower case letters of the whole alphabet out of spoons, but that may be a project that we'll try in a few months. :)

Ian still ends up with his whole face covered with food from whatever meal we're eating. Sometimes, we just can't resist taking a picture of his cute but dirty face. :)

"Airplane rides" for both boys!

Ian has been very interested lately in listening to books on CD. He thinks it's very cool that he can turn the page when the little bell chimes. A couple of times, he's sat for 30 minutes, listening to book after book.
We met our friends Ms. Aliceson and Caleb at an indoor playground a few weeks ago. The ball pit was a big hit for both boys.
What a happy baby! :)