Sunday, May 26, 2013

Happy May! :)


Here are some things we've been up to this month ...

 Daddy is so good at thinking up creative games and activities. Here, Ian and Daddy had a fun time trying to keep a balloon up in the air with their hands and feet while they were laying on the couch.


One day, Ian randomly told Momma that he wanted to do jumping jacks. I have no idea where he learned (sort of) how to do them, but we thought Ian looked so cute that we needed a video of it ...

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 Momma was so happy to celebrate another Mother's Day with TWO sons! This was our best picture of the three of us. :) Daddy and the boys pampered Momma with grilled steaks for lunch, sweet cards, and a brand new Vera Bradley purse!
 Daddy was asked to be a chaperone for the biology class trip to the zoo. Daddy invited us to come along, too! We enjoyed seeing the new flamingo exhibit.
 Ian was especially excited about going into the tropical bird house. Ryan liked being so close the birds as well.
 Ryan spent most of the time at the zoo out of the stroller, either being carried or walking around with help. :)
 in the prairie dog exhibit (sans prairie dogs, but still fun!)
 petting the zebu
 petting the goats
 Ryan was a little hesitant at first but eventually did touch a goat!
 Ryan's favorite exhibit seemed to be the fish. Ian liked identifying the different creatures in this aquarium.
 We decided to open a savings account for Ian with some of the birthday money he got. Here, Ian plays with a bead maze while Richard sets up the account. :)
 Richard is handing Ian all of the documents ... doesn't Ian look excited?!?! :)
 playing with the soccer goal from Uncle Jon & Aunt Chelsea (thanks so much, guys!)

And, finally, our new motorized vehicle .... one of those things that I (Kim) said that I would NEVER buy for my child. I've always thought they were a little dangerous, but more than that, I've always wanted outdoor toys to be ones that promoted exercise and activity. Plus, the vehicles cost way more than a toy should cost, in my opinion. Well ... never say never, I guess. While garage saling, Ian came across this (pink Barbie) motorized vehicle. His eyes lit up, and he asked if he could PLEASE have it. I said that we'd ask how much the people were selling it for, thinking that it would be much too expensive to even consider. When the man said $30 and then proceeded to tell me that they paid $279 for the car, $60 for the brand new battery (at which point his daughter outgrew her interest in the car), and that the car still worked perfectly, the "this is a GREAT deal" instinct in me kicked in. I told Ian we'd have to call Daddy, who said incredulously, "$30?! Sure!," even though he knew it was pink!

Daddy quickly removed all Barbie stickers from the vehicle, and Ian has been tooling around our cul-de-sac ever since! Not surprisingly, Ian absolutely LOVES it. Thankfully, our first born is a relatively cautious driver and understands the rule to stay behind the white stop sign line leading out of our cul-de-sac.

 Ryan has gone on a few trips in the car, too, though he mainly seems a little unsure abrupt the abrupt starts and stops.  :)
 We did capture a moment when Ryan was really enjoying himself! :)


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There's something about seeing your child "driving" that makes him look SO old!

ONE!



Big milestones always seem to be nostalgic times for us! We spent a lot of this month remembering back to how big Kim’s belly was, how wonderful it was to meet Ryan for the first time, and how precious it was to see Ian give baby Ryan kisses in the hospital a year ago. We’re in awe of how quickly the year has seemed to skip along and how God has designed babies to grow, change, and learn SO much within a year’s time! What a privilege to be eyewitnesses of this growth! We feel so humbled that God chose us to be parents of Ryan and Ian, and we are amazingly thankful that we can rely on HIS strength, even through sleepless nights, parenting disasters, difficult decisions, and trying days. God’s strength is certainly made perfect in our weakness! What a blessing to have a Heavenly Father whose love is unconditional and unchanging! And what a blessing to have two amazing gifts in Ian and Ryan!

Ryan’s big focus this month was on mobility. He started out the month crawling everywhere VERY quickly (especially when he was motivated by something, like the dishwasher being open). Throughout the month, he enjoyed walking while holding on to someone’s hand (usually just one). Then, on May 6, Ryan took his first steps while playing with Grammy! Since then, we’ve seen him progress quickly from two or three wobbly steps between two people to walking 10-15 steps independently to changing directions/avoiding obstacles/stopping/restarting while walking longer distances. Ryan usually walks with his arms up for balance and a proud smile plastered on his face. It’s adorable! :) He also enjoys walking behind his Cozy Coupe (outside) or push toy (inside). 

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Ryan continues to work on communication, too. He still primarily speaks jibberish with amazing inflection. :) He most often relays his wishes by pointing, grunting, and/or opening and closing his fist. Every time we carry him through the kitchen, he’ll start opening and closing his fist quickly and leaning out of our arms toward the utensil cup on the counter. He LOVES wooden spoons and would like to be holding one (or two) constantly! But he is learning more and more words (some of which he probably knew last month, too), including Mama, Dada, airplane (ah-pluh), ball (bah), open, brr (when he hears the word “cold” or feels the cold fridge air) and water (ah-wa … we think he may know Spanish! Haha!). He’s getting better and better and being able to follow simple instructions.

Our active boy would like to always be on the go. Ryan doesn’t like that reading books, getting diapers changed, or cuddling all mean slowing down. He’d much rather be walking, crawling, trying to climb the stairs, throwing an object, pushing a toy, or putting objects inside of one another. Though it’s certainly too early to determine what Ryan’s strengths will be, we often call him our little athlete since he seems quite interested in any sort of sports equipment and is relatively coordinated with things like “batting” a ball along with Ian’s toy golf club. 

Ryan is now the proud owner of five teeth – two on bottom and three on top. One more top tooth is on the way. Baby teeth are so cute! 



Ryan got his first ear infection (and antibiotic) this month after a couple of weeks of congestion. :( He also had a reaction to the MMR vaccination he got at his 1-year well-check -- a rash over his entire body. The doctor compared it to a super mild (though non-contagious) case of measles. The poor guy has had such a difficult time with sleep (short naps and many wake-ups at night) through his illnesses. Though he has been understandably more whiny and clingy, we’ve been really impressed by how even-tempered he is even when tired and sick! He still is our mellow fellow! Ryan seems to prefer sleeping on his stomach.


We are still having to be extra creative and patient in the eating department for Ryan. Ryan always likes yogurt and sometimes likes applesauce, pureed mango, bits of bread, Cheerios/puffs, and frozen blueberries. He also seems to be VERY interested in anything long and crunchy (like Cheetos, apple slices, or carrots). Ryan seems willing to try most anything but, within seconds of it entering his mouth, he spits it right back out. He didn’t even seem to like his birthday cake and ice cream! (Certainly THAT will change!) We haven’t figured out if it’s a taste or texture issue, but we’re just continuing to try lots and lots of different types of foods in hopes of expanding Ryan’s repertoire. When Ryan went in for his one year well-check, he thankfully seems to be growing just fine, despite his picky eating habits. He’s 30.25” (65th percentile) and 23 lb. 15 oz. (67th percentile). Unfortunately, though, his routine 1-year-old blood work showed that he has anemia –which makes sense since he’s not a huge fan of any iron-containing foods! So, we’re working extra hard now to give him iron supplements (which he also doesn’t like) and are continuing to push proteins and iron-fortified cereals. We pray that his iron levels are back up where they should be when he is rechecked in a month. On a positive note, Ryan is doing great drinking from a sippy cup, and we’ve started giving him whole milk with each meal.


Some of Ryan’s favorites include magnets, wooden spoons, water,



dancing to music, laying down on the floor, opening and closing drawers and cabinets, pushing trains and cars, balls, and pots and pans. 




He enjoys being outside playing in the sandbox, swinging in the swing, bear crawling (knees up) on the grass, pushing his Cozy Coupe in the cul-de-sac, and finding all sorts of random pebbles, leaves, and acorns. 


He still loves his “game” of throwing or hitting a ball, crawling to get it, and then repeating the process as well as the game of “finding” Momma hiding behind the loveseat or of "finding" Ian hiding in the closet.


 He also LOVES helping to unload dishes from the dishwasher. He’ll take one plate or bowl out at a time and hand it to Momma. Momma has to work quickly, though, as he’ll drop it if she’s not fast enough at grabbing it! 

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Like many toddlers, Ryan thinks emptying out drawers, cabinets, and shelves is quite fun. Unlike some other toddlers, though, Ryan routinely picks up a majority of what he gets out! What a little helper! When he finds clothing laying in Momma and Daddy’s bathroom, he will carry it over to our bath tub and drop it right in! 


Thank you all for your support, encouragement, advice, and especially prayers throughout the past year!


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Thursday, May 23, 2013

FOUR!

 Ian turned four on May 7th. We started the day with French toast (that Ian insisted on "painting" blue with colored milk) and blackberries. Of course, we had to sing "Happy Birthday" and let Ian blow out candles!


 Then, we met friends Brooke and Caleb L. at Bouncin' Bears, one of Ian's favorite places! Don't they look SO old!?!? Thanks for the cute Birthday Boy shirt, Grandpa and Grandma!
 An author happened to be visiting Bouncin' Bears while we were there. Brooke, Ian, Caleb, and Sommer  (Brooke's sister) listened to the story time (at least for a while).

 One of Ian's favorite places was the big pillow. Samuel (Caleb's brother & our godson) didn't seem to mind it either. :)
 Ian also loved the big slide, no matter which direction he slid down it. :)
 Ryan (and Momma and Brooke) liked it, too!
 The Three Musketeers in a big huddle.
 Whee!
 After Bouncin' Bears, we invited our friends over for lunch. We had SO many leftovers after Ryan's party, so we just had a reprise of Sunday dinner. Ian was happy that there were extra fish cupcakes for everyone. Of course, we sang to Ian and let him blow out candles again.

While Momma was tutoring, Daddy took Ian and Ryan to McDonald's so Ian could get a Happy Meal. After dinner, our whole family went to a local frozen yogurt bar called Tutti Frutti. Ian got to serve himself some yogurt -- he wanted chocolate!
Then Ian got to choose what toppings he wanted.
 I'm pretty sure there were as many toppings as yogurt by the time Ian was done creating his masterpiece.
 Ryan helped Daddy make a yummy concoction.
 We all enjoyed our dessert!
 And, of course, we spent some time opening presents. Ian's gift from Daddy and Momma was a 2-wheeled bike (with training wheels). Ian had been outgrowing his trike, but we weren't sure if he was ready for a bike and/or how big of a bike we should buy. We ended up getting a 16" bike, and it has been perfect!
 It has been fun watching Ian grow in confidence in biking over the last few weeks. He wants to bike at least some every single day! Our cautious boy started out biking VERY slowly, but now he flies all around the cul-de-sac. He's getting better about being able to restart after stopping. He's good about remembering to wear his helmet. He has only fallen once, but it didn't stop him from getting back on the bike the next day (and now he knows how important it is to keep his hands on the handlebars!). His favorite thing is biking around the cul-de-sac while Ryan "follows" him by pushing the Cozy Coupe car. Ian also likes biking all the way to the stop sign and playing Red Light, Green Light on his bike (since he loves his brakes). Just today, he biked along while Momma pushed Ryan in the stroller -- about a mile!







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We can so vividly remember when the Lord brought Ian into our lives four happy years ago. We are so thankful for the blessing of Ian, and we can't wait to look on as God helps him learn, grow, and change this year! Happy birthday, sweet Ian!