Sunday, November 25, 2012

Birthday Ian

Two years ago, two days before Thanksgiving, in the middle of a blinding snow storm, we welcomed tiny baby Ian into our family.
Ian has been a surprise right from the start. While we knew all along that another baby was meant to join our family, we hadn't planned on that addition coming along quite so soon. In fact, staring at a positive pregnancy test a mere two days before Max went in for skull revision #2 was quite a shock.
Other things I didn't plan on when it came to Ian? Going into labor at 30 weeks, then again at 31 weeks, 6 weeks of "restricted activity" along with the demon drugs terbutaline and nifedipine, and giving birth in a hospital with both pitocin and an epidural on board.

But in the end, when the midwife handed me my baby and we discovered that he was a boy, (another surprise, because I could have sworn right up until the time I was pushing that we were having a girl!) it was if he had always been a part of our family. From the minute we brought him home, we couldn't remember what it was like without him.
Ian has a huge personality trapped in a little tiny toddler body. If there's trouble to be had, Ian will find it. He scales bookshelves, desks, chairs, counters, and kitchen tables like Spiderman, makes messes like it's his job, and has practically no fear. "Get down, Ian!" is a frequently heard motto. This is Ian on the very top shelf of our laundry room...
 One memorable afternoon not long ago, he had a complete meltdown as I was pushing him on the swing in the backyard. Finally, after ten minutes of hysterics, I realized the reason he was so upset was because I wasn't pushing him high enough.

Ian is a complete charmer with his blonde curls and his dimples, and more than once I've been asked if he and Max are twins. When we sat down in church a week ago, one of Max's preschool friends pointed to Max and said, "Look Mom, it's Max!" He then turned to Ian, somewhat confused and said "There's another Max. there's two Maxes!" Ian idolizes Max, wanting to do everything that he's doing, but is just as likely to be found stealing Max's toys or beloved hat and running away, laughing.
Ian has two volumes: loud, and loudest. He has absolutely the loudest scream of any kid I have ever heard anywhere, and definitely knows how to use that scream to get what he wants. He is a bundle of toddler contradictions: heaven help you if you try to assist him in getting dressed in the morning, ("No! Leave me alone! Do it self!") but you're in equal amounts of trouble if you refuse to carry him everywhere he wants to go. I think I spend as much time rocking him in the rocking chair now as I did when he was 8 months old, but the "Love you, Mama" that I often get from him is plenty of reward.  His is filthy more often than not, and I secretly rejoice in the 30 seconds each day right after I brush his teeth and hair, knowing it's like that those are the only 30 seconds that day when he'll be that clean.

At two years old, Ian loves anything that has to do with "Toy Story," loves hot dogs, broccoli, macaroni & cheese, and any sweet thing he can sneak or con someone into giving him. He is very nearly weaned, although he's not super happy about that. Ian is an articulate little chatterbox, who keeps us laughing everyday with his words and his funny, funny expressions. He has to be up on the counter "helping" while I'm cooking, and will frequently try to mimic what he sees me do in the kitchen, which is less than thrilling when it involves him trying to make strawberry jello in a cup on the living room floor. Ian loves to wrestle, to run, to play with "his" phone, to dump shampoo all over the carpet, to watch "Sesame Street," to jump on anything, to drive his sisters crazy, and to snuggle as close to me as possible at nap time.
We doubled up and celebrated his birthday on Thanksgiving with a giant oreo shaped cake, Toy Story figurines, and two foam swords. A happy birthday indeed.

He's such a sweet, charming, hilarious little boy, and I'm so glad he's ours. Surprises and all.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's the little things

Ten things I am grateful for right this minute:

1~Swimming for FHE? Yes, please. The tired kids that come with it? Even better.

2~A wonderful, successful recital this past weekend. It was the most ambitious group recital I've ever done, and I'm so grateful it's over.

3~The best part of the recital being over? One completely lesson-free week. That means 5 blessed weekdays this week without a 6:30 am lesson. Yes, life is good.

4~Warm socks, a hoodie, and very large blanket.

5~Cold sore medicine.

6~Kneader's pumpkin spice bread brought to me by a sweet violin family.

7~The anticipation of a new novel on my kindle tonight.

8~Text messages. And the friends who have day-long conversations with me via text messaging. (Seriously, what did we ever do when we had to actually pick up the stupid phone...?)

9~My sweet husband sitting next to me, both of us typing away on our respective laptops, keeping each other company.

10~A (mostly) clean house. Or at least the part I can see. Because let's face it, even if my house hosted its own Armagheddon today, I wouldn't be doing anything about it tonight. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Birthday Boy

This handsome little dude is Max.

Max who, four years ago yesterday, was born in my room in a giant tub of water.

This little boy has never met someone he couldn't charm the pants off with his sweet smile and blonde curls. He's hysterically funny, makes us laugh everyday, and has and amazingly kind, tender heart. 

He was so excited about his birthday. Whenever I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he would answer "Presents." Funnier was when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, and he would answer "With candles to blow out."

In the end, all our little boy needed to be happy was a new "Woody" doll from Toy Story. The other gifts were icing on the cake. He was so excited about his new toys that he tried to get up at 3 am, 4 am, and 5 am  this morning to play with them, and now is as excited for Ian's upcoming birthday as Ian is.

At four years old, Max's favorite toy is any and all Woody dolls from Toy Story. He also loves Cars 2 characters, Veggie Tales, his ratty, torn red hat that he has worn nearly constantly for the past year and a half, and can quote and sing from entire episodes of Sesame Street. He will only eat about three kinds of fruit, and then only if he's in the mood, but will eat an entire can of pineapple if you give it to him. He has two volumes: loud, and louder, and has unbelievable energy from wake up to bedtime. He adores his little blue "Boot Scoot" bike, playing outside, going to preschool, and wrestling with Daddy. He loves his sisters, but his absolute favorite is his sidekick and best buddy, Ian. 

We've learned so much in the past four years during our journey with Max. Can't imagine our family without him, and can't wait to see the person he becomes. Happy birthday, little buddy, we love you!
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