Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Toddler Life #7

Only as the parent of a toddler...

...do you REALLY have to listen to words like "clock," "sit," "glass," and "fork" to make sure they are really and truly innocent words.

There Goes Peter Cottontail!

Dear Ian,

Happy belated Easter!  This year's Easter was a blast since, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, etc (I'm getting predictable) you were able to truly partcipate for the first time.  We did all kinds of things to get ready for and celebrate this special holiday.  You saw, in previous posts, that we made some fun decorations, but we also colored eggs, made cupcakes, went to church and had an egg hunt, too! 

You helping me make Easter cupcakes
Our Easter started Saturday night with the coloring of eggs.  I mixed the colors and we talked about each one, and then you helped me put the eggs in the dye.  It was funny; the whole time you kept saying "eggs?" like you were trying to figure out what in the world I was doing to them!  While our eggs changed colors, we decorated some fun cupcakes with jelly beans.  Well, you would decorate one and then sneak a few jelly beans on the sly.  Silly boy.  Come to think of it, I think you had more sugar this holiday than any holiday so far.  Moving on, though.  After jelly beaning cupcakes, our eggs were finally finished, so we took them out.  You were so excited to see the colors!  Currently you are learning the color red (or "reh," as you say), so the pinkish-reddish egg was your favorite.  I wish I had photos of our egg coloring, but my camera had a freak-out moment, and I dont have those photos anymore.  Oh well.  We'll get some next year.  At least we have the memories!

Us before Mass
 Sunday morning, Easter Sunday, dawned bright and beautiful, and we spent it getting ready for church.  Poor Daddy wasn't feelinlg so hot, so we went on our own and met up with Grandma and Papa Davis, Uncle Gary, Aunt Megan and Payton.  Our church is the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More on the FSU campus, and I do believe that most of FSU thought itself to be Catholic that day.  (Which is fine, because we celebrate Easter first and foremost as a recognition of the resurection.)  Holy Moly!  Church was PACKED!  Our family ended up standing for the WHOLE mass, and yes, I held you -while wearning heels- the whole time.  I am still waiting on my back to stop hurting.  You and Payton were so well behaved during Mass.  The best part was, though, was when the congregation would sing; at the end of the song, you would clap and Payton would yell, "YAY!"  At one point, everyone there was laughing.  Sigh.  Only our family.  Remind me to tell you stories of your Uncle Brian and Uncle Gary in church.  

Egg Hunting Concentration
After Mass, we picked up Daddy and headed out to the farm for the rest of our Easter celebration.  Uncle Brian and Aunt Maggie met us there, and even Great Poppey came, so the whole Davis side of your family was there!  It was great!  As per family tradition, we ate leg of lamb (with ham for Great Poppey, too), carrots and potatoes and green beans.  It was so good.  I wait all year for this meal.  And I am making myself hungry, so we need to move on...  We followed up our tasty dinner with a tractor ride, and then came  the egg hunt!  Uncle Brian and Aunt Maggie were the egg hiders, and they did a great job.  You and Payton had SO much fun running around looking for eggs.  The two of you found all of them!  Even the crazy hidden ones (remember, I said that Uncle Brian was an egg hider, and he hardly ever does things the "normal" way.)  We followed up your egg hunt with yet another wacky Davis family tradition: the Easter bone hunt for the dogs.  Gus, Hanna and Heidi got to run all over the yard "hunting" up dog bones.  It was really funny to watch :)  

Success!  Happy Easter!

After all that, we still went to see Grandma and Grandpa Brooks and your other Aunts and Uncles, and you had another egg hunt there.  You are such a lucky little guy to have such a big family and have them all close by.  More love to go 'round.  

Happy Easter, little buddy, and I hope that with this post, I was able to give you some of the memories that are now locked in my heart.

Love you bunches!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Dear Ian,

My little gardener!
I bet you thought I wouldn't remember to update your blog on the progress of our growing project that we have been working on for so long now.  Well, here's that update, and I am proud to say that not only have we kept the plants alive, but they are THRIVING!  And blooming! 

You are very diligent about watering them, and I'm so glad you mention it every time we play outside.  Remember, if left to me, those poor plants would be long neglected.  So, I say again, those plants are lucky to have you! 

A while back, your Grandma Brooks bought you a little garden set, and we have been using the watering can to do your watering.  It's the perfect size, and it has come in handy.  You're so good at doing the pouring all by yourself now!

Look how big! 

 This has been a fun project to do with you.  You were so excited to see that little flower on your plant, and it sparked a new addition to your vocabulary list.  Yup, you now say "flower" and you point at it every time we go outside. 

A close-up of our blossom!  YAY!

So YAY us for keeping your little plants alive!  Here's to more blooms soon, as we even saw a couple of buds on your marigold today. 

 Love always,

Works of Art # 12 (Part 2)

Dear Ian,

Today we finally finished our paper mache Easter eggs.  I think they turned out great!  Notice how I stripped you down to your diaper and STILL put a smock on you.  Your Mommy is insane, but you were a lot less of a mess than you could have been.  Anyway.  Here are our photos:

You had a blast painting with the brushes

Our fun new centerpiece!

Look how pretty our table looks with the eggs on it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

In Sickness and In Health

Dear Ian,

As the title of this post may suggest, we are battling another illness, but this time, I am (sorta) thankful because there's a reason other than "it's just a virus."  Baby Bear, you have a double ear infection.  That means both your little ears are all ick, and therefore, you have been a grumpy Bear.

This all started on Friday night.  Mommy dropped you off at Grandma and Grandpa Brooks' house (Son, really.  Why do you have to get sick when you are away from me?  Are you trying to make me feel guilty?!)  and you were acting fine, but seemed a little warm.  It's hot outside now, so I was thinking maybe your temperature had something to do with that.  Grandma said you slept ok that night, but when I went to get you a little after noon on Saturday, you were quite feverish.  103.7 as a matter of fact.  Oh, boy.  Here we go again.  Sunday it was a little lower, and the same thing again on Monday, so I honestly thought it was your teeth.  You do this weird high-fever-thing whenever you get a tooth, so I was ok with the 101 while we waited for this alleged tooth to come on through.  But then, on Tuesday, you were back to 103.  I tempted fate and called the doctor, got you in, and we discovered this ear infection thing.  On one hand, I'm happy that we had a diagnosis of SOMETHING, because throughout the first couple of weeks of March, you were running a fever like this, but the doctors could find nothing wrong.  It was weird.  On the other hand, I hate seeing you feel bad.

And holy cow, are you letting me know that you feel ick.  Yesterday, you didn't to be  held, but you didn't want to be put down.  If you could have hovered in mid-air, maybe you would have been happy.  But NOTHING I did helped.  You didn't want to eat, you didn't want to play, and all you seemed to really WANT to do was whine.  Oy.  All day long.  I was about to threaten to put you back in the womb.  After a good dose of Infants Advil, and after reading about a zillion books - the only thing that made you happy - you seemed to calm down enough for us to go get Daddy and figure something out for dinner.  You ended up "eating" egg drop soup out of a straw.  I didn't really care how you got food in your tummy as long as it got there.  You aren't one to turn down meals, so this not eating thing had Mommy a little freaked out.

So we are now on Day 2 of a wicked strong antiboitic (the nurse also heard some rattling in your chest, so she gave us a powerful prescription to knock both ears and chest illnesses out of the park) and you sorta seem to be returning to normal.  I will be happy to get my sweet, easy to please bottomless pit back. 

Feel better soon, little buddy,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Works of Art #12 (Part 1)

Dear Ian,

Usually your art posts dont have a letter attached, but today was momentous, so here we are.  You and I did something new today; paper mache!  Whoa, man.  Usually I would reserve this for much older kids, but since we're one on one here, and you are pretty durned smart, I figured we'd try it out.  Truth be told, the last time I did this was with a group of kids aged 6-8, so yeah, you are a bit ahead of the curve art-wise. 

I decided that we didn't really have any fun Easter decorations, so why not paper mache some balloons and turn them into eggs?  After all, it's not that hard, and I think you would have a blast painting them.  (The painting part will be part 2 of this Works of Art post.)  So, armed with some balloons, a bowl of Elmer's glue mixed with water and strips of newspaper, out we went.  I had the forethought to strip you down to your diaper and to do this outside, so that way we could contain the mess.  It was a good idea, but not totally necessary, as you weren't too into the mess part anyway.  You were a big helper when it came to stirring up the glue mix, and you put on a few strips, but most of the mache-ing was done by me.  And I was a mess.  Typical. 

So now we are waiting for them to try, and then we can paint them all kinds of fun colors.  And of course there will be photos.  Here are the photos from today's part of the adventure:

The top left photo is you helping me add more glue to our mix and stirring it, and the photo on the top right is you actually doing some of the mache-ing.  Bottom photos are: one of our finished eggs and you washing up with the hose.  Nice :) 

Looking forward to painting them and seeing what kind of mess THAT makes!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

"The" Sibling Post

*Disclaimer to Grandparents: No, this is NOT what you think it is.  Please read on before you start freaking out.

Dear Ian,

A lot of our friends with babies/children your age are either considering having a second child or already in the midst of their second pregnancies.  Of course, now that you are an independant walking, talking, self-feeding little person, we have been getting our fair share of the "When's Ian going to be a big brother?" question ourselves.  The truth is, we don't know.  You were a bit of work to get here in the first place, so having a baby wasn't something that we could just easily decide to do.  So, although I have been told probably a zillion times that since I've had one, the next one shouldn't be that hard, I still am prepared for an uphill struggle to bring a little brother or sister into the world. 

That being said, I have mixed feelings about another baby.  Selfishly, you are a fantastic sleeper, but it took us 6 months to get you there, and that initial sleep deprivation was a doozy.  I didn't think we were going to make it; there's a reason why sleep deprivation is sometimes used as torture on prisoners to get them to talk and such.  Now that you sleep 12 hours a night, I've gotten a little spoiled on getting an average of eight hours of sleep a night.  It's been nice, I have to admit.  I am also a little hesitant to change up our parent lines of "defense" right now.  With just you and me in the house during the day, I run a man-on-man defense against your little toddler power struggles and occasional disciplinary fouls, if you will, since I am talking in sports terminology.  With a sibling added to the mix of "Miss Mommy's Classroom" as we call it, I would have to run more of a zone defense.  That tends to lead to a little more running around like crazy on my part, and I dont know if I'm rested up enough for that yet.

Then there's the big stuff.  The moment you were born, I was hooked on you.  Part of my heart was now laying in my arms, and that was just the most unbelievable feeling in the world.  I know that every time a mommy brings a new baby in the world, their capacity to love just gets bigger rather than splitting and getting smaller, but I worry that I wouldn't be able to share myself and my love equally.  PLEASE dont take that to mean that I wouldn't love your sibling or that my love for you would change.  It's a hard thing to explain.  Your Grandma Davis explained how a Mommy and Daddy's love for their babies is equal by using candles:  Two big candles represented the parents, and the little candles the babies.  The Mommy and Daddy candles lit a small candle, and they all had the same flame (love) and now the light in the room was brighter.  Then the two parent candles lit another baby candle and the love light stayed the same, but now the room was even brighter.  I understand this concept, and I think your Grandma was brilliant for helping us see how we wouldn't be loved less when a new baby came along, but I don't ever want to feel like I am not giving you and your sibling(s) the love you need and deserve.  It's a hard place to be, and I'm not even there!  I'm just thinking about it and it's hard.  

I do believe that we would love to have a sibling for you.  Daddy and his brothers are very close, and I love my brothers a ton, too.  I want you to be able to share your childhood, and later adulthood, with a brother or sister that you can count on to be your friend and family when and if Daddy and I cant be there.  I think that learning to share and compromise with a sibling is a valuable life lesson.  Siblings can also help us learn to take care of others, and you are already such a nurturer to younger babies.  Little Leanna Kitchen comes to play on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and you are so sweet to her.  You help bring her toys, give her patpats and look to me to make things right when she cries.  You worry about her.  It makes me smile. 

A concern I have for you being an only child is that maybe single-child-ness would be hard.  I dont ever want you to feel pressured by us, and I dont want you to feel like all of our hopes and dreams or whatnot are riding on you.  We want you to be your own person and strive to never pressure you, but I can see how if you were an only child, you might also pressure yourself.  I dont know if having a sibling would help that at all, since all first borns seem to be over-achievers, but I think that maybe it would keep the only child from feeling like the parent's "everything."  Does that make sense?  (this is a tough topic to write about, but it has been burning in my brain for a while now.)

Anyhoo...Having a brother or sister isn't always a picnic though. There were and still are times when your Uncles Brian and Gary and I are really upset with each other, and I'm sure Daddy has had his own moments with Uncles Ryan and Kurt.  But the point is, they are our family, and we are lucky to have them.  Sibling rivalry, jealousy, nagging...  Fun stuff to look forward, too, huh?  But then hopefully they become that friend that will be by your side forever, and that is a comforting thought.  In the event that we aren't able to have another child, we are lucky to have cousins for you to grow up with.  Payton is only 2 months older than you, and we are excited about the fact that Uncle Kurt and Aunt Stacey are going to have a little girl soon as well.  You will have plenty of other kids to play with, grow up with and learn from.  And again, they are family, so they will always be there for you.

So, Daddy and I will keep thinking and talking about this.  It's not an easy decision, bringing another child into the world.  Especially when you have already started the world turning for your first child.  There's a quote that I like that says: "The decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."  You definitely are my heart.

I love you,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Works of Art #11

Still getting into the Easter spirit, here's a "fluffy bunny" and a mosaic carrot.  You sure do love to glue.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Works of Art #10

It's almost Easter, so we've decorated the bulletin board.  You and Sarah finger-painted beautiful Easter eggs! 

Works of Art #9

In honor of our Spring weather, here's our bright suns and fluffy clouds. 

Toddler Life #6

You know you are the parent of a toddler when:

You go to bed at night wondering if you have said "no" more times than you've said "I love you" to your child.

Sigh.  Although the no's number in the hundreds right now as you learn limits and boundaries, know that I love you more than anything, Little Son.

Works of Art #8

Dear Ian,
It occured to me that I didn't get the chance to post about your St. Patrick's Day art!  Oh no!  Well, better late than never, here it is.  Here also is a photo of you in your St. Patrick's Day t-shirt.  You are, indeed, Mommy's Lucky Charm. 

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!!!

Dear Ian,

YAY! We did it! We just returned home from your first trip to Walt Disney World, and what a weekend we had!

You, me, Daddy, Grandma and Papa Davis and Uncle Gary, Aunt Megan and Payton went down to Orlando this past Friday and visited the Magic Kingdom on Saturday. Daddy was a little hesitant about going, since he's not the biggest fan of Mickey Mouse, but he was a trooper and came anyway. We left after he got home from work. Our drive down was pretty ho-hum, but you traveled really well. We left around 7 after you ate dinner, so really it was bed time for you, so you slept in the car. That was actually pretty smart. I love you, but you can be a challenge on long car rides. Scheduling the drive during your sleeping times was a blessing. Although it made Mommy tired. But I digress...

After a pretty good night's sleep, we all got up early and got ready to go. First thing on our agenda was a Character Breakfast at the Polynesian resort. That was a blast! And let's not forget to mention yummy! We had eggs and bacon and sausage and Mickey Mouse shaped waffles. :) They gave us leis to wear, and you and Payton got special buttons that said "First Visit." While we enjoyed breakfast, some of the Disney Characters came to greet us. You got to see Lilo and Stitch, Mickey and Pluto. Payton wasn't wild about them, but you seemed to really enjoy seeing the Characters, especially Pluto. We finished up breakfast and then it was off to the Magic Kingdom.

First thing we did was head off to the shop to get your Mickey Mouse ears, and with that accomplished it was time to see the park. We rode the Jungle Cruise and Aladdin's Magic Carpets in Adventure Land, and we also rode Pirates of the Caribbean. Then we back-tracked and went to Tomorrow Land, where you took a bit of a nap on the Carousel of Progress ride. You woke up in time to ride the race cars, and then we wandered through Fantasy Land. You LOVED the rides in this part of the park, especially Dumbo and the carousel. While on Dumbo, we gave you control of the joystick that made our elephant fly, and you would make us go up and down, and you were just giggling! It was so cute. Also in Fantasy Land we went on It's A Small World and the Winnie the Pooh ride. We finished our day with the Haunted Mansion and The Country Bear Jamboree and of course the Electric Light Parade.

You were so tired by the end of the day, but you really seemed to have a great time. That night, while you were sleeping, I am guessing you were having Disney Day Dreams, because you were laughing in your sleep!

It was so special to me to share Disney with you. Daddy and I even got you a balloon like the ones that Grandma and Papa got me when I was your age and at Disney. That was a neat photo to take; it was like I had come full circle. I cant wait to go again with you soon. As you get older and where you will enjoy it even more (and probably remember it better), I look forward to making more Disney memories with you. And you know what, Daddy even said he would go again, too.

Love Always, Mommy

Traveling Man

Dear Ian,

Spring has sprung, and with it has come a TON of traveling for us as a family. This post is all about the first of those trips: our visit to Washington D.C. at the beginning of April. You see, your Great-Grandpa Graves was a commander in the Navy, and when he passed away, he was given the honor of being buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Your Daddy and I went to his burial, and it was such an incredible experience to see your Great-Grandpa honored in such a way. When Great-Grandpa passed, she was also able to be buried there, and we went again, this time with you, to see her funeral.

We traveled to Washington D.C. via train, and I think you really enjoyed this. For me, it was a much easier experience than traveling by plane, although it took a little longer. We didn't have to worry about lugging your car seat through airport terminals, lay-overs, popping ears or you having a fit in a space about the size of a trash can. Instead, we got a roomette on the train where you could crawl and climb, dinner in the dining car and two (albeit small) beds for us to sleep in and wake up at our final destination. It just made the whole trip less stressful for me, and you can say you've travelled by train.

 Anyhoo, once we arrived, we were able to visit family, and that was a lot of fun. You got to see your Great Aunt Martha and Great Uncle Steve and second cousins Erin, Joseph, Sarah and Sarah's son, Patrick. There were also other family members like your Grandma's cousins and close family friends. It was nice to spend time with them and catch up. You especially liked playing with Patrick.

We were lucky enough to have an extra day while we were there to do some fun family stuff, and we spent that day at the National Zoo! What a neat experience! You loved looking at the animals, and your favorites of the day were the gazelles and the elephants. Grandpa Brooks went with us, and I think he had fun spending that special time with you.

 Great-Grandma's service took place on a Monday, and it was a beautiful day for her. Daddy got up and said a few words to pay tribute to his Grandma, and we said goodbye to an amazing and wonderful lady. We sure do miss her, but now she is resting with Great-Grandpa in one of the most beautiful places in Washington.

I'm very glad that you were able to go with us, although I know you probably wont remember. But that is the reason for this post. It was a remarkable trip, and through this letter to you, I am able to give you this memory of your Great-Grandmother.

 Love you lots, Mommy