Sniffle, Cough, Sneeze and Giggle

Ivan seems to have a cold. I hope that’s all it is. The way his eyes are watering I’m a little concerned that he has allergies. Do babies get allergy symptoms?

He’s been very good about it and I’ve had him all over the place as I go about my busy days. Friday he had a slight fever and acted a little uncomfortable but seemed better by the evening so we went to dinner at the Button home as planned. Their girls were showing signs of having the same thing anyway so we shared the love. Yesterday, I had a bridal shower to go to and I had the best time. I walked in with Ivan and got all sorts of affirmative greetings from the other women. Ivan was passed around the room and though he was a little sniffly he had a wonderful time. He was absolutely perfect in terms of behavior and giggled through his sniffles with pleasure. I sat next to a woman who used to attend church with us and while catching up she ministered to me so sweetly. She was so encouraging about me and my boys and how blessed we are and told me so confidently that she saw a great man of God in my little Ivan. I knew that…but it sure is nice to hear it. Ivan was good through church this morning too and got through service without incident. In terms of him feeling poorly…tonight was probably the worst, and it turned out to be just fine in the end. We went to the mall and played Glowgolf. It’s an indoor miniature golf course with black light and glowing features. Not exactly a great course but interesting and fun for a small group. We went with our Sunday school class and Ivan was doing great until he got hungry. That led to a chain of events that weren’t remarkable but were somewhat frustrating for mommy.

I gave him a cold bottle because there was nowhere to heat water. He drank all but about two oz. He fussed and was not easily pacified so I got in close and took a whiff…sure enough…smelly diaper. I walked down to the family restroom where I discovered his little shirt was all wet. Not from the diaper but rather from his bottle and drool. He’s congested so he pulled the bottle out a lot and he was just soaked. So…I looked in the special “extra clothes pocket” in the diaper bag and realized I had nothing he could wear because he had needed an extra outfit during church this morning. The only thing in my “extra clothes pocket” was a dirty shirt. No good. I remembered the Glowgolf place was right across from Gymboree and I headed that way. I asked the girls at the counter for some assistance and explained my dilemma. They were so sweet. One girl in particular searched quickly and efficiently for something on the sale racks and pulled out about four outfits that were very cute and the right size but even on sale they were all over $10.00. I suddenly felt caught in a trap. How do I tell this very helpful girl that she’s wasting her time on me? I just wasn’t going to spend $10.00 on a shirt I didn’t have to have long term. Ivan has plenty of clothes. I suddenly had the queerest notion that I wanted to be at Wal-Mart. Strange. Anyway…she suddenly pulled out a long sleeved onesie type shirt and said…this has long sleeves but it will be really cheap. I said how cheap and she looked it up. $3.99. Sold. Relief. So I changed the boy’s shirt and headed back to my golf game. I caught up with the rest of our little gang and Kris and I took turns handing Ivan back and forth to each other to keep him happy while we tried to play. I was frustrated. Not with Ivan at all…he couldn’t help that he felt bad. I was just frustrated with the situation. I don’t like being in situations where I feel like I’m dancing between two scenario’s of annoyance for the people around me. I could either leave him in the stroller and let him wail in misery (and he was miserable), I could pack up the boys and insist that we had to get them home, breaking up the get together that we were supposed to be leading, or I could stick it out, do my dance and hope the crowd would be understanding. So, I danced. Part of the problem, at least for me, was the heat in the room and the fact that it was before dinner. By the time we were back in the more comfortable part of the mall I felt much better about all of it. Dinner helped too and by the time we left I only remembered a very nice evening with new friends. I seriously felt like we had had a great evening.

When we got home I fed him again and put him to bed where he is sleeping peacefully though a little loud from his congestion. Poor baby. He has remained happy as usual and smiled for me so sweetly tonight after I fed him. What a great kid.

My Loud Son

I had a conversation with Chele’ Sterban the other day regarding our baby boys. Her Nikolas is just a few weeks older than Ivan. I was talking about the differences in Owen and Ivan and she said that one of the Nursery workers had even mentioned the huge contrast. Apparently Ivan is the loudest baby in the infant room when he gets upset. Most of the time he is pretty calm but when he’s hungry and begins wailing for the liquid satisfaction he picks up quite the volume. This was told Chele’ with the final words being…”Owen wasn’t like that.”

This is very true, Owen hardly ever cried at all…in fact…when I would pick Owen up in the nursery, the volunteer workers would come to the door all aflutter, praising my quiet and sweet little boy. Insisting that they could easily take him home with them and praising me for my incredible ability to produce such a good baby, they would stand and gush while the parents of those other babies waited behind me rolling their eyes in disgust. I think part of me took it seriously…that somehow his quiet demeanor was credited to me. Now I know better. I have tried very hard to give Ivan as much love and attention that Owen received and to allow him times of crying it out just as I did Owen. Balancing his times of my attentive presence with those times that I have to leave him alone so that I can clean or play with Owen. Yet, his need for attention and his insistence on screaming when he’s hungry are furious and ferocious. He is his own little man, and will not be placed in any mold occupied by anyone before him. When I pick Ivan up from the nursery someone hands him to me and most of the time they don’t even look me in the eye. “Here’s your baby, did you get your bag?” “Please don’t leave anything you’ll have to come back for.” This is my interpretation…not actual quotes.

Poor Ivan doesn’t command the affections of his caretakers the way Owen did but my suspicions are that he will soon overtake his brother in the entertainment field. Ivan is incredibly quick to laugh. He loves to smile and be smiled at, he looks at you waiting for a smile and then giggles when he gets it. He loves to be surprised and his eyes sparkle when anyone is willing to sit and play with him. He is strong and aggressive and full of determination. Right now he is waking up and giving those lungs a work out to let me know it’s time to eat. Better go.

6 Months

6 monthsIvan was 6 months on Monday. We had our 6 month well visit at the Dr.’s office today and he received a good report. He is 16 lb and 10 oz., and is 27 inches long. This is nearly three pounds heavier and 2 inches longer than his last visit three months ago. This puts him in a lower percentile than he was three months ago for weight and height and indicates his growth has slowed down a bit but nothing to worry about.

He is rolling over as previously posted and is almost sitting up on his own. He topples over after about 20 seconds but is doing really well at balancing himself for little bits at a time and playing with his toys.

He’s a good baby and is sleeping well, eating well, and generally making us all smile. Owen is getting excited about his progress and is looking forward to the time that he can really play with him.

Over and Back Again

Ivan rolled over to his tummy for the first time today. He first rolled from his tummy to his back in April and has been all but rolling back to his tummy until now. I missed it of course. I was out mowing the yard and had left him on his play mat on his back. As I approached the living room windows with the lawnmower I decided to take a peek inside and see if he was still awake. He looked asleep but when I lifted Owen up to see we saw him moving and he looked over at us as if he was really confused by the picture in front of him. The next time around the house I peeked again and this time he was rolled over onto his tummy. Wow…that made me wonder if I would be able to find him when I was able to get back into the house. The third time around I checked one last time to see him soundly sleeping. So he is officially rolling over and back, and just a hair inside of 6 months.

5 Months

Ivan is 5 months old today. I intended to weigh him and measure his length but I never got a chance to do it. I will hopefully be able to check that in the next couple of weeks.

Ivan and FaithHere he is showing his cousin Faith how to play with the toys on his play mat. With this 5 month milestone Ivan is reaching and grabbing and gaining more and more dexterity in his hands. He found his feet a couple weeks ago and loves to pull on them and also uses them to help hold toys he is playing with in his hands. He looks like a little monkey. He is definitely gaining eye hand coordination, He looks at things intently and then reaches for whatever it is with accuracy. Once again his progress is a two edged sword, as I am excited for his ability but it brings added caution as he can now grab at things that he shouldn’t play with.

He is still sleeping at least an hour between each feeding and is a very happy baby as long as he has something interesting to look at. He will often cry if there is nothing captivating in front of him, but a simple word in his direction will bring a smile and if he can sit upright to watch me work he is content. He is rolling over in his crib a lot at night but finds himself unable to roll back to a comfortable sleeping position. This is annoying, as I end up getting up to roll him back over, replace his pacifier and pray he goes back to sleep.

When he is left on his tummy, he will often pull his legs under him and pushes up with his hands so that he is almost in a crawling position. He scoots himself backward this way but has not learned, by any stretch of the imagination, how to direct himself. He likes to lay on his back on his little play mat and will swat, grab and pull on the toys dangling from above for a good 30 minutes after a feeding. This is a blessing and I am so glad for his ability to play. He loves watching Owen play too and Owen is learning the joy in making his little brother laugh.

It has been a great 5 months so far and I’m looking forward to each new accomplishment. Tomorrow we leave for Michigan and it looks like we are in for a rainy drive. We will be stopping in Indianapolis for the night with some friends so that I can break up the trip for me and for the boys. I think Grandpa is going to get a kick out of “Big I”.

The Big Roll Over

Ivan rolled over for the first time last night. I had been watching him squirm around earlier in the day and thought I might get to witness his first roll, but he was lying on his back and though he was very close to it, he never actually made the transition to his tummy. Then when it was bedtime I had wrapped him in his blanket and laid him on my bed on his tummy. I was at the computer so I wasn’t looking at him. He started fussing and I ignored it for a while and when I finally looked, he was on his back. He has officially started rolling over. Now I have to watch him more closely, can’t just leave him on the couch on a blanket. He is very strong and can be very determined. He has also started playing with toys. This is something I looked forward to. He started reaching for things just before we left for Florida (April 2nd) and has been learning how to use his hands to get things to his mouth. He is making good progress. I expect that he will be able to hold his own bottle soon as well. Next he’ll be crawling and getting in to everything. It’s not a scenario I look forward to, but I can’t help being excited for him regardless of the inconvenience to myself.

Four Months

For four months now we have been given the opportunity of raising Ivan. He is certainly a pleasure to have in the house and I can’t begin to tell you how quietly his charm has crept into my heart and taken hold of me.

My Ivan

He is now:
smiling and laughing with adorable chuckles and gurgles.

When I sing to him he tries to sing back to me.

He is beginning to reach out to grab at the toys dangling from his play mat.

He is just starting to use his legs to push himself a little.

When laid on the floor on his belly, he holds his head up to look around for long periods of time. If he gets angry in this position he will squirm until he is completely spun around and his feet end up where his head was. (he is of course screaming non-stop through this process)

He has been sleeping through the night with an occasional cry for want of his pacifier, but no more feedings in the middle of the night.

He is approximately 14 lbs. and 25 inches long and very healthy.

Ivan the Stouthearted

Yesterday I got a glimpse of the man inside my little baby. It’s funny to me how as a parent you grow to know your children so slowly, how you wait to see who they will be with each reaction they perform and each expression they give. Deep inside that little tiny infant, who for the first few weeks did nothing but sleep and eat, is a man or a woman who will have opinions, preferences, tastes and attitudes. You hope against hope that they will be good, that they will be admirable and that you will not only love them instinctively but that you will like them for the person that they are. I am constantly searching my boy’s habits and expressions for a sign of their true personality. Sometimes it is obvious in the womb, sometimes it is only truly revealed when they begin talking, and with all, I am sure no parent gets a whole picture until they are past the age of childish things and have become the man or woman they will be. Even the teenage years are clouded with hormones and emotions that continue to shape and mold the adult. However, every now and then, you see something, just a peek mind you, but something tells you, that’s who my baby really is.

Ivan had a bad tummy ache yesterday. His cries were obviously cries of pain and his arched back, tight belly, and occasional burps told the story. I gave him drops, held him, squeezed him, laid him on his belly and sang him songs to help to ease his suffering and he was helped and he did get over it but in the midst of it all I saw him smile. My brave little man lay on his back so that I could straighten his bunched up blanket and as I smiled and teased him as I usually do he tried so hard to respond with his usual giggles and coos. His face was red, his brow furrowed and his tears were sliding onto each temple as he looked at me and a grin spread across his face. His attempt was short lived as an obvious wave of pain passed through him again and his legs kicked out and his arms drew in. He looked at me again and tried to smile, but the pain was too much and he cried pitifully instead. Poor, sweet, baby boy…strong, brave little man you are.