“Thank You”

Ivan said “thank you” this morning. I’ve heard him attempt it before but this morning was different in that he wasn’t repeating or imitating anyone and wasn’t prompted in anyway to say it.

I heard him whine and realized he was out of milk in his sippy cup so I offered milk. He nodded and grinned to say, yes. While I was pouring the milk I heard him saying something but was too occupied to really listen.

As I brought the milk toward him I realized he was grinning at me and saying “Dii Du” as if he were squeezing the words out of his mouth. It’s really funny to watch him try to talk because it really doesn’t come naturally to him. He has to work hard at expressing each syllable and sound. Regardless, I knew he meant thank you and I was terribly impressed.

18 Months

Ivan is 18 months today! He’s walking great, eating great, teething, drooling and into things. He’s a happy fellow, most of the time, and as I type is napping sweetly in his bed after a long day yesterday and bit of interrupted sleep out in a tent last night.

He had his first homemade Jello-pop this week and enjoyed it thoroughly. See picture to the left. He will try almost anything and isn’t afraid of a little spice.

He is learning to play with Owen a little more, he follows him around and tries to do almost everything he does. Owen gets a little annoyed at times but usually is happy for the company. Just a moment ago Owen pulled a few toys out and laid them in a neat row on the floor announcing that he was “leaving these here for me and Ivan.” Owen does tend to push Ivan around a little and Ivan doesn’t complain too much. He is beginning to answer physically though, pushing back and forcefully moving into Owen’s space if he feels that he’s in any way being left out. Owen will have a lot to contend with if he doesn’t learn to make friends with the little guy now.

The next few months will be quite interesting as Ivan will be adjusting to some changes coming in the form of a new brother. The first step will be adjusting to new sleeping arrangements as we will be taking his bed from him very soon. First we have to figure out what we will do for his new bed. Should they share the queen or do we buy bunk-beds? Any thoughts?

Food the Great Speech Motivator

Ivan loves food. He would eat almost constantly if I let him and likes most of what I put in front of him. He will do what it takes to get it and I’ve been using this to my advantage. Yesterday, he wanted some cheese. I insisted that he say “cheese” before I give it to him and after a little coaxing he smiled and said “gese!”. I applauded and gave him several slices. Later, he made it clear through pointing and grunting that he would like an apple. Again, I insisted on hearing the request and with much effort he was able to come up with “pul!” And again he was rewarded handsomely. I think he does try to talk now and then but it’s almost as if there is a time delay between when he wants to say something and actually getting it out of his mouth. As if he has to think through the syllables before he can form them. I’m sure this will change with practice and it makes me happy that he’s making as much effort as he has been lately.

Will of Ivan

Ivan is a tester. He is not afraid of a spanking or two and it usually takes three to really get him mad. Not that I am trying to make him mad, that’s just what happens when he is made to realize he is not in control of me or the rest of the house.

Today it was something seemingly simple, I guess it usually is. He wanted to play with his car downstairs and we made a rule long before he was ever thought of that states as follows: “No toys shall be brought downstairs, only toys that are designated ‘downstairs toys’ will be allowed downstairs. All other toys must remain in the play space upstairs.”

Now, I don’t have the 10 commandments of toys written out anywhere but we truly do try to keep the downstairs less cluttered by keeping this rule. Ivan has gotten away with bringing toys downstairs in the past because I wasn’t convinced that he understood the rule. When my hands are busy I don’t have the ability to enforce it, so if I were to tell him to take the toy back upstairs I would just be saying it over and over again to absolutely no avail.

I have been convinced recently that Ivan absolutely knows the rule and simply doesn’t think it applies to him. So today I took a stand. I’ve taken stands of this nature before with Ivan, the most recent being the lay down at nap time caper. It has been proven to me that spanking him one time does not convince him that I am serious. Three times is certainly the charm.

Today again it took three spankings and my standing at the bottom of the stairs coaxing him along before he very angrily climbed himself and his car to the top. How does one crawl up the stairs angrily you may ask. Well, It’s sort of a stomping with both hands and feet, an increase in speed as to get the job done quickly and with finality, and then add to that a lot of tossing of the head while crying and every now and then looking back at that mean mom to make sure she sees how very much he dislikes this.

He stopped crying within seconds of being upstairs, he was red in the face angry, but he did the job and I doubt I’ll have trouble with this issue again. Once he understands how serious I am about something he usually obeys quickly the next time around. Ever since the lay down in bed tantrum, I can say lay down to him at bedtime and he drops like a stone.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how many more of these “stands” are in our future but I hope that if we can squeeze enough of them in before he reaches 4, I won’t have too many of them in his teenage years.

Ya’ll pray for me.

Typing Too Soon

Just as I closed the last post, I headed upstairs to my bedroom to change clothes. With my door closed I didn’t hear the little guy coming up the stairs after me. My guess is that he tried his standing stunt from earlier and soon I heard what sounded like tumble – scream – tumble – scream – tumble – scream. I knew I was hearing Ivan falling down what was probably the full height of our 16 steps. He was hitting hard and his screams were scary. I ran for the door just in time to see him land at bottom on his back and parallel to the bottom step. He was silent for just a moment and then that cry that is so heartbreaking came belting out. Oh…my…I grabbed my robe and ran for him, hoping that nothing was broken or bleeding. He was fine other then some pink places that look like they’ll turn into bruises on his cheek and forehead and corresponding rug-burns to accentuate. I carried him back upstairs and rocked him for a while and he was finally able to see his way onto his rocking horse for a few minutes. The great outdoors was beckoning so as Owen headed that way Ivan followed suit; only to be confronted with the stairs again. He begged me to carry him down and his tears were about all I could take. I coaxed him to follow me, staying just a few steps ahead and he quietly sat at the top and stared at me. He normally turns himself around and crawls down backward as you would expect but it was as if he didn’t want to lose sight of what was in front of him lest it somehow trick him and cause him to fall. I understood his fear but with my belly already large and a new baby just months away, I am not going to cater to that fear. I can’t be forced to carry two little ones down all the time. He ventured down about two steps by sitting, turning just enough to get his legs out from under him and scooting down, then sitting again on the next step. After waiting and coaxing for quite a while, I decided to walk away, hopefully showing him that I knew he could do it and that I was certainly not going to rescue him. He finally turned himself around and crawled quickly and expertly down the stairs. He was smiling at the bottom though a tear was still on his cheek. Brave boy is now outside experimenting with walking in the grass.

What’s New With Ivan

Ivan is progressing as all babies do, but it’s always exciting when you get to watch it in your own house like this. His communication skills are blossoming as he nods and shakes his head, points, and uses two and three syllable grunts instead of just one and responds with very expressive facial gestures that quickly let you know what he wants or doesn’t want. This morning I asked him if he wanted something with his breakfast and he quickly nodded and then looked at me as if he’d conquered something. His cousin Faith has been nodding and speaking paragraphs of gibberish for some time so I’m glad to see him making the effort. It’s like he knows what he wants to come out but it just doesn’t work in his mouth the way he wants it to. He was helping Owen pick up puzzle pieces this morning in the living room and with each piece Owen would say “thank you.” Ivan began saying, through his pacifier, some equally grateful two syllable sound with the same inflection as Owen as he passed him each piece. I’ve noted before that he is much quicker to repeat, or attempt to repeat, Owen than he is Kris or me. To anyone else there may be no visible or audible evidence of progress, but to me it seems like leaps and bounds.

Ivan was sniffling this morning and then had a big sneeze which of course loosened things up real good for him and I asked if he needed a tissue. He quickly crawled toward my desk where the box of tissues are and pointed as he went. I passed him on foot and grabbed a tissue and just as I got it up to his face he began blowing. He actually blew through his nose but then wasn’t satisfied with the sound and began making noise with his mouth too so that it sounded like the rest of the family when we blow or noses.

Ivan loves to dance. Once there is music going his little rear end starts bouncing and he’s all about the groove. A lot of babies do this and I think it’s adorable on anyone but I was sort of glad to see Ivan do it, as Owen never did. Owen just sat still and listened, which is sweet too, Owen even sang songs by this point. I just looked back and at 15 months is when Owen started singing “There’s Just Something About That Name.” I remember it so clearly, as Kris and I were both listening to him singing in the back seat and couldn’t believe our ears. Ivan sort of sings but it’s more like he’s “ooh-ing” along with whatever we’re singing. Very cute none the less.

Walking seems to be the next thing on his agenda. He’s been getting up and proudly taking steps here and there. He always interrupts himself to look and see if I’m watching, which then throws off his balance but he doesn’t care. If he sees that I’m watching his eyebrows go up and his grin gets so wide I think it teeters his totter and he falls down giggling. I’m hoping he conquers this in the next week or so and can show off his skills when we go to Florida in May for Kris’ brother’s wedding. Both of my boys have waited to begin walking until they are at least 16 months. Owen pretty much experimented at 15 months but really started walking at 16 months. Ivan has been experimenting and testing his feet this month and may really conquer at 17. That’s exactly the same if you consider that Ivan was born a month early. I don’t know if you can count that or not though. Regardless, it’s been great fun to watch. He’s also quick to climb and explore things. Today he maneuvered himself up onto the living room windowsill to sit and dangle his feet in front of him. Terribly cute. He has always been good on the stairs and his only fall (here at home) was the result of Owen’s pushing ability so it doesn’t really count. Today he scared me though when he climbed up to about the 5th step and then decided to stand up on his feet. I froze and commanded that he use his hands. He looked at me like, “what’s your problem?” and then obeyed. Confidence is good…but I need him to take it one day at a time.

Happy Little Helper

Ivan seems to have gotten through some rough days lately. From teething to stomach bugs the whining and pitiful looks were abundant, but the latter part of this week has brought back our happy little boy and we are very glad to see him. He loves to tease Owen by grabbing the toys he knows are important to him. He loves to copy Owen and try to do whatever he is doing.

His speech is broadening but not in the way one would hope. There is nothing vulgar coming from his lips, don’t fear that. He is simply copying many of the sounds Owen makes while playing with his toys. For instance, when Owen plays with his Lightning McQueen car he often says “kachow!”. Ivan loves to try to say this. This morning we did get a very distinct “daddy” out of him and on command which was pretty exciting for us. When we tried to move on with grandma, granddaddy or grandpa, it all came out daddy…so we have a ways to go. He tries to say fish and it usually comes out “ish.” This is all progress and I’m just glad he’s trying. He has been very happy this morning, playing on his own in the play room and entertaining himself beautifully.

What Ivan is Up To

Ivan is getting more and more aggressive in his desire to walk. Now and then I see him voluntarily taking a few steps to reach short distances. He is still very unbalanced and finds it difficult to stay up very long but seems to enjoy the challenge regardless. He will be 16 months in two days and is right on track with big brother in terms of learning to walk at the same point.

Ivan is very affectionate and his sweet hugs and very wet kisses are more and more frequent. He tries to copy so much of what Owen does and says and giggles at most of his big brother’s attempts to entertain. He understands most of what we say to him and has learned how to obey commands though not 100% of the time. He has realized he can hold his hands together when we pray at dinner time and that it pleases everyone around him. He is happy a good portion of the time and quite expressive when he’s not happy. He is a good eater, I know I’ve mentioned that before, but it’s worth repeating as he is highly motivated by almost anything edible.

I am sure that with the soon to be walking Ivan we will have much to learn about his character and abilities.

Fabric Lover

I looked down this morning and found Ivan with his hand just inside the hem of my robe using it to rub his eyes. He loves to touch his face with fabric. It’s very sweet and I need to get a picture of it. Unfortunately, it’s usually my clothing he’s using to rub his nose or eyes, making it difficult to run for the camera.