Thursday, May 23, 2013

Update: Want, Need, Wear, Read

{OK, I found this in my "drafts" section, and realized I never had the chance to finish and post it! Wow, it's only been five months since Christmas...
 
Anyway, since I promised I'd post a follow-up about our "Want, Need, Wear, Read" Christmas gifts, here's it is!}
 
 
It's almost Christmas, and the presents have been purchased and placed beneath the tree! We have been to visit Santa (Ibes calls him "Shee"), baked gingerbread cookies, learned about the Nativity, and are ready for Christmas to arrive.

I wanted to update you with our choices for Ibes' gifts this year, since I shared that we were going to follow the "Want, Need, Wear, Read" theme. We were able to stick pretty close to the plan, but I had trouble limiting our choices, so there are five gifts for Ibes.

Something You Want

Here's where the extra gift ended up. We first chose the Fisher Price Medical Kit, since Ibes loves playing with the one at the church nursery.

Then, about a week ago, I came across this little Dyson vacuum that actually works. Ibes has had a love-hate relationship with our vacuum, and isn't entirely comfortable with it yet. He LOVES pushing things around the house, whether it's his little John Deere tractor or a laundry basket, so we thought that he would love a little vacuum to push around.




Something You Need

This is a tricky one to buy for a one-year-old. I decided to make him this gift, and sewed a little blanket for him with John Deere fleece. It's the perfect size for taking with him in the car or snuggling with on the couch. Every little boy needs a snuggly blanket.




Something You Wear

I found an Etsy shop (knitonecrochettwo) that makes custom hats, and when I saw her owl hat, I was smitten. I knew my little owl fan would adore this. And he did! He wore it all Winter, and rarely tried to take it off.



 
 
 
 
Something You Read
 
We have an embarrassing amount of books, and I've realized that the library is a wonderful alternative to buying new books each month. But we gave Ibes some for his permanent collection, including this lift-the-flap selection.
 
 
 
Christmas was so much fun this year. Ibes was able to enjoy opening his gifts, and we had the joy of watching a child find his presents under the tree on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, we also had the joy of norovirus. Poor Ibes was sick for a week and a half over Christmas, so that put a little bit of a damper on festivities.
 



Peaceful Spring

 
Warmer weather has arrived, and we have been filled with a sense of peace and calm. Open windows, gentle breezes... a new season, a new beginning. It's been a difficult Winter, but we are looking forward to what God has planned for us in the days ahead!
 
 
 


We'll be back to blogging regularly before long. I'm putting together some thoughts about what to include on a baby registry, and will also have some stories about Ibes.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Little discoveries

Ibes is 20 months old now, and he's starting to be able to communicate very well. He adds new words to his vocabulary daily, and is able to express himself in many new ways. He's putting things together, connecting words with places and people. I jot down his little discoveries so that I won't forget about them, so I wanted to compile a few recent things he's done and share them with you!

Home!

When we're finished running errands, I'll ask Ibes if he's ready to go home. Sometimes his response to learning that we're going home is "Dad?" or "Ball?" (Ibes-speak for "Will Daddy be there, and will he play ball with me?"). But more often, he's tired from the day's events and just gives me a whiny "No." His stock response is "No" no matter what. He has yet to say "yes" unprompted - every question gets either a "no," or a little chuckle to the affirmative.

We came home today, and Ibes was definitely worn out. He'd been jabbering in his carseat and snacking on applesauce pouches. When we pulled into the garage, I heard his voice from the backseat: "Home."

"Yes! We are home!"

Chuckle.

Sometimes he "gets it" even when I have no idea he's putting places and names together. He knows where his home is.

Applause

We have been taping America's Funniest Home Videos and watching them with Ibes. He loves the clips of people tripping and falling (who doesn't), but I think he enjoys the audience response most of all. He laughs at people laughing, and claps at the end of the segments.

Today, my sister and I sang at church. Second hour, Ben and Ibes stood in the back of the sanctuary and watched our performance. Ibes' little face was fixated on us, and he totally zoned out. His little lips poked out I could tell he was concentrating so hard on what was happening.

As we finished the song, I saw him put his little hands together and start to clap. He was giving us his little seal of approval. Then, in the quietness of the moment, he started asking for his Aunt (who he calls "Ab"). We could hear him across the sanctuary: "Ab! Ab! Ab!"

He understands when it's appropriate to applaud; he does not understand when it's appropriate to holler for attention.

Two

We were playing ball the other day (well, we play ball every day - it's his favorite) and he grabbed a couple of balls and chucked them at me at the same time. Running to retrieve them, he pointed them out to me.

"Two!"

Wait, what? Did he just tell me that there are two balls? I hadn't taught him to count, though I say "One, Two" when we get dressed and undressed as his arms go in and out of sleeves. I sing him "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe," but only so we can get to "Nine, Ten, A BIG FAT HEN!" which he loves. He has heard numbers before, but I didn't think he was grasping the concept yet.

The following day, he pulled out the Quaker Oat canister and pointed at the picture on the front.

"Man."

"Yes, that's a man."

He studied the box, and turned it over. There was another picture on the top.

"Man," he grinned. "Two!"

Huh. Guess he gets it.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Feeling crafty

Ibes has really taken to owls. Anytime we're looking through books and he spots something with big eyes, it's a "Hoo! Hoo!" He can find owls anywhere: last time we were at the craft store, rolling the cart down rows of fabrics, I heard the familar "Hoo!" Sure enough, we'd passed by some owl prints! I ended up buying one of them and making him a sleep sack. And when I put him down for nap in the owl sleep sack, it's easy to know when he wakes up. I can hear soft "Hoos" over the baby monitor.

During a recent internet search for "sew baby owl," I found this little tutorial for a Zakka Style Owl Pennant and fell in love. I decided to adjust the measurements and make a large-scale version with Ibes' name on it.

I chose natural shades for the owls, to coordinate with the colors in the nursery. Here's the little cardboard template I made for the body and belly of the owl.


 
Here are the four "bodies" and "bellies" right before I stitched them together
 
 
Here are the owls with bellies stitched and "noses" pinned down
 
 
 Almost complete! The eyes are attached; they just need to be lettered. I used a stencil and turquoise fabric paint to write Ibes' name on the owls.
 
 
Here's the finished product! I wish I'd painted the letters onto white fabric so they showed up a little better, but I really like the blue paint color.
 
 
Ibes loves the new decoration. He likes to point at it and say "hoo!" and has tried to reach them a couple of times after getting his diaper changed.
 
 
I liked the name pennant so much that I decided to make some little owls to hang in our foyer too! Here's that project:
 
 
Here's a photo of one of the owls, so you can see how small they are.
 
 
I have an itch to keep working on projects now! I pulled out a counted cross-stitch that I started 6 years ago, and I'm working on that now. But I'm sure I find another Ibes-related project before too long!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Want, Need, Wear, Read

I know, I know... it's two months away still, but I've started to think about Christmas already. It's my favorite day of the year, and has been for as long as I can remember. Now that we have Ibes, Christmas takes on additional significance, as we have the responsibility to teach him about the meaning of Christmas and the birth of our Savior.

Last year, Ibes was 9 months old, so he didn't get too much out of Christmas morning. I remember him being more interested in the wrapping paper than any of the gifts.

Here's some pictures from last Christmas. My sister-in-law Emily is a professional photographer, and the last three are her genius.







Ibes' big gift last year was an "Activity Lion" with different games and toys on it. Here he is on Christmas morning, checking out his new toy.



This year, we've decided to do something special for Christmas gifting for Ibes. 

He will receive:

Something he wants
Something he needs
Something he wears
Something he reads

I read about this simple gift-giving philosophy a last year, and thought it was really neat. It helps put the focus on Christmas and not on the number of presents under the tree.

So we're going to give it a try! I'll stop in after Christmas and let you know what Ibes received for each category.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! Let's take a trip to the Pumpkin Patch!

It's late October, and we decided that Ibes needed to have his first experience with a pumpkin patch. We found a local farm that has pumpkins, free hayrides and corn mazes.

Before we even found a parking spot, Ibes was shouting "Tractah! Tractah!" This boy can spot a tractor from a mile away. We parked and found our way to the hayride.

 
 
 
The tractor pulled our trailer to the pumpkin patch, which was filled with pumpkins and gourds. Ibes took off running through the mess of vines, singing to himself and taking in the scenery.

Pumpkin hiney!
 
 
He found a little bitty pumpkin that suited him, so we hung onto it.

 
 
He kept gravitating toward the green pumpkins. Big green pumpkins. I think he liked them because they're John Deere-colored.

I see a green one! Dibs!
After we picked out a second pumpkin for carving, we rode the trailer back up the hill and checked out some animals and the little store. Ibes was treated to some fresh apple juice, and he LOVED it. He doesn't usually have juice, so we may need to add a little juice into our lives in the future.

 
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ibes Gets Into Trouble

I have a sizable makeup collection. I've been amassing beauty products for the past 8-10 years, and using cosmetics is a way for me to express creativity and imagination. My "stash" may seem excessive, but it makes me happy, and I love trying new products.

I keep my eye shadows in a large Sterilite drawer unit underneath the bathroom sink. They're organized and easily accessible. Today I learned that they may be too accessible.

I used to wait until Ibes went down for his nap to shower, but since he's down to one nap now, it's not practical to wait until noon to get myself dressed and ready for the day. Most days, I can jump in the shower while he plays with a toy or reads a book in the bathroom. Sometimes he gets into the cabinets and drags out bottles of hairspray and mousse, and occasionally he will find a curling iron and drag it around by its "tail" like he's walking a dog.

This morning while I lathered up my shampoo, I heard Ibes getting into the cabinet.

"Whatcha doin, Pumpkin Pie?"

Silence.

"Ibes?"

A muffled noise, then then I hear him walking toward the shower, making a little stuttering noise. When I open my eyes, suds run down my face and blur my vision, but I can tell that he's holding something small in his hand and he looks troubled.

"What do you have in your hand?"

I slide open the glass door and inspect his hand. He's holding a small black lid. It belongs to a MAC Pigment, which is a small jar of highly concentrated powder. He's still stuttering "Puh, puh, puh."

I peek around the corner to see the entire contents of this jar, which have been dumped on the bathroom rug. I can't believe he got the darn thing open in the first place, but I really can't believe he managed to spill the entire thing onto the floor.

"Evan! No!"

It was the only thing I could think to say. I stomped my foot when I yelled, and Ibes immediately disintegrated into a sobbing puddle of toddler. His lower lip curled out, the bottom jaw crept outward, and the little teeth slowly came forward as he let out a wail. His eyes red, face suddenly wet, arms outstretched and grasping for me.

"Oh, sweetheart..."

I turned off the water after quickly rinsing the remaining shampoo from my hair, and hurriedly climbed out of the shower. Wrapping my towel around me, I bent and scooped up the little guy in my arms. I took the lid from his hands and laid it aside. I wiped his face and kissed his wet cheeks.

"Mommy isn't mad, baby. It's just stuff. Mommy doesn't care about stuff. You're the one Mommy loves."

His cries slowed and he calmed down as I held him close and reassured him that I wasn't upset with him. I marveled that his tender heart was capable of being broken with just a few harsh words.

In no time at all, he had mentally moved on, and was all about playing with his car in the bedroom. I let him down and started to clean up the colorful mess on the bathroom floor. I made a mental note that the color he'd dumped was Tan (and not limited edition, thankfully - it would be easy to replace) and I was able to salvage a tiny bit that had fallen onto a smooth surface.

As I watched Ibes roll his toy car across the bed, I snapped a few photos to remind myself of this moment. I need these reminders of what in my life is precious. And those things aren't material.


The remains of the pigment


The scene of the crime
 
 
 
 
 
He looks so innocent!
 
He knows I love him SO MUCH!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Great-Grandma's Birthday Party!

Yesterday was my Grandma Katie's 90th Birthday party in Brazil, IN. It's about 3 hours from us by car, which makes it do-able as a day trip. I said do-able, not desirable.

We had to be at the party by 3:00, so we left home at Noon. We delayed Ibes' nap until then (he usually goes down around 11 - he's an early naptime baby), so we had to contend with an overly tired child while trying to ready ourselves and the diaper bags for our trip.

We loaded up the car and headed west, and waited for Ibes to drift off to sleep. The sun was in his face, so I tied an Aden + Anais blanket around the headrest and the top of the window. He decided the blanket dangling from the window was some kind of challenged I'd presented to him, and attempted to rip it down and shake it violently.

After his attempts at ruining his blanket-shade failed, he started to settle down in his carseat. A little Owl City sealed the deal and sent him off to dreamland.


His nap was brief - just one hour long. He spent the last hour and a half of our trip looking out the window, pointing out trucks and clouds, and playing with Tiny Tractor, a little John Deere lawnmower keychain that goes everywhere with him.

We arrived in Brazil and had a delicious lunch at Pappy's Barbeque (now I'm craving more!) and spent the afternoon celebrating with Grandma. It was great to see family members that we only get to see a few times each year.

The Price crew

Ibes enjoyed the antiques that decorated the banquet room, and kept trying to reach the tractors and cars that were stashed away behind locked glass cabinet doors. He finally found something he could touch - a saddle!


After the party, we loaded back up in the car and set a course for home. We had Ibes' Uncle Clint with us, which was a huge help! We've learned that he does much better when someone rides in the backseat with him. He loves to make up games and play peek-a-boo. It's also easier to feed him snacks when you're close by.



His evening snack was pretzel rods and strawberry applesauce in a squeeze pouch. It was our first time trying the pouch-style fruit, and I had visions of sticky fruit puree spurting across the car and running down into the leather seats. My fears were (thankfully) not reality: he loved the applesauce and didn't spill a drop!

Crazy eyes!
We finally got home around 9, and Ibes was more than ready for bed. He usually goes down at 7, so staying up until 9 was testing the limits of his ability to function. He ate a string cheese and called it a night.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy Autumn! We're Back!

There's a chill in the air, and Autumn has begun its gentle arrival! It's my favorite time of the year, and I love the crisp, coolness of a beautiful sunny Fall day. It's a little taste of Heaven.

It's been a great Summer, and I took some time away from blogging. I can't believe how much Ibes has grown in such a short time. He's 18 months old now, and has somehow gone from baby to little boy!


 
 
His life revolves around tractors, playing outside, and trying new foods. He's running and clapping and has a few words down. He can say "Dada" and "Bum" (his word for Mama), "Pops" for Grandma and/or Grandpa, "Tractor," "Truck," "Cracker," "No," "Eye," "Hair," "Button," and a slew of animal sounds. My favorite is "Hoo!" for owl.
 
 
 
 
We'll be back soon, with some new stories and adventures.


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Boy with a Dozen Names

I love nicknames. They're so personal and each one tells a story. I knew Evan would probably have a nickname when he was born, but I did not predict how quickly his list of nicknames would add up!

The first thing I called him was Pumpkin Pie. He was such a sweet little thing, and it just fit.


I would ask Ben, "Isn't he just a Pumpkin Pie?" Ben's response: "I don't think that's what a pumpkin pie looks like." Fair enough.


The baby slept with us until he was 4 months old. We put him in the basinette of the Pack & Play, and pulled it close to my side of the bed. He was usually very content, fussing only when he was hungry. He's never been a crier. But one night when he was just a few weeks old, I didn't get him swaddled up the way he liked, and he let me have it. At the top of his lungs, he yelled "GHEEEEE! Gee! Gee!" It was one of those moments where you laugh because the protest is so pathetic that it crosses over into comedy. And the sleep deprivation just makes everything seem more funny.

And so "Sweet Gee" was born.



His most famous nickname is Ibes.

When he was three months old, he started making some new sounds. One of the recurring noises was "Ibes" and "Ahb." The way his tiny mouth made the "B" sound was just adorable. He said "Ibes" frequently during family vacation last summer, so it caught on quickly as his nickname.


His latest nickname is Rougarou. We encountered this name during an episode of Swamp People; it's a Cajun swamp monster of folklore. Evan was being particularly ornery one day, so I referred to him as a Rougarou. Sometimes it gets shortened to "Roux" or lengthened to "Rou-ga-roo, Ga-roo-ga-roo, ROU-GA-ROO!"


I'm sure he will continue to rack up the nicknames as he grows up, but "Ibes" will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Put the phone away!

There was a thought-provoking blog entry circulating on Facebook this week about "How to Miss a Childhood." It's about how technology can get in the way of our parenting - we spend all day buried in smartphones and computers, and our children miss out on our undivided attention.

I know I'm guilty of being buried in my iPhone! Especially when I'm tired (which is often), it can be easy to let Ibes play by himself while I check up on my favorite celebrity gossip sites or look through the latest iFunny photos.

Yep, can totally see myself doing this. I'm embarrassed and horrified.

There are benefits to having my phone near me - I can capture videos of Ibes' latest skills, keep in touch with my husband through the day, show Ibes photos of Pops' tractor while I'm changing his diaper...

But there are many times that I just get lazy and distracted, and need to put the phone away.

I've been more conscious of my phone use, and today I used the "phone time" to read to Ibes. His little face lit up when I asked him if he'd like to read a book. He sat on my lap, totally attentive to each word. He followed my finger as I pointed out the different animals, shapes, and colors to him. He giggled when I made chomping noises for the shark and crocodile. He wrapped his little hand around my finger.

As the tears welled up in my eyes, I made him a promise: That he would always have my attention when he needs it. That I wouldn't allow phones and computers and TV to take priority over eye contact with my him. That I would always love him most, "big as the sky," I tell him.

Motherhood is filled with opportunities to grow. I'm not perfect, and it's good to be reminded of my shortcomings.

It's also good to remind my son how much he means to me.



I love you, little one.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Big week, Big machines!

My parents (Grammy and Pops) are in the process of tearing out a swimming pool, and will be putting a new one in. This was demolition week, which meant one thing: lots of machines for Ibes!!

Day 1: Demolition begins
We were able to visit a few times this week, and Ibes really loved watching the giant machines at work.

Hanging on tight
He watched in slack-jawed amazement as the bulldozers and trackhoes made quick work of the mounds of concrete and rebar, tearing down the existing pool and carrying the rubble away.


Day 2
There were a couple of machines that were particularly noisy, including "The Woodpecker" - a monster that jackhammered away at the dense cement. We had to go inside a few times to watch the action from afar.

"Grammy, why are they so loud?"
For a little boy who bounces up and down at the mention of a tractor, the big machines were thrilling. During the hauling process, when the loader carried bucket after bucket of rubble from the site to the dump truck, Grammy would run from back to front yard with Ibes so that he could see where all the waste went. He was so focused on the action that any loud noise startled him right out of his skin!

Not taking his eyes off those machines!
We had a fun week, but it will be even more fun when that new pool is built, so Ibes can enjoy the water and learn to swim!