Happy Birthday Grampa Dafe!

I was a bad son and didn’t call tonight, my apologies… but here’s a special message for Grampa Dafe on his birthday!

Click here to hear Ian wishing Grampa Dafe… a happy… I think he says birthday… He at least says “Hi Grampa!” at one point 😉

Round and Round

News: Today was just a brilliant day, particularly compared to the weekend. Ian has been sick again and I think it was at its worst on Sunday, and it affected his mood poorly. Today he was feeling better, and maybe we just were in the mood to have fun on our Monday together. We got up, ate a lot of cereal, watched “Here Come the ABC’s” (Ian sang a bit of Robot Parade.) He slept for a good long nap, and went down immediately for a change. Woke up, played around etc. Good times.

Two heart-wrenchingly awesome moments that happened today. One was that I helped him into the recliner and as he sat there I asked him “Is that comfortable? I’m asking because I have no idea, Daddy never gets to sit in that chair.” (This was just a bit of a joke, it is my fault I never sit in it because I don’t hang out in the front room that much, I guess.) But he looked at me, concerned, and said “Daddy’s turn!” a few times, and scooted off the chair. When I sat on it he brought me his blankets too. I was a bit choked up that he took me that seriously. What was interesting to me was that I DID NOT SAY ANYTHING about a “turn.” It was cool to have him thinking about what was fair, and trying to help me achieve it. The other thing was that shortly after his nap, we were down in my office watching a video in our separate chairs, and he actually crawled up the side of his chair, spanned the distance between our chairs with his body like a bridge, and put his head on my leg while still watching the video. (He seems to really need a bit of human contact after he wakes up, so the separate chairs was probably a bad idea on my part.)

Flashback – So what happened here… we’ve got a book that walks you through the epic ballad “The Wheels on the Bus.” Melissa is singing the song, but Ian’s going through the book at his own pace. He’s looking at the page “the babies on the bus go wah, wah, wah” but he gets a little confused with the main line… end result “the babies on the bus go round and round.” It’s pretty clear.

Click here to listen to Ian singing, this click is .5 MB in size.

Bathtub Toys without the Bath

News: Today, March first, Ian was in misbehave mode. He was mostly looking to cause a mess and chaos. He keeps saying things that I don’t expect. I keep thinking “where’d he pick that up?” Chances are most of it is from us or daycare, of course. As a parent I feel blown away by what he’s saying when I’m talking down to him, trying to keep it as his level and he one-ups me… makes me realize I don’t quite know where he is level-wise.

Catching up: Those of you ever wishing you could just hear Ian doing crazy stuff as a sort of ambient background soundtrack will be happy with this soundclip. It’s about 6 minutes long, and might take awhile to download — it is mostly babble. It has moments of quiet, and moments of extreme noise, (including ian simply screaming at the top of his lungs, at about 5 minutes 30 seconds… you’ve been warned) so if you think your speakers aren’t up to the task, you should be careful.

We’re actually in the bathroom, sitting on the linoleum floor, playing with his bath toys. I don’t know how we ended up there, but there you go. Recorded on February 16th.

Things to listen for: “daddy sit. Please… NOW…. sit. Please.” “A Star! Star? Star!” “Boom! Boom-boom-boom-boom-boom-apple-boom.” “Open. Close.” “I clean.” “Hammer” “Whartheygo?”

Here’s the link to the audio clip, it is 5.5 MB in size.

Counting… kinda

News: So I guess the other day Melissa brought Ian into daycare early. Ian was there with another boy, and the two of them got out all of the toys. Well as the other kids began to filter in, Ian was not very good at sharing, and apparently there was a lot of “MINE!!!!” going on. If you think about it from his perspective, it makes sense. Usually he shows up, each child has his/her toys kind of picked out, and you get the leftovers… but what if you were first and played with ALL the toys? This is akin to licking all the candy or cookies in a package, I would guess.

Ok so in this audio clip, which was recorded on February 9th, Ian is bringing me various items and running off to go get more, of course. At the very end, right after you hear me say “Ready?” you’ll hear him help me count to ten… It may even require headphones for you to be able to make it out, but he takes over at around four and goes to ten… then he starts making up words, I think… unless “Bob” is a number I haven’t learned yet. Then I say “let’s start over again” and he counts from two to five, all very clear.

Here is the audio clip, enjoy! It is 3.3 MB in size.

Show and Tell, Part II (the tell part)

Alright so here’s the audio bits! Click on the “title” in order to hear the sounds. Some of them are a little big to download, sorry.

This is Ian naming some animals and other objects on a toy that he received for his birthday. Listen for “That’s a monkey.”

Be Careful Daddy
I slipped on a step. If you listen carefully he says “Be careful Daddy. Careful, please.”

This is just the sound of him breathing with a zooey in his mouth. I know that’s maybe a little weird, but if I played this in a loop in my office? My blood pressure would be much better off, believe me.

He woke up, and this is what he said.

Apparently everybody in the photo album is mommy! Think about this for just a second… he plays peek-a-boo and laughs, because he knows it is a game… but it is also a sort of physical joke. This, if you think about it, may be his very first verbal joke. Listen to him laugh at the end… he knows he’s being silly.

Ok so we didn’t get the whole family, I apologize, but he did name a few…

Not Red Green
Ok so you’ve seen pictures of him picking a drawer with a sucker… in this audio snippet, listen carefully. He says “Thas a red (something)” he then points at something that is green and says “Thas na red… Green.” As in this isn’t a red thing, this is a green thing. That, to me, is huge. That’s a brain working in there.

No Way
Here he names various colors, and you can hear the now infamous catchphrase “no way” in action, repeatedly.

Ready Set Go
In all its cuteness, here’s the magic phrase.

He Nose So Much

(First off, I want to open up with a shout-out to my nephew Connor, who turned 7 today and is cool!)

On Sunday, Melissa, Ian and I went to a train exhibit in Meijer Gardens. It was the frosting on the cake of a fantastic weekend. Ian was just a lovable little guy the whole time and there were a lot of smiles and laughter throughout.

Today was Monday, and the usual Daddy and Ian shenanigans were going on around here… But first let’s talk about Ian’s nose. He’s got a bit of a headcold going on, and his nose is running. I took this as an opportunity to try and teach him. So he went from his original state, which was “knowing how to wipe his nose when handed a burp rag” at the beginning of last week, to “knowing to go get a burp rag and wipe his own nose when requested” to “learning how to blow his nose by exhaling through it” to “wiping his nose without being asked” to “pushing the ottoman over to the counter, climbing it, grabbing a tissue, and blowing his own nose into the tissue without being asked, and then throwing it in the garbage when described by his daddy as ‘icky.'” The last two stages I only got to see executed once each, but they were so spectacular that they were worth mentioning.

Ok and now other stories of the day. He has these plastic tupperware-like canisters he keeps his train parts in. They’re made out of a kind of plastic that it seems like nothing sticks to very well, so I had him start decorating them with stickers because up until now, he hasn’t had any clue what to do with a sticker once it is given to him. I mention this only because if very rarely does Ian show a face of pride, but watch him if you see him go near these canisters, because he absolutely beams when he looks at them. Definitely something like “This is cool,” but also “I did this.”

I asked him if something tasted good today and he said “Mmmmm dee-ishus.” Here’s a sound clip of this one…

While we’re on the topic of cool things that Ian has said recently, please give this one a listen, and again, watch the volume, folks… parts are very quiet and parts are loud. Click here to hear Ian say mmHmmm, and a few foods.

A few minutes later I asked him if he wanted a fruit snack or cookies for dessert… and… (get ready for this one) he said “Bofth.” Now look — I don’t know how he could know to say that — it shows a level of complex understanding that I’d assume should simply not be happening yet. But that is precisely what he said. “Bofth.” Just the fact that I gave him choice A or B and he chose C is so endearing to me… Melissa must have felt the same, because when I texted this to her she replied “that’s our boy.”

We put three teddy bears in a chair today and it was fun watching Ian decide that the bears really need a blanket… and some pizza (plastic food tokens)… and they each needed a ball… and a truck. It looked to me like he’d read “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” one too many times. See this image larger.

I took him out on a sledding run today. Threw him in the sled, ran ahead of him and pulled him around the yard. I went one lap and started a second one, asking “Are you having fun Ian?” “Noooo.” “Oh, you want to go back inside?” “mmHmm!” (The latter said sweetly, like in response to an offering of cookies.) See this image larger.

Maximum Verbosity

One fantastic effect of the trip — over the course of those days, or maybe it was when he got back, I’m not sure which — Ian’s ability to verbalize improved twofold at least. We were both positive he was doing better, but the people at daycare were in shock over how much he was trying to say. We’re very proud!

You can pretty much get him to TRY to say anything, and often he tries very hard to explain things to you from his perspective. New words include Grampa Ray’s name, “RAAAAY” and “bowwie” for berry, “diyishush” for delicious, and as you heard a couple entries ago, “versary!” for “anniversary.” Last Monday Ian said “blessoo” after I sneezed. This is a fantastic time for everybody to cut down on swearing, by the way… seriously!

And then there was the night I got my iPhone out to show Ian a picture or two and he thought I was checking in with Grandma Sue… Click here to hear it, and be careful with volume, it gets loud!

Tonight (the 16th) Ian’s behavior in general was just flat-out smart. He pushed an ottoman across the room so that he could reach some lights and turn them on and off. He did some exercises with Mommy saying “Up!” and “Dowwn!” as he stretched up and touched his toes. He chased the cat around as usual, but tonight added with sincerity “Kitty, kitty waait! Waaait! Wharugon? Wharugon, wait!” And after we put him into the crib tonight he called to us as we were closing the door. “Mommy! Datty! Lavooh. Lavooh. Kitty, Lavooh.”

Happy 30th Anniversary Grandma Marcia and Grampa Dave!

Wow 30 years already, congratulations!!!

Here’s a special Anniversary gift for you two, and anybody else who’d like to listen, of course!

Part 1!
Part 2!

The Incident (and other stories)

Here’s a little something I call “the incident.” It occurred on November 11th… I happened to catch this on audio, but it doesn’t do it justice without a transcript and a bit more narration… Click here to hear the clip. And here’s what you’ll be hearing –

Ian – “Mommy!” “Naaa.” (Ian hits Mama, not accidentally, but not quite realizing the ramifications of what he has done until she looks at him.)

Ma corrects Ian, and I do as well… the words of the adults are not the focus here though…

Ian – (His eyes are as big as dinner plates at this point, as the prospect of braving the cruel Michigan winter living out of a Pampers box on the street slowly dawns on him.) “I’m sowwy. Love you. Sowwy. Sowwwwy.

One other note, unrelated but interesting: Ian wiped his own nose, and then walked over and put the tissue in the trash. Our trash has a lid, but he figured it out, of course. It was impressive on many levels. This was pretty much a one time occurrence, but we’re hoping for more!

Footy pajamas are probably one of life’s most unique pleasures in that they make you feel warm and snuggly just seeing a cute kid wearing them. See this image larger.

Speaking of warm, Ian’s in full winter regalia here, from boots to mittens, and snow pants. Was the 3 minute walk worth the 10 minute battle of suiting up? As long as he’s happy, yes. See this image larger.

Ever wonder how they make those mirror “disco” balls? Just let a 22 month old near a roll of tin foil for 5 seconds. See this image larger.

Robinette’s with the Schoenborns 2008

One of the cider mills that we visited with Grandma Sue during her recent visit is a place we also go to with some very good friends of ours, the Schoenborns! We met them back when Melissa and I worked with Martin at Square One Design, and started a tradition of getting together at the cider mill (a place called Robinettes) once a year in the fall. With Grandma Sue Ian had a lot of fun, and as you can see here, our meet with the Schoenborns on November 1st was a lot of fun as well, particularly compared to last year, when he really didn’t get to do as much… (Click to see!)

Isaac and Ian run through the leaves, with a curiously satisfying “crunch crunch crunch!” See this image larger.

Ian enjoyed garnering the attention of all the children by forming a roadblock across the top of the slide. See this image larger.

Uncharacteristically, he sort of stopped and stared around when he got to the bottom of this tree. See this image larger.

We take the opportunity for a quick self-portrait. Ian takes this opportunity to try and eat a wood chip while his parents are distracted. See this image larger.

Have I said my wife is beautiful this entry yet? No? Well, she is. 🙂 See this image larger.

Anything is twice as safe as long as you’re holding Ma’s hand! See this image larger.

Isaac and Ian prepare to go down the slide together… I smell a photo opportunity! See this image larger.

Ok, both of you go down the slide at the same time… ONE, TWO — IAN! Ah well, maybe next year! Thanks Schoenborns! See this image larger.