Sunday, September 30, 2007

Monkey Man

Ian's latest thing is climbing anything and everything: up the couch and onto the end table, up the coffee table, up the couch and onto the dog's kennel, his toy train, the mantle in the den, etc. He moves boxes over to the table so he can stand on them to reach things that have been put on the table to be out of his reach. He runs from from trouble area to another. Time to get more gates!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ian is One Year Old: Oh, What He Can Do!

The little man was busy this year:

1. He traveled to 4 countries: Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and the US and 8 States plus the District of Columbia. (I only count it if we stopped and got out of the airport).
2. He got mobile on the go: rolled over for the first time in Qatar; crawled in Cairo; perfected furniture walking in Virginia; took his first hands-free steps in Sharm el Shiekh for a French woman; learned to run in Pennsylvania.
3. He developed his communication skills: he can sign "milk"; he "woofs" to indicate a dog; he says,"dog", "duck", "daddy", "hi" and "yeah"; he makes eyes at the ladies like a seasoned ladies man.
4. He can high five, hug and point.
5. He can jump in the pool and go under water.
6. He now stacks things instead of just banging or destroying things I've stacked, though the latter still holds more appeal for him.
7. His latest feat involves turning a door knob to open a door.
8. He developed his palate: he eats everything except the highly allergenic stuff little ones aren't supposed to eat like peanut butter, shellfish, etc. He loves strong cheeses, spicy foods and garlic.
9. He engaged in politics: met the President of Egypt twice; rallied on Capitol Hill for the Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2007; and participated in grassroots lactivism just by doing what he does naturally, nursing.
10. He's quite a snappy dresser if I do say so myself.

What else can I say, but he is one cool dude.

The pictures were taken by Brooke Bass during his 1 Year photo session.

Ian is 1 Year Old and We are Celebrating 1 Year of Breastfeeding

On September 6, 2007, my son celebrated turning one year old and I celebrated one year of breastfeeding. There were times when I didn't think I was going to make it, when I thought everyone must be lying when they said it was easier, but I made it. It took a few months, but once everything clicked, it was great! We plan to keep going as long as it is mutually agreeable. Nursing is so easy now, that I can hardly remember the tough times.

The pictures were taken by Brooke Bass during Ian's 1 Year Photo Session. Brooke took my maternity portraits and Ian's newborn photos as well.

Mothering Magazine just published 8 Reasons to Nurse Your Toddler in Kyla Steinkraus' article,"Extend Breastfeeding's Benefits" in the September/October 2007 issue (all quoted from this article):

1. Breastfed toddlers get complete nutrition. Research shows that fat and energy content increases after the first year.
2. Breastfed toddlers are physically healthier. According to research, the immunological benefits of breastfeeding actually increases during the second and third years of nursing.
3. Breastfed toddlers are emotionally healthier. According to Dr. Jack Newman,"The breastfed toddler is more independent in the long run because his independence comes from a deep-seated security that comes from breastfeeding."
4. Breastfed toddlers are smarter. Numerous studies show that breastfeeding promotes a higher IQ, including increased reading comprehension, math skills, and scholastic ability, even into adolescence. The fine motor and language skills of breastfed toddlers develop more quickly. According to Ginger Carney, a clinicial nutrition manager and lactation consultant at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee,"The unique coordination of the tongue, lips, and jaw during breastfeeding exercises the muscles used for speech."
5. Breastfeeding promotes your emotional well-being. The continued release of prolactin, the milk-making hormone, helps relieve stress and promotes feelings of calm and relaxation.
6. Breastfeeding reduces your risk of disease. The duration of breastfeeding is linked to lowered risks of ovarian, uterine and breast cancer.....diabetes.....and rheumatoid arthritis.
7. Breastfeeding acts as natural birth control. While not 100% effective, continued nursing can supress ovulation. (I still don't have my period back, of course, my back up method of birth control IS 100% effective as my husband is thousands of miles away!)
8. Breastfeeding makes parenting easier: teething, tantrums, skinned knees, etc.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Aum, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

I spent this past Saturday participating in the Global Mala Event to promote peace. Karen Ducato of my yoga studio, the Barefoot Buddha organized the Erie event. Eighteen instructors from the Erie area participated. We did 108 Sun Salutations. I was one of the official counters. We had great weather, a view of the Bay and a musical accompaniment. Money raised will be donated to the local food bank.

Ian went to the mountain camp with his grandparents and great-grandparents. I'm almost never away from him, so it was strange, but he did well with four adults chasing after him all day. I had to break out the breast pump for the first time in months. I enjoyed the Global Mala event, but it was a bit scary to be away from Ian so long.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

1st Birthday Report

Ian's first birthday party was a family birthday lunch. We served pulled pork and ox roast sandwiches, pesto green beans, Italian potato salad (meant for Heather's mom's picnic that was cancelled at the last minute), corn and black bean relish (made by Heather), mixed baby greens salad, a cheese and olive tray artfully arranged with grapes and eucalyptus leaves by my sister, fruit salad, watermelon lemonade and watermelon margharitas.

I made a 2-layer star-shaped cake: bottom layer was chocolate and top layer was vanilla. The frosting was a vanilla pudding, cool whip and powerdered sugar mixture that my mom has made for years. Heather wrote Ian's name on the cake. Curt's mom brought watermelon sorbet and cantaloupe ice cream from Milan, Ohio's annual Labor Day Weekend Melon Festival.

Ian ate his lunch, especially the pesto green beans and assorted cheeses.

But, he crashed before the cake and could not be revived.

Not even by Curt singing into his ear over the phone as the rest of us sang,"Happy Birthday" to him.

A few days later, we hosted playgroup and I served a repeat of the menu substituting chicken salad for ox roast and and leaving out the watermelon beverages. Again, Ian enjoyed his lunch, but crashed before he could eat his cake.

Later that night, we gave him a cupcake. He played with it and dipped his green beans in the frosting. He's just not a cake guy.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ian is One Year Old: I Don't Remember Life Without Him

My first morning home from the hospital, my mother brought me a cup of tea in a mug that said,"World's Greatest Mom", a title I clearly hadn't earned only 5 days into motherhood, but I appreciated the sentiment. Maybe it was the anesthesia or the lack of labor, but it took me a few days to get my head around the concept that this little thing was the same person keeping me company for the previous 9 months. All of sudden it hit me, that of course he was mine. How could I have had any other child? He was perfect. In that instant, I could not comprehend that there had been a time when Ian did not exist. I remember the things I did before Ian, but now in my memories, he has some sort of presence in the background, in my heart.

I love that kid. My kid. My son, Ian.