Archive for August, 2008
Ian had his first smore tonight and did he enjoy it. Considering it had two of his favorite foods – marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies – how could he not. He got it all over him too.
I found some cups for Ian that are not sippy cups. They have little straws built into the sides, so while it doesn’t have a lid, it’s still a good cup to teach Ian with. This was his first use.
Ian and I spent the day at the zoo today. And I’m talking all day. We were originally suppose to go with our mom’s group, but we were the only ones who wanted to go, so we made a day out of it. When we got to the zoo, we hopped on the train and rode it to the back of the zoo. This was Ian’s first train ride and he loved it. At first, he wasn’t sure what to think about everything and he just sat on my lap and watched the scenario. However, as soon as we started moving, he got the biggest grin on his face. I don’t think it left his face the entire time we were on the train and I want to say the trip was a good 5 minutes. There was two girls and their mother sitting in front of us and they kept looking back at Ian because he was being so cute about the train. Every so often, he would start clapping and get the grin would just get bigger. We did manage to snag a picture of the train.
After the train ride, we checked out a few of the animals, but the next big event was feeding the giraffes. Ian was able to give a giraffe two pieces of cracker, however, Ian wanted to check out the taste of it first. Thankfully, I was able to talk him out of it and when we went up to give it to the giraffe, he was a little hesitate at first. However, he overcame that awfully quick and tried to touch the giraffe. That wasn’t allowed, but we did get a copy pictures. They had a zoo photographer taking pictures for people and he was gracious enough to use my camera for our turn. Instead of taking just one, he took a couple, which was really nice of him.
After the giraffes, we went a saw a bunch of animals. The rhinoceros (rhinoceri?) were actually in a photogenic mood today, so I was able to get a couple of good shots. The hippopotamus was being lazy and sitting in his pool of water (he was lucky). The zoo actually has a really good kangaroo exhibit. You’re allowed in the actual exhibit and can walk among the kangaroos. If they are crossing the street, then we have to let them pass, but we were able to get a lot closer to them than any other animal. However, today they weren’t all that active and were slacking off in the shade. Ian was also able to see a buffalo and we made our way back to the polar bear exhibit, but they weren’t in the tunnel this time. We also saw the grizzly bear and black bear, but they were sticking pretty close to the shade as well.
After the bears, it was time for lunch and we went to the food court near the bears. I brought the majority of our lunch with us, however, I did get something a bit more substantial for me since I mainly brought food for Ian. For being in a crowded area, Ian ate really well and afterwards, he went down for a nap effortlessly. That’s right, Ian had his nap at the zoo. We had actually planned for this and I had brought along a sheet to use as a “stroller cover” so Ian wouldn’t get distracted by all the people. He was out within 5-10 minutes and then I went searching for a nice shady spot. For an hour and a half, Ian slept in his stroller while I read a book. When he woke up, we went back to touring the zoo.
At this point, we were near the monkey exhibits, so we went and checked out the snow monkeys as well as the lemurs. Both were a little active and they were all over the place. I usually give Ian a snack after his nap, and today, he had his with the meerkats. They were located near the lemurs and as we went in to see them, they were getting fed to. I have a really cute picture of Ian sitting on a rock next to their exhibit while eating his crackers. After the meerkats, we went scouting for the tiger (who was napping) and then finally made our way over to the chimps and gorillas. The chimps were inside and taking their afternoon naps, but they started to get a little rowdy before we left. The gorillas were soaking up the shade outside and not in any views of the windows. Kinda of sad, but Ian had fun running around the chimp/gorilla house and even got up close with one of the chimps who had decided to kiss the glass for a bit.
By this time, Ian was getting a little stifled, so we made our way to the PlayVenture area where he got to climb and slide to his hearts content (or until we had to leave, which I think happened first). Ian found out that he could do taller ladders than what he’s been doing and that rope ladders are easier. There was one ladder that he was able to get up pretty easily until he made it to the top. The gap between the platform and the last rung was a bit bigger than normal, so I had to help him up there, but he did the rest all on his own. I’m not sure if I’m crazy about this ladder climbing, but Ian is a boy and he’ll be doing it sooner or later.
By this time, we had managed to make it to all the animal exhibits we had missed the first time except for one. Our last stop of the day was with the penguins and they were really active. The zoo has king penguins, macaroni penguins (macaroni, really?), and one other that I can’t remember. They weren’t the emperor penguins for sure, but it was something else. All of the penguins kept swimming around and walking in straight lines, it was really fun. I don’t think I’ve seen them walk in straight lines before. Well, not in person at least.
Today ended up being a great day to go to the zoo. The weather wasn’t stifling; it was hot, but the humidity was at a decent level and there was a good breeze going on. It seemed like a lot of the animals were taking a holiday today, but they usually do when it gets warmer out. Ian had a blast going through the zoo and I even let him out of the stroller to walk the exhibits on his own a time or two. He’s still a little young to really appreciate the zoo, but once I got his attention on the animals, he seemed to like watching them for a bit. I did manage to take one video today, so I’ll close out the post with that. It’s a short video of the two of us on the train. We were sitting with our backs to the front of the train, so Ian kept watching behinds us, so he doesn’t turn around too often, but he does give you the huge grin he wore for most of the trip.
Back in March, I posted an article on Ian’s favorite books. It’s been a few months and while he still really enjoys those novels, he has added a few to the list.
Right now, Ian is not at the stage where he’ll read on his own, however, he’s all about being read too. He still brings a book and want to sit in my lap so we can read it together; in fact, today, he dragged me into his room so we could sit in his rocker and read. We’ve just started reading to him as part of his bedtime routine and he seems to be really enjoying it. I know he’s going to sleep without any noises (aside from a few jabbering) and that’s just one more step towards a big boy bed. Right now, Jesse is reading him Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, so hopefully he doesn’t get any disturbing dreams.
Ian is still loving the Usborne Touchy-Feely Board books (That’s Not My Dragon by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells) and if you haven’t found these yet, then you need to. They are awesome and they have a whole variety of topics – pirates, penguins, puppy, kitty, lion, trains, dinosaurs, monsters, etc. He still really enjoys Goodnight Baby by Ibaby. Since the previous post, we also we out and bought On the Go by Ibaby as well and that has been just as well received.
Lately, he’s really been into this one book from the library, Cars: rushing! honking! zooming! by Patricia Hubbell, Megan Halsey, and Sean Addy and I went out and got the other two like it, Trucks: Whizz! zoom! rumble! and Trains: steaming! pulling! huffing!, but he’s all about the cars. These books are actually really good because they really don’t tell a story, but they tell everything about cars. What they can do, the sounds they make, how people interact with them. There’s really no plot, but it has a lot of rhyming and the illustrations are awesome. It also has a great page layout since not all the pages face the same direction. There’s a couple of pages strewn throughout where you have to hold the book the longwise in order to read. I like this aspect since it makes you move a bit more and it tends to get Ian’s attention.
He’s a huge fan of Boynton, but we’ve been going with the One, Two, Three and Oh My! Oh My! Oh Dinosaurs!. We also have Your Personal Penguin and with all three of these books, he’ll sit still in my lap and look at the illustrations. Granted, there really isn’t much to her books, but what is there is perfect. She has just enough material on each page to keep Ian’s focus and doesn’t allow him to wander off.
I will be honest, since the move we haven’t really been reading to him as much since most of his books have been packed away. We’ve been keeping up our weekly trips to the library (yes, I’m still driving all the way back to RH…it’s so worth it) and we’ve had books home, but I just haven’t been able to find any others that he gravitates to. He’s coming up to 18 months and I really would like to hear him talking a little more, so if anyone has any novels that their kids love, all my ears are open.
So I realized the other day that I hadn’t been reading to Ian much since he started walking (and climbing) and decided to remedy that. The previous nightly routine would go something like this:
- Brush teeth
- say goodnight to me
- lights off and put him in his crib
- close the door
- one cry, then lay down and go to sleep
This has been the pattern since we moved into the house and it’s mostly worked well. I keep outta jackie’s way for most of it and he goes to bed peacefully. The last two nights it went like this:
- Brush teeth
- say goodnight to jackie
- put him in his crib
- read one story
- lights off and close the door
- lay down and go to sleep
The first night he threw a tantrum when I stopped reading and turned off the lights- cried for maybe five minute before laying down and going to sleep (normally it’s just one ‘waaaaaahh!’).
Tonight he was bouncing around on the bed and yelling and such and I’d have to stop every other page and tell him to lay down and be quiet (which he did for a few minutes). The book I’m reading is a bargain book from B&N full of fairytales- the two I’ve read so far were about 8 pages each. When I finished tonight’s story, I said goodnight, turned off the lights and closed his door. Not a peep or complaint out of him.
That’s almost as cool as him gobbling down the peas.