Sunday, August 14, 2011

Overdue Update

I am way overdue for an update on how Ivan and Nick are both doing which I will get to shortly. 

I have been silent here in blogland lately due to some personal events.  As some of you may remember, my dad died in late May, right before we travelled to Moscow to pick up Ivan.  Then in mid-July, my brothers and sisters had just come to visit for my dad's memorial when my stepdad passed away.  This timing also coincided with my return to work full-time (for the first 6 weeks I was working from home).  I went to my hometown in Illinois for my stepdads funeral with my sister and her husband and left all the boys home.  I knew that I would be a mess and that although my mom had not yet met Ivan, it probably wouldn't be the best circumstance for that.  Needless to say, July was quite an emotionally challenging month.  The two losses in close proximity were more than I could handle and I was having a hard time motivating myself to do much more than go to work and take care of the boys.  I'm finally starting to feel like myself again and there is alot to post regarding both Ivan and Nick.

I'll start with Ivan.  I think we have gotten control of the eczema (thanks Rachel for your great advice!).  YAY!  I am so happy it is gone on his face and around his eyes.  What finally worked for us was the Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy on his face and a mixture of the Aveeno Baby and 1% Cortisone on his body.  He still has a bit of a rash on his chin so we will keep at it.  His chin stays wet most of the time due to constant drooling (from teething) so when we get a break with the teething I'm hoping the chin will clear up too. 

Speaking of teeth, Ivan now has 6 on top and bottom.  He has been teething like crazy since we brought him home.  Luckily he is really good natured and hasn't been too fussy.  When he does get fussy and there is no identifiable root cause I will try giving him Hyland's teething tablets which worked with Nick and seem to work pretty well with him too.

Just this past week Ivan started using the "more" sign and has started walking!  I missed his first unaided steps (while at work) but have been working with him on trying more and more.  He is more confident in walking sideways than forwards.  Seemed odd to me until Bill pointed out that when he cruises around he is usually walking sideways.  He gets so excited when he takes a few steps without help from anyone.  We missed this stage with Nick and its fun to see Ivan mastering these new skills.

We have been spending a fair amount of time at the pool lately.  Nick took swim lessons in early July and did very well.  He went off the diving board for the first time and has started to figure out how to do the crawl.  It's amazing how much faster he gets to his destination when he uses his arms.

Ivan has been enjoying the pool as well.  At first I was hanging out in the baby pool with Ivan while Nick was in his swim lessons and afterwards, but thanks to one of my sweet neighbors who assured me I could handle Nick and Ivan in the big pool, I tried it and found that Nick is pretty self sufficient and just needs an arm to grab onto now and then.  The big pool is where Nick likes to be and it is so much more pleasant than the warm water in the baby pool.  I was really happy to be able to make the transition.

Nick has been enjoying his new role as big brother and is often very helpful with Ivan.  Especially in the morning and at meal times.  Nick has taken to climbing into Ivan's crib in the morning and we will often find the two of them there together laughing and having fun playing.  The one area that I would say Nick needs more time with is being gentle.  He seems to have a hard time understanding that he can't play rough with Ivan.  We will continue to work on this with him.

In the interest of getting this posted I will close with some pictures of the boys!

4th of July Parade

Brothers Hanging Out

Ivan with Aunt Linda