{Almost} 2

IMG_1270D is 23 months old today and I wanted to capture his cute face and a few of my favorite things about him at this age. The last five months with him have been so fun as his personality and imagination have developed. 18-24 months is one of my favorite stages! Without further ado here’s my top 5 favorite things about D pre-2.

  1. How many words he has! Seriously 100’s. He repeats everything and has sentences upon sentences. He sings songs (Jesus Loves Me, Happy Birthday, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and the Itsy-Bitsy Spider are among his favorites) and is able to get what he wants 98% of the time. This morning he was asking where his coloring book went and I didn’t get it his first 5 tries to tell me what he wanted but we got there eventually. His longest word is “actually” and he uses it frequently. He also has tonal voices. Some of favorite phrases include “Where it go?” which he says in a super high pitched voice, “thank you much” which he says with resolve, and “come on {insert name}”. “Come on” is always in a deep tone and so entertaining!
  2. His absolute love of animals. As I write, he has 6 (!) stuffed dogs in his crib. Yesterday we went to a new friend’s house who had a very friendly cat; he followed it around most of the time we were there, had to say goodbye to it before we left, and has talked about it all day. One of my favorite brother contrasts of late was a morning that J spent playing his heart out at whatever the sport-of-the-day was and D spent making pretend snacks and picnicking with an assortment of his dogs.
  3. His love of J. In true younger brother form, he adores him. He serves him well – picking out snacks for him and helping him find things he’s looking for. He spontaneously hugs (and tackles) him and has spent much of the last six months playing with whatever toy J has just discarded. The true test of their current mutual love will come in a few weeks when bedroom sharing becomes a reality.
  4. His cuddles. “Mommy cuddle” is a frequent request and one I’m trying to be attune to whenever possible due to my growing belly and realization that there will be less time for D cuddles in just a few months. He’s a sweet, sweet boy and loves to be loved on. He like J at this age is very content in my lap reading and snuggling.
  5. His desire to entertain and make others laugh. His budding personality is revealing that he too has an entertainer streak in him (surprised anyone?!?) but it’s different than J – less refined, more goof-ball/off-the-wall. Time will tell how it matures. Though there is much about him that is silly and ridiculous – I leave you this snippet so you can experience it for yourself.
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18 months & Renewal

It’s hard to know where to begin writing again. My mind is flooded with all of things I wanted to write down so that I remember them and so many more things I want to flesh out so that I can make sense of the life I’m building. I’m guilty as charged that the last year or so I’ve let myself become so busy that  I haven’t stopped enough to think and reflect. I’m resolved to write more, even if it’s just little snippets to store up memories for those days down the road when I actually have time to sit and think.

I start back with a statement – Baby D is 18 months old today! I often find myself just watching and admiring him. He’s a wonder. Days that we spend a home playing, he spends his whole day doing whatever little J was last doing. Fighting, fixing, playing trains or cars, he does it all.His favorite solo-activity is coloring and using stickers. He frequently walks around the house with two or three stickers precariously placed on his shirt. He loves J so much and it’s obvious one of D’s main goals in life is to make J laugh. He succeeds a lot by spinning around in circles and speaking in gibberish. If ever J takes longer to finish a meal, D will run laps around the table, tickling J every time he passes his chair. Of course this means finishing said meal takes twice as long because giggles accompany every bite.

I’m also amazed by how many words he has at 18 months. It’s probably 50 – way more than J did at this age which makes parenting easier and yet more challenging at the same time as I realize his intelligence and his preferences so much more than I was able to with J. My current favorite word is his name for his younger cousin – he calls her Ro-Ro. Hilariously, every baby he sees is also Ro-Ro…including every image of baby Jesus he sees this Christmas season.

He loves dogs and he like J switched from saying the word “dog” to now just using the sound “woof woof” to mean dog. He’s been sleeping with a husky dog that my grandma gave him for about three weeks now and I hope they’ll be BFF’s. He reads to it and shares his milk and his snacks with it so it seems likely. Over all D is a tenderhearted little one. He balled his eyes out when I corrected him for coloring on the bathroom stool the other day and last week when J hurt himself and was crying in the kitchen D took the initiative and went up and hugged him…for a long time. Long enough that J told him that it was enough hugging 🙂

In conclusion, baby D is still my baby but he’s much better at filling my heart with joy now than 18 months ago.

Our Ever Near & Helping God

Early on Sunday morning we said “see you at Christmas” to my sister who has lived in Virginia for the last 16 months. She’s decided that (at least for now) the Old Dominion isn’t for her and is moving back to Chicagoland. I wrote this when the emotions were still very raw but as this is my space for memories, I wanted to jot a post down for myself to remind me of God’s faithfulness to me and to my children. For even through this he ordained a way to help me parent through this momentary sorrow.

While I was out of town earlier in the week, Alex took J to the library and they picked out books. When I returned home, I was reading one of the titles with J, “Percy the Brave” (a Thomas the Tank Engine golden book) and a line  from the B story leapt off the page. It reads “I guess you have to be brave to say goodbye to someone too” Percy peeped. I got choked up then with anticipation of today and remarked to J how good this book was for us for this week. Last night when we pulled into our driveway after being at a birthday party and we saw her moving truck in our driveway, I once again got choked up. J asked me why I was crying and he reminded me I needed to be brave like Percy. He went inside and showed the book to my sister and has clung to it for the last 12 hours. Of course we talked about the emotions that are present in this time and I’ve encouraged him to tell the Lord about them. We’ve prayed and we’ve cried and sung songs that help but isn’t it just like God to come before us when we don’t have the words to say or we can’t bring ourselves to fully understand how to walk the road ahead? Isn’t it just like him to bring us closer to him? Indeed it is. Indeed he loves us, oh he loves us…he loves us all.

There is much more to say and write, but this will suffice for now. Off I go to hug babies and my husband and cling to the church.

Chicago Recap

#Latergrams

This year we took Spring Break with Aunt Michelle and left Daddy in Williamsburg to run the B&B. It was the longest any of us have been away from him. We all appreciated the change of pace for the first few days but were very happy for the reunion when it was over!

It rained most of the first few days but here are the highlights of our trip.

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11 months

IMG_6233Though some mom’s may disagree – I find 11 months with #2 is an easier pill to swallow than it was with #1. Baby D brings so much joy to our lives and fits in so naturally that even though it’s been a jam-packed first year of life for him, we’re at that point where we don’t remember what life was like as just a family of three. This time too, I know what fun one is (and beyond for that matter!). I so look forward to hearing his true voice and watching his personality come out. I can’t wait watch friendship blossom between him and his brother and witness their adventures. It goes without saying that I miss baby snuggles to a degree, but I’ve grown to realize I love toddlers and preschoolers too so I joyfully state that I’m ready to move into the next phase.

At 11 months, D is totally mobile. Climbing on everything, pulling up and crawling like crazy. It’s fun to have a crawler because J never really did.

He has 5 teeth and 5 words. Da-da, Ma-Ma, Na-Na (his generic word for food), Dog, and Ball. He loves J and thinks he’s big time when we let him “play” ball or when we chase J up and down the hall or on bikes.

He’s an attention seeker and he’s goofy. I remarked at dinner tonight that it will be interesting to see how that develops in him. Not only does he have his Daddy to watch but he also has J. Good thing he has me to temper him 🙂 He’s a sweet snuggler at bedtime and he’s learned how to give kisses which are almost exclusively reserved for bedtime as well. He’s a great sleeper and is still taking two solid naps each day. Teething has been a slight disruption in nighttime sleep but overall it’s been manageable.

Birthday celebration plans are underway. Onward to 1 dear baby. Onward to 1!

A day in our life

I mentioned a while ago I wanted to jot down what our days look like. Mostly for my memory. This is a non-preschool day for us in this season of life.

5:30AM – my alarm goes off and I hop in the shower
6:00AM – the boys wake up. Little J walks in our room and baby D talks in his bed. They get their milk and we read a book on the couch
7:00AM – Alex leaves for the B&B, we make breakfast. Little J picks out a cereal and a CD for us to listen to. His favorites are Star Wars and other movie soundtracks (Lion King, Braveheart, the Patriot, and We Were Soldiers).
8:00AM – Baby D goes down for a nap. I grab my computer and catch up on emails and start a few projects for the day while J watches a little TV. After his show is over we play games, go outside or do art projects.
Between 9:30 and 10:00 – Baby D wakes up. We play or run errands. I try to get outside everyday.
12:00PM – we eat lunch. Again, little J picks out a CD. We clean-up.
12:45PM – we start our nap time routine. D goes down first. I read three books with J, turn off his lights and lay by him. We sing a song. He always asks me “mommy can you sing me one more song and sleep in my bed five minutes?”
1:15/1:30 – I get back to my email and my projects. I make phone calls if I need to.
3:00/3:30 – I hear stirring from one or both bedrooms. More milk. Another book to read on the couch. We play and wait for Daddy to come home. If we have a sitter, she’ll manage them while I finish up my work for the day or have meetings.
4:30 – Playtime with daddy. On nice days, it’s baseball outside. On rainy days, it’s soccer or hockey inside. D watches and chews on whatever suits his fancy.
5:15/5:30 – I finish up work and start dinner.
6:00 – we eat dinner and clean-up. Then it’s off to bed for the littlest. He’s in bed by 6:30 six out of seven days a week.
7:00 – We start J’s bedtime routine which includes getting on his pajamas, getting a gogurt out of the fridge and watching part of a movie. Then it’s teeth brushing, a devotional, and 2 books. Once again, I turn off his lights and lay by him. We sing a song. He always asks me “mommy can you sing me one more song and sleep in my bed five minutes?”
8:30 – Alex and I clean and ready the house for the next day. We call or see friends. We play a game, watch a show, or talk about the B&B.
11:00 – We get ready for bed so that we can do it all again tomorrow 🙂

10 months!

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{so late…sorry Baby D}. I feel like I’m still not caught up yet from Spring Break and the whirlwind pace of life these days isn’t helping much.

The picture above was captured two days after D turned 10 months old which I feel good about considering we got back from Chicago on his 10 month birthday and we hosted a wedding at The Cedars the day after.

As mentioned, month 10 included his first plane ride which he took to okay considering his favorite wake-time activity these days is crawling around and exploring everything. But it was worth it. He was able to meet most of his Illinois family. Part of our trip was a baby shower for his cousin who is due to make her debut in July which was really fun and allowed for lots of extended family to be around him for an afternoon.

At 10 months he has 5 teeth and is dealing with serious separation anxiety. It’s tough but the second time around I’m dealing with it a little better. Understanding that it’s healthy and a good sign that he has it despite the heartache during it. His personality is so far in a word – excitable. He’s not quite pulling up but he’s climbing stairs and able to get anywhere his heart desires.

Love you little man. We’ll be buds, promise.