And now you are three.
And it seems that at this juncture, you are straddling the line between
wanting to still be little and yet, be quite big. You often say, “I do it ALL BY MYSELF.” And it’s been exciting to see you find some
independence and feel a sense of pride from simply putting on your pajama pants
or the toothpaste on your toothbrush.
But also, you are my most attached child, wanting to be with mommy all
of the time, to still be carried and held and to sit on my lap while eating. And because you will only be three just this
one time, I am willing to allow it all, as I know it will disappear all too
You are still such a chill, easy-going child but you are
learning your own mind more and more and are not afraid to tell me that you do
not like something. You are more of a
homebody at heart, happy to play inside, but still willing to go on adventures
when mommy requests. Your favorite
things include helicopters, firefighting of any kind, cooking, eating out at
restaurants, the color yellow, and muffins.
You will do anything for a muffin.
You love to play for hours with your older brother building a fire
engine out of the sofa cushions, or playing at the Lego table. You are the more accommodating one, often
convinced by Jonah to change the type of game, to give up your car or truck or
to play a different role.
You are quite a character, often explaining in complicated
terms and with hand gestures why you can and can not do X, Y & Z. Your
favorite phrase right now is “that not even possible!
How that even possible mommy?” Years
from now, when I squeeze my eyes shut really tight and try to conjure up a
picture of you, it would be this:
You are standing in the doorway, wearing your yellow fire
raincoat (you wear it EVERYWHERE) and your black fire rain boots, asking me for
a “little nack” (snack) and then eating a granola bar. You will be talking about fire rescues and
saying “I have a good idea, let’s play fire games, then go outside, then pick
up Jonah Bear from school. K, mommy?
That a good idea?” Or maybe I’ll try to
remember you waking up between your daddy and I almost every morning (just when
do you sneak into our bed?) and asking me first thing for your vitamins, as you
nuzzle closer into my neck. Or maybe it will be you standing on the stool at the counter, cracking eggs and helping me cook (you are quite good by the way!). The one
thing I do know is that whatever memory I try to grasp from these days will be permeated
by your enduring sweetness and cuteness.
You have brought SO MUCH joy and laughter and sparkle to our
days, Nugget. For me personally, you
have taught me how to soften into my role as a mother, and to learn how to
enjoy it more. You are still teaching me
how to slow down, a lesson that is many years in the making, and I work hard to
be present with you amidst so many life distractions.
Three is pretty awesome and I know it just keeps getting
better and better. Thanks for the love,
the opportunity to be your mama and thanks for being so deliciously you. YOU ARE LOVED LOVED LOVED. Happy Birthday, my darling.
You are now 2. Every day more and more of your personality emerges. From what we can tell so far you are one pretty incredible individual. You are all heart. I mean really, your sweet nature just radiates off you like heat. People stop to comment about you and your cuteness everywhere we go, especially at the grocery store when you are pushing your own cart (this is a new skill you have just acquired) and when you are taking yoga with mama trying to put yourself into legs up the wall. I see peace at your core and I hope that remains a lifelong trait.
You ADORE your older brother and spend lots of time following him, trying to keep up with him and talking about him..."Donah, uh,uh, mama, Donah." At the moment you are a pretty typical little brother, letting him dominate, but I have a feeling that might shift and we might discover that you will establish clear boundaries around your needs. I have a hunch that a quiet intensity lies beneath your surface.
You have quite a bit of words and want so badly to string them together to have conversations with us. You often chime in with "me, me, mama, me" in response to whatever we are talking about. You do NOT want to be left out. You have a couple of 3 word sentences, most frequently, "mama help me." The bond between you and your father is incredible. You light up when he walks through the door at the end of the day and often want to fall asleep next to him or on him.
You are active, love to be outside digging in the dirt and are all boy. But also a boy who LOVES cooking. I can not make dinner (and often breakfast and lunch) without your "help." You can be found on a stool at the counter trying to contribute in some way or another. Sometimes you really DO help! Your patience, listening skills, and self-restraint amaze me. You are generally happy, unless tired, when you become incredibly clingy and want to be held all the time.
Your greatest loves at the moment are Elmo (and all things Sesame Street), balls, fire trucks (though nothing like Jonah's obsession) and dogs. You just received a dalmation (fire dog) stuffed animal that might end up being your lovie. You are now using your previous lovie, your bobby (pacifier) just at night because we told you that big boys only use them at night. You did great with the transition and were only sad for a day or so. You seem kinda wise beyond your years and you definitely understand SO much more than I would ever imagine a two year old could understand. I think you are the most grounded and even-handed member of the family and I hope that remains too!
We love you so very much and are grateful every day to be blessed with you in our lives. The joy you have brought my heart is immense and I am so proud to be your mama. It only gets more exciting from here and we can't wait to see your fullest, truest, nature emerge.
This week you are 20 months. You are a delight, but have definitely kept us on our toes. You want to do EVERYTHING that Jonah is doing, but you forget that sometimes your body doesn't yet know how. It is adorable though to see you imitate his speech, the way he does everything, even walking where he has walked and touching things he has touched.
(Eli and Jonah at bathtime. Please try to imagine the noise level that accompanies this photo.)
You two are starting to play together more and more often, and Jonah asks you all kinds of questions relating to his pretend play world that you don't understand--to which you just usually shake your head yes or say a tiny "no, no, no" in your sweet little voice. Speaking of no, you are definitely finding your voice and learning to speak your mind. The cute no, no, no just yesterday became an emphatic and pronounced and drawn out, "NOooooooooooo." Yikes. So not ready for the terrible two's (it's been my least favorite stage). The tantrums and the stiff-as-a-board body antics have already begun.
(Eli serving something "haa" to his animals)
You LOVE playing with balls of any kind (and you are quite good at throwing and kicking, actually) and you LOVE being in your play kitchen, making all kinds of meals and telling us it's "haa" for hot and then feeding us. It can occupy you for long stretches of time. Anywhere we go--if there's a play kitchen--you are in it. I think that is AWESOME.
You understand so much of what is going on, and really very nuanced things, that it really astounds me. You don't talk a ton yet (just a dozen words or so) BUT you clearly communicate your needs through facial expressions, gestures and then responding with a head shake when we ask you a question. Your absolute favorite word at the moment is "me, me, ME!" which you say often when I talk to Jonah about the plan for the day, or ask if he wants something to eat/drink/wear/read/watch, etc. You definitely don't want to be left out. Don't worry kid, as the second born, I TOTALLY GET IT and you will never be left out. ;) Just this week you have started imitating our words, and we've been having your practice "trick or treat". It's totally incomprehensible, but you sing the words exactly as we sing them. It's great and I predict you'll get LOTS of candy for Halloween.
You sleep in a big boy toddler bed (you began that at like 16 months), which is kinda crazy, but totally works for us. You share a room with your big brother and you are a great sleeper. I can imagine that in 6 months or so we'll hear both of you talking up a storm to one another.
(Eli looking a little worse for the wear, but still with a smile on his face!)
You seem to be a bit accident prone. I think it's because of the aforementioned "keeping up with Jonah thing", but it's taking years off my life. We've already had way too many injuries with you. Just this past week you fell outside on the sidewalk and scraped your face, and then 3 days later you fell off a stool as I was cooking soup and caught the sharp corner of the cabinet on your forehead. The pediatric triage nurses and I have an intimate relationship. I could do with less bumps and bruises and more sitting still. ;)
You are a total joy and bring so much love and light to our life. Being with you is easy. Experiencing life with you is so much fun and it's true what they say--I can't remember a time before you were a part of our family. Thanks for blessing us every day with your spirit.
Love you more than all the cars, trucks and balls in the whole world,
This past weekend we went on the Walkersville Southern Railroad (a little boy's dream!). Who knew my hometown had such a cool experience? Although Jonah likes trains, he's really a firefighter through and through, so I don't think we'll be switching passions anytime soon. Eli was just really into sticking his head out the window and feeling the lovely breeze. The train ride was complete with a robbery, gun-shoot out and a saloon gal hero (this part was completely unexpected but the boys took it all in stride). Highly recommend the experience for anyone with little ones!
This is what happens when you try to get an adorable shot of your two boys in matching Halloween pajamas....
You get an adorable shot (or two!) of one son, who is not yet mobile...
Then your other son finally gets in the picture, but tries to hurl the largest pumpkin he can barely lift...
Then the bigger son runs away to tromp through the bushes....
and Mommy realizes that this might be the only way she can get them both in the shot...
Then the baby tries to eat the pumpkin....
And finally, the camera battery dies and Mommy decides to say forget it (!), and embrace documenting real life instead of some staged (albeit adorable) posed photo. Here's to hoping we can shoot them in their costumes with some bit of luck!
You are a gem. You have not shown up here lately, but that is not because my love for you isn't immense. Right now you are quieter than your brother and that means he often seems to take center stage. But let me tell you, you know how to command a room. With your rich, brown eyes that seem to know all of life's mysteries and your sometimes hesitant, but then heart-opening and electrifying smile, you draw people to you everywhere we go. And they all ask me, "is he always this mellow? is he always this sweet?" And I smile and tell them that of course, like all babies you cry, but generally yes, you really are the zen, buddha-like baby that you seem. Although you have a tendency to seem serious, I think you are just a very careful observer, attuned to people and situations in a very wise way. You have one heck of a belly laugh and it is truly awesome to hear you break out into giggles when I'm silly with you.
It is amazing to watch you and Jonah play together. He really is a helpful big brother, offering you your sippy cup, bringing you toys when you are sad or bored, and telling me when you roll over or spit-up (which you do a little too often for my liking). And when your big brother gets too excited and exuberant with you, you still find a way to be tolerant and patient, and above all, endlessly forgiving. I am so enamored with you and feel so lucky to have a front seat while watching your personality emerge. Our entire family has been enriched by your arrival and our hearts are that much more filled with love.
Savor Life. Every joyous, messy, exciting, stressful, mundane, crazy-making moment of it. Savor those you love, your body, your everyday choices. Most of all, savor yourself, because you and this present moment are all you have.
Pregnant in DC/MD/VA? Check out these resources...
Birth Options Alliance This site is a phenomenal resource to find care providers, doulas, childbirth education classes, resources, birth stories and so much more. You can also sign up for the listserv to ask questions, learn more and be updated on events and offerings.
DCUM Weblog — DC Urban Moms & Dads This is a huge forum for DC Metro parents to get ANY question answered both prenatal and postnatal. Wonderful resource to get varied opinions, but just beware...some responders are snarky! Take what you need and leave the rest...Good place to find out about local events.