As I sit writing this, I remember that two years ago at this time Daddy and I were stopped by the slowest train on the way to the hospital. So slow in fact that by the time it passed, there was a back up of cars behind us - at 2:30 in the morning! Your labor was sudden, two days before your due date. My water broke, contractions immediately started 5 minutes apart, and you were born 6 hours later. My plans of a natural childbirth quickly crumbled as I told the registration nurse in the lobby that I wanted an epidural - now! :)
You arrived at 7:08AM on November 24th and life hasn't been the same since. You immediately filled a spot in our hearts that we didn't know was vacant. We treasured each first with you and took what seemed like millions of pictures. You nursed well from the start and I now know that those hours we spent together each day forged a special bond that will never be broken between us. While you screamed day and night for the first twelve weeks of your life (this is no joke, ask your grandparents), we learned all their was to know about swaddling, the five S's, and played Natalie Merchant's children's lullabies on repeat.
You turned into a happy baby who tried lots of foods, bobbed around to any kind of music, slept through the night for the first time at seven months. You had no interest in rolling over but wanted to stand and "walk" at six months. You pulled at our hands to pick you up and cried if we sat you down. Once you learned to crawl though you were a speedy little guy and didn't take your first steps until after your first birthday. When you did, we joke that you walked for a few days, then ran, and haven't slowed down since!
You grasped language from the start. You signed for "please" and "more" and sometimes used "thank you" and "light." By the time you got these down, you were talking - and we could understand you. We kept a list of your words but by the time you reached 100 at a little over a year, we stopped keeping track. By then you started using two word phrases, by this summer you had 3 words down, and by the beginning of November, you started speaking in sentences in what seemed like overnight. You definitely have your tantrum moments, but I believe that many instances have been averted because you understand when we communicate with you and, more importantly, you can communicate with us. There is not a day that goes by that I take this for granted. I love talking with you, especially now. We can ask you, "What did you do at Beth's house today?" and you respond with games you played, toys you played with, and the other kids' names. It is SO cool.
You are aware of the things around you. You throw away trash without being told, ask to feed the dog, and let Chloe out the back door by yourself. You cry at the linen closet door when we don't get out the vacuum for you and you love to use your "sweeper" (rake) outside as much as your wagon. Sometimes I think that we need to start paying you an allowance! While there are times you hate by separated from us, you are already an independent child. You get me diapers when I change Grace and take it upon yourself to start up her swing "turn song on?" and lovingly say, "Don't cry, Grace!" while I get her milk ready. Last week, you actually got her to stop crying - on your own. You amaze me every day.
You are beginning to laugh at things that older children find funny and you can recognize when someone is sad. You give hugs and kisses freely and have begun (in the past few months) to take an initiative to cuddle us. We love it. <3 You are shy in new situations and with people you don't often see. You are starting to warm up more quickly though. We love to watch you play with your cousins and share your trucks and other toys. I like to linger at daycare when I pick you up because you are playing tag or racing with the other kids.
You have a love of sports (which you obviously didn't get from us!) and are a true boy's boy. You like to get dirty, collect rocks and acorns in your nature bucket, and be outside. I've begun to think that vehicle noises are programmed into boys when they are born. One day I see you racing your cars around your racetrack rug while making engine noises. Who taught you these things?? Your new love is Thomas the Train. It's your first taste of TV and commercialism. Since Grace was born, books have taken the back seat to all of the other fun things in your life but you've been engaging with them again recently. Favorites are The Little Engine That Could and The Monster at the End of This Book. You're beginning to "read" them too. While getting dinner ready the other night, I saw you reading on your chair flipping through the monster one saying, "Don't turn the page!" as Grover does. As a teacher and a lover of literacy, this is AWESOME! You also like typing on my laptop. I wasn't a fan of it at first, but it's a way to learn your letters. "Push O?" is a frequent phrase you like to utter and between the keyboard and the letters on the fridge, you accurately identify close to half the alphabet. You know that L-I-A-M is Liam and your name.
You've only been alive for twenty four months - such a short amount of time. I am in awe of what you already know and of how you learn it. I know that for the next few years you will continue to absorb everything around you so easily. Because of this, I try daily to be a better person so you have a good example. I hesitate and respond thoughtfully to others instead of giving a snarky remark. I take the time to smile at strangers. I involve you with my decisions like what to get Daddy for his birthday so you can see how everyday nuances play out. Daddy did love his happy birthday brother card, the elmo balloon, and his race cars. :)
|Bear hug! :)|
|Petting bunnies with no pants on.|
|Enjoying the great outdoors with Daddy in Shenandoah.|
|On our way to meet Thomas!|