Sunday, March 23, 2014

2 Years Old!

Dear Elliot,
Happy 2nd birthday! I cannot believe it's been two years since you came into this world and brought so much fun, laughter, chaos, and pure joy into our lives.

You've had a larger than life personality since you were just a little baby, but over the last six months you've really developed a mind and spirit of your own. 

When you get into something, you really get into something. Right now that something is superheroes. It started with Batman, then Superman, and has since expanded to include every superhero in the galaxy, both the well-known and the weirdly obscure. You have a collection of "guys" that we've been acquiring from Goodwill and other various thrift stores, and you are obsessed with lining them all up just how you like them.

And speaking of obsessed? Let's talk about your obsession with costumes. You absolutely love to dress up. Most mornings you wake up asking to put on one of your superhero outfits. Your grandma got you some off-season clearance Halloween costumes for Christmas, and we've since gotten a few more, and you insist on wearing one of them (or some combo of a few of them!) pretty much every day. In public, like wherever we go. I figure if it makes you happy, why not? 

You started sleeping in a "big boy" bed about two months ago. I was super nervous about the big transition and was really worried it was going to mess up the great sleep habits you finally had down, but you did awesome. Probably helped that you got to go from crib to your very own Batmobile! 

Your dad wrote more about making your bed here.

Since you're such a big boy now, you've been talking more and more like a big kid too. It's so much fun watching you go from one and two word phrases to speaking in simple "sentences." You still have some pretty funny pronunciations for some words (ie: cuddle is "cuckle," good is "doog," Captain America is "caca caca" etc), which I find absolutely adorable and almost hope you never correct. 

I love walking through the store with you and seeing your face light up every two seconds as you see things you recognize and shout out their names. "Blue bike!" "Yellow soap!" "New book!" Or my personal favorite: every time we leave Target and pass the red ball sculptures they have outside, "Bye, big balls!" (I'm so mature, haha).

You still have a great love of books. You'll sit and read with us for pretty much as long as we'll keep reading. You have almost memorized some of the books we read the most often and will say the words out lout as we read. Reading by yourself is also one of the few activities you'll sit quietly and do for long periods of time. Sometimes I pick you up from school and find you just sitting contently with a pile of books. It makes English major's heart incredibly happy. 

You've been going to school two mornings a week and you absolutely love it. We go through one of the school districts nearby that offers block time daycare, which works really great for my fulltime work-from-home schedule. You recently moved up to the "older toddler" room and are loving all the crafts and songs and more structured activities they do with you. Many mornings I'll ask you "what should we do today?" and you exclaim, "school!"

Your teachers are always talking about what a "busy" boy you are--and it's true! You are definitely high energy! I literally can't even remember the last time we used a stroller because you like to walk (or run) everywhere. You love going to parks (lately it's been all the indoor parks around town) and climbing around with all the big kids. You are fearless. There isn't staircase too steep, a slide too long, a tunnel too scary that you won't attempt it. I adore your sense of adventure but man, you've definitely given me more than a few near heart attacks!

I feel like I could just go on and on and this fun stage of life you're in right now. I could also go on and on about the not-so-fun parts (like the picky eating, the tantrums, the "please use your gentle hands" phrase I have to say at least 3493948398 times a day), but really, truly, even with the challenges that come with raising a toddler, I couldn't be happier. And I couldn't possibly love you more. 

Happy birthday, baby boy! Can't wait to celebrate later this afternoon!

All my love,

Monday, September 23, 2013

18 Months

Dear Elliot,
Today you are 18 months old -- a year and a half! I am way overdue for an official update post, but instead, I think I'll just tell you some things I am loving about you right now.

I love your spunk, your spirit, how full you are of life. I love the pure joy you find in the littlest things, and how you just let it show. I love how you will randomly start laughing to yourself, like you just discovered something hilarious that nobody else even knows about.

I love how you start dancing the second you hear music -- doesn't matter if it's one of Dad's records, the radio in the car, a song playing in a store, or just the simple tune coming from one of your toys. I love how if we're at a concert, you run straight to the front the of the stage and go crazy (and I love how you're always looking around to make sure you have an audience!)

I love how you wake up every morning talking about dinosaurs. I love how you can spot every last dino toy, no matter how far back on the shelf it might be hidden, when we go thrifting at Goodwill. I love that you know the difference between at T-Rex and a Pterodactyl, and I especially love the squawking noise you make for the latter.

I love your love of books. I love how you'll sit in the car and study each page of your books like you are actually reading the words on the pages. I love when you come running up to me with a book and plop down in my lap so we can read it together. I love that there have been nights where I've watched you fall asleep signing "more" after bedtime stories.

I love your sense of adventure, your bravery, your willingness to try new things. I love that when we go to the park you find the biggest, fastest slide and attempt to go down it all by yourself. I love how much you like rides. I love that when you fall, you brush yourself right off and keep going. I love your determination. 

I love how social you are. I love that you turn around in the cart to smile and wave and flirt with random people at the store. I love that you go right up to other kids (usually the older kids) and try to play with them. I love that you blow kisses to strangers and I love that sad face you get when you notice someone else is sad.

I love your energy. I love that you run so much I think you've literally forgotten how to walk. I love how you squeal with delight and flap your arms around when you have an open space to move in. I love how we never use a stroller because you are so good at keeping up with us on foot. I love that you keep me active and that I go to bed feeling like I've run a marathon each day. 

I love your sense of wonder. I love that a stick or a rock can make your eyes light up with joy. I love that digging your bare feet into a pile of dirt can make your day. I love that you want to know how things work. I love that when I take you to places like the Children's Museum or the zoo, you love it so much you don't even know what to do with yourself.

I love your sweetness. I love how I can say "mama needs a kiss" and you'll stop what you're doing and come running up to me with puckered lips. I love how you hug and rock your babies, and how you share bites of your breakfast with your dinos. I love how you like to go through my wallet, find my driver's license, point to my picture and say "mama! Mama!"

I love your independence. I love that you run off do your thing at the park or playground. But I also love how every few minutes you look around to make sure you can see me then give me a smile and a quick wave before resuming your play. I love that every now and then, you still hold up your hand for me to hold while we're walking. I love those moments when you're really sleepy and all you want to do is lay your head on my shoulder and cuddle. 

I love that your my son. I love that I'm your mom.

I love you, I love you, I love you. Happy 18 months!


Friday, June 14, 2013

You, Lately

Dear Elliot,
Yikes, I am so behind! You are at an incredibly fun, yet incredibly exhausting stage, so I just haven't had the time to site down and write. You are definitely keeping me busy!

I know I've said it a million times before, but this time I totally mean it: this is my favorite age yet. It feels like every single day you do something new, and I am just in awe of what a truly wonderful and bright little boy you are turning into.

I want to make sure I remember just how much fun this 13-14 months stage was, so here's a little recap of what you've been up to recently.

Physically: you're a runner, a climber, a crazy, always-into-everything kind of kid. You just love to be on the move. One of your favorite activities is to run up and down the walking paths in the woods behind our house. You love it so much you literally wave your arms and squeal with delight as you go; you'd stay back there forever if you could.

You're also obsessed with playing at the park and running around the splash pad. We're at a minimum of one park a day, usually it's two or three. You have no fear, which is both really fun and really terrifying for me. You'll follow the "big kids" around and try to copy everything they do; I swear you are one year going on 11. And water? You love it. The first time we went to the splash pad you ran right into the water, stuck your face in it, and never looked back. 

Verbally: You are starting to say more and more words, especially in the last few weeks. Aside from mama and dad, your first real word was dog "doug!" and it's still the one you say the most. Anytime you see a dog at the park, anytime you see one in a book, anytime you notice Foxy or Jackie running around, you yell it out. Most mornings one of the first things you say after waking up is "dogs?" and go looking for the girls. Adorable. 

Along with dog, the other word I hear pretty much all day long is no. It's usually more like "noooooooo!" You are developing quite the little personality (more on that later), and are definitely figuring out how to get things you want (or avoid the things you don't want!)

Here you are saying no to everything I ask you:

Here are some other words you are saying consistently right now:
  • Don't (in response to diaper changes, putting on socks, anytime I take something away, etc)
  • Yes ("yeah" or "yep")
  • Hi 
  • Book ("buh")
  • Banana ("nana")
  • Up
  • Out
  • Duck
  • Ball ("bah")
  • Milk (usually just pointing to my boobs and whining "mmmmm" but I'll count it, ha)
Beyond the words you actually say, you understand a crazy amount of words/phrases, and it's amazing that you are starting to follow instructions/commands so well. Like it blows my mind the things that you know (that I didn't think you knew). For example, the other morning you were playing with your baby doll and I said, "Elliot, I think your baby is hungry" and you immediately ran to your kitchen, grabbed a wooden cookie, and shoved it in the baby's mouth. Genius!

Here are just some of the things you'll do on command these days:
  • Dance (seriously, cutest thing ever)
  • Clap your hands
  • Snap your fingers
  • "How old are you?" (you hold up one finger)
  • "How big are you?" (hands in the hair)
  • "Where's your nose/tongue/ears/feet?" (you point)
  • Give me a kiss (or give your baby/dino/whatever a kiss)
  • Give me a hug
  • Bang bang (bang like a drum)
  • Go get a book to read (bring it to me, sit on my lap to read)
  • Bring me your shoes
  • Go to your high chair (time to eat)
  • Go outside (you run to the door when I say it)
  • "Who's on the phone?" (you hold up whatever's in your hand to your ear and say "hello?")
  • Pick me a flower (flower = dandelion) 
Here's a video of your signature dance move:

Personality: you are still just an exceptionally happy little guy. Always smiling, always laughing. You love hamming it up and flirting with strangers, but you're also developing more and more of a...let's just call it a "strong personality." You hate being told "no" and not getting your way. I'm sure this is a universal thing in toddlers, but I think it might come out even more than is normal with you :) I wonder where you got that from??

Overall, you are just amazing. Like I am in for real, actual awe and amazement that you are mine. That I get to be the one you call "mama." When I really think about how lucky I am, it's overwhelming. 

I love you so much, Mr. El. 


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