Thursday, June 22, 2017

Oliver is two

Oliver celebrated his second birthday nearly two weeks ago now, so I thought I'd get his little birthday letter up. Maybe this letter will inspire me to get Emerson's fourth birthday letter up [since you know, he turned for in January!]. But today is all about Oliver . . .


Today you are two years old! It's a little crazy to think it has been a whole two years since you came into this world, where has the time gone? But at the same time, it seems like you have been with us for so much longer. It's amazing how time works like that.

You are a blessing and a joy and I love spending my days with you. It seems as though just recently your little personality has just popped. You've always shown us who you are, but in the last month or so you're a whole new little boy. Maybe it's due to the fact that you are growing into more of a little boy than you are a baby, or being in a new house in a new place is good for you, or you're feeling better all of the time these days. Whatever it may be, I love it!

Your favorite things include: snacks [all the live long day], watching shows - especially Paw Patrol, Daniel Tiger, and Curious George, being outside, coloring [crayons/paint/chalk... doesn't matter], reading books, playing with toys - especially farm animals and Paw Patrol pups, your blankie and paci [you drag that thing around all day every day and hate parting with it, your paci is mostly just in bed now. mostly . . . we're working on it . . . ], cuddling with mama, looking out the window, spotting turkeys or bunnies in our yard, and stickers.

Right now you are a boy of very few words. Your limited vocabulary includes: Ma [how you say mama], Da Da, ba ba [bubble], pa-pa [for Paw Patrol], Daa Daa [for Daniel Tiger], eesh [please], Rubble [again, you're pretty smitten with that Paw Patrol ;], baba [balloon], don [done], and those are the main ones in rotation right now. When you see a picture of Peppa Pig you snort to let me know that's what you want - the book, picture, box, or show if we happen to have the DVD at home. You said "breakfast" the other morning when I told you breakfast was ready, when opening one of your birthday presents you said, "a present!" You have said a few other words and phrases here and there, but these ones are pretty much all your words right now. No one else would understand you, but you say: "here I am!" and "there he is!" - we play peek a boo a lot. I pray for your words to start flowing from your lips and I know that they will, soon, and then I will be trying to remember what the days were like before you talked non-stop ;) For having such a limited vocabulary though, you sure know how to get your point across and let us know what you want [most of the time - especially when you aren't bucked in your seat at the table]. You will either walk to where/what you want and get it yourself, point to it if you can't reach it so I can get it for you, or you take me by my hand and walk me to where/what you want and then put my hand right on it or point and "uh uh" if you can't reach it. When we are playing you do the same, if I'm playing with something the wrong way or playing with the wrong toy, you'll take my hand and put it on the thing you want me to have. You have a few signs up your sleeve: more, please, sorry, bird, drink, food, airplane, all done, and help. Your face is so expressive and you use your hands to gesture a lot too, like raising them in the air for "where" or clasping them together to pray, or covering your eyes to play peek-a-boo.

You love one on one play or reading books. You pour over and study the pictures. Animals are your favorite to look at, especially farm animals, and you'll choose most any animal book you see. Lift the flap books are one of your favorites, and you love to play "where is _____ ?" when we read together. Doreen Cronin's books are your absolute favorite, I can't even tell you how many times we've read "Dooby Dooby Moo" or her others. When we play you love to put a toy in my hand and move it how you want it to go and die laughing when I make the toys interact with each other. Even though you prefer playing with me, or sometimes Emerson [though right now you two still haven't mastered the playing together nicely most of the time skill], you are really good at independent play. I've caught you stilling in your bedroom playing with your horses or pups or cars or building towers. You take your horses for gallops around your room by crawling around on the floor, a horse in each hand. You love to play, I love to watch you play. Emerson never played like you do and has only to play like that recently, but you play and it's the sweetest.

Outside is one of  your favorite places to be, but when you're ready to come inside, you're ready to come inside. We've even been at the park before and you've walked over to the car because you're done playing and ready to cool down, have a snack, and a drink. You love bubbles and drawing with chalk [or drawing in general ;] and would do that all day if you could. We were gifted with a bubble machine in May and a certain little boy broke it [ahem... ] so you got a replacement as one of your birthday gifts, it broke just shy of you having it for a week [ahem ...]. I'm really tempted to get you another one, a more durable looking one, but they take tons of batteries and if you break it that's $10 gone so for now we're sticking with bubbles wands, which you love just as much. It's all good.

Since your days as a brand new babe, you've been a pretty good sleeper and I just pray that continues! Right now you go down to bed between 7 and 7:30 and I usually don't get you up until 8 in the morning. You usually wake up before then, but play quietly in your bed. I'm not sure when it started, but now there are a few toys and books in your bed and you play and read before you fall asleep and once you wake up. I'm not sure what your sleep will look like once you're not in your crib any more - but hopefully that day won't come too soon.

You are one picky eater and it drives me bonkers! I never know what to feed you. I give you what I fix for dinner or lunch, but a lot of the time you end up eating plain bread and applesauce. Though you like Mexican rice and jambalaya so, I don't even know. I'm trying to figure out at what point you get what you get and that's it. The few times I've done that you've just marched into the pantry and helped yourself to the box of Cheerios, so yeah. Help! Also, please just eat what I fix, it would make my life so much easier. You love to snack and it seems as though you snack all the live long day [maybe that's why you don't eat well at meals?]. But if I don't give you snacks you get mad and then you still don't eat your meal. I just don't know. [This is where I welcome all of the feeding toddlers tips and tricks and advice. For the real.] For breakfast every morning you eat a big bowl of steel cut oats. They must be steel cut with brown sugar. Any other way and it's not going to fly. haha.

because at GeGe's house you can eat your oatmeal however you want . . .

For the most part you like your big brother, but your relationship is special. Sometimes you love him and he cracks you up and you play sweetly together, but more often than not you're hollering because he's making you angry or taking your toy or something. I just pray that you'll be the best of friends when you get a little bigger.

Things you don't like include going grocery shopping or to any store for that matter. Our shopping trips are always very loud and wild adventures and we get the attention of everyone in the store thanks to you and your brother. Bath time is iffy for you - you mostly hate them and scream in protest [have you ever tried to bathe a screaming toddler? It's not fun] for the most part you hate them, but the last week or so you've been happy to take one and have even played in the water. Let's hope that continues. You hate having your diaper changed - there are more important things you have to do, you know. And not getting what you want makes you so angry. Oh man. But in general, you are a very happy and chill little guy.

We're having to wait to take you in for your two year well check because of new job/changing insurance reasons, and I hate that so I don't know your stats or anything like that. But we went to the doctor for other reasons about a month before your birthday and you were about 21 pounds, your height I'm not sure about. I suppose I could measure you myself, but I just haven't. haha. You are healthy and growing though so we are thankful for that. You've had another rough year health wise, in and out of the doctor more than I care for, but you have been in good health since our move and I'm praying it continues. Maybe you were just allergic to Illinois or our house there? Hopefully Kansas is good to you health wise.

Speaking of moving... You moved! We moved about one month before your birthday from Champaign, Illinois to a Little Town in Kansas. We had a crazy few weeks before the move and of course the week of the move was nuts too, but you did really well. Adjusting was a bit hard at first, though I think that was mostly because I was busy unpacking and your GeGe and Poppy tried to keep you entertained - you just missed me and our usually daily happenings. You love having a bedroom of your own now and you love running around our new home. Hopefully it's the last time we move.

Oliver, you are such a blessing and a joy. I love your sweet little personality so much and am just so very thankful for you. I want to remember everything about you at this age and sometimes wish you didn't have to grow up - but you do and I know that will be good too. My prayer for you is that you will love Jesus and seek after him all of your days, that you are a God-fearing man, and that you are filled with generosity, wisdom, and courage. I love you so much.


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