Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Our Little Two Year Old

Last Saturday, our little nugget turned two. He has also been quite the little pill for the last couple of days....hmmmm....correlation?
Aside from his frustrating, typical toddler behavior, we think he is just the most precious, incredible creation that we have ever seen. Here are some of his stats and updates.


Weight/Height: I don't know what it is yet, but he is a little on the small side. He mostly wears 18 months size clothing, with a few 12 months items thrown in, as well as a few 24 month/2T shirts that look a little baggy on him. He wears size 5 shoes. Oh, his shoes. What is cuter than tiny baby shoes?? Sadly, Jo's fat baby feet are turning into normal kid feet. The squishiness is all but gone, but I still am in the habit of squeezing them every chance I get. He weighs about 27 lbs. He is quite muscular and lost almost all baby chub. He is pretty totable, so he gets carried around pretty frequently.

Talking: Jo is extremely verbal. It's been so fun to hear him learn new words and try to piece together sentences. He still signs a few words, mainly "please" and "more", but that's about it. He likes to repeat what we say and he has a good memory. He knows too many words to list, but here are a few of my favorite phrases (in no particular order):

1. Murcan Fwag: American Flag
2. Habbit: "Have it" , usually said with determination.
3. "No Like it, ___": When Jo does not want to do/eat/hear something, he always says, "No like it" followed by the thing he doesn't like. For example, today when I told him I had to check his bum for poo, he said, "No like it, check bum!"
4. "You": what he calls himself. Adorable. Although, just this past week he has been trying to say his own name. It comes out as "Donna"
5. Je'us Cwist: Jesus Christ. He rarely calls his by only Jesus anymore; it's always Jesus Cwist.
6. "Pway toys!": No matter where Jo goes, when we ask him what he did, he always responds, "Pway toys!" Whether he is returning from a friend's house, a store, or church. Funny boy.
7. "Bwoken!": If anything is unsatisfactory, it is declared to be broken. This includes food, body parts, toys, clothes, etc.
Singing: Jo LOOOOOOVES songs and loves to sing. It makes my singing heart so happy. His favorite song to sing, as well as to listen to is "Let's Go Fly a Kite". He also loves to sing songs from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, "I Love to See the Temple", and more. He is like his father in the sense that he can pick up song lyrics very easily. If we are singing a song he doesn't know, he still tries hard to sing along.
8. "Ay are!": "There you are" or "There it is". He exclaims this when he finds something he is looking for. I absolutely love it.
9. "The end!": This is what he shouts as he slams the cover down on any book that I try to read when he wants my attention.

Toys: Jo's favorite toy is his beloved cabbage patch doll named Baby. In August of 2015, I was at my parents' house and found my old doll. I thought it would be cute to pass it on to Jo, but I had low expectations for his interest. But something clicked in his little brain that unlocked his paternal instincts, and he is madly in love with Baby. He has a stroller for it, he loves to put it in his highchair to feed it. He snuggles in bed with it every night. The poor doll is as dirty as can be, but it very loved. Every night, he has to fall asleep snuggling his baby and his "choo choo".

Other toys that Jo likes are cars and trucks. He has an abundance. There are always at least 2 matchbox cars in my diaper bag at any given time. He likes to "cook'n dinner" at his kitchen set. He loves balls of all variety. He has his own football that he carries around nonstop, but he has a budding interest in baseball. He likes to carry an old pool noodle that was cut in half and pretend its a baseball bat.

Activity: Aside from playing his variation of sports, he loves to "wun around". He is desperate to learn how to jump, but he just can't seem to get his feet off the ground. It's pretty hilarious. He is a bit of a klutz and falls, bangs his head, or runs into things regularly. Luckily, he is very tough and rarely cries from it. When I ask, "Honey, are you ok?" He always say, "K." and continues. on. He likes to dance a little, but not much. His dancing is usually just running back and forth.

He loves parks, and would live his life in a baby swing if I let him. He is getting better at climbing on jungle gyms and goes down the big slides effortlessly.

Affection: To my delight, Jo is very cuddly. He loves to run up to me and give tight, aggressive hugs where he clenches his teeth from hugging so hard. He also is still obsessed with my hair and uses it as his most trusted comforter. He mainly rubs the tip of it on his palm or his face. Sometimes I grow tired of having my hair constantly pulled (and occasional bitten), but I do think it is sweet to see him feel calm in my locks. He gives pretty halfhearted kisses most the time, which is just him saying "muh" without a pucker or anything.

Shows: His favorite show is still Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, though he went through a Winnie-the-Pooh streak for a while. He also likes to watch Sheriff Callie's Wild West occasionally, as well as Sesame Street. His favorite screen has become the phone screen. He knows how to navigate his way through Youtube to watch various firetruck clips and songs. I limit his phone and screen time, so when he DOES get the chance to play with my phone, he acts like a junkie getting his first fix in a while. Crazy kid.

Social Life: Jo is still a social butterfly and much prefers the company of anyone over being alone. He love playing with other children, though he does not love the concept of sharing...but then again, what 2 year old does? He loves babies, and when he sees one he clenches his teeth so hard that he almost shakes. He loves to crawl next to them, pet them, hug them, and kiss them. He cannot resist a baby...just so long as it doesn't touch his stuff. He does great at the gym daycare, as well as at church nursery.

Eating: Ugh. Eating has become my least favorite verb. Jo is an incredibly picky eater, and will abandon foods that he once loved at the drop of a hat. It's been a very frustrating phase (is it really a phase if it's been going on for 3/4 of his life?), but I try my best not to get too stressed over it. His favorite foods that I can always count on him eating are pineapple, pepperoni, ravioli, and "Special Guck", which is milk with a little bit of flavored coffee creamer in it. We call it his special drink that he can have if he eats some of his dinner.

Spiritual: We are very amazed at Jo's spirituality. Admittedly, we are not the most diligent parents when it comes to teaching the gospel, though we have been getting better. He really picks up on things quickly and becomes passionate about them. For example, ONE time, we showed him a picture of a temple and talked about Angel Moroni on top, and after that, he was all. about. temples. He wanted to see pictures of them, of the statue, and talk about them over and over. Same thing with Joseph Smith. He loves to pray and folds his arm and closes his eyes habitually without any coaxing. He loves to try to say prayers and sing along to hymns in church. Every morning, when Jordan asks, "What did you dream about, Buddy?" his reply is ALWAYS "Je'Us Cwist!" Having this sweet little spirit in our home has strengthened our faith, and we are grateful for the increase of spirituality he brings.

Other funny things: Jo always hides when he has to poop, he can count to 15 pretty effortlessly, knows most of his basic colors and shapes. He remembers names well. He loves water and wants so desperately to jump. His favorite hangout spot is his crib, as long as someone is in his room with him. In fact, he wants someone to be around all the time. He likes having mom close by.

We just love this little big guy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

California Dreaming

During the last week of February, I got to spend nearly a whole week in Southern California with the majority of my family. We all took shelter in my brother and sister-in-law’s new house in Winchester. ‘Twas awesomesauce.

Well, the beginning of the trip was far from the sauce of awesome. Jordan was unable to come, so I flew with Jo solo. We had one layover in Phoenix. When we landed in Phoenix and I went to retrieve my stroller (all while holding a very heavy sleeping dead weight of a son), I saw that my stroller had been placed at the gate and someone even took the time to set it up and open it….one problem, though. It was MISSING A WHEEL! I asked an employee to please retrieve the rouge wheel, as it had most likely fallen off in the plane. Sadly, they looked and declared it MIA, which made my stroller a three wheel piece of useless trash.
Sleeping lug of a kid at the airport.

They checked my stroller to San Diego and offered me a wheelchair to use throughout the Phoenix airport. That didn’t work. I FINALLY got to my gate and miraculously, Jo was still out cold. While I began to relax, the front desk worker got on the microphone and said something along the lines of the following:
“Hey everyone going to San Diego. We just got a weather warning that it is super foggy in San Diego. We MIGHT be able to get on our plane as scheduled and land there, but we MIGHT also have to land somewhere totally different, and no, we have no clue where that might be. There’s also a chance that this flight will get cancelled. Never mind that fact that it is already late at the night and the next flight to San Diego is tomorrow morning IF THERE ARE EVEN SPOTS AVAILABLE. Ok, BYYYYYE!”

Naturally, I did what I do best when my panic and stress collide- I cried. No wailing and sobbing, but enough crying to allow everyone in the gate to give me the side-eye “Is that chick ok” look. Thankfully, a man sitting across from me explained that he was a retired pilot, and based on what he looked up on the fog, it didn’t seem serious and he predicted that my flight would be fine. That calmed me down a little, though I was still so stressed until I FINALLY heard that words from our captain that we were clear to land. Phew.

So after all the pains of flying TO California, the remainder of my time was excellent.
My brother has an amazing backyard. He recently added a patio, a track (or bikes, trikes, and scooters), a bunch of fruit trees, and in-ground trampoline, and a gymnastics bar. Kind of puts our backyard with a nonworking hot tub and garden of weeds to shame. The best part was it was perfectly safe to let Jo wander around with minimal supervision.

It was so fun to see Jo interact with his cousins. All of his cousins from my side were in the same house, so he was never lacking any attention.

One day, we spent the whole morning and afternoon at Oceanside Beach. Jo was so thrilled to be there, that while we were packing up to leave the house to head to the ocean, he kept grabbing my hand saying, “Go BEACH! Go BEACH!”  His high hopes for the beach were met and exceeded. He had a blast! So did I, despite the freeeeeeezing water. Thank goodness for my sister-in-law’s wet suit. I was able to boogie board for the first time in a long time, and it felt great.

I often feel so down when I think of how spread out my family is, but trips like this one help me to feel hope that we can still remain close to one another. I’m so glad my siblings, their families, and my parents made coming to California a priority. I love them all.

Turning two.

And just like that, my little guy will be two this week.

I am so happy that Jo is alive, healthy, and well. I know so many mothers in the world don’t get to celebrate their children’s second birthdays. I am trying so hard not to get sad as my baby gets older, and to remember that growing older is a privilege.

But I am not made of stone. Cue the water works.

I am not going to lie, this birthday (as well as my own upcoming birthday) is tough on me. I always imagined that when Jo turned two, I would be super pregnant with the next bundle-o-baby, or at least pregnant at all. It’s hard to see him grow up so quickly when the next baby’s timeline is unknown. It also makes me sad to know that every day that passes make Jo THAT much older and further apart than his future siblings.  

It’s so bittersweet to see him grow. I LOVE listening to him talk nonstop and learn new words. I love hearing him try to string words together into commands and questions. But it also breaks my heart to see him abandon some of his baby-talk vocab. Monkeys are just monkeys now, they will never be “Ah-Ahs” again. When he ever so politely says, “please”, it will only be “please”, never again “BEEZ!” I’m glad he is learning and correcting himself, but does he have to do it so quickly? Thankfully, he still refers to himself as “you” and calls milk “guk”. I am clinging to these precious words.

Plus, now that he is two, he actually costs money to fly, amiright?? Since birth, he has been on 17 one-way flights (not including layovers) and they were ALL FREE! Now every trip will cost me double. Ew ew ew.

In the end, I am happy to watch him mature and have his sweet personality further shine. I have to accept that time isn’t slowing itself down, and I am satisfied with how much time I get to spend with my boy. Sometimes being a stay-at-home mom is dull, but I know that I will miss many parts of it when this phase is gone, so I am doing well at savoring all the crazy moments with Baby, now TODDLER Jo.

Now, if we can just keep age THREE from sneaking up on me, that would be great.