Thursday, September 19, 2013

2 years

To my big boy,

our Father wired you a very certain way and from the second you were born, you exclaimed your personality loud and clear. When I look back over your life, I am filled with wonder. You're exactly the same today as you were the day you were born. But you've developed into an absolutely delightful little BOY, my constant companion and joy from the Lord.

You are a connector of dots. Always have been and I think you always will be. Incredibly associative. You remember things that blow our minds. Every time I ask to hold your hand when we cross the street, you say "vroom, vroom" (meaning that  you understand we hold hands because a car might come). When you see the color blue, you say "dada," because you remember that is your daddy's favorite color. When you see the letter T, you say "choo choo" because you know T stands for train. And trains are your favorite.

It goes on and on like this all day long. You see something, attach it to a memory, and remind us of the connection. The brain God gave you amazes us!

Today I heard you say your very first two-word sentence. Usually you just say one word at a time. We've been working on directing words to people, like "bye, Mama" or "move, Annabelle." But you hadn't spoken any sentences on your own yet. We were walking home from the park and you said "Dada, home?"

Just for memory's sake, I'm going to try to recount the words you are currently speaking: doggie, duckie, choo choo, track, bunny, boone, mama, dada, ahbel (annabelle), tidew (stryder), mick (milk), wa-wa (water), juice, nana (banana), apple, mark (color/marker), moot (move), mow (more), mimi, chip, ga-bean (gramma beanie), es-lee (lesley), mack (matt), abby, bet (beth), gabby, bin (brynn), hudson, micah, cayman (caedmon), nona, many letters of the alphabet, most of the numbers 1-10 (if we count like elmo), meow (cat), cow, goat, e-i-e-i-o (always sung), bat (bath), i-pad (you say this clear as day - you are your father's son), tuck (truck), bawney, elmo, patty (paci), backy (blankie), off, on, ah-key (ok), yes, no, pees (please), no pees (no thank you), bubboo (bubble), pock (park), bus, ah-mean (amen), back, up, down, in, poo-poo, pee-pee (ha), wook (work), uh oh, bye bye (with a waving hand to everything and everyone whenever you leave). You try to repeat most words when we ask you to.

You continue to be cautious around strangers and in new environments. We have yet to make it through a church nursery without hysterics (sigh). Someday you will understand that the separation is just temporary. We have left you with non-family babysitters several times and you've done pretty well. They are great with you, and I think you enjoy being with them, especially because you get to stay in your own house.

When you are with people you know, you're a hoot! Full of life, talking, playing, running around, joking, laughing! However, you clam up when you feel that you're in the spotlight or feel like you're on "show" (you get this from your mother). You are not into performing. And that is just fine.

Cars, trains, trucks, construction equipment - any moving vehicle thrills you. You are all boy! When we are out driving, I often point out trucks or buses. You stare at them until they drive away and immediately say "more, more!" You also LOVE the wheels on the bus song and if you could, would listen to it all day on repeat while doing the actions (the horn beeping seems to be your favorite).

The past two times we've taken a family walk, you refuse to ride in your stroller and insist on walking along with us. You can walk so much further than I would have imagined! We've even let you hold Annabelle's leash and you get a kick out of walking her while Daddy walks Stryder.

You have a precious little heart and rarely do we have to discipline you. When we do, although you  might be screaming mad at first, you usually become receptive and humble and willing to say sorry (you still do this by rubbing your chest). The other day I asked you not to do something and you looked right at me and did it anyway. I got down at eye level and asked you why you did it, and you responded right away with a "sorry." You totally know.

We took our first family trip last month (before you turned two, so you could fly free!) to California. You did really well overall, considering all of the disruptions to your regular routine. The highlights were the beach - you could not get enough of the water or the sand - and getting to meet and hug Elmo at SeaWorld.

You are eating soooo much better than you used to, now that you have a mouthful of teeth. You still choke sometimes, but we had an ENT doctor examine you and everything is fine physiologically. I think you may have inherited my gag reflex (sorry about that). We stopped the bottle a few months ago and now after naps you drink a sippy cup of milk, with a little chocolate mixed in. You also get a bedtime sippy of milk. That transition off the bottle was surprisingly easy. We were considering giving up paci when you turned two... but I am wondering if it might be better to hang onto it until we can reason with you and explain why you can't use it. I know it will be an enormous battle and I'm not sure I'm ready to take it on yet (I'm also not ready to lose sleep as you will wail without it). We only let you have it when you're sleeping, so I don't know that it's doing any harm, or so I tell myself.

You are also sleeping and napping a lot better. Lately you've been sleeping from about 8:30/9 until 7:30/8. Your naps were such a struggle for a while, but the past couple of weeks you've been averaging  1.25-2 hrs which is AMAZING for you! I've been putting you down closer to 2, trying to stretch you until you're really tired, and I think it's helping you stay asleep longer.

I keep thinking that the next phase of life could not possibly be any more fun, and then it always is. The Lord is so gracious to allow me to be a student of your life! What a gift.

I love you, ever so much,

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

1.5 years (aka 18 months)


It is unreal how fast you are exiting babyhood and entering little boyhood. Around the first of the year, you turned a corner in your smart little brain and all of a sudden we could tell that you understood pretty much every.thing. that we said to you. It’s crazy! We speak to you like a big boy now and you almost always respond accordingly. Or sometimes, not so accordingly, with your newest head tilt/half grin that sends me into a giggling mess.

There are so many stories over the past few months of sweet/funny/smart/mind-blowing things you have done – we are doing our best to record them as they happen in a database on our phones. It seems there is something new to add every day, because every new skill you master or milestone you reach amazes us. It is our enormous privilege to daily witness your life, sweetheart. Following are a few key aspects of Boone at 18 months that I want always to remember.

Besides the dogs, books are your best friends. After you wake in the morning or from a nap and I get you out of your crib, the first thing you utter is “woof, woof” and point to the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of your dogs in the backyard. The second motion you make is toward the chair, where we sit and then you reach over to the chairside table and select the book you want me to read to you. You nestle into me and sit quietly as I read, occasionally turning a page for me or pointing to a favorite animal or car. We go through book after book this way until we’ve read everything on the table.

You started consistently signing “more,” “please,” and “all done.” You say “please” by patting your chest, “all done” by shaking your hands, and “more” by clapping your fingertips together. And let me tell you, it is nearly impossible to resist your request when you look up at us intently with your big blue eyes and, instead of whining, politely pound your little chest. So charming and so sweet.

Animals noises are your favorite to say. For nearly all animals we point out, you’ll speak the noise they make rather than the name of the animal (moo for cow, quack for duck, roar for lion, woof-woof for dog). While you have been able to say mama for a few months, you’ve started saying it more frequently in your sweet little voice. And much to our delight, you have also added dada to your repertoire.

You still love music. Cracks me up. Recently you started clapping one big clap as soon as you hear a song you like. You’ve also developed some signature moves for dancing to slow songs that don’t have a steady beat. We’ve got it on video so we can enjoy your rhythm for years.

You’ve also discovered the joy of dizziness. You turn around and around, over and over, laughing and laughing and not even caring when you fall down or run into things. Pretty entertaining for you and for us!

About a month ago, we finally made the switch to a forward facing car seat. About time, I’m sure you’d tell us if you could! We were waiting until we got a new car, and that took a little longer than anticipated. You are loving the freedom of being able to swing your legs and look forward on the road. No more awful sun glaring in your eyes through the Jetta's back window.

We also completed our second round of swimming lessons last month. You hadn’t been in the water since last summer so it took you a few sessions to get used to it again. But you’ve picked it up quickly and are even on the verge of jumping in from a stand on the side of the pool. So proud of you!

Right after Christmas, you came down with the horrific RSV that’s been going around this winter. Ugh. It lasted a little over 2 weeks and was a miserable time for all of us. Until you’re a parent, you won’t be able to understand the heartbreak and helplessness of watching your beloved child sick and suffering. It stinks. But we made it through, hopefully with a powerful immunity toward that nasty bug.

During that time, we lost any semblance of the routine that you have been used to. For a number of reasons, we decided that this might be a good time to switch you from two naps a day to one. This has not been an easy transition. You’ll sleep about an hour, 1.5 if we’re lucky, but that’s it for the entire day. Every pediatrician, every friend, every resource I can find says at this age you should be napping 2 to 3 hours. When you wake up you are usually crying, like you want to go back to sleep, but can’t. It is so hard on me. I feel like I’ve tried everything to help you stay asleep longer, but nothing seems to be working. Maybe by the time I write my next update, we’ll have conquered this thing and you’ll be back to a healthy amount of daytime sleep.

Blankie and paci continue to be faithful companions when it's time to sleep. We are encouraged that upon waking, after a little snuggle time, you'll happily drop them both into your crib to wait for you until it's time to sleep again. That makes us feel like you're not too terribly attached to them. We may try to wean you from the paci in a few months, but will probably hold on to the blankie as long as you want it. [Truth be told, your mama slept with her blankie until she left for college...]

We are down to one bottle a day, right before bedtime. I’ve finally gotten you to drink milk from a straw - not yet a sippy - but a straw beats the bottle. You don’t seem to like change, buddy! And you will only drink the milk cold if I mix some chocolate milk in with it. You certainly know what you like (and what you don’t).

One huge improvement over the last month or so have been your eating habits. You are eating infinitely better on your own. I’m still adjusting to being a toddler chef – trying to expose you to as many different healthy finger foods as I can. I continue to feed you things you need to eat from a spoon or fork (yogurt, soup) but I also give you utensils at every meal so you can practice. Your silverware skills are definitely on the rise and I’m sure one of these days you won’t need my help anymore at all.

During the past two weeks, we’ve seen nearly 20 inches of snowfall and it has been a blast! You in the snow is a sight to behold. I gave you a long wooden spoon and a little shovel and you proceeded to spend hours “cleaning” the snow off our bushes and redistributing snow piles. It’s starting to melt now and I’m thinking we just might need to invest in a sandbox this summer…

You continue to love doing all sorts of jobs. You're detail-oriented and painstakingly thorough as you go about whatever task it is, already a hard worker. I've been letting you helping me dust, vacuum, put dishes in the cabinet, put things in the trash, pick up your toys - it's awesome!

These past few months, despite the challenge of your naps, have been my most favorite season yet of your life. It is truly magical to be able to interact with you like another human being. Nothing beats the way you look at me with light in your eyes as you make discoveries. I think I can’t enjoy you any more, and then you laugh and call me mama and time stands still. :) Precious boy, you are a gift.

I love you (a bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck),

Sunday, December 23, 2012

merry christmas!

Man of Sorrows! What a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

15 months


I haven't written an update on you in a while, but that's not because there's a lack of updates you've made! You are such an engaged, lively, independent (or at least wanting to be) boy these days. Equal parts enjoyable and exhausting. :)

You have taken your own sweet time to start walking - as of today you're walking about 75% of the time and crawling the rest. Your latest achievement is turning fast in circles and then falling down, dizzy and laughing. Cracks us up.

Speaking of laughing, you love to do it. At yourself, at Mama, at Dada, at any friend of yours who does something even remotely funny. Your little sense of humor is fully developed, and actually has been for a while.

Dancing is your favorite part of every day. I have music on almost all of the time because you LOVE IT. Your moves have increased: you love waving your hand in the air, swaying, bopping your head, and bouncing up and down while standing up. You can't get enough of songs with a beat. Whenever you hear music start, you immediately look my way with pure excitement in your eyes. So stinking cute.

With four bottom teeth all the way in and your top two halfway there, your eating has [slightly] improved. You love to feed yourself but easily get bored after a few bites of each food selection. This presents a little bit of a problem as you are a crank when you're hungry (you get this from your mom). So I am still feeding you from a spoon to ensure that your tummy gets full at meals. Most dinnertimes, your dad has to distract/entertain you while I shovel food into your mouth.

You are understanding so much these days! While in Colorado for Thanksgiving, one of Jimpa's friends told you that he liked your shirt. As soon as he said it, you grabbed your shirt and looked down at it! I had NO idea that you knew that word! Others you recognize and can point out: belly button, nose, hair, shoes, socks, feet. When I tell you we're going to go take a bath, you crawl right into your bathroom and pull back the shower curtain. If I tell you that we're going to go play in the basement, you crawl right to the gate! You also love being asked to brush your hair, or even better, my hair! You also know how to "stand up" and "sit down." Your comprehension and responsiveness is sort of amazing to us.

Words you can speak: dawk-ee (doggie), uh oh, mama, bye. But you never, ever say them on command. It has to be your idea and your timing.

You love getting small toys out of boxes or baskets, "dusting" with feather dusters, taking books off bookshelves and pushing anything that rolls (cars, balls, etc.).

Still napping twice a day, around 10 and then again around 3. You're unpredictable in this arena, staying down anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hrs. Since returning from Colorado a couple of weeks ago, you've been off your normal morning wakeup time and have been alerting us with a cry between 6:30-7 rather then 7:30-8. Hoping somehow we can retrain your body... that extra 30 minutes sure used to be nice...

We're kinda pondering dropping the bottle soon. You still take one first thing in the morning, before your afternoon nap and before bedtime. So far you have not responded well to milk in a sippy but at some point we're just going to have to tough it out. The bottle and the pacifier probably need to go... you're just so attached that it is not going to be easy on any of us.

weight: 20 lbs (3rd %, sweetie, you're making mommy a little nervous here)
height: 31 inches (43rd %)
size 4 shoes
size 4 diapers
12-18 mo. clothes

Every night, the very last thing I do before I get into bed is to sneak into your room, pull your blankie up over you and whisper a prayer of thanks for my boy. You are a precious gift, sweetheart. Now go gain some weight, but quit growing up.

Monday, November 26, 2012

32 reasons

I started a tradition several years ago that, unfortunately, was skipped last year... for however many years my husband has lived on this earth, a post listing that number of reasons why I love him.

Picking it up again today on his 32nd birthday. Happy birthday to my most bestest friend! I love you!

1. For being an incredible daddy to our little boy. INCREDIBLE.

2. For working so hard to provide for our family.

3. For sensing when I need a break from the kid and giving me one.

4. For your heart for those who don't know Christ.

5. For your willingness to let go of a standard of perfection, instead working on a standard of grace.

6. For never, ever making me feel guilty when our house isn't clean (which is pretty much always).

7. For your generous heart and deep desire to be a surrendered steward.

8. For the many times you bring dinner home when I've had a long day.

9. For changing Boone's diapers, even when they are the biggest you've ever seen.

10. For getting Boone up most Saturday mornings so that I have a chance to sleep a little bit longer.

11. For buying me back my childhood home.

12. For helping me make my childhood home ours.

13. For putting our family first.

14. For developing an ingenious prayer system to pray with me.

15. For picking up dog poo and mowing the yard when it's the last thing you want to do.

16. For your man-crush on David Platt. ha ha

17. For sharing the exhaustion of raising a 15 month old.

18. For really wanting to always do the right thing, the thing that pleases the Lord.

19. For doing a song-and-dance routine so that Boone will eat his dinner (almost every night).

20. For saying "mama" constantly to Boone so that he will learn it.

21. For cheerfully and unbegrudgingly doing the dishes.

22. For wanting to use your profession as a ministry.

23. For serving people in Ethiopia with your dental skills.

24. For helping me so much with our garage sale.

25. For knowing how I take my coffee.

26. For loving our neighborhood and our neighbors.

27. For eating sushi with me.

28. For not caring at all when Boone messes up your shoes and your bathroom drawers. 

29. For making with me our most bestest creation. ha ha

30. For laughing with me at silly things like #29.

31. For fostering a Kingdom perspective, in yourself and in me.

32. For staying faithful to me for seven years.

Friday, October 19, 2012

first party

The Saturday following Boone's birthday, we hosted a little shindig at our house with 60 of our family and dearest friends. Pizza from Ziggy's, salad, cupcakes, ice cream and beautiful weather made for a sweet and memorable evening to celebrate our precious boy.


Petie, Christine and I have literally known each other since we were babies, making it incredibly fun that now our kids, all born within three months of each other, are growing up together.
 Our sweet friends, Dan, Petie and Caedmon DeJong and Christine Kelly. 
Mom and Dad with the birthday boy 

Our futile attempt at getting a happy wagon pic with the kiddos:
 Brynn Kelly, Raef Ochs, Boone, Caedmon DeJong

Ruby Casamento, Lily and Lucy McClintock, Elliott Casamento

Boone was fairly timid with this cake, unlike the cupcake that he fearlessly smashed a few days prior. I think its size was a bit intimidating, but he still got a few good bites in and messed himself up enough to warrant a bath. Good job, buddy!

(Unfortunately in most of these pics, Boone is sporting his beloved pacifier. While cleaning the house earlier that day, Mom may or may not have been paying attention as she was vacuuming and he was sticking two of his precious little fingers underneath the vacuum. And the vacuum just might have skinned the tops off. Poor little guy was in major pain and the paci helped enough to make him social during his party.  Mom felt pretty awful about it, especially happening on the day of his very first birthday party. :( )

 Boone and Aunt Lesley

Little introvert...
while all of the guests talked, Boone was happiest playing in the dirt by himself.
Myma and Papa C
Christine, Brynn and Micah Kelly
Us with Mimi, Great Aunt Janet and Great Uncle Brent
Us with Gramma Beanie and He-who-is-yet-to-be-named

Friday, September 28, 2012

9.5.12 :: one

last glimpse of you as an 11 month old...

your first day as a one-year-old went something like this -

8:30 am: 
first meal on our special "red plate" - pancakes with sprinkles

11:30 am: 
an ornery look for mom as she takes your 12 month pictures

all afternoon: 
play with balloons. visit Gramma Beanie. shenanigans. read blog post dedicated to you from Uncle Austin. tomfoolery. read blog post from Aunt Abby and Uncle Adam revealing their super cool gift to you. facetime Aunt Lesley.

5:30 pm: 
arrive at Cabela's for your official celebration

6 pm: 
eat some grub

6:30 pm: 
blow out your first candle, followed by your first taste of refined sugar

think you liked it.

6:45 pm:
after a bath in the cabela's sink, open some gifts

7:15 pm: 
it's hard to believe, but even more fun awaits. time to see the animals!

8 pm:
head home, exhausted and happy, to dream of giant moose (mooses, meese?) and leaping mountain lions.