Happy 2nd Birthday Anders!

IMG_4176It’s always fun to look back and reflect on the beginning of a life. Reading back over past blog posts (here and here) I was reminded of that significant day two years ago when this sweet chubby boy entered our life. He has blessed our home with such joy, camaraderie, and laughter. His quick smile, and spunky personality has changed all of us. We all smile more. As his vocabulary has increased his personality has become even more pronounced. He loves to chat, be involved, and spark conversation. He’s always in for a good joke, and if no one else has one, he’ll come up with something. His exuberance and celebratory style are contagious. (Bare bottomed, he often comes galloping out of the bathroom after his recent potting tries yelling “Come, Come!!” with a broad smile and bright eyes.) His emotions are intense, be they joy or frustration, and he can lash out with surprising tenacity and furor. He slapped Tom hard across the face just this afternoon, after Tom dared put him in his car seat! Needless to say, emotional coaching is ongoing.
We celebrated Anders’ birthday today. Scotland was SO excited about preparing for it last night that he was up until 10:00 or later, helping me decorate a poster for Anders’ door, sneakily stuffing balloons in Anders’ room, and creating his own little surprises- toys in a sock and our “Happy Birthday Hamster!” book at his door. He just kept coming out with a new idea of how we could make Anders’ birthday special. It was really sweet. I scored a whole bin of Playmobile toys on Craigslist. (Along with the Strider balance bike below.) The lock and key on the fold up stable was a favorite.
IMG_4121I was giddy about giving Anders a balance bike for his birthday. I was sure he would adore it, and I got it spot on. We were blessed with a sunny afternoon today and went to the church parking lot to try it out- he didn’t want to get off. He kept saying “I Fast!” and “Watch out Daddy, I coming!” (As he slowly walked his bike towards us.)
IMG_4087 Anders is very aware of what it means to be a big boy, and this bike just seemed the perfect entrance gift. A true sign that he had arrived!
IMG_4190-1-2IMG_4194Anders was so proud of the cake I made him. When our friends the Hulets arrived for dinner, he galloped over to the kitchen saying “My cake! My cake! Look!” He blew out the candles as soon as Tom lit them, with surprising accuracy. It was a simple birthday, but a sweet one. I took every opportunity I could to hug him, kiss him, and tell him how much we all love him!
I took some time the other night to write some memories/thoughts/milestones of Anders’ that I don’t want to forget:

  • Cleaning up floor then putting hand towels in the “warming drawer”- so they were put away. (It took me a while to figure this out, as he will often clean up spills of his own accord when I’m not in the kitchen. I kept wondering where all the hand towels were going!)
  • He’ll often say “Sorry, sorry” sort of sotto voce if he bumps into you, or gets in  your way. He loves shoes and will often help us all find our shoes- “Here you go Mommy!” Earlier this week as we finished bagging our groceries he exclaimed: “We did it!”
  • Comfort items: Lovey, Chippers, and blankie- andy one of his Aden and Anais blankets. “Lovey” (a half bunny half blanket little thing) is his favorite, he’ll hold it and rub his fingers across its silky ears over and over.
  • Mimics. If he sees me wave at someone he’ll quickly look up and wave. If he notices I always put in his water bottle in one corner of his bed, then he will start doing that too. He seems to be a creature of habit, and loves structure and patterns.
  • Likes puzzles, and patterns. Sorts things by color of his own accord.
  • Spicy-mmm! (recent change in appetite, less picky now. Thank goodness!)
  • He calls all classical music “Mouse” since watching the Nutcracker.
  • “’kay”- pretty logical. You can talk him through most things.
  • Favorite toys: Trains, cars, blocks, Duplos, dollhouse, more into “guys”
  • Identifies women as Mommy’s and the elderly as Poppas or Grandmas.
  • Prays independently. Loves to pray. (Reminded me to pray the other morning when we woke up together, before we got out of bed.)
  • Loves to dance. At the end of movies when the music comes on he’ll jump up then turn around and hold both hands out, welcoming Tom or I to join him.
  • Potty training- “Come come!!!!” Treat?!
  • People comment on how “content” he is.
  • As of yet never any separation anxiety. Scotland usually walks him to nursery.
  • Loves to sing the hymns and have his own hymnbook at church.
  • Very aware and sensitive about what is his. (Christmas really helped this- as he seems assured that we would give him things that would just be his. Often if you say “Yes that’s yours, but would you like to share?” He’ll happy offer the toy to a friend.
  • “You okay?” Often checks up on Scotland or I if we indicate that we were hurt.
  • One nap.
  • Loves walks and sitting in the stroller.
  • “Myself!” He loves to be independent. Clipping his top seatbelt, setting the table, putting away the silverware, cleaning up after spills, carrying in the groceries, cooking, cleaning up toys, closing doors.
  • Very aware of how he can help- grabs the dustpan for me, when he sees I’ve created a pile, puts the laundry soap in the dishwasher when I’m filling it, “Help you?” He’ll ask, if he sees me carrying a basket of laundry, or a bag of pellets, and start “helping me” carry the item.
  • Silly. He loves to laugh and make his brother laugh. He’s picked up on what some of Scotland’s friends think is funny. Using words like “stinky” or “diaper” in hopes of getting a laugh.
  • Opinionated. He doesn’t like being mistreated, and will let you know LOUDLY if he doesn’t agree with the course of things. Can throw a royal tantrum- spitting, yelling “No” or “Not nice!” and occasionally hitting or throwing things.
  • Fake cries, coming up to me to report injuries.
  • “Sta-was” (Star Wars) when he saw me return a star wars book Tom had been reading to Scotland, and sometimes Anders at night.
  • Calls Scotland “Scots.”
  • If you ask him what his name is he’ll point to himself and say “me.”
  • Loves to run, and jump. Always jumps off curbs. Galloping.
  • Social. He loves being a part of preschool, going to playdates, and being one of the “big boys” when Scotland’s friends come over. He’s learning all their names and will say “Hi Noah” with his low raspy voice when he sees him.
  • Pats on the back. He will still give you pats on the back when he hugs you, which for whatever reason, totally melts me- it seems so mature.
  • “Toes!” I love uncoding his limited vocabulary. He’ll say “toes” to indicate that his pants need to rolled up, that he has something stuck on his foot, or that the floor is cold.
  • He’s using three word sentences all the time now. I really adore this age and their excitement to communicate. He LOVES to talk, and will fill in sentences with non-words if need be. He labels everything he sees and we’re often surprised at what words he knows. He said “Sta wahs” the other day when he saw me returning a Star Wars book at the library.
  • When he thinks something is really funny he’ll cover his mouth with his hand and rock his head as he laughs.
  • He loves finding the duck hidden on every page of our Usborne “Farmyard Tales” books.
  • He loves doing “Reading book” and taking piano lessons, always reminding me to “Bow” when the lesson is over.
  • He continues to watch attentively during Scotland’s Taekwondo classes, and practices the moves at home- often under the tutelage of Scotland. Similarly, he has learned a good portion of the sun salutation, thanks to our yoga sessions together.
  • He really enjoys our “learning time” together when Scotland is at preschool. We do puzzles, play games, and work on other enriching activities together.
  • Loves books. He sits and listens attentively to all four-five books we read before quiet time and bed time each day, often commenting on the pictures.
  • “I don’ wannit” – when he doesn’t like something.

(As a side note, Scotland was cruising on this balance bike today too. It turns out the slight slope of our church’s parking lot is ideal for learning to balance!)

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