Thursday, February 23, 2012

And then they were TWO.

My babies are two.  And they're not really babies anymore they're little men.  They're toddlers with two speeds: 'full speed' and 'off.'  They truly are two peas in a pod with individual personalities unique to each boy, but completely intertwined with the other.  They don't call each other by name, just "Brother."  Yep, melt my heart.  They honk each others noses, stick their fingers in each others mouths, pour cups of water on each others head, sit on top of one another, race, giggle, play tag, drag each other around by the shirt collar, wrestle, fight, hide, and surprise each other.

Their Pops wrote this to them this morning:
My Boys,

Let me be the first one to wish you a HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY on your official birthday!! 
This old man can’t believe it’s already been two years since you started changing lots of lives – and my oh my, how you’ve changed them!  And all for the better. My wish for you is to keep growing healthier and stronger and bigger and faster and smarter.  You’ve got lots yet to learn and see and I’ve even got some tricks to teach you.  And finally, pretty soon you’ll have your very first cousin and you’ll have to show her all the tricks you’ve already learned.  Practice up and have your best day ever.  I know your Mama has plans for you!

I love you,
Pops
 
Garrett, you weigh 26lbs 9.5oz and stand 34 inches tall.  You started out at 3lbs 15oz and 17.75 inches long.

Gavin, you weigh 27lbs 3.5oz and stand 34.25 inches tall.  You started out at 4lbs 4oz and 18 inches long.

P.S. Thank you, Uncle Dick, for the fabulous shots of the boys!

And in case you haven't had the privilege of appreciating a toddler, this article might help.  Spot on.

You boys both LOVE bubble baths (and doing forbidden cannon balls) but hate to have your teeth brushed (using electric brushes have helped a little).  You go to bed around 7:45/8:00 and sleep till 6:45/7:15ish, give or take depending on the day or night.  You  nap from 1ish to 3ish (with the infrequent occurrence of a 3 hour stretch, which is quite a treat).  If you fall asleep in the car thank goodness we can transfer you easily.  No complaints from your mom and dad!  Our nighttime ritual is hectic and Gavin usually requires a visit from Daddy before all is quiet in the house.

We're working on using the stroller less and holding Mommy's hand to walk into places...sometimes it's a success and other times it's a total fail.  You'd much rather climb over the seats in the car and play with the radio buttons and steering wheel.  You love to play outside and NEED to run, jump, and climb.  We often have races on the neighbor's sidewalk and borrow our other neighbor's soccer balls.  You love to play out back on your slide or use Daddy's rakes.  Your latest tricks are to dump all the baskets full of toys faster than I can pick up after you and wear dish towels as super hero capes.  You love TV and ceiling fan remotes, pushing the buttons on the cable box and television, and turning the steamer on and off.  We read lots of books, have lots of dance parties, and enjoy Dinosaur Train on PBS.  

You can both identify:
head
shoulders
knees
toes
feet
eyes
ears
mouth
nose
teeth
chin
neck
shoulder
elbow
hand
belly button
tummy

You both can say:
Mama
Daaa-eee
Joe
Brother
Nana
Opa and Pops (Pa)
Oma (Ma)
Elmo (Melmo)
Mary Mack (Mack)
G
hair
head
nose
eye
mouth
teeth
hi
bye (with a southern drawl)
no
airplane (ya-yaa)
bear
star
dog
ball
spider
waddle
ball
raisins
bar
milk
juice
house
ice
cheese
egg
shoe
sock
night night
boat
boot
hyena
chair
walk
jacket
truck
digger
bus
wet
banana (nana)
on
off
choo choo
hot
help
hat
mine
broke
play
bike
bubbles
baby
snack
chair

You both can bark like a dog/seal, meow like a cat, grunt like a pig, hiss like a snake, roar like a lion/tiger/bear/dinosaur, cluck like a chicken, baaa like a sheep, ooh ooh and ah ah like a monkey, beat your chest like a gorilla, waddle like a penguin, stretch your neck like a giraffe, and walk on all fours like a bear.  You can run, jump off both feet, march, and do your 'funny man' walk.  Garrett, you just started doing forward rolls a week ago!  Gymnastics class here we come.

You both clap when we sing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,' 'The Itsy Bitsy Spider,' and the 'ABC's.'

You're really into books these days and are obsessed with reading Good Night Good Night Construction Site, Good Night Moon, Good Night Gorilla, Miss Mary Mack, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, I Love You More, Curious George, and There's a Wocket in My Pocket.  You sleep with your Wubbanubs, brown teddy bears, and stuffed dogs.  You two are particularly fond of two stuffed animals that were mine as a kid...a pink (yes, pink:)) bear and a koala bear (a gift from my dad when I was 7).  You're obsessed with Daddy and ask for him all day long.  You cling to me in new situations and when visitors come to our house, but warm up within a few minutes.  You are very aggressive with each other, but are much kinder towards other kids.  On the flip side, you give each other kisses and hugs and have started saying "Hi!" to one another with open arms.  I've also caught you holding hands in your car seats.  You're starting to play a little more independently and silence doesn't always mean trouble...sometimes I like to spy on you so as not to mess up your groove.  Other times when I find you being too quiet it means you've gotten into the wipes and thrown them all over the room.  You also love to clean with the wipes while you're at it, so a mama can only get so mad:)  Another favorite activity is to pull out all of the shoes from the closet and insist we wear a pair as you try some on to.  Careful, Daddy's shoes are big ones to fill.  Garrett, you seem to like to figure things out and tinker with things; and Gavin, you tend to throw something aside if it doesn't work right away.  The drill and saw from your tool bench are always hot items, as are the play kitchen and all the dish towels from my kitchen.  Coloring doesn't ever last too long, but you do love your new Doodle pads from Parker.  Gavin, you tend to throw balls with your left hand (and you have quite an arm!), but don't really show a preference when coloring or kicking.  Garrett, you have not favored one side over the other yet.  You're great at making connections between events.  Since you once shared a sandwich with Elijah, you now hold up your sandwich all the time saying his name, "Jah jah!"  Whenever you see a truck or SUV you call out daddy's name.  Any flashing light on a car you think is a siren.  Any car you see you say, "Mama."  Gavin, once you spotted a picture of a hair dryer in a book and pointed to the piece of artwork we made using a hair dryer to melt crayons.  You smarty pants boys.

You chow down on (most days):
scrambled eggs with cheese
oatmeal with cinnamon and honey
NutriGrain bars
waffles
french toast
pancakes
pears
mandarin oranges
grapes
apples (plain or with peanut butter and raisins)
blueberries
strawberries
kiwi (Gavin, you're fonder of this than your brother)
bananas
peas
sweet potatoes with applesauce and cinnamon
English muffin with honey or melted cheese
grilled cheese
tortellini with spaghetti sauce
cheese pizza
veggie/black bean burger
chicken nuggets
graham crackers with peanut butter
Cliff Z bars
raisins
Cheez-its
unsalted pretzels
yogurt
smoothies with fruit and spinach
chicken salad sandwiches
peanut butter and honey sandwiches

In two years I have learned...
-to become a better communicator and great tag-teammate with Joe. 
-that I'm not as patient as I'd like to be. 
-parenting is beautiful, maddening, exhausting, all consuming, wonderful, fun, hard, and emotional all rolled into one. 
-that my own children can make me feel the highest high and lowest low in a span of 30 seconds.
-girlfriends and mommy friends are necessary.  So are date nights with Husband.
-sometimes I don't miss my kids when they're with a babysitter and they don't miss me either and that's ok, normal, and healthy.  I'm better for it when I return to them.
-an 8:30 bedtime for Mom is often necessary.
-eating out with toddlers isn't very fun.  Neither is attempting to reason with them.
-never say never.
-my biggest joy is to see something through the eyes of my boys.

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GARRETT! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GAVIN!  
You're loved beyond measure.

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