I sit here typing in disbelief. I know all moms feel this way, that I'm no different, but I simply can't swallow the fact that my son is two years old. How is it possible that we've had him with us this long? I am so thankful for this sweet little boy God has given us. There are so many things that the Lord perfectly orchestrated about him and about us that made us a family who can grow together in Him.
So without further ado, here are a BUNCH of things I LOVE about my sweet Bennett, in no particular order:
1. He loves to learn and is constantly observing, repeating, etc. to learn and explore more. This makes life VERY interesting :)
2. He has a great sense of humor (and he's only two!). He tells his own little jokes and will laugh and laugh when someone else is laughing. Anyone who is laughing is automatically labeled "silly." I know a Silly Haley, a Silly Laura Beth, a Silly Daddy, and a bunch of others currently :)
3. He is a great helper - he helps clean up his toys, he helps put the laundry in the dryer, he "helps" unload and load the dishes and he brushes his teeth and "combs" his hair. Occasionally he even helps feed his Lamby and Froggy (which always makes for a great washing up experience later on).
4. He truly wants to please and wants to obey. Bennett is a great respecter of rules and guidelines. He likes structure and he likes to know what the boundaries are so he can stay in them, not flirt with them (obviously this happens sometimes - he's two! - but for the most part, he is SO sweet natured and obedient). This makes it easy on mommy and daddy because this is how we both were growing up for the most part.
5. He LOVES to give kisses and hugs and is a very affectionate, social child. He says "hi" to just about everyone, and gives affection without a thought - everybody could use a hug!
6. He's extremely verbal and I LOVE it that we can carry on little conversations now and that he can talk about things he's seeing and experiencing. He's always been this way, but now he's saying sentences and paragraphs that I understand and can repeat and respond to, which he LOVES.
7. When we pray together as a family, he puts one little hand in mine, and one little hand in Daddy's, and it never fails to melt my heart. He knows what prayer time means, and after we say amen, he says, "YAY!"
8. He prefers veggies and fruits to sweets, carbs or meats, which makes it super easy on mom to make sure he's eating healthy most of the time. Seriously, at his party this morning, he tackled his cupcake for a minute or so, then pointed to the veggie tray and said, "Broccoli? Carrot?" Beautiful. (he certainly didn't get it from me!)
9. He's slightly neurotic, like his mama, and this is kind of nice because I was pretty sure until now that I was the only one like me. His clothes have to fit a certain way, his socks can't be bunched up in his shoes, and he doesn't like extra messes spread around on his high chair (unless he's put them there on purpose while playing with his food). He asks to brush his teeth, and he has a set routine for bed that he has mostly implemented himself: after our bible and book reading, he always puts his head on my shoulder while daddy prays, then kisses me, then kisses daddy, then hugs me, then hugs daddy, then turns on his crib lights, grabs Lamby and Froggy, and lays down. Hee :) He comes by it honestly.
10. He's a drama king. He "shivers" and tenses up when he doesn't like something or is "afraid" of it. When he laughs, he laughs loud and full. When he's upset or his feelings are hurt and he cries, he has to be held and he cries it out for a while (then he's up and at 'em right away again). Again, this is somewhat of a mommy trait, I think.
And here are some developmental updates on my fella (with some bragging rights mixed in for the grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc.):
*He identifies the letter and sound of 21 of the 26 letters of the alphabet (he loves looking at and playing with letters - I'm not a psycho, he's just one of those kids who cares about it).
*He knows the colors pink, blue, purple, yellow, white and black, and sometimes orange and green.
*He can count to ten by himself.
*He knows the shapes circle, square, star, heart and sometimes triangle.
*He can say his ABCs in order by himself up to G.
*He is EXCELLENT with directions. After a few minutes in the car, he can usually tell me where we're going (Mimi and Poppy's house, Daddy's school, church to see the flags and lights, library for story time, the park to play and walk, the store, etc.)
*He is speaking in understandable phrases and sentences, and most often speaks in 3-5 word phrases now, where he uses descriptive words about things he's talking about.
*He can dribble a soccer ball, spiral a football, and throw pretty far.
*His favorite TV characters are the Wiggles right now (sigh) so that's usually what we rent from the library since we don't have cable. Truthfully, it's my fault since I introduced him to them. He also knows who Barney is (I WILL not surrender), and I suspect this comes from church or school, because it DEFINITELY doesn't come from me - gotta draw the line somewhere :)
*He LOVES to dance, to "play the guitar" and to "play the drums."
*His favorite things right now are balls (as always), flags (seriously), lights, the Wiggles, walking with his Walk n Ride lion around our neighborhood, cars, and story time at the library.
*His least favorite things are going to sleep (we know it's time for bed when he starts saying "No night night! No night night! This almost always happens before we've said anything about it), falling (he's taken a couple of nasty spills over the past few months), getting a haircut, and being still.
*Favorite phrases: "That way!" "Mommy, help please." "No throw." "See the lights and flags?" "Walk with lion?" "No night night!" "Aw, nice baby!" "Lamby and Froggy?" "Lamby needs wash." "Whoa, dude!" "Big trash truck!" and a few others that I can't remember now.
*He's not growing in gigantic leaps and bounds in the gross motor skills, more a slow and steady pace, and I think this is mostly to do with his cautious nature. When I tell him something is hot, he doesn't think "How hot is it?" He thinks, "Mommy says it's hot and I don't want to get hurt, so I won't touch it." He doesn't think to question or provoke things, so his learning curve physically is more affected by being around other older kiddos, and since he's the oldest in our house, it's a little more slow-going and he's a bit more timid than other kids I know. (which is fine with me - it keeps him from getting too big too fast and has saved us a trip or two to the emergency room...unlike his daddy at his age :) ).
For his party this year, we decided to keep it simple and just have family over. I didn't feel like hauling out the big bucks for more than that and my motto this year is "simplify." We did a sports theme (since he loves balls so much) and had a great time. His great grandparents on both sides got to come, too, which was a nice treat. Thanks so much, family, for coming! We love you and you made Bennett's 2nd birthday SO special! Here are some pictures with the amazing new early Christmas present we got from Michael's parents:
Part of the crew.
Getting a snack.
Opening the gifts.
World's coolest dad putting together world's coolest tricycle.
Playing with one of his presents.
Bennett, the roadster.
This is seriously the most awesome tricycle we've ever seen. It has a bell and is made of chrome and metal and has wide tires so it won't tip. THANKS Great Grandpa and Granny!!
Bennett also got some other super cool gifts not pictured here, like an embroidered backpack he can take to school, lots of play-doh stuff, some cool movies, a bowling set, lots of new cars, etc. (Mommy is excited that she has plenty of new things to rotate and keep things interesting around the house!) Thanks so much to all who love our little buddy and came today, and to those of you who couldn't make it but love him and were thinking of him! We appreciate you!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET BOY!!