My Jasper John is two years old, and I'm fresh out of babies now *sigh.* It still amazes me how much he has blossomed and grown since his eye surgery last September. The strides he has made make me feel so proud of him - he's worked so hard to get where he is. Before posting pictures of the birthday and the birthday party (a small family party this year), here's a milestone/personality list for my little one:
1) This kid has a sweet tooth a mile long. Sugary cereal, ice cream, bubble gum (yes, we give him gum when brother gets it, wag your finger at me if you must - he chews it and never swallows it!), candy, COOKIES...it's the straight and narrow way to his heart. Want to bond with the little guy or pull him away from Mama? Just offer him a cookie, and he's your instant BFF. I used to encourage eating all the sugar, months ago when he wasn't gaining weight and sugary stuff was all he would eat. But now we're trying (TRYING) to scale back.
2) He's still a Mama's boy (and a Mimi's boy), hands down. I'm the one he comes looking for in the morning when he wakes up, when he's sleepy, when he's hungry, when he needs some loving, etc etc. Jasper is my little cuddle bug and I'm eating it up while I still can. He just likes being where I'm at, which is a high form of flattery if you ask me. It gets slightly irritating when I'm in the kitchen trying to cook dinner, or trying to clean, but I've found that I can give him a task or tool like the one I'm using, and he's good to go :)
3) Jasper loves his big brother Bennett to pieces. He copies a lot of what Bennett says and does, which makes for interesting interactions between the two of them at times (Like when they're hollering in each other's faces. Joy.). If Bennett is working on numbers and counting, Jasper wants to "count" too. If Bennett is painting or doing puzzles, so is Jasper. If Bennett growls and crosses his arms in a pouty way, so does Jasper (Lovely.). If Bennett is finished with breakfast, so is Jasper. Right now Bennett still doesn't know what to do with his little brother because he's not quite ready to play the games Bennett is most interested in, but I see marvelous, beautiful things in store when they can play together more and more. I love it that they have each other.
4) Educational stuff: he knows almost all of his letter sounds and will say them when you either say a letter name or point to a letter, but he won't say the name of the letter itself yet. When he wants to, he also has a pretty good vocabulary, but a lot of his words are still partially said (like leaving off the ending sound). We had him evaluated for speech (and everything else!) when we started therapy, and they said he's a few months ahead of the game, which is nice. He knows the color purple and the color blue, and sometimes the color yellow and green. He can do simple chunky puzzles and he LOVES reading books - he would be happy as a clam to read books all day long.
5) His little personality is so sweet and loving, and he has a very sensitive heart. If he gets a spanking, big fat crocodile tears roll down his cheeks and he cries and cries. It just breaks his heart (and his Mama's, although I have to pretend otherwise). Same thing if he gets a stern "talking-to." If someone else in the room is upset or crying (like Bennett, or another kid in his class at church), Jasper's little lip starts trembling and he'll join them if he doesn't get a little comfort and reassurance that it's okay.
6) Jasper loves to figure out how things work. Me and my mom think he has the mind of an engineer, like my Grandpa. He takes things apart and puts them back together, he sits and studies things, you can see him plan things out in his head. He wants to know how pieces work together, and he loves to build. It is fascinating to watch because he and his brother (who moves a mile a minute and would have a hard time sitting still if you paid him to) are SO different.
7) Both of my boys are excellent sleepers, but Jasper takes the cake. He actually tells me when he's ready to go night-night a lot of times, and when I put him down both day and night, he lays down and goes to sleep immediately without a peep. His afternoon nap is two hours long, and he sleeps twelve hours at night. Beautiful.
8) Favorite foods (besides sweets): chicken nuggets, pizza, corn, broccoli, rice, beans, raisins, applesauce, yogurt, eggs. Foods he will NOT eat: PBJ sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, sliced cheese, lunch meat.
9) Favorite things: cars, wheels, pushing strollers/pulling wagons, playing outside, going for walks, reading books, singing "I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy" and "Roll the Gospel" (these are his absolute FAVORITE songs and he requests both of them multiple times a day), good music, The Wiggles, Elmo!! (whom he sleeps with at night now), helping Mommy (LOVES to help), building with blocks, trains, his Mimi.
10) He reminds me so much of my brother, which is such a sweet thing. My brother has special needs, for those of you who didn't know, and although Jasper does not, he takes after Joe in a lot of his sweet, innocent traits. It's really special seeing some of the similarities and feeling kind of like I'm loving on Joe at the same time I'm loving on my child. My parents really seem to take joy out of this as well - I think it's healing in the way it brings things around full circle, if that makes any sense. It's a beautiful thing God did in giving them a lot of the same personality traits, and likes and dislikes. Very sweet.
And now for the pictures. I'll post a couple from his actual birthday, which was on the 14th, and then a bunch more from his Cookie Monster party :)
My stars, I love this boy. Happy Birthday, sweet Jasper John!