Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Letter to My Boys

I was so consumed with both of you over the holidays that I completely forgot to post your monthly letter until today. I'm sorry, but frankly, I'd much rather be wrapped up in my moments with both of you than writing about those moments. The break from work was wonderful, and recharging, and a reminder of what's most important in my life. I'm glad that we all got to spend it together as a family, and I'm already counting down the days to our next family day off. Now...on to your updates!

I had so much fun with you this Christmas season! You are still so full of wonder and awe at all things Christmas that it's absolute joy personified to be around you. You loved giving gifts almost as much as you did receiving them, and I pray that's something we can continue to cultivate in you as you grow. Don't get me wrong though, you really loved opening gifts, and especially that you got more gifts at every one of our many, many Christmases.
We started a "reward" system of sorts for you a few months ago and it seems to be working well. If we catch you being extra good (picking up without being asked, sharing with your brother, etc.) you get to put a cotton ball in a jar. When it's full, we get to go do something fun together. Your first choice was going to the new aquarium in KC, and just yesterday, you got to go see Monsters, Inc. on the big screen. You're so proud of yourself when you reach your goal, and I absolutely love watching you go out of your way to do something sweet so you can get a cotton ball. You've already decided that the next reward is to go swimming at the indoor "froggy pool" at Legacy Park.
Grandma Clifford joined us for your trip to the aquarium.
One of your new favorite phrases since we've started your little reward system is "Oh, yes." When we ask you if you can help us clean up dishes, or pick out an outfit by yourself, etc., you respond (most of the time) with an enthusiastic, "Oh, yes!"

On the other hand, I'm glad we've implemented the system because now that Bennett can crawl and grab your toys, you're having a harder time sharing. We've seen you snatch things from him and be more aggressive than you've been in the past. You're learning how to handle it, though, and we're learning how to keep Bennett safe from your big boy toys, while also ensuring you're sharing appropriately. We intentionally bought some gifts for Christmas that you have to share for that very reason.

You've also learned to whistle recently, and you are beyond proud of yourself for it. You kept asking us how we did it and finally, in the car on the way to daycare one day before Christmas break, you did it! You immediately wanted to call Daddy and let him know, and he still has the adorable voicemail you left him. I don't think he'll ever erase it.

Keep up the being awesome, buddy.

I love you more,

Now that you've been crawling successfully for a couple of months, you're starting to even out on the weight-gain scale. Good for us, because it's getting back-breaking to carry you around.

You're also starting to stand on your own for about 10 or 15 seconds at a time, and the walk-behind toy you got for Christmas is your new favorite. You're zooming all over the house, and getting mad when you pull up on something that you can't force to move. I've seen you push stools, laundry baskets, boxes, etc. to get to where you want to go. You're a bit of a daredevil, actually, and have already scraped your nose and bruised your cheek in the pulling up/falling down process.
Pulling up inside the not-so-sturdy new cardboard train playhouse.
You fell and scraped your face about 3 seconds after this photo was taken.
Since we've moved you to your room, you seem to be sleeping better again, minus any bouts with sickness and/or teething. Speaking of sickness, you had RSV this month and were pretty miserable. We ended up having to give you a few breathing treatments to help stop your coughing. Thankfully it didn't last long and was over before our circus of Christmas crazy.

You did awesome during our Christmas marathon, by the way. We've learned a lot in past years about how to manage going Ev.Er.Y.Where!, which helped, but your generally happy and laid-back nature was appreciated even more during the rounds.

You also tried meat, puffs, and other small finger foods this month. It took you no time to get used to them and you screech for more when your tray is empty. So far, our teachings of "More, please" in sign language don't seem to be phasing you. You also learned pretty swiftly how to feed Daisy from your high chair. She's now in heaven, also known as "under your chair" at every meal.
You've learned to wave "bye" when you or someone else is leaving now, though it mostly happens once we're actually out the door and not a moment before. We think we've also seen the occasional wave of "hi." I'm certain your first real word will be coming soon as you constantly babble and stare at our mouths while we're talking. You're trying hard to figure it out. Just don't figure it out too soon, okay? I am so enjoying my baby Bennett. Don't grow up too fast on me.

I love you more,

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