Van @ 26 Months

Growth & Appearance: You were well on your way to a business-in-the-front-party-in-the-back-also-known-as-a-mullet hair style (we cut it just the other day). We were trying to hold out until Halloween, with plans of dressing you up as either Joe Dirt or Rod Stewart. Your hair is blonder than ever, compliments of summer, and remains thick and oddly kinky.  
We finally found a new pediatrician and took you for your overdue well baby checkup. You weigh 32 lbs (85th percentile) and are 38 inches tall (off the charts, >100%). You feel like a rock, super dense. You have a barrel shaped chest.
Like you’re brother, you’re commonly covered in bumps and bruises. 
Eating: You went from needing a snack first thing in the morning to hold you over while I made you breakfast to being finicky and not eating much at all. You’re now a pain in the ass at the table. You need to be entertained constantly. Just when I thought we could put the grab bag of tricks away. Typically you end up eating, but it’s not usually on our terms. Given that you’re monstrously big, I tend to let it go and cross my fingers that if you skip one meal you’ll eat well at the next, and you usually do.
You do, however, typically try new foods with ease. You ate squash that I made without even pointing it out as something “new”. Same thing with asparagus.
When we go to a restaurant we have to hide the sugar packets. If you beat us to the punch, you usually end up eating the entire packet (paper included).
You still like bananas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, quesadillas, beans, and an assortment of snack foods like raisins and grapes and cheese sticks.
When we try to feed you and you already have a bite in your mouth, you’ll open your mouth and point to the food that’s in there and make this face that says, “told ya so”. 
Sleeping: You sleep in the same room as your brother, in a twin bed with a toddler rail. You’re attached to your blanket and usually like bringing a couple of books with you to bed. Your schedule is the same as Hooper’s: wake up around 8am, nap from 1:30-4:30, and go to sleep around 8:30pm. You nap in the pack-n-play in the bathroom because napping in the same room as your brother does not work. The other day you climbed out of your pack-n-play after your nap, walked downstairs and found me and said, “me awake”. You still suck your thumb and put use “hand hat” when you’re tired. The best is when you’re riding your bike and have your helmet on; hand hat turns into helmet hat and you put your thumb in your mouth and your other hand on top of your helmet.Talking: You speak in full sentences and mimic a lot of what Hooper says. You’ve taken to his favorite words like “because”. So when I say, “Van, why won’t you listen”, you say, “because”.
Before answering any question, you say “um”. Me: “Hey Van, when’s your birthday”, You: “um, July”. It’s so fast and so subtle that it almost sounds like one word, umjuly.
There was a time when we’d scold you and you’d come crying to whichever one of us didn’t scold you and say, “Papa hit me”, even though the scolding was strictly verbal. It made us happy that you’re not in preschool telling people of authority lies about us. Also makes me question using a child as a witness in the court of law. Clearly, kids are nuts. You included.
You start a lot of sentences with “me”, “me awake”, “me like dat”, “me want that”, and so on and so forth.
“No way!” was your favorite phrase for a period of time. Me: “Van, we’re gonna go to the fair”, You: “No way!”.
You repeat whatever you’re saying until someone validates what you’ve said: “Dat boy wear helmet”. No answer. “Dat boy wear helmet”. No answer. “Dat boy wear helmet on his head”. “Yes, you’re right”. Then it’s quiet.
You understand full concepts and tell me things like, “It smells weird”. You also ask, “Who dat on da phone”, whenever we’re talking to anyone on the phone. It’s hard to know how much is mimicking things you hear Hooper say and how much is just you being you. Whichever the case, you ask appropriate questions and make appropriate statements. Development: You can ride a bike with training wheels. You love riding your bike. You can jump off of high surfaces with two feet. You try to hop on one foot and can just about do it.
You did great in swim class. You’re favorite part was jumping off the ledge into the water. You’re very trusting to the point of carelessness. You’re more of a jump-first-find-someone-to-save-me-after kinda kid.
You’ve gone to the bathroom on the toilet several times but are not near ready to officially start potty training. There was a period where you seemed highly interested, but it has passed. Now I wish you’d find the interest again because you’re in a current state of I-don’t-want-my-diaper-changed and nearly every time there’s a tantrum that ensues. It’s annoying that I have to beg you to wipe your butt. Please remember this.
You make fast friends with kids of all ages; others seem to be drawn to you naturally.You give the sweetest kisses. Your lips and nice and plump. Favorites: You request to watch a spin off of the movie Cars, called “Mater Tales”, nearly everyday. We don’t spend a lot of time watching TV, but when we do, this is what you request. You’re also more into cars and tractors than you’ve ever been. Like Hooper, you like to line them up and take them with you everywhere. For a week straight, you brought a little taxi with you everywhere. You also love playing in the garage and spend most of your free time at home in the garage with Hooper either riding your bike around in circles or building “homes” with Hooper. Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Van's Birthday Weekend

Every year, when our birthdays roll around, Willy and I discuss not what we want but what we would like to do. Sure there’s been years when we’ve exchanged little things here and there, but we tend to value experiences over anything else. Call me a lazy mother, but for Van’s second birthday I didn’t send out invitations, pick a theme, or stop at the store to pick out decorations. It always seems silly to me because my boys are still young and I’m pretty sure a simple cupcake is enough to put a smile on their face. So with a weekend spent with family and friends and numerous trips to the beach, we celebrated Van’s second year of life. And it was a blast.
Congrats to T.h.Ransom for winning the giveaway to UB2. An email has been sent to you. Also, there is still time to enter the giveaway to Sugarboo Designs. Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!


Another year, another reminder that I have not finished your baby book. And in looking at your baby book, a reminder that you are far from the baby I held for the first time in my arms two years ago.
You are charismatic, almost always happy. Tantrums never last long despite their fierce and seemingly ominous presence. Though you’ve grown a little more finicky over the last month, you still love your food; so-much-so that I must give you a snack while I’m making your breakfast to stop you from whining. Usually it’s a banana and you like for me to leave the peel on the bottom and cut off any brown areas. Balls are your jam, you find them, borrow them, or steal them no matter where we go. Your favorite birthday gift was a helmet. You spent the rest of the afternoon on Hooper’s bike with your helmet on. You have not yet figured out how to pedal. Hooper is your idol and mentor, your best friend and worst enemy.  
You changed our lives the second you entered this world. And today, because of you, we are happier, more fulfilled, and devoted wholeheartedly to raise you with intention, humor, and a love only a parent can give.
Happy birthday, Boots.
Also, you ate part of your birthday candle.

Hooper @ 24 Months

Growth: You weigh 28 pounds (50th percentile), are 35 1/4 inches tall (70th percentile), and your noggin is 19 1/4 inches (60th percentile). Your height and head circumference are in the same percentile as your 18 month checkup. Your weight has jumped percentiles (you were in the 30th). Guess chasing you around with a spoonful of food has paid off. You’re welcome. Though it’s been a real pain in my ass.
 Appearance: You had your second hair cut ever this month. You got to sit on a fake motorcycle while the fortune teller of a hairdresser made predictions about your hair. She says you will not be blond. She also says you have tons and tons of hair coming in and are destined to have very thick hair. Her certainty about it all kinda made me want to ask her about other things in life like what your favorite color will be when your ten years old. You know, the important stuff.
Your fingers are hyper-extended like mine. When I was little, I used to bend my index finger back and tuck it under a rubber band so that straight on it appeared that I only had four fingers. This was my absolute favorite trick for a long, long time. I hope you can carry on my four finger legacy.
Feeding: I’m considering starting a series entitled, “Toys at the Table”. That’s because, as of late, toys have been a great utensil. And by utensil I mean a tool used to feed. So in addition to the overly used fork and knife, at our table you will also find a slinky and a puppet. The puppet has been our saving grace. So effective that I’m considering building a chair just for it to join us at mealtime. As soon as that thing goes over our hand, your mouth opens. You enjoy pretending to feed it too. Sometimes we’ll use the laptop to play videos to distract you while you eat. Gangnam Style and the parody Hot Dog Condom Style are sure bets. You eat, without any hesitation, whenever either of these videos are playing.
You ate an entire serving of tilapia the other night, your first time agreeing to eat fish. That’s the first “new” thing we’ve tried in a while, as we’ve given in to keeping your meals relatively routine, rotating amongst the six or so different meals you “like”.
You also eat your own boogers.
I asked your Papa his input for this section. Here’s what he had to say: “It sucks”.
Developmental: I’m still stickin’ to the fact you are left handed. You hold a pencil, every time, with your left hand. You use your right, however, to eat and do some other random things.
You know the colors pink, green, brown, blue, and yellow though more times than not you refer to everything as “boo” aka blue.
You’re still quite bossy. My favorite move as of late is when you pat the sofa and say “bay-bee, bay-bee”, instructing me to put the baby down. After I set Van down, you grab my hand and yank me around to whatever it is you want. Usually you want to go to the front yard.
You jump well. The sofa cushions will never be the same. Neither will your head when you inevitably fall off the sofa from jumping on it one of these days. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
On any given day, you can still find a line of cars somewhere. Be it on the table, the sofa, or on the floor it comes with a guarantee that there will be a line of cars. 
Talking: I wound up your little Mickey mouse toy and as Mickey scooted across the floor, you proclaimed “cooool” for the first time. So apparently, in addition to knowing a new word, you also have ideas and preferences and things you consider cool. Where or where did my baby go?
You say way too many words to keep track of. You’ll repeat just about anything we ask you to say.
You are limited to two sentences: “doo doo, papa” (when Papa farts) and “mama car” (when you see a car that resembles mine).
You pronounce your name as “Ha-poo”. Though more times than not, when we ask you what your name is, you reply with “me”.
You also started raising both palms up to the air as if asking a question as to where something went or what something is. It’s pretty cute.
Sleeping: Day light savings began and all the sudden you get up early. Not sure if the time change has anything to do with it, but you’re not going to bed any later than before so it doesn’t logically make any sense. I’ve always considered myself lucky for having a child that slept and napped so well. It seemed only fair that if you were gonna be a horrible eater that you would be a terrific sleeper. As of late, I’m not sure where that good sleeper went. You used to get up around 9am. The last few mornings you’ve gotten up at 7:30am. One morning you got up at 6:30am. You’re still napping one to two times a day. Some days you nap for two others, other days you nap for four. If we’re home, you’ll take a second nap for about an hour or two. If we’re out and about, you deal fine without the nap.
You’re still very attached to your blanket. It gets dragged around the house daily. It has a clone for when one it’s too dirty. We keep it’s clone a secret. You also like all your stuffed animals on your bed when you go to sleep. Ain’t nothing so sweet as coming into your room and watching you sleep curled up with your blanket in a sea of smurfs, clowns, and monsters. 
Favorites: You love running. The pitter patter of your steps kills me. When your “na na” comes over, you have the best time chasing her around the house. You’re also still a fan of stupid Yo Gabba Gabba. I can’t wait until you have a concept of death so I can lie to you and convince you that all the characters have died. Maybe I should win you a gold fish at a carnival. Those die fast. Then we could have the whole lesson on death. Fortunately, you love books to so I do my best to offer to read to you instead of turning the TV on. It works sometimes. Other times you stalk me with the remotes in your hands until I give in to your annoying persistence. Other things you love include walking around the house with our shoes on, putting my bracelets on your wrist, pretending to swim in the bath, and candy (thanks a lot Halloween).

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Happy Birthday, Hooper

I shared video from his birthday last week, but here’s some photos from the party.

For the record, in the photos above he had no pants on. Shirt, tie, and diaper. That’s how 2 year olds roll.
And, here’s some from the par-tay:

(That’s Hooper’s great grandma. She’s 95. I’m just sayin’.)

(Great g’ma numero dos. Not 94.)

Is the polite thing to do to apologize for the photo overload? If so, I’m sorry.
I spent a lot of time stressing over Hooper’s birthday. Everything from where to have it, who to invite, and what to eat was decided last minute. And by last minute I mean we bought and put together an outdoor heater the morning of the party. In the end, it was great. We invited some family, some friends, and ordered pizza. We contemplated inviting people we knew that had kids for the sake of having kids at his party, but in the end we decided he’s not going to remember his party anyway and opted to stick to our friends only. As it turned out, when we put all the children of our friends in one room, we had a baseball team minus the outfielders anyway. And lets face it, outfielders don’t do anything other than pick grass. I digress. It was a fun day and we checked off a lot of the home to do list the day before with the help of my in-laws. In any case, I’m making a mental note to be more organized next year to alleviate some of the last minute hustle and bustle.

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