This year has been HUGE! When I look back at pictures of you on your first birthday you still look like that same little boy just bigger and more mature. Back then you were still crawling and babyish. Now you are all big boy and toddler! You took your first steps a few months after your first birthday and then you were quickly off running, climbing, jumping, and now galloping and skipping. Your vocabulary has taken off and you talk all the time! You speak in 2-4 words sentences often and sometimes even 5-6 word sentences. You understand so much and seem to always be soaking things up. There have also been lots of big boy changes such as sitting in your booster seat instead of your highchair, sleeping in a big boy bed, mostly dressing yourself, sharing your mommy and toys with a boy I babysit, and finding out you are going to be a big brother! In June we started our journey with me staying at home. It has been an amazing 6 months and there have been so many wonderful memories made during our days together. I tried writing this post out in my head before I sat down to write, but then I decided to just sit down and write what came to me because those would be the big memorable moments anyway.
The first thing that jumped into my head was your rain boots. Back in the spring I ordered you rain boots after it rained the first time because I loved the idea of watching you splash in puddles. You hated them the first few times we tried them out, but then loved them and quickly became obsessed. They are the only shoes you can put on by yourself so you want to wear them every day. When I get you dressed in the morning I ask you if you want to wear your shoes or boots and you quickly respond with boots!
You have always been such a snuggle bug and that didn't change a bit this year. You love to cuddle into me and give me kisses. When you wake up from a nap, now that you're in a big boy bed, I'll go in and lay in bed with you for a while and we talk. Then when I pick you up, you lay your head on my shoulder, wrap your arm around my neck, grab my hair in your hand, and twirl it around. Feeling your body pressed against my chest continues to be the best feeling in the world. I feel so whole and like everything in the world is right when you are in my arms. Now with my growing belly you sit on top of your sister and your legs hang down beside my belly. It is precious!
I've also enjoyed simply being with you. Getting to be with you every day is a dream come true. I love getting to watch you grow, explore, and learn new things. I love not being rushed in the morning so I can sit and talk with you as you eat breakfast or lay in your big boy bed as you tell me all about your buddies who went night night with you. Spending my days with you is the best! We have utilized our days for lots of learning and lots of fun. When I think back over my time staying at home with you, a few things really stand out in my mind. This summer we went to the splash park multiple times a week and you were hilarious. You absolutely love water and weren't deterred even when you got sprayed in the face! When they finally closed down the water section of the park this fall you were always going over and pushing the button in an attempt to get the water to turn on. There have also been lots of trips to the zoo which surprisingly always end with you having a new favorite animal. The Children's Museum has been a favorite and I love watching you conquer the tape tunnel. You went through it all by yourself for the first time this fall. We've gone on walks to the library and walks at Turkey Mountain. You enjoy walks the most when you get to hold Harper's leash. Thinking of the library, I love that you are such an avid reader. We will sit down in daddy's chair and read 20+ full length picture books in one sitting. You are quick to let me know if you don't like a book by shoving it closed as I try to read it. If you really like a book you let me know by flipping back to the cover immediately after finishing the book, waiting for me to start reading it again.
Carter I would have never believed it if someone had told me last year, but I love you more now than I did a year ago and I know I'll somehow love you even more next year. You are such a perfect little boy and you make my day every single day. There are so many moments when I look at you and wonder how in the world I got so lucky as to have you as my son. I swear when I look at your profile I see an angel on Earth. These months staying at home with you have been the best months of my life. Thank you for loving me and being willing to snuggle your momma (I'm enjoying that while it lasts). You are my favorite son and I love you so much. Happy 2nd Birthday, my precious!
This year has been just a whirlwind of fun and excitement watching you grow up, literally running to your two year birthday! You started walking earlier in the year and it didn’t take you long until you were running everywhere you went. You love running! My favorite is when you get riled up right before bed time and run laps around the house in various stages of undress as your momma tries to get you into the bathtub. It’s not that you don’t want to take a bath (you love bath time), but rather you just get so excited for it and need to run off that energy.
Walking in the door from work every day to hear you yelling daddy melts my heart. You come running up to me and sometimes give me a hug, and sometimes give me an excited gibberish play by play of your day with mom.
Speaking of that, we made a move to have your mom stay at home with you rather than use a daycare this year. It has been an amazing experience and I can tell how much you both love it! She is so creative and does and amazing job of making you use your mind and learn and grow every day. I love getting text updates throughout the day showing what you guys have been doing. So many fun trips and crafts, it’s no wonder that you take 3 hour naps!
Soon, you will be a big brother. I know that you will be a great big brother, helping to take care of your little sister and being a good mentor to her. It is so much fun being a big brother, I know you will love it. I am so happy that you love to read! That is something that your momma and I love as well so it is great to have you reading with us. And in all honesty, some of your books are much more interesting than the ones I read!
It has been a great year son and I cannot wait for the next one as you run toward your third birthday!
I love you so much!