Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Letter to Carter at 24 Months

Carter man, you are 2 YEARS OLD!!!!  Time goes by so fast and you have grown and developed so much.  You are the sweetest, funniest little guy and you make every day brighter.  This month has been the most fun by far.  You are so talkative and helpful.  I'm amazed at everything you understand and are able to do to help me out.  We've been celebrating your birthday all week long with fun, little activities.  We decided to have your birthday party a week late so your Uncie Paul and Auntie Amanda could be at your party.  Oma and Opa came to town to run the Jingle Bell run yesterday so they were here along with your Uncies Jeremy and Tommy to celebrate the day you were born.

The biggest development this month has been in your speech and vocabulary.  You have picked up so many words and are so much fun to converse with.  Daily you make me laugh so hard with things you say.  You refer to yourself as "Caca".  I'm looking forward to you picking up the "r" sound!  You will point at yourself and say "Caca".  Then you point at everyone else in the room and name them.  You also point at things and say who it belongs to.  When we eat lunch you'll point at your plate and say "Caca's".  Then you point at my plate and say "mommy's".  One day at lunch I read you a joke off a yogurt container and asked you if it was funny.  You very seriously looked at me and said, "No!".  Just in the past few days you started saying "hurt".  If you fall down or bump your head you'll say, "Mommy, hurt!" and reach your hurt body part out to me or point to it so I'll know where you got hurt and can kiss it.  Most the time you just want me to acknowledge that you got hurt and then you're ready to move on.  When you jump on the bed you yell "No Bobo".  We're not sure where it came from other than that you call monkeys "Bobo".

Harper is a constant source of pleasure for you.  Not only do you enjoy playing with her, petting her, and being too rough with her, you also like to boss her around.  When she does something you know she's not supposed to do, you'll yell "No, Harper Lee Lee, naughty!"  One day she had her front paws in a chair at the kitchen table trying to lick off the table and you yelled, "No no Harper Lee Lee, get down!"  When we are leaving the house you'll check with me to see if Harper is coming or not.  If she is, you march over to get her leash.  If she's not, you'll turn, point at her, and tell her to stay.  You are also very sweet to her.  Quinn stayed with us for a few days while Uncie was out of town and she was still being potty trained so I really praised both her and Harper for going potty and poop outside.  Now anytime Harper poops you tell her, "good guwl".  It's the cutest!  We'll be on a run and when she stops to poop you yell good girl at her from the stroller.  You also enjoy brushing her and tell her to say trick or treat when we're done so she can get a treat.  She has sensitive skin and had an allergic break out which caused sores on her back.  You'll pet her back, pulling her fur back, point at the spots, and say ouchie.  I showed you how to rub Harper's neck like she likes and you enjoy doing that for her.  It is very sweet.

Such a sweet boy, you are always wanting to help.  When you spill something on the floor you'll get a dishrag from where it hangs on the stove and wipe up your mess.  You also help put away your toys and clean up.  You are always finding trash when we're outside and will bring it to me saying, "Trash, here mommy."  If you drop food on the floor, you'll say trash and hand it to me.  Sometimes if you think it's especially gross you'll even wrinkle your nose and say yucky.  One day while I was in the shower I realized my comb I use in the shower was on the counter.  I asked you to bring me my red comb that was on the counter and you brought it right to me!  You also check on people all the time saying "Okay?"  One day Jake got your Elmo doll and was biting his nose.  You kept saying "Elmo, okay?"  You were so worried about him.  We were running one day and I started dry heaving.  You yelled back, "Mommy okay?"  When I responded that I was you said, "Mommy pook".  I guess you remember that from the first trimester of this pregnancy!  I was getting you ready for a run and after I strapped you in the stroller you kept saying, "Uh oh!" and pointing toward your feet.  I checked the blanket thinking it was bothering you somehow but it seemed fine.  You were getting really upset so I even took your shoes off and checked your socks.  Finally I turned around and realized something had fallen out of the car when I got you out and you were trying to tell me so I could pick it up.  My little helper!

Ever since our week on trains you have been obsessed with trains.  You yell "choo choo train" anytime you hear a train whistle and your fascination has translated to your play as well.  You like to play what you call choo choo train which is basically just follow the leader.  You get in front and want everyone to make a train behind you following.  Another way you play it is by following someone around yelling choo choo train.  You do it to Harper and it makes her nervous.  You'll also crawl along behind Jake saying choo choo train.  In the backyard you like to drag your car while having me and anyone else who will play (usually Uncie Jeremy or Opa) follow you around the backyard.  When you play with your Hot Wheels cars you'll line them all up and say you are making a choo choo train.  It is very cute.  You especially like to line them up on the window sill in the living room.

For some reason you have become fascinated with daddy's toothbrush.  You'll brush your teeth with your toothbrush and then you'll climb up and get daddy's toothbrush.  You know it's his toothbrush because I've told you whose is whose many times so you'll use your own.  When you want to use your toothbrush you'll say "Elmo teef".  When you want to use daddy's toothbrush you say "Daddy teef".  Most of the time what happens is you wait until I'm in the shower and try to sneak daddy's toothbrush.  You haven't used his toothbrush in about a week, but there for a while it was a daily occurence.

At the beginning of the month you got so good at putting yourself to sleep.  Typically I would rock you for a bit, put you down awake, give you all your buddies, and then leave.  Then you started wanting to go down right away without rocking and you'd ask for books.  I'd give you a few books in your crib, you'd sit and read them.  Then you'd push the books to one corner of your crib, lay down, and go to sleep.  Now you have moved over to your big boy bed.  It was a little bit of a rough transition for a few days, but you have it down now!  When you wake up you don't get out of bed until I come in to get you.  You want all of your buddies in bed with you and I have to lay each one next to you while saying their name so you know they're all there.  You have Elmo (who is your ultimate favorite and belonged to Uncie Jeremy when he was little), Big Al (who was a baby shower gift from my cousin Jamie), Buddy (who Opa picked out for you and gave you at our baby shower), Baby, and now Reindeer (your Rudolph stuffed animal daddy and I got you last year).  You used to call both Big Al and Buddy, Buddy because you couldn't say Big Al.  This month you started saying "Bee Al" and it's adorable!  When Jake is napping you'll say "Jake, ni ni, shhhhh".

Hats have suddenly become a favorite thing.  You went from never wanting to wear one to wanting to pick one out every time we leave the house.  Thanks to your Oma's handiwork you have an entire basket full of stocking caps.  Before we leave the house you'll say hat and we'll go in your room, pull out the basket, and you'll pick out a hat.  Your current favorites are your giraffe, your chick, and your bunny hats.  When Jake's here you also want to pick a hat out for Jake.  I think I've finally convinced you Harper doesn't need a hat since she has fur.  You were always picking a hat for her and trying to get her to wear it.  You'll also put random stuff on your head and declare it a hat.  It's pretty darn funny!

You love to color and get so excited when you see me get out markers.  When you are coloring if a lid is difficult for you to get off you'll say, "Mommy stuck!" and want me to help you take the lid off.  When putting the markers away you'll look inside the cap to see which end has the opening and will then push the marker into the correct side of the hat.  It amazes me the problem solving skills you possess!  You get frustrated when you can't push the cap all of the way on so I showed you how to use the palm of your hand or the table to push it on.  You haven't quite gotten it down, typically turning the marker the wrong way and flinging the cap off, but I know you will soon!

You show your excitement in such fun ways.  If you really like something you'll stand by it and say cheese so I'll take your picture.  You did that at the park in front of some giant Christmas trees they had up.  You love Pete the Cat and when you see me pulling up one of the songs on my phone you'll yell, "Yes, kitty, yes!  Last time Oma and Opa visited they bought you some Halo's at Sam's.  You are obsessed with them and get so excited when you see me get one for you to eat.  You'll shout, "Wooo, ownj!"  When we visited your Gma and Gpa, Gma would get up with you each morning so daddy and I could sleep in.  You two would play together and then make breakfast for everyone.  On Sunday morning when she came in to get you, you looked right at her and yelled "CARS!" because you knew she'd play cars with you.  You like to hum, sing, and dance.  When you want someone to dance with you, you'll say their name followed by "dins".  Many times you don't stop until everyone in the room is dancing.

It's amazing how quickly you pick things up.  We play with your letters in the bathtub frequently, but not every night.  When you pull out a letter I'll tell you the letter name, letter sound, and then someone or something you know that starts with that letter.  I had been teaching you J was for Jeremy like your Uncie Jeremy.  One day you pulled out the j and I said "J is for Jeremy, j, j, j (saying the sound)".  You looked at me and said, "And Jakers".  I was amazed you were able to produce another word that started with a J all on your own without me ever saying it before!  We have been working on counting to 2 and really focusing on understanding what the numbers mean.  I'll show you one thing and ask you how many and you, most of the time, say one.  I'll show you two things and you can tell me there are 2.  I also count higher than 2, but haven't had you practice it much yet.  Then you started counting to 3 on your own.  One day you looked at 3 cars and said "1, 2, 3!"  It was very cute!  One night we were having breakfast for dinner.  In the car on the way home from the running trails daddy told you we were having pancakes.  I didn't realize he said that and when I was making the waffles you kept saying pancakes.  I told Ty I didn't understand why you were calling them pancakes when we usually have waffles.  Then he told me what he'd said.  That was pretty much the only time you had ever heard us talk about pancakes!

Social is a bit of an understatement when describing how you are out in public.  Maybe a better word is a ham.  You love the attention of adults, especially elderly adults.  You really go all out being cute for them.  If we run from home you wave and say "hi" to cars as they pass by.  If we run at the trails you wave and say "hi" to the people who go by.  But you are somewhat selective.  You don't say "hi" to everyone who walks by.  You pick and choose who you want to talk to.  It's pretty funny.  When we are in a public place and you see another child, especially a child your age, you quickly run over to say "hi".  We stopped at a McDonald's to use the bathroom during a road trip and you tried to leave with 2 little girls and their mom.  At the playground you are quick to pick a child to hug on and play with and it's usually a girl.  Our playdates typically have at least 5 kids and you always start off a little bit overwhelmed unless your buddy, Landon, is there.  During playdates you mix it up, playing with yourself sometimes, playing with one other kid other times, and sometimes playing with a whole group of kids.  It seems like it depends on your mood as well as time of day and how tired you are.

A couple other random things about you this month.  You've started shrugging your shoulders.  Usually you do it when you ask a question or you are checking on someone to see if they are okay.  You also love to get my gloves I wear while running, put them on, and chase Harper around the house growling at her.  It is hilarious!  You've also discovered Skippy's hiding place in the closet.  You'll walk in our closet and say "kitty!".  I'll pull back the clothes so you can see him laying there.  One day you kept wanting to check on him and it was time to leave so I finally told you we needed to turn the light out and close the door so Skippy could take a nap because he was tired.  As we were driving you suddenly yelled out, "Kitty, nap!"  You definitely listen to everything I say and remember a large portion of it.

Carter you are the sweetest most lovable little guy!  I hope that your sister is even just half as much fun as you are.  You make every day so much fun!  I love you more than you will ever know!  Happy 2nd Birthday!  It has been an amazing couple of years.  Thank you for always making me smile and reminding me to stop and appreciate the little things in life.  You are the best!

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