Category / Just Us Stuff

Age 3: Q3

Another quarter of age 3 has flown by. More independent than ever, so many little day to day details are changing and oh so grown up. You climb up on your stool and brush your own teeth (with a double check after), bring your dishes to the sink after dinner, rarely need a reminder to try and use the restroom, get your own clothes on (depending on the shirt – those are still tricky!) – and they’re usually on the right direction ūüėČ More than once, you’ve woken up and come downstairs without us hearing. You grab your milk cup out of the fridge and climb onto the couch with the iPad and let us continue sleeping ha!

Summer was oh so good to us. There was SO much swimming and trampoline jumping and running around with the neighbor kids. Again, new levels of independence as you’ve been allowed a yard or two over – I won’t lie, we’ve enjoyed it, too, able to have a glass of wine on the patio or grill dinner while having an uninterrupted conversation. ūüôā

Your vocabulary and complex thoughts continue to amaze us. Just today at the park you told me you could do something that was a “big kid skill (skill?!) and I can do it because I’m a big kid because I’m almost four”.

We are equally as entertained by the mix-ups that still happen. As of late, you replace the word “respect” for when you mean “expect”. So instead of “that’s what I expected to happen” it comes out more like, “that’s what I’m respectin!” (You still rarely put a -g on the end of any word that ends in -ing. It’s all “pizza toppins” and “jumpin” and “roarin”.)

Speaking of roaring, the Jurassic Park love is real and you will sit through a good bit of any of the movies, captivated. You can name many of the kinds of dinosaurs and often impersonate them for us. The planets and stars are a new thing in your world and you ask almost nightly if you and Dad can go outside and look for them, after rockstar Dad showed you an app on his phone that lets you point it at the sky and learn what’s what. I do love that you’ll still enthusiastically take on some art projects with me – painting continues to be your favorite. You still want to clarify on Thursdays that it’s garbage day, but the need to run outside every Thursday is dwindling. How funny is it that I can’t quite type that fact without a little eye-watering. ūüôā

You love to do your version of break-dancing, and your favorite jams vacillate between “Ice Ice Baby” and “I Wish (I Was A Little Bit Taller)”. You’re obsessed with the idea of Easter and desperately are trying to grasp the concept of weeks and months to get a grip on just when that bunny will show up again with eggs.

Breadsticks are probably your favorite food at the moment, and you can take down nearly a whole slice of Costco pizza in one sitting. Donuts still rank high for you, but you still won’t touch chocolate milk. You’ll eat a handful of various vegetables but if we make a salad, you’re disgusted that we’re “eatin’ leaves!”. A lot of play revolves around pretend food and food prep — you still love to play restaurant or food truck with your tent or kitchen and take orders and deliver them. Maybe a restaurant career in your future?

Letters and sounds and early reading is clicking for you at a rapid rate. They’re in no linear order, but you can write each letter of your name without having to look at an example. It’s hit or miss but you can often tell us which letter a word starts with, and vice versa if we name a letter, you can (usually) come up with a word that begins with it. You’re sounding things out and you like to follow printed words and make up what they say, but sound as if you’re really reading them carefully. Long story short – you’re pretty desperate to be a reader, and soon.

Like any kid, you have a couple “hard no” things that you’re afraid of (tunnel slides are still one!) but when it comes to people, you are so certain of yourself. You’re always the first to initiate a new friendship, walking up and starting the conversation, and I can actually SEE you match pace with another child as a way to get closer to them — if they’re into something specific, you match their interest in it, or ask questions, or laugh at something silly they’re doing as a way to engage. You are sometimes annoyed if I jump in to the conversation — like if you could, you’d say, “Mom get OUT of here, you’re ruining my cool factor”. ūüôā

You’re high on life, that’s for certain. You love as fiercely as ever and tell us as much all the time without any kind of prompt. I hear you repeat things we say to you, but you MEAN them when you say them — “Oh Dad, I’m so proud of you for moving that big box all by yourself you must be so strong” or “Mom it makes me really happy that you brought me that snack, I’ll give you a hug because I know you love hugs”. <3

You can stall bedtime, be the most selective listener, and (annoyingly) pout and cringe at meals we put in front of you, but you make up for it all with a huge heart, great manners (most of the time), the silliest sense of humor, and an attitude that is all-in for any kind of adventure. We’re so crazy proud of the little person you’re becoming as you transition out of these toddler times and join the ranks of truly being a “kid”.

Love you fiercely.

Mom

Age 3: Q2

It’s the summer your freckles arrived. <3 Just in time for Three and a Half.

Let’s jump right in!

We got a SLOWWWW start to spring (snow through April!), but we managed to tough out plenty of adventures while we waited for the warmer temps to show up.

It helped that you’re getting more and more content to play with one activity at a time, for a longer period of time. Water beads and this science kit have been a serious win lately!

Some of the latest details about you and your world…

You detest stickers, but love stamps and temporary tattoos.You’re clocking in at 37 pounds and change, and stand about 39″ tall on a good day.

You love nothing more than when it’s “daddy, mommy and me — ALL of us!” doing something together, even better if the family is extended beyond just us.

You truly hate to disappoint us or be in trouble, and I’ve gotten a much better understanding of the term “threenager” this quarter — lots of dramatic emotion when you’re sad/upset and you can well up with real tears at the drop of the hat!

This seems to be especially true on days you skip a nap — which is why we’re keeping them for now! You fall asleep around 9 most nights, still often end up in our bed somewhere after midnight, and are up at 7 or so, still napping 1.5 to 2 hours most days.

Your eating habits continue to improve…your yes category is still significantly smaller than your no category, but you’ve expanded which veggies you’ll eat, you’ll try a taste of most things with coaxing, and you blew my mind when my HARD NO TO PASTA kid asked for spaghetti for dinner. We ordered some, assuming it would be our next day lunch for work, but you proceeded to eat a ton of it. Now if you would just give mac ‘n’ cheese a chance….it would change your life.

You’re trying really hard to grasp the concept of time – minutes, hours, months, and annually occurring events like holidays and birthdays. “How many minutes?” “What comes after Easter?” and “after I wake up from bedtime?” are common questions as you try to piece it all together. Even if it’s still months away, every week it‚Äôs something new you want to be for Halloween (most recently an acorn, before that a butterfly, before that a ghostbuster). Good thing you have some time. ūüėČ

We took our first vacation in over a year that was more than a quick overnight road trip, back in May. Let’s just say you were born to vacate — you ask weekly to go somewhere new again. It was such a treat to unplug for a few days and just be super present with little itinerary. I think you picked up on our lack of stress and distraction — in short, we had FUN!

Your coordination and bravery are increasing — we opted for a Ziggle for a new outdoor toy lately and it did not take you long to figure out how to propel yourself around and spin out in circles!

By far a highlight this quarter was a trip to the McNeilus plant on our way to a Twin Cities weekend with friends. After your news segment about loving garbage trucks went viral, the incredible team at McNeilus invited you to come tour the campus where they manufacture trucks for, among others, Waste Management. To say you were in heaven is putting it mildly! ūüėČ

We were so touched by the generosity of this company – they gave up their afternoon to show you around, let you test drive some of the trucks that were ready to ship out, and sent you with so much swag to take home!

The same trip took us to catch up with good friends who moved out of town, and they showed us around their new digs including the Minnesota Childrens Museum, and some other favorite kiddo haunts around town. The shot above doesn’t do this museum justice — you were literally bouncing about four floors up and surrounded by windows, among the St. Paul skyline!

You live for trips to the pool and are all about swimming independently as much as you can — you’re at that tipping point of being able to swim independently, but you aren’t nearly as good as you THINK you are — so we are watching you like a hawk, and when we want a little backup, we still bust out the puddlejumper. ūüôā

Three, just like every other age, is proving to be oh so fun. And as much as you love to tell us we’re “your favorite mommy and daddy” — you are OUR favorite, through and through, Little Man.

Keep spreading your magic.

Love,
Mom

Inspired: Project Faceless

A few things have been happening lately, and they’re inspiring some changes in how I approach sharing our life online.

A few months back, I woke to a friend’s comment tagging me in the Instagram post by a baby food brand. A major, household, parent-centric brand. There in the post was my child staring back at me. The photo was: taken from my blog without my permission (strike 1), photoshopped (strike 2), of my minor child – again no permission (MAJOR strike 3), and even if I could have seen past all of that, I wasn’t so much as credited in the caption or a comment. My mama blood boiled, I worked to get the post removed from their feed (and an apology was issued — but seriously, WHO is running their social media that they think is acceptable?). I ultimately got around to being frustrated with MYSELF that the content was out there in the first place to be misused.

I won’t pretend for a second that I’m any “big” blogger, but over the years, I’ve experienced strangers asking me if I’m “Life in Yellow” (much more common than my actual name ha). I always kind of laughed it off and figured it’s par for the course when you put so much of your life online. Then we had our son, and as babies do, he changed rapidly from month to month these early years. He now has hit that stretch where he still looks quite similar now as he did a full year ago, and thus he’s easier to recognize. Something we’ve learned as we’ve had a couple encounters where people who’ve never met him (innocently enough) remark that they know him, and even call him by name. While we KNOW these people mean nothing but good, this recognition coupled with our son’s instant bestie status with EVERYONE, for lack of a better term, freaked me out.

I was moved by this podcast by some of my faves, Young House Love, on protecting their children’s privacy. Once sharing on the same level I have (birth stories, monthly updates, etc) they no longer use names or show faces of their kids. Their children, while older than our own, are that much more in need of their own space and privacy, and as John points out at one point, it’s up to THEM to decide who, if anyone, they want to be online.

This moved me, big time.

Privacy, safety, exploitation (even if the “innocent” kind, by a brand trying to sell toddler snacks) – MORE than enough reason for me to make this call. I shared my thoughts with Page and he was quick to agree it made sense. The photographer in me (and of course the proud mom) longs to share every little bit, but I’ve always tried to find a balance, and now more than ever. There is plenty to share, in creative ways, that allows me to blog about motherhood (hello, cute room decor, outfits, stocking stuffers and party planning!), and still protect my son. I’ve been further inspired by the work of #projectfaceless photographers, like this one, who are beautifully and authentically capturing childhood in creatively anonymous ways. Challenge accepted!

I know there’s no perfect way to do this. Yes, he will still show up in our private social media. Yes, he may still show up in my blog instastories (that don’t get saved) and no, I’m not going to work backward and delete every picture I’ve posted. Yes, I realize he was just on national news for his love of garbage trucks, and there’s no net I can cast to reign that in. So I’m just making the conscious decision now, going forward, to be more aware and share less here and on the blog’s social media. I LOVE following along with the littles of bloggers and others who share their lives publicly, but this is simply the right choice, right now, for US. Thanks for the support as we go faceless! <3

Crew Does Two: The Fourth Quarter

Crew Update // Year 2 Quarter 4 (Photo by April+August)

You turn three this week. (Excuse me while I clap for joy and choke back a lump in my throat, all at once!)

Sometimes I can’t believe this birthday is already here, and yet I often forget you’re only 36 months new in this world. You have moments where you’re already wise beyond your years, you’re a smart little cookie, and the number one thing we hear is how verbal and outgoing you are for your age. So yes, I suppose the math is right and you’re due to turn three. And yet…didn’t we just meet, in a hospital room, in the middle of the night, in a snowstorm?

Cut to three years later. You have a lot more hair and a personality that makes me burst with pride. You’re uber-friendly, love fiercely, are developing a sense of humor and like to tell us your version of a joke, then say you’re “just kidding”. You thrive around people and have never met a stranger. You’re positive and excited about any and every experience, you want to know everyone’s names, and you’re full of questions about everything.

You love to play games where we’re all together. You sing All. The. Time. (real songs and ones you make up) and get especially excited about spotting water towers when we’re in the car. You love to cook (imaginary but prefer the real deal) and mazes and magnets are high on your list of interests. It goes without saying, but this is all still secondary to garbage trucks and anything associated (the trash can aisle at Target is one of your faves). You are no happier than when you have a special job or task to do, the most popular of which is bringing all the trash cans in the house to dump into our large kitchen one — whether or not it’s trash day.

You’re freaked out by thunder, noodles, and tunnel slides. In that order. I’m happy to report that after months (seriously, since maybe September?) of you coming into our bed within a couple hours of bedtime nervous to sleep by yourself, you now make it most nights on your own until 5 or 6 before coming in, and once in a while, we don’t see you until morning. #progress

Everything that has already happened, happened “last week”. It could have been this morning, or a month ago — it was all “last week”.

Your manners have improved dramatically — way less reminders to use “please” and “thank you” — and you’ve started to say them with overly dramatic emphasis, especially with our Elf on the Shelf, Dash. (“THANK YOU for my gingerbread house, Dash!!!”)

You would prefer to stay in jammies all day, but when you do get dressed, you still don’t fight me on whatever I want to put you in (yay!). You particularly love shoes and when a new pair appears, you ask to wear them around the house immediately. It makes it hard not to shop for you, when you seem to appreciate it almost as much as I do! I had to laugh at Thanksgiving — I had to wake you up VERY early from a nap so you were less than thrilled about anything, including getting dressed. But when you spotted yourself in the mirror wearing your bow tie and suspenders, you broke into a grin and checked yourself out. So funny!

You moved up to the three-year-old room at school this month. We talked about it beforehand but you were sad and still had a couple tears come day one as you missed your previous teacher. Two days in, you excitedly told me you were headed to the new room that day — it’s been back and forth on levels of enthusiasm and you miss your old teachers and classmates, but you are definitely thriving.

We didn’t realize just how ready you were for the move up. You are tasked with filling your own plate at meals (and we hear you are eating better, as a result!), pouring your own drinks and ditching your pacifier for naps (we followed suit at home and within a week you no longer asked for it at naptime – you love to declare now that because you’re big you only use it at nighttime). You get to enjoy new freedoms like playing on the BIG KID playground instead of the toddler one, and a whole new set of toys and activities to peruse each day. Your previous teachers (and others) have noted several times how verbal and outgoing you are. It’s been refreshing to see you be able to have more significant conversations with your peers now that you’re with this older group. You are always “that kid” giving everyone hugs and enthusiastically yelling out “hi [Name]!” to each friend. In your previous room, depending on a two-year-old’s mood, you may or may not get anything in response, and I could tell it was starting to hurt your feelings when it happened. My favorite thing about this new, older, age group is all the reciprocated conversation and enthusiasm you’re experiencing from the other kids. You play it cool, but sincerely grin at all the “Bye, Crew! See you tomorrow!”s when I pick you up now.

Crew Update // Year 2 Quarter 4 (Photo by April+August)

New favorite foods this quarter are pizza, strawberries, pancakes, and gingerbread anything. Texture is still a big thing for you. You’ve started to actually eat little hard candies (smarties, etc) that before you would just suck on and spit out, nervous to chew. You are still hit or miss on trying a bite of something new, but if we catch you in the right mood, it DOES happen. You are still an avid milk drinker, but won’t touch chocolate milk (or hot chocolate as we’ve tried a couple times this season!).

Of course, you went as a garbageman for Halloween. And I can’t wait to share a separate rundown of your “Trash Bash” 3rd birthday party! Garbage trucks are still your favorite toys — and as many as we seem to collect, they all serve a different purpose and have a spot in your heart! (They are also excellent for hauling around another little treasure — your safety coins that you earn at swim lessons!) It’s so fun to see as you grow which things become “treasures” in your world.

Speaking of swimming, you are still doing weekly lessons and making great strides. But the thing that really gets you pumped up (and frankly, out the door on Monday mornings) is the promise of soccer practice. You’ve been doing a weekly program at school with some of your classmates and you are ALL about it. You also love kicking a ball around with us at home. Thank goodness for Dad; you’ve already passed me up in dribbling skills.

You’d think all this activity would keep you needing sleep but alas, after three very grateful years of a 3.5+ hour napper (and 12 hours at night), you’re finally cutting yourself back. In part, I think because of the lack of a paci now at naptime, and I think you’re just outgrowing the need for so much sleep. A typical day is now 1.5 to maybe 2 hours, and you aren’t ready to truly fall asleep until closer to 8:30 or even 9, still sleeping until about 7:30 most mornings. (You went ONE day without a nap and promptly passed out, HARD, when we got in the car to go somewhere at 5:30 that evening, so I don’t think you’re ready to drop it altogether!)

The holiday season was especially fun this year as you could grasp more of the concepts and the real “magic” has begun to set in. We took you on a Polar Express train ride and you were SO. EXCITED. to see Santa come on board to hand out jingle bells.

You got so excited for Christmas lights on all the houses, and spent every December morning checking on Dash, our elf, to see what crazy thing he’d been up to. You make everything more fun and we’re so lucky to have known you these last three years. Our hearts burst for you when you’re excited, and ache when you’re sad, and we know there’s so much more of that to come. We can’t wait to see what is in store for you as you make your way to four.

Happy birthday week, little light. Thanks so much for picking us for this parenthood adventure.

(Shout out to  April + August for the family and lollipop photos, pictured above!)

Ten.

View More: http://aprilandaugustphotography.pass.us/des-moines-photographer-smith2017

Photo cred: April & August Photography

It’s been an entire decade since we exchanged vows, walked up the aisle, and started married life together in a little apartment in Des Moines, a city we had moved to just the month before. Married life has been nothing short of grand, and this city we love is a big piece of that joy.

View More: http://aprilandaugustphotography.pass.us/des-moines-photographer-smith2017

As¬†we celebrate both a decade of marriage and a decade of life in Des Moines, we continue to live in the moment and our life goals are ever evolving. I’m proud of what we have embarked on, both as individuals and as a couple, these first ten years. I so look forward to what the next ten bring. Cheers to more adventures!

View More: http://aprilandaugustphotography.pass.us/des-moines-photographer-smith2017

In the spirit of anniversaries, I compiled a little playlist. It’s nothing overly lovey-dovey, just a collection of songs that bring on some¬†anniversary vibes and have degrees of meaning to the two of us over the past decade.

Decade Spotify Playlist | www.lifeinyellow.com

Happy anniversary to the handier, more patient, more tech-savvy, in general COOLER half of this duo¬†of which I’m lucky to be a part. <3

Crew Does Two — The Second Quarter

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Now that Crew is two, I’ve scaled back to quarterly, rather than monthly, updates on everything from growth to preferences to all the (mostly) fun little quirks of his personality. Much has happened in the last three months!

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So much growing up has happened from two¬†and a quarter to two and a half! You potty-trained like a rockstar, the baby gates were finally uninstalled (not that we really USE them anymore, but they had been¬†a great way to corral you and keep you out of the contractors’ way in the basement!) — and most recently, you’ve moved out of the crib, and your nursery, to a big kid¬†room with a “big boy bed” that you are ridiculously proud of. The first couple weeks, you wouldn’t wander out, and you still stay put at bedtime and through the night, but when you wake up, you’ve started to get out and either play on your own, or come find us. All new levels of independence for you!

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You¬†became fascinated by the fact that boys stand up and girls sit down to potty, and you’re all about babies in tummies (pregnancy) and the idea that your baby pictures are actually YOU and that you were once in my tummy. It kills me that you look at baby pics of yourself and say “awww he’s so cute!” ha!

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We are outside all the time — bike riding, gator driving, chalk drawing, water table playing, bug hunting¬†— you name it. It’s been a great change of pace to take the energy and messes outside on a regular basis. It’s been fun to strike out on some “adventures!” around town exploring new parks and sights downtown, since you’re so much more capable this summer than last when it comes to climbing, balancing, etc.

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It seems almost irrelevant now to update on your language — you’re just full-blown talking, in complete sentences, and constantly working new words into your vocabulary. Just the other day you slipped “usually” into a sentence, in a semi-correct sense ūüôā In general it’s just lots and lots (and lots) of questions. “Mommy, what are you doing?”¬†“Member? Member we go to the zoo?” “What’s that thing up there?” “Why?” “I hear something…what is that?”

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You are listening to every word and have a memory I’m downright jealous of. You’re also pretty good at holding your own in a debate. The one time you tried to get out of bed at bedtime (about a week after you moved to the big kid bed and I’d taken the crib apart that day), I talked to you over the monitor and said, “Crew, lay down and close your eyes, if you get up again you have to sleep in the crib.” To which you stared right into the monitor camera, frowned in consideration and said, “No Mom, you took the crib down.”¬†Crew — 1. Mom — 0.

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Other sounds bytes we hear…

“It’s not nighttime yet. Nighttime is later.” (stalling for bedtime)

“I wake up and we go to the park.”¬†(your concept of things happening in the future, although you’ve just recently started saying “in a few minutes” and “tomorrow”)

“You’re okay, Mom/Dad” (when you feel guilty for running into one of us¬†with something — on the hour of every day!)

“I need a kiss and a hug!” (before leaving you with the sitter, or at school, or before I leave home for work)

“Mom I’m coming to play with you! We can share!¬†We can take turns!” (you’re alllll about someone to play with, and the encouragement to take turns and share is pretty highly motivated by the fact that YOU want a turn at something) ūüėČ

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You aren’t a bit shy, and are quick to wave to a stranger or introduce yourself to someone new.¬†I’m constantly thinking about how to lead¬†you to be friendly and trusting, but smart with a healthy dose of wary. (I’m constantly asking friends with kids how they teach stranger danger to a¬†kiddo who asks random people in Costco to hold him?!)

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I love that you’re still a bit of a mama’s boy, and are so affectionate toward the people in your world. You throw sporadic hugs around your babysitter, dance up and down waiting for Mimi to pull¬†into the driveway, and if I lay down with you for a minute to help you settle down for a nap/bedtime, you quietly rub my arm or my back (often asking me to rub yours in return ha!),¬†and your kisses lately are pretty agressive ūüėČ You grab both sides of our faces to pull us in!

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I swear you remember every page of every book — you can recite key words/phrases on each page correctly. We’ve started to play the¬†few games we’ve found for the age 2-3 crowd (Memory, Orchard, Cootie, etc). You’re so good about keeping track of whose turn it is¬†and love to exclaim, “we’re all playing!”

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You nail right versus¬†left MOST of the time, can accurately count to ten, although getting to twenty often repeats a number at least once. You have a¬†whole repertoire of songs and sing all. the. time. often substituting words from whatever activity you’re doing at the moment…”Old McDonald had a waffle…” etc. ūüôā

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You finally let us get a pair of flip flops on you (the cutest) but otherwise to Mom’s delight you are still super laid back about whatever I want you to wear (I’m thanking my lucky stars for each day this continues…). In general, you love jammies and would prefer to stay in them all day. Often when it’s time to get dressed, no matter what it is, you whine that you want to keep your “jammy pants” on.

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When you’re lost in thought¬†or observing other kids, you either have your tongue out or your hands clasped behind your back. You love to cook, assist with any project, and while in general I think you’re pretty easy going and you have yet to throw a tantrum just to throw one, you DO go zero to sixty on the frustrated scale if we do something for you you know (or think) you can do yourself. I actively build in extra time now for everything because to KEEP my happy kid happy, we need the extra minute here and there for you to put on your own shoes, climb¬†into your own carseat, etc. “I DID IT!” is a daily phrase in our house, as is “No Mom back up”, “Dad I got it!”, and several other variations on these Mr. Independence sayings. And God help the person who flushes the toilet for you. #rageblackout

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In early June, you moved up from the toddlers room at school to the “transition” room (as in transition to pre-school!!). We instantly noticed some new words/phrases as you hung with some new older kids. It’s officially “Mom and Dad” now — no mommy and daddy — and “oh my GOODNESS!”¬†is your new dramatic exclamation. There were tears over missing your old teacher, but otherwise you are thriving in the older room with curriculum that’s more challenging for you. You’ll start to learn a little Spanish, have to follow directions like walking in a line, and do more activities around learning your letters. It makes my heart swell with pride to hear the reports that when a friend is hurt or crying, you share a toy or try to give them a hug. Compassion will get you everywhere, sweet boy.

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You’re a SMIDGE less picky of an eater than when I last blogged an update, but still definitely particular. You continue to hate any kind of noodle, but you finally realized you like peanut butter again, and you’re much more daring about trying a quick taste of just about anything new — although much of the time you still instantly tell us “I don’t like it.” I reflect a lot on how we started you on solids by pureeing everything — I think I’d take a different approach if I had it to do over. Aside from one or two fruits, you’re just now working up the courage to BITE into the ones¬†aren’t in the form of applesauce/smoothie/etc.

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There are probably a million more little things I could think of on any given day to note here. And on the hour, you say something funny¬†that I want to jot down in my memory forever. I can’t believe we’re already here, at two and a half. You’ve been here forever and yet time¬†continues to fly.

As we get further from two and closer to three, stick with us as we try and navigate your need to do everything on your own. Keep needing us for other stuff. Continue to love¬†fiercely with that oh-so-big heart of yours. Don’t stop your constant jumping and grinning. Carry on with your questions and never stop learning about your world. And more than anything, know¬†how much we always love you, crazy kid of ours.

Love, 
Mom (but always Mommy)

Crew Does Two — The First Quarter

Crew 2.25 | lifeinyellow.com ¬†Now that Crew is two, I’ve¬†scaled back to quarterly, rather than monthly, updates on everything from growth to preferences to all the (mostly) fun little quirks of his personality. Much has happened¬†in his first quarter-year as a two-year-old!

It’s April and you’ve been two for a quarter of a year already! Most traces of “baby” are long gone and you are a super talkative and energetic little boy.

You started the year off with more swimming lessons with Dad and began gymnastics with me…both much-needed activities to burn some energy on days you aren’t at school and while the weather was still cold and crummy out. You’ve gotten so comfortable floating on your back in the water, and can finally jump with both feet leaving the ground in sync, as opposed to the gallop you started with.

Crew 2.25 | lifeinyellow.com

A couple fun outings included some ventures to Tot Town, an under-five indoor play session through a local community center, and a trip to the Botanical Garden downtown. Your favorite part was the automatic doors as opposed to the actual gardens but it was a great spot to let you run around and explore in what felt like an outdoor space, but without the need for all the winter gear.

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In February we headed south for¬†some much-needed family R+R time. You loved some daily splashes in the pool, the sand, and just the ability to be outside! It was so nice for all of us to get out of the frigid Iowa temps and soak up a little Vitamin D. You had your best flights yet – your first with your own seat and we experienced firsthand¬†the little wonder of the CARES harness. (I have to go on a side note for anyone traveling with a kiddo up to 40 pounds…using this allowed us the lightest travel we’ve had since Crew arrived – so liberating! And each flight, the attendants mentioned that it’s THE safest way for a small child to fly!)

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Your attention span has grown by leaps and bounds¬†— you stay engaged in conversations about a single topic and string along multiple thoughts about the same thing, and can follow along much more with¬†movies and storylines (as long as you have the freedom to roam around the room and play AS you watch). Your language has absolutely exploded since turning two. Words like “probably” and “maybe” have crept into sentences and you actually use them correctly. Some of my favorite things you say right now are “hmm, I dunno…“, “oh shoot!“, and “I hold Mommy” (even though¬†it’s the other way around, I will never correct this one!) <3

You refer to yourself in the first person most of the time anymore, although you still refer to us in the third. “I go upstairs, get big dump truck, come back downstairs. Mommy comin?” Yes, somewhere along the way, “dada” and “mama” got replaced with “Daddy” and “Mommy“. I say it every day — slow down, time!

crew 2.25 | lifeinyellow.com

You have your frustrated moments, like any two-year-old, and wanting to do things yourself but still needing assistance is a hot button. It has certainly taught ME patience, and to plan on an extra few minutes to leave the house as you get your jacket on! (Sometimes I swoop in from behind you and help with a sleeve, then jump back and excitedly applaud that you did it yourself,¬†so you won’t notice I helped – ha!!) The more you realize there are OPTIONS available in day-to-day life, you more you are annoyed when¬†the options are not available choices for you.¬†No, we can’t have fruit snacks for breakfast. No, we can’t stop and play at that park right now — we’re headed to school.¬†For the most part, you recover quickly and can be led to think about something else. You’re working really hard on¬†asking, not crying or whining, for something, and stopping to “listen” (you always point to your ears) to what¬†we are¬†asking you to do.

You are counting, counting, counting. You can count to ten without error, then it gets a little spottier “nine…ten…eleven…twelve…fifteen…NINE!” You sing your ABC song at about 90% accuracy, and you are obsessed with a couple of puzzle apps we put on the iPad. I swear I can SEE your brain working and you are so proud when you finish one — even if no one is nearby I hear you say, “Good JOB Crew!“. As much as you love the devices, you will drop them in a heartbeat if we ask you to come play something “real” with us. Mom and Dad still win — I wonder for how much longer?! ūüėČ

You continue to be an awesome sleeper – bed around 8, up around 7 and still logging 2.5 to 3 hour naps after lunch. You’ve figured out fruit snacks are the bomb, you only want pouches if they have a banana prominently displayed on the packaging, and you love¬†pretzels, chips, corn, mandarin oranges, ¬†anything cinnamon/spice flavored (grahams, muffins, etc.) and m&ms (“nom-a-nom-a-noms“). Of course, the donut obsession continues — the only thing you love more than those is a garbage truck!

Crew 2.25 | lifeinyellow.com

You constantly have an “owie” (make believe most of the time or the TINIEST scratch becomes a major deal) and you need all.the.band-aids. to show anyone who will pay attention to you, while pouting and saying “oh no, I have owie…poor Crew“. You’re showing more interest in the potty and have had several “successes” so far. I’ll be honest, we’ve waited a bit to potty train just out of laziness/busyness on our part, and also because I was waiting to hear when you would move up to the next room at school (which also impacts your routine and your “normal”). Now that we know that won’t be happening until early summer, I think it¬†will be full steam ahead with this bathroom business.

Crew 2.25 | lifeinyellow.com

You LOVE¬†babies and several of your buddies have new siblings. You actually announced at school that “Crew having a baby” after one of your classmates welcomed a new brother — I definitely caught some raised eyebrows my direction! Sorry but it’s just the three of us, buddy!

Crew 2.25 | lifeinyellow.com

You understand the concept of presents much more now (every boring Amazon box or paper towel delivery via UPS is met with you exclaiming “Oh! Mayyyyybe presents?!“). You’re pretty happy to just open up anything, present or not, but it still cracks me up you don’t give up hope that everything will be for you. You get the idea of the Easter Bunny coming far more than you understood Santa just a few months ago. Every couple days you ask about your basket and if the eggs are still empty.

You did turn into an alter ego of yourself for about ten days mid-March.¬†You were whiny and clingy and didn’t want to eat anything (even your favorites) and would cry about everything, even stuff that didn’t make any sense. We ended up in the ER (your first visit) one night when you had a sudden, severe attack of Croup, and went home after a nebulizer treatment and some steroids that helped you recover quickly. But even after that was addressed, the whininess continued, and we were back in the doctor’s office to be sure you didn’t have an ear infection or something else we hadn’t thought of. In the back of our minds the whole time, we thought this COULD be teeth, but kept checking and didn’t see anything.¬†But sure enough, a couple days ago, 3 of 4 molars have popped through. Teeth never bothered you much to this point but wowza, this last round tested all of us!

Crew 2.25 | lifeinyellow.com

You’re still a bit of a mama’s boy and I love that for about 90 uninterrupted seconds every morning, I get all the hugs and smiles and snuggles — before you promptly ask to turn on garbage trucks (YouTube) and eat some breakfast. You think Dad can fix ANYTHING and if something’s broken, I’ve noticed you never bring it to me for help ha! With Dad working in the basement more lately, you are constantly asking me what he’s doing, telling me what he’s making, or asking to go “check on Daddy“. You love your little family and that makes my heart swell.

I can’t believe the next time I get one of these posts pulled together you will be halfway to three already. I couldn’t pick a favorite phase in your short little life so far, but this talking, loving, learning phase, with all its frustrations but ALL its discoveries and enthusiasm, is ranking pretty high on the charts. Love, love, love you, Crew Man!