Why? 

Theo has entered the why phase and it may be the death of me. 

Why did you go that way?

Why did you say that?

Why is that man sitting there?

Why does that duck have feet???

The questions never end and are often so obscure I have no idea how to even answer them. If I give him an ambiguous answer like “because” he’ll respond with “why because?” If I say “I don’t know,” he wants to know why I don’t know. 

I’m told all these questions are a good thing developmentally and that an inquisitive mind is a sign of intelligence. 

If you need me I’ll be hiding in the pantry with a bottle of wine. 

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T-man update.

Poor Theo. Usually it’s the second child that gets the shaft, but then E came along and stole all his big brother’s thunder. I hadn’t even gotten thank you cards out for T’s birthday party (and still haven’t!) when E came barrelling into this world three months ahead of schedule. So I thought I’d show my firstborn some love and dedicate this post to him. Because he is kind of amazing.

First, his birthday was a wild success! Since he was originally due on Cinco de Mayo (but was four days late), we’ve made it a tradition to throw a Cinco de Mayo bash for his birthday each year. Though I think this was probably our last year before he forms some serious opinions on the matter and insists on a Transformers-themed party or something. Despite our best intentions of culling the guest list to only friends with kids and making it a smaller affair, we ended up with nearly 60 people, including about 25 kids! Thank goodness we had great weather and could spend most of the time in our large backyard instead of our modest-sized house. We had a bouncy house and a pinata for the kids, and plenty of beer and margaritas for the adults. It was a lot of fun. Like the previous two years, we had a separate, more intimate party for family. Theo had a blast at both parties, though after two parties at home plus one at his school, he actually told me “no more parties.” Kid was partied out.

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Party animals.

On the potty training front, Theo has been out of diapers since January, but still isn’t super reliable about getting to the bathroom on his own. He has to be reminded a lot because he gets too busy and doesn’t want to stop what he’s doing. Mister has a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). We also still have him in pull-ups at night because he sleeps so hard. Funny how this is the same kid who didn’t sleep through the night until he was about nine months old, and when I say “didn’t sleep through the night” I’m talking waking up every hour and a half to two hours. How did we function? At the time it felt like it would never end, and now it feels like a lifetime ago. (I try to remind myself of this when it feels like we’ll be in the NICU forever.)

We’re in the process of putting together his big boy room and he’s now spent two nights in his new room. So far things are going well, and he’s so excited about his big boy bed that he actually goes to bed easier than he did when he was in the crib! It’s fun to snuggle in bed together and read before bedtime and wake him up by crawling in bed with him. I still need to move his clothes and toys over, and I have a bookshelf I need to paint and put in there, but the walls and ceiling are painted, curtains are hung, and he’s got a bed and a few wall decorations so far (I’m doing a travel/transportation theme). The plan is to put Emmett in the nursery once he comes home since it’s already set up for a baby, and then once E is sleeping more reliably we’ll move him in with T and make what’s currently the nursery into the new guest room. For now guests will have to sleep in the loft/office/playroom.

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He looks so little in his big bed!

We’ve had a little bit of a rough spell as far as attitude and tantrums go — I’m not sure how much of that is typical threenager behavior versus him having a hard time adjusting to the changes. As much as D and I try to maintain a sense of normalcy (still sending T to daycare during the week and making sure we’re all home together each night for dinner), I’m sure he’s aware of just how different things are and he can probably sense some of our stress. He actually bit a kid at daycare a couple weeks ago, and he’s never been the least bit aggressive to other kids. Usually we’re getting incident reports because he’s been bitten, not because he’s the biter!

But, when he’s not throwing an epic tantrum, he’s really a great kid. I can’t believe how much he’s blossomed over the last year and especially in the last few months. His language has absolutely exploded and he never stops talking now. I can’t believe I was actually worried about him not talking enough at one point. Just goes to show that kids usually catch up and do things on their own timeline. He is (usually) polite and says please and thank you. In fact, he usually says “please” twice in a sentence (e.g., “please can I have some milk please?”). It’s adorable. He’s really into dinosaurs, Transformers, super heroes and still has to sleep with “Blue” every night (his blue dog blanket lovey). We temporarily lost Blue for two days in the room transition and T was pretty sad about that.

Eating has been a battle of wills. I’m told he eats well at school and at other people’s houses, but at home it’s become a game for him. He stalls, plays with his food, claims he doesn’t like something he usually likes, picks at his food, and then usually eventually eats it, but it takes FOR-E-VER.

Other things: he loves to be chased and tickled and will scream for us to stop and once we do, begs us to chase or tickle him again. He has an infectious laugh and a great smile, but when you ask him to smile on command, this is what he gives you:

"Smile!"

“Smile!”

 

Here's a more natural smile - riding the Great Wheel with his cousin Molly.

Here’s a more natural smile – riding the Great Wheel with his cousin Molly.

Overall, I’m really enjoying this stage. Despite the occasional meltdown, he is just such a joy to be around. He talks often about baby Emmett and I am looking forward to having a house full of boys in just a couple more months. I think Theo and his little brother will become best buds, and Emmett certainly has a pretty great brother to look up to.

Boosh!

Theo has never been much of a cuddler — usually only when he’s sick. Kid likes to have his space. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from trying to snuggle him. He’ll usually tolerate it for a few minutes; sometimes more if he’s sleepy. But it isn’t long before he starts pushing me away and telling me to “boosh.” I think it’s a hybrid of “move” and “push” (he’s usually physically pushing us as he does it).

Cracks us up. Sometimes we’ll oversnuggle him just to hear him to tell us to boosh.

My did it!

Our little man is certainly exerting his independence these days. Lately he wants to do everything himself — from buckling himself in his car seat, to brushing his own teeth (despite the fact that we do a much better job doing it for him), to opening doors and turning off lights — if we try do something for him, he immediately shrieks, “NO! MY DID IT!!!” He’s been using my and I interchangeably, and I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be “I get it” or his way of saying “I do it” (using the wrong tense of do) — but the message is clear: back off, mom!

It’s great that he’s learning do do more himself, but sometimes it takes FOR-E-VER to get out of the house in the morning, and there are certain things he simply lacks the dexterity to do, like zip up his jacket. He can do it if I get it started for him, but if I say, “Can mama help?” He yells, “No, Theo help!”

It’s both adorable and frustrating, which is basically toddlerhood in a nutshell.

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Rawwwwrrr…

Theo is obsessed with roaring. It all started with learning about lions at school. Then he got a book about the zoo, and when we get to the part about the lion, he starts roaring before I can even read a word on the page. This turned into his assumption that other animals must roar. So now anytime he sees an animal he doesn’t know the sound for yet, his default guess is that it must roar. This includes things like frogs and bunnies, which just makes it even funnier. Oh, and robots. His grandma got him some robot toys recently and he was playing with them while roaring.

Resurrection.

I suck. We’re getting ready for Theo’s second birthday and the last time I posted was just after his first birthday. I actually have several posts I had started drafting, but just never got around to finishing. Maybe I’ll dust those off at some point too.

So, this is my attempt at resurrecting this blog. I hope I can be more diligent about writing because life really does go so fast and I want to preserve these memories. I still can’t believe I almost have a two year-old. Life with a two year-old is pretty much everything I thought it would be — the extreme highs when he’s being sweet, coupled with the extreme frustration when he’s throwing one of his epic tantrums. And good lord, are they epic. Just this morning he was going to help me feed the dogs (something he loves to do), but when I gave him the cup full of dog food, instead of going toward the dogs, he ran the other way. Some kind of a game, I guess? I gave him a few chances to come over to the dog dishes (all the while, the dogs are drooling larger and larger puddles), before I finally went to him and told him he could go put the food in the dish, or I was going to do it myself.

Long story short, he chose poorly. I took the food from him. He lost it.

I was already late for work, and he was so mad by this point that he didn’t want to let me brush his teeth, put on his shoes or jacket — or even touch him, really. He threw himself on the ground kicking and screaming (so dramatic). Getting him ready was quite the fight, and by the time I hauled him out to the car, he was screaming so loud I was sure our neighbors were going to call the police because some kid must be getting kidnapped or possibly mauled by a bear. When he screams, this kid screams like he’s being tortured.

But even through the frustration, sometimes all I can do is laugh. I mean, this is what I signed up for, right?

And the sweet moments make up for it. Like the way he says “I love you,” (which sounds more like “ah duh doo”) when I put him to bed at night, and he blows me kisses all the way to the door — even after I close the door, I can still hear him blowing kisses. Or the way he points and yells, “mama!” when I walk in the door and runs so fast he crashes into me in a giant hug.

Life with a toddler is tough, but it’s worth it.

Here are some pictures from the past year.

Boating last summer.

Boating last summer.

Those curls!

Those curls!

First haircut!

First haircut!

So handsome!

So handsome!

A day at the aquarium.

A day at the aquarium.

Picking pumpkins at the farm.

Picking pumpkins at the farm.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

18 months old.

18 months old.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Redmond Winter Festival.

Redmond Winter Festival.

Getting our Christmas tree.

Getting our Christmas tree.

Theo and cousin Ryder weren't a fan of Santa.

Theo and cousin Ryder weren’t a fan of Santa.

Cheering on the Seahawks!

Cheering on the Seahawks!

My happy guy!

My happy guy!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hangin' with Ryder at the library.

Hangin’ with Ryder at the library.

Helping mom with home improvement projects.

Helping mom with home improvement projects.

Ready to mow the lawn.

Ready to mow the lawn.

My boy.

My boy.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Swinging with Ella.

Swinging with Ella.

Little daredevil.

Little daredevil.