yesterday, our baby boy turned two! and what a change two has been for him. he went to bed my little one year old munchkin and woke up a whole stinkin' lot older. his vocabulary and understanding and communicating and participating are all just booming.
every time you say his name now, he answers with "what?" every time you ask him to do something, he says "okay!" and when you do something he likes, he says "yeah!" or "yay!" he knows what things are, he asks for them by name, he is patient and doesn't scream (most of the time) when he is waiting. he can *finally* be reasoned with (hallelujah!) oh man, the communication barrier is one of my all-time favorite breakthroughs in child rearing. so much screaming (on both our parts) is now just a beautiful bygone memory. new screaming will come, for sure, but for now, i shall sunbathe in this sweet, sweet (sweet) victory.
so let's talk super powers. dallin's is observance. he has always been eerily observant. remember object permanence? and how infants younger than about eight months old don't generally have such a thing? well dallin had object permanence down from, like, two days out the womb. nothing gets by this kid.
his hearing is almost superhuman.
he can spot tiny objects from across the room. in the dark.
and he most definitely knows when you're eating something delicious in the kitchen, even if he's upstairs in his crib napping.
and while there is undoubtedly a lot of good that will come from having such a super power, the bad is that he is almost impossible to distract -- distraction being a main behavior management strategy of the toddler years and all (insert screaming here).
okay, so on to his birthday.
to know dallin is to know that he loves cereal. i mean, not like passively "loves," but he loves cereal. if the pantry door is open, he will go in and find a box of cereal and eat it. all. cereal is the first thing he asks for when he wakes up on the morning and the last thing he asks for before he goes to bed at night.
and because our kids only get sugar cereal on rare occasions, it's become one of the ultimate treats at our house (seriously, if it was a choice between a box of candy bars and a box of sugar cereal, the sugar cereal would win at the wheelers every. time.) so for dallin's birthday gift, i decided to raid the cereal aisle and brought home twenty-two (eek!) boxes of cereal. the older kids were in absolute heaven and are looking forward to downing every single box. dallin made a bee-line for the lucky charms and was unimpressed by my other offerings (he came around to the awesomeness of it all after a few bowls of lucky charms, though).
later on, we made breakfast cereal donuts.
he also received a box of crayons ("colors," as he calls them) and some great grandparent gifts. it was pretty much the best birthday of his life. ah, two year olds: so deliciously easy to impress.
dallin, you are adored. your juicy cheeks, your sparkling eyes, your dimply dimple. your precious waddle. you are the messiest eater i've ever met. the spitting image of your father. you have the cutest voice, kind of an anger management problem, and the world's tiniest feet. you never back down from a fight, observe everything, think your mama all but hung the moon, and boy, are we excited to watch you grow up.
bryan, you'll remember, began working for an exciting new company, arivale, in the middle of this year. he still finds time to cook dinner for his family three times a week and enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and dancing. (am lying about the dancing.)
emily, you'll remember, ran a grand total of three times this year: once to practice, once to complete a 5k, and once to shave four minutes off said 5k. now she's tired. in her free time, she's usually sewing something, buying something, cleaning something, or hiding in the pantry eating cookies.
summer has thoroughly enjoyed being a red head these past few months. she's kind of over it now, though, and we're working diligently on returning her to her naturally hued hair, so stay tuned. she still loves school and people of all sorts and sharing with her siblings (weird, i know). she is becoming quite the pianist and quite the artist and quite the connoisseur of fine chocolates. (am lying about the chocolates.)
afton is also a talented artist and almost always drawing something. she loves fashion and has notebooks filled with her designs. she also loves sparkles and organizing and has eaten more vegetables this year than in all of her previous years combined. afton's first grade teacher is a match made in heaven for her, and she's really coming into her own at school. she hates playing games even though she's wicked good at them and almost always wins.
caleb has been in constant motion since the year began. he made his first friend (hi gabriel!) and has been really digging preschool lately. he continues to weasel his way out of discipline using his dimples and/or pouty face and is known by name by almost all of our small community because his mother shouts it in exasperation so often. caleb is affectionate and kind-hearted and huge. also, if you happen to find him out wandering the streets without a guardian, please return him to our home forthwith. many thanks to the friends and neighbors who have already done so this past year.
dallin's dream come true is being a baby. his favorite things in the whole wide world are his mama and his blankets. he loves snacking and napping and saying "see you!" his vocabulary is booming, and his favorite word is definitely, definitely "no." he loves music and coloring and cereal and horseback riding. (am lying about that last part again.)
"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
december twelfth was a cold and rainy day in the pacific northwest, and we were glad to have so many family members and friends with us to support our summer sunshine.
when i was a little girl, i was baptized in a beautiful white swiss dot dress that i loved. a few years before summer's baptism, we started looking through family trunks and closets for the dress to no avail. also, nowadays, for practical reasons, most lds baptisms are performed in thick white (non see-thru) jumpsuits.
i decided to merge the best of both worlds, and after i finished summer's white and gold chiffon dress, i had (barely ;) enough time to sew her a beautiful white (double-thick) swiss dot jumpsuit for her baptism. that she loved.
and which i hope to see my granddaughters in some day.
summer girl receiving a baptism gift from the primary the following sunday.
see how that sucker really speeds up there at the end?
and while it's been pretty slow going for the past eight years around here, right about now that roller-coaster is definitely starting to round into the decline.
as scary as it sometimes is to be on this speedy, bumpy, windy, twisty, and way, way high up in the air space mountain of sorts, the kids just make it so darn enjoyable to watch them grow up. to get to know them. to learn who they are. and to help them find their way.
it's my favorite part.
summer is an artist. she's a writer. a dreamer. a believer. she is kind. caring. a quick learner. summer is inclusive. a sharer. a sister. she can be shy and is easily embarrassed. she gets distracted. she loves to read. she loves to dance. she loves to know about things. about people. about history. about science. she loves treats and excitement and surprises and her family most of all.