Friday, April 11, 2014

Jackson is Two!

Dear Jackson,

I guess these letters are going to be our tradition, and since tomorrow is your second birthday I'm finally writing another one.  Almost every night after you go to bed your father and I talk about how you are an absolute joy.  There's just no better word to describe you, and I thank God for you daily.  You're so quick to smile, laugh, and give out kisses and hugs, and we feel immeasurably blessed to have you in our lives.

Most mornings I wake around 7:30 or so and turn on the video monitor to see if you're awake.  Often you're awake and just sitting in your crib quietly, playing with puppy and octopus (blanket also goes to bed with you:).  Daddy usually gets you out of the crib, and you do a roll call: "Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, doggy?"  On the two mornings of the week that your Daddy is gone to Bible study when you wake, you look for him (even calling under the bathroom door) and have even cried.  If Ella Kate isn't awake, we wake her up, and you're always so glad to see her.  You usually call her "Sis" but have also started saying "Ellie," which is very similar to what you call elephants.  While I feed your sister, you either play or watch Daniel Tiger.  Breakfast begins a little later--or sooner if you get in your highchair.  You've started doing that when you're hungry. Breakfast always begins with a banana, and then you usually have some combination of the following: eggs, toast, muffins, blueberry waffles, fruit, or Organic Os.  Milk follows later, and when you're finished you throw your cup in the sink.  A lot of days you insist on putting on shoes, so we have to take your footie pajamas off and get you dressed for day.

Our mornings are almost always at home since your sister naps, so we sing songs ("Wheels on the Bus," "Old MacDonald" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" are favorites), have dance parties (the Jackson Five Pandora station is our usual), read books, and you play on your own or with your sister a lot while I do chores. We have play dates with Betsy a lot, and you're always quick to hug and kiss her.

I am often floored by how sweet you are to your sister.  One day we were dancing, and Ella Kate was in her exersaucer and you went and danced beside the exersaucer so you could hold her hands and help her dance. You frequently bring her toys to her as well as her pacis, teething rings, and anything else you think she may need or want.  When you see that I'm getting things ready for her nap you tell her "bye."   She takes up a lot of my time lately, and you're so patient about it all.

We eat an early lunch, and you're still a really good eater.  You love smoothies, and when I turn the Vitamix on you bring me your cup so I can fill it up.  You love snacks and call them "soap-ies."  You grin so big when you get milk twice a day.  Your nap is around 1:00 (or whenever your sister's second nap begins so I can get a break), and lately you've been napping about 2 hours.  After your nap we may go to the aquarium, park, store, or the Children's Discovery Museum (a membership was part of your gift from Grandma).

In the last month or so, your learning and vocabulary have exploded.  It's been so fun to see.  It all began when you started wanting to look at books and have us identify things.  Some days we would spend hours going through these books.  Then we started having your identify the different items, and all of sudden you just started adding about 5 words a day to your vocabulary.

Two of your favorite people are Holdey (Holden) and Mallie.  Any time you hear a child outside you look to see if Holdey is in his yard and you cry out his name.  You love our trips to Calhoun and talk about Mallie during the entire one hour drive to her house.  You love playing in the kitchen in her room and can be so focused on a task at hand.  It's not unusual for you to go straight to her room and play for hours.

Sadly I'm just finishing this letter about 2 months after your 2nd birthday because I got a terrible stomach bug mid-writing and had to cancel your family party.  You ended up getting sick too.  Thankfully we had already celebrated with Kate, Holden, Charlie, and Tucker with a little birthday lunch and cupcakes, and of course, you didn't know the difference.  You loved opening your presents and have especially enjoyed a play lawn-mower that your Aunt Kristyl gave you.  You love spending time outside and will play in the yard by yourself--exploring, reading, or talking to the neighbor's German Shepherd Caesar.

Most nights your daddy puts you to bed.  The two of you pray together, and you often lay down on your big boy bed while holding his hand as if you're too tired to sit up to pray.  I often see you lounging, kicking your feet, and otherwise enjoying your alone time in your crib before you eventually fall asleep.  We are so enjoying getting to know you Jackson and look forward to this next year.

Much love,