Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Birthday Boys

River's 3rd birthday was yesterday and Bear's birthday is today.  This picture was taken a year ago, right before River turned two.  Wow!  A year makes a big difference in a little one.  Since I spent most of the year being pregnant, I didn't keep up on River updates as much as I would have liked.  So here I am, searching my brain, trying to remember all the changes he made over the last year.

The thing I remember most about the very beginning of the "twos"  was fighting over his car seat.  It seemed like overnight he became a pro wrestler and he was not about to let me buckle him in.  Every trip to the grocery store and any other place, started and ended with a battle.  He didn't want me to put him in the seat and he didn't want me to get him out.  Since this was the dead of Winter... I was not amused.  I tried hourly to remind myself this independent streak would be an admirable quality later in life.

Like all parental battles, I'm not sure when it ended, but soon these frustrations were overshadowed by my amazement of new words and phrases and pretty soon whole sentences being spoken on a daily basis.  Suddenly, my little rebel was the smartest person on the entire planet and not only that... he was funny.  One day we were flying back from Missouri and there was a lot of turbulence and he turned to me and said, "Rock and Roll Momma!"  Where did he come up with that?

We spent every day of the summer at the park and I discovered I not only had a brilliant linguist on my hands, but a super capable athlete as well.  I held my breath as he climbed all the way up the plastic mountain by himself... like it ain't no thang... and then he did it again and again.  Going down slides wasn't enough of a challenge, so sliding upside down and backwards became the new game of the day.  I witnessed the twinkle in his eyes as he decided whether or not to jump from higher and higher places.

I got to experience the joy of relationships taking on an important role in his life.  He began to remember his exploits with his friends and ask to see them daily.  They were no longer just a happy surprise should he come across them, but people he cared for and missed when they weren't around.  Hutch, Sofia, Rocky and Neena are asked about constantly and my heart gets warm when I hear, "If Grandma was at River's house that would be so fun Mom."

He handled the biggest change of his life better than I could have hoped for and welcomed a little brother into his home and heart.  It started with him running to the toilet to pretend to throw up, while I was puking with morning sickness.  Then we would compare belly sizes as the baby grew and grew and finally he was able to hold and cuddle (albeit not very gently) with him.  He tries to pacify Ash when he cries and always runs to tell me when baby Ash is sad.  He giggles when he gets cooed at and likes to repeat what Ash says... "Mom, baby says Ahhh."

We still had/have our battles... nap times, bed times, clothes that are "itchy", wearing coats, eating dinner and the great big WAR of using the potty are going to continue into the "threes" I am afraid, but we finished off the year with a happy, healthy boy that could not be more excited to rip open presents, play with friends, ride his bike in the snow with his dad and hold mommy's hand during the scary parts of "Brave".  All in all, the "twos" were way more terrific than terrible and Bear and I continue to increase our ability of blocking out the bad stuff anyways.

Bear is going to get jipped on this post, just like he will probably continue to get jipped with every birthday for the rest of his life.  I'll be honest, after getting things together for the holidays and then mustering a last second birthday celebration for River, I never get anything done for Bear's birthday.... Not that a single person on the planet has an once of party left in them by January 1st, but it would be nice if I could at least order a present on line or something.... maybe next year Bear.  However, we do love you.  Big time!!!  And you look HOT in this picture!  Seriously... I look at it, with you holding our little boy and I think, "How in the world did I get so lucky?"

Last, but not least, Ash turned 6 weeks yesterday as well.  This is more of a milestone for me then him.  I wear six weeks like a badge of honor.  The books say the fussiness peaks at six weeks, so I high five myself on making it halfway to 12 weeks, when babies become happier and sleep longer and I become happier and sleep longer and the world gets all of that rosy color again.  With River, I made a collage of pictures from the first six weeks and I would look at it and think.. I SURVIVED!  It wasn't nearly as dramatic this time around, but I still feel like high fives are called for.  Go me!  2012... we rocked you out of the park!

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