My sweet, darling, most favorite very best boy. I'm already crying. It is bitter sweet to watch you grow. Seeing you learn, develop, understand, ask questions, laugh, do big boy things...it's wonderful. But, it also means you are no longer a baby. Sometimes, I'll catch a glimpse of your baby face and chubby cheeks. Rubber band wrists and paci-shaped teeth. Shaggy hair. But your appearance is changing right before our eyes. (Though we still let your hair get shaggy from time to time.)
You're still long and lean:
Day to day, we see little changes and new things happen. Looking back at a year's worth of pictures reeeeeeaaaaaalllllly makes it sink in just how fast this whole thing is going. I'm am so, so proud God chose ME to be your mama. I'm honored to do this with you. We are both learning. You, my dear, are a great teacher. Thank you for forgiving me quickly when I yell, for kissing me when I ask, for giving me big squeezes, and for making me laugh.
Your third year was HUGE. Almost all your words sound just how they're supposed to. Thomas isn't "ta-tee" anymore, which is a sad one for me. Sometimes, you'll indulge me and say words how you used to. We laugh about it and say, "awwwww!" You can count to 12 then 14, 16, 19, 20. It's pretty adorable. You can even count things and point out numbers. You know the ABC song but still don't really care about knowing your letters and that's ok!
We had a big snow right after you turned 2. We played and made a tiny snowman then came in for hot chocolate and snow ice cream. Such sweet moments to cherish.
You also started the year in a BIG BOY BED! In preparation for baby sister, you got a new twin bed and we changed rooms. We did naps at first then made the full transition. You did great! (And to this day, you still have yet to climb out. You're awesome.) This was your fist nap and yes, we cried. It was the first moment of realizing how big you're getting!
You got your haircut 3 times (not counting trims by Daddy). All you need is a sucker and maybe my phone, and you're good to go!
You love outside. We don't have a lot of outside toys. We have more fun with dirt, mud, sand, and the occasional chalk!
You can be a little mischievous/curious at times, but for the most part, you are obedient and do the right thing. When we were waiting for Amelia to join us, I was cleaning the bathroom upstairs and this is what you were up to. It was so innocent and hilarious!
There's an obvious shift happening. You are really starting to cling to Daddy. It's normal and special and so sweet to see the father/son bond forming. You still yell for me in the night and in the morning, though. So, I'm holding on to that for as long as possible.
A lot of the beginning of the year was just you and me. Daddy started writing more and working extra in anticipation of Amelia. And, if I'm being honest, sometimes I long for those days. I didn't have anyone else to take care of but you. I wish I would've held you more or at least napped with you. There are songs I sing to you that remind me of that time (from Toy Story, Home, and Cars) and those songs will always make me think of the two of us. I love you so!
You started showing interest in helping me "cwean" and doing chores like "soap" (laundry).
You love your books. We still read every nap and every night, though sometimes we take them away if you disobey too much. You've moved on to bigger books. You can pay attention to the longer stories and you've even started kind of reading. By that I mean, memorizing and knowing when to say the words and knowing when we skip pages. Some favorites are Little Blue Truck, Red Truck, Gingerbread Man, Let's Be Polite, and any Thomas book.
When we say, "What are the rules?" You answer excitedly, "Be a polite, share, obey Mommy and Daddy." Sometimes you do all those things and sometimes you don't. It's been a hard learning year in that regard.
This was our last picture of just you and me. I went into labor after you and I played golf on Masters Sunday (see above pic) and so you went next door and had a sleepover with Whit!
You are such a good big brother!!!! You will never know life without Amelia. I miss the way you said Mena. But the Muuuuulia of today is pretty sweet. And sometimes you call her Sweetie, Mil, or Sweetheart. I pray you two will always be close.
You've mastered the art of picking boogers. Amelia isn't sure about it, obviously.
Look how tired I am! Such a blur.... And there's you. Always with some sort of vehicle in your hand. I love it.
BIG change: you gave up your beloved Da. You left them for the Paci Fairy and she brought you a new toy. My word it was a hard couple days. Hearing you cry and saying, "I need my da! I miss my da" was heartbreaking. But, in true Oliver form, you rocked it.
A fun treat when Daddy gets gas at truck stops. Also, you loooove truck stops.
Mud, dirt, cars, rocks. That's you, son.
"Mommy, I need to wear Monkey and go shopping." So precious!
You had another ER visit. Staph on your eye. The day we get to meet up with family in the Destin area. Wonderful timing. You were so brave, though!
A day with Thomas was a big treat! You were so excited and did very well.
You are smart and have a crazy memory. Sometimes you'll say something and we're so surprised you remembered it!
You're a great sleeper and great eater! I'm so thankful for that.
You still call our time on the road, "Check, check play." And now you sing! Your favorite songs are "Working Together" from Thomas (and a bunch of other songs from that show), "Drop It" from Home, "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Life is a Highway," which you call Mack.
You really got into make believe and pretending this year. You make up little conversations between your cars and trains and it's adorable.
Last day as a 2 year old!
I'm sure I'm forgetting so much of what happened this year. I try to keep records on my phone and in my mind, but I'm sure there are some precious nuggets that have not been remembered. I hope I've given you some good (and funny) bullet points. You are my favorite, best boy.
My prayer for you is that you always follow Jesus. That you stand up for what is right and for those who have no voice. I pray you are kind and brave and happy. May you always find joy, despite the circumstances in which you find yourself.
We love you this BIG and it gives you a hug.
And now, I leave you with some amazing quotes and words from your 3rd year:
Let's do dis
I'm so exciting!
Daisy a diesel (Day of the Diesel)
Wooooooooorkin dayger (Working together)
House brown (hash brown)
We're hittin' da road!
I can do that after I'm bigger. After I'm 2 old.
Mena has yellow poop. Mine is brown.
To da rexcue!
Can we pray for Santa?
Santa baby is so cute can I hold him?
*noticing my love handles*- Mommy? You have lots of milk in there? 😳
Mommy, just get over it. Just chill.
Sky is still awake?
It's a torm! (storm)
It's dork (dark)
Mommy? You got tears? I got nails. On my feet.
*points to Daddy's phone* - This is amazing? This a dot com?