TWO

Poor second child Caleb.  Taylor turned five just a few days ago and had a post dedicated to her while he turned two three months ago, and nothing.  Let’s fix that, shall we?

Brand New Caleb (CAN YOU EVEN??!!)

One Year-Old Caleb

Two Year-Old Caleb

This boy, oh my goodness.  He is a nut.  But he will say, “My no nut”.  He is full of life and boyness.   He plays with all of Taylor’s toys but in a way only a boy can….magic wands as weapons and golf clubs…baby strollers as bumper cars.  He is so funny.  He is cute, and he knows it, which is means he’s trouble.  He has the funniest facial expressions and has great comedic timing; quite remarkable for two, I think.  He loves being funny, being the center of attention, and entertaining the people.

We took away his paci at night a few weeks ago.  I fretted over it, but other than waking up earlier than usual, he has handled it like a champ.  He is slow to potty train, but runs around joyously like a naked banshee when he is successful asking for his m&m and “popcorn” (AKA: candycorn).  He is talking more and more each day and repeats everything you say.  And he will repeat himself over and over until you understand fully what he is trying to say; he will not give up.

He counts to 11, then goes back to 8 and continues to 11 again.  He’s like a broken record.  He’ll keep repeating those four numbers until you through in a 12, then he can count to 20 (even though several of the “teen” numbers sound the same).

He wants to “help” do whatever we are doing, whether that’s cooking in the kitchen or doing yardwork.  He pulls up a chair to the counter EVERY TIME I’m in the kitchen, which is equal parts endearing and frustrating.  And he wants his lawnmower and wheelbarrow whenever we are working in the yard.

He likes to cook – he makes “oatmeal” all the time

(also, he’s not a fan of clothes)

He looks JUST like my dad AKA Pops (seriously, compare this to his two year-old cake picture)

He, too, loves the Gamecocks and going to football games (just like Pops)

He loved Disney, but was a little wary of the characters at first.  Below, he is warming up to Handy Manny (his favorite lead character – because he works with TOOLS).  He wants to look at our Disney album all the time, and each time we get to a new picture with a different character, he has to find the corresponding stuffed animal or figurine and hold it up to the picture.  So by the time we are done with the album, I have a lap full of “big Pooh”, two Goofys, Mickey, Donald, Woody, Buzz, and Piglet.  He’s quite distraught that he has no Handy Manny to add.

He wants to be like his daddy

He keeps us on our toes

And then, there was this note from his teacher:

Yes, that about describes this two year-old boy.

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FIVE

Brand New Taylor

One Year-Old Taylor

Two Year-Old Taylor

Three Year-Old Taylor

Four Year-Old Taylor

FIVE Year-Old Taylor

Yesterday, I shared in church my “joy” that Taylor was five and that she was blessed to be raised by such an awesome church family.  Everyone coming out of church shared how they couldn’t believe she was five.  ME, TOO!  I kept doing the math over and over.  How is she already five years-old?!

She is quite the awesome kid.  Her five years have shaped her into a funny, smart, sassy, beautiful girl with a stubborn streak and a bit of an attitude.  She knows what she wants and has very impressive arguing and reasoning skills to get it.  She loves life and is full of it.  She has a loud laugh.  She has a big heart.  She cried big tears when she thought Tinkerbell died in Return to Neverland.  When I told her that one of our church friend’s dad passed away, she immediately wanted to make her a card.

She loves her brother and thanks God for him in her prayers.  She says he’s her best friend.  He thinks she hung the moon and wants to do everything she does.

She is aggressive on the soccer field

which of course, makes her daddy really proud

She has her own sense of style.  I lost the role of picking out her clothes a LONG time ago

She insists on wearing her shin guards on the OUTSIDE of her socks

She is obsessed with The Wizard of Oz

Ariel is her favorite princess

She is a daredevil with an adventurous spirit.

She rode Tower of Terror and Splash Mountain  twice each and loved every minute.

She loves the Gamecocks and going to football games

She loves the Japanese restaurant

She is a beautiful soul; a beautiful girl

31

I think I like the age of 31.  The kids and I have been evicted from our house while Russ rips up and replaces the floors in our living room,  kitchen, and foyer.

You see those black lines/spots….that’s mildew in the exact outline of where previous homeowners added onto the house…obviously not doing a very good job.  FYI – this is NOT why I like the age of 31.   Being evicted means we came to Pops and Grammy’s house for the week, where Kathryn and Ryleigh are also staying.  All PARTY all the time!

The day started with birthday pancakes, made by mom, accessorized by Kathryn.

Then I had a COM meeting (COM is a regional church committee for you non-PCUSA clergy folk).  And it was over in TWO HOURS, which I think is a record for us.  We usually meet for at least 3 hours.  I think they sped things up for my birthday.  That AND the unanimously approved the presbytery parental leave policy I submitted – welcome presbytery to the year 2012!  Now people don’t have to call me whenever they get knocked up to get advice on how to get a policy done at their church.

While I was gone, the kids made me a “special surprise”

Then I met Grammy, Kathryn, and the kids at the park for Chick-fil-a lunch and play.

After naps and rest time, we got to eat the “special surprise”

The we played.

We all got to ride in the 32

And chased/caught a cricket

And then Mom made my all time favorite meal…SOOOO good.

And then, since we hadn’t eaten enough, Kathryn and I were treated to another ride in the 32 to Baskin Robbins to sample one of their 31 flavors (for my 31st birthday) with Dad.

Yes, 31 should be alright!

four

Taylor is 4.  It’s pretty awesome.  We were all pretty excited.  It’s been a party all week and doesn’t really stop until Thursday when we take her to Disney on Ice (in lieu of a party because OMG with all the other weekend plans!)

So, this is how we celebrate FOUR!

Poor girl had to make her own cupcakes for her school party:

pink for the girls; blue for the boys

Russ had to work 4-10pm on her birthday so we couldn’t do a big birthday dinner.  We did a family birthday breakfast instead and even sang for her.

THE PANCAKES HAVE SPRINKLES!!

She had a fun day at school going on a field trip and having cupcakes with her friends.  Then more celebrating at home.  She was a bit tired of me taking pictures by this point in the day, but at least tried to humor me.

While Taylor approached her cupcake with the daintiness of a girl and the patience of a four year-old, Caleb devoured his with the complete reckless abandon of a one year-old boy.

The fun continued on Saturday when Pops and Grammy came to her soccer game and gifted her with her first bike.  She was pretty excited.

I’d say we can call birthday #4 a success.  It’s hard to believe that’s she’s already 4, learning to read and write, playing soccer, taking dance classes, beating Grammy at Memory, developing her own style and picking out all her own clothes, giving herself a bath, making up sing-songy prayers at meals and bedtimes, making her own cupcakes, going to sleep without any battles, doing homework, learning how to ride a bike, and so much more.

ONE

Caleb is a year old.  I am not sure how this happened.  I was at the Montreat Middle School Conference on his birthday, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t seem real.  But at least we got to eat lunch together in matching t-shirts, thanks to Pops and Grammy.

At a year-old he can walk like a drunk man

He is quite fond of shaking his head “no”

He’s very vocal, but can only say “mama”  “dada” and “ball” and “ahhhhhh!!!!!”

He throws his food on the floor.

He throws his cup on the floor.

He is quite fond of food and is not fond at all of waiting on food.

He laughs all the time.

He has the cutest grin.

He has recently become very attached to a little dinosaur lovie….he’ll wander into his room and pull it out of his crib in the middle of the day.

He is becoming more, rather than less, attached to his pacifier.

He tries to figure out how things work.

He loves peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek.

He is into EVERYTHING – the toilet, the trash, Taylor’s things, etc.

He puts EVERYTHING in his mouth – toilet paper, trash, Taylor’s things, etc.

He LOVES his sister and thinks it’s hilarious to go in her room.

He has a really good arm…he’s got the soccer throw in and the baseball pitch down.

He sleeps a good 12 hours straight a night.

At his 12M check-up, he was 21.5 lbs and 31 in, making him 25% in weight and 75% in height.  It won’t be long before he’s taller than his sister.

And best of all (and most importantly) he loves his mama.

for the love of cake

 

girl’s best friend

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This is Lucky, the wonder dog.  We do not have a pet because they need time and money, neither of which we have right now.  This makes me sad because before getting married I ALWAYS had pets.  always.  I really like them.  (of course, my mom would probably say that I liked them because I never really had to take care of them).  But I think pets are good for kids growing up.  And Piglet LOVES dogs.

My sister and brother-in-law threatened offered to get her a real dog for her birthday because she just adores their dog Abby and gets so very excited to see her whenever we go to their house.  Don’t tell them, but I actually think she gets more excited about seeing Abby than seeing them.

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They did not get her a real puppy, but really I don’t think she knows the difference.  She LOVES Lucky.  She thinks he is just hilarious.  She got him on Saturday at her party.  Sunday afternoon, she woke up from her nap and kept saying, “mucky” over and over again.  I thought she was saying “monkey” and couldn’t figure out what she wanted.  Then a light went off and I realized she was looking for her new BFF.

They have really been inseparable.  She has to be near him.  He has to watch her eat and go to the potty.  She carries him from room to room.  If she can’t find him, she wanders around saying, “Mucky, where are you?”.  While on the way home from school everyday, she starts asking for “Mucky” and I tell her that Lucky is waiting for her at home and has missed her while she was gone.  So she runs inside and finds him and hugs him as if she hasn’t seen him in years, her long lost pal.   Each morning when we leave, she tries to take him with her, but  I have to convince her to let him stay home because he’s tired.

She takes him into her play kitchen to get him some water.  She knows the trick to wake him up (turn him on).   She picks him up and hugs him.  She is slowly learning the commands to make him do tricks.  He can “sing a song”, “come here”, “sit”, “lay down”, and even “put ’em up” – and when you say “bang bang” he falls over.  This is what she finds most hilarious.  That and when he’s been ignored for a few minutes, he toots and says “uh-oh” in Scooby-Do fashion.  That, my friends, is the funniest thing EVER in two-year-old world.

Russ’ favorite command is “Lucky, go to sleep” because he just keeps barking when he’s awake.  (Kathryn did apologize to us for giving her the dog because of this and kept assuring us that we could turn him off).  But before he goes into sleep mode, he snores.  really loudly.  And this just gets Piglet intrigued and amused again, and she wakes him back up.  And the fun and hilarity (and noise) begins again.