He got to have two fun birthday celebrations. One with my family in Elmer over the Thanksgiving holiday and one with lots of friends and family here in Oklahoma City.
I let him choose the theme he wanted, and he rather emphatically told me he wanted a "gween John Deewe twactor pawty!" The boy loves anything to do with the farm. Tractors, plows, cows, horses, pigs, fields, fences...you get the idea. He loves being able to visit both sets of his grandparents in the country, and we are proud to say he really is a country boy at heart.
Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to find some really cute decoration and food ideas. We had the party in a room at our church that has a door that leads directly to the outdoor play area. Thank goodness for 75 degree weather on December 1 because the kids were able to play outside all they wanted! I also set up a table with tractor coloring sheets and farm-themed puzzles for those who didn't want to battle the wind that day. There were also plenty of balloons, which seem to be able to keep kids of all ages entertained for hours.
The most important thing was that Will had a blast! He kept asking if we could go "back to Will's birthday party? Pweeeeeesss?" I told him mommy's can only handle one birthday party a year. I tried to keep things very simple, but I was still worn out by the time it was over.
We went in for his 2-year check up last week, and his growth is still about the same. He was 25 lbs. 15 oz. (25%) and 35 1/2 inches long (75%). Thank goodness for adjustable waistband pants! He is very healthy and is done with immunizations until he is 4. Woo hoo!!! His doctor also commented on how well he speaks, and I told her it's because he gets plenty of practice!
I will take a moment to do a little motherly bragging (that's allowed, right?). Will does speak very well for a 2-year-old. He also has an incredible memory! Sometimes it scares me. He knows all of his letters and letter sounds. He can count to 20 (twenty-teen to be exact). He knows lots of different colors and shapes and loves to label things that way (look at the red car; the tires are black circles). He inherited his father's analytic brain and loves to sort his toys in various ways. It is not unusual for me to find all of the cars lined up, all of the animals in another line, and all of his people in another line. One day he sorted his diapers by Sesame Street character (Elmos, Big Birds, Ernies, etc.), and then asked me to help him count each pile. When Theron came home for lunch, I told him we'd done some basic accounting that morning by taking inventory of Will's diapers. He was so proud.
I would love to take credit for having such a little smarty, but I give credit where credit is due...to Leapfrog. The people who created the Leapfrog learning products and DVD's really knew what they were doing. Will absolutely loves the DVD's, and they have taught him so much. I do my best to reinforce what he is learning, but he honestly picked up a lot of things from watching those movies. His favorites are Letter Factory, Numbers Ahoy, Phonics Farm, and Let's Go to School. He also loves a lot of the toys and games made by Leapfrog, and I love that he can have fun and learn at the same time.
Lastly, here are a few things I never imagined I'd be dealing with when I had a 2-year-old:
- Limiting computer time: Who knew you would need to limit the computer time of a 2-year-old? I don't think I even saw a computer until I was in elementary school, and we didn't have one in our house until I was in middle school. Will would play on the computer or the Ipad all day if I would let him. He mostly plays educational games, but he also loves watching YouTube videos. No matter what he's doing, I know he doesn't need to be spending hours playing on either device.
- Brand recognition: The kid has clear preferences over which "brands" he likes. Of course there's John Deere (that's a given), but he can point out a Chick-fil-a from a mile away. If you even pull close to another fast food restaurant, he says "No, no. Chick-fi-way." He also recognizes Target, Aldi, and Wal-Mart as soon as he sees them. This isn't too surprising as frequently as we visit them. All of this has really made me aware of just how much information he is constantly taking in. I know I need to be aware of what I am putting in front of his eyes.
- Excessive hugging: Will has been affectionate since the day he was born. He's always loved to cuddle, and of course, I've given him all the hugs and kisses I possibly could. However, recently, we've had to discuss excessive hugging. As in hugging your friends so hard that you knock them down and put them in a head lock or squeezing them so tight that you're hurting them and they can't breathe. He's getting better about this. We still need to work on his sloppy, open-mouth kisses.
I truly cannot believe how fast the past 2 years have gone by. They have been some of the most joyful, exciting, and trying years of my life! I love my sweet Will. He is strong-willed, outgoing, inquisitive, active, funny, and loving. He loves music, dancing, racing, cars, trucks, the farm, hugs, kisses, cuddles, tickles, and wrestling. He can be oh so sweet and oh so ornery. He can make me laugh so hard, and he can also make me want to scream and pull my hair out.
Before I put him in bed each night I tell him: Will, Mommy loves you so much. You are a good, sweet boy. You are so special to Mommy and Daddy. God made you, and God loves you so much. God thinks you are so special. God didn't make anyone else just like Will, but he made Will exactly the way he is supposed to be. No matter what you do, Mommy and Daddy will always love you.
Happy 2nd birthday, sweet Will!