Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Aaron Tobias Turns Two

Andrew and I spent Sunday afternoon watching football and sorting through all our baby clothes, trying to pick out the ones girly enough for our daughter to wear and still have people know she's an actual girl.  Basically, anything without too many sports balls or trucks got the pass.  We kept cracking up, saying how much Aaron would love to see all the stuff (he was napping) as we found PJs after shirts after onesies all covered in diggers, loaders, and dump trucks, which I now know the difference between thanks to my son's obsession and to our having checked out, at some point, practically every library book involving them.

My adorably weird, hilarious boy is two, and aside from trucks, his interests can be summed up by peanut butter, dirt, books, and jumping off of things.  I think what made me laugh so much about the newborn outfits was that when he was first born, it was so hard to see through the fog of just staying afloat to wonder much about what our son would be like, but having survived that and gotten to what I consider kind of a sweet spot in his development (I mean, there are the typical toddler tantrums, but the fact that he can do so much more for himself and communicate so much more than when he was tiny makes things feel much simpler), I just can't get the smile off my face as I think about how much joy he's brought to our lives.

And there ends the sappy; on to the more factual.  Here's what Aaron's been up to…

I realized after uploading this that that's a knife he's eating off of.  Oops.  He
cut it himself, okay? 
Exemplary  table manners, that boy.  

Playing: I feel like his imagination has gotten insane over the last few months.  He'll narrate what he's doing while he plays and ask his stuffed animals questions, and so many of his sentences start with "Maybe…" ("Maybe this trash truck is going to go pick up the trash!" Maybe the dinosaurs want some pizza!").  His favorite toys lately are a set of mini construction trucks that he wheels around with Play Doh and any kind of pretend food--the pizza for the dinos is from this set, and he likes cutting up velcro food with the little girl I nanny for and they feed her princess Barbies and zoo animal figures.  He started to enjoy drawing over the summer and is still into it.  For such an active kid, I love watching how still he is when he's scribbling away, and I also love when he kind of art directs me and we draw pictures together of people we know; usually he asks for drawings of him and his three cousins riding on various trucks.

We live within walking distance of a great library and walk there a few times a week.  There are puzzles and, well, more trucks, that he loves playing with in the kids' section and he hasn't gotten into any all-out wars with other kids yet.  They also have kid-height furniture that's still wide and deep enough for adults, if that makes sense, and he loves running around picking out books and reading them together "on the tiny sofas!"

Sleeping: After 13 months of anywhere from two to six nighttime wakeups, during which Andrew and I were about as nice to each other as a pair of vipers, Aaron finally slept through the night for the first time.  Honestly, I think we created the monster in a lot of ways, with me running in to nurse him every time he made a peep and feeling too lazy in my sleep deprivation to put much effort into changing tactics, but I think making the admittedly really hard decision to let him cry a little and settle himself back down, combined with the fact that maybe he was just developmentally more capable with sleep by that point, ended up being good.  I know sleep is such a sensitive subject and would never tell another mom to do exactly what I did out of pride that it's the best, most surefire plan ever, or to expect the exact same results, but for Aaron's personality and for the desperate need to have a kind and non-zombie relationship with my husband again, it worked.

In the middle of all that cray cray during Aaron's first year, I never would've imagined looking forward to bedtime, since I was just doing the same "bedtime" routine with him every 2 hours all night, but I cherish the end of each day as a family so much now.  He takes a bath while one of us watches him and the other does the dishes (welllll, full disclosure, I hate dishes and usually opt for bath duty while Andrew cleans up), and then we all go in Aaron's room together while he runs around in the penguin bathrobe my mom got for him.  Then it's PJ's, stories, tooth brushing, more running (he and Andrew like to play a game we named Interception, where pretends to run toward me but is actually waiting for Daddy to grab him and pick him up), more stories, prayers, and lights out.  Sometimes we hear him really loudly talking to himself after we leave the room and try to keep our laughter quiet while we listen outside the door!  He usually sleeps around 10 or 11 hours at night and takes about a 2 1/2 hour nap in the afternoons.  No complaints from me.

Demonstrating helicopter sounds.
Talking: He talks and I love it, not just for the ease of communicating what he needs and wants but because the kid is so darn funny to me.  I feel like examples are better than vague descriptions so I'll tell you (and tried and failed 439458405968 times to upload video of this) about the cranky-induced little medley he came up with on a recent car ride home, involving repeated, semi-melodic yells of "Aaron TobIAAAAASSSS! …looking for (a truck, a loader, a tree…)"

Also, meet Potato Ron, a pterodactyl of Andrew's invention whom we make up stories about, and whom Aaron has taken to talking about all the time, too.  He like blueberries, flying high in the Jurassic sky (that's the opening line for all our stories!), dancing, and kicking soccer balls.  We found a pterodactyl on Amazon and gave it to Aaron when he woke up on his birthday morning, and the first thing he did was flap the little wings and have him do a dance.  I won't deny our family is weird but there you have it.

I wanted to do a super small, low-key birthday with both of our immediate families this year, but the scheduling didn't work out, so we had two small parties, one with each family, over the weekend.  On Friday we had Andrew's siblings over for lasagna and pumpkin bread, which was very fun aside from the fact that Aaron helped me cook ahead of time all day and kept getting mad that he couldn't eat anything as it was coming out of the oven--fine, I cracked and gave him a muffin early--he loves watching my mixer spin around (we drag a chair over so he can peek in) and helping dump dry ingredients into the bowl!  And Saturday we visited my parents' house and had barbecue, mac and cheese, and this amazing blueberry cake my sister made.  I didn't want gifts to be too much of a focus, so I hadn't really mentioned to him that he'd be getting any, but plenty of jumping around ensued when he opened his presents, especially the ones involving vehicles (aka three out of four)!

I'm sure only a mother could love this level of detail, but it's tiny details like snacks and storytelling that I want to remember one day!  I am beyond thankful for my son's sweet temperament, sense of goofiness, and the excitement about everything that he has at this age.  Happy Birthday, my baby!

P.S.  Did you catch my announcement on Friday?  I'm so excited to reveal the cover design for my book, INVITED, this Thursday, October 22, in honor of JPII's feast day.  You'll find it on Facebook and Instagram first, a week earlier than on the blog!  Follow along here and here.


  1. He seems so adorably chatty! Little Will is just starting to put words together (wouldn't call them sentences, haha, more like phrases) and it always takes me by surprise... Love it! Pretty sure he and Aaron would be good buds :) happy birthday little man!

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  3. This is sweet. I had to share your part about bath time versus dishes because that will SO be us!! My husband is on dish duty, and I just assist by organizing the dishwasher as he goes. I will gladly take bath duty over grimy dishes! :)



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