His face has lost so much of the remaining babyish look that it still had last year ... why is it so sad to watch little ones grow up? Isn't that what we hope for them to do?
Three years ago this precious, scrawny little 7lb. 1oz. bundle came into the world. Bright-eyed and alert and cuddly. He wasn't a great eater, but he was sweet and loved sleeping in a little ball on my chest. I think I spent most of my waking hours those first few months just sitting on the couch and feeding him, talking to him, taking pictures of him, or napping with him. I wept tears of gratefulness and joy all the time. I remember meditating often on what Mary must have experienced when she watched her firstborn son sacrificed on the cross and being brought low at the thought of if.
By the time he turned one, Liam was walking a little bit, saying a few words, and charming our socks off. Such a sweet, good-tempered little man. He was curious, of course, but never needed too much redirection when he got interested in something he shouldn't. He loved playing with balls and reading books.
For anyone reading this who happens to have only one child who is one year of age or younger, please take note of the crazy differences between a 4 day old and a one year old, and then the difference between a one year old and a two year old. Yikes! Such massive development happens SO quickly. It's awesome and gut-wrenching. By his second birthday Liam had gone from having a light dusting of hair with teeny flip curls in the back to having a full, curly, golden mane (yes, I know it's ridiculous how obsessed we are with our sons hair). At age two Liam had lots to say. He loved baseball and reading books. He still had a little bit of baby roundness in his cheeks.
And now, big man is three. This pic is a little blurry and his teeth are a little green from a cupcake, but the giant cheesy smile is typical. He is a sweet son - always giving "squeezy hugs" and a master of puppy, eskimo, butterfly, and boy (regular) kisses. He is quick to say "thank you" and quick to say "I'm sorry I 'sobeyed you," or "sorry I was fwustwated" (which may give you a clue as to what he often hears his mommy say).
At some points during the day, I will stop and try to remember the last time he was quiet - aside from when he was asleep. He talks. And talks. And talks. And sings. He tells stories, announces imaginary baseball games, carries on both sides of conversations between himself and his toys or sometimes between himself and his sister. He sings songs, both real and made up. He likes doing hand motions to Jesus Loves Me, but the song he requests most frequently is David Crowder's Sing Like the Saved. He's loving David Crowder so much lately that most of his made up songs end with him saying, "Amen."
He's a fantastic big brother. He "encowages" his baby sister often, like when she cries in the car and he says, "it's okay, Cowa, I'm right here," or, "you don't need to cwy!" or, "hey, cwanky-pants!" He gives her big hugs and kisses and always makes sure we are planning on bringing her along with us, wherever we are going. When we got a babysitter for her tonight so we could take him on a Daddy/Mommy/Liam date to the baseball game he just kept asking what she was doing and saying that she wanted to come. He tries to teach her to talk. He gets frustrated when she grabs his toys and sometimes he is too rough, sometimes on purpose, sometimes accidentally. He just turned three, though, so I don't expect perfect impulse control (mine isn't always as great as I'd like it to be, either). He loves figuring out new games that they can play together and they laugh and laugh.
He (finally) loves going to class at church. Sometime early in 2013 the tearful goodbyes finally stopped and now he is always so excited to see his friends and teachers. He wears big boy underwear for all of his waking hours and never really has accidents anymore. He sleeps in a firetruck toddler bed. He doesn't have pacis. He sometimes drinks from big boy cups (without lids), and just the other day I started teaching him how to use safety scissors.
Liam loves learning new things and is getting better and better at counting items. He still has some trouble counting past 14 because he gets in a hurry and skips numbers, but he recognizes numbers I don't remember teaching him and will say things like, "look, there's a 71!" and be correct. He will usually correctly identify the sounds of the letters and likes playing the "reading" game on my phone (Bob Books). He really enjoys puzzles now, and wants to color or paint at least a couple of times a week. But baseball ... baseball is still king. It's hard to get annoyed about baseballs going over the fence when the occurrence is accompanied by shouts of, "I hit it out of the park!" And he does, this kid would hit baseballs all day long.
He still drinks hot milk (very important that it be hot, not just warm) every morning and night, and takes a one and half to two hour nap every afternoon. Falling asleep for those naps can be tricky, though, and when I go to his room to remind him to be quiet and lay down he says, "but mom, I was just talking about baseball." He is getting so big, but is still so little.
We love you, sweet buddy, and can't wait to enjoy every day of the next year with you!