Then I realized how monumental that was. Slowly and gradually (and most likely temporarily) I've come to a point where I am no longer just surviving. I am thriving! The standard thought response, to 10 AM showing on the clock, is a reminder to pace myself and and a mental count down through the 7 hours before the glorious moment daddy walks through the front door. This time, it meant I still had 7 happy hours to play before dinner and bedtime.
We could do anything! I beamed at my boys, scooped them up, and breathed in their deliciousness. Overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to stay home with them all day, aware it's a luxury for me, Austin, and our boys. I'd always planned on it, but an enormous number of things could have stood in the way of that dream, it's only by a tender mercy, I've been blessed to be here with them full time. It's a gift and responsibility I cherish.
Isaac is talking. Most of it is experimenting with inflections and sounds, but a few actual words are woven into his babbling.
Wheh sit? (where is it?)
Wassat (What's that?)
Wassit (What's this?)
ahduh (all done)
Finding the plungers
Picking green tomatoes in the garden
Food that he can feed himself (anything else is refused)
Smiling for the camera
Joining in "wrestle time" with Daddy
Blowing on food, candles, faces, bellies, bubbles. dandelions, you name it. He puckers up those full lips of his into a perfect "O" and blows.
Finding shoes and offering them to people and finding his own shoes and insisting they be put on his feet. He will keep his shoes on all day if I don't intervene and requests them when it's time to go outside. This is frankly astounding to me since I only wear shoes if there is a sign requiring them. He takes after his daddy on this one.
Imitating James. Yesterday I requested that James take his foot out of the popcorn bowl. He obliged, but no sooner had I finished my lecture on foot germs when Isaac had his leg propped on the edge of the bowl, munching on a handful of popcorn, face turned in my direction awaiting a reaction.
Snuggling. Always has been and I hope it never changes. Yesterday amid my gratitude and sentiment, I realized that Isaac is less like a baby every day and more a little boy. In an effort to enjoy him while he is small I whipped out the baby carrier I haven't used since he started walking. Honestly, I can't stand baby carriers. I understand why people love them, but they always just make my back hurt and my mood cranky. All the same, by choice rather than necessity, I cinched him in and held him close while I worked in the kitchen.
Being hilarious. He has a "cheese" face for the camera that is too good. See for your self:
He loves making people laugh. His jokes are usually something like escaping from the bathtub and streaking through the living room, pretending to eat or feed me something inedible, smiling really big until someone notices and joins in, eating James' hair, and sitting right on my tummy and bouncing.
I'd give a list of favorite foods, but he doesn't really have any. He's a little unpredictable. I guess popcorn is usually a win, and milk. He eats, just not a lot or very often. I guess that's why he is such a tiny little guy, but I keep offering and that's the best I can do!
He does have a funny food quirk. If I let him feed me a few bites of something first he is 75% more likely to try it himself than if I just set it in front of him and expect him to eat. I don't know how I discovered this trick, but it is responsible for the big round belly he gets now after meals.
Diaper changes. I have employed all the Judo skills I remember to change this boy's diapers. For example, if you have control of your opponents head and hips you have control of the entire body. The problem? I only have two hands and one of them is doing the dirty work while the free hand is alternating between keeping hands out of it, holding up legs, pinning down hips, and flipping him back over onto his back. All the while chanting, "we are almost done" or in my less patient moments, "Isaac, come on buddy!" He hasn't tapped out yet.
It's the strangest thing too, because he will inform me that he is "din-tee" (stinky) BRING ME A DIAPER, and then twist, cry, flail, and contort himself through the entire change. Once I'm finished he untapes the front a couple times while I wrestle his pants on and he is fine again. I really don't mind changing diapers, but I dread his.
Buckling his carseat. It's the same story. He will fight with everything he has, but once the deed is done he knows it's over and relaxes in complete content. It's almost comical to watch the sudden calm after the storm when the last buckle clicks.
Unavailable mommy. This is normal, of course, but it's the stage he's in so I'll include it.
Whether he is excited or dismayed he has this classic Isaac crazy leg action going on. Both legs get into is and they just GO. Whether he is being carried or standing they just start dancing. I really need to get it on video one of the these days before he grows out of it because it's hilarious.
And now my James. My determined whirlwind of a 3 year old.
This is a weird thing to lead with, but I have to laugh about his hair. I've finally cut it short because I can't figure out what else to do with it. It sticks straight up in the back thanks to two cowlicks working in opposite directions and then the front grows decidedly downward. So no matter what I do he has a peacock fan in the back and a fringe in front. I'm just banking on the peacock being the new thing. Hey, it's never been done before and James rocks it.
Favorite color: Green
Favorite food: noodles, hamburgers, pizza, and all fruit
Other favorites: wrestling daddy, reading stories, listening to made up stories, jumping from high places into strategically placed piles of pillows and blankets, building forts, playing with legos, digging in the dirt, collecting rocks, anything involving water, building things, making plans with a pad of paper and a pen, coming up with ways to keep Isaac away from his things, using tools to take apart our furniture and fixtures, explaining the plan to me and then dad, watching Curious George, finding excuses to stay awake, playing with his neighbor friend Vaughn, and negotiating.
As he gets older, I feel less inclined to talk about him and more fascinated with the things I talk about with him. He is an exceptional communicator. He often asks my permission about something and then even after the answer is "yes" he will get the go ahead from dad too. Or, at the very least he will fill in the other parent on the plan, "dad says I can help him in the garage so I'm going to do that, okay mom? Be right back, see you later!"
Yesterday he used the word enormous in a sentence ("a normous") and Austin and I just looked at each other with the same wordless expression that said, "our son is using words like enormous in casual conversation. How did this happen!"
We've had some amazing moments when he asks about Heavenly Father or the Spirit. Moments when he tells me he is going to pray because he is a little scared or mentions that he misses Heavenly Father. In those tender times I realize why the home is a temple of God. It's the place where a tiny bit of truth given to an innocent child is multiplied and taught back with deeper meaning. Those special times are sacred.
I repeat myself a lot, not just when making a request, but all the time. It helps if I just tell myself he is saying "what?" because he wants to hear the words again so he can permanently log them in his mind and enlarge his vocabulary, but I'm still working on being patient with it.
He has figured out all the child locks on the doors. I'm trying to decide if he is old enough to be trusted with the option to go in the front yard or into our bedroom and the fact that my online shopping cart already has new ones in it is a pretty good indication of my sentiments there.
Today I'm grateful. So grateful. To be alive, to be a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a granddaughter, a neighbor, and a friend. We have a roof over our heads and a family I am proud of. I am blessed beyond words.