20 things about Michael on his 2nd Birthday.

6:00 AM

When did we get here? How did this...

Michael, three days old- September 10, 2011.

Turn into this?

People aren't kidding when they say enjoy it because it changes in the blink of an eye. I must confess sometimes I have those wonderful parenting moments where I think, "Seriously? It couldn't go any slower." But those are usually rough days, and then other days I regret my ridiculous thoughts.

Well, here goes.

1. Michael is around 30lbs and I have no idea how tall. (I promise to share the specifics when we head to the doctor.) Since he started out having trouble gaining weight, I seem to never want to ever deny him food. I'm just now learning to say no to another cookie when he asks.

2. While Michael loves sweets, his favorites are in the fruit variety. 99% of the time he will not say no to any fruit. His favorites are: blueberries, apples, strawberries, and pears. Sadly blueberries (out of all things) tend to upset his stomach.

3. Rather than saying "Popsicle", Michael says, "Pop-icicle". I personally think it's the cutest thing ever.

4. Michael loves his cars. I have a pretty bad habit of every time we have to go to Target or Walmart I will let him get one (or two...) to add to his collection. My defense is that he plays with every.single.one... so it's okay that he has a ton... right?

5. Favorite shows these days are: Sesame Street, Thomas the Tank Engine, Veggie Tales, and Mater Tales.

6. Favorite movies are Monsters Inc., Lilo & Stitch, and How to Train You Dragon. We are taking Michael to see Planes for his birthday and we could not be more excited! He already knows the characters Skipper, Dusty, and Lead Bottom thanks to Papa :).

7. Michael does not have one favorite color. He loves them ALL. He likes to tell you what color everything is you come in contact with. He does seem quite taken with purple these days, but it used to be all about blue. We will see where that goes!

8. To go with his color obsession, Michael loves art. Sidewalk chalk, Sidewalk paint, finger paint, crayons, markers, bathtub paint... seriously anything he can make a picture with or color a picture with, he loves it.

9. This baby favors his left hand! While his right hand still gets some use, he tends to switch over to his left for the difficult jobs. He would come by it honestly. Clark and I both have lefties in our family history!

10. Introducing Wrinkles the Bulldog, aka Michael's lovey! Ever since we traveled to Iowa he has asked for Wrinkles whenever he is sleepy or getting into bed. I'm so excited! Praying Wrinkles paves the way to Michael sleeping in his own bed.

11. Michael is still nursing and sleeping with us. He is a cuddle monster. He would probably sleep in his own space if I could make a comfortable mold of my arm to place under his head. Pillows or blankets are a no. He hates being covered up and only wants me to prop him up. This year should be an interesting and challenging one in this area.

12. Michael loves to tell you when he's happy. Usually he only tells you it when he's overjoyed. The other night we had eggs for dinner. His dialogue went like this:

"I so happy. Happy Eggs. Happy Mama. Happy Dada. Happy Nuna. Happy Marmee. Happy Papa. Happy Maile."

So... he lets you know when something happens that really makes him happy.

13. Going to church, out with friends, and to friends' houses are Michael's favorite things (close-to-home-wise). Telling him we are going to church, or going to see Porter, or walking with Makenzie make him light up and willing to do just about anything so we can ride in the car to one of these destinations.

14. This boy is one picky eater. We are still on things like fruit, cheese, beans, tuna, and "snacks" (crackers, cookies, muffins, etc.). I was overjoyed when he started eating eggs, and will be even more excited when he actually decides to nibble on some veggies.

I can convince him to eat carrots sometimes if they are slathered in hummus, and he ate squash/zucchini the other night... but I must confess it was actually breaded/fried (this is when the hubby was home). And if he's in a REALLY good mood he will chow down on some green beans or lima beans.

But anything else? Forget it. No meat beyond tuna (and pepperoni on pizza). Nothing on his toast except butter or peanut butter (seriously... the kid won't eat jam). I'm really hoping this year brings less of his picky-self and more of the yes-please-I-will-try-it attitude. Wishful thinking?

15. Michael is a people-person. Though he may appear shy at first, just play with him a little and he will take to you instantly. If you're really special, he won't mind waving good-bye to mama or dada; however, this only happens if we aren't at home. Leaving him at home with a babysitter is never easy. Ever. There are always tears.

16. Haircut? What's that? It took me forever to convince Clark to finally let us cut Michael's lovely locks. The fact that they were getting into his eyes in the front and growing in a mullet/rat-tail form in the back was enough for me, but clearly it took a little persuading for dada (as in, "I'm going to put clips in Michael's hair if you don't let us cut it"). It's not that I didn't LOVE his hair, I just wanted to even it up a bit so it would grow in nicely.

This was just yesterday, by the way.

17. Some words, more than others, are exceptionally hard for Michael to say still. He especially struggles with words that have a twist in the middle.

Words like, Marmee (he usually calls her mommy or mimi right now), ballon (he says "ba-woon"), McQueen (he says "a-keen"), and Porter (he says pah-yer).

Sometimes it's adorable (like ba-woon, or when he says "Kenzie" because Makenzie is too difficult)... but other times I honestly wonder why it's so hard. Maile, Marmee, and Mater are what baffle me... but maybe it's just the M's with a twist in that case? No idea.

18. Michael has a stubborn streak. It is definitely coming more to the forefront as he hits his terrible toddler years. I tell him not to do something, he does it. He shrieks then exclaims, "I share!" but he doesn't actually do it. He lays down on the ground if I tell him we are leaving or going somewhere in an attempt to prevent it from happening (with tears, of course).

But my favorite? He now makes this face (this picture is the closest I've gotten to capturing it, but it's not quite "the face"), shakes his head and says, "Uh uh, no." This is after I say his name in a certain way, and is what I used to do to him before he started doing it in response to his name. The little bugger.

19. He has the sweetest heart. Regardless of being stubborn, he loves to love. It's a little different with kids his own age, it takes a little more prompting. BUT he clearly loves them because he always asks for them after (like Porter, Makenzie, and his cousin Maile). And when it comes to adults, if you play with him, take him outside, give him a few hugs/kisses, and maybe sneak him something sweet (but this last one is truly optional), you are friends for life. (Sometimes this worries me.)

20. Last but not least, there is one thing that has never changed. Michael loves the outdoors. I am so thankful that we instilled this love in him, but I think it was already a part of him at his birth. Hiking, running, parks, lakes, soccer, bubbles, pools... my goodness, this list would never end. He LOVES being outside. While sometimes I must confess I'm not in the mood to face our neighbors or the bugs or what have you, I always make a point to suck it up-- because I WANT Michael to WANT to go outside over everything else. It is so important that he would rather play outside than sit in front of the couch to me. I want to keep him active. So if it's raining (with no thunder) and he wants outside... the rain jacket goes on, the rain boots slide over his shoes, and we dance in the puddles.

Happy Birthday my sweet, darling, adventurous cuddle bug. Your Dada and I are so thankful that God put you in our lives. We are truly blessed with your love and presence, and still have a hard time believing that we are the ones who get to be there for you through all things. May the Lord bless you and keep you and help you grow into a man after God's own heart.

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