Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday, Buddy Bear!

Hip, hip hooray, Buddy Bear turned two today!
Dearest Buddy Bear,

I can't believe it, but you have turned two.  My round belly reminds me of where we were just two short years ago, so excited to welcome you into the family.  Now, we can't imagine life without you!  The past twelve months have been a wonderful whirlwind of watching your personality, motor mightiness and vocabulary blossom.

May:  You looked just like your Daddy, riding behind me on my bike during our trip to Hilton Head.  I love strapping you to my back in the backpack, and you love it to, so we do almost everything together this way: shop at the store, stroll on walks while your siblings are at preschool, cruise up to the park on sunny afternoons.  Around the house, you love to pull the costumes off the costume wall, pull my cooking magazines off the shelf, and dig through the arts/crafts basket.

June:  You have so much to say that it is quite frustrating for you that I understand so little of it.  You are becoming very good at making me understand in other ways. :)  You enjoy our first trip to see the race cars, even falling asleep with my hands over your ears.  You can't walk yet, but that doesn't stop you from going down the slides by yourself at the park!  You have a wonderful time eating sand on the beach in Rockport.  I thought I would never get you clean after those sandy diapers!

July:  You are walking!  Nothing can stop you now.  Whether you are carrying me "breakfast" that you made in the play kitchen or wandering into the bathroom to splash in the toilet (I really should have let MoMo get you a splashtub for your birthday!), you are always pleased to garner my attention.  Your curls are long and beautiful, and I can't bear to cut them yet.  Your favorite (and only?) words that we understand are "tickle" and "hi," but you have lots of other words to share with us too!  Your days of sleeping soundly in the darkness of our bathroom are numbered, because soon we will be heading for Minnesota.

August:  It is no fun to move.  Packing boxes is especially frustrating for you, because none of your familiar toys are in their proper place anymore.  You weather the long drive to Minnesota extremely well, looking at G-Bear the whole way from your seat.   You were so excited when the truck arrived at our new house and your familiar favorites began emerging from boxes.  You now have a new room,  our large walk-in closet, and you are happy as can be.

September:  You loved your first trip to the Minnesota State Fair, riding on Daddy's shoulders for most of it!  You joined Papa in his garden, Cousin Tobi in the splash tub and miss your brother and sister on the days when they are now in school.  I am not nearly as fun as they are, and we spend many mornings in the playroom while you try to teach me the games you play with them.  We had to say goodbye to your curls so that you could get your first haircut, and you love the lollypop you get at the end.  Animal sounds are becoming your new forte, especially when it comes to lions and monkeys.  You still have so much to say that we don't understand, but we have a wonderful time pretending that we do!

October:  You were so happy during our Disney vacation celebration.  You loved meeting Winnie the Pooh and are quick to identify all the princesses by singing Ariels song for us.  Mini wheats have become one of your favorite breakfast choices, so much so that you often take it upon yourself to load more boxes in our cart during our grocery shopping trips.  It is getting colder, and you found a favorite spot to sit and play: on the kitchen floor in front of the heat vent.  You are a charming X-ray for Halloween, enjoying every minute of trick-or-treating with your siblings.  G-Bear helped you up to many houses so that you could hold out your bag, waiting patiently for each treat.  The tastiness of candy is certainly not lost on you!

November:  You are a great helper picking up leaves in the yard.  You enjoy mornings with our new babysitting friend, welcoming me home with a cheerful "hi!" each time I return.  You and E-Bear love to ride in the stroller as we walk to and from school to pick up G-Bear.  You experience your first real snow just before Thanksgiving.  "No! NO," you yelled as G-Bear lifted you up to the window to look out.  Even though you can barely walk in the thick snow by yourself, you are very clear with me that you are excited to play in the new winter wonderland.

December:  Your favorite Advent activity is definitely cooking baking.  You skipped the decorating part and went straight to eat your cookie!  On Gaudate Sunday you were baptized into the Church, a truly special occasion that you really did seem to enjoy, especially with all three of your grandparents present.   You are a great help to me in the snow, shoveling with the new snow shovel I gave you.  Christmas is a special time, as you come to recognize Santa and figure out the joy of opening presents.  You are very good at saying "Ho, ho, ho!" whenever Santa or presents come to mind.

January:  We enjoy a wonderful 12 days of Christmas with our cousins.  You go sledding for the first time and impress me with how much you enjoy it.  You love to dress up like your siblings, especially in the Woody costume.  You also love the big, stuffed bear that you received with E-Bear for Christmas.  When you aren't fighting the bear with our jousting swords, you are racing across the room and launch yourself into it, tackling the bear to the ground.  Your favorite playmate is E-Bear, whom you love to tackle and wrestle.  We start our afternoons with GG, and you quickly come to recognize the McDonalds where we pick up her lunch!

February:  You love Thomas the Train books, trips to play at the Choo Choo Bob train store, and any superhero cape you can find in our dress-up drawers.  You are "whooshing" around our house these days, either as a flying hero or a race car.  You are good at telling me when something is wrong ("Uh-oh, Mommy!") or when someone has done something that makes you mad ("AH-NE!!").  Now that I got you an Elmo toothbrush and Thomas toothpaste, you love to brush your teeth.  We finally turn your car seat around, and I wonder why we waited so long to do it--you are so happy now that you can see the world facing forward!

March:  Morning breaks in your bed with paci and blankie are becoming more common, as you still love those two buddies.  It is so fun to see you sleeping in your bed with your buddies, bottom in the air.  Your first trip on ice skates is a hit.  You love skating between Dad's legs!  You are our wild man: we often find you putting pillows on the floor so that you can jump off the couch!  But, you have a softer side too.  You love to pat my growing belly and give the "Baby" kisses now and then.  You will be a great big brother.   Your coloring is improving too.  I am enjoying many works of pencil and crayon art from you these days.

April:  You are my wiggle worm at church, my toddling man always running to keep up with your siblings.  You won't be left out of anything.  You love to grab your "bowl!", sit at the counter with G-Bear and E-Bear in the kitchen, and ask me for your favorite drink: orange juice.  You communicate quite well with us these days, whether with your growing vocabulary or the many sounds and hand motions that you have invented to make us understand.  I love the slurping sound you make when you are thirsty, the superman sound you make when you see a super hero, the monkey sound you make when you want your monkey blanket, and the way you stick out your tongue and cough when describing your recent bout of the stomach flu.

Buddy Bear, thank you for another wonderful year and all the persistence, energy, and smiles that you have brought into it.   I love the brief moments when you let me hold your hand, when you lay your head on my shoulder at church, when you snuggle with me on my bed for a story, and when you nuzzle my nose with yours.  I also love the moments when you are asserting yourself, whether letting me know that you want to walk in the snow and not be carried, letting me know that you do NOT want to come inside from playing in the snow, making it clear that you do NOT want to get in the car again, or protesting being put in your seat rather than in a big kid chair for dinner.  You are truly growing up so fast, and we are loving every minute of it.  Thank you for loving on your siblings so and for teaching your Daddy and I more about yourself everyday.  May God continue to bless you and grow you in His image.  We love you, Buddy Bear.

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