during the six months that i was waaaay behind on blogging, i missed having a place to record the little, super sweet, everyday tidbits of our boys’ growing up. these days and months and years are so precious and i want to bottle them up and capture them as much as possible … there’s so much i never want to forget about moses and gabriel as they constantly develop and change! i’m not the best at this, but i’ve been trying to keep a list in the notes app of my phone of things my boys are saying and doing so i can cherish and remember. i’m transferring the list here so it’s collected with our family record.
~2.75-3.25 years old
- this boy is obsessed with animals. (or “aminamals” as he says it!) the other day he declared “i love aminamals more than anything!” i said “more than your mama??” and he said, “yep!” haha. last year at this time he was in love with elephants and giraffes (he was an elephant for halloween and decided gabriel must be a giraffe!) and the animal adoration has only increased from there. his list of favourites expanded to elephants, giraffes and bison and most recently started including rhinos, zebras and lions. moses loves anything and everything animal related.
- moses continues to love, love, love stories. sometimes i have to tell him, “mo, i’m sorry, but my brain is tired of telling stories! he pretty much constantly wants to hear a story when he’s in the buggy or we are on the train or sometimes if we are just hanging out at the park or at home! after we went to disneyland he got really into hearing “the aurora story,” and i’m sure i’ve told the tale of sleeping beauty at least a hundred times now. another huge favourite is the story of moses (and pharaoh) in the old testament. he is engaged every single time that story is told and often gets so into it. he has started developing his own storytelling skills too, helping me come up with crazy stories like: once upon a time when moses went to the zoo with all his cousins and it got really dark and they couldn’t find their way home and then poof! a chicken named paper towels showed up, and told them to make a potion with the grinch’s hair and godzilla’s spit and that would get them home! when i ask him to come up with a name for a character in a story it’s always something totally crazy and long with all kinds of sounds … impossible to repeat throughout the story, ha!
relatedly, mo continues to be a total bookworm! he adores going to the library and could spend hours there just bringing me story book after story book. we read a bunch there and then take a bunch home and he devours them daily.
- he went through a phase where he always said, “yes, i do” anytime he was answering a question affirmatively. that changed to him saying “okay” a lot. a few of his oft-used phrases that are just so distinctive to him at this age are “i’ve got a good idea!” “would you like to…(play with me, read a book, etc)” “i not know!” “what you said?” “can i play a little bit?” “do you remember when…” (i’m always astounded by what he remembers!) and “just in a little later!” moses often talks with his hands, very expressively. this reminds me of his dad!
- lately he has been more frustrated with gabriel because they are constantly wanting to play with the same toys or gabe is often wanting to knock over things moses has worked on. but mo loves his little brother sooo much. he is always thrilled when gabe wakes up from his nap, and he often says things like, “you can do it, sweetie boy!” or “you’re so cute gaber baber!” he has given gabriel all kinds of nicknames, including gaboo, silly, goo/googoo, babriel…
- moses enjoys talking to alexa (our amazon echo device). he is often asking her to play songs or set timers, and every once in a while just asks her random questions. when we were at my parents’ house in utah he literally spent thirty minutes asking their device (which, unlike ours, has a screen) to show him pictures (of different animals, of course!).
- for several months his prayers were pretty much the same every time: “thank you for elephants, giraffes, bison, the grinch and godzilla. amen.” we saw the grinch movie last christmas … it was moses’s first experience in a movie theatre and that must have just really stuck with him! and then when we were in stockholm for my marathon there were ads for a new godzilla movie everywhere and he got randomly so into godzilla, haha! if anyone saying a prayer with moses present forgot to mention any of those five things, mo most certainly piped up to make sure they were covered. now he’s transitioned into just saying, “thank you for all the things i love,” and says different, often quite thoughtful and beautiful things in this prayers. for a while he would consistently say “please bless pharaoh, and please bless satan.” he always talked about wanting those guys to repent – haha! and there was also a phase of always including “the guys in mozambique” in his prayers after he chose to donate some of his hard-earned cash to those who lost so much in the wake of cyclone idai. my favourite most recent oft-repeated phrase is, “dear heavenly father, thank you for this beautiful world.”
- for some reason, moses loves to give everything and everyone a nickname. he shortens nearly everything and every name to one syllable. i think it’s so cute.
- soon after moses turned three, the binkie fairy came and took moses’s pacifiers (which he used at naptime and bedtime) to younger children that needed them. along with this came the end of napping (which i greatly mourned). now bedtime is usually pretty smooth and that tired boy drops right to sleep! but every night he asks, “will you lay by me for a little minute?” he’ll cuddle for a little while and often says the sweetest things like “i will always love you.”
- moses’s most used toys are his magnatiles and his toy animals. he loves to make “cottages” for his animals out of the magnatiles. he does this almost every day.
- he will really often just randomly stop and say, “hey mom/dad? … i love you.”
- mo loves shops. often his favourite part of our trips is spending time in souvenir shops and he lights up when we go in the gift shop at the zoo or kew gardens.
- that little brain has quite the imagination. he is always coming up with different pretend scenarios. the most often is that the couch or his bed is a boat and he is headed on a trip to whipsnade zoo (a zoo outside of london that is absolutely moses’s favourite place on earth). he gets really stressed about people or things sinking if they get out of the “boat”!
- moses’s biggest challenge right now is being gentle – with his body and with his voice. we are really working on it. he has sooo much energy and excitement and exuberance that needs to be released somehow!
- potty training went really well! after three crazy days (the first being by far the craziest), he really had it down! i am proud of moses in his big boy underwear … and i’m really relieved that is behind us!
- he loves to send messages with animal emojis from my phone. we’ve had to limit this to one short message sending session per day because he would do it for hours if i let him! he sends emojis to dad when he’s at work, and to his grandparents, and sometimes to his little friends. more recently he has gotten into including letters in his messages and he can spell two words: “moses” and “zoo.”
- when moses sees dogs around london (basically every day), he often likes to get the owner’s attention and say, “excuse me, can i pet that doggy?” as he gives the dog some pats he asks the owner what the dog’s name is and often what the owner’s name is, too.
- he eats a bowl of cheerios or rice krispies and milk every single morning.
- he can be bribed to do anything with the promise of a treat. he definitely has a sweet tooth and will drop everything for a little candy or cake or cookie.
- mo loves chasing pigeons – “i want to catch that birdie!!”, playing duck duck goose, crafts like painting and sticking animal stickers on different colours of paper, and making up and singing songs.
- he is pretty much constantly saying “wook! wook!” – wanting me to look at something he is doing or something he has noticed.
- he is loving nursery school! every day he is so excited to go, and he often says “i love going to school!” his teacher says that he has mostly been playing independently at school, which surprises me because he is usually super social and soooo excited to play together with his little pals … but i think he’s just soaking in this new place with so many new toys to explore! there’s a huge bin of animal toys at school so he is suuuuuper psyched about that (whenever anyone asks him about school or why he likes it he just talks about the animal toys, ha!).
- most recent obsession is the lion king! he got to see the new live-action movie with his cousins this summer and then we watched the animated one for a family movie night and he is really, really into it. we listen to i just can’t wait to be king and hakuna matata several times a day (he knows most of the words to both!) and will often just belt out “naaaaazavenya” (the beginning of the circle of life) on his scooter around town. there’s just lots of excitement about simba, timone and pumba around here.
~12-17 months old
- homeboy continues to love eating. we often call him a bottomless pit and/or a ravenous wolf! he has become a bit more picky (and is in that dreaded throwing food stage!) but if someone is eating around him he cannot hang. he has to also be eating. we can’t get him to leave the food table at birthday parties and he is almost always begging for more snacks. after that 0.4 percentile low when he was about ten months old, he is now up to the 50th percentile in weight … so all the eating is working 😉
- gabriel didn’t start waving, clapping, or pointing until his first birthday … but since then has exploded with communication via hands. he signs please, thank you, all done, and i love you, is constantly pointing at things and ooohing and aahhhing, and often holds his hands up in a kind of open-palmed shrug to express curiosity. he has also gotten really clear with nodding and shaking his head, and his first word was yeah! first he would just do an emphatic nod with a little “yeah,” that turned into an almost-yell of “yeah yeah!!!” and now it’s more of a grunt that resembles the sound of “yeah.” he roars like a lion (it is the best and he gets really into it) and barks like a dog (just a little “ruff ruff,” it’s soooo cute), can repeat “mama” if i ask him to, and has just started calling moses “mmmmm.” we are excited for his spoken language to take off, hopefully soon! he’s sometimes pretty frustrated trying to communicate something but without the skills to really do so!
- if you say the word “alexa,” gabriel starts dancing – usually a little fist pump. he knows we are probably about to ask the amazon echo to play a song! over the past few months he has grown a lot in his dance move repertoire, and it has been sooo fun to watch. he loves to groove.
- gabey took his first steps on 24 may, and became a bonefide walker around the beginning of july. his wobbly steps quickly turned into a very determined (and fast!) walk. now he is right on the verge of running, with a little hop in his step as he speed walks. he’s always trying to keep up with moses and is constantly scampering around the house. i just think his walk is the cutest!
- people often comment on how smiley our little guy is! he seems to be almost always grinning, with his darling two dimples flashing. on the flip side, he has the most adorable sad face that is just pure devastation.
- his obsession with swings (i’ve honestly never seen a child so excited in a swing!) turned into an obsession with slides (he is a total daredevil and just loves going down any slide!).
- gabriel’s whole body shows his excitement … it’s just bursting out of him! he gets excited about a lot of things, but especially: food, dogs, animals at the zoo, and seeing daddy when he gets home from work. he often does a loud squeal and points when he sees his mom, dad or brother approaching him.
- he learned to point to each of his family members, along with jesus (a picture in our hallway) and alexa (the amazon echo in our living room). now he also points to himself and most of his body parts when asked.
- for a couple months he was really into holding hands. in the buggy or in the carrier if he was a little fussy he’d just calm right down if dad or mom grabbed his little hand.
- gabriel adores his big brother. he is always wanting to play with moses (even when moses isn’t particularly wanting to play with him, ha). he also wants to do everything that moses does, even the things he’s just really not big enough for yet! mo and gabe like to wrestle together and get in giggle fits giving each other hugs.
- he is the drool king! every day his shirt is sooooaked with drool. he has a mouth full of teeth, and the drool didn’t really start until most of them were in, so i’m not exactly sure what’s going on…! some days are wetter than others, but often he’s like a faucet!
- gabriel likes to open and close doors, chase birdies with his brother, get tossed in the air by dad, splash in the bath, close books while i am trying to read them to him and/or mo, be tickled and/or chased, and give big slobbery open-mouth kisses. he loves the little bunny stuffed animal that he sleeps with and is always so excited to brush his teeth before bed.
- he has the most amazing long eyelashes and super blue eyes, and darling little freckles … just on one side of his face! it’s so funny … there’s a dozen or so on his left side and literally zero on the right! i’ve determined that it must be because when he sleeps in the carrier he favours the left side of his face up (and the right side pressed against dad or mom’s chest), so that side has had more sun exposure…?
- he recently has decided that he loves bringing dirty diapers to the rubbish bin. he gets very excited about doing this little job – which i never asked him to do, he just decided he wanted to! at first he was sooo proud of himself and now he’s just matter-of-fact about it.
- like his brother, he loves animals. he often yells with excitement when he sees pictures of animals.
- he sometimes will come to me and just plop himself in my lap and get all situated to cuddle up with me, and i just love that!!
i love these two boys more than i could ever, ever say. caring for them makes me feel crazy sometimes – because it can be incredibly taxing but much moreso because the love i feel for them is so wildly intense. mothering them has stretched me in beautiful ways and is sooo, so much fun. i think we have the best little boys ever. ❤ ❤