Saturday, July 17, 2010

Three Years Old

My son is turning three years old in just a couple of days. Somehow, as if time and space stand suspended, he has gone from an 8 pound baby to a 3 year old boy. Colin is beautiful, both in spirit and body, and he is my soul. He is complicated and sensitive, funny and brilliant. To capture this child in words, to create an image of him on this date in history, to paint this moment into my is almost impossible to find the right words and string them together in a way that conveys who he is right now. He is everything that I never knew I was waiting for. He is light and he is our gift.

Colin never stops talking. He questions every single thing that he sees and hears. He is not satisfied with simple answers and wants to know details behind everything. Every question is followed by "why?". During a picnic at the pool with our friends yesterday, Colin asked why our friend was sitting her infant son down, why she was spreading his towel out, what she was going to do once the towel was spread out, what she was serving for lunch and why she made that choice. This is his way at all times. It can be overwhelming at times and there are days that I find myself exhausted merely by all the questions that I have to come up with reasonable answers for. At the play we saw yesterday, he asked why the mouse popped out of the door behind us. He then asked if we could also go in and out of that stage door. I told him no and he asked why. "Because we are not in the play" was not a sufficient answer. :-) He has brought it up no less than 50 times since then, asking about that stage door and why the mouse can go through but we can't. Little questions like this seem to swirl around him constantly and even though I hear it all the time, he still surprises me daily with questions that I never in a million years would expect someone his age to ask. We talk all day long, from the moment his eyes open, about everything in the world. It is tiring and wonderful all at the same time.

His imagination is stunning. He spends his days morphing into all different kinds of things. He is frequently a fireman, EMT, garbage man, ice cream man, construction worker, lifeguard, Walgreen's employee, doctor, and vet. During all of this play, I am given instructions on what I need to buy, have fixed, or what ailment I am seeing the doctor for. I have to say exactly what he tells me to and refer to him as "fireman Colin" or "doctor Colin", etc, until he tells me otherwise. He builds stores and offices out of the couch cushions or dining room chairs all day every day. He is totally and completely obsessed with firemen above all else!

He loves Max and Ruby, Yo Gabba Gabba, The Fresh Beat Band, Wow Wow Wubzy, Umizoomi, Bob the Builder and Dora the Explorer. He does not like SpongeBob and will request the channel changed if it pops on before I get to it. I love that. :-) He has informed me that he does not like the movie "Finding Nemo", which I find surprising. He actually has not liked any feature length movie that I have tried to introduce him to. He loves all the "Cars" and "Toy Story" toys, but won't sit down to watch either movie yet.

We drive all over creation for our activities these days and Colin is wonderful in the car. He loves our little adventures as much as I do and never complains about all the long drives we take. He likes to get in his own carseat now, which takes forever, so I do have to work on my patience a lot when we are out. He likes to climb into the front passenger door, ask me 10 questions about different things in the car, open the garage himself, put in a DVD, or any number of other things before he even climbs over to attempt getting in his actual seat. He does this every time he gets into the car and if you stop him in the middle of this "process", he will completely melt down and keep it up for a long time! There are occasions when timing dictates that I force him into his seat quickly, but I usually allow him to do his thing for the sake of my own sanity. :-) He loves going to play with his friends and they have all become a major part of his life. He asks about them by name all the time and talks about their siblings and families a great deal.

He loves to sing and perform. LOVES IT. He just got his first birthday present of the year, a little CD player with an attached microphone from his Aunt Amanda and Aunt Victoria. He has been singing into it non-stop. He adores music of all kinds and makes up his own lyrics all the time, as well as learning the chorus' of his favorite songs. Right now he loves pop music the most and frequently requests that I play his favorite videos on youtube.

He loves Chinese food beyond words and always behaves himself quite well when we take him out for anything Asian. He will eat steamed dumplings endlessly and they must be steamed, not pan-fried! He also loves Mexican food and some of the most random things, like feta cheese, olives, hummus, and pretty much anything that I assume he won't like. :-) He doesn't really eat french fries, which makes me wonder if we can be related. He is getting better at being out in restaurants, but he is still a child that cannot sit still for any real length of time. He knows the rules about being out to eat and he will listen to us and stay put, but he can barely contain his fidgets. The best places to eat with him are the ones where the occasional walk around the table is okay. Even at the play yesterday, he had to get up and move seats several times and rotate in and out of my lap. I don't know when he will be ready to sit through a movie at the theater, but I know it won't be anytime soon! Any experience that is hands on and allows the freedom to ask lots of questions is perfect for him at this stage.

He is incredibly, adorably polite at the moment and it is all I can do not to kiss him all over his face several times a day. When we checked out at Family Video yesterday, he told the clerk to "have a good day!" and said, "Thank you, sir!" when a gentlemen held the door open for us. I tripped on his feet heading into the library last night and he said, "That's okay, Mommy! I know it was an accident!". Lord help me, it is the cutest thing ever. He sounds like such a little man when he does that!

Our nightly ritual starts with a bath, pj's and then a show on the couch snuggled up together under a blanket. Then we gather up whoever (toys) is going to read books with us and head to his room. Jer and I climb into bed with him and read 3 stories under the covers. Before the last book, I remind him that after the book, it is time for Daddy to go put Enzo and Ferris night-night. When we finish the story, he knows it is time and snuggles down with me after giving Daddy a kiss. Jer turns off the light and leaves the room while Colin and I sing our "goodnight prayer song" by sing-songing goodnights to all of our family and whatever friends he decides to add to the list that day. After that I usually sing three songs to him, generally the Thomas theme song, followed by Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and finishing with You are My Sunshine. After that, he is sound asleep and I leave the room with a kiss on his head. This process happens so religiously that I sometimes find it hard to settle down myself on the nights that I am out with friends and miss the routine. :-) I know that I will miss it when he gets too big for our sweet little ritual.

Colin's smile could light up the whole world. You have never seen a child smile like he smiles. He smiles with joy and merriment that seems to be literally radiating out of can practically feel it warm your skin when he turns it on you. His dimples dig deep into both cheeks and the corners of his mouth seem to disappear into his ears. His eyes dance with glee and he takes on a cherubic quality that always makes me happy, no matter what. He is passionate about everything and he certainly gets angry and sad and every other emotion with ferocious vigor. But overall, above all else, he is happy to his core. If I could sum Colin up in one word, it would be joy. There are so many endless things that I could write about him at this turning point in his life, but this is a good snap shot of my wonderful boy just turning 3 years old. I love you, Colin.

Friday, July 16, 2010

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!

Colin attended his very first play this morning!! The performance was at Texas Women's University in Denton and the show was "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie", which is a very popular children's book. I found out about the show early last week from my friends and went out and bought the book for Colin. He loved the story and we have read it several times a day since I bought it. I told him that I had tickets to a live performance of the book and tried without much success to explain what live theater is. I told him about actors and what they do as best as I could and he was pretty excited about the whole thing, although I think he was picturing a movie or cartoon. I was very nervous on the drive just never know what Colin is going to like and I knew that the chances were high that we would not even get into our seats without a meltdown about the crowd. Once we arrived at the box office (after I got lost looking for the theater on campus), I was told that they only accept cash! I ended up having to run across the campus with Colin in tow to find an ATM at the student center. We were sweating bullets by the time we got back and the show was literally starting. This meant that Colin and I had to take seats at the very top of the small theater in chairs set up for extra people. My mistake and subsequent lateness ended up being absolutely perfect. Colin was not crowded into the regular theater seats with all the other kids and parents and was able to move around a little bit as he wanted to. Our chairs were facing the ledge of the small balcony and he propped his little arms on it and rested his chin on his hands as he watched in awe when the lights came up. It was so precious that I could barely contain myself. He immediately yelled out into the quiet theater, "Are those the actors, Mommy?!" ...I was chocking on my laughter!! He would frequently yell out the following: "Where is the mouse going?! Is that the drawing?! He needs to put it on the fridge! That's so silly!" I could not believe how much he loved it. I kept whispering to him about not talking and being quiet and he quickly caught on and behaved like a dream. The mouse actually popped out of a hidden door behind our seats to enter the show and run down the stairs to the stage. The big spot light landed right on us and the mouse stopped and nibbled Colin's ear on her way to the stage! He was absolutely thrilled by this!! The show was about an hour long and he watched the whole thing! Honestly, I was so shocked and overwhelmed that he loved it!! It was a precious show and I am so glad that I took the risk and bought the tickets. The theater was tiny and the whole thing was perfect for Colin. We stopped at McDonald's afterwards for lunch and as he ate his chicken nuggets, he said, "Mommy, what was your favorite part of the play?"...could you just die?!?! What a wonderful date with my sweet boy!!

Colin standing outside the theater.

Standing on the stage after the show!

He was all smiles the whole time!

The view from our seats...the show had just ended. Look at that face! He had a blast!

Celebrating 7 Years...and a 5 Year Old!

Last weekend we celebrated two very important nephew's 5th birthday and our 7th wedding anniversary! We spent a long weekend in Tyler with my family and had the most wonderful time. We drove in on Friday afternoon and woke up on Saturday morning to head to Jackson's big pool party. Mert hosted the party at our old neighborhood pool, which was almost too much for me and my sappy self to handle. I can't believe that we were all there with our children in the very spot where I played when I was a little girl. Crazy! Meredith's best friend Wendi and her husband Jesse were there with their daughter and ended up making the party even more amazing...Jesse is a fireman! He called his friends on duty and had them swing by the party in the fire truck!! Let me tell you, Colin was literally beside himself. I thought he was going to pass out when it started pulling into the long drive. The firemen were so sweet and let the kids climb all over the truck. It was pretty much Colin's best case scenario. :-) Here are some assorted pics from the party:

hugging my precious nephew! I can't believe he is 5!!

the sisters!

Cory and sweet Pryce!
Mert and Cory
Aunt Alieson and all her babies!
Cousins in a firetruck! :-)
My Daddy!
My dad feeding Pryce her first taste of ice cream...she LOVED it!
Once we made it back to my parents house, the second big surprise of the day happened for Colin. One of my oldest friends is a police officer in Tyler and he agreed to swing by the house on duty to say hello. Colin ran out the front door to greet him and climbed right into the car! Chad let him turn on the lights and even honk the SUPER LOUD airhorn thing...I have no doubt that my parents neighbors thought all hell was breaking loose. Chad ended up getting called away for what Colin cheerfully called a "real emergency", which is just about all he talks about now. Seeing Chad drive away with his lights on was the ultimate to this almost 3 year old! It was the best day ever for Colin...firetrucks and police cars on the same day!

Sunday was a very special was my 7th anniversary!!! My parents kept Colin for most of the day while Jer and I had lunch, did a little shopping and saw a movie. It was the perfect day!! Colin went out to lunch with the whole family while we had our date. We ate at Fish City Grill first and then went over to Barnes and Noble while we waited for the movie to start. We found some cute books for Colin's birthday and then saw "Knight and Day" at the theater. I can't believe that it has been 7 really seems like yesterday that we got married. There were many overwhelming moments during the day when I realized how lucky I am and how far we have come as a little family. I have been so blessed!! My mom took a few pictures of us before we left on our date. I am so proud to be married to such a wonderful man and the fact that he gifted me with our precious son is just icing on the cake! It is hard to put into words how thankful I am for my husband.

One night after everyone went to sleep, I went outside and sat Indian style at the end of my parents driveway, much the way I used to do as a teenager. I sat for a long time enjoying the sounds of the crickets and the warm night air. I sat there often when I was young and thought about what my life would be like and what my future would hold. As I sat there on Sunday night, I thought about how many of my dreams have already come true. I said a little prayer thanking God for everything he has given me. I also thanked Him for that sweet house on that perfect block that I will always think of as home. I love it there.
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