Handsome boy. I am absolutely dying over you these days. It has been far too long since I did an update on you so this one is going to be long but at this age you don’t have a baby book anymore so this is the only place I have to record things for our records and our memories. And gosh I don’t want to forget this moment in time with you.
Colt developments: Buddy, you are so much fun!
You were a very serious baby and a shy toddler but right before you turned 2, you really came out of your shell and you’ve never gone back. Sometimes it still surprises me how vivacious and hilarious you are!
You are talking up a STORM. Sentences are long, detailed and FUNNY. Some tid-bits from the past week include:
“Let’s hold each other’s hands, Dada.”
“This is a beautiful day. I love to be outside with you.”
“I love my sturdy little brick house. The wolf can’t blow it down. He’s not strong enough. The pigs are safe!” (Currently obsessed with the story of the 3 little pigs…)
“I can do it! You can do it too. You can try!”
“My fingers are salty! Napkin, napkin!”
“Oh! Look at that big elephant. He’s too close to the man. But, he’s nice.”
You’re in a big, “Watch me! Watch me!” phase, although I suspect this may be a “phase” that’s here to stay. And you’ve started doing this thing where if we ask you something to which you don’t know the answer, you get a big smile and respond, “You tell.”
You are incredibly sweet, very loving and affectionate. You will regularly and spontaneously declare, “I love you, Mama!” to me and other family members. If I’m ever hurt you want to give me kisses to make it all better. Whenever I see you in the morning I tell you how happy I am to see you but the other day I was half-asleep and just said, “Hi Colt,” and you responded, “You so happy to see me, Mama?” You’re very in-tune with your emotions and the emotions of others and if you do something bad you’ll say, “You not so happy ’bout that, Mama?”
You have tons of energy and like to be BUSY but I would say that you’re still pretty calm and a little more focused than other kids your age might tend to be. For example, you LOVE puzzles and are excellent at them. Gigi has one of Goldilocks and the 3 bears that has 63 pretty small pieces and you can easily do it by yourself. My mom thinks you have a photographic memory.
You have known the capital ABCs for a long time but we still have yet to master all of the lowercase ones (q, p, d, b = challenge!). I think it’s because you saw the capital letters on the floor mat in your room in Brazil and in books that we would read but I haven’t been great about sitting and “teaching” you things that aren’t just naturally around us. (But beware! Now that life is settling down I’ll get the flashcards out soon!) That being said, you do know how to spell your name (and Finn, Dada, Gigi and a few other things) and can write your name surprisingly well completely on your own. You randomly initiated it the first time a few weeks ago and just did it. We were shocked!
You are also VERY good at figuring out what letter different words start with. For example, we can ask you, “Colt, what letter does… “pencil” start with?” And you will either just answer outright “P!” or you will say, “Pencil, peh, peh…P! Pencil start with P!” And now you are starting to figure out other letters / sounds in words – especially the letters that a word ends with. You honestly just started doing this on your own. We had long ago taught you that “Mamma’s favorite letter is M and Dada’s favorite letter is D” etc. and probably a couple of times we had talked about how all letters make different sounds with a few examples but truly one day you just started talking about what letter different words started with. Then we kept talking about it and it naturally just clicked with you. You will still confuse certain letters / sounds that are not as clear (like guessing that queen starts with a k) but you definitely get the point of it.
We have used this skill to start work on reading and spelling. We’ll read from a page in a book, for example, “The boy is playing with the dog.” And I’ll say, what does “boy” start with? You’ll say “B.” Then I’ll say, “OK, can you figure out which word on the page is boy? Which words starts with a b?” Then you’ll find it and we’ll sound out the rest of the word and talk about how the letters make the sounds that we read out loud. Or you’ll have your ABC puzzle blocks and I will ask, “What does ‘cat’ start with?” and you’ll grab the c. Then, “What is the next letter which makes the aaaah sound in cat?” and you’ll grab the a, etc.
You’re also kind of getting into math! You know that “5 and 5 is 10” and that “two 5’s is 10” and that “5 plus 5 is 10.” You know by heart 1+1, 5+5 and you are quick with anything plus 1 but you can also do any math that you can count with your fingers (totaling less than 10). You can count to 11, get a little mixed up on 12-15 but then you’ve picked up on how the sequences progress. You still need our help to realize that the next sequence is of twenties or thirties but if we say, “twenty, twenty one” you can continue on with the rest.
You also love to be outside an in motion. You still love your scooter and you’re so happy that we live across the street from a huge park with lots of green space, “scooter paths,” sport fields and courts and a playground! We scoot on over there almost every day.
You also like to play in the yard. You still have a strong kick and despite being very right handed (and footed), your daddy taught you to swing lefty from a young age so consequently you swing a bat and a golf club lefty! You make great contact though! Oh, and you love jumping. You’ll skip the bottom 1 or 2 stairs and jump whenever you go downstairs in our house, often telling me that “there’s bugs on it – let’s jump OVER the bugs!” (Although sometimes in the morning you’ll be sluggish and say, “It’s too early to jump. Jus’ step on the bugs.” So funny!)
Your Portuguese skills were AWESOME when we left Brazil and are TERRIBLE already. Sad about this one. We brought back a bunch of Portuguese language cartoon DVDs so anytime you watch TV at home (we still do it twice/day while drinking milk – after waking up in the morning and after nap/quiet time in the afternoon) you are watching it in Portuguese. You seem to still understand some of it but you really struggle to come up with words on your own – even basic things like colors are getting mixed up. We are looking into Portuguese speaking babysitters and the goal is to have you with a native speaker twice a week just to play, read, talk, etc.
That being said you keep us laughing all day long with all the funny things you do including making up your own languages. We will have you count to 10 in English, Portuguese and then a made up language and you come up with something different and hilarious every time. You love to dance, sing, color, read books and generally PLAY.
You’re very particular but I would not describe you as too headstrong or stubborn. You are eager to please us and are generally very obedient. That being said, we try to be consistent with our discipline and use the “bad choices” as opportunities to remind you that we all fall short and are in need of a Savior, Jesus, to reconcile us to our perfect and holy God. I don’t know how much you are understanding but I love to hear you talk about God. Sometimes you talk about how your “Father is everywhere,” or how “God made the pink in the sky.” But other times it’s, “Jesus and God go poopoo in the potty.” So…you give us a little bit of a mix.
Health: Praise be to God that you continue to be a happy, healthy guy. Little colds from time to time but still no antibiotics in your system! Really thankful for this one. It’s actually shocking given how much you travel and basically eat off airport floors but we just tell ourselves that it’s developing in you a strong immune system and it seems like so far that’s true! Not sure your height / weight but you’re wearing 3T clothing and size 8.5 shoe.
Feeding: I am thankful that you have been making huge progress in this area. You were SUCH a picky eater and suddenly you’re becoming much more open to trying new things. Most recently you’ve discovered your love for lima beans, grapes, oranges, fried okra and hard boiled eggs (dying them for Easter helped!) and you are happy to eat a big bowl of sautéed spinach or even some boiled broccoli. Favorites are still smoked salmon, hummus and the classics of cheese, yogurt and all “snack” foods, although we REALLY try to avoid snacking between meals so that you are more excited about meals.
Sleeping: A few updates in this area. First, just before we moved into our new house, we transitioned you from the crib into a big boy bed! You never really tried to climb out of the crib but you definitely could have if you had wanted to and it was just time. My grandfather, Papa Fincher, had kept his “youth bed” which his grandfather gave him when he was 5 years old and he recently had it refinished for us. It is a charming old wooden spindle bed. We had to order a custom mattress and sheets since no one makes youth beds anymore but it’s adorable and you love your big boy bed! For the first few days we made it a big rule that you couldn’t get out of bed while “the clock was blue” (in this post I wrote about your Tot Clock but truly – it’s THE BEST!) and after a couple days of enforcing the rule, you got it no problem.
Recently, however, you have given up your afternoon nap. After a week straight of you not napping and instead playing in your bed for 2 hours each day I decided that you were officially done with it. We have now instituted “quiet time” for an hour and a half where you are able to play in your room. You have a big basket beside your bed and we choose different toys to go in the basket and you’re allowed to play with anything in the basket during that time. We use your tot-clock for this as well and you play happily for the designated time. Watching you on the monitor in there makes me laugh so much. The other day you lined up all of your animals on one wall and then performed in front of them the ABCs and The Wheels on the Bus songs. So funny! This transition means you are getting pretty sleepy by 7pm and the other day you literally drifted off while sitting up at the dinner table so come bedtime you go to sleep much more quickly.
Our bedtime “routine” isn’t much of a routine but we do try to pray for you each night and sing to you. Your bedtime song is “You are my sunshine” and you like to sing it with us now. Sometimes it’s hard for me to leave your room at night because you’re just painfully sweet. I’ll snuggle up close to you and you put your little hands on my face and give me hugs and kisses. The other day I said I was pretending to be Colt and you could pretend to be Mommy and tuck me in. You said, “I rub your back and sing Sunshine!” so I curled up and you literally rubbed my back and sang “You are my sunshine” to me. It may have been the sweetest moment of my life.
Schedule: Your current schedule is:
7:40am You normally wake up and play in your bed.
7:50 Your clock changes to yellow and you shout, “It’s YELLOW! Time to get up!!” Potty, brush teeth.
8:00-8:30 You drink lukewarm milk (gross) and watch Portuguese cartoons while I get myself some coffee and feed your brother.
8:45 Breakfast time – always a banana with some yogurt!
9:00 Change clothes, get ready for the day.
9:30-12:00 Morning activity (we do most of our “outings” in the mornings be it a trip to the zoo or the grocery store)
1:30-3:00 Quiet time in your room
3:00-3:30 Milk and cartoons again
4:00-6:00 Afternoon activity (playing in the yard, going to the park, etc.)
6:30 Dinner time!
7:15 Bath (sometimes) and Jesus Storybook Bible reading with Dad
Mama’s Thoughts: Being your mom is the best. Colt, I am literally bursting with love for you. It feels like it’s too much. Too much fun. Too much joy. Too much laughter. Too much cuteness. Too much blessing. I spend my day thanking and praising God for you, your brother and your dad. I feel so aware that these are the best of days. And they go so quickly. I know that there are seasons to life and I may not always want to freeze time on each season, but on this one I can truly say that I do. But part of the beauty is the way that time continues to move and you continue to grow and develop into your own person. And what a wonderful person you are sweet one. I love you tremendously, to the moon and back.