Our baby is two years old today.
While he is still - mostly - that laid-back little thing (that my friends would make sure to remind me was an unusually easy baby), he is definitely coming into his own personality, likes and interests.
His latest interests include:
The Wiggles - Gabriel received a Wiggles video for Christmas from his Great Aunt Marty. "Love" is not a strong enough word for how he feels about this singing/dancing crew. He gets the biggest grin on his face and starts running in place when he hears that he is about to get to watch the Wiggles. His current favorite song is The Shimmie Shake. "Simmy! Simmy!"
My chapstick - I don't know how or why this got started, but Gabriel has become obsessed with my lip balm. I keep some tucked away in multiple drawers around the house, but thankfully he only knows about the one in my bathroom drawer. If he goes missing for any amount of time, chances are likely that he will come bounding back down the hall very shortly with the tube in his little fist. And for whatever reason, he takes the lid off and puts it right back in the drawer and only takes off with the rest of the tube...putting it on his face, and forehead. The good part is that it is chapstick I made myself with like three, nontoxic ingredients, so at least I am only concerned that he is wasting it, and not that it will hurt him.
Trains - Is this just something that is in a boy's very DNA? Gabriel is FASCINATED by trains. Whether it is a toy train he is playing with, a train on TV (like the one we saw on a Little House on the Prairie episode) or in person....he is enamored. He will start yelling, "TRAIN! TRAIN!!! Choo-CHOO!" When we play at the city park - which is right next to a track - he loves it when trains go by...which they invariably do several times. I went ahead and bought him some little Thomas the Train underwear (so adorable) and I'm wondering when we will want to pull out all of Noah's old little Thomas wooden trains. (Thankfully, I saved the trains...but why, oh why, did we get rid of that train/car table?)
Hiding in his closet - G recently figured out that even with the shelves and the bins of soon-to-fit clothes in there, he can fit inside his closet. (I blame his discovery on our family's recent late night game of hide-n-seek.) Anyway, every time we go in there to change his diaper now, he has to go "hide" first.
While Gabriel still talks a lot and in his whole, own language that the rest of us are not privy to, he is becoming more and more understandable. He has begun to need to apologize for some of his transgressions, and when we prompt him to copy what we're saying, his "I'm torry" is so adorable.
For months, honey has been "oney", but he has recently started pronouncing the "h" sound in the beginning....and I'm not so sure I'm happy about it.
Orange sounds more like "horn" right now. But he can say "pear" good. He can say "lemon" pretty good...and while he makes funny faces, he always wants more. For whatever reason, Gabriel thinks that raisins and dried cranberries are "Gapes" and he asks for them loudly and repeatedly. In fact, I had to move the containers of "gapes" up higher, because he figured out where they were and would get into them himself.
But bananas are still his all-time favorite fruit, and he now knows what we're talking about when we spell out "B - A - N - A - N - A"...so we're going to have to come up with a new trick.
And from the previous two paragraphs it may be obvious that G is still very fond of any and all fruit.
Even though G shows no signs of being interested in potty-training, I certainly wouldn't be opposed to him being trained. To that end, I went ahead and bought a cute, little seat. When we're in that bathroom, G will usually ask to sit on it. The first several times he sat down he went around behind it and climbed over it to sit down that way...hilarious! And then on New Years' Day, I don't know who he surprised more by actually going potty in the chair. Actually, I don't think he even realized what he'd done....but he sure did enjoy the fuss that we all made about it. I plan to wait until it warms up in a few months, and then do the two-day-bare-bottom method to potty-training that I used with Elisabeth and Noah with great success. We'll see...but I sure would love to get that done before summer; his cloth diapers are so much bulkier than his little underwear would be, that he would be able to wear his 2T shorts again this coming summer if he were potty-trained. If not, he's going to need to move into 3Ts.
Gabriel has now been on the GAPS protocol for almost 5 months. He is doing well and thriving. And...his skin looks so good. Now when I see pictures of how it was right before we started him on GAPS...I just want to cry. We have made several attempts to reintroduce dairy and eggs...and they have been met with swift and sure signs that his body is not ready. Yet. But thankfully the signs were not as bad as they used to be. Because of the additional diet limitations he has (meaning in addition to the regular GAPS limitations), somedays he eats soup for all three meals. His soup is a different combination every time, but it always includes homemade broth, meat and a veggie. (Don't feel bad for him about this, though...the soups taste and smell so yummy that on more than one occasion the older children have asked if they can have some!)
Gabriel's current daily schedule looks like this:
Wake up between 9 and 10 a.m - have probiotic, and soup for breakfast
Take a detox bath with a sibling
Play, play, play
Lunch - usually around noon, although in reality it falls anywhere between 11a.m. and 1 p.m.
Play - we all play outside if it's not raining. G toddles around pushing his Cozy Coupe, or being pushed in it by a sibling. He also enjoys digging in the dirt.
Nap - if left to his own devices, he will usually nap for at least 3 hours, and we sometimes have to wake him up because daddy is home and it is time to eat supper!
Afternoon snack (unless he sleeps right through it) - usually half an avocado and half a banana
Bedtime snack at about 7:30p.m. (usually butternut squash, with tallow that I rendered and sea salt)
Bedtime at 8 p.m. (but he is so flexible, that if we have anything unusual going on - like friends over for supper - he easily stays up later (til 10 even) with no problems whatsoever. He is such a fifth child...I would never have let E or N stay up that late!)
While G is awake more than he used to be, he still sleeps more than the average 24-month old. When I looked at his schedule and calculated how many hours he is awake, it equals between 7 and 8 hours. WOW! I might be concerned, but his big sis Elisabeth loved (and still does) her sleep every bit as much...and she had a very similar schedule at this age. (And she napped until she was 8!)
To celebrate our little big guy turning 2, we recently turned his car seat around to be facing forward now.
|Everybody has on jammies and it's dark because we switched his seat around|
when we headed out on our Christmas Lights Spotting expedition this year.
G's favorite Christmas present from us - hands down - is this little workbench:
And to think I almost changed my mind and didn't get it...I just wasn't sure if he would like it and use it. What a huge mistake that would have been!
Gabriel loves working with his "hammuh" and takes it and other tools and fixes things all around the house.
And it's a very good thing he now has his own tools, because he loves following daddy and helping him with projects around the house.
Like when Jas recently hung up my new collage picture frames in the eat-in section of the kitchen.
Gabriel was pretty pleased with himself for the great help he was to daddy.
And when daddy recently replaced our old kitchen sink with our Christmas present to each other....
...G was right there the whole time...
And again...he was pretty pleased with himself.
And last weekend when Jas replaced a toilet paper holder...
...his trusty side-kick was right there to help.
And Jas wouldn't have it any other way. (Which is Reason #796 that I Love Jas So Much!)
Just in the past couple of weeks Gabriel has started puckering up to kiss us...and it is so sweet.
Since G's main foods the last five months have been soups, we haven't really been letting him try to feed himself...mainly because I try to minimize MESS in my house as much as possible. But...G has started insisting that he get to help feed himself more. And it is time, so we're letting him help:
And - again - he is pretty pleased with himself:
If it seems like he is pretty pleased most of the time...that is right on the money.
Of course, anyone who has this many adoring fans helping and cheering you on should be pleased almost 100% of the time.
All four of the older children are so good with Gabriel. They truly enjoy playing with him and helping with him. It makes this mama's heart proud and happy...and it is a huge help to me.
|Here Gabriel is the one helping Noah...with his spelling work.|
Noah has declared that he is Gabriel's special "buddy". He wants to be the special one that really helps the most with Gabriel.
Lately when he wakes up, he has been reaching through and pulling books into his crib to "read" for a while before he gets up.
His current favorite - that he asks for over and over - is the old classic Goodnight Moon.
I think we all have the entire book memorized by now. Now when we are outside at night, Gabriel gets so excited to point out stars and the moon to us. "MOON!" Although he doesn't always get it exactly right: today - during daytime hours - G yelled out "MOON!", and it was an airplane flying overhead. Oh well.
We had Lao Lao and Papa over for supper tonight to celebrate our birthday boy.
What kind of cake do you serve to a boy who cannot have grains, processed sugar, dairy, eggs or nuts?
A "Fruit" cake, of course:
|Our "fruit" cake was a pineapple, embellished with strawberries, peaches, apples, pears and bananas. |
Yes, G was in heaven.
Gabriel couldn't wait until the end of our Happy Birthday serenade to dig into his cake.
Nai Nai called to wish G a happy birthday...
...and he enjoyed talking with her on the "pone".
Gabriel likes the tricycle that we gave him...
...and I'm sure it will get much use.
He loves the Melissa & Doug flatbead trailer truck and car that Lao Lao and Papa gave him....
...and can't remember what our lives were like before he joined us two years ago.