Brantley: 2 years, 6 months

Brantley,

This was quite a month. Christmas and potty training. Whew. Potty training was quite an experience, but with a little help from a friend we had you fully potty trained in just 3 days! It probably would’ve been even faster but you were so anxious about the whole thing that we had to find our own way of helping you through the process.

Christmas was, as always, our favorite time of the year. We always do as many Christmasy things as we can and you got to actually enjoy most of them this year since you were old enough to understand a little of what was going on.

We saw the lights at the beach…

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And you made your first gingerbread house…

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It snowed a few times this month and every day you asked to go out for a ride on the golf cart to look for snowmen, which you call “Frosty.” We played outside and Daddy taught you about snowball fights, which you thought was absolutely hilarious. You and Daddy must’ve spent an hour throwing snowballs at each other and falling down in the most dramatic way possible with all the grunts and wailing of an Oscar-winning actor.

With Uncle Knate in town, we took advantage of some free days to go to the Aquarium! You love to run through each exhibit and spend hardly any time actually looking at the animals, but your favorite part of the day was following Uncle Knate around. He would stand up against a wall and you would walk over and stand right next to him. A few seconds later he would move to the other wall and you immediately followed. This went on for more than 10 or 15 minutes and you thought it was just hilarious!

You crack us up with the things you say as you try to figure out this world of words. The other day you were laying in bed and we overheard you in the monitor saying “Trick or treat, trick or treat, give us something good to eat. Amen.” You’ll also sing your ABC’s and instead of “Now I said my ABC’s…” you’ll go right into “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and just keep right on singing. The best one was “He’s making a list, checking it twice! How I wonder what you are.”

This month’s memories…

  • You sing yourself to sleep every night. Sometimes we look in the monitor and you’re doing the hand motions to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Wheels On The Bus.
  • All the girls who work at Jr. Market in our neighborhood know you from the many times you’ve come in with Daddy on his days off. One morning when you walked in with Daddy, you started running back and forth across the front of the store. The woman behind the counter asked you what you were doing and without a pause you replied, “I looking good!”
  • When we took you to see Santa, we prepped you beforehand to tell Santa you wanted a drum set when he asked you. As we were waiting in line, Daddy asked you “What are you going to tell Santa when he asks you what you want for Christmas?” You replied, “Trick-or-treat!”
  • Being that it’s Christmas and your Mommy and Daddy are OBSESSED with Christmas movies, we decided it was time to introduce you to Elf. And now you relive your favorite scenes. Randomly throughout the day you’ll scream “Aaahhhh! Don’t look at me!” Then run toward the wall, slam yourself against the wall and fall down flailing.
  • Sometimes when I ask for hugs before you go to school you tell me no. On one of these days, you were already on your way to school and you told Daddy, “Preschool go home.” He asked you if you wanted to go home and you were just silent, which means to us that he was wrong. After a few seconds he asked you “After preschool we’re going to go home?” And you said “Yes! See Mommy.”

You’re the best, little one.

Love, Mama

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Brantley: 2 years, 5 months

Brantley,

We had a few warm days in November and took advantage of the weather for a trip to Grommet Island. You learned how to walk across the lily pads and finally went down the slide all by yourself. It took a few tries but each time afterward you would stop and clap for yourself. The cutest.

Your Nana found a discount for some studio portraits this month and thought it would be adorable to get some photos of you and your baby brother. You apparently didn’t think so and fought us the entire time. We got a total of 3 photos out of the whole photo shoot. Near the end of the session we got one good smiling photo but only because you were pulling your pants down and we were telling you to stop but thankfully, the photographer saw her opportunity and snapped away.

 

On Thanksgiving, we spent the day with both sides of the family but now that we have two little ones we didn’t do such a good job of taking photos so these are from the end of the day when we finally realized we hadn’t taken very many pictures during the day. At dinner, you sat at the big table with us in your little highchair, prayed with us, and ate most of the food that the rest of us ate. You were REALLY excited about the sweet potatoes.

Memories from this month:

  • When you want us to turn up the volume of the music in the car, you say “Be loud! I want it be loud”
  • You will not take a nap if you know I am home. When Daddy brings you home from preschool, I have to hide in the kitchen so he can take you back to your room without you seeing me.
  • One day as you were leaving for school you were in a rather grumpy mood and didn’t want to give me a kiss before you and Daddy walked out the door. On your way to school you were so distraught, saying, “I wanna go back home. I give mommy kiss”. ” I give 2 kisses””I want kisses, I go back home.”
  • Every morning when Daddy wakes you up, he tells you a special message and you run out into the living room you always have a special message for me. Sometimes it’s something like “Good morning, Mommy! You’re my hero!” but one morning after a few days of having a runny nose, you came running into the living room and yelled “I love you, Mommy!” and then added “No boogies!”
  • One night you were sitting in your highchair playing with your food rather than eating it so Daddy told you to take a bite and eat or else we would throw it away and you wouldn’t get anymore milk or fruit afterwards either. Well, just a second later you started playing with it again and Daddy threw the rest in the trash. The next night I overheard you talking to Daddy again, “Daddy look! No play with them. Eat them. And fruit! And milk!”
  • We went to the beach to see Santa this year and we prepped you to tell Santa you wanted drums for Christmas. We kept pretending to be Santa, asking you “What do you want for Christmas?” and you seemed to get the hang of it. A few days later Daddy picked you up on his lap and when through the whole thing again. He asked you “Brantley, what do you say?” and you replied, “Trick or Treat!!!”
  • You absolutely adore your little brother. And we love watching your relationship develop. Throughout the day you walk over to him and want to hold his hand, lay beside him, and you try to make him smile, and we hear, “Hi Barrett! Hi!” a LOT all day long.

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We love you, buddy.

Love, Your Mama

Brantley: 2 years, 4 months

Brantley,

You’re a big brother!

Barrett Wiley was born on October 27th and you suddenly you seem like such a big kid to me now.  As I hold Barrett in my lap and you run around the living room trying to get Shadow to chase you, I finally understand what they mean when everyone says “It goes by so fast.” It seems like so recently that I was holding you the same way.

When your Nana brought you to the hospital, we left Barrett in the hospital crib for a while so we could spend some much needed time just with you. Eventually he made a noise and you peeked your little head up over the side of the crib and you were so interested in him after that. I picked him up and held him in the chair and you immediately ran over to Nana to get the teddy bear you had picked out for him.

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We had lots of October events this month! Your preschool hosted a Harvest Party and even though Daddy was at work, Mommy got to join you on the hayride, help you pick out your first pumpkin, and even decorate cookies! You still don’t know what sugar is yet and we’re trying to keep it that way for a while so you had one bite and then I told you I would take them home. (AKA: Mommy would eat them in the car before she even got home… they were delicious.)

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The Hunt Club was our next stop. It has a special place in our heart since this is where we took our pregnancy announcement photos 3 years ago! You loved exploring, looking through the pumpkin patch, and trying to feed geese a few stems of grass. Apparently geese don’t eat grass and you were quite annoyed at them for not accepting your offerings.

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You also weren’t very happy about our photo session.

“NO PICTURES!”

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Our last stop on the tour of Halloween-related events was Taylor Farms. We went with Will, Christie, and Zoey and although we didn’t make it to the hayride, you loved playing on the trains, petting the horses, and painting your pumpkin. Somehow we stole Will and Christie’s pumpkins, too so between your preschool party, Hunt Club, and now Taylor Farms, our living room looks like a pumpkin patch.

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With the arrival of your brother, you also got to move into your new room! Our original plan was to make this transition at least a month before he came home however, that didn’t exactly happen so instead it was the DAY BEFORE he came home. But hey, we still made it in time I like to think. Thank goodness you didn’t mind moving out of your room because we would’ve been in big trouble having to deal with a newborn and a very unhappy evicted toddler.

The day we brought Barrett home, you were so sweet. Every time he made a noise you were so concerned that he was upset or hurting. You would run over to the pack and play and stay there until one of us told you he was ok. You’re also trying to share your toys with him which is so sweet. Unfortunately that means that poor Barrett ends up with trucks, teddy bears, and loveys on his face sometimes. Thankfully he’s a good sport.

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We made it home from the hospital just in time for Halloween! Now I have to admit something to you and I’m just going to go ahead and apologize now. Last year when Trump was one of the many possible candidates for the Republican Party and you had an EPIC baby comb-over, we dressed you up as Trump with your very own campaign car, black pinstripe suit, and we wore homemade campaign shirts with “Make America Great Again” hats from Amazon. We were all over it and we even won a costume contest!

This year? Well… we put your outfit together about 8 minutes before our friends were arriving to go trick-or-treating. Sorry, bud. Your Waldo outfit actually turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

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You LOVED trick-or-treating with your friend Aiden. We only went up and back down two blocks of our street but you thought it was so fun! Every time we walked up to another door, you were so excited to knock on the door and yelled “TRICK OR TREAT!” as loud as you possibly could. And then it was back down the steps and onto the next house. When you got back home (since you don’t know what candy is either) I looked inside your bucket and asked you if you wanted to trade your candy for a Larabar. Of course, because we’ve raised you to think that a granola bar made of dried fruits and nuts is the greatest treat in the world, you were immediately thrilled and handed all of your candy over to your Mama. One day you’ll be mad at me but hey, it was yummy. (I’m starting to see a recurring theme here.)

Fun memories from this month:

  • Every time you get out of the bath, you and Daddy sing a crazy song together which involves a lot of yelling and hollering and laughing. I love listening to you two together.
  • You call Uncle Cam “Umpa Tam.”
  • Whenever you’re holding a cup, you want to do “cheers” with whoever else has a drink, too.
  • At night or during naps, we often hear you singing Wheels on the Bus through your monitor.
  • At every meal we let you pick your plate but recently you’ve been insisting on eating your meals out of the frying pan from your toy kitchen.
  • Our favorite word that you say is pajamas. You say it as “Duh MAH jus”
  • Whenever we’re talking on the phone with someone, you insist on pushing the button to hang up on them. So now we have to explain to you that you have to wait until we’re done talking and we’ve said “I love you” or “goodbye.”
  • Everything you do, you want to do “all by self.” With your new bed, you also have a small step stool that you use to get into it and every night you climb up the ladder and you can’t quite get into the bed fully independently yet so you say “all by self with a little bit of help.”
  • One day when your friend Aiden was over, he taught you the song Ring Around the Rosie. Later that evening we made tacos for dinner which was a new food for you. The next day I heard you singing “Tacos, tacos, we all fall down!”
  • The terrible twos have arrived. You are REALLY testing limits this month. We’ll tell you not to hit something and instead you say “I push it.” One day I told you not to move something that was sitting on the chair and instead of moving the actual item, you said, “I move the chair” and pushed the chair across the room. Such a stinker. We often laugh at you while you’re in timeout because we just can’t keep a straight face.
  • Along with all this, we’re talking about a lesson you’re learning at school and we’re trying to reiterate at home as often as we can: listen and obey. I must repeat that phrase 10 times a day.
  • Another lesson you learned at school was to “hide your hands.” You and your classmates put your hands in your lap whenever the teachers are putting materials on the table in front of you and when they’re getting lunch ready. And now you like to show us your cool new skill at home, too.
  • You always want to make us laugh, make anyone laugh and you’ll stop at nothing to make it happen.
  • One day you got up from the floor, picked up a pumpkin, and put it in time out. We’re not sure what the pumpkin did wrong but you said, “pumpkin, time out.” So daddy set the timer for 2 minutes.
  • And you love your tools.

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Love, Mama

Brantley: 2 years, 3 months

Brantley,

We had quite an exciting month! As we prepare for the arrival of your baby brother, Barrett, I’m trying to enjoy our little moments as a family of three – hold you a little longer, hug you as often as I can, read you an extra book before bed. You are growing up so fast and I’m trying to keep my little boy a little boy as long as I can.

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Last month we brought out a drill toy for you and you’re still obsessed. One day while you were outside playing with your 4-wheeler you asked Daddy for your drill and started working on your car, so you said.

You’re a big help when Mommy has to go to the post office to drop off packages for the Etsy shop.

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You started preschool two days a week and every day you come home exhausted. Even after a 3-hour nap you wake up cranky and fussy and we’re all miserable. They keep telling me you’ll get used to it so I’m hoping for a quick recovery REAL SOON. PLEASE.

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Between Nana and Uncle Cam, you should be a piano-playing boy genius in no time.

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We’ve been reading your Bible almost every night lately. We met Will, Christie, and Baby Zoey at the beach for an afternoon in the sand and when you saw Zoey you got so excited, pointed at her, and said “BABY JESUS!”

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You met two new friends this month, Baby Skylar and Baby Ellie. This was our first test with you and newborns – and we’re thankful to our wonderful friends who allowed their days-old babies to be our guinea pigs for this energetic toddler. Fortunately for them, he was super sweet and gentle. 🙂

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You LOVE fruit and when we were at Nana and Papa’s house for a big family breakfast, you asked for more fruit, more fruit, more fruit. Apparently your normal sized services weren’t cutting it because eventually you emphatically said, “I want the WHOLE BOWL!” You proceeded to eat the rest of the fruit out of the serving bowl with the serving spoon. Whatever, kid.

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This photo cracks me up. Shadow was laying on his back getting a belly rub from Daddy and you layed down next to him and said “I be like Shadow!”

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Other memories from this month:

  • One day as I was picking you up from Nana and Papa’s house after work it was raining hard and being that I’m 9 months pregnant, I couldn’t carry you to the car so I held your hand and tried to hurry you across the driveway as fast as I could. We were already getting soaked and while most people would expect that this would invoke an increased motivation to reach the car and get in, you saw it more effective to stand there in the driveway and just start crying about it. I tried to pull you toward the car and hurry you along but then you got so mad at me and sat down right in the mud. Ugh.
  • You talk ALL THE TIME and it’s so exciting to see your language booming!
  • You’re pretty excited about your new bedroom. Daddy has been working on refinishing your new bed and painting the walls and trim in your new room. It doesn’t look like a whole lot yet but we’re getting there and hopefully it’ll be finished by the time we need to kick you out of the nursery for Barrett.
  • You’re newest skill is learning how to count and every time we offer you something, you ask for “two mores.”
  • At preschool, they say the Pledge of Allegiance every day and while you haven’t learned the whole thing yet, you will say the last word of each phrase and it’s really cute.
  • Some days Nana takes you to the office if Papa has to do some work or run errands. One day while you were there you found a baby doll in the office playroom and wanted to feed it your snack. Insert my heart melting here.
  • Our recent bedtime routine has been reading The Giving Tree. Your poor Mama is a total emotional mess though so I can only read it up until the point before the boy leaves. I prefer to keep my focus on eating apples, playing hide-and-seek, climbing up the tree’s trunk, and taking naps under it’s shade. I just can’t take the thought of the boy leaving.

 

 

Love you, buddy.

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Love, Your Mama

Brantley: 2 years, 2 months

Brantley,

This month was absolutely full of fun memories, adventures, new experiences, and good times!

Nanny is getting ready to sell her home at the end of the year so we wanted to make sure we had as many opportunities as possible to build memories at her house while the weather was nice and the pool was warm. You love playing in the pool for hours with your friends and a day at the pool is never a bad day!

You still love to feed Shadow and now you’ve taken to feeding him by hand. Well, at least when we’ll let you. Usually he just lies down in his crate because he realizes it’s going to take a while and we’ll have to pull you away so he can actually eat by himself without unnecessary human intervention. But it’s so sweet to watch you pick up each food piece by piece while he gently takes them from your fingers.
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Our favorite memories from this month of your life:

  • Telling stories with Daddy… and Buddy. Going through your nighttime routine with Buddy: stories about “big pool… Ding ding ding… Whoosh.” Then telling him “hugs and kisses” and putting his finger to your mouth and his before putting him in your crib. Our little daily routines really do make an impact.
  • Ocean Breeze has become a frequent hotspot for us and you love to “swim” (AKA: crawl) through the water in the kids play area. You also love the purple slide the best and you talk about it all the time.
  • Your place in the world as a “Mama’s boy” is becoming more solid as you call for “More Mommy!” every day during your naps. Even though I know Daddy might feel a little left out, I must admit that I absolutely love it!
  • Every night we choose a couple books to read before bedtime and recently we’ve been reading your Baby Bible. Now whenever we go into your room for bed you ask for “More Baby Jesus.”
  • You’re still terrified to poop in the tub.
  • Speaking of poop, you’re starting to hide when you have to go and if I’m anywhere nearby you’ll come over to me and physically turn me around and then act like nothing is happening for the next few moments while you do your business.
  • Mommy’s belly is growing to the point where you can no longer sit on my lap while we read books at night. I tried to explain it to you and now you tell me “No Barrett” as you’re climbing up onto the chair to sit beside me.
  • When Shadow is in your way, which happens often, you yell “MOVE SHADOW!” about as loud as you can.
  • We pray before every meal and initially we would say the prayer for you, thanking God for the people in our lives but recently you’ve taken it on yourself and yesterday you thanked God for “Mama, Daddy, Shadow, Nana, Papa, Bama… and cheese.”
  • Whenever you have a poopy diaper we ask you if you have a stinky butt and recently you started blaming the smell on other people, saying “Daddy stinky butt!” or “Shadow stinky butt!”
  • Last year we realized your knack for rhythm when you got a drum set as a Christmas gift from your cousins Jackson and Riley and could imitate simple rhythms we gave you. But it wasn’t until this month that you started clapping to the beat of music and we were so surprised! Daddy was playing Uptown Funk in his truck and you were clapping right along. Our little drummer boy.

I hold you a little extra longer every night because I know it won’t be that way forever.

Love you, little one.

Love, Mama.

 

 

Brantley: 2 years, 1 month

Brantley,

When we found out we were having a boy over 2 years ago, everyone told me “Boys love their mamas.” I didn’t fully understand what that meant at the time but I’m starting to get it… you are becoming SUCH a Mama’s boy. You cry whenever I have to leave and beg for me to stay. You’re also starting to figure out that when people have their shoes on that means they’re staying home so you’ll tell us “Mama, shoes off” or “Daddy, shoes on” to make sense of whether people are coming or going. And if I put my shoes on in the mornings you know I’m getting ready to leave and you’ll usually tell me to take them off.

The other day I came home from work and apparently you had missed me so much you cried for 15 minutes straight after I came home and because we had plans that evening, we had a babysitter arrive just a little while later. You seemed so heartbroken that I was leaving you again and our babysitter said you seemed sad and you were very cuddly all night long which is NOT like our little boy.

At the end of July we celebrated our second favorite holiday of the year. Obviously, Christmas takes the first place position for the Roberson family but Christmas in July comes in at a close second! You were a lot more interested in decorating the tree this year and you absolutely loved picking out our new ornament from the Christmas Mouse store at the oceanfront. We probably could’ve stayed in there all day and let you wander around the store for hours if it weren’t for nap times (which we were thankful for because then we could watch our favorite Christmas movies while you slept!)

You’ve now been introduced to Ocean Breeze! You call it “the big pool” and even though the waterpark is enormous and has tons of different areas to play in, we’ve only seen the kids area which seems to keep you entertained until you nearly pass out on the way home.

At first you were petrified to go down the slides and insisted on Daddy holding you all the way down but each time you splashed at the bottom you yelled “More!” and up the sidewalk you went pulling Daddy behind you to do it again and again. By the end of each day you would finally feel confident enough to go down the slide sitting in front of Daddy and you would talk about the orange, purple, and green slides for days. You’re still hesitant about the huge waterfall that splashes down in the middle of the pool every few minutes but once we explained to you that first you’ll hear the “ding! ding! ding!” as a warning before the waterfall happens, you started easing up a little. At home, throughout the day, we’ll hear you saying “ding! ding! ding! Woosh!” as you’re replaying the whole scenario in your head.

At the beginning of August, we made the drive to West Virginia for your second family reunion! Even when we didn’t have planned events during the weekend, we loved spending time with family at the lodge. Your uncle Knate flew in with his longtime friend Jill and we had a great time hanging out in Nana and Papa’s room. Once you realized you could run back and forth between our room and theirs through the connecting doors, you spent most of your waking hours running and we just laughed and laughed because you were so excited about such a simple discovery.

We visited the Pioneer Farm while we were there, which is one of our favorite places to go. Your great great grandmother was born here and it is still a functioning farm where a family lives and grows their own food with horses, cows, goats, sheep, and chickens in the yard. The family who lives there now has put in months of work to replace rotten boards, put a new roof on the barn, and are constantly adding new animals to the farm so when visitors come they can get the full experience of what this beautiful farm once was.

 

While we were in West Virginia, we had a memorial service for your PaPa as we laid his ashes near his stillborn baby boy at the family’s mountain top cemetery on Bower’s Ridge. It was a beautiful time with so many of our extended family present. There were tears shed because of what was said about Papa but most of all, our family members wept as they watched you pick flowers from the mountain side and place them one at a time on PaPa’s gravestone. At one point, I tried to hold you but you insisted “More flowers PaPa!” and I broke down in tears. I don’t know how, but somehow your little toddler heart understands the most difficult parts of life in probably to most simple and beautiful way.

Memories from this month of your life:

  • You started calling me Mommy instead of Mama and repeat “Mommy up!” over and over during your naps to ask for me to come get you up out of bed.
  • During our walks around the neighborhood, you started learning the names of new things like “stop sign” and “fire hydrant” and now we have to look at them EVERY TIME we go on a walk.
  • You insist on mowing the grass whenever Daddy does, which is quite adorable.
  • img_5027Nana and Papa bought you a balance bike for Christmas and this month you finally grew tall enough to reach the ground with your feet and also developed the confidence to try it out again and with success! Daddy helped you the first few times and had to assist with the turn-around when you got to the end of the driveway but eventually you were all on your own and we just put our hands on your back to make sure you felt safe.
  • We got to spend a lot of time with your Uncle Knate when he was in town after the family reunion and you’re still not entirely sure what to think of him. He constantly tries to make you laugh in hopes that he’ll win you over with his humor but you’re tough to crack.img_5125
  • Daddy took you to the Aquarium this month for a Daddy-Son date. Obviously you loved the huge fish tanks but your favorite part was touching the horseshoe crabs.
  • We started using time out this month more frequently since you seem to understand that concept now and one day you threw a toy then put yourself in time out. I would say it’s working.
  • Perhaps the most memorable moment from this month was one evening when you pooped in the tub… oh yeah. You were playing in the tub crouched down dumping water in and out of your cups while I was standing in the hallway talking to your Daddy. I turned back toward the bathroom and all of a sudden you started yelling at me “Mama out! Mama out!” and I realized you had pooped in the tub and you were embarrassed. Your little face was so panicked it just broke my heart. After I got you out of the bathtub all you wanted was to be held. For weeks afterward you were petrified to take a bath, crying throughout the whole experience and we have to constantly reassure you that you’re ok. One day maybe we’ll laugh about it but even just thinking about your poor little face and how ashamed you were makes my heart break all over again for you.

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  • …and you LOVE your toy drill.

Love you, little one.

Love, Your Mama

Brantley: 2 years

Brantley,

Happy two years of life, little man!

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You are so cool. Way cooler than me and your dad. Let’s just get that out of the way now. You’re also pretty hilarious and you have quite the personality!

img_4410Moving on though…

Your speech therapist Mama is so excited to announce that while we’ve noticed a language delay of a few months for a while, we’re happy to report that your language continues to explode and it makes me so proud for all the hard work. I constantly tell people that you didn’t stand a chance because of my professional position but in all reality, it was a lot of work to get to this point. We’re still not up to the level that’s considered “age appropriate” by professional standards but when I turn my SLP brain off, I try to relish in your cute little sentences that come out as simple as “I sit!” and “I splashing!” In those moments, you’re so happy and proud of yourself to have accomplished whatever mundane task it is that you’ve accomplished by yourself and you’re just absolutely thrilled to be able to tell us about it!

This month we had to say goodbye to our favorite neighbors and your girlfriend, “C”. They lived in the house next to ours for about a year and this summer we spent nearly every day outside with them, the grown ups sitting in lawn chairs on the driveway and you two running around kicking a ball, chasing bubbles, and pushing each other in C’s cozy coop car.

img_5106 Your Mama may have cried a LOT when we were taking these last photos but mostly because I know how rare it is to have neighbors next door who are so amazing and the friendship you shared with C was just precious. Not to mention, C’s mom had just given birth to a baby boy and with our second on the way, these two would only be a few months apart in age. It broke my heart that I would have to say goodbye to this time in our lives and I knew the day would come – sooner rather than later – when you would ask to go over to C’s house and we would have to tell you that she wasn’t there. I knew that you wouldn’t understand and that it would probably happen over and over (and it has) but change is just a part of life and we never know what plans God has for us that may be even better! So we said our goodbyes and wished them luck in their new home in Georgia and Mama went home and cleaned up her face after a good hard pregnant cry.

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We may have had to say goodbye to one friend but just a week later God brought us a new one! There’s a new paramedic working at Daddy’s station and his wife came to Sunday Dinner with their son Aiden and you two hit it off immediately. We always love our Sunday Dinner tradition but it sure doesn’t hurt to have another friend there with us.

At the end of June, the beach house was available for a whole week so we capitalized on the opportunity and drove down to enjoy an impromptu family vacation! With Mama’s school schedule, I was off for the entire week so we were able to relax and spend long days playing on the beach, napping on the couch, and relaxing in the “morning room” sunroom – Mommy’s favorite room in the house.

img_4528Every morning we ate breakfast out on the deck then wandered down to the beach before any of our neighbors arrived and had the beach all to ourselves for the first few hours of every day.

It was a great time for us to spend as a family before the whole family joined us just a few weeks later for our annual Beach Week!

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The day before we left for Beach Week, we had one more very important event – our gender reveal party to find out if you were going to have a little brother or sister!

We had our friends Blair and Ty order pink and blue pinata and then order paint powder in the right color. Your Daddy and I were both convinced we were having a baby girl so we both wore pink that morning and had been talking about different baby names for a girl. When I was pregnant with you everyone told me I was having a boy, and this time around everyone said it was a girl so I guess we just believed them!

We had a big party with all of our friends and family and then went outside to pull the trap door on the pinata and surprise – it’s a BOY!

Blair made us a cake to celebrate our newest little boy and Mama cried when she saw what the cake said. I guess it wasn’t until that moment that I really realized what it would mean to have two boys in the house and I was exponentially more excited to raise two boys!

Beach Week was incredible, as always. Here are the highlights from our week!

Celebrating Fourth of July: You were obsessed with the flags that G-Daddy dropped off at our house before we left for the OBX and since this was our first day at the beach house, the flags were a common toy throughout the rest of the week.

We spent ALL DAY at the beach with the exception of your nap times, getting out early again before the rest of the beach filled up so we could enjoy the quiet mornings alone on the sand. Once we got you in the ocean you never wanted to leave so we obviously spent a lot of time in the water. You even got on a paddleboard with Daddy for the first time!

And everyone enjoyed playing with you, reading books with you, and snuggling up on the couch with their cutest little family member.

When we got home, we had one week to prepare before celebrating your 2nd birthday with all of our friends and family and Nanny and PaPa’s house! The theme was a “Splash Bash” and other than playing in the pool all afternoon, we also had a few sprinklers set up for you kids to run through, little pools to splash in, and big bins of water toys that seemed to be the biggest hit of the day. The grown ups didn’t seem to mind a day at the pool either.

Overall, your party was a hit!

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The things I want to remember about this time of your life:

  • You sing all the time. You don’t know any words yet but you just hum along by yourself to whatever tune happens to be in your head and it’s so sweet to hear you coming up with your own music if that’s what we can call it right now.
  • You still feed Shadow every morning and evening but you know that he has to go into his crate before we feed him so first you’ll ask us if you can feed Shadow and then you immediately turn to the dog and yell at him “Shadow dit!” (sit) and you’ll just keep yelling at him over and over until we intervene and say “sit” so Shadow understands why you’re hollering.
  • You’re learning how to catch a ball and Daddy is thrilled that you’re living up to his expectation of growing a “highly tuned athletic machine” as he’s been calling you since the day we found out we were pregnant.
  • One day there was a thunderstorm and you were afraid of the thunder so I explained to you that maybe it was PaPa just playing drums in heaven. All of a sudden, your expression softened and you ran away from the door to your toy bin. You brought back your drumsticks as if you wanted to play along. It was the sweetest thing and brought me immediately to tears.IMG_4625.JPG

I love you, Brantley.

Love, Mama

Brantley: 23 months 

Brantley,

We started off this month going strawberry picking at Cullipher Farms in Pungo! It was your first time strawberry picking and I guess it was also our first time as a couple because your Daddy had no idea how excited I would be.  Growing up, your Nana always took me to the strawberry fields with your Granny and we would spend a few hours hunched over the rows and rows of strawberry plants picking and eating and picking and eating. So of course I had to teach you the ways of strawberry picking… which really just turned into you eating most of them. But that’s what kids do, right?

You were actually pretty interested in finding the red ones and filled our basket about as high as it could go… even when we told you we were done and we couldn’t fit anymore, we still had a long way to walk back down the row and back to the car so that meant a constant repeated “No Brantley, no more strawberries. No Brantley, no more strawberries.”

And then you took this great family photo with us.

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The highlight of your month was probably the motorcycle exhibition at the beach. You seemed really excited at first but the second they started revving up their engines you got totally spooked and cried to leave. We knew you just needed a few minutes to adjust and take it all in so we stepped away for a few minutes so we could let you watch from a distance and eventually you did warm up to them and really loved watching them jump the ramps and do flips in the air… constantly yelling “UP HIGH!” every time they took a jump. Even now, you still make all of your trucks and cars do jumps off the coffee table and yell “up high!” every single time.

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And let’s not forget about your neighborhood girlfriend. Unfortunately, they moved out of state this month but before they left we took every opportunity to enjoy long afternoons playing in the yard, chasing bubbles, and going on wagon rides down the street. She just adores you and every day you still come home asking to go next door to see her. She may have moved away but we’ll always have special memories of you and your first crush.

With beautiful weather and a five-day break, we headed down to the beach house with friends to enjoy a few days of vacation! It’s rare that the beach house is available at any point in the summer so this last-minute trip was definitely unplanned but such a great getaway. We invited a few couples to join us which also included two of your best friends – Aiden and Alexis. We spent all morning lounging around the house and all afternoon playing in the sand, and you kids had a blast.

Of course, our favorite moments were the quiet mornings spent in the sunroom – Mommy’s favorite room in the whole house. We didn’t get to sleep in with a bunch of littles in the house but we did get to spend most of the day in pajamas which is just as fun.13335903_10103211277461276_5183196943500806085_n.jpg

Every morning as soon as you wake up, when we pull in the driveway, when we pick you up from Nana and Papa’s and pretty much any moment you happen to think about it, you ask to play baseball with your tee-ball set. So Daddy decided it was time for you to see your first baseball game at Harbor Park! You skipped nap time but didn’t miss a beat and you and Daddy had a blast watching the game, eating lunch with a great view of the field, and you even got a foul ball!

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We take bike rides and walks around the neighborhood whenever we can and your favorite trip is to the walking path in the back of Shadowlawn. You love walking over the bridges, finding all the pine cones, and playing at the park at the end of the path.

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Daddy spent a lot of time at the fire station this month and our little boy, who is never one to cuddle, only wanted to be held this time we went to the station for Sunday dinner. It was the sweetest thing but also so heartbreaking to see how Daddy’s work schedule can sometimes effect you, even when you can’t put it into words yet. We are so appreciative that Daddy has so many days off with you to do fun things together like go the beach, take bike rides, and play baseball in the front yard instead of you spending the days at a daycare, but his long hours do sometimes take a toll and it was a precious moment to see how much you just wanted some extra love from him.

Oh Brantley, I always want to remember these things about your 23rd month:

  • You sleep with your feet propped up on the crib rails.
  • On our way to the beach house, you insisted on eating chips out of the dog’s bowl.
  • Every time we ask you where the baby is, you point to my belly and come and give Barrett a hug.
  • This month you started saying “no way!” instead of just “no” …and so begins the terrible twos attitude?
  • We hear “help Mama” all day long, even when you’re talking to your Daddy.
  • Every night before bed I sing You Are My Sunshine while holding you so tight, with your head on my shoulder and arms around my neck. These moments are the ones I will remember my whole life.
  • We are so lucky to have so much family in town and this month you made precious memories with your Grandma and Nanny. You had a chance to spend a few afternoons at Grandma’s house where you love to feed the fish in their backyard pond. And on our way to Nanny’s house one day we made a quick stop at Sam’s Club and picked up some flowers for Nanny – now every time you see flowers ANYWHERE you say “Nanny!” It’s the sweetest thing.

Love you to the moon,

Your Mama

Brantley: 22 months

Brantley,

We have officially entered a new realm of toddlerhood which consists of you saying a bunch of syllables and us usually having no idea what you’re talking about. Well… I take that back. We can usually figure out at least one word of the few you’re trying to say but other than that it’s a crap-shoot and constant guessing game. We try to just get by with saying “Oh yeah???” and move along to another topic but sometime you are persistent that we figure it out. When we ask and continuously guess wrong, you stare at us as if we’re the crazy ones, but when we finally guess right, you shout “YEAH!!!” as if it’s the greatest moment in the history of the world.

You got to spend some time at Grandma and Pa Joe’s this month when they watched you a couple afternoons while Mommy and Daddy had to work and you LOVED watching (and feeding) the fish in the pond in their backyard. Even when we came to pick you up, you didn’t seem like you were in any hurry to leave.

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Shadow is no longer just the family dog, but he’s also your buddy. You give him hugs every night before bed and also before naps, and if you (or we) forget and you get all the way upstairs without a hug you’ll immediately yell “Shadow!!!” and rush to the steps to go back downstairs to hug him. Apparently this is a big deal. And it’s so, so sweet.

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Our neighbors have become good friends of ours and their daughter… well… let’s just say she’s easy on the eyes from the perspective of a nearly 2 year-old. Seeing that she already turned 3 earlier this summer, it’s safe to say you have your way with older women.

Every day when we get home, we run across the yard to her house to see if she’s home. Even when she’s not home, you like to play in her front yard and driveway more than you do your own – it’s just more fun.

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This is one of my favorite photos of you so far… I just had to add it in this post. It was a normal morning getting dropped off with Nana and Papa for the day. Of course you were in your sleeper because that’s comfy and Mama is all about you being comfy when we can get away with it. Your Uncle Cam had dropped by Nana’s house and Papa took this photo of the three of you. It’s just perfect.

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Memories from this month of your life…

  • You are currently obsessed with babies. Every time Zoey comes over, who is only a couple months old now, you want to sit next to her mom and just stare at Zoey. It’s the most precious thing. That is… until Mommy picks her up in which case you get super clingy and try to crawl onto my lap and take back your position as the only baby in my life.
  • Your other obsession is poop and you yell “POOP!” anytime anyone goes to the bathroom.
  • Last year for your birthday you were given a tee-ball set and Daddy found an old Little Tikes basketball hoop that we set it up for you in the front yard… and now you ask for “baseball!” from the moment you wake up until bedtime.
  • Like a true beach kid, you have a few pairs of flip flops but apparently there’s quite a learning curve and you’re still on it – constantly falling and tripping over them.
  • We tried out your balance bike, too but without much luck. Maybe next month.
  • EVERY DAY we play outside. And every day is the best day.

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Brantley, you bring so much joy to our lives and I am so lucky to call you mine.

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Love you,

Mama

 

 

Brantley: 21 months

Brantley,

This Easter was a little different than years past because we spent the weekend in West Virginia at Snowshoe! The condo was available and the weather looked great so we drove out for one last weekend on the slopes. Well… Daddy hit the slopes while you and I relaxed at the condo, which was the perfect way to spend a quiet weekend away.

On Easter morning, we brought you downstairs to follow the track of jellybeans the Easter bunny left behind leading you to your Easter basket filled with flips flops, sunglasses, a new slinky, and other little toys that were perfect for our little boy. Snowshoe hosted their very own Easter egg hunt later that morning and in sweatshirts and fleece jackets (a little different than what we wear at home), we scoured the village for little plastic eggs filled with treats that Mommy and Daddy would eat later. There were so many kids there you only got a few eggs but you didn’t seem to mind, and at the end of the hunt you were pretty excited about the treasures in your bucket.

Whenever G-Daddy comes over to visit, you grab your walker toy and hand him the popper and for the next half hour the two of you run back and forth, back and forth across the living room floor.

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You and Shadow are becoming best buds – you love to feed him in the mornings and evenings and you also like sitting on him. Apparently this is lots of fun.

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Special moments and memories:

  • Your favorite food is a quesadilla, which you call “dilla” but whenever we go out for Mexican food we have to hide the chips from you because once you see those chips it’s game over.
  • Last month you were interested in Baby Zoey but definitely did NOT want me to hold her. This month you seem to be warming up to her a little more and whenever Christie and Will bring her over, all you want to do is sit next to Christie and stare at Zoey. My little boy, who is only still when he’s asleep, will sit there completely calm for 10 minutes or so while watching Zoey sleep. It’s the most precious thing.
  • Along with your newfound love of reggae music, you’ll now ask for “Marley” when you wake up in the mornings.
  • We started trying Time Out with you this month but you didn’t really seem to get it initially. You would just kinda sit there and look at us while sitting on the steps, kicking your feet, smiling, and obviously not feeling very punished. So we stopped it after a little while and figured we would try again soon. But then every time we would tell you “no” you would immediately point to the steps as if asking if you were going to Time Out. So maybe you understand more than you’re leading on.
  • You’ve added “oh yeah!” and “woah!” to your vocabulary but your favorite word is “dilla-boo” but we have absolutely NO CLUE what it means.
  • And your favorite book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, especially the part when the caterpillar gets a stomachache. You grab your tummy as soon as we turn to that page and make a grumbling unintelligible spoken version of “stomachache” and it’s absolutely adorable.

We love you, Brantley.

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Love, Your Mama

 

 

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