0 to 2.5

In what seems like days.  I mean really long days but you get what I am saying.  Today my sweet baby boys are 2 and a half (30 months) my friends years old.  The changes happen so fast right now.  The learning is in super warp speed.  The new skills, the excitement of everyday life, and the uncontrollable emotions that they feel each day .. whew.  It is really hard to be 2.5 years old sometimes :-)

People call this the terrible two's and I get it.  One thing that I read early on about the two's that resonated with me was that we feel as adults each and everyday the same emotions that they do.  We however, as adults have learned (or some adults have.. ha!) the practice of self control and discipline.  If we let our emotions take control of us, we end up on the floor kicking and screaming too.. at least I would!  But this age, even with all its challenges is SO PRECIOUS.  They are in this little time warp between not being a baby, but not being a big kid yet either.  They still want and love their mommy and daddy. We are still cool.  Yet they are starting to become independent little people.  I watch them start to try and navigate the world.   To fit into social groups and learn how to interact and communicate.  And I think.. what happened to my babies?  

They are the HAPPIEST 2 kids.  Don't get me wrong.  We have gone through a little rough spot with each of them (more on that in a later seperate post) and when they don't feel good then it can be tough.  But they laugh so easily.  They love so freely.  They open their eyes wide and take in the wonders of the world and find so much JOY in everyday.  I read this on my monthly calendar when I flipped over this month "Life is full of simple pleasures, it is up to you to make them special memories."  And that is what my daily adventures with my boys have been about.   On  a random day, I took them to a donut shop (no special occasion and the first time I have ever taken them).  I spent $3 but left with priceless memories.

We were on our way to a birthday party 2 weeks ago.  We were running a little late and got stopped by a train.  Justin starts pulling off and cutting through a parking lot and I said to him "wait!  Let's watch.. the boys will love it."  He said " I know, I am getting them closer" And that is why he is THE BEST DAD EVER.

And they recently had great fun during our "free cleaning" from the Kirby sales man.  (Didn't buy one, felt bad for the guy but come on, $2000 for a vacuum!!)

They love to "climb" the tree in the front yard and play in the dandelions in the lot beside us.  Beckett got in the tree first.  Believe it or not he is my brave and fearless when it comes to activities.  Eli tends to be a bit more cautious.  Beckett said "take my picture" so of course, Eli had to take his picture too.  You can tell he is scared though!

And jumping.  Anything that involves jumping.  

They LOVE their Elmo and Cookie Monster costumes.  In fact, if its close to nap or close to bedtime, I try and hide them because I have such a hard time getting them out of them sometimes!  The best part is they think its really funny for Mom to hug the Elmo and Cookie Monster.  It's really like hugging a live stuffed animal. I love it!  What's funny is that even when I try and get them to "switch" they won't do it.  Firmly and forever, Eli is Elmo and Beckett is The Cookie Monster and they call each other that while wearing the costumes!

And oh how they love to wrestle.  Or should I say, Eli loves to wrestle.  Beckett thinks its funny at first but then Eli is always a little too rough and Beckett ends up hurt.  What's funny is what they say to each other when they wrestle.  When Beckett gets tired he says "That's enough Eli" (which is exactly what I say!)  At the grocery store this week, they were sitting side by side driving the "car" and Eli pushed Beckett's arm so Beckett pushes back.  Eli then starts yelling "Keep your hands to yourself Beckett" Which makes Beckett dissolve into uncontrollable laughter and says back to him "Keep your hands to yourself Eli" More laughter over and over.  Until Beckett ends up crying because Eli pushes too hard!

Here is my effective discipline strategy on getting Eli to stop pestering Beckett :-)

Eli can not leave Beckett alone.  It is impossible.  Beckett rarely instigates anything between the two however, he is not backing down at all either :-)  I blame Justin.  Well actually, I blame a long line of Riley men that like pranks, "picking" and pestering.  This little guy gets it honest.  Its impossible for Justin to walk by me without "messing" with something.  Here is a prime example of Eli's behavior.  I say "Its time to go to mommy's bed to watch our night time cartoon" Eli gets up runs to the doorway to the hall and stands in it and holds out both arms so Beckett can't get past!  Beckett is trying to get by and Eli is determined not to let him and says "say the magic word!"  Justin does stuff like that to me all the time!!

Want a sampling of why they sleep in separate rooms?  Just listen to this on a day they "napped" in the same room when we had family in town.  Ha!  Not much napping going on in there :-)

Although Eli tends to be more of mommy's helper, they both are good at doing their "chores".  Unloading the dishwasher (they put up the tupperware, bowls, and spoons), washing the dishes, holding the pan while I sweep, throwing things in the trash and their favorite is "shooting" the laundry in the washing machine.  

Sometimes they sit in their high chairs and sometimes they join us for meals.  Just depends on if we are eating at the same time and if Justin is town. We actually really enjoy having them at the table and they are practicing saying "May I be excused" when they are done.  Eli has it and it is PRECIOUS.  Beckett screams for a minute and then finally settles down and will give me "Cuse me please" .. I'll take it :-)  

They love the Ipad. Some of their favorite games are Monkey Preschool, Shape Puzzle, Glow Coloring, PreschoolMM, Preschool Adventure Island, and Art Maker.  It recently came in really handy at the doctor office.  We were there forever doing test and they had strep (poor guys) a couple of weeks ago.  I kept them entertained with games and when they got bored with that, we watched a movie!

They also love their nap mats.  They lay on them to watch cartoons when they get tired and they also like to hide cars in them too!

And I should say, they love cars, trucks, and trains.  We play "cars" everyday. That involves tracks of various kinds, different types of cars, racing, crashing, and Eli's favorite thing to say "Mom!  There are cars EVERYWHERE!"

Their favorite thing to watch on "TB" as Beckett calls it is this show that is fairly new to Disney Channel.  It must be something really special because they no longer want to watch "Woody & Buzz" the top choice 95% of the time right now is "THE OCTONAUTS" which is really great.  I mean, I have learned about all kinds of sea creatures that I never knew about.  Just ask Justin about the "snapping shrimp" :-)

Other choices that they might go for is "Mator Monster truck" or "Mator Airplane" which is this little clip at the end of Cars 2 in the bonus features.  They love to watch it over.. and over... and over.. and over. Of course Mickey is still popular, and OSO seems to be gaining some popularity around here.  

This face right here is "the Beckett " -

That smile!  That giggle.  Beckett is a LOVER.  Seriously.  He gives the best hugs and he squeezes you so tight and sometimes pats you with the softest little teddy bear hands you have ever felt. He gives great kisses.  He gives spontaneous kisses.  Sometimes just throws his arms around my neck in that sweet munchkin voice says "oh mommy, I love you" and gives me a kiss.  When we are playing, he wants to sit in my lap.   We call him "flounder" because he likes to roll around in his bed for a good half hour before getting up.  (Uncle Bubba.. this comes from you!) and he cannot be still.  If he sits in your lap he is floundering :-) and always moving.  He loves loves his blanket.  He loves loves milk or "nuk" as it sounds like.  You want get rice or pasta pass his lips. He recently found a love for steak and has been asking for it every meal.  He reads books to himself.  I will often pick him up from the gym and find him on the couch with books reading by himself. He will lay in his bed with books at nap time and read until he goes to sleep.  He goes to sleep so good too.  Such sweet bed times and prayers he says.  He weighed 34 lbs last time we were at the doctor and is somewhere around 34 to 35 inches.  His new saying is "change my diaper" and "I want to watch TB, find the mote" Because obviously we never know where it is!  When he plays, he sings songs to himself. In fact, he sings a lot.  Pretty much just walks around singing beautiful little songs.  Life is a Highway remains his favorite although they both love "Peanut Butter & Jelly" song.  Everyday he ask to go the "payground" and wherever we pass in the car he spots them a mile away - indoors and out!"   He loves to say "oh no! what u gonna do!" He says it about everything! And oh how he loves his brother.  Even in their worse fights, it can take 5 seconds for Beckett to be looking for Eli again.  He thinks Eli is really "super cool" and funny.  And Beckett says "thats cool" about most things Eli does.

And they both love to grocery shop and farmer market shop.  Here is Beckett talking about vegetables :-)

My Eli is a conversationalist.  He really has the biggest sentences and understands a lot of concepts.  He calls me "mom" Pretty much every sentence directed toward me ends in "mom".  "look at me swinging mom" "come sit by me mom" Sweetest Eli story: we were at Target shopping and I told the boys hang on I'll be really fast but I want to try on this shirt.  I didn't go in the dressing room because I had on a tank top so I just slipped it on over and I turned around and Eli said "your beautiful mom" Just totally out of the blue!  I will remember and treasure it always.  That child wakes up EVERYDAY and asks for a "yemon cookie". He goes to bed asking for a "yemon cookie" What kind of cookie? These! Now help me explain to a 2.5 year old that Girl Scout cookies are seasonal?  I have tried to recreate but nothing has met the standard yet :-(

Trying a "yemon cookie" recipe from the internet
Eli is very particular about how things should be and they are done the "right way" This is a little against mom's grain sometimes.  The other day he was crying at naptime and I went to check.  He tells me "you didn't shut the drawer, shut the drawer mom".  I had gotten a blanket out and I have a terrible habit of leaving drawers and cabinets open.  Justin can't stand it and apparently Eli can't either!  He immediately puts things in the trash.  He ate some chips the other day and spilled some of the couch. I hear him yelling "help me mom" and I go to the hallway and he is pulling out the vacuum.  And would you believe it?  I turned it on for him and he vacuumed up every last spilled chip crumb (Beckett ran from the vacuum cleaner if that tells you where he stands!)  He likes for his toys to be lined up too when he is playing. Both of the pictures he did by himself.

He constantly asks about everything.  "Where we going mom?" He recently decided he doesn't like milk anymore.  Won't drink it all.  We battle over the juice all day long.  He is allowed 2 cups of juice (watered down) but he asks for more all day long.  Doesn't cry or beg but simple says "cup of juice mom?" I think just hoping I will lose count or give in!  Its water for him the rest of the time.  He is an awesome eater.  Really.  Loves kale chips, loves brussel sprouts, even loved my roasted cabbage.  He has a wide range of foods that he eats but his favorite is "mickey mouse pancakes" made especially by Daddy.  And speaking of Daddy.. he is somewhat a Daddy's boy.  He loves his mom and only wants me when its time for bed. He is my helper.  He says "I help you mom" all day long. And I let him help do anything I possibly can. He even "helps" with Beckett (finding his shoes, toy, blanket, etc) He can find anything!  But when he wants to play, he wants his Daddy! They are a wrestling, tickling, jumping, crazy acting pair those two! 

Playing "taco stand" 
He too weighed about 32 lbs and the same height as Beckett.  He does not have an attachment to any special blanket like Beckett but he is particular about having his bed and his "friends" exactly perfect for nap and bedtime. He also loves to be rocked "by mommy" wrapped in his blanket.  Twice a day thank you :-)  

It is amazing to me that 2 babies born at the same time raised in the same way can be so different.  But that is God's design.  Each one of us individually made, loved, and blessed with different gifts.  I thank God each night when we say our prayers for both of them and for allowing me to honor of being their mom. 

Here is their "official" 2.5 year old shots I took before church this morning!  They both were not wanting pictures at all. I had to corral them in a tree to get some shots. 

Hopefully at our next update, we will have potty training news.  I am doing the 3 day bootcamp next week.  I can't imagine a life without diapers!  Or a life taking 2 boys to the bathroom all the time.  That will be a huge milestone for us if we can make it happen.   

Can't wait to see what the next 2.5 bring - hard to believe that will be 5 years old!   Wow.. I will be really grey by then!  Ha! 


The Riley's

The Riley FamilyComment