Gabriel is a quiet and gentle spirit. He's an internal processor like his daddy and a heavy-duty observer before he's a participant. He wears his heart on his sleeve like his mama, is compassionate and caring but also stubborn like both his parents. His perfectionism can trigger mama's hot headedness so thank goodness he also carries Christopher's mellow demeanor. He enjoys calm activities like jigsaw puzzles, books, and play-doh and thrives off routine. So much of his personality is already quite visibly a reflection of our (Chris and mine) own behavior which holds us accountable to our words and actions more than I ever imagined. There is a strong desire within him to have independence, as I imagine is burning within every 2 year old, so we are challenged daily to honor, foster and direct that in appropriate ways that satisfies both of our needs. We get glimpses of his desire to wrestle around with Brenik and look forward to watching that play relationship develop.
Enjoying: Riding his bike through the park and waving at dogs saying, "hi doggie!" Watching boats, pointing out planes and helicopters, riding trains, playing play-doh, stickers, praying with Brenkin ("Dear Jesus, thank you for this day, amen!"), washing his toys in the tub, singing, dancing to any and all music (when the bells chime in the park he'll stop and do a little boogie), visiting the library, reading books, running, observing other kids play, being a toddler boy in love with the big outdoors! Because of the Pigeon books by Mo Williems he's added talking to the pigeons to his daily activities, "How you doin' pigeon! Drive bus?!"
Eating: Everything! He eats what we eat and the rare occasions he isn't too excited about dinner after trying it he doesn't put up a fuss, says he's all done and continues with getting ready for bed. He'd probably eat ketchup on anything if we'd let him which is how my sister was as a child. Some of his favorite foods include oranges (I think because he likes to separate, count, and arrange them on his plate), hot dogs, muffins, tempura pumpkin, soups (any and all, doesn't matter), yogurt, kid cliff bars, avocado, humus, broccoli, and chicken quesadillas. I can't think of anything that he doesn't like, like I said he'll eat just about anything. We had BLT&As with homemade tomato soup (blended up tomatoes in the VitMix with seasonings and such) and the kid never touched his bacon, but ate three bowls of soup and extra tomatoes. I keep thinking one of these days we aren't going to be surprised by his awesome eating habits but man, it gets us every time!
Saying: Being able to somewhat hold conversations with Gabriel makes my days more and more interesting! He wakes up every morning knowing more words and being able to string more together properly. We listen to a lot of music so in addition to talking with each other he grabs language from the songs he hears and sings his own renditions of those songs while he plays, eats, and winds down for bed. The other night he started off with Twinkle Twinkle little star which somehow in the middle seamlessly became Ba Ba Black Sheep and ended back on Twinkle Twinkle. It's fun to be there when he verbally makes connections between things he knows and experiences. Some of his most used phrases include:
I like that.
I use pee. (I need to go pee.)
I use pee. (I need to go pee.)
Oh my goodness.
How you doin'?
How you doin'?
He's also starting to mimic Japanese he hears on the elevator and in the shopping malls. When we were at a market there was a man in the seafood section calling out like you see at Pike's Place Market and Gabriel was yelling back everything the man said. I of course thought it sounded exactly the same but something tells me it was probably just gibberish.
Sleeping: My friends and I feel like this whole 2 year old sleep regression came out of left field! Seriously, where did my good sleeper go? He still sleeps great, it's the getting to sleep that seemed to be a nightly battle up until a week or two ago. Up until recently his door had to be roped closed until Chris left just after 5am. We also had to tape the light switch in his room down on the on position so we can control it with the remote only- he kept getting out of bed and turning it on. The sleep regression has been going strong for the last 5 months, started towards the end of my pregnancy. Hopefully were done with it, I think it's partially age and partially him fighting really hard for control in some area of his life with everything changing so quickly in his tiny little world. What has helped has been sticking 100% to his routine, any amount of wavering results in moving 10 steps back. After dinner he uses the bathroom, brushes his teeth, reads a book, says goodnight to me and Brenik, gets his last drink of water, says a prayer with Chris, gives kisses (lips, head, and both checks), then gets tucked in for bed. He's allowed books to read and typically spends about an hour reading, singing and playing with his stuffed animals in bed.
I love being woken by his precious little self each morning being greeted with a, "mommy, light green!" as he crawls into bed with me. Every day is a new adventure filled with new things learned and experienced. It's both amazing and saddening to me to know that in just 2 short years he'll be starting school in the fall, no longer at home with me for the entirety of the day. Tears well in my eyes at the thought of it but the reminder helps push me to live in each and every moment we have together.