Jaren is officially two, but he still seems like such a baby to me! With his plush cheeks, chunky thighs, and little waddle… it’s hard to think of him as anything but. But I know he is growing up. I can see it in the way he’s lengthening out, the way his clothes are loosening up (wah, losing his baby chubs), and the way he’s growing more into his own person with his own (strong) opinions.
These past two years have flown by. It feels a lot faster the second time around, so I try to savor what I can.
He loves to nuzzle his cheeks against mine (not that I mind!)
*Note: Doc said he follows the CDC growth chart after kids turn 2. Before that, he was using the WHO growth chart.
Height: 35.75 inches (91st percentile)
Weight: 33 pounds (90th percentile)
Head: I forgot (but it was 75th percentile)
If you were to ask me to describe him, I’d say he is full of life, exuberant, passionate, affectionate, giving, and so so loving. He is generous with his hugs and kisses, and he doesn’t mind sharing. If you ask him to give up or share something, he usually will do it freely (lucky Noelle).
Cuddly with his loveys
This doesn’t mean he is a pushover though. This boy can hold his own.
He is a softy, but he is also determined, strong-willed, opinionated, feisty, fearless, and full of energy. As one friend so accurately described, he is a bulldozer. He is so strong in both mind and body! If he wants something, it is hard to control him. He’ll try to lurch out of my arms, arch his back, and shout at the top of his lungs. Oy. The two’s are definitely here. This determination will play in our favor in the future right?? (Let’s hope!)
I asked him to close his eyes because I was trying to take a pic of his newly formed double eyelids, so he gave me this.
He is obsessed with anything his sister is into. Since she loves Shopkins, he loves them too! But he has a mind of his own too, and some other favorites include Cars and My Little Pony (sorry son, I just outed you on the internet). He loves to build things – stack blocks, create tall towers with magnatiles, connect Legos – then he likes to smash them down (one of Noelle’s frequently used phrases when they play together is, “Nooooo Jaren!!”)! He also likes to throw things, and color on himself/the walls/the sofa/our tiled floors. His coloring really knows no bounds (yay?).
He hates getting stuff on his hands, so despite being the messy little guy that he is… he must have sticky or wet things wiped off his hands immediately. He’ll wave and signal for us to get him paper, so he can clean all the yuck off. He also insists that trash get thrown away immediately. He’ll rush to a trashcan right after he’s done with something, so he can toss the offending item.
He hates sitting in poopy diapers, so he will let us know when he needs a diaper change (hopefully this makes potty training a breeze, though I’m still in no hurry to give it a shot!). So ironically, my messy bulldozer of a guy is also a closet clean freak.
Speaking of closets – guess who I found in my dirty hamper!
I don’t know which he likes more, to play with food or to actually eat it. He’ll smear it all around the table, toss it on the floor, rub it in his hair, pat it on his belly… you name it, he’s tried it! Like many toddlers, he can be a fickle eater, but we just keep offering in hopes that one day he’ll love it. He looooves meat, chicken, and pork. He won’t touch his veggies (or rather, he doesn’t like cooked veggies – he can down salad like nobody’s business though), and raspberries and strawberries are almost always a hit with him. His favorite snacks are applesauce pouches, yogurt pouches, and anything gummy (i.e. gummy vitamins and fruit snacks).
He has always been a pretty flexible sleeper. If we put him down for a nap or bedtime late, it’s no big deal. It makes it easy to lug him around, and we don’t worry too much about planning our schedule around his. Usually he’ll take about a 2-3 hour nap between 12:30-3:30 pm, then he’ll go down at night around 8 pm and sleep until 7-7:30 am the next day. For the longest time, he would wake up at 6-6:30 am like clockwork (regardless of when we put him down at night)… but about a month before he turned two, that changed and he started sleeping past 7 (hooray!!)!
He loves to read, but it’s not really reading in the traditional sense. It’s more like him flipping through pages, pointing out details, and me reiterating what things are (goes something like this… “YES! that is a doggie. What color is that doggy??” – then he’ll answer, and so on and so forth with every page). Most of his favorite books are by Sandra Boynton, such as Doggies, Blue Hat, Green Hat, Opposites, and Moo-Baa-La-La-La. He also likes one called Five Little Monkeys based off the song of the same name. He thinks it’s sooo funny that they all fall down and bonk their heads!
I feel like he really soaks up everything around him! He is acquiring more and more words each day, and I no longer keep track of what they are. However, even if he can’t say something, he can definitely understand you… there’s no fooling him! He can count a little past 10… maybe up to 14? (sorry, second time mom here). He knows most his letters, and all his colors too. He’s been telling us he loves us since he was 19 months old, and my heart still melts every time I hear those three perfect words.
This is what he sounds like in real life when he talks:
Yes = “Yeth!”
Milk = “Mill”
Elephant = “Ell-pent”
I Love You = “I Wuvyoo”
It is impossible to blog about Jaren without mentioning Noelle because she has been such a big part of his life from day one. They are really good to each other (most of the time). This doesn’t mean we don’t get our share of fights though. Sometimes I feel like a broken record trying to get them to share or take turns. Other times, they freely give without any prompting from me.
Jaren is so physical and Noelle so delicate, that we often have to play referee to make sure he’s not being too rough (climbing all over her, grabbing her hair, butting into her, etc.) – he’s not intentionally trying to hurt her, he’s just rough! They do have a special bond though. Noelle often speaks for him, defends him, and gives him first dibs on snacks and toys while she waits her turn. It warms my heart most when I see them comforting each other when they get sad, or when they freely show affection for no reason at all. I’m so glad they’ll always have each other, and hope they’ll grow to be the best of friends.
But their relationship is better told with pictures than words…
There is so much more I can say about this little guy. He has been such a bright light in our lives, and we love him so so much. Hard to believe there was ever a world without him in it.
Jaren and I the morning of his birthday.
Happy 2 years, my little JareBear. You really are like a teddy bear, so cuddly and sweet. I’m so thankful for you.