Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Happy Third Birthday, Kiddo!

We celebrated our sweet Kiddo's third birthday last weekend. I now completely understand why random people will come up to me in the grocery store and tell me, "Enjoy it - they grow so fast."  It seems impossible that this picture was taken almost three years ago.

What a sweet little face!

I talk about Kiddo here and there, but I've never devoted a whole post on the blog to just him. I have a few reasons for that, which I shared in a post about me a while back:
"I guard Kiddo's privacy pretty closely. Part of that is because once I share a picture online, I have no control over what happens to it. The other part is simply that this is not his blog. It's my outlet, and I love it, but Kiddo didn't sign up for this blog. I want to respect him and not over-share, because one day he'll be a teen or adult looking at what I wrote - or it may be his peers who are doing the reading. I don't want to have regrets. This is a personal choice, and one I didn't come to lightly."
But today I want to share a little bit about my sweet little man at age three, since I am terrible about keeping a baby book and want to remember this time.

Kiddo is all boy. He loves to build things, play with cars, and work alongside his daddy whenever possible. Most of all, he seems to have boundless energy that can exhaust this mama pretty quickly if I don't get enough rest. (And coffee, of course!)

Much like his mommy at that age, Kiddo loves to be social and make friends. If we frequent someplace enough (like the grocery store or Chick-Fil-A), we are on a first-name basis with the employees in no time.

He also has a sweet side. I love to receive his spontaneous hugs and kisses and cherish the occasional unprompted "I love you." Kiddo is always excited about something - asking to dance with me to music or show me his newest accomplishment. Just like any toddler, he can be a challenge, but I'm so grateful for the joy he brings into our lives every day.

Kiddo's Favorite Things:

Fixin' Things:

Kiddo loves his tool set and knows the difference between a Phillips and flat head screw driver. (He prefers Phillips.) You may remember that I created a toolbox station  to protect our furniture from his "projects"!
Now that he's a little older, he enjoys pretending to fix things in the garage. He's "helped" hubby make repairs to both our push mower and riding mower, so he'll often pull out his tools to work on his Bubble Mower or bikes. If he keeps this up, he'll be a huge help to Hubby as he grows.

Thomas the Train:

Kiddo often prefers to watch Daniel Tiger, Curious George, or Super-Why over Thomas & Friends most days, but he loves the Thomas train set he received last Christmas. When I found Thomas t-shirts and jammies at a yard sale for a dollar, I snatched them up quick as I could. Now he almost always asks for his Thomas jammies!


Hubby loves baseball and coaches our church softball team, so this really isn't a big surprise. One of Kiddo's first Christmas gifts was a baby baseball set. He learned early to swing a bat and hit a ball. The highlight of his second birthday was receiving an MLB t-ball set from his great-grandparents. He's always asking me to pitch the ball to him, and if he sees a bat anywhere, he has to play with it.  If Kiddo had a choice, he would wear a baseball shirt everyday, which is a problem since he only has three. There has been more than one tantrum over dirty baseball shirts. We're not pushing him too hard at this point, but I definitely see little league games in our future!

Bluegrass Music:

My husband is a good ol' Virginia-raised southern boy and he's passing on that heritage to Kiddo. When I came home from a ladies' retreat in February, the first thing Kiddo asked to do when we got in the car the next day was to listen to "bwoo-gass."
Thus began what is now a full-on obsession. Kiddo's favorite band is the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, and I think he would watch this video on repeat for hours if we let him. Sometimes for screen time, he'll ask to "watch bluegrass," a Pandora station that we can play on our Roku. He prefers fast banjo music and will grab a baseball bat or toy bowling pin as his "banjo" and pretend to play along, complete with sound effects. And if you're ever a guest in our house when bluegrass is on, be prepared to have a bowling pin shoved in your hands and to receive instructions from a lisping 3-year-old on how to play the "banjo" properly. :) It's pretty much the cutest thing ever.


*Updated 10/8 at 4:30 p.m. How could I forget George? Kiddo latched on to his stuffed Curious George from the moment he unwrapped him on his second birthday.
George goes almost everywhere with Kiddo. He's often one of my "bargaining chips" when we have to leave the house - "Come on, let's go! Ok, George can come with us, but he needs to stay in the car." And Kiddo certainly cannot sleep without him. He loves this little guy. :)
Giving George a "biiiiig hug"

Kiddo's Milestones:

This was a big year full of lots of growth and "big boy" achievements. Sad to say, there's very little baby left in this little man.


Kiddo was a bit of a late bloomer in the talking department. Last summer, most people couldn't understand him even though I could. But as he turned two and beyond, his speech became much clearer. He still struggles pronouncing /r/, /l/, and /s/, but should out-grow those in time. In his third year of life, we went from simple sentences to true conversation.
If you have a chatty toddler in your life, you know how hilarious they can be. It's fun to see how his little mind works and to hear him recount stories from his day. I recently wrote down some of his "Kiddo-isms" that made me chuckle:
  • "Mommy, when you get little, you can have the green toothbrush and I will have the purple toothbrush." (Apparently, since he will get big, I will get little someday.)
  • "When I'm a mommy, I'll get to (do whatever I was doing that he wasn't allowed to do)."
  • "Is that muscle macaroni?" (elbow macaroni)
  • "I'll protect you from the scary thing, Mommy!" (Running over when a scary-sounding Halloween commercial came on the radio.)

Big Boy Bed:

In the beginning of June we made the switch from the crib to a toddler bed. Kiddo was content to stay in his crib and never tried to climb out, so we weren't in a hurry. It just felt like time.
Our plan was to go straight to a twin bed, but a neighbor had a toddler bed sitting out on their curb at the end of May. I spent a few weeks spray painting the "girly" white toddler bed a masculine navy blue and was so excited for the transformation. (Unfortunately, once we took away the pacifier, my beautiful paint job didn't last long!)
Kiddo took to the big boy bed like a champ! We kept it in his room for about a week before making the switch and talked up how he was going to sleep in a big boy bed soon. He was really excited to sleep in there the first night and was surprisingly obedient about staying in bed. He would not get out until one of us came to get him, and will still stay in his bed or room until one of us comes.
The "Big Boy Bed" right before the final coat of spray paint went on.

No More Paci:

I was very hesitant to take away Kiddo's pacifier because it had been a crucial part of our nap and bedtime routine, but I knew he was better off without it. Even though he was only allowed to have it when he slept, it appeared to be affecting both his teeth (we have a few family members in the dental field who had pointed this out) and his speech. We knew it was time, but I was still afraid of the unknown.
So over the summer, Hubby came up with the idea to use bacon as an incentive. Yes, bacon. This kid loves his food! We told him that if he slept without his paci, he could have bacon in the morning. Kiddo readily agreed since bacon is such a rare treat. Naptime was a more difficult transition (unfortunately, he no longer falls asleep for nap every day), and the rails on his bed suffered some serious teeth marks, but within a week he was completely weaned without too much drama.
By the end of our first week without a paci, most of the bed was covered with spots like these.

Potty Training:

Ugh. This milestone was the most difficult (and disgusting), but so worth it! It took us a little less than two months to fully potty train Kiddo. We started with pull-ups in June, but found that it didn't really "click" for him until we moved to underpants. By the end of July he was fully potty trained, save an occasional accident. It was a long and gross process, but I am very happy to be diaper-free now. We were using precautionary pull-ups at nap and bed, but after staying dry for several weeks, we just made the switch to big boy undies all the time. Yay, Kiddo!

It's hard to believe Kiddo is three already! I still call him my "baby," but there's nothing baby-ish about this big boy, except for the obligatory toddler tantrums. With all the change and excitement over the past year, I'm excited to see what the next one holds!

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