I think I have neglected to write enough about the boys. I love the holidays, but I hate the hectic schedules, especially now that I have these boys!
Chance hit another milestone this week: he finally figured out how to drink from a sippy cup. This is a great relief, as we'd been trying to get him to figure it out for the last few months. I'd resorted to letting him have a bottle with handles, which dripped everywhere. It's amazing how different kids excel at different things. Charlie knew how to suck through a straw at 6 months old, and figured out a sippy cup soon after, the first time we handed it to him. Maybe it's because he loved to nurse that he could figure it all that out. Speaking of nursing, now that Chance is fully weaned, we get more cuddle time instead, which has been sweet. And he didn't seem to mind being weaned at all, which is a stark contrast to Charlie as well. Charlie would actually slap me when I told him he couldn't nurse anymore! He was so mad! And I weaned Charlie to having a sippy cup of chocolate milk instead, whereas Chance doesn't like milk and doesn't need anything to go to sleep... His personality is just amazing to me. It takes a lot to make him mad, and he doesn't really throw fits yet (Charlie had that down by 6 months old!).
He's a little more shy than Charlie (Charlie thought all strangers were people who wanted to be entertained by him), and definitely more affectionate. More content to sit in your lap and love on you. This is one way he and Charlie are complements. Charlie likes to entertain and be in the spotlight, while Chance likes to observe. And while he's not as active as Charlie was, he definitely gets into things. Just this morning, Charlie's little couch was against our sofa, so he climbed up Charlie's, onto the sofa! He's beginning to figure out how to get down, too...but not enough that I could leave him on the sofa yet! He LOVES to climb the stairs, and is getting to where he remembers things... Like if I pull him off the stairs and bring him in another room and show him a toy, he gets right back up and goes back to the stairs! He's really into exploring the toilet right now too!
He also loves to imitate sounds. He makes the roaring sound for animals and engines. Recently my dad blew a whistle, and then Chance tried to make a whistle sound. He also loves to sing, dance, and as of today: clap! He is a bigtime drummer, as well!
Most of all, he loves his big brother. It is soo much fun to watch them play together. They chase each other around the house a lot, and almost wrestle. Anytime Charlie's around, Chance is happy, especially in the car. When I was driving back from Austin without Charlie recently, I noticed how much of a harder time Chance has when Charlie isn't around to entertain him. I think he just missed him too.
Charlie is also at a great stage right now. He is becoming even more self sufficient. He can pull his socks on by himself, wash his hands in the bathroom alone, turn light switches on and off without help, etc. He's also beginning to move from a sippy cup to big cup. Last night, after he showed me how good he was at drinking from a "big boy" cup, he proceeded to scoop his green beans and mashed potatoes and put them in it. Then he said, "Watch me, Mommy, drink my green beans." All boy, I tell you...
He has gotten to the point that I can leave him unattended and take a nap without worrying. That's huge for me. The only thing he might do is roll up all the small rugs in the house and group them together!?! Don't know why, but that's what he's really been into lately. Odd, I know.
He definitely has a great imagination. A couple of days ago, he went around his grandparents' house with his Aunt Mitsi and his water gun, hunting the lions and tigers. Usually there are only bears in our house. He sometimes goes ahead of me into each room of our house so he can protect me, and he shoots all the bears. He also takes his tools around and "fixes" everything. I often hear him in his room playing, making his toys talk to each other.
He can make deals now. Yesterday we shook on a deal that if he could not be cranky or disobedient, I wouldn't make him take a nap. Later that evening, when Chuck was home with him, he told Chuck he was going to go lay down in his room. Chuck asked if he was going to sleep, he said "No, just lay down." Of course he was passed out as soon as his head hit the pillow...
He likes to play with Chance. They really play well together overall, although once Chance realizes that Charlie takes all his toys, there may be problems... If Charlie hurts Chance he always gives him a kiss and tells him he's sorry. There have only been a couple of times that Charlie's ever intentionally hurt Chance, which has been a pleasant surprise to me. I know the days are coming when they may not get along so well, but for now I'm loving it!
He has quite a sense of humor. This morning as I walked out of the bedroom, Charlie said, "Hey Mommy." Then Chuck said, "Hey bebe." So Charlie imitates Daddy's voice and said, "Hey Bebe!" I think his laughing at himself afterwards is what makes it the funniest!!
Did I mention he can count to 11 and is working on his ABCs? He's just growing up way too fast, in my opinion!
Oh, and just after Thanksgiving, he began praying on his own! I guess from seeing everyone pray before meals, he decided he could do it. The first time we were eating at home afterwards, he prayed out loud, then asked Daddy to pray. Then he told me "I can't pray big like Daddy." It was so cute. We encouraged him that he did a great job, even if he couldn't say as much as Daddy...
I had been told once that the first year of having 2 boys 2 years apart was hard, but once I got past that, it would get so much easier, and I really think that it is true. Of course, Chance sleeping through the night is helping a lot! But now everyday I wake up excited that I get to play with the boys all day. Chuck and I talk often of all the things we want to do in the near future. I'm excited about teaching them, taking them places to learn and experience, and just playing with them. They are truly our greatest asset, I treasure them more than anything else this life could offer. How could I ask for more?!