In celebration of his "Birthday Week," he got to open a new book each night at bedtime. I've noticed that toddlers don't do well receiving lots of presents all at once (they hardly glance at one before they want to tear open the next), so I decided to space out his presents a little, and I am really glad I did. He was so excited to open a book each night and snuggle in my lap to read it. We may have to continue this tradition every year!
We did our annual balloon release and each of us made a wish for Noah. I wished that Noah will get a sibling this year; Sally said that I stole her wish, so instead she wished that Noah will learn to eat meat (amen to that one!); Ryan wished that Noah will not knock out any of his teeth; Tanner wished that Noah will not forget him (he is leaving for a two-year church mission at the end of this month!); Katie also wished that Noah will not forget her (she is going to teach English in Ukraine for 5 months); and Drew wished that he will be able to see Noah more often now that we live closer to them. Noah LOVED watching each of the balloons floating into the sky. This boy is still obsessed with balloons.
Noah is the most talkative little two-year old, and he makes me laugh every day with his comments about the world. Here are a couple of my recent favorite stories (interspersed with Noah's "two year old photos" taken about six weeks ago by my friend, Lexi Johnson):
-When he is playing at the playground, he occasionally comes over to me and asks, "Be nice to your friends?" This is his way of tattling when he thinks other kids aren't being nice to him. I will respond, "Yep, we need to be nice to our friends!" And with that validation, he runs off and starts playing again.
-When I was a kid, my mom would sing us a song about patience, so naturally, I've been singing it to Noah since he was a baby. Whenever he threw a fit because he wasn't getting what he wanted quickly enough, I would sing, "Be patient, be patient, don't be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, it only makes you worry. Remember, remember that God is patient too. And think of all the times that others had to wait for you!" A few weeks ago, Noah requested peanut butter toast for breakfast, but then he started freaking out when the toaster wasn't fast enough for his liking. I said, "Noah, please be patient." And all of the sudden, he spontaneously started singing the song. At first I didn't recognize it and didn't realize what he was doing, but then I heard these words loud and clear: "Member, Member God patient too. Think of times other people wait for YOU." Cutest thing ever!!!! And in the weeks since, anytime I mention the word "patient," without fail, he launches into the song. :)
-Speaking of church, the other day, he was being a rascal in Sacrament Meeting and screaming during prayers and such, so I took him into an empty classroom and sat him in a chair. I told him it was a "sad choice" to scream in church, and he was in time-out. I stood outside the classroom door for 30 seconds, and then I went back in and told him that we needed to practice being reverent. I showed him how to fold his arms, and I helped him practice whispering. Then I told him it was time to go back into the meeting, and he said, "No, fanks! Noah wants to stay in time-out. You leave now, Mommy." Well that backfired! :) (And P.S. the way he says "No, fanks!" is my absolute favorite.)
-Noah is really friendly. He likes to learn people's names and use them (including his grandparents, whom he sometimes calls "Sally" and "Gordon"). A little neighbor girl babysat for us last week, and she told me later that when she sneezed, he said, "Bless you, Bayli! Bless you!" :) When Noah doesn't know people's names, he will call them "Friend," "Lady," or "Guy." "Hi, Lady!" he will shout at a woman walking by us at the grocery store, or "Hi, Guy!" at a man passing us in a parking lot. I love how much he notices and acknowledges people.
-Yesterday, Noah and I drove to a nearby lake to play in the sand and go swimming. This lake is only about 10 minutes from our house, but when you drive down into the canyon to get there, the landscape dramatically changes from green farmland to craggy, rugged, red and black rocks. As we were nearing the canyon rim, I heard a little voice in the backseat state matter-of-factly: "Oh my gosh, Mommy. Oh my gosh. That's a lot of rocks." Grinning, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Noah wearing his ridiculous sunglasses taking in the beautiful scene ahead of us. Love those moments.
-Last but not least, Noah has taken to telling me I'm pretty. Most of the time when Noah and I are hanging out at home, I am in sweats or workout clothes, so when I come out of my room dressed in a decent outfit, his face lights up in a huge grin, and he says, "Ooooh. Mommy's pretty!" Melt my heart, why don't ya?
I love this little boy, and I have loved spending the past two years of my life taking care of him, learning from him, and watching him discover the world. It really is an amazing privilege.
Happy Two Years, Noah Bug!