Saturday, February 4, 2012

Three Years

Today, we celebrate our favorite boy's birthday.  He's three today.  I can't believe it's been only three years since he joined our family; it feels like he's been with us for longer than that.  Some say the early years fly by with the blink of the eye, but let me assure you; we've felt most every moment of the last three years with this one.  (Just kidding.  Mostly.) 
4 days old and trying to learn to eat and keep himself warm in the NICU

He announced his intention to join our family five weeks before we expected him to, and then he took his sweet time actually making his grand entrance.  Twenty eight hours.  But who was counting?  He's still following his own schedule, and we love him! 

We celebrated his birthday while in Georgia over the holidays.  AK is having a party here in Singapore, but he doesn't have any friends yet to invite to a party.  So, we hastily put together a little celebration.   If you've seen him in person or in pictures during the last year, you'll know that the his party was perfect for him. 

PaPa surprised him with John Deere tractor balloons, which he loved.

He was a little shy when we sang to him, but he enjoyed every minute.

We were thankful for the grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles who joined us for the celebration!

The kids had a ball.  There's a certain squeal of joy that is contagious when you turn five kids loose in a wooden floored hallway with a dozen bouncy balls.  It's a game I loved as a kid, and from the sounds in that hallway, so do they.

B3 spent a little quality time with his old friend, Daisy.

 And cousins from both sides enjoyed a wagon ride around the yard, compliments of PaPa.  (The Birthday Boy wishes PaPa's tractor was green, but he's not one to pass up a tractor ride, no matter the color!)

He was thrilled with all of his gifts, but the green and yellow ones with tires and hitches were his favorites. 

He obviously loves All Things John Deere, and he rarely leaves the house without a car of some kind in his pocket.  He lights up at the sight of Lightning McQueen, and trash trucks and police cars cannot pass without commotion. He thanks God for Duck Boats and Cable Cars at every meal (I still need to blog about those), and he adores all types of transportation. He currently loves to wash dishes play in the soapy dishwater whenever he can. One of his favorite books is The Smash Up Crash Up Derby, and he's still singing Jingle Bells every day. 

He's firmly entered the land of "Me, Too!" and wants to do any and everything his sister does - from painting his toenails, doing homework, buying Disney Princess souvenirs, being punished, dancing, and eating candy. Obviously, we sometimes offer him alternative activities.

He's growing a little; his 18 month shorts are just now beginning to fit.  We can tell he's grown an inch or so taller since we've been here; he can push the 11th floor elevator button with ease while he struggled in August.  I'm not complaining about his size; it's definitely convenient that he's small when he's in his current phase of "Pick me up!".  It's still easy to cuddle and snuggle him, too - when he's willing.  I suppose soon enough he'll grow out of that, and I'll be chastised for calling him "Sunshine" when he's 12.  Until then, I'll take what I can.

While he still has a considerable speech delay, his non verbal communication skills are excellent.  He's finally asking some "Where?" questions, and I'm actually looking forward to the day of the endless "Why?".  We've just started therapy with our second speech therapist since we've been in Singapore, and we think she'll be an excellent ally as we continue to help him find his words.  I know that three year olds are notorious for their non-stop chatter, but his words are probably 90% important - communicating a need or want or asking about what we're doing, where we're going and how we're going there (train, taxi, or bus).   When the day comes when I'm looking for ear plugs, I pray I remember how far we've come and how thankful we are for his voice.  We've got a long way to go, but we'll get there eventually.  Look at how far he's already come. Obviously, he's still on his own schedule, even three years later.
Happy Birthday, B3! 

First Birthday - 2010

Second Birthday 2012


Chrystal said...

What a sweet post!! Happy, happy birthday Ben!! We miss that sweet face.

Alicia said...

We love our B3! What a fun party we had! We're looking forward to the next one!