As I've been doing the monthly posts for Josh, I thought it might be a good idea to try and capture some of the highlights of Owen's personality now that he is 2 2/3 years old. This is kind of a random sampling, but these are the things I want to look back on someday to remember this time...
Owen's imagination has really taken off recently. He recently set up a "train" in our living room and spent the day pretending to take all his toys on a trip to the beach - he gathered blankets for sitting in the sand and blocks to use as surfboards. And the last few days we have driven to school in our "car-boat," spying octopus and sharks, or hopped in a rocket ship to blast off toward "planet school." I love that he can set aside the toddler OCD for a bit and explore the world we are creating with our ideas and words. And it's really FUN!
He is so proud of his "funny face" and always asks me, "Mom, is this funny?"
Owen's other big thing is to pretend to be a tiger or a scary ghost - complete with roars and boos! We also recently went through a spell where he wanted to pretend to be the mom while I was the boy. Unfortunately, he never made lunch, did the dishes, or changed a diaper during that time...
His standard cheesy grin. I love it! And Owen loves seeing the pictures on the camera after we take them. He also loves looking at pictures on the computer and gets a kick out of guessing whether a picture is of Baby Owen or Baby Josh.
Thankfully, Owen's eating habits have improved since last summer, but we would in no way classify him as a "good" eater. Breakfast is generally a hit, we've found a standard lunch rotation, and dinner is about 50/50. Owen's favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly (for all three meals), chicken nuggets, oranges, warm milk, peaches, shredded cheese, cherry tomatoes, crackers of all kind, and granola bars. He's also recently discovered the joys of both cookies and candy and is often negotiating how much of his dinner he needs to eat to get a treat (we're working to change that...).
Owen still loves being my helper in the kitchen - stirring baked goods, pouring ingredients, running the mixer or blender, mixing mac n' cheese, mashing bananas, tearing lettuce, etc. He also still loves doing the dishes and sometimes even gets something clean.
We have the standard 2-year old behavior going on and are finding the need to really pick our discipline battles. Because Owen is such a good talker, it's easy to forget that he's still only 2 and doesn't always has the ability to control his actions. We use time-outs fairly successfully when his actions might be harmful (to self, others, or property), but the bigger challenge is dealing with whining and now angry yelling, as in "I want it RIGHT NOW!" We're trying to emphasize that mom and dad can't listen to yelling or angry words and not respond until he can calm down and ask with "kind words" but I'm sure this is just the beginning...
Owen no longer uses the binky. He sleeps with a snuggly blanket and two stuffed animals, but it's more out of habit than necessity (though blankie and doggie do travel with us).
When Owen gets up early, he now comes to snuggle in our bed. Unfortunately, he doesn't ever lie still or fall asleep, so it's more of a 15 minute exercise in trying to ignore the little whispers saying, "I want get milk." and "I want watch TV."
Owen is a BIG fan of the television. Since Josh was born, we started slipping into a habit of way too much television, and consequently way too much whining when it was time to turn the TV off. So we adjusted the plan and now Owen needs to be dressed before watching part of Curious George or Sesame Street while I'm feeding Josh, and he gets to watch whatever's on Nick Jr for the 20 minutes before dinner. Weekends are much more lax and usually include a Sunday evening movie... because we all need it!
At the same time, Owen loves being outside. He's taken to climbing on the fence at the front of our driveway and yelling a story to the world. He's also getting better at riding his Christmas tricycle - to the point that we have taken 30 minute walks with him riding and me packing Josh. He's also starting to figure out the strider/balance bike, and will probably be proficient by summer. Come on warm weather!
And last, but not least, Owen is still an amazing big brother. Entertaining Josh when I ask, giving lots of hugs and kisses, helping get Josh up from his naps, choosing clothes, and generally exhibiting sheer joy whenever he's around his little brother. We are blessed to be the parents of these two amazing kiddos!