Today is your Half Birthday! August 9th, you are officially no longer a 2-year-old. You're 2 1/2 now! We are officially on the downward spiral toward 3. That is crazy to me, your mom, who still sees you as this little man of mine who loved (still do!) to suck his thumb and carry Sophie the Giraffe around with you, and who would take off his socks in the car seat even in the middle of winter to eat his feet, and who used to only call me "mama" instead of now when you call me Mom, Ma, Mommy, Mama...
You aren't a baby anymore. You are even moving at the speed of lighting through your toddlerhood. And I'm in awe at the growth. These pictures below are of you last summer, this exact day last summer actually. Wearing the Elmo shirt that was too big for you back then and is way too small for you now, despite that we give in every time when you ask to wear it to bed at night still. These pictures, where you would actually listen to me about the sun getting in your eyes and you having light skin like Daddy and needing to keep your hat on... instead of now where you say "No hat Mama, I big boy. No hat."
One thing this year that is the same as last is that you are a Man on a Mission, that's for sure. Always somewhere to go, something to see or pick up or throw or play with. That picture above, of you walking like a big guy toward the water, shovel in hand, that is the moment I realized last summer that you were now a toddler. You were no longer my "1-year-old." You were a toddler, growing fast and moving away from me in that independent way toddlers seem to do. You had ideas of your own then. You do even more now.
You are growing so fast that I want to remember how you are now, today, at 2 1/2... just like I remember last summer and all the new things you were learning.
So here's you, Mr. Owenstein, at age 2 1/2...
You like to wear Dad's shirts and his "work belt" with your rain boots, even just around the house.
You LOVE playing in the dirt, with shovels and rakes and getting all sandy. You are obsessed with being outside. It's your favorite thing in the world. We spend at least a couple of hours out there every single day. You run, "mow" the lawn, ride your tricycle and hammer all kinds of things with your tools. I love this about you. You have certainly taken me out of my comfort zone. I didn't really like being outside much before you came along. Now, it's our life. And I appreciate it.
Even though you are as tall as a 4-year-old (literally people in stores ask me if you are 3 or 4 already!), you still are on your tippy toes all the time, wanting to see more, do more, reach more.
You are Mr. Independent. You like to put your shoes on "by self." You pull up next to something and stand there moving your foot around until all of a sudden it goes in, and every single time you get a huge grin on your face. I clap and smile for you, because yes, it IS that cool, Mr. Putting your shoes on "by self" is pretty damn awesome actually!
You get pretty determined these days, too. You want to do it now. You lack patience. You are fast, moving all the time, very energetic. You get this look on your face sometimes (like this one below!) where you are just all about doing it your way, right now! You are becoming this big kid. Riding your bike all by yourself, having plans of your own, things that surprise me sometimes. You're pretty creative and oh, so smart. Last night I counted you saying 11 words together in one sentence! 11 words! I counted on my fingers just to have the visual.
You make me proud every single day. And a lot of it I don't even know that I've taught you... but then sometimes I realize it and take credit for teaching you something. And that is the coolest thing I've ever seen in my role as Mommy. The fact that I've taught you something I didn't even mean to teach you, and it's a cool thing, something you should know, like saying "love you" in the right moment or like running to the side of the grass when a car is coming or like shushing your baby sister when she's crying and saying in a high pitched, sweet voice, "O here, Addisyn, it's OK, it's OK, O here."
You walk around wearing my shoes sometimes, too, in your little squishy diaper that still makes that little noise when you move. You are obsessed with milk, which you call "milk time." You drink from a big boy cup now at every meal at the table. It's pretty amazing. I didn't even know it was time to give you a big boy cup, but Dad apparently knew and taught you how.
You're a typical two-year-old. You have tantrums and scream really loud sometimes. You hit and pinch and throw sand at the beach. You aren't too fond of sharing with other kids. You climb the slides the wrong way sometimes. You ask "Why Mama?" A LOT. One of your favorite words is "no." You have no concept of the phrase, "wait just a minute."
But you smile. A LOT. It's like who you are, that smile. It's the one thing I see on you that is all me and not your dad. I adore that smile, more than anything in the entire world. You laugh like it's your job. Every little thing makes you happy. You are super sweet. When I stub my toe, you jump up and get your doctor kit stethoscope and put it up to my foot and say, "O here Mama, feel better." You pack me "lunch" every single day from your play kitchen. You ask me to sing you songs before bed, and you're still obsessed with the Osbert book about a penguin. You say please and thank you all the time. You give the best hugs and kisses every day.
You snuggle with me still, like you are my little guy again.
You are a really good big brother to Addisyn. You adore her, share toys with her, shush her when she's crying, maker her smile... it's very sweet.
You work. All the time. You're a worker. I've had several people tell me how you walk like a man, move like a man, act like this big guy on a mission. Dad and I know you are going to be the boss someday of some hard working people, showing them how it's done. We love that you'd rather be playing in the dirt or with hammers and buoys than watching TV. Although I admit I do try to get you to watch TV for like 10 minutes here and there when I'm feeding your baby sister... and so far the only things that will capture your attention for those 10 minutes are Bob the Builder and some Mighty Machines show Dad found for you all about trucks and tractors!
At the end of the day, you're still my little boy... growing up or not, you are my little O. You still look the same asleep as you did more than 2 years ago. All dreamy and sweaty and shiny and precious and silent.
And while you no longer fit in the Boppy like you did as a baby, which makes me sad sometimes, I know that the phase you are in now, headed toward 3-year-old world, is even more fun and amazing. Challenging at times, yes, for sure, but incredible all the same. Hearing you repeat everything I say and telling your Dad something that happened 12 hours ago... that's pretty awesome.
So happy half birthday, Owen! We enjoyed our beach trip and ice cream to celebrate.
Looking forward to all the new fun things you plan to do in these next 6 months before you turn 3!
P.S. I found this today, randomly... perfect! Sums up how I feel.