Lately I've been finding myself completely in awe of this crazy parenthood journey we're on. I just can't get over the fact that Jacob is this big kid and my other tiny little baby is growing up too!
The other day I was looking at a picture on my wall at work from last Christmas. Carter was such a tiny little baby still, and when I compared that one to another picture from the spring where he was also sitting on my lap, even then he was so much bigger. And now? Well, there are moments now where it's challenging wrangling him because he's getting to be so long.
He's got the full head of hair we waited so long for, and it's even starting to stand up around the cowlick. He's got a mouth full of teeth and is looking more like a little boy every day. He runs (and falls) constantly. And as if all of that wasn't evidence enough, now he's talking. The words were slow to come--heck, I think Jacob was practically talking in phrases by this point--but now the words are really coming fast and furious. Not always clear and accurate, but they're there. Last week he finally started saying "car", and from that I got him to say "Carter"! Last weekend he finally figured out how to add the "s" sound to "bus". He loves buses and it had been sounding a bit like "bye" for quite a while. I was trying to teach him the "s" sound, and suddenly he started doing it. Now it sounds more like it's rhyming with "hush", but it's adorable. Then he started saying "truck", only it sounds like "duck"! He can say and point to his eyes and nose, he's saying "done" and "no" a lot, and we're getting closer to him using "yes". He says "tractor" because of the one outside daycare at the farm next door, and uses it for any sort of large equipment with wheels. We had a digger outside our house working on the road, and that was a "tractor" too. He's been trying to say "pumpkin" and "lawnmower" is still his most frequent request. He says "book" and "tree", and is even saying the name (sort of) of one of his favorite teachers. Oh, and he can also say his own name!
I marvel at how many stages we've already passed, all of the sections we can skip at stores, and all of the toys that are simply too young for him now. He's got such a little personality and quite the independent streak, but he will sit nicely for books will laugh at whatever his big brother does. He still does that happy run when we pick him up at daycare or walk in the front door. Despite the challenges that come with this age, it is such an amazing age to watch. To see how fast he learns words and figures out how to do things himself is just miraculous. He's still got that baby-like sweetness, but has some of the perks of a big kid.
I got to see a new baby on Friday--a little over a month old--and it was yet another reminder that my baby is so big now. Those little noises and little faces are long gone, though I love the smiles and laughs and hugs of this age, too. I'm well aware that this is it, that this is the last baby and there are a lot of "lasts" to come. In some cases I hate seeing phases pass, but I'm more mindful of enjoying them while they last. I hug and kiss Carter as much as possible because I'm well aware (especially now that Jacob is getting so big) that that phase only lasts so long.
Speaking of Jacob, he's getting to be so big. I look at his gangly limbs and the half of a hole in his mouth where a permanent tooth is growing in. His attitude sometimes seems more like a teenager, some of his behaviors more like a two-year-old, but to hear him speak like a big kid and see him become a more graceful athlete is amazing. When he reads and writes, it's awesome to see how far he's come. He's making such progress, and while he still doesn't seem to take it seriously, I can tell he's learning so much. There are moments where he lets down his obnoxious, too-cool façade and just acts like a cool kid, and those moments are so wonderful.
I just can't believe how the boys are growing, how fast Carter is blowing past stages that I vividly remember with Jacob. I can barely believe that by the time Thanksgiving hits, Carter will be older than Jacob was when we moved into our house. Jacob already seemed like a big boy back then and Carter still seems like my baby--even though in the next moment he's such a big boy, too. It's such a funny time. I fear the end of this fun, lovey phase because I adore kissing Carter's smooshy cheeks and hearing him say new words for the first time. I fear that one day we'll be facing off with him as much as we do with Jacob, and by then I won't have another baby to keep me sane like I do now.
I love my boys so much. They are so amazing to watch as they grow and I marvel at the changes. I'm just in awe of them. I don't know how else to say it. It's an amazing mix of happiness, sadness, amazement, and absolute true love. What a blessing and an experience this journey has been.