Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Reflecting Back on the past year: Austin

I am sitting here tonight thinking about where our life was a year ago. I can not believe how much things have changed in one year and how fast things are going. I wish I could slow it down just a bit or pause it at certain moments. Where do I even begin.

A year ago today we were getting ready for the best vacation we have taken to date. Florida was so much fun last year and it was amazing to spend it with such special friends and family. Austin was just a little peanut at the time. He was still using a pacifier, taking two naps a day and taking a bottle at night. His vocabulary was VERY limited and he had no desire to repeat anything. He was walking but was still a bald little guy. At the time I thought he was such a big boy and now I look back and think he was such a little baby. I was about 8 months pregnant and working at the alternative school. John was doing his long term subbing position and had just found out he would not be hired for the full time position in the fall. Last year at this time, everything was an unknown. We were unsure of how we would handle another baby with Austin being so young. We were unsure of if I would be working or staying home and if I was working how we would manage daycare for two little ones. If I wasn't working how we would manage life on one income. We had no idea where John would be and if he would be teaching or still at the printing place. Everything was so up in the air at this time last year. And now we are here and I look at how amazing everything turned out and how fast it actually went.

Austin went from that bald little one year old that barley talked and would not repeat to a hilarious and outgoing toddler that is never quiet. He is a boys boy and loves everything sports. In the beginning when I was staying home I used to tell John I got lonely because I could not have a conversation with Austin. Now believe me I am not lacking any socialization during the day. Austin never stops talking even if its to himself. This year has been a relatively relaxed one for Austin. We have had no major sicknesses other then the upper respiratory infection. Other then that I think there might have been one or two colds and that is it. I don't think he sits still long enough to catch anything! Last year Austin was still perfecting his walking and now he is full blown walking, running, jumping, hopping, and climbing. Due to his love of sports, he can name whatever sport is on TV or in a picture or if you show him some sort of equipment. He can also name all of the major sports equipments. Yes I have surrendered to the fact that with 2 boys my life is will be taken over by sports and I actually enjoy watching Austin play and learn new skills. In terms of a preference I do not think he has one yet. He loves basketball, hockey, football, and baseball equally. John takes full advantage of his love and has already taught him how to shoot a basketball (thanks to Papa who got him an adjustable net), shoot a ball into a hockey net with a stick, hit a baseball off a T and recently hit a baseball without one (We are very impressed with this new skill.) and is trying to teach him to throw a football one handed. Along with his sports, Austin has recently learned how to roller blade on his new roller blades (again we were totally amazed by this when he wanted us to let go). This last year with the overload in his language, Austin also decided that he was not content calling my mom Grammy like all the other grand kids. No, my little man had to be different so he on his own he decided Grammy was now Mimi. I am glad Austin didn't just go along with the crowd. Hopefully this trait follows him in life! Just about 2 months ago Austin was saying so much and repeating everything but was still using only one word at a time. I was a little concerned and mentioned it to the doctor at his well visit. She said it was fine for now and we would revisit it at his 2 year well visit. Well Austin taught me not to jump the gun and underestimate his ability because literally the next day, he was saying 2 to 3 word phrases. Leave it to a toddler to do things when they are good and ready. And now we are here, only a couple weeks away from my first little baby turning two. I have such mixed emotions because I love the age he is at right now. He has such a funny personality and cracks John and I up just about every second of the day. He is such a good big brother to Mason (most of the time) and each day is showing more and more affection towards him. There are a few biting incidents but those have greatly decreased. Austin watches everything I do with Mason and can repeat most of it. Even when he is eating bread, I catch him tearing off small pieces for Mason. He tries to hold his hand and walk with him although the concept of "slow" has not been understood so Mason quickly crawls away when he sees Austin coming saying "walk Maymay". Austin is going to be quite the daddy when he grows up and daily is taking one of his stuffed animals and putting diapers and powder on it, giving it bottles and pretending to give it baby food. He also wraps it in a blanket and puts it to sleep. Its is very sweet to watch. I cant say enough about Austin (I guess that's because I am his mom). He is such an awesome little boy and aside from the typical toddler stubbornness and my questions of if he has lost all his hearing or is just ignoring me, he is a really good little boy. Some days he eats me out of house and home and other days he is on a hunger strike of some sort and refuses to eat anything but fruit snacks and bread.

Some recent phrases I have had to say to Austin:
"Austin you can not go out of the house in a diaper, fireman hat, and one froggy rain boot."
"No you can not have bread and steak sauce for a snack." (He can now open the fridge)
"No we did not leave Mason at the store, he is home with Daddy."
"No Mimi is not still at the store, that was over a month ago."

Me: Austin what is your name?
Austin: Caillou
Me: No your name is Austin, What is your name?
Austin: Caillou

Situation: Mason, Austin and myself eating lunch at home one afternoon. Mason was given a banana so Austin wanted one too. I was at the sink rinsing some plates off. * note we have not had any visitors to our house recently.
Me: Austin who threw the banana on the floor?
Austin: Riley (his cousin)
Me: Really Austin, Riley is not here. Did you throw the banana on the floor?
Austin: No
Me: Then who did?
Austin: Riley

Some things I would love to bottle up that Austin does or says.... the way he calls strawberry's strawbs, the fact that he is obsessed with John's car and starts screaming "daddy's car" a million times when he sees it, the way he looks at you out of the corner of his eye and then gets a huge smile on his face. The fact that he repeats EVERYTHING you say like a little parrot, the amazing talent he has to remember everything you say, the way he yells go blue when he sees a football or Michigan M. I love his imagination and how he runs around talking to himself because in his little mind he is playing some sort of game. I love that he calls John Da-die. Where he got this from is unknown again. John loves when they watch sports together Austin always has to hold something from that sport like his hockey stick or basketball. I love the way he cheers for himself when he knows he did something good or difficult or the way he grabs his blanket and says "cuddle cuddle" when he wants to be close to you. I love his enthusiasm (or stubbornness but I am trying to be positive) for just about everything. He never gives up even if it means throwing an all out fit to try to get what he wants. There is usually a situation at least once a day that I know I should yell at him for something he did or said but its just to funny and I have to use all my strength to keep from laughing.

Some of Austins current favorite things and dislikes
1. Caillou - ask what he wants to watch and this is what he will say
2. Barney is making a comeback but only the Santa episode - Christmas in July anyone?
3. Hates breakfast and if I am lucky might be able to get him to eat something
4. Papa and Mimi. If you ask Austin if he wants to live there he will say yes and I wouldn't doubt it if he started packing his things.
5. My parents boat. Whenever he sees a boat, its papas.
6. His new power wheel jeep (another present from papa)
7. Swimming
8. Any of his little people play things.
9. Going anywhere. Everyday he asks to go "bye bye"
10. Fruit snacks and fruit - pretty much refuses to eat anything else right now.

And with that my little baby is going to be two. I could go on and on about all the great things he does. We love him so much and as much as he drives me crazy each day, I can't even believe I was away from him his first year. I love spending each day with him and seeing what crazy thing he is going to do or what funny thing he going to say. I am sure this next year will be just as fun and crazy as this year has been.