Monday, April 4, 2016

Cullen the Two-Year-Old!

Two years ago, life changed all over again when we were given this sweet little boy and our days became so much more full and even more happy than we could've imagined.

At two years old, Cullen is fiercely independent and insists on doing everything his way (and on his time). This may be climbing into his carseat in his own roundabout way, pushing his stroller around the block instead of riding in it, helping himself to a snack or cleaning up his own milk spill. He eats his sandwiches inside out and often prefers to cut his own food. He recently moved out of his high chair and joins us at the big table for meals where he politely leans over his plate, wipes up any drips with his napkin and carries his own dishes to the sink when he's finished. (and also usually yells something like 'poop' or 'stinkpot' back and forth with his brother at some point throughout the meal, followed by intense giggling. You can't win them all ;) Cullen is so sweet and has very good manners, but often says 'welcome' when he means to say 'thank you' which is pretty funny :)  He's a very go-with-the-flow kind of guy, unless of course you try to dictate his 'flow', then his temper flares awfully quickly.

Monkey see, monkey do. For better or for worse, these words sum up every one of our days. Cullen watches everyone - especially Avery - very intently and catches onto things very quickly. He follows Avery into the bathroom and uses the potty almost every day, all on his own. He also bites his nails (even though he has no idea why) because he sees his big brother doing it all too frequently and has a pretty quick temper (and fist) when he feels he's been wronged in some way. (Much to Avery's disappointment, he can no longer 'trick' his brother into doing what he wants him to to)

Cullen LOVES Avery. It often seems more like a love-hate judging by how many spats they have but at the end of the day Cullen looks up to Avery with such high regard, he's just his best buddy. He never wants Avery to be out of his sight and wants to do EVERYTHING big brother does. All the time. It makes my heart so happy to see the bond that they have.

Before he goes to sleep, Cullen wants to read 2-3 stories (that he usually wants to 'read' himself) and rock on my lap for 5-10 minutes while humming. He won't go down into his crib unless he has one hand on a book and one cuddling his baby. In the morning, he greets us with the most enthusiastic "HI!" when we go in to get him and is usually found lovingly rocking his baby ("Mah Bebe") or 'changing her poops'. ('poop' is one of his favorite words. So lovely.)

Cullen has become a very intent caretaker of his baby. Most days he's got a baby along with him wherever he goes (even if the mode of transportation isn't what one might consider 'safe' for a baby so small) and he cuddles and coos them ever-so-gently.

His other favorite word? "Cookie!"  He's constantly 'making cookies' or 'eating cookies' or packing 'cookies' (in the form of paper, play food, play-doh, etc) into his pockets.

Cullen's first big injury (which was terrifying for mom, dad AND
Avery) from running and tripping into Avery's desk chair.
He took it like a champ, but my goodness was that bump huge!
Cullen calls animals and vehicles by their sounds. "woof" "meow" "ssssss" "who" "choo-choo" "weee-ooo-weee-ooo" His vocabulary is growing a ridiculous amount every day. He's very eager to learn new words and will repeat them over and over until he gets it just right. If we can't understand a word he's trying to say, he shifts gears and tries to get us to guess in another way- by using hand motions and sound effects or taking us by the hand to show us. Cullen is very sharp and every day he surprises us with something new that he's figured out. We often call him 'boy genius' because of some of the things he says or concepts he connects. 

Cullen's favorites:  Babies, trucks, his 'cape' shirt, rocking to sleep, his 'phones' (a purple princess flip phone, a calculator, a remote, and a number keypad), birds, telling stories, singing songs, 'making cookies', blue, the number 2, the letter E, swinging, putting on way too much lotion (or 'soap' as he calls it), cooking with his mama

Cullen's not-so-favorites: Being left out of anything, being told 'no', Having anything done for him when he wants to do it on his own, having anyone besides mom change his diaper (lucky me)

We all love you so much, our little rascal boy. I can't wait to see all the new new things you learn -and teach us- in this next year :)