It has been a big year for Jaden. He was involved in soccer for the first time, attended his first amusement park, overcame his fear of putting his head under water at the swimming pool, started sharing a bedroom with his brother, got his first pet, and made a lot of new friends. He learned how to write his name, knows all of his letters and can beat Papa Bob in Mario Kart. (Though that last one isn't so hard to do.) ;)
We are spending the next few days celebrating this little boy who at 7:14 p.m. on January 28, 2008 -- forever changed our world. The moment I found out I was pregnant with him, I knew my dreams of being a mom and having a family were going to come true.
Though he's grown a lot over the last 12 months, we've seen the most growth in the last six. Jaden started his second year of preschool and began attending Blessed Beginnings daycare center in September. Getting him out of the in-home daycare setting and into a class with kids his age has allowed him to grow so much socially and make more friends. And although that in itself comes with its own set of challenges ---- he's picking up vocabulary that we'd rather him not ---- it has been the absolute best thing for him. He is so happy at BB and loves going to daycare every day.
All about this boy of mine...
...he loves basketball. All of the sudden this is emerging as his favorite sport. He loves going to the UNI basketball games and pretending to copy their defensive stance. He loves going into the gym at daycare on cold days, and his teacher told me that he spends the entire time shooting hoops.
...he still takes naps. It's amazing how good he sleeps. Ever since he turned one, he's been an amazing sleeper, and if he ever does wake up in the middle of the night, we wouldn't know it because he puts himself back to sleep without us ever hearing a peep out of him. Bedtime is usually 8:30. Wake up time is anywhere from 6:00 to 7:00.
...wears size six in most clothes, although I have noticed his growth slowing down ever so slightly. He's still able to wear some of the same pants that he wore last winter, but we did have to get him a new pair of jeans this year. It's impossible to find shoes that fit him because his feet are extra wide, and most of the cute shoes I'd like to buy him -- don't fit him. I guess in a way, that saves me money.
...loves pizza. He could have it at every meal. He also loves juice and chocolate milk and any kind of pasta. He loves breakfasts out - which is a rare treat - but he loves Village Inn.
...still loves TC and the Panther marching band and going to the Dome.
...is really coming into his own. Everyone around us that has seen him over the past several months have commented to us repeatedly that he's really coming out of his shell.
...still loves to drum and would probably do it all day long. And he is GOOD at it. Really good. It's a natural talent for him, and I'm excited to see what he does with it.
...likes to play video games, but would prefer to be outside. He loves to be outside, and Winter gets tough. Thank goodness for the Wii.
...his favorite shows are Higglytown Heroes, Bubble Guppies, and he is finally getting interested in Disney movies and "older kid" movies. The Ice Age movies are his favorite. We've gotten rid of all of our Elmo videos!
...favorite toys - aside from drums and video games - include his Lego firestation... and balls. He still loves to just play with balls - just as he did as a baby.
...loves listening to Life 101.9 on the way to daycare every morning and can pick out his favorite songs sometimes faster than I can. He likes when I read Bible stories to him, and he can lead us in prayer before supper.
...likes to look at books but only when he chooses to. If you ask him to sit down and read, he typically won't want to.
...he's getting better at coloring and can color in the lines perfectly as long as he takes his time. It's still not his favorite thing to do however, and he'd much rather cut with scissors, paint or work with glue. I can't get him to draw pictures for me.
...loves the changing of the seasons just like his mama and is always asking what's next. He can't wait for spring so he can play outside. He can't wait for summer so that he can go back to the pool. He can't wait for Fall so he can go back to the Dome and the pumpkin patch. And speaking of the pool, he had a blast there this summer. It's amazing that four years ago he wouldn't get into a pool because he thought there were bugs in the water. Now he can't get enough, and there was almost always a tantrum when it was time to get out of the water and head home.
...loves Brandon and likes to play with him. Although, we are going through a bossy stage where he tries to parent him a bit too much. This makes Brandon angry, but almost every morning we find these brothers in bed together. Either Brandon wakes up first and crawls into bed with Jaden or Jaden crawls into bed with Brandon. Jaden has been asking when he can sleep with Brandon all night long, and I told him they could do this once Brandon gets a little older. Brandon's not such a great sleeper right now, and I don't want to make it even worse.
...our biggest challenge right now is whining. Our greatest pride is how good he is at daycare and preschool. They have a behavior chart in their room, and he is at the very top for good behavior every. single. day. He has never not been at the top, and that makes us so proud. He listens to his teachers, is nice to his peers and respects authority. I'm so grateful for this, and I pray it continues.
...we have a big year ahead with big changes for our little guy. In August, we will finally get to pull him out of daycare when he starts school fulltime. Though most moms get sad at that thought, I'm just really excited. Yes, it will be a life-changer for us financially, which we are so anxious for. But I know it will also open up a whole new world for him, and I am so thankful that I have a job that will allow me to be home with him before and after school. In this world today, I know how important that is.
Jaden, we love you more than you will ever know. Keep up the good work, buddy.