Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Happy Birthday, Nathanael!

This sweet little man is 2 years old, as of late June!

Nathanael Timothy has grown so much! Some of his favorite things to do include reading books, coloring with markers, and working on a large variety of art projects. He LOVES soft blankets and soft stuffed animals. He likes cuddling up next to Mommy, Daddy or Uncle Josh with a pillow and soft blanket for a good story, and learning time. Nathanael is absolutely fascinated with balloons of any kind! He also enjoys playing with his bouncy ball, toy cars, and holding random objects up to his ear to pretend that he is talking on the phone. Bath time remains a favorite experience for Nathanael! He is a very thankful boy, which is a blessing to us, as he often finds joy in even the simplest of activities. He craves and LOVES quality one-on-one time spent with loved ones; most especially appreciating when they participate in activities or playtime with him.

Nathanael tends to be rather quiet and is very thoughtful, much of the time.  His quietness is broken by moments of intense bouts of talking; usually when he gets excited about talking with his Daddy.  The day is often punctuated by Nathanael's shrieks of Joy  (or sometimes shrieks of sheer horror, like when his sister impedes his attempts at artwork by making a mess, or if his hands get "dwr-tee"). For the most part, Nathanael tends to be a fairly tidy and very organized young man. He is a good little helper, and genuinely enjoys helping Mommy with clean up and putting things back in their individual places around the house. A deep thinker, Nathanael will ponder certain things and experiences for days upon days...often absorbing and processing information before we realize it.

A couple weeks ago, while walking through the grocery store, Nathanael pointed to a wall of beef in the meat section and loudly called out "beeeeeef!!!!" in a voice full of excitement. To say that Charles and I were startled, is an understatement! We laughed with surprise...we definitely did not teach him to say, "beef." I suspect that Uncle Mark, did though, as I remember Uncle Mark pointing to some barbecued meat and exclaiming, "beef!" to Nathanael at a BBQ several months ago. Apparently,  Nathanael completely understood and even learned to recognize the stuff in its uncooked state! :-)

Nathanael likes learning! He has taught himself how to count...it surprised me one day, when he suddenly started counting, "wonn...., twoo," as I helped him put each of his legs into a pair of shorts. Now, he is diligently working on counting to the number ten. An activity that Nathanael loves is to have us say aloud numbers for him to repeat with the correct pronounciations. Last week, we checked out a library a book on counting fish. Nathanael loves the "boo-wck," and his latest ambition seems to be the intense effort to learn exactly what the numbers look like, tracing each number with his finger, and attempting to count the numbers out on his fingers. 

Most recently, Nathanael has been teaching his stuffed monkey and lion how to count. He takes their paws, and has them trace the numbers with him as he reads the book; it is cute and interesting to us, as Nathanael decided to have his stuffed animals do that on his own, without prompting from anyone. While "reading" the book aloud to himself in the car a few days ago, we were delighted to notice that Nathanael can now recognize and/or name several of the numbers between 1 and 10 on his own. :-)

Because he is such a tidy little man, Nathanael hardly ever makes any mess with art supplies. I never have to worry about letting him paint or use markers; he puts everything back where it belongs and takes special care with each and every piece of art that he works on; including fragile items like the painting of clay figurines! So far, I have not had to wipe even one drop of paint off the floor, though he did have to have a lesson or two on the proper usage of markers being for paper and at the table only; not for walls or doors. Thankfully, Nathanael is a quick learner! After he got over his initial devastation from Mommy wiping a few of his original (and beloved) masterpieces off of the walls and doors, he has not had repeat offences.

Art is a truly fun experience for Nathanael; he LOVES working on art related activities throughout the day, and often begs to do more! Both he and Elizabeth-Grace get super excited anytime Mommy goes anywhere near the closet that contains their art supplies; at the mere hint of her opening the closet door to put anything away, both kids rush over to the closet with hopeful smiles and sounds of glee, followed by Nathanael saying something along the lines of..."please?!!," or "Cul-lwer (color)?! Please?!" He has just recently figured out how to pronounce and properly identify the name of paint, so we can now understand him when he requests it; "Puh-wAint?"

 Every piece of artwork worked on by Nathanael receives a painstaking amount of attention and focus. Some days, he can spend all day on a picture before he will deem it finished and ready to hang on the "wah-LL." Hanging his completed artwork on the wall is a big deal and quite exciting to Nathanael; he loves choosing just the right spot on the wall and "helping" hang it up with the tape. He tells us when a piece of artwork is done by asking for it to be put to dry, or asking, "hang it Uhhh-puh (up)?"

Each piece of his artwork is precious and meaningful to Nathanael, and he especially loves showing and giving his artwork to his Daddy!

Nathanael loves "doggies," and everything that has a picture of a dog on it is a very enjoyable sight for him. He is growing quite fond of "airwuh-puh-wanes (airplanes)," "birdies (birds or fowl of any kind)," and "horwe-ses (horses)," too. One of the ways we convince him to willingly change into his pajamas and get ready for bed each night is to alternate between his favorite "doggie" Pajamas and his "airwuh-puh-wane shirwt (shirt)" pajamas.

Having gained a recent fascination with a couple of greeting cards he received from his recent birthday, Nathanael loves looking at them often (he likes them so much, that he even hung them up on the "wah-LL")! He loves pointing the cards out to whomever he thinks will admire them with him. It is quite accurate to say that Nathanael loves receiving cards; they are a treasured gift to him.

One of things about Nathanael Timothy that blesses us so much, is his tender heart. He loves others and desires to please. "Sing and Praise Jesus" is something he frequently says and does. It is a delight and Joy to experience Nathanael's pure and simple love. My heart leaps each time I see him lift his hands high, and hear him say "Praise Jesus!" I love hearing him talk about Jesus, too. We so look forward to watching Nathanael grow to love and know Jesus more and more each day.

Nathanael is a wonderful big brother! He loves his little Sister, Elizabeth-Grace, very much and dotes on her quite a bit. If she cries, he often brings her "bwoddle" (bottle) or "passy" (pacifier) to her, talks soothingly to her, or even shares one of his beloved soft blankets with her for a bit in his immense efforts to comfort her. Though they do get on each others' nerves at times, both Nathanael and Elizabeth-Grace have become quite attached to one another. It is a blessing to witness. I especially love when Nathanael spontaneously gives Elizabeth-Grace a kiss on her head. He is a very loving Big Brother, and quite protective of her.

Speaking of big Brother, Nathanael already understands that Mommy has a "baby in her tummy." He saw me holding a picture of the baby's ultrasound, and exclaimed, "baby!" while pointing to the picture.  I was more than a little surprised, as it was his first time seeing an ultrasound picture, and I had not told him what it was. He patiently explained to Elizabeth-Grace that it was a baby and Mommy has a baby, all the while pointing back and forth to the picture and my "tummy." Elizabeth-Grace has no idea what she is in for, but it is super special to Charles and I that Nathanael is so very excited about another baby. He wasn't certain what to think about the arrival of Elizabeth Grace when he initially met her! It is nice to see that he is excited about the baby, though he does not quite understand just why it is taking so long to, "gid-t  ow-wtuh (get out)" of Mommy's tummy.

Last week, Charles and I overheard Nathanael practicing his speech, as he often does each night in bed before he falls asleep. "I wuv you, Daddy... I wuv you, Mommy....I wuv you, Lizbith...I wuv you, Baby." It was so sweet, and made our hearts sing with Joy.

 We are so blessed to call you our son, Nathanael. We love you so, so much, and are so proud of you! Happy Second Birthday! We pray that you will have a wonderful second year and grow to love Jesus more and more each and every day of it! WE LOVE YOU!!!!

   <3, Mommy and Daddy

P.s. Just a few more pictures from your birthday celebration...You are sooo cute,
 Nathanael Timothy! :-)

And, a few more pictures, just because you are so adorable:

And, let us remember your attempts to mimic a "Llama" face....

Fist Bump! Or, "Boom, Boom!," as you like to call them. :-)

Happy, Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy; our Anniversary Baby

We Love You, and pray that you have a very Blessed year!!! <3 

Age 2 with you will be quite terrific; it already is! 

 You are our Precious Little Man!