Where do I even begin with my most precious baby Elliott, who is TWO on March 20?! Though I could easily write a book filled with stories and anecdotes about my little man, I will–try to–be brief :). Here are a few characteristics that mark our energetic, goofy, smart, kind baby boy.
Elliott is a gentle, forceful leader. You can’t understand how the words “gentle” and “forceful” can be juxtaposed until you meet my Elliott Brian. His “trademark move” is grabbing your hand and quietly, but forcefully, pulling you to exactly where he wants you to go. Then he tells you to sit, pointing to the exact spot where he wants you. A gentle, yet forceful leader.
Elliott is so kind. There is a tenderness that marks everything he does. A tenderness in how he leads. A tenderness in how he plays. A tenderness in how he shares. A tenderness in how he gives kisses and hugs.
Elliott is precise. He knows the right way that things should be, and he is very troubled when anything is out of place. In fact, he gets very, very concerned when something is not in the right place. When he finishes his bottle (yes, he still has bottles from time to time) he proudly holds it up and says, “Sink!” and then runs over to put the dirty bottle where it belongs. He loves putting things away, and putting them where they belong. He loves learning how something works, and then following the rules (ummm, who does that sound like?)…
Because he likes things to be “right,” he also does not like being messy. (He is soooo like his Daddy in this arena!!!) When he was a bit younger, sometimes he would look down at his hands while eating, realize they were dirty from eating his food, and say, “Uh-oh! Uh-oh! Uh-OHHHH!!!” until we could remind him that his hands are supposed to get messy during dinner. Still though, he usually drinks his water like this during meals:
Elliott had his very first case of the flu a few months back. Talk about breaking a mama’s heart! It came on very suddenly, and left about as quick as it came. He ate his breakfast like normal but then by 10:30 am he was super lethargic, refused to eat and only wanted to sleep. A few minutes after waking up from a morning nap that he insisted on, he threw up all over me. Oh my goodness…my heart broke into a hundred pieces. He was just sitting on my lap, moaning, when all of a sudden he threw up. You’d think the boy would be very familiar with the vomiting experience after living with me while I was pregnant with Selah, but I managed to hide most of my throwing up from him. So, he had no idea what had just happened to himself. All he knew was that suddenly there was disgusting looking mashed-up food all over him…and he began to say, “Uh-oh!! Uh-oh!!!” over and over again through such sad tears. I kept saying, “Oh, it’s okay, buddy…you threw up, but it’s all okay. You’re going to be okay…” and went on to explain to him what throwing up was (because what else do you do in that moment??) as I stripped him of his clothes. I finally got him calmed down when all of a sudden he noticed there was throw up all over me. And the frantic tears erupted again as he pointed to my stained clothes saying, “Uh-oh!!! UH-OH!!!!” Oh my word, it took everything in me not to burst into tears. He was so concerned for me! 🙁 Anyway, we ended up taking him to the ER in San Diego because that’s what our doctor said to do. By the time we got him in the car (20 minutes post throw up) he was laughing and giggling and gulping down water, but we went anyway because we couldn’t get a hold of my doctor to check in. Better safe than sorry, right? Anyhow, this is our “sick” little buddy in the ER.
Speaking of liking to be clean, Elliott loves “tissues” (baby wipes). He begs me for them all day long. When I let him have one, he loves to wipe his nose and then he goes around wiping other things in the house, cleaning everything in sight :).
Elliott is quite tall for his age (37 inches, to be exact) and quite lean (29 1/2 pounds). One particular day, I heard him saying “Uh-oh” over and over from the other room. As I rounded the corner to find out what was going on, this is what I discovered. This happened A LOT until I finally bought him some adjustable-waist pants:
Elliott loves to sweep. And he has a very particular way that he likes to sweep. He pushes all the chairs away from the table and directs you to sit on this step and hold the dustpan. Then he pushes the broom along the ground, stoops down, picks up a piece of old food, places it in your dustpan, and directs you to come over to the trash can where he steps on the peddle to lift the lid so you can dump out the dustpan.
Elliott loves puzzles. I mean, loves puzzles. And he is extraordinarily good at them. He could do any wooden puzzle you hand him in his sleep.
Elliott knows his letters. We can dump out his entire alphabet puzzle and ask him to put each letter in by name, one-by-one. Amazing. He also knows the beginning letter of certain words, mostly the words that are beneath the letters in the puzzle plus a few more. Last week, he pointed to his shirt that said, “HERO” on it. He pointed to the “H” and said, “Un-ter!” (Hunter) “Hat!” Then he pointed to the “E” and said, “A-ee-et!” (Elliott). Then he pointed to the “R” and said, “Rayel!” When I asked him what word started with the last letter he said, “Dada!” I was a little stumped because I know he knows that Dada starts with “D”, but then I realized that the “O” had square corners and seriously looked like a “D”! Ha! He’s incredible :).
Elliott is very passionate about drinking water and makes sure everyone else is drinking theirs, too. He can never have enough water bottles and sippy cups. This particular day, he wanted all four of these in reach, and he traded off drinking from each of them throughout dinner.
Elliott loves balls. Understatement of the year. He lives and breathes balls. Someone handed him a mini football to play with when he was about 9 months old, and he has literally never been the same since. He can spot a ball AN-Y-WHERE. It’s incredible, really. When we’re driving and he sees those balls hanging on telephone wires–you know the ones I’m talking about?–he gets so excited and yells, “Ball!!!” And he wants every ball he sees. The first time we took him to Sea World was a bit of a disappointment for him because when he saw the dolphins playing with balls, he got so upset when he couldn’t have a ball, too!
He has had unbelievable accuracy and aim when throwing a ball ever since he was just over a year old. And let me tell you, he can dribble a ball like nobody’s business. Unfortunately, we’ve lost a lot of our videos of him scoring goals when he was just a little lad. But here’s a fairly recent video I took of him on the soccer field. Although he decides to throw the ball into the goal, I promise he’s quite good at kicking it in as well. 🙂
Elliott’s love language is sharing, and so he also loves to share his balls. He wants everyone to love the things that he loves. (Sound like anyone you know??) 🙂
Elliott loves trains, planes and automobiles…need I say more?
Elliott loves to build and is a duplo master.
Elliott loves chip clips.
Elliott loves to sort things.
Elliott loves finding things that match. He’ll find objects that are the same or two different objects that are the same color and he’ll hold them together and say, “Match!” I love seeing the different types of things that he finds as “matches.”
Elliott loves footed jammies and loves being a big brother.
Elliott loves art.
Elliott loves animals. But especially dogs, horses, pigs and birds. Oh, and Elmo. Those are his five top faves.
So here’s the thing with dogs and Elmo. He is completely obsessed with them, talking about them ALL THE TIME and telling me he wants to give them kisses. But as soon as he gets near one, he gets completely overwhelmed and clings to me. He loves watching dogs, and can hear a dog barking from miles away, but hasn’t conquered his fear of them enough yet to actually touch one :).
So, same with Elmo. Grandpa and Nonna Mauss got him an Elmo DVD several months back and so when he saw Elmo in the flesh at Sea World, he was BEE-SIDE HIMSELF. He couldn’t wait to go give Elmo a kiss. Well, then it was our turn to meet Elmo and he just couldn’t get up enough guts to give him a kiss and hug himself. Instead, he wanted me and all of the Sea World workers to kiss and hug Elmo :). This video captures it all… And yes, this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME we go to Sea World :).
Elliott loves his overalls, loves watching his daddy work, and loves doing things just like his daddy. One of his ABSOLUTE favorite things to do is “drive” Daddy’s big truck. He loves sitting in the driver’s seat and pretending to drive, which includes playing with the radio, putting various keys into the ignition, turning the steering wheel, and rolling the windows up and down.
Elliott loves to read, and he loves his daddy.
Elliott loves–I mean LOVES–to run and jump. Several months ago, he learned how to jump off of both of his feet. And now, he often jumps everywhere! Just within the last few weeks I’ve been brave enough to start letting him jump OFF of things. Although he really wants to jump down the stairs, I compromised by letting him jump off the very last stair onto the floor :).
And Elliott LOVES playing with his mommy!
Okay, so maybe this post did turn into a short book! 🙂 If you have made it through this post, you are officially in the “family” club. This is what happens when I don’t do monthly posts of him anymore…everything gets a little stockpiled :). Well, I hope if you are one of our distant friends or family, you have gotten to know our sweet little man a little better!
Elliott Brian, we are so thrilled every moment of the day to be your parents. We beam with pride over you. You are such a great friend to others and a leader who wins others over through love. You are our favorite son, and we couldn’t be more grateful to God for giving us the gift of YOU.
Happy, happy, happy second birthday, Big Guy!!!