There are so many little things Kaden is doing and saying right now that I never want to forget. Sometimes, he'll look up at me with his big, brown eyes from beneath his set of gorgeous lashes, and I'll think, I want to freeze this picture forever. I want to wrap up this moment and carry it in my pocket until I'm old and gray and wearing orthopedic shoes.
Kaden calls his toothpaste soap. "I need more soap!" is a frequent request when he brushes his teeth, which mostly consists of him sucking the toothpaste off of the brush.
He has been speaking in full sentences for a while, but sometimes he catches me off guard with the complexity of his speech. We were walking on the greenway one day and stopped for his favorite activity, throwing rocks into the stream. He threw a big rock in the water and I complimented him on what an amazing splash he had made. "That was a big rock!" I told him. "I wish I could find some more," he said. Seriously. Those were his exact words.
Kaden gives a gender and emotion to almost everything we see. We might see a little dog walking on the side of the road and he will say, "Oh, he's happy!" While he does his farm animal puzzle, he insists that certain animals are "Daddies" and certain ones are "Mommies." The horse is always a Daddy horse. He also tells us how he is feeling: "I'm sad." or "I'm happy." or "I'm scared." A couple of Sundays ago, the nursery leader brought me Kaden during Sunday school because he was inconsolable. I was holding him in the hall, talking to a friend of mine, when he suddenly looked at her and said, "I'm sad." When she asked him why he was sad, he gave a prompt response, in his saddest voice: "Nursery."
He is obsessed with the garbage truck. I know he makes our neighborhood garbage men feel like the heroes they are every time we run outside to watch them pickup our trash. He is always so excited! Every time he hears a noise that sounds like a truck, he runs to the window and starts exclaiming, "Oh! Big garbage truck! Big garbage truck!"
I recently discovered the only danger to a toddler swallowing TUMS is potential constipation. This was after a Sunday morning call to poison control.
I am still trying to impress the importance of manners: please, thank you, etc. Most of the time, I feel like I've failed in this regard. I constantly wonder if I will always have to remind him to say these words, but sometimes he will surprise me. Nothing melts my heart as much as an unprompted, "Oh! Thank you, Mommy!" from my little guy.
He has known the entire alphabet for a while now, and points out letters everywhere we go. He's gotten much better at counting! He can count from one to ten, unless he tries to go too fast--then he tends to miss a few numbers. He doesn't necessarily recognize numerals yet, but he can count objects one by one as he points to them.
Kaden is such a good little helper. He wants to be right in the mix of anything we are working on or doing. He loves helping to wash the car, rake leaves, sweep the floors, you name it! He's a little less excited about helping to clean up all of the toys he throws all over his room during the day, but we're working on it.
He is doing much better with babysitters. He was actually excited when one stayed with him on Friday while we went to an ugly sweater party.
He has also made some great little friends since we moved to Raleigh, and he loves playing with them. I'm proud of him for being more social. He has always been kind of shy and cautious around other kids, so this is a big step for him.
Kaden is in love with everything Christmas. He is in awe of all of the Christmas lights, trees, and displays in all of the stores. We went to the youth Christmas party and when he looked into the Young Women's president's house and saw her tree, his eyes lit up, and he said, "I see Christmas!" It is so fun experiencing the holidays with him. Everything is extra magical this year. I can't wait for Christmas morning, because I think he's actually going to "get" things this year at least a little bit.
He is very observant and notices things I often miss. He will often point out a beautiful sky or birds flying by. The other day, he brought Chad one of his toys and started excitedly shouting that it was a clue. After an inspection, Chad saw it indeed had a tiny, blue paw print on the tag. Kaden had found a real life Blue's Clue!
He has such a darling sense of humor and will frequently crack up at something he finds hilarious. He is mischievous and will often do things with a little twinkle in his eye and a side smirk to let you know he is trying to get attention.
If he bites his lip, you better watch out, he's about to tackle you, jump on you, or otherwise attack you playfully.
He is independent to a fault. He likes to do everything himself. "I do it!" is a frequent exclamation around these parts. He is also incredibly stubborn (can't imagine where he got this from . . . ) If I try to help him do something that he wants to do himself, he will re-do it anyway. For example, if I lift him out of his car seat, he will climb back up and climb down again on his own. Or, if I put his pants on, and he wants to do it, he will take them off and start again. I've learned to pick my battles, and for the most part I let him do most things by himself, even though it is agonizingly slow at times. If we know we have to actually be somewhere in the morning, we start getting dressed at least thirty minutes before we have to leave.
He is so imaginative and creative. I love watching him play! He is very good at self-entertaining and prefers to play by himself sometimes. We play together, too, but sometimes he just wants to be alone.
He has learned quite a few Primary songs and can sing along with most of the words to I am a Child of God and I Love to See the Temple. He knows the actions to The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock and Book of Mormon Stories and knows most of the words to those songs, too.
He still loves reading (fingers crossed that this lasts forever and ever) and insists on reading some of his stories to us from memory, which is incredibly adorable.
He is still obsessed with balls and has developed a fondness for boom ball (football).
He is 110% boy and LOVES being outside. Running, jumping, finding water to splash in, and mud to dig in, are all his favorite activities.
Almost every night Chad and I fall asleep laughing about something cute Kaden has done during the day and talking about how thankful we are that he is a part of our family. I don't know what we did to deserve him, but he really is a wonderful little boy. We sure love him!