Happy 2nd Birthday! We made it! You, and your dada and I. We had some ice cream cake for dessert to celebrate and you enjoyed it just like I thought you would…two small bites and then no more! (I actually bought the ice cream cake for your dada and I since we enjoy it and I knew you wouldn’t want it. haha!) (You also ate one M&M today and I gave you a second one when you asked for it, but then you proceeded to throw it in the trash.)


Tyler, it has been awesome to see you grow and learn this past year. A year ago, you were just walking and saying a few words. Now, you are running, jumping off of two feet, climbing ladders/rock wall at playground/everything, trying to somersault, and throwing the mini basketball into the hoop. I love watching you and dada play basketball together. You ask dada to do a “super dunk” where he picks you up and swings you toward the hoop where you drop the ball in. You request it over and over. You also love piggy back rides and sitting on dada’s shoulders. You tiptoe a lot in the house, which makes this PT mom nervous, but your balance is so good and it’s just so cute seeing my bulldozer son, daintily tiptoeing around.


You are speaking up to about 70 words (Mama works in Early Intervention, so she keeps track). You can correctly answer what sound a cow, sheep, horse, dog, cat, duck, monkey says. Bunnies and frogs hop. Your first few sentences have recently emerged all about what you want…”I wanna try/sit there/see/play,” “I want that/some.” When asked to say “thank you” you would just pucker your lips in the “you” mouth shape, so we now have you say “xie xie” and it is so cute to see you speak Chinese. Your dada and I are weakly adding Chinese into your vocabulary, but your NaiNai and YeiYei are definitely the ones speaking Chinese to you the most.

You love all things trucks, buses, and choo choos. We drive past a big parking lot of trucks and buses when we go to daycare, and you are always looking and pointing them out. You call fire trucks “firefighter,” which is so clearly spoken and endearing. When you hear the garbage truck Monday morning, you run to the window saying, “I wanna see!”


You eat well. And healthily. Breakfast is usually “cake”/pancake. Though you have enjoyed waffles and cereal is always a go-to. You are drinking from the Munchkin 360 cup (which is awesome!) and do pretty well with an open cup. You enjoy mac and cheese and mama’s grilled cheese. For dinner you love mapodofu (spicy is ok with you!), noodles, green beans, raw cucumbers and red peppers. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get you to eat meat, but you will eat soy sauce or BBQ chicken. And you love salty snacks – “fish”/goldfish, veggie straws, chips. You also enjoy sour foods like pickles and the garlic/pickled cucumbers mama/NaiNai makes. You love Indian food – saagwala, tikka masala. But above all edible things, you LOVE LOVE LOVE fruit, and hate hate hate all baked/artificial-sugar desserts. Which still cracks me up. One of my favorite stories about this is when we were at Maundy Thursday dinner. There were some beautiful chocoate-frosted cupcakes that had a mini-Cadbury egg on top as a decoration. I offered it to you about 7 times, and you shook your head each time. Then Aunt Addie started putting layering this gorgeous pastry with cream and you watched as she pulled out a tupperware of fruit. Your eyes got huge and when she offered you some, you would have thought you won the lottery. You sat there happily eating strawberries and blueberries. She then pulled out a bag of jelly beans and also offered them to you. You inspected the bag, since you had never seen jelly beans before, but then quickly shook your head. I have videos of you refusing to eat chocolate. You won’t even eat chocolate chip banana bread. You rarely eat cookies. You have spit out Reese’s peanut butter cup and Rice Krispie treat. When we baked a cake to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, you refused to eat any, so dada and I were left with a 9×11 cake to eat ourselves. That’s why when we celebrated your birthday a couple weeks ago in Delaware, mama made you a watermelon cake with blueberry/grape/apple decoration. No point in slaving over a baked dessert! I have yet to find a fruit you don’t eat. You gobble up blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, kiwis, mangoes, bananas, peaches, apples, grapes (or as you say it “boots”!) We bribe you with fruit to get you to finish your dinner. What??


You sleep well too. You dropped your first and third nap at the same time around Christmas, which was rough for me. I had to now find things to do with you being awake! So we joined a morning toddler gym class and then a playgroup. (You do not enjoy circle time and hate doing the motions to songs.) You will consistently nap about 2-3 hours in the afternoon when you are home. Daycare…1 hour or less…there’s too much to do and people to play with! Bedtime routine at 7pm – brushing teeth, washing hands/face, diaper, PJs, book (favs are “Little Blue Truck” and Richard Scarry’s counting book), prayer (you fold your hands or hold our hand) “XieXie YeSu, Amen” (Thank you Jesus, Amen), “Bible” (“Jesus loves me” where you say “Bible” and “so”), hugs/kisses to mama and dada, turn off the light and turn on the sound machine, grab your blanket, and into bed! You have recently been kinda clingy and cry when we leave, but you quickly quiet and sleep til about 6:30/7am. Thank you for being a wonderful sleeper.


Personality. You are outgoing and easy going. You are appropriately shy around new people/places, but will eventually warm up. It is not uncommon for you to be fist bumping/”pow” everyone when we leave. And I mean everyone. Even people who are 20 feet away and aren’t even paying attention, photographs of people, people’s other hand, babies! That is how friendly you are! We regularly get compliments from your church nursery teachers about how fun you are and how much they love you and want to take you home (please do, for a day.) You have found your smile (you were such a serious baby) and are so good-natured. Daycare has taught you a lot of good about sharing and taking turns (of course, you also learned “mine!” there). You are strong-willed (being 21mo/2yo doesn’t help) and want what you want, but the tantrums are usually not overly drawn out and timeouts have been fairly effective. You used to be excellent about staying in timeout, but now we have resorted to timeouts in your crib. When you say “sorry”/”sawsee” and give us a hug, and we tell you we forgive you, it is just such a precious moment.


You request praying before meals, at bed, and at random times during the day, sometimes after we have just finished a prayer. I hope this stays with you your whole life.


For me, this year, challenged me and there were many an afternoon/night when your bedtime could not come soon enough. 18-21mo was especially rough with your communication skills not being quite adequate, giving up 2 naps, your need for more of my attention (you are especially clingy to me and not dada and seem to act up more around me). Mama also became pregnant with your brother at this time (physically and homonally draining) and I was also dealing emotionally with the sudden death of someone we knew and what I was learning about life/death/God. Thursdays and Fridays are my days with you full-time and have gotten better over the last few months. I have found ways to keep us busy in the morning. I admit, some of that time is with a screen, but that’s what PBS is for.


I am truly excited to see what kind of big brother/”ge ge” you will be to your little brother/”di di.” When I ask you where your di di is, you do point to my belly, but have also then pointed to your own, and dada’s. One morning a few months ago, I asked you if you were going to help me feed your brother and you ran over to me, held up your waffle, and put it on my belly. We have noticed that you seem to be aware when you are near a baby. You calm down, walk a little more gingerly around them. I have seen you gently rock a baby’s carseat. You are still too young to understand what is happening or going to happen, but with what I know about you already, I think we will all be alright.


I thank God for allowing me, dada, and you this blessing to see your 2nd birthday. This year has already seen the death of a church friend and your great-grandfather. The news in the world is sad. I see too many facebook pages about kids with cancer. I work with kids who are not developmentally on track and some of them won’t catch up. There are families dealing with infertility and miscarriage. There is just so much sadness and darkness. I have been learning to find and choose joy amidst all this blah. We are healthy and for that I am grateful. Your di di is growing well and is healthy. You are learning and social, happy, and growing. Not all children get to do that. Not all parents see their children grow up. So we are thankful to God for giving us this day. We celebrate His provision and love. We celebrate you, Tyler, for who you have become this past year and for the excitement that is to come! Thank you for loving us/”ai ni”. We love you!



And for some reminiscing about his actual birth day, I wrote up his birth story. Some gory-ish details, so parental guidance is advised.