I haven't really given an update on Daniel in a long time. There's so much happening with him that it gets overwhelming to think about writing it all down! But I don't want to forget the little details, which I know I will if I don't write them down. And once Gideon is here, I won't have as much time to write.
Daniel is basically 2 1/2 now. I think one of the most noticeable things about him is that he's really picking up lots of new words and speaking more in phrases and sentences. For the most part, I can really communicate with him now and understand what's going on in his little brain! It's lots of fun to hear him talking so much. And he sings. That's really cute too!
Another major thing is that he's really beginning to pretend play, or in other words, his imagination is growing. I am really excited to see this happen. I think he mainly plays what he sees on videos like Fireman Sam (his favorite right now) and Bob the Builder, etc. He'll pretend that there's a fire and then he'll pretend like he's putting it out, talking all the while. His favorite toys right now are his fire trucks, construction trucks, and trains. He loves tools and anyone doing anything with tools is his hero! :) He still loves to play in the sand with his toys, but doesn't like to play on the slides much and not at all on the swings. I think the swings are a little too scary for him (although Phillip would probably disagree). When we are driving in the car, he notices every construction vehicle, every fire truck, and basically any huge piece of equipment or huge vehicle. The other day, we were driving in Springdale and we got to see the AR-MO train and he was just captivated! He really wanted to ride it. Someday we will definitely have to do that. We have a couple of tricycles, but he hasn't really picked up on the pedalling thing. We don't work on it enough, cause it's always so hot!! He also likes for me to read him books. Usually at night, we read through 3 or 4 books and he enjoys that quite a bit. I take him to the library quite a bit but just for very short periods of time. He'd rather explore the library and make noise than sit quietly and read books with me. He also occasionally works puzzles, but I don't sit down and work on those with him enough (I was never a big puzzle person). I need to work on this with him some more. Catalina loves puzzles and she is really good at them!
He's also learning colors and counting. He can count to 4 pretty well (the numbers aren't always in order though) and he knows the colors blue, orange, and green very well. Or maybe those are just his favorite colors. He really does know red and purple too, but doesn't usually comment on them. Still working on yellow, white, black and brown. That's probably my fault too. I'm not really drawn to those colors so I don't always point them out! He doesn't know his ABC's at all. I guess that's what we need to start working on next. He's familiar with the song and sometimes we'll sing it together, but he really doesn't sing much past G. He also knows what a Bible is and when we pray to Jesus he loves to pray with us out loud. He even added some things to pray for! Usually we pray this: "Dear Jesus, Thank you for the food. Please be with Mommy and be with Daddy at work. (He added the next part). Please be with (everyone in the family including both sets of grandparents, Aunt Katie, and Catalina which he pronounces as kee-lah much to her chagrin) while they're at work. Bless Daniel and help Daniel to obey. Be with baby Gideon. Amen!" The amen part is really loud. :) I love hearing him pray. It's very cute. And he always smiles really big when he's done praying - I have no idea why. Anyway, we got him a picture Bible for his last birthday and he loves to read the stories out of it. He also enjoys church although at this point, he mostly gets to play there. He's in the toddlers class and they do have a little Bible lesson and usually a coloring page. Otherwise, they play (or fight) and eat snack, sing some songs, and make a huge mess of all the very cool toys! :) Sometimes we do try to bring him into the sanctuary with the adults and have him practice being quiet, but that doesn't last long. We also bring him in when we are singing congregational songs and he likes to sing along. My goal is to try to bring Jesus more into our daily conversations. I am in a parenting Bible study at our church and it's been very motivational to me! We are going through the book Shepherding A Child's Heart by Ted Tripp. It's very good! Anyway, I want Daniel to be used to hearing about Jesus so that by the time he can understand what we're talking about, talking about Jesus will be 2nd nature to him.
Daniel is very stong-willed, but also he's very sensitive. Is it possible to be both?? He does like his own way and for the most part has opinions on how things should be. He can get in a fight with Catalina in a blink of an eye! But then he can also be very gentle and give lots of kisses. He's also sensitive in that he can't watch scary movies at all. I don't show him scary movies, by the way, but he can get scared even in Bob the Builder or Kipper. So, I have to be really careful with what he watches. Sometimes at night, he wakes up crying for no apparent reason and it takes him a while to calm down and go back to sleep. During these episodes I always wonder if he had a bad dream. I hate to think that he did, but I can't figure out why else he would wake up that way. He's very much like me in this way. I can't watch scary movies at all and I'm very sensitive to people's sufferings.
Some other quick things...He's not potty-trained yet, although this is probably again my fault. I know he's ready. I just have to take the time to deal with it. Phillip may have to do it once the baby comes and he's off work. :) Also, we need to start working on getting Daniel to sleep by himself. He still sleeps with Phillip in the other bedroom. Because he's going through this stage where he gets scared more easily, it may be difficult to get him to sleep in a dark room by himself. Somehow and someday I know he'll eventually sleep by himself. :) He's always had sleep issues. I'm hoping Gideon will be the opposite!
I think Daniel will really enjoy having a baby brother. I think he will adjust to it really well. Better than me I'm sure! ;) We'll see...Catalina is also really excited about this baby. She wants to help me do everything including shopping for his clothes! :)
In summary, Daniel is so much fun right now despite his constant need for correction! His little mind is learning so much, and it's fun to see the things he's interested in and to wonder what he'll be interested in when he's older. I'm so thankful for him! Motherhood has been the greatest challenge in my life and I know in some ways it's going to just get more challenging. That's kinda scary to me, especially since I feel so inadequate right now! But I am learning so much about myself and about God the Father, and I pray that this experience will bring me closer to Christ.