Friday, May 14, 2010

Jeremiah is 2 Years Old!!!

Today, my precious "baby boy" became a "big boy" when he turned 2
years old! I am so glad that I have taken so many of my own pictures,
as well as having professional pictures taken along the way. It's
been so fun to go back and reminisce! Just for "memory sake" I
included Jeremiah's newborn and 1 Year pictures, along with his 2 Year
pictures that were taken today, on his 2nd birthday! :)

I feel SO BLESSED to be able to call myself Jeremiah's mommy! God has
blessed me with many wonderful things in my life, but Jeremiah
definitely is at the top of that list, second only to his daddy. :)
Here's a little "recap" on the first two years of Jeremiah's life,
along with with some other updates.

When Jeremiah was born, I was teaching first grade at Atlantic Shores
Christian school. Because I had him at the end of the school year, I
was able to stay home with him for the first three months of his life,
since it was "summer break" for our school. Those first three months
were SO precious, as we really bonded closely as mother and son during
that time. Jeremiah was a "breastfeeding champ" from the get go, so
that made for very special bonding, too. So many of my colleagues
doubted that I would return to teaching the following year, because
they thought I would not be able to leave my baby, after being with
him all day/every day for three months straight. I did, however,
decide to return to teaching in the Fall, and though it was very
difficult to hand my baby over to other care-givers, things were made
just a bit easier with Jeremiah's day care being just downstairs from
my classroom. A TRUE blessing! I was able to stop by and visit
him/feed him every two hours or so, and that was very nice. Even
though I had an excellent third year of teaching first grade, I still,
from time to time, feel bad about missing out on some very precious
moments in his life, when he was being cared for by others.

That being said, after much prayer and consideration, Jeremy and I
decided that it would be best if I not go back to teaching, after I
completed my third year. This was a very hard decision, since
teaching is truly one of my deepest passions. But, I have come to
learn that I have developed an even DEEPER passion in life: being a
mommy! Even though I know I'm not the perfect mother (who is?!), I do
feel like it comes naturally to me, and that it's something that God
has always planned for me to do. This past year, staying home with
Jeremiah, has been one of the BEST years of my life. I feel like I
have been able to really pour into him, by have constant one-on-one
time with him. Because I was not working this past year, Jeremiah and
I were able to go on two different short-term job transfers with
Jeremy to Bremerton (near Seattle), Washington and San Diego,
California. Our family made wonderful memories through our many
adventures in both of these incredible places! We are so thankful
that God blessed us with these opportunities to travel! Our little
Jeremiah has really become quite the "world traveler"...well,
ok...more like "United States traveler" as he has seen more of our
beautiful country this past year, than some people see in a lifetime!

It is an understatement to say that Jeremiah has "grown up" a lot in
the past year. Besides becoming a "bigger" boy, size-wise, he has
also grown in leaps and bounds, both developmentally and spiritually.
The most rewarding thing to see has been his spiritual growth. Some
would argue that 2-year-olds aren't "spiritual." For those that feel
that way, I just know that if you hung around Jeremiah for a while,
you might just change your mind! He has become very familiar with
prayer, as we pray before every meal, at bedtime, and basically
whenever we want to talk to God! :) One of the most precious things
to see is when I just start praying out loud in the car, and don't
even realize he is listening (for example if we drive by a car wreck,
or if God puts someone on my mind who is in need of prayer), and I
look back and see Jeremiah with his head bowed, his eyes closed,
whispering his own "versions" of the prayers. Of course, his favorite
part of the prayer is the "AMEN!" which he shouts out every time!
Truly WONDERFUL to see/hear/witness! He also has a great LOVE for
music, specifically praise music. Whenever I get out my guitar and
start worshiping the Lord, Jeremiah starts dancing around and clapping
his hands, with a HUGE smile on his face. Absolutely precious!
Jeremiah also has a very tender heart, which we have prayed that he
would have, even before he was born. It's not uncommon for us to pick
him up from nursery and have his nursery teachers tell us that he went
around hugging and kissing the rest of the kids, while he was playing
with them! That's music to a proud mommy's ears!

It's also been a true treat to witness Jeremiah's growing vocabulary.
At one year old, he was only able to say the following four words:
*Baba (reffering to bottle)
Over the past year, with the combination of having his ear tube
surgery around his first birthday (his hearing has GREATLY improved),
having constant one-on-one attention/learning time with me, and just
getting older/more mature, Jeremiah more than quadrupled his
vocabulary. We started keeping a journal of his words, and so I will
do my best to re-create that list here:
*mommy (instead of "mama")
*daddy (instead of "dada")
*thank you
*apple juice
*milk (sounds like "muck")
*Grammy/Grampy (sounds like "mammy/bappy")
*Uncle (sounds like "unc")
*night night
I KNOW I am forgetting to list some of the words he says. But this
list just gives a "general idea" of things he says on a daily basis.
Pretty exciting! He's able to point to/say all of his body parts, on
his own, which is also fun to hear/see! He's working on his animal
sounds and is now able to identify/make the sound for almost all of
the animals, but specifically cow, pig, horse, duck, and sheep. We
are working on his ABCs with him, and so far, he can only say the
first three: A-B-C, but we are hoping that by his third birthday, he
will be saying them all/singing the song, all by himself! He is also
able to count to three, but his favorite number to point out and say,
is the number "2"--which is perfect because that is how old he is
right now!! :)

As far as I can tell, Jeremiah is pretty excited about being a big
brother! Whenever we are around little babies, he always points them
out and says, "baby," and we work on being gentle, etc. I always
explain that "mommy has a baby in her belly," and so now he is able to
point to my belly and say "baby." We know that the new baby will
bring on HUGE changes for all of us, but especially Jeremiah, as he
gets used to being a "gentle" big brother, and sharing his mommy and
daddy. We pray that God would equip us with the tools we need for
teaching Jeremiah how to be a good big brother, although, I'm sure
some of that will come naturally to him, too!

I'll end with a special little note that I wrote for Jeremiah today,
in celebration of his 2nd birthday:
"Jeremiah, words cannot possibly begin to describe how much I love
you! I am tremendously blessed to be your mommy! I PRAISE THE LORD for
giving you to me, as my son! These past two years have been the BEST
of my life, and I can't wait to see what God does in your life in the
future! Happy 2nd Birthday!"