It’s hard to believe that Ryan is two already! He’s at such a fun age of learning – seemingly learning something new every day!
It’s been most fun to observe Ryan’s growth with language! He’s talking up a storm. It seems like he went from saying just a few words to speaking in long phrases and sentences in just a few weeks! It’s interesting knowing what he’s thinking about and fun to hear his connections. He likes to report on things that he sees as well as copy things that he hears us or Ian say. He’s also very interested in people’s names. He knows all 12+ names of the Thomas the tank engine trains we have, and he wants to know the name of EVERY character in EVERY book we read. He’ll say, “What that name?” and point to a picture of a random character he sees in the book. Ryan knows his colors and sort of has the idea of counting, though he’ll never start at one. Instead, he typically counts “3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.” And, when we ask him how old he is, he’s always either “3” or “5” – never 2!
Ryan is a sweet, tender-hearted little boy. He loves to help and be involved. In fact, he’ll say, “Ryan help!” if he’s worried that we’re going to attempt a task without him. When he hears us say we need something, he’ll go to get it right away – even before we've had the chance to! He really wants others to be happy, and it bothers him when they’re not. When he sees a character in a book crying or looking sad, he’ll point and say worriedly, “He sad!” or “He crying” or “No one to play with!” A few weeks ago, Ryan threw a stuffed bunny into the fireplace. Kim showed Ryan the black spots on the bunny and said that the bunny was sad to be so dirty. Apparently, this really resonated with Ryan. A few hours later, he brought the (still dirty) bunny to Kim and said, “Bunny happy!”
Even though Ryan is very eager to please, he definitely has his streak of “terrible two.” He gets a smile and mischievous look on his face as he’s testing a known rule. He also likes to yell or become a limp noodle when he doesn’t get his way – or when it’s time for teeth brushing or giving him medicine. He’s already the master of trying to delay bedtime and always has a long list of things that he needs (a certain toy, a drink of water, to be covered up again, etc.) right before Momma or Daddy leave the room (or right afterwards).
We jokingly call Ryan our little hoarder. He rarely takes one or two toys around with him. Instead, he tries to carry heaping armfuls of vehicles or have US carry ten or more toys downstairs or upstairs so he can have his whole collection along. We’ve repurposed empty diaper wipe containers into carrying boxes for all of his stuff. J Sometimes, it seems like there’s hardly room for him to sleep in his crib with all of the things that he’s asked to “sleep with” him.
Ryan is definitely more independent than Ian was at this age. He doesn’t mind playing by himself while we’re doing the dishes or other tasks. (Ian would’ve preferred to be at our feet or helping us with every task.) Ryan is usually okay with other people babysitting him as well, though lately he has become a little more clingy and tells us “no nursery!” when we go to church. Ryan also tries to solve some of his own problems. Since Ryan is the early riser (waking well before 6:00 most mornings), he’ll often get hungry before the rest of us do. He’ll often bring a plastic bowl and the bag of Craisins from the pantry to us, asking us for “a snack” before breakfast. He also loves to carry around our short step stool so he can reach things that he otherwise couldn't.
We still get lots of comments on “how cute” Ryan is – especially his long blonde locks. We don’t have plans of cutting his hair short anytime soon. It’s especially cute seeing Ryan twirl his hair with one or both hands while he plays. Ryan is just over average (60th percentile or so) for both height and weight – a few inches shorter than Ian was at this age.
Ryan wants to be doing whatever Ian is doing and just adores Ian. He’ll copy things that Ian says and is almost always up for whatever Ian suggests doing. Even though Ryan isn’t always the best at sharing his toys with peers, he’ll usually be willing to give up any toy he’s playing with if Ian asks for it. It’s fun to see their friendship developing and watching them actually playing together (not just side-by-side). “Looking for monsters” (going into a dark closet with a flashlight) is one of their favorite games to play together. It was precious hearing Ryan cheer for Ian during Ian’s soccer games by chanting, “Go, E (Ian), go!” or “Go, yightning (Lightning), go!”
Ryan continues to be obsessed with trains. He loves attaching magnetic trains together in a long line and pulling them along train tracks or any smooth, long surface (like the kitchen table). He still loves vehicles, too, and has recently become a fan of getting into Momma & Daddy’s big, jetted tub (without water) and encircling himself with various vehicles around the perimeter of the tub. He also loves being read to, sweeping with his little broom, and wearing anyone’s shoes he can find lying around. (“I Daddy” he’ll say if he’s tromping around in Matt’s shoes.) Ryan also loves simple games like “Are You Sleeping, Mr. Bear?,” “Hide and Seek,” “Elefun,” and “Hullabaloo.” We also jokingly say that Ryan will be our future gymnast, as he LOVES to "Tarzan" off the exercise bike in our room.
Ryan’s favorite place to be is outside. When we talk about our “good thing and bad thing” from the day over dinner, without fail, Ryan’s good thing is, “play ouwide.” He loves splashing in the water table, playing in the sandbox, swinging for LONG periods of time, looking for bugs under rocks, pushing his Cozy Coupe, and pushing his trike. He also loves going on walks in his stroller and looking for dogs and cats along the way. He LOVES dogs, always wants to pet them, and doesn’t mind if they lick him. He has loved having Ace in our house while Jon and Chelsea live with us, and Ace has been very tolerant of all of Ryan’s affection.
We laugh about our worries early on about Ryan not eating table food. He’s a much better eater now. Though he still doesn’t really prefer meat, he’ll eat lots of other things. Fruit is his favorite food group (especially berries & grapes), and he also loves pizza, tortillas, green beans, pancakes, Cheetos, fruit snacks, and anything sweet.
Ryan is obsessed with babies or children smaller than he is. He loves to “hug” and touch babies – sometimes causing them to topple over if we don’t catch and redirect him in time. He likes to pat Momma’s tummy and say, “Baby in there!”
We love Ryan’s happy, energetic, easygoing personality! He’s a smart, friendly, lovable little boy, and we can’t wait to see how our Lord will use him in the months and years ahead. We love you, Ryan! J
|with his whole line of cars along our kitchen table|
|chasing a squirrel "ouwide" (outside)|
|It got away! :)|
|okra printing paintings|
|Ryan always spends the most time at the train table when we go to the children's museum ....|
|...though dump trucks and shopping carts are big hits, too!|
|riding in the fire truck|
|"washing dishes" at the children's museum. It really bothered Ryan that he couldn't get anything to come out of the faucet even when he spun the knobs.|
|Ryan enjoyed opening his birthday cards, especially ones with Thomas on them. :)|
|Ryan immediately wanted to drink out of the new water bottle Uncle Jon & Aunt Chelsea gave him!|
|New dot painters from Uncle Jason, Aunt Amy, Jaden & Cody!|
|The Thomas "tent" from Uncle Andrew, Aunt Sarah, and Abby was an instant success, too! Both boys can fit in it very nicely.|
|birthday pancakes for Ryan|
|On Ryan's birthday, we found a train table at a neighbor's garage sale. Talk about a perfect birthday gift!|
|Ryan loves "riding" the exercise bike by making the pedals go down, but his favorite thing to do is swing like Tarzan from the handlebars to get off the bike.|