Taj is Brannon's shadow every day that Brannon gets home from work. As soon as he hears his daddy coming through the door, Taj is glued to Brannon's hip for the rest of the night. Brannon just sat down on the porch to take a rest and of course Taj plopped right down beside him. I think it's so cute how much he idolizes his dad. I had always hoped Taj would. Having a child watch and imitate your every move definitely makes you want to be a better person. I always tell people that I have learned things about myself, good and bad, that I never would have otherwise learned without kids. It truly is a refiner's fire being a parent and I'm grateful that we are blessed to be able to be parents to a wild little boy and a hopefully sweet baby girl:)
He loves wearing his harness around the house, so NO I don't make him wear it, he insists on it. I think he loves it because it's a puppy dog harness.
Lately every time he gets an "owie" he comes running to me and holds out whatever hurts and wants me to kiss it. Sometimes I have to force myself to kiss his grubby little fingers or elbow or knee because as soon as I kiss it and say "all better" and he runs off playing again, totally forgetting that he got hurt in the first place.
I refinished a chair outside in the hot sun the other day and when I brought out a huge glass of ice water to keep from dying of thirst and heat, I think I got two drinks of it before Taj and his sandy little shovel found its way into it. He liked digging for the ice cubes:)
Taj is growing up on me. He is going to be 3 in less than two months and I can tell. He is starting to get a lot more independent, which is good and bad, but more good I would say. He can now open the fridge and get himself a drink or a snack. However he has to still be supervised as sometimes he chooses Soy Sauce, Half n' Half, gourmet olives, or eggs. He can also open the freezer, which is not good because he leaves it open once he gets it open. Plus, he knows that's where we keep the popsicles and as of today we've almost gone through an entire box of Otter Pops in less than two weeks.
He usually wakes me up in the morning by coming in my room, turning off the humidifier, and then he hands me my glasses because he knows mommy goes nowhere without her glasses. Some mornings he climbs in bed with me and snuggles for awhile, which I love because he hardly ever slows down to just be held.
He loves helping with laundry, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, and mopping. He's already broken one of my mops and nearly bleached out a pile of dark clothes I had sitting by the washer by throwing them in with the whites. He still loves to be outside riding his bike, playing in the sandbox, riding his Buzz Lightyear fourwheeler, playing at the park, and pushing his trucks. He absolutely loves anything with wheels still. He has about four or five trucks that he rotates through throughout the day. At night he usually chooses a toy from his toy box to go to sleep with along with his stick horse and giant stuffed animal caterpillar. He also has to have his blanket spread out in a certain way or else he freaks out and won't go to sleep.
He is still a huge movie buff, which is nice on cleaning day;)
He just got evaluated last week by the Davis School District to determine whether or not he qualifies for special needs preschool. He is also going to be evaluated by the district occupational therapist and psychologist just to make sure all our bases are covered. I'm pretty certain that he qualifies for preschool as he still has a pretty significant speech delay and sensory issues. We have an IEP next month to determine if and what type of preschool he qualifies for. I am very optimistic about him going to preschool and getting the extra help he needs. I'm sure that we will see a significant improvement in his speech once he begins preschool. We still brush him two or three times a day, which continues to help him eat better. As of today he will still eat about two meals a day, which is HUGE for us as he used to eat not even one meal a day on average. I'm sure we are going to see big improvement from here on out!
Taj is so full of personality and energy and there is not one day that is not made interesting because of him. I wouldn't have it any other way. We are so thankful for our Taji boy!
These pictures were taken when I was about six months pregnant by my younger aspiring photographer sister Marci. She did an awesome job! She's actually going to ASU right now to get her degree in photography. If you want creative, vintage-style photos, she is your girl:) Thanks Marci!
Taj and his cousin Alivia are pretty much inseparable every time they get a chance to be together. She calls him "Taji" and he talks her leg off in whatever language it is that he is currently speaking. I thought it would be fun for them to do bath time together and I was right!
If there is a toy machine that wants money to operate it, Taj will find it. Unfortunately for Taj, I almost never have change, so I'm always glad that he's content with just pretending that he's actually going for a ride.
We were the "caboose" on this mini train. Notice the seat is only like three inches wide? Talk about fanny seat sandwich! Most parents had to waddle away groaning after this ride. I of course being 40 pounds over my normal weight had no problem with this seat;)
Brannon grabbing Taj out of the out of bounds area. Taj was so excited to get on a train he ran around the fence and hopped on one of the mini trains sitting there. That boy is super quick!
On the first Saturday of the month, there is a man in Farmington, UT who operates his mini trains for little kids and their parents to ride on. Apparently, it is a family hobby and the man builds most of the trains himself, including the laying down of all the track. That, I'm sure is a time consuming and expensive hobby! Brannon told me after we'd ridden the trains that he would like to do the same thing as a hobby someday. I told him to count me out, but more power to him:) Obviously a lot of work goes into what this man does, but you should have seen the smiles on all the kids faces and the huge line of people waiting to ride these trains. The kids are probably why this man works so hard to do what he does with these trains. I'm sure you have to be a kid at heart to choose this as a hobby! Taj and Brannon enjoyed it a lot more than I did, but I'm sure that's just because I am pregnant and hot all the time:)
Taj taking advantage of the Bingo treats. I had to hide the bowl from him! He's got a major sweet tooth just like his dad:) I teach the CTR 5 primary class in my ward, which includes 5 & 6 year olds. To help them be "reverent" in class and sharing time, I let them earn stars or reverent bears. Once they earn so many, they get to choose a prize. This time around, they wanted to earn a pizza party. Pizza party? No big deal right? These guys are WAY more mature than Sunbeams right? I had no idea what I was getting myself in to! In the space of one hour, one boy managed to spend 20 minutes in my bathroom going poo and using an entire roll of toilet paper, which clogged our toilet (thank goodness he didn't try to flush it, but cleaning it up was absolutely disgusting!), I had not one, but TWO rootbeer floats spilled all over my feet and on one of my only pairs of NICE sandals, and Taj's sandbox sand ended up all over the yard! Thank goodness my teaching partner was there to help me because I couldn't wait for that ONE hour to be over with! As you can see from the picture, I think at least they were having a good time, which is what really matters anyway right? I think this may be the last pizza party we do in awhile!