Months Thirty-Five and Thirty-Six

October 15, 2022


And like that, you’re three. This post has been hard to get started, realizing that it’s the last post “monthly” post for our last boy. We’ve now had 36 wonderful months of life with you, and it has been a joy the whole time. All that said, it looks like this post is brought to you by the letter “B”…big boy bed, back to school, birthdays, biking, being a wonderful little boy…

We’ve given you lots of changes this month, including taking the side off of your crib to make a big boy bed! That, in combination with the color-changing clock, means that you can get up and play in your room until the light turns green. Naturally, that’s led to a few nights finding you up reading to yourself in your rocking chair 45 minutes after putting you to bed. We also had the one night where you popped out of your room 15 times, “I have to go potty.” “I need water,” etc. etc. Even despite that, you’ve taken to the clock and the freedom. You get up and go potty by yourself (most of the time), and play quietly before it’s actually time to get up, especially at nap time. That’s a very nice blessing for other nappers in the house. At this point, it’s only your parents who really want that nap some days.

We like to peek in when you’re playing or reading in your chair (whether you’re supposed to be or not). It’s a pleasure to see you growing up and building your imagination. We have been asking what color your light is to get you used to staying in your room until it turns green; you get told to go back in until it turns. The outcome is that, when we peeked in to get you out early one day, you were happily playing while your light was still red. You looked up, “it’s not red yet!”, repeated that two more times, and then exasperated, “it’s not red yet! I told you three times!”

For a while, you were even making the bed in the morning. We thought you might roll around and fall out at some point, as your older brothers did when they first got their beds. It hasn’t happened yet, and you happily announced after a few weeks “I haven’t fallen out yet!”

Your older brothers went back to school this month. You were very excited to see backpacks and lunches packed, and things prepped the night before. You made yourself a container of goldfish, put it in your backpack, and put that by the door the night before school started. You were very disappointed to find out that you weren’t going that next day, and pretty bummed the next three days while your brothers were away. This has been the first summer where you’re really playing with your brothers, and it took some adjustment when your playmates had to go back to school.

As you were going to bed the night of your birthday, you looked at Mommy while snuggling and said, “I’m three now. Does that mean I get to go to preschool?”

It’s two months of birthdays, from Noah (a blast on the slip and slide), Seth (Nerf chaos all over the house), to your third birthday party, with Paw Patrol and all your friends. You had a great time with everyone, and we had a great time celebrating you, too.

You’ve come into your own on the strider bike these two months as well. You’re all over the neighborhood, riding up and down the cul-de-sac, and even going on longer rides with Daddy. You’ve even ridden all the way on a walk with Mommy and Daddy, just cruising along (stopping occasionally to check out a cool rock). You’ve tried a pedal bike with training wheels, and now you’re working on riding a real bike! You’ve got the balance, you just have to get that paired up with pedaling correctly. Of course, biking has led to some decent crashes already. Brushed it off, asked for some bandaids, and got right back at it.

Grandpa and Grandma came to visit, which is always a great time! We spent some time touring museums at the Smithsonian, and went to King’s Dominion, where they have a fall pumpkin patch and trick-or-treat with Peanuts characters.

Your clear little voice and extensive vocabulary lights up our days and the days of everyone you meet and greet as we go about our day, from the store to the street. You have the cutest way of adding an s to words that end in a silent “e” sound. “These are mines!”.

Every day brings fun memories:

  • “Dad, it’s wind-ing hard!” (blowing)
  • Looking at the ads and putting together a grocery list, just like Mommy. “Do we have goldfish? I’m going to get some apples.”
  • Feeling daddy’s toes in his shoes, checking the sizes. “These are too small.”
  • Pulled bunny out of the dryer, squealed with joy, and ran away making kissing noises. “Bunny gave me kisses!”
  • Arranged a line of cars next to a fire station toy. “They’re in the Chik-Fil-A drive through!”
  • Requested pajamas with monkeys on them. Looked down at them after dressing and started giggling, “So many monkeys on my pants!”

  • Any food that he’s previously enjoyed, but decides he doesn’t like right now. “I hate this rice!”
  • Mommy: “Holy cow!” Titus: “Where’s the cow?”
  • At the National Archives. Mommy: “Those were our forefathers.” Titus: “No, five fathers!”
  • You’ve decided that you are old enough to shower by yourself, just like your brothers. “No, I want to do a shower!”

Daddy had a day off of work, so you got to go hiking with Mommy and Daddy. We saw tiny frogs on the trail, and lots of spiders over the trail. Daddy moved one out of the way by moving the branches the web was attached to, and said, “Sorry, dude”. You spent the rest of the hike calling every spider a ‘sorry, dude’, as in “I see a sorry dude!”

You’ve grown so much in three years, and even just in the last two months. After a bath now, your hooded bath towel barely goes down to your feet. Not so long ago, you used to disappear into that towel for snuggles. We love seeing you grow and learn every day, and still miss the baby and toddler that you were. Thanks for being our son. We love you lots!

Daddy and Mommy

Happy Third Birthday Titus!

October 09, 2022


Happy birthday!

For the last month, you’ve been turning anywhere from three to six, depending on when you’re asked. Finally, it’s your big day! You’re really no longer our baby, you’re growing into such a little boy every day. It’s a pleasure to watch you!

We can’t wait to see what blessings the next year brings for you and our family.

With all our love,

Daddy and Mommy (and Seth & Noah)

Months Thirty-Three and Thirty-Four

August 09, 2022


We had an action-packed summer, with lots of travel and adventures. From Colorado to visit family, to a trip to Florida for a week, and lots of time in the pool at home, it was wet. And fun. The month started with a huge slip-n-slide party in the backyard with lots of friends.

You’ve started climbing, mostly out of places you’re supposed to be staying. After a round of fussing at the table, Mommy told you you had to stay in your chair or you would have consequences. You proceeded to start getting down, “I have to tell mommy I sorry.” You came right over to to Mommy, “I love you mommy”. “Back in your chair, mister.”

Next, it was climbing out of your crib. “I got up myself!” This genie is not going back in the bottle. Popping out of your room at naptime and in the morning necessitated a color-changing clock. We’ve gone with green when it’s time to come out. “Mommy, my light is green!” Now, the whole upstairs knows when it’s green, and it’s time to come out. I suspect that we’re just going to have to take the side off the crib soon.

The flip side of climbing out is that you’re our first kid to really know when you want to go into the crib, too. When that time of night rolls around, you know you’re ready for bed. You ask for milk, ask for a bath, and then give a hard yes when we ask if it’s time for bed.

The trip to Colorado started with a flight with just Daddy and Noah. (Mommy and Seth went a day early). After Mommy’s successfully negotiated flights with all three boys by herself more times than you have fingers, Daddy got to have most of the experience. It’s not even a little bit comparable to how good Mommy is at this.

Colorado was a great time celebrating with family. Mommy’s birthday, Grandpa’s 75th birthday, and Papa and Nana’s 50th wedding anniversary. On top of that, there was bowling with cousins, sleeping over at Grandpa and Grandma’s, mini golf, and a big water slide!

You got your first bowling experience. Each set of pins knocked down prompted a celebration, and jumping around. “I made a record! Yeah!” A big birthday celebration for cousins and Mommy at the cousins’ community pool got you access to the big waterslide. You’re still working on swimming, but you’re more than happy to fly down a slide. As long as someone’s there to catch you…

Your knowledge of shapes has advanced as well. In June, Mommy held up a shape. “What shape is this?” “A…shape?” In August, “What is this?” “A shape-a gon!”

Quick hits:

  • Washed your hands in Nana’s bathroom, “Ew, it’s citrus. I don’t like citrus, ugh!”
  • Looking for your clothes: “I don’t know where is the pants!”
  • Opening the Amazon package Daddy ordered for Mommy. “Oh, cool!” Mommy had to have Seth put it back so she didn’t see it.
  • Popped out of the playroom, hopped in the air, and said “Holy Moley!” “I just said holy moley!”
  • Every time you have a bath, you get dried off, dry off your head, and then have to hop up on the stool to look at your hair. “Hair sticking up!” or “My hair crazy!”
  • Watching the fireworks over the Potomac from Mount Vernon.

That crazy hair led Mommy to take all three of the boys for a haircut. What a cute bunch! That happened right before our big, right-before-school trip to Florida. Daddy had to be at training for a week, so the whole family went down early to go to Sea World, and then to enjoy the sun, sea, and pool before school kicked off. Sea World brought the fascinating dolphin and whale shows, as well as your first roller coaster! We also got to go on an airboat tour of the Everglades. It was hot and sunny, but the alligators did not want to come out to be seen.

We got family pictures at the beach, and had great times at the pool and in the ocean. You decided the last day in the pool that you were going to go underwater. Over and over. With your eyes open. That led to jumping in and getting back to the surface on your own. If it weren’t the end of summer, you might be swimming before long! Maybe some indoor pool time this fall and winter.

We went two for two with travel delays on our trips. Late flights resulted in arriving back home from both trips after 2 AM. Skipping nap meant you were hamming it up at the gate for the second, delayed flight. You’re cute enough to get away with wandering around being nosy, and talking with everyone. You have no stranger danger whatsoever, and everyone loves you.

It’s been a pleasure to spend the summer with you and your brothers, making memories and having fun. You are so talkative and cute, it’s fun each and every day. We can’t believe we are already heading into birthday season for you and your brothers, and you are almost three! We cherish every day with you, and wish you wouldn’t grow so fast.

We love you so much!

Daddy and Mommy

Months Thirty-One and Thirty-Two

June 12, 2022


Well, goodness. It was time to potty train this month, which means that this could be 6 paragraphs just discussing that. Or more. So much talk around the potty this month, but you’re getting it. Very few accidents, and staying dry through naps is all well worth the effort. You’ve gone from just starting out wanting all the independence. I came home from work one day to have you announce, “Daddy, I stuck my foot in the potty!” while attempting to climb on yourself.

Going #2 in the potty rewards you with a peppermint. Not an M&M, or anything else, you love those peppermints. We get your little face looking up from the potty at us. “I have pepperint?” Accompanied by straining to earn that peppermint. It took about two weeks for you to figure out that peppermints are not really to be chewed. Chewing a peppermint, you get this slightly concerned frown, very focused on working through that peppermint. It’s a very cute look, but it only lasted a little while. Now you’ve figured out how to suck on the peppermint and make it last a while. A very long while. Sometimes 30 minutes later it’s still in your cheek.

Enough potty talk, as it were. No more “Look, a million poops!” or “Excuse my bottom!” At least, not in this polite company. We’ll still be discussing this on the regular with you for the next couple months, but I think we can keep it internal. It’s such a big milestone for your parents when we can stop changing diapers. Especially because Daddy’s had a broken wrist and is doing that one-handed, with quite a bit of help from you. Between lifting your legs, and holding the pieces in place, it can be a one-handed job. With your independent streak, though, you’re wanting to do it yourself entirely now. So that means the diapers come off, the underwear comes on and off, etc. Random naked toddler running through the house to keep us on our toes.

Your voice has gotten clearer every day, along with an expanding vocabulary and knowledge of the world around you. You’ve had this sweet, clear-voiced “Yes?” and “No?” answers, pitched slightly like a question in answer to questions you are asked to which you know the answers. You regularly talk in your crib for a while now after we put you to bed. Only once you went so far as to stay up for a couple house, throwing out all your stuffed animals, and then crying for bunny. Having to go to sleep with all your stuffed animals on the floor (after the third time you did it that night) has nipped that problem. It’s hard not to give in to your little voice asking for your stuffed animals back, though.

We hear so many cute Titus-isms from you. You want to be held? You ask “Mommy hold you?” Or simply “Hold you?” with your arms out. Or even, “I want to hold Mommy!” This, when Daddy’s trying to get you out of your crib. With Daddy’s one hand, that requires quite a bit of help on your part. If you’re not on board, it’s pretty much impossible. The umbrella is a “rainbrella”, which, as Mommy says, makes way more sense anyway.

“I’m sorry, I love you, Mommy!” You’ve been exploring your independence more of late, including independence from listening to Mommy and Daddy. With those decisions come some consequences, but you’ve also realized that you’re the cutest, and an apology is a good way forward.

Seth was pretty sick this month and wanted to go take a bath after eating to feel better. You looked around the table, “My throat hurts too. Can I have a bath after Seth?” Also “My tummy hurts, can I have a bath?” Then, later, “I got water on my shirt. My shirt is wet. I need a bath?” Needless to say, you’re a big fan of a bath, and will go for one at the merest mention. Or, decide on your own that you want one.

Both Daddy and Froggy T had surgery this month. I think it helped you figure out what that even meant. Froggy T went away with Grandma after she visited, and then showed up in a package one day, all repaired! Just like Daddy. He disappeared for a little while, and then showed back up all repaired. Takes a little longer for Daddy to heal than a stuffed animal.

The flood from late March has resulted in a new bathroom in your room. Mommy’s done great work, and you’ve been fascinated as the flooring went in, the new vanity and sink, and finally a potty of your own! Each stage has brought remarks, from “they took my bathroom” to “I got a new potty!” Now the towels and rugs are sharks, which are pretty much your favorite. Goes along with your favorite shark jammies.

You continue to have fun with your brothers, from cheering them both on at their games, to holding your own on the trampoline with them. When Noah was throwing a fit on the main level, you stepped right up to the balcony railing and started saying “Wah, wah, wah” and rubbing your eyes as if crying, which set Noah off more, and pretty much killed Mommy and Daddy with containing their laughter.

Turnabout is fair play, though. Seth got you up on his bed, and then turned on the old, semi-functional Roomba he got from a neighbor. You had to call until Daddy heard you to come in and rescue you off the bed as you watched, wide-eyed, as the Roomba roamed the floor below you.

June brought a visit from the cousins and a trip to Virginia Beach for your first time at the beach. We had a great time as a family digging in the sand, playing in the waves, and swimming at the hotel. We got to play on the beach at sunset, fly kites, and just generally enjoy the seashore.

Life with you is a series of vignettes, each with its own special memories. Each day, each encounter we’d save if we could, capturing all the big and little details. We’ll just have to settle for the privilege of constantly having you in our lives.


Daddy and Mommy

Months Twenty-Nine and Thirty

April 11, 2022


Diapers and potties have loomed large this month. Between you announcing you’re stinky, us asking, and your brothers observations we seem to be constantly discussing it. Beyond that, you’ve figured out how to get your diaper off. In or out of your crib, or otherwise. We seem to be getting closer and closer to potty training. You disappear about the same time each day into your playroom and shut the door. A few minutes later, you pop out to announce that you’re dirty and grab your basket of diapers for a change.

Overheard on the monitor sometime after 9 PM: “Daddy! Diaper change!” We’ve flipped your sleep sack backwards now so you can’t just unzip it and take the wet diaper off yourself. You are sleeping dry through the night now on occasion. Potty training is coming soon, whether we want it or not.

If we mention (or if you decide) it’s time for a bath, you head right for the bathroom. Without intervention, you will get all your clothes off, sit on the potty, and then climb right in the bathtub. You like to have a bath at night more than almost anything else. Titus: “I’m going to have a bath.” Dad: “you don’t need a bath tonight”. Titus: “Mommy, I have a bath?” Dad: “Getting a second opinion?” Titus: “Yeah!” This, all the way to melting to the ground in the hallway because you can’t have a bath.

The kitchen stool has created significant risks for us and rewards for you. Every time we turn around, the stool is out in the kitchen being used to access the counter or the fridge. From bread to cereal, to milk, you know where we keep it all and aren’t shy about doing it yourself. Since the stool is stored in the pantry, it gives access to all of those shelves as well. We an empty pack of gum and wrappers on the shelf one day. After establishing with your brothers that they weren’t theirs, we found one chewed piece of gum and 5 more pieces in the dog’s dish. It appears you know how best to dispose of the evidence. The only thing we have to keep locked up is that stool.

You stole the stool on multiple occasions, but on one you climbed up to the counter to get a piece of candy out of the upper cabinet in which it’s (not, apparently) hidden. In the process, the salt spilled out on the counter. As you later described it to Daddy, “Salt everywhere. Mommy clean it up!”

You love to run errands with Mommy. You know that there are always errands to run and can’t wait to go when it’s time. You finished your breakfast one morning and announced to Daddy, “I’m going to Target and the bank!” Not sure if you actually had heard Mommy talking about it that morning, but it was on your schedule. You also like Walmart, the grocery store, and Costco. “Errands with Mommy!”

Everything we say we hear back from you at some point. You are paying attention to all the little details and copying those sayings and expressions exactly. From our instructions to your brothers to things we teach, it’s all echoed. As Mommy was coaching Seth on basketball in the car one day, you piped up about every third sentence with “yeah! Uh huh!”

Your brothers have been trying to teach you basic math. You know 1+1 is 2, but just apparently through repetition. Seth asked you at the table “what’s 4 plus 4?” Through a mouthful of spaghetti, you replied, “Full of food!” We call you various nicknames, and always get the reply, “No, I Titus.”

At some point this month you decided that you could do the hoverboard just like your brothers. You hopped right up on there and went from standing and balancing to rolling all around the basement in a couple of days. Mommy just came down the stairs one day to find you rolling around. Back and forth, over bumps, and spinning, it’s all there. Daddy even found you driving around on your knees. It’s nice to be short, with that low center of gravity.

It’s been a rough couple months for sicknesses, but you pretty much roll through them with a smile, most of the time. A couple tummy bugs generally result with you on a towel on the living room floor next to a bucket, watching something to keep you still. Describing this to Nana over FaceTime, “Threw up in bucket! Watched mouse!” Later you had about the worst croup we’ve seen, and we ended up having to bring you into bed with us to try and get you to sleep. You spent an hour rolling around talking to your bunny, saying “hi” to Daddy. At about 2 AM, you found Daddy’s hand slapped it, and said, “Gave Daddy high five!” Sorry, dude, we are not co-sleepers.

The end of the month was quite eventful. Grandma and Grandpa came to visit, which was lots of fun as always. Mommy and Daddy came in late from a date (thanks for sitting, Grandpa and Grandma!) and found you wide awake and kicking the wall in your crib. “Hi Daddy! Grandpa put me to bed!”

In addition to that, Daddy broke his wrist and had surgery on it. Every time you saw Daddy in his splint for the first 5 days, you said “Daddy crashed?” or “you crashed?” Thanks for the reminder, little man.

You have learned and grown so much the last two months. Every day you are more independent and want to do everything on your own. Fortunately, you are still Mommy’s little snuggle buddy and need her every day. Keep learning and growing, but always need your Mommy.


Daddy and Mommy

Months Twenty-Seven and Twenty-Eight

February 12, 2022


The first Christmas with you or your brothers was always a very special occasion, just to celebrate the milestone. But the second Christmas, where you’re walking, talking, and enjoying is even more special in many ways. Celebrating Christmas with you as you enjoyed time with your grandparents, cousins, and family; and celebrated our traditions was such a wonderful time. We celebrated with a candlelight Christmas Eve service, and you got to see the wonder of the light spreading through the sanctuary from person to person.

You haven’t quite realized that presents are supposed to be for you to open, so it’s far more fun to see you running around to carry presents to other people and just enjoying the whole time. You have quite realized that you’re the cutest in a Santa hat, which you now refer to as your “Ho ho ho!” It seems the presents require to you tear paper, which, up to this point, has been off limits to you.

Christmas also meant travel to and from Colorado to see friends and family, and to stay with them. You were so excited to get on the airplane to go visit, and very disappointed two days before that you didn’t get to get up to go on the airplane yet. Since Papa always made bacon or sausages in his air fryer, you’d pop right up in your crib in the morning and ask, “Hi Papa? Bacon? Sausage?” You also got to sleep over with your brothers for the first time at Grandpa and Grandma’s house. You had a wonderful time, but “Miss mommy” was the word when you got home. Sitting around the table at the restaurant, you greeted each of the 9 other cousins in turn. “Hi! Hi Grant! Hi! Hi Audrey!”, etc.

Coming back home to Virginia brought a snowstorm with 16 inches of snow and 36 hours without power. Daddy and your brothers got a whole week off work and school, and we did the gas stove, hanging out in front of the fireplace, games and books by flashlights, and lots of sledding. There’s nothing like the face you make deciding whether to cry over the face full of snow or enjoy the ride down the hill.

You are paying attention to every little thing that goes on around you now. Watching Mommy get ready in the bathroom, you walked over to the drawer and proceeded to give her makeup in the correct order. Just like Mommy and Daddy, you walked over to the kitchen hand towel, smelled it, and informed us “Dirty!”. Your older brothers have gotten into both Minecraft and Starcraft. Taking after them, you sit down at the table and say “Talk about Minecraft!” or “Two battlecruisers!” Not entirely sure what the words mean, but you’ve picked them all up from your brothers.

We find you after nap or bed playing in your crib, going through your words, and just generally having a good time. Seth put you in your crib at one point this month, at which point you climbed right out. That’s scored you the Sleep Sack Reversal, so the zipper is in the back and you can’t take it off. The loss of the use of your legs keeps you in the crib for now. Your brothers enjoy building forts out of whatever’s available, so you’re right on that train. We came in after nap to find that you’d “Built a fort!” by arranging a blanket for your stuffed animals.

The rapid vocabulary expansion also has you finishing sentences and books. You love to read the same book multiple times. From the Elephant and Piggie books to the Very Hungry Caterpillar, you know how almost every page ends. “And he was?” “Still hungry!”

You’ve started to figure out how to get your own pants on, especially jammies. (To be fair, you’ve been able to get them all off for a while, to include your diaper, especially with the promise of a bath, but that’s neither here, nor there.) It so fun to watch you figure out how to sit down, roll the pants so the tag is in the back, and work those legs in. With these discoveries, you’re also starting to figure out how to sit on the potty. “Potty!” It looks like it might be time for that soon. Again with the observation, we’ll see you closing the bathroom door with the statement, “Be out in a minute!” to blow your nose, or want to go potty, etc.

The bathroom also has water faucets, which are a new and intriguing experience for you. You went and got the stool out of the hallway bathroom to bring it to your bathroom. You proceeded to climb up to the counter, get your toothbrush, fill a glass with water, and carry the glass downstairs. We cannot leave you unsupervised ever. We knew this day would come when we gave you the room with its own bathroom, and here we are.

More words also brings more tattling on your brothers. “Seth pushed me!” “Oh yes? But did you hit him in the head?” “Yes.” When your first child tells you “No!” when you tell them to do something, it’s like a crisis of parenting. When the third kid does the same, it’s somehow cute (sometimes). Sorry to your older brothers for that one, Titus.

Mommy: “You need a haircut.” Titus, rubbing his hands across his head with a smile, “Fluffy puppy!” You bring so much joy to all of our days. We love you so very much.

Daddy and Mommy

Months Twenty-Five and Twenty-Six

December 11, 2021


How can you be two already? With 2020 basically a lost year, it seems like you’re so old, so quickly. That, and it seems like we’ve been in Virginia much longer than just 5 months. We still expect you to be 18 months old, but you’re running, playing, talking, and asserting your little joyful nature with us and everyone you meet.

With a couple of colds that have been passed around the friends and school, you’ve learned how to blow your nose. Nothing makes you feel more accomplished as a parent than that. You declare that you need to “Blow nose!” and off we go. I think we can pretty much declare that we’ve successfully prepared you for the world and focus on your brothers.

You can even bring us the tissue or toilet paper to blow the nose, walking right up to daddy with the end of the toilet paper to blow. Unfortunately, the end was still connected to the roll. Three rooms away. The most impressive part is that you managed to go that far without a tear.

You’ve also figured out what the potty is for. On multiple occasions, you have informed Mommy that you’d like to sit on the potty, and successfully executed on that once. Not sure that we’re quite ready for you to go down that road, especially since you can’t actually get up there by yourself yet, but we’ll be there sooner than later.

One of our favorite family activities since the fall time change is hide and seek in the dark. You kick it off more often than not with “Count! Count!” and trying to turn off the lights. Counting to twenty in the dark as you run around that house is the best part of the game for you. We’ve got 18 of the 20 numbers on lock, just missing a few of the -teens sometimes. Nothing is more fun than hiding (in a not too hard spot) and having you joyfully squeal when you find us. Your brothers love to have you in the game, and are more than happy to play.

These months brought family visits and Thanksgiving with family and friends. Nana and Papa were here early in October, and Grandpa and Grandma came to visit for Thanksgiving. You just love to be able to run downstairs and give out hugs when people are visiting us. We also got to celebrate Thanksgiving with new friends! We have a lot to be thankful for, including you!

We’ve had quite a bit of time outside enjoying the fall colors and cool weather. A number of hiking days means trips in the backpack watching your brothers run around. You enjoy those rides with Daddy, at least for a little while, and then it’s time to chase the brothers and explore yourself.

We’re getting ever closer to retiring the crib. We’ve found you pulling out the baby plug covers behind the crib, to climbing out. The sleep sack has become more of a straight jacket, with the zipper in the back. The zipper in the front means you can get right out, and hand us your wet diaper when we come in after nap time. Seth stuck you in your crib, and you climbed right out. It’s looking like we’re close to time for a big boy bed.

You’ve had little problems negotiating staircases since moving into our new house, where we left off the baby gates. However, a head cold contributed to a rapid trip down the stairs and an ER visit. Fortunately the CT scan was clear, but how about that bruise! A few days later, we got a book in which a monkey bumps his head (and you, the reader, participate in “Clean it, kiss it, put a bandage on it, all better” with bandage stickers). Each and every time we read the book, you point to your head and the monkey’s head and say “Titus head. Fall down!”.

The secondary effect of the same book is that any time you get a bump or fall down, it’s a simple “clean it, kiss it, all better” and you’re off and running. That’s sunk in so much that we’re almost removed from the equation as parents. Mommy heard you running down the hall, trip, fall, and start crying. Next thing she heard was “Clean it, kiss it, all better!” and off you went.

The round knobs on all the doors in the house have been a good baby-proofing measure right up until a few weeks ago. With two hands and some twisting, you’ve figured out how to work them. We’re going to need more baby handles, and the bathroom is no longer a place for a few minutes of quiet.

This month’s secondary mission was to destroy the house. You often play(ed) with Playdough in the pantry on the lower shelves. You’d get it all out and leave it, and then come out when you were done. One day, you came out after playing for a while. When we went into the pantry, we found…no Playdough. When asked, you lifted the heater vent, reached in, and pulled out the lid. That’s right. 14 cans of Playdough down the heater vent. The next weekend, you filled up the toilet with toilet paper and a cleaning cloth. When Mommy found you in the bathroom, you informed her “Wet!” That’s correct. The floor covered in water is indeed wet.

We decorated the Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving this year. This is really the first year you’ve been involved, and you took right to the ornaments. You selected one glass ball full of sand and sea decorations and declared it “Titus ball!” It was carried around for the whole unpacking and decorating process, until we hung it out of reach on the tree. Each and every time you see the the tree you point out that ornament. Coming downstairs, you have to make sure the tree is turned on and all the garlands are plugged in around the house.

Just like every month for the last year, it seems, your vocabulary and sentences just keep getting longer and better. From describing your whole day to Mommy at bedtime, to telling your friends grandma “Meet you!” (nice to meet you), you’re just getting more and more interactive, and bring so much joy to everyone you talk with.

We love to hear your little voice all around the house. No matter the circumstance, you always bring a smile to our faces.


Daddy and Mommy

Months Twenty-Three and Twenty-Four

October 13, 2021


Wow. So quickly you are two years old. You are developing so quickly into your own little boy with a unique personality. You’ve gotten so good at communicating now, exactly what it is that you want, and what you don’t want. The fact that you’re so very cute helps you out on the “don’t want” side. Just when Mommy and I are about done with you stealing bites of our dinner, lunch, snack, or otherwise, you bring out your smile and “thank you..much!”

The expansion in your vocabulary has been exponential this month, and you’re using it extensively. Stinky diaper. Mommy and Daddy were on the couch together. “Can Daddy change your diaper?” “No! Mommy do it!” Pulling on Mommy’s hand, “Come on! Diaper”. Got over to get the changing stuff, and then said “Daddy diaper?” Mommy’s really the best for all things, apparently including that. “Do you want Seth to change your diaper?” (Seth was trying out new things, and had changed a couple wet diapers with help). “No! Mommy change…diaper!”

If everyone is involved in your activity, you’re happy. If we’re doing something else that takes away from your time? We get the pull, push, or tug on the legs, along with “Play more! Play more!” You know what our smartphones look like, and you’re not hesitant to tell us to put them down to come and play or read.

We’re hearing your colors, numbers, and songs now all the time. Variably, you can count to 5, 10, and 20 with most of the right numbers in the right places. Sometimes it’s a count straight to ten. Sometimes it’s “What comes after 4?” “Blue.”You can identify pretty much all the colors in the rainbow (and what’s the big difference between blue and indigo, really?) All colors start as “orange”, and then you take a second and figure out which color it actually is. It’s fun to watch you excitedly describe the world to us using those colors. Noah’s learning to read, and you’ve got the concept of reading, if not the actual execution. You think his sight word cards are so much fun, and you’re copying spelling by mimicking the sounds.

New words and phrases come every day; more than we could possibly record or remember, but some of the best that come to mind include when you were stung by a wasp on the playground at a park. The next week we were back at the same park: “bug, bug! Ouch, ouch!” Also, we now get “why” all the time now, almost every time we ask you to do something. Most of the time, a simple explanation brings the response “oh, OK!” and off you go to comply.

Mommy scolded you for dropping food from the high chair (which is a regular occurrence, including the flipping of bowls of cereal and anything else. In fact, now you simply say ‘Molly! Molly!’ when food goes over the side to make sure that the dog knows she can come clean up. We’re at the point where she’s ignoring some food she doesn’t like.) Anyway, you got scolded for dropping food. You covered your face with your hands and said, “Sorry, Mommy”. A moment later, you popped open your hands and said “Peekaboo!”. It’s hard to discipline that cute face, especially when you’re event saying the cutest things.

Daddy has been traveling a lot for work, lately, so we’ve been on FaceTime frequently. Each conversation starts with “Hello Daddy!”, and ends with “See you!” You figured out pretty quick that the red button hangs up the phone, and you’re going for that when you’re done with the conversation. Even if Daddy asks to talk with Mommy again? Nope, red button. Daddy’s gone for a couple weeks, and you’re calling any random guy dad, too. At friends’ house across the street and time to go home? “Bye Dad!”

We got a new refrigerator in the kitchen recently. We thought through all the features that we thought we wanted and needed, considered the size and finish, and all the other details. Except…we did not consider that with a double freezer drawer on the bottom, you have the size and leverage to open either of those drawers. After once or twice seeing the popsicles and ice cream sandwiches come of of that bottom drawer, well. After the occasion you brought us a box of ice cream sandwiches, and the other occasion where you created sand paintings from a bag of coffee, we’ve had to reevaluate exactly what gets stored in those drawers.

You still love to sing, and your grasp of language means we hear you singing “1, 2, Buckle My Shoe”, “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, “Twinkle Twinkle”, and other songs, mostly under your breath. It’s very fun to sit quietly and hear you talking or singing to yourself.

You pop up in your crib in the morning, normally with a smile, and you’re off! You pretty much don’t stop moving. It took a cold to knock you down enough to fall asleep on your playroom floor. Otherwise, it’s running around, all the time. We also regularly find you being a frog, with a “Ribbit! Ribbit!” and hopping down the hallway. You also have a special skipping little run you do when you’re being naughty, you know it, and you’re escaping the scene.

Upgrades to the new backyard this month included a trampoline and a swingset! You love both, and can’t get enough of your own swing on the swingset. Your favorite is to be twisted up and let go, and we get regular requests to “Spin!” Getting ready brings your “3..2..1” countdown into kicking legs and squealing as the ropes unwind. You’ve also improved rapidly on the trampoline, from barely being able to stand, to hopping around (again with the “3..2..1”) doing seat drops. You can’t wait to jump with your brothers, and happily take turns bouncing with Daddy or Mommy. You run right out to stand against the net when it’s a brother’s turn to try something.

The move that really sums up everything is that look you give Mommy where you wrinkle your nose while smiling. Mostly when you’re being just a little naughty, or we’ve told you to stop doing something. You know you’re just too cute and too happy.

We love you so much, little two-year-old. We can’t wait to spend every day with you.


Daddy and Mommy

Happy Second Birthday Titus!

October 09, 2021


“Happy…birthday…Titus!” For the last 6 months, you’ve been telling everyone else happy birthday, be it their birthday or not. Now it’s your turn! It’s such a pleasure to have a smiling, talkative, excited, happy little toddler in our lives each and every day.

We can’t wait to see what the next year brings for all of us. We all so enjoy having you as part of the family.

With all our love,

Daddy and Mommy (and Seth & Noah)

Months Twenty-One and Twenty-Two

August 13, 2021


Big changes this month! We’ve moved from Nebraska to Virginia, moved everything out of the old house, moved into a new house, and gotten pretty settled. Whew! Fortunately, that came with a couple weeks in Colorado with the grandparents and cousins, and a couple of plane flights. 18 months of COVID quarantine means you haven’t done nearly as much flying as your older brothers had at the same age. Inexperience might mean a little bit of chaos in this case. Fortunately, we were all able to fly together from CO to VA to close on our new house and meet the moving truck.  The house is pretty well settled now, and your playroom now has a door. That’s pretty nice for when you’re all about pulling everything off the shelves. I think we’ve left it for a few days now without picking up, since it’s out of sight of the kitchen now.

You were quite confused by the process of our old housing being packed up. You walked around and watched the movers packing all the boxes, and then went looking for your toys and books in your playroom. Looking at us, spreading your hands, with a confused look, “Books?”. “They’re all in boxes, baby.” “Boxes.” Lots of excitement on the other end seeing everything come back out of the boxes to go in your new playroom. You were all about taking the inventory stickers off of items. For about a week, we’d turn around all the time to find that you’d brought us another little red sticker.

The process of moving has brought lots of new things, along with all the new things that growing up brings. You’ve moved up from the high chair to a booster seat, and pretty much taken over your own fork and spoon. Even for spaghetti, which is surprisingly clean. We painted and set up your new room, which you love. You were so excited to try short-sleeve jammies for the first time, and raced around the upstairs to show your brothers the fire trucks on them. “Seth! Seth!”.

Getting out in the world after 18 months of mostly not seeing anyone means picking up on all the fun colds and RSV you hadn’t gotten before. We’ve been back to church a couple times, and we’re all passing around colds now. You’re not too bad when you’re sick, just passing out on the kitchen floor wrapped up in a blanket. Poor little guy. It still doesn’t do too much to damp down your happy spirit, though. You’re back at it, smiling and chasing your brothers around pretty quick.

We are hearing new words from you every day, and you’re excited to communicate about all sorts of things. Numbers came quickly this month, and you like to count 1 or 2 things everywhere. 3 works as well, but then it’s just about always a skip to five or six. But each time you see more than one thing together, we hear “1…2…3…6!” At some point you also caught on to the 3..2..1 countdown, which is your go-to before jumping, diving, or otherwise executing acrobatic maneuvers. The new rocket picture on your bedroom wall also gets a “3..2..1..liftoff!”

You’re also all about those colors this month. We hear blue and green for almost everything at first, but if we ask again, you can identify red, yellow, orange, white, and purple. Given the new house and Mommy’s decorating preferences, blue is a pretty good guess anyway, so you do well.

Each time we’re headed downstairs and you want to come, though you are perfectly capable of coming down yourself, we hear “carry you?” With your little arms outstretched and a cute little question on your face, even if we’re half or all the way down. If you’re tired and it’s bedtime, we’ll even get that on the way back up the stairs, too.

Speaking of those acrobatic maneuvers, you’re all about the pool and water this month. It’s completely unsafe, but you’re a big fan. You head straight for the side of the pool, and walk right off, trusting that one of us will be there to catch you. Which we will, as long as we never let you near a pool unsupervised. Down the full length of the slide in our friends’ backyard, as well as jumping off the diving board, you’re fearless. A jump off the board also might necessitate a “3..2..1”.

You have implemented the cutest new surprised face this month. With a big round O of a mouth and wide eyes, you bring it out every time you see something new or fun, as well as any time you’re surprised by life.

Conquering anything climbable results in a resounding “Did it!” That list of things includes playgrounds, bar stools, chairs, beds, slides, ottomans, couches, more chairs, ladders, and many other things that we probably aren’t entirely comfortable with you climbing. Still, we’re all about getting a picture first before you come down.

In the morning, you’re almost always up before your brothers, so you get a little extra snuggle time with Mommy. Sometimes Daddy, but mostly Mommy. Inevitably, though, you pop your head up and yell “Noah?” Then you have to slide down, and run down the hallway to both brothers’ rooms, which are across from each other. If the sound of you running into the door doesn’t wake them up, shouting their names when we open the door certainly does. You are always so excited to see them in the morning.

The favorite toy right now is the turtle that has multiple different buckles on it. You like to buckle all buckles, pretty much wherever you see them. “Buckle!” We will leave you with any buckles and you will have them clipped together in no time at all. Multiple times on every car ride you swing the fully-buckled turtle over the edge of your car seat as a request to have them all undone again.

Made it 22 months without a trim of the hair, but it was definitely time this month. You got your first haircut, courtesy of Mommy. Don’t you look sharp!

This month marked the first time you really said “Love you!” back to us. You definitely say it to Daddy. Mommy gets “much”, since she likes to say “I love you SO much!” You are getting possessive about your parents, pushing your brothers away if you want to snuggle. Even pushing Daddy away, since you are definitely all about your Mommy. But Daddy gets Facetime hugs when we’re apart. You love to run over to the phone, and wrap it up in a big hug.

It really feels like you’re transitioning to being a toddler these last two months, and moving completely out of the baby phase. You are growing so fast and seem so big now! We love you very much.

Daddy and Mommy

Months Nineteen and Twenty

June 13, 2021


You set out this month to both increase your skills and exploration, and to stretch the limits of Mommy’s nerves by climbing up on everything. The ladder in the garage, the ladder at the park, stools, chairs, tables, couches, and almost anything else vertical. We’ve both gotten more relaxed with you on staircases as you’ve figured out the going up and down. Of course, you spend your time watching your brothers go up and down walking, so you want to try that out! After a fall down the stairs, maybe it’s time to put all those gates back up, especially at the new house. At least the stairs are carpeted. A few bruises and apparently no lessons learned about the risk of descending stairs at speed.

In the same vein, we’d close the gate at the top of the stairs, and then close most of the doors to the bedrooms where we didn’t want you. Now, there’s no gate since painting all the walls in the house, and we don’t worry about the bedrooms. So now, you go around and close all the doors yourself, so we come up and find all the doors closed. You also persist in closing any other doors that are normally closed, from bathrooms, to the pantry and the refrigerator, whether we’re in the middle of using them or not.

You’re really latching on to various objects this month, from your monkey, named Timmy, to having a blanket in your crib. We gave you a blanket in your crib for the first time this month, and you like nothing better than to curl up around your blanket and your stuffed animals to sleep. Your newest animal is a monkey, who you’ve named Timmy. We now hear “Timmy!” as both an exclamation and as a statement all the time. In fact, you’ve clearly connected Timmy to being a monkey. Daddy pointed out Noah climbing all over the playground and said “he’s quite a monkey!”. You pointed at Noah and said, “Timmy!”

You are asserting your little personality more and more these last few months. You know what you want, and you know very well when your brothers (or your parents) are preventing you from getting it. From pointing and saying the name of whatever you want, which includes any and all food that Mommy is currently eating, to the high-pitched yell of your brother’s names across the house, we know exactly what it is that you want, and what you think you deserve. This does extend to playing by yourself, wandering off to your toys. It’s been a crazy month for the family, prepping the house for sale and getting ready to move. And here is cheerful little Titus, wandering back and forth through the chaos, just doing his own thing.

We’ve added a lot of words and phrases. Just a sampling:

  • Pizza!
  • Run!
  • Bummer!
  • Thank you!
  • Hike, hike! (When he sees anyone playing with the football, he comes running yelling “hike”)
  • Boom! Crash! (any time he or someone else falls down)
  • Stop it, Noah! (that’s pretty self*explanatory)
  • Airplane! (Pointing at the sky anytime he hears or sees a plane)
  • Turn! (Came and climbed up in Daddy’s lap when he was playing a game, pointed at the dice, and said “turn!”)
  • Bless you! (When he or other sneeze)
  • I full!

Beyond that, you’re mimicking all the other words and sounds you hear, along with lots of the activities you see. When Daddy gets on the floor to do pushups, you race over to get down alongside and lift your head and shoulders in time.

You’re starting to recognize your colors, starting with green and moving to blue and red this month. We’ve also occasionally worked out purple, yellow, and white. You call out colors on walks, on computer screens, and anywhere else you see them and consider it important that we know.

With the advent of summer, we’ve been going to the pool a lot more. You are a fearless swimmer, jumping right off the side into the water. This, unfortunately, without checking if we are looking or not. Putting your face in the water, blowing bubbles, and learning to float front and back, you’re a fan of the water.

You love FaceTime, whether with grandparents, Seth playing Minecraft with friends, or Daddy/Mommy. You know those sounds, and come running to say hi, including climbing up on the couch shouting the names of Seth’s friends. In fact, just like your brothers, you know how to work things. You stole mommy’s  phone and figured out how to switch on FaceTime from the voice call to Daddy. You then proceeded to carry Daddy around the main level of the house for 15 minutes.

We had some great time with the family twice in the past two months, first for spring break, and second right after school ended for you brothers. Running around with cousins in the basement, at the park, going on long walks in the backpack, and just spending time with grandparents and cousins. You’re more than ready to play with anyone, and quite think you can hold your own with everyone. Traveling on an airplane for the first time meant you got to get your first (and hopefully only) COVID test. You loved the plane, looking out the window and around in fascination at the whole thing. COVID certainly limited your under-two plane flights over the past 18 months. With the move, though, we plan on catching things up over the next couple months.

You are transitioning so fast from “baby” to “toddler” to “little boy”. We love each day with you, and are so blessed to be your parents.


Daddy and Mommy