Hello Little Man

Aron has curly hair. He had a full head of hair at birth, not super thick, but definitely enough to cover his head. He grew and it stayed for the most part and has become curly as it’s thickened. I love curls.

Kris and I both had curls as small children. His were white blond curls that covered his head like a halo. Mine were dark blond and complimented my brown eyes nicely. It seemed strange to me that we should have any children with straight hair, yet our first two refused to grow curls. Yes, they each did have some swooping curls, but nothing that didn’t have to be encouraged and manipulated in order to look nice.

Aron grew curls and they stayed and they have been so much fun. However, of late (especially since the humidity of summer has become scarce) his curls have been less attractive, less easy to manage, less fun to clean food from, more apt to make him look straggly and unkempt and most distasteful…possibly making him mistakable as a little girl. We just can’t have that.

So yesterday…I took him to the barber. He and Ivan each had their hair cut and they are looking rather dapper. Ivan looks a little more like his cousin Clay when his hair is real short and Aron looks a lot like his cousin Christopher who also has dark eyes. Though Christopher’s hair is much thicker, more blond and straight…they’re faces are very similar and with Aron’s hair short I can see the similarity so much more clearly. They are close in age also, Christopher being just under three months older.

Kristy and I used to be mistaken for each other in our younger years, even though there is six years difference in our ages. I think now we look much different but it would stand to reason, given our previous looks, that we would produce little boys who look alike. It’s funny to me that they are both our third boys.

But you probably aren’t reading this, thinking…how interesting…tell me more about your sister and how much the two of you look alike. You are probably thinking…why haven’t you shown me any pictures yet. So I will:

First a before picture:

And now…the new Aron.

I like the short hair. It always amazes me how much it changes a persons looks to change their hair. I expect it will still grow in curly so we’ll let things grow for a while again and enjoy whatever God gives the little guy. I’m enjoying this look though. Hello little man…It’s nice to see you were in there.

2nd Birthday Party

Aron’s birthday was a great day. We were able to get all ready for his party and still had time to take him to his favorite place for lunch. I asked him where he wanted to go and he said, “Chicken Nugget” which means Chick-fil-a. We left early and had lunch around 10:45 so that I could get him and Ivan down for a nap in plenty of time. They slept pretty well and soon after was party time.

He enjoyed all the “happy birthday” greetings and soaked up all the hugs and kisses and extra attention. We had a good turn-out for the party, not too many, not too few. He played hard and slept quickly afterward.

Here are the pictures with captions where required.

He didn’t want much when I asked him about a party. The only thing he really seemed excited about was balloons. I found balloon plates and napkins, bought a few balloons and then just made everything else coordinate (sort of) in solid primary colors. I decided to make his cake in the shape of two balloons by baking the cakes in an oval casserole. He chose the colors. I held five markers in my hand in the same colors as the possible frosting colors and he picked green and yellow.

One of the other kids blew out the candles before he had a chance the first time around, so Kris lit them again and he worked hard to blow them out one at a time. He sort of blows with an overbite so the air seems to go down instead of out.

Left to right: Dean Fadely, Bradley Thompson, Owen, Lael Fadely, Aron, Carly Thompson and Ivan.

It’s not a party until there’s ice cream dripping from your chin.

Addison and Ethan Dunn (3 and 4 years respectively)

He was in awe of the gifts. I remember thinking how easily he got through them. He didn’t get overly excited about any of them. He definitely liked them though. He seemed to soak in all of it and then easily move on to the next thing. I specifically remember Owen’s second birthday and how he had a hard time getting through the gifts because he wanted to play with each toy that he opened. I feel really bad that I don’t remember more about Ivan’s second birthday. I think it’s because I had a two month old Aron to take care of while we were celebrating. That middle kid always gets the shaft.

Ryan and Amber Dunn (Amber is in this picture) asked what Aron would like and after some discussion I suggested a new piglet doll. He has completely defiled the little ratty specimen of what was once an adorable stuffed toy, and multiple washings have failed to bring back his luster. Last night he slept with both of them and hopefully we will be able to wean him of the elder piglet.

It was a good night. I believe Aron enjoyed his party and he has definitely enjoyed the gifts. He and his brothers have been playing with them all day.

Strength

Aron continues to bring excitement and joy into the house. He is full of surprises and charm and seems to add a little extra color wherever he goes.

After the long day of the funeral for his great-grandma in Michigan he was exhausted. I was trying to feed him and keep him up yet a little while so that he wouldn’t go to bed too early. He was miserable and fell asleep several times here in his high chair at Grandpa’s house. It was so cute to see him doze off but it always made him mad when he would wake up and still be uncomfortable. Poor baby. He did finish his sandwich and he was able to stay up long enough to get dressed for bed and play with his brothers a little.

He is expressing himself remarkably well and his little cracking voice is terribly cute. He repeats everything which makes him sound a bit more mature than I think he really is, but I am continually impressed by what is apparent that he does understand. Yesterday in the van Ivan had threatened to do something he didn’t like and his immediate and forceful response was, “No you’re not!” It was unmistakably clear.

He is trying so hard to be big and do big things. He loves drinking from big boy cups and whatever his brothers do, he can do more of it. The only thing he doesn’t have any interest in yet is using the big boy potty. At almost two I was hoping he would be more interested, but at this point in the year I am happy to wait until after Christmas and New Year are over before tackling that giant.

His complete awareness and response to everything around him makes me feel that he is a quick and accurate thinker. He notices details and accurately relates names and places and even directions when we are out and about. He has twice now brought up names of little one’s he goes to church with. Asking me where Avea and Nico are at different times. He is bossy and forthright when it comes to what he wants. I fear he will overpower Ivan’s sensitive ways at times. Both must be balanced and maybe they will do that for each other as they grow.

Aron is an entertainer in many ways. He tells knock-knock jokes and has even begun to make up his own as he realizes the pattern of them. He falls down to get a response and loves laughter, whether it is with him, toward him or over his head. He begs to be tickled and his still very chubby center is a great target for our fingers. He seems to be a little more athletically coordinated than his brothers, though there is little to go on in that area. He is definitely left-handed. He will use his right hand for a few things but prefers his left for throwing a ball around.

He loves to argue. He will argue just for the sake of arguing. This morning I heard Ivan say something and Aron quickly shouted, “No Ivan!” and then repeated exactly what Ivan had said as if he disagreed with him. Ivan thought this was pretty funny.

He is sleeping right now, but has been after Kris and I all morning to be his playmate and especially to “race” with him. He is always ready for “on your mark, get set, go!” and seems to love the thrill of competition no matter how far back in the pack he is. He still shouts “I win!” no matter what. And as far as I’m concerned, he is a big winner.

“Funny Mommy”

Aron is hilarious. I find myself laughing at him a lot and he seems to have a real grasp of what I find humorous. What’s really cracking me up lately is that he tells me what’s funny.

When I play with the boys and make faces or sounds that make them laugh he will chuckle a little and then say, “funny mommy.” Like he’s telling me I did a good job.

This morning he even made the distinction from just funny to humor that’s silly. I had done something ridiculous and he responded with a big smile (not a laugh) and pointing his finger at me said, “silly mommy.”

His expressions change so much and he uses his eyebrows constantly. He’s mimicking everything. It doesn’t matter who said it, Aron will attempt to repeat it. Even the faces we make, sad, happy, angry, whatever…he mirrors our faces and joins in whatever mood is presented. Poor kid won’t know how he really feels about anything because he’s mocking everyone else’ feelings.

I know I’ve said it before, but I really, really enjoy him and this stage he’s in.

Scary Smart

I get a little startled sometimes at the things Aron says. He is so observant and seems to remember things very well. His greetings in the morning are becoming more than the one word shouts of “Mommy!” or “Morning!” He is now saying “morning sunshine!” when I enter his room. “Thank you mommy,” or “Thank you Ivan,” or whoever happened to be the one who turned the light on. He’s basically using sentences and using them well.

Today, he handed me an expired coupon that he found on the floor. We had used a similar coupon just a few days ago to get free chicken nuggets at Chick-Fil-A. He handed me the coupon and said, “Chicken nuggets mommy?” I blinked a few times as it really surprised me that he seemed to have made the correct association and then composed a three word sentence.

Just a few moments ago he pointed to the sandwich cutter in the dishwasher and said “heart mommy?” It is shaped like a heart.

The other day he was sitting on Kris’ lap and since he and I had discussed his age and Ivan and I had shown him how to hold one finger up I asked him to show off for daddy by saying, “how old are you Aron?” He looked right at me, frowned and said, “Ion’t know.”

20 Months

Aron is 20 months now and is talking constantly. He says most things clearly enough to understand but there is still a lot of gibberish thrown in.

Of late, he is repeating anything and everything his big brothers say. Yesterday on the way to church he was listening to Owen try to relate a story and was repeating loudly, about every third word. He points out houses and especially dogs as we drive along in the van and exuberantly declares “EAT!” when he is hungry.

This morning when I walked into his room to get him up he proudly said…”mounny!” He repeated this until it came out the right way to his ears. “mourny!…Morny!…Morning!” He is good sunshine for my day.

Later this morning I had all the kids in the van along with Madison who is with us during the day this week. Aron had been jabbering about “goggies” and such and Madison asked him what the doggy says. He first gave her a very strange look and finally after being asked a few times responded, “goggy says warp! warp!” His barks are very high pitched and quick.

He’s been singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” with enthusiasm and will often be heard singing, “Happy…Know…Amen!” and clapping his hands as he repeats it over and over.

His giddy squeals and excited prancing at the site of dogs and cats is so cute and fun. I am enjoying his joy.

I wish I could write more accurately and give an account that allowed you to see how fun he is right now. Most of you have had toddlers and you know how sweet it is to be hugged tightly by pudgy arms and how sweet it is to kiss little soft cheeks and tussle little curls. You probably know what it feels like to make a little one laugh hysterically and how exciting it is to see and hear them learning and acknowledging the experiences they have. How heartbreaking it is to see them fall and how comforting it is to be able to hug away whatever made them cry. Aron is everything a little boy ought to be at this age and I only wish I could keep him from growing any bigger too soon.

“Omen…Imnan!”

Frequently now, Aron will attempt to get the attention of his older brothers by shouting their names. He will also get very excited when we pull into the school parking lot everyday at noon. He shouts Owen’s name with enthusiasm and claps his hands. He is able to pronounce “w”s abut for whatever reason, cannot pronounce it within the name. So it comes out “Omen” which I find terribly entertaining.

Another thing he has been saying lately that always puts a smile on my face is, “Aweshome.” He will throw something and watch it land and say, “Aweshome!” and clap for himself. He will see someone else do something remarkable in his mind and quickly give a praise of “aweshome!” and clap for them. Awesome.

Ivan has also fallen victim to Aron’s mispronunciations. I don’t know if he can say “v” or not but Ivan has become “Imnan, Inan” and other things.

His vocabulary grows almost daily and I’m completely taken by his attempts. He really tries to say just about everything and doesn’t limit himself at all by his ability to understand. He just repeats. I really think his philosophy, if a 19 month old child can adopt a philosophy, is that he will say whatever gets a reaction. If “more” was effective for Ivan than he’ll try it too. If “stop” was effective for Owen, he’ll give it a go. He’s already learned to work the system to a degree and I am realizing the need to keep up.

One thing I’ve noticed is that he is just as stubborn as Ivan but shows it differently. Each boy has handled things differently in this area with Owen being the very cooperative and Ivan being the frustrated one. Aron will not sit and cry when he doesn’t get his way, he’ll just move on without getting his way. For instance: If I told Owen he could have a cookie if he says “please,” he would quickly say “please” and enjoy his cookie. If the scenario were replaced with Ivan, he would cry and pout a little before being sent away and then when he realizes that we are serious and “please” is the only way, he will return ready to oblige. When Aron is given the opportunity to have a cookie, he will not say “please”, will not fuss, will ask a few times and then go on his merry way without the cookie. More determined to do things his way than to have a cookie. I feel a little frightened by this.

He is generally very sweet in nature and will give hugs and kisses generously. However, it is not a lasting affection. He rarely sits still for more than 30 seconds at a time and is still an unlikely candidate for a good mommy moment in the rocking chair.

His eating is still a force of nature. He loves to eat, loves to tell me what to serve and will out-consume his brothers easily. He’s getting much better with a spoon and fork and is vicious about how he wants to be helped. He will occasionally ask for “holp” with the last part of a dish, but will only allow me to fill the spoon…not carry anything to his mouth. If I get it on the spoon or fork…he wants to do the rest.

He is funny. He makes comical faces and poses in order to get attention and a laugh. He loves to entertain us and of course we are a very willing audience around here. I enjoy this kid a great deal and sometimes wish I could freeze time right here with him because he’s a lot of fun right now.

18 months

Aron is 18 months as of March 25 and is just about as normal as an 18 month old boy aught to be I suppose. We had his well visit today at the Dr.’s office and he is measuring in the 50th percentile in almost everything. He is happy and hungry, funny and frustrating, curious and cuddly and in almost every way adorable. He mimics his brothers often and is learning words as quickly as he can get his tongue to form them. He is quite decisive and sure of things he wants and I have quite a struggle to get him to eat what I want him to. He is not a picky eater, but he refuses, at times, things he likes because there is something he likes better. This morning we battled for a while, but he finally realized that if he did not accept the banana, his only other option was nothing.

Here are some pictures that have been taken in the past couple of months.

Just a nice smile…I can see how much his hair has thickened since this was taken in mid February.

At the zoo…out of the stroller and making his way in the world.

This was at the end of our trip to the ER last month. A volunteer at the hospital gave him a little stuffed toy that had been donated by a church…which is perfect for my little hugger. He is much more attached to stuffed animals than either Owen or Ivan were.

Little baby legs in white diapers and white socks is one of my favorite things in the whole world.