And Now We Have a Two-Year-Old!

Ari had so many birthday parties. It was a week-long celebration, really.

On the Sunday before his birthday, we had friends over in the backyard, and way too much dessert – gluten free vegan cupcakes, chocolate cake, and carrot cake.

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Ari really enjoyed the cake:

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And he actually participated in opening presents, too:


On Tuesday, his school had a little party:


Wednesday was his actual birthday. When he woke up, I said, “Ari, it’s your birthday! Happy Birthday!” and he said, “No. No happy birthday.”

He opened one present in the morning and enjoyed his cards – one from us and one from the dentist. 🙂


During the day, I spent way too much time making this banana blueberry cake (recipe here). It was delicious, though! It was more like banana bread than I was hoping for, but a super moist, dense banana bread with blueberries inside and a cream cheese frosting. The blueberries on top came from our yard! After we moved it away from Ari and put it on the table and gave him a little piece, he got upset and gestured at it, saying, “Big bowl! On the table!” and patted his high chair tray.

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On the Saturday after his birthday, we got together at my aunt and uncle’s house with my extended family and some of A.’s family. Ari got lots of presents! And I made the same cake.

I got a picture of Ari doing his “ballet”:

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He loved his new books:


A.’s parents also visited us that weekend, so Ari got lots of attention!

We set up his new easel in our office area, for lack of a better place. He goes and colors on it all the time!

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A couple of other pictures from June – Ari fell asleep on the bike ride home from the zoo:

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Walking to swimming class:


We just completed swimming lessons at a local outdoor pool. It was really nice with the hot weather we’ve been having (in the 90s!). The way the city does their summer lessons is that they happen every weekday for a two-week session, so it’s been keeping us busy. It’s nice to go every day and build on what you did the previous day. Ari is now jumping off the side of the pool (into my arms), stretching out with both arms reaching in front of him and paddling a little (working on the kicking) with my hands under his belly, doing a “monkey grip” with his hands and feet on the side of the pool, and blowing bubbles in the water. I was amazed that he would actually pay attention to the teachers and follow their directions!

A few memories from the past few weeks:

A couple of days before his birthday, we went to the toddler story time at the library and afterwards we played in their children’s area. I was surprised to find that Ari wanted to play with a little dollhouse, having the dolls go up and down the stairs. He referred to them as “boy” and “girl.” I felt sad, though, when I tried to have the boy go “night-night” and Ari said, “he’s scared.”

He’s been increasingly insistent on doing things himself, and gets angry when he can’t get his food on his fork by himself, for example. The day before his birthday he was really upset when I shut the car door and the front gate before he could do it himself, and I think that was the first time I’ve seen him so insistent that “Ari do d’it!” or, more recently, “do it all by ‘self!” When I didn’t catch myself in time before closing the doors myself, he just collapsed on the ground wailing. He’s been climbing into his little stroller by himself for a while, and now he’ll climb into the car and into his car seat by himself, too.

Later that week, headed upstairs from doing laundry, he said, “wait! effanttunk! effanttunk!” I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about and was about to scoop him up and carry him upstairs, but he said, “oh! in the laundry!” and scrambled back down the stairs and ran into the laundry room. As I followed him I realized he was saying “elephant trunk” and remembered the puzzle piece he’d carried down earlier that I had made him set aside. I picked it up and sure enough, it was the piece with the elephant trunk on it.

His memory seems a lot better, in general (or maybe just his communication skills). For a while now, whenever the car stops, he’s been saying, “we’re home!” but recently that’s changed depending on where I told him we were going. I can tell him at the beginning of the trip that we’re going to the swimming pool and the next time the car stops (whether we’re there yet or not), I hear from the backseat, “We’re at the swimming pool!”

I love the way he coaches himself through things, too – using the phrases he’s heard from us. When something scares him, I can tell because he’ll say to himself, “It’s o-kay…” When he’s waiting for something sometimes instead of screaming for it he’ll say, “It’s com-ing!”

A couple of days ago, he noticed my scabbed knee and called it an “owie” and kissed it! He also, just in the last few days, has come out with more full sentences and using the word “I”. One day it was, “I want the numbers book” and the next day it was, “I want to go in the backyard!”

When I do something he doesn’t like that’s physically invasive – actually the only example I can think of is wiping his face – he’ll now say, “I don’t wike dat!” The other day he followed that up with hitting me, which I then told him that I don’t like. He uses the line on Andrew, too, when the dog is in his face licking him too excitedly. Unfortunately Andrew doesn’t always stop!

At his last pediatrician appointment, he was measured at 34 inches tall (25th-50th percentile) and 26 pounds (10th-25th percentile).

Pretending the camera lens cover was a phone:

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