Today, our little man turns THREE years old! While we are enjoying so much sweetness soaking up our squishy newborns, my heart hurts a little as my baby man is growing up. Why does three years old seem so much bigger than two years old?!?
My sweet boy is so handsome. His blue eyes, smile, and dimples just melt me.
At three years old, Brenson is wearing size 4T and 5T. He always wants to dress himself and generally does a very good job. He can even put his shoes on himself (and rarely gets them on the wrong feet). He's still quite tall for his age (I'll get official stats at his well check in a few weeks), but very skinny. According to our scale at home, he weighs about 35 pounds.
His current shoe size is 9 1/2 or 10. This is just about a 1/2 size smaller than what Brianna wears! He does still wear a diaper at night (size 6), but not during nap. He's been daytime potty trained for a year and a half now, and very, very rarely has any type of accident. He completely takes himself potty at home . . . including pulling down his own pants, going potty, flushing, pulling his pants up, and washing his hands. We are so thankful for this amount of independence!
Brenson is typically a pretty good eater. Hands down, his favorite food is oranges. He's a routine oriented child, so he likes to eat the same things over and over. He will try new things, but he is often not too happy about it. If he's thirsty, he will get a cup out of the cabinet (we have our "kid" cups on a shelf in the pantry where the big kids can reach them themselves) and fill it with water from the outside of the refrigerator door. Again, this independence is wonderful!
Bren is very articulate for his age. We hear from people often that they can't believe he's only two because he speaks so well and so clearly. One day, Chris and I were bickering in front of him and he said, "Don't antagonize each other!" Ha! When I was going through a nesting phase before the babies were born, Chris came home from work and Brenson said, "Look in the closet, Daddy. It's all organized!" He'll also say things like, "I would like one as well please." He uses "as well" quite a bit. Another Brenson thing to say is "Boo bit!" He says this when he's disappointed about something. He does have a few words that he says incorrectly, but they're so cute. For example, he says "bessert" for dessert, "buitar" for guitar, and "flabingo" for flamingo. For the most part, he's very good about using manners, especially saying "Thank you". He will look at us and sincerely say, "Thank you for . . ." all the time. Sometimes it's simple things like fixing his plate for dinner, getting him a napkin, helping him put his shoes on, etc. It just warms our heart when he does it. He's truly a grateful little child.
Often, Bren will pray before our meals or before bedtime (not always . . . sometimes we'll ask him to pray and he will just say, "No, thank you.") One night, Brianna said she wanted to pray for herself, so when Bren prayed he said, "Thank you, God, for sister's self." His prayers can be very thoughtful and sweet. Almost the whole time I was pregnant, he would pray for "Momma and the babies" every time he prayed. One night before bed, we were all standing for the prayer (we typically sit), so we all joined hands in a little circle. Bren said, "Whoa! We're like a family!" Lol.
Being outside has always been and still is one of Bren's absolute favorite things. He generally doesn't care how hot or cold it is, he just loves being outdoors. Mowing is also one of his favorite things. He's always saying that he needs to mow, and if the weather is not conducive to being outside, he will pretend to mow inside the house. He'll also "trim" the yard with various sticks or other objects (he's pretty creative with what he pretends to be his trimmer), and sometimes he'll trim inside, too. We can't wait until he's old enough to do these chores for real :-).
When we were first deciding on the babies' names, we were trying to get Brenson to say the name "Brecklyn". In typical Brenson fashion, he wouldn't say the name. Finally, I said, "Bren, what's wrong? Why won't you say the name?" He replied, "It's not that cute, Mom." Haha! Also in typical Brenson fashion, he did eventually come around to the name. However, before he did, he was kind of whimpering one day about the babies' names. When I asked him why he was acting that way, he said, "I just want to name one of them Peacock!"
He and Brianna have a very close relationship. It's been so sweet to watch their sibling relationship develop. They play well together and rarely want to play separately. Brianna is an oldest child through and through and often tries to run Brenson. She will boss him around and mother him constantly if we let her. For the most part, he takes it pretty well, but sometimes he'll just get tired of it. He will antagonize her a bit, and once in a while it will escalate to hitting or kicking. I think he just gets frustrated with her telling him what to do sometimes and reaches a breaking point. However, he is very tender-hearted and will almost immediately apologize to her if he sees she's upset or crying as a result of something he did. He hates the thought of hurting someone's feelings. He gives the sweetest hugs if he sees you're upset and will say, "It's okay. Don't be sad, it's okay." Chris and I often pray that his compassion for other people will be a huge asset in God's kingdom and for His glory.
Digging in the dirt is also a favorite activity. Bren doesn't mind at all getting dirty, but he wants to be cleaned up the minute he gets inside. He particular like that. He LOVES bathtime.
Both of the older Bs are really good about entertaining themselves. We'll often have "wind down" time before bed where they'll just sit and look at books. Of course, they love to be read to as well. We try to go to the library weekly (although not lately, but someday we'll get back in our routine), and Bren enjoys picking out books. He has a great attention span for a child his age.
He goes through phases where he'll be obsessed with a certain kind of book for a couple months. Right now, it's the I Spy books. He loves them! They make a board book version for children his age, but he doesn't like those. He only likes the big ones (that are really too old for him). Before the I Spy books, he was obsessed with his Wheels on the Bus book and his Goodnight Train book. Before that, it was the Fruit of the Spirit book and the Llama Llama books. I wonder what it will be next? Here he is spying out some things with his Daddy :-):
Bren enjoys singing, and his favorite song right now is Jesus Loves Me. He is an excellent student in Bible class and it's amazing to watch how much he is learning. He has learned 5 different memory verses from the Bible in class, and has even learned some of Brianna's verses that we work on at home. She's not been so cooperative about learning her verses as she once was, but one day he popped out with her whole verse and that motivated her to say it as well :-). He just really thrives in a classroom setting, so it makes him a great student and easy to teach. We hope he's always so eager to learn the Bible, and truly learns to love The Word.
We still love to go to Miss Shelly's, although we haven't been since Christmas. He's always gone to the 3 1/2 to 5 year old session, and we've just modified the activities for his age. However, around October, we found that he can pretty much keep up with the older kiddos and doesn't really have to have much modified anymore.
His brain just works in a way where he excels in a classroom/school type setting. He thinks a lot like me, so it's easy for me to relate to him. He loves doing worksheets and is very good at math type activities, sequencing, patterns, matching, etc. He can beat Brianna and me at memory games. And, like I mentioned above, his attention span is great for his age, so he can sit better than many kids that are older than him.
Bren knows his colors, can say his ABCs (although recently he has started saying ABCDSUV . . . ha!), recognizes about half of his letters (maybe more? He's not very cooperative when we try to work on this with him, but sometimes he'll pop out with a letter that we didn't know he knew), can count to at least 20, can spell his name without any prompting, knows his birthday, knows most of our address, recognizes all of his basic shapes, can write a "B", and uses spacial words very accurately.
Playing pin the nose on the reindeer at Miss Shelly's, he absolutely refused to wear the blindfold. My particular boy!
One of Brenson's favorite indoor activities right now is working puzzles. This is also something that just really caters to the way his little brain functions.
He's surprisingly good at puzzles made for kids a bit older than he is!
He was funny this day as he kept telling Brianna that there was an imaginary line down the middle of the coffee table, and she was not permitted to cross it! Though it was a great thought, it didn't work. Brianna doesn't really get the concept of boundaries too well.
He also loves this magnet set that he received as a Christmas gift. It came with little card patterns to help you create different pictures. This entertains him for close to an hour sometimes. Brianna received some Magformers for Christmas that Brenson plays with every bit as much as she does (if not more). He loves to build and create (so Legos are always a hit with him, as well).
Dressing up is definitely a daily occurrence around our house. Both older kids have a "dress-up drawer" that holds their various outfits. This construction worker vest is currently Brenson's favorite thing to dress-up in. And of course, he still loves playing with his tools, workbench, and shovel. He calls them his "worker things".
About 8 or so months ago, my sister made Brenson this cape along with a mask and arm cuffs. When she gave it to him, he was a complete stink about receiving it and refused to even touch it. He just kept saying, "I don't like it." I was so embarrassed! He even went so far as to whimper if he opened his dress-up drawer and saw the cape in there. Unfortunately, this wasn't an isolated incident. At Christmas, a lady at church gave him a coon hat as a gift. As soon as he pulled the tissue paper out of the bag and saw the tail, he handed it back to her and said, "I don't like that thing." Of course, neither Chris nor I were present when this took place, so we couldn't run interference. We have spent a lot of time talking with Bren and working with him on how to graciously receive a gift, even if we don't like it. And that's a tough concept for a two year old! When we told him that he had hurt the gifter's feelings, he did apologize, but that didn't make him dislike the gift any less! However, eventually he did warm up to the cape. He just came out of his bedroom one day wearing it and that was that. Some days, I would even say he loves it. He's also put the mask on one time (but never again), so I'm hopeful that eventually he may warm up to the coon hat. We just don't say anything to him about it because the more we say, the more he digs his heals in about the issue. This is all so typical of Brenson. He is our slow-to-warm child, but will more often than not eventually come around if left alone about whatever the issue is.
He loves playing "doctor". This day he was checking out our friend, Julia.
He also enjoys pretend cooking and especially serving pretend drinks. We were at a play place that had different rooms full of real-life play type things, and he set this table so he could serve food. He also helps set the real table at home before mealtimes.
Here we are playing doctor again. This time, he's delivering Brianna's baby :-). First, he took her blood pressure.
Then, he listened to the baby's heartbeat with the stethoscope.
He got a little shy when he realized I was taking photos of all this!
I missed photos of him pulling the baby out from under Bri's shirt, but as soon as he pulled her out, he began examining her to make sure she was healthy!
Then, he had to give Brianna a shot. He would see me get my blood thinning shot almost every day while I was pregnant, so he thinks this is normal life. Oftentimes, he would ask to "do the alcohol wipe" before my shot, so we would let him do that.
Play-doh is an activity that will keep both kids occupied for a long time!
He takes his play-doh building quite seriously.
He's a bit obsessed with scissors right now. We have a pair of safety kid scissors that he loves to use (though he does need quite a bit of practice), and his favorite play-doh tool is the scissors, as well.
The kiddos were gifted these doodle mats that use a special water marker to make color on them. Once they dry, the markings go away. Brenson said, "These are so great!" about the mats and has really enjoyed them.
He really loves to paint . . . paper, canvas, art easel, snow . . . it doesn't matter!
I want to talk about discipline for a minute. Bren is the type of personality that responds very well to us talking to him and verbal scolding. He rarely requires anything stronger than this, although sometimes a good time-out does him a world of good. He is a serious kid, so he takes time-out very seriously. He sits still, does his time, then generally straightens right up. Once in a while, he will receive a spanking. When this happens, he acts like his heart is broken. Lately, we have had a lot more acting out from him, but I expected that with two new babies coming. Transitions tend to be a little difficult for Brenson, so I wasn't too surprised when we started having some defiance and behavior problems out of him. I also think part of that is just being three years old. Three years old is no joke :-).
This photo cracks me up! Bren prefers to be pantless (although he typically wears a shirt), but he adores his boots. The fact that they're on the wrong feet is just icing on the cake :-).
Bren has always been our great sleeper, and that hasn't changed. He sleeps from about 8:30pm to 7:30 am, then takes a 1 1/2 to 2 hour nap in he afternoon. I'm so thankful for his healthy sleeping habits!
Lately, Bren has become fixated on fixing his hair. He always asks to have it gelled, and this day I caught him primping in the mirror (using just water, not gel).
He stood there for close to 10 minutes fixing his hair! I'm so in trouble when he's older!
When Daddy (or Grampy) is working on anything, he insists on helping. He's a good helper, and we can tell that he's just soaking it all in.
He's going to make a wife very happy someday with all his handy-man skills.
I've never blogged about this before, mainly because it was extremely traumatizing to me. Last summer, Brenson and Brianna were playing in Bren's room when I heard a huge crash and Brenson scream out in pain. I went rushing in there to find that they had tipped Bren's dresser over, and Brenson was under the drawers! I was about 14 weeks pregnant at the time, and had an extremely difficult time lifting the dresser off of him without the drawers continuing to fall out on him. It was seriously one the scariest moments of my parenting life. Bren wasn't hurt too badly (just some bruising on his legs mainly), but he was terrified after the incident. He remembers this very clearly, and has never climbed on anything like this since. Of course, now we have all dressers/big furniture secured to the wall. We should have had it done before, but I truly didn't think they could tip it on themselves. Lesson learned for everyone involved!
Mister routine has slept with this blanket (known around here as "blank") since he was about 10 months old. It's definitely a comfort object for him. He also sleeps with Tramp dog every nap and at night. These objects aren't allowed to leave the house (unless we are going on an overnight trip), but Brenson will sometimes act like he can't function without them.
Both of our kids have a helping heart and really enjoy helping with tasks around the house. They have "chores", which for Brenson includes taking his dirty clothes to the hamper, picking up his toys and stuffed animals, clearing his plate after meals, putting his drink in the frig after meals, throwing away trash he generates, using the hand vac to vacuum up any crumbs under his chair at the dinner table, helping make his bed, and making sure blank is in his bed. And, of course, helping complete any other tasks we may ask of him.
Making his bed:
Another favorite toy of Bren's are these Go-Go Smart Wheels and their tracks. He will build these tracks for a long time, and hates it if anyone comes close to messing them up (which of course Brianna will act like she's going to do just to get him worked up). He also likes to line up all his cars in a row.
He built this all by himself. Future engineer?