This is his best friend, Avery. He loves her so much! Every time we get in the car he asks "Athey?" to see if we are going to visit her. They LOVE to color together, sing songs, dance, play "night night," and chase each other around the house. Of course, they do fight like siblings, and I'm finding that Gavin is pretty good at pushing her buttons, which he intentionally does from time to time;)
I am constantly amazed at how much he enjoys being challenged. This year its been fun to watch him on the playground testing his own strength and will power. He loves to climb and constantly comes across things that are difficult for him, but he keeps trying and trying until he's mastered it, and then walks away like "okay, conquered that one. Whats next?" We try our best to encourage this characteristic by not stepping in to help unless we see he absolutely needs it. A common phrase in the O'Brien household is "Gavin can do it." We hope that this will instill self confidence and perseverance. It's rewarding for all of us when his face lights up with pride after accomplishing something on his own.
He is our little explorer. Lately I've been feeling like these years are going by too fast, and before I know it he will be across the world in some forbidden country charting new land. Nothing makes him happier than when he is in a new environment without walls and fences. Kelly and I joke that in his perfect world we would be living in a tent, forever outside.
This is a face I see multiple times a day. You can see the stubborn and defiant personality in those eyes ;) "Gavin, you are not allowed to do that." G: "oh really? I know I'm going to get in trouble but I am definitely going to do it anyways. " This is the part of parenting that is not fun or pretty, but it's real life. We have multiple tantrums a day, and mostly I just walk away and let him get whatever emotion that he needs to get out, out. I find myself feeling in over my head these days. It's truly embarrassing when I have a screaming toddler hitting me in the face while standing in line at Starbucks. I just want (need?!) my cup of happiness please!!
Gavin is impressively tough! This picture cracks me up every time I look at it because his face is so stoic... "bring it on, floor." Since he first started rolling and would roll into furniture and hit his head, I noticed he hardly reacted. So I have tried to keep up with "mama doesn't react until Gavin reacts" policy, and let me tell you, he rarely reacts to things that I feel like should generally cause at least a *pause* in his play. When we are out in public and he falls or trips, I get a lot of stink eyes from other parents as they run to his aid (like to tell me, why aren't you running to your child?!) only they do not even make it to Gavin before he's already brushed himself off and is on to the next thing. I can't tell you how many times said parents have then turned to me with shock in their eyes and said "geez he's a tough kid!"
Unfortunately, that toughness played against us recently when he fractured both bones in his arm, and we almost didn't take him to the doctor because he was still using it. :( When they doctor came back with the x-rays and said his arm was in fact broken, we were actually shocked. We had only taken him to "rule out" that it was broken. Talk about PARENT GUILT. The cast does not seem to bother him one bit. I am beginning to think he likes it; it works as great a tool to bang on the wall and let us know he is awake in the morning;)
Being Gavin's mama these last 2 years have been the best years of my life. There have been challenges I never would have expected, but it is so fun watching your child grow up into their own person. I love staying home with him, I love exploring the world with him, I love taking him to experience new things, I hate going grocery shopping with him, I hate trying to cook dinner with him hanging on my leg, and I miss him when he goes to bed at night.
I have read those viral Facebook posts about mom's who feel sad to only have a few more months left with their first child before baby comes, and I honestly didn't understand where they were coming from. I've always wanted multiple children, and kids fairly close in age so they could grow up and be friends. But I will admit that every night when I put him to bed I feel overwhelmingly sad that I am one day closer to it not just being the 3 of us. Last night he had trouble falling asleep, and I was kind of excited to go up to his room and play with him again. We made shadows on the wall, watched home videos, sang songs, tickled, and just snuggled until he was ready to fall asleep. I am sad that I WILL miss out on similar moments with him because a newborn is time consuming and exhausting. But I also realize I have no idea how much my heart will grow when I meet this new little girl joining our family! This next year will be challenging and rewarding, and I am looking forward to the adventure<3