I swear, I am trying to pull enough words together to post something that doesn't include bullets - blame my job for making me write all the time. When I got to post I just want to write like I'm thinking...in short, unrelated spasms of information. So there's that. I'm going to try my hardest though.
My nephew turned two yesterday...TWO. I can't believe he's already that old. He's a little man. I can't even call him a baby anymore. He walks around investigating everything. He speaks in nearly full sentences. He's able to tell you what he wants and when he wants it. I can't believe he's such a functional human being. I remember when he was born, when he first smiled, when he first crawled. I know you hear it all the time, but they grow up in the blink of an eye. And it amazes me every time I see him, how capable he is. Every new skill, word, physical ability - amazes me. It's probably also because he's so small that it doesn't seem like he should be able to do a lot of what he can. (There was a kid 6 months younger than him at his party that both out weighed him and was also a good 4" taller...he's a peanut).
It's been really interesting to me to have the aunt / nephew relationship. You get to see this little being grow almost as much as you do as a parent. I see him pretty frequently, he knows who I am. I love that I get to "practice" being a parent. (I know, it's nowhere NEAR what actually being a parent is, but I like to think it's a good window into the world).
Yesterday we had a birthday party at my parents for him. It was adorable. He loves, LOVES Buzz Lightyear. It looked like Toy Story threw up on my parent's house yesterday. He loved it. Buzz, Buzz, Buzz. It was too cute for words. His favorite presents? Balloons. He was more excited about those than any of the toys. He didn't care much for gift opening or cake eating (he didn't do any of either).
There were a ton of moments yesterday that made me feel lucky to be an Auntie. I got to rock him and read him 3 stories (my favorite books as a kid that we gave him as presents). I swam with him for hours. I got to hear the newest things my brother has taught him, including "aw, maaaan" and (my personal favorite) "oh balls!" (this kid is going to wreak havoc on preschool).
But probably my favorite part of the day (tearing up recapping it right now) was when Christian came out of the house in his swim trunks ready to get in the pool. I was already in with Joey and my dad and when Christian walked out, Joey* started screaming, "Chi Chi, Chi Chi!" (what he calls Christian - Christian's pretty tough for his little 2 year old vocab). He started counting for Chi Chi to jump in the pool. So excited to swim with his Uncle ChiChi. His favorite game is to count to three and dunk Christian under water. He was literally shaking with excitement for his Uncle ChiChi to come swim with him...and swim they did for almost 4 hours straight. I almost died it was so adorably heart warming. And then? The icing on the cake? He said to him, "Love you Chi Chi." Seriously, I died.
And if I didn't want babies with this man before? I'm sold. I'm so so sold.
*To keep confusion to a minimum, I should mention that my nephew has about a billion nicknames. He was born Jackson Joseph with intentions of calling him JJ. The family mostly calls him Joey now. But along the way, he's been Jack, Jackson, JJ, Joes, Joey and Toodie and Tood.