Saturday, September 29, 2012

Papa, James and Lady

While transferring my iPhone pics to my computer, I couldn’t help but notice quite a few pictures of James and Papa watching Lady and the Tramp.  It’s not that they sit around watching movies all day, rather they have one scene they like to watch together… over and over again.

We all know James LOVES his Papa.


He kinda wants to be just like him.


He looks just like Papa.


What’s not to love?


Well, Papa and Mammy babysat on my birthday so, Justin and I could vacation to our favorite place on Earth: Charleston, SC.


We were gone two days, and we came back James and Papa had to “watch da hound dog” on Lady and the Tramp.  They would go through the scene selection together, as James would point {with his finger touching the TV} to the correct scene.  It’s the very end of the movie, I think scene 23?  Anyways, that in itself is a treat, because I have a ‘no rewind over and over again rule’, because at one point scene selection spun out of control in the Helfer household.  I understand some rules don’t apply to grandparents, though.


I’m sure Mammy would want me to mention that they kept their grandson very busy.  Playing outside, family visits, wagon rides, and even the zoo!  James and Mammy accidentally dressed as twins for the zoo!


But their down time was with the hound dog.  Tramp gets taken by the dogcatcher so, his doggy friends find their scent and bark until the horses fall!  All so that Tramp can escape.  Just then, Lady arrives with Jim Dear to rescue Tramp. 

From Phone 23

James: “He’s sniffin’!  Do you yike this park?” {He has to ask Papa if he likes this part, because James is a little unsure of all the drama.}  But Papa always says: “Yeah, I like this part.”  James, knowing the answer to his questions: “What makes that soooouuund?” and “What’s that noise?”  Papa: “That’s the hound dog!”  James and Papa: “Here goes!”  James ALWAYS says “Here comes Wady!  Here comes Wady!” as Lady arrives.  At the very end, the brave old hound dog breaks his leg.  We see in the next scene that he’s okay, but sometimes it’s just a little too much to watch a dog get hurt.


This has become such a precious memory for us.  James’ enthusiasm is already fading for the hound dog, and it won’t be long before Lady is back on the shelf with Buzz Lightyear.  Sad, but true.  He seems to have a favorite movie and then, one day wants nothing to do with it.  However, Buzz just got back in rotation.  So, Lady, we will see you before we know it!

As for you, Papa, James isn’t letting you go anywhere.


It’s safe to say, the feeling is mutual.


James at Two and a Half {Part 2}

Our new nighttime routine is to take a bath around 7:00 then, get in your jammies.


You get to watch TV or a movie then, you and I read some books before Daddy takes you up for reading and bed. This is my favorite time with you. You feel so refreshed after an early bath, and I love snuggling with my clean baby in jammies. Daddy and I both do.


On this particular night, you stalled bedtime by reading the Bible. It was brilliant.


You definitely have some tricks up your sleeve.  And I have to admit, it’s often hard for me to keep a straight face.


‘Using your words’ is bittersweet.  It means less crying and hitting, but not all your words are pretty.  And you LOVE to act.  Especially when you have an audience.  At the grocery store one day, you were sitting in the cart when a couple walked by you.  You quickly waived your hands in a forward rolling motion, and yelled “whoa, I fall down!!”  They were not convinced.


You sometimes say things like “I’m saaaaad” with your chin tucked down and bottom lip out.  I reply, “are you sad, buddy?  Or are you pretending?”  I take it seriously, because I am thankful that you are finally communicating emotion! You’ll laugh and say “I tending!”


You now give threats, like “I gonna cry.” Or when I put you in your crib for a nap, “I gonna jump out!” {And then when I close the door, you immediately lay down unaware of our video monitor.}


You think you’re the funniest when you quickly steal my seat after I get up.  You love to be tickled and called “a little seat stealer!”  You giggle, giggle, giggle then, say “Do it again?”

From Phone 2

Your favorite joke is wiping kisses off.  Every time you are kissed, you pretend to wipe it off, and you laugh, laugh, laugh.

I never know what you’re going to say.  In the picture below, Me: “James I don’t think that’s a good idea, honey.”  James: “It’s a great idea.”


After my Aunt and Uncle babysat, Me: “What did you do today with Aunt Beth and Uncle David?”  James: “Aunt Bef and Unc Day take a baf.”  Me: “Oh really?”  I found that VERY hard to believe.


I realized a bit later that you were asking if they could be the ones to bathe you, as it was almost bath time when we talked.  That’s quite the compliment, as you always request Mommy baths.  {Looking like your Daddy in this picture.}


You are all boy.  You’re a ham.


I’ve said since you were a baby that you are strong-willed like Mommy, with Daddy’s high-intensity level.  It’s quite a combination.  And since you were three days old at your first doctor’s appointment, you still have people comment on how strong you are.  Doctors, your swimming coach, friends of the family, and even I feel like you are getting too strong for me!  Something I didn’t think I would say for another 12 years.

photo 1

The other day, we were holding hands, walking down the stairs, and I said “James, I love you so much.  I love you more than anything in the whole world.  You know that, buddy?  You and Daddy are my best friends.”  You actually stopped halfway down the stairs and sat on the step to listen. You hugged me then stood up, and continued down the stairs.  It’s this unhurried style that often makes me feel impatient, but also melts my heart.  And reminds me to slow down, stop thinking about the next thing, and cherish the moment.  That’s right, baby boy, I learn from you.


My 31st birthday

James, you are my life.  On our good days and bad, we’re always in it together.

photo 3

I am so blessed that Daddy lets us stay home together.  We often desperately fill our eleven hour days with randomness. Like indoor camping and forts,


driving cars through snow {aka shaving cream}


and lots and lots of pool days.


I’d be lying if I said that we didn’t turn the TV on daily.


And that around 5:00, I often can’t wait for Daddy to get home.


But I’m already feeling sentimental that next year you are required to go to preschool five mornings a week.


Someone once told me “they’re yours until they go to school.”  I know you’ll always be mine {until you get a wife, but I can’t even think about that!}, but I also know I will miss our mornings of just us.


Early one morning when you had pink eye.  You woke up saying “Uh oh, my eyes is hurtin’.  James needs sungwasses.”  I called the pediatrician as soon as they opened.

You are LOVING your friends these days.  We went from fighting over toys and parallel play to sharing with friends and cousins,


Cousins Catie, Ellie and Baby CJ (not pictured)

asking to play with friends everyday,


Patiently waiting for your best bud, Connor, to meet you at the park.


and birthday party filled weekends {which is somewhat of a dream of mine}.


We even planned a weekend play date with your obsessions friends, Jack and "Wucy Woo” Lucy.

From Phone 21From Phone 22IMG_6305

You’re a great friend, you’re too smart for your own good, and you make me laugh every day.  You are my Sweet Baby James.


As Nancy Tillman wrote in one of your favorite books, you are “the one and only ever you”

photo 6crop

and life has truly never been the same!


Friday, September 28, 2012

James at Two and a Half {Part 1}

It’s been months since I’ve blogged pictures from my phone so, I may have to post them in multiple blogs and in no particular order.  I think daily that I will one day forget all these amazing things James says and does everyday, and to be honest, that thought kinda breaks my heart.  So I constantly tell myself that I MUST document it.  Here is my attempt…

Aside from the twos sometimes being terrible, I am really loving this stage.  I mostly love our conversations.


You pretty much narrate your entire day.  For example, “I gonna go outside.  I outside.  I gonna go down da steps.  It’s weawy {really} cold.  Oh no, it’s not cold.  That’s siwwy {silly}!”  And so on and so forth.  You often throw your hands up and say, “I did it!” or “I made it!” for accomplishments big and small, even just walking down stairs.


“I puwwin’ da weeds!”


“I put da food in my bewy {belly}.”


To say you thrive off positive reinforcement is an understatement.


Your favorite thing to do right now is anything that adults do. Baking,




reading the paper,


and cooking… while wearing an oven mit… how do I say no when he’s doing it correctly?  {That’s not a rhetorical question.  I literally stood there and stammered, deciding not to reprimand, because he completely gets it.}


But you especially love taking care of your puppy.  {Or at least you think that you are.}  You help him eat {or put his food in your dump truck},


try to open doors for him, sneak him snacks when you think I’m not looking, take him to the groomers and vet with me, but most importantly, you give him gentle TLC… most of the time.

photo 4

Lynyrd even sits around while you pet him.  {That sometimes means that you just press down hard on his back, or pet against his hair growth, but you’re trying.}

photo 5IMG_6693

And you kiss Lynyrd every night before you go to bed.  It’s no secret that you can be a handful, but you truly have the sweetest, kindest, most sensitive heart.  You love to help.  Your most common question is “what happened?”  whether a page in your book is folded, a TV character shows emotion, or pretty much ANYTHING “happens.”  You even shared your Boo Boo Buddy ice pack with Papa, just cause you’re that kind of guy.


You absolutely LOVE bugs, which was fitting for your bug-themed birthday party.  You stop in your tracks for every bug you see.  I now plan for an extra few nature minutes to get to preschool.


Your favorites are snails and spittle bugs.  You adopted a pet spittle bug below.  I didn’t have the heart to clean him up right away… He was dead.  About every 15 – 30 minutes, you’d say “oh, I gonna go check on my spittle bug.”


We often find snails on our porch and driveway, always checking on them throughout the day.  I eventually toss the dead ones in the bushes when you’re not looking, knowing that you will repeatedly ask me “what happened?  What happened to my snail?”  I explain all day that snails move slowly, but they do move.  And maybe snail needed to find some lunch, and so on.  This is how close you get to bugs… saying things like “Hi snail.  Dat’s my snail.  Hi wittle snail.”


You saw a worm yesterday morning and said “It’s a dead worm.  Sssshhhhhh, he’s sweeping.”  I love that you can identify a dead bug, but still have the innocence of thinking it’s sleeping.


Here’s a good breaking point.  And one of my favorite pieces of James’ school work.