Dear Lukas, you're three and a half. You are the Sunshine of our lives and we are so blessed to have you in our family!!
I wanted to write a note about all the things I find amazing about you, so that when you are older you can look back and read about all the things you do that make you unique and wonderful! I have a ton of quotes to record, as well as just fun things you are into right now- and I don't want to forget them! There are lots of little random things about your day I want to notice before they all change again. Anyone else can yawn and stop reading here. It's fine. :)
When I brush your teeth I put stickers up on the ceiling for you to look at so I can get at those top teeth. Often I ask if (Santa, ein lila Kleid, usw.) is up there, or other totally random yes/no questions to keep you distracted and opening that mouth. "Uh huh" or Uhn Uh" answers. Then,when brushing your own teeth, I love the way you look straight up (even though I don't need to see those tippy top ones, you do!) and even ask yourself the questions out loud that I ask you!
You LOVE books, and often when you say prayers you include "Danke, dass wir so viele Bücher haben!" ("Thank you that we have so many books")
In the last 2 months you have had almost the whole Magic Tree House series read to you, and can sit through 9 chapters of those books, enthralled with 45 mins worth of read aloud, which is so impressive for your age! A couple of weeks ago I got out all of my Children's Illustrated Classics books and am so happy that you've already "read" The Prince and the Pauper, The Swiss Family Robinson, Lots of Aesop's Fables and Grimm's Fairy Tales, and are in the middle of a few different books including Treasure Island, Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, and Robin Hood, and have started The Wind in the Willows recently with Papili.
You often use the names and situations from books in your imaginative play outside, or in the bathtub, or making up songs. It's adorable, and shows me the power of original creativity instead of reenacting what a person has already seen on a screen.
In the mornings when you wake up you love to come into our room and cuddle in our bed. Often you'll kiss one of us on the cheek and then nuzzle into a warm spot.
You often begin the morning conversation with a direct request "Mama, kannst du bitte Frühstück machen?" before anything else comes out of your mouth. Boy priorities in order- just like Papa when it comes to food.
You love to race people to the bathroom, thinking you're so fast, when really it's the only way to get you to go before doing anything else... we "race" you and somehow you always trick us out of being first, and you go. And we win. It's a beautiful thing.
You love to eat breakfast as a family at the table. You LOVE smoothies for breakfast, and I'm pretty sure French Toast is your absolute favorite. Plain yogurt, Kamut puffs with honey or fruit is another huge hit. You also really love to eat oatmeal with frozen fruit in it to cool it off faster (and let's face it- taste better!). You want foods that I'm pretty sure I didn't WANT as a kid, even if I did eat them. And of course you love that whipped cream that can come spraying out of the can. If it's freezing you'll take a tea in a big ol' mug like mom and dad, which is adorable since it covers most of your face when you drink it. I've made you a fan of rice milk, and you get really excited when I make popsicles from chocolate soy milk.
You LOVE to play "pony" lately, which involves quite the workout for mom, who carries you ("Reiter") all over the place. You ask pony often if it wants to sleep, and so kindly lead it to the stall (under the table, past the crumbs to a pillow and blanket. If only this nap was longer than 10 seconds, then pony wouldn't be so tired!! You really enjoy imaginative play and making things into instruments (i.e. drums mostly, or things to yell through) Our water container and Costco boxes have taken quite the beating from your cheap plastic chopsticks that you use as drumsticks.
You're gettin' pretty good at cracking eggs, and become upset if you miss a chance to crack them into the pan or mixing bowl. You also enjoy getting to pour things in and lick baking utensils when finished (like the measuring cup after brown sugar). You're pretty knowledgeable about where everything is in the kitchen (even more than dad) and can work the kitchen mixer with proficiency. We haven't totally figured out the resisting fresh baked cookies part since you burned your little thumb on a cookie sheet recently at FHE, even though you knew it was hot, because you just reeeeally wanted that cookie!
You're quite aware of people's feelings around you (Thank you How to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child and Mister Rogers Neighborhood) and I'm always enamored with your ability to comfort others, and give/share, since you seem to have a real sense of having enough love and stuff yourself. You repeat the mantra we taught you: It's easy to give because we have a lot.
When you take naps you want someone to sit by your bed ("bei mir liegen!!") til you fall asleep, or at least for a few minutes. You're usually really tired from the morning hike/play and are out pretty quickly. It's so sweet to watch your eyelids get so heavy, and to see you drift off into slumber. Once you're out- you're out.
When you wake up from naps, you are bright-eyed, and talk really excitedly and deliriously for a few minutes initially. We try not to laugh out loud because we want you to keep going, but inside we are splitting to pieces!
You've invented your own games that you love to play, like Hot Pot (you use a little sauce pot to catch and throw a small inflated rubber ball across the living room), and other random games you come up with that have the most random "i-just-thought-the-name-up-out-of-nowhere" names. Hahah. You're such a character.
You really enjoy getting to go on an adventure each day, and have enjoyed such simple things as open nature areas with dirt and sticks. You like riding in the trailer to the park, and scream with delight when I run while pushing you along. You've learned the names of many birds at the pond, and enjoy knowing things, and asking questions about the world around you. You're learning sign language, and we get a kick out of you singing "signing time with Alex and Leah" at the top of your lungs.
Sometimes you reach up behind you and stick your little hand out of the flap in the back to hold my hand on the way to or from home. You're a sweet and affectionate little boy, and you love to hold Mami and Papi's hands when we go places together, and sometimes press your cheek against our linked hands while walking along. You have become quite brave when it comes to talking to other people on our adventures. For awhile there you'd smile, but take a coy turn away. Apparently a switch has flipped and your words just come pouring out. One can tell that German is your first language, because your English often comes out with German grammar, but you are quite communicative for your age, and love to tell a story or explain things. And the more you do the more vocabulary you're learning. You LOooOoVe to talk to our friend Jill, and any kids your age/size (not usually synonymous). You've recently gotten to know a few friends in the neighborhood and church, and ask me to call their mothers to see if they can play. You show great kindness to those new little friends you meet, which makes me so proud to be your mom. Sometimes after you've been a bit brash with mommy, you'll pause, come over, and throw your arms around me and say "Ich liebe dich Mama. Es tut mir Leid dass ich ____ gemacht habe." and stunned I reciprocate those sweet loveys for him and life continues in happiness.
Sometimes though, (thankfully less now that our general stress level has dropped) you could really lash out and kick, or hit with your little fists, and growl quite aggressively. Now that the adoption option for Cousin Ruth's baby has passed, it seems that your little spirit has come to peace and stability as well. We are back to cool, calm, collected. It is sweet though how kind and soft your are with babies, and we still have hopes that someday our family will welcome a little baby to be your sibling. In the mean time, we'll just keep on doing family things as the Three Musketeers, along with lots of service opportunities to keep your focus from being solely on yourself as an only child. You LOVE to help other people, which is both a relief and inspiring. You seem to have a strong sense for your own place in our family and don't often feel 'threatened' by other kids getting my attention or sharing your toys. You are just happy going to other people's houses to be babysat and always ask if mom and dad are going on a date (and then you smile- it's so cute). You've also loved primary and are a big helper to the nursery leaders when helping the smaller kids. They've reported that you will often fetch things for them in their efforts to help the crying sad kiddos who miss their parents.
You LoooooOOOOOve it when Dad comes home, and will run over to him and throw your arms around his neck. Jared loves it too, and feels like a rock-star when he comes home. For awhile there, you'd always hide somewhere (under the kitchen table) and make him find you.
You like to help me make dinner (or at least graze around the kitchen munching on this or that ingredient while I cook) and take your turns at dumping in this spoonful here or licking off a measuring cup there. Hopefully you'll make a girl really happy someday because you'll know how to cook. And, as you said today: Ich liebe Essen. Ich moechte den ganzen Tag NUUUUR essen!" So let's hope your girl can cook too!! haha.
You like baths, especially with really warm water, bubbles, a magnifying glass, and little plastic animals to play with. Drawing with shaving cream is also a favorite, along with pushing the drain open at the end of the bath to let all of the water out. You also get a big kick out of seeing your footprints on the mat when you climb out. You have such tiny feet (although size 11 already- quite large for a 3 yr old, but still so small for a human!)
You do okay with family scripture reading time, and it's the funniest when you shout out your verses that you "read" instead of just saying them back. We call it your loud 'prophet voice' and hope you'll grow up loving to read the scriptures. You really like it when I read to you from the Bible, most recently while you were taking a bath. It's really sweet when you repeat little phrases here and there as I read to you. Makes me feel like you're a good southern Christian boy, readin' yo' Bible! :) You sing songs you've made up about how much Jesus love you and how you want to praise the Lord, and it makes me want to shine your halo. Sometimes, you get sick of reading and just jump around and play. Usually you want to say the prayers and get upset when it's someone else' turn, and sometimes you have to pray right after they do so that you get a turn too, lest there be unrest in the house before you go to bed. Ha! What you're really looking forward to is story-time with dad after prayer. It used to be 2 books, but now we're reading from the big Illustrated classics, so we go one or two chapters.
You hear the neighbors upstairs and often come back out and ask what this or that sound was. Sometimes you get night terrors now and come into our bed, throw your arm around one of our necks and fall asleep.
You are always a welcomed and loved member of our family and we are so grateful that you made your way to us (and we to you!). Our little Lukas. Pukas. Beanielein. Pookie. Bienchen. Lukilie.
Danke dass es dich gibt!