Big Brother Jared

Jared and Luke "win" the race!

My little boy Jared seems to grow a little every day.  He seems to be so much older than he did just a few months ago.  We have all been adjusting to the new move to Texas and Jared is the one who remembers Ecuador most clearly right now.  Jared had to start off by having a birthday party with no little friends to help him celebrate.  Since then, he’s made some friends at Awana and the Thursday Bible study group that his mother goes to in the morning.

I have been very grateful to find a church with an Awana program in Lake Jackson.  There is only one church in the area that is doing it and they seem to be providing the facilities for the kids from a lot of the surrounding churches.  Jared continues to thrive on learning Bible verses.  What has been interesting is that most of his verses are in the 30’s, which is actually Jared’s hardest number to pronounce.  He tends to make the “f” sound when he’s trying to say “thirty” so that it ends up sounding like “forty” instead. However, with all this practice he is starting to get much better with that.

Jared also enjoys learning his alphabet.  I decided not to put him in preschool this year, but to work with him on some phonics at home.  One book that Jared enjoys is a book of little flashcards.  It has three sets of alphabets side by side and then three rows of three letter words.  Jared can flip through the picture/word cards and spell out the words on his own.

Just last week, Jared surprised me by teaching himself how to spell “toy” completely on his own.  Jared also tries to teach Luke everything that he is learning.  Poor Luke has a hard time keeping up with his brother, but he seems to have fun trying.

The other day, Jared told me the first compliment he’s ever given me.  I had just come out of the shower and I had a towel wrapped around my head.  I came out of the room to remind Jared that he needed to get ready for breakfast.  Jared just looked up at me and smiled and said, “You look like a princess, Mommy.”

I told him thank you, although I wasn’t sure what to think about his mental image of princesses wearing towels on their heads.


Jared’s Milestones

Jared poses at a butterfly exhibit.

When Jared turned three years old, I determined that I was finally going to get him potty trained “for real.”  Ever since Jared turned two, I have been going through phases of trying to potty train him and then giving up for months at a time.  This time around, I decided on a strategy that would put my focus solely on Jared.  We had just gotten back from our summer trip in the U.S. and I had a whole month before school would begin again. 

So, I pulled out all of Jared’s diapers and told him, “Jared, these are the last diapers I am going to buy for you.  When these are finished, you have to wear pull ups.  When those are finished, you have to wear underwear.”

It took about a week and a half with a few setbacks along the way, but I can now officially say that Jared is potty-trained during his waking hours.  We are still working on getting him potty trained during his naps and overnight.  So far, he has woken up dry in the morning at least three times in the last three weeks.  The best thing about the whole process is that Jared is finally on board with the activity.  He really wants to be a big boy and not use diapers any more.

Jared and Luke sit on the potty after having had their morning bath.

Besides the potty training, we’re finally getting Jared to eat his meals mostly on his own.  He’s really becoming a day dreamer, and sometimes I can just see his mind go off into another world in the middle of a meal. 

You can just tell there is a lot on his mind.  Recently, Jared decided to memorize the alphabet song and sometimes goes around the house singing it.  He has also memorized his first Bible verse.  We just started to do devotions with the boys each night.  And a verse that I’ve been reading to Jared recently is from Psalm 118:24. 

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Sometimes that verse has really come back to bite me.  There have been times when I wake up in the morning grumbling to myself about all that I have to do that day.  I feel this dark cloud hovering over my head.  Then I hear Jared quoting Psalm 118:24 with a big smile on my face, and I know God’s using him to tell me something. 

I’m so glad that God can use little Jared to remind me to be glad for each day that He has given us on this earth.

Stephen thought it would be fun to scare his son by placing him close to the mouth of this alligator statue.