Tonight we had Jabin's birthday party. Unlike last year, there were actually guests, and my camera battery (mostly) worked the whole night. I actually had Amanda M. videoing the "bringing-in-the-cake-while-singing-'Happy Birthday'" ritual, at the end of which the camera shut itself off for some reason, therefore all the data in the clip was lost. Phooey. But we got lots of great still shots.

Here's a "verbal snapshot" of where Jabin is at right now:

Favourite adult: Mommy

Favourite kid: Emily Magnusson (Every time he sees her he shouts out "Emee!")

Favourite book: Happy Baby Colours ("Wead?" while shoving it into your bottom lip, or the body part closest to your face that he can reach.)

Favourite foods: Bananas and pancakes ("Nanas!")

Foods he dislikes: Cheese, most of the time, pasta sometimes, fish in pretty much any form, not a big fan of meat, either.

Favourite phrase: "Mommy? I hungee!" or "Daddy? I hungee!" Also "What doin'?"

Favourite activities: Reading books; playing with toys; wrestling with Daddy and his brothers; playing playdough ("Day-dough!"); colouring (pronunciation unreproducable in print)--unfortunately, not quite constrained only to paper, yet; going potty (!); playing with Emily.

Favourite Feature-Length movie: Cars - This is the only movie he will sit and watch through the whole thing. Most things on a T.V. (on the rare occasions he actually gets to watch something) hold his interest for all of 5-10 minutes.

Favourite Characters: Bob and Larry from VeggieTales (all the characters from this show are referred to as "Bob"; Bob the Builder and friends; the penguins from 3-2-1 Penguins, Spiderman ("Piyermah!" He is quite proud of his Spiderman pajamas and slippers. I keep meaning to post a picture, but keep forgetting to take one!)

Most noticeable character traits: Everyone that meets Jabin comments about how smiley he is. He does smile most of the time, and for the most part is a pretty even-tempered, easy-to-get-along-with kid. However, like all two-year-olds, he has his moments, which are becoming more frequent all the time--pushing his limits and seeing what Mom and Dad will let him get away with.
He also is going through this "big helper" stage. He wants to help with everything--cooking, emptying the dishwasher, loading the dishwasher, setting the table, helping Mommy practice piano (that one goes over well), folding clothes. If only all his good intentions translated to actual usefulness! Oh, well--we'll try not to quash the desire out of him before the skills catch up!
(A surefire spark to one of those afore-mentioned "moments" is to ask him to stop "helping!")

Recent Milestones: Jabin is almost completely daytime-potty-trained! Except for the rare occasions when he has had to poop in his diaper before I get him out of his crib in the morning, he has made it to the potty for #2 for over a month now. Also, any visitors to our home over the last two months have quite politely hidden any discomfort they may have felt over the fact that our youngest child was wearing only his birthday suit from the waist down. (We tried to make sure the shirts were long enough to be somewhat modest, but not so long as to get soiled every time he used the potty.) Well, for the last week or so, he has actually started wearing a pull-up (for some reason he prefers that over underwear still, even though he keeps it dry 95% of the time) or just pants, so the more modest among you don't have to work so hard to hide embarrassment--and he stays warmer, too!
Jabin is more than ready to move out of his crib, but we are waiting until we can get a bunk bed to shuffle everybody "up one" before he gets his freedom.
Jabin has been my earliest talker by far, even being "above average" for his age group. This has made our lives a whole heckuvalot easier. What surprises us is the fact that not only is he using phrases and expressions, he uses them appropriately! Every day or two he comes out with something new that absolutely floors us. This boy's sharper than a tack, I tell ya'--gonna keep Mommy and Daddy on their toes!

I just re-read his birthday post from last year. It's amazing how much difference only a year can make at this age. I look forward to the changes that the next year will bring in our littlest man, even while I mourn the loss of every last vestige of "baby-ness" for what is almost certainly our last child. (I know God has overcome surgeries before, but He seems less likely to bless a couple with more children that has taken such drastic measures to prevent such blessings from coming. Sigh.)

Along the line of "blessings", Jabin has definitely been one to us. Our prayer for him is that as he grows, he will continue to be a blessing to all those around him. Amen.