What We've Been Eating | July

I've been using a lot of summer ingredients like squash and corn, in recipes we've liked in past summers, but also new ones I found. While the boys eat a good amount early in the day, they really don't do too well with dinner. I'm trying not to cater to them too much though, especially when there's generally enough for them to choose from in our regular dinners. We're trying a more laid back approach at dinnertime and while the last few nights have been good, we'll see if it make a difference longterm.

Fish in parchment with tomato, squash and basil

Arugula Salad with Seared Beef and Horseradish Dressing

Simple Summertime Basil Curry Chicken

Warm Gnocchi and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Slow-cooker summer vegetable, sausage and bean soup

Blueberry Oatmeal Bake

Chili Lime Salmon Salad

Corn Farrotto with Bacon and Asparagus

Spaghetti Squash Sausage Bake

Peach French Toast Bake

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bowls

Couscous with Haloumi Cheese, Chickpeas and Asparagus (based on this recipe)

Grilled Tri-Tip from Weber Real Grilling Cookbook

27 Months

We're in that weird phase where you can't really answer in months anymore when people ask how old they are. We're too far away from 2-and-a-half to round up or even add 'almost' before. I've been sticking to 'they turned 2 at the end of April', which I know when people do it to me I end up having to count back. Anyway, I guess they're 2-and-a-quarter. I don't want to be counting in months anymore anyway, but I'm still having so much fun tracking their changes each month as each month is definitely different than the last. They continue to do and say new things and best of all, are playing together, really together and not just parallel playing.

  • The trip to Ma's. We had so much fun spending time with Ma and Grandpa, Aunt Lori and the cousins.
  • Train Town
  • We had a week (okay, at least a couple of straight days of shorts weather, yay!
(Wow, I must be getting better at doing blog posts since both of these have already been documented!)

We're still doing MyGym and not much new here. They still love going and we plan to continue.

Swim lessons are on hold. We did start a new music class, just a short summer session, but ended up missing the first two weeks since we were out of town and then they were just getting over pink eye. We went to the first class this week and they had a lot of fun. The LOVE going potty on the 'pink potty' they have there... not a little pink potty, the toilet is actually pink!

  • There has been more food-throwing and meals being abruptly ended. Luckily not too often, but frequently enough. 
  • Eating bananas again and a few green vegetables here and there.
  • They've both been eating a lot but dinner is still hit or miss. I've had a lot more luck giving them pieces of meat than things like casseroles, stir-frys or soups. G especially just wants the meat picked out.
  • Yes, they both still wear their bibs. I agree it's a bit crazy but hey, I'll take it for as long as they'll do it. We've certainly gone through pulling-off-the-bib phases but we always had the rule of no bib, no food and would immediately take away their plate when they took off the bib. That worked pretty much all the time and now they often request their bib. They are much neater eaters but with things like oatmeal, it's so much better to have a lipped bib, especially when they're sitting at their little table and not closely pressed up to the table or high chair tray.
  • W is still going crazy for fruit. It's so funny to watch how he'll chow down on an apple, a peach or a handful of berries in seconds.
  • W still requests oatmeal every morning and continues to eat it (though not as much as he used to which some days was 3 pouches!)
  • This month G has been putting way too much in his mouth on occasion to the point where he gags a bit and has to spit it all out. He's a much slower eater than W and I though we try to let him take his time, I think sometimes he feels rushed.

typical G, finishing W's food

6:45-7:30am - wake up.  Eat breakfast immediately
8am or so, come back upstairs and finish breakfast, eat a bit more when I eat my breakfast
10am out for an activity - sometimes playing in the backyard before or after
Home by 12:30
1pm W down - After they both potty, we read a few books and W is quickly asleep (up until a few days ago...)
2pm G down - Falling asleep quickly
Up by 4pm - we're strict about this and wake them if they're still sleeping, which we have to do most days
Out to the park
6:30pm Dinner - keeping it at this time has worked well  Bath, get dressed, play/clean up
7:30 Upstairs for reading with Dad
7:50 One more potty run, last book, each boy gets a song and snuggle with Mom
8:15pm (most nights) asleep

SLEEP: As I say each month, sleep goes in phases and we had a good run this past month. But the tables have turned in the last few days, especially with W. Oh, but a very important development. The boys, or W in particular are now routinely climbing out of the crib. Ugh!

  • Though our trip to Cincinnati threw the boys off a bit and there were some tough bedtimes, the week before the trip and the time we've been home since, has been great. Sleeping in until sun comes up on the tot clock at 6:50, but many mornings last week they (or one) were sleeping til 7:30 or even 8am. Naps were good as well, consistently close to 3 hours for W and 2 for G.
  • W has shifted in the last week, waking up around 9 or 10pm crying, seemingly in his sleep. Sometimes I have to go in several times to calm him down. Not sure what it is. Though it doesn't technically fall into this month, he's had a hard time going down for nap, sometimes taking a full hour and the last few days he's been waking up before sun comes up...
  • About a week ago we hear footsteps and W walks into our room about 6:45 and says, 'hi!'. Despite reminders that he should not climb out of his crib and should instead call for us to come get him, he's continued to do this each morning, eventually getting G to come in with him.
  • I thought as long as we could keep them in sleepsacks, climbing out of the crib wouldn't be a problem. We did recently start putting on their wraps backwards to thwart unzipping (doesn't really help) but I was bummed to learn that even though they're in sleepsacks (withOUT foot holes), they've still learned how to climb out.
Toddler bed transition? I was hoping our kids would be the ones sleeping in a crib until they were 4. I don't want to lose good naps and (at least recently) fairly easy bedtimes. I actually got a video of W climbing out of the crib and the good news is, I'm not nervous of either one getting hurt. They can get out just fine and they just walk into our room. We have the stairs gated and they can't open the front door and I'm not too worried about anything else they could get into if they climbed out. So my answer was no, we don't need to transition, when Dave asked. It also helped that W was only doing it in the morning. The problem is, now he's doing it at naptime too. He doesn't seem to be tired and will climb out and lock the door. I open it and then sit there until he lays down and goes to sleep. Not ideal. Last night he must've convinced G to climb out too as they both came out shortly after I left the room. Honestly, we'll just see if we'll be able to convince them not to climb out of the crib. I really don't want to transition them out of cribs yet.


  • They both love to climb but this month we've been working on them learning how to climb back down some of the tougher structures like this fake rock thing at the park or the big rope structure. Getting up is the easy part.

  • Books of the moment: Giraffes Can't Dance and Little Pea are two that stick out. 
  • Still love playing with diggers, trains and duplos but are now playing a lot more imaginatively, building more complex structures, having their people talk and talking to each other. They're playing with all their little wood people and vehicles (school bus, airplane, etc) a lot more, narrating everything.

  • I still need to keep an eye out for biting and this time I was shocked when G bit W. That has never happened...
  • Their new game this month was 'going to work' and 'going on a work trip'. They discovered Dave's little work suitcase in the coat closet and love taking it out and pretending they're going on a work trip. They like to get their backpacks on and ask me to 'drive them to the airport to go on the big airplane high in the sky'. I ended up getting them each their own mini rolling backpack which they absolutely love. This has been going on for several weeks now and they're still obsessed, and it was all initiated on their own.
  • A lot of playing outside, but again, more imaginative play. They like to get out the hose and 'put gas in their car'. They tell stories about what they're doing. Aunt Lori sent us a water table. I'm not sure they really got what it was for... G was disappointed more trucks wouldn't fit in it.

Sitting in the fire truck!

  • Both are talking a ton. William just tells story after story and narrates everything. He more likely wants feedback when he talks. 
  • W tends to say, 'k' a lot in response to things that I say. It's also the funniest thing, he'll say 'Oh', like he's pleasantly surprised when I tell him stuff but he says it for practically everything.
  • G also talks a lot, especially when playing with his people but he can easily be in his own world and doesn't need any response from us. He does like to confirm things, repeat things I've said, like he's really processing it.
  • You can tell it takes more energy for G to get out what he wants to say. He knows the words, and though not as clear as W, he's still fairly easy to understand, at least to me. Occasionally he stutters when he's trying to tell you something and when he does it's usually, 'Uh, uh, uh' and then he spits it out.
  • It's fun to let them tell us about their day and what they did. Sometimes they need prompting but we try to just let them talk and see what is it they remember. 
  • They're referencing the past and future more too, not that they always get it right. But they'll say, 'this morning I xyz' when it was actually yesterday, for example.
  • G loves reading signs. He likes me to hold him up and point out all the words and then he reads them back to me (or at least a version of it).
  • Singing songs started a month or two ago and it's really taken off this month. 
  • 'Either' was a new word/concept I noticed from William this month - 'I don't want to go (to) either'
  • Still getting some words mixed up -- saying 'My drive' instead of 'I drive' for example.

POTTY: A great month, so proud of them for how well they did in Cincinnati, for it being a different environment and for all the different places we were at each day.

They love parking their cars right next to their potties
  • One accident for each in Cincinnati, a pee accident at Ma's house while playing in the afternoon on 4th of July.
  • The only other accident all month was when W had a poop accident last Friday. We had gone hiking in the Presidio and then straight to the park. Very surprising but a good reminder that potty training is still an ongoing thing at this age, even when they're doing well.
  • They both did SO well this month at telling us they had to go, especially when we were out. We were at so many different places in Cincinnati and they always told us when they had to go. Huge improvement from last month when we had to ask more when we were out.
  • Along the same lines, it wasn't just for #1. They would say, 'I need to poop' and then they'd go on the big potty, no matter where we were. I told Dave the low point was when G pooped in the porta potty at Off the Grid and Dave told me, 'what are you talking about? That's a high point!'
  • They can both stand to pee at the big potty now. I'm still not really sure how W manages this but they've learned to go on their tip-toes and aim over.
  • They never have the little leaks they used too, where their underwear would be the slightest bit wet.
  • They like privacy and will shut the door and tell me to go in the other room.
  • They also enjoy using their little potties outside.

  • Another fairly quiet night as far as the evenings go, which has been nice. Very few meetings, though I did get out to see Magic Mike with a friend. So much fun!!
  • I read/listened to several books on the Ohio trip and had several others on my kindle but haven't been able to keep up with it since I've been home.
  • My goal for August is to get at least one of their baby photo books done (maybe set the bar low and aim for one kid, one year... that's still a huge project). The good thing is, once I have the format set up, it will be easy to go back in and edit for the other one and subsequent years will be easy (at least in my mind) as well too. I've at least looked into photobook options, though I'm not decided yet. 
  • We've continued to have a great turnout with the twin support meetings which is so much more fun. I ended up pairing up a bunch of moms-to-be with twin moms to sort of be 'mentored'.

Date night: We only went out to dinner twice in the last month since two Thursdays were in Cincinnati and both of the restaurants are on the current hot lists -- Octavia (same owners as Frances) and Liholio Yacht Club. Neither lived up to the hype. Octavia had beautiful presentation and the food was good, but not great. I got the pork chop and the best way to describe it is that I wasn't saying 'omg this is amazing' after every bite. Tough crowd? With the Frances reputation to live up to, our expectations were high, not to mention there are several outstanding pork chops in the city (Marlowe, Cockscomb) and this one just wasn't impressive. Liholio was a fun atmosphere and food was good, but SO salty. So, that leaves one left and it was a winner -- our anniversary dinner in Cincinnati at Jeff Ruby's.

Looking forward to...
  • Lots of fun travel coming up for Dave and I (unfortunately not together but fun nonetheless). I can't wait to celebrate Jenn's baby girl at her shower in August.
  • The boys do two 2-day weeks of their first drop-off summer camp. It's at a great preschool nearby and they'll be gone 8:45-12:45. I'm confident they'll do fine, but it will be so crazy to drop them off with their backpacks and lunches!

To my boys: It is so much fun to watch you interact with each other but this month, you really played together. Watching you go on your 'work trips' is the best as you detail out where you're going and what you need. You're both so nonchalant about the whole thing and very serious. Getting your own rolling suitcases was a hit. When we're at the park, 90% of the time, you're playing together, either pushing each other in cars or digging next to each other. When you were on different bikes today, W started shouting across the playgroup, 'where are you going George?!' when George started heading to do something else. All the words you can use to narrate all your play is so much fun to listen to. I know I'm often a third wheel and you tell me to go away, which I'm fine with. I also hear a lot of 'I'm still playing' or 'I'm still working' or 'I need a few more minutes'. One night after dinner when it was time for bath, W told us, 'I need a few minutes to play with my peoples'. A lot more negotiation is coming into play as well. It's amazing how early this starts, especially when I've tried to be somewhat conscious and I don't think I use negotiation too much with you guys. You're doing more and more on your own and even started playing red light, green light in your cars out back. Stopping and going with shouts of 'red light!', 'green light!' with me just as a bystander.

W&G Notes:
  • You loved watching all the roadwork going on in the neighborhood and were in Heaven when they re-did lower Collins St. 
We stood here for an hour and you still complained when we finally left
  • You had so much fun at the zoo with Papa
  • We had a great day at the Ferry Building Park and then lunch after with Dedee
  • You switch off kicking each other/draping a leg over the other person to annoy them when in the car seat. G is usually the instigator and it's so annoying to all of us!
  • You were telling Ma stories about the digger when we walked to see the one in her neighborhood.
  • You went to two parties with jumpy houses and had so much fun.
  • One night you were laughing at dinner, kept repeating the same thing that didn’t make sense to anyone else but just cracking up. It's rare for you to have 'your own language'.
  • One morning around 6am, W started singing Old MacDonald. I hear "Cow? Okay, cow, Moo Moo here, Moo Moo here" with both of you singing.
  • You've both been acting out more over the last week --  putting rocks from the rock box in your mouth, flicking oatmeal all over, not listening, etc.
  • You were so excited to see Papa (it had been 3 weeks) and wanted to sit down and read with him immediately.
  • You both love singing and new songs you sang this month include Itsy Bitsy Spider, Skidamarink a Dink, Zip a De Do Da, Ring Around the Rosy (complete with spinning around), Baa Baa Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Row Row Row Your Boat.
  • Dedee taught you how plants don't have mouths to drink water so you told us how 'rain comes down, no mouth, drink it all up in roots'.
  • One day I had to quickly move the car out of the garage when the repair man came so I left you guys in the backyard. When I came back, you're both sitting on the potties doing your business, laughing. 
  • W finally went on a 'hike' in the Presidio and we found a banana slug.  You loved touching him!

  • G discovered an inch worm in the backyard

  • You talk about 'one lap' or 'No! I want two laps!' when sitting on my lap.
  • You had fun making pies and cakes at the park in the sandbox, complete with twig candles.
  • You went on your first roller coaster at Train Town!
  • You guys pulled some stuff out of the closet and set up a boat and started paddling and singing 'Row, Row, Row your Boat'.

George. You're just as focused as ever and love to figure out how things work. You also love signs and like to know what they say so that you can point them out and read them to me next time. Your new thing this month has been doing it yourself. Even if we start to help you, you need to back up and do it all by yourself from the beginning. For example, you were upset one day after nap and I took your wrap off and after calming you down and asking you to tell me what you needed, you said, 'wrap on'. Okay, so I put it back on. Only so you could take it off yourself. If I've picked something up and started to bring it upstairs for you, you walk it back downstairs, put it down and then pick it up to carry it upstairs yourself.

G notes:
  • You told me to ‘go to work’ last week when i had to get up with you because Daddy had to leave early for work. Good morning to you too!
  • You repeat all kinds of phrases we tell you, like, ‘only one at a time’ referring to food, ’no choke' or 'Daddy going to work, no be sad, come home eat dinner' as we prepped you for Dad going back to work after our long Cincinnati trip.
  • You tell W 'no watch shows Mommy, watch shows Daddy'. Yup, that's right.
  • You got a cool new haircut based on this video
  • You get very sensitive about certain things, this month you would scream, 'No look out my window!!' when W would look your way in the car.
  • You had pink eye and your first ear infection but the medicine (which you loved) helped a lot and you felt better in no time.
  • You've become a nose-picker but we've made a lot of progress. Now every time you start picking, I ask, 'do you need a tissue?' and you always say yes and wipe more appropriately.
  • One night you woke up really upset and when I went in, you told me you wanted a tissue. I gave you one but you got really mad and finally calmed down and told me you wanted a piece of toilet paper.  
  • You can put on your own shoes (mocs and slip ons)
  • You randomly use signs here and there ('again', 'please' and 'thank you'.
  • You can open and close the clips to undo on your backpack, car seat etc.

William. Dedee and I finally agreed on your personality. While outgoing and friendly could suffice, 'magnetic' is what we settled on and I think it fits you perfectly. It's so hard to describe, but you do this head tilt, these flirty eyes and a sweet smile and then just cozy up to people. Literally, you'll cuddle your head right up to another kid's as your way of saying hi. You also are drawn to certain adults. We were at storytime at the library and you started nuzzling a nanny there. Some kids are so loving -- lots of hugs and kisses -- and while you're not opposed to this, this is not how I'd describe you. I'm interested to see how this will develop as you continue to interact with more kids, especially when verbal communication comes more into play.

W Notes:
  • You continue to surprise me with what you can say like, ‘Man carrying something on his shoulder’ pointing to a picture in a construction book    
  • You love to jump off stuff, but luckily aren't too daring so far.
  • You like to tell us the story of Goodnight Gorilla.
  • You did the pedals on the trike four times in a row.
  • You say the funniest stuff like, ‘I need a buddy in here, no have one',  'I like to talk',  'Drive me away Dad!', 'No talk me',  'Go out bathroom and close door!'.
  • You pointed to my ring and said, 'Ring daddy gave mommy'. Neither of us told you that.  
  • You unzipped your wrap, climbed out the pack and play, knocked down the gate (not actually installed) and walked downstairs at Ma's house...
  • You're still a bit lazy and often say 'Mama do it' even though you can do it yourself.
  • Both you and G wanted the pink hat, so you followed up with 'I said it first!'
  • You sang '2 little poopies sitting on a gate' while going #2...  
  • You were trying to get rid of me when you were going on the potty and told me 'go do your cooking!'
  • We were at the park and you, G and another kid get on the 3-way bouncer. You start singing the ABCs, loudly and of course everyone else joined in.