Birthday Weekend in Napa

Dave and I were so looking forward to our weekend away to celebrate my 34th birthday and it didn't disappoint. We knew we only had a few days and had debated going somewhere like Scottsdale or Palm Springs, but decided on Napa Valley. We're so lucky it has 'it all' and is less than 2 hours away.

I told Dave that if we were keeping it close to home, I still wanted to make it a full weekend, meaning I wanted to leave first thing Friday and come back Sunday night. That's just what we did, stopping at the outlets on the way up before having lunch at Sam's Social Club in Calistoga. Spotty service, but the food was excellent. I had a delicious grilled cheese with corn soup and salad. Dave got a tasty steak and barley salad. The fries were so good too.

We headed to Solage next and our room was ready so we changed and had some time at the pool. It was hot that day, almost 90, but such a nice change from city weather. That night we went to Harvest Table at the Harvest Inn, which just opened in May. Again, the service was off, maybe they're still working out the kinks. We also weren't into the atmosphere -- too bright and loud for what we were expecting. We were seated inside though and the outside seating atmosphere appeared better. The food was really good, though some of the starter portions were very small, especially at $18 a plate. We started with shrimp and grits, as well as octopus, and then shared the chicken for two over truffle risotto. Nothing caught our eye for dessert.


Saturday morning, we took advantage of the bikes at the resort and rode a few blocks over to downtown Calistoga and around the vineyards a bit.

An hour later we came back and ate brunch at the resort. This may have been my favorite meal, duck confit hash! Loved it. The food at Solbar at the hotel is so good.

We went to the pool for a bit before changing to go wine tasting. Originally we started driving to Robert Sinskey, a place we discovered on our last visit that is now has one of Dave's favorite wines, but decided it was too far for that day and pulled over to check our options. We ended up at Failla, which typically requires an appointment, but the timing was perfect and we were able to join a small group. It was an excellent tasting and turns out to be a great winery off the beaten path.

After the tasting we went back to the hotel for a 2-hour spa treatment -- couples' massage and their signature mud treatment. So relaxing! We took our time in the mineral pools, steam room and outdoor showers before getting ready for dinner at Solage.

Dinner was great, there were a few blips in service regarding our Champagne and wine, but nothing major. I had pork belly to start and Dave had a deconstructed Cobb Salad. Then for the main, I had the steak, which was excellent, and Dave had lamb. To finish, we shared a chocolate cake and then headed inside for an after-dinner drink.

Sunday morning we shared a small breakfast at the hotel before heading to the mineral pools for a bit. Then we got all ready for the wedding we were going to later, just putting on different clothes. We headed down to St. Helena for lunch at Farmstead. They were the only ones all weekend who noted that it was my birthday and started our meal with two glasses of Champagne. The cheese and ham platter were excellent, but my dish, the eggs benedict, was really disappointing. I didn't even finish it, which is rare for me! Dave had the burger and thought it was interesting, but not his favorite. Great setting and pretty good service.

Finally, we headed to Sinskey for a wine tasting and Dave loaded up the car with his favorite. We weren't sure of the timing to get down to San Jose for the wedding but definitely didn't want to be late, so left with plenty of time. We had time to kill so stopped at the mall. Dave got a foot massage and they stained the bottom of his pants with massage oil! What a pain. He had to go over to Nordstrom to get new pants as those were the ones he was wearing to wedding.

So we ended our weekend away at Sang's wedding in San Jose. It was a lot of fun to go to a traditional Vietnamese wedding.

We are so lucky to have my parents nearby and willing to watch the boys, and this time Linda decided to fly out so she and my mom could do the long weekend together. They had a blast! My mom texted me that the boys' halos were shining -- they were on their best behavior all weekend. Love to hear that!

All commentary from Linda:

I arrived on Thursday 9/24 and you were waiting for me at the door with such BIG smiles!!!  And both of you helped me carry my stuff into the house...such big boys:)   We played for a little while and when daddy came home William, George and Ma took a little walk.  You are such talkers now...narrating our adventure with stories and observations.  And we loved the tunnel...hearing our voices echo is so much fun!  Then we played outside while Daddy made the best ribs and Mommy made delicious Pumpkin bread!  Yum!  You really LOVE ribs...and we all had a picnic outside which was good since it is hard to eat ribs without getting sauce all over :)    But that's what bath time is for...and you had fun showing Ma how you sing and wash your hair and your body by yourself while daddy sings and you guys even join in "Tequila"!!!  You also love the shower and it then it was time to get out because we were all getting a little wet!

Friday morning we went to China Beach.  What a cool place to play in the surf and sand.  We sang songs with our teacher at the top of the hill then walked down about 100 stairs to the beach.  As soon as you guys saw the water we knew we were going to get wet!  We met some divers at the top of the hill and they told us to enjoy the water but to hold hands and be very careful because the surf and the waves were strong.  And we did!  But do you ever love the water!  I loved the giggles and the sheer joy you shared with Ma when a big wave approached and then roared into shore.  The bigger the wave the better.  We could even stand on the rocks and the big waves would get us.  So much fun in the sunshine!  You played with your friends on the climbing rocks and then it was time for a story and lunch.  After about two hours it was time to leave and we listened to a story and puppets on the beach and sang our good-by song when we got to the top of the stairs.  What a GREAT morning!

You were so good for Ma and Dede at nap time and nighttime.  Right to bed after many "bookies".  No crying or tears.  Such good boys.  That afternoon we went to the baseball park for a little while and played in the sand and with some cups and a teapot we found.  You are really good at playing on your own and using your imagination.  Dede and I just sat close by and watched you and marveled how well you play together.  You are so lucky to be twins!  You have a best friend and a brother and a playmate all the time!  Awesome!   That night Dede was reading a book about a mother duck and her little ducklings getting lost.  I walked in to see George's lip quivering and suggested that Dede switch books...too late...George's tender feelings got the best of him and he was a little sad...but William jumped up, ran to get one of George's favorite plush toys and said "Don't worry George...Mama duck will find her babies."  So sweet.  And with that, George was feeling better and ready for bed.  Dede and I would take turns sitting in your room till you were asleep...just to be close and comforting.  It was so cute to hear George's little moan - grrrrrrrr - just before he goes off to dreamland.  Very sweet.

Saturday we had a lazy morning watching Paw Patrol and playing trains while Dede had some time to read and prepare for her class.  Ma loves this time with you.  I just want to soak it all in and try to save it for times when I am home in Cincinnati. Then we went for a walk with Dede to the market to get a cake mix  so we could make a chocolate cake for mommy's birthday and go to the hardware store and look at all the Halloween masks and then to the bagel store for a "hot dog bagel"

Making the cake with you guys was really fun.  Of course we had to taste the cake mix and it was hard trying to keep you from tasting the batter once the eggs were mixed in :)  After nap, when the cake had cooled it was time to put the icing on...well while Dede and I were getting the icing and the sprinkles William and George decided to have a spoonful of cake right out of the pan!!!  What fun!!!!  Then icing and sprinkles...we can hardly wait to eat this delicious treat!  When we went to the baseball park this afternoon, we took our scooters.  You are really fast!!!   At bath time George noticed the boo boo on Williams ankle from scratching it on a rock.  George was so sympathetic and insisted on giving William's ankle a kiss in the tub.  Of course both William and George had to have bandaids when we got out of the tub.  All better!  Sunday was the Academy of Science and we loved to dance like butterflies and birds with our shadows on the screen.  We danced with several groups...but we were always the center of attention because both George and especially William have music in their little bodies.  Just moving and dancing to the beat. Swaying our heads and spinning in circles.  What fun. and William's roar when we saw the Lion echoed throughout the entire museum!!!  Good lungs William.  We had our lunch on the terrace and played outside for a while before returning home to finish lunch on our new picnic table and then head in for a nap.

Jessica came over Sunday night and helped with dinner and bath time..Dede said goodby and left for her it was just us. Such a special time.  Reading books.  Snuggling in our jammies.  and settling down to sleep...or so Ma thought.  Then I hear George at the door calling for Ma.  It seems William had a little more energy to use up before sleeping so he took off his sleepy wrap and was running around the room...Ma came ...we all hugged again in our beds and went to sleep.  Daddy and Mommy will be home tonight.  Sweet dreams my little California boys.  Ma loves you so much!    Then Monday morning was here and Ma had to fly home to see grandpa and Zach and Lizzy.  I had such a good time with you, the weather was perfect, you were perfect angels, and I had so much fun with Dede.  It is always sad to go and I always get tears when I see your little faces smiling and your little waves to Ma from the window as the car pulls away.  You are Ma's special boys.  Can't wait to see you in Florida.

William...Never stop telling stories.  They are the best.  You are such a joy to be around. I love your happy attitude and big smile. Love you so much and can't wait to see you in Florida! 
George...Never stop using your imagination.  You are such a smart boy. You have such an such eye for detail.  I love your hugs and your thoughtful  stories.  Love you so much and can't wait to swim with you at the beach!

What a view from China Beach!

We're so grateful that a fun weekend away for us can also be so fun for the boys and the grandmas.

Current Favorites - 26-29 Months

 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10
11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15
16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20

At first I thought I was falling behind on these updates, but looking back at the last Monthly Favorites (22-25 months), I realize a lot of these are still favorites. They definitely go through periods (weeks or a month) when they're playing with something more than normal or like a toy for a few days that they haven't played with much at all. It seems that for the past six months, a lot of the favorites are still hit, so I've decided to include all the most popular items still in use on the regular, as well as new favorites. I threw in a couple items that may be more of a favorite of mine, but are still key in our daily lives.

1-5.  The boys drive around in their cars out in the backyard just about every day. I purchased one of them for $15 from another mom on GGMG and we got a fire truck one from my brother that was Crusoe's.  If we broke it down on a cost-per-use basis, this set of diggers we be down to pennies. These are used every single day and miraculously we haven't lost them. Perfect size, good quality, though my main complaint is that there are so many openings that could be closed off -- tons of sand gets trapped... and then released randomly. Duplos are still a solid hit. We have several sets. Some weeks they're played with more than others, but it's one of the main toys we keep upstairs so still sees lots of play. Dad did a great job of picking out these fire trucks, but this photo covers all our favorite vehicles -- the garbage trucks, large Bruder diggers, etc. They love them all and all get lots of use. We have just about ever Melissa and Doug vehicle set with people and I know I've talked about these at length before - had them for almost a year and they're getting more use than ever.

6-10 The play kitchen doesn't get used every day, but often enough and is so great for imagination. We actually make our own play dough but this is a new fav with the boys. We've had the scooters for more than a year now and the boys take them to the park often with Jessica in the afternoon so they get a ton of use. They're fast on them too! Tool set is still a hit, the boys like to take them outside to fix stuff too. Trains don't get taken out every day, but probably 5 days a week.

11-15. I think they've forgotten about their suitcases recently but I've hid them in their closet. This was such a hot item since we got them in July. They still love books in general and I know I've listed off many of their favorites over the past few months, but Dr. Seuss books they really love. Shows are still a favorite activity with dad but their new favorite is Paw Patrol. I still haven't seen an episode and don't plan to. They are obsessed with the music from Music Together, you get a cd each session you take so we have several on rotation in the car. The Hershel backpack has been so great for me to keep loaded up with a few basics for when we're out without the stroller (which has a permanently-packed diaper bag on it).

16-20. I added the sleepsacks to this list at the last minute. I wouldn't say the boys love these, but they tolerate them, though now they've just started unsnapping each others... anyway, these are pricey, like $140 each, but another purchase that has been 100% worth it. We use these every single night and they hold up beautifully. Such great quality and I'm thrilled that at almost 2.5 years old, they're still wearing them. Easier to deal with than trying to keep covers on and especially as we head into cooler weather, I'm hoping they'll stay in them for another few months. The combo of the tot clock and the monkey lock has been a huge help with bedtime. Lunch bots have been so great for them to eat what they want and see everything at once without me having to dish out little portions of food. Wish I'd gotten them sooner! As for the last item, I think Dave thought I was crazy when I ordered this little table when they were just months old. But I fell in love with it when I saw it and it was on Gilt so a pretty good deal. It's one of my favorite pieces for them and has gotten daily use. It's held up well, especially for being white, and best of all, fits with our decor so perfectly. The chairs are a bit light so tip easily, but we solved that by putting a rug underneath the table which gives them something to grip on.

Interesting to see their favorites so similar even months later. We'll see where they are after Christmas and if they're still using all the same stuff.

29 Months

Looking back on last month's update, I'm relieved that I seemed to be writing it after a particularly bad week. I was so worried about that '2 years 4 months' period and the months following as I'd heard other twin moms had trouble at that stage too, but luckily things have evened out a bit. It's not easy by any means, but we've worked through some of the challenges that we were dealing with right at that moment, like the toddler bed transition in particular. They're still testing limits in other areas but for some reason it's more manageable most days, though some of the repeated misbehavior like jumping on the couch or playing with the shades just won't stop and some days it really gets to me. What seems to work best is plenty of discussion before the fact -- for example, when I was taking them to the beach on my own, there was plenty of talk about listening, walking up the big hill to the car when I said it was time to leave, etc., and that if they didn't listen at any point, we'd go home immediately. Luckily I haven't had to follow through, but threaten to follow through when they start acting out but the reminder threat seems to be enough to get them back on track.

Though Dave and I had several stressful situations to deal with, it's been a pretty good month with lots of fun activities. I'm also so excited about the new classes we started. Though when I initially thought of preschool at 2 as a 'we'll see what happens, if they get in, they'll go, if not, they won't and it will be fine', once acceptance letters came out in March, I realized how much they had grown and when they didn't get into the one school we applied to, I was bummed. Now I've come full circle and am so happy about everything they have planned which includes a drop-off class and an outdoor class. I think everything worked out as it should've and they'll be just fine waiting to start until fall.

At the beach with Uncle Jon and Crusoe
'sand blanket', buried by Papa

Row, row, row your boat with Papa

We're still doing MyGym, which to be honest, I'm debating continuing. Though they love it and I think it's such a great class, it takes a while to get across town and parking has become increasing tough over there so I feel like sooner rather than later, it's just not going to be worth it anymore. We've also done just over a month of swim classes at the JCC and it's been going great. We have an awesome teacher, but I think the break we took this summer was the right move and they just seem more ready for it now. They are so enthusiastic during class which is such a change from our most recent class in the spring when they would be asking to get out after 10 minutes. I haven't seen too much measurable improvement yet, but they're very comfortable in the water and can still swim a few feet on their own. W's legs tend to sink pretty quickly. Neither has any problem putting their face in, their head under, etc. and most importantly, they're having fun.

New fall schedule:
Sun night: Dedee comes at 4pm to take the boys out for a bit, then spends the night
Mon: free day, some days Dedee will stay and do projects with the boys, take them out, or we'll do an activity together where I'd need another adult

Tue: 10:30am MyGym. Some weeks we go to members early hours at the Academy with another twin mom at 8:30.
Wed: 9am art class. I had heard great things about this class held in the same building as our old music class and jumped when I heard it was drop-off. We've just had one class so far but they had a blast, did fine on their own, and it works perfectly for me to go to the JCC for a 50-minute mat pilates class, just coming in a few minutes late. It's more of a 'messy play' class will all different stations (painting, clay, beads, moon sand and much more, all that can be mixed together and tracked all over). We usually walk to one of the parks in the neighborhood for an hour or two after class.

Thu: 9:30 swim lessons. I get them changed and then my mom takes them to library storytime or to the park and I get back in the pool to do a swim myself. After picking up T&C, she'll stay over night, so Dave and I do our date nights on Thursdays.

Fri: 10-12pm Early Childhood Matters class. I was so excited to find availability in this class, which is a small group of 2-3-year olds. Each week we meet at a different outdoor park in the city. It's pretty unstructured except for some songs in the beginning and end. Halfway through, we have a snack break which is when the moms discuss an article the leader provided the week before. It's been a great way to explore nature in the city and has shown me that we don't necessarily have to go on a 'hike', but can walk 20 feet into a wooded area and the boys are happy exploring for 2 hours. We've only visited Golden Gate Park so far, and they'll go to the beach this coming Friday.

 Fun at the Zoo:

At the zoo with Papa

I feel like we're finally getting to a place where the changes are starting to flow together more and I don't feel like I have a huge paragraph to write on each topic. We'll see, but I may end up changing the format of these monthly updates soon. For now, I'll try to stick to just a few bullets for each topic.

  • They will eat frozen peas (sometimes)! I think that's the only vegetable though... (I even gave G an over-buttered, salted green bean and he still didn't like it, though he did taste it).
  • The lunch bots boxes continue to be great for them to choose what they want to eat when. They generally want to get their lunch out by 10:30. G finishes his lunch most days (or leaves some of the fruit), W always eats his fruit first and sometimes leaves the meat or cheese.
  • Family dinners have been okay, some misbehavior and we've followed through which seems to help. They still don't seem to eat much of what I'm making at dinner though, and are still picking out any speck of anything green. I'm not stressing about this at all.
  • We had a very successful brunch out last weekend -- we haven't gone out with them much lately, for no particular reason, but they did so well sitting there and looking around, coloring, etc. No shows, no snacks needed. And to sum up their eating - W ate one massive thick pancake and G had 3 thick slices of bacon...

  • They made homemade ice cream at our friends' house. So much fun and it actually worked!

6:50 wake up, or if they've woken up before 'sun' (clock), they're usually good about waiting til 6:50 to call for us
Eat breakfast, play, get dressed
Out for an activity sometime between 8:30-12:30
1pm W goes down, though he's been taking a lot longer to fall asleep lately, sometimes after 2pm
2pm G goes down, though he hasn't been napping some days
4pm wake them up (rarely do they wake up on their own), they're usually grumpy
Out to the park til 6:15
6:30 dinner
bath, get dressed, play downstairs
7:35 upstairs for books, potty, last book and good night (we usually leave the room a little after 8pm)
8:30 usually asleep, sometimes we'll have to go in a couple times between 8-8:30 to get them settled

SLEEP: The major update can be found here. We're not in a great place, but we're in a good place, and a better place than last month; at least some days, it seems to be improving.
  • It's extremely rare that either wakes up at night, but this past month, it's been William who's needed a pat or a sip of milk.
  • W likes to snuggle now, but conveniently requests it after we've left the room and he should already be settling in. How can you refuse though??
  • On nights when they don't settle down, there's a lot of whining, 'Mommy/Daddy, where ARE you?', 'I loooove you Mommy' -- anything to get us back in the room ;)
  • Most nights, I still find G with his head jammed up against the corner. He also does this telltale moan right before he falls asleep
Wearing his headphones to block out the construction noise during nap
  • They're getting more interested in arts and crafts. Well, the truth is, I've done very little of this with them. My mom has made playdough with them and they've enjoyed playing with that, as well as doing some crafts with her. I still worry about dealing with two running around with paint brushes or markers so I've attempted next to none of this.
  • W especially is quite fearless with climbing but he's made a lot of progress this month by being able to climb back down on his own. Still doesn't know how to go all the way over the tall semi-circle bars (that's okay with me!).
  • They're able to walk more, in fact, we took them to the zoo withOUT the stroller a few weeks ago, and though we didn't make it as far as we normally do, they did it. W slept very well that day, was asleep within minutes of getting in his bed which rarely happens now.
  • They're both still obsessed with the Hello Song from Music Together. They sing it everywhere -- while going potty, while playing, even while playing 'drums' on stumps in the woods. 'Heeeelllo to William, so glad to see you...'
  • Imaginative play has been big for a few months, this month they're building more with no inspiration from me -- using the chairs from their little table to make a train for example and then they talk nonstop about where they're going on their train.

  • Also getting more creative with games, like emptying the trash can under the desk to toss balls in it (though someone must have shown them this?) They also like to take out all the vacuum attachments to play street sweeper.
  • Both can count into the teens though G is better at actually counting things (W rushes and just ends up counting, not necessarily attaching it to an item) as well as identifying numbers. They know most (maybe all?) letters, both when asking them to 'find an M' or 'what letter do you see?'
  • Favorite toys: Melissa and Doug people and vehicles, trains, duplos, outdoor cars that they sit in and drive around, scooters for the park.
  • Favorite books: The past month was different -- there weren't two or three books that I kept reading over and over but they were choosing a lot of train and fire truck books, mixed in with some old favorites like I Want My Hat Back.
  • The play kitchen gets sporadic use, but they definitely get into it, so good for imaginative play. They also like helping in the kitchen

  • I don't feel like there's much specific to report for W. He talks constantly, as in paragraphs, he's pretty easy to understand (for a toddler) and he often uses the correct tense. Still calls anything that happened in the past 'yesterday'. He's also really good at understanding size and correctly says, 'they're too small for you' when Papa asks if he can wear W's shoes for example.
  • G has improved as he's not mumbling as much as last month. I can mostly understand him but he's not as clear as W at this point. He knows lots of words and can also talk in multiple sentences though I wouldn't say he does very often. He loves to clarify and repeat things, whether signs, or new things we teach him from books. A few pages later he'll flip back and then explain it back to me. He'll remember it for the next time it's encountered as well; he really pays attention.
  • Can recite nursery rhymes, songs etc unprompted (and really enjoy doing so!)
  • "G has randomly had a few accidents here or there, no formal regression.' is what I wrote 2 days ago but then he's had at least one accident per day for the last three days so who knows...W never has accidents
  • Still dry after nap pretty much all the time so I think when we're done with the diapers (from last Feb...) I'll stop using them at naptime
  • They are both dry about 95% of the time overnight, but when they're wet, they tend to be super wet so will likely continue with the pull-ups for the foreseeable future.
  • Despite being dry overnight and often calling to us in the morning saying they need to potty, both fight it and refuse to go first thing in the morning. If we're not successful in getting them to go, it often leads to a little bit of an accident before they run in and finish. 
  • W enjoys using both little potties when pooping. Oh joy.

Biting update: Was a bit better this month, but we still had a few episodes. G, the new biter, tends to go for W's cheek which is not attractive. Nothing for the past few weeks though.

MOM: It's been nice to move into fall, I feel like I'm getting more involved in the JLSF committee I'm on and it's been great to have a new routine and new classes to do with the boys. Definitely keeps things a bit more fun for me too. We just had some small projects done on the house so it's nice to have that behind us as well. Small projects still end up taking nearly two weeks. I'd had some little design projects on my to-do list for a while and I've gotten through all those as well. Dave and I just talked about maybe doing a photo wall with just a few photos in the hallway so that will be something new to work on.
  • I hosted book club this month and though only 3 other moms came, it was fun to catch up since it's been quiet during summer. We just did the same book as last time, The Whole Brain Child, as most hadn't gotten to it in early summer.
  • The new schedule of activities has shifted around my workouts a bit so I'm able to do several during the day. It's given me a chance to use the time when Jessica comes for other projects at home.
  • After being sick for a few days at the end of August, I was able to catch up on the most recent season of Scandal -- so excited for the season premier next week!
  • I finished BOTH of the boys' Year One books and I'm so excited about them! W's arrived and it turns out I made one rather big mistake (though it wasn't clear from their layout) and their customer service is excellent so they're reprinting the book for me free of charge (and this was not a cheap book). It was perfect though, as Dave called it my beta version, I was able to physically see everything and make small changes here and there. G's book was pretty much done at this point too, though I specifically hadn't printed it as I wanted to receive one book first, so I made some changes to his as well before ordering that one. There's a chance they'll both make it in time for Linda to see in person! It feels so good to have them done and I actually had a lot of fun doing them. I loved reading all the old stories and looking back on moments I haven't thought about in so long. Next project, the Year Two books... now that I know the system though, I think I can move a lot faster. It definitely still takes a lot of time, but all the additional features like stickers, frames, etc., I can quickly add or change.
Date night: We ate at a new restaurant, Trestle, and it was excellent. It was a simple prix fixe, I think just two options per course, so Dave and I mostly got one of each. Everything we had was excellent, which is so much fun when the menu seems a little limited and it's not necessarily what you'd order normally. We also visited our favorite sushi place, Sushi Ran in Sausalito, and were impressed yet again.

Looking forward to: 
  • My birthday weekend away! Dave and I are going to spend the weekend up at Solage in Calistoga. I have nice restaurants booked for each meal, a spa day for Dave and I and probably some wine tasting. I'm so grateful Dave and I can get away just the two of us. He didn't have the flexibility to take a full week off again so we couldn't go anywhere far, but a bit of relaxation and luxury, even if just for a couple of day, will be heavenly! Thanks to Ma and Dedee for watching W&G!
  • October/Halloween: There are so many fun events to go to, the pumpkin patch, etc., not to mention all the fall and pumpkin recipes I can't wait to make. Really looking forward to all of this.

To my boys:

Though sometimes you guys drive me crazy, you both are so much fun to be around. You're surprising me every day with what comes out of your mouth and not just the words, but how natural and normal it all seems. For example, we were looking for one of our buckets at the beach the other day and I saw a big group of kids and parents playing with a bunch of toys. I told G, 'maybe it's over there'. G proceeds to walk over to the group and tell one of the moms that he's looking for his blue bucket and have they seen it. Another day, W was eating an apple on the way to the JCC and when we got there, he walks in and asks the lady in the childcare room where the garbage is. What would've really been funny (and wouldn't have surprised me), is if you had asked where the compost was! Neither of these is a big deal, but you guys really are becoming little people who can function in the real world (at least occasionally). We've had so much fun at the beach this month and just today W woke up from nap asking to go swimming so Dad and I took you. Swimming with you is so much fun now! Constant jumping in, lots of 'swimming', playing underwater, being tossed around. Very different than even a few months ago. I can't believe next month's post will be two-and-a-half!

W&G notes:
  • I got a boo boo on my heel and both you ran over to kiss it (unprompted)
  • You were both able to use the surprise toys you got at MyGym even though they weren't yellow... big improvement!
  • When at Clay St park, G always goes first to the little pink and white car, W goes to the blue one. I have to get a pic of you guys on these as they're so clearly you're favorites!
  • G wears 2T, though is outgrowing some brands and quickly moving into 3T. We're just getting rid of a lot of the 18-24 month pants for W, though most of the t-shirts (even size 12-18 months!) still fit. Some 2T for W in button down shirts
  • You both often bring up 'when I was 2, I had a digger party. When I'm 3, I have a fire truck party'
  • You're so fast on your scooters!
  • When you drive your cars outside, I'll often hear 'Go lady, go!' Definitely picking up on Mom's commentary when we're in the real car ;)
  • When we're reading books and you point out who is who, you choose people who don't look anything like you -- a girl, an old man, etc.
  • Whenever you get even a little boo boo, you have to run over and sadly say, 'Mama kiss it'. This includes if you're playing outside with Dedee or Papa and I'm upstairs, you have to run all the way up for a quick kiss and then all is fine.
  • You love talking about trains and where you're driving, or going on a plane to work
  • You're both more dramatic lately with your tantrums - W lays on the floor and G stomps his feet and throws his arms up and down. Luckily they're usually quickly resolved (within seconds) though I'm sure the minutes-long ones, likely in a public place, aren't far off.
  • You say 'No see you later!' when you don't want to leave or put things away. 'No see you later park!', 'No see you later fire truck!' (if I have to take it away).
  • Similarly, you say, 'Where are you ____?' Like if I turn the shower off and they still want it on, 'where are you shower?!'
  • You swing on the big-kid swings now (but still like the baby swings too)
  • Dedee is surprised with how long you can sit and focus on books
  • You can both blow your noses, not particularly well, but you're blowing the right direction
  • You're both good about letting us brush your teeth
  • JCC used to have a little chair next to the cubbies so you could sit down while taking off your shoes. They moved it and neither of you is happy about it. In fact, you walk in, bring a chair over and then sit down and take off your shoes.
  • I can't remember which of you said it, but I was working on my computer and Jessica was taking you out, as you were leaving, you came back in and said, 'See you later Mama. I take my scooter to the park. I promise I won't run away', all unprompted.
  • You know which park you want to go to and even request some of the parks that we only occasionally go to, like Alta Plaza.
  • You're into drawing more, but mostly do it with Dedee. When using her pen, G does big loops, when W colors, he does much tighter squiggles. So fun to see how different you two are!

George. You continue to like things a certain way though we've been able to quickly move through potentially bigger tantrums by asking what's wrong/what happened and what we can do to fix it. Many times it's something as simple as I picked you up to carry you into the bedroom. By the time we get there, you're upset and stomping around. After you can take a breath and get out why you're upset, I say, 'then walk in by yourself'. You proceed to walk back out to the entry and turn around and walk back into the room and then everything is fine. I try to be patient in these cases, but there are times I feel like you're playing me, particularly at naptime or bedtime. You take your sweet time doing everything, saying you want to do the soap by yourself, but then just holding it and not doing anything. Drives me nuts but lesson learned, if I want things to go smoothly, it's best to indulge you in these small ways.

G notes:
  • You've been more interested in hugs and kisses lately (not that you always want them...) and even had the 2 milk cups kiss one day
  • You never seem to get tired, even if you miss a nap. You tend to just get wound up and a bit crazy, but never tired.
  • When you throw tantrums, you stomp and throw your arms up and down
  • I caught you doing your power drill up your nose one day
  • 'I missed it!'. You've said this often in the past few weeks, you get upset if you've been dilly dallying or not listening so I've started the book without you, you missed the first activity at MyGym (I asked you multiple times if you wanted to do it and only got upset when you realized they put it away). Same thing happened at swim class. You took so long to climb out that they did the first Humpty Dumpty without you and you were so sad.
  • You're good about saying 'scu me' when interrupting me, particularly when we're reading a book and you want to stop me to tell me something about the book. This has improved from when you would just cover my mouth or tell me 'stop'.
  • You were reading a book with Dedee and you corrected her on one of the parts of the fire truck
  • Every morning I ask you 'hat or style?' Lately you like style better, which involves putting a little hair gel in to slick your hair over to the side.
  • You can put your slip-on shoes on by yourself and prefer to do so.
  • You had your first nightmare (we guess) and told us on several different occasions that it had something to do with an elevator.
  • You love going in Gap. Often when we're walking through Laurel Village, I'll ask if you want to go in and W always says no. One day I kept walking and you got so mad because you wanted to go in, so W finally agreed and we went back.
  • You know all the different mail trucks (Fed-Ex, Mail Truck (which is USPS), etc.)
  • You still love reading signs and always remember what they say after we tell you once. There's a sign in the shower at the JCC about conserving water so now after every swim class, you remind us about the sign
  • You also pick up on things I say once or twice, like I've said, keep the door closed so flies don't get in. One day the workers were working downstairs and had the door propped open. You and W kept trying to close the door and after asking multiple times, I finally shouted, 'Don't touch the door!'. You got sad and finally said, 'I don't want flies to get in.'
  • You were reading The Little Mouse and the Red Ripe Strawberry with Dedee and she was acting sad and said, 'if you split it in half, there's only one for you and one for mouse. What about me?' You thought about it for a minute and then said, 'we need THREE pieces'. 
  • We couldn't find your monkey one night and I tried to give you the back up, who had been washed recently and wasn't as soft as the other. You told me you didn't want that one, that you wanted a different one and when I asked you why not, you said 'it's not soft'.

William, I was just telling you tonight how you were often sad when you were a baby. I can't believe you're the same kid! Sure, you can get grumpy, but generally, you're such a happy, friendly, fun-to-be-around kid. Your personality continues to shine through each month. Occasionally you like to help me, but usually you're asking other people to do things for you, and often, for some reason, they oblige. You love to move -- jumping, spinning, running (you're quick!), shaking your head, whatever. You also love to talk and sing. You are always surprising me with the new things you say, whether it's a full nursery rhyme or just saying something nonchalantly that makes me do a double take. How do you know that?? You have clever excuses for various situations but also still seek feedback and validation often -- 'Is that good Mama? Is that good?' You almost always oblige when I request a hug and kiss, though lately I've been greeted by a slobbery mess since you've been drooling non-stop. Your new thing is requesting 'snuggles' at bedtime. I'm not a cuddly person but how can I turn that down?

W notes:
  • I was trying to get you to finish your oatmeal before making you a piece of toast and you said like a baby, ‘Mama feed me my oakabuy'   
  • You can do a somersault! Out of nowhere at the park one day, you just stared doing them, perfect somersaults! I was so excited but you haven't wanted to do one since. 

  • There are constant stories and dialogue coming out of your mouth, narrating your life I call it. When I asked G was he was doing (checking to see if he was sleeping in the car) and he didn't answer, you quickly responded with , 'Georgie just looking out his window'.
  • You're fearless on the monkey bars and have gotten so much better climbing down from high spots. 
  • For a week or so, you were constantly all over kids at the park, as in right in their face, hugging them, climbing on them, and then as far as I've noticed, it's stopped.
  • You almost always answer me. It's so handy! Things like 'okay, I will do that' or 'yes, that will be fun' or 'Yes, I like Dedee' when I make a statement that she is coming over.
  • You've had a runny nose for two weeks and you absolutely freak out and shout, 'Booger in my nose!!!!' every.single.time.
  • One day you weren't feeling well and were talking about needing your headphones to hear music, so to further your point, you cover your ears like headphones, and while crying sing 'Hello, to William, so glad to see you'. 
  • One night when I was cleaning up after dinner and you were downstairs getting ready for your bath with Daddy, you ran all the way back up because you wanted to give me a kiss. So sweet.
  • When you fall on something, you gets really mad and hit it.
  • Your tantrums lately have involved laying on the floor.
  • One night you got back from the park with Jessica and came into where I was working on the computer and said, 'Mama can you please make me dinner, I'm reeeally hungry'
  • There are times you tell me, 'Don't talk!' or 'Don't sing!' or 'I don't like that song!'   
  • You do this funny thing with your hands, curl your fingers in and then stretch them out, back and forth, when you're done peeing and I'm holding you up at the big potty. It's like a signal to me that you're done. 
  • You call G Georg-a or Georg-o
  • You started saying 'adios' after playing with the kids at the Spanish preschool park.