What We've Been Eating | October

Dave is already completely over butternut squash and pumpkin but I think I can justify going well through Thanksgiving with these fall recipes. We've gotten a few cooler days here so slowly adding more soups and casseroles. I still have so many sweet fall recipes to try but it's so hard to have that stuff around to snack on so reeling it in a bit.

Homemade chicken noodle soup, loosely based on this recipe

Oatmeal Pumpkin Loaf

Multi-grain pasta with lamb and butternut squash

2-ingredient banana pancakes

Oven-fried Southern fried chicken

Crumbly pumpkin bread

Panang Pumpkin and Prawn Curried soup

Chocolate surprise cookies

Apple cider pancakes with caramel apple syrup

Pumpkin Protein donuts

Tortellini Tomato Soup

Baked Farro with butternut squash and bacon

Baked butternut squash with bacon and lamb meatballs

William helping with the Pumpkin and Pork Chili

Thai Pumpkin Laksa with shrimp

Pasta with butternut squash, spinach and sausage

Crockpot Chipotle Pulled Pork Chili

Sweet and Spicy Fall Harvest Pizza

Indian butter chicken, based on this recipe



Pre-Halloween Fun


We really stretched out the Halloween celebration (Dave was thrilled...) and visited our first pumpkin patch at the beginning of the month and then my mom and the boys visited one more just a few days ago. They're at such a great age this year and loved the jumpy houses, corn maze (though W did cry when he got lost) and of course picking out the pumpkins.

While the Half Moon Bay pumpkin patches are well-known, traffic is awful heading in and out of the area each weekend in October, so we decided to avoid that and head north to Nicasio for our weekend pumpkin patch visit.

 








First time getting our faces (or hand) painted.


I was amazed at how still they both sat




The following weekend was the GGMG Halloween party in Golden Gate Park. More jumpy houses and more face painting, this time in costume.






Then the next weekend was the SFPOM Halloween party. 




Finally our last pumpkin patch visit of the season. We love visiting Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay, but as mentioned, wouldn't attempt on a weekend as it would be way to crowded and take forever to get there. They do discounts during the week so my mom and I took them last Monday and while not too busy, there were still a lot of people there. My mom came with us here last year too so it was fun to see how much more they appreciate it this year. No easier getting photos this year though...

 


Yes, this is the best one we got...





And finally... their first pumpkin carving.





Just waiting for them to wake up so we can head out for our first round of trick-or-treating to the shops on Sacramento St. Good practice for the main event tomorrow.



30 Months (2.5 years!)


Though like any month, this month has had its ups and down (a big down being the boys were extra clingy with Dave when we got back from our weekend away), the ups have far outweighed the downs. The biggest change of the month is that the boys are getting more and more capable to walk further distances which gives us so much more freedom when getting out and about. I'm still taking it one day at a time but I've been so thrilled with what good listeners they are when they're 'on the loose'. I give them lots of freedom when on sidewalks, even along busy streets, as I can already trust them. They know to stop before the street and wait for everyone and to hold the stroller (or our hands) while we cross. Since many of the sidewalks we stroll have multiple driveways, we're also practicing looking for cars backing out and shouting 'Stop! I'm here!' (and obviously moving out of the way) if they see a car backing out. William even walked an entire mile home from Alta Plaza park. I couldn't believe it! George got in the stroller for maybe one block. Now that they weigh even more, it's been great to be able to have them walk next to me up the big hills instead of me pushing that heavy load. I think as a mother, I thrive and am happiest when they become more independent and being able to ditch the stroller is a huge deal, especially when you have twins and feel like you've been chained to it forever.

Highlights:
  • Trip to the pumpkin patch... separate post to come
  • First time on the bus
  • Weekend getaway for mom and dad, lots of grandma time for the boys 
  • Several Halloween parties and wearing our costumes a lot 
  • The McCalleys came over for a BBQ


Activities:
Same line up as last month.

Still having fun at MyGym (though the parking is still terrible). Will probably continue through January and then take a break as we have more classes that are starting up.







Art class has been a huge hit. 'Messy play' is more accurate :) I love that it's drop-off and the teacher always sends out photos after so I feel like I don't miss a thing.






They're doing SO great at swim class. Well, not necessarily listening to the teacher so much but that's because we can't keep them out of the water. W is constantly diving under, they're both using their legs and arms more and swimming a bit further (maybe 6 feet if they get a good start?). We had a sub last class who evaluated them and thinks they should be moved up. It sounds like once they get a bit better with their back float and can hold it unassisted for 5 seconds, then they can move up to the next class where parents are NOT in the water!!! I can't believe this day is in the near future!

They've really enjoyed the Early Childhood Matters classes and I've liked them too. It's been so nice for them to not only be outside, but to be in nature. We're out every single day for much of the day, but mostly at playgrounds or just around the 'city'. It's shown me how important it is for them to be able to poke around picking up pine cones and climbing over logs, especially with a small group of kids around the same age.  In the last month they've visited the beach, Glen Canyon and two different spots in Golden Gate Park, including walking around a small lake.





Picking blackberries in Golden Gate Park!





EAT:
  • They both seem to really like helping me cook, G especially though I can't say it's helping them eat any more or try anything different. I tell everyone that 'George made the soup' and he still doesn't touch it -- or he'll just pick the meat out. So really no improvement with the dinner meal as far as trying new things. I'm still okay with this and we don't make another meal. They usually still end up eating plenty, though of the same thing like meat. 
  • We've been having a lot of fun baking this month, so many different pumpkin recipes to try that we've been making different pumpkin breads, muffins and desserts.
  • W's fruit intake is still just crazy. I brought home a bag of cuties the other day and they ate 7 of them between the two of them. That's how kids are though... they barely would eat a slice of one the next day. W also went through a brief plum phase gobbling one down in minutes before requesting another. We were at the farmers market and I got a three pack of berries and after continue to hand to W to pick some out, I eventually just left the tray there. He called himself 'berry man' and ate at least a full pint himself.
  • G is to meat and cheese as W is to fruit. He's constantly asking for cheese. Meat is his main dinner each night. When we had a BBQ a few weeks ago and served ribs, G had at least 6 himself. And I'm not talking about a few bites off of each one, he's mastered how to clean it to the bone.






Trade you a berry for a piece of croissant?
Schedule: No real change from last month

SLEEP:
  • Mornings were all over the board this month. There were two weeks of 6:50am wake ups (when 'sun' clock comes up), then a week of waking up at 6 or 6:20 every morning and thankfully some 7:30am days (conveniently when Dave was out of town)
  • William continues to nap 1:45-4pm every day and has to be woken up every day. Often he's not in a good mood. We can't get him down any earlier -- he's not tired and even when we get him in bed by 1:15, it still takes him about 20 minutes or so to roll around chatting, reading, etc.
  • George has been consistent as well... he's skipping naps two, occasionally three times per week. I'm actually okay with this now. I still put him down as soon as W is asleep. Some days he'll be in there for 30 minutes, making more and more noise, and I finally take him out around 2:45 or so as it's not really worth a nap then if he does fall asleep and if he doesn't, he'll likely wake W up by that point. Other days he says he has to potty and by that point it's not worth going back in bed again either. He's generally pretty good about playing by himself while I continue to do stuff on the computer, read, etc. Luckily he's very independent at this time. 
  • Bedtime. Honestly, bedtime is still a pain. We have the routine worked out pretty well where they read books with dad until moon comes on at 7:45, then they do one last potty and come back for last book with me. I read, tuck them in, sing a song, etc., etc. and then I try to leave. They may be okay for a minute but then they'll often be calling for me 'where are you?!' 'I need a drink", 'I need to potty', etc. I've tried leaving them and sometimes that works, but usually they just get louder and louder driving me crazy that I go in. The days G hasn't napped may be slightly easier, but not much. It still works best for me to put them down as it's easier for me to leave, but it's still such a process (often 20, sometimes 30 minutes of that) before they're finally asleep. I really hope this gets better!
  • Update: The last few nights have been brutal getting them to sleep....10pm last night. ugh.
  • At least there are pretty much no wake ups at night (minus the last few nights when they've been sick).
finally gave into the nap

PLAY:
  • While both seem to be getting more confident in climbing, jumping, etc. and I get less nervous with their growing confidence, G has started to show some hesitation. I think he may be getting to the age where it's catching up with him a bit what's he's actually doing, whereas W will still go for it.
  • They've been doing more playing with the big blocks this month and had fun making a fort out of a fridge box. Homemade playdough has gotten a ton of use, otherwise all the old favorites are still getting lots of action, plus a new doctors kit. Ma sent some Paw Patrol toys that you really like too.
  • Favorite books: We've been reading lots of Halloween books with the favorites being Boo and Room on the Broom. William also still loves the Nursery Rhymes book (ugh, I do not like nursery rhymes!).
Row, row, row your boat







TALK:
  • Not much to report here as the changes are subtle at this point. They're using more complete sentences now including prepositions, 'the', etc. I'm correcting them a little more now, mostly by repeating what they said with the right tense, etc.
  • The main thing we're working on is voice -- specifically avoiding whiny voices, or if they start to throw a fit, I'll say something like, 'what's another way you can ask for that?'. Sometimes I'll need to say it several times but they're good about adjusting and it's been pretty helpful with tantrums (though not always!)

POTTY:
  • Dry after nap all of the time so now I give the option if they want to wear a diaper or not. G has foregone one a few times without a problem.
  • More wet diapers overnight lately.
  • Very few accidents this month (I stopped keeping track) but none when we're out of the house which I guess is most important. When they do have accidents, it's often in the morning as they still have a hard time going first thing after taking their diapers off and then will have an accident while eating breakfast (and run to the bathroom to finish).
  • They can both pull up and down their pants but they're not very good about doing it (or maybe I step in too much?)
  • W often goes on the big potty, G still prefers the small (for #2)
  • It's getting to the point where I wonder if I really need to lug around extra pants and underwear. They haven't had an accident out in public where I've had to change them in probably 6 months but I'm sure it will happen as soon as I take out the change of clothes.
Biting update: This is an issue we rarely see now, but very occasionally it will rear its ugly head. Often when they're both fighting it out for something, one may resort to biting. The good news is, by that point we're probably already over there to see what's going on so I'm at a point that I can stop it before it happens. With that said, there's more hitting going on, though not enough that I see it being a problem. Thank goodness I've never witnessed them hitting someone else but I'm sure the time will come.

STATS:

William
weight: 29lb (26lbs 6 months ago) -- 43th percentile
height: 35.4 inches  -- 25th percentile
shoe size: 7, soon to be 8
clothes: He's finally in more 2T clothes and out of almost all of the 24 month pants. A lot of the shirts still fit
teeth: all of them
eye color: brown
hair color: light brown, seems to have lightened up a bit recently

George
weight: 36lbs (31lbs 6 months ago) -- 93th percentile
height: 37.8 inches (36.5 inches 6 months ago) -- 87th percentile
shoe size: Some 8, some 9
clothes: mostly 3T, especially in pants but some of the 2T shirts still fit
teeth: all of them
eye color: hazel
hair color: dirty blonde

No stats for Dad at 2.5 years but looks like G already outweighs him compared to Daddy's THREE year stats (34.5 lbs, 39 inches)

MOM: Not much to report here. Starting to feel more caught up on things and am even halfway through W's Second year photo book. Hoping to have both his and G's completed by the end of the year which seems reasonable. Since I'm still doing monthly updates, I'll likely keep doing the books through their Third year and then just do family books for each year after that.

Date night: We went to sought-after The Progress when it first opened and were impressed, but finally went back again. Everything was tasty and it's always so fun to order dishes with combos or ingredients you normally wouldn't choose and have everything be delicious.

Looking forward to:
  • Halloween! Still so many fun things to do and tons on the actual day


To my boys: This month had its ups and downs -- I was so worried we were entering another long phase of you only wanting Daddy but luckily it only lasted a few (long) days. You still prefer him to me generally, but the playing field is more level, which I can handle. Now for the ups... I had one of the most fun days with you ever when we took the bus downtown. It makes me so happy when you guys are turning to little people right before my eyes. I love the fact that we can go out without a stroller and not give me a heart attack. You're both great listeners and know when to stop and when to grab my hand. I love being able to do this kind of stuff together and look forward to lots more of these 'big boy adventures'.

Somebody liked cooking class!

 


















W&G notes:
  • You're both so independent at art class. I barely get a goodbye as you're already dunking your hands into water, paints or clay.
  • September ended with lots of hot days so we got a few more beach days. This is another thing that I'm so proud to be able to handle on my own. 
  • You like to pretend to catch each other (and sometimes do) when one is jumping down (from hopefully a small ledge).
  • You love to jump in big piles -- of mulch, hills of dirt, etc. Hopefully there will be lots of leaves at Papa's house again at Thanksgiving.
  • You had so much fun at Tinkergarten (a trial class) and collecting all kinds of things found in nature to be able to add to your jar to make your magic potion.
  • You loved when Dedee and Ma watched you for the weekend while Mom and Dad were away. Luckily I think they like the time with you as much as you do with them!
  • You both love singing happy birthday but oddly did a pretty poor job when singing to me for my birthday. I think Dad did most of it.
  • You're both giving more hugs and kisses, though rarely unprompted
  • You had a new game this month where you look at your food and say, 'I'm gonna bite you!' and then eat it up.
  • You've gotten your face painted several times this month and it's incredible how still you can stay to get it done.
  • We've been doing more one-on-one time and it's been really nice. Mom took W to GG Park to ride his scooter and had a blast. Mom also does a lot of cooking with G.
  • You both loved rock climbing on one of our outdoor adventures
  • You guys always run past me and into Dad's arms at church
  • You both were able to figure out the view finders at the Academy
  • First time on the bus was a hit!
  • People (mostly other parents) are always telling me how funny you guys are as you're constantly walking/dancing around singing songs, telling stories and are just so entertaining to watch.
  • The tantrums were taken to the next level this month with several episodes that led to uncontrollable (and instant) crying. Sometimes I can turn these around fairly quickly, other times I have to ride it out.
  • There were several nights this month when you pretended your beds were mail trucks. You loaded up with a bunch of packages (books) and started to drive away to do your deliveries.
  • You guys have gotten so much better at songs with movements (like head-shoulders-knees and toes). I need to get a video of the one we do at the start of our outdoor class, it's so impressive how you can keep up with all the different movements.
  • You both LOVE Paw Patrol and I took you to Target the other day and you saw your first Paw Patrol t-shirt. I told you that not under any circumstance will you ever wear a Paw Patrol shirt. Sorry!
  • And so it begins... we got a few 'I don't like you! Go away!'s during some tantrums this month.

  
George. You're strong-willed, determined and really like things a certain way and to be honest, some days you can be a lot to deal with. I think that's why it means even more when you settle down and want a snuggle or need a kiss. One day in particular I was having a tough day and feeling down and you randomly told me you loved me and gave me a big kiss. Even if those moments are brief, they make all those tougher (and more plentiful) moments totally worth it.














G notes:
  • You get mad when I wipe your nose but happy when I pretend to put the boogers back in.
  • You can eat ribs like no tomorrow. Literally like as many as Mom and you actually get all the meat off.
  • Dedee was reading you the little duckling book and you got really sad when the ducks were all gone. W grabs your arm and says, 'it's okay George, she finds them'.
  • You LOVE your firefighter costume (and look so handsome!) but when it arrived and was the only one we had, you wouldn't let W get anywhere near it.
  • You tell kids that are getting too close at MyGym or at the park that you 'need some space'
  • You call me bony and say you don't want to lay on me because I'm too bony (my collarbone)
  • You've started taking your ice cream in a cup
  • You often don't like when I kiss you so I have to 'take them back' and then you're happy.
  • Dedee told me that one morning she was with you overnight, you refused to leave the room until sun (clock) came up -- I guess she heard you moving around and came in before you called.
  • You've gotten more tentative about beings swung around by Papa. You keep asking for a turn but then get scared but have been good about using your words like 'It's too much' or 'stop'. Now he knows just to hang you upside down a little but not swing you around.
  • You also got scared to do the lily pad towers at the park (stepping over to the next one). You've done this before and I tried to help by just standing there and not holding your hand but you were still really nervous. I was happy to see a few days later you did so well walking on the log at our outdoor class.
  • You are so obsessed with your nails right now. You find the tiniest flaw or hangnail and pick at it constantly. We're trimming your nails daily and you still request additional trims.
  • I tried to pass off your backup monkey to you one day and you put it in the diaper pail. I got it out but didn't realize it until the cleaners had taken out that bag and we couldn't find the other monkey. I had to go dig it out... luckily there are only a few diapers in there now and only pee diapers. Washed and good as new... or good for a backup (they're no longer available!)
  • You still love signs and are always asking, 'what's that sign say?'. When I asked you what a speed limit sign said, you said, 'Don't go super-duper fast'.
  • You always sing this 'Mommy Moo Moo Moo' thing now and it's turned into a William Woo Woo Woo, etc.
  • You often call W 'Will-yum-yum' mostly when you're saying 'No Will-yum yum cook with Mommy' or other things that are clearly only for you to do ;)
  • You're sort of the nasty older brother -- grabbing something away that W wants, moving your body to take up more room so there's none for W. Luckily not always, but he is so nice to you hopefully it will rub off on you ;)
  • You have great hearing and are constantly saying 'I hear something' whether it's a garbage truck, Dad coming in the door, etc.
  • Always the rule-follower, I don't let you eat in the car, as I say, 'it's dangerous'. But I let you eat if someone is sitting back with you or in this case, I wanted you to finish up a banana before we drove off and you just kept saying, 'it's dangerous, it's dangerous'.
  • Your pronunciation is a little funny and you say things like 'bondaid' (bandaid), 'cot in the hot' for Cat in the Hat.



William. I have been so impressed with your empathy this month. You've always been sweet and thoughtful but this month you really reacted to others' needs. You often notice when G is sad/mad when he wants something and go hand it over to him (though not necessary!). Any time I hurt myself and say ouch, you always ask, 'Are you okay?'. You spilled some water on my shirt and said, 'do you need a towel?' and then said, 'I don't have  towel, how about my blanket?'. You're such a special boy and hope you continue to look out for others.





W notes:
  • You continue to talk nonstop, constant commentary about everything you're doing and thinking. It's fun but I'm sure it will get old ;)
  • You got lost in the hay maze at the pumpkin patch and were so sad.
  • You almost made it to the top of climbing wall in the jumpy house at the pumpkin patch. Of course, you were protesting the whole way and I wouldn't help and when you fell from the top you were so sad.
  • I talk to you guys a lot when I'm driving, commenting on poor drivers, etc. I was telling you about a guy who was blocking the left lane as he was waiting to turn. You say, 'he needs to put his blinker on' and I said, 'well, he has his blinker on, but it's still annoying to get stuck behind him.' Then you told me that you would go get in a tow truck and tow him away!
  • You love being hung upside down and swung around by Papa, you go so high it sometimes makes me nervous!
  • You walked all the way home from Alta Plaza!!! (1 mile!)
  • You have been doing great 'digger arm's at swim class
  • You tell me that when you're a fireman you'll climb up high to get the kitty from the tree but need me to stand by you. Another time you repeated the Little Fire Engine book and were saying, 'Hurry, there's a fire at Church and Laurel St', just like in the book.
  • You are drinking 'tea' in the tub and turn to G and with lots of inflection say, 'George, that's DELICIOUS!'
  • When we talk about you growing in my tummy, you want to look down the top of my shirt to see where you lived.
  • London sat down at the little picnic table with you and said, 'Hi William, wait, who are you?' and you said, 'I'm William' 
  • You are still so sweet to G and always giving into the book he wants to read, giving him a toy he wants or making room for him on the chair. He's not nearly as generous to you.
  • You got your flu shot in your thigh and didn't even flinch, in fact, you asked for another shot for your other thigh!
  • There's a nursery rhyme about three sailors in one of your books and you said, 'this is Daddy because he has whiskers, that's George because he's eating sausage and this is me'.
  • G wanted more steak at dinner but it was all gone. You had a big chunk of chewed up steak in your mouth and spit it onto your plate and said, 'Here George, here's more steak'. How generous!


Happy Half-Birthday my two little bees!