Cable Cars and Ice Cream Sundaes

We've been waiting for tourist season to die down and mid-November, before the holidays, seemed like the perfect time to try the cable cars.  Dedee spent the night Sunday night so we were able to be out the door by 9:30. We walked down to catch the Geary bus down to Union Square. There was already a line for the cable cars, so we headed up a few stops and caught the second one.

The boys loved the ride over the steep hill and they even got to ring the bell when we got off.

We got off and walked around Fisherman's wharf a bit. It was definitely slow going as they stopped to check everything out. We stopped to potty at a gas station that had a connecting garage fixing cars, so that was a hit. We finally made it to In 'n Out for an early lunch. They boys split a cheeseburger and my trick is to hide the fries until they've finished their burger.

While walking a bit more, we ran into the Cal Bears marching band and mascot. The boys loved him! Finally we made it to the Ghirardelli Chocolate shop for an ice cream sundae. We only ordered one to share, in a waffle bowl, but they forgot to put it in a waffle bowl so they made us a new one AND gave us the other one... the boys weren't complaining.

The trip was topped off with a bus ride home, including a transfer. Then we hit the jackpot when walking the block back to our house -- they had trimmed the trees but hadn't cleared the branches yet and underneath were tons of pine cones. The boys grabbed as many as they could before we headed home for nap. A successful adventure with multiple forms of public transportation, their favorite!

31 Months

Another month has gone by and this post has definitely snuck up on me. It's been a fun month, with all the Halloween events and a few other stroller-free adventures that we wouldn't have been able to do even a few short months ago. All our classes are closed this week so I was looking forward to doing some new stuff but we've had really cold (just over 50 degrees!!!) and rainy weather so that's changed the plans a bit. It looks like it will be sunny (but still really cold) tomorrow and if so, a trip to the Ferry Building and the park nearby, via bus, is on the agenda. The boys are still obsessed with public transportation.

  • So many fun Halloween adventures but trick-or-treating really topped it off
  • First trip on Caltrain
  • First trip on the cable cars, lunch at In 'n Out and an ice cream sundae (their first) at Ghirardelli Square (post eventually coming on this)
Same line up, though the Early Childhood Matters class has finished and we'll start again in January. We had some days in the Presidio and a few more in Golden Gate Park. Lots of fun at art class.

  • They both are obsessed with bagels and always want to go get one. 
  • Dinner has improved slightly - actually dinner itself (as far as their behavior) is pretty good, but their eating isn't much better. Sometimes they'll try it or pick things out, usually they won't.
  • Still eating a lot at breakfast and lunch, thus not worried about the above.
  • George especially likes to help me cook. He'll go get his apron on and ask 'Can I help you make dinner?' ... when there's been no discussion of dinner/I haven't even started, etc. All his idea.
  • We've had a few meals out, which have gone pretty well. They tend to do well with pancakes and bacon :)

  • Last month was tough for bedtimes, we just couldn't figure out what the problem was, but miraculously, this month has been awesome! I know, I'm going to jinx it. Still not sure what happened, but one night was just better. It did coincide with the time change. We have our routine, which we've had all along, but now when I do last song, hugs and kisses and say goodnight, there's silence. They don't move in their bed and minutes later they're asleep. I think Dave and I have really needed it and it's been so nice to be able to sit down together by 8:30 and not be dealing with whining or crying.
  • Wake ups have been normal as well, either making it til 6:45 when sun comes up on their clock, or even sleeping in a bit past that. We've even had some mornings when one would keep sleeping for another 15 minutes.
  • G went from napping about 4-5 times a week to napping once in the last 7 days... I had started to give up completely, not even attempting to put him down, but then the past few days he's been a basketcase by 6 o'clock. He clearly isn't ready to drop naps every day so thankfully he went down today. I'm hoping he can still nap 3-4 days a week to balance himself out, though I have heard that that's not the best way to do it. I think if it was just him, I'd drop the nap and put him to bed earlier, but obviously it's not just him. 
  • They still wear their sleepsacks at night (not so much at naps) but now like to have their blankets over them. I was looking into getting them little comforters but now I think they're too attached to these blankets.


  • Interacting so much with each other and others. Lots of making up songs, games and stories. 
  • Favorite book of the moment is Gruffalo (and they also love watching the show of it, though G gets a little scared when the dragon comes on)
  • All their same toys are still in the mix, but playdough is the big hit of the moment. Jessica or my mom will make a batch with them and it's played with daily. We've gotten scissors, cookie cutters and other tools for them to use.
  • Most evenings with Jessica they no longer take the stroller but either walk or take their scooters. They love riding their scooters around the basketball courts at the park.

TALK: I think I'm ready to retire this category from the updates. Obviously they continue to learn new words and their sentences become more complex. They're becoming more opinionated and will tell you (without offered suggestions) what park they want to go to, what they want to have for breakfast, etc. Really though, they're just speaking like little people now so it's difficult to pick out specific new changes.

POTTY:  Several huge improvements here but also some regression.
  • Just a few days ago we officially put away the little potties. We've been talking about it here and there and they didn't seem to into the idea, though they did use the big potty plenty. Then one day they seemed to go with it, so that was it. I put them away and there's been no discussion of it since. They pull the stool over and are able to get themselves up to go #2. #1 is so easy for them to just stand on tip-toes. I was definitely starting to overthink this, about what my approach should be, etc., but cold-turkey was the right move.
  • They're SO much better at pulling their pants down (and more importantly back UP) all by themselves. It's really just taken patience from me, encouraging them to do it and not jumping in when it's taking a while.
  • They're now so independent when we're out too, requesting privacy and going into the stall all by themselves.
  • G had a serious regression this month. Though today he made huge progress (no accidents), for the past week or so, it was multiple accidents a day. Nothing really soaking through his pants, but he just wouldn't stop and go when he needed to. He never says anything, it would just be when I'd make him go and see his underwear was wet. He drinks a lot, so we've just had to make him go every hour, which isn't always easy. He had one poop accident at JCC too, ugh! That literally hasn't happens since like day 4 of potty training.
Biting update: It still happens here or there, mostly when they're fighting over something. There's more hitting and grabbing as well and sometimes biting is thrown in. It's like they get so caught up in getting mad that they can't even get out words, which of course is what we're encouraging.

MOM: It's been a tiring month, especially with George's lack of naps, but I am so grateful for all of Dave's help. It's been a great month for me as I've had various events, seeing friends, etc. It seems to have all fallen in the last month and Dave was great about being in charge of the boys.

Date night: Dave and I got a weekend away in Vegas with Ashley and Ryan so I think that tops anything else. Otherwise a causal dinner at Brenda's Meat and Three (so good) or a crazy tasting sushi menu (at Omakase).

Looking forward to:
  • Thanksgiving with all the cousins. We're spending several nights at my parents' house with everyone so there will be plenty of cousin time.
  • Christmas preparations. We'll get a tree just after Thanksgiving and I want to do gingerbread houses with the boys. We'll do a Christmas celebration before we leave for...
  • Florida! and Disneyworld. Less than a month away!

To my boys... 
It's true, some days you guys drive me crazy and my patience is so low. But every time people ask how you guys are, I always say that this is the best yet. Each month we try new adventures that build my confidence for us to try other new things. I think we have an unspoken agreement (or maybe I have psyched you guys into behaving on these adventures??), but you guys are generally great listeners and very manageable when we're out doing something totally new. I think where I have trouble is walking with you guys to the grocery store that we frequent often, or similar places like that. You're familiar with them and maybe feel like you should have more freedom and you're at times very hard to handle. All of that is normal for the age I'm sure, but I'm loving the fun we get to have together. There's been plenty of hitting, pushing and chasing this month, but you two can also play so nicely together and I often sit like a fly on a wall listening to all your stories.

  • You really looked out for each other when Tenzing and Crusoe were over. G was telling them to get off W's bed.
  • One night G was crying that he had to go potty but I was still saying goodnight to W. W tells me to go open the door for G. I take him to the bathroom, then W starts whining for me to come back and G tells me, 'W's crying, go back to him'.
  • You guys love rolling in the round tube things at MyGym. Can't get enough.
  • Your tastes are so crazy. One day you shared 8 scrambled eggs for lunch. I started with 3, then you wanted more, and more again.
  • Lollipops (or dum dums) were the top hit from Halloween. G takes like an hour to eat one, W takes 3 bites and is done.
  • You loved playing in the 'bear cave' under the blanket with Dedee
  • Dedee told me that at library Storytime when they sing Skidda Marink, you both run all over the room but run back to each other and hug every time they sing, 'I love you!'
  • You both have started saying 'he's not listening to my words'... it's so funny to hear you use phrases we've used.
  • You love 'mom's croissant' (kougan amman from b. patisserie)
  • I walk in to pick you up from JCC childcare and you're both sitting at the table with these farm animals, loudly singing 'Old MacDonald had a farm'. Everyone was laughing.
  • We worked more on compromise this month (when you couldn't agree on a show or which park to go to for example). W gets a high voice and says, 'George, you want to watch Gruffalo??'. You were also fighting over the garbage truck and I took it away and said I'd only bring it back if you can play together. Shortly after, G is directing, 'you do the driver and I do the trash'.
Aftermath of the garbage truck fight

William. You continue to make friends everywhere you go. There's just something about you. As someone who's more introverted, it just gives me so much joy to see you have a natural connection with people. Sometimes it doesn't even involve talking, you just start playing with a kid on the see saw for example and instantly they're smiling. You're a great influence on your brother in this area too, as you give him ideas and he often comes over and wants to join in too.

The tough life of William E
  • You were on the slide at Rossi one day and there were two other boys that asked how old you were. You said 2 and the boys said, 'we're bigger than you. They started saying, when you're 3, we'll be 5 and when you're 4, we'll be 5.' (math was a little off). You just smile, nod and say, 'OK.'
  • One day you had a fit and didn't want to eat your bagel. You said something was wrong with it, that is had a hole... as in the main hole that all bagels have. Not sure if you hadn't noticed this before??
  • Your art teacher told me she was impressed with how good you are with scissors.
  • At the beginning of the month when sleep was still a bit off (and we were using the occasional bribery to get you to go to bed nicely), you called out to me in the morning, 'Sun's up, mom! I waited so I can go on the train!' (you had remembered all night that if you went to bed nicely and waited til sun clock came up, you could go on Caltrain.
  • You completely lost it when we were on bart because I had to take my phone from you and put it away before we got off. You later told me, 'We don't take things out of people's hands'. Very true.
  • One morning I heard you singing 'I'm a little teapot' while waiting for sun clock to come up
  • You found a girl with candy at Madi's party and came running back to tell us. I don't think I've ever seen you so excited. So cute!
  • Your facial expressions are the best. You went to lay next to a little girl at the end of music class, totally throwing out the moves but she wasn't having it.
  • You love corn but we've told you it's a summer food. You spotted it at Trader Joe's the other day so I gave in and you ate 2 whole corns yourself.
  • You like sitting on Daddy's lap and listening to music.
  • You can swim all the way to the bottom of the pool (maybe 4-5 feet), if I push you. I can't wait for Florida, you're such a fish! Literally we can't keep your head above water at swim class.
  • You still talk nonstop and usually started sentences with 'Yes because' or 'No because' and then go into a long drawn out explanation or answer.

George. I had totally forgotten about how this month started. There was a week that was just awful and nothing I did or said was right. It's so nice to look back on that and see that it was just a blip on the radar. At least we got some pretty funny stories from it.
  • One day there was nothing we could do to make you happy. I tried to take you out for special Mommy time after you woke up from your nap early. You finally went for it and agreed you wanted to scooter through the tunnels. But you were mad that we were taking the car and then you didn't want to go through the tunnels. We still made it to GG Park (though we had told Dad we were going to Crissy Field but changed our minds). Ironically, W woke up from nap super upset when he heard we took the car -- he wanted to take the car. Daddy called me to say that he and W were on the bus to come meet us at Crissy Field. I tell you, while you're eating ice cream no less, and you get so upset because YOU wanted to take the bus...ugh. We try to go meet Daddy but by that point all you can talk about is riding the bus. Daddy and W finally make it and W wants to ride his scooter, you want to ride the bus so we sit in the car and wait to leave. As a compromise, I drop you, Daddy and W off at a bus stop near our house to take the bus a few blocks home. When you get home, you're crying again. The bus went too fast and you want to go back in the car. Couldn't win!
  • Around that same time, you woke up one night, calling to me that you needed to take a bath. This is 2:30am. I go in there and you tell me your knees are dirty and you need to take a bath. Weird dream I guess? I knew after dealing with you for the past few days that I had to walk on eggshells. I amazingly pulled the patience together to be able to give you some options, wait, listen, give you the same options -- we could use a wipe to wipe your knees off or we could go into the bathroom and use soap on a wet towel. You finally agreed to the latter, which we did and you requested lotion as well. Then you climbed back in bed and went back to sleep.
  • The next day you threw a huge fit because you didn't wear a hat to church (we had asked you if you wanted one and you said no). Then that evening, you screamed for 30 minutes at bedtime because I started the load of towels without you. Won't make that mistake again!
  • Around the same time of the month, you were so particular about everything. We were driving over the bridge and you were whining that you only wanted to go over a short bridge, not a long bridge; you don't want us to drive this way or turn that way.
  • You still love signs and constantly ask us to read them to you. You now can identify a lot of familiar ones like 'No Parking', 'No Dogs', etc.
  • Dedee was reading the bathroom signs to you at Clay St park and said 'girls' and 'boys'. You corrected her and said, 'No Dedee, it's Womans and Mans'... in his own words of course.
  • You were very confused by the fridge delivery man who had a ponytail and kept calling him 'her'.
  • You now help yourself to the fridge since it has French doors which are easier for you to open.
  • One day I heard you disciplining your animals for not listening on the train you set up. You took them aside and told them they had to listen. Another time I heard you tell them that they could choose yogurt or cottage cheese (something else we say after dinner many nights).
  • You hate when we wipe your nose and will run over to the trash can to get the kleenex back out to put it back in your nose. Now I have to pretend I'm wiping it back in when I wipe it.
  • You get really hot every time we're in the car and always whine, 'My back is hot!'
  • Your pumpkin fell when you were carving it and I was warning you that it would probably break the next time it fell, and what would you do. You said you'd need W's pumpkin then. Obviously.
  • We were at a restaurant and you tasted the water and commented, 'It's not sparkling, its just regular'.
  • I made the most delicious butternut squash alfredo sauce and you spent the longest time wiping every last bit off the pieces of bacon, your brow scrunched up and so focused not to miss a spot.
  • Somehow we got you to taste kale one night and when we asked what it tasted like, you said, 'broccoli. I don't like broccoli'.
  • Dedee told us that she left you in the room after putting you down for you nap and went to talk to Dave in the hallway. She went back in and you asked who she was talking to. She said 'the stairs' and you said, 'Dedee... you weren't talking to the stairs...'
  • One day at MyGym you were waiting to jump in the ball pit and said to your friend, 'Move out of the way, Marco!' It's just so funny when you use other people's names. I'm always surprised that you actually know some of these kids by name. 
  • Dedee was dragging the tower and you told her she can't drag it or it will scratch the floor. You love enforcing rules, even when you don't obey them yourself (you definitely try to drag the tower).
  • One night, you shouted, 'I need my bib! I don’t want to get sauce on my shirt' (as you smooth down your church shirt)  
  • Oh the other crazy things you said this month...
    • 'I want to put your head in the garbage' (to mom, I don't remember why but it wasn't said aggressively, luckily)
    • 'I need something.' (What? I said) 'Something'. When you're trying to delay naptime. 
    • 'That is a good plan' or 'That is not a good plan' after I suggest a plan (but don't say, 'is that a good plan?'
    • 'Go back to your own house!' or 'Go back to your own mom!' (G says this to W, me, Dedee, Jessica, basically anyone and it's more of a joke than anything else.)
    • 'Go back in your clouds sun!' (when it's too sunny outside)

First Trip on Daddy's Train

The boys are still so into busses, trains and everything else that goes. Taking them on Caltrain has been on my to-do list and we finally got to do it with my Mom on Monday. It was a rainy day, but there was no going back on my promise... I said if they went to bed without whining or crying AND stayed in bed until sun clock came up (this was day 2 after the time change so that was asking a lot), then we could go on the train. They went down nicely and though I heard William awake before sun clock, he waited until it was time and then called, 'Mom! Sun is up! I didn't cry, I can go on the train!' Of course he wanted to go right away but then we almost had to call it off. Water was dripping out of our bathroom ceiling and I figured I'd have to sort that repair out before we could leave. Luckily our contractor was able to come over while we were gone so we were still able to go.

We made the train just fine and the boys had fun reading the signs and going through so many tunnels. It was a quick ride to Burlingame where we got off and walked to the park just by the station. It was pretty wet out, but luckily not rainy, so the puddles were really their favorite part. The sun started coming out when we walked across the tracks to lunch at Stacks.

Both boys got the Minnie Mouse pancakes (two strawberry halves for her bow) and of course a side of bacon that G devoured. We still had some time before the train so we walked to a toy store and after many, 'Mommy, can you buy this for me?', I settled on two train whistles. It took them a couple tries to get the hang of it but then they really liked them.

So it had been a great morning, timing had been perfect. For some reason, I had it in my head that our train home was at 12:15. We walked over to the train station right as a train was arriving, but it was 12:10. I asked someone if this was the bullet and they said, 'no, I think it's at 12:15'. So I didn't even second guess my decision not to get on. Well, as the train pulled away and we were the only ones standing the platform, my mom noticed that the sign for the next train was lit up for 1:10. Ugh. Yup, somehow we had missed the only train back to the city that our. The 12:10 train would've gotten us back to SF around 12:45, which already would've been pushing it for W's nap. Not to mention that my meter was expiring at 1:07 (so dumb, I'll definitely do the pay-by-phone next time so I could add more money to it remotely). I momentarily debated waiting for the next train but that wouldn't get us back to our house until after 2pm, not to mention my car would be sitting there that much longer. So, we took a short cab ride to Millbrea BART. Then had to wait a bit for the train, then a 30 minute ride to Powell St., then a short cab ride up 4th St. Beyond the wasted time, it was already probably an extra $50 in expenses so I was praying I wouldn't have to add a parking ticket on top of that. Thankfully there was no ticket and the boys did so well. They loved Bart and going in the cabs and were just really good. It took W a while to go down for a nap, so long that I didn't even attempt with G, and W woke up in a terrible mood and didn't settle down for about 45 minutes. So the afternoon wasn't great, but they raved about their ride on the train, Bart and the cab. I still kick myself for making that stupid mistake but it could've been so much worse!


We had so much fun celebrating Halloween with the boys this year. They loved their costumes and got the hang of trick or treating immediately. We did a test run on Friday afternoon when the shops on Sacramento Street were handing out candy. We even walked to the fire station, hoping the garage would be open so we could get some photos in the truck but unfortunately it was all closed up. It served as a nice background nonetheless.

That evening we finished carving our pumpkins.


George didn't take a nap on Halloween so I was a bit worried, but they both did great. They wanted to get their costumes on right after William woke up so before we knew it, we were heading out. 4:30 is a bit early to start at the houses but we figured we could do the shops on the other side of Sacramento St so that was a great way to pass the time. We hit a few of the mansions on Clay and Washington Streets (too many stairs!) before heading back to our neighborhood, or the lower part of our neighborhood, Jordan Park. They had closed off two long, flat streets to car traffic so it ended up being the perfect spot for trick-or-treating. All the houses are single family homes (often not the case in the city) and just about everyone was handing out candy. There were lots of people out, but not too many that the boys got lost in the mix. They had fun and Dave and I did too. We were still going strong two hours later but started to worry about them going potty so headed back home.



Dinner was a bit chaotic but they got to eat a few pieces of candy before we somehow managed to bathe them and get them into bed. We let them stay up almost an hour later, hoping they would sleep in the next morning, off-setting the time change, but unfortunately that didn't really happen. Luckily it was just that morning that was early and they settled into the new time fairly easily otherwise.

They each just about filled up their orange pumpkin!