W&G 39 Months

This popped up on my facebook feed today. Can't believe that 3 years ago at this time, the boys were about the age Colette is now. It's so fun to see this picture and how revealing of their personalities it was, even at just 3 months old.

It's been another month of ups and downs, one week in particular where Dave and I were at the hospital even more than normal. I worried about the boys, and noticed George was having more accidents, but when I talked to the director at preschool, she told me she'd never know, they were doing great at school. Such a relief. George's potty regression seems to have straightened out again. They both went through a phase where they said they didn't want to go to school, and even had some tough drop offs, but now they do well. The director told me she 'adores' them and that they're the best helpers at school -- both with clean up (and apparently actually following through which a lot of the kids don't do) and also setting out snack. They still always ask if it's a day they can stay home, but I think mostly they ask if Dave has to go to work because they don't want him to, and it would mean they could stay home with him. Next week is their last week of Calvary until they officially start school in early September. It's been a great way to acclimate them to both the routine, as well as the teachers, school, etc.

Weekends have varied. Whereas we were trying to do things as a family as we both feel that's important to maintain some normalcy for the boys, when things got tough with Colette, we were really just taking shifts and switching between being with the boys and being at the hospital. Dave is good about taking them on adventures. He's been taking them to church on Sundays and they recently went to do the paddle boats at Stowe Lake too, which they continue to talk about. Dave is really good about being present with the boys. For me, if Colette's not doing well, I really want to be with her as much as possible. Both of us are at home for dinner and bedtime as much as possible, which turns out to be most nights. It's been nice to have meals delivered so that whatever time we can be home, is time we can spend with them. We had a fun adventure as a family last weekend and went to an outdoor pool in Novoto where it's warmer than the city. They had a great kids pool which had a water slide that went into a foot or so of water. Perfect for the boys to play and 'swim' in on their own -- Dave and I could lay out and just watch them!

They've continued to do well in their new room, thankfully. Occasionally they'll talk about being scared, but it makes such a difference that they're down there together. Bedtime has gone very smoothly as a whole, and a big part of that is that they've dropped their nap. Quiet time, miraculously, has gone well. We have a box (formerly the box of airplane/travel toys) filled with magnetic boards, puzzles, coloring books, water coloring books, little puppets, little animals, etc. and they can choose three items each to use during quiet time. This stuff isn't used otherwise. After a full month of quiet time, apparently they're still not bored with the selection but I'm sure I'll have to refresh it sooner or later. The main trick is that they can't be in the same room, that definitely doesn't work. What has worked is switching off between their bedroom and the couch just outside in the playroom. It started by George getting mad that he never got to be in his bed (because W was more likely to nap), but even switching back and forth, both have done well. Many days they both end up napping too, and we try to keep it to an hour max. Waking them up is never fun, but honestly, even when they were taking naps, getting them up was always hard. I think this is working best as bedtime is so much easier, plus, they feel more in control of whether they nap or not. It seems like 45 minutes to an hour is just enough to take off the edge but not keep them up for a later bedtime.

Dave has been doing a boxing class in the mornings, which means that I now get up with them, which has worked out well. I set my alarm for 6:30 in order to take a quick shower and pump before they come upstairs at 6:50 when their sun clock comes on. Usually they play in my room while I finish getting ready. They eat breakfast and end up playing upstairs for a bit before we get ready and get to school by 8:45. It's been the perfect amount of time, I usually don't feel rushed, yet can still get on with my day and to the hospital a little after 9am. As Colette has become more stable, I've started adding workouts back into the schedule and I've been doing pilates classes some mornings at 9am. On days there isn't a class, I try to swim right before dinner. It feels good to get some exercise though I definitely have no ab strength whatsoever so have been pretty sore.

Since Dave isn't here in the mornings, we've been able to easily cut out shows. We've bumped up dinner to 5:45 and then Dave bathes them and gets them ready for bed while they watch a show. I take over for books at 7pm and am usually out of their room at 7:30. Many nights they're asleep shortly later.

I had to revisit our food plan for them again this month. We've been so grateful for the meal deliveries for us but have asked just for food for us, not to worry about the boys as they don't really eat much anyway, it's not worth people attempting to find something for them. Anyway, it was getting to be slim pickings from the freezer and I know Jessica was running out of options so I've put together a go-to list for their dinners. They really do best with meat. George especially will eat at least a full pork chop or steak. William will eat pasta (G won't) so that's a nice back up. I've come up with a few other ideas of things we can have in the freezer to heat up for them. It's been nice to have Jessica looking out for them too. She makes smoothies with tons of vegetables, and popsicles too. It will be nice to eventually get back to home cooking -- almost all of the meals we're getting are munchery or other take out. Once I'm cooking more, we'll go back to the 'this is what's for dinner, eat it or don't' approach but for now we're still in survival mode.

Play: This is my absolute favorite part. They're using toys less and less right now, and usually as a prop for an imaginary game. Magnatiles still get a fair bit of use too, but W turned the little magnatile trains into roller skates the other day!

It's so much fun to hear everything they come up with. George is still obsessed with playing garbage and usually gets W to join in. 'Garbage' consists of putting on their gloves and collecting books, pillows, etc. to put in their garbage truck. They also constantly play with the little white chairs, turning them upside down and sitting on them, pretending they're a garbage truck or a digger. Or today they were pushing them around, calling them 'cutter dutters', who knows what that it. This is a common scene:

They've stopped using their boosters at the table, but like to use them for playing. This was them in their fire truck. 

Dr. McDowell
They also love driving their little red cars around the backyard and Dedee put parking spaces in with tape. George always reminds people to 'curb your wheels, otherwise you'll get a ticket!'. Not sure where he gets all this from!

To my boys:
You've grown up so much this month. Both of you (not just George) are enthusiastic about getting yourself dressed and have made a lot of progress. You can pick out your underwear and put it on, along with your pants. The shirt is still a bit challenging but you're getting there, and I'm so impressed that you get your socks on pretty well on your own too. Occasionally I get you to 'make your bed' meaning pull your comforter up. You talk about being 3 years old so much that I use that to my advantage and say, 'three year olds ...' (brush their own teeth, etc.). Speaking of which, you're now responsible for getting out your toothbrush, putting on the toothpaste and brushing your teeth in the morning. It's weird to not be spending as much time with you as I'm used to, but our mornings have been pretty nice actually. I love to overhear you come up with your new games and play so well together (though there are definitely fights too). It was so special to see you meet your sister for the first time, even though it was a quick visit that ended in G saying, 'I'm ready to do something else' after about 3 minutes :) You both ask about going to see her again, and reading a book to her, which hopefully you can do next time. We've been talking a lot more about God lately and saying our prayers asking God to make Colette better. Lots of questions have come up surrounding God and I try to answer the best I can.

W&G notes:
  • You told me there were two little potties at school so you could poop together, but that a little girl had walked in and said it was stinky
  • You got to meet Gerald from Gerald and Piggy at the bookstore and you both gave him a hug. Jessica got a video and it's the cutest thing, you're holding on to each other slowly approach him for a hug.
  • You're doing so many paintings at school and we still need to figure out how to manage all of them when they come home. Most days you come home covered in paint but luckily most of it comes out.
  • You love dancing to the music at the end of your shows
  • You had so much fun at Uncle Jon's house building a fort and making ice cream
  • You like to have flashlights at bedtime now
  • You loved wearing belts to church and want to wear them every day but that's probably not fair to your teachers at school since you need a lot more help with getting your pants down then
  • You like to call your milk cups 'coffee' and even at the birthday party you held up your cups of water and said, 'this is my wine!'. Got some giggles from the other parents.

George. You are still so obsessed with playing 'garbage', it's pretty funny. Often you get William to play with you, but even if not, you'll go about your business dumping everything you can find into your truck (usually under the kitchen table). You get super excited about using 'real' garbage like the packaging the comes inside our delivery boxes and ask if you can keep it. Even when Ma sent you cards a few days ago, you asked if you could keep your yellow envelope for your garbage. Whatever works! You've had several inconsolable moments this month that are just hilarious to be a part of. I've started keeping track of why you were so upset... we read W's book first at bedtime... W flushed your poop... Dad brought in the trash cans... we wouldn't let you throw away your pull-up in the unused diaper pail in your old room...

Other G notes:
  • You were so upset that your black converse don't fit anymore and are now William's. You begged me to go buy new ones, which I didn't.
  • Asked why we have bones and if God makes our bones
  • 'I'm not gonna drink wine when I'm an adult because wine is made of grapes and I don't like grapes'
  • You talked about how when you were in my tummy, you would push the salad back out because you don't like salad (in reference to the food I ate going to the baby)
  • You were disappointed that a birthday party you went to only had sausage pizza and not pepperoni
  • You always repeat a version of what I've told you, that you'll go live with God if you drink the dishwasher soap (since you've started pouring the soap for me before starting the dishwasher)
  • You were really creative and built a wheelchair ramp off of one of your magnatile vehicles
  • You loved the rules sign at the pool

William. You were so sweet when you met your sister, much more interested than George. You ask questions about her a lot, or talk about her in general. I know you'll be the best big brother and I hope you'll get to hold her some day soon. With the talk of your sister, it usually leads to talking about praying to God to help her feel better. You've especially had a lot of questions about God. You've adjusted much better to school and I'm so impressed to hear that you're such a good helper at school along with George, since you tend to be a bit lazy at home ;) I think part of it is that it sounds like you and George stick pretty close together at school (just from what you tell me, I haven't asked the teachers). You guys do keep referencing a friend Edward who you don't like because he always takes your mail (apparently you play mailman).

W notes:
  • We saw a billboard with a cat on it and you asked if Dad was allergic to cats and I said yes. Then you said that you would get a cat to sleep on your bed and when sun clock came on in the morning, you shut the cat in the room and come upstairs on your own (presumably so Dad never had to go in your room).
  • You said your poop looked like a 'log pile house'
  • You've been calling everything 'beautiful'. "I want to wear that beautiful green shirt"
  • You built a really cool moon buggy out of duplos
  • At one point we referenced God being up in the sky and you said, 'like a bird?'

Trying on your sister's headbands

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