W&G Lately: 3 3/4

The boys really are on their way to age 4 and we've settled on a theme for their big party... Garbage trucks. Yay. Luckily other moms have had to suffer through garbage-obsessed kids so there are actually a lot of ideas on Pinterest and I think we can make it cute.

It's been raining so much here lately which means the boys have been home more so I feel like I've spent a lot of time with them despite them being back at school. I've left Colette with Jessica a few more times and taken the boys out and G and I even had a special outing after school one day. William was home sick a few days so I got to pick G up and we went for pizza and watch a construction site for a while. They've tentatively agreed to the plan of me taking each one of them out separately, then an outing together every few weeks but we'll see if G has a problem staying once W's turn comes up. Though they definitely have their moments, I would say their behavior has improved a bit.

We actually had a pretty healthy month up until about a week ago when W got the bad cold and cough and had to stay home a few days, then G got it (though was never bad enough that he needed to stay home) and currently Colette has it. It's the worst cold she's had -- snotty, runny nose which has now turned into a pretty rough, congested-sounding cough. She seems to be hanging in there though and I think she's starting to get better. No breathing issues as of yet. It really is so tough to keep the boys away from her and despite our efforts to wash hands, change clothes, use sanitizer, etc., she's gotten just about every cold they have.

I arranged for one of the social workers that we had worked with at the hospital to come into the boys' school to do a little demo with them using this blacklight machine and 'germ gel'. Basically they put the gel on, then looked at their hands in the machine to see all the germs. Then they went to wash as normal, and then checked again, of course to see that germs were still on. Finally, they learned the right way to wash their hands.

With the combo of the weather and being sick, our weekends have been pretty low-key. Dave was able to get away to Chip's for a night last week so I took all three to the park which was fine. Today we made it over to the Ferry Building which is still one of my favorite spots to go.

EATING: I'm feeling great about their eating! But not quite ready to write up our full plan yet. Dave and I have a few things to decide on but I finally read a book that had been recommended to me by other moms, It's Not About the Broccoli. It takes the focus on what they're getting each day or even week and instead is trying to teach them the tools for proportion, variety and moderation. We'll see how I do with it as I think for me I feel confident in the beginning and am able to take a step back and not get stressed about it, but then they go off-script with something I'm not sure how to handle and I end up nagging or stressing about it again. I'm hoping I can stick with this approach, but the few basic ideas do seem like a good approach. The boys have had a lot of fun this week with it so I'm feeling good about it so far. They've tried more things this week than they have in many recent months, and though they haven't necessarily liked any of it, I realize that's not the point. It's about continuing to expose them to different foods and over time getting them more comfortable with tasting new things, while never forcing them to try anything. I took them to the library and we got a bunch of cookbooks and fun books about food. That's been a huge hit. We also went shopping at Trader Joe's and they picked out some new stuff, and today was a visit to the Farmer's Market where they picked out a few new things. I was surprised W wasn't up for tasting more fruit, but that's okay. It's too early to know if this will really make a longterm change or not, but we've had several really great dinners this week (as far as their behavior and eating) so I'm considering it off to a good start.

W has been having issues with #2 which has turned into a cycle of not wanting to go because it hurts, but then it would hurt because he holds it so long, etc. With our food changes this week (or maybe just coincidence), things have finally improved. We switch off between prune juice, prunes or Flax oil and trying to drink more water and it seems to really have helped. G, on the otherhand, has had at least a handful of pee accidents over the past week. Bad ones where you see him bending his knee a little and then all of a sudden he's going pee down to the floor soaking his pant leg. Ugh. You'd think we'd be done with the accidents by now and he had been accident-free for a while but something's up again. We're trying to remind him more but I can tell he doesn't want to stop what he's doing so will usually say he doesn't have to go.

SLEEP: Has gotten back on track in the past few weeks, though G still has issues here and there. Over the last week, he's woken up several nights asking for a hug, or for help getting his slipper back on when it fell off. He still seems to have some issues with being scared down there, but we do our best to reassure him. Though it still varies by the night how many times we have to go down after saying goodnight, I'd still say that it's improved from a few weeks ago. As far as naps, I think we have a good mix now. We've figured out that W needs a nap every few days (but not every day) to be able to keep it together. G needs a nap I'd say twice a week. They still do quiet time but on the days they really should be sleeping, we make sure they're separated. We don't let them sleep longer than an hour, which can be hard to manage as they often wake up upset. Overall, it's the best plan as G would be up so late if he still took a nap.

PLAY: With all the time inside, they've been doing a lot of cooking and art. Garbage (much to my annoyance) continues to be popular so our cans of recycling in the living room look like they'll be staying for a bit longer. Duplos are really popular, as are the various new trucks they got for Christmas. G really loves the alphabet and number singing magnets. We've had a train track set up for the last few days that they've traded their book before bed in for which is funny because they haven't played with trains in forever. They still love their scooters but we've had to get stricter with the rules. They just go so far now that it's not safe for them to be riding past people on busy sidewalks. I'm confident in their abilities and general judgment not to hit people, but it's not fair to people walking on a sidewalk to try to dodge them when they don't know exactly where they're going.

To my boys... We spent so much time together over the holidays, but I think everyone (okay, maybe just me) was ready to get back into the school routine. You seem to do fine once there, but do have a hard time getting out of the car in the morning. You're always so excited for the weekends, but of course, that's when Dad is home. I'm glad I've been able to do what I was hoping to, which is to spend more time with just you guys, whether individually or together. We're in a good spot with Colette now where it is easier for me to tell Jessica, 'why don't you stay with her and I'll take the boys out for a bit'. Speaking of Colette, you both are still all over her. It's amazing, you used to always have to go in to wake Dad in the morning, but now you come out and see Cokes having her bottle and you come right out and forget about Dad! She has definitely moved into the #1 spot around these parts in your eyes. She's just starting to get into your stuff so can't wait to see how you handle that in coming months.

Taking all three to the aquarium on my own. Had a great time!
W&G notes:
  • We came back to our car just as the meter maid was giving a ticket, but I knew we still had a few minutes. It was a fix-it ticket for no front license plate and you guys had a million questions about it.
  • You saw hail for the first time

George. You are such a sweet brother to Colette. Constantly telling her how much you love her and that she's your best friend. I'm still pleasantly surprised with how well you've adjusted to her being home, but you have had issues lately with the potty and sleeping so maybe her being around has affected you. You're generally very sweet with her but occasionally will do something like sit on her and just not realize your strength or weight. You are always asking questions, and really good ones. I love to hear your train of thought and your stories. We got to go out just the two of us and it was so fun to just be with you and hear everything you had to say. Looking forward to lots more of those dates!

G notes:
  • You often answer, 'well that's why...'
  • When I asked you if you missed W at school (when he was home sick), you said, 'No, it was nice having a break.' Then you told him, 'William, can you play with me only most of the time and not all of the time?' 
  • After learning that scuba divers can pick up trash from the ocean, you decided that would be your weekend job and you'd still do your garbage pick up on Tuesdays.
  • You asked me when I was getting more shoes and I asked why and you said, 'I need more garbage' (as in paper and boxes for his garbage play).
  • You're very interested in the food books we got at the library including the 3 sections of 'growing food', 'fun food' and 'treat food'. When you went poop, you explained to me that the growing food stays in your body and the fun and treat food comes out in your poop.

William. You had a bad cold last week and you will definitely grow up to be one of those guys who gets 'manflu'. So dramatic: 'booger! booger! I need a wipe!!!!' This attitude you get sometimes really makes me worried for the teenage years. If you're rested and fed, usually you're in pretty good shape. You're still into art and can sit down and focus on a project for a while. You're still so sweet and kind and generous, though you do like to play with G sometimes -- you've figured out just how to annoy him and you get a momentary kick out of it but within a minute are giving in. You're a great big brother to Colette and can always make her smile.

W notes:
  • You threw a massive fit because I refused to buy you a (rock-solid, obviously-out-of-season) $5 peach
  • You start everything with, 'well that's because...' 
  • On your first day back to school after being sick, you had a huge fit because you wanted G to stay home so you'd have a day on your own. We settled on letting him get out and go all the way in and then you got to go in by yourself.
  • You want to see the witch in Wizard of Oz so bad (Dad has only let you watch some of the songs)
  • You were obsessed with the shark exhibit at the aquarium. You loved watching the footage of the sharks, even the one of a shark getting a seal.
  • You love fairy tales and lots of your pretend play includes characters that show up in these stories.
  • You tell us about how you'll live in the white house across the street and one night after we had a taco dinner you liked, you said that we could come over to your white house for tacos, but we'd have to bring the food.

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