W&G Lately (43-44 Months)

Yet another post that was mostly done over a month ago, but I never got around to adding photos and finishing... so now I'm adding to it with the most recent happenings. November was a month of being sick; Dave was struggling even in early December. I feel like it was right after Halloween that William started coughing, Colette got it but thankfully managed okay, though did cough for more than two weeks. Dave also got that round and at some point everyone got sick again so who knows if it was all the same strain or different ones. Luckily the past few weeks over the holidays, everyone was more or less healthy, but man, November was rough.

A few days before Thanksgiving, William started complaining about his mouth hurting and we assumed he had burned it on pizza over the weekend. Finally we looked in it and there was a canker sore, but he was super cranky, wouldn't eat, kept complaining about his mouth hurting, that we took him to the doctor the day before Thanksgiving and they confirmed, enterovirus. Similar to hand-foot-mouth, William had more sores in his mouth the next day and then it came on in George on Thanksgiving. Dave was sick with a terrible cold at this point too, and while I had a cold, I felt totally fine. I quarantined Colette to her room and took care of her for the next 4 days while Dave (somehow) managed the boys, not fun with sick. They were kept downstairs and we were psycho about wiping everything down, washing hands so many times they were raw by the end of the day. By Sunday after Thanksgiving, William was better but Colette started coughing. By Monday morning, she had watery eyes, runny nose, lots of sneezing and coughing. Conveniently, we had a doctors appointment that morning, so they checked her and luckily she still sounded okay. George had to stay home from school several days. Somehow, Colette was better by the next day and even her cough totally went away. So grateful as it was pretty stressful making sure we were keeping all germs away from her, though I feel like we did everything we could. So when she started getting sick, it was scary to think that our best effort still wasn't good enough. I guess she's even stronger than we knew!

It was tough on the boys that I couldn't go near them, read books at night etc. -- we were that careful about the germs -- but we paid for it the following week. Lots of acting out and just general brattiness. They were certainly looking for more attention, but a month later, I'm so happy things have mostly gotten better.

Besides being sick, the November was fairly quiet. After all the Halloween activities, our November weekends were low-key. I took the boys out to my parent's house in Danville for the morning to play in the leaves while I took Colette to brunch with Annie. They had a blast. Otherwise we laid low until Linda and Gary came to visit mid-November. It was so great to have them here, especially since Colette hadn't met Grandpa Gary. He was great with the kids and everyone had fun. They were able to do their own stuff, but we had them over for dinner several nights so they got to see all the craziness of the boys in their own zone. Then they went to the Disney Museum and we all headed in the car to Fish in Sausalito. There was a lot of rain that weekend unfortunately, but Dave still got to golf with Gary which was great. The boys were so excited for them to come and loved playing with them. I'm sure it was great for them to see Colette too, now that she's doing a bit more and getting bigger. Our trip to Florida in February is booked, so hopefully everything will work out.

December was a pretty good month. Finally everyone was better -- well, I take that back, Colette and I got another cold just as went to Disneyland. I would say by Christmas everyone was better and as the boys just went back to school this week, I'm sure that will be short-lived. We had lot of fun at Disney (though it was so exhausting with three kids) and the holidays were really nice. I was a bit worried about all the time the boys had off over break since I'm trying to keep them out of the germ-zones of kids museums which is so hard at this time of year, but it actually worked out really well. We saw my parents a lot, Dave was home a lot and I feel like all the kids got a lot of attention. There were certainly moments I was frustrated and questioning if their behavior is typical 3-year old stuff or if we really need to change something in our parenting, but things have settled down a bit.

So excited to try crab... didn't like it

EAT: They had been eating so poorly that Dave and I actually sat down and talked about what to do about it, but then they got sick and had ice cream for 5 days straight. That's never fun to deal with the aftermath of that, especially when you then go on a trip and being off schedule, out of their environment, etc leads to more meltdowns, so giving into junk food is easier. I did check a book out of the library about a month ago that hopefully won't be sitting here unread for too much longer and will give me some ideas on how to approach the situation differently. One thing I was thinking was to limit G to one thing of milk per day. We fill up his milk cup multiple times a day that could be keeping him from eating as much actual food. In the 99 percentile for weight, he definitely doesn't need to be drinking so much milk. Unfortunately smoothies took a hit in the past month as well and while before we could get their veggies in through a smoothie, now neither is drinking much of that either. I'm really struggling with what to do. I'm trying as hard as possible not to turn it into a power struggle. I still don't want to force them to eat anything, but it's frustrating when they literally don't eat anything and then tell us they're just waiting for dessert. I've never wanted to be a 'you must eat your dinner to get dessert' kind of person, but I'm also not okay with them only eating dessert. Also, dessert needs to go back to fruit, yogurt or similar. Hopefully next month I will have read the book and we'll be on a better path.

Luckily W is 'fruit man' again

SLEEP: Sleep wasn't good while they were sick, and G continued to struggle even when better. He called down for Dave or I multiple times before finally falling asleep, some nights as late at 9:30pm (2 hours after we first say goodnight!). He was even wakeing in the night crying. We know he's had some issues with being downstairs so that's part of it, plus he just gets more scared than William does about things. Thankfully, we seemed to have moved through this phase and we're back to the typical bedtime shenanigans but it's mostly manageable. At one point I talked to George about putting a simple book together with the bedtime routine that we could read together and we did sit down to list out the routine and even though I never actually made the book, it seems to have helped.

PLAY: Hmmm, play was all over the place in November since we were trying to entertain them downstairs with 'new' toys, Dave swapped out a bunch of their stuff with what we had in storage. Art is still a top hit and they do a lot of play with the tool set. William likes to take his bike more now, G is still into the scooter, which we actually got him the next size up for Christmas. Over the last week, we've been trying to weed out a bunch of toys as they did get quite a bit for Christmas. We got rid of some stuff, packed up other stuff, and even put a lot of their Christmas presents in storage for now as they don't need everything out now. They got some new trucks and art supplies that they're into, but imaginative play continues to rule, though led by some of the gifts they got over Christmas.

To my boys...
November was not the best month, being sick is no fun for any of us but I know it was tough for you guys to be quarantined downstairs. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise because we've overhead you talk about how you have to wash your hands before you see Coco -- I don't think you guys want to be away from her like that again. Though Christmas break was long, we had a great time together and had lots of fun adventures. I think it was a good reset for you and for me. I'm feeling more comfortable being away from Colette now that she's eating much better which gives me more flexibility to do stuff just with you. You both continue to test limits, especially with Jessica, saying things like, 'It's my house, I can do what I want' or 'If I keep crying, Dad will come down' or 'I won't do x until you do y!' We're still navigating the best way to handle this, but trying to be consistent that you don't always get your way. I do see that when you guys have had more time with Mom and Dad, your behavior does improve.

W&G notes:
  • Luckily you guys did your whole performance for me during book time the night before the show at school because you were pretty shy at school. The best was your rendition of 'Fayleez Nabidad' :)

George. November was rough for you. You were acting out a lot and then after being sick and quarantined downstairs, you were very clingy. Luckily you've made some progress, though there are the smallest things that just send you off the deep end.  Everything has to be just so and something as simple as, 'grab your raincoat, it's raining out' can possibly send you into a complete fit because you don't want to wear your raincoat. I try to pick my battles, but also try to balance it with not just 'giving in'. I've had some success and there have been times you've told me, 'I'm calming down, but it takes my body a while to calm down'. You still love your sister like crazy though, in fact, I think you're even more into her this month. You love going up to her and saying, 'Hi Cokes!' (or Cokesy Bean). She gives you the biggest smile.

G notes:
  • You told W, 'If you cry, you'll get what you want'
  • When I asked what you ate at your Thanksgiving feast, you said 'marshmallows and bread'
  • Jessica decided it was time for a new cloth rag we use in the kitchen so threw away the yellow one and took out a blue one. We were joking that you would probably notice, and sure enough, right after nap when you're in the kitchen you say, 'why's there a blue towel?' 
  • You used the phrase, 'it will be excellent fun!' one day
  • During one of your many tantrums over the last month, you told me, 'But I wanted something with grease on it!' after I made you something on the griddle and not in the bacon pan
  • You told Dad that God created two people first and they didn't need to use seat covers in the bathroom because they were the only two people.
  • You got really mad after you saw your sandwich one day, upset that you wanted '5 pieces of peanut butter and 5 pieces of jam' but I gave you '10 pieces of peanut butter and 1 piece of jam'
  • You impressed us the other day when there were four candies left and you said, 'that means two for W and two for me!'
  • You ask so many questions and not just 'why? why?'. I can see the wheels turning and sometimes you will tell me, 'can you say what you just said again?' so you can really process it.

Terrible photo, but so typical G and his garbage load

William.  You're quite dramatic when you're sick, which is somewhat understandable. Dad and I thought for sure you'd rock the school performance but instead you held G's hand tightly and even leaned into him shyly during all the singing at school. Obviously your first big performance like that can be intimidating (and hello, this is coming from someone who hates being in front of people like that!) but we'll see how future performances go. What I noticed recently is that you really know how to push G's buttons. He throws fits for the most random stuff and you catch on to that and say things like, 'you're not going to x' and then G will coming running to me saying, 'W said I'm not going to x!', crying. Or if you know he wants something, you'll say he can have it in 14 minutes, which of course throws him into a tizzy. What's neat about you is that while you have fun for a minute being able to have this control over him, the next minute you usually give him what he wants (a turn, etc). I'm not saying that that's necessary, but you really are such a kind person, that you usually can't follow through with things. It was funny one day when you told G, 'I'm never gonna play with you again!' sort of in a 'I'm not going to invite you to my party!' way :)

W notes:
  • We had to take the bus to school one day since Dad had to have the car and it was raining so we couldn't walk. I was nervous about the germs so I said, 'we need to say a prayer that God keeps us safe' and you said, 'God stop the rain!!'
  • A month ago, even you weren't eating much fruit so I was saying how you used to be the fruit man but if you don't eat fruit anymore, the dessert man won't come. You told me, 'Dad's the dessert man, Dad will always come.' True.
  • You told me the whipped cream at your Thanksgiving feast at school wasn't as good as mine (probably the canned kind?) 
  • You notice that one of my breasts produces more milk than the other when I'm pumping so the other morning you told me, 'when I grow up I'm gonna be Santa and bring you a new pumper that works super fast on that side and on that side.' Sounds good!
  • Fruit man is back! You're eating so much fruit every day now
  • You grabbed C's legs and told me, 'she's my digger. Her legs are the controls and her butt is the engine!' 

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