Coco, 3 Years Old

Our girl is 3 years old! It will always be crazy to think about where we were in the days leading up to, and then the months following Coco's birth, especially when we see where she is now. We just got her paperwork filled by the doctor for her preschool and it's always reassuring when then can write 'healthy' across the health section. We feel so blessed that she's just your typical 3-year-old.

We've just finished up most of her classes and since most of the places she does classes at end up doing summer camps for school-aged kids during the summer, we aren't really able to do much for her this summer. She'll do two weeks of camp in July at her preschool which will be a nice introduction to the program with a smaller number of kids. Then she'll do one week of outdoor camp with W&G -- all three of them together should be interesting! Between the weeks we're gone and the week's we're just doing adventures with the boys, there are only a couple weeks that it will just be her and I think summer so we'll find our own adventures to do. The boys don't get out for a couple more weeks, but like I said, most of her classes have ended, so it will be a a bit quiet for us until they're out of school.

We got to do another session of outdoor class in the Presidio with teacher Gia and Coco was the oldest since the class typically only goes up to age 2.5, but they were fine with her doing it one last session. She loved collecting rocks, stomping in the stream and climbing trees. On Tuesdays she had Rabbit Hole and that was different this time around as it was a big class of maybe 12 kids, versus just a couple last time. I think it was fun for her to be with so many others, though yet again, she tended to be on the older side. Many kids go to preschool at 2 in the city so I find that many of the classes that are 18mos-3 skew younger. We did a session of soccer for the first time and she liked it. She got right in there. We have one more class left of our other outdoor class and we've enjoyed visiting different spots in the city; we're finishing at Ocean Beach on Wednesday. Thursdays have been swim class downtown and Fridays she did her drop-off art class which has been a hit. The teacher kept telling me how much fun it was to have Coco in class as she just gets right in there with everyone, warms up so easily and just goes with the flow. She's really grown so much this year and I'm so glad she had the opportunity to do some drop-off classes to prepare her for the fall. I'm confident she'll do great at Calvary.

EAT: Thankfully we're still in a good place with eating, for the most part. It's been really difficult to make sure she drinks her drink with miralax mixed in each afternoon, especially since she has to have it within a fairly short amount of time and not just finish it whenever. Some days she does fine and other days it's a total battle and it goes against our approach to food, which is more about offering them good choices but it's up to them to eat it. I worry that she'll start to show resistance at mealtime but for the most part she's done okay. There are times she asks for certain foods and I'll give her a different option and eventually when she sees I'm not giving in, she will take it. Lately it seems like she's always hungry which is turning into her eating what seems like all the time. I need to work on making sure she's eating enough during a meal (which it seems like she is!) and then reminding her the next time food will be offered, and nothing in between. There are certainly things she doesn't like and that's fine, but the list doesn't seem to be getting too long. George has been in a bad phase with food and 'yucking the yum' which does affect her so we're working on that. She loves lentil soup, chicken, sausage, any meat really, most fruits (she's been eating an apple each day) and eggs. Sandwiches have also been a hit lately, including a little bit of salad lettuce and mustard.

SLEEP: Unfortunately since we started her potty program 2 months ago, she really hasn't napped. Her naps were already mostly gone before that point, but we got a nap maybe once or twice a week, which seemed to be just what she needed. I still attempt to put her down on days when we have enough time in case she does nap, but she'll just sit in her bed with her books and animals and talk for 45 minutes before I get her up. Some days she even asks to go into her bed to do this kind of play. I've also done a quiet time a bit more regularly and ask her to stay in her room and play and she's starting to get the hang of it. She entertains herself so well generally, so this does work well, but never ends up in her sleeping. You'd think she'd go right to bed at 7pm, and there are nights she does, but I feel like more often than not, we still have her on the potty, or aren't sure if she's done so she stays up even later. She used to make up for it by sleeping in, but that never happens anymore and typically we hear her a little before her sun clock comes on at 6:45. She talks about being tired after various points in the day (usually when she's upset or I'm having to talk to her about not listening or something), she uses it as an excuse, but this even happens on days I've put her down for a nap. She used to do so well even without a nap -- she's definitely a George in energy level -- but now we're seeing more signs of her not getting enough sleep. She's back in pull-ups at night and has been since spring break and I was hoping that would give her better sleep at night and get things back on track. It's not terrible, but I do feel like she needs more sleep and I'm not sure exactly how to get that.

Coco still sleeps in her crib and though we know the end is near, we're not pushing moving her to a bed quite yet. She has climbed out, but it feels like forever ago now, and it was short-lived. We gave her the option of sleeping in a bed at the Legoland Hotel and maybe it was the excitement of everything but it didn't work out and I had to put her in the pack-and-play to get her to sleep. She tells us here and there that she's going to sleep in the big bed but I'm trying to hold on through Cincinnati and ideally Sonoma in August. While I think there's a good chance that she'd still sleep in the travel crib or Ma's crib even if she did move into the big bed at home, I think it's probably easier to stay consistent and not really give her that option yet. It will definitely change our travel moving forward to need her in a bed, either sharing with one of the boys, or needing another bed/room. In Sonoma we have another bed and bedroom for her but it will also serve as the guest for anyone coming or when my mom stays over and it's so nice to just have Coco in her crib in our room whenever we need the extra space. I know there are little inflatable kids beds so we may try that when the time comes.

PLAY: Coco's play has changed over the past two months since her potty stuff has started. She used to play so independently, could chat away at her dollhouse for an hour or longer. For some reason that shifted, I guess we had to be with her so much more. Reading has been number one and we've read hundreds of books to her on the potty. I'm so glad we were able to avoid creating a habit of giving her the phone while on the potty. I wasn't sure we'd be able to but she's done fine with books. Her dollhouse has been on the outs and I actually am just about to get rid of her first dollhouse as I've had another one in the closet for awhile when I got it on sale and just got it out for her birthday. She likes it okay but hasn't returned to the height of her dollhouse days :)

Imaginary play is still very popular. She loves to 'go on a trip' or 'go to a sleepover' which mostly involves her taking out everything in her dresser -- 8 pairs of shoes, tons of clothes and this morning I was surprised when she got her little bag out (that I pack her bows in for trips, though I didn't realize she knew that) and had about 30 bows packed in there. She still likes to dress up, though we avoided that for a bit too when she was in the early days of this new potty program. She got a Bitty Baby for her birthday and has enjoyed playing with her, but maybe not as much as I thought she would.

Coco loves to read by herself too, my mom actually suggested we get her a little tent for the corner of her room as she likes to sit back there with a big stack of books. She does the same when she sets up our fire engine tent in the living room. I did some research and picked out one of those hanging bed canopies that can be hung from the ceiling and is just light fabric so I think that will be a nice spot for her to sit under.

She's also been more into art at home, which I am not good about initiating with her, but luckily I don't really have to. She goes into the art cart, gets markers and paper, and most recently, she's really into scissors. She's really made good progress with her grip and she's able to cut a lot on her own which is impressive as I've never really worked with her on it. Though anything can happen, she's been really good about drawing on or cutting only paper.

As we approach her heading into preschool, I'm more aware of what she knows and doesn't know. She knows her ABCs, can identify the letter C, but still calls letters numbers. She can count fairly high up and can identify a few numbers. She's finally making some progress on her scooter, but still can't turn without stopping, taking her feet off, maneuvering it and then getting back on (instead of leaning on the handle). She doesn't know how to pedal a tricycle. Her swimming is getting even better and many times she can swim maybe 8ft. She has great strength and when she comes up for a breath and her feet sink, she's able to get her legs back up to keep going. It doesn't always look pretty but she's getting the hang of it.

TALK: Her language is improving as she's able to say certain sounds she wasn't able to before, like actually saying 'George' instead of 'gorge'. I asked the doctor about her 's's as she says pin, top, etc for 'spin' and 'stop' or other 's' works followed by a consonant, but apparently it's not a red flag until they're 6 years old. I remember they said the same when I asked about George and sure enough, when we focused on it at 5 years old, he was able to work it out on his own.

POTTY: We're just over 2 months into this program and I think we're finally making some good progress. She's always done pretty well but even if we had a few good days in a row, there would be an accident. It's hard because she does great the majority of the time -- even if we're out and about, like in Golden Gate Park, she'll tell me she has to go and go on a little potty no problem. That leads me to give her more freedom to tell me when she has to go instead of forcing her to try at certain times, but then she'll have an accident right after I ask her to go and it just brings me back to the reality that she's still not totally there. Her accidents are 90% pee now, almost always at home and are definitely getting rarer -- maybe once or twice a week, and usually attributable to something I should've done differently like taken her before we were going to be in the car awhile. With that said, when she has had an accident, she's made no effort to go or to tell me she had to. We've had a good few days so hopefully we're heading in the right direction. I've only talked to the doctor twice in the last month as I feel confident in how to handle any setbacks she's having. Finally we adjusted her exlax dose earlier this week so she's gone from 6 squares down to 5.5 squares and as long as she continues to initiate and not have accidents, we'll continue to go down by half a square every two weeks, which will put us into October to have her done with it, should everything sty on track... which I'm not counting on. She still has 2 capfuls of miralax in the afternoon, which combined with the exlax usually causes her to go to the bathroom between 6-7pm, when we know we'll be home. It's getting easier as she'll sit in the bathroom looking at books on her own, get off when she's done and go back if she needs to. She's great about getting out of the tub if she has to go, leaving the dinner table, etc. and we're past the point where it's a run-or-she-won't-make-it type of thing. I'm praying everything stays on track as we wean her off the meds. Apparently weaning to quickly does often lead to withholding again so we're definitely taking our time.

Weight: 32lbs 4oz (27 lbs 1 year ago)
Height: 38.1 inches (34 inches 1 year ago)
Shoes: 8
Clothes: 3T

Colette, it seems like just a bit before you turned three we got a warm welcome to the Terrible Twos. We've gotten more of the dramatic tantrums in the last month or so then I remember seeing at any phase before. Maybe you are right on track and acting like a 'Threenager'. There's tons of attitude, a simple but firm 'no' when asked to do something and everything has to be your way. If I suggest anything, you better bet you're going to say No! and want to do only the exact opposite. Some of my old tricks still work, and I continue to try to give you freedom and choices but man, there's been so much screaming, 'NO!'s and whining lately that I just don't remember from earlier this year. Dad and I are trying to be patient but also being clear about what is not okay. We've been working on manners and I have to say that you have made progress in the past few weeks. When you don't use your manners, I'll continue to acknowledge you by looking at you, but won't respond until you say please and you have started catching on quickly. I must calmly say, 'tell me in a different way/voice' 20 times a day as you demand things with whining, shouting or attitude. I'm sure the whole potty situation and your loss of control with that isn't helping anything but as we get that on track, I hope everything else will improve along with it. I'm so proud of your progress on the potty and am hopeful it will continue to be close to fully resolved by the time you start preschool. That was our goal and I'm so glad we decided to start when we did. I know it's not fun to have to drink your drink (though thankfully you're still into the exlax chocolates!) and even though we put in your drink of choice -- chocolate milk, lemonade, apple juice or smoothies, I'm still having to hound you to finish it which isn't fun. Though this part of this phase has to be captured, let's move on to the fun. As I sat down to fill out your preschool paperwork, having to describe you, at first I was stumped. I didn't want to just describe the phase you're in, or any toddler as I'm sure many characteristics are common at this stage, but I settled on independent first of all. You play so well on your own at home and do great entering new situations. You may cling to me for a moment, but very quickly warm up and like a typical younger sibling, find your way very quickly. Dad and I agreed on imaginative as well. You have a strong imagination and come up with great stories, names for your babies and games. Despite the current attitude, I would still describe you as a happy girl and you've been described by a handful of different people over your past three years of having a 'zest for life'. While at home I think you know you rule the roost, when you're out with others, you're a kind friend and are sweet with littler ones. You'll stand your ground and are at a point where you can do that successfully verbally (and rather calmly) in public whereas in the comfort of your own home, it's a different story ;) You have plenty of opinions of your own and often know just what you want. You're a good helper when you want to be, but often will tell me 'no' when I ask you and you do not like cleaning up. You do love helping me in the kitchen and prep meals with me any chance you get. You're getting quite good at cracking eggs too. You love chocolate, in fact, I don't think you've had another flavor of ice cream. You don't like bacon, whipped cream or syrup (!!). You eat more than William and are just as messy as George. You and George are two peas in a pod though you've recently realized the power you have in your words and have been saying 'George is my best friends, I don't like William'. This is something we're working on from multiple angles. You and William have so much fun together when it's just the two of you but the dynamic changes when it's all three. You always want to be one of the gang and are quick to request your 'special time' the minute Dad walks in the door (despite the hours of special time you've gotten that day from Mom!). You are so lucky to have a dad who gives you his undivided attention to dance with you, dress up all your friends or play dollhouse. I've gotten to take the boys to school on my own many mornings as Dad's been able to stay home with you and you love that time so much. Summer will be different with your brothers home, or you in camp and before we know it, you'll be at Calvary each morning. I'm so excited for you and know you're gonna do great but it will be so odd to have you away. I'll be packing my three free hours each morning so that I can hopefully be able to give you my undivided attention for a bit before we add your brothers to the mix each afternoon. I look forward to ladies lunches with you after school since you'll actually eat just about anything. I feel so lucky to have had these three years at home with you all to myself but look forward to seeing you grow this year. Happy 3rd Birthday, we love you Cokes!

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