Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Three Year Old Milestones

It's been awhile since I've written about Caleb's development. I enjoy looking back at these posts to check their progress and sometimes to compare between siblings. One thing I've noticed for better or worse is that I'm far less concerned about Caleb's overall development compared to the firstborn. For one, I don't have any time to really think or worry about it so long as everything seems to be coming along fine. You really do learn to chill out a little about it the second time around. Also, I know that Caleb will be one of the oldest in his class once he starts kindergarten. We've got the luxury of time. He will have another whole year to learn letters and such. He will be six years old for nearly all of his first year of school (9/23 birthday with a 9/1 cut-off date) whereas Emily didn't turn six until school was out. HUGE difference. So, here's a snapshot in time of what our little 3 year old is up to. What he loves. What he says. Just to help me remember this precious middle child.

Hiking at Point Reyes
Gross Motor

My kids develop fastest in this area. Maybe it's genetic. Maybe it's because I'm outdoorsy and a PT and would much rather be outdoors playing instead of inside making messes inside. I don't know. Probably a combination. Anyway, little guy is a fluid runner and climber and has been for a long time. He can slide down fireman poles, climb up all the challenging obstacles at the playground, etc. He has a three wheeled mini-micro scooter and he's really fast and proficient at it. He's learned how to build up speed and ride it like a skateboard. He can go over a mile in it. (We've taken it to the beach and back many times.) He can also peddle his tricycle and balance on his Strider bike for short distances, but he mostly prefers the scooter. He LOVES to play ball, esp. baseball and soccer. He can now hit a ball that is thrown to him by Dad without using a tee.

Hike at Redwood Regional Park

Fine Motor

Umm, I don't pay much attention to this. Oops. We don't use scissors yet. He enjoys coloring (sometimes on the walls.) He can copy simple letters like "O," "C," and "H." He's using the small Lego pieces to build things now. (He can't follow the harder instructions on his own, but he can manipulate the small pieces pretty well.) He can work 20 piece puzzles on his own.

Jackson's Orchard


He's such a happy, funny kid with a touch of defiance. When he gets into trouble, he likes to say "Mommy, I wuv you." He often wants to make everything a race and then gets SO mad if he loses. We have to remind Emily to let him win sometimes just to avoid mini melt-downs. You can also use this to your advantage. (Betcha can't get into your car seat first! Let's time you and see how long it takes to put on your shoes! Ready, GO!!!") He wants to pray at dinner every night. He has been working on his prayers for awhile. He used to need prompting. He would look up at us and ask us, "What's next?" Now, he confidently prays like this. "Thank you God for Mommy and Daddy, Googoo Gaga (baby Anna Kate) and Emmy. Thank you for me. Thank you for Dinkney, Poppy, and Nan and Pop. Thank you for our food. Amen."

At baby sister's birthday party


He talks A LOT. He's starting to ask all of the "Why" and "What" questions. He can keep me busy answering questions the whole time we're in the car. He can't pronounce his "L" or "R" or "S" sounds correctly. He sticks out his tongue when pronouncing "'s" sounds so he has a lisp. The "l" sounds either become "y" or "w" sounds. For example, "I wuv you, mommy." Or "I yike pizza!" Hopefully, all of that will even out in time. It's pretty darn cute for now.

Hot day in Point Reyes

Potty training

Making such great progress! Caleb was two when Anna Kate was born. I didn't think for a minute that I could potty train him before she was born. We were in survival mode for months AFTER she was born. Potty training the middle child is most inconvenient when you also have a baby! Although we bought little potty seats and gave him many opportunities, encouragement, and tutorials, little guy was not the least bit interested or compliant until recently. Something finally just clicked! We've only been working on it for a little over a month now. He has learned how to pee standing up. He can go nearly every time we take him and does quite well! If we forget to take him, he sometimes will communicate his need to go, but he also will have accidents. He's only been doing regular BMs in his little potty for maybe three weeks. He's gone twice today, but had an accident yesterday. That's how it's going now, but he's succeeding more and more all the time. A few days ago we were at the playground and Caleb told me he needed to poop. I rushed him to the potty and he did his business on a park bathroom potty! Huge deal for us! I was really proud. We've been giving him small candy rewards. I also give him bigger presents for his BMs. Recently, I told him after he pooped 5x on the potty, I would get him this cool recycling truck he wanted. I just ordered it for him. :) We also saved back a few of his recent birthday presents and distributed them to him with different potty successes. In summary, we are doing pretty well, but he still needs some motivation and encouragement. He has gone several days with no accidents at all. We let him wear underwear most of the time now. He wears pull-ups for sleeping time.

Opening Bday presents


I'm embarrassed that he's so picky. He basically exists on dairy (cheeses/milk/yogurt), bread, fruit, and nuts. He used to eat fish sticks. Now that's a battle. He won't touch chicken or lunch meat or beef. I got him to try a piece of bacon recently and that was a success. He won't eat eggs. (Both girls do.) Most lunches are PB and J or PB and Nutella, grilled cheese, or quesadillas with black beans. Most dinners are pasta, pizza, mac n cheese, or rice/beans. He eats corn, sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, carrots, and cucumbers. Little guy won't even eat potatoes! I finally got him to try a tater tot. For real. It is so ridiculous. Luckily, he eats ALL the fruits. All of them. I try to buy a huge variety and he has something with each meal. I also make smoothies from time to time and hide kale in them. I would love to be stricter and make the kids eat what Jeremy and I eat. I try to get them to at least try everything on their plates. Even when we do this, he outlasts me. He won't eat dinner and then just wait until breakfast to eat the carbs and fruit he wants. Sigh. Sometimes I feel like I'm failing here, but I remind myself that he is just three. I didn't eat rice or cucumbers or green beans when I was three. It could be worse, I guess.

My sweet boys!


Caleb still takes a long nap almost every day. He's flexible and I can put him down to nap anytime between 1 and 3pm. I usually aim for about 1:30 or 2pm depending on the day's schedule. He's old enough now that if we have to skip a nap, we can, but then he's usually more irritable in the evening. If he starts acting up worse than normal, I'll find myself thinking, "What is wrong with this boy!!!" Then, I remember, "Oh yeah. No nap today." He falls asleep in his car seat extremely easily. If it's near nap time and he's riding in his car seat for longer than 10 minutes, you can almost bet that he will fall asleep. He's a dream child for long trips. He naps about 1 1/2-2 hours. Our normal routine is to read one book and tuck him into his pack n play in our master bedroom. This was the solution I came up with once we transitioned him out of his crib and into a toddler bed. He was getting in/out of his toddler bed too much at night. It was even worse for naps. So, I made him a nap time "cave" in our room. It was darker, quieter, and Emily could still use their shared room for quiet play during his nap time. It has worked like a dream for months now. He does sometimes resist and cry that he doesn't want to go to sleep, but he almost always does. Because he naps so long, he has a hard time falling asleep at 8pm. We try to have lights out by 8 or 8:15pm, but it's probably closer to 8:30 or 9pm before he's actually asleep. Even though this is later than I want, I don't want to take away or shorten his nap. It helps my sanity during the day and allows me to help Emily with her homework uninterrupted. Some nights I cuddle with him in his toddler bed. (It is so tiny that it makes me want to get a twin bed soon so we can cuddle more easily! However, I do like that it doesn't take up much room in their shared bedroom.) He wakes up around 7am. Some nights he stays in his room all night, but it is pretty common for him to get scared and come downstairs to sleep with us at some point in the middle of the night. I don't mind so long as he is quiet and sleeping. He's so cuddly and warm! Love my boy! He loves to get his extra cuddles and attention between mama and daddy and I know he will outgrow it before we know it. I guess because he was just two years old when Anna Kate was born, I feel like he deserves and needs this extra attention. I was still rocking and cuddling him before bedtime when Anna Kate was born. Then, we had to stop because Anna needed me to nurse her and I couldn't do both at the same time. He lost his bedroom and his cuddles once baby sister was born. :( So I cherish my morning snuggles with my sweet boy.

Favorites, etc.

He knows most of his colors. He can count past ten. He can recite his ABCs with pretty good accuracy singing the song, but doesn't recognize the names of many letters. He likes to sing and dance. (He dances a little jig when he gets excited about good news.) Favorite toys are all of his various car, trucks, and tractors. Second favorite would probably be his sports balls. He likes his Paw Patrol figures. He likes playing with his little play kitchen. He's talkative with his pretend play. His favorite shows are Daniel Tiger and the Paw Patrol. Goodness, he is obsessed with Paw Patrol. I really should have made his 3rd birthday party theme that! He enjoys being read to before nap and bedtime. Favorite books right now are his Paw Patrol books and Calvin and Hobbs comics. (They just like Daddy's funny voices and sound effects. Jeremy picks out the age appropriate ones for them out of these big collector's books he has.)

Hot wheels are always a clear winner. Never mind that he owns dozens already.


He wears 3T pants and 3T- 4T shirts. He's 38 1/4 in. tall and weighs 34 lbs. 4oz. We had a difficult time getting his height at his 3 year old check up so I take that with a grain of salt. (He refused to stand up and they measured him lying supine on an exam table!)

I guess that's all for now. I'll leave you with a favorite quote.

Caleb: "Don't you know, Mom, that superheroes don't go to time out?"

This was said while wearing one of his favorite superhero shirts and trying to get out of time out early. Nice try, buddy.

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