Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Three-And-A-Half Year Old Serious Kiddo Update

3 years 9 months old

#SeriousKid is 3 years and 9 months old (so, 3.75 years old, if you’re a math enthusiast).

A. His Schedule – He gets up when we get him up, which is whenever his younger brother gets up. He is not a morning person. He practically never takes a nap at home. We usually try to put him to bed around 8:15 p.m. but he can easily stay up until 9 p.m. (he might be a night owl). He loves it when we let him sleep in our bed, though we don’t do it every night.

B. His Size – He seems average for his age.

C. His Personality – He is very loving, but also somewhat stubborn and kind of bossy. I think he gets his desire to lead others from my husband (and his stubbornness from both of us). He loves doing quiet activities like playing with Legos, reading a book, or watching a movie. He has very good attention span. He struggles to make friends with children his own age – I hope this improves with time, but I think making friends at any age can be intimidating and tricky, so I empathize with him.

D. His Favorite Things
  • Chocolate (e.g. Chocolate milk)
  • Candy (e.g. Pez)
  • Chocolate candy
  • Sweets (do you see a pattern?)
  • Grape soda and Sunkist
  • Art
  • All of the colors (he used to prefer red so this whole not having a favorite color thing is new to me)
  • Batman is his favorite superhero, although he likes other ones like Captain American, Iron Man, and the Hulk
  • Legos, especially if you get to “build the guy” (build Lego figures)
  • Puzzles (especially if the puzzle involves superheroes)
  • Watching YouTube
  • Lunchables
  • Hanging out on the couch
  • Our cat
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches, especially if it is served on a blue plate (he likes eating bread, so if you’re not willing to make him a grilled cheese sandwich, he’ll happily eat a piece of plain bread)

E. Things He Does Not Like
  • Plates that are not blue
  • When his younger brother destroys something he is building, or wants to play with the same toy he does
  • Baths and showers
3 years 8.5 months old

F. What He’s Thinking About
  • He is looking forward to a kids’ cooking class that he will take in the fall – this was his choice; he chose cooking class over soccer, tennis, and gymnastics
  • Even though his birthday is not until October, he is already looking forward to it, and adding things to his Amazon Wish List

G. Surprises – Sometimes I am surprised at how old he looks to me in comparison to his brother. I am also surprised at how much his personality seems to tend towards my mother’s and my own personality, and not towards my husband’s. I think this makes it difficult for my husband to understand Serious Kiddo and vice versa (although, Bear seems to take much more after my husband than me, so I have similar challenges with Bear).

H. The Best Things – Developing a close relationship to #SeriousKid: talking about what’s important to him and doing the things he likes to do together, even if it is as simple as watching a show we both like and talking about it together.

I. Family and Friends – I hope that he will make friends at the new daycare, but right now, it sounds like he either plays alone or gets bullied most of the time (he tells his teachers about the name-calling he receives, in case you’re wondering). I could switch him into another daycare, but I fear that it would just happen again (I think he got bullied at the old daycare too, but he had a friend who was his ally which I don’t think he’s been able to replace at the new daycare).

J. Parenting – It is challenging to balance the needs of both kids, and try to have a strong personal relationship with each kid, not just the child that more closely resembles one’s own personality, which in my case is #SeriousKid.
3 years 8 months old

Two-Year Bear Update

Bear just turned two!

A. His Schedule – He gets up at about 6 a.m. every day of the week, and goes to sleep at 8 p.m. He usually does not take naps these days. Sometimes, he wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to crawl into bed with us – he is a cuddly guy!

B. His Size – He seems small for his age – he is slim and not very tall, but he is very strong.

C. His Personality – He loves to make us laugh, and is fun-loving. He loves physical touch, such as being held and giving and receiving hugs. He seems to prefer my husband’s company to mine, but lets me know that I’m still one of his favorite people. He seems to be a people-person, and more extroverted than his older brother.

D. His Favorite Things
  • He loves his moose blankies – he has a few copies of the same blanket, and he loves sucking on the feet of the moose – he prefers having two blankies at a time to just one
  • He likes almost all foods – he even likes spicy foods (unlike his older brother)
  • He loves the outdoors, whether it’s going for a walk, playing with bubbles, riding on our toy motorcycle, or splashing in his new kiddie pool
  • Music – he has a CD player that he likes to carry around; he can also sing his ABC’s now!
  • He enjoys some quiet activities like play with Play-Doh, painting, and playing with stickers, but he also loves being active – I think he’ll enjoy getting into sports someday (like this fall, when he takes a toddlers’ soccer class!)
  • He likes Spiderman and Power Rangers
  • Colors – I think he likes blue and yellow, but I’m not sure
  • Water, e.g. taking a bath or shower
  • Our pets

E. Things He Does Not Like
  • Surprisingly, he does not like chocolate (he prefers white milk to chocolate milk, and prefers white cake to chocolate cake)
  • Being left by us (such as when we leave him at daycare)
  • When he suggests that we go get a "Happy Meal!" and we drive past the McDonald's anyway

F. What He’s Thinking About
  • #BearTed has a lot of words now to try to tell us what he wants, such as “Go up,” “Go out,” “Get up,” and “Bubbles!”
  • He is a risk-taker – for example, he does not seem to be afraid of heights or falling
  • He is learning to go potty but sees it as optional; he goes on the potty because he likes doing it, not because he thinks that’s what he’s supposed to do

G. Surprises – I cannot think of anything truly surprising about him at this age, other than just how much energy and stamina he has!

H. The Best Things – I love it when he will sit near me (or on me) and drink he bottle when he’s sleepy – it reminds me of the past when he was younger and even more cuddly. It's also very endearing when he recognizes someone (like my father) and stops everything he's doing to run over to the person, yell out their name, and hug them!

I. Family and Friends – I wish that some of my cousins lived closer to us, or some of my spouse’s, for that matter. That being said, the friends we do have in our area are pretty great.

J. What I’m Doing Differently This Time Around – At this age / stage, the only significant difference between how I’m parenting #BearTed now and how I parented #SeriousKiddo is that #BearTed does not have a younger sibling. When #SeriousKiddo was two years old, #BearTed was already here!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I was gone...

I am not sure how common this problem is in the blogosphere, but things happened, I got busy, I stopped posting, and then more things happened. So many things happened which I wanted to talk about, so updating the blog got to be a longer and longer task, and I still didn’t have any more time to do it than before. In the past, I have started other blogs and this same thing has happened to me. And then, after one guilty post (like this one) where I try to explain why I was gone, and try to suggest that I’ll do a better job of updating things in the future, I go silent.

There are a lot of reasons why I haven’t updated this blog in a while, but here are some of them:
  1. My day job started taking more of my time and energy.
  2. Perfectionism – I wanted to do a really good job of writing, but did not have the time to write / edit to my satisfaction – the list of posts I wanted to write got very long, but things weren’t getting crossed off.
  3. Limited time – Every one of us has limited amounts of time, but I had even more limited amounts than usual due to some new endeavors for me, such as: a) selling our house and moving; b) focusing on our finances (which also involved me doing a fair amount of time-consuming research on personal finance to educate myself); c) having a very mobile and active toddler (as #SeriousKid became a preschooler, #BearTed became a toddler, but he has way more energy and engages in riskier behavior than his older brother); d) my spouse wanting switch jobs (which took a lot of mental energy and emotional labor on my part); e) our kids switching daycares; and f) me having out-patient surgery (the recovery period was two weeks!).
  4. I had some organizational challenges with regard to my hobbies – this blog is a hobby, as is cross stitch, and I suppose writing outside of my regular job too. It was hard to keep these things in order when I had other things to focus on, like figuring out what box contained my socks after the move.
  5. I am not able to easily add photos from my phone to this blog. Right now, I wind up emailing myself the photos, downloading them onto a PC or laptop, and then uploading them. I find this very tedious, and yet, I can’t deny that I prefer blog posts with photos to those without photos.