Those seem like good ages to do a general kid update.
Garrett turned four a month ago. He's doing really well with life in general. Goes to bed easy. Still sleeps about 10-11 hours at night and takes a two hour nap every afternoon. He's been in preschool for 2 months now and he loved the first three weeks. Then, on his birthday he had a really hard day. He didn't show it in the morning but when I got to his school with cupcakes and ice cream he was crying. His teacher said he'd been crying off and on all day and he missed me. And now he has good days and emotional days. Wanting to make sure I won't forget to pick him up, telling me how much he'll miss me, asking me to sit outside his school for four hours and wait, etc. He has a couple good buddies now and that really helps. He still says he loves it and prays everyday that he can go back, but he also tells me that he's ready to be all done with school. (Haha, only about 15-20 more years bud.)
He's already learned a lot. Before preschool he had a couple numbers he didn't recognize and he only recognized about half the letters. Now he knows all the numbers and almost all the letters and he's quickly learning the sounds the letters make. He's memorized several songs, and he's also memorized the scriptures for each month. He's awesome with scissors, and before preschool he'd had zero practice. He's talking with more detail and asks much more specific questions. He's a sensitive kid and he can be hard on himself. He sometimes tries to give up too easily if he can't figure something out right away, but with a little encouragement he keeps trying and always figures things out. I know it'll get better and I really love the school.
He (and Addie) just finished six weeks of tumbling. He was the only boy in his class and he loved every second of it. He joins right in and tries (and usually nails) every new trick. The first week they had a quick drink break and he took one sip of water and then confidently announced, "I'mmmm back in the game!" as he ran toward the mats. We drove past the tumbling place tonight and they yelled, "There's tumbling!!" Then I told them we finished and Garrett started to cry. I thought he was faking it at first, but there were legitimate tears and a quivery lip. I found out from a friend that the same course starts again in two weeks, so I guess we'll do it again!
He took swimming lessons this summer and really pushed himself. I could tell he was nervous about a few things he learned but he was brave and determined and did really well.
He loves his sisters. And he's a tender-hearted, generous boy. On his worst day of preschool he earned a treasure box prize for being a good listener all week and of all the toys, treats and stickers in the box, he picked a pair of purple sunglasses for Addie.
I love his heart. And I love watching him learn and grow.
Addie will be three in November. She's always been my 'Live Wild Child'. She's funny, happy, sweet, sassy, and full of energy and love. She's everything that warms my heart and freaks me out all at the same time. She's the little leader of our family, and kind of sets the tone for how the day goes in a lot of ways. Most days it's awesome. She and Garrett are best friends and watching them play and talk and laugh is one of the greatest things I've ever experienced in my life.
We are in mom and me preschool and she loves it. She's obedient, helpful, patient and sweet at school. She's a bit timid at times and needs some encouragement to participate in the interactive activities but she always has a great time. She's also learning a lot too. She learns a lot from the homework and practicing I do with Garrett and I think she'll be more than ready to start going to Garrett's preschool next year.
She took swimming this summer and hated it. We hired a private teacher for one on one lessons and after week two she refused to do it without me or her grandma in the pool with her. If we were there, she was happy to try new things and was so proud of herself, even if she didn't quite do what the instructor was asking of her. But it's okay. She's two. And we'll try it again next year.
She also did tumbling. She (eventually) loved it. The first five minutes or so the teacher has them hop back and forth down the mats. Walk backwards, tip-toe with hands in the air, etc. and she WOULD NOT do it the first two classes. Garrett's out there killin' it with the ladies like a ballerina and Addie's fighting back the tears. And then the trampoline, balance beams, swinging bars, and platforms come out and she's like Gabby Douglas out there livin' the dream. Whatever kid. But after two classes she was fine and did everything with over the top excitement. More than half of us in the class are friends that signed up together and it's so much fun sitting at the side laughing at our friggin cute kids.
Addie is so good with Charlie. She's so helpful and attentive with her. She always wants to check on her. "I'm gonna tip toe and see if Charlie's awake, no yeah, k?!" And if I'm cooking and she's playing with her she comes and gives random updates. "Charlie's scooting by the chair." "Charlie's happy mom." "I put a blanket on Charlie cause Charlie's cold." "Charlie don't need a binky from she's not fussy." "We need to buy new batteries so Charlie can swing higher and higher." And Charlie loves Addie. She can be a bit in-your-face with her but Charlie doesn't seem to mind. She gets so excited when Addie's around.
And Addie's potty trained! I have a crappy potty training method. (Or, based on my track record, maybe it's the best method ever.) I randomly decide one morning that we're doing it. No timers, no naked days, no practice sitting on the potty, no rewards. Just put on some underwear. Then after one accident, I decide it's not the day and I throw on a diaper. I do that for 5-7 days and then I fully commit. We do a day of going through 5 or so pairs of underwear and then in the next day or two, and forever more, we're good. There's an accident once in a while but it hasn't ever been a long dreadful process for us (knock on wood). My only advise would be to wait until your kid is old enough to kind of reason with. Both Garrett and Addie were about two or three months from turning three. (Addie will be three in three weeks and we're going on about two months of being potty trained.) I'll never be one of those moms who wants to potty train as soon as they're two (or younger). Way too much work.
And lastly my little Charlie girl. She's the kind of baby that makes you want to pop out a few more. I described her a few days ago like an awesome blackjack hand. The one you should stay on because it's not likely to get any better. But you're on a roll so you want to say 'hit me!' just to see what happens. Maybe that's not the best analogy. I'll just say she's the perfect cherry on top of our gooey, nutty delicious sundae.
She's the perfect third child. What I mean is, when you only have one child and that child is napping. You tip toe and stay so quiet and never intentionally wake them up. You feed them at home on your fluffy comfy couch. You let them lay on a blanket with no fear of getting hit in the head with a toy, or a foot. When number three comes along, you pick them up from a deep sleep and strap them in the car seat to go from one place to the next to keep up with the older two. Naps often happen in a stroller or baby carrier with a whole lot going on in the background. Feedings often get interrupted and finished after a knee is bandaged or a bum is wiped. Or sometimes (if someone else is driving) I climb in the back and lean into her car seat for a quick on-the-go feeding as we're running late for some activity. And being on a blanket on the floor? It didn't even take till the six month mark for this girl to see how unsafe that is. She's not crawling yet, but she's trying. She scoots backwards like a boss and rolls to where she wants to go. And she spins in a circle like nobody's business. I often find her half way under a chair, all the way under her swing, or against the wall pulling on a cord that's plugged in. Toddler-proof is different than baby-proof, I'm being reminded. And it's already time! And she handles all of it with very little complaints. She's never been a crier, and still isn't. It's only when she's really hungry that I get a little reminder.
She still wakes once a night to feed but it's usually pretty quick. Unless she has a cold like all five of us had last month in which case she wakes six times a night.
She's eating whatever we give her. It's mostly table food. Like vegis, fruit, pinto beans, potatoes, chicken. All mashed up or little bites. I did baby-led feeding with Addie and I'm doing it with Charlie too. So much less work to just feed them what we're eating! (And/or let them feed themselves!) She loves purées which the other two didn't, so I feed her those more than I thought I would. And she's liked it all, vegis and fruit. She'll eat a whole one in one meal, and the other two would make one of those last three feedings and I'd usually throw some away. I guess her faves are probably sweet potatoes, squash, apple, pear, and avocado, and any flavor of goats milk greek yogurt from our local farmers market. It's expensive, but all three kids thinks it's ice cream.
It really is crazy how busy life is right now and how fast time goes. I feel like I'll never catch up. On anything, let alone blogging. Two nights ago as I ran into my chiropractors office one minute before he closed but desperate for an adjustment, I apologized to the receptionist for being late and said, "my kids had tumbling 'graduation' tonight and we all know what a big deal that is." And she said, "hey that is OK. You have no idea how much I wish I could be back to those days." It really is the best time and I'm trying to enjoy it all.