It's been a few months since the last kid update, and as the time keeps slipping by, these kids keep growing.
Seriously, just keep scrolling. I included a few words interspersed. But mostly, just the many, many pictures.
Leo (just shy of 3.5 yrs) and Zoe (just shy of 17 months) are at a stage where they can play really well together...or really bicker. The bottom line is they want to do everything together. And I do mean everything.
|Brushing teeth together|
But they each want to do it in their own way. If their ways don't match up...There is a lot of yelling. Zoe is still pretty pre-verbal, so it's mostly shrieking on her end, and despite Leo's large vocabulary, his end is mostly "No! ZOE!!! NOOOOOOO!" It's a good time. What I don't understand is how it seems like this happens a dozen times a day, and yet, I'd say overall they get along famously.
|Autumn Leaf Collecting|
|This is what we get when we request a smile|
|There is no relaxing with these two around|
|Leo helping Zoe put her plate in the sink|
- Leo is a bit of a drama llama these days. Being three involves lots of emotions (SO MANY EMOTIONS), and he's not always sure how to express them. This results in a lot of melodramatic sobbing with exaggerated statements like, "Now I'll NEVER eat again!" when he drops his sandwich...onto his plate. Or, "I almost DIED!" when he loses his footing...walking down the hallway.
- All of his clothes seem to have shrunk. Guess I was right about that growth spurt. It wasn't so much an issue with shorts over the summer - but now that we are digging out last season's pants we realize we need to stock up on some big boy winter clothes.
- Naps are a thing of the past. This is rough, because it seems pretty clear he still needs the rest. We do have daily quiet time while Zoe naps, but there is rarely a wink of sleep during the day. He's become immune to my tricks (long walks, reading in a monotone voice).
- He's really into a superheroes - and the accompanying fighting and violence. He wants to "fight" danger. We've been trying to talk about ways to fight things non-violently...but it always seems to come back to punching the air - and occasionally, when he gets super frustrated, in the direction of family members. I'm at my wit's end with this. I don't even know how this got on his radar. Though I do enjoy watching him go "super fast!"
- He's sleeping in his own room again after a long relapse of co-sleeping. This deserves its own post, but it's going pretty well. There is a little resistance, but he's gone to bed in there every night since we set up his new bed.
- He's exploring the power of words. He's been on a kick of saying "Damn!" - not sure where he heard it - may very well have been from me? So we've talked about why some words are stronger than others and why we have to be careful about which words we choose. Now he only says it when he says something like, "I was really frustrated, but I didn't say 'damn' or anything." Um, yay? He also saw an episode of Bob the Builder in which one vehicle calls another a "big clumsy lump" and he has been calling everything and everyone that frustrates him a "big clumsy lump." So we've also had a discussion about name-calling and why that's not something we do. I still hear him spit the words at inanimate objects from time to time, but I'm choosing my battles. Three is hard, man.
|Making a muddy splash|
|Big Boy Leading the Way|
- Zoe understands so much. She can follow multi-step instructions and communicates very clearly with sounds, pointing and signs.
- Words are still few and far between. Though if you say, "Zoe, can you say ____?" she will *try* to repeat it. 9/10 times it ends up sounding like "anya." The words that I think I can (mostly) distinguish from each other are: Agua (abua), Mama (ama), Daddy (ada), Leche, Leo (ala), Abi (aba), Boo (ba), hi (haaa) and nurse (ana or nah). Throw in some reinterpreted animal sounds (moo, baa, meow, quack) and she's unstoppable.
- She has begun to replace the emphatic head nodding that she greeted every question with - now there are equal parts nodding and shaking, depending on her level of agreeability. Bummer.
- She eats fine - but is pickier than I recall Leo being at this age. Also, when she's done, she's done. Luckily, she loves plenty of healthy foods, she is just selective all around.
- She gets terrified when she hears footsteps walking toward us. Whether it's jb walking down the hall or the pitter patter of Talula's paws - the moment she hears someone coming toward the room we are in she screams, cries and frantically tries to climb into my arms. I don't love it.
- She must do EVERYTHING that Leo does. I guess this isn't new, but it's intensified and constant. Leo puts cheese on his pasta? So must Zoe. Leo jumps up and down and squeals? So must Zoe. Leo scratches his nose? You get the idea. The trick is that with Leo struggling with some challenging behavior, it's now double. Leo throws a dish on the ground. So does Zoe. Leo get frustrated and hits. So does Zoe. Leo doesn't want to share toys. Neither does Zoe. Luckily, most of the time he's a fantastic example for his little sister.
- She loves to stack blocks, make the hand motions for songs (like monkeys on the bed or wheels on the bus), run around outside - but most of all she loves books. She will flip through a book on her own for 10-15 minutes at a time. And she will bring a book to me, "ehh? ehhh?' it at me, and climb onto my lap.
- Zoe, too, is growing like a weed. I know I should really stop being surprised that children grow, but I still find it shocking. Luckily, we have plenty of Leo's clothes for hand-me-downs and a few items from friends that are (gasp!) pink and/or girly.
|Colonel Sanders enjoys her "kid cappuccino"|
|She's a picky eater sometimes, but does enjoy broccoli|