We have been taking advantage of the unbelievable weather this summer and spending much of our time outside in our yard where the kids can play for hours. They got this slide for their birthday and although they really like to climb bigger things, it is still the perfect where they can climb and not get hurt if they fall and all three can use it at once. People who watch them play on the slide are always amazed that they "take turns" going down but the truth is they just haven't figured out the beauty of King of the Slide and how much screaming that would cause. Beckett does like to occasionally sit at the bottom of the slide waiting for a good "pile up" as he calls it. Looks like she is hugging him but I think she is trying to throw him to the side.
The rocking horse from our neighbors is also a big hit except that I had to take it off the concrete and put in the on the grass because Addy can rock it over. And two can ride it.
I was trying to eat a lot of meals outside because it is always such a fight getting them to come and much less clean up but they were not eating too well- the lure of toys was too much. I don't know why I didn't use it too much before but now we are using the kiddie picnic table which works so much better. Guess which one of these kids is not like the other?
They spend more time sitting than eat on it as eating is still somewhat of a struggle with these little rascals.
Part of the reason they never want to go in is that they have become best friends with our neighbor boy, Felix. He is 2 1/2 with an 11 month old brother and has a yard even more full of toys than ours which our kids can see from the windows of our house. For those of you lifelong Texans, the yards here are very unlike the TX yards and almost no one has privacy fences so you have to be very comfortable with your neighbors. We lucked out and we play almost every day together in the front, in our yard, in their yard, and many times yelling from window to window. Whenever we go somewhere and Felix sees us he yells, "Hi Meighbors!!!" In fact, he and his brother Antoine loved our choo-choo wagon so much they ended up getting their own. Their dog rides in the third car. And there are teenage girls across the street that play soccer in the street and come over whenever we are out to play with the kids. Here's the Choo-choo crew that rules the block...
The big thing we did in the last month to maintain what's left of my sanity was to join the Jewish Community Center (JCC) or Cece as the kids call it. It is just incredible with several indoor play areas for kids, climbing equipment, fitness center, water park, Pilates, yoga, you name it with best of all... DROP OFF HOURLY DAY CARE!!!!! The first week we joined I took the kids 5 days in a row. One of the days I took they to the day care, worked out for 45 minutes and when I came back I could hear Eloise screaming down the hall. They said she was fine for about 15 minutes until she realized I was gone and screamed for the next 30. Beckett and Addy were fine and didn't want to leave. There is a 2 hour limit so I could really work out, shower and sit in the cafe with my computer and relax for an hour. Amazing. But after a week of constant playing in a new environment around other kids, the germs got the best of us and this is what all 3 looked like on and off for 2 weeks- runny noses and crusty faces. But Addy learned how to blow her nose and I think we got some teething running noses out of the way at the same time.
So, we stayed away from the J for a couple of weeks for everyone to recover and started back this week with two 1 hour visits to the day care. Both times I had to pry Eloise away from me and I could hear her screaming down the hall on my way to the gym and BACK again. She screamed for a solid hour both times. The second time they actually took her out of the room because it was so upsetting to everyone else and walked her in the hallway where she was totally fine. Hmm, not sure what to do about this one. We are still trying to figure out if her separation anxiety is related to her communication skills or there is something else going on. We started speech therapy this week for Beckett and Eloise and the therapist wants to watch Eloise for about a month to see if she is having some stimulation integration issues which might account for the problems in new environments. So we'll see. Beckett was borderline if he even qualified for therapy but after the first visit the therapist said that Beckett kinds of evens out when you look at quantity versus quality - that is my interpretation. He does not have a lot of words but how he uses the words he has is advanced for his age. For example, he will put "ing" at the end of words which is advanced. I know, I'm a total obnoxious bragging mom. As long as I'm at it, Addy doesn't need speech therapy but because the therapy is once a week and done pretty informally at our house, I'm sure she will benefit from it as well which is fine with me.
Beckett is still wearing some shorts in size 12 months is which is just soooo skinny. I took him to Urgent Care the other day because he had a little accident at the bike shop- no stitches needs thank goodness but they weighed him and fully clothed with probably a super pee diaper he is 24.5 lbs. So his weight it up but I think it just means he is getting taller and not putting any meat on his bones. I struggle daily to find things the kids will eat that are nutritious with lots of calories and not total junk. You know how you hear that kids develop a taste and preference for foods that the mother ate while pregnant? Guess what we found out Beckett likes?
Hint- when I was pregnant I ate lots of good old Texas BBQ. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I sure didn't gain those 80 lbs by eating turkey breast. It's a slab of BBQ beef brisket. He ate the whole thing.
We had BBQ at our house last week when my grandparents were visiting from Florida. I'm not going to tell you their age because my grandma would kill me but let's just say that in just a little over a decade they will three digits old. We had an unbelievable time with them and I'm so fortunate that my kids get to enjoy time with their great-grandparents and they got to experience a slice of our life here in Milwaukee. Addy ate so much watermelon that my Grandma thought she was going to get sick.
"This doll could use a blow-out." - Grandma. No kidding, that is exactly what she said. It is so funny because I can't tell you how many times I've called their house and Grandpa said that that Grandma isn't home- she is at the beauty parlor. I have about 6 dolls that I should have sent back to Florida with her that need some pretty extensive work.
Right now they call all insects either "bees" "ants" or "cicadas". Eloise pretty much stomps as hard as she can on any insect she sees on the ground. I'm trying to discourage that since I'm the type that would catch a spider and put it outside. I found some weird inch worm type thing on the white couch the other day. Why is there a worm on the couch? You are just wasting your time asking those kinds of questions with toddlers. I just scooped it up and set it out the front door. Addy and Beckett are the bug lovers. They collect the circadian shells and occasionally luck out and find a live one.
This live one they tried to take for a boat ride.
Wonder why he stopped flapping his wings after the water ride of his life?
Then they found this one- just a shell. Beckett was really concerned he wasn't flying to he picked him up and held him running around the yard yelling- FLY! FLY!
I don't know if Beckett thought it was dead but the death conversation came up this week with Addy. We were reading books one night before bed and she said, "Pickles go?" They hadn't mentioned Pickles or talked about her since we put her to sleep unless I mentioned it. I told her that Pickles was very sick and old and she died and that she is happy now playing with other dogs and safe. Addy just kept saying, "No, no, no. Pickles go?" and shaking her finger at me. We had about a 10 minute talk about Pickles and then I started to ask Addy questions about Pickles. I was dumbstruck and in awe of her comprehension and concern and frankly with her confidence that she knew better than I did about the whole matter. I was trying to figure out how much the other two were picking up on the conversation and had a clear snapshot of their personalities right at that moment. Addy's brow was furrowed in concern shaking her finger at me in middle of a serious discussion, Beckett was howling in laughter as he was pretending to bucked off a 6 foot stuffed caterpillar and Eloise was deep in thought sitting next to me as she carefully stacked blocks and assembled pieces of a train.
She was still fretting about it before I turned off the light so I showed everyone a picture of Pickles all dressed up in her Halloween bumble bee costume. They all laughed and pretended to be her with her tongue hanging out of her mouth. A few times a day she still will ask about Pickles particularly if she is upset about something else and occasionally has said, "See Pickles" which I'm assuming means she wants to see her picture but she also will say, "Sick NO!" when talking about her.
It was one of those moments when the enormity and absolute responsibility of being a parent left me breathless. It was a reminder of the careful path of parents and the things that may seem the most benign to us may actually be what sticks in the end.
On a lighter note, I was a big talker and my original plan was to potty train Addy this week. Not brave enough quite yet to fully go through with it. But I need to soon because I have had to wash the sheets on her crib every single day this week because she takes off her clothes and diaper and either pees on the bed or twice took off her poop diaper and then sat on the bed. Thank goodness she doesn't touch it and is still a little fearful of poop or I would have had a real mess on my hands. Anyway, last night I tried putting panties on her for an hour. She peed 3 times in one hour, twice on Rich's lap. If I'm doing the math correctly that means that if she is up for 12 hours (because she refuses, REFUSES to nap) that I need to have at minimum 36 pairs of panties ready for one full day of potty training. Times 3? Not brave enough yet.