Thursday, March 28, 2013

Exactly 2.5 Years Old!

They are getting so BIG and quickly shedding the remaining remnants of baby-hood : (
More pics from last weekend...
Caleb and I on a very chilly Saturday
Eli and dad
C and E
In case anyone wonders how we leave the park without kicking and screaming...bribery!
I always come prepared with graham crackers : )
Little feet
Phil took Monday off because he was starting a new job on Tuesday. It was a beautiful day to spend outside as a family so glad he had the day off! The boys got to dust off their bikes and spent several hours riding them!

Thomas is getting really good on his bike and can balance on it for really long stretches!
The boys love riding up and over the pitchers mound

Getting coffee after the park

I think Caleb has been swatted at enough times by our crazy cat that now he blames all injuries on the cat. One day Phil came out after shaving and was bleeding because he cut himself and Caleb quickly points to it and says 'diddle diddle?' (kitty). Same thing when he gets hurt, he points to where he bumped himself and says 'diddle diddle' and makes me kiss the boo boo. He is certainly not afraid of cats in fact he is crazy about them (definitely more than his brothers)! He is always trying to pick them up and give them kisses. Whenever we are out we look for neighborhood cats and pet them. I'm giving my self a 'well done' for turning my boys into cat people. It's not a first, I did the same thing with my brother, with my sister's help of course : )

So like I mentioned in their 2.5 year picture the boys are quickly shedding all remaining baby like qualities. Along with diapers we also just ditched their high chairs and traded them in for booster seats. We could have done it sooner but I wanted to protect my table a little longer (it may just be the only nice thing left in my house). Now that throwing while eating isn't as big of an issue, it should be a little safer but I just need to be careful not to give them real silverware so they don't scratch or dent it. Here's to hoping. The next if not last baby thing to ditch is cribs. Phil has one more test to take before getting his licence so after that and our trip to Cali next month he'll get cracking on building their super cool toddler beds. I intended on keeping them in cribs till at least 3 (it's triplet policy to milk the crib thing as long as possible, if you have triplets you know what I mean) but I think once we see the beds built it will be too tempting not to try them out! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Oaks Park

It felt like we hadn't done anything new or fun with the boys in a while so after brainstorming ideas we decided to take the boys to Oaks Park. It's basically a permanent carnival but it has a small train that's pretty cool. I normally don't like carnival's but for some reason it's permanence makes this one a little less creepy. We thought the boys would really like the train but would be scared of the kiddie rides. Let's see how they did... 
loving the train...ate their lunch while gawking at it
Caleb and dad riding on the train
It was supposed to be sunny and a lot warmer but they got it wrong and I was freezing!

Eli and I were watching from down below
C&T, the brave boys that rode this scary ride!

Eli finally got brave enough to try a ride, this might have been their favorite!
The bouncy boat scared the crap out of Caleb!
CET, not wanting to leave the park!
Thomas gets the bravery award since he rode each ride and liked them all! Caleb was just scared by the last ride and Eli didn't get on two out of the 5 rides. Each time they were on a ride I couldn't help but think that someone would try to jump out and wished it was over faster. I have to keep telling myself to let go and not be so over protective! It was our little splurge for the boys, not realizing they would like the rides so much we bought individual tickets : ( Next time we'll do wrist bands for unlimited rides even though it's still very pricey : )

Here is a video of the boys on rides, it's not that interesting so this is mostly for grandparents and aunties : ) If you watch it notice how after the little car ride is over Thomas (red) and Caleb (dark blue) say 'mas mas   mas' (more). And you may not see Caleb but you'll hear him yelling in the background while riding the boat ride!

Friday, March 22, 2013

I Deem Thee...

POTTY TRAINED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We were just waiting on Caleb to catch up to his brothers to make it official, funny he's also the one we were waiting on to leave the NICU, I guess some things never change! Of course potty training is a process and we are still a little rough around the edges but for the most part we are all daytime potty trained! A few days ago Caleb took a turn for the better and has not only been pooping in the potty consistently but he also tells me when he needs to go. And it gets even better, I don't put anything special on Caleb for nap time, he always wakes up dry! I can almost say it for bed time but the problem is that he wakes up crazy early (like 5:45am), and I have to draw the line somewhere, I refuse to get out of bed before 6:15am! He climbs into bed with us and since he's happy to just snuggle till then, I've been taking it! The times I've gotten up before him he is usually dry, so I think he wakes up dry and then just lets it go after a few minutes because he has now realized that the pull up will not feel wet (curse modern day convenience!). Ok so maybe I need to change and make the effort to take him to the bathroom within minutes of his waking, but it's just sooooo haaard. I need to get over it and experiment with sending him to bed in underwear and get my butt out of bed the minute I hear him wake up...we'll see. The other two are still 50/50 in that department.

Where They Are At

When we are at home they all tell me when they need to use the potty and I always go with them to help (mostly because I'm afraid of someone falling into the toilet, it's happened twice already). If they only have undies on or a soft pair of pants they can pull them down and up themselves but a lot of the time I have to help because the elastic gets all twisted. Eli almost exclusively uses the toilet (not a little potty), which is fine by me, less to clean up! Caleb mostly pee's in the toilet but likes to poop in a little potty. Thomas prefers his little potty for both but when we are out he is fine with using the toilet.

All bets are off when we aren't at home. They get very distracted and forget to tell me when they need to go (they do a lot of the time but can't be trusted just yet), so it's up to me to keep track and just take them to the bathroom without asking them. I don't think they can go more than 2 hrs so ideally I take them every 1.5 hrs when we are out (small bladders run in this family).

Accidents are still happening but each week it feels like there are less and less, at the moment we have one maybe two tops each day (that's between all of them, so each boy has maybe one accident every other or third day). Today no one has had any accidents : )

What I've learned

My patience has gone way up since starting potty training mostly because I wanted to be diaper free more than anything! I really tried to figure out what was upsetting each kid (for unrelated potty matters) and keep them as happy as possible so they would be more cooperative in the bathroom. Instead of giving up after a few seconds or just sending them to time out because they were being unreasonable I worked harder to make everyone happy. Not easy but it payed off!

My Two Cents

Here's what I've concluded after everything I've heard, read and all we've been through. Most kids are developmentally capable of potty training by 18 mo (as can be seen in recent history or in other countries, click here if don't believe me this is actually really interesting). BUT you really do have to start when they are very young, like before they can walk. From what I've read it's not a daunting time consuming process. You just start off by taking them to the potty once a day and making it a fun event. From there you keep building up, twice a day, three times a day. If by coincidence baby goes in the potty give it lots of praise! Babies are VERY smart, they will catch on quickly and you can kiss your diaper bill goodbye before you kid(s) turn 2. WHY OH WHY didn't I know this sooner! I should have registered for potty's not Bumbos!!!

So if you start late (after 2 yrs) like I did, plain and simple, you are at you kids mercy! If you've ever dealt with a kid during the terrible two's (or three's for that matter) you know what I mean! Who know's what's going on in their brains, with all their crazy whims, impulsiveness, and tantrums. Honestly, it's a miracle that any kid potty trains between the ages of 2-4! The term 'potty training readiness' really should be changed to 'does your child want to.' With the little resistance Caleb gave me I realized you cannot make a child do something that they don't want to! I struck gold with my three, yes I'm bragging, I deserve this one after all those sleepless nights, living attached to a pump for 4 months, and sacrificing everything else I've sacrificed since their conception!  'Thank you, thank you my boys for giving me this precious gift!' I just could not imagine another year of diapers! No No No No NO! Even though I was all stressed out, after thinking what it could have been like, it really was a piece of cake! I can't take a lot of credit, it was mostly them, they wanted to and they did. But a lot can be said about being as patient as possible and being as encouraging as you can be while the process is taking place. So that's my two cents and that's probably all it's worth, ha!

And a very special thanks to all that gave me advice, you know who you are! : )

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fall of the Baby Prison!

Kinda creepy, right?
One kibble for you, one kibble for me!
swinging times
Everyone up the rope ladder!
toddler push ups?
Fall of the baby prison!

My living room has gone through many many changes in the last two and a half years, mostly because we have a small house. We don't have a play room or space for one so the living room has taken that role. The first stage was 'baby carnival,' our living room looked like one with swings, jumpy chairs, bumbo's and the like covering every square inch. Once babies began to crawl we brought out the superyard/fence and created the 'baby prison' stage, yes we caged the babies up but it was for their safety. Once they began to walk the space was simply too small so we opened up most of the living room and used the superyard to keep the boys safe from the fireplace and to protect the laptop, lamp, tv as well as to store toys so the boys didn't dump everything out at once and create monumental messes (helpful for toy rotation too!). We also put up a gate so the boys couldn't go into the kitchen and the rest of the house, thus creating the 'modified baby prison.' It really wasn't much of a prison since they had the living room, dining room and their bedroom to play in but it did keep them out of the kitchen, our bedroom, the bathroom and the basement.

It was long over due since the boys are fairly well behaved now and will listen when we tell them to stop messing with something (they do have their moments of course and must always be supervised). Since potty training began we haven't even been closing the gate that keeps the boys from the kitchen and the rest of the house because the boys need to be able to go to the bathroom (but more because I don't want to open and close that thing 300 times a day). So on a whim we decided to take down the superyard and see what happens. Of course within minutes EVERYTHING was dumped on the ground. The solution was simple, so I don't think we need the superyard any more! Bye bye for good baby prison : )

Baby carnival stage, 0-8mo
baby prison stage, 9-13mo
modified baby prison stage, in case you forgot what my living room, up till recently, looked like. 13mo-2.5yrs 
post taking down the fence, monumental mess.
Its a good thing I thought to at least hide the legos!
My simple solution, cornered the couch, plenty of toy storage behind the couch now!
They can still get to stuff but at least it slows them down!
Our house is starting to look more like a house and not a daycare!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Smarty Pants (height corrections)

These smarty pants can do this ABC puzzle in their sleep!
We need to start working on our lower case letters, so we'll need a new puzzle!
Look at those scissor skills! Need I remind you they are only 2.5!
CET, crappy phone pictures made cute by instagram : )
Eli being his cute self

So I suspected the last height measurements I reported were a little off. I measure the boys at home and I thought they were all at least 33 inches but when they were measured at a WIC appt they told me they were 32.75, 32.5, 32.25 (CET) but a week later their pre-preschool teacher measured them to be:

Caleb     34 in         12th percentile
Eli          33.5 in      5th percentile
Thomas  33.5 in      5th percentile
 * (found a calculator online for the % so who knows how accurate they are)

I think this is closer to the truth because they've had two growth spurts since their 2 yr check up. Since then I not only switched them to 18 mo pants but I also recently stopped having to fold the cuffs of their pants. So anyways, happy Friday everyone!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Three Ring Circus

At the park, top TC, bottom ETC
having a swinging good time!
T found some hello kitty glasses at the indoor park and wore them the entire time
playing with a cute dog at the park

So Eli and Thomas are pretty much fully daytime potty trained but I can't take too much credit for it since they pretty much trained themselves. Between the two of them I maybe have one accident every other day, which is not bad considering it has only been 2 weeks! Caleb is a whole different story, not sure why he is choosing to be different on this one since they have done EVERYTHING else the same. He's been frustrating me mostly because the other two boys spoiled me. He hardly never tells me when he has to go, he will always tell me that he doesn't need to go when I ask him, which I can live with so I just take him every 1.5 hrs. He always complains right before he sits down but he always does because he knows he needs to go. This is not so good when it comes to pooping because it's a hard thing to predict, he's gone twice in the pot, a week apart. I have to be patient and keep telling my self it's only been two weeks, it's only been two weeks, he'll get there...

All the boys are doing decent with staying dry through nap time and bed time even. Maybe about half the time they wake up dry, not bad in my opinion. Staying dry while asleep is a bonus in my book!

I have been relishing in all the money we are saving being almost diaper free (2/3rds the cost is now gone! 1/3 goes to pull ups for bedtime). We are going to recycle that money back into the boys for fun classes, like music or swimming. It will help immensely if the boys give up nap time anytime before they start preschool, which won't be for another year and half since they missed the Sept 1st birth date cutoff by 27 days (oh well I'd rather they be a little older for school anyways). No nap = crazy mama = anti anxiety medication.

Three ring circus

There are times when I feel like I'm in a three ring circus, with the advent of potty training those times are at all time high! Taking all three into a public bathroom by myself is stressful to say the least. I have one child on the toilet, one that is flushing the toilet non stop, and a third doing who knows what (eating toilet paper maybe)?! I can yell all the empty threats I want but who am I kidding, I'm at their mercy, if I upset them and they refuse to pee I'm the one that pays for that one! When we finally get out of the stall, I really don't feel like washing their hands. If there are people around I will just to save face but if no one is around I'll wash my own hands and get out as fast as possible! Gross I know but what's the point when by the time I get all their hands washed the first two I washed have already re-touched every square inch of the bathroom, pointless.

Pre-bed/nap time is also a three ring circus time because the boys all get out of bed several times to 'pee' before they are willing to accept it's time to sleep. Oh and I should mention it's the only time Caleb actually says he has to pee! A lot of the times they actually do pee so it's not always a bluff. It's too early to crack down on this.

The other time it's a three ring circus is anytime we are about to leave the house. Why, you ask? Because it's the only time I'm really trying to be productive, make lunches, change clothes, etc. So of course I'm not watching every move they make, fights break out, there is unexplained screaming and I have no idea what's happening and can't be a fair judge, someone wants to be held but I need to do stuff! This is why it's the only time I try to be productive when they are awake with no other adult in the house. And don't get me started about getting them in the car!!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Flashback Friday!

Flashback to 33 weeks!

One more brutal week to go!
Flashback to day 1!

wish I could tell you who this is but too hard to tell especially with a hat on!

No time to write anything, huge pile of laundry needs to be folded, happy Friday everyone!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lots of Updates!

Caleb as a man of authority
Ice cream!
Potty Training Update

Eli and Thomas are pretty much over achievers and I'm almost ready to declare them potty trained! Eli pooped on day one and was accident free by day 2. He's been pooping consistently in the potty, can pretty much pee on command, is now comfortable with going in the big potty, and has stayed dry several times through nap time (limiting drinks bf naps is really helping everyone with this). Thomas is pretty much like Eli only it took him over a whole week to finally poop in the potty, he's done it twice now and I'm thinking we shouldn't have a problem there anymore. Neither has needed bribing : )

Caleb is still a little challenging, we've been going back in forth with accident free days and then 2/3 accidents on other days. He's finally starting to tell me (more like show me) that he needs to go potty. I can tell because I see him walk towards the bathroom but once he's in there he starts messing with things so I have to direct him towards the potty. He's a little resistant to sit down at home but bribing him with m&m's has really helped (for some reason he's more willing to sit when we are out and about). He actually pooped in the potty yesterday! Funny that it took him less time than Thomas, it must be because we made such a big deal about it with the other two. So relieved they have all pooped! I was really starting to stress out about it because the more I asked and talked to others the more I realize how common it is for kids to have a really hard time with pooping in the potty. I had no idea this was even an issue, I just always figured it was a package deal!

Even though potty training is going super well it's still a very stressful time, I'm willing to say the most stressful time I've been through with these guys! Phil and I took the boys to the children's museum this weekend and then out to ice cream to test the waters. We had one poop accident (Caleb) and Eli peed his pants because I didn't listen to him (I thought he could hold it a little longer). Very stressful, cleaning up accidents, multiple trips to the bathroom, constantly thinking about how long ago each of the boys went to the bathroom and when they'll need to go next in case they don't tell me they need to go. I think I'll need to give it at least another week before I feel comfortable going out by myself again with the boys for extended periods of time. And there goes spending entire mornings at the park, I can hold it for 3 hrs but I don't think the boys can so we'll have to keep it to 1 hr at the park until the bathrooms open up for the summer : (

Other Updates

The boys are talking a ton, I think their language is really blooming at this point and they are adding more and more words to their vocabulary. I wouldn't call it an explosion but slow and steady has been the pattern with everything they have done. It's funny what they choose to say because I honestly have never gotten them to say a word of my choice. I could ask them to try and say, for example, 'frog' all day long for weeks but I'd be wasting my time, these guys DO NOT like to perform. Everything they have ever said has been their choosing and has come as a surprise to me. I pretty much don't worry about their language development anymore, except for the other day when I heard a tiny 18mo old girl speaking in full sentences, what!? How is that possible...we girls are so awesome!

I continue to speak to the boys mostly in Spanish but many of the books I get from the library are in English (Spanish selection is skimpy), we read tons of books everyday. When Phil is home we speak to each other in English. Consequently, about 70% of their vocabulary is English! Oh well, I know it's all being stored in their brains for later so I'm not too worried. They have recently added 'ara~na' (Spanish for spider) to their vocab, yay! Please more Spanish! They pronounce it 'anya', it's so cute! They also call anything with a lid or a cap (including doors) a door only they say 'dooa.' And can't forget duck, which they say as 'guck.' So yes we are still at the stage where I'm probably the only one that understands what they are saying.

I haven't tested them extensively but I'm confident to say that the boys know most, if not all, of their abc's. They can't won't verbalize the letters but can point them out when I ask where such and such letter is. And many times they'll point to a letter of their choice and say a word that starts with that letter. For M they will say m&m, for A they will say 'agua,' etc. They love looking at my iPhone ABC's flashcards (it's our bath time entertainment). We talk about the letter and a word that starts with the letter and especially the sound the letter makes (this should help when we start to sound out words). We do it all in Spanish and sadly I can't seem to consistently sing the abc song in Spanish (the ending is always different) so I guess we'll just have to save that for when they are ready to learn the English abc's (thank goodness they are so similar). The boys amaze me at how easily they learn things, already they know more of their abc's than some kids entering kindergarten!

The boys appetite is way down but I think it's because they just had a little growth spurt and had been eating a lot. They are still shrimps since most people that meet them for the first time usually guess that they aren't even two yet. Today I got 18months, haha! The boys were weighed and measured recently:

Caleb weight 25lbs 6oz, height 32.75 in (2nd percentile)
Eli weight 24lbs 10oz, height 32.5 in (1st percentile)
Thomas 25lbs 6oz, height 32.25in (1st percentile)

For a point of reference, about another half inch and they will be half as tall as their dad (who is 5'7'', mama is 5'2'' )! So we are not expecting them to be tall, nor do I care or think tallness is in anyway a good or bad attribute, unless they end up really wanting to be professional basketball players, ha!