Thursday, January 9, 2014

IJ is 4 1/2 years old!

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IJ is wearing mostly 4t clothes now but still a few 3t and size 9 shoes.

IJ has developed a lot academically since turning 4.  He's now in pre-K Monday through Friday 9-12:45, where they keep him quite busy with crafts, science experiments, books, story telling and lots of playing.  They focus on a new letter of the alphabet each week and a different theme or 2 each month.  Every Friday they have show-and-tell that must relate to the current theme/letter to practice public speaking.  We recently completed a large Kindergarten workbook that he very much enjoyed and he plays a few educational computer games every few days.  He practices his math and spelling at the easel.  He's very good at telling us what letter a word starts with and moved on to figuring out the ending and middle/vowel letters of 3 letter words.  We are still practicing spelling these short words.  He can count syllables in words quite well.  His interest in puzzles increased so I pulled out some I've kept and he's helped me complete several big puzzles up to 200 pieces.  IJ talks nonstop and has started with the endless, typically ridiculous "what if" questions.

IJ got to trick or treat for Halloween for the first time this year.  NJ took him around on our street and then he brought his treats home where the "switch witch" took them and brought a toy in their place.  He got a Lego mini figure and was happy with that.  He then gave out candy to a few kids at our house.

IJ's favorite place to play is outside.  We took the training wheels off IJ's bike a few weeks ago and he did really well.  We credit his balance skills with his balance bike experience at his school playground.  We started off with short rides on our street but he has gone around the neighborhood on 30+ minute rides a couple times now.  He is likes riding his scooter around but gets tired much quicker.  Inside his favorite activities are reading books, playing games, Legos and automoblox.

IJ finished his first soccer season in November and enjoyed it so we signed him up for the winter session which begins this week.  The program he's in meets once a week for 45 minutes of fun skill building games and then a scrimmage.  They meet at the park right by our house so we just walk over each week.

IJ seems to really enjoy playing with his sister now that she understands him and can communicate back.  He also has times when he does not want to be bothered by her.  He teaches her many bad habits which causes lots of problems for all of us.

IJ is now in a forward facing car seat which he is very happy about.  He goes to bed between 7 and 7:30 and sleeps about 12 hours.  He has become very picky about eating dinner and has frequently gone to bed without eating much of anything.

IJ has had 3-4 colds in the last 6 months and one day of extreme fatigue where he probably had a quick virus.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

ZJ is 27 months old!

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ZJ is talking up a storm and regularly stringing several words together.  She has no problem communicating her needs and wants.  She is at a fun age where she'll repeat anything we ask her to and can repeat back short phrases.  She copies us and will sternly talk to her brother when he's doing something wrong or randomly tell the dogs what to do.  For example, she'll say "E-lan sit down now!"  This is the only time she attempts to use his proper name and we find this hilarious.  She calls her bed the "cat bed" because it usually has cat sheets on it.  She calls her applesauce "apple salsa" because it is the same consistency as her daddy's salsa.  For some reason she stopped saying "more" to indicate she wants something and instead started saying "boyoyoy"  and gesturing towards things.  I stopped responding to it so she has mostly stopped.  She refers to herself now as her full name or shortened name and no longer uses "Z-naw-naw."  If she hears someone ask what time it is she yells out "8:40!" and sometimes "8:40 mama me me" which probably translates to "it's always time for mama me me" (breastfeeding).  She loves to sing and requests songs for us to play or sing.  She likes to play her brother's guitar while she sings.  She can mumble her way through the entire alphabet song now too.  She was much more interested in learning that than she is in counting or colors.  She will count items up to 3 on her own correctly but still hasn't memorized her numbers higher than that.  She knows several color names but doesn't apply them to the proper colored object and isn't consistent with her answers.

ZJ can play with her brother very nicely now, if they both are in the mood to do so.  He directs her through his games and she follows his lead.  She still copies everything he does which frequently causes problems.  It is odd to watch my 2 year old doing things that kids wouldn't normally do until they're 4, including copying his silly faces.  She is less into coloring now but likes the sensory play I've introduced.  She's enjoyed play dough, pasta scooping and loves water beads.  She is back to loving books and picks the same books over and over to read.  She loves to play outside and is so happy to have figured out the tricycle so she can ride around with her brother.  She also likes to dig and chooses to use a spoon rather than a shovel and a tiny plastic shot glass instead of a bucket.  She suddenly became interested in television in the last few weeks and will now sit and watch TV with her brother during afternoon TV time.  They watch 2 educational shows (< 1 hour) back to back and it is the only time I get during the day to get anything done because ZJ is no longer napping.  ZJ isn't climbing quite as much as she used to but she still finds new places to climb in the house.  She still gets into everything and tries to dig through everyone's drawers.  ZJ played her first games with us recently and did well with both (bingo, cootie game), winning all the cootie games we played.

ZJ can be very disagreeable, screaming and yelling when she can't do what she wants and the other typical 2 year old stuff including telling us "no!"  She is really good at blowing her nose and will do it sans tissue if she gets the urge and there's no tissue handy.  She's figured out how to give cheek kisses as long as you bring your cheek to her.

ZJ's appetite suddenly increased and she eats very consistently and well.  She's pretty easy to please and isn't too picky.  She did start back into throwing food occasionally along with her utensils and water bottle but hopefully she'll stop again soon.  She began eating the chewable vitamins her brother takes but can take up to 30 minutes to eat one.  She hasn't made much progress with using the potty.  She still pees on the toilet for most of the day but we have to initiate it.  She refuses to tell us when she needs to pee and would pee in her diaper every time if we didn't bring her soon enough.  She absolutely refuses to poop in the toilet and will poop right on the floor before she'd use the toilet.  She doesn't need to pee quite as frequently as she used to which is helping her stay dry more of the day.  ZJ got to the point where if she napped she was impossible to get to sleep at night at a reasonable time.  That combined with it being too cold to walk her to sleep most nights made me choose to stop even trying to get her to nap, which she frequently skipped by her own choice.  She now goes to sleep after about 3 minutes of nursing each night.  I aim to have her asleep at 7 and she sleeps for about 12 hours each night, still waking frequently and nursing back to sleep.  She has reduced her nursing sessions during the day but it depends on how busy we are.  If we are out and busy she won't request to nurse.  ZJ has had 1 cold since the cold/ear infection she had right at her birthday.  She's also had a persistent rash/infection on her bum which I finally have a possible diagnosis for and a cream to apply.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

ZJ 2.25 years old video

IJ "reads" his favorite book

The kids received a book for Hanukkah that can be read/sung along with a CD of the music and words being sung.  IJ is obsessed with it.  We listen to the song every time we get into the car and read the book frequently.  Not long after receiving it he had it memorized.  Here he is reading it, actually a little rusty because we hadn't heard it in a few days.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014