Jack has suddenly regressed with the potty training.  All of these months he has been consistently peeing in the potty at daycare and nowhere else (okay, a couple times at my house, once at a friend’s, once at his grandmother’s).  As of yesterday, he is not even peeing in the potty at daycare.

I haven’t been pushing potty use at home.  I ask him every few days if he is ready to use the potty and he replies that he doesn’t want to so I drop it.  I know there have been some potty training efforts made at Jack’s dad’s place, with little success.  I’m not sure if something changed over the weekend or if this is just Jack being stubborn.

I’m not sure what to do at this point.  Go the naked kid route or lay off completely?  I’m not worried about it; I know some day he will use the potty and there is no burning need for him to do it now.  It’s just perplexing that he knows what to do and refuses to do it, even when we have been good about keeping the pressure off.

For the love of naps

I know there are some 3 year olds out there who are no longer taking naps…and I am so very sorry for their parents. Every once in a while, Jack skips his, but for the most part we are slaves to naptime in our house. At a minimum, naptime usually lasts 1.5 hours…but typically it’s closer to 2.5-3 hours long. Sometimes I get a nap in there, as well! Oh naptime…how I love thee!

Yesterday Jack told his daycare provider that he wasn’t sleepy and skipped his afternoon nap. When I picked him up he was running around like a nut, circling me, climbing on me, throwing himself at me…I knew he was so tired he was loopy and it was only 5:30. He could barely sit still to put his shoes on, yet he was determined to put them on himself…I ended up having to help him because he couldn’t settle down enough to focus!

When we got home, Jack continued his wacky behavior. He consented to playing a java applet game that David programmed for a bit and then demanded to see princesses on the computer. I tried to get him excited about the Nutcracker Ballet (on our schedule for next month) but he wasn’t quite convinced the dancers were princesses. We found videos of a Sleeping Beauty ballet and then the kid spent a bunch of time pirouetting around the kitchen “like a princess.” Hmm, maybe ballet is in his future??

Jack used the potty by himself for the second night in a row, which was fantastic, but he did it after brushing his teeth and then he wanted a chocolate reward. 😛 That wasn’t too bad, but getting him to bed was a nightmare. Ever since Halloween he’s been wanting to wear his Buzz Lightyear costume. I’ve managed to hold him off by telling him it’s dirty, but last night he was not taking no for an answer. In the absence of his actual costume, he wanted to wear his Buzz pajamas, which are at his dad’s. He delayed readying for bed by jumping on his mini trampoline and ended up bonking his lip on the handles…which led to a fantastic fit of crying. I quickly ran out of patience when the owie crying stopped and the fake, loud-pitched “feel sorry for me” crying began.

He eventually settled for his Superman pajamas, but of course he had to get undressed all by himself and he refused to unbutton/unzip his pants first. If y’all see red bruises on his hips, it’s not from me, I can guarantee you that!

We read the program from Princess Classics as a bedtime story, and then Jack wanted to read more princess books. Unfortunately, we have none! I lied and told him that the mother in a couple of Edward Gorey books he has is a princess and he let me read those to him. Afterward he said he wanted “a big princess book” and threw a FIT when one did not appear. The kid was screaming like a banshee for a good hour and there was no calming him. I left the room to let him get it out for a while and then came back to read The Princess and the Pea out of the (terribly written) fairytale book we have (which he had refused to read earlier) and look at all of the pictures of princesses contained therein…he finally calmed down and went to sleep without too much fuss.

I then took a sudafed (still fighting a cold!) and watched a bit of a movie before totally conking out for the night. Thank goodness for sleep…and please let that kid never skip a nap again!

Lost in Space

It’s not easy finding space-themed books for a three year old.  Most of what is out there is meant for older children with diagrams and photos and scientific definitions.  Previously I would have guessed that there would be books galore related to space/astronauts/rockets/aliens/planets/etc. for kids of any age, but I found a serious lack of recommendations out there, even on places like Amazon that have special lists for this stuff!  Rarely does a toddler- or preschooler-targeted webpage have “space” as a category for child interest, although sometimes you can find science (which seems to be more aimed at bugs or machines).

In any case, I’ve amassed a good collection of space-related books and I thought I would provide that information so that others are spared hours on the library floor opening book after book searching for appropriate stories for the under 5 crowd…

Roaring Rockets (Amazing Machines) – gender neutral, animals rocketing to the moon

How to Catch a Star – main character is a boy who loves stars

The Way Back Home – main character is a boy who flies to space in an airplane and meets an alien

I Want to Be an Astronaut – this is gender neutral and multicultural, too!  Super easy read.

On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets (Know Your Numbers) – we don’t have this one yet, but I’m excited that it incorporates counting since Jack loves to count down to blast off.

What’s Out There?: A Book about Space (Reading Railroad) – another one on the to-be-read list.  I love Reading Railroad!

Space Boy – This one is a tad wordy but has good pictures.  The main character is a boy.

Note: most of these have boys as the main character.  I have yet to find one with a girl as the main character.  I guess I’m lucky Jack is a boy.

Birthday Time

Jack is 3 today! I can hardly believe it, except that he woke up in a cantankerous mood and declared that he did NOT want to be 3. I’m pretty sure that the mere disputing of being 3 plants him squarely at that age.

I got lucky Thursday night and found a ton of space-themed items at The Party Stylists store here in San Francisco. There were space shuttle plates, planet party favors, space stickers, star candles, and even a Happy Birthday banner with an astronaut on it. Bingo! I bought some decorative icing and used my mama skills to draw a rocket on his cake, too. I hadn’t intended to have a themed party but it all worked out that way. Don’t ya just love it when that happens?

Friends and family gathered at our home in San Francisco on Saturday to celebrate. We even met some new friends (some of you may know VDog and she is featured in the video below if you have a good eye). Toddler-geared lunch was served in the form of PB&J sandwiches, carrot sticks, cucumbers, goldfish crackers, and juice boxes. Could it get any easier?

So what does a three year old like to receive for his birthday? I think the answer is everything! But here are the biggest hits for the Jackonaut (whose little gems of wisdom can now be found on Twitter, by the way, under that name):

Mobi Tyke Light (aka Glow Alien), accompanied by glow-in-the-dark stars that we stuck to his ceiling (not pictured)

WALL-E and Eve plushies

Space Shuttle
I made the mistake of handing this one to him too early and he did NOT want to open anything else afterward. I tried everything I could think of, and finally told him that the other gifts had rockets in them, too. Luckily he was not disappointed by anything he saw!

Remote control “land shark”

And legos, of course. No need for a picture of those! Other great gifts were hermit crabs from Jack’s dad and a tricycle from David. Those will both take a little growing into but they were a bit hit. He got two space-themed books entitled Roaring Rockets and Space Boy. Space Boy is a bit wordy for his age (or maybe just for this lazy mama) but Roaring Rockets is perfect.

There are still a few items to come (Buzz Lightyear & Woody with a rocket and a LeapPad) and I’m sure those will be hits as well.

Here is the video of Jack’s friends and family singing the birthday song to him.

Nearly Three

Wow, I can’t believe Jack is almost 3.  Is he even still a toddler or is he now considered a preschooler?  Holy crap, where did the time go?  I am suddenly so aware of the fact that he is growing up quickly and even though I love the stage he is in, I also miss my baby!  (This is how it starts, isn’t it??)

Here are some notes on Jack at 2.75 years:

  • His favorite foods are Babybel cheese rounds (“little red cheese”), Fuji apples (whole, not cut or peeled), almonds, “cupcakes” (usually banana muffins), and chocolate.  He loves to peel things – the wax off the cheese, the shell off an egg, the skin on an orange (although he doesn’t eat the orange).  He even throws wrappers and peels away.
  • He can count to at least 13 forward and backward, can identify many letters and all colors, and knows right from left.  Also, he has learned where Canada, the United States, and Mexico are on a globe (no joke).
  • He likes three books to be read to him before bed: Olivia and the Missing Toy, Olivia (original), and The Way Back Home (in that order).  Sometimes we will add A Color of His Own or How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight?
  • He is a favorite at daycare because he is super sweet, funny and quirky, and he always naps and eats and follows the rules.  For whatever reason, he doesn’t have bad days at daycare.  Also, everyone is his best friend.
  • He loves rockets, space, and astronauts.  He will watch any movie with space related things in it – Star Wars, Toy Story (Buzz is his favorite, of course), Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  • His imagination is growing rapidly.  We had a discussion about what day it was and I cracked up when he said “no, it’s not Wednesday, it’s Mensday!”  He then went on to name many days that I have never heard of.  He also tells stories.  They usually begin with what happened at daycare and then get progressively unbelievable when he makes up new kids that were there or tells us he went to outer space.  And, of course, everything is a rocket from pens to carrots.
  • He spreads love all around.  Hugs and kisses and I miss yous and I love yous.  He asks for snuggles with me in the morning and throws his arm around “my cat Wicket, my best friend.”
  • His favorite song is No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.  Any time I try to sing anything else, he cuts me off to tell me “I don’t like that song!”
  • Physically he is much more agile than he was just a few months ago.  He is a better runner, is starting to figure out how to catch himself if he trips, and in his quest to grab things out of his reach (as in light switches) he has learned to use various pieces of furniture as stepping stools.  Oh joy.
  • He is pretty independent.  He insists on getting the things he wants out of the fridge, takes off his own shoes and puts them away, climbs into his carseat and walks up/down the stairs while holding on to the railing.  He of course gets frustrated when he can’t do something, like when someone beats him to opening or closing a door.
  • He sleeps well most nights.  More often than not, he sleeps through a whole 10 hours and still takes 2+ hour naps.  Can we breathe a sigh of relief?  ahhhhhhh.

There is so much more…I wish I could capture it all.  I am just lucky that I get to witness it all first hand most days.  🙂