Desmond is 3 Years Old!

Are you as surprised as I am that Desmond is turning 3? It is true that time goes even faster the second time around. I only vaguely remember that first year before the constant running around and chitchat…

Dez is still a very active child. He loves to jump on the bed and off the arm of the couch (over and over). He uses a stepstool to get up into everything. He’ll rummage in my purse and dump his blocks all over the living room floor while spinning in a circle. He loves to chase his big brother and play “swords” with pool noodles.

He does have a lot more chill moments these days, though. He will sit and entertain himself with videos on YouTube Kids or by playing with his cars or legos. It’s pretty fun to watch him with his cars. He makes the cars talk to each other; typically this involves the cars crashing together, then one asking the other, “Are you okay?” “I’m okay,” the car replies before the cycle starts again.

toddler talking to a line of cars

He loves to line up his cars and talk to them.

Cars are definitely the number one toy obsession. Every day Dez takes 4 of them to daycare. His favorite is Lightening McQueen. The other three vary. For a while he would walk into daycare and hand McQueen to one of his friends, “Here you go, Zoey.” It was his morning ritual. One morning he looked at Zoey and said, “Oh, so cute, Zoey!” He’s going to be a charmer, this one.

Amelia, the daughter of our friends Rebecca and Tim, is Dez’s best friend. We have no family in town, so it is especially awesome that Dez and Mimi get along so well! When Rebecca and Tim come over to hang out, the kids run around with each other and jump on the bed together. This past Easter they hunted eggs together in the front yard. Every morning Dez says, “I wanna see Mimi!” And off to daycare he goes to see her.

two toddlers searching for easter eggs

Dez and Mimi hunting eggs at Easter.

Dez is quite good at making it known what he wants, whether with words or a tantrum. His speech has gotten a lot better and he talks a ton! His favorite thing lately is to ask, “What’s that sound?” He will ask it over and over and over and over. And over. To get out of answering a billion times, I try to turn it around with a “What do you think it is?” Sometimes that works, and sometimes he just goes back to “What’s that sound, Mama?” Usually the sound is a car driving down the street–his favorite sound.

(Funny story! We were driving to daycare one morning and a commercial came on with Gilbert Godfried doing the voiceover. “What’s that sound?” Dez wondered. After a pause, he answered his own question with “Monsterrr.” Ha!)

Dez can also count to 10 and knows his colors. He knows his letters, too, although I haven’t heard him sing the alphabet song.

toddler singing

We recently took Dez to an outdoor concert…where he tried to sing loudly over the band.

In addition to talking, Dez loves to sing. He loves to sing LOUDLY. His favorite tune is “Finger Family” (ugh! Thanks, YouTube!), followed by “Johnny Johnny” or whatever it’s called. Dez will lay down at night and croon loudly and off key, “Daddy finger, daddy finger, where are YOOOOOUUUUUU?” It would be hilarious if we weren’t trying to get some sleep!

Speaking of sleep…it’s still not great. Most nights he doesn’t go to sleep until 10 or 10:30, and it requires one of us (usually Dave) lying down with him. If Dave escapes during the night to go back to our bed, Dez will be up at some point in the night to drag me into his room. Then he’s up bright and early at 6:30 most days (although a cold has had him sleeping until almost 8am on some mornings lately AND he slept through the night two nights in a row! It was bliss!).

Dez is very affectionate, which helps balance out the toddler difficulties. Every morning he bursts out of his room to find me and give me a hug. Is there anything sweeter than a toddler wrapping his hands around you and laying his head on your shoulder? He still has that smooth baby skin and squishy cheeks and I just want to eat him. I try to hold onto those moments because in a flash he is off and getting into things.

brothers holding hands

Dez is very affectionate AND loves his big brother.

Lastly, food. He is a little piggy! He pretty much eats his weight in watermelon every week. He likes fruits, veggies, toast, rice, eggs, Annie’s yogurt (and ONLY Annie’s yogurt!), and usually wants a bite of whatever it is we are eating. He’s started eating chicken nuggets (nuggets shaped like letters were the gateway; now he’ll eat dino shapes, too). He is also addicted to fruit snacks (“snack snacks”) and is quite the candy fiend. I should have never let him have candy! It’s so much harder to avoid this stuff with an older kid around… He still doesn’t drink milk or juice, though. He’s not big into cheese, either. Weird kid.

All in all, Dez is a fun, energetic, silly, and lovely boy. I’m very much enjoying watching him grow up!

toddler in a hat

Happy birthday, little buddy!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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