The HOUSE Project: Finished

October 3, 2014

I did a horrible job following our house building project on the blog. I posted pictures occasionally on Facebook, but I never felt like I had enough to SAY about it to warrant a blog post.

But now…IT’S FINISHED. And we started moving in less than 24 hours after it was officially ours. To say “we couldn’t wait” would be a ridiculous understatement. We’ve been living there for 3 weeks now and somehow it feels both surreal AND like this house has always been ours. Because, really, it HAS always been ours. It doesn’t feel like we moved into someone else’s home because it never did belong to anyone else.

Selling our townhouse and living in temporary housing was not fun at all, but putting that aside, watching our house being built was amazing. We drove by to visit probably 2-3 times a week during the 4 month build time to check on the progress. Anytime a friend or neighbor drove by and then texted us to tell us the drywall truck had arrived or the siding was going up, we squeeeed and loaded the kids into the car to drive by for a visit. (Okay so it may have just been me doing the actual squeeeeeing, but Bill was excited too ;) )

lot

Our empty lot – March 2014

Our house - September 2014

Our house – September 2014

It’s very surreal to remember standing in our house when it was just plywood – no walls, even – and then now standing on the same spot and seeing…a kitchen…a hallway…

Looking into the kitchen - June 2014

Looking into the kitchen – June 2014

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Looking into the kitchen – September 2014

Since we’ve moved in, we’ve been working hard at unpacking. It is likely to take forever and ever. “You have time!” everyone says. And we do, but…we’ve been living in chaos for the past 6 months -first in our super sterile house on the market and then in our box-filled apartment. We’ve been waiting and waiting and counting the days and seconds until we could move into our new house and FINALLY unpack and feel at home again.

So that’s what we’re doing. We’re getting window treatments for our 24 (omggggg) windows. I got a Welcome mat, shelves, storage units, fabric drawers (you can never have too many ;) ), and other such random organizational crap. The UPS guy learned where our house is REAL quick. No doubt we will be BFFs by Christmas (or he’ll hate me, we’ll see).

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Welcome

People keep mentioning painting and decorating to me and yes, I can’t wait to decorate. And yes, despite good advice from a friend to stay away, I’ve been on Pinterest. But really, for now, I am happy to stash any box that says “decor” on it in the basement for the time being and just get things put away first, decorate later. Except for my Fall wreath – gotta have that :)

We are slowly learning how to care for a lawn bigger than a postage stamp…assuming of course that we will even have a lawn! Our grass has struggled during the mostly dry September, but it is starting to come up now. While I squeee over mud room benches, Bill can’t wait for the tractor (riding mower) to be delivered.

Finally some green

Finally some green

When it comes to what I love most about the house, there are a lot of things to choose from! The kitchen, of course. I’m so pleased with how it all came out. It’s hard to choose cabinets and counter tops with swatches but I like the choices we made. I really love the space though. In our townhouse, if all 4 of us were sitting at the dinner table, we couldn’t open the refrigerator door – that’s how cramped it was. Granted, we sort of tried to force that kitchen to be an eat-in kitchen when it really wasn’t, but still. Now we have the morning room and it is perfect. I browse online for a new kitchen table and chairs almost daily. That’s definitely at the top of my wish list but we will probably hold off for awhile.

Morning room

Morning room

A new kitchen table is just one thing on a very, very long wish list we have for this house! But in this case “You have time!” really does apply. We have time for projects and organizing, finishing our basement, adding a patio/deck, etc etc etc. But for now, we are happy to just be HOME.


Caelan Conversations, Part 13

August 8, 2014

caelan

Caelan hears the word “America” on the radio and having recently learned about America for the 4th of July…

CAELAN: America? I don’t see America around here!

———-

Caelan and Pop are outside playing golf

CAELAN (matter of factly): We’re going to put the golf away, and then we’re going to go inside and then *I* am going to poop.

———-

At dinner…

CAELAN: I need a spoon for my ketchup.

BILL: Dude, no you don’t.

CAELAN: Okay, I’ll use my fork.

SARAH: Why don’t you use a chicken nugget??

And then he ate his blob of ketchup on its own, with a fork.

———-

Out of the blue…

CAELAN: Daddy, do you have any questions?

BILL: Um…about what?

CAELAN: About trains.

BILL: Oh yes, I have lots of questions about trains!

———-

CAELAN: When is James’ birthday?

SARAH: James has the same birthday as you, June 1.

CAELAN: James the train?

SARAH: No, not James the train…

I pause to try and figure out how to identify James…

CAELAN: Number 1 Mackenzie’s brother, James?

SARAH: Yes!

Caelan has 2 friends named M(a)ckenzie and he differentiates them by calling one “Number 1 Mackenzie” (he met her first) and the other “Number 2 McKenzie” (he met her second).

———-

CAELAN: Daddy, what does “E E” spell?

BILL: Um, nothing, buddy. Where did you see that?

CAELAN: I’ll show you.

Caelan takes Bill back to our bedroom and shows him this…

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———-

CAELAN: I need a new car.

BILL: Why do you need a new car?

CAELAN: I need a race car to go to work.

BILL: Why do you need to go to work?

CAELAN: Because I need money.

BILL: What do you need money for?

CAELAN: I’m full of money. I need more money.

———-

CAELAN: Daddy, you’re my best friend.

BILL: I thought Evan was your best friend?

CAELAN: Evan wasn’t there today [at school].

SARAH (to Bill): I think you should take it, hon.

———-

One morning, we saw some vultures in our parking lot near the dumpster.

The following morning…

CAELAN: Mommy, are we going to see vultures today?

SARAH: I dunno hon, maybe.

CAELAN: Can I hit the vultures?

SARAH: No.

CAELAN: Can I push the vultures?

SARAH (bewildered): No!

CAELAN (picks up a small inflatable ball): Can I throw balls at vultures?

SARAH: No, you can’t throw balls at vultures!! (I could not have dreamed up this sentence in a million years.)

 

 


Happy 1st Birthday Leah Caroline! (Months 9-12)

August 2, 2014

Time passes differently with a 2nd child…with a probably last child…faster and in more of a blur.

I have been super excited the past month or so, anxiously awaiting Leah’s first birthday but there’s also a tiny layer of guilt in there…like she made her way all the way to 1 and I missed it.

Birth Day

Birth Day

I didn’t miss it, of course, but it’s easy to feel that way sometimes. Since Caelan was such an easy-going baby, everyone told us we were bound to be in trouble with our 2nd baby. But we weren’t. Leah is not quite as laid back as Caelan was, not quite as good a sleeper, and she is a little bit more clingy, but she’s such a smiley, happy baby! She’s loud and talkative and eager to join in with whatever is going on around her.

Laughing at dinnertime

Laughing at dinnertime

But let’s back up. At 9 months, we were just getting started with finger foods (we got a late start). These days, I can usually still get some purees in her, but Leah wants to eat REAL food! Current favorites are grapes, peas, meatballs, and butternut squash. So far, I haven’t come across anything she’s refused to eat. We try to give her some finger foods and some purees at each of her 3 meals.

Loves grapes!!

Loves grapes!!

Around 11 months, we dropped her least favorite bottle (the first thing in the morning one) and replaced it with a pre-breakfast snack of a pouch and dry cereal. She still gets 3 bottles a day, 6-8oz each. I suppose we will try to cut out the daytime bottles over the next month or two, but I’m not sure how that’s going to go. We’re going to start mixing in some milk with her bottles and we’ll phase out the formula (FOR-EV-ER)!!

We were late, too, giving Leah a sippy cup (one more example of 2nd child syndrome). Once we started giving it to her regularly, she quickly became a pro. She is so enthusiastic about tipping the cup and her head back that she’s been known to topple over backwards when sitting on the floor. When I gave her a straw cup, she wasn’t sure how to use it, but the second time I gave it to her, she figured it out. She’s picking these things up fast!

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Got the hang of it!

Leah’s sleep is…a little unpredictable. Well, truthfully…it’s been horrible the past month or so. She used to sleep through the night, about 8:30pm-6am. But there were nights when she woke up several times for no apparent reason. We’d let her cry it out and she’d usually be back asleep within a minute or two. Things started to go downhill when we moved into the apartment and Leah and Caelan started sharing a room. We were quicker to go in and quiet Leah when she woke up crying so that she didn’t wake Caelan, but that may have backfired on us. The past month has been pretty rough. We can’t tell if it’s teething or a sleep regression or separation anxiety or a cycle of not enough sleep, but whatever it is, it sucks :( We’ve tried moving her bedtime up, giving her a Ferber refresher, rocking her, rubbing her back, standing next to her crib and *not* rubbing her back, all with varying degrees of success. We will be so happy to get into the new house and get the kids back into their own rooms and hopefully get everyone back on track. The past week or two have been better. Leah has been sleeping about 10 hours at night and waking up 1-2 times but just crying for a couple minutes and then going back to sleep on her own. (I’ve rewritten this paragraph a million times in the past few weeks! Sleep is ever-changing…)

Leah and Daddy

Leah and Daddy

Speaking of teeth (sort of), Leah now has 4. A 5th one has been on its way in for a few weeks now. Getting those teeth in was not pretty. She is definitely a whiny mess when it comes to teething, but I can’t really blame her. I can blame her for biting me though. Yeah, she bites!! She particularly goes for shoulders or knees, but whatever she can get to is fair game. Luckily, she hasn’t bit anyone at daycare (that I know of).

Leah usually takes 2 naps a day. Her morning nap seems to be the good/long one (1-2 hours) and she goes down after her morning bottle around 10-11am. Her afternoon nap is usually much shorter (<1 hour) and the timing changes daily. When Caelan was this age, he had already dropped down to one (questionable) nap, so the fact that Leah is still usually taking 2 naps a day is nice!!

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Talking on the phone

Leah’s preferred way to get around is crawling. She is a pro for sure, and she chooses crawling when she wants to get somewhere fast. Around 10 months old, she started cruising but she didn’t really master that until closer to 11 months. It was also around that time that we started encouraging her to walk holding our hands. At 11.5 months she started to try to stand on her own and she could do it for a few seconds at a time. Rather than pulling up on something and then letting go, she would try to stand up from the floor. Her way is harder, but she wasn’t afraid to try!

Working on standing

Ta da!

We can’t tell whether her first solo steps are minutes away or still a few weeks away. She’s getting better and better at walking holding our hands or pushing this toy, but when she lets go she usually just slowly lowers herself to the ground. She can walk holding our hands (or just one hand), but she’s still fairly wobbly. She’ll be walking on her own soon, one way or another!

Learning to walk!

Learning to walk!

In the meantime, Leah is a climber. I keep hearing that girls sit and play quietly while boys jump and climb and wrestle. Not so with our girl! Leah is definitely more of a climber than Caelan was at this age and one of her favorite games involves her getting knocked down when Caelan runs away with a blanket she had just been holding. Maybe the sitting and playing quietly will come when she’s a little older (and we’d more than welcome it!!) but at the moment Miss Leah does love to climb up on anything she can.

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Climbing

We’re pretty sure Leah’s first word was “all done” (“ah da” – a single word to her) around 11 months old. She also says “uh oh” (“uh uh”) and “hi”. While she does say “mama” and “dada”, they aren’t really directed at us, so I can’t count them as words yet. But she’s getting closer. She does say “da” a lot and she’s always pointing at something so that is likely her default word for things until she figures out the real words. We never really made much progress with sign language with Leah. She will occasionally sign “more” but not too often. Like Caelan, she chose to say the words “all done” (ah da) rather than using the sign for that one. I can’t wait for the word explosions that are likely to happen over the course of the next year! Caelan had some hilarious “substitute” words that Bill and I still laugh about (and even use sometimes – nommy, apalumb, leepin). I am excited to see what Leah comes up with!!

It was just about 2 weeks ago that Leah started showing some comprehension of what we were saying and doing. She starts waving goodbye whenever someone gets their shoes on to leave the house. She will point to or crawl to an object if we ask her where it is (it has to be one of only a couple specific things though).

I am especially curious to find out what Leah ends up calling Caelan. At the moment, she doesn’t respond if we ask her where Caelan is, but he is definitely one of her favorite people. (Update! She shocked us by saying “Cay-la” this week when we asked her to say Caelan, but we’re pretty sure it was a fluke. Still…) She loves to follow him around and try to play with him. She yells and tries to get him to yell back and she lights up when she sees him. They are definitely starting to play together more and more now that Leah is mobile and into everything. There is the occasional tantrum or argument over who broke a train track (Leah-zilla!!) or who was playing with which toy first – and no doubt that will get worse in the coming years – but for the most part, they get along well. They’ve been sharing a bedroom for 2 months now and even though Bill and I don’t like that they share a room because of the sleep and bedtime issues it causes, THEY like sharing a room, or at least they seem to in the mornings!

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Sibling hugs

Also in the past month or so, Leah has entered into a super fun phase where she screams like she’s on fire if you leave the room. It’s awesome. Separation anxiety is normal for her age, but man, I hope it passes quickly. Caelan never went through this so it’s new to us. Thankfully, Leah seems to be fine with being dropped off at daycare or with her grandparents, it’s just when I leave a room in the house. It happens a lot in the mornings since I have to leave her either in her crib or in her high chair while I get dressed and ready for work. Usually Caelan is with her and sometimes that pacifies her, but not always.

It’s exciting to watch Leah learn how to stand, how to walk, and how to talk. Even though we’ve been through this before with Caelan, it’s STILL just as exciting. The other day, I gasped and clapped as I watched her correct her balance and stand on her own for 7 seconds instead of 5 like the day before. I beamed as she smiled and waved “hello” to Caelan’s preschool teacher. In those moments, I have no memory of her screaming at 1am.

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Leah loves the swings!

There are times when it is absolutely exhausting to handle Leah – like when she’s crying and she doesn’t want to be held AND she doesn’t want to be put down. And now she does this cool thing where she arches her back when you pick her up or try and put her in the car seat or high chair. Not always, but when she does it’s pretty frustrating. And then there are times when I come home after work and she lets out a shriek when she sees me, puts her head down, and charges over to me in a furious crawl and with a huge smile. Those times are more frequent than the difficult times, thankfully. The transition over the past year from 1 kid to 2 kids has been overall more easy than hard, but there have definitely been difficult times. The past few months have been difficult as Leah became more and more mobile and Caelan became more and more of a 3 year old AND we crammed ourselves into a tiny 2 bedroom apartment for the summer. Some days I am exhausted and frustrated (and so is Bill) and other days we seem to have it together and I am proud of how well Bill and I handle our kids. It’s a constant up and down and there never seems to be enough time for anything, but it’s worth it.

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Siblings

And I love having a little girl! Not that I don’t love having a boy too, because I do, but before Leah was born, I was wondering how I would handle a girl. I always wanted one of each, but after 2 years of being a “boy mom” I wasn’t quite sure how it would go. Of course so far, it’s pretty much the same. But I like that dresses are an option and that I can buy headbands and hair clips for her. Some people have been surprised by how I dress her due to my being fairly vocal about not being a girly-girl. But her dresses are super cute and sufficiently not frilly. Actually, most of the time, her clothes are pretty neutral and she gets mistaken for a boy more often than not. So while I did feel like just a “boy mom” a year ago, now I feel like just a “mom” :) I love that we’re getting to experience both having a son and having a daughter.

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Pig tails!

So…onward now into the toddler years!! I can’t believe it. This year has been such a blur and Leah has been “along for the ride” for much of it. I tell myself that it’s good for her. This is the hand she was dealt – being the 2nd child – and I hope she loves it. She falls down more often, she puts more random things off the floor into her mouth (dead bugs – yep, that happened), but she’ll be better for it somehow. She has a big brother who absolutely loves her and looks out for her and she has parents who, while exhausted, love her to bits as well. I mean just look at this face!!

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Heart breaker!

We love you so, so much Leah Bug!! Happy FIRST Birthday!!!

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Happy Birthday!

Leah’s 1 Year Stats

  • Wearing 12 month tops and bottoms, and 12 month sleepers, but rapidly growing out of all of the above
  • Size 4 diapers (as soon as this last pack of 3’s is gone)
  • Weight: 21 lbs 11 oz
  • Length: 28 1/2 inches
  • Usually takes 3 bottles a day, 6-8 ozs each plus 3 meals of purees/finger foods a day plus a snack
  • Loves my cell phone, putting anything and everything in her mouth, pacifiers, butternut squash, and as always her brother <3

 


The HOUSE Project: The longest month…

July 1, 2014

It’s only been about a month since we settled on our town house and it officially became our “old house” (Caelan calls it the “empty house” or the “dirty house”, not sure why). We’ve been settling into our apartment and things are going well. The kids are sharing a room and there is plenty of space for both of them. We did run into a pretty significant sleep regression with Leah and as much as we didn’t want to have to do this in the apartment, we had to do a sleep training refresher. Thankfully, she’s back on track…sort of…some days. Sorry neighbors :/

In the past month, we’ve been unusually busy with moving and unpacking, birthday parties, new babies, and family time. Usually when you’re really busy, time flies by and we’d sure love that since all we’re doing right now is waiting for our house to be built. But somehow, the past few weeks have draaaaaaaaaaaaaagggged on forever! It’s only been a month?! Really?! And we still have 2-3 more months to go :(

They ARE making significant progress on our house though. Here is what it looked like at the end of May…

May30

Day #17

The framing happened fast. It took about 3 weeks. I took the picture below after they had already moved on to the mechanical work inside.

Day #46

Day #46

And speaking of inside…It’s hard to take a meaningful picture because unless you’re familiar with the floor plan, it really just looks like a lot of 2×4’s everywhere. But this picture actually includes quite a few of the rooms in the house.

A view of the inside

At this point, they are working on “boring” but important things like installing duct work, plumbing and electrical. We’ve already made super important decisions like which light switches control which outlets and where the recessed lights in the kitchen will go (“Here-ish,” I said, drawing an imaginary line in the kitchen with my finger. The builder did not hesitate to tease me about my precision :) )

We were more precise with our decisions on the kitchen cabinets which have also been finalized and ordered!

Kitchen

Kitchen

In the next month, they should be finishing up the mechanical work, putting up drywall, and installing the kitchen. We will really be getting close by then. Here’s hoping July moves along at a reasonable pace!


Caelan Conversations, Part 12

June 27, 2014

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Caelan has built a train track on the floor and Leah-zilla grabs it.

CAELAN [to Leah, grabbing the track]: You. Are. Devious.

———-

SARAH: Caelan, what’s your favorite word?

CAELAN: “Dang it”

———-

Leah is trying to bite my knee.

CAELAN: Dang it, Leah! Mommy is not food!

———-

SARAH: Caelan, do you have water days at school?

CAELAN: Um…sandwich.

SARAH: ???????

———-

Caelan throws a stack of blank envelopes on the floor.

SARAH: Caelan! Pick those up!

CAELAN: No, I want to make a huge mess!

———-

CAELAN: Daddy, I have an idea. I’m gonna flick you.

BILL: You’ll get a timeout then.

CAELAN: Okay, I won’t. I don’t want a time out.

SARAH: Good decision!

(Sigh. If only he made such sound behavior decisions all the time!!)

———-

CAELAN [singing]: Old McDonald had a farm, ei ei o! And on that farm he had a Count, ei ei o! With a “ah ah” here and a “ah ah” there, here an “ah” there an “ah” everywhere an “ah ah”. Old McDonald had a Count, ei ei o!


The HOUSE Project

June 6, 2014

In mid-January, Bill texted me a link to a builder’s website. That’s how it all started…

By mid-February, we were meeting with that builder and another.

On March 1st, we signed a contract for our “forever home”.

HouseDrawing

In mid-March, we hired a realtor.

In mid-April, we put our house on the market. 10 days later, we were under contract with a buyer.

CR8322793 - Exterior (Front)

In mid-May, they broke ground on our new house.

groundBreaking

On June 1st, we moved out of our house and into an apartment where we will stay until our new home is ready. Today, we are closing on the town house.

“Whirlwind” doesn’t even cover it. It’s been insane. The whole house selling experience was … well, I will be very happy if we never have to do that again, however, I am glad that it happened so fast.

While we’re excited about our new home and all the much-needed extra space, leaving the town house is bittersweet. We have a lot of memories there.

Bill built this deck.

CR8322793 - Exterior (Rear)

And this basement.

CR8322793 - Basement

He was sitting here in the kitchen when I told him I was pregnant with Leah.

CR8322793 - Kitchen

We built a nursery, and then a bedroom for the kids.

CR8322793 - Bedroom

Caelan took his first steps in the living room.

CR8322793 - Living Room

We brought both of our kids home to this house. We took countless walks around the neighborhood, to the “wing and the loid” (swing and the slide), “around the circle”, “to the big houses”, and we watched for the ice cream truck.

It’s unlikely that Caelan will remember any of this and Leah surely won’t. But Bill and I will always be able to look back fondly on the house where our family was born. Bye bye house.

TH1

 

 


Caelan Vaughn, 3 Years

June 2, 2014

When I started writing this post, I had to go back and read Caelan’s 2 1/2 year post to see what he was up to back then and to see what’s changed since then. I sort of forget, until I look back and see that Caelan was a little toddler a year ago, but now he’s a preschooler. Really, A LOT has happened in Caelan’s 3rd year!

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1, 2, 3!

Caelan’s speech and language skills continue to blow us away. He tells stories, talks about past and future events, and speaks well enough for anyone to understand him. He uses pronouns and words like “probably” “either” and “maybe”. We’re finding that the days of us putting him off with a “maybe later” are rapidly ending. He pushes for definite answers from us now. He’s also much more observant. He’s on to me now about how I mix water in with his juice!

We were surprised to discover that Caelan knew his lowercase letters as well as the uppercase ones. We kind of skipped teaching him about the lowercase ones, but he must have learned at daycare. Caelan knows all of his letters, including nearly all of the sounds they make. He’s learned to spell a few very simple words (including his name) and with lots of help from us, he can sound out new words (“Daddy, let’s spell ‘mechanic'”). He recognizes his own name and Leah’s name in print and he often asks us about other words (“Mommy, what does this spell?”). As we’re helping him learn how to spell, I find myself frustrated with the English language. I can’t really explain why there are two M’s when it seems like one would suffice or why a Y makes an E sound.

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Laughs at dinner

We’ve been working on counting but for some reason, Caelan is reluctant to count past 10. He knows most of the numbers between 10 and 20, but a lot of times he gets angry if you try to keep going after 10. Usually he can get to 13 and then things get messy :)

Caelan is big on the repetitive questions, much to our dismay. “Can I watch a show? Can I have your iPod? Can I have a snack?” It doesn’t matter if we answer him the first time, he just keeps going. He also asks questions he absolutely knows the answer to. Apparently, he’s testing us to make sure we’re consistent (or something??) but I think we’ve passed the test already, let’s move on!!

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Typical Caelan-y smirk

He’s also kind of hysterical. He reasons with us now. He has a personality (of the smart-ass variety, not surprisingly) and something of an attitude. He’ll casually tell us how things will be. (“Can I watch a show after dinner?” “No, we’re not going to watch a show tonight.” “I think we’ll probably watch a show after dinner.”) Bill and I will usually vent to each other at the end of the day about things that Caelan did that frustrated us, but we always seem to end up recounting something he did that made us laugh as well.

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Crazy

The terrible 2’s or horrible 3’s or whatever it is that turns your sweet baby into a demon child is here. Oh it’s here BIG TIME. I’m still wondering if anyone in our neighborhood was looking out their window when I was chasing Caelan down the sidewalk and screaming at him one morning. Usually he waits on the sidewalk while I get Leah in the car, but that day…he grinned and BOLTED. Not my finest moment (or his). Sometimes, at the end of the day, I realize that all I did all day was yell at him. And then I feel guilty about that, but I also feel TIRED. I’m so sick of yelling at him. I don’t want to yell at him and I don’t think it’s effective given that he laughs and runs away, but at your wits end…you’re much quicker to yell. Honestly, some of the things he does make me wonder what I’m doing wrong as a parent. The answer, I tell myself logically, is probably nothing – he’s just 3. But wow, 3 can be ugly – and it’s just started!! When I’m NOT at my wits end, I try very hard to stay calm and engage or redirect him because that almost always stops the bad behavior. But the truth is that I can’t give him that kind of undivided attention all the time.

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Tantrum and recovery

Caelan started to get into more and more trouble at daycare. He’d have tantrums, he’d hit, kick and push the other kids just because he was angry or frustrated. We’d come pick him up and learn that he’d spent most of the day in timeout. We had tentatively planned to move him to preschool at some point this year but when his behavior began to deteriorate, we thought it was better to make the move sooner, rather than later. Caelan had really thrived in daycare up until then, but now he needed something more – more structure and instruction, more kids his own age. The last 2 weeks of daycare were kind of a disaster behavior-wise so we were glad that we weren’t waiting until the Fall for preschool.

First Day of Preschool

First Day of Preschool

Caelan started at his new preschool the first week of April. The first couple days were great. He had a good time with his teachers and the other kids and didn’t seem to be anxious about it at all. Until the 3rd day. He had a massive meltdown at drop off and that was followed by meltdowns of varying degrees the rest of the week and into the 2nd week. This was a major change for him so I can’t say I’m surprised that he had some trouble adjusting. However, we’ve never had to deal with any separation anxiety with Caelan, so leaving him at school sobbing was not something I was really prepared for. By the 3rd week, things were easier. He likes school (and particularly likes his teacher) so we hoped that all he needed was a little time.

I didn’t anticipate that I’D have a hard time adjusting to Caelan being in preschool, but I guess I did a little bit. I’m excited and happy for him to be there. I love that he’s learning new things and making new friends. But it was A LOT of change all at once. After about a month at school, there was a field trip to the zoo planned. I had a rough time with not being able to be there when Caelan went to the zoo or rode on a school bus for the first time and Bill and I were a little anxious for him to go without us. But Grammy went with him and he had a great time.

Caelan at the zoo

Caelan at the zoo

After 2 months in preschool, Caelan is ready to move up to the next class. We’ve noticed his speech actually regressing since he is around younger 2-year-olds. He really thrives when he’s around older children, so we’re hoping they’ll move him up soon.

We’ve been working on things like dressing and undressing and Caelan can put on his jacket and shoes with little to no help from us. This is something that both daycare and preschool have worked on with him. Getting dressed is a SLOW process when we let Caelan do it all by himself, and there is always the risk of an exaggerated meltdown (“I can’t do it Mommy!!!”), but I’m sure he’ll get better in time.

Oh yeah…and he’s potty trained now! Another perk of preschool! They potty trained Caelan by the end of the first week, practically!! By “they”, I mean his teacher – Bill and I reinforced it at home of course, but we can’t really take any of the credit. He wore Pull Ups at night up until about 2 weeks ago. That transition was a non-event. I’m really stunned at how well he’s done. We tried so hard to talk him into potty training before school and we had NO luck. I suppose it was peer pressure that finally did the trick.

While Caelan’s bad behavior is really bad, his good behavior makes up for it (mostly). He makes sure bedtime always ends with him telling us “Night night, I love you!!” and blowing kisses. And he’s completely in love with Leah. The first thing he wants to do every morning is to see her. He shares his toys with her (usually), he rushes to comfort her when she cries (“You’re okay Leah! Shh, shh, shh…”), and they have “conversations”. He’s such a great big brother and now that she is getting a little bit older, they are starting to be able to play together. They seem to have so much fun – I love watching them play! Of course there are also accidents and “no that’s mine!” etc, but it’s still a lot of fun.

Sharing Cheerios

Sharing Cheerios

Caelan possibly has an imaginary friend. We’ve been hearing about “Caba” for at least 6 months now. At first we thought he was talking about an actual person, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I’m not positive Caba is imaginary – he may just be a sort of “default” person. We don’t overhear Caelan talking TO Caba, but he mentions him sometimes. We’ve asked questions about Caba but haven’t been able to get too much information other than that he is a boy and he has a yellow helmet.

At this age, I think Caelan is more high-maintenance than he’s ever been. He *isn’t* a high-needs kid – he’s generally independent and easy-going – but his age coupled with lots of changes in the past year and he has had more tantrums and more bouts of clinginess than ever before. Still, he handles everything really about as well as we could expect.

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Big boy car seat

More changes are coming for Caelan (and our whole family) in the coming months. We are moving out of our house this week and living in an apartment for a few months while we wait for our new home to be built. Then we’ll be moving again this Fall. At the apartment, Caelan and Leah will be sharing a room. I honestly think it’ll be great. They are both so enamored with each other at this stage and I think they will really enjoy sharing a room. Of course we may run into a few bumps, but hopefully it will be great.

I feel bad that Caelan’s birthday this year is coming at such a chaotic time for us. I wish we could have a big party for him, but as it turns out, we’ll be having at least 3 separate celebrations for him – one with family, one with friends, one at school, and at least a cupcake with a candle on his actual birthday. We aren’t even going to get to spend his birthday with him since we’ll be moving.

Now that we’ve got 2 kids to juggle, sometimes I worry about keeping things “even”. I realized recently that most of the pictures I’ve taken lately have been of Leah. That makes me feel a little guilty, but then I remember 2 things. One, Caelan got 2 whole years to himself before Leah came along, and now it is her turn for us to gush over crawling and standing and whatever else 10-month-olds do. And two, I have a crapton of pictures of Caelan anyway! He’s into selfies lately.

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Selfies!

Happy Birthday Monkey Monkey!! Mommy and Daddy and Leah love you so much <3 I promise your birthday will be less hectic next year :)

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Happy 3rd Birthday!

Caelan’s 3 Year Stats

  • Wearing 3T tops, 24m-2T pants and still some 18m shorts
  • No more diapers :)
  • Weight:  30.5 lbs
  • Height: 37 1/4 inches
  • Loves Thomas and Friends, Cars, playing ninja, playing catch, running, making Leah laugh

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