Jenson update: 3.5 years
Remember how I was going to write Jenson’s 3 year update 6 months ago? Well, how about 3.5 years instead, even though we are a quite a bit past that now? I wrote an update about all of us back in March (This is us: March 2017), but I definitely want to capture some of Jenson’s past year in a post anyway. So much has happened and he’s changed so much that I won’t capture everything in this post, but I’ll do my best.
I’m not going to lie…from 3.25-3.5 was a rough couple of months. It was like someone else invaded my sweet little boy and took over. At the drop of a hat, he would lose control over his emotions – whether is was massive tantrums or sobbing for no explainable reason. It was a constant struggle and was so trying. It was hard not to get irritated and yell, but I also felt bad that he felt so out of control with his emotions and couldn’t help himself. I knew it must be miserable for him to feel like that. I tried not to react too much as long as it wasn’t affecting the rest of us. He did some timeouts and was sent to his room on occasion, all of which typically helped calm him eventually. I gave him a rare swat on the butt when I really needed to get his attention or doing something particularly dangerous. I’m not against spanking, but I believe it loses its effectiveness if used too often or for the wrong reasons, so its not the preferred method of correction in my opinion. I definitely found myself yelling way more than I would have liked – he’s a sensitive kid, so tried to be careful with that…but it was hard. I couldn’t figure out why his behavior had changed so much, but his friend who is the same age was having the same struggles, so we hoped it was just an age thing. It was tough though…it was winter/early spring, and someone was sick in our house for about 3 months straight, so we were stuck at home a lot.
Luckily, around 3.5, he went back to normal and was his super-sweet, pleasant self again. I’m not saying there aren’t tantrums or bad behavior…but its just the typical stuff that every toddler has on occasion. I’m just so happy to have my sweet boy back that the random mood swings or outbursts don’t even phase me. But the majority of the time, he’s sweet and funny and lovey. I adore that he gives hugs and kisses out of nowhere, or he’ll just say “I love you”. Sometimes he says he “runs out of hugs or kisses”, but I just have to give him a bunch to fill his back up again.
He went to preschool one day a week and took gymnastics this year and loved both. His school teachers would tell me how good and sweet he is. For the first few months of school, he didn’t say much about what they did. It was like fight club…I’d ask, and he’d go silent. Eventually he started telling me little tidbits when I picked him up, and by the end of the year, he’d tell me all about what they did, sometimes what other kids had for lunch, and we had to go through his folder and backpack before we even left the parking lot. It was awesome to see him be confident and enjoy the independence from me that he got with school. Gymnastics was much the same. At the beginning of the year, he was pretty quiet and reserved, but by the end of the year, he was talkative and confident, and more coordinated. It didn’t seem like he’d changed so much through the year, but the teachers made these awesome yearbooks, and you can really tell how much he changed and how much progress he made – especially with coloring. He grew several inches and completely looks like a little boy.
And lets just talk about his style. I love it. He’s so shy in public and around new people, but he’ll rock a random hat or wear his sunglasses inside without any concern of what anyone else thinks. His favorite color is pink (and chocolate, lol). It’s going to crush me when other kids start telling him that pink is for girls. He doesn’t have a lot of pink clothing because most of his clothing are hand-me downs (from boys), but when he gets to pick the color of something, he picks pink. I bought him a pink polo shirt lately and he is so excited about it. That innocence will be gone before I know it, as he’s exposed to social “norms” according to most (blue is boy, pink is girl). While he’s shy in public usually, he’s a ham at home. He loves posing for pictures. When we were at the Zoo this week, he wore his sunglasses and a monkey stocking cap the entire day even though it was in the mid-70’s. Our friend kept looking at him and saying the he is the coolest kid he knows – that nothing fazes him and his style is the definition of cool.
Jenson update: October 6, 2016 – June, 2017
Age: 3.5+ years old
Weight: 35 lbs. (+4 since age 3)
Length: 40 inches (+3 since age 3)
Size: 3T-4T clothing
Sleeping: He did really well with is in his crib from about 8 pm -7:45 am, when his Ok to Wake alarm clock turned green. He climbed out of the crib once, but it scared him enough that he didn’t get out again. Nevertheless, we decided to take the side off his crib in May because it was really time for him to be out of a crib. He’d been asking about a big-boy bed and I felt kind of bad that he was still in a crib. He did really well with the switch and mostly stays in bed until the light turns green. He’ll get out and get a book, but gets right back in bed. When his light turns, he calls for us and waits until we come in the room.
Eating: He’s a picky eater still. It seems to be a texture thing, but he doesn’t like meat or vegetables. He’ll eat chicken nuggets for me, but that’s about it. He’ll try a bite of vegetable sometimes, but he’ll either swallow it whole, or he’ll gag. The pediatrician said that we don’t need to worry about it that much right now. He eats all fruits and lots of dairy, so he’s probably getting enough protein, fiber, and vegetables. He usually has some dry cereal in a cup while he watches a show or two in the morning. After that he eats yogurt or a yogurt smoothie, some fruit, and maybe some toast. Lunch is usually a sandwich (PBJ, grilled cheese), a piece of cheese and/or a few pretzels, veggie stix, popcorn, and fruit. Sometimes he wants a spoonful or two of peanut butter. Dinner is usually similar to lunch, unless we are eating one of the few things he’ll eat, which is rare. He’ll eat mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, or pizza. He honestly doesn’t snack much…but if so, usually crackers, pretzels, applesauce, or fresh or dried fruit. He discovered a love of donuts though.
Word Up: He says some pretty hilarious things. When we ask him if he likes something (like food or whatever), he’ll say “well, I don’t right now…but when I’m older, I’ll like that” or “I’ll like that when I’m 4”. I keep telling him he’s going to have to eat a bunch of new things when he’s 4 because he keeps promising he’ll eat that stuff then. He stills says “when I’m older and you’re a baby” or “when I’m a baby again”. He’s starting to understand the concept of aging forward though. When we correct him for doing something he shouldn’t, he response always starts out as “But I was just….”. Or he’ll say he sorry that and that it was just a mistake. Sometimes later on he’ll apologize again for whatever it was that he did, no matter how trivial – like he thinks we are still upset about it. I always hug him and tell him that it’s ok and I’m not upset about it – that we all make mistakes, but I can tell he still thinks about it, even if its not something we yelled about when he did it. It still so empathetic and intuitive and I hope he never loses those qualities.
He’s shy around other people at first, so I don’t know that most people realize how much he actually talks unless they’ve been around him for 4+ hours. He talks nonstop…he talks for Marlowe when we ask her something, he talks constantly in his carseat, he talks to his stuffed animals, he talks to his hands and his feet…which he has named and also calls his friends. The last names he told us were Tank and Seven (hands) and Shell and Trump (!!?) feet. His hands used to be Squash and Bucket, and his feet were Jack and God. His left foot seems to have a superiority complex compared to his other appendages. He says his ears are alligators, and one is nice and one is mean. One day the mean alligator was biting his cheek. He’s just very matter-of-fact about these imaginary friends. He loves singing songs still and he’s recently obsesses with “Brooklyn, Brooklyn”, which is actually I and Love and You by the Avett Brothers. He wants to hear it on repeat in the car, and knows all of the words. I love that song, so I don’t mind playing it on repeat…it keeps him from asking a million questions and bugging Marlowe, so Lo doesn’t mind. It’s so sweet to hear him sing it.
Fun things: I’m going to stick with the last few months since I have posted a couple of times after the holidays and such
- Meeting Marshall at his twin cousins’ 2nd birthday party
- Trip to Vegas for his cousin’s 3rd birthday
- St. Patrick’s Day and rainbow craft
- Easter – He had a blast around Easter. He did approximately 7 Easter eggs hunts…school, when he stayed with Lo’s parents and when we were all there for Easter, at my parents, at the YMCA, and 2 at our house when cousins and friends were visiting. I’m probably even missing one.
- Jenson’s 1/2 birthday. This kid loves birthdays like nothing else, so I got a slice of cake at the bakery for his half birthday. He was thrilled, and he almost always says he’s 3 1/2 now instead of 3.
Milestones: So many, considering this post is so late!
- Finished his first year of preschool at a local church (just 3 hours on Thursdays)
- Completed his Mommy and Me gymnastics program
- Learned to draw and write some letters. It started with drawing rainbows, and then one day he drew a recognizable octopus, turtle, camel, and several other things.
- Counts to 120+ (with occasional help when he loses his place)
- Stays dry through naps
- Dresses himself. It seemed like this would never happen, and then suddenly he knew how to put his own shirt on and I’m not sure who taught him because it was a different way that I was telling him. Before:
- Can pedal his bike. Our driveway isn’t very conducive to this, so he’s a little behind, but he’s figuring it out. He never took to the balance bike that we got him for his birthday. He never figured out how to glide on it.
- Knows most letter sounds
- Took the side off of his crib
- Dental appointment – all good!
- His first trip to Indy (for qualifying for the Indy 500)
- Playing outside or at the playground and going down to “the water” to throw rocks in the creek
- Puzzles (he’s not as much into spontaneous reading anymore, unless Marlowe wants to, and then he wants to as well. We still read books before naps and bed, and he’s starting to want to “read” them himself a lot lately.
- Going to The Works museum near us. It’s a little science and technology museum just up the road from us
- Going to the library and coffee shop for story time
- Taking baths alone. He doesn’t really want to take them with Marlowe anymore because then he has to share the toys.
- Going to the Zoo. We’ve gone a couple of times this spring/summer when the weather is cooler.
- Play food and real picnics.
- Favorite shows: Paw Patrol (for most of the year), Octonauts, and Chuggington, plus Minions for a movie
- Playdates. After doing playdates with a few friends and going to school, he’s big into friends right now. He talks about them a lot and loves when we have playdates
- Going to the Dawes Arboretum for a walk with our friends and playing in the Nature Center or in the “play” area
- Meat and veggies. Still. He’ll eat chicken nuggets and that’s about it. The Dr. said not to worry about it.
- Leaving the house in a timely manner. Anytime we are going somewhere, it takes forever to get him out of the house. He’s famous for his last minute potty time, where he’ll sit there for 20 minutes and not go at all, or go just a tiny bit. It’s so frustrating.
- When Boof gets his food. He’s not all that fond of Boof lately, and he gets really upset when she gets his food when he drops it.
- Going to bed at night. He’ll get in bed pretty easily after our books and songs, but he’ll call us back up there 2-5 times for various reasons. We’ve started doing extra songs with me if he’s good the night before for bedtime, and sometimes that helps.
He wakes between 6:45-7:30 and plays in his bed until his light turns green. We get up and he watches a couple of shows while he eats a cup of mixed dry cereal (Kix, Cheerios, and Multigrain cheerios usually). We eat breakfast and then either play in the house, go outside, or go to a story time, store, or other outing. They eat breakfast between 12:30-1:15, depending on our activities. Nap is 1:30/2 – 3:30/4, and we read 3 books and sing 3 songs before (usually You are my Sunshine and Jesus Loves Me, plus either Happy and you Know It, ABC’s or other various songs). He gets “something special” after nap for keeping his underwear dry – usually a cookie or a small piece of candy that he picks from his container of candy from various holidays, parades and such. Watches a show. Play inside or outside when daddy gets home. Dinner around 6 pm. Bath and/or time for him to play with “his” ipad or computer (it’s a little handheld Fisher Price handheld learning system). Get ready for bed with snack, brush teeth, clean up, 3 books, 3 songs, one random trip downstairs for potty again, fill his water cup, or something else to make him think he’s getting away with something while I put Marlowe to bed. Back upstairs for songs with mom (and sometimes dad). For the longest time, I had to sing Leaving on a Jet Plane, Someone Saved My Life Tonight (Elton John), and Where Have All The Flowers Gone, but lately he wants to listen and sing to Brooklyn, Brooklyn (I and Love and You by Avett Bros), and one or two other random songs that iTunes put on my phone, none of which I like, so I really need to figure something out for the rest of the songs or add music that I do like.
My favorite time of the day with him right after nap – especially if Marlowe is still sleeping and I get some one on one time with him. He’s all snuggly and talkative in this little sleepy voice and so so so sweet. He says the cutest things, and will ramble on and on about whatever he was thinking about before he fell asleep or after he woke up. He’ll say “you’re the best, mom” and give me hugs and kisses. I feel like this is when we really get to talk – he’ll tell me things about his friends at school, or ask about things he’s unsure about. It’s just a few fleeting moments, a couple of times a week, but it’s amazing and I absolutely cherish it.
Looking forward to:
- He’s doing a sleepover weekend with his cousins Sadie, Luke and Levi – and while we are excited to get time to ourselves since Nana is keeping Marlowe then too, I’m also excited for him because he’s going to have so much fun – he and Sadie have an absolute blast together.
- Visit with my family in mid-July for my parents 50th anniversary. We are going to end up being there for at least a week, or possibly a week and a half if I decide to stay while Lo goes on his race/glamping trip with his friends.
- I hate to wish away warm weather and time, but I love, love, love fall. LOVE. There’s so many fun things to do with the kids and I don’t have to constantly worry about them getting sun burned or too hot. I keep searching for a state or country that has fall-like weather all year long to no avail.
- Jenson going to 2 days of preschool this year. I actually dread getting him out of the house 2 days a week, but he thrives in school and I love seeing him be more independent and excited about school and new friends. Plus it’ll give Marlowe some one on one time that she never gets, and I can run errands more easily with one kid than two!
- Family vacation perhaps? We don’t have anything planned, but I still really want to get these kids to the beach. If we go somewhere, it’ll be in the fall/early winter.