Angel and Caleb in July 2011

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Here’s a little bit (ok, alot) about what my kiddos have been up to the past few months.

Talking…

Caleb is talking more and more, saying more words, pronouncing better and using more words in sentences. I just LOVE listening to him talk. We thought he might have a little of a stutter problem and there’s still a tiny concern about that but it’s been better lately.  A few nights ago was the first time he sang with me. He went to bed early because he was so tired and I layed with him to read books and then he asked me to sing. I asked what song and he said, “leave us”. Never did figure out what that song was (wasn’t Jesus loves me) but we ended up singing Jesus Loves Me anyway and he sang along. I’ll have to try to get it on video.

Angel has reverted a little in her speech. I’m not sure why, if it’s because of Caleb talking more and she’s copying him. The biggest thing is she’s been saying, “Me want drink” instead of “I want a drink”. I don’t think she ever said “Me…”, but that is how Caleb talks and how most toddlers talk.  She’s also talking alot of “baby talk”. We gently correct her (and Caleb) and she’ll say it right then and of course it’s nothing to worry about but you just wonder what made her starting doing it. 

Recently they both started saying something really funny. Angel originally started saying it and then Caleb caught on. I have no idea where they heard it from.

“Not fair”
“Not true”
“Whatever”

I have to laugh about it otherwise I just get annoyed that, really, they are old enough to complain about life not being fair?  And it’s mostly funny because they say it at the most inappropriate times (most of the time).  Of course anytime they don’t get to do what they want they say it. Usually it’s “not fair” first and then “not true”, whatever that means.  But they’ll also just say it out of the blue.  And Caleb can’t really say “whatever” clearly so it comes out “EVER”.  Sometimes when they say “not fair” I say, “that’s right, life isn’t fair but God is good,” and then Angel scowls at me.

A new thing Caleb has started saying is, “I miss ___ so much.” Usually it’s Daddy or Papa. It’s the sweetest thing ever.

This month Caleb has also started yelling when he’s trying to get our attention. He’ll say “MAMA, MAMA, MAMA, MAMA,” over and over. He’ll keep saying, “watch” even though I’m looking right at him. I don’t think I ignore him so I’m not sure why he feels the need to yell.

Learning…

Caleb can count to 11! One day in the van I heard him counting to himself and he got to 11 before he started over. Ya! We are so proud of him, we’ve been working hard on his numbers and letters. Still struggling with letters, he’ll copy what we say but he doesn’t know many of them just by himself, only the first few letters of the alphabet. Angel loves to help him but he doesn’t have a lot of patience yet and pretty much no interest in learning them.  She’ll sound out words to him trying to get him to pronounce words. Alot of times he’ll ignore her and it makes her so mad.  She’ll say, “CALEB! I’m trying to teach you!”

Angel continues to want to learn all about everything. She’s learned to count above 20 by herself just can’t quite remember yet what order they go in – 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, etc. But she can count from 20-29 all by herself and then 30-39, etc. She loves learning the letter sounds and spelling out words to us. When we’re reading we’ll often do that, have her tell us the letters of the words.  Since not having cable we’ve been watching PBS and our new favorite show is Super Why. She loves helping identify the letters and spelling the words. 

Both the kids love to do puzzles. Angel more than Caleb but even Caleb will sit down with us. After doing a puzzle a couple of times Angel will memorize where all the pieces go so she’ll just put them on the board where they go even if there’s no other pieces around them. It’s pretty funny. It’s also humbling when she’ll tell you where a piece goes after you’ve looked for like 5 minutes.

We’ve been going to the library alot this summer and reading alot of books. I’ll usually make them sit down for 10-15 minutes by themselves every day and “read”, although throughout the day I’ll catch Angel reading by herself outside of our reading time.  She’ll memorize stories now and so will “read” it to herself. I love listening to her because she’ll of course make up things. Their imaginations are so awesome.  Caleb doesn’t particularly enjoy reading although he loves to be read to. A friend told us about a reading program our library does. They have to be read to 20 minutes a day for 30 days and then they get a little gift bag full of prizes.

They both like to color, paint and draw, but definitely Angel more than Caleb. She’s started drawing pictures of us. I’ll have to take some pictures of her drawings. Basically it’s a big circle with arms sticking out, legs sticking out, eyes, nose, mouth and hair. Gorgeous!

A friend recommended pbskids.org to us a few months ago and even though I forget about it alot of the time, when I do let Angel play games she loves it. The other night she was playing alphabet and spelling games and having a blast.

I’m so excited for them both to go to school in the fall. Caleb will go every Friday morning and Angel will go every Tuesday and Thursday morning. We are still praying about whether or not to home school in a few years but for now we are so thankful to our family who is helping us pay for them to go to a wonderful Christian preschool.

Eating…

Not much has changed with their eating in the past couple months.  Angel still eats more than 2 hungry adults. Caleb is still picky one day, starving the next day.

They both love to help cook. Of course it’s a challenge sometimes finding things for them to help with that we can do at the counter and that doesn’t involve knives. 

Sleeping…

The sleep department at our house has been having a couple of good months.  Of course still hit and miss but it seems to be alot better than it’s ever been. (And why did I just say that out loud?) I think it helps with summer finally being here and the kids run wild outside most of the day.  On average I would say they are each waking up once during the night to go to the bathroom and that’s about it. Angel will have a bad night every once in a while. She gets leg cramps often and that keeps her up for hours. But it nowhere near every night the way it was awhile back.

Most days Caleb still takes a 2 hour nap. However it’s getting to be later and later. When we’ve tried to cut it out he falls asleep at 5 pm and then doesn’t want to go to bed at bedtime. So that’s a struggle getting him on a good sleep schedule.

Our bedtime routine varies depending on when I work. But when I don’t work I usually put them bed. They each get to pick out a book to read, we read, pray (usually. just being real, sometimes we don’t.), and then rub backs and sing songs.  Favorite songs lately are Jesus Love Me, The Papa Song (Hush Little Baby), As the Deer, Goodnight Sweetheart, I Love You Lord and More Precious Than Silver. I usually get through each of them and usually they are close to sleep by then.  Caleb most nights will get up again to go to the bathroom but since Angel hasn’t been napping much lately she’s usually out pretty quick.

Potty training…

Again, I’m not sure why I’m going to say this out loud but Angel is getting real close to being dry at night. She hates wearing pull ups at night and we basically just tell her if she stays dry she can wear underwear the next night. Last week she went 4 nights in a row with no accident so that was awesome!  She’s been having more accidents during the day which like her talking, is really weird. She’ll just be standing there and have an accident. I think she is just forgetting and getting wrapped up with other stuff and it’s not happening alot so I’m not too worried.

Caleb is doing well still. Dry at night about 98% of the time. He’s been waking up once to go to the bathroom but that’s better than wetting the bed in my book. He too will have an accident every once in a while, maybe a few times a week.

This is probably too much information but I have to share so I can look up in 20 years and laugh at my silly boy. Caleb will sit on the toilet and say, “Need get poop out of tummy. Plop!” I try not to laugh at him but he’s so funny. I also caught him hitting his tummy saying, “Get out! Get out!” My word, that boy is one of a kind!

Personalities and play…

I just love seeing their little personalities grow and change and mature. It’s so awesome.

Angel is so funny. I know I’ve said that before, but really she is.  She loves to tease (like her mama did when she was little) and she loves to make jokes and be sarcastic. It’s no wonder we often forget she’s only 3 years old.  She also likes to be “Robot Angel”. She’ll talk and move like a robot and it is the funniest thing ever. 

We like to say to each other, “I love you more than…” and then say something. It’s so fun to see what she thinks of. I know we’re having a good day when she says, “I love you more than Peanut.”

Caleb likes to whisper in our ear, “I wuv you.” He’ll tell us he wants to tell us a secret and then say that. Melt. My. Heart.

They love to play together and hide under blankets. Usually they are hiding from a monster or a lion. Sometimes they are pretending to make themselves disappear.  This summer I found a bunch of Barbie dolls and clothes at garage sales so Angel has been loving playing with them. She likes to kiss them and put them to bed. Caleb likes to pull their legs off.  He also likes to play with his matchbox cars and his little ramp thing that I found at a garage sale for only $4! Angel also likes to play with the cars but that usually causes a fight because they each have a specific way they want to play with the cars.

They both love to swim. We haven’t went to the pool as much as we’d like but we also have the little pool in our backyard and we found a beach ball sprinkler that’s pretty cool.  There are a couple toddler pools in our town plus the spray park and they are so perfect for us.

My sister gave Caleb the nickname “Wimpy tough guy.” It’s so true. It is such a tough guy, always wanting to fight and be the “bad guy” and fight some more. But one little thing and he’ll be crying and wanting his blanket. It is so funny.  I’m not sure how much longer he’ll want his blanket but he’s pretty attached to it. The second something happens that’s what he wants. As I’ve mentioned before that boy is always getting hurt. His poor head, I can’t believe he hasn’t had a concussion yet. He’s always falling down or hitting his head or running into something.

Angel doesn’t really have one comfort thing. She still wants her blanket every once in a while. She also has a few stuffed animals and dolls (Pongo the dog, a bunny rabbit, an ostrich, Strawberry Shortcake doll, Aerial doll) that she’ll randomly want when she’s upset.

They love to play outside. LOVE to swing. Chalking is ok but that usually only lasts a short time. Angel has started wanting to play hopscotch and it’s so cute to see her hop up and down the hopscotch ladder.  They both like to play ball, but definitely Caleb more than Angel. He loves to play catch and hit the ball with the bat. We missed out on t-ball this summer but will definitely be getting him started in that next year. He’s got a wicked arm!

This doesn’t really fit under any of the categories but Caleb still struggles with eczema and allergy to eggs. By his ear and under his neck is a real sensitive spot, for the past 2 weeks his lower back/butt has been really bad. We finally got a new prescription for a steroid cream and as much as I hate to use it, it seems to be the only thing that helps when he has a bad breakout. We kinda got slack on not letting him eat egg because we thought he had outgrown the allergy but now we’re back to being pretty strict about no egg. Which means no cookies or cakes or goodies and that makes our Caleb very sad!

New Kid by Friday…

I’ve mentioned before that we really struggle, especially with Caleb, knowing how to discipline him because nothing seems to be effective.  Awhile back a friend had recommended the book Have a New Kid by Friday. I finally broke down and bought it and it was really good.

Since reading it and implementing some of it, my kids are still 2 and 3, dramatic, unpredictable, pushing boundaries, unable to express their emotions and more hyperactive than monkeys on crack.  But for the most part, they have a new mama.

(Perhaps the Zoloft is to thank for that?)

I won’t get into too much detail because I should just write another post about it, but basically I’m an avoid conflict and chaos type person. And so the Lord gave me two strong-willed toddlers 14 months apart.  Of course. This book has really helped me to chill out and pick my battles. 

The one thing we continue to struggle with is anger, especially with Angel, but Caleb too a little. When she gets upset she will freak, start throwing things, screaming, slamming doors, etc. Honestly most days I’m at a loss for what to do. So I do nothing, ask her (as calmly as possible-most days) to go sit in her bed until she can settle down and talk about it. I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do, but it is what it is. 

If you are struggling with knowing how to teach and train your kiddos (of any age), this is a really great book.  I certainly don’t agree with all of it because the author kind of implies that all parents these days are losers and don’t want to discipline their kids. And that’s not true. For us alot of the time we don’t know what to do, so unfortunately we do nothing or do the wrong thing. But this book has helped give us some other ideas.

Well this post got to be really long.  Thanks for sticking with me and making it to the end! And thanks for caring about my kiddos and our family. We really do covet your prayers for protection for our kids, and for wisdom for this mom and dad in raising them to love the Lord.

(Sorry, no pictures. I’ve posted too many pictures this month so I don’t have anything else new to share.)

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