Sibling Snapshot

Friday, December 15, 2017

Brothers make the best of friends. At least in our home :) C & G have come to share a special sibling bond that has been so fun to watch develop over the past six months or so. Let me set the record straight, they enjoyed each other prior to G turning one too, but now that he is more active and able to participate and articulate some of what he is thinking, these boys have such a fun time. Just this morning at school pickup, C climbed into the car and went right over to G planting a great big smooch on his forehead...quickly followed by an eskimo kiss...and loudly exclaimed 'Graham...I missed you sooooo much!' sweet! As with any siblings, they have their moments (G isn't fond of being touched constantly as he toddles around the house, and C doesn't especially like to share ALL of his toys ALL of the time), but the majority of the time, these two are having oh so much fun.


C: 3.5 years
G: 17 months


C: Has been learning SO MUCH this year. He started three year old preschool in September, and absolutely LOVES every minute. He has made many new friends and really started to open up and become more of an active participant rather than playing his usual reserved observer role. His first question every morning is 'Do I have school today?', and he is constantly telling me that he wants to go to school every day. We are so happy with our decision to send him to preschool, and love getting the weekly newsletters that keep us up to date about what he has been learning every week. In other developments, we started our potty training journey in mid-July, and are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll be honest, of everything else that T & I have experienced so far in our marriage, this has been by far the biggest struggle. Accidents all over the floor, furniture, and even when we have been traveling or at others homes have been and EXTREME source of stress and frustration as C has been VERY slow to pick up on the new habits. After he snuck up to sleep on the chair in G's room one night, and the couch in our main living space later the following week - - - potty-ing on both while he slept, we resorted back to pull-ups at night in an effort to save at least SOME of our furniture (and yes, FYI, we did end up having to replace the couch...luckily still under warranty!). He has finally started to go to the bathroom on his own, and is just now, five months later, starting to tell us consistently when he needs to go. We are no closer on night training, and since he has gotten pull-ups back I would say he has many more accidents at night than he did before, but we've been accident free during daytime hours for at least the last month. Hallelujah!

G: Has changed so much just in the last six months since my official one year post. He started walking the day before turning 15 months, and hasn't looked back since. Watching him toddle around and see where his mind takes him is fascinating. Usually, it means finding the cupboard in our kitchen that I have dedicated to kid friendly items while I am cooking, pretend grilling, looking for a snack, climbing into the laundry machine (a favorite hiding place), or begging for his milk out of the fridge. Just after turning a year, he started getting his molars, and after a week or so of mediocre nighttime sleeping, he has done pretty well with the rest as they slowly...SLOWLY...come through. He still gets a pacifier at nap and bedtime, but very rarely gets one during daytime hours. I think we will try to break the pacifier habit completely sometime after Christmas before new baby arrives.

Both boys LOVE music, and have had a ton of fun at our weekly Kindermusik classes this fall. We have been participating in the mixed ages group so that both boys are in the same class, and scheduled time for singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments has definitely been one of the highlights of the year.


Our current daily schedule is pretty straightforward. Both boys usually get up around 7:30am, we have breakfast (usually immediately, so I best have something ready because patience is not a virtue around here in the mornings!). On Tues/Wed/Thurs, we are out the door hopefully by 8:10am to get to school drop-off for C across town. He is at school from 8:30am-11:15am three days a week. These days usually mean a quick morning nap is in the cards for G, and gives me a chance to get beds made, laundry started, and breakfast cleaned up. On other days when C isn't in school, the boys generally just play together around the house in the mornings, and maybe watch The Grinch or Frosty the Snowman (G's favorite). Lunch is usually around 12:30pm, then after getting everything cleaned up, it is story time and down for a nap for G, then soon to follow C. Both boys typically sleep from 1:30/2-3:30pm when they are up and on to the next activity. We have been busy this fall, and have had both Kindermusik and swim lessons during the week. If we are home, and it is nice out, we try to sneak out for a quick breath of fresh air and a walk around the neighborhood, maybe visiting the park. Dinner around here is usually not until around 6:30pm, so the boys have a snack after nap time before getting up to some sort of shenanigans. C has a dream that G is big enough to tackle, so usually tries this AT LEAST once per afternoon to test the waters. G is NOT a fan of being tackled, so at some point, I usually find myself calming a meltdown or administering a time out. Anytime C & I are discussing G growing up to be a big boy, the immediate response from C is 'Now I can tackle him!'...I keep reminding C that if he keeps pushing and tackling G, that someday he is going to get it right back, and he better be prepared, because he was the teacher! Bedtime for G is right after dinner, usually between 7-7:20pm. Lately, C and papa T have formed a nightly father-son bonding time before bed. They usually play downstairs after dinner and fly T's drone before getting settled for the night. C's bedtime is around 7:40pm with story time and prayers all finished up by 7:45-8pm. After getting tucked in, he will talk through his day after we leave the room to rehash all of his adventures before going to sleep (it's quite entertaining to listen to on his monitor!). He also likes to sneak out of bed at least once or twice after laying down just to test us and make sure we will notice he isn't still in bed where he should be. Little stinker!


C continues to love trains, playing football/basketball/golf, and setting up parking lots for his hundreds of die cast cars all over the house. Typical 'boy toys' are a safe bet for him! In the summertime, both boys LOVED playing with the water table. C has asked about getting it out at least once a week ever since the weather turned colder. G loves to play with balls, and 'ball' is one of the few words that he says. This being said, to him, anything he can pick up and throw is a 'ball', so nothing is safe! After a solid few days of taking ornaments off the tree and throwing them around, I think we've finally broken him of that habit. He enjoys playing basketball with our indoor basketball hoop, throwing around a football, pretend cooking and grilling, and driving his truck (when his brother will let him). G also loves music, and enjoys playing with his music table and drum set.


C loves to read, and is great about sitting through entire stories to listen. His current books of choice are all Christmas themed, but outside of holiday books, he gravitates towards books about sports, trains, or anything Dr. Suess. He has formed a recent habit of reading a story to himself after getting tucked in at nap time before falling asleep. G on the other hand is very hard to read to, as his attention span for reading is pretty minimal. This being said, he has some favorites that he likes to read over and over front cover to back. I can't get him to sit through an entire Christmas story to save my soul, but if his favorite A Children's Treasury of Songs, Iowa Hawkeyes 123, or The University of Iowa 101 happen to be sitting out, he will dig through all other books on the table, knocking them to the floor, before dragging the one he wants onto my lap and settling in. Little Mr. Particular!


Both of our boys have developed into quite the little picky eaters. G has decided he does not like mac & cheese - MAC & CHEESE!, and C pretty much would eat straight peanut butter sandwiches for every meal if I would let him. Of course, if I set a muffin or chocolate or pretzels in front of them you would never know, but veggies? Forget it! Unless, of course, I make steamed broccoli. Of all of the veggies that G could choose to actually eat, he LOVES steamed broccoli. To the point that he will eat most of what I have on my plate in addition to the kid sized portion I get for him. C, well, you can forget about it! He has, however, picked up a love of salad, and if T & I are having a salad with our meal, he almost always wants one too. Other than that, the only real veggies I can get C to eat are usually pureed into a blended pouch, smoothie, or juice. Fruit is generally a different story, and both boys enjoy apples, G loves pears, and C loves kiwi. G is very particular about how he eats his apples, and will typically only eat one if we give it to him whole. This would be true of many of his foods, and he thinks he is much older and has many more teeth than he does, refusing to eat whatever I cut up for him, and demanding to have a full sized uncut portion. Such a picky little eater!

Another new development lately on the cuisine front has been using a sense of imagination. G loves to zoom his food around like a car, and C is always telling me that a certain piece of food on his plate looks like a train, or a dog, or a car. Food should be fun, so I usually go along with this burst of creativeness, but I do wish that more of it would end up in tummies instead of on the floor! I don't know how people do it who don't have a solid surface under their tables when feeding littles! Carpet or a rug? Forget about it!


C is our sweet loving thoughtful little man. He has a recently discovered streak of the wild side in him, however, and often finds himself in trouble for pushing or tackling little brother G. He is most definitely a follower rather than a instigator of trouble, and is quick to pick up bad behaviors from his peers...particularly if he sees them being scolded for something. He loves to test the waters to see how T or I will react, and if we acknowledge the behavior or words, they will be repeated...endlessly. We've found the best way to move forward is to reign it in by explaining to him that just because so-and-so acts or says something, it does not mean that he needs to repeat it, or reminding him that we do not act that way at our home and it isn't showing love, or...just completely ignoring it altogether. Overall, when he is in his own element without distraction, C is usually the nicest little guy, and does a good job of listening and following directions. He is great about entertaining himself, and is perfectly content to spend an hour or more arranging his many die cast cars in parking lots all over the house, or 'running touchdowns' at top speeds downstairs. His nightly prayers are just the best, and he has prayed for everyone from the kids in the hospital & Daddy's patients, to his Uncle T who drinks too much soda, to his classmates and their parents, to Gpa & Gma's dog Lucy who lives in God's House in Heaven, to God himself, and usually ends with 'lets pray for everyone'.

G is a completely different kid than C, and is usually a complete wild man. In the last month, he has developed a serious mommy attachment, and is loathe to share my lap with big brother C, or let me leave him to play with friends on Time Out Nursery days. He is adamant that he needs to be held while I am trying to cook dinner, and LOVES to climb up on furniture...often times standing to make sure that it is still a 'no-no'. Since learning how to walk a couple months ago, he has been full steam ahead, and his pace most days is at a run rather than a walk...loving to be chased. As long as he has had a good nap and has food in his tummy, he is a happy little camper, and has the best laugh and smiles around. He is a very affectionate little guy, and loves to give open mouthed sloppy wet kisses...demanding they be right on my lips rather than my cheek. Just this week, he discovered that if he holds my head with both hands, he can direct his kisses exactly where he likes. He has also discovered 'eskimo kisses', and has so much fun crinkling up his nose and shaking his head back and forth.

We love these little boys with all our hearts, and can't imagine life without them!

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