Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Charlie’s Third Year

(30 months to 36 months)
December 19th - June 19th

There is definitely a lot to cover from two and a half to three years old. So much learning, changing, and progress.

In December, when Colson was between one and two months old, Charlie really started to entertain himself while I took care of Colson. He spent a lot of time looking through books and throwing his clothes all over the house. He would spend hours taking his clothes out of his drawers and throwing them everywhere. It was hilarious, and frustrating. The book that he would spend a lot of time with at the beginning was the Book of Mormon Stories book. He would spend hours with that book every day, reading and ripping the pages, and then having me help him tape them back up.

Dad built Charlie a new bookshelf for his room, just the right height.

We have noticed that he kind of liked to bully, or terrorize, kids that were a little smaller than him (like Olivia and his cousin, Greta) by backing into them with his bum and then sitting down in an attempt at knocking them over.

The top right picture shows Charlie backing up into Olivia Hill (my cousin, Brooke Hill's daughter). 

Charlie would rarely sleep during his nap time. He would maybe actually sleep one time out of four during his “naps”. I would still give him quiet time for an hour and a half. I was not ready to let them go, and I needed that time to work from home.

The results of not napping:

When you would tell Charlie “no”, he would put on a sad face immediately and would want a hug from the “no” sayer.

Charlie started doing pretty well with imitating words, and he was working on saying some words spontaneously. We heard him say some animals, shapes, body parts, clothes, and colors spontaneously. He was able to identify some of the colors, and give their sign for orange, white, red, blue, and green.

He is really good at puzzles. He is doing so much better with slides, thanks to his Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa Gruber. That was a genius idea and has made all of the difference.

with cousins Duke and Mason

When Colson was two and a half months old (January), Charlie really started to notice him more. He wanted to soothe, hug, and cuddle him when Colson was sad, that is if we were around to watch and praise him for it.

Charlie’s nursery leader told us that he colors very well. She was very impressed. He understood the idea of coloring in areas in the picture, and his strokes were thick and dark, compared to others who had little, thin scribbles here and there. Charlie would also use different colors for different sections of the picture. He loves to color with anything he can. He has made some awesome art!

I love his patchwork coloring!

tracing pictures from the backside

with my cousin Brooke Severine, and her son Zeke

a free-hand picture

Charlie had a sudden obsession with counting and alphabet. He loved watching me write the letters and saying them with me. Pretty soon, that turned into him being able to say pretty much all of the letters on his own and he was able to identify them in books and say them. He could trace them. He could sing/say the alphabet in order with just a little help in a couple of spots. The hardest letters for him at the beginning were “L” “U” and “V”. He would say “Q” like “cute”. He started doing pretty well with numbers, too, but his main passion was letters. At this same time he was obsessed with the show on Netflix called Color Crew, which is just a bunch of crayons coloring some basic pictures.

tracing my letters

letters for days and days

he even had an alphabet puzzle

he loved his alphabet letter pages

At the end of February, we started transitioning him to a big boy bed. First we took off the side of the crib and lowered it to the very bottom. We got him a special Cars pillowcase to get him excited for the change. He did awesome the first two days/naps and first night. Ironically, he didn’t want the pillow, however, because of the new pillowcase. The next night we switched the pillowcase to a plain case and he slept on it. I was amazed because with the side gone, he took naps two days in a row! Where before, his napping was rare. The third night we found him on the floor when Jason and I went to bed. From there, a couple of weeks later, we switched him to a twin bed from my parents. We started off by putting the mattress directly on the floor to keep it lower. He did really well and he seemed to like it. He continued to do better with his naps, taking three naps a week rather than just one. Within another month or two, however, he was back to rarely napping, but still having quiet time for an hour or so.

At the end of March, Charlie had his next evaluation with Kids on the Move. At three years old, kids graduate from Kids on the Move. At that point, they either transition to Alpine School District for preschool, or the parents can find private therapy/preschool. It was decided that I would have a transitional conference with Alpine School District in a few months to see if Charlie would qualify for early intervention preschool. It was also determined that Charlie would join a two month long playgroup/transitional preschool at Kids on the Move beginning in April. I was very excited for him.

Charlie started calling Colson by his name, but it sounded more like “Colsy”. It was so cute!

On April 12th, while we were outside saying goodbye to the guests for Colson’s baby blessing, Charlie wrote the alphabet on his own, without tracing, using sidewalk chalk! We were all amazed and it took us by complete surprise.

Some of his favorite foods were yogurt, cereal (especially fruit loops), macaroni and cheese, bananas, roman noodles, and pizza.

He really started enjoying interactive/action songs like Wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald, and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Charlie’s whining and tantrums really started getting out of control. He would have tears that would start from the moment we even opened the door to his room in the morning. They would switch on at the slightest little thing, like cereal falling to the floor. It was very hard to deal with! Luckily, he finally started understanding a little bit of bribing, so we could could bribe him with a treat every time we put him in the carseat so he won’t try to weasel out of the seat or arch his back when putting him in. My favorite bribe was a chocolate chip; that seemed to work like a charm.

Charlie was terrified of bugs. Some days more than others. He would bring me over any time he saw an ant, and he would say “ants”.

On April 22nd, he started the transitional playgroup with Kids on the Move. It was every Wednesday for an hour and a half, for two months, and he really seemed to love it. He never resisted getting in the car to go there, which was huge at the time.

Charlie liked picking at Colson’s toe lint, and he would say “ew” like Mommy and Daddy while he did it. When Colson was wearing socks, Charlie would pick at the little lint balls that would gather on the socks.

I had one (unnecessary) scare with Charlie. One night, during bath time, Charlie slipped in the tub and under the water. He really came up coughing way more than he ever had. He was okay, and so I didn’t think much of it. The next day he had bad diarrhea and by the next night he had a pretty bad wheezing cough. Just six months prior, I had read something on my Facebook feed about secondary drowning, or dry drowning, and how it could be fatal. I started looking it up again, and it talked about symptoms of constant coughing and being lethargic. It said to watch them closely for 24 hours. Well this was past 24 hours so I figured we were in the clear. However, that night his coughing was so constantly I was really starting to worry myself. Emotions are always running high at night when you are tired anyways. This was 1:00 in the morning. I pulled up another source on my phone and it mentioned symptoms of diarrhea and it being a 72 hour window of concern. I started panicking and getting really worried. I actually started crying and woke up Jason telling him I thought I needed to take him to the ER. I had to go look up which ER to take him to based on our insurance, and so in the meantime I decided to call the on-call pediatrician to see what he thought I should do. I began describing my fears and his symptoms. My doctor told me not to worry about, and that secondary drowning wasn’t actually considered a real thing in the medical world. I then started repeating some of my concerns and he told me, bluntly, to get it out of my head, he wasn’t suffering from secondary drowning. He said he was more concerned about the sound of his cough, and if it continued for a few more days to bring him in to get that checked. Well, his cough eventually went away, and obviously he didn’t die from secondary drowning. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between parental instinct and emotional overreactions, especially at 1:00 in the morning. Jason definitely gave me a hard time about that one. I am so glad that I didn’t end up taking him to the ER. At the same time, I am glad I listened to my instincts and was willing to do what it took to keep my little boy safe. I am thankful that I called the doctor first and that he was able to calm my nerves. Most of all, I am thankful that Charlie was okay.

On May 19th, Charlie had his evaluation for the special preschool with the Alpine School District. He scored below seven percent in three areas, which qualified him to attend in the fall. The areas he was low in were cognitive (which had two areas: he scored 97 percent in identifying objects and doing puzzles, etc. but only three percent in being able to talk and reason about situations), speech, and social/emotional. It is hard to hear that your son needs special help, but he has really come a long way and I was just so grateful to get any help or support I could, especially free help. We had to wait until later in the summer to find out when and where his preschooling would be.

Finally, I was thrilled to see that Charlie was gaining more interest in cars again. He was so obsessed with letters and numbers that we were realizing he did have some OCD issues. He was seriously obsessed! Letters and numbers filled his day, every day, for months. So when he started playing with cars and trains, we were thrilled. Other things he still loved were coloring and painting. He loved throwing his stuffed animals and began a little more imaginative type play. He would take his bears around in the wagon and would put them down for naps and give them cups. It was really cute.

As you can see, Charlie had a very busy six months. He sure is a precious boy. Now here are some more pictures from those six months:

Christmas with the Grubers:

Alli and Rick's wedding

Curiosity Museum

Dinosaur Museum

with Lily, Paul Phillips daughter

trying to teach him to smile at the camera...

With friends, London and William Dunaway

With Lily Phillips at Curiosity Museum

With Great Grandma Gruber

welcoming Kim home from her mission

St. Patrick's Day Hunt

Pictures from Amy:

Again, impossible to get pictures of him, especially with or touching Colson.


with my uncle, Fa'a

Tulip Festival:

Getting a buzz cut:

He looked so grown up!

With his friends, London, Ryder, Kenzlie, William, Hayden, and Emi.

with the Gundersen girls

Tulip Festival with Alisha and Logan Richardson:

At Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point:

With Georgia Winger

looking like Alex with his buzzed head

Phew, we made it!

1 comment:

  1. Way to catch up! I swear it's impossible these days! Charlie is so smart with all those numbers and letters! And such an artist! My kids hate to color! They have all three literally brought home nothing but blank pages from church so I'm especially impressed! Also I'm glad Colson was ok and that I'm not the only one with medical anxiety! You never know!