Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lucas turns Three!

I was feeling ambivalent about writing up one of these for Lucas's third birthday, but I just got such a kick out of reading the one I wrote for him last year that it motivated me to get started on this one. Lucas is just thriving and we had a blast celebrating this latest milestone!

Physical: We measured and weighed Lucas the day after his birthday, because he won't be in for his well check until Lincoln's 9-month checkup in July. Lucas is just a hair under 40 inches tall and just over 40 pounds. Still my sweet, sturdy little square! He wears a 10.5W shoe and is fully in 4T clothing, although some of his 4T pants are starting to get a bit snug. He's very active, and always working on those gross motor skills. His climbing has gotten a lot stronger and steadier lately, and his throw seems crazily strong and accurate for his age. He is still in very good health much of the time, and has not been to the doctor since his two year checkup last year. Other than a few colds, the only illness we dealt with this year was our dreaded run in with Hand Foot and Mouth just after Lincoln was born. The two-year molars came in last summer right on schedule without any fuss. And we've yet to hit the emergency room for an injury, but I imagine we're living on borrowed time for that one.

Throwing rocks into water is always a hit with this guy.

Whenever I ask what he wants to do today, he says, "Slides!"

Mental: His verbal communication skills have grown by leaps and bounds this year. We did end up having him evaluated for a speech delay just before Lincoln was born, and while he did test as mild to moderately delayed, it wasn't significant enough to qualify him for special services. He's stringing sentences together at a good rate now, and repeats everything that comes out of our mouths -- so Mama needs to be a little more careful! He's gotten most of his colors straight, but we haven't made much progress on the alphabet or numbers front. That's my fault, really -- teaching is not my strong suit. He'll be starting preschool in the next few months so that should get the ball rolling. He finally started trying to sing a month or so ago, which makes my heart so happy! Sadly, he seems to have inherited his parents' (lack of) musical skills, but it's still a thrill to hear him try. We read books before nap time and before bed, which he enjoys but I definitely wouldn't call him a bookworm. That would involve too much sitting still!

He loved dying eggs this year!

Scolding people at the zoo like a goon.

Behavioral: Lucas definitely gave us a run for our money with his "terrible twos." Especially around the middle of the year, when he ramped up the intensity level by starting to violently attack whoever was attempting to calm him down. After some trial and error, we determined that the quickest way to get Lucas to calm down is to dump him in his room and lock the door until he calms himself down. It cut down the tantrum length significantly and bonus for Mom and Dad, no one was getting toddler backhanded across the face. It's still a tough issue when the major "red zones" or "going full Lucas" as we like to call it happens in public, but I do my best to find a quiet corner wherever we are so he can take the time he needs to calm down on his own. We also saw a strange but intense short resurgence of separation anxiety, specifically directed toward me, around March of this year. It only lasted a few weeks, but it was a rough go of it for everyone there for awhile! Thankfully Lucas is back to his confident self, although we do bribe him shamelessly with treats to behave well for sitters. He's now getting fully into the swing of a three-year-old's power plays, asserting independence, and aggravating attitude, but I'll be glad to see the end of the two-year-old tantrums. At least now he can tell us, "I mad! I fus-tated!"


Fun at the beach.

Eating/Sleeping: Lucas struggles a lot with pickiness still. He loves fresh fruit, and will eat other foods on a random, rotating basis but the list of things he will consistently eat is depressingly small. We supplement with Pediasure and a multivitamin to try and keep things balanced, which isn't ideal but the best we can do right now. We continue to offer new healthy foods and encourage him to try them and occasionally he will do so. I find myself very invested in wanting Lucas to develop a healthy relationship with food, so he's allowed to eat when he's hungry, does not receive consequences for not eating or cleaning his plate, and I try my best not to engage in power struggles over food. I will use every trick in the book to make sure he gets a good amount of protein every day though!The hanger tantrums he inherited from me make everyone's lives a misery otherwise. Luckily, his sleeping continues to be excellent. He's in bed by 7:30 every night, and sleeps until about 6:30 in the morning almost every day. He's starting to outgrow his afternoon nap, but will still take a 2-3 hour nap daily as long as I make sure he's getting an hour or more of physical activity in the morning.

Yummy birthday cake! "I luff cake."
Cutie pie playing dress up with Mommy.

Personality/Interests: Lucas is still all about goofing off and being silly, and thrives with a lot of hard, active outdoor play. He loves to go "runnin' FAST" and climb on rocks and anything he can find, really. He's always the kid at park play date who's wandering off on his own to the areas away from the playground so he can chase birds, throw rocks, and generally explore nature. He still loves hanging out with friends and usually plays well with others, although we see a normal amount of aggression as he learns to negotiate social relationships. He gets easily overwhelmed by crowds or parties and loves having a predictable routine. He's very sweet and affectionate with Brandon, myself, and Lincoln, but shy with other people. He still loves cars and trucks, toys you can ride (like his balance bike or scooter), and outdoor toys. His favorite TV show is Curious George by far, followed by Thomas & Friends and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and his favorite movies are Toy Story 1-3, Hercules, Cars, and Big Hero 6.

Legos with Daddy and Baba.

Fun at Legoland!

The whole family. 

My little adventurer.

Given Lucas's unpredictable reactions to crowds and parties, we decided to forgo having a party for him this year. Instead, my parents took us all to Legoland for the day! We stayed at the Legoland Hotel for the night before and the night after, so we could maximize our time in the park and allow for Lucas to take an easy break in the middle of the day for a nap. Legoland is definitely geared toward the under-12 set, and it's on a much smaller scale than something like Disneyland, so it was actually perfect for Lucas. He was tall enough to ride nearly everything in the park, and there were so many of the things he loved - planes, trains, and automobiles of course -- that he was in heaven for most of the day. The hotel was super cute too -- the elevator played disco music complete with rotating disco ball that Lucas loved dancing to, and there was a treasure chest in the room with new Lego and candy treasure each day we were there. The downstairs buffet and restaurant was very kid-friendly, although Lucas was too keyed up to eat much while we were there. It was such fun to experience it all through his eyes; I think we all loved his incredulous giggles of delight when he went on his first roller coaster best. It was a birthday success!

On his actual birthday, we opened presents and had some quality park time trying out his new stomp rockets and scooter. His present from us will be a zoo membership for next year now that he's not free anymore, but we also got him a hippity-hop because of his abiding love for bouncing like a real life Tigger. And of course, there was "birthday cake!!!" because that's Lucas's favorite part of birthdays.

Birthday fun at the park.

Stomp rockets hooray!

Love these boys.

Happy third birthday to my Biggest! He's just the best.

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