Archive | August, 2022

Corbin Travis: 4 Years

12 Aug

Despite the fact that I am posting this almost 6 months late, I really did write it only a week after Corbin turned 4 back on March 22. Since he has changed so much in the past 6 months, I am leaving this as his 4-year update, and will write a different post about how he’s changed since then… which will probably end up being his 5-year update (if I’m lucky).

On Corbin’s birthday, it snowed wet, heavy snow all day so we mostly stayed inside. We had banana bread and strawberries for breakfast, went to the dollar store for balloons and gifts from Emma and Annabelle, made Corbin’s birthday cake (he helped), opened presents with Daddy at lunch, painted a wooden race car he got, took a nap, made snow castles with a sand bucket outside, took a mega bubble bath, and ate cake after dinner.

Size

Corbin was 38 lbs (69%) and 3’ 4” (43%) at his well-child checkup. He is wearing a mixture of 4T, 5T, and XS (4-5) clothing, but still has some 3T pants that fit (he still has short legs!). He wears size 10 shoes.

Sleeping

Corbin is a champion sleeper these days. It is extremely rare for him to wake up in the middle of the night. But he is still an early riser (usually up by 6/6:30 AM), and we have to be extra careful to not make noise in the morning if we’re up early — if he hears anything, he gets up.

He still takes a nap most days because he is stuck in (what I call) the purgatory between needing a nap and not needing one. He can skip his nap without needing to go to bed at 4 PM, so sometimes he does (when it just works so much better for our family to not deal with his nap), but it almost always ends with him being a basketcase by dinner time. And with the other three kids to deal with, we don’t really ever end up putting Corbin to bed earlier than normal, even when he does skip his nap. So for now, he still takes a nap pretty much every day. They usually last 1.5-2 hours.

Because he still naps, he goes to bed after the girls. For a few months (December and January), all three of the older kids were sleeping in the same room upstairs (Corbin and Annabelle in the bunk bed, and Emma on the floor). But because Corbin wasn’t really tired by the time the girls needed to go to bed (sometimes he’d nap until 4, so no wonder he wasn’t tired by 7:30!), he would flip and flop in bed for a looooong time, meaning Travis would sometimes sit in there waiting for him to fall asleep for over an hour (if Travis left before Corbin fell asleep, Corbin would follow him out). Now the girls are back downstairs together, so we can let Corbin stay up a little later (until 8/8:15), and then leave his room faster when he finally does go to bed. I am also trying to be intentional about getting him down for a nap between noon and 1, instead of between 1 and 2, and waking him up no later than 3:30.

He hasn’t asked for milk at naps and bedtime for a long time now (probably since age 3.5?), but his love for “cakey” (his blankets) and sucking his thumb is still going strong. We have misplaced cakeys at times and then bought more, so now he has about 6 cakeys, and he often wants to have more than one with him at any given time. And with the thumb sucking, the dentist told us that age 5 is about when we should start intervening if he hasn’t stopped on his own by then, because it is causing him to have an overbite. 😬

Eating

Corbin is still the. pickiest. eater. ever. For breakfast, he has long requested applesauce and jelly toast. (The first words out of his mouth in the morning would be, “Mommy, I’m huuuuungrrrryy. I need applesauce and toast.”) Travis didn’t like him eating so much sugar right away in the morning though, so recently we switched to applesauce and strawberries, or if we’re out of strawberries (which we often are because we go through a whole 2 lb. container of strawberries in a single day sometimes), he’ll have applesauce and yogurt, or applesauce and Cheezits (which he calls Chipits).

So obviously, Corbin loves applesauce and strawberries. He also enjoys cheese pizza, protein shakes, carrots or broccoli and dip, summer sausage or venison breakfast sausage, cheese, most fruits (clementines/mandarin oranges, apples {he likes to eat them whole, but then wastes about 75% of them}, blueberries, blackberries, pineapple, peaches), yogurt, macaroni & cheese, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, PB&J, quesadillas, pancakes/waffles (with lots of syrup of course!), quick breads like pumpkin or banana, popcorn, and bacon.

Other food he loves, but we limit how much he can have, are any type of fruit snacks, chips, veggie straws, crackers, popsicles, candy, hot chocolate with marshmallows, toast, cereal, and McDonald’s.

So pretty much anything that is a lot of grains or sugar, he’s all about, and anything healthy is out. He refuses to eat bananas, avocado, tomatoes, rice, most noodles besides macaroni and cheese, potatoes, chicken, and anything we make for dinner.

My goal at this point is just to get Corbin to eat anything that has even a semblance of nutritional value, and to not over-eat any one food (because he would eat only strawberries all day long if we let him).

We have half-heartedly tried to get him to eat without watching a screen, but he just won’t sit at the table then. We have made a rule at dinnertime, though, that there is no iPad. So what ends up happening is that Corbin plays in the living room (pretty much the only time of day that he plays great on his own!) while the rest of us eat dinner, and then I focus on getting Corbin to eat something (whether the food we prepared or just a yogurt) after we’re done. It’s all we have the energy for right now!

Development

Since my last update on Corbin at 3 years, his vocabulary has continued to grow, and he says some pretty funny things these days. A few:

“What?! Serious?”

“Hey, what’s the big idea?”

“My name is Budkiss.” Or he lines up his trucks — “This is Mommy, this is Daddy, Emma, Ducky, Baby Sister, and Budkiss.” (He does also say that his name is Corbin.)

“Mom, I need to talk with you.”

“I’m a big boy! I have big muscles!”

“Let’s do it!” Still with the fist pump.

“It’s not faaaaaiiiiiir!!!” (He said this 25 times a day for a few months, while throwing a tantrum. 😩)

“Mommy, play with me?” or “I want to play with guys!” (He calls Emma & Annabelle together “guys”.)

“Daddy, I love you.” Or “I missed you Daddy.”

There are many more. Corbin is a very talkative, outgoing boy, and often rambles on so quickly and enthusiastically that no one (including Travis and me!) can understand him. At times, the girls are able to interpret what he’s saying for us (since they often were playing with him or saw what he is talking about). He was evaluated for a speech delay, but didn’t score low enough to qualify, so a lot of it is just that he talks so fast! The sound he has the most trouble with (and is the most obvious) is that his f’s are s’s. “Firetruck” is “Siretruck.”

Corbin is still very dramatic and overreacts often. When throwing a tantrum these days, he still slams doors but more often than not, he tips over piles or furniture, dumps out bins, pulls down jackets, rips up paper, etc. He also takes his frustration out on Neola sometimes (though most of the time, his rough play with her is just the way he tries to play with her). When he does get mad and take it out on her, he justifies it by saying, “Baby is being naughty!” Just a couple of days ago, he pushed Neola when she was crawling on the wood floor and she got her first fat, bloody lip. 😢

He can be a total sweetheart though, and lately has started voluntarily saying, “Daddy, I love you” and asking for a hug and kiss. He likes to give hugs and kisses to everyone, and last spring, right before Neola was born, we were up at my in-laws’ house. As we were saying goodbye, Corbin wanted a hug and kiss from everyone. When he got to his cousin who is in his early 20s, Drew felt it was awkward to kiss Corbin on the lips, so he offered his cheek. They were at a stand-off for a good 5 minutes because Corbin was adamant that it had to be the lips! It was hilarious. Finally, Corbin conceded and kissed Drew’s cheek.

He has also taken a much greater interest in Neola over the past couple of months, I think because she is much more interactive now, and because she’s an easy target (she can’t escape or fight back yet!). He is fairly rough with her, but she takes it like a champ. He likes to bring his giant gray blanket out from his bed, and nest on the ground with it, usually draping part of it around or over Baby.

He also enjoys playing with Emma and Annabelle, when they will let him. He got a Captain America action figure for Christmas, so that he has something to play with when they’re playing Barbies. (He often just plays with their Barbies too though.)

As far as “academics” go, Corbin is starting to recognize letters and numbers, he can say the alphabet and count from 1-20 (for the most part). He has incredible fine motor and gross motor skills. I am often impressed by how he can climb things at a playground, or kick balls, or jump over/up on things, and he just learned how to use my laptop, moving the cursor around using the touchpad and clicking on things (I honestly thought it was going to be too hard for him because the girls struggled when they were older than him, but he picked it up immediately!). He has also shown an interest in playing the piano using the Simply Piano app.

He enjoys painting and using daubers (for about 5-10 minutes), and has dabbled in cutting and glueing, but he does not have the patience for coloring. And he almost always destroys his art creations after making them, sometimes because he’s mad, sometimes because he just wants to tear it apart (which often I am ok with, because we can’t keep everything anyway!).

Other things Corbin enjoys:

* Swimming — Give him warm(ish) water (70+ degrees) and this boy is a fish! He has no qualms about jumping in (so we have to make sure he is always wearing his life jacket!). He is much more adventurous in the water than either of his sisters were at this age — he loved jumping off the diving board down in Florida. Just recently, he showed us that he can almost swim the doggy paddle without a life jacket! But if the water is cold, he doesn’t last long!

* Sledding — Corbin loves sledding. Travis pulled him and the girls around our yard in sleds behind the snowmobile, and our neighbors also had an epic sledding hill this year (from blowing all the snow from their driveway into a pile). Again, he is quite fearless when it comes to sledding. But we did have some mitten drama early in the winter — he’d get mad about something and take his mittens off, and then his hands would freeze. Then he would have bad associations with going outside, so it was a battle to get him to go. Thankfully, being in Florida for a month turned that around, and he has mostly been eager to go outside since. (I am more careful to replace his mittens quickly too, though he doesn’t take them off nearly as much as he used to. He is able to get his thumbs in the thumbholes this year too, which definitely helps!)

* Screen time — This is still a major challenge with Corbin (as I mentioned when writing about his eating habits). He loves playing with people, but I often have other things I need to do, and Emma & Annabelle often exclude Corbin (or are playing something he’s not interested in), and sometimes he wants someone to play what he wants to play and the girls aren’t willing. And when he can’t get anyone to play with him, he wants to watch “peach and the hamburger” (which is what he calls YouTube Kids, and he means videos of hamster mazes… he starts there but ends up watching other things). If I’m willing to play with him, I can often distract him away from the screen, but sometimes he’s in one of his zoning-out, recharging phases, and he refuses to do anything else.

* Biking — Last summer, Corbin got very proficient at riding his balance bike. We briefly tried him on a small pedal bike but he couldn’t figure it out (though he does know how to pedal a trike). Hopefully this summer, we can combine the balance and pedaling, and go on some family bike rides!

* Playgrounds — In Florida, I finally came to the realization/acceptance that Corbin is a playground child, and not a hiking one. He flourishes on playgrounds. They’re his happy place. He gets sick of hiking about 50 feet in, and then just wants to play in the dirt. When we were at the Kennedy Space Center, Corbin was in heaven in the Planet Play area. We spent several hours there. He also loved a children’s museum we went to just recently that was an hour away. Wish we had something like that in Brainerd!

* Nesting — Corbin pulls the king size blanket off his twin bed every single day, bringing it out into the living room or kitchen to nest in. He doesn’t nest so much with laundry these days (though still does on occasion) but the blanket… it is always in the way! When we were in Florida, he did the same thing, but his twin blanket wasn’t big enough for his liking, so he would take the king size blanket off my bed and schlep it all the way downstairs every day. I’ll probably look back at this habit and think, “How adorable was that?!” But it gets kind of old right now!

* Trucks/Hotwheels — Corbin still loves all manner of trucks, cars, Hotwheels. This year, he developed an affinity for Hotwheels tracks, and got one for Christmas. He still likes the Twister Trax too (unfortunately the battery-powered cars just don’t last very long in this house of dog hair and girl hair), and we spent a few weeks setting up elaborate courses with both of those sets, complete with ramps, loop-dee-loops, and obstacles. He hasn’t played with his big trucks as much over the past 4-5 months, but still does occasionally. He just has so many now! 😬

Giving his trucks a check-up

* Dirt — this boy loves getting dirty!

* Halloween — Corbin was obsessed with pumpkins last fall. He carried a mini pumpkin around with him for almost the whole month of October — to church, to the store, to bed. He also really loved skeletons, and on Halloween night, was more interested in the decorations than the candy.

A first this year, Corbin performed in a gymnastics show, and in the Christmas choir at church. Since he had never done anything like that before, I wasn’t sure how he would react to being “in the spotlight” but he did so well! The only issue we had was that Nana & Papa Kluthe came to the second service at church, and then Corbin just wanted to be with them, instead of being up on stage. But he did really well the first service, and was one of the few kids actually doing the actions! He knew everything to do for the gymnastics show too, even though he struggles with being a great listener in class.

Potty training this boy has been slow going. He has been able to go #1 on the toilet for several months, but there has been almost no progress on #2. I say almost none, because for the longest time, he would poop and not say anything, and if he was playing downstairs or I was holding baby for a nap, I wouldn’t notice it for 20-30 minutes (or sometimes longer 😬). But now he usually does come and tell me, because he doesn’t like the feeling of it. So that’s progress. (He did also poop a couple of times on the potty recently, so I know he *can* do it. Now it’s just a battle of the wills.)

The other challenge of getting him to poop on the potty is that his poop habits are completely random. Our girls had a time of day when they usually pooped, so we could kind of anticipate it. But with Corbin, I have no idea when he’s going to poop. So I’ve been reluctant to just put him in underwear, because I know I’ll end up cleaning poop out of underwear a lot. (And I already have a few times.) I also tried the naked-from-the-waist-down thing for a few days, and had to clean a turd off one of our kitchen chairs. 🤦‍♀️

Another one of Corbin’s quirks this past year after we celebrated his 3rd birthday was that whenever we celebrated someone else’s birthday, we had to light candles and sing to Corbin too (or he would freak out and throw a fit). For a long while after he turned three, he was convinced that it was his birthday whenever there was cake and candles. He is actually still kind of like that now, a year later, but now I think he understands it’s not his birthday; he just likes blowing candles out. (The picture below is Corbin on Emma’s birthday.)

Corbin got a couple of injuries this year. The worst was when he was climbing the bleachers during the girls’ gymnastics camp, slipped, and caught himself with his eye socket.

I also found this picture of him with a big lip, but I can’t remember how he got it!

He chipped his right front tooth by falling on the wood floor back when he was probably about two, and then just recently he took a digger again. It’s amazing that he still has his front teeth!

Some more photos of Corbin just for fun:

And that’s Corbin at 4 years!