The last time I wrote an update for Olive was over a year ago when she was 20 months old, so I thought an update was due before she turns 3 in October!

S L E E P

After I weaned last December, Mr. Bee took over Olive’s bedtime and we transitioned her out of her crib (at 26 months), we started having a lot of bedtime battles. We actually had similar problems with Charlie at the same age (we transitioned him out of his crib at the same age when he wouldn’t stop climbing out). The same thing that worked for him worked for her — we leave her bedroom door wide open. If she comes out of her room, we close the door. I think being able to hear us outside makes her feel less alone and she’ll play with her toys, sing to herself, and eventually fall asleep by herself. Sometimes she’ll fall asleep in her doorway!

It’s rare that she’s asleep before 9pm and I think that has to do with her napping too much at daycare (2 1/2 hours) and not getting enough exercise (they walk to a local playground daily if weather permits). Hopefully when she starts her new preschool with a huge outdoor and indoor playspace, and she has a shorter nap, bedtime will move up earlier to around 8pm.

S C H E D U L E

This is a typical schedule for her during the week:

7:30am – 8:00am – Wake up
1:00pm – 3:30am Nap 1
9:00 – 9:30pm – Bedtime

We’re always out and about on weekends so her naps get pushed back. Plus we have a standing dinner playdate every Saturday night, and the kids go to bed really late on those nights. Since she’s a second child, she’s always been more flexible with her sleep. This is what her Saturday schedule usually looks like:

8:00am – Wake up
3:00pm – 6:30pm Nap
11:00pm – Bedtime

B E H A V I O R

Olive has been much easier in her 2′s than she was in the months leading up to her 2′s. She used to throw a lot of tantrums where she’d roll around on the ground, especially if she didn’t get her way. But now that she’s much more verbal, she doesn’t have those epic meltdowns anymore. She does still throw tantrums, but she gets over them pretty quickly. Charlie throws bigger tantrums than her at 4! His 3′s were pretty rough, but I’m crossing my fingers that that’s not the case with Olive.

One of our biggest daily challenges is that she doesn’t like sitting in the stroller, but she takes forever to walk somewhere because she has to stop and touch or climb everything. Once she’s tired of walking she wants to be carried and will sit on the ground until you pick her up. I guess that’s better than her throwing a tantrum, but she sure can be a stubborn little girl if she doesn’t get her way!

Time outs work very well with Olive because it can still be hard to reason with her. Though she’s no longer considered speech-delayed, I do think she is a little behind with receptive language.

S P E E C H  /  E A R L Y  I N T E R V E N T I O N

We ended Early Intervention therapies for speech and special instruction earlier this year because she was testing within normal ranges. I’m not too worried about her speech anymore, but I do think she still has sensory issues. She’s definitely a sensory seeker, doesn’t respond to her name the vast majority of the time because she’s too absorbed in whatever she’s doing, is very independent, walks on her tip toes regularly, and is sensitive to particular clothes/shoes (we usually go through one outfit/shoe change in the morning before she’s satisfied).

She does still say many words wrong like “bepause” for because and “coconuts” for polka dots, and I don’t remember Charlie doing that except when he was really young. But she does talk up a storm and we can have conversations with her now. I would also say that she’s probably a year behind where Charlie was speech and comprehension-wise at the same age because he was ahead and she was behind.

D E V E L O P M E N T

But I think we underestimate her. She taught herself the entire alphabet, and we had no idea she even knew any letters other than the letter “o!” One night Mr. Bee was reading The Monster at the End of the Book and she read, “S-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h.” Then she started pointing out all the other letters in the book, and she knew the entire alphabet! (Thank you Endless Alphabet!) We were completely stunned!

G R O W T H

According to the About.com Children’s Growth Chart Percentiles, at 33 months she’s:

Height  - 36 inches (40%)
Weight – 27 lbs (19%)

Charlie is 22 months older than Olive and he was 36.5 inches at his 4 year update, which means Olive is going to pass his 4 year height very shortly! (He’s 39 3/4 inches right now so he did grow 3 inches in the past 7 months.) People constantly ask us if they’re twins because they’re so close in height, and if she keeps up this pace, she may even pass him in height over the next year!

B O Y  V S .  G I R L 

Olive is very much a tough tomboy — she falls often because she’s not very coordinated physically and hit all her gross motor milestones late — but she very rarely cries unless it really hurts. Everyone is always shocked when she face plants and then gets up and says, “I’m tough!” At the same time she’s definitely becoming a girly girl that likes dresses and the color pink. Her daycare teachers call her “princess” which I am not a fan of, but all the girls her age are into pink and princesses so I can’t really fight it. I was such a tomboy growing up that I want to expose her to a broad range of experiences so she’s doing karate while playing with Barbies.

It’s been very interesting raising a boy vs. a girl. Charlie is obsessed with superheroes and being an all around rambunctious boy. Olive loves baby dolls, dresses, and jewelry. We’ve never tried to push any gender-specific toys on both kids, but they just naturally gravitated toward them!

S I B L I N G  L O V E

As Charlie and Olive get older, they just get closer and closer. I think by the time Olive is 4 and can really talk at Charlie’s level, they’re going to be such good buddies. They love playing together and Charlie is the type of kid that wants you to play with him whether it’s building blocks or drawing, while Olive is content to play near us independently. Charlie has a constant playmate in Olive so they’re really great together, and I’m looking forward to the golden ages of 4 and 6!

Y O U N G E S T  C H I L D

As an oldest child, I always thought how wonderful it must be to be the baby of the family. But now I find myself treating Charlie as an oldest child. I expect much more of him because he’s older and understands better. Perhaps that’s just the plight of the oldest child.

I also tend to baby Olive a lot more, maybe because she’s the youngest, a girl, was born early, had delays… I think we tend to underestimate her because Charlie was so much more verbal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she goes on to do amazing things! For instance she’s much better at delayed gratification than Charlie and I think she would pass the marshmallow test, but I’m not so sure that Charlie would!

P E R S O N A L I T Y

Olive is so sweet and affectionate that it’s hard not to love her. She is generous with hugs and kisses to everyone she is close to, beyond her immediate family. She cracks us up unintentionally all the time with her funny little sayings. She’s tough and will not let anyone push her around. She is fiercely independent and often in her own world, but she also loves so much. I still think of her as my baby, but she’s already almost 3! As she gets older, parenting is getting easier and though there are many, many times when I want to pull my hair out, not a day goes by when I don’t think about how much I love these two little monkeys.