Wednesday, May 31, 2017

4 Years +1

This was an interesting month at our house.  Christmas decorations started coming out and being put up all over the house in weird places.  Last year Ryder started trying to get ready for Christmas in June; this year it's April!  Some of the decorations were stored next to the stairs in the basement where he could just get his arm in and yank them out.  Consequently we had a very strange assortment of random Christmas stuff and Christmas lights all over the house.  The lights were even "strung up" and lit up!  It's going to be a long 8 months!

Ryder is still loving dinosaurs.  There is a paleontologist on his dinosaur TV show and now he has been digging up fossils all over the place.  He found a paintbrush and got some digging tools and starting extracting and cleaning fossils all over the place.  There are 12 inch holes everywhere and piles of fossils all over the yard.  The best day was when he brought in a bunch of fossils and cleaned them in the middle of the living room floor!  

As he is every year, Ryder has been a big help in the garden.  He loves to plant seeds and pull weeds.  He knows all the plants that we have growing around the yard and he loves to make the rounds with me to see what has grown and how much.  He gets super excited when the tiny seedlings appear!  He takes his job as chief rabbit chaser very seriously too; he loves to run outside and chase the naughty rabbits out of our garden.

Ryder's favorite new snack is popcorn.  There have been a lot of rainy days here so far this Spring and on a few of them, I've made some popcorn to eat while we watch some shows.  I always seriously overestimate how much popcorn that we need and make a huge bowl.  Ryder will just sit and chow it down!  It is the messiest food ever though- when we eat it, it actually gets everywhere.!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

28 months!

Vivien is still the sweetest little mama's girl in the world, but she has started throwing temper tantrums.  This is a lot earlier than Ryder, I feel like, but she has been watching Ryder throw them for a year...  She does the typical yelling and crying and she also goes limp in your arms when you try to pick her up or console her.  It doesn't take very long to distract her or comfort her, though, so it's not that bad.  Once she's been comforted and has stopped crying loudly, then she holds on to my neck for dear life and buries her face in my shoulder.

It is crazy how much she talks now and most of it is comprehensible.  She does have her moments where we can't understand a word of what she has said and we just smile and nod!  My favorite phrase this month is "I love you so much," which she says fairly frequently.  She especially lavishes me with love when I come to pick her up after school.

The past month two new molars erupted, so there were quite a few nights where she woke up in the middle of the night and slept with us.  Thank goodness she is much better to sleep with than she used to be.  Now she just settles in between us and puts and arm or a leg on me and sleeps through the rest of the night.

At some point in the past month we found a bottle of bubble bath that had been gifted to us ages ago and now bubble baths are Vivi's favorite.  She already loved bathtime funtime and now she loves it even more.  If you even mention bath time, within minutes Vivi is in the bathroom getting ready! 

Vivi loves to play outside and now that the weather is better, she asks to go outside constantly.  Her current favorite thing outside is the mud puddle in our driveway.  The minute it rains and starts to fill back up, she's over there poking the mud with a stick, burying toys in there and even sitting in it! 

This goofy girl rarely just sits still

What a sweet little face

She's always good for a big smile!

Being silly

A good jump but a blurry photo!  :(

Exploring the great outdoors

Now that's a walk with a purpose

Examining something she found

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

4 years old!!!!

It is incredibly hard to believe that Ryder has turned 4!  He has gotten so big and so grown-up; I shudder to think  how fast the next 4 years will go by and how big he and grown -up he'll be then!

Ryder knew all month that his birthday was coming and it was hard for him to contain his excitement!  The week before his party we put up some dinosaur decorations and then finally his birthday banner.  He had requested a red cake, which unfortunately I ended up not having enough food coloring to pull off, but he still got a red Apatosaurus on it, plus all of his favorite foods, including meatballs, fruit and guacamole!  The morning of his party, we gave him and Vivi dinosaur shirts and big inflatable dinosaurs to play with while we finished the preparations.  Most of his gifts were dinosaur related, so of course he loved that.  He got enough dinosaurs and dinosaur activities to last him quite some time!

This month has been the month of the dinosaur.  He knows the name and characteristic of what seems like every dinosaur out there.   All the books that he wanted to read, every game he wanted to play, every show that we watched on TV; it was all dinosaurs!  It is fun to see him so excited about something- he is genuinely thrilled to be learning new things and sharing his knowledge, so that's really cool.

Bedtime is pretty funny.  Ryder still loves to use the monitor.  Almost every naptime and nighttime we hear "Mommy, come on the monitor!"  Most of the time now I can comfort him without having to go upstairs, which really helps keep Vivi asleep in the evening.  What is really funny is that we can hear Ryder over the monitor.  He has books and sometimes toys in his room, plus his own personal flashlight, so he usually plays or reads for a little while before falling asleep.  It is adorable to hear him talking to his dinosaurs or acting out a firefighting scenario!

Aside from turning 4, the other big development this month was that we signed him up for Pre-school and he'll be going 3 mornings a week next year.  This step was so hard for me!  I want him  to be my little baby at home forever!  We visited his new school and he enjoyed seeing the school, playing with the toys and meeting the teacher, so we think that he will love it. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

27 months!

Vivi is a talking machine now!  She mostly talks in complete sentences, or at least close to complete sentences.  Aside from the fact that she thinks the only possible answer to the questions "Why?" is "Because," she asks and answers tons of questions now.  She also narrates everything she is doing.  "My booboo hurts."  "I touching my booboo."  And so on and so forth.

Vivi loves to change clothes and shoes.  She will often go upstairs and pull some clothes out of the bottom drawer and come down with a whole new outfit; a summer one!  She loves trying on other people's shoes, mine, Janda's and especially Ryder's.  Even though she loves shoes, she hates socks.  It's a miracle to get socks on her in the morning and an even bigger miracle if they stay on all day.  She is also a bit obsessed with pockets right now.  She highly prefers clothes with pockets, loves sticking her hands in them and will also stick little treasures in them throughout the day.

Vivi also loves to go up to her room and hang out on her armchair with a book.  If she has disappeared from downstairs, I usually find her on her chair with a book in her lap.  Sometimes I can hear her reading the book to herself from down here.  It's so cute!  She has a new favorite book this month: Max the Brave.  We have to read it to her every night and she would read it a few other times throughout the day if it was up to her.  We try to mix it up with other books though, to preserve our sanity.

Even though the weather hasn't been great, Vivi still loves to get outside.  She is always asking to go for a walk or to go rock-climbing or out on the rope swing.  She doesn't always stay out long if the weather is bad, but she loves to get out there.  She doesn't mind in the least getting dirty and muddy.  It's almost impossible to keep her away from the mud puddles!

They take turns lounging on the arm of the couch!

Look at the smile!

Watching TV, wearing Ryder's flipflops

Doing a little jumping

Smiley girl!

Goofing around and sliding off the couch

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

47 months!

Ryder is closing in on four at an alarming rate!  All of a sudden he seems so much bigger.  A lot of his 3T clothes seem to be too short; I've begun phasing in his 4T stuff.  That is so much quicker than he has moved up in size in the past- or it least it feels that way!  He also got a haircut, so that instantly makes him look older.

As with all holidays, Ryder was pretty pumped about Valentine's Day.  I put a heart on Valentine's Day on the calendar so he would know when it was coming, and then he put a heart of every day in February!  We made some paper hearts to put on our fireplace and then we strung up some 3D paper hearts and Ryder was thrilled to make them!  On Valentine's Day, we gave them a couple of lollipops, a mini Thomas and some balloons that are self-filling after you hit them and Ryder was over the moon.  It's so fun to watch him be so excited about everything.

We had some snowstorms this past month and Ryder had an absolute blast playing in the snow.  His favorite activity is shoveling.  He shovels the street and says that he is "plowing" it!  When we went sledding, we had to bring the shovel with us.  After a few runs, Ryder wanted to stay at the bottom and shovel the whole field!  We did convince him to do a few more runs after that, which he enjoyed, but clearly shoveling it the best in his eyes!

Ryder's new obsession is dinosaurs!  He has had a set of dinosaurs for almost a year that he would play with occasionally, but now he plays with them constantly.  From his dinosaur figures, he moved onto dinosaur books and finally I convinced him to try watching Dinosaur Train on PBS, and now it's all dinosaur all the time.

Chilling on his bean bag

Thinking about something

A big smile!

He still loves action photos

A sideways smile

Sunday, March 5, 2017

26 months!

Vivien is becoming so verbal lately.  Vivien knows a ton of words now and can combine them into sentences quite well.  She also now knows how to count to at least to 5, and then a few other random numbers.  She has been big into telling long stories this month and once she gets going, she is talking in Vivi language and no one can understand her.  She is obviously very excited about her topic though and often laughs hysterically at the end!

She is a daredevil just like her older brother.  We put out a rope swing over winter vacation and she was the only kid in the neighborhood other than Ryder who would go on it.  The other kids like to watch people swing, but won't consider getting on it.  Vivi on the other hand gets on and yells "Go high!"  She's really into hiking out in the woods, jumping on things and rock climbing.  She loves to be outside and will go out even when it's freezing.

Vivien finally loves books.  She was so-so on them for a while, but now she likes to read before bed every night and at other times throughout the day and she has favorite books.  Just like Ryder, she loves Sandra Boynton books.  They both loves reading her books before bed- that's 90% of our reading routine.  She loves Moo, Baa, La, La, La, Doggies and The Going to Bed Book.  At this point she can finish pretty much every sentence in all of them!

Vivi has been sleeping well.  She still wakes up crying occasionally, but usually she cries for a couple of minutes and then goes back to sleep.  It has always been hard to deal with her at night because just going into her room makes it worse and she never wanted to sleep with us, so all we could do was hold her, which of course meant no sleep for us.  Now she will sleep in our bed, so on those night when the crying lasts longer, we can bring her in and she will go right back to sleep.

Vivien is still a bit of a picky eater.  She only likes bananas and apples as far as fruit goes.  She likes a few vegetables, potatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli are a few that she will eat plain.  She will eat pretty much anything if it is in soup or a pasta dish though, so that helps with the variety.  She will also eat any and all kinds of treats- especially if they are chocolate!  She has also gotten really good at drinking out of an ordinary cup lately, so that's getting easy.

Playing with her dollhouse, which is usually the site of a devastating house fire ;)

Valentine's Vivi

Look at that curly hair!

She is almost always happy and smiling

Silly Vivi

Look at that happy girl!

Friday, March 3, 2017

46 months!

This past month included Christmas, which was probably close to peak excitement for Ryder this year.  He knew exactly what was happening and when!  Just like last year, we did a Christmas Countdown activity, so he really knew exactly when Christmas was coming.  He woke up at his usual time on Christmas morning, 7 ish and right away asked if Santa had come.  I ran down to turn the lights on and then he came to the stairs.  He came down a step or two and peeked.  Then he screamed in excitement and jumped back upstairs.  He came down slowly, pretty sure but not 100% positive what was going on in the living room!

He had an absolute blast opening his presents.  He and Vivi started with their stocking while they sat on the bean bag chairs that Santa had left for them.  First things first, he had to eat a truffle and drink his juice box- both rare treats here!  Once that was done the opening commenced for real.  He was opening and playing and opening and playing for quite some time.  Then they played until we went to Meme's and opened some more presents and had lunch.  Ryder was beyond thrilled with all of his fire fighting presents.  The Playmobil guys and gear have such a fine level of detail and Ryder was ecstatic with all of the little pieces and bits for his fire fighters.

Vacation week was a ton of fun, it was all playing all the time!  We took the kids out to do things, but mostly Ryder was thrilled to play with his new toys by the fire.  Janda set up a rope swing in the side yard that used the climbing harnesses that the kids got for Christmas.  Ryder was the only one who would even try at first- he is such a daredevil!  He loved it when Janda would haul him up to a super high branch in our tree and then swing him or do a parachute drop!

We had been having a little difficulty at bedtime when Ryder yelling for me would disturb Vivien, so we moved the baby monitor into his room.  Now he knows that we have a way to communicate without yelling!  When he needs something he calls out "Mommy, come on the monitor!"  It is the cutest thing!  Usually he wants me to come up, but now I can tell him that he needs to wait til Vivi is asleep since it disturbs her.  Half the time he waits quietly and the other half he falls asleep waiting!

Climbing up the outside of the staircase is fire fighter training around here!

Just doing some work on the house

Luckily he got some band-aids from Santa for Christmas!

Both kids love playing with play-doh

This cutie needs a haircut- he insists that he "likes it in his eyes!"

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

25 months!

Vivi is really talking up a storm now!  The best thing that she said this month was "I love you!"  When I'm changing her, she loves to give me a big hug right in the middle, which I love because I get to feel and smell that soft baby skin.  One day when that was happening, she exclaimed, "I love you!" out of the blue.  She has said it before, but only after I have said it to her, this was the first time she said it on her own.

Her favorite toy nowadays is Play-doh.  Almost every day since Christmas, when she got a bunch of presents to replenish her stock, we have been playing once or twice a day.  We make balls and snakes, squish it through extruders, roll it out and cut out shapes, or sometimes just squish it in our hands!  It is nearly endless play for Vivi and Ryder and they are actually pretty good at sharing it; as long as each color is cut in half, everyone seems pretty happy.

Vivien has finally taken real interest in books over the past few months.  She really loves Sandra Boynton's silly board books; in fact she sleeps with a few of them.  She still doesn't like to sit through long books, but she has several favorite board books.  She doesn't always want us to read them to her, sometimes she likes to read them to herself- "I do it!"

Vivi loves outdoor adventures; she never turns one down.  If you ask her to go for a walk, to go out in the yard, to go for a hike, anything outdoors and she is up for it.  She usually immediately gets her coat and hat and boots.  Unfortunately, she is little and has short legs and small lungs, so usually after a few minutes she says "Carry you!"  which means she wants us to carry her.  She really does love exploring and climbing and having adventures though, so we love that.

She loves that beanbag!

Getting out the Play-doh tools

Really focused on making stuff

Couldn't even get her to look up

She finally looked up, to show me her Play-doh

What a cutie

Look ma, two colors!