Sunday, June 5, 2016

38 months!

Life with a three year old is pretty interesting.  It is mostly adorable, and a small sliver of totally insane!

Ryder is definitely fully entrenched in a boundary pushing phase.  He has run away from my mom as she tries to get him into our house, has run away from me while I was grilling dinner on the back porch and will try every door in the house to try to get outside until he finally admits that he has been locked in.

The hour or so before his nap and before bedtime are the most challenging.  Being overtired, or even just tired seems to bring out his devilish side.  Any day that we get through those hours with minimal tantrums is a successful day.  With the days being longer, it has been hard to get everyone to bed on time, so we have been trying to come in a little sooner and have a little more decompression time before bed.  When he is ramping up at bedtime, I try to get him to do a quiet activity, like coloring, painting or doing puzzles to calm him down.  It mostly works!

Ryder's favorite words lately have been "fantastic," "amazing," and "perfect."  He is very liberal with his compliments and will tell us that things we are doing are fantastic, which is so cute.  Just when I thought that we were going to get away without a "why" phase, Ryder has been all about asking "Why?" lately.  Sometimes, he accepts my answer right away, but usually there are three why's before he is satisfied.  I have resorted to "Because I said so" when there is just no other further response!

Watching him play with Vivien is very sweet.  Most of the time, he hugs and kisses her and plays semi-nicely.  They do a lot together.  I love it when they sit on the couch together and drink their milk!

Still doesn't mind posing for photos

Still loves to ham it up :)

Loves his firetrucks

Nice smile

So big

Look who couldn't stay away from our photo shoot

Thursday, June 2, 2016

17 Months!

Vivien is still eating less than she was a couple of months ago.  We're lucky if she eats one good meal a day; mostly she takes a few bites and that's that.  She has a few bites a few times a day and then drinking milk.  If she had it her way, she would take less of those bites and drink more milk!  She still loves bananas and potatoes especially, and will eat a few other fruits and vegetables sparingly.  So far she hasn't liked any berries; she just likes to smoosh them in her hand!

Vivien loves walking and climbing.  She has gotten continually more steady on her feet and now rarely falls.  She occasionally trips over little items but no big falls.  She loves climbing on everything- coffee table, Ryder's bed, the couch...  She climbs right up the tall and steep front steps of our house without looking back and goes right up the ladder to the clubhouse on our playset.

She is an interesting mix of attached and independent.  She has no problem, inside or out, playing by herself for quite some time.  When I go in the kitchen and leave her in the living room, she is upset for a few minutes and then finds something to play with and amuses herself.  She frequently wants me to hold her and carry her, but when she doesn't, she is off on her own exploring.

She is talking more and more.  She says "milk," "bird," "up," "wet," and "hot" among others.  She also mimics really well.  She can repeat longer sentences and phrases, without exactly saying the words that we're saying.  She chatters constantly and loves to talk to us.  She understands almost everything that we say and follows directions really well.  She loves to interact with us in any way really.  She loves to play "offer the food and then snatch the food away" and peekaboo.  She also really enjoys sitting on my lap and playing with my face and hair.

Climbing up on the table to look out the window

Smiling sweetly

She loves playing with our toys


Happy baby

Love that face!

Friday, May 13, 2016

37 months!

It is amazing to me how different Ryder is now compared to a year ago.  He talks non-stop now, in complete, complex sentences.  Everything we do is narrated by a constant string of descriptions and occasional questions.

There is nothing that Ryder more loves than helping us.  He always happily jumps in when I am doing chores.  Many mornings when we are at home, I clean when Vivien naps and Ryder loves helping.  Dusting, vacuuming, washing things, picking up toys, even unloading the dishwasher are all chores that he helps with.  He absolutely loves cooking.  He helps makes breakfast every morning- whisking, stirring, sprinkling, pouring, flipping; he does it all.  He loves to help make any kind of food.  Whenever he sees us cooking anything, he drags the stool over to help.

Now that spring is back, he is loving being back outside every day.  Every day after school he likes to stay outside to play on the swingset, run around like crazy, ride his bike and take walks until the minute he has to go in for Vivi's dinner.  He has helped me in the yard a lot too, while we're out playing.  He helped me plant seeds and is loving watching them grow.  We go check out the seeds and the strawberry plants every day.

Everything here is still about the fire trucks.  He watches Fireman Sam, runs around putting out fires and pushes fire trucks around all day!

He is still/even more so "pushing his boundaries."  We know that this is a natural phase that all toddlers go through, but boy is it challenging if you are a parent!

He really is good at these photo shoots now!

What a smile!

What a sweet face

 And a funny one!

Someone crashed the shoot

So cute on the floor

Working hard and deep in thought

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

16 months!

Boy Spring has gotten the best of me this year.  I'm so behind on everything, including monthly updates!

This past month Vivien started the eating slowdown that her pediatrician warned us about.  It was a reasonably gradual change and before we knew it, she was only having a portion of the food she used to eat, but still drinking the same amount of milk.  She still loves clementines and bananas, but she hasn't been that interested in berries so far.  Pasta and pancakes are still huge hits, so at least we have that.

She is definitely firmly a walker now and only resorts to crawling to be funny or silly.  She is still getting the hang of balancing but little trips and mishaps don't bother her at all.  For a long time she has really loved sitting on the edge of things, like a step or a box, but recently she realized that she can sit on us the same way and often walks over to where we're sitting and has a seat right on our leg.

Vivien, of course, still loves playing with Ryder.  In the morning before school, I wake her up first and bring her in his room while he wakes up.  She loves to peek under the covers and just generally run around his room.  They play in his tent together and occasionally he lets her use some of his toys.

She is starting to make more sounds and words now, but mostly she's still focused on "mama," "dada" and "bye-bye."  She definitely tries to imitate and makes a few other sounds now, but there haven't been too many clear new words yet.  She has been getting molars, so maybe her mouth is busy!  She follows directions really well and obviously understands a lot of what we all say to her, so it's only a matter of time til she's chatting up a storm.
She loves trucks too!

A nice smile for Mom

Climbing up just like her brother!

Always having fun

Love this one

A walking machine

Why are you still taking my picture?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

3 years old!

And just like that, another year has gone by!  It has been quite a year; it's amazing how much Ryder has changed, grown and developed.  Day to day it doesn't seem like anything changes and then I watch a video from last spring and it's amazing.

As predicted, Ryder was very very hyped up for his birthday.  He kept counting down the days til his party. We told him that he had two weeks to his party at one point and he kept saying "two weeks" til his party until a couple of days before.  He was out of his mind excited.  I let him help frost his own cupcakes and his cake that morning and he loved it.  He was very excited about all of his guests and had a great time eating cake and opening presents  Since he got loads of firetruck related presents so he was super happy.

Ryder has become a bit more of a picky eater as he has gotten older.  He will no longer eat anything and everything.  He is still very good at eating fruits and some veggies, so that's good news.  He loves broccoli and potatoes, but most of veggies have to be hidden.  He loves all fruit, but especially melon and strawberries.

Most nights before bed Ryder loves to read a few books.  He has his favorites that are in short rotation.  Most of them he knows practically by heart and often we hear him acting them out with his toys.  He mostly reads longer books now, but we still read board books occasionally.

Ryder is more active than ever.  He runs around outside any chance he gets, but is also all over the place inside too.  We have found him essentially in the fridge, looking for something to eat or drink.  He climbs up onto anything and everything to jump off.  The higher the better, really.

He is very affectionate.  He likes to cuddle while we read and he loves to give everyone, especially Vivien, hugs and kisses.  When he is grumpy though, he likes to tell us not to talk to him, "Don't say that!" and won't give any hugs or kisses until we can get him to laugh.

A smile for Mommy

Really interested in that grape

Always moving

He has been practicing his numbers a lot lately, especially 3

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

15 months!

Vivien is firmly established as a walker now.  She's still a little bit unsteady, but she walks most everyplace now.  She still occasionally slips and falls with a big whoosh, but that mostly makes her laugh.  She also loves to climb and has been moving things around to help her climb up onto things she shouldn't.

Ever since she started taking a bottle Vivien has been a great sleeper.  Only if something is really bothering her do I ever have to get up.  In the night she usually lets out a couple of cries, but goes right back to sleep.  She never comes in to sleep with us, which Ryder has always done occasionally.  To be honest, I kind of wish she would!  These days (and nights) fly by so fast and there is a very limited window for baby snuggling.

She has been into playing games for quite a while.  She started with Ryder's favorite baby game- hide someone's face behind a lovey and ask "Where's so and so?" but now she does other little games too.  She loves to pretend that she's going to share her food with us and then pull it out of our mouths at the last second.  She also loves to turn her head away and then look back really quickly- why that is hysterical I am not sure, but she loves it.

Mostly Vivien loves to be around us.  She will get something and then come over to sit with me and she follows me to any room that I go to.  She prefers to play with whatever Ryder is playing with, but Ryder does not feel the same.  Usually I can convince him to let her play with some of what he's doing, but not always.  It is definitely partly Vivien's fault though, as she tends to tear apart everything he has been building!

Instantly she starts trying to get that show off

And there it goes

One shoe won't stop her from walking and eating at the same time


A regular daredevil like her brother

Using her own spoon now

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

35 months!

Only one month more til his birthday!  Ryder has been talking about his birthday since the New Year started!  One day he went and got my computer to do work so that he could make money to get a birthday cake!!!  He is very excited to have cake and get presents (which are all new trucks according to him).  We're also trying to convince him to get a birthday haircut, but we'll see.  He's been saying that he wants it "long like Mommy" for a while now.

Ryder's speaking skills have continued to get better and better.  Now he throws words like "otherwise" into conversations!  It's hard to believe he's the same kid that I was so worried about a year ago.  Frequently he'll use a word or phrase and I think to myself, "Where did he learn that?" or "How did he remember that?"  I can understand 95% of what he says; I'm sure that strangers understand significantly less of course.  On the rare occasions when I can't figure out what he is saying, he gets very upset.  As long as I can figure it out before he starts yelling, we're good, because once he starts yelling then it's very hard to understand.

In addition to conversational speaking skills, Ryder's monologue-ing skills have increased.  I always knew that he could finish the sentences in his favorite books, but one night out of the blue he recited a 12 line long section of "Katy and the Big Snow" perfectly! Come to find out he can recite most of the book, missing some words here and there.  Some of the more challenging words are hard to understand, but not if you know the book.  It turns out that he knows the words of most of his favorite books- in fact sometimes he recites "The Going to Bed Book" to Vivi at bedtime.

This month Ryder's favorite toys, books and shows have all been about fire trucks.  He has long been drawing houses on fire and fire trucks with hoses coming to the rescue, but now it is all fire trucks all the time.

Ryder loves to help around the house, so I'm trying to enjoy that while it lasts.  He loves to vacuum with the big and small vacuum, dust and he even unloaded the silverware from the dishwasher one morning.  He can put on almost all of his own clothes, although he seriously prefers his shoes to be on the wrong feet!

After being a super easy kid to get to bed for his entire life, Ryder started pushing his boundaries at bedtime too.  This past month I have been working on curbing the insanity at bedtime and it has mostly worked.  Now there is an alarm to tell him when it's time to brush his teeth and go to bed.  Most nights he trots right up, although we usually have to brush the teeth in his room and sometimes do a last-second PJ change.  He still sleeps in pretty well; most weekend days he sleeps til about 7am.  Occasionally he'll ask to go to bed or take his nap, and one time he went upstairs and got in bed for his nap all on his own.

Just chillin' on the floor

Happy go lucky!

Hair for days!

Tired of the photo shoot

Something caught his eye on Curious George

Look at those knees, he wears his "construction boy" pants so very often!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

14 Months!

Vivien is still doing a great job eating and drinking this month.  A lot of the time she is eating and drinking more than Ryder!  Her pediatrician said that that's normal and pretty soon that will be tapering off.  She still is enjoying a wide variety of foods- she hasn't met a fruit or bread that she doesn't like!  She has been eating chicken and eggs too this month; she gobbles those down.  She is drinking several small bottles of milk a day, which is a massive improvement from two months ago.  When she's ready for more milk, she points and makes all kind of noises to let us know what she wants.

Vivien is enjoying reading more and more.  When we read her bedtime books, she helps to turn the pages and says "All done" after the last page.  She crawls over to the bookshelf and pulls out books to look at on her own too.  She loves playing with all of the toys we have, both hers and Ryder's.  She loves to push all the little cars and trucks around, just like her big brother.  This month she has been playing more independently, especially when she can't see me- then she often wants me to hold her.  At my mom's house she sits next to the toy kitchen and plays all by herself for quite a while.  

At the beginning of this month, Vivien started standing up on her own reliably.  She would push off something, or just stand up from the ground and then look at us with a huge smile on her face and wait for us to clap for her!  She started out taking a couple of steps mid-month and now she's doing a lot of walking each day.  She still crawls (at top speed) to get to things, but she loves to stand up and walk to people to give them a hug.  

Vivien has been talking more and doing more non-verbal communication this month too.  She now says "uh oh," "sock," and "cat" very clearly now, in addition to what she was saying last month.  She makes it very clear when she wants something by gesturing and making noises.  She loves to make funny sounds with her mouth too, something that I think Ryder is helping her learn!

Being silly

She almost never stops smiling

Lots of teeth!

She's very curious and wants to get onto and into everything

Standing up and about to walk to me

I love that happy face