Tuesday, December 2, 2014

20 months!

This month Ryder has been talking a lot more.  In addition to learning new words, he is also making nonsense words and sentences, so he is trying to say a lot more.  The funniest new phrase from this month is "Odd Squad."  PBS has been previewing their new show "The Odd Squad" for months.  Ryder has always liked the ads, but he has been getting more into them lately.  A few weeks ago when the ad came on, he yelled out "Odd Squad" out of the blue and then said it non-stop for days.  He requests "Odd Squad" videos by name when he wants to watch something.  He is back to saying Yeah constantly when we ask him questions.  That helps to narrow it down when he is pointing at something and crying and we can't figure out what it is.  When we read books, he continues to be able to point out more and more objects.

We have a couple of fun new games this month also.  He has been playing a silent Simon Says game with us, where he or we do something and the other copies.  A lot of it is touching/covering body parts is included, occasionally there is some weird walking and hopping.  He also can touch about a dozen different body parts when you ask him too.  He will also touch our body parts if we ask him.  The cutest one is definitely belly, since he'll lift up his shirt or mine to show it off.

His fine motor skills continue to improve too.  He is getting good at putting Legos together and doesn't need that much help to build his big trucks.  He can hold a pencil/pen/crayon very well now and wants to write whenever I am writing.  He is quite good at making marks but not very good at knowing where the marks belong.  He was coloring one day and he got tired of the paper and tried to draw on the floor and then over a scuff mark on the wall.  Luckily I was right there and nothing got ruined!

This month we worked out some residual complications from his Hirschsprung's Disease and he has been eating more than ever.  He has gotten really good with the spoon and can eat a bowl of cereal basically all on his own.  He gets all annoyed when something gets on his hands, so I have to wipe his hands a few times while he's eating something messy.  Two molars have broken through and some more are coming I'm sure, so he can eat more foods now.  He likes to eat dry cereal, Goldfish, etc, but unfortunately he also likes to dump them out and/or throw them.  He dumped out a whole box of graham crackers one day, which was fun to clean up.

Can't take his eyes off the banana
 He loves those bananas

Never stops running around

Never stops smiling either

He loves to run full speed at us and jump up into our arms

The seated portion of the photo shoot didn't go too smoothly- he wouldn't sit up and smile

Sunday, October 26, 2014

19 Months!

Ryder has had another big month.

I don't know how it's possible, but at some meals Ryder eats as much as I do!  He's a skinny little kid, so I don't know where it goes!  He is all about feeding himself now.  He has no major issues feeding himself yogurt or cereal with a spoon.  He loves spearing everything with a fork.  He has been going through phases, loving one food, then refusing it for a week and liking it again after.  One thing he consistently loves is bananas.  When he sees or we mention a food that he likes, he happily exclaims "Mmmm!"  He also likes to help make his food- mostly he watches now and sprinkles in spices.

His vocabulary has been increasing, he probably has twice as many words this month.  His new favorite word/thing is "Bus."  He get extremely excited when we see the buses in the morning on the way to school.  In fact every time we get in the car, he starts looking for buses.  Seeing buses and trucks in his books and on the TV also gets him excited.  This month he has also added "Duck" and "Yuck," plus "Lion," "Rock" and my personal favorite "Budgy."  Budgy can mean both buggy and bunny.  When he sees a bunny in a book, he says "Budgy," when he sees a bug flying around, it's "Budgy."  Ryder also seems to think that all lint and crumbs are actually bugs too, which is so cute.  He is learning to understand/recognize a lot of new words.  He knows the names of many new things and can point out five times as many things in his books as he could before.

Ryder is still extremely active.  He runs around as much as possible- he runs circles around people, circles around the house, and of course loves to run around outside.  Some days he picks a couple of toys to play with, usually his cars or his bouncy balls, and other days he dumps out every single toy in the house and plays with/throws all of them.  He doesn't do it every time, but he will put things back where they belong on occasion.

He does lots of hugs and kisses now, mostly when we are around strangers or he is tired.  On the rare night when he has trouble sleeping, I will rock him until he can fall back to sleep.  Now he holds on tightly.  His affection has been recently expressed by hits, kicks, jumps and hair pulling, but it seems like he is learning to be "Gentle!"  We've always taught him to be gentle with the cat, so it seems semi-easy to get him to be gentle with us.  He has started having mild temper tantrums, but you can usually distract him, luckily.

I asked him to sit, I was thinking on the couch!

Fooling around

He loves his cars

He's always smiling when he's not having a temper tantrum

Chilling out on the couch

Running to Daddy

Monday, September 29, 2014

18 months!

Ryder is now a year and a half old.  He's getting to be such a big kid!  Looking back at pictures from 18 months ago, the difference is amazing.

This month his fine motor skills have been on showcase.  He is getting way better at putting together his Legos.  Most of the time he can attach the different pieces.  When he can't, he gets a little frustrated and hands it to me.  His dancing skills are also getting better.  He has been bouncing from one foot to the other and up and down for months.  Now he is doing a little wiggle too.  It's adorable.  He can turn on the music on the CD player at my mom's and gets himself dancing.

His vocabulary hasn't increased by that much, but he has been using the ones that he has a lot. Especially truck!  Every truck that we see when we are in the car, he excitedly points it out and yells "tuck!"  He has said a few words once, so his ability to repeat words is increasing.  He understands almost everything we say; he follows almost all of our directions and understands most of our questions.

His favorite foods this month have been waffles and French toast. When he hears the waffle maker ding, he gets very excited!  He only has the front 8 teeth as of now, so he doesn't have the most advanced chewing ability.  He loves apples, but he has trouble chewing them.  He bites some off, works on it for a few minutes and then spits it out when he can't quite swallow it.  I'm glad he likes apples, but I'll be even happier when he can fully chew them.  He has also gotten very good at drinking his water from a straw- it's hydrating and fun.

He is becoming more and more affectionate.  When he's feeling shy, he will hug our legs or want to hold our hands.  His hugs are a little dangerous for me though, because he pulls my hair hard.  He has given me a few real kisses, which were a real treat.  The person he hugs the most is his cousin Emma; when he sees her in the morning he jumps up and down and then rushes over to hug her.  Good thing she thinks of him as a brother!

He sat up nicely for a couple of pictures

Playing in the sunroom

Taking a break

His fierce "this is heavy" face

He likes to dump things out and put them back

He's coming to get me

Did I mention he prefers to brush his own hair now?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Trip to the Orchard

If there is one thing that you have to do in the fall in New England, it is to go to the apple orchard. With nice cool temperatures today, we decided to go get our fill of apples.  We would have had cider donuts too, but the line was too long!  Cider waffles tomorrow will have to do I guess.

Walking the path to the apples

He loves to pick fruit and veggies- this was his first apple

Getting a taste from Daddy

Deciding if he likes it

He got another one

The Empire apple trees were positively loaded

He got another

He liked putting them in the bag, then he'd want to take them out and do it again.

There were a bunch of bugs to inspect

No pictures of me from the orchard, but here's one from last week,
at Week 23.  Ryder is getting a sister!

Monday, September 8, 2014

17 months!

We had to go back to school at the end of August (hence the lateness of this round-up), so we tried to enjoy every second of the month.  We went to the beach as much as we could.  Ryder loves to be outside, so we played a lot in the yard.  He has inherited Janda's endurance, he can walk all the way around the block under his own power, he actually runs most of the way.  We've had a lot of skinned knees this month, since he prefers to play on pavement, much to my chagrin.

He still loves his cars and he can put them back together himself pretty well.  He has also mostly figured out how to wind them up and send them off on his own.  He loves to throw things, so we bought him some big bouncy balls, which have been a huge hit.  He definitely favors his right hand for throwing, but also loves the two-arm, two-ball double throw.  He loves his lift-the-flap books, but unfortunately he likes to rip the flaps right out.

This month he has added a few new words and the ones that he had been saying have become more recognizable.  He has given up "yeah" in favor of "uh-huh."  He usually calls Janda and me Daddy- whenever either of us leaves, he stands in the doorway and yells Da-ddy! over and over.  When he sees Janda in cycling or running clothes, he knows that Daddy is leaving and waves bye. Then he runs to the sunroom, stands in the window and yells "bye-bye Daddy!"  He also says "bye-bye truck" and "bye-bye plane" all the time.  Every time a plane flies over he says bye to it, even if he can't see it.

He is very independent with eating now.  He wants to hold everything himself and use a fork to stab and eat everything.  He prefers big pieces that he can bite himself, but then he takes a huge bite, realizes he can't chew it and spits it out!  Fun for Mommy!

Just chillin'!

Love that face

Okay, I'll sit on the couch...

...but not for long.

Focused on his toy

Cute boy!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Garden in August

August brings the best days of the garden- tomato days!  I can't remember exactly when they started getting red, but I'd say it's been almost two weeks since the first lone tomato was ready. The different tomato plants have been ripening at different times/speeds; I don't know if it's due to the different varieties or different placement in boxes.  One box has all small tomatoes and those have been coming fast and furious.  I've already roasted two batches- of course we have a new oven and I burnt the first batch since this oven actually works!  Some of the big varieties are coming now- although considering what I planted they seem way too big.  I generally only plant medium size tomatoes and I have some extra large!  In one box the six tomato plants got so big (even with pinching new growth) that they fell over in their cages after a couple of rainstorms.  It is going to be very hard to pick those!

It's not only tomatoes though.  We have some new wild blackberry bushes in the back and they have been producing like crazy.  The cucumbers are going strong.  Too strong- I ran out of some spices for pickling and got behind on them big time.  Oops.  My tomatillos are losing their husks and turning purple finally.  They look very cool; I can't wait to try them.  Potatoes and sweet potatoes are doing whatever they're doing underground, I guess we'll see in the fall.  Squash and watermelon are going strong, sending out vines everywhere, and the peppers are picking up steam.

A purple husked tomatillo- beautiful

Big tomatoes are turning red

These little Sweet 100's have been coming on strong

A big little watermelon

The tomatoes in the back box have almost entirely engulfed the front box

Wild blackberries popped up in the back

Some pepper action

Monday, July 28, 2014

16 Months!

This month started right as our summer break began, so it's been all Ryder all the time.  Which is awesome!  Ryder is super active now so we've been having tons of fun.  He wants to go outside constantly and tries to go to the river every time.  He loves to play in the sand and rocks.  Unlike last year, he also loves to go in the water.  Holding our hands, he will go right up to his chest.

He is definitely more into his toys and books now.  He will bring us and sit through a reading of every single one of his books in a row.  Some of them more than once in that rotation.  (I know all of them by heart at this point!)  He can, with effort, put together a lot of his toys now; legos, cars, etc...  What he can't put together he brings over to us, then promptly takes them back apart.  He seems to think now that everything in the house is his toy and moves it around or takes it apart.  We're most worried about the TV that he really likes to shake.

He has finally added a few words to his sound vocabulary.  If you ask him a question about something he wants to do, he answers "yeah."  "Do you want to have breakfast?"  "Yeah!"  "Do you want to go outside?"  "Yeah!"  He also says cat, truck, light and bye-bye, although they aren't exactly recognizable.  Well, some more than others!  Bye-bye sounds a lot like "La-la."

Ryder is eating more and more and becoming much more independent with his food.  He's been feeding himself bits of sandwich and pieces of fruit, but now he holds his fork, holds his whole item of food.  He loves bananas; he actually claps and says yay when  you bring one out!  He can hold his own banana and takes huge bites to scare the crap out of his parents.

I do not know what he was yelling about!

"Why do you always take my picture and never let me play with the camera?"

Playing with his toys

Just hanging around

Found one of Daddy's toys to play with

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Garden 2014

The garden has been doing very well so far this year.  We added two new boxes and dug a firepit in the middle.  The strawberries have come and just about gone.  It was close to three weeks from beginning to end.  For the middle two weeks, I was picking a minimum of 4 cups a day! I tried a lot of new recipes, almost all of them were winners.

In addition to all the usuals: tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, kale, peppers, peas, beans and herbs, I like to try out a few new varieties in the garden each year.   Last year it was corn and kale.  Kale was a winner, the corn is out.  This year we're trying out purple cauliflower, Adirondack Blue potatoes, purple-husked tomatillos and sweet potatoes.  The first three are doing awesome; the sweet potatoes just started to do something, and only some of them.  Next year I'm definitely doing more potatoes, they are so easy. The tomatillos have flowers everywhere, so we'll have to see how they taste.

Two of our three varieties of kale

The potato mound just started to flower

For the first time, my cilantro actually looks good

Lettuce followed by green beans and purple beans

The Juliet tomatoes have set fruit

So has the pepperoncini

There is one small cucumber, but dozens of flowers

Tomatillo with lots of flowers

The third kind of kale and basil

 One of the tomato boxes in front of last year's compost pile; in that dirt are more and bigger tomato plants than those that I started in March!  We are going to be swimming in tomatoes!

Red raspberries have just started as the strawberries are winding down

We also have tons of wild black raspberries

Our firepit is right in the middle of the garden boxes