Monday, January 21, 2019

5 Years + 9 Months! (December 2018)

As has been the case for the past 2 years, Ryder has been extremely pumped for Christmas this year.  Thanksgiving was very early this year but our Christmas tree place didn't actually have Christmas trees until December 1st, so that was when we got our tree.  I had to call every day to see if they were in because I knew that when I got home from school Ryder would ask me if they were in.  We got the tree on the 1st and then decorated on the 2nd.  Ryder was super pumped and did most of the decorating, partially because Vivi was sick, but mostly because he was so excited to hang everything up.  

Ryder had a very strong vision of his Christmas list this year.  I added a bunch of things that I knew he would want and things that he needed and then he added and cultivated his list.  There were a few things that he wanted me to remove (that then got added back, by the way!) and then many things he wanted me to add.  He frequently asked to go on my computer to look for and add more things to his list.  He was adding things until mid-December!  I did warn him that some of the things he added might end up being birthday gifts, since he added them so late.  He also needed to designate which items on his list were "highest priority" and how many of different items he wanted.  It was very involved!

Ryder plays basketball in the morning before school, which sounds a lot like kindergartners getting in the way of the older kids.  Ryder had the opportunity to play basketball at the YMCA this winter, but at first he didn't want to do it.  He is not quick to join new activities, but once he found out that one of us parents would stay with him at practice, he decided to do it.  He really seems to like it; I'm not sure if it's the basketball or just getting out and running around with other kids his age on the weekend but either way, he has a good time.

On December 20th, Ryder looked at the calendar before school to mark off the days left until Christmas and he realized that the next day would be the first day of Winter.  He was super excited and asked me if it was going to snow that day.  I had to tell him no.  He then asked if it was going to snow on Christmas and again I had to tell him no.  The poor kid was beside himself because he was so upset that we weren't going to have snow.  Because he wanted to play in the snow so badly, we decided to go to Mount snow in VT the day after Christmas and go tubing.  There was no snow anywhere until within 30 minutes of the mountain and then it actually began to snow, which was great.  The tubing mountain had about 6 inches of snow and conditions were great for some fast sledding.  Ryder really seemed to like it, although he preferred to go down tethered to us for now.  It was pretty cold and windy, so he didn't make it the whole 2 hours, but he did get a lot of runs in.

At the Rockport Christmas Tree

Out at the end of Bearskin Neck

Decorating the tree

On a field trip for school that I chaperoned - The Polar Express

Looking like such a big kid at school!

One of our Christmas photo shoots

Christmas Eve in Rockport

On Mount Snow in his tube

4 Years Old!!!! (December 2018)

Vivien is all in for Christmas at this point.  She mostly got the idea last year, but she really has the idea this year.  We have been doing Christmas activities all month long and she loves it. She loves decorating still, but now she leaves the decorations alone more.  Gone are the days where the decorations move a couple of times every day, which is nice because I can have all the decorations out without worrying about them getting broken.

She also wanted to look for items online for her Christmas list, as Ryder did, but she was less intense about it than him.  I added most of her items, and then she picked a few other Peppa Pig related items and some Disney princess stuff.  More than work on an online list, Vivi was into taking present photos.  One time, she wanted something while we were out that I wasn't going to get her, so I suggested that we take a picture for her list.  She really went with it full bore.  I would say that every time we went to a store she picked out a few items to take photos with.  It worked out for her; Santa brought her the little green penguin that she really liked!

Even though it has been Winter and quite cold, it is not at all uncommon to find that one of Vivi's many outfits of the day was a Summer outfit, or even her bathing suit.  She spent many a day walking around in her bathing suit pushing her shopping cart full of friends and treasures!  She even asked to go to the beach and then she wanted to know how long it would be until she could go to the beach when we explained to her that she couldn't.

In December, the day we decorated the tree, Vivi got sick with the stomach bug, her first time ever throwing up.  The poor kid was sick for a couple of days (then of course we all got some version of it that week) and then she got a nasty cold later too.  Early December was a very sick month around here!

After Christmas, we took a trip to Mount Snow, VT because the kids wanted to play in the snow.  We went tubing at the base of their ski mountain.  It was really fun and even a little faster than I expected, if a little shorter.  Vivi seemed to like it, but we got there in the early afternoon, which is often her nap time, so she didn't have the stamina to tube the whole time.  Janda and I took turns holding her near the fire pit and while I was holding her she fell asleep.  She probably made it about 45 minutes before losing steam, but part of it was being tired and I bet that the other part was the windyness.  Either way, Vivi was very excited to get out of the cold and go to the hotel, which had a pool.  The pool was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip for her!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

5 Years + 8 Months! (November 2018)

In November, we made a trip to Lake Placid so that Janda could buy a surf ski and we wanted to break up the drive, so we ended up going to another re-enactment at Fort Ticonderoga.  It was an extremely cold and windy day, especially for early November, on the way there we drove through a bunch of snow squalls in Vermont.  There is a heated building there, so we were able to eat our lunch inside and also go in a couple of times to warm up, but otherwise we were outside or in the unheated buildings and the kids really took it in stride.  The re-enactment was of the British army packing up and leaving Fort Ticonderoga for the last time in the Revolutionary War, so we watched the troops pack up and take the civilians with them to (imaginary) waiting boats to evacuate.  There were oxen there to help with the evacuation, so the Ryder loved that, especially when they pooped.  There was a really cool cannon demonstration and Ryder even got to hold a cannon ball.  After the re-enactment, we drove to Lake Placid and went swimming at the hotel pool, which Ryder loved.  He was really practicing swimming while we were there, it was very cute.

Even though Thanksgiving was super early this year, Ryder remembered that we decorate the day after Thanksgiving and begged to do it, so we did.  He helped clean the living and dining rooms and then we put up lights and put out decorations.  It was just as fun as ever to test the lights.  I'm lucky to have such great assistants for that job!

All throughout the Fall, the kids have been into having sleepovers.  They had few with Emma, but then Vivi decided that they should have some just the two of them too.  We let them do it on weekends and non-school nights.  Usually Vivi will ask Ryder if she can sleepover or if he wants to sleepover and Ryder usually agrees, so then they cuddle up together and fall asleep.  At least Ryder does, since he can fall asleep during and sleep through anything!  Sometimes he is alseep before we even finish saying goodnight to Vivi!

Holding a real cannonball at Fort Ticonderoga

With a mortar at Fort Ticonderoga

With a cannon at Fort Ticonderoga

Ryder still loves to get into costume to act out whatever he is playing

Testing the lights for me

47 Months! (November 2018)

Since Janda needed to go to Lake Placid to buy a surf ski, we made a family trip out of it and stopped at Fort Ticonderoga on the way to see another re-enactment.  Vivi is generally a very good traveler, mostly she sleeps a ton on the way and otherwise she serenades us with a variety of songs.  It was super cold and windy at Fort Ticonderoga, but Vivi was a pretty good sport about it.  Luckily there was a heated building where we could eat our lunch and warm up when we needed too.  We watched the British army evacuate from Fort Ticonderoga for the last time during the Revolutionary War.  Vivi isn't as into the British army as Ryder is, but she still had fun.  She really liked the huge oxen that were there to help evacuate the supplies and she seemed to like the cannon demonstration.  I think that mostly she had fun running around!  After that, we went to our hotel in Lake Placid and got to swim in the indoor pool, so I'm sure that was the highlight of the trip for her.  Before we left in the morning, she asked if we could stay longer!

Vivi has developed quite the stubborn streak and doesn't like to be told what to do sometimes.  Most of the time she listens well and does what she needs to do, but once she gets her dander up, she's quite a pain.  The rest of the time, when we ask her to do something, she gets this look on her face and refuses.  Often times, with threat of loss of TV or toys, she does what she needs to do, but she waits until the last second and does it quite huffily.  If I tell her that I'm going to count to 3, she almost always does it after I say three, which in my mind is her saying "Stuff it!"  

Most of the rest of the time, Vivi is a really helpful kid.  She loves to "do the dishes," which I would love for her to do more, but everything gets so wet!  She always brings silverware for everyone to the table and if I'm cleaning something or cleaning up, she will often join in and help.  She is very likely to clean up the toys she is playing with before taking out something new, although unfortunately, not every time!

This Summer and last Spring, the kids had a few sleepovers with Emma and Vivi decided that they should also have sleepovers just the two of them.  She is definitely more into it than Ryder, but like a good big brother he almost always goes along with it.  They take turns hosting the sleepovers and cuddle up together and go to sleep.  Vivi is not quite a good of a sleeper as Ryder, so a couple of times she has disappeared on him, once to her room and a couple of times to ours.

Vivi holding a cannonball at Fort Ticonderoga

Helping to test out the lights

Pushing around her shopping cart full of friends and treasures

Saturday, January 19, 2019

5 Years + 7 Months! (October 2018)

Ryder has gotten really settled into the school routine this month.  He goes in for breakfast once a week and gets school lunch once a week.  I bring him in early on Mondays, and that is muffin day, so Ryder is thrilled to be getting breakfast even if he has to go in a little early.  I let him order school lunch once a week also and so far cheeseburger is his choice.  He seems to really like it and he loves the potato chips that come with it!  Since he was pretty nervous to start, I'm glad that he is settling in well and seems to enjoy school so far.

In the mornings before school the kids have time out on the playground to play when there is good weather and Ryder and a couple of other Kindergartners like to join, or crash, the basketball games that the older kids play.  Ryder is pretty bummed that some of the older kids don't like the little kids playing with them and won't pass it to him, but he still gives it a try each morning.  Sometimes he does get his hands on the ball, and he is quite proud when he gets home.

This month Ryder started getting homework from school.  He has a packet with a worksheet for each night.  The first week, it was kind of exciting, but after the first couple of days, Ryder was annoyed by it.  And so begins 13 years of coercing hi to do homework!  He finds it pretty easy and it doesn't take him long, so hopefully it won't be too much of an issue.

We had a lot of Halloween events this month: Trunk or Treat at school, City Hall's Halloween party, the school Halloween parade and of course, trick or treating.  Ryder told me in September that he wanted to be a Roman soldier for Halloween, so I order him some fabric and some accessories to go with it.  I made the costume and got him some peach PJ's to wear under it, since Halloween is usually cold, but then he decided he didn't want to wear it to the school or city functions.  He went with firefighter, which was great since we already had the suit, I just got him new rain boots to go with it.  I was really worried that he wasn't going to wear the costume I made on Halloween, but he did and he got tons of compliments on it, I'm guessing since it was out of the ordinary!  He got a huge haul of candy and had a great time trick or treating, so it was all good.

Being a scary skeleton!

Still have to stop at those cars in the mall

Some yummy animal crackers

His firefighter costume

His firefighter costume

His Roman costume

46 Months! (October 2018)

Vivi has settled into school pretty well, although I think she finds it a little tiring.  She goes for 3 half days and 2 full days.  She seems to like the days when she eats lunch at school, but it's definitely a long day.  She is an upstairs kid this year, so she is doing a lot of work with letters and they are working on her writing out her full name instead of just Vivi.  She has it down pretty well, although the E's are a hard one.

Vivien is totally used to having her hair brushed and done at this point, so that makes most mornings a little easier.  She likes braids and poufs, and will occasionally let me put her hair into a regular ponytail, but not often.  She likes to wear her hair like me, so if I have braids, she wants braids.  It is getting longer but when it's dry it's still right around shoulder length.

When Ryder started getting homework, Vivien also wanted to do homework, so she would ask me to get her homework.  Usually I would just write a bunch of letters in yellow and let her trace them and that satisfied her desire for homework.  She wants to be just like the big kids, so I'm not at all surprised that she wants homework.  Her attitude is, whatever they are doing, I want to do too!

Vivien had a lot of Halloween events this year.  She went to Truck or Treat at Ryder's school, the City Hall Halloween party, 2 Halloween parties at her school and trick or treating.  She decided that she wanted to be a ghost, so we went to Joann's and picked out a beautiful see-through shimmery white fabric.  I made a poncho out of it and my plan was to have her wear all white and then put the shimmery white see-though poncho on her head.  She wore that to Truck or Treat and pretty much wore it long enough to take pictures and that was it!  I don't know why she hated it but she did.  I offered to make a hold for it to go over her head, but she was done with it!  She was a firefighter to 1 school party and a princess to the other events.  She got her weight in candy and got to stay out so late that she fell asleep in the wagon on the way home, so I'd say she had a good night!

A grumpy princess

A happy firefighter

What a haul!

A scary skeleton

Happy at school

On the swings

The ghost costume didn't make it very far, but it was cute!