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

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Winter Wonderland

We haven't gotten much snow so far this winter, so that hasn't been much winter fun happening.  Although we are perfectly happy with the Spring-like weather we've been having, don't get me wrong.  The first snow we had, Ryder was sick, so we didn't get him out.  The next snow, Ryder went sleddding in our yard during Vivi's nap, so she didn't get out.  This morning we finally got them both out together to play in the snow and it was adorable!  That being said, I hope it all melts fast!!

Vivi's first time in the snow!

Pulling them both around in the sled

Taking it all in while I push Ryder down the hill

Ryder likes sledding, no surprise there

Ohh, a helper!

A little ride down the hill

Everything was still covered in snow this morning

Ryder decided to trying laying down

My two cuties

Monday, January 25, 2016

34 months!

It's hard to believe that Ryder will be three in two short months!  On the one hand, he is getting so big and developing so fast, and on the other hand it seems like just yesterday he was born!

This was the first Christmas that he really had an idea that something special was happening.  He kept saying all month long that Santa was going to bring him lots of trucks!  On Christmas morning he woke up at his regular time and we had to tell/remind him that it was Christmas and Santa had come last night.  Santa brought him a table with a track set that had lots of cars and trains and other little parts for the scene.  It was a HUGE hit and he didn't even really want to open his other presents.  He and Vivien have been playing with that and all of the other new toys ever since.  The only downside to Christmas was that Ryder didn't understand that it would be over and that Santa wouldn't be bringing him new toys every night!

He is definitely in a "boundary pushing" phase.  The good news is that he knows what is right and what is wrong; the bad news is that knowledge does not inform his choices yet!    Right now, when the moment passes, he is pretty good about giving "please forgive me" kisses.  Usually it just takes a few minutes of freaking out before he moves on to something new.

This month Ryder hit a milestone that he probably wouldn't have minded skipping.  He had his first real sickness and threw up, while on my lap of course.  He was down for the count for two straight days.  In fact, he was only out of my sight for about 45 minutes for those 48 hours!  He spent most of the time on the couch, sleeping or watching Curious George or Bob the Builder.  It snowed that first day and he wasn't even a little bit interested in it!  The poor boy really must have felt miserable.

Ever since my maternity leave, Ryder has been even more attached to me than ever.  I don't know if the vacation jump-started that or what, but he has been very snuggly lately.  He always wants me to be with him and gets upset when I leave, plus he has been cuddling a lot.  He wants to sit on my chair when we eat and will walk over and hug my leg, especially if I'm holding Vivien.  That being said, he still never minds when I leave for work in the morning and say good-bye to him at my mom's!

Enjoying his apple

What a face

Just chilling, eating his apple

Goofing around

Getting a little tired of this photo shoot

A little break on the hippity hop cheered him right up