Thursday, September 29, 2016

42 months!

Aside from the occasional teary good-bye, Ryder also jumped right back into our school year routine like he hadn't spent the last two months doing something different.  The funniest part of dropping him off in the morning is his good-bye routine.  He tells me "No booboos and no accidents" and to "Have a great day at work" and usually also, "See you after school."  Depending on what he and Emma are doing, sometimes he insists on following me to the car to say all that, sometimes he says it through the window as we blow kisses or sometimes he shouts it as he tears by on the scooter or the tricycle!

Ryder's speaking skills have continued to improve impressively.  He is almost completely understandable to adults that aren't in the family.  He continues to impress me with his vocabulary; he seems to know a lot of words and can use them very flexibly.  One of the phrases that has been killing me this month is "It's perfect.  I love it." said with great feeling and sincerity about whatever new thing he has just learned exists and now needs to own.  I'm not the only one who thinks it's cute; the lady in the aisle with us at the Dollar Store was laughing too!

Ryder continues to be a great helper around here.  If I'm cleaning, Ryder always jumps in and lends a hand.  He is good at putting everything away, vaccuming, dusting and wiping things up.  He loves helping to cook and bake anything; at this point he and Vivi fight over who gets to help the most.  He does most of our recycling and helps Janda with the trash every week.  It's basically the highlight of his week

Ryder is also on a do-it-myself kick lately.  He uses a stool to get himself a glass, then gets into the fridge and get his milk and pouts himself a glass.  He insists on opening his own car door, getting himself into the seat and buckling the half of the buckle that he can do by himself anytime we go anywhere.  He is very independent and stubborn, so he gets most things done that he sets out to do himself.

Playing with his firetrucks by the fire while wearing his fire truck shirt and fireman boots

Telling me a big story

Sweet face

Just chilling on the floor

An action shot

He looks so old sitting this way with his new haircut!

Monday, September 26, 2016

21 months!

Vivien has adapted to our back-to-school schedule admirably.  Although there were a few extra tears last month, she has been good when I leave each morning.  When we get into the car in the morning or pull into my mom's, she often yells out "Emma" or "Meme"!  She is right back to everything, including napping over there.  To work better with my mom's schedule, she is now on one nap.  We tried at the beginning of the summer, but she always seemed a little too tired mid-morning.  Now she naps on Ryder's usual schedule of 12ish to 3pm.

Vivien is even more about doing it herself than last month.  She usually insists on getting in and out of the carseat herself now.  She pretty much wants to eat everything under her own power; she only accepts help to get the last of something.  Just like Ryder, Vivi loves to help us and be a part of everything we're doing.  The minute that I start cooking, she runs over to the stool and says "Help!" She gets a little frustrated though, because she doesn't quite understand why she can't pour the pancake batter herself!

Vivien is learning new words at a quick pace now.  She is getting way better at repeating words that she has just heard and remembering words for later.  She has been saying "I love you" for quite some time now; but only every once in a while.  She says it mostly when I'm leaving for work in the morning.  She says "Please" if you prompt her and every once in a while she comes out with a "thank you" on her own.

Just as Ryder has left the phase where he gets into everything and runs down the street any chance we get and we start to get a little peace and order around here, Vivien has entered that phase!  She always wants to go for walks and tries to initiate them herself. And of course she always heads for the puddles down the street.  At stores she likes to check out everything and wants to ride on the side of the cart like her big brother.  She actually hangs on admirably well!

What a face!

Just chillin', watching Ryder play with fire trucks

Couldn't sit still long enough for me to get one photo!

I love her huge smile

Playing hide and seek

She is starting to get more into reading and books

Dirty feet, the sign of a day well-lived without shoes on!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

End of Summer Adventures! (Part 2)

We went up to the White Mountains for the day and did the kid-friendly Cascade Basin trail and the Flume Gorge trail.  The kids absolutely loved them- they were running from waterfall to waterfall yelling "Wow!"  We got a year long pass, so we'll definitely go back up.

The first waterfall we saw was before we even got to the trail- Ryder couldn't wait 

There were a lot of bridges, which were a little stressful for us parents

The Basin

Wow!!!

There were so many beautiful waterfalls, every few hundred feet or so

At the start of the Cascade Basin trail

Having a snack right by a huge waterfall

One of the two covered bridges on the Flume Gorge trail

Someone was too busy exploring to get in the family photo!

The Flume Gorge is amazing

A picture can't capture the gorge, with its rapids and intricate bridge system

More waterfalls to enthrall the kids

Happy kid

Climbing into and through the Wolf Den

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

End of summer adventures! (Part 1)

The middle of the summer was somewhat unproductive as far as adventures go because it was so hot and dry.  We did a lot of swimming but mostly we stayed inside for most of the day to avoid the strongest rays of the sun.  Finally in the last week of summer we did two of the things that we had planned all along: hiking and Thomasland.


Excited for Thomasland

Riding on Thomas the Train was too much for poor tired Vivi!

Enjoying our picnic

A ride made for Ryder!

On the little train

Flying on the rockets


All kinds of things to do

The gravity drop!

Janda regretted the teacups

A streamliner like in the book "Choo choo"

Monday, August 29, 2016

41 months!

Terrible three's pushing forward around here!  We're still working on listening and following directions and Ryder is definitely getting a lot better.  It's not 100% of the time yet, but when we ask him not to do something, he has gotten a lot better at not ignoring us and doing it anyway!  He is very headstrong (are there any three year olds who aren't?) and when what he wants and what we want aren't the same, he gets frustrated.  This still mostly happens before nap and before bed when he is tired/overtired.

Ryder has been back on his bike a lot this month.  There are some kids in the neighborhood who come up for the weekends with their bikes, so the whole group of them tear around.  Ryder really enjoys it when there are other kids to play with.  Since he's not in pre-school yet, he doesn't quite know what to do in a big group of kids, but he still has fun.  They are all older than him, and they are pretty good with him and Vivi.

We did a few art projects this month, some inspired by Curious George and another inspired by a rainy day!  Curious George makes Valentine's Day cards for his friends in one of the episodes, so Ryder wanted to make some cards too.  We got out a bunch of cards and Ryder started painting.  After I showed him that you can paint on one side, close the card and make a neat mirrored pattern, he was all about that!  He would paint one side of his card and then say "Watch this trick Daddy!" He must have painted 40 cards that way.  He gave several of them out already.

Ryder continues to be very involved in the garden.  He picks the tomatoes but hat he really loves now are the peppers.  When we come in he sorts the different veggies into baskets, puts them into the fridge and then helps cook them later.  He loves to pull the stems off the tomatoes as I am getting ready to roast them, but his favorite is grilling peppers.  The other day he put all of the peppers we picked in the grill, which was off. Later when Janda turned it on he found a bunch of cooked peppers when he opened the grill after it warmed up!

Sitting with Daddy

A little slouchy but still smiley

Sitting up and saying cheese

On the go of course

Running around

Eventually all of the jumping ended up in a pig pile

Goofy face

The action photos are his favorite part

Saturday, August 27, 2016

20 months!

Vivien has been talking up a storm this month.  There are times when she quietly watches things, especially when strangers are around, but mostly she is chattering constantly, or screaming.  She has a high pitched scream of joy and amusement that would shatter fine crystal if we had any!  She is picking up words much more quickly now and seems to have a new word practically every day.  My favorite words of the month have been her new phrases: "I did it!" "Here you go" and "I got it!"  Every time Vivien does anything she excitedly exclaims "I did it!"  It's really cute how proud she is of doing things herself.

Speaking of doing things herself, Vivien wants to do everything herself.  She likes to pull on her own clothes, eat her own food and do every little task.  If we try to do something that she wants to do herself, she tells us
"No!" with her cute little scrunched up face.

So far Vivien loves to play with trucks, which Ryder is still not a fan of, and the musical toys the most.  Everything else she just likes to dump out and walk away!  Her favorite things to play with though, are things that are not toys.  She is constantly going through drawers and pulling everything out to choose the most baby-inappropriate things to carry around.

She likes to help in the garden, but she doesn't quite understand which things are ready to pick!  She is sort of getting the idea now, but mostly she picks whatever she wants and then says "Ready!" A lot of the time it is something green!  We have a lot of tomatoes and peppers, so I don't mind too much and would rather encourage her to be part of the gardening.  It does upset Ryder though- he keeps trying to explain to her what is ready.

Vivien has been eating and sleeping well.  We cut back on the milk a little bit, but on the hot days we give her more.  She still likes her few certain fruits and veggies, but hasn't really found any more that she likes.  She definitely likes dinner foods the most.  She is still doing two naps a day most days, but I can see the slow transition to one is coming.  It might have to come when we go back to school.  Most nights she still goes to bed easily and sleeps through the night.  Both she and Ryder had fevers this past month, so that night was a bit trying, but the rest of the time she has been great.

Most of the pictures were her looking sideways- note to self, next time have Ryder over with me!

Big smile!

Cutie!

I love that sweet face!

Always dumping stuff out

Who me?  I would never make a mess...