Tuesday, June 20, 2017

4 Years + 2 months!

Ryder is very much in a phase where he knows what he wants and when he wants it and good luck to you if you get in the way of that.  It usually involves yelling and sometimes a full blown tantrum.   When we tell him what he needs to do, he will respond to us "I'm in charge!"  He seems to really believe it too!  

My favorite thing he said this month was a funny analogy that he made at dinner one night.  We had recently watched a Dinosaur Train special about the center of the Earth that explained about the different layers of the Earth.  We were having tacos that night and Ryder picks up his taco and announced "This taco is like the Earth."  I asked him to explain what he meant, because I had no idea what he was trying to say, and he told me that the taco had a hard crust like the Earth and that the hot fillings were like the hot lava in the center of the Earth.   Then he ate the Earth, I mean his taco.

Though Ryder still loves dinosaurs, we are back in mostly fire fighter mode around here.  After a couple of months of neglect, the fire fighters and trucks are back out in force.  Whenever the kids are outside, Ryder is playing some kind of fire fighter game.  Sometimes it involves the back of Janda's truck, sometimes it involves the swingset and clubhouse and unfortunately sometimes it involves the actual hose.  Occasionally we find him outside using the hose to fight some imaginary fire.

The most fun thing that we did this month was take the commuter rail to Boston to go to the Public Gardens and see the ducks.  The train ride was an event in and of itself.  Ryder was absolutely pumped to get on the train, to see the conductor, and to see the sights out of the window.  For a while, he enjoyed the view and then he started testing out other seats.  He really like sitting in the small seat across the aisle from us.When we got to Boston, we walked to the Common.  On the way, Ryder has to play with every single fire hydrant that he saw.  Somehow, some way, Ryder managed to get the cap off of one of the fire hydrants across the street from the State House.   That was probably the highlight of the trip for him because he thought that it meant that he's a real fire fighter!

After we got to the Common we had a quick picnic and then started exploring and heading to the Swanboats.  On the way, Ryder started chasing a squirrel, they had a stand-off and then the squirrel jumped at Ryder and chased him!  Ryder thought that was hysterical.  Ryder liked the Swanboats and the duck statues, but we had to hightail it away from the duck pond because we were worried that Ryder was going to fall in while he was trying to pet the ducks.  We had a little time left before we went back to the train, so we stopped at a playground do Ryder could go down the fire pole a million times.  Then on the train on the way home, Ryder played conductor.  He found a bunch of tickets on the floor of the train car and then was handing them out and yelling just like the conductor.  Luckily it was Sunday and the train wasn't that full!

Enjoying the view

He liked to have his own seat

On the Swanboats

"Feeding" a duck

Catching a ride on Mama Duck

Sitting on a little duck

 Mama Duck again

Checking out every fire hydrant in Boston

Having a seat at the playground

Monday, June 19, 2017

29 Months!

Spring is finally in full effect here and Vivi is loving it.  She wants to go outside all the time!  When we go outside to get in the car before work in the morning she and Ryder run right out to play in the yard and neighborhood.  They chase all the bunnies out of the yards and instantly start playing in the numerous puddles that pop  up in the potholes on our street.

Vivi has been eating up a storm this month.  Shortly after breakfast, she is already requesting her lunch!  She is eating more than Ryder right now, not at every meal, but overall definitely.  She still loves bananas and apples, but doesn't really like many other fruits.  She does eat a wide variety of foods though; she eats pasta dishes and soups and tacos/burritos with all kinds of different vegetables and flavors in them.  Tacos and meatballs are the overwhelming favorites at this point.

One night this month Janda was out for the evening at a baseball game and by some small miracle, I got the kids ready for bed and all tucked in by 8.  A few minutes later, I hear Vivi yelling to Ryder from the next room.  All of a sudden I hear Vivi say "I have a good idea" followed by a loud bang.  I hear a few other suspicious noises, so I went to investigate.  Unbeknownst to me, Ryder had snuck into Vivi's room and he had helped her out of the crib and now they were both on the stairs!  So, now Vivi can escape from her crib (but not her room which has a locked gate) but she hasn't really done it often.

The most fun thing that we did this month was take the commuter rail to Boston to go to the Public Gardens and see the ducks.  The train ride was an event in and of itself.  Vivi loved riding the train in and had a great time looking out the windows and testing out the different seats that were near us.  Once in Boston, we walked to the Common and had a picnic before riding the Swanboats and visiting the Make Way for Ducklings statues.  Considering all of the walking and excitement, Vivi was very well-behaved.  Of course, she slept almost the entire train ride home!

Enjoying the view

Amazed by the train car

On the swanboats

Feeding the ducks some leaves

Riding a duck

Sitting on a duck

Sitting on the Mama duck

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

4 Years +1

This was an interesting month at our house.  Christmas decorations started coming out and being put up all over the house in weird places.  Last year Ryder started trying to get ready for Christmas in June; this year it's April!  Some of the decorations were stored next to the stairs in the basement where he could just get his arm in and yank them out.  Consequently we had a very strange assortment of random Christmas stuff and Christmas lights all over the house.  The lights were even "strung up" and lit up!  It's going to be a long 8 months!

Ryder is still loving dinosaurs.  There is a paleontologist on his dinosaur TV show and now he has been digging up fossils all over the place.  He found a paintbrush and got some digging tools and starting extracting and cleaning fossils all over the place.  There are 12 inch holes everywhere and piles of fossils all over the yard.  The best day was when he brought in a bunch of fossils and cleaned them in the middle of the living room floor!  

As he is every year, Ryder has been a big help in the garden.  He loves to plant seeds and pull weeds.  He knows all the plants that we have growing around the yard and he loves to make the rounds with me to see what has grown and how much.  He gets super excited when the tiny seedlings appear!  He takes his job as chief rabbit chaser very seriously too; he loves to run outside and chase the naughty rabbits out of our garden.

Ryder's favorite new snack is popcorn.  There have been a lot of rainy days here so far this Spring and on a few of them, I've made some popcorn to eat while we watch some shows.  I always seriously overestimate how much popcorn that we need and make a huge bowl.  Ryder will just sit and chow it down!  It is the messiest food ever though- when we eat it, it actually gets everywhere.!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

28 months!

Vivien is still the sweetest little mama's girl in the world, but she has started throwing temper tantrums.  This is a lot earlier than Ryder, I feel like, but she has been watching Ryder throw them for a year...  She does the typical yelling and crying and she also goes limp in your arms when you try to pick her up or console her.  It doesn't take very long to distract her or comfort her, though, so it's not that bad.  Once she's been comforted and has stopped crying loudly, then she holds on to my neck for dear life and buries her face in my shoulder.

It is crazy how much she talks now and most of it is comprehensible.  She does have her moments where we can't understand a word of what she has said and we just smile and nod!  My favorite phrase this month is "I love you so much," which she says fairly frequently.  She especially lavishes me with love when I come to pick her up after school.

The past month two new molars erupted, so there were quite a few nights where she woke up in the middle of the night and slept with us.  Thank goodness she is much better to sleep with than she used to be.  Now she just settles in between us and puts and arm or a leg on me and sleeps through the rest of the night.

At some point in the past month we found a bottle of bubble bath that had been gifted to us ages ago and now bubble baths are Vivi's favorite.  She already loved bathtime funtime and now she loves it even more.  If you even mention bath time, within minutes Vivi is in the bathroom getting ready! 

Vivi loves to play outside and now that the weather is better, she asks to go outside constantly.  Her current favorite thing outside is the mud puddle in our driveway.  The minute it rains and starts to fill back up, she's over there poking the mud with a stick, burying toys in there and even sitting in it! 

This goofy girl rarely just sits still

What a sweet little face

She's always good for a big smile!

Being silly

A good jump but a blurry photo!  :(

Exploring the great outdoors

Now that's a walk with a purpose

Examining something she found

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

4 years old!!!!

It is incredibly hard to believe that Ryder has turned 4!  He has gotten so big and so grown-up; I shudder to think  how fast the next 4 years will go by and how big he and grown -up he'll be then!

Ryder knew all month that his birthday was coming and it was hard for him to contain his excitement!  The week before his party we put up some dinosaur decorations and then finally his birthday banner.  He had requested a red cake, which unfortunately I ended up not having enough food coloring to pull off, but he still got a red Apatosaurus on it, plus all of his favorite foods, including meatballs, fruit and guacamole!  The morning of his party, we gave him and Vivi dinosaur shirts and big inflatable dinosaurs to play with while we finished the preparations.  Most of his gifts were dinosaur related, so of course he loved that.  He got enough dinosaurs and dinosaur activities to last him quite some time!

This month has been the month of the dinosaur.  He knows the name and characteristic of what seems like every dinosaur out there.   All the books that he wanted to read, every game he wanted to play, every show that we watched on TV; it was all dinosaurs!  It is fun to see him so excited about something- he is genuinely thrilled to be learning new things and sharing his knowledge, so that's really cool.

Bedtime is pretty funny.  Ryder still loves to use the monitor.  Almost every naptime and nighttime we hear "Mommy, come on the monitor!"  Most of the time now I can comfort him without having to go upstairs, which really helps keep Vivi asleep in the evening.  What is really funny is that we can hear Ryder over the monitor.  He has books and sometimes toys in his room, plus his own personal flashlight, so he usually plays or reads for a little while before falling asleep.  It is adorable to hear him talking to his dinosaurs or acting out a firefighting scenario!

Aside from turning 4, the other big development this month was that we signed him up for Pre-school and he'll be going 3 mornings a week next year.  This step was so hard for me!  I want him  to be my little baby at home forever!  We visited his new school and he enjoyed seeing the school, playing with the toys and meeting the teacher, so we think that he will love it. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

27 months!

Vivi is a talking machine now!  She mostly talks in complete sentences, or at least close to complete sentences.  Aside from the fact that she thinks the only possible answer to the questions "Why?" is "Because," she asks and answers tons of questions now.  She also narrates everything she is doing.  "My booboo hurts."  "I touching my booboo."  And so on and so forth.

Vivi loves to change clothes and shoes.  She will often go upstairs and pull some clothes out of the bottom drawer and come down with a whole new outfit; a summer one!  She loves trying on other people's shoes, mine, Janda's and especially Ryder's.  Even though she loves shoes, she hates socks.  It's a miracle to get socks on her in the morning and an even bigger miracle if they stay on all day.  She is also a bit obsessed with pockets right now.  She highly prefers clothes with pockets, loves sticking her hands in them and will also stick little treasures in them throughout the day.

Vivi also loves to go up to her room and hang out on her armchair with a book.  If she has disappeared from downstairs, I usually find her on her chair with a book in her lap.  Sometimes I can hear her reading the book to herself from down here.  It's so cute!  She has a new favorite book this month: Max the Brave.  We have to read it to her every night and she would read it a few other times throughout the day if it was up to her.  We try to mix it up with other books though, to preserve our sanity.

Even though the weather hasn't been great, Vivi still loves to get outside.  She is always asking to go for a walk or to go rock-climbing or out on the rope swing.  She doesn't always stay out long if the weather is bad, but she loves to get out there.  She doesn't mind in the least getting dirty and muddy.  It's almost impossible to keep her away from the mud puddles!

They take turns lounging on the arm of the couch!

Look at the smile!

Watching TV, wearing Ryder's flipflops

Doing a little jumping

Smiley girl!

Goofing around and sliding off the couch

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

47 months!

Ryder is closing in on four at an alarming rate!  All of a sudden he seems so much bigger.  A lot of his 3T clothes seem to be too short; I've begun phasing in his 4T stuff.  That is so much quicker than he has moved up in size in the past- or it least it feels that way!  He also got a haircut, so that instantly makes him look older.

As with all holidays, Ryder was pretty pumped about Valentine's Day.  I put a heart on Valentine's Day on the calendar so he would know when it was coming, and then he put a heart of every day in February!  We made some paper hearts to put on our fireplace and then we strung up some 3D paper hearts and Ryder was thrilled to make them!  On Valentine's Day, we gave them a couple of lollipops, a mini Thomas and some balloons that are self-filling after you hit them and Ryder was over the moon.  It's so fun to watch him be so excited about everything.

We had some snowstorms this past month and Ryder had an absolute blast playing in the snow.  His favorite activity is shoveling.  He shovels the street and says that he is "plowing" it!  When we went sledding, we had to bring the shovel with us.  After a few runs, Ryder wanted to stay at the bottom and shovel the whole field!  We did convince him to do a few more runs after that, which he enjoyed, but clearly shoveling it the best in his eyes!

Ryder's new obsession is dinosaurs!  He has had a set of dinosaurs for almost a year that he would play with occasionally, but now he plays with them constantly.  From his dinosaur figures, he moved onto dinosaur books and finally I convinced him to try watching Dinosaur Train on PBS, and now it's all dinosaur all the time.

Chilling on his bean bag

Thinking about something

A big smile!

He still loves action photos

A sideways smile