Wednesday, April 4, 2018

4 Years + 11 Months!

As with all other holidays, Ryder was very excited about Valentine’s Day.  We decorated the living room with lots of hearts.  We used some that they had made last year and then made a whole bunch of new ones.  Ryder learned how to cut out hearts while we were doing this, so he also made quite a few on his own.  He was very excited to give Valentine’s out at school and we picked some out online to print.  He really liked watching the printer go!  After we printed them out, I made a list for Ryder and he wrote the kids names on them and then signed them.  I expected that this would take a couple of sittings to finish, but once we started he didn’t want to stop.  When I suggested a break, he scoffed at me.  He got a huge bag of fun Valentine’s from school, so the whole thing was very exciting for him.

Ryder found a new favorite TV show on Netflix called Dinosaur King.  It’s completely insane, but Ryder loves it.  He got totally into it and every time that it was his turn to choose a show to watch, he chose Dinosaur King.  Dinosaurs are in cards and whoever has the cards can call the dinos out and have them battle, so right up Ryder’s alley.  There’s a bunch of more unusual dinosaurs on the show, so at least we’ve been learning something!

In addition to being all about pirates, this month, Ryder started playing “British” more and more.  We found a pair of hand me down boots that are perfect “British” boots, based on what he has seen in Pirates of the Caribbean, and turned his pirate outfit into a “British” outfit. 

Sometime at the end of January, Ryder discovered our old Risk game in the sunroom and has become obsessed.  The cover of the box shows some British soldiers, so he was instantly hooked!  Despite our initial misgivings, we let him play with the game.  We started him out with a bit of a simplified way to play the game.  He gets  little too competitive when he plays with Vivi and he occasionally makes a mess of the tiny pieces, so he has lost the game a few times, but mostly he does a great job and has a lot of fun with it.

heading out for a walk with our Jolly Roger, of course!

Very serious about his job

There's a good look at the flag

Vivi got a turn but Ryder needed to help of course

Ryder's gotten all wrapped up!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

38 Months!

February was a bit of a long month because Vivi (and Ryder too) spent the month sleeping poorly.  Vivi has been in her bed for over six months now and she never woke up more than occasionally or when she was sick, but this month it felt like she woke up every night.  Usually when they wake up we have them come sleep with us for a couple of hours and that’s that.  But this month Vivi was waking up very early, lots of times before 1am even, and it was very consistent.  What made it even harder to deal with was that all of this upheaval was somehow affecting Ryder and there were several nights that both of them were with us!  Vivi really loves to snuggle with me when she wakes up in the middle of the night, so I do actually like it, but not every night!

Vivien was pretty excited about Valentine’s Day this year.  They did a lot of activities at school, plus we decorated a lot at home and then they had a party at school.  She picked out a Valentine’s card that she liked online and then I printed them out for her.  She loved to watch them shoot out of the printer- she stood in front of it and held out her two little hands to catch each sheet as it came!  I wrote her classmates’ names for her, but she did sign them.  She can write Vivi, although sometimes she writes it out of order!  We did a couple of sessions and she signed them all herself.  The bag of Valentine’s and treats that she brought home was huge!

One of Vivi’s most favorite toys to play with is play-doh still.  She pulls out that bucket of play-doh and tools most days.  She got a gift card for Christmas and she picked out two packs of play-doh, plus she had gotten some new play-doh as a present.  She used it so much that it was starting to dry out a bit, so I got her some more for Valentine’s day.  She was thrilled!  She’s very good at the roller now, so she rolls out her play-doh and makes tons of little play-doh shapes.  She made a couple of dozen hearts and gave them to me in a little bowl!

Vivi taking a turn carrying the Jolly Roger

She's having a good time!

Striding down the street

Ryder got all caught up

Of course, if Vivi is doing it, Ryder needs to 'help'

Monday, April 2, 2018

4 Years + 10 Months!

We had a huge storm that brought 2 snow days with it early in the month and we had a lot of fun with the kids for that long weekend.  There was enough snow that the plows made a huge pile next to our house, so the kids were able to get some sledding in even when we were stuck at home.  We went out several times over the course of that 4 day weekend- the snow clothes were constantly hanging up to dry in the living room so that we could go out again later.  The first day, during the storm, it was quite cold and windy- so windy that when we went to look at the super high tide at the river, we couldn’t even look down the stairs to the beach because the wind was whipping our faces.  After we came in from that, it was time for a hot chocolate while we warmed up by the fire!

Since most of Ryder’s Christmas presents were pirate related, it’s been all pirates all the time since then.  The train table has turned into a pirate table, as the kids got forts and ships and all sorts of Playmobil pirate stuff.  It then migrates onto the floor as Ryder sets up a whole world of pirates.  He also loves his pirate costume, which he throws on most days to play life sized pirates.  His drawings were mostly pirate themed this month too- huge ships with tons of cannons and pirates with big beards!

It was a little bit of a tricky transition back to school after having school vacation and then a couple of snow days the first week back, which, coupled with Ryder’s treatment wearing off meant that Ryder had some anxiety being away from home and me.  In the mornings, he didn’t want me to leave for school and there would be a little tearing up at school when he was dropped off.  He genuinely seems to like school though, so hopefully this is just a little hiccup.

Just laying int he snow

Enjoying all that white stuff


Getting a little tired and cold, I think


Sunday, April 1, 2018

37 Months!

One of Vivi’s favorite Christmas presents was her new paints and paintbrushes.  Her old paints were just about running out, so she was thrilled to have a brand new set.  She wants to paint practically every day.  She likes drawing and coloring, but she is definitely much more into painting lately.

Vivien also got new books for Christmas and some of those books in particular she loves and we have to read every night.  Some of the books that she got we Curious George books, which we call Georgie books.  Unlike our other Georgie books, these ones tell the same stories that the kids have seen on the show.  Vivi found that to be especially thrilling; she liked to read the stories and then watch them in the morning.

I don’t know if it’s a stage that she’s going through or just her personality, but Vivien loves to help.  I cannot cook anything without Vivi dragging the stool over to help!  She loves to watch and she loves to get involved too.  She has long loved to play in the dishwater when I’m washing dishes, but now she also washes dishes when she’s playing.  Some of them weren’t exactly dirty to begin with but that ok!  There are other little chores that I ask the kids to do and if I ask Ryder to do some vacuuming, then I had better find something for Vivi to vacuum too!

We had a crazy storm early this month and Vivi was thrilled with all the snow that we got.  We went out during the blustery storm and I pulled Vivi around in her sled, after we did some sledding down our snow plow hill.  Ryder and I walked down to the river, pulling Vivi along in the sled.  The wind was absolutely whipping our faces, so we were all hunkered down into our scarves.  After we checked out the river, we made our way home, at which point I noticed that Vivi had fallen asleep with her face tucked into her scarf while I was pulling her!  It was freezing and windy as can be, so we were all amazed that she managed to fall asleep!

Out in the storm

A little cold swinging

She fell asleep!

Out the next day

She loves riding around in her sled

Saturday, March 31, 2018

4 Years + 9 Months!

On the first day of December, the Christmas Countdown calendar went up, which Ryder remembers very well from last year.  He was so beyond excited that he was jumping around and hooting and hollering with joy.  Each day he got a little something in his bag, sometimes candy, sometimes a Christmas themed item and some of them were little paper Christmas houses to build.  At first he was unimpressed with the paper houses, and even crumpled his first one up.  But after seeing Vivi with hers, he changed his mind and I printed him a new one.  Then he arranged them as decorations. 

Ryder has always been very excited about decorating, so I expected him to be all over that, and boy was he!!  But this year he was also super into wrapping presents. They did a present wrapping activity at school most days, so he obviously really like it because he spent the month wrapping up his toys as presents.  He wrapped a few and put them up where Vivi couldn’t get them, but then he started putting them under the tree.  As Christmas got close, he wrapped a bunch more and then piled them all into a big reusable grocery bag and pretended to be Santa with his sack of toys, all the while wearing his Santa suit PJ’s that I got him.  It was very festive!

Ryder has always been helpful and has done many things around the house, often without asking.  All summer long he was the recycling king; a task which he still enjoys!  With the Christmas season upon us, he has been extra helpful, in hopes that Santa would notice what a good little boy he is!  He even unloaded the whole dishwasher by himself one day- I love it!!

The last couple of days leading into Christmas were so much fun this year.  We had a lot of activities planned, so we really kept busy.  There was a visit with friends, a trip downtown to the police station to see the lobster trap Christmas tree, our annual Christmas Eve trip to Rockport followed by a screening of the Grinch, and of course, Christmas morning.   Ryder was so excited and he loved his presents so much!  The pirate ship and fort was a huge hit, as well as the pirate costume and the nerf guns.  The kids got loaded up with art supplies and of course some practical items that the parents really appreciate!

He loved that ornament

So happy!

Showing off that ornament

Looking spiffy!

Friday, March 30, 2018

3 Years Old!!!

This year Vivien really knew what Christmas is all about, so this was the first Christmas that she was really excited for because she knew what was coming instead of because Ryder was all hyped up.  We did our Christmas Countdown calendar again and this year she understood all of the parts and what to do for them, whereas last year she needed hands on guidance to do her activities.  She was able to glue on her own pom-poms to our Santa's beard picture and get out her own stickers for the card that we hung up.  Basically she and Ryder could do the whole thing on their own.

Vivien loves to do “activities” basically anything where she does some art or science-y activity that Ryder and I do with her.  All month long in December, we did Christmas themed activities, painting ornaments, making cards, making decorations… so Vivi was in heaven. 

This month the pre-school had a little concert downtown with some singing, a visit from Mrs. Claus and ice cream.  Vivien was super nervous and shy once it was time for her to get up on “stage.”  She willingly went and sat on her chair, but she hid her face in her purple lamb and didn’t sing for about half the concert.  Towards the end, she got into it and dropped lamby to the floor and started singing and doing the hand motions with her class. 

Vivien celebrated her birthday in the middle of the month with a small party.  I couldn’t really get any sort of theme idea from her, but she knew that she wanted a ducky cake, so she got a ducky cake.  That was more than enough to make her happy!  She loved all of her new presents and didn’t want Ryder to steal them, so all of her presents immediately went into her room.  In fact half of them have a special place on her bed- like the baby carriage!

Even though Vivi remembered some things from Christmas from last year and had been hearing about it all month long from Ryder, she still wasn’t quite as into it and excited as Ryder on Christmas morning.  Ryder waited patiently for a half an hour or so, and then woke her up.  She wasn’t sure what to make of everything and wasn’t ready to dive in immediately like he was, but once she opened her stocking and had some of Santa’s special apple juice, she was into it.  She was thrilled with her play-doh and started zooming around on her scooter right away! 

Playing with the lights

Playing with some candles

Ready for her party

Someone is three!

So happy to be seranaded

She loves her presents!

Friday, December 8, 2017

4 years + 8 months!

Halloween was great fun for Ryder this year.  He chose to be a fire fighter, using the costume that I had gotten him earlier this Fall.  He had a Halloween party at school and then he had trick-or-treating the next day.  He was very nervous to wear his costume to school; I assume that he wasn’t sure if other kids would be wearing theirs and didn’t want to be different.  He wore his fire fighter overalls tucked in to his boots, so they just looked like black pants and then he brought his jacket in his backpack.  Once he saw that other kids were dressed up, he pulled it all back out.  They had a costume parade and then a little party and games. 

Ryder loves trick-or-treating.  He loves getting candy, of course and he loves staying out so late.  The weather was not too cold this year, so it was easy to stay out!  When they were all tired out, we pulled them home in the wagon and they assessed their hauls.  After that, the candy went on the fridge to be carefully rationed out!

After Halloween was over, Ryder decided that we did not need the little decorative pumpkins anymore, so he took them to the kitchen, chopped them up and pretended to make a pie with them!  It was hysterical!  He got out a bowl and a butter knife and managed to cute the pumpkins into several large pieces.  Then he scooped the seeds out and chopped them into smaller pieces.  Finally he put them on a tray and put them in the oven to cook into pumpkin pie.

The day after Thanksgiving, Ryder was 100% ready to start getting ready for Christmas, even though Thanksgiving was super early this year!   There was absolutely no way that I was going to convince Ryder to wait til December 1st, so we took down the Fall decorations and got out the Christmas stuff that very day!  He also put his snowsuit on, pretended to make snow angels and made a snowman out of buckets and balls in the yard that day!  I guess that he was impatient for winter!!

Getting Santa out!

Trying to figure out these lights

Fooling around with them

Now he's got 2 sets

What a sweet kid

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

35 Months!

November has been a fun month around here.  We had a long weekend and then Thanksgiving break to spend with the kids.  We all enjoyed the extra rest and the extra family time.

Vivien really seems to enjoy pre-school.  She sometimes says at night that she doesn't want to go the next day, but I think that she just wants to stay and play with me.  She doesn't cry when she goes to school and settles right in when she gets there.  She loves all of the activities that they do and according to Ryder she has made a friend.  The sweetest part of all is that for snack and circle time, when Ryder comes downstairs to her classroom, he always sits next to her!  

Vivi has really gotten into painting and has been painting several times a week lately.  She has always loved "activities" but she hasn't always been into the more independent art stuff.  Most of what she paints is blue!

At bedtime we read a book or two and her favorites lately have been the Curious George books.  If I'm reading a different book to Ryder, or sometimes just because she is so inclined, she "reads" the books to me.  It's quite cute and she tells a pretty good story based on the pictures.

Vivi's number one thing lately is doing everything herself.  She puts on all of her clothes, goes to the bathroom, gets food ready and cleans up all by herself.  The newest skill is being able to fully buckle herself into the carseat.  She does NOT like it when we try to help her.

Thanksgiving was very early this year, so we had a lot of Christmas decorating in November.  The morning after Thanksgiving these two kids were ready to go!  They started wearing their Christmas PJ's and getting the house decorated immediately!

Playing with Santa and a fossil

Still holding onto Santa

Love the crazy curls

Not hard to get a smile out of her

Some serious business being conducted here

Happy girl!