Wednesday, October 19, 2016

22 months!

Vivi has settled in very nicely to her new schedule.  Her mid-day nap is a very consistent 2-2.5 hours now and she goes right down to sleep/does not fuss when we put her down.  She goes to bed either a little before or just after Ryder and almost never fusses at bedtime either.  She is getting a lot better at sleeping while there are other noises in the house, which is also very helpful.  She almost never wakes up before her wake-up time of 6:30, which is very nice on weekends.

Vivi is super active, I would say that she is pretty much equal to Ryder at the same age in activity and energy levels.  She loves running, jumping and climbing and she seems to have no fear.  The heights that I have seen her jump from are enough to make my heart jump into my throat.  She is much more coordinated now while running and enjoys running back and forth and in circles in the house when we can't be outside.  Just like Ryder though, her favorite is jumping and bouncing like crazy!

Vivi is getting to that age where her speaking skills are starting to snowball.  She has added loads of words this month: "pumpkin," "apple," taco," and a few different kinds of trucks.  She now plays the "Find a truck" game with Ryder and I on the way to my mom's in the morning.  Even when she doesn't see the truck first, she loves to yell "I got it!" which infuriates Ryder.  She has been using a lot of action words lately too, like "Wait," "Help," "Carry you," and of course she has been saying "More" for quite some time.

My two favorite phrases this month have to be "Watch this" and "Whatcha doing?"  Everything that we do all day long is accompanied by a handful of "Whatcha doing's?"  It's so darn cute.  Lately Vivi has been into showing off all of her new skills and she always wants us to "Watch this."  I love it she comes over to me, grabs my chin and makes serious eye contact while she says "Watch this."  Then she continues to check that I am still watching until she does her trick.  Then she comes over and does it all over again.

She loves her little rocking chair

What a smiley girl!

She was rocking like crazy

She loves that little fire truck

Taking a reading break

Chilling on the couch with her friends

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 pours 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


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