Sunday, July 24, 2016

19 Months!

This past month has been a lot of fun because we have been on summer vacation for most of it and Vivi is at the cutest stage, I think!  I love 18 months- 2 years.  This stage has been a happy go lucky stage for both Ryder and now Vivi.  It seems like Vivi is smiling and laughing most of the time.  It doesn't take much to get her to break into a huge smile.  She does make other faces now too, which are hysterical.  She has one look that seems like it's supposed to be a "Take me seriously and do what I want" face, but then she cracks up laughing.

She is still an avid milk drinker and a so-so eater.  We have been making sure to stick to the 24 recommended oz of milk and trying to get her to eat more.  What she seems to be liking most nowadays is dinner food.  She loves pasta, pizza, grilled foods.  She also loves snack foods, like cereal and goldfish, but she still only likes melon, bananas and clementines for fruit!  I'm sure that next summer she and Ryder will be fighting over those berries, but this summer, not so much.

Vivi is talking a ton now.  She can say a bunch of body parts, most of the foods that she likes, the names of several different people and various other useful words.  She has been saying "More" a lot lately!  In addition to "Up" now she also says "Carry" when she wants us to hold her.  My favorite word this month is definitely "Pizza"  It is just so darn cute the way she says it and she gets so excited!

Vivi, more so than Ryder if I remember correctly, loves to be held.  Ryder liked to be held during the night, but she loves it during the day.  She is a strong little girl now, so even if I don't want to hold her anymore, I can't really detach her!  She holds on super tight to my arm and really grabs my waist with her legs.  I can let go and she doesn't go anywhere!  It's hysterically adorable and hot during the heatwave!

She loves playing outside.  Sometimes she likes to chill in the shade with her milk but mostly she is getting into everything.  She is practically independent on the playset now.  She loves getting into the garden stuff- she likes to pick things, regardless of whether or not they are ripe!  Vivi has really taken to "swimming" this summer.  She wades right up to her chin in the river and shrugs off our hands when we try to hold them.  She loves to splash and be swished around- she always has a big smile on her face down there.

Her curls look like a halo in this one

Sitting still for a second

A good smile

Ugh she's so big!

Always happy

There's that face

She loves fire trucks too, too bad Ryder doesn't love to share them

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fiesta time!

This year Ryder was absolutely thrilled with the Fiesta, the carnival, as he calls it.  We went to go on the rides twice and we went to watch the Seine boats and Greasy Pole twice.  As Ryder and Vivi were both saying "Viva!"

Watching the races from the beach

Splashing around during Daddy's race

Representing Daddy's team

There he is in the back seat

Getting ready for the Greasy Pole

Eating at the Brewery

Eating at the Brewery

Waiting for Daddy's practice to be over so we can go into the carnival

Of course we found a fire truck

Ryder's favorite ride.  After he got down he would get back in line and run up the stairs to go again.

He is ready to go

Second favorite ride was the "horsies"

Saturday, July 2, 2016

39 months!

This month has been the month of boundary pushing!  We are definitely in the midst of the terrible threes here.  We were lucky and really missed the terrible twos altogether, but I guess everyone gets it eventually.  The majority of the poor behavior comes just before nap and bedtime still, so it's definitely the product of being overtired mostly.  The biggest meltdowns come before bedtime.  We have had to lock all of the doors in the house to prevent our escape artist from disappearing and once that happens he has been known to try to get upstairs to wake Vivi up.  When he gets really upset like this, even when it is at us because we won't let him do something, he still wants to come over and hug it out with us.

It seems like every day Ryder is saying something that I want to remember but never seem to get written down.  He talks so well now, it is really amazing to me that one year ago he could not make any sentences.  One of my favorites, that he has been saying for a while, is "Watch this trick" or "Look at this trick" and then he'll do something that he thinks we'll find cool and impressive.

Ryder is still a very good eater.  He doesn't eat everything and there are things that he won't even try, but he does eat a wide variety of foods.  It is fresh fruit season now and he loves it.  He would eat a quarter of a watermelon or a pint of strawberries all by himself no problem!  He loves picking strawberries from our garden and he is really interested in all of the other fruits and vegetables that we grow.  So far peas and cilantro have been a hit.

Since February we have been doing "projects" at home- particularly of the baking soda and vinegar variety.  Every so often he will ask to do a "project" and out comes the food coloring and a few other ingredients to make a fun mess.  One time he was doing a "project" and ended up covered from head to toe in purple shaving cream!

About to jump, of course

What a smile!

Most of this shoot was spent focusing on those blueberries!

Sitting still for a second

Of course he's playing with a fire truck or two


Thursday, June 30, 2016

18 months!

Vivi has been talking up a storm lately, some of it understandable, some of it less so!  She has been saying a lot of new words this month, plus making lots of other sounds.  She now says Ducky and Tiger when she wants her lovies.  She says "milk" constantly!

She loves playing outside and will get her shoes or her hat to let us know that she's ready to go outside.  She got her first pair of rain boots this month and got soaked splashing in a puddle almost instantly! She loves to dig around in our garden and explore the yard and lately she has been taking off down the street when she thinks she can get away with it, just like Ryder used to do!

She has all of her molars in now, so she can eat things a little more easily.  She still prefers milk to everything else, a habit that we are discouraging!  She eats a lot of different foods, just not too much of any of them.  She has really been enjoying the summer melons though she still isn't interested in berries.

Aside from some hiccups when each of her molars were breaking through, Vivi is an excellent sleeper now.  She goes easily down for her 2 naps (1 to 1.5 hours each) and right on up to bed.  It takes her between 15 and 45 minutes to fall asleep most naps and nights, but she just quietly makes noises to herself for that time.  She mostly sleeps through the night, with just a short cry between 10 and 11pm many nights.  Since there is nothing we can do to console her and going in makes it worse, we just let her fall back to sleep on her own; it usually takes just a few minutes.

"Cheese"

She seems like she is always smiling!

Eyelashes for days

Closest to sitting up that we could get in her silly mood

Very silly

She loves getting out toys and by getting out I mean dumping boxes of them out on the floor to see what's there!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

38 months!

Life with a three year old is pretty interesting.  It is mostly adorable, and a small sliver of totally insane!

Ryder is definitely fully entrenched in a boundary pushing phase.  He has run away from my mom as she tries to get him into our house, has run away from me while I was grilling dinner on the back porch and will try every door in the house to try to get outside until he finally admits that he has been locked in.

The hour or so before his nap and before bedtime are the most challenging.  Being overtired, or even just tired seems to bring out his devilish side.  Any day that we get through those hours with minimal tantrums is a successful day.  With the days being longer, it has been hard to get everyone to bed on time, so we have been trying to come in a little sooner and have a little more decompression time before bed.  When he is ramping up at bedtime, I try to get him to do a quiet activity, like coloring, painting or doing puzzles to calm him down.  It mostly works!

Ryder's favorite words lately have been "fantastic," "amazing," and "perfect."  He is very liberal with his compliments and will tell us that things we are doing are fantastic, which is so cute.  Just when I thought that we were going to get away without a "why" phase, Ryder has been all about asking "Why?" lately.  Sometimes, he accepts my answer right away, but usually there are three why's before he is satisfied.  I have resorted to "Because I said so" when there is just no other further response!

Watching him play with Vivien is very sweet.  Most of the time, he hugs and kisses her and plays semi-nicely.  They do a lot together.  I love it when they sit on the couch together and drink their milk!

Still doesn't mind posing for photos

Still loves to ham it up :)

Loves his firetrucks

Nice smile

So big

Look who couldn't stay away from our photo shoot




Thursday, June 2, 2016

17 Months!

Vivien is still eating less than she was a couple of months ago.  We're lucky if she eats one good meal a day; mostly she takes a few bites and that's that.  She has a few bites a few times a day and then drinking milk.  If she had it her way, she would take less of those bites and drink more milk!  She still loves bananas and potatoes especially, and will eat a few other fruits and vegetables sparingly.  So far she hasn't liked any berries; she just likes to smoosh them in her hand!

Vivien loves walking and climbing.  She has gotten continually more steady on her feet and now rarely falls.  She occasionally trips over little items but no big falls.  She loves climbing on everything- coffee table, Ryder's bed, the couch...  She climbs right up the tall and steep front steps of our house without looking back and goes right up the ladder to the clubhouse on our playset.

She is an interesting mix of attached and independent.  She has no problem, inside or out, playing by herself for quite some time.  When I go in the kitchen and leave her in the living room, she is upset for a few minutes and then finds something to play with and amuses herself.  She frequently wants me to hold her and carry her, but when she doesn't, she is off on her own exploring.

She is talking more and more.  She says "milk," "bird," "up," "wet," and "hot" among others.  She also mimics really well.  She can repeat longer sentences and phrases, without exactly saying the words that we're saying.  She chatters constantly and loves to talk to us.  She understands almost everything that we say and follows directions really well.  She loves to interact with us in any way really.  She loves to play "offer the food and then snatch the food away" and peekaboo.  She also really enjoys sitting on my lap and playing with my face and hair.

Climbing up on the table to look out the window

Smiling sweetly

She loves playing with our toys

Peekaboo!

Happy baby

Love that face!

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?