Tuesday, December 29, 2015

33 months!

This month was all about getting hyped up for Christmas and boy did it work!  The first day of December we started a Christmas Countdown calendar.  Each day Ryder glued a cotton ball onto Santa's beard and chose a Rudolph sticker to put up on his calendar and he got to take down a bag with a treat in it.  The first treat was a little bag of M&M's.  Ryder was soooo excited and then he kept saying "Santa is so nice!"  He got some candy, some hot cocoa, some popcorn (which he got to eat while watching a Santa movie) and some truck stamps.  They were all huge hits!

While doing this calendar with him, I discovered that he basically can recognize all of the numbers 0-9.  If I showed him the number, he could find it on Santa's beard or if I told him the number (for example, 17 is a 1 and a 7) he could also find it.

He helped with the decorating this year too.  He got to hang up all of the non-breakable items on the tree, which resulted in 4 snowflakes hanging on one branch, in one instance!  It was so cute.  He loves all of the Christmas lights and always asked for them to be turned on.  There is a road near us with loads of outside lights and he loves driving down it.  The second time we went he was literally exclaiming "Woohoo!" as we went and describing all of the things he was seeing.

Vivi's first birthday was this month and Ryder now totally understands what birthday parties are and was all about the cake!  He basically could not wait for the cake and asked almost constantly throughout the day.  He was also into her presents and has enjoyed the fact that she is very good at sharing!

His talking has continued to improve.  He talks a lot and I can almost always understand him.  He is starting to use adverbs more now: better, deeper, faster, higher, etc...  His sentences are definitely much more sophisticated than they were a couple of months ago.  Not bad for a boy who only knew a few dozen words at his second birthday!  His verbal skills have basically been snowballing since this summer.

He was very into stirring his hot cocoa today

No smile, but see that hot cocoa mustache?

"Cheese!" with a hot cocoa mustache

Always willing to ham for the camera if it involves jumpng

He stuck the landing ;)

"OK mom, no more photos!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

1 Year!

And just like that Vivien was one year old.  No more counting milestones in months.  My baby is barely even a baby anymore!

Vivien is back to sleeping through the night most nights, but she still wakes up once or twice a week and needs comfort.  We try to let her cry it out at night, but there are limits to how much baby crying I can take without caving.  Since she has been known to cry for an hour straight, those limits are tested often!  She wakes up between 5 and 6 relatively frequently and wants some company.  I am happy to have her come sleep with us until its time to get up but she wants to be attached to me so it's a little tricky.  She falls back to sleep and is ready to get up for the day around 7.

She is a pretty good eater still.  She's really into feeding herself and loves anything that she can grab and shove into her mouth.  Since it's citrus season now, she has been enjoying clementines most days.  She can eat 2 at a time, easily.  She also found out that she likes pasta this month.  Spaghetti and meatballs, which we make all the time because Ryder love it so much, was a huge hit.  She has been drinking a little bit more volume from the bottle, so it's time to get her to drink milk from it instead of just water.  She has been so stubborn about this bottle thing, so it's hard to say how that will go!

She now is strictly crawling on her knees and she is quite quick.  She has really begun to prefer walking along things and it's sometimes hard to get her to sit because she wants to stand up holding something.  Janda and I got her a walking toy for her birthday and she spent the day going back and forth across the living room.  Although she hasn't seemed too interested lately, she did climb about halfway up the stairs one day.

Vivien is making a lot more sounds, sounds that resemble words.  She clearly says mama and dada.  She can copy other words like all done and hi, but I'm not sure if she knows what they mean.  She has been waving for a while now too.

She loves playing and having fun.  She will play with her toys and entertain herself now, although that leads to some disputes over who should be playing with what, as Ryder has definite opinions on that!  She discovered Ryder's play tunnels and really loves them.  Ryder also taught her all about the chalkboard one day and she loves to go stand next to it and make chalk marks or finger marks and she even tries to erase the board.


A big smile

She sat still for only one second!

Reading her new book

She loves the chalkboard

And pushing her new toy

She matches the tunnel!





Friday, December 4, 2015

32 months!

Two thirds of the year towards three is already done!  Ryder is growing up so quickly!

Ryder has been having a hard time getting going in the morning lately. He sleeps in until 8 on the weekends and I have to get him up at 6:30 on schooldays, so I guess he really does need that extra sleep.  Luckily he goes to my mom's, so I can carry him out the the car in his PJs and then he can eat breakfast over there!

He is still super active, even though we are somewhat cooped up in the house with the early sunsets.  He loves to run around and ride his bike outside whenever we get the chance, but he also loves to do those things inside!  All afternoon and evening it seems like he is jumping.  We have the run and jump, the jump onto the couch and the constant hopping.  Sometimes he just can't contain it!  He is doing very well on his push bike, riding down hills, pushing it up and over rocks, going over ramps and doing endos.  Most of the time when he crashes, which occasionally involves going over the handlebars, he laughs and yells "Endo!"

He has been way into reading lately and sits for longer books now.  He knows a lot of the lines from his favorite books, but only says them on rare occasion.  He knows quite a few more songs now.  The funniest is the "Bus on the driver," otherwise known as the Wheels on the bus.  

Ryder can put on a lot of his own clothes now.  Pants and shoes he has down, socks work out sometimes and the hat gets on, but usually askance a bit!  He also likes to zip up his own PJ's and doesn't need much help to get them going.

Trucks are still Number 1 around here, closely followed by fixing things.  The day that we saw an excavator on a flatbed and a tow truck towing two mail trucks might have been the best day of his life.  He was ecstatic all the way to my mom's!
Semi sitting still

A smile ;)

Not sure about this photo shoot

What a cutie

Sitting up nicely in the purple chair



11 months!

Time is flying by and it is hard to believe that Vivien will be a year old soon!

The road back to a full night's sleep after her ear infection has been slow!  She has still been waking up twice a night quite frequently.  Waking up in the morning and realizing that we didn't get out of bed overnight is still a surprise and not a usual occurrence.  Hopefully she gets back there soon and doesn't do this every time she gets sick.  Her naps have been getting better, especially at my mom's, where her crib is more secluded and quiet.

Vivien really prefers finger foods now.  With the exception of baby cereal and yogurt, everything is finger food now.  I've been roasting fruits and vegetables and giving her small bite size pieces, which she chows down!  She has been known to eat an entire sweet potato!  She has started drinking a little bit more from a bottle, emphasis on the little.  When you offer her the water, she sucks down a few thirsty gulps and then is done for a while.  It's an improvement, but not by much.

She has started to crawl on her knees now, instead of strictly the Marine crawl that she had been doing.  Mostly she does it on the carpet where she gets better traction.  She really would like to get up the stairs, but she hasn't gotten past the first step yet.  

No words yet, just sounds, but she likes to mimic people.  If you make a noise, she will try to imitate it and will do so over and over.  She has a couple of top teeth poking through, so pretty soon they will be making their appearance.

She loves to play next to Ryder and to play with whatever he is playing with, which doesn't always go over so well.  In general though, he is very good with her and very concerned about her doing things right.  He will run over and slam the gate in her face if he sees her trying to sneak into the kitchen!  She is also okay playing on her own at this point too.  If she is left in the living room, she crawls all over investigating things and finding things to play with.
Always smiling!

She's getting good at posing too!

She loves her Ducky friend

She sees something interesting

Just standing, no big deal

Crawling over to check something out

Oh yeah, the bottle is fun, just not to drink from!!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

31 months!

Ryder is still very happy to be going over to his Meme's everyday and gets very excited to see his cousin Emma every morning, but sometimes it can be a little be tough getting him going and out of the house.  He `is starting to express firm opinions on practically everything from breakfast to footwear and is not so easily dissuaded as he was when he was younger.  Nothing like a last minute batch of pancakes to slow us down!

This month Ryder and Vivien got a swingset from some friends of the family who are moving and Ryder has been all about swinging every day!  He also got to help build some of it, which was heaven for him since he is always going around fixing everything.  As Bob the Builder says: "Can we fix it?   Yes we can!"  He is almost as into building and fixing now as he is into trucks.  Almost.  He has learned some new trucks this month, which is hard to believe considering how many he already knew!  In addition to all those, he now points out flatbed trucks and pickup trucks on our morning commute.  Nothing excites him quite as much as the concrete truck, though.

His drawing skills continue to improve also.  He has been drawing trucks with cabs and wheels for a while now, but he is also including the shovels and cranes, etc... too.  Give him a piece of paper and a few minutes and it will be covered in trucks.  I got some stampers for school this past month and he has really been enjoying stamping smiley faces on all of his papers too.

Ryder has figured out that you catch more flies with honey and now asks for things very nicely.  It is hysterical and adorable to listen to him ask "Please can I..." in the sweetest voice.  He has also caught onto delay tactics, especially around bedtime.  I usually read him some books after I put Vivien to bed and we have "Just one more" and "Last one" several times!

He has learned to count a bit higher now too.  He could count to three and when counting over three, he would just start over.  Now he can count to at least eight and can hold up one or two fingers.  He has also started really learning some song lyrics, most notably "Happy Birthday!"

Usually has a big smile on his face

Giggling with Daddy

Being a goofball

Always jumping on something!!

Now there's that sweet face

Thursday, October 15, 2015

10 months!

This month Vivien got her first real sickness and it has made for a rough month!  Both Ryder and Vivien had a cold a couple of weeks ago, then Vivien developed a mild case of croup and she has been a little bit off ever since.  She has been much fussier and it's been harder to get her to eat and sleep.  At the height of it all she wanted to sleep all night in my arms, while I was standing up!  We had a long few nights and we are looking forward to her return to full health so we can do some serious sleep training.  This illness has taken us back a couple of steps; it feels like we've been awake more than asleep at night lately!

She has been eating a lot more finger foods this month.  Much like her brother and parents, she loves bread!  Thank goodness none of us has Celiac's, we'd be in trouble!  She has had French toast and waffles, melon, O cereals, plus soup.  She seems much pickier than Ryder so far; a lot of times I end up giving her baby cereal because she won't eat more than a few bites of anything else.  At least she's taking those few bites of lots of other things and getting some variety in her diet!

She has been tearing around the house in her Marine crawl style.  She follows us everywhere and gets into everything now.  She has gotten up on her knees and almost crawled countless times, so actual crawling is right around the corner, I'm sure.  Once she had been creeping for a few days, she started scooting back up into a seated position.  She finds a toy she wants and then scoots up to play with it.  At the end of this month she also started standing herself up on things, everything really.

This month I taught her to "give me five."  When I put my hands out, she will hit my hands with hers.  If I say "give me five," she immediately puts her hands out to do it.  If we are doing fives and I take my hands away, she reaches out and pulls them back down to do more fives.  Last month Ryder taught her to clap and she loves doing that with everybody.  The minute anyone starts clapping, she jumps right in!

Despite her illness, Vivien is still a very happy little baby and more often than not has a huge smile on her face.  She is so interested in everything and loves to be in the middle of it all.  She and Ryder interact so much now, it really melts my heart.

Chasing me

Still happy, even when sick

Look mom, I can stand!

I love her smile!

Absolutely happy almost all the time

Look at that pose, she's got the hang of this photo shoot thing ;)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

30 months!

Ryder readjusted to my return full-time work more easily than I did, I think!  Luckily he gets to hang out with his cousin before and after school and he gets to see all the school buses going to her school, so that softens the blow I guess.  Now that he's older, he is better at realizing I'm leaving and when I come to kiss him goodbye he usually says "I love you."  Which is the best thing, ever.  The other day when I came home he told me that he "missed me and loved me all day."

He talks almost constantly now.  He gives a constant, running description of everything he is doing and sees.  He is definitely listening to everything that we say and copying/repeating things that we don't even know he has heard.  Like "Oh sh**"  He did use it in context though...

Ryder is the king of the bike now and begs to go ride practically every day.  He tools around the point now, with us chasing him and trying to teach him things like how to not get hit by a car.  Janda has introduced him to riding over jumps and now he and Ryder build all kinds of ramps in the front yard.  He comes down the hill in our side yard and flies over the planks.  Even when he crashes, he is still happy!

He still loves to help us cook and he has even started trying to make his own food.  He was left in the kitchen (which is unusual) for a couple of minutes and he turned the gas on and dumped cinnamon on everything in an effort to make French toast.  He is a very good helper when I make muffins and he has totally bought into the idea of licking the spoon.

He really knows how these photo shoots work now

Usually smiling!

Do not know what was going on here!

 I love that face!






Tuesday, September 22, 2015

9 Months!

The first few weeks back to school have been tough- mostly for me!  Vivien will not drink from a bottle or a cup, so I am constantly worried about her being dehydrated and not getting enough milk.  She occasionally will suck some water off of a spoon, but that's it!  The pediatrician says to keep trying and eventually she'll come around- but we've been trying for months.  She is stubborn!

Luckily for us, she was eating solids well before I had to go back to work, so she has plenty of sustenance while I'm gone.  This month she has started eating more table foods and prepared foods.  She likes French toast and muffins quite well.  She's not in love with yogurt, but she will eat it.

At the beginning of this month she started creeping around- we call it the "Marine crawl."  She crawls all over the room, chases toys and people and checks everything out.  If she hears our voices in the other room, she will crawl right to us.  Sometime this month she also became an expert at sitting up on her own.  She can sit up and play with toys for an extended time before rolling over and crawling away to do something else.  She loves to sit next to Ryder's bucket of Legos and pull them out one by one!

She is very much in the grabbing phase and constantly has a handful of my hair to yank on!  I try to keep it out of the way, but she always seems to find it.  She's good at getting Ryder's too; he thinks it's funny and puts his head right next to her hand.  She's also a bouncing machine.  When you sing to her, or music is playing, or if you start bouncing her, she starts bouncing as hard as she can.

The first few weeks back to school haven't been the easiest for our sleep routine either- she still has been waking up 2-4 times per night!  That makes for a very long day at work.  She has been going to bed much earlier now though; we have been managing to get her into bed before Ryder the past couple of weeks.  She is starting to go to bed awake and fall asleep on her own as well as putting herself back to sleep occasionally overnight.  Hopefully she'll continue to get better at that and begin sleeping through the night on a more regular basis soon.

Sitting up like a champ

Trying so hard to eat that block!

All smiles!

Hey, where are you going?  This is a photo shoot!

What a face!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

29 months!

After 9 months home on maternity leave, it's going to be hard to leave this little guy behind and go back to work.  Being home with this guy for an extended time was amazing and we got to do so many things (daytime walks, extra cuddles, baking together...) that would have been and will be hard now that I'm going back to work full-time.  Of course, we'll still get to do them, but less often, more rushed.  It was great to only focus on being a mom for the past 9 months...now back to reality.

Ryder's speaking skills have continued to improve.  He's basically onto full sentences all the time and he picks up new words and phrases super fast.  Out of the blue, he comes up with phrases that he has heard and uses them correctly in context.  When we're saying goodbye to someone he says "bye-bye" then "see you soon" and then "have a good day."  It's adorable.  My favorite this month is "right back" which he says anytime he's going to leave our presence- many times he's going to do something we wouldn't approve of, so I think he says it so we'll stay put!

His drawing skills continue to improve- his trucks are getting more and more detailed.  He can, to some degree, copy shapes that we draw.  He'll probably start learning letters and such pretty soon.  When he wants attention, or just because I suppose, he draws on the table, so he has gotten very good at cleaning up marker.  One day after he cleaned the marker off of the table, he continued to clean the rest of the table and the chairs!  He loves to help.  He wants to help cook everything and he's a great help in the garden when I'm harvesting tomatoes.

The terrible two's are in full effect at this point.  There is a lot of screaming and tantrum throwing, he is definitely jealous of Vivien and likes to bite her and he has become territorial with his possessions.  He and his little neighbor friend get into arguments constantly about who should be using what.  There are some things that Ryder doesn't like to share, special toys, but for the most part he will.  Just not when the other person wants it and definitely not if they grab it!  He has to be in control of the transaction!

Luckily he's so darn cute, affectionate and fun most of the time or we would be losing our minds!

He really knows his way around these "photo shoots" now, he sits right down nicely!

Silly boy!

Fooling around!

Look at that smile!

Action photo!  (Teaching him bad habits...oops)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

8 months!

As my maternity leave/summer break come to an end (boo hoo!), I'm getting ready to say good-bye to Miss Vivien for 8ish hours a day!  I haven't been away from her for more than 3 hours so far, so it's going to be an ADJUSTMENT!  Luckily she was with my mom for all of those 2-3 hour stints away from me, so hopefully the transition for her won't be too bad.  I can look at pictures and watch videos on my lunch break, but I won't be able to smell her or feel her soft skin.

Vivien is still the most smiley baby I've ever met.  The most she fusses is when she wants to be held but we can't hold her.  Ryder is actually pretty good at getting her to stop crying, which is helpful.  He makes funny faces and sounds at her and she starts smiling and laughing.  She definitely enjoys being around him, despite that fact that he likes to bite her (!!!) and I think that will help when she goes to my mom's.

She is all about the food nowadays.  I think the only new foods this month were apples and peaches, plus another variety of infant cereal.  She only liked the new fruits mixed with her cereal, but at least she ate them.  She absolutely loves sweet potato and oatmeal.  She really eats those up quickly.  This next month she can eat more solid food vs strictly mush, so that will give her a little more variety.  After we finish eating, I let her play with the spoon and she's gotten really good at maneuvering it around.

She's much more interested in her toys this month, and Ryder's too, which can pose a problem!  She will grab any and all toys that she can reach, and of course put them in her mouth.  She has really started to enjoy jumping in her little jumpy thing.  She likes it even more when Ryder bounces her up and down in it!  She doesn't jump as hard as he did when he was a baby, but she is content to chill in it, play with her toys and watch what's going on for a while.

She can just barely sit up on her own now, but she seems to prefer laying down.  She rolls all over to get what she wants and has just started to move around due to the arm and leg flailing that she does.  She's also much more comfortable on her tummy now, which is good for movement and sleeping.  Speaking of sleeping, she's back to waking up twice a lot of nights- around midnight and then 3-4am.  Hopefully it's a growth spurt and she goes back to one, or even none soon- parents can hope right?!
Most of that sitting is on her own!

She always puts her arms up, I love it!

Smiley for tummy time

Always waving her arms and legs


Ooh, a hand!

Shouldn't have tried to do a "photo shoot" when she was tired, most of the pictures were wonky!