Saturday, December 31, 2016

2 years old!

This month little miss Vivi turned two!  She had a great birthday party with our families, some chocolate cake and lots of presents.

This month's cutest new phrase has to be "What's this thing?"  She has been saying "What's this?" for quite some time, but there is something extra adorable about the way that she says "thing" that gets me every time!  I make her repeat it sometimes because I love it so much!  She is stringing together longer sentences now; it's common to hear 5-6 word sentences.  She is also still into touching our faces when she really wants us to listen to what she is saying, which is the sweetest feeling in the world.

She is just as active as ever, in fact becoming more and more active as time goes on.  She runs, jumps, climbs and hops everywhere.  One of her favorite parts of the day is getting ready for bed, because after she and Ryder are cleaned up and changed, they jump on his bed for a few minets before going to sleep.   She is into jumping as high as she possibly can- she gets some good height for a two-year-old!  She loves to be outside, even more so than Ryder.  She constantly asks to go for walks and go play in the yard.

Vivien has really learned how to get Ryder's goat lately.  Frankly after the past two years, he deserves it a bit!  One day he left his cereal on the table and when he was ignoring it, Vivien ate it.  Later when he decided that he wanted to finish it, he found the bowl empty.  He was shouting about what happened to his cereal and Vivi told him "I ate it all"!!!  She also likes to snag things that she knows he's using and then run over and hide behind me when he gets mad.  Luckily they play well together at other times and are often very sweet to each other!

I've been holding out a bit, but Vivi is ready to move up to a new clothing size, which always makes me sad!  She has been eating a lot lately, so I think that she might be hitting a nit of a growth spurt.  All of a sudden she definitely seems a bit bigger/taller to me!

She is still so smiley!

That was the best pic I could get with her birthday banner 

Such a serious face!

Busy helping!

Happy girl!

Just reading some Christmas cards under the tree

Sunday, December 4, 2016

44 months!

Ryder is simultaneously a sweet and helpful boy and a grumpy, never-satisfied three year old.  I guess that's the way of things!  He is usually a huge help around here but every so often he is in a rotten and grumpy mood without explanantion.  It must be hard to be a toddler!

Ryder is a mile-a-minute talker now, especially when he's excited.  One of the cute things that he has been saying lately is "I have an excellent idea!" while holding up one finger in the air.  I don't know what the finger is for but it is adorable.

Ryder loves numbers and counting.  He counts everything, all the time.  He has been working out how 2 and 3 digit numbers work for a while now.  He'll say "What's a 7 and a 1?"  And then he answers "17!" He knows the numbers solidly up to thirty and he knows the tens up to 100, but the funniest thing is when he doesn't know what's next, so he thinks of the numbers that he does know to make up a number that he thinks could be next.  I love eleventeen and tenty (instead of 100)- as a linguist I love to hear made up words like that!  He has also been working on telling time, since there are numbers involved and he loves numbers.  He's getting pretty good at telling digital time, especially up to the half hour mark.

We took the kids out on a couple of nature walks nearby and Ryder loves to climb rocks.  He started this summer especially when we went to the White Mountains and now he does it everywhere.  Every single big rock that we go by, Ryder runs ahead and climbs up.  Occasionally he needs help on the big ones, but he loves climbing.

Ryder is also super excited that it's getting to be Christmas time.  Before Thanksgiving we went into Michaels to get something and they had all of their Christmas supplies out.  Ryder was in heaven, he ran around the store, stopping by each new thing, jumping up and down and yelling "Wow!"  It was the cutest thing I've ever seen- I wish that I had videotaped it.
It's all acrobatics all the time, lately

I suspect that mischief was about to happen

Just chillin!

23 months!

Every month I type in a new age and am amazed and horrified by how big my kids are getting and this month is no different!  How is Vivien almost 2?  I really don't know!

Vivien is talking so much now.  She makes tons of short 3-4 word sentences about whatever is going on or whatever she needs.  Her new favorite this past month was "Get it NOW."  When she wants us to do something, she grabs our arm and pulls hard while saying "Come on!"  This month she has also been singing songs and theme songs to her favorite shows.  She loves Heigh Ho the Dairy-O and the Bob the Builder and Thomas theme songs.  It's super cute to hear her singing!

Vivien learned how to climb over the gate at the bottom of our stairs this month, from watching Ryder do it all the time I'm sure!  Rather than have her precariously climbing over the gate, we took it down.  Now going up and down the stairs is her favorite thing.  It's amazing how much things are more fun when done on the stairs, such as eating or drinking milk.

Now that she's a little older, Vivien loves to play with more of the toys.  Play-doh is her new favorite.  She and Ryder can sit at the table for at least a half an hour cutting it all up and smooshing it together.  She loves to do markers and stickers too, but mostly the marker seems to end up on her.  And black is her favorite color, so it's a bit of a pain to get off!

Our little independent girl loves to dress herself and she definitely has her own ideas on what she wants to wear.  It's not hard to get her to get dressed in the am before school, but other times of day she wants to pick out her clothes and change them.  She has a certain favorite pair of pants and whenever she sees them, off her current pants go and those purple fleece ones go on!  She feels the same way about shoes- her preference is flip-flops, so she only gets to wear those in the house at this time of year!

No socks = happy Vivi

Cutie pie

Playing hide and seek

She loves the stairs

Getting tickled by Ryder

She's so big!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

43 months!

This entire month Ryder has been out of his mind excited about Halloween.  On October 1st we started decorating the house and we have been doing Halloween activities the rest of the month.  October 1st we put out our decorations and made pumpkins, ghosts and bats to hang up on our fireplace.  Ryder was super excited and put some of the decorations in his room too- he has a bat, some pumpkins, a "spooky tree" with Halloween balls and some lights.  He decided where to put everything and when I have moved anything (such as the dead leaves that he put in a vase!) he noticed right away and put it all back!

At the beginning of the month Ryder as hanging onto summer, as we all try to do, and only wanted to wear shorts and t-shirts.  He totally resisted long sleeved shirts, pants and jackets for quite some time.  I just noticed that he has figured out that it is cold out in the mornings and no longer gives me a hard time in the morning.  That makes it easier to get out the door!

Talking to Ryder is pretty awesome now.  He knows so many words, says so many funny things and knows about so many things.  He says "Of course I can" and "Of course I can't" about everything, which is hysterical.  One day we were talking about chickens and eggs and he said "Chickens come from eggs?  No...they wouldn't fit!"  So funny that I had to write it down!

Ryder has been practicing writing letters and numbers in a wipe-off workbook and loves it.  He finishes the 4 or so pages and then shows me how well he has traced the letters.  We talk about letters a bit and he talks about numbers all the time.  He reads the time off the clock on our stove all the time- he's knows what time certain things happen and likes to figure out when that will be.  He is pretty good with 2 digit numbers and is starting to talk about 3 digit numbers.  He doesn't always know what order to read the numbers in, left to right versus right to left, but he still is pretty good at saying the name the right way.

It as a little tricky to get him to put that apple down!

Vivi got involved in the action shots

Climbing all over stuff as usual

What a smile

Loves those cheeks

Pure joy!

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