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

Wow!!!

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