Tuesday, March 28, 2017

27 months!

Vivi is a talking machine now!  She mostly talks in complete sentences, or at least close to complete sentences.  Aside from the fact that she thinks the only possible answer to the questions "Why?" is "Because," she asks and answers tons of questions now.  She also narrates everything she is doing.  "My booboo hurts."  "I touching my booboo."  And so on and so forth.

Vivi loves to change clothes and shoes.  She will often go upstairs and pull some clothes out of the bottom drawer and come down with a whole new outfit; a summer one!  She loves trying on other people's shoes, mine, Janda's and especially Ryder's.  Even though she loves shoes, she hates socks.  It's a miracle to get socks on her in the morning and an even bigger miracle if they stay on all day.  She is also a bit obsessed with pockets right now.  She highly prefers clothes with pockets, loves sticking her hands in them and will also stick little treasures in them throughout the day.

Vivi also loves to go up to her room and hang out on her armchair with a book.  If she has disappeared from downstairs, I usually find her on her chair with a book in her lap.  Sometimes I can hear her reading the book to herself from down here.  It's so cute!  She has a new favorite book this month: Max the Brave.  We have to read it to her every night and she would read it a few other times throughout the day if it was up to her.  We try to mix it up with other books though, to preserve our sanity.

Even though the weather hasn't been great, Vivi still loves to get outside.  She is always asking to go for a walk or to go rock-climbing or out on the rope swing.  She doesn't always stay out long if the weather is bad, but she loves to get out there.  She doesn't mind in the least getting dirty and muddy.  It's almost impossible to keep her away from the mud puddles!

They take turns lounging on the arm of the couch!

Look at the smile!

Watching TV, wearing Ryder's flipflops

Doing a little jumping

Smiley girl!

Goofing around and sliding off the couch

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

47 months!

Ryder is closing in on four at an alarming rate!  All of a sudden he seems so much bigger.  A lot of his 3T clothes seem to be too short; I've begun phasing in his 4T stuff.  That is so much quicker than he has moved up in size in the past- or it least it feels that way!  He also got a haircut, so that instantly makes him look older.

As with all holidays, Ryder was pretty pumped about Valentine's Day.  I put a heart on Valentine's Day on the calendar so he would know when it was coming, and then he put a heart of every day in February!  We made some paper hearts to put on our fireplace and then we strung up some 3D paper hearts and Ryder was thrilled to make them!  On Valentine's Day, we gave them a couple of lollipops, a mini Thomas and some balloons that are self-filling after you hit them and Ryder was over the moon.  It's so fun to watch him be so excited about everything.

We had some snowstorms this past month and Ryder had an absolute blast playing in the snow.  His favorite activity is shoveling.  He shovels the street and says that he is "plowing" it!  When we went sledding, we had to bring the shovel with us.  After a few runs, Ryder wanted to stay at the bottom and shovel the whole field!  We did convince him to do a few more runs after that, which he enjoyed, but clearly shoveling it the best in his eyes!

Ryder's new obsession is dinosaurs!  He has had a set of dinosaurs for almost a year that he would play with occasionally, but now he plays with them constantly.  From his dinosaur figures, he moved onto dinosaur books and finally I convinced him to try watching Dinosaur Train on PBS, and now it's all dinosaur all the time.

Chilling on his bean bag

Thinking about something

A big smile!

He still loves action photos

A sideways smile

Sunday, March 5, 2017

26 months!

Vivien is becoming so verbal lately.  Vivien knows a ton of words now and can combine them into sentences quite well.  She also now knows how to count to at least to 5, and then a few other random numbers.  She has been big into telling long stories this month and once she gets going, she is talking in Vivi language and no one can understand her.  She is obviously very excited about her topic though and often laughs hysterically at the end!

She is a daredevil just like her older brother.  We put out a rope swing over winter vacation and she was the only kid in the neighborhood other than Ryder who would go on it.  The other kids like to watch people swing, but won't consider getting on it.  Vivi on the other hand gets on and yells "Go high!"  She's really into hiking out in the woods, jumping on things and rock climbing.  She loves to be outside and will go out even when it's freezing.

Vivien finally loves books.  She was so-so on them for a while, but now she likes to read before bed every night and at other times throughout the day and she has favorite books.  Just like Ryder, she loves Sandra Boynton books.  They both loves reading her books before bed- that's 90% of our reading routine.  She loves Moo, Baa, La, La, La, Doggies and The Going to Bed Book.  At this point she can finish pretty much every sentence in all of them!

Vivi has been sleeping well.  She still wakes up crying occasionally, but usually she cries for a couple of minutes and then goes back to sleep.  It has always been hard to deal with her at night because just going into her room makes it worse and she never wanted to sleep with us, so all we could do was hold her, which of course meant no sleep for us.  Now she will sleep in our bed, so on those night when the crying lasts longer, we can bring her in and she will go right back to sleep.

Vivien is still a bit of a picky eater.  She only likes bananas and apples as far as fruit goes.  She likes a few vegetables, potatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli are a few that she will eat plain.  She will eat pretty much anything if it is in soup or a pasta dish though, so that helps with the variety.  She will also eat any and all kinds of treats- especially if they are chocolate!  She has also gotten really good at drinking out of an ordinary cup lately, so that's getting easy.

Playing with her dollhouse, which is usually the site of a devastating house fire ;)

Valentine's Vivi

Look at that curly hair!

She is almost always happy and smiling

Silly Vivi

Look at that happy girl!

Friday, March 3, 2017

46 months!

This past month included Christmas, which was probably close to peak excitement for Ryder this year.  He knew exactly what was happening and when!  Just like last year, we did a Christmas Countdown activity, so he really knew exactly when Christmas was coming.  He woke up at his usual time on Christmas morning, 7 ish and right away asked if Santa had come.  I ran down to turn the lights on and then he came to the stairs.  He came down a step or two and peeked.  Then he screamed in excitement and jumped back upstairs.  He came down slowly, pretty sure but not 100% positive what was going on in the living room!

He had an absolute blast opening his presents.  He and Vivi started with their stocking while they sat on the bean bag chairs that Santa had left for them.  First things first, he had to eat a truffle and drink his juice box- both rare treats here!  Once that was done the opening commenced for real.  He was opening and playing and opening and playing for quite some time.  Then they played until we went to Meme's and opened some more presents and had lunch.  Ryder was beyond thrilled with all of his fire fighting presents.  The Playmobil guys and gear have such a fine level of detail and Ryder was ecstatic with all of the little pieces and bits for his fire fighters.

Vacation week was a ton of fun, it was all playing all the time!  We took the kids out to do things, but mostly Ryder was thrilled to play with his new toys by the fire.  Janda set up a rope swing in the side yard that used the climbing harnesses that the kids got for Christmas.  Ryder was the only one who would even try at first- he is such a daredevil!  He loved it when Janda would haul him up to a super high branch in our tree and then swing him or do a parachute drop!

We had been having a little difficulty at bedtime when Ryder yelling for me would disturb Vivien, so we moved the baby monitor into his room.  Now he knows that we have a way to communicate without yelling!  When he needs something he calls out "Mommy, come on the monitor!"  It is the cutest thing!  Usually he wants me to come up, but now I can tell him that he needs to wait til Vivi is asleep since it disturbs her.  Half the time he waits quietly and the other half he falls asleep waiting!

Climbing up the outside of the staircase is fire fighter training around here!

Just doing some work on the house

Luckily he got some band-aids from Santa for Christmas!

Both kids love playing with play-doh

This cutie needs a haircut- he insists that he "likes it in his eyes!"

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

25 months!

Vivi is really talking up a storm now!  The best thing that she said this month was "I love you!"  When I'm changing her, she loves to give me a big hug right in the middle, which I love because I get to feel and smell that soft baby skin.  One day when that was happening, she exclaimed, "I love you!" out of the blue.  She has said it before, but only after I have said it to her, this was the first time she said it on her own.

Her favorite toy nowadays is Play-doh.  Almost every day since Christmas, when she got a bunch of presents to replenish her stock, we have been playing once or twice a day.  We make balls and snakes, squish it through extruders, roll it out and cut out shapes, or sometimes just squish it in our hands!  It is nearly endless play for Vivi and Ryder and they are actually pretty good at sharing it; as long as each color is cut in half, everyone seems pretty happy.

Vivien has finally taken real interest in books over the past few months.  She really loves Sandra Boynton's silly board books; in fact she sleeps with a few of them.  She still doesn't like to sit through long books, but she has several favorite board books.  She doesn't always want us to read them to her, sometimes she likes to read them to herself- "I do it!"

Vivi loves outdoor adventures; she never turns one down.  If you ask her to go for a walk, to go out in the yard, to go for a hike, anything outdoors and she is up for it.  She usually immediately gets her coat and hat and boots.  Unfortunately, she is little and has short legs and small lungs, so usually after a few minutes she says "Carry you!"  which means she wants us to carry her.  She really does love exploring and climbing and having adventures though, so we love that.

She loves that beanbag!

Getting out the Play-doh tools

Really focused on making stuff

Couldn't even get her to look up

She finally looked up, to show me her Play-doh

What a cutie

Look ma, two colors!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Some winter adventures!

Out for a walk at Halibut Point

Out for a walk at Halibut Point

Enjoying their ride around the yard courtesy of me!

It was an interesting way to sled down the snowbank!

He was ready to go!

A little family walk down to the river

Of course the kids had to get wet!

It was a beautiful sunset

Vivi watching the "waves" roll in

Ryder looking at that sunset

Thursday, January 12, 2017

45 months!

This past month was a very exciting month for Ryder.  He totally and completely understands Christmas now and loved every second of the holiday season.  We have been telling him all year pretty much that Christmas starts after Thanksgiving, so the weekend after Thanksgiving he was ready to go for Christmas.  He loved every part of it: the lights, the decorations which he helped place, the tree, the crafts and the other fun activities that we did.  It was awesome to see him so excited and having so much fun!

This month some of my favorite phrases from Ryder have been mispronunciations- I just love them so much!  Some of the Christmas crafts that I got for Ryder were a bit complicated and he loves to consult the "constructions" to find out what he needs to do and to make sure he's doing everything right.  He was also very excited to go see the new "compartment" that Emma is moving into.  Aside from that cuteness, I also love how he asks Vivi a question and then instructs her to "Say yes!"

Ryder still loves numbers and since it has been getting cold, we look at the temperature in the morning to see what we need to wear.  He likes to know what the temperature and then if that means it's warm or cold.  He knows some of the different numbers that warmish and then other ones are cold.  He also comment on things he sees when we go out to the car, like how it much be really chilly when he sees ice.

Now that the cold weather is here, it has been great fire weather.  We have a fire most every evening and Ryder loves nothing more than helping build the fire.  He crumples the paper, puts in the kindling, watches carefully as it gets going, kicks the embers that pop out onto the bricks and then shuts the door once the fan kicks on.  Most of the playing now happens right in front of the fireplace; the warmest spot in the house!  A boy after my own heart!!

Hanging out on his beanbag

What photoshoot is complete without a snack?

The staircase has been everybody's favorite place to play lately

Getting that fire going

A boy and his fire!

Not quite as interested in the seated photos as the fire photos!

And now I have two people goofing on in my photoshoot ;)