Thursday, July 23, 2015

28 months!

Ryder's verbal skills have been increasing at a breakneck speed this month.  At his 2 year check-up I was concerned about the size of his vocabulary (and was told that everything was fine) and now Ryder talks all day long, is learning new words very quickly and has become a first-class mimic.  He is also now learning new phrases and quickly using them in new situations- "Not yet" was a big one this month.

Last month he started using some verbs to create not quite complete sentences, or super short sentences.  This month he is speaking in longer complete sentences.  We have some bunnies in the yard and while watching one of them one evening Ryder observed "Bunny eats grass in the yard."  He is now adding one or two adjectives to things when he describes them.  If we don't repeat or otherwise acknowledge what he has said, he will continue to say it with increasing insistence until we do!

He has also mastered the skill of telling people what to do, or NOT do, as is usually the case.  He loves to tell Vivi what she can and cannot "eat."  Spoiler alert: there is almost nothing she can "eat." Which is true, I suppose.  "Vivi no eat (toy) truck!"  "Vivi no eat book!"  I love it at meals when he describes his meal and hers: "Vivi has mush!"

Ryder is getting/continuing to be very stubborn.  We took him to Cambridge for an event this month and he didn't want to hold my hand in the crowd, so he sat down!  I've had to carry him several times.  He really lets us know what he wants and doesn't want and loudly!

He has a couple of TV specials that he watches on Amazon Prime from time to time and it is adorable to watch him watch them.  There are only a handful in rotation and he knows what is going to happen and some of the dialogue.  The facial expressions and the yelling of the words is so funny.  Once Janda randomly selected another title in the series and poor Ryder was so scared by the events that he turned the TV off to make it go away!

The most notable new skill this month is the mastering of the balance bike.  He can coast halfway down our street on it barely putting a foot down.  He has ridden it all the way to the park and around the point on our short walk route.  He is mostly fearless, barely missing cars and telephone poles!

This picture might look like he is sitting still, but he isn't.  He's bouncing back against the couch!

Saying "Cheese"

I told him I wanted to take some pictures of him standing- so of course he ran back and forth on the couch, that is obviously the same as standing.

Bouncing around


Saturday, July 18, 2015

7 Months!

Another month has gone by with this cutie!  Janda finished the school year this month, so we've been doing lots of things, mostly firsts for Vivi.  We've gone to the Fiesta, taken walks all over, been to the beach many times and even gone on a boat.

Vivi is still talking up a storm with an endless slew of coos, giggles, and now consonant sounds.  Of course, the dreaded "da da da!"  She loves to make funny sounds with her mouth, blowing raspberries and the like.

She did great with the introduction of solids.  Although I had every intention of starting her right at 6 months like I did with Ryder, I didn't even buy the sweet potato until a few days later.  Between that and dragging my feet, two weeks went by!  I suppose I just want to keep my last baby a baby forever.  Vivi on the other hand, was clearly ready to move on!  She had been acting very interested in our food, even moving her mouth while we were eating, so it was no surprise that she took to it quickly.  The first time she had sweet potatoes, most of it actually made it into her belly.  Two weeks later she is already having three meals a day, which Ryder didn't have for months!  It's not a lot of food, obviously, but about 2 tablespoons of "mush," as Ryder calls it, at each meal.  So far she's had sweet potato, baby oatmeal, avocado and banana.  Banana was the only one she wasn't sure about.

In addition to sitting in the Bumbo chair, which she is now a champ at, she can hang out in her little jumper.  She doesn't do much jumping yet, but she "stands up" in it and plays with her toys.  If she's anything like Ryder, she'll be jumping up a storm soon.  She can almost sit up on her own now.  She can stay sitting up against the corner of the couch for quite some time now and if she leans over, she is controlling it more.  She works hard to sit up and with just a little help can get right up.  She is also on the move now, rolling over every which way.  If we put her down on the blanket and turn around, she'll be somewhere completely new.

She's back to sleeping in the crib pretty well.  We usually put her down asleep, which is apparently not a good thing, but she's totally fine with naps in the crib that way, so I'm keeping it up!  She has been doing very consistent 6 hour stretches at night, sometimes longer.  She usually doesn't wake up til 3am and then once more at 5-6am, as which point I'll let her sleep with us.  During the day she still does 3-4 naps, usually pretty short.

#Toocute should be #Toohappy!

I love the hand on the knee!

Sitting up on her own, away from the couch

She loves to be folded up like a pretzel!

I wanted a picture of her pushing herself up but that got too dangerous on the couch and then the photo shoot had to end, so...this is what I got

Pure joy!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

27 months!

Ryder's vocabulary has had another big month!  I feel like his vocabulary tripled this month.  Last month I was thrilled when he learned his colors and some new trucks.  This month he's using verbs, pronouns and making sentences!!!  What a change!  He regularly uses "go," 'try," "like," "have," and "want" now, plus "eat" and "drink."

It took him two years and three months, but he also learned the word "NO."  Boy, I could have kept waiting!  He says "NO" to everything now, even things he actually wants.  Instead of asking once and trying to figure out if he was saying "uh-huh" or "uh-uh," now I have to ask three times  (at least) to figure out if he really means "NO" or just likes how it sounds!

He has been learning longer words too: excavator, bulldozer, front loader, and ambulance (see a pattern?) among others.  He also learned "help" and sometimes yells it during diaper changes, which is awkward if we're out somewhere!  Phrase of the month is absolutely "I love you."  When I taught it to him at dinner one night, he said it a few times right away then he started listing everyone he loves, an idea he came up with himself.  At naptime he has spontaneously said it to me and most days he yells it over and over as I go down the stairs.

He is as into drawing as ever and his drawing are getting good.  He draws really good trucks (duh!), all different kinds even.  They aren't perfect of course, but I can tell which kind he is drawing.  I found some awesome fully-articulating mini construction trucks and gave him a pan of rice and he can entertain himself for a very long time scooping, pushing and dumping that rice.

He got his summer haircut this month and he looks so old!  He still hates haircuts and fought this one like we were removing an important appendage.  It seems like he hit a mini growth spurt this month too, he's just a little bit bigger all of a sudden!

He didn't want to leave his friends out of the photo shoot!

Big smiles!

Funny face!

Finally convinced him to put his friends aside, but I didn't get a decent smile!  

Look at that charmer!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

6 months!

A half a year with this cutie already?  How is this possible?  Maybe it's because we're so busy or more likely because this is our last little baby, but I feel like Vivien's getting bigger much faster than Ryder did!

She is a very vocal baby so far, making many different sounds.  Soft, cute cooing, louder cooing, little shout-like grunts, tons of giggles and laughing now and of course, various levels of crying.  When I leave her alone in the living room to get some chores done, she talks to herself like crazy, always with a smile on her face!

She is doing great in the Bumbo chair now- she loves to sit up and look around at what is going on.  If Ryder is awake, I put her in it while I'm doing the dishes and she plays with her toys and chews on the straps.  When she hears me making noise behind her, she turns right around to see what is going on.  She can't quite sit up on her own yet, but she's close.  She tries really to sit up from a reclined and even a laying-flat position.  If we give her our hands to pull on, she gets up quickly.  As long as she's leaning on something or has an arm rest, she can sit up for a bit.  She rolls onto her side a lot and has rolled over a couple of times, but she doesn't get much floor time with that aggressively affectionate older brother!

She now reaches out for her toys and grabs them if we hold them out to her.  She has very good control to get them right into her mouth!  Even when Ryder hands her some of his toys, she is able to grasp them, although not as well as her rattles.  She really loves to play with her Ducky and Tiger Friends.  She will grab one, look at it intently and then, of course, put it in her mouth.  She pulls them onto her face and now can pull them back off.  She likes to sleep with one on her face, so a few minutes after I put her down it the bassinet, I go move it to the side for her.

She no longer fits in the bassinet at all and has moved into the crib in the nursery now that it has been vacated by the previous occupant!  She has been having a bit of a backslide with sleeping this month, due the to move or not, I don't know.  She hasn't napped in the crib in a couple of weeks, although she usually chills out up there for a while awake before the loud protests begin.  I even have a hard time getting her in there at night- usually it takes a couple of tries.  So, now that school's out we're going to have to get serious with some sleep training!  Really fall-asleep training is what she needs- good thing we've got all summer!

Next we're onto solid foods!  Where is my baby going???

Sitting up nicely!

I love those eyes!

So easy to get a smile out of her!

She loves that Tiger Friend

Just tipping a little

Caught it with her elbow

Or not!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

26 months!

I guess we're going to be sticking with the months for counting, even though it seems weird.  Less weird than changing midstream I suppose.

This past month has been a big month for Ryder's vocabulary.  Over the course of two weeks, he must have said a couple dozen new words, or more.  One weekend he was watching a truck video that teaches colors and all of a sudden he was saying the colors.  As the truck of a specific color rolled off the screen, he would say "Bye-bye white" etc... So he wasn't just repeating the color after the voice on screen, he was using them.  Then he was playing with Emma's toy food at my mom's house and started naming a bunch of foods that he had not previously named.  Now he comes up with a word or two a day that I've never heard before and he has gotten super good at repeating words.  Before we would ask Ryder to say a word and he would maybe try to say one of the sounds, if we were lucky.  Now he really tries and usually succeeds at repeating, even longer words like chocolate and dinosaur.  We've got to watch out now, I accidentally taught him "Naughty Daddy" when I made a joke about Janda riding my motorcycle!

We've gotten into a pretty good routine around here now that the nice weather is here to stay.  After breakfast, which Vivien joins us for sometimes, Ryder plays while I do the dishes and feed Vivien.  Then he and I play for a bit, or I clean while he plays some more, or we clean together- which is super cute.  After Vivien wakes up from her nap, we all go for a walk to see the construction trucks lining the road- sometimes there are a couple dozen!  After the walk he has a snack and then his nap, which is consistently 2 hours long now, sometimes close to 3!  I won't let him sleep past 2:30-2:45, just to make sure he'll go to bed.  Then we have lunch and eventually go back outside to play some more.  After that it's dinner, sometimes shower and bed.

I had to take away Ryder's puzzles for a few days this month because they were driving me insane, but when I brought them back out, he still remembered them perfectly.  There are two tree pieces, one for the bus and one for the firetruck puzzle, and they look almost exactly the same.  When he was doing the firetruck puzzle, I gave him the wrong one and he pointed to it and said "Bus!"  He is still all about drawing, now he adds the wheels to any truck I draw and makes pictures that look truck-ish!  He loves his inside chalkboard and was thrilled to learn we have outside chalk too!

The biggest change this month was now Ryder is in his big boy room.  One Friday night we gathered his stuffed animals and seahorse night light from the crib and went into the new room.  He whimpered for a second until we turned seahorse friend on and arranged his animals around him and then he just fell asleep and slept til morning.  He has slept every night and nap in there since, no problem!  One nap involved no sleeping, but that was the idiot on the 4 wheeler riding up and down our street, not Ryder.  So far so good!

This month he learned how to say "Cheese" and look at the camera!

He likes to make toys as dangerous as possible.  After I took this photo, that truck shot out from underneath him and he landed on his backside.

Totally willing to pose this month

Intently inspecting that chopstick!

Always goofing around!

Monday, May 18, 2015

5 months!

Little Miss Vivien is even more smile-y than ever, if that's even possible.  She just lights up with these huge smiles, especially if Ryder or I look at her or play with her.  She's full of giggles now and loves to be tickled.  She really loves Ryder, which is good since he is all over her!  He constantly asks to give her a "Mwah" and squeals with excitement when he sees her on the floor, since he can give her those full body hugs that he loves so much!

She can't sit up herself yet, but she can stay sitting up in the corner of the couch pretty well now.  We broke out the Bumbo chair this month and she enjoys that.  Now she can sit up with us while we eat and play with some toys while we have our meals.  She has a couple of rattles that she likes to grab, shake and eat.

Vivien was introduced to Ducky Friend last month and now she also has Tiger Friend.  She has taken to them quickly.  She loves to grab them and pull them to her face, although she freaks a little when they get stuck on her face.  She starts flailing a little, but she doesn't start crying.  Whenever that happens, Ryder is quick to help her get it off her face.

I have been working on getting her on a more regular sleep schedule, which she seems more amenable to than Ryder did at the same age.  She now goes to bed before we do and before she is 6 months she'll be in her own room, in the crib.  She still fits in the bassinet, but now that she is moving more she hits the side and gets a little scrunched in the corner.  Her naps are a little more regular, though she only goes 1-2 hours between naps; any longer and she gets very over tired.  A couple of times I have achieved the nirvana of simultaneous naps, but it's not a daily occurrence, although I do get some overlap.  On the days that she doesn't want to nap, Ryder usually feels the same way!  What the heck!

Happy smiles!

Always hands in the mouth!

She can sort of sit up unassisted. 

What a face!

Big, big smiles!

With her friends.

Tired girl!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2 Years + 1 month? 25 months?

I don't know what to title this month's update.  2 years + 1 month is so long but 25 months sounds so weird.  In France, little kid's sizes go to 36 months, at the least (the last size that I bought for Emma- since she's 6 I clearly need to get back to France ASAP!), so maybe it isn't so weird.  I'll have to try them both out to decide!

Ryder has been having a blast this month.  Finally the weather has started cooperating and we have been able to go outside a lot more and for longer.  Janda was home sick the week before vacation and we went outside for at least 4 hours to give him some time to rest.  And still Ryder wasn't ready to come in!  He still likes to be pushed in the stroller, he loves to take walks and play in the yard and street (we're at the end of a dead end road), he will dig in the dirt until the cows come home and he loves loves loves seeing and especially following the big trucks.  We followed the recycling truck all the way around the point one day.

He hasn't learned too many new words this month, although he is getting better at repeating words that we say.  Mostly his new vocabulary this month has come in the form of onomatopoeia.  Some are from before this month, but most are new.  He has been doing cat, dog, lion, owl, monkey, cow, sheep, pig, motorcycle, truck and Cookie Monster.  There may be more.  My favorites are cat and Cookie Monster.  The cat's meow that he does is very soft and gentle, unlike most of the other sounds.  The Cookie Monster is hysterical "Um yum yum yum yum!" with the accompanying head shake that Cookie Monster does.  Janda is quite partial to the motorcycle, of course!

The Legos still get dumped out every morning and the trucks are pushed around the living room all day.  The bouncy balls are thrown and lost to be found later throughout the day also.  This month I got Ryder some small 12 piece wooden puzzles, because  he loves his Little Blue Truck puzzle so much, and he is a champ at them.  There was no picture to look at, so he needed a little help at first, but now he does them almost completely on his own.  He continues to love to draw and color- I am amazed that he can draw very good circles and once he even turned the circle into a face, with eyes, nose and hair, and said "Daddy!"

We have introduced him to his big boy room and we have been playing in there quite a bit to get him used to it.  Any day now we will be trying to sleep in there. Hopefully he takes to sleeping in the big boy bed, because we need that crib for Vivi!

Two year old tantrums aside, he is very happy!

He loves to draw.

Watching everything that is going on outside.

Even though he has 3 friends of his own, somehow Vivi's Ducky friend is the one he wants.

Always building with those Legos!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

4 months!

I'm not sure if it's because I'm busier, less worried or it's the second time around, but Vivien seems to be getting so big sooo fast!  I can't believe that she has hit the 4 month mark and is less than 2 months away from moving into her own room and eating solid foods!

She still sleeps a ton, of course, but she is certainly awake for longer stretches than she used to be. When she is awake, she loves to be looking around at everything that is happening and she loves eye contact with me.  When Ryder was little, he got loads of tummy time because he was always on my chest, but Vivien hasn't been interested in being held like that for quite some time, unless we're walking around and she can see the sights.  At night, she is still waking up between 1 and 3am occasionally, but more frequently she sleeps through til 3-4am and then wakes up every couple of hours thereafter until she gets up for the day at 9am.

This month she was introduced to Ducky friend (no doubt, a distant relative of Monkey friend, Froggy friend and Elephant friend who came to stay with Ryder 2 years ago) and she loves to grab the blanket part of the "lovey" and move it around.  Except in the bassinet, she always has Ducky friend with her- for now as something she can grab and hopefully later as something that will help her sleep!  When she's not grasping Ducky friend, she likes to get a handful of hair.  Usually it's mine, but she has gotten in a pull on Ryder's hair a few times- turnabout is fair play for all the rough housing she has had to endure!

She is getting stronger as the days go by.  When she is able to lay down on the blanket, Vivien is constantly kicking and moving about.  She can sit up in the corner of the couch for quite some time without tipping over or sliding down, but she does wiggle and get out of position when she wants to.

We are very lucky that she is a super happy baby and smiles all the time.  All we have to do is look at her and she busts out the biggest smiles.  She has started to giggle a lot too.  She makes a ton of cooing noises, to us and to herself.  Sometimes when she is up in the bassinet, all we hear is cooing over the baby monitor.

Sitting up like a champ

All smiles!

"You want a smile?  I'll stick my tongue out instead!"

"Even though you've taken a million pictures of me, this camera thing is surprising!"

There's the smile, just a half though