Monday, September 29, 2014

18 months!

Ryder is now a year and a half old.  He's getting to be such a big kid!  Looking back at pictures from 18 months ago, the difference is amazing.

This month his fine motor skills have been on showcase.  He is getting way better at putting together his Legos.  Most of the time he can attach the different pieces.  When he can't, he gets a little frustrated and hands it to me.  His dancing skills are also getting better.  He has been bouncing from one foot to the other and up and down for months.  Now he is doing a little wiggle too.  It's adorable.  He can turn on the music on the CD player at my mom's and gets himself dancing.

His vocabulary hasn't increased by that much, but he has been using the ones that he has a lot. Especially truck!  Every truck that we see when we are in the car, he excitedly points it out and yells "tuck!"  He has said a few words once, so his ability to repeat words is increasing.  He understands almost everything we say; he follows almost all of our directions and understands most of our questions.

His favorite foods this month have been waffles and French toast. When he hears the waffle maker ding, he gets very excited!  He only has the front 8 teeth as of now, so he doesn't have the most advanced chewing ability.  He loves apples, but he has trouble chewing them.  He bites some off, works on it for a few minutes and then spits it out when he can't quite swallow it.  I'm glad he likes apples, but I'll be even happier when he can fully chew them.  He has also gotten very good at drinking his water from a straw- it's hydrating and fun.

He is becoming more and more affectionate.  When he's feeling shy, he will hug our legs or want to hold our hands.  His hugs are a little dangerous for me though, because he pulls my hair hard.  He has given me a few real kisses, which were a real treat.  The person he hugs the most is his cousin Emma; when he sees her in the morning he jumps up and down and then rushes over to hug her.  Good thing she thinks of him as a brother!

He sat up nicely for a couple of pictures

Playing in the sunroom

Taking a break

His fierce "this is heavy" face

He likes to dump things out and put them back

He's coming to get me

Did I mention he prefers to brush his own hair now?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Trip to the Orchard

If there is one thing that you have to do in the fall in New England, it is to go to the apple orchard. With nice cool temperatures today, we decided to go get our fill of apples.  We would have had cider donuts too, but the line was too long!  Cider waffles tomorrow will have to do I guess.

Walking the path to the apples

He loves to pick fruit and veggies- this was his first apple

Getting a taste from Daddy

Deciding if he likes it

He got another one

The Empire apple trees were positively loaded

He got another

He liked putting them in the bag, then he'd want to take them out and do it again.

There were a bunch of bugs to inspect

No pictures of me from the orchard, but here's one from last week,
at Week 23.  Ryder is getting a sister!

Monday, September 8, 2014

17 months!

We had to go back to school at the end of August (hence the lateness of this round-up), so we tried to enjoy every second of the month.  We went to the beach as much as we could.  Ryder loves to be outside, so we played a lot in the yard.  He has inherited Janda's endurance, he can walk all the way around the block under his own power, he actually runs most of the way.  We've had a lot of skinned knees this month, since he prefers to play on pavement, much to my chagrin.

He still loves his cars and he can put them back together himself pretty well.  He has also mostly figured out how to wind them up and send them off on his own.  He loves to throw things, so we bought him some big bouncy balls, which have been a huge hit.  He definitely favors his right hand for throwing, but also loves the two-arm, two-ball double throw.  He loves his lift-the-flap books, but unfortunately he likes to rip the flaps right out.

This month he has added a few new words and the ones that he had been saying have become more recognizable.  He has given up "yeah" in favor of "uh-huh."  He usually calls Janda and me Daddy- whenever either of us leaves, he stands in the doorway and yells Da-ddy! over and over.  When he sees Janda in cycling or running clothes, he knows that Daddy is leaving and waves bye. Then he runs to the sunroom, stands in the window and yells "bye-bye Daddy!"  He also says "bye-bye truck" and "bye-bye plane" all the time.  Every time a plane flies over he says bye to it, even if he can't see it.

He is very independent with eating now.  He wants to hold everything himself and use a fork to stab and eat everything.  He prefers big pieces that he can bite himself, but then he takes a huge bite, realizes he can't chew it and spits it out!  Fun for Mommy!

Just chillin'!

Love that face

Okay, I'll sit on the couch...

...but not for long.

Focused on his toy

Cute boy!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Garden in August

August brings the best days of the garden- tomato days!  I can't remember exactly when they started getting red, but I'd say it's been almost two weeks since the first lone tomato was ready. The different tomato plants have been ripening at different times/speeds; I don't know if it's due to the different varieties or different placement in boxes.  One box has all small tomatoes and those have been coming fast and furious.  I've already roasted two batches- of course we have a new oven and I burnt the first batch since this oven actually works!  Some of the big varieties are coming now- although considering what I planted they seem way too big.  I generally only plant medium size tomatoes and I have some extra large!  In one box the six tomato plants got so big (even with pinching new growth) that they fell over in their cages after a couple of rainstorms.  It is going to be very hard to pick those!

It's not only tomatoes though.  We have some new wild blackberry bushes in the back and they have been producing like crazy.  The cucumbers are going strong.  Too strong- I ran out of some spices for pickling and got behind on them big time.  Oops.  My tomatillos are losing their husks and turning purple finally.  They look very cool; I can't wait to try them.  Potatoes and sweet potatoes are doing whatever they're doing underground, I guess we'll see in the fall.  Squash and watermelon are going strong, sending out vines everywhere, and the peppers are picking up steam.

A purple husked tomatillo- beautiful

Big tomatoes are turning red

These little Sweet 100's have been coming on strong

A big little watermelon

The tomatoes in the back box have almost entirely engulfed the front box

Wild blackberries popped up in the back

Some pepper action

Monday, July 28, 2014

16 Months!

This month started right as our summer break began, so it's been all Ryder all the time.  Which is awesome!  Ryder is super active now so we've been having tons of fun.  He wants to go outside constantly and tries to go to the river every time.  He loves to play in the sand and rocks.  Unlike last year, he also loves to go in the water.  Holding our hands, he will go right up to his chest.

He is definitely more into his toys and books now.  He will bring us and sit through a reading of every single one of his books in a row.  Some of them more than once in that rotation.  (I know all of them by heart at this point!)  He can, with effort, put together a lot of his toys now; legos, cars, etc...  What he can't put together he brings over to us, then promptly takes them back apart.  He seems to think now that everything in the house is his toy and moves it around or takes it apart.  We're most worried about the TV that he really likes to shake.

He has finally added a few words to his sound vocabulary.  If you ask him a question about something he wants to do, he answers "yeah."  "Do you want to have breakfast?"  "Yeah!"  "Do you want to go outside?"  "Yeah!"  He also says cat, truck, light and bye-bye, although they aren't exactly recognizable.  Well, some more than others!  Bye-bye sounds a lot like "La-la."

Ryder is eating more and more and becoming much more independent with his food.  He's been feeding himself bits of sandwich and pieces of fruit, but now he holds his fork, holds his whole item of food.  He loves bananas; he actually claps and says yay when  you bring one out!  He can hold his own banana and takes huge bites to scare the crap out of his parents.

I do not know what he was yelling about!

"Why do you always take my picture and never let me play with the camera?"

Playing with his toys

Just hanging around

Found one of Daddy's toys to play with

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Garden 2014

The garden has been doing very well so far this year.  We added two new boxes and dug a firepit in the middle.  The strawberries have come and just about gone.  It was close to three weeks from beginning to end.  For the middle two weeks, I was picking a minimum of 4 cups a day! I tried a lot of new recipes, almost all of them were winners.

In addition to all the usuals: tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, kale, peppers, peas, beans and herbs, I like to try out a few new varieties in the garden each year.   Last year it was corn and kale.  Kale was a winner, the corn is out.  This year we're trying out purple cauliflower, Adirondack Blue potatoes, purple-husked tomatillos and sweet potatoes.  The first three are doing awesome; the sweet potatoes just started to do something, and only some of them.  Next year I'm definitely doing more potatoes, they are so easy. The tomatillos have flowers everywhere, so we'll have to see how they taste.

Two of our three varieties of kale

The potato mound just started to flower

For the first time, my cilantro actually looks good

Lettuce followed by green beans and purple beans

The Juliet tomatoes have set fruit

So has the pepperoncini

There is one small cucumber, but dozens of flowers

Tomatillo with lots of flowers

The third kind of kale and basil

 One of the tomato boxes in front of last year's compost pile; in that dirt are more and bigger tomato plants than those that I started in March!  We are going to be swimming in tomatoes!

Red raspberries have just started as the strawberries are winding down

We also have tons of wild black raspberries

Our firepit is right in the middle of the garden boxes

Monday, June 30, 2014

15 months!

Ryder is now an experienced runner and can climb everywhere.  He can get himself up on the couch, at which point he jumps all over the place and throws himself into the pile of blankets.  He loves to go outside and explore.  He takes off down the street every chance he gets!  He really enjoys going to the beach this summer and doesn't seem to mind the water, although he freaks out when he falls in.

He is all about playing with his toys.  He picks up just about anything and pretends that it is a phone and he "talks" into it and then hands it off to me and Janda so we can talk too.  He will endlessly chase his cars back and forth across the room and now can push them himself very well. He can stack up his blocks now, all on his own.  He loves to have books read to him; he brings a book over, sits down next to/on top of us and waits.

He still isn't really talking, although he's making strings of sounds that I imagine he thinks we sound like when we talk.  He understands almost everything we say to him now.  If we tell him it's time to go outside, he will go get his shoes and sit and wait for someone to put them on.  Then he stands by the gate with his arms up until we bring him over and then goes over to the door and waits to go play.  If he wants to go outside, he will bring us his shoes and our shoes- which doesn't always mean that we go outside, much to his dismay.

He is still a great eater and sleeper.  He realized that I pick the strawberries in the garden and tries to pick them for himself.  He picked a white one and promptly spit it out!  He will follow me around the patch, snagging berries from the bucket and making a huge mess.

All the smiling photos were blurry!  Bummer.

He can get right up on that couch now.

And then he does all kinds of silly stuff.