Monday, October 26, 2015

31 months!

Ryder is still very happy to be going over to his Meme's everyday and gets very excited to see his cousin Emma every morning, but sometimes it can be a little be tough getting him going and out of the house.  He `is starting to express firm opinions on practically everything from breakfast to footwear and is not so easily dissuaded as he was when he was younger.  Nothing like a last minute batch of pancakes to slow us down!

This month Ryder and Vivien got a swingset from some friends of the family who are moving and Ryder has been all about swinging every day!  He also got to help build some of it, which was heaven for him since he is always going around fixing everything.  As Bob the Builder says: "Can we fix it?   Yes we can?"  He is almost as into building and fixing now as he is into trucks.  Almost.  He has learned some new trucks this month, which is hard to believe considering how many he already knew!  In addition to all those, he now points out flatbed trucks and pickup trucks on our morning commute.  Nothing excites him quite as much as the concrete truck, though.

His drawing skills continue to improve also.  He has been drawing trucks with cabs and wheels for a while now, but he is also including the shovels and cranes, etc... too.  Give him a piece of paper and a few minutes and it will be covered in trucks.  I got some stampers for school this past month and he has really been enjoying stamping smiley faces on all of his papers too.

Ryder has figured out that you catch more flies with honey and now asks for things very nicely.  It is hysterical and adorable to listen to him ask "Please can I..." in the sweetest voice.  He has also caught onto delay tactics, especially around bedtime.  I usually read him some books after I put Vivien to bed and we have "Just one more" and "Last one" several times!

He has learned to count a bit higher now too.  He could count to three and when counting over three, he would just start over.  Now he can count to at least eight and can hold up one or two fingers.  He has also started really learning some song lyrics, most notably "Happy Birthday!"

Usually has a big smile on his face

Giggling with Daddy

Being a goofball

Always jumping on something!!

Now there's that sweet face

Thursday, October 15, 2015

10 months!

This month Vivien got her first real sickness and it has made for a rough month!  Both Ryder and Vivien had a cold a couple of weeks ago, then Vivien developed a mild case of croup and she has been a little bit off ever since.  She has been much fussier and it's been harder to get her to eat and sleep.  At the height of it all she wanted to sleep all night in my arms, while I was standing up!  We had a long few nights and we are looking forward to her return to full health so we can do some serious sleep training.  This illness has taken us back a couple of steps; it feels like we've been awake more than asleep at night lately!

She has been eating a lot more finger foods this month.  Much like her brother and parents, she loves bread!  Thank goodness none of us has Celiac's, we'd be in trouble!  She has had French toast and waffles, melon, O cereals, plus soup.  She seems much pickier than Ryder so far; a lot of times I end up giving her baby cereal because she won't eat more than a few bites of anything else.  At least she's taking those few bites of lots of other things and getting some variety in her diet!

She has been tearing around the house in her Marine crawl style.  She follows us everywhere and gets into everything now.  She has gotten up on her knees and almost crawled countless times, so actual crawling is right around the corner, I'm sure.  Once she had been creeping for a few days, she started scooting back up into a seated position.  She finds a toy she wants and then scoots up to play with it.  At the end of this month she also started standing herself up on things, everything really.

This month I taught her to "give me five."  When I put my hands out, she will hit my hands with hers.  If I say "give me five," she immediately puts her hands out to do it.  If we are doing fives and I take my hands away, she reaches out and pulls them back down to do more fives.  Last month Ryder taught her to clap and she loves doing that with everybody.  The minute anyone starts clapping, she jumps right in!

Despite her illness, Vivien is still a very happy little baby and more often than not has a huge smile on her face.  She is so interested in everything and loves to be in the middle of it all.  She and Ryder interact so much now, it really melts my heart.

Chasing me

Still happy, even when sick

Look mom, I can stand!

I love her smile!

Absolutely happy almost all the time

Look at that pose, she's got the hang of this photo shoot thing ;)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

30 months!

Ryder readjusted to my return full-time work more easily than I did, I think!  Luckily he gets to hang out with his cousin before and after school and he gets to see all the school buses going to her school, so that softens the blow I guess.  Now that he's older, he is better at realizing I'm leaving and when I come to kiss him goodbye he usually says "I love you."  Which is the best thing, ever.  The other day when I came home he told me that he "missed me and loved me all day."

He talks almost constantly now.  He gives a constant, running description of everything he is doing and sees.  He is definitely listening to everything that we say and copying/repeating things that we don't even know he has heard.  Like "Oh sh**"  He did use it in context though...

Ryder is the king of the bike now and begs to go ride practically every day.  He tools around the point now, with us chasing him and trying to teach him things like how to not get hit by a car.  Janda has introduced him to riding over jumps and now he and Ryder build all kinds of ramps in the front yard.  He comes down the hill in our side yard and flies over the planks.  Even when he crashes, he is still happy!

He still loves to help us cook and he has even started trying to make his own food.  He was left in the kitchen (which is unusual) for a couple of minutes and he turned the gas on and dumped cinnamon on everything in an effort to make French toast.  He is a very good helper when I make muffins and he has totally bought into the idea of licking the spoon.

He really knows how these photo shoots work now

Usually smiling!

Do not know what was going on here!

 I love that face!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

9 Months!

The first few weeks back to school have been tough- mostly for me!  Vivien will not drink from a bottle or a cup, so I am constantly worried about her being dehydrated and not getting enough milk.  She occasionally will suck some water off of a spoon, but that's it!  The pediatrician says to keep trying and eventually she'll come around- but we've been trying for months.  She is stubborn!

Luckily for us, she was eating solids well before I had to go back to work, so she has plenty of sustenance while I'm gone.  This month she has started eating more table foods and prepared foods.  She likes French toast and muffins quite well.  She's not in love with yogurt, but she will eat it.

At the beginning of this month she started creeping around- we call it the "Marine crawl."  She crawls all over the room, chases toys and people and checks everything out.  If she hears our voices in the other room, she will crawl right to us.  Sometime this month she also became an expert at sitting up on her own.  She can sit up and play with toys for an extended time before rolling over and crawling away to do something else.  She loves to sit next to Ryder's bucket of Legos and pull them out one by one!

She is very much in the grabbing phase and constantly has a handful of my hair to yank on!  I try to keep it out of the way, but she always seems to find it.  She's good at getting Ryder's too; he thinks it's funny and puts his head right next to her hand.  She's also a bouncing machine.  When you sing to her, or music is playing, or if you start bouncing her, she starts bouncing as hard as she can.

The first few weeks back to school haven't been the easiest for our sleep routine either- she still has been waking up 2-4 times per night!  That makes for a very long day at work.  She has been going to bed much earlier now though; we have been managing to get her into bed before Ryder the past couple of weeks.  She is starting to go to bed awake and fall asleep on her own as well as putting herself back to sleep occasionally overnight.  Hopefully she'll continue to get better at that and begin sleeping through the night on a more regular basis soon.

Sitting up like a champ

Trying so hard to eat that block!

All smiles!

Hey, where are you going?  This is a photo shoot!

What a face!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

29 months!

After 9 months home on maternity leave, it's going to be hard to leave this little guy behind and go back to work.  Being home with this guy for an extended time was amazing and we got to do so many things (daytime walks, extra cuddles, baking together...) that would have been and will be hard now that I'm going back to work full-time.  Of course, we'll still get to do them, but less often, more rushed.  It was great to only focus on being a mom for the past 9 back to reality.

Ryder's speaking skills have continued to improve.  He's basically onto full sentences all the time and he picks up new words and phrases super fast.  Out of the blue, he comes up with phrases that he has heard and uses them correctly in context.  When we're saying goodbye to someone he says "bye-bye" then "see you soon" and then "have a good day."  It's adorable.  My favorite this month is "right back" which he says anytime he's going to leave our presence- many times he's going to do something we wouldn't approve of, so I think he says it so we'll stay put!

His drawing skills continue to improve- his trucks are getting more and more detailed.  He can, to some degree, copy shapes that we draw.  He'll probably start learning letters and such pretty soon.  When he wants attention, or just because I suppose, he draws on the table, so he has gotten very good at cleaning up marker.  One day after he cleaned the marker off of the table, he continued to clean the rest of the table and the chairs!  He loves to help.  He wants to help cook everything and he's a great help in the garden when I'm harvesting tomatoes.

The terrible two's are in full effect at this point.  There is a lot of screaming and tantrum throwing, he is definitely jealous of Vivien and likes to bite her and he has become territorial with his possessions.  He and his little neighbor friend get into arguments constantly about who should be using what.  There are some things that Ryder doesn't like to share, special toys, but for the most part he will.  Just not when the other person wants it and definitely not if they grab it!  He has to be in control of the transaction!

Luckily he's so darn cute, affectionate and fun most of the time or we would be losing our minds!

He really knows his way around these "photo shoots" now, he sits right down nicely!

Silly boy!

Fooling around!

Look at that smile!

Action photo!  (Teaching him bad habits...oops)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

8 months!

As my maternity leave/summer break come to an end (boo hoo!), I'm getting ready to say good-bye to Miss Vivien for 8ish hours a day!  I haven't been away from her for more than 3 hours so far, so it's going to be an ADJUSTMENT!  Luckily she was with my mom for all of those 2-3 hour stints away from me, so hopefully the transition for her won't be too bad.  I can look at pictures and watch videos on my lunch break, but I won't be able to smell her or feel her soft skin.

Vivien is still the most smiley baby I've ever met.  The most she fusses is when she wants to be held but we can't hold her.  Ryder is actually pretty good at getting her to stop crying, which is helpful.  He makes funny faces and sounds at her and she starts smiling and laughing.  She definitely enjoys being around him, despite that fact that he likes to bite her (!!!) and I think that will help when she goes to my mom's.

She is all about the food nowadays.  I think the only new foods this month were apples and peaches, plus another variety of infant cereal.  She only liked the new fruits mixed with her cereal, but at least she ate them.  She absolutely loves sweet potato and oatmeal.  She really eats those up quickly.  This next month she can eat more solid food vs strictly mush, so that will give her a little more variety.  After we finish eating, I let her play with the spoon and she's gotten really good at maneuvering it around.

She's much more interested in her toys this month, and Ryder's too, which can pose a problem!  She will grab any and all toys that she can reach, and of course put them in her mouth.  She has really started to enjoy jumping in her little jumpy thing.  She likes it even more when Ryder bounces her up and down in it!  She doesn't jump as hard as he did when he was a baby, but she is content to chill in it, play with her toys and watch what's going on for a while.

She can just barely sit up on her own now, but she seems to prefer laying down.  She rolls all over to get what she wants and has just started to move around due to the arm and leg flailing that she does.  She's also much more comfortable on her tummy now, which is good for movement and sleeping.  Speaking of sleeping, she's back to waking up twice a lot of nights- around midnight and then 3-4am.  Hopefully it's a growth spurt and she goes back to one, or even none soon- parents can hope right?!
Most of that sitting is on her own!

She always puts her arms up, I love it!

Smiley for tummy time

Always waving her arms and legs

Ooh, a hand!

Shouldn't have tried to do a "photo shoot" when she was tired, most of the pictures were wonky!

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!