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 her, 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!

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!