How is she almost 3 years old already???
I didn't do an update last month (did I?) so I thought I ought to do one now for little miss Riley Bug. Where should I even begin? This little monkey is FUN FUN FUN. And super cute, yes?
Current favorite things: playgrounds, playgrounds, and playgrounds! Girl loves her slides and swings and climbing structures, that's for sure. We could just playground hop all day long and she would be he happiest girl in the whole wide world. And she can do some pretty impressive things on the playgrounds these days, climbing up all kinds of things with no help at all! Gives me a mini heart attack every single time, but the look on her face when she gets to the top is totally priceless. So so proud of herself!
90% of the time she absolutely adores her little brother. She loves to play with him and give him kisses. She lets him snuggle her and grab her hair and face. She chases him around and tickles him and shares her toys. She also has her moments where she just wants him AWAY from her stuff and she will snap if he gets too close or messes with her things. But overall, she an awesome big sister, and he's pretty lucky to have her.
She loves to be outside... jumping on the trampoline, playing in her sand pit, drawing with chalk, playing hopscotch, riding her scooter or her bike, anything outside! We planted her very own veggie garden and she loves watering it and watching her veggies grow!
While she loves to be outside, there are plenty of things that she loves to do indoors as well. She's really starting to get into real little kid games, things like memory and bingo and connect 4 (all things impossible to do with a 13 month old around, of course). She loves doing "magnet shapes," which is basically a magnetic board where she makes all kinds of cool pictures using different colored shapes... things like flowers and "red moons" and anything else her little mind can create. She loves playing with marbles and doing all sorts of puzzles... she is really really good at puzzles!!
She is constantly asking questions... why this? why that? who is that? what are you doing? why why why why? i try and answer with as much details as possible, but to be honest, sometimes I don't even know the answers. Then google is our friend. :) I like the inquisitive mind of a 2 year old!
She loooooooves to draw. She will color and draw for a very very long time. She also likes to paint and do art projects of any kind. She can draw straight lines and circles, and can do a "follow the dots" kind of drawing. She is really into words and seeing what letters on the pages mean what words... she will point to words and say "does this spell _________?" She loves reading the same stories over and over, but is open to new stories too if I ask her to read something different with me!
Riley gets dressed every day by herself.. picks her outfit, takes off her PJS, and puts on all her clothes all by herself. She loves to dress up like a princess with her princess shirt and dress, princess shoes, etc..
She likes to balance on one foot, and can walk on a balance beam like a pro (thank you dance class and gymboree). She has an AWESOME imagination... Things on the floor become "mud puddles" or holes... she will play for a long time making "decorations" or solving "emergencies." We think she may have made up two friends, one she calls "Mary" and one she calls "Singa." I seriously love listening to the things she comes up with every day!
She sings all the time, and her newest fave thing to say is "awww shucks!" Pretty darn cute, if you ask me! She loves to "paint" her nails by coloring all over them... that, I do not love. :/ She has learned the days of the week and can count to 30, she loves to say "hola como estas? muy bien!" and count in spanish.
I'm sure there's so much more but that's all I've got for tonight. She is growing way too fast!!
While I do like sharing cute stories and pictures on this blog, one of the main reasons for this blog is to document my kids' lives, and to record things I probably won't remember 10 years down the road. Things my kids might wonder, things I might want to look back and read about, and lately I have not done a very good job of that!
Life lately has been... interesting. Riley is 2 years and 9 months, Jack is 13 months (approximately). Jackson has sort of turned into a crazy obsessed mama's boy... if I am anywhere in the vicinity, he wants to be with me... Or he wants me down on the floor sitting right next to him and playing with him. I can't even go get a drink or snack or use the bathroom without him crying and chasing after me. He gets in to EVERYTHING. He hates sitting in his high chair (unless being fed sausages). He throws big tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants. But the hardest thing is that when I'm home with him, he just does not want me out of his sight. I love that he loves me so much, but it makes the day pretty challenging!
And Riley? Well, I'm not sure what's happening with her, but she has been OFF the past week or so. She has had more meltdowns than ever before. She has started being MEAN to her brother. Hitting him, pushing him, kicking him, throwing toys at him. It's like all of a sudden she snapped and her patience with him ran out. I'm pretty sure this new aggression of hers and Jackson's super needy behavior are directly related. Jackson wants me with him constantly, and Riley has definitely noticed. Is this an excuse for her to hurt him? No. Of course not. But it's clear to me she's pretty unsettled lately. The crazy thing is, she will be so nice to him and give him hugs and kisses and share her toys and play right with him, and then all of sudden she will snap and lash out at him. At the moment I feel like I can't leave the two of them unattended even for a minute because she may really hurt him! This has NEVER been a problem up until now, so something funny is going on in that little mind of hers.
Take this toy computer, for example.... most of the time Riley lets Jackson pay along with her... smash they keys, crawl on top of it, do whatever he wants. And then all of sudden she will just snap and shove him over and keep shoving him until I rescue him. No forms of discipline have really been working, there have only been two things that I've found to work... it seems that Riley needs to just let off some aggression sometimes, and her outlet happens to be her brother. One day I told her that if she felt mad, that she should take some of her foam blocks and smash them into the ground and yell "I'm soo mad!" instead of hitting or pushing. And she did it all day long! And then she was calm after she did it! I don't know if it's going to be a good long term solution, but we shall see!
Jackson is a crazy little monkey lately. With a temper! He LOVES to be outside. And he loves to climb up the stairs. If he can't do those things, he will throw a big old tantrum. He also loves putting things in and out of containers, and will do this for quite some time! And he ADORES swimming. He would live in the swimming pool if he could! But boy should you hear him scream when he has to get out!
We've started doing a few things with Riley lately that I'm really liking! I rearranged her drawers in her room so that her bottom drawer is full of options for her clothes for the day. She picks out her own undies, pants, skirts, tops, everything, and gets dressed by herself. She needs help getting her t-shirt on, but everything else she does by herself (including taking PJs off). She LOVES being able to go upstairs and get dressed all by herself! She has also decided she needs privacy when she's using the toilet. If I linger, she promptly tells me to leave her alone. :)
One downside of her getting easily undressed by herself... she is frequently naked...
I am so so excited for this fabulous spring/summer weather that we've been getting. We could spend hours and hours outside. We're in the process of getting the backyard perfectly baby friendly... we've got a trampoline, slide, sandpit, Riley's veggie garden, a little kiddie table/bench, water table, outdoor rug for kids to play on, and pretty soon we're going to get a big shade. And Aunt Jennie may have bought Riley something huge and ridiculous (of the water toy/pool variety) so that will be making an appearance out there shortly!
Not sure if this moments before Jacky Boy got the big shove... I'm hoping not...
Gosh I look at this picture and her cute little fake cheesy smiley angel face and I just want to go and snuggle with her in bed. And I think how can she go from the most fun, silly, smart and happy little monkey to the screaming crying mess of tears that won't listen to me? The DRAMA of an almost 3 year old, I tell you.
We've got a lot on our plates at the moment in the Bartlett house, trying to balance new jobs, sick babies, crazy babies, and lack of sleep. But man there are some fun times!!! Can't wait until Aunt Jennie gets into town next weekend, and then.... DISNEYLAND soon after that!!! Riley's mind is going to be blown when we get to Disneyland. This guy will like it too, I'm sure. :)
The end of long jumbled post!
A little late, but better late than never! I swear he JUST turned one, right??
This little guy has changed a lot over the past month! He is still not walking, but he is cruising all over the furniture, standing independently, and getting really good balance so I'm sure it won't be long! I try really hard not to compare him to Riley but it is so weird to me that at this point she had been walking for 3 months! I know my little Jacky Boy will walk when he's good and ready, and really, we have not even really tried to encourage him to walk. He much prefers to speed crawl all over the place, which is fine by me!
This month my little boy has developed his very first curl... ooooooh boy looks like he will be taking after Riley afterall!
Jackson has become an extremely opinionated little boy. Things he LOVES (and will throw a big huge tantrum if he doesn't get to have): going outside, crawling up the stairs, sausages, smashing computer keyboards, and his water table, and his bottle the boy loooooooves his bottles.. LOVES all those things. Things he doesn't like? Being confined by baby gates, sitting in his high chair (unless eating sausages), being pushed/squished by Riley.
It's fun to watch him play and watch his mind work and how he explores the world. He loves putting things down his car ramp and watching them go all the way down to the bottom. He likes to climb all the way up his slide, and then slide backwards back down on his tummy, and the repeat.... He loves putting things in containers and taking them out one by one. He loves destroying towers and throwing balls. He loves to be tickled. He dances every time music comes on, especially if Riley is singing!
He tolerates the car most of the time, especially now that we have a DVD player in there. He likes Mickey Mouse the best. He is learning all kinds of new words and we are learning that he understands more than we give him credit for. With Riley, I remember quizzing her at this age to see all the words she knew... well, sorry to say, it just totally never crossed my mind to do some of these things... like teach him all the funny/cutesy gestures we taught Riley, or all the animal sounds she knew and did at this age... he seems like such a baby to me, which I guess makes sense because compared to Riley he IS a baby... but he knows lots of words, and he says "mama" and "dada" and I swear he says "up up" and "no no." We are working on teaching him more but he just mostly just gets mad. :)
He was down to one nap a day, then he had a few days where he was just super tired and cranky, so went back to two naps, now we're at one again, so who knows. Probably in some weird transition phase for naps. He is FINALLY down to waking up ONCE at night. Never thought I would be so happy to have my 13 month old waking up once at night, but I am! So much better than 5+ times per night. I attribute this to (1) his allergen free diet (2) his strict skin lotion/creme hydrocortizone regimen and (3) his regular doses of benadryl/zyrtec to combat his itchiness. I was reluctant to give him all of that stuff on a regualr basis, BUT his allergies are no joke, and he was a crazy itchy baby and just not happy, and sleep is so important, that I think we are doing the right thing.
He is a bit of a needy baby, and constantly wants me to be holding him and playing with him, and he will crawl over to me to be picked up, and lay his head down on my shoulder and snuggle. He makes this cute little squeaky noise when he's happy or when he sees something he really wants (i.e. a bottle). He loves to grab Riley's face, and he loves to climb on everything. He loves anything with buttons. He loves to hold two things and bang them together. He loves destroying everything Riley is trying to play with (puzzles, towers, buildings, etc) He loves to eat sand (yuck).
He is my little cutie patootie and I love him to pieces!!