This little one. Boy does she keep me on my toes. This was actually from a few days ago, where she fell asleep for the night. There was such a huge tantrum before bed, this is her in nothing but a pull up, refusing to sleep in her bed, she only wanted to sleep ON THE FLOOR. I guess that's what happens when she doesn't get a nap and gets way beyond tired!! BUt after the 30 minutes screaming battle, she was out like a light, on the floor of her room. Obviously I needed a picture. So angelic when sleeping, you would never guess the craziness that it took to get her there!
And just like that, we have a 3 year old. A spunky, funny, spirited, adorable, smart-as-can-be three year old.
Where should I even begin? Let's start with her favorite things these days. She loves: Being outside in the backyard, running, jumping, playing on the playground, and being in the sandpit. She loves riding her bike and playing chase with her brother. She loves dress up and looking like a princess. She's into board games and still loves to play games on the ipad, of course. Her two fave shows are Mickey Mouse and Dora the Explorer. She doesn't really watch anything else.
She gets herself completely dressed every single day, and is very particular about what she wants to wear. She does NOT love brushing her hair, but she's getting better about letting me do it. She is still napping half of the days, the other half she is terror on wheels come 4pm... and often times, with no nap, she's asleep before 6. We briefly attempted having her ditch pull-ups for bed, which was successful for three nights before it, well, wasn't successful anymore. So we're sticking with pull-ups for sleep for the time being.
She loves mini pancakes and life cereal for breakfast. She still loves her milk and her Odwalla smoothies (smoothie orangey juice, as she calls it). She loves pretzels and sun butter sandwiches, and sausages and chippies, and carrots and spaghetti! Other than that, she's a super picky eater, and often hardly eats any dinner at all. But she makes up for it in the size of her breakfast! Holy cow the girl can eat breakfast!
She has started to become extremely particular about how she wants things done, and if they don't happen that way, she can throw quite the tantrum. We have definitely seen a huge increase in the number of tantrums in the past few weeks. It can surely be exhausting, for both her and us! Also, the littlest things can become the BIGGEST deals... For example, one morning there was a 30 minute meltdown because her waffle broke and she wanted it put back together. Another tantrum because she spilled a few drops of her milk on her shirt. Things like that where it is totally crazy to you or me, but a huge deal to her little self.
Little Miss cutie patootie still loves to sing. She sings ALL THE TIME. She sings real songs, she makes up her own songs about anything and everything. She knows the songs we sing her before bed time. She knows songs from the radio and from shows, and she uses those songs and makes up her own lyrics. Pretty darn cute!! Between her and Jack there is always some sort of singing/humming happening in our house!
My little monkey LOVES to read. She would sit with me and read stories all day! She also loves when I tell her stories, and requests different stories about different things every night, which forces me to be quite creative in my storytelling!! She also loves all art projects, and has gotten pretty good with her drawing!! She can draw shapes, and some simple letters (like M), and she can trace all the letters on these little dry erase flash cards we got her (which she loves!)
She adores her brother... most of the time. She loves to see him first thing in the morning, and loves to give him cuddles and make him laugh. But then all of a sudden she will decide she has had enough of him, and is not pleased when he wants something that she has, and will give him a good hard shove, or hit him, or something similar. The good thing is, most of the time, I can totally see it coming. Bad thing is, sometimes I can't, and poor Jacky Boy gets pummeled. He's going to be one tough little baby, that's for sure.
Recently Riley loves putting on "shows" for us late at night. She wants us all to sit on the couch and watch her on her "stage" while she runs around, sings and dances with her microphone, and basically puts on a show for us! Then she will bring us into the show to dance with us, and she assigns everyone an animal that they have to dance like or pretend to be. She is pretty darn hilarious!
She has such a fun imagination! I love listening to her little mind work, and the scenarios and stories she comes up with! She also has an absolutely amazing memory, nothing gets by that little girl! She is also totally in the "why" phase of toddlerhood. She wants to know WHY for every single thing. What are you doing mama? Why? Why? Why why why and on and on until she is satisfied with my answer, finally.
She loves to wait outside on the front porch for her daddy to get home from work. As soon as we see his car, she runs right for him so she can help him drive the car in the driveway. She loves wrestling and playing chase with her daddy when he gets home, and lots of times he will take her down to the playground or to play in the backyard while I make dinner. But, she is still very much a mama's girl. She wants me to do most things with her, especially when it comes to the whole bed time routine. She can actually be really stubborn about that kind of stuff. But at least I know she loves me! :)
She has started sleeping in her own bed all night a lot more regularly, but still comes in our room to sleep in the middle of the night sometimes. She wakes up around 6 most days, which is unfortunate since Jack usually sleeps until 7 or even 8. Oh how much more rested I would feel with TWO children sleeping in until 7 or 8 every day!!
She knows her first, middle and last name, where she lives, and where she was born. She knows her age and birthday, and we are working on phone number. She knows her days of the week, and she can spell her name, Mama, Dada, Baby, and a few other words. She knows a bajillion things that start with each letter, and if you ask her what letter any word starts with, she can tell you (except for tricky ones with silent letters). She is constantly asking me "what does this spell mama?, how do you spell this? which word is this? etc etc."
I could go on forever and ever with more details, but this is already almost a month late, so I think I've included all the important details. At some point I will add in the video I took of her for her 3 year video/interview!
Ohhhh the Tinkerbell party. The party that almost wasn't... First, let me start by saying, Riley had decided she wanted a Tinkerbell party ages ago. I bought her a Tinkerbell shirt. I did her invitations. We were all set for Tinkerbell. And then she decided she wanted a Dora the Explorer birthday party... I just could NOT bring myself to have a Dora Party, so I'm thankful we were already set on Tinkerbell!
The decorations were fun! Mark was in charge of the "Pixie Dust Tree" which you will see hanging from the ceiling. There were fairies and butterflies, and pixie dust and balloons, and lots of treats!
There were pictures from Riley's first three years, and all three of her albums!! And the cake pops, ohhhh the cake pops. So. so good! Made by a local mom who owns her own cake business, Lovely Little Cakes!
Riley LOVED her Tinkerbell cake. And it was Jackson friendly since it was a vegan cake!!
And then the biggest surprise... Aunt Jennie came!! We had no idea she was coming, and she came with a huge bunch of balloons, Riley was pretty excited!!
Overall, even though more than half the people invited couldn't make it, we had lots and lots of fun and I would consider the party a complete success!
I took so many photos of this little sweet pea to celebrate her third birthday! I absolutely adore her and I just cannot believe she is already three!!
I officially have a problem. I am completely unable to narrow down which pictures I love, so I share them all... so, picture overload from Riley's indoor/studio portion of her third year shoot!
I had this idea for a while now, and I had a 2 hour window to set it up and take all the pictures while Jackson was asleep. And by some miracle, it worked. It was perfect!!
Had to sneak some daddy shots in there, of course!
And no better way to end a photo shoot than sprinkle chocolate everywhere!
I finally got around to taking her outdoor 3 year photos a few days ago, so eventually when I get around to editing those I will share them also!!
We'll start with her actual birthday... As per tradition, she woke up to a room full of balloons! Well... sort of... she actually came in our room in the middle of the night (not noticing her balloons) so I had to bring her BACK into her own room to see the balloons. Still a big hit!
We had pancakes for breakfast, played and played and played, and then opened up presents with Grandma and Nana. You got some amazing dress up accessories, lots of games and books, a farm set to share with Jacky, and a few other things!
We spent the afternoon at swim lessons, and then home for birthday cake!!!
It was a simple day. Just spent hanging out and doing the things that miss Riley loves. And it was perfect! Next up... proper 3 year update, and party pictures!!!
Oh yeah and? We ended the day with extra stories, tickles, and snuggles in bed. Nothing better.
With Mark's mom in town, we tried to do a few more "big" adventures than we would normally do. We tooka trip to the Berkeley Children's Museum called Habitot. The kids LOVED it. It's fairly small, but the perfect size for them to be able to play and explore and if I were there by myself, I could pretty easily keep an eye on both of them by myself. Riley loved this climbing wall!
Both kids loved the firetruck scene they had... Riley got fully dressed for fighting fires, whereas Jack was pretty darn happy to climb on the truck and push buttons over and over and over again.
The painting wall and art room were pretty cool, although Jacky Jack didn't quiiiiiite get the concept of painting on the WALL... and it was only about 30 seconds before the brush went in his mouth, but that's okay.
Since it was such a successful little trip, we decided to go even bigger, and spend an entire day at six flags! We have season passes, but we had never been! It was definitely an adventure, and it was HOT, and there were quite a few tears from overtired babies on the way home, but it was worth it!
The fish and the sharks were quite a hit with the little ones...
Riley really wanted to go on the big swing ride, so she and daddy went together for her very first amusement park ride! She was a little bit unsure, but I think she had a good time!
We took both kids on the merry-go-round, Riley had a good time, Jackers held on for dear life and wasn't really too sure what to think, but he didn't cry!!
And then little miss Riley went on her first ride all by herself! I actually thought this was a ride that I would go on with her, but apparently not! I crossed my fingers and hoped she didn't freak out, but she was totally fine!
She and I then went on a real roller coaster, which was FAST and she alllllmost cried, but then decided it was SO MUCH FUN and her favorite part of the day! I was going to feel terrible if she cried on the roller coaster, so I was so glad she thought it was fun.
We stopped for a little snack break where she kept stealing bites of Nana's frozen lemonade which was very very cold, silly little girl.
And then we arrived at our last stop of the day... the water feature of the park... girl was in heaven! She jumped and splashed and rolled around and I swear she would have had a nice nap right in the puddle if I let her!
Overall? Super long day, but the kids had lots and lots of fun, and I would call it a total success!!
I have a 3 year post for Riley to do, birthday photos to share, and a 17 month update just around the corner for little Jacky Boy, but I thought I'd do a little June re-cap! Mark's mom has been in town, the kids have been having fun, and there are just so many pictures I haven't shared! So first... a typical evening in the Bartlett household:
The sand pit is always always a hit. And Jackson will play happily in it for about 10 minutes before he remembers that he likes to shove fistfuls of sand in his mouth, and then it's time to get out. But they pretty happily move on to the trampoline!
Jackson used to hate going on the trampoline with Riley because she would jump so high and he would get bounced around, and he wasn't a huge fan of that. Now he loves it! He runs around and she chases him and jumps and he bounces all around and thinks it's so funny!
Eventually, somehow, we manage to drag these outdoor babies inside for a bath... bath is a bit hit-or-miss every night. Some nights it goes off without a hitch, everyone is happy and nice to each other, other nights someone ends up crying... normally the battle is over washing a certain little girl's hair....
Oh also? I made this video of little 3 year old Riley, too late at night to figure out how to embed it: https://vimeo.com/68893324
Up next: our trips to the Berkeley Children's Museum and Six Flags!!!