I quite often find myself referring to my children as either "my favorite girl in the whole world" or "my favorite little boy..." Riley can keep her title, but with another little boy due to arrive any day now, I'm going to have to think of a new way to refer to my soon-to-be TWO favorite boys!
This little guy is wild and crazy and silly and fun, and he loves to sing!! He sings for hours and hours and hours every single day.
And this little sunshine.... she starts year two of preschool next week, and she is sooooo excited! She can't wait to meet her teacher, and see all her friends, and make new friends! And this year her brother will be joining her at preschool too! He's a little less excited though, we'll see how that goes...
Sometimes, the two of them are just so incredibly cute together I just want to bottle it up forever. Not all the time, but when it happens, it just makes me so very happy.
Riley found her daddy's goggles today and was pretty excited. But soon decided that she really needed her own goggles on...
I asked her if she could take her goggles off for a few pictures, and her response? "Ummm no mommy I can't, my goggles are a part of me!!" Ohhhhhhhkay then!
We discovered today that Jack is extremely afraid of bees (and cannot distinguish between a bee and a fly). He was picking and smelling flowers, and a bee flew by. This sent him into hysterics, and then anytime any flying bug came near him, he panicked!
Really though, it's nothing a Grandma cuddle can't fix.
Jacky loves trying to break the code to get into daddy's phone. This usually results in daddy getting locked out of his phone for a while.
Tonight for dinner Mark and Jackson made pancakes. Jacky loves to help with each and every step, and the kid eats more pancakes than anyone else in the family! He LOVES his pancakes!
Riley's current absolute favorite activity is going in the hot tub with me. We have it set pretty low, so it's more of a warm bath temperature, which makes it comfortable even when it's warm outside. She loves to jump and splash and swim, basically anything but sit and relax.
My little floating fishy!!! Well... sort of floating, sort of sinking.
Gotta admit, I really enjoy going in the hot tub with her most evenings! Not exactly relaxing per se, but I love it just the same. :)
In other news... Baby Bartlett #3 due one week from Thursday!!
Any day now we are going to go from a family of four to a family of five. So these last weeks (or days), I'm trying to enjoy these two little ones as much as I can. Soak it all in. Cram in some fun. Let them stay up late. Play and play and play some more. It's pretty fun around here, I must say.
Today? We made pancakes. Walked/rode bikes to the playground. Came home and played outside. Followed by an hour of playdoh, followed by watching Crocodiles on National Geographic. All before noon.
Below is Jacky saying "not eating the playdoh!!!!!" Aaaaaaaand this is why we only play with wheat-free playdoh.
Riley was busy making a family of unicorns. Jackson just wanted to roll all the playdoh into balls. Lots and lots of balls.
Again with the "not eating" of the playdoh. He thinks he's sooooooo funny.
This kid could play with playdoh for an extremely long time. After I had made him probably 50 playdoh balls and 20 stars, I finally convinced him we had enough. But it wasn't easy.
Middle of the day for us is always low key. The bigger one has quiet play time in her room, and the little one has a nap. But rest assured, as soon as they are up and ready, the fun continues. Today was water balloons!!! Last time we played with "water balloons" we didn't actually have any water balloons, so we used regular balloons. Which are REALLY hard for little ones to break. This time was much more successful.
The highlight was definitely throwing them down the front steps.
Jackson was in heaven. Water play combined with throwing things?? YES PLEASE.
A certain little someone kept trying to get me wet!!!
How many balloons can one two year old carry??
12 more days until baby Bartlett #3 is due to arrive!!
We've gotten into a little routine here these days. And it involves a LOT of time outdoors. Lots of climbing and jumping and sliding and hot tubbing. This little dude loves to jump jump jump and is so happy when he gets to be outside. It's not too hot, not too cold, it's perfect.
After a little hiatus due to some splintering wood, the playground in the backyard is back in action. And these kids are little climbing machines!
Gosh this little dude gets more and more handsome every single day. Can't believe he's already two and a half, and about to be a big brother.
Bought this bubble gun at Safeway for six whole dollars. Totally worth it.
And this little princess. She gets funnier and goofier and more amazing with each passing day.
I made smoothies with this little guy the other day, and he was obsessed. He drank more than anyone else, although I use the word "drank" loosely... he only wanted to eat it with a spoon, which meant a HUGE mess. But a cute mess at least.
He is very in to throwing right now. He throws EVERYTHING. I try and channel his throwing desires to things that are appropriate, like throwing a ball into a hoop, buuuuuutttt..... that's only successful for a short while, then he's back to his usual antics.
I'm going to be a little sad when this warm weather leaves us, especially warm summer evenings. It's nice to be able to go out once the sun goes down a little, and have it be the perfect temperature in the shaded backyard. We could play out there for hours!
Especially on the swing. A certain little boy loves his swing.
Just some tidbits of our month.... we didn't have any actual water balloons, so we made HUGE ones with regular balloons and threw them down the stairs. :)
And bounced them on the trampoline....
Complete with butt slams, of course.
This little guy... he's two and a half, and obsessed with that paci. I'd like to say he only gets it when he sleeps, buuuuut that would be a lie. He calls it his "pay pay" and he wants one whenever he's tired, or sad, or sick. And look at those eyes... How can you say no???
This little boy would stay outside and play all day long every single day. He loves moving sand from one spot to another. Throwing things. Spraying water. Splashing. Putting sand in water. Water in sand. Etc....
Classic every day tired Jacky. Paci and blankie and he's good to go.
This little guy also loves to skype with his Nana and Grandad. Now he talks so much and is so expressive it's a lot more fun to skype with him!
Riley had dance camp last week, which meant (1) She was thrilled and had a blast and (2) I got to spend some extra 1 on 1 time with Mr. Jack.
This means we invaded Riley's room and jumped on her bed, of course...
And of course, sat glued to the window to watch the gardeners do their thing. This boy looooooves the gardeners!
And somehow before we knew it it was mid August and we were anxiously waiting the arrival of baby #3! Where does the time go???
We did something a little different this year for Riley's birthday party. It was simple, and low stress, and FUN. This was the first year that her party was all about HER friends, mostly ones from preschool. She wanted a Frozen themed party, so we had it at the local dance studio, where they provide an instructor to run the party, and we could choose it to have a Frozen theme! So they had all the costumes, all the songs and dances, and it was perfect. They started off with some fun gymnastics...
Jackson was sooooo excited he actually got to participate! In the past, he's just been to this place to pick Riley up from a class, so he never actually gets to play on any of the stuff!
After gymnastics they got right into the Frozen songs. Dressing up like Elsa was first, for a lovely version of "Let It Go..."
The girls had a blast, and even though Jackson refused any sort of costume, he still had fun singing with the girls.
I love watching Riley. She is just totally into singing and dancing and performing, it's adorable.
Elsa was followed by Olaf and Anna and the coronation song, all of which were equally super cute. This little 4 year old wanted a Frozen party, and that's exactly what she got.
Of course there was cake. And pizza. Man these little tiny girls ate a TON of pizza!!
Overall, it was a pretty perfect birthday party if you ask me!!
July was definitely a fun month!! HOT and busy and we had Nana and Grandad here to visit!!
The kids absolutely adore their Nana and Grandad, and were sooooo excited to have them visiting us all the way from New Zealand! We tried to cram in as much fun as possible while they were here, and we were definitely sad to see them go :(
Below is Jacky's favorite way to eat a snack. Cracks me up every time, the boy likes to lounge!!
We took Nana to Six Flags to see the animals and go on the rides, and Jacky really enjoyed the tigers!
Riley loves the water park part of Six Flags, and she played and played and played in there forever!
Good thing it was a hot day, this little one was totally soaked!!
Grandad had to go home a little early, but Nana got to stay and experience her first 4th of July in the US with us!! We started out by going to the local bike and dog parade!
This was their first year participating in the bike parade, and the kids both did really well and had lots of fun!!
Jackson's favorite place to be in the whole wide world is up on Grandpa's shoulders. He would stay there all day long, happy as can be. I think it's so funny how he uses Grandpa's ears as handles!!
We didn't have any sparklers this year, so we just played with those little pop-its noise makers, which seemed to make Riley pretty happy. :)
I was trying to get ONE good picture of the two kids together. Man that can be so hard these days!!!
Everyone took long midday naps, which meant we were all good to go for late night fireworks!! There are a couple spots in town that are great for viewing fireworks, but the parking is a nightmare, and with Mark just a few days out of knee surgery, we decided to park right in front of Safeway, got out our seats and enjoyed the show!!
Jacky was so excited!!! He kept pointing and yelling "look at dat one!!!" "Did you see dat???"
Riley loved them too, but she got a little cold so she needed some extra snuggle time. :)
A very fun and very long day for these little cuties, but well worth it!!
My little miss is four years old, so I think it's about time for a proper four year update! I still haven't taken her outside for her "four year pictures" but at least we went to the studio and did these ones! Of course she chose to wear her favorite dress ever for the first set of shots, she loves this dress and would wear it all the time! In fact, she wore it so much that it got all torn up in the front and we had to go and get it fixed so she could keep wearing it!
Riley is the sweetest, smartest, silliest little girl there is. Some of her favorite things right now are: Anything "Frozen" themed, playing with legos, singing and dancing, playing dress up, reading, and playing board games. She will sit and play with legos and build and build for hours, orrrr until her brother tries to destroy her hard work.
She can legitimately READ. And it amazes me!!! She can open up a book she's never seen before, and just read it! Obviously we are talking about kid books, and she still needs help with some words, but the girl just LOVES to read. She is constantly asking me what different words say while we are out and about, or what signs say while we are driving. She is extremely into all the "early reader" books right now and insists on reading to me every night before bed. I'm just blown away at how interested she is all on her own, and how quickly she has picked everything up!
She loves Life cereal and sun butter sandwiches more than anything. Macaroni and cheese is probably right up there too. She adores her brother, especially playing chase and jumping on the bed with him. In a few weeks she will start her second year of preschool, and she is very very excited! She absolutely loves preschool and loves being around friends her age.
Her daddy has introduced her to a game called Township on the ipad, and she is obsessed. She loves building her town and is learning all kinds of fun things by playing that game! Her current favorite TV show is Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and her favorite movie is still Frozen. In fact she just finished Frozen dance camp last week and she had so much fun!!
She is such a little sweetheart, with a feisty side of course. :) She loves playing outside and riding bikes, and LOVES going in the hot tub with me in the evenings! She has been learning how to swim and has done so well at her lessons!!! She is very very excited for her new baby brother to arrive, which could happen any time now! Hard to believe it was over four years ago that I was waiting anxiously for her arrival!!
Mark's parents came to visit in late June/early July, and we took them up to Tahoe for the first time! The weather was nice, and the kids sure did have fun at the beach!! I wish we could go to Tahoe much more often, I had big plans of making it up there multiple times this month but with Mark's knee injury followed by surgery, it made it nearly impossible to get up there. But at least we made it this one time!
It was actually a little on the cool side but the kids didn't seem to mind. Jackson was busy collecting rocks and throwing sand, and Riley liked exploring and even putting her feet in the freezing
Jackson hadn't seen his grandad since we moved here from New Zealand over 18 months ago. And Jackson was instantly in love with Grandad!!
It's funny, Jack can be my wild and crazy little boy, but he's quite timid when it comes to slides. He does not love going down them, and often needs quite a lot of convincing or a hand to hold. But normally once he goes down and realizes he's okay, and that he actually LIKES it, then he wants to go down again and again and again.
We made a special visit to the Children's museum in Reno! Of course the kids had a blast!
They had this HUGE climbing structure that Riley really wanted to go on, and she did really well and climbed all the way to the top! But she sure did NOT want to come down, and we created quite the scene trying to convince her it was time to go. Let's just say there were tantrums and tears and lots of eyes on me seeing what I was going to do next...
Meanwhile Jacky had fun playing with the balls in the big water table.
And of course we HAD to visit our favorite ice cream shop! Even Jack got to enjoy a sorbet!
Such a fun, quick trip to Tahoe!!
My little miss Riley is now four years old! She had a fantastic birthday, I'd say. It started off how all birthdays in our house start... with a room FULL of balloons!
We had a Frozen banner and Frozen balloons and of course a light up princess crown for the birthday girl. And then there were presents. Lots and lots of presents.
Jackson got Riley a Hello Kitty karaoke machine and she LOVED it. We made her a special CD and she rocked out for hours and hours!!
The thing she wanted most of all for her birthday this year was a Frozen Ice palace, and look what she ended up getting :) One happy girl!!
I bought her this Elsa dress with cape (she was very specific about wanting one WITH a cape) and it's a little big, but pretty awesome, and she immediately began to sing Let It Go. :)
And clearly no birthday is complete without CAKE!! Riley got serenaded by the whole family, including Jacky, and ate some delicious birthday cake!