I'm sure there's tons more I'm missing, it's just so hard to keep up with all her new tricks and developments, my little genius baby!
This little munchkin is 28 months old!
She is so much fun and she gets smarter and smarter every single day. My mom recently decided to teach Riley a few new songs since we sing the same 20-ish ones over and over... They were songs she had never heard before, and after just one day she knew them and was singing them by herself. Guess I need to learn some new songs to teach the girl! We also bought her some new puzzles- some more difficult, more advanced puzzles for age. She struggled with them at first, but after helping her do them the first time, she then understood what she needed to do and could do them on her own! She memorizes new books after reading them only a few times... it blows my mind.
She is absolutely in love with my parents' two black labs. She wants to snuggle with them and play with them, give them "nose kisses" and pet them and feed them treats. She is very gentle with them, our only problem is keeping her away from Penny who is just a puppy and can get a little too excited/rough with her. Riley thinks she's the boss of the dogs, and is constantly telling them "go to your bed! good dog! No Penny, no barking!" Sit penny! Give me a kiss Bailey!" etc etc...
Right now she's obsessed with doing everything by herself. Opening doors, climbing in and out of her car seat, picking her own clothes, pouring her own water, picking out her own snacks, etc. Which means everything takes ten times as long, but is ten times as cute as well. She's starting to get pretty good at playing independently for short periods here and there, but of course that usually involves making a HUGE mess.
Lately her favorite foods are: carrots, salad, Life cereal, smoothies, almonds, fruit snacks, and sometimes grapes and bagels. Sippy cups are a thing of the past, but she is really into using a straw all the time. She is a master iphone user. Mark and I never had iphones, she never got to play with one until we got to the US... Both her Grandma and Aunt Jennie have one, and she has not only cracked the code, but she know how to get to what she wants with no problem at all... She loves taking pictures and videos. I think Jennie has hundreds of pictures of random stuff on her phone thanks to Riley Bug.
Little miss smarty pants is really getting the hang of pronouns, and is forming long complex sentences that still blow us away every time we hear them. We've seen a decrease in tantrums this month, but an increase in whining. And boy is whining annoying! She's also at a weird stage where she still NEEDS a nap, but can go without one, but if she goes without, she gets realllly cranky in the later afternoon, and then she needs to go to bed at like 6:30. But if she does take a nap, it's usually 2-3 hours, and then we cannot get her in bed before 9:30/10pm. So we play it by ear, depending on our plans for the day and how she's doing, and what time she wakes in the morning. Some days she naps, some days she doesn't, but she can't usually go more than a 2 days in a row with no nap.
Going for car rides with her is pretty fun these days. She pretty much sings to us the entire time. And if she's not singing, she's blabbering away... something like this, "This is a red light, red means we have to stop. Waaaaait... waaaait... now it's green! Green means we have to go! Go mama! Chase that truck! Get 'em!" She likes to point things out, ask questions, jabber jabber jabber.
She picks up on things really fast. On our way home from the airport, we went over a bridge, and then through a tunnel... Now every time we go through the tunnel, she says "first the tunnel, then we get to go on the bridge!" Or we were stuck in traffic once, and she asked me why we weren't driving. I told her about traffic and that we couldn't go... the following day, we were stopped while waiting for Mark to run out and grab something. She said "oh no, we can't go, we're stuck in traffic." I told her that actually traffic only happened when there were lots of cars, so now every time we stop but are not at a red light or not in traffic, she says "We're not in traffic, because traffic means there's lots and lots of cars. We're just stopped."
She's so very observant. She will tell you "Daddy likes coffee and orange juice, Mama likes pepsi, grandma and Aunt Jennie like wine, and baby likes water and milk." She plays pretend tea party and pours everyone their favorite drink without being asked, which is pretty funny to see a 2 year old pour her Aunt Jennie some "wine" in her tiny porcelain tea cup.
She's a little bit shy when she first meets people or when new people are around, but as soon as they leave, she just won't stop talking about them. She is extremely goofy. She likes to mix up words to songs and make up her own words, and laugh and laugh and laugh. She is getting a sense of humor and I can't believe some of the things she thinks are funny... like replacing "Head, shoulders , knees and toes" with "Head, shoulders, knees and butts" and cracking up hysterically. She LOVES to be naked. She runs around with no clothes on yelling "I'm a naked baby!" She loves drawing all over her body and is often covered in pen. She ADORES her baby brother and is a fabulous big sister.
I'm sure there's tons more I'm missing, it's just so hard to keep up with all her new tricks and developments, my little genius baby!
I took Riley and her Aunt Jennie out photo location scouting with me one day. They were my test subjects, and I must say they were pretty fabulous models!
Love these two blonde-haired blue-eyed beauties.
My parents got Riley a trampoline. A BIG one. And it is by far her most favorite thing at the moment.
And she knows that if she wants to go out and jump, she needs clothes, shoes, and sunscreen. So she goes and rounds up something to wear, puts her shoes on, and asks us to put sunblock on her, and she's outside and jumping around in no time flat. Jackson thinks the trampoline is pretty cool too.
I have many many photo shoots lined up in the next few weeks, so Riley and my mom were my test subjects at a few new spots I was looking into...
Isn't she just the best most cooperative little model ever??
And of course, like every other person with kids in the month of October, we visited the pumpkin patch. Now, I will say, I didn't plan the visit very well. We went midday- right when Riley was probably going to be getting very tired. Of course she perked up right as soon as we got there and the man asked her if she wanted to get IN the cage with the baby chickens. Ummm, yes, yes she did.
From the chickens, we moved on to the pigs, goats, and rabbits. Big fan...
Jackson, on the other hand, was more interested in trying to eat the hay.
Look at my big little boy in his blue hat. And he looooves his Aunt Jennie too.
I had to put a blanket down on the ground to take pictures of Jack because he was frantically trying to get everything he could into his mouth.
Including the pumpkins...
I wanted ONE, just ONE picture of my two kids together, sitting nicely, at the pumpkin patch. This was the best I got. And that photo required a LOT of effort.
But I consider the trip a success... not TOO many tears, and we left with one HUGE pumpkin!
We seem to be settling in to life in the US now. I think the little ones are finally pretty well adjusted to the time change. They were both in bed by 7:30 tonight, so I consider that a huge success (considering they were going to sleep at 10pm or later!) Jackson, of course, is still waking up multiple times a night, and last night was pretty bad, he woke up and his skin was ll red and itchy and he was just a miserable little guy! Poor baby. His skin goes from almost perfect-looking to red and splotchy and irritated and we don't know what triggers it!
Riley is having a blast. She's loving being with her grandma and grandpa... loves that we have a trampoline and a playroom, her very own minnie mouse chair, a playground right down the street, and plenty of people to play with her. Our only issue we are having lately is the whole potty training thing. We've taken a few big steps backwards in the potty training process.
The month or two before we moved back to the US was extremely hectic. Lots of moving around and little routine, and as a result, we got a little bit lazy with her potty training, and would put her in a pull-up quite frequently. Now, she usually treated her pull-up just like underwear, and would keep them dry and tell us when she needed to use the toilet, but sometimes we couldn't get her to a toilet on time, and I think she developed some bad habits as a result of being in a pull-up so much. DOH!
So the problem now is, she still tells us when she needs to use the toilet, but she is having a really hard time keeping her underwear 100% dry. So by the time she says "need to use the potty!!!" she has already wet her undies a bit. Sometimes it's a tiny bit, and sometimes it's a lot. And there were even a few days where she just straight up peed on the floor. Luckily that only lasted for a day or two, not really sure what that was all about.
Now she seems to really be trying, I just think she gets so busy and forgets what's happening until it's too late and she REALLY needs to go. If we remind her constantly or make her sit on the toilet, she does a good job, it's just if we let her do her own thing and wait until she tells us, it's normally a little too late... soooo we go through lots of underwear each day, since even when she does make it to the toilet, her undies are still a little bit wet. Sigh. Lucky for us though, she always poops on the potty, so we haven't had to deal with that kind of clean-up!
Then there is the issue of sleep. Riley seems to be in this weird transition phase. Like, she doesn't always NEED a nap, but if she doesn't have one, she needs to be in bed really early, and the late afternoon can have quite a few overtired toddler tantrums. But then if she DOES take a nap, I cannot get her to sleep at night before 9 or 10pm. Clearly not ideal. So some days she naps (and those naps are usually 3 hours!), and some days she doesn't nap.
And also? She requires ME to lay down with her to fall asleep every single time. If she doesn't take a nap, that whole process (after stories and the whole bedtime routine) takes all of 2 minutes. No big deal. But if she does take a nap, and isn't totally 100% exhausted, it can take 30 minutes to an hour of me laying there with her. She wants more tickles and more songs and a drink of water and to use the potty and to see daddy and blah blah blah. The girl knows how to delay bedtime, that's for sure!
But the most important thing? My little babies are just so so HAPPY. We are having fun. We are enjoying this new stage in our lives. Riley is definitely loving having her daddy home every day!
And Jackson is just SUCH a joy. He's a happy little guy. He's super cuddly, and smiley, and he laughs and giggles and tries to eat everything and he talks to us all the time, and he's just our gorgeous little blue-eyed Jacky boy.
I mean, it doesn't get any cuter, right?
Riley hadn't seen her Aunt Jennie for almost a year. But now that they have been reunited, it was like no time had past at all. Riley got to experience her very first Aunt Jennie mani-pedi... and loved every single second of it.
Girlfriend is a natural. She knew exactly what to do. Until the end, when she asked "which color should we do next?" She just wanted the fun to keep going and going!
To be honest, I'm not actually sure who was more excited, Riley, or Jennie! Jennie was thrilled that Ri was totally in to painting nails with her.
And since clearly Jackson would just try an eat the nail polish, he did not get to join in on the fun. But he has been doted on plenty since we've been in the US, don't worry. Both my kids have received lots and lots of love and attention and special gifts since we've arrived... things like, these matching mickey and minnie PJs.
I think it's funny that Riley is sitting there giving me such a big smile, she has become soooo hard to get good pictures of her staying in one spot, she makes me pull out all the stops, that's for sure!
But it's totally worth it to get a picture like this of my two little monkeys. And want to know a secret? Pretty sure these pajama photos were taken at like 4pm... same pajamas they had worn the night before... oops!!!
So many more pictures and more meaningful posts to come!
I have been quite behind in my blogging, but I was determined to write Jackson's 8 month update close to on time! So here we go, 8 months old!
This little guy is just the best baby! He's happy happy happy during the day. Now that he can sit up extremely well for as long as he pleases, he's totally happy to just sit and play and chew on toys and talk and flap his arms. He is soooo happy! But he does have a bit of a temper, and will let out a yell when he can't reach something he wants, or when Riley snatches something away from him. Then he is not shy about letting you know he's not pleased!
He is not crawling, but he rolls around and can scoot quite a ways backwards, but no forward movement yet. He is starting to get the hang of getting up onto his knees, but if we try and entice him to crawl towards something just out of reach, he just gets MAD. Silly boy.
He has become extremely chatty these days. He jabbers all the time, and his favorite thing to say is DADA. Over and over and over. But he still loves his mama and lights up every time he sees me. If I come into the room and I don't come pick him up, he starts to cry almost immediately. Then after I cuddle and nurse him, he's as happy as can be again.
He is extremely curious- wants to get into everything. Everything goes into his mouth, and still no teeth! He's getting better at eating solids, we now give him 2-3 meals a day, although still mostly pureed foods, and we're avoiding all wheat/gluten for now. He does love to eat these little organic gluten free puff things, and he's pretty good about picking them up and getting them in his mouth (they are the size of cheerios). Pumpkin/sweet potato/squash are still his favorite foods. We introduced him to tiny bits of cheese, and he seemed to love it and didn't have any reaction to it, so we might try giving him a bit more and add some yogurt to his diet as well... We'll see.
His eczema got pretty bad last month, his skin was so extremely dry and cracked, and would often get red and weepy behind his knees, but it seems to be improving quite a bit. We found a cream that seems to be AMAZING (so far), and we've only used it for one day, but his skin is totally different, it almost feels like normal soft baby skin! Keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to help him!
His favorite things right now are: playing in the water, jumping/bouncing, eating paper, trying to grab all things he's not supposed to have, and drinking out of a cup. The boy loves drinking out of a cup. In fact, we haven't even really tried to give him a sippy cup, he just drinks water out of a regular cup.
This little boy LOVES to be outside. He loves the stroller, likes the ergo, loves being held, loves pretty much everything about being outside. He's also usually pretty good in the car as long as it's for short periods of time and it's not too hot. The boy HATES to be too hot.
His schedule is currently all messed up with the international move, but he's taking 2-3 naps per day, and waking up sooooo many times at night. He wakes up at least 5 times, and some times wakes up every 1-1.5 hours. He wants to nurse back to sleep at night, which we're going with for now until he gets adjusted to the new surroundings and time zone, and then we'll take some steps to help him sleep a bit better. He sleeps with a paci and his blankies and prefers to sleep on his side, although he is just now starting to roll onto his tummy to sleep. It's only happened a few times, but he's slept quite long stretches on his tummy!
He LOVES songs, and is extremely ticklish. Like, laughs hysterically if tickled. He loves peek-a-boo, row row your boat, and itsy bitsy spider. He loves all the different songs with finger/hand movements. He also absolutely adores his daddy, and I think he's going to be a daddy's boy!!
I'm not sure how much he weighs or any of his stats, but he is a big boy! He's in 9-12 month clothes,and is one hefty little dude and I LOVE it. He is the sweetest most gorgeous little baby boy and I just love him to pieces. He seriously must get hundreds of kisses from me each day, I just can't resist him!!!
Oh also.... this month, THIS happened....
I've seen OTHER people's babies do things like this, but Riley never EVER just fell asleep like that... ever. So this was definitely picture worthy!!
Happy 8 months baby boy!!
So this is a little late, and lacking in photos, and shorter than normal, but it's here so that's all that matters! I'm cutting myself some slack seeing how we just made an international move with two little ones and we're just starting to settle in. Riley is 27 months old these days, and so incredibly amazing! We're finally settling in now to the US, and she is absolutely loving it! And loving Bailey too...
It's hard to keep track of all her new developments at this age. She is learning more and more songs and memorizing more and more books each and every day. I need to learn some more songs to teach her, I'm all out of new ones!! She absolutely loves to sing, and sings all the time. She also is very specific about what songs she wants, and will say "no, that's not the right song, how about this one? _____" if I sing the wrong song to her. She still adores Minnie Mouse, but also loves Sesame Street too. She loves dogs and fruit snacks, kicking things and doing puzzles, and reading book after book after book.
She is such a little jokester these days. She loves to purposefully say the wrong things and wait for a reaction, and go "nooooooo!" and laugh at her own "joke." For example, she will say "A B C D E F.... K! Noooooooo!" She also loves to tell stories and play pretend with her little "friends" (Mickey, Goofy, and Donald figurines). She likes to feed them and talk to them, tell them stories, and put them to sleep. She buckles them in her car seat and tucks them in at night.
She adores playing outside, running around, jumping on trampolines. She still needs me to lay with her to fall asleep, she sometimes skips her naps, and more often than not, wakes up in the middle of the night and comes into our bed. She adores her baby brother and wants to play with him and snuggle him and kiss him all the time. Her hair is wild and curly and she does not like to brush it or put it in a ponytail. Which is why it looks like a big ball of tangled curls 90% of the time.
There's so much more, but I think at this point it will get included in her 28 month update. :) Now... on to Jackson's 8 month update next... I can't keep up with these two!
We have one full day left in New Zealand, and then the next day we hop on the plane to California. I really wanted to do a little photo shoot of my little ones before we left, somewhat of a last hurrah photo shoot in New Zealand... well, of course, it didn't go exactly as planned, but when does it ever? We made a quick trip to the beach to start since the weather was actually pretty good! I think this might have been Jackson's first real trip to the beach where he got to explore (and eat) the sand, and dip his little feet in the (freezing cold) water. He wasn't that impressed. Riley really wanted to find crabbies, starfish, and dolphins.... yeah we didn't see any of the above.
I cannot get over the curls on this girl!!
We then headed over to the playground for a bit of fun, Jackson got to ride on the swings, and Riley looooved getting to push him and having him smash into her... And Jackson's hair these days is pretty awesome too...
I was determined to get ONE picture of my two little monkeys sitting together, and I DID IT. I should say WE did it, as Mark played a big role in getting children to sit still and smile... Riley was less than pleased with this little photo shoot as it interrupted her playground time, so she kept trying to run away. I think Mark was singing and dancing behind me to get them to stay still and laugh. I love that man, he will do anything to help me get a good photo.
One more day and then my kiwi babies are moving to the US. I am so excited, BUT also, so sad about the thought of Riley's little kiwi accent disappearing!! :)
Riley's 27 month update coming tomorrow...