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!!!
Slowly chipping away at Riley's 3rd year album.... I like to have them completed and ordered and in my hands by her 3rd birthday, which means I better keep working! I'm actually not THAT far behind, surprisingly. I also realized I never shared the family photos we had done in February, so this will kill 2 birds with one stone. Although, since it's Riley's album, obviously these pictures are pretty heavily Riley-focused.
I'm at almost 100 pages... still over a month to go... it's gonna be a long book!!
I get overwhelmed when I don't post for a while, and then I have so many photos to share, and I end up not sharing any of them. So I'm going to do a quick photo share from the last month, and then move on. Pretend I'm all caught up. :)
We started off the month with a little trip to Tahoe!! Kids loved it, although Jackson was a little bit too cold, but he sure looked cute!
We had to stop at this ice cream shop where we took pictures of Riley almost 2 years ago!
We have spent a LOT of time outside these days. It is where Jackson is happiest. Both kids are happiest outside, but Jackson especially.
And when he's not outside? He staring longingly...
Jackson has had a bit of a rough month... sickness, itchy skin, just overall irritable... he's not one to sit and play for more than a few minutes, and he's been super clingy and whiny. But I did have one day where he played in this huge cardboard box full of balls for a solid 20 minutes. It was awesome.
But if all else fails, and cranky baby is super cranky, we go outside...
Riley and Jackson sometimes play really well together. They play with the same toys, share, make each other laugh... it's super cute... Other times... well, there are tears, we'll put it that way.
Little Mister has been practicing his walking... he's getting there! He's taken about 6 or 7 steps, but still prefers crawling to get places FAST.
We did the whole Easter egg thing late at night after Jack was in bed. Riley loved it, of course. She loves any sort of art project, so dying eggs was no different. She made some FAB eggs!!
And then there was Easter! It was pretty lame since our whole house was bogged down with the flu, but Ri still wore her "princess dress" and loved every minute of the Easter egg hunt, so it was a success as far as she's concerned!
Riley picked out the pink bunny basket for Jack, and he froggy basket for herself. Love it. And no, Jackson never ever has matching socks on. We are lucky if he even has two socks on at all!!
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!
One day last weekend, the weather was so nice, we bundled up the little ones and hopped in the car and over to the playground. Grandma and Grandpa were both there, which meant I could take some pictures! Riley could spend hours and hours at the playground. Jackson probably could too, but gets easily distracted by the bark and dirt and all the things he could potentially shove in his mouth. But he sure does enjoy a good swing!
Especially when he has a Grandpa to play with. My dad would pretend to get hit in the mouth by Jackson's foot and sent Jack and Riley into fits of hysterical laughter. See for yourself..
Then it was Riley's turn to "kick" Grandpa.
I am so so excited the weather is getting so good! My children are definitely outdoor babies, they just LOVE to be outside. Doing anything really, as long as it's outside! Play grounds, parks, swimming, walks, anything!
Riley has become quite the little climber these days... She plays on the "little kids" playground for a bit, then decides she wants to venture over to the big kid playground, where she climbs up on all the big girl stuff and gives her mama an anxiety attack, because she most certainly does NOT need any help!
Jack, on the other hand, still needs some assistance. :)
You may notice Jack has mismatched socks. I, instead, notice that YAY he is wearing socks! The boy always always pulls of his socks, so I think it's a huge accomplishment that he even has any on! We'll work on the matching part later...
..I might feel all caught up. I might have an evening to just sit back, relax, and watch TV. But that day, is not today. :) My husband is out of town again for the next week, and he is pestering me about blog posts and pictures of his babies since he doesn't get to see them for a while, so I'm trying to oblige. :)
And also, I've done such a bad job at blogging lately, and it makes me sad because I love going back to my old posts and reading about all the things the little ones were doing or saying, and what I was thinking, and all about our adventures, even if they were seemingly boring daily activities. I mean I have tons of photos, and I have their yearly books, but I can't fit EVERYTHING in those (although I sure do try!). So I'm going to try and be better, for my own sake. :)
Jackson is turning into such a little boy, and he is getting to be easier and easier, and more go with the flow. I have sort of forced him into taking only one nap a day, so that he and Ri nap at the same time, and he now takes one big THREE HOUR nap!! Hooray!!
He's not walking, but boy oh boy can he climb! He can climb all the way up the slide, up steps, up onto things he shouldn't... He loves putting his cars up and down the slide, and up and down his car ramp we got him for his birthday.
Riley is still my little energetic crazy kid. And she is SUPER fun. I totally love getting to hang out with her all day and listening to all the cool things she has to say. I love listening to her ask WHY a million times a day. How she comes up with scenarios and answers, how she reasons, how just crazy goofy she is. I adore two year olds, tantrums and all. :)
She is missing her daddy a lot, and tells me every day "Mama I'm so sad because I lost my daddy." When I ask her where he is, she says, "In New Zealand, that's across the ocean" and I ask her how she would get there and she says, "I could row row row my boat or I can go in an airplane!!" She was NOT happy she didn't get to go on an airplane with her daddy!!
We implemented a sticker chart to encourage certain behaviors we'd like to see... if she gets 10 stickers, she gets prizes (like this Periwinkle toy from TinkerBell). So far, it has worked. like. a. charm. If only I had known that all I needed to get her to fall asleep on her own was a few stickers.... sheesh I would have done this ages ago!!
Riley, Jackson and I have a good routine in the mornings when daddy is away. We wake up, eat breakfast, and then play play play. We alternate between the lounge, the playroom, and then upstairs. And you know what has provided HOURS of fun lately?? THIS box.
Riley is so proud that she can draw circles and ovals and then count how many she has done. This was her "spaceship" that she decorated all by herself.
And Jackson? Well, he just tries to chew on the box (and the markers), and would actually much rather play with this shape sorter. He loves this thing, just like Riley used to!!!
I've got lots of super cute playground photos to share, but hopefully those will come tomorrow. Since I'm husband-less I need to get as much sleep as possible to keep up with these two monkeys!!!
My baby is totally growing up. She is such a little girl now and I just am loving every single second of it. She wild and she's sassy, she's hilarious and goofy, she's energetic and cuddly, she's totally brilliant and pretty much the best toddler ever.
This little girl is totally into pretend play. Pretend make-up (which is funny because she never ever sees ME wear any make-up), pretend cooking and eating and drinking, pretend tea parties and playing with baby dolls and stuffed animals. I love seeing how her little mind is working and the things she comes up with.
She's started dance class this past month, and totally totally loves it. She talks about it all the time. Talks about her friends and her teacher, the things she does in dance class, how much she loves it, and she practices her move while we're at home. She loves to put music on, and she loves doing her "shake your booty dance" and demanding that everyone dance with her.
She loves dressing up like a princess and accessorizing... or "getting super cute" as she calls it. She wants to pick her own outfits, from the undies all the way to the headbands she wears. She loves to sing. She sings CONSTANTLY. Everything turns into a song. She knows tons and tons of real songs, and then she makes up her own songs too. Some are to the tune of popular ones, and some are her very own version. :) And yes, she does have her very own microphone, so that makes it even more fun... and loud.
She has finally started sleeping better at night... more than half the nights she stays in her bed the whole night. The other nights she comes down the hall and climbs in our bed with us. She takes a nap 50% of the time, which I can't decide if I like that or hate it... if she doesn't take a nap, she gets SUPER tired in the later afternoon, but then she goes to bed by 6:30 at the latest. If she does take a nap, she might not go to bed until 8:30 or 9... so we take it day by day and decide what will be best for her (and us) as we go. We also started a sticker chart to encourage her to stay in her bed all night, and it seems to be working (although it has only been 2 days so.... we'll see).
She loves copying us, and picks up on every little phrase we say, whether we want her to or not. Some current faves include "Holy moly!" and "What the heck!?" (thanks Grandma for that one), "oh snap!" and many more. She loves to do "photo shoots" with her animals/dollies, and she wants to use my iphone all the time to take pictures of things.
She is currently obsessed with playing with marbles. She is not allowed to play with them when jackson is awake, so the minute he gets put in his crib, she gets excited because "now we can play with marbles!!!!" She also loves any and all art projects, particularly glitter paints. She loves drawing and painting and playing with stickers. She can draw circles and ovals (although they kind of look the same) and straight lines, and she can do a dot-to-dot if I make one for her and draw lines from one dot to the next... she was pretty pumped that she could make all kinds of shapes that way!!
She is still obsessed with Mickey Mouse, but has also decided she now likes Hello Kitty, Dora the Explorer and a few other random cartoons. She loves going to the library, to target, to the supermarket... pretty much anywhere, actually. She is SUPER awesome at riding her scooter, and can ride her tricycle pretty well too. I LOVE watching her ride her scooter it is super cute!
I've been having fun teaching her all kinds of fun and random things, and I've been teaching her different faces and emotions... so I tell her to make a happy face or sad face or mad or tired face and she does.... Mark hates it though because after I taught her her "mad face" she now goes around and practices, so randomly she will just have this sort of creepy looking mad face on.... but then she also does her super happy and excited faces, which are pretty hilarious (see below).
Other things she loves: chasing baby around the house, having races, jumping off of things (like the couch, bed, etc), talking on the phone, getting her hair dried after bath, going in the hot tub, painting her nails, listening to toddler music on spotify, and lots lots more! Aaaaaaand a video... scooter super star...
It has been a weird month. Mark was out of town for three weeks, schedules were off, Jack was in the hospital, our entire way of eating has changed... but now Mark is back, we've gotten into a rhythm of cooking gluten/egg/nut/dairy free meals, and things are settling down again. And we sure are glad to have Mark home. While he was gone, Riley would often say, "Mama I'm so sad because I can't find my friend daddy!" or "I really really miss my friend daddy." And when he got home, she told me over and over and over again how HAPPY she was to have found her daddy. And even now, if he leaves her sight, she shouts "oh no! where is my friend daddy!" Boy did she miss him.
I am having lots and lots of fun with these two little monkeys these days. Riley is just FUN. She is smart as can be, and full of personality, and I'll leave all the details for her next monthly update (tomorrow), but boy do I love her.
Little Ri Ri is going to be 31 months tomorrow... she's fast approaching 3, and the issue of preschool has come up in conversation more than a few times. Now see, I'm in no hurry to send her off to preschool at this age. We are on the wait list for a spanish immersion preschool which Mark and I (and Riley) really loved, but who knows if/when she will get in. And while it would be fun for her I'm sure, we are pretty good at finding lots of fun and different ways to learn right here at home.
We've also started dance class with Riley. I had no idea what she was going to think or how she would do, but she LOVES it. It's her first class where there is no parent participation, so she has to listen to her teacher and follow instructions, and cooperate with other kids and take turns and wait patiently, and she is AWESOME! I am so impressed with how well she does in that class!! It is the highlight of her week, she just LOVES it!!
And they dress up like something different each week, I love it. First they were snowflakes, then dinosaurs, then kangaroos... wonder what's next!
And this little guy? Will be ONE in two weeks. Holy moly. Funny thing is, at this time in Riley's life is when I found out I was pregnant with Jack. HA. We are definitely having more kids, but not in the immediate future, that's for sure!
This guy has been a bit of a handful lately. He is mama OBSESSED, but in a weird way... as in, if I am anywhere in the vicinity of him, he will cry unless I pick him up or am engaging him directly... he doesn't do this to Mark, just me. I mean, I love that he loves me, but it sure can be exhausting!! I'm hoping he outgrows this little phase soon! Also hoping he outgrows the waking up all night phase... here's to hoping, right??
I have so many more photos to share, but I think there are enough photos for one blog post! Hopefully it won't be 10 days before the next update! (especially since I plan on doing one tomorrow!)
Project 365 days 3, 4, and 5... i realized I can't possibly title EVERY post for the rest of the year project 365 because, well, how boring. And my mom is ALREADY giving me a hard time about WHERE ARE YOUR DAILY PHOTOS! I said I would take daily photos but proooooobably won't post them daily!!! :)
So.... January 3... was a bit of a rough day. Mark is out of town, for 3 weeks. Like, out of the country out of town. And Jackson has thrush and was tough work, and on this particular day, Riley had a massive meltdown and cried so hard she broke blood vessels under her eyes... I mean, WHAT? The best I could manage on that day was an iphone picture, because, well, it was just that kind of a day. Those dots under her eyes are NOT freckles.
January 4, 2013. I can't keep up with this little boy with his tongue stickin' out. He's going to be 11 months old in 2 days. How did that happen?
January 5, 2013. Today. Had a bit of fun with my macro lens and my little piano playing monkey. :)
And now we're alllll caught up... :)
January 3, 4, and 5, 2013....