Okay so.. costumes. I was totally indecisive, I couldn't pick costumes for the little ones to save my life. So finally, last minute, I decided Jack was going to be a monkey (because he's my little monkey) and I let Riley browse online and pick her own costume. And she picked a PINK POODLE, all by herself.
And just look at this little monkey boy...
While Jackson was asleep, we took Riley trick-or-treating around the local shops with tons of other kids. She was stopped multiple times by random people who wanted to take her picture, she was that cute.
Once we got back, we had some time to kill, which we spent playing on the trampoline. Look at his hair!!!
And that hair too...
And then finally, we were ready to go trick-or-treating... or at least, dressed and ready, we needed to take about a million pictures first.
Now, we only made it to ONE house trick-or-treating. And I didn't take any pictures. But we had fun, Riley was pretty excited about being given lots of candy, even if it mysteriously disappeared after she went to bed that night... :) Happy Halloween babies!!
It's no secret, I absolutely love holidays. Halloween is no exception. And every year, the street that I grew up on throws a little pumpkin carving party up at the top of the court. We were able to go last year, and this time we introduced Jackson to the neighbors of the court!
Riley was obsessed with these steps. She wanted to jump up and down them, and just hang out up there rather than join the party. We thought we'd get a cute picture of Riley and Jackson together up there... well, let's just say it wasn't our finest parenting moment, and Jackson had his first "face meets pavement" moment. The crazy thing is, Mark was RIGHT there, like practically holding him, but got distracted for half a second and Jack lunged forward. Mark caught him juuuuust as his nose hit the ground, so he didn't get hit hard, but he definitely got scared and was bleeding. He only cried for a few minutes, and yep, we both felt awful.
Baby in recovery mode. Owie.
Riley was decked out in her Halloween attire, complete with skull necklaces. Oh yes, we love to be festive during the holidays.
Annnnnnd back to the steps. Over. And over. And over again.
Her Grandpa told her to jump down the step and yell "TA DA!!!!"... and so she did.
We finally convinced her to come and help with the pumpkin carving, which she sort of enjoyed. And yes, that is my 2 year old with a knife. :/ Mark is a trusting man, having his fingers so close to that little carving knife...
She wasn't totally thrilled about having her hands actually touching the pumpkin. But she liked helping to push out the pieces that Mark cut out for her, she's holding the nose below...
Then of course we had to get a picture of the final product. This time on a softer surface for poor Jacky Boy. TA DA!
By the way, in case you were wondering, it took like 20 minutes to corral Riley and get her to JUST. SIT. STILL. for a photo with her pumpkin and her brother. And then she was off. And Jack was shoving grass in his mouth. Fairly typical.
I was able to get her back by bribing her with candy corn I think...but of course, Jackson discovered her necklaces, and an hope of getting two munchkins looking at the camera was lost.
Next up... Halloween costume pictures!! Coming... eventually?
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!!