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!
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.
It has taken me forever to write this update! I still can't believe baby boy is ONE!! I had a lot of fun with his one year photos, that's for sure!
Okay here we go... this little guy has changed so much in the last month! He is a super speed crawler, and can get from A to B in no time at all, all he needs is the right motivation... things like computers, marbles that have been left out by his sister, remotes, etc... He pulls up to stand, cruises along the furniture, and has started letting go to stand on his own. He can walk pushing on to a walker, but doesn't have a lot of interest trying to walk holding our hands. We're totally okay with that, it's hard on our backs anyway. :)
Now he may not be a walker, but he is a total climber. He can almost climb all the way up Riley's big slide all by himself. He climbs onto and over anything he can. He climbed all the way our flight of stairs the very first time we let him even try, he didn't even look back. He is pretty fearless, that boy.
He LOVES music, and he loves to dance. He will stand up and shake his booty, and bob his head, and rock side to side. He loves when Riley sings to him, and if he's crying, it almost always makes him stop when Riley starts to sing. He doesn't ever really watch much TV, but he has recently decided he loves Mickey Mouse (thanks to his sister), and he loves Baby Einstein on the ipad. In fact, he also recently decided that he does NOT like being in his car seat, so we hooked up the car DVD player so he can watch Mickey Mouse in the car, and VOILA, now he's happy in the car. THANK. GOODNESS.
He loves opening and closing doors, he loves balls and balloons, puzzles, and banging objects together. He loves trains and cars, and he loves his sister's old favorite toy, the shape sorter! He tries really really hard to get the shapes in the right spots, and he can get the square and the triangle in almost all by himself.
He FINALLY has started eating more "real" food. As in, not pureed foods. He of course still loves his pureed sweet potatoes and carrots, but he also loves pasta (gluten free), sausages, bananas, hamburger, sweet potato fries, and whatever else we are having for dinner! Hooray for graduating from pureed fruits and veggies!! if he sees a banana anywhere, he goes nuts and crawls over towards it and cries until he gets it! He gets MAD when he sees us eating something that he doesn't get to have.
He still only has his two bottom teeth, although one of his top ones can be seen through the gums, but it hasn't broken through yet. I don't see signs of any other teeth!! Which is good because he's already a little biter, he tries to bite Riley all the time, that little monkey!
This boy loves to be outside! He loves the trampoline and loves going for walks/runs in the stroller. If he sees the front or back door open, and then he doesn't get to go outside, he throws a big fit! He loves to clap all the time, he says "mama" and "dada" and "hi!" and he is just super loud and vocal. The funniest is when he and Ri Ri squeal back and forth. Riley will do a high-pitched squeal, and then Jack will, and then back and forth... sometimes it's hard to tell which child is squealing!!
He loves to give kisses, and if anyone is laying on the ground (normally it's Riley) he will crawl over and plant a big wet one on her face. He loves to be tossed in the air, and he's SUPER ticklish. He loves to play baby chase, and if you say "I'm gonna get you!" he takes off crawling and laughing. He loves when we pick him up and round round the house chasing Riley. He loves when we make him jump all over the house, and he is determined to race off and get into the kitchen because he knows he's not allowed in there.
He adores bath time, but he is one crazy little boy. He is constantly trying to stand up and crawl around and dunk his face under the water and splash and just get into trouble! He knows the sound of the bath water and as soon as we say it's bath time he heads straight down the hall and right towards to the tub. And he is NOT happy to have to get out!
His allergies are currently under control, we haven't had any more incidents lately. His skin is still itchy and red, so something is still bothering him, but we're working hard trying to figure it all out. We go see the allergist again this week so maybe we can get some more answers!
At his one year check-up he was something like 21 pounds (30%), 29 inches (50%) with a head circumference in the 70th percentile. This surprises me because I always think of him a such a big boy, so I couldn't believe he was only in the 30th percentile for weight! But I do think he's lost a little bit of weight and slimmed down recently, probably a combination of how active he is and all his dietary restrictions.
I'm still breastfeeding him, but he will also take bottles of rice milk, which is so nice! He has no problem taking bottles as long as the milk is nice and toasty warm! He's not that awesome with a sippy cup, but we're working on it.
Weirdest thing... this boy does NOT love books. Riley was such a book worm, and still is. At this age, she would sit and read books forever! Jack? No way. He has one or two books he likes, and that's it. You try and read him a story and he either (1) crawls away (2) grabs the book and shoves it in his mouth or (3) tries to rip the pages. He's just so different than his sister! It makes it so much harder to actually read to him, since he just won't stand for it! Oh well, we'll get there eventually
What am I forgetting... he hates having his diaper changed, or basically anything that involves staying still against his will. He's not a fan of strangers and will play "shy" when meeting new people by buring/hiding his head in my chest. He always pulls his socks off, and he's not really a big fan of hats. He takes two naps a day, usually 1.5-2 hours each, and still wakes up around 3 times at night. He's super fun, super cute, and just the cutest, best little one year old we know!
I'll be honest... it was a pretty awesome day. Didn't start out all that well, Riley woke up at 1am with a fever, but that ended up just being an excuse for me to snuggle with her in my bed for 2 hours. And also? Then she slept in until almost 7am. Which also meant, since I was up at 5:15 with Jackson, I had time to prep everything for her. She came into the lounge to see THIS:
Her response? "Look at all those animals on the couch!" All "new" stuffed animals, most of which we brought back with us from the US in December and just stuck in a box and saved for her b-day. She was pumped. Then we brought out a few little presents for her to open before breakfast. Included in that lot of presents was a nightgown and matching slippers from her grandma. Total hit.
After a few pressies, she moved on to her favorite breakfast: weet-bix! Of course she had to help get the box, pour the milk, and put some sugar on it. And of course, sit on the couch and share with daddy. One bowl, two spoons.
There were more presents, lots of playing with the presents, and then.. the big one. Oh yes. A pink motorcycle.
Eventually it was nap time, and I used that time to blow up a bunch of balloons to fill the floor of her room. Funny thing is, her floor was COVERED in balloons, and she didn't even notice! She came running out, and it wasn't until I stopped her and told her to go look at the balloons in her room that she then noticed. And then she was pumped!
Bahaha she kept saying "Look at all these balloons!!"
Nana and Grandad came over for lunch, and Mark made Riley her favorite- pancakes and bacon with maple syrup.
And then it was time for cake!! Riley was a PRO at blowing out the candles, in fact, that was all she cared about. She wanted to light them and blow them out over and over and over. She didn't even touch the cake!
And a little tradition I want to start: the birthday interview! I've seen in a bunch of different blogs, it's nothing original by any means, but I wanted to ask Riley a bunch of questions and see how her answers change, and also be able to look back and see what things she said at each age. I also want to do a video version, but umm, getting a 2 year to sit still and answer 15-20 questions? HA. HAHAHA. So, here's the answers she gave me when I asked her the questions...
And because I'm a little video happy lately and I couldn't resist.... A little clip of one year ago...
Today, my little baby girl turns TWO years old. Two whole years. At two years old, Riley is just the sweetest, smartest, cutest little two year old I've ever met! I don't even know where to begin with this post. I want to remember every little thing about her. All her little sayings and quirks, her favorite toys and the funny things she does each and every day. Exactly how she is at the age of TWO!
Language: She's a full blown talker these days. It's pretty easy to communicate with her, and she doesn't hesitate to tell us what she wants and doesn't want. She still likes to repeat everything she hears, which means she says some pretty funny things sometimes. She's got pretty good manners, saying please when she wants something and thank you after she gets it. Pretty cute to have her just blurt out "thank you, mama! thanks mama!" Some of her current funny phrases include: (1) "no mama, no can do that, I don't like that" when you try to help her do something that she wants to do herself (2) "Hey-o" instead of "Hello" (3) Saying "Hi Daddy, how are you today?" (4) "Baby awakey awake now!" every time Jack Jack wakes up (5) During diaper changes: "Baby penis! Don't touch the baby penis!" (yeah... that's what you get when you teach her the correct anatomical words for things) (6) saying "be careful, don't fall down you get a big owie, get a really big owie" (in reference to leaning over the edge of the couch) (7) "that's a bright light, it's really really hot, like a fire, don't touch it. that one's not working..." (in reference to the overhead lights in the lounge, where one bulb was out) (8) "that's an ooey gooey yucky yucky one!" (in reference to her pooping in the potty) (9) "okay here we go to do pee pee on the potty" when she needs to go. She always says "here we go" as she's running to sit on the potty.
Books/stories: Riley still loves to read. We read a whole bin of stories throughout the day, and then we either read stories or I tell her a made up story or classic fairytale before nap and bedtime. She has countless stories memorized, and still loves all her Mickey Mouse stories the best. Other current favorites include: Slinky Malinki Open the Door, Babar the Little Elephant, Cinderella, Peter Rabbit, Madeline, and a bunch more.
I try and make up at least one story for her during the day, and have her help me come up with the details. Sometimes we use Mickey and his pals as characters, sometimes we use Riley and Jack, just depends. I'll ask her questions to prompt her to help me create the story, and it's amazing the things she comes up with! Then when Mark gets home I have her tell him about the story I told her and see how much she remembers, and she does very well retelling the main points.
Little video of her reading one of her fave stories: Mickey and the Pet Shop.
This was actually quite a while ago, and it's near impossible to get her to read the whole story while also
getting it on video, so it's pretty choppy and way less clear than normal, but you get the idea.
Songs: She loves listening to music. We play a lot of music during the day, and she loves listening to it and singing along. Her favorite song is "the ABC song" and she would listen to it (and sing along) over and over and over. She knows and can sing dozens of songs, including Itsy Bitsy Spider, I'm a little Starfish, Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Twinkle Twinkle, Wheels on the Bus, and many more. She also LOVES to dance. She bust a move big time, and loves when someone dances with her. It's pretty darn cute, I must say.
Little dancing video (sweet PJs, I know)
Independence: She is potty trained, hooray! She uses the little potty as well as the big toilet (with her elmo seat) and she is doing extremely well. She is really into getting herself dressed and undressed these days. She can get her underwear and pants on all by herself most of the time, and can get her shirt on with a little bit of guidance. But just a little bit, very discreetly, otherwise she gets mad and wants to do it all by herself. She can put her shoes and socks on by herself, and she can take everything off all by herself. She wants to make her own PB sandwich, pour her own milk, pick out her own spoon and cup, put her own toothpaste on her tooth brush, buckle herself and her brother in their car seats... the list goes on. Basically, she wants to do it ALL herself. And if you forget that for even a second, she will very loudly and clearly remind you she did NOT like you helping her.
Food: Favorites include: pancakes with syrup and bacon, pretzels, bananas, peanut butter sandwiches, hummus, raw carrots, "those vines" (fruit snack thing), weetbix, pistachios ("stachios"), and cheese, and chippies and sauce (or as us Americans call it, fries and ketchup). She's picky with vegetables but she absolutely loves raw carrots. Not cooked carrots. She will also eat raw spinach if it has balsamic dressing on it. She will eat bananas and oranges, and that's pretty much it. We get fruit in her by giving her those pureed squeeze pouches, which she usually devours.
Favorite toys: She loves to build towers (and knock them down) and play with her train tracks. She loves any of her toys with ABCs on them (ABC tower, abacus), and still loves her shape sorter. She loves playing with playdoh and bouncing on her pink poodle from Aunt Jennie. She's really into throwing things, and loves throwing balls all over the place. She loves riding on her various bikes and in the cozy coupe car we got from the toy library. She does multiple puzzles each day, she just loves them... And of course, always up there, is the ipad.
Favorite activities: Jumping. The girl loves to jump. Mostly on the bed, but she LOVES trampolines as well. She also loves running and "crashing." She'll run up and down the hallway and fall down and yell either "crash!" or "kaboom!" She loves painting and coloring and playing with stickers. She loves going to the playground and LOVES going to feed the ducks "a sandwich" (or old stale bread). She got really excited when Mark pointed out a pukeko to her, and spent the rest of the day saying "feed the pukeko a sandwich!!" She also loves riding the firetruck outside the supermarket, and going to the local coffee shop to get a fluffy (frothed milk). She LOVES playing with Harvey (Nana and Grandad's beagle) and thinks he's just the best thing ever.
Feeding the seagulls and ducks.
Favorite shows: She LOVES watching videos of herself and her brother. She would watch "Ri Ri videos" all day long if we let her. Mickey Mouse is her favorite show to watch, and she's pretty darn funny watching it. Mark and I disagree a little bit on how much TV she should be allowed to watch, but he's been getting her into some new movies this month, so her favorites are: Despicable Me, Mega Mind, Shrek, Tangled, and The Princess and the Frog. She also likes Hi-5 (and loves all the songs she has learned from this show), and Sesame Street.
Smarty pants: At two, she knows: all her colors, letters, and numbers. She knows the sound each letter makes, and a couple of words that start with each letter. She can count to 20, but mostly stops at 15. She knows that the number two represents a quantity of two, and "3" means she has three things, and so on. She knows tons of animals and the sounds they make and the foods they like to eat. She has a crazy good memory and is able to recall facts and retell stories extremely well. She know tons of shapes, and loves biting her pretzels into triangles and semi-circles. Silly bug.
Other faves: She loves her grandma and grandpa, and Nana and Grandad. Every single time Nana comes over she wants to play trains with her. It's like Nana = trains. She asks to "kype with grandma" or "call grandma" every day. She knows how to call daddy all by herself on my cell phone, and does so frequently. She still doesn't say the "s" at the beginning of most s words, which I think is so very cute. She bargains like crazy, and my favorite is after I finish reading her stories at bedtime, and I say goodnight, and she says to me "how about, mama can snuggle you ONE more minute?" How can you say no to that? She loves playing in the front seat of the car. She loves helping me do the dishes, the laundry, and washing the counters and the floor. Such a good helper! She LOVES her baby brother and gives him kisses and cuddles, tickles him, and tells him stories. She loves cracking eggs and helping with baking. She LOVES having the bottoms of her feet lightly stroked/tickled, and will lay there perfectly still and say "tickle the other one, one more time?" She loves playing in Jackson's crib and asks to get in there all day long.
For the most part, she is extremely well behaved when we're out and about. She rarely has tantrums while we're out, and usually listens to me when we're in public. She's really good with other kids, doesn't steal toys or hit or push or any of that stuff.
Her hair is wild and fluffy and getting long, but she rarely lets me pull it back. She no longer hates having her teeth brushed (thank you electric spiderman toothbrush) but she doesn't love it either. She loves taking a bath with me, and wants me to read her stories before bed and naps, but is happy for daddy to do it if I'm busy getting Jackson to sleep. She normally wakes up super happy and comes running down he hallway, BUT she needs a solid 20 minutes to wake up fully from her nap, we call it her "fragile time" and we try not to set too high of expectations or demand too much of her during that period She still hates the sun in her eyes while we're driving, and doesn't like us to close her bedroom door at night before she falls asleep.
I think that pretty much covers it! Happy second birthday to my little buggy!
So okay, I may have taken way too many birthday pictures of my child. But she only turns one once, right? Right.
This next one cracks me up. No idea why she's making that face, but it's funny so I thought I'd share. :)
Getting that balloon to stay where I wanted was no easy task, let me tell you. It kept blowing on to the ground, behind her head, hitting her in the head, she kept trying to grab it or eat it, but luckily we got a few good ones.
Anyway, that's the last of the birthday pictures!!
If you read my blog regularly, you may have noticed the number of posts per week has decreased dramatically in the last few weeks. There are a few reasons for this, but one of them has been the planning/preparing for Riley's birthday party! Now, some people think first birthday parties are stupid, since the birthday girl won't even remember it anyway, but clearly I do not feel that way. I think her birthday is something that should be celebrated each and every year, and I had tons of fun decorating, and I know our guests really enjoyed it! So prepare for LOTS of pictures! We'll start with the decor:
We went with a pink/green ladybug theme, which I thought appropriate since we call her "Riley Bug" or sometimes, just "Buggy." Everything you see here I made by hand (unless otherwise mentioned). That banner has a picture of her at each month, and then some of her one year cake smash pictures in the middle.
At the last minute (like 10 minutes before the party), my awesome sister decided to make that little "R" out of crepe paper... took her like 25 minutes, but it was super cute, so she's the best Auntie ever. :)
The food table, errr, at least one of the food tables. We had berries and candy and cookies, and the CUTEST little tomato and cream cheese ladybug snacks, again made by my awesome sister Jennie.
See that book on the right? That's Riley first year album I made and ordered from shutterfly. It turned out GREAT and it was a big hit at the party!!
And then there was the cake... ohhhhh the cake. I ordered the cake from Studio Cake in Menlo Park, and she custom made it to match the colors of the party, and it was maybe the cutest cake in the whole entire world. And, it was delicious too.
The timing of everything worked out perfectly. Riley woke up literally minutes before the first guest arrived, and was in a wonderful mood and excited about life. She was also excited to see her baby friends that she hasn't seen since our last visit in December!
T-shirt bought from etsy seller cuteasabuttondesigns. I LOVED it.
Totally excited about her new alphabet tower, and even more excited that my cousins would rebuild over and over and over again after she or one of the other babies knocked it down (thanks Tommy and Kristin!).
We moved on to opening gifts, and Riley was a pro! She ripped all the paper off (with a little help from Mark), although I think she liked opening the presents better than the presents themselves. To be expected, I suppose.
She got an adorable birthday crown and flower hat, which stayed on juuuuust long enough for me to snap a half-decent photo, and then they were tossed off. Although later in the day she kept that crown on for a good 15 minutes or so. No such luck with the hat.
Riley was in heaven during her party. She loved being the center of attention, and having everyone look at her and want to play with her. She walked all over the house, from person to person, smiling at everyone, clapping, trying to get everyone else to clap for her, oh, and trying to pull off her shirt. Silly baby.
This picture sums it up pretty nicely... sitting in the center of the room, surrounded by people looking at her, being entertained by multiple people with multiple toys. Doesn't get any better than this when you're one.
And of course, no birthday party is complete without some cake and everyone singing happy birthday to the birthday girl. She was mesmerized by the candle and the 30 people all singing to her at the same time. :) Grandma was in charge of keeping baby fingers out of the fire. :)
I'd say the cake was a hit.
All in all, it was a fabulous day!! Riley had a blast, we had fun watching her have so much fun and celebrating her first year of life!
What a day this has been...
Today was my first day with BOTH babies, and I only had them for 4 hours (less than half a usual work day), and let me tell you, I am exhausted. Originally I thought it would be awesome to get them on the same schedule (eating, sleeping, playing at the same time), and then while they slept I could have a break. Well, I take that back. I want them on opposite schedules so I only have one baby at a time. To all those moms out there with twins, I applaud you. In fact, I think you are amazing. This is hard stuff.
Here's how the day went... I got there at 1, both babies were awake, but Kyan was due for a nap any time. I put Kyan down for a nap shortly after his mom left, which is not quite as easy as it sounds... We were in the lounge (which is not baby-proofed by they way) and Hugo is quite mobile now, so I can't leave him in there while putting Kyan to bed, and they don't have a pack n play or anything to kind of keep him safe and secure somewhere. So I managed to pick up Kyan in one arm, and Hugo in the other, but then I had to somehow stand up off the floor to get into Kyan's room. Well once I got that down, I put Kyan in his bed while watching Hugo on the floor, finally got Kyan asleep, and went back and played with Hugo. After about 30 minutes, I put Hugo to sleep in another room, and then thought I had about an hour to just chill before one baby woke up. Wrong. Hugo only slept for 25 minutes, and would not go back to sleep. So I got him out, and believe it or not up to this point it was all pretty smooth sailing.
Then... I was about to give Hugo his bottle, when Kyan woke up. I let him cry for a few minutes, and then I had to put Hugo's bottle down to carry him into the nursery to get Kyan. Hugo was not so happy about that. I managed to carry them both back into the lounge, and of course then they both needed bottles, yet they can't hold their own bottles, and they both needed to be held... uh oh. And they fed off each other's cries, and it didn't help that Kyan is kind of scared of Hugo so he cried every time Hugo got close to him (which was a lot)... But anyway, finally I got them semi-fed, although Kyan wouldn't really take his bottle so we moved on to baby food. But both babies wanted to be held, and so I ended up feeding Kyan in his high chair while holding Hugo, who was constantly trying to grab the spoon from me. Luckily for me, somehow both babies were happy and all smiles when their parents got home! Phew...
So anyway, basically for an hour both babies wanted to be fed at the same time and held at the same time, which meant there were some unhappy babies and a stressed out nanny for a while. Oh boy. Thought we were totally ready for babies of our own, and now I'm not so sure. :)
BUT, on the upside... tomorrow is my birthday, and when I got home from work Mark had a big surprise for me! He had cleaned the house, lit candles, gotten all dressed up, and had my slippers waiting for me by the front door (reminded me of when we got engaged!) He had made me a 4 course meal, and bought me presents too!! We had kind of talked about not doing b-day presents this year because we're on a tight budget, but I should have known he wouldn't be able to do that!! Anyway, it was a great birthday present, especially because tomorrow is such a busy day that we won't really have time to celebrate. So overall, I'd say it was a great day! What a lovely candle lit evening!!