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!
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!!
This month FLEW by. Hard to believe Christmas has already come and gone!!! December is definitely one of my favorite months of the year, and this year was no different. We do lots of fun holiday things, lots of holiday traditions. We hung all the ornaments on the trees, with "help" from the little ones. Riley was really into it this year, and Jackson just wanted to eat the ornaments and pull them OFF the tree.
December is the season for holiday cards, and I wasn't organized enough to book family portraits for ourselves this fall, so I attempted to do them myself. I swear it must be the photographer's curse, to have children that just do not want to cooperate for family photos. And of course, despite finally getting a photo and ordering my cards on time... I still haven't sent them out. So you may get one in January or so.
But hey, at least my kids looked cute, right? Riley put that headband on herself and refused to take it off, which is why it's practically backwards, but that's alright. Gives her outfit a little character.
We made sugar cookies and decorated gingerbread houses, which really mean Riley ate all the sprinkles and candies while I tried to make things look pretty. But it was still fun, and very very messy!!
We had Christmas-themed movie nights and read stories in front of the Christmas tree. We read all kinds of Christmas books and talked about Santa and reindeer and elves, and all things Christmas-related.
Christmas trees are magical things to babies. The lights, the texture, the ornaments... and Christmas trees with trains around them? Even better.
I really really wanted ONE picture of my two little ones sitting next to each other in front of the tree. Oh man I had to work so hard for it, now that Jackson doesn't sit still for a minute, and Riley is just a wild woman! This might have been the best one I got!!
Since Riley loved Christmas lights so much, we decided to take her and Jackson to this special street in Alameda with tons and tons of amazing Christmas lights. I thought it would be better to get out and walk so we could see them all up close and personal, but it was a little cold and I think Riley probably would have liked it better being in the car. But it was still pretty awesome!
A few other highlights leading up to Christmas (actual Christmas photos have yet to be uploaded and edited...)
Jackson trying to attack the trains around the Christmas tree... kid can move at lightning speeds!
Riley's very first present she got to open from her Aunt Jennie. Her very own Minnie Mouse power wheels.
And? Her very first haircut. She didn't even flinch, probably because Elmo was on and she got to sit in a cool car chair. Mark practically forced me to take her to get her haircut, but I must say it looks pretty darn cute, and it's even MORE curly now!
We had a fabulous Christmas, full of lots of family, presents, food, and pictures!!! Coming soon, I hope! Happy Holidays, friends and family!!!
Ooooookay, so... it's been a while. So sit back, relax, this is going to be a long one!!
A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to go to Hawaii with my parents and my sister and her husband. It was definitely a much needed vacation, although I'm not sure vacation ever really has the same meaning once you have kids!!!
A 5 hour flight should seem like nothing after multiple 14 hour plane adventures, but man was it challenging! Now, I say that, but really both kids were pretty darn good, just Riley was a LOT of work to entertain!! She's so go-go-go that 5 hours on a plane in the middle of the day is torture to her! But we survived and landed in Hawaii, ready for fun!
So we stayed in a condo, which was nice because both kids could have their own room... only downside was, Riley's room had 2 single beds, which were set up in a way that you couldn't just put them together, but there was only like 2 feet between them.... so I basically stuffed that space with pillows and blankets and turned it into a HUGE bed. Bigger than any bed she's slept in. And wouldn't it figure, that she would fall out of that bed not once but TWICE in the middle of the night. Talk about giving your mama a heart attack, nothing worse than hearing a huge THUD followed by screams at 2am! But she recovered quickly and we were ready to start our days in Hawaii!
Now, one thing I totally did not expect? Riley was terrified of the ocean. Not really the ocean per se, but more the waves. She's been around then ocean and water plenty of times in New Zealand, but the beach was smaller where we were in Hawaii, and the waves were pretty loud, and for some reason she was terrified! I was totally perplexed! She loved the pool, loved swimming, was alright sitting in the sand FAR away from the water, but was NOT happy to sit near the water, and wanted to be carried at all times!
Jackson, on the other hand, was totally not bothered by the sand or ocean... He was pretty much happy most of the time. The tricky thing with vacation with the little ones is balancing doing fun things and playing outside with everyone getting enough rest and sleep. One day we planned a trip out to the aquarium (more on that in a minute), and there was a miniature golf place right next to it, so we decided to give it a try.
Riley loved it for the first 10 minutes, then got pretty bored and just wanted to go on the bumper boats. So I spent the next 30 minutes trying to convince her it was a good idea to wait until everyone else was ready before going on the boats. 30 minutes is a LONG time in toddler world, let me tell you.
Jack was well past due for a nap, and FINALLY fell asleep thanks to Grandpa who walked and walked and walked him around until he was out. And Riley continued to make it impossible for anyone else to play golf...
Riley is so funny, we told her we were going mini golfing, and she says. "Mini golf? Oh! Not MICKEY golf, just MINNIE golf!" Such a little goofball, that one. :) Can you tell she has Minnie Mouse on the brain?
These pictures of Jackson below are before his skin started to freak out. The kid has very sensitive skin, and does not do well in the Hawaii climate. His eczema was pretty bad, and at one point his forehead was all rashy and red. He also does not do well in the heat, and our condo had no air conditioning, so sleep was a bit of an issue for him during this trip, but you never would have known it during the day, he was a pretty happy little dude!
The boy LOVES to jump. And jump. And jump some more.
Only minimal amounts of sand were consumed while he was sitting there, surprisingly!
This is Riley's GET ME AWAY FROM THE WAVES face.... just before full blown meltdown.
All I wanted was one photo of the two kids together on the beach. Riley was too scared, so we cheated. It think Jennie is holding Jack, and my mom is holding Riley. And we got buildings in the background instead of beach. But they are sort of on the sand, so whatevs.
Jacky boy was not yet crawling, but he was so so so close (don't you worry, he is full blown crawling now, there's no stopping him!) It's probably a good thing he wasn't crawling, since now he doesn't stay still for more than 2 seconds! These two bottom pictures show just how awesome my kids' hair is... Jackson's little fluffy mohawk and Riley's ringlets.
We made it to the aquarium and of course, Riley LOVED it. She loves all the fish and the ocean animals, so she was in heaven. We could have stayed there for a very long time!
It has taken me so long to go through all these photos, and the ones in here a just small selection from the first few days of our trip! I have so many more cute ones to go through and sort, PLUS today this little cutie patootie turns TEN months old, so I have an update coming for him too!
So more Hawaii photos, some videos, and a 10 month update coming soon!
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!
I had big plans for family photos this weekend. Outfits picked out, location chosen, I was even going to get out my new remote so we could have a photo with all four of us. Well... let's just say things did NOT go as planned.
We started with a baby that just needed sleep, and only wanted to sleep being held. So that ruled out me doing my hair and make-up. Then we had a toddler who decided she did NOT like the dress I had picked out for her and screamed "off off off!" as soon as I put it on. Also, she got her face painted this morning at her gym class, and she sobbed when we wiped off her precious butterfly from her cheek. We decided not to even fight the battle of taming her hair.
So we headed out to my predetermined location, much earlier than I had planned since the weather was taking a turn for the worse. It was cold. And windy. After being nice and sunny and warm all weekend. There was no sun to be seen. But we soldiered on, and got the little ones unpacked and ready to go... and the cranky little baby was finally asleep and we didn't want to disturb him, and Riley flat out refused to do anything even somewhat cooperative. Likely because there was a pond! With ducks! And a bridge! And she was obsessed.
And when we tried to move away from the ducks to a new location? Tears. And she would take off running, yelling "go see ducks! go see ducks!" And then Jackson woke up from his mini nap. And then my hopes of getting a decent family photo, JUST ONE, were crushed. So we packed the babies up and headed home. Then on the way home, we decided to give it one last try, and we stopped at a random field. Something without toddler distractions (i.e. ducks). Or so we thought... turns out, toddlers have incredible playground radars, and if there are any slides in the near vicinity, they will spot them.
Aaaaaaand off she goes. I've never seen her run so fast.
Now we were able to use this to our advantage, and were able to get a few decent photos using the playground as a bribe, but I had to work fast, she literally only sits still for 20 seconds with full bribery in force...
She was not pleased about all the grass that was accumulating on her feet, and was saying "clean da grass off the feet?"
I look forward to the days when Jackson can sit up JUST so I can get a photo of the two of them without random fingers and arms in the photo (and by random, I mean my husband's...) Jack Jack was a little cold in the wind so he needed to be nice and bundled snuggling with mama.
I sure do love these two little babies.
And then finally it was time to go home. Which conveniently, provided the opportunity for this photo... my favorite.
And once we were done, we could all relax in the warmth of our home, looking as cute as ever...
And someone discovered he can blow bubbles, which Riley thinks is AWESOME. "Look mama, Jack Jack has bubbles! Bubbles in da mouth!"
So the photos weren't a total fail after all. No family photos, but that's alright, we'll try again another day.
We had not one, not two, but THREE Easters this year. If you know me, you know I love holidays. I love to celebrate. I also love creating holiday traditions for our little family. So we pretty much go all out for holidays and birthdays (within our means, of course). So our Easter went a little something like this:
On Friday we hosted all of Riley's coffee group buddies here for a little Easter egg hunt. Riley, Mark and I spent the morning getting our backyard ready for all the almost 2 year olds. We set up the slide and the pool, cleaned out the water table, opened up the sand pit, and brought all our balls out onto the lawn. We were ready. We also decided to put Riley in her very first pair of big girl undies while we were outside. She kept them dry, and looked like such a big girl!!
Then in the afternoon everyone made their way over to our house. The little ones had lots of fun outside on the various toys, and Riley was stoked to have all her friends over to play with her.
And then we started the egg hunt. They weren't totally sure what they were supposed to do at first, but with a little help from the parents, they caught on pretty quick. I filled the eggs with goldfish crackers, raisins, pretzels, and the occasional chocolate, and the kids LOVED them.
Riley quickly figured out that some of the eggs had chocolate in them, and would open her eggs to see what was inside, and if it wasn't chocolate, she'd go "no!" and put it back. Ohhhh boy. Then on Saturday we had Riley's buddy Hugo over for some Easter crafts and another egg hunt! We were going to dye Easter eggs, but I couldn't seem to find any white eggs, only brown ones, so we decided to paint them instead.
After our Easter egg painting we headed out to do the hunt. It was Hugo's first egg hunt, but he was a pro! He filled his basket in no time, and even had time to help Riley out.
And then finally it was Easter Sunday! The Easter Bunny brought Riley some fun things in her Easter basket (how did the Easter bunny know she loves playdoh!??), and then we headed off to Nana and Grandad's for some more Easter fun. Riley had her third and final egg hunt...
Jackson was there too, although he pretty much just slept through the entire thing, my sweet little angel. Mark included him in the fun by hiding an Easter egg in his car seat with him. :)
After all the eggs were collected, Riley got to sit down, relax, and enjoy the fruits of her labor.
"Look mama, chocolate egg!!!" Also known as an M&M.
I was determined to get a picture of the babies with their grandparents today. We wanted Riley to wear the bunny ears, and she was not having it, so Nana wore them instead. :) Jackson was 90% asleep, but opened his eyes a bit for the photo.
Riley was so so happy to have Nana AND Grandad play playdoh with her and make her as many circles and butterflies and stars as one little girl could possibly want. In the meantime, Harvey the watchdog assumed his position on the couch, and I fed the littlest one.
And then finally we made it back home with way too much chocolate and two tired babies who both slept for 2 hours. And just because I haven't included many pictures of my little boy... he went through a 10 minute period where he only wanted to be held like this:
Silly boy. And then somehow our power went out and our clocks were reset without my knowing it, and I accidentally put the babies to bed at 6pm. Oops! Oh well, left me plenty of time to edit photos and write up this post, I guess! Happy Easter to you!
Just gonna throw some pictures and random words down because I don't have time for something more organized or coherent...
We have lots of fun Easter activities coming up... egg hunts and crafts and chocolate and Easter photos galore.
Jackson is loving his play gym time, and giving me tons of smiles these days. And Riley is loving her baby brother!
We let Riley help give Jackson a bottle the other day, and she thought it was the best thing ever.
She asked me for piggy tails the other day and it made me so so happy. Although they only lasted about 5 minutes before she yanked them out.
But seriously, does it get any cuter?
Upcoming posts: An evening at the beach, Jackson turns 2 months, 2 months with 2 under 2, Easter egg hunt, and Easter photos of the little ones... stay tuned.
I told you there were going to be lots of updates and photos... that's what no internet for 5 days will do to you! So after spending tons of time outdoors leading up to Christmas, it was finally Christmas day with the Bartlett fam. As usual, Riley was the first one awake, and we had the job of keeping her away from the Christmas presents until it was time to open them. Of course she sported her Elmo Christmas pajamas most of the morning. :)
And as expected, Riley loved opening presents. She tore through them like a pro.
This baby got LOTS of presents. In fact, so many presents that she got overwhelmed and didn't want to finish opening them! We had to save some for the day after Christmas!! But of all her presents, one of her favorite things was that little pinwheel she's holding. Oh the simple things.
Other faves? Sand and water table from Santa. Total hit.
And floor piano from Nana. She wasn't too sure at first, but once she figured it out, she loved it.
In the afternoon, Santa made an appearance! Riley wasn't totally sure, but we convinced her to sit on his lap without any tears!
After a morning and afternoon full of Christmas fun and visitors, we had a few minutes of down time before the next side of the family arrived for the evening celebration. We tried to get Riley to relax and recharge, which worked for a little bit, but it wasn't long before she was looking for mischief...
Bin full of corks all over the floor? Check. Crazy baby!!
Riley was only able to stay awake through a small part of the evening celebration before she asked to go nigh-nigh and marched her little self into bed. Overall it was a great Christmas with lots of food and family and fun!
(Riley's great Nana with all her great grandchildren)