Looks like these big monthly blog posts are going to become a regular thing around here. Here's a little photo recap of our adventures last month... The kids love to play outside (as all kids do), and they love to roam around and play on the front steps and driveway, especially in the evenings when they get to wait for daddy to come home from work!
Riley is such a goofball all the time. The faces she makes when I am trying to take her picture are priceless.
Early in August we went to go and visit Jennie down in Long Beach. Just Riley and I went, leaving Jack at home with daddy! I have many more pictures from our time down there, but I am hoping to eventually put together a little video, so well see if that ever happens. :) There was lots of Aunt Jennie time, hanging out at the beach, and playing lots and lots of fetch with Penny!
Riley has been pretty good about naps/rest time lately, and when she wakes up from her nap, she goes and uses the potty, gets out of her (dry) pull-up and into her clothes, and then accessorizes before coming to see me. This is often what I see when she finally exits her room post-nap.
Jack and Riley's relationship has its ups and downs, but they do actually play well together sometimes. :) She loves to tickle him, and he loves to give her lots and lots of cuddles! Other things that are very popular these days? TRAINS, wrestling/jumping on daddy, dress-up, and more trains. And anything that involves being outside.
I love moments like these. Absolutely love them.
Jacky is so funny, he LOVES trains, but he gets so so mad if things don't go exactly like he wants... if the track breaks, or the train gets stuck, watch out, he will start throwing tracks and trains left and right!
I have finally edited Jackson's 18 month pictures too, so I should probably do his 18 month update before he turns 19 months in 2 days... Oops. Also coming up... my thoughts on Riley starting preschool!!
My poor neglected little blog. Seriously I need two more hours in every day to get all the things done I need to get done! Or to figure out how to function on less sleep, but I seriously don't think that is possible!!
So we will take few steps back and re-cap. I hate re-cap posts, but I also hate totally skipping over photos, and my sister wants a blog update NOW, so this is what we get. :)
Riley got a balance bike for her birthday, and we've slowly been practicing! She looks all big and grown up riding that thing, I can hardly believe it!
Jackson has become a WILD child. He climbs on everything. He is feisty! He knows what he wants and gets MAD when he doesn't get it. He bites! But, he's also super fun and cute and definitely keeps me on my toes all day long!!
And Jacky is definitely a daddy's boy, no question. He LOVES his daddy, and always has so much fun with him!
Gosh I need to blog more, I can hardly even remember what we did in July!! Jacky dd get pretty sick, poor little thing, he just wanted to be held at all times, with a fever of 104! I hate when the babies are sick :(
The second half of July was pretty fun, but of course, it's almost midnight, so those pictures will have to wait for another day. Hopefully another day this week, if I can squeeze it in!! And then maybe we will get to August and be all caught up!
Also... I want to be able to look back at these posts some day down the road and not have to calculate how old my children were... so for when that time comes, I'm going to start putting my kids' ages at the bottom of the posts. Just sittin' there, by themselves, like this:
Riley is 3 years old! Jackson is 17 months!
And just like that, we have a 3 year old. A spunky, funny, spirited, adorable, smart-as-can-be three year old.
Where should I even begin? Let's start with her favorite things these days. She loves: Being outside in the backyard, running, jumping, playing on the playground, and being in the sandpit. She loves riding her bike and playing chase with her brother. She loves dress up and looking like a princess. She's into board games and still loves to play games on the ipad, of course. Her two fave shows are Mickey Mouse and Dora the Explorer. She doesn't really watch anything else.
She gets herself completely dressed every single day, and is very particular about what she wants to wear. She does NOT love brushing her hair, but she's getting better about letting me do it. She is still napping half of the days, the other half she is terror on wheels come 4pm... and often times, with no nap, she's asleep before 6. We briefly attempted having her ditch pull-ups for bed, which was successful for three nights before it, well, wasn't successful anymore. So we're sticking with pull-ups for sleep for the time being.
She loves mini pancakes and life cereal for breakfast. She still loves her milk and her Odwalla smoothies (smoothie orangey juice, as she calls it). She loves pretzels and sun butter sandwiches, and sausages and chippies, and carrots and spaghetti! Other than that, she's a super picky eater, and often hardly eats any dinner at all. But she makes up for it in the size of her breakfast! Holy cow the girl can eat breakfast!
She has started to become extremely particular about how she wants things done, and if they don't happen that way, she can throw quite the tantrum. We have definitely seen a huge increase in the number of tantrums in the past few weeks. It can surely be exhausting, for both her and us! Also, the littlest things can become the BIGGEST deals... For example, one morning there was a 30 minute meltdown because her waffle broke and she wanted it put back together. Another tantrum because she spilled a few drops of her milk on her shirt. Things like that where it is totally crazy to you or me, but a huge deal to her little self.
Little Miss cutie patootie still loves to sing. She sings ALL THE TIME. She sings real songs, she makes up her own songs about anything and everything. She knows the songs we sing her before bed time. She knows songs from the radio and from shows, and she uses those songs and makes up her own lyrics. Pretty darn cute!! Between her and Jack there is always some sort of singing/humming happening in our house!
My little monkey LOVES to read. She would sit with me and read stories all day! She also loves when I tell her stories, and requests different stories about different things every night, which forces me to be quite creative in my storytelling!! She also loves all art projects, and has gotten pretty good with her drawing!! She can draw shapes, and some simple letters (like M), and she can trace all the letters on these little dry erase flash cards we got her (which she loves!)
She adores her brother... most of the time. She loves to see him first thing in the morning, and loves to give him cuddles and make him laugh. But then all of a sudden she will decide she has had enough of him, and is not pleased when he wants something that she has, and will give him a good hard shove, or hit him, or something similar. The good thing is, most of the time, I can totally see it coming. Bad thing is, sometimes I can't, and poor Jacky Boy gets pummeled. He's going to be one tough little baby, that's for sure.
Recently Riley loves putting on "shows" for us late at night. She wants us all to sit on the couch and watch her on her "stage" while she runs around, sings and dances with her microphone, and basically puts on a show for us! Then she will bring us into the show to dance with us, and she assigns everyone an animal that they have to dance like or pretend to be. She is pretty darn hilarious!
She has such a fun imagination! I love listening to her little mind work, and the scenarios and stories she comes up with! She also has an absolutely amazing memory, nothing gets by that little girl! She is also totally in the "why" phase of toddlerhood. She wants to know WHY for every single thing. What are you doing mama? Why? Why? Why why why and on and on until she is satisfied with my answer, finally.
She loves to wait outside on the front porch for her daddy to get home from work. As soon as we see his car, she runs right for him so she can help him drive the car in the driveway. She loves wrestling and playing chase with her daddy when he gets home, and lots of times he will take her down to the playground or to play in the backyard while I make dinner. But, she is still very much a mama's girl. She wants me to do most things with her, especially when it comes to the whole bed time routine. She can actually be really stubborn about that kind of stuff. But at least I know she loves me! :)
She has started sleeping in her own bed all night a lot more regularly, but still comes in our room to sleep in the middle of the night sometimes. She wakes up around 6 most days, which is unfortunate since Jack usually sleeps until 7 or even 8. Oh how much more rested I would feel with TWO children sleeping in until 7 or 8 every day!!
She knows her first, middle and last name, where she lives, and where she was born. She knows her age and birthday, and we are working on phone number. She knows her days of the week, and she can spell her name, Mama, Dada, Baby, and a few other words. She knows a bajillion things that start with each letter, and if you ask her what letter any word starts with, she can tell you (except for tricky ones with silent letters). She is constantly asking me "what does this spell mama?, how do you spell this? which word is this? etc etc."
I could go on forever and ever with more details, but this is already almost a month late, so I think I've included all the important details. At some point I will add in the video I took of her for her 3 year video/interview!
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 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...