Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bon Voyage

Things have been, well, not quiet, but we haven’t had tons of activities going on. That’s about to change for the next week or so – Matt and I leave on Friday for Baton Rouge and I need to get myself packed, Addie packed, and leave instructions for Ryan and Addie on their care and feeding.

Ryan still is not walking consistently, but he’s doing a lot of other things. He’ll take a spoon and try to feed me with it, use a brush to brush his hair, attempt to put hats on his head, use his hammer and tools to try to pound things, etc. He even picked up my dangly earring and tried to put it back on my ear, holding it up and then letting go to see if it would stay. He’s really figuring out how stuff works. He seems too young to be able to do all of that, but then I realize that he’s almost 11 months, so it’s really pretty normal. I think because he’s not babbling as much or with as much variety as Addie was at this age, I tend to view him as younger or not able to understand as much. I know that typically boys are slower in the language department. For all of you working on your second babies, you will be amazed at how quickly you forget stuff – how soon things are supposed to happen, when the nap schedules changed, etc. I don’t even remember when Addie started really using her first words. Thank goodness I wrote it down. Speaking of, Ryan does consistently say "DaDa" to Matt, and also to the fridge, where he loves to look at pictures of Matt and I. I ask him to say "MaMa," and he smiles great big and says, "DaDa!". Addie did the same thing. He seems to make Moo sounds sometimes, and he has been making a clicking sound when he sees giraffes – we never knew what noise to make for a giraffe, so we make a clip-clop hoof sound for giraffes, zebras, and other hoofed creatures without a distinctive noise. So now Ryan will pick up a giraffe and make the clicky noise. We went to the zoo yesterday and saw the two week old baby giraffe that was just born, and Ryan was intrigued by all the animals. I have a photo book that I made two years ago when Cammie came to visit. She was three and Addie was 9 months, and we did lots of stuff at the zoo while she was here. So this year, I tried to get some new pictures in the same places with the girls two years older. However, the crawl-through aquarium was closed and the carousel was broken, so there went two photo ops. Oh well.

Caiti leaves to go back in about two and a half weeks. We will be gone all of next week while she’s home with Ryan, and then we will start the big massive house purge to begin separating stuffed animals, toys, clips, markers, craft items, doll clothes, underpants, toothbrushes, blankets, etc. that very swiftly became mixed together. And even so, I know I will probably have a big box of Cammie’s stuff to mail her after they leave, as I find more things that I missed. This will be a good thing though, because Ryan has outgrown a lot of the infant type toys now so I can FINALLY pass them along for good.

Matt and I are SO looking forward to our cruise. We haven’t left Ryan since he was born almost a year ago, and while that may not seem like a big deal, we are both committed to making the effort to get away with just each other. Sometimes we don’t always feel like we need a break from the kids, but we trust the advice of older couples who say to make the time for each other even if you don’t think you need it. Marriage has never felt like work to either of us (at least the relationship between Matt and I hasn’t; taking care of kids is a different story!!!!), so we want to keep the connection strong. When Addie was littler and it was just the three of us, most of the time there was nowhere we’d rather be than home with her, but we both realize that you have to tend the relationship before something happens. Call it preventative care. So anyways, we’re going to have a blast. Matt’s best friend from high school, Eric, is coming along too.
Finally, here are the pictures of the dress-up area. I still haven't gotten the curtains, but they will come one day. The dress was a stamp, and the flower thing was a stencil. I have a few other stamps, but I'm not sure where I want to use them - I don't want to clutter up the wall just for the sake of stamping.

The border was wallpaper that I got on clearance ($5 for the whole huge roll) and then I cut it into thin strips to make the border. It's pink and purple stripes, which are kind of hard to see in the picture.
Oh, we got this pool at Target on clearance for $15. I love the sunshade, and it's actually a pretty good sized pool.

That's all for to use the nap time wisely and constructively!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Big news and summer update

Ryan walked today! This morning, he was crawling and then bent over and stood himself up without holding on to anything, in the middle of the floor. And then, this afternoon, he stood up and took 1, 2, 3 steps, and then stopped and stood there looking at me. No falling, no walking to my hands, just walking and stopping. He turned 10 months on Saturday, so I guess it is official that I have an early walker. I'm so proud of my big big boy!!! Addie walked two weeks after her first birthday.

He started babbling about two weeks ago - we weren't getting any real consonant sounds out of him, but a couple of Saturdays ago, he started up with "Da da da da da" in the car. From there, he quickly moved onto "Buh", "Gah", "Dee dee dee", and he's also repeated "Uh oh" a lot when we say it first to him, although he hasn't used it in context. My mother-in-law trimmed up the back of his hair where it was growing thick and making him sweat. And then I trimmed up Addie's hair, if by "trimmed" I mean "chopped into random chunks that look pretty horrible". It is now about shoulder-and-other-various-lengths ( I attempted to cut in some "layers").

Matt and I are going on a cruise out of New Orleans in a couple of weeks, and baby Ryan is staying here with Caiti while Addie spends a week with my bestest friend Kate and Emilyn - they were the ones we stayed with at Mardi Gras in March. We figured it would be easier on Caiti and Kate to split up my two monkeys for the week.

We went to Galveston a few weekends ago. The girls had an absolute blast and really loved jumping over the waves as they crashed to the shore. The beach was surprisingly not gross. Ryan crawled all over, and as far into the ocean as we would let him before he started to drown. He also enjoyed eating the sand with reckless abandon. We tried to curtail this, but it was virtually impossible, so we didn't worry too much.

After rinsing off hands and feet and mouths, we headed over to the Rainforest Cafe, as a special treat for the girls. Everyone was very good and they loved the noisy animals on the walls. Baby Ryan was kind of the party pooper, because we had to leave earlier than we would have liked to accomodate his fussiness/tiredness. He's past the age of being able to sleep anywhere at anytime, but still too little to miss a nap without major horrible fussiness. Maybe before Caiti and Cammie leave at the end of the month, we'll try to get an all-day sitter for Ryan and take the girls to the souvenier shops on the beach ( if any are left) and let them play in the ocean for as long as they want. And get ice cream, which they will then drop on the pavement and cry about.

Oh, and I finally remembered to ask about Jesus hopping. Turns out there is some little musical video they show in Addie's Sunday school class where they sing about "Hop, hop, hop with Jesus, skip, skip, skip with Jesus, etc". I'm pretty dubious as to the educational/spiritual content of this video, but she is only 2 after all, so playing and singing and hopping is the most important thing for her right now anyway!

Caiti dressed them in matching shades for our big trip to Wal Mart.

More matching clothes, thanks to Caiti - they're watching S'Mores cook in the microwave

We also went the Children's Museum when my mom was down last weekend. It was so much fun. I wasn't sure how much stuff there would be to do for kids Addie's age and younger, but it was still a blast.

Addie had fun following Cammie around and looking at stuff, and when we went outside to the water area, all three kids could have stayed all day. Especially Ryan. He took off into the waterfalls and puddles and played and yelled for an hour. He stood up at the water table/river thing and spashed and got soaked. Two times, I tried to pick him up to dry him off and change clothes and he had big fits because he wasn't done playing. It was very cute. I could tell he just wanted to be able to run everywhere at once.

I also got all wet.

After the water stuff, we discovered the Tot Spot upstairs and that was awesome. Ryan learned to slide down soft steps on his belly and climbed in and out of cars, open doors and windows, turn switches on and off, and basically had a ball. The girls ran around from one side to the other, and I was really amazed at how nice the whole area was. I think that maybe next summer we might do a family membership.

A week ago we went to a birthday party at a park with a splashpad. The girls played and then ate lots of cake.

Matt with Ryan and Caiti with Addison

Ryan about to bail out of the stroller

Not sure what else is on the agenda for the next couple of weeks. I finally got Addie's dress-up area painted and the border put up. We need to hang the mirrors and stencil the designs and get curtains, and then I will have a beautiful corner full of dresses and princess crowns and girly things for my little girl. Anyone who knows me should be surprised. And I won't be surprised if she never sets foot over there. But in the meantime it looks cute and girly.