Matt's artistic shot of Ryan in the prairie dog tunnel
On her eternal favorite, the merry go round
First time for Ryan to brush the goats - Addie was very serious the whole time she was in there
In the Eagle's Nest
Addie has been very super cute lately. We got some Between the Lions audio CDs at Chick Fil A and we play them in the car. After about three times, she could sing the theme song perfectly, and we’ve now added BTL to our TV repertoire. She can also sing the other songs on the CD (well, there are 4 of them). She says such funny sweet things all the time, and is very interested in being part of our conversations. All sorts of phrases are creeping into her speech, like, "You promise?" and, "That’s not what you said earlier". I don’t know where she picks them up – I’m still getting used to the fact that I don’t really have to teach her a lot of things anymore. She is just able to hear things once and understand them and incorporate them into her life. Addie’s been into coloring a lot lately, sometimes spending over two hours at the table without a sound. She concentrates very hard and uses lots of coloring, making dark marks and covering the whole picture instead of random scribbling over the top. The faces she makes while coloring are hilarious. Oh, and she can draw people now, out of nowhere. Also clouds and the sun with rays.
She is very silly with her animals and loves to make up games and songs. Today she made up a Valentine song for everyone. She talks back to the TV all the time now, commenting on the characters’ actions and replying to interactive shows like Diego and Little Einsteins. She is in a major outdoor phase too – she was bundled up in coat, hat and gloves so she could pick the weeds (flowers) outside many mornings last week in near-freezing temperatures.
Addie trying to pick every weed in my yard in the freezing cold. I did not go out.
It’s neat to see my explanations of roots, water, weeds, etc. all being carefully absorbed and processed in her mind. She is full of wonder and happiness and silliness, and Matt and I spend a great deal of time looking at each other with amazement at what she just said or did, and then smiling in wonder that this perfect precious beautiful little girl is ours. She is still our princess, and I’m absolutely loving the stage she’s in now. Four months can make a big difference, because turning three was not so pleasant.
Speaking of, she had a great Valentine’s day. I set up her little presents on the table. I also made heart-shaped chocolate chip pancakes and got the girls red carnations (we had friends staying with us). Matt’s parents contributed big singing dogs to the mix, and my mom sent snowglobes, stickers, and a little stuffed puppy that makes kissing noises that Addison has quickly taken over even though it was meant for Ryan. She’s "babysitting" it.
(that poor flower finally had to be taped together)
Ryan is just a mess! Not in a bad way, though. He was horribly sick for about 5 days with high fever and lots of sleeping. I took him to the doc, who diagnosed an ear infection, but we don’t know what the fever was really about. He did get a new tooth. I think this was the sickest either of the kids have ever been. And man, the recovery was dreadful. As he started feeling better, he became Captain Cranky Pants. Sunday was the first day in over a week that he hasn’t been whining, crying, and generally being obnoxious.
But overall, he is quite a cute little kid. He’s pretty good natured most of the time, although he’s keeping on my toes by going for all the things that Addie left alone when she was his age. He can’t stay out of the cabinet with all our games, and he loves to push buttons on the oven and turn dials on the dishwasher. He climbs up everything, and his new thing is to climb up the kitchen chairs and then on to the table. There is no real way to prevent this short of turning all the chairs on their sides, so we have had many an episode of swatted hands and crying Ryans. He also loves to torment Addison relentlessly. He sees her as a big toy and usually makes a beeline for whatever she is doing. She is getting a TON better at putting up with him. He crawls on her couch and she fusses, so I tell her to calm down and let him sit there. So she does, and then he promptly whacks her or pulls her hair or sits on top of her face. Sometimes she laughs about it, and sometimes she gets mad, even though he is really just trying to play with her. It’s hard to know when to make her be nice and deal with him or when I need to remove him because she shouldn’t have to put up with his nonsense. But the dynamic is getting better as he gets older – he is starting to be more interested in mimicking her rather than just plopping himself into the middle of her stuff, and she is more tolerant of that. He loves the sandbox and reading books, and likes playing in the toy kitchen and with his tools. Also, he is a boy, so he likes to chunk stuff across the tile floor to see what sort of sound it will make. That game ends very quickly after it starts, much to his dismay. He still surprises me with what he can do. He started singing "Doo doo doo doo Dora" this past week, and calls Addie "DaDi". Milk is "Uck" and he’ll shriek it loudly. He can also say juice, ball, bear, Moo, Casey, Mama, There’s Dada (or whoever), backpack, thanks, book, bye, night-night and a few other words. If I put on his socks, he’ll run to the shoe basket and grab his shoes and bring them over and sit in my lap. He loves to pile things into the baby doll strollers and push them around, and he definitely knows which blankets are his and carts them around the house too. At the Y, his milk cup was not in the bag when I went to pick him up in the baby area. I told him to go find his cup, mostly just to see what he’d do, and he immediately stopped in his tracks, turned around, walked all the way between the long rows of baby bouncers along the wall, and wedged behind an exersaucer, where he’d hung it on the edge! So smart! He adores his Daddy. He will sit and play with Matt endlessly, and loves to run up and say , “Dada!” and grab both Matt’s legs and hug him.
Who needs baby locks?
Things are getting a lot easier for the most part, although I do still have some days when my teeth are worn down from all the grinding and clenching I do to keep from screaming! The kids are able to do more things now on their own, and Ryan is getting to where he can enjoy new experiences on his own level.
We had friends stay with us for the past week. Otty is a friend from college who just got back from nearly a year in Afghanistan, and he and his wife and daughter Lily (2.5) came through Houston while visiting friends and family. Since we are very well set up for kids, we were sort of a home base while they made the rounds. The girls got along really well for the most part. Addie was so cute trying to say “Lily” without it sounding like “Yee-yee” (her L’s usually sound like Y’s, but she finally settled on “Lelll-ly”), and Lily adored playing with Addie’s dollhouse. Otty and Maranda watched the kids for us Saturday night and gave us a nice gift card to go out to eat as a thanks for letting them stay with us, although no thanks were necessary. Addie has still been talking about “my friend Lily” since they’ve been gone.
Matt and Otty
Princess Lily hanging out in jeans and a ballgown
Addie on the potty: "The pee pee's not coming out. It's still eating dinner."
"No Mama, I’m not a baby, I’m all throwed up."
"Well, THAT didn’t work!" after putting animals in a basket and then spilling them all out when she tried to pick it up.
"Mommy, I’m about time to go."
She still thinks that everything in the potty goes to Chuck E Cheese.
Matt and I were discussing eating out, and I asked if we should go to one of the places with the sandboxes. Addie immediately piped up from the back seat, "Yeah, I want to go to the big sandbox. With the tables and the monkeys on the wall." We hadn’t been to Santa Fe Flats in months but she remembered the scary masks they had on the walls just when I mentioned a sandbox. Also, we dropped the Blazer before Christmas to get fixed and while we were waiting for Matt to fill out paperwork (we were in the car), Addie saw a deer head through the window in the office and talked about reindeers. Then, a couple of weeks ago, we had to go pick it up again and as soon as we pulled into the gravel drive (it was almost night), Addie said, "Where’ s the reindeer? I don’t see it through the window. Christmas is over." We weren’t even in the same part of the crummy parking lot, so I don’t know how she knew or remembered where we were.
Anyways, that's the big update for the first half of February.