Monday, July 7, 2014

Calendar Girl - Twenty Three Months

This is another catch-up post that I'll back-date.  Just FYI. =)

First of all, let me just say, thank goodness for social media.  I keep running notes in my phone of all the cute/significant stuff Ruby is doing and saying month to month.  For Mother's Day, I got a new phone.  I made sure that I backed all my pics up, and the Cloud had all my contacts.  But I didn't think about the notes!  So all of my notes for this post were bye-bye.  Thankfully, between Instagram, Facebook, and pictures, I was able to easily fill in the gaps in my memory for her 23rd month.

Many of Ruby's interests for this month are the same as the last.  Still loves her  play kitchen.  Still loves her "buddies".  We're able to be outside a bit more, so bubbles are a hit.  She still loves going shopping, and now she especially loves getting packages in the mail!  We also got new volunteering partners, who have young babies.  Ruby is VERY interested in Baby Leah and Baby Zoey!

She's showing off her shoes.  Such a girly girl!

Last month, her sleep kind of went to poop.  It has gotten a little bit better (thankfully), but inexplicably, her bedtime keeps moving back later and later.  I know that you can't make a kid sleep if she's not tired, but MAN.  She should be tired before 9:30!  I know I am!!!  One of the things that has helped get her back into her bed, though, is our new night light.  After a bajillion hours of research, I went with the Kinderglo night light.  We got the bear one (it comes in a ton of shapes) because she likes bears.  He's now named "Mr. Bear", and he is a big incentive to get her into bed.  The light charges on a base during the day, and she can take it into her bed with her at night.  We ONLY let her have Mr. Bear at bed time, to keep the incentive there.  If she gets out of bed, we remind her that Mr. Bear is lonely and waiting for her back in her bed.  Plus, it's bright enough that I think it takes some of her fear of the dark away.  

Ruby IS more scared of noises now, though.  I have a hard time vacuuming without her freaking out.  And she's very scared of cars (which I am totally ok with).  When we are walking through the hospital garage at volunteering, she will startle and cling to me if she sees a car, and has to give herself a pep talk the whole time we walk by parked ones, saying, "The cars are not on.  The cars are not on."  I started teaching her to put her hand on the side of my car when we're loading/unloading while I dig for keys or get stuff out, and she takes this job of keeping herself safe very seriously.  Which is awesome.

This month was the start of what I call "birthday season".  We have a ton of family birthdays in March and April.  Not only that, but since many of her buddies are friends we met in Parent-Baby class, they all have birthdays around this time, too.  Because of this, Ruby is, of course, waaaaay into birthdays.  She has got the words to "Happy Birthday" down, and loves to sing it to/about anyone.  She also gets really excited about the thought of cake.  Ha!  We about died laughing when out of the blue after Mr. G's birthday dinner, she came prancing into the kitchen singing, "tiiiiiime for caaaaake!!!".

Also, this happened:

At a friend's birthday party (her second in one day!), the birthday boy's mom had gotten him his own little cake... Which he wanted absolutely nothing to do with.  These girls were MORE than happy to help him out, eating most of the cake with their fingers and faces!!!  We were dying, it was hilarious!

Other random things loved this month were ferry boats.  I had Grey's Anatomy on one day when she got up from her nap, and she hasn't stopped talking about them.  Or calling all boats ferry boats.  My dad and stepmom got her the Green Toys ferry boat, and she's a huge fan.  Also, as the flowers are popping up, she has to stop and smell every one she sees.  It's really adorable when they are close to the ground, and she has to bend all the way over to stick her little nose in there!  We also got bikes this month, and she loves loves to go for bike rides.  Man, she is heavy though, and we sure do have a lot of hills around here!

By now she is pretty much always talking in complete sentences.  Sometimes her grammar or syntax may be a bit off, but well, she has a lot to say.  We've always said language was her strong suit!  One day I looked over at her and told her, "Ruby, I love you."  She kept doing what she was doing and replied, "I love CHEESE!".  So I guess her love of cheese trumps her love of her mama?  It was pretty amusing, though.  She also still calls Starbucks "coffee mermaid", but now she actually says "mermaid" instead of "mimi".  I'm kind of sad about that one!

Overall, at 23 months Ruby continues to just be the most pleasant, lovliest toddler around.  Not that I am biased.  But I just can't help but get more and more enamored with my girl.  If two is anything like this, I am totally on board!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

"Mera's Birfday"

Aka America's birthday.  Aka the 4th of July. ;)

I was reading last year's 4th of July post (I can't believe this was Ruby's 3rd one already!), and was pretty amused to see that we spent this 4th almost identically to the last.  Ok by me!

We kicked off the day with a patriotic breakfast of baked red white and blue donuts, which did not turn out all pretty like the recipe, but who cares?  Plus blueberries and raspberries.  Ruby was SO excited about the donuts!  I was excited that I'd made them the night before, so breakfast was festive and zero effort.


Then, just like last year, we put on our red, white, and blue, and headed down to the parade!  Ruby was really excited about this, too.  Especially when I told her it would be full of kids, dogs, fire trucks, candy, and grand old flags.  Which is what Ruby calls ANY flag she sees.  Grand old flag.  Always grand old flag.  I love that so much.

Walking to the parade with her own grand old flag.

Also like last year, we were able to snag a great parking spot, and an equally great spot to watch the parade.  I need to remember next year to bring our picnic blanket to drape over the curb like a bunch of other smarties did.  It was kind of dirty.  But whatever.  Ruby looked intense/pissed off in almost every picture, but she wasn't.  She was concentrating on taking it all in.  

She really just wanted to be RIGHT in front of or next to us - hard to take her picture that way!

Waiting for fire trucks.

Here they come!

And, of course, Sammy the Salmon.

These kids had sweet rides.

Gathering candy.

We were surrounded on either side by much older kids/teenagers, who were really intimidating to Ruby.  When the candy would go flying, she'd make a dash for it, only to have these older kids dive in front of her and take the candy that was nearest to her.  I was a little frustrated.  Not because I wanted her to have more candy (obviously), but because I could tell she was disappointed each time she reached for a piece only to have it taken out from under her.  I was also annoyed that these kids' parents let them do that to a toddler.

"Where'd the candy go?"

Highlights of the parade were when Ruby flipped off the firemen (accidently, of course, but very obviously), when she kept picking up candy and putting it into the other kids' bags (hey, she's good at sharing!), and when she picked up an Almond Joy and exclaimed, "Mommy chocolate!" and brought it to me (I plead the 5th on that one).

After the parade was over, we went looking for the two things we were interested in at the Heritage Festival last year, but didn't do.  And both weren't there!  We really wanted to give Ruby a chance to climb on/check out the fire engines, since she's been into them lately.  Last year we walked up just as they were finishing up, so this year we went there first...  And...  They weren't there.  I guess they didn't do that this year?  Or maybe they had an emergency?  Who knows.

So then we went to go get her a pony ride, aaaaaannnnd...  No ponies.  Boo!  There was some shooting obstacle course game in their place (because that's appropriate for children...).  Since we knew that Ruby would be too intimidated by the bouncy house and inflatable slides, we decided to head out.  No big deal, really.  We'd come for the parade, and had a good time!

Mr. G suggested we go out to lunch.  Ruby had been lamenting the loss of her purple Red Robin balloon (it deflated after weeks), so he asked her if she'd like to go there for lunch and to get a new one.  Would she ever!

Her face after we told her where we were going.

Luckily they were open.  Apparently Mr. G had forgotten it was the 4th of July (?!?) when he suggested it, but they were, and no crowd.  Nice.  Except...  They were all out of helium!  No purple balloon!  I can't even tell you how many times Ruby asked us where all the balloons went during the course of our meal.  Thank goodness this child handles disappointment well.

We could tell that she was tired from all the excitement, so after lunch we headed home for nap.  Ruby suggested we go to the party store for balloons, but that wasn't happening!

I had made the comment early in the morning to Mr. G, that Ruby was so lucky.  All of her 4th of Julys had had amazing weather!  So rare for Washington!  Well, of course, during nap the clouds roll in.  Boo!  We had big plans to fill the swimming pool after she woke up, but "Mr. Golden Sun" was hiding.  Ruby was happy to play with her water table instead, though, and we put her in her festive swim suit anyway, since she's so splashy these days!

Funny story, I walked outside to set up the water table, and felt a drip land on me.  I was like, "Ugh!  Rain?" then I looked down at my chest (where I'd felt the drop), and realized a bird had pooped on me!!!  So gross!

While I cleaned up, the rest of the fam busted into a bag of Boom Chicka Pop(corn) that I'd bought specifically because it was the 4th and had the word "BOOM" on it.  Oh, and I got the "minty" bag, because Ruby is obsessed with all things minty.

Turned out to be a good call, because the three of us ate almost the entire bag!  I don't even really like popcorn, but this stuff was good.  You can tell by the dog photobomb above that Braidy really wanted to try it, too.  Too bad, dog!

Side note:  Later, Ruby was carrying the bag around, talking to herself, and we heard her say, "That's 37!  There's a 37 on there!".  Mr.G and I gave each other wtf faces, because seriously?  How in the heck did she know that that number was 37 (it says "37 calories" on the bag)?!?  We're still blown away by that one.

In addition to her popcorn snack, I also gave Ruby some festive watermelon that I'd cut into star shapes and skewered to a patriotic paper straw.

This might be my new favorite picture of her.

She was SO tickled that the watermelon was star shaped!  And on a stick!  It seriously made me want to cut up other food into shapes.  It wasn't even that hard (I used a cookie cutter), so I guess I am totally turning into that mom.  

After a dinner of BBQ chicken, hot dogs, and more watermelon stars, we decided to go for a family walk around the neighborhood.  Ruby decimated her dress with watermelon juice, so she needed a little wardrobe change first.

Throughout the whole day, she'd been saying, "Did you have fun at the parade?".  Meaning she had fun at the parade.  We had told her it was a celebration of America's birthday, so on our walk, she kept singing "Happy Birthday" and told us over and over that she was going to "Mera's birfday party!".  Yep.  We about died.

We debated long and hard about whether or not to take Ruby to see fireworks this year.  They are illegal in our town, so unless you want to break the law, you have to go to an orchestrated show.  None of the shows around here started until after 10pm, so we ultimately decided not to do it.  It turned out to be a good call, because we could tell she was exhausted by 7:30 when she announced it was time to put on pajamas.  

You can usually see fireworks from our bedroom window, but with the cloudcover, there were almost none to be seen.  You could definitely HEAR them, though.  Luckily, Ruby was too tired to care.  The booms didn't stop her from going to sleep, and while she would stir when a really loud one would go off, she never got up, and slept straight on through till morning.

All in all, it was a great 4th.  Mr. G and I both have hopes that we'll have moved out of our tiny townhouse by the next one so that we can host a party (fingers crossed), and maybe just maybe Ruby will be able to hang long enough to see some fireworks. 

I hope you all had a lovely, fun-filled Independence Day! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The End of School

The beginning of June marked the end of the school year for toddler group.  I'm not going to lie - we are both pretty sad about it!  Of course, I dragged Ruby out to take a picture in front of the door like I did on the first day of school...  And then it was too sunny to actually stand there.  Oops!

We are really going to miss heading off to "'cool" every Monday morning.  Over the course of the year, I watched my girl grow, become so comfortable there (she never needed me when I was in Parent-Ed), make friends, and memorize every circle time song (which she sings herself to sleep with at night). 

Plus, also, there was her incredible "school picture":

Random, yes, but I didn't have a better place to share this.

Luckily, toddler group is just on a short hiatus for us.  We're going back in the fall for another round!  Ruby will be in the 2-3 year class, and it will be chock full of buddies from class this year, and some new friends as well.  We'll miss Teacher Susanne, but look forward to getting to know Teacher Tina.

I've also decided to jump in and get more involved.  I've taken a position on the board of directors for the school, and so far it has been great!  The parent board basically runs the school.  It's great to get to use my adult brain, and it has helped me to get closer to some of the other moms there.  Plus, I feel like it will be great for my resume, if I ever decide to get back to work. ;)

What a freaking cheeseball.  This was "crossing the bridge" with her teacher to move up to the 2-3 class.
We've already had birthday parties for friends and playdates with school buddies, so hopefully class won't be too missed this summer.  I do know, though, that I'm already looking forward to Wednesdays come September!

And now for comparison.

First day of school:

Last day of school:

Wow, has she grown up!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'm Baaaaaaaack!

Well, at least, I hope I am.

It's been almost three months since I've blogged.  Terrible.  And also?  I miss it!  I miss having this record of our lives!
Aside from life being busy, my computer cord disintegrated (literally, the wires completely broke apart), AND my phone was close to not working.  I have a new phone now (the difference in camera quality is amazing), and a borrowed cord.  So I'm hoping to have fewer excuses about my blog negligence.

In that span of time, we had Easter to celebrate, somebody had her second birthday, and toddler school ended for the year!  These are all things I want record of in the ol' blog, so don't hate me too much when there are several random posts (that I will back-date) catching me up.

Cross your fingers for good naps, and cooperative technology!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014

Just like last year, celebrating Easter as a parent did not disappoint.  At. all.  I just love love love experiencing holidays through Ruby's eyes!

We kicked off Easter this year with a pre-Easter egg hunt.  The in-laws are members of a local Elks club, which hosts an annual hunt for kiddos.  They had an Easter bunny, of course, and in spite of her usual fear of strangers, Ruby was OBSESSED.  We had to pry her away, so that other kids could take their picture, too.

After a nutritious lunch of hotdogs and chips, it was time for the Easter egg hunt.  They had sections separated by age, which I was happy about.  Didn't want my little lady to get overrun!

It was safe to say, she had a good time!  The highlight of the egg hunt for me, was when she and another girl both went for the same egg.  Ruby got there first, then looked at the girl, and dropped the egg into the girl's basket.  So sweet!

Also of note, this place was crazy.  The older kids' eggs had some with hidden notes in them saying the kid won a bike.  A bike!  There were about 30 bikes there, of varying sizes, and I'm pretty sure that every kid that was old enough got to take one home (helmets, too).  Ruby was sad and confused that she wasn't old enough to "win" one.

The Elks egg hunt was the weekend before Easter, so we got to spend actual Easter at home.  The Saturday before, we did some good old fashioned egg-dying.  Of course, Ruby was most into the stickers. She told me, "Doin' stickers goin' pretty good!"

Then I got to play Easter bunny.  I love doing her basket!  Here's a shot of her loot this year:
Coloring things, an amazing tambourine (from @loveleemusic on instagram), a new Camelbak, bunny socks, new jammies, bunny toothbrush, a pack of hair clips (@minalovesbows on IG) and a bunny bracelet (@cagedbirdblog on IG), squeeze bubbles, new sunnies (good thing, because we lost her beloved yellow ones the week before), and Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes.  Not pictured was candy (yes, candy), and Annie's bunny crackers (of course!). 

She was pretty excited!

I did the best I could to be festive with breakfast.  She was satisfied with a bunny pancake!

Then it was time to get dressed in her Easter pretties and do an egg hunt.  We don't have a yard, so we just made do with the area in front of our townhouse - which turned out to be kind of perfect for an egg hunt!

Braidy tried to get in on the action, too.  AKA, eating the bunny crackers.

SO excited!!!

After the egg hunt, we just chilled at home.  Which was awesome!  I love having a low-key holiday.  After Ruby took her nap, I thought she might like to do one more egg hunt, since she really seemed to love them.  I emptied all her plastic eggs and just re-hid them empty.  Well, I put one jelly bean in one egg, to make it a special egg.  She was a little bit miffed that there was no candy in the eggs, but she got over it quick because the hunt was fun.

"Mommy, no candy inside!?!"

We ended the day with more relaxing, and eating too much candy.  Just the way Easter should be!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Calendar Girl - Twenty Two Months

Bam!  Ruby is still twenty two months, so with this post, I'm caught up!  At least, on calendar girl posts, that is.  Still, I'll take it!

At twenty two months, Ruby is all grown up.  She prefers to walk over being carried, or riding in the stroller, and has the stamina to go a long way.  At this point, we don't even bring our stroller into the hospital anymore, when we go to volunteering.  She just doesn't need it!

She also talks like a big kid.  Ruby is speaking mostly in sentences now.  One of her favorites is, "Ruby Jo ready to eat dinner?".  And she still often speaks in questions.  Hilariously, if you repeat her question back to her, like, "Oh, you're ready to eat?" she says, "Ok!!!".  Like it was your idea in the first place!  She's pretty smart, it makes us laugh every time.

Cheeseball!  And I kind of love that sun artifact, because it means there was sun!

Also hilariously, she is becoming interested in the alphabet.  But she doesn't call the letters ABCs like we would.  Nope, she calls them "RBYs".  I mean, of course she does, right?  Hilarious.  She also has a small obsession with number 9.  I'm not sure what that is about, but she often takes the tv remote (which she calls "telephone" - actual phones, she only calls "phone"), and says, "Ruby Jo finding number nine?" then pushes the button.

Yes, she still calls herself Ruby Jo.  Which we love.  But she also started calling herself "Rubes"!  As in, "Oh, Rubes!".  She'll drop something on the floor, "Oh, Rubes!" or do something funny, "Silly Rubes!".  It cracks us up so much!

One of the biggest thing that happened in Ruby's 22nd month, is that she got her first stomach flu.  Let me just say, I am so glad that it took this long before it happened.  Let me also say that I definitely would like for that to not happen again anytime soon.  I never thought about it, but toddlers can't really aim for a barf bucket.  And said toddler happened to be in my bed.  And had happened to have a huge bowl of raspberries and blueberries that night, too.  Talk about a mess.  But my poor girl was so scared, and so upset to have to have a bath at midnight!  Thankfully, it only lasted about 24 hours, but to this day she will randomly say, "No barf!".  Also, the bad news is that I got it a few days later.  Ugh!

Also this month, Ruby got a new baby cousin!  Whom we didn't get to see for a couple of weeks, because of course, he was born the same day the flupocalypse hit our house.  But Ruby was quite excited to see baby Donovan (aka Van).  She was very curious about him, didn't mind me holding him, and thought it was funny that he had to get his diaper changed.  Ruby is also very interested in the babies at the hospital when we go to volunteer.  Once she heard a mama shushing her baby, so now whenever she hears a baby cry, she says, "Sh! Sh! Sh!".  Too cute.

At 22 months, one of Ruby's favorite activities (much to her daddy's dismay), is to go "shop shop".  She had cabin fever when we were stuck in the house with the flu, and asked us to go shop shop often. This means that she's quite pleasant to take along to the grocery store, or Target, or wherever we need to go.  And a big bonus is that she usually remembers the things we need (when I can't!).

Ruby's favorite toys are still her "buddies" (stuffed animals), and her play kitchen.  She is becoming more interested in puzzles, and anything with shapes (she recognizes triangle, circle, and moon).  She wants to "color color" all the time, though usually that means she dictates to us what she wants us to draw.  And usually it's cats.  Ha!  Another big favorite of hers right now, is climbing.  She is finally able to climb up on the couch, the chair in her room, and ottomans.  She thinks it's very funny and likes to climb the same thing over and over.  Thankfully, she is still her cautious self, and if I tell her she may not climb something because it isn't safe, she obliges.  She now tells me every time the dishwasher is open, that the dishwasher is not for climbing.  Atta girl!

The downside to this month, has been sleep.  Ruby had a cold right before she got the flu.  With the cold, she couldn't sleep and was miserable - unless she was in our bed.  Then she got the flu, and I needed to keep an eye on her (she actually had been sleeping and almost choked on her vomit the first time she threw up, which scared the heck out of me).  And then, of course, she got used to sleeping with us, and wasn't going back.  We also discovered that she developed a fear of the dark.  I guess this is the age that toddlers start developing fears like these?  And one night, I turned the light out before she was asleep and she freaked out.  I honestly don't really mind cosleeping with her, but Mr. G probably feels otherwise.  Our bed is just not big enough for three, so he usually ends up bailing out and sleeping on the couch!  He is ok with it, because he can see how scared she is, but obviously we need to come up with a better solution so that everyone can be happy and comfortable.

Oh, and before I end this post, I have to include this pic.  Ruby is doing what she calls "creepin'".  As in, "I'm creepin' on you!"  She'll creep on us all the time when we're relaxing or making dinner or whatever.  It is freaking hilarious, and I don't want to forget it!  I have no idea how she comes up with this stuff!

Love this kid more and more every day!