Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween | 2017

Ghostly greetings from the Alway family!

This was our first Halloween as a family of four, and we had quite a few new traditions to incorporate.

Ryder's preschool hosted a Halloween parade and party, so he got to test out his costume a few days early. 

Of course he went as a firefighter, just like Daddy!

Ryder tried out a bunch of fun activities like bobbing for apples, making chili, and of course eating fun Halloween treats.

At home, we unearthed quite a few costumes for Ryder and Kiley to try out and model.

We actually got two of these adorable ladybug costumes from cousins Sophia and Aubrey. It ended up working perfectly for Kiley, and Ryder liked matching with her for a while for fun. 

She made such a cute little bug!

I also got dressed up for a costume contest at work, and I won!

Stew helped the kids carve the pumpkins that we got from Remlinger Farms. This was a first for Ryder, and he was super intrigued by the pumpkin "guts."

Our littlest monster was content to just sit back and watch.

Thanks to Stew, the pumpkins turned out great!

On the evening of Halloween, we got the kids dressed and took them out trick or treating in the neighborhood.

Ryder was quite a bit more brave this year, and of course he was thrilled with all the candy he received.

Even though Stew and I don't get dressed up and go out to crazy adult Halloween parties anymore, this holiday hasn't lost its appeal, and I actually think that in a lot of ways it's more fun now that we have little kids to experience it with.

Happy Halloween everyone! Stay safe out there!

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

School Pictures | 2017-18

Ryder is attending pre-school at Rooster Valley Farm School this year.

For school pictures, he got to select his favorite barnyard animal to accompany him in his photo. He has always told us that the pig is his favorite animal, so we were surprised when he chose one of the giant rabbits to pose with.

They sure did look cute together.

He also got some individual shots.

We sure do have a handsome guy!

And it was such a fancy school photo shoot... I certainly don't remember getting so many different poses and options when I was a kid. Then again, maybe things are different here at his fancy preschool than they will be in elementary school. 

Our little boy is growing up so fast!

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Dear Kiley... Eight Months

Dear Kiley, 

Once again, it has been a very busy month as we've transitioned from summer fun into the new normal of our regular fall programming.

Your brother started pre-school, which meant that we adjusted our childcare situation slightly and you started spending some days at our next door neighbor's house when Ryder has school in the afternoon. You're a pretty easygoing gal, and you seemed to adjust right away to the new situation. Plus it's nice that you don't have to spend almost an hour driving back and forth from the nanny's house anymore.

At the beginning of October I had to leave you overnight with Daddy for the first time while I went to a work conference. Later in life you should remember to thank him for taking such good care of you, and for getting up with you at 4:30 in the morning, which is when you decided to start your day that morning while I was gone.

Besides a quick trip down to Olympia to visit Nana and Papa, we've been laying pretty low this month following a a crazy summer of traveling and trips.

It's been nice to hang out at home and get back into a routine again.

You still love sitting in your balance chair and hanging out with the family downstairs.

You sit up independently now, but we have to surround you with pillows or blankets when you do, because quite often you lose your balance and end up toppling over. 

Ryder often likes to join you in your little nest. 

You're really starting to enjoy toys, and you'll hang out in your Pack 'n' Play alone for short periods of time playing independently every now and then.

You like sitting in your high chair and munching on finger foods. You're practicing, but so far I can't tell if you're actually ingesting much... 

You don't seem interested in standing or pulling up on anything yet, but you still enjoy rolling around on the floor.

We try to make sure and get you outside whenever we can, because it's going to be a predictably wet and gloomy winter here in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes Daddy loads the two of you up and walks down to my office for a lunchtime visit, which I love.

One Saturday when the forecast looked clear, we met up with some good friends for a day at Remlinger Farms. We all had fun adventures on the rides and visiting the pumpkin patch for the first time.

Football season is in full swing, and you will quickly learn that we are very loyal Seahawks fans. Daddy and I like to attend all of the home games while we leave you in good hands with Nana and Papa. 

You developed a cough while we were at Priest Lake for Labor Day weekend, and unfortunately you have been under the weather ever since. At one point, after you were up almost the whole night miserable with a cough and congestion, I took you to Urgent Care to check for an ear infection. You were diagnosed with a viral upper respiratory infection (nothing serious) and sent home to rest. 

You have not followed doctor's orders. 

For about your first six months of life, you were such a great sleeper... what happened?!?

You've gone through quite a few developmental changes all at once, and it has seriously affected your mood and sleep patterns. These days, your night time sleep stretches are never longer than an hour or two at a time, and you're refusing to nap for more than 20 or 30 minutes, if that. You are pretty much perpetually over-tired, which often makes you cranky and fussy... sometimes. Other times, like when you wake up for the day at four o'clock in the morning, you couldn't be happier. In these situations I occasionally just curl up next to you on the couch and doze while you play and laugh happily. 

Girlfriend, you're crazy!

About a week and a half after going to Urgent Care, your cold and cough still hadn't cleared up, so we went in to our regular doctor, who prescribed you a round of antibiotics, which we just started. I really, really hope that once you start feeling better you'll also go back to sleeping again. Trust me, we'll both feel a lot better when that happens. At that visit you also got a flu shot, and clocked in at 17 lb 13 oz (55th percentile).

Despite the sleep deprivation, we still enjoy the vast majority of our waking moments with you. Your smile is infectious, and I love hearing you laugh. Ryder in particular can easily make you crack up at any time, and I love watching the two of you as you become more interactive and playful. The time is going by so fast, and we just watch in amazement as you grow and change.

We love you so much, little girl!