Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ryder—17 months

This is a really fun age. Every age has been a fun age though. Overall, traveling with him at this age is definitely harder than traveling with a baby. He just doesn’t like to sit still…and a lot of traveling involves waiting.

Words: He only babbles right now. He gets most excited and chatty when around other kids. He says “gooboy gooboy gooboy” a lot. I think he is saying “good boy” because we always tell him that. He knows how to ask questions by raising his tone at the end.

Friends: He is fearless when he sees other little boys playing. He goes right up to join them.


Food: He eats anything and everything. His favorite is peanut butter—he’ll dig the empty jar out of the trash. Same goes for watermelon. He also tries to steal my chewing gum. He can operate a spoon and feed himself pretty well.


Potty: He now allows us to hold him over the potty and when he goes, he gets a reward.

Fun: He loves riding in the boats around the lake and is always trying to walk down towards the embarcadera. He likes riding in tuktuks and will go up to a parked one and get in and sit by himself.DSC04167

He loves music and dancing to it. And he loves to be chased. When I want to put a new diaper on him, he starts running just for the game of it all. And he loves bottles with caps. Here he is in action:


Bathtime: One of his favorite times, he can entertain himself endlessly. He just loves water. I guess that’s a kid thing.


Quiet time: There is almost no quiet time with Ryder. He is always on the move. He doesn’t sit. He doesn’t listen to stories. UNLESS he is nursing, that is the only time he is still, and even then he is pulling my hair, tapping me on the arm, kicking the person in front of him, etc. He is such a boy.

Daddy-son relationship: As soon as Ryder sees Jacob, he sticks out his tongue and blows raspberries. They love to wrestle. Daily Jacob talks about how much he loves his little boy.


Constant struggle: To keep his shoes on. He loves to take them off. This is not unique to this age though. He has never liked anything on his feet. He likes shoes on MY feet, though, because it means we’re leaving the house, so he brings them to me. He likes to wear them, too.


Sleeping schedule: He just went through a horrible spot where I was at my wits end—he was inconsolable when waking up in the middle of the night.  I think he was just thrown off because I let him cosleep with me when we visited Antigua and then returned him to his bed when we returned to Lake Atitlan. Now he’s back to sleeping until about 4:30 am or so—when the night begins to turn to day here. Yeah it’s a downside to living in a nature-y destination. Early sunrises.

Habit I have not been able to get him to stop yet: Hair pulling. He will pull people’s hair as soon as they get their face up close and personal with his. Everyone says he’s just going to grow out of it? All I know is that pulling it back does NOT work. I think he likes getting it pulled.

I get embarrassed when: Ryder begs for food from others. He begs from anyone who has food, at the airport, on the boat, at restaurants…and most assuredly, he does get enough to eat. He eats nonstop. The kid loves food. I think that’s from my genes. Plus, he always gets what he asks for, so I guess he figures his tactics work—why stop? Here he is with some ice cream he bummed off of someone:


Fears: As of yet, none. He most especially is not afraid of dogs he SHOULD be afraid of, like the mangy man-sized ones all over Guatemala. He really loves animals.

Favorite chore: He likes to sweep.


Ryder and I are always together and we have a pretty good time!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ryder—13 months

Ryder at this age:

Is a tease. He loves to hold something and pretend to give it to you with an angelic expression on his face, then grin and snatch it back when you reach out to take it.

Is affectionate but not snuggly. He’s too on the move. To make a friend, he’ll walk up to someone and then sit on top of their feet. He’ll run, arms outstretched, for a hug, then run away just as quickly.

Is a greedy eater. He’ll yell for his food. He likes anything as long as it’s not spicy. He’ll take a bite, run around for a bit, and then come back for more. He says, “mmmm!” and smacks his lips.

He also says “What is this?” and holds it out to us. Seems to be his first phrase. He has also said “Uncle Jack” many times, it appears he has found his new favorite person.

Ryder’s birthday party with Skyped family. I know. I’m a domestic goddess. (joke) The cake was the color of Lebron James and the Heat. Ryder preferred to play with it rather than eat it.











Rather than high five, Ryder prefers to touch his pointer finger as a greeting.


He loves other little kids, and when we are out and about and he hears a little kid’s voice, he starts yelling and talking to them and trying to follow them.


Ryder is focused. He can sit and figure out how to open a sealed package for thirty minutes.


Ryder is fast. He learned to walk a week before age one and now he is practically running.


We are proud of our gregarious, babbling, tough, busy, mischievous and happy little toddler.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ryder as a one year old

2013-06-15 13.38.15

Here’s some things about Ryder at this age.


75 cm


10 kg

Head circumference:

47 cm

Yeah, those numbers are meaningless to me too.



Words he says:

Mama, Dada, and RaRa

Phrases he understands:

“Where’s your ball?” and “Do you want to dance?”

(He will look for his ball and start shaking his arms at these phrases)

Also, “What’s your name?”

(RaRa! said in a growly voice.)

Sleeping through the night?

Yes. Thank goodness. I’m already starting to forget those hazy days and nights of early babyness.


Two, one in late morning and one in late afternoon.


Yes. He started a week before age one.

Potty trained?

No. I hold him over the toilet to go but haven’t had a catch in a while.


Not yet. Jacob wants to shave his head so they can be twins again though.


DSC01699 He still breastfeeds and loves his bottle, both. He likes to palm his bottle with one hand while sliding around the room. Even though it’s standard to stop breastfeeding at this age in the US, I can’t imagine stopping now. It’s a beloved ritual for us both and I think especially good for him, as he’s exposed to so many different kinds of foods in different countries, to get that extra immune system boost. It’s mainly just a feed in the morning though. He loves to kick his sleeping dad the whole time he’s eating.


He just lost interest in it back in New Caledonia. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to figure out how to wean him off of it.

Favorite food:

He’ll sog up anything and spit it out. Not sure how much is actually going down the pipe at this point.

Favorite book:

Curious George

Favorite song:


Favorite game:

He loves to be chased. We pretend he’s in trouble and say “You little baby!” and he runs away for a bit, then turns around and runs toward us as we chase him. He also likes “Peek a boo” (I’m pretty sure he came up with it on his own without us having played it with him first.)



Peek a boo at Hyde Park

Favorite toy:

He likes to play with anything practical that he sees mommy and daddy use. Cords and technology of course. Jacob bought him his own pair of headphones and that’s a consistent winner.



At the Buddha’s birthday party in Town Hall

If I had to describe Ryder’s personality, I would say he was not shy at all. Curious, goofy, and a tease. Cuddly and rough-and-tumble too. Independent already, fearless, and wants to do things himself.

I guess he’s now my toddler and not my baby! He’s squirmy as all get out, wants to be out exploring instead of sitting in mommy’s lap. Time for the next adventure—learning how to discipline!

PS If you’re interested in more than Ryder updates, check out

Saturday, May 25, 2013

He's 11 months old now!

Ryder, two days old

Ryder is now 11.5 months old. 

He is more human and less monkey every day.

Sydney apartment, 10 months old

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ryder-10 months old

Ryder turns 10 months old tomorrow. He will be taking a flight back to Port Vila after spending a few days in Tanna and getting constant attention from the villagers there.

braids plane

Brainwashing Ry with travel magazines on Air Vanuatu

He is a special boy. I couldn’t be more proud of him. He loves everyone he meets and in turn, everyone can’t help but love him back.

at the beach

A Walesian woman from New Caledonia holds Ryder at a Vanuatu beach

He has discovered how to clap his hands. He does this with huge grins, as well as direct a beat in the air, when we sing to him.

Confession: he still comes and sleeps with his dad and I in the middle of the night for a feeding. He flops over onto his back when he’s done and conks out between us and I just let him stay. He’s just too warm and cuddly.

While I read my novel du jour, he totters around me and I absent-mindedly feed him peas, which he loves to sog up and then spew out when I offer him another. We don’t know if he has ever actually swallowed the pea.

He is a smart boy. He can figure out how to open anything. I’ve realized that he’s not just playing with the items around the house, he is figuring out how to get inside. Once opened, he puts it in his mouth. It’s his current life mission.

He has four teeth, two below and two up top. He was very hot when teething, but it only lasted a day or two. It looks like he’s going to have a gap like his dad’s.

bottom teeth

It’s a wonder this cat did not scratch Ryder at his mistreatment

Everyone always comments how strong he is. In fact, it is a combination of strength as well as determination that makes it nearly impossible to hold him in your arms. When he fixates on something, he does everything in his power to grab it.

I thought having a child follow you around would be exhausting or annoying, but to be honest I love it. (Well, as long as he’s not sobbing and clingy and bored.)  I love having a little shadow. When I’m putting my make up on in the morning he’s sitting at my feet examining my hairbrush. When I’m hanging the laundry up on the line he’s crawling behind me banging the washtub. When I’m sitting to lunch at a cafĂ© he’s in the stroller sharing bites with me. It’s fun to have a companion, and he’s so popular he makes me friends. In fact, he has already made a friend on Skype! Little Junior from Anabru Lodge in Port Vila wants to chat with him.


He is so much fun to travel with. I wish, wish, wish that everyone back home could hold him and see what an affectionate and happy boy he is!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

8 Months Update

Ryder will turn 8 months old this weekend.

It’s time to tell you a few things that make me laugh daily. And this kid does make me laugh all day, despite my sleep-deprived state. He still wakes up during the night. He can go back to sleep by himself, a lot of the time, but it still wakes me up when he cries. So I only get a few hours of sleep at a time. Roughest part about being a mom for me, but it’s worth it.

* He aggressively grabs his bottle by both hands when he wants to eat, but holds it up with his feet while he drinks.

* He says “Dada” for everything. I suspect sometimes he’s also saying “Mama” when he yells the “N” sound, but his dada is clear and consistent. Sometimes he just whispers it. Sometimes, he just mouths it. Jacob always says “Hi Dada” when he greets Ryder, and I tell Jacob he’s giving Ryder identity confusion.

* He likes to hold my hair lightly while breastfeeding and then start yanking it like crazy. In fact, he likes to gently probe and then wildly yank just about anything, including my lower lip.

* It always makes him laugh to put his hand inside my mouth and then have me bite on his finger. Every single time.

* If he hears anyone, and I mean anyone laughing, he courtesy laughs with them. There’s a difference between his spontaneous laugh and his courtesy laugh.

* He tends to avoid the toys I set out for him and go for any tiny speck of dirt on the floor he sees. One time, I saw him chasing ants. As soon as he gets something in his hand, he maneuvers it into his mouth. We’re lucky the honeybee I found in his mouth did not sting him.

* The little guy loves people, and he especially loves strangers. He’s happiest when someone’s holding him, and if that someone is a new face to poke at, so much the better.


This family gave us a tour of the island.

* He loves to give me wet willies on my shoulder.

* He loves, the little goofball, to get his nails clipped. It’s about the only time he will hold perfectly still, and stare in fascination.

* He loves to head butt me.

* He clenches his fists, in and out, to show he wants to be picked up.

* He rears up on all fours now and tries to crash out of his bed to get our attention.

* He crawls with only his arms, like an army crawl (and like my dog Mellie.)

* He dives his head down to get his milk in a sudden burst like a beast heading for his prey. And while he eats, one of his hands always bumps behind him. If I’m trying to read my iPad at the same time as feeding him, for example, his hand will be behind him bumping and grabbing it. He’s quite the little multi tasker.

* He is an impossibly wiggly little worm. He flails, kicks and twists with the happiest expression on his face—his joie de vivre is to be able to move.

* His favorite toy besides small pieces of trash is our badminton racket. He likes to ride it like a Quidditch broomstick.


I like to try and see what his personality is looking to be like. Everybody always compliments him, saying he is “sage” (well-behaved in French) and easy-going, but what they don’t know is he much less fussy when he’s out and about than at home. When at home, he begs to be held and entertained much more.

I can’t help but see a little wackiness in him, which means he might have a little of me in him after all Smile  I taught him to yell into tubes like a microphone, and he does a lot of that now.


He seems mischievous and sweet already. He heads straight for what he shouldn’t every morning (the outlet where the cords are plugged in) and every time I catch him as he pulls himself along, quickly, with his arms, and he turns back to see if I’m watching, he grins a huge grin and pulls himself toward it even faster. He is tough—if he falls and hurts himself he doesn’t cry at all, or not long, before moving on. He is self-assured—there’s something about the way he approaches the world and looks around that seems to say, “I know I’m an important person.” 

Jacob and I both chose the same description to sum him up in one word: curious.

He is our fearless, confident, social little fella. He’s his daddy’s son.

At the Robert WAN Pearl Museum in Papeete


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