Friday, November 21, 2014

Ryder is almost 2 and 1/2


I love getting to spend all day with him and I’m so grateful that our situation due to Jacob’s work gives me the opportunity to do so.

To me, Ryder is the funniest person.

Things he does to make me laugh:

He has developed an interest in scary clowns. He knows he is not allowed to watch scary clowns. So he will announce to me: “Scary clown all done. Happy clowns?”

I have forbidden all clowns from viewing, however, despite his hopeful questions. He likes to tease me by calling me a happy clown and/or a scary clown.

He also likes to tease me by: winding up his mouse toy and getting it to chase after me, jumping on the futon as I’m trying to fold it up and put it away, taking my museum coupon book and hiding it because I’m always looking at it so he knows it’s important, and running away as soon as I’m ready to walk out the door.

He calls all things soft “doggie.” Therefore, his coat is doggie and my ear muffs are doggie.

He calls all spiders “spiderman.”

He is obsessed with dinosaurs, balls, and vehicles.

He has recently developed a love of both coloring and books, which makes me happy. Before, his attention span was too short for either.

When we eat cereal in the morning together and I start to drink out of the bowl, he grabs it from me so he can finish it off.

He asks “Mama lost?” and “Mama map?” when I stop pushing the stroller as we’re walking. Often, he’s right.


What kind of mom am I?

I have this theory about people who are angry with their parents. You know, there’s a lot of them out there, a lot of generational angst going on. I think they are angry with their parents for not being better parents to them. This may or may not be justified, but either way, from what I’ve noticed, it’s hard to be a better parent than the person you actually are. So really a lot of adult children are just angry their parents aren’t better people, period, and really that’s a silly thing to be angry at someone for. If we all knew  exactly how to be better people, we’d just do it, wouldn’t we? But it’s not that simple. Parents are human too. Now that I’m a mom, I can tell you the same weaknesses I have as a person show up in my parenting. I feel like I am borderline careening into chaos sometimes, but despite that I “do it anyway” with Ryder whether that’s going to a museum or riding for hours on public transportation. I can be oblivious and in my own world—fortunately this hasn’t caused any major accidents to Ryder (yet) though I personally can be accident-prone sometimes. I am not super comfortable with disciplining—Jacob’s better at that.

Ryder is my accessory and not the main event. He eats what I eat, sleeps when I sleep, and devices when I device (me on my computer and he on his ipad). I wish I were more organized, look enviously at mothers who are polished and stain-free, but still hold out hope that one day I might achieve this too. I admire mothers who sew and craft and quilt and bake. One day, maybe I’ll develop those skills too. For now, I’m a mother who explores, learns, sings, goofs off, shares food, and plays with her son and enjoys almost every minute of it.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Ryder—27 months

Height: 88 cm (34.5 inches)

Weight: 14 kilos (30.5 pounds)

Percentile: Depends on which country you’re asking. He’s a little taller than average and a little heavier than taller than average. No surprise—he loves to eat.

We managed to obtain this information despite his greatest attempts at non-cooperation. He hates the doctor. I can’t say I blame him, since he usually gets shots every time he goes.

Current phrases we hear often:

“Belly hurts”. Usually means he needs to go poop.

“Wash yer hands”. He hates having dirty fingers, and loves playing in the water.

“Bako”. Means tuck me in (at night), or clean my hands.

“Eggs, spice, choclate?” His breakfast here in the Philippines (although he doesn’t eat the rice, he requests for it in the mornings.)

“Trampoline, balls!” 60 pesos gets 20 minutes of jumping on the trampoline full of balls.

“Dadu coming?”

“two, three, four!” Usually counting his cars.

“Clean up, mess!” He did not get his neat genes from me. Sometimes it confuses me how a toddler can have more aversion to dirty clothes and hands than me.

Sometimes he will sing a request to his favorite tunes, like “E-I-E-I-O” but along the lines of “Baby mall” it is too cute to refuse.

“Ouchie” said in the tiniest baby voice, which means he doesn’t really hurt, but he just wants kissies.

“Dinosaurs?” He has a dinosaur book and a dinosaur movie. He’s a little obsessed. I think it happened after we took him to a dinosaur theme park in Istanbul.

“Nother?” Often in reference to sweets and somersaults.

“Walk!” He likes to walk, but due to his dawdling, I always cajole him into the stroller.


The Colusseum is actually there in the very back.

He is no longer allowed to say no to everyone, but has to say hello. Surprisingly, he has caught on quickly. His yell is so loud, he inherited a singer’s lungs I think.

Jacob’s favorite thing Ryder does is look very confused and point at things that he knows: “Apple? Banana?”

He’s about 85% potty trained. Even with Delhi belly. I’m pleased.

He is an angel child on flights. Honestly, he really just loves airplanes. Again, very foreign to me. He also loves boats, trains, and transportation in general.IMG_0014

On the ferry in Istanbul

He still loves to Skype his grandparents.

His favorite things include: nandy, goats, dogs, cats, balls, vroom vrooms, slides, swings, and pushing the button on elevators. I think he has a lot in common with other two year old boys.

His favorite foods are: pizza, spaghetti, and eggs.

He and his dad are best buds. His mom is the one who puts him to bed, gets him ready in the mornings, and feeds him, and his dad is the one who does the fun stuff like playing basketball and riding tiku! Together we all make a pretty good team.IMG_0009

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ryder’s Two

Our little boy is two.

We celebrated first in Croatia at a lake and then with a birthday party in Macedonia that Aunt Danche and Uncle Luke orchestrated.

He’s still just a baby really.

He’s much easier for me at two than he was at 18 months.

He parrots everything we say.

He sleeps through the night, most of the time, even though he’s often in a different bedroom each night (hooray!)

He is semi-potty-trained (basically he’ll go if we take him.)

He loves to pat his belly and dance.

He’s an extravert but selective who he lets do things—hold hands or push him on the swing for example.

He’s a daddy’s boy.

He asks for the ming (swing) pargie (park) milchy (milk), nandy (candy) and Duke (Uncle Luke) and Dana (his Aunt) Vassya (his Macedonian cousin) on a regular basis.

He now calls his grandparents Baba and Papa. He made that up on his own, and what’s interesting about that is Macedonians call their grandma Baba.

He can count to ten in English, Spanish, French, German, and Macedonian.

He no longer resists going to bed.

He gets a lot of attention from his scootering (tiku as he calls it) skills. We have a little daredevil on our hands already. He likes to go down ramps on it.

His preferred toys are: choo choos, vroom vrooms, and balls. Oh, and a singing turtle. For some reason he has grown out of the ipad, for which I am both relieved and disappointed. Relieved because I think other toys are probably preferable, disappointed because it was easy!

This Is probably related to the fact that he doesn’t like to sit still. At all, Restaurants can be a rocky experience, sometimes resorting to chasing him around the table. He is faster than me.

It just doesn’t seem right that he can and does say no in three languages (no, nein, neh) and not yes.

Ryder turned two and visited his 21st country the same month.

We are still head-over-heels for this kid.

ryder daduluke mingtiku luke

birthday party 1party 2DSC06423

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ryder-20 months

smiling rydWhere has the time gone? I don’t mean Ryder’s time—I mean MINE? I have meant to write about him since he was 18 months old. Well, here we are, In Edinburgh.

I have had many people tell me their favorite age is 18 months. I can see why, and I can also see why not. It’s because it’s the age where they stop being your baby and they become independent. Their personalities start to shine.

It also means more public tantrums, more “no’s” and more disciplining!

For that I miss my sweet and calm little baby.

Ryder makes Jacob and I laugh, not just daily, but minute-to-minute. I am so glad I have a partner to share the little details of our son with. No one else is interested in the tone of voice he uses while reading, or the number of times he’s used the potty that morning. Jacob and I can discuss these kind of things endlessly.

Ryder still doesn’t speak much but makes his opinions very clear by pointing, using questioning tones, and by crying and yelling of course. He can say potty, and it’s usually the first word he says in the morning because he wants to go. He is not potty trained fully—oddly the biggest road block seems to be he can’t pull down his pants yet or pull them back up. But he knows when he needs to go and he asks. He is getting close. Makes me feel better about all those disposable diapers. The end is coming soon.

He also can say “water” when asking for a drink.

Instead of saying “yes” he laughs.

He understands many other phrases, the most important being “Don’t cry” “Lay your head down on your pillow” “close your eyes” (he manually closes them with his fingers when I say that) “Do you want to dance?” (he adores watching me dance to Xbox and then copying the moves at random times) “Let’s go” “Put on your shoes” “Get in your stroller.”

He can Skype with his grandparents and gives the computer kisses. It’s semi the sweetest and most pathetic thing ever. The time we spent in Utah, Missouri, Iowa, and Texas with family over Christmas break was beautiful.

He is the easiest eater ever. He likes everything and I mean everything. He has eaten in the last week: cold brussels sprouts, rotten carrot juice (shalgam, Jacob’s favorite drink), spicy sunflower seeds, undiluted lemonade, and I could go on. He loves to eat. I guess that comes from hanging out with me all day.

He is a bit physically aggressive still—likes to hit and pull hair—haven’t figured out how to tone that one down yet. He’s really such a boy. In general it is totally playful. He loves to wrestle. Here he is pulling our hair on Valentines Day.


He’s a great little buddy to take with to museums, in general he handles them pretty well. He can eat at restaurants like a champ—better than I could ask out of a hyperactive little goblin.

museum edinburgh

He can go really fast on rocking horses.

rocking horse nessie

But despite buying him a bunch of toys from the second hand shop, his favorite is the ipad. And he’s gotten quite adept at it.

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