Easter Celebration with the Riddles!

The last few months have been a blast! Quintin is now almost 19-months old and is becoming more of a little boy every time I blink. He is building his vocabulary every day and his newfound ability to communicate seems to give him self confidence and a sense of pride. He can say at least 40 words, and can repeat virtually everything we ask him to pronounce.

photo 1

photo 3 Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 22

He hasn’t learned how to make “r”, “s”, “l” or “w” sounds yet but I’m sure it won’t be long. His personality is really shining through and he gives the best hugs and kisses (when he hugs you he rests his head on your shoulder and gently pats you with his fingers)! I can’t get enough 🙂

photo 4

Part of Quintin getting older is his ability to entertain himself for longer periods of time.  He’s becoming more adept at actually “playing” with toys, rather than just picking them up and chucking them across the room, and he likes to flip through books on his own while making sounds.

photo 2

We also allow Quintin to watch  TV from time to time, which we take advantage of either to buy time us parents some time to do something productive like cook or clean,  or to cheer Q up if he’s not feeling well. His current favorite movies are Alvin and the Chipmunk and Winnie the Pooh. In fact, Winnie the Pooh is a bit of an obsession at this point…an obsession that is further amplified by the 9 Winnie the Pooh and Friend’s stuffed animals that his grandma Julie purchased for him. He runs around the house screaming “Pooooooww Poooooooww” and “Tiggewww” while toting his new friends around. He just loves them 🙂

Francie 2-Yr Birthday_2014-04-07_photo for blog 19 Francie 2-Yr Birthday_2014-04-07_photo for blog 20

Another part of Quintin getting older is his more frequent use of the word “no” and his experimentation with tantrums. Oh yes, the tantrums have started! Sometimes it’s because he is beyond tired and so exhausted that he melts down into a ball of fury, but other times it’s something that seems so silly it is hard to keep a straight face: doesn’t want to brush his teeth, doesn’t want to wear THAT shirt, screams when I take his food plate away even though he’s just told me he is “all done”, I won’t let him break something, I am trying to change his poopy diaper, etc, etc, etc. I guess in his young mind, these are major frustrations and he has some REALLY  big feelings for such a little guy. I just keep reminding myself that this is JUST a phase (but for how long?)!

Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 01

This weekend was Easter so we signed Q up for an egg hunt at the local recreation center.

Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 17

The event was a sight to behold! Picture a large grass field with kiddos aged 18-months to 3-years old lined up on opposing sides, like mini gladiators facing a grassy sea of colorful eggs.

Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 02 Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 05 Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 04

When they signaled the start time, hoards of kids with their colorful baskets scrambled onto the field, placing as many eggs as they could get their hands on into their baskets. There were so many people moving towards the center of the field, for a moment we thought someone would surely be trampled.  Ken’s mom Bev had joined us for the festivites and was Q’s escort on the hunt, giving Ken and I a chance to take some photos and video.

Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 06 Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 07

Q ultimately retrieved about a dozen eggs and seemed to be very proud of himself.

Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 12

We followed up the hunt with a pancake breakfast and photos with the Easter bunny. It was a great Saturday morning.

Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 20 Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 21 Easter Egg Hunting_2014-04-19_photo for blog 25

P.S. – Just for comparison sake, here a photo of Quintin at Easter last year and a link to last year’s Easter blog post. Boy has time flown by!

Quintin's First Easter 03-31-13_01 for mom text

…and this happened too…


Winter Vacationing with Friends

Every year around this time, the Riddle family goes on a winter vacation with a great group of friends. In years past we trekked up to the mountains for some snow fun…but since the babies arrived, we decided to avoid driving in the snow and head west instead to the glorious Oregon coast.

2014-02-14 09.46.24

Last year was the first year we turned our “winter cabin” snow trip into our “winter vacation” at the shore. During that trip, one of the four couples was expecting, and the other three of us had babies between 4.5- and 6-months old-all. Quintin and his friend Noah were just learning to sit upright without being propped and little Liliana was making her first crawling motions.  It is fun to look back at the photos from last year’s trip, which you can see here.

2013 Winter Cabin_002_5x7

But this year’s trip couldn’t have been more different. With three walking (and nearly talking) toddlers and one 10-month old baby practicing crawling and standing, there were very few dull moments in our cozy beach house.  To keep the kiddos from getting restless, we tried to get them out of the house as much as possible. Our first full day of the trip (which happened to be Valentines Day), we packed up and headed to the Aquarium! What an awesome place…the kids loved it!

2014-02-14 16.02.21-2 Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 12_for web Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 45_for web Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 39_for web

There is something about little colorful creatures moving around under water that is mesmerizing to Quintin.  He moved from exhibit to exhibit babbling and pointing at the fish. 

Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 15_for web Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 13_for web Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 19_for web Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 20_for web Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 24_for web Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 43_for web

Ken and I also loved watching the underwater life – especially the jellyfish.

Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 26_for web Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 30_for web

Quintin and Liliana even had a a few special bonding moments on our Valentines Day outing…he is such a little romantic!

We’re REALLY going to have to keep a close eye on our little Casanova as he gets older. He truly loves the ladies.

Winter Cabin 2014_iPhone Photos 01

Over the next few days, between some pretty intense wind storms and torrential downpours, we took a few walks around the neighborhood to splash in the puddles.

Winter Cabin 2014_iPhone Photos 03

We even managed to take in some beach time.

2014-02-14 09.53.03 2014-02-14 09.43.57 2014-02-14 09.46.31

All in all it was a successful trip and we so enjoyed spending time socializing, eating delicious food, and watching our kids play together.

Winter Cabin 2014_iPhone Photos 02 Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 46_for web Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 50_for web

With the kids  as active as they now are, there was a less ‘relaxing’ time than usual, but we still managed to find some wind-down time and squeeze in a few much needed naps.

2014-02-14 10.27.59 Winter Cabin 2014 - Photo 09_for web

SNOW DAY(s)!!! pt.2

More snow days.  This thing has taken it’s toll on our city and our house, but we’ve managed to get a whole bunch of fun family time…and some naps.

Second Snow Day 02_for blog

As some of you may have seen in the news, our snow moved in thursday afternoon and didn’t really stop until Saturday.  For the duration of that snowfall, we had mostly powder and it was great fun to walk around and play with, especially since it was still nice and fluffy…and not yet yellow.

Second Snow Day 11_for blog

Since the city was basically on lock down and cars were urged to keep off the road, we had free reign of the local streets with some great fluffy snow so we took a walk around the block, all geared up, even the kid…sort of.

Second Snow Day 03_for blog

Unfortunately we don’t have all the proper gear for Q just yet since he’s still quite young.  We found other ways to get him in the snow.  Across Canyon Road, which is a major road near our home, has a nice little dog park that we frequent regularly…it also has a nice little slope for sledding.  I was able to get Q on the sled for his first spin of many down the hill.  I think I was more afraid than he was but he kept saying ‘uh-den’ which is his way of saying “DO IT AGAIN POPS!”  But pops is out of shape and didn’t feel like walking up the hill too many times.  We got about 3 rides in before it was time to get him back home and warmed up a bit.

Second Snow Day 04_for blog Second Snow Day 05_for blog

When we got back to the house and changed his socks, it was time to build the proverbial winter snowman.  Since the snow was a little too powdery to get a really good snowman built I was forced to do my best under the watchful eye of a 16 month old dictator.  I promise I did my very best.  Before I could begin, I needed to control the little boss and bury him…in the snow.  Keep those legs from moving around, you know?  If he is mobile, then nothing gets done.  That’s the only way of getting anything done around here…keep him immobile.

Second Snow Day 12_for blog

I thought the process was starting out well, but as you can see…the boss thought differently.  He was a little concerned with my packing of the snow, but I told him it had to be done and that if he wanted to do it himself, he could.

Second Snow Day 14_for blog

We all had a laugh after that discussion and work moved forward.  Still under the watchful eye.  It never ends.  I work five days a week and then this! 🙂

Second Snow Day 15_for blog

At some point, I guess I was getting a little too comfortable with my snowman and made some errors which were quickly pointed out.  “Yes, boss.  You got it.  Rounder, rounder, rounder…got it and make the base less fat…got it.  Anything else boss?”  Sometimes I just don’t get the importance of his big picture concepts.  He’s the visionary and I’m his grunt workforce.

Second Snow Day 16_for blog

We were done.  And I was beaten down.  No smiling allowed with this kind of work.  Snowman building is serious business.

Second Snow Day 19_for blog

Winter is great and so is snow…but man it’s cold.

Second Snow Day 08_for blog

This is his first real snow and I think he enjoyed it.  We had a whole lotta time together as a family and got a little cabin fever, but it was a great experience.

Second Snow Day 09_for blog

These are the kind of moments that we will look back on and say, “Hey, do you remember that time when we had all that snow and had a few days off from work?”

SNOW DAY(s)!!!

We have SNOW!

A ton of it.  An overwhelming amount of snow…way too much snow for me.  Snow is great when you get in a car and drive to it…not so much when it decided to come to you.  It’s disruptive and difficult to drive in with all the hills and mountains around here.  Maybe it’s just me and I’m not used to driving in this slick, icy stuff…but it’s just not one of my favorite things in the world.  Although, I do love some time off with the family.  Now, snow days aren’t what they used to be.  Erin and I and a couple of snow days before Q and we were able to get a ton of stuff done around the house, but like every other day with Q…that was not going to happen.  Instead, we just played.  No work was going to be done during the blizzard of 2014.

Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 01_blog

Obviously, it’s cold.  We all know that, but there is something fun about rolling around in the snow and pelting people with snow balls.  It’s also fun to watch someone see snow for the first time.  Seeing the excitement in your childs’ eyes is amazing when he sees the cold white stuff.  It’s a whole different play surface.

Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 05_blog

Quintin and Sophie have been developing a bond.  Like most dogs, Sophie loves to chase a ball and Q likes to take the ball and fake throw it.  Sophie is not amused by this, but is sweet enough to play along.  Q also likes to take the chuck-it and not chuck it, which drives Sophie crazy…but she gets over it quickly.

Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 06_blog Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 08_blog Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 13_blog

There’s also Romeo…

Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 19_blog

Sometimes I like to play with Q and feed him yellow snow.  He doesn’t know that’s gross yet. 🙂  I’m kidding, there was no yellow snow involved in this attack.

Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 22_blog Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 23_blog


Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 26_blog


Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 29_blog

Q attempts to make the world’s smallest snowman…or snow woman?

Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 33_blog

Getting a little bored.

Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 35_blog

Getting more bored…

Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 36_blog

So, this is the walkway in front of our house an those are my dragged foot steps.  I need to lift my feet more when I walk I guess.

Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 39_blog

…and here is our house from across the street, it’s white, can you see it?  Erin took this photo from across the street on the Southgates driveway.  I’m sure her using their property for staging our photographs.

Q's First Snow Day 2014_photo 43_blog

Hope you all are staying warm and enjoying your weather.  Ours is great right now, i’m just waiting for Monday and the ice to settle in…that should get miserable and will probably shut down the city completely.


A (late) Christmas Post – revisited.

Apparently I forgot a very important photo.

Christmas 2013_photo 17_for blog



Have a good one!  🙂

Rainy days and relaxing

The Pacific Northwest is rainy and it’s gray.  Not all the time, but enough to be known as rainy as gray.  This type of weather is what makes our environment so green and lush and beautiful.  I can only imagine how vivid and exciting the colors can be to a child who is discovering the surrounding landscape for the very first time.

Walking Outside and Bath-time 01

One of the great things about our house is the brick paved backyard which comes in handy for those long extended days of rain.  Erin has done an amazing job of cultivating a beautiful landscape with green ferns, fruits and vegetable.  They also offer up perfect learning and playing opportunities for Q.  We have done our best to get him acquainted to his environment and have him accept the loads of rain by taking him out.  He’s going to be one of those Oregonian kids that lives in the rain…so why not start now.

Walking Outside and Bath-time 03

Erin’s work schedule allows her the opportunity to get to work later than I do, so she has some time to take Q out before she heads to the office.  These are the moments I miss, so I’m happy that she is able to document them.

Walking Outside and Bath-time 02

Q has developed a really bad habit of dropping things over a barrier.  He loves it. It’s actually quite funny…and annoying at the same time.  He takes a random object.  Runs it up to a random edge and drops said object over said edge and says “Uh! OH?” in his undeveloped baby voice and looks back at the closest parent in the hopes that we will retrieve the object so the cycle can begin all over again…but sometimes the edge is 12′ down to the driveway.

Walking Outside and Bath-time 04 Walking Outside and Bath-time 05 Walking Outside and Bath-time 06 Walking Outside and Bath-time 07

He is beyond crawling.  Not fast enough.

Walking Outside and Bath-time 12

He has a booty and doesn’t know how to lift with his knees.

Walking Outside and Bath-time 09

He also knows how to work the runway and give ’em blue steel.

Walking Outside and Bath-time 13 Walking Outside and Bath-time 14

After a long day of walking in the backyard and doing some artwork.

Walking Outside and Bath-time 17

Q likes to take a nice long bath and catch up on his reading.  He’s gotten to the point where he “ga-ga’s” and “wa-wa’s” his way through a book.  I know, it’s ridiculously cute.

Walking Outside and Bath-time 35

Bath time is one of my favorite parts of the day.  Erin and I have developed a system that allows her to come home from work and not be attacked by Q.

Walking Outside and Bath-time 25 Walking Outside and Bath-time 27

This system also gives me some good bonding time with Q in the tub.  It’s 30-45 minutes of daddy and son time, no interruptions, no Sophie, Pickles or Romeo.  No computer, no phone (except to play 80’s soul music).  Just Q and me going over our days…

Walking Outside and Bath-time 30

A (late) Christmas Post

So, as usual, life got in the way and we never got around to posting our Christmas photos…or our other photos along the way, like cutting down a tree.  As you newer parents know, raising an infant is a full time job and can be very exhausting…but fulfilling.  In the moment, some of these days seem to take forever, but when you look back you think “where did that time go?”  It really moves fast.  Our boy is 16 months old now and will be a year and a half old in March.  18 months.  Crazy.

Christmas Tree Farm 2013_EMAIL 03

His development is increasing exponentially each day and week as he becomes more able to communicate with us.  The ability to say no while shaking his head and pointing his finger has been mastered.  So has his ability to throw a tantrum.  He’s quite gifted at tantruming, if that’s not word, it should be, because he’s great at tantruming.  He is also great at making us smile and laugh.  He has also become great at kissing and hugging, which after a long day at work is the best thing in the entire world x10.  The absolute best.  Little baby kisses and hugs are unmatched by anything, ever.

Christmas Tree Farm 2013_EMAIL 06

The end of each year, as it should, brings families together for celebration and reflection.  It’s a time to take a break from work and relax.  Share stories from the past year…and look ahead to the coming year.  But first, you must celebrate Christmas!  The magic of Christmas faded for me a long time ago.  Maybe because i’m sour or old or something…but it’s making a strong comeback with the Q.  He’s brought the magic back and has made this time of year more special than it has ever been for me.

Christmas Tree Farm 2013_EMAIL 07

One of the great traditions that Erin and I have had the past few years is going to one of the local U-Cut tree places just outside of town and chopping down our own Christmas tree.  It’s a nice way to celebrate the season.  We have the beautiful scent of a fresh tree, plus we had a part in cutting it down and bringing it to our home.  This year though, with Q, we thought it would be easier to skip the tree at our home and just get one for mom and her home.  I can imagine as we continue this tradition, Q will be able to help out more, but this time around he just watched and pointed.

Christmas Tree Farm 2013_EMAIL 01

Christmas day was spent at my mom’s place with her beautifully decorated tree and a whole bunch of gifts.  Each year we talk about doing a small Christmas and it always turns in to something like this.

Christmas 2013_photo 01_for blog Christmas 2013_photo 02_for blog

Q was happy, although he had no idea that most of these gifts were for him.  He will figure it out eventually and hiding them from him are going to be extremely difficult since he is so precocious and persistent.

Christmas 2013_photo 10_for blog Christmas 2013_photo 14_for blog

I was hoping he would be able to open most of his gifts, but with him staying consistent with his personality, he got through a couple of them pretty quickly and then became distracted by cats and dogs and television and cat food and water and the radio and our phones and the iPad and the flashing lights on the tree.

Christmas 2013_photo 03_for blog Christmas 2013_photo 05_for blog Christmas 2013_photo 04_for blog

He decided he needed to look outside and move some furniture that mom had in the wrong place.  Luckily he didn’t decide to do a complete rearrangement of her space…could have been a long day for dad putting everything back together again.

Christmas 2013_photo 09_for blog Christmas 2013_photo 06_for blog Christmas 2013_photo 08_for blog Christmas 2013_photo 11_for blog

But grandma loves it.

Christmas 2013_photo 12_for blog

After mom and dad opened most of the gifts there was one left waiting to be used.  We had brought it over the night before to charge and hid it from him…when he found it though, he was all about his motorized car.  Sophie did not like the motorized truck…

Christmas 2013_photo 15_for blog

At the end of the day and a nap for everyone, it was dinner time with silly hats.  And a feast it was.

Christmas 2013_photo 16_for blog Christmas 2013_photo 18_for blog

These Christmas moments are only going to get better and better.  We are very lucky to have two loving grandmothers here to share these days with us and share the love with our son.  We hope you all had a great Christmas and a Happy healthy New Year!

Christmas 2013_photo 13_for blog

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Christmas!

Washington Squ_20131219_000010

We will be posting pics of the gift opening and other fun stuff on Q’s second Christmas.  Until then…enjoy the magic that is the Mall Santa!



Sugar and Halloween and SUGAR!

One of the great things about being a kid is getting candy from strangers on Halloween.  It’s really the only time of year when that’s acceptable and I remember how great it was when I was growing up.  Going door to door with your friends in your neighborhood, getting candy from people you had no idea lived next to you…great memories.

2013-10-19 11.42.04

Now that we are parents, the next couple of Halloweens will include putting crazy costumes on Q and watching him waddle around the house.

Halloween 2013_Photo 08 Halloween 2013_Photo 06

He was a little too young for a great costume on his first Halloween (only 2-months old), but this year we decided he had to be an Elephant – mostly because he  could answer you when asked “what does the elephant say” with a loud “PFFFFFF”, and he learned how to throw his arm up like an elephant’s trunk.

Halloween 2012_Photo 02 Halloween 2013_Photo 10

All very cute and adorable…says the father of the child.

Halloween 2013_Photo 07 Halloween 2013_Photo 01

Q is still getting his footing and is a little clumsy at times, so the additional padding in the belly and booty were much needed.

Halloween 2013_Photo 04 Halloween 2013_Photo 05

As with all trick-or-treaters, candy is the main objective, and the thing that we all love about candy…is SUGAR.  We knew we were going to have our hands full if this kid got too much sugar in his system…but we thought we’d let him have a little regardless and let the chips fall where they may.  He loved the sugar!  But who doesn’t really?

Halloween 2013_Photo 02