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.

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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 🙂

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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.

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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 🙂

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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?)!

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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!

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…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.

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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.

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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!

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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. 

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

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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.

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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.

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We even managed to take in some beach time.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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! 🙂

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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There’s also Romeo…

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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.

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

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Getting a little bored.

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Getting more bored…

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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.

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…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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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He is beyond crawling.  Not fast enough.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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…

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