--Don't forget the rest of the blog circle! After you read my letter, click the link to see Tiffany's letter to her children. If you keep clicking from there, eventually you'll be right back here!--
As always, we’ve been busy this month. At the beginning of August, we went to Pennsylvania, and during the two days that we were there, we were able to see cousins and aunts and uncles on both sides of Daddy’s family! Usually we don’t see any extended family when we visit, so it was really special to get to spend time with family on both sides. The two of you especially had fun at the Sollenberger reunion, since there were lots of kids for you to play with and a whole playground to explore! The next week was the Augusta County Fair, and Nonni and Poppy took you there one night. Mason, they said that you loved the clown and thought he was so funny. I’m not sure what you liked the most, Rylan, but you talked about the lion and the tiger a lot when you got home. Mommy and Daddy got to have a special date night one Friday, using a gift certificate to the Stonewall Jackson Hotel! While we were gone, you two “helped” clean the Tree House during a church work day that next morning. That afternoon, there was a shower for Baby Elli, which meant that we got to visit with Aunt Courtney for a few hours afterwards. Both of you took advantage of that and asked her to read book after book before letting her leave. We also spent one morning at Sherando Lake with Nonni. I was worried that we wouldn’t make it there before the summer was over, but the day we went was perfect. It wasn’t so hot that we had to be in the water, but the two of you didn’t want to get out of the water anyway! The water was almost instantly warm and felt great. Rylan, you especially had no fear at all of the water. Mason, you had fun swimming out to the rope with me several times. Last weekend we made it for the tail end of the tractor-trailer show at Expoland. We went two years ago and saw a lot more trucks, but I’m guessing that most of the drivers were ready to leave much earlier this year because of the insane heat (the theme of the summer this year)- so not many were left by the time we got there. But the benefit was that Daddy was able to talk to several drivers, and we even got to see inside a few trucks.
This month we also spent time decorating Baby Elli’s room (which you’re still sleeping in Rylan- thankfully the pink doesn’t bother you.) One problem, though, is that since I raised the crib height, you can reach a bunch of things on the wall that you couldn’t reach before- like the thermostat and light switch....so we had to move the crib into almost the middle of the room! The two of you have been playing pretty well together outside- on the patio and with the hose, but you have also started fighting more too. Mason, you don’t like Rylan to ride in the passenger seat of the Gator anymore, because you say that he makes it hard to shift gears. You prefer for him to ride in the trunk. Rylan, you have figured out how to drive the Gator now, and you’re not too bad at it! ...but Mason doesn’t like to share. You both like to take “Gator walks” down the driveway and on Horseshoe Circle whenever we have time at night (or sometimes just to get the mail). Recently the two of you have also started arguing about everything; Mason, you seem to like it when Rylan disagrees with you, so you repeat the thing that he doesn’t want you to say just to get him to have the same angry reaction over and over.
There have been some things you’ve bonded over this month. You each got a monster truck book at the library this month, and you are both obsessed with them. You had parts of them memorized after the first day. Both of you know the names of lots of the monster trucks now, and Mason usually knows which one is which. You also both got some new “guys” from Auntie Jo-Baby this month (a set of hand-made peg dolls) that you love. Mason, yours are Winnie the Pooh characters, and Rylan, yours are Sesame Street. Elli even got some adorable penguins that I have to keep out of reach from the two of you or you would steal/lose them! Speaking of Elli, she will be here in less than a week, and we’re trying to make sure you’re prepared. You both seem excited, and hopefully it will be a smooth adjustment for you. The biggest thing we all had fun with this month was the summer Olympics! Mommy really loves the Olympics, and we watched it every day. You were both so cute cheering for the Americans. You now know the names of: Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte (and that he made bad choices), Katie Ledecky, Simone, Aly, Ashton Eaton, and probably a couple more that I’m forgetting about. It was a very sad day in our house when the Rio Olympics were over.
You have been very excited about any jobs you can work on with your Gator. You always want to know if Daddy has any towing or shoveling or raking jobs for you. On a similar topic, you unexpectedly learned how to drive one of our mowers this month- the one with a trailer. Mommy is not very happy about that newfound skill, but it’s something you’re not allowed to do unless Daddy is here with you. You also learned how to climb trees (usually starting with a boost from your Gator) really well this month; so now you like to play “Zacchaeus” outside. Another new game you like to play outside is “Captain Chip’s Ship” on the swing set. I think the name came from your Cubbies cd from last year. When talking about things you’re looking forward to, you get extremely excited and tell me how fun they’ll be. It’s very cute and makes me smile. One big thing for you this month was the pizza party/movie night and then sleepover that you had with Mommy and Daddy. We got some pizza, watched Toy Story together, put Rylan to bed, and then Mommy and Daddy had a sleepover in your room with you. You slept in a sleeping bag in your closet, and you loved it. So there are now 4+ places in your room that we might find you sleeping: in the bottom bunk, the race car bed, in your “floor bed” by the door, in the sleeping bag in the closet, or occasionally in the top bunk at nap time. You have both good and bad days with your attitude lately. When you don’t get enough sleep, you like to challenge everything I tell you to do and you immediately decide you don’t want to do it. When you’re well-rested, though, we don’t usually have many issues with that. You got a new car seat this month, moving up to a big boy’s seat instead of a toddler seat, and you’re pretty happy about it.
A couple fun quotes from you this month are:
- asking “What do ______ like to do to people??” (fill in the blank with whatever animal/fictional being that we’re talking about at the time).
-when I was crying one time on an especially emotional pregnancy day, you looked at me and said, “Why are you wet??”
You are talking more and more each month. You use big sentences and are almost always able to express what you are thinking through words. You have certain jokes with Mason that the two of you think about at certain times and repeat over and over every time you think of them. When you get angry, you have a very mean voice that you talk in, where every single word is emphasized- like “RY RY. NOT. GO. INSIDE!!” You also make a pouty/grumpy face to go with it. You have moved back to sleeping in your crib most days, but you often climb out sometime before morning. You ask me pretty regularly if Dr. Thompson is going to take Baby Elli out of my belly yet. When I lay you down to sleep at night, you still regularly ask me to sing “Daddy’s Work Car” song, “Daddy’s UPS Truck” song, “Daddy’s Firewood Truck” song, etc. (And no, they’re not real songs. I make them up each time). When you get hurt or if you’re throwing a fit and then decide you feel better, you announce, “Ry Ry’s ok now.”
Here are some fun Rylan quotes from the month:
-When it showed the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio during the Olympics, you started waving, and then announced, “Ry Ry wave at God!!”
-You did a somersault on the floor and then said, “Simone do somersault like Ry Ry. Aly do somersault like Ry Ry.”
-When looking at the cover of a Thomas movie we have where Percy is halfway in water, you said, “Choo Choo swim like Michael Phelps!”
-When counting for something, you say, “One, two, six, GO!!!” (Although you’ve already started counting a little better than that this month...which makes me sad.)
-tomatoes = “tamos”
I wrote to both of you again this month, because Elli is coming so soon, and I wanted to make sure I was up-to-date before my mind gets even foggier next month. JNext month will be a whole new batch of pictures and updates, but for now- here are a few more pictures of our month. I love you!!