Saturday, May 26
Sunday, May 27
Monday, May 28
Tuesday, May 29

Wednesday, May 30

Thursday, May 31
Friday, June 1
Saturday, June 2
Sunday, June 3

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       Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sadie went into her crate nicely last night (probably helped I gave her a couple of treats). She only barked five minutes before settling down for the night.

Rylan got us and all the dogs up early at 5:45 this morning.

We hung out in the living room most of the morning while Rylan played Play Family quietly (well actually he talked continuously about everything and asked lots of whys and what's thats).

While playing with the Play Family gas station, Rylan was clanging the bell on the elevator and on his own, said, "Uncle Chris fix it."

When he started getting more active, bouncing around, he tripped on a doggie bed and hit the big screen table which resulted in a swollen bump about the size of a dime. When Grandpa picked him up and soothed him awhile he was okay.With no ice in the house (we haven't hooked up our ice maker to the refrigerator since the remodel) I poured a cup of frozen peas into a zip lock bag to hold on his head for awhile. He was so cooperative. He must have had ice on bumps before.

Grandpa then decided he needed a movie to watch (I am not sure if he meant Rylan or himself) so all three of us enjoyed "Finding Nemo" before Rylan took a 1 3/4 hour nap. I like the way Rylan repeats everything I say when we read books (well, more like look at books).

Other than the tripping incident when he wanted his Mommy, Rylan has asked "Where's Mommy or Where's Daddy" five or six times today. I tell him Costa Rica and that you went on an airplane to go on a vacation. So far he has been perfectly happy with that answer.

The dogs spent another day playing and wearing themselves out; sure makes supervising them easier. Sadie absolutely enjoys running around in the field and is more comfortable than ever.

Other than hanging out in the living room and going out to the field several times today, we went out to TJs. We decided we would make this, our first day, a go-easy day, by just getting accustomed to what it is like to have a 22 month old around and letting Rylan get adjusted to being with Grandma and Grandpa.

Tomorrow we are going to Benicia to see Grandma and Kim.


       Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sadie was the one to get everyone up this morning. She was nice enough to wait until six o'clock.

Rylan obviously is getting more comfortable with Grandma and Grandpa. He demonstrated his first tantrum when I told him he could not turn his rocking chair upside down and stand on top of it. However he was easily distracted from the tantrum so I am guessing what we saw was only a mild case.

When he climbs up on the window seat he continues to look for the deer he saw in April telling us "Deer ran away." Both he and Sadie have discovered how fun it is to be on the window seat. They both climb up very easily.

We moved the IKEA round end table to the middle of the living room for a play area where, for the most part, the Play Family toys are out of reach of the puppies. Rylan quickly discovered he could crawl through the middle of the table. He dubbed the table a tunnel after Sadie crawled through with him.

Yesterday I started a box of collections for Rylan after he decided he had to keep three rocks, three plums, and a couple of pinecones from a walk in the woods behind the barn. Today he added more to this collection box when we took a walk from Great Grandma's house down to the waterfront to see ducks. Naturally today's collection included more rocks. He also found some weeds, sticks, and nuts. He wouldn't have brought much of this home except that Great Grandma found a doggie baggie dispenser and nabbed him a bag to hold all his treasures.

Our walk to see ducks (we only saw a few far away) was appended to include a walk to a new pet store on Main Street in Benicia. Rylan walked the entire way down and back except the last block and a half. It was a good thing none of us were in a hurry. Not only did he make lots of stops for his treasure finds he also had to walk on all the little brick walls and raised curbs along the way!

More pictures from today are posted in our Kodak gallery.



       Monday, May 28, 2007

Our day started early once again. Sadie was the first to wake at 5:40. Rylan slept all the way to 6:15 this morning.

We chose to keep this day simple since our window for doing something special was shortened by a dog club board meeting.

I didn't get back from the meeting until 8:15 and discovered Robert in the back bedroom reading books to Rylan. I thought, "Wow, Grandpa took it upon himself to put Rylan to bed!" I had told him before I left it really wouldn't be too late for me to do it after the meeting.

As it was, when Robert realized Rylan had a very stinky diaper he changed his tact. He read him books then once I was home he let me change and pajama him for the night. Rylan got a good deal out of this; book reading by both his Grandpa and his Grandma!

This afternoon, with warmer, more pleasant weather, we headed to the field for quad pushing punctuated with Rylan helping Grandpa pick up apricots. Grandpa was quite pleased Rylan enjoyed picking up all the apricots!

Rylan, the obvious adventurer he is, quickly figured out rolling his quad in the open field was not interesting enough. He headed to the woods behind the barn and took on the challenge of pushing his quad through tree branches, pine needles, large hunks of dirt, Vinca and blackberry bushes (which he quickly discovered to be very grabby and full of stickers).

Going out with Grandpa to get chicken eggs is a definite highlight for Rylan. Yesterday Grandpa showed Rylan how to pull grass and throw it over the fence for the big chickens to eat. So of course as soon as we get out to the chicken pen today Rylan starts pulling grass and asking to be lifted up so he can throw the grass over the fence! Looks like we will be developing strong arms this week.

Every time we walk by the pool, Rylan says "boat." I emailed Chris to make sure he brings his boat on Friday.

So far the diaper changing has been a perfect demonstration of cooperation on Rylan's part. As suggested, I have changed him in the same place, on the guest bed, every time.

Today is the first day Sadie didn't have an accident in the house. I am guessing it is because we just had to learn to pay more attention and she just had to get more comfortable and learn her way around. It also helped we were able to keep the door open all day today. Yesterday and the day before, what with so much fog in the morning and cool winds in the afternoon, we have had to keep the door closed a lot.

More pictures from today are posted in our Kodak gallery.



       Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Today we checked out the kids area at the newly refurbished Nut Tree in Vacaville. What an amazing place to take little kids! Even more fabulous is the fact all the rides for kids under two are free. Unfortunately Grandpa bought a bunch of tickets before finding this out. Fortunately the tickets last forever.

First off Rylan had to rock on the big rocking horses. Next we took the train ride. After that was the carousel with Rylan choosing to ride an alligator. Next was a ride in a helicopter. After that was the hot air balloon ride. Then back to the same ride where the helicopter was, to ride in a boat with a little boy who insisted on being Rylan's boat mate.

Rylan was perfectly happy with all the rides until Grandpa decided to take him on the airplane ride. That one proved to be just a little too fast for Rylan. There were lots of tears. The operator had to stop the ride so Grandpa could take Rylan off.

The more time we spend with Rylan the more amazed we are how much he understands and knows. When driving over the Southern Crossing bridge today he said, "Whoa! A bridge." Every day we understand more and more of what he is saying and what he is telling us. We are now a lot more in tune with Rylan talk! The way he is constantly talking (like an ongoing commentary) is so impressive.

Today he was very upset when I poured him apple juice. I finally figured it had to be because he saw the container I poured it from was not the same as at his house. As soon as I put the container away he was okay with taking the sippy cup with the juice in it.

Speaking of sippy cups he hasn't remembered about taking them to bed with him at night.

Tonight, after closing the refrigerator door for me, he caught his thumb in the door. I pulled out the frozen peas again to make him feel better. He decided he needed to eat the peas instead and after setting up to the table proceeded to pour all the peas onto his plate and had a great deal of them with his dinner.

Rylan is now comfortable enough to push our buttons. At bedtime he keeps saying "Another book." I enjoy the book routine so much I find it hard to tell him no. Tonight I read him four books. He is also starting to be less cooperative about diaper changes.

It is nice how even when he does get upset though, he forgets quickly or is easily distracted. This actually makes him quite an agreeable little boy!

He is always saying, "Grandpa's House" when he refers to where he is at. When Grandpa leaves to go the office, out to the garage, to get the mail, etc., he asks, "Where is Grandpa going?"

More pictures from today are posted in our Kodak gallery.



       Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This was mostly a stay at home day since Robert had to work in the office and I had a dog class to go to at six.

When Jeanne Title with Napa Valley Unified School came over to meet with Robert this morning I told Rylan Grandpa was talking to Jeanne. When he went out in the office later and saw her and she said hi to him, he said, "Jeanne." She was most impressed. So were we!

Rylan's day was a day of lots of play. A daily routine is to toss all the pillows on the floor and jump in them. Then of course there is the Play Family. He also spends a great deal of time with the colorful plastic blocks we bought him last year, he builds shapes, takes them apart, and builds more shapes over and over.

Even with lots to play with I decided this afternoon he needed a new toy. After his nap we all headed to Target to find a racing set for him. He seemed to know exactly what to do with it once Grandpa put it all together. He either has the same set at home, or someone he knows has it or else he just really knows how kid toys work.

It is amazing how having a little boy's toys in the living room has worked out okay while having three bouncing dogs running around in the same space at the same time. Sadie is really good with leaving toys alone, Dakota gets better every day,and Paris is now a veteran (most of the time). We keep the wayward toys picked up as much as we can and have only lost one plastic block to Dakota's teeth.

Speaking of the dogs, Sadie is really enjoying having Dakota and Paris to play with and be around. From time to time I will find her curled up with Dakota or Paris. It is good she will soon be going to the dog park to play with other dogs! I just hope Dakota hasn't taught her to be too rough (Dakota learned from Paris. Paris learned from Seven).

We are hoping if the weather isn't too cold we will be able to go to Angel Island for a picnic tomorrow. If we go, Rylan will get to ride on a ferry and maybe see Delta and Dawn!


       Thursday, May 31, 2007

We did indeed go to Angel Island today!

Even though the weather wasn't as warm as we would have liked when we got up this morning, we decided with the fog burning off and the sun starting to come out we would go for it.

We also banked on Rylan falling asleep in the car on the way since we needed to leave before his nap time to catch a 1:00 ferry to get to Angel Island. He did!

The sun was pretty much out by the time we arrived in Tiburon. While we waited on the dock for the ferry to load, we were comfortable. Once on the ferry, there was a cool wind. The twenty minute ride to Angel Island was short enough to bear the nip. Even after arriving at the island it felt warm enough. It wasn't until we reached the picnic area and had to sit in the wind the cold became uncomfortable. At least we brought lots of warm clothes.

Rylan obviously enjoyed the trip over to the island on the ferry. He was fascinated by the water going by the boat and had fun looking at other boats and the birds on the bay.

Once we spread our table cloth and unpacked our lunch Rylan became very interested in watching groups of people play football. He had no interest in the eating part of the picnic.

After about a half hour he was ready to run around. He found an old canon to drop rocks into and then spotted several people going up a long steep stairway. He grabbled Grandpa's hand so he too could go up the stairs.

And of course every time Rylan saw a pine cone he had to pick it up.

We had to leave our picnic spot around 3:00 since the last ferry of the day departed at 3:30. We wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to walk back to the dock since our plan was to let Rylan walk. He definitely likes to travel on his own.

Rylan enjoyed the ferry ride back to Tiburon even more. There were a lot of kids he had fun watching. He laughed and jumped up and down as the boat bounced across the water.

Once we were in the car and headed back to Napa, he asked several times, "Go back on the boat please?" I am sure this is an adventure he will remember and talk about. Happily, again, he fell asleep in the car.

With his schedule thrown off today I was much more lenient about bedtime tonight. I let him watch Nemo for awhile before reading him books.

The dogs were a lot crazier tonight. They slept the entire time we were gone and missed their usual afternoon romps. Sadie was the most restless. One thing we have noticed is she doesn't like being left without one of us nearby. When Robert is somewhere else, like in the office, and when I go off to change a diaper or read books to Rylan leaving the three dogs in the living room all settled, Sadie goes looking for me or Robert. Not finding either of us, she soon has Paris and Dakota awake and playing again.

More pictures from today are posted in our Kodak gallery.

       Friday, June 1, 2007

Today was a day for hanging out. Chris arrived before lunch adding Seven to the mix and bringing Rylan entertainment.

The entertainment was his remote control helicopter and Chris himself. After Rylan's nap (three hours!) Chris had to play with Rylan's new race car set, with his color plastic blocks, and haul out the wood blocks. Chris also brought his remote control truck and boat which will be on board for tomorrow.

I was expecting much more dog wildness once Seven arrived. Surprisingly, since Sadie, Dakota, and Paris played outside all morning and Seven had a play date with Ozo yesterday, the dogs behaved with each other much better than anticipated. Within an hour or so after Seven arrived, all four were napping. The rest of the day they pretty much played outside. Sadie immediately fell in love with Seven and followed him everywhere. Seven took quite a liking to Sadie as well. Seven and Dakota did much better together this their second time together. Dakota is twice the size now and of course has learned a lot of play handling skills from both Paris and Sadie.

Rylan took such a long nap today. He must had to catch up from yesterday since he only had two short naps in the car. For the first time he woke up during the night at 4:30. That of course woke up the puppies. As soon as I was able to put Rylan back in his crib I had to run both Dakota and Sadie out to potty and return them to their crate. This did result in all the little ones sleeping later at least, Rylan until 7:15!

Rylan has developed a case of diaper rash. As much as I have been trying to keep on top of diaper changing Rylan has had some very messy diapers. I can only guess it has got to be what he is eating (or not eating). I sent Robert out for some diaper rash lotion this morning and I have been giving Rylan extra baths. The diaper supply is running low now so it looks like I will need to shop for more. I hope I can figure out what size to buy.

Only one full day left to enjoy and play with Rylan. I have so enjoyed getting to know him and him getting to know us. And he definitely knows who we are now and addresses us by Grandma and Grandpa. When he wants us to go somewhere he comes over and grabs our hand and says, "Come here Grandma" or Come here Grandpa." He is now asking, "Where is Grandma?" when I am not around. He still calls our house Grandpa's house though. Chris says it is because Grandpa spoils him more.

I have a feeling his Mom and Dad will have a handful when they get him back home. He has definitely been spoiled. He has had our undivided attention all the time. We usually try to reason with him and explain things to him before telling him no. I do feel like we have done a good job keeping him on a regular schedule. His nap and bedtimes have been pretty much along the same timeline as at home. Our biggest challenge (and worry) has been getting enough food in him. At least he had a big meal last night, we served hamburgers and just as his mother told us, he ate an entire burger complete with bun!

More pictures from today are posted in our Kodak gallery.



       Saturday, June 2, 2007

Four dogs, a little boy, Uncle Chris, a Grandma and a Grandpa made for quite a party in the living room this morning. There was Play Dough fun, dog tumbling, playing with a 60 inch bouncy ball, and fort building. Chris was the one who decided Rylan needed a fort . Chris had to go inside it before Rylan was convinced he would give it a try. Rylan didn't stay interested for very long. He soon escaped from under one of the chairs to go explore the office with Grandpa.

Before breakfast, while Robert planted corn, taking all the dogs with him, Rylan and I spotted a deer in the front yard! The deer stood in the clover for over fifteen minutes! Rylan really had a lot of time to check her out. When Robert came in, Rylan asked him to take him outside to see the deer closer. Surprisingly the deer was still nearby. Rylan was able to see her run across the road and down to the creek!

Rylan took another long nap this afternoon, almost three hours again!. Chris was anxious for him to get up so he could run the remote controlled boat in the pool with him. Once Rylan had his after-nap snack Chris took his boat and Rylan out to the pool. Rylan loved navigating the boat up and down the pool all with very serious concentration. I was sure he wouldn't want Chris to put the boat away when it came time. Amazingly he made no argument.

Of course it helped we had a new activity lined up—to go out to the field and check for eggs. After checking for eggs, Rylan ran around pulling grass to toss to the chickens.

Rylan has taken a real liking to Chris. Robert and I left Rylan with Chris while we went to get a few groceries for dinner tonight. Chris and Rylan played blocks and race car and were having quite a conversational exchange when we returned. When Chris left to go home tonight, Rylan asked, "Where did Uncle Chris go?" When I told him he went home, he said he wanted to go with him!

All four of the dogs at the end of the day were exhausted. Everything went fine with them today. It really , really helps they can all go out to the field on their own to play and play.

More pictures from today are posted in our Kodak gallery.



       Sunday, June 3, 2007

Turns out we got to enjoy another whole day with Rylan and Sadie!

Good for us. Bad for Tim and Kathy in that they missed their connecting flight out of Texas late yesterday, that they didn't get to see Rylan and Sadie as soon as they had planned. They had expected to arrive here late last night. Instead they were forced to spend the night in a hotel in Texas. They managed to board a flight early this morning by opting to fly into a different airport. It was late afternoon before they made it to our house having to drive from one airport to another to pick up their luggage and car and find a place to get some lunch.

The extra time gave me opportunity to make oatmeal cookies with Rylan, something on my agenda for this last week that I hadn't quite been able to schedule. Rylan liked licking the beaters more than eating the cookies themselves. That worked out okay because Robert and I enjoyed having the cookies to snack on!

When Kathy and Tim said their first hellos to Rylan, watching his face, we could see he was in a state of disbelief and wonder and there was definitely some emotion going on, his eyes filled with tears. After giving him a chance to take in the fact his Mom and Dad were back, they took him out to their car to show him the presents they had brought back from Costa Rica for him. Talk about one delighted little boy!

Rylan was more the center of attention than ever the rest of the day. He definitely was very happy to be with his Mom and Dad. Sadie, as young as she is, definitely remembered Tim and Kathy and was very delighted to see them. While she has been here, every time she heard the front door she would run to it in anticipation. I am sure now that she was looking for them all week long.

Tomorrow Rylan will go home. Robert and I sure will miss him! It has been a week of lots of Rylan talk, bonding, learning, love, fun, adventure, attachment, appreciation, and growing. Even as tiring as it was having Rylan (we now fully appreciate the saying, "That is why young people have kids") it was an experience we will always treasure!

Sadie will actually be staying with us a few more days. Rylan and Kathy will fly back home tomorrow. Tim is staying for a three day conference in the area. After the conference he will drive Sadie (and all the big stuff like suitcases, books, toys, Rylan's booster chair and quad) home.

More pictures from today are posted in our Kodak gallery.