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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trip to the "Land of the Mouse"

For Thanksgiving this year, Scot and I headed to Florida to visit with his parents. We had such a wonderful time with them and words can't express how much fun they had with Ryder. My heart is overflowing with all the love that they have for him and I am so blessed to have them as Ryder's Grammy and Grampa.

I ended up taking off Tuesday and we headed down early that morning. We weren't sure how Ryder would do on the drive down, but we left early enough that he slept half of the way and we got there in plenty of time to still enjoy the whole day. He did a great job and if he did start to get fussy, I would hop in the backseat with him and try to entertain him the best I could. I'm so glad that he is forward facing now, because it made a huge difference with him to be able to see us. We made it to Scot's parents house around 12 that afternoon, and as soon as we walked in, there were many birthday gifts inside for the Birthday boy. I loved seeing them light up at seeing their grandson and know that he was one spoiled little guy.
Compared to the cold weather we had been having in NC, it was a nice change of pace to see the warm, sunny skies. Scot even thought it was warm enough to jump in their pool to cool off. Ryder was very intersted in the pool, so Scot even took him in to get a better look around.

Ryder was in a great mood after the sleep he had gotten in the car, and was ready for action. We took a walk around their neighborhood and stopped by the lake to feed the ducks. Even though there were a few guys fishing when we got there, Ryder was more interested in the ducks and the water. He was happy to eat any bread that we gave him to feed the ducks with too!

We laughed a lot and talked a lot, catching up on life, and later that week we went out to eat and decided to go to the UCF area where Scot went to college. They were having a "Light up UCF" event with Christmas lights and ice skating, and even a Ferris wheel!

But the most fun was when we took a ride on the carousel with Ryder. Just seeing his face light up when he realized we were moving made my day. Of course he had his serious face on at first, as he always does when trying something new. As soon as the ride was over, he looked around as if to say "I want more". We had a fun night together but wanted to make sure we were well rested for the next day.
Rest we did, because you can't go to the land of the mouse and not visit Mickey Mouse right? This was the first ride we went to at Disney, can you guess what it was.. "It's a Small World" of course! Even though the park was busier than we anticipated, we were able to get right in line for this ride and it didn't take long before we were all seated together. Ryder was amazed by the lights and the music and seemed to be having the time of his life. I love this picture of Scot with his Mom, Donna.

I had to take this one of the geese too.. I couldn't resist!

And here I am with my "Little Goose" with his serious face on

This was many rides later, and Ryder was going stronger than all of us! Of course he did take a cat nap in his stroller so that may have helped. We were having such a good time that we couldn't believe when we looked at the time and realized it was 6 o'clock!

Before we left, I wanted to make sure we got a picture by Cinderella's castle. We made so many great memories this trip and I am excited about the next one already. It's awesome to see Scot's parents with Ryder and know how much they love him. We were sad to leave, and we hope it won't be long before we see them again. Ryder really bonded with them both during our trip and when we played the video for him last night before bed, he got all excited when he heard their New Hampshire accents and looked from side to side as if to see where they were. We laid him to bed and he slept until almost 7am! Thank you Tom & Donna for a wonderful trip and we miss you already. Love, Laura

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Safely back home to NC, I'm late posting a Thanksgiving entry, but I just wanted to reflect on Thanksgiving and all of the things in my life that I am so thankful for.

I am so blessed with a wonderful family who are there for me through thick and thin. Good times and bad, to hold my hand and push me to be the best I can be. I am so close to my mom, and inspire to be the sweet, gentle-natured woman that she is and always will be. I am thankful for my older brother Eric, who is always there to make you laugh and be silly with.

I am thankful for Jeff, aka "PawPaw", who has taken me on as his own daughter from the day he met my mom. He has shown my son Ryder what being a grand dad is all about. Since I never had the chance to meet either of mine before they passed, I often dreamed of what it would be like to have a grandfather. Now I know and I am so happy to have him in my life. I am also thankful for my mother and father-in-law, aka "Grammy" and "Grampa" who have raised such a good man in Scot and who have taught him to be the great husband and father that he is today. Ryder is so blessed to have them as grandparents, who will enrich his life fully.
Thankful for my Grannie, who has many a story to tell about life at the young age of 89. One of the strongest women I know, she lights up when she sees Ryder and melts. I never thought I would see her hold her great grandson, and I am so proud to have her as my grandmother. Of course I am most thankful for this 'lil Turkey who makes me want to be the best mom to him that I can be. He brings all the joy and the love to my life that I never could have dreamed and I am thankful each and every day that he is here with me.
Again, I am thankful for these brothers of mine. I met Matt, my younger step brother when his dad and my mom met, and have grown accustomed to having him in my life. He is sweet natured and full of personality, and has made a wonderful daddy to his daughter Mady. I love this picture, taken almost 4 years ago, but it was a happy moment in my life, seeing both of my brothers open their arms to Scot as a brother. I'm thankful for friends who make me laugh so hard that I cry, and love me even at my fattest being pregnant with braces. They bring happiness in my life and brighten up my day. I am most thankful for this sexy husband of mine, who has shown me what LOVE is. I am forever grateful that God blessed me with a soulmate that I want to grow old with. Thankful for this skunk-chasing yorkie of mine who loves me even when I wake up first thing and have morning breath. No matter what, he is always there to greet me at the door as I come in with his furry tail wagging and his little "Tucker-the-tongue" tongue sticking out. Thankful for my sister-in-law Tori who has shown me what having a sister is all about. And again, thankful for this little man who steals all of my kisses.
Aside from family and friends, I am also thankful for a great church that Scot and I found in February of this year. We have met so many nice people that inspire us to be better, and we are thankful to God for all the he provides. Thankful for our jobs. Thankful for the many things in our lives that we wouldn't have if He weren't the center of it all.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, spending our time with Scot's parents and making memories. I hope that you all had a Happy and safe Thanksgiving too!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Road Trip!

While Ryder sofly slept upstairs,Scot and I woke up early this morning to finish our packing so that we could get an early start on our drive to Florida. I'm talking 3am early. After the crazy day at work I had yesterday, and with all the running around Scot had to do before our trip, we were both wound up by the end of the night. Neither of us was sleeping well as it was, as we were anxious to get on the road. My parents had already come over last night to gladly take Tucker with them to "dog sit" while we were out of town. With
everything done off our check list we realized it made the most sense to go ahead and leave while Ryder could sleep as much in the car as possible.

Keeping a very active 12 month old entertained for 9 hours will be a test, but will be worth it so that Ryder can meet Scot's parents. We have been looking forward to this moment Ryder would meet his Grammy and Papa for the first time for a long time now. The good news about travelling with him now is that he is eating complete table food and drinking only from a sippy cup so it should be much easier than having to deal with bottles and baby food jars. He's also facing forward so that should make things easier for when and if he does get fussy and needs me to get in the backseat with him.

For now, its almost 6am and we are making good timing with hardly any other cars in sight. Ryder's snoring away in the backseat and I am just trying to keep Scot entertained. We have a rule during road trips that whoever rides shotgun has to keep the driver awake. This should be fun! Thank goodness for double shot Starbucks espresso.

I will be updating as our adventure to Florida continues and please pray that we have a safe trip.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Birthday Party Fun

It has been a wonderful week, full of celebrating Ryder's first year of life. We kicked off his birthday by celebrating Wednesday night with my parents on his actual birthday, reminiscing about that day just a year ago. Since it was the middle of the week, we just had a quick dinner together and then there were gifts for the birthday boy of course! Thank you all for Ryder's sweet birthday cards and cash, as well as all of your thoughtful gifs he received. He was one happy Birthday boy!!After dinner, Ryder ran to his pile of gifts, and tried to figure out how he was going to carry them over to where we were all seated. He was so excited about the bags themselves, that he didn't even notice there were presents inside! The fun of being a boy again, Scot teaches Ryder how to use his new tool set from Grammy and Papa
And Ryder gets birthday snuggles from Nana and PawPaw
Saturday morning, we prepared for Ryder's birthday party. We wanted to just have our family together that could come, rather than inviting all of the babies in Ryder's daycare and church nursery. I just thought that he would have been too overwhelmed and wanted him to enjoy his party and save the big parties for when he's older.
We didn't have a theme picked out, other than polka dots and cupcakes. My main concern was his special birthday outfit I had ordered, and the cake. Other than that, I just wanted Ryder to have a great time. Since he loves pasta, we thought taking him to an Italian restaurant for lunch would be perfect. He started out in a good mood, but he is one busy one year old, and got bored quickly, so it was time to head to the house for more gifts.
Scot and I got a quick family photo with our sweet birthday boy
And Ryder was so glad to see his Aunt Paula and Uncle Steve
And Aunt Tori and Unkie Eric were there to help unwrap. Ryder was very curious about his Elmo guitar that they had given him, but not as excited as his uncle Eric was! Everytime I hear the Elmo song play now, I will always think of my silly brother strumming a tune and it makes me laugh!
And did I mention the yummy cake.. Ryder even had his very own of course!
He started out shy, not quite sure what to think of it all, as this was his first taste of sweets.
But it didn't take long before he dug right in!
After all, what's better than birthday cake and balloons?
More snuggling with the birthday boy
And playing with his new Tonka truck and toys
But the balloons were what kept him busy once everyone left. Ryder LOVED the balloons the most, and tried holding one in each hand, not realizing that they would fly away if he let go! He had such a fun fun day and was so tired that he went right to sleep afterwards without even a fuss. I am so happy to have shared his first birthday and party together and I am looking forward to the many more to come. We love you Little Goose!! Happy Birthday!!

I feel like lately I haven't blogged as much, but it seems as though the days and weeks get busier and busier, and I will try to make a better effort. We will be heading to Florida to see Scot's parents this week, and we are all very excited! I can't wait to post all about our trip and I hope that you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy FIRST Birthday Ryder!!

From the moment I found out that I was pregnant, to the time we saw his tiny hands and feet on his 8 week old ultrasound, I had fallen in love with our baby. Even though we barely knew one another, I knew that he was my baby and I was his Mama and that was all that mattered. It was then that I realized I would carry him safely inside until it was time for us to meet face to face. At the time, little did I know I would have such a love for my sweet baby, a love that would grow each day that we spent getting to know each other for the past year. One year ago today, at 8:06 PM, I opened my arms and got to hold my tiny 7lb 9oz warm bundle of joy for the very first time. I will never forget that moment for as long as I live, and it will always be one of my favorite memories. I remember the way he smelled, and the way he looked at me with his sweet face, that he knew who I was and wanted to be held close to me so that he knew he was safe. Overwhelmed with joy and fear of being a new parent, we left the hospital a few days later to begin our journey together.
Scot and I have learned so much in just one year. We learned how to soothe, and how to feed, change diapers, and function on mere hours of sleep, but it was all worth the prize in the end, of being the best Mommy and Daddy that we could be to our sweet little Ryder.
This morning, once we heard that Ryder was awake, we ran upstairs and headed into his room singing "Happy Birthday" to him. I had tears in my eyes as I sang to him, as it hit me that his first birthday was finally here, and all of the memories from our first year together came flooding back to me. I am so happy to celebrate his first Birthday today and am looking forward to the birthday party that we will have for him this Saturday!

We took Ryder to his one year appt at the Pediatrician this morning and found that he weighs 21 lbs 12oz and is in the 50% for weight and height, with a length of 30 inches. He must be full of brains, or just has a big head like his Mama, since he measured a 47" head, coming into the 75%. We also had his shots broken up since we weren't sure about the MMR vaccine. We decided that we would rather pay a $30 co-pay again in 2 months so that Ryder would only have to have 2 shots today and then just the one MMR in January. In today's world, reading so much about all of the autism, we wanted to take any precaution we could. Afterwards we took him to the mall to get a new pair of gloves for the coming winter months, and a few new long sleeved shirts. We plan to take it easy the rest of the day, and as he naps I am finishing up his Birthday blog and the last pages of his baby book I have been recording everything in. I'm hoping when he wakes up he will be rested from his busy day and will be ready to open a few of his birthday gifts. Since his party is this weekend, we decided to let him open a few today and the rest on Saturday. I will be posting lots of pictures soon, and I am most looking forward to seeing his face as he gets his first taste of birthday cake!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Toys and Stores and More!

With less than a week away, we have been busy preparing for Ryder's 1st Birthday! Ryder got his first birthday package in the mail on Monday from his Grammy and Papa, so we let him open the box the gifts came in just to have a peak. We told him he would have to wait until his birthday to open the gifts that were inside, but he was content playing with the box and packing tape. That night, we had plans to go bowling with our church Life Group, so Ryder stayed home with my parents while we had fun without having to worry about keeping him up past his 7:30 bedtime. We had a good time, even though I'm not a great bowler, and got to spend time getting to know everyone better. We played two games, and the second game was girls against guys. Just when we girls thought we had won, Scot ended up bowling another strike which made them win with only 3 points ahead!
Ryder tried lifting the boxes once we had taken them out of the box they came in, but he didn't have much luck. They were just too heavy for him! He doesn't know it yet, but he is going to have so much fun opening his presents and eating his birthday cake.
Then on Friday, a friend at work gave Ryder a lego set that he fell in love with. I had no idea he would enjoy playing with them so much, and he loved figuring out how to open and close the container they were in just as much! At his age now, he is so curious about how things work, and he will even turn whatever he is playing with upside down to get a better look.
At one point, he even climbed inside and tried to put the lid back on. He is so funny with how busy he is, and would walk from room to room with a lego in each hand, or the lid with the handle in his mouth. It looks like we may have an Engineer in our future!
I had ordered most of Ryder's birthday decorations and the cake for his party, but since he had gotten some birthday money from his aunts and uncles, we decided to take him to Toys R Us on Saturday morning, "where a kid can be a kid".
As soon as we walked in the door, he saw these big stuffed bears and clung to one for dear life. It was so cute, so I had to get a picture of course. It wasn't long before he wanted to get out of the shopping cart, so that he could get a better look at everything and pull things from their shelves. He had so much fun and it was the only time he could grab things without Scot or I saying "No No!" Afterwards, we headed to Tijuana Flats, an old favorite of Scot's when he lived in Florida. Since they are known for their yummy mexican food, and a variety of hot sauces to choose from at the hot sauce bar, Scot was in his own little world picking out as many flavors to try as he could. I on the other hand decided to go with just chips and guacamole and leave the hot stuff for him. I was happy to know that we could even order the meal as "Light & Fit" so that we could save a few calories in the end. Ryder even got his very own tortilla that he loved, so it was a great lunch for everyone! With only a few days to go until he turns one, we decided that it was finally time to turn Ryder's carseat forward facing. It makes me sad to think how far he has come from the first day that we brought him home from the hospital in his baby carrier, but I am so proud of the little boy he has become! He will be so much happier now that he is facing us, and can see out the window so much better. As we plan to travel to Florida to see his Grammy and Papa for Thanksgiving, this will make the drive there even better for him so that he will feel like a big boy in his big boy carseat

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Weekend Fun

We had a good time Friday night watching the horse races together, and I couldn't believe the two horses that I picked for the last race actually came in first and second place! I always pick my horses based on their name, so of course I went with "Life is Sweet". I don't know why I liked Mushka other than the fact that it made me think of the Alaskan snow dogs as they"Mush" but I was happy to beat Scot's horses! Of course when my horses were winning and I was jumping up and down, Tucker started barking like a maniac, and Ryder was clapping and jumping with me. It was the funniest sight to see I'm sure, but it was a fun Friday night for us.
We have had a long week, with Scot having late meetings for work, and Thursday night we went to an event at our church, not to mention that we have had a lot of early mornings too! Ryder still hasn't adjusted to the time change yet, and has woken up every morning this week before 5:30! Trying to sleep in this weekend, we actually tried feeding Ryder a bottle first and then giving him a few bites of macaroni and cheese before bed, and it seemed to do the trick. He slept from 8pm to 7am! Scot and I couldn't believe it when we woke up to see sunshine outside and realized Ryder was still sleeping. I think we are onto something! After breakfast we took Ryder to the Lake Norman State Park that we frequent often, and we all had a good hike around the lake. The fall leaves were so pretty and Tucker must have collected at least a dozen or more of them in his fur, including sticks and briars, because I spent 10 minutes grooming them out before we left!
Today was a special day for Ryder because he attended his first birthday party! A baby girl in his daycare class invited us to her 1year birthday party so we couldn't miss it. Her mom is also one of Ryder's teachers at his daycare, Miss Charlotte, and one of his favorites too. Once we got there, he saw her and immediately ran over to her, begging to be picked up, just like a lost little puppy. It was so cute seeing him with his "girlfriend" Charis too. We always joke that they are boyfriend and girlfriend because they run around chasing after one another's paci's and sit in each others laps.

It was a fun day and Ryder was worn out by the time we got back home. He has started to become more picky and doesn't seem at all interested in baby food anymore. Anytime Scot or I are eating dinner, he begs to have what we are eating, instead of his mashed food. Sadly my baby is growing up so quickly as his own first birthday is approaching!