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Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Monday

On this Memorial Day, I decided to blog about food since it's not just a day dedicated to all those who fought in war, and whose lives were lost in war, but it also kicks off the start to summer as well as a weekend of good food. Now that we're back from the beach, what better way to celebrate a nice long weekend than by eating, so I decided to get the ingredients to make Paula Deen's "Not Yo Mama's Banana Puddin' to go along with the mini sliders and mexican layer dip that we're having for dinner tonight. All reduced fat, but all YUMMY! Here are the step-by-step directions to make this summertime dessert.

Paula Deen's "Not Yo Mama's Banana Puddin'

2 Bags Pepperidge Farms Chessman Cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5oz) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12oz) container frozen cool whip, thawed

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I also wanted to share that I actually signed up for a website to get coupons and free stuff as part of being a mom. A friend of mine told me about this website, and so after taking a few minutes to create an account, I was up and off printing a coupon to get a free spicy chicken sandwich meal at Chick-Fil-A. Usually Scot laughs when I get coupons because I don't read the fine print and there is usually a catch and we end up spending more because by that point we need whatever it was in the first place, but he was proud of me this time because I actually scored a delicious free lunch for the two of us today! After returning from any vacation, we are never in the mood to cook lunch, so while he unpacked our car and suitcases, I ran to the grocery store and then went to redeem my free lunch at Chick-Fil-A. While I was at the grocery store I also happened to see these Ketchup flavored chips that I think Ryder will go nuts for since that seems to be his favorite food these days!

The spicy chicken sandwich was really spicy, even for Scot, who is known to eat the spiciest wings that he can find. I actually enjoyed it but was happy I had my diet fresh squeezed lemonade at hand too! I brought this hat back for Ryder to, which he seemed to like too. All in all it was a fun day and we relaxed the rest of the day before having to head back to work.

I know that Memorial Day isn't just about eating. It does make me appreciate all the selfless ways that the service men and women of our country gave their life so that we could live in a free country. Having grandparents who were in World War II, it does make me appreciate the things they did even more. I love spending time with my Grannie, and asking her what her days as an army nurse was like. She has so many stories to tell, and so many songs to sing from her war days that it makes it seem like maybe there were good times to be had too.

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday With an Octopus

Okay not completely wordless, but I just wanted to share my love of Ryder pictures and the love I have for my sweet little family. That and the fact that Ryder now loves octopuses, and it's ironic that he is wearing a shirt with an octopus. It's also ironic that I have posted three posts in one day. Can we say I missed blogging and I enjoyed having a day off of work and spending time enjoying the day with my octopus-loving little guy?Yes I do love that little octopus-loving little boy!
And I love his handsome daddy too!

This and That

While I was at work on Monday, it dawned on me just how quickly the month of May is going by and how there are only a few days of the month left! It also dawned on me just how big my Ryder bug is getting to be. I have a digital frame that Scot gave me last year on my desk at work, and happened to notice this picture of Ryder I hadn't seen lately, taken last May on his 6-month birthday holding his ball. I thought it was a funny picture because it reminded me of our cruise we had taken and the onesie we had brought back from the Cayman Islands, and how chubby Ryder looked wearing the onesie. Apparantly Carribean sizes vary from the US, and we had gotten the onesie in a much smaller size so he was only able to wear it once or twice. When I got home yesterday, I wanted to try and recreate this picture of him holding his big blue ball, which doesn't seem so big next to him now. And this was the collage that I made to compare him at 6months and 18months. Isn't that crazy! He was watching MickeyMouse playhouse on Disney and didn't want to be disturbed so it was hard to get an exact recreation, but I thought it was still funny to see the difference a year makes. It does make me a bit sad that I will never get to hold that little 6month old again though And onto the "That" portion of this post, I wanted to show the necklace I ended up getting instead of the child size necklace that Scot had originally given to me. Bless his heart, he didn't know he had given me a girl's necklace, he only went in the direction the sales lady pointed him when he asked where the birthstone necklaces were. If it had fit around my neck, I would have kept it, because thats the sentimental person that I am, but this was the necklace that I found instead. I love it! It was also on clearance so it came to a total of $11 which I loved too! You probably can't tell by the picture, but it is a round necklace with Ryder's birthstones that connect in a circle and then I bought a pendant with his "R" initial to fit inside the stones. I have already worn it almost everyday since Mother's Day, but want to cherish it so I told Scot that maybe one day I would need a replacement.And here are some of the beautiful flowers we found to match the vase that Ryder made.

And onto other things, I am happy to have my blog private now, so that I can share with my friends and family and not have to worry that some weirdo is out there looking in and doing bad things. I should have taken the advice of Scot's uncle and made it private awhile back, but wasn't sure the steps to take in order to do this.
And speaking of blogs, I wanted to share the "Blog-to-Book" I discovered I could make. I was so thrilled when I found this website that would turn my blog into a book. I never realized that I would enjoy blogging as much as I have, and have actually met a few other moms out there through the blogging world, so I was torn when I made the decision to go private. When I printed the first year of blogging into this book, I was happy with the end result and it was then that I decided this was something I wanted to continue doing as long as possible and it's something I love looking back on to see what was going on in our life. And as if this post couldn't be more random and a combination of things, here is a picture of the yummy Blueberry French toast bake I made last week. I found the recipe from Ellie Krieger's cooking light website, and it was really good except that I didn't whisk the eggs enough so the bottom was a little too eggy for my taste so if I make it again I will use less eggs and more milk. Last weekend we took it easy since we knew that Ryder was still recovering from his ear infection, but we didn't mind getting out for just a bit Saturday morning. First we drove to the downtown area of Mooresville and then we walked over to a park so that both Ryder and Tucker could get some energy out.
And then we took him to the Point where Scot and I got married. This was the view and it looked like it was setup for a wedding because the white chairs had been laid out. It makes me smile just looking at these pictures and thinking back to our special day. One day we will be able to tell Ryder about that day, and it's nice that we still live closeby so that we can visit from time to time. Ryder had fun running around and playing with anything that he could get his hands on, these rocks especially, but I was just afraid that he would climb them and fall, so we decided to go to an area that he couldn't get hurt on.
This was the Meeting House where we had our wedding reception and Ryder enjoyed playing on the steps and looking in the flower beds. He is at the age where everything is new and exciting, and his mind is a little sponge, soaking it all in. It was a nice, long, relaxing weekend and was just the medicine Ryder needed to get to feeling better.

Special Delivery from New Hampshire

Two weekends ago, we had some very special visitors from New Hampshire for the weekend. Scot's Aunt Sandi, Uncle Tobey, and cousin Chad decided to drive down to see Ryder (and us too!) so that we could visit for awhile since it had been awhile since we had seen one another. Living in different parts of the country is hard sometimes because we love all of our family but we don't get the chance to see one another as often as we would like. They were very generous and drove all the way to see us, so we wanted to make their visit as special as possible since it meant so much that they came to see us! Ryder was immediately taken up with "uncle" Chad and wanted to show off all of his toys to him. It was so cute to see the two of them interact.

Ryder was especially smitten with his Aunt Sandi too, and loved having stories read to him. He was so happy to see them, since he had been just a mere few months old the last time they came down to see him.

I think Tucker was smitten with Chad and was happy to have an excuse to get away from Ryder's tormenting grasp, and Chad didn't seem to mind his company either!
As you all know what a "guys guy" Ryder is, he took up with his Uncle Tobey right away too! He wanted his uncle to hold him for most of the visit which was adorable and he didn't mind a bit. You'd be surprised though at how heavy 24 pounds can get, and believe me that Ryder is solid even if he doesn't look it!
We came outside to enjoy the warm sunshine and to let Ryder throw around his new ball that they had brought along. It has now become one of his favorites, and he is getting better and better at actually throwing the ball instead of getting right in your face and shoving it at you. Ryder had been on the verge all week of getting sick or teething, we weren't really sure. He had a fever for a few days but as soon as we would make an appt at the pediatrician's office, it would resolve back to normal so we ended up thinking he was fine. Unfortunately, once Scot's family had gone back to their hotel, Ryder's temperature got worse so we decided to take him to Urgent Care first thing Saturday morning. We didn't want to ruin their trip so we wanted to find out what the culprit was. Turns out he did in fact have a slight ear infection, so after a round of antibiotics, Ryder was starting to feel a little better thank goodness!
Full of antibiotics and Tylenol, we were all much more refreshed later Saturday morning and were happy to have Aunt S, Uncle T, and Chad back over for more laughs. These were some of the pictures Chad took of us which I LOVE!
One of the funniest things Ryder did was he kept handing Tobey a toy from Tucker's basket one at a time. Once he had taken all of the babies and squeaky toys from the basket, he seemed satisfied with his pile and was happy to share with Uncle Tobey.
Another picture taken by Chad that is one of my absolute favorites! I would have to title this picture: "Stinkin' Adorable"

After having lunch by the lake, and then watching the Preakness horse race (they must love us to endure the horse race just for us, although we think Uncle Tobey has a knack for picking horses because two of his picks were big winners!), we had a wonderful time talking and catching up, laughing, and just sharing good quality time together. Later that day we took them to Davidson to walk around, although a storm seemed to be brewing off in the distance and so we decided to head to Lancaster's for some real Eastern-style BBQ for dinner.

Can we say "Yum"
After dinner Scot wanted to take Ryder to the arcade to walk off some of our meal and to burn off some of Ryder's excess energy. Ryder looked really cute all by himself driving the race car, which was fitting since we live in "race city". I guess the excitement from the arcade brought back nostalgia for the guys because they wanted to pose with their guns from the Big Game Hunter which I thought was really funny. Overall it was a fabulous time with great food and great company!
We were sad when it was time for them to leave, and we would one day love to visit them and show Ryder some of his "New Hampshire roots" but for now, we will leave you with this cute picture of Ryder loving on his Kangaroo that they brought him to snuggle up to. He doesn't know it yet, but he is one lucky guy to have such wonderful family that loves him so much! We had so much fun with Scot's family and were very thankful of the time they spent with us.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy 18 Months Old Ryder!!

Yesterday marked another of Ryder's milestone months as he turned 18 months old. It's hard to think in another 6 months my baby, who is now a toddler, will enter his "terrible two's" (as you can see the picture above pretty musch sums that up haha. I miss the days when I could set him where I wanted to take his month-birthday picture. Anyways, it also seems to be the age that everyone keeps asking Scot and I "when are you going to have another baby" or "when is Ryder going to be a big brother"? I honestly think that Scot would be ready to start trying sometime this year, but for me, I want to wait another year before I'm ready. We both want two kids one day, but deciding the right time is a topic of discussion in our house lately. At one point I even told Scot that I was honestly content with one child, but that was when I was going through the Oral Surgery "hell" and didn't want to even think about getting pregnant again. Speaking of oral surgery, when I went to my last post-op exam on Monday, Dr C told me that I was ready to place the temporary crowns on the last of the implants, so I am proud to say that I now have a complete set of teeth. As funny as this sounds, I am still having to get used to what I look like with teeth, and find myself still grinning rather than flashing a big toothy smile. In time.. in time. I really need to start reading my book "So Long Insecurity" so that I can get rid of my doubts forever! I did have my hair done today so I am finally starting to feel a little better about myself thank goodness. Back to Ryder and his 18 month birthday though, sorry to have gotten side tracked but as you can see it has been a few days, or weeks that I have posted anything so I am trying to catch up and I only posted today for my own records of having Ryder's 18 month birthday and what he's up to these days to look back on one day. At this time, Scot and I have decided that it was best for me to stop blogging for awhile due to different reasons, but mainly because of security issues. I read on a few fellow mom's blogs that there is a child predator that looks at pictures of children, boys especially, and has been "stealing" pictures off of public blogs so I have decided that I will be making my blog private for now. I am sorry that it has come to this, but I don't want to even think about the idea of something happening to Ryder.

  • Ryder is still wearing size 4 diapers but we think that in the next month or so he will be in size 5's as his 4's are starting to get filled out much better than before.
  • New words he can say: "Mommy" (instead of Mama), "frog", "turtle", "octopus" (thanks to his new show Oswald on Nickelodeon) "help", "up", "down", lately he has gotten confused with the word paci and calls everything "Daddy" instead for some reason, "Ry-Re" for Ryder when we ask "where's Ryder?", "catch", "boat", "football", and he still holds his pointer finger to his lips and goes "shh" "shhh" when he hears an airplane or bird. "Airplane", "flower", and he has become quite the angry baby when we tell him "No" or he doesn't get his way and he has started hitting and biting. I know this is typical toddler behavior but we try to correct him and tell him "be nice" so that he has been saying "nice" lately too. "blocks" and he will carry his large tupperware container filled with megablocks to us and then he says "help" for one of us to help open it for him. It is the cutest thing and has become a daily favorite to play and build blocks with him.
  • When we ask Ryder if he wants something, or when he is given a choice, he will tell us "yes" and shakes his head or "no" so he definitely knows the difference between the two now.
  • Ryder still loves his blocks but once he has built something, he will knock it down and then yells "NO!" in this high pitched voice and he is learning what happens if it gets knocked down.
  • Ryder has all of his 20 baby teeth we think (FINALLY!) although it is hard to get a good look for more than a few seconds before he clamps down on a finger if I try to peek inside and count.
  • Sleeps from around 7:30 and 8pm-5:30 or 6am and naps from between 11:30 and 12pm-2pm usually unless he is sick or teething and then thats a whole other story!

  • Ryder has been climbing anything and everything that he can manage to get his little legs and feet on these days! My mom told me I was especially good at climbing and was known to climb right out of my crib so I guess the apple really doesn't fall too far from the tree.

Ryder is a very loving boy and we fall more in love with our sweet son everyday. Yes parenting is the hardest job in the world but it has proven to be the most rewarding as well. No matter how hard it gets, we know that each stage will pass and he is a wonderful baby for the most part. I can not imagine our life without the little goose in it, and can not believe that in 6 months he will turn 2 years old!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Special Mothers Day

A few weeks ago, we took Ryder to the Bella painting studio to make Mothers Day gifts for my mom "Nana" and I, and I knew just what I had in mind as soon as we got there. I knew that I wanted to get a planter for my mom since she loves gardening so much, and at the time I wanted one for me, but decided to go with an indoor vase that can also be used as a wine cooler. After we picked the colors, Ryder went to work with his handprints. He had gotten some experience with pottery painting back in October when we had made Grammy a special birthday gift, but this time he was a bit more fussy because he did not want to have to keep his hand still to make a handprint, he just wanted to go crazy eating the paint and paintbrush. Once we had all of the handprints that we needed, I decided to let him have fun by painting the bottom of the flower pot anyway that he wanted. This only entertained him awhile, and then he was ready for a change of scenery so Scot left me there to finish the rest of the painting, which I didn't mind because I have always loved art and used to do a lot of painting and drawing back in my different art classes in highschool and college.
I had also put together a special book for Grammy from Ryder to showcase our wonderful trip to see them back in April for Easter. I had seen a friend's Photo Book and fell in love with the idea, and knew that Grammy would enjoy looking at the pictures of she with "little faces" as he told his story about his trip to Grammy's house. It was fun making both of the Mothers Day gifts and it will get even more fun as Ryder gets older and is able to do even more special projects for them both. We love you Grammy and Nana and you both mean the world to us!
Happy Mothers Day!!

This was the final art work of Ryder, my adorable vase, and "Nana's Bud" flower pot

Once Sunday arrived, I certainly got my Mothers Day wish by having Ryder sleep in until 6am this morning! We did try to keep him awake longer, and it must have done the trick. It felt so good to sleep past 5 am, and I am hoping that Ryder is now out of his 3:30 am rut! These were the gifts and cards that awaited me once I woke up and went into the kitchen.

After breakfast, I opened all of my sweet gifts from Ryder, Tucker, and Scot and was blown away at all of them. I had two new bras (which I was in dire need of thanks to my ever changing bra size after having a baby and breast feeding haha) and a sweet birthstone necklace from Ryder. I couldn't believe it when I opened the gift from Scot and it was the book by Beth Moore "So Long Insecurities". I had written the title on a grocery list once just to jot down in case I ever came across it one day, and Scot was observant and found it for me. Beth Moore is a wonderful christian motivational speaker and has written so many awesome books about motherhood and raising children and I have heard so many wonderful things about this book and can't wait to get started to try to kiss my insecurities goodbye!

I had to love and kiss on my sweet little goose this morning, especially since he had also made me this cute homeade refrigerator magnet with his picture on it.

And these were all of my sweet cards and my book by Beth Moore

Then we got ready for church and participated in the baby dedication ceremony as part of the Mothers Day sermon. I was so sad to find out last year while we were away on our cruise that we had missed the baby dedication. Since our church is a non denominational church, they do not baptize or christen the babies, only the adults, but instead they offer a baby dedication where the parents stand up before God and the church and agree to raise their children as christians. I definitely did not want to miss it this year, so instead of joining the rest of my family at the beach, we attended the church service this morning instead. I was a bit nervous to see how Ryder would do, especially when I found out that we would have to attend both services, but he did okay and we had plenty of back up just in case (ie crackers, toys, paci, etc). Each parent came up on stage as the speaker read a few things that described our child and what we wanted our child to become one day, that we had prepared earlier along with a birth picture and recent picture they displayed on the screen.

Scot and I had written the following:

  1. Ryder is a loving, energetic little boy with a smile that will melt your heart.

  2. Some of Ryder's favorite things include "choo choo's" and toy car sets, but he will drop anything to have a story read to him.

  3. Ryder loves "wa wa" and loves bathtime each day.

  4. We want Ryder to become a genuine, honest man one day who loves Jesus and lives a joyful life for God.

  5. We also want Ryder to grow up to become the wide receiver for the New England Patriots (Ryder's Dad) haha that last one got the whole crowd laughing.
Later that afternoon we met my mom and Jeff at Red Rocks for an early dinner in Birkdale and enjoyed a good time with them. Nana loved her flower pot that Ryder had made, and loved it so much she started tearing up. I love you mom, Happy Mothers Day!!

Ryder behaved exceptionally well, maybe due to his busy day, and was very cute while we ate dinner. My parents were prepared just in case, and they had also brought along toys and games to play just in case he started to get fussy. Ryder thought it was so funny to hold Scot and PawPaws hand at the same time as if he were wrestling them.

This was definitely my best Mothers Day by far and I know that they will continue to get better. I am so blessed to be a Mom and to have such a wonderful mom and mother-in-law. Happy Mothers Day!!