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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Ryder's halloween party at school was a hit and he came home with a bag of all his "loot" that included stickers, candy, a pumpkin flashlight, and black play dough. He's played with play dough before at school, but I thought that I would give it a try to see what I could make. I'm thinking we may get him his own play dough set as one of his gifts in his Christmas stocking this year, but we aren't looking forward to the mess it could make haha!
Here is my creation.. a BAT!
Friday afternoon we decided to take Ryder to the annual Halloween march around the businesses downtown where we live. Last year we visited Davidson, the neighboring city to us and we thought we would try something different. Since Halloween fell on Sunday this year, we weren't planning to go trick-or-treating since Ryder is still so young and wouldn't know any difference and Sundays are for lazy football days and we knew by the time it got dark that we would both be ready to call it a day and get Ryder ready for bed.

I hadn't practiced dressing Ryder in his halloween costume until Friday afternoon rolled around. Guess I should have! He was NOT in the mood for putting on a padded costume and the fact that it was in the 70's outside didn't help either, so we took a break and then I tried again and was able to get him partially dressed. We were saved by the doorbell when my mom and stepdad arrived, and they were able to distract Ryder and get him to laugh.
We went outside to try getting a few pictures by the front porch before we left for our trick or treating adventure. Ryder was all smiles and I was happy that my parents were there to help get him in a good mood!

Ryder, Nana, and me as we get ready to go trick or treating.

PawPaw's buddy

Ryder looked so cute in his giraffe costume and wanted to hold his treat bag all by himself. Even when he got tired and wanted Nana or PawPaw to "hold you" (him) he still insisted on carrying his own bag, and didn't want to share any of his treats with any of us-ha!

It was really cute to see him walk up to people and get his treat. He was still shy when it came to asking for the treat, but he still stood there and got the hang of what he was supposed to do. I just loved seeing him walking around in his little giraffe costume!

When we were done with the trick or treating walk we visited the area setup with scarecrows to take a few more pictures. Yes I am that momma with the big camera and the video too! Might as well call me the papparazi, but to me pictures mean more to me than anything and I wanted to capture the moment. Ryder wasn't so sure about all the scarecrows, but I was able to get a few with him and LOVED these!

He even tried sharing his sucker! Once we were all done, my sweet parents babysat Ryder so that Scot and I could go shopping for a few things for Ryder's upcoming birthday and Christmas. It's so hard these days to shop when we have him with us, and to think clearly was nice for a change! Thanks again Mom & Jeff!! I was so happy with the finds we ended up with and I can't wait for Ryder's party!

Have a Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Getting Festive for Halloween!!

Here is a hint to what we did Saturday morning..
I got out all of our materials we would need to make a few halloween themed sugar cookies, including the bat and pumpkin cookie cutters. I also got out our utensils and sketches for our pumpkins we would be carving. Halloween is less than a week away so I wanted to get festive!
Ryder was in a good mood that morning and he came running into our bathroom and grabbed my round brush and a pair of my fuzzy bedroom slippers and he was running around the house being silly. I think he was pretending to be me haha! There is nothing I love more than spending time on the weekends with my family and I couldn't wait to get dressed and start making cookies and pumpkin seeds!
Scot and Ryder picked out the designs they liked best from our carving book.

Dressed and ready to carve our pumpkins, I tried to get Ryder's picture by the pumpkins outside but he was ready to play.. NOT to take pictures! I wanted to recreate the picture I had of him last year as he turned 11 months, and after making a few silly faces and noises..

I got this cute one!

It was a beautiful day, a cool 85 degrees outside! Perfect weather to get you in the Halloween spirit for carving pumpkins, but earlier that morning it was so cold we would have froze. We are really having weird weather this late in the season, but we still had fun outside. As Scot was deciding how to make a skeleton out of his pumpkin, I had to distract Ryder from either running into the front yard and down the sidewalks or into the road. I also had to keep him from harms way with all the knives!
Yes we had fun and yes I stayed busy making him laugh. I think he eventually got the idea of what we were doing and he got excited.

Scot even had fun and was a big kid, deciding that the pumpkin brains looked pretty tasty too! We saved all of the "guts" to make roasted pumpkin seeds. I had them years ago as a kid when one of my teachers brought them in to share and I have since had such a hard time recreating her yummy recipe! We tried a new one where you boil the seeds in salted water first, then roast them on a greased baking pan on 250 and then I let them dry out before roasting them again for a short 5 or 10 minutes on 400. They were so much better!

As Scot finished his details on his pumpkin, Ryder and I came inside to get out the ingredients to make our sugar cookies. He saw the package and knew what we were making right away! This boy LOVES sweets and cookies are one of his favorites.

I let Ryder assist me as I mixed the cookie dough. Keeping him from eating the cookie dough was a challenge, but he had fun and he made me laugh when I saw him trying to roll out the dough and "help" me. We made pumpkins, bats, and candy corn shapes from our cookie cutters and had a great time! I am looking forward to Christmas and making lots of yummy cookies then too!

Once we finished up in the kitchen, letting our cookies bake and our pumpkin seeds roast, we lit our jack-o-lanterns to see how they looked!

I made the owl with Ryder's pumpkin and Scot made the skeleton and cat pumpkin. It was much harder than I thought it would be, or harder than the book looked! I still have my pumpkin to carve but am saving it for next weekend so it will look good on Halloween night and give us something to do this coming weekend. We have so many more fun festive things planned this week as Halloween approaches, including Ryder's "ween pady" as he refers to his Halloween party at school Thursday and we are planning on taking him trick-or-treating Friday afternoon to the annual event they have at all of the businesses in our downtown. Ryder will be the cutest giraffe there, but I'm partial of course! Happy Halloween week everyone!

Crazy for Boons

Friday afternoon, the annual Hot Air Balloon festival was going on this past weekend, so since the office was closing early we decided to make the most of the day and head out to see all the "boons" as Ryder calls them. Lucky for us, Friday was a free day and we didn't realize just how crowded it was going to be! We waited in lines of traffic but finally made our way around to the airport and got to see the hot air balloons fill up with air and see all the action. Ryder didn't know where to look first because there were so many balloons, people, entertainment, and food stands!

Of course hitching a ride on our shoulders didn't hurt any either! That was the best way that Ryder could take in all the excitement. Naturally the football balloon was Scot and Ryder's favorite, but I loved the moon balloon because it reminded me of Ryder's moon themed nursery.
We stayed long enough to see all of the hot air balloons ascend into the sky and take off. There were so many balloons and they went high up in the air and looked so tiny once they were in the air. Crazy to see just how big they were on the ground! I remember seeing the balloons as a child, so it was cool to take Ryder to see them. He had a blast, and most of all he loved being wild and free to "waller" in the grass like a wild man. He was twisting and doing flips and tumbling and having the best time.

I loved this picture especially, and the look on his face is priceless! He definitely ran out some of his energy and then had a small meltdown on the ride back home, but the balloon fest was well worth it and we all had a fun time while we were there. We both agreed it would have been more fun on a Saturday when we were all well rested, and we could have been prepared with blankets and chairs, but we wanted to take advantage of the free admission. I think we would definitely go again some year and I know Ryder would enjoy it because he kept talking about "boons" the rest of the way home, and we would look way up in the sky to try to spot any balloons that were headed back to land. It was the start to a fun family weekend!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy 23 Months!!!

When I came home Monday night it had been such a long day at work that I was exhausted but wanted to make sure I had captured Ryder on his actual date on the 18th, so he was already dressed in his "Nomas" jammies by the time I came home. Also being late in the evening, the pictures came out less than stellar but I didn't want to wait until Tuesday to take the pictures. We had a late start to our morning or I would have gotten cute pictures of Ryder that morning. With that being said..

You are 23 MONTHS OLD TODAY!! First off I can NOT believe that my sweet baby boy is turning two in less than a MONTH! Where has the time gone? I only wish that I had savored those precious baby moments even longer now. Here is what you have been up to this month!

Date: October 18, 2010
Age: 23 Months
Clothes: Size 2T shirts and pants, size 4 diapers STILL.. maybe you will be in size 5's by the time we have you in training pants :) We have also discovered that Luvs brand diapers are great and much less expensive than Pampers. I only wish we had discovered this earlier on in your diaper-wearing-stages! You are wearing a size 8W shoe and Mommy and Daddy felt horrible when we found out you had grown into an 8W while wearing your 5 1/2W Stride Rites.. poor thing! (I'm just hoping you had hit a late growth spurt!)
Favorite Foods: Pretty much lovin' the same old favorites as before but you really love all the condiments like butter, ketchup, malt vinegar, and salad dressing. Whatever we feed you, you will ask for more of the condiment and it's so cute! Trying to sneak vegetables in is still hard, but you like cucumbers and carrots especially. Whenever you want to eat you say "Hungy" or if you want a snack you will grab our hand and say "Show Me, Show Me" if it's something you really want. It's hard not to laugh when you talk in that sweet innocent voice!

Words/Mannerisms: As you can see by this picture, this is your "cheese" expression and you give a toothy smile and close your eyes. You are my silly goose! Lately I have been calling you my Little Ham Biscuit and you love it and will repeat me when I say it and then I laugh all over again at the way you say "Bisket" and then you laugh back in a fake laugh and it's so funny that I start laughing all over again. You are definitely a Momma's boy in the morning and only want me to sit with you on the couch and have breakfast together or watch a show together before having to get ready for school. However, at night you are your Daddy's shadow and only want him. You said "Paci, nap" a few nights ago before getting you ready for bed and your Daddy and I were shocked but listened to your demands because we knew you must have been tired!

Playtime: We play games with you and one of the silly songs we sing is "Dizzy Dizzy Dinosaur" where we hold hands and walk faster and faster until we all fall down. Your Mommy is silly too and likes to make up silly songs and games like that with you, and we usually get Daddy to go along with us! One of your favorite new things to play is with the cars and car garage set that Nana and PawPaw got you. You will come up to Daddy or I and say in the sweetest voice "Pay Cars" because you want us to play. Usually Daddy is much better at this game and will sit and play with you for an hour if he'd let you. One of my favorite things to do is to take baths with you, which started when I would take my bath and you would come in the bathroom and start climbing in the tub with your clothes on. It was then that I realized how much easier to get you cleaned and it became our special time together. I know that eventually we won't both fit in the garden tub together, and you will want a bath by yourself, so I am savoring our bath time as long as I can. I also love being the one to put you to bed each night and saying our prayers together. It has become part of our night time routine and I love kissing you nite nite and brushing your soft baby hair back and telling you to have sweet dreams. As your mommy, I could watch you sleep forever and it still makes me emotional seeing that sweet face drift off to sleep.

TV Shows: As part of our night routine now, you will pat Daddy's side of the bed and say "Sit Daddy Sit" and then "Show" for us to watch "Rocket" (Little Einsteins). This seems to still be your favorite thing to watch, although we found a new tv series on the hub channel that plays Adventures of Chuck the Truck and Friends and you really like that too. I also found Fraggle Rock on the hub channel too and it was an old favorite of mine that you really seem to like too, but Little Einsteins is always what you beg to watch if you get bored with the other shows. We really don't get to watch movies anymore because your attention span is gone after 6 minutes or so, but if we do its either Toy Story or Cars. You are now starting to phase out of Thomas the Train, but I have a feeling this phase won't last long and you will be asking for more "Nomas"!

Big Achievements: On September 25th we moved you to your toddler bed in an attempt to help you sleep better because it has been a HARD month of waking up EARLY! This month you are now sleeping in the toddler bed and have done great so far! You like having the freedom to get out and play and then go back to your bed. We have caught you more than once going to get a book from your bookshelf, or your BIG Brownie Bear stuffed bear that sits on top of the daybed in your room. We have also been leaving an extra paci on the floor next to a sippy cup of water on the floor in case you lose the paci you went to sleep with, or get thirsty during the night. This seems to have helped with the crying during the night and helps you sleep in longer which we have really been loving! I bought you a dinosaur bookbag that has become your new diaper bag because I wanted something that looked more big boy. You love to get it down from the kitchen chair we keep it and will carry it around the house. A few other BIG achievements this month have also been moving you to the booster seat at our kitchen table and we put the highchair away in the attic for baby #2. You are starting to gain more independence and you love going up and down the slide all by yourself at the playgrounds we frequent. You have also gotten less scared by things around the house, and don't mind Tucker's rubber toy fish anymore! You will now go over to his toy box and dig it out and then throw it for him to fetch.

As we get closer and closer to celebrating your 2nd birthday next month, it makes me realize that you will be my big boy sooner than I'm ready for, and I am savoring this last month of you as my baby. Your Daddy and I love you more than life itself and can't even remember what life was like before you came along. You are such a joy and a blessing and you make each day having you here with us that much better. Happy 23 Months Little Goose (Ham Biscuit)!!!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

City Mouse Goes to the Race

Maybe city mouse is a little far fetched, but I wouldn't exactly say that I fit the category as your typical race fan either. One of the perks for working for corporate Office Depot is that Scot gets to attend the races if there are any tickets left. This was the case on Friday night at the Nationwide race in Charlotte. The only other race I had ever been to was back when I was pregnant with Ryder in May of '08 and I was less than excited to sit and watch a noisy race.
This time was different because we were sitting in seats provided by Stewart Haas and they were right by turn 4 which meant we had front and center for all the action! Of course not being pregnant this time helped too. Once we got seated I was actually excited about the race. The food at the race didn't disappoint either. We snacked on hotdogs, corndogs, cheese fries, and we shared a funnel cake! Yes.. I can already feel my arteries clogging haha! We stayed for about 50 laps of the race, long enough to see two wrecks, and to get a good look at Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, and Michael McDowell who also happens to be one of the guys that goes to our church. He is a really good christian guy and I have also met his wife and they have a son that is around Ryder's age too. It was fun to get out of the house and go out with Scot and do something different than the usual out to eat or a movie. He has definitely opened my eyes to so many new things but I still don't think I am a fan of the racing, even if we do live in "Race City USA" haha. It was really hard to talk or hear what was going on and we had to wear ear plugs, but I still had a good time all the same.

We got a nice man that was sitting behind us to take a picture of us and then we made the walk back to the car. On the ride home we talked and when we got home it was weird not having Ryder there. I think the older he gets the harder it is to be away from him. I love him so much and I am so blessed to be his mommy! It is definitely nice to get to sleep in though, and when Scot and I woke up and we could see the morning sun coming through the curtains it felt like a decade since we had slept in like that, even if it was only 7:30 haha. I am so blessed to have my mom and stepdad here to watch Ryder for us anytime. Ryder had so much fun with his Nana and PawPaw that when we picked him up, he said "NO Mommy!" when I tried getting him out of his carseat because he wanted to stay-aww! It makes my heart smile how much he loves them, and how much they love him too!
Other than going to the race, it has been a quiet weekend for us and we actually stayed in for most of the day Saturday except to go to the evening service at church. Hope ya'll are having a great weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Go Panthers!!

On Sunday we had tickets to see the Carolina Panthers play. I'm about a week late posting the pictures, but have had some technical difficulty with my computer everytime I tried uploading them from my camera. Scot's sweet cousin gave me a lens with an awesome zoom which came in handy at the game since we had seats in the nosebleed section. Going to the game was something that Scot and I wanted to do this season because we had so much fun last winter. We went in December last year and froze so we wanted to go when the weather was warmer. We got warm weather alright! It was in the upper 80's so I came prepared and wore tank tops under my jersey!

We parked in the parking deck and paid our $10 to park, which was a deal from the $30 they were charging just around the corner. I definitely don't watch as much football as Scot, but going to the game is so much fun and I was ready to cheer on our Panthers! We tailgated that morning and had fun before the game started at 1 o'clock.
We found our seats and realized we were definitely higher up than last year, but there really isn't a bad seat at the stadium! There were as many Chicago fans there as Panther fans which made for a fun rivalry.

I think the stadium is so nice and I just love the views of uptown Charlotte. It's another great thing about where we live that we are so close to a big city like Charlotte, but far enough away that we feel like we are in the country.

After awhile, we just couldn't get it together and started losing pretty bad. The crowds started to leave so Scot and I were able to make our way down to get better seats. Eventually we somehow made it all the way down to the SECOND row! I didn't even have to use my camera with the zoom lens to get the Top Cat cheerleaders and Sir Purr! Even though we lost Scot and I had so much fun at the game and I hope that we will always be able to make it to at least one game each year.

We left the stadium and on our way to the parking deck, we saw an area that had music playing and people were still tailgating. You know me and how much I like to dance, so I walked over and joined all the home girls and started busting a move. I ended up busting my butt when I hip hopped one hop too many and ended up falling down. That's the Laura that Scot met and fell in love with, that I don't mind dancing and making a fool of myself as long as I'm having fun doing so! the homegirls were probably wondering what in the world a white girl with a black girl's booty was doing out there trying to dance anyway haha! The ride home was just as funny, since we got lost and ended up in a bad area of Charlotte. Luckily we made our way home safe and sound and Scot and I got a lot of good laughs out of it all. It was such a fun date with my husband and I was so glad that he talked me into going, and now I feel like I know even more about football. Here's to hoping this Sunday the Panthers will do better!