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Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's a Choo Choo Party!

Saturday November 20th, 2010 we threw a Choo Choo party for Ryder in honor of his 2nd birthday!
Ryder loves trains right now so I knew I wanted to throw him a choo choo party. We decided against a Thomas themed party to be somewhat unique and I wasn't sure if Ryder would still be into Thomas by the time his party came around.
I had his banner made at this adorable shop on etsy called silly little goose. I was very happy with the end result and then we just added a few trains in the same color scheme that I found at Target in the dollar section.
A few of the gifts for Ryder to open. He definitely knew just what to do this year, and I laugh looking back at how timid he was with his birthday and Christmas gifts back then!

To save money, I had Scot bring home card stock from work and then I used extra ribbon and made signs above the snack and drink area.

Another etsy purchase were these napkin ring holders and the sign for our front door. I found both of these here and was very happy with them both! I went with a red, blue, and yellow color scheme and bought the rest of the party supplies at Hobby Lobby(my new favorite store!), Wal-Mart, Target, and Garden Ridge.

I also found this "R" vase at Hobby Lobby as well as the blue stones and incorporated more of the colors in Ryder's party by using these pretty flowers I found on sale at Wal-Mart. I had seen the idea of having a candy bar at paties from other friends and blogs, and thought what a cute way to add color and what kid doesn't love candy! I used more of the colored cardstock that Scot brought home and found a choo choo train label to make the labels myself. We used sugary lemon drops, cherry sours, and blue M&M's to go with our color scheme.

We found these glass canisters at Garden Ridge on sale too and I had been begging Scot for over a year that I wanted serving pitchers for parties and holidays and he finally gave in! They were half the price of the ones we found at World Market so he was happy with these. I served Apple Cider Punch which I found on Better Homes and Garden, and made it more yellow by using orange pineapple juice instead of the cranberry. For a red punch, I found another recipe online called Red Raspberry sherbert punch. They were both really good! I made the labels with more of the ribbon that I found and used train buttons I found at Hobby Lobby for added train detail.

This cake was soo good! We used a local baker and chose a white cake with strawberry filling and buttercream frosting. Cake is probably my favorite dessert in the world and I am a fan of the buttercream, not the fondant!

I also made the yellow railroad crossing sign pictured below, finding the wooden materials at Hobby Lobby and then I painted them and hot glued it all together. For side dishes I served pasta wheel pasta salad and a roasted red pepper and cream cheese puff pastry appetizer I found on Pepperidge Farms website. For the main course I served turkey and ham pinwheels and used cupcake train toppers to incorporate more of the train theme. I made a homeade avacado and feta cheese dip to go with blue tortilla chips, and served ruffle potato chips with a ranch dip. It all came out pretty good I thought. Everyone was going back for seconds and thirds so that must have been a good sign that it was ok.
Ryder loves all things trucks, trains, and construction vehicles, so he was very happy when he opened all of his cool birthday gifts from everyone!

PawPaw and Scot being silly! Ryder loves firetrucks too right now and so he loved the ladder and fireman that came with this firetruck we got him.

My brother Eric and my Aunt Paula- I was so glad to hear they were all coming and knew that Ryder would be happy to see them.

My grannie and Uncle Steve- it was really special to have my Grannie there since she will turn 91 this June. She really enjoyed watching Ryder open all of his gifts, and laughed watching him play the drums with my brother. I was so happy when I heard that she was coming, and was very appreciative that my mom and stepdad picked her up so that she could celebrate Ryder's birthday with us! We are very fortunate to still have her here with us, and have spent many fun times with her at her beacch house on Holden Beach.
And my mom (Nana) and my sister in law (Aunt Tori)

One of Ryder's favorites was this drumset from my brother Eric. As a fellow drummer, it was really cute to see them play together! Maybe Ryder will have some musical talent along the way one day!

Overall I had such a good time and I hope everyone else did too! There were lots of laughs and it was just a small party with my family there. We decided to wait to throw a big party until Ryder's older, but he had a great time and didn't want the party to end.

After the food had been eaten and the presents had been opened, we brought in Ryder's surprise of the day, this choo choo train that I made using a refrigerator box. I had no idea how hard it would be to carve the box, but thank goodness I enlisted Scot's help and we were able to make a boxcar and then painted it all. It also served as a good prop to take pictures in! Ryder and my Aunt Paula having a blast!

My Aunt Paula, and my sister in law (Aunt Tori)

Scot and Ryder playing peek a boo!

I just LOVED the jon jon that I found on Etsy and the lady was so sweet to help custom make just what I needed. Scot tells me this is the last Jon Jon I can get for Ryder because he's getting too old, but if we ever have a girl he's in big trouble because she will have soo many monogrammed dresses and smocked clothes!

Uncle Eric takes a turn with Ryder!


The next morning we couldn't believe the balloons were still inflated, and we had fun playing conductor and wearing the conductors hat in Ryder's real life train. I enjoyed planning for Ryder's party as much as I did at the party, and feel so blessed to have such a sweet boy as Ryder to celebrate and do these fun things for. I love him so much and can't wait for the next 16 years to throw parties for him! We will see what next years theme brings!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Little Goose (conductor)

Happy 24 Months!!!

Happy 24 MONTHS!!
I thought for a time in Ryder's life that I would stop posting his monthly achievements, but decided I like posting them for my own records to look back on since his baby book only holds so many pages. I would like to one day even put together a blog to book with only the month birthday posts in them and use that as part of his "toddler years". We took these pictures a few days ago but I have just had a chance to post them.

Dear Ryder,
You turned two years old just the other day and I am starting to see the boy that you will become, leaving my baby faced infant behind! So far these are the best months and days we've had and I am loving this stage of your life. If only I knew how much easier things would get back during those 3 hour interval feedings through the night-haha!

Date: November 18, 2010
Age: 24 Months
Height: 34 inches
Weight: 25 lbs
Head: 60 inches
Clothes: 2T in most shirts and pants, but still wearing a few 24month things. Believe it or not you can even wear jeans that are 18-24 month depending on the brand! This has been a blessing not to have to buy all new clothes just yet and thank you Mom and Aunt Tori for all of the goodies you have sent us!
Dr Appt: During your two year checkup with Dr J, she told us that you are in the 75% for height which meant that you are basically tall and skinny for your age. While you were there they gave you your first round of flu shots and then took all of your measurements. I had given Scot a list of things to ask Dr J, and turns out that you had summer ezcema which explained the itchy rash on your inner elbows. Thank goodness it's cooled off now and the rash has gone away.
Favorite Foods: You are still in your picky eating stage but we have discovered Dole yogurt covered dried apples that are new and they also have mango and pineapple. You can't get enough of them and will eat at least a bag a day as your afternoon snack. I still try to make veggie and fruit smoothies for you to get your vegetables in but I think you are catching on with the sweet peas! We still offer you whatever we are eating, and then you will usually snack on other things that you like throughout the day. Thank goodness for Baby Yo fruit blend yogurts! I have also found that they make a toddler one so we have started giving you that for breakfast too. Oatmeal, pancakes, noodles, carrots, bread, apple slices, and olives are just a few of your favorite foods right now.
Sleeping Habits: We had a hard couple of nights recently the past month and we are thinking that your molars had something to do with it! Only one of the sides of the molars had erupted, but they are all there now which has helped with the sleeping situation. It has been a full month in the toddler bed and we have tried a few things to get you to sleep in, but unfortunately 7:30pm-4:30am seems to be the daily sleep times these days. No matter if we put you down earlier or later! It's much better than 12, 2, 4, and 6 though!
Words/Mannerisms: October 24th Ryder told Daddy "I Love You Daddy" while they were in the living room playing together. It was the sweetest thing to hear those words! Lately when Ryder is done with a show or whatever he is playing with, or if he doesn't want something he will say "No much!" and he also likes to pull your hand and says "Mommy show me!!" to get you to go in the other room to get whatever it is that he wants. Sometimes a snack, sometimes to go in another room to play, or upstairs. He is in the opposites phase right now too. Up means down, Down means up, downstairs means upstairs, etc. Ryder also likes to be held and will say "Daddy hold you" or "Mommy hold you" and has also been very inquisitive the past month, asking constantly "Was dat Mommy?" And when he gets excited about something he sees whether we are in the car or in a store, he yells out "Thomas, right der!" or whatever it is that he sees. We are really seeing a big difference in all the talking Ryder has been doing the past few weeks. He is our little parrot, repeating everything so we really have to be careful about what we say.
Playtime: Ryder has taken up with his coloring skills lately, and we have had three incidents of coloring on the wallls! He goes up to us and says "Pay colors Mommy" when he wants to play with his crayons. He loves the new Thomas trainsets that our parents just bought him and another new favorite is his grill and kitchen set my parents got him. He still loves to play cars and all of his new trucks have been a lot of fun for Scot especially. These are the days Scot couldn't wait to get here because he always dreamed of playing cars and trucks with a boy and it makes my heart happy to know how much fun the two of them have together!
TV shows: We are in a Little Einstein "rocket", and Agent Oso "Oso" phase these days. We will put the Disney channel on and those are his two favorites right now. Although I still try to watch other movies and shows to get a change, Ryder will get bored and start asking for either rocket or Oso. Thank goodness for DVR!
Big Achievements: Turning TWO! There are so many big achievements this month including all of the new words and phrases Ryder has been saying as well as sleeping in his toddler bed, being much more independent playing by himself, and just being more of a toddler these days.
Scot and I are just beaming that we are such proud parents of our little goose and we feel so blessed to be his mommy and daddy. I feel like I don't deserve all of the glory of being his mommy somedays and thank God for knowing that putting a baby in our lives was the best thing we could ask for. I will never forget how shocked we were when we found out we were pregnant and how scared I was at the thought of the sudden responsibility that came with being a parent, and I am relieved that we have gotten through these two years somehow and just thank God for it all! Our life with Ryder is ever changing and I don't take one day of it for granted. I love Ryder with all of my heart and know that he will do great things one day because of his loving personality and sweet smile that melts the heart of everyone he meets. You've come a long way baby :) Happy 24 MONTHS (2 years) RYDER!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ryder Turns TWO!

It has been such a busy week here in the Gelinas house, as we celebrated all things birthday as Ryder turned 2! This picture was taken on his actual birthday on Thursday and it also happened to be my late day at work so by the time I came home, I didn't realize my camera wasn't charged and the battery was dead. This was the best we could do with my camera phone, but I wanted to capture the moment on his actual birthday. I came home with a birthday cupcake and doughnuts and let Ryder open one of his birthday gifts and before we knew it, it was time to go to bed.
We have also had gifts coming in from our sweet families that live out of state to wish Ryder a Happy Birhday! Scot's cousin sent Ryder this cute stuffed monkey that wraps his arms around you. We call him "uncle" Chad because he seems more of an uncle to Ryder than a second cousin. I thought it was so sweet of him to think of Ryder on his birthday.

There was also a special package from Scot's aunt and uncle in WA that shipped a hand made quilt for Ryder to play with when we are making a fort. She sewed his name in a few different places for him to find. There is a side of the quilt that has stars on it so that he can look up at the stars when we are playing.

There was a special box that arrived from Grammy and Grampa-Scot's parents-too! Inside was his Thomas the Train set that he was very excited about! This little goose isn't spoiled at all :) It has been such a fast week and I am so excited about his choo choo party on Saturday and will be so happy to see all of my family there too. It means so much to me that they could all make it and to be there for Ryder's special day. Happy Birthday Little Goose!! You are such a blessing in our lives and we love you more than we ever thought was possible.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Roadtrip to the NC Mountains

The past week went by way too fast and I can't believe I haven't blogged since last Monday! It has been a busy month getting ready for Ryder's birthday party and our Thanksgiving trip to FL to visit Scot's parents. We decided with everything going on these days to take a day trip to the mountains of North Carolina. The weather forecast predicted a beautiful sunny day, so we were all bundled up and ready to take advantage of the gorgeous weather!
Once we arrived in Blowing Rock, we took a few scenic pictures along the way. At first I thought we would get some pretty fall pictures with the leaves on the trees, but the higher we climbed up the mountain, we realized most of the leaves had been blown off the trees. We were still able to get a few cute family pictures though. I saw this metal bridge and told Scot to pull over so I could get a few with the mountain as the backdrop.

Since it also happened to be the entrance to a neighborhood, it looked as if they had already decorated for Christmas. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like Christmas comes earlier and earlier each year. Not that I'm a scrooge or anything, but with Ryder's birthday and Thanksgiving in November, we like to enjoy those first before getting out our Chrismas decorations. Ryder wasn't having any part of sitting on the carved bear, so I posed next to it while holding him instead.

Next on our agenda was to drive further up the mountain and stop at the duck pond in Banner Elk. The same town I was born in and same duck pond my mom took my brother and I to feed the ducks. I wonder if the ducks have populated since the early 80's when we lived here, because as soon as we got out of the car we were swarmed by geese, ducks, and a few other birds I wasn't familiar with. I blogged about this same duck pond before and how much I enjoyed being able to take Ryder to a place that my mom had taken me.

I think Scot was a little scared at first and the memories of our trip to Lazy 5 Ranch with all of the wild animals came flooding back! I was calm and took Ryder down to see the birds and Scot eventually realized too that they wouldn't bite. There were so many! Good thing we had plenty of crackers and bread to go around!

Mr Serious face.. watching the goose to make sure he didn't make any sudden move haha!

Hilarious! Scot is telling them to back away I think, and then it looked like he just threw the crackers down to get the food away so none of the birds attacked him. I married my husband for his other great characteristics. He's a great protector but when it comes to wild animals, I take the prize!

Eventually he was okay with feeding the birds and Ryder had a good time too. At one point Ryder picked up a small pine cone that was shaped like goose poo and came running towards us, and we thought he had goose poo in his hand. HAHA! Talk about relieved when we realized it was only a pine cone!

There was a lot of duck and goose chasing to be had by the Little Goose!

Even taking a moment to come up to one of these funny looking birds and try to hug it.

Then there was more running to be had.

We got back in the car and after Ryder had polished off another of his munchkin doughnuts that we had brought along as breakfast, we asked if he had fun. His response was "yea!" followed by laughing and singing. I think our son is a fan of the duck and geese feeding! Either that or he just had a major sugar rush as you can see by that sticky face haha!

We drove back to the neighboring town of Boone, and then headed back to Blowing Rock to walk around and look in the shops.

There was a nice big playground at this park in the middle of the town that we walked over to. Ryder had such a good time running up and down the stairs and going down the slide again and again! We also played ball over at the basketball court. Overall I was really glad to spend the day in the mountains and I think Ryder would tell you he had a great time too! Have a good week everyone!