Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dear Ryder... Two Months

Dear Ryder,

We've had you in our lives now for two whole months. It feels like forever and the blink of an eye all at the same time. You have changed so much already, and we feel so lucky to be your parents as we watch you grow. You've had a very busy month!

You've had quite a few visitors...

Grandma Sally came to meet you, and she just couldn't get over how perfect you are. And that's in spite of your "twin toes," which she doesn't mind because she has the exact same thing!

Auntie Nancy also came for a visit, but unfortunately you weren't quite big enough for the "Cool Like My Auntie" t-shirt that she got you before you were born... next time!

And here you are meeting your cousins Sophia and Aubrey for the very first time! I can't wait until you are old enough to really play with them; the three of you are going to have so much fun together!

Sophia loved holding you, although she was a bit surprised to learn that you really don't "do much" at this stage in your life.
And as per usual, you got lots of visits and love from your grandparents, who just can't get enough of you...

Nana even came to stay with us for almost an entire week while Daddy was out of town for a bachelor party, and we had so much fun! We even took you to Port Townsend for the day, where you got to meet so many family members who showered you with love and kisses. 

Your first ferry ride!

Auntie Love.

With Nana and Uncle AJ at Aunt Elaine's new house.

Four generations at Grandpa's 80th birthday party.
You also took a trip down south where you spent your very first night away from home at Grandpa and Patty's house. We drove all the way to Oregon for Patrick's commissioning ceremony, and you were such a good little traveler!

Daddy was very excited for you to experience your first World Cup, rooting for England! Daddy is a British Citizen which means you will always be torn between the United States and the United Kingdom when it comes to soccer... or futbol.

You're not much into toys yet, but you still love your swing and have realized that you can see yourself in the mirror above, and you like looking at the animals spinning around.
I've also started putting you on your play mat quite a bit, which entertains you for short periods of time.

It's a good opportunity to get in some Tummy Time!

And because some of our friends swear by it, we got you a BabyBjorn Balance Chair. You weren't sure about it when it first arrived, but by the end of the month you have become quite a fan!

You still sleep A LOT, and often in quite interesting positions. I don't know how you can be comfortable in some of the bizarre ways you bend yourself, but you don't seem to mind!

One of our main accomplishments this month was getting you to start sleeping in your own room. It was a huge step for us to sleep so far away from you, but I think all three of us are having better nights now because of it. We have our video monitor all hooked up to check on you throughout the night. You usually go to bed between eight and nine o'clock each night, and then wake up at about three a.m. wanting to eat. Then you easily go back to sleep until six a.m. when we'll do another feeding, and you'll go back to sleep again until eight or nine in the morning. And I must say I feel pretty well rested, even with all those interruptions!

I don't know what people did before video monitors were invented... 

You are still a fan of your pacifier and we've taken to making sure we have one on hand at all times. It's been a great tool to help soothe you when nothing else works!

My very favorite thing about the past month is that you have started to smile and laugh. Nothing has made being your mother seem more worthwhile than when you grace me with your sweet, innocent grin.

Your adorableness never ceases to amaze me, and Daddy and I just can't get enough of cuddling with you.

And a long time ago we promised ourselves that we would continue with our lifestyle as much as we could even after you were born, so we've tried hard to live up to that promise, taking you out and about as much as we can...

Here you are visiting Brett and Haley's brand new house on Lake Tapps. You don't look too excited...

But Daddy and I are pretty into water sports, so I'm sure you'll be doing a lot of them here!

Daddy is also a rock start at Bean Bag Toss. We took you to a BBQ for the 4th of July and you won your first game!

Happy Birthday, America!

And I've tried to see as many of my friends as possible since they have all been begging to meet you. Heather, Lindsee, and I took you for a lovely Mexican lunch on the patio the other afternoon, complete with margaritas in the sun... yum!
 And this month both Mommy and Daddy left you for the very first time, in the capable hands of Nana and Grandpa, so we could attend Jillian and Robert's wedding for the evening. You didn't seem to mind...

At the beginning of the month your appearance was starting to look pretty rough. Most of the hair you were born with started falling out in clumps on top, similar to male pattern baldness. You also had baby acne and a mild case of cradle cap. You also insisted on constantly scratching at your face, leaving fresh marks almost every day no matter how closely we tried to keep your nails trimmed. But after a few short weeks your skin has cleared up, your hair has started to come back in again, and we seem to have the face scratching thing under control for now.

You are growing so fast! We knew you felt heavier and seemed bigger, which was confirmed at your two month doctor appointment, where you weighed in at 12 pounds, 9 ounces and 24 inches long! You are still in the 95th percentile for height and the 60th for weight, my big strong boy! You have completely grown out of all your newborn clothes, in addition to most of your three month clothes. We're now on to mostly 3-6 month outfits and size one diapers.

Nursing is going great although you still don't usually go more than two hours in between feedings during the day. Luckily you will take a bottle of pumped breast milk just as easily as you will nurse, so either Daddy or I can feed you whenever we hear your tell-tale wail.

Earlier this week we had to take you in for your first round of immunizations, and it was one of the most traumatic events of my life. You went in so smiling and happy, and I couldn't even look as Daddy helped the nurses hold you on the table so you could get simultaneous shots in both legs. We were able to calm your initial horrified screaming in just a few minutes, but later that afternoon you began to cry and cry, alternating between sobbing and fitfully sleeping in 20 minute intervals for about five hours straight. I was consumed with guilt and I just held you and rocked you and nursed you the whole time. Please forgive me, my sweet baby! It will all be worth it someday, I promise.

Whenever anyone asks me how it's going I continue to tell them the truth -- that it gets easier and more fun every single day. You are developing your own little personality and I feel as though I can look into  your eyes and see right into your precious soul.

I wonder if you can even imagine how much you are loved...

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Single and Fabulous

Sometimes I think back on the time when I was "single and fabulous," living it up in the city. And I breathe a sigh of relief that those days are long gone. Don't get me wrong... I lived it up to the best of my ability and some of the most fun, silly, ridiculous memories of my life come from that period of time. But I don't wish that I could do it all over again. I'm pretty darn happy to be settled down, living in the suburbs with my amazing husband and perfect child.

That being said, it doesn't mean that I'm not thrilled to help my still single and fabulous friends celebrate their final days before succumbing to marriage and suburbia themselves.

Unfortunately, Baby Ryder's arrival and subsequent dependence on me for survival prevented me from attending Haley's bachelorette party weekend last month. But it's still worth mentioning here, because Brett and Haley are two of our best friends and I was completely bummed that I couldn't make the trip. It was a weekend of fun and sun in Chelan (someplace I have still never been!) The goal was to "tank her before she drops anchor" -- how cute is that theme?!

Go ahead and just photoshop me in below... 

Photos stolen shamelessly from Facebook... thanks ladies!
Haley and Brett's wedding is coming up in just a few short weeks, and we are SO excited! Stew is the best man and we'll be spending the entire weekend with them in Kingston as they tie the knot. 

Actually, Baby Ryder got me out of a little conundrum, because that same weekend one of my oldest friends, Jillian, was also having her bachelorette party -- a stressful double booking for me! However, since I couldn't leave Ryder for more than a few hours at that point, and Jill's party was local, I was able to head out for my first night on the town as a new mommy. 

A Bright Night Out For Jillian!
I had a great time out at Teatro ZinZanni for the evening while Stew stayed home and watched Ryder by himself for the first time. It definitely took a lot of preparation to get out the door! Selecting a dress that adequately hid my postpartum tummy pooch, covering up my hormonal skin breakouts and attempting to do something with my dry, lifeless hair, feeding the baby, breast pumping, inserting pads so I wouldn't leak milk everywhere two hours later... quite the ordeal! And I then proceeded to text Stew throughout the evening for updates. He assured me that everything was fine and that I should enjoy my evening. Which I did, with a total of two cocktails, my first since giving birth... woohoo! It wasn't until I called on the ride home that he admitted Ryder had been crying pretty much since I left the house. My poor baby! 

I definitely paid for my night out with Jillian, but it was worth it to celebrate this special time with her. She is one of the sweetest, most entertaining people I know and I'm so happy that soon she will be marrying the love of her life. 

And since we're talking about it, I also want to mention Brett's bachelor party weekend. Stew planned the whole thing -- a weekend in Chelan with the guys. They rented a house and he planned everything including golfing and a night out on the town for the boys. Of course men are terrible about photographing any significant events (and maybe in this case it was intentional), but needless to say there are no photos from the weekend. 

It probably went a little something like this...

Since this was Stew's first time away from me and Baby Ryder overnight, my mom came up to stay with us for the weekend. And we had a great time hanging out while the boys were living it up in Chelan.

Stew and I have been happily married for a couple years now, but it still sure is fun to help our friends celebrate as they complete similar milestones in their lives. And we can't wait for the epic weddings that are coming up this summer...

You won't be single for much longer, my friends!

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