Monday, July 21, 2014

And then they sailed off into the sunset...

It's been a year filled with wedding bells for me and Stew as we've watched so many of our friends tie the knot. And I always like to give the newlyweds a shout out on the ol' blog!

So here's to Brett & Haley... cheers!

These two love birds finally made it official over the weekend, and Stew and I were so happy to be a part of their amazing wedding festivities. As the best man, Stew had lots of important duties to fulfill, like planning and executing an epic bachelor party and writing a hilarious, yet sentimental, speech for the reception. He was a hit.

But back to the bride and groom, who we have watched fall in love ever since their first meeting at Stew's birthday pub crawl a few years back. We've had so much fun throughout the years camping, boating, tailgating, and generally living life to the fullest with them, so it was awesome to be there as they finally, officially merged their lives together.

Stew was quite busy with his best man duties, which meant that he had to head over to the Clearwater Casino Resort a day early to make sure Brett didn't make a run for it help out with things. This left me and Ryder on our own as we headed out on Friday morning. It was my very first long trip with him all alone, and I was moderately anxious about the drive and ferry ride... especially as I sat in my car and watched the boat fill to capacity just a few cars ahead of me, leaving us to sit for an extra hour at the terminal, just as Ryder woke up and started to fuss. Not to worry -- we made the best of it. 

Wandering around up and down the rows of cars at the dock, waiting for the next boat.
We made it to the hotel just in time to avoid a major meltdown and got settled in before heading over to the rehearsal dinner. It was Ryder's first time meeting many of our friends, and he was quite popular!

A big day of travel knocked this little guy out cold.

 This was Ryder's second time sleeping away from home, and he did so great at the hotel! However, we decided that having an infant attend a wedding with us would make the evening decidedly less festive, so my parents arrived Saturday afternoon to babysit. 

I opted to leave my new camera behind instead of taking it with us to the wedding. Let's face it... I get wasted after drinking two light beers these days, so it just wasn't worth the risk of loss or damage. However, that means that I took virtually no photos of this amazing event! Epic fail. 

Here is what I can share... 

First Look, which I shot paparazzi-style from our hotel room balcony.

My handsome husband.

The beautiful bride.

A cocktail hour photo shoot...

Stew and I at the reception, prior to quite a bit of drinking and dancing... cheers!

And the adorable guest book, which I believe we neglected to sign because we were to busy celebrating.

I am hoping to eventually track down some more photos from the big day (because I remember posing in quite a few!) but for now this will have to do, because this post can stay in my drafts folder no longer... 

And it's high time I say
to Brett & Haley, and wish them all the luck and love in the world.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Jill Plus Rob

I am far overdue in finishing up this post, but I definitely wanted to shout from the rooftops that my dear, longtime friend Jillian finally married her prince charming!

Stew and I attended the wedding as our first big date night out since Ryder was born. It was a little bit hard for both of us to leave him for the entire evening, but he had a great time with Grandpa and Nana and we had a fantastic time at the wedding. 

Family photo on our way out the door. It felt nice to be dressed up!

Ryder doesn't look super thrilled about being left behind... 

Love her.

Stew was in heaven, obviously...

The adorable favors were tiny jars of homemade jam!

Jillian painted these guys herself! So awesome.

Photo booths... always a blast.

Jillian has such a unique, wonderful, colorful, fabulous personality, and it really came out in all the little details on her wedding day. She was one of the most beautiful brides I've ever seen, and we were so happy to be there on her special day as she married Rob -- also an awesome guy!

I will admit to calling and texting my mom obsessively over the course of the evening to check up on our little guy... he was just fine, sleeping soundly and dreaming sweet dreams. Even so, we didn't stay super late at the reception, anxious to get home and watch him breathe. Hashtag obsessive new parents.

Congratulations Jill and Rob, we love you guys!!

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Year Three

I've been so wrapped up in being a new mommy this summer that I completely forgot to acknowledge our Blogiversary!

I can't believe it... three whole years and Life As Always is still going strong. 

It makes me so happy that so many of you have chosen to stick around, and to my new readers... welcome! As I look back at the past year of blogging, it becomes increasingly clear that the general direction of this blog is likely to change a bit going forward. Life with a tiny human will do that. But I hope that my posts about parenting and its many adventures will continue to keep your interest.

Until then, here's a recap of what's been going on...
As usual, another year has provided us with an abundance of luck and love, and we continue to look forward to what the future has in store.

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 star 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 Papa, 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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