Sunday, August 27, 2017

Adventures with Ryder Steven

Has anyone been wondering what Ryder has been up to lately?

I realized as I wrote Kiley's last monthly post that my precious, amazing, firstborn son probably deserves a little love around here. The last six months have been very busy for him, with lots of exciting events and accomplishments!

So let's take a second to focus on Ryder Steven, shall we?

He was very inquisitive, but a bit hesitant when he first came to the hospital to meet baby sister Kiley for the first time.

He had difficulty understanding why he couldn't climb into bed with Mommy and cuddle without hurting my c-section incision. But he came to visit us every day in the hospital, and while he was well taken care of at home with Nana, I think he was happy when the entire family was finally together under one roof.

In anticipation of baby Kiley's arrival, we re-decorated the nursery for her, and Ryder got his very own Big Boy Room!

Our clan is growing exponentially, and some of our best friends Brett and Haley also welcomed a little girl just 10 days before Kiley was born! Once we were settled at home, they came over so everyone could get acquainted.

For the first few weeks, the four of us hunkered down at home. But after that we wanted to give Ryder some special Big Boy time, so he started going back to the nanny share two days a week to spend time with his friends.

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day as a family, which has always been a special holiday for us because it's the day that Stew and I first met, and also the date of our wedding anniversary.

That same weekend, my family hosted a baby shower for Kiley, so Ryder got to spend time with his cousins Sophia and Aubrey.

While I was on maternity leave, I started having weekly get togethers with some of my favorite Mom friends, and Ryder quickly became one of our favorite group mascots.

We went for lots of walks, which was an excellent opportunity for me to get some use out of my new double stroller.

Patty came for a visit, and she was so good about making sure that Ryder got lots of special attention.

We spent Easter at my parents' house, which has always been one of Ryder's very favorite holidays.

Ryder helped me bake a cake and set up a little party to celebrate Stewart's birthday.

Tragedy struck when we lost Ryder's beloved Great Grandpa, the patriarch of our family. But we still went on with Ryder's third birthday celebration, because that's what Grandpa would have wanted.

Once again Ryder got to spend time with his cousins.

He had a great time at the Paw Patrol themed party, and got some fantastic gifts — I think his favorite was the bag of gummy candy from Uncle Patrick.

Our gift to Ryder for his birthday was this awesome club house in the backyard.

Later that month, we visited my aunt and uncle at their beach house in Port Townsend. The beach continues to be one of Ryder's very favorite places.

For Memorial Day, we went out to Ocean Shores with the Alway family for the weekend. Unfortunately the weather wasn't very cooperative, but luckily three-year-olds don't care much about that and we still had a great time.

We discovered an amazing local place called Remlinger Farms, which has awesome rides and attractions geared totally for kids Ryder's age. And in June they have great weekday specials, so we met my friend Amanda and her family there one day before I went back to work, and we had a blast!

Also that month, Ryder helped me and his Aunt Nichole host a baby shower for his Aunt Morgan and Uncle AJ. Once again he got to see his cousins — they really saw a lot of each other these past six months!

At the end of June, we spend a weekend camping in Port Townsend in honor of my Grandpa's birthday. Ryder's very first trip to Port Townsend was a few years ago for Grandpa's 80th birthday celebration, so it was nice to be there again in his honor, making new memories with a new generation of kiddos.

We spent the Fourth of July at Brett and Haley's house on the lake. Ryder was absolutely obsessed with Pop-Its, and a little nervous about the big fireworks display — mainly how loud it was.

Since we clearly are obsessed, we squeezed in one more trip to Port Townsend before the end of the summer.

This time the weather was pretty hot, so we got to hang out in the pool, which Ryder loved.

Nana and Papa gave Ryder a membership to the Hands On Children's Museum for his birthday, and he was able to go quite a few times over the summer. This place is amazing — it "stimulates curiosity, creativity and learning through fun, interactive exhibits and programs for children."

And in between all of his adventures, Ryder has been getting to know his little sister. Although it can sometimes be difficult for him to share Mommy and Daddy's time and attention, he really does love baby Kiley.

He often participates in her monthly photo shoots.

And he loves teaching her things.

Sometimes they even take naps together!

Taking photos of my precious babies sleeping continues to be one of my favorite activities.

Every once in a while, even Mom or Dad need a nap. And cuddled up with this sweet boy is the best way to do it! 

After Kiley was born, we were reminded that a newborn takes up a tremendous amount of time and energy. However, we try to be very careful to make sure that Big Brother gets lots of special attention and opportunities.

Puzzles with Daddy.

Watching educational programming — he loves "Super Why!"

Showing Daddy something on his Kindle.

Going for a ride on Grandpa's scooter.

Summer water table fun.

Hanging out with "Auntie Auncie"!

Playing games.

Fun at the park.

Bubble baths!

Learning how to play the guitar.

T-ball in the backyard.

Summer popsicles on the back porch.

Showing off his train set.

And he has become quite the little helper around the house! 

Making cookies with Nana.


Mowing with Daddy.

Picking up a load of bark.

Big boys also get to do other special things, like go on boat rides with the guys.

And go to the splash park with Mommy. 

Ryder has grown up so much in such a short period of time. We even worked on potty training over the summer!

He continues to be a little dare devil who loves jumping, running and climbing.

And he's a super big goofball who loves being silly.

He likes to dress up... especially in Mommy's high heels.

And any other costume items he might come across. 

He's off to preschool in just a couple short weeks.

He stole our hearts from the moment that he was born, and he continues to amaze us every day with his curiosity, generosity, bravery, kindness, sense of humor, and love of life. Watching him as a big brother is just one more reason to adore him, and it's been the greatest adventure and honor of our lives to witness our two children together. 

We can't wait to see what's next!

We love you, Ryder Steven.

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