Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Ryder will be 6 months old in 6 days! I started writing this blog and had originally titled it, "5 and a half months old", but the month got away from me so I have just added pictures and am gonna have to make this blog all about the entire 5th month!! I intend to write more regularily so that I wont have to cram an entire month into one post.
Ryder's 5th month was one filled with firsts and that list continues to grow. I share his experiences with the pride of a happy mom, soaking up every single milestone!!!!

First time posing with his shirt over his neck with his family.

First time sitting in the shopping cart!! I really didn't think he was big enough to this, but when he got heavy in the Baby Bjorn, I tricked Marty into holding him, by saying that I just wanted to turn him around in the carrier. As soon as Marty picked him up, I grinned and began walking down the isles in Costco. Marty stood there, surrounded by giant blocks of cheese and huge tubs of sour cream, threatening to put Ryder in the cart if I didn't come back and hold him....I decided to test his willingness to follow through with his threat just to see what would happen....and to my surprise, if he was propped up between the buns and the diaper bag, he was able to sit all by himself in the shopping cart!!! Yipppeee!!! This has changed my life. See, Ryder outgrew his carseat buckte, you know the one that you can leave the baby in and put the whole carseat in the cart. Anyway, he outgrew that so early that he was in the awkward, between stage where he couldn't sit on his own, but he couldn't stay in the carseat, so all shopping involved me carrying him on my front! I love carrying Ryder as much as possible, but if I'm being honest, he is getting HEAVY!!!! Now, he can simply ride in the cart!! Wow!!

Ryder has also been working on "sitting." Here he is just trying it for the first time, yep he is falling over, but excited to be seeing the world from a whole new perspective!!!!

He is getting better and better with practice!!!

Ryder also got his very own library card!! Now I can register him for programs and we can borrow lots and lots of books without having to find a permanent place for them all!!!!

Ryder also had his first bath in the tub. He's been ready for that for a while now, but because bathing has been Marty's job, we've kept him in his blue whale tub at the kitchen sink as long as he can sqeeze into it so that Marty doesn't have to kneel down and bend over so much to bath him...but Ryder and I stayed at mom's for a few extra days and since we are both short and mom doesn't have a whale tub, he got a real bath!!!! Adorable!!

It was a month of sad firsts too..Ryder went to his first funeral in Illinois. He came with me to say goodbye to my Grandmother. She was 93 years old when she passed away and though she didn't get to meet Ryder, I hope she knows I will tell him all about her! We had to fly to Illinois to attend the funeral and though the occasion was sad, there were happy firsts on that trip too...

Ryder was read his first story in an airport by his Aunt Dic.

He met the Schoenhard Family for the first time.

Ryder with his second cousin Ryan and his daughter Lizzie.

Ryder with my cousin Andi's husband, Pic.

Ryder with Andi's daughter, Garrett

Ryder, getting his first quad ride from Andi's son, Keaton.

The entire Schoenhard Family

Ryder also got to meet 2 of his Great Aunts from my Dad's side of the family. They each drove at least 2 hours to come to the funeral to pay respect to my Grandma and to hug my mom, sisters and I and to meet Ryder and Max. My cousin came too with her beautiful twin girls who loved Ryder.

Ryder and I had our first big sleep over in a lake house in Illinois with Grandma, Auntie Dic, Auntie Aim and Max.

Ryder shared story time for the first time with his cousin, Max.

Ryan shared Grandma's knee for the first time with Max.

He had his first water slide experience with help from Pic.

He got his first VERY close up look at a bottle fed calf.

He rode his first pony with his Aunt Dic.

Ryder wore his first full "sun suit" in the backyard pool.

After Ryder spent several days meeting his extended family, he came back to Alberta and got to visit his Uncle Farn at the Fire Hall for the first time where he saw his first fire truck!!


Ryder turned 5 months old, August 20th while we were camping with the Farns. We found this amazing free camping down by a river where the dogs could be off leash and Ryder could jolly jump with a mountain view. We had an awesome time hangin' out and Ryder got to bond with his Aunt and Uncle!

Our awesome camp spot!!

Troy and Ryder in the river.

Scout enjoying the freedom of NO LEASH!!

Duke...just being beautiful!

Nic, kissing those yummy cheeks!!

Those cheeks are sooo kissable!!

Nic and I rockin' our "smoke hats" (to be worn at all campfires!!)

Me and Farn

Nic and Marty

NIc and Troy woke up to a flat tire. We decided to make this a "learnable moment." Nic and I, under Troy's supervision, took off the flat....

Ryder jolly jumping in the river!!

Life is good!!

Ryder, hangin' with the boys!!

Ryder, hangin' with girls too....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Road Trip -Part 5 - Back to Canada

We headed for Penticton and Marty's best friend's mom and dad's place. They were going to let us camp in their driveway for the next few days while Marty and his best friend took part in pre wedding responsibilites...you know, golf, floating the channel, dinners and other groomsmen stuff. Ryder and I hung out soaking up amazing hospitality and the odd dip in the backyard pool.

Saturday we went to the wedding where Ryder was a hit. Not only did he look super cute in his little button up shirt, but he was the happiest little guy! He flirted with anyone who tried to make him smile and even got a few kisses from some two year old cuties!! He fell asleep in time for me to eat supper but woke up again in time to dance with Marty and I to his favorite country song, Sugarland's "Stuck like Glue."

We headed for home Sunday, after a delicious breakfast of blueberry topped waffles! We drove for an hour before stopping in Kelowna to get one last hug for Ryder from his Grandma and Grandpa (Marty's folks) and then hit the road, determined to make it home that day no matter how long it took. We hit Revelstoke and saw a sign saying that the highway east of Golden was closed. We called mom who googled road closures and told us the info on the internet suggested that the highway would be open again by 9pm. NO problem! We wouldn't even make Golden until then, but once we arrived, we learned that the highway would not be opening again until 1am. At this point it was raining and dark. We decided to just pull over, and because we could, camp on the side of the road. I have never been more greatful for our holiday trailer than I was that night. It was soo easy to just run from the cab of our truck into the trailer into our already made beds!!!

We made it home, Monday by noon! Vacation was over, Ryder's first road trip a huge success!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Road Trip-part 4- Twin Harbour State Park

August 7th, we drove to Twin Harbour State Park, near the tiny fishing town of Westport, Washington. The park was huge and after being turned away at the first couple of places we tried, we were greatful for a spot basically right on the ocean. We spent lots of time walking on the beach, throwing the ball for Scout and just soaking up all that is "The Coast!"

This was where I lost my 19 dollar Walmart shoes. They were cheap shoes, but they were the ones I had worn every day the whole trip! I loved them! I thought they were attached to the diaper bag as we walked barefoot on the beach. When I went to get the camera out of the bag, I realized the shoes were gone. They must have fallen off and been swept out to sea! I was dissapointed, but greatful they were just cheap shoes....but on the way back up the beach, Scout found them!! She was chasing her ball when she got distracted by something. As we approached, I discovered she was sniffing my shoes!!!! They were soaking wet and full of sand, but they had washed back on shore!! If only they could talk!! They must have had quite a little adventure!! My shoes were not the only things that washed up on shore while we were exploring the beach. After a bike ride into Westport to check out the fishing boats, and after a yummy dinner made on the camp stove, we went back to walk on the beach before bed. The beach was nearly empty, so when we saw a little bird being tossed around by the surf, I couldn't just stand there and hope someone else would do something! I couldn't stand to see it flop around, gasping for air, trying desperately to fly out of the water.

Right or Wrong, I decided to try to save it!! I handed Ryder to Marty, I stripped off my shoes, rolled up my pants, grabbed Scout's "chuck it" and headed into the water. Damn, it was cold, but for some reason, it didn't bother me the way it had earlier when I was trying to just wade in. I was focused on the little birdie and the huge tumbling waves. I used the chuck it as an extension of my arm, reaching as far into the surf as I could. I couldn't scoop the bird up, but I could use the chuck it to hopefully, gently fling the bird to the dry beach. After several attempts I managed to get the bird on the beach. It hopped around trying to fly, but couldn't quite catch it's breath. Marty and I piled seaweed and sand around three sides of it, creating a wind barrier in hopes to allow it time to recover from it's journey at sea. We talked to the bird and tried to care for it the only way we knew how without actually touching it. We left the beach that night, hoping the bird would miraculously find it's strength and venture into the blue, blue sky....it didn't. The next morning we saw it a few feet from the shelter we had created, resting in peace...poor little guy! Perhaps I should have just left the bird in the water and allowed nature to take it's course, allowed God to carry out his plan. Maybe then, things would have ended differently for this little creature..but I hadn't. My own instincts had taken over and I selfishly needed to "save the bird!" Ugh, I felt soo sad!!

We left the next morning and headed to Tacoma, Washington. We were hoping they'd have a good mall as we were almost out of the USA and had not done any shopping yet. We found a mall, put Scout in the trailer with the Air conditioning blasting in the parking lot and headed inside...disspointment!! The mall wasn't anything special, but we did enjoy our lunch at the food court. After filling our bellies, we headed for Winatchee National Forest and camped at Kachess Lake in the mountains. It was an amazing spot, soo beautiful!!!

We decided to take advantage of the scenery and walk around the lake. It was time for Ryder to attempt being "worn" on my back. My shoulders are in a constant state of fatigue from wearing him on my front...he is just getting soo heavy. Marty helped me strap him in the Baby Hawk, on my back and as he was leashing Scout a jet passed overhead. The jet was super close and super LOUD!!!! The noise scared Ryder and he lost his mind..I lost mine too as he was on my back, too far away for me to hold him close and console him. I frantically undid the straps and scooted him around front so I could hug and hold him. Once he had calmed down, Marty insisted I try the back carry again. We didn't get very far before Ryder began protesting...he just wasn't happy or ready to be back there. I was determined to finish our walk, but I had to admit Ryder was just too heavy to carry in my arms over tree roots and stumps for that long. Marty suggested I kind of balance him in the baby hawk, facing out, just to help take some of the "load" off my arms..I did, but I wasn't happy about it. I love "wearing" Ryder, but we are at that in between stage, where he is too heavy for the front, but not ready to be worn on my back.
After Ryder went to bed inside the trailer, Marty and I enjoyed our first fire of the whole trip. For us Albertans, it was weird to not even feel like having a fire most nights as it was just too hot. That NEVER happens when camping in Alberta. EVery night a campfire is a must have. NOt just for the yummy s'mores that almost always get cooked over the fire, but to keep warm! We had a couple drinks, listened to the Hag, on the ipod stero and shared our favorite parts of the trip so far. I had not had the opportunity to shower for three days now and still we had not located a campsite with running water!!! I went to bed, after that smokey fire in desperate need of a shower!!!!
We left Kachess Lake at 9:30am and arrived at Petaros at 12:15. We had lunch in a park by the lake and cuddled with Scout.
After lunch, we learned there were no campsites in Petaros. We actually decided to backtrack half an hour to Chelan Lake as we heard that was an amazing place to camp....only to discover there was no vacancy anywhere!!! We decided we had no choice but to push on until we came to a place that had camping, hopefully before the Canadian Border....We hit Omak, but it was their stampede weekend, so the place was a zoo and ofcorse no camping left!! We stopped there long enough to feed Ryder and have a quick snack ourselves. We arrived at Osoyoos Lake State Park, at 8:20pm. They had vacancy and I finally got to have a shower!
This was one of those campgrounds where everyone is pretty close together, but it is right on a lake so I could see the appeal of the families that obviously came here for a whole week or two to boat and swim and tube! The weather was beautiful and the showers were awesome!!!

In the morning, we'd head for Canada!!!!