Monday, November 28, 2011

I know, I know, it isn't even December yet, but we went to see Santa anyway. Apparently Santa line ups can be very long and stressful, best to be early. This according to my friends with Santa experience.  I figured it best to listen to them as my own Santa experience is extremely out of date!  Ryder and I got to the mall earlier than our friends so we "signed in." We got our names on the list (there were 9 people ahead of us,) took our slip of paper confirming which picture package we'd be getting and entered through the green and red gates into Santa's play yard! 
The play yard was decorated with Child safe Christmas decorations including glittery presents-fun to touch and fun to chew!  There were toys screwed down onto benches, and a TV playing Disney Christmas cartoons.  The play yard was huge and filled with girls in dresses, bows and black buckle shoes. Their bouncing curls framing adorable, innocent faces ready to ask Santa for their Christmas wishes.  Boys wearing button up shirts with hair combed to the side (why do parents think that is how boys' hair should be combed when they dress up?) motored around the play yard sucking on the glittery ribbons and grabbing at the Christmas balls...on the trees!!  
This being my first time to visit Santa in probably 30 years, I had no idea that it was a "dress up" event. Ryder was not exactly wearing his "Christmas Best" and since he has virtually no hair, it wasn't combed to the side.  His hair was covered up to keep his bald head warm. 
Ryder strolled around and by strolled around, I mean he drug me (I was finger walking him) all over the play yard. We checked out the big TV. He had to get right up in front of it and try to lick the bottom of the screen (he soo reminds me of Scout when she was a puppy.) We checked out the sparkly presents, the Christmas Trees, and the pretty girls in their frilly dresses.  Oh, the pretty girls.  They sure loved Ryder.  One, she couldn't have been more than 4 years old, took to stalking Ryder.  Stalking may sound harsh, but seriously, she followed us everywhere!! She walked right up to us, said, "oh, he is soo cute, I just wanna hug him!" Then before I knew it, she had her frilly arms wrapped right around him, squishing his cheeks against her.  After the hug, she was smitten, she wanted to pick him up and carry him.  He easily weighed almost as much as her, but she scooped him up, squeezed him tight and lugged him all over the play yard.  I followed along, hoping to catch Ryder before she dropped him.  She held his little fingers and insisted on "finger walking" him herself.  At one point she wanted Ryder to try walking all by himself so she let go of his fingers...I wasn't able to catch him fast enough, luckily he didn't land too hard.  We couldn't shake the pretty little girl so she hung out with us for the entire 45 minutes we waited for our turn to see Santa.  
Finally it was our turn. Santa was adorable! Though it's been years since I've sat on his knee, he looked exactly as I remembered!! I was worried about Ryder making "strange" as he's been doing that lately so      I told the photographer that I planned to put Ryder on Santa's knee and hoped she'd be ready to snap a quick pic. A really QUICK pic! She got in position behind the camera, I dropped Ryder in Santa's lap, backed away real quick and got ready to snatch him when he started wailing....he never did. It was like he knew he was sitting on the lap of someone real special. He turned his chubby cheeks up towards Santa's face and immediately grabbed for his beard. He smiled huge smiles.  The photographer, Santa and I were all three stunned!  The photographer got an adorable shot of Ryder with jolly St. Nick.  
We stopped at the till to pay for our pictures (23 dollars, by the way) and the lady taking money was soo enamoured with Ryder that she forgot to ask for my money. She just kept pinching his cheeks, talking about how cute he was that she started waving good bye before I had even opened my walled. I  am not gonna lie, I thought about just walking away with my free Santa pictures but my conscious got the better of me. It's just not right to steal from Santa is it?? LOL
Ryder's first visit with Santa will not be something he remembers, but it will be something I will not forget!

Standing up all by myself, using the presents to hold me up!

Hey, ma! Check this out. Ribbons to chew on!

What? It really is yummy!!

Ryder with his buddy, James.  James did have 
Christmas overalls on!


Ryder's fist picture with the real Santa.
(8 months old)

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Ryder, Scout and I are back home! Already I miss Mom and country life, but I am happy to have Ryder back in his Daddy's arms!  I'll admit a part of me was worried he might play "strange" with Marty like he did to everyone else the whole time we were gone.  Marty plucked Ryder out of my arms and I held my breath.... Ryder took one look at Marty's "movember" decorated face and broke out into smiles!!  They were wrestling and giggling within minutes.   I feel like I waited the entire 10 days for someone else to hold Ryder without him bawling so that I could do something..anything, for even just 5 mins without the extra 23 pounds in my arms. It didnt' happen until I got home, and as soon as it did, I felt relief...for about 30 seconds. After that I found myself  hovering, wanting to hold Ryder again myself!  Marty, enjoying time with his son, finally kicked me out of the room. I got to unload the truck and unpack all of our stuff with two free hands.  It was definitely easier than anything else I'd done for the last 10 days with Ryder constantly on my hip, but it felt like something was missing....

I hadn't expected Ryder to go through this "strange" phase where he crys (loud, urgent crys) whenever someone else holds him or I leave the room while I was at Mom's.  He has, up until now, been sooo happy to hang out with anyone and everyone.  I had no idea this phase would hit, let alone so quickly at the most inopportune time!
 I knew Mom wouldn't be able to carry him around for this visit, but I had thought maybe Ryder would hang with Nic or Troy or that he'd play in a room where Mom could watch him while I tackled some of the things I wanted to do for Mom, things he normally does with a big smile on his face.  But that didn't happen. I'd certainly try to leave him playing, or in the arms of his loving Auntie or Uncle, but within minutes (sometimes seconds) Ryder would just start wailing!
In order for me to go outside to do any of the chores, we had to wait until Ryder was napping or we had to strap him in the high chair where mom could feed him puffed wheat (his new favorite!)  I had gone to Mom's with such big plans of organizing and cleaning and "helping," but the reality of being there with Ryder in this needy stage, was that I couldn't do half the things I had planned.  I feel bad about that.  I am glad we got to keep her company, if nothing else.

I am so greatful to be back home where Marty can hold and snuggle Ryder through some of this attachment phase too.  And as tired and sore as I am from not only lugging his adorable 23 pound body around, but being the only one he'll let "finger walk" him around, I know that this stage will pass and soon, I'll be wishing Ryder still wanted to cling to me, so in the meantime, I'll hold him close as long as he needs me too....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Today was day 6 of the Caos that is supposed to be "Home Care."
Today our mission was to get out of the house!  We had to take Mom to the Clinic as she was supposed to have blood taken to make sure that all her levels were where they were supposed to be.  We made her appointment for 11:30am, so that Ryder could have his morning nap before we headed into town.  The fun began when Ryder woke up. I nursed him to top him up so that I wouldn't have to feed him while we were in town. I dressed him in his winter coat, mitts and shoes while mom managed to use her special shoe horn and got her own shoes on all by herself!  Getting into the car was a bit of an ordeal..but we got it figured out. Mom needed a plastic garbage bag on the passenger seat of the car so that she could easily slide into a comfortable position.  Her seat had to be pushed all the way back so that she wouldn't have to bend her legs too much which meant that Ryder's rear facing car seat had to be behind the drivers seat.  I buckled Ryder into his seat, hurried over to mom's side of the car, made sure she could get in, put her crutches in the back seat, closed her door, closed the back door then hurried back around to my side of the car, hopped in behind the wheel and headed for town. We arrived at the Medi Clinic in time for her appointment, but there was no where close to park. I pulled up to the doors of the clinic, got out of the driver's seat, went around to mom's side, opened her door, opened the back door, got her crutches out, handed them to her, closed the back door, closed the passenger side door once mom was out, got back in the driver's seat, parked the car, got out, opened the back door, pulled Ryder from his car seat, and closed his door so we could meet mom in the clinic. After she got her blood taken, and Ryder had flirted with the cutest twin girls in the waiting room, we walked back to the doors where I left mom and took Ryder to go get the car where we repeated the whole car sequence once again. We hit the bank, the fabric store and the grocery store, perfecting the car entering and exiting sequence with each stop.
Go ahead "time us," guarenteed you'd be surprised at how fast this gong show can get in and out of that clown car!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


How's this for quiet, peaceful recovery time following hip replacement surgery: One 8month old baby in "that" phase where he crys every time his mom leaves the room, his mom, a tired, tired woman who gets maybe 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night, their overly rambunctious, very needy boxer cross dog, extremely cold temperatures outside, all forced to be inside the warm house with the home's old, grumpy, incessantly barking, resident dog?  Well, that's what mom's recovery has been so far...lucky for her?!  Yep, Ryder, Scout and I came to provide "home care" for Mom. We are here for at least 10 days and we have brought mostly loud caos and a little bit of helpfulness thrown in!  Since we've been here Ryder has entered his "make strange" phase that involves him crying when I so much as leave the room, he's also teething which causes him to wake up a million times everynight looking for comfort (he does this in a very urgent, very LOUD way), Scout has become incredibly bored, begging everyone, all the time to play with her by shoving balls, and toys in their faces and then proceeding to wine until one is forced to aknowledge her just to make her shush! (It's been super cold to the point where even she doesn't want to be outside, frolicking in the wide open outdoor space!!)  Tucker (Mom's dog) has taken to doing whatever it takes to stay away from Ryder and Scout, hiding in various places, moulting his hair all over the house.  I have gone into task master overload on a mission to accomplish all chores, cleaning and mom maintenance while Ryder naps, IF he actually naps and Mom? Well, mom has been an incredible patient. She has not once complained about anything. Not about the caos and not about her hip.  She sits in her chair and watches the zoo the rest of us are. Sure, now and then she'll ask me to bring her something or help her with something, but most of the time, she takes care of herself.  I do the horse chores and feed the dogs and let them in and out of the house a million times a day, but mom is pretty self sufficient!  We've got a bit of a routine going, which helps keep the caos at bay most times: 
We wake up between 7 and 8. MOm has her daily shower, while I vacume up Tucker hair and Ryder plays.  Once the floors and Mom are clean, we put Ryder in his highchair and fill the tray with puffed wheat (he is just learning to get the cereal from the tray to his mouth and this challenge keeps him very distracted. Mom sits and smiles at him, while I sneak outside to feed the horses. When I come back in I fire up the coffee pot, make mom a breakfast shake, Ryder some kind of ceral mixture and myself a scone and we eat. We follow the meal with a few laps around the kitchen and living room. This is part of Mom's physio but Ryder loves to race her and Scout cannot miss the action. It's quite the sight the four of us, single file, walking circles through the house! After some play time, Ryder has a nap while I clean up breakfast, shower, or run quick errands. Then he wakes up and we "repeat" everything all over again!! 

Ryder and I playing in the living room.
Scout has taken over the best chair in the house. 
Gramma lets her on the furniture here. Lucky Scout.

Scout really is a great babysitter. Ryder adores her! 

Gramma has bridles in the house. Anything Ryder finds becomes a chew toy.  How much animal hair has this kid ingested???

Mom has crutches and a walker. We have a system all worked out now so she can get to around on each floor without me carrying the walker to the top of every stair case...independance!!

Doing "laps" with Gramma!

Nic came over to hang one evening.

Ryder is slowly warming up to Gramma...letting her cuddle him now and then...when he is really tired!

Gramma feeding him breakfast while I get ready to sneak out to do chores!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


So, 7.5 months in and I had my first REAL rough day with Ryder. He is teething, he had diarrhea, he refused to sleep at his first nap (something that up until just recently has never rattled me), his nose was running constantly, he coughed all day and he, for the first time demonstrated that he is in the clingy stage, refusing to let anyone else, even Daddy, hold him!
I know I am sooo lucky to be able to stay home with Ryder all day, every day, but today, it was just too much togetherness for me!! The minute Marty walked in the door, I handed him his "bundle of joy," grabbed Scout, and headed for the door. We needed some girl time and a good walk, just the two of us!!! After an hour, we returned home, refreshed, rejuvinated and ready for a fresh start tomorrow!

Saturday, November 12, 2011



Winter has slowly been creeping up on us. It gets dark earlier, thanks to the time change and when the sun starts going down, it really cools off. Despite all of this, we have been making sure to get outside as much as possible before Winter's full force hits us. We've been getting out to see Dirt a lot lately. Ryder does not like sitting in the barn on the blanket I bring for him. No, he wants me to "finger walk" him all over the farm yard. He wants to watch up close while the farier trims Dirt's feet, he wants to lick the rails of the fence, he wants to eat horse cookies so that he can taste all that is farm life!! He lights up when he sees any of the animals and particularily enjoys grabbing at Dirt's nostrils. Dirt Face has begun to associate little people with treats. My girlfriend, oftne joins us out at the farm with her 2 year old and her 6 month old. The two year old, LOVES feeding Dirt treats. He has learned to keep his head low so that when a little person approaches, his mouth is accessible. Ryder likes to stand right under Dirt's face and reach up for those nostrils. Ofcorse Dirt has to check for treats, by sucking off his little fingers. I get sooo much joy out of watching the kids interact with eachother and with Dirt Face who is turning out to be quite a patient "kids" horse.

I brought toys and a blanket to the barn the day the farrier came. I thought Ryder would sit in the warm barn while the farrier trimmed Dirt's face's feet, but Ryder was not gonna miss that party!!
Here he is "helping." He only did that for a few minutes before he insisted that I finger walk him right over to the hoof she was filing so he could watch.

Ryder discovered my computer and how much fun it is to hit buttons...

We make weekly trips to the library. Here is Ryder with his basket of books. He still prefers to "eat" the books but I know one day he'll read them...

My adorable little boy (Thanks, Max for the hand-me-down shirt)

Ryder has begun demonstrating that he has a memory. I really started noticing it when he became obsessed with walking to the bathroom upstairs. Every time I "finger walk" him, he heads for the bathroom. He turns towards the cupboard and looks up. The first time I lifted him up, he grabbed the pink water bottle I keep there and sucked water out of the straw. The next time we walked to the bathroom he did the same thing, walked to the cupboard and wanted this happens every time. He recently discovered the sink and loves it when I run the water. He splashes and splashes. He has started wanting to go "up" onto the counter where he always turns towards the sink and waits for me to turn the water neat to watch him discover stuff as simple as running water.
He isn't pulling himself up yet, but he is trying and now that he has had a taste of standing, he no longer wants to sit at all. He will straight leg it every time I try to sit him down. He is able to balance himself now and will do so on whatever he can find that is the right height.

Scout and I spend a lot of time lying on the floor watching our pride and joy, little Ryder James.

Ryder also likes to come into our bathroom ensuite. He hasn't ever had a bath in our big tub, but he likes to sit in there sometimes while I am in the bathroom.

Just being cute in the cart at Costco

Learning dexterity. Thank you, Cheerios for this lesson....every Cheerio that misses his mouth, Scout thoroughly enjoys!

Ryder has not mastered crawling yet. He can get on all fours and rock and rock. He can move backwards and around in circles. He can finger walk like crazy, but he has yet to master crawling. While we wait for him to be able to move forward on his on, we develop strong back muscles, leaning over to walk with him. I wouldn't trade that "work out" for anything!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


November 11. For the first time since I can remember, I will not be a part of a school Remembrance Day assembly. I will, however still take time to remember, to thank and to honour those who sacrificed so much so that we can have the life, we do. I will think about the families who have lost loved ones so that I may raise mine in a Country we can be proud of!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Ryder got his first Halloween card from Gramma Mimi. He sat with it for about 5 seconds before he ate it..he eats everything these days. So, Gramma, he LIKES the way his card tastes! :)

We were lucky enough to have Nic come for a quick visit this weekend. She just wanted to come "love" her nephew and love him she did!! I came back from the park with Scout, to find the two of them asleep in the chair in Ryder's room!! Adorable! He hardly ever falls asleep in our arms anymore so this was such a precious moment!!

Yep, it has turned to winter out there...snow and everything!! Sure doesn't stop us from getting outside! We brought friends out to the Farm to visit Dirt Face a couple times last week. James showed up wearing the same outfit as Ryder...definitely a photo op!!!
Ryder is a walking machine these days, wanting to hold our fingers and walk everywhere...especially towards Scout. He is pretty sturdy on his feet. People keep telling me that he just might skip crawling all together...guess we'll see. He wanted to stand up on the fence at the farm, probably so he could "eat" it, but I snapped these pics while my girlfriend held him, before he bent down to chew on the boards.

Ryder is suffering with a cold right now. I can't believe that much snot can come out of such a small nose!!! He wakes up in the morning and both nostrils are caked over with green boogers! Ewww! I will never be mature enough not to be grossed out by that!!! Poor guy, his breathing is all gurgly and he keeps waking himself up.....I sure hope he starts feeling better soon. I hate to see him all uncomfortable like this!