Thursday, December 29, 2011


Ryder's first Christmas was awesome!! Yeah, he really was too young to understand or get excited or even to really enjoy his presents, but I wasn't!! I loved spoiling him, I loved surprising him and I loved sharing all of the memories with my family.  
It really was the Christmas of "Plan B." It was actually our year to go to Vancouver to spend Christmas with Marty's family, but with me on maternity leave and plane tickets costing a ridiculous amount over the holidays and with Marty only having from the 24h to the 2th off, we decided to just stay in Alberta. We'd go to BC in January and spend a few days.  Ofcorse my sisters and I have it planned so that we always get to spend Christmas with Mom together, so this was also the year that Nic and Troy planned ot have Christmas with Troy's family. Fair enough.  Lucky for all of us, his Family lives close, so with a little juggling, we were able to all be together for Christmas..sort of. 
Marty and I left Calgary the 23rd, after Marty was done work. We got to Mom's late, but were up early the next morning to get ready for an afternoon at Nic and Troy's with his Family.

 Hangin' with Uncle Farn.
 Checkin' out the Farn Christmas tree.

Troy had to work at the Fire Hall Christmas Eve, so Nic came back to Mom's so she could go to church with us.  We took Ryder to his first Christmas Eve Service, comeplete with a puppet show about Baby Jesus. Marty brought him right up to the front row for that portion.  Ryder was super patient, just chillin' while we sang and celebrated the reason for the season!!

 Dressed and ready for church.

 Getting all his "play" out, with Auntie, 
before heading to church.
 Anda few pics by the tree in his cute church clothes... I had to, it was his FIRST CHRISTMAS afterall!!

 After church, as per tradition, Ryder got to open one gift. It was from Grandma, and it was the special book, one that will be read every year on Christmas Eve, before Ryder goes to bed, just like it was read to us when we were little!!!  (We miss you Dad, and the way you read this story to us!)

 Once, Ryder was in bed, the Irish Cream started flowing and for the first time, Marty and I got to play "Santa" for real!!!

 Nic, and Scout and Duke made great little elves, helping Santa!  Because Troy had to work that night and because it was the Farn's turn to spend Christmas with the Farns, we had decided to wait and have our own Family Christmas, Dec.26th when Troy could be there with us for the whole day.  That way, we could have a pretend Christmas morning, complete with stockings and all. Ofcorse, Ryder wouldn't have known the difference, but I really wanted him to have a Santa present ready under the tree on the 25th anyway.
 Voila! The dancing tower!!!!

 The night of the 25th, after Nic had spent the day with the Farns, and after Troy left for work at the Fire Hall, we had Christmas, I just now realized, I had my hat on all through dinner...sorry ma!! Seriously, I didn't even think about it until now!! Ooops!
The turkey, the brussel sprouts, the sweet potatoes and all the fixins were delicious!! After dinner we got Ryder dressed in his Santa suit for more photo ops. This was our Christmas Eve afterall and it was his first!!

Just before bed, we put him in his PJs and showed him how to leave cookies and milk for Santa. Ryder had to sample the cookies ofcorse, his first quick lick of frosting...hey, it's Christmas, I guess anything goes, right? he he!!!

 When we all woke up on our Christmas Morning, Dec.26th, Santa had come again for Ryder!! Troy had come over after shift, but he hadn't seen Santa. :)  This is what I love about our family, even though it wasn't real Christmas, it sure felt like it was.......

 heading to the tree  to open stockings...

 A new tradition... Christmas hats, the funnier the better!!!  Ryder and his Auntie and Uncle Farn!

 Gotta go wish the ponies "Merry Christmas" too!!
Scout got a Christmas bone that she actually shared with Ryder..eww!!

I am always sad when Christmas is over. I especially hate packing up the Christmas tunes (good bye for another 365, Kenny and Dolly Country Christmas,) but we made sure to appreciate every single moment!! Highlights were wine drinking, game playing, dancing in the kitchen, Ryder watching, thoughtful gift appreciating and just being together laughing and being loud!!  Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


It is December 21st means that Ryder turned 9 months old, yesterday! I can hardly believe that my little plumpkin is soon going to be a "toddler" and not a baby anymore!! He is already changing sooo much. We "Skyped" with my sister in Colorado the other day, and she pointed out that Ryder now has a neck.  Yep, he is leaning out. This was confirmed at our 9 month check up where the doc said he is in the 90 percentile for height now and only the 75th for weight. He still weighs 22.6 lbs which is about how much he weighed last time I weighed him.  He still has his endearing chubby cheeks and rolly poley wrists and ankles, but he is definitely leaning out.  Contributing to his leaning out, is his incessant desire to walk, which at this stage, involves me holding his fingers and "walking" with him EVERYWHERE!!!  (How come I am not leaning out like him?? Ha ha!!)
Ryder loves "outside." Everytime I pull out his "starfish" suit (that's what Marty calls his snowsuit), he and Scout go nuts! They both start squealing, Ryder kicks his legs with delight and Scout circles and circles until we're all dressed, ready to head out.  

Ever since Ryder discovered he could stand, (with the help of something to lean on,) he hates to sit!  I have actually filled big rubber made tubs with heavy books (so Ryder can't pull them over) and placed them all over the house so that Ryder can pull himself up, stand and lean on them.  I put toys on top of them. He'll stand there all day...not that I'd ever let him, he he!!  He likes standing against fences too....

His 8th month was a huge month for Ryder. He learned so many new skills, big skills! He pulled himself to his knees for the first time at the end of November.  He took care of his Mom and Dad while they were both puking their guts out.  He took his first steps independent of Me with the help of a table that he pushed across Mom's livingroom floor.  He pulled himself to standing and he sat up by himself in his crib for the first time.  Month 7 was a tough one for us. Ryder's second tooth caused all kinds of sleepless nights for both of us and his "mama" only thing caused all kinds of sore muscles for me (he is a heavy dude to carry around 24/7.)  Month 8? Month 8 has been one of the most fun so far!  Ryder has been a happy, smiley, make me laugh out loud kinda guy!!
 This si a toy he is learning to push across the floor. He hasn't figured out how to "ride it" yet, but I like to see if he can....

 Standing at his "tubs of fun."

 Ryder loves to stand at the patio door and lick the windows.  (Yep that is a piece of moose carcass on the deck...)
 Fun in a box!

 Just being cute in my winter coat.

 Ryder loves Scout. She loves him too and is sooo patient with him, while he grabs her eyes, ears and lips. 

 Ha ha! Dad is funny!!

 Riding in the sled for the first time out at the farm.


 Kisses for "Uncle Dirt"

 Always happy to be on the move!

Doing laundry with Dad.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

O Christmas Tree

Pick a Christmas Tree out of a lot? 
I think not.
Trudging through snow, packs on our backs
making giant winter boot tracks
searching the forest for the perfect tree
that, is the quest for my family and me!
Finding and cutting down that special one
then celebrating with cocoa, and hot dogs is fun! 

Christmas Tree Hunt, 2011

 Ryder's first tree hunt. 

 This is NOT the tree we'll take home with us this year

 ...a much better choice!

Ryder, watching Dad and his friend work the saw 

Team work! 

Everything is more fun with friends!

 The adults had cocoa and Baileys around the fire pit. Ryder had a cup.