Thursday, January 26, 2012


You ever walk by a toddler or infant in a public place, doing something that made you ask, “Why are his parents letting him/her do that? I certainly wouldn’t let my kid behave that way…” I am sure you have…before you had kids of your own.  If you still ask this question, then you probably don’t have kids of your own yet. See most scenarios that make kidless people ask this question, are simply a matter of perspective.  I completely understood this yesterday as I found myself one of “those” parents….
Marty and I are planning a snowboarding trip to Big White this weekend, so we decided to treat ourselves to new mitts.  Sport Check was having a “buy one, get one half off” sale.  We were pumped! Our own mitts are old and barely qualify as “warm” anymore.  We started the quest with dinner at Sushi Boat. If you’ve been there, you know that it is a very quick place to grab a yummy sushi meal. You can sit right at the counter and watch the boats with individual plates of sushi go floating by. The idea is you just grab the plate that holds the rolls you want, then at the end of the meal, you are charged by the amount and color of plates you have stacked in front of you. Yummmy!  They do have high chairs there but they do not have trays on them and they are too short to actually reach the counter, but Ryder could see the sushi boats going by and this kept his attention…for a while. I had hoped he could try some California rolls or something, but without him being able to reach the table to feed himself, I opted out of trying to actually feed him the rolls, just seemed like it might be too messy, even for us.  Instead, Marty pulled the plates off the boat for he and I to share while,I fed Ryder the yummy chicken, apple, prune puree I had brought. Just for him.  Once done the meat dish, we offered Ryder the finger jello from one of the sushi boats. He was actually freaked out by it, NOT liking the feel of it at all. To keep him busy, so I could eat, I put the squares of jello in front of him, on the counter and let him try to grab them. I knew he was just going to knock each jello square on the floor, but it kept him quiet, happy and entertained just long enough for me to shovel a couple sushi rolls into my own mouth.  I also knew that Marty and I would pick up each piece of jello at the end of this dinner. I also let him grab frozen peas by the mitt full out of the container I had brought them in, knowing that more than half of them would end up on the floor under his chair.  This also may have looked, to the adult with no children,  like a a kid throwing his food on the floor, just to watch him mommy and daddy pick it up, but to Marty and I this looked like 5 minutes of entertainment that allowed us to enjoy the cream puffs from the sushi boat.  We left one very sticky chair and few squished peas at the Sushi Boat, but our bellies were full and our kid was happy. 
Trying on mitts is impossible with a kid in your arms and since we were planning to buy warm, expensivish mitts, trying them on was going to be imperative.  Ryder was wiggling in my arms, eager to get down and finger walk so he could explore.  I glanced around and noticed a low shelf filled with lightweight plastic boxes containing long underwear. My eyes lit up and so did Ryder’s!! I set him down so he could lean on the shelf. He proceeded to pull boxes off the shelf at a rapid pace. The boxes tumbled around his feet and piled up to his knees. He was quiet, happy and entertained. Marty and I got to try on and choose perfect mitts to suit our needs.  Lucky for us, all the people who walked by giggled at Ryder in his Long John Box Fort. Many commented on how cute he was and how “busy” he was going to be when he could walk on his own. He grinned at every one of his admirers and continued pulling boxes off the shelf until Marty scooped him up so I could place every box back on their shelf.  I am not guaranteeing that I got each box stacked in it’s exact place or that each size sticker was facing out, but our mess was off the floor.  We left the store with new mitts, promises of warm hands, and happy…all three of us. 
It wasn’t until I got home that I realized how some people might have judged us for the scene that unfolded in that store, but I also realized that all judgers would be those without kids, or those whose kids have already grown up and they’ve forgotten exactly what harmless distractions they were willing to look the other way from, in order to get a few precious uninterrupted minutes to make a decision.
Ahhh, parenting is humbling.  Again, I am amazed at the things, I thought I would never do that I am doing and the things I swore I would do that I don’t! What a journey! J

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Today, I was reminded how magical winter can be. We spent the afternoon at Lake Louise in Banff National Park. It is just over an hour from our house, and we had some friends staying there, so we decided to meet them for lunch. We dined at the beautiful Chateau Lake Louise before heading into the beautiful snowfall to take in the ice sculptures.  This was the kind of snowfall they show in movies. The kind that romanticizes winter. This beautiful winter, we forget about when we are scraping our windshields, navigating icy roads, bundling up our children so they can barely move, chipping away at the water troughs and shoveling our walks. This was the kind of winter one needs to be reminded of more often!
It was cold enough that the ice sculptures were not in danger of melting, but it was warm enough for families to be out skating on the lake. It was warm enough for babies to be out in back packs and strollers. The snowflakes were big enough that we could catch them on our tongues and it was falling hard enough that it made us giddy enough to wanna twirl around with our arms wide spread like they do in the movies...It was an absolutely perfect snowfall and we got to share it with Ryder. This, Ryder, is what winter is!!!!

One day, I will actually ride in one of these horse drawn sleighs. 

Yes, Mom!! I am warm enough! Quit worrying.....

Ryder loved being in the pack. He could see and he was sooo happy! 

Ryder rode in the back pack and his little friend, rode in his stroller.

A great way to spend an afternoon!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012


The city has built a brand new science center, so, Saturday afternoon, we thought we'd go check it out. Yep, you gotta pay to park and you gotta pay 20 bucks each to get in, but WOW!! It is awesome!!!  I am not a big "science guy" at all, but this place was more like a giant center of discovery and caos, than a boring Science lesson.  The whole place is soo "hands on friendly," kid friendly, adult friendly and FUN!! Ryder was actually too small still for a lot of the stuff, but there were definitely things he could do!! They even had an area just for babies under three.  Here he is enjoying some of the fun things he could do!

 Working on crawling over the obstacles. 

 Discovering it's actually easier to just go around the obstacles.

 Getting his hands dirty at the river exhibit.

Playing behind the shadow screen with mom.

Next year, when Ryder is older, we'll get a membership and go there more often. So fun to discover new places to play and learn!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ryder is 10 months old today!! TEN MONTHS OLD!!!  I have no idea where the time has gone!! Every day, Ryder gets more and more interactive which makes everything so much more fun!  He is very social, squealing with delight everytime he sees other kids, big or small.  Most little girls get this urge to hug him whenever he walks into a room. We were just at a birthday party where the 2 year old sister of the birthday boy walked right up to him and grabbed his cheeks. Last weekend in a play area, a little girl hugged him before trying to feed him a plastic hamburger and Wedensday, at the library another little girl, grabbed Ryder's hand and insisted on "walking" him up and down the isles.  Adorable!!!  
I take Ryder to the public library once a week for a Mother Goose Program. Last week we went for the first time since the Christmas Break. I noticed, seeing, Ryder next to his peers, that he is huge!! He is way bigger than all the other -10 month old babies. His size was more comprable to the 13-15 month olds.  Looks like he is gonna take after his Daddy! Yay!

Ryder is still experimenting with walking, but after a major face plant the first time he started taking steps on his own, he lost some of his confidence.  Just recently, he has started taking risks again and has started taking more independent steps.  He continues to cruise around the house using the bench, the chairs, the rubbermaid tubs and even Scout for support. He has mastered bending down to pick stuff up which always makes me laugh. He concentrates sooo hard and everything about his little determined face makes me grin.  His crawling is getting better, though he still prefers "finger walking" as his way of getting around.  He has figured out how much fun it is to pull tupperware out of the cupboards, all the plastic bags out of the holder, all the pot holders out of the drawers and all of the books off the shelves.  Just the other day, he figured out how to stand in his crib. I thought he was napping until I heard loud clunking noises. I raced upstairs to find him reaching over the crib into the book basket. He was able to pull books out of the basket and obviously thought it was so fun to drop the books onto the floor...I've had to move the basket and the table it was sitting on. Tonight he started trying to climb the stairs, scary and exciting!  Everyday he learns something new and I am sooo glad I've been able to witness every discovery. 

It's been crazy cold here, so the other day, I brought a portable heater upstairs, plugged it in to make the temperature in Ryder's room really warm. I then put on these cute overalls and had a little photo shoot. Marty can't believe his hair is this red. I mean, when you see Ryder in real life, his hair does not look this red. Either the lighting made it this red or maybe my editing..or maybe it is really more red than we think....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Brrr! It is cold outside. Like really, really cold! This is not good. It is especially not good for "stir crazy" mommies, like myself. The thought of having to stay in the house all day, makes me crazy!! I know it's not really fair to take my little baby outside, but it's also not fair to have a crazy mommy is it?? LOL Today, we met a friend who has 2 little ones (talk about stir crazy mom) at the mall. NO, we didn't go shopping, that would NOT be fun with three kids under 3, we went to the play zone.  Okay, I don't actually know what it is officially called, but you know that play area in the middle of the mall? The one with a gate all around it and lots of kids running and playing on large foam play things? Yeah, that. We went there. Luckily, we got a parking spot in the underground parking lot, so we didn't have to go outside or worry about the truck being ice cold when we were done.
I had never been to a mall play zone before, so this was a new experience, but I was desperate to find something else for Ryder and I to do besides eat dog food.  Apparently, you have to put your name on a list and wait your turn to get into the play zone. We were lucky, we got there 5 minutes before the announcement that says, "Play time is now over. Please exit the play zone." Came over the loud speaker. Once the place was cleared out, we parked our strollers and unleased the kids...okay, unleashed is an exaggeration. Neither one of our youngest kids could actually walk without our help, but they took off as fast as their little legs and our fingers would let them go! I was surprised at how many of the things Ryder could do. He crawled (a new skill for him) over things, under bridges and after other kids. He walked holding onto the foam wings of airplanes, doors of police cars and railings of bridges. He laughed, he got excited and he concentrated! So much fun! Who knew??? I used to laugh at people who took their kids to the mall play zone for exercise, but now, after trying it out, I can see how valuable places like these actually are, especially on freezing ass cold days like today!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I am now able to clean up the meal messes right after the meal, instead of waiting for nap time, thanks to Scout for teaching Ryder about secret leftovers. As soon as I take Ryder out of his highchair he pretty much "dive bombs" out of my arms. He, I figured out, wants to stand at his chair and search for leftover cheerios, broccoli, pasta, or sweetpotatoes. These are the things, Scout has taught, Ryder, that hide in the folds of the highchair. Seriously, this is how every meal ends and lucky for me this little "treasure hunt" usually lasts long enough for me to get all the dishes washed!! Yay, Scout!

The laundry basket was leftover after folding clothes. Ryder kept pulling it over on top of himself, eventually I just stuck him in it. Too cute!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Ryder's nap wasn't over but our walk was. I begged Marty to help me carry the chariot into the house so that Ryder could continue his nap where I could keep an eye on him.  He used to transfer easily from the car seat or stroller into his crib without waking, but I am afraid those days are over.  Today, I just wanted him to sleep, so that I could actually rest too.  
I parked the chariot in the entry way, grabbed my book and settled in for some RARE "me" time, while Scout kept watch over our precious sleeping angel!
FYI, he slept for over an hour right there in his snowsuit, in the chariot! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sharing the Ball

Ryder is getting more and more interactive all the time. I love watching him interact with other kids, but so far his opportunities are limited. He spends a lot of time interacting with his very patient, very kind, very fun BFF, Scout!!
Every morning, I bring a smiling, happy Ryder down the stairs straight to the laundry room, where we feed Scout. Her food is kept in a big red pail on the floor. I scoop out two scoops and Ryder giggles and kicks as the kibbles drop into the bowl making loud tinny sounds. Apparently, he has been doing more than giggling while I feed the dog, he has been paying careful attention to the process. He deomonstrated this last week, when he led me (I was finger walking him) to the dog food conainer, let go of my fingers, leaned on the bucket, pulled the lid off all by himself, scooped food out and promptly put it in his mouth! This was funny and kinda cute the first time (who hasn't tried dog food at least once in their childhood?) However, he has become obsessed! Everytime we walk, the laundry room is where he wants to go. The dog food container is what he wants to play with. The dog food is what he wants to keep sucking on. Actually, I am beginning to think it is all animal food. At the farm yesterday, he sat with the pail of horse treats between his legs, pulling them out one by one sure to lick each one. He got close enough to the grain tub at one point and began shoveling oats into his mouth fast as he could. I am beginning to think he needs to spend less time with animals and a little more with 2 legged friends. LOL

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Today, we went to the zoo!! The unseasonably warm weather made a trip to the zoo with friends especially fun today! This was Ryder's second trip to the zoo, but it was the first time he stayed awake for almost the whole visit. 
I don't know which animals Ryder loved the most, but my favorite were the hippos.  We were able to get close enough to their pool that we could touch the glass. When they's swim by us, we could see their giant, wiggly lips and thier tiny, stubby tails. We were close enough, had there not been glass, we could have reached out and tickled their toes!!! 
It was a good day!

Monday, January 2, 2012


Ryder took his first steps tonight!! It was such an exciting moment and Marty, Scout and I were all there to bare witness!! I had been on the phone with Aimee who asked if Ryder was "free standing" yet. I said every now and then he'd let go of whatever he was propping himself up with and just be standing on his own. She bet he'd be walking soon. Max walked within days of starting to free stand. I didn't think Ryder was that close to walking at all. He seems so young. He's still my baby, but tonight just for giggles, I faced him towards me, made sure he was standing good and sturdy on his feet and then carefully let go of him. He stood there smiling at me and took 2 small steps. Just to make sure I did it again and same thing. Before long, Marty and I had him "walking" between us, just one or two steps, but he took them all by himself before launching himself into our ready open arms! Finally we decided to try to snag a video. Our own little record of the memory. I have no idea if he is actually that close to walking all by himself, but he took his first steps and as brand new parents were are sooo proud and excited!!!!