Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ryan's New BFF

Ryan met Elmo this past week at Libby's and was absolutly mesmorized. Although big Elmo stayed back in Canada, Libby was sooo nice to let us take baby Elmo home.

I have lots to update and fun photo's to boot from our awesome holiday trip - keep posted...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Two Wolves

This weekend we had company over for dinner and were sharing our holiday traditions. One that was shared that I would like to start next year can only be possible with your help...

Send me your favorite short story - whether it be your personal family story, holiday driven, inspirational, or humorous. With that I will create a book of 24 stories, one to be read with my family each night leading up to Christmas which means we start reading the stories on December 1st and finish on Christmas Eve. If you would like a copy of the final product let me know. For the sake of space instead of adding to my comment page, please e-mail your stories to me directly.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all my readers participate!

Love to you all and this first story was shared today at work...

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.

”One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

We finally finished decorating our tree this weekend and I know you won't believe me when I tell you that I had nothing to do with the picture above. I was hanging ornaments on the tree and glanced over at Ryan napping on the couch and discovered Bailey had joined his baby brother for a nice snuggle. Bailey has really taken to Ryan and couldn't be more gentle. Ryan holds little snack sized treats in his hand and very gingerly Bailey nuzzles each snack from his hand. I never thought it was possible but I think I love Bailey even more for the love and respect he has shown Ryan since he joined our family.

Ryan's First Christmas - 4 months old!
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Friday, December 19, 2008

So Sad

The little man had his first official "sick" visit to the Doctor today. We woke up this morning and his eye was red, swollen and half shut - poor little man. Yep it was Pink Eye and there really isn't any way to tell how he got it however the Doctor said that it is very common to spread throughout the daycare system. We were prescribed drops which we've renamed "evil" as it must burn based on the shriek Ryan let out as it hit his eye. For the record he now weighs 16 lbs, 8 oz.

We were slammed with another 5+ inches of snow again today however the temperature actually rose to the mid 20s which was nice. It seemed like we slid the entire way to Ryan's appointment and walking to the front door was no easy task as the wind whipped snow directly in my face. In an earlier posting you can see Ryan in his car carrier which has a nice fleece cover with a little window that we can close when he is exposed to the outdoor elements. Anyway he now pokes his little hand out hole if the window is closed to see what's going on however this morning he quickly retracted his hand and pulled the window closed. I think the best part of the day was when I got home to Tom plowing the driveway. A patch was clear and he gave me the green light to pull into the garage. I however veered off the clear patch and got stuck in our own driveway. Blonde party of one your table is ready... After several attempts and a good push from Tom we made it safely home and in the garage. I must say that in this weather a fashion statement is impossible to make - the most important thing is to stay warm and safe from slipping and the things that make that possible do not come with frills or bling :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

- 5 with a wind chill of 19 below - WHAT?

I can't even explain how cold it is here - perhaps if you imagined death you would be close...
Keeping a positive attitude in this weather has been a real challenge but knowing that we will be on a plane in 8 days and enjoying the company of our family makes it possible. I was trying to think back when I saw my brother Steve last and it was at my wedding three + years ago and my niece Jeni it was her wedding almost four years ago. We have so much to catch up on since we were all last together - I can't wait. I think the thing I look forward to most is for Tom and Ryan to experience a traditional "Miller" Christmas. On Christmas Eve Steve will read the story of Christ from the Bible and the kids will dress up to simulate the nativity scene - this in itself is quite entertaining. On Christmas morning Scottish Stew will be served for breakfast which is something we had as kids every year. Yes, Tom we topped it off with Ketchup - also a family tradition.
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This weekend was the Des Jardins family Holiday celebration. Tom's parents decided to leave for Florida early so his sister hosted an evening at her house. It has now been a few weeks since Ryan discovered his hands and uses them to touch and push things. His favorite is to hold the bottle while he is eating then push it away when he is full. I think he loved the tissue paper in the boxes more then the actual gifts.

This was a very long day for the little guy and I must say he was quite the trooper. He was passed around the entire time and as a result slept 6 hours straight that night - the longest stretch ever. It hasn't happened since but I am thankful for the one nights rest :)

Jeff and Bonnie have been wonderful to Ryan and very supportive throughout our entire parenthood journey. As you can see Ryan enjoying a fun new toy which he really needed. Anything with sounds, music, flashing lights and moving parts is an all time favorite.

Brad, Bri and Tom's Dad enjoying the festive evening.

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Prior to the Des Jardins family Holiday celebration we went to the Botanical Gardens and enjoyed listening to Bri (in the cute white hat) sing holiday favorites. They were absolutely amazing! In one of the songs they used two by fours in one of the songs to simulate the sound of a cracking whip. Every time they smacked the wood together Ryan would blink his eyes real hard and jump as the sound would startle him. The funny thing was that the crowd started watching Ryan and one man actually started filming Ryan's reaction. When the concert was over several people came over to tell us how cute and well behaved our little boy was - I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this isn't just a phase but his core personality.

Ryan with one of his favorite cousin Jacob at the holiday gathering.

Tom's sisters Tamera and Lori with sister-in-law Bonnie.

Bonnie with her darling daughter Katie
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snow Day

I am so glad that I'm not working in Appleton today (a 45 minute drive south) after waking to a yard full of snow. One of our very nice neighbors plowed our driveway this morning. I think it was Ken so when he gets home from work today Ryan and I will take him a plate of cookies as a thank you. I have an appointment today at the college to meet with a counselor to discuss a few potential educational interests of mine. We have so many decisions to make so we are looking at all our options. Anyway I should get cracking on my work so we have time to take Ryan out to play in the snow - it's a beautiful :)

This past Sunday I went to a cookie exchange at Robin's. We where required to make 9 dozen cookies to exchange which I couldn't have done it without Jessie's help. We worked on the cookies Friday night and I actually fell asleep as the last batch was cooking - thank goodness Jess was here to make sure they didn't burn. The cookies are coconut macaroons and I added green food coloring and dipped them in chocolate for a little extra festive zip - they were quite yummy.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Tom called me at work today to remind me to leave the office early today because a "huge" snow storm is headed our way. They are expecting up to 12 inches between this afternoon and tomorrow evening and the freeway gets crazy when storms hit. So anyway I went online to check the weather radar and Jason who sits in the next cubical went to show me how to get a close up on the map. He was eating his lunch at the time and I notice this plastic thing on his desk... "what is that" I asked and he explained that its a wrap for his sandwich. They come in different colors and patterns and keep his sandwich very fresh.

OK you tree huggers go check it out - it's good for the environment and you'll save on having to buy zip lock bags!
This weekend was Bri and Jacob's birthday party. Bri turned 16 and Jacob 12. Ryan loves his Aunt Bonnie and she just can't seem to get enough of him. It really means a lot that she doesn't waste a single moment to give him lots and lots of love and kisses. It's interesting that at 3 months Ryan loves lots of affection and can sense people who are not sincere…
The minute we walked in the house the girls scooped up Ryan and had so much fun playing with him. I love this because it really helps with his socialization plus Katie does such a great job and Ryan just absolutely adores her. I really think that caring for Ryan has come so naturally because of my experience with helping out with all my nieces and nephews. Don't get me wrong there are things that still make me nervous (like taking his temp)for the first time that I'm still learning but overall I'm getting the hang of motherhood. Looking back I wish I started earlier - I could totally see myself having several little ones running around the house.
Ryan is getting so strong and love's tummy time. Here he is playing with his new puppy that sings the ABC song so loud that it makes Ryan squint his eyes - it's really funny. Bonnie and Katie gave it to him last weekend when we went shopping - he loves it :)
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy 1st Thanksgiving Ryan!

We went to Tom's parents for dinner. As we sat down for dinner I realized Bailey was no where to be found which didn't make sense with all the amazing smells coming from the kitchen. We started looking around the house calling his name and there was no response. I then started panicking thinking someone left a door open and he was wandering the streets looking for his way home - I called his name over and over and still no response. Now full panic set in... the only place I didn't look was in the storage room so off I ran downstairs flung the door open and there he was - he was sooooo happy to have finally been rescued. I'm thinking one of the kids went down to find a game or maybe even play hide and seek and Bailey followed them in - he was probably sniffing through all the boxes and then realized he was left behind :( poor pup!

Ryan shown here with Aunt Bonnie, Bri, Brad and Katie and he loved spending time with them all. It's funny how he already recognizes people he knows and the people he doesn't. Ryan also met his cousins Alex and Corey for the first time - their mom Lori saw him when he was born but the boys hadn't met him yet.

Ryan loves his cousin Katie - she not only makes him smile but she gets him to giggle as well. We ventured out with Katie and Bonnie for some "stress free" black Friday shopping but I actually think the day after Christmas offers better discounts. My goal was to get Ryan his 6 to 9 month clothes since his wardrobe is really thinning out. I think we have most everything we need but a few extra pair of pants until he turns 9 months. I can't believe how fast they grow out of everything.

Ryan loved snuggling with his cousin Bri as she sang him fast asleep with her beautiful voice.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Boy

I am sooooo bummed - my camera wasn't working last night so I totally missed documenting our girls night :( Last year a group of girls got together and went to Door County for the weekend. We stayed on the water in an adjoining suite with a full kitchen, cooked a spaghetti dinner the first night, painted pottery the second day, out to dinner the second night and went swimming and picked up our pottery the morning before we headed home. We had so much fun. This year with little Ryan joining our weekend plans everyone came here for the evening and to keep the tradition we made a yummy spaghetti dinner. Deborah, Arlene, Robin and I enjoyed dinner a roaring fire and a couple of total chick flicks. Deborah stayed the night and we had a delicious pancake breakfast. The rest of the day included a nice relaxing nap and a brisk walk. Tom should be home any minute - and we can't wait :)
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Snow Bunny

This weekend was opening of Deer hunting weekend. Tom left Thursday afternoon to head up North to get the cottage ready for his fellow hunters which included his brother Jeff and his friend Greg and Greg's brother. Because Thursday was Tom's day to watch Ryan while I was at work we were lucky to have Bonnie pick up our little rascal and take him for the afternoon. Bonnie took him to run her errands and to parent teacher conference and she said he was a perfect angel. Once she was home the kids, Ryan's cousins, had a blast playing with him and by the time I came to pick him up I could tell he was a very happy camper. I stayed for dinner and enjoyed catching up with them all. Oh I forgot to mention that night after work I popped the trunk to put a box in the back but because it was soooo cold the trunk wouldn't close. This meant I had to drive 45 minutes home with my trunk open. I think more then 10 people notified me that my trunk was open - they should really make flags that you could fasten to you car that says I KNOW... just so you don't look like a total moron. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 21, 2008

The cold has set in... This week we woke a few mornings to temperatures in the teens so it seems winter is here. Tom had to adjust the thermostat to avoid icicles from appearing on our nose. Ryan is getting so strong and just the fact that he sits in his highchair by himself is a true sign that he is getting to be a big boy. Although I am sad to be away from him when I'm at work it is an amazing feeling to see his beaming smile the minute I walk in the door and he realizes I am home.
Olivia has outgrown this toy that hangs down with flashing lights and fun music. We really appreciate her letting us borrow it for a few months. Ryan was so excited the minute he saw it - he started wildly kicking his legs and whipping his arms around and had the funniest expressions on his face. The picture below almost seemed like he saw some sort of UFO for the first time. Isn't it amazing that the simplest things bring us so much happiness - what a great reminder for us all.

Last weekend was Fall clean up as you can see Tom on his "Forrest Gump" mower in the back yard. I think he put in over 8 hours working in the yard - what a stud :) I know this sounds funny but I think it is very attractive when my husband works hard around the house...

This week I found myself on a hormonal roller coaster and thank goodness the ride has come to a stop - lets hope it isn't temporary... Anyway I really started to question our priorities in life, why do we have all this stuff, it means we have to spend more time working instead of enjoying each other - why is my hair so long, it takes so much time to style when I could be enjoying it with my son - why do we live in an area where the economy is in the gutter and the seasons are soooo extreme??? I have found myself missing my family to a point where my sole aches. I miss getting together for no reason, I miss taking the dogs for a walk along the beach, I miss Ryan not growing up with his cousins, I miss that Nana Lynn hasn't seen our little man smile yet and I miss that not one of my brothers has met Ryan. Ok, so now that I have shared the depressing facts I need to remember what Lynn told me when I first moved here. Especially at this time of the year I need to start the day with identifying something beautiful or positive around me. This should help lift my spirits :) Life isn't completely horrible, I have a loving husband, a darling little boy, some awesome friends and we're enjoying time with Tom's brothers family. I guess I was spoiled growing up - we had it all - a loving family, great friends and beautiful weather - what more could a person wish for... Ryan is reminding me to add milk to that list - gotta run the boy is calling for breakfast :)
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

This week we had our pictures taken for our passports to travel to Canada for the holidays. I don't understand why they want us to look like we've been arrested but they do. I think the alien man on Ryan's shirt is hilarious. They had to take his picture about 50 times to make sure you could see both ears. What???

Yesterday was Tom's first day watching Ryan for more then 30 minutes, - try the whole day. I had to return to Hell again, oh I mean work, and daycare wasn't available so Tom was up for the challange. I was up at 5 am to feed and change Ryan and get him ready for the day. Once he was back to sleep I quickly showered and before leaving for work I left a detailed note. The first item on the note said "call me as soon as you get up so I know you are awake". He was working the night before until 2:30 am so I was worried he wouldn't hear Ryan get up. Well by 9 am I was starting to worry since Ryan is usually up between 7 am and 8 am so I called and there was no answer - now I was really worried. Shortly after Tom called me back - he was giving Ryan a bath and putting on a fresh change of clothes. I guess Ryan messed himself (up the back) and when Tom was cleaning him up #2 ended up everywhere including the door knob. Since Tom has never even watched me give Ryan a bath I'm sure that was an interesting event. I called several times during the day for an update and could hear Ryan squawking in the background. Everyone says this daddy and me day was good for them both but I couldn't help but worry. By the time I arrived home both boys were calm and playing in the family room. The house looked like a tornado hit it but both boys were safe and sound so it didn't matter. Once Ryan was laying in my arms he quickly fell asleep and his world was back to normal. I am soooo thankful it's the weekend!
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Friday, November 14, 2008

The Worst Day Ever

Wednesday was my first day back to work - which was absolute hell. I dropped Ryan off at daycare (aka Jail) and started on my 40 minute drive to work. Not until I looked in my review mirror and saw Ryan's empty carrier base did it hit me...30 minutes of hysterical crying and an enormous amount of guilt for abandoning my son :( Throughout the day I felt similar to the way a person feels after a car crash - dazed and confused - and all I could do was count the minutes until I could get home to my sweet baby boy. Thank goodness I didn't see any police on my way home since I think I averaged 80 mph. Once I arrived home I made it in the house with only three steps and immediately snuggled little Ryan in my arms. He was sooooo happy and giggling and after suddenly realizing his food source was home, started rooting like a puppy. We were inseparable for the rest of the night and both fell asleep early from pure exhaustion.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Now who wouldn't want to kiss those juicy lips? The past few weeks have been very stressful with the thought of having to go back to work. Daycare is only available on a part time basis which I guess is a blessing in that I won't have to leave Ryan cold turkey. I won't have to worry about full time until January19th :)This weekend I was able to spend time with friends. Friday night Lois came over for dinner, a nice roaring fire in the fireplace and some good old fashion girl talk. It's been far too long... Saturday Deborah and I went for lunch at Panera (just opened here in town - yum) and walked through the mall. We didn't do any damage, which was good, but being that the weather has dropped to the 30s walking outside just isn't an option. Deborah and I could sit in a cardboard box and still have fun and find something to talk about - I think that is a sign of a true friend.
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We have been taking Ryan with us everywhere since his was born which hasn't really limited us from our normal schedule. I'm not sure if he is just naturaly a great baby or if it has to do with the fact that we've had him on the road since he was only a few days old. Either way, going out is still enjoyable.
Who's your daddy???
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This house displayed 40 carved pumpkins and lots of Halloween lights in their yard. It seems their family all gets together the day before Halloween and spends 48 hours carving pumpkins to display for the trick-or-treaters. The detail in the pumpkins was amazing.

Poor Rhonda, use to the Florida weather, froze her pumpkins off walking around looking at the yard. What a trooper!

Laura's little Olivia, three months older then Ryan, is a very happy and active baby. Watching her gives me a great idea of what Ryan will be like in just a few months :) Posted by Picasa