Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rollover Video

After a little more practice tonight, Ryan seems to have the rolling over from back to front thing down! Here is a video of his efforts (turn down the volume so you don't have to hear our baby-prompting).

However, he still doesn't know how to get back over onto his back, so while we are cheering and clapping whenever he arrives on his tummy, Ryan's reaction is usually more like this:

Sepia Smiles

2 Cool Dudes

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rollover Rescue

Tonight after supper we worked hard on giggling and rolling over. The giggling training consists of a lot of mom & dad doing silly things and giggling in all kinds of voices ourselves in an attempt to garner some smiles and chuckles from Ryan. While Adam took Nika for a walk, I tried some rollover training, starting Buddy Boy on his back and then tempting him with his toys to his left and slightly above his head. For some reason, it seems I subconciously believe it helps to encourage him in a non-stop stream of high-pitched banter, as if I were the Western softball team. I need to knock that off.

 I got him to figure out his arm placement to get from his side to his stomach a few times but finally gave up on waitng for him to go from back to front all on his own. We proceeded through bathtime and the rest of our bedtime routine, including the nightly reading of Trout, Trout, Trout.  After putting Mr. Feet-Slammer down in his crib, I did some work on the computer (budgeting) while Adam spent time in the garage arranging his fishing gear (dreaming of ways to spend said budget). Good thing Dave Ramsey and I have that checkbook squeezed tighter than a Dutchmen with his pennies. Wait...I AM the Dutchmen and if my penniers were any thinner they'd be liquid copper. Actually 2.5% liquid copper and 97.5% liquid zinc. Don't say you never learned anything on this blog.

After about 20 minutes of work, Ryan started squawking which is a little unusual, not only because he is not a myna bird, but also because we usually do not hear from him after bedtime prayers until roughly 4am when he usually decides he wants his pipe afterall and his frantic snow-angel-ing hasn't been able to locate it on his own because he projectile-spits it about 2 feet 3 seconds after we put him down. After he carried on for a little bit, I went it to check on him to see if he had his foot caught in the rungs or if tiny elves were drilling holes in his gums making room for his Easter bunny teeth (next on the schedule).

Low and behold, he was on his tummy! The little stinker finally figured out how to roll over all on his own! It makes me wonder if he really just needed to calm down, meditate on the lessons of the evening and visualize himself doing it, then gained the inner strength and courage to accomplish the goal. That, or he was like, "Shiny blue light from the CD player to my left-What dat?" I didn't get a picture because I really just wanted him to go back to sleep and the flash would probably not have been the positive reinforcement he was looking for as a reward for his big accomplishment. Now we'll have to work on rolling from front to back without simply giving up and face-planting so I don't have to rescue him all the time!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

S-A-TUR-DAY...Let's Go!

Saturday night Adam's parents made a quick trip up to see us and brought some fun new clothes for Ryan! What a fun surprise! Ryan got up at 5:30am on Saturday and only took one short nap during a stroller ride, so he ended up cozying up to Grandpa and conking out after supper. He eventually woke up to have some fun "face-grabbing" time. I think Ryan's giving Lincoln a run for his money on the "floof."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Giggles and Raspberries Videos

Ryan doesn't have a full belly laugh, but you can get his going giggling if he's in the mood. My mom started playing a "cause & effet" game with him where she's jump and throw her hand in the air every time he hit his feet down on the floor, causing him to start giggling. I captured a little video of him playing this game with me on Saturday, although it's hard to act crazy and make him laugh without shaking the camera or embarrassing yourself with the funny voices you use with your kids!

Ryan has been "raspberried" quite a bit lately-he especially likes it on his big round cheeks, and lately he's been trying to imitate us by blowing his own version of a raspberry. It's funny to watch sometimes when he purses his lips, fills up his cheeks, but then can't figure out how to let out only a little bit of air at a time. I'm sure he'll be "zerbetting" us soon enough!

Stroller Rides & Stallions or Morning Walks & Mares...I didn't look that close.

With the nice weather lately, we've been enjoying more and more walks outside. Both Nika and Ryan love being out and it's nice to get some fresh air.  Ryan spends most of his time snoozing in the stroller, but once he can ride facing forward instead of in the carseat, I think he'll love observing all there is to see around town. One fun discovery I made is that about 2 blocks from our house, if I wheel him into the CR church parking lot, there is a small pasture with some horses in it! (Only in small town Iowa can you have this sort of thing-a tiny barn and horse pasture surrounded by residential districts on 3 sides and a church on the 4th.) The horses didn't really like Nika around, but I'm sure in a few years Ryan will be begging to go see the horsies!

Christmas Lights

I'm no Clark Griswald but I do have a few tips to share about Christmas lights.
1.  Wait until all the snow and ice is gone from your roof. It's better to have your neighbors laughing at you for still having your lights up than taking a trip to the ER.

2. Consider it a good year if you get them down by April 1. Made it this year!

3. Create a map of which light strand went where and then label each cord with a numbered piece of tape so you can follow it again next year. This way all the roof clips or gutter clips are facing the right way and you never have to guess where to put the extensions cords. This may stifle a little creativity and you will have to inevitably replace some broken clips and burned out bulbs, but it make the process go much smoother next year.

4. Use the "buddy system". Never work outside on the roof alone. Always have someone supervising:

We prefer the classic C9 white bulbs around the roof line but I realize this may be a little boring for some people. My BIL also like the white lights and the "lining" concept but he takes it a bit farther, lining every door, window, roof and corner with little white lights. My sister put the kabosh on his idea of lining every piece of siding and he knew he was already pressing his luck putting Petey the giant blowup penguin in the front yard. My sister was so embarrassed by Petey that she emailed her new neighbors to explain that she really didn't like the massive penguin, that is was more of a joke, and explaining how Wade's friends pooled their money in college to buy him and Wade brokered a deal that if he put in $5, he got to keep the penguin when they all moved out of the dorms. (What they did with a 7' penguin in the dorms is something I've purposely never asked about.) Unfortunately, the massive amount of snow and storms this winter busted most of their lights and caused Petey to meet a swift and untimely end. Our C9's, however, held up nicely and most still work!

After seeing some cool Hawkeye logos on a house in RR, I'm temped to try to create the Twins' logo on our rooftop. I bet I could convince Wade to do it...but only if they don't come out with "roof" Fatheads by next Christmas.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review: Trout, Trout, Trout

One of my consignment pickups was a book called Trout, Trout, Trout (A Fish Chant) by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Trip Park. Trout, Trout, Trout is a fun book filled with different names of fish found in North America, forming a rhyming chant. I love the illustrations because they have all sorts of interesting things going on, like a paddlefish playing ping-pong and a sunfish applying suntan lotion. The kid in the book is what I imagine my son will look like in about 4 years, feet dangling in the water saying "Fish, Fish, Fish! That's what I like."

The back has information about each fish: how they are named, where they live, what they eat, and how to identify them. I'm proud to say I could have probably picked out the sockeye salmon, walleye, trout, and northern pike! This is a great book for all ages because the rhyming chant is great at Ryan's age (6 months) but as he grows older he'll appreciate the funny fish illustrations and then become interested in the "facts" about each fish.

I'd like to check out Sayre's other books, Ant, Ant, Ant! An Insect Chant, and Bird, Bird, Bird!: A Chirping Chant.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Today was Grandpa's birthday and Grandpa, Grandma (and tagalong Milo) came over to grill and watch the UNI game. The food was excellent but Ryan was very sleepy after not having a nap since about 12:45 this afternoon.  We did manage a few smiles for Grandpa and Grandma (by holding Milo over the camera) and showed off by eating all his rice cereal, splashing in the bathtub, and burrowing his head in Grandma's shoulder.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tractor Time

 Adam and Ryan have fun after school going for walks and then playing together. Today Ryan enjoyed playing with his tractor from Great Grandma Boote and is getting pretty good at pressing the animals to make a noise and picking them up out of the wagon. A few short video clips are below, although you might be too distracted by his mohawk hair pattern to even notice the tractor!

Flexible is a bit of an understatement

Ryan tried out his new Old Navy pajamas tonight (from the consignment store, of course) and as you will see, he loved the flexibility it provided! The stripes sometimes make it hard to tell what's an arm and what's a leg, but here are a few of his new moves:
"Eagle's Wings"

*click your heels* 
"There's no place like home"

"Toast with Toe Jam"
"Bagpipe Baby"

"Toes to the Nose"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Things

We've been pretty busy this week, so I haven't had time to post, but as a record-keeping thing more than anything that interesting, here's a few new things we've experienced this week.
  • We grilled for the first time this Spring! Burgers, Steaks, and BBQ Chicken in 4 days...I almost feel like I'm tricking Adam into making supper, but it is also delicious!
  • Ryan got to take his first stroller rides outside this Spring! Adam has taken Ryan (and Nika) out several times and I even got a chance to go for a while on Sunday. How nice it is to see some sunshine. 
  • On Monday, Grandma took Ryan outside for his first tour of the farm. What fun he will have exploring the garden, apple trees, big backyard, and watching the cows this Spring! He also got to go for a long walk with Grandma in her stroller.
  • On Wednesday, Ryan attended his first funeral :(. My Great Uncle Tom passed away and my mom brought Ryan with her to the prayer service and funeral. Besides him being in his 3rd outfit of the day by 10am and a big spit-up during the funeral, he did pretty well at church and liked to watch the ceiling fans, as usual.
  • Ryan also attended his first FFA Soup Supper on Tuesday with Adam while I was at an Inspiration Hills board meeting. It makes me sad when Ryan is in bed when I get home and I haven't seen him since morning, so when he woke up at 5:30 the next morning, I jumped up to get him since I missed him a bunch!
  • Ryan is also eating rice cereal 2x a day now, so now Grandma and daycare get to listen to his grunting and groaning as he anticipates each bite. He's eating a full 2 Tbsp. now and usually reaching for more at each meal! It's pretty apparent we have a good eater on our hands.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ryan Has Something to Show You!

Look close...


Two sharp bottom teeth made their debut on Saturday! He was a little fussy during the day and I finally checked his gums and saw the two little guys fighting their way through his gums! They seem to bother him a little bit during the day, but at least he is still sleeping well at night. Two down...some more to go. I was going to look up how many teeth you get, but then I'd have to do research and take into account whether I would count his 9 year molars or 12 year molars or whether evolution will have kicked in enough in this generation to prevent his wisdom teeth from ever coming in and frankly, I'm just not up to it. So, some more to go!

Sitting Up!

Ryan is getting better at sitting up by himself. He still has his tippy moments (don't we all) but sitting up opens a whole new world for him, like playing with the toys on his play mat from the side instead of from the bottom. I'm sure the lion feels a little less violated now that Ryan can look him in the eye instead of reaching for his "ahem" underside all these months.

 If I'm not right by him (or am taking his picture), I prop him up with the Boppy so if he tips over it isn't far to fall and is a soft landing. I learned this one the hard way...hard for him when he fell back and smacked his head on the ground the other day, but probably harder for Mommy since the guilt poured on immediately.  If I'm within arm's reach, I let him sit up by himself and he does well playing with things in front of him. It probably helps that he has ample surface area to rest on (again, don't we all).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday Family Fun

We had some spontaneous family fun on Friday as we decided to meet Courtney's parents, grandpa, uncle & aunt, and Abbie & Wade for supper at the Pizza Ranch. Adam brought Ryan to town early to say hello to some of my co-workers who wanted to see how big he's gotten (Ryan, not Adam so much). 

Supper was a good time as Abbie entertained us with stories of getting beat in HORSE by some 5th graders (who would have guessed one kid could drain 2 half-court shots in a row?) Afterwards, we watched a little NCAA bball and Milo and Ryan got acquainted.

I'm not sure how fond Milo is of sharing the spotlight (as we've seen).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Edition 2

It's time for another edition of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". The part of our show where Larry sings a Silly Song...wait, no, that's something else. It's where I tell you something good that happened to me today, something bad (b/c I'm a "glass is half full of good, half full of bad" type of person) and then show up a picture of some random ugly thing. Just play along, you'll get it. Or you might not. Either way.

The Good:
 I slept in until 7:00 today! Getting 8 hours of sleep is (unsurprisingly) refreshing!
The Bad: I was planning on leaving the house at 9:00 but after spending an hour on the phone fighting with Bank of America (since there is no way to contact Fannie Mae directly), I was an hour behind schedule and severely irritated.
The Ugly:

The Good: I got a lot of little things done this morning, like printing my annual free credit report, filling out the warranty on a chair we bought (then finding out my awesome husband had already registered it), stopping by the bank, gas station, and library before heading out of town.
The Bad: Of course when I am already running late is when I forget my Shell card and have to go inside to pay at the gas station and the guy in front of me has a debit card the cashier is telling him is being declined, so he gets on the phone with his wife and then his bank and tries to convince the cashier he just put $3000 in his account last night. First of all...sure you did. Second of all, sometimes it takes a few business days to show up in your account. Thirdly, you ended up writing a check anyway so why didn't you just do that right away since there were 2 people behind you in line?
The Ugly:

The Good: I actually enjoyed shopping for once and was very impressed by all the consignment stores in Rock Valley. Buddy Boy is going to be one stylin' kid as I basically bought an entire Spring/Summer/some Fall wardrobe, most of it name brand and all in excellent condition.

The Bad: Lots of clothes=lots of money, even if each thing was very reasonably priced, it is still a LOT of things! But all things considered, for less than $100 I walked away with 7 pants, 2 shorts, swim trunks and swim shirt, 4 shirts, 2 summer rompers, 4 pajamas, 6 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of shoes and 2 books.
The Ugly:

The Good: The show choir I choreograph (BH) did MUCH better at this competition and ended up winning 1st place in their class! I am proud of them for pulling it together in the past week and a half and giving it their all! I also got to see Sibley-O perform in 2A--they did great!
The Bad: Since Slagle Hall is STILL under renovation, they had to perform in a church annex again. During their last song, someone blew a fuse in the church (I'm guessing it's not used to so many curling irons being plugged into each Sunday School room) and they finished their song and reprise with no lights, microphone, piano (it was electric), keyboard, or bass...just drums! But they didn't miss a beat and we could still see since there were stained glass windows letting in sunlight.
The Ugly:

The Good: I was looking forward to a Pot Roast Sandwich from Culver's all day and boy, did it deliver. Yum!
The Bad: After some cereal for breakfast, the rest of my diet consisted of a gas station cappuccino, cheddar pretzels, Easter M&Ms, a grape soda, and a York peppermint patty, so the sandwich was the closest thing to real food I had all day.
The Ugly:

The Good: It was so nice out today, Adam took Ryan (and Nika) for an hour walk and they all enjoyed it very much!
The Bad: I didn't get to join them since I didn't get home until 7:30pm. Even though I had fun today, I still missed my boys!
The Ugly:

The Good: UNI won the first round of the NCAA tournament with a super-long 3 from Ali Farokhmanesh.
The Bad: They play Kansas next round.
The Ugly:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dentist, Daycare, Defense and a Day Off

Dentist: Yesterday's dentist appointment yielded one cavity (beneath an old filling, a reoccurring theme) but I was actually happy with this since I hadn't had x-rays in 2 years and traditionally pregnancy makes my family's teeth go to rot. Basically, it could have been a lot worse and I'm pretty psyched about my new orange toothbrush. I even think the hygienist picked it just because she knows the school colors of where Adam works. She's totally like that. I always marvel at how she remembers my whole family and where everyone works and lives, even though she only sees me twice a year and I don't exactly do a lot of talking while she's cleaning my teeth!

Daycare: Since Adam had PT conferences last night, Ryan had to stay at daycare extra late until I could get back to town to pick him up. He was the only kid left in the building at 5:45, poor guy, but of course that meant he was getting plenty of attention! It was nice to revisit the daycare since I hadn't been there since I signed up during maternity leave. Of course I set the alarm off when leaving since there was no one there to remind me about hitting the button before opening the door...oh well, at least they knew no kids were trying to escape because there weren't any left!

D-E-F-E-N-S-E: Defense, Comets, Go Big D! Today I left work a little early to help out with my alma mater's cheerleading tryouts since they had some last minute cancellations by judges. It brought back some old memories of smiling so much my cheeks hurt and wondering if my jumps were high enough, toes were pointed enough, and moves were sharp enough to get me on the squad! I had a lot of fun cheering for basketball during Jr. High and all 4 years of High School and still feel like I could pull off a toe touch if I tried. But I don't try because I am an old dried-up has-been mama who is probably delusional thinking I could get off the ground (and land on my 2 feet again).

Day Off: Tomorrow I am taking my first day off of work for the year with plans to hit the RV consignment stores in the morning and then head to USD for the Show Choir festival. I had to do some creative mapquesting after being tipped off that the Hawarden and Akron bridges are closed due to flooding. I think I found some alternate routes. Now if only the Emmetsburg bus would get lost on the way to Vermillion.... :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Sunday, March 14, 2010


No, this post isn't about the geeky adolescent we all know from Saved by the Bell. I've lost all respect for him after seeing his comedy show at Coe College while I was in college. He was a terrible comic and very R-rated (not what we were expecting for a guy best known for his role on a show targets to tweens). I did get his autograph, but had him make it out to my sister so she could add it to her collection of autographs (which include Kurt Warner and Elizabeth Dole...and Screech... that's it.)

This post is actually about the new sound Ryan has discovered he can make. I think he is just experimenting with his voice, but MAN he can be loud! It usually happens when he is in his exersaucer. It is quite funny when his forehead turns red and he makes his silly face, then grins as if he just did something very amusing. If you want to see (hear) for yourself, watch the video in the video player at the bottom of this page. (Again, you need to click the right arrow in the bottom right corner of the player to get to the next set of videos).

Family Fun

Saturday night, Adam's family came over for some food and fun (and lovin' on the grandkid/nephew).  It was great for Ryan to spend time with Grandpa and Grandma and Aunt & Uncle! Andy & Kim brought their Wii and we had fun bowling, swordfighting and canoeing, although a few of them could use a little more time to perfect their canoe stroke!