Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pass the Buck

On Monday I was just drivin' along, drivin' along (Tommy Boy reference, of course) on my way to work and as I checked my rearview mirror I spotted something that

Apparently my hil-LAR-ious husband had received a free window decal in the mail from some hunting magazine and thought my Malibu was a great spot for it. Don't I look hickish in my mid-size with a baby in the backseat and a giant buck in the back window?

Oh well, it kind of fits in with my my 2 college window decals which probably should have been removed when I graduated over 7 years ago. Oh well, I guess if I can show my Panther and Wildcat pride, why not add a deer to the mix?

The Panther would destroy it.
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lion Encounter

I scored a sweet lion "ride & cruise" toy last week on a rummage sale and even though Ryan isn't quite big enough to push it himself, I thought introductions were in order.

At first he wasn't sure what to think.

But soon, Ryan and Lion were laughing it up like old chums.

He soon got cocky and started waving to his peeps, giving them the "guns" wave.

Ryan had to take a little break to attend church, but then we were back at it.

 "So, we meet again."
Meet my other four-legged (wheeled) friend, Nika.

Ryan likes the bees on the lion's mane.
Not sure what bees have in common with lions except I wouldn't want to be locked in an enclosed space with either. 

Ryan must have been paying attention to the "Prayers for Crops and Industry" portion of the service this morning as the lion seems to be a recipient of "laying on of hands."

 I was glad to see that Ryan and Lion are going to make great friends.

Or, more than friends.

But, like many new relationships, things weren't all puppies and rainbows and a relationship that started out beautifully, quickly...


Lil' Mozart

This morning I introduced Ryan to the piano and he enjoyed tickling the ivories a little bit while I played nursery rhyme songs around him. If you squint a little and tilt your head, you can imagine that he might have been trying to bang out "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" which I had just showed him how to play.  Or not. Aunt Abbie would be glad to know I pulled out a little "Go, Tell Aunt Rhody" with the left hand doing alberties like crazy. Hopefully this will be the start of something beautiful...we can only go up from here.

Rolling Ball

Ryan has enjoyed playing ball more and more and is doing great catching the ball when it is rolled to him. His "throwing" is hit and miss (literally) but he seems to have a lot of fun doing it! A short video is below and also in the April video player at the bottom of the page. What the video didn't capture is immediately after the video ended, he hugged the ball tight and tipped over on his side, haha. He didn't think it was too funny, but we did.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Birthiversary Party II

Friday night Adam's parents, brother, and sister-in-law came over for supper to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary. It was unfortunate that Ryan was not in a great mood and it erupted into tears after he took a face-plant into a toy (and a sad, guilty mommy shed a few tears too). He seemed to be fine after a little bit and ate supper with the rest of us. He really missed out on the delicious steak and potatoes/carrots/onions from the grill, but he seemed to love his sweet potatoes. 
He did perk up after his bath to play with Aunt Kim for a little bit before bed. She seems to always be able to get him to smile. We used some of our anniversary and birthday money the next day to get flowers for our pots and barrels. It is a little early for planting, but with every Saturday tied up until June, it was kind of now or never.  I'll post pictures of the flowers as soon as more are blooming. Thanks for the fun night, family!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Big Thighs = Bigger Chair

Ryan has outgrown his Bumbo. More specifically, the circumference of his thighs have outgrown the leg hole openings of his Bumbo so that to place him in it, we have to "pop" them through from the top and I fear they are squeezing him the whole time he is sitting in it. Also, when we try to lift him out, it take two people. Kind of like trying to get two nested 5-gallon buckets apart. One pulling from the top, one from the bottom. Since it is handier to need less than 2 people to take him out of his seat, we transitioned to a new Fisher Price Deluxe Booster Seat. He got this seat from Grandma on the high recommendation from my sister and I really love it! It straps securely to my kitchen chair and I can manipulate the dishwasher-safe tray/cover with one hand. I can still push the chair under the table and it is so much handier than having a big highchair taking up space in the kitchen. I now have a big highchair taking up space in the basement. The back also comes off for when he is eventually ready for only a booster seat.

I don't know if it's the new chair with roomier leg room or if taking a two week break from veges as recommended by our doctor has done the trick, but Ryan has ended his strike against the green (and orange) stuff. He has eaten peas and squash for the past week and I have several more foods for him to try. We'll probably wait a little bit to reintroduce "gagging" green beans, though. It's like once you get sick off a certain food, you can't stand to eat it again for a while. Which is why I avoided gas station french vanilla cappuccino and Burger King mozzarella sticks for quite some time. But that's neither here nor there, nor on the floormats of my friend Aftin's car...anymore.

Bath Toys

Yesterday I had to bite the bullet and make a trip to Walmart for some much-needed baby supplies. Since Ryan spends Wednesdays at Grandma's, he had the unfortunate fate of accompanying me on the dreaded errand. And he was an angel. For reals! He was a trooper, smiling and looking around from his carseat while I stuffed all sorts of rice cereal, baby food, kleenex, diapers, Shout, and the like around him inside the cart. Note to the designers of shopping carts: what good does the "shelf" on the bottom of the cart do if it has no edges and slopes up so you can't carry things like milk jugs or more than one box of diapers? Also, why do you make one wheel cock-eyed and droiny on all carts? At least all carts that I choose. Or my mom chooses. I think I inherited the droiny wheel magnetism gene. Look it up, it's a crucial part of your DNA.

Like any good mom, I pulled out the bribe card and promised that if we got through the trip without any screaming, crying, or throwing things on the floor, we could get a special treat. And since I made it through the shopping trip without doing any of those things, I got to pick out a special toy!

Ryan had a slight meltdown shortly after leaving Sioux Center and I pulled into the Newkirk church parking lot to soothe him. And almost ran into a car coming in from the other direction. Seriously...let's calculate the chances of two cars pulling into the Newkirk church parking lot at the exact same time during the late evening on a weekday?  I mean, what are the chances of two cars being in Newkirk at the same time, ever?  Slightly less than zero. Anyway, I narrowly avoided a collision and decided to give Ryan a Mum-Mum rice rusk to entertain him. Classic rookie mom, but even though it turned to mush in his hands  (and bib, face, shirt and carseat) it was worth soothing him until Hospers. A pull-off near Ritter resulted in another Mum-Mum, even after seeing the first mess. But what do you do when your kid is just "sot" of the carseat he's been strapped into for 2 hours and you are still 40 minutes from home?  I also just realized this paragraph is like a "tour of dinky towns" but it wasn't complete since I did not go through Middleburg. But I could have.

In the rush to get him fed, bathed, and to bed last night, I forgot about pulling out his new toy, so tonight he got to enjoy his new bath bobbers, strainers, and squirters. He loved them! But from the looks of these pictures, he may have to lay off the rusks.


Monday, April 19, 2010


We have never been able to get a good picture of all 3 grandkids with Grandpa and Grandma...everyone looking at the camera, not hiding their face, and not crying is a challenge (especially for Grandpa...haha j/k). We attempted yet again this weekend with 2 cameras flashing and at least 3 adults saying "Lincoln! Ryan! Look here, honey! Emily, hands on your knees! Lincoln, not so cheesy! It's okay, Ryan, don't cry! Ryan, why are you crying? Emily, put your hands down!" All while Lincoln is cheesing for the camera, Emily is vocally holding out the word "CHEEEEEESE" and Ryan is either crying or on the verge of. Good times. I think this is the reason Photoshop was invented. Alas, all I have is Picasa, so this is the best we've got:

Okay, there is one more photo, but try as I might to upload it, Blogger keeps uploading a totally different picture. Maybe some other time. For those of you sharing my Winkflash folders, I will start uploading the April folder!

Ryan & Lincoln: Black & White

Ryan & Lincoln

Ryan is lucky to have a cousin only 5 months older than him. You couldn't tell from this picture who's 11 months and who's 6.5, though, could you? Once again, I need to stop dressing that kid in horizontal stripes.

Ryan unofficially outweighs Lincoln--19 lbs vs. 18.8 but of course Lincoln is quite a bit taller and a lot more mobile!

They were very interested in each other's ears, for some reason.

I think they were kind of surprised to have someone their size to play with!

I think Ryan wants Lincoln to come back so they can play!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


With my sister and her kids home this past weekend, we tried to get some pictures of the cousins together,  but Ryan wasn't really in the mood.

Baking Spree

I enjoy baking desserts and all, but this weekend I feel like I could float away from the sugar rush and my massive amount of baking supplies have dwindled down to a point where I have exactly zero bags of powdered sugar and only a half a bag of chocolate chips. This has not happened since... ever.

Last Wednesday I baked the Ever-So-Moist Chocolate Cake from Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor, then frosted it on Thursday with the Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting and decorated it for work.  The owner of the company I work for shares a birthday with me (or I share it with him, to be more accurate) and I couldn't help but give him a little ribbing for his big birthday milestone. It perpetuated a few emails about the "younger generation don't give no respect" but he took it quite well and my co-workers enjoyed the cake (during an 8:30am brainstorming meeting).

We celebrated my birthday at my parents on Friday and my mom had made a Pistachio Pudding Cake for me. It was delicious and is one of my favorite recipes of my grandma's, but I was pretty caked out by that time.
On Saturday, I baked another cake from Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor, this time the Peanut Butter Cake and frosted it with the Fluffy Chocolate Frosting. I used the leftover pink and green buttercream frosting to decorate the top for our grill-out that evening. Adam's "fitness" team (Team Awesome)from school won a $15 gift certificate from the grocery store for their workout minutes and so we all got together to grill. This is a pretty fun group to hang out with, usually spending much of our time quoting "the Office" and making fun of each other, so I seized the opportunity to make fun of one of the member's contributions to the team.

I also make peanut butter chocolate chip bars to bribe the High School Sunday School class that I taught this morning. I made them put their cell phone in the middle of the table before they could have a bar. Who they absolutely have to text at 10:00am on Sunday morning is beyond me. (Now I'm sounding like a 60-yr old instead of the cocky 28-yr old...yikes).

Sunday morning I made some cinnamon muffins for breakfast and then some scotcheroo bars to bring to FPU. So, right now on my counter I have leftovers of 3 kinds of cake along with 2 kinds of bars and it would be okay with me if I laid off the frosting for a while (those beaters don't lick themselves, you know).  

Notice the extreme lack of "real food" in this list. Since Thursday I think I have made a total of 1 real meal and all I really did was throw some waffle fries in the oven while Adam grilled brats for lunch today. Otherwise, I ate at my parents on Friday, a pancake/sausage feed to raise money for a recreation trail for Saturday brunch, grillout Saturday night, and Adam ate at small group tonight.

I had a grilled cheese sandwich for supper. And a piece of cake.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Having a Ball

We just started playing "ball" with Ryan and he seemed to grasp the concept (if not the ball). Sometimes I think his successful "catches" were just extremely delayed attempts at catching the previous, roll, but of course we think he's a genius for accidentally extending his arms at the right time.

This is Ryan concentrating.
This is Ryan blinded by my flash while attempting to catch a ball.

Here is Ryan proud of his successful catch! 

I should probably explain the ball in question. Ironically we call it the "Question-a-ball" and we created it to use for a small group ice-breaker. I wrote all kinds of random questions on it and we toss it to someone in the group. They catch it and whatever section their right thumb lands on is the one they have to answer for the group. Here are some examples of the questions:

  • What TV show do you watch but are embarrassed to admit it? I will never forget when one wife revealed that her highly educated husband with a very professional career was a secret watcher of the MTV dating show "Next"!
  • If you could only drive 1 vehicle for the rest of your life, would you drive a skidloader or a tandem bike? I've driven both and would have the pick the bike since I've never almost fallen into a manure pit while driving one of those which cannot be said of the other.
  • What movie has made you cry? Hope Floats, Good Will Hunting, Armageddon, Marley and Me, We are Marshall, Pearl Harbor, The Notebook are the first that come to mind. I try not to watch sad movies.
  • If you had a cat, what would you name it? This one always gets some interesting responses. My favorite answer was "Dog".
  • If you could go on vacation for a month, where would you go? Alaska, hands down, and it will happen someday.
  • What is your ideal time to go to bed and wake up? Ideal is 10 and 8, reality is 11 and 5:30, so I better end this post and get on to the next so I can hit the hay on time tonight.

Guard Dog

What do you mean you want to watch the Twins' game?

Over my dead body.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Race to Ten

GOAL: Post 10 random facts before 10pm, then go to bed. It is 9:54.

  1. I heart Glee. Like, a lot. (Not alot.)
  2. This morning I saw a "Road Closed" sign on the road out of town, so I turned around and went all the way back to the other exit out of town to get onto Hwy 60. Took 8 extra minutes. Tonight I came into town on the "Road Closed" way and discovered the road is closed for exactly 10 feet and I would have only had to go through a parking lot or around the block to get past the baricades.
  3. I requested blueberry dessert pizza at the Pizza Ranch buffet today. You're welcome, everyone who came to the buffet after me.
  4. It is currently lightning, thundering, and pouring rain.
  5. I should stop eating summer sausage and pepperjack cheese on onion bread so close to bedtime.
  6. I baked a chocolate cake tonight and can't decide if I put an extra cup of water in or not. At the end of the baking time, it was still soup inside, but after baking 10 min. extra, toothpick came out clean. 
  7. I get super-annoyed everytime the wife on House Hunters makes a joke about the size of the closet in the super-huge houses they're touring, saying "it might fit my clothes" or "I can't even fit all my shoes in here". If you can't allow your husband some room in a closet that is larger than my bedroom, you might want to reevaluate your clothing allowance.
  8. On my way into town tonight, a lady at the intersection to my right stopped at a stop sign, then pulled into the intersection (turning in front of me onto my road) but stopped right in the middle of the intersection to fumble around in her purse, find her lighter, and light her cigarette. THEN she looked up to see if anyone was coming. Never been more thankful for defensive driving skills. She also came around the corner by my house which means she was on her way to the nursing home or the hospital to work (she was wearing scrubs).  Disgusting habit.
  9. Adam rolled a ball to Ryan for a while tonight (the "question-a-ball", for those in our small group) and he actually caught it a few times and can kind of roll it back. He loved it and was such a happy kid playing tonight. So much fun now that he can do more things!
  10. I absolutely can't wait to see my sister tomorrow and for Ryan to see his cousins on Friday! 
It's 10:01. DANG!

Good night!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Relationship Issues

No need to panic, this has nothing to do with Adam and me. The other day I snapped some pictures of Ryan and Nika interacting and the results make a nice pictorial of the different issues/stages of a relationship. Since neither can speak, I find it necessary to narrate with my own words.  I will use RED for Nika's point of view and BLUE for Ryan's side.

Sure, it may look like everything is fine on the outside.

But lately, we just haven't been seeing eye to eye.

Sometimes, I feel like you're making fun of me.

And sometimes I feel like you're hovering, always looking over my shoulder.

Maybe you'd like it if I just looked the other way.
Maybe I would.
How can I compete with you--everyone always commenting on your smile and your hair and your little "toofers". What about MY smile? What about MY hair? I have a whole MOUTH full of teeth.

I can't help it I'm cuter.

It feels like you're always lashing out at me.

That's because you never listen to me.
Would you want to listen to you, if you were me?

We're Through.