Sunday, September 30, 2012

The After Party

Here's to hoping he only wakes up like this after his 3-year-old party and not his 21st. 

After everyone went home, Ryan was wiped out and didn't even protest to taking a nap. He slept a solid 3 hours and then wandered upstairs with the craziest hair ever. We took it easy the rest of the night and he spent most of it loading and unloading cows into his truck.


The skunk got banished (by Ryan) to the entertainment center and is not allowed in the truck, even though, according to Ryan, "Don't worry, he doesn't really stink. He's just a toy animal."  He also drove the truck into the kitchen where it has to "get some more gas because it used it all up and needs some more in the tank." I love hearing him using his imagination!

Stomp Rocket

After lunch, Ryan headed outside to try out his new Stomp Rocket. He got really good at setting it up by himself and launching it, but insisted on counting all the way up to 10 before launch! He also liked pointing it at Grandpa Verlyn.  He loves this new toy and gives us another good activity to play outside. Now we just hope it stays relatively nice out for a few more weeks!

Ryan's 3rd Birthday Party

On Sunday, we held Ryan's 3rd Birthday party at our house. He had 4 grandparents, 3 great-grandparents, plus Uncle Andy and Aunt Kim and Uncle Wade, Aunt Abbie, and Saylor as guests. We served a brunch of egg bake, spinach-bacon quiche, caramel rolls, cinnamon rolls, frozen fruit cups and then it was time to open presents!  It was funny to see that 3 different families who all live in different towns ended up with the same birthday wrapping paper!

If you're looking for ideas for three-year-old birthday presents, he got a lot of great things that he will love playing with! I'm listing them just so I can remember when writing thank-you notes later on and because I think it's helpful to know what kids are into at this age!

Bruder Cattle Transport Truck and hay bales

Holstein Cows, a Texan Longhorn bull, calf, and a skunk (because every farm needs a skunk, according to Wade)

A giant box of 5 floor puzzles
Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Kit (I'll do another post on this with video)
Collapsible Soccer Goal and Soccer Ball; Nerf Football
Books: A is for Autumn, Clifford's Best Day at School, ChimpanSneeze, a series of Marley the Dog books, and a Winnie the Pooh coloring book.

Besides begin excited about the football cake (and presents, of course), Ryan just really enjoyed getting to see his extended family (and he's excited to see his other cousins next weekend).  We have a very happy (and tired) almost-three-year-old. Thanks to everyone for coming to his party!

Football Cakes

I spent Saturday getting ready for Ryan's 3rd birthday party and a bulk of the day was spent on his football cakes. He has been asking for a football cake ever since we started talking about his birthday party this year, so I knew I had to deliver just that! I had a Wilton football player cake pan that I had purchased on a garage sale for $2 even before Ryan was born and finally had a great reason to use it! I used the "Super Moist Devil's Food Cake" recipe from Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor and the Wilton Buttercream frosting recipe, although I cheated and bought a can of chocolate frosting to use for the football and outline.  This cake went fairly smoothly, which was a blessing after forgetting the yeast in a batch of caramel rolls earlier in the morning, but my back and hands got achey from bending over to pipe on the stars and it did take several hours to complete.  Overall, though, I was really happy with how it turned out and Ryan thought it was cool!

At the last minute, I decided we should really have two cakes so I semi-improvised a football-shaped cake. I make the yellow cake called "My Favorite Birthday Cake" from Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor along with her Chocolate Pan Frosting from the same book. After baking two 9" round cakes and cooling them, I cut a strip about 2" wide from the middle of each of the round cakes to make them more football shaped. Unfortunately, when trying to "stick" them together with the warm frosting, it created a bit of a divide and after the heavy fudgy frosting had hardened, there was a huge valley down the middle. Since I hadn't sifted the powdered sugar and the outside of the cake was looking a little less than desirable, I just gave the outside a thin coat of canned chocolate frosting and also filled in the whole valley with frosting. Trust, me, there is almost as much frosting as cake on this one. A few piped details finished this one off and it's a good thing I had it in a cake saver with a lid because Ryan had a hard time keeping his hands off it!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Ryan!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pizza and S'mores

Adam was gone all day Saturday at an away football game (yay! Raiders pulled it out in OT!) and I spent the day cooking/baking/frosting in preparation of Ryan's birthday party. In the evening, Ryan and I headed to Adam's parents to spend some time with Uncle Andy and Aunt Kim who were home for Ryan's birthday.  Ryan loved seeing them and their dog Tessa and we all enjoyed some Pizza Ranch for supper. Then, it was time to try out the new fire pit. We had a little trouble with the wood being wet, but managed to warm up a few mallows. Ryan ate more than his fair share of fudge-striped cookies (an easy way to make s'mores, by the way) and was a little too reluctant to give up control of the roasting sticks, but we had a great time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fro Yo with Great Grandpa and Grandma

Adam's grandparents drove down this weekend to attend Ryan's birthday party. On Friday after supper, we all went to check out the new frozen yogurt shop in town, de zoete winkel (Dutch for "The Sweet Shop") located right next to the movie theater.  Everyone really enjoyed it! Ryan had cookies 'n cream frozen yogurt with a few too many mini M&M's on top. Warning: turning the crank on the dispenser back to the right does not turn it "off", it just causes more to fall on! I had a Mocha Choco Latte (combo of Dark Chocolate and a Cafe Latte) with Butterfinger and peanut butter cups on top. Delicious! We'll be back again!

We hung out at our house for a while and Ryan had fun showing Great-Grandpa M what a drill is for...

...or this...

Great to see you, Great Grandpa and Grandma!

Ryan 3-year-old Pictures

I had Ryan's 3-year-old pictures taken early in September this year and I am so happy with how they turned out? I had Hayley of Southern Belle Portraiture take them since I loved the newborn and one-year-old pictures she had done. Last year I was late on booking and missed out on having her take his two-year-old pictures since she was busy preparing for her own little guy so I had to take some of my own.  We took the photos at her in-laws' farm who are also good friends of my parents. I wanted a lot of red in the pictures to match Ryan's new room. He did fairly well during the session although he was obsessed with getting the little farm cat to come by him, so in most of these pictures, he's actually saying, "Here, kitty, kitty!" The ones with his tongue between his teeth is where he's saying "cheese," so we had to pick a word without an "s" sound! 

I am so proud of my handsome little guy and will have a hard time choosing which pictures to print!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Football Game

Ryan has attended all of the home NWC football games this year, but this Saturday was the first time he was there through the whole game. My parents and Adam's dad were also there to watch and it helped to have a few different people to entertain him. He also entertained himself by running around, eating Skittles and a few other treats, and making friends with a 2-year-old nearby. After the game, he loves running on the field to meet Daddy but we have yet to get a good picture of them together.

Ryan is more concerned with rolling around on the turf, covering himself in field debris...
 Racing around the track (do not sorry, this 6-month-pregnant momma does not embarrass herself by joining in the the fun. I just wait until he's ready to go (or hiss threats under my breath that he pays no apparent attention to).

We're just happy the Red Raiders pulled out a victory!

However, there are sacrifices that are made when attending an entire football game that begins approximately 30 minutes before your usual naptime. At 5:30 that evening, you may look like this...
Even Spidey needs a nap.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend Update

On Friday, football practice was finished at a decent time, so we decided to grab some subs and pack the rest of a picnic to enjoy at the park. Ryan chose to go to Kinder Speeland and after eating, he enjoyed running around the park until dark. It was a nice way to wind down the week before a busy Saturday.

Saturday was a jam-packed day. Adam was at school by 5:00am to get some things done before he left for football prep a/k/a "Amazing Breakfast" by 8:00. Ryan and I took off by 8:10 so he could spend the morning with my mom while I had my first Show Choir rehearsal of the year. I was very nervous because I am SO not in shape to be dancing/talking for hours on end and last year I almost fainted from what I later figured out to be dehydration.  For athletes out there (or anyone who hasn't been a part of one of my show choir "bootcamps"), it may seem silly, but I strategically starting hydrating all day Friday. I felt so much better after drinking at least 64 oz. on Friday and about 48oz. during our 4-hour rehearsal. I lasted a lot better than I thought and am happy with the progress we made, although it's sad how sore my quads and arms were for the next few days!

Right after rehearsal, Ryan and I came back to town to change and head to the NWC game. This game went much better than last week and Raiders had a great win over Doane! Ryan loved running around the field and track after the game, but then we headed home to get ready for the next big thing.

Adam and I headed to the Clay County Fair since I had received tickets to the fair and the Casting Crowns concert from the owner of my company. We checked out the fair food (hot wings are recommended, pork tenderloin is not) and wondered where many of these fair-goers can be found the rest of the year (I was told Spencer Walmart is the best correlation). We enjoyed both Britt Nicole and Casting Crowns at the concert and headed out during the fireworks, getting home by 11:30. Ryan had a fun night with Juliana. I think we were all ready for bed!

I was exhausted by Sunday, so we just chilled out with church/nursery, leftovers, a nap, and then went to the park for 1.5 hours while Adam was at football. Ryan is getting more daring on the play equipment and was pretty proud of his new "monkey move" (see video).

He also picked up a ladybug and was disappointed when it flew away, but assured me that it "would be happier to go home to his mommy and daddy and sister ladybug."  I am liking the cooler temps but can feel our long days fading and times at the park drawing to a close.