Photo Shoot - 3 weeks old

Here are some photos from Ryder's 3 week old photo shoot, done by Marianna Hydrick. She also took photos for our wedding. They are fuzzy because they were scanned, but you can get the idea...

We also got to celebrate our nephew, Sellers, baby dedication at Pinelake a couple weeks ago. He did so good!

A Time to Give Thanks

This Thanksgiving season I have so much to be grateful for: A beautiful healthy baby boy! Not to mention my own health, wonderful family and friends, a home, food on the table, clothes on my back. I always find myself having to stop and think about how much I have, and so often I take it for granted. That is my goal, to realize what I've got each and every day. Our Thanksgiving started off last night at my dads, he knows we've got so many families to visit so we always get to eat the non-traditional holiday meals, which we love and definitely appreciate! We were stuffed from the wonderful white chili, salad, baked potato, fruit and bread YUM YUM. Tonight, we're off to JM's family get together in Benton. Tomorrow for lunch we'll go to Greenville and Friday I get to do the ever so popular black Friday shopping for the first year EVER! Saturday, I have another first... first football game of the year. My season tickets haven't gotten much love this season. Then, Sunday we're having Thanksgiving with the family in Clinton. So many places to go, but how can you complain when you're loved by so many?

By the way, Ryder is loving his babysitter, Mrs. Connie. John Michael drops him off in the mornings and he says Ryder giggles and giggles every single morning. I hate that I'm missing all this while at work, but I am happy that he is happy. When I picked Ryder up Monday, I was so surprised with his first piece of art work, a hand print Turkey! Now Ryder is 11 weeks old, we are really starting to figure everything out, for the most part. It's neat that you know how to "fix" things. What to do when he cries, makes grunting noises, etc. He loves his swing, he doesn't like to be held in a cradle, but over our shoulder. When we sing lullabies at night, he is wide-eyed as ever, and his favorite thing of all... the BATH! How lucky are we? Giving a bath could be a very stressful situation if the baby doesn't cooperate, but please do not fear, it's his best time of the day.


More Weekly Photos

I forgot to post Ryder's 7 & 8 week photos. I hope I continue to be diligent with these weekly photos, at least for a little while. I know I'll enjoy looking back.

Also, Ryder got a special visit from his Aunt T (Anna Terrell) last weekend!

Is this CUTE or WHAT!!!
Ryder on his 9 week old birthday

8 Week Shots... What About 'Em?

Ryder was SO good at his 8 week checkup! He weighed 12 lb. 4 oz. and was 23 1/2 inches and his head measured 40 cm. He was just so happy the entire appointment, didn't even spray the nurse this time. We just kept thinking, oh son, you don't even know what's coming. I almost wish he would've been cranky just so the shots wouldn't ruin his day. Well, here comes the needle and I'm over his head trying to talk to him and do anything I can to distract him. Shot #1, a little scream. Deeeeep breath and shot #2, another little scream. One more shot and one more scream, and this baby was quiet as a mouse! I seriously wondered if they put a little something in that shot, because he conked out! During the day he never goes more than 3 hours to eat and it had gotten to be four hours before he woke up to eat. Well, never the less, we paid for it that night.... enough said.
On another note, my first day back to work was yesterday (side note: Ryder is 9 WEEKS OLD TODAY!!) and it was much better than expected. I teared up for just a second pulling onto our babysitter's street, but once I went inside I felt alot better... that is until I realized I forgot the poor baby's milk! Thank goodness we only live a few streets over so I ran home to get it and was back in less than 3 minutes. He didn't do so well that first day, Connie said he only slept a total of about 40 minutes in the whole day. Well lucky for us, he slept 8 hours last night so things definitely worked out for us! She said he did alot better today so we'll see how tonight goes. John Michael is off tomorrow for Veteran's Day so Ryder is going to stay home with him. We'll see if he can stand one full day of "stay at home dad." I know he's going to love the cuddling time, but we'll see about all those diaper changes, clothes changes, spit ups, etc. he'll get to have fun with! I've already asked him if the house was going to be spic & span when I got home like it was the entire 9 weeks I was home... I got a polite eye roll.

I have been so lucky that both my step sister Courtney & sister in law Marlee have little boys so I got a bag full of really cute hand me downs tonight, and I had to dress Ryder in his 9 week old picture in one of them... Check it out!


Our First Mini-Vacay

John Michael and I were so excited to take our first little overnight trip to Birmingham to a Ryan Bingham show (Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses). JM and his friends have been to several shows over the past year, and this is the first one I've been able to go to since I'm not prego anymore. I never understood how good these shows must be for JM to leave me at home 20 and 30 weeks pregnant (ha), but now I know! We had a BLAST! These guys are really talented and I honestly can't usually listen to a cd over and over again, but this is one I can. We are looking forward to going to many more. Check out his website http://www.binghammusic.com/ to listen to some of his music. This particular night the band didn't start until 12 (of course JM heard the doors opened at 7 so that's when we got there, and the band was just pulling up and unloading their equipment). Well we ended up getting to hang out with them until they went on stage. Pretty cool night overall, I even got him to write something to Ryder.... said To Ryder, Rock & Roll. His daddy was quite proud. A few pics...

John Michael, Ryan & Will

Me & Ryan

JM and Will

Ryan, JM, random surfer who lives in Panama - yes the country (friends w/ Ryan) & myself

The Life of a Housewife Comes to an End...

Today is Ryder's 8 Week Birthday! This can only mean one thing... time for mommy to go back to work. Maternity leave is not what I expected. I expected lots of late sleeping, catching up on shows, shopping, getting out and about with Ryder, lots of strolls around the neighborhood, and most of all RELAXATION!!! I'm not sure any of these things happened. You just can't get out and about with a baby this age, no, not because of the germs, etc., but because you never know what the mood may be. When he was three weeks old, my mom rode with me to TJ Maxx so I could shop a bit. She offered to keep him and just let me go, but for some reason I have this weird thing with shopping by myself, but I only really like to shop with my sister (and mom) for some reason. I think I like shopping with Kayla so much because she will go anywhere and everywhere I want to go, at anytime of the day or week. And she'll always hold my stuff for me while I shop and push the buggie if we're at Target, TJ, Marshall's, or anywhere that has buggies. Anyway, back to the subject, my mom went with me and Ryder was doing so good the whole time. Then he started to get fussy and so I ran into the dressing room to change him. Well that didn't do the trick. So, my mom suggested I try to nurse him for a little while to soothe him. That was starting to work until the loud explosions came. I was SOOO embarrased. Mostly because no one knew I was in there with a baby, but the whole dang store was sure to hear these noises coming from my little baby's bottom in dressing room. Luckily, I was able to get out of the dressing room with no one waiting in line to see me, and for those who did see me, thank goodness they saw me with a baby.

Back to the maternity leave, here is what a normal day looks like for me: JM gets up for the first morning feeding which is usually between 5 & 6a.m. He tries to keep him up for about 30 min then puts him to sleep. Then, 3 hours later, around 9 am I am awakened by the cries and it's time to feed him (this child is like clockwork every 3 hours). I feed him for about 30 minutes, burp him, change him and we play on the activity gym for about 15 minutes or so. Then I'll carry him around the house while I do some picking up. Then after it's been an hour since I started feeding him, I usually put him down. Sometimes he falls right to sleep and others he cries it out for about 15 minutes. If it goes any longer than this I'll pick him up, but it usually never does. Then I do other things around the house, laundry, dishes, the usual cleaning things, then guess what? Yep, it's already 12 and time to eat again. Then I do it all over again. I am NOT complaining by any means, it's just not what I expected!

Here are a few pics of this big ole' boy. His shots are Thursday, I'm trying to prepare myself.