Golfing buddies to be

Ryder and I sat out at the driving range tonight while JM hit some balls.  It was so hard to keep him quiet and I was afraid he was making the others mad, so I just kept stuffing Cheetos in his mouth.  He didn't complain.

Then JM came over and gave him some juice.

Once he went back to hit, Ryder couldn't stand it any longer, so he wobbled his way over to see what this "golfing" was all about.

Now he's hooked.

 Then we got home, took a bath and read our favorite book,
"That's not MY monster"
Connie - He is OBSESSED!


Last weekend we had fun at Preston and Pace's first birthday party.  We attempted a group photo of the chillins and it wasn't as successful as we'd hoped, but cute nonetheless. 

Let's see, we've got from the left: Collin, Preston, Brantlee, one of the triplets (Allie, Reese or Juliet), Ryder, Luke, two more of the triplets, Pace and Charlie.


Birthday Boy Pace pulling Birthday Boy Preston's hair.
Didn't faze Preston.

"You get my drift?"

Cheesin' in the hay

Trying to wiggle out of my hands so he could go play

Ryder finally got to meet his friend Charlie Kingrea, who is only about 3 weeks older than Ryder.  

After fighting over the toys, Ryder finally agreed to share.  The more he is around kids, the more I see that my child does not like other people holding "his" toys.  He likes to hold ALL of them at once.

Three muskateers: Pace, Charlie and Ryder

The cute, cute cake

Jan, Pace, Preston and Payton
Happy Birthday to the sweetest twins I know!

Ryder learned something new at the party, how to suck a straw from a juice box.  That juice was gone before I could run and get the camera to get this picture.


Ryder had his mini-session pictures with Jeanelle on Monday and he was a HOOOT!  The pictures were taken out at an old barn, and the minute we opened the car door and Ryder heard that cow moo, he was in hog heaven.  JM unbuckled the seatbelt and I thought Ryder was going to roll right out of his seat, he was ready to see his cows.  He started Moooo'ing and didn't stop until the pictures were over.


Since Ryder turned 1, he has decided it would be appropriate to change his bedtime.  He refuses to go to bed before 8:00.  Here is a picture from last night around 8:15.  He was screaming so bad in his crib.  I figured another glass of milk and half an episode of his favorite show, Sid might help.  And it did.


We can't keep little jungle man out of the bushes.

Well, until he sees his car.  Why must we always forget to put it away until we are ready to stroll him?  Now that he knows how to get into by himself he will just sit in it and stare at us until we push him around.  And if he has been sitting still for more than 20 seconds, he starts banging his head back and forth trying to get it to move himself.

Some things Ryder is doing since he has turned one:
-He can roar like a monster.
-He is completely off the bottle and only drinking from a sippy cup.
-He is drinking whole milk, and cold at that.  I never warmed it up from the beginning so that he wouldn't get used to it.
-He can now stand up by himself when getting ready to walk.
-Crawling is still his preference.
-He says BYE MAMA (only when I say it first, of course).
-When I say one...two...three...four... He will say "Fiiiii" (sounding like eye with an "f" at the front.


Okay, it's kind of difficult to cook dinner while it's just me and Ryder at the house.  But I really want to cook dinner most nights.  And JM is still so busy at work that he can't get home before 6:30 or 7 (except tonight of course.... driving range, remember?).  Last night I wanted to make something so I put Ryder in his highchair and cut up some grapes to put on his tray so that he would have something to munch on in between bites of real food that I would give him in between running around the kitchen, back and forth from the high chair to the stove to the high chair to the fridge from the high chair to the microwave from the high chair to the sink.  Trying to cook dinner and feed Ryder all at the same time.  I felt like I was neglecting him so much because I could hardly pay any attention to him while he sat in the highchair so I would just try and talk to him the whole time I was cooking, telling him what I was making and what ingredients I was using and so forth.  So here is what we had:  I don't know what it's actually called, so I'll call it yummy.

1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 lb ground beef
fresh garlic (I used garlic powder b/c we didn't have any fresh)
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 cup sour cream
8 oz cheese, shredded
10 oz package egg noodles, prepared

Mix together cream cheese, onion powder and sour cream with electric mixer and set aside.  Brown ground beef with garlic until cooked; drain.  Add tomato sauce, tomato paste and prepared noodles to meat; stir.  Then add in the cream cheese mixture; stir.  Pour into a 9x13 dish and top with shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Easy.


1 can Del Monte Fresh Cut Green Beans (only kind I use - don't accidentally get the can that is no salt added)
1 tablespoon sugar (or a tiny bit less)
1 tablespoon olive oil (or a tiny bit less)

Don't drain the green beans and pour all three ingredients into a pot and cook on the stove on medium-high for about 30 minutes, or until all the water is soaked up.

Many times I double this recipe if my main dish is large enough that we'll have leftovers the next day.  My mom and grandmother have always made green beans like this so it's how I always thought green beans should taste.  When I was younger and would eat green beans at school or at a friend's house, I honestly thought something was wrong with them because they weren't sweet.

Please know these do NOT taste like mayo.

1 cup self-rising flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk

Mix first 3 ingredients well.  Add milk and stir until smooth.
Either fill muffin cups 1/2 full (instead of muffin cups, I just spooned them onto a pan)
Bake at 400 for 12 minutes

Just butter 'em up and these are good rolls!  I knew we needed a "bread" with our meal, but we were out of any frozen garlic toast and the bisquick was expired when I checked, so I searched the recipe books for some type of bread that I could made with flour, and this is the first one I found.  I'll be making them again.


My dad and Ryder's Papa has had a birthday since I last blogged, so I want to wish him a happy late birthday! He and Becky took a fun trip to Boston, Maine and New Hampshire for his birthday. How fun!!!  I love you daddy!!!


Recipes, Tips & Celebrations

My Ryder is now a WALKER, or should I say wobbler.
He can't get up by himself, but once we set him on his feet he will walk!  Now don't get me wrong, he still dislikes it very much.  And whines each wobbly step he takes until he plops on his behind.  But he can officially walk many, many steps!  I am one proud mama.


The million dollar question for myself:  Why don't I use the crock pot more?  Yesterday during lunch I put on Crock Pot Chicken and when I got home after work, I made Squash and Cheese Casserole with fresh squash from the Wilson garden in Vaughan.  And we also had a delish ceasar salad with none other than Cardini's Ceasar Dressing.  It was Mmm Mmm Good.

Crock Pot Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of mushroom
1 tablespoon minced onion (I used onion powder)
1 seven ounce can mushroom pieces & stems (no thank you...)
1 bell pepper cut into strips

Place all ingredients in the pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low all day.
The chicken will just fall apart...mmmmm

Squash and Cheese Casserole
1 1/2 pounds yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup shredded Montery Jack
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
Salt & pepper to taste
2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs (from two slices of bread, crusts removed, coarsely ground in a food processor)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a shallow 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
In a vegetable steamer, steam the squash until tender but not mushy-soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
In a small skillet over low heat, cook the onion in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add to the squash along with the Jack and Parmesan cheeses, cream, coriander, and salt and pepper.  Spoon the mixture into the baking dish.
Melt the remaining butter.  Sprinkle the top of the gratin with the bread crumbs and drizzle with butter.  Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

And while I'm being Martha Stewart today, here are three handy household tips for you:

#1 Cleaning Glass
Now I've heard this numerous times, but never tried it.  Just seems yuck.  But after seeing so often, I decided it must be a useful trick.  So, use old newspapers instead of paper towels to clean mirrors and windows. And if anything, you're recycling!

#2 Dusting Crown Moldings

To dust crown moldings, place a microfiber rag over the broom's bristles and secure with a rubber band. Then use the long handle to dust areas that your arms can't reach.

#3 Cleaning Glassware
 When you're washing narrow-necked glass vases and decanters, add a little uncooked rice to the water. Your glassware will sparkle.


My daddy with his girls and g-son

Playing in the sprinkler

Telling me BYE (he screams this word)

Ryder has turned into a dancing machine.  When we turn on the song on his little riding horse he pokes his elbows out and moves them up and down.  And he gets his head a bobbin' too.  It's seriously funny.
The dance off begins...

Shoot, I gotta sit down for these kind of moves

Everybody HUSH!
I'm trying to concentrate on my steps!

Sweet angel face

Ryder was happily trucking along the living room until he heard his favorite sound.  You guessed it.  The garage!!!  Didn't take him long to figure out how to hop off.

Last weekend we had a celebration dinner party for George's 60th Birthday and Retirement from the National Guard.

Everybody was there, even his four grandsons

We had to find ways to entertain the kids while waiting on the food

More entertainment.  Too bad Ryder wasn't down there, he could've gotten in on the dancing for sure!

Courtney giving her sweet speech to her daddy

Marlee, Sellers & Tripp

Aunt Kayla keeping Ryder busy reading a book

George's parents and Carolyn and Jim

CC and Poppy cutting the CAMO cake
We had so much fun and it was great getting everybody together to celebrate.

Speaking of birthdays, we are so excited about Preston & Pace's first birthday party on Sunday!  It's a barn yard theme and I know it will be just precious.  Ryder's super excited about seeing his little buddies too.


Ryder's 12 Month Checkup STATS!

Weight - 22lb 4oz - 50%
Height - 2 ft 6 in - 75%
Head - 48 cm - 90% (duh, again)

OH... and he took about three steps tonight!  Progress... progress.

While waiting on the doctor, I had to improvise.  I put his backpack on his back and it must've been a little heavy.  The moment he let go of that chair he flew backwards.  Whoops.

After his THREE shots.  Little baby tear broke my heart.  Mean nurse!


I am taking a six week online photography class for Digital SLR cameras beginning in October.  I have this nice camera and I need to put it to use.  The dial is probably rusted over just sitting on green (auto), because I don't know what else to do with it.  So, hopefully I'll have some pretty pictures to share very soon.

Speaking of pictures, I've been racking my brain about what I want to dress Ryder in for his upcoming photo sessions.  We've got three different sessions coming up, and I just have to have something so cute for each, hellooooo. 

Mini Sessions in September.  Then, Connie and Dee (Cherished Memories Photography) will be taking our Christmas Card pictures in October which I am super excited about!  I just hope JM will cooperate, he gets a little antsy when the camera comes out.  And, of course I have to have Christmas Pictures made with Santa.  Whew.  Three nice outfits.  I got myself in a little trouble today in one of the children's clothing stores, and that was only for one outfit :(


This is funny to me, and I laugh as I type this.  However, it's probably one of those "You had to be there" moments.  You know how they say texts can always be read wrong?  As in the person sending it can mean one thing, but the person receiving it might take it in a different way.  This probably isn't as funny to you as it is to me, but this is a text conversation JM and I had while he was on his way to Starkville for the game last Thursday.  For my sake, please keep in mind that he is always giving me random headcounts of events if there was a large crowd, or if it's is supposed to be a large crowd.

Text Conversation

John Michael: Record game tonight
Brittany: Really?  On a Thursday? 
John Michael: What's Thursday have to do with anything?
Brittany: I'm just surprised with it being a work day.  You do mean record attendance, right?
John Michael: Tivo the game
Brittany: You didn't answer my question about the attendance
Brittany: HAHAA nevermind, I get it

Record / Record ... get it?? 


I realized I didn't take any pictures of just Ryder at his birthday party, so I put his outfit back on him and took a couple.  This was when he had an ear infection which is why he is holding his ears, still so cute though.


The case of the missing feet.
Seriously, where are they?  That's creepy.

Monkey See, Monkey Do
Or should I say...
"If daddy does it, I'm on do it"

New funny thing Ryder does while laying on the changing table:  We will say, "Ryder, don't you do the crazy legs, don't you dare do it"  And he will start grinning so big and kick his legs all over the place.  It's soooooo cute! 

Also, everytime I leave him I'll ask for kisses or sugar and then I make the "mmm mmmmm" sound while I kiss him on the cheek or lips.  He usually will put his cheek up to mine and then ram his head backwards and look at his daddy and start snickering like he's embarrassed or something.  Tonight when I said it, he leaned in and puckered up right to my lips and went "mmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm".  

Can't take it, so CUTE! 

And I want to leave you with some MOMments.  I proudly made this word up for COMMENTS that MOM'S say... these are all things I have heard either my mom or my friends moms say at some point:

"Now, run to Krogers and pick up a gallon of milk." 
Correct term: Kroger

"I'm running by The Sonic's, want anything?" 
Correct term: Sonic

"Have you heard about that sale going on at Penny's?" 
Correct term: JC Penny

"I bought her a couple outfits from Azwools." 
Correct term: Az Well

"I wonder if they sell those shoes at Belk's?"
Correct term: Belk

And my personal favorite, said by my mom (a long time ago)
"Is Ambercrombie still at Northpark?"
Correct term: Abercrombie

Recently, my friend Devin and I were talking about songs, and I made the MOMment, "I think Blues Travelers sings that."  She immediately let me know what a "mom" I was, and that the band is called Blues Traveler (singular, not plural). 

I guess it comes with the territory...?


The Birthday Boy -- On His REAL Birthday!

Enjoying his blueberry muffin for his birthday breakfast

Happy Birthday to MEEE!  I'm ONE!
(look how he can point his finger and do "one")

It's MY birthday, and I can CRY IF I WANT TO!!!

But if you give me daddy, I'll stop :)

Mama's pretty sweet too.

Birthday Dinner at Salsa's - I'm One... I don't need no high chair

So what's been going on with Ryder in his twelfth month? (I showed JM twelfth and told him it looked weird, he swears up and down that's not how you spell it, even after I looked it up).

1. Wearing size 4 diapers.
2. Taking four 6 oz. bottles a day and 3 full meals of real food (not baby food).
3. He is not a picky eater, doesn't turn much down.
4. Waves bye bye.
5. Anytime a phone is in sight, real or fake, he immediately grabs it and puts it to his ear.
6. Something new - When he picks up the remote, he points it to the TV and says "Sih" like a hundred times in a row for Sid the Science Kid.  I guess this is because everytime we get ready to put the TV on for him, we say, "You want to watch Sid?"
7. Wears 12-18 month clothes and size 3 shoe.
8. Can squat down and stand up without holding on to anything, but is too afraid to take a step.  He will walk around with me while I hold one of his hands though.  But he sooo can walk alone, he's just being cautious.
9. Has four teeth -- two bottom and two top.
10. Is riding face forward in his car seat.
11. He likes to climb on top of anything in his reach.
12. He stares at everything and everyone when we are in public.
13. He is not afraid to go to anyone, he is a very friendly baby and always has been.
14. He does not have an attachment to anything, as in no security blanket, teddy bear, etc.
15. He has never taken a paci, except when he was a couple weeks old and we gave him one because we thought it would help him sleep better... and because that's just what we thought you were supposed to do.
16. He has said ba ba a few times for his bottle... this is new.
17. He pats me on the back when he's sleepy and layed up against me.
18. He really pays attention.  He has a small toy that whistles when you blow into it.  And John Michael always blows into this toy.  Just recently, Ryder will picked up any toy that looks similiar to it, and blows into it, just like he sees his daddy do.
19. When we went to the doctor Monday (you'll see why below), he was 32 inches long.  He was screaming too bad for me to remember to ask his weight.
20. His average night sleep schedule is 7:30 pm until 6:30 am.  On average during the day, he naps 9-11 am and 2-3 pm.  But from what I hear from other moms, he is about to drop that morning nap.

I haven't mentioned this, but on the day after Ryder's birthday party, he woke up breathing extremely heavy and fast.  And his little belly was moving up and down 90 to nothing.  We got the first appointment we could and found out he had an ear infection and they prescribed breathing treatments for the wheezing.  Day one of the breathing treatments looked something like this:  Pure Misery.

Day two went a little better.  I swear the minute he found out he could hold, a/k/a feel like he was in control of the machine, he was calm.  He might be a lil control freak like his daddy...Oh dear.

Ryder's very last bottle as a "month" baby.
As in, the last bottle before he turned ONE and is a "year" baby.


That's some serious cellulite for such a teeny booty

We made our way to Starkville for the first home game of the season on Saturday.  It was the day before Ryder's party so Ryder and I just went for the day and left before the game started, and John Michael stayed for the game and came home afterwards.  Ryder did really well at the tailgate despite missing BOTH of his normal two hour naps.  That could've been a disaster, but it wasn't.  He was great.

For some reason I can't hear you.
Is the phone unplugged or something?

Chillin' in my new tailgate chair

Tailgating with the family

Today is the date of Ryder's birth. September 8. This past year John Michael and I have learned so much. We had no idea what it would be like to have a baby. Neither of us had ever really been around a baby for a long period of time, we had never even changed a single diaper until we changed Ryder's. We had never heard of putting your baby on a "schedule," we didn't know babies had to be fed every three hours, we didn't know babies could wake you up in the middle of the night, and we certainly didn't know babies would wake you up before 9 a.m! We didn't know you could practically pound on a baby's back to burp them as newborns, we didn't know little boys would spray you when the "ERR" hit them (as the nurse techs will say), we didn't know babies skin could be so sensitive, we didn't know we'd have to sponge bathe around that "ugly black thing" on their belly button until it umm... fell off (yuck!). We didn't know they could get such runny little noses and sad little coughs. We didn't know that rubber orangey-brown pointy thing with the ball on the end was used to get all the snotties out (last time I saw one of those I was probably 3 years old when my mom used it for Kayla, and I always thought it was a breast pump! ha ha!). We didn't know if a baby tugged on his ear, it might mean he has an ear infection. We didn't know there were three stages of baby food and how many ounces of milk your baby needs at certain stages of his life.

We didn't know that the smallest things your baby does would send you into laughter, we didn't know you could stare at a living being for such long periods of time, and never get bored. We didn't know we would be waiting on edge to catch him doing something new, we didn't know how good it would feel to rock him to sleep and have his sweet hands around our neck while we did. We didn't know how bad it would hurt us when he was sick, we didn't know how happy it would make us when he would grin from ear to ear with his eyes squinted so tight you thought that might be stuck together. We didn't know that hearing the words mama and da da would melt our hearts the way they did. We didn't know we could love someone SO much, until we met Ryder a year ago today.  And we didn't know it was possible to love him any more than we do, but each day, we are proved wrong. 
We learned all these things from scratch, and we learned them together as parents for the first time. We literally, literally knew NOTHING about being parents. We didn't have many friends who were parents, and the ones who were lived hours away, so we weren't a part of the everyday life of raising a child.  And to be honest, it was probably a little more difficult at first because of our cluelessness, but I wouldn't change it for anything, because we accomplished this together, as a couple, and we think we did a darn good job!  This first year has been such a learning experience, one that we will cherish forever.

And so this closes the book of Ryder's FIRST year of life. And what a wonderful year it has been. We love you soooooooooooooo much baby love, and are so looking forward to all the great years ahead.

Sweet Kisses,

Mommy and Daddy