Cutting Back

First of all, congratulations to Courtney and Casey Skelton on the birth of their second son, Tucker Casey, 8 lb 10 oz born on Monday morning around 10 a.m. He is a doll and I can not wait to meet him!!!
If you've followed us for a while now, you know we are a family that goes by the book. The hospital used Pampers, we use Pampers. The hospital used Similac Formula, we use Similac. The hospital used Baby Phisoderm to bathe Ryder, we use Baby Phisoderm. The milk storage bags say they can be refrigerated for 8 days, we didn't go more than 2. The doctor said to do this, we did this. The doctor said to do that, we did that. It's pretty ridiculous, but that's how we are. So, the older he's gotten, the easier it's been to let loose on certain things. I don't wash his paci every time it drops, and over the past few days, I've actually just rinsed his bottle in hot water before using it again instead of letting it soak in blistering soapy water for an hour. Our biggest leap yet happened yesterday, two things we said we'd never do.

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with either of these two items, but because we strayed from the "hospital's choice" it was a big deal for us. Now I know good and well that on #2, we will not be this way, but it's just something about that first baby. I did the math, and every two weeks we'll be saving at least $20. Just THINK what we could've saved over the past 8 months on diapers.


1. I am obsessed with "products." Face wash, body wash, lotions, toothpastes, shampoos, etc. and whatever deodorant Kristen uses (she knows what I'm talking about). I LOVE shopping in the beauty section at Walmart. I've never been a big spender when it comes to "health and beauty", I just go with the cheap-o depot. However, I went through a stage in 7th-9th grade where I had to buy Clinique. You just didn't have it going on if you didn't use the 3-step.Mom, why did you buy this for me when I was in 7th grade? This mess is like $50 a pop. I know all of you from my junior high years of school will remember this fad we all went through. The stinky half-cylinder soap that went in the green slide through case and in the middle of the soap it dipped where we rubbed the soap so much (Meg - don't you still use this?). The stinging clarifying lotion that felt like it was ripping my face off everytime I rubbed it with that cotton ball, and eww, that yellow moisturizer, it stunk too.
Here are some of the products I live by now. Nothing fancy, but they get the job done:
Far left: Shampoo - never picky about this, I usually get whatever my hairdresser/good friend Maghen has on the shelf to sell. Clean and Clear exfoliating gel, Dove Citris scent soap, any Bath & Body Works lotion, TRESemme Hairspray, Aquafresh toothpaste (this is all I remember having growing up, so I've just continued to buy), Viva la Viva perfume, Bath & Body Works handsoap, my roll brush, my pink brush that I've had for as long as I can remember, and my wonderful PICK. What would I do without my pick? I love a good tease do. My mom got me started on teasing a long time ago. You know those interviews in Cosmo where they ask celebrities certain beauty secrets such as what is something you would never leave the house without? Mine is 100% teasing my hair. And at least a dab of mascara, my eyelashes are blonde.

What do you use?

Tonight we cooked out with a few friends in the neighborhood. I've never seen Ryder so chill. He hasn't stayed up past 7 pm in months and between the hours of 8 and 9 pm he stayed in this position and didn't make a peep. This is so rare since he is constantly on the move, he must have been major sleepy. Here he is with Lindsey and Gaines, who is Melanie's little one who at 3 weeks old.
As most of you know, I am OCD about wasting things. Now I know this is a bit extreme, but JM was wanting to throw out the remaining specks of formula. I couldn't do it. This is what I saved from the container. Is something wrong with me? Do I need help?

I'm so excited to say that I have my giggle box back. Ryder is back to himself and I am thrilled. He laughs and smiles and talks and it's just so refreshing. I was worried for a while there because the blank stares and the droopy eyes were just too much. But his precious face is smiling and life is good!


After my last post, Ryder still didn't seem to be making any progress in the get well department, so luckily I was off on Monday and took him to the doctor. Our regular doctor is off on Monday's so I saw "first available", now I know why he is probably so available. The entire conversation went a little something like this:

Dr. xxx: Hi mom (in a deep and husky voice), what do we have here mom?
Me: named off symptoms
Dr. xxx: Mom lets check him out mom. [looking in ears] Mom it's going to be alright mom but it's looking like the early stages of an ear infection mom. Mom no need to panic or worry, this is normal mom.
Me: Okay, well good thing I went ahead and brought him in before...
Dr. xxx: Just a minute mom, just a minute [typing info into his laptop]
Me Thinking: Ooookay, so you can't multi task. That's alright, that's okay, I'll never see you again anyway.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The best part about it is when I told a friend who we saw, she immediately started saying mom jokes. Apparently this is a habit of his. While we were there we got some stats: At approximately 7 1/2 months, he is 18 lb 12 oz and 27 inches long.
After the appointment, I decided Ryder needs his own medicine cabinet:

Of course I top it all off with a fruity puff and a big ole' kiss.

Since I was off, I really needed to get a good cleaning in and I cleaned so hard I broke the handle on my swiffer. It's not like it came apart and I could click it back together. It actually broke.

This was on Sunday before the big "diagnosis" on Monday. Being the windiest day of the month, I'm sure it didn't help matters. But he was a big boy his first time in a swing.

My new purchase. Should've done this a long time ago. And since when do they make high chairs with blinking and singing toys that click into the tray. Genius!

More pictures from Super Bulldog Weekend.

By the way, as we speak it is my 26th birthday and it's 8:15 p.m. I'm on the computer blogging. I'm such a mom.

You know, my mom always asks me if I can print out my blog so that she can show her mom, and I always kind of blow it off. But that is such a great idea. I'll print it out one of these days so I can show Ryder how proud I am of him... and also how much I bragged about him.


I Want My Giggle Box Back

Sadly, I have to report that booger bear (booger being the operative word), has had a cold all week. I just assumed he'd have to let it pass since he's always been to young to take medicine for it, but then Connie reminded me I could ask the doctor since he is over 6 months. I text (!!!) Kristen since she is a nurse at Children's Medical Group and asked if he could take anything, she said yes, and I made the call. So now little boogie is on some kind of cold medicine. I'm hoping it's the sickness, or even the medicine, but he has not cracked one smile or baby laugh since we gave him the medicine. Pray for him please, I need a giggle.
MY FACTS: I want to share some of the things that I love in life: having the family and friends I have, someone playing with my hair, seeing Ryder's sweet face as soon as he wakes up, when John Michael does the grocery shopping, buying new clothes, the capability to text, being in a really good mood, sales, having a job that is easy going, flexible and stress free, food, being spontaneous, Saturdays, organizing, making people feel good about themselves, being married to a Christian man, and these pictures:

Thanks Connie, we love them!

SBW Upate: Super Bulldog Weekend was fun, but things didn't exactly happen as planned. First of all, when we got there I wanted John Michael and I to take Ryder to the Cotton District Arts Festival, but it was really hot and JM was wanting to go to the tailgate to help set up. So that was axed. But, we did get to take Ryder out to the tailgate for a bit, which was fun and he could not have been better. Then, I was ready to shop, so mom and I left the tailgate and the journey began, but wait... we only made it to one store because Ryder fell asleep and I didn't want to wake him. Mom and I decided to take him to Carolyn's (where she was staying), and she offered to keep him for me so that I could go back to the tailgate. I unloaded all of his things (I overpacked in a big way -- roughly 40 diapers if that gives you any indication), got him settled in, and headed back to the tailgate. Luckily we got to watch the game in the box, so we were not hot and had a comfy place to sit. After the game, the plans were to pick up Ryder from Carolyn's and take him to West Point to stay with the Ketchum's. Axed again. We decided that we would not want to wake up Ryder again by taking him to eat then to West Point, so we just figured the easiest thing to do was to drive back home. So that's what we did. As I said, we didn't quite follow the plans we had made on our way there, but it was still good to see everyone and be in Starkville!


I'm sorry to disappoint anyone who reads my five fact friday, but it's going to have to be minimized to one fact each Friday. I am running out of facts about myself. I guess I'm not as interesting as I thought I was when I conceived this plan. Wait...there is a fact right there. Is it concieved or conceived? I promise you I don't know the "i before e except after c" rule. That rule is weird to me and I don't get it. I'm not going to lie.

FACT Friday

My friend Kristen got me thinking about the fact I wanted to share about myself this week. She heard on the radio this morning things that just drive people crazy or give you the heebie jeebies. Mine is totally the feeling of cotton on your tongue. I went to the dentist Tuesday and they had to get this cotton cloth and hold it around my tongue, I guess to move it around to see the rest of my mouth. I thought I was going to die, I was covered in chill bumps but I didn't want to say anything because our dentist office already thinks we are crazy. A couple visits ago, JM was at his regular dental checkup and he asked for the "gas" as he always does. He was in the middle of having his teeth cleaned and the next thing he knows his body flies straight forward to the sitting position and yells "WHERE AM I?" When he told me the story, I didn't get it was that big of a deal... until I was at my checkup two weeks later and one of the dental assistants came in and the lady doing my teeth said, "this is the girl whose husband wigged out on the gas." Apparently it was the talk of the office.

I know I mentioned Ashlea's bachelorette party in my last post, but I would like to pay tribute to the bride-to-be:

Two of my very best friends, Kristen and Meg -- we're as close as we were when we met -- Kristen in first grade and Meg in fourth grade.
Monkey-Man (love the outfit Nanni!)
Sitting up in the crib...
...but not for long

While I was at the beach, Maghen and I went shopping for our babies. I knew Ryder was cutting it close with his 9 month footie pj's so I decided to shop for some 12 month footies at Carter's. No ma'am. After 9 months, apparently there is not such a thing. I know I should be sad that he's growing up (which I am), but I was seriously excited about buying the two-piece (there I go again... piece, peice) set of tighties as I like to call them. You don't know how long I've been waiting to put him in the tight twosome shown above. When we went to have Ryder's picture made with Santa, these two brothers that were probably ages 10 and 12 walked in wearing skin tight red and white striped pajamas to have their picture made. John Michael decided then and there he would have none of this. I don't know though, after he sees how cute Ryder is in this picture, he might have a change of heart...
I have to make a special comment here. As you may recall, a few posts back I gave JM a hard time about picking out a girly sippy cup. Well now that Ryder is an avid sippy cup drinker, I decided it was time to get another one. I wanted to get the same brand/style as the one Ryder has now since it's working out just fine, and when I got to looking there were only two choices, red and green, just like JM said. Now I see why he wasn't sure which one was more boyish... the green one has dang butterflies on it. Is NUK against baby boys?


My Little Plumber

As I've mentioned before, when I am away or when JM has Ryder by himself, I'm not nervous a bit. He can do any and everything I can. The only question I have to ask, is what did you dress him in? Ryder went on a few outings while I was gone, two of which I would have tried to dress him up stylishly. One was his little cousins birthday party, the other was church. When JM told me what he picked out, I would've never put the two together, but hey... it matched. I was proud.

While I was gone, Ryder rolled several times across the floor -- front to back, back to front, front to back, back to front. This is a first! He hates being on his stomach and immediately rolls to his back as soon as I put him there. However, he has now become interested in turning over to his stomach. I was watching him in the video monitor last night rolling around in the crib and he kept getting stopped by the bumper pads. Why don't they make bigger baby beds? I dont' want his little face smushed up against the pads while he is sleeping.

I was glad Ryder got alot of grandparent time while I was gone. On Saturday JM took him to Vaughan for the day and on Sunday my dad came over and got to take Ryder on a stroll around the neighborhood. We are very lucky to have all of Ryder's grandparents close.

When I got back from vacation on Sunday, I saw the camera sitting out so I assumed JM snapped some pics while I was gone. I couldn't help but laugh ...

Plumber Butt

A relative of JM's makes precious clothes and I ordered this shirt from her. It is too cute. She makes precious things, so if you like them let me know and I can get you her information. Thanks Connie, for taking his picture for me!

love, love, love him
Posing at 7 months

We have planned to go to Starkville this weekend for Super Bulldog Weekend, but now I'm wondering if I'm going to back out. JM is still going, but I'm worried about keeping Ryder out and about all day and wondering if he'll be able to nap. No Nap = MAD. I've got a couple of days to ponder it. I guess now that he's on formula that'll make his feeding easier. Plus, my mom will be there, and that's always nice. The more I think about it, I believe I've talked myself in to it. I need to show off my little bulldog anyways...


My Seven Month Old

Today my baby boy is 7 months old! It's funny, I don't even consider him a baby anymore. I catch myself saying, "My son this" or "My little boy that", why don't I think he is a baby anymore? That is sad. Here are some facts about Ryder at 7 months: He can hold his own bottle - is loving his sippy cup and drinks about 4 oz of apple juice at a time, usually just once a day - says da da - loves anything that blinks or lights up - eats his feet and pulls his socks off with his mouth - doesn't take a paci - grabs my water bottle because he thinks it's his bottle since they are the same color (clear with blue writing) - eats stage 2 baby foods of apples, carrots, bananas, peas, green beans, squash, peaches, pears - goes to bed at 7:30 pm and wakes around 7 am - kicks his legs almost all the time - slobbers and probably goes through a bib an hour - doesn't have teeth yet - talks to himself in bed for about 20 minutes before we go get him - loves to sit in our bed and watch Sid the Science Kid on PBS in the mornings while we are getting ready - has never slept with us although I wouldn't mind it, he's just not that type of baby - fake coughs to get our attention - hates being on his belly and rolls over as soon as I put him there - sits up once I put him in position, but doesn't stay for long. Of course I could go on and on.

Lately, it's getting harder and harder to leave him when I go places now that he is becoming more "fun". It doesn't bother him a bit, but I'm not going to lie, I miss him more than I did when he was a couple months old. I am going to Orange Beach this weekend with some girlfriends and I'm going to miss him so much. Da Da is going to have a big job to do, but I know he'll be great. He's one of those dads that knows how to do each and every thing that pertains to Ryder, and is probably more adament about keeping him on a schedule than I am. He's a great daddy!

Funny story: JM and I were walking out of Woman's Hospital on Monday after going to see a friends baby (congrats Melanie!!!) and JM was carrying Ryder in the carseat. We passed a guy who was probably in his early thirties and he looked down and Ryder and then at us and said, "Congratulations!" He must've thought he'd just whitnessed a world record watching me walk out of that hospital with a 20 pound baby. Being me, I didn't want to embarrass him so I just said thank you and kept walking.

One Fact Thursday
Since I won't be around a computer on Friday to share my facts (hopefully I'll be getting a good tan at the beach - a tan can make a post pregnant belly look alot better), I'll leave you with one fact today: When I was in 5th grade, which is way old enough to know better, I decided I didn't want bangs anymore. So I shaved them. Yes shaved them. With a razor. Why didn't I let them grow out? That's a good question. I guess you could say I wasn't the smartest crayon in the box, because growing them out never came to mind. I don't know why, but I just thought the only way to get rid of them was to shave them. Now we always hear about a 3 year old who cut their hair or their siblings hair, but I was in the FIFTH GRADE people.

As I have stated before, we are so blessed with a babysitter for Ryder who cares about him and loves him. Just when you think she can't be any better, she tops it! Look at these precious pictures she surprised me with. She called my mom without me knowing and asked her to come along to help keep Ryder propped up and peppy while she did a photo shoot out at the Clinton Visitor Center. She wanted to surpise me for my birthday which is 20 days away, but she couldn't wait more than 20 minutes to tell me! I'm only going to post a few, but they are just adorable.

Wearing his daddy's cowboy hat

I found these precious boots at Peppy & Posh, a consignment boutique in town.

On to our Easter festivities...

Cousins Walker, Ryder & Sellers
Reese, Ryder & Brooke - Reese wanted to know where we got our baby because she wanted one

My boys

My little family

Giving me a fake smile

My giraffe-necked dog


Da da Da da Da

It happened...da da is officially the first word. At first it was just a dddddddd sound, but now it's clearly da da. Even though he doesn't know what or who da da is, it's still so cute when he says it and just melts my heart. JM just lights up everytime he says it too. Ryder seems to be a big time daddy's boy right now. He thinks JM is hilarous and laughs at everything he does.

I had a living nightmare last night. We've been mixing half formula with half mama milk the past couple weeks as I start to weane Ryder. I knew we had a good bit of frozen milk in the outside freezer so last night I decided to go ahead and begin to use it up over the next week or two. As I walk into the storage room where the freezer is, I notice a leak on the ground. At first I think it's coming out from a cooler that is sitting there, but then I open the freezer and see all the frozen milk slouched over and unthawed. My stomach hit the floor. I have no idea how long the freezer door had been cracked so since you are supposed to use unthawed milk within 24 hours, I realize that this is all about to go to waste. Thank GOD most of it was used while we were in Breckenridge or I would've really lost my marbles. As I've stated before, I hate to waste things, so I am really kind of annoyed at myself for quitting breastfeeding because I know it's there to give, and more importantly it's free (have you seen the cost of formula?), but it's just time. I will have done it for over 7 months and I think that's pretty dandy.

Conversation between Kayla and a little kindergartener in her class:

Girl: Miss Grooms, what color are you?
Kayla: What color do you think I am?
Girl: Hmm...I guess you mixed.

My advice to Kayla - stay out of that tanning bed!

Five Fact Friday

1. JM goes on a canoe trip every summer with 15 or so guys, and one of the guys that goes will be on this coming up season of The Bachelorette with Ali. Ty Brown is his name. The best part about this is we won't have to fight over the remote on Mondays, as I'm sure JM will tune in.

2. I'll be 26 years old this month and I'm only on my second car. This might not be that big of a deal, but alot of people I know were on car #2 by the time they graduated high school. I want a Volvo SUV. And I want it now!

3. I have a serious problem with rubber neckers... but what's worse is a rubber necker ON FOOT. Example: I was at Target earlier this week and was browsing through clothes in the baby section. The Target worker was next to me hanging clothes and I see this guy (who was with his wife and young child) turn around to stare at her, while continuing to walk. I mean, his head almost did a 360, so much that he nearly tripped over his own son. What do these people think they are going to get out of staring someone down? It grosses me out, bad.

4. I eat bananas in my taco salad, and have recently started adding pineapples. JM makes fun of my family because he says he always have some type of fruit with our meal, whether it's on the side or on top for that matter. He thinks it is so weird. Everytime we're going to eat at either my mom or dads, he'll say, "What are we going to have, besides fruit?"

5. When I was 2 or 3 I stole something from a friend. I remember she spent the night with me and we were playing with her pen that had disney characters on it and it wrote in pink. It's all a bit fuzzy now, but I remember sometime during the night I went and got her pen out of her suitcase and kept it. It still bothers me that I did that, how horrible was I!?

Ryder and Swayze. JM looks good with a little boy AND girl, doesn't he?

Mommy, please don't be mad at me for losing my shoe.

This cutie will be 7 months on Thursday

JM's hat as a baby. Apparently something came unraveled under the hat. You thought Ryder grew hair didn't you?

Shoes are just so cute on little babies