Ball Games and Grass Stains

Now THAT'S what little boys are made of!

I know my appointment was scheduled for Thursday, but yesterday I called to see if they had any openings for Wednesday, and they had one, so I took it.  I couldn't wait any longer!

 Here he is

She snuck a 4D picture in, which made me very happy!
Just a few reasons I am so excited we are having a boy:

1.  Because I LOVE having a boy, Ryder gets sweeter by the day... and you know what they say about boys and their mama's!
2.  We don't have to buy any new baby gear (carseat, bouncer, swing), because all Ryder's stuff was definitely in the blue family.
3.  All the clothes we DON'T have to buy (although I will admit I was looking forward to buying some new clothes), but most of Ryder's clothes were borrowed and have been given back, so maybe I'll still be able to buy a few new things without feeling too guilty.
4.  We don't have to start saving for a wedding (ha. ha.)
5.  Ryder will have a little buddy.  I will say I'm sooooo glad I have a sister, and I think it'll be vice versa for Ryder.
6.  And my final reason is now we have an excuse to try for another one, one day!!!

So I know this is the appointment everyone looks forward to (if you are planning to find out the gender), but being the way that I am, I was so nervous because I knew this was the appointment where they look at all the parts and make sure everything looks "normal" and if it appears that there will be any problems with the baby.  I have been worried about this appointment from the beginning because last time we had this 20 week appointment with Ryder we found out he had this choriod plexus cyst on his brain (it ended up going away).  But I am so happy and thankful that everything looked good.  Only one small little thing and that is my placenta is low (same with Ryder, but it ended up moving up where it was supposed to be) and if it doesn't move up I could have to get a c section and possibly be put on bed rest, so if that's all there is, I'm the happiest camper ever.  Plus, this just means I get extra sonograms!  ALL glory, honor and praise to God!

Here's a quick clip of us telling Ryder he's going to have a little brother.  It's PRICELESS what he says.  I have never ever heard him say this before and it cracked us up so bad, it was definitely luck that we caught it on camera.




Saturday we got to shower one of my longest time friends, Meg, for her upcoming wedding.

On top of celebrating Meg, we got a chance to spend time together which is always a plus.  After the shower all these girls came to my house and we got to talk and catch up even more, never a dull moment and always lots of laughs.

Then on Sunday we went to Vaughan.  Ryder assisted in picking up golf balls in the pasture.

He was very intent with his search and was sure not to drop any balls by rolling them up in his shirt. He also got some good practice for Easter.

Monday night John Michael had something to do, so me and Ryder went out to eat.  He insisted on sitting in the booth while I ordered, and that was fine with me because I could see the top of his head, so I knew he hadn't gone anywhere.  After ordering I walked to the table to find him with the salt shaker in his hand, upside down, in mid-stream.  The worker was right behind me bringing our food and saw the mess and said "Boy what did you do!  Did you spill that salt?"  Ryder replied, "yeah, I did."  The worker looked at me and said well at least you know he don't lie!

Over the past couple months, Ryder wakes up sometime during the night, screaming at the top of his lungs, MAMA, DADDY, MAMA DADDY, COME IN HERE PLEASE!!!!  Once he's sitting up in bed, there's no way he's going to lay back down without one of us.  So off we go to his room.  We take turns each night.  Tonight I was laying in bed with Ryder before bedtime and we were talking.  Every night we have the talk and I ask him why he wakes up and calls our names out and he usually just says, "Because I do."  Sometimes he says "Because I want ya'll" (which melts my heart), and tonight he said, "Because guess what?"  I said what?  He said, "sometimes I cry at night cause I want you and daddy to come in here and sleep with me."  I couldn't help but laugh, he is just SO innocent and honest.  It was so sweet that I accidentally told him he could call out to me anytime and I would be there.  I shouldn't have said that because Lord knows he doesn't forget anything, and he'll certainly hold it against me.  But I love him SO MUCH!  I can't help it!


The question I get alot is who does Ryder look like?  Then they answer their own question by saying he looks identical to John Michael.  I don't see either of us in him, probably because he's mine, but it's hard to see.  So the bottom line is probably one person has thought he looked like me.  I could care less who he looks like, but I'm just glad to know he favors at least one of his parents.  It is no secret Ryder has minimal front hair (bangs), but what he does have are "wings" of hair above each ear.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D

As I was going through a cabinet looking for some wrapping paper for the above wedding shower, I came across my baby book.  In it were lots of photos, but I especially giggled when I saw this picture of myself with my "wings."  Dislaimer: I was only 13 months and that is why my face is so GIGANTIC.  Gotta blame it on the baby fat.  So, needless to say, I guess I can claim the Ryder's wings as mine.

OK, after I posted this blog, Connie found a picture of Ryder at 13 months too and put them side by side, too funny!

Only 2 days left to vote whether you think Ryder is going to have a little brother or little sister, see the poll at the top of my blog!


Toilet Talk

Most of you moms get to post your children's pictures of their first haircut before they turn one.  But all of you have more than likely posted a picture of your child with his/her first haircut before they are at LEAST two.  Well here we are almost halfway to three, and a haircut is nowhere in our near future (bless this baby in my belly if it's a girl......)

But the "first" I CAN post is a picture of Ryder's first time at the dentist!

He was an angel!  He didn't cry one bit, much less wimper.  He was so into her tools and the light and then she asked, "Do you want strawberry, grape or bubblegum?"  He said, ummmm I want strawberry!  So then she got finished brushing his teeth with strawberry toothpaste and he kept asking where his strawberry was.  He wanted some fruit!

His sweet hygenist, Lindsey

We practiced our "AAAHHHHHHHH" the night before

When he was done, he got to dig through the treat box (probably the same box I went through when I used to go to the same dentist office).

They were cracking up at him and how he was so into brushing his teeth.

Susan, or Dr. Fortenberry counting his teeth, he's got 20!

Our nightly routine usually concludes with Ryder sitting on the toilet for a good 15 minutes.  He makes me sit in the hallway in his timeout chair and talk to him while he sits.  My sister was over last night and we were listening to him talk about the random variety of things he brings up each night.  She told me I should get the video camera, so I ran and got it and captured just a little bit of our conversation.  He's always got the most strange topics to discuss with me.  This is 3+ minutes and will probably only be interesting to grandparents, so grandparents, this is for you!


This is way off subject and a super weird comment below, but I've always wondered if I was the only one with this problem, now I know I'm not!

I noticed in my last pregnancy that I would get these sharp pains in my side that felt like a "stitch" that you get when you go running.  I blew it off because it would go away quickly.  I've been noticing it again this pregnancy when I get up too fast, roll over too fast, etc.  I was at my monthly appointment last week and asked my doctor about it.  I had been just blabbing away trying to explain it, halfway feeling like she would think I was crazy.  Then she just says, "Yeah, that's round ligament pain."  Thank you Jesus, I have an answer!  I looked it up online and found the description, it fits perfectly:
Round ligament pain generally refers to a brief, sharp, stabbing pain or a longer-lasting dull ache that pregnant women commonly feel in the lower abdomen or groin, starting in the second trimester.  You may feel round ligament pain as a short jabbing sensation if you suddenly change position, such as when you're getting out of bed or out of a chair or when you cough, or roll over in bed.

I couldn't have defined it better myself, you stink round ligament pain!


The countdown is on, one week from today we'll know if we are having a boy or a girl!  I have zero feeling of what it is, and I have zero preference, it would be wonderful to have another little boy because I LOVE my boy and Ryder would have a little brother, and it would be wonderful to have a girl because one of each is complete.  Of course I want a healthy baby and that is ALL I care about and pray for.


Dinners, Parties and Holidays

First things first:  Look at my new poll question above and if you would like to cast your vote, please do!  We'll know March 1.


John Michael declared date night a couple weeks ago, which was fine by me.  We had a double date with Kayla and Bennett at Parker House.  I wanted a picture so we got Kayla to take one.

I wasn't pleased with it so I said let's take one more. I didn't know until later John Michael decided to smile like this. I told him just for that I was going to put it on Facebook immediately, he didn't like that very much so hopefully next time he won't smile like that when I'm trying to get a serious picture :)

Ryder is big on wanting to take his bible to church, I'm not real fond of this because it's one of those small little dainty bibles and he'll rip the pages out. But this morning he wouldn't give in and grabbed my book off my night stand and proudly carried it to the car. Once we got in he started "reading" to us.

After all Ryder's "tirate" talk last week, he was quite pleased that he got to go to a Princess and Pirate birthday party last Saturday.  His little buddy Swayze Jane turned 2, and Ryder was pretty fired up about it.  He jumped in the space jump and ran around until his hair was wet from sweating.  They dug for treasures and he even got a treasure chest tattoo that I could not get to come off before church the next morning.  He was proud of that. (just realized it looks like I meant he got a treasure tattoo on his chest, but I mean it was a tattoo of a treasure chest, just clearing it up).

Ryder sharing his cake with Levi, he's always feeding Levi his food.

I've decided to put a halt on Dora.  This is why... the party favors were princess tiaras and magic wands for the girls, and swords and eye patches for the guys (princess and pirate).  When I saw them sitting there I had a pretty good feeling which one Ryder would go for.  I was right, he went straight for the wand.  Then he starts going on about abra cadabra.  Of course he loved the eye patch and sword when we handed it to him, but his first pick was the stuff he sees on Dora!  OMG we are DONE!

I hate to see it go because crazy as it sounds, it has taught him a lot, not even kidding.  He can count to ten in spanish, no lie!  And he knows the words up, down, and come on in spanish, and several colors too.  Diego teaches spanish, so maybe we'll just stick to that.

Then Sunday we watched the Super Bowl at Kristen and Teddy's and so Ryder got to play with Swayze two nights in a row!

Luckily they still had the jump jump from her party in the car, so we blew it up right in the living room.  It gave us moms a nice break.

Thursday night some of John Michael's friends were in town by way of horse and buggy.  They are on a trail ride that goes so many miles over a weeks time in conjuction with the rodeo festivities.  He wanted to take Ryder and let him check it out.

They sleep in this buggy at night... brrrrr.

Ryder was a large fan of this contraption.

As you can see, we NEVER stop... so that night we went to eat at a friends house, and all the little boys got to catch up too.

Ryder, Gaines and Levi

I was baking the rolls in the oven to take over there to eat and Ryder opened the kitchen drawer, pulled out my oven mits, walk up to the oven and said, "get back mama, it's hot!!!"  He has seen me do this 100 times, I love seeing him do things that he has picked up from us.

Saturday night we celebrated valentines at Walker's, double yum!  My mom took a picture of us before we left.

Ryder got so upset that we didn't ask him to get in the picture, he fell out on the floor and started crying.

I wasn't expecting anything for Valentines day, I already told JM he better not spend $100 sending me flowers (it's very sweet, but...... it's $100). I always tell him if he is going to get me flowers I would much rather they be bought by him and delivered by him. This morning I walked into the kitchen to eat my blueberry muffins made by him, and he and Ryder had my favorite flowers and a gift certificate to get a mani/pedi sitting on the counter. I was actually really surprised!

Ryder delivering flowers and telling me happy valentines day, plus a little extra commentary.

If you couldn't understand his language, here is what he said: Happy Valentines Day, Happy Valentines Day, we gotta turn 4 o'clock, gotta turn 4, gotta turn 4 mama, CHEESE!


While we're on holidays, in honor of upcoming Fat Tuesday (Feb. 21) I wanted to share a fun recipe if any of you want to try it out.

Crockpot Jambalaya
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound smoked turkey sausage, sliced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
3 Tbsp dried minced onion flakes
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 tsp minced garlic
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
White rice or instant rice (exp: 2 packs of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice)
In a crockpot, mix the chicken, sausage, tomatoes with juice, onion, garlic, celery, and broth. Season with oregano, parsley, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and thyme. (You can do this the night before and put it in the fridge and put it in the slow cooker before you leave in the morning.)

Cover, and cook 7 to 8 hours on Low, or 3 to 4 hours on High. Mix in cooked rice and cook for about 15 minutes to warm through.

Cheesy Biscuits
1 1/2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbps sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425. Stir together all ingredients just until combined. Scoop into a mini muffin pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden.

King Cake Knots
1 loaf refrigerated french bread dough
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp milk (may need more to get right consistency)
1/2 tsp vanilla
colored sugar - yellow, purple, green

Preheat oven to 350. Unroll french bread dough into a large rectangle, about 16 by 12 inches. Brush the dough lightly with softened butter. Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over butter. Cut the dough in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into strips about 1 1/4 inches wide. Twist two stips together. Tie each strip loosely into a knot, stretching gently if necessary, and place on baking sheet about 2-inches apart.

Bake for 25-28 minutes. Cool. Mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Dip each knot into icing and then sprinkle with colored sugar.


Meet Heidy

I will say that one of my gifts is the gift of caring, and I mean deeply caring.  I have a big heart and I truly want the best for everyone.  I haven't always done my best to see that it happens, but it's on my heart and I've thanked God for making me this way.  Over the past year or so our church has spent some time on adoption and caring for orphans.  I think adoption is one of the most wonderful gifts you can give someone, but it's not for everyone.  I personally don't feel led to adopt, but I DO feel led to care for orphans.  I've always been one to get suckered into the sad commercials on tv showing the starving kids, and always have wanted to help in the small ways that I could, but I was doing that with my head and not my heart.  It was like I was seeing the devastation, writing a check, then not thinking about it ever again.

But now that we've continued to study this at church, I am finally feeling it in my HEART that I...WE, are all called to care for orphans.

It's clear!

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress.  James 1:27

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.  Psalms 68:5-6

The helpless put their trust in You. You are the defender of orphans Lord; You know the hopes of the helpless. Surely You will listen to their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so people can no longer terrify them.  Psalm 10:17-18.

I was reading a blog about someone who was sponsoring a child through Compassion International, and I have heard about this company before, so I thought I would look into it.  As I went through the website it all just hit me, I started crying, tears were running down my face thinking of these poor children and what they go through every day.  I think for the first time I truly felt what it feels like to have something "weigh on your heart".  My heart was really and truly HEAVY, literally, for these children.  Many of them living in AIDS infected areas, where they barely have a chance.  Many who are absolutely starving, infected with disease, very little medical care, etc.  I was thinking about Ryder, and how if he were to get sick, the best possible care is always available.  There is very little to fear for me when it comes to taking care of my child.

But at the same time, I was so happy.  I was happy that I really felt passionate about something that our God calls us to do, and that I heard Him this time.

So I knew I was ready to sponsor a child.  But where would I start?  This organization sponsors thousands of children in 26 different countries.  Who was I going to pick?  How would I make that decision?  It made me feel so guilty that I was choosing one over the other.  I started praying that I would just know, that there would be some kind of sign.  I'm kind of big on visual signs.  So this is how I made my decision, it's going to sound pretty silly.

The morning that this happened I was going to a work conference in which door prizes were given out every hour.  Let me just tell you that I am that person who NEVER, NEVER, NEVER wins the door prize.  There could be 100 people in the rom, 99 prizes handed out, and I am the one who doesn't win.  But early on in the day my name was called for a door prize.  I was pretty shocked!  And excited!  I opened the bag and there was a really nice men's Columbia jacket.  I thought oh yeah!  I get to bring a fun present home to John Michael.  But then I thought, how random.  This was a Chamber/Economic Development conference and most of the door prizes were things that represented people's hometown.  But then I thought, OH, a "Columbia" jacket.  So I'm thinking, okay, could this be a sign?  A sweet baby from Columbia?  I've prayed for a sign, and I felt like maybe this is what it was.  So when I got home that night I was going through pictures and reading stories and I saw this precious little girl who had a heart by her name, which meant she had been waiting for over 6 months to be sponsored.  Only a few had this red heart, and she was from Columbia.  So I showed John Michael several pictures, including this little girl.  And John Michael said pick her (the one I was leaning towards but he didn't know that).  And I showed him others saying, "but this one doesn't have a dad, and this one is in an AIDS infected area, and this one has this, or that, etc."  So he looked again and he still said, pick "her".  Still the little girl I was drawn too.  So I said OK that does it for me.  CLICK!

So here she is!
Heidy Yuliana Leano Alfonso

(Can I mention that I have always loved the name Heidi, I think it's the sweetest!)

So after I clicked and filled out all the necessary information, I immediately got an email from the company thanking me and telling me all the many benefits this child will receive.

Now, I want to end this by saying:

I absolutely did NOT post this blog to "brag" or to seem like "look at me, I'm giving back."  What John Michael and I choose to give is something we do not talk about, that's between us and God (and our accountant ha-ha).  I mean believe me, the cost to sponsor this child is $38 a month, that's NOTHING compared to what we all have to give and is certainly nothing to be boastful about.  So please know, I'm sharing this because I feel like there are probably people out there who have felt the same things as me, have wanted to help and just didn't know where to start and I hope that maybe I have answered some things that you have asked or have been praying for.  I can't wait to explain this to Ryder, and as he and Heidy get older, they will be able to write to each other letters and we'll be able to send her things.  What better thing to teach your child(ren)? 

So, please join me in praying for Heidy, that this teeny amount of money will provide her with the food, shelter, healthcare, and most importantly, the Word of God that it is to be used for.  I want everyone to have full bellies and a roof over their head, but let's get honest, we are all on this earth to share the gospel with others, and if we are not called to "GO" and do these things, let's fund the ones who are willing to, and have chosen to do this work with their lives.


He's Got Jokes

Such the comedian he is.  Here I am, 9:30 at night, fresh out of the shower, hair in a towel, slaving over the swiffer mop, and John Michael thought it would be cute to walk in and start taking pictures of me and calling me Aunt Jemima. 

Do you see the resemblance?

I know I'm pregnant and all, and growing by the day at that, but I do hope when he called me Aunt Jemima he was referring to the white towel on my head and not the size of our bod.


Ryder has been totally cool with the princess pull ups ever since we got them, not sure what got to him this go round.  It could have something to do with the fact that another little girl in his class wears these same ones.  His teacher told me that when she takes them to the bathroom and they are carrying their pull ups, he is quick to tell her that the ones she is carrying are NOT his!

I knew it wouldn't take long before I caught Ryder on video singing happy birthday to something.  The day after I posted about his birthday singing fetish, I caught singing to his green bathtub cup, unfortunately he stops short, but you'll get the drift.

Ryder and I had a little outing at Zaxby's.  I walked over to fill up my drink and returned to see my clearly starving child licking his cup of ketchup.  I told him to stop eating the ketchup, he said "But I'm starving!"

Ryder has been interested in talking about my stomach lately, and he now truly believes he has a baby growing inside of him too.  He likes to pull up his shirt and tell me to look at his baby.  He always says his baby is awake and asks me to rub it.  Then he said his baby was a boy named Ross and mine was a girl named Anna Ross.  He also said that our babies won't be able to walk when they are little because they will be wearing pajamas.  He kept wanting to rub my belly but his hands were ice cold, and I don't like people who are cold touching me, so I told him my baby was sleeping and his reply was "But it's probably not sleeping."  The word of the week is "probably."

Ryder at the park, isn't he cute!!!

My friends Mandy and Taylor got married in Jamaica earlier this month and we were not able to make it, unfortunately.  But she is one of the most thoughtful friends I know, and we got a cute little package from her with a pair of sunglasses and a drink koozie enscribed Mandy and Taylor, Jamaica, 2012, etc.

Saturday we went to a Grow conference at our church, which was basically a conference about being Godly parents, raising our children to know and follow Christ, and shepherding our children's hearts.  It was great and we learned alot!  Ryder was there most of the day, and then my dad and sister picked him up to take him to get some lunch and back home for a nap while we finished up.  They put him down at 1:30 and he woke up at FIVE.  Saturday night Ryder's friend Gaines came over to play, but since he was still a little grumpy from such a long nap, he preferred to sit around and watch TV most of the time.  In this position.

Sunday we went to a Minnie Mouse birthday party.

Then we took the jeep out on such a pretty day to let Ryder throw rocks and sticks in the water at "the land" as he calls it, which is actually our lot.  John Michael and I both had our sunglasses on our head and looked back to find that Ryder had done same thing with his Jamaica shades.

Our lot or "the land"

Ryder's going to love having this little pond in the backyard.

Everytime we go out there he searches for the stump he's standing on.  He prefers to throw his collections from this very spot.

Last night after I got Ryder out of bath and was getting some pj's out of his drawer he spotted something on his dresser.  He said, "I want to ring the doorbell mama" I said, "the doorbell?"  He said, "Yesssss mama I want to ring it, I want to ring the door bell!"  I just laughed it off and said ok next time we go to the car I'll let you ring it.  He kept on and finally I looked over and just started laughing.  He saw his COW bell on the dresser and wanted to ring it.

When I looked on the video at Ryder's school today I saw a few of them were wearing bandana's on their heads.  When he got home he said, "mama I want to be a tirate and I want to wear a banana."  He pronounces pirate as tirate and I just knew he was referring to the bandana's from school, so I granted his wish.

When John Michael gets home from work Ryder always demands that he take off his tie.  He always finds something random to do with these ties.  Tonight he decided to use it as a tug of war rope. 
(just noticed the plumber crack when the picture was enlarged)

He kept saying, "I want to win, I want to win!!"  When I said it was time to put the tie up, he said, "But I want to win first!"  Sounds like he's going to be the quite the competitor in life.

The end.