Ryder's off to K3 and Rhodes is 13 Months

No monthly stickers to prove it, but Rhodes is indeed 13 months.  Just a few facts:

  • He drinks 3-4 sippy cups of milk a day and usually one water/juice combo
  • He eats 3 full meals a day and a snack in the afternoon.  And if we are in the car he snacks on cheerios, puffs, goldfish.
  • He meals are normally chicken nuggets, corn dogs, turkey, cheese, yogurt, grapes, bananas, apples, goldfish, grits, muffins, jelly toast, waffles, lima beans, blackeyed peas, potatoes, pizza, spaghetti, ravioli, corn, graham crackers.  Anything really.  And a lot of it at that.
  • He wears 18 month clothes, size 3 and 4 shoes, depending.  
  • He has 10 teeth, 3 of those are molars.
  • He naps 930-1130 and 2-3ish.
  • He claps and waves.
  • He loves to hug.  He wraps his arms around our necks and smushes his cheek against ours and that's him giving sugar.  He pushes his face real hard onto ours when we ask him to give us a hug or kisses and just keeps it there with a big grin.
  • On the day he turned 13 months he walked a few steps for us.  Now, it's a couple weeks later and he's walking more and more.  He's finally getting the hang of getting into the standing position on his own as well.
  • Everything goes in his mouth.
  • He still only says mama and dada for the most part.  I should've never looked back to look what Ryder was doing at this age... 
  • He prefers to feed himself.  If I put something in his mouth he takes it out and then puts it back in his mouth by himself.  So I don't even try to feed him anymore unless it's yogurt, applesauce, or anything that requires a spoon.
Currently as I type, Ryder is at his second day of 3 year old preschool.  He goes Tuesday, Wedneday and Thursday.  After I picked him up the first day he loved it of course.  We've been very blessed that it's not hard for him during transition times.  This is the 3rd "school" he has gone to and he wouldn't know the difference.  

Ryder's teacher, Miss Dana

We went to lunch as a family after Ryder's first day of school so he could tell us all about it.  In true male fashion, he didn't give many details.

Ryder was getting ready to go play at a friend girl's house.  He's maybe worn a hat 5 times in his life.  Before we were getting ready to leave he said, "Wait! I need to go get one of dad's hats!"  I asked why.  He said, "I want to look my best for Reagan."

After they played there for  while I brought her home so her mom could get some stuff done.  My rule was they could come here but had to stay upstairs and play the whole time Rhodes was asleep so they wouldn't wake him.  After about 30 minutes they came down to show me their "tattoos."  Reagan's tattoos, rather.

Ryder WOULD choose writing over playing with Rhodes and I. 

I had some serious gift card overload so I packed up the boys to go shopping and treated MYSELF to lots of goodies!  I normally go shopping and all I end up buying is things for the boys.  But, no.  Not this time!  They behaved so well.  It made for a very fun afternoon if I say so myself.

Ryder was trying out some different color palettes on Rhodes at Sephora.

Speaking of Sephora, let me tell you about my finds.  And I highly recommend both.  First, I have major eyelash envy.  I have the shortest, thinnest, light brown eyelashes.  I put on like four coats of mascara every day.  Awhile back on my friend Heather's blog I saw that she used something to help plump her lashes.  I read some reviews and everyone seemed to be pleased.  It's called Dior Maximizer Lash Plumping System.  Get some!  I only have to dip my mascara wand one time instead of four.  I'm serious!  

I also like a good bronzer.  I do not like anything shimmery on my face.  It's hard to find a bronzer that is completely matte.  But I found one, it's by Too Faced and it's the milk chocolate soliel in light/medium.  I love it a lot.

We had a super low key weekend full of a whole lot of nothing.  It was fabulous.

I know I should've been helping him instead of taking his picture.

Saturday my sister and I had lunch with our dad.

Keifer's two Saturday's in a row.  Is this real life???

Rhodes finished dinner and helped himself to dessert.

While riding around Saturday afternoon we found a new treasure.  A fresh dirt pile.

The older Rhodes has gotten, the more rough Ryder has gotten with him.  He bumped straight into him while driving and just kept on going, pushing Rhodes along the way.  Of course he thought it was hilarious.  When I noticed that Rhodes wasn't hurt and actually liked it as well, I just let him keep on going.

Monday morning several of us stay at home mom's from Pinelake (Clinton) got together with the kiddos which turned into a big ole' playdate.  There were about 15 kids and 8 moms.  Precious times with other mom's from church.

Side funny:  Ryder is very much afraid of getting in trouble.  He's also a big tattle tale.  After the first time he said the word "stupid" we explained to him that's a bad word and he hasn't forgotten it.  I've had to let him pop my hand many times after I've let it slip.  This morning on the way to school we were surfing radio stations in between commercial breaks and the station I landed on the DJ said something was stupid.  I knew Ryder would catch it and then I heard from the backseat, "Can I tell you what the guy on the radio just said?"  Knowing what he was about to say, I told him that yes, he could tell me.  "He said stupid mama."  I said uh oh, that's not a very nice word to say is it?  He said, "Do u think he's getting a spanking right now?"  I said probably.  He said, "From his boss?"


You know, every now and then I like to give my humble opinion.  Today's opinion is in response to some articles I've read lately (one really funny one I copied below).  I would like to give some feedback in hopes that those of you out there who think you are the only one who its not perfect, will learn that you are certainly NOT the only one!  Honest to goodness, I don't read these things and feel bad about the things I do my way.  I don't put a lot of pressure on myself and never have about how to look like the perfect mom.  Maybe that's why I'm not stunned when I find crunched up bugs and other odd objects in my one year old's mouth.  And maybe that's why I give Rhodes my car keys to chew on when he's teething and we're in a pinch because I didn't tuck his teething ring safely in his baby bag.  (What baby bag?  Half the time, I stuff a few essentials in my purse!)

So, for the article - and excuse some of the language choices.

5 Ways We're Making Parenting Harder

    Is it me or has parenting become exponentially more difficult in the last 10 years? When I was a kid, I remember spending my days eating Spaghetti-Os, watching marathons of Muppet Babies, and playing outside for hours and hours with no adult in sight. You know what that's considered now? Neglect.
    Maybe this is always true of the current generation, but we seem to have deemed ourselves parenting experts and consider everything our parents did to be wrong. In some ways, this is a good thing (e.g. Riding in the backs of pick-up trucks). In other ways it's just absolutely ridiculous. For example:

    1. Birthday Parties
    What in the hell has happened here? I remember going to birthday parties as a kid. We simply played for a bit, sang "Happy Birthday", ate some friggin' cake, and watched our buddy open up some presents. Why on Earth have these things morphed into themed parties that take hours of planning, hundreds of dollars and are only appreciated by the people who aren't being celebrated? It's crazy! For HJ's first birthday, I fell victim to this whole fiasco. We had a Milk & Cookies theme and I stressed myself completely out as I accounted for food allergies, activities for older kids, balloons during a helium shortage, and the perfect shade of pink in every corner. I was still so stressed out by the experience that HJ had a grandparents only party the next year.
    2. Elf on the Shelf
    Simply singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" used to be enough to put kids in check. Now they have a snitch. Not just any snitch, but one in which Mom and Dad have to place in humorous and cutesy positions every night to entertain the kids and remind them to be good. Because completing Christmas shopping, baking for holiday parties, seeing family, going to light shows, and wrapping presents isn't enough to keep us busy during that month. We need to add a stupid elf to the list. (Full disclosure: HJ and B's elf is currently in my closet, ready to make her debut this Christmas.)
    3. Organic EVERYTHING
    Yes, organic is the best way to feed a family. Avoiding pesticides, GMOs, additives, and other preservatives is preferable, obviously. I get it. That being said, I still need to be able to afford to actually feed my family. Have you noticed how organic food is nearly double the price? AND everything can be organic these days. There's organic t-shirts, organic cleaners, and organic candy. There's even organic diaper bags. Seriously? We really need the bag that carries my kid's poopy diapers to be organic? Are we eating it later?
    4. Kid's Sports
    I played sports as a kid. I was in dance, gymnastics, tee ball, softball and volleyball. The difference between kids' sports back then and now is the fact that our sports didn't eat up every free friggin' moment of every day. Thankfully my kids aren't old enough for this yet, but I have seen it from family and friends. As soon as their kid starts a sporting activity, I NEVER see them again because it never seems to end. They are always at practice, a game, or a tournament. As soon as the summer league is over, then the fall league starts. Fall's over? Oh, great! The spring league is here! I don't blame parents. I blame the coaches and league organizers. Do these people even have kids?
    5. Pinterest
    As much as I love it, I have to admit: Pinterest is an a-hole. It further perpetuates the notion that parents must do everything perfectly and be the best at everything. Just the other day I saw a pin that taught parents how to apply tattoos to bananas for school lunches. Are you kidding me?! It's not enough to make lunch for your children, but now we have to decorate it? Ridiculous. Also, because of Pinterest, I am guilted into thinking I should have a water table, a colored rice sensory table, make my own finger paints, sew pillowcase dresses, put lunches artfully into cute little bento boxes, and that I should be setting up monthly photo shoots with my wiggly kids. No. No. And no. It's difficult enough to keep them alive, fed, clothed, bathed, and away from my secret candy stash.
    Can we collectively agree to take it all down a notch?
    The end.


    So that's that.  I don't have a whole lot in common (yet) with Elf on the Shelf or being a child's sports fanatic, but I can see how these things can spiral.  And this might put some of you over the edge.  But guess what I fed Rhodes for dinner last night?  Black eyes peas. From the CAN! Guess what else? Mandarin oranges. From the can. Double Gasp!  Don't get me wrong, feeding your child (and yourself) food strictly picked from the garden is the best thing for them.  But it's not all that easy, nor is it all that feasible.  And it's not the normal diet in our home, and I don't feel bad about it!  And you shouldn't either :)

    Now, for the birthday parties, I admit I go a little overboard, but my kid's parties take a lot of time, not a lot of money.  (That's the key!)  I just stay up a little later printing out food labels and using the hot glue gun.  I can't let myself feel too guilty about that because I do it when everyone is asleep.  It's kind of my time doing something I enjoy.

    And Pinterest.  I just have to ignore a lot of that ridiculousness.  I use Pinterest if, and ONLY if I am working on a project and need ideas.  I don't scroll through for hours on end because let's be honest, I would turn into a crazy mom who places the world's highest expectations on myself that I would never, ever be able to fulfill!!!

    The people I live around and do everyday life with aren't big on the "one upping" stuff.  There is no comparing or competition, at least that's the way it seems to me.  So I think that's what takes a lot of pressure off of me.  And for that, I am THANKFUL!


    Lots of Things

    Second children are supposed to be rotten.  Right? Well, ours is.  He only drinks milk from the nap nanny.  But when you don't have a nap nanny outside, you rig one up with a beach chair.

    Ryder doesn't share his watermelon.  This took a lot.... 

    JM and I took a walk down memory lane and watched our wedding DVD.

    Ryder went to his first birthday party at Pump It Up.

    I treated myself to a pedicure.

    Ryder wanted to watch you tube videos on volcanos and lava.  And seahorses.

    I made three freezer meals.

    I pulled Ryder's bangs up in a pony tail and he looked frighteningly similar to the little girl on Honey Boo Boo.

    We visited daddy at the bank.  Rhodes wanted to play with the ball.

    And Ryder learned to type his name on the computer.

    We had tons of delicious dinner left over from an open house John Michael did for work, so we had a last minute group of friends over for dinner.  These are the bigs.  There were 4 littles crawling around somewhere.

    So glad Target has these.  Now I can spend more time in there!

    Meredith was in town from Nashville and wanted to meet all the babes.  So we had a little brunch and coffee fellowship.  Thanks to Ryder for the awesome photo.

    Rhodes, Charlotte and Porter

    Rhodes and Noah

    Meredith and Noah

    Meredith, Noah, Charlotte and Mandy

    Devin and Porter

    We had to bump Ryder up to the booster seat so Rhodes could have his carseat.

    Returning library books in the book drop.

    The other night we asked Ryder what time it was.  He said he couldn't see the clock that far and that the numbers were blurry.  (Keep in mind we asked because it was time for bed, so we just wanted to make him aware that bedtime was soon).  After a couple times of this happening over a few days, I made him an eye doctor appointment.  The child has 20/20 vision.  He was obviously just trying to avoid bedtime.

    When we were in the waiting room he walked up to the front desk and said to the receptionist, "Can I ask ya somethin?  I can't see the clock because my eyes are little."

    "Fooled ya mom!"

    Ryder wanted to make out his birthday list :)

    Where's Ryder?

    Ryder comes up with some weird ideas.  He went around the house and wanted to find pairs of things.  Here's his final collection - two of each: golf balls, lincoln logs, toy phones, books and cups.

    Ryder went to stay the weekend in Vaughan.  He packed his bags as soon as he woke up Friday morning and I took this picture around 8:30 a.m.  He was leaving at noon.

    John Michael and I had more conversation this weekend than we have had in a loooooong time.  Rhodes isn't much of a talker so we didn't even get interrupted once.  It was marvelous!  Plus, he goes to sleep at 7:30 so JM and I had our own date night right here at home two nights in a row!

    So we did stuff like clean our outdoor chairs.

    And listen to music and eat dinner on the back porch at 9:30.  In peace.

    Saturday morning I put Rhodes down for a nap and spent two hours cleaning while drinking coffee and listening to Chris Tomlin radio on Pandora.

    Then the three of us went to a way past due lunch at Keifer's.

    When I took this picture I didn't realize at the time he was make this face because he was gagging on his goldfish and cheerio combo.  Oops.

    Later on that day the Ketchum crew came to visit.  Little mama Reese was the best helper!

    Sunday afternoon I had a JA tea at my house.

    And finally once the tea was over I was reunited with my big boy, ohhhhhh how I missed him!  He's been so sweet since he got home.  I've gotten a million kisses and hugs.  I love my little boys.  Oh, and Rhodes took a few steps this weekend.  Go Rhodes!

    Summer is wrapping up and Ryder starts K3 this week.  And then Rhodes starts Mother's Day Out in two weeks.  Here's to trying to a new routine!  Bring it on!